Nepali Times Asian Paints
"The leaders are to blame for the Maoist problem"

The root cause of the problem is nobody seems to actually approach it sensibly. Both the government and the Maoists should not have taken the path of violence. It seems both sides are locked in a struggle of egos while the common people suffer.

Because people are ignorant and uneducated, many tend to give themselves easily to fear. And because of the fear, they either join the Maoists or raise a strong voice against them, and ask the government to use force. The use of force is not good. It provokes further instability.

The problem is of course getting bigger for the country. A dialogue has to begin as soon as possible and let social life get back to normal. Those living in the city may not be affected. But look at our brothers and sisters living a tough life in the villages. They are living in fear and insecurity. They have to be given relief, not only physical relief but also psychological. Students, especially girls, in villages are losing hope. You\'ve got to take up arms if you don\'t have the political connections for better education and employment.

The leaders have lied many times to the people by giving them false hopes. They are to blame for the Maoist problem.
Sabrina Shrestha
student, Kathmandu

I think the main cause of the Maoist problem is widespread poverty and lack of education because when democracy was established people had hopes and dreams that couldn\'t be fulfilled. This led some to believe that the way to solve this is to start a people\'s war. The leaders are also to blame for this situation. Leaders from all parties are to blame because they only think about their personal benefit rather then look at the good of the nation.

Any country in the world that faces this type of problem, which is actually terrorism, uses the army to control it. Nepal is the only country in the world that is using the police. But the army should be mobilised only as a last resort because we know that once the army is sent it has a devastating effect, and can lead to a civil war-like situation. Both the government and the Maoists must realise that there is a lack of effort from both sides to solve the problem.

The problem is very critical. We in Kathmandu don\'t realise that the problem is very intense but outside Kathmandu the problem is at its peak.
Rishikesb Ghimere
Tour operator, Kapilvastu

The growing problem of the Maoist movement, especially at the societal level, needs to be solved as soon as possible. And there are ways apart from using force to do that. There is no need to use police force and the military. The government can sit down and talk with the Maoist leaders who now seem willing to talk.

We have seen a lot of changes in the government, but no one in power has really done anything to gain the trust of the Nepali people, let alone the Maoists. All parties are invoked in serving their own interests than in hearing the voice of the people. In a poor country like Nepal, this issue has now-become very important to look into sensibly. If the problem is not tackled in a peaceful way, who knows Nepal may be dragged into a civil war pretty soon.

Look at what is happening now, while the death toll rises on both sides, more and more youth are being forced into taking up arms. If there had been good education and planning in the country from the beginning, there would have been no need for a Maoist revolt.
Erica Adhikary
student, Kathmandu

Nepalis are very peace-loving people. I think all Nepalis should be assured of the fact that the Maoist problem will be sorted out in a peaceful manner. It\'s just a matter of time.

Because I think even as the Maoists fight for their ideology the government is also looking for ways to sort out things.

The reason why talks are not moving ahead is that there has been no real identification of the problem. The government might be trying its best to solve the problem and the Maoists might also be moving to reach an agreement, we don\'t know.

There is confusion about whether Maoists are fighting an ideological war or a violent war. They may be right in their own way but face-to-face talks have to take place and both sides, the government and the Maoists, have to halt the fighting. All wars end at the negotiating table.
Gokul Khadka
entrepreneur, Patan

There is a positive and negative side to everything. Democracy too has its pluses and minuses. I think the Maoist problem started due to the dissatisfaction felt by the many people over governance and the state of the nation after democracy because people expected so much of democracy. Lack of education and widespread poverty helped light the fire.

Maoist leaders are highly intelligent people and only when they understand that violence will not help in achieving their goals will an end to this problem be possible. The government as well as the Maoists should sit down and talk. What is happening right now is that both parties are sticking to their stubborn demands and forgetting the people.

Sending the army will not help solve the problem because the problem is not just about winning the war against Maoists. All options have to be considered and looked into.
China Malla
entrepreneur, Kathmandu

The main cause of the Maoist problem is unemployment, poverty and lack of education. People from the villages turn to Maoism because they do not have food to eat or clothes to wear. They work hard but agricultural production is low. They are uneducated and can be led to do anything because they cannot think for themselves. The Maoist leaders were clever enough to understand this and exploited it accordingly.

It\'s going to very hard to solve the problem given its present situation. If the leaders in the government during the days when the problem was just budding had tried to understand the problems of the people in the affected areas I think it would have been resolved a long time ago.

Although the situation is very bad the army should not be mobilised because once the army is sent in, the small-scale war going on now is going to erupt into something much bigger and more destruction and death will follow. If there are so many innocent deaths when the police is being sent what will happen once the
army goes in?
Nanda Sharan Devkota
student, Dolpo

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)