The Maoist fighters who have been confined to makeshift huts are slowly moving to nearby villages because they can no longer bear the harsh cold and continuous rain. The cantonments lack medical and other essential services and supplies-the fighters have been denied their basic rights. The local Maoist leadership has directed those in the cantonments to move to neighbouring villages.
Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat recently put out figures showing that the Maoists are demanding more money for their cantonments than the Nepal Army, and that it cannot afford to pay more. By comparing the organisation of the Nepal Army with the rush job of the 'People's Liberation Army', the government has proved that it hasn't a clue about what is going on with the cantonment process. Mahat's statements suggest that the government still considers the PLA a threat.
After close inspection of the temporary camps, Ian Martin, the head of the UN team, recently said that he is not satisfied. According to the peace agreement, it is the responsibility of the government to organise and look after the PLA. Experts need to assess whether the Rs 350 million already given to the Maoists for the PLA is actually enough. Similarly, the Maoists should understand that the money they were given came from the national treasury and that their accounts need to be transparent and public. If neither side budges, and more fighters freezing in the camps come out, who will be responsible for the chaos that could result?