From The Nepali Press
Janaastha, 29 September
FROM ISSUE #216 (01 OCT 2004 - 07 OCT 2004) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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On Tuesday night, about 15 armed youths attacked the convoy of cars of the Food Caravan at Jungedhara near Dhading. Ex-MP Bhojraj Joshi was entreating the militants: "We are also fighting imperialism, we are also comrades. These are all foreign anti-imperialist fighters. Leave them alone." One of the gunmen barked, "Stop giving speeches. Shut up." Then he pointed a revolver at Joshi's head and forced everyone out of the vehicle as another gunman sprinkled the cars with petrol. Soon, the cars were ablaze. The cars were part of a convoy of the International People's March for Food Sovereignty, which had already travelled through Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Korea and Mongolia. Three days ago, it had entered Nepal, heading for Kathmandu. Three of the group's four Indian-registered cars were destroyed. The attackers then fired several rounds into the cars and detonated six socket bombs before melting into the night. The group packed themselves into the remaining car and drove up to Khanikhola, where local lodges refused to let them in, so they spent the night at the police station. The group included a BBC correspondent, a Hong Kong-based journalist and Filipino peasants-rights activist, Imelda. "We have Maoists in the Philippines, but they never do things against the people and are popular. These Nepali Maoists are counter-revolutionaries," Imelda said. The incident was very embarrassing for Nepal and the local UML hosts. UML leader Bam Deb Gautam said: "The activists were here to spread the struggle for peasants' rights. The Maoists must apologise."