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Saturday, 28 July, 2001, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Nepal Maoists tell of world plans
Maoist rebels
The rebels say they are freedom fighters, not terrorists
BBC South Asia correspondent Adam Mynott is one of the first Western journalists to travel to the mountainous Rolpa district of west Nepal, a stronghold of the Maoist rebels, who told him of their ambitions for Nepal and the rest of the world.

The village of Holeri is high in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is where the Maoist insurgents in Nepal carried out their most successful attack against Nepali Government forces just over two weeks ago.


It was clear that the sort of Maoist rhetoric that has died out over the last 15 years is alive and well and apparently growing in strength here in Nepal

Seventy-two police officers were captured and one was killed. More than 50 policemen are still in Maoist custody.

We were staying in the home of the police inspector in this village who was captured by the rebels about two weeks ago.

The Maoist leaders, who agreed that the BBC could visit one of their strongholds, were initially cautious but the local committee secretary, who calls himself Comrade Sizal, told me that he wanted people to know about the Maoist rebellion and what they are fighting for.

Extremely hospitable

The rebels fed us and looked after us extremely well.

Speaking in a simple hut in Holeri, surrounded by other party members, Comrade Sizal said the Maoists were not terrorists but freedom fighters.

Maoist rebels
The rebels say they want to spread their ideals worldwide

He said the current ceasefire between Nepali Government forces and the rebels was not an obstacle to the Maoists' intention to take over the entire country.

Indeed he said this would just be a precursor to spreading the Maoist movement throughout the world.

When I accused Comrade Sizal of being slightly over-ambitious, he countered that this was a movement on the move.

Maoists currently control eight of more than 70 districts in Nepal. They are in effect running these areas, collecting taxes and organising education and health care.

Mass gathering

Earlier, Comrade Sizal addressed a mass meeting of more than 5,000 villagers who had come from all over the countryside to listen to speeches about the Maoist rebellion and watch musical entertainment with a Maoist theme.

Maoist rebels and villagers gather in remote Rakedada village, about 120 km (75 miles) east of Kathmandu
Rebels use cultural shows to gather villagers in remote areas
It was an extraordinary sight as long lines of young and old, many clad in brightly coloured local peasant costume, snaked their way up narrow mountain tracks towards the meeting point.

As they walked they chanted "Long live the revolution", "Long live Marxism", and "Down with King Gyanendra's regime."

It was clear that the sort of Maoist rhetoric that has died out around the world over the last 15 years is alive and well and apparently growing in strength here in Nepal.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Adam Mynott
"It was the most extraordinary spectacle I've ever witnessed"
See also:

23 Jul 01 | South Asia
Nepal truce raises peace hopes
20 Jul 01 | South Asia
Nepal contender urges dialogue
14 Jul 01 | South Asia
Hunt continues for Nepal hostages
13 Jul 01 | South Asia
Nepal army clashes with Maoists
07 Jul 01 | South Asia
Nepal rebels step up attacks
04 Jul 01 | South Asia
Eyewitness: Nepal's Maoist power base
14 May 01 | South Asia
Nepal's growing rural revolt
04 Jul 01 | South Asia
Nepal's Maoists on the move
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