October 7, 2010
The Maoists continue to do the bidding of Beijing. Yesterday, they stepped up their anti-Indian campaign by attempting to foil Rakesh Sood -- Indian Ambassador to Nepal -- from visiting the Mt. Everest region, where he was scheduled to inaugurate various Indian-assisted projects previously green-lighted under bilateral cooperation.
A group of 30-35 Maoists associated with a regional group called the Sherpa Rastriya Mukti Morcha-Nepal tried to block the road when Sood touched down at the Solukhumbu Airport. They waved black flags at the ambassador, a particularly menacing and insulting warning sometimes used in Nepali demonstrations. The group was led by former Maoist minister for culture Gopal Kirati, who had earlier spearheaded the attack on Indian priests at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu – a protest that seriously backfired on Maoist Supremo Prachanda, who was prime minister at the time.
There can be little doubt that the protest was mounted on behalf of China. Northern Nepal remains an extremely sensitive spot for Beijing, ever since China annexed Tibet in the 1950s.