Nepal | September 23, 2019

THT 10 YEARS AGO: Maoists’ bandh cripples Tarai

Himalayan News Service

Birgunj, June 11, 2009

The students of Mini Land Boarding School here today retaliated when the bandh happy Unified CPN-Maoist cadres barged into its premises and ran amok. The Maoists hauled up the school authorities, students and teachers alike for defying the bandh called by the Adibasi Jatiya Chhetriya Mahasangh, Nepal — the party’s sister organisation — in ‘Bhojpura’, the proposed state carved out by the ex-rebels on ethnic lines as part of the federal structure. Angry over the unprovoked assault, students demonstrated at Ghantaghar, the nerve centre of the town. “We opened the school, hoping that the Maoists would leave the educational institutions out of the ambit of today’s bandh. In fact, they had agreed to this during an all-party meeting that was held on April 18. To our surprise, a baton-wielding group entered the school today and targeted us for no fault of ours,” alleged a battered and bruised teacher. The CPN-ML has flayed the attack on the school and lauded the students’ for taking on their assailants head on. Twelve people were injured during a clash between the bandh enforcers and the locals at Simara in Bara. A war of words ensued when the activists stopped two motorcycles and thrashed the riders.

As the trouble broke out, around 100 youths reached the YCL’s office in Simara-3 and attacked the Maoists. The scuffle left two locals — Santosh Karki and Dipak Bhandari — and 10 Maoist cadres injured. Police fired 10 rounds in the air to quell the unrest.

WHO declares swine flu global pandemic

Agencies Geneva, June 11, 2009

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global flu pandemic after holding an emergency meeting. It means the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world with rising cases being seen in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile. The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April. It has since spread to 74 countries. Official reports say there have been 28,000 cases globally and 141 deaths and figures are rising daily. Hong Kong said it was closing all its nurseries and primary schools for two weeks following 12 school cases.

It is the first flu pandemic in 40 years — the last in 1968 with Hong Kong flu killed about one million people. The current pandemic seems to be moderate and causing mild illness in most people.

One factor which may have prompted the move to a level six pandemic was that in the southern hemisphere — especially Australia — the virus seems to be crowding out normal seasonal influenza.

It is thought the move was not prompted by the situation in any one country but several pockets of community are in its grip. While the number of cases has made the declaration inevitable, the problem is that the pandemic phase system is designed for a very different type of virus.

A version of this article appears in print on June 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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