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United States issues travel advisory on Nepal

Last Updated: Friday, November 20, 2009 - 09:20

Washington: Expressing concern over the prevailing security situation in Nepal, the US has asked its nationals to be cautious while travelling to that country.
"The Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of travelling to Nepal, and urges caution when travelling in that country," the State Department said in its travel advisory issued yesterday.

It said that the US is concerned about the security situation in Nepal, and asked American citizens to obtain updated security information before they travel and to be prepared to change their plans on short notice.

The State Department said political violence remained a problem in Nepal as protests, demonstrations and disruptions continue to occur, often without advance notice.

Given the nature, intensity, and unpredictability of disturbances, American citizens are asked to exercise special caution during times when demonstrations are announced, avoid areas where demonstrations are occurring or crowds are forming, avoid road travel, and maintain a low profile, said the travel advisory.

The Young Communist League, youth wing of CPN-Maoist, and several other armed groups continue to engage in extortion, abuse, and threats of violence, particularly in rural areas and the Terai (the border region with India), the State Department said.

Youth groups from the other two main political parties, Nepali Congress and United Marxist-Leninist Party, have also been formed and clashes continue to take place among these political rivals.

"In some instances, this has caused local authorities to impose curfews without prior notice. Violent actions by multiple armed splinter groups in the Terai region along the southern border with India remain a significant concern," the advisory said.

It said crime in the Kathmandu Valley and in the major cities of Nepal continues and includes violent crime, robberies by armed gangs and the harassment of female travellers and added that police resources to combat such crime are limited.

Well aware that a large number of American nationals go to Nepal for trekking, the travel advisory said theft and muggings occasionally occur in popular tourist and trekking areas such as Chitwan, Pokhara and the Annapurna region and the Thamel area of Kathmandu.

"Visitors to Nepal should practise good personal security when moving about and avoid walking alone after dark, carrying large sums of cash, or wearing expensive jewellery.”

"Women are advised to pay attention to local customs and dress appropriately in public," it said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 20, 2009 - 09:20
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