Monday, February 02, 2004

Land reform needed in Nepal: "More than 8,000 Nepalese have died since a civil war broke out in 1996, and the death rate has sharply increased with the arrival of almost 8,400 American M-16 submachine guns, accompanied by U.S. advisors, high tech night fighting equipment, and British helicopters."

"It was the Nepalese government's attempt to crush rural unrest that sparked the civil war in the first place, and virtually no one thinks there is a military solution to the insurrection. "The government forces, under the present policies, could win a couple of battles here and there," writes analyst Romeet Kaul Watt in The Kashmir Tribune, "but will never win the war." The present war finds it roots in both the ongoing poverty of a nation that is 85 percent rural, and the failure of the government to institute land reform measures following the restoration of representative government in 1990."

The usual method of 'land reform' is a redistribution or break up of large estates but the method of land value taxation (and re-investment of the resulting revenue in infrastructure development) must also be considered in addition to or even in place of that approach.

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