Nepal: Foreign Office Amends Travel Advice

London, 20 January/GNN/ —

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE News Release issued by The Government News
Network on 20 January 2006
The Foreign Office today revised its travel advice for Nepal. We are now
advising against all but essential travel to Nepal during the period leading
up to the municipal elections on 8 February.

The travel advice summary now reads:

* “We advise against all but essential travel to Nepal during the period
leading up to the municipal elections on 8 February. Severe civil unrest
and some violence are expected during this period. We will keep this advice
under review and may extend the duration in light of events on the ground and
prospects for further unrest around significant dates later in February. These
events include: 1 February anniversary of the King’s takeover; 13 February
anniversary of the People’s War; and 19 February Democracy Day.

* “The political situation remains unstable as a result of the escalating
crisis between the King, political parties and the Maoist insurgents. Most
major cities now have late night curfews. The authorities have a “shoot on
sight” policy for those who break the curfew.

* “On 19 January, the Government of Nepal arrested political leaders and
cut mobile phone links, though at present landlines are working again. The
political parties held a demonstration in Kathmandu on 20 January. This is
expected to cause major disruption and is likely to become violent. Unrest may
spread to other cities. You are strongly advised to avoid all demonstrations
that may occur.

* “There is a high risk of Maoist violence and further attacks throughout
Nepal. Since the Maoists ended their unilateral ceasefire on 2 January 2006,
they have carried out a series of bombings and armed attacks on security
force and Government targets across Nepal. If you do decide to travel to
Nepal, or are currently in Nepal, you should exercise extreme caution and
vigilance throughout your visit.

* “Countrywide and local Bandhs (shutdowns) are regularly called and have
caused widespread disruption including to transport. Bandhs and political
demonstrations can flare up quickly and with little warning and may turn
violent, as they did several times in 2005. The next Bandh is due to take
place from 5-11 February 2006. You are advised to consider carefully your
travel arrangements. You should avoid travel by road during Bandhs.

* “The majority of problems encountered by British tourists in Nepal are
trekking accidents and drug-related incidents. You should only trek with an
experienced guide and in a group. If you are planning to travel to out-of-the
way areas, please contact the British Embassy in Kathmandu on arrival for
latest advice on the security situation in the area.

* “We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical
insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your
policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see:
Travel Insurance. “

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