End of 90-day mobile phone shutdown in sight

3 May 2005

According to government officials, Nepal yesterday restored some of the country’s mobile phone services upon releasing the head of the country’s biggest communist group. Around 34,000 post-paid mobile connections have been restored in the Kathmandu valley region since Madhav Kumar Nepal, the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-UML, and another high ranking communist, Amrit Kumar Bohara, were freed from house arrest late on Sunday. All pre-paid connections remain suspended pending state clearance. Army officers said that disabling Nepal’s 250,000 mobile phones had successfully disrupted the communications of the Maoist rebels, but officials at the country’s phone monopoly Nepal Telecom said that the company lost USD113,000 a day during the 90-day shutdown.