Date: May 7, 2010 9:21:43 AM CDT
To: "US Department of State Warden Message"
Subject: Embassy Kathmandu Warden Message - May 7, 2010
The Unified CPN-Maoist Party has been carrying out nationwide strikes since Sunday, May 2, 2010. The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu has been closed since May 3rd and will likely remain closed until the strikes are lifted. Large demonstrations and traffic disruptions continue to occur around Kathmandu and throughout the country. These strikes, or "bandhs" as they are referred to locally, have been successful in completely shutting down vehicular movement and businesses. As of May 7, 2010, the political situation remains deadlocked and we are unable to predict when the strike will conclude.
Supplies are running short in some places and travel has been disrupted throughout the country. Businesses and public transport have been severely affected. Essential supplies are dwindling and the strike has made it difficult or sometimes prevented supplies from being replenished. U.S. citizens are encouraged to stock adequate supplies of water, food, fuel, money and medication. Shops and markets are allowed to open for several hours each morning and evening. Some hotels are concerned about not being able to provide adequate services to tourists in Nepal. While the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, there have been sporadic clashes between the Maoist demonstrators and counter-demonstrators and security forces. U.S. citizens are strongly urged to avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations and to avoid traveling by wheeled transportation, including buses, cars, and bicycles. U.S. citizens are advised to monitor the situation closely on local media outlets and to stay in your homes or hotels and not move throughout the area unless absolutely necessary.
Please remain cognizant and aware of your surroundings and what may transpire. We wish to remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.
The Nepal Tourism Board is running tourist buses to and from the international airport, which remains open. It is difficult to travel within Nepal except by air and some domestic flights also have been disrupted.
For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad.” U.S. citizens living or traveling in Nepal are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu is located at Maharajgunj. The telephone number is 977-1-4007200, 4007201. The number for after-hours emergencies is 977-1-4007266, 4007269. The fax number is 977-1-4007281. The Consulate’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and its Internet web page is http://nepal.usembassy.gov. U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s latest Country Specific Information for Nepal and the Worldwide Caution, both available at http://travel.state.gov. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).