Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Nepal Students Burn Tires to Protest Fuel Hike http://in.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idINIndia-31524820080122 KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Hundreds of students burned tyres and brought traffic to a halt on the roads of Nepal's capital on Tuesday in protest against a steep hike in the price of cooking gas and diesel. The Nepal Oil Corporation, the state-owned monopoly, raised prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas on Monday by up to 20 percent to cut losses. It was the second rise in three months. Protesting students said poor people would suffer because of the hike. Black smoke from burning tyres filled the sky of the hill-ringed city, home to 1.5 million people. Activists threatened to stone vehicles of drivers ignoring their call to stay off the roads. They threw stones at riot police who tried to stop them from starting fires. Several people were injured in the clashes, police said. Landlocked and impoverished Nepal imports about 800,000 tonnes of oil from India annually, but in recent months has faced an acute shortage after India's state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) reduced supplies. It said Nepal had not paid its bills. IOC is the sole supplier of oil to Nepal, which has no wells of its own. Petroleum products account for about a tenth of Nepal's energy needs, most of which is met by fuelwood.
Posted by Deanna Hagge at 10:30 AM