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Chaos in Nepal
April 19, 2006 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Nepal is known as the birthplace Buddha, however, it's also a place in which the ruling government has decided a "shoot to kill" policy is the best way to deal with anti-monarchy protesters.
posted by Guerilla (20 comments total)

 
That can't be good.
posted by geekhorde at 10:32 PM on April 19, 2006


And the only remaining Hindu Kingdom in the world.

That's good.

So, it all balances out.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:40 PM on April 19, 2006


The king's seizure of absolute power last year, ostensibly directed against the Maoists, has not only disrupted the tense equilibrium that existed between the royal and Maoist forces (nobody was definitively winning or losing the war), but it gave the Maoists a great big present in the form of the ability to make inroads with the major political parties. Given the possibility of a power-sharing deal between the political parties and the Maoists, who control something like 70-80% of the countryside, I don't think there is any option left that doesn't involve the overthrow of the monarchy. After all, it's not like the king is even vaguely trustworthy in this situation.
posted by graymouser at 10:43 PM on April 19, 2006


And the only remaining Hindu Kingdom in the world.

lol. (hopefully Matt will fix that for me). This Buddha is the one that should be in there.
posted by Guerilla at 10:57 PM on April 19, 2006


It is sad indeed. This beautiful country has slowly been sliding into malaise for the last 10 years...

It seems like a shock would be the only way that the country could become back on track, but probably at the expense of short term chaos.
posted by joost at 11:27 PM on April 19, 2006


I don't see much hope for a dirt-poor country buffer-zoned between India (Hindu) and China (Maoist) and in the middle of a long civil war between a Hindu king and Maoist rebels. If I were interested in seeing Nepal, I would try to go while it's all still there. Not that you should visit now, but definitely pack your Kevlar, open an account for any ransom funds you might need wired to a local bank, and go during the next lull, if there is one.
posted by pracowity at 12:44 AM on April 20, 2006


I spent a fair amount of time in Nepal when I was 18 years old and seeing the streets I once walked down filled with riot police is sad. That said, the country was clearly in a precarious position back then with the corruption of the ruling family clear for all to see. A mountain Kingdom such that it is, the lines of authority are very difficult to keep in tact due to the geographical layout of the country. Whilst the Kathmandu valley may be a loyalist stronghold it is not suprising that the Maoist cause has found support given the extreme poverty of the outlying villages. Finally, whilst the steady increase in foreign visitors may have put money in the coffers in those best placed to provide services (ie the educated elite), I cannot help but think that the sight of 'rich' (materially, culturally, physically) foreign visitors will have communicated the relative poverty of the rural inhabitants strongly. Those in neighbouring Bhutan will be watching the situation very closely no doubt.
posted by numberstation at 1:21 AM on April 20, 2006


if you meet the buddha on the road*, kill him

*after 2 a.m.
posted by soma lkzx at 5:16 AM on April 20, 2006


Since a couple of weeks I'm following the blog of two friends of a friend who are in Nepal right now, speak the language and are giving an account of the unrest and even have some pictures. A lot to read and their pictures from two weeks ago and one from Sunday.

They also point to the site of the International Nepal Solidarity Network, where a lot more information can be found. More than you find on MSNBC.
posted by kika at 5:23 AM on April 20, 2006


soma lkzx - same thought.


Why do people here always beat me to my own jokes?
posted by Alt F4 at 6:25 AM on April 20, 2006


That fantastic AP photograph of the protester, with her fist in the air is everywhere. If they haven't grabbed her already, I bet they are looking for her.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:24 AM on April 20, 2006


Sad as it may be on a personal level,
It's always good to see a population not taking it any more and revolting on the streets against it's leader(s)...................(hint)
They'll be in my thoughts
posted by borq at 7:36 AM on April 20, 2006


pracowity: Then again, Maoist violence affects one third of all districts in India, so it's not just a clash-of-civilization thing going on here. Besides, beyond broad measures of possible support, I doubt the Chinese government is actively propping these guys up; remember, they're Maoists, not Deng Xiopeng-ists, which the Chinese have become now.
posted by the cydonian at 8:00 AM on April 20, 2006


a friend of mine just lost a fullbright scholarship to Nepal because of the new violence. apparently the U.S. state department is going into lockdown mode, shutting out potential visitors, and urging American citizens to "exercise special caution" and "maintain a low profile." Why should American be restricted from participating in a democratic movement ???
posted by ebendick at 9:26 AM on April 20, 2006


ebendick: I would say:

- Because they've got a good chance of getting kidnapped
- Because they're not Nepalese and therefore don't have 'democratic movement' credibility
- Because the US doesn't want to get involved in this mess!
posted by anthill at 9:42 AM on April 20, 2006


India steps into Nepal's fray
posted by homunculus at 10:11 AM on April 20, 2006


Good for India. It's time to stop talking the regional hegemony talk and start walking the regional hegemony walk.

Perhaps they can offer the king safe passage and a relatively comfortable life-in-exile.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:30 PM on April 20, 2006


Nepal king yields to protesters
posted by homunculus at 12:53 PM on April 21, 2006


Tens of thousands of protesters have streamed into Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, breaking through a security cordon and defying a day-time curfew.
posted by homunculus at 2:11 AM on April 22, 2006


Nepalis celebrate protest victory
posted by homunculus at 12:48 PM on April 25, 2006


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