D.M. Van De Veer: The End Of Nepalese Monarchy?
Will A Bowl Of Curd And Pro-Democracy Demonstrators End The Nepalese Monarchy
By D. Michael Van De Veer
April 17, 2006
Kathmandu, Nepal: In January, only a hand-full of die-hard party activists and students pressed for an end to the February-1, 2005 seizure of power by Nepal King Gyanendra.
The 7-Party Alliance (SPA) met in New Delhi, India in November with the Maoist insurgents and hammered out a draft of a 12-Point Agreement that would, if implemented, have the Maoists end the 10 year People’s War that had claimed over 13,000 and return to electoral politics.
On March 11, 2005 the SPA and the Maoists again met in Delhi, finalized a draft of the 12-Point Agreement and issued a joint statement. On March 19 the Maoists and SPA signed a second statement reiterating their commitment to the agreement. The US State Department condemned the Agreement and warned the SPA against any dealings with the Maoists.
The Royal Government stepped up it’s regressive actions against the SPA and warned of, “Maoist infiltration” in the planned April 6-9, SPA pro-democracy demonstrations and bandh(strike).A Government spokesman warned that,“anyone taking part in the Pro-Democracy actions would be considered a terrorist and be treated accordingly”. All buses and private vehicles were banned from entering Kathmandu and the lakeside city of Pokhara. Protests were banned in the heart of Kathmandu . Party activists were beaten and arrested. A Government curfew was called and a “shoot to kill “order was put into place.
Against this background the Maoists announced a “truce” in Kathmandu Valley and the Pro-Democracy protests began and spread across the Kingdom.
Nepal’s “Orange Revolution” has met with brutal Security Force attacks against the peaceful demonstrators. Demonstrators were beaten with batons, killed, tear-gassed, arrested and a child being treated by medical workers had his eye gouged out by an out of control Police official. Foreign Doctors that treated injured protestors have been deported from the country.
These unprovoked vicious attacks have only made the demonstrations grow with every sector, from journalists to doctors, students, bankers, civil-servants, hotel and restaurant workers joining in the demand for the restoration of democracy and the establishment of a Republic. Today marks the 12th. Day in what was to be 4 day strike and there seems no end in sight.
In 1768 Prithvi Narayan Shah fought a 26 year war to unite the municipal kingdoms into the Kingdom of Nepal and the Shah Dynasty began.
Legend has it that the King offered a bowl of curd to a hermit, who was the deity Gorakhnath in disguise. The hermit vomited the curd and the King drew away in disgust. This displeased the deity and a curse was placed on the Shah Dynasty that would cause it to come to an end after 10 generations. Crown Prince, the son of the late popular King Birendra, was declared King after the killing of his father and ruled for 2 days from June 2, 2001 until he was pronounced dead on June 4, 2001. King Diprendra was the 11th. King of the Shah Dynasty and according to the curse the last.
In the Himalayan Hindu Kingdom of Nepal tens of thousands of demonstrators are demanding an end to the Monarchy and the establishment of a Democracy. Legend may soon become fact as King Gyanendra has little option but to abandon the throne and go into exile.
D. Michael Van De Veer- Freelance Journalist
Contributor to Pacifica’s Free Speech Radio News,
& UnitedWeBlog Voice of Democratic Nepal.
Member South Asian Journalist Association(SAJA)
Host OUT OF THE BOX-KKCR FM www.kkcr.org
P.O. Box 21218, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal