Thursday, April 20, 2006

The end of Nepal's monarchy?

It has been two weeks since Nepal's political parties united to call for a general strike and protests against the King. During those two weeks thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand the restoration of democracy. The government's response has been to beat them, shoot them, and kill them. But bullets do not inspire love or build legitimacy, and the harsh security crackdown has not convinced people of the King's absolute right to rule. Instead, it has confirmed that he is the real problem - and so now the people are chanting "down with the monarchy", and Nepal is on the cusp of full-blown revolution.

Mass-protests are scheduled for tomorrow in what is intended to be a final push to oust the king. It might work, or it might take a few days more - but one thing is clear: King Gyanendra's legitimacy is in tatters, and he is on the way out. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether he goes quietly, or whether Nepal's revolution - relatively peaceful so far - descends into the usual bloodbath.

More information can be found at United We Blog! for a Democratic Nepal.