Nepal


“The grassroots people of Nepal, and especially rural women, are extremely aware of their rights and it will be almost impossible to ignore them in coming years.” These were the words of Shahrzad Arshadi, a Canadian filmmaker who is making a movie on the social status of Nepalese women. She was speaking on an interaction program “The Dreams and Realities of New Nepal” organized by South Asia Research and Resource Centre based in Montreal on April 29, 2006.

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KATHMANDU – The day was designated as Loktantra or Democracy Day. It was on this day a year ago the autocratic king’s regime collapsed following 19 days of a nationwide uprising. Some two dozen supporters of the democracy movement died and thousands more were injured in the uprising.  At another meeting, Prachanda, head of the Maoist group that is now part of the ruling coalition government after it ended its own decade-long armed struggle, urged that Nepal should be declared a republic.

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Retired Gurkha soldiers from Nepal who served in the British army have held a demonstration in London to demand full pensions and other rights. About 2,500 veterans joined a march on parliament to condemn what they say are unfair rights for retired Gurkhas. It was announced earlier in March that citizenship rights and better pensions would apply only to serving Gurkhas and those who had retired after 1997.

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Who says that President George Bush and his men and women promote democracy only by destructive wars? They do so also through creative, unconventional diplomacy. Look at their latest achievements in Bangladesh and Nepal. In both these countries bordering India, whose ruling establishment has enlisted in the Bush crusade to save democracy (especially “emerging” democracies), the cause has hit a major roadblock. And it is representatives of Washington who have placed a mega-sized boulder on the path to much-awaited elections in both cases.

(click here to read more from Truthout)

A general strike called by a regional group seeking a federal system of government in Nepal has crippled life across the southern Terai plains. The latest strike by Madheshi protesters has already affected goods and fuel supplies across Nepal. Madheshis make up 33-45% of Nepal’s population of 27 million but are vastly under-represented in government and the army, which tend to be dominated by hill-dwellers.

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King of Nepal is Stoned by Crowd

Nepal’s King Gyanendra has come under attack from a stone-throwing crowd as he travelled in a motorcade. The monarch, who was on his way to a pilgrimage site in Kathmandu to attend a Hindu festival, escaped unhurt. Nepal’s king, traditionally regarded as an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, has become highly controversial since assuming absolute power in 2005.

(click here to read more from BBC)

‘Privatisation’ Violates Right to Health – Activists

Hiring a private firm to manage the drinking water system in Nepal’s capital violates the right to health guarantee in the country’s interim constitution, activists are set to argue before the Supreme Court. Four groups are opposing a plan to break up the Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC) in the Kathmandu Valley and disperse its work and assets among three new agencies, one of which will hire the British firm Severn Trent to manage water delivery in the Valley’s five municipalities for six years.

(click here to read more from OneWorld)

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