Three and one half years ago in Nepal, my friends and colleagues working for peaceful development dared not speak the word “Maoist” in public, not in anything louder than a whisper, that is. When it was mentioned in private, eyes darted around the room, as if checking for bugs, and gauging the safety of saying anything about the political turmoil then brewing. How far things have come since then, as reported by Joy in Kathmandu:
So, we are cautiously thinking that this continuing revolution in Nepal may be bearing fruit, may be leading the nation closer to the representative democracy wanted by the vast majority of the people. It has been calmer the past 24 hours. That’s relative, of course. The demonstrations have actually gotten much bigger – hundreds of thousands in some locations – and involve pretty much every strata of society, including those with a lot to lose. There is still brutality and out-of-control retaliation from the police and the army, people are still being beaten and shot, but the outcry is so widespread, the international pressure being brought to bear is so huge… more …more …and photos …see also previous days postings.
These protests aren’t against the Maoist rebels, but for democracy in general, against the obstacles created by the King’s rule now, against waiting any longer for the King, the rebels, the political parties to figure out how to lead. May peace reign soon.