Saturday, April 15, 2006

Taking democracy for granted?

[At least 13,000 people have been killed since the Maoists launched an armed movement against the Napali monarchy in 1996]

...but these guys don't!

Reuters Foundation AlertNet is reporting from KATHMANDU that Nepali police beat pro-democracy activists with rattan canes and fired tear gas on Saturday to break up the largest anti-king protest in the capital since a campaign was launched 10 days ago.

The police charged when about 8,000 demonstrators marched into the city from a western suburb, chanting slogans against King Gyanendra and demanding the restoration of democracy.

Reuters Foundation AlertNet

King Gyanendra, who sacked the government and seized absolute power 14 months ago, repeated promises in a Nepali New Year message on Friday to hold elections by April 2007. But he did not respond to demands to let a representative government take charge and end a crackdown on political parties.

Nepal, the world's only Hindu kingdom, launched multi-party democracy in 1990 after a sustained campaign against King Gyanendra's predecessor and brother, King Birendra.

King Gyanendra came to the throne in 2001 after then Crown Prince Dipendra shot dead nine royals including his parents in a drug and drink fuelled rage and then turned the gun on himself.

Wow! And you think we American's have problems figuing out what's what and who's who.

Just giving a moment of thought to what it would be like to be in the middle of this kind of political uncertainty of this magnitude, and you gota' give these guys at lest a little part of your heart.

Reporting from the underground...

Stan Morris