[more from nepal]

Topic: Nepal

As a followup to my previous post on the situation in Nepal, I want to share with you an email that I received today from the CIWEC Clinic, which offers a bit of hope:

This is a short note to let everyone know that all communication services including telephone and internet have resumed in Nepal. Mobile phones are expected to be off for an indefinite period of time. The streets of Kathmandu are safer than ever before. There have been no bandhs or strikes and a positive mood prevails in the valley.

The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) aid posts in the Everest and Annapurna regions in Pheriche and in Manang will be open for the spring trekking season. They will have their own communication systems in place. Tourists planning to come to Nepal for trekking need not cancel their travel plans. The overall security situation in the country seems better and not worse. There are several mountaineering expeditions that will be here for the spring climbing season.

Political party leaders are under house arrest and are starting to be released. We are hopeful for lasting peace in the country.

With warm regards to everyone,

Prativa Pandey, M.D.
Medical Director
CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center
Kathmandu, Nepal

Unfortunately, the latest BBC report is less optimistic. The problem remains that the democratically elected government has utterly failed at two of its most fundamental responsibilities — maintaining a monopoly on violence and holding elections — but the unpopular King Gyanendra is pretty clearly in violation of the law, there’s not all that much to indicate that he can handle the Maoist rebellion either, and his takeover only exacerbates the failure to hold elections. The ambiguity and intractability of the situation is reflected in the discussions on nepalbbs.com, where people are less for or against the king than somewhere in the middle, disappointed with the parliament, disheartened by the rebellion, disturbed by the king’s suspension of civil liberties, and uncertain what should be done.