ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nepal : Not By Force Alone

For the second time since 1990 an emergency has been declared in Nepal. However, unlike the first time, when the declaration of emergency preceded widespread changes in the country’s political set-up, this time it seeks to equip the government with extra-constitutional powers to wage an all-out campaign against the Maoist rebels, whose “people’s war” against the government and the constitutional monarchy since 1996 has claimed over 1,700 lives. In the past one week alone nearly 250 people, mainly policemen, have been killed in incidents of Maoist violence. This follows the end of the ceasefire and the petering out of the several rounds of talks between the Deuba government and the Maoists.

For the second time since 1990 an emergency has been declared in Nepal. However, unlike the first time, when the declaration of emergency preceded widespread changes in the country's political set-up, this time it seeks to equip the government with extra-constitutional powers to wage an all-out campaign against the Maoist rebels, whose "people's war" against the government and the constitutional monarchy since 1996 has claimed over 1,700 lives. In the past one week alone nearly 250 people, mainly policemen, have been killed in incidents of Maoist violence. This follows the end of the ceasefire and the petering out of the several rounds of talks between the Deuba government and the Maoists.

This was the first time the rebels had indicated their willingness to talk to the government. Earlier attempts to deal with the Maoists had failed because of differences among the major parliamentary parties. Deuba was voted to power as prime minister in July, following the shock of the royal assassinations. Behind the allegations of corruption surrounding former prime minister Koirala's government, there was also the widely articulated desire for peace and Deuba was chosen as much because he was expected to bring the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to the negotiating table as because he was thought capable of managing an unwieldy coalition government.

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