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Uprising in Nepal

Sunday 16 April 2006, by Liberation

As tens of thousands of Nepalis took to the streets in the largest demonstrations and clashed with the police on the 11th day of general strike on April 16, the Seven Party Alliance decided to launch a non-cooperation movement to end the feudal monarchy. Meanwhile King‘s new year‘s day offer of ‘democracy’, to hoodwink the masses got exposed by his crude response when on Monday, the general strike entered the 12th day. Police fired tear gas shells at a rally of more than 10,000 ethnic people comprising Gurungs, Thakalis and Newars of Pokhara. More than one hundred people were injured when police indiscriminately opened fire, fired tear gas shells and baton charged at a peaceful rally in Chabahil in Kathmandu. Some 12 people sustained bullet injuries. Security forces opened fire on a crowd in southern Nepal, killing one and seriously wounding five. In 12 days, six innocent lives were lost to the Royal bullets, several hundreds were injured and scores of protesters jailed. Amidst royal repression, the indefinite general strike surged ahead as a real mass movement embracing workers , peasants, students and professionals, and attracted traders, civil servants and the lower ranking officials and also brought crack in the bureaucracy. The movement entered into a higher phase of sustained popular uprising in the form of non- cooperation movement.

In this context, Seven-party alliance said in an appeal: “As part of a non-cooperation movement against the autocratic royal government, we call upon the taxpayers not to pay any kind of taxes to the government and also for consumers not to pay anything for water, electricity, telephone or other services,” They asked people to pursue the principle of “no representation, no taxation” and appealed to Nepalese abroad not to send their remittances to the government and asked labourers to boycott production works in the industries, where Royal family members are involved.

The Maoists extended support to the parties’ economic blockade against the government. In a statement they said that the ongoing movement had already become a collective movement of entire, real democratic forces. “This movement is not just to change the power equation but to bring about a total change in state mechanism towards forward-looking outlet”, the statement said.
Seven human rights organisations have demanded for formation of new government comprising of the seven agitating political parties and Maoists, dissolving the prevailing royal regime.

With more experience, maturity and militancy as well as more clarity, consistency and capability than 1990s, full of hope, this movement, independently, would surge ahead to its logical end. Meanwhile, the solidarity movement of Indian people with Nepalese people‘s struggle for democracy, is growing in various forms side by side with the international solidarity movements. At this juncture, any foreign intervention for manufacturing some sort of hybrid system, as in 90s, may only complicate the situation and it must be resisted resolutely at all costs.