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NEWS: International Community Wants Nepal to Restore Democracy

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posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 03:40 PM
The tiny country of Nepal which has been under the rule of Gyanendra has recently seen the abolishment of it's government and suspension of civil liberties earlier this month, prompting the International Community to pressure the King to return the country to a democracy. The US, France and Britain have all recalled their ambassadors in Nepal.
"We remain deeply troubled by developments in Nepal," Boucher said, adding the king needs to "restore and protect civil and human rights, promptly release those detained under the state of emergency and move quickly toward the restoration of civil liberties."

King Gyanendra has justified his power grab as necessary to restore order and combat a communist insurgency that has claimed more than 10,500 lives since 1996.

Britain and France have also recalled their ambassadors.

"Once again, we call on all parties concerned to act in favor of the fastest re-establishment of democracy," said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous.

Neighboring India's External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh said the king's actions had sparked a confrontation between the monarchy and political parties that would only benefit the Maoist rebels.

India is worried an unstable Nepal could cause regional turmoil, with refugees or militants spilling across the border.

Singh urged the monarch to release the scores of political leaders under house arrest or in prison, to restore press freedom and to take steps toward a return to democratic rule, according to a ministry statement.

"We have to deal with whatever government is in office, but our sympathies lie with the democratic forces in that country," Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said in a speech to diplomats and journalists.

On Monday, the king consolidated his power, appointing two former prime ministers - unlikely to challenge his rule - to top Cabinet posts.

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Nepal has been the site of a Maoist rebellion which has claimed the lives of almost 11,000 people since 1996. The Maoists vow to end the monarchy and are fighting for a new government exclusive of the king. The country which is one of the poorest in the world relies heavily on the tourism industry, with the current issues, locals fear that their economy will be even further devasted.

[edit on 2-14-2005 by worldwatcher]


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