Le Népal, oui, oui, le Népal
Perhaps the most striking feature of the conflict is its resolvability. The Maoists’ demands for a people’s republic have been whittled away from a complete collectivist restructuring of society under a people’s government to something far more modest. Their sole demand now is for an election to an unconditional constituent assembly that could, if the people will it, draft a new constitution that may not include provisions for a monarch. That’s it. That is now the impasse. That is why a 4-year-old child was gunned down from an army helicopter in January, why a villager’s 80 years of life were concluded with a bullet, why a 15 year-old girl was blown to bits by a roadside bomb while riding her bicycle, why the economy continues to crumble, why development is stagnating, why millions of rural villagers have to suffer perpetual fear of soldiers and militia on top of their chronically deprived lot.
An insistence on a multiparty democratic political structure that reflects the will of the people and a willingness to compete in elections. This is what the [U.S.] ambassador [James Moriarty] is labeling “terrorist demands.” An end to war, the restoration of democracy, and the only potential loser in the deal is the king that may be voted out of power. Nepal was swollen with hope at this prospect. But the State Department moved quickly and aggressively, not giving the people too much time to contemplate peace.