By D. Michael Van De Veer
Overnight the sky above Kathmandu and much of the Kingdom was filled with beautiful displays of lighting and earth shaking thunder. The cold winds falling from the Himalayas clashed with the warm steamy air rushing up from the Indian sub-continent and bathed the country for 15 hours in cool rain.
The rain greeted the sunrise and despite being the 13th day of the bandha (strike) called by the 7-Party Alliance (SPA) and supported by the Maoist insurgents CPN (M), and civil-society from; journalists and medical professionals to government workers, bank employees, hotel and restaurant employees, students and their professors, human rights activists, party supporters, disabled and elderly associations, and even families of Security Force officials who have carried out attacks on the general population, there was finally some traffic as people rushed to buy what they could before shops and vegetable stalls ran completely out of stock.
Salt, medicine, every vegetable, kerosene, LP-gas, petrol and almost every item necessary for daily life is in short supply. What is available has, in some cases, more that trebled in price, leaving thousands to move nearer to starvation.
In desperation the Royal government has offered $48 for drivers and $21 to their assistants to join RNA (Royal Nepal Army) convoys and break the SPA strike and the Maoist blockade of the city to deliver desperately needed supplies. No goods have been reported delivered.
Most of the streets and endless alleyways of the ancient Silk-Road Capital have, for 12 days, been filled with the sounds of Nepal’s “Orange Revolution”.
Like Ukraine’s Orange Revolution of 2004 the Pro-Democracy demonstrations, estimated to be 1-million or more strong, have not responded to the brutal killings, disappearances, tear-gassing, baton beatings, firing of water cannon and rubber and live bullets with like violence. Young demonstrators have burned tires and hurled rocks but there have been no retaliatory shootings, knife attacks, or reported grave injury to any Security Forces.
The international community including India, UK and the US who armed and trained the Nepalese Security Forces have condemned the brutal and inhuman attacks on unarmed civilians participating in peaceful demonstrations.
Major news agencies report three Human Rights organizations; Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists have called for “targeted sanctions” against those responsible for human rights violations today in Geneva, Switzerland at an international meeting called by the Swiss government to investigate the human rights conditions in Nepal and singled out those Nepalese Officials responsible for gross-human rights violations.
Those named in the call to be refused entry into any other country and have their personal assets outside Nepal seized, included:
Vice Chair of the Council of Ministers, Tulsi Giri
Justice Minister, Niranjan Tapha
Home Minister, Kamal Thapa
Information Minister, Shrish Shamsher Rana
Army Chief, General Pyar Jung Thapa
Inspector General of Police, Shayam Bhakta Tapa, and
Inspector General of Armed Police Force, Shahbir Thapa
Rumors, ahead of the mass rally called by the SPA for Thursday, have the King naming a former PM to head a “fantasy government” as put by a food employee.
“The next PM will not be named by a failed King, but by the people.”
Nepal’s Orange Revolution, if successful, will possibly be the largest non-violent democratic revolution in recorded history. The whole world watches as the rain stops and Kathmandu braces for another day.
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