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Tufts University

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Nepal: Culture and Development


Nepal is at a historical junction, the recent victory of the second People’s Movement garnering a plethora of democratic reforms. Since the end of April, King Gyanendra has reinstated the House of Representatives, which then declared its supremacy and dramatically curtailed the king’s powers. Nepal has been declared a secular state; the Royal Nepal Army has been transformed the Nepali Army; a ceasefire has been created between the army and the Maoists - who are also participating in peace talks; and the seven-party alliance and the Maoists held a summit at which they agreed to frame an interim statute, form an interim government and declare a date for elections to a constituent assembly.

The situation in Nepal is improving, but this paper (which serves as a survey of the widespread human rights violations in Nepal) chooses to largely focus on the pre-April situation: before the People’s Movement succeeded, before there was so much room for optimism. So for the next thirty pages there is no ceasefire, the RNA is still the RNA, and the soldiers are still Gyanendra’s. While learning from this recent history, one should hope for the day when discussions of such violence are history themselves.


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