To deal with the situation, rule from the palace has now replaced democracy. The death toll – already in the thousands – keeps climbing.
After forcing the Nepalese government to abandon elections in November, the Maoist insurgency convincingly demonstrated its control of rural areas. Although King Gyanendra’s assumption of power in Kathmandu has provided much-needed respite from violence and uncertainty, his administration has failed to maintain public conﬁdence because of its inability to provide security.
With rising prices and falling conﬁdence, the honeymoon between the people and the King’s emergency administration is over. He has some tough assignments ahead. Restoring workable security in rural areas and a return to constitutional democracy require social reform and some serious compromises by the ruling classes. As things stand, the Kathmandu elite is not ready to make these concessions, but nor are they able to end the insurgency.