Nepal: Country in Chaos

Nearly ten thousand people have lost their lives during a nine-year insurgency in Nepal. Human rights violations are at an all-time high. The national economy has been completely derailed, with sky-rocketing poverty and mass unemployment leading to huge disillusionment among the general public. Many are now debating whether Nepal is already a failed state or is fast becoming one.

The World Today Published 1 August 2004 Updated 19 October 2020 4 minute READ

Chandra Bhatta

Doctoral candidate, London School of Economics

Bhagirath Yogi

Nepali journalist based in London

A crisis that demands urgent international attention has taken grip in Nepal. Far from the battle lines of the ‘war’ on terrorism, this tiny Himalayan kingdom tucked between the two emerging superpowers, China and India, is plagued by chaos caused by Maoist insurgency and acute political instability.

Nepal entered an open and pluralist era with the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1990. The main partners in the people’s movement – the Nepali Congress and the United-Marxist- Leninist – raised high hopes that they were not able to fulfil.

Congress formed a majority government after mostly free and fair parliamentary polls in 1991 and introduced a number of socio-economic reforms. But Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala called snap mid-term polls in 1994 which resulted in a hung parliament and a minority government lasting only nine months. A succession of coalitions of various hues and colours followed, some of which fell after only six months.

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