Political Terror in Nepal

Political Terror in Nepal Upon viewing the Amnesty International (AI) website, I was surprised to see a headline article on Nepal. I truly expected to see articles on the ‘usual’ countries making the headlines – but Nepal? I read reports on Japan and Nigeria as well. The article on Japan was enlightening. I had not previously heard about the mistreatment of women during World War II, but, in general, Japan is stable and I gave them a Political Terror Rating of One. Nigeria, which I rated as Five, has serious internal strife. political oppression appears to be the norm. and the general public in Nigeria endures unbearable atrocities. However, I could not stop thinking about Nepal – a country that had always brought to mind the Himalayas and a Mecca for people searching for inner peace and tranquility, now embroiled in a bloody, inhumane fight for basic human rights and political stability.
After reading the article on Nepal and assessing all its implications, I chose to assign a Political Terror Rating of Five. Following is my rationale: since 1996 the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) under the orders of King Gyanendra has been in an embittered war with the Communist Party of Nepal (CNP), also referred to as Maoist. The CNP launched what the referred to as the “Peoples War”. (Nepal, 1) The government forces, however, are contending that the CNP is nothing more than a terrorist group, not at all interested in the welfare of the people, but rather interested only in gaining control of the government. Amnesty International reported that since 1966 there have been 622 people who have ‘disappeared’, hundreds of people have executed and thousands of people have been place under arrest, many without warrants and no seeming grounds for arrest. There have also been numerous reports of torture. (Nepal, 1) Although the RNA reports they are fighting for the people of Nepal, there have been many documented cases as well that they are committing these atrocities as well.
The CNP’s main contention is that the King abolished the parliament and removed the Prime Minister and other cabinet members to regain total authority of the country. King Gyanendra contends he removed the Prime Minister because he was ineffective in establishing an election procedure and the dismantling of the democratic part of the government structure was only temporary until competent leadership could be established. However, the King centralized the army and all the country’s police forces and launched counter-attacks against the CNP ‘insurgents’ resulting nine years now of continued terror, death, torture and fear.
Prior to King Gyanendra’s rule his father was King of Nepal. During his reign the existing practice of the sole power of a monarchy, passed from heir to heir, was changed to that of a democratic government with the crown still in place, but without total control. I would contend that the King, having grown up always assuming he would rule the country, feels it is his birthright to rule autonomously. Seeing the opportunity to do away with the fledgling democracy, he abolished the democratically elected positions in the government. He seemed surprised and almost certainly did not expect the amount of opposition that was mounted against his attempt to usurp the power of Nepal for himself. AI reported that when the CNP first mounted their campaign he viewed it as a “law and order” issue. (Nepal, 1) He underestimated the will of the people for a democratic society.
The CNP is not completely altruistic either. From reading the available literature on the AI website, it appears they began their terror attacks prior to the unraveling of the democratic government. Dissatisfaction with the government or a quest for power is probably the underlying reason. Regardless of motivations on either side, it is obvious that neither the CNP nor the RNA truly have the Nepalese people’s best interests at heart. The disregard for human life, the killing, the maiming, the torturing, and raping innocent women and children of Nepal for the last nine years has made that perfectly clear.
Works Cited
“Nepal: Escalating "Disappearances" Amid a Culture of Iimpunity”. Amnesty
International. 30 August 2004. Accessed 7 Nov 2005,
“Report 2005 – Nepal”. Amnesty International, Undated, Accessed 7 Nov 2005,