From The Nepali Press
Desantar, 29 January
FROM ISSUE #284 (03 FEB 2006 - 09 FEB 2006) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The king is isolated. Even the royalists are hardly seen around the palace anymore, notably vanishing at a time when he needs them more than ever. All the king has now is the strength of arms, which he has been using to force the elections on the citizens. The nation's security force, which is supposed to be fighting on the battlefield, is now also engaged in searching out candidates and voters for the 8 February municipal polls. The central government has become more vulnerable, desperate and isolated than ever in Nepali history. The king's election spectacle has amused the nation and the world. Not even staunch royalists had imagined that the king would take such a laughable step in the 21st century just to save the monarchy. We can expect much worse in coming days. The families of the royal slaves spend their hours dreading the deaths of their relatives. It seems that the government has already prepared for this given that it has announced it will provide life insurance for candidates. Members of one poor farming family were terrified when they discovered their breadwinner inside army barracks, where he had already been declared a candidate. This farmer has no idea what that means. There are many more examples in every town and ward, from far east to far west. Every candidate is kept either inside the barracks or under heavy police protection. The king is fully aware of all this but is gambling on the lives of the citizens for his future.