Nepali Times Asian Paints
“Hang in there”

Nepali Times: Your reactions on the developments after the royal takeover? James Moriarty: We have said we are extremely worried and we want to see the detainees released immediately. We want to see constitutional freedoms restored. We also want to see the government reaching out to the political parties.

What do you think will happen now?
The king has said that he has two desires, one is to move back to multiparty democracy and the other to address effectively the insurgency. We totally support both those goals and the question is how this is going to be done.

What has been your role in all this?
We are talking to the government. We are telling them what we think needs to be done. We have had to unfortunately remind the government that our assistance is under constant review and that these events are putting pressure on our provision of the assistance for the government of Nepal.

You met the king before February First, did you know what was coming?
I want to state this as categorically as I can, I had no idea that this was happening. We had made it clear we thought multiparty democracy was the way to go. We were worried any sort of unilateral move by the king would end up walking the country back away from democracy.

There are allegations that was for public consumption but you covertly backed the royal move.
I say that is absolutely false. I know that is absolutely false. I am in a position to know and that is absolutely not the case.

How optimistic are you that multiparty democracy will be restored?
I think democracy here has deeper roots. I realise that Nepal is facing huge problems and the king says that is why he had to act. So be it. But again, he has stated that his goals are to return to multiparty democracy and address the Maoist insurgency effectively. We look forward to his doing so.

How much coordination is there among India, Britain and you?
We work very closely because all three share the same goals, which curiously enough are the goals stated by the king. I am in constant contact with my colleagues here. Our capitals are talking about Nepal very regularly. There is a lot of coordination going on.

Any message for the Nepali people?
I would urge the people of Nepal to hang in there, to unite, to face the insurgency and also to rebuild democratic institutions.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)