While the parties carry on their pro-democracy movement, efforts to find a replacement for Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa have been unsuccessful for two weeks. At fault is a prime minister who resigned without lining up an alternative, a palace that accepted that resignation without doing any homework about its next move and political parties which can't seem to find a way out and offer solutions to the current impasse.
All this has given the Maoists ample opportunity to carry on with their campaign of mayhem and violence nationwide. With their blockades and three-day banda this week, instead of winning friends among the other political forces, the Maoists have further distanced themselves from the people.
Aside from making basic necessities more expensive, these disruptive activities do not really achieve much. The rich do not feel any effect. The only ones who really suffer are those who were already suffering. What the Nepali people need are not more blockades and bandas, but open highways, open markets and an open political environment. Bandas are a poison for ordinary people. If the intention of the Maoists is to put pressure on the government, bandas are not going to achieve that-they have to win the people's trust. They should stop punishing the people and start extending the hand for negotiations and ending this war.