Puskar Gautam's articles usually make a lot of sense. But if the last 12 years were a "rose garden"('Prachanda's new path', #152) and if democracy is resilient enough to correct itself, why was it necessary for the Maoist movement to so quickly start its insurgency after 1990? This movement, which Puskar was initially a part of, has wrecked the economy and introduced historically unprecedented levels of cruelty and murder whose scars will take a long time to heal. Puskar knows very well that the actual number of 'innocents' killed by the RNA or Maoists can be spun in different ways. To my knowledge, no moderate Nepali hopes that the king will stay in power and his policies have not exactly, ahem, blown away anyone. But if peace is to return, Puskar is correct to note that laying down weapons and leaving behind the habits of extortion are absolute prerequisites to fair elections that will put us back on the democratic path and lead to economic growth, and social recovery. It would also help if the political parties stopped using children as pawns and closed ranks to really making elections possible. If we cannot solve our problems ourselves, it is folly to complain when others interfere.