Socialist Worker

General strike for democracy brings Nepal to a standstill

Issue No. 1986

Pro-democracy activists burnt an effigy of the Nepalese King Gyanendra during protests that rocked the Himalayan kingdom last week.

Opposition political parties organised a general strike that brought the country to a halt on Thursday of last week.

Huge street protests also took place against direct rule by the king.

The general strike was called to coincide with the deadline for the nominations for sham elections organised by King Gyanendra.

Police fired live ammunition at protesters and were deployed around the country to try to put down the unrest.

Growing bitterness at poverty and lack of democracy has meant the growth of a Maoist insurgency.

This now controls much of Nepal after ten years of struggle. Elections are set for Wednesday of next week. All the main parties are boycotting them.

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Sat 4 Feb 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1986
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