News

Thousands of Nepalese Protesters Defy Kathmandu Curfew

Patricia NunanKate Pound Dawson

Thousands of Nepalese protesters have gathered on the outskirts of Kathmandu for another day of rallies demanding the ouster of King Gyanendra and the restoration of democracy.

Police opened fire on one group of protesters, wounding at least three people.

The demonstrators are defying an 11-hour curfew imposed by the government Sunday in a bid to prevent unrest.

VOA's correspondent in Kathmandu (Patricia Nunan) says the protesters are largely sticking to the ring road surrounding the capital.  She says the protesters are not trying to force their way into the city center, as they did the previous day.

More than 100,000 protesters defied a similar curfew Saturday as they tried to approach King Gyanendra's palace from the outskirts of the city.  More than 100 people were injured as protesters clashed with police.

Nunan spoke with VOA's Kate Pound-Dawson in Hong Kong:

DAWSON: Patricia, can you describe the activity today in Kathmandu?

NUNAN: In some spots, it's actually been really, really festive. There was dancing and protesting in front of the troops yesterday…. People were saying that they were happy that democracy was on the way. In a lot of places actually, people are making their own roadblocks around the ring road to prevent the police and troops from getting around. They're actually knocking down trees across the road and lighting stumps of trees on fire and things like this, in order to prevent any security forces from penetrating into certain areas, at least by truck.

DAWSON: Now one of the things that has gotten a lot of attention at least in the last 24 hours is the inability of the seven-party coalition to come out with a proclamation on what it will do, what the parties plan to do. What is the thinking? What's going to happen from the political side?

NUNAN: That is the million-dollar question. There's been a lot of speculation and rumor and some reports on local press … that the parties want to set up a parallel government, that at a certain time they will just declare they have reinstated parliament. Some of the people we've spoken to think that what the protest could be facing, what the whole movement could be facing is the imposition of martial law or some sort of declaration of a state emergency and they're trying to think ahead to counter that. But there's been very little from the seven-party alliance leaders since they formally rejected the king's offer for an interim government. But they have not set an agenda for the next few days or the next few months for that matter.

DAWSON: Does this indicate that the seven-party alliance has its own fractures, that it's unable actually to come to a consensus on what to do, other than to demand a return to democratic government.

NUNAN: Well, the seven-party alliance is exactly that, it's seven parties and the political parties in Nepal were renowned for bickering, which is one of the justifications the king used for seizing power last February (2005). So I'm sure there is a great deal of internal debate. Some of the people we speak to have said there's no room for the monarchy in Nepal, people from other parties within that alliance say 'No, we're neutral on the question of monarchy, the king could probably stay.' So I'm sure there is a whole lot of debate going on but I think they realize this is a critical time and they probably will come up with an agenda soon but it is a little surprising that we haven't heard anything more strongly from them so far.

The king on Friday announced a plan to return Nepal to multi-party democracy, but it has failed to quell the demonstrations.

The opposition launched a nationwide general strike on April sixth, and hundreds of thousands of Nepalese have responded to calls to intensify the strike.

A police crackdown on the protests has left at least 13 people dead.

King Gyanendra dismissed his government and took absolute power in February 2005, saying elected officials were not able to control Nepal's Maoist rebels

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs