Chitra Tiwari, formerly a lecturer of political science at Nepal's Tribhuvan University, is a Washington-based freelance analyst of international affairs specializing in South Asia.
Three months after King Gyanendra's reinstatement of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, whom he fired on October 4, 2002, for incompetence, Nepal's political stalemate continues as civil war between Maoist revolutionaries and the royal regime takes a high toll on the country's poorest. The saying that "misfortune arrives on horseback and leaves on foot" applies to Nepal as it suffers from political mismanagement by a corrupt elite, compounded by military atrocities and guerrilla vengeance.
Proving the fickleness of fate, 12 Nepalis seeking safety abroad from the internal war were recently captured and killed by Islamic insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq and calling themselves the Army of Ansar al-Sunna.
In Katmandu, Nepal's capital, people vented their anger September 1 when protesters, mostly Hindus, vandalized offices of employment agencies sending Nepalis to jobs in Iraq. The protesters also burned the offices of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, a mosque, businesses owned by Muslims, and the Egyptian Embassy. To avoid further damage, the royal government imposed a curfew in several towns, including Katmandu, while the king and Deuba urged patience and religious harmony.
The four-party alliance of the Nepali Congress, Jana Morcha-Nepal, Nepal Majdoor-Kisan Party, and the Sadbhavana …