the friend online
21 April 2006

NEWS: Celebrations in Nepal as friends of QPSW support path to democracy
The Institute of Human Rights Communication in Nepal, an organisation with close links to QPSW and an important human rights voice in the country, has thanked its supporters around the world after the king announced that the parliament would meet for the first time in four years.

Despite increasing unrest in Nepal, the president of the Institute of Human Rights Communication, Nepal, (IHRICON), Shobha Gautam, coordinated a QPSW South Asia peace meeting outside Kathmandu, from 4 to 6 April. Some human rights journalists and academics were unable to attend full-time, because of the curfews imposed by the king's government. However, after three years of QPSW work, a South Asia Peace Alliance was formed.

Since that meeting Shobha Gautam has been sending reports to the network, including Stuart Morton, QPSW's South Asia Programme Manager.

A report on 24 April painted a picture of crisis on the streets.
'Security forces are indiscriminately firing bullets and tear-gas shells at the demonstrators. Severe beatings and indiscriminate Latthi (baton) charges to disperse the protesters have caused a large number of injuries to the civilian population, including human rights activists, journalists, medical professionals, lawyers, bystanders, women and children.

'Up until now, fourteen demonstrators have been killed by bullets, hundreds seriously injured and thousands are still under treatment in various hospitals and nursing homes.'

However, as The Friend went to press, the situation appeared to be transforming as the pressure of mainly peaceful protests and world attention continued.

Shobha wrote on the morning of 25 April, as thousands of people were taking to the streets:

'The notorious king just made his proclamation to announce first installment of his defeat. He accepted that sovereignty, state authority and governance belongs to the people. He supported the Road-Map of seven party alliance... he supported twelve point understanding between seven party alliance and CPN (Maoist). He reinstated the dissolved house and first meeting is convened for April 28, Friday. 'We will involve ourselves in democratising democracy as our mission. As a leading human rights coalition INSEC will perform its responsibility with full responsibility and collective culture of working together. 'The new phase of struggle has started. Supporting people in understanding things correctly, cooperating them to assert for their rights, vigilance in whole process and content of new constitution so that inclusive and just society-building process starts, we will leave no stone unturned.

'Dear Friends, this is the first step towards our journey. It is just the start. With your support and committed cooperation we shall overcome, sure.

'My gratitudes on behalf of Nepali Human Rights defenders.'


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NEWS: Celebrations in Nepal as friends of QPSW support path to democracy

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