1 February 2018News in Brief

For many years, PN has been keeping an eye on the Nepali peace process, which has progressed in fits and starts since the Nepali civil war came to an end in 2006.

In early February, Nepal held elections for its new upper chamber under its new federal constitution. The alliance between the Maoist Centre party and the United Marxist-Leninists (UML) swept the board, taking 40 of the 56 seats. In elections in November and December, the leftist alliance took 174 out of 275…

1 October 2017News in Brief

As PN went to press, the final results were coming out from the third and final round of voting in the Nepali local elections. These were the first council and mayoral elections to be held in the country in 20 years.

Holding these elections (in new, redefined, provinces) completes an important part of the peace agreement that ended Nepal’s 10-year civil war in 2006. Another success was the demobilisation and partial integration of the Maoist guerrilla army.

1 August 2017News in Brief

Every issue, PN checks in on the Nepali peace process, which has been staggering on since the end of the 10-year civil war (1996–2006). One major turning point was the passing of a new constitution in 2015 that redrew provincial boundaries largely on the basis of ethnicity, and delegated powers to lower levels of government.

Those lower levels have for years been appointed from the centre as no elections have been held for 20 years. Finally, this year, local elections are…

1 June 2017News in Brief

The Nepali peace process, which PN has been tracking for a number of years, took a big step forward in mid-May when the country held local elections for the first time in 20 years.

At the time of going to press, almost all mayoral election results had been declared in the three provinces being contested.

The Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and the Nepali Congress party split 80 percent of the posts between them. The Maoist Centre party was a distant third. Turnout was…

1 April 2017News in Brief

On 6 March, three unarmed men were shot dead by Nepali police at a Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) demonstration in Janakpur, Saptari province.

The Nepali peace process may be sliding back towards large-scale unrest as a Maoist-led government fails to make good on its promises of constitutional reform to address the grievances of the Madhesi people of the low-lying Terai region.

On 19 March, the SLMM coalition of Madhesh-based parties escalated their protests…

1 December 2016News in Brief

Human rights groups used the 10-year anniversary of the end of the Nepali civil war to point out that no progress has been made on ‘transitional justice’ for crimes committed during the civil war.

Despite being set up nearly two years ago, neither the truth and reconciliation commission nor the commission on investigation of disappeared have begun an investigation of a specific case.

In early November, hundreds of former Maoist child soldiers occupied the ruling CPN-…

1 October 2016News in Brief

At the beginning of August, Nepal’s political merry-go-round installed Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as ‘Prachanda’, as prime minister once again after the previous premier resigned in the face of a vote of no confidence.

Observers are sceptical of Prachanda’s promises to resolve the Madhesi protest movement, which springs out of the lowlanders’ sense that they have lost out in the new federal carve-up of the country.

The Federal Alliance and United Democratic…

1 August 2016News in Brief

Dissatisfied ethnic minorities carried out a month-long relay hunger strike in Kathmandu in June. The Federal Alliance includes Madhesis and Tharus from the lowlands and Janjatis from the hill areas. In July, the coalition announced that it would begin ‘decisive’ protests, probably blocking Nepal’s highways, in mid-September.

The protestors resent the discriminatory way that new state boundaries have been drawn under the new federal constitution.

For the Madhesis, the…

1 June 2015News in Brief

The recent earthquakes in Nepal have not only caused massive damage to the country’s agriculture, economy and infrastructure. They may also have shaken up national politics.

The main parties, who’ve been unable to agree on a new constitution for the last eight years, have pledged to work together to accelerate its passing.

Some have floated the idea of a broad church coalition government. On 9 May, Madhav Nepal, former prime minister and a senior leader within the…

1 June 2015Feature

An earthquake diary by a Nepali anarchist

30 April: ‘Came across these 4 young punks in charge of clearing out debris in their
own neighborhood today. This is an all ages show everyone.’ photo: Yuva Ekta
















Nepal was hit by a long-predicted earthquake (7.8 on the Richter scale) on 25 April. Over 8,000 people were killed. There were over 100 aftershocks, including a 7.3 quake on 12 May.…

31 March 2015News in Brief

The 16 months since the re-election of the Nepali constituent assembly (CA2) have seen fierce arguments between the political establishment (the two largest parties, the Nepali Congress and the UML communists) and 30 outsider parties (Maoists and ethnic minority groups).

The big parties have wanted to use their parliamentary majority to pass their version of the constitution, while the Maoists and their allies have demanded that the constitution be agreed by consensus.

1 February 2015News in Brief

Nepal has missed another crucial deadline. Since the civil war ended in 2006, the Himalayan republic has managed to keep its peace process staggering along, chasing a new federal constitution as the bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow, always just out of reach.

The interim constitution adopted in 2007 was meant to be replaced by a proper new constitution in May 2010. The elected constituent assembly extended the period to May 2011. Despite a supreme court ruling that such…

28 September 2014News in Brief

As PN went to press, the tortuous and tortured Nepali peace process was mired yet again in inter-party wrangling. The shadow of the decade-long civil war continues to fall across the political scene, including attempts to form a ‘high-level political committee’ to write a new constitution.

The operation of parliament was stalled as we went to press partly because of demands by the Unified Maoists for the legalisation of land seizures, purchases, sales and redistribution by Maoist…

21 July 2014News in Brief

It appears that the Nepali Congress government elected last November is committed to sweeping crimes of the 10-year civil war era under the carpet. Nepali and international human rights bodies have criticised the government’s refusal to amend the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Act passed on 4 May – despite a ruling from the Nepali supreme court that this is necessary.

The office of the high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR), a UN agency, issued an eight-point…

1 November 2013News in Brief

Tensions were rising in the run-up to the Nepali constituent assembly elections on 19 November.

The ministry of home affairs issued a circular to security agencies warning of possible attacks by the breakaway CPN-Maoist party on the country’s telecommunication infrastructure and of alleged CPN-M plans to seize police weapons.

The CPN-Maoists accused the major parties and the establishment of trying to provoke a civil war by mobilising the army in election security…