Regions / Nepal

The tiny country of Nepal is at a major crossroads: one path leads to a monarchy and a society continually plagued by internal strife while another offers the possibility of peace and a modern day democracy.
Tucked into the upper stories of the Himalayas, Nepal hardly seems ground zero for the Bush administration's next crusade against “terrorism,” but an aggressive American ambassador, a strategic locale, and a flood of U.S. weaponry threatens to turn the tiny country of 25 million into a counter-insurgency bloodbath.
Nepal’s 14-year-old experiment in constitutional monarchy suffered a major assault on February 1, 2005 when King Gyanendra sacked the prime minister, formed a new cabinet composed largely of royalists, and established direct monarchical rule.
While the U.S., India, and Great Britain have sharply condemned the Feb. 1 coup by King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal, the policies of those three governments vis-à-vis the ongoing civil war in the Himalayan nation must share considerable blame for the present crisis.