Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Nepal's Maoist rebels have declared a three month truce due to King Gyanendra's agreement to reinstate the Nepali parliament. They have threatened some sort of real "offensive" action if the rest of their demands are not met, however, and still clamor for a new Constitution. The Maoists control much of the overcrowded countryside and present problems not only for their Kathmandu based government but the international community as well.

Admittedly, Nepal is not a terribly important nation, but it's nearby neighbor, India, is rapidly becoming significant. India has its own troubles with Maoists in several of its own states and has no desire to see their success in Nepal as that might inspire Indian Maoists to conduct their own insurgency. Civil unrest can hardly be said to be a good thing in a nuclear nation because even under the best of circumstances something unfortunate can happen at such facilities.

What is interesting about this sitaution is it represents yet another moment when democracy may not be the best system. Granted, Gyanendra's seizure of power four years ago is hardly legitimate, but assuming Nepal has open elections (and the parliament stays open), the Maoists may very well gain control over the nation as they hold sway over most of the population. Unfortunately, that has the potential for creating negative consequences for India, which would then have consequences for the rest of the world in light of India's economic growth rates.

At the very least, it's an interesting question.

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