- Title: NEPAL: HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS PLAN A SHOW OF DEFIANCE TOWARDS KING GYANENDRA
- Date: 9th February 2005
- Summary: (W4) KATHMANDU, NEPAL (FEBRUARY 7, 2005) (REUTERS) 1. SLV EXTERIOR OF HEADQUARTERS OF 'HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE SOCIETY' 0.05 2. MV ACTIVISTS MEETING AROUND TABLE 0.14 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KRISHNA PAHADI, LEADER OF 'HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE SOCIETY', SAYING: "We are going to oppose the royal move, this dictatorial regime, on Thursday tenth of February in front of the high school at 1pm. We are going to organize a demonstration with a black banner." 0.31 4. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) USHA TITIKSHU, PHOTOJOURNALIST, SAYING: "People have problem with this king. He is not like a God. He is a killer." 0.41 5. SLV ROYALIST SUPPORTERS RALLYING AND LIGHTING CANDLES OUTSIDE KING GYANENDRA'S PALACE (5 SHOTS) 0.58 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 24th February 2005 12:00
- Location: KATHMANDU, NEPAL
- Country: Nepal
- Reuters ID: LVA3DCA6DVE6QDZU7BI6AF8DDZCS
- Story Text: Nepali human rights groups plan show of defiance
Nepali human rights groups plan to stage the first
open show of defiance since King Gyanendra seized power
last week, saying they could no longer remain silent and
daring him to "fill the jails".
Almost a week after the king sacked the government,
suspended civil rights and banned dissent, leaders of 24
rights groups and professional bodies defied arrest to meet
in a house in Kathmandu on Monday (February 7) to decide on
They plan to bring their supporters onto the streets on
Thursday outside a complex housing the prime minister's
office and parliament. But with communications difficult,
it was not clear how many people would join the protest.
There have been no major public demonstrations in Nepal
since Gyanendra took power almost a week ago and ordered
extra troops, police and armoured cars onto the streets.
The ousted government's failure to make progress in
ending a Maoist rebellion that has killed more than 11,000
people was one of the reasons Gyanendra gave for his sudden
"We are going to oppose the royal move, this
dictatorial regime," said Krishna Pahadi, a leader of the
Human Rights and Peace Society.
The king has jailed possibly hundreds of politicians,
activists, journalists and rights workers across the
country. The communications blackout, which includes the
Internet, makes it impossible to know.
Rights groups have called Gyanendra's coup a military
takeover and called on foreign governments -- which prop up
the kingdom with aid and military help -- to force him to
They want an immediate end to all foreign assistance
for the poorly equipped Royal Nepal Army, locked in a
battle with the Maoist rebels fighting for nine years to
topple the monarchy.
"The people have a problem with this king. He is not a
god. He is a killer," said Usha Titikshu, a photojournalist
and rights activist
In the Himalayan nation, one of the world's poorest,
the monarch is revered by many as a reincarnation of the
Hindu god Vishnu.
Dozens of royalists also defied the ban on gatherings
to rally outside the gates of Narayanhiti Palace, lighting
oil lamps and chanting "Long live our King and Queen."
There was no sign of the king at the palace. Local media reported
the hand-picked royalist
government would soon appoint negotiators to seek peace
talks with the Maoists.
The Kathmandu Post quoted Culture and Aviation Minister
Buddhiraj Bajracharya as saying the government would form a
committee "that will hold a dialogue with the Maoists soon.
Now they should come for dialogue without any condition."
The Maoists have condemned the king's sudden assumption
of power as "the last writhing of the feudal autocracy" and
called for an indefinite blockade and traffic strike
throughout Nepal from Feb. 13, the ninth anniversary of the
start of their insurgency.
A former mediator close to the Maoists said the
confrontational style of the king's statement when he
assumed power made it unlikely the rebels would attend
Bajracharya, one of the most senior members of
Gyanendra's new 10-member cabinet, said the king did not
plan to ban political parties, despite arresting party
leaders when he sacked the government.
Gyanendra's sacking of the government, suspension of
civil rights and muzzling of the press has drawn worldwide
After the king declared a state of emergency, which
included cutting communications with the outside world, the
army said it would step up its offensive against the
guerrillas in a bid to force them into talks.
Analysts say the king's seizure of power was aimed at
giving the army a free hand to take on the rebels, although
the military has admitted it cannot win on the battleground
and can only weaken the Maoists and force them to
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