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Nepal headed for peace…

On Tuesday, the Nepalese government and the Maoist insurgency, led by Prachanda, came to a monumental meeting of the minds with the Maoists agreeing to lay down their arms in exchange for a legitimate position in the interim parliament.

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On Tuesday, the Nepalese government and the Maoist insurgency, led by Prachanda, came to a monumental meeting of the minds with the Maoists agreeing to lay down their arms in exchange for a legitimate position in the interim parliament. Read the Reuters story here. (In the photo on the left, a Maoist regional commander plays carrom with locals in the village of Hilsa in remote Humla of west Nepal. Read about my interactions with the Maoists on my Gurla Mandhata blog.)

This is great news for Nepal, which has been crippled by outright civil war for several years and a stubborn Maoist insurgency for the past sixteen. The conflict came to a head this past spring when the people led a revolt against King Gyanendra, who had seized absolute control of the tiny Himalayan country. Their protests – and the government’s violent suppression – led to Gyanendra realizing he was up against a wall and had to begin talks in earnest with both his people and the Maoist leaders.

It is very encouraging to see Nepal move ahead and to have hope of peace returning to this region of the Himalaya. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for better times for all Nepalis.

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