Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Nepal - It's Not Just Sherpas


everest
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
Usually, all we hear about Nepal in these parts are the stories of idiots dying trying to climb Mount Everest.

But if you follow the news at all, you're probably vaguely aware that there have been a series of protests against the monarchy in Nepal. A few years ago, the king decided that he didn't want a parliament anymore, so he fired it.

The demonstrations in the past week have featured a number of deaths, particularly after the king told the army to fire into the crowd. That was, after all, a successful approach to the protesters at Kent State.

Anyway, the king gave in to one of the major demands of the protesters -- he reinstated the parliament. Anyone who was fired four years ago is back in office. So what was going to be another demonstration instead became a celebration, and when you see how damned happy the Nepalese are in these celebrations, it's hard not to be happy for them as well.

But if the fine people of the Bush administration attempt to take any sort of credit for this latest positive step toward democracy -- i.e. if I hear the words, "Freedom is on the march," or "Iraq is serving as an inspiration around the world," or "Watch us spread democracy!" ... well, I think I'd have to vomit just a little bit in their mouths.

In separate but related news, my neighborhood has a new Nepalese/Japanese restaurant, called Yeti. I don't know what that means exactly, but I'm looking forward to trying the yak sushi.

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