Nepal's Maoist rebels have staged something of a climbdown by lifting their declared blockade of the Kathmandu Valley after just a week.
They do so having secured scarcely any of the embargo's goals.
Traffic was significantly restricted because of the rebel threat
At the outset the Maoists said they wanted an investigation into the deaths of several of their activists including Bharat Dhungana, one of their leaders in the "ring area" surrounding the Valley, killed recently by the army.
They wanted compensation for the families of the deceased. They also wanted detainees to be released, or at least their whereabouts to be made known.
On the latter point the Maoists may claim to have secured a concession: on Friday the government said it would disclose, within a month, the location of unspecified detained Maoist trade unionists and students.
Aims not met
Not surprisingly, the authorities denied yielding to Maoist tactics.
The blockade's less formally stated aims have not been met.
Another local Maoist leader had said the main intention was "to provoke the people of the capital to launch an urban uprising".
A pro-Maoist intellectual in Kathmandu said it would "weaken the (Royal) Palace".
In fact one of the most notable demonstrations in the past week has been staged against the rebels by the Maoist Victims' Association.
One analyst points out that fatalistic Nepalis here were "too apathetic" even to stock up on goods.
Speaking to BBC News Online Dr Arjun Karki, a social activist who is involved in the peace process between the two sides, had frank words for the rebel group.
Most of the protests have been against the Maoists
"This was only ever going to affect poor and lower-class people, not the ruling elites," he said.
"They should have thought of that from the start."
He believes the blockade may have been planned by local cadres and not by the Maoist central leadership.
Perhaps to avoid too obvious a loss of face, the Maoists have said they will resume tougher protests in a month's time if their demands are not met.
But some feel this episode has partly gone the Maoists' way.
"They got a massive response and huge publicity without placing a single bomb or landmine on the highway," Rajendra Dahal, editor of Himal Khabarpatrika, said.
Indeed, the guerrillas showed that simply by making threats they could drastically reduce traffic movement and raise commodity prices in Kathmandu - not one of their traditional strongholds.
Aware of this, the government is not being too bullish in its reaction.
"They rightly corrected a wrong move," state foreign affairs minister Prakash Mahad told BBC News Online.
"They probably realised that by continuing, they would have invited more criticism from people including the international community."
Yearning for peace
Indeed, even if the rebels have shown they have economic muscle, they have not won any new friends by stepping up the use of fear and threats of killings and mutilations as political weapons.
The business community's reaction has been muted - despite the lifting of the blockade, around 12 firms here remain closed after Maoist threats against them.
"The government must take the initiative and attend to the issues the Maoists are raising," says Binod Shrestha, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
"Both sides must look at the problems of ordinary suffering people."
Mr Shrestha said he hoped the Maoist move would bring about peace talks, a year after the breakdown of the last ceasefire.
That is a view most ordinary people share.
Without that, they know that Maoist bombings and shootings as well as often random violence from the government side will continue.