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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 10:38 GMT
Head to head: Should Nepal protest?
Protestors in Nepal on 16 January 2006
Protestors staged anti-royal demonstrations earlier this week
As a curfew is enforced in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, to prevent pro-democracy protests, the BBC News website spoke to a would-be protestor and a supporter of the current government.

The curfew follows the arrest of hundreds of opposition activists who want to stage rallies against King Gyanendra. Mobile phone networks throughout the capital have also been suspended.

Many Nepalis have been angered by what they see as moves to restrict their civil liberties. But others support the firm stance of King Gyanendra against the opposition parties.


RETIKA RAJBHANDARI, 24, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

I want the monarchy in Nepal to end. The king's actions only serve to reflect his feudal and autocratic tendencies.

We need to support the republican movement in Nepal, which has recently gained so much momentum.

Where is the democracy the king supposedly wanted to save?

I would like to take part in the rallies but I believe that troops have been instructed to shoot anyone defying the curfew.

I work as a human rights defender, so my job would be to monitor demonstrations. It may yet be possible to demonstrate outside the curfew zone.

King Gyanendra is carving a path to his destruction. I believe that the king knows he cannot last long and is trying every possible way to live up to a false heroism.

Let him enjoy his "mirage-popularity" while it lasts. Ultimately, this can only lead to his downfall.

Soldiers guard the royal palace in Kathmandu during a day-long curfew
A curfew is in force throughout Kathmandu
People feel strongly when they cannot be vocal about their opinions, when they cannot organise protests.

Where is the democracy the king supposedly wanted to save?

Nobody is worried about Maoists disrupting our protests. It is only the elite and the royals who believe this fear.

But despite these setbacks, we still have big hopes.

There is a lot of support for the pro-democracy rallies. We are by no means a minority anymore. The whole nation is in tune and we have had enough of monarchy.

Real sovereignty should be vested in the Nepali people.

JAY POUDEL, 29, IT PROFESSIONAL

King Gyanendra is the last hope of the Nepali people. We had political parties running the country before him and they just created a bloody war.

I will not be taking part in the protests. I believe that many participants are hired by political parties. Even in my locality there are a few unemployed people hired to protest, being paid 1,000 rupees a day.

We don't want to lose our king but most of all we don't want dirty politics
Real people in Nepal don't care about these rallies. They are sick and tired of the political scenario here.

The opposition parties are not trusted. The Maoist rebels are not trusted. Even the royal government is not trusted.

But people believe in King Gyanendra. They hope that he will do something new for Nepal, something to save us from our unstable history.

If people really were against the king they would have come out in big numbers and demonstrated.

But I have heard many people talk about their support for the king. We know that people seek democracy but there are many more important issues in this country such as the security situation.

Peace and security is something the political parties could never give the Nepalese people but the king can deliver this.

The support for these rallies only come from the media and so-called human rights organisations. Ordinary people are not interested in such rallies. In every corner of the country you will find people cursing this opposition party alliance.

We don't want to lose our king but most of all we don't want dirty politics.



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