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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 15:49 GMT
Viewpoints: 'What I want for Nepal'
Nepal's reclusive Maoist rebel leader Prachanda has told the BBC he believes King Gyanendra should face trial or exile.

Ten years on from the start of the revolt and after a year of direct rule by the king, the BBC News website asked people across Nepal what future they would like to see for their country.


AMAR RAJKARNIKAR, 48, BUSINESSMAN, KATHMANDU

Amar Rajkarnikar
Amar Rajkarnikar believes the King is the future of Nepal
I am a Buddhist and naturally, I don't like violence. But there is a lot of it in Nepal.

I am very unhappy with the situation here. There is so much tension in the air. Even though I am not a politician, I have been provoked to express my views.

I have seen the political parties fighting for power like dogs fighting for a bone. Democracy has yet to evolve and so the king is very much needed. A king is above politics. The future of Nepal resides in the king.

If we are not careful, this country could become worse than Iraq. The Maoists have motivated thousands into violence. And Nepal is a landlocked country with two giant neighbours in China and India. Unstable government could be dangerous. I see foreign powers who want to install a puppet government.

I want Nepal to have a multi-party system. And I want the King to be the guardian of the system. We should not doubt him at the moment. We should only doubt our doubting.

SHAMMI SHAH, 24, COMPUTER ENGINEER, KATHMANDU

Shammi Shah
Shammi Shah says the Maoist rebels never stick to their word
I don't believe a word of what Prachanda says. He just wants the spotlight.

The Maoists have never really talked to the world. After all, they declared a four-month ceasefire but still continued their killings and abductions. They just blame it all on the monarchy. But that's too easy.

It is true that King Gyanendra hasn't worked for the people of Nepal. He has had one year and nothing has come of it. But the monarch has been a prominent figure in Nepal's history. Nepalese people treat him like a God.

I believe everybody wants power and nobody thinks of Nepal. There's no patriotism left in the country. This turmoil has really affected my life. There are frequent bomb blasts and strikes. I got my degree results four months late.

Our previous monarch, King Birendra, was greatly loved. After the crown prince massacred the royal family, the nation went into shock. Everybody compares King Gyanendra to Birendra. Perhaps he is not accepted because of that.

I would like to see King Gyanendra as a ceremonial monarch. But in the end, power has to belong to the people in a multi-party democracy.

LILU THAPA, 26, STUDENT

I used to go to my village very frequently but now I have to think before going. Nine times out of 10 I am approached by Maoist cadres to join their party.

The Maoist insurgency has brought violence, poverty and political instability
They come to my village at least twice a month and force the people to feed them, join their party meetings and watch their army parade.

I wouldn't join but at the same time I believe the king is an autocrat. He has to give us democratic government or he will be punished by the people one day. But it is not up to the Maoists to punish him. Perhaps he should be tried, but by a court established by law rather than by the notorious so-called "people's court".

Prachanda is a maniac who thinks he can impose the a communist regime by the force of the gun. The Maoist insurgency has brought with it violence, poverty and political instability. It can only lead to a failed state.

Neither the king nor the Maoist leader are fit to rule the country. I want democracy for the future but there are no leaders rising up.

YAM BAHADUR DURA, 37, OFFICE CO-ORDINATOR, NEPALGUNJ

Yam Bahadur Dura
Yam Bahadur Dura says the city of Nepalgunj has become more dangerous
Prachanda's voice has become liberal and now there is hope in the air.

We want more political power and human rights. I think that the king should honour people's desires.

Nepal's political and security situation is going from bad to worse. People are terrorised. There are so many blockades and fighting often takes place.

Explosions take place almost daily. People fled to this city for safety but it has become more dangerous than Kathmandu.

But before I talk about the future, let us remember the past. There was always turmoil but at least people were not being abducted, they were not being killed. They were able to exercise their democratic rights.

I have no sympathy for the Maoists, but it is true that they could be the spark that changes Nepal's political stalemate.

So now for the future. I believe the king should give more power to people. We want it.

RAJESH KOIRALA, 38, BUSINESSMAN, DIRITNAGAR

Rajesh Koirala
Rajesh Koirala's business has been severely affected by the political turmoil
Prachanda has become more moderate. But his actions have to mirror his words. In the last two or three days, the Maoists have set fire to trucks.

But if he means what he says, it's a really positive thing for us.

This is the last chance for King Gyanendra to go back to becoming a constitutional monarch. I don't have sympathy for the Maoists as rebels but if they want to come into the political mainstream, we should let them.

Before the recent elections, the urban centres were secure. Now they are attacked every day. I can't travel far away as there are roadblocks. I might get caught in some crossfire.

There is economic activity but it has been hugely curtailed. It is difficult to transport goods. The Maoists control 80% of the country by night. We barely survive. We used to sell goods all over eastern Nepal, now it's very difficult getting things to those markets

It's up to the king and Prachanda now. But we know one thing about the future: we don't want one dictator replaced by another.



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