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Last Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Nepalis tell their story
Protests in Nepal have been called off following the announcement that King Gyanendra will reinstate parliament.

The BBC News website spoke to people across Nepal to find out what life has been like over the past few weeks and what they hope for the future.

RANJAN VARAL, 24, ENGINEER, KATHMANDU

Ranjan Baral

26 April 2006 As soon as King Gyanendra made his address, people ran onto the streets. The celebrations continued long into the night.

Life is getting back to normal, yesterday people were still in the streets celebrating but today is a normal working day. Most people have gone back to work.

I feel so optimistic about the future of my country. It is the responsibility of the government to listen to the people, I believe they will do this now.

21 April 2006 People are still out on the streets demonstrating. I am going to join them now. There is a blackout across Kathmandu.

We are unclear what will happen next. If the Maoist issue is not dealt with, there will be no solution.

20 April 2006 I have been demonstrating from the begining. We chant and dance, people even throw water. Even though there is a curfew, thousands of people are always out shouting for democracy.

I am not afraid, I do not fear the government. Every Nepalese person here is willing to give up their lives in exchange for freedom.

There has been a lot of violence over recent weeks. The army have implemented a shoot to kill policy, I have witnessed many people getting hurt but we must continue.

A few days ago, there was a small peaceful protest near my home, I saw the police open fire and an innocent person was shot.

Despite this, I do feel safe, I am in the centre of thousand of people, we are all helping one another and even some policemen support the protests.

I speak to my family in Pokhara every day, they tell me there are tens of thousands of people on the streets there too.

This is not just Kathmandu, the whole country is together fighting for democracy.

AMID, 20, STUDENT, KATHMANDU

Amid
26 April 2006 People began celebrating from the moment the King's second proclamation was broadcast on Monday.

The protests are over, you can't imagine how happy we, the Nepalese people feel. The following day, a victory rally passed through Kathmandu valley, two million people marched.

There were some protest rallies too, these were meant as a warning to the seven-party alliance to conduct themselves properly once they were given power. The King has reinstated the Lower House, they meet for the first time on Friday.

We are all desperately waiting to see what happens on Friday. If the Constituent Assembly date is not announced, the Maoists are likely to resume their strike. If the Constituent Assembly date is announced, I hope Nepal will once again be a peaceful country.

We are pleased with what has happened and hopeful for the future but there are still problems here. They must be resolved through dialogue. It is my wish that our problems are resolved peacefully and not through the use of arms and civil war.

21 April 2006 I feel very frustrated, the King has announced he will hand power back to the people but I fear it will be impossible to resolve this crisis.

Maybe we will celebrate tomorrow but for now we are still waiting. What is the future for us? It is very uncertain.

20 April 2006 There have been so many day time curfews, one time for 3 days in a row. It is very frustrating to be restricted in this way.

My Mother is a heart patient, I am very worried about her. The Home Ministry did not provide curfew passes to the ambulances so if something bad was to happen, we would not be able to get her to hospital.

We do not dare to defy the curfew, the army men are outside our homes. There are four or five out there now, if we even put our hand out the window, they would shoot. We are very scared.

I was supposed to have completed my exams by now but because of the curfew, I was not able to attend. I have been given another date of 6 May but I fear things will not be resolved by then. If I am unable to complete this exam, I will not gain my degree and my education will suffer.

I don't support either side. I don't support the political leaders and I don't support the King. I just want to be independent and to live peacefully and freely.

The only way forward is for the International Community to be involved. The UN must put pressure on all political forces and they must begin a dialogue. This is the only way forward.

AMUL, 17, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, LALITPUR

Amul Gurung
26 April 2006 My friend called me to tell me the protests were over. It was the first thing I heard on Tuesday morning, I walked out to the main road and saw masses of people gathering to hear victory speeches.

I don't know how long it will take for normal life to resume, it depends what happens when the leaders of the seven-party alliance meet on Friday. Our country has been unstable for many years now due to the Maoist insurgency. I don't even think we were living "normal" lives before the protests.

I am glad the protests are over, I have witnessed the bravery of Nepali people but I am sad for the lives lost and the people who were injured.

I hope the leaders of the political parties have learnt from their past mistakes and know now to remain loyal to the people. The last three weeks will make history but this is just the beginning. We are not rejoicing yet. The day of celebration will come when the decade long civil war comes to an end.

21 April 2006 I heard the news the King was handing power back to the people on the television.

I was watching it with my family. This is a great step for democracy but I don't believe we have a leader who is ready to take over. I am happy, I just want life to be normal again.

For the first few days, the strikes were peaceful but they soon became violent. From my home, I could often see protestors shouting for democracy. I have seen shootings at the end of my road and some people were injured. It is very painful to witness such things.

The protestors have been coming to people's homes. They are rounding people up to join in the strikes. They said they wanted one person from each home. They did not come to ours but they did send a letter.

I have not joined the protests. I feel very confused, the situation is going round in circles - the King takes power from the parties, the parties want to take power from the King.

Even if we were to have a democracy, I don't believe we have strong leaders to support our country.

The only way to get through this is for the King to hand over partial power to the political parties.

It's still very dangerous here and I feel very sad to see my country people fighting one another. There is a civil war going on right now.

BIJAY DASAL, 23, TEACHER, POKHARA

26 April 2006 I was watching the television waiting for news about the ongoing protests when suddenly, there was a news flash announcing the King would summon the nation once again. When I heard him say he would restore Parliament I thought "finally, here it is - victory for the people".

People spontaneously ran onto the streets. Everyone was so happy. The people have shown they are the real power behind this nation.

Large numbers of people live below the poverty line and many are illiterate but when it came to making a decision about our country, the people showed tremendous strength and wisdom.

As for the future, I am more hopeful than ever before. Peace will return to our country and it will pave the way for our nation to progress and develop.

21 April 2006 This is the first step towards reconciliation for our country. We are happy but not celebrating yet. We are being cautious as we don't know what the full outcome will be.

At the beginning, I was not involved but as time went by, I had no choice but to take part in the protests. This is a struggle for all Nepalese people. I must make my contribution so I joined the strikes.

There have been curfews for many weeks now. Living through a curfew is like living in a big jail. We are not supposed to go out, normal life has stopped completely. We had no choice but to defy the curfews.

We go to the streets and we chant slogans such as "King, leave the country" and "we want democracy". The security forces often use excessive force even when the demonstrations are peaceful. We have been forced to retaliate with anything we could get our hands on - stones and other things. When they suppress us, we have to retaliate.

They charged us with batons and they used tear gas but I feel no resentment towards them. They are doing their job, their commands come from the King. Every time we are hit with batons, we believe it is a blow from the King.

There must be a complete restoration of democracy. The world is a smaller place and what happens here will affect everyone. The International community must help us.




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