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Power Grab in Nepal: The Great Game in the Himalayas

Recorded on September 20, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Nepal has been embroiled in a civil war with a Maoist communist insurgency since 1996. Security is worsening and there is a possibility that Nepal will fall to the Maoist rebels. The civil war claimed more than 11,000 lives, spreading to 68 of Nepal's 75 districts. The communist forces nearly surround the capital, Katmandu. In February King Gyanendra dismissed the government, declared a national emergency and instituted an absolute monarchy. Human Rights abuses have dramatically increased.

India, the United Kingdom and the United States condemned the King's power grab, while China welcomed it. Despite the insurgents' claim that they are Maoists, China denies any connection to the communist insurgency and supports the government of Nepal, in exchange for Nepal's suppression of Tibetan refugees. India has moved additional forces into states adjacent to Nepal in order to contain the insurgency.

Can the warring sides reach a peace agreement? Can democracy be restored in Nepal? To answer these questions and more, please join us in a lively discussion on the future of Nepal.