[In this report for the interesting blog Winter Has Its End, the writers describe the current situation in Nepal as a very contradictory and eery calm of frustration and anticipation. It relates the unsure optimism of grassroots activists that this could be the calm before a revolutionary storm–or a dreadful counter-revolutionary coup. There is tension in the air, and if the calm will be broken anytime soon, it is not clear what initiative (and by whom) will break things open. — Frontlines ed.]
By Jim Weill and Eric Ribellarsi
We have arrived in Nepal, the center of a radical Maoist revolution. We stood here last year, when half a million Nepalis declared their hope and determination to make a revolution. There has been a double stalemate since then, both in the constituional assembly and within the Maoist party. Every aspect of political life is marked by the need to break out, push aside roadblocks, and take a leap.
This time, our journey begins during the heart of the monsoon rains. Every night, dark clouds roll in and shower the city, mopping up Kathmandu’s thick, throat-burning pollution. When the morning comes, the clouds are gone just as quickly as they came. These rains muddy the streets and green the sharply rising hills that surround the city. Continue reading