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Information Centre | Nepal
UNESCO Office in Kathmandu : Six Monthly Report (January- June 2005)
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During thefirst6 months of 2005, UNESCO's activities, as well as those of other UN agencies and bilateral international development partners, have been overshadowed by the so called "Royal take-over" and the declaration of the State of Emergency by HM the King of Nepal on 1 February. Although curfew was not imposed, several restrictions were placed on civil liberty, suspending several Articles of the Constitution, including the freedom of opinion and expression, the freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms; freedom to form unions and associations; press and publication right;right against preventive detention; right to information.
For the first 7 days after the Royal Proclamation, all the communication lines were cut, and all media outlets, except the state-run television channel, were not allowed to disseminate news. For about 100 days media were in practice under strict censorship.
Telephone lines, both landlines and mobile telephones, were disconnected throughout
the country. Practically there were no means of communication within Nepal or any channels to reach outside the country for a whole week. Fixed telephone lines and internet communication were later gradually restored and by the middle of April, all telephone lines, except pre-paid mobile phones, were re-established in the Kathmandu area.
The immediate reaction of the ordinary people w a s generally positive, accepting the King's statement, which explicitly attacked the political parties and the Deuba. Government for their inability to restore peace and implement the promised general election. The conspicuous absence of expression of disagreement to, and protest against,
the King's initiative, however, might have been attributed to the fact that political leaders and activists were put in detention or under house arrest immediately upon the King's announcement. Numerous Human Rights activists, labour movement leaders and journalists were arrested or detained. While most of them were released b y the end of June, some are still under detention. The restrictions imposed on media freedom have not
yet been fully restored.
The reaction of the international community was rather severe. Major donor countries denounced the King's actions, and several ambassadors, including US, UK, India, Norway etc were recalled. The UN Secretary-General issued a statement on 3 February, expressing his concerns about the King's move, and the possible setback of the re-establishment of democratic government. The ILO / DG also sent a letter to the King on 4 February, referring particularly to the suspension of Freedom of Association and Union.
The situation of Kathmandu appears to have returned to "normal", similar to the conditions before 1 February, but there is increased presence of security forces in the capital. There has been a large population influx to Kathmandu from the conflict affected districts in the recent past. Such population relocation and populace surges have also been seen in many District Headquarters: rural people are running away from their home villages in fear of the insurgency.
UNESCO ,   (2005 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
 UNESCO : Educational, Scientific and Cultural
11.01.00  -  Educational Policy And Planning
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