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Inside Nepal's Revolution
NOVEMBER 2005
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In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

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 Did You Know?  
 Related Links  
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 NGS Resources  

Did You Know?Did You Know?

How do you cover the news when the government censors newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV broadcasts; arrests and harasses reporters; and cuts off phone and Internet service? Nepal's journalists reacted to the muzzling of the press by King Gyanendra on February 1, 2005, with both the simplest and most high-tech solutions.
 
Immediately following the king's seizure of power, Royal Nepalese Army officers began acting as editors, approving and vetoing stories in newspapers and on television, and for six months soldiers enforced a ban on all political news at FM radio stations. Soon reporters became 21st-century town criers by reading news bulletins—and Nepal's constitution—via loudspeakers on rooftops and in open-air "studios." And when the king allowed Internet providers to resume service on February 8, many journalists found an outlet for their views in the blogosphere. At a site called United We Blog for a Democratic Nepal, writers presented a full range of news, photos, cartoons, and interactive commentaries—plus cricket scores for sports fans.
 
Newspaper and magazine editors sometimes responded to their predicament with biting humor. The Kathmandu Post mocked censors' demands for uncontroversial material with an editorial about sunny weather and the next day published musings about the value of socks in society. In a widely celebrated piece, the editors of the weekly Nepali Times used the metaphor of tree felling to comment on the destruction of democracy and civil liberties:
 
"The sudden epidemic of tree-felling along Kathmandu's streets is drastic, misguided and not consonant with the needs of the population. In an increasingly congested valley, foliage provides both utility and aesthetics. It gives us fresh air that allows us to breathe freely. . . . Tree-lined boulevards and parks are the mark of any civilised society and the colour of leaves and bark have associations in the human mind with the very evolution of the species. Take away the trees from our sight and senses and our very existence suffers."
 
(From Nepali Times, February 4-10, 2005.
Available online at www.nepalitimes.com/issue233/editorial.htm.)
 
—Shelley Sperry
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Related Links

Kantipur Online
www.kantipuronline.com
Access up-to-date news coverage and past issues of the Kathmandu Post in English. The site includes links to Nepal magazine and special features on the economy, arts, and sports in Nepal.
 
Nepali Times
www.nepalitimes.com
Read a lively weekly survey of events in the Himalayan kingdom, with strong coverage of environmental, social, and political news. And don't miss the insights of featured writers, including editor Kunda Dixit's wry column, "Under My Hat."
 
United We Blog for a Democratic Nepal
www.blog.com.np
Dip into a vast, interactive sea of news and opinion from journalists and readers. Founded in 2004 by a Kathmandu Post reporter on the technology beat, the site's coverage of politics and media issues expanded after February 2005.
 
International Nepal Solidarity Network
www.insn.org
Designed "to serve as a link between grassroots Nepali activists and citizens and the international diplomatic, political, development, and media communities," INSN allows readers to post information and organize activities in support of democracy and peace in Nepal. The site also archives documents from both the Maoist rebels and Nepal's government.
 
Nepal Information Platform
www.un.org.np
This United Nations site offers regularly updated news and official reports related to diplomatic, humanitarian, and economic development issues in Nepal.
 
Informal Sector Service Centre
www.inseconline.org
Check out the daily bulletins from Nepal's premier human rights organization, then follow links to in-depth reports, a database, and featured cases.
 
Amnesty International Nepal
www.amnestynepal.org
Read a recent report about the lives and deaths of children caught up in Nepal's military conflict, then connect to people trying to alleviate the suffering.
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Bibliography

Batta, Chandra. "Nepal's Civil War: From Security to Politics." OpenDemocracy.net, May 23, 2005. Available online at www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article.jsp?
id=3&debateId=33&articleId=2531
.
 
Hutt, Michael. Himalayan People's War: Nepal's Maoist Rebellion. Indiana University Press, 2004.
 
Pettigrew, Judith, and Sara Shneiderman. "Women and the Maobaadi: Ideology and Agency in Nepal's Maoist Movement." Himal Southasian, January 2004. Available online at www.himalmag.com/2004/january/essay.htm.
 
Thapa, Deepak, and Bandita Sijapati. A Kingdom Under Siege: Nepal's Maoist Insurgency, 1996 to 2004. Zed Books, 2005.
 
Thapa, Manjushree. Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy. Penguin Viking, 2005.
 
Thapa, Manjushree. "Nepal's Political Rainy Season." OpenDemocracy.net, July 13, 2005. Available online at www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-protest/nepal_2671.jsp.
 
Whelpton, John. A History of Nepal. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
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NGS Resources

Zabriskie, Phil. "Trekking through the Apocalypse." National Geographic Adventure (June/July 2005), 94-100, 102, 109-12.

Gilliard, E. Thomas. "Coronation in Katmandu: The Pageantry of Marco Polo's Asia Comes Alive Once Again as a New King of Nepal Ascends the Cobra Throne." National Geographic (July 1957), 138-52.
 
Chetwode, Penelope. "Nepal, the Sequestered Kingdom." National Geographic (March 1935), 319-52.
 
White, John Claude. "Nepal: A Little-Known Kingdom." National Geographic (October 1920), 245-83.
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