Strikes and demonstrations affect tourism
Yesterday, thousands of people invaded the streets of the capital to protest government inaction. Cars were set on fire, and traffic was brought to a halt. Government buildings and businesses were forced to close.
Police arrested 200 people in the centre of Kathmandu as they attacked press vehicles and ambulances.
In recent days, the government led by the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist–Leninist, (CPN-UML) and the country’s Maoists has postponed for a third time the presentation of the constitution, which had been set for 28 May. This angered the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, as well as other parties.
Last Friday, more than 30,000 people protested, calling for the resignation of the government as well as the disarmament of 19,000 Maoist fighters still in training camps since the end of the civil war in 2006.
Local manufacturing is also suffering from in-fighting among the parties that rose in the wake of the collapse of the Hindu monarchy. Hundreds of plants have had to shut down because of strikes and protests.
Nepal is at a critical juncture for its future, said economist Bishwombhar Pyakurel. “Instability is driving foreign investors to India and other developing countries.” If things do not change over the coming weeks, foreign partners will abandon the country.