goodbye to nepal
Before I leave, I do feel that I should make some sort of comment on the political situation in Nepal at the moment. Whilst I have been here, the King has lifted the state of emergency that he had imposed whenever he dissolved the government. However, it is unclear what this actually means, or whether a new democractic government will be elected. There is no free press here, so information is hard to come by. A UN human rights investigative body flew in last week to look at the human rights situation regarding free press, but I haven't seen anything about it since. There has also been a representative from the US here, but whether US aid has been promised has also not been clear. It seems that foreign aid in the form of security has been requested. This billboard is outside the Royal Palace, and I don't know how long it has been here. It does seem rather incongruous, in light of the recent events. Reminds me of communist propaganda, to be honest. On a more urbane note, the familiar ring of mobile phones has started again. Before I went trekking, the mobile phone services in Nepal had been switched off by the King. I also didn't meet any Maoists whilst I was trekking, although my Sherpa guides were searched by the army for weapons (ie being part of the Maoist army) whilst in Sagamartha National Park.
Early flight tomorrow after a bakery breakfast. Its a good thing too, since my rupee stash is running low. Time to break out the baht!