The year 2006 saw people’s power prevail in Nepal. The surging crowds that defied the repressive tactics of the monarch eventually made him to yield power. The year had started barely after the historic signing of the 12-point understanding between the CPN-Maoist and the Seven-Party Alliance (SPA).
The momentous deal, which was reached in New Delhi amid differing response from India and the US, eventually brought the downfall of the regressive royal regime. The Old Order collapsed following massive demonstrations, which rocked the nation after April 6.
On April 24, the rattled monarch had to restore the House of Representatives, a demand Nepali Congress President GP Koirala had stuck to ever since it was dissolved.
This would not have happened had things not got out of hand for the monarch with thousands of demonstrator defying the curfew. UN and other foreign diplomats were pleasantly shocked to find how wild the largely docile Nepali people could get!
Finally, April 30 saw Girija Prasad Koirala sworn in as a fully sovereign prime minister by the beleaguered monarch in the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. Throwing past etiquettes to the wind, Koirala drove out of the main gate of the palace. People power had prevailed.
However, the royal regime, headed directly by King Gyanendra, had tried to fortify its position by clamping curfew in the hope that it would render ineffective the three-day general strike called by the SPA on April 6.
But much to the chagrin of the panicky administration, the curfew only added fuel to the fire of discontent. Curfew that remained in force for 72 hours at a stretch could not contain the swelling masses. Then came legendary Dr Karan Singh as an emissary of the Indian government. He prevailed on the monarch and presto the entire nation watched King Gyanendra reading out from a note, which categorically said that the House of Representatives had been restored.
The rest, of course, is history with 25-point ceasefire deal signed on May 26 leaving behind conflict, army mobilisation, attacks, fresh recruitment, general strike, extortion and kidnapping coming to an end.
On June 16, the SPA Maoist tie-up took steps to draft interim constitution, subscribed to the need to form an interim government and decided to hold constituent assembly polls.
On August 9, five-point deal was signed between the two that decided to stick to OHCHR as monitor of rights scenario. The SPA and the Maoists also agreed to have OHCHR as monitor of code of conduct. Add to it the agreement on UN role in the management of the arms and the armies, confining both the armies to the barracks.
All this was, however, spurred by the 12-point deal of November 22, 2005, whereby it was agreed that the Maoists would join the mainstream, monarchy was a stumbling block in the path to total democracy and that a new constitution will be drafted by constituent assembly.
January 2: Rebels decide not to extend a four month ceasefire saying that the government had broken the ceasefire with numerous attacks on Maoist villages.
January 14: Maoists launch coordinated attacks of five military and paramilitary targets in the Kathmandu Valley. The first demonstration of their ability to organize violence within the valley, prompting curfews at night for the next several days.
March 14: Nepali rebels extend road blockade; nationwide strike called for April 3.
April 5: General strike begins with Maoist forces promising to refrain from violence.
April 6 and 7: Protesters clash with police, hundreds arrested, dozens injured.
April 8: A curfew is imposed in Kathmandu from 10:00 pm to 9:00 am. The king orders protesters violating the curfew to be “shot on sight.”
April 9: General strike scheduled to end. Government extends curfew, BBC reports. Three dead in two days of unrest, as thousands of demonstrators defy curfews.
April 27: Maoist insurgents, responding to a demand by the newly appointed Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, announce a unilateral three-month truce after weeks of pro-democracy protests in Kathmandu, and encourage the formation of a new constituent assembly tasked with rewriting the nation’s constitution.
May 3: Nepal’s new cabinet declares a ceasefire. The cabinet also announces that the Maoist rebels will no longer be considered a terrorist group. Rebels are also encouraged to open peace talks.
November 21: Peace talks end with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord between Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist leader Prachanda. The deal allows the Maoists to take part in government, and places their weapons under UN monitoring.