Crowds of demonstrators defied nationwide daytime curfews this week to demand that Nepal’s King Gyanendra restore democracy. More than 800 protestors have been arrested over the past week as police tried to break up the demonstrations using batons and rubber bullets. At least three demonstrators were killed. The king seized absolute power in a coup last year, claiming that only his direct rule could crush a Maoist insurgency. But many fear that the king’s current wave of repression will play into the hands of the rebels. The U.S. State Department called for Gyanendra to restore the parliament, saying that would be “the best way to deal with the Maoist insurgency and to return peace and prosperity to Nepal.”
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