Prakash Raj

Peace Process in Nepal and Elections for Constituent Assembly


A Maoist insurgency, similar to the Shining Path in Peru has brought profound changes in the Hindu kingdom of Nepal. The country was declared to be a “secular state” after the Popular Movement in April 2006 which forced King Gyanendra to restore the Parliament dissolved in 2002. The Government formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Koirala signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Maoists, and the United Nations was invited for monitoring both the Nepalese and the Maoist armies. Elections for constituent assembly are planned to be held on April 10th. Nepal may soon become a republic as the monarchy is now in “suspension.” Such neighboring countries as India and China have watched developments in Nepal with keen interest as has the United States which has not taken the Maoists off the terrorist list.


Raj was educated in India and the United States. He worked for the UN for five years as a staff member and consultant to the UNDP, ILO, and the World Bank. He has written several books including Kay Aardeko – The Royal Massacre in Nepal (Rupa, Delhi, 2001), Maoists in the Land of Buddha (Nirala, Delhi, 2004), Dancing Democracy (Rupa, Delhi, 2006), and Crisis of Identity in Nepal (Pilgrim, Varanasi, 2007). He is also the author of several editions of Lonely Planet’s guide to Nepal and co-author of Lonely Planet’s guide to India.