Rebellion in Kathmandu (a true story)

In 1990 I was in Kathmandu Nepal teaching ESL at the Universal Language Institute during the Nepalese Rebellion. The protesters would march up the main street to the king’s palace at the top of the hill and make their demands asking for the king to appear on his balcony and make a statement. The king would send his police, who looked like soldiers in brown uniforms, semi-automatics and clubs, and they would beat the protesters and take them off to prison. It was a very exciting time. I met students in an office of ULI with big windows where a person could see the corner of the street below where the police would gather. One day a young law student came to me and put some papers on my desk. He told me that this was a speech he had given in Nepalese and now he wanted me to correct his English. It began “We, the people of Nepal, demand the king of Nepal step down and that a multi-party democracy be established and that the political prisoners be freed…”

I looked down to the police in the street below, swinging their clubs and laughing. “If those people down there knew what we had up here it wouldn’t be good for us, would it?” I asked.

The young law student shook his head.


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