February 26, 2006:
The Maoists and political parties are both using strikes, and terrorism, to disrupt the economy. Both groups hope to cause economic and social collapse, and convince the police and army to desert the king. Then, the Maoists and political parties would scramble to grab control. The security forces would be most likely to go with the political parties. But that still leaves the basic problem of Maoist terrorism in the countryside, and along the few roads that bring in supplies to sustain the towns and cities. Increasingly, the Maoists are getting trucking companies to pay "revolutionary taxes" in order to drive unmolested through stretches of highway threatened by Maoist gunmen. The situation is becoming hopeless, with the Maoists, royalists and political parties united only in their willingness to destroy the economy in order to grab power. The root cause of all this is the corruption among the ethnic Indian population that dominates urban life, the government, economy and politics. While the Maoists attempt to draw their power from the rural (largely tribal) people, the Maoist movement is led by ethnic Indian urbanites. Many Nepalese are aware of the direction all this is going, but are unable to stop it.
February 16, 2006: The king called for peace talks with the political parties. But the parties don't want to negotiate, they want the king to give up power. But the parties have already shown that they cannot muster the unity necessary to deal with the Maoists. And the Maoists, of course, have not wavered from their goal of establishing a communist dictatorship, while eliminating the king and any form of democracy.