The Sari Soldiers

There are more than two sides to every story.

The Sari Soldiers in Context

1995:
The Nepal Communist Party (Maoist) begins rebellion in rural areas aimed at abolishing monarch and establishing people's republic
June 1, 2001:
Beloved king and 9 family members allegedly massacred by crown prince, who then killed himself.
BBC On This Day: June 1, 2001, Nepal Royal Family Massacred
June 2, 2001:
Nepal royal familySole heir, the king’s younger brother Prince Gyanendra, a businessman, inherits throne and a five-year Maoist insurgency.
CNN World: June 2, 2001, Nepal Massacre: Prince Named King
February 19, 2004:
Maina Sunuwar “disappeared,” abducted by soldiers.
February 1, 2005:
With Maoist insurgency sweeping country, King Gyanendra takes over government, imprisons parliament, bans dissent, and begins state of absolute rule.
BBC News: February 1, 2005, King Declares State of Emergency
2005:
Nepal had the largest number of reported disappearances in the world.
May 2005:
First nation-wide gathering of political parties since king’s coup in Kathmandu.
November 2005:
After great national and international pressure, police register complaint regarding Maina Sunuwar’s disappearance.
November 17, 2005:
There is a growing public frustration due to the king’s failure to establish peace. The democratic parties and the Maoists create an historic alliance and unify against the king.
International Crisis Group: November 28, 2005, Nepal's New Alliance: The Mainstream Parties and the Maoists
Spring 2006:
Fourteen months after the king’s coup, the political parties, student activities and the Maoists call for nationwide strikes in opposition to the king. In response, King Gyanendra deploys military force onto the streets of Kathmandu.
April 28, 2006:
women in the streetsAfter 19 days of nationwide protests, King Gyanendra steps down and allows the return of parliament and democracy.
BBC News: April 28, 2006, Nepal's MPs Begin Historic Session
March 2007:
Maina Sunuwar’s remains found.
February 2008:
Court order issues summons for the arrest of the 4 accused army officers in Maina Sunuwar’s case. (As of September 2008, none have been arrested)
April 2008:
Maoists win most seats in elections to constituent assembly.
May 28, 2008:
The 239-year royal reign is officially ended. Lawmakers legally abolished the monarchy and declared the country a republic.
BBC News: May 28, 2008, Nepal Votes to Abolish Monarchy
June 11, 2008:
King Gyandendra King Gyanendra leaves the Royal Palace.
BBC News: June 11, 2008, Nepal's Ousted King Quits Palace
July 2008:
DNA test results confirm the human remains found at Panchkal army camp are Maina’s.
August 15, 2008:
Prachanda elected Prime Minister Maoist leader Prachanda elected Prime Minister, the first since the country’s transition from a monarchy to a republic.
BBC News: August 15, 2008, Maoist Leader Becomes Nepalese PM
September 11, 2008:
Human Rights Watch Report cover Human Rights Watch Report: Waiting for Justice, Unpunished Crimes from Nepal's Armed Conflict. This 118-page report documents in detail 62 cases of killings, disappearances, and torture between 2002 and 2006, mostly perpetrated by security forces but including a couple of cases involving Maoists. The families of those killed and disappeared have filed detailed complaints with police seeking criminal investigations but the Nepali justice system has failed miserably to respond to these complaints.
Human Rights Watch News: September 11, 2008, Nepal: End Cycle of Impunity and Deliver Justice to Victims
(Devi and Mandira are quoted in this article)