Report from Kathmandu that the Maoist guerrillas grow bolder on the third day of the general strike they have called to last seven days. On the second day, two Maoist terrorists got into a taxi in greater Kathmandu, in front of a hospital, and shot to death the young driver because he was working on a general strike day. Clashes between Maoists and the police and army are now routine.
The complication in this tidy anti-terrorist scenario is that the government is a one-man tyranny: it is one year since Gyanendra seized total control of the capital city; since then he has become the mayor of the palace and a few streets of Kathmandu. He calls himself the king. The Chinese favor him; the Indians oppose him; the Nepalese favor money and services and tourists, all of which are now rare.
Nepal is the roof of the world, and the roof is falling in. China and India, giants of the 21st century, will battle ceaselessly on this surrogate battlefield. The U.S. position so far is to support India: watch for duplicity later in the decade.