Today I read, that following yesterday’s beating of a Japanese tourist, other foreign tourists conducted a candle-light march through Pokhara. Now, this attack was not the first instance the police have beaten a foreigner – in January another tourist was beaten and arrested following a protest in Kathmandu – and I don’t expect it to be the last.
Yes the strikes and curfews are annoying, yes they are going to disrupt your plans and yes many Nepalis are breaking curfew. But please get real, the situation is very serious. If there are more plans for tourists to organise further protests or to get involved in protests organised by the Nepalis please realise that this could not only going to change the dynamics of the relationship between tourists and the security forces but also the relationship between tourists and a significant proportion of Nepalis who are not affiliated with the political parties and/or do not support either the protests or the curfews.
I suggest those who are thinking of joining or organising further protests to please consider this point very carefully and also remember not all tourists are prepared to take a lathi charge by group of police.
Police beating a Nepali citizen. Picture from Merosansar