24 April 2006
The U.S. Embassy in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, has ordered non-essential employees and the families of staff to leave the country as clashes between protesters and security forces continue.
In addition to ordering many of its staff and all embassy family members out of Nepal, the U.S. Embassy recommended that all other Americans leave.
The order comes as Nepal's main opposition parties plan another massive demonstration throughout the capital. Protests have taken place in Nepal for 19 days, with demonstrators pushing for the king to reinstate parliament and restore the civil liberties he canceled last year.
Some want to go further. Opposition leader J.N. Khanal says protesters may soon surround the royal palace in Kathmandu. "We do not want to destroy [the] palace,” he said, “but we want to destroy completely the absolute monarchical system in the country."
Police fired rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators Monday, but protests are smaller than in previous days. Demonstrators are defying an all-day curfew and shoot-on-sight orders issued to police.