Nepal, the tiny Himalayan country, sandwiched between two mighty Asian Tigers, India and China, continue to be rocked by violent unrest, entering into eight days. While the international opinion is fast turning against the despotic ruler of Nepal, King Gyanendra, the later is pretending to be away from the reality. He returned to Kathmandu, the capital of the country from the tourist resort centre at Pokhara after spending about two months long vacation. On the other hand the country has come to a standstill after his opponents launched mass protests seeking restoration of democracy. The king is due to give his traditional message to the nation on Nepali New Year day on Friday. It is an opportunity for the King to reach out to his opponents. Protests against him are at their most intense since he grabbed power 14 months ago and he has taken a hardline against demonstrators. Cosmetic changes to his royalist cabinet or even a timetable for national elections he has said will be held before April 2007 are unlikely to subdue the people’s anger. Nepal is batting a violent Maoist revolt since 1996. It was pushed deeper into turmoil in February 2005 when King Gyanendra sacked the government and took power saying politicians had failed to tackle the insurgency. More than 13,000 people have been killed in the revolt, which aims to topple the monarchy, and Nepal’s economy has been wrecked under its impact. Kathmandu Valley is no longer a must item on the itinerary of tourists.