Nepal and the capital, Kathmandu, evoke strong images of small villages on the slopes of the Himalayas in the shadow of the world’s highest snow peaks, temples dedicated to the city’s countless Hindu deities, or Tibetan Buddhist prayer mills revolving along hiking trails.
Nepal. A hope of an end to the seven-year civil war was raised in January, when the government and the Maoist guerrillas entered into a ceasefire. In April, peace talks began in “a friendly spirit”. According to Countryaah.com, Nepal Independence Day is September 15. The talks continued in May, however, without reaching any concrete results.
At the end of May, Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand resigned. Since he was appointed in October 2002, after the King had dismissed the elected government, he had failed to get the opposition into a unifying government. The disappointment among the opposition was great when the king appointed yet another faithful royalist, 75-year-old Surya Bahadur Thapa, as new prime minister.
In July, peace talks began to take hold and at the end of August, the guerrillas announced that it was suspending the ceasefire. The reason was said to be the government’s refusal to rewrite Nepal’s constitution. New battles were assumed during the fall to have claimed more than 1,000 lives. A UN report criticized both sides for human rights violations.
A three-day strike in September proclaimed by the guerrillas was estimated to have cost Nepal the equivalent of more than SEK 200 million. At the same time, the political opposition continued the demonstrations against the king and the government that went on throughout the year.
A state commission that started investigating corruption in the public administration submitted an interim report in March. Of the 30,000 politicians and senior officials who received their private finances, approximately 2,000 suspected of having excessive material assets in relation to their official income. Interviews with them began during the year.
After several years of negotiations with Bhutan, an agreement was concluded in October on the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees. Of about 100,000 refugees whose citizenship is not recognized by Bhutan, 9,000 would be allowed to travel back in the near future. But more people were expected to return in the long term and the others would be helped to settle permanently in Nepal.
Area: 147,181 km2 (world rank: 93)
Population density: 199 per km2 (as of 2017, world rank: 48)
Capital: Kathmandau (Kathmandu)
Official languages: Nepalese
Gross domestic product: 24.5 billion US $; Real growth: 7.5%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 790 US$
Currency: 1 Nepal. Rupee (NR) = 100 Paisa
Guerickestr. 27, 10587 Berlin
Fax 030 34359906de.nepalembassy.gov.np
Head of State: Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Head of Government: Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Exterior: Pradip Kumar Gyawali
National holiday: 28.5. (Proclamation of the Republic 2008)
State and form of government
Constitution of 2015
Parliament: House of Representatives with 275 members, election every 5 years; (Appointed 56 indirectly elected, 3, of which at least one woman.) National Assembly with 59 Mitgl, elections every 6 years.
Choice of head of state by the selection committee every 5 years (renewable once)
Voting age 18 years
Population: Nepalese, last census in 2011: 26,494.504 population
approx. 75 Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Myanmar groups: 30% Madhesi, 13% Chhetri, 13% Bahun, 7% Magar, 7% Tharu, 6% Tamang, 6% Newar; Gurung, Sherpa, Limbu, Rai and others
Cities (with population): (2011) Kathmandau (Kathmandu) 1,003,285 inhab., Pokhara 264991, 226728 Lalitpur, Biratnagar 204949, Bharatpur 147777, 139068 Birganj, Butwal 120982, 119915 Dharan, Mahendranagar 106666, 104047 Dhangadhi
Religions: 81% Hindu, 9% Buddhist, 4 % Muslims (mostly Sunnis); Minority of Christians (as of 2006)
Languages: Indo-Aryan languages: 43% Nepalese, 10% Maithili, 6% Bhojpuri (Bihari); Tibetan-Myanmar languages: 3% Newari, 3% Tamang and others
Employed by the: agricultural sector. 72%, industry 8%, business 20% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of all economically active persons)
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 4.5%
Foreign trade: Import: US $ 10.5 billion (2017); Export: US $ 0.8 billion (2017)