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In 1990, Nepal’s centuries-long history of monarchical rule and more recent autocratic substitutes were finally brought to an end in what may consider to be one of the most notable non-violent revolutions of the twentieth century. With the death of King Mahendra in 1972, the future of Nepal’s government was uncertain. His son, King Birendra, ascended to the throne and implemented amendments to the ancient panchayat system that allotted virtually unlimited power to the monarchy.

In her 1998 interview with Charles Stuart Kennedy, Julia Chang Bloch, the first Asian-American to become an ambassador, recalls firsthand the last months of the Monarchy’s reign and the events that shaped Nepali democracy shortly afterward. Ambassador Bloch served at her post in Nepal from 1989 to 1992 and also became a leading organizer for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in Nepal.  Her Deputy Chief of Mission, Albert Thibault, discussed Ambassador Bloch’s leadership during the upheaval during his 2005 interview with Kennedy.

 

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