chapter  4
The experiences of Nepal and Sri Lanka
Pages 39

This chapter discusses the unique paths that environmental rights have tread in the cases of Nepal and Sri Lanka. Situated in South Asia between emerging world powers China to the north and India to the south and west, Nepal is a relatively small country with a population of nearly 29 million people. Yet, the country features significant ethnic diversity, as it houses "101 caste/ethnic groups, 91 linguistic groups and 9 religious groups". After a brief flirtation with a multi-party system achieved through the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1959, Nepal reverted to monarchical rule in 1960 when King Mahendra seized power and installed a partyless system of governance known as the Panchayat regime. Sri Lanka's history is punctuated by alternating periods of concurrent kingdoms and unification, colonial control, and, up until recently, civil conflict. In 1977, the ruling regime responsible for crafting the 1972 constitution suffered major electoral defeats.