Saturday, February 26, 2005

Democracy and Trust

We fight so hard for democracy because we have all learned to believe in the system. It is based on trust. Those of us in democratic countries value trust. It is why we install so many protections in government to maintain that trust. It is why we reflexively speak against those who appear to stifle or slow down democracy for any reason.

The world has now existed for many generations with various examples of democracy. It is no longer a novel concept. It can be argued, now that the newness has worn off, that we are so comfortable with the freedoms under democracy that we have forgotten what it costs to maintain such a system. It is trust.

Trust is our reason for why democracies succeed where communist regimes often fail. Democratic societies rely on public trust, to be sure, but there are checks, and balances put in place to insure that trust. Multi-cameral legislative bodies, a strong constitution backed by an impartial judiciary, legislative transparency and rule of law to name a few. A system based on trust implies that the trust can be taken away or given to someone else - like a contract. Non-democratic systems like Communism rely on faith: an almost religious belief in the power of an ideology or individual-faith with no questions asked. Unfortunately, non-democratic systems have no use for public trust. They will tolerate neither dissent nor public oversight. Ideal democratic systems allows for dissent. Dissent and debate reinforces and strengthens public trust in a system.

Today, people have learned to manipulate the often slow-moving wheels of a democracy. Humans always seem to have some element of greed and personal gain in their psyche. When we see a crack, a flaw in a system, we will exploit it. We will also swim upstream, against a democracy’s reliance on public trust, to further our own prosperity if we must. Criminals and politicians who actively seek loopholes in the system are one example. Religious, cultural and political zealots who proclaim the supremacy of their needs and values above all others are but another. The new reality is that the trust that is incumbent to a normally functioning democracy is eroding. It is a measure of decline when we see less people sacrificing for the public good and more people seeking to “cash-in” on the democratic freedoms so hard won by out predecessors. Democracy today, and as was practiced in Nepal, seems more of a catchall concept that effectively says: “anything goes.”

India, the world’s largest democracy seems to fit this mold. Unfair, baksheesh-based practices, cronyism, nepotism and, not to mention, a very undemocratic caste system indicate that the world’s largest democracy uses the label as an umbrella to conceal a myriad of concepts and practices that fall well outside those the western world feel to be democratic.

If it existed at all, the public trust in Nepal was broken under the weight of government corruption and hubris. But were the foundations of trust ever laid? On the surface, an initial parliament and a somewhat representative government with a Supreme Court and rule of law seemed a good beginning. But democracy is a western concept. To ask an entrenched Asian culture to take it on faith that everything will be fine if they’d just adopt democracy is simplistic and foolhardy. The idea of relying on a centralized government body to meet your needs was a foreign concept in Nepal. There is that deep history of unilateralist and occasionally abusive rulers to factor into the equation as well. In the face of this, most Nepalis, initially, were just mildly indignant towards government abuses and corruption: it just wasn’t much different from what they were used to so they never considered raising their voices to demand accountability. When scandals like the Lauda Air deal surfaced however, Nepalis became more politically angry. They realized, rightly, that they were not receiving adequate representation and that their trust in their new democracy was being betrayed.

The Nepali government never bothered to maintain public trust. In fact, they never left Kathmandu. No government policies were effectively realized in rural areas. Back in 1996, however, the Maoists were gaining trust village by village. They initially collected donations and were responsible for providing some local services. Nepalis, feeling politically alienated, began to listen more attentively to these new Maoist voices. Eventually, as they grew in power and brutality, the Maoists became the threat that they are today.

The King, for all his unpopularity, recognizes this most fundamental threat to any present or future democracy in Nepal. His takeover represents an attempt to correct a system that failed to address this threat. He is making a choice that the prior government was unable and unwilling to make: he is going after the Maoists. Success will wipe the slate clean for Nepal to embark on a political system that, hopefully, is worthy of the trust of its citizens; failure leads to no choices and no chance for reforms.

Democracy must once again gain a foothold in Nepal. This time, it must be a participatory democracy. It is only when each Nepali feels that their voice is being heard in government, that their trust in government and democracy will return. Those in the world community who demand the immediate return of democracy to Nepal are merely posturing. If you do not have the full participation of all citizens, then reintroducing democracy simply reintroduces chaos. Nepal’s Maoists, in their current form, will not participate in any new democracy. They are the angry byproduct of lost public trust and will continue to reflect that anger until they are removed.

Democracy is not the cure-all answer for everything. Democracy is just another vehicle for the pooling of public trust. With the absolute trust of citizens and officials, any system would work, including communism. Betray public trust once it is offered and no mere label can save your society.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Get Out of the Way" awards part II

Well we seem to be in the phase of any crisis were frustration is taking over. Watch carefully how world media and the agenda-driven organizations of the world spin this crisis for their own benefit. Freedom of the press is one of the most precious gifts of a democratic society. Having said this, some of those in the media claiming to be Nepal "experts" use that gift in, often, blatently manipulative ways.


India: Stop pouting by refusing to invite Pakistan and Nepal "Mayors" to your little conference. You are still fuming at the King's move like spoiled children. Remember last year when you invited Sher Bahadur Deuba and the head of the Royal Nepal Army to India for a little meeting, without even giving the King of Nepal adequate notice? What was that gesture supposed to do? So, who snubbed whom first? And what about this absolute refusal to allow any third-party mediation in this current situation? Sounds like the height of arrogance. Who are you to refuse anything? The U.S. has asked you, repeatedly, to take the lead in this crisis; if you're not prepared to do so: GET OUT OF THE WAY.

The Telegraph: (Indian newspaper) The wonderfully typical Indian method of manipulating the facts has given way to full frontal fabrication. Today's telegraph, none to subtly, implied that the U.S. has suspended arms sales along with India and the U.K.
Not a chance, Telegraph.

The International Crisis Group (ICG): Here we go. Blogdai has seen, and has direct confrontations with groups like this in the past. They locate in an official sounding city like Brussels, apply some obscure name to themselves, and begin to spit venom. The Heritage Foundation writes like this, so does an outfit called STRATFOR out of Texas. These groups stock themselves with "analysts" and the lazy media eat up their wild predictions. They are designed to generate attention and further their specific agendas. Here's a fairly good article about the ICG. blogdai says "fairly" because it is on a somewhat controversial website. The ideas are sound, however:

Some blogdai mnemonics:

In an effort to be more trendy and fit in with the blogger community, we will start our own collection of mnemonics and acronyms. We will try to avoid the old cliche's like LOL and the little smiley faces made with semicolons ;) So, here we go: suggestions for additions to this list are always incouraged and usually acted upon.

GOTW: Get Out of the Way. (See above) Generally, something deemed a nuisance or counter productive to the discussion should get a GOTW. Disagreeing with blogdai seldom earns this. Blatent advertising or unrelated stuff just might, however.

RYLOP: Raise Your Level of Play. It is more of an admonishment than a scold. blogdai joked (poorly) about being forced to attend CIA parties (not true) to which one poster cried: Aha! so blogdai is with the CIA! Sorry pal, RYLOP.

DBN: Drive-By-Nepali: Generally a young, frustrated person who gets on the internet, say, somewhere in Kathmandu, stumbles across, leaves an angry comment, and then doesn't stick around for the subsequent debate. While they are frustrating, blogdai feels these type of comments are necessary as a guage.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Playing for the Home Crowd

Blogdai is reprinting a response to a posting on our "China Timeline" thread below.

It seems as though old Jack Straw and the U.K. have really thrown down the gauntlet. They are suspending $2.5 million in "non-lethal" military aid to Nepal. Big deal, says blogdai. Suspend non-lethal aid? it was a big pose and posture gesture. Brits and Euros can afford to do this; their aid to Nepal will never be of the type needed to affect a change in the Maoist situation.

The only significant form of military aid to come out of that part of the world in the last 10 years was the 5000 Belgian minimi machine guns that were delivered to Nepal a few years ago. Guy Verhoofsted took a lot of heat for that move, so that should tell everyone about appeasing the home crowd in Europe and the U.K. when it comes to real "lethal" aid to Nepal.
Blogdai also took some heat for almost guaranteeing to everyone that the British ambassador would return to Nepal: guess what?

It is a luxury to be able to assuage public opinion when one is not a first-tier participant in the situation. The current list of players are: India, the U.S., China, and Pakistan..that's it.

It would have been diplomatically significant if the U.K. had not only suspended their military aid but issued a statement condemning the U.S. and others for continuing with same. So what do we have? More bluster with no real effect.

The the big shocker ,however, is India. Blogdai never thought they would pull this stunt and ban weapons sales as well. Looks like all the cards are on the table now, so let's do some math: Political parties want to overthrow the Monarchy and are openly advocating an alliance with the Maoists. India stated recently that is "supports 100 percent" Nepal's political parties. So, theMaoists, the Political Parties and India all sound like they are all on the same page now, doesn't it? Maybe blogdai should call this the "Trinity of Evil."

It is an open secret that Delhi has always wanted a somewhat unstable Nepal; it reinforced Nepal's dependence on big brother India. The Maoists have been killing people in Nepal for a decade now. During that time, 11,000 Nepalis were slaughtered. Where was big brother during all of this? The Maoists originated, were trained and receive weapons and materials through India and at India's whim. Make no mistake about it.

India cutting off arms to Nepal is only significant in that it is an anti-monarchy, pro-Indian control gesture. India had better reconsider because China won't waste this opportunity.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Sujata "Outs" the Nepali Congress Party

Sujata Koirala Posted by Hello

Blogdai is falling for Sujata Koirala! The daughter of Girija Babu is making headlines today again. It seems that in times of stress, our dear Sujata can't seem to keep her mouth shut about the real intentions of the Nepali Congress Party. She's becoming more interesting than Paras, and half as drunk, I'm sure.

In the last few days Sujata:

1. Was deeply relieved to finally see an Indian village.

2. Called upon India to intervene immediately and forcefully in Nepal.

3. Called for an immediate alliance with the Maoists to overthrow the Monarchy.

4. With her Congress collegues demanded the election of a Constituent Assembly: THE single biggest demand voiced by the Maoists during previous peace-talk attempts.

5. Advocated complete overthrow of the Monarchy saying that the king was intimidated and afraid of the opinions of her 81 year old father and was trying to kill him. (Strangely,this has not been accomplished even thought the old crook is under house arrest)

Paras, sit down! You have met your match.

If you'll remember, Sujata Koirala was the voice of the Nepali Congress Party last November. Girija was set to retire and all were certain that nepotism would propel Sujata to the chairmanship of the Party.

So now, the alliance, the existence of which Kathmandu dwellers had long suspected , is now being made public.The Nepali Congress, (and probably the UML as well, who knows?) were in bed with the Maoists. It always struck blogdai as strange how the Congress-sponsored street protests against "regression" were conveniently scheduled so as not to conflict with any planned Maoist activities or strikes. It was also funny how many political leaders got the occasional bomb in their front yard- courtesy of the Maoists- but not dear G.P. or Sujata.

So now even the old man himself is calling for an alliance with the Maoists to find a "nonviolent" means of overthrowing the king. Tell me again, Babu, where exactly can the nonviolent wing of the Maoists be found? (Note: blogdai writes extensively about this issue below in the Feb.8 posting "My Favorite Rumor.")

The Koirala's were squarely in India's pocket. Blogdai believes their only real function was to maintain the climate of political instability that was used to reinforce Nepal's dependence on big brother India--to this end they did their job well.


Saturday, February 19, 2005


Thanks again to our sharp-eyed readers. Cardboard cut-out was not Paras but the late King Tribhuvan. Democracy day is celebrated to honor King T's defeat of the Ranas in 1951. -=blogdai

Posted by Hello

King Tribhuvan

Blogdai apologizes for this discrepancy. I am still not sure that the cardboard cut-out below is not that of Paras. The dimensions are too close to "Killer-P" as one reader put it. The shallow "flatness" is a dead ringer for our inebriated Prince.

So, in the name of good journalistic fairness, blogdai must relent and now make sport of Paras through some other means. Fortunately, every time a weekend concludes in Kathmandu, new Paras stories emerge- so stay tuned....

King Flattens Paras

Posted by Hello

Their majesties king and queen at tundhikehl during the 55th national democracy day function kantipur photo/post photo/

Possible explanations for the cardboard cut-out figure of Paras:

1. It is a decoy. The red Malla around his neck is actually a target ring for drawing sniper fire.

2. No explanation needed, Paras is always "plastered."

3. This is not a cut-out. This is the real Paras who was just run over by a drunken artist.

4. This was a temporary stand-in for the real Paras who was on break cruising the
audience for hot Nepali chicks.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The China Timeline

Let's look at events from a different perspective. Blogdai has always believed that China was in the thick of planning this takeover long before it actually occured. Curious threads emerged while blogdai was doing research. Conspiracy theroists: have at it! Also, a new feature will be the sporadic "diplo-speak" translations. Diplomats are trained to say something that means something else. -=blogdai

April 2004: Pro-Bush hawk U.S. ambassador to Nepal Michael Malinowski is replaced by pro-China ambassador Michael Moriarty. Malinowski was abruptly replaced with just six months of service in Nepal remaining.

July 2004: Ambassador Moriarty urges Maoists to lay down their arms. He later states that the U.S. government will do "anything" for peace in Nepal

November 2004: King agrees to arms deal with Pakistan resulting in potential arms purchases for the RNA of up to $100 million.

December 2004: Moriarty opines about Nepal: "This place was never a nation state up until the 1950's. It was a bunch of subjects of the Nepali king." Diplo-speak translation: Some of the most blunt and caustic words to ever come from a U.S. diplomat anywhere. He is saying that government does not apply outside of Kathmandu and that the democracy movement of the 1990's has failed to take hold. His tone implies that Nepal is a backwater and cannot properly maintaining democratic reforms. In the same statement he drops his bomb shell: "There is a real possibility that there will be a Maoist government here." He has diplomatically created a sense of imminent disaster. He has opened the door for drastic measures and given tacit approval to fight and defeat the Maoists by any means necessary. The two statements, when taken together, are meant to suggest that the current system of government in Nepal is incapable of dealing effectively with the Maoists.

December 2004: King abruptly cancels his India trip where he famously avowed to "speak his mind". This was done on the flimsy premise of respecting dead Indian bureacrat Narasimha Rao.

January 2005: Nepal closes the Tibetan Welfare Office in Kathmandu-bowing to Chinese pressure. U.S. response from ambassador Moriarty "expressed our strong concern to Nepalese officials that operations allowing the entry and transit of Tibetan refugees through Nepal be allowed to continue." Also, U.S.'s Christina Rocca weighed in with: "Nepalese officials have told us that these changes will not affect the welfare of Tibetan refugees living in or moving through Nepal." Translation: "Strong concern" means the U.S. will keep its hands off of the Tibetan political hot button for a while. Rocca's statement means "who cares?" Notice the lack of explicit condemnation. The U.S. is officially taking no position with regards to Tibet during this crisis.

February 2005: Takeover. China: "-- China respects the choice of Nepalese in developing their own country and sincerely wishes the nation to realize social security, economic development and ethnic pacification." "Ethnic pacification" should scare the shit out of Tibet watchers. China is thumbing its nose at the world by saying this. They are also saying that the King's move had the tacit approval of the Chinese. The speed and detail of the statement leaves no doubt that China wants the world to know that it is backing this King.

U.S. initial response from the State Department's Richard Boucher demanded an “immediate move toward the restoration of multiparty democratic institutions under a constitutional monarchy." Pure lip-service to the international community. "Move toward the restoration.." is a vote of approval not a condemnation.

Pakistan responded that recent developments in Nepal were its internal matter. "A foreign ministry statement issued on Thursday quoted the prime minister as telling the Nepalese king that Pakistan strictly adheres to the principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of
states." Translation: We're happy with our arms deal. We not only support the takeover but we'll use China's language of "non-interference in the internal affairs.." to reinforce China's dominance over this process.

The U.S., after appeasing the world by threatening to cancel military aid to Nepal by saying that is was ". . a step that will be seriously considered," ambassador Moriarty finally comes clean on U.S. intentions:``If we cut off our security assistance it will embolden the Maoists,'' and towards the King: ``If he delivers on his commitments, he will turn this all around.'' And on Feb. 18 Moriarity admonishes the Nepali people to "hang in there." Translation: Green light King G. Do whatever you think is necessary and the Yanks will stay out of your way. Just don't take too long and don't act like a repressive idiot in the process.

Analysis: The timing of the closure if the Tibetan Welfare Office was not just curious, it was well-planned. The Chinese got to their old, bought and paid for ally in the government, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prakash Sharan Mahat to work the deal. You remember him: he helped the Chinese ambassador to Nepal orchestrate the repatriation of Tibetan refugees last year. He was an easy target and a symbol of corruption. The Chinese wanted to use this contact before the takeover. It got them their nasty revenge on the Tibetans and didn't tarnish their plans for the King. In blodai's mind, this shows some real advance planning on the part of the Chinese. Plus, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan's statement was released almost concurrent with the King's announcement of the takeover.

India goofed-up big time by suspending military aid to Nepal. It gave the King his excuse to go to Pakistan and China for arms. Recognizing this, India is now tripping all over itself trying to get back into the picture. They are now returning their ambassador to Kathmandu with quasi-acquiescent statements like:

``We have to deal with whatever government is in office, but our sympathies lie with the democratic forces in that country.''

No one, not the U.S. and eventually not India , is going to deny military assistance to Nepal, in spite of what every one of them will say in the next few weeks. To back out of Nepal militarily would invite China and Pakistan to assert themselves to a greater extent. Nobody wants another Chinese satellite filled with imported extremists.

The U.S. policy is as simplistic as the administration that created it: Stop terrorism around the world. The Maoists are terrorists. Stop the Maoists. Democracy later.

Pure Speculation: Nepalis knew this takeover was coming as early as last October when the king began to make plans for an India visit. Blogdai thinks the Yanks may have been in on it before that. Too many spooks in Kathmandu to keep this info under cover. China orchestrated this thing and may play a bigger role in eliminating the Maoists. Watch for Pakistan to act as a funnel for Chinese money and materiel.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pillars and Politicians

Blogdai has always wondered what it would be like to re-start a democracy-knowing what we all know now. We've been debating democracy quite vigorously in this blog, with each and all having a different take on its definitions. Blogdai feels that the most basic pillars of democracy were at risk in Nepal prior to the takeover. The rule of law, citizen security, public trust, political transparency and accountability were among these pillars.

Nepal has a chance to rebuild a new and improved version of its democracy. All Nepalis were sick and tired of corruption; and the CIAA, though well meaning, was essentially toothless. Now, Gyenendra is instituting reforms aimed at real transparency. Finally there is some teeth in the monitoring and prosecuting of corrupt officials. No more Lauda Air scandals, blogdai says.

Now wait a minute. Isn't the king a despotic unilateralist murderer? Why would he institute a strong anti-corruption measure against himself? Could it be that he is laying the groundwork for a new parliament and government? So far, there is no mention of curtailing any legislative powers of Nepal's government- only corruption. Get rid of the worst and least democratic parts of the old government only. Sound like an autocrat to you?

So, if we were to consider some new definitions of "pillars" of democracy, let's add the vigorous and hopefully independent monitoring of all government transactions to insure transparency and defeat corruption. Nice huh? Blogdai would also like to see term limits as a new pillar, but that's for another time.

Meanwhile, the parties just don't get it. They are planning a street protest as soon as they can organize-possibly in a few hours. Naturally, G.P. Koirala is behind it.

Over the past year, even more, the parties refused to reach agreement, compromise or concensus with each other or the King. The only thing that they were able to do was organize street protests that made everyone in Kathmandu fed up and angry with their recalcitrance. So let's see, the country is falling apart, Maoists are gaining in strength, and all you can do is organize street protests. Laughably, these protests against the king and "regression" continued long after the King recinded the move that inspired the term.

This could have all been solved if the parties would have just stopped bickering. In times of crises, real democratic governments put aside their differences and bond against a common threat. Not this time. The Parties scratched at each other like old cats right up until the takeover.

These protesters are going to get arrested before they start this demonstration and a big human rights stink will be made. The western media, who didn't know Nepal from Naples prior to the takeover will now expertly cry out that "democracy" has been stifled once again. Never mind that these protests will be paid for, new banners and all, by the same corrupt political parties that sent Nepal to the brink of collapse just a few months ago.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cracks in Press Supression

Love it, the Kathmandu Post (my heroes) made what is probably the first mention of human rights and press freedom today. They had been relegated to writing blisteringly satirical articles about socks. Also, there were oblique references to supporting the political parties and a front page photo of an alcohol-related auto accident: a none-to-subtle reference to prince Paras's driving habits.

Consider this quote from the Nepali Times Feb. 11-17 edition that started out as a rather benign article on trees:

True, Kathmandu’s poplars and eucalyptus are imports and that they do not have the strength of indigenous varieties. But the fact is that they have provided cover and beauty for a long time now. They have become our own, like so many other exotic species that dot the landscape. It is said that these imports are vulnerable to strong winds due to loose root structures but our analysis shows that the maligned arbours have not been guilty of destruction to the extent that they have to be done away with. All in all, the trees should not have been axed. Because the damage has been done, can we ask the concerned authority to promptly correct the move and bring back greenery?

The references are unmistakable. The Nepali Congress party symbol is the tree. Exotic species and winds refers to the communist based philosophy like the CPN-UML (not Maoist) and the tendency of all the parties towards corruption.

For you browsers of Nepal news: FIND THE CODES like this one on Nepal news sites- I'll put them up here on the main posting area-watch this space! -=blogdai

The Kathmandu Post, Kunda Dixit and the Nepali Times, and even more so, the Federation of Nepali Journalists are writers with some of the biggest cojones on the planet-know it. -=blogdai

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Latest from Kathmandu

To clear up the confusion, this letter was written by one of blogdai's contacts. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of blogdai.. but pretty close. -=blogdai

Candle fest, Thamel Feb 7. Posted by Hello

Hello everyone
It is a nice sunny day in Kathmandu, the outlook for the country is sunnier too.

In short the King has taken over, otherwise very little has changed, indeed the situation looks more stable and better than for the last 6 years. I can see no reason for anybody to cancel their Nepal plans.

There will be no strikes in Kathmandu this year and the Everest region is still completely safe for trekking, other regions are OK also; we are running all of our Manaslu, Nar Phu and Kanchenjunga treks, and will update you if we think the situation has changed. Note we always have interesting backup treks in mind so that you don’t have to cancel your holiday.

Last week the telephone lines were cut so as the Maoists and politicians could not organize protests; this is not the time for protests from those who are 100% responsible for the trouble the country is in. Now communications are back to normal, apart from mobile phones.

The attached pic is of a small rally supporting the King, and every Thamel business had candles outside offering support too.

The long version
With some 43 (corrupt and/or incompetent) politicians under house arrest and King directing the Government the mood in Kathmandu is one of jubilance and optimism, this long overdue move was absolutely necessary to save the country - literally - and finally Nepal might be ruled by people who actually care.

Despite the tone in the foreign news papers virtually everyone in Kathmandu supports the king's move however the talk must be followed by action and everyone is watching closely, hoping. I have yet to meet anyone in Kathmandu who is against his move - and this is also easily measured, the Maoists had called a second three day strike; yet everything is running completely normally, apart from mobile telephones.

In the broad political chess game the King stood up for the people with a vigorous, well planned and constitutional takeover but is risking everything, necessarily so for the sake of the country. Make no mistake this is an major escalation, instead of an energy-sapping three way struggle between the King, the feckless politicians and the Maoists, there are now only two combatants. Democracy is not dead, only necessarily suspended, and being long used to feudal systems, few Nepalis have any problem with that.

Since the arrival of democracy in 1991 successive governments were feudal in behavior, grossly corrupt, shortsighted and narrow-minded and by neglecting even basic development allowed a Maoist insurgency to start in 1996. As the stakes were raised to the point of a gun against their head, not one of the main political leaders could get their fingers out of the honey pot, proving time and time again they were utterly, hopelessly incapable of solving the country's multitude of problems. The ordinary Nepali people have suffered immensely and deserve better.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


A. He just bought some drugs.
B. He just shot another hole in the roof of the Galaxy Disco.
C. He's drunk.
D. He's thinking about killing another Nepali artist while driving drunk.
E. He just got one step closer to the throne of Nepal.

Take your time on this, it's easy to score well, all choices are correct.

Blogdai was looking forward to reading the article: "Reforming the Prince of Darkness" in the HIndustan Times, but alas, the article has been mysteriously removed. Anyone with full access to the article, please reprint it here. -=blogdai

My Favorite Rumor

Well another prediction in the bag, but those of us who follow Nepal politics could see this coming. Nepali Congress is going to team up with the Maoists to go after the King. Blogdai says, no big surprise. Government has always flirted with the Maoists. Girija Koirala has had more than a few "private meetings" with Maoist leaders. For the sharp-eyed, one of the most curious examples of this was during the 2003 peace talks. The political parties were excluded from the table in an effort to actually get something done. The second round of talks ensues and we find the Maoists losing ground on some of their major demands; most significantly, the demand for a constituent assembly.

Momentum is not on their side until a cuious event occurs. From out of nowhere, large student protests against the peace talks emerge. This had never happened during the previous three peace talk events, only this one where the political parties were excluded. Eventually, peace talks break down.

Funny things also happened during 2001 when Koirala was still prime minister. Maoists are starting to get a little rougher, Koirala orders a few police to go out and confront the maoists, a police post in Rukum is attacked by Maoists and afterwards, Koirala abruptly resigns. The most power-hungry politician in the history of Nepal resigns over the attact of a police station? This guy was considering another run for PM last week at the age of 87. Why would he resign? Was it a bout of conscience? Could Koirala not reconcile his relationship with instability-loving India and their facilitating Maoists with his Prime Ministership? Food for thought.

Here's the article from the Feb. 7 Statesman. Their credibility on Nepal issues is just average, but this article makes sense:

Nepal Congress to join hands with Maoists
Statesman News Service SILIGURI, Feb. 7. — The Maoist movement in Nepal is likely to gather mainstream political momentum soon. As part of the planned movement of political parties of Nepal in a same platform, the Nepal Congress Party has decided to welcome Maoists and join hands with them. During an interview with The Statesman today, the central committee member of Nepal Congress Party and the party organisation chief, Mr Krishna Prasad Sitoula said that almost all democratic political parties of Nepal, including Communist parties, have joined hands to put up a fight against the Nepal’s King Gyanendra, who has dismissed the government and taken all powers in his hand. Mr Sitoula said that the Nepal Congress, the Nepal Communist Party UML, Janmorcha Nepal, Nepal Mazdoor Communist Party, Nepal Sadbhawna Party, Ananda Devi and alliance of five small Communist parties of Nepal have come together on a platform to start a movement against the monarchy. He said: “We are not against the Maoists’ demands. We support their ideology regarding the monarchy. But we don’t want the path of violence.” Mr Sitoula added that they would hold discussions with senior Maoists.

It doesn't sound too democratic to blogdai when government seeks to align with the single greatest destabilizing force in Nepal. Trust? Transparency? Security? Show me. In Nepal's case, we need to stop our infatuation with the word "democracy" as the singular point of defense for the old administration and start opening our eyes to what was actually being practiced under the term. -=blogdai

Letter from Nepal

Blogdai found this deep in the bowels of the internet: (reprinted unedited)

To all the haters and those who loves to b!tch about everything. It was such a pain to just sit and watch Nepalese Politicians corrupting the country and just breaking the country apart (I truly think every opposition party leader's favorite time pass was not sex but to plan to fail the government) and to see THE Maoist playing GOD and taking lives of Nepalese everyday. I would like to ask every Nepalese, who would they rather have trusted the country other than King? Do you think it would be a good idea to give another five years to Deuba, or would you rather have Girija or Madhav Nepal or Girija?s daughter for next several years? Can you give me a name of ONE person (I repeat one person) who you think can unite the country?

We have run out of trust worthy leaders. Soon, rich Nepalese and educated / smart Nepalese ?who usually prefer living anywhere in the world than staying in Nepal? would be suggesting to outsource the leaders from America or India (ha! That would be funny). We have already lost more than 11,000 lives during the on going civil war. Whether it was a death of Moist or Army or those innocent civilians they were our own Nepalese people. More and more villages and towns are in the process of converting into United States of Maoist. If we were to give ANOTHER chance (out of those many many chances) to these political leaders, just imagine how many more lives we would lose? How much more deficit, poorer we would have become? How many more villages and towns to become maobadi land?

How long to wait to see the peace? When is my son gonna be able to actually attend school and learn? I know after reading this some of you might even call me Panchhe or Ganendra ko manchha or whatever AND I'm gonna have to say: Damn! Fool! You are still sooooo stupid. I was a big fan of Birendra (and I miss him so damn Much) and I am not too crazy about current king and I am not saying, now the king has taken over and everything is just going to be right. But we have to admit that now it has started to take shapes and forms of development to get rid of Terrorism, corruption, and moreover the hope to better future. (It kind of feels like there is at least a solid plan and determination to fight against terrorism).

All we Nepalese have been so DIVIDED for last few years. May be this is the time we all be UNITED and fix our country?s problem together NOT just sit back, drink tea, watch Zee TV, read newspaper and bitch about government every single day. Give him a chance; we gave these self-centered politicians 14 years, why can?t we give king 3 years. YOU can help to change the future of this country. You don?t have to perform any miracle. Just do whatever you do with a positive attitude and just don't waste time complaining about your neighbor's wife and government.

I am a bus driver and I will make sure your kids get to school and return home safe and on time, so that someday when these kids grow up they would bring positive things in our lives. I am not gonna participate in a street riot just because one of the political leader had to Wait 20 minutes at the airport or neither am I gonna donate my hard on dime to Maoist so that they can buy more land mines to kill more of my children. That is how I am gonna help my country. If you are a shop keeper and you wanna help country to grow, just open you store everyday to mobilize the economy (trust me you play a part in mobilizing economy). Don't cheat on your taxes, keep your neighborhood clean and around your stores and encourage others to do the same thing. What are you gonna do to help to heal the wounds? What?

First e-mails to blogdai

Just received first e-mail from Thamel. Tourists are relaxed and no problems as of now. King is cracking down in two areas only: Human rights activists are in big trouble as well as anti-king protesters. Air travel ticketing is starting to improve. We understand that there will be nationwide monitoring of communication for a while so, watch your subversive emails to Nepal.


Exerpts: Posted by Nepalis in Kathmandu

Namaste It is exciting to open compter and see emails after week long closure of all system. In short i am replying everything is fine and Thamel's situation is much normal than before. all corrupted people are in custody of Security. Last night Thamel celebrate the light festival to welcome the new action planned Government.Rest is fine and life is safer now, thanking you

Email from another Nepali friend:

Hi, finally we are in touch with other people and the world.Things are still the shocking and peacefull.
Let you know soon other news...just got emailo working and you are the first take care thanks a lot for everthing.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The State of Dis-union

As thought, some communications have been restored to Nepal. Make your phone calls now while you have a chance. If you can't get through, we are told, keep trying. Those of you still interested in blogdai finding someone in Nepal, contact or wait for more communication options to emerge. We will still attempt to find those on our lists unless you request a cancellation.

A little unforseen problem for the King. Communication crack-downs always seem to cause more problems than anticipated. Nepal's new bag of troubles includes: some $8-$10 million dollars stuck in mid-transfer from international banks seeking to wire money to Nepal; credit card purchases and ATM withdrawls denied from lack of wire connection to verify funds; and international flight confirmation made impossible due to inability to code verify through the international reservation system, resulting in cash-only, first come first serve airline ticketing.
Blogdai has maintained throughout the postings that it is impossible to isolate a country again, once it has opened itself to the world. Nepal is not North Korea.

Two interesting quotes from the Indian media that were released almost simultaneously:
The first states that "India is dead set against third party negotiation" for this crisis. Blogdai wonders why? One can assume that India considers Nepal to be its personal fiefdom. The next comes from the King who says: (paraphrasing) "..Nepal is committed to multiparty democracy, but this is impossible while the Maoist threat exists.." Sounds like the foundation is being laid for a military movement against the Maoists. This is expected, but will China have a role in this movement? Blogdai says, yes.

Blogdai works for the CIA. False. I refuse to spend my life collecting business cards.
Blogdai works for the King. False. I personally can't stand the guy but give him his chance.
Blogdai is an alien. Only in countries other than my own.
There is some sinister purpose behind Blogdai. True. I like open communications and a free press.
Blogdai is anti-democracy. False. I am against mis-appropriating the term for personal gain.

Many of you are wondering about blogdai's identity and method. Forget it. Blogdai's sources and communication lines would be jeopardized. This may well be a moot point in the next day or two anyway. Hopefully we can all get back to talking politics and making fun of things.

A bit of a note on the level of discourse of this forum: blogdai has stayed awake quite a bit during this crisis in an effort to find information. Years of on-the-ground experience help me find information in obscure places- like the wide myriad of Nepali chatrooms. Being sleep deprived, I have made what I thought was a mistake by posting our forum's details on these sites. As a result, we have had a wave of chat-room style, invictive-laced, vitriol from some new fast-typing friends that is not always based on sound principles of argumentation and debate. -----But now, after some sleep, I think we need this. These are, generally, young, frustrated Nepalis. They don't like foreigners telling them about their country. They don't necessarily want to hear outside solutions either.

Therein lies the conflict: if we at do not debate these issues, who will? Cultivating world opinion and interest about Nepal adds to everyone's knowledge. This knowledge may even help prevent some of the silly tabloid journalism that we are currently hearing about Nepal from the West. Truthfully, Westerners can't begin to understand the passions and convictions of Nepalis during this time. A recent history of unstable governments, the murder of a beloved former king and Maoist atrocities have thrown most of the citizens of this peaceful nation into anguish. Go ahead, read through some of these postings. These people have had enough of western preaching; they just want some peace.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Pretty Pictures Break

Take a break, enjoy. More postings and political vitriol to follow. If you like any of these, let me know and I'll blow them up to full size on the next posting.

Clockwise from upper left: Kongde Massif, Namche houses, Dark sunset over Kathmandu, Sunset over Pumori, Porters, Tibetans with candles at Boudinath Posted by Hello

Odds and Ends

Keep up the inquiries! Blogdai now has 44 requests to find people in Nepal. We will have another communications link up and operational in 48 hours so let the postings fly...

Spoke with Thuldai a few hours ago. He is Nepali and offered this posting:
(Reprinted in full with permission)

By the Grace of God the most merciful and truthful, His Majesty King Gyanendra action is truely justified against the ill activities that has been prevelent in Nepal in the name of " democracy" for years. The political identities and their subjects has created more anarchy and injustice to our people and our beloved land. In the name of "democracy" we have witnessed plunder, rape and injustice done to our dear motherland and its people. Political parties and its candidates have exploited the very window of democracy from every angle possible for their own well being..

We should realize that being a landlocked nation we have compromised in many terms with our neighbors in our very existence as an independent nation State. We have compromised in the name of "democracy" and trusted our leaders for nothing more than to add more misery to our deprived people and land. We have compromised in terms of political wind that made Nepal what it is seen today. We have compromised to great bullies and made every possible for them to make best use of us.

We very much understand that we depend on interwoven world where " democracy" plays a vital role for very existence of nation states. We understand and agree that " fundamental rights" is a strong foundation of any nation states. But have we really thought of what we have given or done to our dear nation in the name of democracy? Have we really thought what we could do for our beloved nation? Have we really thought to be a realist and face the facts of our years of democratic rule? Many foreign medias look into Nepal as a hot soup that could be poured down the drain or consumed. Is our society and Nation that weak to be challenged? Have our sovereign status been challenged in the name of " democracy"? Has there been someone who would come forward and say " MY Nepal and my Only Nepal"? None has come forward than our Father of the Nation, " His Majesty King Gyanendra".

We should not forget that apart from unity of Nepal it is a symbol of the Crown that makes our identity. Our Kings through years have never been violent or dictators like seen in other nations. Infact they have united and came forward in the moment of national crises. Do you think looking at our so called "leaders and protectors" of democracy like Koiralas, Deubas, Madhav Kumars and list goes on have ever come forward for the welfare of the nation than to compete for the seat for prime ministership? Why does anyone needs to be a PM to protect their country?

As a democracy states " successful democracy and its society is prevelant where all people plays an important role of a civic society". A nation without its responsible citizens is no nation but a root of uncivilized offsprings and democracy can never be successful in such a democratic society.

We have seen in the last fifteen years what democracy has brought to our motherland. You, me and all are the witness to it. Can we furthur risk ourselves and be a puppet of India by allowing the " great knowledgeble leaders" to once again come to power and drain us all of what we have? We have lost enough, we have lost lives that is so precious. It was time when in Nepal crime was unheard of. Do you remember any murders or serious crimes commited before we came under the golden glove of democracy?

Our Late Majesty King Birendra gave democracy to our people for what they want. Our Late Majesty also became a silent spectator as a constitutional Monarch and observed keenly the pulling of chairs and struggling for the greed of power amongst our democratically elected leaders. We have seen FIFTEEN Prime-Ministers of various parties in an achieved democracy of FOURTEEN years. We have witnessed enough of what " ill guided democracy" can lead to. And now we have to put an end to it sooner or later for the best of our land and its people. If the democracy was followed truthfully by our political Leaders we would not face what we see today. Many deprived people have been a tool of Maoism or communism, If our leaders had followed a " rightful path towards democracy" and respecting all lives we would not have witnessed to what we see today.

Nepal at present is at crises. Do not get fooled by what others say or what you hear. Judge by facts and ask yourself of what is right for you, for others and for the nation. Let us not look at monarchy of what it will do or what will happen in the future. Let us not point at an individual of what his son or sons have commited but to look what can be done for the best and prevent the future of our land from rumors spread.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Quick Predictions

Blogdai predicts that the King will actually use the army that has always been loyal to him. Expect some serious Maoist ass-kicking initially. Everyone, repeat everyone will try to get the King to return to the status quo. Nepali Congress and CPN-UML members are already working for a royal audience. The Maoists will sit for, or at least agree to, peace talks within the month. King will agree to limited consultation with the exiled political parties, but will, for the forseeable future, maintain a much larger chunk of control.

Communications will return. India will become more aggressive in its co-opting of the southern Nepal border for water purposes. China will make a move on the Tibetan population in Kathmandu and in the border regions along the Kodari highway. U.S. will send advance "assessment" teams into the region.

Over the past few years, China has been building and completing heavy transport roads to the Nepal border at Rasuwaghadi, Shywali, Simagaon, and along the Chang-La and Thado in the west. Blogdai hopes this is not an ominous development.

Blogdai is beginning to sound like David Horowitz so now is a good time to stop.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Blogdai and the Rumor Mill

First, we have had many inquiries about loved ones. We are grouping similar requests together to send to our people in the field. This may make response time a little longer, but you WILL get an answer. Keep up the inquiries and the postings.

Let's go over the scary rumors first.
Electronic communications to be shut down for 6 months. Logistically false. I'm sure our greedy Indian friends are already bringing hand-held satellite phones from Singapore into Kathmandu as we speak. Nepalis will locate, use and expand any system that has slipped through the cracks like V-sat. These lines are already multiplying. Transportation is now open so essentially, so is communication. Internet and phone service cannot be cut off indefinitely. They are some of the few things that work and make money in one of the poorest countries of the world. Blogdai is holding to his guns that mass communication in some form will be up and running in a few days.
There is limited phone service from 9 am to 11 am GMT. False. We've tried it, it doesn't work. Our contacts have tried it, it doesn't work.
The ousted political parties are combining with the Maoists to take on the King. Possible. Koirala and the Maobadis have always flirted, especially when the Nepali Congress gets shut out of something, like last year's peace talks. Communications ban will make this difficult however.
The political parties have shaken hands with the King, all is forgiven. Not a chance.
Maoist leaders Babu Ram and Prachanda are dead. False.
Babu Ram and Prachanda are captured. False.
Babu Ram and Prachanda fled to India. Probably true.
Nepali Congress President G.P. Koirala was taken out of his home and beaten. False.
Actress Manisha Koirala, G.P.'s granddaughter supports the King's move. Very true.
G.P. Koirala fled to the Indian embassy in Kathmandu. Confirmed true.
The King is censoring all news media in Nepal. True
Dissent or speaking ill of the King is no longer tolerated. True

Finally, this guy who claimed to be a trapped jounalist in "a major Nepali news house" who just managed to get out a three page expose, via e-mail to the Times of India is a phony. Read the article if you find it then tell me what you think. Blogdai knows that the conditions to which this person refers are probably true, but his logistics and method are a pure fabrication.

Strategically Speaking

It's clear now that the King's crackdown on the Nepal media and all outward communication was not just to impress his new best buddy China (imitation being the highest form of flattery), but to enact a rather precise strategy. Shortly after the takeover, the Maoists tried to immediately fill the void with another one of their increasingly-tiresome national strikes, only to find out that no one was paying attention to them because the Maoists couldn't get the word out; the communication band has virtually paralyzed their ability to mobilize and coordinate.

On the other side of the isle (or is it, stay tuned), the now banned political parties cannot organize their inane protests because they can't use the phone. One Nepali Congress party remnant tells UK's Guardian:
``I'm just in and out,'' said Shovakar Parajuli, who risked arrest for his quick trip Wednesday to the office of the Nepali Congress party, the country's main opposition group, slipping in for a few sheets of party stationery.....
He wants to organize a protest against the king, but with the phone lines down and so many people under arrest, he has spent all his time simply trying to stay out of jail and keep in touch with colleagues.
``I don't mind getting arrested, but somebody has to coordinate,'' he said.

Now wait a minute. Blogdai seems to remember all those "spontaneous" student demonstrations against the King and "regression." Where are they now? The streets of Kathmandu are quiet. It was always curious to Blogdai how poor Kathmandu students could organize so well and have hundreds of sparkling new banners to boot. The fact is, all those "spontaneous" demonstrations by students were paid for-nice new banners and all- by the agitating political parties. No wonder the King has shut down their ability to organize.

Lest anyone have any doubts, Blogdai can't stand the King: Prince Paras is even worse, but my Kathmandu friend who is in politics told me recently: "The Nepali people no longer care if the cat is black or white, only that it kills the rats."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Latest from Nepal

Contact D.C. sends this from just a few hours ago:

it's a little 11am nepal time the next day. here's a quick update (stuff i saw as well as heard): i.) just got back from the american embassy to get my us visa. the embassy had not only nepali visa applicants, but also americans and other foreign nationals trying to contact home since both nt and utl are down. ii.) the drive to lazimpath from jawalakhel at 7:30am, and the drive back at 10am was normal. army and police are on the streets, but nothing out of the ordinary. iii.) phones are still dead. both land lines as well as cell phones. iv.) no news of a curfew whatsoever. v.) no news of major tordford and/or disturbance either. vi.) the airport supposedly reopened last night. two flights from india flew in. vii.) the night was calm as well. my brother got back from a wedding party at 2am. security personnel were on the streets then (they are usually on only till midnight). viii.) a pro-king rally was reported yesterday evening. ix.) girija reportedly fled to the indian embassy before the ghoshana yesterday morning and has been hiding there. x.) most of the people i have met and talked to so far are glad in a way that this happened, since the situation was getting worse anyways. and here is some opinion/reflection: i am surprised there have not been any major protests/tord-fords yet. maybe it's because the people behind organizing all these protests/tord-fords are under house arrest and cannot communicate since the phones are down. once again, this is not a fact, but just putting two and two together. in one way, shutting communications down has had an alarming effect especially to those people outside of nepal (thanks to the alarming reporting methods of news agencies like the bbc and cnn), since they have not been able to call home. but think about this... had the phones not been shut down, half of kathmandu would probably be burning now. we have seen it time and time again... from hritik roshan to the iraq beheadings. more as time and conditions permit.

A Farewell to Thieves

The Faces behind 10 Years of Corruption and Incompetence in Nepal Posted by Hello

Clockwise from upper left: Former PM Sher Bahadur Deuba, Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala, Nepali Congress President, the Notorious and Senile ,Girija (Babu) Koirala, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal.

So long fools: Nothin' left to steal, so nothin' left to do.....


New Update

Keep posting!

The King announced the resumption of all air flights to Nepal per NDTV this morning. We hear that communications will be restored shortly. Stay tuned.

Ramesh Nath Pandey has been named Foreign Minister. He was notable during the last King-installed government as the Communications Minister who sacked 2 journalists for reporting on a protest against the King. Look for an overall stingy and repressive media climate from here on.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Tribuvhan International Airport opened a few hours ago. One international flight took off for India per our sources.

Main Maoist leaders Baburam Bhattari, Prachanda and others have fled Nepal for northern India


Responses to Inquiries

Thank you all for your inquiries. First, it is our hope that the travel/communications blackout is only temporary. All indications are that, at the very least, flights will resume soon. Stay tuned here for updates. This blackout is an attempt to control what would be an immediate and reflexive influx of western media representatives. This should ease.

To our posters: The woman with the husband in the monastery and the person from Florida, contact blogdai privately at and give more specific information.
Blogdai is familiar with many monasteries around Kathmandu and should have luck finding your loved one.

For the rest of you out there, we should be getting our first list of people trying to get word out of Nepal shortly. Stay with us.


Wade Campbell, where is he? Posted by Hello

(Posted in response to comment from Tina below- blogdai)

Tina, you mean Wade Campbell. As far as I know he and Megh Ali parted ways and Wade is no longer directly involved with Borderlands. WORSE news is that he was last reported in Sri Lanka, yes, during the tsunami. We have been trying to find him since that time.
Wade, if you're out there, give us a yell; or if anyone knows where Wade is these days, post here. Blogdai will continue contact with Nepal in order to find this guy. Will try Megh Ali again, but this is typically a waste of time.

Nepal Communication Alert!

Blogdai has an open line of communication with Nepal during this crisis. If you are looking for a loved one, or just concerned about a friend, post your inquiries here. WE WILL FIND THEM.

It's about time!

The King did it again. I really have no respect for the bastard and his murdering son but enough is enough. Listen people, the political parties charged with running Nepal over the last 10 years have done nothing but enhance the power of the Maoists and pad their own pockets. There is no, repeat, NO government entity or office that has a reasonable level of operational competance in Nepal. NONE!

Gyenendra, no matter how unpopular, can do no worse than the idiots in place now. I'm tired of people who say that democracy must be preserved at all costs. Well, democracy is a delicate system that requires the trust of its citizens and, above all, the rule of law to make it effective. Nepal has neither. After 10 years of government corruption and Maoist atrocities, the Nepalis would not tolerate a repressive, totalitarian monarchy- the king knows this.

Let this king do his thing and clean up the country for a while- it's better than the last 10 years
of a democracy experiment that ended in corruption and failure.