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.


At 12:38 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...


I don't know how you can write something like this and still claim to be a non-Royalist. This is the most blatant pro-Gyanendra propaganda that I have read since he took over power.

You might claim that you are merely for the king assuming control, and not a Royalist. But have you mentioned anywhere about how the king has been treating the media and the journalists in Kathmandu. Have you mentioned the arbitrary arrests and detentions? Have you mentioned the suspension of many of the people's freedoms including the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly? You seem to conveniently forget the dirty side of the king assuming power.

Your writing is in no way balanced and fair. It is the work of someone who believes firmly and unconditionally that what the king has done is right. You have every right to your opinion. But you must remember that that a lot of Nepali journalists have been denied their right to say what they have to say. That right has been taken away not by the Maoists or the corrupt politicians but by the very same king whose actions you praise.

By writing such praise of the king's actions you are not placing yourself in danger. Actually you are placing yourself in a very secure position. But a lof of journalists in Nepal are risking their lives to speak out about the things you wish to ignore.

It's much easier to go with the flow and hop on the pro-Gyanendra bandwagon. It takes balls to question what the king has done.

At 1:44 PM, February 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But have you mentioned anywhere about how the king has been treating the media and the journalists in Kathmandu. Have you mentioned the arbitrary arrests and detentions?

That is well planned and necessary to maintain peace. You are just a fool who dont undestand. Tki get something you have to loose something. If you are not ready for change, go die.

At 2:08 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...


You have not yet responded about my peace offering, and the request to work together.

You have been dodging my questions over and over again. All I want to know is what you are professionally. Is that too much to ask? Please explain to me how that's going to be a threat to your security. Your inability to answer such a simple question raises many questions as to the credibility of your cliams that you can 'find people' in Nepal. You're doing nothing but helping to generate a lot of doubt about your whole 'operation'.

You say you have results. Let us know what they are. Post the email address of at least one person who you have put in contact with someone they were looking for. Surely if they gave you their contact information to find someone in Nepal they won't have a problem going public with the news that they have found that person. They don't have to reveal the name of the person who you found for them or any such thing. All they have to do is prove to us that you have shown them results. Obviously they're going to have to prove their identity at some point.

Perhaps the reason people are asking for information about journalists is because a lot of journalists are in prison. Something that you have forgotten to mention in your blog, along with other bits of information about the dirty side of the kings takeover.

You say Kathmandu is a compact and crowded city. About 1.1 million people crowded by now I guess. Thats more people than Colombo! Hell, Colombo's a one horse town compared to Kathmandu. 1.1 million people is a LOT of people. And you say it helps you to find people even when you only have a general location. I really don't see how that is possible. How do you go about it? Do you walk up and down the streets shouting someone's name?

I continue to question your methods and your credibility simply because as you claim a lot of people have been turning to you for help. It would be very very cruel if you were giving them false hope by claiming to find their family or friends or whoever, when in fact you are not able to mobilise the people needed for the task or gather the information needed.

At 2:17 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Here's an alternative view of how things are in Kathmandu. This was orginally posted on This was written by a journalist working in Nepal.Dead silence has engulfed the Kathmandu Valley, the capital city of Nepal, after the King Gyanendra sacked PM Sher Bahadur Deuba and suspended basic rights, judiciary recourse and clamped nail on press on Feb 1.

On the very first day, the king took senior political leaders like Girija Prasad Koirala, President of Nepali Congress; Madhav Nepal, General Secretary of CPN Unified Marxist-Leninist and Deuba under house arrest.

Bharat Mohan Adhikari (Deputy PM of the government that the King sacked), Pradeep Nepal, Narahari Acharya and Ramchandra Paudel along with 30 others have been kept in the Army barracks. Likewise, senior and influential student leaders have been put behind the walls of Armed Police Force’s training center.

Likewise, the country was cut off from the rest of the world as the Army cut land and mobile lines and sealed internet services as soon as the Royal Proclamation went on air.

Security personnel marched on the roads in small squads, but there were hardly any crossroads that were left unguarded.

Although the landlines services resumed normally from Monday and internet services too resumed from Tuesday, with censorship on press, people do not find means to express themselves.

In the absence of leaders and security patrol at high alert, people do not find voice against the King’s takeover. No wonder residents of Kathmandu appear engaged in normal chores and life doesn’t seem affected.

Life in Nepal, Kathmandu in particular, is dead silence. But, this is not peace that people longed for though. On the contrary, people are finding it suffocating to downplay their feelings.

There are reports of scattered protests in different parts of the country and also there are reports of Army operation against ‘Maoist’ at places. However, it isn’t verified. It is reported that the army a couple of days ago gunned down a Maoist terrorist in Nepalgunj, district headquarter of mid-western Nepal which shares border India.

However, my relatives there, who heard the gunshots, said that the person gunned down was a dairy farmer living on the other side of the border and was there to deliver milk, as he did everyday. This unfortunate one was on the site where the Maoist exploded the bomb and in the panic trying to run to a close by shelter.

This shows how the Human rights situation is in Nepal. No one is sure of what would happen next and there is no one who deems it necessary to explain the people the proceedings.

People are too afraid to deviate out from their normal chores. So, things appear silent and peaceful. But that's what people here loathe too.Everyone here, except a small segment of Royalist, is looking at the international community to bail them out from the current situation.

Even the people in bureaucracy are not aware of what to do next. They have been issued orders by the Chief of Army Staff Pyar Jung Thapa to submit their programs and plan of action on matters related to the delivery of services within a fortnight. A similar directives was issued by the Chief Secretary of the country too.

While activities of Chief secretary and ministers are made public for public consumption, activities of army - which was always sincere to Palace then to the erstwhile elected governments - is not disclosed.

So, clearly there are dual actors in the government functioning - newly appointed ministers and bureaucracy for showcasing and army behind the screen. This is what the government officials disclosed off the record. They too opine that if support did not come from international community, Nepal’s democracy is doomed. In the name of the fight-against-the Maoist and corruption, the king will rule the country.

Very few people are optimistic that king will hold election and hand over his power to it, as he has committed to do in three year span, even if he quelled the Maoist insurgency. In the fore it is the king’s rule, but for people it is nothing but army’s rule in Nepal.

At 2:24 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

In reply to that ignorant moron who said that arbitrary arrests and detentions were 'well planned and necessary to maintain peace.'
They were well planned no doubt. I guess the tortures were also well planned. And they were necessary for the king to assume total control and brutally crush all opposition and dissent. I think Gyanendra and Dubya would get along like a house on fire! They seem to believe in the same kind of things. 'I'm right, and you're dead'.

You probably think that invading Iraq was necessary to maintain peace too.

At 6:06 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Morquendi, I give up. Is it considered your "peace offering" only when I respond in a manner that suits you?

What about the last pile of paragraphs? Is that peaceful?

This article was reproduced intact from a western travel guide. He has literally written the book on Nepal travel for this generation and I trust his account much more than your vitriol.

You can't seem to get this chip off your shoulder and we are all getting sick of it.

Yes, the king is a jerk, But if the parties say this in print, I won't print it. I can tell that you have no grasp of events in Nepal so either make some sense by doing research or get out of the way! -=blogdai

At 8:01 PM, February 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you really are helping people, why haven't we seen anyone acknowledge your help? Morquendi's questions are perfectly valid and you have provided no real answers to them. "get out of the way!" ?? what is that?

"I have yet to meet anyone in Kathmandu who is against his move." What kind of people have you been hanging out with? Now that a most communications are restored, we do not need your biased "information". Seriously, do you expect us to believe that "virtually everyone in Kathmandu supports the king's move"? If that's the case, why were the pro-king rallies no bigger than a few hundred people?

Blogdai, you say about the king, "finally Nepal might be ruled by people who actually care" and after Morquendi's comments you try to defend yourself by saying "Yes, the king is a jerk". What does that say about your credibility? How do you explain that? How do you expect people to trust you? Tell us why you think the supressing free press, freedom of assembly, expression or opinion and the right to information, property or privacy is justified.

At 9:27 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Anonymous,I can see how you might perceive that the posting was written by blogdai; it was not. It should have been made more clear. Apologies all around. However, I did mention above that this posting was made by perhaps THE most reliable guide in Nepal. He is a personal friend and NO I won't tell you who he is. I do not always agree with his politics either; but for the sake of free argument, his comments were published unedited. I suppose that if I were the Royalist that you all claim I should be censoring things I don't like, but such is blogdai's committment to democracy and free speech.. touche'.

I will pull no punches here. If comments become repetitive, hounding, overtly profane or innane I will not hesitate to tell that poster to "get out of the way." Morquendi, for all his wonderful insights, was heading down that path. Blogdai gets tired of having to repeat things, and would prefer not to see this forum turn into the Jerry Springer show.

Morquendi, what gives you the right to think that I owe you any explanation? Who are you to ask such things? All, repeat all specific information can and would pinpoint the source of our program in Nepal. Is this the 3rd or 4th time I've mentioned this to you? Since it gets unfiltered information out of the country, the King would be very interested in shutting our program down, don't you think? Our program goes against the King's current policies on free speech and press and is, therefore, anti-Monarchy, wouldn't you agree? We are out there dodging the very media persecution that you say we don't even acknowledge.

I've read your postings elsewhere as you quote some journalistic source in Nepal. OK, who is he then? Did you not say on CSF something to the effect that this person's identity will be revealed when things cool down in Nepal (I'm paraphrasing)

I'm sending someone to "..the biggest media house in Nepal.." which is Kantipur, to see if anyone knows you there. Hopefully we can find your mystery friend who has an overwrought and melodramatic style that is oddly similar to yours. Kantipur is not under lock and key and people are free to go as they please, they are just under tremendous repression as journalists. (Happy now?)

It is inconceivable to blogdai that you just will not let this background issue alone when you yourself will not name your "sources." (see CSF) Do you not see the hypocrisy in this? I'm sure all of this is falling on deaf ears, you will go back to your cloying demands for personal information, and blogdai will have to explain the issue once again to you.

This forum is not designed to appeal to any sense of heirarch in the blog community. Blogdai is not interested in friends and sycophants. This forum offers direct assistance in helping people find loved ones in Nepal and it offers no guarantees. This forum is also here to promote an honest and good-faith exchange of ideas about Nepal, not an inquisition about motives. Part of this exchange involves posting opinions and viewpoints that stimulate debate, both positive and negative. Blogdai is no AP, UPI, or Reuters. I have no obligation to provide anything other than my honest, often biased opinion- I count on you, the members of the blog community to provide the balance through counterpoint.

At 9:58 PM, February 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai, you go dog! These guys fight with everything you say, so these Makhune deserve what they get. Aint no use in worryin' cuz half the people will love you, half always hate.

At 5:05 AM, February 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blogdai, it is your blog and you can write whatever you want and you owe nobody any sort of explanation.

let's say a friend just emailed me a link to your blog saying what a wonderful thing you are doing. i would like to believe that your sources are credible and you really are helping people. but if you cannot back your postings with any facts or provide explanation on your comments, i am afraid it becomes very hard to believe you. especially when people raise some pretty valid questions and you just come back and say "get out of the way!".

some questions still remain unanswered:

1)If you really are helping people, why hasn't anyone come forward to acknowledge your help?
2)Tell us why you think supressing free press, freedom of assembly, expression or opinion and the right to information, property or privacy is justified.

are you going to answer that or should we get out of your way?

At 5:38 AM, February 10, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Well Blogdai,

You do not owe me any explanation. None at all. I never asked for one. What I have been asking for is an explanation for those people who have been asking you to help find their family and friends in Nepal. You have gained theitr trust and I believe I have serious questions regarding your methods.

You repeatedly call it your 'program'. And you go on and on about how the king is just dying to shut down your secret program. It sounds like you're playing secret agent. Seriously like a little boy who's constructed this little dream world for himself where he's running this secret program that's going to save all the people of Nepal. I really hope I'm wrong on this one because you claim a lot of people are depending on you to find their friends and family. Like I said earlier, it would be very very cruel if they're just a part of your little James Bond fantasy.

I don't know how giving me a number of all the people you have 'found' will jeopardize your program. Can you please explain to me why this is so? How on earth is the king going to shut your program down simply because you tell me how many people have been found?

Perhaps you could also let us know how many requests you have got for finding people. And how many you decide to respond to. Just some statistics.

How many people are working with you on your program? Part time, full time? Again, how is giving us this number going to jeopardize your program? It's just a number. You could even just make it up.

It seems you are hiding a lot of things behind a blanket called 'security'. A lot of undemocratic Governments (and some so-called democratic ones as well) have been known to classify information that will embarass them behind the blanket of security. They don't have an excuse to hide the information so they just say it's classified because it's a threat to national security. And when people ask them for that information they get arrested.

That sounds very similar to what you are doing now. It seems that you don't want the outside world to know anything about you. Are you hiding something? What exactly is it that you don't want us to know?

Can I ask one nasty question? I hope you don't get mad at me for this. Are you actually in Nepal? Or are you a Nepali living abroad who's trying to pull of a big gag?

Also you have said that there is a lot of support in Nepal for the kings move. Then why is he trying to shut down the media? If everyone thinks what he did is right then the media should be singing his praise. So I think it's very very clear that your claim that the king has a lot of support in Nepal is unfounded. It is only because the king has imposed dictatorial rule that he has had to shut down the media. If his intentions were genuine and if he had the best interests of Nepal at heart then he would have not needed to clamp down the media and impose censorship.

At 10:12 AM, February 10, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Thanks once again Morquendi, ibid.

At 10:53 AM, February 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morqendi, man are you f***in' blind? What the hell is it any business of yours who this guy is? This info is up to date and valuable. Who f***in' cares otherwise?

You keep doggin' blogdai like some jeolous bahini. Get a grip or "get out of the way" like blog dai says.

At 11:30 AM, February 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with a lot of blogdai's politics. He seems quick to dismiss democracy.

However, this guy Morquendi keeps on like a spoiled brat. C'mon, give us all a break and say something else. I've read Morquendi's stuff in this blog and I agree with quite a bit of it, but it's all wasted by his incessant and childish badgering of blogdai.

Roger, U.K>

At 3:45 PM, February 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing I want to say is that I know plenty of people in Kathmandu and outside Kathmandu who are 100% opposed to the king's moves, and though they are fed up with the bickering and games of politicians they are also opposed to autocratic feudalist repression. Enditem.

At 7:41 PM, February 19, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

When it actually becomes feudalistic and repressive, please write back. -=blogdai

At 12:11 PM, May 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dudes, relax,
I am here. Blogdai helped me. He found a very critical number for me, when I was depresses and there was no way I could get a phone number to speak to my loved one. I dont know who he is, but he ROCKS.
SO you jealous kids please use your sense before saying anything.
BLOGDAI..YOU ROCK. Just keep'em coming and I assure you, there are 100's of Nepalis that I know who share your views.


At 4:39 PM, October 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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