Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Quiz

Q: WHY IS THIS MAN SMILING? Posted by Hello
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

14 Comments:

At 6:31 PM, February 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I suggest the start of a reading list:

Rana Intrigues
Pramode Shumshere J.B. Rana
ISBN: B0000CPAPA

Blood Against the Snows: The Tragic Story of Nepal's Royal Dynasty
Jonathan Gregson
ISBN: 1841157856

The former is more a primer and a fascinating insight into the bloody rule of the Rana dynasty, who specialised in crimes mostly ending in "icide" and general anti-social behaviour. Knocking off brothers and uncles was a given in the quest for power.

Now given that the present royal family lineage is a product of the ancient Shah line and the Rana line and genetics come into play then..

My take on the royal massacre is that Dippy did do it, adding regicide and sucide into the equation. However, I believe Paras may also share this same gene. Of course environmental factors also come into play (think alcohol and isolational dysfunction). Could be one of those ones which skip a generation or two.

I also believe that king G is on the whole sincere in his motivations. This statement does not mean I'm a royalist. I'm sure he realises that Paras is a liablility. After all his antics have been widely reported in the South Asian media and the king has shown himself to be an intelligent man and quite a wily fox.

I'm not sure how much of a part his usual intermdiary to India Prabhakar Rana had (Paras beat his son Sidharth good and proper at another occasion in the Galaxy) but king G managed to lull the Indians into a sense of false security by assuring them that he wouldn't attempt a royal takeover. So it seems that the king himself was an agent of disinformation.

But the king is stuck between a rock and a hard place. No doubt he loves his son just as any father would do. How do you discipline a 34 year old crown prince gone off the skids? Grounding him in some remote location for a week each time he pulls some stupid stunt doesn't seem to be having the desired effect. The Betty Ford clinic is not an option. He could make Paras the regent and pass on the crown to his grandson but who's to say that Paras wouldn't abuse that dictat after he is gone.

I mentioned in a previous post how the royal takeover coincided with an auspicious date - the 1st Feb. This would not have been a coincidence. There is a Royal Astrologer in residence. The king hasn't even been coronated yet because of this kind of mumbo jumbo. Don't underestimate the faith that Nepalis place on astrology. The west will be analysing everything from a scientific point of view but there are other variables in play. I read something about a prophecy that the end of the House of Shah is nigh although I cannot back this up. But if the king subscribes to something like this then surely he will be trying everything in his power to subvert it. This would then have some bearing on the current situation. There are other things he will be keeping close to his chest and I'm sure he's still got a few cards to play. Remember the line of succession is now painfully short and he knows it.

Anyway, enough of this speculation and onto reality. The campaign has started and I truly hope that the king will pay heed to the lessons of history. He needs to be fighting a "hearts and minds" campaign and to be curbing the excesses of his security forces. Something the Brits did very well during the Malayan Emergency and the US failed miserably with Vietnam. But the lessons of history have a way of curiously being forgotten...

My 2 cents worth. Please excuse my penchant for flippant remarks.

Jai Nepal

Naagboy

P.S. for more on other inbred and dysfunctional royal families do a search on the sultanate of Brunei. But they have wealth from oil..

 
At 8:56 PM, February 08, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Blogdai,

Let me ask you some questions. I would really appreciate it if you could answer at least some of these. Just some practical questions.

1. How many people work in your 'organisation'? (you say we in nepalnow which is why I ask this question)

2. Was it something that was functional before the takeover of power or is it something you have managed to put together since then?

3. Using your sources how many people have you actually 'found' so far? Just a number. Nothing more than that.

4. How do you know that your sources are providing you good information?

5. How do you move around? If you move around at all.

6. What field did/do you work in?

7. Do you have any training/experience as a journalist or a social worker or a social scientist?

8. In the first few days when there was no communication how did you get information in and out?

Thank you

 
At 10:20 PM, February 08, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

First off, thanks Naagboy, blogdai always enjoys your insights, and this was one of your best. Keep it up!

Second, Morquendi dai we have approached this subject with you before. Can't help you there saati, you ask curiously specific questions. Sounds like you've had some training: Naughty!

-=blogdai

 
At 11:47 PM, February 08, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Ok, Ok, sorry Morquendi, that was silly. I apologize.

Since the communications ban was lifted, we have had more people cancel their requests to find loved ones than we have had requests to find someone. Anyone out there who has had a loved one contact them as a result of this forum, if you feel secure, give us a yell and post it here. Blogdai makes the initial contact only. For security, the respondent has the option of passing on the contact or making a reply. There is personal information that passes between the person making the request and the respondent that insures "good" information. The numbers are irrelevant to you. Haven't I written this before here?

There has been quite a bit of comment and criticism around the Net regarding blogdai and his credibility. Most of it stems around people who are dissappointed with the fact that I don't just immediately disclose all details of our program in Nepal. This is pure selfishness. Sure, I'll jeopardize everything to satisfy the blog community...

Also, much hand-wringing occurs over the perception that blogdai is a royalist. This is pure laziness. Read the posts on this blog, I'm tired of repeating myself.

I'm not sure that you grasp the fact that this communications ban may not be a one-time thing. Therefore, staff, movement and logistical information used by blogdai is not for internet consumption. Also, biographical info for blogdai would be a tip off as well-unless you want me to lie to you.

By the way, nice job in Sri Lanka. Does your "journalist friend" in Nepal contact you there, or are you now out of the country?

tired and testy -=blogdai

 
At 12:50 AM, February 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reforming the prince of darkness
Avirook Sen
Kathmandu, February 5

Developments in Nepal have been so dramatic over the last few days that something pretty significant has been overlooked. Crown Prince Paras, arguably the second-most notorious royal in the world (after Britain’s Prince Harry, of course) sat in on the first meeting of the new council of ministers his father King Gyanendra appointed on Wednesday. It will not be his last meeting.

Sources say that since the palace now has absolute power, the Crown Prince will be involved in executive decisions. Paras, whose ascension as Crown Prince saw major protests — there were five lakh signatures collected of irate subjects — has been a royal headache for Gyanendra. His escapades are many and various: from running over famous Nepalese artist Praveen Gurung, to brawling in night spots. (Palace officials however, insist that the fight at Kathmandu’s Soaltee hotel on New Year’s Eve “wasn’t the Crown Prince’s fault”.

The Prince’s guards were rough with some people who were hugging and shaking hands with the Paras, thinking there was a security risk, they say, and that’s what led to the fight.) 

 
At 2:47 AM, February 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good MCQ.

I will give him a "F".Meaning all of the above.

Did I pass my test Prof?

 
At 5:02 AM, February 09, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Dear Blogdai,

You know why I cannot tell you the names of our friends working in Nepal. I didn't ask you for your name or specific biographical info.

Just tell the world what field you work in so we will know if you have any kind of training which will enable you to do the work you say you're going to do. It's not like you need to be a trained person to deal with something like this. But it would help if you were a journalist or a political activist or a social worker tied in with a NGO you would have contacts around the country which would enable you to get in touch with people.

Or on the other hand if you're a banker or a lawyer or an IT guy it's more than likely that you have few professional contacts outside Kathamndu who could help you in a similar situation. I hope you know what I mean. It's networks of one-on-one contacts that come into play in situations like this. I used everyone I had got to know as a journalist in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in responding to the Tsunami.

So you haven't really found anyone yet. Not a problem. It's very very tough. We know that from experience, which is what I tried to tell you earlier. Much of the time it is futile in these kinds of situations. But if you actually made the effort it is commendable.

I suggest it would be better if you would try to focus on reporting the situation there from your personal point of view.

If you're going to report we'll be gald to put you up on CSF and also use all the other contacts we have to get the news out. You seem to have a lot of access to the internet and you seem to be very tech savvy. So instead of telling the world you're going to find people you could have much more of an impact and make a difference if you just reported. I don't think Fadereu is going to have a problem with that either.

I apologise for the scathing comment written by me on CSF. I merely respondint to Naagboy's baseless accusation that our reporters were stealing news from you. I hope you can keep Naagboy off me :) Let's not turn this into a stupid blog war. We can work together and we're gald to have someone like you 'on the inside' so to speak.

We will all be doing a better job if we can work together.

Want feedback from you. Wite to me on sanjaythelostboy@gmail.com

 
At 9:08 AM, February 09, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

To our readers: Morquendi was the fellow who fearlessly reported the catastrophic conditions in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami using text messaging. He is to be commended.

Blogdai has achieved results. Surprisingly, more requests for contact are arriving even though the communications ban has been lifted. It is a disturbing trend that we are getting more and more requests to find journalists, civil servants, and activists; all of whom have yet to make contact with the outside after the ban was lifted.

A morsel: Kathmandu is a compact, crowded town. Access to information, people and locations is easy if even a general location is given. Our system works partly on this principle.

It really serves no purpose to keep focusing on blogdai's resume and background. A Newari shopkeeper with a few friends could out-perform blogdai in his task should he decide to take up the cause. Let's drop it and move forward. -=blogdai

 
At 3:59 PM, February 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious -- what exactly happened when Paras met Devyani? See below:



Nepal's media hushes up brawl of the year

Indo-Asian News Service:

World News > Kathmandu, Oct 8 : Bollywood's latest
sensation, Norwegian model-turned-actress Mahel
Chahal, is not new to fights, fisticuffs and fury - in
reel life. However, she got a taste of violence in
real life where she least expected it - Nepal.
When the star of Hindi romantic comedy "Naya Padosin"
was performing last weekend at Galaxy, the all-night
disco at Kathmandu's five-star Everest hotel, instead
of the usual applause, the programme ended in a brawl.
Among those present were Nepal's Crown Prince Paras,
the head of one of Nepal's leading business groups and
the son of a prominent politician, according to
various media accounts.
The heir to the throne of Nepal was said to have had a
quarrel with the son of Padma Sundar Lawoti, a former
minister belonging to the Rastriya Prajatantra Party
that is part of the present coalition government and
considered pro-monarchy.
The altercation erupted into a fisticuff. When
Siddhartha Rana, head of the Soaltee Group which owns
the oldest five-star hotel, a tea garden and several
other ventures, tried to intervene, he was allegedly
beaten up by the irate crown prince.
According to witnesses, who refused to be identified,
the brawl generated from what was originally a string
of bashes thrown to celebrate the 29th birthday of
Paras' wife, Crown Princess Himani.
In the evening, the Narayanhiti palace, the residence
of King Gyanendra and Queen Komal, hosted a reception
to celebrate the birthday. It was followed by a party
thrown at Hotel de l'Annapurna, another five-star
hotel near the palace, by a scion of the royal family.

Though both Paras and Himani attended the party, the
crown prince reportedly left much earlier, even before
the birthday cake was cut.
He is said to have headed for another popular haunt in
Kathmandu, the Latin Quarter, which at that time
reportedly had as guests several diplomats as well as
Devyani Rana, who hit the headlines in 2001 during the
massacre of the royal family.
King Birendra, who was the monarch then, along with
his wife, Queen Aishwarya, their two younger children,
his brother and a few other guests present at a dinner
party in the palace were gunned down in 2001
reportedly by the king's son, Crown Prince Dipendra,
who later reportedly turned the gun on himself.
The bloodbath is said to have been triggered by a row
Dipendra had with his mother, who was opposing his
plan to marry Devyani.
Memories of the fateful day erupted in Kathmandu on
Friday at the Latin Quarter when Devyani reportedly
ran into Paras, who is said to have arrived at the
helm of a cavalcade of over 10 motorcycles.
Though people who were present there remained
tight-lipped about what happened, a local weekly
reported that people in the neighbourhood heard
"sounds of weeping... someone was crying out, calling
Devyani 'bhauju' (elder sister-in-law)."
From Latin Quarter, Paras reportedly went to the
Galaxy, a favourite nocturnal haunt of his. It was at
the Galaxy that in July he had an argument, reportedly
with his wife, and fired several rounds in the air.
While no one was injured at that time, on Friday his
fracas reportedly resulted in Siddhartha Rana and his
fiancee as well as the politician's son being injured.

Rana's injury could have some repercussions since his
father is close to the king and the Soaltee Group is
widely regarded as representing the palace's business
interests.
While the July incident had been reported by some of
Nepal's leading dailies, all of them remained
tight-lipped on last week's incident.
Only two Nepalese weeklies mentioned the event but
both were careful not to mention Paras' involvement.
One of the weeklies, Jana Astha, found a way to report
the drama without naming the prince.
According to the report carried on Wednesday, when a
guest went to the toilet of the Galaxy, he saw the
politician's son "soaked in blood after he was dragged
into the bathroom and beaten brutally... The two
towels in the bathroom had been soaked in blood".
The only English publication to report the incident,
although indirectly, was the Nepali Times magazine.
The Nepal Times, which hits the stalls Friday,
translated the Jana Astha report and carried it in its
"From the Nepali Press" section along with other
clippings.
The electronic media completely ignored the incident.
All of last week they showed Paras as the devoted
father, watching his son perform at a school function,
accompanied by his wife, as the prince attending a
festival to mark China's National Day and as a sports
patron handing out prizes.

--Indo-Asian News Service 2004

 
At 4:23 PM, February 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, she's the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

Anyone heard the rumour that one of Paras' past-times is to drive his supacat at high speed in the national zoo, frightening all the poor creatures within? The zoo would be closed for this special occassion.

Naagboy

 
At 1:41 PM, February 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sunday, February 13, 2005
 
THE TELEGRAPH (Calcutta)


THE BLACK PRINCE

The Monarchy in Nepal has been too closed an institution and the media there too young to give the world their versions of Buckingham Palace scandals. But times are a’ changin’, as they say. And the man who seems to open up the magic casements of the palace is none other than Crown Prince Paras. The exploits of the young Prince are increasingly keeping the Kathmandu tittle-tattle alive even in normal times. So much so that one Nepalese weekly, edited by an intrepid woman journalist, has already earned the reputation of being “Paras specialist”.

Diverse and exciting are the stories about Gyanendra’s only son and heir-apparent, mostly, though, of the dark variety. Like his mowing down a well-known Kathmandu personality during one of his fits of drunken driving, which nearly caused a riot some years ago. Or his favourite method of terrorising a hapless victim who would have the muzzle of the Prince’s pistol thrust into his mouth, as it happened to a policeman guilty of not recognising him.

An unusually quiet man when he is sober, he is much feared after the drops get the better of him. Even a cousin’s son may not quite be safe when he is high, as the son of Prabhakar Rana recently learnt to his agony and to the serious damage to his knees. But then, on last New Year’s Eve, if you happened to be in one of Kathmandu’s biggest hotels, you could well be greeted by Paras in a warm happy-new-year hug. His friends, however, defend his small liberties, “Aren’t all rich kids the same everywhere? Can’t he have his pleasures just because he’s a prince?”

When father Gyanendra staged the coup, though, Paras was in better spirits. He was waiting to be a father — for the fourth time. With another royal line completely exterminated, this could not but be good news for the survival of the Monarchy.

 
At 11:12 AM, February 16, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

If you think the riots were bad after Hrithik Roshan's foolish comments, imaging how the streets would look should Paras become king. Blogdai doesn't even want to think about it.

 
At 5:26 AM, September 19, 2005, Anonymous Shah fan said...

Prince Paras is currently being investigated by the FBI and the DEA in the U.S., for heading up a South East Asian drug ring! His father cannot possibly be happy about the prospect of the most unpopular person in Nepal succeeding to a shaky throne-epecially when the country is being torn apart by Maoist rebels.

My bet is that the king is biding his time. Paras has recently produced at least one male heir.Male heirs to the Shah dynasty are very thin on the ground aftre the 2001 palace massacre. My quess is that King Gyanendra will wait till the time is right-then he will replace his son with one of Paras's sons as his heir. The king will then have to ensure that the new heir is raised under HIS supervision -not Prince Paras'. Any child of Paras' is likely to grow up with personality problems.

The Shah dynasty cannot survive if Paras becomes king.

Douglas M.
South Africa

 
At 4:41 AM, October 05, 2005, Blogger blaze said...

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