Thursday, March 24, 2005

Views and More Views

Namaste! blogdai was on a bit of a sabbatical to Washington DC. Back to work...

On India: Still losing ground. The world is only behind you for two reasons: first, they couldn't care less about Nepal and expect you to take care of things in your own back yard; secondly, support for your Nepal position by other powers is mere window-dressing. Every country wants a clean-out in Nepal: Yanks, Brits and other "democracies" want Maoism stopped, period.

On the Western Media: The Economist and the BBC show their disregard for research by treating the whole Nepal issue like Charles and Camilla. ABC and the Yanks merely ape the wire services. Blogdai to the Western media: Get it right or give it up. Readers: stay tuned for an upcomming national geographic piece on Maoism. Some BBC folks will be involved so look for a Maoist-friendly tone.

On Blogdai's Position: Calling me a royalist is simple-minded. Call me a realist. Stop with the knee-jerk recoiling against anything that triggers what you believe to be "supressed democracy" in Nepal and do some research. The political parties were spoiled and abusive brats and needed to be removed, period. This takeover is a painful but correct step-like a root-canal. When the king refuses to restore democracy and it looks like he is becomming the cruel "despot" as western and Indian analysts say, then you can call blogdai a liar. Until then, watch and wait.

On Mysterious Smuggled-Out Reports from Nepal: Blogdai knows this to be fabricated. Even the most controversial of journalists can now get word out of Nepal, so where is this breathless champion of free press now? This whole thing was exploitative careerism by somone on the outside trying to make a name for themselves. blogdai has met with friends at kantipur publications who say that this never happened and it only created a more dangerous environment for those brave journalists who were under constant army scrutiny. Whoever you are, blogdai is calling you a coward and a phony.

On Nepal/China relations: China couldn't care less about Nepal and their worthless trade deficit. China has no use for anything in Nepal that doesn't have to do with either buffering against India or harrassing Tibetans. China built, and is building roads up to the Nepal border at precisely the points where tibetans are known to cross on their way to India, not where any major Nepali commerce centers are located. Nepal lauded this as a free trade victory; bringing prosperity and commerce from China, through Nepal and into India. Sorry, when China wanted to trade with India, they mended fences near Yatung and re-opened that direct crossing into Sikkim. Some trade partner, Nepal...

On Prince Paras: Came back from China a day before the Tibetan Welfare Office in Kathmandu was closed. Since the takeover, China no longer has the likes of Acharya, Khadka or Mahat or, basically, anyone who had the title "foreign" or "home" in their ministerial title. No, now they'll go directly to the source: Killer-P. Blogdai fears that a great mistake has been made in the underestimating of our drunken prince. He's crafty and he's in China's pocket, so we need to watch him very closely this year.


At 3:20 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, as the situation become stale, no one cares about Nepal.We should be concerned abt our country. The three countries that care are India, Pakistan and China.
Pakistan is worthless as an ally. China maybe of some use, let's see how this Chinese FM visit plays out.And, India is another story. I would totally love to see them lose this one. I would love to be in King G's mind and know what's he thinking.

Blogdai : What abt the Maoists? Are they losing it or still hanging on. With rumors abt BRB flying, God knows where they are.

Prince P: Crafty? Is he learning from his Dad?

How was DC?

At 4:10 PM, March 24, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

The more maoists threaten big cataclysmic attacks, like their recent threat on kathmandu, the more we can infer that they are in a corner and resorting to bluster. When was the last time we saw a large scale maoist attack? It was Phaphlu and it was 3 years ago.

Babu Ram loves publicity, not peace talks. He and his hat were the darlings of that maoist summit 2 years ago. the king might have erred in calling his demise and departure from the party too soon.

Prince P brain may have been given too much credit by blogdai when he was called "crafty." Maybe it would be more accurate to call Paras "for sale."

DC was full of bureacrats, as always.


At 9:13 AM, March 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well reality right now...the topic has gone one outside of Nepal really cares about the situation..about the 'democrats' and about the riots on the round 2 i guess has also gone to King G's favour.
now what..will this go the distance or can we have a swift KO ...think again..if the maoist top leaders were shot tomorrow who would gain and who would loose ?? who stands to gain by prolonging the situation ?
i'd say india would prefer the game to go on for a few more rounds and see both sides getting their noses bloodied before making a concrete move.

p.s. is it true that no alcohol was served by the Chinese at their fabulous state banquets hosted for and attended by Paras

At 9:47 AM, March 26, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

no swift KO, although we would all like it to happen. If Prachanda and BabuRam were both shot tomorrow, blogdai doubts it would affect the Maoist movement. Simply because it is not a movement. Loss of leadership only affects a well-coordinated and loyal force. Maoists, whats left of them, have poven that they act unilaterally-often against the party line- and have poor communications to their hightest officials.

Don't know about Paras an the booze. If they let him drink, it means he's useless to them. If they didn't they wanted him to sit up straight and pay attention to their plans. blogdai thinks the latter.

At 6:54 AM, March 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai, what do you mean by " Mysterious Smuggled-Out Reports from Nepal" - to what are you referring?

I wait for the answer, but before I hear the answer isn't it true that in the days when there was no international communications then reports really were smuggled out of Nepal or carried by courier at least?

If people are now saying reports are smuggled out then it's probably an exaggeration but there were days.

Still the situation is not clear for reporters in many areas, is it? Gyanendra as well as Prachanda are called predators of press freedom by RSF and this is not without cause, is it?

At 10:57 AM, March 27, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

No, there are still real issues involved with the press. I think G. has started to go beyond the "strategic" reasons for shutting down the press. I'm not sure he realized the importance of free press to a skeptical world that is looking to pin the "despot" label on him. For that he is ignorant.

It would no longer hurt his ability to go after maoists if he were to open up press portals freely and completely. We must also advise caution in this: Nepal's past journalistic output was neither scrutinized nor subject to any standards of credibility.

Although blogdai thinks press freedoms should be restored, it is obvious that a press back-lash of some sort would ensue. We get hints of this from a blogdai-critiqued Nepali Times article previously posted here. So, expect a wave of breathless tabloid hysteria should Nepal's press be re-opened.

The western media would eat this up. Formerly jailed journalists would have the world's attention and would certainly paint a vivid, possibly exaggerated picture. The fact is, anyone who is jailed for anything in Nepal is subject to abuse. Bottom line: don't go to jail in Nepal. Prison abuse has nothing to do with journalism or human rights or whatever; it's simply what happens to you in a Nepali jail. Hanuman Dhoka, Dilli Bazaar, pick one. They all have their notorious stories.

Smuggled story line had to do with that frantic secret e-mail eminating from the bowels of "a major Nepal news-house" shortly after the takeover. Blogdai smells a rat here.


At 1:41 PM, March 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another excellent blog.
I really like them since they are balanced and objective.

At 8:41 PM, March 27, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Agreed, they are quite good. blogdai is opinionated and pissed-off from time to time, but it's refreshing to take a position on the issues. blogdai loves a good fight and loves a good researched opinion- pro or con- even more.

Our job here is not necessarily to be objective, but to stimulate good, thoughtful discourse. Blogdai will often use provocation to accomplish this.

All are welcome: from the inane to the erudite.


At 11:46 AM, March 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are the Brits pissed? I mean, I can understand India and US but the Brits... what's wrong with those guys?

At 12:40 PM, March 28, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Let Jack Straw and his gang say all they want. It is an attempt to be relevant on the Nepal issue. The Brits know they can get as angry as they want because they are simply not viewed as real players in Nepal. It's a nice luxury: mirror world opinion, take the high road and never worry about having to make an actual field decision.

An angry U.S. or China would raise world anxiety levels considerably as they are both principals to this drama.

We might also speculate that Britain has taken the role of the U.S.'s "angry mouthpiece" on this issue. The ever-ingratiating Bush administration likes to nudge world opinion in a conservative direction through third party emmisaries. The Brits could be playing this role. The International Crisis Group is most definitely playing this role. -=blogdai

At 2:06 AM, March 29, 2005, Anonymous Brit said...

Anonymous asked "Why are the Brits pissed?" Well, - I am pissed with the UK govt on this issue.
However perhaps it should be noted (a) there is a general election expected in the UK within the next six weeks, (b) Jack Straw's existing majority is less than 10,000 (c) there are (allegedly) more than 15,000 voters in his constituency (Blackburn) who originate from around NW India and (d) the Conservative (opposition) party candidate standing against JS in the election is from (c).

At 7:52 AM, March 29, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

How, in your opinion, might this change the British position-more importantly, their dynamic-on the Nepal issue? -=blogdai

At 2:35 PM, April 04, 2005, Anonymous brit said...

I don't know this 'changes' the govt's position as such - but I think they want to demonstrate 'solidarity' with India for whatever reason.

Another relevant issue/question is: from where are they getting their information? If from 'the media' it is likely to be slanted with indignation that anyone should dare put any restrictions on the press, broadcasting etc. If from contact with the Nepali government prior to Feb 1 a similarly slanted opinion is likely.


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