Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Missed Opportunity

Online photo: Kathmandu Post

The King blew it on Friday.

Some 30 families claiming to be Maoist victims were living out in the open in Tahity chowk, protesting and demanding food.
In comes the blue meanies to break-up, beat-up, and disperse the hungry "internal refugees."

While blogdai believes that the King's takeover was necessary, scenes and photos like the one above show a fundamental lack of insight on the part of the Royal government. First, a tremendous opportunity was missed. Knowing that his every move is under world scrutiny, the King might have shown some actual concern for his people by taking this group of victims, legitimate or not, under government care, or some variation thereof. It would have been a simplistic gesture, to be sure, but support for the king would have increased and world opinion would have been positive. Now, there is a very real argument present that if the King had done this, it would have triggered a flood of frightened refugees into the capital, but such mass immigration is overstated; Kathmandu's population has already almost doubled with refugees in the last few years.

Second, photos of girls being man-handled by police are certainly bound to be used by every deposed political leader, human rights agency and world leader as grist against the King's policy. Those of us who live and work in Kathmandu know that these tactics are not new to the special police and are, to some extent, anticipated whenever they arrive on scene---it is how police "police" kathmandu. It is a rough, no-nonsense approach. The larger point is that these confrontations are unnecessary and create disturbing pictures to the world.

We are already seeing Western media outlets fishing for stories to back their universally chosen angle of "despotic King supresses vibrant democracy," so photos like the one above add new life to that scenario.

The King should have known better.



At 2:56 PM, May 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:38 PM, May 14, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Ok, per our new rules, blogdai will present Rev's opinion edited down for content.

Paraphrasing: "Photos of police harrassing people make the King look better."

This was the most that I could glean from Rev's ranting and extensive diatribe.


At 8:09 AM, May 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed! - I also could find no other coherent sequence of language in the original (I read it through several times while it was still on the blog).

At 12:15 PM, May 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoever you are..I need a huge favour.
I want to find out if my friend in Nepal is fine and if possible their phone number. Can you help me?
I am not a Nepali and I live in the US.
If you can help me please let me know..or email me,
I will email you all the details I have once I hear from you,


At 4:14 PM, May 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dai, I thought you might enjoy this, seeing as how you're such a big fan:

Sure, you'll bust Gyanendra's chops if he deserves it, but are you ready to embrace the son if he turns over a new leaf??



At 8:15 PM, May 18, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

You read my mind. Just posted a Paras jab.



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