The Demonstration That Wasn't
Cops on the west edge of Ratna Park looking for something to do.
Live from Ratna Park
A big pain in the ass, that's all it was.
Around 2pm everyone gathered for yet another bought-and-paid-for demonstration. This time, it was the 7-parties teaming up with Kantipur. No big difference in the two, so it wasn't much of a shocker when they both decided to join forces.
Blogdai's once favorite newspaper, The Kathmandu Post has been going berserk lately spouting off against the shutting of Kantipur FM like it was comparable to Rwandan genocide. Only Kunda Dixit-- like him or not-- managed to keep his head and report things in a somewhat balanced manner in his Nepali Times. Memo to Kathmandu Post: Objectivity breeds credibility. You currently have neither.
Anyway, back to our big gathering: 85 arrested, no violence. The police arrived early and had the entire Ratna Park area blanketed ahead of time. Most of the demonstrators either failed to show up or scattered early. Couldn't count more than 500 people around the area, although there must have been a few more. Over all, by Kathmandu standards, a poor effort.
Blogdai surveyed a few Kathmanduites in and around the demonstration for their opinions and reactions:
" Why do they waste our time like this?" "How can we run a business when there is a strike all the time?"
"I don't like the King, the politicians or the police. You want to see a big fight? Put all the demonstrators in a big field with the local shop owners and then you will have a war!"
"The King must make a democracy now and politicians must shut up!"
"We don't pay attention to this; it is all for the rich (men) ."
The alliance started their morning by sending little groups of students to disrupt things all over town. There were early disruptions in Baneshwor, Lalitpur and Saat Guumti.
Analysis: A supposedly democratic alliance that supposedly represents the people is using fear and intimidation to heap attention upon themselves. The economy was disrupted and people were frightened. No wonder these guys are talking to the Maoists; they use the same tactics.
The people of Nepal are suffering, to be sure. But it is not for the reasons we hear out of the western media drumbeat. Nepalis feel suffering tangibly and most immediately from two sources: The Maoists and the protesters. Ideological pontificating about royal repression, press freedom, and lack of democracy falls on deaf ears to the average nepali--rural or urban--who is just trying to survive.
Extra: To our Readers in Nepal: The very excellent newslookmag.com is, as you all know, currently blocked in Nepal. Blogdai has been in contact with Founder, Chief Editor and all-around journalist extrordinaire Dharma Adhikari who tells me that newslookmag.com will soon be back; bigger and better than ever. He will offer professional coverage on world events as well as his unmatched coverage of Nepal issues. He's the best in the business so it will be worth the wait. Until then, blogdai will continue to relay his messages to all of our readers here, so keep watching! Jai Nepal