Thursday, January 19, 2006

Give Us a List, Ian

UNOHCR'S Ian Martin violating our human rights with this photo.

The Nepali government, acting on credible information of a potential Maoist infiltration of tomorrow's protest, rounded up and arrested a bunch of mid-level party activists today.

Never mind that street protests have been banned since January 16 and never mind that the government's well-established and well-known Public Security Act permits: ".... detention without trial, initially for up to 90 days, to prevent persons from committing actions that “undermine the sovereignty, integrity or public tranquility and order of the Kingdom,” Ian Martin thinks that human rights are being violated.

Ian, the government has been pre-rounding up protesters for a long time under this act, why all the grand-standing now? Blogdai thinks one need look no further than Ian's resume' for the answer. As the former General Secretary of Amnesty International (AI), Ian Martin is skilled at waiting for the limelight to hit him before making his move. It's an old AI fundraising trick. Find the current world attention hotspots and jump into the middle of the fray and claim a dire human rights crisis.

Not this time, Ian. This was a simple municipal police action designed to insure public safety. It was preventative and necessary. No protests or demonstrations allowed inside the ring-road of kathmandu. These activists were given plenty of notice and plenty of warning. They brazenly stated that they would violate the ban and wouldn't be responsible for any acts of violence that occured. Would the Nepali government be given better marks if it let, say, Prachanda march his entire army into kathmandu and up to the gates of the palace as long as it didn't open fire? No, there was and is a very real public safety risk emerging and the government acted properly and decisively.

Preventing an assembly, whether potentially violent or not, is not a human rights violation.

If the government were starving these party hacks or parading them through the streets chained and naked, then you would have a point, Ian. But guess what, UNOHCR and other groups have been given full prison access to monitor the condition of the prisoners, so put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Martin.

Ever see a WTO meeting? Protesters can't get within 3 city blocks of the meeting place. How about when George Bush lands somewhere. Yep, they keep the protesters forcibly outside a cordon, or mini ring- road, if you will. Is it a violation of human rights, Ian, if a protester is not allowed to shout nose-to-nose at George Bush? Based on your proclamations, virtually all civic ordinances could now be deemed as human rights debacles.

Current potential human rights violations under "The Martin Standard:"

1. Having to pay for parking along Durbar Marg represents a financial hardship and a clear violation of a person's freedom to assemble their cars at the place of their choosing.

2. Walking through a group of transvestites in Thamel at 9 p.m. is an assault on one's human dignity and a clear human rights violation against unsuspecting pedestrians

3. Incessant street protests by the parties prevents many from moving and conducting business in a safe environment. Their views are not shared by all. Forcing their programs on the people of Kathmandu is clearly political oppression and a violation of human rights.

4. The food at The Ambassador Hotel is an undisclosed health hazard and is the cause of much public-health hysteria. Citizens live in constant fear of poisoning, which creates a regressive fine-dining climate.

5. Having to wait for hours at TIA airport in the glass "holding-tank" departure gate represents involuntary temporary imprisonment and is a clear human rights violation.

Ian Martin, by his statements, has effectively called into question any ordinace on the books in Kathmandu that even remotely causes citizen discomfort in the cause of greater public safety.

So that we may all get on with our lives, Ian, could you be so kind as to give us a list of all municipal ordinances that you and the UNOHCR find to be human rights compliant?



At 4:09 PM, January 19, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Quote BD:
"If the government were starving these party hacks or parading them through the streets chained and naked, then you might have a point, Ian."

Now Blogdai if you would only change that "might" into "would", or "wóuld",
then I'd say: BRAVO!

Please don't make it any worse than it is already. And please - with your "parading them through the streets chained and naked" - do not remind me of the French Revolution, and how authorities as well as the public back then treated their prey. The massacre of the French Revolution has been mentioned just a few times too often lately in view of the Valley and what might happen, for me to be able to bear such a thought.

But the ongoing Nepal crisis, I'm sorry to say, is an enormous eye-opener for me in that sense that I'm learning more than I can sometimes digest about the cunning ways of some HR-organisations and some HR-activists. (Certainly not all of them: but some). And I agree entirely with what you wrote: any government has the obligation to look after public safety. Now that may not always be such a success in Nepal (yet), I know of a few things in that respect, but both in terms of laws as well as morally I believe the government has the full right and duty under these circumstances to do what they felt necessary. That includes the temporary shut down of cellphone networks, the curfew and so on. It would nót be any different in my comfy European country, should there be similar, serious and orchestrated threats to our sovereignty.

I didn't know Martin had an AI-background; I only knew him as the U.N.-man. If anyone speaks to him, please show him this:

Unfortunately I don't know how to post that as a direct link here. I'm not focussing attention on that genocide to make you all feel a lot worse and even more worried about what will happen in Nepal, than you already are. I just felt it's an appropriate occasion to remind Ian Martin and everyone that it is HIGH TIME NOW that he and his organisation think of a bétter strategy to be OF HELP to Nepal a.s.a.p., than they've éver tried before. The kind of criticism on Nepal's King and Government that half the world came up with again on January 19th, is of the sort that should make all those idiots feel utterly ashamed, but not the authorities in Nepal.

Yesterday I got a phonecall, asking if I would help again in February with the annual door-to-door collection (for money) for Amnesty International. I've done that a couple of times before in the past years. But this time I've said "no, thank you".

At 4:39 PM, January 19, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

I'll change that to "would" for you.


At 4:50 PM, January 19, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...


thank you...

At 5:06 PM, January 19, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Hey! Where's my "Bravo."


At 3:00 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

B R A V O!! to Blogdai !!

So sorry; I went to sleep straight after that last reply. Meanwhile, from the newsreports & photos, I understand that it seems the government succeeded in its efforts "to enforce peace on the streets" on Friday. However, it's expected now, according to The Himalayan Times, that the mass demonstrations will still be held, soon as the curfew ends...

And in line with your opinion here now about Ian Martin and his complaints: that is what I mean. Even Annan is said to be "dismayed" over the latest decisions by the Nepali government; it's all over the press. How dáre they, these men?! They only encourage the masses who are fools enough anyway, to risk their and other people's lives.

On several of the popular trekkersboards, in various languages, people who are a little older (and with the best, non-financial interests) have started to remind tourists of the pro-democracy rallies of 1990. And of the numbers of people who have lost their lives back then.
Now please don't get me wrong: I'm certainly nót and never defending that armed guards would start to shoot on innocent, unarmed masses of their own fellow nationals. But you have to know what you're doing, also if you're an angry demonstrator. I've been one myself often enough in the past.

What Ian Martin and Koffi Annan are doing in view of their criticism this week on Nepal, is irresponsible in my opinion. It can be interpreted as if their message is "Go ahead: demonstrate, it's your right!"
The extremely sad story about Rwanda in the URL I copied in my first reply, goes to show how Martin and Annan are the kind of rescue workers who, arriving at the scene of an accident, would first need several weeks to work out their legal responsibilities and liabilities. For pulling the victim they found from underneath one of the cars, would - no matter how gentle they'd go about that manoeuvre - probably hurt him even more. And instead of coming to his rescue and taking him to hospital urgently, they'd debate endlessly to look into all sides of the matter first. And of course meanwhile, that victim dies. How the hell are they willing to support views that suggest the Nepali government is not authorised to operate under its own laws, even if that means curfews and temporary arrests?

There was an Editorial in The Kathmandu Post in November 2005, with a remark that seemed so "spot on" where not the people in general, but the Nepali politicians and activists are concerned:

"We are different in Nepal. Thanks to our belligerent culture, we tend to fight for anything."

Martin, Annan and other foreign VIPs either should have realised this, or their staff should have long ago given them such opinions into careful consideration.
I've never experienced a real curfew in my country myself. But since a number of years our government started to allow towns to take comparable actions against large numbers of aggressive soccer hooligans, who had a record meanwhile of vandalizing towns, beating up people, and in a few rare cases there had even been fatalities. But do you think that any human rights activist here, any lawyer or Amnesty International for that matter ever felt the need to publicly criticise such temporary, local "curfews" and preventive detentions because they violated people's "human rights"? Even though, in principle, thousands of soccerfans are to this day not allowed to watch a high-risk match if the mayor of a town denies them entrance to his town? Nó! They all seem to understand perfectly that it's better to be safe than sorry.

(Please don't accuse me of comparing the problematic and sad situation in Nepal, to the problems surrounding important soccermatches nowadays. I really know better than that. And I dó know that, due to a lot of reasons, Nepal has a terrible human rights "record" lately. But Ian Martin's new criticism on its government, is not going to make that any better in terms of public safety in the Valley).

Waiting for Nepalese readers of your blog to comment now; their opinions are more important than mine imo, me being just a foreigner.

At 3:18 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UWB says that it is not all peaceful and calm in Nepal.

At 3:44 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The curfew, the ban on demonstrations, Thursday's mass arrests and severe communication restrictions are all attempts by the government to silence peaceful and legitimate political protest, which is needed now more than ever in Nepal," said Nicholas Howen, secretary-general of the International Commission of Jurists. "If peaceful political debate is prohibited, there will never be an end to Nepal's 10-year civil war."

"These arrests, combined with the heightened restrictions on civil and political rights over the past week, highlight the government's continuing disregard for human rights," said Purna Sen, director of Amnesty International's Asia Pacific program.

"Thursday's arrests are an attempt to suppress any vocal opposition to the king, or his attempts to win legitimacy by holding elections," said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. "Silencing the leadership, the King hopes, will silence the people. Such actions belie his stated belief in democratic principles and the rule of law."

At 5:09 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

The internet works in Kathmandu, but people are probably too busy with important other stuff right now than they'd have time to post a few comments here.
So okay: anyone else around who wants to write a few words about hypocrisy? (Not thinking of India specifically and only, with this question, but also of the likes of Mr. Martin).
"Dozens arrested in Delhi while demonstrating against Nepal crackdown"

Indian police have taken into custody dozens of demonstrators including students, human rights activists and journalists on Friday while they were protesting against fresh crackdown in Nepal, reports said.

At 6:09 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hypocrisy of Gyane to think he can give democracy by being anti -democratic?

At 7:05 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The protestors in outside the Nepal embassy were arrested for protesting in an area not designated for protesting and did not move on when asked so they were arrested. There were no arrests at the protest at Jantar Mantar where hundreds gathered.

People being arrested for protesting in places where they shouldn't is not the same as people not being allowed to protest at all.

At 8:03 AM, January 20, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Many of you talk as though democracy is some animal that must be let out of a cage.

It shows how little many of you understand about the concept. From the many postings here, I get the feeling that a lot of you see democracy as just simple freedom to do what ever you want to do.

NO! Democracy is hard work. Democracy is just the end result or flowering of a lot of strict measures. People must buy into the concept of democracy and be willing to work towards its success. If any one group or faction does not want to play by the rules then democracy will fail. Pure freedom is anarchy.

Democracy requires the establishment of fundamental pillars in order for it to work. Put in place and insure the following before you talk of releasing your "democracy" animal:






Ask yourself if Nepal has or has ever possessed any of these pillars to an effective level and then you can ask yourself if Nepal is now, or has ever been ready for democracy.


At 8:52 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maoists violated humanitarian laws in Kathmandu attacks: report

Kathmandu_(dpa) _ Maoist insurgents who attacked several police posts in the Kathmandu Valley last Saturday evening, killing a dozen policemen, violated war rules and international humanitarian laws, a newspaper report said Friday, quoting human rights organizations.

The English language daily Himalayan Times reported that teams from human rights agencies that probed into the Maoist attack at the Thankot Police Post said the Maoists violated war rules and international humanitarian laws by gunning down unarmed and surrendered security personnel.

Teams of the National Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Organization of Nepal, and Informal Sector Services Centre probed the Saturday night Maoist attack on the Thankot Police Check Post.

The attack killed 11 policemen and injured several others at the police post, located at the main entrance to the Kathmandu Valley from southern Nepal.

The Maoists also attacked several other police posts in the Kathmandu Valley Saturday night, which led the government to impose a night time curfew in most urban areas across Nepal from Sunday.

The Himalayan Times quoted Charan Prasai, chairman of the Human Rights Organization of Nepal, as saying that the Maoists gunned down an unarmed policeman Yadav Raj KC after calling him out of his office.

Prasai added that the Maoists also shot dead police sentries Babu Ram Adhikari and Sudesh Kumar Tamang after they surrendered.

"The Maoists called the police sentries to surrender with their arms, promising to spare their lives. However, they shot them dead," he told the Himalayan Times.

Similarly, the Maoists killed police personnel Ram Hari Dahal outside the police inspector's room.

"The Maoists have violated international humanitarian law in the Thankot attack," he said. He added that the civilians were also injured in the attack.

He criticised the government for failing to reciprocate the Maoist unilateral four-month ceasefire that was withdrawn early this month.

"Human rights violators are our and people's enemies. Both the warring factions should strive for the peace process," he added. dpa sb jh

GENEVA, 5 January (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today called for full respect for international humanitarian and human rights law in Nepal’s armed conflict, following the end of a four-month unilateral ceasefire by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

“It is a tragedy for the people of Nepal that full-scale armed conflict may now resume. But there need not and must not be the same gross violations of international humanitarian law and human rights standards that have been perpetrated during previous phases of the conflict”, High Commissioner Louise Arbour said. “ Nepal is a party to the Geneva Conventions, as well as to most international human rights treaties: its security forces are aware of and must fully respect their legal obligations. The leadership of the CPN (Maoist) has made general commitments to observe international humanitarian law and respect human rights: I call on them to declare publicly their acceptance of all that these principles require, and to explain to their cadres their responsibility to respect them in practice. Those on either side of the conflict who commit violations must be held accountable: not only the perpetrators but also those in command of forces which commit such acts may be subject to individual criminal responsibility before a court of law.”

International humanitarian law, applicable in situations of armed conflict, prohibits murder or violence to persons taking no active part in hostilities. “I remind the CPN (Maoist) that this includes Government officials, the families of security forces personnel, and persons alleged to be informers”, the High Commissioner said, “and I remind the State security forces that this includes unarmed persons thought to be Maoists or to have aided the Maoists.” The law prohibits attacks against civilians and acts or threats of violence intended to spread terror among the civilian population, and it requires that the parties to the conflict distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives.

Despite these clear legal obligations, during the course of the armed conflict in Nepal, both parties have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law. Extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and abductions, attacks on public transport buses, the indiscriminate release of bombs from helicopters over targets where civilians were present and were subsequently killed and injured, the widespread torture of detained persons, the inappropriate use or disposal of improvised explosive devices leading to the death or injury of civilians have all occurred in the context of Nepal’s armed conflict.

International human rights and humanitarian law provides special protection for children, including prohibitions on the recruitment and use of children as soldiers or in other capacities related to the conflict. In contradiction with these standards, children have been killed and injured, forcibly recruited, used as informers, and arbitrarily detained and beaten in the context of the armed conflict in Nepal.

“My Office in Nepal will be closely monitoring the conduct of both parties in the period ahead, and I will be reporting accordingly to the Commission on Human Rights”, the High Commissioner said.

New York, 30 December 2005 - Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Nepal

The Secretary-General is seriously concerned that fighting could escalate in Nepal after the four-month-old unilateral ceasefire declared by the Communist party of Nepal (Maoist)(CPN-M) expires on 2 January 2006. He deeply regrets that despite the appeal of so many national and international voices, including his own, no progress appears to have been made towards a mutually agreed truce between the Government of Nepal and the CPN-M.

The people of Nepal have benefited from the de-escalation of violence in the last four months and they would bear the brunt of a renewal in fighting. In the interest of peace and the welfare of civilians throughout the country, the Secretary-General therefore reiterates his strong appeal to the Government of Nepal to reciprocate the ceasefire and to the CPN-M to extend its unilateral ceasefire. The United Nations stands ready to assist in the realization of this objective should the parties so desire.

At 9:14 AM, January 20, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Excellent article postings:

Don't see where preventing a violent demonstration by arresting people is a human rights violation, do you?

Atrocities have been committed on all sides. But this is a war against a savage and determined enemy. Do we stop to consider all rights violations before we act; thereby letting the Maoists continue their killing and torturing; or do we eliminated this scourge and insure the future safety of Nepal's citizens?

Short-term feel-good via human rights leads to long-term increased deaths via Maoists.

Remember, you can't have human rights or the rule of law until everyone agrees to it.


At 9:38 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Ram said...

Blogdai revealed to be a flake once again!

On Jul 2, 05 Blogdai posted the following comment on the Samudaya website:

To Samudaya,

We at blogdai very much regret the apparent blocking of Samudaya in Nepal.

As you may realize, blogdai espouses a position that differs somewhat from that of Samudaya. Nonetheless, we feel that a monarch who claims to espouse the rebuilding of democracy in Nepal cannot and should not seek to actively disable ideas based on two of democracy's most fundamental tenets: the freedom of expression and the freedom to dissent.

We are not blocked in Nepal. It is because of this that we at blogdai wish to offer the assistance and use of our blog to put forth your ideas, unedited and in any fashion you choose. You can contact me directly at and we can discuss the placement of any articles or statements that you may have.

We stand by waiting to help.


At 10:23 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus wept!

Some Nepalis here seem to have a penchant for requoting their targets in a bid to discredit them. The dynamics of time makes this petty exercise pretty pointless...

Anyway, here's something you may all find a bit more interesting. Not trying to divert traffic away from your site, BD. It's just that the BBC gets a lot of coverage. It's also being moderated.


At 10:32 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous ram said...

Naagboy do you not think Blogdai's comments above make him appear a teensy weensy bit hypocritical?

At 11:28 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Aren’t you overlooking that running a website where people can read opinions and express their own views is a teeny weeny bit different from allowing mass-protests on the streets, demonstrations that would without any doubt be infiltrated by a couple of experienced, possibly even armed, professional political agitators – no matter what the organisers said in advance in that respect? Mind you: infiltration does not necessarily take place with the prior knowledge and consent of those who call for demonstrations, as history has clearly proven in several countries in the past!

At 12:06 PM, January 20, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

I've picked up a Samudaya virus here: Ram. It's usually characterized by someone who massively re-quotes me and then says Aha! and then makes an irrelevant point.

Ram, one time and one time only: That offer to Samudaya was made in good faith. I oppose most of the tripe that comes out on that site but I oppose the blocking of sites even more. Hence the offer.

The best I can gather is that you are trying to tie in my views on free speech and expression with the jailing of activists in Kathmandu as if my desire to maintain some of the fundamental tenets of democracy are the same as allowing civic chaos.

You obviously do not see how well you've illustrated the point I made, conveniently, just prior to your posting: Democracy is hard work, not just letting people do whatever they want in the name of freedom.

If you cannot distiguish between hard won democratic freedoms and the need to prevent civic chaos then there is no hope for you and others like you in establishing a true democracy in Nepal; with all its subtleties and nuances.

Ram, please do not show up here with any more of this crap. Make good, sane arguments or I'll edit out or delete as required.


At 12:08 PM, January 20, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Christian Bible...


At 12:09 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous ram said...

m.r. you are mistaken. I am not overlooking or running any website.

You talk of infiltration of protests but this is the talk of pro-Royalists who are bing fed misinformation by Gyane and his goons.

At 12:46 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous ram said...

Blogdai is just like Gyane's goons, he loves to censor but he also loves to talk of people's freedom to expression.

At 12:46 PM, January 20, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

naag, i love the quality of the comments on that BBC site.

"Full moderation" is troublesome when it comes from the BBC, however. We like our comments raw here, uncensored and unfiltered. All our postings here have to do is make sense. BBc's moderation smacks a bit too much of editorial review to blogdai.

Along the lines of not making sense, Ram just got the big blogdai blue pencil for his breathtakingly vacuous attempted parallel of protester detention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. i left in his comment to "m.r." just to show the level of discourse we are enduring here. Try again, Ram.


At 12:55 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous ram said...

Blogdai you are a typical pro-Royalist, censoring words and forwarding your agenda.

Here is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

At 1:08 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

In reply to Ram (12:09 pm)

The Universal Declaration? Of course:

"Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

The first sentence in Article 1: would you do me a BIG favour please, and go around in Nepal and explain what it means, to every Nepali citizen who works against that recognition where his or her fellow nationals are concerned? Because it's little use fighting here over words, as long as millions of the population don't yet share in equal dignity and rights.

As for websites, I wasn't saying you are running any site. But Samudaya is, and that is what my comparison was about once you started to insinuate that blocking websites (and therefore the freedom of expression) would be comparable to blocking mass-demonstrations with the realistic risk of violence and injuries resulting from it.

And about your last remark: nobody feeds me "misinformation" in view of what I said about infiltration policies, least of all the royals in Nepal. That opinion is based on general experience with life, and on knowledge in particular of the 19th and 20th century history in many parts of the world.

At 1:22 PM, January 20, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Well now let's "Do the Declaration shuffle," shall we?

Thanks for displaying article 19. blogdai supported it directly in the June offer to Samudaya.

Gotta love your inclusion of Article 20(3). Tell me, when was the last time your "democratic" parliament actually held an election? Seven, ten years? Doesn't sound very "periodic" to me.

Article 21(1) is a great one also. Rampant cronyisme in the NC and UML kind of did away with that one, didn't it? Does the term "everyone" only apply to people named "Koirala?"

Finally, the crux of our argument, Article 20(1). Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. True and supported. Blogdai was at a protest this past December where over 30,000 UML cadres turned out to verbally bash the King. It was very peaceful and legal. But, does the term "peaceful" apply to violating civic laws, threatening violence or creating civic unrest? As we said before, if public safety can be reasonably assured then go ahead and assemble. If not, as in our current instance, then we not only invite graver, more definitive human rights abuses but also violate the letter and spirit of the Declaration's Article 1; and to a certain extent, Article 21(2)


At 4:35 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your argument that there was a definite threat of violence in the protests planned that required the arrests of the party leaders is ridiculous at best. I do not know of one instance of maoists infiltrating in a political parties' rallies. Do you know any?

However, I know of a case when the RNA disguised as maoists tried to disrupt the UML rally in Baglung. Blogdai, what do you say about this incident?

Friday 19 curfew is just a fear tactics that this desperate King is playing when he is running out of options. He has tried hard to convince the world that he is democratic. When his actions do not follow his words, naturally people do not believe him. Now, what other options does he have?

China Card? Ha, Does this card even exist? Is Earth flat? Is everyone here a fool?

At 4:54 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Godammit! My post on the BBC site has been moderated but more likely they're off on their weekend break. I pointed it out as there are a lot of pertinent comments and not just the usual contradictary and parrot fashion pro-democracy without understanding what democracy is and thinking it's a God given right crap.

Anyway, I merely said - has anyone tried to empathise with the King and put themselves in his shoes? What would you do in his position?

If I was him I wouldn't just sit around and let my kingdom fall to pieces and let the corrupt politicians bleed us dry. So far he has stuck to his timeline - introducing municipal polls in February and apparently invited independent NGO bodies to oversee them as well. How is this unconstitutional? And don't go on about semantics please..

The 7 party alliance on the other hand are organising these protests, ostensibly for democracy but in actual fact to disrupt the municipal polls. I guess some people will only be happy when the King anoints Girija's greasy arse Prime Minister. Does this make sense? People these guys are as disingenuous as ever. They're old and they won't change their spots. Wake up!


At 5:47 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Naagboy I feel sorry for you re. your experiences with the BBC website. You said "...but more likely they're off on their weekend break."
I guess so too; I sent them a message through their contact-page many hours ago now, saying they have their facts wrong. They say the night-curfew in Kathmandu starts at 11 pm, whereas since last Wednesday already it was down to 9 pm. But even now, that error is still not corrected on their webpage with the latest news from Nepal:
"Friday's curfew ran from 0800 until 1800 local time. A recently imposed night-time curfew, that starts at 2300 hours, is also in effect."

There used to be a kind of joke in our country (not the UK!) a few decades ago, during the Cold War still. It said that if ever the Russians would come and invade our precious country, either they would sort of strangle themselves in the many braids and ropes that were common on the uniforms of our borderpolice, or if they'd make such an attempt during a weekend it would be useless because the whole country would be closed...

Btw the message in that post of yours could have been written by me. We fully agree. No true king can witness how his country is ruined, terrorised and falling to pieces, without him taking STRONG action to try and turn that tide.

At 6:05 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, M.R. Amen

I used to know the Program Manager at BBC News Online. He resigned because he got fed up with the politics and also lazy-arsed developers taking months to do what it should have taken weeks to do. It's a gravy train..


At 7:03 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I see your argument when you point out irony in political parties fighting for democracy opposing polls. However, acceptance of polls will legitimately transfer power from democratically elected government to the King.

First of all, polls will legitimize King's Government, which I think is not right.

Secondly, this poll called by the King will be taken as a precedent for future. Even if the King has a good intention in calling for poll right now, it will open a loophole, which may be abused by him or Paras in future. And we need to be careful.

For example, if we were to accept the poll, it will be OK for the King to throw a government out using Article 127 and announce polls whenever he does not like a Government. As far as I understand our constitution does not give King the authority to call polls. However, this precedent will create a loophole, which can be abused by King to call polls on his whim and as a result shift the power from people to the King. Semantics are important.

UN, US, and other democratic governments are not supporting poll for these and other reasons. Otherwise, why would they not support the poll? After all, polls are good for democracy.

Municipal poll called by King is good for Monarchy but bad for democracy.

My other point is if are so bent on holding a poll to resolve the current stand off right now, why not hold an election for constituent assembly. After all, Political parties want it and Maoists want it. It could lead to a successful and early exit from the current state. And as Blogdai prescribed, we could have all the monitoring we want. We could even have UN peace keepers.


At 8:29 PM, January 20, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

GM you are my hero! I do not fully agree with you, but at last, we have an opposing viewpoint with good logic and sane rationale.' I salute you, sir. I agree with you, for the most part, on your constituent assembly idea. But we must ask ourselves why the idea of such an assembly exists as one of the primary demands of the Maoists? It is because they can control and influence those elected to such an assembly from remote districts. Eliminate Maoist influence, insure a fair election process in rural districts and the constituent assembly will work.

"m.r." your passion and logic betray your possibly French background. am I correct? Please stick around and offer more of your well-though opinions.

I've never seen the snake-boy bare his teeth so much. Frustration from his level of intellect should tell us all that there are no simple answers to this conflict.

Now to the lower end of the food chain: anonymous. wouldn't Maoist attacks on the near-outskirts of Kathmandu give government officials reasonable cause to impose increased security precautions in the capital?

Idiot number two: Your disguised RNA Maoist story is pure tabloid rubbish. Are there pictures? Any independent verifications? Or have you made up your mind ahead of time? Also, the "China Card" is in play and at India's expense. It's about arms and influence, and is obvious to all but the most brain-dead among us. So, if you can, clarify your statements in this regard.

Where in the name of Manjushree are we getting these fools from? I've noticed that samudaya's traffic share has dropped 83% in the last 3 months (according to Alexa) so we must be getting the residual best of the worst here.


At 9:12 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Interested Independent Observer said...

This is just one big circle jerk, isn't it? Don't worry, the pro-Democracy sites are just the same, they verbally attack those who oppose them with as much venom as you lot.

At 9:19 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Alison said...

'm.r.' is from the Netherlands, has never been to Nepal, and believes that Paras is simply a misunderstood and 'dedicated father' who went a little 'wild' in his earlier days...

At 10:04 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

90 days house arrest for opposition leaders. This is no democracy!

At 11:08 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai, I have a great conclusion. India, America, the UK, Japan, the EC, the UN....all are nonsense.

Annan, Bush, Martin....nobody knows national or international laws....After all when did they study as much as you and me???

Imagine if the world were filled with scholars like you and me!!!

God, I wish you, KG, Paras and the like were on the planet!!!! How happy the world would have been. Imagine Paras leading a cricket frenzy...We clap with "nepali flags."

Blogdai, long live you idiot and me!!

At 3:24 AM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Banning CNN & Star this also to prevent violent protests?

At 3:37 AM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Teargas in Kathmandu today.

Thanks for the invitation, Blogdai. But as you know it's the French who still afford to be proud of the massacre they allowed to happen 200 years ago, when they got rid of their king and anyone else they didn't like.
Holland, however, is a Constitutional Monarchy still and I can only be grateful for that.

Will get back here later to clarify Alison's urge to - as they often say about women - betray people and stick a knife in their back.

At 8:38 AM, January 21, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

My aren't we busy today.

Mr. Independent observer, welcome. And welcome to all our new people.

Blogdai IS a pro-democracy site. The only jerking going around here are those with short-attention spans and perhaps intellects to match that don't realize Nepal never HAD a democracy in the first place. Their knee-jerk opposition to anything that remotely impinges on their perception that anarchy is democracy shows a real poor command of the concepts.

90 days in jail: long live a citizens right to public safety! Lot's of demonstrations, bigger in the past, no pre-arrests. Municipal polls, international monitors, human rights representatives allowed to visit jailed people. This is as close to a democracy as we've seen.

Yes, here come the "blogdai is a royalist" monkeys now. Usually happens when no one can effectively dispute the points being made here.

Until you can argue, defend and debate your positions properly, you are not ready for democracy.


At 8:46 AM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ram said...
COCAP Reprt: 21 January 2006, Kathmandu, Nepal.

The alliance of seven political parties in Nepal continued protests and demonstration in New Road and Basantapur, inner core city of Kathmandu to defy the restriction of Government on political activities inside the Ring Road.

Because of Friday’s protest program was foiled by the curfew, the alliance of seven political parties organized huge protest rallies in Kathmandu on Saturday. The police intervened the mass meeting at Basantapur this afternoon as thousands converged at the venue for the gathering. Dozens of demonstrators were injured along with some policemen in the clash that took place after the police intervention on the demonstration. Dozens of leaders and activists were arrested during the demonstration.

Thousands of demonstrators participated in the demonstration led by the student leaders and went around the city, defying the prohibitory orders in the course of tight security deployed in the capital. Police charged the demonstrators with baton and fired many shells of tear gas to disperse the crowd in New road and Basantapur. Security was tightened within whole new road and Basantapur area. Armed Police Force also deployed to take situation under control and the Royal Nepalese Army was also deployed due to extensive participation of the demonstrators.

Meanwhile, COCAP Human Rights Observer, Bijay Kumar Son was kicked deliberately by police while he was trying to protect a passerby being beaten by police. Likewise, HR Observer, Bimal Raj Giri from INSEC and Sabin Nepal from Human Rights- Alliance were also beaten by police with the baton. Few journalists were also manhandled by security personnel, while collecting information. As a consequence, Human Rights Observers and Journalists, nearby, protested against misbehavior of police. The police- in-charge made an apology.

The demonstration area of the city remained tense in a clash between police and political activists, students and leaders. Sloganeering against monarchy and urging for complete democracy continued despite police repression.

Similarly, ‘Democratic Creators’ (Loktantrik Shrastha) organized a program at Baneshwor this noon to strengthen movements declared by political parties against municipal election announced the royal regime in the country.

The poets from ‘Democratic Creators’ were also arrested, as they started to recite the poems.

Followings were arrested from Baneshwor in the program of ‘Democratic Creators’

(List of 94 names omitted for brevity)

At 8:58 AM, January 21, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

gota love that NHRC bunch. They were let in to see the condition of the detainees and came up with the shocker that those jailed were being held "in a damp room." Well, blogdai asks, what room in kathmandu ISN'T damp? You are in jail, not club med.

This is part of the ever-expanding definition of human rights and human right violations. Are these people being starved and tortured? No. If they were then we would have some issues.

Detainees and everyone who violates the law are jailed in uncomfortable places. All these people had to do was not violate the law and the ample warnings given. Yet, they freely chose to do so. Why? because all they know is push and protest. Not one ounce of diplomacy or compromise in them.

Now, to the sane here, is that democracy?


At 9:07 AM, January 21, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Let's try this for our Neanderthals:

Suppose you are all correct. Let's let you run the streets in direct violation of a law. What have we created? A precedent that says laws can be violated at will rather than changed through due process.

And what will you have when no laws are taken seriously? Anarchy.

Suppose again that you are all allowed to disrupt the polls, and eventually dislodge the King. Then what have you created? Would Madhav Nepal and the Maoists run kathmandu then? Would your "democracy" be sufficiently restored enough for you to allow a "royal" representation to your government?

What if this hypothetically deposed King formed a party and gathered his loyal army and marched on kathmandu. Would you jail them? Forbid protests?

Since the rule of law doesn't apply to you, let the strongest group win, right?

Congratulations! You've just plunged Nepal into civil war!


At 10:03 AM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're either naive or being disingenuous if you are seriously suggesting that the law banning protests was for anything other than silencing the opposition to the king.

At 11:00 AM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

How to deal with a genuine threat to public safety: Fear of terror attack on R-Day

At 11:05 AM, January 21, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Simple,convenient,uninformed, absolutest remark.

The polls are coming up and protesters vowed to disrupt them; violently if necessary.

Maoists stage an attack on the outskirts of kathmandu on the eve of an illegal protest.

Over the past year, hundreds of demonstrations "opposing the king" have been allowed to occur in kathmandu without incident.

G.P. Koirala was placed under house arrest before, and promptly released. Why did they let him and other activists go?

Lots of stuff here. Most of it shows that anti-king demonstrations are tolerated; security threats are not. The King has had an entire year to completely "silence" his critics, and yet protests weren't banned until a week ago. In fact hundreds of his critics have been jailed an released--only to criticise him again.

Disingenuous perhaps best describes your selective memory.


At 12:12 PM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai you can't even remember what happened last week let alone a year ago!

"Maoists stage an attack on the outskirts of kathmandu on the eve of an illegal protest."
If you try to cast your mind back, you'll note the attack took place last Saturday but the government didn't announce a ban on protests until Monday and it didn't officially become illegal until Tuesday.
In another statement, the authorities banned all protest meetings and political rallies in the capital indefinitely from Tuesday.

"yet protests weren't banned until a week ago"
Well to be honest, protests have been banned since the lifting of emergency rule last year.
Hours after the end to emergency rule, state radio announced Kathmandu's district administration office had banned "the holding of protests, strikes, mass meetings and hunger strikes in sensitive areas in the Nepalese capital".

At 12:39 PM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous Brit said...

Anon 12.12

You aren't making any sense here. I suggest you take a rest and try to get your brain in gear.

At 2:10 PM, January 21, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Oh dear God, if anonymous can't realize that I meant the ban on assembly issued january 16, then there is no hope for sane discourse. I'll let the comment wallow here for a while and then delete it.

"mr" No, it didn't sound like you so I will delete the reference.

Lots of idiocy and dirty tricks from the friends of "democracy" I'd say.


At 2:13 PM, January 21, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...






At 6:28 PM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Promised to be back, in view of Alison's remarks.

As it turns out, Alison and I have met before several times on a travelboard. Ever since I started to take a real interest in Nepal after becoming involved (in 2004) in the search for a missing trekker, many people openly kept criticising that, over time, I too have developed opinions about the society and problems in Nepal – although I’ve never visited the country. It’s different for Alison, because she has been there once or twice I believe, and seems to have a Nepali partner.
I don’t understand why someone would not be entitled to have an opinion about feudalism, the lack of women’s rights, the caste system, unreliable and corrupt politicians, corruption, the tragedy of children being trafficked into the “flesh trade” in SE-Asia, the $$$ in the eyes of everyone involved in the tourism trade, foreign diplomats and their shortcomings, an often highly criticised monarchy, and more “daily life” problems when it comes down to Nepal, and also about mountains and trekking. Even though I’ve never been there, I have an opinion about the Vatican f.e. too, but nobody ever stalked or sort of terrorised me on the web for posting my ideas where the pope and his global kingdom are concerned!
Besides, you wouldn’t want to have to fééd the number of foreign trekkers with lots of “Nepal experience” who – up to this day – don’t give one damn about what goes on there, just as long as they can enjoy their holiday and for the lowest possible prices. But I gather this selfishness from foreigners is móre appreciated because it comes with at least some money. Honest opinions about freedom, equal rights, fighting illiteracy, poverty and injustice and so on, opinions from someone who is meanwhile not particularly charmed anymore at the idea of going there herself, bring no hard cash.

So back to Alison and her “revelations” here about remarks I made months ago about the crown prince of Nepal. Remarks that angered her and some other users of that travelboard (one of them btw missing on that board ever since early last Tuesday; something that’s worrying because although he had outspoken opinions all the time against the monarchy, against the RNA and against much more in Nepal, he is no Nepali national, doesn’t look like one but has his home in the Valley yet hasn’t logged in anymore the past five days).
I do indeed have a few contacts in Nepal who are more familiar with some of the royals than the average user of a travelboard will do. It’s nothing special, and all I’d like to say in that respect is that, same as members of other royal families, famous musicians and artists, VIPs and so on, the members of the royal family of Nepal are human beings in the first place. People who, due to their position in society and politics, will always be criticised for things they do, and just as much for things they never did at all. So far there’s really nothing new. However, I absolutely cannot judge the level of truth in much of the stories about the king and about his son. Does it mainly stem from the well-known category “inevitable gossip and slander”, or does the Nepalese society have true grounds indeed to be concerned about the heir to the throne?
I heard he is a dedicated father; something I’ve never been able to say – regrettably enough – about my ex-husband; on the contrary. But I’ve also heard quite a lot of negative opinions about the man. But what is true, and what is gossip or slander? What is forgiveness, and what sort of events and actions can virtually néver be forgiven? What is confidence that someone may have changed (improved) his ways, and what is lasting mistrust? What does a crown prince have to do to gain people’s respect? A lot, I tell you!

We’re all aware that the opinions in & outside Nepal about the king himself, differ. And I won’t step into the trap now to question the king, his motives nor his actions. I truly believe he is the only one who can help Nepal get back on the right track, and I don’t question his intentions (although I agree he seems to make grave mistakes from time to time, but then taking into account the country’s history and its neighbours, some of what seem to be political or strategical mistakes, are rather inevitable I believe…). The political parties are of no use; the way they are, they won’t stop fighting, it’s a habit, it’s a must. And once the parties helped the Mao’s to more power, it’s the end of the parties and the start of a reign of total terror and tyranny in all of Nepal. So there are the Maoist tyrants, and then the uproar and obstruction, sabotage and lack of insight re. what true democracy means, that a relatively small number of Nepalese citizens (as well as foreign activists) with too much time on their hands, keep pushing the country down its throat. And not to forget a few influential foreign countries. All of them are giving the king and his government such an incredible hard time indeed to bring into realisation the many improvements that are on their agenda for the country and its people. Go count the number and variety of obstacles and obstructions that keep being poured over and put on the path of Gyanendra presently! Was there ever another country in deep trouble, where it was as if the whole world was conspiring to finish it off?

Back to the monarchy and its future. If the personality, or perhaps more accurately the past behaviour, of a crown prince is considered an obstacle for the stability of the throne and the future of a country, maybe people should look into Belgium and into the UK as well. Both countries know a lengthy and lively discussion about the possible solution to “nominate” another of their royal descendants instead of their crown prince, to inherit the throne. All those discussions and worries in order to save the monarchy, with a head of state considered much more skilled and reliable for that task. Someone who would be better acceptable to the people.
Your crown prince has a sister. In the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a Constitutional Monarchy, during the past 115 years 4 generations of much respected wómen have carried out that heavy task in an excellent manner. Much better than the kings ever did. I’m all for equal rights and women empowerment. A suggestion here that might provide a good solution for Nepal, the Hindu Kingdom.

It seems Blogdai has a rather strong dislike of the crown prince; no doubt he'll have his reasons. So maybe he'll find inspiration some day to write about the future of the monarchy, and about ways to save it for the benefit of the people of Nepal.

At 7:21 PM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for the compliments. I like your passion.

I do not think Maoists even in their most optimistic scenario envision marching to Kathmandu. A communist republic in Nepal is not realistic. I think Maoist leadership realized that its best bet is to shake the state and the King through violence and end up with some form of negotiation. Maoists have influence in many rural districts and I am fine if they get elected in a free and fair election. They can have a say in constitution assembly since they are Nepali after all and one of the power centers but I believe they will be a minority. There is no way we will end up as a communist republic from a constituent assembly. There are ways to control the Maoist manipulation of election, just like what you prescribed for municipal election. If Iraq and Afghanistan were able to do it, then we should be able to it as well.

If we do not have a constitution assembly election then what other options do we have? We have tried military solution for 10 years, and we all know what the result was. It has been a failure since Maoists are as strong as ever. We cannot afford to fight this war another 10 years. Median age of Nepalis are around 20 years and if we miss the opportunity to educate them now, then it will be another generation lost and more troubles and instability in the future.

Constituent assembly was the stumbling block in the last peace process, and I wonder why Royalists opposed it. If I were a monarchy supporter, I would have constituent assembly election now rather than five years down the road.

In a resource strapped country like Nepal, it is tough to be in a government and placate its citizens. It is easy to be in opposition and whine and cry and people will support you. A few blunders like Paras beating up a cop, or civilian deaths by RNA, and the opposition support soars and government support erodes. I think this is why political parties, who were unable to bring 1000 people a year ago can bring tens of thousands people now. Longer the King leads the government, more chances that mistakes will be made and more opportunities for the opposition to energize its base. So if I were a monarchist supporter, which I am not, I would have a constituent assembly election before it is too late.

Constitution assembly election is important in a geographically and ethnically diverse country like Nepal. Constituent assembly election will also give us one of the rare opportunities to address some of the historic ills. The 1990 constitution was a result of a negotiation between monarchy supported by RNA generals and mostly Kathmandu based high caste politicians and it failed to represent Nepal’s diversity and kept power centralized in Kathmandu as in the past systems. The better we are able to decentralize the power and tax money to local governments, the less money and power for current ruling class (monarchists and politicians included) to abuse.


At 8:11 PM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Just as long as everyone, and also Mr. Ian Martin and the United Nations, will remain aware of what "democracy" ánd human rights seem to mean in the understanding of these matters by "the alliance" of opposition parties, provided below reporting is accurate:

The alliance of the mainstream opposition parties also directed all its district-level offices to keep records of those who stay against the "people's mass movement," so that action can be taken against them after the restoration of democracy.

Posted on: 2006-01-21 07:15:12

At 9:09 PM, January 21, 2006, Blogger Pradeep Chand said...

"Human Rights" that Martin talks about is for US. It is not applicable to any developing countries. We can not just go and bombard a place just because our king or prime minister does not like it.


At 3:21 AM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous Alison said...

m.r. - In fact I sincerely regretted posting my remarks within a few minutes of posting them, but before I could post again, we suffered a power blackout due to our third successive day of 42+ degree temperatures. Power has only just been restored (29 hours and 30 minutes later) - I suspect some would say that was karma in action...

It certainly wasn't appropriate to make those comments about you here, completely out of context (and without provocation). I will probably still send you a personal apology, but thought that I should also do the right thing and apologise here. I am truly sorry.

By way of explanation (although of course this is no excuse) I have been extremely worried because I had not had word from my partner since Thursday (he was due to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara on Friday, which I believe was brought forward to Thursday afternoon, and I have not had word from him since).

At 3:33 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger sweet_nepal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:47 AM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous Brit said...

To anonymous underscore:

I do not post anonymously but I do not want a blogger account as such. I haven't time to either keep one going or to moderate/ comment on replies. I have had answers which could be of help to bloggers (well, a blogger) but which I could not post due to such a bar - nor could I suggest to the blogger to un-bar the blog so I could reply. - a case of foot shooting imo.

At 4:01 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger sweet_nepal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:03 AM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is guilty of violent in Nepal ???

At 4:18 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Dev Prasad said...

This is what happens when you try to give up smoking during tense political times.

At 7:06 AM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent stuff, the quality of postings has started to improve albeit with a lot of background noise..

G.M. thanks for your comments. As a complete novice to Nepali politics I haven't been able to figure out why so much opposition to the municipal polls?

I really don't see how they would legitimise the King's government. Isn't his government just a rag tag collection of politicians from various parties with a Royalist bent?

In anycase what have the 7 party alliance and indeed the Maoists (should they ever wish to participate) got to lose? I just get the feeling they're scared of a public backlash and don't even want to go there for that reason.

Also I get the feeling that a lot of people are easily influenced by some kind of conspiracy agenda. If the King does indeed use this loophole you speak of wouldn't he be truly discredited at that point? That's when you can starting pointing the finger and turning the screws with a sense of legitimacy.

I actually believe it's better to go ahead with them. After all what have we got at the moment? *We* can try and fine tune things with dialogue by taking various small steps to achieve the summit of democracy. Maybe even closing this loophole you mention.

So far I really don't see the King as a despotic and cruel monster that many do. It seems to have turned personal with a lot of people and they don't even give him a chance. Just organised chaos and disruption.

My favourite snippet of the day from the BBC News:

"There will be no break in the struggle for democracy" said Madhav Kumar Nepal, of the Communist Party of Nepal.

This must seem quite absurd to a lot of our American friends.


At 7:51 AM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous Brit said...

Hi Naag!
It seems absurd also to your British friends!

I sometimes wonder if these guys really understand English. I have no 'take' on how their words have meaning in Nepali - I guess most of what they actually say is in the vernacular. However their use of much of the political terminology published in English makes no logical sense. Many of them seem to be echoing slogans from European history totally out of context and without any understanding of the relevant practical historical outcomes.

At 10:34 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Well, Madhav speaks very good English. Blogdai had a nice chit-chat with him last month. Absolutely, Brit. We not only see it From Madhav but from a lot of our expatriot posters here: show off your English skills at all costs. Use polysyllabic words when ever possible and show everyone how smart you are! Content is secondary; this is speech for effect and effect only.

Syntax: We do encourage anonymous postings here, as you all know. But I'm starting to agree that one should at least pick a pseudonym or moniker or some sort. __ shows us the way with this. Or perhaps is this person the "artist formerly known as __."

"m.r." first off, we are all heartened and relieved that you have patched things up with alison. Mostly, your quote from 8/11 is dead on and shows that the alliance doesn't get it. Open retaliation is much more Stalinist than democratic.

I'm thinking of deleting all opposing viewpoints that do not match the thought and quality of GM's; but, alas, that would only leave GM.

Anyway, GM you give us a lot of food for thought. You allude early to what has been in the back of blogdai's mind for some time: Maoists are practicing that unique brand of brinkmanship found in nepali politics. I've always had the sneaking suspicion that they just want to be influentual enough to overcome Koirala's snub of their fledgling movement in 1991.

On your other point, I think the Royals snubbed the idea of a constituent assembly because they knew they couldn't control the fairness of the election process. This is not just because of Maoist influence per se. The fundamental flaw of this royal government and of previous attempts at government is their inability and unwillingness to leave kathmandu. The king and the parties don't WANT rural rural rubes having a voice in politics. In fact they don't want to know what's going on outside of kathmandu at all.

As we've seen, if you ignore the needs and concerns of rural citizens long enough, the will come back to bite you eventually. If we get rid of the Maoists but keep on practicing this disengaged rural policy, how long before another Maoist-type movement emerges?

Land reform anyone?


At 11:20 AM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Land reform? Why not start here first:

Quote BD:
The king and the parties don't WANT rural rural rubes having a voice in politics. In fact they don't want to know what's going on outside of kathmandu at all.

That's rather a contradiction, I believe, considering the time the royal couple spent in both the Western as well as the Eastern parts of the country, in recent times. In fact, I seem to remember that politicians were often criticised for not having the guts to leave the capital at all, but not the king. As indeed it should be for someone who is - contrary to political parties - supposed to care about áll of his people.

At 11:40 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

That's true, and I'll concede that point to a certain extent.

I love G.'s tour of the provinces. But does a glad-handing parade and photo-op translate to rural representation in government? We'll see. I mentioned in a previous column that, although I think G.'s intentions are good by these rural visits, I just don't think he has the will or the ability to consolidate the views of these people into a parliamentary force.

I'm starting, thanks to GM, to want to risk forming the constituent assembly thing more and more. Corrupt, tainted or not, it seems to be the only way to involve rural citizens in a central government.

You should all be proud of me for bashing the King a bit on this one. I love getting those "blogdai is a royalist" monkeys off my back.


At 1:18 PM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous Brit said...

I'd love to accept GM's view but I have to admit skepticism regarding the possibility, at present, of sufficient oversight of rural elections so as to make them truly free. Afghanistan and Iraq have 'big brother' military support well-entrenched and, however you might disapprove of it, it does provide the electorate with more security than currently exists in rural Nepal. Nor do I have any serious faith in the ability of any outside organisation to provide suitable cover - no-one at present (except perhaps the maoists) has the logistical resources available to provide this throughout a terrain which is so hilly and which is so short of the means of efficient transportation.

At 5:33 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

A nice supply of U.N. sponsored helicopters would work nicely here, don't you think?

Trouble is, it would mean the U.N. is actually doing something tangible and we can't have that, can we?


At 5:43 PM, January 22, 2006, Anonymous m.r. said...

Blogdai: "meet an equal"!

(yes, sorry; still didn't work out how to make smart, direct links in this blog).

An "equal" in that sense that she, like you, deserves my BRAVO !!

Her name is Koirala; I have no idea to what kind of new objections and criticism and Lord knows what else purely that fact, her name, can lead. So I recommend that everybody will in the first place read what she has to say.
It's a guest column presently that you'll find through the homepage of :
"The Curfew: Pros and Cons".

At 7:17 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

way ahead of you "mr" Preeti is not only an equal, but a more eloquent superior to blogdai.

I've used her quotes here before (see: More ambassador follies, July 29, 2005)

I got on a Preeti kick because she LOVES going after british ambassador keith bloomfield. so much so that she forced a response from the now deposed ambassador in the nepali Times, in July of 2005.

She's may not beat blogdai to the punch, but she definitely throws one just as hard and with more style.


At 4:26 AM, January 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, she is spot on. Kathmandu would be burning by now if not for the curfew.

The anarchists must be very disappointed..


At 4:44 AM, January 25, 2006, Anonymous DemoBlogger said...

interesting post, I have linked to it on my blogs round-up of democracy in the blogosphere

At 8:07 AM, January 25, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Demoblogger is an interesting site. It leans towards the "democracy at all costs" camp.

They call blogdai a pro-government blog. I guess I can live with that for the moment, but there are many shades of pro and con.

Demoblogger does represent that western school of though where everything is dumbed-down to a graspable label. Pro-democracy, pro-government, look at the pictures and pass judgement; what's the point of the exercise if we all don't try to think a little.


At 9:27 AM, January 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal has renewed its call to the leadership of the CPN (Maoist) to state publicly and to all its cadres that it is against its policy to harm unarmed civilians, including electoral candidates, in violation of their right to life and physical integrity.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Representative of the UN OHCHR in Nepal, Ian Marin, said, "I regret that the Maoist leadership has been silent since I urged them to condemn the killing of Bijay Lal Das in Janakpur on 22 January. This silence calls into question the commitment expressed by Party Chairman Prachanda that physical action against unarmed individuals had been halted, and the assurance given to me recently that this would apply to candidates and officials in the municipal elections."

In addition to the killing of Mr. Das, OHCHR-Nepal immediately requested information from the CPN (M) about the abduction on 25 January of Ram Kumar Tharu, prospective mayoral candidate in Gulariya, Bardiya District; no response has yet been received. “OHCHR-Nepal condemns the shooting of Dal Bahadur Rai, deputy mayoral candidate in Lalitpur, on Monday. It calls for the CPN (M) to state whether its cadres were responsible in each of these cases, which have occurred in the context of several threatening statements by local CPN (M) representatives, including the 28 January press statement by Prabhakiran on behalf of the CPN (M)'s Valley Bureau threatening "the most serious consequences" to those filing candidacy or participating in the elections, the statement said.

“The response of the CPN (Maoist) leadership to my request for clarification will be an indication of their commitment to respect international human rights and humanitarian law”, Ian Martin added.

OHCHR-Nepal also deplores all other violence or threats of violence against candidates aimed at coercing them to withdraw, or not withdraw, from the electoral process, the statement added.


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