Friday, April 21, 2006

Invitation #3

Well, ok. How can anything be more clear? The King has handed over control of the government to the Alliance. Just name a PM and off you go. Easy right? Well, wrong.

In what has become the most predictable pattern of this entire conflict, cadres are taking to the streets denouncing the King's offer. "Too little too late" is their cry.

Having your demands met is too little? It's now too late for your street protests to have any positive outcome? Are you saying that you will now only settle for the complete destruction of Nepal? I thought this whole thing was about "restoring democracy." Well, now it's being restored and you don't want it?

What we're seeing is mob rule taking over. Protests were never about democracy. Koirala knows nothing but protests and mobilization; having honed his craft in his educational years in Bihar. He knows that any and every issue possible must be used to get mobs moving. One has to broaden the anger by broadening the issues in order to get the kind of street turn-out that Koirala has been getting. Perhaps it is too late. Too late for mob sanity. And do you think these protests will stop anytime soon? The King gave in to protests. The mob got a small victory. There are now thousands of young protesters believing that "democracy" works only through disruption. Shout long and loud enough and eventually you will get your way. Let's call it "Brat Democracy."

blogdai thinks the King might have been better served by offering this forward thinking proposal as an example: Make a nationwide announcement. State that the seven parties and the maoists are invited for talks anywhere and anytime. All issues and concerns of all parties will be discussed. In fact, we will discuss turning over the government to the people under terms you all agree upon. This includes a constituent assembly. But as long as protestors are in the streets breaking things, we will not budge. Stop the protests or there will be no progress. So, SPAM it is up to you. You wanna' talk or you wanna fight?

But these types of examples shouldn't be necessary. Even the most dull-witted SPAM stone thrower can see that the Kings gesture is a concession. He is opening up the lines of dialogue. Idiots like Sushil Koirala bristle at the fact that G. has not addressed every little concern with his offer. NC-D calls the whole thing a ploy. Well SPAM, when a door like this is left open, you shouldn't complain about whether it swings to the left or right.

I get a lot of frenzied little-boys posting here demanding the King meet all their needs before they will talk. How pathetic. A mature politician interested in dialogue would take the King's invitation and build on it. The King has created an opportunity. Responsible leaders would capitalize on it and begin dialogue.

So all of this seems obvious to us, right? Why would those seeking to run the country not want peace and dialogue? Because they want absolute power, period. They know that democratic dialogue leads to democratic compromise; and compromise leads to a potential loss of power. SPAM will have none of it. Do we ever stop to wonder why there was never one request for dialogue originating out of the SPAM camp? Plus, those taking to the streets do not represent all of Nepal. Shouldn't any potential leaders seek to heal National wounds in the spirit of unity? Isn't dialogue the chief means of identifying these wounds? Not in SPAM's thinking. This is all about their power grab, nothing else. These guys cannot and will not live peacefully as long as the current constitution and the ground realities of Nepal call for a royal presence. They want it all and they want it now!
When will it become clear to us that SPAM does not want dialogue? And why should they? When you have idiots in the world community and Prachanda's own ambassador: James Moriarity, keeping your momentum alive, why stop for a little inconvenience like democratic dialogue?

SPAM has done nothing throughout this entire conflict that has demonstrated a desire to represent the rights of all citizens or to conduct themselves democratically. And yet, since the King's takeover last year, the lazy media have kept up the drumbeat of "democracy in Nepal is being repressed" to the point that now even Maoists are looked apont as symbols of democratic struggle.

And three cheers to those blood-stained Maobadis! They've manage to ascend to the heights of power by using SPA as temporary soldiers on the streets of Kathmandu. Funny, during their back-door rise, did we even once hear that the maoists would accept SPAM ideals? How about give up violence? No, I didn't think so.

SPAM has blood in their eye right now. Their refusal of the King's gesture will mean they are bent on absolute rule--most likely with the Maoists at the helm.

So everyone, stay tuned for "INVITATION #4." which blogdai predicts will take the following form: An exasperated King addresses each concern and need of the SPAM alliance and agrees to a constituent assembly. This will be followed immediately by SPAM calling the whole thing a ploy and demanding a fresh round of protests.

Do we "get it" yet? Or are we too stupid, numb or obsessed with the use of the word "democracy" to know what is going on?


Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Glimmer of Sanity

Thanks to one of our alert readers for bringing this Nepali Times article to our attention. Karna Shakya may be a name worth adding to our list of candidates for The Nepal Advocacy Group. -=BD

Uprising Nepal
Why such hatred for one of this country's pillars?
From Issue #295 (21 April 06 - 27 April 06)

History has proven that Nepal's fate is in the hands of four people and we all know who they are. Top of the totem are barely 200 people who can influence the country’s course. Our national crisis would have been solved if these very people had even an inch of love left in their hearts for this nation. It may be true that none of these political people, whether the king, the Maoists or any leader, is keen to wreck the country. But they have become victims of their own bigoted minds and as a result, are pretending ignorance of the situation despite knowing full well the reality of possible solutions.

Today, uncertainty looms over Nepali politics, about what works and what fails. Certainty is possible only when the state and opposition literally follow the rules and a code of ethics. All possibilities will disappear if they head down a path of cunning, deceit and power-grabbing politics. This is why nobody trusts anybody anymore. Everyone has been playing their own role in politics in the name of helping and working for the people.

Only a few months back, the second national convention of the Nepal Jaycees was held in Chitwan. Several party leaders and human rights activists gave revolutionary speeches, instilling fear and doubts in people's minds. Some warned of nationwide bloodshed. Others frightened the business community by foreshadowing their own destruction if they failed to support the parties at a time when the whole country was burning. Everyone applauded, which further stimulated the leaders, but I watched aghast. Has a businessman committed a sin just because he got rich by working hard all his life? If we go back over our history, it will be clear that the country has been built by our traders. They are pioneers and leaders in the fields of mass communication, agricultural production, banking, financing and transportation. It is virtually impossible to think about running the country in their absence.

Will life be sustained by speeches lone? Why is there such a negative attitude towards a community that has been the nation's bloodline? During the convention I also got the chance to express a few words about tourism. I wondered who would listen to me when the leaders had just delivered a blood-curdling speech. But I managed to make my point: politicians should practice politics without killing the hopes and aspirations of the citizens. Political problems, I added, should be solved one after another through raising awareness or by other peaceful means-not by intimidating or disempowering the people. Demoralised citizens can’t contribute towards development. Not even the water from all the rivers of the country combined will be enough to extinguish the ensuing conflagration. How fair is it that people should scramble to douse a fire started by the politicians?

The ruin and misery of the past 14 years is heart-rending for every Nepali. We feel the nation’s pain in our individual souls. We have not even been able to make good use of the hard won freedoms from a constitution crafted 16 years ago and already we are clamouring for a new one. Such ‘moderate’ thoughts may not get applause in these times of slogans and hubris, but I am convinced that the silent majority agrees.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Democracy as Diversion

New SPAM: Made with 100% Red Herring
They've got everyone fooled. "We will not stop until democracy is restored" they say. "We want absolute democracy." It worked. All the lazy Western pundits, politicos and human rights monitors fell for it---hook , line and sinker. The Alliance merely had to mention the word "democracy" and people who don't know Nepal from Naples melted.
Never mind that no one in the Alliance understands the concept---in fact with their intolerance, nepotism, refusal to compromise and disdain for any type of election, they seem to excel in practices that are diametrically opposed to those found in a democracy--this whole agitation thing was NEVER about democracy.
If restoring democracy was truly the goal, the Alliance would have:
1. Spoken with the King. Forget pre-conceptions. Just talk and work out what's good for the people in the spirit of democratic compromise.
2. Never allied with terrorists. Funny how the Maoist's role gets lost in all this little boy zeal to overthrow the King, but the fact is, Koirala made a deal with the devil. If he were committed to democracy, he would have not let the Maoists and their violent agenda on board without so much as an acknowledgement of their brutality and a commitment to work things out democratically. Remember, if you are committed to "absolute democracy" then you better make sure all parties are absolutely democratic. Since this unholy alliance began, have we heard even one word of contrition, acceptance of democracy or commitment to compromise from the Maoists?
3. Rallied the sentiments and views of the people, not through the coercion and momentum of street violence, but THROUGH ELECTIONS and equal representation.
4. Preserved and defended the rights of all citizens. How is this accomplished while the streets are on fire and people cannot earn a living? This agitation is doing nothing but plunging Nepal's economy into an unrecoverable tail-spin. There is no democratic norm or practice that allows for the unilateral destruction of a nation at the hands of a selfish few.
No, SPAM chose to dangle the red herring of democracy in front of the world stage in order to garner the sympathies of the uninformed. Blogdai wrote some time ago that our world has lived with various forms of democracy for quite a few generations now; it is no longer a novel concept. True to human nature, once a system is familiar, people will find a way to manipulate the system to their advantage. No truer example of this exists than in Nepal at present. The cloak of "restoring democracy" was used by SPAM to garner world sympathy and support for their power grab--they knew the posturing ideologues of the West could not resist such a rallying cry.
We can see behind the red herring not only in SPAM'S practices, but in their sloganism as well. Case in point: Isn't it comically oxymoronic the way SPAM insists on "absolute democracy?" As if democracy were some intolerant club with a heirarchy? Those of us who have spent our lives living in democracy realize that one of democracy's qualities--perhaps its hallmark-- is that nothing is ever absolute.
But just try explaining any democratic concept to SPAM. Throughout this entire conflict, SPAM has not offered one democratic plan, concept or idea to support their claims. They just want to overthrow the King, period.
An that's the truth behind the red herring. It was never about democracy. It was never about the will of the people and it was never about freedom. What is giving the SPAM demonstrations a groundswell of support and surprising staying power (aside from India's money), is that festering sense that scores must be settled. That 200 or so years of Shah, Rana and Panchayat oppression must somehow be avenged.
That a few greedy men can capitalize on a public's simmering desire to avenge centuries of unequal treatment to seize power under the guise of restoring one of civilization's most advanced of social concepts, democracy, will make blogdai weep for the future of Nepal should these men prevail.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Simple Quiz

Attention all: This quiz is to be completed by SPAM members and supporters only.

Ok, blogdai will make this simple, short and sweet. All you SPAM people, put down your stones for a minute and take this quiz. Blogdai will turn off the comment moderation and post your comments unedited; but, you must complete this simple quiz first. I've included the likenesses of Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Jefferson and, in the spirit of democratic compromise, B.P. Koirala for your inspiration. So, in front of these great democratic thinkers, answer:

1. Name one democratic concept, practice or idea.





Well, that's it. Just do that.

Since you are all probably in a big hurry to get back to destroying Kathmandu, blogdai will help you out and save you time by providing some anticipated answers that will not be accepted:

1. Kill Gyane.

2. We are going to break every window in the palace.

3. We refuse to talk to anyone.

4. Kill Manisha.

5. We want "absolute democracy."

Easy enough? Take your time, and good luck.


Update: April 17. Only one person has shown a knowledge of democratic principles. That person gets an "A." Unfortunately, she is an Indologist who is possibly either British or American. No SPAM members have gotten within a mile of answering the quiz, so far. Stay tuned. -=BD

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Protester's Guide to Democracy

Future Home Minister of the New Alliance Government

Since you protesters are all too busy chasing down "absolute democracy" to pay much attention to the future; perhaps, we here at blogdai can put our heads together and help you get an idea about what will happen if you win. So, let's compare the Nepal you will be creating to an actual democracy and see how close it will be to that "absolute" mark you are striving towards.

1. Unlike those elected to govern a real democracy, all you guys know how to accomplish with some skill is a street protest. If your new government has a "Department of Riots" then you might be ok. Otherwise, you may have to deal with sticky citizen issues like traffic, sewage, water, public safety, national security, economic deficits and other pesky issues that are not nearly as important as throwing a rock through the palace window. Perhaps you can now protest the new workload you've inherited.

2. Some citizens may not agree with your views. In a democracy, people who do not agree voice their dissatisfaction through the election process. I suppose now, this issue will get the full attention of your newest buddies the Maoists. They know just what to do with dissenters.

3. Elections. There's that inconvenient concept again. You and your leaders shun these like the plague. Haven't had one in, what, 8 years now? In a real democracy, elections help a ruling body maintain its honesty and give citizens a voice in their government. Since the Nepali Congress Party has always relied on nepotism for fresh political blood, you can probably just go back to ignoring the election thing. You guys "speak for the people" anyway, so you might as well throw away that annoying democratic concept of equal representation as well.

4. Security. One of the pillars of a democracy is the provision for public safety against all threats, domestic and foreign. You've already established a riot mentality and a disregard for municipal laws designed to protect life and property, so I guess anything goes in the streets of Kathmandu from now on, right? If I don't like the price of dhal bat, is it now OK for me to throw a rock through Girija's office window in protest? On a national level, the Maoists will protect Nepal's borders and insure sovereignty with the same zeal they apply to torturing pregnant women, right? What to do with all of those RNA posts and trained officers may pose a problem, however; they just don't seem to want to work with crooks and terrorists. Wait, I get it now, you will give Nepal to India and let them worry about security. Brilliant! Oh, wait, where will that leave your little alliance with the Maoists, sorry... back to the drawing board.

5. International Relations. The U.S. won't deal with Koirala and the rest of the world won't deal with terrorists so what will you do? You seem to imply that you know all there is about running an "absolute democracy" so, as usual, foreign advisors are out. Democracies in the international arena also play by a lot of those rules established by the UN. You can ignore these by claiming "foreign interference." Plus, those human rights declarations might ruffle a few Maoist feathers and we don't want to anger Nepal's new National Army, do we? Just let the foreigners filter their concerns through India.

6. National Economy. No foreign country will feel comfortable investing in a new Nepal where Maoists have not only failed to be controlled, but are more than likely running the show. You might see good earning potential from an "extortion tax" however. Likewise, kiss goodbye about 50% of your GDP. This used to take the form of foreign aid, but NGO's may not feel as safe out in the field with the Maoists running around unchecked. Prachanda's boys can be a spirited lot, they.

All in all, democracy will be what you, the Alliance define it to be. Why break from past patterns now? It's all about getting rich and doing whatever you want right? Let India tackle all the hard issues since the sovereign entity that once was Nepal is now a mere satellite. Make India earn it.... might earn yourself a tidy profit if you do.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Invitation #2

The King just could not make himself any clearer today, everyone needs to sit down for talks immediately. This is the second olive branch the Alliance has been given. So, true to form, they called the announcement "meaningless" and once again thumbed their nose at the gesture. WHAT DO THESE IDIOTS WANT? Well, check our postings from a few months back. blogdai took a lot of heat last December for making a prediction (blogdai: "The Babbling Barometer, 12/01/05) but now that prediction bears repeating: The Maoists and the Parties have no intention of reaching a peaceful compromise with the King. They are combining their resources for a forceful takeover

So have a look at excerpts of the King's speech and tell me what you think. (Reprinted from the Himalayan Times)

King calls parties for talks

Rastriya Samachar Samiti
Kathmandu, April 14:King Gyanendra has called upon all political parties to join in a dialogue to bear the responsibility of activating the multiparty democratic polity and contribute towards the same. In a message to the nation on the occasion of the New Year’’s Day 2063 today, the KIng said the democratic norms and values demand the commitment that the goals set forth by the Constitution-1990 can be achieved only through constitutional means.He added that it is his desire that with the active participation of all political parties committed to peace and democracy, a meaningful exercise in multiparty democracy be initiated through the exemplary democratic exercise like the general elections.King noted that there is no alternative to democracy in the 21st century and the verdict of the ballot alone is legitimate. He said, “We are in favour of sustainable peace and the people’s right to vote... Democracy demands restraint and consensus as all forms of extremism are incompatible with democracy. While facing the challenges confronting the nation democracy also emphasises acceptance of the preeminence of the collective wisdom in charting a future course.”

This is a masterful stroke. G. finally got something right. No small miracle considering the baboons he employs for advisors. What G. did was to fall back on pure democratic principles: Let the people decide through elections. He seems game for them to take any form. This is a classic bluff-calling maneuver. G. and the rest of the world know that the Alliance wants to get as far away from the democratic process as possible. Elections would mean accountability and an immediate referendum on the corrupt administrations of the past.

Plus, G. is using language that distances the Maoists from the process unless they change dramatically. We know this is not possible, so this could lead to the dissection of the SPAM with the King going all out to eliminate the Maoists. Divide and conquer.

Hey SPAM: Time to put up or shut up. This is what G. has been trying to do since he sacked Deuba for incompetence a few years ago. Seems Deuba just couldn't bring himself to hold an election. I wonder why?

Oops! Big problems SPA, because M will never go for it. You are in a corner now. Reject a purely democratic gesture and be exposed for the selfish crooks you are, or go for the elections and lose your military might and street momentum with the Maoists. Blogdai fears the former will win the day as SPAM knows nothing of democracy, only protest.


A Lone Voice....

blogdai thanks our regular contributor, Naagboy for alerting us to this wonderful article by Dr. Thomas Marks. I have had the distinct pleasure of corresponding with Dr. Marks on a few occasions and picking his capacious brain for ideas on Nepal. (Admittedly, blogdai spends a bit of these exchanges begging Dr. Marks to write a column for us. ) Dr. Marks is currently on his way to Columbia (University or Country, I'm not sure) to give a lecture on counter insurgency, but has mentioned that he will try to write something for us in the future. Read this article; it is dead on and mirrors many of the thoughts we've expressed here at blogdai over the past year. Dr. Marks is part of that rare breed of Western Nepal observers: he's actually BEEN to Nepal. Not only that, but he's spent time in Rolpa--in the teeth of Maoist-central--documenting the insurgency. This is no Michael Van de Veer, Marks is the real deal...

(reprinted from

By Dr. Thomas A. Marks

Even as I write, events in Nepal unfold as if a Broadway play – nary a miscue from the script passed out months ago in the Nepalese media.
Having declared a "ceasefire inside the Kathmandu Valley," thus to gain the media "spin" that would necessarily come from "peaceful protestors" being "attacked," the Maoists proceeded elsewhere in the country to attack positions.
The Butwal attack is only the most recent example.
Open use of violence "outside" the urban centers has been accompanied by orchestrated rioting "inside." That the foreign media (with the help of the anti-government sectors in the Nepali media) persist in calling such "peaceful protest" only demonstrates how thoroughly detached they are from the reality of the people's war approach.

From the Maoist Playbook

To outline the Maoist strategy for those who were not present at the auditions for parts:

Overload the security forces "inside" while attacking with main forces "outside." Claim to be only supporting "peaceful" forces for change.

Use government troop deployments to advantage. If the security forces must move more men inside, flow into the vacuums left behind. If they move outside, send urban partisans inside.

Exploit every death and claim that any setback (e.g. failure to overthrow the government) proves that only the violent way is left to install "absolute democracy."

Break the RNA at all costs. RNA is the one real obstacle remaining in the quest for power.

So caught up is the SPA in its short-term effort to remain relevant that it is oblivious to long-term peril. SPA can be counted upon to mindlessly perform on cue.

Move now to exploit the opening provided by Indian perfidy. New Delhi senses an opportunity to at long last create of Nepal a dependency that will do as it is told.

From the Maoist perspective, they have adopted a "win/win" course of action: no matter what actually happens, they will benefit.

By declaring a "ceasefire outside Kathmandu Valley," they seal off the battle area, declaring that it will be a fight between rival bodies of manpower. They feel that the SPA manpower on the streets can overwhelm whatever the police and APF (the backup) can put on the playing field.

When the authorities make mistakes, which ultimately they must if SPAM plans go off as scripted, the government is again "human rights abusers" -- and the howls can already be heard from the usual suspects. Some elements of the Nepali media appear to be working deliberately to fan the anti-government flames.

Further, the violence allows the Maoists to claim they at least gave "peace" a chance.

The dream scenario, from the SPAM perspective, is to replay 1990, with masses rushing across the open boulevard leading to the main palace gate, the troops forced to open fire, bodies filmed by international media and beamed worldwide, India declaring it can no longer stand by "as democracy is crushed."

Role of India

India's role remains to be untangled, but no one who was in Sri Lanka in July 1987 – as I was – can overlook the startling similarities. The Indian invasion, conveniently disguised as the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force), was but the culmination of half a decade of support for Tamil insurgents/terrorists that New Delhi thought it could "manage."
Then, as now, the shape of the international arena played a significant role. India, many have forgotten, had sided with the Evil Empire. There were some 6-7,000 Soviet advisors in the country. It was the first country outside the Warsaw Pact to receive the MIG-29 fighter, the first (and only) ever to be rented a nuclear submarine.

Beyond all else, in a relationship only now emerging from files of the KGB spirited out of the country prior to the resumption of the authoritarianism, the government of Indira Gandhi allowed itself to be fed Soviet disinformation that convinced it Sri Lanka was a threat.
Alleged "special intelligence" provided by Moscow purported to prove Colombo was on the verge of granting Washington basing and spying facilities, India became involved with the Tamil insurgents, eventually training, arming, and basing them. When an initial massing of forces to invade in early 1984 was warned off by the Reagan administration, Delhi simply waited for a more propitious moment. This came in July 1987, as the Sri Lankans moved to crush the trapped insurgents in Jaffna.

What that moment shares with the present is the astonishingly bad "intelligence" that drove Indian policymaking, as well as the claim that "foreign hands" support the monarch. Putting the word in quotation marks only highlights what Indian field commanders realized within days of landing in Jaffna – there was little they had been given in their briefing packets that was accurate.

That India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had produced "analysis" every bit as flawed as any in the annals of intelligence debacles has since been recognized by no less than India's imperious Proconsul at the time, J.N. Dixit (now deceased) – though he continued to claim, even in his last writings, that India's information on America's intentions was completely reliable.

That India had completely botched its assessments of Sri Lankan ground realities would not surprise anyone who has followed what has emerged as the dominant government position in the present Nepali crisis. Indeed, Indian participants in panels held in Washington, DC, such as S.D. Muni, have distinguished themselves principally in what can only be characterized as willful ignorance of SPAM pronouncements and motives.

To cite but the most egregious example, the Indians continue to claim SPAM is willing to negotiate for itself a role in a parliamentary framework headed by a constitutional monarchy, even as the Maoists give press conferences claiming they will try the monarch in a people's court.

There do seem to be analysts who have correctly identified the astonishingly strategic myopia involved in destabilizing Nepal further even as India itself grapples with its own growing Maoist challenge. In his recent "India, Maoism and Nepal," former Finance Minister Madhukar S.J.B. Rana hit the nail squarely on the head when he wrote, "India is playing a dangerous game of pure real politic where it seeks to intervene in Nepal militarily by using the Maoist [as published] as proxy under the unbelievable propaganda 'to secure peace and democracy for the Nepalese people and to arrest the impending refugee inflow into its own territory'."
Change a word here and there, and the logic is identical to the debacle that became IPKF. It is further noteworthy that in the three bloody years that followed July 1987, IPKF acquitted itself well in "India's Vietnam" (as it was called by the press), even as Indian policymakers sought to cast blame for the blunder on anyone and everyone except themselves. (The most ludicrous position, of course, was the very one the Maoists advance now: it is all the fault of American imperialism.)

Where to From Here?

As irony would have it, it is the growing amicability of India and the US which has served as the strategic cover for New Delhi to bring Kathmandu to heel. Nepali sources have become increasingly blunt (and strident) in the same manner as the Sri Lankans all those years ago, as the Indian ties to Nepali violence become more clear.

One does not have to engage in plot mongering to posit that India is making a major policy error in steering its present course. Neither does one have to cast aspersions to point out the obvious: the SPA portion of SPAM has been willing to play the quisling for momentary political gain.
For it will be momentary, come what may. Let us suppose that the present government collapsed tomorrow. Where would that leave SPA? With two useless pieces of paper and a worthless sheath of promises.

What is tragic is that very little would seem to separate the sides at the moment save profound mistrust. The king agrees that parliamentary democracy should be restored with a constitutional monarch. The Maoists claim they will accept a democratic republic of whatever sort is decided by a constitutional convention. SPA claims the same. SPAM as a whole claims to desire a "ceremonial monarch" (but the "M" has been unwilling to desist from claiming a trial or exile is the only way out for the present monarch). RNA would become a true "national" army, which, not surprisingly, it already thinks it is.

It is important to interject RNA into the discussion, because the shape of any successor organization was a major sticking point in the previous 2003 round of ceasefire talks. SPAM seems to think this institution will simply agree to dissolve itself without discussions of what this entails.

That this will not happen was put to the Maoists directly in 2003, but they were as unwilling then to grapple with the complexities thus raised as they appear to be now. Yet the growing stratum of combat-tested, politically astute officers is not simply going to go as lambs to the slaughter.

Thus a great deal more thought is required upon the part of all sides. This will not take place as long as SPAM persists in its present course.

Dr. Thomas A. Marks is a political risk consultant based in Honolulu, Hawaii and a frequent visitor to Nepal. He has authored a number of benchmark works on Maoist insurgency.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Trial by Fire

Blogdai finds it ironic that the 7-party alliance will be pushing for "absolute democracy" tomorrow at their big showdown in Basantapur; while at the same time, their new democratic buddies, the Maoists, are threatening to "teach Manisha Koirala a lesson" for speaking on behalf of the King. they'll chase her down to the streets of Mumbai, they say.

The SPAM alliance is an absolute nut-house of clashing disjointed egos. The parties can't seem to control, regulate or even prevent Maoists from making violent threats against Manisha's right to free speech. Ol' autocratic meany King g. would have no opposition at all if he adopted this policy. Just kill everyone with an opposing viewpoint, right Prachanda?

From this alliance we've seen NO:

1. Hint of compromise or willingness to talk.

2. Concrete policy statements or even a remote idea on how they will run the country.

3. Elections

4. Acknowledment of any past Party wrongdoings or atrocities committed by Maoists.

5. Indication or remote clue that they can comprehend even ONE democratic concept.


Blogdai is no fan of violence, but there comes a time when rational debate and civil behaviour are no longer adequate tools to address and unbending and stubborn foe. We can no longer stand by while the forces of greed and self-interest continue to bring normal life and business in Nepal to a stand-still. If we are to have any chance for democracy in Nepal, we must now defend it's foundations: rule of law, public safety, equal representation and the committment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, to name a few. We cannot allow ourselves to be hijacked by a proven narrow and self-aggrandizing few who ally with terrorists in an attempt to gain power. Democracy is a beautiful flower borne out of many ugly labors. Now is the time for such labor.

Tomorrow will be bloody and will either resolve this mess or plunge Nepal into a factional (not civil) conflict.

Blogdai fears that this is a trial that Nepal must pass if it is to survive as a nation.

Reason is dead, only violence remains....


A Tale of Two Nations

Former Prime Minister: Thailand: Thaksin
Nepal: Koirala/Deuba collective

Financial Undoing: Thaksin: Shin-Corp.
Koirala/Deuba: Lauda Air and others

Elections: Thaksin: Held Snap elections in an effort to hold on to power. Koirala/Deuba: Attempt to cling to power by refusing to hold elections.

Will of the People: Made Thaksin step down as elections became a referendum on his corrupt administration. Koirala/Deuba realize that Nepalis won't act against corruption; they take this as a cue to falsely say they represent the people.

Respect for the System: Thaksin stepped-down Under public pressure and elections, bowing to the democratic process. Koirala/Deuba refuse to admit error or defeat. Respect the electoral and court system only when it works in their favor.

Public Demonstrations: Thailand: Used, in this context, as a tool to alert citizens to unconstitutional acts and corruption. Nepal: Used as a tool for advancing individual agendas with no regard for national unity.

The King: Thailand: Revered and Respected. Has acted As an impartial arbiter and final word on corrupt government practices. Nepal: Held as a pariah by many Western talking heads for, essentially, doing the same thing as Thailand’s King.

So now, on the eve of the big Maoist/Party protests, we try to find some meaning. The bottom line here--and why blogdai has supplied this little comparison--is: Do we believe in democracy? Are we committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes? Can we bear to have our personal agendas made subservient to the greater needs of all citizens? If we in Nepal were truly committed to democracy, then we would have found a democratic solution to our current problems. No lines of communication--Royal or Party--would have been severed. Talks are democratic, constant disruptive demonstrations are not.

The trouble is, Nepalis really don't believe in the democratic system. We demonstrate this every day. The big example is the 7-party/Maoist alliance with their unilateralism and tunnel vision, for sure; yet, the King is at fault as well, hiring a cabinet full of idiots who are no better than the fools they replaced. If we were to be honest with ourselves we would realize that, perhaps, the biggest blame lies with us: The Citizens of Nepal. Democracy means involvement and participation. We have not kept up our end of the bargain in that regard, so we really have no one to blame but ourselves. Apathy kills good ideas. Apathy is the great enabler of corruption.

It is ultimately WE who have allowed the Maoists to flourish; WE who stood by and did nothing while the Koirala's and the Deubas robbed us blind; and WE who try to escape into tribalism instead of speaking with a single, unified national voice.