Sunday, April 16, 2006

Democracy as Diversion

New SPAM: Made with 100% Red Herring
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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.
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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.
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If restoring democracy was truly the goal, the Alliance would have:
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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.
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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?
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3. Rallied the sentiments and views of the people, not through the coercion and momentum of street violence, but THROUGH ELECTIONS and equal representation.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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-=blogdai

30 Comments:

At 10:08 PM, April 16, 2006, Anonymous Vladimir said...

Heard the good allies of the SPA are using very democratic tactics out in their strongholds to pump up people participation in the rallies. The incentives are a hundred lashes for each member of every family that fails to send in at least one member to participate. Brilliant that, and utterly democratic, methinks.

 
At 11:11 PM, April 16, 2006, Blogger Pradeep Chand said...

Blogdai... I believe that its time for the king to quit. And sooner he withdraws his interference, its better. I also feel that nepali people should continue their protests untill they throw away these old corrupt and opportunist party leaders. We want new leadership.

 
At 1:42 AM, April 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

everyone knows the elections were a sham designed to legitimize the kings rule. it's hypocritical of you to claim the political parties are anti-democratic when the king actually sacked parliament and declared himself an autocratic ruler.

funny you should call the maoists terrorists. they're actually abolishing all the shit the king represents - fuedalism, child sex slavery, torture, etc...

the king's regime are the real "terrorists". the maoists are freedom fighters making a better life for some of the poorest people in the world. and soon the king will be executed and the people will be that much freer.

all power to the people.

 
At 6:11 AM, April 17, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Alas, I give you the complete loss of reason and perspective.

A breathtaking leap into the abyss of lost logic.

A vacuum of surrealism.

-=blogdali

 
At 8:00 AM, April 17, 2006, Blogger Ian said...

I give you: http://ondemocracy.blogspot.com/

I hope you can find some reason in my views -if not please feel free to correct me Blogdai.

 
At 3:35 PM, April 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai,

Can you stop publishing the shits that all the bullshitters have to publish! It's high time.

 
At 5:28 PM, April 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai,

You are entitled to your own beliefs and to support King. But have you ever wondered why this protest is getting so much support. I do not believe that people are coerced to participate. From Govt. employees to businessmen, students to common people support the movement. The fact that the movement has been suppressed with voilence as evidenced by 5 deaths have not deterred people. If SPA is as bad you say, why are people following them?

If the King is the savior to the problem as you suggest, why do most people in Himal poll blame him for the current situation.

 
At 6:47 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Ian, I'll read your link in a moment.

Anon, yes I am considering just waiting for reasonable comments from opponents that don't sound like they were composing with their head in a blender. It shows the power of stubborness. No amount of logic or reason will get some of these posters to even consider an opposing viewpoint now.

For anon 5:28, I am not so sure people are following SPA per se, I think people are showing increasing support for for the demonstrations for three reasons: First, violence, any violence, by government forces begats increased sympathy for the opposition from citizens. It's "Riot 101" philosophy and SPAM is using it perfectly. Openly defy civic laws and provoke police into acts of brutality. If a camera is there, so much the better.

I believe it is Greenpeace in the U.s. that actually trains its protesters on how to make an excruciatingly painful face every time they are touched by an authority. They know that a groundswell of sympathy will result from any photos taken of the face.

Secondly, public patience with the entire situation, both the royal and the Party stances, is at an end. citizens are rallying on their own, we've heard, just to force something, anything to a conclusion. The New York Times has observed this, as well as some of our readers. People just want peace.

Finally, SPAM is capitalizing on the average citizen's frustration at 200 years of royal dominance. There are chants in the streets of "Down with all Royalty" and "Put an end to Nepal's brutal history of repression." that sort of thing. Spam is dragging out all the old skeletons from the closet. Rana, Shah, Panchayat: all have come up in street slogans.

To get a mass movement, any mass off the ground you can't rely on non-starting issues. SPA has been protesting against "regression" and for "democracy" for ages. It never took hold on a national level because no one trusted Koirala to represent them. SPAM knows this and is looking for the big hook issue that will rally more than the usual 5 or ten thousand party loyalists they usually get. "Avenge prior repressive royal dictatorships" might just do it for them.

And don't think for a second that support for these movements is at a national tipping point. We must still remember that the King has the army and a majority of Nepalis want nothing to do with these protests.

i will say one more time, I don't believe G. to be anyone's savior. He is a safety valve, training wheels, if you will for a democracy that has been run into the ground by infants. Like him or not, he's holding up the bicycle.

And really, to say that most people blame G. for the problem is short sighted. Have we all just suddenly forgotten about the Maoists? No, let the media say what they will: they make no denials about their SPAM partisanship. Talk to the Nepali on the streets.

Speaking of that, dammit, where is Shiva when we need him?

-=blogdai

-=blogdai

 
At 6:57 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Everyone,

Check out Ian's new blog, ondemocracy.blogspot.com

It's a good, thoughtful presentation of the situation in Nepal today.

My prayer for Ian is that he only gets scholars as posters..I'll handle the shit storm here, ha!

-=blogdai

 
At 10:35 PM, April 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right blogdai. This has never been about "democracy". This is simply a strategy of the Maoists to overthrow the monarchy in Nepal--who is the last obstruction to complete Maoist victory in this Himalayan nation.

The SPAM alliance is just that. On the part of the politicians, they think that alligning with the Maoists will pressure the King to give them back some power to make their money and exert their influences in this society--which they have lost since February 1 2005.

But in the name of "democracy" the whole world is being fooled by the Maoists.

Fresh reports coming in from the rural areas confirm that not only are the Maoists taking active part in these movements (this has been admitted by the Maoist leadership themselves) but they are forcing villagers to take part in the "peaceful" protests at the barrel of the gun. Anyone who refuses to send at least one member of their household is punishable to 100 whips!

The western media must not open their mouths without understanding the fundametals of this movement.

A recent coverage by CNN interviewed a Nepali Washington Post correspondent by the name of Chitra Tiwari who was asked about the "infiltration" by Maoists in this movement, and Mr. Tiwari answered that even if it is, it is peaceful infiltration.

Mr. Tiwari obviously considers pelting stones, using catapults, setting cars and motorcycles on fire, vandalizing offices, burning toxic tires in dense urban areas as being "peaceful" actions. AS LONG AS THE MAOISTS DON'T FIRE A GUN OR DETONATE A BOMB, ALL ELSE IS GAME.

Well, let me give you the other side of another story about an incident that took place at the home of an Assitant Inspector General (AIG Moktan)last week. Newspapers claimed that the policemen fired indiscriminately at the crowds and showed a picture of a handgun pointing out the second floor window.

What happened before that is that a group of protestors were walking by his house and one of them pointed out that this was the home of a policeman, so some of them started pelting stones at the home and broke some windows (if you look closely at the photo of the gun sticking out the window you can see that the glass is broken). Anyway, AIG Moktan's wife came to the front gate and requested the agitators to stop this barbaric act, that this was their private residence. AT THIS POINT SOME PEOPLE POURED KEROSENE ON MRS. MOKTAN AND THREATENED TO LIGHT HER UP IN FLAMES! This is when the cops started to open fire to disburse the crowd and save Mrs. Moktan.

Mr. Tiwari, what would you have done if it was your wife in that situation?

So please, CNN, BBC, and other correspondents, please, please get your facts right before you launch your campaigns to "restore absolute democracy" in Nepal. There are extremely smart people trying to establish not absolute democracy but absolute Pol Pot style communist regime in Nepal.

May you not be responsible for that.

 
At 11:23 PM, April 17, 2006, Anonymous shiva said...

Pradeep Chand,

You say cooly, "I believe that it's time for the King to quite...We want new leadership"

May I ask you who you think is that new leadership? Bringing in that kind of change through this kind of movement is a sure recipe for disaster.

I will bring into light the scenario that unfolded in Somalia in 1989 when rebel groups in Somalia ousted the then President Siad Barre. Opposition forces were united to launch an offensive that resulted in indiscriminate massacres by the government forces and opposition forces ultimately
leading to the ousting of President Siad Barre. Oppression was subdued and victory was at hand. But what unfolded immediately after was a bloody infighting among the "united" opposition forces because they had not done their homework well on what next, after overthrowing the ruling government. Seventeen years later, Somalia is still plagued by Civil War--one group being violently overthrown by another.

I cannot but see the same situation unfloding in Nepal currently.

I agree with you Pradeep that we are all looking for new leadership. I think this Blog has time and again stressed on that. But is this the right way to achieve that goal?

Look at the demonstrations, it has moved dangerously ahead of the demands of the constitutional forces. I don't think it is under the control of the parties anymore. The King is in a corner and so is the SPA. If anyone, it is the Moaists who have gained an advantage from all of this.

There are arguments that the Maoists are looking for a "safe landing", that they will join mainstream politics and abide by democratic norms. But I am sorry to say that when you analyze Prachanda's interview with BBC, he is not at all convincing in that. Furthermore, his inability to take criticism from anyone else in the CPN(M) has been apparent time and again. Have we forgotten that he removed Baburam from the central committe for differing with him? And the recent sacking of two central committee members, again, for differing with him? Does this point towards a leadership that will adopt democratic principles?

So tomorrow, hypothetically, let's say that the King steps down and hands over power to the people. The question is now, who is "the people"? You cannot give power to everyone can you? So who will step up to accept this responsibility? I don't see any coherent plan out there, do you? Everyone in the SPA wants to be the president. Do you think that Girija will step aside and watch Madhab Nepal ascend the presidential throne? Or for that matter do you believe that Madhab will step aside and clap is hands as Girija ascends that throne?

Second, where is Prachanda and the Maoists in all this? Do you think that a group that has suffered for a decade, living in the harsh jungles, who have lost thousands of their cadres, will just sit back and watch Girija and Madhab take all the sweets?

Third, and perhaps the most important, where is the RNA in this picture? If the King is, as anonymous 1:42 states "executed" do you think the RNA will just sit back and watch?

My friend, without a reign to hold them back, the RNA will run loose like a rabid dog.

If you want a change in leadership, let's start by restructuring the parties. Let's get rid of the Koirala family dictatorship within the NC. Let's oust Surya B. Thapa, Pashupati, Madhab, and all the fools who ruined Nepal in the past and put educated people in the helm. Why don't the demonstrator's call for a change in party statutes, like putting a clause like compulsory master's degree for anyone who will be given a ticket to run for member of parliament, central committee of parties etc. Why don't we call for a term limit for party president, prime minister, and member of parliament? Why don't we fight the corruption within the party and within the government bureucracy?

I believe that this is the pre-requisite to real change in Nepal.

The best option out of this mess right now is a coalition interim government--hopefully with the participation of the CPN(M) as well.

For this, everyone must be willing to hang their egos in the closet and come out for dialogue. I am sorry to say, but I don't think it's the King who is unwilling this time...

 
At 1:49 PM, April 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moriarty given a demarche

HNS
KATHMANDU:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday summoned US Ambassador, James F Moriarty, and issued him a demarche for remarks made in an interview to CNN. Foreign Secretary Hira Bahadur Thapa reminded the envoy about diplomatic norms while making comments on Nepal’s King and other internal affairs.
An official at the American Centre confirmed that Moriarty was summoned by the Ministry. In the interview the envoy had said the US did not want to see King Gyanendra forced to flee clinging on the wings of a helicopter.

 
At 2:38 PM, April 18, 2006, Blogger Ian said...

As a side note, i just want to say thank you to Blogdai for allowing me to plug ondemocracy.blogspot.com

I have far too many thoughts on Nepal in my jelly brained head to leave as comments on your Blog so I decided to expand upon them. Thank you for providing the inspiration!

I have been reading your Blog since Feb 1st 2005 and what strikes me is that your critics have rarely put up a constructive argument despite their insults. I look forward to the day when you are thoroughly challenged in your views.

 
At 3:08 PM, April 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai,

Who better than you to teach democracy! Running an anonymous blog site might seem like running a great empire for you. And a democratic one at that.

Hats off to you for accurately reading the public's minds, fanning the flames of reconciliation, and standing up for TRUE democracy, oh so fearlessly and with such convictions! Bravo!!

- rajesh

 
At 4:12 PM, April 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Rajesh. I hope you are serious but I hear a tone of sarcasm in your praise. Mr. Blog dai is one viewpoint of many. The views presented here are more rounded and stalwart than those of some others and it takes more than a bit of moxie to go against the mad mob the way Blog dai has.

If not blogdai, then whom?

 
At 4:35 PM, April 18, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Is this Rasjesh KC? The Rajesh who has provided all the riot photos? More importantly the Rajesh who works with Kantipur?

So now, the Rioters are planning to break the security cordon and storm the palace. Very democratic.

Blogdai wishes they would change their minds, turn around 180 degrees and storm Moriarty's residence. Wouldn't it be nice to see that old babbling idiot hanging from "the wings of a helicopter," eh?

When this thing is over, maybe sooner, Moriarty will be gone, that's a predictions.

Read Ian's take on SPAM's limited window of opportunity. It makes perfect sense. This thing will be resolved before the monsoon. Perhaps that's why girija is planning to storm the palace. blogdai remembers when girija postponed his major protest initiative last year so that everyone could go home for Dashain. Same thing here. Go for broke before the monsoon.

To G: hold fast, don't listen to Moriarty, and turn your boys loose in defense of the palace this April 20th.

Ian, good luck. I will be in heaven the day the opposition stops screaming slogans at me and starts to rationally de-bunk my assertions. On that day, blogdai will rejoice in the knowledge that nepal, no matter the outcome, is in good hands.

Ah, dreams....

-=blogdai

 
At 4:51 PM, April 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

www. boycott kantipur . com/net/info/org/np

Rajesh KC. A Sold out anti-nationalist.

 
At 6:34 PM, April 18, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Just got a posting that I immediately deleted, but then thought again and thought you all should see it:

"We have broken the backs of SPAM. Now we just need to break their will!
Carry on the movement. We have just started and we have a million mile to go.
Jai Nepal, Jai Sri Paanch Maharaja Gyanendra Bir Bikram Sahadev!"

Nothing makes blogdai more remorseful. It reinforces my belief that nepal is too immature for democracy. the comment is pure thoughtless tribalism. We look for some signs of sanity and stability from ANY side of this conflict, but I lament to you now. Behold the complete death of reason.

-=blogdepressed

 
At 9:22 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous thapa said...

Ian's suggestion that the agitation must be over before the monsoon is nothing particularly insightful - Girija said as much in a recent interview:
"We have to energise our agitation in the next two months. We must finish it off before the monsoon."

 
At 10:27 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word is the King is going to reinstate parliament IF the parties agree NOT to go for Constitutional Assembly. NC would agree to this but not UML...perhaps that is why the King released Madhav Kumar!

If the parties do not agree....word is that the King will declare State of Emergency.

Sadly...the people on the street have all moved beyond this and both the King and Parties are in CHECKMATE!

 
At 10:34 AM, April 19, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

That is a very good guess.

Take your cues from the old man, K.P. Bhattari. After emerging from his one-on-one with G. he instantly rejected the idea of a constituent assembly and said that Nepal's constitution is just fine the way it is--it just needs some new vigor.

blogdai likes that old guy.

-=blogdai

 
At 10:43 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Nepal is not ready for democracy now, pray tell us how she can be ready in a year's time under an authoritarian rule when the king wants to hold election.

 
At 10:48 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you have re-instated the Parliament, you cannot have the King say the Parliament can do this and the Parliament cannot do that.

The Constitution provides that the Parliament can change it by two-thirds majority. Parliament moves by the wishes of the people, not the king. Clearly, the king is desperate and is seeking to keep playing "divide and conquer".

 
At 10:06 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to the wellwishers of poor nepalese for flowing funds for "Loktantra" in Nepal.

The US Dollar, Euro and IC have played a lot as contribution in favor of loktantra. The logo of loktantra itself cost much to India to sell in nepalese market.

The lawyers association has been converted to NGO with Euro. The persons committed to law and order could not resist the heat of Euro, which has been funded to help poors in legal matters are taking daily allowance as protestors.

Have you seen human right activists, lawyers and journalists protesting and pelting stones on poor police in other countries ? You can see in Nepal and because you get extra allowance for pelting stones.

If you go to temples and streets you will not find beggars and khates because they are being engaged for loktantra @ 100 per day and food.

Can you imagine how much it is paid for breaking vehicles ? it is 5000 to one who pelt stone.

Every thing is costly in loktantra. Nothing is organised without funding. Every body directly involved are getting monetary benifit from it. The poor peoples are following them without knowing the result of loktantra.

The persons claiming themselves as political activists, lawyers, journalists, doctors, engineers and so called think tanks are not nepalese nationals. They put nepalese cap on head only to cover the sins on them.

The reinstation of house will cost more than 50 corores as allowances to the corrupts, so they are insisting for revival of house. House is safe and beneficial place for them.

The top leaders including maoists are having luxurious life at the cost of blood of poor people.

The rich persons of Loktantra

Mr Gagan Thapa and Guru Ghimire
Me Shambhu Thapa and Madhav Baskota
The NGOs and INGOs
Human right activists having family farming of NGOs
Kantipur Publications
The Desh drohi political leaders


Unless US Embassador and Mr Ian Martin will leave nepal, there will be no stability in nepal.

 
At 2:27 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually here's what I could find about what the ex-PMs said:



Nepal king consults former prime ministers

KATHMANDU, Nepal, April 18 (UPI) -- Nepal's King Gyanendra has held talks with two former Nepali prime ministers, who said after the talks that democracy would be restored soon.

The king met Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Surya Bahadur Thapa separately at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace Monday. Both political leaders, members of the seven-party opposition alliance, came out of the meeting with positive reports, The Hindu reported.

The founder and president of Nepali Congress, Bhattarai said: "The present situation will change and democracy will be restored. It should be restored."

Thapa, the president of Rastriya Janashakti Party, told reporters, "I have told the king to initiate a dialogue with the parties." Thapa said he suggested to the king that talks with constitutional forces should be held, and also predicted that the situation will change soon.

The king is consulting with international leaders and on Sunday granted separate audiences to the ambassadors of India, China and the United States.

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060418-050037-9976r

 
At 7:03 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

20 minutes left of the curfew. Word on the street that there will be a mass march on the palace tonight. It seems we are coming down to the final hours. Is this a sign of desperation on the part of the parties?

 
At 8:37 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...ah read karna shakya's article in nepali times ..online...if only evryone could think like that and speak out with such courage the country wouldnt be in such a hijacked situation.

 
At 8:45 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curfew has been extended for 7 more hours.

Karan Singh says the king will make an announcement soon.

 
At 9:25 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am forwarding the commnet posted by Anonymous (At 10:06 PM, April 19, 2006) to my friends and concerns.

Keep on the movement.

 
At 12:35 AM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous Jensen said...

So we have established that the opposition, the king and the Maoists are not democratic … but who are then democratic? The people of Nepal? Or do they just want peace so they can conduct their daily life? Aren’t the protest more a statement from the Nepali people saying enough is enough?
Help me out here!!

 

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