Back on the Street
blogdai will be reporting live from Kathmandu until further notice. I've spoken with quite a few citizens already and will be giving you their opinions, unedited, over the next few columns. Live quotes will be in Green. All photos taken by blogdai. -=BD
"If the situation stays like this, there will be civil war."
Nepal lingers in a cloud of uncertainty. There is an emerging acknowledgement that the accomplishments of the recent protests--seen as mostly positive-- were conceived in partisanship-- agenda-driven and myopic in scope. On thing stands out as clear, however; from the dawn of the protests right through to the re-emergence of parliament, this is a Maoist show. Prachanda and his boys remain unbent, unbroken and riding a tide of momentum.
"Many new (suspicious) faces are on the streets now."
Brand new Maoist droppings in Kathmandu
Each day brings another example of Nepal's drift towards chaos. Rule of law is neither adhered to nor enforced. Power seems to lie in one's ability to stir otherwise composed masses into an angry mob.
Such is the insanity of the recent spate of hospital attacks. The Baneshwor attack tell us all we need to know about the current state of civil order in Kathmandu. It seems a young man became so irate when his father died at a nursing facility in Baneshwor that he began to severely beat some of the attending physicians there. Eventually, guards were called and the young man was removed. End of story right? Not in today's Kathmandu, I'm afraid.
Windows? Who needs windows...
The angry man immediately began telling all who would listen that the doctors had killed his father deliberately. We now can sprinkle in a generous helping of activist students, combine it with the current Nepali propensity to act on passionate pleas rather than logic, and voila': the young man had his newly created mob--assembled and ready for action. And act they did! Every window in the facility was shattered and equipment damage was extensive. Long live "the will of the people." My, isn't this a wonderful new, vibrant democracy we've all created?
"Everything is now solved on the street with violence. It is all they (SPAM) know how to do."
So, let's take a first pass at some sort of analysis:
SPA: Powerless puppets. The Maoists are about to discard them like a used rickshaw.
KING: Should have waited to give in. Could have held out until the monsoon. Blundering badly with his possible involvement with the Hindu extremist demonstration. (How's your own medicine taste, SPAM?)
MAOISTS: In the driver's seat. Not one aspect of their plan or ideology has been compromised.
CODE OF CONDUCT/PEACE TALKS: Some real interesting points. Maoists are in such control that they can play along with this charade through the monsoon and paint themselves as peace-loving heroes in the process. Overall, this is mostly a monsoon-down-time-diversion. Tellingly, nothing agreed upon that requires the Maoists to concede one point of their communist ideology.
JUNE 5 MAOIST RALLY AT RATNA PARK: Pivotal. No more bluffing. If Prachanda shows up as anticipated, he'll either claim control of the government or agree to go into the political mainstream. blogdai sees the latter as it will allow the Maoists to continue to work their agenda covertly.
"This Maoist rally is very important. We all hope Prachanda says he will be open now. If he tries to say Maoists are in charge, army must rise up and defeat him."
RNA: If they go to Girija, Nepal is finished. They and the King are still powerful. (Remember, all G. had to do was pull the trigger and the outcome would have been different) Pure speculation, but blogdai hopes the RNA will establish itself as an independent third party or balancing entity.
INDIA: Waiting and planning. How do you say "Sikkim"in Nepali?