Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Tipping Point



Can't get within a mile of Ratna Park but will try again. It's reaching a critical mass out in the streets. There's been a steady stream of humanity moving towards Ratna Park for the Big Rally. It just started (officially) but blogdai hasn't been able to get close. Even though Prachanda is a no show, there is tension in the air and the whole town is a tinder-box ready to ignite.

Those same bereft stone-throwing little boys we saw in the demonstrations last month are at it again; only this time they're wearing their Maoists finery. Nothing but peaceful co-existence for now, with maoists and security forces sometimes sharing crowd control duties. THERE ARE AT LEAST 500,000 PEOPLE MOVING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF TOWN RIGHT NOW. blogdai has watched this steady progression for the last 5 hours. Groups of young boys are getting increasingly bold now. Every chowk, every intersection and every major thoroughfare is full of them: directing traffic like they own the place. Maoist flags fly all around the ring road which has now universally been reduced to a big bus parking lot (above)---the result of the Maoists commandeering all transport heading into Kathmandu and forbidding any to leave.

A bad day to be in a car. Many new, mostly rural faces are on the streets touching and gesturing towards anything that hints of city-borne wealth. Groups of banner-waving Maoist factions from across the country clog traffic in waves. blogdai estimates there are hundreds of these "mini-mobs" (below) marching and chanting slogans at any given time.

What will happen at the rally? Many citizens are fearful that speakers will incite the crowd and turn them loose on houses and businesses in the capital.

The RNA has established an armed and ready "safe zone" encompassing durbar Marg and the Palace. They're on stand-by. Many feel that if the Maoists try to take over, the army will be turned loose. blogdai says: take aim and shoot straight, RNA.

Overall, the irrepressable Nepali spirit is still hopeful for a positive outcome. We'll see in an hour or so if Prachanda has manipulated this optimism to meet his own ends.

-=blogdai

15 Comments:

At 11:10 AM, June 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is RNA? I thought we only have NA.

 
At 1:51 PM, June 02, 2006, Anonymous chyangba said...

Blogdai,

You are at your best when you give us (street) reports without any political bias. The last two columns were wonderful. You must be the only person in Nepal who writes about what's really happening in Kathmandu at the moment.

What does Main Stream Media (MSM) have to say about all this? Not too much I am sure.

The intellectuals in Nepal are scared that the shit they cooked up is blowing up in their faces. Sadly, this is affecting us all!

Anyone still for "people power"?

 
At 2:13 PM, June 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is pretty much how I see the order of events and by a satirist of all people:
Nepal's misunderstood movement

Unfortunately, the King is not the most photogenic of personalities and the Royal massacre is always going to haunt him. Tabloids in a first world country would have hunted down Devyani Rana for her side of the story by now.

Personally, I wouldn't condone this. A person has a right to their privacy, which includes grieving etc. But the fact stands that because we have no closure on this episode in our history there will always be conspiracy theories in abundance, much to the Royal families detriment. And of course having a deadweight like Paras around you neck doesn't help either. As before, a good PR campaign would have sorted this out by now.

Now compare this to the feelings within the Maoist camp:
Each Citizen Should Own A Gun: Maoist Leader
Maybe they should sign up with the gun lobby in the U.S. and Charlton Heston...you dirty ape!

naagboy

 
At 2:35 PM, June 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops! try this:
Every Citizen Should Own A Gun: Maoist Leader

http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullstory.asp?filename=6a5Za9qa.9amal&folder=aHaoamW&Name=Home&dtSiteDate=20060602

naagboy

 
At 7:50 PM, June 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you hate quotes. But let me do this time: "blogdai says: take aim and shoot straight, RNA."

It must be very frustrating to you. The RNA did not shoot on the estimated half-million peaceful marchers.

You have entertained me for months now. But this blog was special: That the Prachanda [I am not one of his fans] did not turn up fearing the RNA! Did you also observe that Shahid Manch was captured by protestors and Shree Panch deleted?

After you have reached Nepal, you have become even more entertaining. I again salute to your faithfulness to Gyane. Alas, Gyane does not have many servents like you. Keep up your service to Gyane and entertain me. Great Job!

 
At 6:01 AM, June 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Blogdai! Finally I get to read from someone with a brain rather than from clowns running the circus that is Nepal. Keep up the good work! Maybe we could make this more "mainstream" rather than a corner of blog-space.

 
At 10:26 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

(One of our thoughful posters wishing privacy has pointed out that Wikipedia is currently being innundated with PRO spam babbling. Have a look over there and add comments as you see fit. -=BD)

Once again, this "Gyane" bird has shown up. Readers, blogdai publishes perhaps one out of every ten rantings of this person, but ocassionally it is good to hear how a person slips into single-mindedness and considers one side of the story to be the only side of a story.

I'll be publishing some Ratna park photos and observations in a few hours so stay tuned.

In the meantime I'll continue to be that "entertainig servan of Gyane" that keeps you simple ones on the edge of your seats.

-=blogdai

 
At 10:43 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Hey, if you all get a chance, read Naag's enclosed link to the BBC's(?) "nepal's misunderstood movement" Unbelievably, the Beeb has had it's "come to Jesus" moment and is beginning to smell a rat. Funny, the BBC was at the spearhead of the "democracy at all costs" reporting drumbeat that actually helped facilitate the protests of a month ago.

Lots of comments on this link. It seems many readers are not letting the BBC off the hook so easy. Comments are plentiful about how the western media manipulated the Nepal story for simplicity and increased readership.

Blogdai has written an article as an exclusive for pal Dharma Adhikary over at newslookmag.com addressing this same issue. It seems Dharma's new website is once again down for the count here in Nepal, so if any of you want me to republish the story here, I'd be glad to accommodate.

-=blogdai

 
At 11:38 PM, June 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I saw all the pictures of the mass rally, I got really sad. All most all of the hundreds of thousands of participants except a few were young people in teens and twenty's and their most productive years when they should be learning and working are being wasted. If we fail to gear these people towards productive activities very soon, our country will be a failure whether we have democracy, communism or the King's autocracy. Such a large mass of people not involved in any productive activities will be a source of instability in the future. It is a grim scenario.

On a lighter note, is that Blogdai on UWB? Did they blow up your cover?

 
At 4:45 AM, June 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:13-Nepal's misunderstood movement" I read it, boy am I glad these gringos 'johnny come lately" are finally catching up with the reality. Kudos to Gautaum- just for stating the Fact.

 
At 6:35 AM, June 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Egjactly, Anon 11:38. We will end up having a lost generation, who will have no opportunities and no future much to the detriment of Nepal. Instead of being a resource they will become a burden on the country.

naagboy

 
At 6:51 AM, June 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

newslookmag.com doesn't come up...i am outside nepal...so you can publish your article here.

nepaleyes.com is down from several days.

anyone investigating the reaons?

 
At 7:53 AM, June 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just been there it's:
http://www.nepaleyes.com.np/

naagboy

 
At 7:29 AM, June 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks, naagboy.

 
At 7:31 AM, June 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naagboy, thanks for giving me the exact address.

But still, the website has not been updated since long. Just check it.

 

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