Thursday, October 26, 2006

Winds of Change

Can you feel it?

Nepalis are getting fed-up. Maoist atrocities are increasing and it's the same old inept "business as usual" from Girija and his cronies.

An actual "People's Movement" is starting to take hold. For the first time, we see what appears to be mass, spontaneous outrage and intolerance of Maoist cruelty. Just a few days ago, thousands of citizens took to the streets in Jhapa in a mass display of disgust at Maoist atrocities. It seems one band of clueless cadres thought that playing dice and cards during Tihar was a Maoist moral no, no. Oops! For a group of violent little boys who claim to represent "The People," how could they have miscalculated so? Everyone knows you DO NOT mess with traditional gambling games during Dashain or Tihar. The little Maoists were subsequently thrashed and paraded naked through the streets.

Listen Prachanda, looking the other way and claiming that atrocities by your cadres is "not authorized" no longer holds sway in the villages. Retalliations for Maoist acts are increasing in numbers and people are tired of living in fear. Witness this report off Mercantile's site (paraphrased):

Irate by the continuous excesses of the Maoists, local people of Sarlahi vandalized two barriers at Ranijung area of the district put by the Maoists for collecting taxes from the vehicles plying at the street.
Local vandalized the barriers and chanted slogans against Maoists, protesting the Maoist’s act of taking into control a local youth and beaten him seriously in the charge of consuming alcohol on Tuesday.
The locals also warned Maoists not to collect any form of taxes in the area and also warned of dire consequences if they did not obey.
In another incident, seven people including four Maoists were injured, when villagers protesting the Maoist atrocities clashed with the Maoists in eastern Jhapa district on Tuesday evening, radio reports said.
Three locals and four Maoists were injured, when a group of 15 Maoists attacked locals, who were protesting against Maoist excesses at Kumari bazaar of the district.
The villagers taken into control four Maoists injured in the incident.
In yet another incident local people of Situwa bazaar of Dhankuta district organized Situwa bazaar bandh (Shut-down) and also blocked the Koshi highway protesting the Maoist excesses.
They protested the rebels move to take into control people playing cards in Tihar festival and confiscating money from them.
Maoist leadership however refutes such reports of Maoist excesses saying it is against the party policy, but they remained indifferent from the acts of their cadres. pb Oct 25 06

Perhaps people are finally realizing that there is no central controlling mechanism running the Maoists. They are no more than roving gangs of autonomous thugs that must be dealt with on the ground level where they operate.

And then there is the Nepal Jana Tantrik party. blogdai loves this because such an organization is formed and gets its support under the same mandate that launched the Maoists to power: dissatisfaction withs the status quo. In this case, the dissatisfaction is not only with SPA ineptitude again, but with Maoisms brutal hand in the villages.

"An armed struggle has been declared from the far west to show disagreement with the current political activities under which all others except the seven political parties making up the SPA and the Maoists are being treated badly..." says the party. They plan a series of "sabotage" programs that will begin this December. We need to watch this closely.

First off, as Dr. Marks has told us, the Maoists will broach no rivals in the field. That is why they loved to knock-off UML's rural representatives. If this Jana Tantrik party is for real, look for real clashes with the Maoists. If this is in fact a true people's front, this could spell the end for Maoism in Nepal.

Next, and more critical, the Jana Tantrik party needs to downplay their "royal" support. This could turn them into no more than just another violent faction with its own unilateral political dogma. Maoists in different stripes, if you will. No, this party will succeed only if it is inclusive. It is enough to portray oneself as the lone voice willing to stand up to Maoist tyrrany and government inattention on behalf of rural citizens. These themes alone are enough to unify Nepal and get a wide base of public (not coerced) support. Is Jana Tantrik the catalyst for unity? Only time will tell.

The important thing is that there is a palpable realization that people are moving past their fears and taking matters into their own hands. Perhaps a true leader will emerge from this. A leader with public service and national unity as a goal.



He's done it again. That ol' scenile reprobate can't keep his imperious tongue quiet.

Dammit! Why doesn't he just curl up and expire?

In a monumental act of singular hubris and sabotage, Girija Koirala says flatly that the Nepali Congress will not, under any circumstances, go for a republican form of government; and, oh, this will not affect either the peace talks or the 7-party alliance.

He's said it and done it all along; it's Girija's way or the highway. Remember back last year when Ol' Babu puffed out his ailing chest and proclaimed that only HE could bring the Maoists to the table? (See blogdai: "Absolutely Insane") He has only one speed and it's as autocratic as any monarch with a mean streak.

Now, do you think he's going to let any citizen have a voice through elections and possibly disrupt his unilateral proclamations? Not on your life. Girija never cared for the idea of a constituent assembly and as long as he's alive, there will NEVER be an election held for such a body. This is his fiefdom and he is King; make no mistake about it.

What does this say about the state of Nepali politics when we can find no one better than this insane old man to speak for us? Whether his statements were his "personal views" or not, the timing of their release shows a monumentally remedial grasp of the political process. You don't alienate people who are already half-way out the door, you warped old fart.

So now today, UML's number two elf, Bam Dev Guatam says that the UML will go for a republican government with or without the NC. Couple that with the fact that the Maoists are already strutting around Kathmandu issuing orders like they own the place; and yes, Girija, I can see what you mean when you say that the "alliance" will hold and that you can amost guarantee that talks will be a success. How absurd!

Let's take an inventory shall we? Talks break off and no concrete date is set for their resumption; Maoists are issuing orders and conducting police actions in the street; and a major fissure is developing in the "alliance" with the UML making multiple overtures about same. Freedom from responsibility pundits might say that this is just "messy old democracy" finding its way, but we might as well call this new government and their vigorous non-attempts at anything what it is:



Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Little Elf Makes His Play

Best buddies Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal joking about how much the guy behind them looks like Kunda Dixit

blogdai knew it. Some of you criticize blogdai for always making predictions and prognostications. Why do I do it? Simple; the players in our little drama have never learned from nor altered their past behaviours so it becomes easy to predict their future movements.

When we last mentioned Madhav Kumar Nepal we predicted that he would directly align with Maoist philosophy and politics. Well, today, The Little Elf's UML party throws a wrench into parliamentary unity(?). Today, the Himalayan times comes out with this ditty:

Saying that it should “play a vital role” in arriving at a deal with Maoists, the UML has made it clear that it will stand alongside the Maoist leadership on crucial questions.“We will have to focus on political issues tomorrow. "

This really is Madhav's only play; his only chance at political relevance. His UML has always talked the pro Maoist line and Madhav knows he is nothing without their partnership. Plus, if The Little Elf becomes a Maoist, he gets GUNS and the whole spectrum of political credibility and autonomy that military capability in Nepal provides.

This could bring about a big power shift in parliament. See what you get, Girija, by not compromising and not seeking concensus?

Those of us with wandering minds could easily forsee a huge political chasm forming with Girija and his increasingly feeble coalition on one side and Madhav and the Maoists on the other side. The RPP can't stand Girija either so it is not impossible for them to jump ship as well.

"Maoist Kumar Nepal:" Kinda' has a ring to it, don't you think?


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Prediction: Failure!

Prachanda gets off on the wrong foot at peacetalks by claiming to be able to "see right through" Girija's ears.

Maoist atrocities increasing, governmental ineptitude and stagnation firmly in control: What better condition could one ask for on the eve of the "talk of all talks" parley between Girija and Prachanda?

Let's see where we are as we stare into the abyss:

Girija's Government: In command of its own status quo, will not give up one ounce of governmental power to the Maoists. Girija has NEVER compromised his place at the head of the corruption table and will not start now. But, one small glimmer of hope: Girija knows he's under more scrutiny this time and is under pressure to actually accomplish something; but he just can't seem to bring himself to do anything useful. The talk of re-uniting with Deuba's NC factions are merely decoys designed to distract from the surging public cries that Girija's government is fractionated and worthless, so we can't look on this as an article of substance. SPA is becoming a marginal entity at best. They can't govern and they don't have guns. Girija needs guns and will be under pressure to find a way to get them.
Girija's failure scenario: The public will become increasingly anxious by Girija's dithering---and then, perhaps, the REAL REVOLUTION will gather some steam; or, the Maoists simply walk away from the table.

Prachanda' Maoists: Have never enjoyed so much power, recognition and world support (thanks UN!) as they do now. They may agree on paper for a disarmament, but they will NEVER give an inch in the countryside. With complete bufoons like Ian Martin telling Nepalis that the Maoists don't have to give up their guns until a political settlement is reached, Prachanda must feel fairly good about his chances. He's not only back-doored his murderous cadres into making a viable challenge for government control, he's had the backing of the world community to boot. Prachanda really has nothing to lose during this time of negotiation. blogdai thinks he'll use every excuse in the book to forward his position. Moriarty's meddling comments and SPA delays are the current finger-pointing exercises he's using as levereage to eventually get out of compromise and disarmament. Prachanda's failure scenario: Eventually, even the meat-headed fools at the UN will not be able to ignore the constant tally of atrocities committed by Prachanda's barely-controlled cadres and be forced to act on the international level.

The Weapons Issue: The only issue. In a land such as Nepal where government is worthless and inept, eventually, control will come down to those who can impose their will most convincingly. That leaves the Maoists and the King. Forget the army fighting for Girija and forget Maoist factions being a part of the army. None of this will ever happen because all involve one or both armed factions ceding at least some of their power; and armed power is increasingly becoming the only viable political currency.

The Final Failure Scenario: We all lose. Girija, once again facing his own political obscurity, will let the Maoists keep their guns. (Remember: Ian Martin said it was OK!) Girija needs to align himself with some group, any group, with the power of armed enforcement or else he's finished. Forget the army. They're still electing their own leaders and functioning autonomously while being fiercely loyal to the King. Nope, Girija has the Maoists at the table and will give away the farm to bring their guns on board and keep himself in power. How will he do it? Through some ineffective language that provides for something like "self-monitoring" of arms and an agreement "not to adversely influence" any rural politics.

blogdai says it here: The Maoists will walk away from these talks with everything they need-- and fully armed.