Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Dark Ages

The government has declared a nation-wide power crisis and announced an increase in the load-shedding hours to 12-14 hours a day, starting Sunday 28th December. Electricity usage in hoarding boards has also been banned.

We already have load shedding for 10 hours daily six days a week. So this is not a new development. But, as someone who only has a layman's knowledge of electricity generation, I just wish the government would also clearly spell out WHY the load-shedding hours are constantly increasing. It is not enough for Ministers to proclaim a "national crisis" without letting the people know exactly what is causing this crisis, how long is it going to last, and what steps (besides the hoarding boards mentioned above) are being taken to economise on electricity usage. This information is the right of the people.

If this truly is a national crisis, it certainly does not affect the roughly 35% of the population which has never had access to electricity. Those of us who have access, I presume, need to do our individual share in conserving electricity. Common-sense steps such as wearing more clothes rather than using heaters; using lights only in the room which one occupies, shutting off all other lights - a good torchlight is enough to do this switching-on/switching-off operation; watching television sparingly; etc.

Any takers?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Politics of Violence

The Prime Minister was quoted yesterday as saying that "the barrel of the gun is still relevant" for Nepali politics. Apparently "the gun will come into the hands of the people" again. So after a 10-year insurgency and about 13,000 Nepali deaths, when we are supposed to be having a New Nepal, the executive head of the country who also happens to be the Chairman of the Maoist party is still thinking about the gun. He says he is still committed to the peace process, and that is commendable. Indeed, he is in the process of extending UNMIN's stay in Nepal after its current term expires on 31 January 2009.

Communist parties have the unfortunate habit of identifying the People with their party, rather than the other way around. So when Mr. Dahal talks about the gun coming into the hands of the people, he is implying that when and if the Maoists take up their guns again, they will be doing so on behalf of the People. With 220 seats in the Constituent Assembly, the Maoists constitute 37% of the CA members. It is the largest party in the CA and the leader of the governing coalition. But it still represents only 37% of the CA - a long shot away from representing the People, without even a simple majority. So let us not confuse the Maoist party with the people.

Given the success that the Maoist party has had with the utilisation of guns, it has become a role model for any other group which has a political ax to grind, be it from the right or from the south. Should we go back to the politics of violence, there will be other groups besides Maoists who will be toting guns. Let this not be ignored.

Finally, the PM is expected to embody the fabled New Nepal, our hope for the future. His initial stance of moderation and statesmanship must not give way to doctrinaire jingoism. Maoist ideologues may spout off that the final objective is socialism and communism via "new populism". The word that these ideologues must not forget is "realism". Should the politics of violence re-emerge, whether with disturbances in the streets or with guns, we are destined for absolute chaos - because the participants in this violence will not only be the Maoists this time.

Let the guns stay where they belong, in the hands of the Nepal Army!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Terrorism - Mumbai, 27-28 November 2008

At the time of this writing, Indian commandos are fighting terrorists in various hotels and other sites in Mumbai. The death toll has exceeded 130, many more wounded, and hostages aplenty. Instead of the usual surreptitious bombs, this time the terrorists made a bold frontal assault with guns blazing. Apparently this is to protest the targeting of Muslims by government authorities, India's current cozying up to the US, the Kashmir issue, etc. It is very easy to find reasons to kill people if one is so inclined.

I have used the term "terrorists" freely above. By definition, it is negative and prejudiced. The attackers in Mumbai surely see themselves as enforcers of justice, preservers of their religion, and protectors of their own. They may be justified, to some extent, in their self perception. The question then is whether their method of protest is acceptable. Right off, it is difficult to justify the killing and terrorizing of innocent people. BUT, and here I am going out on a limb, when there is no other means to make people listen to you, is this sort of violence not the only way?

The end result in Mumbai is foregone. The security forces will kill or capture the terrorists. There will be hostage casualties. Once more, "mindless mujaheddin menace" will be vilified by all and sundry. Violent force will have been squashed by counter-violence. And so it will continue.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Murder Unbecoming

Kathmandu is closed down today with protests against the murder of two youths allegedly by the Maoist youth wing - YCL. Further, the UML claims that the two youths belonged to its youth wing.

I remember a time, when I could call myself a youth, when a killing in Nepal would cause a national furor. Of course those were the days when Kathmandu was not polluted, tourism was in a nascent state, the NC was outlawed (sic), law and order was not even an issue, and, yes, there was no democracy either (but that's a Pandora's box not within the purview of this blog).

So, on the current "bandh"...two political murders, a "high-level" commission set up by the Home Minister to investigate...the capital closed down, which is not a rarity. But this time, let the Government (1) come out quickly with a definitive result of their investigation and bring the murderers to justice, and (2) let all justice-loving Nepalis support this protest - it is not only the YCL and Maoists who have a monopoly of the streets.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Constituent Assembly Regulations finalized - 8 months after the CA election

"The (CA) regulations...have provisions on forming various subject wise committees, methods of passing bills on constitution, ways of their authentication and so on.
The regulations will now be passed by the CA paving the way for starting the process of writing new constitution.
In absence of the regulation, the process of writing the constitution could not start even eight months after the CA election.", 11 Nov 08

It is with great relief and anticipation that this writer greets the above news. Finally, the process of drafting a new constitution can begin. Finally, the 601 CA members can start earning their salaries. Finally...finally...

We the People are holding our breath, dear Samsads. Please don't let us self-suffocate!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our Neighbour in the South

A comment I posted on 1st October in the 30th September blog has initiated a lively discussion. It has been felt that my critical remarks on "our neighbour in the South" is unwarranted and is the usual blame game we Nepalis play vis-a-vis India.

Please read the comments on what has now turned out to be an interesting debate...and join in with your views please!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama's Victory Speech

Politicians make speeches. However, when someone, who will from January 2009 (arguably) be the most powerful man in the world speaks, it is prudent to listen. Beneath the rhetoric are clear substantive issues. I have 'edited' the speech for brevity.

Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama
Election Night
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
Chicago, Illinois

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him…(and) look forward to working with (him) to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank… But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you…Our campaign was… built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory…

…we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century…There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long…We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there…

…I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand…This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people…

…Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores…- our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century…What progress will we have made? This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

A Gracious Loss

-- CNN projects that Sen. Barack Obama has won election as the next president of the United States.

With this e-mailed breaking news, received at 9.51 a.m. on the morning of 4th November, history was made in the U.S.

"...a politics with the maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised, to admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have a point...the difference between dogma and common sense, responsibility and irresponsibility, between those things that last and those that are fleeting." Barack Obama in "The Audacity of Hope". Let us hope that Obama's written eloquence now translates into vision, leadership and action.

Hearing John McCain's speech conceding victory to Obama gave me a few thoughts. A sign of true democracy is when elections are held in as free and fair a manner as possile and the results are accepted as sacrosanct. Some of the current "leaders" in Africa should note this. Our own politicians also need to note this carefully. The gracious speech McCain made before his disappointed supporters was sporting, patriotic, and really befitting a gallant Navy Officer.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

US Presidential Elections, 4th November

Apologies for the 12 days of silence, just in case anyone visited this site. Was away on a brief trip to India, in places where internet connectivity was not always available and I have an aversion to cyber cafes.

48 hours remain for the United States to elect a new President. The possibility of the first African-American in the White House is very real (Obama's mother was white, father Kenyan). 25 years separate the ages of Obama and McCain, a real generation gap. Obama purports to be the voice of change accusing McCain of being a Bush clone. McCain derides Obama's lack of experience (compared to himself). Currently Obama leads McCain by 6 points but the race is expected to be tight.

Nepal, of course, counts for little in these guys' politics. I doubt either could place Nepal on the global map without moving their finger all over Asia. Of course both are for freedom and democracy and against authoritarianism of any sort. I hope they (whoever wins) walk the talk when it comes to Nepal.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lack of response...seriously considering abandoning this site

I sent the following message to selected people on 16th October, a week ago. I have received one response (thank you, Pinky). As an optimist, I am presuming that this is the holiday season and no one really has time for blog sites. As a realist, I am thinking about forgetting about this blog which serves no purpose if people don't participate in it.

"As you know, I have initiated a blog site (the link is in bold below). The idea is to have a forum where we can discuss issues of the day in an open and frank manner. In fact I want to change the "Infotainment" word from the site title to "Chiya Pasal" but, having limited computer skills, haven't figured out a way to do so. I have decided not to post jokes here.

Anyway, very few people are bothering to post comments in the site. Without comments and discussion, the site becomes an ego thing for yours truly and I'm not into that. Please do note that, while posting comments, you can use your name, a pseudonym, or even simply write 'Anonymous'. In a way, this site might provide you with a 'psychological release' to vent your frustrations at what's going on around us.

So please do visit the site and say your piece. Yeah I know, talk is cheap. But talk leads to thoughts and thoughts to action. As the saying goes, if you wanna walk the talk, the talk has to be there first!

Happy Dipawali!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Can't write a new constitution while cremating tyres"

The above quote if from the editorial of the latest issue of the Nepali Times. While mostly not agreeing with the 'philosophy' behind this weekly, I have only admiration for the stellar writing skills of its editor. In one phrase, he has captured the essence of what is wrong with Nepali politics. The CA has yet to begin the process of writing the new constitution. It is entangled in procedural details and, simply put, political horsetrading. And the "people" cremate tyres and block and stone traffic and call "bandhs" at the drop of a hat. It is a classic case of Nero fiddling while Rome burns. This fiddling had better end soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

India is needed even to transport CA memebrs to their jobs

We need Indian buses to ensure our CA members reach their place of work. What bloody nonsense!! Please see story below.

CA members miffed at 'Indian arrangement' for them

Constituent Assembly (CA) members have expressed dissatisfaction over the use of buses gifted by India for the purpose of transporting CA members to and from the International Conventional Center (ICC), reports Kantipur daily.

Amrita Thapa, a CA member from the CPN (Maoist) party, told the daily, Saturday, that she is saddened looking at sheer helplessness of the country where even buses to ferry CA members are provided by a foreign country.

"I don't know through what channel the Indian vehicle assistance came, but after reading the news about it, I felt bad," Thapa, who commutes to the CA venue on her own scooter, said.

On September 22, the Indian government had gifted five 32-seater buses worth Rs 5.5 million for the purpose of transporting CA members.

Indian ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood had handed over the keys of the buses emblazoned with Nepal and India flags to CA chairman Subas Nemwang during a ceremony organised at the ICC.

"The buses had been provided in response to a request from the Constituent Assembly (CA) and Legislature-Parliament Secretariat for movement of Hon'ble CA Members and are expected to augment the logistics of the Secretariat to help CA in its smooth functioning," the Indian embassy said in a statement.

UML lawmaker Rabindra Adhikari expressed surprise, in his own words, at the "state's inability" to make a minor arrangement such as transportation for the country's constitution drafters.

He said it is absolutely wrong to look up to foreign countries for such a small matter, and added that this would only work to give more impetus to the public anxiety over the growing Indian influence in Nepal.

Similarly, Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Thapa said that the state is responsible towards making all the necessary arrangements for the CA members including transportations.

"Agencies formed to draft the new constitution including constitutional bodies shouldn't take direct assistance from any foreign countries. Only the government can accept such assistance," he told Kantipur. Oct 12 08

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Best Wishes for Bijaya Dashami!

In keeping with the theme of this festival, may Good triumph over Evil in each of our personal lives as well as in our country and this world.

I started this blog as an "infotainment". I would like to modify its theme a bit. I would like this to be a forum for open and frank discussion on issues of the day - political, social, economic, cultural, religious and so on. It is, so to speak, the local chya pasal (tea shop) where we can drop by to shoot the breeze with friends as well as strangers.

I have noticed a reluctance on the part of many to post comments on this site, preferring rather to send me emails. I appreciate the emails, but your views would reach a broader audience if posted on this site and we could perhaps have vibrant discussions on these views. I know, talk is cheap. But talking on relevant issues stars the process for further thought leading to action - and we need lots of ACTION in this country today.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Time to move on, Mr. Koirala

The piece below appeared in yesterday. Mr. G.P. Koirala appears to have got a second wind. Not having the stress of being PM, his health appears to have revived. He is enjoying the luxury of being the opposition leader and is mouthing aggressive platitudes. Bringing back the NC "to its pre-election form within just 3 months"...has he been quoted wrongly or is he joking! Besides the ludicrous time-frame, the "pre-election" NC was the one which managed to obtain only half the number of seats in the CA as compared to the Maoists. It was the NC, which under GPK's leadership, destroyed itself, antagonized its "young Turks", and was in the forefront of the unconstitutional removal of the monarchy - all because this ambitious but empty-headed politician wanted to be the first President of Nepal. Not only did he not become the President, he was thrown out of the PM's post into what really should be ignonminious obscurity. Yet this ignoramus is seemingly roaring. This is indeed a poor reflection on the NC and its "second generation" leaders who remain docile, resigned to the party's fate in the ashes of history.

Koirala vows to bring NC back to its pre-election form

Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala has claimed that he will bring the party back to its pre-election form within just three months.

Speaking to party workers in his hometown Biratnagar on Monday, Koirala said he was confident that the party would regain its lost strength within that timeline. In the meantime, the octogenarian leader threw a clear hit that he was not yet ready to transfer leadership to what is known within the Congress party as second generation, saying he would not retire unless the party regained its old form.

The NC president also asked the cadres to resolve internal differences and focus on rebuilding the party organisation.

Meanwhile, NC central leader and GP Koirala's close aide Shekhar Koirala has said his party is not interested in toppling the Maoist-led government.

"Even as the Maoists are accusing us of trying to topple the government, NC will not make such a move because there is very little time left for drafting a constitution and our focus will be on timely drafting of the constitution," reports quoted him as saying at a programme in Biratnagar.

He, however, said if the current coalition government falls apart due to its own failures, NC would be ready to take charges. mk Oct 06 08

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Food for thought: Is Nepal headed for collapse?

A friend has just recommended to me the book, "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" by Jared Diamond. It reviews the collapse of the Easter Island and pacific civilisations to the Vikings in the past and has case studies on Rwanda, Haiti, China and Australia in the present.

The concluding chapter lists the top environmental and population trouble spots and the top political hot spots, which are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Madagascar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Somalia.

Some quotes:

"Today, just as in the past, countries that are environmentally stressed, over populated, or both become at risk of getting politically stressed, and of their governments collapsing. When people are desperate, under nourished and without hope, they blame their governments, which they see as responsible for or unable to solve their problems. They try to emigrate at all cost. They fight each other over land. They kill each other. They start civil wars. They figure they have nothing to lose, so they become terrorists, or they support or tolerate terrorism.

"The best predictors of modern state failures - i.e. revolutions, violent regime change, collapse of authority, and genocide - prove to be measures of environmental and population pressure, such as high infant mortality, rapid population growth, a high percentage of their population in their late teens or 20s, and hordes of unemployed young men without job prospects and ripe for recruitment into militias."

So using the framework in this paper - Nepal is headed for a collapse. The only question is when? 10 years max???

Key concepts to consider based on the above: overpopulation (Nepal has a population growth rate of 2%, only Afghanistan's is higher in South and West Asia); emigration (any able-bodied motivated young Nepali wants to "get the hell out of Dodge" to somewhere else); 5.5 million or over 20% of the population is between the ages of 15-24; and, as for young people ripe for recruitment into militias, just who comprise the YCL and the copy-cat youth gangs of the UML and Congress?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Commentary on the recently postponed Miss Nepal Pageant

The Repression of Nepali Womanhood

Some say that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Others say that behind every successful man there is a woman. The role of women in shaping the psyche of men as well as women is indisputable. The women of Nepal have taken large strides over the past 15 years. But consider these current facts: the median age of first marriage for females is 17; women still have an average of more than 3 children; 281 women out of every 100,000 still die at child birth; only 23% of women give birth with a skilled attendant on hand; married women have no right to their parents’ assets; and so on. The Virginia Slims cigarette ad “You’ve come a long way, baby” does not quite apply yet to the women of Nepal.

Last week, the Miss Nepal pageant was postponed once again, for the fourth time, due to the protests of a group of Maoist women who are barking that beauty pageants exploit women and take away their fundamental rights. A letter signed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police from the District Administration Office in Hanuman Dhoka was delivered to the organizers, Hidden Treasure, at about 7 p.m. on the eve of the pageant. The letter instructed that, keeping in mind peace and security issues, the pageant must not take place. Translation: the security forces, i.e. the Police, was unable or unwilling to guarantee that the pageant would not be disrupted by violent undemocratic protests. The Defense Ministry also instructed the Nepal Army to not let the pageant be held in the auditorium of the Army Officers’ Club, as scheduled. All this happened on the evening of the pre-judging of the contestants, carried out over 5 long hours by 11 judges (this writer included).

The morning after the receipt of the ominous letter, the organizers held a meeting with the 17 contestants, their parents/guardians, as well as the majority of the judges. The purported purpose of this meeting was to seek the parents’ views on whether the pageant should take place as scheduled on that day, 27th September, or not. The organizers briefed the meeting on the situation and opened the floor for comments. Parents, contestants as well as some of the judges aired their opinions. The first issue was whether Hidden Treasure would be breaking the law by holding the pageant despite the letter of stay. The fact that the letter’s authority covered only Kathmandu district became quite apparent. Since the alternate plan was to hold the pageant at the International Club, which happens to be located in Lalitpur district, any legal liability to the organizers did not exist. The second issue was whether the pageant should be held that day or postponed again. The vast majority of the contestants wanted it held that day and were willing to brave any repercussions from the protesters. The majority of the parents also felt that their children had been kept hanging, disrupting their normal lives, for too long. All the judges present, except one, firmly believed that the pageant must be held that day.

The meeting chair proposed a break to discuss the issue among the various groups. The talented young ladies caucused among themselves while the other groups mixed informally discussing the issues. In this period of almost 2 hours, I interacted with every group. Majority of the contestants, parents and all the judges remaining then were for holding the pageant that very day. It was only the organizers who remained non-committal throughout, consulting mainly with the one judge and the one parent who wanted the pageant postponed.

The meeting reconvened and the Chair from the organizers announced that they would not go hurriedly for the pageant that day since it would be like going for “instant pleasure” (his unfortunate words) at the price of the “image and prestige” of the pageant. The weak reason given was that this is what the parents wanted; I personally observed only one parent who wanted this. Actually, Hidden Treasure had lost its nerve! The chagrin in the lovely faces of the contestants was a woeful sight.

Some underlying issues are apparent from the above dismal story. On what basis are the protesters saying that the pageant is exploiting women? The contestants were all educated talented young ladies and winning the title would mean the opening up of new opportunities and careers for Miss Nepal. They were certainly not there to flaunt their bodies. There is no bikini competition in the Miss Nepal contest. In fact the scoring for the 5 finalists gives 80% weight to intelligence and only 20% to beauty. These protesting women Maoists are also surely not aware that the current Miss World comes from the land of Mao - China! The letter from the government cited “peace and security”; actually the authorities were hiding behind this facade in their efforts to appease the protesters. As for the organizers, they failed the contestants and the spirit of the competition. When they could have championed the cause of women’s rights, they succumbed to the complacency endemic to this country.

Seventeen young women, from all over the country, came with their dreams to participate in the finals of this pageant. Their dreams were rudely shattered by the vagaries of a group of uninformed politically motivated protesters, a government that does not govern, and organizers who failed the aspirations of the contestants in every way. When the Miss World pageant is held in Johannesburg, South Africa this December, it is unlikely that Nepal will be represented. It will be a loss for the country and especially for Nepali womanhood.

For information to the ignorant, The Miss World Organization owns and manages the annual Miss World finals, a competition that has grown into the world's largest live annual pageant television event with global viewers in more than 200 countries. Since its launch in 1951, the Miss World Organization has raised more than £250 million for children’s charities. Aside from raising millions of pounds for charities around the globe under the banner of its 'Beauty with a Purpose' program, Miss World is also credited with directly influencing a dramatic increase in tourism in Sanya, China, host of the previous Miss World finals.

So, Welcome to New Nepal! Its ignorance, bureaucracy and complacency rival that of any of the “Old Nepal’s”.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Piece on "Secular Nepal" from Yahoo India News

Emphasis in bold are mine.


Secular Nepal makes some Hindus uneasy

Sun, Sep 28 12:55 AM

Come Dashain (starting 30th September for 10 days), the biggest religious festival in Nepal, and the Hindu population in the country is now uncertain about the future of their centuries-old religious traditions. On May 18, 2006, the then Girija Prasad Koirala-led caretaker government had declared Nepal as a 'secular nation'.

Till then, the Himalayan Nation was referred to as the only Hindu Nation in the world. Though there was euphoria over the transformation, Hindus believe that Koirala's decision was a 'whimsical decision', and has pushed the insurgency-ravaged impoverished country to an era of confusion and uncertainty.

Traditionally, the King of Nepal was an integral part of the Dashain festival, and had important religious roles to perform, especially applying tika (red vermilion) on the foreheads of the devotees. But now, Hindus do not know who would apply the tika.

Till last year, King Gyanendra had applied tika on people's forehead at the Narayanhity Palace in Kathmandu. "The decision to declare Nepal as a secular nation was taken in haste," said Yavaraj Ghimire, a senior journalist and editor of Kathmandu-based English weekly Newsfront.

Ghimire said Nepal's transformation as a secular state should not have been done in a hurry as the state and the Hindu religion, for centuries, were tightly knotted. "Now the President cannot discharge the duties of the monarch," he maintained.

The Maoist-led government's decision to stop funding to the Hindu religious institutions for animal sacrifices witnessed protest in Kathmandu as members of the Newar community were out on the streets. Later, the government was forced to bow down before the demands of the Newars.

"Will President of Nepal apply the tika this year?" Rajesh Shrestha, a trader asked. More than 80 per cent of Nepalis are Hindus, he claimed.

Shrestha said that they strongly believe that political changes in Nepal will not have any impact on the centuries-old religious rights of the Hindus. Moreover, a large number of pro-Hindu organisations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Shiv Sena, have declared a war against the government to make Nepal a Hindu Nation again.

"Who authorised Girija Prasad Koirala to declare Nepal as a Hindu Nation," Arun Subedi, a Hindu fundamentalist said.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PM Prachanda's Commitment to Democracy Sep 25 08: (emphasis in bold are mine)

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is currently in the US to attend the United Nations General Assembly, has tried to assure the world leaders of his government's commitment to democracy and adopt liberal economy.

According to Reuters, PM Dahal while making a speech in New York said he wanted to clarify his month-old government's plans to take the country to the path of development.

He attempted to assure the skeptics who fear one-party communist rule in Nepal as the former rebellions lead the government.

"There is serious confusion and misunderstanding about our overall position in terms of economic development," he told the gathering of Asia Society, adding, "We are not fighting against the capitalistic mode of production."

He further said government was committed to the peace process and to democracy, while trying to raise living standards of the people.

"We are in a democratic phase and we are going to apply the democratic form of government -- it is quite clear," he added.

PM Dahal added Nepal is in the path to tap the opportunity from fast growing economies in India and China and to create an environment for rapid growth and distributive justice.

Comments: While the PM is "trying" to reassure all and sundry, he emphasizes that the country is in a "democratic phase". Now when would this "phase" end and what would it lead to? Obvious conjecture - the final "phase" of a communist dictatorship. I hope people. who believe in democracy, have the guts to call a spade a spade.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nepali Nationalists Speak Out

This memorandum was presented to PM Prachanda on 24/9/08 during his New York visit to attend the UN General Assembly session. It is worth a read.

Date: September 24, 2008
Place: New York, NY. USA

From: Nepali Nationalist Organizations, USA
Nepali Nationalists

To: Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'

Dear Honorable Mr. Dahal ‘Prachanda’,

Namaste and regards.

First of all, on behalf of the ‘Nepali Nationalists Organization’ let me congratulate you as the elected Prime Minister of Nepal. We whole-heartily welcome you in the City of New York. Your presence in the United Nations has brought world attention to the sovereign people of Nepal.

The Nationalists Nepalese would like to submit following memorandum to the Honorable Prime Minister with an expectation of its immediate implementation.

1. Establishment of the primary rights of the people of Nepal to choose the structural changes only through the peaceful and democratic means. They are the public deliberations and the referendum to choose between these two systems:
A. Hindu Nation or Secular State. Hindu Rastra is not about theocracy, but recognition of our heritage, roots, and values.
B. Constitutional Monarchy or Republic. Constitutional Monarchy is not about feudalism or divine right of a King, but recognition of the cultural role of the King in Nepal within the republican framework.
2. Inadmissibility of politics of violence and intimidation. Recognition of only peaceful democratic means in political process.
3. Recognition that Nepal is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual nation. We must seek unity among diversity by promoting:
A. Recognition of overlapping cultural and lingual zones.
B. Recognition of indigenous languages of Nepal as the ‘national languages of Nepal.’
C. Recognition of Nepali as the national official language, and Sanskrit and Pali languages as part of our heritage.
D. Teaching Nepali as the official language of Nepal, and English as a window to the world.
E. Teaching lingual minority children in their own mother tongue at least in the primary grades.
F. Allowing students to choose one language as optional subject up to high school from the list of languages including Sanskrit, Pali, and national languages of Nepal, but excluding Nepali and Hindi. Nepali to be taught separately as a compulsory official language. Exclusion of Hindi is towards promoting Nepalese indigenous languages like Maithili and Bhojpuri. Hindi being well promoted by Indian media and movies, we do not need to promote it. Sanskrit and Pali to be taught by emphasizing our heritage.
4. The ‘Cow non-killing’ is one of the sentiments we Hindus in general and Nepalese in particularly hold deeply. In our history it has always been banned. It must remain so.
5. We must stop religious conversion. It is not really an issue of freedom. We recognize the religious freedom as a matter of our heritage – ‘Sarva dharma sambhava.’ In Nepal, we never had religious strife. The current ‘conversions’ in Nepal is about foreign missionaries taking advantage of our poverty and backwardness. They are in Nepal not practicing mutual respect and tolerance but strictly to brainwash and convert our innocent brothers and sisters. We must recognize it as indirect but forced conversion. The missionaries are here to destroy our heritage.
6. Strict monitoring of income sources and distribution policies of the ‘Non-government organizations – NGO.'
7. We must recognize our environmental heritage and protect it from the deforestation, and soil erosion. We are endowed with the water resources. There must be scientific researches and political consensus on water uses towards the environment protection and benefit for all.
8. Women should be given at least one third of diplomatic as well as other high positions.
9. We must protect our society from the ‘women traffic’, prostitution and cultural degenerations.
10. We must recognize the lack of employments as our major social problem. It must be addressed by creating conducive environment for domestic and foreign investments towards industrializations and job creations.
11. We must protect our meager industry against predation of political parties and criminal organizations.
12. We also must protect our environment and social norms against unscrupulous industries and capitalists.
13. There must be ‘zero’ tolerance against corruption. We must recognize ‘political corruption’ as the major problem in Nepalese political evolution, and also it fomenting corruption among government officials.
14. A special relief package to be established for the relief of the victims of Maoist’s “People’s Liberation Army – PLA” and the “National Army - NA.”
15. Establishment of the 'Special Tribunal' to look into the matter of excessiveness by the PLA and the NA.
16. To provide education with strong components of ethics and nationalism to the cadres of PLA.
17. The NA must be kept non-political. Thus it should not be integrated with the politically indoctrinated and party specific army like PLA.
18. The Maoist’s victims should get priority in recruiting to the NA.
19. We must recognize that the ethnic based federal system will simply disintegrate Nepal along ethnic lines. It will make us no longer united Nepali brothers and sisters but Bahuns, Newas, Gurungs, Madheshis and others. It will not solve any of the outstanding ethnic imbalances. The empowerment of marginalized ethnic groups must be addressed through decentralization, cultural zoning and targeted application of education and economic opportunities. There must be a public discussion and referendum on the issue to form the national policies.
20. Recognition of importance of education and to take following steps:
A. Raising the salaries of the Government Teachers and providing them proper pensions.
B. Free education up to 12th grade.
C. Keeping the educational establishment non-political.
D. To bring the university education and research par with international standard by - 1. Increasing teachers' salary, 2. Allocating more resources to research, and 3. Immediate cancellation of ladder system in University Teachers' grade. Not more than two grades should be established as Senior Professor and Professor.
21. Nepal's foreign policy should be guided by our long-term national interests and principles of the UN Charter, rather than the short-term interests.
22. Friendly relations with all countries of the World, and better relations with bordering nations of India and China.
23. Scrapping all unequal treaties.
24. To provide proper trainings and encouragements to Nepali Sports men\women in general and also to make them more competitive in international forum.
25. Recognition and protection of our Dharmic, cultural and historic sites. Recognition of and encouragement to the linguists and artists working to promote all our national languages and cultures. Recognition of individuals promoting our spiritual heritage.

We respectfully and strongly urge you to recognize these national issues and direct government agencies to form and implement proper policies. Nepal, the most beautiful country in the world, is already going through lots of stress and strain. We want better future and dignity of all Nepalese. We hope you as a nationalist leader share our views and will take appropriate actions.

Jaya Matribhumi Nepal.


Bishal Shah
Chairman, Nepali Nationalist Organization “NNO”, USA

Anil Pande
President, Motherland, Nepal (CA)

Ms. Kamala Prasai
President, N & J Entertainment Inc. NY, USA

Other Nationalist Organizations:

Foundation of the Nepalese in America (FNA)
Sanatan Dharma Sanskrit and Nepali Center, NY
National Unity and Reconciliation

Individual Nationalists not associated with above organizations:

Dr. Tilak Shrestha
Mr. Shekhar Dhungel
Mr. Sanjaya Shahi
Mr. Ramesh P. Dhungel
Mr. Prahlad P. Panta
Ms. Anita Subba
Mr. Suman Shah
Ms. Samhita R. Shaha
Mr. Hari Bahadur Shrestha
Ms. Shushrita Malla
Mr. Gopal Jung
Ms. Geeta Rana
Mr. Rishesh KC

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Strange Bedfellows

The Nepal Embassy in London recently hosted a reception in honour of a visiting Maoist Minister and to attract UK investors to Nepal. The reception was also attended by Nepali businessmen including bankers.

A Maoist Minister, a Congress ambassador and Nepali capitalists - all wooing "Das Kapital" for Nepal. Quite a combine!

(thank you s. dai for this contribution)

Nepal Needs A Leader Like This!

I received the piece below today. I would be the first one to rage against any sort of discrimination - religious, ethnic, or linguistic. But John Howard has a point.

The essence of his view lies in this statement, "We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us."

The analogy to be drawn here with present-day Nepal is almost eerie. The "labeta suruwal" IS the national dress for men. Nepali IS the lingua franca of the land. Hindus make up the largest proportion of the population, around 70% (with Buddhists another 11%).

I am sick and tired of turning on the TV to see Hindi being spoken in the Constituent Assembly, and abhor those national leaders who have not a grain of nationalism in them as they parade around with dhotis or western suit and tie during official functions. Enough is enough! The current riots against the Government for not allocating funds for religious festivals indicate that we too are a country which believes in God - a Hindu God!! And let no one, atheistic communist or otherwise, forget this.


Then Prime Minister, John Howard - Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'

'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!'

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, Nepali citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths.

Friday, September 19, 2008

There is Justice yet in Nepal!

My attempted survey (blog of Sept. 18th) is hereby happily canceled. The good news:

Minister Yadav resigns

Minister for Land Reform and Management Matrika Yadav has forwarded his resignation to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Friday afternoon.

In his resignation submitted to PM Dahal, Yadav has accused Madhesi Janadhikar Forum and CPN (UML), partners in the current coalition government, of being anti-people parties.

He submitted the resignation to the PM at his official residence in Baluwatar.

Stating that he had acted in favour of the people, Yadav reiterated to remain a pro-people politician.

Earlier, the party had instructed Yadav to apologise publicly or resign as minister. Other members of the coalition and opposition Nepali Congress had condemned the acts of Yadav and demanded action against him. ia Sep 19 08

Jokes about life in the Australian country...sent by my Tasmanian friend

A burnt out advertising executive decides he has had enough of the rat race & buys a property way in Tasmania. No electricity, no phones - no company.
He has read everything he can & after a few weeks is getting a bit bored. One afternoon he sees the dust coming up way in the distance coming towards him, a while later a crusty old bushie gets out of a battered Holden ute and puts out his hand.
"Hello mate, I'm your closest neighbour, live about 20 miles up the road, thought we'd chuck ya a bash to welcome you to the area"
"Sounds great" says the ad-man.
"I hear you city boys like your drugs and drink so we'll get that in for ya."
"Sounds awesome" says the ad-man
"we tend to get a bit punchie and horny 'round here after all those drugs & drink though, can ya handle yerself if a blue kicks off or a bit of sex is on the cards?"
"I go alright" say the ad-man
"this all sounds great, what time should I come and what should I wear?"
"Doesn't really matter" says the bushie "it's only going to be you and me".......

An Ukrainian migrant to Australia wanted to become a cabbie so he had to go for an eye test for his drivers license. He was shown a card with the text CWNSCZYZQOCTAZS. He looked at it with wide open eyes, looking very surprised. The examiner said impatiently; well? And the Ukrainian answered; I know that bloke...

Three blokes were working on a high rise building project, Macca, Chook and Simmo. Chook falls off and is killed instantly. As the ambulance takes the body away, Simmo says,"Someone should go and tell his wife." Macca says, "OK, I`m pretty good at that sensitive stuff, I'll do it."
Two hours later, Macca comes back carrying a slab of VB. Simmo says,"Where did you get that, Macca?"
"Chook's missus gave it to me." "That's unbelievable, you told the lady her husband was dead and she gave you beer?" Macca says, "Well not exactly. When she answered the door, I said to her, "You must be Chook`s widow."
She said, "No, I'm not a widow."
And I said, "Wanna bet me a slab"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Land Mafia" or "Maoist Goons" - your preferance?


Matrika charges at Gautam

The Land Reforms Minister Matrika Yadav has lashed at Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam for interfering in what he called as 'areas under his jurisdiction.'

Talking to reporters on Thursday, Minister Yadav said that since the issue of land administration falls under his ministry, it was unnecessary for Gautam to send police to 'free the land captured by Maoist cadres' in Mirchaiya of Siraha district.

After the police freed the land, Minister Yadav marshaled his cadres to the area and 'recaptured' it claiming that the land belongs to landless and poor people.

"I think some ministers are influenced by land mafia," Minister Yadav accused referring to the episode.

He also vowed to smash all kinds of nexuses of land mafia. sd Sep 19 08

Article published in People's Review, 18-24 Sept., 2008


Perched atop her mountain at the southern rim of the valley, Phulchowki Mai has perhaps the best perspective on Kathmandu, It took an hour’s drive from Godavari to reach the top of this 9,000 feet high peak. The arduous and steep drive along a narrow road nestled in luscious green was in itself a thrill. But nothing prepared me for the peak. The early morning mist swirled amidst the forest and Kathmandu was invisible below the clouds. The shrine at the top had been renovated. Fourty years ago I had stood at this spot, participating in the “Phulchowki Day” trek up the mountain, compulsory for all students of St. Xavier’s School, Godavari. In many ways, this was a homecoming of sorts for me.

I was immediately taken back by the fact that the Phulchowki Mai shrine, further enhanced by a Shiva shrine and a Buddhist stupa, is now in the middle of an army encampment. While appreciating the Nepal Army’s protection, I am sure Phulchowki Mai is also feeling apprehensive at this worldly intrusion of military prowess. But the telecommunication and radar infrastructure atop the mountain do need protection in these uncertain times and surely the Gods understand. The Japanese government which provided these facilities can also rest assured that their aid is safe, protected not only by the Gods but also by the Nepal Army.

Let me elaborate further on the themes of religion and security which have been briefly touched upon above. Nepal had been known as the only Hindu Kingdom on earth, making it unique among the myriad of nations. I accept that this was not much more than a slogan to attract tourists for our hard-pressed economy. Now that this country is neither officially Hindu nor a kingdom, let us examine what this has meant to us Nepalis. Official figures say up to 80% of Nepalis are Hindu. This figure is inflated because it includes many ethnic groups who practice other forms of religion. About 11% of the population is definitely Buddhist. Whichever way one looks at it, the Hindu population is the largest in Nepal, followed by Buddhists. Even being extremely stingy with the numbers, 70% of Nepali population is certainly Hindu and Buddhist. Putting figures aside, Nepal does not have religious strife. The cohabitation of Hinduism and Buddhism is indisputable. So secularization was not necessary at all. What secular Nepal now has is an anti-Christian movement, apparently by disaffected Hindus, and a burgeoning Muslim population with a growth rate higher than the other religions. In effect, when the then Interim government declared Nepal secular, it accepted the dictate of proselytizing European groups who have this urge to save all mankind in the name of Jesus Christ. Not sure if Jesus would approve of this form of neo-colonialism.

It felt safe to see the Nepal Army on top of Phulchowki. It also was a reminder of the transformation of the army from an elite fighting force, say in the days of Amar Singh Thapa and Bal Bhadra Kunwar, to the oft-touted role of UN peacekeepers. UN peacekeeping is a chancy thing at best and does not demand too sharp military skills. Domestically, the NA’s role is to ensure the security of the nation. Obviously, we talk here of internal security, not security against our giant neighbours. The current law and order situation needs not be delved into. The Police has just had a major overhaul of its high command. The NA is still confined to its barracks, under the peacekeeping arrangement whereby members of the so-called Maoist “people’s liberation army” are confined – loosely speaking – to cantonments. The NA is proud of being apolitical. But being apolitical does not mean shrinking from its responsibility to preserve the country’s unity, sovereignty and independence. The Army Chief has reiterated that the NA does not belong to any political party but to the Nepali people. Laudable. So let the NA stand its ground when it comes to attempts to politicize it by integrating into it the rebel army. Let it also keep a sharp eye on politicians who sell their souls to foreign powers. Further, let it speak up on the issue of federalism which hopefully will be debated at length by the CA. Will federalism preserve unity? I hope our generals have an answer to this burning question.

So Phulchowki Mai stands as a sentinel over this beautiful valley and, by proxy, over the nation. Let us simply pray that she will protect this beleaguered land from those who seek power for personal gains, from those who do not have a shred of nationalism in them, from those who pander to foreign political interests and proselytizers – from all evil which may hinder the people of Nepal from fulfilling their potential.#

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Business Signs (some wordplay humour)

Anesthesiologist business card:
'When you care enough to sleep with the very best.'

Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
'Dr. Jones, at your cervix.'

In a Podiatrist's office:
'Time wounds all heels.'

On a Septic Tank Truck:
'Yesterday's Meals on Wheels.'

At a Proctologist's door:
'To expedite your visit please back in.'

On a Plumber's truck:
'We repair what your husband fixed'

On another Plumber's truck:
'Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber..'

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee :
'Invite us to your next blowout.'

At a Towing company:
'We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.'

On an Electrician's truck:
'Let us remove your shorts.'

In a Nonsmoking Area:
'If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate

On a Maternity Room door:
'Push. Push. Push.'

At an Optometrist's Office:
'If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right

On a Taxidermist's window:
'We really know our stuff'

On a Fence:
'Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!'

At a Car Dealership:
'The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment.'

Outside a Muffler Shop:
'No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.'

In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
'Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!'

At the Electric Company:
'We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be.'

In a Restaurant window:
'Don't stand there and be hungry, Come on in and get fed up.'

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
'Drive carefully. We'll wait.'

At a Propane Filling Station:
'Thank heaven for little grills.'

And don't forget the sign at a
Chicago Radiator Shop:
'Best place in town to take a leak.'

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"This Life" (mid-week laughs)

• Wince of the week: A young sunbather who had been sleeping on a beach in shallow waters woke up to find a barnacle stuck to his penis. The 23-year-old man arrived at a hospital in Bor, Yugoslavia, after failing to dislodge the clinging barnacle, reports the Glas Javnosti newspaper. The barnacle also defied a nurse armed with tweezers until it eventually fell off.
• Loophole of the week: Motorist Eddie Mitchell is challenging a parking fine after discovering that traffic wardens must be wearing full uniform when issuing tickets. The warden who booked him for parking on double yellow lines in Brighton was not wearing a cap. A spokesman for Brighton and Hove council confirmed: "Wardens must be in a proper uniform when they issue tickets. That includes a hat on their head."
• Political problem of the week: An artist who put a curse on a town's sewer system has offered to lift it if the city apologies. Adam Fortunate Eagel Nordwall cursed Livermore, California, in the 1970s after he claimed officials mistreated the 20ft totem pole he donated. A week after the curse, the city's sewer system failed. Mayor Marshall Kamena is backing Nordwall's demand for a public ceremony. "I'd rather not mess with something I don't understand," he said.
• Travelers of the week: A British couple who booked tickets to Sydney over the internet didn't pay quite enough attentionto details of their flight and landed in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Raeoul Sebastian and Emma Nunn did not even realise their mistake when they landed at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and were transferred to a 25-seat propeller plane bound for the largest town on Cape Breton Island. One Halifax resident described Sydney as : "Probably one of the last places in Canada that you would go to." The couple, both 19 from Sidcup, plan to consult a travel agent when they return home.
• Motoring offense of the week: Canadian police have stopped a car on suspicion that the driver was distracted: he was having sex with his passenger. Senior constable Norm Galestzoski, who pulled the vehicle over near Barrie, Ontario, reported : "The female passenger was completely nude and the male driver was also in a state of undress. Both occupants were engaged in activities other than that normally expected of persons driving in an automobile." A 31-year-old man has been charged with driving without a licence. His 25-year-old passenger has been charged with allowing herself to be driven by a non-licensed driver.
• Romantic of the week: A 40-year-old accountant has been crowned King of the Cuckolds in front of a 5,000-strong audience after telling how his wife liked to have extramarital sex once a week. The accountant, known only as Onorato C of Rome,was judged to have the sorriest tale of the 1,000 men who told their stories to judges over two days at a festival in Roccagorga, Italy. "I have never cheated on my wife, but I know she does," he says. "Having said that, my marriage is all right and I'm enjoying myself quite a lot." The contest has been revived after being abandoned in 1962 when the year's Cukold King took offence and pulled out a gun, firing two shots above the crowd before being arrested.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dance restaurants & Cyber cafes

The Home Ministry appears to have initiated a crusade against dance restaurants in Kathmandu by harrassing them with constant raids. In protest, dance restaurant workers were out in the streets yesterday. The Home Ministry had better concentrate on the deteriorating law and order and in increasing the morale and effectiveness of the Police Force. And if it really wants to stop dance restaurants from having dancers, it should provide them with immediate employment in what it considers "clean" jobs.

Similarly, a hue and cry is being raised about people using cyber cafes to download pornography. Closing cyber cafes is not the solution. These cafes can put in filters, such as those used in many offices, where certain cites cannot be accessed. Just because a few want to get their rocks off in cyber cafes, the majority who use these cafes (not having access to computers elsewhere)to communicate and to learn from the internet must not have to suffer.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Memories of three months ago

Published in News Front, #71, 16-22 June, 2008

A Crown Forsaken

The king departs the palace today
Unsung and unlamented some say
But the Crown remains where it belongs
In the hearts of true Nepalis

Misjudgments three years ago
Drove foes to coalesce
Foes of every colour
Seeking power, not the nation’s good

Jammed between two big powers
Hostage to one especially
We became a pawn
In the game of geopolitics

A bloated assembly supposed to be over six hundred
With twenty-six members glaringly absent
Declared the nation a republic
Sans debate, sans referendum, sans justice

The army stood by silently
Perhaps not called to save the crown
Perhaps bought off by all and sundry
But it did stand by silently

Peace, peace – everyone wants this
And peacefully has the king left
And at what cost peace?
Maybe by selling our nationhood

A New Nepal is the call of the day
So let us see the novelty of a new government
If they can only stop haggling for power
To give the people what they seek

Democracy, unity, independence, development
Will construct a New Nepal
Not the mindless demolition of a useful institution
But the crown remains where it belongs.

29 Jaystha 2065/11 June 2008
Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!
-Pericles (430 B.C.)

"If you don't read the newspaper
you are uninformed, if you do
read the newspaper you are
-Mark Twain

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
-Mark Twain

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
-Mark Twain (1866

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
-Winston Churchill

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
-Will Rogers

Friday, September 12, 2008



The purpose of this site is to hold in one consolidated place items of interest to you. I have been sharing with you jokes, some a bit too racy I admit, as well as various items - political and others. I intend to place these now in this site. You can visit it whenever you like and contribute to it too. I am sure you will all be happy not to be bombarded by my e-mails anymore.

Best Wishes,