Two Baburams: Baburam Bhattarai, left, talks to a Kantipur journalist four days before the Maoist started “People’s War” in 1996. He goes to assume office of the Prime Minister in Singadarbar in August 2011 after taking oath to secrecy. Pics by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur
On Friday (9 August), Kathmandu Post published a piece by Suman Khadka (a PhD candidate at Monash University, Australia) that critically analyzed Baburam Bhattarai’s contradictory personality with focus on his bourgeois education that the Maoist leader stopped many Nepali youths from pursuing. (His party forced many students in rural Nepal out of schools to join the Maoist ‘militia’ reasoning that they shouldn’t waste time pursuing bourgeois education. At the same time, Bhattarai sent his daughter Manushi Yami Bhattarai to prestigious schools in India.)
De-schooling doctor Baburam
Baburam Bhattarai’s rise in politics has much to do with this perception of him being a ‘learned’ man. This reverence largely stems from the degrees he has earned, rather than wisdom per se. His wisdom is difficult to ascertain because his writings are abstract. Neither have many of us have read his PhD thesis or his books, which I find far too incomprehensible, even though I don’t consider myself stupid. Even CK Lal has noted the difficulty of deciphering Bhattarai’s writings. But it is precisely such writing and rhetoric that succeed in creating a feeling of intellectual inferiority among others, so successful that even the opposition parties once wanted Bhattarai to be prime minister. Although Bhattarai’s popularity has nosedived recently, many accept that he is the most knowledgeable politician, not because they understand him but rather, because they don’t. When Bhattarai defended Dekendra Thapa’s accused murderers, a question people had was “how can such a learned man do so?” Interestingly, this group forgot that Bhattarai is the Maoist ideologue based on whose scholarly arguments many people like Thapa were killed in the first place. This article continues here
Yesterday, the Post carried a rebuke to the Suman Khadka’s piece, a hagiographic defense of Bhattarai by two men (one of them a fulltime Maoist cadre who also writes articles idealizing Bhattarai on Maoist publications including a pro-Bhattarai website that is promoted by Bhattarai.) The article, by Resham Thapa, who teaches in TU, and Dhruba Raj Adhikari, states setting up of a complaint box, branded ‘Hello Sarkar’, in Singhabarbar during the tenure of PM Bhattarai as one of his biggest achievements. The piece was so adulatory that it prompted a well-known pro-Maoist (pro-Prachanda, to be specific) journalist, Kishore Nepal, to tweet this: “Glorification of Comrade BRB in TKP: “Bhajan-Kirtan” of politician in this season of Bird flu! It is highly infectious. Beware Dr Saheb!” Continue reading
But that’s the contradictory and hypocritical nature of Baburam Bhattarai. Can the Mustang-rider PM reveal the source of his party’s income to pay for his choppers fare?
By Siromani Dhungana
And the earth is round! Russian Mi-17 and French AS332 Super Puma helicopters were used by the then governments to fight against the decade-long Maoist insurgency (1996-2006) The story has taken a twist now and rebellion-turned-Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has been one of the frequent users of these flying machines.
Hiring these choppers cost from Rs 0.42 million to more than Rs 0.44 million for an hour, but that does not seem to deter our Mustang-rider Bhattarai from hiring helicopters for campaigning in favor of his party UCPN Maoist.
PM Bhattarai has spent Rs 19.09 million in chopper after assuming charge of the Prime Minister’s office in August 29‚ 2011, reports Kantipur Television.
He has chartered AS332 Super Puma and MI-17 helicopters of Nepal Army Air Wing for 23 times since August 2011. Dr Bhattarai, however, has cleared the chopper fair only once.
In September 2011, PM Bhattarai had said that his party would bear the cost of chartered flights that he takes to attend programs organized by the party. Speaking before the then State Affairs Committee of the parliament, the PM said the state would not have to bear the financial burden of his visits to party programs. Continue reading
Baburam Bhattarai and Man Mohan Singh
Nepal, India ink two major deals including BIPPA
BIPPA a calculated gamble: PM
By Akhilesh Upadhyay and Mahesh Acharya
in The Kathmandu Post
Nepal and India singed two major agreements, including the much-talked about Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), here late on Friday (yesterday). This brings to a close days of hectic negotiations and speculations over the fate of BIPPA, which India has sought to protect security for its investments in Nepal.
Minster for Industry Anil Kumar Jha and Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee signed the agreement at Hyderabad House, the government venue for high-level negotiations in India. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattrai and his counterpart Manmohan Singh were present at the signing.
The two sides also agreed to a $250-million line of credit to finance infrastructure projects such as highways, airports and bridges. The credit line was announced during President Ram Baran Yadav’s state visit to Delhi last year. In the run-up to the visit, PM Bhattarai is known to have pitched for a $1 billion and was expecting even more, government sources said. India responded positively, according to officials. Continue reading
LEFT TO RIGHT: Sita Dahal, her husband Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Dr Baburam Bhattarai and his wife Hisila Yami pose for a photo before heading to what is now known as the historic Chunwang Baithak (meeting) in Chunwang, Rolpa in 2005. Pic via Dinesh Shrestha
‘Choosy’ Hisila Yami Cheapens Her PM Hubby’s Resolves हिसिला यमी जस्ती भ्रष्ट श्रीमती भएपछि प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुरामलाई मोहन बैद्य जस्ता राजनीतिक शत्रु किन चाहियोस ?
By Bhadra Sharma
[प्रधानमन्त्रीकी भ्रष्ट पत्नी: १६ लाखको मुस्ताङ चढने प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमती हिसिला यमीलाई डेड करोडको प्राडो चाहियो ! जवकी प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमतीलाई गाडी दिने कानूनी प्रावधानै छैन । सस्तो गाडी दिँदा उनले मुख्य सचिवलाई भनिन्- " त्यो गिरिजाले चढेको थोत्रो, मलाई नयाँ चाहियो ।" प्रधानमन्त्रीले बोलाएको भन्दै सचिवहरूलाई बालुवाटारस्थित प्रम निवासमा झुक्याएर बोलाउने यमीले आफै सचिवहरूलाई निर्देशन दिन्छिन् । स्रोत: काठमान्डू पोष्ट]
While Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has been meticulously following the austerity measures in a bid to create a better image of his government, his wife Hisila Yami, a prominent leader in the Maoist party, seems to be swimming against the current. Sources said many of her recent acts watered down her husband’s resolves.
In a clear breach of the PM’s recent directives, Yami demanded a Prado, a Toyota car that costs Rs 15 million, from the Prime Minister’s Office only last week. PM Bhattarai, in sharp contrast, rides a Nepal-assembled Mustang car, which costs Rs 1.6 million. Continue reading
Doesn't this man look like Bijay Kumar Gachhedar, the corrupt Home Minister? A cartoon by Rajesh KC
By Kiran Chapagain in Republica
Cartoon by Rajesh KC
The bad news is that despite Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s own assurances that the government secretaries would not be transferred within the first month of his entering Baluwatar just to appease any individual or group, the cabinet meeting on Friday (yesterday) transferred Home Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal, describing it as an ‘exceptional step’ to address deepening misunderstanding between minister and secretary. A cabinet source told Republica newspaper that the cabinet took the decision upon a “special request” by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar. “Since the home minister has said repeatedly that he has not been on the same wavelength as Home Secretary Paudyal, I have been compelled to take the decision, though it goes against my own words. This decision should be taken as an exception,” a source quoted the prime minister as saying in the cabinet. Continue reading
Nice shoe your excellency.
Nice Shoes Mr. Ambassador! Indian or Italian?: Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad, left, with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. BTW, check out a photo below for a meet between two Prime Ministers of Nepal and India when MKN was PM in Nepal. Unfortunately, no shoe show off ceremony will be noticed.
Previous post: Tracking the Indian Ambassador in Nepal: Jayant Prasad-1
SEP 13: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai summoned Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad at his office and discussed the possibility of rescinding the Patna High Court verdict in which it slapped jail terms and fines on 11 senior Maoists leaders. “The PM inquired the envoy how the Indian government would manage to dismiss the conviction by a court,” PM’s Press Adviser Ram Rijan Yadav said. The PHC has slapped sentences varying from two years in jail to six years and fines ranging from IRs 375,000 to IRs 700,000 on Nepali Maoist leaders in absentia on the charges of indulging in activities against what it called ‘sovereignty of India and Nepal’. Continue reading
Yeah, that was back in 2003 when, we belive, Baburam hadn’t even dreamed of being the Prime Minister that he is today
C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 000691
DEPARTMENT FOR SA/INS AND DS/IP/SA
LONDON FOR POL - GURNEY
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/15/2013
TAGS: PTER PREL NP
SUBJECT: NEPAL: MAOISTS TO MEET EMBOFFS
REF: A. (A) KATHMANDU 0677
śB. (B) STATE 90666
śC. (C) STATE 74113
śD. (D) KATHMANDU 0621
Classified By: AMB. MICHAEL E. MALINOWSKI. REASON: 1.5 (B,D).
ś1. (C) Following Ref C guidance, on April 16 poloff
contacted known Maoist sympathizer Padma Ratna Tuladhar to
convey Embassy agreement to meet at the First Secretary level
with Maoist representatives. Poloff advised Tuladhar that
the RSO will also participate in the meeting, which has been
tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, April 25,
at the Embassy.
UNCLAS KATHMANDU 000893
STATE FOR SA/INS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV OVIP PREL NP
SUBJECT: MAOISTS SEND LETTER TO AMERICANS ON PM’S VISIT
¶1. Local media outlets received by e-mail the afternoon
of May 7 a letter from the International Department of
the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) addressed “To Our
Friends in America.” A copy of the letter has been
faxed to SA/INS. Continue reading
…thinking that the Ambassador himself may not meet him. How times of have changed! The American Ambassador has gone to meet him, most recently, two days ago Baburam became the Prime Minister.
US diplomatic cables as revealed by Wikileaks. Report by John Narayan Parajuli
US officials saw Maoist Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai (who is not the Priem Minister of Nepal) as the party’s “most authoritative wordsmith,” and took serious note of both his aboveground appearance in 2003 and the missive he sent to the US embassy requesting a meeting the same year.
Bhattarai’s movement and remarks appeared to be closely monitored by the US embassy, especially after his arrival in the Capital on March 28, 2003 for talks with the Sher Bahadur Deuba government. This was the first time Bhattarai emerged in the Capital in full public view, since the beginning of the insurgency in 1996. Continue reading
An analysis by Akhilesh Upadhyay in The Kathmandu Post
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal invited a select group of editors to his Nayabazaar residence last Wednesday. Expectations ran high, even though Dahal’s office had pitched the meeting as “a regular exchange on current affairs.”
The Maoist party, as it turned out, came up with a detailed proposal on integration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants the next day—the first such document since the peace process started in 2006.
Despite the perceptible decline in his stature in recent years, Dahal still remains the most important political figure in the current transition. His stated ideas and implied messages become subjects of heated debates and raging controversies across the country. Continue reading