Nepal Budget : Finance Minister in Catch-22 Situation

Finance Minister needs divine intervention to activate the slackened economy and find requisite resources to finance his ‘rural-centric’ and path-breaking’ budget.

By Chattra Bahadur
An Analysis. UWB received this article in email.

Whereas the rest of the SPA (Seven Party Alliance) are jubilant of the victory over the ‘autocratic’ and ‘repressive’ royal regime, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat must be burning midnight oil trying to figure the way out of the mess that he finds himself in. He had chosen easy way earlier and placed blame on the previous regime for the current economic mess by issuing ‘white paper’ on the condition of the Nepalese economy as soon as he became the finance minister. However, he may soon run out of options to pass the buck and absolve himself of any responsibility.Continue reading “Nepal Budget : Finance Minister in Catch-22 Situation”

Royal Officials in Probe Commission: King Gyanendra Should Explain

King Gyanendra should use the forum of High Level Probe Commission to explain Nepali people why he did what he did in 2002 and 2005 and how he failed to do what he wanted to do.

We don’t know what exactly Dr. Tulsi Giri told the High Level Probe Commission (HLPC) Tuesday (June 27) but anyone can guess from what he uttered in front curious journalists after the interrogation: “I did not kill anyone. No, I did not.” Okay, he didn’t pull the trigger but people died. 21 people died in Janaandolan II. When those people were dying, Giri was assisting king Gyanendra to ‘run’ the country (Dr. Giri was vice-chairman in the king’s cabinet formed after the royal takeover of Feb 1, 2005). Continue reading “Royal Officials in Probe Commission: King Gyanendra Should Explain”

While My Village Gently Weeps: Story of an Internally Displaced Citizen of Nepal

By Dinesh Wagle in Duragaun (Ramechhap)
Wagle Street Journal

[This is the extended version of Wagle’s reporting that was originally published on the front page of Kantipur daily on Sunday June 25. Kantipur wrote editorial on the same topic the next day.]

From the unlocking ceremony of Internally Displaced Citizen Toyanath Poudel house
Toyanath Poudel inspects the lock put up by the Maoists on his house All pics by Wagle

As the Nepalese government and the Maoist rebels are observing mutual ceasefire and holding peace parleys aiming to end a decade long bloody war in the country, thousands of general Nepali citizens have started returning to their villages to claim their homes and lands that are locked and captured by the rebels for years. Last week, I was in my home village Duragaun (where I was born and raised for about a decade) for the first time in the last seven years and witnessed a rare scene: Maoists were organizing an “unlocking ceremony” in a house of a displaced citizen.Continue reading “While My Village Gently Weeps: Story of an Internally Displaced Citizen of Nepal”

Batsyayana and His Cartoons: Now in a Book

The book Batsyayana and His Barbs: A Cartoonist’s Take on Post-1990 Nepal will be available online on UWB for sale. (read more about the book below)

Buddham Sharanam Gachhami

Prachanda: O Buddha! I take refuge in thee
Guerillas: O Buddha

Cartoon by Batsyayana via (the front page of) Kantipur (Monday, June 26, 2006).

Batsyayana is Nepal’s foremost cartoonist both in terms of the content of his works and its quality. Over four decades he has charmed his readers with irrepressible wit and humor. And by unflinchingly and persistently drawing cartoons against corruption, bad governance, government censorship, untouchability, violation of human rights, extra-judicial excesses and in favor of freedom of press, he has helped further the most vibrant civil democratic discourse in Nepal.Continue reading “Batsyayana and His Cartoons: Now in a Book”

Misadventure of Bharat Keshar and Heroic Policing of Timilsina

For the record: For latest on this case, see inside

Abhushan Timilsina Arresting Bharat Keshar Singh

Isn’t this a historical photo? YES. This is what is called democracy perhaps. Police Inspector Abhushan Timilsina drags a brat royal honorary ADC (on June 20) who thought he could do anything he wished on the streets of Kathmandu. This was very much needed to tame these raja sahebs.Pic by Narendra Shrestha via Kantipur

Quote of the Year

“If you can handcuff a person who has become the prime minister of this country twice, why can’t you do the same to [people like] Bharat Keshar? The situation wasn’t such that police could disperse the crowd by charging lathis and firing shots. If we had done so, 15-20 people would have been killed and Hotal Malla would have been burnt to ashes.”

Police Inspector Abhushan Timilsina

This country needs brave and bold police officers like Abhushan Timilsina who brilliantly decided to implement the law without keeping in mind the culprits haisiyet and background. Under pressure from the fading royalist power, big heads of police force summoned Timilsina and interrogated as to why he didn’t reach the venue on time and couldn’t control the situation. Valley DIG Deepak Thangden and Kathmandu Police Office SP Dhak Bahadur Karki interrogated Inspector Timilsina on June 21. Timilsina said that he handcuffed Bharat Keshar Singh and his sons [former Majors of Nepal Army Ajay and Ananta] as they were trying to destabilize peace in the society by taking law into their own hands.Continue reading “Misadventure of Bharat Keshar and Heroic Policing of Timilsina”

Comparing Notes: Nepal One Year Later

An American writes his experience of having close encounter with the Nepali Maoist comrades in a remote village

Maoist graffiti in a village in Myagdi district Left: “Up with Republic of Nepal: CPN Maoist.” Right: “Down with Killer Gyanendra.: CPN Maoist”/ “Whoever deletes this slogan will die.”

By Neil Horning in Pokhara (West Nepal)

There is a psychological effect WWII veterans often describe to their therapists. When they were at war everything felt real. Their following life is a mere shadow of that time. Events in their normal lives blend together, but they remember every thing from the war as if it had happened the day before. This effect is also caused by Nepal. I have no idea what I did for the past year. You can test me, I really don’t remember. But I can describe everything that happened to me for the two months I was in this country last year as if the intervening year hadn’t happened. It is still really quite incredible what this country does to someone. It is hard to describe. When you get back home people ask “how was Nepal?” The answer is invariably “It was amazing, it changed my life.” The tricky part is when they follow up with “How?” Well, that’s a hard question to answer, even to oneself. In order to get an answer I’ve been going over my notes from last year.Continue reading “Comparing Notes: Nepal One Year Later”

Understanding Nepalese Politics: Playing the Game of Peace

The Maoists have adopted a simple strategy and are exploiting the current situation to the hilt.

By Chattra Bahadur
UWB received this article in email

The great ‘peace-ball’ has finally started rolling with the declaration of the 8-point understanding between the SPA and the Maoist leadership before the Prime Minister flew to Bangkok for medical check-up and treatment. The immediate outcome of this declaration was a formation of a committee to draft the Interim Constitution with a time-limit of 15 days. The Interim Constitution is to pave way for the Maoists to join the Interim government to hold elections to the Constituent Assembly. Secondly, the 8-point agreement also accommodated the long-standing Maoists’ demand to dissolve the reinstated Parliament after promulgation of the Interim Constitution and formation of the Interim government; in return, the Maoists agreed to dissolve the People’s government (Jana Sarkar). Though the media had reported that the government will be requesting the UN for its assistance in decommissioning arms, the 8-point agreement has not thrown much light in the issue of arms management.Continue reading “Understanding Nepalese Politics: Playing the Game of Peace”