After reading Kantipur’s main news today (Army Warns Against Donation), I remembered the events of those days when I was chief of the administration at a school some four years ago. It was all about the donation and our position at the time. I admit that we donated a sum for the national conference of a sister organization of the Maoists but not before thinking of informing security officials and then deciding against it.
“I want to take the warm hearts of people of the birthplace of Lord Buddha with me.” This statement came from Hiromi Ishioka, a Japanese drummer who had written his name in the Guinness Book of World Records for building the world’s biggest drum and playing it. The World Peace Drum, 4.8m in diameter, 5m in length and 2 tons in weight, is in Japan, but the 51-year-old has showed his performance for Nepalis four times in a small replica. I was one of the spectators of his team’s performance on Tuesday evening.
King Gyanendra is a businessman. His major investment is in the Soaltee Group, one of the major business houses of the country running a few businesses. Though publicly his involvement in business is not seen, it’s a well-accepted truth. I don’t know how much the businesses are benefiting from his direct rule, but I can safely assume that they are probably doing the best business.
This shows that King Gyanendra thrive for property. After the Royal Massacre, he became the lone heir of all the properties accumulated by the Shah Dynasty during their 300 years of reign.
The latest information is about the properties once owned by the late King Birendra’s family. There is a piece of land in the prime space at Sallaghari of Bhaktapur meant for the palace constuction of late Prince Nirajan. The land was in name of Nirajan but King Gyanendra is the owner of that land. The land was tranferred to the King’s name 22 days after he took the executive power, according to an official who works in Land Revenue Office. Why in the King’s name?
SLC (School Leaving Certificate) Examination is probably the most important exam that a Nepali student can take. Not only because it’s the test of 10 years of school education or its result get published in Gorkhapatra but also because each and every Nepali gets interested in it – no matter they or their children are involved in it or not. The toppers get widespread lifelong recognition.
Friday is going to be a special day, not because it is a weekend, but because it’s this year’s Fagu Purnima, or Holi or festival of colors. To watch people covered by various colors, and to do that ourselves gives us happiness and enjoyment. Co-blogger Vishu wrote a small piece earlier urging to play it sensibly … I am doing the same. Celebrating something should be confined within ourselves or to only those who want to participate. Throwing water-filled balloons over girls/women or even men is an inhuman act and should be avoided.
History is the story of the winners. Newspapers are the first draft of the history. How much you agree with these two sayings? I agree with both of them – to some extent. Newspapers with the news of all the events and incidents become the first draft of the history, and the newspapers reports most-probably say nothing about the losers. It became apparent yesterday when I was on my duty to collect materials to write a news item on three Taekwondo players, who are training to represent Nepal in the World Championship in Spain in April.
Blog is not a buzzword for common Nepali but there are a lot of journalists, and journalism students, who have heard the word but hadn’t understood what it is all about. This morning, Bhojraj Bhat, a reporter with Nepal Weekly and also a first year student of Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism at Ratna Rajya Laxmi College invited me to talk about blog in a leisure period.
For the first time, Nepalis were given a chance to know that the King alone is unable to run the country smoothly. The news of the government issuing Peace Bond to raise Rs. 5.5 billion is a clear effect of the lack of fund for coming fiscal year as the international donor communities have shy away.
Despite stern warning to the press, some noted newspaper criticized the government’s latest decision saying ‘this would have a long term effect on Nepali economics.’ No wonder, it was a tested formula – by neighbors. India and Pakistan did the same after donors stepped back due to their nuclear test. Notable here is that the Indian were more successful in it than Pakistanis and that’s because Pakistan was being ruled by a man.
Nepali government has probably hopes that Nepalis living abroad would be interested in the bond – and for that reason, it could be bought in equivalent to dollars and named ‘Peace’ – a word that would attract anybody.
I am always fascinated by Kumari – the living goddess or rather a girl child worshipped as a goddess. I believe I have a special kind to attraction towards her as I never miss the opportunity to see her whenever I visit Basantpur, where her home known as Kumari Ghar is. I feel freshened whenever I see her smiling face added with her childish activities.
What things actually make Kathmandu a rumor city? There are probably a few answers, but without teashop at the chowks, rumor city would probably lose its essence. Teashop gossips seem to be a favorite morning activities of people – from unemployed youth to high class official and from a ‘know-nothing common man’ to ‘know-everything man’. Tea in morning is essential for us and at teashops, where there would be gathering of the people; it becomes tastier by the tasty gossips.
I attended the press conference of Ms Susmita Maskey, who will attempt to become the first woman from the Newar community to scale the world’s highest peak – Mount Everest in May, 2005. The most confusing thing in the conference, which started 45 minutes late than scheduled (we utilized the time to crack jokes), was the absence of Moni Mulepati, another girl who was earlier the member of the team. Even the brochure distributed in the program was printed with her photos and names (later covered up by other photos).
The King started using media as a mean of propaganda. State-owned National News Agency distributed a news item in its March 14 bulletin that no newspaper wished to miss. It was about the rift in insurgents’ group saying that top leader had been expelled. All newspaper carried the news with a tag, ‘Says Royal Nepalese Army’. On March 15, the group denied the report but no newspaper could publish it because the authority has directed them ‘Not to publish any news about the group unless given by the Army’.
It is an example of using private media for propaganda and though international media covered the news with denial from the group, most of the Nepalese still believe that the news was true.
To increase the pressure on media and to threaten them, the authority summoned editor of the largest daily, Kantipur, on March 17. Narayan Wagle, the middle-age editor who started his career as the reporter in the same paper, went to Police Station – who have no legal right to question media, on the call and talked with superintendent of police for about an hour on the news about ‘anti-monarch protests.’ With due credit of United We Blog!, a blogsite run by journalists in Nepal, I quote Wagle as saying: “A group of politicians from five top political parties of the country assembled in Bangkok, though I know it though news sites, and decided that they should go for Constituent Assembly which will decide the future of monarchy in Nepal. It is in fact what the insurgents were demanding when they last sat on the table for talk, but the politicians of that time denied to talk on it saying ‘there can be no talk on democracy and constitutional monarchy.’ It is yet to see how the top politicians, most of them are under house arrest, will react, but it was an encouraging decision at the time when there is widespread feeling that the leadership should go to hands of youngsters from those who failed.
After Google acquired Blogger.com and turned it into the most popular blogging service (no wonder a free one), Microsoft stepped up and bagan MSN Spaces (I feel the name is a bit odd) and now Yahoo! has come up with the beta version of its blogging service – Yahoo! 360. It is not yet launched but after the search engine competition, its now time for these giants to move into the ‘Blogwar’.
Two student leaders Rajendra Rai and Rup Narayan Shrestha were ordered to be released by the Supreme Court on May 16. The policemen were ready to re-arrest them inside the court premises – as soon as they came out along with their lawyers, police tried to arrest them despite protests from lawyers, journalists and followers. Rai was arrested while Shrestha was avoided it by the help of his supporters.
Similar incident happened two weeks ago to Gagan Kumar Thapa and Pradeep Paudel. Both were released by Supreme Court, they signed the papers and were re-arrested.
On May 18, a few communist leaders were released by court orders but the lawyers and others had to do a lot of exercise to keep him away from re-arrest. There were two police vans inside the court premises which were later removed after the registrar inquired about it.
Is peace equivalent to the King’s rule? Is Royal Nepal Army’s success against Maoists is the King’s success? Are political parties and rebel group similar? Are political parties supporting insurgency?
There are attempts to make people believe all the answers to these questions ‘Yes’. But the reality is that most of the answers to these questions is NO. And I strongly believe blurring the border between many things stated above will not have a good result in future.
Here I present my views on each question and the difference in two things compared.