"How does one let the people speak when they are never given a chance through elections? And, how can we be sure people are free to voice their legitimate opinions when active Maoist coercion and intimidation prohibit such freedom? So, really, let them call whoever 'royalist' or what not. It has no meaning now. Until we control Maoist arms, the people will never get to hold a referendum on anything."
- Blogdai on nepalnow.blogspot.com
"It is all a big joke because more than 50 percent don't even know what CA is."
- Right on savenepalnow.org
"The Maoists' moral standard is skewed-a love affair between grown ups is morally wrong but the abduction, torture, and rape of a 12-year-old girl, and the killing of innocents fall within their moral code. .They [are] a rogue, cruel state within this state."
- Raj on International Nepal Solidarity Network insn.org
Like everyone else these days Nepali bloggers talking most about the Maoists and the seven parties, the monarchy, the summit talks, the ceasefire, and the UN. But our blogsphere is missing the passion and obsessive writing fuelled by official censorship after the royal takeover. Jana Andolan II saw intensive blogging, but most blogs are looking sluggish these days, even with new political developments.
Sites like Keep Nepal Free, Ganatantra Nepal, and Friends of Nepa, Parewa News and Krishnasen Online have stopped updating altogether.
Still, some new blogs, and some old ones are going strong. Blogger Umesh's Mero Sansar, which offers photoblogs, podcasts, and videoblogs saw 67,000 visitors on a single day on 25 April, making it Nepal's most popular blogsite. For using the power of the internet in those difficult days, Umesh was recently awarded Rs 51,000 by the America-Nepal Society.
This week on mysansar.com, bloggers are debating republicanism, the monarchy and Nepal's FM radio revolution. Posters are wary of the summit talks, saying the attention given to the monarchy comes at the expense of discussion of Maoist atrocities, and are sceptical of the UN's role. The site also has travelogues, political writings, videoblogs on Umesh's trip to Beni, and features on Tihar.
The well-written, controversial, right-of-centre Blogdai is fed up with government inaction in the face of Maoist atrocities. He is watching for a real 'People's Movement', saying that in places like Jhapa, "Retaliations for Maoist acts are increasing and people are tired of living in fear." Also visit Blogdai for his four quick steps to detect media bias and six steps on preparing for a coup d'etat.
Posters at International Nepal Solidarity Network (INSN), United We Blog!, and Bloggers Nepal also criticise the Maoists and the king. Democracy for Nepal has writings on Madhesi issues, is organised chronologically by year, and has an audio and video archive. Nepalnews has also started a comments section for selected news updates. Some posters say we need to be patient with the current peace process, others have lost all faith.
"Every one knows the peace process is going nowhere, but we like to keep quiet. Just like we have all these years. [Nepal's] political and economic conditions were never democratic. Feudalism existed no matter whose government it was. [The] seven parties and Maoists are hypocrites, monarchy is a failure and the public is dumb."
-Arajpandey in nepalnews.com
Newbies like Nepal Info update regularly but their forums are not really interactive. Nepali Perspective, Hamro Radio and himalkhabar.com have fresh content but are low on analytical writing. News portals started by Nepalis abroad include nepalqatar.com, nepaljapan.com, nynepalitimes.com [no relation whatsoever to this newspaper, or the New York Times for that matter], and hknepal.com.
Blogs and news portals:
Democracy for Nepal
International Nepal Solidarity Network
New York Nepali Times
Save Nepal Now
United We Blog!