Living near Washington DC, I get my Nepal news from the Internet and I read that the Maoists declared a three-day unilateral ceasefire in Rupandehi, ostensibly to allow the Second World Buddhist Summit to proceed in peace. Unilateral? Weren't they the only ones setting off explosions as the Summit was getting underway? Are these guys going soft? What's next: a proposal for World Peace?
Why is it only the Second World Buddhist Summit? You'd think they would have a couple of thousand summits by now. We're falling behind every single religion and it is disappointing to see it considering we are usually the first in scaling summits, holding summits, seminars, meetings, workshops, soirees, spontaneous gatherings, weddings, bandas or general clusters of confusion. Was there any Scotch consumed at the Summit and which PhD adviser appointed Deuba along with a cast of several dozen politicians as the event coordinators? Urgent note to appointers: if you want this event to continue (say to the 3rd World Buddhist Summit) you might want to select a new team.
And where was Daniel Lak for all these festivities? He must have been kicking back in Miami covering Bush's relation-mending visit to Canada. If Bush's second term goal is to mend relations, he will be on the road until 2008 visiting 180 countries. Friendly note to Lak: replace your current mug on page four, you look like you're posing as a Disney character after having one too many Kingfishers. Ok, I'm just jealous he is living it up in Miami while reporting on Nepal.
I see that the Nepali media is finally beginning to refrain from the terms 'martyr' and 'intellectual'. The math must have started sinking in. But I continue to see vernacular like 'fructification'. But the grand prize goes to our own wacky politicians that took up the word 'regression' and have since relentlessly bludgeoned us to brain death with its use. Can the NHRC, ASPCA, ICRC and the FNCCI please make note of this torture.
I've got a few suggestions as alternatives just to give our politicians a little variety during their banda. I got these from the Second Edition of the Unabridged Version of the George W Bush Dictionary: relapsification, retro-reversionism and retrenchirisation. Please feel free to substitute as necessary.
So the Indian Minister Rao Indrajeet Singh has said that the chances of Prachanda and Baburam taking shelter in India are none. All right then Mr Rao, that's an enlightening piece of intelligence but didn't it take your country about 40 years to hunt down the sandalwood brigand, Veerappan? Loosely translated, this means we don't believe a damned word you said. And we keep hearing the same emphatic denials from Pakistan about another fellow: "We don't know where Bin Laden is but we can assure you that he is not in Pakistan." It's too dangerous having these two countries fighting each other. Let's get them together for peace talks first.
I know all kinds of (ahem) intellectuals, writers, artists, diplomats, UN-types, NGO-types, embassy-types, FNCCI-types (with or without garlands), college kids and sadly, even elementary school kids have weighed in on how to bring the perpetually triangulating threesome (monarchy, politicians and Maoists) into the third round of peace talks.
There is an honorable credo among us consultants and ex-consultants that goes: 'If you are not part of the solution, there's plenty of money to be made prolonging the problem'. So there you have it as to why Peace Round III hasn't occurred despite all the dense analysis about fatalism, feudalism, Maoism, the pros and cons of the Kyoto Protocol and Lakisms? (Just kidding, Daniel.)
Oh, and if they are planning to move the capital from Kathmandu, can we put Dailekh on the short-list? Seems like they have real people there. Why am I not surprised it's Nepali mothers raising hell? Let's hope their spirit is contagious.
Pravin Rana lives in Virginia and reads Nepali Times online whenever he can.