Prime Minister Comrade Ferocity took time off from greeting foreign foreign ministers to tell an Austrian journalist this week that he was going to ban strikes, hartals, chukka jams and bands.
But even if he manages to get Girjau to agree to this radical proposal, the big question is whether he can convince his own trade union don, Comrade Jamar the Kattel. Just this week, the police nabbed 15 extortionists from the baddie "revolutionary" trade union who had threatened managers of a private security firm with death if they didn't hand over half a million bucks. Anyway, after some time in the cooler the culprits were released on direct orders from the PMO.
The Maobaddies have just brought out a Code of Conduct for their members in the Constituent Assembly. No more boozing it up in their hostels, at least not publicly. Not to attend anymore parties in five star hotels. To take only public transport or bicycles while commuting. Not to wear expensive clothes, and not to use mobile phones that cost more than Rs 10,000. Fine print: These rules are only for proles, and do not apply to party members who are in the cabinet or in the central committee.
Nothing shocks us anymore about Ass' own country, Nepal. Just when we were quietly rejoicing in the fact that the Thais have outdone us by closing down their airport, our very own Tribhuvan Interminable Airport was also out of action one evening last week. No, it wasn't because the duty free shopkeepers had gheraoed the departure lounge (although that is soon coming, we hear). It was because the airport's one and only generator ran out of diesel during a power cut.
The terminal building, runway lights, the KTM VOR beacon all went on the blink. BRB himself was in the VVVVVIP area waiting for a flight to Doha, so the financial minister got first-hand experience about the difficulties of generating 10,000 megawatts in the next ten years. Tourists waiting for flights and those that had just arrived got an unforgettable souvenir of Nepal, the Land of Darkness. Where else in the world does one get such a vivid demonstration of everday life right at the airport?
The blackout came right on cue as the Nepal Electrocuted Authority announced that load-shedding would now increase to 49 hours a week, blaming it as always on the lack of water in the rivers and not on its own incompetence. Guess that means we can put plans for that electric crematorium in Teku on the back burner, as it were, for now.
But not to worry. Everything is going to be hunky-dory hencforth cuz the coalition government has just set up a multiparty highlevel coordination committee to advise the government how to run the government.
In the bad old days, there used to be long queues at the gas stations everytime NOC was about to raise the price of fuel. This week, cars started to line up when rumours started flying that the government was about to lower the price of fuel.
Gas station owners, it turns out, make killing either way. They used to hoard fuel before a price increase creating an artificial shortage, but this week they refused to lift fuel from NOC because they knew the prices were going down. This is on top of the tons of money they make mixing kerosene in diesel and turpentine in petrol. The only fuel which is reasonably pure is avgas, but even here the suppliers cash in on the five percent leeway that is given for en route evaporation.
They call him the Old Fox, but GPK should henceforth be called the Old Mule. From one mule to another, I must say the guy never gives up. Last week he told party faithful he wanted to continue leading the NC, and even hinted that if he can engineer the downfall of the Maoist-led government he'd like to be prime minister again for the 817th time or whatever.
Girjau is even preparing for the time he won't be around by ensuring that his heir apparent in the party is a Koirala. Being a democrat, he has given us three choices, and all three names begin with an 'S': Sujata, Shekhar or Sushil.