Yup, the Maobuddies are revolting again. They agreed to a Supreme Council headed by Girija the Grand Ayatollah and are still dangling premiership in front of his face. However, the three-week marathon central comittee meeting did defuse a brewing mutiny by distributing plum party posts to dissidents and preserving the privileges of the Big 16 by allowing them to keep perks and privileges. But just to show the party still has fangs, the comrades decided to launch People Power LXVIII.
Ferocious showed awesome talent for appeasement by entrusting BRB with the post of Chairman Number Two and demoting nemesis Kazi Narayan Kamred to Chairman Number Four. The Old Doc has been promoted to Brother Number One, which means the hardline ideologue will be less of a loose canon.
Surprisingly, the General Secretary position has gone to Cloudy the Fence-Sitter, probably in recognition of his important mediatory role in fixing things. There are two secretaries now in the CentCom to balance the two factions: Fearsome-loyalist Post Bahadur and CPji from the anti-PKD faction.
The Maobaddies also announced their much-anticipated 16-point Code of Conduct for the Comrades, the interesting thing about which was that none of the provisions like the ban on keeping drivers, security guards, servants and renting out flats in KTM apply to senior brass. George Orwell must be having flashbacks in his grave. One of the first guidelines for party cadre is the requirement for to all behave like "professional revolutionaries" which must mean that there are these sub-guidelines so the comrades can continue to show their true colours:
a) Be polite when making anonymous threatening phone calls in the wee hours to export a couple of karods
b) Ensure that the kalo-moso is made from ISO9000 boot polish and contains no harmful chemicals that would damage the ozone layer
c) Stop discrimination in casinos, allow Nepalis to gamble
d) Make press conferences extra exciting by administering corporal
punishment to outgoing corporation heads
e) Slash country's fuel import bill by declaring sudden chukka jams and closing down autonomous state council regions one by one
f) Contribute to reducing the country's balance of trade deficit with
India by facilitating the crossborder trade in sandalwood, wildlife parts, stolen cars, dynamite and detonators
g) Keep hospital emergencies busy by cracking the skulls of headstrong political opponents
Hot on the heels of the cabinet decision to finally nominate political appointees as ambassadors comes the news that GON is setting up a Rs 240 million Bureau of Foreign Intelligence (BFI). As all of us know, at a time when the country is going through a cholera epidemic, a catastrophic food emergency and rampant crime, improving our counter-intelligence capabilities in foreign countries is a matter of utmost priority. Every nation state worth its salt needs spooks, even if half its children go to bed hungry every night. Which is why all Nepali missions abroad are henceforth going to have in-house spies to spy on the spies of other countries to determine exactly what they are trying to spy about us. Only once we have this intelligence will we be able to counter all international conspiracies to undermine our territorial integrity, our sovereignty and our freedom to have warped priorities.
And finally, we come to this week's installment in our series 'Only in Nepal'. Petrol and diesel tanker drivers are threatening to go on strike because the Nepal Oil Corruption (NOC) is refusing to double the 'evaporation loss rate' that gave them 1.6 litres for every 1,000 litres of petrol which they used to sell in the black market to augment their salaries. "How dare they take away our only source of extra income, if they don't double the evaporation loss rate we will go on strike," an irate tanker driver is quoted as saying. Needless to say, nothing that the Ass reports in this column is made up, and if you don't believe me you can check page 19 of the 2 August issue of Kantipur.
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