Nepali Times Asian Paints
Struck down



The Maoist 'postponement' of the general strike has drawn diverse reactions. The ruling parties have projected it as a victory of democracy, constitutionalism and law, and a massive defeat for the Maoist 'politics of blackmail'. Sections of the media and civil society that had urged the Maoists to pull back feel it is a result of the popular pressure exerted by the peace rally on Friday morning. And while some Maoist leaders and cadre are reported to be confused, demoralised, and angry at the leadership for letting go, others are hopeful that this will pave the way for an agreement on peace and the constitution.

The responses are naturally shaped by one's own location on the political spectrum. But what it ignores is that there is a complex set of factors that led to the Maoist decision. The non-Maoist euphoria also glosses over the fact that the strike was not the problem; it was only a symptom of the problem. And while the strike is off for now, those underlying issues remain unresolved.

The Maoists made four miscalculations.

One, Prachanda appears to have thought that getting hundreds of thousands on the streets would generate enough moral pressure on the government to resign. They did not realise that a government that has not been elected by the masses, and is not infused with a sense of responsibility towards citizens, would not really bother if the country stayed shut Ė NC-UML's only option was to stay inert and they did that.

Two, the Maoists thought the disenchantment of the Kathmandu populace with the government could be translated into support for the Maoists, and that increasing frustrations due to the banda would be directed against Madhav Nepal. But resistance against government is high when oppression by government is high. The present government is ineffectual and lame, but it is not dictatorial, so the people had no immediate incentive to rebel. In fact, many of Kathmandu's locals suffered due to the hidden violence of the Maoists during the strike. The party also failed to communicate the purpose of the movement effectively, and even potential sympathisers were left wondering why there was need for such a massive movement right now. By relying on the middle class for support, the Maoists essentially forgot their own principle that this class is 'vacillating and opportunistic'.

Three, they calculated that a prolonged deadlock would force the international community, particularly the Indians, to step in and stitch a deal together, giving space to the Maoists. And four, the 'military-bourgeoisie' alliance, manifested in the consolidation of all non-Maoist political forces, president and army would fracture, and there would be fissures within both NC and UML, eroding the government's strength. On these fronts, the Maoists underestimated the resolve of the Indians as well as domestic political forces not to allow the Maoists back in 'till they change'. Last year's Katawal episode has been a turning point in hardening attitudes against the Maoists. And the more the Maoists continue with militant mass politics, the tougher the non-Maoist camp will get.

The Maoists also relied too heavily on non-regional international actors (US, EU, UN) but none of them could be supportive of a crippling strike and exerted pressure on the Maoists to change the form of the protest. Anyway, when it comes to crunch time in Nepali politics, these actors fade away and India is the decisive factor. And Delhi had made up its mind not to let the Maoists, especially Prachanda, win this round.

Add to this the internal fissures within the Maoist party itself, where Baburam Bhattarai's heart was not really in a movement of this nature. He had agreed with the need to protest, but also recognised the need to build bridges with other parties and classes instead of sharpening the polarisation.

So the Maoists analysed the objective conditions, saw the strike was reduced to a proposition with diminishing returns, recognised that too many forces had ganged up against them, and opted for a 'tactical retreat'.

Prachanda was confident he could convince the cadre, which he partially did with an inflammatory speech at Khula Manch on Saturday. The Maoists are now trying to make the best of a bad situation, by acting magnanimous; putting the onus on the government; earning some brownie points with the internationals; and winning public sympathy for being a 'sensitive and responsible' party. The top leaders feel this is a battle that could go on till May 28 and beyond. Sustaining a strike till then would be difficult, and so this could serve as a breather to regroup and re-strategise like they used to do during ceasefires during the war. But they also know that it will be difficult to mobilise on the same scale in a short time-span again, and so are continuing with the movement; shuffling cadres (sending some back, getting people from other places); and relying on the 70,000 plus Kathmandu-based party members.

The non-Maoist parties are smug, which is fine for this is a temporary victory in narrow terms. But the 'democratic' camp needs to figure out what their core objective is. If it is only weakening and humiliating the Maoists, then they can sit tight and wait for the Maoists to get more desperate. The Indian strategy to deal with the Maoists is a classic approach they adopt in their own country with groups in Kashmir and the Northeast Ė engage, coerce, co-opt, frustrate the cadre, divide, weaken, give nothing and then repeat the cycle. NC, UML and Madhesi parties can continue to be domestic instruments to implement this Indian strategy. This will leave the Maoists with either no choice but to give in to all the demands made by the ruling alliance or unleash their destructive prowess (which was held in check last week); the possibility of the latter happening is higher. And the Maoist organisation and ability to mobilise masses, as demonstrated through last week should give ample warning to the others about the risks involved in this approach.

Alternately, NC and UML can now begin an earnest process of engagement and reciprocal concessions with the Maoists and convince India this is the best way to go.

The Maoists have to give up their double game on integration and put the PLA under the Special Committee in practice (a promise made by Prachanda last year in front of the combatants in the fourth division in Nawalparasi). Numbers and process have to be agreed upon. On property return, informed sources tell us that almost all land has been returned in the eastern, central and western region; the Maoists continue to hold on to a lot of confiscated property in the mid-west and far-west, which they have to be pressurised to return while a simultaneous exercise in land reform is initiated. Issues that have to be addressed in the longer term are the YCL and contentious constitutional matters.

In turn, the other parties have to concede two things Ė extension of the CA, which the Maoists desperately want despite the rhetoric of declaring a constitution from the streets; and a national unity government. The leadership of the government is a contentious issue, but mid-level Maoist leaders privately say that if there is an agreement on the issues, they can create an environment in the party to force Prachanda to be flexible in the larger interests of the process.

Political analyst CK Lal often says that patience after Gaur (where 27 Maoist activists were butchered) gave the Maoists the peace process; restraint after Dang (where 7 Maoists were killed a day before the polls) gave them the CA and election victory. Resilience and courage to make difficult decisions at this critical juncture will make them politically unassailable.

1. bigyan
This guy is as clueless as anyone else, except that he thinks her can fake it well. Just look at the headlines of his articles in Nepali Times recently.

23 April -
Blustering Reality
Those who dismiss Maoist threats should know they usually do what they say they will

(This was an attempt to intimidate us readers. This was when he was fresh from training the Maoists on the media strategy.)

30 April
They're Here
The coming days will be a tightrope act for both the government and the Maoists

(Further alarmist tactics).

7 May
Point proven
Can we have a deal now?

(The government, which is unpopular, did not blink. Prashant asks for a deal, on behalf of the Maoists, anyway.)


Struck down

I rest my case.

2. Chandra Gurung
" The party also failed to communicate the purpose of the movement effectively,"

With all due respect, you are such a dullard. Isn't it true that the Maoists have only one goal, and the people of KTM understood it and didn't support that goal. Why do you have to pretend you or some other junkies understand something while KTM people don't.

" They did not realise that a government that has not been elected by the masses,"

This is purely Maoist language. It got 301 in CA, and CA is elected by people. Even nominated ones represent popular vote.

and what's this with prachanda hagiography and baburam phobia here? and India, India , India---can't you just shut up for one minute, and plainly say that it was popular discontent in KTM street that reduced Prachanda into a pigmy, that when push comes to shove, it is the people in KTM street which matter, and not those in Delhi.

3. Arthur
Ok, Prashant Jha at least tries to analyse strategy and tactics from the perspective of the different forces instead of simply pushing for what he wants and against what he opposes.

But the analysis may still be too much coloured by what he wants and what he opposes.

Calling for a tactical retreat and then analysing that there has been a tactical retreat indicates good foresight. As a foreigner I cannot hope to have a more clear picture of what is happening.

But Prashant Jha passionately advocating an extension of the CA and analysing that the Maoists "desperately want" the same might indicate perceptions clouded by desires.

If the other parties agree on civilian supremacy, completion of the peace agreement with Security Sector Restructuging (including democratization of the Nepal Army and integration of the PLA), federalism and the basic structure of a democratic state, then naturally the Maoists would agree to an extension to finalize the details. But why would they "desperately want" an extension that would merely postpone matters if there was no such agreement? Why ignore the fact that the other large parties have indicated they want an extension and the Maoists have not?

If MKN is desperate to remain a completely inert and useless PM until the anniversary of his taking office (25 May), and his colleagues are stupid enough to indulge him, what strategic or tactical problem does that create for the Maoists? Isn't it more a problem for those parties going to the voters with such an abysmal record?

Everyone (sane) is agreed that military (or "Presidential") rule and a return to civil war is not an option. So the only result of MKN clinging on will be an election for a new Constituent Assembly with the Maoists stronger and their opponents weaker than before.

As for "miscalculations", sure Prachanda is always optimistic and may have hoped for much more from the Kathmandu middle class than they were capable of. That optimism and confidence in people from all sections of society is his strength as a national leader with broad appeal.

Prashant Jha's perception of the Kathmandu middle class seems more realistic than Prachanda's:

...resistance against government is high when oppression by government is high. The present government is ineffectual and lame, but it is not dictatorial, so the people had no immediate incentive to rebel.

But getting that right doesn't call for lecturing the Maoists like this:

By relying on the middle class for support, the Maoists essentially forgot their own principle that this class is 'vacillating and opportunistic'.

It is clear that they know who they rely on.

More interesting, but left unmentioned is the their handling of such class forces as those represented by the FNCI. They have more weight in the present social order than the middle class and seem to be assuming the responsibility of working out arrangements for transition with the Maoists while the old parties remain inert.

Don't forget that the hype that this strike would be a violent urban insurrection for immediate state capture came from its opponents, not from the Maoists. Retreating to avoid potential violence and unnecessary confrontations with vacillating forces was not a retreat from a premature insurrection but an advance towards an even larger victory in the next election.

Finally, Prashant Jha wants various things from the two sides, and analyses that they each "have to" agree to these things "at this critical juncture". But surely the Maoists have already made their difficult decision" in calling off the strike and so ending the "critial juncture". Isn't the ball currently in the government's court?

4. jange
Much more important are news reports coming in of Maoists with weapons of various kinds being arrested by the police. This is the first time in over a decade that the law has been applied to the Maoists with regard to weapons.

If the government is serious and stops Maoists from using intimidation and threats it will bring the Maoists on a level with other political parties.

Without recourse to violence the Maoists have no politics and hence no political future.

5. Consolidation

I thought it was a pretty good analysis for the most part. But Prashant does seem to exhibit a confidence in the Maoists that he doesn't really explain why he does. 

In any case, when you really boil down all the sophisticated language, you can see that all this wrangling is really juvenile. Nepali politics continues to be a game of the powerless pretending to be powerful. The powerless includes the Nepali politicians and the Nepali public that pretend that the politicians have power that they don't.

In the kingdom of the blind, one eye man is king.

It is hard to have real confidence on any of the politicians. We just find ourselves running to our television sets and our computers hoping that the latest political gimmic by some zealot politician isn't the straw that broke the camel (named Nepal's) back.

6. Arun

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Everybody can conclude on the events that happened, yesterday.

Nobody, I mean 'NOBODY' has been able to predict what has happened in Nepal. The unfortunate demise of the monarchy, the unexpected result of the CA and now the turn of events on Saturday. Analysts 'everywhere' including Mr. Jha are quick to point out the results that happened; they are clueless to the events that will occur tomorrow like the rest of us. In fact, people who have left comments on this page are more in tune to the realities on ground and better able to predict the outcome than our experts that appear in this paper.

As the comments from the readers has rightly suggested, scapegoating people of Kathmandu for all ills that have happened in Nepal is old, mundane and ridiculous. Most of the leaders after the advent of democracy have come from outside of Kathmandu. Therefore, "PLEASE", do not blame the people of Kathmandu for the in-adeptness of the leaders that ails the country. Our Leader's inability to make changes are their doing and theirs alone. Let us not forget, the insurgency happened when same leader were at the helm. Were it not for the brave Nepalese Army (only institution without their interference) we would probably be fighting the war or better, insurgency would have ended (I am in the opinion that Maoist were on the verge of collapsing or they would have never come to talks).

So, please make commentaries wisely. Not all the folks in Nepal are like the ones that were brought to Kathmandu, blind, confused and unable to process useless archaic ideologies. Prachanda was made aware by the very Kathmanduites (elitist like Jha and CK Lal likes to call them) that you have all shunned. He was afraid not of the crowd but the total collapse of control that he would have to confront if the 'Bandh' was to go on. Violence is two way street and lets us all pray we do not have to resort to it, which we are all capable of just like the Maoist, to get our rights back.

7. Sunita Tiwari
'NC and UML can now begin an earnest process of engagement and reciprocal concessions with the Maoists and convince India this is the best way to go'
Prashant, you are a naive to link 'NC' and 'UML' with the word 'earnest'.¬

Slaves are not supposed to 'argue' or 'convince'. They are there to follow the orders of their masters. And India doesn't needs to be convinced for the best way to go, they are going the way that is advantageous and fruitful for India. Why would they change that for the betterment of Nepal or Nepalese people?¬

8. Avik Singh
Hagiopraphy.....nice one....what a slap on the face...the point is that niether Prachanda or BRB is suitable for PM...period...maoists should & cannot come to power as they are incapable in controlling and managing the country...while they play shadow games..stop wasting our productivity...prashant jha needs to stop glorifying those bloody khaobadis and understand that WE CANNOT BE INTIMIDATED.... 

9. Binod

I don't think concensus among the parties is the way forward because that would mean fresh elections with the same rotten eggs running for premiership and more general strikes to follow. This seems to be a never ending vicious cycle. We had achieved a perfect platform to skyrocket Nepal into a modern developed nation after Jana Andolan 1, however, we failed because of corruption. Cum Jana Andolan 2 and again there was consensus and that seems to have failed yet again. Now we are seeking another consensus, and its failure is inevitable.

Jana Andolan 1 failed because of Congress and UML. Congress for being the commander most of those 16 yrs and UML did nothing but to criticize the commander all those yrs. UML instead could have come up with a solid plan for development even while they were the biggest opposition party. For starters, they could have even run a campaign to clean Nepal. I still remember PM Nepal mentioning how dirty the streets were and that it needed to be cleaned up on his drive to singha durbar after being appointed the PM. He is almost the EX-PM and the streets of KTM are still dirty if not dirtier.

Jana Andolan 2 failed because of the Maoists. They thought the 10yrs armed revolution was just a game of chess and after being elected to run the government they chose to attack the army instead of showing the masses that they have become a democratic party. People would've forgotten the terror and the killings of the 10yr revolution in no time if they had a concrete plan to change the nation and lead Nepal to prosperity. Many people died in the American and French Revolutions too. One can argue but that was 2 centuries ago. The truth is there was oppression back then and there still is oppression now. So no logical thinking or argument can persuade these revolutionaries to find a different path. But the problem with the Maoists are that they too seem to dwell too much on the past and don't have a concrete game plan for the future. They seem to be asking for their "anksa" instead of creating new "anksas".

The only consensus should be to whip all the top leaders of all the parties and give chance to new faces in the form of fresh polls. The top 1000 leaders from all the parties should be exiled. How can 3000 people forbid 30000000 people from having a bright future.  


10. Nirmal

The cacophony of the Maoists

In all cases, the man who speaks too much has tried to silence those who talked too little of the Maoists presence since they are in peace process, and the result has been explosive. It is true that Prachanda has been more successful in controlling the ludicrous actions of his entire brethens during the protests than his crazy language  and there's the disaster of Baburam Bhattarai, the man of famous "controlled chaos" whose mind said something and the heart just different, there is also the ambiguity of Gajurel and Baidhya, but there is no doubt that the Maoists chief's authority is fierce and they move well in secrecy. Of course, there is also no doubt that for a political leader, authority is a theological virtue. However, what is happenning with this politically relevant Maoists is worthy to analyse, their true voices have been disharmonized at some point, and have gone beyond the imposition of a double ideological criteria, and therefore with the imposition of forced actions, products of intra-factionalism. But this time they suffered, in addition, a significant public humiliation, and this addition is very worrying.

¬†Not only the Maoists had to retract what has been declared to do publicly but they were involved in an exercise of schoolyard, and, all that, by these Nepali mao-men who have not yet finished their sixties and with years of "struggle" in the past and a career to come. Well, they are ensuring people that they didn't mean bad things but¬† with their typical communist repentance, showing the sake of red mother superior ‚Äďconspiracy and the enemies of all time-. I think the Maoists barons are probably too crude to do real politik, they have presented themself as the proponents of New Nepal who want change and came with new momentum. And probably for these reasons, they are committing the sin of sincerity.

Lesson cat-man-du

It would be good to tell the Maoists not to approach the politics, even less kathmandu with such imprecision and arrogance, given the circumstances not only Prashant and me think so but almost all nepali, not only many in the Maoists party say so under their mustache but electoral majority also advises them. But the elder brother of politics is angry, Mr. Nepal who leads makune prabriti has written "a letter", the Maoists has taken out their habitual knife and the lost NC advocates for forgiveness. Lesson learned. I am not going to say anything less sensible that does not travel through the political commissars. Sorry, but all this seems very old. In the XXI century, "we are still in a plan to castigate others with bhautik karwahi, promote obscure views and humiliating language" ? Then, better they do not sell the rhetoric of change. Because "change" is not to change the face of politicos. Change is to reinvent the soul of politics, to make it more real, more sincere and less tricky. And so far, there is nothing new or change. Only make-ups and that very ugly.

General perception

At times the Maoists is alike sindicalist union, sometimes their behaviours resemble to those of Taliban, so often they pretend to be banana republicans and more disgracely they act as militarist fascists. I'd suggest political analysts like CK Lal and others to ask the Maoists an obvious fact clearly and loudly, as the society wants to know also: "what exactly the DNA of the Maoists is?" Without the knowledge of this very fact, the Maoists are here to lose and suffer political depression and definately they will knock down the current political construction as well. They will sink but with everybody and everything.

11. Friend
Don't over-do the "India card". And just because you are a Madhesi with geographical and cultural proximity to North India, it doesn't make your argument any authoritative when it's so off.

Like Chandra Gurung says above, India has interests in Nepal, and of course they'd like us to be influenced (which big planet doesn't want satellites to revolve around it?), but when the people of Nepal unite, all actions and results are home-grown. This was true in 2046, in 2062/63 and now when the Mao bullies were decisively humbled with some middle-class impatience and a mediocre Maha Prahasan (it was really bad, but hey it worked).

12. bijay
Are you kidding me?? Middle class is "vacillating and opportunistic". I stopped reading after that and don't think that I ever will dignify your article by reading them again.

13. Omraj
Well said Bigyan. 

14. Nick Sharma

15. Bashu Arya

If proportional representation is to be considered democratic, isn't MKN elected representative? He may be inept, 'Bander ko Pucchar' or anything like that. Yes he lost seats in one go..however, as the democratic system doesn't disallow to come elected through the proportional system, why keep on calling him unelected?

If we have to define the directly elected representative to be elected, the people who are there in the Assembly shouldn't be there in the first place. Then you wouldn't have seen MKN as PM now.

I don't like the man personally, hey, he is more of a steady hand then the Prachand. King Log is better than King Storke for frogs (people who are not armed)

16. apapl
and the writer forgets that maoist attack on pashupatinath temple .. nobody in the city has forgotten that.

17. Joker
Comrde Prashant and Comrade Prachanda are one and the same.

18. himalaya
nick sharma... are u blind or u cant distinguish facts from hypothesis ,,, or brain washed ...... before any class, cast, religion aren't we Nepalese.... see Nepal where does it lie now financially, politically, socially....... and this is what u want and prashant common brother ,,,,, report facts do not embellish which side u r on ,,,, don't  give journalism a bad name which is already with black stain .......  

19. Ramesh
The moist to give up present movement, pernneal interest of Prachanda,  to impose anarchism is almost near to end because they really do  miss calculated as you mentioned on your four points. They will  retaliate time and again even their demand are meet this time around.  However, Prachanda may be depesperately would like to come to power and correct all of his past mistakes to gain the trust from international community and the people. They were too immature to run the country and thier intention was too far Marxist when they were in Government.  Who knows he might see this as a big opportunity to rectify himself and be good hero in Nepali politics. I do not know we may have to give a chance and see how will be performed in the days ahead. Certainly,  I do not want  see detetator to rule my country.

20. Himal
Good analysis. Whatever you guys think, this is the fact. If I had to choose anybody, my vote would be for the Maoist. I can at least hope something from them rather than the  same old parties.

21. hange

Says Jha, "The Indian strategy to deal with the Maoists is a classic approach they adopt in their own country with groups in Kashmir and the Northeast ‚Äď engage, coerce, co-opt, frustrate the cadre, divide, weaken, give nothing and then repeat the cycle. NC, UML and Madhesi parties can continue to be domestic instruments to implement this Indian strategy."

But why on earth would we want to follow Indian strategy when it has failed so miserably in their own country?  PM Singh himself says that their Naxalites are their biggest threats, with a large swath of their country essentially under Maoist control.  At least we were able to bring our Maoists to the bargaining table!  Shouldn't India be following our example instead?  Jha's perpetual infatuation with all things India is misleading at best and downright self-destructive at worst.  Just because India did it doesn't mean it's good, or right, or true.  Actually, history has shown the opposite to, more often than not, be true.

22. Cyberlekali

Maoist agreed to offer an alternative candidate to Prachanda. Do you believe it? It is just a lie, unless they give an alternative's name. Everyone knows that Maoists are least trustable. Maoist cadres take Maoist leadership's lie as five steps ahead and two steps backward. They should not be trusted. Hardline Maoists are alieniating BRB, and therefore, at the end of the this drama, they will say, alternative to Prachanda is Puspa Kamal Dahal, and vice versa. That is what they told recently. Lets not get trapped by Maoist rhetorics. Lets wait till Jestha 14 (May 28th). Maoist will offer more, and the intersection point for consensus will be when they offer disbanding of YCL, and returning of property captured by Maoists in exchange of Maoist as head of the government.

23. A Gurung

.......Middle class is "vacillating and opportunistic".....?????????

Is this writer blind or brain washed by the Maoists?????

Writer's unnecessary move of dragging New Delhi in his write-ups gives ample space for his intents..........

24. Ek Nepali

Prashant should be ashamed when he attacks on middle class, "By relying on the middle class for support, the Maoists essentially forgot their own principle that this class is 'vacillating and opportunistic'".

Prashant, you are an opportunist lap-dog of Maoists. How dare you attack like that on Middle class citizens. You should know that a country is defined by Middle class because they are the backbone of economy. They work hard. As middle class bulge, the country's economy considered better. As middle class engage in politics, politics get better. As the middle class's health get better, the country's life expectancy gets better. As middle class grows, the lower class gets free food stamp at expense of tax paid by Middle class. How dare you forget these facts and come up with silly comments. You Maoist skin head hiding in the name of journalist. Shame on you.

25. jange
Only one question remains:- Should the Maoists be allowed to continue using violence as a means to achieve their political ends?

Mr.Jha, until you answer this question clearly and unequivocally all your analysis will be meaningless.

26. Arthur

Posted on: 11 MAY 2010 | 2:27 PM NST

Posted on: 11 MAY 2010 | 2:32 PM NST

Posted on: 11 MAY 2010 | 2:33 PM NST

#48 Posted on: 11 MAY 2010 | 2:34 PM NST

#19 Posted on: 11 MAY 2010 | 2:35 PM NST

Posted on: 11 MAY 2010 | 2:42 PM NST
#2   Posted on: 11 MAY 2010 | 2:57 PM NST

Is there some point to this cut and paste repetition? Wouldn't it have more impact if you at least pretended to be responding to what others are saying instead of just repeating your mantras?

Are you feeling more isolated now that more people are joining in from different points of view and feel a need to compensate by repetition?

Also I am puzzled, if there is some point to this repetitive chanting, why not also add it to some of the other topics?

You seem to only have last week's mantra at:

Posted on: 07 MAY 2010 | 3:13 PM NST

and a slight variation on a previous mantra at:

Posted on: 07 MAY 2010 | 3:59 PM NST

Surely you could have added the current mantra to those two and there are even other topics where you haven't said anything at all?

Are you becoming bored and lazy with your assigned duties.

Are you being paid per comment?

Anyway it took you a whole 30 minutes from 2:27 to 2:57 for only 7 repetitions.

Let's see how quickly it can be exposed in all 9 topics with some automation. I'm hoping for only 2 minutes from earliest to latest, but it may depend on the moderation.

27. jange
# 26

Is there some point to this cut and paste repetition? Wouldn't it have more impact if you at least pretended to be responding to what others are saying instead of just repeating your mantras?

It's had the desired impact.

28. CyberLekali
AL said, "We are bound to truth, but not always bound to succeed."  Jange, "Only one question remains:- Should the Maoists be allowed to continue using violence as a means to achieve their political ends?" CyberLekali

29. jange
# 26

Anyway it took you a whole 30 minutes from 2:27 to 2:57 for only 7 repetitions.

False logic. The time lapse between the first entry and the last entry was 30 minutes is the correct conclusion. All else is inference, guesses, assumptions etc.

This is typical of the type of false logic that you continually make in your statements.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)