We Nepalis are great at dispensing advice as long as we don\'t have to follow them ourselves. Following this grand tradition, here is my own two-cent\'s worth:
1. Don\'t anger a Tibet-loving US senator by arresting a few meditating Tibetans, especially when there is a trade
bill or a garment bill sponsored by the Senator on the floor of the US Congress. (And don\'t try to use the garment quota bill to beat the NEA over the head on Bhote Kosi.)
2. Don\'t get into a personality clash and break up a party when the Maoists are at the gates. The public will consider this a very selfish act and may not reelect you. If there is ever an election, that is.
3. Try to remain united and sensible when the king is touring his dom advocating an active monarchy. Learn to
take the hint. Have you forgotten a simple childhood story: it is easier to break one stick than a bundle of seven?
4. Once in a while it does not hurt for the political leadership to oppose the Maoists and their atrocities at Ranta Park. The public may actually be convinced that it is all about something bigger than just ministerial portfolios.
5. Let\'s not p--- off India to please Pakistan, of all countries, for god\'s sake. Haven\'t we learned the lesson being squeezed in 1988-89?
6. Whatever happens, don't bring a pair of octogenarians to save the country, especially when one of them seems to have lost his Nepali accent. Push comes to shove, there are still plenty of 70-year-old young turks around.
7. Choose your enemy carefully. Opening yourself up on three fronts may not be such a good idea no matter how
noble the cause. The advisers must have said, "no pain no gain", but it comes with too high a risk.
8. Political daughters should have realised that taking a rikshaw to Jogbani and taking a train to New Delhi would
have been much safer than riding an Enfield Bullet across the tarai for five days.
9. A "can't we all get along" speech may be imprudent when a bunch of old friends of your daddy are in detention, including your uncle.
10. If we practiced what we preached we could have embarked on a path to liberal democracy a long time ago.
11. Nature abhors a vacuum, so does politics. Something or someone will quickly move in to fill the gap. Dissolving local councils was the single most awful idea. Stopping FM news is the second most-awful.
13. C'mon, jailing a 70-year-old professor is just plain silly. Fight an armed Maoist, not an old man with a pen.
14. Holding the Royal Nepal Army to a higher level of accountability on human rights is all very well. But let's not overlook what the Maoists have been doing.
16. You can't keep things hidden for long in this day and age. It's counterproductive to stop phones, radio and internet in the 21st century.
Alok K Bohara, PhD, is professor of economics, University of New Mexico, USA