Nepali Times
The Republic of Utopia


While we in Nepal are trying to figure out what to do with the one king we have, we hear that in the Happy Kingdom of Bhutan there are now two kings. Until his abdication takes effect Jigme the Glad is known as the 'Fourth King' and his son, Jigme Jr, is known as the 'Fifth King'. So if you are ever in Thimpu don't just say 'His Majesty', specify fourth or fifth. Much simpler here in Nepal, we simply call ours the 'The Last King'.

Even the proposal to skip Paras (he's just bought himself a Great Dane to keep him company) and go straight to Hridayendra is now unlikely to save our monarchy. Bringing back Birendra's bloodline with its only remaining member would do the trick, but will three generations of go-getting incumbents at Narayanhiti allow that to happen? Likely not.


Who needs royalty when we will soon have a Comrade President for our Federal Democratic Republic of Utopia? It's getting to be a race against time for the Maobaddies to get themselves into an interim government and have Ram Bahadur Thapa in place as deputy prime minister before the old man kicks it. Otherwise all their carefully laid out plans will go awry.

His Awfulness bad mouthed the media and did some damage control in the tarai this week, but his hard work was undone by his own cadre who roughed up a few madhesis. In Kopundole micro-bus drivers audacious enough to protest Maoist high-handedness were slashed with khukuris and hopitalised. Most Nepalis know the leopard hasn\'t changed his spots and not all the guns are in the containers.

But the Maoists know we know that they know the UN knows that there are quite a few PLA with their SLRs and INSASs missing. When the Nepali language press grilled UNMIN about it, including how many of the registered guerrillas were women, Ian Sah\'b said they weren't "verified" yet. You mean you don\'t know if they\'re boys or girls?

So when Prachandaji says that some of the guns were "washed away by the river and others were reduced to ashes in a fire" the media went "yeah, sure".Everyone is playing along with the charade, however. That is the price of peace. Contrary to reports the Maoists were buying "crummy" guns in Darbhanga, it seems some were caught on candid camera selling off some of the 5.56 caliber rifles for which they have no ammo

Comrades on a recent junket to Switzerland to learn about federalism told their hosts in Interlaken: "This is what a Marxist utopia will look like." Yup, a worker's paradise, and the Swiss cantonments didn't even need communism to build it.


Trust the Kathmandu-based donor community to keep tabs on all the Bunds and Chukker Jams. We Nepalis would be completely in the dark about all the overlapping hartals if it wasn't for this careful tabulation circulated by the UN:

. The Madhesi Mukti Morcha's transport strike and customs blockade till 5 March and an indefinite tarai bund after 6 march
. Three-day tarai bund called by the JTMM-Goit
. JTMM-Jwala's protest rallies to culminate in a khukuri rally on 7 March
. Superimposed on these were NEFIN's own hartals on 22, 24, 26 February in various parts of the country climaxing with the country-wide bund on Wednesday
. Coincidentally the Maoist Tamang Autonomous Democratic Front was also blocking the entry points to the Valley on Tuesday
. And, oh yes, the hitherto Chure and Bhabar Ekata Samaj shut down Sindhuli, Sarlahi and Makwanpur on the same days
. Not to be outdone, the Maoist trade union announced a three-day bund in eastern Nepal on top of all the other bund

And we haven\'t even heard from the dalits, women and Karnali yet. Stay tuned for next week's Loktantrik Bund Update. Same time same station.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)