Nepali Times
Naryanhiti Party Palace


Among all the brilliant ideas about what to do with royal assets, the one to turn Naryanhiti Palace into a party palace is probably the most pragmatic.

If the seven parties need a palace, then this one should do fine. And at the rate party palaces are coming up in every neighbourhood this current mating season, 'Hiti has all the attributes that a proper marriage venue requires: capacity to take thousands of guests, ample parking, generator, garden venue, security, a military band and even a flashing strobe on the turret. Narayanhiti would give stiff competition to the Garden of Dreams across the road and the formerly-royal Army Club on Tundikhel which raked it as if there was no tomorrow this marriage season.


It may just be a coincidence, but just as the time arrives for Naryanhiti to be vacated come reports that Comrade Awesome is planning to leave the Pistachio Palace. The Ass' mole at Nayabajar says the reason given is that the building is not big enough to accommodate all the dignitaries who troop there every day and the limos have to park on the narrow lane outside. The Ass hereby places this pro bono rental ad on behalf of El Presidente: Presidential Palace Required A newly self-appointed executive president of the republic requires a spacious private residence inside the Ring Road, preferably in Bhaisepati or Mandikatar with enough parking for 20 SUVs and limos, basement with secret passageway to street outside, barracks for 25 PLA, 32 YCL, 108 ANNFSU-R and three Rottweilers, high wall with concertina wire, landmined perimeter and helipad on roof. Should be able to withstand tectonic and political earthquakes.


Meanwhile over at The Palace Built on Sand in Baluwa Tar, the prime minister is looking increasingly like the fall guy for his party. The NC Central Committee meeting has singled out Koirala and Sitaula for blame in the ignominious defeat that the kangresis suffered in the elections. Member after member has accused Girjau of being a dictator, appeasing the Maoists, not providing enough security to NC candidates, etc.

But the usually short-tempered Koirala is reportedly not at all ruffled. Kangresis are at a loss trying to figure out what has come over their generally grumpy leader. Some think he is secretly into vipassana, others speculate he has already attained nirvana. But the most-plausible explanation is that the man now actually thinks he has a chance to get the Nobel Peace Prize this year for having steered Nepal's peace process to a speedy end.

Koirala is said to be suddenly obsessed about his legacy and is behaving himself. Jim Boy got the Nobel for the Mideast Peace Process even though there is still a war going on there, so it doesn't seem to matter to the prize committee whether a candidate has actually brought about lasting peace. It's the thought that counts.


True to their Supreme Commander's instructions, the YCL remained Gandhian just for a week. They are now back to their usual tricks, thrashing anyone
who utters a peep. Next time, we will also need post-election observers.

So the last of the election observers have now left. Their numbers really boosted tourist arrival figures for April, which according to Nepal Tourism Board saw a 17.5 percent increase over the same month last year, kept hotel occupancy rates at 100 percent and Thamel bars full. Some of the observation reports pronounced the elections "free, fair and peaceful" which goes to show just how observant the observers were.

Apparently some of these sanitised reports are now being rejected even by the agencies that funded them, and one European envoy even threw a tantrum because it glossed over voter intimidation. Over at the EC there is a feeling of resignation because the commissioners decide everything by consensus and there is always a comrade to veto any statement that has the initials Y, C or L in it.


(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)