The government's crackdown on adulterated food stuffs ahead of Dasain has been so effective that the concerned authoritarians are running out of shops to raid. Desperate to show that they are ever-vigilant, government inspectors who can't find any more people committing adulteration are now going after those committing adultery. In raids this week on cabin restaurants, some VIPS types have been caught with their pants down, as it were. Others have been found mixing business with pleasure during office hours. "Their identities are being withheld until their next of kin are notified," one official said on condition of anonymity.
While delivering everyone a rude awakening, Sunday's quake struck just as a US military team was in Kathmandu to conduct a Disaster Response Exercise. The first tremors caught the American Jarsap while he was en route to the Army HQ where COAS Gen Twitchy was waiting, twitching even more than usual. The dinner went ahead anyway, and it must have focused everyone's mind. As it did the minds of CA members who haven't lifted a finger to pass the Disaster Risk Management Bill, but ran helter skelter for their dear lives from the floor of parliament.
Across town at the Sheetal Nibas, the president was ensconced with none other than our very own Reporter-at-Large, Rishi Hamala. Trust His Omnipresence to be at the right place at the right time yet again. As soon as the first tremor struck, according to the mule's mole at the Rastraparty Palace, the lights went off and Hamala vanished into the darkness to file his scoop in Rajdhani. The prez groped his way to a newly-installed emergency staircase, but found the door locked. So he was escorted through a swaying corridor from the West Wing to the East Wing to safety.
Speaking of Gamala, here he is (above) felicitating the guy whose name escapes me at the moment who has just completed driving a car from Mechi to Mahakali in reverse gear just to get into the Guinness Book. We knew the country was going backwards, but hadn't realised it was that bad.
Baddie doublespeak is coming thick and fast. Quote of the week from Comrade Pumpa: "Revolution is peace." Quote of week from last week from Comrade Pushpa: "Integration is revolution." For someone who once said he was "absolutely allergic" to revisionism, it looks like Com Bhayankar has yet to fully explain what he was doing underground in Siliguri, and also why he keeps meeting Kingji of late.
Awesome has just started threatening to go for "unilateral integration" if the kangresis don't stop putting a spanner in the works, and we were all wondering what he meant. Now we know. In a pep-talk he gave to commanders he said he had a cunning plan: for 6,000 ex-gorillas to use integration to infiltrate the army and for each fighter to indoctrinate three soldiers and then take over. It would be brilliant if only it wasn't Bhanayak once more being too devious by half. He is trying to prevent the PLA from falling for Kiran's faction.
Foot-in-mouth Home Minister Bijaybabu has done it again by telling parliament he is praying that earthquakes devastate America and not Nepal. Wonder if there will be an official demarche from the US Embassy. He is already facing flak for unceremoniously sacking home sec Com Lila Mani apparently for being too enthusiastic in nabbing sandalwood smugglers and trying to deport 23 Tibetans.
Gachhe can't seem to do anything right. People make fun of him even when he says that he wants to be a "model minister" or when he says he will have "zero tolerance" for corruption. Wonder why.
BRB in NY seems to have given up on the Kiran faction joining his govt. Trouble is every Madhesi party in the coalition has got a disgruntled faction and there aren't enough portfolios to go around. So, the only thing Rambabu can do is create more ministries by splitting Peace and Reconciliation; Labour and Transport; Science and Technology; and General and Administration. That should take care of that.