Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Some more news items we’d like to see in 2003


As you may have noticed, 2003 is off to a flying start with the daily papers carrying a slew of positively-angled news items designed to warm our cockles. The best piece of news to hit us in the new year is the actual one reproduced here that announces plans by the Royal Society for Humour and Satire (Rebellious) to establish Nepal as an International Humour Centre.

Further details are awaited. But, if true, what this means is that besides being known as the abode of Pashupatinath, the venue of the SAARCASM Secretariat and the Bandh Capital of the Eastern Hemisphere, Kathmandu is also going to be turned into a seriously funny place. About time, too, since things were starting to get a bit out of hand around here.

According to well-placed sources quoted by RSS, the Nepal Chapter of Humorous International will work closely with the Nepal Tourism Bored to promote humour tourism, and to kick this off it has already declared 2004 "Amusing Nepal Year", launching it by hosting the XVII International Congress on Good Humour which will be inaugurated jointly by the Ministers of Fun and Games of all participating countries.

The Chairman of the Amusing Nepal Organising Main Committee told newspersons at a solemn press conference: "It is of great national pride for Nepal to be chosen as the venue for this conference. You there near the window, what's so funny? This is no laughing matter, we are taking this development very seriously indeed. We will not allow our country to be made a laughing-stock."

Besides the plenary, the convention will have several working groups to deliberate on issues like "Good Governance and Humour", "The Role of Court Jesters in Conflict Resolution", "Is Democracy a Joke?" during which delegates from all over the world will present their research findings for peer review.

We may laugh about it, but the main duty of any government is to protect its citizens. That is why we are glad to see this news item in the press:

Helmets mandatory for pedestrians

KATHMANDU - The Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office has announced that helmets and protective suits will be mandatory for all pedestrians in the capital from 1 April 2003.

Citing the increasing numbers of speeding Kathmanduites who collide with parked vehicles everyday, commuters who get sideswiped by motorcyclists on zebra crossings, vendors in Asan who get gored every so often by bulls and those who fall into potholes while attending to calls of nature on the sidewalk, the police has decided that pedestrians will be required to wear protective gear while going about their daily business.

"It is our duty to make it safe for people to walk on the streets," said the head of the police's new Safety First and Last Task Force. "We will not rest easy until every life and limb of every street walker in Kathmandu is accounted for."
The mandatory gear that every Kathmanduite will be required to wear while walking on the streets will include a
Grade 50 Thermex Crash Helmet with Neck Brace and Visor, industrial strength facial mask with a 1,000 litre oxygen cylinder, elbow and knee guards, teflon-coated shin pads, crampons, carabiners and jumar rope to rappel out of potholes.

"Anyone found walking about without this gear will be fined Rs 250," police said. "The public has to realise that we are doing it for their own safety and protection."

Girija threatens to spill beans

BIRATNAGAR - Former ex-prime minister Girija Koirala today threatened to "tell all" about who masterminded the 1914 assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo that plunged Europe into conflict 90 years ago.

"So far, I have refrained from the urge to speak out for fear that it may trigger World War III, but one day at an opportunistic time, I will bring out the truth," he told a motorcycle rally of pillion-riding party cadre, all of whom were wearing helmets.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)