Nepali Times Asian Paints
Headline
Who’ll blink first?


KUNDA DIXIT


Two months after King Gyanendra seized power on 1 February everyone is in a fix:

. King Gyanendra gave the international community and his subjects a choice: me or the Maoists. He needs to show foreign powers that the Maoists are a real threat to the state, while simultaneously proving to the people that things are returning to normal after he took over. How will this contradiction be reconciled?

. Donors are trapped by their own rhetoric. They want to help, but they can't be seen to be aiding a dictatorship. Britain and the US want to bolster the army's deterrence against the Maoists, but were required by their own laws to stop aid because of Feburary First.

. India is in a dilemma. Overt support for Nepali political parties can be a kiss of death for them, and exerting more pressure on the king will allow him to rally the people\'s support. If owners don't act when the house is on fire, don't the neighbours have to try to put it out?

. Political parties still believe in a constitutional monarchy, they want to give the king a face-saving way out, but they aren\'t in a position to be of any help.

. The Maoists are in a fix, too. A serious rift in the ranks threatens to undermine the revolution, a soft landing is out of the question and there is no immediate prospect of gaining the upper hand militarily.

. The RNA was prepared for criticism at the current session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, but Feburary First magnified the condemnation. UN Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, even put it down in writing this week: 'We will be keeping under review the participation of members of the RNA in our operations.'

. The Nepali people are confused. The security forces were supposed to be chasing Maoists, but if there have been any major victories the army is not boasting about them. In fact, security forces had their hands full in thepast two months putting down pro-democracy rallies, keeping politicians in detention, enforcing censorship and intimidating the media. The people may want to give the king a chance, but the longer this drags on the more they will see February First for what it really was.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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