Ethan Casey is a Seattle-based international journalist, frequent public speaker, and author of Alive and Well in Pakistan: A Human Journey in a Dangerous Time (2004).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The News column: Nepal's king has no clothes

This week's installment of my "View from the West" column in the Pakistani daily The News is about the global context of the deepening crisis in Nepal, a country I lived in as a student for an academic year, nearly 20 years ago:

"We've grown so accustomed to living in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 that we forget that we're also still living amid the rubble of November 9, 1989. Midway between those dates, my mentor Ed Pettit predicted that the day would come when people wished the Berlin Wall had not fallen after all. Of course no one wishes that but, as grim a period as the Cold War was, it was also relatively stable.

"The Eastern Europeans led by example, and a strikingly disparate array of small peoples worldwide got the point. ... In an Asian society as tradition-bound and stratified as Nepal's, that's disorienting for all concerned, but it's also exhilarating. The Nepalis who forced the previously sacrosanct King Birendra to accept constitutional monarchy 16 years ago this month felt their own power, and saw its fruits. But what they ended up with was a corrupt mockery of democracy and a brutalising civil war."

The News has just launched a much more attractive and navigable new Internet edition. My full column is online here.

3 comments:

jabbarnepal said...

Rush my King to foreign lands.....
Dear King Gyanendra,

Do not stay back in Nepal, the maoists are all powerful, my sincere advice please take what you can ( your jewels, cash, gold, whatever you can carry with you) and escape with your faithful followers to some place...... please seek asylum in another country.

Afcourse you will never be happy in whatever country you go to, regardless of how much money you have, as exiled kings rarely are happy. The great Shah of Iran was not happy, nor the rulers of Greece, nor the ruler of afghanistan................!

But well, it is better than suffering humialiation at the hands of those maoists, and the fickle people of nepal, who not so long ago cried bitterly at the funeral of the Late King Birendra and the late royal family, and now they have changed........ what a sad day indeed.

My king they will humiliate you if you stay back, do not have any hope in the nepali people nor in the government that is going to form, these useless politicians will make a scapegoat out of you to please the innocent but stupid nepali masses. They will try you in court , who knows maybe execute you, maybe keep you in prison.............

My king you deserve better, please escape while you can, DO NOT HAVE FAITH IN THE PSEUDO DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT WHICH THEY WILL FORM...........

yours truly,

jabbar

Bilaal Ahmed said...

Great piece drawing from Nepal of past and present. It's interesting that you started from the illusion of Kathmandu in the early 70s in America, a period marked by it's own movement of people against an American government that was imposing its own course. I wonder how effective grassroots movements are, whether in Los Angeles for rights of undocumented workers, in Paris for work opportunities for youth or in the raging streets of Kathmandu? Is it as much about goverments and process or about institution building and the eventual realization of proper governance?

smalik said...

Dear fellows,

Indeed a new horizon seems to be emerging from the Himalayan peaks and the flickers of democracy are bustling to spread across. But what do you hear from the buffoons of the West on the TV screens, in the shape of ambassadors of the UK and USA, as such, that the Nepalese should not demand too much!!

Who indeed are these buffoons, who are always buffoning around for a long time, buffering and planting the despots, dictators in the world around us, be it the dead Mabutto of Zaire, who, staged by the French and Belgian buffoons and kept there for over 32 years, to call the shots?

Let the democracy take its root and let the people decide for themselves. Away with these buffoons, now. Away with these buffoons in Iraq, away with these buffoons in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Algeria, and away with these buffoons from the deprived countries of South America and indeed the United States of America itself, where the buffoons of the multi-corporations have been brain washing the masses for a long time, let there be freedom for the freedom loving people of this world, wherever they are.

Regards

Shaheen