King Gyanendra, Lead, Follow, Or Get Out Of The Way

A Militarist King And A Wasted Ceasefire
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A War Of Words, Not A War Of Bullets
Trent Lott And Gyanendra Shaha
Why The Maoists Should Not Go Back To Violence
Robert Kaplan Is An American Cowboy
Isolating The Monarchy
Maoists Should Go Beyond Ceasefire To Peaceful Mobilization

The king and his men thought, okay, so the Maoists are in Rolpa. If we can have army folks in the surrounding districts, and then drop a few thousand troops into Rolpa from the air, we got all bases covered.

These people, they are militarists, ideologically speaking, but they are not smart militarists.

The Maoists are not in Rolpa. They are in all 75 districts.

When the experts say there is no military solution to the civil war, they are right. They are not experts for no reason. Even if there were a military solution, a political solution is preferable. But it is not really a choice.

The Maoists have done their homework. They have managed to expose all the chinks in the 1990 constitution. They have managed to show the monarchy's true face. They have brought the RNA to a standstill. No matter how many more troops the RNA hires, how many helicopters it buys, that military stalemate will still hold. Why? Because the Maoists do not fight a traditional war. Theirs is a war of a fundamental asymmetry. You send troops into Rolpa, and you get bomb blasts in Pokhara, Butwal and Bhairahwa. And these are just warning shots.

If Prachanda and Baburam were to feel they are getting personally targeted, maybe they will make an attempt on the king himself, and perhaps on Pyar Jung. So far both sides have refrained from going to that deep end. The Maoists might opt for suicide bombers if pushed into a corner.

I am not suggesting ideas to the Maoists. I am thinking up possible scenarios based on information that any average news reading person can glean from wars in other parts of the world. My analysis is not particularly sophisticated, it is basic.

Through their warning shots, the Maoists have sent their message that they are not cornered in Rolpa. They are not holed up.

"The party controls the gun," the Maoists like to say. These are primarily political creatures. The gun has always been secondary to them. They ask to be dealt with politically. There is no other way to deal with them.

The king and the RNA can realize that now, or they can wait until 5,000 or 10,000 more lives are lost. But I don't believe they even have that option.

If the king were to kickstart the stalled civil war, and 500 more lives are lost to that, the country is going to erupt. And the king is going to bear the brunt of that eruption. This man is playing with fire. He is holding the country hostage to an archaic ideology called monarchism.

He is pushing himself to a corner.

The Maoists blasted bombs in three towns. Do you think they could do it in 30 towns? Do you think they could do it on larger scales? I think the answer to both questions is yes.

I am not suggesting let us surrender. First, there is no "us." The people in power are not part of my "us." Second, my primary point all along has been that I agree with the experts, there is no military solution, so let's not even try.

Seeking a political solution and surrendering are two different things.

I am for a constituent assembly. If the Maoists are also for it, then all the glory to them. I am not for a constituent assembly because the Maoists are for it. We just happen to have common ground.

The beauty of the idea of seeking a political solution is that most of the details have already been worked out. Where else on earth have you seen that happen?

If the Maoists were going to go on the offensive anyways, I am glad they caused some minor damage to a few buildings. No lives have been lost. They did not attack some RNA installation.

They proved their point without any loss of lives on either side.

The Nepali people are watching. The Nepali people understand.

The Nepali people are smarter than the king, and the RNA. The Nepali people are smarter than the seven party alliance. The Nepali people are smarter than the Maoists. And they are watching. The Nepali people know exactly what the king is upto. This is cold hearted power play on his part: power for the sake of power, autocratic power, archaic, monarchical power.

The seven party alliance is in the lead. The alliance has a roadmap. The king has the option to try and negotiate some within that framework. But he does not have the option to reject the alliance outright.

The king's time is passe.

The train of people power is on its way.

In The News

Minor explosions in Bhairahawa, Butwal and Pokhara NepalNews
Calling off of ceasefire draws mixed reactions
Govt responsible for Maoist decision to withdraw truce: Parties
Rebels end truce, Nepal tense
Deccan Herald, India
Update 4: Explosions Rock Nepal Amid Cease-Fire End Forbes
Update 3: Explosions Rock Nepal Amid Cease-Fire End