Saturday, September 22, 2012

Published on Sep 16, 2012 by
Deadly protests, riots and the storming of American embassies that started on September the 11th in Egypt have quickly spread to Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, India, Indonesia and others. Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is John Billington with you this week.

Ironically the worst of violence is originating from the many of the countries that were involved in the "Arab Spring" and where America and her allies supported the transition to democracy. Libya is one such place where the American ambassador and a number of others were killed. All this was apparently in response to a low budget film insulting the prophet Mohamed that was posted on the internet, although many doubt that pointing to the level of the organized protests and the timing on September the 11th.

The long term results and lasting impact of the events taking place are hard to predict. We do know however that nations such as Libya are not destined to be pro American, quite the opposite in fact. We have looked many times on the Bible in the News at the final line up of the nations at the battle of Armageddon in Ezekiel 38. There we find a northern confederacy of nations lead by Russia and the Catholic Church and a southern confederacy of nations lead by Britain. There we find for example that Libya is with the Northern confederacy of nations, so no matter how much help America, Britain and Canada give them in turfing out Gaddaffi they are not destined to be friends. What we find when we go through the list of Middle Eastern nations in Ezekiel we find them split, some with the Northern Confederacy and some with the Southern.

To understand the Arab world and where it came from and where it is headed we go back to Genesis and the account of Ishmael, Abraham's son through Hagar. We do not have time to go into this in detail here but we do find that God had a purpose with this family. It was not through Hagar that the promises of a chosen seed etc. would be realized but through Sarah and Isaac. That said in Genesis 16:12 we find very significant promises regarding the future of the Ishmaelites


RON HART: Arab uprising: From hope and change to hype and blame

RON HART: Arab uprising: From hope and change to hype and blame

ROSEMARY BEACH — The Arab Spring chickens are coming home to roost.
Dismissing two simultaneous attacks on our embassies on the anniversary of 9/11 as "coincidence" and in spite of all available evidence to the contrary, the Obama administration and its surrogates in the mainstream media continue to blame the current unrest on a YouTube video. It is an expedient election year excuse, but it's not the truth.
Attacks have occurred on our embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Pakistan, and Syria. Punch that card one more time and the Obama administration gets a free Subway bombing sandwich.
Even Hillary Clinton could not quell the violence, murder, American flag burning and protests among these anti-American extremists. Odd as it seemed to this administration, militant al-Qaida men just would not take orders from a bossy blonde Methodist woman.
I actually like Hillary more with time. She certainly would have been a better president than Obama. It is sad this is happening at the end of her watch; she had decided to resign as Secretary of State if Obama wins a second term. Democrats hope to fill her chair soon or risk Clint Eastwood showing up and talking to it.
The first reaction of the White House to the riots was to blame Romney’s reaction. Then they reasoned that it was better to blame a YouTube video that no one watched than their own naiveté.
These planned attacks outwitted our intelligence and our common sense. Our Marines were intentionally under-strength. Obama had not attended a security briefing since Sept. 5.  Remember when Democrats derided George Bush for collecting himself for a few minutes in that Florida classroom after being told of the 9/11 attacks? Obama flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser while all this was happening.
With his Nobel Peace Prize and all, after his apology tour and then tripling our troop strength in Afghanistan, I am shocked that Obama could not win these folks over. He preached nonviolence, yet pranced around politically when our Navy SEALs killed the Muslim world’s evil Elvis, Osama bin Laden. What did he think they killed him with, kindness?
The Muslim Brotherhood killed the last two Egyptian leaders, invented the suicide bomber vest, and founded al-Qaida. Yet Obama encouraged them into power and speaks of them as if they are the Knights of Columbus.
Measured against the ideal of world peace, our response to having our embassies attacked would rank in the Arab world somewhere around having a shoe thrown at you. At least Bush saw the shoe coming and ducked.
Those who agree with Ron Paul and me on domestic matters, yet think we were wrong opposing two wars of choice and occupying Muslim countries, might want to think again. If we were not spending billions of dollars propping up theocracies or thug-ocracies in the region, with no coherent agenda or justification, all this would not be happening. We go from ruthless dictators who hate America to America-hating theocracies. How’d that work in Iran?
There is a reason Ron Paul's campaign had the most active-duty military donors.
The right again blusters and stokes the idea of another war. That is as stupid as our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. We just need to get out of these countries, quit trying to nation-build in our own image, bring our money and our troops home, and let them sort it out for themselves.
We are going broke trying to be the world's policeman. Our military is 20 times more powerful than any military in the Muslim world. We defeated the fourth most powerful military, Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard, over a long weekend halfway across the earth. We are blessed to have two major oceans protecting us.
Our Defense Department needs to play defense, not offense.
Lastly, we need to stop paying billions each year to Pakistan, Egypt and these Arab nations who will not protect our sovereign embassies in their countries. We tax and borrow billions of dollars and give it to countries that hate us. I bet they would hate us for free.
Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, can be reached at, Twitter @RonaldHart or

Social Media Soldiers, the Arab Uprising

Social Media Soldiers, the Arab Uprising

With the introduction of social media through MySpace society has drastically changed.  Although MySpace has died a slow and painful death, Facebook has become the new dominant social media outlet with the help of Twitter propelling internet-based communication outside of the stratosphere.  How far is social media reaching?  It’s not only shaping relationships and elections, it’s shaping the course of entire nations, giving those looking for a voice of their own an outlet of expression and bringing together people with similar ideas and visions.
The Arab Spring, as it’s now known, was the start of a cataclysmic shift in the shape of the Middle East.  While the political demarcation lines between states remain the same, it is what is inside that has largely changed – for the better or worse we have yet to truly see.  Now it’s time for a quick time out to explain something very important, yet often overlooked:
Uprisings are not solely due to social media.  It would be impossible for Facebook or Twitter to ignite a nation to rise against their leaders.  Before social media helped bring together like-minded people, the citizens of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Libya were already deeply oppressed, although each in different ways and with different types of governments.  High unemployment of young adults in Tunisia and Egypt helped to drive those uprisings, while deeply imbedded repressions of freedom by the leaders of Libya and Syria helped to drive the people to stand up against their leadership – with deadly consequences.
Protesters at Tahrir Square in Egypt stand near graffiti celebrating Facebook. Photo by Reuters/Steve Crisp
The news media, in 2009, was quick to label the budding Iranian protests a “Twitter revolution,” which Nancy Scola of The American Prospect believes is what has resulted with commentators holding back that title with Tunisia: “emphasizing that the uprising is a product of passions and convictions of Tunisia’s people, not a 140-character status update.”
James Buck and Melissa Bell of The Washington Post wrote about the various incidents that led to the uprising; WikiLeaks had opened the door to the “lavish lifestyle of the ruling party members, while unemployment, rising food prices and corruption took their toll on the country.”  Some say it was the story of Mohamed Bouazizi, a  26 year old computer science graduate who couldn’t find a job, who in reaction to being beaten by the police for selling vegetables without a permit set himself on fire as a form of protest.  The story of Mohamed spread like wildfire across the Twitter-sphere drawing attention to the issues facing the people.  Similarly to those in Tunisia, Egypt would soon find it’s imminent ruler – Hosni Mubarak – unfavorable among the people no longer afraid to speak with their voices.  Regardless, “For the first time in history, a social movement could be observed in real-time as it spread, coalesced around ideas, and grew exponentially in size and scale across the Internet.”
While the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were relatively quick, and while somewhat violent the term “civil war” was never uttered the same cannot be said for Libya and Syria.  It took American intervention to put an end to the civil war in Libya and to remove (and kill) long-standing despot leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi.  Twitter streamed in real-time the events as they actually unfolded, while Al-Jamahiriya, “the Libyan state-owned television channel, was broadcasting nonstop patriotic songs, poetry recitations and rowdy rallies supporting the Libyan leader.”  One particularly well-travelled tweet reads, “#Qaddafi is at war with #Libya as we speak, helicopters, troops, thugs, security & foreign mercenaries all against unarmed protestors #Feb17,” from ShababLibya.
Perhaps it is ironic that the nation most indebted to social media and their uprising against their leader is also the one that has suffered the longest for their uprising.  Syria has slipped into a civil war that has led to tens of thousands of people fleeing its borders for the perceived safety of Jordan, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
A few miles from the advancing tanks of President Bashar al-Assad’s army, a young Syrian pledged to leave the safety of a Turkish border town and make a perilous return to his homeland.  This twenty-something dissident, his eyes blazing with courage, was preparing to join the struggle against an obdurate and pitiless dictator.”   When asked how he was going to speed the downfall of the ruthless Assad regime? “He would tweet, text, blog and Skype, to ensure that the outside world knew the terrible reality of Assad’s rule.”
The world has witnessed through these social media soldiers the brutality and the extreme lengths that the Assad regime will go to destroy the uprising, blindly killing anyone who happens to be having the sour luck to be in the way.  “The Syrian uprising should be the kind of story that takes social media by storm.  It has extraordinary acts of resistance, ordinary citizens fighting for freedom, and the Internet’s power to break through a government’s wall of silence.”  Emily Parker, of Slate, puts if bluntly, “the Bashar Assad regime has been violently cracking down on its opponents.  The fallout has ben tweeted, Skyped, photographed, and filmed.  But it has not captured the collective social media imagination the same way as uprisings past.”  Why is it now that images of babies maimed and the lined up bodies of dead children ignored so easily? The world has stood quietly by, choose not to intervene for whatever reason allows them to sleep at night while innocent children die, and yet these dissidents continue to risk life and limb by posting the truth for all to see.  Or, have we seen so much of the bloody uprising that it no longer means anything to us, much like car accidents or murder scenes from movies.
Yet, unlike Tunisia, Egypt, and even Libya, Syria’s fight still continues, and the regime, while having a few shaky moments last month, is still concretely in power while also having the most number of social media soldiers showing the world what is happening everyday.  It all boils down to one question: “Does Syria’s uprising need more technologically savvy multimedia activists? Or – to be blunt – does it require more people inside the country blowing things up?”

Sunday, September 2, 2012

(Reuters) - A rare visit to India by China's defence minister should help avoid flare-ups along the border between the nuclear-armed Asian giants at a time when Beijing is grappling with a change of leadership and friction in the South China Sea.

Asian giants seek better ties; China defence min in India


Invesco Municipal Premium Income Trust
China's Minister of National Defense General Liang Guanglie at a news conference in Beijing January 10, 2011. REUTERS-Larry Downing-Files
NEW DELHI | Sun Sep 2, 2012 4:41pm IST
(Reuters) - A rare visit to India by China's defence minister should help avoid flare-ups along the border between the nuclear-armed Asian giants at a time when Beijing is grappling with a change of leadership and friction in the South China Sea.
But General Liang Guanglie's trip -- the first by a Chinese defence minister in eight years -- also highlights growing competition between the two emerging powers as they jostle for influence and resources across Asia.
Liang is due to arrive in Mumbai on Sunday afternoon after stopping in Sri Lanka, the island nation off the south coast of India that sits on vital ocean trade routes.
There he sought to play down Indian fears that China is threading a "string of pearls" -- or encircling it by financing infrastructure and military strength in neighbours stretching from Pakistan to the Maldives.
"China attaches great importance to its relations with the South Asian nations, and commits itself to forging harmonious co-existence and mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation with them," he said in speech to Sri Lankan soldiers.
"The PLA's (People's Liberation Army) efforts in conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with its counterparts in the South Asian nations are intended for maintaining regional security and stability and not targeted at any third party."
As neighbours and emerging superpowers, India and China have a complex relationship. Trade has grown at a dizzying rate but Beijing is wary of India's close ties to Washington and memories of a border war with China half a century ago are still fresh in New Delhi.
Despite 15 rounds of high level talks to resolve the dispute about where their Himalayan border lies, neither side is close to giving up any territory. Liang is not expected to broach the territorial issue on his trip.
Analysts say Liang's India tour will demonstrate that Beijing is managing the often twitchy relations with its neighour just ahead of its once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
"China's leadership has one primary objective: how do we continue without any convulsions," said Uday Bhaskar, director of the National Maritime Foundation, a New Delhi think-tank.
"You do not want to have anything to do with India just now which is rocking the boat, as it were," he said.
In Sri Lanka, Liang pledged $12 million in military aid, adding to billions of dollars spent helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa win a 25-year-old civil war and rebuild his ruined nation's ports and roads.
Emphasising China's growing clout in the region, President Mohammed Waheed of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation the Maldives left for Beijing on Friday to arrange $500 million in loans, partly for infrastructure.
In turn, India courts close ties with Vietnam. Its exploration of an oil block in the South China Sea has needled Beijing, which claims the sovereignty over almost all of the sea and has stepped up its military presence there.
Both China and India say they are committed to attaining prosperity through peaceful means. Business relations are booming and trade flows have reached an annual $75.5 billion, up from just $3 billion a decade ago. Trade is skewed in China's favour.
During the four day trip to India, Liang will talk about border security with his counterpart Defence Minister A.K. Antony, India said this week, and they may announce a new round of joint military exercises -- following on from a recent joint naval practice in Shanghai.
No more details have been announced, but the two sides are expected to discuss their mutual neighbours Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the security challenges they face when NATO forces start leaving the region in 2014.
Liang's delegation includes Yang Jinshan, commander of the Tibet military district -- on the vast and troubled Himalayan plateau bordering India. China and India fought a brief border war in 1962, two years after India gave asylum to the Dalai Lama, who Beijing considers a separatist.
The last time a Chinese defence minister visited India was in 2004. Since then, Beijing has spent billions of dollars on train lines, roads and military hardware in Tibet. India has also spent heavily to strengthen its defences along the frontier, which the two sides dispute, despite years of talks.
Minor incidents of both nations' troops crossing the border are common, but major flare-ups are avoided through meetings of low and mid-rank officers, as well as senior military delegations and a cabinet-level hotline.
Instability has increased in Tibet in the lead up to the Chinese leadership change, with 51 Tibetans setting fire to themselves in gruesome protests against Beijing's heavy-handed rule in the region.
Liang's visit follows a number of high intensity unilateral military exercises by both countries in the border region in the past year.
More recently, India's ambassador to China was allowed to tour Tibet, a rare occurrence, and an Indian military delegation was taken to the region's capital Lhasa.
Jayadeva Ranade, a retired Indian senior civil servant and China expert, said China's recent warmth toward India reflected its concerns about military escalation in the South China Sea, and perception that India is being drawn into the U.S. "pivot" to Asia, which Beijing sees as containment.
While he welcomed Liang's trip, Ranade said India was disappointed China's next president had not yet visited.
"It's a tepid gesture -- earlier they were expecting a higher level visit, Xi Jinping was expected to come. That would have been something," Ranade said.
(Additional reporting by Ranga Sirilal in Colombo and Sabrina Mao in Beijing; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Northumberlandia: "I think people will come and see it like The Angel (of the North). The naked lady of Cramlington(Northumberlandia, also known as "The Lady of The North" is a piece of public art built into the landscape of Cramlington in Northumberland.)

Northumberlandia: The naked lady of Cramlington

Northumberlandia: A face in the landscape

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Northumberlandia, also known as "The Lady of The North" is a piece of public art built into the landscape of Cramlington in Northumberland.
Planned for seven years and built over two, she is the largest landscape replica of the female body ever seen in the world, her creators say.
She stands 112ft (34m) high at her tallest point, her forehead, and is 1,300ft (400m) long.
She is made up of 1.5m tonnes of rock, soil, stone and clay.
During a visit to the site last year, Charles Jencks, who began his designs for Northumberlandia in 2005, admitted the artwork was "much bigger than I ever thought".
Her creation was part of the planning application made by the Banks Group and Blagdon Estate when they requested to create what is now the largest surface mine in England, Shotton Surface Mine.
Made from the by-products of that opencast mine, the figure is created in layers.

Northumberlandia - key facts

  • Northumberlandia is more than seven times the size of the pitch at St James' Park
  • She is taller than an eight-storey building at her highest point
  • The figure is the centrepiece for a new public park which will be overseen by the Land Trust
  • She can be seen by some flights coming in to land in Newcastle
  • The land she sits on is owned by Viscount Ridley
First is a core of rock, then clay and lastly soil, topped with grass seed that will withstand being walked on.
Some of her features are artistically highlighted with stone from the mine that is often used for the restoration of old buildings.
Princess Anne will visit Northumberlandia on Monday to officially declare the site open, although the public will not be able to see it for themselves until Wednesday.
Katie Perkin, communications manager for the Banks Group, said: "It cost £3m for us to create Northumberlandia. We wanted to give something back.
"When we end a project on a mining site we restore it. With this project we heard there was some local concern about a negative effect on tourism, so we decided to go one step further than usual and create a tourist attraction to leave as our legacy.
"We held previews and worked with Disability North, amongst other local groups, to make sure the site was as open to everyone as possible, and I think we've succeeded."
Paths circle over the reclining body, offering views of Cramlington and a rare look into the nearby mine.
The Snowy Owl, a pub just to the right of Northumberlandia, will undoubtedly benefit from the development, but manager Gina Ward is also looking forward to the opening for personal reasons.
She said: "I suppose it will bring extra business to the area, and that's magnificent, but I love the idea and I love that they will be making it into a nature reserve. I think it is going to be brilliant."
'A new Angel'
Sue Stevenson, who works down the road at a petrol station, feels differently.
She thinks the money could have been spent on something more for the children in the area, but admitted: "I'm not a walker so it's not my kind of thing."
Her comments were overheard by Colin Battensby, from Blyth, who works in Cramlington. He said he travels past the site every day and thinks the creation will attract people to the area.
Northumberlandia, as seen through the woodland entranceThe entrance to Northumberlandia takes the visitor through woodland before revealing the figure
He said: "I think people will come and see it like The Angel (of the North).
"I don't know if people will come as a holiday just to see it, but if you're in the area, you'd go."
The Banks Group says there has already been a positive impact on the local community.
Mrs Perkin said the Shotton Surface Miners were asked to contribute their ideas during development of the project.
She said: "We employ about 150 people at the mine, and around 50% of those are locals.
"We saw real artistic flair in some of the staff and offered them a chance to take part. They made this.
"Local hands made this structure that will last for generations to come."
Northumberlandia will be open to the public for the first time between noon and 16:00 BST on 5 and 8 September, with further information on subsequent opening times available on the Northumberlandia website.

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"We have a government that doesn't listen, doesn't see and all it does is deceiving the people." Obeid al-Wasmi, opposition politician-(Arab uprising: Country by country - Kuwait)

Arab uprising: Country by country - Kuwait

  • Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah
    Aged 83
    In power since 2006

  • "We have a government that doesn't listen, doesn't see and all it does is deceiving the people."
    Obeid al-Wasmi, opposition politician
Map of Kuwait
Kuwait has largely avoided the kind of protests that have rocked other parts of the Middle East, partly thanks to a generous welfare system and partly due to a parliamentary system that is more representative than other Arab Gulf states.
But it has not entirely escaped unrest.
Discontent at alleged high-level corruption and a perceived plot to amend the constitution, as well as anger among Kuwait's Bidun - or stateless citizens - at their marginalisation, has fuelled protests in the tiny oil-rich state.
In December 2010, police clashed with demonstrators protesting against alleged government plans to roll back political freedoms, while in early 2011, hundreds of Bidun took to the streets of Salibiyah, one of Kuwait City's poorest districts.
But the Bidun, who comprise about 5% of the population, made it clear that their aim was not to overthrow the government dominated by the royal family.
Instead, waving the Kuwaiti flag and clutching pictures of the emir, they demanded citizenship in the country they call home - and the rights and privileges that go with it - until police used tear gas and water cannon to quell the marches.
In the wake of these protests, the government promised to make some concessions - from offering ration cards to reviewing access to public colleges and education.
Meanwhile, tensions also rose over long-running allegations that bribes had been paid to MPs to support the government, and hundreds of people, including opposition lawmakers, staged weekly protests outside parliament.
The protests reached a head in November 2011 when dozens of demonstrators stormed the chamber, forcing the resignation of the Prime Minister, Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah.
In February 2012, Kuwait's Islamist-led opposition won a majority in snap parliamentary elections called by the Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, over the corruption crisis.
But in June, the country's constitutional court declared the elections illegal and dissolved the new parliament, triggering fresh mass protests and creating the potential for confrontation with the Islamists.

Will Nepal witness a 'Chameli' Revolution?(Any conceivable alternative to ‘democratic’ political parties will in all likelihood prove to be even more disastrous in the long run. However, when people begin to equate the lack of development with democracy, who knows, they might be tempted to go for it.)

 Will Nepal witness a 'Chameli' Revolution? 
A fellow Nepali created a Facebook group called ‘Countdown Constitution-Nepal (Chameli Movement)’ about a week ago that urges all Nepalis to come together to pressurize our political leadership to promulgate a new constitution by May 28. The group already has about 600 members (and counting). On taking a cursory look at the posts in the group, one gets a feeling that Nepalis have had enough of the never-ending political circus and that a revolution akin to the ones taking place in the Arab world is imminent. But will that happen?

One thing is certain by now: Our political leadership will continue to entangle themselves in petty (read power) politics and will in no way be able to promulgate a new constitution before the extended term of the Constituent Assembly (CA) expires on May 28, which is now just less than three months away. When the political parties reach a “unanimous decision” to extend the CA’s deadline once again, how will Nepalis react to it? Will that finally act as the trigger to bring people to the streets? Will something akin to what is happening in the Arab world, or for that matter what happened in Nepal in 1990 or 2006, get replicated on our own turf?

In the absence of a single face that people can vent out their anger and frustrations on for all the ills that they are living with such as perennial load-shedding, sky-rocketing prices, dilapidated infrastructure, among others, who will eventually have to bear the brunt of the (violent) protests? What will be the fallout of such a development and what will be the solution?

Tunisians had Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to protest against. Egyptians had Hosni Mubarak. Libya has Muammar Gaddafi. Yemen has Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has remained in power for 32 years, first as the president of Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the president of Republic of Yemen since the country’s unification in 1990. The people of Bahrain have an enemy in the form of a monarch. The Chinese may not have a single person to vent their anger against, but they have a single party. Nepalis had a king to fight against both in 1990 and 2006 but whom will they unleash their anger against in May?

It is always easier to mobilize the masses, or for the masses to come together, when the enemy has a face. That is the reason why the Nepali Maoists portrayed the king as the villain. That was a ‘strategy’ to rally the masses behind them and take forward their cause. That is also precisely the reason why there was so much debate in and around the Maoist’s Palungtar Plenum on whether or not India should be declared their principal enemy. The morale of their cadres was at an all-time low and they desperately needed an enemy to bind them together.
Any conceivable alternative to ‘democratic’ political parties will in all likelihood prove to be even more disastrous in the long run. However, when people begin to equate the lack of development with democracy, who knows, they might be tempted to go for it.

I suspect that when D-Day nears, and if protests break out, it is the top leadership of our political parties – the Maoists, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML – who will face the wrath of the outraged public. This essentially means that it is the likes of Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Sushil Koirala, Jhala Nath Khanal, Baburam Bhattarai, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Ram Chandra Poudyal, K P Oli, Madhav Kumar Nepal, among a host of other leaders, who will have to go scouting for cover. Since they are invariably the bunch that takes credit for any good work done, it is natural for the public to go hunting for their heads when things get messy. It is a bit unfair on them, surely. But logic and reason unfortunately are not the virtues that a deeply enraged public possess.

But will we see such protests? It is both a yes and a no. It depends on how our leaders behave and conduct themselves in whatever little time is left before them. One thing is certain. It is not going to be easy for our parties to convince the people for yet another extension of CA’s term. People will seek an explanation and unfortunately, besides the Maoists blaming the non-Maoist parties and vice-versa, there is hardly any convincing argument that our parties have to present before the public.

However, if the parties are able to sincerely work together in the next three months, which of course requires a lot of sacrifices because it means keeping aside political and party ambitions, and convince the public that they have indeed covered a lot of ground, the people might be ready for a ‘mini’ extension, say three months to four months. The point is to inject hope among the people in these hopeless times. People are sensible enough to understand that miracles do not happen in everyday life but they need a semblance of hope—a feeling that things are headed in the right direction and at some point of time we will reach the targeted destination. Mere rhetoric, though, will not suffice. People have had enough of that. But if the political parties can do something concrete, people might certainly agree to a mini extension.

But if our leaders do not mend their ways soon, God save them! For me, the thumping slap on Mr Khanal’s rosy cheeks by Devi Prasad Regmi in January was merely a representation of the frustrations of the Nepali public aside from the transgression of a ‘deranged’ individual. In May, when millions of people take to the streets with their sleeves rolled up, one can well imagine what will happen to our leaders.

But what worries me more than the safety of our leaders is the empty political space that such a development might leave us with. Any conceivable alternative to ‘democratic’ political parties will in all likelihood prove to be even more disastrous in the long run. However, when people begin to equate the lack of development with democracy, who knows, they might be tempted to go for it. Have I stressed my imagination too far? Well, just wait and see how the Chameli Movement gains steam in the coming months.
Published on 2011-03-03 01:10:53