Robin Lustig in Nepal…

Robin Lustig of the BBC’s The World Tonight, one of my favourite BBC broadcasters, seems to be in Nepal thesedays. Last night I heard his report from Nepal, on The World Tonight, about his meeting with a maoist commander in Janakpur area. And early this morning, I found his news piece on BBC online – Up close with Nepal’s Maoists, which is basically a summary of his audio report that I heard last night. I didn’t know Robin was so much of a purist – he has translated even the Maoist commander’s name to English, from Commander Bikalpa (my guess from Robin’s translation) to Commander Alternative. Even interesting is the name of their political spokesman – Commissar Content, which in my guess must be Commissar Santosh! Continue reading Robin Lustig in Nepal…

Nepal – the 20th failed state?

Fund for Peace (FfP), a Washington, D.C. based organisation has recently released its ranking of “failed states” – called the Failed State Index 2006. Nepal is listed at number 20, in fourth place among the South Asian countries, after Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. In its preamble it states:

We encourage others to utilize the Failed States Index to develop ideas for promoting greater stability worldwide. We hope the Index will spur conversations, encourage debate, and most of all help guide strategies for sustainable security.

Of course, the debate has already spurred, especially in Pakistan as it was placed in 9th place, above Afghanistan. BBC quoted Pakistani information minister saying the report “joke of the year”. Whatever the opinions and facts, the report did succeed in spurring the debate so that’s good. But what about similar debates in Nepal? So far I have not heard a single official comment regarding the report, nor have I seen any analytical piece regarding this issue in the mainstream media. So, is this report worth debating over (in case of Nepal)? I think it is. Continue reading Nepal – the 20th failed state?

Mixed message from the US never stops (nothing new here!)

I sometimes wonder if the US really has any interest in what goes on in Nepal. Every time something happens, however useless, US officials never seem to miss a chance of stating their position and offer advice on how Nepal, Nepali people, political parties, their leaders, and the king should act to the resolve the “crisis”. What crisis they are talking about probably they don’t themselves know. Otherwise they wouldn’t be made to look stupid only after a couple of days when there is a new development (or “crisis” situation in their words!) in Nepal. And what is the point of having a full-time ambassador and a whole bunch of diplomatic officials in Nepal if they can’t even analyse the situation properly and decide what to say when? Ohh… may be they are already back home because of their government’s decision to withdraw “non-essential staffs” due to the ongoing “crisis”.

Anyway, lets come back to what I was going to write about in the first place. On my browser, I have three news pieces open – all regarding what the US officials had to say about ongoing political situation (or “crisis” again in their term) in Nepal. When the king first tried to resolve the political stalemate fool the public and split the SPA alliance by offering the post of PM to the SPA on 21 April, US Department of State didn’t miss the chance to “state their position”. Here is what they said then: Continue reading Mixed message from the US never stops (nothing new here!)

a new look rj…

After reading Niranjan’s blog entry on the new theme, which he has been using for a few days now at, I also decided to give WP-Andreas09 a try, the result of which you can see now. This is indeed a very nice and flexible theme, especially with its built in Widgets support.

Although the theme has a lot of built-in colour options (14 altogether!), I didn’t like most of them. I prefer darker colours with good contrast for main content area, and somehow I didn’t find any colour options exactly how I wanted them. So, I decided to tweak CSS a bit in Striped Black colour option and now I have a new background for the blog title/subtitle area. I’ll probably be doing bits of tweaking here and there on this theme over the coming days and weeks to make it look like the way I want – until I get tired basically !! :-)

But overall, I am quite happy with this theme and will probably be keeping it for a while now.