Saturday, March 19, 2005

eDemocracy, 4S Campaign, 24/7 Vigil For Democracy: Take Over Tundikhel

I think it is high time the democrats acted in ways that are effective. This is the proposal I would like to submit.

The common minimum program has to be 4S: Sarbadaliya Sarkar, Sambidhan Sabha (all-party government, elections to a constituent assembly). The more time the democrats take to come around to this, more time we are allowing for the escalating army-Maoist violence, and more the common Nepali people lose. So the democrats do not have the option to act like people with all the time in the world. We are under tremendous time pressure.

I believe the common minimum program is simple enough for all to understand, and comprehensive enough to bring together all the political forces in the country, including the monarchists.

And the action in the field I would like to call Take Over Tundikhel.


Over email organize a critical mass of peaceful demonstrators in every city, town and village in the country, starting with Kathmandu and the major cities. What is a critical mass? Take Janakpur. If there are 2,000 police, and 2,000 army in the area equipped with 30 vans, and a capacity for 2,000 detainees at any one time, do not go out into the streets unless you know beforehand that you have at least 10 times as many people, preferably many more. Why email? Because it is the safest, especially for the key leaders. But all other forms of communication may also be used, to be decided locally. And, of course, email is not an option in the villages.

During the early stages of organzing, I suggest the leaders do not reveal their identities in their emails. So you could have "Eklabya" for real name Gagan Thapa. Everybody who needs to know knows who Eklabya is, but even if the mass emails get infiltrated by the police, they can not determine such identities. That is the idea.

The idea is to overwhelm the police and the army to render them ineffective. Going out in small numbers, as has been the rule so far, results in arrests and brings down morale and hence is not effective.
  1. Attain a critical mass in all 30 or so towns and cities.
  2. Go out all at once in each place. Say, April 25, 11 AM. The date and time to be decided through e-collaboration by leaders in all cities. The point is it can not be different dates and different times for different cities. The police and the army should not be given the option to bring in reinforcements from other cities. And they should not know in advance what the date and time are.
  3. Go and occupy the most public, open place in your town/city. Tundikhel in Kathmandu, Barah Bigha in Janakpur. And so on. For Tundikhel I would like to suggest a crowd that starts at 100,000 and goes on to 500,000, possibly beyond. The crowd should coalesce at the open ground in ways that the police do not get to stop them even before groups get there. Make use of every road that leads to the grounds, all gates.
  4. Start and maintain a 24/7 Vigil For Democracy.
  5. Do 8 or 12 hour shifts such that the critical mass is always maintained in the public place. Never leave the grounds unless your replacement has arrived.
  6. Make maximum possible use of equipments like digital cameras so as to get the widest possible audience for the events as they unfold at the grounds. Arrange to post the photos online. Launch as many blogs as possible so as to post accounts of all that happens, in as close to real time as possible. In short, maximum possible coverage for the global audience.
  7. Keep it non-violent at all times.
  8. Get creative with skits, songs and dances, with posters, flyers, stickers, pins.
Please forward this message to every Nepali democrat anywhere in the world, but especially to those inside Nepal, especially to the student leaders.

How to visit blocked sites

March 20th, 2005

As some websites have been blocked by the authorities in Nepal, please learn the way to visit a blocked site:

1. Browse the site
2. At “Free Anonymous Surfing” type the address you want to visit in the text box after “http://”.
3. Click “Surf”
4. After clicking you will see next page with terms and conditions. Go down of that page.
5. Click “Surf Anonymous”

Now you can see the site you want to visit, below the advertisement. Please write these directions.


In The News
  • Indian envoy in Nepal briefs Natwar The Tribune, India Gyanendra does not seem to be in a hurry to blink first vis-a-vis the political parties and Maoists .... Kathmandu’s strong desire for resumption of Indian arms supplies ..... the King is fast running out of options in view of recent informal contacts between Nepal’s Opposition parties and Maoists ..... the logjam between Nepal’s political parties and the Maoists were to be broken, it would send danger signals to the King and the situation would become virtually irretrievable for him ...... The Maoists’ stand is that it would be up to the Constituent Assembly to decide on the fate of monarchy in the country...... As Nepal’s political parties and the Maoists inch closer
  • King to lose rights shield Calcutta Telegraph ...Unlike in the past, India will not use its influence to persuade the UN Human Rights Commission to tone down a possible censure of King Gyanendra for the coup in Nepal..... foreign donors, who are sensitive to human rights concerns, can push the king harder to restore democracy through a carrot-and-stick policy ...... So far, Gyanendra has not paid much heed to threats by India and other countries ...... Kathmandu has allowed United Telecom Limited (UTL), an Indo-Nepal joint venture, to resume its wireless telephone services ...... Cellphone services, however, remained blocked ....
  • US, India tell Pak, China not to go to King’s aid Indian Express 19: United States and India have decided to call King Gyanendra’s bluff of seeking military aid from China and Pakistan by asking both Beijing and Islamabad not to fish in troubled waters ...... message is being replayed by visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Beijing and Islamabad...... New Delhi sought cooperation from Beijing and Islamabad .... China and Pakistan have responded positively ...... make it clear to the King that the international community’s resolve is one .... US, UK and India have taken note of King advisor Tulsi alias Peter Giri’s statement. The gist of it was that the King was Nepal’s boss and major international players had very few options except to come out in his support...... the international community will not blink on Nepal even if the ‘‘bogey’’ of China and Pakistan is raised
  • Aid cut by nations won’t affect Nepal, say ex-envoys Himalayan Times, Nepal .... former ambassador to Burma and former Chief of the Army Staff, Sachit SJB Rana said today ..... “Why are those countries keen on pressurising Nepal for the sake of a set of people in the name of democracy and human rights.” “We cannot simply kneel down before terrorism just because one country stops military aid to us. There are others who have assured to supply arms.” ...... Former ambassador to China, Yuwaraj Singh Pradhan, came down heavily on some of the foreign envoys in Kathmandu for “crossing their limit by interfering in Nepal’s internal matter ...... “They are doing something which they don’t expect the Nepali envoys to do in their countries,” Pradhan said, labelling their activities as “against the UN Charter”. He accused them of maintaining double standards by using “the buzz words of democracy and human rights at a time when the humanity is at stake.” ..... a way to hide their undemocratic activities in the name of democracy ..... Former envoy to India, Brinda Shah, said Nepali envoys abroad should convince the respective countries and their people ...... since civil rights did not come overnight in their countries, democratic culture in Nepal, too, has to be developed over years ......Former envoy to the UK, Surya Prasad Shrestha, emphasised on “convincing” international ‘friends’ ......diplomatic activism starts growing when a country is in crisis. Former ambassador to the United States, Basudev Dhungana, laid emphasis on the need to “convince” other countries
  • New political move: Patience, rationality needed Gorkhapatra Democracy is a much maligned word, here in Nepal and outside as well....... King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was forced to take a bold decision on February 1, 2005 through a historic Royal Proclamation. Things have started to improve on all fronts after that day ...... It is worthy of mentioning the conclave of the Rastriya Swayemsevak Sangh or RSS of India, which is a powerful group with close ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which criticised the Indian government’s decision to stop supply of “essential goods” to Nepal.
  • Artistes hail royal move Gorkhapatra
  • Nepal's media warned against publishing anti-government news: New Kerala, India The government has prohibited until six months from February 2, publication of interviews, articles, information or news that directly or indirectly goes against the Royal Proclamation ..... police interrogated the editor of Nepalese language 'Kantipur' daily for publishing a news report detailing the arrests made during anti-government demonstrations
  • Police question editor for publishing 'objectionable' news in ... Press Trust of India .....police today interrogated the editor of the nation's leading daily for publishing a news report detailing arrests made during the countrywide anti-monarchy demonstrations ..... editor of its sister publication 'The Kathmandu Post' was twice summoned
  • Humanitarian crisis looming in Nepal: UN Peninsula On-line, Qatar The power grab, which has been widely condemned internationally, spurred the rebels into intensifying their activities.
  • Post Royal coup, hordes of Nepalese turn to Indian cities in ... New Kerala, India India has always been the most preferred destination for the Nepalese searching for work. And, now with the last month's royal coup, around 10,000 Nepalese have migrated ...... About 185 people had died in violence in the Himalayan Kingdom since King Gyanendra's Feb.1 power grab ..... It is only Kathmandu which is peaceful but other areas near border, the situation is very bad. The situation is getting worse day by day though it was not better earlier ..... From children to young men to elderly people, uneducated Nepalese take advantage of an open border and on account of their honesty and sincerity are preferred as domestic helps, cooks and helpers in restaurants and roadside eateries and as security guards and night watchmen. ......
  • India-Nepal telecom venture resumes service: New Kerala, India Pressure on Nepal by India, the media and consumers finally bore fruit ..... "We will resume services within an hour," a jubilant N.R. Mokhariwale, CEO of UTL, told IANS...... UTL phones operate on the wireless technology used in mobile telephones and have limited mobility and were available within an hour of applying.... The closure had been causing UTL a daily loss of over Nepalese Rs.1.5 million. ..... an investment of over Rs.300 million ..... a violation of the Geneva Convention to which Nepal is a signatory. According to the convention, Nepal has to allow accredited diplomats in the kingdom full access to communication lines...... Indian TV channels continue to remain off the air
  • Nepal's tough talk sign of despair: experts: New Kerala, India A senior Nepalese official's diatribe against India, accusing it of practising double standards, is being seen as a sign of Kathmandu's despair that would impair traditional ties.....The king will be much weaker after the crisis. The monarchy can vanish for all you know ......Maj. Gen (retd.) Ashok Mehta, a strategic expert on South Asia, read it as a sign of a "tottering monarchy" trying to talk tough. ...... "This shows the frustration and desperation of the current dispensation. His statements show how badly out of sync he is with real-politick on the international stage" ..... The king is holding on to his absolute powers despite unprecedented international condemnation ..... By his ill-advised action, the king may have given the country's fractious political parties a chance to get their act together and democracy a big chance to stage a comeback ..... "We are on the right track. We should wait and watch for the restoration of democracy in Nepal. More and more are getting involved in the democracy movement."
  • Chinese minister’s trip may redefine India-Nepal ties Navhind Times, India

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