Saturday, July 16, 2005

CEO Gyanendra Shaha

$5 million for the king in the budget. That is lavish. Expenses on a president might be more to the tune of $15,000, and that is stretching it.

The king keeps giving himself pay raises, year in year out. I guess the guy is trying to keep up with inflation, what say you!

The vast majority of CEOs in America might envy him. If only they knew.

I just chanced upon the Nepali Times article on him from 2001. The guy might not have been born the eldest brother, but he sure comes across as the Michael Corleone.

The guy is almost having fun. From where he stands, the democrats look like small fry. So you want democracy? Here is Jagat Gauchan in your face!

I think he feels like he has a lot of room to play. The 1990 constitution with all his salary increases, and an Article 127 that he has transformed into a constitution within a constitution is his fallback plan. At the other end, he will occupy center stage.

And there is a second bottom line, not one of his choice, but that of the Maoists and the parties. Recent polls show 60% of the country still wants a constitutional monarchy. So if the parties and the Maoists were to get together for a Constituent Assembly, the monarchy would still stay on, or so the king believes, for good reason, if the polls are to be read.

So his spectrum of choices looks good to him. At one end of it, he is the CEO of Nepal. There is the middle ground of the 1990 document and Article 127. At the other end he is a constitutional monarch like in Japan or Britain. What does he have to lose? The democrat-Maoist alliance is gelling around a Constituent Assembly, not around the idea of a democratic republic.

But he stands to miscalculate in that the public mood might not change. It might and drastically, triggered by a few key events. Perhaps of acts of repression by his minions.

True, there is a military stalemate between the RNA and the Maoists, and a political stalemate between him and the parties, but it is a stalemate that keeps him at center stage. He is hellbent on waiting it out. He is enjoying himself.

I actually admire the guy's personal abilities. The efficiency with which he executed his coup. Just look at that. I just am opposed to his ideology. I don't agree with coups in general. I am a democrat with a healthy distaste for Monarchism and Maoism.

I just think his activism and creativity should be applied to his businesses. If he really wants to apply himself into politics, it should be as a private citizen. If you really want to become a politician, then become one!

My reading of the situation is the democrats will have to match King G's sophistication. Appealing to his "good side" will not work. The first such act of sophistication will be to
forge a strong Democrat-Maoist alliance. To launch a vibrant, ceaseless dialogue mechanism.

Entering into dialogue, forming a formal dialogue team does not mean you are caving in to the Maoists, it does not mean you are agreeing with anything they say or do. All it means is you are talking. Which is something you are doing anyways. You are putting out statements, they are putting out statements. That is talking. Do it in a more efficient way. Form a team. Make it real. Meet in person. Develop a mechanism.

PS. On the king's cars. I think he should buy himself a 18-wheeler, if he is really so fond of driving around! Nothing like it. The power.

In The News
  • Nepal Allocates More Money to Fight Rebels MSN Money ...the army and police will receive about 18.8 billion rupees (US$269 million;euro223 million), 27 percent more than the previous year..... (US$1.8 billion;euro1.5 billion) annual budget...... (US$267 million;euro222 million) in grants ..... (US$207 million;euro172 million) in loans..... main donors are Japan, Germany, Britain and the United States, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank....... also increased money allocated for the king, the royal family and to cover expenses of the royal palace to 355 million rupees (US$5 million;euro4.2 million), an increase of about 8 percent......
  • Nepal allocates more money to fight rebels BusinessWeek
  • Nepal Allocates More Money to Fight Rebels Forbes
  • Nepal king’s new Cabinet draws flak a scheduled visit by Manisha, who is expected to attend the finale of the first National Film Festival.
  • Plunder! Plunder!! Plunder!!! United We Blog, Nepal A few days ago, Royal Nepalese Army established its own museum to mark the birthday of king Gyanendra who is also the chairman of the council ministers facing bank defaulting and corruption charges.... a car used by late King Mahendra, among other military and royal artifacts. ..Rolls Royce..... the budget of the palace to Rs 355 million rupees ..... Many programs were organized to mark the birthday, pouring millions of rupees. The king along with his wife was seen on televisions drinking wines...... feudal celebrations .... 2003-2004 the budget was Rs. 329 million, Rs.333 million in 2004-2005 and 335 million this year .... It is unbearable..... Last year, the palace bought three luxurious cars: Jaguar, Mercedes and Royce Rolls. The same year the crown Prince was seen riding a new brand of motorcycle in the capital: Harley Davidson. Its cost as said in the market is Rs 2.8 million rupees...... a country where the poor are dying of hunger while the ruler is drinking wine and riding luxurious cars.
  • Nepal raises security spending to fight rebels Reuters India, India
  • Nepal unveils 1.81 billion US dollars budget Xinhua, China
  • Books criticising India launched in Nepal, India "Machination of RAW in South Asia", the author accuses India's intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of fomenting trouble in the kingdom, encouraging the Maoists and plotting a takeover of Nepal....Aghori Baba, an Indian religious leader, was a spy in Nepal during the rule of the late king Mahendra.... the launch of the English translation was apparently timed as a reaction to a previous book launch in New Delhi recently..... "Kingship Vs Democracy", a collection of essays by a top Maoist leader, Baburam Bhattarai, who is said to have been meeting Indian and Nepalese leaders secretly in the Indian capital, was released there earlier this month.....A third eminent invitee, former prime minister Marich Man Singh, a royalist now trying to make a comeback
  • Arrested students charged under Public Offence Act Kantipur Online, Nepal Pradip Poudel, Narayan Bharati, BP Regmi, Pushpa Shahi and Saroj Thapa of Nepal Students’ Union and Thakur Gaire of All Nepal National Free Students’ Union.....District Administration Office yesterday ordered the police to keep the arrested students in custody for 10-days... arrested the students for burning the textbooks with images of royal family members....the eight student unions yesterday gave an ultimatum asking the government to release the arrested students by Monday. They have warned of nationwide protest if the government does not fulfill their demands.
  • The Once And Future King Nepali Times by Dubby Bhagat June, 2001 ... Urbane, erudite and a good manager, King Gyanendra is not expected to suffer fools..... Controversy has dogged King Gyanendra’s footsteps as palace eminence gris, as a legal but royal entrepreneur and even as a family man. His son Paras Shah inflamed the Nepali public with DUI incidents that caused fatalities.... Paras was seen as disorderly when he was high..... As a prince, Gyanendra inherited a hotel which he parlayed into an empire that included tea, tobacco, and other enterprises. Executives and workers alike claim that Gyanendra’s touch is so light as to be almost non-existent, but his vision was revolutionary by standards of the day. Workshops, seminars, management excercises, international exposure, but most of all, his selection of the right person for the right job marked the of his corporation. His message was made even clearer: an enterprise seen as a failure was closed down with no-nonsense efficiency...... Clear, succinct, urbane.... As palace adviser, he has been known to cut short courtliness and traditional formality to get to the heart of matters. His vast library is said to display eclectic taste and the books in it are well thumbed through. He is known to converse knowledgably on a variety of subjects...... Several ambassadors went a few months ago to visit Gyanendra and stay overnight in a lodge in the forests. Among them were the Chinese, German, Indian and American envoys in Kathmandu. One of them recalled a fascinating evening filled with conversation that ranged over a variety of subjects on which the prince’s grasp was sure, and his opinions culled from personal experience and extensive reading were sound. ..... When Prince Charles came to Nepal in the late seventies to go into the Himalaya to decide whether he should marry Princess Diana..... Charles later recalled .... Gyanendra’s knowledge of international affairs and both Britain’s and Nepal’s role in them was profound...... When the first SAARC summit was planned and Nepal was named host, it was Gyanendra who oversaw all the details with painstaking meticulousness. His planning started from the décor of the VIP lounge at the airport, went onto a renovation of the venue, the Summit Hotel, and he even undertook the supervision of building the SAARC suites where the late Rajiv Gandhi, Sri Lankan president JR Jayawardene and other heads of state stayed. A contractor on the suites recalled that Gyanendra was with them well into the night to see them completed in time...... As a known conservationist, King Gyanendra gave assent and helped plan the highly successful Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) that had visitors and Nepali citizens alike applauding the initiative, but not necessarily its behind-the-scenes mover who preferred to remain away from the limelight...... Gyanendra while always being a part of the palace, also chose to stay away from it as much as possible. And it is this role as eminence gris that always had him in a nebulous grey area, the target of whispered vilification that he never acknowledged as long as jobs entrusted to him got done. Preferring privacy over public acclaim, Gyanendra chose never to justify his actions and even the open praise of those he worked with never quite attached to him. He was always the unknown quantity, the Dark Prince. His intellectual worth set him even further apart...... his considerable skills .... so that his country (and he himself) can emerge from shadowy sidelines to a place in the new global order where transparency is everything, where the media, to its detriment, robs efficient but private people of their right to privacy.....
  • National Assembly members to boycott budget speech Kantipur ..... members belonging to Nepali Congress and CPN-UML ...In the absence of Parliament, the budget should have been presented at the National Assembly,” member Ram Jeevan Singh said. “The National Assembly is still active.” .....
  • Their Majesties grace 46th TU Day function Gorkhapatra, Nepal
  • Rogues in King’s Cabinet The Statesman
  • Dangerous stalemate Daily Pioneer, India Ashok Mehta .... much discussion taking place on India-US defence relations .... bring back to our national consciousness and security radar, the situation in Nepal..... Nepal seems to have receded to the background, as if India and the international community have accepted King Gyanendra's fait accompli of direct rule...... no King before him survived beyond 58 years of age .... Those who have met the King recently say he has never looked healthier and more confident ever since he became the absolute ruler on February 1 this year...... together map out, later this month when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in the US, a more coherent strategy for preventing the King from eliminating democracy..... The Royal Commission on Corruption Control - judge, jury and executioner - an extra-constitutional body is a Damocle's sword over the political class...... Police detain dissident leaders at will by saying, "Maathi bato hukum aaye ko chha (orders have come from the top)"..... Be under no illusion: King Gyanendra is not batting for democracy...... Red lines have been drawn around Kathmandu, within which to confine peaceful protests. Leaders know that if they break the rules or cross the red lines they will be back in jail..... wears his uniform as the Supreme Commander more frequently than his late brother Birendra, is pampering the men in uniform..... In the last six months or so, the last thing the RNA has done is go for the Maoists. Indeed, it has been the other way round.... more than a dozen well-coordinated attacks on the security forces in the last month alone and killed more than 50 soldiers....resorted to such intense panic firing that ammunition stocks ran critically low..... the military budget risen by more than 40 per cent since direct rule but so has the strength of the Army from 83,000 earlier in the year to nearly 90,000 now. Pay and ration scales have been enhanced. Most notably, the UNPKO allowance has been increased by $100 a month. Nepalese youth join RNA for the lucre of dollars from UNPKO. Stopping or curtailing UNPKO will be the biggest setback for RNA...... Royal incentives for RNA include allotment of land, accelerated promotions and foreign assignments. Five out of six ambassadors appointed recently are retired generals. The King has sought to raise visibly the image and perks for the RNA..... The younger leaders, however, are in an uncompromising mood as they do not want any reconciliation with an autocratic regime and monarchy but a multiparty democratic republic. For the first time, a serious debate over monarchy or democracy has started. It is no longer return to democracy but to total, absolute and inclusive democracy....... Prachanda has accepted the offer for talks and has asked the seven-party alliance to designate a team for the purpose. This is a major development..... The Maoists are on the political and military offensive. They are no longer looking for reforms but structural changes...... RNA has been saying development aid should be funnelled through them...... The Maoists are yielding space to political parties in areas under their control for resumption of political activity. This is a major concession..... Baburam Bhattarai too has been meeting political leaders in Delhi and the intelligence agencies, signifying India's opening unofficial channels to the Maoists...... The US views Nepal solely through the prism of terrorism - and also the hangover of Communism....... US Counter-terrorism Centre Report has put Nepal next to Iraq as the country worst afflicted by terrorism...... Calibrated military aid, whether lethal or otherwise, is unlikely to influence the King's behaviour in restoring democracy. Regime change in Kathmandu is paramount. Two of the three key players would have to come together to get rid of the third...... still time for the King to read the writing on the wall and accept ceremonial monarchy in order to save the Shah dynasty from oblivion. Otherwise a new people's revolution could storm Nepal.
  • Nepal: Searching For The Silent Majority (press release) In the midst of the triangular conflict raging in Nepal, each player believes it enjoys the support of a silent majority. ..... If the royal regime is growing nervous, it isn’t showing signs. The Maoists and the mainstream parties equate the palace’s exuberance as the last flicker on a dying candle..... Deep internal rifts and out-of-control fighters have shaken the movement. The Maoists are nowhere near a full-blown implosion. But rebel leaders seem to be worried that a sizeable section of the mainstream alliance might jump into the royal camp at the first opportunity...... Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has described the king as the shrewdest of Nepal’s political operators..... you get the feeling that a republican Nepal is but a matter of time..... recent polls indicating that around 60 per cent of Nepalis still consider democracy under a constitutional monarchy the best form of government....... To that, a former palace-appointed minister, Gore Bahadur Khapangi, a much-needed colorful personality in tense times, had an equally colorful response a few years ago: Let Nepalis first become like Britons or Japanese first.... B.P. Koirala... While in power between 1959 and 1960, he hardly concealed his intention one day to place the crown in the national museum...... During the last year of King Birendra’s reign, virtually all of the parties in the Nepalese parliament voted for a controversial citizenship bill...... sent the legislation to the palace for approval as a finance bill, which under the constitution would automatically become law even if the king vetoed it...... The monarch sought the opinion of the Supreme Court, which agreed with the prevailing national mood. A wholesale redrawing of Nepalese demographics plotted in the guise of democracy was averted. In the weeks before his death in a palace shootout, King Birendra was becoming more and more assertive in matters of national importance........ 85.7 percent believe it is now time for the Maoists to give up violence and join the political mainstream......
  • HM’s birthday celebrated abroad Gorkhapatra, Nepal
  • Nepalese Maoists: Caught In Their Own Craftiness (press release), New Zealand Nepalese Maoists’ mastery of creative ambiguity ......Prachanda has been working overtime to prove his party’s commitment to a multiparty democratic republic...... the “embryonic republic”...... Koirala had been unsuccessfully pressing King Birendra, the supreme commander-in-chief of the army, to order the better trained and equipped soldiers to go after the insurgents...... A month after the palace carnage.. Maoist leaders ..ruled out peace talks with any “Girija-type” leader..... The failure of the peace process and the deployment of the army against the rebels came in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Deuba sought to project the military’s anti-insurgency campaign as part of the global war on terror...... After the second ceasefire was declared in January 2003, Maoist leaders suggested there was a real chance for peace this time. The two intermediaries claimed that a breakthrough was possible this time precisely because the parties were not around to thwart things....... Dr. Bhattarai, who emerged out of hiding for the first time in seven years to head the Maoist negotiating team, virtually staked his claim to lead a new interim government...... For several weeks after the royal takeover, Dr. Bhattarai, who even his worst critics admire as a prolific analyst, maintained a mysterious silence....... Prachanda was heard implying that Dr. Bhattarai was an “Indian agent”. Dr. Bhattarai responded, in effect, by calling Prachanda a “palace lackey”......
  • Monarchy devoted to people: Crown Prince Gorkhapatra, Nepal
  • Indian President, PM wish Nepal king on his birthday:- Webindia123, India
  • Monarchy & People Gorkhapatra, Nepal Nepal’s Institution of Monarchy has always recognized the people as the ultimate source of strength.
  • The King Committed For Multiparty Democracy Gorkhapatra, Nepal
  • HM’s Doha address ends misconception about Nepal Gorkhapatra, Nepal
  • Mala Sinha, Dev Anand get honours in Nepal's first film fest Hindu, India

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