Monday, April 17, 2006

NYT: Protests rock Nepal, in house poet frets for politicians and royalty

Yesterday's pro-democracy rallies attracted some 50,000 people across the Himalayan kingdom and were the biggest since opponents of King Gyanendra's royal dictatorship began their campaign of protests and a nationwide strike that has cut off Nepal's cities for 11 days.
Among the demonstrations were small protests in the capital's tourist hub and its commercial heart -- the first in the center of Katmandu, where rallies are banned.
Even with the opposition flexing it muscles, Gyanendra appeared unready to relinquish power over this mountain kingdom that has long attracted Western hippies in search of Eastern spirituality and mountain climbers looking to scale peaks like Mt. Everest.

The above is from an Associated Press article that runs in London's Independent, Binaj Gurubacharya's "Tourist district littered with debris as Nepal protests grip the capital." We're leading with the AP? Yeah.

Yeah, the New York Times is that hideous today. Let's take Nepal. The in house poet has gotten a bit of a break lately because coverage of the area is so sparse in this country. I told PJ I wanted to put the (on the money) criticism of the flourishes and excesses on hold and he was fine with that but warned, "Don't quote at length." We haven't. We'll note a passage here:

Will the country's politicians, themselves surprised by the intensity of the demonstrations roiling Nepal, be able to keep control of popular outrage or to corral the ambitions of the Maoist rebel leaders who have given their blessings to the pro-democracy movement?

That is all that is wrong with the paper on any given day but today they flaunt it everywhere.

"A Tectonic Shift: Nepalese, Often Jaded About Politics, Now Say Enough Is Enough" never recovers from that "view." Somini ("mini" stands for size of the mind) Sengupta probably made the paper proud but disgraced the story. Sengupta as the new Graham? Well, maybe the paper is just upfronting their long noted attitudes. The concern isn't with the people, the concern's with the politicians and Sengupta wonders will the politicians "be able to keep control"?

That's where the emphasis is (always). It's why the Monday editions suck so bad and are always light weight (today tops them all) -- it's not news if an official doesn't say it and the officials tend to take the weekend's off. Sengupta may be the most upfront of those writing for the Times today, but it's there throughout. Sengupat gets misty eyed over the royalty today. Proving once again that the priorities of the paper are never the priorites of the people.

Ruth notes John Nichols' "In Pursuit of Justice, In Search of Peace" (The Online Beat, The Nation):

The absurdity of the notion that the Nazarene would sympathize in any way with the violent invasion and occupation of Iraq was not lost on one of the greatest Christian spokesmen of our time, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin. The longtime chaplain of Yale University and pastor of New York City's Riverside Church, who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the early days of the civil rights movement and came to national prominence as one of the most outspoken moral critics of the war in Vietnam, died last week at the age of 81.
Active to the end, Coffin explained in one of his last interviews that, "There are two major biblical imperatives: pursue justice and seek peace." Honoring those imperatives, he campaigned consistently and loudly -- even as his own health failed -- for the quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Micah reminds that on WBAI today, Law and Disorder and Cat Radio air. And remember to listen, watch, or read (transcripts) Democracy Now! today.

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