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An Automatic Gun

Last weekend news broke out that the US Vice President Dick Cheney had shot a man while hunting. It was an accident the reports said. It was an irresistible headline. Every media – radio, TV, and newspapers ran stories and then began a spin. People asked why the VP hadn’t told President and public until late Sunday despite the fact that shooting had occurred on Saturday. Some speculated it was Veep’s disdain to media and public, others cried foul and went so far as to suggest grand conspiracy, perhaps to distract attention from other prominent issues. The VP and his staff were mum for more than four days. I knew why the VP was silent. He had nothing to say. What was there to say in a shooting?

Finally, the US’s most powerful man gave in to the pressure. He appeared on Fox News (where else?) and took full responsibility. He said, “I am the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend.”

“What? What is this guy saying?” I couldn’t believe my ears. How can you be so stupid and take responsibility and even say “I pulled the trigger.” I was under the impression that Mr. Vice President was lot smarter than President Dubya. I knew the age and countless heart surgery had taken its toll and I wondered whether the most powerful VP has gone mad – as they say in Terai Buddhey Sathiya Gayal.

I realized how ignorant VP is about the world affairs, I said, had he read news coming out of Nepal, I am sure he wouldn’t go on live TV and take full responsibility. Only about ten days back in Biratnagar, Morang Nepali Congress President was shot while on chase. When he alleged that administration attempted a cold blood murder, first security chiefs said it was a mistake and finally came with a better explanation, “the shot was fired when a cop chasing Mr. Aryal had tripped.” And, thus gun fired itself.

Mr. Vice President don’t you read international news? How can you be the most powerful man in the world without having all the details of what is happening on your backyard?

“Where?”
“Biratnagar?”
“Where is that?”

Oh! Well, well, ok, I concede. Who cares about Biratnagar, a tinny bitty little town north of India.

But then there was Royal Massacre a couple of years ago – do you remember? Soon after our great King Gyanendra had assumed office, the Royal Palace issued a statement which said that the massacre had occurred as an automatic rifle fired itself. The rifle was so intelligent that it killed the King and all his family.

I am sure Mr. Vice President you had heard of the Royal Massacre; why anybody take responsibility?

Now, I have serious doubt about US military power and faith in its hardware. What kind of country is this -so called most powerful nation -that doesn’t even have one gun that can fire by itself?

In Nepal we have many self shooting rifles. On our recent municipal election, one such gun even appeared among peacefully demonstrating political activist and shot a police inspector. In return, Nepali solider returned fire and took life of Mr. Umesh Thapa, a political activist.

Even if there wasn’t one, what’s the harm in saying there was one? After all Mr. Vice President you claimed that there was Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq, didn’t you?

I feel that Scooter Liby’s exit must have serious effect on our spin campaign. I know there aren’t many who you trust in this world but what about importing one from Nepal? I am sure you would find likeness to our King.

You couldn’t even manufacture one gun that can fire automatically, our King has many. He is good, isn’t he?
I also hear that he might be in search of a job as Nepali people were planning on downsizing and restructuring the governing board. Many feel we do not need a chairman-monarch.

Shall I ask?

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  To ensure children continue to learn, federal, provincial, and local governments have to find locally adaptable solutions to support the learning opportunity for children.   According to UNESCO, globally about 1.6 billion children, which account for 91 percent of all learners, are currently affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nepal’s over 7 million school-going children and additional university students have also been severely affected by the closure of educational institutions. When the government started lockdown on March 24, Nepal was already on the tail end of the school year, thus the first three weeks of the closure didn’t have a significant impact on students’ learning activities. However, since the academic year in Nepal starts in mid-April, the continued shutdown of academic institutions are now likely to put most children out of educational activities for several weeks. While children from higher-income families might have the opportunity to engage in a plethora of digital