The report 'Timber to Tibet' (#424) made sad reading. How the local authorities are turning a blind eye to such destruction of forests and illegal cross-border trade in timber is not understood. They have to wake up and stop such blatant misuse of natural resources which are community property. The government has to ensure adequate supply of food, fuel and other essential items to the people of the remote district so that they do not have to cut the valuable forests to get a pittance in return. In fact, planting trees and hence renewal of forests should be encouraged by free or subsidised supply of seedlings.
D B N Murthy,
I would like to commend Mr Ganesh Gurung for his insightful comment in favour of opening up the migrant worker market for women ('At what cost the remittance economy?', #423). It doesn't make sense to ban women from working in the Gulf since they are smuggled there anyway by unscrupulous manpower agencies. As Mr Gurung argues, this makes them more vulnerable to exploitation. What should be done is to learn from the experience of Sri Lanka and the Philippines so that labour rights of the women are safeguarded, and embassies should be set up in countries which have a high proportion of Nepali women working.
* Your special coverage of the plight of Nepali workers abroad, especially women, should be read by every official at the Department of Labour and in the recruiting agencies so action is taken to protect Nepalis from exploitation and cheating by fellow-Nepalis. It is a shame that the very people we rely on to prop up our economy are so shabbily treated. While Dewan Rai exposes abuse, Ganesh Gurung says women should be allowed to go abroad to work. Unless safeguards are in place, it would be criminal to allow Nepali women to be sent to places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where they will face abuse.
Many people, including myself, read your paper from the backside. I have been following the exploits of your asinine columnist for more than a year and must say that 'Ass for sale'(#423) really took the cake. Not to spoil the fun, but for the sake of us expats in Kathmandu would the Ass give us hints about who the following are: Cloudy, Doc, Laldhoj, Bhayankar, Bhayanak, Yummy and all those acronyms like WB/IMF DSA? Thanks.