I don't understand how this article on Tibetan protests in Kathmandu ('The tale of two protests' by Chong Zi Liang, www.nepalitimes.com) went through your editorial filters. Is Nepali Times going the way of New York Times and Washington Post causing more bad than good to democracy in a country which touts itself as the sole flagbearer of freedom while its countrymen's public opinion is never reflected in the administration's policies? Out of the damage done by such corporate sources of news that 'manufacture consent', to quote Noam Chomsky, is the unproductive, misleading and seductive propaganda of 'Free Tibet'. International refugees don't have the right to engage in political activities in the host country. The bandas and strikes in Nepal are not good and wanted, but they were called by Nepalis for their own purpose. They have the right to do so. How can you compare this to the protests by refugees? There is one line in the article I agree with, though: 'It will take political will, not muscle, to unblock the highways.'
Bibek Poudel, email
* Thank you for running Chong Zi Liang's opinion piece on your website about the Tibetan protests. It takes a foreigner to see the paradox in our police being so determined and brutal in suppressing the Tibetan protests at Boudha and the complete lack of interest in opening up the highways when the country is crippled by strikes for two weeks. It just goes to show that it is actually the Chinese who are running this country.
* I was wondering why the Nepali Times was ignoring the Free Tibet protests when I noticed the tailpiece in Backside ('Holi's hydro-terrorists', #442). It is clear that Nepal is not a truly independent country and will never be, so we should stop complaining and get our pound of flesh from the Chinese for helping quell the protests.
I agree 100 per cent with Artha Beed ('Where is Nepal', #442). There should be some sort of law and order and some civic sense in our citizens before we can invite another 500,000 tourists to Nepal. Do Nepali politicians have any idea what's happening in the country? They don't seem to have a clue, and worse, don't seem to care.
Bravo to Achyut Wagle for calling a spade a spade in his Guest Column ('Demanding supply', #442). There is no reason for Nepal's high inflation rate?14.5 per cent (official) 60 per cent (unofficial). At a time when world oil prices have gone down, there is lack-lustre demand and India is showing low single digit inflation so there is no reason for inflationary pressures in Nepal. The only reason, as Wagle says, is price gouging by transport cartels and the mafia-style price fixing of all essential goods. A government that can't control this has no right to stay in power. And selling rice door-to-door is just a gimmick.
* Thanks for Achyut Wagle's piece on inflation and the translated story on the scam involving bypassed calls. Both smack of a lack of oversight and accountability in government that fosters corruption. Call bypass is a huge scam that involves a government corporation and is on a par with fuel adulteration in its scope.