Nepali Times
Publisher\'s Note
In a dangerous state

Politicians playing their parlour games don't seem to care less what the country is coming to, or what becomes of its citizens.

If they did, they would take one look at the queues in front of the former royal palace for passports and do something about it. The ministers' carcades, sirens wailing, whoosh past people waiting days on end, rain or shine, for new passports. As they go from one inconclusive meeting to another, the politicians have little time to ponder the hardships they leave in their wake. The supreme irony is that the passport applicants at Gyanendra's former palace are beginning to say that things were much better during the monarchy.

A country that is almost totally dependent on its citizens working abroad to send money home should make it as easy as possible for people to get hold of passports. But the opposite is true.

The political stalemate has delayed the contract for machine-readable passports that were made mandatory for international travel earlier this year. At least the bureaucrats went ahead with the MRP bidding process despite the foreign minister once more trying to stall the process.

The caretaker government can't take care of things; it has lost the little moral authority it had. So the bureaucracy is treating politicians with the contempt many of them richly deserve. Secretaries are now openly defying lame-duck ministers, but they face obstacles from venal politicians out to make a fast buck before they go.

It's hard to think of a time in recent Nepali history when graft was as endemic, and accepted, as it is today. Counterfeit driving licenses can be had across the counter for a 'facilitation fee'. Officials at the Department of Transportation installed a cctv camera to monitor driving tests. Guess what, the minister ordered the camera removed. Meanwhile, blue buses with murderous drivers have mowed down 20 people on the Ring Road in the past year.

Airline insiders speak in hushed tones of some domestic airlines cutting corners on spares by cannibalising parts to save money and then 'persuading' civil aviation inspectors to look the other way. It may not just be the weather and equipment malfunction that caused the Agni Air crash that killed 14 on Tuesday. The calamity caused by floods is not the result of 'natural' disasters, but criminal state negligence in allowing settlements on floodplains.

When politics fails, it doesn't just affect the election of a prime minister, the rot seeps right through the system. The malfeasance eating away at the polity can only be addressed if caretaker leaders lead by example and restore stability.

But for the three parties and the leaders within them competing to set up a new government, it seems not to matter that the budget hasn't been passed, and that development has ground to a halt. You can tell it has been a long time since they even thought about what this transition period was for: writing a new constitution and taking the country to peace and stability.

Central concerns, PRASHANT JHA
Against the flow, RABI THAPA
United we brawl, ARTHA BEED
'Hotel Echo's last minutes', The Brief

1. Keshar B Yongya

Wish our leaders would take note of the publishers eye-opener observation. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg -  during Gyanendra's time, a nobody in Nepali politics could at least get things done by the Nagar Palika without paying bribes to numerous officials. These days...***!!!!***.   It was defiinitely better in the old days. 

Our youths now know that it's easier to become a goon and kidnap, extort money, terrorise innocent Nepalis, murder them etc etc as self-employment.  Easy way to get loads of money.

Democracy + politics = unemployment, dada-giri, corruption, murder, destruction etc etc??  Wow, I wish I was young once again.

2. who cares
time has come for honest, democratic media and civil society member to coordinate voters.

they should join hands and search for a group of individuals from those who are honest, nationalist, brilliant with vision, gutsy and present them as leaders and promote them in the election.

before disclosing them, there should be a deal that after electing they should pass and implement anti corruption law, nationalist law etc.

3. Gole
  Mohan Baidya Kiran be sent on deputation for teaching communism  and doing research   in Pyongyang University ,North Korea.
 Babu Ram Bhattarai Laldhoj be sent to Cuba as our Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotensary for 3 years term.
Puspa Kamal Dahal Prachanda  be sent as special adviser to President Hugo Chaves  for one year only.
Narayan Kaji  Shrestha Prakash can hold the fort in their absence and help write the progressive constitution of New Nepal; don't worry mates.

4. Loday Sherpa

Our care taker prime minister is not taking care of anything instead he is trying to fortify his place in the next government. These days he is seen mostly at formal ceremonies acting like a monarchy indifferent to woes of common people be it huge garbage collection on road sides or queues for passports.

5. K. K. Sharma
Bemoaning a situation after facilitating such a situation seems to be becoming a fad among our intellectuals. At least they fall under a category of those who become wiser after the fact. There are also many intellectuals still, who seem not to be capable of  learning even after the fact.

6. Kamal Kishor
Once I was asked by one International Advisor to PM Office,"Why the bureaucracy does not deliver?". "Do you think, the politicians to be blamed?"
My answer was NO. It is the bureaucracy which is to be blamed for what they are today. They never wanted to be fair and responsible for any decision taken at their level. They ask the politicians to take the responsibilities whereas it should have been theirs.

The bureaucracy has certain roles and responsibilities guaranteed by government rules and regulations but unfortunately they surrendered all those to political appointees. For nuts and bolts, they looked to the politicians to make decisions. This is what was preached, practiced under Panchayat and so controlled by Palace but it should have changed in the parliamentary system.

Something like printing a Passport should have been done at administrative level and not at all at political level. If it has not been done, then the bureaucrats need to be blamed not the politicians. The responsible bureaucrat should be fired for that. 

7. Arthur
This is an improvement from recent articles. At least Kunda Dixit has noticed the rot seeping through the whole existing system, instead of just blaming the Maoists for refusing to join the existing system.

But logically, after blaming the Maoists for refusing to join the existing rotten system, one cannot then claim that all "three parties" are to blame for current dysfunction. One has to admit that one of those three still wants to end the present system and that the other two are still paralysed because they cannot maintain it and remain unwilling to end it.

The note mentions the likelihood that corruption may have resulted in the recent aircraft crash. Perhaps the author is noticing that continuing the present system is becoming too dangerous for Nepal's high fliers as well?

8. who cares
present system Vs royal's system Vs maoist never to be system.

1: education:
present system is theoretical, out dated, broken evaluating method (other wise bhatterai would not have got gold medal, its is like who can memorized the most, who believes in memorizing),... m for monkey, e for elephant....... this is for teaching comrade's children, grand children. ...... better comes with lots of bills and poor but cheaper. 

royal's system: similar to present, but good professors are all hijacked by private and cheaper

maoist's, revolutionary where 6 yr old should be taught how to kill, about enemy, .... m for marx, e for enemy. ... this is for other than comrade's children.

2: media:
present- less biased, totally biased, less professional, more than less professional, expose govt/politician/corporate (either be truth or imaginary) ...

royal's- king is great 

maosit- thank chairman for the food we eat.... non maoist are reactionary, agents...

3: judiciary:
present- mixed with good and evil/ corrupt, less incompetent, more incompetent, strong and weak...

royal's- king is incarnation of god, so can not be punished.

maoist- party should decide who is a criminal and who is a nationalist, who is right and who is anti national.

4: facing national calamity, development, service... :

present- no resource, none of their business, mood based service... 

royal's- nationalism rocks. 

maoist- india is our enemy.

5: security agency:

present- police, army, secret service, apf

royal's- army to take care of police, police will take care of society, and mandalaya and police to thrash opposition. ... taxi drivers used to be potential secret agent so cation was required before criticizing great lord. 

maosit- police, army, secret service, apf for bigger opposition, and ycl to tackle small social opposition. ........ taxi drivers are ycl.

6: philosophy:

present- by the people, for the people, of the people.

royal's- for nation.

maoist's- in the name of the people.

7: bureaucracy:

present- tomorrow.

royal's- royal's servant, little royals,

maoist's- maoist thrash none maoist bureaucracy, maoist bureaucracy thrash none maosit client. 



9. rishav

This is a good article by the editor, which is really saying exactly how things are right now. People queing for passports to get out of the country to work abroad, ineffeciency, substandard services with every short cut taken possible, corrupt buerocrats and politicians. A failing state now like no other time in our history. No other time have we had so much foreign open interference in our domestic matters in history.

I'm no Royalist but I do remember those days clearly, so I speak through experience not through some 3rd,4th hand source or text book/journal. I have never seen anything as bad as it is now compared to the times of panchyat let alone the time after the poltical change of 1990. I do blame the Maoists for their short sightedness, lust for power, fast track access to power through force, arrogance in their leadership, lack of care for the ordinary citizens for what is going on now.

Only real chance for hope, is for individual citizens to rise up and become role models for the WORK they do and therefore becoming the true leaders for people to become inspired. The Maoist Insurgency has cost our nation greatly and now has set us back proabably another 40-50+ years.

10. Pant,Dibakar,In the US
It's a high time to all including the journalists,who claim themselves as 'Masiha' for democracy and rule of law,to be very honesty in telling the commoner about whether Nepal did right or wrong by rushing to Delhi for so called 12 point accord.If we are the people who are real children of mother Nepal then it's our duty to evaluate the very thing we did by untimely complete sidlining of institution of monarchy.Is Nepal could really be able to go ahead with these leaders,who could well also be called crtified looters of nation's purse ? Morning shows the days,similarly,the current trend and incident certainly shows that this great Himalayan nation could not safe and prosperous out of these leaders and their handling the state affairs.So,all commoners and well-wisher of Nepal,now need to come forward to control these bunch of visionless and greedy political animals.If these political animals are permitted to go as it is,then down fall of nation and likely to be another Afghanistan could not be averted.Broader national unity and reconciliation,the great and very useful policy propounded by great political prophet late B.P.Koirala,is the only medication to Nepal's current tumoil and future prospectus.Eralier the realisation better the result.Thank you !

11. jange
The NT should stop pussyfooting around with the issue. It should have the courage to say that he Maoists were/are wrong. They are murderers, looters and

It's no good blaming the politicians. They are doing what you wanted. They accepted that violence was an acceptable way to achieve political objectives.

This is the consequence, why are you complaining about it?

12. jange
"...applicants at Gyanendra's former palace..."

Looks like the NT's political frustrations are showing. It could have been called the "former Royal Palace" , or " Narayanhiti Durbar" or "Narayanhiti Palace" or even the "Foreign Office" which is its present function.

But no, NT prefers to give the building a description which is clearly wrong in order to vent its frustration. It never was Gyanendra's Palace and no one would ever claims that it was.

Having backed the Maoists against the monarchy the Dixits are beginning to  feel they are unlikely to see their political objectives fulfilled hence the frustration.

Better for the NT to back the truth. But that would take real courage.

13. Budabaaje
Told you so! Gyanendra was right. You people (politicians, media) were wrong. Now clean up this mess you created!

14. yam gurung

If we look back to the Gurkha recruitment  since 1815 and other forms of employment from the past to the present, Nepali regime have always used its people as a diplomacy currency in the international markets and collected huge revenue and made Singha Darbar,Sithal Niwas,Hetauda Ropeway etc.

15. DG
#13 Yam Gurung ....Tax Payers Blood Money.
Damn right. Even now UCPN(MAOIST) are taking advantage of the PLAs; collecting levy of Rs. 2000 per person every month. They are taking the salary of 5000 missing janasena aslo. The party has a rich source of income,cheating the tax payers. Isn't it a colossus case of corruption?
The party is run out of the blood money in the tradition of Rana Chandra Sum Sher. Where is the media, where are the civil society stalwarts?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)