Nepali Times Asian Paints
Step it up


The budget has come and gone, as has the much hyped but ultimately disappointing (for all sides) Maoist plenum. With a flurry of international (and completely pointless) junkets under their ever-stretching belts, our politicians are delaying getting down to brass tacks. As the High Level Taskforce continues to sift through the bones of constitutional contention (with mixed results), we may say at least something is getting done, even though the biggest battles will be over federal restructuring. But a more pressing headline now looms " the departure of UNMIN come 15 January, 2011.

Integration of the Maoist ex-combatants has been the sticking point ever since the peace process began, and is the root of mistrust among the political parties. All manner of numbers have been bandied about, but the reluctance of the Maoists to commit to a figure has stymied progress. The PLA's participation at the Gorkha plenum has all but convinced the mainstreamers that integration is the do-or-die issue.

But criticism from the PLA itself for the party's inability to decide on integration and rehabilitation, amid suspicions that it is being used for political gain by the Maoist leadership, should hearten those who lamented their presence at the plenum. This, along with the appointment of retired general Balanand Sharma as head of the Special Committee Secretariat, provides just the sort of momentum we need to resolve the major issues of integration, and could pave the way for a smooth transition once UNMIN leaves.

If we fail to even decide on numbers and transfer the chain of command to the Special Committee by 15 January, then the departure of UNMIN could lead to chaos. It will encourage the resurgence of hardline factions within the Maoists and the other parties, who will either continue to make unfeasible demands of the integration process, or dispense with the principle of integration altogether.

Madhav Kumar Nepal is the head of the Special Committee. It is incumbent upon him to step up to the plate and step it up. If he wants to have anything of a legacy at all, then successful integration will prove he has more cojones than what he has demonstrated so far as a lame duck prime minister.

Better, not good, PRASHANT JHA
Against the wind, DAMAKANT JAYSHI

1. Arthur
"Madhav Kumar Nepal is the head of the Special Committee. It is incumbent upon him to step up to the plate and step it up. If he wants to have anything of a legacy at all, then successful integration will prove he has more cojones than what he has demonstrated so far as a lame duck prime minister."

Newsflash, MKN resigned last May. He is a zombie, not a lame duck.

For sheer emptiness it is difficult to beat previous editorial in Nepali Times, but this one calling on a zombie to "step up to the plate and step it up" wins the prize.

Does this sort of stuff sound better in Nepali?

2. reader
arthur, i've been wondering about this for a long while now. your comments on every article i have read in the nepali times are overwhelmingly negative and contemptuous. clearly you think nepali times is full of terrible, uninformed, biased writing. you are either right or wrong, right?

if you are wrong, then you are uninformed and biased yourself.
if you are right, then why waste your time reading such crap?

i am seriously interested in your answer. thank you.

3. Arthur
reader #2,

Many people prefer to read only views they agree with. I mainly read views that I disagree with. This is partly because not much is published that I agree with, but mainly because I prefer trying to understand the views of people I disagree with and get bored reading things I already understand.

I read Telegraph, MyRepublica, eKantipur, NepalNews and (less often) Himalaya Times as well as Nepali Times, to learn about Nepal. But I read almost every article only in Nepali Times and I regularly comment only in Nepali Times.

This is partly because Nepali Times really does encourage comments (eg by prominent display together with the articles) and it is more possible to get into a dialogue since the articles and comments are easily available for a full week so there can be two or three alternating comments and replies on the same article during the week (or even more). Also a weekly is naturally more inclined towards serious analysis than a daily and the quality of english language writing is much better here. The audience seems to have a higher proportion of Nepalis outside Nepal, so my participation as a foreigner is less out of place than in the more local papers.

I don't comment on majority of articles, eg on "lifestyle" etc but regularly comment on the political editorial and opinion columns.

I often disagree with Prashant Jha but I am usually not contemptuous of his views (except when he was running a series of personal attacks on Prachanda, which eventually stopped).

I am always contemptuous of Damakant Jayshi because each of his columns so far has been empty talk.

I am more positive towards Indu Nepal.

I generally don't find much interesting from Rabi Thapa, but was surprised to find a good article from him this week.

If you understood the comment I made to that article you would understand what kind of writing I find worthwhile and what kind I find contemptible. But perhaps you have not seen Sargam's comments.

I sometimes find C K Lal excellent and at other times very bad. Often I have a feeling that I don't quite understand him because of my lack of understanding of Nepal (rather than because he is writing badly). I don't comment when I don't understand.

The editorials are almost always just empty anti-Maoist platitudes so naturally I am contemptuous.

The ass has managed to be so asinine that there is usually no point even commenting.

BTW one can be wrong, without being uninformed and biased. A good way to find out if one is wrong is to write a comment and see whether others are able to refute it or can only abuse it.

I am obviously and openly biased, but not uninformed. Naturally nobody can think that they are wrong until AFTER they no longer hold the views that they now think are wrong. Adding "I may be wrong" instead of simply saying what one thinks is not necessarily a sign of greater humility or awareness, but can just be empty talk.

I have tried to answer carefully as your question is reasonable.

4. Buzz
HAHAHA. You find lots of leftist in the west. Spend whole day in library on net and nights panhandling outside the bar.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)