Nepali Times
Getting away with murder

NO PARDON: Ram Kumari Shrestha, 80, mother of Ujjan Shrestha protests on Wednesday against the prime minister's decision to get a presidential pardon for Maoist MP Balkrishna Dhungel who was convicted for the murder.

A good beginning is half done, they say. But that doesn't seem to apply to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.
He started out well in September, confirming the public's perception of him as an upright and austere politician. He eschewed the official SUV, travelled economy to New York, personally inspected highway restaurants and set up a complaints hotline.

But you can't rule by symbolism alone. Sooner or later the people are going see through it. Many of the country's problems need structural solutions, not populist photo-ops.

Still, a people impatient for progress on peace and the constitution would have given Bhattarai the benefit of doubt. They backed him in the near mutiny within his party over an investment agreement with India.

But Bhattarai is now having to deal with the aftershocks of two flawed decisions he took before flying off for the SAARC summit on Tuesday. He inducted a cabinet of record-breaking girth. Then he got his bloated cabinet to ask presidential pardon for a party colleague convicted of murder and sentenced by the Supreme Court to life imprisonment. This has angered human rights groups, opposition parties and the victims' family members.

The issue also threatens to embroil the president in a controversy at a time when the country needs political unity. Prem Bahadur Khadka of the Nepal Bar Association says the prime minister's move has undermined democracy and the rule of law: "The government should take back its decision, this issue shouldn't be taken to the president at all."

Dewan Rai

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1. Rajesh Aryal

When Baburam was elected like every one I thought as a prime minister he will make informed decisions. There were signs of this initally. Now slowly as one of my friend has suggested in the begining " he is just a old wine in a new bottle"

2. Deepak Shrestha
The Maoist are thugs. No doubt about it. They deny God and religion but parade around with Tika and Garlands.  But then so are the leaders of UML, Nepali Congress and Madhise Parties. Nepal will move forward only after the Nepali people kill these current leaders the same way they killed the Shrestha brothers. We need suicide bombers in Nepal. We need to teach these crooks that if they want to live by the sword them we will kill them with it.  These leaders deserve to die like Gaddafi of Libya. If Bangaladeshi can hang Sheik Mujib and  Pakistan can hang Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then Nepalis can also hang these bastards. Rise Nepalis - this is the time ,  Rise.  

3. jange

Baburam kills thousands and the NT hails him as a revolutionary.

His henchman kills one and he is punished as a murderer???

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)