I agree with your editorial ('National sinkhole', #168). The inhabitants of Kathmandu through their action and inaction are much more responsible for the country's slide. The concept of 'civil society' does not make any sense in Nepal where its members are made up of a few Kathmandu residents, mostly English-speaking who have a cosy relationship with the donor community through vertical and horizontal links. The formation and continued centrality of this class needs serious and urgent attention in Nepali politics. Kathmandu continues to grow in prosperity and power to support a neo-elite at the expense of the rest of Nepal . Civil society as the "third way" does not necessarily operate in Nepal. The challenge does not lie in "an opportunity to address devolution of Kathmandu's power once and for all", as you put it, but rather on an opportunity to look for new room for the emergence of a mature and a genuine civil society.
Jeevan R Sharma,
University of Edinburgh