Thank you for your eyewitness stories in #98. The Nepali Times has been making a genuine effort to convey the terrible realities facing those living in and posted to areas heavily affected by the Maoist insurgency. By simply reporting the numbers of people killed and arrested other media have failed to live up to their responsibilities. We need to see and understand that thousands of real people are deeply affected every single day and that the impact of the insurgency, no matter how it all works out in the end, will have a profound effect on Nepal for many years-and many generations-to come. We need this kind of coverage "in our faces" and especially if we are living in the "bubble" otherwise known as the Kathmandu Valley.
Thank you as well for turning a full page over to your readers. The letters are always interesting, and the section provides a wonderful opportunity for expression. I welcome Puskar Bhusal's suggestions in "Divided we stand" (#98) concerning the dissolution of the Nepali Congress party. If ever there was a group of people who had the chance (12 years!) to achieve something great and blew it, it's the Kangresis. While many factors have contributed to the dismal state of affairs in Nepal today, the unbelievable greed, incompetence, insensitivity, corruption, thirst for power, and downright stupidity demonstrated by the Kangresis since 1990 must rank right up there at the top. And no one exemplifies those attributes better than the current leader of the party. Bhusal is right: Nepal needs to move beyond the Koirala legacy. We've had more than enough of it-and to no good end.
Sallie Fischer Limbu,
. Puskar Bhusal's "Who's the boss?" (#96) hits the bull's eye and exposes the culture of power-hungry intra-party-bickering that the Nepali Congress has inherited and nurtured over the last 50 years or so. The common thread in the entire evolution process being one Koirala or the other. The Koiralas have been the most unfortunate "phenomenon" for Nepal and they have been instrumental in taking Nepal from a position of rich culture and integrity to an impoverished country where corruption is despised by everyone but practised by all-the people in power catching bigger fish all the time.
The Nepali Congress has institutionalised corruption and that could be one reason why the corrupt ones from the Panchayati era were allowed to go scot free so that the Kangresis themselves can feast. All the Nepali Congress has done in the past ten years is to dissolve a parliament with a party having clear majority, call for elections after election, draining the country of the scarce resources it has and get rich in the process. Even war and elections are economically beneficial to people in power.
. Newspapers are full of news that overemphasises the possible splitting of the Congress party of Nepal into two factions. Congress party workers are trying to create an impression that the splitting of the party is a national crisis. Is it? Who cares? The only people to suffer in the process are the Congress leaders who are playing dirty politics within the party. They fear losing power. I would say that common people will benefit more if such a giant, mighty, but corrupt, party splits. It will open more choices to the people in the next election. What is the use of organising such a big election, if public has to vote for the same party and same corrupt leaders again?
For those who are thinking of voting for Deuba, they should understand that it does not guarantee his continuity as prime minister. Only the party can appoint a prime minister. This is one of the ironies of the present political system that you cannot directly elect the prime minister of your choice. Deuba is not an angel with magical power to save this country, and he has a cabinet full of crooks. But at least what he says or does makes common sense. And what is this stuff about democracy being in danger? Again who cares? Only people who fear losing so-called democracy are those who are amassing ill-gotten wealth. For the common people, nothing has changed. Let the party split. Let new people with new vision enter politics. Only then will we have a genuine choice the next time we vote.
. I am surprised to see that no so-called nationalist parties have spoken up about India's dubious role in the Maoist insurgency. On the one hand New Delhi says Maoists are terrorists and it fully supports Nepal's efforts to suppress them. On the other hand, the Maoist leaders are living in Indian cities without let or hindrance, and even meeting Nepali officials and giving interviews. It seems like India is giving asylum to Maoists. And they blame us for supporting the ISI!
. This is the first time I am reading somebody writing with courage about Nepali kings ("Past imperfect, future uncertain", #97). It's true that King Birendra was not a great king. He ran the Panchayat far longer than his father. Funny that the so-called leaders of the Nepali Congress and the UML are worshipping him now. CK Lal's accounts of King Gyanendra are also different from what we have seen in the other press. Thank you, Mr Lal, for having the guts to write the reality.
. I read and very much appreciated your editorial "Next six months" (#96). What can I say? I cannot salute you enough for your wisdom. But do our leaders read and understand your excellent paper?