It's pretty clear that everybody is baffled by Colin Powell's unexpected visit. But the manner in which both your editorial "We and the west" and the usually excellent CK Lal (#77) focus on the US Secretary of State's visit to Nepal in the context of increased financial aid is greatly disappointing. The direction of your write-ups confirm the deep malaise that affects the Nepali mindset-that of a conviction in our impotence. We have utterly no trust in our own ability to set our house in order and to move full speed ahead in the path of economic and social development. This is why all our efforts towards such goals are so half-hearted and so fruitless. Foreign aid at a time like this is always welcome-but the real solution lies in our own deep-rooted problems.
Umesh Chandra Rai
Your editorial We and the west" is confusing and needlessly emotional. Nepalis fought two world wars for freedom, not for western powers alone. Those who fought were well compensated by the British. If the British and the Indians were to stop recruiting our young boys for their armies, we would have two alternatives: wash dishes in India or join the Maoists. Bahuns oppose Gurkha recruitment because they do not benefit from it as much. For janjatis, a foreign army is the best possible employment opportunity. And why should the west pay for the corruption of our leaders? All political party leaders are highly corrupt, the king and the army are our only hope.
Your editorial addressed to Colin Powell was meant more for our own government than for the US Secretary of State. The Americans may help, but as you say, in the end it will have to be the government that must get its act together by curbing corruption and delivering development through effective decentralisation.