Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Need to know

The Delhi trip of the leader of the Sadbhavana party and the Kathmandu visit of former Indian ambassador Rajan just before Koirala's resignation are important. We need to know why Gajendra Narayan Singh went to Delhi-who did he meet and what did he discuss? Why did Rajan come to Nepal, who did he talk with and about what? It is serious if the Prime Minister resigned as a result of these activities. At a recent meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Koirala hinted at the influence of foreign powers. Now is the time for him to clarify matters, he is no longer Prime Minister and is free to speak his mind.

The army's behaviour is also being given as another reason for Koirala's resignation. No one is able to discuss it publicly, but it is slowly coming to a head. This raises concerns not just about the army, but also about democracy in Nepal. The opposition requested the government to invite the Maoists to have a dialogue. The government has moved positively in this regard by stopping the army from making any more moves. If the army's inaction in Nuwagaon was without being directed to do so by the government, it is a serious matter. What happened in Rolpa when the army was mobilised? Did the army really misinform the government or does the government have something to hide? This has to be clarified. Who is responsible for misleading the public? People responsible for misinformation must be identified, and action must be taken against them. Either way, that the army not listening to the government is a matter of concern. If this is why Koirala resigned, then the people need to know, and Deuba must take steps to ensure the situation is remedied.

The other issue being brought up in connection with Koirala's resignation is lack of support from the king on army mobilisation. Common perception is that the last meeting between Koirala and the king did not go well, and Koirala realised the king was not on his side. Some say this is the palace's spin on the meeting, designed to portray Koirala in a bad light. Others say the Prime Minister simply wanted a way out of the situation. Here too, the truth needs to be told. If the king wanted to stop the deployment if the army, he should explain in public why he thought so. If the monarch wants to remain a constitutional monarch, the government must take responsibility for the army's behaviour. The parliament and the opposition need to monitor the government's actions and ensure it does not take the wrong decisions. It is natural for the king to take an interest in the working of government and raise questions when he sees fit. The monarch needs to co-operate with the government. If the palace missteps, it weakens itself. If such actions do not stop, this web of conspiracy and intrigue will weaken the country.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)