19-25 December 2014 #737

Foreign hand

Editorial, Annapurna Post, 16 December

The country’s increasing dependency on foreign aid for development has turned many people to hold out their hands rather than use them for hard work. When leaders start appeasing donors, foreign interference becomes direct.

The Indian-led 12-point agreement in November 2005 between the parties and the Maoists against the king is a stark example of direct foreign interference in Nepal’s politics. Since then, other foreign powers have openly backed NGOs, INGOs, the various committees of the CA, civil society and media.

But the open letter through the media to CA members by British Ambassador Andrew Sparkes to protect religious conversion crosses all norms and boundaries. It seems his understanding of secularism is defined in terms of the right of conversion. In other words, he is for giving conversions through inducement or coercion legal sanction in the new constitution.

Just as India started its political interference after 2006, the UK and Scandinavian countries have tried to disturb communal harmony through INGOs, churches and their diplomatic missions. Political parties must warn Ambassador Sparkes about such outrageous meddling, and instruct foreign missions from further interference. The parties should also analyse their own role in giving in to diplomatic pressure to promote secularism, republicanism and federalism in the new constitution. If not, the public anger against Ambassador Sparkes may soon be directed at them.