10-16 July 2015 #766

Letter to the President

Setopati, 9 July

Honourable President, Sital Niwas, Kathmandu

I am glad you fulfilled your official duty as President to read out the government’s official policies and programs in parliament on Wednesday. An honest and competent leadership can implement these programs, of that there is no doubt.

Mr President, I have read that you have repeatedly expressed the wish that ordinary Nepalis should not be inconvenienced while you travel to and from official functions. In fact you have instructed the government not to let the public suffer on account of a VIP motorcade. However, on the very evening after you read the government’s policies and programs in parliament on Wednesday, I had the misfortune of being caught up in a monstrous traffic jam caused by your official carcade.

There was a torrential downpour, and many of us pedestrians, those on bicycles and motorcycles were looking for shelter from the rain and were drenched. Passengers in stationary cars just sat there, not moving. Actually there was already an indication that this was going to happen when there was a rehearsal the previous day. Unless the government calculates that the loss to citizens adds up to loss to the nation, we will be forced to conclude that the state is only giving us hollow assurances. This will only push us backwards.

Mr President, if there aren’t any concrete changes we will be forced to conclude only the personalities have changed for the torture we are forced to bear on the roads when a head of state passes. Still, we haven’t given up hope that you will be able to convert your official good intentions into action.

Suraj Poudel, Koteswor

Read original in Nepali.