6-12 February 2015 #744

For and against

Editorial in Kantipur, 4 February

Disenchantment between the government and the international community at a time when the country is facing political polarisation is not a good sign. While Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s outburst at EU ambassadors may have been an opportunity to vent his anger, it could be a diplomatic mistake. Such a complaint should have been channeled through the foreign ministry. The government’s displeasure stems from a clandestine meeting between two EU envoys and CK Raut, who has actively promoted secessionism. It is understandable that the government should react to such anti-national activities. The international community’s opposition to the ruling coalition’s effort to push the constitution to a vote seems to have also miffed the PM. But the internationals, including China and India, are only appealing for a constitution agreeable to all. Even the President has been asking for the same thing. This doesn’t mean they are supporting the opposition. The CA is divided into two factions and only one is writing the constitution, this will push the country into further political turmoil. Even in terms of the recent political change and peace process, we were assisted by India and the UN.  Therefore, it is erroneous to scorn creative suggestions just because it doesn’t match our interests

Editorial in Nagarik, 4 February

International diplomats have overstepped their bounds with recent statement and actions. No sovereign country can tolerate that. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala needs to be commended for taking a stand against the European Union and their ambassadors. The international community seems to have mistaken the Prime Minister’s tolerance for weakness. Almost all of those ambassadors represent democracies, yet they are opposed to a democratic exercise on the constitution.  This is ridiculous, yet unfortunate. A few ambassadors even met with a person openly espousing secession. The international community should take the PM’s warning seriously.

Editorial in Annapurna Post, 2 February

A true statesman always swims against the tide and reveals truth at critical junctures. UML Chair K P Oli is tackling political forces spreading communal hatred in the name of federalism head on. He has not even spared foreigners providing monetary and logistical support to them. Oli has said that the Maoists and other opposition parties will withdraw their protests and pave the way for the constitution writing if they are given Rs 5-10 billion. Although Oli made this statement at an internal party meeting, a statement like that by an important public figure cannot be overlooked. There is a very thin line between public and private for a senior politician like Oli.

Though it is difficult to gather evidence, there are indications that our political parties regularly receive funds from foreign entities. Oli’s accusation against the Maoists is even more serious. Why are the Maoists, arguably the biggest force for change in the country and trusted by India after the 12-point agreement with the seven political parties, keeping mum?

The onus lies on Oli to prove his allegation. But the silence of the Maoists has fueled public speculation. It is now time for the government to issue a white paper on politics and money.If the political parties and leaders are themselves for sale, will they not sell out the country at the next opportunity? The money that has supposedly come for a ‘revolution’ needs to be investigated.

Oli must prove that his accusation is not just mud-slinging, but the beginning of a campaign to make political parties and leaders more accountable to the public.

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