Nepali Times
Letters


Tarai demands

Finally, some journalists and politicians have started to accept the fact that madhesis have been discriminated against by Nepal's rulers. But no one talks about what a solution should be.

Nepal's leaders need to design a system in which every dhoti-wearing, dark-skinned, pan-eating, Hindi-speaking, Bihari-looking person with Nepali citizenship is treated as respectfully (both on paper and in practice) as any daura surwal and topi-wearing Bahun or Chhetri. Madhesis won't feel assured that discrimination has come to an end unless they are given their own state-I do not mean a separate country. The tarai can be divided into one or more states that have significant powers such as revenue collection, policing, budget decisions, and so on. This is among the JTMM's main demands, and the Maoists got madhesi support based on this agenda.

The JTMM may not have many supporters willing to die for the cause at the moment, but they do enjoy the tacit support of a significant part of the madhesi population, which by conservative estimates is 35-40 percent of Nepal's population. The longer the rulers in Kathmandu take, the more concessions they will have to make in the future. Just as Gyanendra is on the verge of losing his throne forever, rulers sitting in Kathmandu might soon have to face losing the tarai forever.

Anand Jha,
email


Rogue force

Endorsing a Maoist deputy prime minister would be a blunder we can't afford, considering Prime Minister Koirala's ill-health and the fact that the interim constitution makes the prime minister irreplaceable. The Maoists still justify their armed revolt and consider being part of the interim parliament as just another platform for their revolution. As a Nepali, I will not endorse a rogue force with blood on its hands. For the sake of peace, the Maoists need a chance to cleanse themselves of their sins, but let's not go so far as to crown the butcher.

Sanjay Tuladhar


New pantheon

What great satire! The Nepali public reveres the great Prachanda, killer of 14,000 Nepalis, looter of countless persons, destroyer of billions worth of infrastructure, the feared stocky little guy ('A new pantheon', Foreign Hand, #331). And the prime minister, how skilfully he and his family have sold off our country to India. Who needs a foreign hand when we can self-destruct?

Rishav,
email

UN

We shouldn't think UN involvement means our problem is half-solved-just look at Sudan. Genuine peace should come from within the country, and this is what seems to prevail in the present political turmoil. Arms management and de-militarisation of the Maoist cadre and the army are important ahead of the constituent assembly. But will I, as a non-Ropali, be able to walk through Rolpa in the months to come? This is what all leaders should be thinking about if they are truly democratic.

Nirmal Ghimire,
email


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Chandan Shrestha,
email


Correction

'Ticking away' (#331) contained the following errors:
. The brochure illustrating the article is distributed by the Mine Action Working Group (a network of 16 NGOs), Red Cross Society, the UN, the Nepal Army, and the PLA.
. UNICEF and INSEC reported 146 civilian casualties in 2006 from victim-activated explosions. Of the 146 casualties, 33 were killed.
. In February 2006 there was at least one explosion every two days.
.The Nepal Army has 15 Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams on standby that can deal with any type of explosive device, including all types of improvised explosive devices and landmines. However, the complete clearance of 49 anti-personnel minefields is a huge and very specific task that will probably require additional international support.

Hugues Laurenge
Mine Action Focal Point, UNICEF


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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