Nepali Times


Democracy gives false hope to Nepalis. Your editorial 'Half full' (#353) suggests that a multiparty system would be the best bet for the country. And yet it is the source of many disorders, the madhes and other ethnic uprisings. I agree that despotism is not the best solution, but Nepal does not have the conditions that allow democracy to succeed, there are too many ethnicities and politics is unstable. An 'enlightened despot', and not a disorganised parliament, could through an evolutionary process create democratic institutions that will eventually succeed.

Saujanya Acharya,


I agree with CK Lal that donor-driven research is diverting money to the elite rather than to the genuinely needy ('Footnotes to history', State of the State, #353). But I strongly disagree that surveys are inconsequential. The advantage of surveys is that they take us closer to social reality than mere speculation or rumours. They are limited, of course, because people change their minds. Using this to conclude that Nepalis have a mature political consciousness is unscientific.

Perhaps Lal's discomfort stems from the fact that support for Hinduism and the monarchy is still strong in the tarai, 49.9 percent of the people in the tarai want to keep the monarchy, according to the latest survey report by Interdisciplinary Analysts. Instead of ignoring that, people like Lal should go there and try to break the hegemony of the Hindu monarchy that prevails rather than refute scientific findings.

Muhammad Rafiq Ahemad,

. I was flabbergasted by CK Lal's assertion that opinion polling is a frivolous donor pastime. Implicit in his contention is that Nepal's leaders, or for that matter newspaper columnists, know the views of their country's citizens without having to bother to ask. His suggestion that polls are unnecessary during turbulent times is even more confounding. Does a dynamic political environment somehow preclude the need to consult the broader populace? The current political transition in Nepal provides an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent the state, but only if the policymakers and pundits cloistered in Kathmandu listen to voices outside the valley. Methodologically sound, rigorously conducted surveys are an invaluable tool for this purpose.

Nick Langton,
Country Representative, The Asia Foundation

AIDS money

It is unfortunate that there are people who make a selfish buck using AIDS and then disappear with it ('AIDS money', #353). Even worse is that no one asks for the money back. I don't understand who gives out money but doesn't ask what is happening to it. Where are the checks and balances?

Srijana Tuladhar,


George Bush's luck is running out and even his own citizens are hounding him. ('Global Jana Andolan', Here and There, #353). Would this have been the case had the war in Iraq not gone as badly as it has for the Americans? After all, the American public elected him to the White House, not only once but twice. The American public and the world at large would've been blissfully unaware of places like Abu Gharib prison and Guantanamo Bay had the war gone according to plan. The allegations of CIA apprehending people on foreign soil would never have surfaced. All this dirt has come to the surface because things have not gone well for America. When the going gets tough, the weak-kneed start squealing and jumping ship.

S Pal,

. It is time for Nepali Times to release Daniel Lak and let him go hack away at some Canadian pine with the anti-American axe he has been grinding. NT can be applauded for allowing the chip-on-the-shoulder-Canuck a forum, but he has made his point and it is time to move on. Daniel Laks ideas.

Name witheld,


The Beed uses largely colonial or feudal clich?s about "nice Nepalis" who are mute in the face of exploitation and the mafias who make millions sending them overseas without any guarantees ('Appearances count', Economic Sense, #353).

Politicians and businessmen are equally responsible for this and the Beed should re-read himself to see how clear his meaning is-be gentle slaves, or stay home and starve (and be gentle anyway). It's Rana economics.

There's nothing new about any of this. Unions are just another type of mafia here, but Artha Beed seems to be saying that they are shameless because they eat into the profits of bank defaulters, tax evaders, and other established mafias.

Today's "dismal business conditions" are also the result of a job done poorly over the long term by businessmen. The 'business community' the Beed regularly supports is one of the world's less presentable.


(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)