NO TURNING BACK
Re: Editorial, 'No turning back' (#361) Your analysis that the problem now is that none of the political parties are confident of achieving the result they desire in the election is right. But a new constitution can still be drafted. The consensus of all the parties is that they will form the constitution through an elected constituent assembly so that before the preparation of the manifesto there should be clear commitment between the political parties for durable peace, fundamental rights, a federal system of state, and a multilinguistic and multi-cultural policy.
Pusp Prasad Luintel,
Green Party Nepal
. Your editorial 'No turning back now' (#361) smacks of trying to be more politically correct than the politicians themselves. While less than 100 days remain for the said election, freedom of press is being strangulated right here in the capital (eg The Himalayan Times), and the security situation across the country remains hopeless. No party has come up with individual or collective position for the election other than to continue to flog the dead horse of royalty. Federalising the country would have been a fitting issue for a constituent assembly to deliberate, but in the democracy practiced by our brand of politicians the mandateless parliament has foreclosed the issue. So, why go for the CA election in the first place, and not settle for a less costly referendum on monarchy?
Nothing other than the date fixation through amendment to the nascent interim constitution allows us to share your sense of evangelism regarding the CA.
Bihari Krishna Shrestha,
. The new loktantric constitution is to be framed by the constituent assembly and not by this SPAM government. This being so, the Seven Parties and Maoist government's main function is to hold elections so a new constitution can be debated and drafted. The government should therefore already be forming a drafting committee and charge it with holding talks with affected groups. The urgent task is the removal of obstacles to a free and fair election and maintenance of law and order.
. Though I find the idea of the multiparty system practical ('Small is beautiful', #361) I disagree with the atmosphere of political chaos that it goes on to create. It is necessary for the parties to be much more transparent about their agenda for elections. This would create the atmosphere for informed debate and also allow the public to see if the leaders and their parties are actually worth voting for and electing. My problem with the multiparty system is based on their record of unaccountability and also that their ideologies don't seem that different from each other. Let politics be the arena in which the best manager wins.
Prashant Jha is correct when he says that the tarai movement is fractured ('Sandbagging the plains', #361). However, even the eight parties in Kathmandu are no better in finding a consensus. In times of national tragedy like the recent floods, it was imperative that the government provide urgent relief to the affected population. Sadly, even the Nepali media has not covered the floods comprehensively.
Thanks a lot for publishing such an interesting article related to the local initiative to revive Chibakhel. I spent most of my childhood there and I know every corner of that corner of Kathmandu. The happiest thing for me is to go there and explore my childhood habitat and visit people whom I know personally. There is a vibrant sense of community there and everyone knows everyone. Living in Europe now, I realise how rare this is. However, there is one sore point still about Chibakhel: the disposal of buffalo parts by the local butchers. There hasn't been a commensurate improvement in hygiene and cleanliness. The entrails and bones are all thrown into the Bishnumati and the children playing around in the decaying filth. Can't something be done about this too?
I have been with the Nepali people practically without a break since 10 December 1944. You begin your editorial 'No turning back' (#361) by stating: 'Ever since Rana Prime Minister Padma Shamsher granted the first written constitution in 1948, Nepali have been.' Surely 'twas Mohan Shamsher? I only make this query because I had an audience with Padma Shamsher in February 1947 and believe that, with my friend, we were his last visitors before he handed over to Mohan.
J P Cross,