Nepali Times


One correction: the monarch in Cambodia does not have the prerogative of choosing his successor ('The Ranariddh option', Editorial, #386). This is done by a privy council kind of body. As Ranariddh was active in electoral politics and a criminal case was also being brought against him in a local court; he was obviously not eligible for the kingship. The council decided that Sihamoni was the best bet amongst the eligible princes. For reference, Sihanouk himself had relinquished the throne to his father in order to join electoral politics in the past.

Bishwa Nepal,

. I liked your editorial. Your suggestion that king Gyanendra resign and his grandson continue as a ceremonial monarch would be, I think, the strategic move that could save the institution. Your other suggestion that he start a political party is also well taken. There is real danger that communists will occupy that 'nationalist' space - one that monarchy has occupied historically. It's certainly better for an ex-monarch to pose as a nationalist than to leave it to the communists. Unfortunately the biggest liability for monarchy continues to be king Gyanendra himself.

RP Bhattarai,

. Don't you know that in a monarchical system kings can not be chosen by anyone but the king himself? You think that the support for monarchy is support for Paras or his son/daughter? ('Luxury condos', #386) When the present king is Gyanendra and people still support the continuation of this institution who do you think they are supporting? After all, weren't you saying a few months back that the monarchy has no more relevance in Nepal whatsoever?

Bhuwan Sharma,

. While CK Lal has correctly analysed and said "the country burns, all in the name of republicanism" ('The games losers play', #386), wasn't it him who once openly advocated the king be overthrown and the people choose their own leaders? Therefore, since the present government has been formed following a campaign by people with views like yours and allegedly as per the aspirations of the Nepali people, maybe me and other people like me who never trusted these sleazy politicians to deliver are laughing at you fools now.

Prasanna KC,


I agree with Prashant Jha in ('Missing the story', #386). The state media and even the big private national media have been reluctant to cover news which shows the real situation in the Tarai. The Tarai is burning, no question about it, and it is crucial that the government along with the nation's media consider the situation very seriously. The constituent assembly election is very important, but unless the problems of the Tarai are addressed, the country cannot head toward the polls.

Amit Ranjan,

. Prashantji, Madhesis have been marginalised for a long time, we agree. But sometimes the vehement and one-sided reaction from Madhesi intellectuals makes us worried. Regardless of their political leanings, they seem to disregard their responsibility in helping to search for viable options for resolution of the conflict. They could act as mediators between the opposing sides, but they are supporting the Madhesi movement without properly considering the characteristics of the politically active groups, both armed and unarmed. The issues raised by some of these groups are of course valid and important, but we also need to consider that other forces are irresponsibly exploiting these issues to serve their own interests. The Madhesi groups agitating against the mixed electoral system register are ready to contest the elections under the same they really believe in their own demands or are the only making them for populist reasons?

Mahesh Acharya,

. I think Prashant Jha is not a journalist but a spokesman of the Madhesi parties. He should be honest at least in this regard so that the readers can make up their mind right from the beginning. Nepali Times seems to be aiding his efforts by providing a platform to propagate blatantly false accusations. What does he mean by saying that the Insec district head is a Pahadi? In his article he repeatedly pits Pahadi against Madhesi to stir up hatred between them.
The criminal gangs in the Tarai are killing innocent people, including journalists, just because of their origin. So how can they report properly on the atrocities? Even human rights monitors are targeted because they are not Madhesis. Prashant Jha justifies these actions. Regarding his remarks on the Gaur and Kapilvastu massacres, the human rights groups could not visit the sites immediately because of obstructions created by Madhesi criminal gangs - this is more than clear. A STF should have been mobilized long ago to control the criminal gangs in the Tarai but because of Girija and the Maoists' squabbling that did not happen, and so-called Madhesi 'parties' are now bargaining with a weak transitional government and threatening national unity. Had there been no criminal gangs in the Tarai, these parties would not have tried to blackmail the government which everyone knows cannot take long-term decisions and has a mandate only to hold successful elections.

Abhi Karki,

. Prashant Jha's monotonous ranting about the Tarai and blaming Pahadis for all the Tarai's problems is not what we need to hear during these sensitive times. The first paragraph of his article is too generalised and assumes too much. Not everyone in Kathmandu is insensitive to 'genuine' Madhesi issues. But if he is talking about the silence of civil society regarding a federal system with right to self-determination or an independent Tarai state then I think that a circumspect approach is appropriate, because it is a sensitive issue which has only arisen recently (it was not on the agenda or mandate of the April revolution in 2006). The concept of a federal system with right to self-determination is premature at this stage. He doesn't want to acknowledge that the majority of Tarai people desire elections. Political parties which organise peaceful meetings have more legitimacy than criminal outfits with political cover who terrorise their own compatriots.

Anil Ghimire,


Despite the potential for hydropower generation that could meet most of the country's power demand, Nepal suffers acute energy crisis. Your story on hydropower in Palpa ('Do it yourself', #385) highlights what we can do on our own. Even a small initiative of resource mobilization at a local level can bring massive benefit. At least Palpali people do not suffer the load-shedding which we now have to endure daily in Kathmandu. If this story offers hope for the feasible solution to our power problem, we should opt for tapping power from small rivers and streams, and strengthening and empowering communities for the process at a local level rather than looking for time-consuming and expensive mega hydro-projects. After all, little drops of water make a mighty ocean.

Manisha Sharma,


Nepal requires an institutional framework not only for the outsourcing industry, but for the economy as a whole ('No outsourcing', #386). As for the service sector, investment in human capital is a grave necessity. Education, particularly higher education, is the need of the hour if Nepal wants to make a shift to becoming a service sector economy.

Amish Mulmi,

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)