Nepali Times
Hyper Empire

Saubhagya Shah in 'Hyper Empire and Hindu Kingdom' (#238) hits the nail on the head. Given the incessant political instability Nepal went through in the past 15 years and the ever increasing fear of a Maoist takeover, international donors should see February First as necessary if they are more concerned with the people's welfare than ideology. Most Nepalis are too busy eking out a living in remote villages to advocate political and civil rights. Let's listen to their plight and start doing something concrete. Even if the king can curb corruption and make the bureaucracy effective, half of Nepal's problems will be solved. What the donors need to understand is: political and civil rights can be restored anytime in the future when a majority of Nepalis feel it necessary.

Subindra Bogati,

. Great to find succinct analysis of issues like the ones presented by Saubhagya Shah in 'Hyper Empire and Hindu Kingdom' and Kanak Mani Dixit's Southasia Beat column 'Lhotshampa chargesheet' (#238) on Bhutani refugees. Because we are not just landlocked but India-locked, our manoeuvring capacity is severely restricted. This makes Nepal extremely susceptible to foreign pressures. However, another equally, if not more, troubling issue is the lack of unity within Nepal even after King Gyanendra's February First move. If we can't analyse our domestic issues vis-?-vis the interests of the foreign powers we will repent it. No Nepali wishes to meet the fate of Tibet or Sikkim.

BR Giri,

. If the international community is asking the king to re-establish basic fundamental rights and democracy, then they also bear the burden of telling the political parties, media and NGOs to reform themselves. With rights come duties to safeguard democracy and rule of law. The parties, with their Stalinistic tendencies, should look at themselves in the mirror first. We will see rebellions every 15-20 years if some of these reforms aren't undertaken:

1 Party leaders should have term limits and abide by it. GP Koirala is in direct violation of his own party by-laws in trying to run for the NC presidency for a third time by amending its constitution. Is that dictatorship or what?
2 There should be a mandatory retirement age
3 All party leaders should release their tax forms and wealth details
4 Party people accused of corruption or misuse of power need to be expelled from the party and the EC should bar them from elections
5 Any party calling for bandas or strikes will have to pay a fine equal to the dent in the Nepali GNP caused by the shutdowns
6 Party fundraising should have limits
7 Most party leaders are bahuns, parties must reflect the country's ethnic diversity
8 If any party disrupts the people's work in the parliament for more than three business days in any session, that party will be fined against the dent in the Nepali GNP caused by the disruption
9 Schools, colleges and universities should be de-politicised

SN Singh,

. As the moral majority of the west gang up on poor Nepal after the monarch's take over on February First, we Nepalis are made to feel like guilty children. Western countries having nothing to lose and India, our great brotherly neighbour to the south, is apparently upset that it read the signals completely wrong. The world's greatest democracy wants us to follow the shining examples of democracy in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The west and India are leading the crusade to try to teach this poor country a lesson but their threat of aid cuts only prove that aid has always been an ideological weapon. Denmark et al need to remember that many of them have skeletons in their own closets.

Buddha Basnyat,
MD, Kathmandu

. Nepal needs to be self-reliant and should not further rely on foreign aid as Pravin Rana points out in 'When you're a poor country' (#238). There is excessive pressure from arrogant foreigners in our internal matters at the toughest time in our history. We are the only ones who can solve our problems.

Anu Pradhan,

. Your paper is looking more and more like a wrinkled yam sandwiched between royal guns. You may be proud to have a wide readership but not all of us are pro-king. Your paper is loaded with one-sided arguments, mostly poisoned by your royalist columnists. If you can't accommodate other views, it may be a good idea not to publish such royal rubbish. It's high time to save your neutrality (if you have any) and avoid being a mouthpiece for the palace.

'Republic Nepal',

. Your editorials are sounding like a broken record. You keep saying the political parties made huge blunders and they should repent but even if they don't, they should be put back in charge. C'mon, what kind of logic is that? The king is trying to resolve the political deadlock and take the country forward. Why don't you give him a chance, especially since a majority of Nepalis do?

Jit Jang,

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)