Nepali Times
Editorial
Descent into dystopia


DIWAKAR CHETTRI
Few will be staying awake this time till three in the morning on 1 September to follow the cliffhanger of the Constituent Assembly extension. Most people are past caring, and will be trying to get on with their lives the best they can.

But the cost to the country's economy, its development, the service delivery to people is incalculable. You can't put a rupee and paisa price on all the patients who died because they couldn't be taken to hospital because the budget to repair the road was plundered by a mafia composed of district office-bearers of the three parties.

Smelling weakness, everyone with a grievance is on warpath, punishing the people with strikes and extortion to get back at a feckless state. Eighty per cent of industries in this country have closed down, the latest this week is Surya Nepal's Rs 700 million apparrel export factory in Biratnagar. In the absence of a state, extortionists are masquerading as legitimate labour unions .

When elected leaders abdicate their governance role to indulge in endless intrigue and back-stabbing, the leadership vacuum is filled by lawless gangs. Political parties that supposedly believe in the rule of law and peaceful democratic politics are coddling crooks. Gangsters have now become richer and more powerful than the party bosses who created them.

In the Maoist party, militant union chiefs have now amassed so much ill-gotten wealth that the party hierarchy is powerless to pull them up. The UML copied the Maoists, and it was Jhalanath Khanal who set up the Youth Force. Later it was renamed the Yuba Sangh Nepal, but call it what you want, it was still up to its neck in crime. The little puppies have become snarling rottweilers.

The UML youth wing is now a powerful nationwide network of organised crime to complement the YCL. In many places, like in eastern Nepal, the two are partners in crime. It is only when there is disagreement about the division of the spoils that they carve each other up with khukuris. Then the media sometimes gets caught in the middle as happened to the Biratnagar correspondent of Nagarik newspaper two months ago.

Khilanath Dhakal was forced to undergo a near-death experience when he reported on UML goons beating up a rival gangster inside a courtroom. The UML youth wing has since taken strong exception to Nagarik's exposes on the range of its criminal activities in eastern Nepal. It all culminated this week in the mother party closing down Biratnagar for two days and the youth wing's boss Mahesh Basnet threatening to jail Nagarik editor Narayan Wagle, shutting down his newspaper and threatening the Morang police chief and his family with bodily harm.

This has now gone beyond being just a threat to journalists and police, it is a direct challenge to the country's interim constitution its guarantees of basic human rights and a democratic polity. And yet, the UML is so scared of the monster it created the party can't even condemn Basnet for continued catch-me-if-you-can defiance.

All this got wide media play because a journalist was involved, but organised crime, local outlaws and gangsters have been abducting children, maiming, raping nuns and murdering citizens with impunity. The state's inability or unwillingness to stop this has emboldened crooks who are protected by their political bosses. Saying this is normal in a state of political transition is no excuse.

There is only one way to address Nepal's descent into dystopia: re-establish a stable state, eradicate impunity and decriminalize political parties by agreeing on a unity government ASAP.

Read also:
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1. Party Peedit
Dear, dear NT,
When I read this para:
"All this got wide media play because a journalist was involved, but organised crime, local outlaws and gangsters have been abducting children, maiming, raping nuns and murdering citizens with impunity. The state's inability or unwillingness to stop this has emboldened crooks who are protected by their political bosses. Saying this is normal in a state of political transition is no excuse."
I thought NT had finally seen the light, had come to its senses after believing these last six years in "Enter the Politician (with the ouster of the King) on a white charger to save Nepal and take it to heaven". Halleluja! I said to myself, until I read your last paragraph:
"There is only one way to address Nepal's descent into dystopia: re-establish a stable state, eradicate impunity and decriminalize political parties by agreeing on a unity government ASAP."
 You are still drugged by your political handlers! Who is to "re-establish", these same crooks? Or the feckless party doormats known as civil society? A "unity government"? I promise you, Santa will deliver that this coming Dussain! Really! Just wait and keep coddling the Youth Force and YCL in their "mainstreaming into the peace process"!


2. Useful Idiot
The only thing wrong with this editorial is that it underestimates the the extent of the extortion and protection racket in the New Nepal. It is much more rampant. Surya Nepal had to close because of the rivalry between the Bajgai and Jammarkattel factions of the Krantikari union, same story with all the other industries. It's a free for all for the most militant union to extort money. No investor in his right mind is going to invest in Nepal, and the ones who are here are going to leave. Domestic investors are taking their money elsewhere. Who is going to create jobs? Why can't our politicians get it in their thick skulls that it's the economy they have to worry about and not this greedy race to the bottom that they are engaged in.


3. soni

This mainstream media can no longer mask its partisan coverage with mere demands for a constitution and a consensus government. The blame game against the politician is mere superficial attempt to mask the real intention, which is to serve the agenda of the same politicians who are being criticized.

The editorial has been written as an extension of that agenda.

It does not contain any actual deliberations about the political deadlock and its causes as well the real long-term impact of daily developments on the future of this nation, and the impact it will have in setting standards and expectations in future crisis. The objective is merely to serve the immediate agenda of the editors political bosses.

The fact is that this media itself contributed to this situation with its own partisan advocacy of Janaandoal 2, a useless self-serving act by political goonda's.

The fact is that these same political parties and this same media covered up the former head of state, to form a consensus government after the constitution of 1990 was dredged through this same process of in-party and intra party competition for government.

Instead of highlighting the need for a national government, with a clear single point agenda, sought by the head of state then, they put the head of state to task for insisting on constitutionalism and democratic practice.

The fact is that the international community found this one-sided interpretation convenient to support the political parties who could not unite for the constitution but could do so in foreign soil.

The fact, therefore, is that this round to, as previously, if not for partisan gains, the head of state will be ignored and partisan gains for government pursued regardless of constitutionality. Lacking options, the media will continue to make demands for the constitution despite the unconstitutionally extended dates.

 Comment borrowed extensively from Peoplesreview editorial.


4. Gole
Yarsagumba Baidhya.
Raktachandan Dahal.
Casino Dahal.-cutlass.(Kattel)
Tourism Hisila.-Bhattarai. etc etc etc.
Why blame the mules?
Blame the mule-drivers.



5. Dev Batsya
There is only one way to address Nepal's descent into dystopia: re-establish a stable state, eradicate impunity and decriminalize political parties by agreeing on a unity government ASAP.
Why would a unity government formed by consensus among 3-4 parties,  be any less corrupt  than the previous majority government of 2-3 parties?
Indeed it is possible that such a government will be more corrupt due to lack of an effective opposition, and the need to divide the plunder among more parties. The people may end up being bigger losers.
Just asking for consensus among the party leaders to make a unity government without the means to make them accountable to the people or make them answerable to the law will only ensure continued impunity.
Consensus in the absence of the rule of the law  will lead to continuance of present system of Government of the oligarchy,by the oligarchy and for the oligarchy,
The people of the country, the tax-payers, will continue to be mere spectators to this power-play of the oligarchs, and will remain victims of their lawless rule as long as the political leaders feel they can get away with it due to the current lack of any other potential alternatives.


6. soni
"But the cost to the country's economy, its development, the service delivery to people is incalculable."

It is possible to calculate the loss to the family, and to the community, and even to the nation, you won't do it because you don't want to.

"Smelling weakness, everyone with a grievance is on warpath, punishing the people with strikes and extortion to get back at a feckless state."

You say that as if you have just discovered this truth and people, so many even on your comment boards, have not pointed this out since the beginning of this charade. And yet, all that the media, and the lackeys of communists and socialists, can do is to bring the King into this mess because he is defenseless.

Moreover, none of these clowns who are out in the streets all the time have a single grievance, they are just busybodies out to have fun at the expense of everybody else. They just hope to be noticed by some political entrepreneur who will reward the stronger of the lot with untold riches through illicit contracts, in exchange for serving the masters orders.

"When elected leaders abdicate their governance role to indulge in endless intrigue and back-stabbing, the leadership vacuum is filled by lawless gangs. "

How many of these "leaders" were elected by the way? KP Oily? MK Nepal? S Koirala? And which part of backstabbing and intrigue surprised you? The ones that were going on since the restoration of democracy, or the ones that have been happening since the initiation of this illegitimate autocracy? 

"In the Maoist party, militant union chiefs have now amassed so much ill-gotten wealth that the party hierarchy is powerless to pull them up."

Which bit of this is really surprising? Is it the fact that you have finally mentioned it, or is it the fact that everybody has been saying it for so long but you had been sidestepping the issue? Or is it the covering up of the fact that it is not the trade union chiefs but the other chiefs who have amassed so much wealth and who have been doling out largesse to maintain their support base.


7. jange
Dystopia- State in which the conditions of life are extremely bad as from deprivation, oppression or terror.

Remember, we have been taken through this already by the Maoists; and you called revolutionary, agragaman and so on.

Why are you complaining now?


8. who cares
7 jange,

there is something you need to concentrate on now.... and try to avert possible future tragedy. 

in the past, media portraited maoist as dawn, today some media is working on to give rise to one particular evil aka bhatterai.

and trust me, country in the control of one individual is far more dangerous than country being hijacked by a party or some gang.


some media simply just dont learn, somebody needs to spank them.




biography of bhatterai-
* for the first time in the history of nepal, finance ministry using goons to collect tax.

*he gave info of tax payers to his goons.

*investors and business confidence fell to the lowest and still has not recovered.

*he who believes in violence as a means to an end.

*who still attacks opposition in his controlled area- gorkha.

*only has ability to memorize some books but has no judgmental, analogizing, visionary etc ability. 

*who has got no dignity, even after being insulted so many times in his own party, so the possibility could be the presence of some secret vendetta to realize it, he needs to capture power..... possibility of blood bath after capturing.

*narrow minded.

*he has been focusing only in gorkha.

*and a lot more.




9. Arthur
Is it just me or did Nepali Times really publish a cartoon of K P Oli coddling one of his dons?



10. B2B
Whoever believed in the razzmatazz of the Maoists in the past and are still canvassing in their favor should be sent to the kinder garden to be pampered and coddled by the hacks of yore Communism to be straitened up to live in today's world of competition.

NC should ask for a rerun of election as soon as possible, the only way to get rid of the Communism and Maoism. If you think they will compromise to draft the constitution and make headway in peace process you are putting your finger right in your nose. Just think what amount of money are they siphoning off thru salaries of the PLAs and other perks. They should be dimwitted to leave that loot easily. And to be true, they have already written the constitution which is similar to that of Laos and Cambodia. That means one party rule and the name of the constitution is ' Nepal Democratic Republic' instead of 'The Republic of Nepal' like all other free and democratic entities.

A good strategist first observes the pros and cons of the adversaries to topple them down using their own deficiencies. That's in Judo, right!?!


11. Salil
I agree to what the editor says. Nepal is a nation full of anarchy now; solution seems to be lost some where far in the horizon and worse still, people have stopped looking for it. Many of us have stopped caring now, it is a state of despair.

There used to be times when some avid enthusiasts would sit up and discuss the possible ways to life the nation from the plunge. But now, as most have realized the futility of such an exercise, even those people have given up. Couldn't have been more worse for a nation gripped with political turmoil. 


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


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