Nepali Times

It is with much sadness and anger that I write expressing the outrage at the brutal killings of the 12 Nepalis in Iraq. Another war, the War on Iraq has hit close to home now on top of the existing People's War that has already been simmering in our land. Who is to blame is the question and will linger on for time to come... greedy Nepali manpower agencies, the two-faced Jordian man power agency or the ill-fated men themselves with no knowledge of their own.

I attach blame at our leaders-Deuba, Girija, Nepal, Rana, Tripathi, Bijukche, amik Sherchan, Ananda Devi et al, the Maoists-Pushpa Dahal, Babu Ram, Ram Bahudur, the Nepali army generals and the king for making thousands of Nepalis flee their country in search of a better life due to the political instability in Nepal. You all, not the Army of Ansar al-Sunna in Iraq were responsible. You sent them to the gallows, they just hung them. By creating a hostile civial war environment at home with no economic opportunities, you have forced your own citizens to bideshinu as Bahadurs, Kanchas without even any possibility of last rites. Perhaps the greatest responsibility lies with me and every Nepali for not coming out to the streets to voice, scream, yell, howl, protest that enough is enough and forcing the three players in the political drama, the politicians, the Maoists and the palace to reconcile their agendas to restore peace and stability in our country. Let's not pass the buck. Let's face it, we as citizens of this country have not demanded change. The blood of 12 Nepali brothers/sons/husbands/friends/neighbours and many other who have died mercilessly in our own backyard lie in our hands.

SN Singh,

. Ever thought of the value of one's life? In these difficult times in Nepal, it is not of the more emotional value, of support, love, and family bonds. All the sentimentalities have been removed by hard-core economics of value. They beg, borrow, and sell everything they own, except for the shirt on their backs. The destination doesn't matter to them.only the fortunate news that they are going abroad, away from the social exclusions in Nepal, away from the low paying jobs, away from the increasing conflict and being caught between two warring sides, to send money home for a better life for their families. They are prepared to face hardships, discrimination, harassment, leave their familiar surroundings and live in a foreign land, not speak or understand the foreign language with the only ray of hope being the cash they earn and send back to families left behind. What was the value of killing the 12 Nepali migrants to the terrorists. Nepal doesn't have security interests there, no suave diplomats, or quick thinking bureaucrats that seems to hold the key for release of hostages. The international media didn't care either. Who would have thought that the 12 Nepalis that had left to escape such inequalities that are offered in life here would face inequality in death too.

Charu Bist,

. The shock for the barbarous killing of our countrymen in Iraq has left the nation stunned. Yet one cannot but remember all the times , in the past years, we have seen similar photos: of the lifeless bodies of our brothers and sisters in pools of blood, sometimes dressed in blue, sometimes in camouflage, sometimes dressed in poor rags. Ten thousand of them. Why protest the killing in Iraq, but allow the killing to go on at home? Is the anguish of those who are about to be killed in Nepal different to that of those who die abroad? Is the sorrow of the bereaved families inferior?

SK Aryal

. We Nepalis are known to be a tolerant lot and are often misinterpreted as 'simple' people. I dare say, this could have been the reason for such barbarity against the 12 killed by terrorists in Iraq. We have also always been aware that we belong to a land where there is no law and order. Every authority is immersed in their own world of imporatnce rather than that of the people's. The end result being that people feel alienated and disconnected with the world. Wednesday's riots were unfortunate but understandable. How long can we tolerate the sins and negligence of the authorities? I'd say everything has a silver lining, the secret that was known only to our citizens is now known to a world. That we live in a land where the government or the law is incapable of looking after the interests of the people. Shame on us, and those responsible. Let us wake up and raise our voices by feeling as one. We Nepalis are not weak and poor. We have power in our youth and we should nurture it. Let's shed our self interest and work as a force for a better Nepal.

Neeta Pradhan,

. The Gulf has become the new Lahur for many desperate Nepalis, and Iraq is just the latest war zone that Nepalis are risking their lives to work in ('Open secret, #211). In his interview, Raghuji Pant says there are 450,000 registered Nepalis in the gulf, the actual number is probably much higher. The Iraq kidnapping is just te tip of the iceberg: Nepalis all across the region are exploited, they face abuse, especially if they are women domestics, there are no migrant worker's rights and the Nepali diplomatic missions in the region couldn't be bothered. Because of the lack of opportunities back home and the desperation created by the conflict, many Nepalis find the risks worth taking. The least the government can do is to take care of those who are in trouble, ensure that there is no exploitation by local and foreign recruitment agencies. The workers send back $1 billion a year, and the government seems relieved that it doesn't have to find them jobs at home. When is all thisgoing to change so that Nepalis can find worthwhile jobs at home so they can work in dignity?

There is no point for the government to pass thebuck andblame the manpower agencies, ultimately it bears responsibility.

Naresh Rai,
Hong Kong

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)