Nepali Times
CK Lal

While agreeing with the overall thrust of CK Lal's typically incisive column 'Return to rhetoric' (State of the State, # 159) we just want to add that there is still something to be said about the proposition made by former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan when he famously said, "Jaw-jaw is better than war-war".

Ram Limbu and Manchinari Shrestha,
Sydney, Australia

. CK Lal's columns are usually written frankly, exposing the hypocrisy surrounding the plight of downtrodden Nepalis. It is not their fault that they have to seek employment outside Nepal just to provide for their families. Any serious development of the country has not gone beyond the roadhead settlements. For the present, Nepali overseas workers are Nepal's only true breadwinners. They are the ones always returning to Nepal with their savings. Some of them even give their lives and return in coffins. Yet, they are robbed, exploited and despised by the very people supposed to be protecting them. Our diplomatic services in Asia must stop being shopping guides to visiting dignitaries and devote themselves to the assistance of fellow Nepalis in distress. It should be the moral duty of the authorities to assist the oppressed, seeking help from the very beginning. There is no shame in seeking honest work, and it is utterly immoral to be callous to the plight of fellow Nepalis.

BK Rana,

. CK Lal is among a rare thoughtful breed of writers. But his 'Constitutional tug-o-war' (#160) took me by surprise because he comes across as an apologist for Girija Koirala and Madhab Nepal. He thinks Bamdev and Sher Bahadur were somehow misled into the current situation. Lal even thinks the Lauda case should remain under wraps. He didn't see any right wing conspiracy when Girija joined the Panchayat after he toppled the first Deuba government, but believes Sher Bahadur was a puppet of his rightist masters. Has he forgotten the government formed by the rightists was supported by the likes of Madhab Nepal? An overwhelming majority of the Nepali people blame Girija for the present state of the country. Has he talked to anyone about this?

As for getting out of the constitutional mess we are in, Lal proposes reinstating the parliament. What is the constitutional basis for such a recommendation? Lal should explain to us, the people who are not as well versed as he is, how the king can do that within the framework of the present constitution. The parliament was dissolved by an elected government. Is Lal asking the king to use some extraconstitutional power? If that is the case, he should not complain about the king sacking Deuba and running the government. If there is to be the rule of law in Nepal, things have to be done constitutionally. The last constitutional prime minister this country had was Deuba and the only constitutional way out of this mess would be to reinstate him. Deuba can then form an all party government or take other appropriate steps to fulfil the aspirations of the people. Two wrongs don't make a right. If Lal believes the end justifies the means, then he doesn't have to look far for like-minded people: all he has to do is call up the Maoists.

Binaya Shrestha,

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)