Nepali Times

Thanks to Netra KC and Rameswor Bohara for their poignant portrayal of the plight of Nepalis in midwestern Nepal who have been forced out of their homes just before Dasai because of the renewed fighting ('Civilians flee fighting in the midwest' and 'We have lost all hope', #163). Once more the Nepali people have been deceived. They were assaulted, terrorised and victimised for seven years. Then the two sides with guns pretended they were for peace, giving us all false hopes. They told us repeatedly they were not going back to the jungle, but it was just a ruse to prepare for war. They are back to terrorising the people. Ordinary citizens are being beheaded, children are being torn to shreds by bombs, teachers and journalists are being slaughtered in front of their families. The Maoists have now lost the little sympathy they had from ordinary people like us. Meanwhile, what are our Koiralas, Deubas, Chands and Thapas doing? They are just playing musical chairs in Kathmandu. Although the Nepali people don't trust anyone anymore, they have not lost hope. They know that the superiority of one can be overcome by the alliance of many.

Gaurav KC,

. The proximity afforded through tourism is problematic because it directly brings together people of extreme socio-economic disparity. In no other setting does this take place in quite the same way. In 'Nepal is safe' (#163), Naresh Newar quotes a few tourists braving civil strife for a vacation. One says "Nepal is safe for tourists. This is not our civil war." Another reveals, "I'm more worried about the weather than anything." I too have been a tourist in the 'third world' and I too have been overly conscious of and attentive to my own comfort and safety, but it is problematic when, on an interpersonal level, the struggles of those around you become less important than the weather. It is problematic in any social setting when the struggles of those around you are not your struggles. Thank you for continuing to provide a steady source of top-notch English language reporting.

Ryan Redmond,
Boston, USA

. After reading Rajendra Dahal's 'All together now' (#162), I was prompted to offer a solution. Since most of our tried and tested political stalwarts have had skeletons discovered in their closets, why not get rid of the lot and bring in the untainted junior leadership of the parties? This could be called the 'Kamraj Plan' after Indira Gandhi's political leapfrogging over veteran Congressites in the late 1960s. Everyone agrees that King Gyanendra and the leaders of the parliamentary parties have to patch up and the ambassadors are prodding them to do just that. But what is holding them back is indecision on which of these senile leaders gets to be prime minister. The only way to break the impasse is to forge a rapprochement between the royalist camp and the democracy camp and let the Young Turks have a go. Why doesn't His Majesty emulate the 21st Century role model of kingship, King Bhumibol of Thailand, and call an all-party open roundtable and resolve the issue as the Thai king did in 1989? No more beating around the bush, no more dilly-dallying. The people's patience is running out.

Name withheld on request

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)