Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Maoists kick out VDC secretaries

Development Ministry passed a directive stating that village development committee (VDC) secretaries should not be transferred to another place or department. They can only be transferred if there is a vacancy in some other place. Immediately after the government order went out, the Maoists got moving and have now started chasing VDC secretaries away from areas where the Maoists are powerful. Since these secretaries are representatives of the government, the Maoists are targeting them. In the Maoist areas of Rukum, Rolpa, Salyan and Gorkha, these secretaries suspected by Maoists of being government agents and informers are being threatened and forced to leave the districts. Secretaries who have been chased from the districts have all converged at the concerned ministry in the hope that some one will listen to them and get them transferred to a district or village where the Maoists are not powerful.

According to the ministry, there are almost a hundred villages without secretaries at present. There are more than 300 secretaries who have come to the ministry to get themselves transferred. There is no problem in getting these 300 people transferred, but some one else will have to be sent to the places vacated by them. Otherwise, a serious problem will be created in the ministry According to the local development secretary, Uday Raj Soti, many VDC secretaries have already accepted letters stating that they will not be transferred to another place or department. This directive incidentally, is not applicable to female secretaries. Female secretaries will be given a place or department transfer within a month of placing their request.

One method of filling these vacant places is through new recruitment, but the Public Service Commission is not admitting any new people at the moment. On the other hand, the ministry has passed a policy of transferring people only if there is a replacement available. This again does not solve the current problem. These secretaries complain and say, The Maoists suspect us of being spies and government agents, they chase us away. We cannot enter the villages and it is difficult to carry papers and money with us. Otherwise, we will be forced to stay in the district headquarters and carry out our work from there.

This is a serious blow to the government, but it has has remained silent so far and not done anything. The Maoists are carrying on with their work, holding public meetings regularly and forming their own government, but the government has not been able to counter this in any way. If the armed police force act is not passed soon, the government is going to find itself in bigger trouble.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)