Nepal Today

Friday, April 5, 2013


RETIRED BRIG. GEN PRATAP Singh MALLA DEAD Kathmandu, 5 April: retired Brig. Gen Pratap Mlla died Thursday of a heartattack. He served in several peacekeeping mission with Royal Nepal for UN. He was a product of St Xavier’s class of 1958. nnnn MORE FIRE DAMAGE REPORTED FROM TERAI Kathmandu, 5 April:: Fire gutted property including two houses and 20 goats belonging to Gobardhan Limbu when fire sparked from the Ranke Danda Community Forest in northern VDC Tanki- 5 in Morang district, RSS reports from Biratnagar.. Loss of more than Rs. 600,000 was incurred from the fire, said the District Police Office, Morang. The fire was controlled by Temporary Police Post, Tanki, and local people by creating a fire line. Likewise, property worth more than Rs. 200,000 was gutted, when the house of Raju Chaudhary of Bayarban -6, Morang, caught fire last night, and was later controlled by locals and police. All Food grains, clothes and utensils were completely gutted. Similarly, property worth Rs. 700,000 was gutted when cattle died and food grains were gutted in the two -story shed of Chandra Bahadur Karki of Itahara -2 Devisthan last night. Nnnn OPINION RHETORIC, LIES AND BACK-STABBING Kathmandu, 5 April: Schools in Nepal were shut off for two precious days last month at the call of a consortium of higher education schools in the private sector that rejected the proposal to allow student unions to be formed in their campuses. Predictably, some damage to school property and a volley of threats were issued against school managements that led to the two-day (March 5-6) closure affecting millions of schools all over, Trikal Vastavik writes in People’s Review. As if taking the baton for strikes from the school consortium, the Mohan Baidya-Maoist group called for a nationwide strike on March 7. Upendra Yadav and a section of Janajati joined hands to go on strike on March 8. Several days of weekend and public holidays thereafter left the academic and much of the public sector in a state of paralysis. The waste thus accumulated in one of the poorest nations, and certainly so in South Asia, was painfully staggering. The so-called civil society leaders, many of them making a career out of foreign-funded initiatives and agendas, as usual, did not raise any voice of concern against the strikes enforced on the hapless public that has been subjected to such enforced closures so often even after the ushering in of the so-called “loktantra” that has only worsened the situation since seven years. Law and order is the worst casualty of the basically three-party syndicate constructed, directed and blessed by foreign capitals. A fourth constituent combination is a fence-sitter whose stands and agendas are not known even to its members till the eleventh hour when the leadership is inflicted with inspiration from alien quarters. Such being the state of disorder in Nepal today, political thuggery and goondagardi is an unfortunate feature that has sapped the energy and hopes of an average Nepali. Polarization at every level of social and other units has created a chasm that undermines trust, cooperation and positive attitude. Unionism has spread its vicious tentacles at government offices, school teachers’ and university teachers’ associations, artistes’ (fine and liberal) groups, athletes’ organizations and almost every other sector and profession. There are at least four political groups in every institution. Although they are not supposed to join any party, the fact is that senior officials, including some secretaries, are learnt to have secretly secured membership of major political parties. Officers at agencies entrusted with maintaining law and order are known to be frequent visitors to party leaders to curry favor. It is an established fact that law and order situation in the country is the worst in 50 years. Corruption, too, has broken all records. In the comity of nations, Nepal used to be treated with a lot of respect, which was why it was on the UN Security Council twice in the past. Not any longer. Two years ago, the loktantrik government made a bid for the non-permanent seat the UN Security Council, only to be defeated in a humiliating manner. Similar was the fate of the move to have a retired UN official of Nepali origin as the president of the UN general assembly. The laughable antics and announcements made in this connection were obvious to all and sundry except to those intoxicated with their loktantrik rhetoric. No wonder the staffs at foreign embassies have such easy access to the VVPIP quarters to issue sermons to the Nepali leaders who meekly accept the dressing down. While the nation is suffering deterioration in every direction and sector, the Maoists and the Nepali Congress-CPN (UML)-led group are engaged in a daily war of accusations against each other. The so-called big parties have made a catalogue of promises innumerable times since seven years and not being able to fulfill even one. All the four prime ministers “elected” when the Constituent Assembly was in operation, including the questionable extension of the body’s original mandate of two years to four years in the ultimate run, Madhav Kumar Nepal made it to the post through the back door. Having lost the election from two constituencies, he made a big show of his sense of responsibility by announcing resignation as the UML’s general secretary, a post he had held for 16 years and was, in any case, coming to a close in the impending general convention scheduled a few months later in Butwal where a new mechanism for electing an executive president was introduced. Jhala Nath Khanal then got elected as the party’s highest post now invested in the president instead of general secretary. However, the former UML general secretary allowed himself to be tempted to have one of his party’s representatives at the Constituent Assembly to resign and he himself entered the parliament through the vacant seat reserved for his party on the basis of the proportionate system. The man whose resignation enabled his senior to enter parliament was rewarded with an ambassadorship to a South Asian capital. Moreover, Madhav Kumar Nepal he went on to head the constitution drafting committee, which of a height of irony when recalled that he was in the chorus that described the 1990 constitution as “the best” in the world. Drafting the constitution, in principal, is a great assignment. Someone heading the committee should have felt a great honor for the task. The UML leader did not think so. He craved for the prime minister’s chair and, soon enough, he jumped at the first opportunity. He abandoned the committee chairmanship and landed himself in the premier’s chair, only to be described by his own party president as a “failure” in six months. Jhala Nath Khanal stepped in as the prime minister but to suffer a fate worse than that of his predecessor. Maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal, as the first elected prime minister of loktanrik Nepal in 2008, simply could not cope with the enormous prestige the job carried and the gargantuan promises he had made welling up huge expectations across the country. As a Nepali adage goes, a dunce falls once and the clever falls ten times, Dahal the novice in matters of statecraft resigned in haste on the issue of his failed bid to sack the army chief Rookmangud Katawal and has been regretting in great leisure for four years. However, criticisms against the Maoist leaders by the NC and UML do not carry any weight or conviction. Their credibility has receded so fast that they are worried that they might suffer a worse fate at the battle of the ballot than the one they underwent five years ago. They willingly became the strange bedfellows in November 2005 when they signed the Delhi-drafted agreement with the Maoists in the Indian capital. Now they want to forget that they ever were the passive bed partners, pretending to forget that you harvest as per what you have sown. nnnn

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