Setback for tourism

Published On: January 26, 2020 11:06 AM NPT By: Republica

Two incidents of the past week in Nepal are deeply worrying for the prospects of tourism at a time when the country is celebrating Visit Nepal 2020 during which Nepal aims to bring in as many as two million tourists. Both incidents are related to death of tourists. On Friday, massive avalanche hit the Deurali area of Annapurna Rural Municipality-11 in Kaski leaving four South Korean nationals and three Nepalis missing.

Keep your promise

Published On: January 23, 2020 08:43 AM NPT By: Republica

When the sugarcane farmers from the Tarai plains came to Kathmandu with their legitimate demands around three weeks ago, there was almost nobody to listen to them. Only after media reports brought out the stories of injustice done to them—they had not been paid by the sugar mill owners for years—the public stood in their favor and mounted pressure on the government to address their demands.  The farmers braved the cold of Kathmandu and struggled for more than a week. Only then the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) signed a five-point deal with the agitating farmers.

Let women rise

Published On: January 22, 2020 10:07 AM NPT By: Republica

While tendering her resignation from the post of deputy speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday to pave the way for the election of the post of Speaker, Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe made a statement that should make all political parties reflect on why and how they have been failing to ensure adequate representation of women in top political as well as administrative posts. ‘Patriarchy in Nepal is more entrenched than even monarchy.  We could overthrow monarchy, we still need to struggle to overthrow patriarchy,’ she said, in a rather moving resignation speech.

Wrong pick

Published On: January 21, 2020 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica

Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has made a mockery of rule of law and justice, sent a troubling message and set a disturbing precedent by fielding Agni Prasad Sapkota for speaker of the House of Representatives. This is the decision that will have long-term repercussions in party’s image and is going to further erode credibility of the government. Agni Sapkota is a wrong choice for the prestigious post of the speaker for one big reason. He has been accused of murdering a schoolteacher in Kavrepalanchowk during the insurgency and the case against him is sub judice at the Supreme Court. Now the ruling NCP is poised to elevate the murder-accused to the post of the speaker. If he had been declared innocent by the court, it would be a different matter but NCP did not show patience to wait for the court’s decision.  Hearing in Sapokata’s case is scheduled for February 5.

What’s our preparation?

Published On: January 20, 2020 09:17 AM NPT By: Republica

Rather mysterious virus that has infected dozens of people in China has sent an alarm across Asia and beyond. At least two persons have already succumbed to this disease in China. The virus is said to have originated in central city of Wuhan in Hebei province.  Chinese scientists have identified the illness as a new strain of coronavirus, which belongs to the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Symptoms include fever and coughing to kidney failure.

Mockery of justice

Published On: January 19, 2020 09:22 AM NPT By: Republica

More than a decade after the end of armed insurgency, the country is yet to come to terms with the national trauma it unleashed.  Yes, the party and the leader who led the insurgency then are in the mainstream politics now and leading the government. Many of the works of peace process have been completed but the most pressing issue of resolution of cases of conflict era crimes—enforced disappearances, deaths, rapes and tortures, among others—are yet to be resolved. Victims of the conflict-era crimes are clamouring for justice but they have not been heard.

Nepali Congress, Unite

Published On: January 16, 2020 07:59 AM NPT By: Republica

The main opposition Nepali Congress has become a divided house once again. This is happening at a time when the country needs a united voice in the opposition front to check the government’s wrongdoings and to play the role of a constructive opposition. Division in Congress is troubling for both for parliamentary democracy and the party itself. Sadly, the cause of fresh conflict within the opposition party has been party president himself.

Safety concerns

Published On: January 15, 2020 08:44 AM NPT By: Republica

​Most gas stations in Kathmandu Valley are located in densely populated areas. A school building might stand right next to or just a few meters from a petrol station. We see shops and residential houses lying adjacent to petrol pumps.  This is not how it ought to be legally and practically but this is how it has been for many years.

Failing to spend

Published On: January 14, 2020 08:15 AM NPT By: Republica

When the government fails to speed up infrastructure development, it could mean three things. One, the government has not been able to manage fund for development, meaning there is little capital to spend. Two, the government has enough money to spend but it has no proper plans for the same. Three, the government has commitment for speeding up capital spending process but the procedural hurdles are way too many or our bureaucracy is too lethargic. But in either of three cases, it is the government or the people in the government who are responsible. Nepal’s story has been that, despite being a struggling economy, we somehow manage funds for development but we simply fail to spend. Here is the irony, the irony that is making the mockery of capacity of almost every government, of federal democratic Nepal that needs to be sorted out once and for all.

Reeks of misogyny

Published On: January 13, 2020 09:42 AM NPT By: Republica

The perennial delay, indecision and what now seems like brinkmanship of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) over the selection of candidate for the post of speaker of House of Representatives is troubling for many reasons. It reeks of misogyny too. It is already more than three months since the post fell vacant after the resignation of Krishna Bahadur Mahara over the charge of rape attempt in October last year.  To keep the lower house of parliament headless for over three months in itself is against the parliamentary practice.