Open Sesame

Published On: August 23, 2016 12:35 AM NPT By: Republica

The long queues in front of the petrol pumps witnessed in the last few days have been reminiscent of the four-month-long border blockade last year. Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the government oil monopoly, blames the ‘long weekend’ for the new panic as three consecutive days of holiday meant that the Nepali oil depots that receive imports from India were closed.

Trilateral track

Published On: August 22, 2016 12:07 AM NPT By: Republica

With Chinese President Xi Jinping likely to visit Nepal in October, there is renewed hope that the deals that were signed between Nepal and China during then-Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s China visit back in March could finally be operational. Chief among these agreements was a landmark transit treaty that for the first time recognized Nepal’s right to trade with third countries through Chinese territories.

Deadly serious

Published On: August 20, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

Traffic police attribute 90 percent of road accidents in Nepal to transport syndicates. Nearly all the major road routes in the country are controlled by these syndicates, which are effectively running a parallel government. They bar the entry of new operators, forcing passengers into old buses and microbuses, where they are packed like well-stuffed bottles of gundruk. The bus accident in Kavre district that killed 27 people on Monday has also been attributed to a local syndicate.

Silent killers

Published On: August 18, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

The three months of monsoon wreak havoc with the lives of Nepalis. Monsoon floods and landslides claim hundreds of people every year. This is also the time for the spread of well-known infectious diseases like typhoid, cholera and malaria. Then there are the comparably lesser known diseases like Chikungunuya and Cahandipura viruses and scrub typhus to contend with. This monsoon, at least three people have died while 91 have been found infected by scrub typhus, new infections now reported from 22 different districts.

Good start

Published On: August 17, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

The issue of transitional justice is, in essence, part of a larger political process that started with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2006. With the promulgation of new constitution, the bulk of the peace and constitutional process was completed. Now if the issue of transitional justice can somehow be settled as well, the political actors in Nepal can credibly claim that they have achieved something remarkable: successfully mainstreaming a potent military outfit that had set out to establish ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’.

Holy smoke

Published On: August 16, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

The number of vehicles on the streets of Nepal continues to steadily increase, growing by an astonishing 43 percent in the fiscal 2015/16 as compared to 2014/15. This despite the fact that during the four months of the border blockade Nepal didn’t import a single vehicle. The rapid rise in vehicle imports in Nepal has been attributed primarily to three factors: lower interest on vehicle loans, rise in remittance after the blockade and improved state of motor roads all over Nepal.

What’s the rush?

Published On: August 15, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

With the deadline for the submission of the final report on the restructuring of local federal units set to expire on Tuesday, the commission has been working on a war-footing. Members of the commission have soldered on even as disagreements with the way they have gone about their business get louder.

Neighbors first

Published On: August 13, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

One of the major concerns over Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s second innings in Singha Durbar has been how his government will handle the relations with our immediate neighbors—China and India. There is some ground for this concern. Nepal’s relation with southern neighbor had hit new low after last year’s economic embargo and had led Nepal to sign trade and transit agreement with China. This move has been rightly hailed as a move towards diversifying country’s trade and lessening our one-country dependence.

Urgent need

Published On: August 11, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

The statistics of schools damaged by devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015 is staggering. According to Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report 8,242 schools were damaged by earthquakes. But even after one and half years of devastation hardly any of these schools have been rebuilt, forcing millions of school-goers to study under flimsy tents or the makeshift shelters made of zinc sheets.

Together we win

Published On: August 10, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica

That foreign employment is a mainstay of our economy is a truism. Migrant workers send home around one and half billion rupees on an average per day. Remittance contributes to around 30 percent of country’s GDP. Nepali brothers and sisters working abroad under the inhospitable conditions have prevented country’s economy from collapsing even during the most difficult times like devastating earthquakes and over four months of economic blockade last year.