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Nepal
Transitional justice is difficult because abuses that occur during a conflict are seldom properly investigated. At a time when there is a great risk of being targeted by a warring party, people don’t often don’t like to file complaints. Even if they try, police often resist accepting them, fearing retribution.  
 

The media and civil society that once influenced the behaviour of political leaders, especially during the period of radical changes after 2006, have become collaborators of half a dozen key political parties. This attitude has hurt them. People see them as part of a system that runs on vested interests.

 

In Nepal, both the National Health Policy (2014) and the National Health Sector Strategy (2015) aim for universal coverage. But even though this is a noble goal, there have been no concrete actions. UHC is a political agenda. So there needs to be engagement of multiple stakeholders if Nepal is to achieve its set goal of universal coverage by 2030.

 
 
The name of the tree comes from two Sanskrit words, “Bodhi”, which means “to enlighten” and “Chitta”, which means “soul”. The Nepali indigenous Tamang communities call it Phrengba but in Tibet it is called Tenwa and in Chinese it is called Shu zhu.  
 

A silver lining in the murky politics of Nepal is an outgrowth of national consensus at common people’s level. It is actually the failure of the political parties to arrive at a political accord on big issues that has led to the people making their own decisions. Take the new constitution. The political leaders in the government cannot get the required number of votes in the parliament to make constitutional amendments as per the demands of the disgruntled actors in the Tarai.

 
Remittances also fuel imports of consumer goods such as motorcycles, smart phones and electrical appliances, mostly from India. Consumption accounted for an estimated 94.7% of GDP last fiscal year, according to the Asian Development Bank. Government coffers benefit from this through customs duties on imports, and from sales of passports to would-be migrants, which cost $100 each. The Passport Department earned $150 million from passport sales last fiscal year, amounting to between 2% and 3% of government revenues, according to Sujeev Shakya, founder of Beed Consult, a Nepal-based business advice group.  
 

Actors at the helm of Nepal’s political, peace and constitution-making process during the past one decade claim to believe in democracy. Though all of them are not Maoists or Communists, together and unanimously, they have formed a loose but powerful and centralised syndicate that overrules due process, good practices and conventions practiced elsewhere, and keeps many people away from the political process fearing it may lead to the collapse of “progressive politics”. That is the only reason Nepal’s constitution, which completed a year last week, has failed to acquire larger ownership.

 

After the bloodshed in the Tarai that followed the promulgation of the ‘fast track’ constitution last year left nearly 60 people and a dozen policemen dead, it is once more decision time. The onus is on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on his return from India to carry out a second amendment to the constitution to satisfy Madhesi and Janajati dissidents.

 

If there is one consistent narrative about Nepal over the last two decades, it must be about migration and remittances. Political and development activities in the country have always remained volatile.

 

On this note, let me identify which Nepali politicians share similarities with Trump, as every country has some political leaders like him and Nepal is not an exception. Several Nepali politicians come to my mind. First comes the Maoist leader (and current PM) Prachanda, whose populist slogan to turn Nepal into Switzerland is similar to Trump’s slogan to “make America great again!” The way Trump doubts and accuses other leaders, I will not be surprised if he gets inspired by Prachanda to reject the election result. 

 


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