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Nepal

The 25 April earthquake and its aftershocks was a major geological and social event in Nepal's history. It should also be a turning point in country's political evolution.

 

As one Nepali proverb goes, "dine ko hat mathi", the hands of donors are always on top (of receivers). This applies to current relief and rebuilding and reconstruction efforts in Nepal. Everyone is trying to help after the devastating quakes and over 200 aftershocks, killing more than 8,600 people and leaving 25,000 injured.

 

In the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake, a section of people have already started discussing if Nepal would repeat the fate of Haiti and become more vulnerable and poorer in the future. But given Nepal’s geographical position, its youth population and other factors, such a bleak outlook seems improbable.

 

As Constituent Assembly will meet today (there is no sign of meeting being postponed as of this writing), the Big Four parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN(Maoist) and Madheshi parties—have an opportunity and excuse to save their face by reaching a compromise solution on 'most contentious constitutional issues' and restore semblance of normalcy on political front as well.

 

Nepal has remained a “crisis country” for the international community and donors for nearly a decade now, given the uphill task of concluding the peace process, writing a constitution acceptable to multiple stakeholders, and bringing about order and stability.

 

Aiming to overcome turmoil in Nepal’s political landscape following the quake, the ruling coalition must project unity and common purpose and show planning and spending with competence and transparency. A substantial Indian contribution towards reconstruction can get the ball rolling

 

Political optimism in Nepal is a dangerous zone to walk in as it has never been rewarded with similar response from its actors. Two historic opportunities in the last twenty five years deviated from the audacity of hope to the sinkhole of sadness right before the eyes of a generation of Nepalis.

 

The devastating quake of April 25 killed more than 8,000 people and destroyed thousands of houses across the country, with 14 hill districts, including Gorkha, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Sindhupalchok, Kavre, and Dolakha, suffering the most.

 

One month after Great Earthquake ravaged the country resulting in death and displacement of thousands of people, government response is still slow, when it comes to reaching out to victims.

 

Ours is a strange country. There is no country in the world where an insignificant opposition party calls the shots or proposes bringing down government and that too at a time when all need to focus on nation-wide rebuilding. What is ludicrous is that the indecent proposal gets significant attention of some leaders of the ruling coalition itself.

 


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