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Nepal

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. 

 
Longtime Nepal resident Lisa Choegyal has teamed up with noted Indian outdoor photographer Sujoy Das to bring out a unique picture book on Nepal that is a deeply personal account of the country, and how it has changed their lives. Nepal Himalaya: A Journey through Time is exactly that — a story told in text and pictures of the lives and travels of two people through a country they have grown to love and cherish.  
 

In Nepal, many children enter into so-called love marriages to escape desperate situations at home. But while these are marriages of choice, activists warn the damage to girls’ prospects is as bad as if they had been forced to marry.

 
This wouldn’t have surprised the thousands of conflict victims who have waited for justice for over a decade since the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2006 between the mainstream parties and the Maoists, which formally ended the Nepalese civil war. The conflict victims’ quest for timely justice has since been repeatedly stymied, but they refuse to give up.  
 

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal embarks on a four-day visit to India this week (September 15-18). The visit will of course have show value, and will re-emphasise the “special relations” the two neighbours share — their common civilisation, culture, religion, and geographical proximity and the close relations people living across the border maintain. 

 
In a horrific preview of the terror to come, Maoist rebels chopped off the left hand of primary school teacher Narjit Basnet in Rukum in February 1996. Nepali Times  tracked down Basnet, and found him exactly where he has been for the last 20 years: teaching Grade 3 of Saraswati School in Musikot, still cradling his text book in the stub of his arm.  
 
The parliamentary International Relations and Labour Committee has done the right thing by instructing the Department of Foreign Employment to stop manpower agencies from sending security guards to foreign destinations for one month.  
 

The grievance-hearing mechanism was formed within the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), which means it is under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister who is briefed occasionally about the progress being made on addressing the people’s grievances related to various ministries, departments and offices directly related to the public.

 


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