There have been bids to form a national unity government as it is believed that such a government would be of help in delivering the constitution by the May 27 deadline. But, as things stand now, the major political parties, the UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the United Democratic Madhesi Front, even after agreeing to form a consensual government, have failed to give the formation of such a government the needed momentum. However, under no circumstances should such a government try to extend the stipulated deadline for the promulgation of the constitution as former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had mooted only last week. The Constituent Assembly (CA) has had enough time to write the constitution— more than four years—but all they have been doing so far is dilly dallying and pushing their partisan political interests, much to the dismay of the people who have by now virtually stopped believing that the constitution is possible from these political parties and leaders. What we find is that the political parties and their leaders stick adamantly to their stubborn stances and fail to accommodate their differing interests and views, without exercising the flexibility that is so essential for compromises to be made in the larger interest of the country and people. And, that is what has the constitution-drafting process stuck up.
Of course, the various political parties can have differing viewpoints and interests as can only be expected in a democracy, but it behooves on them to seek common ground on the contentious issues that are leading the negotiations to an impasse. As such, a consensus government could facilitate this demanding need whereby there would be a situation of give and take, preferably leading to a win-win situation for all the stakeholders. The daunting task that the political leaders face is trying to please everyone, which is next to impossible. This is why we may need a consensual government, as in the past the various governments could not reach an agreement. Like always, the Maoists try to negotiate seriously at the eleventh hour perhaps hoping that they would be in a stronger bargaining position.
Now, however, there is a ray of hope as the major political parties are close to an agreement on the contentious constitutional issues, namely federalism and forms of governance. They are also close to an agreement on amending Article 70 of the Interim Constitution, which shortens the various procedures for the ratification of the contentious constitutional issues in the CA. Again, having a consensus government alone is not the panacea to all the problems that are besetting the country, though for long this had been touted as such. Even as we see that the country will actually have a unity government, the hopes of the people should be high that their aspiration for an all encompassing statute will materialize. But, only if the political leaders mend their ways will the much-awaited constitution be ready for promulgation by the end of the CA’s latest extended tenure. This is the need of the hour and political leaders should not let the people down, again.
It is quite an encouraging piece of news that the tourist arrivals in April this year have seen an increase of 14.3 per cent over the same period last year. The tourists coming in by air have only been taken into consideration while those entering the country by land route are yet to be taken into account. This increment in arrivals shows that Nepal remains a prime tourist destination. That more visitors included Nepal in their itinerary is proof that the country still retains its charm. The country has been attractive for tourists with varied interests but adventure tourism remains high on the agenda. Moreover, mountain tourism and trekking too enlist many a mountaineers and others alike.
The statistics of those who arrived by air show that tourists from the South Asian region form the major chunk of those coming to Nepal. This is good news that the promotion and publicity of Nepal as a tourist destination in the South Asian countries have paid off to the delight of the tourism entrepreneurs in the country. It is also without doubt that the campaign of attracting a million tourists in 2011 is gradually on the course of becoming a reality albeit in 2012.