Private sector urged to help solve conflict

Kathmandu, September 25:

People from legal and business sectors have have stressed that the Nepali private sector can contribute immensely in peace building initiatives, just like in South Africa.

At a book launching and interaction programme on ‘The Nepalese Private Sector: Waking up to Conflict’, ‘Local Business, Local Peace: The Peace building Potential of the Domestic Private Sector,’ Laxman Prasad Aryal, chairperson at Friends for Peace, stressed on the role of the business community in conflict resolution and its role in strengthening development during the post-conflict period in Nepal.

Aryal, who headed the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee (ICDC), was of the view that without resolving conflict and lasting peace, development would not be realised. He said that many people in the country are being exploited due to lack of social justice. Development is the permanent tool for conflict resolution, he added.

Aryal stressed that people who are involved in politics should understand the role of the economic sector in conflict resolution and achieve development at a desired level.

Padma Jyoti, president of National Business Initiative (NBI), speaking on ‘Nepali private sector: Waking up to conflict’, said that the long conflict in Nepal had a political motive that ran for over twelve years. During this period, economic issues have totally been ignored by the conflict that has resulted in pushing the Nepali economy close to the precipice. Jyoti said that the country regressed in development compared to all other countries in the region and the world.

He questioned whether it is possible to protect political gains and make progress while ignoring economic issues.

Pradeep Gyawali, minister for tourism, culture, and civil aviation acknowledged that the private sector faced various difficulties due to conflict. Nepal faces complex problems in which the private sector needs to take a hand and help in the peace building process, said Gyanwali.

He expressed concerns that there is an illusion among the private sector that autocracy can play a positive role in boosting business. He said that employers should also consider the poor condition of employees.

Ameet Dhakal, lead author of ‘Nepalese Private Sector: Waking up to Conflict’ made a presentation on various facets of the business sector and its role in peace building initiatives. Other speakers like Armin Hofmann, principal advisor GTZ-PSP/RUFIN, Nick Killick, manager business and peace building, International Alert also spoke at the function.