Maoist leaders’ kin off to China as quake victims!

Kathmandu, December 11

At a time when ordinary Nepalis are experiencing hardship due to border blockade in the Tarai, those wielding power are making the most of their exalted status even at the expense of those whose sufferings they are supposed to soothe.

Why else would Home Minister Shakti Basnet, who belongs to Unified CPN-Maoist, send relatives of UCPN-M leaders, including Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s grandchildren, and his daughters, in a trip to China meant for earthquake victims?

The team includes several relatives of UCPN-M leaders even from the districts that are not affected by the devastating April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks!

China had invited a 100-member team of youths in the age group of 15-30 years for an observation visit to earthquake affected regions Kunming and Chhendung of Sichuan Province.

According to Home Ministry, as many as 83 youths all of them were relatives of UCPN-M leaders and civil servants left for China today.

The team includes grandchildren of Dahal Smita Pradhan, Dristi KC, Sandhya KC and Pratima Pathak and home minister’s daughters Sangam and Babita Basnet.

UCPN-M central member Anjana Bishankhe’s daughter Swostika Bishankhe, Home Minister Basnet’s personal secretary Lalit Budha’s spouse Laxmi Giri and many other relatives of the Maoist leaders have left for a week-long visit. The list also includes relatives of the civil servants of the home ministry. The team will return on December 17.

UCPN-M leaders, however, have expressed dismay at the process to select the youths to visit China.

Although his grandchildren are on China trip, Dahal asked Home Minister Basnet why his grandchildren were included without informing him.

Sources said Dahal told Basnet not to do anything that could tarnish the image of the party.

Dahal’s Personal Secretary Chudamani Khadka also claimed that Dahal was kept in dark about the list.

Sources said Basnet had told Dahal that the list was prepared by the ministry based on the list sent by the chief district officers of the quake- affected districts.