Between the lines

The duration between Vijaya Dashami and Tihar festivals had been highlighted by the leaders of the major parties to usher in a new equation to set the political impasse right. However, the readings do not in any way hint at an appropriate way out. In all this, the UCPN (M) was most conspicuous by its declaration that after Tihar they would go for the so-called third people’s movement. This had set minds thinking as to the intentions of the Maoists. Analysis shows that the time is not right for them to go

for this sort of rhetoric, except that it can lead to a feedback of the people’s frame of mind. Now,

with UCPN (M) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal back

from a week-long visit to China, the expectations are that the political arena will become frenetic. In all this, however, Dahal’s mellowed tone offers some

insight as to how the Maoists’ stance may undergo change though the demands remain as before.

The somewhat positive tone may be a ploy to get the leaders of the Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) in line with the Maoists’ desire. It is still unpredictable how the top leadership of the major parties will make a move now that the holidays are over. But, reading by the signs the dilly-dallying may continue unless a middle path can be found to the satisfaction of the three major parties concerned.

It is yet too early to fathom the reason for the toning down of the voice for another movement. The repetition of the movement threat after Tihar seems to have been for public consumption rather than anything else. Whatever that may be, it is high time that the House stalemate was resolved. With over five months wasted on futile juggling by the Maoists, the interests of the nation and the people are being put at stake with petty partisan issues dominating the scene. More than anything, even the joint resolution that was envisaged as paving for the Legislature Parliament to resume business as usual has hit a roadblock. Moreover, with the top leaders of NC, UML and UCPN (M) evading each other as far as possible an agreement at the earliest would be unbelievable. For a start, the Maoists would not be willing to go back on their demands, while NC has its own stance of not raising the President’s

move regarding the then CoAS in the parliament. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar

Nepal is hard-pressed in trying to persuade the consensus among the three parties that will end many anomalies. The race against time is evident in that, among others, the budget for the fiscal year 2009/10 has been left languishing lacking the approval following requisite discussions.

The biggest victims of the stand-off have been the statute drafting task and the peace process. It strikes the mind that more than the two urgent tasks at hand, the Maoists are bent on upholding “civilian supremacy” as per their definition. The wrangling arisen has seen the country’s forward movement for the new constitution to be drafted and promulgated in very deep trouble. With less than seven months remaining for the statute to be readied, the progress has to be taken with a pinch of salt. The tired minds of the people want soothing news to fill the air, rather than threats and inconclusiveness at every corner.

No drops to drink

Kathmanduites who get adequate supply of drinking water can consider themselves fortunate. As it is, most taps have been dry for a long time now. However, what is a matter of immense concern is that the drinking water being supplied is unsafe. This is said to be contaminated by dangerous chemicals, viruses and bacteria. This is nothing new for most the valley denizens, but at risk are those who use it for drinking purposes without properly treating it. One would expect the suppliers of the drinking water to be more responsible. Surely, they must be aware of this and despite knowing it they are supplying untreated water for drinking purposes.

Since this is a matter of public health, the health authorities should step in and prohibit the distribution of such adulterated water. For it is the poor who mostly are victims and fall sick from drinking untreated water, and only a small percentage of the valley’s population have access to safe drinking water, they should act promptly. In the mean time, the public must be made aware about the hazards of drinking untreated water, and how to treat it so that it can be made safe for drinking purposes.