EDITORIAL

Feelings speak

The state visit by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav to India is very important from various aspects. It is the first state visit by the Head of State of Nepal to a foreign country since it was declared a federal republic. This shows the new standing of Nepal in the international arena and has also added to the stature of the nation. That India happens to be the first foreign country visited by the Nepalese Head of State highlights the close ties so happily subsisting between the two neighboring countries. This visit has further consolidated the relationship between the two countries with the inking of an agreement and three memorandums of understanding. This took place in the presence of the Nepalese President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. The new agreement that has been reached has sought to increase air seats from 6,000 per week to 30,000. This would be a milestone and further enhance the cordial relationship also at the people to people level and serve as a catalyst for the development of tourism and other such developmental and economic activities. The memorandums that were signed are for the development of railway infrastructure at five border points and also for the development of Nepal Bharat Maitri Polytechnic at Hetauda and also for the establishment of Nepal Bharat Maitri Sabha Griha at Birgunj.

Besides, India is also to provide Nepal loan assistance for the conduct of various development projects leaving it to the government of Nepal to utilize them as it sees fit. India is now one of the fastest growing economic powerhouse at present, and Nepal stands to benefit immensely through collaboration at both the government and private levels in the coming years. Nepal would welcome Indian investment and as things stands Indian entrepreneurs have already shown their keen interests in making investments in Nepal in such ventures as the hydro power sector that would benefit both the countries. Apart from this, the visit has afforded the Indian side to get acquainted with the latest political developments in Nepal. Nepal as we know is now engrossed in bringing the peace process to a logical conclusion and also the writing of the constitution and in is in a difficult transient period. As friends, both Nepal and India wish each other well and, therefore, India's concern for the welfare of Nepal and the Nepalese people can be seen from this light.

Incidentally, this state visit is to be taken as a goodwill visit and Nepal and the Nepalese people are very touched by the warm welcome accorded to the Nepalese President. This visit has accorded the Nepalese President the opportunity to meet many important political leaders of India and also to exchange views on further enhancing the bilateral ties between the two countries. The visit has been successful in many aspects and has gone very well. Thus, this visit should be taken positively as it has succeeded in taking the relationship between the two countries to newer heights. Therefore, this state visit should be regarded as being successful in furthering the traditional friendly ties between Nepal and India.

Blaze woes

The dry season every year invites blazes, mostly through the carelessness of people themselves, that result in loss of millions of rupees in

damages turning houses and buildings to ashes besides the loss of lives. It leaves the victims in a

miserable state with life's earnings lost, and a life

that has to further endure a dismal future. Only

if there is more awareness by resorting to precautionary measures particularly during the fire prone

seasons, it would augur well for all. As it goes, a

small burning matchstick thrown carelessly is enough to destroy the whole forest. Hence, the preparedness level against fire hazards has to be upgraded to meet the challenges when it comes to bring an accidental fire under control.

In this respect, among the many blazes in the

past few weeks, the recent one in Ilam suspected to have started because of a short circuit in one of the houses caused much damage. News from Nuwakot also is sad. As the days progress to drier days, such incidence will go on increasing. And

the back up for fighting fire, unfortunately, is minimal, even in Kathmandu valley. The first task is to do with preventing the destructive fires, and the next is to strengthen the fire fighting machinery in all the cities and villages.