Some leeway

Time is still not ripe to give opinion on whether some of the present indications point in the right direction. For the UCPN (Maoist), at least they have stalled the House proceedings for the past few days demanding Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal present the government stance on the rumoured arms import deal with India, the control measures initiated for the diarrhea epidemic, and other issues. To this end, Prime Minister Nepal addressed the House yesterday to clarify and explain the tick-marked topics. The overall aim has been to clear the hurdles created by the Maoist MPs to bring to a standstill the House activities related to the budget discussions, the statute writing task and the peace process agenda for the past few days. In fact, with the UCPN (Maoist) in the opposition, it has not been too kind on the smooth functioning of the House that is already running behind schedule on the mandated tasks at hand. There are trivial issues,not all, that are making it difficult for the proceedings to go as per schedule. Now that the Prime Minister has met the demand of the Maoists in this respect, the House proceedings have been given continuation.

A positive lining has been the meeting with President of Nepali Congress and former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of UCPN (Maoist) on Monday. It was a meeting with unprecedented significance in that crucial issues were discussed, as per reports. For Dahal to have taken time off his hectic routine in recent times to meet Koirala is not difficult to understand. Koirala remains a most influential leader and everyone has access to this mature and experienced leader. Besides the other recent issues, the main focus was for the Maoists to be a participant in the high level political mechanism that would include all the other parties represented in the Constituent Assembly. With Mr. Koirala making the request, and certain misconception cleared away, Dahal made clear hints that his party would join the high level committee. The said committee was not for running the government but to deal with the political problems of the country that is to cooperate with the UML-led government.

Prime Minister Nepal’s meeting with Mr. Koirala added another bright lining to the idea mooted to form the high level committee that was to focus on taking the peace process forward and also expedite the statute writing task, the two all significant agendas that the Constituent Assembly has as the mandate. With the Maoists giving the go-ahead hints, Prime Minister Nepal must be elated that a way could emerge that would make the government more credible and able to deliver as per the people’s expectation which has proved elusive till the present moment. The high level mechanism has to be all-encompassing and more result-oriented from a

consensus angle to be able to function the way the observers have been led to believe. The galvanization of the mechanism, once it is formed, in the right direction rests on all the representative parties, particularly the three major parties. The role of Mr. Koirala in all these activities has to be acknowledged as he still connects with all regardless of the respective party lines.

Save the dolphins

The dolphins in their natural habitat are a delight to watch. At one time many rivers of Nepal used to have a bountiful of dolphins. Now sightings of these exotic animals are rare with reports that many of the rivers which used to possess an abundant population of dolphins have none. The dwindling of the dolphin population, apart from environmental factors, are due to illegal killings of these. Thus, it comes as a welcome piece of news that the Nepal Tourism Board together with several other conservation organization and local bodies will be organizing the Dolphin Festival 2066 in Kailali district from today. This far-western district is famous for dolphins and the Monana river of this district in particular has a significant population of these.

This festival should attract people interested in dolphins and also those who love them for it is a touching experience to now view them in their natural habitat doing antics. This is one of the conservation efforts that is going on to save the dolphins from going extinct as they would likely do if the conservationists and related authorities do not intervene in time. Therefore, more such festivals should be organized for it would serve to raise awareness about the importance of saving these endangered mammals.