EDITORIAL: Provide security

It is the responsibility of the government to provide security to all candidates and voters so that both can take part in the election without any fear

The Election Commission (EC) held a meeting with high level security officials Sunday to take stock of the overall security situation across the country in the run up to the November 26 and December 7 parliamentary and provincial elections. The EC had to call a meeting of the high level security officials after unidentified groups exploded Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) targeting CPN-M Centre leader and former finance minister Barshaman Pun and Minister without portfolio Janardan Sharma, also a CPN-M Centre leader, in their constituencies in Rolpa and Rukum from where they are contesting the parliamentary first-past-the-post election scheduled for November 26. The vehicles they were travelling in suffered minor damage. But the incident has raised serious concerns over the security situation during the election time. Chief EC Ayodhi Prasad Yadav has said that the EC has taken these two incidents very seriously and added that he is all set to raise this issue with the high-level security officials about maintaining security keeping in mind the upcoming elections. It will be premature to blame any of the groups for detonating the IED on the candidates canvassing in the election. Rolpa CDO Dijan Bhattarai has said his administration was investigating the incident.

It may be recalled that the Nepali Army had earlier assessed the overall security situation across the country and shared its vital information with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the National Security Council. The army had apprised them that the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN-Maoist was the main security threat, mainly in the mid-and far-western hilly regions where this group is active. Leaders of this group had also vowed that they would disrupt the upcoming elections. The Chand-led CPN-Maoist has officially decided to boycott and disrupt the elections. Meanwhile, the law enforcement agency has arrested eight persons of the Chand-led group after the twin incidents occurred in Rolpa and Rukum, the Maoist heartland during the insurgency.

It is the responsibility of the government to provide security to all candidates and voters so that both can take part in the election without any fears and threats of intimidation. Any kind of disturbances from any quarters during the elections will kill the very essence of democracy which is strengthened only through peaceful and periodic elections. On the other hand, the opposition parties should also not flare it up unnecessarily. CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has alleged that the twin bomb blasts in Rolpa and Rukum were a stage-managed. Such kind of allegations are very serious which is not expected from a high profile politician like the former prime minister who successfully held the first and second rounds of local level elections. But the government must be extra cautious and remain vigilant to quell possible attempts to thwart the elections. The government must mobilize all security wings across the country and act promptly based on the information it receives to thwart all activities aimed at disrupting the elections. Providing security to the candidates is the primary duty of the government. It will be easy for the government to provide security to all the candidates in all constituencies as the elections are being held in two phases.

Prevent blindness

Patients with diabetes have high risks of being afflicted with diabetic retinopathy. According to the sources at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology around 50 per cent of the patients visiting the hospital daily have this disease. About 100 people visit the hospital every day. This disease can cause blindness if not treated on time. The symptoms of the disease are loss of vision during the night, being unable to see distant objects and ultimately leading to blindness of around nine percent of diabetic retinopathy patients. Therefore, it is advisable for all patients, particularly those with diabetes, to frequently check their eyes. Ways to manage the sugar level in the blood should be adopted. There is need to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Doctors advice avoiding alcohol and smoking which also could cause diabetes. People should also avoid junk foods and exercise regularly in order to maintain their blood sugar level.   They should keep their body weight in check. Diabetes is at present a very serious health problem with many people aged 20 years and above contracting the disease.