Downsizing the army
This is in reference to the letter “Way out” (THT, Oct 23). Following Nepal’s proposal for being declared a ‘Zone of Peace’ during the Panchayat period, a majority of Nepalis believed the Royal Nepal Army to be mostly an unnecessary institution. However, following Maoist insurgency, the necessity of the Nepal Army was once more felt. There are lessons that Nepalis can learn from Sri Lanka’s past. In April 1971, the Janata Vimukti Peramuna (JVP) started an armed revolt in the island nation. The newly elected Bandaranaike government was ill-prepared to face the Marxist youth rebellion that claimed 15,000 lives, as the Sri Lankan Army was small and had no combat experience. The government was then compelled to ask for military assistance from India.
The peace process has not yet been completed in Nepal, as doubts remain. Therefore, the Nepal Army is still required to face any unexpected crisis. PM Prachanda’s statement that 20,000 army fighters would be sufficient for Nepal is not right, as it would weaken the nation’s army, and Nepal might be in trouble if a major crisis broke out requiring the
services of the army.
Neeraj Chandra Roy, Chennai, India
I appreciate the concern of the US government for continuously supporting Nepal’s development efforts, this time offering nearly Rs 3.3 billion (US$42 milion) in development aid. I believe Nepal will gradually be able to overcome difficulties of the transition phase.
Recently in Washington DC, Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai pledged to uphold Nepal’s democratic standing globally while guaranteeing equal democratic opportunities for all Nepalis. Nepalis would like to see this happen through closer networking of the donor community, government and direct involvement of the stakeholders.
Surya B Prasai, Maryland, USA
The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has time and again promised to bring down the prices of petroleum products in accordance with the reduction of oil price internationally. However, it seems reluctant to review the price even as the price of oil has gone down internationally. This is unfair.
Deepak Shrestha, via e-mail
It is disturbing that only 29 out of 594 CA members were present at the CA session the other day. It is possible that the low turnout has been due to the dual responsibility of the CA, leading to confusion among its members. Some members are learnt to have complained about ‘lack of work’. To remove confusion, I suggest that the main body of the CA be split into two groups: CA members directly elected through FPTP system and those through the proportional system (PR). Let the FPTP group constitute the “CA-Legislative Assembly” and the combined group of FPTP as well as those elected through PR, the ‘actual CA’.
The biggest advantage of this division will be that the members indirectly elected will have no say in legislative affairs. As a result, they will not expect to hold high executive positions. They can thus concentrate on the task of constitution drafting. Moreover, the Speaker will have a much easier time to steer both the Legislature-Parliament and the constitution-making body.
Adarsha Tuladhar, via e-mail