Maoists off the track
It must be frustrating for the CPN-Maoist leadership that whenever it spells out its plans for new Nepal, its sister organisations do something to throw cold water on its future plans. No sooner had Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai finished their speeches promising “economic miracle”, the Maoist-affiliated trade union forced the closure of Dabur Nepal factory in Birgunj.
After joining the government, CPN-Maoist has always maintained that it upholds individual rights and press freedom. But their actions hint otherwise.
When the widow of slain journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa filed a complaint with the police a few days ago, a local Maoist leader warned that a probe into the killing could invite an “unpleasant incident”, “Maoist leader warns against murder probe” (THT, Sept 3). YCL continues to engage in violent activities throughout the country, the latest being its clash with Youth Force activists in Dhankuta which resulted in a curfew there. The other day, Bhattarai thundered that if anyone tried to topple the Maoist-led government, the perpetrators would be finished. Similarly, despite Prime Minister Prachanda being ‘positive’ about Miss Nepal pageant, the Maoist-affiliated women bodies are hell-bent on thwarting the beauty
contest. They even took the law into their own hands by padlocking the offices of the sponsors and organisers. The Maoists are unlikely to win the hearts and minds of the people if they continue in this vein.
Surendra Chalise, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur
Miles to go
Although the cabinet has taken a full shape, the government’s performance thus far has not matched people’s expectations. To start with, the government should declare a moratorium on all kinds of strikes and protests and restrict ministers from attending unnecessary programmes. It should also demand of the ministers to identify key problem areas in each sector and design a framework to deal with them at the earliest.
Irrespective of the nature of the present coalition, the Prime Minister needs to assert his authority as the ‘real boss’ in the Cabinet, periodically monitor the performance of ministers, establish himself as the ‘moral standard bearer’ and wage a crusade against corruption. He should not yield to unnecessary political demands from coalition partners. People are
watching and expecting a lot from the CPN-Maoist. If its performance in the last coalition government headed by the NC is any yardstick, it still has a long way to go.
With the Maoists at the helm, common Nepalis are optimistic that the new government will herald peace and stability in the country.
However, the success of the Maoist-led coalition government will largely depend on how Prime Minister Prachanda employs his political acumen to bail the country out of its umpteen problems. First, the government should ensure that development activities are carried out evenly throughout the country.
Second, the new constitution should have special provisions for the empowerment of
underprivileged and downtrodden communities.
Paul Rai, Bhaktapur