Crossing the line
Apropos of the editorial “Monitoring Observers” (THT, April 4), with more than 60,000 observers, including nearly 1,000 foreigners, monitoring electoral activities — and in absence of a proper system to oversee their movements — unwanted influence of vested interests in Nepal’s political process cannot be ruled out. Nepal’s large chunk of development budget comes from its “international friends”.
Besides, the government and numerous Nepali organisations receive foreign aid for many other purposes. But that fact does not mean that we Nepalis should allow foreigners to meddle in the country’s internal affairs.
Political unrest and enmity among the three big political parties have only made matters worse, providing ample space for unwanted elements to thrive. Therefore, solidarity among the major political stakeholders is the key to ensuring free and peaceful polls.
Sasi Bhusan Gurung,
Eves in, too
It is welcome news that two female Muslim candidates are contesting election from Banke district, “Two Muslim women in poll fray in Banke” (THT, April 4). The two brave ladies, Momina Khatun of Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal and Meen Shesh of Smajbadi Prajatantrik Janata Party, are examples of what women can do if they take the initiative. The majority of Muslim women are confined to their homes in Islamic countries but they are openly campaigning for polls in Nepal. With the country now declared a secular state and old
hierarchies crumbling, more and more people should join mainstream politics.
It has come to light that political parties are using children for campaigning purposes. The children are reportedly being instructed to speak out against rival parties and carry out petty tasks at political events.
Involvement of children in campaigning is against the electoral code of conduct. Even with no specification in the election rulebook, the parties should have known better. The commitment of political parties to uphold the rights of women, children and other minorities rings hollow in light of such developments.
It is hard to understand the reaction of international community against the alleged rights violations of Tibetan protestors by Chinese authorities vis-à-vis the Beijing Olympics.
Irrespective of whether the Chinese authorities have been just to the Tibetans , linking the unrest with the Olympics is uncalled for and goes against the spirit of the Olympic movement. Let us imagine for a moment the Games were being held in New York or Los Angeles. Would any member of the international community consider boycotting the Games because of the
misguided US policy in Iraq? Would any member of the ‘civilised world’ dare to pull out, citing the torture of prisoners at Abu Gharib and Gitmo? In Nepal too, Western monitors seem more
concerned about furthering their own agenda in the name of poll monitoring. This self-righteous attitude of the developed world is what still antagonises the majority in the developing world.