Election violence

This is in reference to the news report “Bullets render poll scene bloody in Banke” (THT, March 20). Even as the poll date is approaching, the incidents of violence show no signs of abating. Only in the past couple of days, several election candidates have been shot at, beaten and intimidated, spoiling the election atmosphere. Unknown gangs have

escalated their criminal activities, to deter candidates from participating in the polls and create a sense of terror among the masses. This shows that the security agencies need to make their security arrangements tighter. If the government fails to maintain law and

order and bring an end to criminal activities aimed at disrupting the peace process, the results of April 10 Constituent Assembly polls are unlikely to be in the interest of

common Nepalis.

And what is cooking between Maoist supremo Prachanda and Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal, heretofore sworn enemies? I never believed they could see eye to eye let alone sit down for talks to resolve issues in a “peaceful” manner. If the meeting

was aimed at building mutual trust between Nepal Army and the Maoists, it augurs well for the country.

Manit Deokota, Ratopul, Kathmandu

Brain drain

I was surprised to see thousands of people queuing up outside Dashrath Stadium to

compete for jobs in South Korea. It made me realise the enormity of the problem of unemployment in Nepal. If the trend continues, it wouldn’t be long before all qualified manpower in Nepal left for foreign countries. In that case, building a New Nepal will

remain a pipedream.

Vibek Manandhar,

via e-mail


This is in reference to the news report “EU call to boycott Olympic opening” (THT, March 19). The president of the European Union parliament, Hans-Gert Pottering, has said that EU should

consider a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. For the first time in 49 years, the Olympics is creating a huge, but short, window of opportunity for Tibetans to globally highlight their plight and aspirations. But what exactly are Tibetans lobbying for? Their aspirations include one or all of these — the return of Tibetan land to an autonomous Tibetan government, freedom to practice Buddhism openly under Chinese rule, reinstatement of the Dalai Lama at the Potala Place and sharing power with the Chinese government, and the cessation of killing and repression of Tibetans.

Isn’t this the moment for all Tibetans, in exile as well as those in Tibet, to present a clear, united front with the Dalai Lama as their voice? Furthermore, it doesn’t

appear to me the right time for the Dalai Lama to step down as their political leader. But perhaps it is the right time to pull out and dust off the playbook of Gandhiji? Mahatma Gandhi successfully played non-violent ball with the British during the colonial times.

Could the freedom march of Tibetans from India to the border become the modern

equivalent of the famous Salt March? Here’s hoping that the Dalai Lama, glowing with his benevolent smile, will stand firmly in the global spotlight where Tibetan

religion meets Tibetan politics.

Cheryl Olson, via e-mail