Ceasefire monitoring

Birendra P Mishra raises some important issues in his article “Peace process” (THT, June 7). In the absence of an effective body to monitor the implementation of the 25-point Ceasefire Code of Conduct signed between the erstwhile government and the Maoists on May 26, 2006, the date for the CA polls continues to be pushed back. Although the National Monitoring Committee for Ceasefire Code of Conduct (NMCC) was formed for the purpose, it couldn’t function independently and had to be dissolved.

An independent monitoring body is the need of the hour as the leaders seem to have forgotten the mandate of Jana Andolan II, which was the holding of free and fair CA polls at the earliest. All sections of the society should put pressure on the government to form an independent and effective monitoring committee as soon as possible.

Ramesh Bhandari, via e-mail

GED degree

I would like to clear some misinformation that appeared in the article, “US degree: Not a distant dream” (THT, June 6), regarding the General Education Development Diploma (GED) exam. The article inaccurately states that taking the exam will “greatly improve your chances of getting a student visa to the United States….” The exam, administered in Nepal by the US Educational Foundation (USEF), gives an opportunity to adults who could not complete high school to certify that they possess knowledge equivalent to that obtained from a

traditional high school education. Many who take the GED exam are preparing to enter a community college or four-year university. However, each and every applicant for a US student visa must demonstrate: 1) his/her ability to study, 2) his/her ability to pay for the

programme of study, 3) his/her genuine intent to study, and 4) his/her residency in Nepal to which she/he intends to return upon completion of the study programme.

Please also note that the GED exam, under US law, is “not” considered equivalent to completing the minimum 12 years of education required for the Diversity Visa (DV) programme. For accurate, reliable and unbiased information on studying in the US, please visit the US Education Foundation in Gyaneshwor. USEF is the only US government-affiliated

education centre in Nepal.

Peter Moran, Director, US Educational Foundation, Kathmandu

Act soon

The World Environment Day on June 5 was celebrated with much fanfare in Nepal. The political leaders gave lofty speeches about protection of the environment. But the country’s environmental status is only getting worse day by day. People living in the capital are especially unsafe because of the high level of pollution. Very few practical steps have been taken to fight pollution. Nor do the schools seem to teach their students the importance of reducing pollution. For instance, the schools do not take the students to polluted areas of the cities for the purpose.

Global warming is another major issue but it is hardly getting the attention it deserves in Nepal. The snow-caps in the Himalayas are melting and our glaciers might soon disappear. The country needs to take concrete measures to reduce environmental degradation without further delay.

Dwaipayan Regmi, Biratnagar