Reforms in SAARC

Madhav Shrestha’s article “Regional integration” (THT, April 6) highlights two most important tasks SAARC must undertake immediately: democratise the institution and introduce effective economic packages to combat endemic poverty in the region. I agree with Shrestha that the organisation needs timely reforms in consonance with people-friendly democratic principles and that only an economically viable SAARC backed by strong political will would achieve the objective of poverty alleviation.

But the idea of providing voting weightages to member states based on their political and economic status, a system which the author terms “modern,” seems unconvincing. Such a provision will arguably overcome difficulties arising from the current decision-making system that requires all members’ consensus. But if such a provision is made, smaller members will have even less say at the decision-making level. Such a system would also be undemocratic.

Nirmal Kafle, Birgunj

SLC leak

The incident of SLC question papers being sold in the open market was very sad. This kind of activity will boost unhealthy competition among students and dissuade serious students from studying hard. The authorities should ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future.

Shiva Neupane and Netra Aryal, Golfutar Water crunch With the scarcity of water in the Valley, people are being forced to consume unhygienic water from local hand pumps. This will surely spread water-borne diseases like typhoid, hepatitis and jaundice. When can the Valley residents expect to get clean drinking water?

Sabin Thapa, via e-mail


The story of Beate Vogt who helped set up the National Kidney Centre in Kathmandu, “With a heart of gold” (THT, April 7) was inspiring. I hope she is able to get all the funds she needs to help the kidney patients in Nepal.

Barun Bajracharya, Kuleshwor

Heart of gold

My heart was filled with deep respect for Beate Vogt on reading that she had become “the biggest beggar in Germany” while collecting funds for the kidney centre. It is a good thing that foreign aid should help Nepali patients. But it will be still better to ensure that the cost of the treatment of kidney disease, particularly dialysis, should also come down sufficiently to help poor patients. Now that she has decided to hand over the responsibility of running the centre to someone else, she will be sadly missed. She indeed has ‘a heart of gold.’

Ramesh Bhandari, via email

Miss Nepal

The Miss Nepal event has been criticised from some quarters since its inception 11 years ago. I cannot understand what these people are crying hoarse for. I heard one of the government ministers talk about the negative aspects of beauty pageants the other day. Everybody is talking about building a new and developed Nepal. For that people’s thinking should change first.

Birat Lama, via e-mail