Important omission

Your otherwise excellent editorial “Plains song (THT, Feb. 1), overlooks an important fact. The proposed Constituent Assembly (CA) elections were, from the very beginning, biased against the Terai, especially in terms of proportional representation. On top of the 205 seats to be directly elected, a further 204 would be elected on the basis of proportional representation, which favours the status quo.

What guarantee is there that the new constitution will be framed through “collaborative effort of eminent leaders, constitution scholars and informed citizens” and “fulfil political and socio-economic demands of all Nepalis” as suggested by Madhav Shrestha in his article “Constituent Assembly (THT, Jan. 31)?

If the CA polls go ahead without solid and open assurances and genuine understanding between the SPA-Maoist alliance and the leadership of the Madhesi stir, Aditya Man Shrestha’s gloomy forecasts in “Madhesi Uprising” (THT, Feb. 1) may come true. There seems to have emerged a consensus that it is the Maoist leadership which has been opposed to making any significant concessions to the now agitating Madhesis, despite Prachanda’s recent announcement that his party backed the Madhesi people’s demands for a democratic republic, federal system and proportional representation.

However, Prachanda’s threat “to quell violent activities by mobilising Nepali Army and People’s Liberation Army” “Prachanda backs Madhesi cause” (THT, Feb. 2), is unhelpful. Besides, according to the accord signed between the SPA alliance and his party, the Nepali Army is supposed to be confined to the barracks and the People’s Liberation Army to temporary camp until the CA polls are held. He also seems to forget the fact that the leadership of Madeshi People’s Right Forum and Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha consists of his ex-comrades-in-arms who are fully conversant with the fact that a people’s movement cannot be controlled by force alone.

Puran Agrawal, Ratopul

Hard choices

Even as Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala addressed the nation “for the last time (in his life)” to defuse the Madhesi problem, Aditya Man Shrestha, who unfortunately is mostly right as a doomsayer, was relentless in reminding him of his persistent incapability to solve the “volatile situation” in his article “Madhesi uprising” (THT, Feb. 1).

Since the present government and parliament are composed largely of politicians who no longer enjoy people’s trust because of their obsessive reliance on the barrel of the gun, it is time to look for options.

All the contending elements, both “ethnic autonomists” and majority caste groups should be brought together in a national conference to engage in the necessary give and take and to breathe a new life into our nation or break it up altogether as predicted by Shrestha.

Bihari Krishna Shrestha, Green Block, Patan

Right move

Apropos of the news “Save-rhino group’s bid to lock Park office” (THT, Feb. 3), it is good to know that some people are really serious about saving the rhino. It is high time stern action is taken against the corrupt officials at the Chitwan National Park office.

Pratima Shrestha, CDES, TU