Unrealistic promises:

Political leaders, especially top-ranking ones, should be careful about what they promise to the people. They should consider the possible consequences of their public statements before speaking anything to please their constituencies, particularly at this critical phase the country is going through. All parties are guilty of empty promises. They should not make promises they cannot fulfil or make impossible demands on other political parties or the government. These leaders should not forget what happened because of empty promises they made to the people after the 1990 Jana Andolan. Now, some of them have said they will “make Nepal a Switzerland in five years’ time”. If they can keep the country peaceful, united and poverty-free they will have done enough.

Madhav Karki, via e-mail

Nepalis in US :

A discussion programme, “Key Challenges for the Nepali Immigrant Community”, which is being organised on January 27 with the help of George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, seeks to identify the key characteristics and areas of services the recent Nepali immigrants to the US need. To this end, COMMITTED, a non-profit organisation, aims to work in the areas of health care, basic social service and other areas of

social needs. It follows the model of community-oriented primary care, which takes a systematic approach to the problems of a community by using the input of the community. Thus, focus group discussions are being held, starting with the Nepali community leaders. This organisation hopes to characterise the community by collecting information on demographics, health characteristics, socio-economic status, as well as the needs and present-day resources at their disposal.

COMMITTED, Woodbridge, Virginia, USA

New Nepal :

The interim constitution should serve as a stepping stone to building a New Nepal. Maybe, Nepalis will finally have something besides Gautam Buddha and Mt. Everest to be proud of.

Bivek Dhakal, Classic College

Historic day:

Monday was a historic day for Nepal as it marked the dissolution of the old House of Representatives and the formation of the interim parliament including the Maoists. People have placed high hopes on the new legislature for building a New Nepal. The day also marked the end of an era of dirty politics following the 1990 people’s movement.

Shiva Neupane, Golfutar, Kathmandu

Learn lessons:

The Maoists have become a part of the interim legislature and they will soon join an interim government. If they want to bring real power to the people as they claim, they should take particular care that they will not repeat the past mistakes of the ‘mainstream’ political parties. The parliamentary parties indulged in corruption, nepotism and favouritism — all in the name of the poor. Pro-people policies should be adopted and corruption should not be tolerated. Only then will the dream of building a New Nepal become a reality.

Rupesh R Khanal, Changu-8, Bhaktapur