Sectarian violence:

The recent skirmishes between Madhesis and Pahadiyas in several places in the Terai are the creation of the Maoists. The fire has been lit and it will spread. In the name of federalism, every ethnic group has started making demands that a state may be unable to fulfil in the interests of national unity and integrity. The issues of proper representation and empowerment have brought out the pent-up feelings of the disadvantaged groups. Violence is spreading in some parts of the Terai. Now, is it the turn of the hills to burn? Political leaders should therefore think twice about the likely implications of their actions.

Ram Bashyal, via e-mail

Next phase:

The restoration of peace following the Jana Andolan II has made the Nepalis hopeful about their future. Now, all should concentrate on nation-building. For that, the constituent assembly elections need to be held on time. The political leaders should sort out their differences and set common goals for cooperation and development.

Shiva Laudari, Rehdon college,Samakhusi


F Hunter and R N Sharma, in their article “This way of boosting Nepal’s exports” (THT, Dec. 29), present a convincing account for the backwardness of agriculture in Nepal. At the same time, both the government and the private sector should realise that the low level of industrial development lies behind the underdevelopment of the country. Therefore, industry should receive high priority. In order to improve agricultural yields, it is necessary to make sure that the farmers get the tools at subsidised prices. Attention should also be paid to transportation and marketing.

But financial institutions established for the development of agriculture have not addressed the real needs of the poorest farmers. It should also be realised that the private sector has an important role to play in agricultural development.

Bishnu Panday, Nawalparasi

Child rights:

As per the SAARC Human Rights Report 2006, Nepal was the most dangerous place for children in South Asia in 2005. It was not surprising. Though the government and I/NGOs have launched numerous programmes to improve the situation, the results are discouraging. Children are being denied access to education, health, entertainment, nutrition and peaceful environment. The news of recruitment of children into the Maoist army is deplorable as it constitutes a clear violation of their commitment. The number of children killed during the conflict shows that children’s rights were neglected by all concerned. This neglect is also reflected in the plight of street children in the Kathmandu Valley as well as of the children employed in hazardous jobs. The state of underage domestic servants is no better. Poverty is the main cause of this state of affairs. The lack of education and employment opportunities have added to the problem. Child abuse goes on unabated because most violators are confident that they can get away with it. On this front, much more needs to be done.

Madhab Regmi, Dhapasi, Kathmandu