A stitch in time:

Apropos of the report “Juvenile benches in 12 district courts soon” (THT, Oct. 21), the new provision brings hope for youngsters in places like Banke and Surkhet who have suffered at the hands of adults.

Juvenile cases are not heard for many months in district courts because of an overload of cases. Besides, as daughters are seldom allowed to attend schools in romote areas, there is an urgent need to make education compulsory for children of both the sexes. The new benches are expected to help the psychologically ill and those denied justice.

Gita Pandey, Saraswati Campus, Thamel

Extortion:

This refers to your report “Maoists collecting entry fee from trekkers” (THT, Oct. 23). I would like to draw your attention to an important omission as regards the issuing of the Trekking Registration Certificate (TRC). You state in your report that trekkers will be able to purchase the required TRC from TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal) members for Rs. 250 per person. Earlier today, we spoke to the president of TAAN Western Regional Chapter, Pokhara, Sanjiv Thapa, who informed us that trekkers would have to buy a “package” from TAAN members to get the TRCs. This is nothing short of mafia-style extortion that will alienate tourists and have a negative impact on the fragile tourism industry. We are reconsidering our plans to stay in Nepal as we have no wish to be dictated to by a self-interested trade association such as TAAN.

Mark Wankowski, Suzanne Briant, UK tourists What next?

Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara speaks with a forked tongue. When he says the Maoists will continue their donation drive, he actually implies extortion. He even says that the Maoists are a parallel force to the government. If so, I wonder who the shadow PM is, Prachanda or Baburam? Both have been spotted flitting to and from the PM’s residence recently. Perhaps, to decide who would occupy Baluwatar next.

Aren’t the comrades having too much of a free run in the capital and aren’t they getting a bit too overambitious? I wonder what next lies in store for us Nepalis given the history of royal massacres, coups, octogenarian leaders becoming overactive, long-dead parliament coming to life again, and diehard Maoists talking of democracy and freedom.

Pukaar Jung, via e-mail

Good piece:

I hardly ever miss THT’s online edition, especially the Midway column. Alankar Khanal’s write-up “Money mania” (THT, Oct. 21) was really good. Khanal is right in urging the people to rise above petty materialistic interests and work for the alleviation of the suffering of all human beings.

Arun Bhattarai, Virginia, USA

Indifference:

Laxmi Prasad Devkota has left an indelible impression on Nepali literature that has been short of good writers since his death. This is the result of the indifference shown to budding writers. This is also because many people do not value literature highly in Nepal which is reflected in their attitude towards aspiring writers or poets.

Shiva Neupane, via e-mail