Irreparable loss :

The helicopter crash in Taplejung has shocked the nation as most of the 24 dead were experts in their professions, particularly in nature conservation, and others held high positions, including a minister of state.

Air safety has always been a much discussed issue in Nepal where air disasters are on the rise, particularly after the government opened up the sky to private companies.

The policy of privatisation cannot be considered wrong. But the lack of a proper monitoring system and absence of strict rules have resulted in a large number of accidents. The history of air crashes shows that most of them resulted from either human errors or bad weather.

Whatever the reason, the crash has dealt a heavy blow to the entire country by taking away some of her best sons. Our sympathies go to the bereaved families.

The authorities should take steps so that fatalities caused by human error can be checked if not eliminated.

Ambika Pandey, Chitwan

It’s cricket :

Watching the cricket tournament at which the West Indies, Australia and India played in Malaysia recently, I couldn’t help wondering when Nepal would be able to compete with the world’s best cricketing nations.

Though it is hard to choose between cricket and football, there is little doubt that it’s in cricket that Nepal has brighter prospects.

Football is played around the world while cricket is popular only in a handful of countries. It will be much harder for the Nepali national football team to quality for a top-flight tournament than it will be for our national cricket team.

Ram P Aryal, via e-mail

US hypocrisy :

Most country representatives in the recently concluded Non-Aligned summit in Havana, Cuba, vented their ire at the US, more specifically, at President Bush.

In his address to the United Nations recently, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez went so far as to call Bush a ‘devil’. And why not! Bush is solely responsible for the death of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq, the country he invaded on the pretext of destroying the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), which were, of course, never there in the first place.

I find it outrageous that Bush continues to justify his Iraq adventure in the name of exporting democracy. If he is serious about curbing terrorism, let him first denounce the despotic Saudi Arabian regime for its flagrant violation of human rights, suppression of press and

individual freedoms.

It is significant that 15 of the 19 hijackers on board the four planes on that fateful September 11 day five years ago were Saudi citizens.

Sunder Mani Baral,


Extortion :

A bunch of youths barged into my office recently and insisted on talking to our MD.

Later, I came to know that 15 such groups had already been to our office the same day. Most of them pleaded for money for their “philanthropic undertakings.”

In fact, such groups are fleecing people in the capital. Who knows where the money goes?

Ganesh Khaniya,

Min Bhawan