LETTERS

Where all the money goes

I was happy to read that Sir Edmund Hillary arrived in Nepal to attend the meeting of the ‘Himalayan Trust’ (THT, May 5) despite the New Zealand government issuing a travel warning.

Starting from the early 60s, Sir Edmund has helped build schools, hospitals, bridges, etc. to uplift the lives of the poor Sherpas of Solukhumbu. It was interesting to know that the first airstrip of Solukhumbu, which he helped build (world’s highest STOL airstrip built at 15,000ft), near Mt. Amadablam in 1961 cost a mere $900. He claims this to be the world’s

cheapest airstrip. Similarly, while building the airstrip in Lukla in 1964, he paid just over $2,000 for land and labour.

Since 2003, Sir Edmund has been sending $400,000 to the Himalayan Trust to run educational and health projects. Being a Solukhumbu native, I did not know this fact. I know that some money is meant for running a hospital and high school in Khunde. But we do not know where the rest of the money is spent? Several schools built by Sir Edmund no longer receive any support from the Trust and the quality of education there is not up to the mark. It would be better if Sir Edmund encouraged transparency and accountability in the Trust’s activities.

Dorji Sherpa, Santa Monica, CA, USA

Reforms

Justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi seems determined that his report on stir suppressors does not meet the fate of the Mallik Commission (THT, May 6). By the time Mallik Commission report was ready, the leaders then in power had lost the moral height necessary for prosecution.

The present leaders too, instead of focusing on populism, should look forward, plan and

implement major reforms to regain people’s trust. One such reform would be an

all-out devolution for the stakeholders’ empowerment as in the case of community forestry, which flourished even in the face of bad governance. With good devolution, we can replicate the success across all development sectors that are more meaningful than empty slogans.

Bihari Krishna Shrestha, Lalitpur

Unrealistic

This refers to the news “FNJ asks RNA to state its position on Press” published in THT on May 6. Although it is important to clarify the role of the press, it is unrealistic to expect the army to clarify its stand. The RNA is a government’s wing unlike political outfits and is accountable to the defence ministry. Thus, asking RNA to clarify its stand directly is unwise.

The statement should rather come from the defence ministry. There should be discussion in the defence council on the incident at Babar Mahal, where some RNA men manhandled a group of journalists on May 5.

Appropriate action must be taken against the guilty.

But army officials should not be made to give statements like politicians.

Gopal K Jha, Patan

Be careful

With the beginning of the new academic session, newspapers are flooded with admission

advertisements of various schools. However, the guardians should be careful, as there have

been cases of cheating in the past.

Suresh Bhatta, Kathmandu