Everybody knows that refugees languishing in the camps of Jhapa and Morang have been living a miserable life for the past 15 years. Although several rounds of negotiations were held between Nepal and Bhutan, no concrete solution has emerged. At the request of Nepal, Bhutan agreed to the verification process. Accordingly, Khudunabari camp was verified which legalised nearly all refugees at the camp as bona fide citizens of Bhutan. But the delay in repatriation process is still enigmatic. Both sides engaged in futile talks, but Nepal never wished to involve either the refugee representatives or the representatives of the international community in the verification process. It seems that the negotiations and verification were just held to mislead the refugees and the international community. The failures of bilateral talks show that Nepal needs to take concrete steps to solve the crisis. All hopes are now on the all-party lokatantrik government, which must not forget that the crisis has turned into a protracted one due to the untold negligence and insincerity of the previous governments. As soon as Nepal’s internal crises are settled, it should initiate talks to return the verified refugees of Khudunabari camp, restart verification in other camps, or even address the crisis in the international arena. Otherwise the refugee crisis would continue to be an additional burden on Nepal.
Yuva Raj Baral, Jhapa
The people have gained back their lost freedom after a hard struggle. But it all depends on the parties and its leaders now how they take advantage of the opportunity. Past experience shows that the leaders did not follow a set system of rules and regulations to govern the country, instead they ruled at will. Though many development policies were formulated, implementation was poor. So in order to build a new and prosperous Nepal, it is important that the new government first set a system of rules. There should be accountability and transparency, and the violators should be punished.
Akesh Jaiswal, Shanker
Dev Campus Scepticism:
I am sceptical whether the constituent assembly would be able to reflect the real aspirations of the people. The Maoists have explicitly said that they will not settle for ceremonial monarchy even if the people want it. This means that whatever the rebels want and say the people are forced to believe and accept. The question of monarchy or republic should be left to the people and no one political force can impose their ideology on the people. We don’t want a totalitarian regime emerging after some years. In this context, the view of some that the parties should not trust the Maoists totally is valid.
Neeraj Ojha, Kathmandu
Quality education is the need of the hour. Violence and bandhs have shattered the education system. Many children have been deprived of their right to education because of instability. Now that the people’s movement has ended and the Maoists have declared a ceasefire, it is hoped that the classes would function smoothly.
Shiva Neupane and Priya Khanal, Syangja