Harmful bus syndicates

Bus journey is an uncomfortable one because of the monopoly of bus syndicates. Although a

separate ministry is there to look into this, the authorities are mute when it comes to safety measures.

There is no fixed bus fare too. The fare is determined after examining the passenger’s speech, dress, location, etc. The passengers are not treated well and if one complains the bus employees often use abusive or discourteous language. The buses are driven

recklessly, causing frequent accidents. The buses stop unnecessarily and later they pick up speed to cover up for lost time. The buses stop at expensive hotels for which a fat share is paid to the driver, and perhaps to his company. These hotels often offer stale food. Is there no legal body that would probe and make the long bus services better?

Yuva Raj Baral, via e-mail


Ambassador Moriarty’s statement in support of Nepali democracy and human rights seems to be confusing. In Palpa recently, he urged the Maoists to come for negotiations. But now when the seven-party coalition and the Maoists are barely talking for peace, it appears he is not finding it acceptable. Recently, the US also sponsored, under the Carter Centre, some Nepali political parties’ representatives for a trip for peace-building. What it was meant for is unclear. Going by their statements in the press, it seems, they did not learn much there.

The late US president, Ronald Reagan, called Nepal a ‘direct neighbour’ on the other side of the globe.

President Bush too seems to realise Nepal’s geo-strategic and military significance. Can the US shun its neighbourhood responsibilities then?

One cannot forget ex-US ambassadors like Douglas Heck and Carlton S Coon who slept in Nepali shacks to understand our problems. The US must learn to use its resources prudently to get the right information on Nepal and support the right pro-democracy groups,

including the Maoists. A military solution is not possible. Why doesn’t the US embassy staff sit for the satyagraha being organised by human rights groups soon, the first-ever by human rights organisations in Nepal?

Archana Thapa, Naxal

Agenda items

The agenda of 13th SAARC summit does not include Bhutanese refugee issue. More than one lakh refugees in Nepal have been left stateless for 15 years but their problem is discussed in no regional or international forum.

It has been very clear from the past experience that Nepal has failed to find a lasting solution to the crisis. Most experts still see the need for India’s involvement to resolve the problem, whereas India wants to stay away from the issue as it feels this is a bilateral matter between Nepal and Bhutan.

If the summit could address bilateral issues like cross-border terrorism, why couldn’t the issue of Bhutanese refugees be included in its agenda? It is purely a regional problem and should be openly discussed at the regional level so as to arrive at a durable solution.

There should also be a provision for periodic monitoring of the human rights situation in Bhutan as serious violations continue to be committed there. Nepal must involve the

regional countries to pressurise Bhutan into respecting the rights of its citizens.

Tika Ram Ghimire,