Give both sides:
Rakesh Wadhwa’s articles are interesting. His views on free trade are commendable. Free trade is a universal phenomenon. However, free trade is not by any means as flawless as the author makes it sound. One gets the impression that Nepal would take no time to become another Hong Kong if we were to fully believe in free trade policy and its advocates’ analysis. It would be better if Wadhwa brought out the negative side of free market economy as well so as to give a balanced view. This would also be useful for students like me who do not fully understand the concept of free trade. Meanwhile, the problem of unemployment that is often raised by Wadhwa is a very important matter. But I would like to remind him that while we talk of employment opportunities through free trade, one must keep in mind the condition of people outside Kathmandu too. Would it not hamper small and self-sustaining businesses of poor Nepalis? Wouldn’t local factories manufacturing soaps, handicrafts and other products completely close down if one could get more foreign goods at the same or even cheaper prices? There are a number of questions like these which need to be addressed.
Prasanna Basnet, via e-mail
The number of vehicles in Kathmandu is on the rise. The pedestrians face difficulty in crossing roads because of the heavy flow of traffic during office hours. The situation is made worse by the often non-functioning traffic lights and dirty overhead bridges. The best solution would be to build more underground railways to reduce pressure. If the authorities mull over this, it would be of immense relief to the public. As the prices of petroleum products have been hiked again, people are unable to afford taxis and buses. Thus subways would help a lot and prove to be more environment-friendly. At the same time, it would be easier, quicker and a good investment.
Prasanna Karki, Kathmandu University
The account provided by your reporter (THT, Aug 30) of my talk on ‘Nepal in Crisis’ was very garbled, and in places, misleading. One thing he did get right though was my view that the
resolution of the crisis requires unified action by the political parties, which must now urgently come up with a programme to re-establish their role as the representatives of the people, to promote the profound economic and social transformation so urgently required, and to ensure social justice and good governance.
David Seddon, Thamel
This refers to the news ‘Japan donates $1m to UNHCR’ published in THT on August 24. We must be thankful to the Japanese government and its people for this kindness. The money donated is directly going to benefit the Bhutanese refugees who have been languishing in the refugee camps of Nepal for more than a decade now. Every refugee will remember this
financial assistance. Besides, we also expect political and moral support from the government of Japan to resolve the outstanding refugee problem at the earliest.
Lok Nath Adhikari, Maharajgunj