Deprived of refugee status:

When the people of southern and eastern Bhutan protested against the discriminatory Citizen Act imposed on them during the early 1990s, the royal government resorted to ethnic cleansing. The result was that thousands of Bhutanese have been forced to live in exile for over a decade now. While around one lakh people have been given refugee status by UNHCR, more than 25,000 are still deprived of this status. They are compelled to live a hard life in Bengal Duars and some districts of Nepal. They remain a neglected lot as UNHCR dismantled the screening camp in Kakarbhitta. They are struggling for their survival working as manual labourers. Why are they held ineligible for refugee status when they are victims of the same regime and from the same country? If not, where do they belong to? This issue needs to be seriously taken by UNHCR and Nepal.

UNHCR needs to install a screening camp as it did for over a lakh refugees in the past, as soon as possible, to ensure their right to refugee status.

Sumit Tamang, Jhapa

Air transport:

It is good that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has finally realised the need to upgrade the domestic airports of the country. According to the news “CAAN plans to make six airports shipshape,” published in THT on August 22, CAAN has already awarded the contract for upgrading the Dhangadi airport, which is in a pathetic state right now. However, while venturing on such a huge project, the authorities have to be prudent in their dealings. Nepal’s experience shows that all sorts of malpractices come with any government project. Since CAAN will be spending a huge sum of money on this project, it should have a good oversight system in place.

Bijay Giri, Kathmandu

Stop violence:

It is sad that the Maoists are brutally killing people in the name of “people’s war.” Torturing commoners, abducting school children and setting public transport on fire go against public interest. What are the rebels trying to prove? The reported torturing of several RNA soldiers in Pili was another example of how brutal the rebels can become. The Maoists as well as their student organisation should respect other people’s rights. The people will not respect those who achieve victory by force.

Mahesh Gelal, via e-mail


I am a regular reader of THT and fond of Rakesh Wadhwa’s write-ups that appear regularly in your newspaper. I liked his recent article titled “Jobs, jobs, jobs” in particular as it addressed the basic problem facing the majority of the Nepali youth — unemployment.

Mohit, via e-mail

Traffic lights:

It is shocking to see how irrational the pedestrians in this city have become. The people cross the roads from wherever they want and they do so even when the green light is on. The traffic lights installed at the intersections at Putalisadak, Singha Durbar, Thapathali, Baneswor and others need attention. The duration of the green light is so short that drivers can hardly pass through without having to wait for the signal, at least three times. The traffic police should do something soon about it.

Parag Piya, via e-mail