The news “Bhutanese refugees selling quota kerosene illegally” by Kumar Luitel (published in THT on August 10) is a baseless allegation. The forests of the entire country would have been destroyed by now if the refugees were selling 1,000 litres of kerosene every day and if they had been using firewood illegally to cook food daily for the past 15 years, as mentioned in the news. It is ridiculous to say that they are illegally using the firewood for cooking purposes. The refugees are strictly forbidden to enter the forest areas. Instead, the local Nepalis, who are struggling for their daily bread and residing near the refugee camps, come to sell the firewood at the camps. A journalist like Luitel should have known this before writing his story blaming the refugees. It is only the refugees who know the actual pain of living in their present conditions. For example, they have had to live under plastic roofs desperately waiting to return home for more than 15 years.
Om Prakash and Bhakta Raj Giri, via e-mail
Jaya Raj Acharya’s thought provoking article “Nepal’s conflict” (THT, August 10) notwithstanding, why does India not figure in the writing as the most viable broker for ending the Maoist imbroglio in Nepal? The Nepali Maoist leadership being so easily accessible to Indian authorities (as revealed by recent media reports), Nepal and her western friends, mainly America and the UK, which have chosen to look at Nepal’s present imbroglio through Indian eyes, should be banking on our southern neighbour to help us out. As Henry Kissinger once observed about pressure being essential for negotiation, there is no other power on earth than India that can successfully and sufficiently exert pressure on the Maoists. Informally, everybody vociferates about it, and formally, there would at best be only an oblique reference as in Acharya’s write-up. Has not the time come for calling a spade a spade?
Bihari K Shrestha, Lalitpur
A couple of days ago I visited the emergency department of Koshi Zonal Hospital, where I was a medical officer about a year ago. Then the department was a stinking place. It used to be poorly lighted, crowded and had a foul smell coming from the toilets. One would find up to four patients lying on a rickety bed covered with dirty stained linens. In addition, the hospital lab used to be closed by 1 p.m. and the medical equipment was scarce. But to my surprise, this time everything was systematically functioning. The darkness, the foul smell, the dirt were all gone. The medicos could now give more time to patient care. The changes were really encouraging. The people of Biratnagar and and neighbouring areas must have breathed a deep sigh of relief by now.
Dr Bishow Shrestha, Dharan
The front-page photograph (THT, August 15) of an agitating student trying to throw a torch at the police during a protest programme organised by the student’s union at Ratna Rajya Campus was a good one. The picture has captured the true emotion of the student and it is contextual as well because there has been a lot of student uprisings in the country lately.
Gita Thapa, via e-mail