Democracy cannot wait’

The editorial in The Himalayan Times on August 1 incorrectly characterises remarks I made in Dharan on July 30. Apparently based on a report in your newspaper on July 31, the editorial asserts that I “encouraged the political parties toward participation in the municipal polls to be conducted by a government which they do not recognise as legitimate.” The full text of my statement is available on our website at http://nepal.usembassy.gov. I encourage Nepalis to read it and see for themselves that the United States wants a peaceful, prosperous,

and democratic Nepal. That last part is crucial. Democracy means rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. Democracy therefore requires having elections eventually, but how and when those elections take place is a question for the people of Nepal to decide. I tried to make clear in my speech that the Palace needs to reach out to the parties now to begin the dialogue on how to achieve democracy in Nepal. I also stated that the parties need to respond, if the Palace reaches out. I added that if the parties are not satisfied with the

government’s proposals (including the offer of municipal elections) that does not mean dialogue cannot begin. The two sides must begin discussions to find a common path forward to functioning democracy. Reconciliation is urgent. Democracy cannot wait.

James F Moriarty, US Ambassador to Nepal

Good ideas

Jagadish Sharma’s article calling for ways to employ the youth in Nepal by (THT, July 26) was a worthwhile idea that may actually change the socio-economic structure in Nepal. The neighbouring Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar and West Bengal have for years found better ways of helping their people such as aiding them in overseas employment,

especially in the Middle East. Pakistan and Bangladesh have also been doing this for a long time. It helps them bolster their revenue through remittance. Authorities must moot ways to initiate certain courses in colleges that might actually encourage young men and women to lead a disciplined life as students in Indian colleges do by actively participating in the National Cadet Corps. Sharma has raised a very important issue and his ideas will have some answer to the unemployed citizens in Nepal. The National Planning Commission must solicit help from others and plan accordingly to fight the high rate of unemployment. The challenge lies in

implementing noble ideas like that of Sharma’s and others.

Rt. Major Fatya Badhur Pun, via e-mail

Human rights

Deterioration of human rights in Nepal has been a subject of major discourse among one and all. Amnesty International’s report on child abuse and children caught in the conflict vividly portrayed the reality as to how the Maoist rebels abused children or how the security personnel failed to do their duty in several cases. This is a matter of serious concern and both warring parties need to respect the freedom of children without which kids will be forced to grow up in difficult circumstances. But more than that, the State should assist those affected by the conflict by first preparing a list of the affected and helping them through rehabilitation and providing free education.

Keshav Baral, Jhapa