Apropos of the news story “Illicit capital flows in developing world as high as USD 3.5 trillion in 2014: GFI report” (THT, May 2, Page  11), this reminds me of a certain celebrated old man who, according to his own admission, had his legs in two boats, one in the royal  palace of former king Mahendra and another in a clandestine ‘democratic’ party. This chimera of a wise man preached that the grand beauty of democracy was that we had countless millionaires now compared to a handful in the past. He further added that the sources of the riches were not important as the fact that we have, among us, millionaires who not too long ago ran a decrepit motorcycle workshop or worked in a gold store or a carpet factory or a hotel reception or a travel agency or were simply hawkers. In Nepal’s case what is most surprising is that people enriched themselves in outlandish fashion within the period mentioned in the news which also happened to be our sacred political transitional phase when shady financial dealings and vendetta physical killings did not have to be accounted for. Was the mammoth illicit fund of 3.5 trillion dollars in the Third World in America’s mind when it recently announced, very wisely, its new policy to slash overseas aid? Mis-invoicing of trade, as mentioned in the news, seems to be a favorite modus operandi of our nouveau riche too in cheating taxes and hiding large transfers of money. Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu


Local polls This has reference to the news story “Special security arrangement for polls” (THT, May 1, Page 2). The local level poll are being held in two phases, the first in May 14 and the second in June 14. All four security agencies, namely the Nepali Army, Nepali Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department all are said to be fully prepared for conducting the polls in a free, fair and impartial manner. However, I have doubts for the second phase of election because the Madhes-based parties, especially the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal has said that it will not take part in the polls unless the constitution is amended. What I believe is that there is no relation between the local level polls and the constitution amendment. Two are totally different issues that cannot be linked with each other. Local level elections are being held to strengthen the grass-roots level of governance and democracy that had remained on the doormat for almost 20 years. People across the country are eager to take part in the election as it will help institutionalize the new constitution as well as create government at the local level with immense powers and responsibilities. Once the local level elections are held the local level bodies will serve the people at their door steps and the people will not have to go to the district headquarters to have their simple jobs done. Saroj Wagle, Bara