LETTERS: Political donations
Apropos of the interview with business honchos “Donation collection has to be based on mutual cooperation - Bhawani Rana (THT, November 20, Page 11), what exactly is mutual co-operation? Does it mean quid pro quo like, ‘I give you donation now and you pay me back later with pregnant opportunities’? Is this what it is?
Neither is it a good idea to legalize donations as suggested by a CNI honcho. Donation is basically extortion. In any case traders who complain about donation of a few thousand rupees during ‘Deusi bhailo’ might be uneasy with demands for hundreds of thousands or millions in legal donations.
A few million donations will not suffice to catapult politicians into the stratosphere of power. They would need mountains of donations to win elections and form a government. Therefore, the best way to raise money for political battles will be through membership of local billionaire traders in the parties.
Many politicians today are into trade either singly or in clandestine proxy partnership with traders. They too can donate to their own respective parties and for their own rights. Politicians can also raise funds through programmes as in the US. It might not be very fruitful for the traders to walk into politics. If it was so we would have seen super duper Indian Forbes dollar billionaire Ambani as finance minister of India instead of a lawyer. On the contrary, politics can be a liability to traders as the former richest Russian Mikhail Khodorkovsky found out after spending a decade in jail. Or some princes, including one of the richest men, Talal, who probably already have a few cents invested in a hotel or two in Nepal, are discovering now by enjoying exclusive ‘hospitality’ in luxurious Ritz Carlton. If politicians could change laws at will, Forbes’ 100-billion-dollar man, Jeff, and others like Ambani, Carlos Slim, Jack Ma and Masayoshi Son San would have done this already. However, traders can only lobby for various concessions as per their needs and liking. Lobbing, too, can have a boomerang effect when the going gets tough. Traders would do well to focus on their trade rather than spread themselves into politics.
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
This is in reference to the recent news story ‘’Olympian Judoka scales Ama Dablam in six days’’.
Austrian Judoka Sabrina Filzmoser, 37, who won the Grand Slam in Paris twice successfully, scaled Mt. Ama Dablam in six days. Mingma David Sherpa, managing director at Himalayan Ski Trek, informed Sabrina successfully stood atop the peak on November 23.
The reigning European Championships silver medalist was followed by none other than Sherpa as her helper. She is the same climber who scaled Island Peak (6,189 m) in 2013 before her current ascent of one of the important peaks of the world, and she is a strong supporter of ‘Judo for Peace’ project.
Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar