THT 10 YEARS AGO: Thousands of villagers gherao Dipayal headquarters

Dipayal, November 22, 2005

To press the government to reciprocate truce and conduct peace talks with the Maoists, up to 8,000 villagers of Doti district gheraoed Dipayal-based regional headquarters as well as district administration office headquarters of far-west region for over an hour today. Though local administration had alerted security personnel at all entrance points not to let the villagers enter the regional headquarters, the villagers from almost all village development committees of Doti district managed to gather at Dipayal before 8 am. The police, however, blocked over 1,500 civilians at Chhapali, Girichauka, Dahkalikasthan, Daud, Bajhakkani and Mahadevsthan near the Airport Bazaar, according to a protester. More than 3,000 people from Jorayal area, Mudbhara, Banlekh, Latamandau and Tijali village development committees of Doti were stranded at Rampur Abeaule. While those coming from the southern part of Doti have been detained at Ratamata and Kaplleki of Dipayal municipality. Dal Bahadur Bohara of Toleli VDC told THT that the villagers have formed a joint struggle committee to press the government to reciprocate truce and hold peace talks with the Maoists.

Weak institutions blamed for slow economic reform

Kathmandu, November 22, 2005

Despite economy liberalisation, it did not benefit to the larger good of people yet as the growth momentum could not continue after mid-1990s. Even after the restoration of democracy, growth rate could not be sustained due to lack of participatory approach and weak democratic institutions, a study conducted by a group of intellectuals, Dr Dilli Raj Khanal, Dr Pushpa Raj Rajkarnikar, Keshav Prasad Acharya and Dilli Ram Upreti, states. ‘Understanding Reforms in Nepal: Political Economy and Institutional Perspective’ is the assessment of major outcomes of reforms since 80s, which is published by the Institute for Policy Research and Development. The book focuses on the forces that led to initiation of reforms, its basic ingredients and how it was carried forward. It clearly states that the growth trend during mid-90s could not continue and did not turn out as an effective tool in reducing poverty, rather the gap between the haves and have-nots escalated further. The foreign exchange crisis emanating from financial chaos and burgeoning resource gap during and in the aftermath of 1979 referendum were the compelling factors leading to the initiation of the first phase of reforms (1985-1990). “While assessing the reform process, people’s participation was hardly seen,” states the book, “Sensitive decisions were made in an ad-hoc way that resulted in weak reforms.”