The three months of monsoon wreak havoc with the lives of Nepalis. Monsoon floods and landslides claim hundreds of people every year. This is also the time for the spread of well-known infectious diseases like typhoid, cholera and malaria. Then there are the comparably lesser known diseases like Chikungunuya and Cahandipura viruses and scrub typhus to contend with. This monsoon, at least three people have died while 91 have been found infected by scrub typhus, new infections now reported from 22 different districts.
The issue of transitional justice is, in essence, part of a larger political process that started with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2006. With the promulgation of new constitution, the bulk of the peace and constitutional process was completed. Now if the issue of transitional justice can somehow be settled as well, the political actors in Nepal can credibly claim that they have achieved something remarkable: successfully mainstreaming a potent military outfit that had set out to establish ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’.
The number of vehicles on the streets of Nepal continues to steadily increase, growing by an astonishing 43 percent in the fiscal 2015/16 as compared to 2014/15. This despite the fact that during the four months of the border blockade Nepal didn’t import a single vehicle. The rapid rise in vehicle imports in Nepal has been attributed primarily to three factors: lower interest on vehicle loans, rise in remittance after the blockade and improved state of motor roads all over Nepal.
With the deadline for the submission of the final report on the restructuring of local federal units set to expire on Tuesday, the commission has been working on a war-footing. Members of the commission have soldered on even as disagreements with the way they have gone about their business get louder.
One of the major concerns over Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s second innings in Singha Durbar has been how his government will handle the relations with our immediate neighbors—China and India. There is some ground for this concern. Nepal’s relation with southern neighbor had hit new low after last year’s economic embargo and had led Nepal to sign trade and transit agreement with China. This move has been rightly hailed as a move towards diversifying country’s trade and lessening our one-country dependence.
The statistics of schools damaged by devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015 is staggering. According to Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report 8,242 schools were damaged by earthquakes. But even after one and half years of devastation hardly any of these schools have been rebuilt, forcing millions of school-goers to study under flimsy tents or the makeshift shelters made of zinc sheets.
That foreign employment is a mainstay of our economy is a truism. Migrant workers send home around one and half billion rupees on an average per day. Remittance contributes to around 30 percent of country’s GDP. Nepali brothers and sisters working abroad under the inhospitable conditions have prevented country’s economy from collapsing even during the most difficult times like devastating earthquakes and over four months of economic blockade last year.
Gaurika Singh, 13-year old Nepali swimmer, has been making headlines around the world. As the youngest swimmer at Rio Olympics 2016, she won her heats in 100m backstroke and made all of us proud. She has become a household name in Nepal today and she will continue to inspire girls and boys beyond our borders.
Dr Govinda KC of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital does not only represent the voice for much-needed reforms in country’s medical education sector, he is a person with a great heart and great conviction. He has been single-handedly fighting against the entrenched medical mafia by putting his life on the line for the last few years. During his eighth hunger strike about two weeks ago, attempts had been made by his opponents to project him in the negative light. They argued that Dr KC’s protest was directed against certain private medical colleges rather than for broader reforms.
It goes without saying that CPN Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has taken office amidst challenging circumstances. Madheshi and Janajati forces voted for him only after Nepali Congress and Maoist coalition agreed to their three-point demands that included declaring those killed during the Madhesh movement as martyrs, providing due compensation and free treatment to those injured in the movement and withdrawing “false cases” against cadres of Madheshi forces. They had also agreed to resolve number and delineation of provinces through constitution amendment “based on the consensus of political parties.” We sincerely hope that he will be able to build minimum required consensus among the parties to end over-one-year-long standoff between Kathmandu and Tarai Madhesh.