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Inter-party negotiations

Though we support the voting process initiated by CA Chairman Subhash Nembang, we still believe there is enough room for negotiated settlement with opposition parties on important constitutional issues. Under no circumstances should the series of talks between the ruling and opposition alliances stop. Thus it is unfortunate that the opposition parties led by UCPN (Maoist) have categorically ruled out talks unless the government takes back its decision on the voting process.

The alliance also informed on Wednesday that it would boycott meetings of all CA and parliamentary committees. In this situation, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and the ruling alliance must keep up their effort to bring the opposition back to talks table. They must try to convince UCPN (Maoist) and Madheshi parties that initiation of voting does not in any way rule out the possibility of broad consensus. And it really doesn’t. Preparation of the questionnaire for voting in the CA is only the first of many steps towards new constitution, and the opposition’s help will be needed every step of the way.
End Of Maoists?
Biswas Baral
She was barely out of her teens. My young, image-conscious chat buddy, a product of one of the best schools in Kathmandu, always worried about her career. Now I think of it, she is easily one of the most ambitious women I know. Yet back in 2008 the hardcore individualist had done something uncharacteristic for someone of her age and upbringing. She had just voted for the Maoists, or more accurately, for its charismatic Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, her new ‘hero’.

When I met her over MSN that night, she could barely contain her excitement as the results of the first Constituent Assembly elections were starting to come in. “Prachanda will herald a new way of doing politics in Nepal!”, “He is the leader Nepal had been long waiting for!”, “He is a politician who made people like me think about politics for the very first time!”…she just would not stop gushing about Nepal’s very-own ‘Che Guevara’.
Infographics: History Of Fashion
Timeline guiding you through men’s fashion from 1600s to modern day
Vanishing Act
LPG cylinder shortage

The continuing shortage of LPG cylinders in Nepali markets is a great mystery that has so far evaded easy answers. Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the oil monopoly, says it has recently increased daily import of LPG cylinders, up from 40,000 a month ago to 70,000 today. The estimated daily national demand is around 56,000 cylinders. So where are the 14,000 missing cylinders? There could be several ways to explain this shortfall.

The Barauni refueling plant of Indian Oil Corporation, which supplies 70 percent of LPG used in Nepal, was closed for repairs for a fortnight earlier this month. This created an acute shortage in the market. But it’s been nearly three weeks since supplies from Barauni resumed, and yet there is an acute shortage of LPG. It would be easy to infer from this that LPG traders are creating artificial shortage by hoarding cylinders, which, according to anecdotal evidence, they have been selling at up to double the going rate of Rs 1,500 for a cylinder. But, interestingly, government market monitors have found that artificial hoarding has played ‘minimal’ role in the current shortage.
Missing Skepticism
Trailokya Raj Aryal
Nepali diplomacy

The tragedy of Nepali diplomacy is that it lacks healthy skepticism vis-à-vis neighbors. We seem to have forgotten the fact that all nations, including our neighbors are driven by their own national interests and that we need to critically analyze their overtures in the context of our national interests. We have failed to question, let alone answer, the reasons behind the newfound Chinese interests in Nepal. Naively, we have swallowed all the diplomatic rhetoric.

The analysts and specialists, for the reasons only known to them, are portraying China as a benign power and a concerned neighbor that wants nothing but economic growth and political stability in Nepal. Not dissimilar to this view is that it wants to portray itself as a reliable development partner to thwart anti-China (read, Free Tibet) activities emanating from Nepali soil. Then there are some who are optimistic about China making us a bridge to connect itself with India which will transform us without exactly explaining how. And we all went gaga when China announced to increase its development aid to us and we are included in its proposed New Silk Road initiative. To summarize, we are led to believe mistakenly that China wants us developed and that its only security concern is the probable rise of Free Tibet activities in Nepal. Let us not kid ourselves: The Chinese state is not that concerned with Free-Tibet activities emanating from Nepal and its reasons for appearing too friendly toward its impoverished neighbor has other security/strategic concerns.
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