Our Kind of People
blogdai has been thinking about candidates for our Nepal Advocacy Group (NAG). We don't necessarily need spotless puritans or political neophytes, just people who seem to be able to put their own needs behind their sense of duty to their fellow citizens. Corrupt? perhaps, but not to the point of ineffectiveness. Long-term vision? Absolutely. A few names come to mind, love 'em or hate 'em, that might fill the NAG bill:
Lily Thapa: Director of Nepal's Women for Human Rights.
Kunda Dixit: Sure he's a journalist and a Dixit, but he ain't his brother.
Naryan Singh Pun: Corrupt and arrogant, but is a no-nonsense implementer.
Foreigners: Time to stop being paranoid and solicit their advice.
And, Keshab Sthapit, former mayor of Kathmandu and a blogdai aquaintance. Have reprinted his interview below from Kunda Dixit's Nepali Times. He'll take his baksheesh from time to time, but he cleaned up kathmandu, did much to control traffic and pollution, ran a tight administration and basically, GOT THINGS DONE. No wonder he split with the UML: He's effective. He's also no royalist but has a longer term vision on what was necessary for Nepal. This guy has seen it all on the streets of Kathmandu, nothing fools him. So, here it is:
So you left UML to support the king?
I quit because Madhab Nepal started acting like a king himself. The UML has displayed double standards in the past. The leaders talked about regression and at the same time approached the king with their petition. They were also happy when parliament was dissolved. The party itself is authoritarian.
What’s your opinion of the 12-point understanding?
I had never realised that the Maoists were so clever. They are using the seven parties to attack the monarchy. There is no escape for the parties, which are now even willing to give shelter to the rebels.
So the parties have fallen into the Maoists’ trap?
The Maoists are leading and the parties are following. For so many years, the parties have been organising rallies but they have failed to progress.
The king easily brushed them off, especially because of the meagre support for their demonstrations. This forced them to seek from the rebels. You see more people joining them now but are they really from the seven parties?
Does this not push the country further into crisis?
The problem is the leading parties themselves. On one hand, the Nepali Congress has become a family affair while the UML displays double standards. The people have virtually no trust in them.
So, there is no hope with the parties?
The parties have no agenda at all. They had none before reaching their understanding with the Maoists. The parties have no sense of self-sacrifice and still don’t realise the mistakes they made while in power.
Then what’s the solution?
The 12-point understanding is pushing the country towards more crisis while the king is going his own way. He has to call everyone for talks.
You’ve criticised the king’s move, yet you support him?
The UML have been falsely labelling me a royalist. A king has to be like a king. He has to call for a national assembly that can come up with a common agenda. Both the Maoists and the king have clear agendas. It is the seven-party alliance that does not.