The ‘misleading’ and wrong decision taken by the Special Committee comprising representatives of six political parties has clearly indicated that financial accountability is a far fetched dram for Nepali people.
By Siromani Dhungana
On 12 April, some members of the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants which was formed in October 2008 wanted to know how Rs 19.71 billion was spent on the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments over the last seven years. According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat proposed that the committee passed a proposal directing the government to conduct a special auditing of the expenses.
However, the committee, as many believe took a controversial decision. The Post writes:
The committee, comprising representatives of six political parties, adopted a resolution with a soft tone, committing that the Office of the Auditor General will conduct a detailed investigation to see whether the funds were spent legally. It also agreed that the financial discipline maintaining body would recommend the government to publicize its report.
Following the decision, different section of the society has questioned the ability and intention of the leaders who were party to the decision. According to analysts, the decision of the committee is quite misleading and deceptive. Kantipur daily news editor Hari Bahadur Thapa, who has written books on corruption and has extensively covered corruption-related issues in the paper, tweeted: Continue reading
King Mahendra reportedly said in the mid-1960s: “Communism does not travel in a car.”
Some say he used the word ‘truck’, not ‘car’. Whatever. I think, communism does not but communists do. Communists travel in the most luxurious vehicles according to their availability. Nepal’s ruling UCPN (Maoist) is an example how controversial communists can become when they struggle to maintain a balance between their ideology and lifestyle. The party floated new jargon in its just concluded seventh General Convocation, that is, national productivity.
Is this concept a major paradigm shift in ideology of UCPN (Maoist)? What is the covert intention of chairman Prachanda? Can Maoists translate concept of national productivity into action? And can they bring about any changes in lives of ‘proletariats’ for whom they claim to be engaging in politics.
By Siromani Dhungana
Surrounded by Pulsar-riding cadres of Young Communist League (YCL) and party leaders who have already elevated themselves to the elite class from the proletariat that they were until recently, and flanked by his Mustang-rider deputy Dr Bhattarai talks about austerity but indeed encourages corruption, nepotism and favoritism in his government, comrade Prachanda announced in the Hetauda Convention that his party will be focusing on national productivity.
That announcement didn’t come at a surprise to those who are familiar with inherent nature of UCPN (Maoist) – which is popularly known as ‘cash Maoist’ (as opposed to the dash Maoist, the Mohain Baidya led CPN-Maoist) due to the party’s excessive focus on amassing ‘cash’ through intimidation, forced donation and brazen corruption.
I do not think, the concept of national productivity will bring any differences in ideological front of the ruling party. His concept of national productivity neither supports capitalist economic system nor socialist. Rather, I think, there are two implied meaning of Prachanda’s proposal: to maintain a hold on all economic/financial resources and to divert attention of his cadres from political issues to other less contentious issues. Continue reading
LEFT TO RIGHT: Sita Dahal, her husband Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Dr Baburam Bhattarai and his wife Hisila Yami pose for a photo before heading to what is now known as the historic Chunwang Baithak (meeting) in Chunwang, Rolpa in 2005. Pic via Dinesh Shrestha
‘Choosy’ Hisila Yami Cheapens Her PM Hubby’s Resolves हिसिला यमी जस्ती भ्रष्ट श्रीमती भएपछि प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुरामलाई मोहन बैद्य जस्ता राजनीतिक शत्रु किन चाहियोस ?
By Bhadra Sharma
[प्रधानमन्त्रीकी भ्रष्ट पत्नी: १६ लाखको मुस्ताङ चढने प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमती हिसिला यमीलाई डेड करोडको प्राडो चाहियो ! जवकी प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमतीलाई गाडी दिने कानूनी प्रावधानै छैन । सस्तो गाडी दिँदा उनले मुख्य सचिवलाई भनिन्- " त्यो गिरिजाले चढेको थोत्रो, मलाई नयाँ चाहियो ।" प्रधानमन्त्रीले बोलाएको भन्दै सचिवहरूलाई बालुवाटारस्थित प्रम निवासमा झुक्याएर बोलाउने यमीले आफै सचिवहरूलाई निर्देशन दिन्छिन् । स्रोत: काठमान्डू पोष्ट]
While Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has been meticulously following the austerity measures in a bid to create a better image of his government, his wife Hisila Yami, a prominent leader in the Maoist party, seems to be swimming against the current. Sources said many of her recent acts watered down her husband’s resolves.
In a clear breach of the PM’s recent directives, Yami demanded a Prado, a Toyota car that costs Rs 15 million, from the Prime Minister’s Office only last week. PM Bhattarai, in sharp contrast, rides a Nepal-assembled Mustang car, which costs Rs 1.6 million. Continue reading
An inconvenient truth: Nepal has the dubious distinction of being one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
By Surendra Phuyal
That question is asked by all in the Himalayan nation — everyone from international visitors, who have to deal with bribe-taking officials right at Kathmandu’s international airport, to the hapless citizens of this country of approximately 30 million.
In July 2009, Nepal’s anti-graft body, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), came up with a smart idea to discourage staff at Kathmandu’s international airport from taking bribes. CIAA suggested top officials at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) make “pocketless” pants mandatory for all staff.
The suggestion came after widespread reports and complaints by airline passengers about petty corruption, such as bribery and theft, by staff of CAAN, various airlines, customs and immigration, and even by security personnel posted at the airport. CIAA’s pitch made international headlines, but it seems the plan served only to make a mockery of Nepal’s corrupt officialdom. The suggestion even prompted CAAN officials to discuss the idea, but they failed to come up with a concrete plan of action.
The result: The “pocketless” pants are nowhere to be seen, complaints from airline passengers haven’t stopped and bribery continues at the Kathmandu airport, if reports in local media are accurate. Continue reading