People Defy Unjustified Banda in Madhes

Update (8 March)

Defiance of MPRF strike continues countrywide: Strike orders issued by the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) have been defied in various districts across the county. However, some districts in eastern Terai remain affected by the strike. In Morang, local administration, with the help of eight parties, civil society and the parties affected by the banda, has opened up shops, markets, factories, transportation services and educational institutions that had been shut down by MPRF, in Biratnagar. (more)

Update More people defy MPRF strike:

Industrialists, businessmen, transport entrepreneurs and workers, rickshaw pullers, ambulance drivers, teachers, students and members of the general public in Biratnagar took to the streets in retaliation against MPRF activists after the latter vandalized even ambulances and cycle rickshaws ferrying patients Wednesday (8 March). The locals fought back against the second day of the MPRF-called indefinite shutdown, which has taken a severe toll on normal life. Locals carrying sticks and swords chased away the MPRF cadres from Bargachhichowk when the latter were forcing locals to down their shutters. Several places in Biratnagar remained tense for hours after frequent clashes between the locals and protestors at Barghachhi and Pipalchowk areas. (more)

Original Post:
People from around Terai (plain parts of Nepal) have started defying unjustified and ill-intended general strike (Banda)

Hundreds of sugarcane growers in Parsa district demonstrate against the indefinite shutdown by the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum yesterday. They said the MPRF workers defied their high-command’s order to allow farmers to transport their produce to factories during the strike. Farmers say their produce could go to waste due to the strike. Pic by Updendra Lamichhane via Kathmandu Post

Once again, the indefinite general strike (banda) called by a dubious organization called Madhesi Peoples’ Rights Forum (MPRF) has brought pain in the life of many in Terai. The only intention of MPRF (which is also known as Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF)) is to disrupt the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections. It would be ignorance on our part to believe that the organization is fighting for the rights of Madhesi people. No. Even after major demands of the Madhesi people have been addressed (and are in the process of being so), the organization of Upendra Yadav, has gone into creating havoc in Terai. Look at the demands: resignation of Home Minister and formation of a probe commission to look into the alleged suppression of the recent Madhesi movement. Do these two demands really qualify for a large scale protest like the one that’s being launched in Terai? No. You fulfill these two demands, and Yadav, a pawn of a foreign intelligence agency, will come up with other demands. This is not a political movement for sure and this must be ignored with defiance. People have started doing so. In Nepalgunj, people under the leadership of local business owners and in Jhapa people have gone with their usual routine defying the banda. People have taken out rallies against banda in several parts of Terai.

Businessmen and locals in Nepalgunj staged peaceful demonstrations in defiance of the indefinite strike called by the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) yesterday. Urging locals to open their shops despite the MPRF’s strike, the demonstrators chanted slogans against the trend of frequent strikes by different groups. However, a clash ensued at Triveni mode inside the town as Forum cadres, hiding inside local buildings’ verandahs and rooftops, pelted stones and bricks at the demonstrators. Some businessmen and passersby were injured during the incident. (more here) Pic by Janak Nepal

An ambulance negotiates its way through burning tires lit by protesting activists of Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) at Bhrikutichowk of Biratnagar Sub-metropolis, Tuesday. Pic by Bhim Ghimire via Kantipur

A young man in Jeetpur, Bara takes school kids back to home as schools remained closed because of indefinite general strike (banda) called by MPRF. Disappointment persists among students and guardians in southern Nepal because of frequent bandas that disturb school routines. Pic by Updendra Lamichhane

Published by UWB

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53 thoughts on “People Defy Unjustified Banda in Madhes

  1. If it is unjustified bandh in Madhesh, then why not government take action and suppress it so that other people can do their work and live in peace.

  2. Hi,

    Your double standard,

    MPRF .. “a dubious organization “.

    And what about this Maosit. A pure, cultured, ethical ???

    GOVT, and their killing of 38 madhesi ??

  3. I think MPRF should come for talks and call off the bandhs in doing so. However, I have great reservations regarding the authors views. I really don’t think the resignation of the Home Minister and a call for an enquiry is a very big demand in the same lines as the Rayamajhi commission, I mean if you can make a commission looking into the affairs of the King why not the same for Sitaula and his forces (especially as both are not elected individuals)? Home Minister candidates are many, and Sitaula’s unfitness for the post is crystal clear with the recent apology by him regarding the maoist MP bringing arms into parliament – showing the lack of will and authority on his part to be effective for the post. I also have reservations claiming the link between “foreign intelligence” agencies and the forum, this sort of talk can be equally and more so applied to all the political parties especially the maoists, after all they were provided a safe haven in India to launch their “peoples war” from the comforts of Noida.

    Although the initial premise is correct that the way to end conflict is through talks and bandhs create more hardship for the people they intend to liberate (at least I hope that this was the intended premise), the undertone by the writer is irresponsible, stinks of vested interests supporting these unproven ideas, and downright gutter journalism coming not from level headed thinking but out of some politicians filthy pocket. I ask the journo to seriously refrain from writing such inflammatory and unproven theories which could further hurt the sentiments of the people in the Terai. One should think before writing and not leave apologies like we have heard from all and sundry as an afterthought.

  4. This article is nothing but it helps to bring more fraction among the people of Nepal…. what is the conspiracy behind this article is unknown..

  5. Setting date for the CA will solve all the other problem… coz all the party carade will have to go to people making aware of the situation…

    I did not understand what the hell Mr Nepal was talking about to withdraw the support for the government if CA is not held on time…… what do they want another bloody war…

    All the politician should be worried about the situation of Nepal and Nepalese not their chair…

  6. I think this is correct to say that MPRF is not action on its own. It’s being directed and encouraged by some forces, national and international. National? Sujata camp of Nepali Congress who is hell bent against Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula. On that lady’s direction and provocation, some Nepali Congress MP and central committee members demanded resignation. This is because of internal party politics and feud between Sujata camp and others. Sujata is worried about increasing stature of Sitaula in the party because of the role he played in the peace process and as home minister and she sees threat in her aim of securing Nepali Congress leadership in future. Coincidently, her father trusts Sitaula and understands that those who are demanding Sitaula’s resignation are doing so for petty personal interests. Updendra Yadav is indireclty provoked by the Sujata camp. And there are so many other enemies of Sitaula. Just read this paragraph from a recent editorial, titled Sitaula’s predicament, in the Kathmandu Post:

    Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula is in a soup. He has become the target of Madhesi People’s Rights Forum, monarchists, pro-status quo people, his own party colleagues, and all those who have been fed up with the feeble peace and security situation. A soft-spoken, strong-willed parliamentarian from Jhapa was earlier portrayed as a person having heavy influence on Girija Prasad Koirala, and he was also considered in the good book of GP’s daughter Sujata. However, the success of 2006 April movement brought astounding change in his persona and profile. He became one of the key figures in bringing the Maoists into the mainstream by becoming the coordinator of the talks team formed by the government, and also bagged all-important home portfolio in the cabinet. His criticism started from his own party as Prachanda’s escort minister. His soaring popularity and explicitly visible proximity with the Maoists irritated many. Sujata Koirala was one of the first few persons to demand his resignation in public.

    Regressive forces are really worried by the role Sitaula played to bring the Maoists in mainstream. Some people branded Sitaula as the escorting minister for Maoist leaders but without people like Sitaula, we wouldn’t have seen the success of peace process in such smooth manner. I completely support the Kathmandu Post when they write (the next paragraph of the editorial):

    We believe, as the coordinator of the government’s talks team Sitaula has done a tremendous job. If it was not K P Sitaula assuming the positions of both the home minister and talks team coordinator, the Maoists would not have come to the mainstream with such an ease. But as a home minister, he has not been very successful. He failed to instill morale on the Armed Police Force, Nepal Police and Intelligence Department. As a result, the peace and security situation dwindled alarmingly in the capital and also in other city centers. The chiefs of all three security forces are either simply too incompetent to employ their strength, or are surreptitiously supporting the regression by letting the anarchy rule. Sitaula being their boss should be able to make the security forces work or show the way out to their chiefs. If he is unable to do any of these, he should tender his resignation.

    Yes, Sitaula’s mistake was that he failed to install morale on the APF, NP and ID. The chiefs of those departments should have been fired. He can still make some change if he wants. So what’s the future of Sitaula? Read this last paragraph of the same editorial:

    Sitaula’s predicament is which way to go about resolving the chaos, violence, strike and anarchy. On the one hand, MPRF is demanding home minister’s resignation for brutal use of force during the terai movement, and on the other, the general public is furious with him for being unable to control the anarchy in the name of strike, banda etc. It is the time for Sitaula to take a strong decision in one direction. If he wants to emerge as a strong leader, he should ignore the demands for resignation from the corrupt, incompetent and unpopular quarters of his party. The MPRF demand is also unjustified, so he need not care. Moreover, it would not be a surprise if MPRF is being indirectly fed by anti-Sitaula group of Nepali Congress. Hence, Sitaula has to put all his efforts now on controlling people-punishing vehicle strikes all over the country, and maintaining law and order situation in the capital city and other major cities. If he fails to do so, he will also be forgotten like other leaders.

  7. The bandhas called by SPAM warlords and the Mob and Goon movement that followed (in April 2006) was justified. Hats off to the pseudo-intellectuals.

  8. The SPAM is like a pendulam. They are supporting the Madhesi demand at one side and trying to suppress on the other.


  10. In the eyes of Wagle and his hangerons- Madhesi’s bandh is unholy but SPAM’s shit (loot, dictotorial, no law and order etc.,) sanctified by holy SEE. Speak of biase- man, these shitheads are the problem.

  11. Congratulations to Kantipur, The Kathmandu Post and the Kantipur t.v in becoming another Gorkhapatra & Rising Nepal. IN fact, the Nepal TV and Nepal ONe are far objective than Kantipur t.v.

  12. and this wagle dude is a journalist for kantipur? no wonder that he is in kantipur despite having shit in his head instead of brains. in fact, it seems the whole kantipur enterprise is totally controlled by the SPAM (minus NSP-A).

    if this trend continues, be ready for ethnic violence and for attacks against the press. i was in janakpur, birgunj and biratnagar before the second round of protests. everyone vowed they won’t let it turn ethnic. but if pahadis like wagle continue to talk like, the govt. continue to act like it has been, and the SPAM continue to show two faces (support the demands/but not delay it in parliament), i wudn’t be surprised.

    this is the first civil rights movement in nepal, and like in the US, the powers-that-be are in complete denial. but sorry man, the demographics are different here. if the madhesis really get pissed, hell will break loose.

    why discredit MPRF – this isn’t their revolution, this is a madhesi revolution. all other madhesi leaders (except ram varan yadav) agree with the demands but are afraid to go to the streets because the protestors will kill em. the traditional parties will suffer the worst after the revolution esp. if 50 % of the seats are given there.

  13. Observer,
    However, whatever the “hidden reasons” or “hidden agents” or whatever there may or may not be is not a matter for the rest of us when it comes to the performance of Sitaula as Home Minister. I have no doubt he has his enemies but probably all politicians do. As I am certain that there are many a hidden agendas, for and against the Madhesh Forum as well, but this does not take away from the fact that Sitaula has performed miserably as Home Minister. If his task was to be the head of the Peace talks team with the maoists well we can see his achievements whatever one might feel, but this has nothing to do with the duties of a Home Minister. And as a Home Minister he should honoroubly hand over the post to someone who can bite the bullet and not run around apologising to law breakers while at the same time showing arrogance at the expense of more damage down in the Terai. I can also mention hidden agendas at this point regarding why Sitaula is still there and who wants him there and what his relationships are with certain people but I choose to refrain from such an agenda as actions do speak louder than words, and Sitaula unfortunately has shown very little action in the right direction. I have no hidden agendas against Sitaula or for the Forum, personally I like the soft spoken nature of Sitaula but unfortunately in his case the softness in his speech does not mislead and is infact more prominent in his actions to a fault.

  14. When next incident of manhandling occurs, try to see that incident keeping such an outrageous piece written by journalists like Wagle in your mind. All the pictures are showing Paharis defying a protest called for madhesi dignity. Kantipur will face the climax of the opera it has started against Madhesis.

  15. This is not the Madhesi movement. This is a movement waged by people whose primary intention is to derail or not to let happen the election of constituent assembly that will restructure the state of Nepal giving so many rights to the Madhesi people and empower them. The election will have proportionate voting system directly benefiting to the Madhesi people. This election will bring such an assembly that will bring about changes in ruling systems which will benefit the people of Nepal. But these bunches of thugs are trying to block all that process to fulfill some vested interests. Tell me who will benefit if the election is blocked?????? Who? Those who want status quo and those who are against any progress change! Clear?

    The house is hours away from amending the constitution to accommodate the demands of the Madheis. Still they are doing all this nonsense. Why?

  16. Madhav Kumar Nepal started BANDH politics and Prachanda perfected it. Now everybody is utilizing it. Enough is Enough.

  17. The police & APF is totally inactive. When they take actions to restore law & order, they face departmental punishment, when they don’t they face departmental actions. The govt should first install confidance in the police force and ask them to do their duty without any fear.
    Even the rickshawala staged a demonstration, in front of the CDO office in Biratnagar, demanding law & order.
    This home minister is a total failure and should be sacked, and a madeshi
    Ram baran Yadav should be made the home minister.

  18. This article lacks journalistic appeal and is fraught political undertones. Its high time UWB try and appreciate the real problems of Nepal and present things in the right perspective. While we know MJF’s leaders are hoping to score big and demanding some ridiculous things, the govt must not submit to them. However, we must also not discredit the concerns of Madhesis which are genuine.

  19. It is very clear Nepal Government is sponsoring even the Maoists to fight against madheshis, because they do not want to get any blame for it.
    War is not a solution, but if Pahades are not turning a deaf ear, then I believe war is the ONLY solution. If Nepal is 49% Madheshis, why cant we get an Independent state? Why no equal representation? If Madheshis are smarter than Pahades in all aspects, there should be 85% Madheshis in all fields of Nepal. Is there? No!

    You have created me within five years (my thinkings). Remember every child grows, and so do we. If I developed feelings against you in five years, there are millions who did too. You created it. No us. It will be advisable to point your finger at your own ethnic friends, who ate our food, and praised you.

    Remember, this feeling erupted when you termed us ‘Indians’. If we are not Indian or Nepali, I am proud to be Madheshi.

    I am not Indian, but I am ashamed to call myself “Nepali”, because of Nepalese behaviors.

  20. Ashutosh Shrivastav:
    I understand the concerns of the Madeshi people are genuine. But I don’t think this ‘militant’ attitude of yours is going to achieve anything.
    If you want the Madeshi people to debase themslves to the level of Maoist terrorist to fulfill their demands go ahead. Look at what people percieve the Maoists. The Maoists are where they are because of terror, intimidation and coersion. Everyone hates them but they are tolorated because we have no choice at this point. Given a fair opportunity everyone will chase them out. Let them put their guns away and they will be beaten and thrown out of villages. Do you really want the Madeshis to be hold a similar role. Do you want inclusion because you put a gun to everyone’s haead or do you want the Nepalese people to genuinely accept their past mistakes and realize that Madeshis are just as Nepali as anyone else? Look no one is denying that you don’t have legitimate concerns. We all know that SPAM is worthless. But if you keep inciting violence and chaos it jepordizes our national security and leaves us open to foregin intervension. Is that what you want? I am not saying don’t do anything and sit around expecting SPAM to address your concerns. But if you keep causing bhands, inciting violence going about achieving your goals in this manner everyone is going to bear the brunt of your actions. Remember these SPAM motherfcukers are not representative of the people. They might turn a deaf ear but believe me I think most Neaplese people understand your people’s plight.

  21. an hiv positive died in purbanchal last month because of over-bleeding after a minor accident.

    the bandh callers did not let him reach hospital

    no media carried the new.

    sahanu sahiyo aba sahinna!

  22. Agree with you 100% Bhudai. Unfortunately, our leaders have set such a precedent that violence is the only way to be heard that disgruntled groups are forced to use this tactic to get things done. But yes again I guess disgruntled groups need to maintain the balance between violence and aggressiveness to get heard. Violence doesnt really achieve much in the long run, as Maoists will soon find out in the near future.

  23. patriot,
    was that last blog yours/
    i liked your arguments, though i have some reservations.

  24. Government has several times called the leaderships of Madhesi protesters – the dubious Madhesi People’s Rights Forum and other Maoist splits. But they did not care for dialoque?

    Why should home minister resign at their command.

    People have to united and defend their civil liberty for daily life existence against the indefinite strikes called by the royal puppet MPRF. The movement in the beginning may be had genuine demands not it has gone off limit in support of royalists.

    They have to be penalized under the rule of law.

    Here something to read to make people aware and not to take part in it.

    Democracy – the People-power & Rule of Law

    By Prakash Bom

    Protest and free speech are the democratic rights of people under civil liberty. But these rights have off-limits in themselves. For example, free speech does not allow one to use politically incorrect words on gender, color, race, and ethnicity. Similarly, protests cannot obstruct people’s daily life (right to live, right to work, right to run daily business, etc) and cannot vandalize the public property rampantly by threatening the life of opponents. Therefore the purposed bill at the House of Representatives that will ban the ‘Bandhas’ which negative impart on nation’s economy must be unanimously legislated meticulously.

    NPRF opposes the indefinite strike of MPRF.

    Turn the MPRF into Nepali People’s Right Forum

    Glory to the ‘Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal’

  25. ? ???? ???????? ??????? ???? ???????? ????? ??????? ??? ????? ???????

    ???? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ‘?????? ?? ????’ ??????????? ??? ??? ????? ???????? ???? ??????? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????! ?????? ??????? ???? ???? ‘????’ ??????, ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ????? ????? ????? ???????? ?? ??????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ??????? ??? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ??? ?, ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ? ????? ???? ?? ??

    ?????? ????? ? ?? ?????? ??? ????? ?????????? ????, ??? ??????? ?? ???????? ????? ????, ?? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ???? ??????? ??????? ??? ?????? ???????? ??????? ??? ????? ???? ?? ??????? ???????? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ? ??????? ?? ????????? ????? ?????, ? ??????? ???? ??? ??????? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ??????????? ????????? ??? ??? ??’??, ???? ???? ??????? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ??????????? ????? ??????? ????? ???? ????? ????? ????????? ???????? ??? ?? ???????? ?????? ????, ?? ??? ????, ?? ??? ???? ?????? ???????? ??????

    ?????? ??? ??????? ?? ?????

  26. ???????? ??????? ???? ???????????? ???? ???????? ???? ??????: ‘?? ???? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ?????? ????????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????? ???? ??????’

    ??????, ???? ?, ????? ???????? ?????? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ???? ????, ???? ?????? ?? ? ????? ?????? ????? ? ???

    ????????????? ????? ??? ??? ??????? ???? ????? ??????????? ??????? ??? ?????? ??????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ????????? ???? ????? ???? ???????? ?????? ???? ?? ?????????? ?????? ?????? ? ????? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ???? ??,??? ????

  27. LOL. I could not help laughing loudly after reading this post. This is WHAT and HOW journalists from the leading/best Nepalese broadsheet write ! And this is what so-called “intellectuals” come to read and write comments on ! I am disgraced to see the level of Nepalese journalists and so called intellectuals. I wish I am wrong.

  28. LOL. I could not help laughing loudly after reading this post. This is WHAT and HOW journalists from the leading/best Nepalese broadsheet write ! And this is what so-called “intellectuals” come to read and write comments on ! I am disgraced to see the level of Nepalese journalists and so called intellectuals. I wish I were wrong.

  29. People will defy each & every band called by any parties in nepal. Since the bands are enforced forcefully, then only the people stay indoors. People are fedup with the bands. Bands should be stopped.

  30. Aree ajan bhaeeya…kaya haal hey bihar ka? kaab aaya motiharee se? Teena fallam ka business chodeke blog me aayehaleecha? Kya baat chee? LOl !

  31. This situtation is clearly potrays that this government is total failure in managing the terai crisis. If Madheshi are wrong then why not this government take some move to settle it instead of being useless watch dog? How long this country will run like this, it is almost two months the country is being paralysed.

  32. Easy solution. Kick home minister out. Anyway he failed to maintain law and order in nation.

  33. people are fed up with the strikes and chakka jams. Who suffers from the bands, not the politicians of Kathmandu and not Forum leaders who reside in kathmandu.
    People want security from the local administration, if this security is given, all parties can say goodbye to bands.
    Thank god the biratnagar adm. has banned the burning of tyres. Hope it is implemented.
    The govt must strongly come down on the bands no matter which party calls it.

  34. this is all useless junk………get over it…. you all folks………even you Mr. Smart (Wagle)

  35. ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ? ??? ????? ?? ????
    ???? ??? ? ???? ???? ??? ? ? ??? ? ???? ?? ???????? ???? (???????? ???? ) ?? ?? ? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ?? ? ?????? ????? ??? ??? ? ????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ??????????? ???? ? ?



    Our sugarcanes have dried out and become useless. If the Tarai shutdown continues we we die of starvation this year. Our so called leaders (bunch of opportunists) has this knowledge or not? Why should anyone organise bandha during sugarcane season.? Stop this drama in the name of people. You guys are people’s gut kickers.


  36. All bandhs are unjustified-whoever has called for them. Also it would be better if the govt. would tackle problems more efficiently and sincerely before the the agitators felt the need for calling bandhs.

  37. Very easy solution is just remove Mr. Sitaula from Home Minister and establish the neutral commission as per the MJF and invite all of them to the table. Just convince them the real situation and its feedback. This country cannot run paralysing like this for longer period. How long this government just escape with terai people (whatever MJF or other groups)???

  38. “Great Madhesh, Greatest Madheshi”

    Haaa haaa haaaa haaaa

    Haaa haaa haaaa haaaa

    Your uneasyness is crystle clear. Now you have started attaching news on top.

    Seems, Terai Strike has cripple your life too. Your blog has came to a stand still. Same post since last foru days.

    Wagle, don’t be a joke in the name of Journalism. Otherwise, people will start questioning your credibility. Which party you belong to ? Which Ethnic group you represent? How many seats, you will get in CA ?

    Great moral of story at the end is, MPRF has became hero, and credit goes to Wagle like Character.

    Dum maro Dum.. Mitjaye Gum, Bolo subh Saam, haray Subh, Haray Saam

    “Great Madhesh, Greatest Madheshi”

  39. Not only unjustifiable bandh can be unjustifiable but so is unelected Assembly, Maoist extortion and killings, and SPAM’s utter greasing of Maoist to maintain their relevancy and kind like Wagle- who talks as if he is a judge of right and wrong. When he does wrong like incite, misinform and downright kiss up SPAM, all is fine but if Madhesi with genuine concern cry for the emancipitation- its unjustified. You are the one who should be hung, dried and quatered.

  40. haha, mirror.

    MPRF is fussa. They don’t have people, and they are organizing banda and beating old baabu-chhora on motorbike to enforce the banda. I bet tomorrow Taraika janatale pitera lakhetchhana them from Tarai. The story will be written as this: an unknown Upendra Yadav and Lalit Karna (sadbhavana Mandalko president) became famous one day, and then became obscure the other day.

  41. sagarmatha:
    I hate that piece of crap sh*itula. But I also don’t like this system whereby a group demands the removal of a minister and it happens so easily. Isn’t that a precursor to an anarchical system?

  42. The National Language of Nepali is not integrated into the villages of the interior Terai. Most of them speak Maithali, Bhojpuri, Awadhi and Tharu languages. It is the first natural demand of these communities for their children to have been taught in their mother tongue up to primary level education. Then they want to give priority for the national language, i.e. Nepali. With Nepali language rarely integrated into a village community education system of the interior Terai, the possibility of educational progress and prosperity for future employment becomes most challenging and almost unreal. Moreover, integration with the entire parts of the Terai is possible only if the people, their language, dresses, religion, tradition and culture are given justifiable privileges in the national identity and history.

    Governance is the way in which public power and authority is formed and used to control and manage society’s resources. Good governance rests on four pillars:

    1. Accountability meaning that public officials can be called to task for their actions;

    2. Transparency meaning that relevant information is accessible at low cost;

    3. Predictability meaning that policies, laws and regulations are clear, known in advance and are uniformly and effectively enforced; and

    4. Participation meaning that the public is consulted on government actions that affect them

    Corruption, commonly defined as abuse of public or private office for private gains, is a key symptom of weak governance. Corruption – the misuse of entrusted power for private gain – has a severely debilitating effect on the economic, social and political environment in which it occurs. Corruption hampers economic growth, burdens the poor disproportionately, and undermines the effectiveness of investment and aid. Thus, anti-corruption strategies need to be an integral part of a development framework designed to help the country eradicate poverty and stimulate economic growth. A good governance program needs to focus on in-depth analysis of the institutional factors behind corrupt practices and behaviour and should help the nation’s understanding of the shortcomings of its policies and institutions and design its own strategies to improve governance.

    (a) Corruption is a complex phenomenon, and so must be the measures designed to fight it.

    Solutions must be grounded in reality and relate to each part of the country’s institutional framework. Indeed fighting corruption is not a straightforward task. Not only must athe approach be holistic, but it must also be carried and supported by all stakeholders in the society. The challenge lies not only in devising reforms that if realized would lead to better governance and less corruption but, more importantly, in devising measures that can feasibly be implemented;

    (b) The extent to which political will exists and is maintained throughout the reform process both among representatives of the political and administrative establishment and among civil society and the private sector, will ultimately determine the success or failure of anti-corruption reforms.

    Political will, however, is difficult to maintain in the light of changing alliances, shifting public preferences, and the lack of the immediate visibility of positive results. A major challenge lies therefore in the creation and strengthening of stakeholder support through means such as awareness-raising, transparency and access to information, and the public backing of reform by leaders from all sectors. This, in addition to a clearly defined and comprehensive set of anticorruption measures, is a central prerequisite for implementing reform towards a sustainable, well-governed state;

    (c) The control of flows of money into and out of politics should not be ignored when considering implementation of anti-corruption reform. Political finance is a mechanism by which political parties and candidates acquire power and is, therefore, at the root of political corruption. Political corruption undermines democratic and economic well-being and reduces accountability and representation in policy-making. Political corruption leads to corruption in other spheres of life, either by design, by example or by the failure of elected leaders to enact anti-corruption laws and foment transparent practices;

    (d) The majority of public institutions in Terai need to focus on improving performance in service delivery. One key to ensuring that this happens is to pay special attention strengthening the provision of effective oversight of government spending and public finance management so as to limit opportunities for financial malpractice and the abuse of power. This effort must include developing strong ties with the media as a means of drawing public attention to corruption cases that they are brought to light by audits and other oversight vehicles. This heightens public awareness of audit findings and thus produces an effective deterrent against future corruption. Yet another key is to effectively support and promote integrity, within the public service (enhancing “ethics infrastructure”). Essentially preventive in nature, codes of conduct have the potential to avert corruption and administrative misconduct before they occur;

    (e) From a governance improvement and corruption reduction perspective, it is intuitive that priority needs to be placed on those public institutions that are deemed by users to be inefficient and dishonest. In other words prioritize reforms in important “troubled agencies” that the ATDF Anti-corruption Mechanism will identify to improve service delivery and accountability. The preliminary survey findings indicate that these agencies represent “high risk” areas that foster an environment that favours fraud and corruption. Focusing audit strategies on areas deemed prone to corruption, can be of great value in both deterring and detecting corruption;

    (f) Two areas of government functions need immediate attention:

    1. The first is the procurement system. The business surveys show that the procurement process is the chief repository of corruption in business dealings with the government, and the system should be strengthening and closer scrutiny to avoid corruption in both the granting of contracts and payment of invoices;

    2. The other area of government functions to be addressed is personnel policy. Given the high percentage of public officials who report that positions are bought in their organization and who say that the most qualified applicant does not always get the job, the procedures for hiring of employees need to be addressed. The reward system in public institutions also needs to be addressed because a majority of public officials do not think that compensation is related to performance in their organization;

    (g) Yet, if real change is to occur, anti-corruption efforts must reach beyond state reform and become engrained in the every-day activities of other significant social actors. The roles and responsibilities of both the private corporate sector and civil society should be clearly recognized in this regard. For though they operate within the regulatory framework set by the state, these sectors provide fertile ground both for corruption itself to take hold and for the remedies required to address it. It is, thus, vital to encourage active involvement of business sector and NGOs, including religious bodies in devising national anti-corruption strategies and programs.

    (h) Users in the business sector have positive evaluations of their experience in the courts, but still many more businesses (including those who have used courts) use Alternative Dispute Resolutions – ADR – to settle disputes. Since length and complexity are the two biggest complaints of businesses with regard to the court system, this should be addressed. The reform of the court system is likely to be a long process.

    Thus, the ADR system should be supported to provide a viable alternative for resolving disputes, especially for commercial disputes. More than half of businesses report using ADR.

    (i) The regulatory environment for businesses needs to be made more transparent and information about laws and regulations impacting businesses should be easier to obtain. Particular efforts should be made to make information easier to obtain for smaller businesses in the commercial and services sectors.

    (j) One key in reversing a pattern where the vast majority of those who observe corruption do not report it is for the governing authorities to continue to demonstrate by action its firm commitment to fighting and preventing corruption. In order to capitalize on unusually strong stakeholder support this commitment will need to be demonstrated and communicated widely in a timely, concrete manner. This will require a number of initial steps and decisive leadership, particularly by the Prime-minister, including creating a Teraian Regional Mechanism, such as a ATDF, that can direct, lead and systematically monitor and report on progress in fighting and preventing corruption on an on-going basis. Experience from around the world has taught us that this committee should be chaired by the top leadership of the two branches and highly reputable figures from Teraian civil society and the Teraian business community. The ATDF has a very important role to play as the committee’s primary interlocutor, convenor of regular meetings, secretariat and information collection and dissemination mechanism. However, the ATDF will need to maintain its independence so as to not make evolve into the control of the political regime. The committee should discuss and quickly decide upon next steps, including the development of a clear, holistic short and long-term strategy and action plan through broad stakeholder discussion and a series of local and national workshops

    (k) Another important first step will be to provide incentives to encourage more people to report on corruption. Appropriate and proportional financial awards need to be urgently considered for those who blow the whistle and save government money. The development of a clear policy statement and guidance to all agencies related to what the responsibilities and procedures are for reporting corruption for all government employees and citizens should be developed, implemented and strongly supported. Without these whistleblower and access to information incentives most will continue to fear economic or physical harassment, they will know what their basic responsibilities are and they will not know who to report to (having anonymous reporting mechanisms in place will also be important). Initially many of these issues can be handled through clear policy directives but new laws that can be implemented in practice will likely need to be developed over time. Global experience has, again, taught us that unless comprehensive access to information and whistleblower laws and policies exist, any efforts to address and more importantly prevent corruption will only be piecemeal at best.

    The Terai desperately needs a firm and Internationally committed 10-Year Development Roadmap to:-

    1. Improve the Education and Social-Equality Conidtion
    2. Control Corruption and Improve the Governance Condition
    3. Catalyse Industry and Infrastrucutre Development

    This should be in the form of a proposal to the UNDP with full support of the Southern People of Nepal, local NGOs, social networks and TU.

  43. Oh yes! Let’s replace Nepali by English, or better French, and much better would be German …

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