Below is an open letter to the two most prominent leaders of the political parties in Nepal.
I believe it contains the most relevant questions we should be asking them at this time and I would encourage anyone reading this to forward it in some way to GP or Prachanda, either by a known email address or by printing it in Kathmandu and “delivering it.”
If you think we should be asking different questions then I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Dear Mr Koirala & Comrade Prachanda
In recent weeks I have been a regular participant on many internet sites and written articles from my own perspective on the situation in Nepal. I am not Nepali but English with a Nepali wife. My children are half-Nepali. Nepal is my second home, and if I could persuade my wife to return I would happily spend my retirement in Kathmandu for ever.
I am not a Maoist sympathiser, preferring the democratic system and freedoms associated with a monarchy, but this is only natural with the land of my birth being the UK.
I write to you for a very specific reason and that is to try and help many of my Nepali friends and family to understand what you and your political party stand for. In my country we call this a Party Manifesto, and every party has one before elections. In this way we can look at their manifestos and decide who to vote for. So, I ask you, what is YOUR manifesto for the people of Nepal? Why should they vote for YOU? More specifically:
1. What is your policy and strategy for the economy?
2. What is your policy and strategy for poverty?
3. What is your policy and strategy for education?
4. What is your policy and strategy for healthcare?
5. What is your policy and strategy for water and electricity resources?
6. What is your policy and strategy for tourism?
7. What is your policy and strategy for the environment?
8. What is your policy and strategy for transport?
9. What is your policy and strategy for the underprivileged and under-represented?
I believe that these questions are of fundamental importance to your country, much more so than an interim constitution. When elections have been held and the people have been heard, this is the time to discuss constitutional matters. What does my brother-in-law care of the constitution when he has no electricity for his factory, his customers can’t pay their bills, he can’t pay his workers?
Likewise I believe that the psyche of the people of Nepal is being seriously affected by some of the statements reported from yourselves such as “we still have sufficient technical human resources outside the cantonments to launch “massive attacks” simultaneously at several places on a single night” and “we will launch streets protest and protest in the parliament for a republic set up if the elections of the constituent assembly are not announced soon” Their degree of feelings of helplessness in the face of such statements which are neither developmental nor directional must be becoming unbearable to your people. Do you not have a more positive message to give?
Think about this and search your consciences for the answer that most benefits the people of Nepal. I hope you will be able to answer my letter and give many people the leadership they are searching for.