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Earthquake In Nepal: Lost Opportunity

Issue may 2015


Siddhi B Ranjitkar 

May 1, 2015: The Saturday earthquake gave a great opportunity to the government and the political leaders to demonstrate their smartness and efficiency in serving the nation means the common folks in general but none of the political leaders including the prime minister, and his home minister: the most accountable elected officials did show up only after five days of the earthquake.


Obviously, these political guys have been good-for-nothing people. The leader called KP Oli had often roared like a lion but during the earthquake, he probably must have gone to hide in a mouse hole to save him from the cruel and merciless quake. When Mr. Oli talked he gave an impression that he could even lift the mountain but his hiding in a mouse hole demonstrated that he was no more than a little mouse when the nation needed a leader of great courage and determination to serve the people.


Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had been always a mouse-like. When the quake hit the nation he was somewhere in Indonesia. He managed to come back to Nepal only to hide in a secretariat. When the aftershocks hit Nepal he was scared to death; he ran for life. How could he save the lives of the millions of the quake victims when Mr. Koirala did not know how to save him?


Home minister Bamdev Gautam was the most accountable elected official to save the lives and the property of the common folks but nobody knew where he had been hiding to save his lives for four days before appearing in the public. He must be somewhere in a mouse hole to save him and his family from the quake and the aftershocks or having a quake picnic in the tent donated for the quake victims. He might justify having the tent saying he also was a quake victim. Certainly, he was too no doubt about that.


These mouse-like prime minister and ministers could see the daylight after four days of the quake and aftershocks when they were sure that aftershocks would not harm their families and them, too. By that time, the quake had sent thousands of Nepalese to their final destinations; many invaluable cultural heritages had been turned into rubbles and debris. Thousands of people have been sleeping under the open skies under the heavy rains. But these political rodents did not give a fig to the situation of the nation.


Not only these political rodents but also the political creatures that claimed to be the nationalists serving the nation did dare to come out of their hiding spaces to serve the people means the nation. They could shout more than any ferocious dogs could bark at the political rallies and at the interviews on TVs or radios but they could do nothing to the people at the time of disaster. They also could fight for a bone any dogs could do but when serving the nation they were nowhere to find.


Prachanda and Baburam did call on their party cadres to go and work for the quake victims. Thereafter, nothing came out in the media whether the cadres actually went to work or not or whether they were having the earthquake picnics in the luxury tents when hundreds of thousands have lost not only their houses and everything in them but also their loved ones to the quake.


Deadly scared Prachanda and Baburam appeared in Kirtipur. The party-diehard followers escorted them. They went to such a secured area that they knew that nobody could harm them. Rodent politicians could not think what those shrewd politicians of a new breed had done. Prime Minister got jeered at Basnatapur area: the core area of the old Kathmandu town when he visited the area on the fifth day of the quake to see the magnitude of the destruction done to the ancient culturally invaluable buildings. Home Minister Bamdev Gautam was almost beaten by the crowd. Thanks to the security, Mr. Gautam could save his life not damaged by the quake.


Voters have posted a banner “Where is our elected representative Dhyan govinda?” at the secretariat building in Kathmandu. The poor member of the legislature must have been hiding in a mouse hole or having a lavish quake picnic with the family and relatives somewhere in the safest space where even a nine-magnitude quake could not split the ground. The quake has taken the soul of one lawmaker. The most unfortunate lawmaker neither could have a quake picnic nor have a mouse hole to hide.


The president of the rodent politicians has called the session of the parliament on May 7, 2015. Obviously, the president was safe and alive. His home was still in one piece and standing. He also has no empathy and deeds as other political mammals did not have for the people and for the victims of the quake at the time of writing this article on May 1, 2015. The president must have believed that he had no role to play in the politics except for putting his seal of approval on the bills passed by the parliament. So, why should the president be concern for the quake victims? The people did not elect him. The lawmakers elected by the voters elected him.


The government of Sushil Koirala came out strongly to cut off the helping hands reaching out to the quake victims in the Sindhupalchok district: the most quake-affected area. Probably, Home Minister Bamdev Gautam wanted to show off how powerful he could be to the people that had chased him from the area he went to inspect the quake-damaged buildings. He ordered to centralize the distribution of the relief materials.


The first victim of the centralization of the distribution of the relief materials has been the Shesh Ghale and his team working in the Sindhupalchok district. Talking to the anchor of the Kantipur TV, Ghale said, “I don’t know whether I am in North Korea or Nepal? I have tons of relief materials coming from Hong Kong. The government of Nepal has ordered centralization of the relief materials. We don’t get the materials from Hong Kong even after months. We could not do anything with our bare hands. We have fifteen doctors working in the Sindhupalchok district.”


Home Minister Gautam should have same spirit dealing with the Chinese and Indian rescue-and-assist teams, too. The government of Nepal said that it would not accept the assistance from Taiwan. It was clearly bowing down to the highly venerable god-like Chinese leaders. Similarly, the Indian copters have been flying everywhere even beyond the Nepalese borders to the north but Home Minster Gautam has been almost like a little mouse between these mammoth neighbors.


Nepal-visiting Indian yoga guru in Kathmandu even said that the Pakistani foods intended for the quake victims might be contaminated with beef. Home Minister Gautam had nothing to say about such an irresponsible comment by such a highly venerable guru. Pakistan has duly denied any contamination of the foods sent to Nepal. Nothing was uneatable than the beef for Hindus. Yoga guru wanted Nepalese to boycott any food coming from Pakistan. I could not imagine that yoga guru could be so naïve. So, it was not a surprise that the government of India had forcibly removed such a naïve guru from the makeshift yoga camp he set up in New Delhi when he had stubbornly demanded the end of corruption in the Indian administration a few years ago.


On May 1, 2015, the Nepal Rastra Bank: the central bank of Nepal called on all organizations and individuals to deposit their donations or other relief materials in the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund, and also called on organizations or individuals that have collected or been collecting donations or other materials to deposit the collected donations and materials in the same fund.'s-Disaster-Relief-Fund:-Rastra-Bank/


Deputy Chairman of Terai Madheshi Democratic Party Hridesh Tripathi said that his party had deposited the relief materials in the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund for providing the flood victims of the far western region last year but the materials have not reached the victims, yet; so, this year his party would not deposit anything in the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund, the news on the stated.


Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has been sitting on more than three billion rupees deposited in the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund for distributing it to the victims of the floods and landslides occurred in 2014. This time, the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund for the quake victims might swell to hundreds of billions. How could such a lousy prime minister manage such a huge fund for the quake victims could be anybody’s guess.


Donor nations would surely opt to rebuild any fallen temples or pagodas or to provide the quake victims with anything directly than channeling through the popularly known corrupt administration of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. Japan has already declared it. Other countries might soon follow suit.


Bhutanese prime minister has been trekking through the rough foot treks in the quake-affected rural areas in Nepal to see the magnitude of damages done by the disastrous earthquake occurred in Nepal on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Nepalese ministers including prime minister and leaders could not dare to come out of their hiding mouse holes. Chairman of CPN-UML honorable PhD holder (see his CV on face-book) KP Oli frankly told that it was not the job of leaders to go to the rural areas, the news on stated.


Dr KP Oli did not appreciate how the Bhutanese prime minister has been walking around rural areas to see the quake-affected areas and provide the victims with relief materials. Other political leaders of NC, UCPN-Maoist, and RPP-Nepal have been going around villages with relief materials since May 2, 2015.


The Nepal army, the armed police force and the Nepal police have been doing highly commendable job of digging the quake victims out of debris and rubbles since the high magnitude quake hit the country. They have continued to do so. Heavy equipment operators also have been doing a great job in clearing the debris and removing the rubbles to clear the way for finding out the buried quake victims. The State needed to make the special recognition of their high-risk jobs done by these respectable guys at the time of disaster.


The government and the political parties have failed disastrously in serving the nation at the time of the need. The government has even stopped the aid teams from performing their duty on helping the quake victims in the Sindhupalchok district. For example, the team of Shesh Ghale came from Australia has the problem of getting the relief materials from Hong Kong after the government of Prime Minster Sushil Koirala and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam ordered to channel the relief materials through the State bureaucracy that has been infamous for widespread corruption and deadly inefficiency.


Nepalese political leaders needed to forget about their political difference and join the hands to reach out the quake victims and do something. Stupid would be the most appropriate word for using it for an adjective to these politicians. They needed to keep the politics aside for some time and do some humanitarian work. These political guys could spend millions of rupees on holding rallies and enforcing the Nepal shutdown in protest but they hardly could spend anything on assisting the quake victims. Not helping the quake victims has brought shame on those political leaders.


Nepal earthquake spin-off is tens of if not hundreds of donation collectors. But nobody knows how many of these collectors would reach out the victims of the incredible and destructive quake. Some of these donation collectors have collected millions; others have billions; many more have collected in hundreds of thousands.


Nepal Rastra Bank: central bank of Nepal has requested the public to deposit the donations in the Prime Disaster Relief Fund. Some political parties including the NC have declared to deposit their donations in millions in the fund. Other politicians have been reluctant to deposit the donations in the fund because the prime minister has been sitting on the huge money he has collected for the victims of the floods and landslides happened in 2014.


The non-actions of the political leaders and the corrupt actions of the government of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam have alienated and even angered the people. Nepalese felt that the political leaders and ministers including the prime minister were the fellow creatures on this planet with the least concern for the people. They were corrupt and shameless and unaccountable leaders and ministers. They were parasites thriving on the sweats and bloods of the voters and common folks. They were like leeches that would suck the people to death.


The government of Nepal through the circular notice sent by the central bank of Nepal: Nepal Rastra Bank following the section 79 of the Nepal Rastra Bank Act of 2002 has scared the organizations collecting donations for the quake victims of the money deposited in their accounts at various banks in Nepal might be automatically transferred to the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund. Foreign non-governmental agencies and donation collectors have been reluctant to deposit the donations in the fund. They knew that the government was so much corrupt and irregular in doing businesses.


May 2, 2015

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