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Sushil-led Government-29

September 2014


Crafting A Constitution


Kathmandu, September 6, 2014: Political parties in the Constituent Assembly today decided to provide the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) of the CA one more chance to settle unresolved issues rather than put those issues for votes.


As agreed today at the CPDCC meeting and at the meeting of the three major political parties, the CA rules would not be amended. Neither would the disputed issues be put for voting at least for some time to come. Rather, the full House of the CA would send back the disputed issues to the CPDCC to settle them with a consensus within a time limit following the Clause 84 (3) of the CA Rules.


Chairman of CPDCC Dr Baburam Bhattarai said that some issues concerning a new constitution could not be settled due to time constraints, the CPDCC today decided to forward two reports on settled and yet to be settled issues to the full House of the CA.


“The CPDCC has settled many issues and is yet to settle some others. The issues that are yet to be settled cannot be listed as ‘unsettled’ as they are under discussion, the CPDCC will write in its report to the full House of the CA that it could not settle the issues due to shortage of time. I hope, the full House of the CA will give the CPDCC the responsibility of handling the yet-to-be-settled issues again,” said Bhattarai.


The CPDCC is preparing to submit two preliminary reports on agreed and yet-to-be agreed issues to CA Chairman Subas Nemwang by tomorrow, said spokesperson for the CA secretariat Mukunda Sharma.


For the time being, the CA, however, would not need to amend the CA Rules to extend the deadline for the CPDCC to complete its work. The deadline ended today without settling some key issues including forms of governance, federal structure, election system and the judiciary, said CPDCC member Laxman Lal Karna.


Opposition parties including the main opposition UCPN-Maoist had pleaded for one-month extension of the deadline for the CPDCC to complete the job, while NC and CPN-UML opposed it. However, both sides found the middle path of giving the CPDCC responsibility of settling the issues once again without changing the CA work schedule. (“Parties not to amend CA Rules,”


Kathmandu, September 6, 2014: The Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) finally decided to submit its report to the Constituent Assembly (CA) with a 'suggestion' to extend deadline. The CA set the deadline to the CPDCC for today to settle the disputed issues concerning a new constitution. A CPDCC meeting held at Singha Durbar decided to submit its report. After the meeting, Chairperson of CPDCC Dr Baburam Bhattarai said that the CPDCC needed some more time to build a consensus on the contentious issues. (“CPDCC to submit report with tenure extension request,”


Kathmandu, September 6, 2014: The UCPN-Maoist-led Federal Republican Alliance (FRA) stressed the need for taking the constitution writing process ahead building a consensus. At the meeting of FRA held at the parliamentary party office of the UCPN-Maoist at Singha Durbar today concluded that the FRA would not accept the constitution, if a new constitution were crafted without a consensus.


The FRA said that no alternative to building a consensus on the contentious issues but the NC and CPN-UML were for taking those issues to the CA for the two-thirds majority votes stating political parties failed in building a consensus on the major contentious issues.


Following the CA calendar for crafting a new constitution, the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) needed to build a consensus on all the contents of a new constitution by today.


Talking to media persons after the meeting, Spokesperson for the FRA also the Co-Chairman of the Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said that the political parties believed in the CPDCC should not submit its report without building a consensus on thorny issues. Spokesman Karna also said that the meeting decided to ask NC and CPN-UML to continue for building a consensus on the disputed issues.


FRA was the alliance of seven political parties such as UCPN-Maoist, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF)-Democratic, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, MJF-Nepal, Sadbhawana Party, Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal and Federal Socialist Party-Nepal. (“UCPN-M-led front says consensus must for statute”, RSS news on


Kathmandu, September 6, 2014: An alliance called a Joint National Front of as many as 35 different parties including the UCPN-Maoist today announced that it would soon launch a campaign for identity-based federalism. At a press conference held at the Parisdanda headquarters of the UCPN-Maoist today, the Joint National Front announced its campaign plan including a two-day shutdown of Nepal.


According to General Secretary of Joint National Front Gopal Kirati, the campaign for creating pressure on parties to draft a pro-people constitution would basically focus on creating awareness of the two largest parties in the Constituent Assembly’ are to impose ‘an anti-people constitution’.


“This struggle will create pressure on parties to draft a pro-people constitution. If we are imposed anti-people constitution, we will intensify our struggle,” said Kirati.


The Joint National Front would launch publicity campaigns for the next 70 days. They also would submit protest letters to the ruling NC and CPN-UML. Local level campaigns would be launched for two months beginning mid-November. The Joint National Front will hold a two-day shutdown of Nepal on January 23 and 24.


The Joint National Front also announced that they would hold a mass demonstration on January 11 (Poush 27) coinciding with the birth anniversary of the late king Prithvi Narayan Shah as a ‘national unity’ day.


Kirati said that Prithvi Narayan Shah unified small principalities to a larger Nepal but the ‘feudal mindset promoted a single language, costume and culture’. “That led to suppression of all indigenous nationalities, Dalits, Madhesis and Muslims,” said Kirati. “Therefore a broader national unification is necessary in a new way.” “If the NC and the UML try to impose a constitution without identity-based federalism, all the state committees would intensify struggle,” Kirati said.


Chairman of Madhesi Front Ram Kumar Sharma said that the NC and the CPN-UML have been trying to drive the UCPN-Maoist into a corner even when it has shown maximum flexibility to ensure a consensus.


Spokesman for UCPN-Maoist Dinanath Sharma said that his party supported the campaign but the first priority would be to create awareness among people of a pro-people constitution.


Following the deadline set by the ruling political parties, a new constitution should be promulgated on January 22, 2015. (“Maoist fronts to launch struggle,”


Kathmandu, September 10, 2014: Talking to journalists at the Constituent Assembly (CA) building at New Baneshwor today, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said that crafting a constitution became challenging task without a national unity government or a high level political committee (HLPC). However, he also said that his party was not for joining the government any time soon. He said that an HLPC was necessary to pave the way for a new statute because the current government was not a national unity government. He said that in the past a national unity government had been in place every time a new constitution was promulgated.


“The constitution could not be promulgated while the major parties remain divided. Having a national unity government could be conducive to drafting the statute,” said Chairman Prachanda. “Constitution-drafting is challenging when we have neither an HLPC nor a national unity government.”


Chairman Prachanda said that an HLPC under his leadership could be helpful for statute drafting and concluding the peace process, however, he had never insisted on his own leadership of the HLPC. The international community and the people would appreciate the forming of an HPLC under the leadership of the UCPN-Maoist, he claimed. “HLPC is not my own need; it’s for creating an environment of trust among the parties for completing the peace process.”


Chairman Prachanda said that a new constitution would not be promulgated without the consent of the CPN-Maoist.  “The constitution cannot be implemented without the consent of (chairman of CPN-Maoist) Baidyajee, and since they have been willing to come on board the statute-drafting process, we should make an effort to bring them on board,” he said.


Chairman Prachanda accused NC and CPN-UML of not being serious about settling the disputes over the contents of a new statute but bent their efforts on settling the issues through a vote in the CA. “They did not pay enough attention to settling the disputes on time and are now pressing us for a vote,” said Chairman Prachanda. “The country may face another confrontation if the constitution is promulgated through voting.” (“Statute-making Difficult If No Consensus Govt Or HLPC: Dahal (Prachanda)”,


Kathmandu, Sept 14, 2014: At an interaction program held today, CPN-Maoist Vice-Chairman CP Gajurel said that a new constitution should be promulgated as soon as possible following the people's aspirations. He also said that chances of promulgating a new consensus constitution on schedule has increased due to an all-party conference scheduled for September 16.


The CPN-Maoist Vice-Chairman urged the leaders of all political parties to be maximum flexible about the disputed issues, as a new constitution should a consensus document. He further said that the first session of an all-party meeting would be held to give a positive message to the United Nations General Assembly as Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was going to participate in the General Assembly and the next all-party meeting would be held after the PM's arrival.


A meeting of the major political parties scheduled for Monday (September 15) would finalize whether the issues of constitution would only be discussed or other issues of national importance including the peace process as the agenda for the all-party political conference. (“All should be flexibile, Gajurel says,”, September 14, 2014)



All-party Conference


Kathmandu, September 6, 2014: The first informal meeting of the task force formed to prepare for holding the National Political Conference as demanded by the CPN-Maoist was held today to discuss the possibility of holding the conference before Prime Minister Sushil Koirala left Nepal for New York on September 19, 2014.


CPN-Maoist representatives were for holding the conference after the PM returns, but other leaders said that we could not put on hold the CA’s schedule for crafting a new constitution for such a long time and demanded the conference be held before September 19.


NC and CPN-UML suspected that the CPN-Maoist leaders intended to break up the CA’s schedule delaying the conference on one pretext or another, but CPN-Maoist leaders said that they were serious about the conference. They had submitted their eight-point proposal three months ago.


Saying they could have held the conference long ago if they were serious about it, a CPN-Maoist leader countered the suspicion of the NC and CPN-UML leaders. He further said that the NC and CPN-UML seemed to be engaged in the conference just to tell the world that they had met the demands of the CPN-Maoist. (“National meeting likely before Sept 19,”


Kathmandu, Sept 16, 2014: An all-party political conference scheduled for today for forging a political consensus on the disputed issues of a new constitution has been called off in the last hour. A meeting of the three major parties such as NC, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist with the CPN-Maoist held at the Baluwatar official residence of the Prime Minister this morning could not finalize the conference agenda after the CPN-Maoist stuck to its demand for discussing the matters concerning the peace process at the conference.


NC, and CPN-UML did not agree on the CPN-Maoist’s demand. The CPN-Maoist leaders walked out of the meeting stating it was meaningless to hold a conference until the ruling parties agreed to complete the remaining task of peace process. The three parties had agreed to hold an all-party conference following the demand of CPN-Maoist.


UCPN-Maoist said that the ruling parties declined the CPN-Maoist proposal for continuous discussions on the peace process, entire political process and contents of a new constitution. UCPN-Maoist accused the ruling parties of ignoring just demand of CPN-Maoist for completing the remaining task of the peace process.


CPN-UML Chief Whip Agni Kharel said that the conference could not be hold due to the 'unwillingness' of the CPN–Maoist.


CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Vaidhya said, "Many tasks relating to peace process are yet to complete and ruling parties did not listen to our calls for determining the agenda for the conference and continuing it until an agreement is reached."


UCPN-Maoist Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said that the conference was called off, as the four-party meeting failed to hammer out the core issues of a new constitution. A plan on holding a conference could not go ahead as the ruling parties were reluctant to enforce the agreement on settling all the issues of a new constitution by dialogue, he said.


Talking to RSS, NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said no meaning of holding the conference without the presence of the CPN-Maoist. NC was not for making decision on a new constitution outside the CA, but support and cooperation from all sides was necessary to achieve the goal. (“All-party national conference cancelled due to disagreement on agenda,” RSS news on, September 16, 2014)


Kathmandu, Sept19, 2014: While the ‘political cost´ of the not held all-party national political conference is still a matter of debate, the financial cost incurred to organize the much-touted conference as demanded by the alliance led by the CPN-Maoist appears higher than many would have imagined.


The government spent nearly Rs 400,000 on the botched ‘all-party national political conference´ after the alliance of 33 parties boycotted it. The Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction spent nearly Rs 400,000 on the conference. The ministry was to hold the conference at the CA hall at Nayabaneshwar to allow the alliance led by CPN-Maoist to participate in the constitution writing process.


As the conference was to run for more than eight hours from the morning, the ministry managed all food and beverages for the attendees, their aides and security personnel. The food went to everyone present on the CA premises after the conference was called off.


"According to the catering company (Alfa House), 340 people ate at the buffet. It approximately cost Rs 360,000," said an accounts officer at the ministry. The ministry ordered the food and drinks with the Alfa House: a canteen on the CA premises at the rate of Rs 850 per person. The ministry estimated the cost of the food and beverages at Rs 360,000 inclusive of the government tax and service charge.


In addition, the ministry had purchased an ordinary plastic bag with a diary and a pen to each leader participating in the conference. It cost nearly Rs 15,000, according to the accounts officer. (“Failed Roundtable Cost Govt Rs 400,000”,



Blocking Parliamentary Session


Kathmandu, September 10, 2014: The opposition parties stalled the session of the Legislature-Parliament today. At the outset, Chairman of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal Upendra Yadav alleged that the ruling parties backtracked from the past agreements and said the House would not move ahead. He said a tendency of not enforcing the agreements had prevailed among the ruling parties.


Leader Yadav said that Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat had made a highly objectionable statement of a new constitution could be promulgated putting aside the federalism. He also objected to the statement of the chairman of CPN-UML (KP Oli) that there was no region like Tarai Madhes in Nepal.


He said that the ruling political parties had been working against the spirit of the People's War, the People's Movement and the Madhes Movement.  "The parties in the government are acting out of arrogance of commanding a majority in the Parliament; the government has not fulfilled its commitment that it made in the parliament and it has become a 'miser' in terms of providing relief assistance to the families of the people martyred in course of the People's Movement," he said, and added that the ruling parties were bent on pushing the country into a maelstrom of uncertainty.


He also said that the House obstruction would continue until the earlier agreements were enforced. He urged the government to enforce the past agreements.


Soon after Yadav was done with his statement, the MPs from the opposition bench including those of the UCPN-Maoist rose from their seats. Speaker Subas Nemwang simply announced that the House proceedings could not move ahead amidst the obstruction and adjourned the meeting. (“Opposition parties stall Parliament meeting,”, September 10, 2014)


Biratnagar, September 10, 2014: Talking to journalists at the Biratnagar Airport this morning, Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said that the obstruction of the Parliament was wrong and irresponsible demanding the formation of a high level political mechanism not related to the Constituent Assembly. Dr Mahat said that no need for an unconstitutional mechanism against the Constituent Assembly: the supreme body mandated by the people. The Assembly has the right whether to accept or reject the suggestions offered by the mechanism, he added.


The Finance Minister denied having made a statement of a new constitution could be promulgated without federalism. "Federalism cannot be put off since it is an integral part of the constitution," he asserted. He said he had only stated that technicalities like the delineation of the federal provinces could be decided later with the consent of the parties.


Minister Mahat said that the NC had never abandoned federalism and urged all to remain assured that a new constitution with federalism would be promulgated. He claimed that a new democratic constitution would be promulgated on January 22, 2015 at any cost even through the adoption of the CA procedures if the parties failed to forge a consensus on disputed issues. (“Obstructing House is irresponsible: Dr Mahat,”, September 10, 2014)


Kathmandu, Sept 19, 2014:  Today's meeting of the Federal Republican Alliance (FRA) has decided to block the House Proceedings until their demands are addressed. The FRA of the political parties including UCPN-Maoist, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal, Madhesi Janadhilar Forum-Democratic and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party has been obstructing the House to force the government meeting their various demands including formation of a high-level political committee for constitution writing. The meeting presided over by Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda also urged the ruling parties to be serious about its demands.


NC, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhes-based political parties signed off a four-point agreement on December 14, 2013, that included the formation of a high-level committee.


Meanwhile, a meeting of top leaders of NC, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhes-based political parties is being held at the Baluwatar official residence of the Prime Minister to discuss the demands of the FRA. (“FRA to obstruct House until its demands addressed,” RSS news on, September 19, 2014)



Flood Victims


Chautara, September 7, 2014: Water level in the lake formed at Jure of Ramche-5, Sindhupalchowk in the Sunkoshi River following the massive landslide occurred on August 2 has decreased by around 12 meters. The artificial lake had burst suddenly at 3:00 am today. The Nepalese Army has long been trying to drain out dammed water. Out of 18 submerged houses, eight houses at Mankha-1 and the Sanima hydropower building at Dhuskun showed up.


Meanwhile, people of five high-hilly VDCs in the Myagdi district have been deprived of state's services due to the geographically difficult conditions. More than 11,000 locals of Gurja, Nudi, Muna, Takam and Lulang VDCs are deprived of basic services such as drinking water, communication, transport, health and education for the lack of attention of the bodies concerned to the geographical condition.


Tham Bahadur BK of Muna VDC said that they had to walk for two days even to get primary treatment.  He further said that they would be thankful if the government were to set up a health post in the village.


Similarly, Narsingh Magar of Gurja said that they had been at risk while crossing rivulets and rivers during the monsoon season due to the lack of bridges over them.


Local Development Officer Bishnu Prasad Sharma said that the attention of the District Development Committee has been drawn to the problems of the western Myagdi district and added that discussion was underway on the development projects. (“Water level decreases in Sunkoshi River,”, September 7, 2014)


Kathmandu, September 7, 2014: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala urged one and all to be serious about the maximum utilization of the relief fund collected for the victims of the recent floods and landslides across the country. Receiving donations for the flood victims from different organizations at the PM's residence Baluwatar today, Prime Minister Koirala asked the bodies concerned for monitoring the collected amount to control possible misappropriation. Financial assistance either big or small for the disaster victims carries a great value for them, he said and stressed the need for the effective monitoring of such assistance to prevent its possible misuse.


On the occasion, Nepal Forest Products Entrepreneurs Federation handed over a check for Rs 303,333 to PM Koirala. The amount will be deposited in the Prime Minister's Natural Disaster Rescue and Relief Fund. Similarly, Women Public Awareness Society based in Kathmandu metropolis-30 contributed Rs 28,215 to the Fund. A delegation from the society led by its president Gangababa Joshi was at the Baluwatar to hand over the amount to the Fund. (“PM stresses on maximum utilization of fund for disaster victims,”, September 7, 2014)


Kathmandu, September 8, 2014: Speaking at the meeting of the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said the government was making sincere efforts on taking the relief materials to the real victims. PM Koirala further said that it would not be acceptable to him if the genuine victims were not to receive the relief materials. Generous people from home and abroad have been voluntarily supporting the victims; so, it should get to the real victims, he added.


The Prime Minister said, "I have come to know that some mistakes have been seen in relief distribution and data collection, middlemen are taking undue advantage in the name of victims and it should be ended soon. I instruct the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into the matter."


Prime Minister Koirala said that the government mobilized all bodies concerned to regularize different services including health, education, drinking water, road, transport and communication, and he also assured of opening the road blocked by the landslide at Jure in Sindhupalchowk district within a few days. (“Relief should reach real victims,”, September 8, 2014)


Kathmandu, September 8, 2014: Speaking at a meeting of the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee (GGMC) of the Parliament today, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said the government assigned concerned authorities to rehabilitate the victims of floods, landslides, inundations in safer places and meet their basic needs including food and shelter.


He also informed the House Committee that an amount of Rs 2.63 billion from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund was spent through the Ministry of Home Affairs on the relief and rescue operations at the disaster areas caused by the monsoon rains and floods. PM Koirala said that Rs 60.7 millions had been spent on providing relief with and rehabilitating the disaster victims. A total of Rs 3.43 billion was deposited in the Fund, according to PM Koirala.


PM Koirala told the House Committee that 42 districts across the country suffered from the natural disasters this year, a total of 260 persons were killed and 160 injured, while 254 had been still missing, 8,488 houses were destroyed, and nearly Rs 8 billions worth of property were destroyed. (“PM briefs House panel on disaster losses”,


Surkhet, September 10, 2014: Families carry their belongings while moving to higher ground in the Bardia region of Nepal during the flooding on Aug. 15. In August, monsoon rains brought flooding and landslides to Nepal on a massive scale. Three days of constant rains inundated valleys. And huge swaths of land came tumbling down mountainsides in the western part of the country. The heaviest rainfall occurred in the Surkhet District in the western part of Nepal.


At one point, the lower portion of the Surkhet Valley — a lush river basin 30 miles wide — flooded up to 15 feet deep. Police patrolled the valley in a motorboat as if it were a lake.


More than 6,000 people have lost their homes in Surkhet District alone according to the estimates of the Nepal government. Schools, roads and entire villages were washed away. Nearly 150 people are dead or missing.


As in cases of many disasters, the poorest and most vulnerable people were hurt the most. In the headquarters of the district, almost all of the destroyed homes were in the slum neighborhoods where people already struggle to get enough food each day. Now where homes stood, there are crumbled brick walls, stretches with just a pile of rocks or a few lonely columns.


Displaced families are living in schools, empty government buildings, and open fields or in the forest. The International Red Cross and the local government have taken the lead in providing emergency aid, with the help of other NGOs.


Despite the flurry of activity, relief efforts have been slow to meet the needs of those displaced. One shelter I visited housed about 35 families in an open field. In a near parody of disaster relief, people told me they had been given: Tarps for sleeping under, but no mats and no blankets. So families have been sleeping on the bare ground in the middle of the rainy season. Food rations and pots and pans to cook with, but no firewood. A surplus of donated fabric and used clothing, but no money with which to tailor them. Many people had been wearing only the clothes on their backs since the flood in August.


Several large tanks to store water for drinking and washing stood but no water. Most people have been walking 20 minutes to a nearby pond full of stagnant water and carrying it back. There were no toilets.


A second shelter I visited had roofs, mats, blankets, water and even toilets. But upon arrival, several irate women came out to meet us telling us they were hungry. Apparently they had not been given food rations for two days. After visiting the shelters, I told the director of the District Health Office that the water tanks in the shelters were empty. "They are?" he said, surprised. "I'll call the Water Office right now and tell them to fill them up."


Resources and funding are here to help, but the planning, coordination and management are lacking. With so many players in the mix and the disaster still so fresh, it's no surprise that water tanks sit empty when water could easily be piped in, or that one shelter ends up with a room full of unused clothing and another has none at all.


It's possible that things here will get even worse before they get better. Malnutrition and disease will set in if food and medical aid continue to be delivered in a haphazard and delayed fashion.


Disaster relief is a complex science. Even a strong government, like the U.S. can struggle to find its bearings immediately after a disaster. Look at the missteps that plagued the efforts after Hurricane Katrina.


Nepal, with its fledgling government, has bigger hurdles ahead. Luckily, Surkhet's disaster is on a smaller scale than a New Orleans, or a Haiti. I'm hoping that what I've seen so far is just the first faltering footsteps on what will be a long, but steady, road to recovery. Hannah Marqusee has been living in Nepal for the past year as a Peace Corps volunteer. (“Nepal Struggles To Help Villages Washed Away In Floods by Hannah Marqusee,”


Kathmandu, Sept 14, 2014: Different organizations donated to the Prime Minister Natural Disaster Relief Fund today. At an event held at the Baluwatar official residence of the Prime Minister to receive the donations, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) provided Rs 10 million to the Fund, Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) Rs 2.5 million, Nepal Beema Samiti Rs 767,500 and the Prabhu Group Rs 333,333 to the Fund.


Likewise, Nepalis living in South Korea deposited Rs 1.32 million in the Fund and the Machhapuchchhre Bank Limited also provided one million rupees. The Remitters' Association of Nepal and Krishna Pranami Sewa Samiti Nepal deposited Rs 100,200 and Rs 300,000 respectively in the Fund, West Nepal Bus Entrepreneurs' Association of Butwal Rs 222,222 and Nepalis living in the UK. Rs 150,108


Similarly, Chairman of the Tamu Dhi Kaski Bagar Tamu Samaj, Pokhara, Dan Bahadur Gurung also handed over Rs 100,500 to the Prime Minister.


The Chemical and Medical Supplier Nepal, Corona International School, Nepal Association of Tourism and Hotel Management provided Rs 151,000, Rs 50,101 and 41,497 respectively. (“PM Natural Disaster Relief Fund gets more funds”,, September 14, 2014)


Dang, Sept 18, 2014: Two weeks ago, Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa arrived in the Dang district to meet the flood victims. At the Urahari and Phulbari, two of Dang´s worst flood-affected villages, Minister Thapa assured the flood victims of making sure that they celebrate the Dashain: the most important festival of the Hindus in Nepal in the best possible way.


"My brothers and sisters, you need not worry about anything," Thapa said, in presence of local journalists. "You will get enough (money) to eat delicious food and wear fine clothes in Dashain."


Flood victims in Dang complained that a government team this week distributed just Rs 850 per head for the upcoming Dashain festival. The flood victims could not celebrate Teej: the women’s only Hindu festival, they felt relieved by the Thapa´s assurance. They hoped that they would be able to forget all the damages caused by the mid-August flood celebrating the Dashain. But, their hopes are shattered. They find themselves betrayed and humiliated.


"We feel the government rubbed salt into our fresh wounds," said Devi Ram Kusari, a flood victim in Phulbari village-6. "We can pacify our agitated souls but not our children. They want food and clothes in Dashain. How can we tell them that the flood washed away everything that we had?" It is not that the government has not given anything but it is too little for them to celebrate the Dashain.


Two weeks after Thapa´s assurance, government officials divided into several groups reached out to the flood victims and gave them Rs 850 each. Rs 500 are for buying new clothes and Rs 350 for buying rice for 10 days of the festival.


"At first, I did not believe that we are being given just Rs 850 as our Dashain expense," said Tilak Ram Khadka, a flood victim of Motipur-6. "But, we had to believe when they (government officials) said that’s it and left us."


Shiva Bhandari, another flood victim of Motipur-6, said, "I don’t know how we can celebrate a festival with such a small amount. It is not sufficient for us to even buy foods, let alone nice clothes." Bhandari said his children are expecting new clothes but he has no money to meet their wish.


After a heavy downpour on August 15, Babai River had swollen up and washed away lands and houses of thousands of people, most of them farmers in Dang and Bardiya districts. At the same time, other swollen rivers had caused havoc in Surkhet and Banke districts as well rendering thousands of farmers homeless.


The flood victims are still struggling to rebuild their ruined lives. As Dashain is hardly a couple of weeks away, the flood victims, with no houses to live in and no money to live on, want the government’s assistance but what they are being given has made them feel betrayed. (“Flood Victims Have Just Rs 850 To Celebrate Dashain”,


September 21, 2014

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