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Not Many Positive Things Happening

Issue February 2019

Not Many Positive Things Happening

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Probably, many positive things have not been happening in this country since KP Oli took office but his Youth Association called Yuba Sangh leaders want the folks to see the positive things, which are not available. Yuba Sangh has intimidated the folk singer Pashupati Sharma alleging him that he called the cadres of Yuba Sangh dogs and the ruler of Nepal currently their boss Oli the Yamraj. Is it the positive thing to threaten somebody for sarcasm? Prime Minister Oli instead of safeguarding the freedom of expression of the folk singer he just went along with his Yuba Sangh. It indicated that the freedom of expression and the communist rule could not get along pretty well. So, one of them has to go. For now, the freedom of expression has gone.


Probably, one of the most remarkable things the Oli administration had done is the Social Security Fund whereas even more remarkable thing Mr. Oli could do might be eliminating the bribes and graft so widespread among the politicians and the bureaucrats. Government officials and politicians probably including the prime minister have been growing fat, which has made them unhealthy while common folks have been slimming down.


The song titled “loot-na sa-kay loot kancha” dramatized the current situation in the country. The song reflects the reality in the country because everybody in the bureaucracy including the commissioner at the anti-corruption agency had been looting while the politicians have heyday to loot as much as possible leaving thousands of development projects unfinished for years. For example, Raj Narayan Pathak: one of the commissioners at Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had just quit the job for involving in taking millions of rupees in bribe.


Prime Minister Oli needed to prove his administration was without blemish threatening the corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, lawmakers, contractors, and businesspersons to take strong actions against them if they were not to stop their illegal businesses. Spokesman for CPN: Narayan Kaji Shrestha had once said that the corrupt folks needed to be terrified but this had not happened, yet.


Rather folks like the folk singer Sharma had to accept the reality of life and had to remove the song from the for satisfying the leaders of Yuba Sangh and certainly the prime minister who was supposed to run the corruption-free administration. However, Mr. Oli had not been tired of saying he had the zero tolerance of corruption while taking almost no actions against the corrupt practices prevailing in the administration so far making him a laughingstock.


Prime Minister Oli instead of engaging in inaugurating the statue of Kalu Pandey, who came to loot Kirtipurians in the 18th century needed to be busy with curbing the widespread official graft. Will it not be the positive thing for Oli to do? The leader of Yuba Sangh needed to answer.


Mr. Oli’s Yuba Sangh has threatened to take serious actions against the folk singer Pashupati Sharma who sang the satirical song, which reflected the reality, not smearing anybody. Poor singer Sharma had been so desperate that he simply took out the song from the and promised to change some wordings for making the youth leaders of Yuba Sangh happy. That might be great for Mr. Oli but it gave the impression of the people in general losing the right to the freedom of expression.


Some folks rallied behind folk singer Pashupati Sharma at the Mandala in Kathmandu, and charged the Oli administration with being as oppressive as the king during the Panchayat period when not a single word against the king could be spoken. They even said that Mr. Oli was tending to be a despot. It might have some truth because Mr. Oli had so much love for Prithvi Narayan Shah and then Kalu Pandey: disgracefully despotic and cruel people.


Some experts have said at the public live discussion with the leader of Yuba Sangh the AP Center held that it has been worse than the totalitarian regime to force such a popular singer to offload the song from the and then to amend it; it is nothing less than hitting hard the talent’s rights to expression. In other words Mr. Oli has been unleashing his cadres to muzzle even such a talent. Are all communists agreeing on this matter?


Why have not the people the right to challenge the disinformation the Oli administration spreading through the state-run newspaper “gorkhapatra” making it the mouthpiece of the Oli administration? The youth leaders needed to answer. If the Oli administration had been spreading the disinformation then the folks like singer Sharma had the right to correct it through the ironic song. Folks are living in the democratic republic not in the communist regime.


Why the youth leaders who enjoyed clapping and cheering hard when Mr. Oli mocked somebody while delivering speeches did not tolerate the folk singer Sharma’s sarcastic song because the song has said that the heaven like Nepal has the Yamraj like ruler, and the cadres simply barking like dogs? Surely, the cadres are not dogs neither the ruler is Yamraj but the singer simple compared them.


If Mr. Oli were to revive Prithvi Shah and Kalu Pandey, would Mr. Oli be much different from Yamraj? The youth leaders needed to answer sincerely because only Yamraj could give a new life to dead persons if we were to believe in the Hindu sacred texts. Then what is wrong folk singer Sharma saying Nepal has the rule of Yamraj?


Mr. Oli took the president to the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah to honor the despot on his anniversary on January 11, 2019, and inaugurated the statue of Kalu Pandey on February 21, 2019. Are all the communists agree on reviving the despots? Only if the answer is yes, then Oli has done a good job otherwise it has been a negative performance as the folk singer has sang.


How many more such statues of Kalu Pandey and of other kings that had successfully kept Nepalis poor and destitute for over two-and-a-half centuries would be going up, and Mr. Oli is going to inaugurate them? The youth leaders need to inform the common folks.


It would not be a surprise if the fate of Mr. Oli’s party would be that of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that had proudly built the statue of Bhalavbhai Patel: one of the tallest statues in the world at the cost of billions of dollars instead of building irrigation systems the local farmers wanted; consequently Mr. Modi’s party faced disastrous results in the recent State elections held for the five State assemblies in India.


Mr. Oli probably did not read the history of Nepal if he had then he just ignored the fact that Kalu Pandey was the general of Prithvi Narayan Shah, who ordered to cut off the noses and ears of Kirtipurians after he won this state facing six unsuccessful assaults on Kirtipur. Kirtipurians killed Kalu Pandey for assaulting them. Is Kalu Pandey the hero for Mr. Oli?


Now, the question is whether Mr. Oli is the prime minister of Nepalis means whether he is the prime minister of the voters who had elected him and his lawmakers overwhelmingly or the prime minister elected for serving and glorifying Kalu Pandey and his boss Prithvi Narayan Shah, and insulting the people whose ancestors had been the victims of cruel Kalu Pandey and Prithvi Narayan Shah in the 18th century even though most of the today’s Kirtipurians must have voted for his party CPN?


Is it not Mr. Oli wasting the blood of martyrs who had sacrificed their lives shedding their blood for ending the monarchy, simply worshipping the dead general Kalu Pandey and his boss Prithvi Narayan Shah? Why did not Mr. Oli declare to build a statue of those martyrs who shed blood during the Madhesh Movement that had made a considerable contribution to end the monarchy? Why did not Mr. Oli attend the anniversary of the People’s War that had contributed to finishing off the monarchy not to mention building a monument to the brave soldiers that had fought for the republic?


With the revival of marking the anniversary of notoriously cruel Prithvi Shah, and opening up the statue of Kalu Pandey, did Mr. Oli hit the current republican setup the brave folks fought for, shed blood for, and ultimately set it up, negatively or not? Are all the cadres and leaders of CPN agree on what Mr. Oli has been doing to revive the oppressors or not? What the leaders of Yuba Sangh think whether these things Mr. Oli has been doing are the negative ones or positive? Tell the people sincerely. These are not jokes Mr. Oli used to tell.


Whether the communists including the youth cadres particularly calling themselves belonging to or affiliating with the CPN: the ruling communist party today think or not the need for tearing down the statues of Kalu Pandey and of Prithvi Shah that had been the symbols of the foes of the proletariats, who had been the victims of those oppressors for over two-and-a-half centuries? If yes why don’t they take out the hammer from their flag and go to hit those statues so dear to Mr. Oli?


Surely, folks want to see positive things happening in the country, and the folks anticipate everything positive from the Oli administration of the two-thirds majority, as the leaders of the Yuba Sangh want. However, where are those positive things happening in the country, the leaders of the Yuba Sangh have seen? Tell the common folks what are the positive things the Oli administration has been doing rather than wasting time and energy on threatening the folks singer for singing and bringing the things out of sight to light.


The leader of Yuba Sangh has indicated that the Prime Minister’s Employment Program is a positive one. Is it so? However, the people who have the experiences in such programs have said that this program is really for feeding the political cadres during the election period. Then surely, for the CPN cadres, the program might be positive at the cost of the taxpayers’ money and at the cost of the entire populace.


What else the prime minister has done positive things? He opened up the office of the River Transport. It created 16 jobs for the State officials, nothing more while millions of youths have been moving to foreign countries for jobs due to the lack of job opportunities in the country. Has Mr. Oli sufficient money to open up the bridge or to build a bypass canal to make a waterway for passing boats, as he stated in one of the public speeches probably sarcastically? Has Mr. Oli the right to laugh at such a serious development project costing billions of rupees if not dollars, if he is making a fun of it?


The Oli’s agricultural minister has been making a proposal for punishing those farmers who leave their land unplanted. Probably, the minister does not deserve to be the minister for agriculture because she does not understand what is agriculture. If she were to understand the agriculture she would rather work on providing irrigation water for the farmers to plow land and grow varieties of crops rather than penalizing the farmers for not working on farms. However, without water what the farmers would do? The minister needs to answer the question rather than punishing the farmers for leaving the land fallow.


The news published in “gorkhapatra” on February 25, 2019 stated that speaking at an event held at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development on Sunday, February 24, 2019, Prime Minister Oli urged Nepalis to develop the habit of eating the locally produced rice rather than the imported aromatic rice. At least Mr. Oli had not said to discontinue the import of the aromatic rice.


Mr. Oli in his address to nation said that so many laws were enacted. However, with the lack of the legal provisions, provincial governments have been unable to work causing almost no use of the capital budget that is supposed to use for the expeditious economic development at the provinces. If the provinces could work fast then they could create a large number of jobs for the unemployed youths that had no alternative but to go abroad for jobs.


The news on stated on February 21, 2019 that Prime Minister KP Oli had inaugurated the buses run on batteries with fanfare on the premises of the Sajha Cooperative Office at Pulchok in Kathmandu on October 23, 2018, and then the prime minister boasted that these buses like fishes would lay eggs, and then he rode the bus from there to his office in Singhdurbar.


The news also stated that since then the buses have been parked at the Sajha garage because the Secretary to the ministry of transport did not permit to run them on the Kathmandu roads, as these buses did not meet the standard mentioned in the agreement the ministry had reached with the contractor. Probably for the same reason the secretary was transferred from the ministry to another ministry.


The news further stated that these buses were supposed to run in Lumbini, and the government purchased them with the assistance of Asian Development Bank; these buses were purchased for the Lumbini Development Project for running them from the Bhairahava International airport to the Lumbini but the airport had not been operational, yet; so the government decided to run those buses in Kathmandu until the Bhairahava airport became operational.


The news on “Kantipur Daily” on February 22, 2019 clearly stated that how far the Oli administration has shamelessly tried to push the Secretary to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to indulge in the heinous crime of falsely certifying the Indian buses as the China made. The news stated that at the farewell function held at the ministry on Wednesday, February 20, 2017 to say bye to the secretary Devkota, without any hesitation in the presence of Minister Rabindra Adhikari, Secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota told the audience that he was transferred to another ministry not agreeing to certify the electric buses purchased from India as imported from China.


Is it the zero tolerance of corruption Mr. Oli has? If yes why Mr. Oli did not fire the minister then and there? How long Nepalis have to live with the wide publicity of disinformation? Is it not necessary for the youth leaders of Youth Association to say publicly whether such a thing is negative or positive happening in the country? If they could hit hard the folk singer Sharma, why not the minister that had pushed the secretary out of the ministry for not committing the heinous crime of certifying the Indian buses as the China made?


The State-owned newspaper “gorkhapatra” in the Nepali language on February 22, 2019 published in the front page the nice picture of the statue of Kalu Pandey Prime Minister Oli inaugurated at Dahachok at Chandragiri-1 on February 21, 2019. Instead of opening irrigation systems or hydropower plants or the highly hyped Melamchi Drinking Water Project that would contribute to improve the lives of the common folks Mr. Oli opted to open up the life-size statue of disgraced and killed Kalu Pandey: the enemy of the proletariats probably Mr. Oli represented. What the heavy irony has been.


Responding to the questions of lawmakers at the meeting held at the House of Representatives (HoR) to discuss the bill on information technology on Friday, February 22, 2019, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota said the government would prohibit posting of vulgar and objectionable materials on the social media including Facebook and Twitter, as the government had been forced to regulate and manage the social media that had become an integral part of the general public, the news on stated.


The news also stated that Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Gagan Thapa asked the minister whether the government intended to control freedom of expression through the bill. “Our prime minister mocks others daily. So, he is allowed to mock others and the others will be punished for replying to that?” Thapa asked.


Lawmaker Thapa also claimed that the bill contained many unnecessary provisions and lacked many necessary ones. He accused the government of bringing the bill with an intention of curbing freedom of expression and asked what the government would do if the social networking sites did not come for registration in Nepal. Minister Baskota did not provide solid answers to those questions, the news on stated.


What are the definitions of vulgar and objectionable materials? The bill needs to clearly define the words otherwise officials would interpret the words as they like and suit them depending on the situation.


The news posted on on January 31. 2019 has the following story.


Local governments such as municipalities and rural municipalities are the most corrupt agencies in the country, the survey Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had conducted stated as they made the service seekers to pay “additional charges” to receive services from the local units.


The anti-graft agency survey report titled “Study on Corruption and Good-Governance in Nepal-2075” stated that municipalities and rural municipalities had been the second most corrupt entities after the land revenue offices.


Rameshwor Dangal: spokesman for the CIAA told the reporter of The Kathmandu Post that the anti-graft body had been receiving complaints in increasing numbers about irregularities at the local governments. As many as 2,566 complaints related to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration were registered with the CIAA in the last fiscal year, the commission’s Annual Report of 2017/18 stated.


The anti-graft agency report painted a bleak picture of governance at the local level even after the country adopted the federalism to ensure people get services at their doorsteps with convenience. CIAA conducted the survey in the second half of the fiscal year 2017/18 when elected representatives had already taken office.


"Even after the elected representatives assumed office, complaints about irregularities at local level have not come down,” said spokesman Dangal. "We are also receiving complaints that the ward chairmen have been buying their own dozers and working on projects of local governments, in a clear case of conflict of interest. We are also receiving complaints against the elected representatives, especially those who have the background of contractors. They are using their power and authority to bag contracts for their own firms.”


After the local elections were held in a gap of 20 years in 2017, it was largely expected that elected representatives would be accountable to the people and the governance would improve. However, the survey has exposed continued poor performances at the local level.


"The local executives have been spending money in projects which were not endorsed by the local assembly. Conditional grants provided by the Centre have also been misused at many local governments although that cannot be used in other purposes except the ones fixed by the Centre. Local governments are also allocating budget in areas where Local Level Operation Act does not allow them to do so," one of the officials of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration told the Post reporter requesting anonymity. "There is also a growing tendency among a number of local governments to make low-cost estimate of projects so that contract could be awarded at a lower amount in return for kickback from contractors."


Spokesman Dangal also said that the anti-graft agency received complaints about local governments spending resources going against the approved budgetary plan and low quality works of the projects overseen by the local governments.


However, Municipal Association of Nepal: an umbrella body of all the municipalities in the country, refused to buy the claims made in the CIAA report that irregularities have increased at local governments under the elected representatives.


“People are happy with local governments in most of the areas as they are getting better services. The issue of irregularities has been hugely generalized to show all local governments are bad under elected representatives. It’s wrong to paint all local governments with the same brush,” said Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha: president of the association. “I think it is an attempt to weaken the local governments.”


What the Yuba Sangh leaders have to say about the irregularities going on at the local governments where most of the elected officials are the CPN members. Are these irregularities positive or negative? Most of them might be positive for the elected officials, who are mainly the CPN members. Where on earth to find the positive things the recently elected officials had done for the common folks.


Did not Mr. Oli as the prime minister need to launch sweeping measures to curb official graft instead of parroting that he has no tolerance of corruption, and he would not get involved in any graft and would not let others to involve in? What the youth leaders would say about it?


Another news story about the graft as posted on February 23, 2019 on the is as follow.


Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has said that the tendency of submitting fake academic credentials, teaching licenses and citizenship certificates for joining the government service, getting promotion in service, and receiving government benefits is on the rise.


“Appointing, promoting and providing facilities to any person on the basis of bogus or forged certificate of academic qualification and other documents badly affects the performance and service delivery of an office. It is also detrimental to the morale of qualified and capable employees,” the anti-graft body warned in its annual report of the fiscal year 2017/18.


It said that the CIAA had attached high priority to the investigation into suspicious academic credentials of government employees. CIAA filed graft charge against 64 government employees including security personnel at the Special Court in the fiscal year 2017/18 compared to 40 in the previous fiscal year. An investigation the anti-graft body conducted showed the highest cases of false academic certificates schoolteachers and police personnel had been involved in submitting.


Similarly, health workers, technical employees, administrative employees at the local levels and other employees are also among the persons joining government service and enjoying promotion and other benefits submitting fake documents. CIAA has urged the government and the authorities concerned to verify the authenticity of academic credentials of candidates applying for the job. “It will have a positive impact on the qualification system and performance of the concerned offices,” the anti-graft body said.


CIAA also said the concerned authorities had implemented only a few recommendations it had made last year. “Making commitment to implement the recommendation in haste without adequate preparation, lack of coordination among government bodies, lack of reward and punishment, delay in implementation of suggestion, lack of effective regulation and strategic plan in the fight against corruption are stumbling blocks to honesty, integrity and good moral conduct in government offices,” it warned.


Where had gone the zero tolerance of Prime Minister Oli if the Oli administration were to ignore the majority of the recommendations CIAA had made for curbing the bribes and graft at the government offices? Is it the positive thing, the Oli administration had done, not implementing the recommendations CIAA had made for curbing if not ending the corruption? Do the youth leaders need to answer it or not?


In conclusion, it might be correct to say that the freedom of expression and the communist rule could not go hand-in-hand. The Oli administration instead of taking folk singer Sharma’s song as a positive indication has turned back on it and let its youth leaders intimidate the singer, who had no choice but to quietly pull out the song posted on


One thing the Oli administration had forgotten might be the song must have been downloaded, and it had been safely kept for listening informally, which was more injurious to any administration. The opposition might produce it and run it during the next election campaign. Then, not only Mr. Oli but also his CPN might be in a great trouble in the coming general elections when folks would vote facing the choice between the freedom of expression and the communist rule. Then who would like to risk of losing the freedom of expression voting for the communists?


February 25, 2019

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