NATIONAL INTEREST FIRST

  • Voice Of The People

Jan 6, 2017-

Foreign policy of Nepal,  which needs to be one befitting a sovereign nation, is in complete disarray of late (‘Foreign policy flux’, January 3, Page 6). Non-alignment is one of the guiding principles of Nepal’s foreign policy. Hosting the Mongolian foreign minister need not irk China. Nepal continues its friendly relations with countries all over the world based on mutual benefits. Nepal needs to pursue a foreign policy of neutrality between China and India. This needs mature diplomacy.

As in the case of most of the countries in the world, all political parties need to agree on the country’s foreign policy. Some political parties are close to one neighbour while others are inclined to the other. This is completely wrong. All political parties should rise above petty interest for safeguarding national interest. The political parties and their leaders could derive personal benefits by tilting towards one side at the cost of national interest. They should understand soon that when the nation is at risk, their children’s future is at risk, too. 

 -Amrit Ratna Manandhar, Nayabazar

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

This has reference to the news story (‘Banda affects normal life; 83 held, freed’, January 5, Page 2). On Wednesday, we saw a bandh in the Kathmandu Valley by the road expansion struggle committee. Many schools were closed, vehicular movements disturbed, shops closed, industries affected, etc. Time and again, in the name of fulfilling one’s vested interests, various struggle committees and political parties have been enforcing a bandh without regard to the common people’s problems. 

As a common citizen of this country, I cannot see any fruitful outcome these kinds of bandhs produce. A handful people may benefit from them, but the common people are always compelled to face unnecessary problems. This must be stopped.

- Saroj Wagle, Bara

UPBEAT POKHARA

Without any official record of foreign and domestic arrivals, and on the guesstimation of 400,000 international tourist arrivals per year, hotel traders in Pokhara seem to have embarked on a wild goose chase in adding 8,000 room nights within four years (‘Upbeat Pokhara tourism looks forward to 2017’, Money I, Dec 29). These rooms are enough to accommodate 5.76 million tourists a year. But even if they want to achieve 20 percent occupancy, hotel and tourism traders in Pokhara will have to attract 3,200 tourists a day, a gigantic task by any standard.

Current availability of 8,000 room nights seems to be a good recipe for headache and grief for many a hotelier. Some lucky ones will be able to clock decent occupancy through undercutting of rates, but others will have to go into long hibernation to evade creditors. Most of them will have to woo domestic tourists unless they can draw a large number of tourists from India and China. They would require 11,52,000 tourists for 20 percent occupancy. Will they achieve this while their competitors in Kathmandu have continuously failed in their mission to bring 1,000,000 international tourists 

per annum?

- Manohar Shrestha, via email

LAUGHING STOCK

I was surprised with the news (‘Foreign Policy review panel in final stages of formation’, January 2, Page 4). The present government, which is supposed to pave the way for fresh elections, has no right to bring out a new foreign policy for the country. Besides, Nepal’s geography has not changed and its broad parameters of foreign policy direction and conduct do not alter every time a new government comes to power. What is even more intriguing are the possible names, who are close 

to the major political parties. Is this the way to run the country’s diplomacy? It is a shame that the government which is supposed to do more crucial things is wasting 

its time on ridiculous endeavors and making itself a laughing stock in front of the international community.

- RP Singha, Baneswor

Published: 06-01-2017 08:23

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