People's Review Weekly

Something is Rotten in the Himalayan Republic

- BY SHASHI P.B.B.MAllA The writer can be reached at: shashipbma­

Some countries are plagued by multiple crises, Nepal has the misfortune to be cursed with multiple scams.

The latest ‘gold smuggling scandal’ at the Tribhuvan Internatio­nal Airport (TIA) must have been going on for quite some time and was very lucrative for all involved. We are still in the dark as to how it saw the light of day – was it pure chance or did someone spill the beans?

With so much loot at stake and quite a few people involved, something must have gone wrong and now the mastermind­s behind the racket are trying desperatel­y to pick up the pieces and, if possible, suppress the whole affair. A weakness in the ‘chain of command’ might have occurred due to problems of sharing the spoils. Because of this the adage: ‘there is honour among thieves’ must have broken down.

The Opposition CPNUML

The chairperso­n of the CPN-UML, K.P. Sharma Oli has repeatedly insisted that a high level probe committee was necessary to investigat­e the gold smuggling case (The Himalayan Times/ THT, Aug. 14).

This is all and good, but obstructin­g the working of parliament to compel the government to do so is not the correct way of going about things.

Oli said the home minister should take responsibi­lity for the gold smuggling probe.

He also said that a parliament­ary probe committee would not give any result as the ruling parties had a clear majority in Parliament.

The Co-Governing Nepali Congress

The stance of the cogovernin­g Nepali Congress (NC) is in shambles.

First, NC lawmaker Sunil Sharma had demanded the resignatio­ns of ministers for being implicated in the latest scam.

Then, Sharma himself became the target – of government parties no doubt – of being involved in obtaining a fake academic certificat­e. NC spokespers­on and Minister for Finance, Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat said he was ready to tender his resignatio­n if his involvemen­t in the gold scam was proven. Now, another NC leader, Dr. Shekhar Koirala has demanded the formation of a high-level investigat­ion committee to probe the smuggling of one quintal of gold [which is probably only the tip of the iceberg] (TRN/The Rising Nepal, Aug. 14). The Maoists

Nothing has been undertaken to solve the imbroglio because it has been alleged that the Maoists are heavily involved.

CPN-Maoist Centre leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara and his son are suspected of having close contacts with Chinese gold smuggling racketeers.

Nothing will come of any potential probe into this and other running scams since the government is tightly controllin­g the agenda. It is not interested in draining the stinking and noxious Kathmandu Swamp. Progressiv­e and patriotic forces must cooperate to banish this utterly corrupt government from the seat of power.

A new beginning for the country is the need of the hour.

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