Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal’s Gov’t Buys Weapons While the People Face Epidemic

Posted by n3wday on August 8, 2009

Nepal_lack_of_medicine_heath_minister_conference_UCPN_MaoistThis article was published on Wavemag.

The Scratching Game


The game of pulling for the hot seat of ministries continues as the cabinet expansion waits to take a full shape. Nothing much has happened in politics besides blaming each other and pulling legs to bring down the 22 party supported government. It’s more like scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. However, the hot topic discussed in the House has been the buying of arms and ammunition from India instead of focusing on the diarrhea outbreak in the mid western districts of Nepal.

Uma Kanta Chaudhary, health minister too left for Germany on Saturday to attend a seminar. In fact, the minister was in such a hurry to leave the country that he did not inform the Prime Minister about his trip and did not wait for the cabinet’s approval. At a time like this, when the country is suffering from lack of medicines to control the diarrhea outbreak, the minister is enjoying his so-called conference in Germany. Is that ethically correct for a minister or more so was that the reason he was given the responsibility in the first place?

The parliament has been the hot spot drawing all the attention it seems in the past month. Oh well, it always has been in the limelight. The Maoists decided to stall all proceedings in the House until Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal addressed their demands.

The four demands:

1) The PM address the House about the decision of the government to purchase arms from India.
2) The government to declare health emergency in the diarrhoeal outbreak hit areas.
3) YCL central committee member Laxman Yadav ‘Himal’, to be declared a martyr.
4) Government to take strong action against the culprits who killed Himal.

According to the peace accord, the government and the Maoists cannot buy any arms and ammunition. Earlier, on 27 July, PM Nepal had called a meeting of the major political parties at his office and clarified that the reports on government’s plans to buy the arms were only rumours, reported

The price of food has sky rocketed after the budget and the budget discussion has been halted due to the House disruption. All the while, Minister for Home Affairs Bhim Rawal on 28 July, said that the government was planning to come up with new security strategies to give citizens a greater sense of security. According to, Rawal said that the new strategies would cope with murders, abductions, road obstructions etc at a program. On the separate issue of the police raid on godowns in the capital, he said the purpose was to reveal the truth about the artificial shortage created by businessmen by hoarding food grains. However, he accepted that the result was not as fruitful as expected.

Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal, on the other hand, introduced Lt. General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung as his successor. CoAS Katwal plans to end his term a month earlier on 10 September. And as per the tradition if any outgoing CoAS takes one month leave before the end of term, the second-in-command takes charge as acting CoAS. Looks like the army is finally settling down after beaming in the spotlight a few months back.

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