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Kantipur FM Commentary: Wild Nepal II

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The introduction of a democratic form of governance in 1990 was supposed to have been the dawn of a new era in the history of the country. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

In the April 8, 1998, episode of the Music Jam program I hosted then during my year-and-a-half stay in the country, I discussed how some of the very same people who are  our lawmakers and the keepers of the law are the lawbreakers.

Reproduced below is the transcript of the program.

 

* * * * * * * *

 

[Opening jingle]

Hey hey hey hey!

This is Dorje back on the airwaves of the one and only Kantipur FM with another hour of the Music Jam.

And this hour, it’s going to be just me, just plain ol’ me, music and my commentary.

To begin with my commentary…this afternoon, just before going to the Kantipur FM office, I picked up my mail. They was all torn and opened, but I was not at all surprised. No, I was not surprised at all, because I don’t remember any mail reaching me intact, unopened.

They are torn and obviously inspected, I believe, for money or anything of value by the postal workers in the General Post Office in Dharahara. I am not very surprised and more importantly, I don’t even blame the postal workers. No sir. What else could you expect? And why couldn’t you expect more?

More about that later. So don’t go away. ….

[Music]

I want to share with you two news reports that appeared in recent issues of The Kathmandu Post.

The first one appeared in the front page of the March 28 issue with the headline: ‘Unholy Nexus Ruining Economy.’ The nexus, or the connection, referred to here is that between the office bearers in two crucial institutions within the government — Finance and Home ministry — and smuggling.

What’s unholy about this is that those in the Finance and Home Ministry themselves are supposed to be running a gold smuggling ring in Kathmandu!! And this is a claim made by a highly placed Finance Ministry official, according to this news report.

The second report appeared in the front page of the the April 5 issue. It headlined thus: ‘Top leaders are helping smugglers:FM.’ FM meaning the Finance Minister.

Need I say more? And what’s the connection between these and the post office workers?

Stick around. ….

[Music]

What, if any, is the connection between the government sanctioned gold smuggling that goes on at the Tribhuwan International Airport [in Kathmandu] and the post office workers opening letters in Dharahara? Well, really just a loose connection. A very very loose connection.

And that is this: if the government office bearers, those in position of incredible responsibilities to the State — to the country and their citizens — do not fulfill their duties honestly, how could we expect ordinary citizens, like postal workers, to be honest?! That’s why I am not surprised at all that all my letters get to me in tatters!

More about that after….

[Music]

Everyone has dreams. Everyone from the street hawking paupers to the Kings in palaces dream.

And when honest means doesn’t provide you with even the bare the minimum, or when honest means to make even a decent living are unavailable, dishonesty and cheating is what some resort to…what some resort to, to fulfill some of their dreams, to finance some of their dreams.

More about that after….

[Music]

On March 12, and this is slightly different from what I have been talking about, I talked about wildlife contraband. And following up on a news report in The Kathmandu Post I commented on the fact that everything surrounding the decision to burn the contraband was shrouded in secrecy and therefore, I concluded, that something was very very wrong.

Well, it turns out the authorities did burn the contraband. A picture of the apparent act was printed in the front page of the March 24 issue of the Kathmandu Post.

Now, apparently, it was all carried out in public, otherwise the Post photographer wouldn’t have gotten a shot of the whole affair.

The important question however is: What percentage of the wildlife contraband stockpiled in Chitwan were actually destroyed? 10, 20, 50, 75, 100%? What percentage?

While you ponder over that….

[Music]

All right, the question was what percentage did they actually destroy, did they actually burn. In light of what I have already said about political office bearers, the officials, I would be very surprised if even half, if even 50% of the contraband, were burned!

I cannot but distrust them. I cannot but not believe what they say. I cannot when they the lawmakers themselves are the lawbreakers.

What’s some wildlife contraband?! What do you say? You can write to me about it. Tell me what you think.

In the mean time, keep your eyes open, you might just spot an official wearing a leopard skin cap or even crocodile leather boots.

Keep your eyes open. ….

[Music and closing jingle]

 

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Not much has changed since this episode was aired back in the Spring of 1998. Here are some evidences in the form of tweets of articles describing the same as appears to have happened recently.


What’s more, now human trafficking may also be taking place from the same airport, FACILITATED by the officials!

As for an update on the wildlife contraband, an article I came across this morning in The Kathmandu Post, headlining Over 4,000 Valuable Animal Parts Burned to Ashes, says, “The last time the country destroyed animal parts and trophies was on Mach 22, 1998,” and NOT March 24 as I stated in the program.

 

 

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