Page last updated at 2014-09-22 19:37:22 RSS
  OPINION
Black Bazaar
REPUBLICA
Market monitoring

Dashain is a time when even the poor loosen their purse strings. If they have no money, they borrow or get advance payment from office. With all these people flocking to their outlets, it is also a time for businesses to make money, often by brazenly cheating their customers. Their recent, repeated refusal to allow government inspectors to check their prices (and probity) suggests the same. Take the twin raids in Bishal Bazaar Supermarket over the last one week. The half a dozen shops that had been inspected before the shutters were pulled down were all found to be involved in black-marketing, charging customers 10 to 15 times the cost price. A T-shirt which cost Rs 76 was being sold for Rs 1,000; another jacket costing Rs 373 was going for Rs 3,540. The team found such unjustifiable (and illegal) mark-ups in nearly all products. As per the law, goods cannot be sold at over 20 percent of cost price. Yet in the absence of effective monitoring nearly all the retailers in expensive shopping hubs like New Road and Bagbazaar, one suspects, are in breach of the law.
The Right Fight
Sukhdev Shah
CK Raut
The arrest and possible imprisonment of Madhesi intellectual and political activist Chandra Kant (CK) Raut by Morang police on September 13, 2014, has opened new fissures in Nepali politics and has far-reaching consequences for the future of democracy and the country’s sovereignty.

The charges against CK Raut are serious and disturbing. He is accused of advocating a break-up of Nepali state, separating its Madhesh region from rest of the country, through all possible means, including an armed struggle.
Right From Start
Anirudra Neupane
Urban Governance
Battered And Bruised
Shristi Kafle
Sindhupalchowk slide

It was 7 am when we reached Bahrabise of Sindhupalchowk district, some six kilometers away from Lamo Sanghu walking through alternate slippery route. A long queue with hundreds of people was formed in Bahrabise, ignoring the heavy rainfall. Most of them seemed aged 50 or more. With torn clothes and pale faces and noticeable wrinkle lines, some of them were without even slippers. Some others looked like teenagers. The queue comprised remarkable number of women as well. I thought it might be the program for distribution of relief materials for the landslide victims. But to my surprise, these people started carrying heavy sack-packages in their back as laborers.

It has been a daily routine of some 600-700 people since the massive landslide at Jure of Ramche VDC in Sindhupalchowk this July. More than 100 people lost their lives; many went missing, houses washed away and large number of human settlements got destroyed by the natural disaster. The massive landslide not only swept away homes and people but also affected living of those alive, in shortage of food and shelter and direct impact on education, health, business and many more.
One's Not Enough
REPUBLICA
The four-day Ncell Nepal Literature Festival that ends today brought a much-needed relief from the perpetual ennui that the followers of the political process in Nepal, glacial at the best of times, can experience. In the brouhaha surrounding the new constitution, it often seems like politics is the only game in town. It is all too easy to get caught up in the constant political chatter, on noisy TV and radio stations, and daily broadsheets dripping with heavy political fare. We become rather insular in the process, our imagination restricted by the stultifying chatathon that passes for intellectual debate. Unsurprisingly, there was more of the same at this year’s literature fiesta, the gathering gaining an extra political overtone with the participation of Indian politician and writer Sashi Tharoor. But the festival is about so much more than politics. This annual gathering brings together writers, academics, public intellectuals, journalists, poets, economists, among many others—with foreign dignitaries like Tharoor and ex-Outlook India editor Vinod Mehta (present in the 2012 edition) adding extra spice. This year’s festival would have been all the more enjoyable had the rain not played havoc with the scheduling.
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