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A Royal Flush And A White Elephant

Due to a recent shoot out, the government of Nepal paid compensation of Nepali Rs. 150,000 ($2,100) to the family of slain cabbie//. The taxi driver was shot dead in Kathmandu valley Monday during a shutdown called by the Maoist guerrillas ahead of the Feb 8 local polls.

The government also paid around Nepali Rs.150,000 to the family of a politician killed by the Maoists for taking part in the polls.

However, when one looks at the contrast of life in Nepal it can be overwhelming Last Month King Gyanendra, who has been heading the government since his bloodless coup last year went on a three week long unofficial tour of the countries eastern districts, which has costed the cash strapped government dearly. The kings make shift bathroom alone costed over Nepalese Rs. 200.000

The kings of other countries lead ordinary lives. They will wear a poor man's clothes and eat ordinary food, the Jana Astha weekly wrote.

During his trip the king stayed at the regional headquarters of the Armed Police Force where the walls of the VIP guest house was apparently torn down to construct the lavish bathroom a national Nepali weekly printed. Besides this the Government has been paying for the helicopter fuel, increased security for the royal couple and putting up welcome arches, which are stranded procedure for such VIP tours.

The irony of the whole situation is that after having built such a costly bathroom, the government does not know what to do with it. Following the departure of the royal couple, it stands like a monument, unused and locked up.

It is sad that While on one hand human life is valued so cheap with the government bootstrapping with health care infrastructure the other hand it stands tall literally breaking with the weight of trying to keep a white elephant standing.

Source -(IANS)
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