Nepal: Gold Medal in Corruption

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A Nepali Times editorial OpEd last year suggested that the country deserved a gold medal for corruption. The editorial recounts numerous high profile smuggling incidents involving Nepalese and foreign citizens, all of which were alleged to be facilitated by prominent Nepali political figures.

According to one of the report quoted by the Nepali Times, prominent politicians were implicated in the gold smuggling operations, included “former Maoist minister Barshaman Pun, former speaker Onsari Gharti Magar, the family of former vice-president Nanda Kishor Pun, and Maoist Centre vice-chair Krishna Bahadur Mahara and his son”.

The stench from scam after scam this year has become unbearable. If this was an international tournament, Nepal should get the Gold Medal for corruption. And these are just the scandals that we know about, away from the spotlight there is rampant extortion by politicians and bureaucrats of businesses throughout the land.

The editorial suggests that all political parties are involved in smuggling scams and corruption, but the ruling Moist government gets blame for setting up roadblocks to investigate corrupt politicians of its own party.

While scandals are erupting thick and fast, the Maoists are mum about their own embezzlement 15 years ago of billions meant for their former guerrillas in UN-supervised demobilisation camps whose numbers they have admitted to inflating.

Even as the Prime Minister and the Home Minister keep giving speeches saying the rule of law applies to all equally, it looks like some are more equal than others. With a few exceptions, none of the big fish have been netted, and even those who have could now be let go because investigating officers have been removed and replaced with yes men.

– Nepali Times