KATHMANDU, July 9: The government recently registered the National Medical Education Bill, modifying it in favor of its (Nepal Communist Party’s) leaders and cadres. The government also held Vice Chancellor of Nepal Sanskrit University Prof Kul Prasad Koirala from the airport when he was travelling to Canada leading a seven-member delegation—which the opposition Nepali Congress has termed as ‘fascist terror’. The government also ended the decade long syndicate in public transport, but is still to force it into implementation. This has brought the government under criticism from various quarters including the main opposition party Nepali Congress. Yet the government is still boasting its vision of prosper Nepal. Focusing on these topics, Reporters Club Nepal President Rishi Dhamala has interviewed Prime Minister’s press advisor Dr Kundan Aryal. Here is an edited excerpt of the interview.
Why is Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli harsh toward Dr Govinda KC’s demands?
Prime Minister is not being harsh. He wants things to happen in line with the system and laws. The government is trying to work in understanding and as per the need of the hour.
Isn’t Prime Minister’s expression on Dr Kc’s fast-onto-death (15th hunger strike) harsh?
Pressuring the government by staging hunger strike won’t solve any problem. Prime minister wants that the issue, which should be brought under discussion in the parliament before changing it into law, should not be pressured through strike.
What does Oli mean by ‘I have been behind bars for 14 years and I won’t be intimidated’?
Politics done by exerting pressure to the government won’t impart a better result. Prime Minister is clear about this. Despite pressure, he is holding discussion with concerned authorities. He held talks with surgeons regarding Dr KC’s demands yesterday. Prime Minister is positive on finding a resolution.
The problems should be resolved through discussions and negotiations. But the government is not hinting on attuning toward this. Why?
Dr KC should be flexible about his demands. All the issues and demands should be brought to table for serious discussion. It is never a right solution to pressure from outside and demanding that law be made in interest of his demands. Discussions are being held though. The government is concerned about Dr KC’s health. But he should stop being too stubborn.
The government doesn’t seem ready to address Dr KC’s concerns neither Dr KC wants to step back until the demands are met. What is the prime minister planning to resolve such critical situation?
Nobody carries a sanjivani buti to solve the problems. The problem cannot be solved if KC insists that the bill should be formulated according to the recommendations made by Mathema-led committee. If both sides agree on making laws as per the need of the hour, the problems can be resolved easily.
Why is the government giving least importance to Mathema recommendation?
Committee’s work is to prepare a report. Laws cannot be formulated on the basis of everything what report suggests. It is not right to change the report into law as it is.
The core of the govt-KC tussle is whether to allow more medical colleges in the capital. Is it necessary to add more medical colleges in the valley?
Every year hundreds of students go abroad for medical education. But Dr KC’s demands assert that we have more medical colleges than necessary. We cannot agree on the condition, which bars establishment of medical colleges for another 10 years. Even the medical experts and doctors serves similar views about this.
Vice Chancellor of Nepal Sanskrit University Prof Dr Kul Prasad koirala tried to go abroad without permission from the line ministry. It was wrong (the government recently introduced a policy to curtail unnecessary foreign visits and made it mandatory for everyone holding public office to secure prior consent from the authorities concerned for such visits). But how do you describe the government’s behavior on him?
The opposition party Nepal Congress is making this issue big. They have been accusing us of trying to impose totalitarianism. Dr Kul Prasad’s issue was not big. He knew he had to get his travel approved first. But he tried to go however even after being aware that the ministry had sat his visit application. So we had to stop him at the airport. Province 2 chief minister’s visit was also not approved by the government.
The government started well by ending syndicate in public transport sector. But why is government dilly-dallying its implementation?
End of monopoly in public transport sector was one of the most important achievements of the government, and it was received by the people very positively. It will be implemented at any cost.
Will the vision of development and prosperity be fulfilled if the government keeps lingering on small and insignificant issues?
The government is aware of that. But if government cannot maintain laws in the country, development and prosperity is not possible.