Stop Funding International Travel for all 601 Lawmakers of Nepal

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Full letter: June 1, 2011

Dear Donors, Embassies, and INGOs,

We, the concerned citizens of Nepal, are united in our resolve to hold our government accountable in their conduct and ensure transparency in their actions. We believe that this campaign is in accordance to your stated goal of supporting democratic values and human rights in Nepal. Hence, we would like to request you to stop funding all international travels for our 601 Constituent Assembly (CA) lawmakers and senior politicians of all political parties until the expiry of the extended term of the CA for the next three months. We are certain that you understand and appreciate the value of their time for the country – for them to wholeheartedly focus on completing the peace and constitution drafting process by August, 2011.

Over the last three years, Nepali citizens entrusted our CA lawmakers to draft a strong democratic constitution that will enshrine the universal rights of every Nepali citizen. Unfortunately, too much time was lost in political bickering, blatant power-plays and blame-games. We believe that these delays have been exacerbated by extensive international travels funded by agencies such as yours. While we understand that such trips contribute to capacity building and were intended to support the process, those skills are yet to translate into actions. Completion of the peace process and constitution drafting is both essential and time-sensitive.

We are certain that, along with us, you have also witnessed how the myriad of other serious issues Nepal faces, from economic stalemate, slow and often halted development efforts, to absence of rule to law, have continued to be a “hostage” to the tensions and mistrust that arise from this incomplete constitution drafting and peace process. With this letter, we are requesting you to act on your conscience and support the cause for a democratic and stable Nepal.

There have been two recent efforts from your community that warrant applause and need continuity. DFID’s decision to cut funding to an NGO which has repeatedly called for nation-wide bandhs and the U.S. Embassy’s decision to deny US visas to the organizers of bandhs are both innovative and much-needed. Restricting international travel is one of the most effective “other” tools that can be employed, and we passionately appeal you to enforce it. In fact, it is one of the most recurrent ideas that come from Nepalis from all walks of life.

Our goals reflect, we believe, the aspirations of the majority of the Nepali people and also echoes your values. We hope you will uphold our sincere request.

Sincerely,

Nepal Unites
परिवर्तनका लागि हामी नेपाली एक