July 26, 2010


[ In 1957 the late King Mahendra,  copying Switzerland’s ethnically  diverse administrative structure, had divided Nepal into 14 administrative zones with 75 districts in it. However, the king had not divided the country based on ethnicity or the origin of people residing in the respective zones or districts which is not possible even today. Those 75 districts were further sub-divided into more than 4000 village units.

Today there are those  75 districts with 'a total of 3,915 such village units that are called ‘village development committees (VDCs)’ and 58 municipalities in Nepal. A VDC is the smallest administrative unit, which is further divided into nine wards, each of which elects a representative to the VDC. The VDCs are considered as grassroots political institutions, through which the people participate directly in planning, programming, and implementation of development programs and projects at the local level. The municipalities are also sub-divided into wards, which range from 9 - 35. The number of wards varies as per the size of the town'.

When  the Maoists were on the run, the VDC secretaries used to have very tough times to fulfill their duties. Now, those Maoists rebel are at the helm in Kathmandu but there comes up another least heard underground outfit, Samyukta Jatiya Mukti Morcha (SJMM), 'United Ethnic Liberation Front' literally, who are also reported giving hard times to those VDC secretaries. For more than 10 years until 2006 the Maoists used to chase the VDC secretaries. Now, another underground group chase them again who seem to be a disgruntled ones split from the former rebel camp - that is - the Maoists themselves. Is this new ethnic front challenging the Maoists at the helm or is it being 'utilized' again by the Maoists  as they used to  do during their so called 'people's war (1996 -2006) that took 16,000 lives ? No peace seems at the horizon coming into Nepal.]

Monday, 26 July 2010 07:54

Village Development Committee (VDC) secretaries across the country have asked the government to relieve them from the duty of VDC chairman due to increasing threats and pressure from various quarters.

The third full meeting of the VDC Secretaries Welfare and Rights Protection Centre on Friday and Saturday decided to ask the government to relieve them from the duty of the VDC’s political leadership after concluding the source of threats and pressure they were receiving were due to the political decisions they had to take in the VDCs.

In addition to performing all administrative tasks in the VDCs, the secretaries are also taking the responsibility of VDC chairman due to absence of a local body.

The Centre has decided to ask the government to nominate/elect VDC chairs or make alternative arrangements immediately. It has warned of stringent agitation if the government fails to address their demands within a week.

The VDC secretaries have asked the government to empower the existing all-party mechanisms in the VDCs by amending regulations and laws if required.

VDC secretaries across the country are facing threat from an underground ethnic outfit Samyukta Jatiya Mukti Morcha (SJMM). They are also facing extortion, harassment and threats from various other armed and unarmed outfits.

At least two secretaries have been murdered this year and hundreds of VDC secretaries in more than 15 districts have resigned en masse due to the threats.

Secretaries are facing threats in the VDCs as they are only representative of the state at the local level. Many of the threats are aimed at influencing the VDC secretaries while making decisions on financial matters.

VDC elections have not taken place in the past decade. 

Source: Nepalnews Dot Com