Negotiations lead nowhereTwo rounds of talks between the government panel and representatives of Dr Govinda KC on Monday failed to find a way out as the former focussed on medical care for the agitating surgeon while refusing to discuss his demands.
Two rounds of talks between the government panel and representatives of Dr Govinda KC on Monday failed to find a way out as the former focussed on medical care for the agitating surgeon while refusing to discuss his demands.
As demanded by Dr KC, his representatives had asked the government panel to withdraw the controversial National Medical Education Bill or to put it on hold until the talks conclude, which they claimed would create an environment for bringing Dr KC to Capital from Jumla, where he has been staging an indefinite fast for the last 18 days, for treatment. They sought assurance that the bill will not be forwarded so that they could convince Dr KC to leave Jumla for better care in Kathmandu.
The government panel led by Education Secretary Khaga Raj Baral did not agree to withdrawing the bill or freezing it either. It stressed only the need to bring the crusader to Kathmandu for treatment as his life is threatened in the remote district.
Both the sides sat for a dialogue on Monday evening where the Baral-led team sought time for consultation with the education minister on the issue of the bill.“The government panel was not prepared. This shows the government is not serious about resolving the issue,” said Dr Abhishek Raj Singh, a representative of Dr KC.
In the meeting that lasted more than three hours, Baral’s team is said to have expressed no interest in discussing the demands while it insisted on bringing Dr KC to the Capital. The panel is said to be unwilling to travel to Jumla to convince the agitating doctor but wants his representatives to do the task. The other side has said the bureaucratic team has no authority to deal with political issues.
“Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel says the bill will neither be put on hold nor withdrawn,” says Senior Advocate Surendra Bhandari, another representative of Dr KC. “How can we move ahead when the government doesn’t want any compromise?” he asked. Senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr KC presses the government to come up with a law in line with the recommendations of the task force led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema, former vice-chancellor of the Tribhuvan University. The government, however, has registered a bill in Parliament on medical education, omitting major recommendations of the Mathema panel, which Dr KC objects to.