The Nepal Digest - April 13, 1999 (1 Bhaishakh 2056 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wed Apr 13, 1999: Baishakh 1 2056BS: Year8 Volume85 Issue1

Today's Topics (partial list):

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information tnd@nepal.org *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra pkm@acpub.duke.edu *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana avinayar@touro.edu *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal HamalK@dist.gov.au *
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 * Anil Shrestha SHRESTHA@CROP.UOGUELPH.CA *
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 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
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 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
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****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 19:55:55 +0500 To: editor contributions <nepal@cs.niu.edu> From: "F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <hutch@healthnet.org.np> Subject: Kathmandu, Nepal, the world...

Oh, let us save Kathmandu and Nepal; the world!

Capitalism is based on growth (net increase), as well as, the exploitation of resources. There can be no financial) prosperity without growth!

Where does this growth come from (in this situation). More 'demand,' from more people (increased population).

But, can there be unlimited increase (growth), as such, in this world? No! The Earth can't keep sustaining a never-ending increase in people, and subsequent decrease in natural resources!

There will come a time of diminishing returns, in fact we may be in that period already!

Ke Garni? ('What to do?)

We have got to slow down the birth rate! Especially, in Third World countries, or they're going to 'drown' in people!

In 1980, Kathmandu, had a population of roughly, 100,000 people. By the year 2,000, there will be at least two million people living in the Kathmandu Valley! It doesn't take a genius to see what's going to happen... Unless we do something now!

In Nepal, every year 700,000 more mouths to feed in a country that can barely feed the people it has now (23 million)... I've seen children eating out of garbage heaps!

Ke Garni?

Nepal has unique problem (as all countries have problems to deal with)...
 Nepal's 'problems,' are unique to its cultural heritage and mythology: It's culturally unacceptable to not get married and have as many children as possible.

What are we going to do with all these people...? I walk (ride a bicycle) all over Kathmandu, through the coughing, spitting, crowded, polluted streets, out of control! Kathmandu ranks up there with Mexico City, and Athens, Greece.

Recently I was privy to what a Norwegian couple said, here for the first time, as tourists. There response to, 'What do you think about Kathmandu?' shocked me! "Horrible,' they replied!

If you have one little Norwegian couple taking that idea home to Norway, what do you think is going to happen to tourism in Kathmandu?

Of course, there are many great things about Kathmandu, and Nepali culture that this couple overlooked... But, it's there overall description that's shocking!

Ke Garni?

If we stick our heads in the sand, as the expression goes, it's going to get worse, and there's going to be violence!

There are thousands of young males with nothing to do ('hanging out'), and increasing desires whetted by western media. But, they have no productive way to fulfill these desires, as they have no means of support
(no jobs!). So, they steal. I was just robbed on a bus returning from Lumbini to Kathmandu!

Ke Garni?

It has to become (mythologically) 'cool,' ('in') to have fewer children, and I dare say not even get married! Oh, my God, what am I saying...?

This 'mythology,' must be 'manufactured,' and distributed as
'entertainment,' via TV and the movies!

I would know how to do this...

But, let's see what makes collective sense... I'm only one of many...

What do you think?

The Earth (Kathmandu) cannot sustain an unlimited amount of people...

One of the reasons the U.S. is so prosperous (in 1999), it has one of the lowest birth rates of any industrialized country in the world.

There is only one overriding issue to me: Over population chasing scarcer and scarcer resources. There will come a time when there are wars over drinking water, even the air we breathe! Unless we act now!

Ke Garni!

Act now! Let us save Kathmandu, Nepal, and ourselves in the process!

Namaste!

Frederick Alexander Hutchison Dalrymple Kathmandu, Nepal

****************************************************************** Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 14:58:18 -0500 (EST) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <pkm@duke.edu> To: The Nepal digest Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Two Cheers for Election '99

        As school children, we used to go from door to door in the neighboring villages, singing a song, and dancing to its tune, in order to collect funds to get the roof and furniture of our elementary school fixed. The song went like this: "Barah maasa ghumi firi feri Tihar aayo lau, deyuse bhai lai kati rumailo" (Tihar is here again; how excited we are to go door to door!). Well, in a like fashion, the Parliamentary elections are here again, but can I say, "The elections are here! How happy we are!"? I don't think so.

        General elections in any democracy bring renewal of electorate's confidence in those who govern them. They are rituals of rebirth and regeneration of people's power over themselves. John Locke and Abraham Lincoln endorse this idea of a general election, but George Bernard Shaw would disagree with it. He would say that a general election in a democracy ought to do more than just that. It should bring new faces, new leadership, new ways of fulfilling old expectations. But if all the candidates in an election happen to be a bunch of scoundrels, he would say, then the people have no choice but to choose one of the many scoundrels in the field. Shaw would say that this is what happens in a parliamentary democracy, in which parties could choose scoundrels all the time, leaving no other option for the voters.

        While I may not go that far in endorsing Shaw's views about candidates, nor endorse those who have chosen to boycott the elections in Nepal and adopted the path of armed struggle, both for complicated reasons I have no space here to elaborate, I do feel like saying, We have been there, done that. So what? We have had all kinds of elections, all kinds of governments-- majority, minority, coalition, etc. In less than a decade, one feels like having lived a century of political experience if one chooses to call what has happened in Nepal's political life since 1990.

        It is not only that such permutations might occur again, but worse possibilities seem to loom on the horizon. The Congress is certainly not as strong as it was when it contested the first election and won a majority; internal dissensions would have been fine, but rat race for power is out in the open already. As they say in Maithili, "Paani me machri, nau nau kutia bakhara" (Let's divide the fish before the catch). But the most surprising aspect of this election is that there is not only no hope of new leadership emerging within each party, chances of even older, tried-and- failed leadership appear primed to lead the country.

        They are talking about saddling the country with Mr. K. P. Bhattarai, let alone letting new blood take over the reins. The cases of RPP and the Communist factions are no different, even though one is yet to see how a majority Communist government runs the country. The leadership in each needs a drastic overhaul, and that has to come from within their own rank and file rather than anyone from above. Within less than ten years of multiparty system, one feels like saying that the democratically committed leadership in each of these parties have little to offer the country save the fulfillment of their own personal ambitions and pockets by fair or foul means.

        The older the leadership, worse the possibilities. Those who grew up feeling the full blow of the Panchayat system have their minds and hearts stifled and numbed for too long to think clearly, feel clearly, see clearly. The unprecedented corruption, fueled by Cold War foreign aids, set the limits to the moral possibilities of even those who were outside its venomous shadows. That is why, young generation of leaders need to emerge to frankly tell the old guards in all these parties to call it a quit and cheer from the sidelines. The new leadership, in any of these parties, ought not be there just to make it a place of grandfatherly retirement but a hot spot that demands young hearts and young minds--and that offers an opportunity to morally whip awaken the centuries of political somnambulism of the country. Frankly, I can live with a few sex scandals if we get some hot-blooded leaders, male or female. What I can't bear is a bunch of worn hearts and sagging minds at the helms, no offense to our venerable fathers and grandfathers everywhere. But what are the chances that such a situation would occur at the end of this election?

        It won't make any difference whether any one party wins the majority or no party emerges as dominant. We have seen the farce played out in the last two elections. The outcome of this one would be no different given the parameters of the constitution. The constitution is flawed, borrowed without consideration to the failings of the decolonized nations' murky record in democratic politics since their Independence from the European power.

        But perhaps looking at the half empty glass is not the right way to look at the glass that's half full. And so I say there are two cheers for election 1999. One, elections are always the best way for the political education of new democracies in the Third World. They are even more important for Nepal, because, for reasons of locked history and geography, and the failure of its own rulers in dealing with its people that would shame even the worst colonialists, the country remained politically illiterate. As a result, we have two kinds of political leaders at this time in Nepal, both severely handicapped because of the nature and place of their training. The older generation of the democratic leaders received their political training in the anti-colonial struggle in India, and the younger generation as students on college campuses within the country during the Panchayat era.

        In both cases, leadership didn't emerge from the people, from the grassroots level. Those who fought the British hand-in-hand with the Indian freedom fighters were right in thinking that unless India didn't gain independence, Nepal never would, as the simultaneity of Cold War politics and Panchayat system's life span bear out the impact of global geopolitics on many non-Western countries. But relevant and indispensable as the anti-colonial struggle had been politically for the change of 1950, the struggle had but faint impact on the political consciousness of the people within Nepal. And as soon as the Panchayat system took over, there was no question of democratic leadership emerging based on ideas and programs, approved or disapproved by the people, as the system was based on the principles and practices of feudalism. It was a system imposed from above, and even those who chose to stand as candidates from the villages came from the ranks of feudal aristocracy that existed in an ideological vacuum. It wouldn't be unfair to say that this leadership wasn't even conservative in the full sense of the term, because it lacked a system of conservative ideas its ranks.

        During the Panchayat era, political ideas existed in unofficial forms among the teachers and students in schools and colleges. One could get more insight into the country's contemporary culture and politics by talking to the student groups than reading the text books, which had an official gag on free thinking and analysis due to the annual exam system. But ideas that foster in an atmosphere of informality and insecurity remain at the level of gossip, rumor, and underground dissemination, which are very often effective forms in oppositional politics but not so potent in the political education of even those who bear them, let alone the populace at large. For example, one couldn't figure out where those ideas about democracy, socialism, critique of the Panchayat system came to the politically engaged students on college campuses. One knew of course that they came from some underground source, but there was no means to test and interrogate either such ideas or their source. As a result, those who bore those ideas very often formed a sort of fraternity privilege, as though they were in possession of some secret, empowering Gayatri mantra or any other Tantric potion, whose magical power could be felt but couldn't be tested out in the open. A kind of stubbornness and skewed orthodoxy developed as a result, which manifested very often in these students' quick descent to violence against each other rather than ascent to discussion and debate and mutual education and enlightenment.

        That is why, this and other elections, more the better for another decade or two, would bring out ideas in the open and people would get to hear both the ideas and their bearers. These elections are great ways of cultivating political literacy and eventually throwing up leaders from the grassroots level rather than imposed by the central committees of the parties.

        Another cheer for election '99 is the possibility, unfortunate though it is, that we will have another cycle of unstable, aayaa Ram, gayaa Ram governments--and this would hopefully knock some sense in Nepal's intellectuals and politicians for political reform. The post of prime- ministership would have to be announced before the election and such a person would have to be made relatively immune to the wheelings and dealings and "dalbadaloo" proclivities of the fickle, opportunist parliamentarians. Nepal's intellectuals would come to understand that in a poor country like Nepal monetary temptations very often disguise as genuine political and doctrinal difference and that power of money, which means executive power sharing, anywhere strong enough to weaken democracy, is unanswerable in an economically deprived country.

        Accordingly, a set of safeguards would have to be put in place that would provide relative immunity to the already declared and elected chief executive of the government. There is no other way Nepal would achieve stability and channel its political energies for people's work instead of wasting them in intraparty bickering and leg-pulling, a habit whose source could be traced in human genes but also in the feudal political system that was well and alive only ten years ago. After all, we don't want Clintons and Blairs and Castros to come and give us a better, visionary government; we have to make do with our Koiralas, Adhikaris, Gautams, Nepals and what have you. Human beings without adequate structures, training, and tools are everywhere the same. So the challenge is how to turn the pebbles into diamonds, and, in my view, only a dynamic constitution evolved through trial and error would be able to help bring about such a revolution, which Nepal badly needs in order just to survive and have a semblance of dignity, dignity not just of the overfed, spoilt, and arrogant few but the mojority.
 

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 11:34:28 +0530 From: Radio Sagarmatha Networking <net@radiosag.wlink.com.np> Subject: RS News (March '99) - Community/Public Radio in Nepal

Dear Friend... Things continue to be busy in Kathmandu and Nepal... once again, we thought you might be interested in an update on what's happening. We love feedback, suggestions and are open to possibilities for collaboration, so feel free to drop us a line. RS

(March. '99) News about Radio Sagarmatha (RS) and Community Radio in Nepal

SAFA RADIO: THE CLEAN AIR CAMPAIGN: UPDATE Five days a week, RS and NESS (Nepal Environmental Scientific Services) take to the streets of Kathmandu in the station's safa tempo, an electric van, and measure the levels of particles in the air at a different location in the city. Since January '99, Safa Radio has competed two rounds of thirty locations and broadcast daily reports and weekly discussions about levels of pollutants and dust in the air.

The campaign seems to be having a positive effect. Several industry and public meetings on 'air quality' and 'traffic management' have been held in Kathmandu, generating some dialogue about air pollution and interest for Safa Radio. The campaign has also helped to de-mystify the problem as well as the work and research of scientific groups. Overall... a positive response from listeners and the public.

What's the situation after seventy days of monitoring the city? What are particles and where are they from? To the surprise of most, given what the capital's streets look like, the results - measured at mid- morning rush hour - say that vehicle emissions are not as big a problem as dust particles. Pollutants from diesel and petrol burning engines are within WHO standards of acceptability, but dust particles exceed safe levels.

INTERNET AND EMAIL @ RADIO SAGARMATHA After many months of looking for a public-minded partner, RS recently made a deal with a Kathmandu internet service provider to get the station online. As of mid-February, Radio Sagarmatha's online services are being provided by WorldLink Communications (more at www.nepalonline.net). The station's online programme includes a series of email addresses at our own domain - currently 'radiosag'... we hope to change it - as well as space for a website. In time, a Sagarmatha Website will support information about the media situation in Nepal and the development of community radio in the region, as well as online training resources and online audio programming from RS's FM service. The deal, which allows for up to ten hours of online time per week, is being financed through an exchange of on-air non-commercial sponsorship for internet services.

IMPROVED TRANSMISSION AND A NEW STUDIO MOVE BEYOND THE PLANNING STAGE With government approval last year for up to twenty-four hours of broadcasting and an increasingly busy local radio scene in Kathmandu and elsewhere in the countyr, there has been a lot of pressure to improve RS's ability to make radio programming, get production facilities up to speed and improve FM reception.

After nearly two years on-the-air operating with one radio studio and a minimum of basic equipment, RS began construction of a new studio facility in March 1999. New space will allow the station to dedicate one studio exclusively to the work of programme production, the other to broadcasting of RS's growing daily programme service - tasks previously done in the same busy studio. New facilities will also be a major boost to training. Future plans include the inclusion of digital editing facilities and overall integration of computers.

There is also some action up on the roof. Although RS broadcasts from the crest of a hill over-looking most of Kathmandu offering pretty good coverage of the valley, a new roof-top tower will increase the height of the station's antenna elements up to 100 feet above the ground, offering an even better omni-directional view of RS's broadcast area. Thanks to Eco Himal for a grant to undertake construction of the new studio and tower as well as for some basic studio equipment.

LOCAL TRAINING This week, RS begins a formalised in-house training programme on basic radio skills with assistance from international cooperants living in Kathmandu. Though there has always been a lot of day-to-day , hands-on, on-the-job training at the station, RS is looking forward to more regular local training programmes to meet the needs of an expanding local service and national sector. Alongside the development of local resources, the station is also trying to mobilise some international cooperation in the coming year for curriculum and programme design, training of trainers as well as more advanced programmes. RS takes great pleasure in announcing that Deutsche Welle's training centre recently agreed to come do a training with RS in the Fall.

 NEW PROGRAMMES After expanding to a six hour daily broadcast service in late 1998, RS has gradually been filling up the additional time with new weekly programmes: a series of auto-biographies called 'Mero Katha' / 'My Story'; a programme about economics; a sports programme called 'Khel Maidan' / 'Playing Field'; a co-production with Transparency International looking at issues of good governance; a music show about Eastern pop; an arts programme focused on painting; as well as a dramatic comedy, 'Hajurbaa ra Nati' / 'Grandfather, Granddaughter'. In the works are some new music programmes, a literary show and more programmes using folk media and cultural traditions. In the next several weeks, RS will also be launching a new weekly programme looking at different aspects of democracy called 'Dabali' (a traditional community meeting place in the Nepali village). It is being supported by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (Great Britain).

RURAL RADIOS: THE NEXT PHASE OF COMMUNITY RADIO DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL A good ear for radio can pick out the rumblings of new local, independent FM radios growing outside the Kathmandu valley, the only place it currently exists in South Asia. A great potential is slowly beginning to roll. In late 1998, two groups outside of the Kathmandu Valley were granted FM licenses: the Madan Pokhara VDC is a local government committee in a small village in the 'middle hills' of Nepal's Western region; Lumbini FM is a cooperative based in a 'terai' village in the Western plains region bordering India, nearby to Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha. Using a combination of locally-raised funds, start-up support from UNESCO and contributions from other international donors, local residents and organisers, with support from RS and other advocates, hope to get basic transmission equipment and studio facilities together within the next several months. With a little luck two new community FM stations should be on the air by the time the rains end in September. It promises to be a learning experience for many and an important step forward in developing a community-based radio sector in Nepal.

With the first of new stations joining the airwaves soon and the promise of more in coming years, proponents and advocates of community and pubic-interest radio are busy thinking about how to coordinate the large number of groups involved, how to mobilise start-up funds and how to meet all-important training needs. New strategies are needed. Plans include a mobile radio station - for which RS has a license - to be used for raising grassroots awareness, basic training and providing an introduction to FM broadcasting. Organisers are also talking to potential local and international partners about financial and other support.

BBC RS recently participated in a signing ceremony and press conference with the BBC to formalise an agreement to rebroadcst programmes from the World Service, including the BBC's Nepali language service. Both groups are looking forward to a productive partnership with some possible colabration on reeporting Nepal's upcoming election.

STUDIO EQUIPMENT, COMPUTERS, AND BICYCLES... THANKS!! With the support of DANIDA, RS recently purchased three bicycles for producers to make their way around Kathmandu. And UNESCO's International Programme for Development Communication (IPDC) sent the station some new studio components, some starter materials for Madan Pokhara and 100 kilograms of used computer equipment which has quadrupled RS's computer facilities. The donation also included a scanner... so if you want to see some pictures... let us know. Thanks again.

 'Things You Wanted to Know About Radio Sagarmatha' is an organisational profile of Nepal's first community-based, public-interest radio station. It covers things from mandate to the Nepal broadcast environment to current programmes to technical specifications. If you're interested in seeing a copy, send us a note and we'll email you. (It is available in MS Word, for Windows or Mac at <station@radiosag.wlink.com.np>... or by post).

If you know someone else who might be interesting in hearing about the development of community and public-interest radio in Nepal, please pass on this news and ask them to send us an email for upcoming issues:
<net@radiosag.wlink.com.np>

************************************************************* From: "Jeet Joshee" <jjoshee@access.ced.uconn.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 15:50:26 -500 Subject: ANA New Homepage

Dear Editor,

The Association of Nepalis in the Americas (ANA) has a new homepage www.ana-home.org. This new site contains all the updates about the upcoming ANA Convention to be held July 2-4, 1999 in Hartford, Connecticut. Additionally, the new site features ANA Directory, membership information, update on the construction of the Nepal Education and Culture Center in Washington DC and more.

Thank you for publishing this message.

Jeetendra Joshee University of Connecticut (860)486-3231 Fax:(860)486-5221 jjoshee@access.ced.uconn.edu

******************************************************************* From: "Anil Shrestha" <shrestha@plant.uoguelph.ca> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 16:23:40 EST Subject: An article from IDRC, Canada

Here is an article form the pages of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

Preventing Eye Infections in Rural Nepal Kari McLeod

In Nepal, eye infections are the leading cause of blindness, after injury. Agricultural workers often get eye infections when they remove the chaff from wheat and rice by hand. This material then hits an eye, damaging the cornea.

Dev Shah, a physician and researcher at the B. P. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, says that local remedies for such injuries include treating the eye with dirty water, honey, mud, and cow-dung. With 90% of Nepal's population involved either directly or indirectly with the agriculture sector, finding a low-cost and effective prevention strategy is a priority. Would eye protection solve the problem? "This is a common question," says Dr. Shah. "Our attempts at encouraging workers to wear protective glasses have been largely unsuccessful."

Three phase project

In the 1980's, researchers at the Koirala Lions Center asked the International Development Research Centre to help support what eventually became a three-phase project. In the first phase, the research team identified the cause of corneal infections and secondary blindness. In the second phase, they recorded an incidence rate of 17 cases per 1,000 people per year, and successfully tested a highly-efficacious and low-cost antibiotic treatment, called chloramphenicol. In the third phase, which is now nearing completion, the team developed an identification and treatment regime, delivered at the local level, and is testing its effectiveness in preventing infections. Nepal's Ministry of Health has agreed to adopt the program on a national scale if it proves cost-effective.

In November 1998, I visited three sub-health posts (SHPs) and three village wards with voluntary female health workers in the district of Kavre, just east of Kathmandu Valley where the third phase has been implemented. The project was initially targeted to train staff at the most peripheral level of Nepal's health system =97 the SHPs in nine villages: six in Kavre District and three in Sunsari District in southeast Nepal.

Training process

"The training process was actually quite simple," explains Dr Shah.
"Staff were taught to identify cases of corneal abrasions using fluorescein strips and a flashlight with a blue beam. The strips dye the abrasion, which is illuminated bythe blue-coloured light. They also learned to show injured persons how to self-administer inexpensive antibiotic applicaps =97 small capsules of medication applied directly to the eye."

Staff were also trained to monitor and record compliance and to trace the injured to their homes, if necessary. It turned out that far fewer cases of corneal abrasions were reported in the third phase of this project than in the second: only 7 cases per 1,000 people per year versus the 17 originally demonstrated. The researchers discovered that while SHP staff are skilled at identifying the abrasions, people do not always visit SHPs after sustaining an eye injury.

Survey results

"We needed to figure out why people were not using the SHPs," says Dr Shah. During a survey, "people gave us three major reasons for not seeking medical help." First, the SHPs are only open to visitors from 10 a.m to 2 p.m, and they are not open on Saturdays or holidays
(Nepal celebrates approximately four months of holidays per year). Thus, injured people will often not find anyone at a sub-health post when they need them. Second, while each village has an SHP, the villages themselves are geographically dispersed, and some residents face long walks to reach the posts. And the third reason that people gave was a lack of trust in SHP personnel.

The survey also showed that voluntary female health workers (VFHWs) are the most accessible group of health care personnel. Each village has nine wards and each ward has a VFHW, who works both in her home and door-to-door in the community. These women, who participate in national primary health care programs, are trusted within the community. The research team found that villagers are more likely to approach them following an eye injury. Hence, VFHWs are in a better position to provide antibiotics for eye injuries. Since the survey was conducted, nine VFHWs in Tukucha, a village in Kavre district, have been trained to handle corneal abrasion cases.

Successful strategy

"The strategy has been very successful," says Dr Shah. "The number of abrasions reported in Tukacha has been much higher than in the other villages, and the incidence rate was the same as the one identified
 in phase two."

According to Dr Shah, the voluntary female healt hworkers of Tukucha are motivated by the recognition and prestige they receive within their community, as well as the knowledge that they are helping their friends and neighbours avoid serious eye infection and possibly blindness. He and his colleagues are confident that along with the results from the first two phases of the project, the involvement of VHFWsin the corneal infection project will persuade the Ministry of Health to adopt this inexpensive program on a national scale.

Kari McLeod is a Research Associate with IDRC's MAPHealth Project.
[This article is based on IDRC project number 950208.]

Resource Person:

Dev Shah, MD, B. P. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies, Tribhuvan University, Institute of Medicine, P.O. Box 8750, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal; Tel: (977-1) 422-964, 422-965; Fax: (977-1) 420-142; E-mail: bpkeye@mos.com.np

**************************************************************** Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 19:55:55 +0500 To: editor contributions <nepal@cs.niu.edu> From: "F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <hutch@healthnet.org.np> Subject: Kathmandu, Nepal, the world...

Oh, let us save Kathmandu and Nepal; the world!

Capitalism is based on growth (net increase), as well as, the exploitation of resources. There can be no financial) prosperity without growth!

Where does this growth come from (in this situation). More 'demand,' from more people (increased population).

But, can there be unlimited increase (growth), as such, in this world? No! The Earth can't keep sustaining a never-ending increase in people, and subsequent decrease in natural resources!

There will come a time of diminishing returns, in fact we may be in that period already!

Ke Garni? ('What to do?)

We have got to slow down the birth rate! Especially, in Third World countries, or they're going to 'drown' in people!

In 1980, Kathmandu, had a population of roughly, 100,000 people. By the year 2,000, there will be at least two million people living in the Kathmandu Valley! It doesn't take a genius to see what's going to happen... Unless we do something now!

In Nepal, every year 700,000 more mouths to feed in a country that can barely feed the people it has now (23 million)... I've seen children eating out of garbage heaps!

Ke Garni?

Nepal has unique problem (as all countries have problems to deal with)...
 Nepal's 'problems,' are unique to its cultural heritage and mythology: It's culturally unacceptable to not get married and have as many children as possible.

What are we going to do with all these people...? I walk (ride a bicycle) all over Kathmandu, through the coughing, spitting, crowded, polluted streets, out of control! Kathmandu ranks up there with Mexico City, and Athens, Greece.

Recently I was privy to what a Norwegian couple said, here for the first time, as tourists. There response to, 'What do you think about Kathmandu?' shocked me! "Horrible,' they replied!

If you have one little Norwegian couple taking that idea home to Norway, what do you think is going to happen to tourism in Kathmandu?

Of course, there are many great things about Kathmandu, and Nepali culture that this couple overlooked... But, it's there overall description that's shocking!

Ke Garni?

If we stick our heads in the sand, as the expression goes, it's going to get worse, and there's going to be violence!

There are thousands of young males with nothing to do ('hanging out'), and increasing desires whetted by western media. But, they have no productive way to fulfill these desires, as they have no means of support
(no jobs!). So, they steal. I was just robbed on a bus returning from Lumbini to Kathmandu!

Ke Garni?

It has to become (mythologically) 'cool,' ('in') to have fewer children, and I dare say not even get married! Oh, my God, what am I saying...?

This 'mythology,' must be 'manufactured,' and distributed as
'entertainment,' via TV and the movies!

I would know how to do this...

But, let's see what makes collective sense... I'm only one of many...

What do you think?

The Earth (Kathmandu) cannot sustain an unlimited amount of people...

One of the reasons the U.S. is so prosperous (in 1999), it has one of the lowest birth rates of any industrialized country in the world.

There is only one overriding issue to me: Over population chasing scarcer and scarcer resources. There will come a time when there are wars over drinking water, even the air we breathe! Unless we act now!

Ke Garni!

Act now! Let us save Kathmandu, Nepal, and ourselves in the process!

Namaste!

Frederick Alexander Hutchison Dalrymple Kathmandu, Nepal

****************************************************************** Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 14:58:18 -0500 (EST) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <pkm@duke.edu> To: The Nepal digest Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Two Cheers for Election '99

        As school children, we used to go from door to door in the neighboring villages, singing a song, and dancing to its tune, in order to collect funds to get the roof and furniture of our elementary school fixed. The song went like this: "Barah maasa ghumi firi feri Tihar aayo lau, deyuse bhai lai kati rumailo" (Tihar is here again; how excited we are to go door to door!). Well, in a like fashion, the Parliamentary elections are here again, but can I say, "The elections are here! How happy we are!"? I don't think so.

        General elections in any democracy bring renewal of electorate's confidence in those who govern them. They are rituals of rebirth and regeneration of people's power over themselves. John Locke and Abraham Lincoln endorse this idea of a general election, but George Bernard Shaw would disagree with it. He would say that a general election in a democracy ought to do more than just that. It should bring new faces, new leadership, new ways of fulfilling old expectations. But if all the candidates in an election happen to be a bunch of scoundrels, he would say, then the people have no choice but to choose one of the many scoundrels in the field. Shaw would say that this is what happens in a parliamentary democracy, in which parties could choose scoundrels all the time, leaving no other option for the voters.

        While I may not go that far in endorsing Shaw's views about candidates, nor endorse those who have chosen to boycott the elections in Nepal and adopted the path of armed struggle, both for complicated reasons I have no space here to elaborate, I do feel like saying, We have been there, done that. So what? We have had all kinds of elections, all kinds of governments-- majority, minority, coalition, etc. In less than a decade, one feels like having lived a century of political experience if one chooses to call what has happened in Nepal's political life since 1990.

        It is not only that such permutations might occur again, but worse possibilities seem to loom on the horizon. The Congress is certainly not as strong as it was when it contested the first election and won a majority; internal dissensions would have been fine, but rat race for power is out in the open already. As they say in Maithili, "Paani me machri, nau nau kutia bakhara" (Let's divide the fish before the catch). But the most surprising aspect of this election is that there is not only no hope of new leadership emerging within each party, chances of even older, tried-and- failed leadership appear primed to lead the country.

        They are talking about saddling the country with Mr. K. P. Bhattarai, let alone letting new blood take over the reins. The cases of RPP and the Communist factions are no different, even though one is yet to see how a majority Communist government runs the country. The leadership in each needs a drastic overhaul, and that has to come from within their own rank and file rather than anyone from above. Within less than ten years of multiparty system, one feels like saying that the democratically committed leadership in each of these parties have little to offer the country save the fulfillment of their own personal ambitions and pockets by fair or foul means.

        The older the leadership, worse the possibilities. Those who grew up feeling the full blow of the Panchayat system have their minds and hearts stifled and numbed for too long to think clearly, feel clearly, see clearly. The unprecedented corruption, fueled by Cold War foreign aids, set the limits to the moral possibilities of even those who were outside its venomous shadows. That is why, young generation of leaders need to emerge to frankly tell the old guards in all these parties to call it a quit and cheer from the sidelines. The new leadership, in any of these parties, ought not be there just to make it a place of grandfatherly retirement but a hot spot that demands young hearts and young minds--and that offers an opportunity to morally whip awaken the centuries of political somnambulism of the country. Frankly, I can live with a few sex scandals if we get some hot-blooded leaders, male or female. What I can't bear is a bunch of worn hearts and sagging minds at the helms, no offense to our venerable fathers and grandfathers everywhere. But what are the chances that such a situation would occur at the end of this election?

        It won't make any difference whether any one party wins the majority or no party emerges as dominant. We have seen the farce played out in the last two elections. The outcome of this one would be no different given the parameters of the constitution. The constitution is flawed, borrowed without consideration to the failings of the decolonized nations' murky record in democratic politics since their Independence from the European power.

        But perhaps looking at the half empty glass is not the right way to look at the glass that's half full. And so I say there are two cheers for election 1999. One, elections are always the best way for the political education of new democracies in the Third World. They are even more important for Nepal, because, for reasons of locked history and geography, and the failure of its own rulers in dealing with its people that would shame even the worst colonialists, the country remained politically illiterate. As a result, we have two kinds of political leaders at this time in Nepal, both severely handicapped because of the nature and place of their training. The older generation of the democratic leaders received their political training in the anti-colonial struggle in India, and the younger generation as students on college campuses within the country during the Panchayat era.

        In both cases, leadership didn't emerge from the people, from the grassroots level. Those who fought the British hand-in-hand with the Indian freedom fighters were right in thinking that unless India didn't gain independence, Nepal never would, as the simultaneity of Cold War politics and Panchayat system's life span bear out the impact of global geopolitics on many non-Western countries. But relevant and indispensable as the anti-colonial struggle had been politically for the change of 1950, the struggle had but faint impact on the political consciousness of the people within Nepal. And as soon as the Panchayat system took over, there was no question of democratic leadership emerging based on ideas and programs, approved or disapproved by the people, as the system was based on the principles and practices of feudalism. It was a system imposed from above, and even those who chose to stand as candidates from the villages came from the ranks of feudal aristocracy that existed in an ideological vacuum. It wouldn't be unfair to say that this leadership wasn't even conservative in the full sense of the term, because it lacked a system of conservative ideas its ranks.

        During the Panchayat era, political ideas existed in unofficial forms among the teachers and students in schools and colleges. One could get more insight into the country's contemporary culture and politics by talking to the student groups than reading the text books, which had an official gag on free thinking and analysis due to the annual exam system. But ideas that foster in an atmosphere of informality and insecurity remain at the level of gossip, rumor, and underground dissemination, which are very often effective forms in oppositional politics but not so potent in the political education of even those who bear them, let alone the populace at large. For example, one couldn't figure out where those ideas about democracy, socialism, critique of the Panchayat system came to the politically engaged students on college campuses. One knew of course that they came from some underground source, but there was no means to test and interrogate either such ideas or their source. As a result, those who bore those ideas very often formed a sort of fraternity privilege, as though they were in possession of some secret, empowering Gayatri mantra or any other Tantric potion, whose magical power could be felt but couldn't be tested out in the open. A kind of stubbornness and skewed orthodoxy developed as a result, which manifested very often in these students' quick descent to violence against each other rather than ascent to discussion and debate and mutual education and enlightenment.

        That is why, this and other elections, more the better for another decade or two, would bring out ideas in the open and people would get to hear both the ideas and their bearers. These elections are great ways of cultivating political literacy and eventually throwing up leaders from the grassroots level rather than imposed by the central committees of the parties.

        Another cheer for election '99 is the possibility, unfortunate though it is, that we will have another cycle of unstable, aayaa Ram, gayaa Ram governments--and this would hopefully knock some sense in Nepal's intellectuals and politicians for political reform. The post of prime- ministership would have to be announced before the election and such a person would have to be made relatively immune to the wheelings and dealings and "dalbadaloo" proclivities of the fickle, opportunist parliamentarians. Nepal's intellectuals would come to understand that in a poor country like Nepal monetary temptations very often disguise as genuine political and doctrinal difference and that power of money, which means executive power sharing, anywhere strong enough to weaken democracy, is unanswerable in an economically deprived country.

        Accordingly, a set of safeguards would have to be put in place that would provide relative immunity to the already declared and elected chief executive of the government. There is no other way Nepal would achieve stability and channel its political energies for people's work instead of wasting them in intraparty bickering and leg-pulling, a habit whose source could be traced in human genes but also in the feudal political system that was well and alive only ten years ago. After all, we don't want Clintons and Blairs and Castros to come and give us a better, visionary government; we have to make do with our Koiralas, Adhikaris, Gautams, Nepals and what have you. Human beings without adequate structures, training, and tools are everywhere the same. So the challenge is how to turn the pebbles into diamonds, and, in my view, only a dynamic constitution evolved through trial and error would be able to help bring about such a revolution, which Nepal badly needs in order just to survive and have a semblance of dignity, dignity not just of the overfed, spoilt, and arrogant few but the mojority.
 

****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 21:19:42 +0100 From: "Raymond F. Modiz" <rfm@vtx.ch> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: [Fwd: NEPAL: Human rights at a critical crossroads]

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. (John Stuart Mill)

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 17:08:34 -0500 From: Amnesty International <amnesty@oil.ca> Subject: NEPAL: Human rights at a critical crossroads To: amnesty-l@oil.ca

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International * News Service: 044/99 AI Index: ASA 31/06/99

Nepal

Human rights at a critical crossroads

KATHMANDU -- The human rights situation in Nepal is now so serious that only a fundamental change of direction by the key players in the current conflict can prevent it from spinning out of control, Amnesty International said today.

Torture -- including rape -- abductions and political killings have been widespread since the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist), which is ideologically close to the Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path), declared a "people's war" against the government in February 1996.

"Human rights have been the prime casualties of the ruthless "people's war" and the government's heavy-handed response to it," Rory Mungoven, Director of Amnesty International"s Asia Program, told a press conference in Kathmandu. "This conflict represents a critical crossroads for Nepal in terms of its development as a society that respects human rights."

"The brutal killing on 5 March of Yadu Gautam, candidate for the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), by armed CPN
(Maoist) members, sends a clear signal that the situation could be getting even worse in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in May."

The new report follows an Amnesty International delegation's visit to Nepal in November 1998 to investigate alleged human rights violations by police and abuses by armed members of the CPN (Maoist).

A dramatic increase in reports of arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial executions and "disappearances" followed the government's launch of an "intensified security mobilization" operation in May 1998, which increased police action in several districts in Mid-Western, Western and Central Regions.

Torture of political detainees in police custody was widely reported. Both men and women arrested on suspicion of being CPN (Maoist) members or their relatives were tortured by methods including severe beatings with bamboo sticks and PVC pipes, beatings on the soles of the feet with a bamboo stick (falanga); rolling weighted bamboo sticks along the prisoner's thighs (belana) and simultaneous boxing on the ears
(telephono).

Women detainees were also raped and sexually humiliated. One woman arrested in August 1998 in Bardiya District, Mid-Western Region, on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a local politician, was so severely tortured she could not walk at all for several days afterwards.

Her torturers put a stick across her lower back, stood on it and banged her head against the wall. She was threatened with electric shock treatment, rape and death unless she confessed to involvement in the murder. She claimed that one of the policemen who questioned her boasted: "I will be promoted if I kill you". She was eventually taken to court and charged after one month in police custody and released on bail two weeks later.

According to government figures, 1,659 suspected CPN (Maoist) supporters were arrested between May and November 1998. Approximately half were later released. Amnesty International believes that some of those still held may be prisoners of conscience, detained solely for their peaceful activities or associations.

Officials also say 227 "terrorists" were killed in "encounters" with police during the same period. However, Amnesty International believes that the 227 people killed include CPN (Maoist) members who were simply executed after being taken prisoner. Civilians suspected of supporting the armed movement have also been deliberately targeted and executed by the police.

To the organization's knowledge there have been no official inquiries into reports of torture or extrajudicial executions since the government's "intensified security mobilization" operation was launched.

Armed members of the CPN (Maoist) have reportedly also deliberately killed, abducted and tortured those considered to be enemies of the
"people's war", including members and candidates of mainstream political parties, particularly the Nepali Congress Party (NC).

Twenty-four civilians were reportedly killed by armed CPN (Maoist) members and 52 civilians were injured in incidents between May and November 1998. Among those killed were Govinda Poudel, a NC member, who was hacked to death by a group of armed Maoists in Bardiya District in August 1998.

In light of the forthcoming general elections in Nepal, Amnesty International is urging all political parties to place human rights protection and promotion high on their agendas, including a pledge to establish independent investigations into all human rights violations reported in the context of the "people's war".

The organization is also appealing to the CPN (Maoist) leadership to respect the lives of all civilians, and to prohibit their members from deliberately and arbitrary killing and maiming civilians, including candidates, campaigners, electoral staff and voters in the forthcoming elections.

"The coming months could provide a crucial turning point for human rights in Nepal if steps are not taken now to significantly reduce the level of violations," Mr Mungoven said. "It is up to political leaders on all sides to take responsibility for improving the situation."

ENDS.../ Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom

***********************************************************************************************

*********************************************************************************************** From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <paramendra@hotmail.com> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Poverty In Nepal and the Global South in General Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 14:21:26 PST

Poverty In Nepal and the Global South in General: New Topics for Discussions on the Digest Forum-----------------------

I read Mr. Hari Thapa's recent posting.

Nepal is the second poorest country on the planet. Poverty is the most pressing problem and hence the number one challenge for the political leadership of the country. The poverty in the country is widespread. It affects those in the hills and the mountains and those in the Terai. But it has to be admitted those in the remote hills and mountain districts are the ones lagging farthest behind. I do not dispute that.

That still does not justify the regional political imbalance that disfavors the Terai. That still does not justify the NSHCWAHM domination. That still does not mean poverty does not affect the Terai peoples. Look at the last names of the officeholders of the major
"Nepalese" organizations in the USA? How many of them are Teraiwasis? So much for the myth that the Teraiwasis are richer! It is not proper for the NSHCWAHMs to "use" the abject poverty widely prevalent in the remote hill districts as a pretext for their continued domination of the polity.

After having spent over eight months discussing the issue of the political rights of the Terai peoples, I have been wanting to shift the focus to economic matters on this Forum. Any takers? I have even been compiling a list of links on the internet that I have thought relevant to the question at hand so as to enhance the possibilities of having informed discussion here as opposed to a barrage of opinions, which are fine too but inadequate on their own.

Nepal's plight cannot be separated from that of the larger Global South in general. I wish also to follow that lead on this Forum. I was wondering if those Nepalese at the various colleges and universities in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere would be interested in participating in these discussions. I have been nudging some of the Budhanilkantha School graduates in that direction, so far with no apparent success.

It seems informed discussion on the National Economy is hard coming by.

Some of the broad issues that I would like to bring into discussion as pertinenet to the Global South would be Democracy, Free Markets, Education, Health, Women's Rights, Civil Rights, the Environment, Global Trade, the World Trade Organization and Global Financial Markets as in the ways they affect and will continue to affect the Global South.

We are talking Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are talking India, China, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina.

Maybe I will make a list of all countries that as yet do not have democracy as their form of government and add a newslink on each. If the second poorect country on the planet can have a semblance of democracy, so can any other country!

In the meantime I will continue to search for other pertinent links on each of the topics listed above.

Dissident and discordant voice inside NC By Yadav Khanal
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/Ktmpost/1999/Mar/Mar15/editorial.htm#3>

NEPALI CONGRESS Dissension Within
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/spotlight/1999/Mar/Mar12/coverstory.htm>

Sujata, Sailaja, Prakash and Manisha
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/suj.html>

Rebellion within NC a big challenge for Koirala, Bhattarai leadership
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/independent/8-54/index.htm#2>

>From rumblings to open dissent in NC
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/040399/fro.html>

NC candidates' name list
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/040399/nc1.html>

‘There Will Be Hung Parliament Once Again’
— HRIDAYESH TRIPATHY
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/spotlight/1999/Mar/Mar12/interview.htm>

NSP POLLS CANDIDATES
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/nsp.html>

UML, NSP not to boycott poll, ML may
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/uml.html>

The Barbara Adams saga
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/the.html> Democracy in Nepal: A Joke

CPN-UML releases election manifesto By Nepal News Correspondent 1815hrs NST
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/archive/arc24.htm#4>

*********************************************************** Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 17:48:30 EST To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: subscription; announcement

Dear Sir,

      First of all I would like to recieve TND at my new email address: hdirlam@aol.com.
      Second: I am booking a music group from Nepal for performances. I would like you to put the following announcement in TND:

Namaste!

      The instrumental trio, Shringara Nepal, will be on tour in the US from the beginning of April till the beginning of June. The group- Achyut Ram Bhandari, Tabala; Gyanu Radha Gorkhali- Sitar; Parashu Ram Bhandari- Sarangi, plays classical Ragas as well as Nepali traditional music. They are booked for some performances already but are open to setting up more concerts and workshops.

To read more about Shringara Nepal, visit their website: www.blackvan.net/shringara.

If you're interested in setting up a booking, email hdirlam@aol.com or call 401-848-7365.

The group will be based in Newport, Rhode Island. We are looking for a concert in the Boston area. Any suggestions? Thanks.

****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 10:34:02 -0500 To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: Pradeep Pradhan <ppradhan@gamewood.net> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - March 19, 1999 (6 Chaitra 2055 BkSm)

Dear Editor

Is it possible to Index the vasrious topics and news bulletin so that in place of scrolling through the whole news magazine, one can just pick the news or views one waant to read. Thanks for your effort.

Sincerely, Pradeep K Pradhan, M.D.>

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 05:50:36 +0700 (GMT+0700) From: Nawa Raj Khatiwada <evc59645@ait.ac.th> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: Re: Some thoughts on Religion

Dear Mr. Kiran,

This is to thank you for such a nice article in TND.

The other day I was reading a note from Prof. Shiva Gopal Risal about the meaning of 'Religion'. What he has written is every living or non-living thing has its own doctrines of existance. To follow these principles assigned to each is 'Religion'. I was impressed very much with this definition as it also provides enough room to understand the present mainstream issues of developmental or environmental ethics. What I mean is the present understanding of human being a part of nature and the norms of religion to be followed for its existance were already there with our definition of religion.

I think the main reason of Nepal's backwardness is not because of the religion but because of NOT following the religion as it has to be.

With best regards,

Nawa Raj

"Some see the glass as half-empty, some see the glass as half-full. I see the glass as too big." -George Carlin.

******************************************************** From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <paramendra@hotmail.com> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Bill Clinton's speeches Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 16:10:14 PST

<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/html/OP_Speeches.html>

<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1998/1/27/11.text.1>
<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1997/2/5/6.text.1>
<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1996/1/24/1.text.1>
<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1995/1/25/2.text.1>
<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1994/1/26/1.text.1>
<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1993/9/22/7.text.2>
<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1993/2/17/3.text.1>
<http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1993/1/21/1.text.1>

<http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/presidential/speeches/clinton/>

<http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/presidential/speeches/clinton/gubernatorial/1987.html>
<http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/presidential/speeches/clinton/gubernatorial/1985.html>
<http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/presidential/speeches/clinton/gubernatorial/1983.html>
<http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/presidential/speeches/clinton/gubernatorial/1979sos.html>
<http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/presidential/speeches/clinton/gubernatorial/1979.html>

President Clinton and Vice President Gore's FY 2000 Budget: Preparing America For The 21st Century February 1, 1999

<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Accomplishments/issues.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Accomplishments/econrecord.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/html/19990201-8133.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/surplus.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/summary.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/background.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/edtrain.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/health.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/oneamer.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/Budget2000/rd.html>

<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Accomplishments/index.html>

<http://www.icemall.com/allabout/hillary_clinton.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/general-index.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/generalspeeches/1997/unspeeches.html>
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/China/>

<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/talking.html>

Paramendra Bhagat http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/9511

Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 21:19:42 +0100 From: "Raymond F. Modiz" <rfm@vtx.ch> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: [Fwd: NEPAL: Human rights at a critical crossroads]

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. (John Stuart Mill)

******************************************************************** Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 17:08:34 -0500 From: Amnesty International <amnesty@oil.ca> Subject: NEPAL: Human rights at a critical crossroads To: amnesty-l@oil.ca

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International * News Service: 044/99 AI Index: ASA 31/06/99

Nepal

Human rights at a critical crossroads

KATHMANDU -- The human rights situation in Nepal is now so serious that only a fundamental change of direction by the key players in the current conflict can prevent it from spinning out of control, Amnesty International said today.

Torture -- including rape -- abductions and political killings have been widespread since the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist), which is ideologically close to the Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path), declared a "people's war" against the government in February 1996.

"Human rights have been the prime casualties of the ruthless "people's war" and the government's heavy-handed response to it," Rory Mungoven, Director of Amnesty International"s Asia Program, told a press conference in Kathmandu. "This conflict represents a critical crossroads for Nepal in terms of its development as a society that respects human rights."

"The brutal killing on 5 March of Yadu Gautam, candidate for the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), by armed CPN
(Maoist) members, sends a clear signal that the situation could be getting even worse in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in May."

The new report follows an Amnesty International delegation's visit to Nepal in November 1998 to investigate alleged human rights violations by police and abuses by armed members of the CPN (Maoist).

A dramatic increase in reports of arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial executions and "disappearances" followed the government's launch of an "intensified security mobilization" operation in May 1998, which increased police action in several districts in Mid-Western, Western and Central Regions.

Torture of political detainees in police custody was widely reported. Both men and women arrested on suspicion of being CPN (Maoist) members or their relatives were tortured by methods including severe beatings with bamboo sticks and PVC pipes, beatings on the soles of the feet with a bamboo stick (falanga); rolling weighted bamboo sticks along the prisoner's thighs (belana) and simultaneous boxing on the ears
(telephono).

Women detainees were also raped and sexually humiliated. One woman arrested in August 1998 in Bardiya District, Mid-Western Region, on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a local politician, was so severely tortured she could not walk at all for several days afterwards.

Her torturers put a stick across her lower back, stood on it and banged her head against the wall. She was threatened with electric shock treatment, rape and death unless she confessed to involvement in the murder. She claimed that one of the policemen who questioned her boasted: "I will be promoted if I kill you". She was eventually taken to court and charged after one month in police custody and released on bail two weeks later.

According to government figures, 1,659 suspected CPN (Maoist) supporters were arrested between May and November 1998. Approximately half were later released. Amnesty International believes that some of those still held may be prisoners of conscience, detained solely for their peaceful activities or associations.

Officials also say 227 "terrorists" were killed in "encounters" with police during the same period. However, Amnesty International believes that the 227 people killed include CPN (Maoist) members who were simply executed after being taken prisoner. Civilians suspected of supporting the armed movement have also been deliberately targeted and executed by the police.

To the organization's knowledge there have been no official inquiries into reports of torture or extrajudicial executions since the government's "intensified security mobilization" operation was launched.

Armed members of the CPN (Maoist) have reportedly also deliberately killed, abducted and tortured those considered to be enemies of the
"people's war", including members and candidates of mainstream political parties, particularly the Nepali Congress Party (NC).

Twenty-four civilians were reportedly killed by armed CPN (Maoist) members and 52 civilians were injured in incidents between May and November 1998. Among those killed were Govinda Poudel, a NC member, who was hacked to death by a group of armed Maoists in Bardiya District in August 1998.

In light of the forthcoming general elections in Nepal, Amnesty International is urging all political parties to place human rights protection and promotion high on their agendas, including a pledge to establish independent investigations into all human rights violations reported in the context of the "people's war".

The organization is also appealing to the CPN (Maoist) leadership to respect the lives of all civilians, and to prohibit their members from deliberately and arbitrary killing and maiming civilians, including candidates, campaigners, electoral staff and voters in the forthcoming elections.

"The coming months could provide a crucial turning point for human rights in Nepal if steps are not taken now to significantly reduce the level of violations," Mr Mungoven said. "It is up to political leaders on all sides to take responsibility for improving the situation."

ENDS.../ Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom

**************************************************************** From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <paramendra@hotmail.com> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Poverty In Nepal and the Global South in General Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 14:21:26 PST

Poverty In Nepal and the Global South in General: New Topics for Discussions on the Digest Forum-----------------------

I read Mr. Hari Thapa's recent posting.

Nepal is the second poorest country on the planet. Poverty is the most pressing problem and hence the number one challenge for the political leadership of the country. The poverty in the country is widespread. It affects those in the hills and the mountains and those in the Terai. But it has to be admitted those in the remote hills and mountain districts are the ones lagging farthest behind. I do not dispute that.

That still does not justify the regional political imbalance that disfavors the Terai. That still does not justify the NSHCWAHM domination. That still does not mean poverty does not affect the Terai peoples. Look at the last names of the officeholders of the major
"Nepalese" organizations in the USA? How many of them are Teraiwasis? So much for the myth that the Teraiwasis are richer! It is not proper for the NSHCWAHMs to "use" the abject poverty widely prevalent in the remote hill districts as a pretext for their continued domination of the polity.

After having spent over eight months discussing the issue of the political rights of the Terai peoples, I have been wanting to shift the focus to economic matters on this Forum. Any takers? I have even been compiling a list of links on the internet that I have thought relevant to the question at hand so as to enhance the possibilities of having informed discussion here as opposed to a barrage of opinions, which are fine too but inadequate on their own.

Nepal's plight cannot be separated from that of the larger Global South in general. I wish also to follow that lead on this Forum. I was wondering if those Nepalese at the various colleges and universities in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere would be interested in participating in these discussions. I have been nudging some of the Budhanilkantha School graduates in that direction, so far with no apparent success.

It seems informed discussion on the National Economy is hard coming by.

Some of the broad issues that I would like to bring into discussion as pertinenet to the Global South would be Democracy, Free Markets, Education, Health, Women's Rights, Civil Rights, the Environment, Global Trade, the World Trade Organization and Global Financial Markets as in the ways they affect and will continue to affect the Global South.

We are talking Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are talking India, China, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina.

Maybe I will make a list of all countries that as yet do not have democracy as their form of government and add a newslink on each. If the second poorect country on the planet can have a semblance of democracy, so can any other country!

In the meantime I will continue to search for other pertinent links on each of the topics listed above.

Dissident and discordant voice inside NC By Yadav Khanal
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/Ktmpost/1999/Mar/Mar15/editorial.htm#3>

NEPALI CONGRESS Dissension Within
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/spotlight/1999/Mar/Mar12/coverstory.htm>

Sujata, Sailaja, Prakash and Manisha
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/suj.html>

Rebellion within NC a big challenge for Koirala, Bhattarai leadership
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/independent/8-54/index.htm#2>

>From rumblings to open dissent in NC
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/040399/fro.html>

NC candidates' name list
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/040399/nc1.html>

‘There Will Be Hung Parliament Once Again’
— HRIDAYESH TRIPATHY
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/spotlight/1999/Mar/Mar12/interview.htm>

NSP POLLS CANDIDATES
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/nsp.html>

UML, NSP not to boycott poll, ML may
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/uml.html>

The Barbara Adams saga
<http://www.info-nepal.com/p-review/1999/03/110399/the.html> Democracy in Nepal: A Joke

CPN-UML releases election manifesto By Nepal News Correspondent 1815hrs NST
<http://www.nepalnews.com/contents/archive/arc24.htm#4>

*********************************************************** Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 17:48:30 EST To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: subscription; announcement

Dear Sir,

      First of all I would like to recieve TND at my new email address: hdirlam@aol.com.
      Second: I am booking a music group from Nepal for performances. I would like you to put the following announcement in TND:

Namaste!

      The instrumental trio, Shringara Nepal, will be on tour in the US from the beginning of April till the beginning of June. The group- Achyut Ram Bhandari, Tabala; Gyanu Radha Gorkhali- Sitar; Parashu Ram Bhandari- Sarangi, plays classical Ragas as well as Nepali traditional music. They are booked for some performances already but are open to setting up more concerts and workshops.

To read more about Shringara Nepal, visit their website: www.blackvan.net/shringara.

If you're interested in setting up a booking, email hdirlam@aol.com or call 401-848-7365.

The group will be based in Newport, Rhode Island. We are looking for a concert in the Boston area. Any suggestions? Thanks.

****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 10:34:02 -0500 To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: Pradeep Pradhan <ppradhan@gamewood.net> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - March 19, 1999 (6 Chaitra 2055 BkSm)

Dear Editor

Is it possible to Index the vasrious topics and news bulletin so that in place of scrolling through the whole news magazine, one can just pick the news or views one waant to read. Thanks for your effort.

Sincerely, Pradeep K Pradhan, M.D.>

********************************************************** Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 22:52:58 -0400 From: Tara Niraula <tnn3@columbia.edu> To: Rajpal Singh <a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu>, The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: conference information

February 15, 1999

Dear ANMF Member and Friend,

The America Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF) will hold its third annual convention in Chicago on June 12th and 13th, 1999. This year’s conference theme is “Coordinating efforts to strengthen medical care in Nepal.” Several excellent panels of speakers and experts will share their insights on Nepal’s medical care system and their personal perspectives on practicing medicine in Nepal. The Chicago convention will be a unique opportunity to share and learn about the important medical care issues facing Nepal. ANMF’s future direction depends on the insightful thinking, active participation, advice, and suggestions of its members. Your presence at the conference is, therefore, vitally important. We sincerely hope that you will be able to attend and participate with us as we chart the ANMF’s future

Because ANMF was able to demonstrate progress towards it mission and goals, it is now an officially incorporated non-profit and tax exempt organization in the State of New York. This past year ANMF has provided Continuing Medical Education (CME) to Nepal and provided other sorely needed resources, such as medical books and journals. Specifically, ANMF has:

  1. solicited, procured, and shipped medical books and journals to a
     medical school library in Nepal . This remains an important ANMF’s
     ongoing effort.
  2. successfully implemented a CME program in Kathmandu in November
     1998. The CME course was completed in collaboration with the
     Society of Internal Medicine of Nepal (SIMON), a national
     organization of Nepali internists.

The CME initiative was ANMF’s first and proved to be a great success. It was extremely well received in Kathmandu, and ANMF intends to continue to provide this type of training in future. These achievements are a source of pride and satisfaction to the entire ANMF family, especially since our organization is only two years old. This success is due to the shared vision, good will, and collective efforts of our members. The Foundation is blessed with the dedication and hard work of its leadership teams, and the active participation and involvement of medical and non-medical members in North America and Nepal.

We do hope you will be able to join us in Chicago. The conference will be held at: University of Illinois at Chicago, Molecular Biology Research Building, 900 South Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

Should you have and questions concerning your trip to Chicago, please feel free to contact any of the following individuals:

Gaury Adhikary, MD, President, (734) 936-4280, adhikary@umich.edu Janak Koirala, MD Conference Coordinator (708) 927-3132, jkoirala@uic.edu Tara Niraula, General Secretary, (212) 666-1508, tnn3@columbia.edu

I look forward to seeing you in Chicago.

Sincerely,

Tara Niraula General Secretary

Enclosed following are:

- Conference registration form
- Hotel information
- Travel information
- General information about ANMF
- Membership application form

            America Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF)

    " Coordinating efforts to strengthen medical care in Nepal”
                            Third Annual Convention
                    Chicago, Illinois, June 12-13, 1999

                                Registration Form

First Name ______________________ Middle Name _______Last Name_________________ Title
_________________________________________________________________ Institution
__________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:
  Street Address
___________________________________________________________
 City __________________________ State ______ Zip Code ____________
  Telephone ( ) __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Fax
( ) __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  E-mail
___________________________________________________________

Registration fee:
- $100 for a full-time working medical doctors
- $150 for a full-time working medical doctor plus spouse
- $ 50 for medical doctors doing residency
- $ 75 for medical doctors doing residency plus spouse
- $ 50 for full-time non-medical professional
- $ 75 for full-time non-medical professional plus spouse
- $ 30 for other students
- $ 45 for other students plus spouse

Please make checks payable to America Nepal Medical Foundation and mail it along with your registration form to:

America Nepal Medical Foundation Columbia University Station Post Office Box 250793 New York, NY 10027

If you need our help in reserving a hotel accommodation for you, please contact Janak Koirala, MD, Conference Coordinator at (708) 927-3132
(voice mail) or e-mail to jkoirala@uic.edu

For further general information about ANMF or the June convention, please contact:

Gaury Adhikary, MD, President
(734) 936-4280 or e-mail to adhikary@umich.edu

Janak Koirala, MD, Conference Coordinator
(708) 927-3132 (voice mail) or e-mail to jkoirala@uic.edu

Tara Niraula, General Secretary
(212) 666-1508 or e-mail to tnn3@columbia or write to the ANMF address above.

Please send your completed registration form by June 1, 1999 to ANMF address above.

Please initial ___________________________

                                Hotel Information

Hyatt at University Village, 625 South Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607, Telephone- (312) 243 7200 or (800) 233 1234. Regular cost is $220 (less than 5 minutes walk to Convention Venue). There is also a conference rate of about $150. The reservation is under “America Nepal” and participants who need accommodation should immediately contact the Hyatt directly and make necessary arrangements. Please get in touch with Dr. Koirala via e-mail or leave a message before the end of February.

  1. Quality Inn Downtown, $90-120, (312) 829 5000, (about 7 minutes to
     Convention venue by taxi)
  2. Palmer House Hilton, $170-270, (847)726 7500 (about 10 minutes to
     Convention Venue by train or taxi)
  3. Hyatt on Printers Row, $120-190, (312) 9861234 (about 10 minutes to
     Convention Venue by train or taxi)

If you have any questions and need some help in reserving a hotel for you, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Janak Koirala at 708-927-3132
(voice mail) or e-mail him to jkoirala@uic.edu

Driving Directions

Take Ashland exit from I-290 and drive South. After passing 2 blocks, the conference site (Molecular Biology Research Building) will be on your right(between Polk and Taylor streets). If you are self-driving, turn right on Taylor Street and drive around to the parking lot which is on the next block.

>From O'Hare Airport- Cab costs about $30. There are trains from O'Hare
to downtown. You can take the 'Cicero' train from O'Hare and get off at
" UIC Medical Center" station which is only a block away from the conference site. From Midway Airport- Cab costs about $30. Trains to downtown available. Need to change the train in downtown to "UIC Medical Center".

        America Nepal Medical Foundation

Background:

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Nepali citizens, suffer unnecessarily and even lose their lives due to the lack of essential medical care. Lasting improvements of this situation demands multi-sectorial and sustained efforts by governmental and non-governmental organizations. Quality medical care is an important component of such efforts to meet the basic health care needs of the Nepali people.

Strengthening the technical capability of Nepalese medical institutions is a significant part towards achieving this goal. Given North America’s leading role in medical science today, a unique opportunity exists for professional and academic cooperation between Nepal and North America. Considering these aspects, a concerned group of Nepalese and North American physicians, and others have taken the initiative to establish America-Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF). ANMF is a non-profit tax exempt incorporated in the state of New York in 1996 with Nepali counterpart based in Kathmandu.

ANMF Mission:

The mission of ANMF is to help Nepal strengthen its existing medical capabilities through fostering academic and professional cooperation between Nepal and North America in the area of medical care, education and research.

ANMF Objectives:

The Foundation’s main objectives are to:

  1. Provide educational resource materials such as professional
     journals, reference books, audio-visual and computer based learning
     materials;

  1. Facilitate academic visits of North America based Nepali and
     US/Canadian experts in various clinical and public health areas and
     professional organizations;

  1. Promote and facilitate continuing medical education in Nepal
     through various symposia, seminars and workshops in active
     collaboration with the local partners and professional bodies;

  1. Help strengthen research capability of Nepali health professionals
     by fostering collaboration between interested Nepali and North
     American researchers and academic research institutions;
  2. Collect and deliver appropriate medical equipment (new or used);

  1. Explore, arrange and sponsor qualified Nepali medical professionals
     for short-term training in US/Canadian medical institutions in
     various specific clinical and scientific areas;

  1. Help establish appropriate infrastructure and promote the
     accessibility to current world medical literature for Nepali health
     professionals through the use of Internet and World Wide Web;

  1. Provide and facilitate appropriate medical relief in the event of
     major natural disasters; or public health emergencies in Nepal;

  1. Raise necessary funds to accomplish the ANMF’s overall objectives;
     and

  1. Foster cooperation between ANMF and other organizations providing
     humanitarian assistance in Nepal.

Organizational Framework

The ANMF is managed by an Executive Committee under the policy guidelines provided by its Board of Directors. Any individuals willing to participate and contribute towards the fulfillment of the above-mentioned objectives can become a member of this foundation.

The Foundation and You:

If you are interested in facilitating contacts, networking among like-minded people, helping mobilize resources and aiding in the implementation of ANMF programs, we would like to invite you to actively participate in this organization.

The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.
                                               - Mother Theresa.

ANMF Board of Directors:

Donald C. Blair, MD, Chairperson, SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, New York Maheswor Baidya, MD, Cardiologist, Ohio Ashok Banskota, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Kathmandu Soorya Basnyat, MD, FRCS, General Surgeon, Canada William Brant, MD, U. of California Davis Medical Center, CA Joan Coggin, MD, Loma Linda University Medical Center, CA Norman Coleman, MD, Harvard Medical School, MA Donald Copley, MD, Cardiologist, New York Kul Chandra Gautam, Ph.D., UNICEF, Thailand Charles Gooding, MD, UC San Francisco, CA Richard Hirsch, MD, Northeast Ohio University, Ohio Shyam Karki, D.Pharmacy, Pharmacist, NY Robert Kelley, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois Mahesh Khakurel, FRCS, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu Sohan Khatiwada, MD, Anesthesiologist, Indiana Kenneth Lukowiak, MD, Ph.D., U. of Calgary, Canada Tulsi Maharjan, Ph.D., New Jersey Madhuri Mathema-Kilpatrick, Ph.D., USAID/Ghana Sharad Onta, MD, MPH., Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu Earl Parrish, MD, Plastic Surgeon, Oregon Padam Paudel, MD, Radiation Oncologist, North Carolina Joseph Rosen, MD, Plastic Surgeon, New Hampshire Hari Har Sharma, MD, Internist, New York Ivan Somlai, College of Cariboo, Canada Brendan Thomson, MD, Pulmonologist, Arizona Libby Wilson, MD, Plastic Surgeon, California Mark Zimmerman, MD, Patan Hospital, Nepal

NMF Executive Committee:

Gauri Adhikary, MD, President, Michigan Roshan Shrestha, MD, VP-North America, North Carolina Shankar Rai, MD, VP-Nepal Sector, Kathmandu, Nepal Tara Niraula, General Secretary, New York Kristin Stueber, MD, Treasurer, Massachusetts Sunil Sharma, MD , Assistant Secretary, West Virginia Bhargab Dixit, MD, Member, New York Arjun Karki, MD, Member, Rhode Island Pratima Pande, MD, Member, Kathmandu, Nepal Vijaya Sigdel, Member, New York Sanjaya Khanal, MD , Member, Massachusetts Charles A. Richert, MD, Member, Washington Janak Koirala, MD, Member, Illinois Subarna Pradhan, MD, Member, Illinois

ANMF Special Representatives:

Robert C Gerzof, Georgia Prakash Neupane, MD, New York Fred Shepardson, California Mohan Thakuri, MD, New York NMF homepage http://car.upmc.edu/anmf/

Please Join us. Remember that this is a unique opportunity for you to make a difference.

                      America Nepal Medical Foundation

                                    MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM

New Membership [ ] Renewing Membership [ ] Yes, I am interested in helping with
[ ] Membership Drive
[ ] Donating Books & Journals
[ ] Fundraising/Scholarships
[ ] Newsletter
[ ] Participating in CME Program
[ ] Serving on the Board
[ ] Other:_____________________________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________________________

Address:
________________________________________________________________ City: ____________________ State: _______ Zip Code:
________________ Affiliations:
________________________________________________________________ Phone: (______ ) ______ ____________ Fax: (______) ______ _________

Email:
________________________________________________________________ Interest:
________________________________________________________________ Membership Fees: HONORARY: (By invitation)
[ ] BENEFACTOR: $5,000.00
[ ] LIFE: $1,000.00
[ ] REGULAR: $50.00
[ ] Trainee: $25.00
[ ] Student: $15.00

Please make check payable to America Nepal Medical Foundation and mail to:
    Kristin Stueber, MD
    24 Brock Way,
    South Hadley, MA 01075

For further information, please contact:
 Bhargab Dixit, MD at (914) 667-0074 or email him to: Arpandix@msn.com or write to the following address: America Nepal Medical Foundation Columbia University Station P. O. Box 250793, New York, NY 10025

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