The Nepal Digest - December 12, 1995 (2 Push 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Tuesday 12 December 95: Push 2 2052 BS Volume 45 Issue 2

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta k945184@atlas.kingston.ac.uk *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha rshresth@black.clarku.edu *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "LIFE: Indulgence vs Seeking Truth - Which is your forte?" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
 ******************************************************************************

********************************************************************** From: Sushil Upadhyay <SUSHIL@mallatrk.mos.com.np> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 11:01:08 +0545 Reply-To: sushil@mallatrk.mos.com.np

Rajesh Shrestha posted Ben Mosley's queries re trekking in Nepal.
("Is it unsafe to trek in Nepal?").

Frank answered.

Frank talked about the weather forecasters in Nepal.

And the AP.

FYI, Frank, the ridge in Gokyo is not Kala Pattar. Kala Patthar (the black rock) is above Everest Base Camp.

Over to you.
  Sushil Upadhyay, Malla Treks, PO Box 5227, Kathmandu, Nepal

************************************************* Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 11:30:06 -0500 From: JaiNepal@aol.com To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: Sending mail to Nepal

     There was a recent posting where someone mentioned that tourists could send mail to the U.S. Embassy for pick up by them when they got to Nepal. An embassy friend of mine told me that this is not true. The embassy can only clear mail and packages for diplomatic personnel.
     They suggest that tourists may wish to check with the American Express office or local travel agencies for mail pickup services. The embassy cannot do this for private individuals as it is against federal regulations. They mentioned that some unfortunate women had heard this on the Internet and had sent prescription glasses to the Kathmandu embassy, which the embassy could not clear.

****************************************** Date: Sat, 25 Nov 1995 15:01:17 -0500 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: sharma@plains.nodak.edu (Padam Sharma) Subject: InfoNepal Foundation Update

Dear Friends:

I sincerely thank all those who sent their fruitful comments on my proposal of INFONEPAL Foundation to promote stewardship of Nepal. I am really encouraged by the overwhelming support which came with a basic message, " Excellent idea! How can I help?"

Let me first restate the proposed name of the foundation, its mission and objectives.
____________________________________________________________________

EMPOWER NEPAL INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION (InfoNepal)

The InfoNepal Foundation is a non-profit organization to be incorporated in the state of ............ in the United States of America. InfoNepal is an endeavor to reach out and touch people who love and take pride in stewardship of Nepal. By forming a global network of expatriate Nepalese and friends of Nepal, InfoNepal wants to disseminate the combined goodwill, energy, capital resources and information for salvation of Nepal to future generations.

Vision
        Like the majestic Himalayas, Nepal will rise to the zenith of human dignity, economic prosperity, socio-cultural harmony, and environmental quality in Asia.

Mission
        Improve and sustain the environment and quality of life in Nepal.

InfoNepal accomplishes its mission by:

1. Building an international network of Nepali expatriates, Nepali students, friends of Nepal, and organizations involved in improving the quality of life in Nepal. 2. Providing opportunities for network members to exchange information and pool knowledge, skills, and capital resources for economic development and environmental restoration work in Nepal. 3. Facilitating opportunities for members to conduct research, demonstrate
                     appropriate technology, volunteer services, conduct seminars, and workshops in Nepal. 4. Providing information and facilitating logistics in Nepal for investment by non-resident Nepalese and friends of Nepal. 5. Providing resources for non-resident Nepalese to resettle and participate in community development and environmental restoration projects in Nepal. 6. Providing opportunities for adult education and training in rural areas on entrepreneurship, literacy, nutrition, family planning, preventive health, and environmental restoration. 7. Developing conditions for empowerment by cultivating a culture of trustworthiness accountability, mutual respect, philanthropy, volunteerism, and stewardship of human and natural resources. 8. Providing training opportunities for leadership development, communication skills, civilized exchange of ideas, and parliamentary procedures to political and apolitical organizations. 9. Maintaining a directory of NGO's in Nepal and evaluating their potential for a trustworthy agreement with InfoNepal and other donor agencies. 10. Disseminating InfoNepal and other development news to network members by supporting Nepal related global information networks in the cyberspace and other media.
____________________________________________________________________ Here are few of the comments:

"I was very happy to see that you have taken the initiative to form an organization using people (those Nepalese and well wishers of Nepal) all around the world. This should be made into reality. The ultimate objective should be to help Nepal and its people inside Nepal. Many of us, particularly those Nepalese working outside Nepal are able and should make attempts to help our country in whatever way we find acceptable."

"I just read your bulletin on INFO Nepal on the web. I will be traveling to Nepal next October with another female friend. I have never been to the country, but distinctly remember from the age of four being drawn there. The issues you stated concern for are very much in line with my own, and I'm interested in doing either volunteer work or (eventually) possible professional work for the good of Nepal and the Nepali people. I would love to become involved with INFO Nepal."

"I am a sophomore Chemistry major at Rice University. I am interested in environmental science and plan to study abroad in Nepal next year
(beginning fall of '96), through the School for International Training and Cornell programs alternately." I recently found your homepage for InfoNepal and am intrigued by the prospect that I might be able to contribute to this cause during my stay next year."

"I would love to get involved in something like InfoNepal. It is a great idea. We have to do something if we want to keep our country together. Good education for the Nepali children probably one of the most important and most challenging things we have to accomplish. Cultural interaction and understanding is also very essential. Adult education's role cannot be exaggerated."

 "I am a student in college interested in this group to help Nepal. I compliment this organization's presentation of it's activities in helping Nepal. I have read postings by other organizations, but they seem to lose the purpose of helping Nepal. How can I find out more about InfoNepal? I would like to help Nepal in some way, but as a student I lack the time to go to Nepal and volunteer(until maybe after I graduate). How can I fit in this organization and help Nepal?"

Here are some queries and suggestions:

I. About the name InfoNepal Foundation:

Q. Why Info? Is there a better name? Can this be simply NEPAL FOUNDATION? or DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION OF NEPAL? Let us think some more and come up with a better name.

Q. You may need to think of a name for this group little differently so the name expresses the group's objective itself rather than InfoNepal. If I come up a better name I will pass it on to you.

A. I do agree that the name "EMPOWER NEPAL INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION" is bit clumsy. I do like the acronym "InfoNepal" because it signifies the information revolution that Nepal and the world is going through. The whole idea of the foundation is to sieve and transmit valuable information and resources to Nepal. I believe that salvation of landlocked Nepal lies in its agressive entry into the "information super highway". How about simply, "InfoNepal Foundation"? Please come forward with some more alternative names.

II. About mission activities:

Q. Is objective # 4 appropriate for such a foundation?

A. Objective number #4 deals with providing information for foundation members to invest in Nepal. One of the principles that I would like to state that InfoNepal should not hand out any money for charity and disaster relief. The only way to encourage economic growth is to promote investments in Nepal. It could be in any sector, be it in education, health, energy, transportation, tourism, value added agriculture,
  forestry, information technology, distribution of goods and services, recycling of urban waste, urban housing, music, cottage industry, and so on. This would be one of the best ways to encourage semi-retired or retired expatriates to relocate in Nepal.

Q. Do you feel that we need to add a word "democracy or democratic society" in objective 7 or objective 8 ? I feel it is important to have it added in one of the objectives. We need to be careful, however, not to make any political affiliation with the use of such wording.

A. I agree that we should emphasize democracy and promotion of basic human rights with equality of race, sex, caste, religion, and ethnicity. However, words do not matter much unless we practice these principles inside the proposed InfoNepal organization. Let us first demonstrate these principles ourselves. Any comments?

III. About the proposed organization:

Q. I did not understand the concepts of Chapters? Why do we need Chapters? I understand that it will be a Foundation, with its head office in USA for the reasons of fund raising, board of trustee representations, etc. It will have a field office in Nepal, probably Kathmandu.

A. The chapters are extensions of my dream to have a foundation with global scope. Expatriate Nepalese and friends of Nepal live all around the world. Once we get this organization going in the USA, we can provide organizational guidance to open similar foundations (either independent or affiliated with InfoNepal USA) in other countries including Nepal.

IV. About financial matters

Q. We may need to add a couple paragraph description on how this Foundation will solicit/accept gifts and/or grants. How the resources will be utilized to fund the activities under each objectives. Is it through direct implementation of activities through foundation staff? or the foundation makes grants to institutions and individuals? This need to be discussed and may be you can put it towards the end of this proposal.

A. I am currently reading the rules and regulations regarding the incorporation in various states of the US. Along with a revised charter draft, I also plan to write up bylaws of the foundation. Hopefully, some of the queries raised above will be answered by this. I would appreciate help from any friends who knows the legal and fiscal stuff.

V. Other questions and comments

Q. What are your immediate agendas apart from registering the foundation?

A. Informing more people about the foundation and getting inputs from as many of you as I can. We can not solicit funds and start our activities until we get legally incorporated as a nonprofit organization. I am expecting that it would take about six to 12 months to get InfoNepal going.

Q. Have you read about Nepal Concern started by Kishore Ghimire who envisions similarly? Any plans on collaboration? Any grounds not to? How would I, an average-informed Nepali overseas, differentiate between these various efforts?

A. Yes, I read Kishore Ghimire's Nepal Concern proposal. I don't know what Nepal Concern's activities are in Nepal. If our mission objectives match, there is no reason why we can not collaborate in Nepal. So far as Nepal Concern USA's proposed activities are concerned, the energy and information flow is in a different direction than what is proposed for InfoNepal. May be you should be the judge of that:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
###### Proposed Activities of Nepal Concern (U.S.A.).

1. Conduct literacy campaign and language course program for Nepalese language in U.S.A.. 2. Established some loan fund with no interest for students studying in U.S.A. 3. Establish some help-fund to college/school going students in Nepal. 4. Enhance children foster programs in Nepal. 5. Decide current and relevant issues and conduct talk programs, group discussions and awareness campaign programs. 6. Publish books, pamphlets and booklets to enhance the greater goal of the N.C.(U.S.A.). 7. Conduct Nepal festival in U.S.A. displaying all aspects of Nepalese culture. 8. Conduct free general medical check-up camps in U.S. for members and friends. 9. Conduct U.S. festival in Nepal collaboration with Nepal Concern International to display all aspect of American life in Nepal. 10. Conduct visitor exchange program for various professionals and non-professionals within U.S.A. and around the world with low cost or no cost sharing basis what ever will be possible. 11. After deciding about the feasibility, maintain here in U.S.A. an
  electronicinformation media with world-wide network of Nepal Concern. The media will consists of information regarding trade and commerce, tourism, education, health, research, communication, electronic dialing and mailing for members, and also all other aspects of the society. 12. .........................................(please suggest if you have any more in your mind).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Some more very thoughtful comments:

"In my opinion, cornerstone InfoNepal should be based on is "personal responsibility". We can blame the leaders all we want. BUT did we reach the state we did just because of the leaders? I don't believe so. People can and should be able to grow inspite of the what the leaders do. Whatever help InfoNepal is providing should not be in the form of freebies. People should make effort to get it. Responsibility should be regarded as important requirement. The reason why the foreign aid programs have not been effective is because they have not incorporated this very important aspect in their implementation. Result: more instead of less dependency. Gandhi and Mother Teresa said "we are giving fish to people to stand" however people have to put forth an effort or have intention to stand. I think this has to be incorporated in the charter of InfoNepal. I know this is easier said than done but I think that is the reality of the fact.

The paragraph about the political situation in the country is kind of depressing. The political situation of the country is "a stinking swamp" sends a chill down my spine. This is the only negative part of the document. I am bitter about the political situation too. However, I think it should not reflect in the document. We can convey the same message in a positive way.

One of the things I believe we need to be a country where we do not need extraordinary leaders. We need to be a country where ordinary leaders can do extraordinary things. For that to happen, we need to have an educated populace. Where are we in that front? Almost 30 percent of the children don't even go to school now. That alone will be a huge setback for Nepal's future development efforts. I have been reading in the The Kathmandu Post about the practices of the political parties to hire the teachers of their parties, 150 total school days when normally it should have been 250, etc. Universities are not even fit to be called Universities.

What I am really trying to say here is that we need to make the charter of InfoNepal brief and to the point. We cannot do all the things we want to due to resource constraints. I am totally for increase the intercultural harmony too. However, we cannot do all the things at the same time. So, in my opinion, we need to prioritize certain things which we believe are really crucial; and, go all out in that direction. If we have too many goals, our resources will be diluted in different projects and this in turn will result in us not being able to make a significant impact in any field.

So, what I suggest, is that let's make a few (may be even one) priorities. With success we can expand into more fields. I strongly agree with your treatments of education (both adult and children) as one of the priorities."

My response: Thank you for these valuable comments. I realize that the first draft is very negative in its proposition. But we have to swallow the bitter pill to get better. I am currently working on the second draft of the charter of INFONEPAL FOUNDATION, and hopefully, will present a positive outlook with a set of priorities. In the meantime, I would urge others to think about a better draft of INFONEPAL Foundation.

How can you help InfoNepal now?

We are at the awareness stage of this project which has the potential to grow into a very vibrant organization for decades to come. To all Nepal lovers who feel like saying something (be positive, skeptical, or indifferent) about this InfoNepal idea, please express yourselves in the Nepal Digest and Socio Culture Nepal discussions. Your `dui sabda' will be a thousand words for me. If you write and disseminate the words in the TND or SOC, it will be a great help to increase the awareness and make it a shared project.

The succeeding drafts of InfoNepal will be available for your review at Rajendra Shrestha's NEPAL HOME PAGE under DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT window (//www.cen. uiuc.edu/~rshresth/develp.html ). If you don't have a WEB Browser and would like to get a copy of the draft just leave me a note at the following address. And for any other reasons, please feel free to contact me about this project.

Dhanyabad!

  Dr. Padam Prasad Sharma
        812 West Divide Avenue
        Bismarck, ND 58501, USA.
        Phone: 701-667-3050 (office) 701-258-2066 (home) 701-667-1811 (fax)
        Email: sharma@plains.nodak.edu

***************************************************** Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 23:22:21 -0500 (EST) Forwarded By: atuladhar@vax.clarku.edu Subject: nov25_editorial.html (fwd) To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

Source: KTM Post
                                   EDITORIAL
  CAUGHT IN A CROSS-FIRE
   
   The NC-led coalition has once again effected transfers and postings of
   Chief District Officers (CDOs) in 26 districts. This is the third such
   sweeping bureaucratic shake-up ordered by the oddball coalition after
   assuming office in the second week of September. In fact, there is
   nothing new about the whole process. The majority Congress government
   did it, and the term Congressikaran (of the bureaucracy) gained
   currency. The main opposition UML, which coined it also gained
   political mileage out of it. Then the minority UML government,
   impatient as it was to give its arch-rival a taste of its own
   medicine, thought it wise to undo all that its predecessor had done,
   and much more. Foul ! shouted the Congress camp and they christened it
   Emalekaran. Down came the first ever communist government in the
   country. Now the clock has gone one complete cycle and it is again
   Congress_s turn to turn the tables on the communists. But with a
   difference. With disparate partners all having a stake in the
   coalition ship the bargain now centres on whose men should get how
   many berths.
   
   As those at the helm consolidate their positions, and as the
   opposition quietly war-games a comeback strategy the _exposed_
   bureaucrat finds himself caught in a cross-fire. So it has been and
   perhaps so shall it be unless, of course, politicians, both the
   budding and the seasoned varieties, make it a cardinal point to
   promise only what they can deliver. It was just over two months ago
   that Prime Minister Deuba had assured the nation that the government
   he heads would not tamper with the administrative machinery. The
   people did take him for what he said as they invariably tend to do
   when new faces replace old, discredited ones. For, people_s
   disillusionment with the status quo often leads to a change of
   government, which in turn raises their expectations. The nation did
   not, however, have to wait long to see him go back on his word.
   
   The argument put forward to buttress the government_s move is that it
   is simply trying to correct anomalies in the system itself and that
   the changes should not be viewed as being politically motivated. There
   may be some justification for the government_s action as there will
   always be. But if the coalition partners did not have an axe to grind,
   the axe would not have fallen so indiscriminately. Also, granted that
   in all democracies when the new administration moves in there is
   always the entourage of would-be political appointees trailing behind,
   but its strength is more or less fixed. Not here. What is perhaps
   needed to correct this anomaly is a set of guidelines that designate
   certain posts in the administration as _political_ so that whenever
   there is a change of guard everybody knows who is going out and who is
   coming in.
 
------------ Here is an example of how traditional Hindu values of patriarchy can survive embedded in a Jeffersonian modern constitution of Nepal.
----------
   
  PROPERTY RIGHTS: RIGHT OR WRONG
   By Neeta Maskey
    he inconsistancies in the Nepalese legal system that favoured men and
   belittled women
   
   had never been legally questioned. Until, Meera Dhungana and Meera
   Khanal filed a case against discriminatory laws concerning property
   rights as being unconstitutional at the Supreme Court recently .
   
   The case was a bold move towards the amendment of laws which
   discriminated against women. However, many conservatives considered
   the case too radical a step and believed it would dismantle
   traditional Nepalese social structure.
   
    The case brought to fore the existing unjust, impractical legal
   provisions that were valid strictly because of deep-rooted orthodox
   religious and cultural tenets, despite their being contradictory to
   the constitution.
   
   The innumerable laws concerning property rights that uphold male
   supremacy contradict Article 11 of the constitution that provides the
   right to equality under no discrimination of religion, race, sex,
   caste, tribe or ideological conviction. For example, the son is
   entitled to ancestral property the moment he is born; but, the
   daughter receives a share of it only after she reaches the age of
   thirty-five and only if she remains single her entire life. If she
   does get married after thiry-five years of age, she must give it all
   back to her natal family.
   
   In addition to these restrictions, No 2 of the chapter on womens
   property of the Muluki Ain forbids her from independent use of her
   share of property she needs the approval of her father to sell it if
   she is unmarried, of her husband if she is married, and of her son if
   she is a widow. There are many more laws that trap women, leaving them
   helpless dependent on male members of their families throughout their
   lives. For example, a man who wants to separate from his wife can seek
   a divorce by agreeing to pay her alimony for five years or until she
   remarries.
   
   The alimony she would get, however, is limited to a vague term
   mentioned in the constitution that amounts to a meagre sum hardly
   enough for the day to day sustenance, says Shanta Thapaliya of Legal
   Aid and Consultancy Centre (LACC). If the wife in such a case is
   economically dependent, then she is totally at the mercy of her
   estranged husband. In most cases, women usually are economically
   dependent, says Thapaliya, and, it is the law that has made them so.
   
   The faulty legal system carries a heavy portion of the blame for
   divesting women of their self-esteem and letting men get away with
   light punishment.
   
   Polygamy, for instance, is prohibited and punishable by law. But, the
   punishment is only a two-month imprisonment and a fine upto Rs 1000.
   Moreover, the law does not invalidate the second marriage. Such
   loopholes in our legal system have helped aggravate the violence
   against and subjugation of women in our society, says Thapaliya. The
   present legal system does not give equal protection to men and women.
   
   But, not all constitutional provisions consider men more worthy than
   women. The sub-article (3) under Article 11 of the constitution grants
   exclusive provisions for the protection and advancement of women. It
   is these specific provisions that we as women must demand and make use
   of, until we become as economically independent as men are, says
   Indira Rana of the Judicial Council. Only then will women be able to
   seek equal legal justice.
   
   Citing her own struggle for property rights that has become a bitter
   family feud, Rana adds that women must be granted property rights so
   that they can have an indentity of their own and be economically
   strong to defend themselves against legal injustice.
   
   After all, only those who have money can seek legal justice, she says.
   
   But, Rana - a successful lawyer by profession - wonders about the fate
   of the less fortunate women who are in worse situations. I have not
   been able to win any property in all these years; I can very well
   imagine what the situation is like for others, says Rana. She
   considers her personal struggle for property rights a challenge for
   all Nepalese women who have been deprived of equal rights in all
   spheres of life.
   
   The struggle for equality between men and women, however, seems
   neverending - especially, the struggle for equal access to property
   rights; people are more apprehensive about the negative consequences
   that equal access to property may bring in the family.
   
   In Nepalese society, the inheritance of property is equivalent to
   social security. Male members of the family are expected to look after
   their aging parents as they are the sole recipients of their familial
   property. But, the moment girls are also entitled to a share, people
   fear that there could be rifts in the family over whos duty it is to
   look after the elderly.
   
   Those who are against partition of property advocate bequeathing it
   through a will.
   
   The will system may put an end to squabbles concerning property
   rights, says Rana. But, it may not ensure a woman a fair share of
   property as most Nepalese, who believe in the male line of descent,
   prefer sons to daughters and therefore, may give sons more.
   
   While some say that equal rights to property might break up a marriage
   or a home or family ties, others feel that it will become even more
   difficult for women to get married, as the inheritance of property
   will complicate a union. A womans inheritance rights could become
   another form of the notorious dowry system and only women from wealthy
   families will be able to get married, say those who are against giving
   property rights to the girl child.
   
   But, Thapaliya and Rana argue that a girl with fixed assets as her
   share of property is much better off than a girl with dowry that is
   usually squandered away by her husband and his family.
   
   As for the fear that women from poor families will have difficulties
   in getting married due to financial problems, Thapaliya and Rana say
   that these problems exist even today. Such problems may continue to
   exist even after property rights are granted to the girl child, but
   women will be both socially and economically much more independent
   then than they are now, say the women advocates with confidence.
   Dismissing those who oppose equal right to property for women as
   irrational people who want to hold on to male supremacy, Thapaliya and
   Rana clarify that all women are asking for are rights equal to those
   enjoyed by men.
   
   This has shocked our patriarchal society, says Thapaliya. Just as the
   prohibition on child marriage in 1963 shocked the conservative public,
   who took a while to adjust to the new law. The furore over womens
   property rights will take sometime to subside before they become
   acceptable laws, assures Thapaliya.
   
   With regard to the case filed by Dhungana and Khanal, the Supreme
   Court issued a directive to His Majestys Government that within the
   period of one year, they were to modify the laws concerning property
   rights in Article 16 of the constitution that discriminated against
   women.
   
   Thapaliya and Rana hope that the new ministry for women and social
   welfare, if not the ministry for law and justice, will expedite the
   process of amendment.
   
   The constitution may take less time to be amended than expected, but,
   a quick change in the society is not possible, says renowned
   anthropologist Dor Bahadur Bista.
   
    The laws cannot bring about any positive changes, unless social and
   religious values change. Our patriarchal society is so rigid that
   attaining gender equality has become a difficult task, despite Nepals
   ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
   Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
   
   Rather than the laws, what should be changed is the societys way of
   thinking, says Bista. Is Nepalese society - that gives importance to
   the male line of descent and therefore, has one of the highest indices
   of son preferences in the world - prepared to treat men and women
   equally? I am afraid not, says Bista, for he feels our society,
   deep-rooted in orthodox Hindu values or what he calls Bahunism is not
   broad-minded enough to accept men and women as equals.
   
   The poor response to Article 113/114 and Article (i) clause (b) of the
   constitution is proof to his observation. These articles call for
   specific provisions of at least 5 percent representation of women
   candidates in any political party contesting the general election to
   the House of Representatives under Article 113/114, and the
   reservation of at least three seats for women in the National Assembly
   (the Upper House) under Article 46 (i) clause (b).
   
   They are being fulfilled today merely out of formality rather than out
   of any sincere interest in the development and welfare of women.
   
   Bista, however, sees the case filed against the discriminatory laws as
   a positive step towards the formation of a more egalitarian society.
   Disgusted with the outdated, impractical interpretation of the Vedas
   handed down from generation to generation, he appeals for a healthier
   social context which will allow an egalitarian society to germinate
   and grow.
   
   The social mores, based on Bahunism, a practice which subjugates women
   while bestowing most of the power the few men who rule, are in dire
   need of a change. The transformations in the social system should hail
   a new way of thinking and a new way of life that will dismantle the
   conservative hierarchic society made up of different castes and
   creeds.
   
   Revamping a conservative social structure like ours is not an easy
   task, says Bista. Although, he believes that the case filed by
   Dhungana and Khanal will definitely bring about a positive change in
   society leading to the liberation of women in the long run, he says,
   Social changes are a slow evolutionary process and the society needs
   to be criticised time and again in order to flake open its
   shortcomings, give it a better shape and lead it towards a better
   future for the generations to come.
   
   Only when our social system is ameliorated to suit the changing times,
   will there be a possibility for women and men to be treated as equals.

   
  OFF THE BEAT
    Seeing: Kisunji And We
   
   Now I can see proclaimed the affable NC leader after his high profile,
   publicity- packed eye treatment. While were glad that Kisunjis eye
   ailment has been cured, here are a few things he missed, and we could
   see during his absence.
     * We could clearly recall the innumerable hospitals and health posts
       he inaugurated. For the common man of course, not for the likes of
       him.
       
     * We also saw that despite the really busy schedule, our leaders are
       excellent time managers when it comes to going abroad.
       
     * It was also evident that all their advocacy of economizing
       government expenses does not apply to leaders for they can freely
       avail of govt. sponsorship.
        ????????????????????????????

Amulya's questions: I guess K. P deserved this, but what are the rules for this privilege, or is it just the discretion of the PM? Is this the way PM buys the supports of K.P and Ganesh Man?

The Nepali public demand to know!
==================
       
     * But what tops the observation list however, is the faithfulness on
       the part of journalists who follow these leaders even to the point
       of overlooking the fact that such operations could have been
       safely conducted in Nepal itself. Kisunji dont tell me you cant
       see these things.(JKG)
       
  BLIND GAME ?
   
   One has to be a naive, green, unseasoned, irrational, insensitive, out
   of touch, or a completely blind politician in Nepal not to see the
   charms that the Rastriya Prajatantra Party has acquired these recent
   days. It sure came as something of a shocker when UML MP Birodh
   Khatiwada showed all these qualities with a question only an ignoramus
   could ask, Is Rastriya Prajatantra Party Miss Nepal or Miss World ?
   Why are all parties attracted to it ?"
   
   All this scribe can do to help resolve the mans bewilderment is advise
   him to seek the answers with Madhav Kumar Nepal whose fascination for
   the charms of a Rajeshwor Devkota hangs on everybodys lips. That is,
   only if Khatiwada is playing blind to drive a point home or subtly
   stating his own preference. (SR)
   
************************************************ From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:36:39 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Help - Nepali Culture

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

Patrice Butkiewicz (GRVK97A@prodigy.com) wrote:
: Thank you ....what a wonderful aspect of Nepali culture to share. Pardon
: my ignorance regarding Hinduism and Buddhism, but I approach the problem
: from a western perspective, where everything usually has solid borders.
: It seems as if Hinduism and Buddhism current;y overlap in Nepal....and
: that "being" Hindu or Buddhist is not as straightforward as say...being
: Catholic or Methodist here in the States would be. Or is it? I know
: that Buddhism is rooted in Hinduism, but the extent of my knowledge is
: not great. I have found a Hindu temple here in southeast Michigan which
: I plan to visit so that I may learn a more about these areas. Once again.
: Thank you for your help...and tolerance of my lack of knowledge.

Buddhism was founded (or the school of thought as per Buddhism) by Siddhartha Gautama about 2500 years ago. He was born in Lumbini area (presently in Nepal), got the enlightenment at age of 35 and proponented his idea about "Nirvana" or liberation for next 45 years.

The philosophies or value of life he preached at that time are quite diversified now. The closest thing to Buddhism at time of Buddha would be Theravada Buddhism as found nowadays in SriLanka, Thailand, and Burma.

Few centuries later (after Buddhar went to Nirvana), other sects of Buddhism known nowadays as "Mahayana Buddhism" developed. The further diversification from Mahayana Buddhism is Vajrayana Buddhism where all these rituals related to worshipping of God as found in Hinduism are practiced. In fact, the theological aspects of Vajrayani Buddhists are similar to those of Hindus or Christians. The Vajrayani Buddhists believe in a Heavenly Buddha. In fact they treat Hindu gods as BoddhiSattwas who will later become Buddha. The Boddhisattwas will help the world and other creatures in misery until his time of enlightenment has come.

In the Vajrayani Buddhism practiced in Nepal, the mix up between Hinduism and Buddhist rituals are profound. The detail is beyound the scope of this writing, if you are interested, you are requested to refer to books about History of Buddhism which can be found in many libraries.

The word "Hinduism" perhaps was not even there at the time of Buddha. At that time, the "Vedic" rituals were followed (although a major basis of Hinduism is Vedas as well). The only relationship between Buddhism and Hinduism is that Buddha was born and grew up at area and time where "Vedic" rituals were profoundly followed. Other that that, Buddhism has nothing to do with Hinduism. The Buddha's teachings are entirely independent of any school of thought found or practiced at that time. Therefore Buddhism is not rooted in Hinduism.

Perhaps you can find some free time to study about Buddhism and decide by yourself.

Raju Tuladhar (tuladhar@enci.ucalgary.ca)

********************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:41:15 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Advice on Nepal travel

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

murlanj@aol.com (MurlanJ) wrote:

>My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a Nepal trip. We would
>appreciate advice on: when to travel, best tour guides, expenses, personal
>experiences, etc. Thank you.
That is an extraordinarily broad request; it is like asking " we are planning to buy a computer; what kind should we get?

  What are you going to Nepal for? Do you want to trek? Do you want to soak up the culture? Which culture? Do you want to see a lot of animals? Do you want to see religious sites? Do you want to see famous places (Namche Bazar, Muktinath, etc) or do you want to get to places without lots of other visitors? How much time do you want to spend?

  There are lots of books to help you think about these things; my favorites (after 6 trips; about to lead another this Spring) are David Reed's Nepal: the Rough Guide (Penguin, 1993) and Stephen Bezruchka's Guide to Trekking in Nepal (The Mountaineers, 1981 and more recently in later editions).

Robert Funichel

************************************* Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:42:18 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Left Out Right Industry by Ashutosh From: sshakya@lynx.dac.neu.edu (Sunil Shakya)

Left out Right Industry By Ashutosh Tiwari

Taken from SPOTLIGHT magazine, March 11, '94

Such is the result of taking each table of data too seriously. You see the trees, count them all right, but neglect to mention the forest. A case in point is the recently released Industrial Survey.

        Juggling numbers from 1992/93, the Central Bureau of Statistic of Nepal (CBS) reported that there are 4271 "industrial units" in Nepal.
 And that altogether these units, each boasting 10 or more workers, allow over 200,000 Nepalis earn their "dal-bhat-tarkari". Especially notable, the CBS went on, were carpet and garment industries, both of which continue to generate most revenue and employ many people.

        This is all splendid indeed. But driven by an accountant's notion of what an industry is, the CBS sleuths forgot to look into that mother of all Nepali industries. The one that literally operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The one that provides jobs- both full and part-time - to the largest chunk of Nepal's otherwise unemployed (or employed) citizens: Politics.

        How can Nepali politics, with all its promises, passions, policies, pomposities and pretenses, be just another industry bigger than that of beer, trekking and airlines combined? Good question; but let's stick to the mode of explanation that comes naturally to those who speak a politician's lingo

        In other words, instead of flinging econometrics to prove how politics is an industry unto itself, let's discern, ever so subtly, how it could well be so. After all, it's only through intuition that we can see Nepali politics in its raw, naked self: Not a noble pursuit to set Nepal straight, as some would think, but a lumbering entity with all the trappings of a textbook case of industry. Here's how.

        An industry needs capital. Grants, loans and commissions pouring in as "phoren"-aid are the capital of Nepali politics. And it's no surprise that much of that money gets invested to keep many high-powered bureaucratic and not-so-official machineries well-greased. Arun III was controversial, partly because not all in the industry were one about how and in whose pockets should those free millions be recycled.

        An industry needs cheap labor. No problem; much of the blue-collar brawn, if you will, bustles into Nepali politics through half-starving TU "student-dadas" whose off-campus job is to send the rush-hour traffic topsy-turvy by spinning julus after julus. But they are the ones, the "future leaders of Nepal," on whom their parties rely to put up banners, posters and graffiti on Surendra's window, your wall and my door.

        An industry needs white-collar workforce. An assorted mix of
"Phd-babus" and self-declared "buddhijibis" make up this industrial
"chautari" abuzz with deep, philosophical thoughts. Publishing articles that deliver a "this should happen" and "that should happen" variety of safe and stale rhetoric, these writers comprise the "next generation" for whom juicy appointments toll. But lording over them are their managers - senile, quibbling "netas" who command reverence more for their old age and past sacrifices than for present wisdom and long-term vision. With ideas on loan from Marx, Kim III Sung, Nehru and India of
 the 1950s, these "national leaders" now want - overtly and covertly - you and me, the citizens to pay them dividends for all the time they had spent in various jails on our behalf!

        Such "masala" of capital, labor and management hasn't gone unnoticed by the Nepali press. In fact, so entranced by various political shenanigans have our journalists become that reading their daily reports you'd think that not much besides politics happened in the lives of 20 million Nepalis. For that reason, the industry of politics has become, in these times of open-economy, the most "open" of all industries: All its highs and lows, profits and losses, tricks and strategies, and winners and losers are for all to read -- and speculate
-- in detail.

        Still, the question remains: How has this industry - an oligopoly that had risen from the ashes of a monopoly - charmed so many of us of its alleged importance ? Two reasons come to mind.

        First, as their loyal, even if confused, customer, they have us- nice members of public - who like to complain more, and do little. Second, the industry is clever, very clever, at seducing us with a product that few in this Shangri-La can resist: Dreams.

        Dreams, that their activities, especially the one carried out in Kathamndu, is actually for the betterment of each and every Nepali. Dreams, that yesterday's revolutionaries make effective leaders today. And dreams, that all would be well, if only we took part in their rallies, sloganeering and ideological warfares. You and I believe this drivel because there is little else for us to believe.

        Too bad that the Central Bureau of Statistics was hoodwinked,too.

************************************************* Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:46:01 -0500 (EST) From: Nirmal Ghimirez <NGH42799Q236@DAFFY.MILLERSV.EDU> To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu
  
  The recent article written by Ojawsee did give us a chance to see a
  women's view.I do agree with many things that she says.
  The problem I have is how is freedom really expressed? What is freedom
  exactly? Does it vary from culture to culture?
  
  But why does she think that housewife is passivity?
  I think the choice should be given for every individual, and the decison is
  her's. Isn't this largely related due to the fact that we are a developing
  country.It could be that women do have freedom but it does not look like the
  west. For example there are many women who work as waitress, cook and baby
  sitters in this country. She does that as part of her work.
  Now, if we look at our average class family women. Many stay in home and
  do the cooking and help their household. It is just that they are not being
  paid for it and they are doing it on thier own. Many do it because they like it
  and many have a different philosophy from the west.
  
  But,however if someone is forced to do all these work despite her wanting then
  ofcourse I would say that is wrong. But if someone chooses this and likes it
  then I think it is perfectly okay. It boils down to how you feel and what the
  circumstances is.
  
  Another point I am trying to say is housewife is not a simple word or a simple
  task. I have the greatest respect for that position. They infact do more work
  than a lady does in a office. But the differnce is they do it for the family
  and love it. I am not at all encouraging that many should be housewives
  but am saying that housewife itself is a great and respected position.
  And it depends on social value and family tradition. I know many families in
  Nepal who are housewifes, although they have a high education.
  
  In many cases it was chosen by themselves. I do agree that there should be
  freedom for women and women and men are equal. But I wanted to make sure that
  people should not think that housewifes are not educated or not free or not
  developed.
  
  Other point is how many children in the West have been deprived of thieir
  mother's love? For in many cases there is a less contat between mother and the
  child.
  She has to go to work and she leaves the child with the baby sitter and
  comes home and has few time with her.That does not mean that she does not
  love her children(Afterall how can a mother not love her child)?
  
  So there are both plus and minus in both sides.
  I fully support the view and I know that many would saying the women's
  condition in Nepal has to be improved.
  
  But we must also understand that the Western civilization does not mean
  development? Copying the west does not mean development? What is freedom to
  one may not apply to others. The awareness must come within ourself then only
  we really become free.Freedom in itself has a very big meaning.
  
  Ofcouse not only women but all opressed , abused, ignored individual should be
  given a better and equal chance.
  So the question still arises what is freedom? Is working as a clerk or a
  minister a freedom and helping your family to raise your children not freedom/
  The notion of freedom is giving one a choice , that one has a free will.
  But if there are many who believe in determinism and nt free will are they not
  free. If one is satisfied with what she is doing is she free?
  
  But one truth is certain that women have not been given equal opportunity
  in Nepal but the positive point is slowly it is going up. All men and women
  must encourage this issue and move forward.But not my western influence but by
  preserving our values and by changing them according to time.
  
  It is surprising that notion of freedom seems to be more with women in South
  east Asia then in the West.
  Except Margaret Thatcher how many leading lady figures are there in politics?
  But there have been quite a mnay in SA.
  
  I wish government would provide and give better opportunity to women
  so that we may have more Parijaat and many more leading women in our
  Motherland.This is just a minute thought from a small part of a neuron.
  Thanks. Nirmal

**************************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:50:20 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: The Cat In Your Armpit by Manjushree

What follows is an amusing piece by Manjushree Thapa. Manjushree is the author of "Mustang Bhot In fragments", an autobiographical travelogue set in Mustang. She is currently working on a novel in Kathmandu.

The Cat In Your Armpit By Manjushree Thapa

"He is walking around with a dead cat clutched in his armpit, " some Nepalis are given to saying . I cannot even imagine what they mean. All I can decipher, from the tone in which this is said, is that walking around with a dead cat clutched in one's armpits is not a happy thing to be doing. But I don't know exactly what the expression means and I worry that I may be frittering away my life doing exactly this.

        After some research, I found out that no one knows what this expression means either. Of the people I have asked, one said: "Anyone who does something like that must be terribly depressed." This sounded plausible. But another person said the expression described a dolt or a dimwit; did I know, she asked, anyone smart who did things like that ? I don't think I do, but you never know what people are up to in their spare time.

        Yet another person said, "Shouldn't that be: walking around with a dead cat clutched under his armpits, asking directions to Thimi?" This seemed unlikely, since asking directions to Thimi is bad enough without a dead cat in tow. The last person I bothered to ask snarled back, "Are you trying to tell me something?" After that , I dared not continue my research.

        Most Nepali proverbs are not like this. They sparkle with innuendoes, flash with wit, hit at hard truths, cut to the core, speak to the occasion, strike at the heart, size up the situation, and much, much more.

        Take: "Parents' hearts are set on their children; children's hearts are set on rocks and logs." Which Nepali child hasn't suffered that one? Their parents know, too well, that this proverb, if delivered with the right tone at exactly the right moment, has the power to saddle their children with guilt, silence their protestations, and cower them into submission; so the least hint of rebellion against a mother's plea to come on time, eat well, and wear warm enough clothes, or against a father's pleas to study well, work hard, become a national leader, is cemented with this proverb.

        And the problem with proverbs is, you can't argue back. Cute, cutting statements can only be countered with cuter and more cutting statements, and blabbering on about how filial love has no connection to whether or not one wears warm clothes or, for that matter, achieves success in life, will get you absolutely nowhere. This is why innumerable heated arguments grind to a halt after one person says something like: "The fish that escapes is always bigger!" ("No it isn't. And even if it were, that's not my point. What I mean to say is..." just doesn't suffice; the proverb-wielder always wins the argument).

        There must be a few highly erudite, extremely glib, and proverb-wise well-versed families in which a parent's frustrated cry of:
"Will you never reform? A dog's tail doesn't straighten even after twelve years in a pipe," is immediately countered by the children with:
"We should send our two days of life laughing and playing. But rest assured, in your old age, you won't have to carry your own sack on your shoulders despite having bred twelve sons and thirteen grandsons."

        Parent: "So you say. But there's Ram-Ram on your lips and a dagger in your pocket."

        Child: "I am not that kind of person. And stop using proverbs to prove your point. You know well that conversations and canals go wherever you lead them. But more to the point, it's tough to respond to them."

        Mine was not that kind of family. In my family, proverbs were executed solely by authority figures to swiftly, efficiently crush one or another childish mutiny.

        "Your knowledge is like a monkey's tail: neither a walking stick nor a weapon," elders told me when, at the age of ten, I spouted fancy theories about why life was the way it was. At twelve, when I expressed my angst about nuclear bomb proliferation and voiced my urgent need to discover the meaning of life, they said, "You'll never find it, so don't even try; no use asking the name of a village you're not going to." At fourteen, when I announced that I was contemplating becoming a philosopher, they screamed, "Become a philosopher, with cow dung in your head! You'd better set your sights lower, or you'll die ogling the fruit in the sky."

        Some of these expressions are eminently untranslatable, but you get their drift. I did, too, and remained silent for lack of an adequately biting response. But it was with a whole new level of bafflement I stayed quiet when an authority figure told me, "You must stop walking around with a dead cat clutched under your armpit."

        I wish someone would teach me what this means, or at least how I should respond to it.

*********************************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:51:43 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: The Cat In Your Armpit by Manjushree

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

Sunil:

I don't know about dead cats in the arm pits, but you may be interested in another dead cat saying. this one is American.

In the stock market you see a stock going down, you think it has reached the bottom as you see it going back up, so you buy it and watch it turn around to continue on its way further down. You are said to have bought the stock on a 'dead cat bounce', ie if it had been a cat that was alive it would have kept going up, but since it was dead it just hit the ground, bounced up and then fell back to earth.
           Frank

********************************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:52:48 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Trade in South Asia From: an412134@anon.penet.fi

Fears over flood of Indian goods Date: 18-11-1995
        
>From Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov. 17.

        Pakistan is worried about Indian products flooding the country while Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are concerned about their larger neighbour's ban on consumer goods imports and the bureaucratic import-export procedures. These are the real and psychological hurdles impeding the growth of the South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA).

        In an informal chat with this correspondent, the Pakistan Commerce Secretary, Mr. Salman Faruqui said the business community in his country fears that Indian products will overrun the market to the detriment of local manufacturers. He felt this is one of the basic apprehensions preventing his country from giving MFN status to India.

        He pointed out that parallels are even being drawn to the entry of the East India Company. Thus, considerable reassurance is needed on this score. He was of the view this is possible only by exchange of business visits and dialogues between industrialists on both sides.

        Regarding the large informal trade between India and Pakistan, he underlined the need for making the provisions about country of origin more specific and stringent in SAPTA. As for trade with Bangladesh, the chairman of the Bangladesh Tariff Commission, Mr. Abdul Hamid Chowdhury, declared robustly, ``we don't have informal trade, India has informal trade (with us).''

        Mr. Chowdhury pointed out that though India is giving tariff concessions, these are only on a selective basis. Bangladesh has already liberalised its trade policies much further and is allowing consumer goods import. ``We have Haldiram's namkeen in our country but you do not allow us to export consumer goods to your country,'' he said.

        He was also impatient about the slow movement in SAPTA towards a free trade area and pointed out that APEC is already talking about zero tariffs.

        The Sri Lankan Commerce Secretary, Mr. N. V. K. K. Weragoda, also felt there is a lack of complementarity with India's trade policy as others in the region have been liberalising faster. He was equally disturbed at the excess bureaucracy in import-export procedures in this country which was affecting export of commodities like cloves from Sri Lanka. Though India has reduced the import duty, he said informal trade p73 is continuing because of excess red tape which makes formal exports difficult for Sri Lankan cloves producers.

        One point made by all the three officials is that India can easily relax tariffs and non-tariff barriers for imports from SAARC countries as it will not lead to much of revenue loss and can earn it tremendous goodwill in the region. As Mr. Chowdhury observed, his country like others in the region does not yet have the capacity to meet the needs of the huge Indian market.
        
****************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:53:52 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Courses They Can't Teach You At The HBS By Ashutosh From: sshakya@lynx.dac.neu.edu (Sunil Shakya)

        Courses They Can't Teach You At The Harvard Business School
                        By Ashutosh Tiwari

I am a big fan of my friend of Rajaram. Just back from Boston with an MBA from Harvard, Rajaram is a living, breathing example of a young nationalist's coming back to this communist country to use his capitalist training to fly the "Afno Nepal Aafai Banau" program to the Himalayan heights.

        "I am going to open up a business school," Rajaram informed me over chicken chowmein and Tuborg. "Not just any business school. But the business school of the South Asia ... the one with the best all-around curriculum to train the best and the brightest Nepalis to make as much money as then can."

        Well, well, well. How could you possibly disarm such charm? No way, right? So, wide-eyed, I kept on chewing the rubbery noodles.

        "You see, I have two problems with top American MBA programs," Rajaram continued. "First, they are only good at cranking out graduates to take charge of the IBM, Kraft, Proctor & Gamble and other big Fortune 500 companies. What this means is that our won Gorkhali students in the US never get to practice how to run and profit from Nepal-compatible businesses that can only bloom in our kind of economy.

        "And the other problem is that so widely has the generic American MBA model been copied, even at other Nepali universities, that there isn't much room to teach and learn native skills that are more necessary to profit from a business... any business... in Nepal."

        From "a Hahvahd graduate" throwing ma free dinner at Nanglo, all this sounded impressive indeed. But exactly what kind of skills was Rajaram talking about? And how would his business school teach them?

        "Well, let me not bore you with abstract ideas," smiled Rajaram.
 "Here, why don't you look at something concrete?"

        With that, Rajaram clicked open his briefcase on the table, and took out a blue folder. He pulled out a few sheets and pushed them forward. I had no choice now but to put down my fork and pick up the neat, laser-printed pages.

        "To earn an MBA at the Rajaram Business School (RBS), you must give an up-front donation of Rs. one lakh, exclusive of tuition and other fees, to the institution," read the first page.

        On page two was: "The faculty and the staff of the RBS forcefully recommend that RBS MBA candidates take all of the following courses, each of which has been carefully designed to teach only the necessary professional skills that they are most likely to make use of in the big, wide world of Nepali finance, commerce and business. Case-studies have shown that the lessons learnt in these curses can also be applied in Bihar for equally lucrative results."

        So far so good. Now on to the names, numbers and the descriptions of the "challenging courses."

Finance 420 -- An Introduction to Black Marketing:
        Just as a fish needs water, a Nepali businessman dreaming of profits needs black markets to survive. Finance 420 will sharpen your skills to evade the formal bureaucratic market to buy and sell dollars, movie-tickets, sugar and all kinds of commodities. Learn ways to smuggle gold and export ancient and neglected idols. Master 101 ways to charm the police and seduce the customs officers to bend the laws and the rules in your favor.

Management 530 -- Fundamentals of Cartels and Monopolies:
        Why share your wealth with others? Through Management 530, learn how to get together with your alleged competitors to form a cushy all-Nepal association of your trade. This makes it easier for you to fix prices and devise ways to deter newcomers from entering your industry. See how you can pass on your costs to the consumers by driving up the prices and thereby capturing huge producers' surplus. Discover ways of killing anti-trust bills, and learn to protect your expanding millions and comfy monopolies.

Science 150 -- Physics and Chemistry for Business:
        Science 150 will teach you to mishandle the weights, the measurements and the "taraju" to your ultimate profit. Get paid for one KG of rice when you sell only 950 grams; collect money for one liter of kerosene when you give out only 900 ml. Also, get solid grip on the 101 ways to throw in all kinds of impurities in various kinds of food and sell them all as "taja, suddha" stuff.

Sociology 290 -- Doing the Afno manche Thing:
        In Nepal, nothing gets done without an "afno Manche." That sums up the best-selling insight of Dor Bahadur Bista. Sociology 290 will train you to you apply Bista's theory by teaching you ways to cultivate the afno-manche network by personal visits, flattery, gifts, favors, bribes, threats and "chakari". Learn how to win friends and influence people in all the right places -- from the political parties to golf clubs, from the HMG bureaucracies to the airort. After all, the more afno manche you have, the more insider information you will have. And the more insider information you have, the more rapidly your business will grow.

Marketing 101 -- Giving Hell to the Customers:
        Remember, the customer is there to serve you; you are not there to serve the customer. As such, figure out ways to prey on that vulnerable, believing-everything and never protesting idiot called the Nepali customer. Find out how to sell foodstuff such as biscuits that carry no date of manufacture, no date of expiry, and no mention of ingredients and other mis- and missing information. Learn how to hoard scarce commodities now to sell later for huge profits. Also, practice the fine art of humiliating Nepali customers by honestly telling them,
"Janoos, janoos, you don't have the money to buy this." For foreign-looking patrons, however, learn to bend over backward to provide special service.

Economics 230 -- Policy-making for profit:
        Learn to fight against copy-right and patent bills. Imitate and steal other people's products, goods, ideas and styles without paying them any fees. Learn to say "no" to quality, customer service and reliability. Get the inside tips on how to produce quality goods only for export, while dumping shoddier products on the general Nepali public. Master ways to manipulate the inside info on various shares. And be well-versed in ways you can influence the government, any government, to help you get away with the least of taxes.

Political Science 350 -- Entrepreneurship in Infant Democracy:
        Not many people know that Nepal's democracy has opened up lots of opportunities for business. Learn, for example, how to run the highly profitable "julus for hire" business. Find out how the lazy days of Nepal Bandh can be turned into busy days of business by hand-delivering video cassettes, Paplu cards, beer and "sekuwa" to Kathmandu's newly-rich. Discover ways to win the contract to supply
"paan" to Kishunji for life; and beer, whisky and cigarettes to other political leaders who spend all their waking hours thinking of ways to make Nepal as developed as Singapore.

Int'l Relations 310 -- India : So Close Yet So Far:
        The main "mantra" of Nepali businessman should be "Nepal India, Bhai Bhai". IR 310 will teach you how to buy goods in India and sell them in Kathmandu as "Made in Nepal." Not only that, you will also invent ways to open up more supermarkets that sell consumer goods to Indian tourists only. Also, you will understand the ways of getting the juicy contracts for water-resource projects, road-building schemes and citizenship-distribution programs. What's more, this course will enable you to keep your mouth shut when Indian businessmen, riding vehicles with Indian license plates, dominate you right in the Nepali market.

Anthropology 201 -- The Mysteries Called Marwaris:
        Why are Nepali businessmen so jealous of the Marwaris? What makes the Marwaris allegedly so successful? Explore these concerns in depth by studying the history, family newtorks, religious rituals, immigration patterns, language and the business practices of the Marwaris, Nepal's most prosperous minority. Do not just sit back and criticize them; you too can learn all their clever tactics to beat them at their own game. We at RBS guarantee that by the end of Anthro 201, you will be able to sell saris even to the Marwaris.

Religion 103 -- Desperately Seeking Protection:
        Learn to run away from competition against better and stronger foreign companies that can give quality goods at lower prices to the customers. Whip up the sentiments of Nationalism, socialism and "Naulo Janabad" to raise tariffs on imports. The idea behind seeking protection is that when you block competition from outside yet are free to create internal monopolies, you are all set to make millions from idiotic Nepalis who have no choice but to buy your products at prices you dictate.

Ethics 175 -- The Brighter Side of Child Labor:
        For the purpose of sponsoring NGO conferences once in a while, Ethics 175 will teach you to be against child labor in theory. But come on, who are we kidding? In practice, you will all be for it. Children, after all , are too tempting a source of unused labor: They eat less, take up little space, are easy to train, don't need pension and health benefits, can be yelled at, and don't hit back when slapped and beaten. All these make their services cheaper and easily replaceable. In this course, you will learn to justify child labor as a self-less act of social service: Think, for example, if you don't hire the child, what will his parents eat?

        Talking about eating, the chowmein on my plate was already cold by the time I finished going through Rajaram's catalog. What could I say, except to be lost in the thought that with management gurus like Rajaram, our beloved Nepal is well on its way to become the Banana Republic of South Asia. After all, it's only through the efforts of visionaries like Rajaram who act global yet think local that a few Nepalis can get super-rich at the expense of million others. Long live such practical management principles.

(Ash is seriously thinking of applying to the Rajaram Business School.)

*************************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:55:15 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Sending mail to Nepal

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

     There was a recent posting where someone mentioned that tourists could send mail to the U.S. Embassy for pick up by them when they got to Nepal. An embassy friend of mine told me that this is not true. The embassy can only clear mail and packages for diplomatic personnel.
     They suggest that tourists may wish to check with the American Express office or local travel agencies for mail pickup services. The embassy cannot do this for private individuals as it is against federal regulations. They mentioned that some unfortunate women had heard this on the Internet and had sent prescription glasses to the Kathmandu embassy, which the embassy could not clear.

JaiNepal

********************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:59:26 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Searching for Canadians, Greg Dennison & Robin Cassel From: annao@hookup.net

Gregory Dennison and Robin Cassel went trekking on the Annapurna circuit for a twenty-one day trek. They left on Thursday, October 26,1995 and we have not heard from them since. The Ministry of Tourism of Nepal have not responded. We are unsure of the trekking company that Greg and Robin went through. It may have been Yeti Travels, Hotel Mayalu.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Gregory Dennison and Robin Cassel please contact me.

Gary Dennison annao@hookup.net

*************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 17:03:06 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Ganesh Man & National Treasury

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

The KTM Post carried a news couple days ago about Ganesh Man Singh's U.S. trip for knee surgery. His family sources revealed the Post that the medical expenses would be fully covered by the government of Nepal.

I was perplexed after reading the news. I was dumbfounded when I learnt that the government of Nepal was not only paying the expenses of Mr. Singh but also of the other five persons accompaying him. As a tax payer and as a bearer of the foreign loans it is but natural for me to feel cheated by the government and the so-called messiahs of democracy.

My sources in Nepal tell me that the Panchangress government has ordered Nepal U.N. Mission at New York to pay all hospital bills of Mr. Singh and all hotel bills of his five-member entourage while staying in the U.S.. The RNAC has provided them with business class tickets. In addition, the government has given Mr. Singh US$7,000 as POCKET EXPENSE. He has already left Nepal with US$20,000 as PESKI.

I pondered over this news for a while and thought that this trip would cost not less than US$100,000. What justification is there for this expense? How can we tax payers digest it? After all who is Ganesh Man? What capacity does he carry in Nepal government? Man Mohan Adhikary, when he was still a Prime Minister, was treated at Teaching Hospital following the helicopter crash. Why is it necessary to parade on the bare head of the tax payers to have Ganesh Man's knee surgery? Could not it be done at the Teaching Hospital? Any orthopedic who might have recommended Mr. Singh to go to the United States is insulting his own profession.

What is the secret behind all this stupid action of the government on the one hand and shameless behavior of Ganesh Man and company, on the other? I want the netters to explore further on this.

Nepal government's obsequious behavior towards Ganesh Man is out of proportion. He is a senior citizen, no more, no less. Well, he was called
"Sarbamanya" during the euphemistic period of Jana Andolan. But does he still carry that title or in other words, does he deserve that title now?

I need an honest answer from the government for spending my money on Ganesh Man's U.S. trip. Otherwise, I need its reimbursement.

I am wondering to know the reaction(s) of the netters.

Chitra K. Tiwari

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 23:21:10 -0500 (EST) Forwarded By: atuladhar@vax.clarku.edu

INTERVIEW OF THE FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: uPADHAYA Note: his reactions of his decisions and his decisions of the three sons=20 in USa.
   Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Bishwa Nath Upadhayaya (65),
   served the Supreme Court for 25 out of the 40 years which he devoted
   to the legal field. The chief of the drafting team which prepared the
   present Constitution in 1990, Upadhayaya also headed the eleven-
   member jury that delivered the landmark verdict of reviving the House
   of Representatives, dissolved by the first-ever communist Prime
   Minister Manmohan Adhikary. Polite, extremely serious and e qually
   bold, Upadhayaya talked to Hari Adhikary and Sagun S. Lawoti ofThe
   Independent at his residence October 30.=20

Q. After Retirement
   How Are You Passing Your Time?=20 A. My retirement was immediately
   followed by Dashain and Tihar. I was busy with my kith and kin during
   those festivals. Besides, my friends and well-wishers have been
   regularly visiting. Being occupied with all these things I didn't have
   much time to think about anything concrete as far as the future is
   concerned.=20 Q. Still, you must have something in your mind as to how
   you will pass your retired life. Is there any chance that you will be
   devoting your time in creative work, say in writing memoirs?=20

A. After
   forty years of active life, it will be very difficult for me to stay
   idle. But at the outset let me make one thing clear =D1 Bishwanath won't
   take up a government job, however alluring it maybe. I can't say
   affirmatively right now though, what kind of activities I may take up
   in the future, there is every possibility that I would be involved in
   some social service or human rights projects. In case my health, you
   know I am a heart patient, does not permit me to actively carry on any
   such project, I will stay home and read and write.=20

Q. Stories about
   your going to the US and settling down there have been doing the
   rounds. Are you really up to that?=20

A. I have also heard a lot about
   this. But, by no means am I settling down in the US. I will certainly
   go there, but not for good. I have to go as my three sons are settled
   there. My sons left the country not because they wanted but certain
   situations compelled them to do so. My two medical practitioner sons
   were deprived of their rightful due. The eldest one was not given the
   position created specially for him in the Bir Hospital for his
   outstanding performance as a junior doctor which frustrated him and he
   decided to leave the country. The middle one, also a medical graduate,
   was not given a job even in the remote area health centres. One more
   thing, whatever my sons have achieved in the US or they were supposed
   to have obtained here in this country have purely been their personal
   achievements. I have not curried favour on their behalf. In America my
   eldest son secured a score of 86 (out of 100) when he sat in the
   Foreign Medical Graduate (FMG) test conducted by the US Medical
   Council.=20

Q. How do you judge yourself when you look back on the long
   career you successfully completed as a deliverer of justice? A
   contented person or full of remorse?=20

A. I'm fully satisfied with what
   I have achieved in my life. I have enjoyed total job satisfaction
   throughout my career. Secret of this satisfaction, in my opinion is, I
   have always been guided by strong convictions. I have never taken
   decisions under pressure. I have always been true to my duty even in
   the oddest of odd situations. I think I have enjoyed a bright career
   in the country's legal services. I was the most sought-after officer
   even in the period when I was working in a junior position. Today as a
   retired person, I can feel proud that I am the only person from the
   whole judiciary who has penned all major legal statutes of the nation
   which have contributed a lot in solidifying the judicial system. I
   took up the challenge of drafting a new civil code in 1963. I
   successfully did my job in the stipulated time and incorporated a
   number of pathbreaking provisions, especially related to social
   reforms.=20

Q. How do you now view the August 28 Supreme Court verdict on
   HOR dissolution case, which many believe changed the course of
   national politics and was a manifestation of your courage and
   conviction?=20

A. As a judge, for me there was nothing extraordinary
   about the case. It was part of my routine and duty. I gave the verdict
   in favour of resurrecting the HOR based on sound judicial logic. But
   as the case had tremendous repercussions on the legislative system of
   the country as well as on the fate of major political players, it
   became the most talked about legal case of the century. I worked a lot
   on the case, bestowing meticulous attention to each word of the
   verdict.=20

Q. What Impact Do You Think The Verdict Has Had On The
   Political Process?=20

A. The Constitution is directed by certain guiding
   principles, the most important of which is adherence to the rule of
   the majority. It was exactly this power of the majority Manmohan
   Adhikari chose to disobey. The Constitution has empowered the
   parliament in many ways, one of which is the right to seek a no-trust
   vote when the majority of the MPs believe that they do not have faith
   in the executive head. In the context in question, the then PM instead
   of facing the impending no-trust move mooted by the then opposition
   opted to recommend House dissolution. That recommendation violated the
   fundamental law of the land. Our verdict endeavoured to correct this
   anomaly and sought to bring the legislature back on track. And that is
   why the August 28 SC decision will have a lasting bearing on the
   democratic and political process of the country.=20

Q. Would You Like To
   Elaborate?=20

A. What had happened was that the opposition was ready to
   file a vote of no-confidence on the ground that the CPN-UML government
   misused its power. Thus, a petition was filed calling for a special
   parliamentary session, to which the King obliged. Continuously for 5-6
   days, three notices came calling for regular and special sessions. But
   to avert the session, the PM recommended the dissolution of the
   House.Thus, there was a great threat of the Constitution being
   derailed. Not only the Constitution, even the system itself could have
   been derailed. The communist government aspired to kill the Hous when
   the House itself was at no fault. This is no way a body elected by the
   people should use its power. Anywhere else, if a similar situation had
   occured, the PM would have faced the no-confidence motion without much
   ado. It was almost as if the communists were following the dictum =D1
   let's finish them as they want to finish us. But this does not go with
   the spirit of the Constitution. Even the parliament can't negate the
   importance of the Constitution. Now if the Constitution is amended,
   the SC can again decide tomorrow if the amendments are in order.=20

Q. So
   Would You Call The August 28 Verdict A Historic One?=20

A. In the sense
   of avoiding a constitutional derailment, you can say that it is a
   historic decision. The verdict hands out some lessons such as that the
   parliament should run in accordance with the majority's aspiration,
   the executive and the judiciary has to safeguard the constitutional
   tenets, and that a sense of responsibility at all times should be
   maintained.=20

Q. Regarding The Constitution, There Has Been Some
   Accusations Against Its Efficacy. Any Comments?=20

A. You see, man
   himself is full of mistakes. Even god's creations don't go without
   faults. But till date, although a lot of criticisms have come saying
   that the Constitution is full of loopholes and that it doesn't
   function properly, nobody has tried to exactly pinpoint where the
   mistakes lie. So what I see here is that only those people who didn't
   like the changeover =D1 those who enjoyed the facilities bestowed by the
   previous Constitution and who no longer enjoy the same =D1 its only
   those few people who say it's got only faults. One RPP leader is still
   saying there are thousands of mistakes. I can't go on giving examples
   of this kind, there is no limit. People who don't know the ABC of the
   Constitution are challenging it. How many Constitutions have these
   people read? That is why I say biased opinons are coming in, okay I
   agree there might be some faults, there are, even when we view it from
   the lawyer's angle. Different terms have been used to denote the same
   aspect. Faults can come up when drafting but not the way the
   criticisms allege. May be, they may come up in practical use later
   because no one knows what kind of necessities or difficulties,
   problems or changes will come up in future. And that can be solved by
   way of constitutional reforms as is done elsewhere. Look at India's
   Constitution, about eighty amendments =D1 almost every year they occur =
=D1
   have taken place. The American Constitution also goes through similar
   reforms.=20

Q. After The Verdict, A Section Of Political Forces Began
   Questioning Its Credibility. What Are Your reactions?=20

A. What is
   important is who did it, did a rational being do it? Did a person or a
   party do it? Or, was it done by a party with a fixed guideline? Even
   while in government, as one faction carried placards and photos of Mao
   and Lenin, the others were calling themselves republicans in their
   national conventions. And what is more, they were showing such loyalty
   towards the King, even more than that of yesteryears. Respect the
   King, but unwanted, unnecessary worshipping, where is the need for
   that? Whoever has sinned, indulge in such acts. What do you call such
   a party, a confused party or a party controlled by a remote control ?
   If a party which displays such 'merits', goes against me, demanding
   that I should be hanged, it does not affect me, as a matter-of-fact,
   they were hanging themselves. Whatever credibility they had earned is
   gone, they have gone 15 years backwards, they will need this much time
   to gain the same credibility once again.

 Q Relating To The Contents Of
   The Verdict, Some Members Of The CPN- UML Say That They Will Never
   Forgive You For Calling Them Nazis...=20

A. No, I have never called
   anybody Nazi. When I referred to the Weimer Constitution of pre-Hitler
   Germany, I was trying to make the point that successive dissolution of
   the then German parliament paved the way for the emergence of
   Nazism.Therefore, the reference was not directed towards any political
   party in Nepal. Anyway, its not a judge's business to assess any
   political party. You read the decision ten times, read it impartially
   then you can view the things in the right perspective. I think the
   communists nursed guilt inside them, that is why they implied the
   reference was meant for them.=20

Q. Now A New Political Atmosphere,
   Courtesy A Coalition, Has Emerged. How Do You View This?=20

A. To be
   honest, it is too early to assess the merits and demerits of the
   present dispensation. Several differing comments appear in the local
   papers, but you know their reliability, which newspaper can you rely
   on ? And right now, when I view the present situation, I feel I am not
   yet ready to objectively assess and comment. But one thing has to be
   taken care of which is that this government should be able to set an
   example as far as coalition governments are concerned. If you look at
   Europe, except the UK, all other nations are used to the coalition
   system. Coalitions are a part and parcel of democracy, we have to
   learn to accept that. Bishwanath Won't Take Up A Government Job
   Caption : People Who Don't Know The ABC Of The Constitution Are
   Challenging It.

GIRIJA'S OBLIQUE WARNING TO DEOBA?
  VOICES OF DISCORD
   Major coalition partner Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Jaya Prakash
   Gupta's severe criticism of the tripartite administration's style of
   governance dubbing it as an 'unnatural' merger of interests, during
   the parliamentary discussion November 6, has raised many an eyebrow
   both in and outside the ruling combination. The extremely negative
   views regarding the fate of the coalition government expressed by one
   of the close confidants of former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala
   does compel some questions. It is not authentically known whether
   Gupta's pessimism is shared or supported by his fellow partymen. There
   are many in the NC who has'nt yet come to terms with the young Sher
   Bahadur Deuba's ascension to powerdom.People endowed with more
   imagination even say that the party leadership itself secretly
   directed the man from Saptari to lash the Deuba team for its
   lacklustre two-month rule. The noble idea behind such a diktat, if
   certain quarters are to be believed, was to impart more seriousness in
   the combine.
  
    Be that as it may, popular impression is quite different. Many
   believe Gupta's below-the-belt words only constitute a preface. In the
   subsequent chapters, the lanky politician from the far western region,
   Deuba, will have to bear more whippings from within his own party than
   from the communist opposition, say political analysts. Add to the
   Gupta outburst the highly adverse comments made by another firebrand
   NC leader and MP Sailaja Acharya, and Deuba's pot seems full.
   Acharya's tongue-lashing against Deuba, almost bordering on personal
   hatred, indicates that more troublesome days are ahead for the
   coalition administration's head. ''But, in no way, this sort of
   dissension would pose a threat to the coalition government in the near
   future. They can talk as much as they want. They may even create
   scenes at different party forums. But when the question of the
   survival of the coalition arises, they will have to shut their mouth
   as the NC can't afford the premature death of the coalition," a
   central NC leader told The Independent November 7.
  
  SLOWLY, GOVERNMENT GATHERS PACE
   Amidst allegations of stalling bureaucratic activities and the
   attendant stalemate, the NC-RPP-NSP combine, though late by a
   month-or-so, is slowly, but surely trying to put the house in order.
   The change in portfolios of twenty- three ministerial level
   secretaries November 6 is a pointer to that effect.
  =20
   Whatever colour different political parties may paint of the changes
   made, the ground reality is that it is nothing more than a change of
   portfolios within the existing set of people. Out of twenty-three,
   sixteen happen to be Brahmins, two Newars and four Chhetris. Besides,
   nine secretaries are from Janakpur zone alone and among the remaining
   fourteen, majority hail from eastern Nepal. Thus, the
   change-for-change's-sake, on the periphery, does not betray imbalance
   of any kind =D1 ethnic or regional. "We can not have any political
   appointment at the ministerial secretary level. The rationale behind
   the changes seeks to address interests and the wave-length of the
   concerned ministers and secretaries," a cabinet member explained to
   The Independent.. The fear-psychosis generated by the Supreme Court's
   reinstatement of some of the high-level bureaucrats sacked by Koirala
   government was apparent to him. When asked if he thought that the
   judiciary was unduly interfering in the executive, this was his reply:
   "That may be because of some legal faults, but the executive at least
   should have the right to re-structure the bureaucracy for efficiency."
  =20
   On the diplomatic front, the government is "processing the names" of
   the heads of Nepal's diplomatic missions abroad. No resignation has
   yet been received from the CPN-UML appointees.
  =20
   "It's a normal procedure. Since it is a political decision I am
   unaware about the replacements, but within a few days the decision
   will be taken," Kedar Bhakta Shrestha, secretary of the Ministry of
   Foreign Affairs told The Independent November 7.
  =20
   According to a source, ambassadors to New Delhi, Tokyo, Bangkok, Bonn
   and Washington will be replaced ahead of the others.The impending
   announcement of the National Planning Commission, now postponed
   reportedly due to RPP leader Lokendra Bahadur Chand's pilgrimage to
   Mathura, India, will take place by Friday this week. Finance Minister
   Mahat's tacking of the issue helped thrash out a consensus betweenRPP
   and NC over Prithvi Raj Legal's claims to Vice- chairmanship.
  =20
   Probably the most difficult and contentious task for PM Deuba lay in
   the preparation of the much-awaited list of new ministers and
   assistance ministers. The expanded ministerial roster has been
   finalised, save for last minute indispensable changes. Prakash Man
   Singh, Bal Bahadur K.C., Lila Koirala and Binalendra Nidhi will take

[AMULYA'S COIMMENTS:
=09Finally Deoba is ready to amend the Newar-deficiency in his coalition with the inclusion of Prakasm Man singh and a feminine deficiency with=20 the inclusion of a woman Lila (?). He is also trying to mukh-thuno two stalwarts of his party: Ganesh Man=20 and Mahendra Narayan Nidhi by includig their sons , for two anti=20
-Koirala, he has two pro-koirala people: Lila and Bal Bahadur.]

   charge as cabinet members. Nine or ten other MPs will be appointed
   assistant ministers. The only irritant is that while the PM is rooting
   for the regular procedure of electing MPs in Upper House (which takes
   place on November 13), the aspirants are pressing for it to be done
   earlier, fearing last- minute changes.

   After the cabinet reshuffle and formation of four secretariats of new
   ministries, Deuba government will have the largest (41) ministerial
   band, twenty-five ministries and fifty-plus special class officers
   enjoying the facilities of the taxpayers money. All the compromises
   the PM has made to make this government function until now will only
   be justified if he nurses an uncompromising attitude towards
   corruption, inefficiency and leg-pulling.

  
  THE HIMALAYAN WITCH-HUNT
   By Ram Pradhan Two northern belt-oriented institutions hatched
   during the Panchayat era to 'offset the potential influence' from
   further north may be shown the door by the newly-installed coalition
   administration under subtle but sustained pressure from the
   Bhutanese-Taiwanese lobby which have of late been pro-active in
   Kathmandu, thanks to the money power and the could-not-care-less
   attitude of Nepal's intelligence network. The institutions under
   threat are the Rotate Area Development Committee (RADC) and Gumba and
   Lama Management Committee (GLMC) =D1 both ostensibly designed to
   facilitate a coordinated advancement of the Nepali highlanders
   populating the sensitive northern sector.
  =20
   Officials concerned are reluctant to confirm or deny the report for
   fear they might incur the wrath and ire of their new bosses. However,
   an old hand with several years of experience with the RADC and GLMC
   revealed to The Independent that the lobby in question had, for all
   there is to suspect, been encouraged by the 'demonstrated hesitation'
   of the present three-party government. The ruling
   combination,seemingly, dithered to fend off the external vested
   interests whose strategic calculations include a systematic
   'neutralisation' of ethnic groups not always loyal to the political
   philosophies of the Nepali Congress and the Nepal Sadbhavana Party.
  =20
   While Thimphu clearly hopes to reap bilateral/diplomatic mileage out
   of the tension generated by the disbandment of RADC and GLMC in the
   upper reaches, weakening in the process the we-are-the-aggrieved-party
   negotiating advantage of Kathmandu, the principal target are the
   Buddhists in different parts of the world. Thimphu believes, however
   erroneously, that should the Deuba Administration fall into the trap
   (it very well may), Bhutan can project Nepal as an inherently
   anti-Buddhist country trying to intimidate a vulnerable Buddhist
   neighbour.
  =20
   Taiwan's intentions are double-edged. The move is to apply extra
   psychological pressure on China through some form of presence in the
   Nepali highland where a vacuum of sorts will have been created with
   the abolition of RADC and GLMC. The second =D1 and perhaps more
   important =D1 objective of the on-going ball game is the commercial
   fall-out. Taiwan knows Nepal is very badly looking for foreign
   investment on reasonable terms, and in its rush to implement the joint
   venture projects, Nepal just may decide to brush aside its one-China
   policy. Its not that China is likely to feel threatened in immediate
   terms but the Western strategy to 'circumvent' China in the
   South-western sector as part of the overall long-term plan to 'halt
   the giant's forward-movement' will have been somewhat successful.
  =20
   The Bhutanese-Taiwanese lobby is also evidently working overtime for
   the lawful installation of the Karmapa-incarnate fielded by Syamar
   Rimpoche against the one forwarded by Situ Rimpoche. The latter has
   the blessings of, among others, the Dalai Lama, majority Tibetans and
   the Chinese government. Although reports say India is having serious
   second thoughts, she, for all one knows, stands with Bhutan in support
   of Syamar Rimpoche's candidate. Allegedly, Topga Rimpoche, brother of
   Syamar Rimpoche who is the husband of Ashi Chhoki (aunt of Bhutanese
   King Jigme Singye Wangchuk), was in Nepal recently on a clandestine
   visit to 'canvass' for Syamar's candidate.
  
  FLEXIBLE STRENGTH
   By Achyut Wagle Five years have passed by after the promulgation
   of the present Constitution on November 8, 1990. "Since the
   promulgation of this Constitution, it has faced many typhoons and
   storms, but has still survived. That makes us hopeful about the steady
   development of the constitutional process," says Nilambar Acharya, a
   lawyer-turne- politician, who was the Minister for Law and Justice
   during the interim period. But the reasons, logic and necessity behind
   those 'storms' are definitely worth questioning. Despite the
   irresponsible attitudes of the political parties, the 'flexible
   strength' of the present law of the land has helped consolidate the
   political platform. Although the CPN-UML is yet to express its
   unconditional support to the Constitution, it has also enjoyed its
   perks.
  =20
   Under this Constitution two general elections have been held, two
   different recommendations to dissolve the House of Representatives
   have been made =D1 one by G.P. Koirala and the other by Manmohan
   Adhikari, both challenged in the court. The court quashed the latter's
   recommendation and now the country has a coalition government under
   Article 42(1) of the Constitution.
  =20
   One midterm poll, a majority government, a minority government and a
   coalition, all within five years. Isn't the pace too hot to handle? "
   We are in an age where the plough exists with the computer. So,
   nothing is too fast, nor too slow. One advantage we have is that we
   don't have to invent the porter's wheel, but just roll it down," says
   Acharya.
  =20
   One of the architects of the present Constitution and former speaker
   Daman Nath Daungana also thinks that "parties have to uphold the
   interests of the country, not their own as the first priority''.
  =20
   It is now coteries that hold sway." Though we have got all provisions,
   it has to be responsibly used. Elections which are the bedrocks of
   democracy should be free and impartial'', added the man who engineered
   a coup of sorts against the Adhikari government.

  THE AGONY OF BEING GANESHMAN
   By C. K. Lal
   It was the day of the Bhai Tika. The normally crowded office of Girija
   Babu at Bansbari wore a deserted look. Upstairs, Bhole Baba of Banke
   was holding court with two of his party colleagues in his spartan
   living quarters. Because of the festival perhaps, the telephone was
   unusually silent. Yours truly and a friend happened to be there. The
   discussions centred around the character of Bhisma Pitamah of
   Mahabharat and the more informed one of the two learned men present
   there proposed the theory that perhaps the great character was an
   imperfect person because he allowed the wrong-doings of his kin take
   place and did absolutely nothing to stop the misadventures of
   Kauravas. The two concluded their conversation by agreeing that they
   wouldn't insult Bhole Baba by comparing him with Bhisma Pitamah.
  =20
   A week or so later, I happened to hear a second- rung Nepali Congress
   leader comparing Ganeshman to Bhisma Pitamah while wishing him on his
   birthday at a public function at Chaksibari and the conversation of
   Bansbari came to my mind. Was Bhisma Pitamah indeed a timid man
   surrendering abjectly to the whims of the throne on the flimsy excuse
   that he was beholden by promise to protect it at all costs? Was it
   suitable for a man of his stature to tolerate the disrobing of
   Draupadi not only in front of his eyes, but in full public view of the
   court? What were his concerns, his agonies and his sorrows like? And
   then, I felt like contemplating on the agony of being Ganeshman.
  =20
   There must be really very few who would object to the statement that
   Ganeshman is more than a mere person, he is an institution by himself.
   Even if all his contributions to the nation in a career of nearly six
   decades are forgotten, even if all his struggles for democracy are not
   recorded, even if the consistency of his political stand are all
   ignored, his one achievement is more than enough to assure him a pride
   of place in the history of Nepal. It was he, and he alone at that
   point of time, who could have made Peoples' Movement possible and
   brought it to its logical conclusion. To make that happen, he even
   agreed to join hands with the leftists, sworn enemy of his party for a
   long time. Some of his enemies went to the extent of insulting him
   with the title of "Father of Democracy," what they wanted to prove by
   their effort was that he is not beyond the reach of such cheap
   epithets. A Surya Bahadur may be in need of a medal, a Girija Babu may
   fancy an adjective, a Krishna Prasad may require a chair to prove his
   worth, but a title for Ganeshman? He is the personification of the
   collective character of simple Nepali people, and just that. If at all
   you want to call him something, please call him just a Nepali of whom
   Nepalis can be proud of.
  =20
   In the aftermath of Janandolan, various interest groups gathered
   around him to bask in the glory of his achievements and these very
   people were instrumental in degrading him to a level where a person of
   his stature was made to face the charges of being clannish, being
   unduly critical =D1 and hold your breath =D1 even of being demanding! Su= ch
   absurd charges would not have stuck even for a day if it were not for
   his simple nature that sometimes makes him do things that he shouldn't
   be doing. But, to sully the image of Ganeshman is to question the
   integrity of a common Nepali.
  =20
   The real agony of Ganeshman started after the formation of the first
   democratic government after the restoration of democratic rights. He
   was made to witness the collapse of moral values for which he had
   spent his life struggling. He was forced to see his beloved party
   turning into a crowd of self-servers. He was made to endorse the
   wrong-doings of his opportunist partymen. Most of all, he was made to
   feel helpless, a mute spectator to the sham being enacted in the name
   of democracy and majority rule. The rebel in him was challenged.
   However adverse the sitution, fighting for what he feels is right
   comes naturally to the man. Once again, he took the charge of
   cleansing his party and the mid-term happened.
  =20
   Can you even guess the pain of the man made to speak against the Tree
   that he had nurtured with his own blood as well as the blood and sweat
   of many of his closest friends? Compared to that, any physical pain
   that he might have undergone or may be undergoing would pale into
   insignificance. But, Ganeshman survived that. There are many in his
   party who taunt that none of his nominees got elected. May be so, but
   numbers are meaningless for a man who has braved adversities all his
   life. What is perhaps more important is that he saved his party and
   the country from becoming an instrument in the hands of a few
   ambitious politicians and from having to live in the shadow of such an
   organization. It's true that the process also saddled the country with
   a totalitarian government for a while but wasn't the potion of poison
   necessary to nip the "Me Only" tendency in the bud before it grew to
   monstrous proportions? Ganeshman is sick, and badly in need of
   expensive treatment available only outside the country. That's about
   his physical ailments and I am sure resources will be mobilized by an
   obliged public to save him from the effects of tortures endured by him
   on their behalf. But, what about the mental tortures he is still being
   subjected to? Do we understand any of them? How does he feel about the
   lavish life-styles of some of his own partymen who got elected by an
   improvised electorate? What are his observations on the charges of
   corruption and nepotism levelled against his former friends? How is he
   putting up with the rampant exploitation in the society? How has he
   tolerated the rape of his beloved Bagmati? We expect more from him
   precisely because he has given so much. Dadhichi is said to have given
   his bones, Nepalese expect even more from this frail, old and sick
   man.
  =20
   Yes, in many ways, Ganeshman is similar to Bhisma Pitamah. The
   difference is that he is not endowed with the option of "Iksha Mritu''
   (Death-at-will). And he has never blindly supported the aspirations of
   his Dhritarastras or his Duryodhans. Leaders at Bansbari were right,
   calling somebody Bhisma Pitamah is not always a compliment. In any
   case, as I mentioned earlier, Ganeshman is beyond epithets; even the
   suffix of respect "Jee" sounds superficial with his name. He is an
   idea, an inspiration, a personification of the aspirations of common
   Nepalis.
  =20
   Tailpiece: "You know why the ailments of Ganeshman has increased after
   his birthday celebrations," asked a friend of mine.
  =20
   "Haven't got the faintest idea," admitted I.
  =20
   "Dumb. That's simply because the former Mahapancha wished him on his
   birthday !"
   THE DOVES WILL NOT STOP FLYING
      Foreign Bureau
 
   Yitzhak Rabin, the eleventh Prime Minister of Israel, is no more, but
   the doves he set free will not stop flying. As announced in the
   emergency meeting that designated him the acting prime minister,
   Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said, "We have decided to carry on the
   path of peace begun by Yitzhak Rabin. It was the last testament that
   he left us." King Birendra received the news of Rabin's dastardly
   assassination by Yigal Amir, a 27-year-old law student, with a deep
   sense of shock and sorrow. The King in his message said : "It is an
   enormous loss not only to the state of Israel but to all peace-loving
   nations of the world." Rabin's personal efforts and initiatives to
   establish a just and durable peace in the Middle East will always be
   remembered, added the monarch. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has
   described the late leader as a man of great vision, courage and
   determination. In a message to Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres, the
   prime minister has said: "I am sure that this type of dastardly act
   will not deter the Middle East peace process initiated by him (Rabin).
  =20
   Leader of the opposition Manmohan Adhikari has lauded the role played
   by Nobel laureate Rabin in maintaining peace in West Asia, rating it
   as "memorable and significant." Rabin, 73, had just finished
   addressing 100,000 people at a left-wing "Peace Yes Violence No" rally
   and was walking down the steps of the Tel Aviv City Hall when the
   assassin fired three revolver shots into him. He was pronounced dead
   November 4 in the operating theatre of a nearby hospital.
  =20
   Rabin's premiership term was characterised by a series of landmarks in
   the peace process of the Middle East, beginning with the historic
   handshake between him and Chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the
   Declaration of Principles in Washington September 13, 1993. The
   process continued with agreements reached within the framework of the
   Interim Self-Government arrangements for the Palestinians in May and
   August 1994 and reached the second interim agreement with the
   Palestinians September 28, 1995. A full peace treaty with the
   Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was signed October 26, 1994. NSU General
   Conference postponed The seventh General Conference of Nepali
   Congress' (NC) student wing, Nepal Students Union (NSU), slated for
   December 6 in Pokhara has now been postponed. The main reason behind
   the delay is the proposed draft seeking amendment of NSU's existing
   statute. The existing statute of this organisation has the provision
   of electing all its central executive members through a direct vote of
   the General Conference representatives, while the new draft attempts
   to confer the president with additional powers, like that of the NC
   party itself. If the draft is approved, the president would exercise
   extensive rights in nomination to the CWC, constitution or abrogation
   of local-level leadership and special prerogatives in various other
   issues. The proposed December 6 conference would, however, be convened
   in the form of a Constitution Assembly in Kathmandu. But, instead of
   all the Conference representatives, this meeting will be attended only
   by the present central committee members and the representatives of
   the sixth Conference held in 1992. The Kathmandu Assembly will have
   extensive discussion on the new draft of the statute. "The CWC has
   already asked for suggestions from all district presidents," informed
   a CWC member. Prior to the presentation of the draft at the meeting,
   the NC CWC has to approve of it. The NC CWC has already directed the
   NSU to convene a Constitution Assembly. While the NSU leadership was
   keen on ratifying the amendments, through however small a number, the
   Conference representatives had demanded that it could be adopted only
   in the General Conference. Due to this tug-of-war, the NC CWC had to
   intervene. As soon as the Kathmandu meeting adopts the new statute,
   the seventh Conference would be held under this statute. The date and
   venue would be decided at this meeting.
  
  GANDHI, NEPAL AND KOIRALA
   "Whatever the methods Mahatma Gandhi may have adopted, we must learn
   from him that he fought against colonialism and expansionism. I
   respect him for his love for Ahimsa", said Madhav Kumar Nepal, general
   secretary of CPN-UML, in a meeting organized by Nepal-Bharat Maitri
   Sangh November 3 celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma
   Gandhi. In turn, former premier G.P. Koirala, in a speech laced with
   satire and humour, quipped tongue-in-cheek : "It is a great relief for
   me that Madhav Nepalji has also started loving peace and appreciating
   Gandhi's non-violence." Recalling his two meetings with Gandhi,
   Koirala said that he has not been able to pay a real tribute to Gandhi
   since he could not follow his life style. "I still have tensions which
   Gandhi never had," said he. RPP Chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa, PM Sher
   Bahadur Deuba, Speaker of House of Representatives Ram Chandra Poudel
   and Indian Ambassador to Nepal K.V. Rajan also spoke on the occasion.

   Not at all surprisingly, Girijababu believed terribly angry with The
   Independent's (November 1) issue on two counts. According to a Koirala
   loyalist, the former premier said the lead story is aimed at creating
   misunderstanding between himself and his protege PM Deuba. The back
   page has no comment except to say let the great guy publicly declare
   he does not covet the powerful position as the Nepali Congress
   leadership in parliament has now been transferred to younger
   generation for good. Will he? Highly unlikely.

 *** Foreign Minister
     Prakash Lohani's revelation regarding the UN still owing even the
   least of the least-developed Nepal 15 million American dollars in
   outstanding dues over the services rendered by Nepali peace keepers in
   different parts of the world is no doubt a telling commentary on the
   world body's financial health. Why, then, maintain such a staggering
   staff of 60,000 overpaid pseudo-international professionals incurring
   equally frightening retirement benefits. Tattler suggests the UN
   in-house fiscal geniuses look into the thoughts of Shanker Poudel,
   Talkback, (The Independent, Nov. 1).=20

*** Ministers voluntarily opting
   out of the ministerial accommodation at Pulchok are, as Tattler has
   been informed, colluding to claim house allowances from the
   government, and that too in thousands of rupees. Taxpayers' money is
   not for distribution beyond reasonable degree. Even if the government,
   in view of the expanding cabinet, is unavoidably made to pay the house
   allowance, the figure must not exceed 25% of the official salaries.
   Don't say such a step would force the ministers to hunt for other
   avenues. If history is any guide, they will of course do. Won't they?
  
  SOME SOLUTION
   If discrimination on the lines of religion has to be avoided, the
   programmes of all religious groups should be gifted equal time over
   Radio Nepal. =A5 Former Health Minister Padma Ratna Tuladhar In
   Samakalin.

   Changing equation
   In view of the National Assembly elections which was hanging fire till
   November 13, the expansion of the coalition cabinet to accommodate
   some Nepali Congress backbenchers was perhaps justifiably postponed.
   However, the delay in announcing the final team, going to be by far
   the largest in the political history of Nepal, coupled with the
   bigwigs' tentativeness as manifested in their overly hesitant moves
   does not fail to arouse deep doubts over the seriousness of the new
   government's publicly-declared policy of setting right the house left
   unkempt by the dethroned red regime. Of greater concern is the
   emergent fissures in the RPP camp on whom depends the survival =97 and
   demise =97 of the present coalition administration. The National
   Assembly elections have established the fact that the RPP as a bloc is
   unpredictable and is yet not totally averse to enlisting the
   communists' support (which is there for the asking) if the situation
   so warrants. The sheer arithmetic of the voting pattern is indicative
   of who among the RPP stalwarts enjoy the support of whom in the
   opposition. The election of Rajeswore Devkota at the cost of CPN-UML's
   Yubaraj Gyawali is without doubt a significant revelation in that it
   clearly conveys what is being cooked up to upset the parliamentary
   apple-cart. The mainline opposition is perfectly justified in seeking
   to dislodge the Deuba government through constitutional means, and
   what it decided to do in the Upper House chessboard this time may in
   the days ahead yield results in exactly what the party wants happened
   in the politics of Nepal. The equation, it seems, is shifting,
   affecting the staying power of the coalition.

   A social studies teacher for twenty-two years in Jhapa, Devi Prasad
   Ojha is now the chief whip of the CPN-UML's Parliamentary Party. Born
   1953 in Khotang and a private graduate in Arts, Ojha plunged into
   politics in 1969 through the teachers' movement and became a communist
   party member in 1977. He also served as the elected president of Nepal
   Teachers' Association during the later half of the eighties. A highly
   effusive and friendly Brahmin, he is known among his rivals as a
   'Sabotage Engineer'. Ojha talked to The Independent November 13 at
?????????????????????????

[What a name! a]

   the CPN-UML Parliamentary Party office in the Parliament Secretariat
   Complex. Excerpts :
   
   Q. What is the new strategy that your party has formulated after
   being thrown out of power?
   
   A. As a matter of fact, we are waiting and watching the performance of
   the coalition government. However, we, by now have perceived that they
   are heading towards disaster and acting as a suppressive government.
   They are also trying to erase even the good things initiated by our
   (CPN-UML) government. As a responsible political force, we are
   maintaining utmost restraint. All of us are now involved in collecting
   the facts on the work, negative or positive, being done by this
   government. We are also devoting our time and attention to strengthen
   our party's organization.
   
   Q.Firstly, you said that the government is heading towards disaster
   and then, you used the word 'suppressive'. Can you substantiate that?
   
   A. The cases of murder and kidnapping have greatly increased and the
   government has not been able to take any action against the culprits.
   There are several instances all over the country of workers belonging
   to the opposition parties being beaten up and their lives being
   threatened. There is political discrimination even in the appointments
   of non-political nature. The appointments made according to rules and
   regulations by the past government have also been cancelled. I take
   these acts as suppressive.
   
   So far as heading towards disaster is concerned, the government has
   not been able to form the National Planning Commission, till the time
   of our present discussion, even though two months have elapsed. No new
   development work has been undertaken. The people don't really believe
   that this government would last long. Every one fears that this
   coalition may collapse anytime. This uncertainty is very harmful for
   the country.
   
   Q. Don't you think that the process of constitutional development
   would be hindered if this government too can not function?
   
   A. I don't think so. The system and the government are two different
   things. Governments may come and go but the system survives. When
   there is a hung paliament, it is natural that there may be more cases
   of change in government. It is only those who have not understood the
   system who are advocating that changes in government could endanger
   the democracy and the system itself. We have our own example, after
   the promulgation of the new constitution five years ago, four
   governments, including the interim one, came into play but the system
   never broke down.
   
   Q. How long, do you think, will this government last? Do you aspire
   to utilise the services of Article 42(2) again if the coalition
   falls?
   
   A. The life-span of this government is dependant on its ability and
   efficiency. If they can demonstrate their capability, this may last
   quite a long period. But if they continue to do what they have been
   doing these last two months, it will fall down within no time. The
   government should be able to ensure the people, the bureaucracy and
   the donors that it is going to last long. I don't think this has been
   done at all. There are some objective reasons for this. Firstly, it is
   a coalition government. Secondly, Nepali Congress is a party which
   knows how to form a government but does not know how to operate it.
   
   Q. What is the alternative you foresee? Elections?
   
   A. Naturally, we will form the government.
   
   Q. Again a minority government?
   
   A. That depends on the situation. There is also the possibility of
   forming a government under Article 42 (2) of this constitution.
   Observing the future political equation that may come up, we may also
   have other alternatives.
   
   Q. You certainly have hinted at an CPN-UML -RPP coalition. Have you
   started moving your cards towards that direction?
   
   A. We are not in favour of destructive moves. We can't help if they
   destroy themselves. We will continue to play our role as an opposition
   in the established fashion.But we don't want to break the coalition,
   it is not necessary.
   
   Q. You have now withdrawn the impeachment motion from the House. Why
   did you try to push it into the House if it had to be withdrawn?
   Isn't that political immaturity?
   
   A. Every one has his/her own right to judge any event and draw any
   kind of conclusion. But we have not shown immaturity. One should be
   clear about the objectives of the motion itself. It is a fact that our
   constitution has adopted the principle of separation and balance of
   power of different constitutional bodies. So there should not be an
   encroachment into the power of one body by another. When we first
   filed the motion against the then Chief Justice Bishwanath Upadhyaya
   and justice (the present Chief Justice) Surendra Prasad Singh, we had
   clearly said that the judiciary tried to intervene in the powers of
   the executive. Therefore, we charged them as being inefficient. But
   that motion was never discussed ....
   
   Q. You raised the question of inefficiency over only two judges
   whereas they also had six other supports. Doesn't that prove your
   mal-intentions?
   
   A. It is not really possible to pick the whole team so we had to focus
   on the team leaders. When Upadhyaya was the team leader, we filed the
   impeachment motion against him, but the case with Singh was altogether
   different. We were not really concerned with the issue of the verdict
   (of reviving the House of Representatives). When this motion was not
   allowed into the House for discussions, another pertinent question on
   the constitutionally provided prerogative of the one-fourth of the
   total Lower House MPs was triggered off. The question was whether the
   Speaker of the House could be an obstacle in stopping the exercising
   of such rights. As we perceived it as the violation of constitutional
   rights by very responsible persons like the Speaker, we filed another
   motion.
   
   After a very long series of meetings and discussions, Speaker Ram
   Chandra Poudel fixed a date for discussion in the Houses. Thereby, the
   one-fourth members of the HOR were able to exercise their prerogative.
   So, our party decided to withdraw this motion.
   
   Q. What was the reason behind the sudden change of mind, why did the
   the concerned authorities finally announce the date for debate?
   
   A. As this issue hogged the national limelight, we were successful in
   conveying the message to all concerned that people's representatives
   are watchful and such issues could be discussed in the parliament.
   That is enough for now, we thought the alleged should also get a
   chance to correct themselves.
   
   Q. But isn't the withdrawal an attempt to seek pardon? You know that
   the Supreme Court may punish your leaders whose contempt-of-court
   cases are still lying there. Are you trying to save your leaders?
   
   A. It is not so. If the Supreme Court decides that our leaders have
   held the court in contempt, they are ready to adhere by the decision.
   We never made it a bargaining point.
   
   Q. On almost all other issues, the main political parties differ. But
   it seems that all of you are hand-in-glove when it comes to killing
   the spirit of the Upper House. The House is not merely meant for the
   politicians, the nation's eminent talents from various fields should
   gain a place there. It is also a place where the minorities could be
   represented adequately. elections. But now the Upper House has become
   a sanctuary for politicans who can't win elections. Many losers on a
   Lower House ticket are provided with anUpper House appointment. Why
   all this?
   
   A. To some extent, I agree with you and hope that in the course of
   time, the situation will improve. Of course, this trend needs
   correction.

   The HMG has formed the B.P Memorial Cancer Hospital committee under
   the chairmanship of Prof. B.C. Malla. The committee has Jagannath
   Poudel as Vice-chairman and Dr. Shashank Koirala, Dr Shesh Kant Aryal,
   MP Gangadhar Lamsal, Basanta Chaudhary, Karna Shakya and Dr.Ramesh
   Adhikari as members. The Bharatpur Municipality mayor is the
   ex-officio member and Dr. Manohar Lal Gupta is the member-secretary of
   the committee.
 
   Nepal's main political parties, be it the Nepali Congress which loves
   to be called a social democratic formation or the CPN- UML which
   also vows to be commited to multi-party people's democracy or the
   Rightist Rastriya Prajatantra Party, it seems, have so far ignored
   the importance and value of the National Assembly, our answer to the
   House of Lords. There have been atleast three elections for the
   National Assembly, once for the whole body and twice for partially
   vacant seats. But in all the three cases, over ninety-nine per cent of
   the major political parties' candidates owe their roots to politics.
   No one was picked from the fields of art, literature, social service
   or other creative areas. In almost all the cases, the National
   Assembly berths have played the role of consolation prizes offered to
   those political leaders who either couldn't win the Lower House
   election or who desperately sought a short-cut to the corridors of
   power.

   The age factor has also not been taken into account while nominating
   persons to the National Assembly in this nascent democracy, which is a
   serious mistake as the Upper House is meant for the elder or senior
   citizens of the country.The first National Assembly which came into
   being in 1991 was dominated by young hard-core political activists of
   the main political players of the country =97 the NC and CPN-UML.
   Ironically, the most powerful Deputy Prime Minister during the
   CPN-UML's nine-month-long pink rule, Madhav Kumar Nepal also hailed
   from the Upper House ! A similar situation prevailed during the Nepali
   Congress tenure when the country's master of exchequer was a member of
   the National Assembly. Actually, if constitutional rules are to be
   followed in toto, all the money bills have to be tabled in the Lower
   House and then they have to be send to the Upper House. But in the
   Congress' three and a half years administration, the Finance Minister
   himself was not a member of the Lower House.

   Unearthing the antecedents of personalities ( like which walks of life
   they represent) elected to the National Assembly the other day, one
   can see that the status quo has been rigidly maintained. The non-
   communist coalition opted for active politicians =97 except for a female
   candidate =97 who were either defeated in the last mid-term poll or who
   did not dare to fight. The same holds true in the case of the main
   opposition CPN-UML.

   Digging further, one can discover other features such as the fact that
   of the five NC nominees =97 Prakash Man Singh, Omkar Shrestha, Bhim B.
   Shrestha, Shilupyari Mulani Karmacharya and Keshav B. Bishta =97 four of
   them hail from Kathmandu. As for their ethnic identity, it cannot be
   missed that four belong to the Newar community. While this may be the
   NC way of appeasing disgruntled Newars who missed the bus during the
   last elections, the fact remains that such appeasement does not cater
   to the maintenance of a perfect ethnic balance.

   Thamel on fire
   By A Reporter
   David Carraro, an Italian tourist, was stabbed to death Oct 13, at
   Reggae Pub, Thamel =97 a Kathmandu suburb which has evolved into a
   tourist hub of sorts though not necessarily free from insecurity.
  =20
   The police has identified five local youths =97Khumseng Gurung, Raju
   Gurung, Lalit Gurung, Tashi Bhote Gurung and Sexy alias Sonam Gurung.
   Of the five accused, the police has succeeded in arresting only two =97
   Raju, who had escaped upto Delhi, and Khumseng was found in Balaju.
   While Lalit =97 who allegedly stabbed the deceased and is believed to
   have flown out of Nepal =97 and the other two are still absconding, the
   police say that they have sealed all the exit points.
  =20
   David (27) was here perhaps to enjoy the scenic beauty but succumbed
   to the wrath of the local anti-social elements. This macabre incident
   thus emphasises that maintenance of law and order has become a tricky
   proposition for the authorities. Yet another death, that of Padam
   Karki, watchman at Old Vienna Restaurant, justifies the belief.
  =20
   A waiter who has been with the Reggae Pub for over a year, requesting
   anonymity said, "The youths made a pass at David's girlfriends to
   which they mildly responded. And when one of the guys proceeded to
   hold one of the girls' hand, David strongly objected and a heated
   argument followed which cost the Italian his life. Still the tragedy
   could have been avoided if there were in-house security or timely
   police interference."
  =20
   An observer said, "Following the incident the panic-stricken people
   ran out of the pub. And the cops on the beat because of the language
   barrier could not immediately grasp the confusion at the pub premises.
   If the police could have cordoned off the crowd, the culprits could
   have been easily arrested."
  =20
   One of the youths taken into custody for interrogation said, "The
   police just arrested me and other long-haired guys saying the murderer
   wore his hair long. Even when they knew we were innocent, they
   threatened that if we don't cut our hair short, we might get into
   trouble this being a murder case. And to ward off unnecessary
   complications we gave in though it was foolish to assume that the guy
   who stabbed would be still walking around with a long hair."
  =20
   The five accused in the case are notorious in the vicinity and have
   criminal records, according to the police . There are many others like
   the five accused who supposedly are narcotic dealers, perennial
   gamblers and brothel-goers still breathing the free air. The actual
   area of Thamel covers only a few furlongs, therefore proper
   maintenance of law and order is not impossible by any stretch of the
   imagination.
  =20
   Kamal Lama, who has been plying his taxi for the last ten years, put
   forth his view, "The police is really alert and everything has been
   quiet for a few days. If this continues it will be good but if they
   relax and become lenient then everything will be the same again''.
  =20
   "The murders have affected the tourist arrival as they are changing
   their destination in the eleventh hour", said Madhav Shrestha, tour
   operator. While a hotelier, who is often harassed by the mini-mafia
   culture, added, "The nature of the crime has humiliated the Thamel
   residents. It has affected us too. A friend of mine, who has been
   running one of the leading restaurants, upset by the incidents, is
   giving a serious thought to change his line of business."
  =20
   The uneasy atmosphere at Thamel will clear only if the authorities
   clam down heavily on the underworld happenings. Till such time, the
   tourists and the Thamelites will always have the murder of the Italian
   in the back of their minds. Thamel, known for its parties and the
   laidback attitude, surely deserves proper police care. If not, the
   tourism market may decline, and what is worse, the feeling of security
   may be lost forever.
  =20
   The police has to awake and arise from their apparent slumber.
 
   For a two-way information flow
   Political Bureau
   The people's plight has not improved much despite five constitutions
   promulgated since 1948, Nepal Law Society Executive Member Sarbagya
   Ratna Tuladhar said at a seminar marking the constitution Day November
   9. The seminar had been convened to refocus on the issues relating to
   Citizens' Right to Information enshrined in the fundamental law of the
   land eights months after the successful conclusion of the people's
   movement for restoration of democracy in 1990.
  =20
   The Tuladhar contention was that the political parties or other vested
   interest groups, for convenience of governance, brushed aside the
   theory of the rule of the people, for the people and by the people.
  =20
   Co-chairman of the RPP, the current holder of political balance in
   Nepal, Rajeswore Devkota, insisted that written document alone was not
   adequate to protect and uphold the citizens' right, including the
   right to information, until the powers-that-be had the inclination to
   implement those rights in practice. "We may be well advised not to
   overly depend on the already overworked judiciary on the matter."
  =20
   Representative of Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), the seminar
   co-sponsor, Eberhard von Goldacker endorsed Devkota's rationale and
   stressed freedom of information does not only need to be written in
   the constitution; it has to be the 'guide for a fair, self-
   controlled, prudent procedure with facts, ideas and meanings.' The
   right to information, said the German, can be used as a weapon but the
   given guarantee requires careful and wise management, meaning
   self-restrained information based on real facts and truth =97 not
   rumour, hearsay or slander =97 should be allowed to prevail.
  =20
   The participants, backed by the papers prepared by journalist Gopal
   Das Shrestha, MP Narahari Acharya and Administrative Court functionary
   Kashi Raj Dahal, concluded that certain preconditions have to be met
   before the citizens' right to information begins to make sense. As the
   right under review is a fundamental freedom, appropriate legal basis
   would have to be created for it to have any impact on the concept of
   'unhindered, two-way flow of information'.
  =20
   Important among the thoughts expressed at the one-day exercise dealt
   with the development of a more democratised information flow system to
   stimulate free and frank dialogue between the press and political
   parties, privatisation of the official media and empowerment of the
   rural mass by means of a reliable networking paraphernalia.
  =20
   How much and what nature of information should the government be
   permitted to withhold in security/public interest must not be left to
   individual interpretation of the revelant constitutional provisions.
   Instead, the issue must be clearly defined and all concerned be made
   to abide by the limitations set by the law enacted by parliament.
  =20

   Economic tigers kill tigers to extinction
   'Eating the parts of a tiger is said to give you its legendary
   sexual prowess', says the voice-over for a 30-second television
   commercial that shows two big cats mating. 'You too can make love for
   a full 15 seconds.'
   
   The advertisement debunked the myth of tigers' virility, and
   deliberately packed a powerful sexual punch. It was meant to jolt
   millions of Asian viewers who have been seeing it on satellite TV in
   recent months.
   
   The campaign strikes at traditional beliefs that fuel demand for tiger
   products, including tiger penises believed to be an aphrodisiac in
   countries like China, Taiwan and South Korea. 'Destroy the myth, not
   the tiger,' is the theme of the awareness campaign.
   
   Ironically, it is the economic success of East Asia's 'tigers' that is
   making the tiger extinct.
   
   Animal experts say demand by newly-affluent East Asians fuels the
   killing and poaching of the jungle cat from the rest of Asia, and is
   fast pushing the region's once- thriving tiger population to
   extinction.
   
   Fewer than 5,000 tigers are left in the wild today. Three of the eight
   tiger subspecies have already become extinct in the last decade.
   
   "At the current rate of extermination, the tiger will be extinct in
   the wild before the year 2000," warns the New York-based Wildlife
   Conservation Society (WCS), which this year launched a five-year
   campaign to save the tiger.
   
   "Almost without exception, tigers are killed by poachers to supply the
   illegal traditional Chinese medicine trade," it says.
   
   The Chinese believe tiger parts, used in traditional medical
   preparations, heal ailments ranging from backaches to poor eyesight.
   Tiger penis soup, which can cost US$350 a bowl, is supposed to
   increase libido, though no scientific proof supports this.
   
   Under trade and political pressure, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and
   Taiwan have now banned the manufacture and sale of medicines made from
   tiger parts.
   
   But TRAFFIC East Asia, which tracks trade in animal parts, says it is
   "impossible" to estimate the size of the lucrative black market. Tiger
   products are still sold clandestinely in China and Taiwan. TRAFFIC
   says they are sold openly in Japan.
   
   TRAFFIC East Asia director Judy Mills says Asian demand for
   tiger-derived medicines seems to be declining, but "those willing to
   risk breaking the law are still buying and selling these products."
   
   China is the largest manufacturer of tiger products, but experts say
   it uses mostly non-native tigers because its own tigers were depleted
   since declaring the animal a pest decades ago. WCS says cruel methods
   of "farming tigers" to supply the medicine trade exist in Thailand,
   Taiwan and China.
   
   Mills also worries about other markets for tiger products, mainly
   "Japan and Western countries with large Asian populations" that may
   have more lenient laws and are less aware of the gravity of the
   problem.
   
   India and Nepal are home to over 3,000 tigers or about half of the
   world's tiger population. But their numbers have been declining over
   the decades due to poaching, human intrusions into sanctuaries and
   massive misreporting in India in previous years.
   
   The tiger situation in the rest of Asia is much worse. The Siberian
   tiger remains only in 10 per cent of its former range in the Russian
   Far East and fewer than 50 out of an estimated 300 tigers are known to
   live within protected areas.
   
   Experts note "intense pressure" along the Chinese border for tigers,
   and are wary over new roads that opened the region's interior. A tiger
   can fetch US$4,000 to US$10,000, so "the poaching incentive for local
   people is extreme", says a WCS report.
   
   And while there are extensive tiger habitats in the South-East Asian
   nations of Thailand, Laos, Burma and Vietnam, there are very few
   tigers. Thailand assumes it has 600 tigers in the wild, but WCS
   surveys show numbers ranging from 150 to 200.
   
   Scientists thought there would be more tigers in Burma, 40 percent of
   which remains forested. Historical estimates stand at 3,000 tigers,
   but actual numbers may be closer to 300. There are 400 to 500 Sumatran
   and fewer than 40 South China tigers left.
   
   And even when sanctuaries are provided them, serious problems continue
   to hound tigers.
   
   WCS field scientist Ullas Karanth says tiger conservation efforts that
   began 25 years ago ran into problems such as untrained and underpaid
   forestry staff, and government's lack of resources and political will.
   
   Tigers are also under threat from people who live on fringes of
   sanctuaries and growing human communities that need more land and are
   pushing into what was once animal territory.
   
   Citing years of research in Nagarhole reserve in southern India,
   Karanth says tigers are scarce in much of Asia due to the loss of
   their 'prey base'. Put simply, "tigers and people are competing for
   food," says Dorene Bolze, head of the WCS Conservation Policy
   Programme.
   
   Adds Karanth: "Every day in fact thousands of villagers enter forests
   around their homes to shoot, snare and trap tigers' favoured food.
   Except in a few well-protected sanctuaries, uncontrolled hunting for
   the pot by local people has driven prey populations down to levels
   unable to support tigers."
   
   But conservation efforts have been boosted by measures that make trade
   in tiger parts illegal. Mills says East Asia must be credited for
   action in the tiger campaign in recent years, though "the black market
   remains a threat to the survival of the world's remaining wild
   tigers."
   
   South Korea signed a convention barring trade in endangered species
   and in March made the sale of tiger products illegal, but not before
   importing two tonnes of tiger bones from China in 1993.
   
   In April, Washington banned imports of Taiwanese wildlife products
   after Taipei failed to curb tiger bone trade. This helped raise
   awareness, but Mills says "the plight of the tiger was lost on many
   users of traditional Chinese medicines who saw the sanctions as more
   an issue of political and cultural sovereignty than one of conserving
   an endangered species."
   
   Indeed, the bigger and harder fight may be how to change attitudes and
   dampen the demand for tiger parts. WCS says this is why its public
   awareness campaign, using ads created for free by the admaker Ogilvy &
   Mather, targets younger Chinese who are likely to be more
   conservation-minded and less firm believers in tradition.
   
   "It tries to address aspects that have not been dealt with before, and
   that is demand," Bolze says. "It's very hard for countries to protect
   tigers when it's not so hard to sell them.''
   
   American Library goes hi-tech
   By A Staff Reporter
   
   American Ambassador, Sandy Vogelgesang, Nov 7 presided over the
   official opening of the United States Information Service (USIS)
   Reference Center in Gyaneswor, with Dr. Mohan Lohani, Chairman of
   Tribhuvan University's English Department, being the chief guest.
   
   The American Library has now been converted into a Reference Center,
   offering computer-based reference resources including CD- ROM data
   bases and certain on-line services. In addition to a rich collection
   of periodicals, the Center also features American studies and video
   collections. The Center's resources will be available to patrons for
   reading in the USIS premises only
   
   The Library in Kathmandu was opened May 30, 1952. The then Prime
   Minister Matrika Prasad Koirala inaugurated it. Over the years, the
   Library has undergone several changes. In 1962, it occupied the entire
   ground floor of a new building in New Road. This building was
   inaugurated by late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.
   
   Press circles taking huge interest over the impending return of
   King Birendra's media commissar Chiran Shumsher Thapa
   reportedly to retake charge of the principal press secretariat. A
   certain friend of his who has now metamorphosed himself into a
   staunch, spirited social democrat/republican quipped at a diplomatic
   bash =97 the great guy left when the panchayat collapsed for studies
   in Germany and Britain, and will be back when his cronies are
   calling virtually all the shots in today's Nepal. Anybody aghast?

   Inefficient efficiency
   Ministers have not been able to prove themselves efficient.
   =97 Former Health Minister Padma Ratna Tuladhar=20
   in Bimarsha
   For Kathmanduland
   The Kathmandu valley has always been neglected and has remained out of
   the political mainstream. This valley which is dominated by the Newar
   community should gain autonomy .
=97 RPP Vice-chairman Jog Mehar Shrestha
   in Nepal News
   Non-starter
   This government has proved to be a non-starter. If inertia
   continues, this may fall down within no time.
   =97 NC MP J. P. Gupta "Ananda"=20
   in Suruchi
   Politics vs Spirituality
   I will quit politics if my spirituality is hurt.
   =97 Upper House MP Mohan Chandra Adhikari
   in Samkalin

   Ultimate test
   Some serious thinkers have begun to suspect the ability of the
   multiparty system to provide Nepal a government that can guarantee
   stability and development, not because the restored dispensation is
   innately unsuitable to this geopolitically handicapped country but
   because strong political commitment and competent leadership are
   nowhere to be spotted in the horizon. They also allege that the
   political leaders and officials, taking a leaf out of the panchayat
   book, direct their loyalty not towards the people but towards certain
   centres of power, within and without. However harsh the thoughts may
   be, they are definitely not devoid of logic if an effort is made to
   analyse the attitude and performance of the two previous governments
   and the indecision of the present one. All indications point to the
   unwelcome phenomenon of being stuck with the psychosis of transitional
   politics even after five years of experience with a system based on
   what was said to be a 'consensus' constitution reflecting the
   mainstream philosophies of the three players -- the palace, the
   centrists and the leftists. While the bigwigs seem interested in
   either maintaining the status quo or furthering partisan/familial
   interests, the rank and file seems confused and conspired against. In
   such a situation, what can one expect to happen in the country?
   Precious little in terms of change and progress. As rightly pointed
   out by a theorist recently, only the system of reaching to power has
   changed. The attitude to rule the people, instead of serving them, has
   not undergone any dramatic changes. The people are becoming
   increasingly apathetic with the result the slogan 'development through
   popular participation' has ceased to excite the same level of
   emotional response as it did during the early stages of transition
   triggered by the people's movement against the 'authoritarian' regime.
   The question is: when will the politicos realise that their ultimate
   test lies in nothing else but in =97 does the politics they are involved
   in strengthen or weaken the people's rightful power to control their
   own lives?

  "GORKHAS WILL REMAIN A CONSTANT FACTOR IN BRITAIN-NEPAL RELATIONS."
   Timothy J. B. George
   Timothy George, who has been the United Kingdom's envoy to Nepal since
   October 1990 and who is retiring shortly from the British Foreign
   Service, was the Head of Republic of Ireland Department, dealing with
   Northern Ireland issues from 1986 to 1990. His tryst with diplomacy
   began in 1961 at the age of 24. From 1963 to 1966, he was Third, later
   Second, Secretary at Beijing and then returned to London for a tour of
   duty in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Early in 1969, he
   was posted to New Delhi as First Secretary (Economic) and three years
   later, was transferred to Hong Kong as Assistant Political Adviser to
   the Governor. From 1974 to 1978, he served in the FCO again, as
   Assistant Head of European Integration Department (Internal) and then,
   on promotion to the rank of Counsellor, became Head of Chancery in
   Beijing. In 1981, he undertook a sabbatical at the International
   Institute for Strategic Studies in London. The following year he was
   posted to the UK Delegation to OECD in Paris as Counsellor and Head of
   Chancery. Last Thursday, the India-born (Mussoorie 1937) career
   diplomat talked to Ram Pradhan and Sagun S. Lawoti of The
   Independent at his modest Lainchaur office for about 45 minutes.
   Highlights of the exclusive interview :
  =20
   Q. In the context of Nepal-Britain cooperation, what are the areas
   where the British government is particularly interested in helping
   Nepal?
  =20
   A. In my time here, there has been a change in orientation of
   British aid. With some exceptions, we used to support things like
   buildings and roads. What we have tried to do in recent years is to do
   more to support institutions, getting the institutions right so that
   the country can develop, with any major expenditure arising out of
   that. Two major directions in which we have pushed aid in my time have
   been in education and health. We used to have a major project at
   Budhanilkantha School. We still support it. But now we are deeply
   involved in the secondary education, helping the education system,
   reform of the examinations - SLC, Plus 2 in the Sciences. And as for
   health, we used to be supporting the old military hospital in Dharan.
   Now we have moved on to assisting Safer Motherhood and primary health
   care. We have long supported the building of roads, particularly in
   the East. Now we have added projects within the Department of Roads.
   We are also changing the form of our assistance to the agricultural
   research.
  =20
   Q. What makes your government shift approaches in the middle of a
   project? Is it because you are not satisfied or feel it's not working
   or is it an arbitrary action?
  =20
   A. No, not at all. It's not a matter of stopping a programme. Aid
   programmes evolve, projects come, projects go and projects are
   completed - as happened to Budhanilkantha School, which reached a
=09=09=09 ++++++++++++++++++++++

=09ahhh bks...=09

   phase where it was ripe for Nepalisation. That money is now put aside
   for more general application. And the same is true for all our
   projects, we allow them to evolve without interruptions wherever
   possible.
  =20
   Q. You do have a preconceived notion of how Nepal should be develop,
   don't you?
  =20
   A. We have our own ideas about how Nepal should be developed and you
   also have your own ideas on that score. But these decisions are not
   meant to be taken by us, its the Nepalese government's job. Here lies
   the problem, development has been left too much in the hands of the
   donors and not at the initiative of the Nepalese. We can support, but
   we cannot lead in the long run, only you can do that. We can fill
   gaps. It is a fact, however, that the budget is one-third financed
   from abroad, and that affects things.
  =20
   Q. To what extent do the changes in political scene affect your
   priorities?
  =20
   A. Not at all. We went through the period of Congress and then UML,
   and now it's the Coalition government. As for the particular projects,
   they go faster or slower depending on the performance and priority of
   the governments.
  =20
   Q. Now, based on your experience, how do you visualise Nepal's
   economic development and development of her institutions?
  =20
   A. I think I will start with democracy. Over the last few years the
   system envisaged by the 1990 Constitution has come up rather well.
   Some things may be unpopular with some people, but on the whole the
   basic pillars of the Constitution have been accepted. That means the
   structure is good, and within that structure I think democracy should
   do well.
  =20
   If you look at the economic side, Nepal is a poor country and will
   require assistance for a very long time. But I think development is
   coming. You've got agriculture, tourism and hydro-electricity and some
   manufacturing industries. The chances are there. I think there should
   be a concentration on hydro-electricity and tourism. Other things of
   course follow. Agriculture is important, hence our help with
   agriculture research and the seed sector.
  =20
   Q. Taking into consideration the frequent changes in government, it
   seems all is not well. Do you agree with this view?
  =20
   A. What I've said is, democracy is a means of furthering
   development, not the end in itself. It's perhaps time for all
   governments, including my own, to think in terms of using democracy to
   bring about the welfare of the people of this country.
  =20
   Q. Would you like to say something about the fate of the Gurkhas
   after 1997 ? What happens to the Gurkha connection between Britain
   and Nepal?
  =20
   A. The Gurkha connection is a unique contract between Nepali
   nationals and the British Army. It is true that the numbers will be
   cut down by 1999, and this will have an impact. Regardless of that, I
   think the connection will remain. It may be on a smaller scale, but it
   will survive. If you talk about the relations between Nepal and
   Britain 40 years ago, and if you talk about the relation 40 years from
   now, I would expect change. I would expect trade and investment to be
   more important. We are, for example, establishing a Nepal-Britain
   Chamber of Commerce =97 and there is a Chamber in London too. But the
   Gurkhas will remain a constant factor in our relations. The Gurkha
   connection epitomises the long-standing friendship between the two
   countries. His Majesty was invited to participate in the VE Day
   celebrations as a mark of that friendship.
  =20
   Q. You must have heard about the problems concerning rehabilitation
   of the Gurkhas. We believe not all expectations have been met. For
   instance, they don't get jobs and opportunities commensurate with the
   training they receive. What's your assessment ?
  =20
   A. I'm not sure I understand that question. When they leave the
   Army, Gurkhas are offered training packages of their choice, and some
   of them have been able to go abroad for the jobs. They should be well
   placed to look after themselves .
  =20
   Q. The point is Nepal hasn't offered much to them.
  =20
   A. But I'm not sure, who in Nepal is responsible for supplying this?
  =20
   Q Would you say the Gurkhas will make a useful component of a
   permanent UN Peacekeeping Force if such a force is ever created by
   the world body?
  =20
   A. Gurkhas have played a distinguished role in a number of UN
   peace-keeping operations, to which the British Army have contributed.
   I am sure that this will continue. A permanent UN peace-keeping force,
   however, is for the future. It will presumably continue to be drawn
   from national armies, with Gurkhas taking their turn as at present as
   an integral part of the British Army.
  =20
   Q. What is your perception of the South Asian security scene?
  =20
   A. Some years ago I studied the relations between India and China.
   Their relationship has improved to a considerable extent. Clearly this
   is a sensitive area for Nepal, which tries to keep good relations with
   both countries.
  =20
   Q. How do you view our parliamentary system?
  =20
   A. I think it has made a very good start. Any legislature or
   Parliament has to pass legislation and oversee the Executive. For the
   last two years, there has not been a great deal of legislation because
   of the parliamentary situation. The decision of the Supreme Court
   clearly changed the course of events.
  =20
   Q. There must be something wrong in the parliamentary system...
  =20
   A. I'm not in favour of picking flaws. The important thing is to get
   the business done. I gave a copy of the British Parliamentary Rule
   Book (Erskine May) to the previous Speaker. I hope that this has been
   helpful on the procedural side.
  =20
   Q. Don't you have anything to say about the institution of monarchy
   in Nepal?
  =20
   A. The institution of monarchy is a symbol of the unity of the
   country and enjoys great respect.
  =20
   Q. What about your monarchy?
  =20
   A. I'm the sure for the people of the United Kingdom the Crown is
   the symbol of unity. The Parliamentary system in Britain has a long
   tradition, which does not mean that it is immune from change. There is
   debate - passionate debate - in the United Kingdom about regional
   government, for instance. There is also the change of relationship
   with Parliament brought about by our membership of the European Union,
   with some legislation being made in Brussels. But all this can be
   accommodated within our Parliamentary tradition.
  =20
   Q. What have been the highs and lows of your assignment in Nepal?
  =20
   A. You can look at this question at a number of levels. If you look
   at the trends, the high point is the shift in our aid programme, which
   is a long-term thing. It is not complete yet.
  =20
   At another level there were the disastrous floods of 1992, when we
   were able to built bridges on the Prithvi Highway. Our efforts at
   relief work on that occasion, including the use of Gurkha Engineers,
   considerably strengthened the Nepal-Britain relationship.
  =20
   A sad point came the previous year, when there were two major air
   crashes. It was a difficult time for us all. But as an Embassy it
   brought us together as a team.
  =20
   Q. As an observer, what important changes have you noticed in Nepal
   the last five years?
  =20
   A. It takes more than five years to change a nation, even to half
   change a nation. You can change the exterior, but not the
   fundamentals. What has changed is that the people have more and more
   faith in the system established after the 1990 movement. Those who
   framed the Constitution did an extremely good job. The movement was
   really a revolution, but it was a self-limiting revolution. To improve
   the fundamentals on which development is based, the government has to
   put in a lot of hard work.
  =20
   Q. Is Britain happy with the present coalition government in Nepal?
  =20
   A. We are happy to deal with whichever government the Nepali people
   aspire to have. We have made a good start in our dealings with the
   Coalition.
  =20
   Q. What are your plans after retirement from active diplomatic
   service?
  =20
   A. I would simply say that December 1st is the first day of the rest
   of my life! But, having lived for so long here and having come to know
   and love Nepal, I hope that I can continue to contribute in some way s to the improvement of our bilateral relations.
  =20
   Change of messengers
   Foreign Bureau
  =20
   Save the man in Manhattan Island (New York), all ambassadors
   appointed by the CPN-UML government have been formally recalled,
   sources close to Shital Niwas told The Independent November 21. The
   ones asked to pack bags are Basudev Dhungana (Washington), Nobel
   Kishore Rai (Bonn), Tulsi Lal Amatya (Beijing), Harsha Narayan
   Dhaubhadel (New Delhi), Bishnu Hari Nepal (Tokyo) and Gopal Prasad
   Acharya (Yangoon).
  =20
   As for why-not the gentleman in New York (Narendra Bikram Shah), the
   national consensus is the issue had better be understood than stated.
   Though technically a CPN-UML appointee, Shah is a non- political
   career diplomat whose handling of the affairs of the Permanent
   Nepalese Mission to UN has been adjudged as "thoroughly professional"
   by those who count in the present scheme of things.
  =20
   The terms of senior career diplomats manning the shops in Moscow,
   Cairo, Islamabad, Paris and Riyadh have not ended. However, the term
   of Sundar Nath Bhattarai, ambassador in Bangkok, is up for termination
   early next year.
  =20
   Three NC-appointed ambassadors who were retained by the subsequent
   CPN-UML government, Surya Prasad Shrestha (London), Lok Bahadur
   Shrestha (Dhaka) and Durgesh Man Singh (Brussels) have not been
   recalled. Informed sources indicated they will be allowed to complete
   their normal terms.
   By Hari Adhikary
   What could be the enlightening reasons behind the abrupt loss of
   zest, vigour and the spirit to fight of the fairly well-balanced
   combination of three centrist political forces which constitutionally
   uprooted the country's first communist government and took charge of
   the governance some two months ago? Why is that, whatever be the
   government,whether it is riding on a majority or a minority bandwagon,
   is showing unfailing symptoms of failure to grapple with the festering
   problems this poor nation is plagued by? These are the million-rupee
   questions the confused and apprehensive commoners love to ask these
   days, though, everybody knows, the answer to these complicated
   questions of the hour is not readily available.
  =20
   Lack of coordination? Frailty of the leadership ? Indecisiveness?
   Woeful lack of determination and dedication? Inefficiency? Whatever
   may be the reason or reasons, people think, the coalition in power has
   failed to take off smoothly and is gradually losing its credibility as
   a team which can deliver the fruits. It is perceived that the Deuba
   cabinet unerringly imitates the snail in its movements(if one can call
   it that) in making decisions and also in signalling prompt actions.
   Critics blessed with more than the usual quota of imagination see the
   three companions in power behaving as a mythical three-headed demon =97
   each looking towards three different and convenient directions. The
   split or lack of ideas in the coalition camp became more visible when
   the out-in-the-open unabashed cross-voting took place in the National
   Assmbly (NA) election last week that left political pundits' guessing
   and gaping.
  =20
   These utterly pessimistic observations notwithstanding, former
   minister and ex-communist Nilambar Acharya still pins all his hopes on
   the present 'coalition of political compulsion.' The bearded
   Moscow-educated intellectual doesn't see any real cause for worry and
   says, "The democratic system has been brought to the track, that is
   the main thing. The sky will not fall now even if the coalition does
   not function and is dismantled."
  =20
   Analysing the coalition administration's performance, Acharya said,
   "The government has been slow in both decision-making and
   implementing. People are not happy. Their expectations have not been
   fulfilled. The disenchantment with politics is on the rise. But these
   negative trends of the moment, in no way, will affect the life of the
   coalition. It will last long as there is no other viable alternative
   in the picture, " Acharya told The Independent, Nov. 21. He, however
   expressed his concern over the possibility of people's grievances
   against the coaliton government going out of hand, which eventually
   may take its toll.
  =20
   Much has been pontificated on the fatal repercussions of the
   unexpected National Assembly election results. The opposition camps
   are in the throes of merry-making, predicting that the days of the
   coalition is numbered. But nobody in the ruling alliance seems overtly
   worried about the fate of the Deuba administration. Leave alone the
   others, Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Co- Chariman Rajeshwar
   Devkota, who was portrayed as a national villain when he emerged
   victorious in the NA election with the help of the 'ladder' readily
   supplied by the CPN-UML, does not see any immediate threat to the
   coalition government. In all the numerous interviews he has granted to
   newspapers of late, the wily, diminutive politician has categorically
   said, "The coalition is intact."
  =20
   The NC activists are more explicit in their views on the fate of the
   coalition. Many of them believe that the centrist coalition, if it
   meets an early death, will die because of its failure to be true to
   its committments. They dismiss the idea that Rajeshwar Devkota and his
   likes would be able to burn a hole in the coalition uniform. "If Sher
   Bahadur Deuba has to leave the highest office of the land prematurely,
   it will not be due to the RPP but due to the Nepali Congress itself.
   If Deuba and his partymen in power do not change their style of
   governance, they are destined for doom," said Ishwar Ghimire, NC youth
   leader, who served a six-year prison sentence during the pro-democracy
   movement. "Quick decisions, steadfast commitment to the cause of
   justice, a clean image and transparency in administration should have
   been the order of the day. But, it seems, our leaders have directed
   their attention to somewhere and something else," saidGhimire,
   dripping with sarcasm.
  =20
   The red army
  =20
   Rolpa, one of the mid-western hill districts of Nepal, is considered
   to be a bastion of the republican Maoist 'Reds', the Samyukta Jana
   Morcha (SJM). The SJM boasts of 35, out of the 52 Village Development
   Committee chiefs, and the District Development Committee Chairman,
   JhakkuPrasad Sharma also owes his allegiance to the party.
  =20
   Acting on the recent reports that the SJM has set up guerrilla
   training camps in the jungles of Rolpa and also that a number of wars
   are being staged by its activists against its political opponents, the
   government has called for special police operation in the district.
  =20
   "It is state-sponsored terror. The government is confiscating
   household tools like knives,sickles and small guns in the name of
   maintenance of law and order ," Shukti Lamsal, Central member of SJM
   told The Independent. He denied that they were preparing for a
   guerrilla warfare or were training guerrillas. However, he said, "We
   have launched a janajagaran abhiyan (people's awareness campaign)
   and has initiated social welfare activities." According to
   Lamsal,their abhiyan consists of in camera meetings against
   suppression, discrimination, and monarchy. The aim of the social work
   programmes is to apply pressure on the local administration to
   withdraw the charges levelled against their activists. Displaying a
   great degree of confidence, Lamsal declared, "It is an open-secret
   that we are against feudalistic exploitation and think that the
   liberation of the common people is impossible until we throw the
   monarchy out." The present democratic constitution of the Kingdom does
   not provide for the kind of liberty SJM is setting its eyes on.
  =20
   As per the version of SJM sources, the police recently arrested some
   250 cadets while 66 are still in custody on the charges of
   'subversive' acts.
  =20
   However, Home Ministry sources claim that only nine people, who
   possessed illegal arms have been arrested. "Since most of the families
   are of ex-army men, they own small guns,"defends Lamsal,who also edits
   SJM mouthpiece Yojana (The Plan).
  =20
   ***
  =20
   The government has formed a12-member task force under the convenorship
   of National Assembly member Udhavdev Bhatta with the objective of
   conducting studies on Nepal's foreign policy and to make Nepal's
   economic diplomacy more dynamic and effective.
  =20
   ***
  =20
   Former Chief Justice Biswanath Upadhyaya has been the most sought-
   after celebrity in the majority of our press world for interviews and
   addressing learned gatherings following the Supreme Court's landmark
   judgements on the Tanakapur issue; legitimisation of Girija Koirala's
   recommendation for mid-term; and quashing of Manmohan-initiated second
   snap poll . Eulogised by the NC, RPP and the NSP parties, and lionised
   by majority of our national press and community of lawyers, for his
   role in asserting judicial independence and upholding the principles
   of pluralistic democracy, Upadhyaya's frequent claim that the November
   1990 constitution is one of the most progressive, becomes less
   convincing in the lack of provision in it for a female heir to ascent
   Nepal's throne in the absence of a male one. As pressure is mounting
   on the government from leading Congress parliamentarians to extend
   Nepal's support to India in her bid to secure permanent seat in the UN
   Security Council and also to remove the CPN-UML appointees in
   diplomatic missions abroad, the United States was the first country to
   raise voice for the induction of Japan and Germany. While China is
  =20
   Cut your coat...
  =20
   No party should try to grab more than it deserves. It is unfair (on
   the part of RPP) to have 13 ministerial berths out of 19 MPs.
  =20
   =97 Former Minister Marshal Julum Shakya
  =20
   in Jana Astha

************************************* Date: Tue, 28 Nov 95 17:21:08 JST To: nepal@cs.niu.edu From: bpant@mcai.med.hiroshima-u.ac.jp (basant pant) Subject: Response to InfoNepal and Nepal Concern
  Please forgive me for writing on both of these "to be organizations" in the same message although they have some differences the approach looks similar. I would like to congratulate both Padm (P) and Kishor (K) for their venture. The key words of their organization"Improve in Nepal-Padm"

************************************** Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 09:36:00 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Nepal and Internet

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

In article <491ask$186a@news.doit.wisc.edu>, ggreenbe@eunice.ssc.wisc.edu says...
>
>Hello, I was curious if anyone knew what the status of the internet is
in Nepal
>Last, I heard you could only send and receive messages. Additionaly,
does
>anyone know how much an account costs. Thanks for any information,
>Greg Greenberg
>
>

Very low bandwidth (4800bps) full-Internet connectivity is available in Nepal through Mercantile Office Systems.

Another company, WorldLink, provides UUCP accounts. Charges are calculated on a per kilobyte basis. You can get a rate as low as Rs. 6 per kilobyte. You can only send and receive email using this service. Please contact me if you need further information.

Dileep Agrawal

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