The Nepal Digest - Dec 15, 1998 (29 Mangshir 2055 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Tuesday Dec 15, 1998: Mangshir 29 2055BS: Year7 Volume81 Issue1

         S E A S O N ' S G R E E T I N G S ! ! !

Today's Topics (partial list):

       Hindu Kingdom under Siege!
       Woman dies after taking Depo
       GBNC ko '98-'99 Executive Council Line-up
       Length of contributions
       Racism : From the Nepalese to the Global Context(IX)
       NPPA DABUU Magazine
       On brain-drain and helping Nepal
       Any Nepalis in Bangkok, Thailand
       Letter to the Editor

 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 09:40:32 -0500 (EST) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> To: The Nepal digest Editor <> Subject: Hindu Kingdom under Siege!

Dear Editor,

        I was troubled by Hari Bansh Jha and N.N. Thakur's essay of Nov. 4 in TND about Nepal, a Hindu Kingdom, under seize. It was not only that Jha and Thakur's tone was that of any xenophobic propagandist toward both Muslims and Christians, but their political position as construed from the essay itself gave a troubling sign of Indian Hindu fundamentalist making its passage into Nepal. I guess it has already entered Nepal in a big way. But, surely, Nepal, as the recent news about it has shown, has been no virgin land in this respect. While trafficking in girls and Gurkhas from Nepal to India and abroad had been a fairly established practice, drug, gun, gold, and antique trafficking characterized the heyday of the Panchayat system. And now, Jha and Thakur brothers tell us that Jannat and Paradise trafficking is in full swing in Nepal. Nepal this time is not just a gateway, as in the case of guns, gold, and drugs; nor a source, as in the case of girls, Gurkhas, and idols; but a destination of Paradise and Jannat. Who wouldn't want Paradise and Jannat to come to their country or neighborhood?
        But Messrs Jha and Thakur fear Jannat and Paradise--and warn others as well. They want only their "Swarga," their own "Moksha." Besides, Jannat is no longer just heaven, nor Paradise mere paradise. While Mr. Jha, by virtue of his intimate knowledge of India perhaps, displays an awareness of the Islamic invasion and destruction of the Hindu bases of civilization in India, starting from 1000 A.D. until the decisive British arrival after the battle of Plassi, he transfers that fear of Indian history on the imagination of educated Nepalis in order to forewarn them of this purported new Muslim invasion. His fear is that, boosted by the flow of petro-dollar, Nepal would be filled with Mosques and Madrassas. But what Jha and Thakur do not ask is, Who will go to offer prayers to the Mosque? And who will go to learn Arabic? And what will be the result of the having many Madrassas in Nepal? Jha and Thakur, in their xenophobic mindset, fail to see the distinction between a Mosque and a Madrassa.
        Yes, I went to a Madrassa when I was in class four. My father, a pundit, sent me to a Madrassa in my village in Morang to learn Arabic, Urdu, Persian, and Bengali. It was no different from the school--both were at the time made of hay and bamboo sticks, but the school had a few desks and benches (the past year's acquisition), and the Madrassa had a wooden bedstead. I learned how to read Arabic alphabet and recognize Arabic script; I learned Urdu and Persian (their letters are mostly the same with a few differences). And it was in this Madrassa that I learned Bengali as well. Now, I want to ask Messrs Jha and Thakur, these two learned men-- Would I have learned these, including the history of Islam, its legends and the fantastic tales of Hatimtai, Ali Baba, Alladin's Lamp and many others, if I hadn't learned Bengali and hadn't learned Arabic, Urdu and Persian.
        To this day, I regret that the Maulawi who initiated this process fled only after about six months and my education in these languages remained incomplete, except for Bengali which I read with Sanglu Miyan, a failed Muslim tenant, whom I called Sanglu Uncle. But I continued to learn the religion. I chanted Kalama, said Milad on Friday evening in my neighbors' courtyards (the pudding was an additional temptation for my sweet tooth), took part in Muharrum so much so that whenever I had to pass by a particular tree at dusk while walking from one village to another, I would chant Hanuman Chalisa and Kalama alternately, hoping that if one didn't work, the other would in warding off the ghost that everyone in the village believed lived in that tree. At Muharrum, I made the rounds of the villages with the Tajia (the paper-and-bamboo temple, colorful and artistic) because one year it was made in my name, a pledge my mother had made to the Muslim martyrs, Hasen and Hussain, and their Allah. By going with the Tajia and doing what my Bengali Muslim villagers did, I learned not only how to swing a stick, sing Mursia (the mourning song) and wrestle in order to defend myself (I must say that I haven't used these skills much so far but I can if needed), but also how to somersault and walk on my hands. This latter skill has won me many friends and admirers, besides keeping me fit. Hell, I was raised by the Muslims of my village in more ways than one. But Jha and Thakur brothers warn me about the dangers of Madrassa and Mosques. They want only their temples and Sanskrit
"pathsalas," even though they may never send their children there, sending them, instead, to the English language schools. They want people of their own kind--Hindus. And then high caste Hindus. And then, if possible, only Madhesi high caste Hindus. And then, only Maithili-speaking high caste Hindus. And then only Maithili Brahmins. And, finally, if they could, only their family and relatives. What do they have to say about some Kathmandu journalists saying, "Too many madises are coming to Kathmandu or entering Nepal?" I guess Messrs Jha and Thakur want to join the hate-bandwagon.
        As for Christianity, I never had the opportunity to associate with it when I was young. But later, whenever I could encounter, I did make friends with Christian ministers wherever I could find. But the parables of the Bible came to me early. One of the earliest impressions on my mind, besides the Sanskrit Niti Shlokas and Hindi verses and Bengali songs, was the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Seed. But Messrs Jha and Thakur warn me that Christianity is bad.
        In the case of Christianity, they bring the example of colonialism. And they have a point there. Christianity did turn into a handmaiden of European colonialism all over the world; it did help Europeans enslave the Africans and brutalize the colonized by telling the story about the savages and Noah's sons. Its history is filled with crimes, including the burning of heretics and witches. And now Jha and Thakur want to revive those same old fears in order to frighten us. What is the difference between Christianity operating under the old colonial paradigm and its Evangelical status now? What is the difference between atrocities under Mughal and Muslim tyrants on the Hindus in India and Islam's so-called spread now under the influence of petro-dollar and Islamic fundamentalism? In spite of being a researcher in economics, Dr. Hari Bansh Jha would neither ask these questions nor try to answer them. He, instead, spreads phobia like a cheap Hindu fundamentalist propagandist.
        Messrs Jha and Thakur think that Nepalis in the rural areas and the hills are fools. They don't know how to count their fingers and figure out what is good and what is bad for them in spiritual matters. They want the poor Nepali folks to be protected by the government from Christianity and Islam. Such demeaning and elitist attitude speaks of deeper cultural baggage that both Jha and Thakur seem to carry with them.
        What is most galling to me is that they not only attack the rich Kashmiri Muslims who they say have monopolized key real estate in Kathmandu but also those poor Muslim workers, who enter Nepal as tailors, bangle sellers, jute washers, and what have you. What is the motive behind this xenophobia? As high caste Madhesis, do they want acceptance by the dominant Nepali mainstream by touting slogans about Hinduism's demise? If that's what they want, then this is not the best way to do so. For Nepal, at least I hope, can never become a pure Hindu fundamentalist kingdom of my learned friends' imagination. The day it goes that way, disaster will strike it fast in the context of its own internal ethnic complexity. But I know for sure that there are many in India and elsewhere who fetishize Nepal to be "mankind's only Hindu kingdom." What a phrase! And what a nostalgia for Ram Rajya! Give Nepal to the likes of Jha and Thakur to run, they will turn it into kingdom of hate and xenophobia. How is this xenophobia different from the xenophobia of dominant Nepali nationalism about the Tarai or the tribes? They appear same to me.
        And the most disturbing aspect of Messrs Jha and Thakur's essay appears when they attempt to validate the absolute rule of Nepali monarchy and call the democratic change of 1990 as the dethroning of monarchy. At such times, they appear like a real threat to Nepal's political and social health. They appear not only the xenophobic agents of Indian Hindu fundamentalism but also enemies of democracy. And that's totally deplorable.
        True, Islamic and Christian fundamentalisms and their absolutist philosophy (if they do operate under this philosophy) are bad and detrimental to peace in the world, contrary to what the best spirit of their religions preach. But Hindu fundamentalism in India has not fallen behind these other fundamentalisms. Whatever the socio-historical reasons for their rise in their particular places, such extremism and zealotry have brought trouble more than once in history. But one blindness cannot be exchanged for another. One fundamentalism cannot be answered by another. If he indulges in such hate-mongering, Jha ought to be deplored and exposed, certainly not trusted. I had expected a better analysis of the situation at least from Dr. Haribansh Jha, who has written more than one book on serious issues and had been once my colleague.

****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 20:24:18 -0000 From: Rabindra Mishra <> To: Nepal Digest <> Subject: Article for publication

Please could you consider the following article for publication on TND.

Nepali Congress: Is It On A Self-Destructive Path?

By Rabindra Mishra

The elevation of Sushil Koirala to the post of vice-president of the Nepali Congress (NC) party by Prime Minister and Party Chairman Girija Prasad Koirala presents another glaring example of his myopia in politics. His appointment raises two questions: first, whether S. Koirala deserves the post? And second, whether Prime Minister Koirala should have appointed his cousin as the second-in-command of the party when he already has his niece as his deputy in the government? The answer to both is: no. This will be discussed later. Though this is one in a series of mistakes Nepali Congress leaders have been making during the party's half-a-century of history, it explains a lot about why the party, despite being the only democratic force with historical credential, is unable to build on its past and has failed the people every time it has been given a chance to rule.

Since its formation in 1947, the Nepali Congress has led two revolutions which have become milestones in the modern political history of Nepal. The credit of overthrowing the Rana regime in 1951 goes mostly to the Nepali Congress and it deserves greater share of credit for leading the 1990 people's movement as well. However, after leading both revolutions of such historic proportions, each time the party has failed in providing effective leadership in ensuing years.

EARLY YEARS: After the 1951 revolution, the party certainly widened its influence among the masses but failed in maintaining party unity once it came to power, and was unable to retain its leadership in the successive governments. It blames the King for its fate. It is partly right. However, had the leadership been able to maintain party unity and deal skilfully with a sceptical king, who was just experiencing the real power of being a monarch, the situation could have been different.

When the first democratic elections were held in 1959, the Nepali Congress came to power with an overwhelming majority and BP Koirala became the first elected prime minister of the country. However, his government was dismissed by King Mahendra after 19 months in power and its leaders were jailed. Almost all commentators hold King Mahendra responsible for what in the eyes of many was a constitutional coup and the collapse of the democratic system. There can be absolutely no justification for the King's conduct. But it would be unfair to blindly rationalise the conduct of BP Koirala, especially with regard to his dealings with the King.

BP'S BLUNDERS: Leaving other BP-critical reports and historical anecdotes aside, the memoirs of BP (B P Koiralako Aatmabritanta), where the narrator never ever shares blame for any failure of the party or that of the government he led, is an adequate testament to prove that BP failed to a great extent to feel the pulse of the time, and also recognise the strength of the King. As a democratically-elected leader, BP certainly symbolised the hopes of the majority. However, he failed to understand that the King, as the representative of long-honoured institution of monarchy, symbolised not only the hope of the majority but of the whole nation. If rivalries and power struggles occur within a party, when Nepal didn't have any set mechanism of running the administration or judiciary, a power struggle between those two forces was but natural.

What was unnatural was the BP's inflated self-estimation: If the King had made a mistake by suspiciously behaving with BP and apportioning blame to government, BP had blundered by challenging and trying to undermine not only the strength but also the naturally inherent pride and ego of a King. BP, in his memoirs, says that when he sat cross-legged with the King on a cramped sofa at the latter's request, he consciously crossed his leg facing His Majesty. He tries to justify his conduct by saying that he wanted to show the people, who he says were suppressed by the King, that they were equals. In a student conference in Bombay, answering a question posed by a student, BP says he said: "...There is someone [feudal] waiting to usurp the power and that feudal is - the King." A prudent prime minister's approach would be different. Such an attitude of the prime minister combined with worsening law and order and growing Indian influence and interference were probably enough reasons in the eyes of a highly ambitious, staunchly nationalist and, for many, a visionary King like Mahendra to launch a coup. The King's action was unquestionably wrong but one should not totally ignore the fact that once again the Nepali Congress had failed to maintain its hold on power, this time despite having overwhelming support of the people. BP was a leader of stature but it would be wrong to turn a blind eye to his blunders and call him Maha-manaw

1990 REVOLUTION AND THE AFTERMATH: The chief architect of the 1990 people's movement was the Nepali Congress which was at the helm of the leadership although the United Left Front was seen as an equal partner. However, during its peak the movement had become automated. And it wouldn't have succeeded without an enthusiastic recharge by the people of communist-dominated Bhaktapur and Patan when it was losing momentum. No sooner had the movement succeeded and the NC Acting President Krishna Prasad Bhattarai headed the interim government than the bickering among the Congress leaders began. That developed into an open war during the premiership of Girija Prasad Koirala, who was heading the majority-government of the Nepali Congress after the 1991 general elections. The feud within the party ultimately resulted in the collapse of the government after only three-and-a-half years in power of its five-year term. The Nepali Congress is solely to blame for the messy political scenario that followed. The Congress leadership had failed one more time dashing the hopes of the people. History had repeated itself.

With the split earlier this year of the Nepal Communist Party (United Marxist-Leninist), the political environment has by fluke turned in favour of the Nepali Congress. The parliament's political arithmetic in the aftermath of the communist split, brought Girija Prasad Koirala to power for the second time raising the hopes of Congress supporters: the general election is approaching and the Congress leaders head the government - a great advantage for a party in the context of subcontinental politics. This time, though Mr Koirala tried to be relatively more cautious in taking decisions, he succumbed to pressures immediately after taking office and failed to leave out those with heavily tarnished image from his cabinet. That was an unwelcome start for many in and outside the party. Many independent commentators also described Mr Koirala's keeping the Foreign Ministry for himself a wrong decision as he had exhibited his ignorance in the area several times during his first tenure in office. (He had even found trouble in differentiating between migrants, immigrants and refugees in international forums when the Bhutanese refugee issue has been one of Nepal's major foreign policy concerns. Such blunders should have made him realize that Foreign affairs was not his strong point.)

SUSHIL KOIRALA SAGA: S. Koirala, no doubt, has a long history of political struggle. However, he neither has a strong backing in the party, nor has shown any sign of convincing the people that he actually deserves the present post and has the ability to succeed the party president if so required. It was only last year during the important mahasamiti meeting that Girija Prasad Koirala had to remove him from the post of party general secretary after coming under pressure from many party leaders and activists. The Nepali Congress has a dearth of good leaders and it wouldn't be unfair to put S. Koirala towards the bottom of the NC leaders' league judging on the basis of whatever qualities they have.

Besides, Mr Koirala shouldn't have forgotten the backlash against the late Nepali Congress supremo, Ganesh Man Singh, when his wife and son got the party ticket to fight the parliamentary elections in 1991, which they both lost. An allegedly similar desire to promote near and dear ones had to a great extent tainted the contributions of Mr Singh to the democratic struggle in Nepal in his last few years. Mr Koirala failed to learn lessons from those incidents. Even if S. Koirala was indeed fit for the post, Mr Koirala should have thought twice before appointing him, as he already has his niece as his deputy in the government and his sister-in-law in the executive committee of the party. Naturally, his conduct angered many leaders and grassroots workers. Ex-prime minister, ex-party president and Mr Koirala's feuding friend, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, said that Mr Koirala was striving for "family domination" in the party. He was not entirely wrong. Mr Koirala's love for nepotism has harmed his party's image and his own credibility which he was trying to repair after his flawed first time performance in 1991-94. This is likely to affect the prospects of the Nepali Congress in the upcoming elections, which many Congress supporters were looking forward to with great hope.

GOOD IN REVOLUTION, BAD IN GOVERNMENT: The Nepali Congress, in its half-a-century history, has headed government seven times (once, as the head of the interim council of minister in 1958). However, except for the interim periods in 1958 and 1990, the party has always failed in providing effective leadership once in power. The interim periods could be considered relatively better as on both the occasions the party was able to accomplish its major objectives: holding of elections, smooth transfer of power, and in the case of 1990, promulgation of the constitution. Late Ganesh Man Singh told this author in 1995 on record that if some problem was to arise, the people of Kathmandu would seek his leadership, otherwise they wouldn't care for him. Though he had made the comment in a personal context, it seems to carry a symbolic meaning as well. Mr Singh, as the then supremo of the party, represented the Nepali Congress, and the people of Kathmandu represent the cross sections of Nepalese society. Viewed in this light, his comment appears correct: People have sought the leadership of the Nepali Congress to cross the most difficult political junctures in the country's history. But Congress as a governing party has every time frustrated the hopes of the people and as a result of which the number of those who care for its leadership in normal times are continuously on the decline.

POSSIBLE WAY OUT: Many view the handing over of leadership to the so-called second generation of politicians as a solution to the feud among the top leaders and repeatedly dismal performance of the party. However, that hope is bound to be broken if the leadership was actually to be transferred. The so-called second-generation favourites, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Ram Chandra Poudel and Sailaja Acharya, all clearly lack qualities of a good leader: they are neither visionaries, nor skilled negotiators, nor good orators, nor well-read people. If the Nepali Congress is to choose its leaders only on the basis of a person's history of past struggle and on the count of seniority, it may find itself in deep water very soon. After the 1994 elections, the party's leadership ambitions have materialised more through circumstantial factors than through its own ability. A national party can't expect to survive on outside circumstances and the signs are that the Nepali Congress may have to do the same in the next parliament.

Nevertheless, the party still enjoys a democratic credential, a reasonably solid support base and the sympathy of many intellectuals, professionals and specialists. If it lacks anything it is good leadership which neither the first, nor the second generation of Congress leaders, excluding a few who unfortunately are not the favourites, seem in a position to provide. When Tony Blair was chosen the leader of the Labour Party in Britain in 1994 at the age of 40, he had been in active politics only for over a decade and was almost totally unknown until 1990. Within three years of being a leader, he was able to bring a sea-change in the party and topple the 18 years of Conservative rule by gaining an overwhelming majority in the 1997 election. So far he has succeeded in maintaining one of the highest popularity rating for himself and the government since the Second World War.

Similarly, unless able leaders, regardless of which ever generation they belong to, are encouraged and allowed to the higher echelon of the Nepali Congress, its future looks bleak. For that, it needs a democratic set up and functioning within the party as much as it champions the cause outside. The present structure and the working style of the NC make it virtually impossible for a lower level activist to rise to the top even if he or she has all the virtues of a good leader. Without a good leader, the Nepali Congress will go on making blunders, S. Koirala and the likes of him will keep on being appointed and the party will never rise to its glories won by its role in historic revolutions. Rather it will slowly sink into obscurity, leaving the way for its rivals whose strengths so far have been consistently on the rise.

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 22:52:22 -0500 (EST) From: aiko <gs07aaj@panther.Gsu.EDU> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Bol!: Woman dies after taking Depo (fwd)

I hope the docotrs who read this will do all they can to influence those back in Nepal to get this drug out. Why is it that drugs such as this that are now illegal in the United STates are being sent to places like Nepal? My anger is so great I have no words to describe my disgust.
  Aiko Joshi

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 21:53:24 +0530 From: To: Subject: Bol!: Woman dies after taking Depo

The news-item below appeared in the Kathmandu Post on November 6. Depo-provera, a three month hormonal contraceptive injection, is being widely promoted by the CRS company of Nepal, over radio and through billboards. The radio advertisement, which promises a "healthy" and
"beautiful" baby for women on Sangini (Depo Provera) is not only deceptive, it also oversteps all ethical guidelines for public advertising of pharmaceuticals. These advertisements also never mention the potential side-effects of the injection, some of them with serious medical consequences.

In Nepal, where many health post workers only have rudimentary health training, giving a hormonal injection without checking for prior medical conditions like jaundice or diabetes could mean, as in this case, death.

 The culpable party in this case is not the health worker. He is an easy scapegoat for big donor projects whose priorities lies in fertility control and demographic transitions rather than the health and well-being of women, especially poor women from developing countries.

It is time to start providing alternatives like low dosage oral pills and non-hormonal methods like the cervical cap for women in developing countries, methods through which they can regulate their fertility without putting their health and lives at risk.



PHIDIM, Panchthar, Nov 5 (PR) - A woman here died Monday soon after receiving Depo Provera injection, a temporary family planning method.

Sita Devi Shrestha, 21, who had been taking oral pills till then, had taken the injection for the first time. Shrestha complained of dizziness after receiving the injection and fainted. She died 21 hours after receiving the injection in the Hangum Sub Health Post.

Police have taken assistant health worker Ajay Kumar Yadav into custody. The body has been sent for post mortem.

****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 22:41:07 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <> To: Subject: GBNC ko '98-'99 Executive Council Line-up (fwd)

A guesstimate puts the number of Nepalis in the Greater Boston area at around 600.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Attached below is the complete executive committee of the Greater Boston Nepali Community (GBNC) for the year 1998/1999. We look forward to having a successful year.

Thank you.

GBNC Executive Committee


President: Rajesh Babu Shrestha

Vice President: Himal Karmacharya

Treasurer: Abin Bania

Secretary: Sandeep Lama

Members: Santosh Neupane
                Jagdish Pandey
                Sachit Rajbanshi
                Madhusudan Sarda
                Nisha Shrestha
                Saurav Shrestha
                Sameer Tiwari
                Prabodh Upreti
                Sandesh Wagle

**************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 21:50:44 +0500 To: editor contributions <> From: "F.A.H. \('Hutch'\) Dalrymple" <> Subject: Length of contributions...

Just like Torsten Frank, I like the longer submissions, and would appreciate if people are going to contribute, to keep them long! Nothing is more upsetting than a 'short' submission. The TND is supposed to be a forum, not a place for 'blurbs!' If I wanted short submissions I know where to go...

Thank you! F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple

P.S. Of course, Mr. Frank, the above is in jest to make a point... The Nepal Digest is a forum, where anyone with a computer/e-mail can make a submission, however long, or however short they want. It's 'manufactured,' primarily by, but one man, a Mr. J.P. Singh, who has a full time job, besides. He makes decisions to configure, but not to edit the content! This is the beauty of such a 'forum.' It's not a 'publication,' where your material is edited, based on a particularly philosophy, or 'axe-to-grind.' If some of the 'pieces' are too long, you don't have to read them... If fact, you don't have to read, or subscribe to the TND period. Yes, weeding through much 'chafe,' for the germ requires time and patience, I will agree. But, I just scroll through the stuff I'm not interested in, and read what interests me. You should do the same, or offer some other more productive suggestion... like paying for technicians (editors) to reduce the length. Or, start a shorter version of the TND! It's great to complain about something, but ultimately unproductive, unless you have a practical solution (like paying) to 'the problem!'

****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 07 Nov 98 10:33:53 EST From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Nirmal Ghimire <>, Subject: Clarification : Nirmal and Nirmal Ghimire

Sorry for the confusion but that guy did not give me his last name. Take care.
___________________________________________________________________ Subject: Hi From: Nirmal Ghimire <> at Berlink Date: 11/7/98 6:57 AM

Mr Bhagat:

I know that many people have their own point of view, and that is important to have a healthy discussion.

I have never said, anything about your term paper or anything you have written.

I am a different Nirmal. My name is Nirmal Ghimire.

Next time you address somebody in TND, please make sure you address them with the full name.

So as not to cause confusion.

bye Nirmal Ghimire

************************************************************************** From: "Diwas Khati" <> To: Subject: To Paramendra with Love Date: Sat, 07 Nov 1998 09:48:16 PST

Mr Bhagat,

Looking at the size of your postings, and the amount of hard work you have to put into its compilation and processing, I think it is time for you to start your own "Paramendra Post" (or something that you like) and gather some serious followers. I will take number 14 in your list of readers.

On another note, don't you think you are simply posting irrelevant stuffs there? TND, as I understand " a publication of TND Foundation, a global not-for-profit information and resource center committed to promoting issues concerning Nepal..." (src: TND banner). Would you not think it is now time for you to get your readers' feedback on your postings? Most of them don't care about your postings any.. at least I don't...(thanks to the scroll-down-able mouse from Microsoft..)..

Just a snowy Saturday.. thought do my part to "jaatibaad" abolishion in Paramendra_Land...

Reply by e-mail....

subhechhuk... <wishing well> Diwas


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sat, 07 Nov 98 15:52:43 EST From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Subject: Racism : From the Nepalese to the Global Context(IX)


    -Racism is the belief that skin colour determines intelligence, criminality and values. Racism is a common feature of Canadian society and is often used to justify the mistreatment of groups of people. Racism is all the more dangerous when groups have the power to enforce discrimination through legislation, education and in the labour market.
    -The electronic and print media provide powerful images of the world and many Canadians treat this information as "the truth". However, bias in the media has resulted in prejudice, discrimination and hatred based on skin colour, ethnic origin and religion.
    -how the media may continue to perpetuate racism.
    -Racist descriptions: defining the racial background of a person suspected of committing an offence or a crime when no racial description is given when the offender is not from a minority group.
    -Stigmatizing groups: using derogatory language when describing a group or a person from a minority group. This often appears through the use of language - language that would not be acceptable for a member of the majority.
    -Racialization: implying that a person's actions or behaviour arise from his or her skin colour or supposed "racial" background. The colour of a persons skin is not responsible for how a person acts. Nor does skin colour cause crime.
    -Irrelevant information: the media often provides trivial information about minority cultures that incites hatred or contempt.
    -Creating doubt: minority spokes persons are often not treated with the same respect and courtesy as others. For example, placing information in question by using quotation marks and words such as "alleged" can make readers wonder about the credibility of minority people when such comments or quotation marks would not be used in other cases.
    -Using stereotypes: common stereotypes in the media describe immigrants from particularly countries as "illegal aliens" or "bogus refugees" when they are not.
    -Us versus them: stereotypes about groups can create an "us versus them" tone that implies that all members of minority groups are criminals, deviants and threaten "our" society.
    -Selective reporting: featuring people of colour only in stories that deal with crime or social unrest. This contributes to a negative view of people of colour and is a form of discrimination and racism.

    -One of the most effective ways to help stop racism is to let whoever is responsible know what you think. And the more people who complain, the more powerful and effective that message will be. Complaints about racism in the media should address the four "w"s: who, what, when and where. In other words, write down the date, time, name of the show and the station or network.
    -If the item is in print (newspaper or magazine), cut it out and note the source, the date of publication and the name of the publisher. Write down the details of the story, the people concerned and why you consider it racist. Send this information to the publisher and copy it to an anti-racism media watch group (see the list of organizations below).
    -Legal action is another, though expensive, strategy.

British Columbia Human Rights Act Section 2(1) states: 2(1) No person shall publish, issue or display or cause to be published, issued or displayed any statement, publication, notice, sing, symbol, emblem or any other representation that
(a) indicates discrimination or intention to discriminate against a person or a group or class of persons or
(b) is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or that group or class of persons.

CRTC Regulations Respecting Television Broadcasting

Section 5(1) states: A licence shall not broadcast
(a) anything in contravention of the law;
(b) ny abusive comment or abuse pictorial representation that, when taken in context, tends or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour,
    religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability;
(c) any absence or profane language or pictorial representation; or
(d) any false or misleading news.

Criminal Code of Canada

If the coverage incites hatred against particular groups you may refer to section 281.2 of the Criminal Code;
(1) Everyone who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable groups where such incitement is likely to leas to a breach of the peace is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

(2) Every one who communicates statement, other than in private communication, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable groups is guilty of
(a) an indictable offense and is liable to imprisonment for two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

However, this section can only be used with the consent of the Attorney General.

How to Deal with Racial Violence

    -Racial violence is based on hostility towards people of a different "race", skin colour, religion, ancestry or national origin. Racial violence can happen anywhere - where you live, go to school, or work. INTIMIDATION: physical and verbal threats, hateful glares. HARASSMENT: insults, shoving, telling "ethnic" jokes even when you object to them, racist graffiti and racist hate propaganda . PHYSICAL VIOLENCE: assault with or without a weapon.

    -The effects of racism are devastating. Victims can be physically and emotionally harmed, and property can be destroyed or damaged. Examples of the psychological damage of racial violence typically involve:

       repeated nightmares
       loss of sleep and appetite
       loss of self-esteem
       stress, depression, and anger
       fear of leaving the safety of the home

    -Record the details of the incident. Try to record as much information as you can.

       Date, time, and place of the incident(s)
       The circumstances of the incident
       Description of the attacker(s), including details like height, hair, eye colour and clothing
       Description of any cars, including make, year, license plate number, colour
       Name, telephone number and address of any witnesses
       Name and badge number of the assisting police officers and district where he or she works
       Medical report of any injury
       Photographs and insurance reports of any property damage

If you deal with the police:

       Have someone with you for support and reassurance (you may, for example, wish to have a neighbour, friend, or
       passer-by be with you)
       Ask for a translator if you have trouble speaking or understanding English
       Ask about police procedures in dealing with racial violence
       Don't forget to ask for the file number of your case. The file number will help identify your case if you wish to ask
       questions or pursue the case later.
       Ask that the police follow-up your complaint and inform you of its status

Filing a complaint with the police will not only make them aware of the incident, but it will also provide necessary documentation if you decide to take further action, like a civil suit or claim for compensation.

4. If you are a witness to racial violence, don't turn a blind eye! Speak out or physically intervene. However, always use caution in violent situations. Public attention itself will usually discourage most aggressors. You can help a great deal by
    contacting the police.

    Youth should inform a responsible adult immediately. A parent, neighbor, store owner, or passers-by may be asked to help.

5. If you are victimized by racist hate groups, call one of the organizations listed

Civil Court Action: Under some circumstances, you can sue your aggressor for damages in civil court in addition to any criminal charges that may be laid by the Attorney General. Human Rights Complaints: If you are a victim of racial of discrimination or racial harrasment in employment or access to services, you can file a complaint

Going to the Media: Making a racist incident public is another important way to create awareness and action against racism.

************************************************************* From: To: Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 19:39:17 +0000 Subject: from Himal about New Toni Hagen Book

Dear friends at Nepal Digest:

Please pardon this 'commercial' note, coming from Himal Books in Kathmandu.

This is only to announce that we have managed a major publishing advance in Nepal, the revised and updated publication of Toni Hagen's classic work, NEPAL. The previous edition was printed in Switzerland, and we are proud to say that this new edition done in Nepal is as good if not a little better. Definitely, the book is current. It has been revised and updated in a collaboration between Toni Hagen and Himal editor, Deepak Thapa. What they have given us is being seen as a successful cross between a coffee-table book and a reference work on the country, with a good dose of adventure writing, natural history, political history and development theory.

If you want to know more about the book and also access the order form, check out our website at:

The book is published by Himal Books, publishing wing of the non-profit Himal Association. We feel that this will be an interesting book for the personal libraries of all Nepal-wallahs, and also a nice year-end gift!

Thank you. The People at Himal Books PO Box 42 Lalitpur, Nepal

****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 08 Nov 98 12:26:22 EST Forwarded by: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Subject: NSP to carry on fast unto death

NSP to carry on fast unto death By a Post Reporter

RAJBIRAJ, Nov 7 - President of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP) Gajendra Narayan Singh has expressed his determination that the indefinite fast unto death being staged at Bhadrakali will not be withdrawn at any cost unless the government makes efforts to amend the constitution.

Speaking at a press conference at Saptari Sewa Ashram on Friday, he criticised article 8 of the present constitution and said the agitation would not be withdrawn even after burning the article on the Constitution Day.

Stating it was a matter of regret that no representative of the present government had come to the site of fasting even on the sixth day, he said different political parties of China, Korea and India had supported their demand.

NSP hunger strike enters third day By a Post Reporter

KATHMANDU, Nov 3- Leaders of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP), one of the four national parties, continued their indefinite fast Tuesday demanding a federal structure in the Kingdom.

The indefinite fast of the NSP leaders entered its third day today. Protestors say, they will not end their fast until the government fulfils key demands. If that is not done, the fasters plan to abandon their fast on November 9 when they intend to burn the nation's constitution.

The party, which largely represents Terai districts and which won three parliamentary seats in the last general elections, is demanding a federal form of government in the country with the centre overseeing foreign and defense policies.

Among other demands include granting of citizenship to Terai citizens reservation policy for Terai residents, employment for at least one member of a family and checking spiralling price rises.

Party lawmaker Hridyesh Tripathi, General Secretary Biswonath Prasad Shah, treasurer Biswonath Singh Rajbanshi, joint general secretary Devendra Mishra and national centre committee member Dilip Kumar Singh are the prominent leaders taking part in the fast.

Lawmaker Tripathi, said that the NSP had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister in Kathmandu and to Chief District Officers of 20 districts a month and half ago pressing for their demands. "To compel the government, we also organized hunger strikes in 20 districts but to no avail", he said.

Tripathi further said that all the issues had been discussed in parliament several times and lots of documents had been prepared. "But they are just not being implemented", he added.

The chief demands of the NSP are granting citizenship and setting up a federal government. "We have demanded five federal states in the nation which will be controlled by central government. The central government will take care of defence and foreign affairs while the federal states will control rest of the ministries. If necessary, central government can easily dismiss the federal state government to form another".

NSP leaders said that if the government failed to fulfil the demands, the party will burn the constitution on November 9 which falls on the Constitution Day.

NSP to burn Constitution By a Post Reporter

KATHMANDU, Oct 31 - Nepal Sadbhavana Party(NSP), one of the four national parties in the country, today reiterated that it would indeed go forward with its previously declared programme of burning copies of the Constitution on November 9, the 8th Constitution Day.

A Central Committee meeting of the party held here today decided to go ahead with the programme since "the government has failed to favourably consider our demands put forward to it in the form of a memorandum" during mid-August.

The party also plans to start an indefinite fast at Bhadrakali beginning Sunday. Senior leaders of the party including secretary general Hridayesh Tripathi, treasurer Bishwanath P Shah, joint secretary Bishwanath S Rajbanshi, and central committee members Devendra Mishra and Dilip Kumar Singh will participate in the fast, a party press release said.

The demands of the party seek, among others, establishment of a federal system of government in the country and an assurance that the people from the Terai region can obtain citizenship certificates in a simplified manner.

Since the submission of the memorandum to the government over two months ago, the party organised a number of protest programmes to press for the demands.

Based mainly in the eastern, central and western Terai of the country, NSP presently has three members in the House of Representatives, three less than half a dozen seats it won in the first House (1991-94) after the reinstatement of multiparty democracy.

************************************************************************* Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 15:42:40 +0530 From: Newman-Rai <> To: Subject: subscription

would like to subscribe to TND. I'm a student at KU's department of music (ethnomusicology) and run my own independent zine out of kathmandu called Earshot. Actually i was wondering if i could print that article about street hustler Rakesh in India, in Earshot. Any way of getting hold of the writer? namaste!

sareena rai

*********************************************************** Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 07:08:14 -0500 (EST) From: Tulsi Maharjan <> To: Subject: NPPA DABUU Magazine

NPPA had a very successful Bhintuna celebration. More than 300 people particpated in this year's event. Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their support. We raised more than $1000 dollars for the NEPA Education Project.

If you are interested in receiving a hard copy of the NPPA's DABUU Magazine, please send $5.00 made payable to NPPA and send it to me.

BCC: Copies send to all Friend's of NPPA

Dr. Tulsi Maharjan 89 Choctaw Ridge RD Branchburg, NJ 08876

****************************************************************** From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Subject: A possible South Asian economic union Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 11:04:59 PST

The Nuclear Fallout by Paramendra Bhagat June 27, 1998

When India went to the polls in February 1998 that subsequently put the BJP into power, albeit with only a wafer-thin, patch-up majority, the global media largely ignored the exercise in the world's largest democracy. Compare that with the attention the non-democratic regime in China has consistently been getting, be it the human rights and democracy issue, the Tibet issue, the Taiwan or the trade issue. When the same BJP government conducted the Nuclear Tests in May 1998, the sub-continent took center-stage in the global media market, even more so after Pakistan replied back the same month with tests of its own. How has this tectonic shift in global attention on the sub-continent affected the South Asians who live in the west, Europe or, primarily, the United States? Not only the Americans of South Asian origin but also the South Asians in the US who hold citizenship of the countries they are from? How has this shift in global politics affected you, at your workplace, school or at the shopping mall, or out in the streets, if at all?

The Kashmir Question by Paramendra Bhagat August 6, 1998

It is a foregone conclusion that the India-Pakistan bilateral relations will not see better days until the Kashmir question has reached some sort of a mutually acceptable conclusion. There is no skipping it. The complexity of the Kashmir problem has parallels on the global level. Two come straight to mind : the Northern Ireland dispute that has shown some signs of healing and the Israel-Palestine dispute, that looks pretty much hopeless as of now.

The recent nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan have put Kashmir on the global map like never before. Although from the perspective of other global powers the nuclear tests might be a matter of concern independent of Kashmir, the explosions are not the disease but only the symptoms of the deadliest political disease in the South Asian context.

Kashmir, two-thirds of it held by India, the other third by Pakistan, has been the source of hostilities, often subdued, sometimes flagrant, since 1947. India has been totally rejecting a referendum of the entire Kashmiri people that Pakistan has asked for all along. The territorial claims of Islamabad and Delhi resurface every so often and result in titanic ego clashes of the political leadership of both countries. The internal politics of Kashmir often gets subdued in the larger debate. The three major groups of people in Kashmir - the people of Jammu and Ladakh and the Kashmiri Pundits and Muslims - do not necessarily fit into the straitjacket of the thinking in either Islamabad or Delhi.

The Kashmiri Muslims themselves are not one voice. Some seek independence, some closeness to Pakistan, others seek an enhanced autonomy within the Indian Union, and still others would prefer a complete merger with India. We should not be surprised that is so. Do all Indian Hindus or all Pakistani Muslims subscribe to any one political orientation, or one solution to the myriad problems they face independent of Kashmir?

Northern Ireland might be the solution to the Kashmir problem. When both United Kingdom and Ireland are themselves waiting to merge into a larger European Union, the question of whether Northern Ireland joins UK or Ireland ceases to be urgent. The European Union experiment has pulled the rug from beneath the feet of the Northern Ireland problem. Should South Asia move towards an economic union, the question as to which way Kashmir goes will become moot. Further, all the homework that the South Asian countries will have to do to make any economic union a reality will push them onto the road of a rapid economic growth that will give them a collective greatness at the global level that nuclear weapons will not. The contemporary competition on the global level is economic. Don't miss the train Islamabad and Delhi!

What would you say?

Paramendra Bhagat

NSP president threatens suicide By a Post Reporter

KATHMANDU, Nov 10 - President of Nepal Sadbhawana Party, Gajendra Narayan Singh, today said that he is ready to go as far as to commit suicide if the five-point demand put forth by the party is not fulfilled.

Addressing a press meet organized at the party office today, Singh said that the government has not looked into the matter seriously and added that the present protests will continue until the demands put forward by the party are fulfilled.

Singh stated that five hundred NSP workers were arrested from various parts of the country during Monday's attempt to burn the citizenship provisions in the Constitution and alleged that the police treated those arrested with high- handedness.

According to Singh, before burning the Constitution, he had an unofficial dialogue with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. "I requested the Prime Minister to visit Bhadrakali where our party leaders are organizing hunger strike and to announce amendments in the Article concerning citizenship." But since the Prime Minister showed no interest, he added, his party was compelled to burn that page from the constitution.

Sadbhawana Party started the hunger strike, which entered the tenth day today, putting forth demands like amendment of the Constitution, establishment of a federal system of government and reservations to the Terai people.

Singh reiterated that his party was not willing to compromise on the demand for the Constitutional amendment but is willing to discuss other matters.

Nepali Activists Detained after Protest Reuters 09-NOV-98

KATHMANDU, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Nepali police on Monday detained a group of activists who tried to burn copies of the constitution in support of people living in the terai region bordering India.

Police said 23 members of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP), alleging discrimination against people living in the terai region, were detained as they attempted to set copies of the constitution ablaze in Kathmandu.

The commotion occurred as the Himalayan kingdom marked the eighth anniversary of its new constitution.

The NSP is based in the terai region and has three deputies in the 205-member lower House of Representatives.

The party alleges that development of the region, Nepal's bread basket, has been neglected by the government.

Prepared in 1990 following a pro-democracy movement, the constitution established multi-party democracy under a constitutional monarchy in the world's only Hindu kingdom.

The Nepal government released 180 inmates from different jails, pardoning their remaining prison terms to mark constitution day, state radio said.

************************************************************** Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 14:41:01 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <> To: Subject: On brain-drain and helping Nepal.

Dr. Gaury Adhikari writes from Michigan: (TND, Nov. 4)

>"ANMF is a US based non profit organization being run by the joint
>efforts of Nepali and North Americans and its main mission is to : help
>Nepal strengthen her technical capabilities in medical field so that
>advanced medical care is available for her people."

That's a lofty goal indeed.

But I thought, and I am no doctor, so please correct me, what Nepal lacks is NOT some "advanced medical care" as much as BASIC health care provisions. Not expensive cures, as much as basic, widespread preventive measures.

This is not to say that "advanced medical care" has no place in Nepal. On the contrary, my point is that perhaps when thinking about Nepal, we should tone down our fixations with "advanced medical care", "technical competency" and other gee-whiz stuff, and think/care more deeply about -- if medical help is really our goal -- how to go about effectively/efficiently providing mundane, routine, if boring BUT very essentially life-saving health-care provisions.

If ANMF has thought about these issues too, great. If not, could it?


**************************************************************** From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Subject: Will the Nepali Congress get to hold the elections?

Will the NC-ML coalition fall apart? Should it do so, will there be a coalition between the UML, ML, RPP(Chand) and the NSP? Or will it be a new NC, RPP(Thapa),NSP coalition? Or will the NC split - for all practical purposes it is wide-split anyway - formally and open up many more possibilities regards coalition building at the centre? Myriad are the possibilities. The NSP comes across as the only major party with no internal dissent and with a clear vision whereas the stew seems to be brewing the strongest within the Nepali Congress. Keep stock, Nepal's politics awaits some interesting twists and turns over the next 10 months.

The Sadbhavana will emerge much stronger in the Terai than it has in the past two elections.

The forecast by the Home Ministry (see bottom of the message) about the probable distribution of seats in the next parliament belies ground realities.

Paramendra Bhagat

Meanwhile, the CPN-UML has completely disagreed and dissented with the Nepal Sadbhavana Partys demand.

"We oppose completely with their demand of provincial government," Nepal said. This will divide the nation and ultimately assist the reactionary elements, he said.

The Nepal Sadhvabana Partys attempt to torch the constitution on Monday was foiled by the government.

The police prevented a small rally led by NSP president Gajendra Narayan Singh from setting fire to the photocopies of the constitution. Gajendra Narayan Singh and other organisers of the rally have been taken into custody.

Meanwhile, many onlookers jeered at the protestors for degrading the constitution on the constitution day.

BIRGUNJ, Nov 10 - General secretary of Communist Party of Nepal (ML) Bam Dev Gautam today threatened to withdraw from the ruling coalition "any time" because of continued dishonesty of the Nepali Congress party, the leading coalition partner.

"Our party is competent enough to fight elections against Nepali Congress and CPN (UML), if the elections were to be held now. CPN (ML) will be the biggest political power of the country after eight months", he said.

Koirala's "Kitchen cabinet"..blatant nepotism. ...Those who are unhappy includes senior leaders like former Home Minister Khum Bahadur Khadka, former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and even a trusted Koirala man like Bijay Gachhedar who is minister even in the present cabinet. It is said Gachhedar is unhappy because Sujata is coming to Sunsari, his district and she may even get his constituency.

Meanwhile, former party president and trouble maker for Koirala, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai is also slated to stand for election in two places. He was heard saying to a journalist that he would contest from constituency no. 1 in Kathmandu and a safe constituency in Birgunj. If Bhattarai is elected, he could again cause a problem for Prime Minister Koirala. If nothing, those who are against Koirala, could cause problems by just egging Bhattarai to claim that he should be the prime minister.

There were news reports that the Nepali Congress may throw ML out and seek partnership with others.

Within the Nepali Congress, the anti-Koirala lobby is becoming active. The PM has a lot of problems as he must face three influential leaders Bhattarai (Krishna Prasad Bhattarai), Deuba (Sher Bahadur Deuba) and Poudel. Besides, another strong leader within the NC Khum Bahadur Khadka is also against PM Koirala.

As the tenure of the current Nepali Congress central committee expires in Baisakh (April-May), the anti-Girija lobby is planning to hold the election for the post of party president in coming Jesth (May-June).

The lobby wants to replace the present president of the party Girija Prasad Koirala with a new one and also elect a new parliamentary party leader.

In the meantime, the opposition is preparing to foil the PMs plan. According to Narayan Man Bijukchhen, President of Nepal Workers Peasants Party, the CPN (UML) may register a vote of no-confidence against the present government of the NC-CPN (ML). For this purpose, the UML has started informal negotiations with other opposition parties.

The Congress had thought that the UML would be weak by taking the ML as its partner. But the Congress is now shocked. The MLs influence on the people has remained zero. And the Congress is becoming weaker and weaker after taking the ML as its partner while the UML is getting stronger. This has frightened the Nepali Congress.

The report also says, the Congress will win about 80-90 seats, the UML about 65-70 seats and Maoists 20 to 25 seats. Likewise, it has also been estimated that the RPP (Thapa) will win about 10-15 seats, RPP (Chand) 5-7 seats, Sadbhavana 5-7 seats, and the CPN (ML) 8-10 seats.

From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Subject:

Dear TND readers,

Please visit <> and tell me why you think this attempt to create "your South Asian home on the web" is promising. We need some South Asian surfers to pitch in some niceties for our fundraising efforts. I will appreciate that. Thanks.

********************************************************************** From: "Madhav P. Bhatta" <> To: Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 10:11:00 CST-6CDT Subject: Any Nepalis in Bangkok, Thailand

Dear Nepali Dajuhai ra Didibahahi:

My name is Madhav Bhatta, a Master of Public Health Student the at University of Alabama at Birmingham. I will be going to Bangkok, Thailand on January 3, 1999 for a three month International Public Health Field Experience. I am trying to get in touch with Nepalis in Bangkok. So if there are any Nepalis in Bangkok or anyone who knows anyone there, please drop me an e-mail at the above address. I would really appreciate your help and an opportunity to get in touch with Nepalis in Bangkok.

Thank you in advance. Madhav P. Bhatta University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health Birmingham, AL 35294

*********************************************************** From: Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 02:37:03 EST To: Subject: hello

As you mentioned Mugals, so did Sankaracharya to Buddhists. Does it make hindus more tolerant?

Tolerance in a religion doesn't come from it's scripture, but from the people practicing it.


****************************************************************** From: "Hari Thapa" <> To: Subject: Editor Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 09:50:37 PST

Dear Editor:

Like many other readers I have been wondering why you are still allowing Mr. Bhagat to publish his articles. I am NOT interested in reading unedited 'cut and paste' articles from the internet. I am pretty sure most of your readers are not very interested in politics, especially when it comes to Bihar and UP. Mr. Bhagat's articles are extremely boring and lengthy. I am clueless as to WHY anyone of us should be interested in reading his articles. They have no substance and are out of context. There are other important issues that need to be discussed. We can still wait for another five hundred years to discuss about Racism, Sexism, Abortion, Homosexuality etc. The most important issues that surrounds us now are not those social evils but education, Healthcare, and elimination of poverty. We need to bring into justice the people that robbed our nation in the past and the present. I will be more than willing to share my views on OUR issues than some hick not renting an apartment to an Indian in Winnepeg.

I very much agree with the idea of free press, freedom of speech etc.. but the articles need to be relevant to what people want to read. I would like you to consider my request next time you publish such unworthy articles.

Thank you,

Hari Thapa

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