The Nepal Digest - December 25, 1996 (10 Poush 2053 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wednesday 25 Dec 96: Paush 10 2053BS: Year5 Volume57 Issue3

       Have a happy and a safe holidays to you and your beloved family!
                        - TND Foundation

Today's Topics:

                     Relief '96 Fund
                     Prejudice II: A Prologue
                     Nepal News
                     Volunteering in Nepal
                     Student Deaths
                     A Christmas Card for You!
                     A short commentary
                     A poem
                     Humor - CIA operations in the Himalayas

 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Chief Editor: RJP Singh (Open Position) *
 * Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari,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: October 29, 1996 To: TND Foundation Family <> From: The Editor's Desk Subject: Relief '96 Fund

   TND Foundation RELIEF '96 FUND campaign committee would like
   to acknowledge following individuals for their generous contributions.
   The sum will be sent to Nepal Red Cross for the flood victims in Nepal.

     Rajeev Karmacharya Pensylvania, USA
     Sameer Rajbhandary Colorado, USA
     Rajpal J. Singh New York, USA
     Sabina Thapa New York, USA
     Raja Ram KC Boston, USA
     Sanjaya B. Shah Virginia, USA
     Bal K. Sharma Michigan, USA

          Total 130.00

    A total sum of $130 has been sent to Nepal Red Cross society.

Thank you TND Foundaiton

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 21:16:23 EST To: The Nepal digest Editor <> From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> Subject: Prejudice II: A Prologue

Dear Editor,

        Caste system lies at the heart of India's polity, the social structure, and religious life. If anything has been a constant in India's life so far, it has been the caste system. An Indian, and I'm talking about the mainstream, majority Indians, not the tribes in the hills, mountains, and jungles--an Indian's whole vision is defined, structured, and circumscribed by caste ideology. Birth, marriage, death; eating, shiting, sleeping; ethics, metaphysics, rituals--all work within the confines of caste system. The birth of Buddhism, Jainism, Kabirpanth, Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, colonialism, revolt and struggle against colonialism, post-independence floundering--all owe their roots to caste system.

        True, the sight of the old, the sick, and the dead confounded the confined Prince and made urgent his renunciation of his palace and wife and child, but it's the caste system that forced him to renounce asceticism and the Supreme Being, the whole of the Vedas and Brahmanic paths, and embrace the world and its miseries--and devise a way out of them through the four noble truths and eight-fold path--all these an alternative to the narrow confines of caste arrangement. (I won't bore you with what happened to his preachings in the fifteen centuries between Buddha's death and Shaker's crusade against Buddhism, nor chart their route to the present.)

        Then came Kabir in the fifteenth century, five hundred years after the raid by the Muslims. Kabir revolted against both Muslim and Hindu hypocrisy and orthodoxy. Just hear what he has to say in only one of several of such pithy couplets,

        "Jo tu Baabhan, Baabhani jaayaa, aur raah te kyaun nahi aayaa?
        Jo tu Turuk, Turukni jaayaa, pete sunnata kyaun nahi karaayaa?"

(If you are a Brahman, born of a Brahman woman [the implication is, if nature made you holy, pure, unpolluted], why weren't you born of some other path? [the implication is why be born through the same process--sex, urine, blood, filth, muck]. Now if you are a Muslim, born of a Muslim woman [that is, if Allah intended to make you a Muslim], why didn't you get circumcized in your mother's womb itself?)

        Gandhi comes full five hundred years later than Kabir--and the same problem confronts him in eternal India and its eternal, Sanatan, religion. Call it wishy-washy stance on caste and Varna system, but Gandhi also dealt with the vicious caste system, albeit constraint his politics.

        Siddhartha became the Buddha because of caste system, Gandhi became the Mahatma because of caste system; Buddhism's demise from India and Gandhi's assassination and travesty and nullification of his ideas have occurred due to the entrenched pervasiveness of caste values--and over twenty-five hundred years seperates Gandhi from the Buddha. You just measure yourself the power of this system. A handful of the British traders subjugated and ruled and fooled India and the Indians because of caste divisions. The Muslims and the Mughals conquered India because caste fractions laid down a red carpet for them. Caste has colored even the fundamental modern ideologies of the West--Nationalism, Marxism, capitalism, democracy--when transplanted in the God-forsaken Indian soil.

        Educated--no--English-school educated Indians from Delhi, Bombay, and other cities, in their zeal to demonstrate their cosmopolitanism, may profess to have never heard of caste system defining and structuring Indian politics, but caste system is the fundamental principle that defines Indian politics. Such an Indian lives in a paradox. On the one hand, he feels compelled to display the noble facade of high philosophy, cosmopolitanism, and egalitarianism of his culture and religion; on the other, he needs to show off how quickly he can master the fashions and exaggerated modishness of Western values in dress and manners--and the bits and pieces of the catchwords of its philosophy and intellectual trends--while the basic core of his identity, a sense of his self, and existence derive their material sustenance from the spoils of caste system. His condition is indeed difficult. Caught in the conflict betweem a vicious home, which gives him contradictory messages, and challenging and glamorous abroad, whose temptations he finds impossible to resist, he finds himself confused and lost. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Assam to Gujarat, caste has structured India's past, is structuring its present, and only God knows how long it will continue to shape its future.

        (When the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Atal Bihari Bajpeyee came to power, they said high castes have triumphed, and when the Dev Gawda-led Left Front formed its government in Delhi, they said for the first time in India's post-Independent history, there is no Brahman in the cabinet. Similarly, the disintegration of the Congress Party can be attributed to the fleeing of the Brahmans, the intellectual core of the party, to BJP and the Muslims and the Dalits to Janata or other such parties)

        An average Indian's life revolves around and gets lost in the
"chakrabyuha" of caste system-- birth, initiation, marriage, death, and all their vagaries and taboos, and economic and psychic toll they take on life material conditions. Caste has bored its vicious fangs so deep in the flesh of Indian psyche that even the Muslims, the faithful of a supposedly egalitarian order, practice caste system in India--I suppose under the influences of Hinduism's high philosophy. Indeed, the Poison Ivy of Manu has shot so deep and spread such vicious roots in the fertile Indian soil watered by the holy rivers--Ganga, Yamuna, Godawari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindh, Cauvery--that all the antidotes so far have amounted to a mere trimming of the overgrown leaves of Manu's culprit vine--and nothing more. Manu's Poison Ivy--worked on by modernity, reform movements, isolated individual revolts, the presence of numerous tribal and non-caste ethnic groups--has begun to look even prettier, its viciousness hidden, its venom relentlessly at work underneath the razzle-dazzle of sophistications and digressions.

****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 23:30:14 +0700 (GMT) To: Subject: Nepal News

Man held on chargesof girls trafficking By a Post Reporter

PHIDIM, Dec 23 - Police have arrested here a man who had attempted to take away the innocent girls from their homes persuading them that they would receive job in carpet industries in Kathmandu. The accused had been trying to take away five girls of Ranitar VDC with the help of Lal Bahadur Gurung of the same place. The plot had been disclosed when the brother of Jhuma Nepali, 18, Ram Nepali raised a hue and cry when he arrived at Phidim. Similarly, 65-year-old Ratna Bahadur Thegim of Ranitar was also frantically searching his 16-year-old daughter Raj Kumari Thegim with tears in his eyes. The accused is learnt to have brought girls to Kathmandu from time to time. Fifteen-year-old Jas Maya Biswokarma said she had run away from home when one of her cousins, Yuvaraj persuaded her to go to Kathmandu. Kamala Biswokarma of Ranitar-2 had sold her nose stud (phuli) at Phidim while other girls had procured 500 rupees each by selling cardamom and tea to arrange for travelling expenses. Police have handed over the girls to their guardians while the culprit has been arrested. It may be recalled that two girls - Chandrakala Chamlagain and Ganga Chamlagain who had fled their homes in Phidim in the month of Bhadau (August-September) had been sold to a brothel in Bombay. A citizen of Madras, Rafiq Usman was so moved with pity after hearing their cries when he found them in the red light area of Bombay that he has arrived Phidim at his own expenses.

And now, househusbands ! Ram limbu

Househusband, as far as this scribe is concerned, is a relatively new term coined by the Fourth Estate. To describe a rare breed of men who are the stay-at-home types. It has come to replace the macho image of males who used to usurp quite a different role in the house. And they are definitely in the picture, if not the subject of hot news and a topic for discussion. Rather than sit behind the desk and deal with telephone calls that keeps the minors busy, these men choose to make their presence felt within the confines of their homesteads. Where presumably, they stay cooped up all day, taking care of the little details like taking care of the baby, doing the laundry and signing the IOUs. That the househusbands have managed to displace (even if in a small way) the traditional, stereotypical role of females, is a thing of wonder! And it points to the fact that where the sexes are concerned, anything and everything goes, even to drive a man up a wall so that he sheds all inhibitions and takes his cure from the lady of the house. It seems that there is a place for everyone--even the soft-hearted man who prefers the quiet sanctum of a kitchen to the bustling workroom of an office. This trend seems to be catching up like nobody's business. And they have the nerve to call themselves, men. As far as their work-performance in the domestic sphere is concerned, nothing is left to chance and the arrangement seems satisfactory if not downright salutary. This speaks much for the mind-set and temperament of husbands who have gone one one step forward and made their services available. No psychological evaluation has been made so far, of their profile, but one thing is for sure--there is more to it than meets the eye Men have always played the dominant role as lovers, friends and husbands, playing second fiddle comes across as an alien concept, even frightening. What sticks in the guts is not the notion of fair play (what could be more fairer) but the reversal of roles. As such, he roles out the possibility of a father-figure who is also the bread-winner of the family. This new-fangled idea may take things a bit too far. What it can do to the self-image of men leaves nothing much to be imagined. Whether they have opted voluntarily or have been forced out of circumstances, one thing is clear, they lose much of their control and power. There is no telling how long these men will continue to take on a workload for which they are not suited--biologically and psychologically. Not to speak of having to cope with the whisperings behind their backs, by the ever-present-gossip-mongers. And to top the list, there is the problem of mustering enough patience, when the child comes down with a bout of flu.

****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 23:30:14 +0700 (GMT) From: Shyam Sundar Shrestha <> To: Subject: Birth Place of the Lord Buddha: An Unrepairable Mistake by a Dictionary

Dear Editor
  We would like to raise the issue of the birth place of the "Lord Buddha" which has been presented wrongly in some publications and media.

Please refer to the following:

Hornby, A.S., 1974 "Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English" Oxford University Press, pp.110.

On this page, Buddhism is defined as the religion founded by Gautama or Siddhartha Buddha in North India, in about the sixth century.

The introduction gives the impression that the Lord Buddha was born in northern India which is absolutely wrong. There should be no debate that he was born in Lumbini, Nepal and belongs to Nepal.

A widely used dictionary like this is commiting this mistake till today as the same mistake can be seen in the latest editions too. Perhaps this is one of the reasons because of which still today many foreigners think that he was born in India and belongs to her.

Therefore, we would like to request the TND and other patriotic Nepalese to approach the authors in order to make the necessary correction in the new editions with proper apology.

We also request you all to dissiminate this fact where opportunities are available as we faced this problem here in Thailand.

Thank you

Shyam Sundar Shrestha Hari Kumar Pradhan

******************************************************************* Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 17:22:14 EST To: From: Subject: Volunteering in Nepal

To whom it may concern,

I have recently graduated with a Bachelor's in Anthropology and am very interested in volunteering in Nepal for your organization. If you could please send me or email me any information on how to apply, and the opportunities available, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks, Beth Gaines 939 W. Waltann Lane Phoenix, AZ 85023

****************************************************************** To: Subject: Student Deaths Date: Mon, 16 Dec 96 12:14:20 EST Sender: rshresth@BBN.COM

Cross-posted from SCN:

Two Nepali students were killed in a horrible automobile accident in Pittsburgh this week. One of the men had been in the US for only 3 weeks according to reports.

Alok Chalise and Sujan Tuladhar were travel west on Rt. 65 west of the Pittsburgh Internation Airport when their automobile was impacted by a van which was traveling in the opposite became airborne and landed on their car. Locals were saddened to learn of the accident on what is considered an extremely dangerous section of highway.

Condolences to the families in Nepal, their local sponsors, classmates, and the Nepali community in the US.

William Pusateri

%%%%% Editor's Note: TND Foundation extends heartfelt condolences %%%%%
%%%%% to the victims' family and friends. %%%%%
%%%%% %%%%%

*************************************************************** To: Subject: Another victim story Date: Mon, 16 Dec 96 12:17:56 EST Sender: rshresth@BBN.COM

Cross-posted from SCN:

Reading your most recent news posting on the TND about the HIV/AIDS reminded me of what I had come across a touching story in my travel to a small town in India last year. If I may share it with you, this is how it goes:

Place: Haldani, foothills to Nainital in Kumaon region of Uttar Pradesh Time: Summer 1995

In a hot summer day, a passenger train from Bombay makes a regular stop at Lalkuan Railway station, near Haldani. Among other travellers, a female passenger alights, looks around the platform, being unsure if this is her destination, with a small bag of belongings in her hand, she walks rather unsteadily towards the exit. Once out side of the station, she is hassled by rickshawwalas and touts. She looks around again with a sigh. The same crowd everywhere, but a different air -- free at last -- with no familiar faces that she hated every minute of her life for the past many years.

Her name is Maya. Her captors called her Mhendi. She is straight out from a redlight district of Bombay. Once she was tested as HIV positive, the
"madam" did not want to keep her any longer. Before anyone finds out of it, she was quietly packed to a hill station, by putting her on a an ardous 40+ hour train journey, where she could be lost and forgotten as a nondescript person among those similar looking, less inquisitive people. It was considered too risky by her handlers to send her back to Nepal, where she came from, as she might blow the whistle.

Maya recalled from her childhood days that her distant relation lived in Bhimtal, near Nainital, since years back. She inquired among the crowd about the way to get to Bhimtal. Couple of men came forward to help her with the information, but this ultimately landed her in the hands of local goons who were interested only in her flesh. From fire to frying pan, Maya got seriously ill with very high fever. The goons did not need her anymore. They got hold of an old Nepali chowkidar in the area whom they handed over the girl, who was hardly able to speak at this stage, saying they had found her at the Railway station. The chowkidar, out of his kindness, took her to the hospital and got her admitted there.

At the hospital, she was initially treated for her illness according to the symptoms reported. She wasn't getting any better. At the behest of a caring physician incharge, an HIV test was taken which turned out to be positive. She was already in an advanced stage of fully blown AIDS. All possible care and treatment was given to her under the supervision of the physician incharge and the hospital staff.

Meantime, a search was made to identify the goons who had stolen remaining few days of her semi-healthy life, primarily to check on the infection, if any. Nothing seems to have come up for fear of being arrested on the charge of kidnapping. Obviously, everyone was shaken by the pronoucment of this deadly AIDS.

A few days later, a Nepal ki chhori, Maya, breathed her last in the isolation ward of the hospital in this far away place from her families. She was just 23 years old.

The story does not just end with Maya. This is almost a regular happening these days. There are so many Mayas from Nepal are lured to brothels in India every year. In Bombay alone, reportedly, there are 50K plus Nepali women in the flesh trade -- almost all of them victims of economic exploitation, social injustice, ignorance and so forth and above all # 1 disease, I believe, is ---- illiteracy. I have often read that the curse is put on those illiterate villagers by some of our so called elite women and men by saying "those who have a tin roof in a village in certain districts identified as having someone working at a brothel in India." Many of us know how many of those who live in brick/cement buildings and darvars in our cities and towns and how they their parents got the monies and how they sent those very children to school abroad which gave them the very mouths, rather than the brains, to utter those words, and all of their propsperity at whose costs? However, I would not go into it here since it is not the purpose of sharing it in this forum through this writing. From what I have read, heard and observed, I understand that there are some fine NGOs in Nepal and India both -- trying their best to cure this social disease. There is an excellent video film titled "Raat" on the AIDS education by the famous commedian duo Madankrishna and Haribamsha. I think the lack of employment opportunities coupled with the illiteracy are leading our "chelis" to this dark tunnel.

Finally, on the political front, I can't help but mention the fact again here that the districts often mentioned as active in this "trade" are the ones having higher illiteracy rate among the majority resident population and are reported to be: Sindhuplachowk, Nuwakot, Makwanpur, Rasuwa and so forth. Need I say about those who have been and presently are
(over?)representing those districts in the cabinet?

We need schools with roofs in our villages. We need schools with teachers in those communities. Those parents who send their children to schools in a village need to be convinced what future holds for their children and themselves if they go to schools. With too many borken promises and disparity, I don't blame those innocent village residents for being so sceptical about the promises made by the politicians. Those schools at the villages should serve as a real learning center for the village kids, not just four walls with a number of kids enrolled for the purpose of statistics in Kathmandu. And, above all, those schools should encourage all kids to participate in true learning. With my own small experience, there is a disparity in our education system. This needs to be levelled. A St.Xavier only creates the disparity and widens a gap; a Budhanilkanta is going to leave many unreached.

To be able to walk into another century which is right at the corner, we need Education, education and education, more so at the village level.I am afraid the last para above may sound like a preaching but everytime this story comes to my mind, a questions looms large...what's next?

Thanks for listening!


****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 15:39:15 -0700 (MST) From: Raju Tuladhar <> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Re: Tibetan Refugees The Nepal Digest - December 14, 1996

Tamang wrote:
> From: tamang <>
> Newsgroups: soc.culture.nepal
> Subject: Re: Tibetan Refugees
> Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 00:10:09 -0800
> Gopal Dongol wrote:
> >
> > It is certainly deplorable to shoot unarmed civilian no matter
> > who they are. The trigger happy policeman of the past should be educated
> > to handle present day environment. Nepal is a peaceful country where
> > there is harmony among all the religions. All along the northern borders
> > we have a similar culture as tibet and people are similar as well. Dolpa
> > and Mustang/Manang are good examples where the local people speak
> > tibetan. They look similar and similar monastries and prayer flags. In
> > the past there were free movement of people across the border to take the
> > animals to graze in alpine pastureland on either side of the border.
> > This has certainly changed after China took over Tibet. Still there are
> > certain places where people from the Nepalese side are allowed under the
> > careful eyes of the Chinese to graze in the alpine meadows or to trade.
> > It is not common now.
> >
> > Banepa(23 Km east of Kathmandu) is still being called Bhot by the
> > locals. The reason is: in the past the traders from Kathmandu pass
> > through Banepa to Lhasa. Such was the link of the past. It is sad to
> > hear again and again Tibetan refugees being shot in Nepal by the police.
> > Why on earth they must be shot? They are our kith and kins. To give
> > refuge is our religion and culture. It is our tradition in the
> > villages to give shelter and food to the guest. The older generation
> > provide even their own meal and blanket to the guest or a passerby I am
> > surprised why they use live bullets now instead of good meal and
>> warm blankets?

>Don't believe everything that you read of Tibetan Information N
>etwork. An altruism works
>only to certain limit. You should consider that there is always two side to the
>When people hear these horriable stories of refugee being shot at the Nepal bo
>rder, one
>totally forget Nepal's balancing act between the two giants. Nepal, despite of
>limited resources and deplorable poverty, it has extended its help to refugees
>history. And it is high time that we hear some appreciation rather than murmuri
>ng about
>the Nepalese goverment, inadaquate medical treatment and transporation problem
>victims and bla bla bla from the advocate of Tibetans. I would like to see tho
>se fat
>monks with rolex watches and mercedez to particepate to help the fellow man rat
>her than
>hide inside the monostery while their emissaries politicize the unfortunate eve

Let us keep the separate issues as separate: the question of our moral ethics and our own jealousy and frustrations.

True- there are fat monks with rolex watches and mercedes benz cars and million dollars in banks accounts. And we feel jealous about them and feel frustrated that they didn't fulfill their duty of sharing their fortune with those unfortunate ones.

But what this has got to do with our own moral ethics! The refugees who are running away from their home and those fat monks are two different sets of human beings. It is like punishing the younger brother for the misdeeds of the elder brother.

Nobody runs away from their beloved homes unless they are in dire and desparate situations. The refugees who have run away from their homes are also human beings and they deserve the humane treatment. We don't have to cripple them by shooting just to please someone.

We don't have to believe everything the Tibetan Info. Network says, and if those incidents didn't happen that is very nice, but if it did happen that is pretty shameful.

We should not forget that we were once and are still demanding for the protection of human rights (re: Sikkim refugees being shot by Indians). Is not this good enough reason to keep our own human rights record clean?

Dr. Raju Tuladhar (

****************************************************************** Date: Mon Dec 16 18:46:32 1996 From: Christmas Card Sender <> Subject: A Christmas Card for You! To:

Jag ( has sent you (Fellow Nepali) a WWW Christmas Card! To pick it up, use a web browser to access You will need to enter the email address and the 6 character code HBUCFS.

****************************************************************** From: Bhuban Pandey <> Subject: Have a nice holiday! To: (The Nepal Digest) Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 10:42:51 CST

Hi Folks.

We like to wish you all a nice holiday season,

And Happy New Year. Thanks. Bhuban, Prabha and Bhumika Pandey 1319 Dusky Thrush Trl. Austin, TX 78746

***************************************************************** From: "Damber Gurung" <dgrng@CLEMSON.EDU> To: Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 15:01:45 +0000

Nepal police arrest 82 Tibetans heading for meeting with Dalai Lama (AFP)

KATHMANDU, Dec 17 (AFP) - A group of Tibetans arrested in Nepal while making their way to India to meet their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will be handed to Chinese border guards, a Nepal police source said Tuesday.

The 82 Tibetans, including 12 women and some children, were arrested last week in different groups near Solokumbu district in the Everest region, the border police source said.

They were detained for entering Nepal without visas. The source said the Tibetans were planning to proceed to Dharmshala in northern India to meet their religious head the Dalai Lama.

Five of those arrested were detained for creating a disturbance while under the influence of alcohol.

The Nepali Department of Immigragtion will hand the Tibetans over at a Chinese border checkpoint at Kodari, on the Nepal-Tibet frontier, about 114 kilometres (72 miles) northeast of Kathmandu.


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 16:38:39 From: (Bikash Thapliya) To: Subject: A short commentary
                        Covering Nepal's legal profession
                                by Ashutosh Tiwari

                More than a decade ago, the American legal profession used to enjoy virtually no press coverage. Sure, the press did cover the details of public-interest cases and the decisions of various courts. But the legal profession itself was left largely unprobed -- letting it be just a high-salaried, upper-class, exclusively discreet club of White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant male attorneys.
                That elite clubbiness started to shake, however, upon the publication of "American Lawyer" -- an independent newspaper devoted solely to the legal profession. Overnight, lawyers from Hawaii to Maine were waking up to read who among them were the worst-paid, the most corrupt, the most sexist, the most racist, the most unethical, the most involved in issues of conflict-of-interest, the most unfair to employees and so forth. The effects of these reports, in tandem with changes in the general American society, were enormous.
                Stung by first-rate journalism that laid bare their ethical failings and professional lapses, the lawyers discovered that -- lo and behold! -- they had to be accountable not only to the toting up of 'billable hours', but, more importantly, to that elusive precept called public responsibility. In fact, so traumatizing was this 'discovery' that by the early '90s, virtually all major American law schools were requiring their students to take a course on 'legal ethics'.
                I use this example to point out that by exposing the corrupt and the unethical within the legal profession, only responsible journalism can make the democratic principles of rights and liberties relevant in citizens' lives. Yet, considering that we in Nepal now live under the 'rule of law', laws and lawyers have hardly ever been subjects of probing reports and analyses.
                A few months ago, for example, an illiterate woman attempted to kill herself at the Supreme Court in Kathmandu. Yet, neither the Nepal Bar Association nor any of the legal fraternities (much less a single Nepali human-rights NGO) saw it fit to issue a statement. What's more, not a single journalist delved into the story to inform the public what had happened in the course of the woman's legal proceedings, and why.
                Sadly, the thing is that that woman could have been any one of Nepal's millions of other illiterate women. And, when the legal profession and the press fail to react to that story and others with due gravity, something about our democracy inevitably dies.
                It's also disturbing to see the lawyers and the courts in Nepal put themselves up on a pedestal, as though anything anyone says against them could be inflated as a "maan-haani" (defamation) issue -- with the accused rushed through the system to be fined and jailed. Such paranoia is ultimately self-defeating, however; for all it does is stifle debates and investigations, thereby unwittingly reinforcing the all-too-common perception that by not being open and transparent about what they do about public-interest issues, Nepali lawyers, their professional organizations and the courts do have much to hide.
                Then again, that's why we need more investigative journalists
-- the intelligently crusading ones who are not afraid to take the risks to cut through the obscure (Nepali-kagat-style) legalese to bring out the public truth about how and why Nepal's legal profession and the court-systems really work or do not work.
                To be sure, a separate publication with the name Nepali Wokil devoted only to covering the legal profession may not be financially viable in Nepal. But a good start would be made if only some of our finest journalists stretched the limits of this "maan-haani" bugaboo by critically and consistently covering the legal issues and all sections of the legal profession for their newspapers.
                (Added later: Yes, the American legal professsion is still no bastion of saints (not will it ever be!), but because of the press, it's now more open and transparent than ever before. The Nepali press could similarly look into the Nepali legal profession.) Originally published in The Kathmandu Post.

***************************************************************************** To: From: (Debendra Karki) Subject: A poem Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 22:21:38 +0000

When is the next hallucination?

I saw my pale reflection On the shiny four cornered angel's eyes It had no preconceptions Just exact, true and unmisted by love or dislike.

Then suddenly everything dissolved behind the thick walls of confusion For a split second a voiceless scream formed inside my dehydrated throat An inexplicable dread clutched at my heart.

Horror was a black cloak thrown around me Stopping my breath, hobbing my limbs and Paralyzing my whole body The picture still burned as if It had been etched with acid.

The face on the window... those darting eyes of a diabolic murderer It must've been a cruel illusion A classic trick of the mind.

The visibility outside was pitch black Impenetrable, the secret bearer of the darkness A reasonless fear oppressed me to runaway with morbid fancy The need for another living soul almost became a frantic need.

The winds shout delivered a personal threatning note I clutched the door knob, swung it open Terror lent me strength and speed And made me run like a mad bull with a panic of escape .

After a zillion hours in the corridor Waking up from the spell Yet , I found myself terribly shaken Broken down into smithereens and then I realised that I was Free....... outside........ Away from the haunted house Away from the haunted world In the safe cozy shelter of..... My bed .

Roshi Kadariya

***************************************************************** Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 19:22:38 EST To: From: Subject: Help

I am trying to trace the whereabouts of a group of French, Italian and Irish people who set out from Kathmandu to trek in the Helambu area. Could you help me to find out where I can access news to specific areas of Nepal ? Thanx.

****************************************************************** To: Subject: Darpan, for a change Date: Wed, 18 Dec 96 15:29:15 EST From: rshresth@BBN.COM

Cross-posted from SCN:

For a change of subject, I'd like to take your thoughts for a few moments towards our very own Nepali songs. It's Christmas time. It makes me happy. I love the Christmas songs, it instills a festive feeling in you, a feeling of joy and happy. I forget what I am, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim? Perhaps just a human being. Somehow, in between these songs, I like to turn to good Nepali songs. Searchingly my hands reach to a section of well treasured Nepali cassettes on my shelf, some of them make a squeaky sound due to poor quality and repeated playings. "Darpan" , a collection of Nepali songs, is my recent acquisition in my shelf of Nepali cassettes. It is actually on a compact disk. I don't want to sound it like a review; I'll just share it with you all what I think of it, so I may have my own bias. This is my first CD of Nepali songs. I had the instrumental Sur-Sudha on a CD earlier from Nepal. Other than the Darpan, I am not aware of any other CDs of Nepali songs. I'd love to have all Narayan Gopals songs treasured on CDs. May be they will come on CDs when the prices become affordable.

Back to Darpan (Miorror), it has 8 songs, some duets. The two young aspiring artistes whose voice fill up this CD are: Uday and Manila Sotang, perhaps a young couple twined maritally who seem dedicated to Nepali music. In # 4, it has my all time favourite song written by Haribhakta Katuwal. (Remember him, he's one of the best lyricists we've ever had. My other favourite by him with Naryan Gopal's music composition is: Malai nadodha.. kanha dukhchha ghao..). Dip Waiba has given a gazal-tune it to suit the mood of Haribhakta. It puts you in a mood. You'll actually have to listen to it, here are just a few words for you, but first, take a bud and sit in your heated portico or Lazy-boy and relax:

Mukh lukai pir roona, euta nyano kakh chhaina yati dherai manees chhan, afno kohi saakh chhaina
...Gaha bhari anshu ta chha, puchhidine haat chhaina yati dherai manees chhan, afno kohi saakh chhaina.

(and the readily available English translation on your CD:

Nowehere is there a warm lap to hide my face and wash away the pain, Many people are out there, but I am all alone here.... There is no one to wipe away my tears, many poeple are out there....)

Haribhakta must have romantacized these thoughts while roaming around those crowded streets of Kathmandu in 80s. The same seems true for many of us in these far away places.

To appreciate the rest of the songs in this album, you'll have to get this one of the very first CDs of Nepali songs. It cost me about $10 in Kathmandu, I thought a very reasonable price and worth having it. E-mail the next person coming to the US from Kathmandu and have Santa Claus stick this CD into a stocking quietly for you. By buying it, you'll be encouraging other potential singers/producers to go into CDs. You'll really like it. It is very very contemporary Nepali...

Congratulations to all those who were involved in the production of this unique gift to Nepali music lovers!

Happy holidays to all SCN readers!


************************************************ Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 15:18:56 -0500 To: Subject: [Fwd: Re: Tibetan Refugees] From: Source: Soc.Culture.Nepal

tamang <> wrote:
>Nima Dorjee wrote:
>> It is indeed unfortunate for Tamang to politicize this human issue and
>> show his prejudice against the people of Tibet.
>> I take great offense!
>> Nima
>It is sad that NIma took offense to my straightforward comment. In retrospect, I was
>only trying to point out that Tibetans show lack of graditude towards Nepal, and they
>are exploiting Nepal's image to creating sympathy. Second point sounds harsh, but it is
>basically what Nima articulated on his frist article. this is my personal openion and I
>wel come people's view.
>Nepal does not have the perfect system, but it has provided substantial help and
>oppertunities to Tibetans to thrive on religious freedom, own properties, own and
>operate business. In addition, many Tibetans have acquired Nepalese passports enabling
>them to travel, yet we only hear negative things from them and when I point this out, I
>get the classic retort from Nima: Prejudice !
>I am anything, but prejudice when it comes to the Tibetan people. I support
>their struggle and respect them, for part of my culture interwins with Tibetan culture.
>I even have some Tibetan friends. But Nima and some others, doesn't seem to understand
>that certain things are not permissible in Nepal such as staging protest,without
>approval, in front of the Chinese Embassy, illegaly crossing border, and forming
>insurgent type groups. Some Tibetans aboard seems to emulate The First Amendment of the
>US which guarantees the freedom of speech, not realizing that Nepal has its own
>constitution and obligation that it must observe.
>I can tell you few instances on how Tibetans reacted to the Nepalese authority
>and its people. Tibetan protesters repeatedly refused police request in Kathmandu,
>provoking the police to resort to force, and with in days the news travelled the world
>that lead Tibetans to collect signiture in US to denounce the goverment's action. What
>should Nepal do, lie down and do nothing while China squeezes our balls? In other
>instance, few years ago Tibetans disrupted Hong Kong movie producers in the middle of
>the shooting in Boudhanath, because the producer happened tobe Chinese from Hong Kong,
>mind you they have no affiliation with the Communist China. The protestors intimidated
>Nepalese staff and called various names. The police had to threaten with arrest before
>they quit. What should Nepalese goverment do, get approval from the Tibetan community
>before granting permission to anyone who look Chinese?
>And there is still the infamouse carpet industry where weavers are subject to
>harassment, wage cuts, with no medical benifit, no sick leave which are largely owned
>and operated by Tibetans. And not to mention the exploitation and environment
>degradition. These might all be small isolated cases, but when these little cases
>accumulate, the patience and tolerance of Nepalese erodes, which kindles unkindle fire.
>I hope Nima is not deeply hurt by my comment. I commend his work on bring the
>awareness of helpless situation of the Tibetan people, but at the same time he should
>also understand Nepal's position which have been going through tumultious transition.
To whom it may concern.

     It was the first week of December 1990. I was riding a bus from Charange Phidi to Kathmandu. It was around 6:30 AM , when the bus all of sudden stopped in the Middle of the Road. I saw coming out from the pine forest at Nigale Lekh were five people who climed the bus from the rear. They were dressed in Daura suruwal and had Nepali Topi(Nepali traditional dress) on.I could not figure out who they were untill the bus arrived at Dolalaghat,when a police at the check post climed on the roof and asked these five men about their identity, they showed Chuupee(Tibatens Knife)to the police and threatened him. The police came back with no response and he reported to the incidence to the senior officer

Later we were told that those five men were Tibetans who had crossed Nepalese border illegally. They did not know how to communicate in Nepali.Those five gentlemen who were on the roof of the bus ordered to come inside the bus. The police personel of the check post worked very wisely at that time.When the bus approaching Dhulikhel we were told to stay inside the bus. The five tibatens were taken to Dhulikhel Police Station for inquiry. I realized that if this incidence occured in the USA those five tibatens would have been killed on the spot by the Police. When you show arms to the police you must face the consequences. I assum the bus driver and conductor were involved in assisting the Tibetans to enter Nepal illegally via Kodwari and Lamabagar.

With regards. D.B. Tamang

*********************************************************** From: "kbwahi" <> To: <> Subject: Old Freinds Date: Sat, 21 Dec 1996 23:23:25 +0530

I Am trying to get Sharad Thapa - RECTIAN 88 BATCH - Pls e-mail his e-mail address to :

Ranjan Srivastava RECTIAN - 1988

************************************************************ Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 02:34:26 -0800 From: Nobody <> To: Subject: You have a postcard from

You have a greeting card waiting for you at the Asia Travel electronic card rack. Please use your WEB browser to retrieve it. URL =

*********************************************************** Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 10:34:42 -0500 To: Subject: Humour-CIA operations in the Himalayas From: Bluefox <>

Declassified Records

December 20th, 1996, Washington : US government documents made public in Washington reveal that the CIA was active in the Himalayas during the 1950s, keeping tabs on China. One enterprising agent was operating under the cover of an ``ashram.'' (Hindu religious school).Transcripts of messages between the agent and CIA headquaters in Washington have only recently been declassified. Some initial excerpts follow:

From: Agent, Himalayas / To: CIA, Washington: Am in place. Have been accepted
      as a devotee fed up with western materialism and as a seeker of truth
      and godhead. Have `kutir' for myself. Have enrolled in the Rig Veda

From: CIA, Washington / To: Agent, Himalayas: Good show. Collect
      intelligence on Chinese troop dispositions in Tibet. Any dope on
      the power struggle within the Chinese People's Liberation Army? What
      about Chairman Mao's health?

From: Agent, Himalayas / To: CIA, Washington: Have reports that the Chinese
      have moved an armoured brigade into Tibet. Can you send me stonewash
      saffron robes, meditation beads and deer skin? Have started Vedanta
      studies and am having peace of mind.

From: CIA, Washington / To: Agent, Himalayas: Saffron robe and meditation
      beads with hidden microphones being sent air-freight. Can't understand
      why you need deer skin. Any idea what's happening on the Sino-Soviet

From: Agent, Himalayas / To: CIA, Washington: Have reports of a clash between
      Chinese and Soviet troops in Sinkiang. Have finished Bhagavad Gita and
      am on to Atharva Veda. Have shaved off my head and discarded my Levi's.
      Am now wearing only loin cloth. Think am on the right path to truth and

From: CIA, Washington / To: Agent, Himalayas: Have serious reports that the
      Chinese are about to explode an atom bomb. President concerned. Rush all
      available information.

From: Agent, Himalayas / To: CIA, Washington: Have started wearing sacred
      thread and caste mark. Request permission to undertake a pilgrimage to
      the sacred temples of South India, followed by a dip in Hardwar on Ardh
      Kumbh day.

From: CIA, Washington / To: Agent, Himalayas: Request denied. If you need a
      holy dip, take a shower bath. Lay off Vedas and stick to CIA manual for
      snoopers. What about Chinese atom bomb?

>From :CIA, Washington / To: Agent, Himalayas: Hello, why the long silence?
      Establish contact immediately.

From: Agent 007, Himalayas / To: CIA, Langley: Sorry about long silence.
      Was sitting cross-legged on deer skin, concentrating on my yogic third
      eye and muttering to myself Om, Namashivaya when I went into Nirbikalpa
      Samadahi. About the Chinese atom bomb, last evening,as I was going to
      Sat Sang, saw a brilliant orange flash and mushroom cloud. Will ask my
      Timeless Guru about it.

From: CIA, Washington / To: Agent, Himalayas: Have reports that the Chinese
      have exploded an atom bomb. President concerned. US Security in serious
      jeopardy. Rush all available information.

From: CIA, Washington / To: Agent, Himalayas: Hello, establish cable traffic

From: Agent, Himalayas / To: CIA, Langley: Am closing station. Have turned my
      back on the world and the CIA. Have embraced Hinduism and assumed the
      name Swami Maharaj. Am off to Kashi. Om shanti,shanti!

Note : I orinally thought this was the real thing until i realized it was
       just a gag about half way through. Wonder if the CIA really
       does keep tabs on China from the mountainous Sino-Indian border.

*************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 14:23:33 EST To: The Nepal Digest Editor <> From: Shiva Shrestha <> Subject: Networking help...

Dear Editor:

The undersigned have been a development consultant in Nepal for several years. When political change came in Nepal in 1994, I predicted a long time unstability in terms of development. A successful democratic change in a countyr like Nepal does take some time. Nobody is to be blamed for the current chaos. It has to go this turbulence phase. Since I have a limited productive life, I decided to try my luck in the United States. I immigrated to the U.S. under the Alien with Extraordinary Ability Program in May 1995.

I have a Ph.D. degree in urban and regional planning from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. During my stay in Nepal, I worked for different development projects and programs as a consultant. Of all my works, Regional Master Plan (1990-2005), Nepal Housing Policy (1991), Nepal Housing Survey (1991), Kohalpur Urban Development Plan (1990), Bharatpur Industrial Development Plan (1989), Regional Action Plan for the Arun III Poject (1994), and Program Support Document for Homeless and Squatter Families in Nepal are the primary ones. These projects were supported by international agencies such as the World Bank, USAID, UNDP, UNCHS (Habitat), and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). It is a tragic that professionals like myself have to leave Nepal.

Currently I am looking for a professional role as an urban/regional planner in a local government planning agency in the United States. Therefore, I would kindly request you to put this note to your TND so that readers who are able and willing to assist me can contact me. My current address is as follows:

Mr. Shiva K. Shrestha 1706 Commonwealth Ave, Apt. B-4 Alexandria, Virginia 22301 USA Phone/Fax: (703)548-6108 E-mail:

In the future, I may contribute some notes on developmental issues in Nepal. My notes will be purely non-political and professional. Whoever know me personally and professionally, I would like to extend my regards. And, to all friends and colleagues, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, 1997!!!!

Sincerely, Shiva K. Shrestha

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