The Nepal Digest - December 7, 1995 (25 Mangsir 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Thursday 7 December 95: Mangsir 25 2052 BS Volume 45 Issue 1

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

******************************************************* Date: Sat, 25 Nov 1995 22:35:48 EST To: nepal-request@cs.niu.edu From: Arun Chandrakantan <chandrak@UMDNJ.EDU> Subject: An_Important_Community_Issue

                  AN IMPORTANT COMMUNITY ISSUE
                  Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, M.D.
           UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

     Mrs. Sumita Sengupta Dosamantes is a young woman who has been treated unfairly in the justice system. She is a Bengali-American Hindu who has been married for about 11 and a half years to David Dosamantes, a white American Jew. They have two children, a son aged 7 and a half and a daughter aged 4 and a half. After a stormy marriage of emotional abuse and infidelity on the part of the husband, he served Sumita with divorce papers in the Spring of this year. Sumita and David are now legally separated. A legal battle has ensued, over the division of marital assets and the custody of the children. David has taken all of the marital assets (which were given to the couple by Sumita's parents) and has been granted complete temporary custody of the children, with Sumita paying $600 per month in child support. The judgement against Sumita was based, officially, on "unavailability" of the mother, as she was working full-time as a teacher and studying in the evenings for two Master's degrees. She has since received these degrees, and continues to teach young children. However, her husband cites a number of derogatory references to her faith as a Hindu in the legal documentation. These include the fact that she has "sixteen idols around the apartment that she 'forces' the children to worship," that she "smears turmeric on their foreheads," and that on one occasion she took her son to the temple late in the evening, causing him to miss a full night's sleep. Imagine the distortions of truth that could be said in return about the Jewish faith, or any other religion, for that matter!

     Sumita is fighting very hard to have her children returned to her care. At a community meeting on this issue held in Long Island on October 29, 1995, there was not a dry eye in the place as she told of how she has been separated from them, how when she gets them on a Friday, they are unkempt and dressed, in her words, as
"street children," how her son has said that he does not want to live this way, and so on. Sumita is an exemplary member of American society who votes and pays taxes and has worked hard to improve the status of her family. There is no reason for her having lost custody of her children, except for her naive belief in the justice of the legal system. The repeated derogatory references to Hindu religious practices are not to be taken lightly, and should be criticized vocally. I think that our community must show strong support for her cause.

     There are many ways to demonstrate our support for Sumita Dosamantes' plight. At the recent ISA meeting, many students came up with ideas for legal representation through activist organizations, which I have passed on to her and her family. The office bearers of ISA have agreed to circulate a petition of support among students and faculty members here at UMDNJ- NJMS,Newark, NJ and send it with an ISA cover letter of support. Please sign the petition, if you believe in this cause. Those who wish to contribute monetarily towards the legal costs may send a check made out to Sumita Sengupta Dosamantes, to:(Sumita Fund)
               Sumita Dosamantes
               80-11 164th Street
               Suite 148
               Hillcrest, NY 11432

. Perhaps the most important thing that we can do is to make others in the community (people, Indian-Americans, professionals, students, women, however you define 'community') aware of what has gone on and encourage them to sign the petition or send letters of support or monetary support to the above address. Thank you for your help with this important community issue.

Attached is a copy of the petition:

To whom it may concern:
     We the undersigned, who are active participants, professionals, community members, citizens, in the Tri-state area in which Mrs. Sumita Dosamantes resides or works, are of the firm conviction that Mrs. Dosamantes(aka Mimi) should not be denied temporary and permanent custody of her two young children. It is too traumatic for young children to be separated from their mother and is equally more of a torture for a loving mother to be separated from her children. A mother should not be denied temporary and permanent custody of her children, when she is a fit parent who has no prior criminal record and is an outstanding member of society.

     Mrs. Dosamantes is a fit parent and a primary caretaker of her children. Hence, we are making an earnest appeal that Mrs. Dosamantes be granted temporary and permanent custody of her two young children. We support Mrs. Dosamantes wholeheartedly.

IF YOU WISH TO ELECTRONICALLY SIGN THIS PETITION, PLEASE FILL OUT THE INFO BELOW AND EMAIL to:
          chandrak@njmsa.umdnj.edu(Arun Chandrakantan)

Please feel free to distribute this letter as necessary

Name: Date: Address:

Profession: Signature:(email address)

********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 11:42:00 -0800 (PST) From: Durga Dahal <daha9014@uidaho.edu> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - November 14, 1995 (2 Ashoj 2052 BkSm)

Hello TND, The questiuon of who was the first Lady Pilot in Nepal was discussed in the past. It was Mrs. Karmacharya, I told that time. Now, I wish to justify that she is Silu Pyari Karmacharya. Once we voted her for the treasurer of Nepal Pradhyapak Sangh. She told us her charisma that time. Now, she is elected in the Upper House as woman representative. Congratulatiions to her.

After a long time I saw the name of Tulsi Giri, a self exiled wife devotee to Sri-Lanka, in the Nepali News Paper. He got a chance given by the coilation govt to be honored as the member of the King's Birth-day organizor commettee.

Comments on TND are really helpful, and welcome to them all but nameless pyrates.

************************************************************ Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 20:25:09 -0500 (EST) From: atuladhar@vax.clarku.edu Subject: nov18_head.html (fwd) To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

                                 HEADLINE NEWS
      Criticism Against Arun III Is Valid, Says Dr Hagen
   By Akhilesh Upadhyay
   
   KATHMANDU, Nov 17 - There is still hope for Nepals flagging
   development efforts. But the country should first make a clean break
   from its Centre-driven approach that attaches undue importance to big
   projects, while ignoring the needs of the beneficiaries.

[ a la' ram sharan mahat types?]
   
   Toni Hagen, who arrived in Nepal in 1950 as the nations first
   technical advisor, claims the top-heavy planning strategy has failed
   to address the need of the nations predominantly rural population.
   Despite tall promises from officials and planners, successive National
   Plans havent crystallized lofty ideals woven around the twin concept
   of poverty alleviation and regional equity. As a result, poverty is on
   the rise and the gap between the urban elite and the rural poor seems
   to be widening by the day, remarks Hagen. The World Banks withdrawal
   from Arun III hydro-power project signals the beginning of a new era.
   In his letter addressed to then Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari, the
   Bank President John Wolfensohn said his decision to withdraw from Arun
   III was prompted in turn by a donors withdrawal. The World Bankalong
   with the Asian Development Bank, Germany and Japanwas a major
   financier to the multi-million dollar consortium. Wolfensohns
   early-August letter however did not name the donor.
   
   There is a growing lobby in the West that is beginning to question the
   established aid pattern, says the 78 years old geologist from
   Switzerland. Capital-intensive development projects have done more
   harm than good to the economies of developing countries in that they
   dont generate much opportunity for employment and a large chunk of the
   project capital somehow ends up in the donor country. Nor do such
   projects pass on the technical knowhow to the local communities,
   keeping alive the dependence on foreign assistance.
   
   The criticism against a very expensive project as Arun III is valid,
   stresses Dr Hagen, who has widely travelled in the country ever since
   he came to Nepal in 1950 as a technical advisor to a Swiss project.

[Amulya's comments: It is said that Toni Hagen has travelled virtually all the villages of Nepal ON FOOT and continues to do so every year travelling the villages of nepal. His words gain greater legitimacy than say theoretical, arm-chair, macro-economists such as Ram sharan whose field experience is a tenure in Afganistan as a UN official.

Does Ram sharan's economic prescriptions deserve to be swallowed better than toni's insights? Should we accept and give more weightage to Ram sharan just because he is a Nepali? In that case why should we not listen to Bikash Pandey and the INHURED Nepali activists against Arun III? Should we listen and "twom sharanam" ram sharan's prescriptions just because he is an economist-intellectual? Well anyone familiar with rudimentart development theory knows that ram sharan's economics is frozen in the stale 1960 big government fix which he is now trying to modernizing by wholesale surrender to Western liberalization economics.

Well, I guess the only nepalese who will listen to him is Girija and yes that matters because he is king-maker!]

   The German governments withdrawal from Arun III came in the wake of
   its official admission in 1994 that the rural electrification was
   getting ever so expensive in Nepal.

[Amulya's comments: So we know the "mystery" country that backed out. It is understandable because Germany has a small but vocal and influential Green Party that is anti big-development and is able to mobilizse political opposition for that, so Germany was responding to internal politics as well.]

   
   Says Hagen: In face of scathing criticism against Arun III in the
   Auditor Generals 1994 report, the German government was forced to back
   out. The report concedes that the economy and the national budget of
   Nepal will be considerably burdened by Arun III in the medium term,
   while strongly limiting the nations development scope.
   
   The report adds: Kfws (the German donor) decision to finance Arun III
   has not sufficiently taken into account the considerable risks that
   may emerge from the project. Arun is therefore not ripe for decision
   at this stage, especially in regard to its economic viability,
   sustainability and the minimizations risks.
   
   But doesnt abandoning Arun III, a project that has been intimately
   followed for the last ten years, jeopardize Nepals power development,
   already paralyzed?
   
   Arun III is fraught with so many risks, says Hagen, and poses a host
   of unanswered questions. Is it really wise to start a major
   hydroelectric project so far to the north for which the construction
   of a major traverse road is required? Does not putting most of the
   burden for generating power supply on one very big plant make the
   latter indispensable and thus vulnerable?
   
   Hills of Nepal are disaster prone, a fact that was evidently
   highlighted as recently as 1993, when the monsoon flash floods
   devastated the central Nepal, badly damaging infrastructure as roads
   and power stations. The Kulekhani hydro-power plant was shut down for
   several months running and power generation started only after a
   pen-stock pipe was flown in all the way from Austria.
   
   There are many smaller potential project sites in areas near the
   plains of Terai, notes Hagen, which would not require major
   long-distance roads for construction and access to them for
   maintenance would be less problematic.
   
   Happily after a long and traumatic period there is a growing
   realization among the donors that Nepal needs to shift its development
   priorities. Says Hagen: The new World Bank president seems to be a
   no-nonsense man. But his success will depend primarily on how
   effectively he fights the Banks entrenched bureaucracy.
    Amulya 's comments: There are 3 forms of lies: 1. Lies 2. Damned Lies 3. and STATISTICS, see below, especially when coming from a political
        appointees, this time he was caught with his pants down by IMF, accusing NC-RPP's Ratriya Bank of "doctoring" Nepal's economic statistics, just like the UML did. Hey, do we not have world class economists in the Cabinet: Finance Minister Mahat and Foreign Minister Lohani?
                                 HEADLINE NEWS
  NRB GOES OFF THE TRACK TO DENY ALLEGATIONS
   By a Post Reporter
   
   KATHMANDU, Nov 18 - It would have been unthinkable just a few weeks
   ago. Who would ever imagine that the staid old institution we know as
   the Nepal Rastra Bank would one day go all out to woo the press to
   make a few points ?
   
   Well, that was exactly what the Bank did last Friday. The Banks entire
   senior staff, including Governor Satyendra Pyara Shrestha, faced a
   bevy of curious reporters that day in a hastily called press
   conference.
   
   While the occasion was primarily called to release the quarterly
   economic report compiled by the Bank, governor Shrestha wasted little
   time in coming to the real point: to deny much of the allegations in
   the press about the voracity of the Banks all important economic
   statistics.
   
   That is quite a departure from the Banks old ways, when it normally
   preferred to ride out any storm with only a few terse statements and
   plenty of silence. Not so this time.
   
   Coming smack in the middle of a lively, and sometimes bizarre,
   controversy raging in the press about the authenticity of its figures,
   the news conference held out the promise of some fireworks. That,
   however, did not materialize. What did materialize was a long list of
   denials.
   
   No, we have not fiddled with the statistics, said governor Shrestha.
   We stand by our figures. Let there be no doubts about the authenticity
   of the statistics compiled by us.
   
   Just in case the message didnt get through, the governor made sure
   that reporters received copies of a letter written by the resident
   representative of the International Monetary Fund which refuted
   allegations that NRB had provided doctored figures to the IMF.
???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
                                ================================

  BUT EVEN THEY HAVE GIVEN UP DUE TO BUDGETERY CONSTRAINTS.
  
   No agency -government or non-government- has the data of the heavy Nov
   9-10 snowfall though there are weather stations in Humla, Khumbu,
   Langtang, Machhapuchhre, Makalu and Kanjiruwa. Also, there exists one
   Glocier and Himalayan waters project under the Hydrology and
   Meteorology Department, which has no data whatsoever.
   
   Established with the German assistance, the project has assigned
   experts to each of these six stations, admits Adharsha Pokhrel, the
   project Chief. The person assigned to the Everest region isnt there
   and the wireless set at Langtant doesnt work. All these stations also
   have automatic data recording system.
   
   There is even provision for quarterly data analysis. Obviously, things
   have gone totally out of hand, says a Department official on the
   condition of anonymity. All the six persons posted at the far-flung
   stations get good pay packages and perks.
   
   Official apathy aside, statistics reveal the black November days saw
   weather patterns turn upside down November, a busy tourist month, is
   the driest period in the Nepalese calender. Record books for the past
   20 years show Pokharas -the wettest place in the country in November -
   average rainfall for the month is 20.6 milimetre. On Nov 9-10, the
   figures shot upto 81 ml, up by four times.
   
   But it was the Eastern Nepal that was worst hit. Dhankuta experienced
   its wettest November -the rainfall went up by 30 times. Likewise,
   Biratnagar witnessed a seven-fold increase, Okhaldhunga eight-fold,
   while Dang and Jumla saw the rainfall shooting up by 15-fold.
   
   The storm originating from west Pacific then passed through Thailand,
   Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines before entering Nepal via the
   Bay of Bengal, said Dr Madan Lal Shrestha, deputy director at the
   Department. It gained further momentum at the Bay of Bengal which
   ultimately resulted in massive destruction in Nepal.
    Amulya's comments: Dissensus brewing up in the ranks? It may be recalled that the former General Secretary of Nepal Sadhavana Hrideyesh Tripathi, now a Parliamentarian of the Party, has also charged Gajendra Narayan of his dictatorial personality as his former supreme leader Ram janm ? Tiwari.

Let us keep watch
                                  LOCAL NEWS
  NSP CHIEFS ACTIVITIES FLAYED
   By a Post Reporter
   
   KALAYA, Nov 19 - General Secretary of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (R),
   Bhagya Prasad Gupta has, in a press release, vehemently opposed the
   activities of President of Nepal Sadhavana Party and Minister for
   Supplies Gajendra Narayan Singh.
   
   In the press release Gupta has alleged that Singhs selfish and
   undemocratic activities have given rise to despair in the general
   public and committee party workers.
   
   To fulfill his long cherished goal of becoming Minister Gajendra
   Narayan Singh has betrayed the people of Madhesh, ethnic community,
   workers and peoples mandate by violating the party constitution,
   manifestos and the pledge he made before the people.
   
   Gupta has alleged that Singh has shown his bad intention of collecting
   wealth by joining the coalition government.

******************************************************* From: "DEEPAK DUTTA" <94013515@zaphod.riv.csu.edu.au> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 13:56:36 GMT-1000 Subject: cancellation of subscription

Thanks a lot for sending me Nepal Digest all these days. As I have completed my course successfully, I will not be here after this week. I would like to cancel the subscription. Nepal Digest is a culturally rich collection of articles. I enjoyed being informed all this time about Nepal. Thanking you for your efforts. Good luck for future.
                                        Regards
                                        Deepak Dutta

%%%%%Editor's Note: TND wishes you all the best. %%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

****************************************************** Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 22:07:37 -0500 To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: sharma@plains.nodak.edu (Padam Sharma) Subject: Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU)

This is a continuation of the discussion on the proposed AFU in Nepal. In response to my queries on the subject, Mr. Amulya Tuladhar wrote:
____________________________________________________________
"Progress" on agriculture or forestry in the last 40 years after Nepal started on the great path of development has meant the following:

1. More jobs for the historically well off feudal landlords who have little interest in agriculture productivity. For detailed reference to complement one's own experience, I may ask you to see the illustrative examples of the agriculture bureaucracy produced in part by the Nepal ag colleges: these "technicians" have no intention of getting their hand dirty but just to get jobs, some access to govt. ghus, and foreign studies and some lucrative consultancy in dor bahadur bista, "Fatalism and Development". This is the overwhelming pattern and notable exceptions are at an insignificant scale to make any difference. The new ag+for university shows no promise of altering this path.

2. The commitment to the techno-fix approach of tractors and irrigation and high yield exotics in ag as well as plantation forestry has been criticized and discredited as a green-revolution method for many of the countries it has been introduced including Nepal. There has been some effort to soften this image with some add-on social science dimensions in the recent past. As Sabine hausler explained in her critique of community forestry in Nepal, the whole setup is am import of Western knowledge-power regimes whose express ideological purpose is hide political problems of inequity into sociotechnical problems amenable to scientific solutions. Any insider of Rampur, as Padam Sharma himself, or forestry campus or ag+for ministries will readily admit that these are hotbeds of politics, not cool, dispassionate science technology. Imagining that these old wine in new institutional sheepskins would amount to progress, increase in agriculture productivity or environmental amelioration is a daydream I would like to believe,

Please padma ji, convince me that this time it will be different, thanks...Amulya
____________________________________________________________

I appreciate Amulya's thoughtful statements on the issue. Amulya rightfully points out the flaw in the current institutional structure of higher learning in Nepal. In light of the critical review of TU published recently in the The Kathmandu Post and my own experience with the TU and IAAS bureaucracy, Amulya's concerns are genuine.

I also agree with Amulya and others that the problem can not be solved by application of western technology. I also believe that neither mechanization of agriculture nor plantation forestry is the salvation for Nepal. However, I argue that doing nothing and letting the system rot some more is not the right approach to solve problems.

In my naivet=E9 I believe that, and I assume that Mr. Tuladhar agrees with me, that information generated from science based basic and applied research has the best probability to find some answers. If we agree that agro-forestry (meaning agriculture and forestry not alley-cropping) research for production and environmental restoration should receive priority, we can advance this debate littler further.

Agriculture or forestry research can not be conducted with ten-to-five (many hours missing in between) HMG or NARC scientists. Period. At present, the IAAS and IOF faculty does not have any institutional incentive to conduct research. Whether you publish or not, you work or not, you get paid the same meager monthly pay. That is why, we find the well-trained faculty rotting themselves in politics, being corrupt in administration, running NGO's in Kathmandu, or doing slave labor in western academia.

Current quagmire at the two institutes is a result of continued political chaos at the center, its ripple effect at campuses, and the continued mismanagement by the sick grand daddy of all, the Tribhuwan University. The institutes can not foster their teaching and research capability under the current administrative framework of TU. The teaching- learning environment is too political and sick . Unless the institutes realize that it is in their best interest to combine their resources (human and otherwise), abandon TU, and grow into a university, the mismanagement and the brain- drain will continue.

Although the current institutional framework is flawed, opening up graduate programs at each institute may provide a way out of this quagmire. If nothing else, it will slow down the attrition of faculty and give "professor" title to the dispirited souls. It will also give them an opportunity to ride on the back of young graduate students and do some things they could have done a long time ago.

A note of caution at the end. The topdown approach of combining the two institutes into one graduate school for agriculture and forestry by passing a law would not work either. The program has to develop bottom up from the two institutes into non-partisan support from the national legislature.

Both trees and agricultural crops grow on soil with proper management of water, fertility and pests. They are just managed differently in space and time. In the context of resource poor Nepal and increasingly miser donor agencies, both IOF and IAAS have to share faculty and facilities in teaching and research. Not only it makes an economic sense, it fosters inter-disciplinary approach to solving Nepal's production and environmental quality problems.

I may not be able to convince Mr. Tuladhar anything, but we never know until we try.

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

************************************************************ To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Names of survivors and killed in Avalanche Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:42:44 EST From: rshresth@BBN.COM

Cross-posted from SCN:
--------------------- thanks to everyone who wrote to me regarding my posting looking for my friend in Nepal. I'm happy to say she called and is fine. Lots of people have asked about info on people they know so here's what I've heard. Maybe others could post info here as well...

>From Reuters:
Evacuated American Stacy Standley Reported killed Canadians Mietchell Karper, alan Sordi and Peter Wilson

MikeV

***************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: BYPASS music album for SALE!!! Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:44:07 EST Sender: rshresth@BBN.COM

Cross-posted from SCN:
--------------------- I am including this note about our BYPASS album, the band, and the tunes. If you are interested in buying a copy, send email to me at the address below.

BYPASS stands for Bruno, Yoshi, Peter, Axel, Suman, and Srijan. Bruno is the guitarist, Yoshi the drummer, Peter the keyboardist, Axel the guitarist & bassist, Suman the vocalist, and Srijan the guitarist, vocalist, and lyricist. The album contains most ly Western style rock and pop numbers with Nepali lyrics. All the numbers are originals and the album is quite diverse given the different backgrounds of the musicians. I played in the college jazz band and also student rock bands. I also took music theory and performance classes at Lafayette College here in the USA. Yoshi played with a student rock band in his college in Japan. Peter and Axel also took music classes and played with various bands in Denmark. Suman has been singing since his childhood
 days and throughout highschool and college. He came in fifth place in a competition sponsored by MTV in India. Srijan played in a band called The Move which sold more than 20,000 albums combining their first and second albums.

About the songs: Timi Nai Hau is an upbeat rock song which has simple yet catchy lyrics meaning You Are the One. Tada Chhu is a slow number about being far away from the loved one (Suman sings beautifully...you have to check it out for yourself). Timi Aunu meaning Please Do Come Over is a powerful love song that emotionally cries out to the loved one to look inside their own heart to find that love will be there. Eklo Banai or Leaving Me all by Myself... is another slow number where I get to go crazy on the guitar. Timro Yad, a very melodious song sung by Srijan incorporating solo guitar also played by Srijan, which stands for The Memory of You..."When I have thoughts about you, my heart is totally exhilarated, even when I'm alone, I remain happy si nce in dreams of you I remain." This song has been taken by an American film director and has been incorporated in a short feature film on Nepal. Andhere is a jazz tune which features a great piano intro by Peter followed by Suman's powerful vocals and Axel's jazz guitar...it is probably the most Western based Nepali tune yet which features total jazz. Four Seasons is an OUT THERE tune which knows no bounds... listen to the four "distinct" seasons and you'll know. Hey every now and then you got to go a little crazy and just have fun! New Endeavor is the tune that was the inspiration for me to go back to Nepal and do this album...thus the name..New Endeavor. When I look back, it definitely was one of the best things I have ever done. We're hoping to do a big concert next year if the album is a big hit. Sapane is a hard rock tune which is about separation...and time to move on. Power Station is the spirit in which the whole album was done! Nepal needs a Power Station and so we were there to provide it...at least in one sense of the word I hope.

In terms of sales, we sold 2000 copies in the first two weeks through friends. We're hoping to sell 20,000 to reach the numbers set by CrossRoads and Bhim Tuladher...let's see. A part of all proceeds goes to CWIN (Child Workers in Nepal) a Non Governmen t Office that is committed to alleviating the problem with street children and child workers. We dedicate this album to the Young Generation of Nepal and hope that you enjoy it too!

I'll be making a homepage on WWW with pictures of our band and some of the clippings from Rising Nepal and the Wave Magazine in the near future.

Bruno Malla University of Pennsylvania email: brunom@eniac.seas.upenn.edu
********************************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Looking for Avalanche Survivors Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:45:09 EST From: win@merle.tiac.net (Steven Winer)

At the request of a near and dear friend I am trying to locate organizations or individuals that could help in locating 2 people that are believed to have been in the area of the recent avalanche near Mt. Everest.

The 2 people are: Morgan Bazilian - 27 years old, 5 ft 9 in. tall, long curly red hair & Debbie Corradino - 27 years old 5 ft 8 in tall with long brown hair.

Both were traveling together and had arrived in Katmandu on Nov 9th or 10th and were to be traveling to the Mt. Everest Base Camp. According to their plans they were to be staying in Teahouses along the route. Morgan has been a mountain guide for RMI but was not working for them on this trip. Any information and/or resources would be most appreciated.

Thanks Steve Winer win@merle.tiac.net Tel: (617) 734-3616 FAX: (617) 734-3847

****************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Nepal Update Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:48:10 EST From: mattf@cac.washington.edu (Matthew Freedman)

Not much news today -- funerals in Kathmandu, and a somewhat interesting analysis of the storm itself. I won't be posting any more daily updates unless there is significant news.

For those who still haven't heard from friends and relative who were trekking -- chances are pretty good that they just continued with their treks. If they were not at the higher altitudes when the storm hit, they just got rained on for a day and half, and are now facing nothing worse than muddy trails. They may not realize the scope of the disaster in higher areas nor the amount of worry back at home. Of course this is just my opinion, I don't know anything more about what is going on in Nepal than I have read in these posted reports.

Reuters Subject: Japanese trekkers to be cremated near Everest Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 3:50:25 PST
                    
         KATHMANDU, Nov 17 (Reuter) - The bodies of 11 Japanese trekkers killed last weekend in a freak blizzard in Nepal were flown to the Mount Everest region on Friday for cremation, officials said.
         The death toll in the weekend's landslides and blizzards has mounted to 61, with 22 foreigners among the dead.
         Thirteen Japanese trekkers were buried in an avalanche on their way the Gokyo valley near Everest, the world's highest peak on Saturday. Officials said the bodies of the other two hikers would be flown to Japan for cremation.
         Weeping family members offered prayers on Thursday for the dead climbers at a funeral procession in the Nepali capital, placing bouquets of marigolds inside the trekkers' white cloth-covered wooden coffins.
         Rescue workers ploughing through the snow on major Himalayan trekking routes on Friday unearthed the bodies of nine Nepalis, as the blizzard death toll mounted to 61, including 22 foreigners, officials said.
         Rescue helicopters have so far evacuated 538 people, including 241 foreigners, from trekking routes and camps throughout the Himalayas.

---
Kathmandu Post
Dead Bodies Of Japanese Flown To Ktm;

KATHMANDU, Nov 16 (RSS) - The bodies of 13 Japanese nationals who died in the avalanche at Gokyo in Solukhumbu district were flown to Kathmandu by the helicopters of the Asian Airlines today.

The deceased include Murayama Ikichi, Oli Lwao, Yamada, Nakamura Takayaki, Haruyaki Mizuno, Hiroshi Tanabe, Kajihara Fatsuo, Komori Keiji, Irizawa Ilvo, Oishi Mitsukazu, Hatano Hideo, Kaneko Shunishi and a lady Ishii Emiko.

The bodies have been kept at the police training centre, Maharajgunj.

Relatives who arrived here from Japan paid their tributes to the departed by offering objects of their liking.

According to a senior official of the embassy of Japan, the location for the performance of last rites has not been fixed yet.

Meanwhile, according to the spokesman of the Home Ministry, two more bodies of foreigners were found today at the site of the landslide on Nov 10 at Bagarchhap bazar in Manang district.

The two dead have been identified as Alan Michhael R Sordi and Peter James Welson, both Canadian nationals. The body of Alan Michael R Sordi found early this morning was brought to Kathmandu later today, the spokesman said.

With this, the foreigners and Nepalese who died in the mishap in Manang have reached five and eight respectively. Local administration, the Royal Nepalese Army, police and local people are continuing the relief works.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kathmandu Post A Cursory Glance At Recent Rainfall Over Nepal

By Ratna Sagar Kansakar November is generally a fine weather month with little rain but plenty of sunshine. A cursory glance at the normal rain over Nepal will reflect this, as shown in figure 1. The maximum rain is seen over Pokhara which is about 20mm for the whole month of November. However, this year it proved to be different and it was rather very nasty and unfortunate, too.

Cloudy and torrential rain battered central and eastern regions of Nepal, specially the hilly and higher elavated regions, effecting landslide and avalanche. Many lives, those of Nepalese as well as foreigners, were lost. Houses disappeared like a pack of cards in minutes.

The storm was conceived in the south east Bay of Bengal, south east of Nicobar Islands. Its various stages of development and decay is shown in figure 2. It got better organised into a deep depression on 7th November and moved initially in a northwesterly direction, intensifying into severe cyclonic storm and entered the coast of Orissa, Gopalpur on the late morning of 9th November.

Just before the land fall, that is just before the storm hit the coastal land, it had the centre pressure as low as 996 millibar and had attained the hurricane wind speed. By 10th November morning, it was near Patna with centre pressure of 1006 millibar. That is, it degenerated into a low pressure area from the severe cyclonic storm of 9th morning. As it moved northerly from Gopalpur to Patna, though decaying all the way, it influenced the weather of the Gangetic plains in India, Nepal and Tibetan plateau, giving torrential rain in central and eastern Nepal and dumping heavy snow in the elevated region of Khumbu. The Kathmandu Post reports 3.5 metre of snow accumulation, in Gokyo. Dhankuta and Taplejung reported rainfall of 215.6 and 152.6 mm of rain in two days (9 and 10 November). Figure 2 shows the distribution of rain in Nepal due to the killer storm.

>From 10th morning, the cloud started to move in a northwesterly direction and reached the western Terai region near Bhairahawa by the evening but further weakening. However, the cyclonic circulation in the upper troposphere moving in from Madhya Pradesh got super-imposed with it. It shed heavy rain in Dang amounting to 106.5 mm as reported at 0845 NST on the 11th.

As the storm moved from Gopalpur to Patna on the 10th morning, the wind field got so rearranged that the wind speed in the lower troposphere, at about 3 km height strengthened to 35 - 40 knots equivalent to 62 -72 km per hour with southerly direction over the large area of West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Orissa, and the eastern and central regions of Nepal. These moist and strong southerly winds were the architect of the heavy rain and snow over east Nepal.

Generally, bad weather and heavy rain is associated with a low pressure. As the low pressure moved northwesterly from Patna towards Bhairahawa, heavy rain should have been reported around Bhairahawa but the heaviest rain was reported in east Nepal. Dhankuta and Taplejung reported the highest of 215.6 mm and 152.6 mm of rain respectively and heavy snow of 3.5 metre in Gokyo in two days.

The heaviest rain occuring far away from the centre of the low pressure in east Nepal is due to the moist southerly wind field in the lower troposphere in between the layer 1.5-3.0 kim height over the vast region, south of Nepal, as mentioned above. This sheet of moist southerly wind with the speed of 62-72 km per hour, upon encountering the elavated terrain of eastern Nepal, is virtually lifted up higher up into the atmosphere. As it ascends higher very rapidly, condensation occurs very quickly and results in hevy rain and snow. Hence the heavy rain in Dhankuta, Taplejung an the heavy snow over Gokyo, though away from the centre of low pressure. It effected landslides at Manang and Panchthar. Many foreigners, especially the Japanese trekkers as well as Nepalese, unaware of the impending danger lost their lives and caused damage of property. The Kathmandu Post of 13th November reports so far 33 persons, including 22 foreigners, have lost their lives due to avalanche and landslides and officials fear the figure could go up as operation continues. 17 houses were swept away in Manang and the loss of property would be worth Rs 20 millions.

Many anxious calls were entertained on the 10th by Nepal Meteorological Service, department of forecasting, Tribhuvan International Airport. The one which struck the readers most was the one made by NEA. It was in dilemma. The dam of Kulekhani was almost full and above the danger level and to execute a safe and economicl decision, to let or not to let loose some water, it wanted weather prediction for the next 24 hrs on the 10th. And upon enquiry with the chief of the control room, of NEA a few days later if the prediction was useful? He commented It was and stressed the need for such close and coordinated efforts.

Besides its usual role, Nepal Meteorological Service can, in cooperation and coordinated efforts with other related organisations, serve better in alleviating the suffering due to the hazards of the weather. Acquisation of weather prediction should be made compulsory for mountaineering groups. This service should be charged which will generate monetary benefit to the nation on the one hand and help in savin the lives of mountaineers due to weather on the other land.

The writer is senior divisional meteorologist at Nepal Meteorological Service.

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

*********************************************************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: News from Nepal Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:48:43 EST From: sshakya@lynx.dac.neu.edu (Sunil Shakya)

Source: The Independent, Nov. 1 - Nov. 7 Its now or never for Deuba

A terrible stand-still in bureaucratic functioning and near-anarchy in government media organizations have been the immediate outcomes of the 50-day governance by the NC-RPP-NSP combination. Apparently, the present inertia in affairs is mainly due to political irresponsibility displayed by the leaders of the power-sharing partners and the severe intra-party loggerheads.

Institutions of prime importance such as the National Planning Commission (NPC) have been left unattended for a month now. The impending reshuffle of the cabinet, which is practically an expansion to placate the disgruntled band, has also been delayed. The lax in the formation of NPC is credited to undue pressure from the RPP for the post of Vice-chairman and also its interference in the proposed transfer of ministerial secretaries.

All the three Congress lobbies - Bhattarai, Koirala and Singh- and Chand and Thapa lobbies of RPP, instead of strengthening the hands of the prime minister, are imposing their own people Its now or never for Deuba

A terrible stand-still in bureaucratic functioning and near-anarchy in government media organizations have been the immediate outcomes of the 50-day governance by the NC-RPP-NSP combination. Apparently, the present inertia in affairs is mainly due to political irresponsibility displayed by the leaders of the power-sharing partners and the severe intra-party loggerheads.

Institutions of prime importance such as the National Planning Commission (NPC) have been left unattended for a month now. The impending reshuffle of the cabinet, which is practically an expansion to placate the disgruntled band, has also been delayed. The lax in the formation of NPC is credited to undue pressure from the RPP for the post of Vice-chairman and also its interference in the proposed transfer of ministerial secretaries.

All the three Congress lobbies - Bhattarai, Koirala and Singh- and Chand and Thapa lobbies of RPP, instead of strengthening the hands of the prime minister, are imposing their own people Its now or never for Deuba

A terrible stand-still in bureaucratic functioning and near-anarchy in government media organizations have been the immediate outcomes of the 50-day governance by the NC-RPP-NSP combination. Apparently, the present inertia in affairs is mainly due to political irresponsibility displayed by the leaders of the power-sharing partners and the severe intra-party loggerheads.

Institutions of prime importance such as the National Planning Commission (NPC) have been left unattended for a month now. The impending reshuffle of the cabinet, which is practically an expansion to placate the disgruntled band, has also been delayed. The lax in the formation of NPC is credited to undue pressure from the RPP for the post of Vice-chairman and also its interference in the proposed transfer of ministerial secretaries.

All the three Congress lobbies - Bhattarai, Koirala and Singh- and Chand and Thapa lobbies of RPP, instead of strengthening the hands of the prime minister, are imposing their own people to important positions in the bureaucracy. Their main concern, it seems, is not the success of Deuba as PM but in capturing as many resourceful slots for political and, may be, monetary aggrandizement. On the one hand, they vouch total co-operation to the government but on the other, they are jeopardizing the PM's jurisdiction, seeking appointments for their cronies. If the combine falls

Questions on the efficiency and efficacy of the NC-RPP-NSP combine has already started doing the rounds. "Principally, the coalition concept has its merits, given the possibility of hung parliaments in future. It naturally takes a longer time for people to adjust to this experiment. But the concept itself has been implemented a little too late. It is hard to believe that a government exists in this country," said Nilamber Acharya, who served as a minister during the daunting interim period. He also expressed concern over the inability of the government to form the NPC and its vacillation over the appointment of the Attorney General. Acharya also wanted the CPN-UML appointed ambassadors to be given the marching order. "Is this a communist country for it to continue with an envoy who happens to be a politburo member of a communist party?" asked he. Former Chief Justice Bishwanath Upadhyaya is another personality who is disappointed with the abject immaturity of the current rulers as well as their adversaries: "We have political parties of different cultures and the prime matter of concern is the discrepancy in their words and deeds. Unless the two are compatible, democratic culture can not evolve". Accepting the coalition as a political reality, he urges the parties to be accountable to the country, democracy and the people. Talking to The Independent October 30, he, however, did not want to speculate one way or another on the life of the present government.

Indeed, it is high time for Deuba himself to embark on appropriate decision-making methods, instead of indulging in parch-up jobs, considering that he ultimately would be held responsible if the government fails. Indeed, his entire political career is contingent upon how he manages to find his way out of the maze designed by those who want him to fumble and fall.

The Communal pot overflows After a week-long communal confrontation, the situation in Nepalgunj in western Nepal is now officially reported to be normal. The clash was ignited by a trivial issue at a local vegetable shop which culminated into a major Hindu-Muslim tussle. A joint meeting of political leaders, local administrators and abbots, fortunately, succeeded to avert a large-scale violence and thrash out a solution by October 30. The crisis may have subsided for the moment, but it has larger repercussions. It contains a powerful and ominous message in that Nepals communal and religious harmony maintained for so long, has now been gravely threatened.

Different ethnic groups in the country, particularly after restoration of democracy in 1990, are being used as convenient tools by different political parties to further their narrow partisan interests. Political sociologist Dr. Suresh Raj Chalise said, "after the formation of a unipolar world, division along political doctrines are no longer the order of the day. People are now looking for a soul-satisfying asylum. That is why they are either attracted to religious fundamentalism or regional autonomy." At the same time, escalating ethnic tension in the neighborhood, especially India, may also have contributed substantially to communal unrest in this Hindu Kingdom.

After the ban on fundamentalist groups like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Rastriya Swayamsewak Sang (RSS) in India, their activists are now believed to have made Nepal their haven.

The Terai belt of Nepal is now their primary target (almost all their activities are based in this region) due to geographical and ethnosocial proximity.

Inter-sectorial harmony has been such that religious conflict had never been a problem in this Kingdom. This is exemplified by the Mosque right in front of the Hindu monarch's palace at Durbar Marg, where thousands of Muslims gather for prayer every Friday. But, some dangerous trends are now surfacing. The most tragic is the clout of separatist forces in the overall Nepali political canvas. Ashok Singhal, General Secretary of VHP, just a few months back said at a public function in Kathmandu: "If the Muslim population increases at the present rate, the image of Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom will vanish in no time." The function was attended by no less personages than Crown Prince Dipendra and the then Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari. Another in the list is the recent flag-off by King Birendra of Pashupati Ratha Yatra (chariot procession), which is being led by a personality with questionable credentials. The relevance and necessity of such processions are debatable and not immediately clear. In view of ethno-centric disturbances in Nepal and its infiltration of religious fundamentalists with the help of authorities who matter, Nepal-watchers in Delhi have, rightly or wrongly, concluded that disintegrative forces are steadily intensifying their vice grip over this peaceful country.

Whatever the reasons, innocuous or evil, the disruptive communal trends are obvious. They are negative and the ramifications of the same is down right detrimental to the interests of Nepal.

Dr. Chalise had the last word on the apparent transformation of Nepali society: "The process of de-hinduization began in the country particularly after the restoration of democracy. The ethnic communities who were subjected to Hinduization for 222 years (1769 - 1991 AD) under the Hindu rule are now trying to reassert their original identity. This is the main rationale of the conflict."

*********************************************************** Subject: News from Nepal Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:51:45 EST From: sshakya@lynx.dac.neu.edu (Sunil Shakya)

Source: The Independent, November 1, '95

Briefly

Royal Nepali Ambassador to the United Kingdom Surya Prasad Shrestha inaugurated a four-day Nepal Trade Fair organized jointly by the Britain-Nepal Chamber of Commerce and the Trade Promotion Centre at the Artisan Trust in London recently.

***** 50 years after the Second World War and V-J day, retired Scottish businessman and former Major in the British Indian Army, Alan Jacobsen, who served alongside Nepalis Gurkhas in Burma, has established a charitable trust in Scotland to implement health and education projects in Nepal.

***** A team of doctors from the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia- Nepal (Amda-Nepal) left here recently for Angola to provide medical service to the internally displaced and returnees of Angolan civil war. The team consists of Dr. Rabindra Nath Shrestha and Dr. Sudarshan Narsingh Pradhan.

***** On October 20, at the Ministry of Finance, letters were exchanged between R. B. Bhattarai, acting Secretary, Ministry of Finance, and TJB George, the British Ambassador, to provide further support to hill agricultural research in Nepal. The support, to the Lumle and Pakhribas Agricultural Research Centres, will run for 12 months with an allocation of Rs. 224 million and consist of two interactive programmes of work. The main programme is the continued implementation of the agreed research priorities initiated between the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) and HMG.

***** According to information received from the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agreement on SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA) has been ratified by the Government of Pakistan October 22, 1995. The President of Pakistan Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari has signed the Instrument of Ratification, the original of which will be deposited with the SAARC Secretary-General as per Article 25 of the SAPTA Agreeement. Pakistan is the sixth Member State to ratify the Agreement.

***** The Collins' Formula

After having conducted an elaborate research upon the field, the Boston (USA)-based international development consultancy firm, Collins and Associates has concluded that Nepal could very well be developed as an international financial centre, which would be a veritable boon to the Himalayan kingdom's fragile economy. A three-man research team headed by the firms chief executive Joseph H. Collins, a Harvard University product and a friend of Nepal, has prepared a report saying, "Nepal with its tradition of law and non-alignment, and its central location can become an ideal place to be developed as an international financial centre."

The firm has already submitted a draft proposal to the HMG specifying the legislation required to launch the project and it has been approved and included in the FY 1995-96 budget. The proposal says that an international centre of finance in Nepal will help the country secure a more independent role in the international community as well as attract all forms of investment. The researchers stress that such an entity will in no way place any additional strain on the environment.

The concept of "invisible trade" i.e. commerce in which companies are free to locate and operate in any country that provides the least restrictive environment, is another focal point of the research. Comparing Nepal's potential for attracting "invisible trade", it is found that Nepal rates well on most of the fourteen basic factors shared by successful offshore centres. Nepal's physical and cultural proximity to Asian markets and its direct air access with Bangkok, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, London, Frankfurt and Paris are major plus points. The fact that Nepalese business day overlaps most major world financial markets (thereby permitting same-day transactions) only strengthens the point. Nepal's only significant limitation appears to be in the limited number of skilled hands. Therefore, the labour pool warrants expansion. This, the report suggests, can be achieved by stipulating that all foreign companies hire and train Nepalis citizens. Allocation of a portion of revenues derived from foreign companies after they start operations will help promote business courses in schools and colleges. Another factor which can prove a blessing to Kathmandu is that several established finance centres in the Asian region are becoming increasingly restrictive due to several factors including excess regulation and political pressure. Kathmandu can also thrive on the flight of capitalfrom Hong Kong after China takes over the island in 1997.

According to the report, the proposed international finance centre will offer the most rapid path to improvement of the Nepalese economy. It will secure major new sources of revenue for HMG from the overseas activities of foreign corporations based in Nepal. It will also create a competent professional infrastructure of business-related and legal services. As for the invisible trade activities, it can help promote a wide range of additional economic activities with increased business travel and tourism.

If the idea concretizes into a reality, it would see Kathamandu becoming a beehive of business activities, with foreign banks, trust companies and international insurance agencies setting up shop. In a nutshell,the proposed international finance centre will pave the road for realizing Nepal's dream of becoming the Switzerland of Asia.

Dr. Narayan Khadka, an economist, was instrumental in inducing the attention of Collins and Associates, the prestigious US firm, for taking up the project.

The Evangelical Zeal

The twin compulsions of poverty and ill-health spawn desperate human beings. In their anxious pursuit of relief, they don't really mind the travails, or more particularly the sore feet that go with it. Take the case of the octogenarian Laxmi Devi as an example. She walked all of seven hours to reach Tanthipokhari, a remote village in Gorkha district. An aching stomach, among other things, was her compulsion. "I heard over Radio Nepal that a free health camp is happening here . And that too with foreign doctors. By God's grace, I may be able to get rid of my pains," sighed the old lady clutching her feet which had developed blisters due to the long walk.

Laxmi Devi is only one among the hundreds thronging Tanthipokhari seeking the healing touch of the hundred - or-so American medical officials gathered there. The good Samaritan health workers, in the span of two weeks (October 22 - November 5), are doling out to their patients, free-of-cost, medicines and medical advice. Minor surgery is also being performed. To make the trip, the American doctors dished out from their own pockets, leaving behind their lucrative professions at home for a month. The medical corps include pediatricians, ophthalmologists, dentists and educationist. Around 2 crores worth medicines are being supplied free to the ailing, besides tips on health care to local health officials.

The camp, courtesy three organizations - International Foursquare Gospel Church of America, Foursquare Church of Nepal and the Evangelical Christian Alliance of Nepal (ECAN) - is being held at Tanthipokhari's Shree Bavani High School. The inaugural ceremony of the camp was attended by health workers, social workers, politicians and thousands of villagers. While Health Minister Arjun Narsing KC (who kicked off the camp) used the forum to score a political point or two, Ram Saran Nepal, chairman of ECAN and the hand behind the humanitarian gesture, was less ambitious. Nepal expressed the need for more such camps to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the needy.

The only discordant note arising out of the camp is the rumour that it is a carefully plotted ploy to convert unsuspecting villagers into Christianity. One need not delve into the truth behind this grapevine. Free health camps, as senior citizen like Laxmi Devi would swear, are too dire a need to be dragged into the mire of politics and religion.

************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: What_I_know_about_Kumari_Re:Nalini's_Interest Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:54:28 EST From: tuladhar@enci.ucalgary.ca (Raju Tuladhar)

Wed, Nov. 15, nalini shaw (nalini_shaw@maillink.berkeley.edu) wrote:

: I visited Nepal in 1994 and I was fascinated by the Kumari. Since then : I have been looking for a book on the Kumari, but haven't found one. : Perhaps any books written on the Kumari are still in the original : language and unavailable for Western readers. Unfortunately I only : know English. If there is a good book in a different language or in : English I would like to know about the title, the date of publication and : how a copy could be obtained. Thanks for your help. Namaste.

: nalini_shaw@maillink.berkeley.edu ~ I don't remember the name of any book about Kumari that is written in English, but most of the books about Nepal has some information about Kumari. To satisfy the curiosity of Nalini Shaw, I share some knowledge about the history related to Kumari, and for those interested netters. This is not claimed to be true authentic story, it is what I learned from my elders when I grew up in Kathmandu.

:::::::::::::::: Some time back (3 - 400 years), when some Malla king was ruling the Kathmandu valley, it was said that this Malla king was spiritually so developed that when he prays the mother goddess appears in front of him, and used to play the game called "Pasa" (of dice) between the king and the mother goddess.

One day unfortunately, the king's mind lost balance by the glamour of the mother goddess, and the king ill-intentionally tried to grab her hand, at which she was so furious that she disappeared instantly and above from the sky she cursed the king that you and your dynasty are done with.

The king realizing his mistake begged and prayed to mother goddess for her forgiveness. He even promised to build a temple for her (which in now called the Taleju temple now located at Durbar square in Kathmandu valley), and hold a chariot festival for her. But from that day, the mother goddess never appeared in front of the king. Seeing the king repenting, she told the king that she will appear in form of a human child (girl) who will be born in a caste which was of less social hierarchy than the king himself, and the king will have to receive the "Tika" (auspices red mark on the forehead during Dasain) from that girl of lower social order than the king. The mother goddess granted the forgiveness for himself, but said that his dynasty will soon end.

The kumari is selected only from the "Shakya" clan, and should be a virgin girl before reaching puberty who has never drained even a drop of blood from her body (through cuts or injury). She should also remain one night alone in the Taleju temple without crying. The yearly festival is held to respect Kumari which is none other than the manifestation of the mother goddess.

The fore-founder of the present dynasty of kings, the Prithvi Narayan Shah, after winning the Kathmandu Valley, continued to show respect and have faith in Kumari, and so was the tradition of Chariot festival of Kumari was continued. And the King even now receives the "Tika", the auspicious red-mark on the forehead on every Dasain.

This is the brief history of what I knew about Kumari from my elders (mother and grandmothers etc). Its authenticity is not claimed here. For more true authentic story, historians will have to be brought in.

R. Tuladhar (tuladhar@enci.ucalgary.ca)

**************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Nepal_the_Only_Hindu_country_Is_it_a_gift_or_a_curse? Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 11:06:35 EST

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

There are Christian countries, Muslim countries, Buddhist countries, and Jewish country too. Luckily (?), there is also a Hindu country. So far, I was thinking that the God must have been really merciful on Nepal to make it the only Hindu country in the world, whereas the country where he took "Avtaar" could not maintain the distinction of being the Hindu country.

But recently what I am seeing?

* Just because of being the only Hindu country, this news group soc.culture.nepal and its readers are being shoved down their throat of all sorts of articles from Mr. Varma and comparny, Jai-Mantra etc. etc. You open the news group, and find what? Mr Varma, Jai-Mantra's etc.'s crap!

* Hear the unpleasant news of religious clashes in the otherwise peaceful country, and invasion of religious extremists to maintain it as the only Hindu country!

Is this gift of god turning into the curse?

There have been several requests from various readers to these gentlemen to turn their back on this news group soc.culture.nepal and not to post articles which are not of general interest and benefit to Nepal and Nepalese. There are various other religious news groups to post their ideologies. This news group soc.culture.nepal is not meant for war of words of religious discussions.

It is now the time that these gentlemen show some restraints on their bigotry and over-imposing attitudes.

For Nepal, to survive as a Hindu country, religious harmony is a must. Religious extremists do not help in creating this harmony. Most Nepalese were once proud of the fact that there are no ethnic conflicts in Nepal related to religion, but this pride has come to shambles from recent religious clashes in Nepalgunj area.

By helping to create such unpleasant situations, the religious extremists from outside the border of Nepal, they are hurting their own cause in the long run. In simple words, they are axing their own feet.

Those religious extremists from south of border who want to help Nepal survive as the Hindu country, they can do so by:

(1) Helping to improve the economy of Nepal by lobbying to their govt. for: (a) easing the export from Nepal. Currently there are restrictions that for export from Nepal to south of border, the goods must be made with materials with more that 50% produced in Nepal itself. This is a very restrictive and throat choking imposition for small and developing country like Nepal. (b) By agreeing to buy the hydro-power from Nepal at a reasonable rate, not at cut-throat prices and en-slaving conditions. (c) By easing the access for trade and transit to overseas.

These are very rational suggestions. The cultural, religious stability depend upon social stability which in-turn depend upon economic stability. If the economy of Nepal was better, then one would not have noticed the recent trend of religion conversions for some economic benefits.

(2) By not sending the religious extremists to Nepal to create religion related ethnic clashes. Such activities at the end will create boomerang effect.

(3) By lobbying to their government not to intereferre in Nepal's internal affairs and helping to grow up as truly sovereign and democratic country.

Remember: A person who is being carried on back by others cannot have its own destiny!

R. Tuladhar (tuladhar@enci.ucalgary.ca)

******************************************* To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Development community contacts, please!! Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 11:25:31 EST Sender: rshresth@BBN.COM

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

I'm looking for contacts in the development community anywhere in Nepal.

Purpose: ======

I'm hoping to start a village-to-village development assistance program, where my Connecticut hometown provides support to a Gurung village. If the idea works, I'll try to expand it.

Principles: ========

>Projects involve the use of village labor-- as much as possible without disrupting traditional productive activity

>Villagers propose and control projects themselves; donor rep [me] merely advises what sort of thing is likely to elicit further funds, and what might lead donors to stop giving.

>Nobody gets paid for administrative tasks or expenses: all money donated goes to pay for villagers' work or necessary materials. As donor rep, I travel & live at my own expense

>No governmental involvement

What I'm looking for: ===============

Advice on dealing with officialdom in Nepal; experiences of people who've worked closely with Gurungs in development projects; people to commiserate with me in Kathmandu; anything anybody with experience thinks will be helpful.

Because of the very large amount of apparently pointless argument in the newsgroup, I'd be grateful for e-mail.

David Knapp/DMaclKnapp@aol.com

****************************************** Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 17:58:57 -0100 To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: jpc@ethno.unizh.ch (Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka) Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - November 14, 1995 (2 Ashoj 2052 BkSm)

Dear Readers!

For reasons absolutely not known to me, a private letter of mine reached a wider audience. I am very upset about this error since I am talking in this letter about private matters.

I should like to apologize about this mistake especially to David Gellner. I can imagine that my publically talking about my grief over Ernest Gellner's death was utterly inappropriate. It was unintended and I am very sorry for what happened.

************************************* From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 13:58:16 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Assistantship MBA

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

Here is a message I got from a newsgroup. I don't have additional information or full details, but here it goes:

Forwarded message:

Financial assistanship based on merit is available at Toledo.

Please contact

Dr. David A. Reid Director, MBA Admission College of Business Administration The University of Toledo Toledo, OH 43606

You will receive tuition waiver + monthly stipend.

You must have good GPA + GMAT score. You will work (mostly) as a graduate assistant (GA) In your cover letter + resume please strees your computer + research skill

Good luck!

Anil Tuladhar

********************************************************* To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 14:00:51 -0500 (EST) Subject: Questions on Nepal Trip

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

We have always dreamt of doing a trekk up the Buri Gandaki and then continue west, across the Larkya La, Thorung La, and so forth to Dolpho. However, in the past it was prohibited unless one went as an agent for the nepali state on some approved mission. In the eighties the rules seemed to have lightened up a bit. Then, one could go. However, the authorities made it prohibitively expensive. One had to bring an authorized guide, a liason officer, etc. So we preferred to trekk in India especially in Ladakh as there i no licence raj with regard to trekking.

Rumours now claim that they derugulated Buri Gandaki and Dolpho, that one can go trekking with only an ordinary "trekking permit" without undesired guides etc. Reliable information on the current rules would be greatly appreciated.

Per Lvwdin Per.lowdin@statsvet.uu.se,dokomb@us.uu.se

********************************************************* Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 16:35:43 -0500 (EST) From: Nirmal Ghimirez <NGH42799Q236@DAFFY.MILLERSV.EDU> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: What is really freedom? The recent article written by Ojawsee did give us a chance to see a women's view.I do agree with many things that she says. The problem I have is how is freedom really expressed? What is freedom exactly? Does it vary from culture to culture? But why does she think that housewife is passivity? I think the choice should be given for every individual, and the decison is her's. Isn't this largely related due to the fact that we are a developing country.It could be that women do have freedom but it does not look like the west. For example there are many women who work as waitress, cook and baby sitters in this country. She does that as part of her work. Now, if we look at our average class family women. Many stay in home and do the cooking and help their household. It is just that they are not being paid for it and they are doing it on thier own. Many do it because they like it and many have a different philosophy from the west. But,however if someone is forced to do all these work despite her wanting then ofcourse I would say that is wrong. But if someone chooses this and likes it then I think it is perfectly okay. It boils down to how you feel and what the circumstances is. Another point I am trying to say is housewife is not a simple word or a simple task. I have the greatest respect for that position. They infact do more work than a lady does in a office. But the differnce is they do it for the family and love it. I am not at all encouraging that many should be housewives but am saying that housewife itself is a great and respected position. And it depends on social value and family tradition. I know many families in Nepal who are housewifes, although they have a high education. In many cases it was chosen by themselves. I do agree that there should be freedom for women and women and men are equal. But I wanted to make sure that people should not think that housewifes are not educated or not free or not developed. Other point is how many children in the West have been deprived of thieir mother's love? For in many cases there is a less contat between mother and the child. She has to go to work and she leaves the child with the baby sitter and comes home and has few time with her.That does not mean that she does not love her children(Afterall how can a mother not love her child)? So there are both plus and minus in both sides. I fully support the view and I know that many would saying the women's condition in Nepal has to be improved. But we must also understand that the Western civilization does not mean development? Copying the west does not mean development? What is freedom to one may not apply to others. The awareness must come within ourself then only we really become free.Freedom in itself has a very big meaning. Ofcouse not only women but all opressed , abused, ignored individual should be given a better and equal chance. So the question still arises what is freedom? Is working as a clerk or a minister a freedom and helping your family to raise your children not freedom/ The notion of freedom is giving one a choice , that one has a free will. But if there are many who believe in determinism and nt free will are they not free. If one is satisfied with what she is doing is she free? But one truth is certain that women have not been given equal opportunity in Nepal but the positive point is slowly it is going up. All men and women must encourage this issue and move forward.But not my western influence but by preserving our values and by changing them according to time. It is surprising that notion of freedom seems to be more with women in South east Asia then in the West. Except Margaret Thatcher how many leading lady figures are there in politics? But there have been quite a mnay in SA. I wish government would provide and give better opportunity to women so that we may have more Parijaat and many more leading women in our Motherland.This is just a minute thought from a small part of a neuron. Thanks. Nirmal

****************************************************** Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 14:33:49 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Casualty List of Foreign Trekkers

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

This is a list of Foreign Trekkers who died in the recent avalanche. Source: Ministry of Tourism, Nepal.

SN Name Nationality Casualty Site ============================================================================== 1. Mr. Murayama Ikichi Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 2. Mr. Oki Iwao Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 3. Mr. Yamada Eiichi Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 4. Mr. Nakamura Takayaki Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 5. Mr. Haruyaki Mizuno Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 6. Mr. Hiroshi Tanabe Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 7. Mr. Kajihara Tatsuo Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 8. Mr. Ishii Emiko Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 9. Mr. Komori Keiji Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 10. Mr. Irizawa Ikuo Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 11. Mr. Oishi Mitsukazu Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 12. Mr. Hatano Hideo Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 13. Mr. Kaneko Shunichi Japanese Solukhumbu Phanga 14. Mr. Fujiwara Isao Japanese Kanchanjunga Base Camp 15. Mr. Kawata Shoji Japanese Kanchanjunga Base Camp 16. Mr. Takimoto Keiichi Japanese Kanchanjunga Base Camp 17. Mr. Armin Schleicher German Manang, Bagarchaap 18. Ms. Mary Josephine Harkine Irish Manang, Bagarchaap 19. Mr. Mitchell Karper Canadian Manang, Bagarchaap 20. Mr. Nichola Ellman Canadian Manang, Bagarchaap 21. Mr. Alan Sordi Canadian Manang, Bagarchaap

22. One foreigner dead body being brought to Kathmandu tomorrow. Identity not established.

**************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 14:35:42 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Kathmandu Home Page

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

Dear Netters,

There is a Kathmandu Home Page which is under construction. If you would like to view it and like to comment on it please let me know. I would appreciate any suggestions and information that you would like to see in Kathmandu Home page. Here is the address for the site http://anesthesia.mc.duke.edu/kisan/

my email address is upadh001@mc.duke.edu

thanks for your input Kisan Upadhaya

*********************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 14:38:10 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Help - Nepali Culture

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

> I am the adoptive mother of a beautiful little girl from Nepal (From But I would love to know more about > Nepali festivals and holidays, customs, and the like.

> PATRICE BUTKIEWICZ GRVK97A@prodigy.com

Dear Patrice, What a lovely thing to do. I'm sure your daughter will be very happy as you sound like a responsible, concerned and loving parent. I suggest you read up on the Kumari - the living goddess. She is chosen or selected from a Buddhist caste, becomes Hindu for 7 years, and then is returned to her Buddhist family. There is a very elaborate selection process which includes previous astrological charts for her ancestors going back 7 generations. She is also selected for physical beauty, narrowly defined. She must have a straight little body - no protruding tummy, flat ears, black eyes (not brown), straight hair (not curly) and they put her through rigorous feats of equanimity which is difficult for a four year old child. Nevertheless it is a great privilege for a family to have their young daughter selected as the Kumari, the living goddess. Look for lovely radient pictures of the Kumari in full regalia with plummage and jewels and garlands -- and a third eye of wisdom painted on her forehead. Visit the lovely Kumari temple in the middle of Katmandu. This is a strong feature of the religious festival of Nepal. Books are not easy to find, but a picture -- it's worth -- well you know.

Nalini Shaw

*************************************************************** Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 14:40:40 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: News 11/21/1995 From: karkis@mail.med.upenn.edu (Sher B. Karki)

Copyright 1995 British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

November 21, 1995, Tuesday

SECTION: Part 3 Asia-Pacific; SOUTH ASIA; NEPAL; EE/D2467/A

LENGTH: 81 words

HEADLINE: OTHER REPORTS; Home Ministry gives figures for those killed, rescued in avalanches

SOURCE: Source: Radio Nepal, Kathmandu, in English 1415 gmt 20 Nov 95

BODY: [15] Text of report by Radio Nepal

The total number of those killed in the heavy snowfall and landslides in some parts of the mountainous region earlier this month has reached 63 - among them, 22 foreigners and 41 Nepalese, according to the spokesman for the Home Ministry.

According to the spokesman, in total 549 - 250 foreigners and 299 Nepalese - have so far been airlifted to safety from around the mountainous region of Solukhumbu district and Khanchenjunga mountain base.

Copyright 1995 South China Morning Post Ltd. South China Morning Post

November 21, 1995

SECTION: News; Pg. 8

LENGTH: 520 words

HEADLINE: Drug condom courier jailed

BODY: A NEPALESE farmer who was down on his luck swallowed $ 1.1 million worth of heroin-filled condoms so he could return home to his impoverished wife and one -year-old baby.

Arjun Gurung, 23, was a courier for a drug operation in Bangkok and swallowed 126 condoms of heroin after he had been befriended by one of the syndicate's members, the High Court heard yesterday.

He pleaded guilty to trafficking and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The court heard how Gurung, unable to eke out a decent living for his family, sold his farm after he was convinced by an "employment agent" to leave Nepal for a chance at a well-paid job in Malaysia.

On March 6, Gurung and six other men went to Bangkok from Nepal, where they waited in a guesthouse for the agent to arrive with their visas. He never arrived, and what little money Gurung had quickly ran out.

"His dreams were shattered and he wanted to go home," said Walker Sham, defending.

To feed himself, Gurung took work in a factory where he met a man named "Cha Cha" who wined and dined the naive farmer and showed him the nightlife of Bangkok.

In June, Cha Cha told Gurung that he could arrange a better job for him and a few days later said that he could make $ 7,720 by taking "some stuff to Hong Kong".

But prosecutor Graham Goodman said Hong Kong Customs officers were always suspicious of "a Nepalese travelling via Bangkok".

On June 18, Gurung was stopped at Kai Tak airport.

He was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital where police waited for three days for the drugs.

Copyright 1995 Chicago Tribune Company Chicago Tribune

November 21, 1995 Tuesday, NORTH SPORTS FINAL EDITION

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 12; ZONE: N; Around the world.

LENGTH: 161 words

HEADLINE: HIKERS HEAD HOME AFTER AVALANCHE

BYLINE: Compiled by Gary Borg.

DATELINE: KATMANDU

BODY: Hundreds of Western hikers rescued from a deadly avalanche headed home Monday after the Nepalese government scaled back its rescue operation in the peaks surrounding Mt. Everest.

Authorities raised the death toll in the Nov. 10 slide to 56, and said an aerial search of the area found no sign of more survivors.

The new additions to the death toll were Nepalese, either guides or residents who run scores of tea shops and shelters along the trek route, the government said Monday.

In all, 24 tourists and 32 Nepalese died in the avalanche that turned the Himalayan foothills into a sheet of snow.

Searchers rescued 549 people by helicopter, the majority of them hikers.

Most trekkers left Monday or earlier, but some remained in the capital of Katmandu, planning to return to the mountains.

U.S. Embassy officials met Monday with trekking company operators, and were told no Americans were dead or missing, said embassy spokesman David Queen.

Copyright 1995 Agence France Presse Agence France Presse

November 20, 1995 07:30 Eastern Time

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 174 words

HEADLINE: EU signs first accord with Nepal

DATELINE: BRUSSELS, Nov 20

BODY: The European Union and Nepal on Monday signed their first ever cooperation accord, designed to shore up the major reform programme that the impoverished mountain kingdom has embarked on since moving to democracy in 1991.

The accord foresees cooperation in areas including trade, development and economic cooperation, science and technology, the environment and the fight against drugs.

"This accord represents a most important step for Nepal, " said Foreign Minister Prakash Chandra Lohani. "We're a poor country, just starting the process of economic transition. We want to use the community's help to provide support for the economic and social development of Nepal. "

Copyright 1995 British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

November 20, 1995, Monday

SECTION: Part 3 Asia-Pacific; SOUTH ASIA; NEPAL; EE/W0409/WA

LENGTH: 65 words

HEADLINE: TEA; Nepal's tourism earnings down

SOURCE: Source: Radio Nepal, Kathmandu, in English 1415 gmt 30 Oct 95

BODY: [12] According to a revised economic survey, earnings from Nepal's tourism industry in the first eight months of the fiscal year 1994-95 have fallen to 5.370bn rupees, as compared to 8.325bn rupees during the same period of 1993-94, Radio Nepal reported on 30th October. The report also noted that the total number of tourist-class hotels is said to have increased from 214 to 394.

Copyright 1995 British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

November 20, 1995, Monday

SECTION: Part 3 Asia-Pacific; SOUTH ASIA; NEPAL; EE/D2455/A

LENGTH: 100 words

HEADLINE: INTERNAL AFFAIRS; Nepal premier on India- Nepal friendship

SOURCE: Source: Radio Nepal, Kathmandu, in English 1415 gmt 3 Nov 95

BODY: [22] Text of report by Radio Nepal

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said Nepal and India have been close friends since ancient times and the deep and multidimensional relations between them have been strengthened by a common respect for the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Prime Minister Mr Deuba was speaking at a function organized by the Nepal words indistinct to mark the 155th anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi in Kathmandu today 3rd November . Mr Deuba noted, as a good friend and neighbour Nepal rejoices in the progress made by India in the various walks of its national life.

Copyright 1995 Deutsche Presse-Agentur Deutsche Presse-Agentur

November 20, 1995, Monday, BC Cycle 12:10 Central European Time

SECTION: International News

LENGTH: 520 words

HEADLINE: E.U. and Nepal sign first cooperation pact

DATELINE: Brussels

BODY: Nepal and the European Union Monday signed their first-ever cooperation agreement which officials said opened the way for stronger trade and aid links.

"These agreements establish respect for human rights and democratic principles as the basis for cooperation," Spanish Foreign Minister Javier Solana said at the signing ceremony.

relations.

Speaking to reporters, Nepal's Foreign Minister Prakash Chandra Lohani said the new agreement provided the basis for "expanded cooperation" between Nepal and Europe.

European aid would be particularly helpful in promoting environmental protection in Nepal, he said.

"We are a poor country," Lohani insisted. "We need help to prevent deforestation and other environmental problems."

The Nepalese Foreign Minister also forecast closer ties between the E.U. and the South Asian region, saying the Union could be a model for South Asia's "cautious and hesitant" efforts at regional integration.

"We in South Asia could learn from the experiences of this Union," Lohani stressed.

The new agreement provides for cooperation between Nepal and the E.U. on trade, economic and development issues, investments, intellectual property rights as well as areas like environment, human resource development and drug abuse control.

Both sides agree that the agreement could be suspended if there is a violation of human rights. dpa si ms

Copyright 1995 Xinhua News Agency

The materials in the Xinhua file were compiled by The Xinhua News Agency. These materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The Xinhua News Agency.

NOVEMBER 20, 1995, MONDAY

LENGTH: 119 words

HEADLINE: new appointments for ambassadors

DATELINE: beijing, november 20; ITEM NO: 1120188

BODY: president jiang zemin has appointed several new ambassadors in accordance with a decision of the standing committee of the national people's congress. wang lian will replace zheng jinjiong to become the chinese ambassador to the republic of finland. zhao jiahua was appointed ambassador to the lao people's democratic republic, replacing li jiazhong. zhang jiuhuan will replace shao jiongchu to become ambassador to the kingdom of nepal. gao ruming will replace guo tianmin to become ambassador to the republic of chad. zhai wenming will replace xu cinong to become ambassador to the republic of sierra leone. wang jianxing was appointed ambassador to the republic of iceland, replacing zheng yaowen.

Copyright 1995 Xinhua News Agency

The materials in the Xinhua file were compiled by The Xinhua News Agency. These materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The Xinhua News Agency.

NOVEMBER 19, 1995, SUNDAY

LENGTH: 169 words

HEADLINE: nepali, indian officials hold talks

DATELINE: kathmandu, november 19; ITEM NO: 1119048

BODY: foreign secretaries of nepal and india held talks here saturday discussing various bilateral issues, a press release of the nepali foreign ministry said. nepali foreign secretary kedar shrestha discussed with his visiting indian counterpart salman haidar issues including water resources, trade, transit, joint ventures and civil aviation between the two neighboring countries, according to the ministry. they agreed that a meeting of commerce secretaries from nepal and india should be held soon to discuss concrete proposals to reduce the imbalance of trade between the two countries and measures to encourage indian investments in nepal. the two senior officials also agreed on the need to make an agreement on the exchange of electric power fully operational as soon as possible. issues about improving transit facilities for nepal's import and export requirements in india were also discussed, the foreign ministry said. the indian foreign secretary arrived here friday and is leaving for home today.

Copyright 1995 Xinhua News Agency

The materials in the Xinhua file were compiled by The Xinhua News Agency. These materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The Xinhua News Agency.

NOVEMBER 17, 1995, FRIDAY

LENGTH: 136 words

HEADLINE: nepali communist leader stresses nationalism, democracy

DATELINE: kathmandu, november 17; ITEM NO: 1117079

BODY: general secretary of the communist party of nepal (uml) madhav kumar nepal recently stressed his party's adherence to nationalism and democracy. speaking at a two-day party program on parliamentary affairs concluded on thursday, nepal highlighted the need for creative use of marxism and said the cpn-uml had to go ahead working in the larger interest of the nation and the people despite criticism from other parties. the cpn-uml party became the main opposition party in the parliament last september after its minority government was overthrown by three political parties through a no-confidence vote. the three parties, the nepali congress, the national democratic party (rpp) and the nepal goodwill party, formed a coalition government soon after the no-confidence motion was passed in the parliament.

*********************************************** Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 16:52:27 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Avalanche Surivors Tell Story From: C-ap@clari.net (AP) KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Feeling uneasy at an unexpected snowfall, the Nepalese guide woke Ron and Deborah Plotkin in their tent in the dead of night and told them pack up. Moments later, the mountain toppled with a rumble. The avalanche just missed the Plotkins. For the next three days, they and their guide crawled and stumbled through thick banks of snow and waded across icy rivers, trying to reach safety. At night, they dug caves in the snow for shelter, and thought of their three children in San Diego: Ian, 14, Rachel, 9, and Melia, 5. ``I prayed to God: `Don't snatch me from them, please. They need us','' said Mrs. Plotkin, 41. Forty-six people, including one of the Plotkin's six Sherpa guides, were killed in avalanches and landslides this weekend in one of Nepal's worst disasters in decades. Another 517 people, including 238 foreigners, have been rescued. But hundreds of hikers and Nepalese villagers may still be trapped in the Himalayan mountains, including more than a dozen Americans. Helicopters rescued nearly 60 people on Wednesday, and were continuing the search. The Gokyo Valley trails buried under the avalanches, along the ancient trading route between Tibet and Nepal, are popular with adventure tourists because they offer panoramic views of the world's tallest mountains, including the 29,028-foot Mt. Everest. The secretive kingdom opened its borders to outsiders and its majestic mountains to tourism in 1950. ``It was a dream trip,'' said Mrs. Plotkin, a teacher. They set off Nov. 1 with six Nepalese porters and guides, and two yaks to carry their baggage, on an expedition to 20,423-foot high Island Peak. On Friday, when the couple pitched their tents at 6 p.m., it started snowing. ``The little flakes seemed innocuous,'' said Plotkin, a 39-year-old psychologist. But at 2.30 a.m., one guide woke them. As they came out of their tent, they heard a rumbling sound, and tons of snow crashed down near their camp site. ``Just after the sound, I looked back and saw four of our Nepalese staff gone,'' apparently buried under the snow, said Mrs. Plotkin. Snow had piled up to nearly six feet. Even the yaks couldn't move. ``And then the crawling started. We could move only 20 feet in one hour,'' said Plotkin. Before dusk Saturday, they and their guide dug a cave in the snow to protect them overnight. ``I came out of the snow cave and looked at the sky and I saw one glittering star,'' said Mrs. Plotkin, struggling to speak through tears. She remembered telling her youngest daughter, Melia, that when she loses her first tooth it will become a star in the sky. ``It was as if her face was there in the star.'' After crawling and stumbling for another day, they spent the second night in a makeshift cave. Then on Monday, they found a path in the snow and followed it to the tiny hamlet of Chikoon. One of their guides, Ram Kumar, died of the cold. But they learned later that the four who were buried in the avalanche managed to escape. ``When I saw people, I ran despite the pain, and we were welcomed by a group of trekkers,'' Mrs. Plotkin said. A helicopter rescued them.

********************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 16:54:37 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Nepal Recalls Ambassadors

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Nepal's new government has recalled all of the ambassadors appointed by the former Communist government during its nine months in power, a Foreign Ministry source said Wednesday. They include the ambassadors to Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, Bonn and New Delhi, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) lost a no-confidence vote in September, and was replaced by a coalition led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. -- This is the NEW RELEASE of the ClariNet e.News! If you notice any problems with the new edition, please mail us at editor@clari.net and let us know. Thanks! More information can be found on our web site at http://www.clari.net/ or in clari.net.announce.

*********************************************** Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 12:31:00 -0500 (EST) From: atuladhar@vax.clarku.edu Subject: nov23_head.html (fwd) To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

WHO PAYS?

I wish the Sarba Manya the best wishes for his speedy recovery and successful treatment of his ailment.

But I wish to bring up the general questions who pays for all this VIP, mandatory US medical trips. Before this we heard of Krishna Prasad doing the US rounds for his eye treatment.

It is important for us to discuss if public funds are involved and what rules are being followed, if any, to disburse these funds? It is significant money by nepali standards when treatment is done in US @Rs 56 to $ 1, the plane cost alone is $ 3000 per person, with 2-5 persons in the entourage we are talking of $ 15,000 for travel alone. Medical treatment without insurance is steep even for well-to-do Americans and at an average of $10-20,000 a day in hospital stay costs, a 5 day treament is easily $ $100,000, so in Nepali terms we are talking of $150,000 a trip for a week of treatment in US with the hangers-on.

In Nepali terms that is a cool Rs 84 lakhs, nearly a 1 crore. That is substantial!

Now granted Ganesh Man is indepently rich man, from the Kazi khalak and with restored property in Chetrapati (among themost expensive real estate in Nepal), a little sale or leasing will easily generate this sum. But is this treatment private? If not should it be public? How much?

We have all heard of the property-less Krishna Prasad who went to Baluwater, the official residence of the Nepali PM with only a old umbrella, one clay pot, and old battered trunk. Who pays for his treatment?

The Nepali Government? The Nepali Congress? Friends of the KP?

Will someone in the know please enlighten us? thanks

Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 11:40:46 EST

HEADLINE NEWS _________________________________________________________________ SINGH LEAVES FOR KNEE SURGERY TODAY KATHMANDU, Nov 22 (RSS) - The commander of Nepals democratic movement, Ganesh Man Singh, is leaving here tomorrow for the US for a total knee replacement surgery. A team of doctors headed by Dr Mike Stuwart is scheduled to operate upon the knees of Singh at the Mayo clinic at Minnesota Rochester of the US on Dec 4. After his admission to the clinic on Nov 28 Singh will undergo a pre-operative check-up there. On completion of the surgery he will remain in the clinic for a week and spend three more weeks thereafter on physiotherapy. He has been on a controlled diet for the past two weeks to reduce his weight and his medical check up is being conducted by a team of senior doctors, according to the family sources. Singh told RSS that as he felt uneasiness in his knees and could not stand even two minutes constantly he is going abroad for a surgery on the advice of doctors. Singh, 81, who declined to make any comment on the current political context, said on the whole, his health is better than before. He will leave here for New Delhi on Thursday afternoon and proceed towards London on Friday morning and from there towards New York on Saturday. He will reach Rochester on Nov 27. The entire medical expenses of Singh will be borne by His Majestys Government, according to his family sources. Singh will be accompanied by his wife Mangala Devi Singh, youngest daughter Dr Meeta Singh, Kathmandu City Mayor PL Singh and Sripati Das Joshi.

Source: KTM Post LETTER TO EDITOR HOGWASHING BY GOVT Sir, This is in regard to the RSS news item: Govt plans to uplift the backward, (TKP, Nov 14). Prime Minister Deubas answer that the government is ready to introduce a package deal once the numberof ethnic groups in the country is ascertained is yet another example of hogwashing by the government. Contrary to the PMs statement, the 1991 census report, has put the number of ethnic groups at 60. So, if there is really a willto introduce a so-called package deal could not a way be found out to make use of the readily available number of castes and ethnic groups as ascertained by the 1991 census. Kishor Pradhan Maharajgunj

Coalition Party beginning to Unravel?

In the last 2 weeks we have heard reports of dissensio within the ranks of major parties of the coalition govt:

NC: Sailaza voices public dissent and criticism of the rightist tilt of the govt.

RPP: Rajeshwor Devkota publicly feuding with party leader Surya bahadur and getting elected to the Upper house with UML support.

Sadbhawanan: The party secretary accuses Gajendra Narayan of wanting personal power over the upliftment of the madhesiyas

The following news items offer more details: the countdown begins....

RPP UNITY COMES UNDER SERIOUS THREAT By a Post Reporter KATHMANDU, Nov 21 - The RPP row that started with last Mondays National Assembly election when 13 of its members in the House of Representatives voted against its official candidate has seriously undermined the party unity. Two RPP factions went for a merger before the last parliamentary election. Political observers say the Thapa and Chand factions are now being pulled to two opposite directions and countrys political fortunes will depend a lot on whether they can survive the current storm. The Assembly election, a routine affair, has set off a chain reaction. Party co-chariman Rajeshwor Devkota, who forged a last - minute alliance with the UML to survive an intraparty conspiracy, is demanding disciplinary action against chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa - the mastermind behind the coup. Devokota says the problem will be settled at the party level and will have no spill-over effect on the coalition government. Chand, the party leader, has expressed a similar view calling the Assembly incident unfortunate. He has vowed to preserve the coalition. Political niceties apart, UML move to back up Devkota letting its our candidate down, could be a carefully planned maneuver aimed at the fragile NC-RPP alliance. Unconfirmed reports claim UML is willing to give RPP a greater share in governance if it backs up its bid to bring down the government. And the communists got a golden opportunity to play on RPPs soft spots in the election, says a political observer. Differences between two RPP veterans - former prime ministers Surya Bahadur Thapa and Lokendra Bahadur Chand - are now open secret. Chand reportedly enjoys a comfortable majority in RPPs all-important parliamentary party. Thirteen of the lower house MPs are said to be behind the mild-mannered leader as against Thapa, supported by the remaining six. Speculations are rife that UML is trying to woo the Chand camp in its bid to bring down the two months old coalition. According to a news report, already nine RPP lawmakers are behind the Devkota mission and if two more join ranks, it will be enough to uphold a no-confidence motion against the government; Neither Chand nor Devkota could be reached for their comments Tuesday. UML, which has 89 seats in the 205-seat House of Representatives, is likely to get support from two independent MPs belonging to the extreme-left Mashal. Devkota, overanxious to rule out any speculations on RPP split and the fall of government, has gone on record scoffing at such possibilities. But he doesnt rule out the constitutional possibility of new RPP-UML coalition: Thats been spelled out by the court. In its historic verdict early September, the Supreme Court pronounced that possibilities of forming government have to he explored within the existing parliamentary framework. Only when such possibilities are exhausted does mid-term poll become imminent. BLUE CABS FOR MINISTERS By a Post Reporter KATHMANDU, Nov 21 - The Central Services Department has rented four cars from a local taxi company to meet the transportation needs of the ministers. The arrangement was made in view of the expected cabinet expansion shortly. Fifteen cars, 4 of them the popular Blue Cabs rented from Nepal Vehicles Services Company, are currently lying in the Department premises. We have rented four cabs from the private sector, but the deal is yet to be signed, CSD director Chhavi Pant said. According to a reliable source, the cabs have been rented for 2000 rupees per day. Their original, black number-plates have been changed to red and blue. A CSD official said they had 32 cars meant for the use by ministers, but only 26 of them were in use presently. Eleven of the present ministerial vehicles were brought from various government organizations while the rest were from the private sector, he said. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to expand the present cabinet in the near future. NEWSLINE Public Account Committee Actions Car For Former Chief Justice KATHMANDU, Nov 21 (RSS) - Arrangements have been made to provide vehicle facility to the recent past chief justice of the Supreme Court, Bishwonah Upadhyaya for security reasons, according to the Supreme Court. A car with private number plate registered in the name of the Supreme Court has been provided to the former chief justice until a government vehicle is given to him it added.

EDITORIAL THE BOTTOM LINE M R Josse Nepali Congress MP Pradeep Giri, never at a loss for words, acutely commented to Peoples Review on the surprises of the recent Upper House elections: Nepals history is like the Mahabharata saga. The dark age has begun, where it is impossible to recognise who is friend and who is foe. Kaliyug: Interestingly, Balaram Upadhayay UML MP reacted to the same events in this colourful fashion. In the Mahabharata, Ekalabya cut off his finger and offered that as Guru Dakshinato his guru, Dronacharya. In the kaliyug our parliamentarians have offered such Guru Dakshina to Rajeshwor Devkota, their guru. Has a political kaliyug really dawned? Have we, nearly six years after the end of the partyless order,actually entered the fourth age of the Hindu world of universal degeneracy? I suspect that despite the perspicacity of Messers Giri/Upadhayay, their gloomy contention may be disputed by incorrigible optimists. What will or should not be challenged is that a whole slew of curious developments have been happening in the past two months beginning with the formation of the disparate Nepali Congress (NC), Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and Nepal Sadhbhavana Party (NSP) combine. A short-list of the bizarre includes the fact that even before the new coalition government headed by NCs Sher Bahadur Deuba has even completed its cabinet-formation business, rumblings of a political earthquake are increasingly audible. Another uncommon thing is that although the prime minister and a few of his senior colleagues have had the time and energy to jet around the world none has (at the time of writing) had the time or energy to hop on a helicopter and take a first-hand look at the disaster that struck with such suddeness and cruelty in several popular trekking areas in the Himalaya! To come back, however, to the realm of national politics, what is one to make of the vertical split that has been exposed in the RPP in the aftermath of the elections to the Upper House? Though it has hardly been a secret that there are two broad groupings within that party of former panchas, surely only a few could have imagined that it would be shown in such stark terms as composed of two distinct ideological halves-one aligned to the NC and the other to the UML! Singular: Even more singular have been the behind-the scenes moves that (a) nearly sunk Devkotas electoral boat, (b) brought in the UML in a dramatic rescue-Devkota operation and (c) resulted in the extraordinary spectacle of one UML candidate receiving not even a single vote. Although RPP chief, Surya Bahadur Thapa, has expressed gratification that both his senior colleagues, Rabindra Nath Sharma and Devkota were elected, RPP insiders have a quite different tale to tell: that Thapa was not only opposed to Devkotas candidature but actually connived at his defeat, as well. On the other hand, gripping is the word that comes readily to mind when one recalls Devkotas post-election comment that a foreign hand was at work in seeking to ensure the very same result,unsuccessfully as it turned out. From the above, it would thus seem that as far as national politics is concerned, ideology is moribund if not actually dead while rank opportunism reigns supreme in the land. In any case, it is not difficult to understand why two of our most politically sharp MPs, one representing the NC and the other the UML pronounced the inauguration of a dark age where it is impossible to tell friend from foe. Ominous or inauspicious as that might be for the health of this countrys nascent multi-party democracy, what has truly riveted the attention of political pundits are the increasing indications of a sustained, subterranean campaign within the NC aimed, among other things, at toppling Deuba from his prime ministerial perch. Among them was the blast, not too long ago, at the prime ministers (non) performance in parliament by none other than Jaya Prakash Anand, MP, former prime minister Girija Prasad Koiralas loyal aide and former press advisor. By mingling with a pro-Koirala NC coterie for a couple of days in Pokhara recently, this scribe had the rare and delicious opportunity of savouring for himself the depth of anti-Deuba sentiment besides viewing evidence that party unity has not been truly achieved in Kaski district.What, however, takes the cake are acerbic comments that NC MP and Central Working Committee member, Ms Sailaja Acharya, has been making of late in write-ups in the media and in hard-hitting press interviews. Doomsday scenario: Speaking in apocalyptic terms, she has for instance gone on record in a recent interview to the Peoples Review predicting that her party is likely to suffer a big defeat at the impending local elections among other reasons because the RPP was allowed to bag the local development portfolio. Interestingly, she went on to paint a doomsday scenario for the NC and the country because, as she saw it, due to the present NC-RPP alliance the centrist NC would be squeezed from both the Right as well as Left, leaving the party high and dry and the nation would face apolitics of violence.Even more telling is her comment that tomorrow it could be established that Sher Bahadur Deuba will be the last Nepali Congress prime minister. For good measure, she has added such sparkling gems as: It is not necessary for the Nepali Congress to wipe out its very identity for the sole purpose of stopping the UML and Sher Bahadurji should assert himself. He must demonstrate his capacity. It is hardly necessary to agree with the outspoken Acharyas views or prognosis in order to ask: whats going on, in the name of Lord Pashupatinath ? Are senior leaders of the NC determined to torpedo Deubas fragile coalition after it has been in office for less than two months? Is such neon-sign advertised inter-party dissent likely to strengthen the NC? Or, as many now suspect, is the launch of those oral missiles calculatedly timed just before her uncle, Girija Prasad Koirala, is set to be anointed the new party president at the partys Ninth Convention in Nepalgunj? Whatever the realities actually are, the country is clearly destined for a period of political mayhem where back-stabbing is played with a terrifying finesse between politicos belonging to the same party; political ideology is given the heave-ho; alliances made and unmade with dizzying speed; and issues involving the loaves and fishes of office acquire the highest priority. In such circumstances, even the otherwise important question of the stability and longevity of the Deuba-coalition shrinks in significance as compared to the less visible dangers to the health of multi-party democracy that lurk surtively in the political underbrush. Clearly, if such unprincipled, selfish, party-less politics gains the upper hand, its practitioners will be guilty of giving the multi-party dispensation a bad name. And, if that unfortunate situation, or a worse one, comes to pass, that will truly represent the dawn of kaliyug.

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