The Nepal Digest - Feb 10, 1999 (26 Magh 2055 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wednesday Feb 10, 1999: Magh 26 2055BS: Year8 Volume83 Issue2

Today's Topics (partial list):

       KPRB matters
       Safa Tempo Study Excerpt
       Re:Why Nepal should be a Hindu nation
       Nepal's tourism: quantity versus quality?
       Re:Confucius's teaching and the King's illness
       Conversions in Nepal - wake up nepali!
       NepalNet: Economy

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information tnd@nepal.org *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra pkm@acpub.duke.edu *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana avinayar@touro.edu *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal HamalK@dist.gov.au *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Anil Shrestha SHRESTHA@CROP.UOGUELPH.CA *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
 * TND Foundation: http://www.nepal.org tnd@nepal.org *
 * WebSlingers: Open Position tnd@nepal.org *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
 ******************************************************************************
****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 10:34:54 -0500 (EST) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <pkm@duke.edu> To: The Nepal digest Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> Subject: KPRB matters

I was dismayed at C.K. Lal's review of Ambika Adhikary's book "Urban and Environmental Planning in Nepal: Analysis, Policies and Proposals" that came out in The Nepal Digest (27 January 1999), as part of the Kathmandu Post Review of Books (27 December 1998). Lal's review was not only badly written (surprisingly for a skillful writer like Lal) but its assumptions were unworthy of KPRB. C. K. Lal was right that he shouldn't have reviewed the book, because the book was on town planning and Lal's review demonstrated little knowledge about it (despite his M. A. thesis on it) so that he could criticize the content of the book and let the readers know that the book was unworthy of readers' attention for reasons of its failure in conceptualization and execution. The review of a book should be done by a person who has certain interest, investment, and knowledge in the area. C. K. Lal's review did not evince any of these qualities.

But the most shocking aspect of the review was its bias against Adhikary, the biological Brahman. In distinguishing between Hark Gurung and Ambika Adhikary, C. K. Lal bases his willingness to have tea with Gurung solely on Gurung's non-Ivy League, non-Brahmin credentials and wants to "tee off" Adhikary just because he is a Brahmin and went to an Ivy League school. There is no evidence in Lal's review to suggest that Adhikary's being a Brahman had affected the quality of his book in any tangible form. When criticism degenerates into this kind of disconnected slandering, we should take exception to it. Brahmans and Brahminism must be criticized, and the perfidious caste system done away with post haste, but based on grounds and evidences, not on just pure biology and essentialism. C. K. Lal, a writer with enormous promise, slipped in his criticism this time.

For KPRB to be viable and criticism of Brahminism to be effective and credible, it must avoid such groundless attacks. Such attacks not only lower a writer's trustworthiness but diminish the organ that gives voice to such material. And we must remember that KPRB is not an organ like, say, The Nepal Digest, where anyone can say whatever one wants to say. KPRB has a mechanism for check and balance, which ought to help produce grounded criticism, in the process making its writers strive to be better at their craft through mutual feedback.

The whole question of writing in the Nepali context boils down to the fact that in an educational system that never allows a structure for learners to compose their thoughts at leisure based on mutual interaction, the intellectual community that Martin Chautari has been able to gather around itself could be a place of learning through trial and error and mutual feedback.

****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 13:59:56 -0500 (EST) From: pradeep paudyal <pradeep@bridgeport.edu> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu, NepalDigest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: www.vanasthali.org

   All the Vanasthalians,

You can participate in the discussion forum "Chautari" by visiting the site http://www.vanasthali.org and following the link from there. See u there then.. Pradeep

pradeep@bridgeport.edu 724 Bodine Hall 80 University Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06604 Phone: 203 576 2112
       
********************************************************* Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 05:53:29 -0500 From: Mary Des Chene <deschene@jhuvms.hcf.jhu.edu> Subject: Martin Chautari: Safa Tempo Study Excerpt To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

Bottlenecks in the Proliferation of Electric Vehicles in Nepal

Research conducted by Martin Chautari

Research Team:
                Mr. Anil Baral (Principal Investigator)
                Mr. Ramesh Parajuli (Researcher)
                Mr. Bimal Aryal (Researcher)

Following is an excerpt of the study conducted by Martin Chautari:

Kathmandu is the one of the most polluted cities in the world. Air pollution is gradually developing into threatening levels to interfere with the health of people in Kathmandu. With the beginning of the commercial operation of Electric Vehicles (EVs), one of the most effective ways to combat this pollution has been tapped. EVs offer opportunities for reducing vehicular emissions in Kathmandu and other major urban areas of Nepal. Besides EV could develop into a full-fledged industry generating much wanted employment. However, the growth of EVs in Nepal is far from satisfactory. There are a host of legislative, financial, institutional, and technical reasons working in tandem with issues of governance and foreign aid assistance which are responsible for the lack of rapid progress in the EV sector.

In this regard, Martin Chautari was assigned the task of identifying the bottlenecks in proliferation of EVs in Nepal by Winrock International's Renewable Energy Program Support Office (REPSO ), Nepal. Both Martin Chautari and REPSO hold the view that in order to direct any kind of campaign in support of large-scale EV expansion in Nepal, it is necessary to develop a clear understanding of the present state of EVs in Nepal. This report is the result of this endeavor on the part of Martin Chautari and REPSO.

Background The Electric Vehicle (EV) movement in Nepal took its root, though in an incipient form, after India imposed the trade embargo on Nepal back in 1989. The immediate impact of the embargo was fuel scarcity within Nepal. This prompted a group of engineers to find out an alternative arrangement for transportation. Well aware of Nepal being rich in hydropower, the group came up with an idea of operating electric vehicles in the country. With this aim in mind, a group called Electric Vehicle Development Group (EVDG) was constituted.

In a bid to promote the need of electric vehicles in a fuel-scarce country, the group tried to organize a private electric vehicle race in the Ring Road of Kathmandu. Advertisements were made in various media. But, there weren't any electric vehicles around (except trolley buses) that could participate in the race. Moreover, the people's movement that soon followed in 1990 made it difficult for EVDG to sustain its effort in this direction. After the restoration of Democracy, EVDG resumed its task by working on manufacturing a battery-operated EV. A Voxwagon was converted into a running EV in 1992 by EVDG.

In 1993, under the Electric Transportation Program for Kathmandu Valley, the Global Resources Institute (GRI), with assistance from the National Association of State Development Agencies (NASDA)/US Asia Environmental Partnership (USAEP) began a program that aimed to develop EVs as a profitable industry in the transportation sector. This program proposed that all Vikram (diesel or petrol) and Bajaj type tempos could be replaced from the streets of Kathmandu (Sherchan, 1997). GRI used the funds it had to convert Vikram tempos into EVs which were named SAFA tempos (meaning Clean Three Wheelers). The Vikram conversion project was initiated at the request of the then Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu Municipality, Navindra Raj Joshi. These converted EVs were put into operation for demonstration and to gain experience regarding the performance and economy of EV operation in Nepal.

At the end of the GRI run pilot project in early 1996, a group of Nepali professionals and entrepreneurs bought those EVs and they soon developed expertise in EV production. Currently over 100 EVs are plying the streets of the valley. At the moment, there are three private EV manufacturers: Nepal Electric Vehicle Industry (NEVI), Electric Vehicle Company (EVCO), and Green Electric Vehicle (Pvt.) Limited (GREV). In other words, EV manufacturing has emerged as an industry in Nepal. In 1997, His Majesty's Government and the Royal Danish Government signed an agreement to convert 100 diesel tempos into EVs within four years. For this purpose, a budget of 25 million rupees was allocated, part of which is going to be used for the establishment of charging stations. Now, Nepali banks too have shown an interest in providing finances to the EV industry.

EVs are endowed with multiple benefits. Since they run on charged batteries they do not emit harmful pollutants like unburned particulate, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, and lead, as is the case for fossil-fuel-based vehicles. EVs have a reduced noise level. They are appropriate for the Kathmandu valley and other cities in Nepal because EV operation suits low traffic speeds, short traveling distances, and mobility in narrow roads. There are more than 25,000 old and highly polluting vehicles in Kathmandu alone and converting them to electric vehicles (three wheelers and four wheelers) having zero tailpipe emission could make a significant difference in reducing air pollution. EVs technology represents an example of how a hydroelectricity rich country like Nepal can utilize its resources and reduce overdependence on imported fossil fuels.

Rationale of Study Combating the air pollution problem in the Kathmandu valley requires the introduction of an efficient transportation system. Environment friendly vehicles will have to be part of that system. In this regard the importance of EVs as pollution preventing technology is indisputable and therefore EV operation should be accorded a high priority in the context of the ever deteriorating air quality of Kathmandu. Commercial operation of EVs has already crossed the two-year mark and the impact they have made is said to be encouraging. However, lack of information, proper networking among promoters and operators, and awareness among the general public are seen to be impediments in the growth of the EV industry in Nepal. Some of the problems cited by the entrepreneurs are: limited number of charging stations, insufficient parking space, inadequate operation routes, poor dissemination of technology know-how, etc. These concerns seem genuine. In order to bridge the information gap and identify the bottlenecks in the EV industry in Nepal, a comprehensive effort to gather relevant information and analyze the technical, logistical and operational aspects of EVs is required. Such a study will eventually help begin remedial actions to ensure the future of the EV industry in Nepal.

Despite the enthusiasm for EVs on the part of the people of Kathmandu, there is virtually no group or organization that has a holistic understanding of the EV industry in its entirety. Against this backdrop, a situation analysis of the EV industry in Nepal seems relevant. For the purposes of this study, the term 'EV industry' incorporates all actors engaged in (a) manufacturing or assembling electric vehicles, electric vehicle components, electric vehicle conversion systems, or deep cycle electric vehicle batteries, (b) installing electric vehicle components or electric vehicle conversion systems, (c) servicing electric vehicles,
(d) operating electric vehicles for public transportation, and (e) providing the infrastructure for electric vehicles, including the operation of an electric vehicle battery utility, electric battery exchange stations, electric vehicle battery recycling facilities, or any other process or operation related to electric transportation.

Research Findings The report has compiled comprehensive baseline information and major constraints with regard to economical and financial, technical, legislative and policy, environmental aspects of EV operation. It has identified some key areas for advocating the promotion of EVs in Nepal. Besides, literature review sheds the light on air quality condition of Kathmandu, international EVs movement, EVs movement in Nepal and incentives for EVs promotion in various parts of the world.

Despite public enthusiasm and understanding of the need of EVs for Kathmandu, the EVs movement is not getting the momentum as expected. A plenty of problems have appeared during the course of two years of EVs operation.

The specific problems are: 1. Operators' inadequate know-how on battery maintenance and difficulty in life cycle assessment. 2. Long pay-back period due to high initial investment. 3. Inadequate charging stations at convenient locations. 4. Inadequate parking stations. 5. Lack of battery leasing system. 6. Limited policies and their weak implementation thereby not creating conducive environment for displacement of polluting vehicles and positive incentives for EV promotion. Government's treatment towards EVs also remains inconsistent. This is reflected on the recent announcement to allow the purchase of petrol based tempos not exceeding 500, a reversal of its decision to ban three-wheelers eight years back. 7. Though financial arrangements for providing loans to EVs operators have been made by the various banks, the number of people approaching the banks for loan so far remain low due to lack of confidence on the EV's future. 8. Lack of a single and authorized institution to regulate and monitor and EVs promotion and management of air quality.

Though some technical problems like poor life cycle of batteries have been solved by developing experience with the batteries charging and maintenance, other problems such as inadequate charging stations and lack of batteries leasing system are yet to be solved. Although the preferred method of ownership would be for fleets of vehicles, the operation of electric vehicles by individual owners can be profitable if selling price of the electric tempos is in reasonable range i.e. about NRs. 400,000 and battery bank facility is available.

In addition, the government's efforts are limited and that too are fragmented thereby unable to generate much desired impact on the EV promotion. A comprehensive action plan targeting EVs promotion need to be formulated by bringing all the stakeholders (commuters, EV manufacturers, owners and drivers, concerned government bodies and INGOs) together. The action plan should incorporate the provisions for additional technical, logistical, infrastructure facilities, and economic incentives for EVs as well as provisions of stringent penalty for polluting vehicles.

Recommendations With worsening air pollution in Kathmandu valley, the need to reduce the air pollution and improve the air quality has become a necessity. In this regard growth of EVs can play a crucial role in air pollution reduction and minimize the health costs associated with air pollution related diseases and hazards. Moreover, EVs like electric tempos are well suited for operation in the streets of Kathmandu valley. The narrow and crowded streets, low traffic speed and short traveling distances make the EVs a suitable choice for people of Kathmandu valley. EVs also help reduce dependency on expensive and imported fossil fuels and utilize hydro-electricity for which Nepal possess tremendous potential. Given below are the pertinent points which can serve as a platform for advocating the promotion of EVs in Nepal.

The short-term Advocacy

1. Work with Radio Sagarmatha and other media organizations to bring out flash-news on the number of electric tempos every fortnight, and broadcast programs on Electric Vehicles.

2. Conduct training programs on operation and maintenance of EVs for workshop staff and drivers. There is a good possibility of using DANIDA funds for training of users and owners.

3. Helping identify possible consensual routes for EVs at the ward level by discussing with local clubs, traffic police and local elected bodies.

4. Creating a public pressure to facilitate the demand for EVs i.e., demand driven initiative. The Long-term Advocacy

1. Pressing the government for one window policy i.e. a single authority to regulate and monitor EVs and to look after the problems of EV industry would be a good point for advocacy. There is not an integrated authority to look after the issues related to EVs. People involved in EV industry have to approach different ministries such as Ministry of Population and Environment, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry, to get things done.

2. Advocating the establishment of charging stations and battery bank in sufficient number at various places would help in promotion of EVs by 1. reducing initial investment cost for EV operators; 2. providing charging stations at convenient points at on various routes; and 3. spreading the cost of the batteries and shouldering the risk of early failure. In this regard the role of donor agencies and the government assumes a greater significance as their concerted efforts help in financing of charging stations and battery bank establishments.

3. Further reduction on tariff on electricity used for charging batteries during off-peak hours will reduce the charging cost for EV operators and increase the revenue for government by tapping underutilized electricity in off-peak hour.

4. Full exemption from customs duties and VAT for electric vehicle industries. Just as equipment, machinery and parts used in generation of solar and wind energy receive full exemptions for custom duties and VAT
(Finance Act, 2055 BS), EV industry being the cleaner industry like solar or wind energy industry should be entitled to full exemptions from custom duties and VAT. The government should not concentrate only on the foregone revenue due to VAT exemptions on these parts. It should be borne in mind that the loss of potential revenue from removal of duties and VAT is far outweighed by the economic costs of vehicular pollution in the Kathmandu valley.

5. Urging the concerned government body for strict enforcement of vehicular emission standards and banning of polluting vehicles from the core city areas as punishment for pollution.

6. Development of polluting- vehicle-free routes in a stepwise sequence to drive out non-conforming vehicles to the peripheral routes. This can be done by working with Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City with assistance from the Department of Transport Management, Traffic police and Ministry of oPE.

7. Allocation of convenient drop-off and pick up points for EVs at various areas in central and peripheral Kathmandu. Some examples are space leading to Bhotahity, in front of Ratoghar, and in front of Sajha Sales Depot in Ratnapark.

8. Urging the government and donor agencies to provide funding for research and development activities on the manufacturing of two, three as well as four wheelers electric vehicles.

9. Generation of technical and financial support for the battery collection and establishments of battery recycling plants.

10. Allocation of fund by DANIDA and other donor agencies to finance the purchase of new EVs at the same 5% interest rate as DANIDA has earlier set for Vikram tempo conversion on a sustained basis so as to avoid the market poisoning.

11. The potentials for EVs in other parts of rapidly growing cities should be assessed. There are possibilities of introducing EVs in cities like Pokhara and Hetaunda where gasoline tempos like Bajaj and Vikram are banned, as non-polluting mode of transportation.

12. There is also possibility of promoting EVs thorough theme based ownership, e.g, women owned EVs. EV can be projected as a source of employment generation for women too. There was a case of women driving Electric tempo being reported in The Kathmandu Post.

Martin Chautari Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal tel: 977-1-246065 email: chautari@mos.com.np

****************************************************************** From: "Gaurab Raj Upadhaya" <gaurab_raj@hotmail.com> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - Feb 2, 1999 (18 Magh 2055 BkSm) Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 05:43:21 PST

Hello,

Some comments on this.

"Does the Digest have any readership in Kathmandu? What is its size like? Any wild guess? The Digest definitely does not seem to get many contributions from Kathmandu, though. Granted quite a few Kathmanduites have internet access now,maybe it is the content of the Digest that seems to be geared towards the ex-patriates that they find not appealing. I wish they would contribute at least."

Although, i would not be able to give any numbers, lots of people i know
(in Kathmandu ) subscribe to TND. I would guesstimate it at around 100.

But as you point out, contributions are rare and there are many factors to it.

1- People yet don't take easily to participating in any online forum. Even the local Nepal List mailing list sees very low activity and nill activity for long times.

2- The cost still remains high in many cases. Many people still prefer using UUCP e-mail where they are charged by the KB for "non nepal originating mail" and refrain from participating and do not subscribe at all.

3- And it is also true that a lot of content is oriented to Ex-pat Nepalis. It would not make sense for someone to read the "book review" in TND when they have most probably read it in the newspaper itself.

The TND home page was reviewd some time back in one local IT publication and I think more people would like receiving it. Rajpal ji would be able to give at least an idea by looking at the mailing list and finding out how many addresses end in ".np"

I might as well suggest that if TND starts using ".np" as the part of the domain, lots of people will subscribe, as UUCP users will not be charged. And it is not at all a bad idea after all.

Gaurab Raj Upadhaya

********************************************************** From: "Kamath" <pkamath@prodigy.net> To: <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Searching Doctor Prasanna Chandra Gautham Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 13:25:09 -0600

Dr. Prasanna Chandra Gautham was my classmate at Bangalore Medical College, India from 63-69. I am trying to locate him. He was the son of governor of Nepal National Bank. Someone iformed me that he was last located at Aberdeen, U. K. Can any oe tell me where I can get hold of him?

Dr. Kamath E. Mail: Pkamath@prodigy.net

**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 00:39:49 +0300 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: deepak@bgumail.bgu.ac.il (Deepak Khandka) Subject: Re:Why Nepal should be a Hindu nation

Bipulendu's Hinduism =3D Intolerant tolerance ?

Mr. Bipulendu Narayan Singh has recently contributed several times on TND=
 to defend his conviction of the supremacy of Hindu religion over other=
 religions and defend that Nepal should be a Hindu state. His main argument,=
 repeated again and again, is that Hindu religion (He prefers to call it=
 'Hinduism'. Lately he has given up insisting that it is a way of life,=
 though) is a tolerant one whereas Christianity and Islam are not.

=46irst of all, if the contributor is out to sell Hindu religion or any=
 religion for that matter on TND, I think he has come to the wrong place. He=
 had better look for a market somewhere else. I am sure he will find a=
 welcome place. There are plenty of them out there.

Second, the contributor seems to be not understanding the very meaning of=
 tolerance. I do not understand how a preacher of a tolerant religion can=
 say other religions are bad. Maybe Bipulendujee has intolerant tolerance.=
 Isn't that absurd? But, it is definitely not surprising when it comes to=
 the religion. It does not require a hard look to see several contradictory,=
 wrong and absurd concepts and ideas in any religion.

And third, why should Nepal be a secular state ? Because it is the most=
 tolerant way of life, far more tolerant than Bipulendujee's Hinduism.

-Deepak Khadka Ben Gurion University Sede Boker Israel

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 08:58:42 -0500 Subject: Hindu nation? To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

In these days of too much hysterical, defensive communication, I appreciate Mr. BP SINGH's gentle response to his critic about "Why Nepal should be a Hindu nation." But recent events (Ayodhya, for one) point out that there are extremists everywhere, including Hindu society.

I think it matters more that Nepal is ruled by a clean, compassionate, and visionary government, than a Hindu one. But if Hindus can achieve that, more power to them.

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 13:13:50 +1300 From: Gyan Nyaupane <nyaupag@kahu.lincoln.ac.nz> Subject: Nepal's tourism: quantity versus quality? To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

              Nepal's tourism: Quantity versus quality?

The first ever major tourism promotion event "Visit Nepal Year (VNY) '98 " has recently been completed. It is time to evaluate its consequences. Although the organisers proclaim its success, it should be critically analysed before deciding the future path of Nepal's tourism for the next millennium.

The arithmetic target of attracting half a million visitors was neither appropriate nor achieved. The target was nearly 23 per cent more than the arrivals of the year 1997 compared with the 5.7 per cent average annual increment. Numbers have always been taken as a yardstick for measuring the success of tourism in Nepal. But how important are they? We have already experienced that the number of tourists from 1996 to 1997 increased by 13,687 (3.5 %) but foreign currency earnings dropped by 10.5 per cent from 146.15 million dollars in 1996 to 130.15 million dollars in 1997. It is therefore suggestive that increasing the average length of stay and tourist spending per day are more important than the number of visitors.

To increase the number of days and average spending per day, quality and diversity of tourism products should be considered as a mantra. We should be clear whether we want to attract budget tourists or up-market tourists. The key promotional themes of Visit Nepal were "Nepal '98- A world on its own" and "a sustainable habitat through sustainable tourism". The VNY therefore signalled the policy of increasing quality tourism but it seems that more money was spent on constructing gates and hanging banners than improving the quality of tourism products.

>From the demand side, Nepal should understand what
image is portrayed to international tourists. International tourists visiting Nepal have been attracted by its magnificent landscape-the mystique of Mt Everest and many more of the highest peaks of the world, and Nepali people and their culture. Nepal is one of the best known trekking destination of the world and these are the images Nepal presents to the world. It has been a dream of the trekker who seeks relatively quiet adventure. On the contrary, Nepal is replacing that image with one of the places of "millions of tourists". The Visit Nepal '98 may thus play a negative role through attracting too many tourists. Nepal's tourist attractions and market are different from the high density sun, surf and sand tourists so calling for millions of tourists is beyond our capacity at this stage.

We may have enough hotel rooms to accommodate and to cater for these tourists but they do not come to sleep in a hotel room in Kathmandu or in Pokhara. Their main aim for visiting Nepal is to see the country either by going to trek in the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang or other areas, or by taking part in the adventure of white water rafting in the Trishuli river or riding an elephant to see rhinos in Chitwan. In addition, they come to see our unique cultural and natural heritage. So the target should be guided according to the capacity of the resources in the local destination, not simply accommodation in the major cities.
    Some of the tourists who visited Nepal in 1997 and earlier seemed reluctant to visit Nepal in 1998 because they thought that there would be a lot of tourists and they said that they would not go Nepal to see tourists, and be part of the crowds.

In addition, tourists who have visited Nepal in "Visit Nepal Year" did not seem happy with its slogan. One of the Canadian tourists visiting the Annapurna area commented
"Nepal should get rid of the slogan that the guests are as gods" referring atithi devo vava slogan of Visit Nepal '98. Another said "the VNY '98 gate in the airport was under construction till the middle of the year in the name of VNY. That is unacceptable to me. Rather I would like to see one more tree planted in the mountains and mountain areas cleaned of garbage".

Word of mouth is the main source of information for most tourists visiting Nepal. Tourists visiting Nepal are the main promoters of Nepali tourism in the world tourism market. Their images are formed from what their friends told them about Nepal, rather than the Nepali slogan. So it is important to spend money for improving quality to provide better experiences for tourists than building gates, making stickers and so on.

So before making decisions on any strategies for tourism promotion we should find out more about the images of Nepal held by international tourists and what the visitors like and what they do not like about Nepal.

A telephone survey was conducted in Christchurch of New Zealand with people who had visited Nepal to find what they like and what they do not like about Nepal. Each respondent was asked about their four best and four worst experiences with their visits to Nepal. The results may help to reposition Nepal's image and to improve the quality of experiences.

The best things about Nepal include Nepali people, cultural diversity of Nepal, scenery and the richness of flora and fauna. More important here is the things tourists do not like to see in Nepal. All of the tourists chose "pollution in Kathmandu" as the worst thing in their trip to Nepal. A tourist who visited Nepal four times expressed "I would not like to spend even a single night in Kathmandu and would not go to Kathmandu if there were any alternative international airports in the country". Afraid of getting sick due to the drinking unsafe water is the second worst thing reported by the surveyed tourists. Lack of cleanliness-especially lack of proper management of garbage is the third worst thing they experienced which is followed by lack of proper information, deforestation, difficulties with bureaucracy and hassles with guides and taxi drivers.

So, if we would like to develop tourism, the first thing we need to do is improve the quality rather than calling for increasing the quantity.

---------------------------- The author belongs to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and currently he is doing his masters in Parks and Recreation and Tourism Management at Lincoln University, New Zealand. His research is on ecotourism. He could be contacted in the following address. Gyan Prasad Nyaupane Human Sciences Division Lincoln University New Zealand Nyaupag@kahu.lincoln.ac.nz

************************************************************* Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 01:06:33 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@fas.harvard.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: A Clarification

Mr. N. R. Devkota writes: (TND, February 2 '99)

"It was nice to read about the recent books published in Nepal that are reviewed by Ashutosh Tiwari".

Dear Mr. Devkota and other TND readers,

Just to disabuse you of this flattering but misleading notion: I merely FORWARD book reviews to TND and SCN. I do/did NOT write all those reviews by myself. I make sure that the names of books, authors and reviewers are given due prominence; I regret if things were not really clear.
  If you wish to submit reviews, or browse through the archives of published reviews, please visit The Kathmandu Post Review of Books ko web-site:

        http://jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu/~deschene/sinhas/kprb.html

Thank you, oohi ashu

************************************************************** Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 13:04:39 +0300 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: deepak@bgumail.bgu.ac.il (Deepak Khandka) Subject: Re:Confucius's teaching and the King's illness

                          Confucius's teaching and the King's illness
                            Confusing teaching on the King's illness

This is to comment on Rabindra Mishra's piece titled 'Confucius's teaching=
 and the King's illness' (source: People's Review) appeared on TND on Jan.=
 20, 1999.=20

In a piece Mr. Mishra wrote to express his anger over the inadequate=
 information he and 'the loyal subjects of the King' received from the=
 palace about the health situation of the King, he says many interesting=
 things. He writes that the King is the only figure genuinely respected in=
 the country, there is a very high public support for the King at the=
 moment, Bhai-Bhardars and the palace officials were responsible for all the=
 'supposed' wrongdoing of the King during Panchayat era, etc.

Does the writer have a hidden intention to revive the autocratic rule of the=
 King again? Otherwise, what is the point of the writer in saying all these=
 when the King is not the ruler of the country but just the constitutional=
 figure head? Is the writer not aware that we now have democracy and the=
 democratic institutions in the country? The inadequacy of the information=
 on King's health situation does not affect the day to day running of the=
 country. Besides, it may well be King's private matters.

Since I do not know writer's other political views, I refrain from my=
 temptation to view him as a 'pseudo-sophisticated MANDALE'. However I would=
 like to attract his as well as reader's attention to his following argument= s,

1) The King is respected

It is not the point. The point should be if the King respected or respects=
 the people. The King is respected by the common people anyway. It is a=
 matter of tradition, culture and psychology. When the King was an=
 autocratic ruler, it was the enormous power, wealth, luxury, class and the=
 heredity he carried, was the source of the respect. Now, it is everything=
 except the power. If the King becomes a beggar, like some ex-Rajas I heard=
 are in India today, I wonder what will be the situation of this respect.

If the writer meant to say that our King has gained the public respect since=
 the restoration of democracy because of his good behavior (like he did not=
 attempt to regain his lost power, he acted strictly according to the=
 constitution made by Nepali people), he is probably right. And thanks to=
 the constitutional sovereignty to the people that the King does not have=
 the power to abuse !

By stating that the King is the only figure in the country genuinely=
 respected, the writer seems connoting that the political leaders of the=
 country do not have public respect today. The writer is right on this. All=
 the political leaders of today are NALAYAK and it is a disappointing and=
 shameful situation for all of us. But the solution of this problem can not=
 be the King. It should be the people, always the people. We are entering=
 into the twenty-first century and there is no room for the absolute=
 monarchy in it.

2) Bhai-Bhardar were bad, not the King

This is a myth wide spread among the common people. Learned historians will=
 tell how much of it has the historical contribution and how much of it may=
 have been created and spread by the machinery of the palace. However, this=
 myth has been a wonderful blessing to the King. Not all the monarchs of the=
 world were fortunate to have such a blessing.

Dear Mr. Rabindra Mishra, we are not talking about a baby King. We are=
 talking about a college educated mature King. I can not imagine that our=
 King was unaware of the fact that he kept the Nepali people deprived of=
 democracy, human rights and sovereignty in a world of twentieth century. Or=
 has he not learnt about these concepts ? Mr. Mishra, you sound knowing a=
 lot about it, so please tell us. Poor Bhardar and secretaries, you did your=
 job to increase the life, wealth, power and influence of the King. And what=
 did you get in return? A chanting of death to you by public and its=
 justification by Rabindra Mishra and likes !

Mr. Mishra, before you put all the blames on the Bhardars and palace=
 secretaries, I would like you to pay attention to a line from a song of the=
 Hindi film 'Sharabi'-

Nasha sharab me hota to nachati bottle
(Should alcohol contain the intoxicity, the bottle would dance)

3) Keeping the public in dark about the palace shortens the life of a monarc= hy?

No. In fact, the opposite is true. If Mr. Mishra or any others are=
 interested to have this riddle solved, I will contribute it on TND next tim= e.

=46inally, I admit and apologize in advance for using a few strong=
 expression and sounding attacking your opinions, Mr. Mishra. I do not know=
 anything more about you. You are probably a man of intellect, reason and ho= nesty.

With due respect and apology in advance,

-Deepak Khadka Ben Gurion University Sede Boker Israel

********************************************************************* Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 11:14:24 -0500 (EST) From: Bipulendu Singh <singhb@wabash.edu> Subject: Conversions in Nepal - wake up nepali! To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

Christians Accused In Aid Misuse Scam

     USAID funds are used for conversion programs

     By Dr. Hari Bansh Jha, Nepal

     The International Organization Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA/Nepal) has generated controversy by proselytizing in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. ADRA is the humanitarian aid branch of theSeventh Day Adventist Church, an international organization. It has ten million members and is worth an estimated $15.6 billion. With 5,400 schools, the church has the largest Christian school system after the Roman Catholics. Critics charge that it has been violating the terms and conditions for operating in Nepal by carrying out illegal conversion activities.
        ADRA was the subject of a lengthy two-part critical report in the August 13 and 14, 1998, issues of the LosAngeles Times, one of the world's largest and most prestigious newspapers. In just the last two years, writeinvestigators Eric Lictblau and Tom Gorman, ADRA received "US$85 million in federal cash, food and freight, plus tens of millions more from other nations." "The aims of the overseas relief effort are no doubtrighteous," they state, "bringing medicine to the sick, food to the hungry, schooling to the unlearned. Butthey are entrusted largely with US public funds to do it, and that is the nub of many of the problems. Alongwith that assistance have come serious questions about how it has been used--from accusations of corruption to complaints of unlawful proselytizing." It is illegal to use US government money for conversion work, they explain, but the distinction can be hard to maintain. The article quotes a relief worker in Africa,
     "If I'm going to build a road, I'm going to have it go past an Adventist church." The article covers global problems with ADRA's activities internationally and specifically cites the situation in Nepal as an example of the pursuit of conversion goals under the guise of humanitarian aid. Many of the organizations sharing the
     USAID's $1.4 billion yearly budget are Christian. The agency attempts to see that the aid is not used for conversion. But the situation is that villagers do not know better and believe the aid being given is dependent upon their converting, even when conversion is not directly demanded as a condition of the aid.
        The specific allegations against ADRA Nepal include the use of Asian Aid funds to proselytize students by sending them to study in their colleges in Roorkee and Pune in India; the conversion of students at the Nepal Adventist School by insisting they to attend the Banepa City Church operated in the student's hostel in Banepa; the misuse of duty-free facility to import recording equipment by recording Christian materials; and in covert programs of proselytization.
        The matter came to a head a year ago when veteran leader of the UML political party and former Education Minister Modnath Prashrit said that ADRA Nepal is carrying on religious conversion by spending millions of rupees. ADRA denied all allegations made against the organization. Following the formal complaint lodged against ADRA with the Ministry of Health, a committee was formed under the convenorship of Dr. Durga Prasad Manandhar, Special Secretary of Ministry of Health. The Committee requested ADRA to stop raising funds for the Adventist School in Banepa, shut down its recording studio and in general adhere to the guidelines set down when the organization entered the country.

     At a press conference convened by the Nepal-based World Hindu Federation figures were presented showing that by 1998 over 400,000 people in Nepal have been converted to Christianity, up from 5 in 1951. They claimed that many of the 81 international non-governmental organizations working in Nepal engage in conversion to some degree. They pointed out that the combined budgets of the INGOs is equal to half of
     Nepal's total government expenditures, giving the INGO's extraordinary influence. Gyanendra Ghale, a disgruntled former employee of ADRA, presented audio and visual facts during the WHF press conference in which he showed how USAID grants were used by ADRA for conversion in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.
     He has dozens of internal documents to back up his charges. Subsequent to these revelations, the government changed in Nepal, and the new government was unwilling to imperil badly needed foreign aid by pursuing the charges against ADRA--who tactfully curtailed their more controversial projects.

     It is illegal to convert a person in Nepal to another religion, but the law is not enforced. A man is liable to be
     imprisoned for three years if found trying to convert a person, six years if successful. But since 1990, no
     person has been imprisoned, although hundreds of thousands have been converted. Networking among the
     Hindu organizations will greatly help to expose the missionaries involved. If not done, the Hindus will have a
     great price to pay for their indifference.

Subject: REPLY TO PARAMENDRA BHAGAT To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

        I am relieved to know atleast something of what I say makes sense to you. Now let me take the next step and see if i can make some more sense.
        You refered to christianity's assertion about its exclusivity as being a part of the "hard core" element in the religion. But is it really? Isn't the qoute I mentioned one of the basic elements of the religion (one that every practising christian beleives in)? Does not Christianity function on the basic beleif that only Christ is right and only the christian way is the right way? Isn't it the goal of the Church to see that the whole world is christian?
        I would have no problems with the whole world becoming christian if Christianity could do it by convincing everyone about its validityi.e. by bringing about a genuine change of heart on basis of philosophical argument and proof. But has that been the case? Is that the case in Nepal or India or any other developing country? No!
        They have been getting most of their conversions from the most poor and the illiterate in our midst. They have been using their monetary superiority to impose their religion on us in the name of social service? They have been distributing medicines and telling the poor that they got cured because of the grace of Christ? They have been exploiting our poverty and weakness to convert us to a religion of whose spiritual worth we have no idea. Put differently, we have been allowing our our religion, our tradition, and our very soul to be sold for money.
        I know you will get started on with the whole thing about the caste system and perversions in the hindu society. But no matter what all these things are perversions. Perversions that we must all work together to remedy - perversions that should serve as no excuse for anyone to come and divide us.

****************************************************************** From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <paramendra@hotmail.com> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Budhanilkantha School, Nepal Sadbhavana Party Date: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 12:53:56 PST

Budhanilkantha School Club on Yahoo
<http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/budhanilkanthaschool>

Nepal Sadbhavana Party Club on Yahoo
<http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/nepalsadbhavanaparty>

Subject: NepalNet: Economy

<http://www.PanAsia.org.sg/nepalnet/ecnoframe.htm>

For those wanting to participate in discussions on the National Economy on this Forum, I recommend the above site. It has the following useful articles. Book Reviews are all fine, and it is okay to be looking for phone numbers and e-mail addresses, but let's also have some informed discussions.

Economy (General)

1. The Rising Nepal - "Budget For '98/'99: A Positive Appraisal" - By Shama 2. PC Quest Nepal - VAT And The IT Industry - By Prakash Khanal 3. FNCCI - Banned Products - By FNCCI, Nepal 4. PCQ-Nepal - Privatization - Adapted From PCQ-Nepal 5. Tourism Development In Nepal - Adapted From The New Economic Mirror 6. The Nepalese Carpet Industry - By Raju Sitaula 7. Economy : Adapted From JICA Report 1995 And Future Of Nepalese Economy - By Friedrich
   Ebert Stiftung/FES 8. Nepalese Economic Indicators : FNCCI 9. Employment : NPCS & Freidrich Ebert Stiftung 10. Employemnt Issues: - By Bhwan Bajra Bajracharya 11. FNCCI - Economic Sluggishness In The Nepalese Economy 12. Nepal Chambers of Commerce - Effects Of Globalisation In Nepal 13. FNCCI - Current Issues In Nepalese Economy 14. FNCCI - Policies And Institutions Affecting Business Environment

Industry

1. Dept. of Smal Scale Industry - Classification Of Registered Cottage And Small Indiustries 2. FNCCI - Capacity Utilization Of Major Industries For The Fiscal Year 1995/96 3. Central Bureau Of Statistics - Gross Domestic Product By Industrial Growth. 4. FNCCI - Industrial Scenario At A Glance 5. Ministry Of Labour - Industrial Relation Status In Nepal
(1992-1997) 6. The Labour Department & The Dept. Of Statistics - Industrial Relation Status In Various Areas (1996-97) 7. FNCCI - Classifications Of Industries 8. Central Bureau Of Statistics - Taxes Paid By Manufacturing Industries (1988-1995) 9. FNCCI - Production Of Commodities (1992-1997)

Trade

1. JICA Report 1995- Trade Relations With India 2. FNCCI - Nepalese Ties With India And China

Labour

1. Labour - NPCS, FNCCI & Freidrich Ebert Stiftung 2. Central Bureau Of Statistics - Manpower Engaged In Manufacturing Establishments (1995)

Enterprise

1. FAO - The FAO MicroBanking System 2. Micro Enterprises Development Programme 3. Micro-credit Enterprises - The New Economic Mirror
       Foreign Investment

1. Foreign Investment In Nepal - By FNCCI And The World Order 2. FNCCI - Investment Climate In Nepal 3. Dept. Of Industry - Projects For Investment

International Development Aid

1. Foreign Aid In Nepal - Library Of Congress

Other links

1. Press Release: World Bank Approves US$ 103.27 Million In New Credits To Nepal - Bank
   Financing To Support Trade Facilitation And Irrigation Projects : The World Bank

2. The Centre For Community & Enterprise Networking: Using Information
& Communications
   Technology For Local Economic Development

<http://www.PanAsia.org.sg/nepalnet/ecnoframe.htm>

********************************************************** Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 08:43:32 -0500 To: tnd@nepal.org, a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: "Rajesh B. Shrestha" <rajs@bbnplanet.com> Subject: Alliance between CAN and GBNC

Dear TND Readers,

On behalf of Greater Boston Nepal Community (GBNC), I am pleased to announce an alliance between GBNC and Computer Association of Nepal
(CAN), based in Kathmandu, Nepal, in an effort to promote information technology (IT) in Nepal.

As part of the alliance, GBNC has set up the IT NEPAL discussion mailing list to bring IT experts and interested people in Nepal and around the world together to talk about IT.

Subscription to the mailing list is FREE and open to all.

If you are an IT professional or are interested in information related to the IT industry in Nepal, I urge you to join the newly created discussion mailing list! Thanks to Kunga Tshring, you may subscribe to the mailing list through the web at http://www.nepalsearch.com/it-nepal.

More information about the mailing list is attached below.

Thank you. Rajesh Babu Shrestha President, GBNC

Interested in information related to the IT industry in Nepal?

Then join the IT discussion mailing list (it-nepal@mit.edu)!

The IT NEPAL mailing list is a result of the alliance between the Computer Association of Nepal (CAN), based in Kathmandu, Nepal and the Greater Boston Nepali Community (GBNC), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The goal of the mailing list is to facilitate sharing and communication of news and ideas related to IT industry in Nepal between interested people both inside and outside Nepal.

The list already consists of several Nepali experts and industrialists from Nepal and North America.

Subscription to the mailing list is FREE and open to all.

The mailing list is currently unmoderated. All contributors are expected to adhere to an appropriate use policy. Please refrain from posting any flames, greetings or messages of personal nature.

Request for subscription to the IT NEPAL mailing list should be sent to:

it-nepal-request@mit.edu

Please include:
- a brief introduction about yourself
- educational background
- contact address
- nature of current work
- experience
- interest and ideas (if any) pertinent to the development of IT in Nepal

You may subscribe to the mailing list through the web at http://www.nepalsearch.com/it-nepal.

Changes require at least 24 hours to take effect.

Neither GBNC, CAN nor MIT is responsible for the content of any messages in the mailing list. The contributors of individual messages are themselves responsible for any copyright violations.

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