The Nepal Digest - February 20, 1997 (8 Falgun 2053 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Thursday 20 Feb 97: Falgun 8 2053BS: Year6 Volume59 Issue 3

Today's Topics:

              Why beat up pickpockets only?
              Internship Opportunity in Nepal
              About Buddha again.
              Ambassador Thapa's Speech and Mishra/Tuladhar Reaction
              Kathmandu where two religions meet
              On Development of Ethics
              Nepal Volunteer Opportunites
 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
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 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Chief Editor: RJP Singh (Open Position) *
 * Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh Shrestha (Open Position) *
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 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari,Prakash Bista*
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 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
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 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 14:16:41 -0500 To: Subject: [Fwd: nepalese teenage girls are solded for Bombay brothels.] From: (Vicente Belmonte)

Please excuse such a long file. But I just couldn't help reporting this issue, publishing it on the newsgroup. I also ask you, all readers, to report in the newsgroup any attack to human rights or life dignity, we all can collaborate to help grow an awareness towards such things that must be changed. We're particularly sensitive towards childhood and youth, but all other issues are also welcome.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Newspaper EL PAIS, Thursday 23rd of January 1997 (page 32) SPAIN

Some specialists reckon about 200,000 nepalese teenage girls are involved in this cruel market. These girls, aged 9 to 16, are sold in Nepal and end up in Bombay brothels. There they eventually catch 'the Bombay illness' (that is, AIDS), and are sent back home. Humanitarian organizations estimate 10,000 of these girls are sent each year to Bombay, making it the most active slaves traffic in the world.

As a consequence of this sexual slavery, AIDS is beginning to hit the Hymalaian region as well. They're expulsed from the brothels once they become feverish and develop the external signs that show the're sick. Hundreds of misfortuned girls go back home in a pityful state, to die off in their origin villages at mountainous Nepal. They're seldom accepted. Nepalese press, often taking the government's side, refers to these girls as 'the rotten merchandise from India'. As bitterly puts it Dura Chimire, president of ABC Nepal (a humanitarian organization at Katmandu) "Nobody wants to speak about the issue, not even girls' families. There are parents who sold their daughters, and husbands who get rid of their young wives".

Depending on her beauty, a girl sells for US$185 to 550, a lower price than that of a buffalo, and slightly higher than that of a video player. A girl called Anu Tamang, who's now 21 y.o., is afraid of coming back home. "I'm like a damaged egg, nobody wants me", says Anu, a thin, pale brown eyed woman who stays in a hostel at Katmandu. Delicate and with clear skin, the Tamang women have been traditionally appreciated as concubines by nepalese courtiers. After the arrival of democracy in 1951, they were moved to prostitution districts.

A few of them voluntarily choose prostitution to escape poverty in the mountains. They don't know the risks of getting sick and being confined in brothels as prisoners. But most of them are under age ones, sold or cheated into 'skin trade'.


India and Nepal share an open border, so that the exact figures of this market are unknown. "They may well be hundreds, even thousands", says Cauri Prodhan, president of the humanitarian organization 'Child Workers' from the Nepal Concerned Center.

Geeta's story, who's now about 30, shows the hate and distrust these girls must face when they come back. Being a victim of neumonia and diarrhea as a consequence of AIDS, she was too sick to offer her services to workers and 'ricksaw' drivers (man-pulled taxis), her regular customers. She was fired from the brothel. She looked for the man who had sold her as a prostitute at Katmandu, and she found him. The pimp hit her and abandoned her half dead.

This happened back in 1991, when Nepal seemed to be immune to the AIDS epidemy that suffered India. The Nepalese press told her story in a a way that when she recovered enough as to come back to her home in Melanchi, a group of Tamang stopped her from entering the village. Her mother begged Geeta to go back to Katmandu, to avoid her parents the shame of having a daughter who had catched the prostitutes' illness. Geeta stubbornly refused leaving. Nowadays her health is deteriorating, and her possibilities to defeat AIDS are unexisting. In Nepal, where average yearly income is under US$ 185, expensive medicines are absolutely out of reach for these youngsters.

Social workers declare that girls are younger each time. Two weeks ago, two small girls from Bombay, aged 7 and 15, were handed over to Katmandu police. They're victims of a growing superstition, according to which those men who suffer from AIDS and other venereal diseases could get cured if they go to bed with a virgin.

Maya was only eight when her cousin sold her. "They gave me hormone shots so that my breasts swelled". One day, the madame entered her room and started to make up her face. "A man came in and forced me to have sexual intercourse with him", recalls the girl. "I fought, but five women from the house blocked my arms and legs". Now she's 13 y.o., and already has the AIDS virus. Her anger comes out suddenly:
"Men? I'd like to kill them, cut their penises out"

How can still exist such situations when we're approaching the 21st century?

We just started out to create a world wide information and reporting organization in the internet. I think this effort is worth the troubles. Eventually we will devote our efforts to attack the problems at their origin. If required, even economically and socially boycotting worldwide those countries which governments allow or take part in such offenses. Always pacifically, there are ways enough.

Just imagine if we could count in the future on a solidarity world structure inside the internet, with simple channels to convey informantion. When one of these cases occurred, we could take some pressure, isolation or boycott measures towards the governments which allow those situations. Perhaps those measures would be more effective than those of occidental superpowers, which never implicate themselves enough at the humanitarian level.

If you are interested in participating in the creation of this communication and information network, just drop us some lines.

Please let us know any suggestions, contacts or similar initiatives around the world. Any other comments are also welcome.

A mailing list of persons interested in solidarity issues will be created as well. Those who'd like to be included, just send a message.


Vicente Belmonte Coordinator GTII Solidarity Group. President of Grupo de Trabajo Independiente en Internet

Vicente Belmonte Grupo de Trabajo Independiente en Internet

****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 16:05:34 EST To: From: Subject: re: OWNERSHIP of buddhism

  dear sir/madam:
     i think it's rediculous to discuss the "ownership" of buddhism, for it's merely an idea, albeit a shared idea. some would say it's a way of life (lifestyle) as opposed to a religion. it belongs to whoever wants to partake of its teachings.
     now to argue whether Lord Buddha was born in Nepal or India is ridiculous as well. so far, we know, on the basis of the inscription on the Ashoka Pillar, that Lord Buddha was born roughly 2,600 years ago in WHAT IS NOW NEPAL. there was no India then, as there was no Nepal. the Indian subcontinent including the region now called Nepal was only a conglomeration of many disparate kingdoms ruled by various kings at various times. Lord Buddha was born in Kapilvastu, a kingdom in its own right back then. Eventually Kapilvastu was incorporated into modern Nepal, and hence we say Lord Buddha was born in Nepal. However, the distinction has to be made. Lord Buddha was born in Kapilvastu (historically)
 , and WHAT IS NOW NEPAL (technically).
      i do understand and sympathise with the feelings of nepalese when India tries to mislead the world in things pertaining to the Indian Subcontinent. for example, in american colleges and universities, dipawali is celebrated as an "indian festival". i think this is inaccurate. to say that dipawali (or diwali or tihar or other variants) is an "indian festival" is to logically imply that "all indians, whether muslim or sikh or hindu, celebrate diwali NATIONALLY). dipawali is technically, a HINDU festival, celebrated by HIndus all across the world who care to celebrate. another way, India tends to mislead is by saying that Everest is to the north of India. I read this somewhere. While this is as accurate as saying Canada is to the north of Chile, I think the degree of accuracy is better enhanced by saying that Canada is to the north of the USA. In another word, while Everest is truly to the north of India, it is more accurate to say that it is to the north of Nepal. The issue is not accuracy in absolute sense but the degree of accuracy. I'm sure many misinformed tourists must have gone to India to climb Everest, only to be disappointed that it is further north than they'd been led to believe. I think India gains harder foreign currencies this way at the expense of Nepal. This fact alone has huge implications for Nepal's Tourist Industry. I'm sure many foreigners might have ventured into India to visit the birthplace of Lord Buddha onlyu to learn it is still further to the north in what is now Nepal. Of course, there are other shrines of Buddha in modern India.

   while of course, it's unfair to bash whole India for such misleading info, i think nepalese should make the above distinctions i have outlined whenever opportunity arises. have nepalese students in the USA and elsewhere popularized the notion that "dipawali is not an indian festival, but a hindu one", or that officially "nepal is the only hindu nation in the world, while India is a secular state." it's a pity that nepal is so much in India's shadow, that Nepal can only point out its unique difference relative to India, and while doing so may be accused of "India-bashing."

  unless such fallacies are corrected, they become increasingly hard to dispel. in fact, they become so entrenched that later they'll acquire their own reality.

   hey, i root for the underdog. my two cents worth.


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********************************************************** Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 12:38:40 -0500 (EST) From: To: Subject: Why beat up pickpockets only?

                    Why beat up pickpockets only?
                         Ashutosh Tiwari
           You are waiting for a bus anywhere in urban Nepal. Suddenly, a
 group of men dash past your side, running after a scruffy-looking boy of
 eighteen. "Chor! Pakait-chor!!" You hear the men yelling. You see the
 alleged pickpocket dodging buses and jumping over the tea-shop benches, in a
 desperate bid to get away -- but only to be caught near the newsstand.
 Baying for blood, the mob throws itself on top of the boy, blindly
 dispensing its own justice.
          Thwack! The boy is beaten. Thud! The boy is kicked. More and more
 beatings follow. Soon, a barrage of punches, kicks, slaps, taunts and
 insults, and the alleged culprit is reduced to the stage of near-death. Is
 the picked wallet found? That is never really clear.
           Watching all this from a short distance, how do you, as an educated and aware Nepali nagarik, react? You could try explaining how your
 fellow-Nepalis -- the very people who bask in the made-for-tourism
 self-image of being among the world's most peaceful people -- can turn so
 violent at the mere hint of an alleged petty crime. Or, you could try
 figuring out what makes ordinary Nepalis on the street suddenly take the law
 into their own hands to be the prosecutor, the jury and the judge, and kick
 and punch anyone who is yet to be proven guilty -- of any crime -- in the
 formal court of law.
          Or, could all this have happened because in Nepal the afterglow of
 spontaneous mob-justice seems to raise everyone's social satisfaction? After
 all, the members of that crowd can later declare with pride how they were
 able to punish the alleged criminal sooner than the police, and certainly
 faster than the judicial system.
          And consider too, their chain of logic, as they sit drinking their
 cups of tea, secure in the knowledge that they themselves need not fear any
 legal retribution for beating up a suspected criminal in public: A chor is a
 chor, they say, whether a mere pickpocket or anything more. Since "our
 peaceful society" does not like criminals, and since the police and the
 courts take too long a time to take actions and to deliver justice, what's
 wrong with a few concerned citizens like ourselves speeding up the chain of
 justice by kicking a few alleged criminals in bus-stops? The ends, after
 all, do justify the means, don't they?
          Understandable from their viewpoints perhaps. But such attitudes
 raise larger questions. If, on the one hand, we ordinary Nepalis are so
 easily outraged by petty crimes on the street -- to the extent that we are
 willing to give up the idea of judicial supremacy (the bedrock principle of
 parliamentary democracy), and beat up the alleged criminals ourselves --
  then why do we, as members of this nation-state, are not similarly outraged
 when, to cite a recent example, the mechanics of our judicial system gets
 manipulated in ways such that Panchayati-goondas such as Bharat Gurung and
 others are exonerated of their crimes with an untenable (meaning: on vague
 grounds) legal amnesty?
          Bharat Gurung may or may not deserve his amnesty, who can tell.
 But if a criminal is a criminal until he legally completes his sentence or
 earns a TENABLE amnesty in-between, then, is Bharat Gurung's being totally
 free now, well ahead of the sentence-term that had been meted out six years
 ago by a military-court, worthy of less of a public outrage than that a boy
 of 18 allegedly picking a passenger's pocket?
          If as a nation, we believe that we the citizens indeed have the
 right to beat up criminals, then why only stop at pickpockets? Why not go
 around beating Bharat Gurung and others, too? But the fact that we don't do
 beat up other criminals means that we have a different standards for
 public-punishment for different criminals. Some, like alleged pickpockets,
 are to be wildly beaten up in public; some, with powerful connections, are
 not to be touched at all. Either way, we can assure ourselves, we are making
 a mockery of the idea of judicial supremacy. And the reason, I think, has
 something to do with the public perception of rampant foul play within
 Nepal's legal system.
          Sure, those atop the legal system continue to talk about the need
 to strengthen the idea of judicial supremacy all across the country. But
 they fail to see that by beating up petty criminals, even six years after
 the Jan Andolan, their fellow-citizens have been sending steady signals that
 they still lack faith in the state's ability to provide security and
 dispense speedy and fair justice.
          Sadly, instead of examining those signals seriously enough to do
 something about them, what does our legal system -- in a schizophrenic
 avatar of His Majesty's Cabinet, Home Ministry, the Supreme Court and other
 governmental bodies -- deliver? Totally arbitrary, totally untenable
 verdicts that let go of people like Bharat Gurung, dismiss cases such as the
 Dang-Bijauri murder-case (in which the Home Minister Khum Bdr. Khadka was
 implicated), and so on and so forth.
          When this sort of official decisions keep on going on record
 without a credible, tenable legal explanation, then I suspect that our
 version of democracy will continue to take the path of least resistance to
 find social solutions for legal problems.
          That is to say, by punching the powerless pickpocket, the people
 around you in that bus-stop are perhaps purging themselves of all their
 undefinable frustrations with the police, the courts, the lawyers, and of
 the legal decisions of His Majesty's Government. Something to think about,
 no? THE END (Originally published in The Kathmandu Post in a slightly
 different version.)

****************************************************************** From: "Damber Gurung" <dgrng@CLEMSON.EDU> To: Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 09:14:47 +0000 Subject: Internship Opportunity in Nepal

Announcement to Deans, Directors, and Department Heads:
>>Nepal Planning Commission and UNDP/Nepal are jointly launching a
>>Sustainable Community Development Program, also called Nepal's
>>Capacity 21 Program at some remote districts of Nepal. This year
>>the program will be concentrated at 15 villages of the Surkhet
>>District located at the Mid-Western region of Nepal. The program
>>has three entry points: environment, social and economic, and is
>>completely flexible and interactive so as to address unique
>>situations that exist in each village community.
>>Nepal's CAP21 Program provides an excellent internship opportunity
>>for those college students who want to have a first hand experience
>>on Sustainable Development that is being taught at various
>>universities. What could be more exciting than to gain a practical
>>experience and have an opportunity to touch the life of a rural
>>community of Nepal!
>>If you are interested and need further information, please write to
>>the following address:
>>National Program Manager
>>Nepal's Capacity 21 Program
>>UNDP, PO Box 107
>>Pulchowk, Kathmandu, Nepal
>>Lisa J. Mullins
>>Secretary Senior
>>University Office of International Programs
>>134 Burruss Hall
>>Blacksburg, VA 24061-0265
>>Phone: 540-231-5888
>>FAX: 540-231-5750
>>Please visit our home page at:
>Lester H. Myers, Head
>Agricultural & Applied Economics Dept.
>208 Hutcheson Hall
>Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
>Blacksburg, VA 24061-0401
>PHONE: (540) 231-6301
>FAX: (540) 231-7417

******************************************************** Date: Fri, 07 Feb 97 16:09:20 0700 From: Zaven H Ghazarian <> To: Subject: Forestry

Does any one have contacts in Nepal that are involved in forestry? I am in the process of looking for a field project to participate in Any contacts would help greatly.

Thank you Zaven Ghazarian

********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 14:08:42 +0100 To: From: (Lazima Onta) Subject: re: CSRD Discussion Topics for Feb and March

Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) Martin Chautari/Nepal Studies Group Discussion Series

Mangal Bare is a forum for general discussion on various topics related to Nepal. It meets on alternate Tuesdays. Nepal Studies Group's Research Discussion Series consists of presentations of papers by researchers. The series normally meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Both forums meet at the premises of Martin Chautari (tel: 246065) in Thapathali, Kathamandu. For more information, please contact Pratyoush Onta at 228850.

Program (Time: 5.30pm)

11 Feb 1997, Tuesday (in Nepali) (Exception time 5pm) Indreni Sanskritic Samaj

13 Feb 1997, Thursday Gender Issues in Nepal: Where are we now? Dr Bina Pradhan

18 Feb 1997, Tuesday Integrating Environmental Concerns in Development: Where are we now? Anil Chitrakar, IUCN-Nepal

27 Feb 1997, Thursday (in Nepali) Global Village and Nepal: Economic Aspects Dr Chaitanya Mishra, TU

4 March 1997, Tuesday The Power of Giving: Philanthropy in Modern Nepal Rita Thapa, TEWA

13 March 1997, Thursday To be announced


27 March 1997, Thursday To be announced

---------------- Note: What follows is a slightly edited version of what appeared in The Kathmandu Post of 2 Feb 1996.

Invoking Revolution on Stage by Pratyoush Onta

        On January 14, 15, and 16, Indreni Sanskritic Samaj presented a Desbhaktipurna Sanskritic Sanjh (Patriotic Cultural Evening) on the stage of the Royal Nepal Academy in Kathmandu. The 2.5-hour program consisted of three kinds of presentations: songs, dances and a play. I had the opportunity to watch the program on the evening of the 16th and what follows is a reportage of what I saw.
        Making the recent border controversy in Mechi, the presence of Indian soldiers in Kalapani and the ratification of the Mahakali treaty by the Nepali parliamentarians the context in which the exigency of Indreni's patriotic cultural program would be justified, the program itself began with the comp=E8re Ahuti exhorting that if the des survives, you and I will remain as Nepalis. Among the songs presented, "Mechi Mahakaliko Git" by Khagendra Sangraula - the most prolific and powerful deployer of words among those writing in the Nepali language today - was remarkable, although not flawless. Badan Sharma provided the music to this song.
        As in much of the contemporary immediate left-of-UML criticism of politics in Nepal today, the patriotic terrian in this song was marked by Balbhadra et al and its antithesis was marked by Nepali "Lendup Dorjees". In the post-Mahakali scenario, the left that is immediate left-of-UML has dubbed the latter as the most recent Nepali Lendup, equating its role in the ratification of the Mahakali treaty to that of the leader of Sikkim, Lendup Dorjee, who facilitated the amalgamation of an erstwhile independent nation into the Republic of India in the mid-1970s. While the Nepali Congress and RPP parliamentarians were already considered earlier avatars of Nepali Lendups, the most recent Nepali Lendups, in Sangraula's eyes, are the UML parliamentarians of the newly constructed Balkhu durbar, which he has, on another occasion compared to a pigsty.
        Also notable were the songs "Left Right" (original words by Mohan Bikram Singh with music provided by Sambhuram Amatya), and "Sundar Chitij"
(Amar Giri's words with music by Amatya). Badan Sharma, Tekbahadur Balampaki, Shailesh Pradhan and others provided their inspiring voice to these songs, although some flaws were noted occasionally. Many of Indreni's songs are now available in a cassette entitled Janata ra Desko Nimti.
        Among the dances presented under the direction of Hari Darshandhari, the welcome dance, Janata ra Desko Nimti (Sarad Paudel's words and music) was a remarkable one with over 50-dancer participants. Paudel's words and music in Asthako Bato and Ragat Pasina provided the context for two other notable dances. The Bahudal Nach which provided satirical commentary on post-Panchayat politics in Nepal, came as a moment of relief amidst songs and dances invoking revolution. A cameo from the now-in-preparation song-play by Sarad Paudel, Buhari (text published by Atma Nirvhar Bikas Manch in Shrawan 2053 v.s.), reintroduced members of the audience to the dukha (pain) experienced by many Nepali daughters-in-law while failing to hint that the full-length play actually ends in a much more inspring note with a group of women claiming that they will fight to bring about the social order in which they and their lives will be respected.
        The best performance of the evening, in anybody's analysis, came at the very end of the program in the form of the serious and comical play,
"Mechi Mahakali Express" written by Sarad Paudel (its text has been published earlier this year in the literary journal, Vedana, No. 57). Directed by Gopal Thapa, an abridged form of this play had been staged on the streets of the Kathmandu Valley in December 1996. Charging all the political parties of Nepal as lusting to form the goverment while Nepal itself - represented by Nepal Aama in the play - was increasingly plundered by Indian expansionists, Paudel shows that the real key to power in Kathmandu lies in Delhi. The subservience of the Nepali leaders of all political parties to the master in Delhi (a role fulfilled in a brilliant manner by director Gopal Thapa himself) was well acted out in scene two of the play amidst separated bouts of laughter while the inability to comprehend Nepal Aama's pain on the part of a Nepali minister was represented in his attempt to apply dettol antiseptic to her 'wounds' in scene one.
        In a national environment where political histrionics have taken central stage it was refreshing to see so many singers, dancers, and actors
(and not to mention writers and musicians without whose work the stage show would not have been possible) together critiquing the status quo. By providing intelligent satires and criticisms of contemporary political culture in Nepal through its performances to an audience, however limited in number, it can be said that Indreni did a great job at delivering, in a different genre, some of the writings emanating from the likes of Khagendra Sangraula and Sarad Paudel. Writers from various factions of the left-oriented cultural movement have repeatedly noted the need for performative communication in this day of "satellite invasion of our culture." Their cultural troops, however, have been largely absent from the streets and on the stage. Hence Indreni needs to be congratulated for their performances on the streets and on the stage, even as, as has been pointed out by Mary Des Chene in Jana Ekata (27 Jan 1997), it has failed to provide a clear vison of the post-revolution era. Indreni is also taking the program to other parts of Nepal shortly.
        One final point. The progressive cultural movement in Nepal is fractured in ways that mirror the fractures among the leftist political parties. Although Indreni has been around for a while, it is now led by Ninu Chapagain, a former political activist who is close to that faction of Mao-inspired Nepali leftists led by the likes of Lilamani Pokharel. Today Chapagain is considered the theoretician par excellence of marxist aesthetics in Nepal. Associated with him, in Indreni, are one group of progressive writers who boycotted the last national convention of the Pragatisil Lekhak Sangh (Progressive Writers' Association) as, in their eyes, the group of writers led by Govinda Bhatta who are considered to be close to the UML, monopolized the Sangh's central executive body, killing the possibility of the Sangh being a common platform for all leftist writers.
        Last fall one faction among those who boycotted the Sangh came together under the banner of Indreni. If one pays attention to what Sangraula, an advisor to Indreni, said during its convention and reads the recent numerous interviews and essays of Chapagain (see, for instance, his interview in the journal, Indreni, No. 5 and his essay in the literary magazine, Sathi, No. 12), then it becomes clear that, at least in the eyes of its leadership, Indreni Sanskritic Samaj is now positioned, as far as writing goes, between Pragatisil Lekhak Sangh on the right and the Maoist writers associated with the literary journal, Kalam, on the left (one such writer, Shreekanta Bhandari critiqued the formation of Indreni as a repetition of what happened in the Sangh in Saptahik Janades, 8 October 1996). As far as cultural performance goes, Indreni defines itself against the Rashtriya Janasanskritic Manch convened under the UML leader and writer Modnath Prashit. In the eyes of Chapagain, this Manch and its leadership, given their 'revisionist' interpretations of marxist aesthetics, have lost their rights to call themselves 'progressive'. After its own separation from Masal, Raktim Parivar led by Jeevan Sharma and Indreni are probably close to sharing a common platform as far as the progressive performative agenda is concerned.


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 12:59:03 -0600 (CST) From: John Nessan Glor <> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Dhunche, Rasuwa District


First of all I'd like to say that I enjoy receiving The Nepal Digest. I'm interested in hearing from anyone from Rasuwa District in North- Central Nepal or anyone working on development related projects within the District. I lived and worked in Rasuwa, from 1993 to 1995, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My first year I lived in Jibjibe Village and the second year in Dhunche, the district center of Rasuwa.

Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

John N. Glor Department of Geography Tillman Hall, 3rd Floor Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 61455 USA

********************************************** Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 02:16:23 +0700 (GMT) From: Shyam Sundar Shrestha <> To: Subject: About Buddha again.

Dear Morin,

I really respect your opinion, but their is something to be more clear on
"historical accuracies". If someone tries to twist the facts and truth that is rediculous. We should always be agianst such things. We raised the issue to correct the false statements and claims which have been frequently encountered in many publications and media. But it is ludicrous to talk about Buddha is "Indian" "Indian Philosopher" "Buddha belongs to India" "etc". Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is now in Nepal. Due to this reason if anyone can say Budhha belongs to us that must be Nepali and Nepal. Not India. Now lumbini is under the orld heritage site. Buddhism is for peace in the world. We do not let to say any media Buddha is "Indian". The thought of Buddha, Buddhism belongs to all who beleive on him as Karl Marx belongs to Germany but Marxism belongs to all who believe on that. We should apply the same rule on Buddha and Buddhism too.

I think,"care and birth" are two different things. To be an actual mother, a woman has to give birth of someone. According to your argument why we need to say Gautama Buddha is the son of Maya Devi? Maya Devi did not take care of Buddha, because she passed away after his birth. why do we say Rahul is Gautama's son? Gautam Buddha is now a Lord because of his philosophy and knowledge. He is for all, but his birth place is never in the teritory of India. Therefore, there should be some indication of Nepal behind his name, and his philosophy. That is our main argument. Being a Nepali, it is very difficult to bear the statements and arguments that Buddha is "Indian philosopher". Therefore, we will like to request you and other people to correct such mistakes in any publications and media. Be real. Search the truth from the facts.

>Besides, was Kapilvastu really called "Nepal" when Gautam Siddhartha was
>I know many "Nepalese" who still refer only to Kathmandu as "Nepal."
Does anyone still call Darjeeling "Nepal"?

Dear Morin, regarding your above two questions I also have the same type of questions to you. Was the Kapilbastu really called "India" in Gautama Siddhartha's time? Is there any "india" at that time? Where is Kapilbastu now? Is it now in India? Answers are only No. Be practical! some foregners says Nepal (Neples) is in Italy. I mean that such peoples sayings do not emply on nation's sovereignty. The boundary of country may change due to division, annexation and unification. In our history as world's history we also had many (22 + 24) states in ancient times. Once Nepal was greater than what it is now (from Tista to Kangada including Darjeeling), but now it is rediculous to claim that is of Nepal. Please try to understand our feelings and india's intention. Why they say Buddha belongs to them? We should not fight for Buddha, who actually wanted peace and harmony in the world. But we need to take care of facts and thruth. Thank you for reading my opinion.

************************************************************ To: Subject: Kathmandu University URL Date: Fri, 7 Feb 97 14:02:58 EST

Cross-posted from SCN:

I have improved a little bit in Kathmandu University Home page despite mounting pressure to finish my dissertation.

There is a department in the University which offers undergraduate course in Nepali and is geared towards foreigners with interests in Nepalese culture, history, archeology and anthropology (those are the terms used in the bulletin). You might want to check it out.

There are pointers for Kathmandu University in "Infoseek search", The Nepal Home Page, AAMA consultant's Home Page and Sagun's Nepal Links Page too. Otherwise, you can access the Home page by addressing to following URL. Please see that there is no "*.html" extension in this address but only

I wish to thank many people, more than 50, who took pain to point out the deficiency in the Home page. I am working towards improving it. Shaligram

************************************************************ To: From: neeta <> Subject: To the editor; attention, please - help wanted!!!

Could you please convey this request to all Nepal Digest readers. I am a former KTM Post journalist doing a research paper on the KTM Post website on the Internet here at the Missouri School of Journalism. I would like to include in the research your readers' suggestions on what they would want to see on the Post website and how to make it better. I look forward to receiving your invaluable comments, ideas etc on my e-mail by March 1. Please remember - the deadline for my research paper is March 1. Thank you.

neeta maskey

****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 9 Feb 1997 02:13:05 -0500 (EST) From: To: Subject: Ambassador Thapa's Speech and Mishra/Tuladhar Reaction

Dear Editor,

Hope you can include my following comments in your next issue of TND on Ambassador Thapa's speech in Connecticut. Although my initial posting on his Excellency's speech was for informational purposes only (with request from Nepali net fellows), it has generated some interests and follow-up discussions which I take positively.

First of all, I would like to request to Mr. Pramod Mishra and Amulya Tuladhar and others who might come along in this discussion that arguments carry weight and stays healthy as long as they remain focused to the point and do not turn into personal attack. I would like you to know that I have taken your comments with respect (especially on the ones you commented that relates to my views). I say this here outright because some discussions on various topics in the past in TND and also in SCN have meandered away from the facts and have turned into personal bickering among writers.

First on Mr. Mishra's comments from the last issue of TND titled "Where is the Dead Goat"? You have done a commendable job as a TND columnist by coming up with such long story on a dead goat. Although it often runs away from the point you tried to make because of its length (columnists do that usually), I must admit it was entertaining to some extent. My refering to Panchayat as a
"dead goat" easily could have been a dead pig, horse, chicken, gadhaa and so on. (Hope you don't come up with stories on each one of these animals).
 Calling it a dead goat, I was simply implying that Panchayat is a dead issue for now, however I am aware of it's possibility of resurgence. It will, if we let it. Given what has gone on in Nepali political scene recently, anything is possible.

I don't disagree with Mr. Mishra's claim of what Panchayat did to the country and Nepalis. Yes, it did everything bad it could. 30 years was too long for it to go on. But it did. Same as Ranas stayed in power for 104 years no matter how terrible that time was for Nepal. But again, that is our history, the fact. Other than learning some hard lessons from those terrible experiences, my response to Amulya was what good does it do for us in the present day context to keep talking and bashing about it. Talk about hard lessons, are things any better with our hard fought democratic system today.
 Panchayat era ghoos khori and chakri baaj was so bad we hated it, but has it stopped now? These kinds of activities seems to be getting worst now than ever before. Let me give you an example of the current MP's priviledge of importing a particular vehicle and the cycle of corruption it has created in Nepal today. Each MP is eligible to import a vehicle duty free. Reportedly, the vehicle cost about 3.8 million (38 lakhs) Nepali Rupees. But with duty free priviledge MPs get the vehicle for about 17 to 18 lakhs. Shortly after that vehicle arrives in Kathmandu, it is sold to a third party with 7-10 lakh ghoos. You know where that ghoos goes. So the third party gets the vehicle for about 25-27 lakh, a net profit of 10-12 lakh even with the ghoos. But the country lose somewhere between 17-18 lakh in revenue in each vehicle imported by the MPs. Multiply that 17-18 lakh times 205 MPs. So my point is that Nepal's present day problems are quite serious for us than to be talking about what Panchayat did to us.

Yes, people from the Panchayat regime are in power now whether one likes it or not (I don't). But they exercised their democratic rights and won the elections. In a true democracy, we ought to accept those whom people elected regardless of the differences. Mishraji seems to be quite disappointed with the voters and their "ignorant wish" but in a country where more than 70% of its people are still illiterate I am not sure how much meaning elections make to many in the villages.

Ambassador Thapa's speech wasn't even about Panchayat or ram raajya or anything in that direction. He was requested to talk about southasian perspective and its situation in global economical context and that was the focus of his talk. He gave a good speech. I didn't feel he misrepresented Nepal as Amulya seems to think. People in attendace felt good that they came. The goal of that event was met.

No Mishraji, I did not intend to dismiss Amulya's response to my initial posting on Ambassador Thapa's speech. The difference I have with Amulya is that I beleive these kind of activities generate awareness about Nepal. It was education. There was nothing wrong to invite the Ambassador to speak on a specific topic in which he is knowledgable. I have personally been to area schools and presented slides from Nepal and let students know about our culture and heritage. I am sure many students around the States and other parts of the world engage in international fairs and represent Nepal in the best possible way they can. There is nothing wrong with that. It seems to me that Amulya's and your disagreement with the Ambassador is not so much with what he said at UConn but with the fact that he comes from the Panchayat time (a seperate issue).

And to Amulyaji, you pointed out your dissatisfaction of how the Panchayat regressive policy is still alive and throbbing in - yes, you are right. But what is it that can be done? Yes, the king still has a lot of power, more than one thinks. Do you think he is going to elope just like that? The 10% RPP in the parliament is more powerful than the two other major parties. But why do you think that is possible for them to be more powerful? Don't you think it is due to the "loove and laalach" of the multi-party, congress as well as UML leaders to cling on to their positions? Yes, we all know Panchayat was bad and they were driven away, but what we have now "the democracy" isn't any better if it continues the way it is going. For that reason, I am saying lets not dwell on the past too much when the current situation is bad enough. The corruption that you talk so much of Panches didn't disappear in Nepal with the rise of democracy. Its been six years and running fast and strong.

Regarding your disagreement with me on Hinduism reference and what bad it has done to others, I am not a religious person although I believe in God. So I better not get into this discussion too deep. The only thing I have to say is that I like the way people treat each other in Nepal regardless of their different religion. I have never seen any major ethnic, religious or communal fights in Nepal as we hear of the horror stories in neighboring India.

Thank you both for engaging in the discussion.

Dr. J. Joshee Connecticut

************************************************************* Date: Sun, 09 Feb 1997 14:58:49 -0800 From: "Netscape user at SLS.WAU" <> Subject: (no subject) To:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am very interested to get the regular information and participate in your programme. Could you please explain how I can do it. Thanks

******************************************************************* To: Subject: Kathmandu where two religions meet Date: Sun, 9 Feb 97 22:13:53 EST

Cross-posted from SCN:

       Like many religions in the world, Hinduism and Buddhism appears like two separate entity in the world but not so in Kathmandu. In Shri Lanka there is conflict between these two religious groups but when someone looks at the cultural ties between these two religions in Kathmandu, it always appears as inseparable, even though we talk about Hinduism and Buddhism as separate entities. Buddhism was emanated from Hindhuism, hence it is simple and modern form of religion. Interesting thing is how it gets complicated in Kathmandu is still a open question for discussion. If somebody asks me if I am a Hindhu the answere would be yes. If somebody ask me if I am a Buddhist, the answere would be still yes. The reason behind this is because we Kathmandu people go to both Hindhu and Buddhist temples.

       Let us take an example of Swayambunath temple (monkey temple), there are two important shrines "Ajima" and the Bhodhisatwa (Swoyambhu) sitting next to each other. Swoyambhu is a pure buddhist shrine, there is no doubt about it. What about "Ajima"? In newari meaning Blissful mother. To the Hindhus she is worshiped as "Bhagabati" or goddess"Kali". If you look at the prist who can be seen in front of the temple in crossleg position performing the puja (worship) is a Gavaju (newari bhuddhist prist) or Sakya. In one hand he has a replica of a "Bajra mala" (one kind of thunder bolt which is displayed in gigantic form to the east in front of the Swayambhu temple). In another hand he has a bell which he tinkles rhythmatically with the chanting of the holy bhuddhist mantra.

     The "Bajra mala" (one kind of very destructable thunderbolt) according to the newari legend was captured by one famous newari tantrician
"Jamana" Gavaju (newari bhuddist prist). He tied it by his tantric power and kept it in captivity in front of the Swayambhu temple to be used as a tantric power of destruction in its controled form to drive away evil spirits and demonds. This Bajra Mala also is used by Tibetan Monks and plays an important part in religious performances. In newari language "Mala" is Thunderbolt or lightning and the newari tantrician in those days have classified into different kinds in accordence with the appearence of the flash or very large spark that marks a typical type of destruction when it strikes.

     The other kinds of lightnings still in its uncontrolable form and according to the legend marks the trail of destruction in the present day world are "Pa Mala" (Pa in newari meaning axe) which splits like an axe when it strikes; "Gonga mala" (Gonga meaning rooster in Newari) which appears like a rooster but strikes like a trail of chicken scraches; "Mi Mala" (Mi meaning Fire) which destroys like a burning flame of fire. It is interesting to note about the consiousness of the people with regard to lightning hazard in the old days of Kathmandu.

     Since the Gavaju (newari buddhist prist) was unable to capture all the other kinds of lightning except "Bajra", they were able to find different tantric method as a solution to save at least the important temples and places. You can see these tantric method applied in important temples by displaying erotic carvings in public. It is a tantric belief that the goddess of lightning whichever form it may be is a virgin and would not visit such places.

     The Buddhist prist in Hindhu temple, and the cultural mixture of Hinduism and Buddhism in a very complicated form in Kathmandu can be taken as an example of harmony between the religions. Let us look at the important Hindhu festival Dasain and Tihar. Different cultural groups even the buddhist celebrate in their own way. The Newars "New Year " during Tihar is marked by special feast and by constructing bhudhist Tantric Mandala which is a must for the ceromony. Then the body and the soul is blessed with sagun consisting of fried egg and fish with a small bowlful of "Musagu ela" (typical newari Raksi or liquor) and variety of dishes. The most interesting thing is "Sukunda" (a typical newari oil lamp with image of Ganesh, the hindu god) is a must in any kind of festival whether Buddhist or Hindhu. Ganesh has two wives one is "Luck" and another is "Wisdom" Everybody wants to be blessed by Ganesh in order to achieve success in life by obtaining Luck and wisdom. Every corner streets of old Newari towns are marked by small or big temples of Ganesh and his faithful shrew. Ganesh likes "Laddoo" (sweet ball) and Tuesday is the special day to visit Ganesh temple with sweet balls. In newari society in Kathmandu every family in the house sends special puja every day to the nearest Ganesh temple.

     Such is the complexity of religion in Kathmandu.

Gopal Dongol

********************************************** Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 10:27:26 -0500 (EST) From: To: Subject: On Development of Ethics

                    On development ethics
                    By Ashutosh Tiwari

          Doing development or bikas garne has become a professional enterprise in Nepal, complete with such formalities as proposals, projects, seminars, a fluency in English language, audits and so forth. At the same time, with increasingly strident NGO-bashing, one gets the sense that in the course of doing development, perhaps ethics has somehow been sidelined to the fuzzy domain of personal choice. One result is that today most Nepali NGOs are more likely to have clearer guidelines on how to write proposals for a particular donor than on how to conduct themselves ethically -- on or off the field.
          This distancing of development from ethics is strange, considering that bikas (regardless of how one defines it) is necessarily concerned with this variation on the Socratic question: How should a community live? And though answers to that question are as many as there are NGOs in Nepal, it is safe to conclude that no development worker would recommend that the community live at the expense of ethics.
          In principle, then, there is this certainty development cannot ignore ethics, even when, in practice, it is not always clear what sort of
 ethics needs to be paid attention to. Whatever it is, some may call it
'development ethics', while others may call it 'everyday ethics'.
          But suppose, as the term gains currency in Nepal, we call it
'development ethics'. Now what does that mean? Are we saying that there are specific ethics-related concerns that are to be found exclusively in the domain of development and nowhere else? Or is 'development ethics' simply highfalutin NGO-speak for 'everyday ethics' that a development worker is supposed to abide by anyway?
          I do not know much to fully answer those questions. But I do know that such questions need to be asked for two reasons. First, they stop us from casually flinging a catchy new phrase such as 'development ethics' by making us think through it with some rigor. Second, they help us lay down a conceptually clearer bridge between the 'first person plural' domain of development as one does in Nepal on behalf of 'third person plural' and the
'first person singular' sense of ethics that one holds as a development worker or consultant.
          That a conceptually clearer bridge needs to exist between ethics
 and development is certain. What is not certain is how and in what ways can that bridge enrich and contrast the two. That is why, any discussion of development ethics must start from acknowledging this particular uncertainty, and then move on to discuss, however tentatively, real-life ethical dilemmas, choices and failures. Else, by just flinging the phrase
'development ethics', the danger is that the content of ensuing discussions might be lost in the muddle of vague abstractions, imperative do's and don'ts and broad moralizing -- all of which would be of little help to development workers confronting stark ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day work.
          Still, the question remains: Are there specific ethics-related concerns that are exclusive to the domain of development? There must be. But, in the context of Nepal, I contend that except for a few anecdotal examples here and there, we simply do not know development-related ethical
 concerns well enough to have a fruitful discussion on them.
          That does not mean that development ethics is not important. But simply that to make it matter what we need are details from offices, voices from fields, and contexts from development-proposals -- all of which are likely to illuminate the real-life tussles among competing interests that that exist in different NGOs.
          But one reason why such details are rarely publicly available in Nepal is that the professional machinery of development here, as it stands in its donor-NGO-target group triangle, is not conducive to talking about ethics. How so? Because, if the donors' motto has generally been 'disburse or die', then the development workers' career mantra has generally been
'justify and do the projects'. And it is through this day-to-day, career-based whirl of development work that few professionals, no matter how sincere they might otherwise be, lose the sense of both the priority for and the need to come to terms with the ethical issues that they face while doing development.
          That, however, should not come as a surprise. Taking development-ethics seriously, after all, does require one to depart from the dominant 'project-at-any-cost thinking that pervades most development institutions. Tellingly, those requirements entail: a) Admitting development failures and mistakes of one's institution; b) engaging in an impartial third-party assessment of one's works and the works of one's institution; c) expressing ambiguities, self-doubts, and even contradictions that come up while doing development; and, d) taking the risk to appear vulnerable. All of those requirements are very hard to fulfill, and admittedly, as development institutions stand in Nepal and elsewhere, are not among the smartest career moves for many development professionals.
          Before going further, let me clarify that I am not saying that to advance careers, development professionals have to shun talking about ethics publicly. Nor am I saying that development professionals do not think seriously enough about ethical dilemmas. They surely do. But that as long as those who lead Nepal's development institutions do not take real-life ethical dilemmas, choices and failures seriously -- seriously enough to make such concerns a priority in all of their works, then merely talking about
'development ethics' on vague, abstract levels would get us nowhere, and
'development ethics' would just be another jargon in the lexicon of development.
          So what are we left with? On the one hand, no one expects development workers to be saints. But on the other hand, if ethics is to really matter (and not just lip-served) in the development profession, then it's not too much to expect institutions (donors, NGOs and others) to set aside some time and resources to examine the larger ethical concerns related to their work. That means, as a starting step, not only would the leaders of those institutions devise and enforce collectively agreed-upon 'codes of conduct' for all within their institutions to follow, but also encourage and reward their workers to openly share ethical concerns, dilemmas, problems and choices.
          The more the institutions encourage discussions on ethical concerns and share them with other institutions, then over time, the development profession as a whole can benefit from a richer reservoir of real-life experiences, examples, stories and failures as they pertain to ethics in development. Such a reservoir may not contain answers to all our development-related ethical dilemmas. But at the very least, it would help us come up with clearer concepts on 'development ethics' as it really pertains to doing Nepal ko bikas. (Originally published in: Face to Face -- a Kathmandu-based, independent magazine for development -- No 9. December 1996)
********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 21:03:44 PST To: From: Karen Nichol <> Subject: volunteer opportunities in Nepal/India

Greetings from Canada. My name is Mike Jessee and I am planning on travelling to India, Nepal and Tibet this spring/summer (1997). I am very interested in spending some time in one of the Tibetan Refugee Camps, either in Nepal or India. I have been to both countries before (in 1993), and enjoyed my experience immensely. I understand that there is a large Tibetan population in Dharamsala, as well as Ladakh. I was also informed that their are a couple of Tibetan villages in Pokhara, Nepal (Tashiling and Tashipakhel). I am wondering where volunteer services are needed the most, and the best time of year to volunteer. I am a certified teacher in Vamcouver, B.C., Canada, who has been teaching for two years. My desire is to learn more about the Tibetan people and their culture, as well as contribute in some way to support their cause.
        I plan on leaving Canada at the end of April, and have begun to plan my trip. Your feedback regarding this would be appreciated a great deal. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Mike Jessee.

***************************************************** Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 17:27:13 PST To: From: bobbie jo egan <> Subject: Nepal Volunteer Opportunites

Hello, hello. My name is Brian Sokol and I am very interested in Nepali issues. I would like to find out any information you have on volunteer opportunites in Nepal. I am a student at Western Washington University pursuing a degree in International Environmental Communications. My greatest areas of expertise and experience are writing, photography and education- all in concerning with enviornment and culture. If there are any possibilites in these arenas I would be doubly interested, but please send me whatever info is available.

My address is: 2902 Connelly Ave. Bellingham, WA 98225 USA

email: phone: 360-647-5661

Thank You!

P.S. Disregard any address attached to this message, I'm still a bit foggy as to how this all works.

(Message inbox:770)
 -- using template mhl.format -- Date: Sat, 15 Feb 1997 12:03:44 PST To:

From: Curtis Balkwill <> Subject: Email Address

>From Sat Feb 15 13: 00 CST 1997
Return-Path: <> X-Authentication-Warning: Host [198.1
     ***61.60.34] didn't use HELO protocol Reply-To: Organization: Grant MacEwan Community College X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0 (Win16; I) Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Length: 395

    I am a Nepali Student studying in Canada and I want to request you that my passport is going to expire pretty soon. I need to renew it. I want to ask some information about it on Nepalese Embassy in United State of America. If you have email Address of Nepalese Embassy, please email me as soon as possible. I would be appreciate for it.

Thank You

Kumar Sharma

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