The Nepal Digest - January 15, 1996 (02 Magh 2052 BkSm)

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Date: Mon Jan 15 1996 - 14:25:25 CST


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The Nepal Digest Monday 15 Jan 96: Magh 2 2052 BS: Year5 Volume46 Issue5

  Today's Topics:

        1. TAJA_KHABAR - News From Nepal

        2. KURA_KANI
                 Social - TND Fund
                 Travel - Warning Travel Agents
                 Culture - Honesty and Bread

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * *
 * TND Foundations Home Page: http://www.nepal.org *
 * -------------------- *
 * webmaster email: tnd@nepal.org *
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 * TND Foundations contributions can be mailed payable to: *
 * TND Foundations *
 * c/o R. J. Singh *
 * 44 Greenridge Ave *
 * White Plains, NY 10605, USA *
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 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta k945184@atlas.kingston.ac.uk *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha rshresth@black.clarku.edu *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "LIFE: Indulgence vs Seeking Truth - Which is your forte?" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
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****************************************************************** Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 16:45:30 -0700 From: Raju Tuladhar <tuladhar@enci.ucalgary.ca> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: TND-fund

The staffs and the founders of TND sure deserve lots of credit for their time and effort in keeping TND running for last five years without outside support.

It sounds quite reasonable to ask for yearly contribution from those who get access to TND as the need for such a contribution has arised. The readers of TND will definitely be delighted to see TND remain active and TND standing on its own feet.

TND is special because people can share and express their uncensored views without going through whimsical filtration of the editors (which usually happens in other standard News Media). This gives an opportunity to exercise the freedom of expression - a fundamental cornerstone in philosophy of democracy. I hope TND will continue to prosper in this trend.

Of course there might be those who are inclined to ask questions as suggested by P.K. Mishra:
"Why should one be made to pay for somebody's half cooked ideas?"

For those who ask such questions, they should be reminded that:

* One pays, because one gets the access to read TND (as someone pays to
  buy a magazine, but he may not like the articles inside it or
  he may not even read it wholly or any of the articles).

* What is half-cooked to some may look full-cooked to others and what
  is considered as full-cooked by some is regarded as over-cooked
  by others. (For example: our green vegetable curry which are regarded
  as full-cooked by us, are over-cooked for the westerners. And when
  we go to western parties we are served half-cooked vegetables which
  are well-cooked in their terms.
  So it is all dependent upon people's perception and expectations.)

Since TND is free to be participated by any (or all), therefore it is up to the readers of TND to improve its quality by actively participating through:
* voicing their views,
* sharing the general use information,
* by writing thought provoking articles,
* through financial contribution,
* Most Importantly, not being an apathetic silent observer
* and so on..

As a reader of TND, I also have few suggestions for TND:
* not to publish any articles from anonymous writers (otherwise TND
  can be a venue for mud-slinging)
* For the convenience of the readers, sectionalize the TND as
  TND - Info: (general importance informations)
  TND - Views (views expressed by readers and not too long in length)
  TND - News (First hand news, and news gathered from other sources)
* Move very long articles (specially news from other sources to the
  end of TND, so that it does not drown other articles {which is a
  common complaint amongst TND readers).

Good luck to TND and its organisers in its endeavor to make the future of TND as bright as possible. In order to help reach the first goal of TND, I am also sending (through a separate mail) a small contribution.

Thank you. Raju Tuladhar (tuladhar@enci.ucalgary.ca)

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 09 Jan 1996 08:44:29 EST To: The Nepal digest Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <pkm@acpub.duke.edu> Subject: Honesty and Bread

Dear Editor,

A very dear friend has just written to me from Nepal, and the letter has brought mostly news, but his views as well. At the end of this and that, chit and chat, everything that two dear friends exchange in their letters from Sainli ra Maili poila gayechan to the fog and dirt in Kantipuri Nagari, my friend has announced this judgement on Nepal: "Yo deshma imandari le parishram garera khaan sakindaina" (One can't earn one's living by honest work in this country).

Well, as you may have guessed, my friend may have expatriation in mind, and this expression of despair maybe a preamble to his next legitimate request to fix things for him somewhere here in the United States. But maybe not. As he tells me, and as others have attested, his despair and conclusion stems from the cancellation of an immensely popular, sexually inoffensive, NTV sitcom "Takka Tukka," to which he was somehow related and from which he used to earn his living. He says this program was cancelled as soon as this new coalition government came to power in Nepal.

I'm not going to talk about the democratic pretensions of this new government in Nepal and its partner's vows of "man doesn't live by bread alone, he lives by his mind." Indeed, they may very well suggest my friend that he should knead ideas into dough and bake them and eat them and not complain so much. Nor am I going to say that NTV, "The Rising Nepal," "Gorkhapatra" and Radio Nepal have made their names as truth-seeking news media. Their reputation is well-known for all of us to waste words about it.

No. I'm mad at my friend, an educated fellow, and I'm going to talk about his naivete. What does honesty have to do with bread? He should know that honesty has to do with meager crumbs of bread, not with Basmati rice with gheew and mutton and beer with it.

His judgement on the country has these components, as you may already have figurd out yourself: the country ("yo desh"), honesty, bread. First of all, "yo desh."

My good friend has perhaps forgotten that "yo desh" was once (true or false I don't know) cursed by Sati, the wife of Bhimsen Thapa, and this ancient belief that once you are cursed nothing can be done about it has helped many a countryman survive despair.

My friend's despair may also have resulted from his exaggerated expectations of the changes of 1990. My friend perhaps forgets that changing the country from partyless to multiparty means only a little, only the first step; that the basic ideology of "yo desh" is the same; and that the change resulted rather too easily, brought about by people in Kathmandu and the political consciouness of people in most parts of "yo desh" remains to be aroused, which could have been accomplished through elections fought fairly, but the Congress Party and its young hotblood have jeopardized it by forming this hasty coalition so soon and by legitimizing, authenticating the indispensability of the same forces that harassed them, tortured them, imprisoned them for so many years.

The question of honesty and its relation to bread is a little more complicated. Uncle Marx would give quite a different answer, but even if you go by Uncle Calvin's wisdom, honest labor doesn't always earn bread. My villagers sweat in the fields from sunup to sundown, summer, winter, and monsoon, but still half-starve most of the year, let alone availing themselves of adequate cloth to cover their naked bodies (which they very much want to cover unlike some sunbathers), of admission fees and cloths for their children to go to school (talk of child labor in a factory; it seems to me a luxury compared to what happens in villages. There a child works the whole day--tending cattle, planting rice, weeding jute fields, cleaning jute--and is given the worst food in the houses of their
"maliks," and the wages they earn goes to the hungry mouths of their parents and infant siblings). Since when honesty became the policy of the ruling class of "yo desh"?

So my friend should also embazzle his office budget (after all it's not bribe, as they say) if he manages to get one by "source and force"; he too should write eulogies to some two-legged deities; he, too, should become a smuggler; he, too, should somehow get a birta; and if nothing works, he, too, should do whatever he wants to do by singing the name of the king (recently, I have heard that rebuking the king has become a popular and fashionable thing), "yo desh," and its people--that is, become a politician. After all, he shouldn't forget his shastras, which says,
"Bada le garcha jo kaam, huncha tyo sarva sammata; Ishor ko magante bhesh hunna kahile nindita.

************************************************************ Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 19:36:23 +0000 (GMT) From: strawn <chris.strawn@queen-elizabeth-house.oxford.ac.uk> To: nepal digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Bhutanese refugees

UK Bhutanese Refugee Support Group Press Release 8 January 1996

1. 258 Bhutanese Refugees Arrested During Demonstrations in India 2. Bhutanese Refugees March to Bhutan on 14 January

258 Bhutanese Refugees Arrested During Demonstrations in India

258 Bhutanese refugees participating in a cycle rally beginning in Panitanki (on the Nepal/India border) on 3 January and culminating in a peaceful mass demonstration in Jaigaon (on the India/Bhutan border) on 7 January have been arrested by the West Bengal police. The refugees are being detained in police custody in Bagrakote, Siliguri, as well as in Alipurdurwar Central Jail near Jaigaon. Amongst those arrested are at least 20 women, as well as prominent refugee leaders, doctors, and teachers. They have been charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code which prevents the gathering of more than five people in one place after an order from the authorities to disperse.

The cycle rally and peaceful demonstration were organized by the Bhutanese Coalition for Democratic Movement (BCDM) to draw attention to the plight of the 100,000 Bhutanese refugees in South East Nepal, 88,000 of whom are living in UNHCR-funded refugee camps. The refugees, who are from Southern Bhutan and are of Nepali origin, first fled to Nepal in 1991 as a result of the repressive policies of the Bhutanese government, comprised mainly from the dominant Drukpa ethnic group, against the people of Southern Bhutan. Now entering the sixth year of life in exile, the refugees are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress in on-going bilateral talks between the Bhutanese and Nepalese government and the apparent failure to find an acceptable long-term solution to the refugee crisis.

The cycle rally and peaceful mass demonstration in Jaigaon were intended to increase awareness, both in India and internationally, of the plight of some of the world's most forgotten refugees. However, the majority of cyclists did not make it to Jaigaon, but were arrested as soon as they crossed the border from Nepal into India on 3 January. More refugees were arrested both travelling to and in and around Jaigaon between 6-7 January. There are reported cases of refugees being ordered off buses while travelling to Jaigaon for the demonstration. Although the arrests were made by the West Bengal police and border security forces it is alleged that instructions came from the Indian central government in Delhi, and the authorities in West Bengal are reported to have made statements in support of the refugees.

Refugees March to Bhutan on 14 January

To further increase awareness of the plight of the Bhutanese Refugees, an Appeal Movement was formed amongst the refugees in September 1995. The Appeal Movement Co-ordinating Council (AMCC) have issued a declaration calling for the restoration of fundamental human rights in Bhutan and the early repatriation of the Bhutanese refugees. As well as presenting their demands in a petition to the King of Bhutan, they plan to begin a peaceful march from the refugee camps in Nepal to Thimpu on 14 January in order to make their appeal personally to the King.

Several thousand refugees are expected to march from Nepal to the India/ Bhutan border, while 150 refugees will attempt to cross the border and march into Bhutan to present their demands to the King. The recent arrests of Bhutanese refugees in West Bengal have provoked fears that similar arrests may be made when the marchers enter India.

The Bhutanese Refugee Support Group are concerned at the arrest of the 258 Bhutanese Refugees and also about the possibility of further arrests during the March from Nepal to Bhutan on 14 January. We urge all parties involved to work for the rapid repatriation of the refugees to Bhutan, and the restoration of human rights in Bhutan and for a just and lasting solution to be found to the on-going Bhutanese Refugee crisis.

chris strawn | uk government view on refugee prisons: refugee studies programme | "immigration detention centers are run on the queen elizabeth house | lines of a hostel, providing freedom of movement oxford university | within a secure perimeter."

********************************************************************** Subject: Nepal WEB space To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 17:04:08 -0500 (EST) From: Heidi Wrighton (heidi@gaia.org)

My name is Heidi Wrighton, I am an American currently living and working in Denmark. I have been working on an Internet project here, designing a portion of a site among other things. URL: WWW.gaia.org

Home for me is now Scotland, I have family there and have lived there since 1990.

For about one and one half years I have been in regular contact with a charity called The Nepal Trust which is run by three people; Liz Donavan and her husband Jim and Alan Jacobson, these three folk live in Scotland although Liz and Jim will be living in Kathmandu after the spring of 1996.

The Nepal trust believes in positive action to solve some of the chronic problems that a country such as Nepal suffers from. They would like to see tourists travelling to Nepal and investing in the land not only with their money but also through some hard work. Therefore the Nepal Trust is raising funds by organising treks in Nepal, while at the same time the nature of these treks is to trek in and have the trekkers help to build health posts in remote areas of Nepal. The Trust is very much on a shoestring budget, but in 1 year have managed to build one health post, obtain VSO support and I think status. They have also organised obtaining and placing several Apple computers in a high school in Kathmandu where a computer course will now be implemented with the Nepal Trusts continued support. They have also now got an office in Kathmandu.

I want to put together a dozen or so WEB pages for the Nepal Trust and am looking for someone who would be willing to host these pages for an initial 6 month period either for free or for low cost, possibly with a means to repay the server costs if funds came in via the internet pages.

I am wondering if this is a project that interests any of you and if you might have any suggestions of where I might look for funding or WEB space.

Sincerely Heidi Wrighton

********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:26:45 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: WARNING KTM travel agents WAS: Re: Planning trek to Nepal

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

Frank F Kroger (fkroger@coho.halcyon.com) wrote:
: Sarah Quadri <squadri> writes:

: >I feel more comfortable planning with a company that has an office in the
: >states, I'm a little apprehensive about going through an agency in Katmandu,
: >I've read that there can be problems, and one must do alot of correspondance.
: >I I don't mind that, but I'm spending a lot of money on this trip, not to
: >mention the vacation time.

: Why are you going to Nepal when you don't trust Nepalis? You think there
: is something better about a US office? A US office probably means that
: you pay more, and less of your money ends up in Nepal. I could send you
: the names of some people that could do the best possible job for you, but
: I am not sure I would want them to get stuck with a stuck up person such
: as you.

The difference is simply: a US or European company you can hold liable if they betray you or make mistakes. In Nepal this is virtually impossible unless you have infinite time to waite or very good connections!

Here is a short note on what happened to my friends and me last summer:

We had a contract with a KTM based agent
 "Sherpa Excursions" represented by Mr. Lakpa Tenje. We had arranged everything from Europe and paid in advance.

The contract included a 21 day trip through Tibet, from the border at Shera to Kailas, a trek around Kailas, and then a jeep trip all the way to Lhasa. Only when we were under way already, we noticed that Sherpa Excursions had a subcontract with another company for a trip in Tibet of only 14 days. When we had to return to KTM we met Mr. Lakpa Tenje only using tricks (waiting at the airport). Twice we managed to meet, each time he promised a lot, but then disappeared and finally just waited it out until we had to leave back home for our jobs.

When we entered Tibet we were told that our visa - organised by "Sherpa Excursion" - was good for only 10 days and we had to return early. Nevertheless, our Nepalese Guide handed over all the money over to the Chinese guide. When we leaft Tibet after ca. 8 days, the TCs had disappeared. We never got back anything. The KTM hold us resonsible for their mistake.

In Tibet we realized that our guide had only brought along the travelers checks we had used to pay for the trip. Of course, in remote Tibet, there is no way to exchange travellers checks. Therefore, we had to lend him our own emergency cash and also never got it back.

And a lot more things happened during that trip due to the betrayels and mistakes of the envolved agencies.

In Kathmandu, we complained at the "Trekkers Agents Association Of Nepal". We later send a report with detailed accounts of what had happended, but we received no answer whatsoever within the last 6 months!

There is an important difference if you deal with a company that has a representative in US or Europe: you can hold them liable for their betrayals and mistakes! In KTM, de facto there is no chance for that, if you have limited time.

This is my personal experience, not a third party report!

BTW: I had been trekking in Nepal twice before on my own, no problems!

Prof. Hermann Haertig

*********************************************************** Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:27:44 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Legal questions From: taylor@cnmat.berkeley.edu

Hello everybody:

I am helping my internet-challenged spouse answer some questions for her book on Sherpas and mountaineering. She has two questions:

1) I was told that there was a law passed in the 1970s to the effect that there had to be one woman for every 8 men on any panchayat council. Is that true, and if so what are the specifics (what year was it passed, what does it actually say)?

2) What year were marijuana and hashish outlawed in Nepal?

Please reply to me, or my wife: ortner@qal.berkeley.edu

Thank you! Tim

***************************************************** Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:30:36 -0400 (EDT) From: "Kathryn S. March" <ksm8@cornell.edu> To: <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Making the TND more readable

Dear Editors:

Like many of your readers, I enjoy the open and relaxed nature of the TND. I would not like to see its basic nature changed. But I would find it very helpful if an index or table of contents could be provided at the start of each listing. I know that you discussed and found the concept too difficult in the early days of the TND, but as you have grown, so has the need for this service. Would it be possible to put a list of the articles and author's names or sources at the beginning of each TND? This would make it much easier for those of us who do not have the time (or fast-English-reading ability) to read everything to be able to find those subjects which interest us most. Thanks (and keep up the good work in this
*HAPPY NEW YEAR*)

Kathryn S. March Associate Professor of Anthropology,
   Women's Studies & Asian Studies

********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 12:38:31 -0800 (PST) From: Durga Dahal <daha9014@uidaho.edu> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - January 10, 1996 (26 Push 2052 BkSm)

        Nepali Living in United states

        The innumeration of Nepali in America is a noteworthy work of his job of Professor Vaidya (I guess, he is the same from T.U.). Also, I appreciate to Professor A. Tuladhar for his suggestion. I wish to thank to Dr. J.R. Joshee for his opinion.
        As a bad habit, I read most of the newspaper I get. Among them is The Washington Post. It deals about population. Few months ago, the population column writer claimed there are more than five million illegal immigrants in the U.S. they came after 1990. Professor Amulya's estimate might be close to that journalist.
        Once upon a time, one TND member claimed there are eleven hundred Nepali TND members. Another claimed there are fourteen hundred TND members. The question is either Prof. Amulya innumerated all the Nepali American of Nepali origin as Nepali or Prof. Vaidya innumerated as authorized student visas of vatrious kinds, reminding as pure Nepali. Sometimes it doesnot work properly if we say Nepali to a nonNepali, though we love them as Nepali.
        My estimate is like Seattle-60, Denver-205, Newyork-300, etc. all are close to Prof. Vaidya and Dr. Joshee. I let this be done by Washington Post. Thanks.

%%%%%Editor's Note: As of today, there are close to 1100 TND members %%%%%
%%%%% worldwide. The numbers in the past have fluctuated %%%%%
%%%%% from 950 to 1300 approximate. %%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 09:46:40 +1100 (EST) From: Prabha Upreti <p2133179@acsusun.acsu.unsw.edu.au> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

Dear friend, Happy New Year!! I am a Ph.D. student at the University of New South Wales, School of Medical Education. I have a son who just completed HSC from Sydney. He is interested in pursuing his graduate study in commerce/management and accounting. He has been offered places from various universities in Australia.

I would like to enquire about possibility for financial assistance or scholarships which you may be aware of.

My address in Sydney is 3/34 HiGH STREET, RANDWICK, NSW, 2031, AUSTRALIA. Phone (02) 399 6997.

Anticipating your cooperation!

Prabha Upreti School of Medical Education UNSW.

(I am going to Nepal for six months to undertake my field work, however, my son will be here).

******************************************* Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 00:57:13 +0000 (GMT) To: nepal digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: SAHRDC Bhutanese refugee appeal (fwd)

>From South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre
A/106 Kaushalya Park, Hauz Khas New Delhi - 110 016, India Phone: +91-11-686-5736 & +91-11-685-9622 Fax: +91-11-686-5736 E-Mail: SADC@UNV.ERNET.IN

------------------ACTION ALERT--------------------

10 January 1996

Over 200 Bhutanese refugees in detention in West Bengal

South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center (SAHRDC) is concerned about the detention of over 200 Bhutanese refugees belonging to the Bhutanese Coalition for the Democratic Movement (BCDM). Around 95 refugees were arrested by the West Bengal Police on 3 January 1996 and were remanded to judicial custody for 15 days. Another 100 activists of the BCDM were taken into custody on 6 January 1996 and subsequently.

Around 100,000 Bhutanese subjects of ethnic Nepali origin took refuge in Eastern Nepal and the Indian States of West Bengal and Assam since 1990. The refugee fled to escape atrocities of the Royal Bhutanese Army and the policy of cultural cleansing of the ethnic Nepalis through imposition of Driglam Namzha (literally, Bhutanese way of life) by the ruling Drukpas of Bhutan. The conflict between the ethnic Nepalese and ruling Drukpas escalated after the Royal Government of Bhutan started its 1988 Census. This census was conducted ostensibly to weed out illegal immigrants of ethnic Nepali origin.

The BCDM, an alliance of human rights groups and political partied of Bhutanese refugees in exile was formed in late 1995 to press their demands for early repatriation and democracy in Bhutan. On 31 December 1995, the BCDM announced a plan to organize a cycle rally from Panitanki near Nexalbari to Jaigoan in the Indian State of West Bengal, Near Phuntsholing, the second largest town in Bhutan on 3 January 1996.

On 2 January 1996, the West Bengal Government imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Siliguri sub-division for an indefinite period. Although, the members of the Student Union of Bhutan (SUB), Youth Organization of Bhutan (YOB) and Democratic Youth of Bhutan (DYB) were scheduled to start their cycle rally on 3 January 1996, 17 cyclists were arrested on 2 January 1996 at Panitanki, an Indian town on the India/Nepal Border by the Indian police. They were later released after half an hour. Some cyclists managed to reach Bagdogra, an Indian town by 8 pm on 2 January 1996.

Around 80 cyclists were arrested by Indian Police at 1 pm on the 3 January 1996 when they started their scheduled rally and were deported to Nepal. When these cyclists made a second attempt at 1:15 pm on 3 January 1996 to cross the Panitanki border check post, they were arrested again by Indian Police and taken into custody.

They were taken to Siliguri and produced before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate's court. Two of the cyclists, Mr Shivlal Adhikari and Mr Gananeth Bharati fell ill and were hospitalized.

When the defense lawyers contended that the detention of the refugees was illegal as procedure of arrest was wrong, the judge stated that the nature of the arrest could be ascertained only after the submission of the report by the investigating officer. The judge ordered the refugees release on personal bonds of Rs 100 each or judicial custody till 18 January 1995.

The activists of the BCDM refused to submit bonds and demanded their unconditional release. They have been detained in Bakharakot jail in Darjeeling district.

On 6 January 1996, 11 more activists of the BCDM including Mr Laxman Rai, President of Democratic Youth of Buthan (DYB), Mr Vishwanath Chhetri, President of Students Union of Bhutan (SUB) were arrested at Birpara, Doars, West Bengal.

On 7 January 1996, the activists of the BCDM held rallies defying prohibitory orders under section 144 at Turibari and Mangalbari, West Bengal. According to the police, 55 activists including 12 women were arrested. Mr S B Subba, Acting Chairman of Human Rights Organization of Bhutan (HUROB) Mr R K Budathoki, President of Bhutan People's Party (BPP), Mr DNB Dhakal, General Secretary of Bhutan National Democratic Party (BNDP) were also taken into custody. However, BCDM sources claimed that 103 activists were arrested and 75 persons were taken into custody.

The State Government of West Bengal deployed the para-military, Rapid Action Task Force in the area. West Bengal Police have been searching the houses of Indians of Nepalese ethnic origin at Jaigoan and screening all vehicles passing by obviously to arrest the members of the BCDM. Local residents at Jaigoan, especially the Nepali speaking people were not allowed to move on he road.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the Gorkha Students Union and Association for Protection of Democratic Rights
(APDR) have called for a General Struke in Darjeeling district on 14 January 1996 against the undemocratic action of the Indian Governments and State Government of West Bengal.

Please send appeals to:

Mr P V Narasimha Rao Prime Minister Office of the Prime Minister South Block, New Delhi 110 011 Republic of India Phone: + 91 11 301 2312 Fax: + 91 11 301 6781 (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Mr Jyoti Basu Chief Minister of West Bengal Chief Minister's Office Writer's Building Calcutta-700 001 West Bengal India Tel +91 11 225 7777 Fax + 91 11 225 5480

In your communication:

1. Request that all the Bhutanese refugees arrested by West Bengal Police be released unconditionally.

2. Request that Section 144 and other prohibitory orders be lifted from Darjeeling district and that India respects the right to peaceful assembly.

3. Request that harassment of the ethnic Nepali refugees from Bhutan sheltered in Siliguri district of West Bengal be stopped.

4. Request that harassment of Nepali speaking Indian citizens at Jaigoan and other areas of Darjeeling district be stopped forthwith.

Please send copies of your communications addressed to the Indian authorities to SAHRDC to enable us to keep you informed about any further developments.

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

*********************************************************************************************** Forwarded By: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 22:43:57 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: REUNIFICATION NEWS: South Asian Countries Agree on Free Trade

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

SOUTH ASIAN NATIONS AGREE ON FREE TRADE

     Last month, foreign ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) agreed to work toward a free-trade area by the year 2005. The agreement came less than three weeks after SAARC nations formally launched the South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA). India's foreign minister Pranab Mukerjee said the decision to move on to a free-trade area "will be a turning point in SAARC's history." According to informed observers, SAARC members intend to move into the second round of negotiations on trade concessions in March 1996, focusing on the removal of non-tariff barriers.

     SAARC's members are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Source: N. Vasuki Rao, "2005 Is Target Date For South Asian Free Trade," JOURNAL OF COMMERCE, December 21, 1995. As quoted in TRADE NEWS, Volume 5, Number 1, January 5, 1996; produced by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Jai Maharaj <jai@mantra.com> *-=Om Shanti=-*

********************************************************************** Forwarded By: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 13:48:42 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Opportunity for English & Science teachers

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

Lalitpur College of Kathmandu, Nepal is looking for Volunteers for teaching English and Sciences. If, any body is interested, Please contact at this telephone at Kathmandu, Nepal - 011-977-1-522535 . Please do Contact Mr. R.P Upadhaya.

Mailing Address:

Mr. R P. Upadhaya 10/253 Kopundol Patan, Nepal Fax: 011-977-1-524042

Saroj Joshi

**************************************************************** Forwarded By: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 13:50:09 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Society Electrical Engineers Nepal

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

Recently Society of Electrical Engineers Nepal has been established.

For more information mailing address is available:

Tulassi Dass Shrestha, Vice President Office: Drubar Marg, Kathmandu G.P.O. Box 7370, Nepal

Residence:

Kha 2/162 Dilli Bazar Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: 011-(977)-(1)-417840 Feel free to call

Saroj Joshi

********************************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: Welcome to the GBNC Home Page To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 14:13:07 -0500 (EST)

GBNC on the Web
--------------- Another one caught in the web!

On behalf of the Greater Boston Nepali Community (GBNC), I would like to invite you to visit the new "GBNC Home Page" on the Web at the following URL:

http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/arp/gbnc.html

or

http://scimitar.bbn.com:8000/gbnc

Although still in rudimentary phase, GBNC Home Page contains frequently updated information about GBNC activities. Excerpts of "Samachar-Bichar", the acclaimed quarterly publication of GBNC are also available on the GBNC Home Page.

We also hope the GBNC Home Page will provide an easy interface to write or contact the GBNC.

You are most welcome to visit!

for GBNC, Rajesh B. Shrestha

*********************************************************** Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 14:16:30 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: News 1/13/1996 From: karkis@mail.med.upenn.edu (Sher B. Karki)

                      Copyright 1996 The Daily Yomiuri
                               The Daily Yomiuri

                           January 11, 1996, Thursday

SECTION: Pg. 3

LENGTH: 451 words

HEADLINE: Former actress' group helps fund Nepal's first kiddie park

BYLINE: Yomiuri Shimbun

DATELINE: TOKYO

 BODY:
   In the picturesque Nepalese town of Pokhara, the nation's first children's park, built with donations from former actress Fumiko Yamaji's foundation, opened last month.

   Yamaji, 83, whose real name is Fumiko Okubo, attended the Dec. 23 opening ceremony. It was her fourth visit to Nepal and the first in three years.

 "I am really happy to come to Nepal, " said Yamaji, who, plagued by paralysis and leg pains, attended the ceremony in a wheelchair.

   Surrounded by linden trees, the children's park was built on land acquired by local residents. It is equipped with seven kinds of playthings, including a slide and a manual ferris wheel, as well as flushing toilets and a fountain.

   The 5,000-square-meter park, about 1.5 kilometers west of the center of the town, was designed by a local man who studied in Britain.

   Pokhara, about 200 kilometers west of the nation's capital of Katmandu, is located 800 meters above sea level and faces the Annapurna mountains and Mt. Machhapuchhare. Because of its location, many trekkers set up base in the town, which is also frequented by many Japanese tourists.

   "We cannot afford to build parks for children," a Cabinet minister in charge of welfare said at the opening ceremony. "This park is greater than our expectations."

   Three years ago Sonam Sanppo, the 45-year-old owner of a local hotel, asked the Yamaji Fumiko Cultural Foundation to help build a children's park in Pokhara.

   Since 1989, the foundation has donated about 120 million yen to help the children of Nepal. The funds have been used for scholarships and to build school buildings.

   Foundation managing director Mitsuhiro Iwasaki, 44, who is also an assistant professor at the two-year college operated by Gakushuin University, has visited Pokhara many times. He was aware of the pressing need for a children's park, but felt full-scale support would not be beneficial for residents. Therefore, the foundation donated about 5 million yen for construction costs, while local residents, including Sanppo, acquired the land.

   "We raised more than 1 million yen by selling tickets for charity shows featuring local singers," Sanppo explained. "However, our dream (to build the children's park) would not have come true and we would not have become enthusiastic about collecting funds without support from Ms. Yamaji."

   Sujata Dhakal, 14, who attended the opening ceremony, said it was the first time she had played in a children's park. "I want the park to remain as clean as the mountains in Pokhara forever," she said.

   Ram Acharya, 14, stood patiently stood in line to ride the ferris wheel. "I am still waiting for my turn," he said. "We usually only play hide-and-seek."

                       Copyright 1996 Xinhua News Agency

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

                           JANUARY 11, 1996, THURSDAY

LENGTH: 105 words

HEADLINE: nepal permits mobile communication in taxis

DATELINE: kathmandu, january 11; ITEM NO: 0111076

 BODY:
   the nepali government has decided to give permission to private taxi companies for their mobile communication systems. according to the ministry of information and communications, the decision was made with a view to make taxi services run by private sector more reliable and safe. necessary frequencies on a fixed mobile band will be allocated for the taxi communication service, the ministry said. the ministry has required interested taxi companies to apply for licenses to install mobile communication systems in their taxis. the taxi communication system would be the first commercial mobile system in the country.

                      Copyright 1996 Xinhua News Agency

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

                           JANUARY 11, 1996, THURSDAY

LENGTH: 182 words

HEADLINE: nepali pm calls for regional cooperation in south asia

DATELINE: kathmandu, january 11; ITEM NO: 0111250

 BODY:
   nepali prime minister sher bahadur deuba today called for regional cooperation and peace in the south asian subcontinent. addressing the opening of the rotary international south asia conference on cooperation and development here today, deuba said south asia was one of the least developed regions in the world and there could be no development without regional cooperation and peace.
 nepal adheres to its policy of maintaining peace and fostering goodwill with all the countries in the world, especially its neighbors, deuba said. he said the emergence of the south asian association for regional cooperation (saarc) had brought in a new era of cooperation and development among south asian countries. the three-day conference, organized by the nepalese rotary club, is being attended by senior rotary club members from nepal, bangladesh, india, pakistan and sri lanka. the rotary international, established in 1917, has been involved in social services in different countries. it is active in south asia in such areas as child welfare, disease control, vaccinations and literacy.

                     Copyright 1996 Xinhua News Agency

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

                           JANUARY 11, 1996, THURSDAY

LENGTH: 106 words

HEADLINE: nepal private sector involvement in power industry encouraged

DATELINE: kathmandu, january 11; ITEM NO: 0111232

 BODY:
   the nepali government has adopted a policy to encourage the local private sector to implement power generating projects in the country. according to the ministry for water resources, the government has given permissions to private companies to carry out 12 hydropower projects with a total generating capacity of more than 700 megawatts. greater priority would be given to private companies in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the future, the ministry said. until recently only the government-run nepal electricity authority had been involved in the development of hydroelectricity in the country.

                       Copyright 1996 Reuters, Limited

                      January 11, 1996, Thursday, BC cycle

SECTION: Money Report. Bonds Capital Market.

LENGTH: 254 words

HEADLINE: NEPALI RUPEE DROPS TO NEW LOW AGAINST U.S. DOLLAR

DATELINE: KATHMANDU, JAN 11

 BODY:
   The Nepali rupee, taking its cue from neighbouring India's currency, fell to a record low against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, officials said.

   The dollar opened one rupee stronger at 57.25.

   The central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank, maintains a fixed exchange rate with its southern neighbour of 160 Nepali rupees for 100 Indian rupees. The values of other currencies are allowed to fluctuate against Nepal's unit of exchange.
  The Indian rupee was quoted at 35.810/840 against the dollar on Thursday.

    Nepal's central bank governor said the weakening of his country's currency merely reflected the general strengthening of the dollar in international markets.

   "All currencies are adjusting exchange rates against the dollar which is getting stronger in the international market," governor Satyendra Pyara Shreshta told Reuters.

   "Consequently we had to change our exchange rate too."

   Central bank officials said Nepal had foreign exchange reserves totalling 41 billion rupees ($ 716 million) and there was no shortage of dollars.

   "All of our sources of dollar earnings are intact," Shrestra said. "The depreciation of the rupee is not due to the supply of the dollar."

   India is Nepal's biggest trading partner, accounting for 29 percent of its total foreign trade. The Himalayan kingdom shares about 1,500 km of open border with India.

   The Indian rupee has lost more than 10 percent of its value against the dollar since mid-1995 as higher inflation in India than in the United States eroded the rupee's value.

                           Copyright 1996 U.P.I.

                      January 11, 1996, Thursday, BC cycle

SECTION: International

LENGTH: 271 words

HEADLINE: Bhutanese exiles to march across India

DATELINE: NEW DELHI, Jan. 11

 BODY:
   Bhutanese exiles are planning a march across Nepal and India to the Bhutanese capital to appeal to King Jigme Singye Wangchuk to let them return home, a refugee spokesman said Thursday. Ratan Gazmere, a Bhutanese activist, said the 150 participants are determined to reach Thimpu despite opposition they may encounter from Indian authorities. An earlier march was thwarted last week when Indian authorities arrested the participants as they crossed into India from Nepal. ''We want to go back to our home,'' Gazmere said. ''We have a right to go back to our home.'' More than 120,000 Bhutanese refugees of ethnic Nepali origin currently live in camps in southern Nepal and northeastern India. The refugees say they were driven from their native Bhutan because they were ethnic Nepalis and Hindus. Bhutan, a tiny kingdom in the Himalayas ruled by an absolute monarch, says the exiles were illegal immigrants deported in accordance with international law. The 250 mile (400 kilometer) protest march is due to begin Sunday in Damak in Nepal and Gazmere said it would take about 23 days to reach Thimpu. The demonstrators are due to pass through 10 towns and villages in India, which lies between Nepal and Bhutan. The march will be the second time this month a group of Bhutanese demonstrators attempt to cross India to reach Bhutan. Police in India's eastern state of West Bengal arrested the last group of activists as they crossed the Indo-Nepali border last week. The arrested demonstrators were told they could not use Indian soil to carry out an anti-Bhutan movement. hs-alk/upi

                           Copyright 1996 U.P.I.

                      January 11, 1996, Thursday, BC cycle

SECTION: International

LENGTH: 226 words

HEADLINE: Rhino poaching rises in Nepal

DATELINE: KATMANDU, Jan 11

 BODY:
   Nepali conservationists Thursday denounced a spate of attacks by poachers who have killed four one-horned rhinoceroses -- including a pregnant female -- in Chitwan National Park over the last three months. In a fifth attack, poachers speared a rhino that managed to survive and is being treated for injuries by park staff. Last week, poachers killed a pregnant rhinoceros that was four months away from giving birth after a 16-month gestation period. The fetus also died in the attack. The Nepali government listed the one-horned rhino 22 years ago as an endangered species, after the population fell to only 80 animals. Government protection and a ban on rhino exports has brought an increase in numbers of the thick-skinned mammals. Chitwan Park, about 50 miles (80 km) from Katmandu, boasts a population of 466 rhinos, which are supposed to be protected by armed guards patrolling the park. Poachers kill the animals for their highly-valued horns, which are considered an aphrodisiac in southeast Asian countries. A single rhino horn can fetch as much as $75,000 in Hong Kong. Thieves also have stolen several horns stored in the national park and replaced them with fakes, a park official said. A high-level team headed by a senior forest department official went to the park this week to investigate the theft.

                      Copyright 1996 Xinhua News Agency

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

                          JANUARY 10, 1996, WEDNESDAY

LENGTH: 165 words

HEADLINE: nepal's ruling party confident in coalition

DATELINE: kathmandu, january 10; ITEM NO: 0110260

 BODY:
    nepal's main ruling party today expressed its confidence in the present coalition government, saying that the three-party government would successfully complete its term. the nepali congress (nc) party, concluding a three-day meeting of its central working committee in southern nepal today, said in a resolution that its activities would not land its two ruling partners in difficulty. last september, the nc formed a coalition government with the national democratic party (rpp) and nepal goodwill party to replace the former minority communist government. the nc resolution urged the two other ruling parties to do their best to make the government serve its full term of four years. it said that the government should introduce working policies to ensure good administration and vigorous economic development and to remove poverty and unemployment. the nc central working committee decided to hold its ninth national convention in west nepal's nepalgunj on march 31, 1996.

                      Copyright 1996 Xinhua News Agency

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

                          JANUARY 10, 1996, WEDNESDAY

LENGTH: 270 words

HEADLINE: nepal government denies allegation on tanakpur issue

DATELINE: kathmandu, january 10; ITEM NO: 0110127

 BODY:
   the nepali government tuesday denied the opposition's allegations that it had not taken any active initiative over a controversial water project on
 nepal -india border. the water resources ministry said in a press release that the present coalition government had done a lot to work out its position on the tanakpur issue since it came to office last september. local newspapers recently reported that former prime minister and president of the opposition communist party of nepal (uml) man mohan adhikari had accused the government of having not taken initiative to resolve the controversy. it was reported when adhikari visited india last year as the prime minister he discussed the tanakpur issue with his indian counterpart p. v. narasimha rao. the tanakpur treaty between nepal and india was singed in 1991 by the then nepali prime minister girija prasad koirala. the treaty allowed india to use a small part of nepalese land near its western border to build a barrage for india's tanakpur hydropower and irrigation project. but so far the nepali parliament has not ratified the treaty because some legislators claimed the treaty does not provide enough benefits for nepal. in its tuesday press release, the water resources ministry said that a special committee on the tanakpur issue was formed during a recent session of the parliament to seek a solution to the problem. while attending a south asian regional meeting in new delhi, nepali foreign minister prakash chandra lohani earlier met his indian counterpart and the indian minister for water resources to discuss the issue, the ministry said.

                            Copyright 1996 U.P.I.

                     January 10, 1996, Wednesday, BC cycle

SECTION: International

LENGTH: 205 words

HEADLINE: Indians demand release of jailed exiles

DATELINE: NEW DELHI, Jan. 10

 BODY:
   Supporters of Bhutanese exiles jailed in India have called for a day-long protest in the eastern Darjeeling district later this week to demand the release of the refugees, reports said Wednesday. The All India Gurkha League, an activist group of ethnic Nepalis settled in India, is demanding that Indian officials allow the Bhutanese refugees to carry out a planned demonstration on the Indo-Bhutan border, the Press Trust of India reported. The protest is due to take place Sunday. Since last week, Indian authorities arrested more than 200 refugees who were trying to march from Nepal to Bhutan, across Indian territory. The march was to highlight the plight of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and pressure Thimpu to allow the exiles to return to their homes. However, India, which has traditionally had close ties with Bhutan, has refused to allow the march to proceed. More than 100,000 Bhutanese exiles live in homes because they are ethnic Nepalis and Hindus. Bhutan, a tiny Buddhist state ruled by an absolute monarch, claims the exiles were illegal immigrants deported in accordance with international law.

                   Copyright 1996 Agence France Presse
                              Agence France Presse

                           January 08, 1996 08:11 GMT

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 146 words

HEADLINE: Gold run at Nepal airport toilet

DATELINE: KATHMANDU, Jan 8

 BODY:
   More than 60,000 dollars worth of gold has been found in a toilet at Kathmandu airport, Nepalese police said Monday.

   The 4.8 kilogrammes (10.56 pounds) of gold was probably meant to be illegally imported.

   The contraband precious me tal was hidden behind a male toilet in the customs section at Tribhuvan International Airport after passengers on a Hong Kong-Kathmandu flight had passed the counter, said police.

                      Copyright 1996 Xinhua News Agency

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

                            JANUARY 8, 1996, MONDAY

LENGTH: 148 words

HEADLINE: nepal needs 2.5 million new houses in next decade

DATELINE: kathmandu, january 8; ITEM NO: 0108048

 BODY:
    nepal should build 2.5 million new houses to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing urban population, according to minister for housing and physical planning balaram gharti magar. meanwhile, about 732,000 old houses throughout the country have to be renovated during the same period, magar said sunday at a consultative seminar on "national plan of action." according to him, nepal's urban population will reach 6.8 million by the year of 2010, accounting for more than one fourth of its total population, and 70 percent of them would live in the southern terai plain region. magar said the government would soon introduce a national housing policy in accordance with the constitution of nepal and the world housing strategy of the united nations. nepal's national plan of action program is scheduled to be presented at the forthcoming city summit in istanbul, turkey next june.

                      Copyright 1996 Xinhua News Agency

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

                            JANUARY 8, 1996, MONDAY

LENGTH: 161 words

HEADLINE: nepal's ruling party central meeting opens

DATELINE: kathmandu, january 8; ITEM NO: 0108166

 BODY:
   the ruling nepali congress (nc) began its central working committee meeting today in janakpurdham of southern nepal. the three-day meeting is scheduled to fix a date for the party's ninth national convention and discuss other issues including the expansion of the central committee membership. nc president krishna prasad bhattarai said at a press conference today in the southern town that his party would not interfere in the affairs of the government, according to a report of the official news agency rss. earlier, the nc had announced that its ninth national convention was to be held in west nepal's nepalgunj in february. meanwhile, prime minister sher bahadur deuba from the nepali congress arrived in janakpurdham later today to attend the meeting. other nc leaders who hold ministerial posts in the present government would also take part in the central meeting, the first one after the nc-led coalition government came to power last september.

******************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <rshresth@husc.harvard.edu> Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 23:25:00 -0500 (EST) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Need expedition agent in KTM

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

I have run a number of commercial climbing trips to nepal using another agent (they have always done well) but they do not have a email address so I have to Fax them all the time (expensive). I am looking for an agent with major connections in the ministry of Tourism, RNAC and so on. An agent that has a track record supporting expeditions to other areas than just the Khumbu. In particular they must have previous experience in the kangchenjunga region. Please email me with your services that you offer and your email address and i will forward my request for contracting.

Clay Patton

**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 14:08:54 EST To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: Nirmal Ghimirez <NGH42799Q236@DAFFY.MILLERSV.EDU> Subject: ktmpost

I was trying to browse into ktmpost after a long time. It seems that I am makink error while typing the string. Could you kindly send me the correct characters to get into ktmpost. Thanks.Nirmal

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