The Nepal Digest - January 9, 1998 (25 Poush 2054 BkSm)

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Date: Thu Jan 08 1998 - 21:30:21 CST


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The Nepal Digest Fri Jan 9, 1998: Poush 25 2054BS: Year7 Volume70 Issue1
 
                         HAPPY NEW YEAR 1998!

Today's Topics:

                 Poems by Seetashma Thapa
                 Re - Women Traficking
                 Constitutional Framework
                 JAN_KARI: Homestay Program in Nepal
                 Nepali women in development
                 Martin Chautari discussions
                 Volunteer work in Nepal
                 Talking about expat's role in Nepal
                 Nepali News
                 Re: Talking about expat's role in Nepal
                 Visit Nepal 98 and the Nepalese economy
                 Exchange rate
                 402 MW Project

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information tnd@nepal.org *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra pkm@acpub.duke.edu *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana avinayar@touro.edu *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal HamalK@dist.gov.au *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Anil Shrestha SHRESTHA@CROP.UOGUELPH.CA *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
 * TND Foundation: http://www.nepal.org tnd@nepal.org *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista tnd@nepal.org *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
 ******************************************************************************
************************************************************* Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 13:02:58 +0500 From: S Thapa <sangeeta@isb.compol.com> To: tnd@nepal.org Subject: could you please publish these two poems in Tnd.

REFUGGES WORDS
-------------- As I sat clutched to my brother because I did not have a father and mother. All that I could hear was shooting and bombs blasting. Which made people cry as they can see their families die.

I could feel the bullets which hit my house and the bombs which echoed and vibrated in my heart. My country, my home, But when there is a war I am driven out of there and I am all alone.

It is dark. It is scary. And thousands of living souls are hiding who are separated Who are dying because of bomb shelling. Our lives matter. But they are already in shatters. So come on all the lucky ones. Give us a chance Because we are not bad but only sad. We need your helping to get back our land.

     Seetashma Thapa
     Mayo Girls College
     Eight Grade
     Rajasthan, India

SHEBA
----- I got you when you were small. Like a little stuff dolls your eyes glowed And your long nose poked every where you went. You became big. I left you. You became blank and your heart sank. I came back. You turned your back and made my heart go a back. It did not take long before your love made us go along. One fine day you felt sick which I felt by your lick. You looked dull, lost, and pale. As if your heart was out for sale. You lay on the matters while you were at rest, you closed your eyes and slept.

I was beside you and seeing this I began to weep. Your ears down. Your eyes slightly closed looking at this it pierced my heart with the dart. I looked at you. I kissed you fur. And said good-bye to my best friend with a silent purr.

------------- Author's Note: I hope this poem inspires you to help the unlucky ones and make life better for them.

************************************************************* Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 22:19:11 -0600 To: The Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> From: Janak Koirala <jkoirala@uic.edu> Subject: Re - Women Traficking

Dear Editor,

In the recent TND there is an article about women traficking in Nepal and it gives a linkage to the 'www.blue-fox.com/Nepal' site. If you visit that internet site you will find that it gives a very bad impression of Nepal to an extent that it seems like Nepal is full of rapers and it is dangerous to the tourists. The whole story is based on one rape story in 1993 and the internet site gives the image as though all Nepalese tourist industry and government is behind it. I think Nepal is still one of the safest country in the world for tourists as well as for Nepalese. I do not think the linkage to the misleading internet site should even given a place in the TND.

Janak Koirala

************************************************************* From: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu (Rajpal J.P. Singh) Newsgroups: soc.culture.nepal Subject: Constitutional Framework Date: 20 Dec 1997 08:54:52 -0600

Hello,

    Is this in par with the spirit of a true "Constitutional Monarchy"
    as exercised in other similar nations? There seems to be a wide open
    window for multitude of self-serving interpertaitons for the
    following articles of the constitution.
    
    I'm rather curious if this
    is any diferent from the absolute and autocratic days.

    I also see that the content of "National Anthem" has no mention of
    glorification of the nation and its people and ligioncy of the
    people towards the nation.

    Am I missing something here?

So long, RJPS

"Democracy perishes among the silent crowd!" -sirdar_khalifa

----------------------------------------- Source: The Constitution of Nepal

--------- Article 29. Expenditures and Privileges relating to His Majesty and the
            Royal Family:

Expenditures and privileges relating to His Majesty and the Royal Family shall be as determined by law:

Provided that no law shall be made having the effect of reducing the expenditures and privileges being provided by the existing law.

---------- Article 31. Question not to be Raised in Courts:

No question shall be raised in any court about any act performed by His Majesty:

Provided that nothing in this Article shall be deemed to restrict any right under law to initiate proceedings against His Majesty's Government or any employee of His Majesty.

----------- Article 118. Provisions Regarding the Royal Nepal Army:

(1) There shall be a National Defence Council of Nepal consisting of the
    following as Chairman and members: -

(a) the Prime Minister Chairman;
(b) the Defence Minister Member, and
(c) the Commander-in-Chief Member.

(2) His Majesty shall operate and use the Royal Nepal Army on the
    recommendation of the National Defence Council.
(3) The establishment and management of the Royal Nepal Army, and
    other matters relating thereto, shall be as
    determined by law.
(4) The National Defence Council shall have the power to regulate its
    working procedures on its own.

----------- Article 119. Supreme Command of the Royal Nepal Army and Appointment
             of the Commander-in-Chief:

(1) His Majesty is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Nepal Army.
(2) His Majesty shall appoint the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Nepal
    Army on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

----------- Article 120. Royal Nepalese Ambassadors and Emissaries:

(1) His Majesty shall appoint the Royal Nepalese Ambassadors.
(2) His Majesty may designate a Royal Representative for representing Him
    on special occasion, and may appoint a
    Special Emissary for a specified purpose.

----------- Article 122. Pardons:

His Majesty shall have the power to grant pardons and to suspend, commute or remit any sentence passed by any court, special court, military court or by any other judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative authority or institution.

----------- Article 123. Titles, Honours and Decorations:

(1) The titles, honours or decorations to be conferred on behalf of the
    state shall be conferred by His Majesty.
(2) No citizen of Nepal shall, without the approval of His Majesty,
    accept any title, honour or decoration from the
    government of any country.

************************************************************* Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 02:15:49 -0500 From: Rajendra Pokharel <rpokharel@collegeclub.com> Newsgroups: soc.culture.nepal Subject: Re: Constitutional Framework

I agree with Mr Singh's views here about "Monarchy" then and now. However, it can be stated that the King is below consitituition, but in practice, there has been no reduction in King's authority in the so called "constitutional monarchy" compared to that of absolute monarchy in the past. The King still holds the supreme authority of the Army
(which is called Royal Army, not Nepal Army), and is beyond the reach of court of law. The constitution clearly says that there can be no question made about Royal family , neither in the court, nor in the parliament. I can not agree that King is just like figurehead queen of England, infact, the monarchy now, is just a polite form of "Autocracy".

Like Mr Singh said, there is no single word mentioned about glorification of the nation and its people, and ligioncy of the people towards the nation in the content of "National Anthem", rather it prays the King exactly the same way Hitler, Stalin and Mao used be treated with enforced prayer in their regimes.

Last summer, I was in Nepal, a Royal family member Paras Shah killed an innocent poor Nepali, and no law of the country was used against this crime, and no lawmaker of the country spoke a single word about it.

****************************************************************** From: <for246@abdn.ac.uk> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - December 20, 1997 (7 Poush 2054 BkSm) Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 14:57:31 +0000 (GMT)

The editor, all the columnist of Nepal Digest and its readers.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year 1998. Thanks for all your contributions towards healthy and lively discussions. Hope this continue in New Year.
  a.das@abdn.ac.uk Annapurna N. Das Dept. of Forestry Univesity of Aberdeen AB24 5UA Aberdeen, UK

********************************************************* Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 10:38:29 -0600 From: <gdahal@puccini.crl.umn.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu, urayamajhi@npl.healthnet.org Subject: JAN_KARI: Homestay Program in Nepal

Dear Netters,

One of my colleague in Nepal (Mr Uday Raymajhi) has been running a homestay program for Nepal Visitors. I am mailing the following msg on his behalf for posting since he has no access to TND (but has applied for subscription). If you are interested in this program, please feel free to contact him in the following address. I could also provide some information regarding his program.

Regards

Ganesh Dahal E-mail: gdahal@puccini.crl.umn.edu
  
--------------------------------------- Dear Readers,

Why not you visit Nepal in the visit Nepal Year 1998. I run a HOMESTAY PROGRAM in Nepal.If you are planning to visit Nepal and interested in our Homestay program please feel free to communicate with me on the following address:

Mr Uday Rayamajhi, P.O. Box 1312, Kathmandu, Nepal. Phone 977-1-410319/427658 Fax 977-1-222904 Email:urayamajhi@npl.healthnet.org

We will take care of your logistics for your travel to Nepal. You are most welcome to stay with us in a homely atmosphere in the heart of Kathmandu city very near from the Royal Palace at Lazimpat.We provide airport transfer to and from as well as breakfast and dinner enriched with Nepali tradition and culture
(optional).The room is comfortably furnished facing the green cultivated land overlooking the Shivapuri hills with breathtaking mountains on the horizon.We have an attatched bathroom too with hot and cold shower system.Through the travel agency associated with us we can easily arrange for plane tickets,tour to various parts of Nepal,hiking,trekking,Jungle safari,rafting etc.

You will certainly feel the homely environment with us and surely get a chance to see Nepal and Nepalese in a different aspect.Including all facilities of fooding and lodging it will cost you $40 per day. There may be some discount for budget travellers and/or meals options.

So why don't you give us a chance to guide you around in this country where nature has so lovingly gifted us with things to see and show. Please feel free to communicate to us through any means convinient to you.

Thank You Uday Raymajhi E-mail: urayamajhi@npl.healthnet.org

****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 03:12:39 +0000 From: darai@worldnet.att.net To: tnd@nepal.org Subject: Nepali women in development

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing my Master's thesis on Nepali women in development. Could you please suggest places on the Internet or libraries (in Washington DC area) to quickly locate this information? I have a deadline of January 15, 1998 to complete this draft of my thesis.

I lived in Nepal for several years and my husband's home is near Dumauli, Tanahu district. We are starting a new nonprofit organization, Nepal Foundation for Indigenous Communities. We hope to have it incorporated in the next couple months and receive funding for our indeavors also. Would you give us suggestions for how you became a nonprofit with tax exempt status??

Thanks so much. Our email is <darai@worldnet.att.net>

Yours truly, Sonja Darai

**************************************************** Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 15:24:36 +0545 (NPT) From: sinhas@mos.com.np (Pratyoush Onta) Subject: Schedule of Martin Chautari discussions

Please announce and Post

Schedule for the Martin Chautari Discussion Series Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD)

Mangalbare Discussions and Nepal Studies Group's Research Discussion Series meet EVERY TUESDAY at 5:30 pm at the premises of Martin Chautari in Thapathali, Kathmandu (tel: 246065; behind VS Niketan School's first building when going from Thapathali towards Babarmahal - past the Maternity Hospital, turn left, turn right after passing the NEFEJ office, not towards UMN and St. Xavier's College; on electric poles you will see a sign for
"Friend's Colony" as well as for "Martin Chautari"). Discussions are held in Nepali or/and English

All are welcome!

Time for all discussions: Tuesdays, 5:30 - 7:20 pm.

30 December The Role of PRA in Community Development Kamal Phnuyal, NEPAN

6 January 1998 Some thoughts on Nepali Nationalism Pratyoush Onta, Martin Chautari

13 January Intellectual Property Rights in Nepal Surendra Bhandari, lawyer

20 January
'Nepal Mandal' in the history of Newar identity Kashinath Tamot, Patan Campus, TU

27 January The Janajati Movement in Nepal: An Evaluation Suresh Ale Magar, Chair, Akhil Nepal Janajati Sangh Bal K Mabuhang, Secretary, Nepal Janajati Mahasangh

For further details on CSRD's activities including the journal Studies in Nepali History and Society, please check our home page at http://jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu/~deschene/sinhas/index.html

*********************************************** Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 10:15:12 -0500 (EST) To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: "Tom O'Neill and Tina Moffat" <tandt@interlog.com> Subject: please post

Namaste!

We are writing to introduce you to the Canadian Nepal Education Foundation.

Canadian Nepal Education Foundation (CNEF) is a non-profit organization which assists in the development of educational projects through direct involvement and funding. Simply put, its mandate is to help children obtain a basic education. CNEF is run entirely by a volunteer Board of Directors and other interested individuals. Since 1989, CNEF has enjoyed charitable organization status in Canada and issues tax receipts for all donations received.

CNEF was developed in response to a direct request for assistance from the principal of a new primary school in the crowded outskirts of Kathmandu. The principal, Fulmaya Lama, started the school for children whose families could not afford their education. In response, a group of interested and involved Canadians formed CNEF in the mid 1980's to provide much needed assistance to the school and became its founding directors. A small number of children were initially sponsored to attend the school through Canadian donations.

Since its inception, CNEF has maintained links with the school and the sponsorship program still continues to help children obtain an basic education. A sponsorship of $110CAN provides a full year of education for a child who would otherwise not be able to attend school.

In the last thirty years, the literacy rate in Nepal has risen from 4% to over 20%. However, along with this improvement, dramatic problems have arisen. Schools have become overcrowded, and opportunities limited, making it virtually impossible for students to gain the basic education their parents seek for them. Although the number of schools in Kathmandu has increased, there is ongoing competition amongst schools to obtain fee paying students. This has lead to expanded programs, higher costs and even less opportunity for poor children to attend school.

CNEF is interested in maintaining our current sponsorship program. We are also in exploring new opportunities which will help children in Nepal to obtain a basic education. To help us achieve these goals, we are interested in hearing from people who have an interest in education, in development and in Nepal. If you support our mandate, have some ideas and have some time to participate in our organization, we would like to hear from you.

If you are interested but don't have time to participate, but would like to support our work, donations are certainly welcome at any time.

Please use the e-mail address below to contact us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tom O'Neill, Ph.D 238 Markham St. Toronto, Ontario M6J 2G6 tel (416) 968-2117

"We need an account which does not view knowledge as matter of getting things right, but...as a matter of acquiring habits of action for coping with reality."
                                -Richard Rorty

******************************************************* Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 08:36:54 -0500 From: cbuck <cbuck@preferred.com> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: climbers

Please send me any information you have on "all" of the persons who have been missing and reported to have died, but no bodies found from climbing in Nepal. My studies are on all missing persons from 1930 to this date and will cover conditions, age and contributing factors. This total report will help hundreds to survive in the future. Thank You, Please mail hard copy to: Carl Edward Buck, Project Manager 14061 Brynwood Dr Bristol VA 24202

cbuck@preferred.com

************************************************* Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 09:52:50 -0700 From: steve-k@ix.netcom.com To: tnd@nepal.org Subject: Volunteer work in Nepal

I am planning a trip in Nepal in August for about three months and think it would be very interesting to do some type of work while over there. The Himalayan Rescue Association interested me as I am an avid outdoorist and have take Wilderness First Responder with Outward Bound. Other things that I might be interested in doing are working at an organic farm, Leading Treks, Environmental Studies or Research. If you have any suggestions or volunteer offerings in these areas please get back to me at kearney@lclark.edu. Also if you know of any other organizations that might be able to help I would appreciate it. Thanks, Angela Kearney

*************************************************** Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 16:57:19 +0530 From: Rahul Rawail <rahulr@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in> To: tnd@nepal.org Subject: THE LIVING GODDESS

Dear Sirs,

Please e-mail me some literature /articles or other source of information on THE LIVING GODDESS (KUMARI).

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sat, 03 Jan 1998 12:42:32 -0600 From: "Padam P. Sharma" <sharma@plains.nodak.edu> To: Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Talking about expat's role in Nepal..

I read with great interest the letters and counter letters by Ms. Greta Rana, Mickey Veich, and an unknown friend from Philadelphia published in recent issues of TND. Being a lost soul from Nepal myself (what do I know anyway?), I can only imagine the level of frustration Ms. Rana feels at the "downhill" way things are going in Nepal. She is very right to arouse a sense of nationalism among us or lay a guilt trap on us, whatever way each of us may perceive from her message. Her message is very clear that we (Nepali diaspora) should do something for Nepal.

As our "straight-shooter" friend from "city of liberty" correctly pointed out, it is upto the individual to do whatever one wants to do vis-a-vis one's relationship with Nepal and rest of the world. After all, it is the basic premise of independence to "pursue life, liberty, and happiness" and why should a Nepali be denied that God-given right. Simply stated, guilt-trap and blame-game would not work.

Ms. Rana's article was successful to arouse the feelings of veteran Peace Corps volunteer like Micky Veich and bring out the best of
"straight talk" from Philadelphia about the dilemma of Nepali diaspora here in the US. Our friend from Philadelphia further states, "You can do something for your country, without ever going back. ...sometimes, i get the feeling that the Nepali expats are better able to help Nepal from their pulpits in Boston/DC/NY/ LA/Denver... if they are better organized." I concur.

As many of you TND readers are aware, two contemporary "networking for Nepal" organizational attempts were made during 1997. One of which is
"The Nepal Digest Foundation" by Rajpal Singh in White Plains, NY which brings us the Nepal Digest. TND Foundation is a global non-profit information and resource center committed to promoting issues concerning Nepal, Nepalis and Friends of Nepal. Further information about TND foundation can be obtained from their website at:
[http://www.nepal.org].

A group of Nepalis and friends of Nepal in Minnesota (why? because we happenend to be here in pursuit of our academic and professional goals!), have started a non-profit organization called, "Empower Nepal Foundation". The mission of ENF is to develop a global network of individuals and institutions, pool resources from network participants, and disseminate the pooled resources to support people of Nepal improve and sustain environment and quality of life. ENF intends to support 4-E activities in Nepal related to Education of children and adults, Environmental restoration, Economic empowerment,and Enlightenment of individual's role to sustain a democratic society.

During 1997, ENF has constituted a board of directors, passed bylaws, printed foundation brochures, and is currently disseminating information and collecting resources (money and volunteered time) through network of friends here in Minnesota and around the world. As a first project, we are developing "stay-in-school scholorship" fund for economically and socially under-previlaged children (with emphasis on minority girls) in Nepal. Depending upon the progress we make, our goal is to start contributing to the development of Nepal by 1998. A preliminary text version of the foundation information can be obtained at
[http://www.geocities.com/rainforest/9831]. A formal website is due to be released soon at its temporary site at:
[http://www.geocities.com/southbeach/sands/2795].

Both TND and ENF are attempts to bring together the ideas and resources of concerned individuals around the world towards Nepal. The advent of cyberspace communication technology has made these networking attempts feasible and "helping Nepal" from anywhere in the world is within
"finger-tip" reach of individuals. We all love Nepal in our own ways. Both TND and ENF are attempts to facilitate this process of converting our love for Nepal into deeds that improve the quality of life of one individual, one family, one community, and one watershed at a time. Individually, we may do somethings on our own. Collectively, we make a big splash of difference.

We don't have to feel guilty or blame anybody else for Nepal's predicament. Neither, do we have to be frustrated at the state of affairs in Nepal. If Nepal is at the bottom of the totempole, the only way out is to go up and start climbing Himalays of human dignity. Whether you are a pizza-delivery boy or a top-notch academician, and wherever you are in this world (in Kathmandu or Timbuktu), bring together our volunteered resources, and do the right things to help Nepalis help themselves.

Helping Nepal can be fun and enjoyable. Let us hook up with each other, set aside our egos and pathos ( or bathos!) and bring together our collective wills and resources. As a Nike commercial, let us "just do it" for Nepal.

Padam Prasad Sharma, President Empower Nepal Foundation 2000 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. Phone:(612)646-3733 Email:psharma@soils.umn.edu

****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 22:30:36 +0545 (NPT) To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: sinhas@mos.com.np (Pratyoush Onta) Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - December 28, 1997 (13 Poush 2054 BkSm)

Source: The Kathmandu Post, 2 Jan 1998 The Politics of Knowledge English in Development by Pratyoush Onta

A few weeks ago, some friends who do not speak or write English with ease received a phone call from a major donor agency in town. In characteristic donor-voice, they were told, "We have heard that your organization is interested in doing a 'gender' project. Please send us an appropriate proposal as soon as possible so that we can give you the money under the 1997 budget." Before the conversation ended, they were also told, "Make sure that you have the proposal written by so-and-so." What went unsaid was that, of course, the proposal had to be written in English. My friends tell me that such a specific command - "make sure the proposal you submit is written by a specific person if you want the money" - is neither the first of its kind in their experience not do they expect it to be the last.

Other bikas-wallas tell me that such a scenario is rampant within the development industry in Nepal. Since many small and medium size development organizations are staffed by Nepalis who have no or little access to English as a written language, a new breed of professional proposal writers in English has now taken strong roots within Nepali society. As writer and social worker Sharad Poudel has recently argued in an essay in the semi-annual journal Bikas, if you are competent in the English language and if you also know the current development jargons, you can be a hero in the development industry which despite its mouthing of 'participatory' rhetoric is very much a top-down, money haves-move have nots type of bureaucracy.

Some among these proposal writers, I am told, have a standard non-written agreement with organizations (on whose behalf they write the proposals) regarding their remuneration: it is a fixed x percentage of the total amount budgeted in the proposal. Reportedly, the program officers within donor-agencies who decide what projects are provided funds, cultivate special relationships with specific proposal writers. This is, in part, a case of some English-fluent Nepali person becoming the darling of a major donor-agency as the latter tries to outcompete other similar players in the cultivation of deep patron-client relationships here. But it is also, I am told, a part of the commission racket whereby proposal writers and organizations seeking funds give kickbacks to donor-agency personnel who have the authority to decide just how such funds are disimbursed.

I am willing to acknowledge that reports about how certain Nepali English-fluent types become active in the proposal writing circuit or about the pervasiveness of kickbacks associated with donor funding might be slightly exaggerated. However, I am convinced that within the current dominant development regime in Nepal, the pervasive use of the English language for all kinds of communication, has become a major barrier for many Nepalis for whom English is a difficult foreign language. Routine correspondence, proposals for funding, project evaluations, project reports and other such activities are all done, except for some exceptions, in English within the development sector in Nepal. Many a time, even manuals that are supposedly meant for field workers, are written in English. All this opens up opportunities for language trafficking for a relatively small number of English-fluent smooth operators.

It is not very difficult to understand this situation historically. Good English learning in Nepal, even for those seeking secondary school and higher education, is a luxury item. The relatively late arrival of English language teaching in our country and the characteristic failure of our education system when it comes to the competent teaching of languages have meant that we now have two generations of Nepalis who have learnt English as a foreign language for over twelve years in formal institutions but who can hardly express themselves coherently in that language in spoken or written form. The small number of Nepalis who have had opportunities to master the English language here by attending English-medium schools or similar institutions in other countries have hence benefitted disproportionately from our dismal state of English-competence and from the development industry's emphasis in the use of this language.

There is no doubt that we need to make drastic improvements in our general ability to use English for all kinds of purposes. Nepali social workers, journalists, researchers, analysts, bureaucrats and other professionals need to improve their capacity to use the English language if they are to benefit from and participate in the unprecedented worldwide explosion of information and knowledge production in the English language . However this is a project that can go on concurrently with a demand for the reduction of the use of English in the Nepali development world. Various participatory approaches to development is the most current jargon doing the development rounds these days. Hence a minimal commitment to what is being said in the name of participation would require that the English language barrier be broken to enable a larger number of people to participate in the development sector.

I suggest that this subject be discussed amongst all the bureaucrats of the donor agencies located in Nepal immediately and some concrete across-the-board changes be made in the way in which development communication happens here. These agencies should begin by asking just how much of a barrier English really is for many of the personnel in the partner organizations with whom they are working currently or intend to work with in the future. They should then seek out ways to break this barrier. One obvious thing to do would be to begin accepting routine correspondence, proposals and project reports in Nepali and have in-house Nepali staff prepare short summaries in English (or whatover language the respective donor headquarters demand) of the most important documents. Further reflection and discussions on this subject, I am sure, will reveal other ways to tackle this problem.

*********************************************************************** Date: Jan 6, 1998 To: The Nepal Digest Subject: Nepali News

Source: The Rising Nepal Poverty alleviation

TODAY a major problem facing the country is that of poverty and the resulting anomalies in the society. In fact, as rightly pointed out by Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa while addressing a massive public rally in Janakpurdham the other day, poverty alleviation is possible only if democracy takes firm root in the nation. Nepal being one of the least developed countries in the world, a large proportion of the people live in abject poverty and deprivation. The fruits of development has yet to reach a large number of the people. Among the measures suggested to ensure that the people are benefited is the strict adherence to the Constitution. The Nepalese Constitution is said to be among the best in South Asia capable of tackling the problem of poverty. Also requisite in alleviating poverty is the establishment of the rule of the law. Raising high sounding slogans and activities like looting and killing are not going to be of any help in solving the problem of poverty. To alleviate poverty efforts to do so must begin from the grassroots level through the decentralisation process which envisages the active participation of the people. The people must be made aware of their rights provided by the Constitution and also their responsibility and role in nation building. Intimidation and threats from any quarter should be opposed by all possible means.

As mentioned by Prime Minister Thapa, there is a need for constituents of the present government to maintain goodwill among themselves so that stability is maintained so that the fruition of all development plans is possible. Meanwhile, continued efforts are being made to bring the backward people from various linguistic and ethnic communities into the national mainstream so that everyone benefits. There are many communities in Nepal that are backward in comparison to others, so steps must be taken so that progress percolates to them too. To forge ahead, Nepal ought to develop the water resources, agriculture and the tourism sectors, the mainstay of the country's economy which can bring about a drastic change for the better in the quality of life of the people. Similarly, a stable and capable administration providing prompt service is required to root out poverty. Thus, a sustained drive should be made in the fight for poverty alleviation which has rightly been accorded priority in the Ninth Five Year Plan.

Source: The Kathmandu Post Talking trash

Alex McKinley is talking trash (Response, December 31, 1997), here are some reasons why : Only an ignoramus can attempt to compare the religions of the Omkar family (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) with any of the faiths of One Prophet, One Book. Learning new ideas, thinking for oneself and making ones own decisions are the inherent characteristics of Omkar religions. Prophet based faiths are never so tolerant as to allow such critical assessment of their beliefs. Proselytizing in poor countries often takes place through bulldozing (Christian Crusades and Islamic Holy Wars), blackmailing (East India Company in India, Opium lords in China, Muslim rulers and employers in West Asia), badgering (The Bible and land analogy in Africa, dream merchants of Latin America) and bribing
(missionaries in tribal belts of India, Muslims in Kerala, Christians extension workers in Nepal). Conversions seldom take place through a well debated change of heart by true free will. Does not that negate the whole concept of freedom of religion?

Any civilized nation, and we are one despite our poverty, must see to it that its system fosters true "freedom" and not a free-for-all socio-religious environment. Vitiating this atmosphere through motivated proselytizing often through questionable means should never be allowed. Both the proportion and the absolute numbers of prophet-based faiths proselytizing efforts are staggering
(2,49,000 Christian missionaries alone in 1986, according to mission handbook). On the other hand, Omkar religions are reflective by nature and organizations like Chinmaya missions are exceptions rather than the rule. Most Hindu thinkers, including Mahatma Gandhi - the prophet of religious tolerance, believe that the ground for true religious discourse can only be prepared by liquidating the missionary apparatus of Christianity and Islam first. In the end, only a highly hypocritical American can talk about religious freedom in America. They dont even allow the entry of religious workers that they dont approve of ! So much for freedom.

In my attempt to be an honest member of the Omkar family, allow me to wish McKinley and his community a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We have no difficulty in accepting their God as another name for the Truth. There is but one Truth, the wise speak of Him in many ways, say the scriptures, "Ekam satyah biprah vahudha vadanti...". Om, Peace be, Peace be, Peace be.

C K Lal, Kathmandu

Source: The kathmandu Post Child porters & tales of their misery By Dil Bhushan Pathak

SURKHET, Jan 3 - Twelve-year-old Luro Sarki checks every bus the moment it arrives Surkhet. If he finds some load to carry, he is happy. If not he burns the old tyres and warms his body with the black smoke all day long. Three years have passed since the day Luro Sarki, resident of Chisapani VDC-5, has started to carry loads.
"Initially, I used to carry only light luggage. But now I can walk for the whole day carrying a load of 50 kilograms," Sarki says. Luro voices his misery very candidly, " My father died when I was 6 years old. My mother works as a labourer since then. I had one sister who also eloped with someone. I work at the bus stop to meet the household expenses." I can hardly earn 20 rupees. I have never been to school. I had joined child education class but stopped going there after I lost the book. Then I came to bus park. If I earn money, I drink alcohol, otherwise I dont," adds Luro.

Bishne Nepali is one year older than Sarki. He had deserted his school when he was studying at class one because his female teacher used to beat him very often. He works as a porter over the last one year. Grown-up porters snatch the luggage from them. They carry loads themselves at long distances. We have to bear the high-handed behaviour of others for most of the time than earn money, complains Bishne. Almost a dozen children who work as porters at Surkhet bus park have similar tales to narrate. These children who can hardly earn two square meals a day during bus strike have no other options. About 20 buses arrive here daily from different places including Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Mahendranagar, Kathmandu and other places. These buses decide what is in store for the child porters. About 200 child porters are busy in Surkhet and bus park areas. Some of them carry luggage of passengers coming to the bus parks while others await customers to come to the shops of the businessmen to buy goods intending to carry the goods to customers homes.

Bir Bahadur, a porter working at the bazaar area, is preparing to go to India next year. " There is not much income in Nepal. India is better," says Bir Bahadur who had returned here four years ago from the Himachal Pradesh where he had worked on a road project.

****************************************************************** From: greta@icimod.org.np Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 09:25:25 +0000 Subject: Re: Talking about expat's role in Nepal.. To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

Response to Padam Sharma

Thanks for the information , but you read me wrongly or you didn't read all my points. However, you are not alone. Much of the response I have received has drilled home the importance of my English profs favourite admonition, "Read ,mark, learn , and inwardly digest-then think before you ink." My frustration was with the young woman who asked"Why do foreigners do good things for Nepal and why is it that Nepalis don't-why do som many run away?" my point was that foreigners who do'good things ' for Nepal(and whether they do or not -are successful or not- is a moot point- are paid plenty to do so whereas Nepalis are treated as third rate even in their own country. At the same time we are encouraged to think that foreign aid is doing us a big favour. Look at the facts.Following the second world war the "iron curtain: as Winston Churchill so ominously put it descended over Europe and with it the Cold War. In most cases, for less than half a per cent of their GNPs
, western nations "gave" aid. the aid was one of the new combatting fronts against communism.Communist nations also gave aid.The west won out, now all of a sudden their citizens ask what developing nations are doing with their hard-earned taxes.The fact is in terms of GNP it never was a whole bundle of money. It certainly cost a heck of a lot less than bombs and in light of the fact that it brought down the
"iron curtain" ( and now capitalism is making inroads into the bamboo curtain) appears to have worked. the big mistake that western citizens make is in confusing aid with philanthropy.for one thing much of what western governments give is in the form of loans with low rates of interest- but still loans. much of what is given in aid( and there was a study on this by the National Planning Commission of Nepal) manages to filter back to the country of origin in one form or another. So it is not philanthropy by a long chalk. My concern is to to end the myth of aid as philanthropy because most of it is coming with a hidden agenda. (Incidentally , Sadam Hussein was nurtured by the west in the fight against enemies real and imagined), so I think you will now understand my frustration at the original young lady's rather naive comment.

    If you got my point about the Statue of Liberty you would realise that as far as immigrants to the States are concerned I consider that the U.S. in particular , when it comes to immigration, is not doing a favour,merely fulfilliung an ancestral commitment ,and that too by chososing the best from other nations. I don't think- and please read what I write not what you think I write- Nepalis outside are under any obligation
,especially if they went on their own financing. The British Government doesn't ask me to contribute to the U.K. and I have now lived in Nepal longer than I lived in my motherland .Please don't put words into my mouth. I am not a rampant nationalist.I rather think that the sooner borders come down and identity is based on individuality and culture rather than on the false boundaries of the nation state ,the better. I am quite a complicated individual and am certainly not calling upon ex-pats to do something for Nepal.They'll do what they want to do and that's how it should be.That was the call of the original young lady.I am not a young lady ,just one who is sick of the fact that in this country 'an expert is just some guy from out of town."

Regards Greta Rana Senior Editor email: greta@icimod.org.np (off.)
          grana@saligram.mos.com.np (res.) Tel: 977-1-525313 (off.)
       977-1-538001 (Res.) Fax: 00977-1-536747
        00977-1-522346

*********************************************** Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 09:48:24 GMT To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: wings@gn.apc.org (S Barton) Subject: Visit Nepal 98 and the Nepalese economy

I have sent this message to every Nepalese official for whom I can find an e-mail address. I must add that I am convinced of the good nature of the majority of ordinary Nepalese people.

Dear Sir,

I am aware that the Nepalese economy is heavily dependent on tourism. The income of many wealthy men in Nepal is allegedly dependent, unofficially, on illicit profits from trafficking.

May I respectfully remind you of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Nepal is a signatory, and which is reflected in the Constitution of Nepal, which I have studied on the World Wide Web.

In view of these statutes, how is it that so many thousands of innocent Nepalese girls are sold into sexual slavery without there being any reported action by the Nepalese government to help them, or even to rehabilitate them on their return? In addition, how is it that innocent women tourists are sexually assaulted without the perpetrators being removed from positions in tourism?

I am a man who supports the human rights and equality of women. Therefore I will not visit Nepal until these situations are rectified. I am also posting this message on the Internet

I await your response.

Yours, S Barton wings@gn.apc.org

****************************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 11:02:53 -0500 Subject: VISIT NEPAL YEAR 1998 From: diwask@juno.com (diwas khati)

VISIT NEPAL YEAR 1998, SOME MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

        Is this another "fulfillment of basic needs/necessities by 2000"? In my opinion, VNY'98 is simply a waste of taxpayers money to pay for new cars and free air fares for the top ranking officials in the country. Every government branch and the top brass in there are taking turns in getting their share. Remember the Sharad Chandra era of Sports council, the Congress people with their free Willies from India for elections, and even the stage show of the Royals in their regional tours?
        This is what needs to be done to attract the dollar spending tourists - close down the child labor intensive carpet factories, make mass transit more people oriented, and promote marijuana in the Kathmandu Durbar Square Area (just a thought).
        BTW you might want to get serious with the idea of marijuana promotion. That is where the big money is. If this is done, I bet at least 500 thousand more people will visit Nepal during '98. And if each spends two weeks with non-pleasure related activities and is down 500 dollars excluding airfares, that is already 250 million dollars right there. consequently there will be almost no panhandlers in town. All of them will carry a tag showing their trade "the marijuana dealers". best of all, the product is locally available. Will some econo-theorist join me here in elaborating on the effects this will have on the nation's economy/ Again, this is just a thought, and I may be dead right.

Diwas Khati diwask@juno.com
(617) XXX-XXXX

****************************************************** Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 09:19:03 From: <bbista@usa.net> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

Dear Rajpalji,

I wish all the editorial board of TND and it's members a very happy new year and along with it, I would like to thank you for keeping me abreast with the news of all Nepal related friends. I hope during this year, TND achieves more of it's goal to make Nepal known about more in the outside world. I have now been subscribing to The Nepal Digest for about 6 months, and during then have been very privileged to read the news and views of Nepalese from all over the world. There have been many articles which has kept me reading for many hours. I hope that during the coming year, there will be many such articles.

I have been in Philippines for the past few years and during then have lost contact with many friends from my student days in Nepal. I will be going to America to further my education and would like to hear from anyone who knew me during my school days, specially my friend Sampurna
(the 'Honda' friend) whose mailing address I seem to have lost. We spent 2 h years in the same school while I was doing my 10 + 2 and used to hang around together in the evening at Kupandole Last time that I knew, he was in India. So if anyone knows him, then could they please let me know or inform him of my search.

Thanks in Advance Bhola

************************************************************** Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 12:05:23 -0700 From: comartad@centro.ru To: tnd@nepal.org Subject: exchange rate

dear sir ,

 happy new year &merry x'mass. actually we want to know about exchange rate in nepal.so if it is possible please send us daily exchange rate at following e-mail address:

comartad@centro.ru

thank you sergi bavrin moscow ,russia

************************************************************ Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 07:43:03 -0000 From: Balmukund Joshi <B.P.Joshi@btinternet.com> To: tnd <tnd@nepal.org> Subject: Happy New Year Greetings

Dear Editor,

On behalf of Sagarmatha Times, the only Nepalese newspaper published from the UK in Nepali and English, we would like to wish you and your readers a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year 1998.
  We would also like to take this opportunity to inform your readers that Sagarmatha Times home page at : http://www.btinternet.com/~sagarmatha.time/menu.htm has now been updated and redesigned so that readers using the Netscape browser are also allowed to view the pages.
  Regards
  Mr B.P Joshi - Editor-in-Chief (b.p.joshi@btinternet.com) Mr S.R Panta - Editor (sohan.panta@btinternet.com)

Sagarmatha Times
        WWW :- http://www.btinternet.com/~sagarmatha.time/menu.htm
        Email :- sagarmatha.times@btinternet.com

***************************************************** Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 11:45:10 -0500 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu From: "Atout Affaires inc." <atout@videotron.net> Subject: 402 MW Project

To whom it may concern,

        We are a Canadian company based in Quebec interested to participate to the construction of this 402 MW hydro project in Nepal. But we do not have much information. Can you help? Please send me information regarding this 402 MW project. Documentation, news, etc,

Ren=E9 Fortin, Atout Affaires inc. 810, De Nemours, suite 106, Charlesbourg, (Qu=E9bec) Canada, G1H 7B3 T:418-622-5158 F:418-622-1631

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