The Nepal Digest - July 14, 1995 (30 Ashadh 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Friday 14 July 95: Ashadh 30 2052 BkSm Volume 40 Issue 4

 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 10:21 EST To: From: "" "mahesh maskey" Subj: RE: Debate III: more on devel/modernity and cultural problems of nepal


Comments and responses from Pryatoush and Amulya has added further clarity to the issues raised by Amulya's "development and social polemics". While highlighting the importance of understanding historical roots of problem, and contributing their knowledge and views to this effort,they have also cautioned about the quest of readymade solutions and hasty conclusions. However, the discussions have been mainly centered around recent period when statization of hinduism and castism was well established in Nepalese society. This period, I am afraid, do not have much to offer about our particularity regarding cultural assimilation and religious synthesis. A look into the society before this period may set the right context for understanding and evaluating adverse effect of latter days of "Hinduization "of state. I believe Socio-historical formation of community of Newars is one such segment of history which provides rich insights into the life of valley people before the ossification of society in mideaval period. I would very much appreciate if people with sociological or cultural anthropological background present their understanding of this period. If such response do not come than I shall attempt to dwell in that subject in my next mail. In this posting I shall try to clarify my understanting of religious synthesis , a term, which Amulya rejects completely. But before that I would like to say a few words about his objection of my use of the term "our" ethnic harmony in the title of my previous posting.

Amulya has forcefully objected my use of word "our" in relation to ethnic harmony. And he has sniffed "power architecture" behind the use of this word. Let me make it clear, my understanding of acculturation and also "religious synthesis"takes place through the process of conflict and cooperation, But I was not thinking of power relation when I was writing those words. I picked up the line from the paragraph which, the readers may have noticed, uses the term for highlighting not only the ethnic harmony but also ethnic problem of Nepalese people as a whole. If Amulya was careful to read the whole paragraph I am sure he would find that I use these pronouns in the same spirit as he use in his response such as this:
" yes we are vulnerable, much more vulnerable than we care to believe".
 ---------- ----------------- And I shall continue to use we and our in the same sense.

But as the difference lies in our understanding of ethnic harmony and religious synthesis in Nepal, the use of "our" to "ethnic harmony" may have led him to speculate about the powerful "our" who may have ethnic harmony" among themselves but for others may be the cause of ethnic oppression. Citing many examples some of which are mainly economic or class conflict , Amulya has tried to argue that my "'Y_our' group is very small, very powerful , but does not represent others in Nepal."

Well, when he puts me figuratively in the few but powerful "Y_our" group I tried to think how do I belong to this group. By birth I am a Newar. He probably doesnot mean Newar are the ones who are powerful and few and responsible for other's oppression. He is certainly not indicating that I am a Bahun or Chhetri or Kirant or a Madhesi. Probably what he means are those privileged few who cut horizontally across these casts and ethnic groups and form a powerful alliance on the basis of common interest. This small but powerful and dominant group may try to maintain their "ethnic harmony" and subdue their "ethnic conflict" within themselves in order to safeguard their interest and, for the same reason, may not hesitate to breed ethnic conflicts in those who are the object of this coalition of interest whether newar or bahun or chhetri or kirant or tamang or madhesi. Political economist and former Finance Minister Devendra Raj Pandey defines this coaliation of ruling minority more explicitely:

" In Nepal, the dominant coalition which consists of big landowners,traders, a small group of political and bureaucratic elite and, now increasingly, the educated elite, who also derive their rental income from their cosmetic value to the political regime, has a vested interest in the maintenance of status quo, so that the coalition remains small and yet dominant." ("The state of political economy" 1989).

If Amulya agrees with Dr. Pandey then he probably is taking a class stand. But a class stand also provides appreciation of strengthening of solidarity across the dominated ethnic groups as a response to class antagonism. This solidarty is one key factor that help nurture the ethnic harmony among dominated masses. Seen in this light , the word "our" of my title may not only be interpreted as the small powerful and dominant group but it can also be interpreted as the coalition of dominated masses who truely represent the potential and sustainance of ethnic harmony. They constitute the force which can, when consciously participate, effectively deal with the problem of ethnic conflict. If I have to make a choice between two kinds of "our", I would rather like to belong to this group.

Now back to the actual topic of this artical. Amulya welcomes the call for historical understanding of variable nature of Nepali subjectivity, but he completely disagrees with my position that Nepal has been a proud example of ethnic harmony and religious synthesis. Describing "synthesis" as domination and appropriation he cites the case of Gurungs as an example. I do not subscribe religious synthesis to such examples. For me the better word for such example would be cultural synthesis (or appropriation). By religious synthesis I was refering to socio- historical formation of religious syncretism and harmony exemplified by worshipping of same deity in different names. Let me present few examples.There are many in kathmandu valley eg. Kumari, Ganesh, Bhairav, Ajima, Guheshwary etc woshipped by the two distinctly different streams of religious faith often in conflict with each other, the Hindu and Buddhist. But the best known and perhaps with a very few parallel in contemporary world, is that of MATSYENDRANATH. To highlight this Dr. Prayag Raj Sharma quotes Locke in his article "Nepali culture and society: Reflections on some Historical currents":
" The most outstanding instance of this spirit of religious syncretism is represented perhaps by the popular god, Matsyendranath. As a vast section of Hindus looks upon Matsyendranath to be Nath ascetic and teacher of Gorakhnath in the Kanphatta order of Saivism, to Buddhist, however, he is the Avalokiteswara Padmapani, the Bodhisattwa, who has an abounding compassion for all creature in the world . This Bodhisttwa in several other forms of his such as that of Amoghapasa, Nilkantha, Padmanarteswara or Halahala, shares the features and attributes of the Hindu god , Siva."

This religious syncretism is perhaps matched only by the symbol of Lord Pashupatinath. There are many evidences that Lord Shiva, was a pre-Aryan or non-Aryan diety. He was later absorbed in Hindu pantheon. The relics of Indus valley civilization before the coming fo Aryans, like Mohenjo daro and Harappa provide evidences shiva linga worship. One of the seal excavated in Mohenjo daro also has a figure which resembles the image of shiva. Shiva also seems to be the god of non aryan Dravidians. It is quite likely that Shiva was the priciple god of hill warrior tribes like Kirant who ruled the valley before Lichhivis at least for a thousand years. (Dr K. P. Malla thinks Kirant may have ruled as long as two thousand years). According to chronicles of later date these kirant kings also observed Pasupat religion. Worshiping of shiva as "Kirateshwar Mahadev" in our Swasthani Brata Katha should not be forgotten in this context. Aryans,it seems, were more inclined to Vaishnavism and even while absorbing the Shaivism within the Hindu main stream there were some tension and conflict between these two group of believers. In many cases there were even open clash between them. Tulasidas Ramayan tells the story of How Bramha tried to judge who is mightier, Vishnu or Shiva, by making them fight with the identical bows made by the great architect Vishwakarma. One of that bow, that of Shiva ,was carried as "Shiva Dhanush" in the lineage of king Janaka. To win the hand of Sita, the aspirant had to lift and mount arrow on that Dhanush. And we know Ram had broken that old dhanush in that process. Vishnu's Dhanush was carried by warrior sage Parashuram who meets and challenges Ram to mount a an arrow on his dhanus immediatelty after he hears that Shiva Dhanus is broken in Janak's court. When Ram is again successful then only he recognizes the real incarnation of god Vishnu as Ram.

I hope this piece of mythology will provide the right flavour to a passage, which extols unique experiment in the field of religion, from Dr. Jagadish Chandra Regmi's "Religion in Nepal":

"If on the one hand though parallel treatment was meted out to Visnavas and Saivas, on the other hand there was clash over their relative superiority. Though the inscription at the image of Harihara near Pasupati installed by Svamivarta conveys the meaning that Harihara
(Vishnu-Shiva) is indivisible, in actual fact the then society held the feeling that Shiva and Vishnu were two different divinities and that one was cosidered superior to the other. It is to eliminate this kind of feeling that the image of Harihara was consecrated. From the historical point of view this is a unique experiment in the field of religion, the equal of which to be found nowhere."

Surprisingly, Lord Pashupatinath pulls together all these diverse streams of devotees, not only vishnavs and shaivs but also buddhists, each finding their one idol of worship in him. ( It is a different issue why Buddhist would practice idol worship when Buddha himself was against it!) To quote Dr. Regmi again:

"As Saivism was granted special recognition here in Nepal, it is equally very important to see the people of other religious leanings observing it in their own ways. The fact that the adherents of Vaisnavism should consider Pashupati as one of the four principal piligrimage sites worshipping Harihara, that the Buddhists should regard Pasupati as Lokeswara or Nagalokesvara, the other noted eight Sivalingas should be treated in the form of Astabaitaragas and that ceremonial religious activities should be conducted in the Pashupati on the auspicious day of "Mukhastami" corroborate the above view."

Corresponding to a time when in India Hinduism, with the state patronage of Gupta dynasty, was bringing a surge of Bramhinical response to Buddhist influence, when Hindu themselves were deeply divided in the conflicting sect of Shaivs and Vaishnavs and later, when Huns and Moslem raiders were destryoing the great centres of Buddhist learnings , causing an exodus of Buddhist monks and scripts to other countries including Nepal, is not it remarkable that a process of cooperation was taking upper hand in Nepal?

The examples Amulya cites of Buddhist facing pesecution and Lumbini neglected etc.may be more closer to religious conflict. But by these examples one can see Amulya's preoccupation in that period of history where the Cast system and Hinduisation were firmly establishing itself as state protected ideology. ( Arrival of Sankaracharya of Kashi and Prayag in Nepal, reviving conflict and hostility towards Buddhism in 13th century A.D. can be regarded as one such examples of Nepali society in the verge of Hindu domination). He mentions only Ranas, and of course, the most overt and pervasive document of state protection is the 'Muluki Ain' promulgated by Rana prime minister Janga Bahadur Rana (1854 A.D.). But the process had aready begun in the later half of mideaveal Nepal (king Jayasthitiraj Malla of kathmandu valley in 1382-1395 A.D. and king Ram Shah of Gorkha in 1606-1636). Whatever immediate gain or resolve in conflict had this statization of cast and hinduism has brought, in retrospect, this was a counterproductive step. May be survival of Feudalism rested on adoption of a particular religion or sect. But we have a period of history in which non sectarian spirit dominated the conduct of state and behaviour of people. There was also non partisanship of state to any particular religion. This had greatly favoured the cultural assimilation among different ethnic groups helping to constitute a "Nepali social structure". Though these cultural and religious trends can not belittle the class inequalities, the fact that Nepal's feudal state had once adopted a non partisan attitude to religion is worth pondering. One of the formost authorities in Nepali HistoryDhanavajra Vajracharya, had taken pain to point towards this direction.

"The earlier Lichhivi period seems to have been more active in the development of the common "Nepali social structure" without a rigid hierarchy of caste principles. It does not appear from available evidences that they had adopted an exclusive religious values of either Buddhism or Hinduism"

(quoted by Dor B. Bista in his article "The structure of Nepalese Society" 1989.)

Sure there were casts before the ossification of valley society by cast system. And the kings coming to power belong to one or the other religious stream. But the spirit of non paritsan to any religion by state is also visible. This is why, the secular spirit of "modernization" should not be very alien to the cultural milieu of Nepalese peole. "At the time when most of the western society was primitive and living in hovels," says Dor Bahadur Bista
" the Nepalis had already developed an urban culture with a highly advanced technology of buliding temples, palaces, viharas, technique of bronze work, stone sculpture etc." And I think we had also experienced the wisdom, though in a primitive sense, of separating state with a particular religion well ahead than present day "modern" societies. Since the kathmandu valley provides us a magnificent case study of this religious and cultural assimilation, in the valley inhabitants generally called Nepalas, and which later came to be known as Newaras, an inquiry into the formation of
 Newar may be a worthwhile effort to understand the hints lie buried in the history.

I will stop now. I will appreciate counterarguments to the citations presented above. Before ending this posting I want to extend a piece of friendly advice to Amulya. I hope he will not mind. When suggesting some body to read reference books of interest, I think it would be sufficient just to give the reference of that book. It is the prerogative of other person whether to read that book or not. To say " read books on...." is to assume that the other person has not read that book in question, which if the assumption is incorrect, only conveys the ignorence of the adviser, and even if the assumption is correct, such words rather carry a undertone of arrogance which is not very pleasant. By saying this I have also granted Amulya to point out any shortcomings in my writing or argument style which he does not find very pleasing.

mahesh maskey july 3 ,1995

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 10:54 EST To:,,, From: Suresh Man Singh <> Description: Ramesh Mali found

The body of Ramesh Mali who was drowned while swimming in Connecticut beach was found washed up against jetty on monday. The body has been taken for further medical examinations.

****************************************************************** To: Subject: Body of the missing Nepali Special Olympian found Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 13:39:46 -0400 From: Amrit R Pant <>

        MADISON, Conn. (AP) - The body of a man believed to be a missing Special Olympics athlete from Nepal was found today at a public beach where he had disappeared four days ago.
        Ramesh Mali, 21, was last seen Thursday while in chest-deep water at Hammonasset Beach State Park on Long Island Sound, where he had been taken for an outing with his countrymen.
        The body was found at the park's Meig's Point section, a police dispatcher said. Mali had arrived in this country June 26 to participate in last week's Special Olympics World Games in New Haven. He was a member of the soccer team.
        Mali's family in Nepal said he had never learned to swim.
        Sargent Shriver, chairman and chief executive officer of Special Olympics International, said a fund will be set up for Special Olympics athletes in Nepal in Mali's name.

        MADISON, Conn. (AP) - An advocacy group for the mentally retarded in Nepal is demanding that Special Olympics International compensate the family of an athlete who drowned during a beach outing with his countrymen.
        Chuda Mani Tandukar, president of the Parents Association for the Mentally Retarded in Katmandu, is seeking some accountabilty in the death of Ramesh Mali. "The incident which occurred, we regard as an act of negligence and irresponsibility from the host as well as the delegation from Nepal," Tandukar said in a statement faxed to the organizing committee. "This has stunned we the parents and the Nepalese people in general. We humbly request the Special Olympics International to look after compensation of that poor family."
        The body believed to be that of 21-year-old Mali was found Monday by a strolling camper, four days after he disappeared at Hammonasset Beach State Park. He was last seen in chest-deep water, and was presumed drowned. Authorities said the body, which was taken to the state medical examiner's office for positive identification, was presumed to be that of Mali. The spot where the young Olympian was last seen is about a half mile down the beach from the jetty.
        Mali, who was mentally retarded, had arrived in the United States June 26 to play soccer for his country in the Special Olympics World Games in New Haven. Mali's family in Nepal said he had never been to the sea before coming to the United States, and had never learned to swim. He went to the beach with 11 other Nepalese athletes and three adults, including a volunteer host. The host and three athletes, including Mali, were swimming in an unguarded section of the beach, at low tide and in calm surf. The volunteer led two swimmers out because he thought they were getting nervous, authorities said. When he went back for Mali, Mali had disappeared.
        Olympic organizers could not be immediately reached for comment today. They have maintained that procedures were followed, and emphasized that the trip to the beach was a private outing, not a Special Olympics' activity. Dozens of volunteers and divers had searched the shoreline nearly nonstop since Mali disappeared about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The Nepalese delegation was getting ready to leave New York on a 2 p.m. flight home when they were informed of the discovery. "Obviously there is great sadness and regret at the outcome of this very, very sad tragedy," said Tim Shriver, president of the Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee.
        Olympic organizers offered to fly Mali's family to the United States from their home in Katmandu, the Nepalese capital, but they declined, Shriver said. He said the body would be sent home to Nepal as soon as possible so that Mali could be cremated according to Hindu custom. Sargent Shriver, chairman and chief executive officer of Special Olympics International, announced a fund would be set up for Special Olympics athletes in Nepal in Mali's name. During the closing ceremonies Sunday in New Haven's Yale Bowl, four military jets flew over the stadium in formation to salute Mali.

        MADISON, Conn. (AP) - Dozens of volunteers combed Long Island Sound for four days searching for a missing Special Olympics athlete, but it was a strolling camper who found the body believed to be that of 21-year-old Ramesh Mali. A native of Nepal, Mali was last seen Thursday while in chest-deep water at Hammonasset Beach State Park, where he had been taken for an outing with his countrymen. He was presumed drowned.
        On Monday, a 28-year-old camper from Monsey, N.Y., discovered a body when he peered into a hole between two large rocks of a jetty at Meigs Point. Ari Lieberman said it was a fluke that led him to discover the body shortly before noon. Officials had said the body was found shortly before 1 p.m. "I was straddling the two rocks above the hole," he said. "A woman was nearby and she told me she thought something was in the hole. I looked down and didn't see anything. Then I shifted, and saw a foot." Lieberman, who was strolling on the jetty with his two young daughters at the time, said he bent down and saw the body of a dark-haired man wedged in the rocks. He waved for a lifeguard, who alerted a medical technician, who checked for a pulse. Authorities said the body, which was taken to the state medical examiner's office for positive identification, was presumed to be that of Mali. The spot where the young Olympian was last seen is about a half mile down the beach from the jetty. The body was found at low tide. Lieberman said it appeared that the body had floated into the hole at high tide and became stranded when the tide ebbed.
"The body that was discovered fits the general description of the missing Special Olympic athlete from Nepal," said state police Sgt. Dale Hourigan.
        Mali, who was mentally retarded, had arrived in the United States on June 26 to play soccer for his country in the Special Olympics World Games in nearby New Haven. The games ended Sunday. During the closing ceremonies in New Haven's Yale Bowl, four military jets flew over the stadium in formation to salute Mali.
        Mali's family in Nepal said he had never been to the sea before coming to America and had never learned to swim. He went to the beach with 11 other Nepalese athletes and three adults, including a volunteer host. The host was in the water with three athletes, including Mali, at low tide and in calm surf. The volunteer led two swimmers out because he thought they were getting nervous, authorities said. When he went back for Mali, Mali had disappeared. Dozens of volunteers and divers had searched the shoreline nearly nonstop since Mali disappeared about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The Nepalese delegation was getting ready to leave New York on a 2 p.m. flight home when they were informed of the discovery. "Obviously there is great sadness and regret at the outcome of this very, very sad tragedy," said Tim Shriver, president of the Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee.
        Olympic organizers offered to fly Mali's family to the United States from their home in Katmandu, the Nepalese capital, but they declined, Shriver said. He said the body would be sent home to Nepal as soon as possible so that Mali could be cremated according to Hindu custom. It is Hindu funeral practice to cremate a body on a funeral pyre, usually lit by a family member, said Lekha Bhattarai, a spokesman at the Nepalese embassy in Washington, D.C.
        Sargent Shriver, chairman and chief executive officer of Special Olympics International, announced a fund would be set up for Special Olympics athletes in Nepal in Mali's name.

******************************************************************** Date: 11 Jul 95 21:57:58 EDT From: Pawan.Adhikari@Dartmouth.EDU (Pawan Adhikari) Subject: Nepali Athletic To:

Special Olympic's body found

MADISON, Conn. (From "The Dartmouth," July 11, 1995.)

The body of a man believed to be a missing athletic from Nepal was found today at a beach where he dissappeared four days ago.

Ramesh Mali, 21, was last seen Thursday while in chest-deep water at Hammonasset Beach State Park on Long Island Sound, where he had been taken for an outing with his countrymen.

The body was found at the park's Meig's Point section, a police dispatcher said.

mali had arrived in this country June 26 to participate in last week's Special Olympics World Games in New Haven. He was a member of the soccer team.

Mali's family in Nepal said he had never learned to swim.

Sargent Shriver, chairman and chief executive offer of Special Olympics International, said a fund will be set up for Special Olympics althletes in Nepal in Mali's name.

******************************************************************* From: (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: (fwd) budget [ sorry for the format] To: (tnd) Date: Wed, 12 Jul 1995 21:46:03 -0400 (EDT)

HEADLINE: nepal's new fy budget approved DATELINE: kathmandu, july 11; ITEM NO: 0711213

   a total of 52,894.5 million rupees (1,048.45 million us dollars) including both regular and development expenditures by the government has been appropriated for the fiscal year 1995-96. this was declared in the budget statement of the fiscal year 1995-96 for public information by finance minister bharat mohan adhikari here this afternoon. of the total expenditure, 22,342.8 million rupees (442.87 million dollars) has been earmarked for regular expenditure and 30,551.7 million rupees (605.58 million dollars) for development expenditure. the government income and expenditure estimation and proposals for revenue in the coming fiscal year have been promulgated as an ordinance by the king as the house of representatives has been dissolved last month and another mid-term poll scheduled on november 23 is under preparations. the revenue and expenditure estimates for the coming fiscal year have been prepared with a view to provide continuity to the policies and programs of the present government, to bring economic stability and to undertake sustainable development, to solve the daily necessities and other livelihood problems of the people, and to provide an easy transition for the newly elected government to be formed after the mid-term polls. of the total regular expenditure, 6,849.3 million rupees (135.76 million dollars) has been allocated for debt servicing, 5,841.3 million rupees (115.78 million dollars) for social services, 2,436.1 million rupees (48.28 million dollars) for general administration, and 2,158.0 million rupees (42.77 million dollars) for defense. of the total development expenditure, the largest allocation is for electricity (5,760.7 million rupees or 114.18 million dollars), followed by 4,209.6 million rupees (83.44 million dollars) for transport, 3,872.2 million rupees (76.75 million dollars) for local development, and 3,154.2 million rupees (62.52 million dollars) for irrigation. foreign grants and loans will continue play an important role in contributing to sources of financing. foreign grants including bilateral grants and multilateral grants would be 5,410.45 million rupees (107.24 million us dollars) and foreign loans would stand 13,401.25 million rupees (263.63 million dollars). the new budget would have a deficit of 15,701 million rupees (311.22 million dollars). the foreign loans would be used as sources of deficit financing and the remaining part of the deficit would be met through domestic borrowings (2,300 million rupees or 45.58 million dollars).

HEADLINE: un official on nepal's population DATELINE: kathmandu, july 11; ITEM NO: 0711173

   a u.n. official said today that the rapid population growth in nepal has largely absorbed the gains from economic development in the country. carrol long, resident coordinator of the u.n. systems in nepal, made this remark on the occasion of releasing the world population report of the u.n. population fund (unfpa) to local press. the report was being released throughout the world today. the rapid growth in population also contributed to ecological degradation as marginal lands were cultivated to feed the growing population, and in many areas, forests were over-harvested for firewood, according to long. the standard of living and quality of life of subsistence farmers who make up the country's majority population had not improved appreciably, she said.
 nepal's population nearly doubled from 9.5 million in 1961 to 18.5 million in 1991, and the latest figure showed it had crossed 20 million. long said that given the present population growth of around 2 percent, the government and the people of nepal should devote more and more attention to the determinants that influence population growth. nepalese women still lack adequate access to employment, income, education, health care, nutrition and skill development, despite the legislative and constitutional provisions favoring their equal rights, she added.

HEADLINE: 4 killed in landslide in western nepal DATELINE: kathmandu, july 11; ITEM NO: 0711216

   four people including two teenagers were killed in a landslide caused by heavy rains in western nepal, according to reports reaching here today. the landslide swept away 46 houses, 42 cattle sheds and 19 head of cattle on friday in a village of syangja district, causing considerable damage to standing paddy crops. continuous rainfall has triggered landslides and floods in various districts in this mountainous country since the monsoon, or raining season, began last month. it was reported that nearly 100 people had been killed by flood and landslide.

HEADLINE: midterm poll to see more voters in nepal DATELINE: kathmandu, july 11; ITEM NO: 0711062

    nepal's forthcoming mid-term election to the house of representatives is likely to witness 10 percent more voters compared with the last year's figure, according to the election commission (ec). "it's a bit too early to speculate the growth," an ec employee said, "but experts said the voters' number is to go up by 10 percent." more than 12.1 million nepalese were eligible to vote in the last year's mid-term election, up by 12.76 percent from the 1991 general election. the last year's election made the communist party of nepal
(uml) the biggest party in the parliament and form a minority government. this year, voters will include those citizens who turned 18 by mid-april 1995. but, last year's election only provided for those who were 18 by mid-april 1993. to avoid a non-confidence motion from the opposition in the parliament, prime minister man mohan adhikari last month recommended king birendra to dissolve the parliament and hold a new mid-term election. the new election is scheduled on november 23.


    Nepal's communist rulers on Tuesday abolished wealth tax and cut import duties on several consumer goods in the budget for a new fiscal year beginning next week.

   Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikary, announcing proposals effected through a royal decree, unveiled welfare measures for senior citizens and drew immediate flak from the opposition for a scheme to fund lawmakers for projects in their constituencies.

Adhikary unveiled expenditure adding up to 52.89 billion rupees ($ 1.057 billion) for the new fiscal year 1995/96, an increase of 27.5 percent from the current fiscal year.

   The budget would leave a deficit of 15.7 billion rupees ($ 314 million) to be met through foreign and domestic loans.

   The Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) party had formed the government after last November's elections.


   A sharp drop in handwoven carpet exports pushed Nepal's trade deficit up 50 percent to 32.3 billion rupees ($ 646.1 million) in the first nine months of fiscal 1994/95 (July 16-July 15), the Finance Ministry said.

   Woollen carpets and readymade garments form the lion's share of the poor Himalayan kingdom's exports to countries other than neighbouring India.

Carpet exports, Nepal's largest foreign exchange earner, fell 19 percent to 6.51 billion rupees ($ 130.3 million) in the period, when Western nations slowed their imports in protest at the use of child labour, officials said.

   Readymade garment exports also declined in the period after the United States, the single largest importer of Nepal's cotton garments, imposed quota restrictions, the ministry said in its annual Economic Survey, released on Monday.

   Exports declined 7.4 percent to 13.66 billion rupees ($ 273.8 million) while imports rose 27 percent to 45.97 billion rupees
($ 919.4 million) in the nine-month period, compared with the same period in 1993/94, the ministry said.

   Exports to India, which accounts for nearly a third of
 Nepal's trade, increased 34 percent to 2.51 billion rupees
($ 50.3 million), while imports increased 18 percent to 14.86 billion rupees ($ 297.2 million), it said.

   The survey said tourism, the kingdom's second largest source of foreign exchange, grew 11.2 percent, bringing in 326,000 visitors in calendar 1994 over the previous year.

   The industry generated 4.34 billion rupees ($ 88.1 million), up 33 percent from the 1993 revenue of 3.22 billion rupees
($ 66.3 million), the ministry said.

   Earnings from tourism do not form part of merchandise trade.

HEADLINE: Indo-Nepalese task force to study trade gap SOURCE: Source: Press Trust of India news agency, New Delhi, in English 1626 gmt 8 Jul 95

   A joint task force of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is to carry out an in-depth study to increase Nepalese exports to India and Indian investments in Nepal, Press Trust of India reported. The trade gap between India and
 Nepal is increasing. At present, the value of Nepal's imports from India is 11.25bn rupees, while Nepal's exports to India are worth 1.875bn rupees. This gap is increasing at the rate of 45 per cent a year.

HEADLINE: Malaysia thwarts Nepal bid to ban palmoil DATELINE: KUALA LUMPUR, July 11

    Nepal has abandonned its decision to ban palmoil imports following a successful bid by Malaysia to thwart an assault by individual lobbyists, a minister announced Tuesday.

   Malaysian Primary Industries Minister Lim Keng Yaik said he received a letter dated June 30 from Nepalese Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari informing the Malaysian government of Kathmandu's decision.

The move came shortly after Malaysia sent a palmoil delegation last week to
 Nepal to clear the government's misconceptions about palmoil and convince it of its nutritional properties, Lim said.

   "It must be the work of individual lobbyists and a fallout of the American Soyabean Association's (ASA) smear campaign waged against palmoil eight years ago," Lim told reporters after opening a national palm oil conference.

   "It is similar to the problems we faced in Iran and Pakistan," Lim recalled.

   He was referring to a campaign mounted by the ASA linking tropical palmoil with the rising incidences of heart diseases in the United States.

   Malaysia countered with evidence from 96 international research studies over the past eight years refuting the claim.

   Lim has said the campaign was a "trade issue hiding under the guise of a health issue."

    Nepal, which imports about 100,000 tonnes of edible oils, 50 percent of which is palm oil from Malaysia, was to have halted palmoil imports this week.

Lim said Malaysia, being the world's largest palmoil producer, would have to be vigilant of such assaults by rival producers of other vegetable oils, particularly soyabean oil, to sustain and improve its overseas market share.

   Malaysia sells palm oil to more than 90 countries, and 90 percent of the oil sold is for food products, with the remaining 10 percent for industrial use.

   With so much at stake, Lim said he planned to raise at the upcoming conference of the international seedcrushers association the need for edible oil producers to expose to consumers the "negative aspects" of certain oils, particularly soyabean oil, when hydrogenated.

   The conference is to be hosted in Kuala Lumpur in September for the second time in 10 years.

   "I am referring to the production of harmful transfatty acids by certain oils, like soyabean oil, during hydrogenation, which raises the bad
(low-density lippoprotein) cholesterol and is detrimental to the heart," the medically-trained Lim said.


*********************************************************************************************** From: John Mage <> Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 01:57:39 -0400 To: Subject: Address by Rt. Hon. Manmohan Adhikari of June 9th,1995 re: dissolution

    In the belief that original documents that interest me may also prove interesting to some of my fellow readers of TND, I forward a translation of the speech given by Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari on Friday June 9th announcing and explaining the decision to recommend to the palace the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the fixing of a November date for elections. The translation (which I have edited primarily for grammar) was provided by the central office of the CPN [UML]. For those interested, the central office is no longer in the back building on Bag Bazar. The new address is: Madan Nagar, Balkhu, KTM, P.O. Box 5471 Kathmandu. Fax: 977 - 1 - 278084.
    John Mage
    Monthly Review (Editorial Committee)
    122 W. 27th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10001
*Address to the people by Rt. Hon. P.M. Manmohan Adhikari*
  Respected Brothers and Sisters,
  For the last 45 years we have, continually and with determination, been working for national self respect, democracy and the people's welfare. In this hard effort, numerous heroes of the country have sacrificed their lives. In this initiative of sacrifice and dedication we have steadily continued. As a result, the CPN (UML) has today been established as a forceful and wide spread political party.
  In the many phases of the democratic movement against the partyless Panchayat System and from the phase of the movement against the Rana regime, we have played an active role. In the mass movement of 1990, and afterward in the formulation of the constitution, we have represented the sentiments of millions of Nepalese people. Having evaluated our role, the people established us as the main opposition in the general election of 1991 and further assigned to us the responsibility of operating the government as the largest party in the House of Representatives in the mid-term poll of 1994.
  In the absence of a clear majority of any party in the House of Representatives, we had been ready for the challenging role of opposition if any member, having acquired a majority in the House with the support of two or more parties, would have been appointed as Prime Minister by His Majesty the King under the provisions of Article 42 (1) of the 1990 constitution of the kingdom of Nepal. But with no coalition arrangement possible, the government of the CPN (UML) came into existence in accordance with Article 42 (2) of the constitution.
  Even within the narrow boundary of the budget formulated by the Nepali Congress government in July 1994, we started programs oriented to development and to the people's welfare in light of the commitments expressed in the last election. Within a vary short period just after the election, we started the program 'Let Us Build Our Village Ourselves' aiming at the villages stricken by mass poverty, illiteracy and scarcity. We have already formed a high level land reform commisssion, a landless problem resolution commission, a high level citizenship commission and an investigating commission on irregularities at the RNAC. It is well known that we have actively been working for the eradication of Kamaiya System [a kind of bonded labor], the control of pollution, the reduction of electric load-shedding, of land tax and of prices of essential commodities like fertilizers and kerosene, and for the welfare of women and children. We have been carrying the responsibilities of operating new projects and completing unfinished development projects, of corruption control and of the protection and promotion of the national interest by maintaining a balanced foreign policy. After we undertook the responsibility of operating the government, noticeable reforms have been seen in the national economy and in the field of foreign co-operation.
  We are constantly at work both in policy and practice for the promotion of mutual co-operation and tolerance among the people of all the classes, communities and regions and for their equal rights. Due to these patriotic and popular activities of our government, frustration gradually increased in the main opposition party, Nepali Congress. As a result, the leaders of the main opposition party started campaigning for the collapse of our government within a few days of its formation and concentrated their efforts on creating obstacles to the work begun by the government in accord with the people's mandate. The Nepali Congress has now placed a major roadblock to the presentation of our budget and of our policy and programs in the parliament.
  Nonetheless, we had been in dialogue with the leaders of different political parties including the NC with the intention that hte House of Representatives should work for the full five years for the economic development of the nation and for the benefit of the people. Our endeavor, to prevent even in the last moment the country from proceeding on toward mid-term elections, could not succeed because of the irresponsible activities of the opposition parties.
  Brothers and Sisters who love democracy and justice !
  In the effort to undermine our positive performance, oppositions have advanced baseless and illusive charges of violation of the constitution and of efforts to disorder the political, economic, social administrative and judicial sectors of the government. But in reality it is clear to all what we have done and what type of work-targets we have kept in our vision.

In order to avoid a mid-term election, we appealed up to the last moment for the formation and operation of the government on the basis of national consensus and dialogue held with different political parties in a continual and honest effort to provide political stability to the nation through parliament.
  After the call of the 9th session of the parliament by His Majesty the King in accordance with Article 53 (1) of the constitution of the kingdom of Nepal, the main party in opposition, the Nepali Congress, filed a petition to His Majesty the King showing inevitability of the call of a special session of the House of Representatives under Article 53 (3) of the constitution. This action of the main opposition has created confusion and instability in the country by hindering the regular and constitutional process of operating government formed by the largest party CPN (UML) under Article 42 (2) of the constitution. The effort was to prevent the present government from presenting and implementing its policies and programs. Neglecting our endeavor for the stability and continuity of the government formed under Article 42 (2) of the constitution, the sudden filing of the petition by the main opposition to His Majesty the King for the call of a special session of the house under Article 53 (3) made it inevitable that we proceed towards a new mandate of the sovereign people for the implementation of the policy and programs of the present government and to ensure stability in the country. For this purpose, after serious discussion in today's cabinet meeting of 9th June 1995, the recommendation for dissolving the House of Representatives and for the fixing of a date for the general election in the coming November, has just been forwarded to His Majesty the King.
  Hereby, I request all citizens once again to face the present political condition of the country with reason. The time of challange has arrived for all those active for the people's right and democracy. I appeal very warmly to all patriots and democrats as in the past to guard the nation from challenging moments moving against nation and people. I express my gratitude to all co-operating with His Majesty's Government and am confident that the co-operation will continue in coming days.
  Thank you. June 9, 1995
********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 08:45 EST To: From: (BlumAssoc) Description: Amputee Sets Everest Record-Expedition News

July 1995 - Volume Two, Number Seven
  EXPEDITION NEWS is a monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online and by mail to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research libraries, environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts. This new forum on the outdoors covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.
  Here are excerpts from this month's issue:
  On May 26, Tom Whittaker, a 46-year-old college lecturer and climber who lost his right foot in a car accident in 1979, reportedly achieved an altitude record for amputees when he reached 27,888 feet (8,500 meters) on Mount Everest's rocky North Ridge.
  The 1995 Everest Challenge team consisted of Whittaker, a professor of Outdoor Action at Prescott College, Arizona; Greg Child, a 38-year-old Australian-born veteran Himalayan climber and author (who successfully summitted); adventure filmmaker Leo Dickinson; New Zealander Russel Brice, a mountain guide; and a team of Sherpas led by Ang Rita Sherpa, the only man to have reached the summit of Everest eight times.
  Whittaker, a below-the-knee amputee, has been an avid climber, skier, kayaker and outdoor adventurer for 27 years. He reached 22,966 feet (7,000 meters) on Everest in 1989. In 1981 he founded the Cooperative Wilderness Outdoor Group, based at Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, which has gained national prominence for its use of outdoor adventure to rehabilitate people with physical disabilities.
  It is believed that an amputee needs to expend half again as much energy as an able-bodied climber. Whittaker's spatula-shaped artificial foot is made of carbon fiber and was designed by Flexfoot, an Idaho prosthesis maker. Sponsors of the expedition include The North Face and Hoechst Celanese.
  Hargreaves Wastes No Time
  After reaching the summit of Mount Everest (29,028 ft.) May 13, British mountaineer Alison Jane Hargreaves reportedly began her ascent of K2
(28,251 ft.) in Pakistan in early June. Hargreaves, 34, is attempting to become the first to scale the world's three highest mountains in less than a year's time. If she succeeds on K2, the world's second-highest peak, Hargreaves plans to go straight to 28,169-ft. Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak, located on the Sikkim-Nepal border.
****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 08:46 EST To: From: (Bhed Bahadur Bista) Description: People should have right to elect their CDO and Anchaladish!
  Dear Nepali friends,
         As far as I know, CDO (Chief District Officer) and Anchaladish(Chief Zone Officer) are elected (infact selected) by the central government in Kathmandu. If it is not true or entirely not true, please ignore what follows, otherwise what follows is my personal opinion and I would be glad to have any discussion or comment in the net.
        In almost all districts and anchals, CDOs and Anchaladishes are from different districts and anchals. They hardly know about the districts(anchals) they are sent as the chief of districts and they hardly know anybody also. Besides local people didn't elect him/her(I don't know if there're any women CDOs or Anchaladish). There is no enthusiasm of CDOs(Anchaladishes) to work for the people of the districts. I am sure, people feel unsay to rule by the person from different districts(anchals) and who they didn't elect themselves. Considering the above points ( some not mentioned, may be someone can put some more points ) I think people should be allowed to elect their CDOs and Anchaladish. Any comment (prose and cons), discussion are appriciated.
*********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 08:47 EST To: From: (Anil Tuladhar) Description: Re: Gay not = AIDS

In article <3tu4j2$> (A.T. Fear) writes:
>Jigs ( wrote:
>: >>keep your AIDS infested asses away
>: >>etc. billion other threads like this...
  Hmmm, recently there had been a flood of unwelcomed postings in Soc.culture.nepal. I would have responded to all of them, had I got 'nuff time. Especially the fighting between panther and jai maharaj was a useless thread. And second unwelcomed thread is this Gay and AIDS.
  I am not an expert in this field so I can not say for sure whether Homosexuals are right or heterosexuals. But since no Nepali is responding to any of this threads, why should still these posters include Nepal in its victims?
  Well should it continue like this, I thought why should not I also express my views to these readers!
  The movement of Gays and lesbians is gaining momentum day by day, I do not know for good sake or bad. I compare the movement to the UFO movement which is also gaining momentum slowly. Just like the UFO case, we still have no conclusive explaination for this Homo-phenomena. People like us the heterosexuals like to think that we are the normal beings and these Homo abnormal ones. It seems that we have good reasons to believe this way. The whole idea of Homosexuality seems to be in contrary to the natural law of reproduction. We can therefore pretend to be more natural and point towards them as very unnatural culprits. But wait a minute! Think for a while, are you (hetero sexuals) behaving really naturally?
  I doubt, I really doubt that the claim of heterosexuals being natural is any valid. Who invented the condoms and pills? Heterosexsuals. That is the first step towards our Homosexual movement. You may not agree with me but I have good reasons to believe that.
  Sex is viewed differently in different societies. But in all of the societies it occupies a very important position. All the rituals, traditions, social taboos boil down to this basic human instinct. With different custumes and rituals we try to prove the importance of this thing alone. Eastern people are more introvert than westerners. But the fundamental attachment is the same. Religious people view at sex as something horrible act if performed hapazardly. Especially Hindus, Buddhist and other eastern religions view the sex as a natural means of reproduction. They consider sex a sacred act of reproduction which makes a lot of sense. But ordinary people like you and me consider it as a means of pleasure. This wrong view of sex is another step towrds the Homosexual movement. God or Nature mixed some pleasure with this sexual act only to make it attractive and thus to encourage people to reproduce as much as they could. It is just an incentive just like extra AIRMILES for buying a coke. Main theme of nature is not to enjoy the AIRMILE but to sell more and more cokes. But we the fools misunderstood this and clevered devised something to get the bonus only defeating the whole purpose of nature. Look at those CONDOMS, our invention. This is height of our cunning nature. I know, you must have murmered, "its too much". If you have read up to this point, why not to read a few more paragraph. What was I saying?.... ahha..yes I mean our own inventions such as CONDOMS and pills are totally against nature so should be discontinued. This proposal seems to be very unscientific and foolish but I have scientific reasons to back these things.
  Though inconclusive, the Darwin's law of natural selection and survival of the fittest is one of the scientific paradigm which is still true. But by controlling populations what are we doing is just against this evolution. We are very thoughtful so we thought that by having more population we will be having more problems of food so decided to close the door for more fittest creature ever to come to this planet. With wonderful antibiotics and medicenes we managed to help those who are least fit for the environment. These are all but very myopic views. We can think for a few hundreds of years but natural has to continue its mission for millions of years to come. Is not it against evolution to stop reproducing thinking for a few hundreds of years! Who knows, by mutation our hundredth offspring could be the fittest man on the earth.
  So the criticize encompasses the hetero sexuals too. If our reasoning of contolling population is right, then these gays and lesbians prove to be more rational and philanthropic than us. But my whole point of writing this article is to point towards the very wrong concept of sex as such. I agree with the belief that sex is just for reproduction not for pleasure. But while engaging yourself in this sacred act, you do not have to discard the pleasure. It is a reward given to you by God (if not nature). So enjoy it to its fullest grandueur. But never do sex for pleasure alone. Both homo and hetero are doing sex for the pleause so the problem is. Alas I could practice my own theory.....!

(Message inbox:1009)
 -- using template mhl.format -- Date: 12 Jul 1995 14:08:31 EDT To: Rajpal J Singh <>

From: Mathias Baumann <> Subject: Re: Information on your organization

Return-Path: <> Content-Type: text Content-Length: 1167

Nepal... where the legends live....

I am visiting Nepal regulary and had been in this wonderful country 15 times within 8 years so far. As a Swiss mountaineer I specially appreciate the beauty of the Himalayas but after doing some trekings and expeditions I realized quickly, that many people in this country need help, especially children. So I started to support poor children in offering full boarder scholarships and got involved in two projects, a school and a children hospital. Today I am representive in Switzerland for a school in Nepal. I try to find other sponsors for children and inform people on the local situation there. As medical engineer and general manager of a Swiss hospital planning company, I am able t o give support in health care as well. I enjoy all these activities and highly recommend other people to go and visit this country. It is a charming place with friendly people everywhere. Hospitality is not an empty word like in the western world and friendships quickly touch your heart. I'm sure any person visiting this mysterious kingdom with open eyes and ears will follow my path.....

Namaste! Mathias Baumann Bern, Switzerland

(Message inbox:981)
 -- using template mhl.format -- Date: Mon, 10 Jul 1995 11:58:00 EDT To:


>From DGURUNG@CLEMSON.EDU Mon Jul 10 10: 58 CDT 1995
Return-Path: <DGURUNG@CLEMSON.EDU> Content-Type: text Content-Length: 4664


The International Secretariat of OMCT/SOS-Torture requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in China/Nepal.

Brief description of the situation : Antenna International, a member of our network, has expressed its grave concern over the de facto repatriation policy currently being pursued by the Nepali authorities. It has expressed particular concern for the safety and integrity of 84 Tibetan refugees, who were expelled between 23 April and 18 June 1995 by Nepal and allegedly handed over to the Chinese authorities.

Among these 84 people repatriated, Antenna has expressed particular concern for the whereabouts, and physical and psychological integrity of 3 former-political prisoners :

- Mr Dawa, aged 29, and resident of Ratoe, who was released on 27 April 1993 after four years of imprisonment involving hard labour for taking part in an independence demonstration in March 1989;

- Mr Tsewang Paldhen, aged 70, resident of Lhasa, who was released in November 1994 together with other Tibetans following international pressure;

- Mr Thupten Tsering aged 63, resident of Lhasa, who was released earlier this year after serving an eight-year prison term.

The International Secretariat notes that the expulsion of refugees by Nepal is a violation of international standards and more particularly of article 3 of the Convention against Torture, ratified by the state of Nepal which states:

" No State Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture. "

In addition according to various reports, ill-treatment and torture would seem to be common amongst Tibetans arrested in Nepal.

Torture and Ill-treatment of Tibetans citizens in China has been denounced on many occasions. Given the political nature of the previous jail sentences for these three men the Chinese authorities may view their behaviour as further evidence of dissension. The International Secretariat is particularly concerned given the current crackdown on dissidents in general (see CHN 010695) and Tibetans in particular.

Action requested :

Please write to the Chinese authorities urging them to :

i. take the appropriate measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all the repatriated people, among them Mr Dawa, Mr Tsewang Paldhen and Mr Thupten Tsering;

ii. ensure that none of these people are deprived of their liberty in the absence of valid charges;

iii. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with national laws and international standards.

Please write to the Nepalese authorities urging them to :

i. put an end to the repatriation policy of asylum seekers, whatever their origin;

ii. ensure the respect of these people's rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international standards;

iii. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with national laws and international standards.

Addresses : CHINA

LI Peng Zongli, Guowuyuan, 9 Xihuangchenggenbeijie, Beijingshi 100032, People's Republic of China. Telex : 210070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN. Fax : + 86 10 512 5810
(via Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

YAO Yunhui Juzhang, Laodong Gaizao Gongzuo Guanliju, 14 Dongchang'anlu, Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100741, People's Republic of China.

YANG Zhengwu Shengzhang, Hunansheng Renmin Zhengfu, 7 Wuyizhonglu, Changshashi 410011, Hunansheng, People's Republic of China. Telex : 98182 CSPG CN (Please forward to Yang Zhengwu Shengzhang). Fax : + 86 731 47850

ZHANG Shuhai Jianchazhang, Hunansheng Renmin Jianchayuan, Changshashi, Hunansheng, People's Republic of China. Telex : 98182 CSPG CN - Fax : + 86 731 47850


Girija Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretariat Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal. Fax : + 977 1 227 286

Sher Bahadur Deupa, Minister of state for Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal. Fax : + 977 1 227 187

Tara Nath Bhat, Minister of Law and Justice, Babar Mahal, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Mr Moti Lal Bohara, Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal. Fax: + 977 1 415 594

Geneva 5 July 1995

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.

Ben Schonveld OMCT/SOS Torture Programme Officer Case Postale 119 Tel: +41-22-733-3140
                          Rue de Vermont 37-39 Fax +41-22-733-3140

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