The Nepal Digest - June 16, 1999 (3 Ashadh 2056 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wed Jun 16, 1999: Ashadh 3 2056BS: Year8 Volume87 Issue5

Today's Topics (partial list):

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****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 23:54:41 -0500 To: The Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> From: Janak Koirala <jkoirala@uic.edu> Subject: Press Release

Annual Convention of America Nepal Medical Foundation
        Chicago, June 14, 1999.
        
    America Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF) successfully held its third annual convention on June 12-13 at University of Illinois, Chicago, USA. It was attended by about fifty participants representing various medical organizations in the United States, American physicians and other volunteers who have worked in Nepal, and Nepalese physicians who are currently in the United States. The participants came from all over the country, from Rhode Island to California. One of the participants, Dr. S. K. Rai, represented Nepal with the kind support of Interplast, USA. The theme of the conference this year was - " Coordinating Efforts to Strengthen Medical Care in Nepal".

        His Excellency D. P. Gautam, Nepalese ambassador to USA, also graced the occasion by his heartfelt plea that, " Wherever you are, just keep a flicker of love to your country". Keynote speaker Dennis Brimhall, President, University Hospital, University of Colorado, Denver, illustrated how a small effort in cutting down the extravaganza in one U.S. hospital can generate an amount almost enough to run the entire health care system of Nepal. He also praised the hardworking Nepalese physicians who he said seemed to be happy with what little facilities they had.

        Besides Dr. David Dingman from Interplast, Nancy Blum from U.S. Pharmacopia, Donald Copley from Buffalo, New York, Brendan Thomson from Arizona Nepal Medical Society, Shyam Karki from Rochester, New York, and Dr. Maheswor Baidhya from United Hands to Nepal also presented their work in Nepal. The ANMF Board Chairman Dr. Donald Blair presented the experience of ANMF gained from organising its first CME in Nepal. Dr. S. K. Rai gave his views from the Nepalese perspective.

        ANMF was founded three years ago by the joint efforts of American and Nepalese physicians, and other volunteers who were interested to help improve the health care system of Nepal. The foundation has been sending books and journals to the medical school library in Nepal, and useful equipments to Nepalese hospitals. It also organized a CME ( continuing medical education ) program for Nepalese physicians in Nepal last fall, and plans to do it every year. Dr. Gaury Adhikari is the current president of ANMF. You can visit ANMF on the internet at
<underline>http://www.mednetsystems.com/anmf/> .

****************************************************************** From: "Prakash Bhandari" <PRAKASH@HBL.COM.NP> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 10:37:23 +0545, NST Subject: Article for TND

THE ROLE OF AVIATION IN NATIONAL ECONOMY

                             - Prakash Bhandari

No country can deny the multi-sectoral role in formation of national economy. In other words, economy as a whole can not be regulated and sustained depending only on a sole factor. It seems to be really true in country like Nepal. Nepal has to rely on so many factors for strengthening its national economy and its stability as well. Among these unavoidable factors,Aviation is one.

There are so many factors reflecting the status of national economy. It's not matter that only the stock of foreign currency is the sole determinant of national economy; Besides this, the level of per-capita income, opportunity and level of employment, development condition of other sectors and so many other factors reflect the economic condition of any nation. So all these factors, combined together form national economy as a whole.

Existing employment position of any country reflects the income level of people, income level of people reflects purchasing power and purchasing power reflects the status of national economy. On the other hand, level of pe-capita-income indicated the level of national income and level of total national income indicate the development tasks as well as multi sectoral development like the development in the field of roads, hospitals, telecommunications, education etc.All these factors are inter-related into each other and are the backbones of any economy. So, while talking about the role of aviation in national economy as a whole, we should not ignore the role played by aviation in relation to the creation and development of employment opportunities , in relation to the foreign currency earning, in relation to the increment in national income, in relation to the other sectoral development and in relation to the government revenue as well. The role of aviation in regards to these sectors are not only in positive forms but also it may have some negative role in these sectors. Specially, aviation may have prominent role in connection to the socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-environmental conditions. While talking about the role, both of these aspects are to be taken into consideration.

Aviation has been playing an important role to strengthen the national economy since its early days of operation. Actually civil aviation in Nepal come into existence in early 1950s. In that time, the revolution in the field of transportation was brought by aviation. When National flag carrier RNAC had started its service in 1958, then the inaccessible regions of country were translated into accessible one. Huge amount of money and time could be saved through this service. Though the services were only for domestic sectors, RNAC had most help for the economic organs. Transportation of goods and services,technical apparatus, educational materials and nedicines became easy and the economic life of people was felt to be changed. After the commencement of foreign services by RNAC,tourists started to enter the nation. Total tourist arrival between the period 1881 B.S to 1925 B.S was only 150 in numbers. But after the commencement of foreign sector service by RNAC, this number increased and reached 4017 in 1960 B.S.Currently RNAC is operating 35 domestic service and 13 foreign serves in 10 countries. Besides this, private sector airlines are also in operation both in domestic and foreign sector. The role played by aviation in the form of all these services is the matter of interest of this article.

Now+a+days, these air services are playing prominent role for the promotion of employment opportunity, for the increment of foreign currency, for the other sector development and for thecollection of Government revenue through the development of tourism sector. Tourism is the highly contributive sector for national economy after merchandise export; and aviation is the soul of tourism. Out of total tourist about 90 percent arrive by aeroplane. This statistics proves how important is the role of aviation in tourism sector. As has been stated above, in this way, aviation plays prominent role for the promotion of national economy domestically and for the promotion of a national economy through the promotion of tourism as well.

ROLE OF DOMESTIC SECTOR ECONOMY

Role of domestic based aviation in national economy is taken in this sector. In other words, domestic air serves haveworth+notable impact in national economy and this impact is outlined under this heading.

As has already been discussed, the economy doesn't consist only one of the factor . The sub+sectors of national life has also worthy role in formation of strong economy. As for example, if air service are not in operation, then the many parts of Nepal will be beyond the contact with capital. This means the delivery of pedagogic, health+care,and other kinds of goods is impossible. In turn,they have to spend more and more money and time to acquire those services. Such huge amount of money and time, if saved, can be used in development efforts. In this way, we can visualise the indirect role played by aviation for strengthening the national economy.

Besides this, the fruit of development should be equally distributed among people. Supply of foods,medicines,educational materials, improved seeds, technologies and other important factors of economy should be distributed in all part of the country on equal basis. Otherwise, the demarcation among the people is enlarged. In this connection too, aviation sector is affiliating to strengthen the national economy as a whole.RNAC and other private sector airlines are providing this service to the nation.

>From the other aspect too, we can be confirmed about the inevitable
role of aviation in Nepal. It's true that in some parts of the country, other kinds of transportation can not be operated. If there is no air service, it means there is no arts of the country, other kinds of transportation can not be operated. If there is no air service, it means there is no means of transportation, there is no delivery of goods,medicines and other kinds of necessary apparatus for smooth pass of life.There will be no new and improved seeds, no modified technologies , no fertilizers and no developed humane facilities. In other words, such areas will be remained within their own boundary, within their own customs, within their own economic condition and more than these, within their own capacity and knowledge. Due to these all reasons, the productivity of both land and persons(labour) can not be increased. It is needless to say that productivity is the back+bone of national economy and specially in Nepal, all economic development depends upon he productivity of land and labour. This is because our country mostly depends upon the agriculture sector. In other words, our main factors of production are labour and land. Aviation sector can increase their productivity by making access the transformation of knowledge, technologies,and basic humane-needs from developed areas to remote areas. By increasing productivity, aviation help to increase income which ultimately leads for the strengthening the economic condition of any nation through increment in national income as a whole.

ROLE OF FOREIGN SECTOR AVIATION

It was for the first time in 1968, the international air serves was started in Nepal from Thai Airways. Currently, more than couple dozen foreign airlines are in operation. So as,RNAC is also operating its services to more than dozen cities of more than dozen countries. From the beginning of foreign air service, aviation sector has been playing vital role for the smooth development of national economy.

As has been said many time in above paragraphs, the role played by foreign sector aviation is also counted in term of employment opportunity they created, foreign currency earning and multi sectoral development they made. The vast role of aviation sector in the development of stated areas seems in high quantity from the previous days of aviation life in Nepal.

Aviation in Nepal has been helping in promotion of tourism.Most of the tourists come in Nepal through air transport and needless to say that tourism sector is the second greatest sector to earn foreign currency after merchandise export. This facts are reflected in many economical publication also. So,indirectly, aviation sector is playing an important role in relation to the earning of foreign currency through promotion of tourism.

During the period 1962+72, on an average 148,000 tourists had entered from abroad and among them 85% were air-tourist.During 1972+82, this percentage increased on 86% and during 1982-92 the percentage of tourist arriving through air transport remained as 86.1%. In this way
, for the promotion of tourist trade in Nepal,aviation sector has performed prominent performance. By stating all these facts, it isuseless to say that the earning of total foreign currencies from tourism sector is due to the role played by aviation .Studies show that about 2% of total GDP and about 10 % of total foreign currency earning are from the aviation sector.

In this way, tourism plays prominent role in earning foreign currency and the aviation is the heart of tourism in a country like Nepal. This unavoidable facts also reflect the role of aviation in foreign currency earning. It's worthless to note the importance of foreign currency in economic development.

The other important role of aviation can be experienced from its share in creating employment opportunity and in creating the man-power for economic sustainability. It pushes up the employment condition through the development of tourism-sub-sectors like hotels, restaurants, reserves, parks, and tele-communications in one hand, and in another hand, to render the efficient service for tourist, it opens the chance of training also. These ultimately results the creation of trained man-power and more employment opportunities. In one of the official reports, it has been stated that, about 20% of total tourism sector-employment has been created by airlines directly.
  In an another report of ESCAP, on an average, 0.18%of total economically active population are being engaged in aviation sector. Besides this, as has already been described,aviation sector has mass scale role in promotion of tourism and tourism support industries and entire result of increment of such industries is the increments of the employment opportunities and increment of man+power that is necessary to strengthen the national economy.

The role of aviation can also be highly noted by showing the employment+investment ratio in this sector. This ratio shows that investment worth of RS.51.3 thousands generate employment opportunity for one person. In other words, the ratio is 1: 51.3.

So as the gross output employment ratio in this sector is RS.382.9
:1. In other words, worth of Rs 382.9 thousand output is produced by 1

person in aviation sector . These ratios in other sectors are 288.8 :1 in travel agencies and 73.3;1 in trekking sector.

Output+Investment ratio in aviation sector is shown as 1.79 :1i.e. worth of Rs. 1.79 is produced by investing 1 Rupee. All these ratios clearly indicate the impact of aviation in national economy as a whole.

Indirectly, the promotion of tourism inspire to preserve environment, natural and cultural heritage and our own art and culture. The sectors are not taken as economic sector directly but their role to sustain the national economy can not be ignored. In this connection too, role of aviation is highly notable.

The another key measuring rod of role of any sector in national economy is its contribution to promote government revenue. If government has revenue in large extent, then the development tasks can also be operated. Nepal is covered with natural colourful flora and fauna, panoramic show caped himalayas, agreeable climate and other kinds of natural heritages. All these matters attract the tourists. If there is no aviation, then the meaning of all these heritage is worthless.But due to the aviation service, tourists travel to this country and the govt can obtain proper chance to collect its revenue through royalty fees and other charges.

Statistics show that in 1978, total of Rs 614,000 was collected only from mountaineering and expedition sector. In 1989, Rs 73585000 was earned only from Annapurna conservation Area Project. Besides this, in 1988 $4.8 Million was earned from trekking sectors. In this way aviation has become the most important source of govt revenue. By the rising of aviation sector, the chance to export goods and services has also been created . The service of our national flag carrier RNAC to about 15 cities and the services of more that 2 dozens of foreign airlines have opened the country for tourists. This opening create the recognition of nation and its specialities to foreigners, which in turn open the door of export of goods and services to abroad. It is needless to say that such tendency may create the huge amount of export. Clearly, excess exports over imports is the indicator of favourable balance of payment.

The other important factor for the development of a national economy is the transfer of technology and no doubt, sole medium of transfer of technology is aviation.

Apart from all these role played by foreign based aviation,the role of aviation is highly noticed in the development of other such sectors of economy as roads, transportation, tele+communication, human+power and most important sector of economy the "National Unity". In this way, aviation plays multi+dimensional economic developmental role in the nation.

Up to now, we only focused our attention towards the positiverole played by aviation sector. But aviation is also becoming a cause for the devastation of national economy through developing demonstration effect, through increment in imports of luxurious goods, through vanishing our own technology in which we can enjoy self reliance and through degrading the socio+environmental and socio+cultural condition as well. Not only these, our capable man+power are also transferring to abroad. Such flight of man+power(Brain Drain) is the grave sorrowful matter for any nation. More ever, and most important too, our most of the income from aviation/tourism sector is spent to import goods and services for tourists from abroad.According to a study, about 31% of income from tourism sector go back for import of goods and services for tourists. Socio+cultural and environmental impact of aviation can not be realised in short term but its effect in national economy will be deeply visualized in the long run.

Though aviation has some above stated negative role, it helps to increase foreign currencies, to create and develop employment opportunities, it opens the multi sectoral development, makes easy to travel and to lift the cargo, and tenders the basic services like postal services and more ever,helps to transfer technology. These all sectors are the backbones of economy. So by observing the role played and playing by aviation for the development of all these sectors, as has been described above , we can't neglect its positive impact on national economy.

With Best Regards, Prakash Bhandari Himalayan Bank Ltd. ~ E-mail: prakash@hbl.com.np | Tridevi Marg, Thamel ~ | P.O.Box.20590 ~ Ph.: 977-01-227749/ 977-01-227756| Kathmandu ~ | NEPAL ~ Fax:977-01-241979/ 977-01-222800 |
                        ~ |
***************************************************************************** Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 08:16:18 -0700 From: "Niraj B. Shrestha" <nbshrest@SEAS.GWU.EDU> To: A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu Subject: Kathmandu Post Review of Books

Source: The Kathmandu Post, 13 June 1999

AN AUTHORITATIVE COMMENTARY Nepal's Failed Development: Reflections on the Mission and the Maladies By Devendra Raj Panday Published by Nepal South Asia Centre, Kathmandu, 1999, Rs. 350

 by Swarnim Wagle

The verdict of Devendra Raj Panday’s voluminous new book is that Nepal has failed in its experiment with development. This failure, he asserts, transcends the economist’s mundane indicators like GDP per capita, asphalt roads, indebtedness, hospital beds, or tax revenue to strike at the very heart of national self-esteem and social integrity, and our ability to nurture a young democracy. Had the judge behind this verdict not been an illustrious political economist, one might have been tempted to dismiss the book as an idealistic intellectual tirade against a country’s troubled efforts to prosper against improbable odds. But Panday is a recognised heavy-weight, and when he speaks, one is forced to listen.

The book's zealously argued case as well as its cogent mix of chintan, manthan and ganthan thus merit scrutiny, and a humanitarian hearing. A collection of intelligent, articulate, informed, and generally pessimistic essays, Nepal’s Failed Development trumpets an unpleasant message: hang on, we have had isolated and disjointed successes, but, overall, things have really not been that great all these years, and maybe it is time to rethink a bit to regain the lost honour that we, as a proud nation, might have once commanded; but, against a backdrop of "failed" development and the national psyche it bruised, we are not so sure of this either. It is easy for us to be swayed to be convinced in the current climate of unease, without having to probe deeper into the facts and the circumstances, that we have failed. What will be more difficult, however, is to do justice to the resourcefulness of this intensely well-read author’s 400 pages of authoritative musing, and then confirm the foregone conclusion. The greater the number of readers who do this, the grander will be the compliment paid to this book.

The author is conscious, right from the first chapter, that the word
"failure" is a strong one; he regularly positions himself on the defensive, realising that he will not be able to get away with flimsy premises. He has thus done a fine job introducing a difficult case convincingly in the inaugural section. The second chapter takes up the figures, which are allowed to speak for themselves. Chapter four charts the evolution of the
"idea and practice of development." Drawing heavily on the works of well-known social scientists, Panday impresses and dazzles with his grasp of this important subject. His discussion of the cognitive state of development in Nepal is illuminating; he thinks we have always known what needed to be done, but ideas were seldom translated into results. His reporting on the global
"illusion of innovation” in development policy is similarly persuasive. Panday is unusually skilful in identifying the core of the synthesis of arguments and plucking it out for intelligent scrutiny. The diverse citations, ranging from works by Harvard economists to Kathmandu journalists, also speak highly of the liberal, non-dogmatic frame of his mind.

Panday is formidable when he discards the uncomfortable compulsion to appear academic, and discusses morals and principles, as in chapter three. He fully understands what it would mean to uphold integrity and live a dignified life in a democracy. He is thus palpably agitated by what he sees as the gradual erosion in the values the nation was once identified with, such as honesty and hard work, for example. He calls this an
"unanticipated consequence of engaging in development". Although the author frequently resorts to passion and literary craft to hammer home a series of points, this section provides an interesting evaluation of the state of the country's civil movements.

Chapter five offers a good synopsis of domestic political events. Although his premature resignation as Secretary of Finance in 1980 precluded an insider's perspective on the workings of the Panchayat regime in its final turbulent decade, his discourse on the political, economic and international dimensions that led to the rise and fall of this polity is particularly authoritative. A robust social democrat with puritanical leanings, Panday holds that, "no development effort can be called a success if the domain in which it takes place is devoid of democracy." His frustration with the culture emerging behind political notoriety - even after the transition in 1990 - is thus reasonably justified. While his own transformation during this period, from being a well-liked finance minister to an unsuccessful politician, is itself an example of the unpredictable rudeness of political cyclones, he has the authority to complain about the excesses.

Chapter six, on external affairs and influence, is probably the book’s finest. What he has written on the predicaments of a poor country "locked" by an unsympathetic neighbour is crisp, without sounding excessively patriotic. He ponders a bit on a range of loosely connected themes in the final chapter. He is sceptical on the extent of the benefits Nepal may be able to extract from instruments of globalisation like the WTO. He discusses corruption after dealing a heavy blow to donors and the government by discussing critically the perverted ways that aid resource and priorities have often been guided. He, of course, speaks like a victim, when he does not shy away from claiming how foreign money has been used to co-opt and spoil humble indigenous traits. If one of Nepal’s foremost analysts of the aid regime sneers and says,
“running an aid programme is different from running a colony”, he'd best be heard. On managing the constitutional process, Panday’s plea to the parties to commit themselves to, at least, fulfilling the Directive Principles and Policies of the State as stipulated in the constitution is a sombre request, indeed. He has also reserved some sincere advice for the king.

There is a reason why this reviewer has discussed the virtues of the book in fragments. Each chapter is a fine monograph, in itself, dealing with the individual subjects with linguistic flair. But there is an unsettling paradox here. The seven brilliant chapters, when put together, like a neat algebraic equation, fail to produce a brilliant book. Weakened by the independent strength of its own chapters, the book's whole, if you will, is less than the sum of its parts. This is because it lacks a conceptual focus. Panday is unnecessarily loquacious. He hunts for arguments, but often wanders distractingly, diluting the sharpness of the discourse necessary to support a tough case. The discussions do not always connect with the central theme of "failed development", and attempts to logically link the two are distant. It has become therefore a book of good essays instead of a good book with essays.

This would still have been fine, if it did not mean that the theorem of
"failed development" remained incomplete. This small sin is, however, overshadowed by a holier goal. Panday wants to upset the design of the status quo in Nepal. It will be a pity if his clarion call for progressive change in all spheres of national life goes unheard. These are, after all, reflections of a very experienced man, and wisdom, they say, is the daughter of experience. What one need not doubt, after reading this book, is that Devendra Raj Panday has proved himself to be possibly one of South Asia’s finest commentators writing in English today. His wise creation, Nepal’s Failed Development, is certain to be judged not only as an insightful assistance to comprehend this diversely peopled land of ours, but it will also stay as an influential work in the art of debate and commentary.

(S. Wagle is a student of economics, politics and history)

Source: The Kathmandu Post, 13 June 1999 Recent Arrivals Rama Parajuli

PANIKO PURKHYAULI GYAN, ed. Kedar Sharma (1999, Panos Institute South Asia) is a collection of oral testimonies (OT) related to water in Nepal. Most of the 13 OTs were collected by journalists Sangita Lama and Ghamaraj Luintel, with the editor Sharma contributing one. The thirteen elderly story-tellers were met in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Sindhupalchowk, Chitwan and Nawalparasi. They share various stories of traditional water use and management systems, knowledge of which was acquired from their ancestors and experience. Written in their own words (with slight editing), this book will of use to those interested in our past and those with the responsibility to plan our future, as well as the communities from which the protagonists have come.

STUDIES IN NEPALI HISTORY AND SOCIETY (vol. 3, no. 1, 1998, Mandala Book Point) is finally out. This delayed issue contains five articles: Sherry B. Ortner's "The making and Self-Making of 'The Sherpas' in Early Himalayan Mountaineering"; Jagannath Adhikari and Hans-Georg Bhole's "Rural livelyhoods at Risk: Determinants of the Abilities of Nepali Hill Farmers to Cope with Food Deficiency"; Mark Lichty's "The Social Practice of Cinema and Video-Viewing in Kathmandu"; Mahesh Maskey's
"Jana Andolanma Chikitsakharu: Smritima Korieko Eauta Andolan-Katha"(in Nepali) and Pratyoush Onta's "A Suggestive History of the First Century of Photographic Consumption in Kathmandu".

FORESTRY AND KEY ASIAN WATERSHEDS by A. K. Myint & T. Hofer (1998, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) is a background document for Asia Pacific Forestry Outlook. The study defines the role of forestry in watersheds of six major rivers of this region: Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow rivers. Besides many other things prospects for forestry around the year 2010 assuming various scenarios are predicted.

CHILDREN AND TRADITIONAL CASTE EMPLOYMENT IN SIRAHA DISTRICT, NEPAL by Jasmine Rajbhandari, Gita Karki and Keith D. Leslie (1999, Save the Children US and INHURED International) is a case study of traditional caste employment scenario in Siraha district. The study is focused on seven "lower" caste groups: Musahar, Dom, Chamar, Badhi Thakur, Nauwa Thakur, Mallaha and Yadav. It concludes that the traditional caste employment system not only exists today but will continue to exist for generations.

FODDER AND PASTURE DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL by Rameshwar Singh Pande (1997, Uday Research and Development Services) reviews most of the research done on fodder and pasture development in Nepal. It analyzes the problems that arise due to lack of scientific knowledge on fodder material and suggests suitable species/cultivars for different regions in Nepal. Since Nepal is an agricultural country, such research can be useful to policy makers but for wider consumption, it will have to be written up in Nepali and be available at prices less than Rs 850!

NAYARAJ PANT: NEPALKA SUKARAT, ed Shesraj Shibakoti (1999, Gyangun Sahitya Prakashan & Advance International Model School) is a collection of essays by 22 known writers related to Nayaraj Pant, a veteran historian and teacher. While different writers have highlighted various aspects of Pant's long academic career, all have mentioned his devotion to knowledge and his resoluteness in the face of much adversity. History buffs and those interested in the history of Nepali academia will find this book to be useful although its letter-press print leaves a lot to be desired.

COALITION GOVERNMENTS AND POLITICAL ACCULTURATION IN GERMANY by Suresh C Chalise (1998, Centre for Consolidation of Democracy) is a study of stable coalition governments in Germany. It tells how parties with different ideologies, values and norms have come together to successfully run coalition governmens. As such it offers lessons to Nepali politicians and political analysts who consider coalition governments to be inherently unstable and ineffective.

TATKAL DOCTOR NAVHAYAMA by Dr.Bishnu Prasad Pandit (1999, Mrs. Sabitri Pandit) is a
"medical book for nonmedical readers." It is a useful reference for those who want to learn about the causes and remedies of various diseases that afflict human beings.

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POLLINATION MANAGEMENT OF MOUNTAIN CROPS THROUGH BEE KEEPING by Uma Pratap (1999, ICIMOD) is a trainers' resource book that deals with the process of pollination among mountain crops. Mountain crops are deprived of fruit because of inadequate pollination; if pollination is done with the hive bee, the result would be fruitful. The book is illustrated well.

Source: The Kathmandu Post, 13 June 1999 Coping with food insecurity

Food Crisis in Nepal: How Mountain Farmers Cope By Jagannath Adhikari and Hans-Georg Bohle Adroit Publishers, Delhi, 1999

By Anil Baral

Rickety children, frail, sick and hungry people. It's not a grisly scene from Ethiopia, but from the remote hills in Nepal. The underlying cause: food deficit. In places like Humla and Jumla, food production hardly meets the basic requirement of the people for three months of the year. Food insecurity was and is still a big problem in Nepal. "In the face of chronic food shortages, rural households with little or no access to natural resources have been following multiple survival strategies throughout the history of Nepali nation state," write Jagannath Adhikari and Hans-Georg Bohle in the opening sentence of their book. In the past, migration was a chief mechanism to offset the problems of food insecurity. People from the hills migrated to British India (and later India and Britain) to serve in the army and to the Tarai once malarai was controlled. Though strategies adopted by vulnerable households have now diversified, intra-country and inter-country migration remains the primary coping mechanism against food and livelihood insecurity in Nepal's hills.

 Food Crisis in Nepal: How Mountain Farmers Cope is a micro level study of food insecurity in four different villages (Lachok-Riban, Siding, Karuwa-Kapuche and Sikles) of Kaski District in the central hill region of Nepal. The authors identify important determinants of vulnerability to food crisis faced by rural poor and enumerate their coping mechanisms. They also shed some light on the historical and socio-political structure of Nepal as a whole in order to examine closely how livelihood patterns have evolved in response to food shortages.

According to P. Blaikie, "Vulnerability describes characteristics of a person or group in terms of their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of natural hazards." A complex set of determinants affect vulnerability and they combine in different ways for each and every household. These include: access to resources, ecological setting, accessibility to transport, market opportunities, availability of common property resources, family size and composition, ethnicity, gender, social network, education, and political assertiveness. The households who are fortunate enough to have access to resources and political & social networks are generally able to cope with food crisis.

Out of the above mentioned determinants, the authors argue that personal assets (health and age of family members) are important determinants of how poor households with low level of access to ecological & political assets cope with food insecurity. Wage labor, animal husbandry, service in foreign countries, selling bamboo products and other agricultural products like potato and weaving fiber clothes are common coping strategies to secure livelihood. It is interesting to note that every household chooses a combination of these strategies as a way to fulfill its needs.

One important feature of the book is the modification of the Access Model as a framework for the analysis of food crisis and livelihood insecurity in Nepal. Access Model puts much emphasis on access to social-political (power) structure as the most important factor in determining vulnerability to food shortage. This model puts little emphasis on determinants related to the ecological system. However, the results from the study suggest that ecological settings also play an important role in shaping the access profile of households. Accordingly, the authors have modified the Access Model by incorporating ecological setting as one of the prominent indicators of vulnerability to food insecurity.

The book tries to give a general picture of the food crisis in Nepal based on the study done in some villages of the middle hills. However it can be argued that the profile of food insecutiry in far western areas such as Humla and Jumla are different. These areas have suffered from chronic food shortages for a long time. While the food security problems identified from this study may equally be applicable to Humla and Jumla, ignoring specific problems of the latter areas would not make any study on the food crisis in Nepal complete. In this regard, "Food crisis in the middle hills of Nepal" would have been a more precise title of this book.

The National Planning Commission is preparing a "Special Area Development Plan" for 25 districts of Nepal that are most prone to food insecurity. Though the book itself has not outlined specific policy measures, planners may take clues from its results to determine how the food insecurity problem in those districts might be tackled.

(A. Baral likes to read a wide range of subjects)

Source: The Kathmandu Post, 13 June 1999 Book Clubs: The Time Has Come! by Pratyoush Onta

Low print runs and hassles related to distribution have held back the publishing industry in Nepal. In a market dominated by text-books and how-to-do-this-or that-books (this would have been obvious to anyone who visited the book fair organized in Kathmandu earlier this month), most general books - fiction or non-fiction - have a print run of 1000 copies. These copies too are not very easily available in the bookshops all over the country. This situation gives birth to a set of double complaints: authors and publishers complain that not enough Nepalis buy books (and hence the low print runs); readers, on the other hand, complain that what they want to read is not easily available to them (this is especially true of readers based in areas other than Kathmandu). This situation has been with us for quite a few years and it is time that some new initiatives be tried to overcome it.

A book club might be one such initiative. Such clubs have played a pivotal role in boosting the publishing industry in Europe and America and in facilitating readers' access to books in an easy and cheap manner. The idea has been recently implemented in India but examples of such clubs do not yet exist in large numbers in the whole of South Asia. However, that is no reason to not give it a try in our country.

What are book clubs and how could they boost the publishing industry in Nepal? Like in other clubs, individuals become members of a book club by paying a certain annual membership fee. In return, the club offers them a number of books at about half their published price every month. In so doing, the club provides a service for which it also makes nominal profit and the reader is better off for obvious reasons. How is this possible?

To answer this question, I take recourse to an article by Ravi Vyas published in The Telegraph (Calcutta, 30 October 1998). According to him, the pricing mechanism of books works out something like this, "In commercial pricing, the unit cost is multiplied at least five times to fix the price. For example, if the cost is Rs 10, the price would be at least Rs 50. After allowing for a trade discount of say 35 per cent and the author's royalty of 10 per cent, the publisher can expect a gross margin of 40 per cent, if all copies are sold. The cost depends on the print run: the higher the number the lower the unit cost." The book clubs enter the scene here. Its manager checks out the forthcoming titles and places an order of X copies of books that seem to match the interest of his club members. After receiving such a demand, the publisher increases his print runs and lowers his cost of production per unit. He can then offer the club unit cost plus 40 per cent. In the example cited earlier, the price offered to the book club would be Rs 14 with the retail price still at Rs 50. The club in turn can charge its members Rs 25 for the book, postage extra. There are, of course, certain conditions that need to be met by the club for this scheme to work. For instance, it can not flood the retail market with copies that it can not sell to its members or expect the publisher to buy back the unsold copies.

In the Indian case, Vyas concedes that there are at least three glitches that would hinder the workings of a book club. Firstly, outside the dominant educational market in India, he says "the demand has never been very high despite the hype about Indian writing in English." Secondly he adds, publishers will give "book club rights for titles about which they are not too sure; for potential winners, they would not because it cuts into their margins of profit." Finally, Vyas writes that if a book club is to succeed, it "has to offer a wide choice month after month: fiction, reference works, popular science, history/politics/contemporary affairs for the intelligent reader but not too academic and so on. No Indian publisher can procide the fare." To overcome the last glitch in our case, the book club will have to offer books from numerous publishers.

Additionally, in our own case, there are more glitches that might stunt the growth of such book clubs. We have a postal system that is not even half as competent as its Indian counterpart. However our internal private courier service industry is beginning to deliver packages rather efficiently. The long-distance telephonic communication system within Nepal that might be considered an infrastructural requirement for such a club is already there in place. In other works, a book club with members reachable by the road networks and supported through a series of intermediaries (say bookshops, courier agencies, etc.) could be viable in Nepal.

Initial initiative necessary to support such a club could be generated from the non-governmental sector. After all, many community library and literacy projects have been run by this sector in the past. With respect to funding, some bikase funds could be tapped into initially. If something like a National Book Development Council is established by the government (one of the demands made by the book-sellers and publishers conference held in December 1998) soon, it could in turn provide financial support to autonomous book clubs. If we do not want to expect too much from the government then the private sector should get its act together and set up a National Book Publishing Trust. It has been estimated that the private sector book market in Nepal is at least 100 crores annually. If it can separate 0.5 per cent (50 lakhs) or 1 per cent (1 crore) of that amount every year to support such a Trust, it can not only support book clubs and exhibitions but also activities that honor writers, editors and translators.

There will be difficulties to surmount but not to try out the idea of book clubs in Nepal at this juncture seems to be an option that bows down to the current devils of the distribution network. In the last instance, books need to reach the readers if they are to be read.

******************************************************* Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 12:48:43 -0500 (CDT) From: Mahesh Kumar Gurung <mgurun1@uic.edu> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - June 10, 1999 (27 Jestha 2056 BkSm)

Dear Editor,

After a very long time (>1year), I'm getting this issue of TND. What happened? My concern here is please DO NOT forget people on the regular TND mailing list. Its good to be back on stage and read different views of different Nepalese people. After all, we are a diverse bunch as much as anywhere else.

Hope TND will be regular again.

Mahesh Kumar Gurung University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Biological Sciences MC/066 845 W Taylor Street Chicago, 60607. Work (Phone): (312) 996-5440 Fax: (312) 413-2435

**************************************************************** Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 11:43:10 -0600 From: "Umesh Giri" <ugiri@uswest.com> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: About Paramendra Bhagat's letter

I read your letter to your college friend. It was very nice to know about your childhood story. After reading your letter, I'm wondering what your friend has learned about Nepal. Of course, we have so many problems from terai to himal but that does not mean we don't have any good things in Neapl to talk about. If you are a true Nepali, you should be proud to talk about Nepal and its beauty and our culture. It is very unfortunate to know that you share the same garbage with strangers that you dump in TND. All the internal issues regarding racism, discrimination, poverty, etc. are the common problems of all Nepalese. These are not regional or personal problems and we all should fight against these issues. Racism is all over Nepal and it is not limited among pahade and madhise. Please note that one does not have to be a pahade to be a racist. It is very easy to bring divisions among different ethnic groups but we can not solve this problem without unity.

>From time to time India has given Nepal and Nepalese a lot of troubles.
Most of the Nepalese have this impression (if you don't know yet) and preaching about your fatherland means nothing to us. Besides, where in the world did you get those data about 50% madhise? Could you please provide source to TND readers? Otherwise, please don't write the same thing (garbage data) over and over again!

There is not a single political party in Nepal one can support with pride. And, you are promoting your Nepal Sadhvavana Party in TND. What makes you think that NSP represents all the madhise and taraibasi? What about other madhise representatives from other parties? Or you do not consider them as madhise because they are not NSP member. For your information, there are at least 19 from NC, 7 from UML, 4 from RPP madhise representatives in the parliament. But there is not a single representative from dalit barga who represent 20% (published in Kathmandu Post during election'99) of Nepal's population and you do not bother to raise voice for them. Of course, they are not madhises.

Mr. Bhagat, I understand that you are a regular contributor to the TND and I appreciate your work. But I have a hard time to understand why you felt necessary to dump the results of NSP in the TND? If you want to help TND readers, provide them the URLs of election web sites (there are at least three) which are more readable and give results of the whole nation. Please don't try to be the focus point, I think, all TND readers must know you very well by now!

Umesh Giri Denver, CO

****************************************************************** From: Bhupendra Rawat <bhupenrawat@hotmail.com> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Re: Anne Aiko Joshi's comments Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 10:11:50 EDT

It was nice to read Anne Aiko Joshi's intriguing deconstruction of my light-hearted satire "A Suitable Girl". Thank you, Anne.

I will let you know when I find a suitable girl for myself. Meantime, time-allowing, I hope to be writing pieces on Kathmandu's gender relations or lack thereof for readers' collective amusement/edification/whatever.

Bhupendra Rawat bhupenrawat@hotmail.com

******************************************************** Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 00:04:15 -0400 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: Pradeep Pradhan <ppradhan@gamewood.net> Subject: e mail address of Dr. K. Maya Sherpa

Dear TND readers,

If you happen to know the address ,e mail or phone number of Dr. K. Maya Sherpa, I would appreciatte if you could forward to me, Thanks. Ppradhan@gamewood.net pkpradhan@medscape.com

*************************************************************** Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 04:26:04 -0500 (CDT) To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: Balgopal Shrestha <Shrestha@rullet.Leidenuniv.nl> Subject: Supreme Court Denies Rights to National Languages of Nepal

(News cuttings from "The Kathmandu Post")

The Kathmandu Post 2 June 1999 SC quashes decisions on local languages

KATHMANDU, June 1 (PR)- The Supreme Court today issued a writ of certiorari, quashing decisions by a number of local bodies that introduced Newari and Maithali as languages of official use within their jurisdictions along with Nepali.
        The decision was passed by a division bench of the apex court comprising of Justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi and Justice Top Bahadur Singh.

        The judges ruled that the decision by Kathmandu Metropolis to introduce Newari also as its official language and decisions of Rajbiraj municipality and Dhanusha DDC to make Maithali their official language along with Nepali were against the provision of Article 6 (1) of the Constitution. As per their pledge in the 1997 local elections, the three local bodies introduced the two languages as their official languages along with Nepali.

        Within days, a writ petition was filed with the apex court by Lal Bahadur Thapa, Yagya Nidhi Dahal, Achyut Raman Adhikari, Dhruba Raj Thewe and Hari Prasad Pokharel.

        The court had earlier prevented the local bodies from using the languages as official languages through a stay order, as demanded by the petitioners, which ordered the local bodies to refrain from using the languages for official purposes until the court had reached a verdict on the petition.

        A group of people supporting the decisions by the local bodies to introduce the local languages as official languages, and unhappy about the Supreme Court decision, protested the apex court ruling. A group passed through major of the city shouting slogans against the decision.

        Chairman of Nepal Bhasa Manka Khala, Padma Ratna Tuladhar, said the decision of the Supreme Court barring use of languages identified in the Constitution as national languages was "ironical and against the spirit of the Constitution."

        Tuladhar said those favouring equal rights to all communities and castes should now unite for a movement to introduce Constitutional amendment. Chairman of Newa Guthi, Durga Lal Shrestha, expressed unhappiness over the court decision saying Newari had been recognized as official language in Kathmandu even before 1960 itself.

TKP 14 June 1999

SUPREME COURT FAILED TO RECOGNISE LOCAL LANGUAGE By a Post Reporter

KATHMANDU, June 13 - The recent decision of the Supreme Court preventing local bodies from using local languages as an additional official language besides Nepali fails to honour the multilingual and plural nature of the Nepali society, activists for linguistic equality said.

   Participating today in the Sunday Forum, a weekly interaction hosted by the National Concern Society, in the aftermath of the apex court decision this month quashing earlier decisions by three local bodies to use Newari and Maithali as additional languages of official use, the activists said the decision had done a grave injustice to the native communities of Nepal.

    The Supreme Court ruling annulled earlier decisions by the Kathmandu Metropolis, Janakpur DDC and Rajbiraj Municipality to use Newari and Maithali, respectively, as additional languages for their official functioning. The three local bodies, in line with their pledges before the voters during the 1997 local elections, introduced the two languages as additional official languages. The stated purpose of their introduction: facilitating the locals to come into contact with the local bodies.

    In its decision, a division bench of the Supreme Court ruled, among others, that the three local bodies' decisions to introduce languages other than Nepali as mediums of official work contradicted with a constitutional provision.

    Article 6 of the Constitution, while providing that "all the languages spoken as the mother tongue in the various parts of Nepal are the national languages of Nepal" also has a provision which says, "Nepali shall be the official language."

    Activists today argued, as their lawyers did unsuccessfully at the Supreme Court during the hearing of the language case, that there was no provision in the Constitution that expressly barred use of any language other than Nepali for official purpose. Therefore, they said, the decision by the local bodies to introduce the languages of local use along with Nepali was not unconstitutional.

    "It is ironical," said Padma Ratna Tuladhar, former parliamentarian and a known Newari language activist, "that the use of languages is being barred at places which are known as centres of civilization associated with those languages."

    Tuladhar elaborated that Newari and Maithali are being treated as alien languages in Kathmandu, the centre of Newari civilization, and Janakpur, the centre of Maithali civilization. "The apex court decision creates hurdles in the process of promoting and protecting thelocal languages, a duty of the local bodies as provided for in the local autonomy law." Advocate Yubaraj Sangraula, a counsel for the Kathmandu Metropolis who appeared before the Supreme Court to plead in favour of introducing Newari in Kathmandu, said the petition challenging the decisions of the local bodies in favour of additional languages was bad at law and was full of technical inconsistencies. The petitioners who challenged the introduction of the local languages failed to prove how their rights had beeninfringed by the introduction of the local languages, a basic requirement in writ petitions, according to Sangraula. "But the Supreme Court decision failed to taken the technicalities into account."

    Sangraula added that the Constitution had not barred the use of languages other than Nepali by local bodies. "Article 6 (1), which says Nepali shall be the official language and Article 6 (2) which says all languages spoken in Nepal as mother tongue are the national languages of Nepal are not mutually exclusive." According to Sangraula, the apex court could have upheld the multilingual and pluralistic spirit of the Constitution by allowing the use of Newari and Maithali.

    Other speakers stressed that the ornamental provisions in the constitution contained in the directive principles of state policy should be made operational. "The Constitution says the national languages shall be protected and promoted but you can not protect or promote them if their use, the basic way of promoting languages, is not prevented," said Dr Yogendra Yadav, a linguist at Tribhuvan University. Malla K Sundar, a journalist-activist said the fourth estate had failed in its duty to relate the language issue to the public with the gravity and seriousness that was expected of them. He said the introduction of Newari and Maithali as supplementary languages was not aimed against Nepali. Dr Harka Gurung, a noted geographer-planner, said the Supreme Court decision, barring use of other languages was based on the premise that to save Nepali other languages should be killed. "That is a wrong approach," said Gurung adding,
"the constitution should be amended by electing a constituent assembly to make provision for allowing use of all the languages."

******************************************************************** From: Paramendra Bhagat <ParamendraB@ChaiTime.net> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Krishna Prasad Bhattarai shooting for 8-9% economic growth rate Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 09:28:22 +0100

http://theory.tifr.res.in/bombay/history/people/language/index.html NEPALI <http://www.sil.org/ethnologue/lookup?NEP>
        6,000,000 in India (1984 Far Eastern Economic Review); 300,000 in Bhutan (1973 Dorji); 9,900,800 in Nepal (1993); 16,200,000 in all countries. West Bengal, Darjeeling area, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh. MAITHILI <http://www.sil.org/ethnologue/lookup?MKP>
        22,000,000 in India including Dehati (1981); 2,260,000 in Nepal
(1993); 24,260,000 in all countries. Bihar, Delhi, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal. There is a Maithili Academy. Dictionary.

http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishdaily/ktmpost/1999/Jun/Jun14
/index1.htm#1
"I know double digit growth is very difficult to attain for the countries where human rights and democracy is respected. However, I still hope that we can attain up to 8 or even 9 percent economic growth, if we work in cooperation," he told the business sector.

Earlier, felicitating the new Prime Minister and his cabinet members, President of FNCCI Ananda Raj Mulmi said the business sector was optimistic with the majority government of Nepali Congress. He said Nepal also needs to work for 8 percent growth rate, which its neighbours have been enjoying continuously for last few years. "If Nepali Congress has to meet its goal of raising the per capita to 700 US dollars in next 20 years, we have to realize the growth rate of 8 percent," he added.

(My response to Raghunath Jha in brackets.)
"TND has become irregular these days and when it does come out, it comes out with 50% garbage of Bhagat. This person named "Parmendra Bhagat" seems to have some mental problem. He puts every thing from his term paper to the Sadhbahavana slogans in his postings every time claiming to be half Indian and half Nepali........He is so imposing that half of the TND readers will desert your ezine if he is allowed to put his stuffs here."
(All my postings in some way have to do with Nepal, directly or indirectly. And it is the policy of this e-zine to post all submissions unedited, be they yours or mine. Instead of asking the editor to change that policy and bar me from this e-zine, why don't you write pieces disagreeing with my viewpoints? We could hold a dialogue instead of calling each other "sick.") Parmendra or what ever Bhagat you are, in plain terms you are Gaddar ! To you Berea (There is another berea in Bihar) is everything !
(That is amusing because at Berea College as well I have my fair share of Raghunath Jhas. I got involved with the student government my first two years here, went vocal on the unfathomables of Race Relations, and earned my unfair share of enemies on the side.) You have been a pain in entire Terai basi's neck. You have been trying to create a rift among Nepalese. Your approach to solve the terai problem is simply sick ! Promoting Hindi, claiming to be Indian, whose interest are you serving ? For GODS sake please stop vomiting your term papers and speech here. This is not a trash.
(This is the "forward" in you speaking. The caste system in South Asia is much more demeaning than the issue of Race Relations in the US. You are offended I happen to be from one of the "backward" castes. In your worldview it is people of your background who have to be speaking on bahalf of the Teraiwasis. I am not supposed to do that. You are offended I am suggesting some Yadav should become President of the Sadbhavana. Why don't you start talking issues? We could initiate a dialogue.)

I have noticed there is a tendency on this forum to say that if a piece of writing is not immediately related to Nepal, it does not belong here. Well, all issues related to the Global South, especially those matters economic, are pertinent. And since the Nepalese Americans are Ethnic Minorities in the American context, issue dealing with the Ethnic Minorities in the US are pertinent topics on this forum as well. The guiding principle is all submissions will be published unedited, and that takes care of all. Those who ask for censorship should instead focus on countering the arguments they find themselves disagreeing with. That would be far more productive.

I am still hoping we will be able to host some prolonged discussions on the National Economy. Let's respond to Krishna Prasad Bhattarai's call to achieve an economic growth rate of 8-9%. The internet makes it possible to contribute while long-distancing. The Nepal Digest makes that possible. It is accessed also in Kathmandu.

I am hoping discussions on the National Economy will bring us all together. All who have been driven apart by the discussions on the ethnic issues.

Nepal ko Kathmandu Kathmandu. Sara duniya ko Kathmandu America. America ko Kathmandu New York (well, some might say it is the Silicon Valley, now or next). New York ko Kathmandu Manhattan. Manhattan pani dekhiyo. I was up there this past weekend. Siddhartha Kumai was with me. Aalok from his batch came along from Connecticut. We all stayed with Pawan Adhikari, Nuru Lama and Ram Prasad Subedi, 3rd Avenue, 29th Street. Friday evening 8 PM to Sunday evening 6 PM. It was intense. I did so much walking. From the Times square all way to the UN Building, and then along the East River, crossing the Brroklyn Bridge, coming right back, continuing along the East River to the very tip from where you get to take a peep at The Statue, further along the Hudson to the World Trade Center and back to Nuru-Pawan's place. This after I attended the IAPAC Conference at the Asia Society which concluded at 3:30 PM on Saturday. On Sunday I bid farewell and walked all the way to the Central Park - got caught in the Puerto Rico Day celebrations - and then the entire length of the park - glad to finally see some green besides the concrete - and then further into Harlem - and then to the Hudson and then along the Hudson to the 42nd Street. Then it was time to meet Siddhartha and head back to Philly. After we "landed" on Friday Sid and I took a dip into the Times Square crowd right away. That bustle, that energy, that vibe. It was intoxicating. We took a bunch of pictures. Two were with Cindy Crawford and Ricky Martin larger-than-life posters in the background. I bought 50 postcards that I sent off this morning: Never forget home and family! Ram Subedi, Pawan Adhikari and I were talking until five in the morning the first night on the "Bahun-Madisey" question, they being the Brahmin and I being the Madhesi. We started from fundamental, seemingly irreconciliable disagreements to a point of agreement that the National Economy is and ought to be the number one political issue for Nepal. All other issues take second place. Poverty as a political issue is far larger than any issue to do with the ethnic question. Aba Kiran Kattel lai bhetna California janu parchha ki kya ho! 59 bucks and Greyhound will take you anywhere.........That will be some cross-country marathon should it materialize next summer. And then maybe Chicago, Texas, Florida.

At Budhanilkantha my classmates resorted to calling me Paru; I guess Paramendra is a long name. My family calls me Pappu. Once Roshan Pokharel from Bhanu Chowk came to see me at my place in Janakpur. He asked for Paramendra. My grandfather suggested he go further down the street and he might find the person he was looking for. In earnest. Once I went to attend church in Berea - I finally did convert, but to Buddhism - and this guy started calling me Paul after I got introduced as Paramendra. Paul this, Paul that. I attended a Quixtar.com meeting last week and this other guy was like Bill (Bill !) this, Bill that. At Berea College some call me PB - they make it sound like PeeWee, like Kiwi, the bird; I guess that is Paul and Bill put together, otherwise I would be PKB, Paramendra Kumar Bhagat. And at work we have a Roger. Since at Chaitime it is a whole bunch of South Asian Americans and then some he gets called Raj. Raj! So much for Paul and Bill.

If you are referring to the message I sent to Senator Shwartz, I consider that to be a political piece of writing pertaining to the status of the ethnic minorities in the US, which is what the Nepalese here are. So yes, please do publish it as is. It is an article in a letter format.

> I am a college student from Nepal at Berea College in Kentucky who
> believes America is a concept not yet fully worked out and hopes to be
> able to contribute through an active involvement in the political
> process. Maybe I should start my involvement with you. More about me
> on my homepage if you have the time. Search for "paramendra" on
> AltaVista or click on the link provided below.
>
> I have been working for Chaitime.com this summer in downtown Philly.
> It is working to be for South Asian Americans what iVillage.com is for
> women, a community on the web. Someone at work mentioned you. At one
> of your events she asked you as to what you had on your platform for
> South Asians and you responded, "Wait a minute, you look white!" Then
> it so happened that another colleague of mine knows one of your sons
> from her college days at U Penn. And so I started searching for you on
> the web. I got interested. Woman. Democrat. Three-term state Senator.
> Aspiring for the US Senate. It all clicked right in.
>
> I am working to launch a South Asian American Political Action
> Committee to rival the Israeli Lobby's in its effectiveness on Capitol
> Hill. I hope the effort will snowball into a true Rainbow Coalition
> including other Asian, Afro and Hispanic groups and go on to team up
> with groups and organizations working for the theme of women's
> empowerment as well. Relentless networking, relentless organizing,
> relentless canvassing the political retail circuit.
>
> I feel passionate about the political process. I was wondering if I
> could get involved with your political aspirations in some way. Please
> take one look at my resume and tell me. I might be in for the long
> haul, your Stephenopoulos. I was the first freshman ever in the
> history of my college - the number one liberal arts college in the
> South - to have gotten elected SGA President.
>
> I am so glad you are thinking in terms of the US Senate now. Never
> settle for second when first is available, as JFK put it.
>
> Sincerely,
> Paramendra Bhagat
>
> PS. The other two people on the mailing list - one is my boss at
> Chaitime - there are 1.1 million Indian Americans, 95% of them in the
> North-East - the other is the colleague and friend at Chaitime who
> knows your son. Abeer, will you please kindly send a copy of this mail
> to your friend? I would appreciate that. Thanks.
>
150 years back it was slavery. 50 years back it was segregation and voting rights. Today it is negative stereotyping and other forms of marginalization. It is about image-making.

Abraham Lincoln's Republican Party took a swipe at the institution of slavery. 100 years later is was JFK and LBJ's Democratic Party that ran in tandem with the Civil Rights Movement. Bill Clinton has 90% support from the African-American population. Now with George W. Bush as a Spanish-speaking, "compassionate Conservative," a favorite of the Hispanics in Texas, is it time for the pendulum to swing the other way? Is it time the two parties redefined their relationships to the ethnic minorities? Where do the Nepalese Americans fit in? Are they on their own, or are they organized enough to reach out under a larger South Asian or even Asian umbrella? Are they out to have a voice? No time better than the Presidential elections to be asking these questions.

Paramendra Bhagat

******************************************************************** From: Neshal Shrestha <nshresth@papersoft.com> Subject: Information To: nepal-request@cs.niu.edu Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 11:01:56 -0500 (CDT)

Hi
        I am looking for Prabodh Shrestha or Saroj Prajapati's telephone number or the e-mail address(from maryland, virginia, or DC area).
        Please let me know ASAP. p.s. It concerns about ANA convention 1999.
        Thank you
        Nischal.

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