The Nepal Digest - March 16, 1995 (2 Chaitra 2051 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wednesday 16 March 95: Chaitra 2 2051 BkSm Volume 36 Issue 6

  Today's Topics:

        1. TAJA_KHABAR - News From Nepal

        2. KURA_KANI
                 Education - Re: Book Review on Social History
        3. Neighbour Watch - Escape from Tibet

  Note: Our disk had an archive crash. If you do not see your postings,
        we apologize, please repost them.

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * SCN Liaison: Rajesh B. Shrestha rshresth@black.clarku.edu *
 * Consultant Editor: Padam P. Sharma sharma@plains.nodak.edu *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta k945184@atlas.kingston.ac.uk *
 * Book Reviews Columns: Pratyoush R. Onta ponta@sas.upenn.edu *
 * News Correspondent Rajendra P Shrestha rajendra@dartmouth.edu *
 * *
 * +++++ 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: 10 Mar 95 09:43:52 EST From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News3/6-8 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

March 6 Nepali Congress Leaders come under intense internal criticism Excerpts from UPI and Radio Nepal reports

   The two top leaders of Nepal's main opposition party came under severe attack at the party's general council meeting as it headed into the second day of a three-day meeting Monday.

   Sher Bahadur Deuba, the leader of the party in Parliament and a home minister in the previous cabinet, called former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Party President Krishna Prasad Bhattarai
''defeated generals and vanquished commanders,'' as the 600 delegates burst into applause at Sunday's opening session. Referring to the party's debacle in November elections, when the ruling party was defeated by communists, Deuba blamed Bhattarai and Koirala for encouraging rebellion in the party. ''No one would have dared to contest as rebel candidates if Koirala and Bhattarai rebuked such candidates,'' Deuba charged.

   ''Both the leaders should make a self-criticism. The admission of mistake should be the first condition to regenerate the party,'' said Ram Chandra Paudel, a minister of Koirala's government and now speaker of parliament. ''The leaders are surrounded by a coterie. They have played dirty games,'' said Sailja Acharya, a youth leader in the party and niece of Koirala. The youth leaders posed a clear challenge to the leaders, who are in their 70s, blaming them for the election debacle in November while trying to exonerate themselves.

   But the most stinging criticism came from Ganesh Man Singh, Nepal's crusader for democracy, who quit the party over differences with Koirala and Bhattarai last year. ''If the council supports the misdeeds of Koirala and Bhattarai, the meeting will have no relevance. You have remained silent and you choose to maintain a mute silence suppressing your conscience,'' Singh said. Singh also accused the two of ''Mafia-like tendencies,'' and claimed Koirala called mid-term polls against party wishes. ''Nobody but the Nepali Congress is responsible for its own debacle. The party cannot move ahead, unitedly ahead, if the two leaders are absolved,'' Singh said. Singh held Koirala responsible for causing the party to lose favour in the people's eyes, claiming that Koirala had left "no stone unturned to convert the party into a gang and pushing the country into the next general elections without any reason." He also accused Bhattarai of encouraging Koirala's every misdeed and making the party "lifeless".

March 7 NC meeting approves disciplinary decision Excerpts from Xinhua report

   the general council (Mahasamiti) meeting of the nepali congress
(nc), has approved the disciplinary action against over 700 party workers for joining rebel activities, according to nc spokesman taranath ranabhat. the disciplinary action was decided by nc central working committee (cwc) before the convening of the general council meeting which started on march 5 in pokhara.

   the second day closed-meeting of the general council also approved an economic proposal, reiterating nc's continued commitment to social democratic economic program. presenting the economic resolution for discussion earlier, convener of the party's policy subcommittee d. r. shastri said that the objective of the nepali congress was to achieve a balanced economic development and social justice while striking a balance between the social democratic welfare policy and market economy. after the economic proposal was approved by the meeting, a 7-member sub-committee was formed to improve the programs in view of the recommendation for a detailed economic program to be presented in the next party general council meeting for further discussion.

Two killed in Bus Accident in Lamjung Excerpts from UPI report

   Two people were killed and 18 others were injured Sunday when a bus veered from a highway as the driver swerved to try to miss some cows on the road. The bus plunged more than 100 feet (30 m) down an embankment before becoming entangled in a tree, police in Lamjung, about 124 miles (200 km) west of the Nepali capital, said.

    One passenger said the tree prevented the bus from plummeting more than 1,640 feet (500 m) into a river below. Both of the people killed in the accident were identified as karate enthusiasts who were on their way to a tournament in west Nepal. One was pronounced dead at the scene, and another died at Lamgunj hospital. Police identified two of the injured as Australians Simon Hall and Adrian Cane. They were treated at the Lamjung hospital before being flown by helicopter to Katmandu for additional treatment.

   Although police said the accident happened after the driver swerved to avoid hitting the cows, passenger Dawa Gurung claimed the bus was overloaded and that the road was in bad condition. The driver was able to avoid hitting the cows, police said.

March 8 Congress ends meeting, pledging to pull down government Excerpts from Reuters and Xinhua reports

    Nepal's main opposition party, the Nepali Congress (NC), concluded its three-day general committee meeting pledging to pull down the communist government before it presents the country's next budget in July, a party source said Wednesday.

   The closed-door meeting, which concluded Tuesday night at Pokhara drew 4,000 rank and file activists and top brass of the party.

   They said they would not support the communist government during the 1995/96 budget session in parliament, which will open in June.

   Since the government is in a minority position, without the support of the NC or the rightist National Democratic party, the government would not be in a position to pass the budget and will be forced to resign.

   Speaking a mass meeting Wednesday at the conclusion of the meeting, party leaders claimed that the general council meeting had achieved party unity by resolving disputes within the party on the economic policy.

   nc president krishna prasad bhattarai stated "the fear of a split in the nepali congress party is now completely over". bhattarai attributed the disputes within the party to difference of opinions on the economic policy and assured that the problem was resolved with the adoption of the economic resolution.

   Former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala said that ""nc is now united in every respect --in ideology, in spirit and in programs --and therefore there should be no room for any doubt about unity among the leaders of nepali congress". Earlier, participants in the meeting criticized Bhattarai and Koirala as responsible for the dissension and called for a handing over of party leadership to younger politicians.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

PM urges no early Elections

Excerpts from UPI report

   As Nepal's minority communist government completes 100 days in office Thursday, Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari is asking the opposition to refrain from toppling the government and forcing early elections.

   ''You cannot have three elections within a span of a few years,'' Adhikari told the daily newspaper The Rising Nepal on Wednesday.
''They (the Nepali Congress party) already created a national accident last time. They cannot do it repeatedly. Otherwise, elections will be a farce,'' he said. ''The elections in November were a great disaster,'' Adhikari said. Elections are normally held once every five years, and although the government earmarked $4 million for the vote, the actual cost was $12 million.

  ''I am extremely sad,'' Adhikari said, referring to Nepal's economic progress. ''In these 100 days the government has not been able to control spiraling inflation,'' he conceded. However, Adhikari cited some good news. ''On the foreign policy front, rumors that the international community would not provide aid and assistance to the
(communist-led) government have now fizzled out,'' he said.

   The communist government is considering plans for the government to finance election expenses of national parties. ''We will try to make the poll exercise a a model in the South Asian region, with the state bearing the poll expenses of recognized political parties,'' he said.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

PM heads for Denmark

Excerpts from UPI report

   Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari left Wednesday for Copenhagen as the head of a high-level Nepali delegation to participate in the U.N.-sponsored summit on social development.

   The trip is Adhikari's first foreign outing since a communist government was installed following elections in November. He plans in April to pay official visits to India and China, foreign ministry officials said.

   ''We will press for the world community to take the issue of landlocked and least developed countries as the issue of the world community itself,'' Adkhiri said prior to departure of his plans for the Denmark summit.

********************************************************************** From: ponta@sas.upenn.edu (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Re: Amulya's Comments To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu (tnd) Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 11:31:57 -0500 (EST)

RE: Amulya Tuladhar has asked me to clarify some of the points I made in my review of Social History of Nepal by Tulasi Ram Vaidya, Tri Ratna Manandhar and Shankar Lal Joshi (1993) reposted in a recent TND

The 1854 ain: I had written "The completeness of varna and caste classifications, as much as that of the 'national caste hierarchy' designed in the 1854 code is always an ideological assertion from a position of power." The most important word in that sentence, as far as I am concerned, is 'completeness'. Thus far, those who have written about the Ain have not provided a contrapuntal reading of the document that would answer, among other questions, the following: who were involved in its making and what were the internal debates, what of the ain is a textualization of already existing practices and what are newly fashioned ones, how much was the state interested in implementing its contents and how able was it to do so, were legal battles fought on the basis of this ain? While documentary evidence of the revised ain's importance in real legal sense exists for the Chandra Shumshere years (a full half-century after its original promulgation), not much has been said for the entire second half of the 19th c because the necessary sources have not been found (my sense is that very little exists). Realizing the limitations of the Rana state (from the works of M C Regmi and others), I am inclined to read the 1854 Ain simply as "statecraft fiction" (similar to Gorkhapatra editorials of the Panchayat era) for the moment.

More than its falsity, I am inclined to think of 'ideology' as a certain
'disposition' or opinion, always open to challenge. I therefore think of the classification found in the Ain as a mid-19th c. opinion of the ruling coterie about how it thought of the Nepali polity and people. How hegemonic (and therefore 'internalized' from the point of view of people classified variously) the Ain was is precisely what we do not know.

Amulya writes that my "plea of micro-analysis can quickly degenerate into not seeing the forests for the trees, to use an old cliche. It is a criticism in anthropological and social theory where postmodern valorization of the local, the different, the individual heroism is criticised as neo-conservative political agenda to hide and nurture the more powerful, macrolevels of exploitation: capitalism in global scales and Hinduism in Nepali scales." Exploitation has a culture that can not be simply understood by making references to textualized Hinduism or capitalism as a theoretical phenomenon. I do not believe that one can arrive at an understanding of the "macrolevels of exploitation" in Nepali society without many local, variegated studies of micro-levels of exploitation. If Amulya thinks that in saying this I am not seeing the forests for the trees, I guess we will have to simply agree to disagree.

********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 10 Mar 1995 10:22:18 +1300 From: BARNA THAPA <THAPA@kahu.lincoln.ac.nz> Subject: Re:The Nepal Digest March 8, 1995 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 1995.

Dear Sir Namascar,

Thank you for forwarding the nepal digest . I am enjoing it as many other users of nwpal digest do.

I appriciate your effort of successful publication of nepal digest.

Thank you

Sincerely yours B. B. Thapa University of Lincoln (NZ)

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 10 Mar 1995 09:14:00 EST To: A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu From: DGURUNG@CLEMSON.EDU Subject: NEIGHBOR WATCH (TIBET):(CONTAINS 260 LINES)

The monk they couldnUt break (CROSS POSTED FROM WTN)
--------------------------------------------------------------------- The Guardian - London Thursday March 9 1995

Palden Gyatso was incarcerated for 31 years by the Chinese who had seized his homeland of Tibet. He finally escaped - with appalling souvenirs and a message for the West Henry Porter reports

THE SMALLEST avail-able electric baton is about the size of a col- lapsible umbrella. Like an umbrella, it has a button on the handle

where the thumb rests. At a touch of this, a 70,000-volt shock is released through two prongs at the nozzle of the baton, fashioned so that it can be inserted into a person's body.

On October 19, 1990, a Tibetan monk named Palden Gyatso was taken from his cell and shown various types of baton and other instruments of torture. Palden, 59, had been in prison and labour camps for the previous 31 years and he knew by the guards' manner that something was up. They were unusually curt and cursing him.
"Now you're going to have your independence," they said. They were working themselves into the sort of hysteria that enables one human being to torture another. He feared that he was due for what he called a "programmed torture, a scheduled torture

One guard started prodding him with a baton, giving him electric shocks all over his body. It was forced between his clenched teeth, breaking off four of them, then plunged into his throat and the maximum shock applied.

Palden does not know how long he lay unconscious but when he came to he was covered in vomit and urine. Most of his teeth were missing. "Now you've got your independence," they said. The rest of his teeth fell out later.

This episode, the final episode of three decades of terrible brutality, did not crack him. It hardened his resolve to flee to the West and show what the Chinese were doing to his people. That is what kept him going in the days after biting on 70,000 volts, and it is why he began to buy the instruments the Chinese had used against him and smuggle them to the West.

Palden Gyatso is a small man - he cannot weigh more than seven or eight stone and slightly stooped. One of his arms is permanently damaged from torture and his head seems slightly too big for his frame, which gives you an idea of his size before imprisonment. He is almost swamped by his Buddhist robes. His expression defies description, but let us just say that 30 years with Chinese camp guards does something to a person's gaze.

Most of us would be reduced to compliance within a few minutes. This small monk, armed only with the disciplines of his religion and a passion for his country, kept going through the bouts of interrogation, starvation, torture and back-breaking regime of the labour camps. Any normal person would have despaired. Many prisoners did. But Palden is made of some different material and he was determined to see it through so that one day he would break out to the West with his story.

As a young man he showed obvious qualities of leadership and during the 1959 nationalist uprising in Lhasa he led a 100-strong force of freedom fighters. He explained to me that, although a monk, he came from a military tradition and that since the Chi- nese invasion his head had been filled with struggle against the communists. "I come from a big family and during the Chinese invasion in 1949 my family had to provide eight soldiers. The stories brought back from the front of the atrocities by the Chinese is what gave me the fire."

He was arrested in 1959, interrogated for four months and committed to prison, where he would stay until 1975. He was then released under China's constitution which specified that a person cannot be held in prison indefinitely. However, he was immediately interned for a further nine years in a labour camp, which presumably did not count as prison but which in many respects was worse.

Each of the prisoners, many of them monks, got a tiny wage from which they had to buy food and essentials. He was starving most of the time and cannot remember much except his obsession with food.
"I used to gnaw the leather of my shoes. If we found bones we used to break them and suck on them. Dog bones, human bones, any bones." When he said this he turned to look out of the window of the house in Shooters Hill where he is staying while in London. His eyes watered and he sucked on his gums.

His days were spent breaking stones or pulling a plough share a team of four emaciated prisoners per plough. "If we do not work well they whip us and sometimes the flesh is torn and that is a very painful experience."

Suddenly Palden collapsed in his chair, as if he had fallen asleep. He put one hand beneath his face and pushed up. This was the way people dragged themselves from bed each morning. They did not have the strength to raise their heads without the help of their hands. Some died during the night. Others fell down while in harness. Many committed suicide. Why didn't he? "Buddhism and the Dalai Lama teach that your suffering is very little compared to the suffering of others and that the result of your suffering may even benefit other people. Buddhism also teaches that giving up your life is one of the lowest things. So I keep my hopes up."

In the late seventies he was transferred to a carpet factory, where he plotted an astonishingly bold gesture. When he was released, he and a monk friend drew up an enormous poster that inveighed against the Chinese and demanded their withdrawal from Tibet. They signed it and hung it outside the Medical Institute in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. At first the Chinese did nothing except have Palden followed. He often gave his pursuers the slip to post his pamphlets at night. But eventually he was arrested and sentenced to eight years for "counterrevolutionary activities".

HE BECAME obsessed that no one would know what had happened and, even if he did escape, no one would believe him. After all, only last week, during trade negotiations with the US, an official Chinese communiqu insisted that the country had 'no prisoners of conscience jailed for non-violent activities". The statement also denied that China was responsible for beating to death a Tibetan nun and removing organs for transplant from executed prisoners.

It is the evidence Palden cares about. This is why he takes so much care with the instruments of torture he smuggled from his homeland -the thumb links, for instance, which were used to manacle his hands together behind his back, one arm crooked over his shoulder, the other pushed up in a half-nelson. It is why he showed me the scars on his wrists made by the sharp-edged handcuffs. This man who was trained for a life of prayer now sees his only purpose as a witness of Chinese barbarity.

After his torture by electric baton in 1990, the authorities must have assumed they had finally cracked Palden Gyatso. With no teeth and his face sunken and aged well beyond his years, he doubtless appeared broken. But look closely and you see a strong body, sinewy and resilient. He still has fight in him.

As his release approached in 1992 he accumulated funds to bribe the Chinese guards for their electric batons and thumb links. He hoarded them in a little sack with the manacles and the jagged blades of the police knives which are designed to inflict maximum damage as they are withdrawn. Everything j~ wrapped and folded neatly, handcuffs in their case, thumb links coiled. These dreadful implements are guarded as if they were religious relics.

He planned his escape carefully, knowing that all the frontier guards had his picture. He travelled by truck to the Nepal border, where he arranged for someone else to smuggle the bag of batons across for him, while guides showed him through a pass in the Himalayas, down through the thick forest of Nepal. On the arduous journey to India, he was ever wary of being thrown back to the Chinese.

And with good reason. In 1962 he escaped from prison and made a similar journey, but was caught and taken back to Panamsheng prison. There the guards tied his hands behind his back, looped a rope between his hands, hauled him into the air and beat hiri. Once they lit a fire beneath him.

Thirty years later Palden disguised himself as a beggar, smeared his clothes with food and pretended to be a simpleton. He will not talk about the exact route he took over the mountains, nor give any details about the smuggling of the bag of implements. He will just say that everyone hates the Chinese and that it was not hard to find help.

For the past two years he has been at Dharamsala in India helping new arrivals at the Tibetan community centre. He is still woken by nightmares of the torturers and it takes him a couple of minutes to think: "This is a dream. I am in India. I have escaped. I am happy." But then, he says. "I do not think just of me. I am free but those people who are in Tibet are still suffering." Still he is overjoyed that he can practise his religion without the Chinese guards looking at his neck muscles to see if he is murmuring Buddhist chants under his breath. He can stay up all night to pray and nobody will report him or club him.

He has waited a long time for this time in Europe to speak about what the Chinese have done to him and his country, and it is understandable that he occasionally breaks down, as he did at a press conference at Westminster last week. But one is struck by his fortitude: "As far as the prison staff, the guards and the torturers are concerned, I do not hate them. I have no grudges. It is the Chinese government who have implemented these things that cannot be forgiven. Ceaselessly I will speak about these things until I die."

The. interview ends; but Palden Gyatso has something to add:
"Your government have made an agreement to give Hong Kong back to the Chinese in 1997. They announced this to us in prison. Your government must beware of the Chinese; so should the people in Hong Kong."

On Saturday morning. Palden Gyatso will lead a demonstration outside the Chinese embassy. in Portland Place, London, to mark the 46th anniversary of the Chinese occupation of Tibet

TIBETUS YEARS OF SUFFERING

OCTOBER 1950 Mao's troops march into Tibet.

MAY '51 Tibet surrenders control of army and foreign affairs to China.

July '58 Revolt against Chinese, guided from India by Tibetan exiles.

MAR '59 Unsuccessful armed uprising. Dalai Lama flees to sanctuary in India following brutal repression of nationalists by Chinese troops.

SEPT '65 Tibet becomes an "Autonomous Region" of China.

MAR '88 Chinese impose curfew in Lhasa following weekend of riots.

APR '88 Dalai Lama, on London state visit. forbidden to talk to press.

JUNE '88 Dalai Lama reveals plan for self-rule, in which China would retain control of foreign and defence policy.

MAR '89 Bloody riots as Tibetans mark 30th anniversary of first

rebellion against Chinese.

Oct U89 Dalai Lama awarded Nobel peace prize.

Apr U90 Chinese unexpectedly lift martial law in Lhasa.

NOV '90 Foreign delegation allowed unprecedented visit to jailed Tibetan protesters. Conditions described as dismal.

Jan T91 Reported death from torture of nationalist in Tibetan jail.

MAR '91 Chinese begin demolition of Lhasa's ancient centre.

MAR T91 Dalai Lama, in London, urges Britain to stand up to China.

APR '91 Chinese angered by George Bush's meeting with Dalai Lama.

MAY '93 Dalai Lama says independence is not really realistic goal for Tibetans. who should seek autonomous status, similar to Hong Kong.

MAY '93 Chinese face most serious unrest in Tibet since 1989.

FEB '94 Tibetan nuns cross Himalayas to testify to Chinese torture.

NOV '94 Chinese ban building of new monasteries or temples.

DEC '94 EU criticised for offering development aid to China for use in Eastern Tibet.

Research; Librnry/intormatlan unit

*************************************************************** Date: Wed, 08 Mar 1995 18:37:46 EST To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu (Rajpal J Singh) From: RAKSHA DEVI MALAKAR <raksha@ent.umass.edu> Subject: Re: Thanks for emails

Hello,

I certainly enjoyed reading some articles like PTN (part time nepali) in your TND. I do not agree with some of the points raised by the author, however, it is a good satire. Hope you will be publishing/emailing such issues in your future issues of TND.

I will response next time.

Raksha

********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 10 Mar 1995 08:56:34 -0600 (CST) Forwarded By: Padam Sharma <sharma@plains.NoDak.edu> Subject: South Asian Bone Marrow Donors Needed. (fwd) To: Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu> From: Joydeep Mitra <mitra@aecom.yu.edu>

 V. R., a 22-year-old Indian woman, graduated in May from Carnegie-Mellon University. A week before she was to start her job at J.P. Morgan, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her Interferon treatment allowed her to start work and live with the same hopes and dreams we all have about our futures.

 Unfortunately, those dreams are on the verge of being shattered. Her treatment has failed in recent weeks and the cancer is starting to spread rapidly. She has a 1 in 20,000 chance for survival. Those are the odds of finding someone whose bone marrow matches hers. To make matters even worse, that match is most likely to be found only in South Asians (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka), since our genes are closely related.

Her family and friends are desperately seeking people who are willing to be tested for compatibility. If you are between 18-55 years old and healthy, please consider helping.

How will this inconvenience you?

* You will not have to pay for anything! Her insurance company will pay for all your care.
* You will have to give a blood test to match for compatibility.
* If you are compatible, a doctor will remove 3 to 5 % of your bone marrow from your pelvic bone.
* Since the marrow is collected under anesthesia, the procedure is painless.
* Some soreness is felt in the lower back for a few days.
* The procedure is done on a Friday, giving you the weekend to recover.
* You will miss only 1 day of work.

Time is running out. Please consider being tested.

Please contact ASAP: Sandeep Junnarkar 718-397-9419 E-mail: sandeepjun@aol.com Please pass this message on to as many people as you can.

******************************************************** Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 22:32:55 +0700 To: Nepal Digest <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> From: Suman Kumar Manandhar <a94314@cs.ait.ac.th> Subject: Looking for Bijay Shrestha.

This is a plea for help. One of my good friends at Nepal Telecom has gone to USA for further studies. His name is Bijay Shreshtha and he was trying to contact me by emailing to some people at AIT Bangkok because he didnot know my email address. But his address bshrestha@frodo.okeu.edu always bounces my emails back to me. Could someone help to make us come into contact once again? Appreciate your help.

BTW, I have a home page at http://www.cs.ait.ac.th/~a94314/

Thanks. Suman Kumar Manandhar

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jan 11 2000 - 11:15:39 CST