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The Nepal Digest Thursday 21 March 96: Chaitra 8 2052 BS: Year5 Volume48 Issu3e
1. Message from the editor
Environment: Re: Mahakali Treaty
Social: Bhutanese demonstrations-update 19 March 1996
Nepali word processor
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***************************************************************** From: TND Foundations <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: The Nepal Digest <email@example.com> Subject: TND Foundation Contribution Fund
Dear TND members:
TND Foundations is accepting your generous contribution in an effort to
find a permanant home for The Nepal Digest (TND).
We are still short of required amount to pay for 1996 on-line
services for TND Foundation.
You are encouraged to send your contribution payabale to:
c/o Rajpal J. Singh
44 Greenridge Ave
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Following members have been kind with their generous contributions:
Biswamber Shrestha Rockville, MD
Malla Treks (Sushil U. Stan A.) Kathmandu, Nepal
Mahesh K. Maskey Arlington, MA
Rajpal J. Singh White Plains, NY
Padam P. Sharma Bismarck,ND
Lynn B. Reid Jamaica Plain, MA
John Mage New York, NY
Shyam Lama Arlington, VA
Raju Tuladhar Alberta, Canada
Robin Rajbhandari Nashville, TN
Katharine N. Rankin Ithaca, NY
Bhanu B. Niraula Flushing, NY
Amulya R. Tuladhar Worcester, MA
Rajesh B. Shrestha Worcester, MA
Abi Sharma British Columbia, Canada
Nirmal K. Bhattarai St. Paul, MN
Suresh R. Sharma Rome, Italy
Mary Deschene Baltimore, MD
Tatsuro Fujikura Chicago, IL
Pawan/Nilima Agrawal Rancho Cordova, CA
Pratyoush Onta Kathmandu, Nepal
Anita Regmi Wheaton, MD
Gregory G. Maskarinec Honolulu, Hawaii
Robert Peirce Portland, OR
Mahesh Gurung Chicago, IL
Nirmal Ghimire Millersville, PA
Raja Ram K.C. Somerville, MA
Hari Koirala Mansfield Center, CT
Sanjay Shrestha Chicago, IL
Bal Krishna Sharma East Lansing, MI
Subas Sakya Pumona, NY
Marian E. Greenspan Beltsville, MD
Sanjay B. Shah Blacksburg, VA
Paul Johnson Santa Cruz, CA
Bhaskar R. Dawadi Tallahassee, FL
Damber K. Gurung Clemson, SC
Sagar Shakya Boulder, CO
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Raksha D. Malakar Amherst, MA
TND offeres heartful thanks to all the generous contributors. If you
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From: Bhikkhv Seevali <BS4@soas.ac.uk>
To: The Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>, NEPAL@cs.niu.edu
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 18:16:20 GMT
Subject: volentary doctor
Dear Sir and Netters,
One of our devoty is willing to do volentary work in Nepal for about
six months. She has been asking to find a place where she could work
for people in need. She is willing to work in most rural aria where
help is more needed. She is a practising GP in UK. It is her wish to
help people from childhood. Her husband is also a doctore and may
accompany her. I will be thankful if any one could help.
with best wishes,
On behalf of Nepalese Buddhist Organization in UK.
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 18:42:46 -0500 (EST)
From: mahesh maskey <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Mahakali Treaty
To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>
DEEPAK GYAWALI, RAMESHWAR AMATYA AND BALKRISHNA NEUPANE ON
[ While Nepalese coalition government and main opposition UML hail
Mahakali Treaty as an achievement of historical importance for Nepal,
bitterness of another hydropower sell out is equally palpable. Following
are the voices of some intellectuals, distinguished in their own field of
expertise, that can not be easily ignored. If the facts and perspectives
they so resoundly state is true, then sensing the bruised dignity of a
chronically mal-handled nation, I think it can be safely stated that
people of Nepal will question and ultimately dismiss this phony "national
consensus" that led to treaty, if need be from the street, if not through
the Parliament and the Supreme Court.
The "Bigness" of much talked about (and perhaps a little misunderstood)
Arun III for generating 201 mega watt of electricity pales into
insignificance when compared to Pancheswar - a project for harnessing
6480 megawatt from Mahakali. As a co-partner in equal investment, how is
Nepal going to get billions of rupees for this megaproject in one year?
And even if somehow the money is obtained , is it worthwhile to invest
all of it at the cost of other small projects?. What about environmental
consequences of building such a giant dam? But even deeper are the issues
of Tanakpur , the land of Sharada-Banawasa, and the question of
sovereignty. Why is the principle of equal right, investment and benefit
valid in Pancheswar and not in Tanakpur - on the same boundery river Mahakali?
The fact that these intellectuals have so strongly reacted to the
Mahakali Treaty should make us ponder over the seriousness of the issue.
The cry for a viable longterm national policy in hydropower development
in Nepal is loud and clear.
I felt that these voices should be heard not only in Nepal but across the globe , especially to the conscious people of India. This translation is also an effort to stimulate discussion and invite counter-arguments or comments that may further clarify the issue. (I was surprised to see very little comment on this issue in the internet). Deepak Gyawali is a hydropower engineer and economist, writer of many thought provoking articles on this subject. Engineer Rameshwar Amatya is the former chief of Mahakali Irrigation Project, fired from his post by the then panchayat government when he dared to report and criticize the unilateral construction of Tanakpur Barrage by India. Balkrishna Neupane came into prominence when he took the Tanakpur case against the then PM G. P. Koirala to Supreme Court almost single handedly and won. Any mistake in translation is mine. For full text readers are requested to read
"Mulyankan" monthly (feb-march issue) and "Jan Ekata" weekly (Feb 11 and Feb 19).
- mahesh maskey
THIS TREATY IS A GREAT DEFEAT
Mulyankan: How do you feel about the recent Nepal-India treaty?
Deepak Gyawali: I prefer to call it "KANYADAN" ('daughter handover' -m) of
Mahakali river. Kanyadan , by itself is not a bad thing. The main question
is how good is son-in-law. Will it ruin the life of Mahakali- the eldest
among 6000 daughters? Would she be abused and maltreated by the son-in-law?
May be he will only harras her to destruction by arguing over the dowry.
All these questions are unanswered. For us who believe in the concept of
alternative development that is based on self-reliance and emanates from
the lower depths of villages, this treaty is a great defeat.
DG: Because this treaty adopts the model of "Koseli Bikas" ('gift
development'-m). The model of self reliance plans and implements progress
based on its own capacity, builds that capacity during the
implementation of the program and step by step takes bigger
responsibilities in accordance with the developments of its capabilities.
But in Mahakali River this is not going to happen. Here development is
being acheived by seeking gift from outside. "Koseli Bikas " is like
development on other's effort, like asking a gift of sweater from foreign
returned Lahure (mercenary soldiers-m). Huge and easy profit! The treaty
follow the model that day dreams of a grand development by pinning hope on
We opposed Arun III. While opposing Arun III we had not opposed the Arun
Project - we had opposed the concept of "Koseli Bikas". First let us
construct Khimti, Kali Gandaki, Madi, Puwa on our own capacity. As we
develop our capacity we can build Arun and even bigger project than
that. This was our stand at that time. Now they have slammed before us
Mahakali Project many many times bigger than Arun III- that also in the
model of gift development. This is like a big slap on our face. This is
akin to loosing a battle in the battlefield. This has become a great
challenge to those who uphold the concept of alternative development.
M: How and where is this treaty damaging from the perspective of longterm
development of the country?
DG: In my opinion, first Tanakpur had to be settled. After ensuring 20
million unit of electricity, 150 cu. sec of water, sovereignty of land
remaining with Nepal, read facility etc. this "extensive, serious and
longterm" issue should have been resolved by ordinary majority of the
Parliament. After that we could have bargained for Pancheswar.
Immediately after Rao's visit, Pancheswar was separated from Tanakpur.
This was possible due to fierce struggle both within and outside the
government. It was in Nepals' great benefit to separate Pancheswar and
But now Pancheswar and Tanakpur has been integrated. From this, it has
been very easy for India to take advantage from Pancheswar at the cost
of Tanakpur. Nepal's position has become less advantageous. You may ask
how. Here it is how.
11 billions units of electricity is generated from pancheswar. We get the
half i.e. 5.5 billion unit. We do not have capacity to consume this
enormous amount of electricity. Therefore, India will take these in a
very cheap rate. Now tell me, how great this achievement of addition of 50
million unit of electricity from Tanakpur when India has bagged 11 billion
unit from Pancheswar? If somebody sells 10 packets of sweets of a shopkeeper
he also gets 5% commissions. is not it?
We tied our hands badly when Pancheswar was integrated with Tanakpur. Our
position became weaker. We lost hour bargaining power. We were euphoric
to get 50 million units more of electricity from below while were unware of
5.5 billion units being slipped out of hand in negligible price from above.
In economics there is a law- if there is only one producer he can set the
price at his will. This is called Monopoly. If there is only one producer
of sugar and we can't do without it then he may fix any price. There is
another law in economics - if there is only one customer then he can also
set the price declaring that he can buy the good only in a certain price.
This is called Monopsony. Single producer and single customer are
In Pancheswar there will be only one customar - India. In such situation
how is it guarantied that you can sell electricity in the price set by
yourselves. You'll loose in that. You may build Pancheswar by taking loan
of Billions of rupees and sell electricity in the price dictated by
India. Is this not a business that is destined to go in loss?
Therefore, while reciting the principle of the equal right and equal
involvement a nd equal benefit in Pancheswar, this treaty has tied the
hands of Nepal. Nepal is obviously in dis- advantaged position. Nepal's
interest lied in separating Tanakpur from Pancheswar. First it should have
been clarified as to which kind of project is entitled to be called as "
extensive, serious and longterm" and only after settling the issue of
Tanakpur it would have been advantageous for Nepal to tackle the
M: What implication this treaty may have on other areas?
DG: Now we are going to pour all our money in Mahakali. If that is the
case then how will we have money for investing in other projects?. Can
we say to Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Morang, Sunsari, Jhapa to maintain
patience for 12-13 yrs until Pancheswar come? Can we say electricity and
irrigation will be confined to Kailali and Kanchanpur for 10-15 yrs and
you please don't expect anything? But Nepal is going in that very direction.
This has also made the donor countries alarmed! Those who wanted to
invest in Kali Gandaki are also disturbed. If they only spend 6 months to
understand the implication, then also million of units of electricity
will go i n loss.
Once involved in this project, it would not be possible to start
5/10/15/30 megawatt small hydro electric projects in districts. It would
not be possible to develop electricity through the path of self reliance and
dependence upon one's own strength. May be Kali Gandaki will come- if
not, until Pancheswar is completed, no other medium or large project like
Kali Gandaki an Arun would be possible here. If this is so then for the
period before completion of Pancheswaar we may have to go towards thermal
plant to meet the need of electricity.
Since "extensive serious and longterm" has not been properly defined, now
Nepal will have to get involved in big projects such as Koshi or Karnali
according to the dictates of India. If all small and big hydroelectric project
related treaties are to be passed by the 2/3rd members of parliament
then why go for small? Why not the big projects? This attitude will dominate.
In this way to go for Mahakali Project means to go towards the total
integration of our own electricity generation process to that of indian
system. This may have serious implication. Without a good homework,
without thinking how serious its implication could be, this project came
into existence out of adhoc decision.
M: But it is being said that this project is decided only after the national
consensus was reached.
DG: This time we had the longest parliamentary session in the history of
Nepal. If this project was seriously discussed and then a national
consensus reached, I would have been really proud of this. But there was no
discussion about Pancheswar and Tanakpur in such lengthy session. In the
wake of Pranav Mukharjee's visit in Nepal, how was this national consensus
achieved so quickly in such a serious issue? Was this achieved, like
those lazy lads who copy their friend's homework in hurry for the fear of
Head sir of the school, under the pressure of the visit of Head sir
This national consensus was not signed by the official representatives of
the party. Only individuals have signed in their individual capacity
which , tomorrow, parties may easily deny responsibility by saying that
they were not party's official representatives. Why such a serious issue
was dealt so lightly? Is this national consensus also the result of
pulling ear by somebody, as was done by Jawaharlal Nehru during the time of
"Delhi Understanding" ?
WE HAVE BEEN CHEATED IN THIS TREATY
- Rameshwar Amatya
Jan Ekata: Recently a treaty has been signed between Nepal and India for
integrated development of Mahakali River. From a technician's point of view
how have you appraised this treaty?
Rameshwar Amatya: This treaty is not in the interest of Nepal. Against
the norms of international laws India has signed this treaty in line
with her own interest. Our leaders are saying that they have reclaimed
our right from India. But is this our only right in Tanakpur? The source
of Tanakpur Barrage is Mahakali River. When Mahakali river is accepted as
common river, we should have an equal right and benefit from that. But
from Tanakpur Barrage in return of our 577 meter land we have received
some electricity and water. Where is our 50/50 right in Tanakpur?
Therefore in this treaty we are cheated.
When we assert our right then we may give that water and electricity back
to India - this is a separate matter. We may have exchanges and we should
do that too. But when we give our electricity and water to India what
should we take in return that also has to be explicitly stated in the
treaty. Therefore we should get our 50% right from Tanakpur Barrage too.
In this we have been cheated because of hegemonial policy of India and
the impotency of Nepalese rulers. India should have been brought to realize
the fact that it had constructed the Dam without our consent.
JE: Mahakali river flows inside Indian territory for a distance of 11
kilometer. Since Tanakpur lies in that territory it is been said that we
do not have any right on the river there.
RA: This is a white lie. From technical view point also this has been
proved wrong. If we look at the 1920/21 map ( Index map sheet no 62 c/4
second edition, scale 1:50000) prepared during British period, the status
of Mahakali river becomes clear. Its one stream has flown toward India
and another towards Nepal. Tanakpur Barrage is constructed over one
stream. And the stream towards Nepal had been channeled towards Tanakpur
Barrage by constructing the Left Afflux bond partially on Nepalese land.
Then how can it be said that this Barrage belongs to India only.
Morever, Tanakpur lies in the territory of 4000acre land given by Nepal
to British India during construction of Sharada Barrage in 1920. Nepal
has not received anything in the return till now. This also is a reason
to assert our right on Tanakpur. Even if we accept that piece of land as
the part of India, even then we have an equal right on the river
according to international norms of boundery river.
JE: What about the argument that we can not claim equal right on Tanakpur
since India has a total investment in the project unilaterally?
RA: First, our protest is precisely because India has started this project
unilaterally. According to the norms of international laws border
countries should agree to work on a border river. Only then a project
should be undertaken.
But India had started working on Tanakpur by breaking the norms of
International law. This is India's domination on us. When I was chief of
Mahakali Irrigation Project I had sent a report to the e government in
1981 " Tanakpur Barrage Hydel Project: a comment" reporting that India
has started working construction work against the international norms
and that this action is unjust. But government could do nothing. Instead,
I was thrown out of service by the Panchayat government. After the
establishment of Multiparty system, the government by signing a treaty
endorsed Indian claim on Tanakpur. This is all because of the India-
worshiping of henchmen of India. Nepal should share the 50%
investment in Tanakpur Barrage and should also get 50% of its outcome.
If this problem is not solved bilaterally then we may have to seek the
help of international mediaters. But we should not give up our right. We
can pay our share of investment by giving the same electricity and water
to India or we can invest money on the project. We could invest millions
on Mahakali Irrigation Project and we can not invest on Tanakpur?
Therefore this is not the issue of investment. Whether we can reclaim our
equal right from India or not this is the issue.
JE: Equal investment and equal benefit is asserted in Pancheswar, is not it?
RA:In Pancheswar the principle is correct but the lines that have been
dictated in the clause 3(4), wont give us any benefit. The price of
electricity will be fixed by the consent of both parties. In that, we
would not be able to exercise our right independently. By showing benefit in
Pancheswar we have been cheated in Tanakpur. We will not have any benefit
in Pancheswar also. Tanakpur and Pancheswar should have separate treaties.
Now it seems even the treaty of Sharada Barrage is being lumped together.
The statement that 'if Sharada becomes dysfunctional , water will be
provided from Tanakpur' is an indicator of this. Because of this we have
reached to a situation where we may loose the 4000 acre land given in
1920 during the period of costruction of Sharada Barrage. Sharada Barrage
treaty is a separate issue. If this Barrage becomes defunct, we should get
our land back.
JE: What is your suggestion, what should be done now?
RA: Even though the government has signed, people of our country will
ultimately cancel this treaty. All nationalist should be united. An indian
journalist has written in one place " If injustice , corruption,
exploitation and oppression are asserting themselves in the society, then
people who think in t he right direction must be organized - not only for
society's welfare but also for one's own existence and defense". We also
have to reflect on this line.
IF PARLIAMENT RATIFIES THE TREATY AGAINST CONSTITUTION AND LAW, THEN WE
CAN GO TO THE COURT.
- B. K. Neupane
JE: How do you evaluate this treaty?
BKN: The principle of sharing water and electricity of Mahakali on an equal basis is a welcome event. But why was this principle not applied in Tanakpur? Out of a total of 120 megawatt electricity and 20000 cu. sec water, Nepal gets only 7 megawatt and 300 cu. sec water, hence Nepal has been cheated again. No body has the right to abandon the claim of equal right insured by international law and this treaty. Girija had proved that he sold the country in 1 percent. Now this government and main opposition has again sold this county in 5%. This national consensus is not in the benefit of the country. When Sikkim was incorporated in India, they also had national consensus. Nepal do not need this sham of national consensus, no one has the right to sell the country in the name of national consensus. On what pressure NCP UML had abandoned its earlier stand of equal right, the rank and file will surely dig it out one day. This event has proved that Nepalese leaders are more concerned with the interest of foreign power than that of the nation. It is quite natural to sell the country by the leaders who themselves are already sold.
JE: How would you have wanted this treaty to materialize?
BKN: According to International law both countries in either bank of the
common river have a equal right over the river. This fact is also
acknowledged by the treaty. As was accepted by the treaty Nepal should have
get 50/50 electricity and water in Tanakpur. Regarding Pancheswar, in
addition to the treaty which has been made public people are talking about
the existence of a Letter of Exchange. It has also been said that this
letter of exchange leaves all the right to India. Government should make
this letter public.
JE: This treaty seems to have achieved something as compared to the past.
Who do you want to give credit for that.
BKN: This government has done nothing to commend for. Regarding the
addition of little amount of water and electricity, this had been
possible in the process of implementing the decision of supreme court.
Nepal had to compromise only in one megawatt electricity. Even though the
opposition blockaded the rostrum for eight hours the government did not
show the Tanakpur papers in the parliament. Only by the order of Supreme
Court was this brought to the public. The little that is beneficial in
water and electricity, the credit goes to supreme court and Nepalese
JE: It has been said that Tanakpur Barrage is constructed in India,
investment cost is totally covered by India , and Mahakali river flows
totally inside Indian territory in Tanakpur, hence the principle of
equal right is not applied here. What is your comment on this.
BKN: This argument is not accepted even by this very treaty. This treaty
had accepted Mahakali river as common river in many places. The
production of this common river should go equally to the bordering
countries. A nation can not claim total right over the river just because
it flows inside a particular country in certain places. If this
principle is applied then Nepal is on both sides in places like Dodhara
and Chandani and thus for this reason Nepal has greater right on Mahakali.
JE: You said that in Tanakpur treaty is unequal. What should be done in
your opinion against such unequal treaty?
BKN: Against this an united movement should be launched. This movement
should also go against the leaders and parties who had signed and accepted
the treaty. Our national sovereingntyy is threatened not by the foreigners
but by our own leaders. This treaty is signed in the context of press
release of 10 june 1990. Present treaty exemplifies that unequal treaties
can be changed if nepalese people are united against it. If the
parliament ratifies the treaty against the constitution and law, we can go
to the court. But before this we should pressurize our people's
representatives not to let the treaty endorsed by the parliament.
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 13:35:45 +0000 (GMT)
From: strawn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: MAILBHUTAN <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Subject: Bhutanese demonstrations-update 19 March 1996 (fwd)
This is a long, forwarded update on the Bhutanese refugee situation.
DATE 19 March 1996
REGARDING Bhutanese demonstrations-update 19 March 1996
The following is a review and update of the situation. It includes status
of each group of peace marchers, country informatio from India, Nepal, and
Bhutan, including statements from the Bhutanese king.
Finally, a draft resolution by a human rights group is included, as well as
a sample letter that could be used in lobbying governments.
1.1 1st WAVE OF MARCHERS
The original 150 peace marchers who left Damak on the 14th of January and
were subsequently arrested on the 17th of Jan, were released on the 27th of
Feb from Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Special Jails. The imposition of Indian
Penal Code (IPC) Section 144, under which they had been held, was declared
unlawful. After spending a night in a school in the Pradhan Nagar suberb of
Siliguri, they then established a camp on the banks of the Pancha Nadi
River, again in Siliguri.
1.2 2nd WAVE OF MARCHERS
The 2nd group of 273 peace marchers who had forced entry into India and
subsequent arrest on the 14th of February, were released from Siliguri
Special Jail on the 28th of Feb. Again the imposition of IPC 144 under
which they were being held, was declared unlawful. From the jail, they went
to the camp on the banks of the Pancha Nadi River in Siliguri, where they
joined the original group (see 1.1 above).
1.3 PANCHA NADI CAMP
After the prolonged period spent in jail by both the groups, the marchers
established a camp to rest, rebuild their strength and prepare to continue
their march to Thimpu to petition the King of Bhutan. Some returned to the
refugee camps in Nepal, due to illnesses acquired while in jail. Of the 423
(150+273) released from jail, the number of marchers preparing to resume the march was c400.
1.4 3rd WAVE OF MARCHERS
The 344 peace marchers who forced entry into India and subsequently were
arrested on the 26th of February are currently being held in the West
Bengal Central Jail, Bahrampur, where they have been taken during our
absence. This is c400 km from Siliguri. They have been arrested and
continue to be held under IPC 144, despite the release of the two previous
groups more than two weeks ago.
In contrast with the experience at Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Special Jails,
access to these detainees is available by monitoring groups. Mr Gobin
Adhikari, of Beldangi 2 Refugee camp, visited West Bengal Central jail
between the 3rd and 12th of March, and reported there were approx 20 who
had fallen ill with a range of complaints including fever, diarrhoea, blood
dysentry and backache. One of the female prisoners has been hospitalised
outside the jail and food is reported to be insufficient.
The court hearing of the 344 peace marchers was scheduled to take place at
the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Court on the 11th of March. This was
adjourned until the 18th of the same since there were insufficient escorts
to accompany the marchers from Bahrampur jail to Siliguri court. This was
reported in the Rising Nepal (RN) 13-3-96.
1.5 4th WAVE OF MARCHERS
On the 12th of March, 183 Bhutanese refugess were arrested at the Mechi
Bridge on the Indo-Nepal border. Despite the two court rulings two weeks
previously, declaring the imposition of IPC144 to be unlawful, the bridge
had remained barricaded by the Indian police. When the marchers approached
the border, they were stopped by the Executive Magistrate, Mr A.
Bhattacharya. Mr Bhattacharya informed that although IPC144 was not in
force, the marchers would be arrested
under IPC Section 151, since it was judged that the peace marchers'
movement would disturb the peace in the area. The marchers were taken to
Siliguri court, although they were not charged, and are currently being
held in Siliguri Special Jail under IPC151. Reported by RN and KTM Post
The current understanding of IPC Section 151 is that one may only be held
for 24 hrs without formal charges being brought. That said, three days had
passed yesterday after which they were still being held. No charges had
been brought or dates for a hearing set.
1.6 PANCHA NADI CAMP - MARCH RESUMED
On the 15th of March, a group of 150 peace marchers who had been resting
and recuperating at camp on the banks of the Pancha Nadi river in Siliguri
since their release from jail over 2 weeks previously, left the camp to
resume their Appeal March to Thimpu to petition the Bhutanese King. (ref
1.3 above) Led by Hari Adhikari Bangalay and Kamala Chhetri (both of the
1st group of marchers), the new group of 150 was drawn primarily from the
2nd group of 273 (ref 1.2 above).
It is anticipated that these will have been arrested under IPC151 although
news of this has not been received yet.
1.7 AMCC MEETS PRIME MINISTER OF NEPAL
The Rising Nepal (6-3-96), the government newspaper, reports that an AMCC
delegation, including Ratan Gazmere, met with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur
Deuba. The PM was briefed on the programme of the AMCC and the current
situation in relation to the Appeal March to Bhutan.
1.8 FEAR OF VIOLENCE IN BHUTAN
On the 29th of Feb, immediately following the release of the 2nd wave of
marchers (ref 1.2 above), CVICT, an NGO working with victims of torture,
expressed their concern regarding violence in Bhutan, should the marchers
attempt to return. KTM Post 1-3-96.
Independent reports from people who have recently returned from Bhutan
speak of Bhutanese people being armed with bamboo poles. Behind are the
police and behind them are the army who are armed. We too share the concern
that a blood bath awaits if the refugees should enter Bhutan and strongly
urge the participation of independant Human Rights groups to monitor the
2. POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT
The Foreign Minister has on several occassions over the last two weeks made
the Nepali position supporting the refugees' right perfectly clear.
In an interview with the KTM Post on the 8th of March, Dr Lohani, the
foreign minister said, "Our position on the refugee issue is very clear.
All the refugees living in the camps in Nepal must be allowed to return to
Bhutan with dignity."
On the involvement of India in trilateral talks, Dr Lohani said "..in a
forceful way, we did ask for Indian assistance in this matter because we
think the refugee issue is not a bilateral issue between Nepal and Bhutan
but a trilateral issue.....But the Indian side's position has been that
Nepal and Bhutan are friendly countries of India, so it does not want to be
At a talk programme organised by Amnesty International on "Refugees and
Human Rights" on the 12th of March, Dr Lohani again spoke on the refugee
issue. The RN 13-6-96 reports Dr Lohani "asserted that all the refugees in
the camps situated in eastern Nepal are Bhutanese." He went further to say
that the Nepal government requested that the Bhutan government to diffuse
the controversies if any, through a process of verification. This was the
stumbling point of the 6th round of ministerial talks last year.
Returning to the issue of Indian involvement, he said "We feel that India
must show official or unofficial participation to resolve the issue as the
problem has assumed a trilateral form."
Meanwhile, here in Nepal the political situation looks increasingly
uncertain. The coalition government has been challenged by the opposition
CPN(UML) party. The UML government was successfully challenged last year
and collapsed by a vote of no confidence. Now in what appears to be a tit
for tat move, the UML have requested
that the King of Nepal convene a special parliamentary session to debate a
vote of no confidence against the current coallition. This political
uncertainty can only serve to weaken the Nepali position in the forthcoming
bilateral talks and distract attention from any other diplomatic efforts.
The KTM Post 8-3-96, reports that King Syngye Wangchuk of Bhutan gave an
interview with the Indian Express on the 7th March '96. In this, the king
declared that "99% of the refugees currently camped in eastern Nepal are
not Bhutanese nationals."
The King of Bhutan was on a four day official tour to India between the 4th
and 7th of March. In addition to three rounds of talks with the Indian
Prime Minister Rao, he also met with the Chief of Army Staff, the
Director-General of the Border Security Force and the Cabinet Secretary.
Given the specific usage of the word anti-national in Bhutan, this has
raised some interesting questions, like "How can I be an anti-national if I
am a non-national?"
In the same article of the KTM Post, the Bhutanese King "praised India for
it's stand in preventing a deterioration of relations between Nepal and
Bhutan over the issue of the Lhotsampas, the southern Bhutanese." Earlier,
he had said "if those 'Nepalese' had crossed into Bhutan we would have
definitely broken off talks with
In the KTM Post 12-3-96, there are reports of discussions having taken
place for an extradition agreement between Bhutan and India. The agreement
"is designed to victimise peace marchers arrested in India while crossing the Mechi bridge," the Independant reports (March 13-19).
This raises some imponderables:
1. Bhutan says the refugees are not Bhutanese and then requests that they
be sent back to them.
2. Talks are to be held on the repatriation of the refugees when one of the
two parties maintains that 99% are not refugees. The talks have reached an
impasse before they have begun.
3. The future of the talks on Human Rights and repatriation seem to depend
on the refugees forgoing their human rights ie the right to peaceful
The KTM Post 11-3-96 reports on a press release made by the Bhutan Peoples
Party (BPP), one of the members of the Bhutanese Coalition for Democratic
Movement (BCDM). In this, the BPP condemns the statement made by King Jigme
on the 7th and regrets India's non-participation and insistance upon the
RN 13-3-96 reports on a press statement by the Peoples Forum for Human
Rights, Bhutan (PFHRB), another member of BCDM. In this they say that King
Jigme's remarks make it clear that "the Bhutanese government is not
enthusiastic about solving the refugee problem."
Refering to the extradition treaty under negotiations between India and
Bhutan, the press statement says that the main objective of the treaty is
to "declare Bhutanese living in exile to be criminals and to hand them over
to the Bhutanese government to supress the democratic movement." Further
it says that "all people opposing the Bhutanese government are declared
traitors and criminals under
Bhutanese law." Here they refer to the Bhutanese security act Tsa Wa Sum.
The National Assembly of Bhutan confirmed and approved death punishment for
offences against Tsa Wa Sum during it's 69th session held between March
This week India finished it's final session of parliament. Now the
politicians have returned to the country to fight the elections to be held
2.4 INDO-BHUTAN RELATIONS
During the King's recent visit to India an extradition agreement between
India and Bhutan was discussed and meetings with various security services
held (ref 2.2 above). India has constantly maintained it's neutrality
verbally but continues to belie this with almost every action it takes. The
sustained arrests of the peace
marchers, insistence of it being a bilateral issue and apparent willingness
to grant the Bhutanese wishes combined with a political closeness at a time
when the Bhutanese King is making such strong statements against the
refugees portrays a political support of the Bhutanese position.
2.5 INDO-NEPAL RELATIONS
India and Nepal appear to have reached stand off positions regarding the
refugees. During the recent visit to India by the Nepali Prime Minister,
diplomatic relations seemed to be very good and a number of significant
trade agreements were made. Not least for the Nepalese was a large
hydroplant. This is surely good for Nepal, but at what cost?
Nepal has time and again stated it's belief that the issue is a trilateral
one, involving India, and that the refugees, all of whom are Bhutanese,
should be allowed to return to Bhutan unimpeded. India in all of this
repeats it's unwillingness to become involved, reaffirms the bilateral
nature of the talks and otherwise keeps silent on the issue.
This is all good political talk but what deals have been done in the
background. In an editorial of the KTM Post on the 2nd March, the question
is raised as to what is "The other side of the water treaty?"
2.6 NEPAL - BHUTAN RELATIONS
Nepal and Bhutan remain "friendly nations." Other than this, there is
little sign of interaction. On the refugee situation, the position of the
two countries has been stated above and they are mutually exclusive. Dr
Lohani told the Independant 6 - 12 March when asked if there is any hope of
resolving the issue, "We shall continue our efforts but our fundamental
objectives unfortunately, are different.
We want the refugees back to where they came from, whereas Bhutan wants
them where they currently are." The English Nepali newspapers almost daily
carry articles which restate the futility of the next round of talks.
The seventh round of talks were due to have started on 11th March to 14th,
but these had to be posponed because of King Jigme's visit to India, which
would have allowed the Druk negotiators hardly any time to prepare. They
are now set to take place between 4th & 8th April.
3. HUMAN RIGHTS MEETINGS.
3.1 PEOPLES PLAN FOR 21ST CENTUARY
The forum "People's Plan for the 21st Century" (PP21)consisting of c300
representatives from more than 40 in the Asia/Pacific region met in KTM.
During this time the Bhutanese refugee situation was widely discussed. As a
result, an appeal was sent to the secretary general on the United Nations,
Dr Bhutros Bhutros Ghali, urging him "to take up personally the
repatriation of the Bhutanese Refugees with dignity and honour."
In the letter, they have appealed for the establishment of human rights and
a democratic set up in Bhutan and the guarantee of protection for Bhutanese
refugees living in India especially in view of the proposed extradition
agreement between Bhutan and India.
They also point out that the Bhutanese security act Tsa Wa Sum violates the
fundamental human rights of Bhutanese citizens, as a result of which
thousands of them had to leave their country and anyone going against the
king or the government is regarded as a traitor or an anti-national.
This letter signed by 68 people representing NGOs from Nepal, India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philipines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Belgium, Sri Lanka
USA, Kenya, S.Africa, Sweden, Columbia, Canada and Japan
A delegation of seven from PP21 visited the bridge and the camps during the
forum, expressing their support and solidarity. The delegation included Dr
Manfred Ringhoffer of AHURA Japan (the 2nd largest funder of Bhutan), 2
other Japanese, and one from Sweden, Switzerland and Vietnam. (Sweden and
Switzerland are also large donors to Bhutan.)
The International Coalition for Human Rights, Refugees and Development
(ICHRRD) met in London on 29th Jan '96. In a circular seeking endorsement from countries around the world, they expressed their concern over the arrest and detention in India of Bhutanese "voluntarily returning to their homeland."
The ICHRRD has charged Bhutan with not taking "adequate" steps to resolve
the crisis and has urged the UN Secretary General Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali
to 'initiate steps "to facilitate substantive talks" on the crisis
triggered by the anti-Nepali policy of Bhutanese rulers.'
3.3 UN Human Rights Commission
Ratan Gazmere, Campaign Coordinator of the Appeal Movement Coordinating
Council which organized the Bhutanese refugee peace marches, is to lobby on
behalf of the refugees in Geneva at the United Nations Human Rights
Commission later this month.
The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC) has prepared the
following resolution, intended to be debated for adoption.
Members of the UN Human Rights Commission in 1996
53 UN Member-States (listed at the end of this document) will be
represented in the UN Human Rights Commission that will vote/reject UN
actions on human
rights concerns of the world during the 52nd UN Human Rights Commission
Meeting (March 18 - April 27, 1996).
Bhutanese Crisis and the United Nations. International Human Rights NGOs
are jointly going to table the following Resolution for adoption during the
52nd Session of UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva. The
Resolution will have to be supported (vote for) by atleast 27 member states
(See the list of 53 member states of the Commission) for it to be adopted by the Commission. Once adopted the UN will take appropriate action to sol ve the problem.
The Resolution is based (primarily fundamental human rights) on the
principle demands the AMCC has been putting forward towards finding a
solution to human rights/refugee problem.
Draft Resolution on Humanitarian Implications
of Refugees of Bhutanese Nationality in Nepal.
The Commission on Human Rights
Guided by the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Convention on the
Status of Refugees and mindful of responsibilities under the Charters of
the United Nations to promote and encourage respect for human rights and
Reaffirms the validity of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,the
International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights and International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
Recognizing the right to leave any country, including one's own, and to
return to one's country as enshrined under Article 13 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and Article 12 of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights,
Expresses concern about the arrest and detention of hundreds Bhutanese
refugees who were voluntarily returning to their country, Bhutan by the
Cognizant of the humanitarian implications of the presence of 90,000
Bhutanese refugees in camps in Nepal,
Concerned about the failure of even incremental progress in the bilateral
discussions between Nepal and Bhutan towards a resolution of the crisis,
Concerned that the Royal Government of Bhutan has not taken adequate steps
to resolve the crisis,
Reaffirms the need to provide such international guarantees that may be
necessary to secure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bhutan,
Recognizing the legitimate concerns of the Royal Government of Bhutan as to
fears about illegal immigrants,
Stressing the need for resolution of the Bhutanese refugee crisis in view
of the serious humanitarian implications,
Welcoming the invitations extended by the Royal Government of Bhutan to the
United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, United Nations Working
Group on Arbitrary Detention, Amnesty International and International
Committee of the Red Cross,
Regretting that the Royal Government of Bhutan has not taken necessary
steps to bring the human rights violators to justice,
1. Calls upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure
adequate flow of humanitarian aid and assistance to the Bhutanese refugees
2. Urges the Royal Government of Bhutan to invite the Special Rapporteur on
Forced Evictions [OR invite the Representative of the UN Secretary General
for Mass Exodus] to visit the country and extend its full cooperation to
enable him to report during the fifty-third session of the Commission on
Human Rights to investigate the matter.
3. Requests the Secretary General in the light of the prevailing impasse in
the bilateral talks between Bhutan and Nepal to take such steps as may be
necessary to facilitate substantive talks on the refugee crisis,
This may include :
(a) To encourage the Government of Nepal and Bhutan to seek the assistance
of a facilitator in their negotiations on the issue,
(b) Set up an International Arbitration Committee of experts to examine the
nationality status of the refugees through a process of individual
determination. That this International Arbitration Committee consults with
the Governments of Bhutan, Nepal and UNHCR in this regard,
(c) Reaffirm the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
as the nodal agency to facilitate and monitor the return of the refugees to
their homes in safety and dignity,
(d) Request State parties to make voluntary contributions to Nepal and to
assist in the rehabilitation and resettlement process of any refugees
presently residing in the camps who may not qualify to meet the
satisfaction of the International Arbitration Committee of experts,
(e) Request State parties to make voluntary contributions to Bhutan to
assist in the rehabilitation and resettlement process of returning
4. Decides to consider the progress made to resolve the Bhutanese refugee
crisis in a separate agenda during the fifty-third session of the
Commission on Human Rights.
N.B.The above draft resolution was prepared by South Asian Human Rights
Documentation Centre and ammended by Appeal Movement Coordinating Council.
This resolution may be further ammended.
You can do some or all of these action as an individual or group:
Express your concern through letters, post cards, phone, fax on Bhutan's
human rights situation and the Bhutanese refugees and the Peace March to
the diplomatic missions (specially the ones in the list) in your country.
Ask these diplomatic missions to relay your concerns urgently to their
representatives in the Geneva UN Mission and that their Geneva
representaives raise the issue in the ongoing UN Human Rights Commission
meetings by taking a appropriate resolution.
Send a fax to the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali and United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Hosse Ayala Lasso asking them to
take note of the Bhutanese Human Rights and Refugee Crisis and that they
undertake urgent steps to encourage the Commission to take a decisive step
on the Bhutanese crisis.
Send a fax to your own country's representative in Geneva to consider
supporting the Bhutanese resolution in the Commission Meeting.
Membership Term expires
in 31 Dec.
Cote d'Ivoire 1996
Dominican Republic 1997
El Salvador 1997
Membership Term expires
in 31 Dec.
Republic of Korea 1998
Russian Federation 1997
Sri Lanka 1997
U S A 1998
United Kingdom of Great
Britain and N. Ireland 1997
United States of America 1998
Sample letter in support of resolving the Bhutanese refugee crisis
I am writing to express my grave concern regarding the situation of
the Bhutanese refugees languishing in the UNHCR camps of eastern
Nepal. The Bhutanese refugees have now been in exile for 6 years
following a policy ethnic cleansing by the government of Bhutan. The
previous 6 rounds of ministerial talks between the governments of
Nepal and Bhutan have produced nothing substantive.
Recently, there have been a number of significant developments in the
Indian sub-continent both with the refugees peacefully demonstrating
in India and between the governments concerned.
<BOLD>1. Bilateral Talks Between Bhutan and Nepal.
In an interview with the 'Indian Express` newspaper, King Jigme
Wangchuk of Bhutan declared that "99% of the refugees currently
camped in eastern Nepal are not Bhutanese nationals." In direct
contrad iction, the Foreign Minister of Nepal, Dr. Lohani, has said
that "all of the refugees..... are Bhutanese" and "must be allowed
to return to Bhutan with dignity." Bhutan continues to refuse any
proce ss for verification of refugee status.
The next round of talks are due to begin in early April. India
continues to refuse involvement. Without International involvement,
it is difficult to see how any meaningful progress can be made vis-a
-vis repatriation when Bhutan resolutely denies any legitimate claim.
<BOLD>2. Security of the Refugees
During the same visit to India, there have been reports of an
extradition agreement between the governments of India and Bhutan.
It is interesting that a government which denies any right to
citizens hip, should seek the extradition of individuals
demonstrating in another country, while being resident in a third.
Some commentators believe that the intention of the agreement is to
declare Bhutanese living in exile to be criminals (according to the
Bhutanese security act Tsa Wa Sum) and to hand them over to the
Bhutanese government to suppress the democratic movement. The death
penalty applies for infringements of Tsa Wa Sum since this was
approved in March 1990.
At the same time, Bhutanese refugee peace marchers continue to be
held in Indian jails under Cr.PC Sections 144 and 151; the later
being invoked after detention under the former was declared illegal
by the Indian courts.
1. I would ask that Her Majesty's Government pursue all avenues to
exert individual and International influence upon the Government of
Bhutan, that they resolve the human rights violations in Bhuta n and
the Bhutanese refugee crisis.
2. I would ask that Her Majesty's Government pursue all avenues to
exert individual and International influence upon the Government of
Bhutan for the establishment of a truly democratic form of governance.
3. I would ask that Her Majesty's Government urge that all British
and International aid be linked to tangible improvements in Human
4. I would ask that Her Majesty's Government pursue all avenues to
exert individual and International influence upon the Government of
India, that they grant free passage to the Bhutanese refugees
exercising their basic human rights to peaceful demonstration and
return to their own country.
Thank you for your ongoing time and commitment to this matter.
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 11:30:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Nepali word processor
Cross-posted from SCN:
In Article<email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org> write:
> From: email@example.com (Barbara Pijan)
> Subject: Nepali word processor
> Date: 12 Mar 96 08:00:30 -0800
> Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Can anyone recommend a full-service Nepali word processor for Windows
> (i.e., fonts, spelling dictionary, page layout, grammar-checker,
> etc.)? In lieu of a word processor, I would also appreciate
> recommendations for top-quality true-type devanagari fonts. Thank
> you, Barbara Pijan Lama, Berkeley CA
Do you have a PC/MAC/UNIX???
You might want to try UniVerse...It is a multilingual text editor/word
processor that is configurable, with a little effort, to do all of the above.
I use a font that is PS quality called simply Hindi/Sanskrit on my PC that
comes with a keyboard extender (originally used for cyrillic and Arabic/Urdu)
which disables the Alt and Cntrl for further characters to be represented.
(All those half characters and really terrific combined characters are all there.) The PC does not seem to like the layout much, though, and the character layout is not easy to learn (e.g. the character for a chandrabindu is Alt. +1113 without the keyboard extender or Shift+Alt+Cntrl+tilde) But the literature that comes with it is quite good and there is a graphical chart of the keys,ect. The print quality is really good, however. Perhaps even better than MAC fonts I've used. However, the package is not free. It costs 100$ for the font and 50$ for the editor. If you have QuarkXPress there are many functions that will allow you to customize the interface to include all that UniVerse offers. If you want this package you can obtain it from Pacific Rim Connections in Burlingame, south of SF. A Nepali by the name of Sashi Shrestha works there and can be a big help. Pac Rim Connections specializes in foreign language fonts (Chinese, Korean, ect.) as well as apps that are written in other languages, including even a Hindi or Chinese version of QuarkXPress or DOS. The phone # 415-697-0911.
If you are on a MAC then the Universe is already yours. Freely downloadable
fonts for the MAC are widespread. I have used Jaipur and another called simply
Devanagari. I use them in MS-Word with a customized dictionary that I created
to do spell checking. The same works well in Quark or Pagemaker. The layout of
the keyboard in Jaipur is a dream come true. All of the characters are
affiliated with the corresponding or closest Roman key consistantly using the
Shift to indicate aspiratory characters and the cntrl key to indicate half
characters. characters combine themselves into horizontal conjuncts, as Nepali
itself is actually written, as opposed to the afforementioned Hindi/Sanskrit
font which combines vertically, as Sanskrit is supposed to be written.
If you are on UNIX then there are several fonts that I have seen that look
good even when they print. Most are using Ghostscript.
You might try the Nepali Literature Homepage. they have been promising a
freely distributable copy of a font for some time. They are relying on GIF
scans to do their site so the files are large. But alot of current poetry and
shortstories are there that are quite good. Check out cultural links from
Hope this helps. :)
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 13:20:00 EST
From: pramit bhasin <bhasin@UMDNJ.EDU>
>The First Annual New England Vegetarian Food Fair
>On Sunday, May 5, 1996, the Vegetarian Support Group of MIT
>and the Vegetarian Resource Center of New England will host the
>Vegetarian Food Fest on MIT's campus in the Johnson Athletic Center.
>This event offers an opportunity to educate the general public and
>community about the health, ethical, and environmental benefits of
>the increasingly popular vegetarian way of living. This forum will
>enable the community to discover the local vendors, restaurants,
>and markets which provide outstanding vegetarian products!
>This celebration of a meat-free lifestyle includes:
>- over forty exhibits and interactive displays
>- scrumptious mouth-watering food samples
>- live cooking demonstrations
>- informational books and videos for sale
>- informative, engaging speakers
>- children's entertainment
>- local restaurant booths
>- great recipes
>- good fun
>- food, food, food, food, food, food
>The fair will be open from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday, May 5, 1996.
>For more information please contact
>the MIT Vegetarian Support Group at email@example.com,
>or the Vegetarian Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org,
>or visit the Food Fair on the INTERNET at:
>Admission to all events at the event will be free.
>Some food will be for sale, much food will be free!!
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 13:15:59 EST
From: pramit bhasin <bhasin@UMDNJ.EDU>
THE ROLE OF THE WOMAN DURING CONCEPTION
ACCORDING TO ANCIENT INDIAN MEDICAL LITERATURE
A talk by Dr. Rahul Peter Das
Professor of Modern Indic Languages
University of Halle, Germany
Dharam Hinduja Indic Research Center
Southern Asian Institute
MONDAY, March 25, 1996
Lindsay Rogers Room, 7th Floor
International Affairs Building
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY
Coffee, tea and cookies will be served
For more information:
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