The Nepal Digest - March 21, 1996 (8 Chaitra 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Thursday 21 March 96: Chaitra 8 2052 BS: Year5 Volume48 Issu3e

  Today's Topics:

        1. Message from the editor

        2. KURA_KANI
              Environment: Re: Mahakali Treaty
              Social: Bhutanese demonstrations-update 19 March 1996
        3. JAN_KARI
             Nepali word processor

        4. SODH_PUCH
             volentary doctor

 * TND Board of Staff *
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 * TND Foundation: General Information *
 * Founder: Rajpal J. Singh *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
 * Webmaster Correspondent: Pradeep Bista *
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 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
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 * "LIFE: Indulgence vs Seeking Truth - Which is your forte?" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * "We have guided missiles and misguided men" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" -SK *
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***************************************************************** From: TND Foundations <> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: TND Foundation Contribution Fund

Dear TND members:

     TND Foundations is accepting your generous contribution in an effort to
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     We are still short of required amount to pay for 1996 on-line
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********************************************************* From: Bhikkhv Seevali <> To: The Editor <>, 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,

Seevali Bhikkhu On behalf of Nepalese Buddhist Organization in UK.

********************************************************** Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 18:42:46 -0500 (EST) From: mahesh maskey <> Subject: Re: Mahakali Treaty To: The Nepal Digest <>

                         MAHAKALI TREATY

[ 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
                                          14 march,1996]

                                        -Deepak Gyawali

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.

M: Why?

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 others.

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 Tanakpur.

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 dangerous things.

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 Pancheswar project.

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 Pranav Mukharjee?

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" ?

                                        - 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.

                          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 people.

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 <> To: MAILBHUTAN <>,, 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 13-3-96.

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 march.


2.1 NEPAL 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 " 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 involved."

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.

2.2 BHUTAN 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 Nepal."

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 demonstration..

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 bilateral talks.

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 19-26 1990.

2.3 INDIA 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 in May/June.

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.


3.1 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.)

3.2 ICHRRD 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 fundamental freedoms,

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 Indian Police,

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 in Nepal,

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 refugees,

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.

Algeria 1997 Angola 1997 Australia 1996 Austria 1996 Bangaladesh 1997 Belarus 1998 Benin 1997 Bhutan 1997 Brazil 1998 Bulgaria 1997 Cameroon 1996 Canada 1997 Chile 1997 China 1996 Cote d'Ivoire 1996 Colombia 1997 Cuba 1997 Dominican Republic 1997 Denmark 1998 Egypt 1997 El Salvador 1997 Ecuador 1996 Ethiopia 1997 France 1998 Gabon 1997 Germany 1996 Guinea-Bissau 1998 Hungary 1996

Membership Term expires in 31 Dec.

India 1997 Indonesia 1996 Italy 1996 Japan 1996 Malawi 1996 Mauritania 1996 Mali 1998 Malaysia 1998 Mexico 1998 Madagascar 1998 Nepal 1997 Netherlands 1997 Nicaragua 1997 Pakistan 1998 Peru 1996 Philippines 1997 Republic of Korea 1998 Russian Federation 1997 Sri Lanka 1997 U S A 1998 Uganda 1998 Ukraine 1998 United Kingdom of Great Britain and N. Ireland 1997 United States of America 1998 Venezuela 1996 Zimbabwe 1997


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.

<BOLD>3. Proposals 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 Rights performance. 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.

Yours sincerely


********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 11:30:51 -0500 (EST) To: Subject: Nepali word processor

Cross-posted from SCN:

In Article<>, <> write:
> From: (Barbara Pijan)
> Subject: Nepali word processor
> Date: 12 Mar 96 08:00:30 -0800
> Message-ID: <>
> 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

Hello Barbara....:-) 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. :) chris

************************************************************************** Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 13:20:00 EST From: pramit bhasin <bhasin@UMDNJ.EDU> Subject: First_Annual_Veg_Fair

>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,
>or the Vegetarian Resource Center at,
>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 To: From: pramit bhasin <bhasin@UMDNJ.EDU> Subject: Event_Announcement


A talk by Dr. Rahul Peter Das
          Professor of Modern Indic Languages
          University of Halle, Germany

co-sponsored by

Dharam Hinduja Indic Research Center and Southern Asian Institute Columbia University

MONDAY, March 25, 1996 4:00-6:00pm Lindsay Rogers Room, 7th Floor International Affairs Building 420 West 118th Street Columbia University New York, NY

Coffee, tea and cookies will be served

For more information:


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