The Nepal Digest - March 31, 1995 (17 Chaitra 2051 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Friday 31 March 95: Chaitra 17 2051 BkSm Volume 36 Issue 9

  Today's Topics:

        1. TAJA_KHABAR - News From Nepal

        2. KURA_KANI
                 Culture - Festivals or Fun, But for whom?
                 Health - Heart and Health
                 Social - Re: Mind your tongue please!
                 Military - Anit Aircraft Guns

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * SCN Liaison: Rajesh B. Shrestha rshresth@black.clarku.edu *
 * Consultant Editor: Padam P. Sharma sharma@plains.nodak.edu *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta k945184@atlas.kingston.ac.uk *
 * Book Reviews Columns: Pratyoush R. Onta ponta@sas.upenn.edu *
 * News Correspondent Rajendra P Shrestha rajendra@dartmouth.edu *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *
 ******************************************************************************

********************************************************************** From: ponta@sas.upenn.edu (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Essay in Cultural Criticism To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu (tnd) Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 12:30:50 -0500 (EST)

Festivals are Fun, But for Whom?
                                                                 By Pratyoush Onta

As human beings, we describe culture from various social positions. Grasping culture in its raw form is all but impossible. Therefore we represent it through use of language. I find it instructive to juxtapose various representations of a theme within the universe of culture for what it might teach us about how we construct that universe. Consider the following.

This first description is extracted from the December 1989 newsletter of the Association of Nepalis in the Americas (ANA) written by its founding president Hari Sharma, M.D (I have never met him). Just after returning from a brief visit to Nepal, he had the following to say: "Life in Kathmandu was as usual with hustle and bustle of the city life with ongoing festivities that bring joy to both the rich and poor. Visit to Kathmandu and nearby cities, Patan and Bhadgaun is like visiting a living museum several centuries old. Each city is enriched by shrines, temples, palaces and ageless sculptures. To add to its ancient glory, the people of Kathmandu are friendly, joyous and preoccupied with celebration of their ancient culture and festivals."

Sharma remains absolutely unaware about the contradiction in his characterisation of Kathmandu as a 'living museum.' Musuem is a site of preservation where past life is objectified and displayed in ways that today's gaze can make sense of. Museums are home to a congealed past and not to a vibrant present. Kathmandu is a place where about one million people live, constituting one of the most complex active cultural scenarios to be found anywhere in the world. It is not simply a museum that is set out for display so that long-distance Nepalis like Sharma can pass through it occasionally and experience it in a way they would the Metropolitan Art Musuem of New York or other such places of 'high culture.' The cities in the valley have a history and every shrine, temple, palace, and sculpture is marked by time. Although historians may not be very precise about dating each structure, this should not lead anyone to suggest that we and our history is timeless.

And are the people of Kathmandu preoccupied with celebration of their
'ancient culture and festivals?' Don't Kathmandu's residents have to go to work every day? Don't their kids have to eat and go to school? Don't its adults have to date? Don't families in Kathmandu have worries that are similar to the ones that keep families awake late at night in the suburbia of upstate New York? Kathmandu remains fixed as a congealed place in Sharma's mind, celebrating its 'ancient culture' perpetually. A notion of culture that denies coevalness to Nepal and Nepalis, pushing them to exist in a time prior to and in the past of that occupied by observers like Sharma, pervades his view on how festivals are celebrated in Kathmandu. Since I have already critiqued the use of denial of coevalness within the politics of culture in Nepal in an earlier article ("Vikas and Imperialist Nostalgia" written with my sister Lazima Onta, The Kathmandu Post, 30 October 1994), I will shift the focus to yet another part of Sharma's observations.

Sharma notes that festivals 'bring joy to both the rich and poor.' There is much counter-evidence available to prove that this totalizing claim about festivals in the Valley is misplaced. To begin with, as has been argued by anthropologist Rajendra Pradhan, festivals in Kathmandu are a time when animosities between groups with competing agendas are accentuated and fights break out. Pradhan made these observations based on his doctoral research (done in the mid-1980s) on 'traditional' celebrations of Newar festivals in the cities of Patan and Kathmandu.

Pradhan's remarks will have to be suitably modified to cover the gang fights between members of the MTV-generation that has become a routine part of how festivals are 'celebrated' in Kathmandu in the mid-1990s. As brilliantly portrayed in a program about Tihar made by comedian Santosh Pant in his Heejo Aajaka Kura shown over NTV on 11 November 1994, gangs of inebriated & irreverent male youths use festivals to exhort money, vandalize private & public property and settle old grudges with other youth groups armed with broken beer bottles, knives and what have you. Festivals for them is an opportunity to get intoxicated, engage in irresponsible behaviour and intrude upon other people's privacy.

Yet another critique of the notion of festivals being joyous to everyone can be found in the same program by Pant who, to my mind, is unmatched in the brilliance with which he uses the visual medium for exercises in cultural criticism. In his program we see the wife complaining about how she was overburdened with festival-related housework, while her husband is shown preoccupied with gambling arithmetics. Pant's portrayal of this scenario is by no means simply a creation of his fecund imagination. That is the reality for many of Kathmandu's (and a large part of Nepal's) married women.

Consider what a middle-age, middle-class, Kathmandu-based Newar house-wife told this writer during thisTihar : "Festivals are no fun. While men and children might enjoy jthem, festivals inevitably mean more work for the adult women of the house. While the men play paplu and gorge themselves with meat and alcohol, we end up doing most of the extra work on top of the already heavy routine housework. Festivals exhaust me. I do not enjoy them at all. When it is time for the festivals, I feel like going somewhere far from here." Pant's critique of the Paplu-Marriage-Flush gambling regime pales in comparison with these words coming from the heart of an anguished woman who, because of festival-induced extra burden, wishes to escape to some other place.

But both Pant's criticism and the words of this Newar woman provide the main evidence for my central argument. If observations about how people celebrate festivals are to make sense, then such representations would have to take into account how a multitude of social actors experience events we call 'festivals.' In particular the voices of those who 'feel', as it were, the burden of 'celebration' should be given central place in any analysis of the place of festivals in our society today. This means, among other things, we need to be more sensitive to the gendered understandings of what festivals are and how they are used as occasions for status display, mindless consumerism, and violence.

Congealed ideas that make Kathmandu a festival-land might serve the nostalgia of some long-distance Nepalis or fill the coffers of tourism-touts but are useless in enabling us to generate a criticism of our culture from within. As our society reels under the pressure of change emanating from multiple sources, the need of the hour is to produce insightful critiques of vacuous cultural traits that seek domination here in the name of the modern. These critiques should enable us not only to resist unwarranted influences from elsewhere, but also to do away with the unacceptable dead weight of our own traditions. We can do without much of the 'modern' consumerist-violent culture that is seeking deep roots in our society today. Similarly everything of our past does not deserve a celebration. What we need is the ability to critically examine ourselves and choose what it is that we want to call our 'culture'. A relatively free public sphere of the post-1990 era has provided us the space where this sort of critical reflection can occur. It remains to be seen in what manner we will take up this challenge.

(Published in The Kathmandu Post, 20 November 1994)

************************************************************** Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 14:43:26 To: A10RJS1 <A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu> From: Anil.Sakya@brunel.ac.uk (Anil M Sakya) Subject: Subscribe

Dear Editor,
    I have just subscribe to your fantastic network system. I am a Nepalese Bhikshu or a Buddhist monk. My name is (Bhikshu) Anil Man Sakya. I am a research student doing my PhD in social anthropology in Brunel University, London. My thesis will be something about Newars of Kathmandu.
    My mailing address is:
        Anil M Sakya
        Room 290, Mill Hall
        Brunel University
        Topping Lane, Cowley,
        Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 2TL
        United Kingdom.
   Tel: +44-1895-811-449
    As I have been away from my homeland for several years, I found your wonderful network keeps me close to my kins fellows. Would you kindly subscribe me in your database? Thank you.
                        Yours faithfully,
                            Anil Sakya
   
*********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 20 Mar 1995 19:14:11 EST To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: Heart and Health (fwd)

This article appeared in the local paper, "The Toronto Star", in March, 1995.

SOUTH ASIAN GROUPS RALLY TO FIGHT HEART DISEASE by Royson James

Heart disease is killing South Asians at an alarming rate in Canada -
"way above the national average" - and accounts for more than half the community's deaths here.

Heart disease accounts for 41 per cent of all Canadian deaths, in comparison with 53 per cent for Canadians with links to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Community leaders are so concerned about the fact that the incidence of the disease is increasing among their members while declining in the general population that they have joined with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to tackle the problem through education.
 
"We are getting heart disease at a young age, in the 20s, 30s and 40s, and serious heart attacks ending in death," says Dr. Sudi Devanesen, associate professor at the University of Toronto and chief of family medicine at St. Michael's Hospital.

"It's alarming. If nothing is done, the numbers will keep going up."

So far, health officials know of several lifestyle and genetic risk factors:

-South Asians tend to get fatter around the tummy than the average Canadian, a condition linked to heart disease and diabetes. Their rate of diabetes is 25 per cent above the national average.

-A "genetic triad" called Syndrome X - high insulin levels in the blood, elevated triglycerides and abnormally low levels of "good cholesterol" - is present in a larger than average portion of this group.

-While a good number among the group are vegetarians, they still fry foods too often, use too much milk to prepare desserts and consume too much fat.

-Cultural and language barriers mean that South Asians in Canada often do no receive information about heart disease risks and the lifestyle changes needed to stop the advance of the disease.

For example, while South Asians are familiar with yoga and meditation - considered excellent stress-management practices that help stem heart disease - these are not often suggested by health officials as paths to better health.

And dietary recommendations from mainstream Canada often have little relevance to South Asians because they do not reflect the community's foods.

Devanesen has helped set up the South Asian Community Council of the Heart and Stroke Foundation to offer hope in the face of the
"horrendous figures of morbidity and mortality."

To help reverse the trend, South Asians should cut fat in their diets to below 30 per cent instead of the average 40 per cent they now consume, exercise more, work off the abdominal fat, eliminate smoking and alcohol use, and drastically cut down on the consumption of animal products, he says.

"We are giving a message of hope that you can change and modify the risk of heart attacks, and it is being done in our own languages and sensitive to our own culture," he says.

The group was launched last month with a gala dinner geared to raise about $25,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help initiate the plan.

It has prepared a brochure in English and five South Asian languages, a video in English and Hindi, and a scientific brochure for doctors and health officials. It also plans to hold health fairs and attend cultural events and festivals to spread the word.

In addition, Devanesen says the council will hold "community kitchens to show healthy, low-fat cooking."

Elissa Freeman, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, lauds the community's efforts to raise awareness of the "extraordinarily high" rate of heart disease.

Since it was organized last November, the South Asian Community Council has accomplished much more than the heart foundation could do by itself, Freeman says.

The foundation has struck similar alliances with other ethnic groups in Metro to target diseases affecting them. This is much better than
"the cookie-cutter approach to heart and stroke" education, Freeman says.

For example, she says, people of Chinese heritage have a stroke rate almost twice the national average, so a council has been formed to deal with that. There's also a black and Caribbean council to target hypertension.

Researchers are still trying to unmask reasons why South Asians face such heart disease risks, but the statistics have been replicated around the world.

************************************************************ Date: Mon, 20 Mar 1995 09:02:00 EST To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: DGURUNG@CLEMSON.EDU Subject: Nepali Police Charge Baton on Tibetan Demonstrators (25 lines)

Police baton-charge anti-China Tibetan protestors in Nepal (AFP)
----------------------------------------------------------------

KATHMANDU, Mar 10, 1995, (AFP) -- Police baton-charged more than 2,500 Tibetan demonstrators at a Buddhist shrine north-east of Kathmandu Friday when they tried to march on the main street raising slogans denouncing China, a police source said.

   No arrests were made, the source added.

   More than 10,000 Tibetan refugees and monks living in Kathmandu attended a special prayer meeting at the Baudha Nath stupa to mark the 36th anniversary of the uprising against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

   The Tibetans lit 10,000 lamps around the shrine and burnt incense to mark the occasion, witnesses said.

   Some of those present then tried to stage a demonstration carrying placards reading "Down with China's occupation of Tibet" and "Chinese quit our motherland Tibet, " the sources said.

   Police used batons on the demonstrators but no serious clash occurred, police said.

   The area was cordoned off to prevent the demonstrators from heading as planned for the Chinese Embassy to present a letter of protest.

********************************************************************** Date: THU, 23 MAR 95 13:21:23 JST From: Bishwa P Subedi <193041@JPNIUJ00.BITNET> Subject: Mind your tongue, please! To: Multiple recepients of TND <nepal@cs.niu.edu>

Dear TND readers,

Reading ATULADHAR's post 'Roar of the Paper Tigers: the NC posture' I was quite frustrated. Of course, there is no much debate over teh contents and the argume nts as such, and even if there were, it would not be the matter of surprise in this world of diverse interests and thoughts. But total objection is with the l anguage the writer was using to express his sentiments against the political pe rsons he seems not like. Such wordings as 'political bastard', 'B. P. came like a rat when he was flushed out by Indira and tried to hide his cowardice..', 'mo nkeys like Krishna...' do not suit to such a scholar and active contributor of TND, our beloved e-zine, IMHO at least.

In politics, one has right to express his ardent support ot one and distance, e tc. against the other(s). But the post seems to have crossed the generally acce pted etequttes. BTW, I totally support the writer' stand against KP, JP, BP,UML except that I cannot accept Ganeshman's image he gave there, totally not. I hav e a bit negative image of GM against the respect the nation gives him.

Thanks and regards.
 Bishwa Prakash Subedi |

To: Multiple recepients of TND <nepal@cs.niu.edu>

Dear friends,

Mar 22's post on the above subject was post by me, but due to the reason I do n ot know appeared with Network mailer as sender. Sorry for the inconvenience and request again for the reaction from the netters.

Thanks and regards, Bishwa

********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 09:23:27 -0600 (CST) From: JaY <sanjay@kennedy.ecn.uoknor.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: E-mail address....

Hi evrybody,

Would appreciate if any body could let me know the Email address of ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal. Heard that thay have healthnet connection recently.

Jai Nepal, Sanjay

********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 23 Mar 95 14:11:20 CST From: freemon@peanut.enzian.com (Brett Freemon) To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: Information about Dhulikhel Requested

Category-Type: 5 or 8

I am looking for information about Dhulikhel and the surrounding district. Also, I would really appreciate any information about Kathmandu University and in particular the Dhulikhel campus. Has anyone on the list ever attended the university?

Thank you for your help in advance,

Brett Freemon freemon@calif.enzian.com Orlando, FL USA

*********************************************************** Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 08:53:25 -0500 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Long Gasoline queues in Kathmandu From: rana@violet.ccit.arizona.edu (VIVEK S. RANA)

        Long queues for gasoline in the city of Kathmandu
        -------------------------------------------------

        There has been long queues in gas station in Kathmandu following the criticism that private pumps were mixing kerosine with petrol. Since yesterday only thru pumps belonging to the Nepal Oil Nigam, Police and Army gas stations are serving.

        Since the scarcity of gasoline there has been fare hikes. The taxi fare to the airport has already gone up by forty percent. The government has announced that they have enough supply to last at least 15 days.

        The private pumps are demanding the government to inspect their facilities and check before they operate back again.

********************************************************************** From: mahendradb@UFCC.UFL.EDU To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Contact a friend

Hello, I am trying to contact suresh Acharya at univ. of Nevada,Reno. Is it possible to forward this message to him. I would be grateful for your help.

Thank you for your courteous attention

Mahendra

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 09:00:20 -1000 From: Kabi Neupane <kabi@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> To: Reply to Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: "3/23 Kidney Crackdown"

     BOMBAY, March 23 (Reuter) - A cook in the western Indian city of Pune
 first learned he was missing a kidney after a routine check-up for persistent
 abdominal pain.

     ``The doctor asked why I hadn't told him I had donated a kidney,'' Suresh
 Chakolekar said.

     ``I was stunned. I didn't know anything about it.''

     Police have discovered dozens of cases like that of Chakolekar, 34, in
 investigating a kidney transplant racket exposed after the arrest of a doctor
 in a Bombay suburb.

     India has had a thriving underground kidney transplant market since the
 early 1980s because of the relative ease with which the organs can be
 purchased from the poor.

     In the southern city of Bangalore, the police last month claimed to have
 traced nearly 1,000 people whose kidneys were removed without their knowledge
 by doctors who initially asked them to donate blood.

     The police arrested two doctors, one a state government employee, who
 were alleged to be at the centre of the racket.

     Police said people who needed kidney transplants came to the Bombay
 clinic from Italy, Germany, Yemen, Syria and Turkey. They typically paid
 rates of 250,000 rupees ($8,000) to 450,000 rupees ($14,350) for the
 procedure. Seven doctors were arrested for their involvement in the racket.

     ``They seemed to be in the wholesale business,'' said a police official
 investigating the case.

     ``We seized a fax message from a Turkish organisation saying the expenses
 of procuring 22 kidneys had been paid, but a total of 30 transplants were
 required.''

     In February, new laws came into force in three Indian states, including
 the wealthy western state of Maharashtra, to plug loopholes in existing laws
 on organ transplants.

     But officials say it will be three months before the regulations can be
 properly implemented.

     ``The new legislation provides for doctors violating the rules to be
 struck off the rolls for two years. Their licences will be taken away after a
 second offence,'' said Dr P V Sathe of the state health department.

     Under the new rules, a regulatory committee must vet all procedures using
 organs from donors unrelated to the patient.

     Rajesh Shah, a handcart-puller in Bombay's business district, sold a
 kidney last April to a German patient for 40,000 rupees ($1,270). He wanted
 the money for his sister's wedding back home in Nepal.

     The 24-year-old, who was ill for a month after the operation, said at
 least 20 of his neighbours had sold their kidneys.

     ``The money went on liquor,'' Shah said.

     Public health experts and social welfare workers who helped draft the new
 legislation hope it will end the organ trade and wipe out the flourishing
 community of ``dalals'' or middlemen, who put buyers in touch with
 prospective donors.

     Unlike Shah and other donors who agreed to the removal and sale of their
 kidneys, Chakolekar, the cook, did not know his left kidney had been removed
 in 1989 by a doctor who examined him for a stomach ache and said he had found
 a tumour which had to be removed.

     ``For four years after that, everything was fine,'' Chakolekar told
 Reuters.

     ``I went back home. After some time I found it difficult to climb stairs
 or lift heavy weights. So I went to hospital for a check-up in 1993. That's
 when I found out.''

     Police said they had arrested the well-known city doctor who operated on
 Chakolekar, as well as the man who introduced them.

     ``They are being held on charges of grievous bodily injury and
 cheating,'' a police official said.

  REUTER

********************************************************************** Date: Sun, 26 Mar 1995 00:03:41 +1000 (EST) From: "Adhikari / Santosh (ISE)" <u951520@student.canberra.edu.au> To: NEPAL DIGEST <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Thanks

        After coming to Australia I did not had any information about Nepal until I receive your internet magazin which was very informative. I am very much thankful for the subscription. I hope in future I don't have feel like living behind the wall .
                                Thanking again. Santosh.A.
                         
********************************************************************** Date: Sat, 25 Mar 1995 10:50 EST From: ATULADHAR@vax.clarku.edu To: nepal@cs.niu.edu, sabez@u.washington.edu, camille@picea.cnr.colostate.edu,

ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS FOR NEPAL: HAZARDOUS TOYS
==============================================

We have a recent news piece saying that the Royal Army was importing some Anti-aircraft guns from Sweden. This news raises more questions than it answers.

1. The first primary question is: Why in the hell does Nepal need anti-aircraft guns? It sure beats me and if there are other people who can speculate or even argue why this is needed, I would sure appreciate their enligthening persuasion.

First who does Nepal Army plan to defend against anyway? The Indian Army or the Chinese Army, the thoughts are just too fantastic to believe. There is no way all the historic sum total of Gorkhali "bahaduri" will match the technolgical prowess of modern warfare and this was proven as early as 1816 when despite the British India's genunine admiration of Gorkhali bahduri, the Nepalese army lost due to poor logistics and weaponry support. In both conflicts with the Indian and Tibet/China, nepal was helped by Nepal's topography. Historians have Indian army and Chinese army getting as close to Makwanpur Garhi in Bhim[hedi in the south and up to Trisuli Rasuwa Garhi in the north until by a combination of negotiations and weather that strained the logistic support of the invading army and nepal accepting the need to send tributes, an implicit level of surrender of soveriegnty, the army receded.

Sure the Indian fighter jets overfly our borders n Biratnagar and kakadbhitta or kanchenjunga mostly trying snoop on Chinese manoeuvers and just plain enjoyment of thumbing a country that can do nothing about it anyway. Are the anti-aircraft guns bought to shoot down these errant Indian jets? it shudders me to think that Nepal would care to show this form of "bahaduri" and invite massive indian wrath: economic, cultural, political and military.

2. Are the anti-aircrft guns for anti-terrorist warfare, to shoot down hijacked planes? Surely if mahendra had these guns, we would not have to endure Girija and Chakra who masterminded the Congressi hijack of RNAC plane and bank money to Farbesgunj? Is the army being persuaded by US DEA people to purchase these guns to fight drug traffic, or kashmir, Punjabi, Tamil, and khampa terrorists said to find safe haven in Nepal? Too fantanstic to believe.

3. Are the anti-aircrft guns for internal suppression? Surely the Royal Army has been intimately linked with palatial feuds, oftening making or breaking one faction from bhimsen Thapa, Damodar pandey to the Basnetts and the Ranas. Even during the democratic struggle, the Royal Army is credited with more muders than all the police together that faithful day when 400,000 Nepali people marched to the Palace to machine gunned in cold blood.The official admitted 50 dead, eyewitness claim upto 500 dead, manyu of them being lugged away half dead and burned alive in huge army trucks. Even during the curfews, some of the goriest deaths of brains being blown away of people who got caught going to buy vegetables in Ason, Bheda Singh, and Indra Chowk send shudders throught the people of Kathmandu who say some of these photographs displayed in prominent publict places.

Even so, does army anticipatethat the threat against the Royal + Army would be so great that they would need anti-aircraft guns? The closest a people's war got to violence was Ram Raja's bomb attacks near the palace, the annapurna etc, even these some doubt was engineered by nepte Sharad Shah to generated sympathy towards the Royals and repugnances towards the people's struggle. Anti-aircraft guns for internal suppression is a far overkill.

4. This leaves me with only two "possible" excuses: the need for big toys for the gnerals in the army just so that they can say they have it and play with it as many military jocks are anyway, and if what an expensive hobby we are indulgingt as acountry. Expensive in two ways both interms of hard currency and political risks.

5. The memory of the 1988 blockade by Indian, following Nepal's import of Chinese anti-aircraft guns without the prior knowledge, read approval, of the Indian govt as per the secred 1965 defence treaty of nepal and india, is still fresh in Nepalese minds. While the nepalese did pull up their bootstraps to deal with the scarcity, they stopped short of the nationalistic zeal trying to be worked up the King and the Panches. Most knowledgeable nepalese blamed the king for getting involved in a personal tiff with Rajiv Gandhi and for panches for india baiting to lenghten the political legitimacy of their power. It so happened that india thought it was time to marginalize the king and his minions on the back of pro-democratic forces of congress and communists just as autocratic regimes were falling all over Europe.

So, the question remains, is this a new trial balloon in which Nepal is trying to test how much rope India will give Nepal to hang herself with. That is if India objects vociferously, the Nepalese govt which has yet to give formal approval to the Royal Nepal Army's request can cancel this and play down this a lo-level request not reflecting the policies of the State. Or, if indian govt is mum or demure, will Nepal read this as greater political space for Nepal to assert nepal's sovereignty, a signal that India is after all amenable to reviewing the Indo-nepal treaty in light of changed security constellations in postcold war south asia?

Personally, i do not know, and given past recent experience I am inclined to believe that this anti-aircraft guns for the Royal Army of Nepal would prove to be hazardous toys Nepal would pay dearly. I am open to counter arguments. Thanks.

Amulya Tuladhar Clark University

************************************************************ Date: Sat, 25 Mar 1995 08:10:20 -0800 (PST) From: Stephen Bezruchka <sabez@u.washington.edu> To: ATULADHAR@vax.clarku.edu Subject: Re: Anti-Aircraft Gun purchase

The reason is quite clear to me. It is standard fare in today's world to topple democracies that might threaten the world order by arming the militlary further. Coups then result. Consider Allende in 1973, with the CIA involved, and countless others before and since.

Sweden is probably a convenient foil. Stephen Bezruchka

******************************************************** Date: SUN, 26 MAR 95 13:28:02 JST From: Ashok Sayenju <194038@JPNIUJ00.BITNET> Subject: Condolences!! To: The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu>

To all the ex-BKS Guys!!

Our former teacher and one of Nepal's modern artist, Indra Pradhan, has passed away on March 16th in New Delhi at a young age of 51. He was rushed to the TU Teaching Hospital after succumbing to heart attack some weeks ago. He was flow n to New Delhi after that.

He was one of the members of the SKIB artists group founded in 1971. The other members of the group are Shashi Shah, Krishna Manandhar, and Batsa Gopal Vaidya He received Indra Rajya Laxmi award among others and had held art exhibitions in various countries including Japan and India. He had been an art teacher in B KS since 1973 and had guided students to top international awards as we all kno w. He leaves behind him a wife and a daughter. Our condolences to the bereaved family.

*************************************************************** Date: Sun, 26 Mar 1995 12:27:08 GMT From: "bhattarai,s.p" <spbhat@essex.ac.uk> Subject: Subscription of Nepal Digest To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu

Dear sir

I would like to subscribe the Nepal digest at my e-maim: spbhat@uk.ac.essex

Looking forward hearing from you.

Sincerely yours Surya P. Bhattarai

*********************************************** Date: Sun, 26 Mar 1995 18:56:12 -0500 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: First Lady To Visit South Asia Sender: surekha@nyx10.cs.du.edu

Source: Voice Of America, March 19, 1995

New Delhi: First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton says she is embarking this week on a five-nation South Asian trip to learn how countries there deal with human rights issues -- especially as they relate to women and children. Mrs. clinton maintains that helping the world's impoverished women is a key to economic health.

The first lady, who took part in the recent U-N conference on social development in Copenhagen, heads oversees Friday -- this time to South Asia. She plans to make stops in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Mrs. Clinton says she is going to learn how they grapple with what she calls "the human issues" as they relate to children and women: "I want to see some of the programs that they are doing there, trying to help children and women and very poor people pull themselves up, take opportunity by giving it to them by credit and other approaches, and see what I can learn."

Mrs. Clinton says she is particularly interested in a Bangladeshi bank which extends credit primarily to women to help them establish small businesses. She says such an approach worldwide could not only help women but their children, their husbands and the larger society.

She says she looks forward talking with women in each of the five countries she visits about what she calls the remarkable things they are doing for themselves.

Mrs. Clinton insists she will not try to tell others what to do: "I'm not about to go and try to tell anybody what to do. I think that is not my role. I think it's presumptuous even if someone were to suggest it. I do believe that as the world becomes more competitive we also become more connected and we need to be respectful of each other, we need to learn from each other's cultures and I think that will help us be sure we have a global community."

The first lady calls South Asia an important part of the world strategically where the United States believes its ties need to be strengthened.

On a related matter, Mrs. Clinton, who is honorary chairperson of the U-S delegation to the international conference on women -- is not sure she will attend the September meeting in Beijing. She encourages both the United Nations and China to be as open as possible to women regardless of their country of origin or ideology. She calls reports, Beijing may limit who attends for their political views "not useful."

********************************************************* Date: Sun, 26 Mar 1995 19:35:17 -0500 (EST) From: Nirmal Ghimirez <NGH42799Q236@DAFFY.MILLERSV.EDU> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Amazed

Long before in the TND someone had written that visa trial has become very expensive.I thought I had misread that so I was silent. I recently came to know that one has to pay Rs. 1000 for each trial in getting the visa. I can't still believe this,is this true. If it is then isn't this an unjustice.For what reason and why?What is the reaon or so called rational logic behind this? Or is it just that one can make any rules and regulations. Is there any constotution saying that Nepalese have to pay a high price just because they want to come to the U.S. I am not trying to question anyone but am just trying to ask the justification with someone who knows more about this.And if there are more individuals concerned with this, then we should do something. To make it clear we should try to analyze like this rules which are made so sudden.

I would appreciate if anyone knows the name and address of our Consular in Kathmandu? his fax number would be appreciated. I know that world is not an utopia but there has to be a limit. Thanks.Nirmal

*********************************************************** Date: Sun, 26 Mar 95 21:11:09 EST From: ncohen@usaid.gov Subject: ECONuggets #23

ECONuggets #23, Monday, 27 March 1995

PRIVATIZATION: Government has decided to proceed with the re-tendering of Nepal Foundry. The previous government had advertised this firm, received bids, but was unable to open the bids due to the fall of the government. It has to be re-tendered as the September 1994 bids are out of date. The High Level Privatization Commission will discuss the rationale for privatization with the Ministry of Finance of the other firm that was advertised and where bids were received: Agricultural Tool. Tentatively they also decided to proceed with privatization of Raghupati Jute, Biratnagar Jute and Seti Cigarettes. The Privatization Cell will proceed using the same modalities as before. However, a sub-committee is reviewing modalities and will make its recommendations known soon. The privatizations will take place without assistance from the USAID funded Intrados contract.

GEFONT, the UML-affiliated trade union, in their annual meeting called for a stop in privatizations and the re-nationalization of the enterprises previously privatized.

NEW PUBLIC ENTERPRISES MANAGEMENT: Shortly after taking power, the Ministry of Industry announced that they would publicly advertise for new management of the state enterprises under its control. It has reviewed the applicants and published the short list of 5 people for each enterprise. Each will not have some time at the enterprise and will then submit a proposal to reinvigorate the enterprise. The person submitting the best proposal will be given a two year contract at the enterprise. Some have argued that almost all the people selected are Party faithful.

TAX REFORM: The Tax Reform Commission has completed the public part of their review and will now begin the finalizing of their proposals. It appears they will recommend modifications in many different taxes, but there does not appear to be support for major changes such as a VAT or Pre-Shipment Inspection of imports.

TARIFF COMMISSION: Bimal Prasad Koirala, Joint Secretary of Industry, a member of the ELP Policy Dialogue Steering Committee and former Humphrey Fellow has been designated convener of the Tariff Commission. This reviews all tariffs and procedures. Given the recent reductions in India's tariffs, the Commission will have to review whether similar changes make sense in Nepal.

CHILD LABOR: The Rugmark Foundation recently visited Nepal with three major German importers. Because they are being pummeled in the press about child labor they told Nepali producers that they will not be able to purchase any carpets unless they are certified as being produced without child labor. At least 25 producers, including many of the largest, have indicated their willingness to support Rugmark Nepal, and request certification. There may be a formal signing of intent to join Rugmark this week.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT: While the laws permit 100% foreign ownership of any firm with over Rs20million ($400,000) in fixed assets, government is unofficially encouraging these firms to have at least 60% Nepali ownership. That is, government is discouraging even majority foreign ownership. Government has suggested its willingness to relax the Rs20million rule (for both manufacturing and service enterprises), but will probably first establish either a "negative list" of industries that are not open to foreigners, or review applications with fixed investment below Rs20million on a case-by-case basis. In the past, the lack of transparency in rules and regulations, and the frequent use of discretionary decision making, has acted as a disincentive.

PRICE CONTROLS AND RATION CARDS: We have not heard much about these ideas that were in the Party's manifesto and King's Speech. This week the Minister of Finance noted that Government would establish soon both ration cards and
"Fair Price Shops" where the poor can purchase essentials at controlled prices.

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