The Nepal Digest - May 1, 1999 (18 Bhaishakh 2056 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Sat May 1, 1999: Baishakh 18 2056BS: Year8 Volume86 Issue1

   TND Foundation wishes to extend our heartfelt condelences to the bereaved
   family on the sad and untimely demise of Fmr. PM Manmohan Adhikary. May
   the departed soul rest in peace.
  Today's Topics (partial list):

 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Co-ordinator: Rajpal JP Singh *
 * Editor: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Open Position *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 08:18:30 -0400 From: "Gaury Adhikary" <> To: Subject: ANMA Annual Convention !!!


The Association of Nepalese in Midwest America cordially invites all Nepalese and friends of Nepal to its Eighteenth Annual Convention in Bowling Green, Ohio. We have assembled a list of very interesting and stimulating program for your participation. This is an excellent time to renew our old friendship, and to make new friends from Nepal and from America. There will be plenty of time to visit with friends, reminisce our past, enjoy the present, and plan for the future. We will have chance to discuss events that shaped our life, and decisions in progress that will determine our future. Where are we now, where are we going and what could we have done differently are some of the questions that we think very often. We may not have our answers, but we certainly will have plenty of ideas to dwell on until the next meeting. On the lighter side, we have planned a wonderful entertainment program of Nepalese and American song and dance for both the old and young participants. Participants in this cultural program will be from local, regional and national Nepalese community. On Sunday, an exclusive presentation will be made by Phoolbari Cultural Club from Washington, DC. Video of the whole program will be taken by Mr. Ram Kharel from Sagarmatha TV. We are in the process of finalizing the program. We certainly like to hear your suggestions or comments as soon as possible.

        Bowling Green is located in Northwest Ohio, about 30 miles south of Toledo along I-75 and Hwy 6. It is a small University town with a population of about 30,000. We have reserved a block of rooms in Quality Inn (419-352-2521) for your convenience and optimum comfort during your weekend stay. Because of the limited number of rooms available, we like you to make advance registration. The group rate for our convention is $50 per room. Our registration will be in the Friendship Room, and the Convention will be held in the Atrium. Kaufman*s restaurant is by the side under one roof. If Quality Inn is full, you can call Best Western Falcon Plaza (419-352-4671) about a block west of the Convention site.

Direction: To get to the convention site, please take I-75 North or South depending on your location. Take Exit 181 to Bowling Green. Drive west on Wooster St. In less than a mile you will see Quality Inn and Kaufman*s, 1630 E. Wooster next to Speedway gas station on your left.
                           Contact Persons: 1. Dr. Gaury and Anita Adhikary (734) 663-7225 2. Mr. Dhruba and Anita Shrestha (517) 684-8314 3. Dr. Mohan and Vijaya Shrestha (419) 352-5984 4. Dr. Pradeep and Sashi Dhital (248) 738-0270 5. Mr. Sharda and Wendy Thapa (773) 764-6481

Saturday, May 29th 1999

3:00 PM -- Registration begins
            Friendship Room

3:00 PM * 6:00 PM

Social hour:
            Tea, Coffee, Cold drinks
            Cash bar * 5 PM * 6 PM

6:00 PM -- 8:00 PM

        Authentic Nepalese Dinner
        St. Thomas More, 425 Thurstin

8:30 PM -- 10:30 PM

        Cultural Program:
        Little angels* show
        Comedy, Story telling
        Song and Dance.

Sunday, May 30th 1999

8:00 AM -- Registration continues.
            Friendship Room

        Tea, Coffee and Donuts
        East Atrium

9:00 AM -- 10:00 AM
        Morning Sessions:
        Main Atrium

           1. General Session
        Mohan Shrestha, Chairman, Host Committee
        Gaury S Adhakary, President, ANMA
        His Excellency, Damodar Gautam,
              Nepalese Ambassador to the US
        Honorable, Wesley Hoffman,
              Mayor, City of Bowling Green, OH

10:00 AM -- 11:00 AM

                 2. Sharing the experience:
                Moderator: Dinesh Koirala

                Shyam Karki, ANA
                Rohini Sharma, NAC
                Hari Dhungana, NASA
                Bishnu Poudel, NACSAA

11:00 AM * 11:15 AM

           Coffee/Tea Break
           East Atrium

11:15 AM -- 12:15 PM

        3. Law and its relevancy in our life.
           Moderator: Maheshwar Baidya
                Mukesh Singh
                Nic Thakur
                     Dibbya Hada

12:15 PM * 1:30 PM

               Lunch Break
               East Atrium

1:30 PM -- 3:00 PM
              Afternoon Sessions:
              Main Atrium

        4. Passing the Baton
              Moderator: Sharda Thapa
           Youth Forum

3:00 PM -- 3:15 PM

             Coffee/Tea Break

3:15 PM -- 4:00 PM

        5. Making it happen in America
           Moderator: Sudip Subedi

                Anup Joshi
                Ashish Bhatta
                Tulasi Joshi

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

        6. ANMA Business Meeting

5:00 PM -- 6:00 PM

            Social Hour
            Cash Bar

 6:30 PM -- 8:00 PM

             East Atrium

 8:00 PM -- 11:00 PM
           Cultural Program
           Phoolbari Cultural Club
           Local and Regional Talents.

 11:00 PM -- 11:30 PM


MEMBERSHIP AND REGISTRATION FORM For Saturday and Sunday/Sunday Only

Name: ______________________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________________

Phone: ( ) ______________________ E-mail address: ____________________________________

Please be a member of the Association and keep the Nepalese heritage alive. Membership Fee: Student ($15.00)______________ Individual ($20.00)__________________ Family ($30.00)_______________ Benefactor ($100.00)_________________ Life ($250.00)________________ Other Donation $____________________ Total: $________________________________________________________

                                      Pre-Registration:* On Site Registration* Saturday/Sunday Sunday Saturday/Sunday Sunday Number Total (Number X $) Adult: $45 $40 $55 $50 _______ _______ Student: $40 $35 $50 $45 _______ _______ Children (6 * 12 yr.) $35 $30 $45 $40 _______ _______ Children (under 5 yr.) Free Free Free Free _______ _______

Total amount enclosed: $ ______________

This pre-registration includes afternoon Tea, Dinner and Cultural Program on Saturday; Tea and Donuts, Lunch, Afternoon tea, Dinner and Cultural Program on Sunday. Please return this form with your check payable to ANMA to:

Mr. Dhruba Shrestha Treasurer, ANMA 3535 Wheeler Road Bay City, MI 48706 Phone: (517) 684-8314 E-mail:

Association of Nepalese in Midwest America is a non-profit organization.

****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 10:46:30 -0400 (EDT) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> To: The Nepal digest Editor <> Subject: Can the New Replace the Old? Remembering Man Mohan Adhikary

        I have just learned that Man Mohan Adhikary has passed away, and I feel as though one's father has once again died. I didn't have a long, or any significant contact with Adhikary--just a few encounters here and there, a few 'phone calls--all about matters of public concern. But before all this happened in the nineties, when Adhikary found a legitimate structure for public role in Nepal, I used to watch him, from my roadside window, take his morning constitutional on a side street in Biratnagar. In an unassuming pair of folded trousers and t-shirt, he would saunter past below my window in a shuffling gait.

I had recently started my teaching in Biratnagar then, and the world seemed new and wonderful, a veritable repertoire of goodwill and challenges. A young man just out of my teens, I found myself impressed with his simplicity, perhaps because of the combination his scholar's bald head made with a tallish wiry frame, quite a contrast to the tumbling bellies of Biratnagar's businessmen rolling along the same road at dawn toward Jogbani. Of course, during years of study in India, I had come to know (through reading and pictures) about the dramatic and charismatic simplicity of Gandhi, which seemed to me a little labored and contrived for effect--he had to take a vow to do that faced with colonial modernity as he was. But Mr. Adhikary didn't show such tenacity about his dress. Crumpled T- shirt and trousers were fine; no affected patriotism in Daura and Suruwal. In fact, in the early morning dew of Biratnagar, he liked to walk on bare feet, his slippers dangling in his hand (I had never seen anyone so willingly forgo the privilege of walking in slippers with no slushy mud puddles around). Very often his wife walked with him, too, a rare sight of public camaraderie between man and wife in a patriarchal culture, where even educated men were expected to rule their wives and wives found it suspicious and thought their husbands "joitingre" if the husband didn't fulfil the traditional expectations of calling their wives "tan" rather than 'timi." Even then I could feel the man had no pretensions, no party-breaking ambitions. Just across the road, there were houses of Biratnagar's ruling aristocracy, and birds of the same feather were in deep awe of their secrecy and grandeur.

        Then I got caught in the maelstrom of my youth and Hindu society's perfidy, and I stopped noticing the concrete details of the physical world around. But once, a few years later, I was going back to Kathmandu by a night bus, and found myself seated next to the old man. He was still an ordinary citizen, publicly unacknowledged leader of a banned Communist outfit. Save for those glimpses of morning walk, I knew little more about him. For example, I didn't know that he had led the trade union strikes at the Jogbani jute mills, had even spent time in prison in India, fighting the British; or frankly, had spent years in Nepali prison during the Panchayat system. One knew only B. P. Koirala's well-publicized prison tenure, which had been made known when his landing in Biratnagar was opposed with "passionate intensity" by the worst of the country. These stories of Nepal's men participating in the Indian freedom struggle had by now become taboos; the general public had virtually no knowledge of it.

        Lives of Nepali public citizens are still not matters of curiosity, study, and public treasure; it was worse then. We still do not have a sense of biography of public figures in Nepal, as even the Indians have by virtue of British colonialism--Gandhi, Nehru and a few others have written their own autobiographies. Ganeshman Singh's recently publised autobiograpy is a welcome development. But Nepal's posterity needs many more--all the accounts of imprisonments and struggle, the recond of each moment and move so that the future generation can view the past of the country in clear light and judge its workers fairly. So I didn't know more, actually anything about this hushed-up, unassuming, shunted public figure. And so there was no opening for my conversation with him, and he himself sat as quietly as any ordinary elderly, wise person. What could one ask a man whose public life had been silenced for so long? It verged on tragedy. Then he asked me, "Do you live in Kathmandu?" I said, "Yes." "What do you do there?" I told him. I din't tell him that I used to see him taking morning constitutionals. It would have been too embarrassing, forcing acquaintance upon a public man who deserved people's respect but had been deprived of it and his genuine role in the deteriorating life of the country for so long.

        Then he said he had a son in Hungary or Holland, working. And he said that he was going to Kathmandu to build a house in Basbari or some such place. But still I couldn't ask him about Nepali politics; no use raking the wound. Democratic politics, I felt, would be a painful subject to talk about, and, besides, I knew him but he didn't know me so there could be an atmosphere of trust to talk about the banned subject matters. I for one knew that Chief District Officers and Zonal Commissioners in those days were particular about such anti-national conversations and those who indulged in them.

        Then in 1991, in the US, I heard that he was in New York. There was euphoria among the Nepalese everywhere about the change of 1990; expectations were high. I called from the Midwest to a place where he lived. The man he was staying with was known to me, and he asked, "Does he know you?" I said, no. He wasn't home, anyway. And then I called again and talked to him. I didn't find it necessary to remind him of our night bus ride together from Biratnagar to Kathmandu. It would have put unnecessary pressure on his memory. So I talked straight about this, that, and the other thing that every expat Nepali in the West finds compelled to speak to a visiting Nepali politician because of the former's confidence in accumulated wisdom in the West and long-distance concern for Nepal. He patiently listened and said we would have to do much work. I agreed. And I sent him an essay I had written about Nepal's 1990 change; he agreed to read.

        In 1992, while in Nepal, I went to see him. He was the leader of the opposition, living in a quarter in Maharajganj. He wore a full-fledged beard, and a black cap concealed his baldness. He looked much older than I had seen him in Biratnagar: his eye sight didn't seem to be good; I also noticed a nervous tick. This time I reminded him of the essay I had sent him, and he said that he remembered it and agreed with many of my points. In the paper I had argued that the change of 1990 was not at all revolutionary, as some people had taken to calling it, and that fundamental structures of the ancien regime were not only intact but would get the stamp of legitimacy in the transformed political system; and the political leaders would, if they retained their public ideals in the face of social and cultural structures, would begin a tug of war among themselves. He, too, said that political change from one system to another may be quick but social, cultural and economic transformation would take years. We had work to do. He also worried about the groups that had rejected parliamentary democracy as a viable path for Nepal's future. But he was hopeful that things would work out. Despite being a communist, he was tolerant and accommodating, willing to work and be criticized--virtues at times rare to find even among people who wear the badge of being democrat and liberal and flaunt it. Despite being born a Brahmin's son, he had forsaken the taboos and neuroses of Brahminism--I later learned that he had married out of his caste.

        Later, he became the prime-minister of a minority government. His full beards turned into a Leninist goatee, but with his baldness hidden under the official cap and his nervous ticks, he looked an amalgam of Marxist commitment to principles and Nepali geopolitical reality.

        The communist parties are scattered in bits and pieces in Nepal today. One kind are waging a suicidal armed struggle, in which the low ranking policemen and committed guerrillas (both poor and half-fed and half-clad) kill each other like dogs in the radically transformed world geopolitics. Capitalism has transformed the world's language and face in such ways that things have become much more complex than ever before but our communists are still talking in the language of the seventies and behaving like the communists of yore.

Without large scale political education and public consciousness, revolutionary struggles, no matter how lofty their ideals, have time and time again been termed terrorist movements. The idea of vanguard party has to be rethought for strategic reasons. Besides, no revolution has succeeded in which a large section of the populace has not participated. Other kinds of left parties are fragmented for other reasons--nationalism, anti-imperialism, personal ambitions. These slogans and their subtexts need careful scrutiny and interrogation. For example, how is this new nationalism of Nepal Communist parties different from the Panchayati nationalism, whose primary motive behind nationalism was to legitmize its own regime through this easy sloganeering. If this nationalism is invoked in order to preserve the sovereignty of the nation-state and the cultural forms within it against the onslaught of global forces, then that, too, needs to be articulated in clear terms. Otherwise, by nationalism, in the Panchayat fashion, would mean "autai bhasha, autai bhesh" and that would be detrimental for the future of Nepal. As for anti-imperialism against India and the US, these are complex matters, and I wouldn't get into them here, but both these--one the only super power and the other emerging to be one--need engagement and understanding rather than easy dismissal. Here, I would go as far as to say that if you don't understand India, you don't understand Nepal--historically, culturally, politically, and in many other ways.

While these nineteenth-century slogans need rewriting to reflect a new world picture, the genii of personal ambitions still needs old remedies, which few world communist leaders could overcome. One hopes that the death of Mr. Adhikary, the passing away of one of the founding figures of democracy in the region, will instil a sense of unity and alliance among the fragmented parties in Nepal and make the parliamentary elections the common platform for people's education and enlightenment so they can finally demand their legitimate share in the state. The killing of constables by guerrillas and vice versa is an utterly futile enterprise. There was a time when the coutiers of Nepali royal court slaughtered each other for power; times have changed, but the killing of one "dunthe pulis" by another
"bhoka-nanga" guerilla ain't gonna do anything. First and foremost, a strong democratic culture needs to be built from the grassroots that is unshakable by both external forces of volatility and internal of feudalism. In time, old institutions would grow out of use, and disappear, or remain in unrecognizable form if they learn to transform themselves. And if Adhkiary's death brings this sense of common commitment to democracy through joint platform and purpose, then this would be a true tribute to his passing away. Otherwise, each of these pre-20007 leader's death will take away a chunk of democracy with them.

****************************************************************** Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 23:04:27 -0700 From: Bruce {EVangel} Parmenter <> To: EVL <> Subject: EVLN(Katmandu Electric Tempu conversions scale back Nepal's smog

EVLN(Katmandu Electric Tempu conversions scale back Nepal's smog blanket)-LONG
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV informational
 purposes. Contact source for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel} EV - Christian Science Monitor (CHSM) FEATURES, IDEAS On a clear day you can see nowhere Nepal tries to scale back smog that blankets the roof of the world in David Holmstrom , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor 04/08/99 (Copyright 1999)

If you rise up from Katmandu valley in a small plane around noon on any weekday, the thick, brownish-colored blanket down below is air pollution spreading for miles. Very thick. Very brown-gray. The famed pristine view of the legendary snow-capped Himalayan peaks a long way to the north is gone. The pollution is denounced by the World Health Organization as air that in places is six times more polluted than accepted standards for a city of more than a million.

And in downtown Katmandu, if three old buses in a row accelerate at the same time, the last bus almost disappears in a triple whammy of billowing black exhaust fumes. To these hundreds of old buses add 4,000 to 16,000 three-wheeled, diesel-burning "tempo" taxis (banned by India but used in Katmandu), plus thousands of motorcycles, countless aging trucks, and the smoke from brick and cement factories. Their cumulative daily pollution is an "assault" on health here, says a recent World Bank report, and results in more than $7 million a year in health costs.

But look closely in the chaotic traffic. Those few all-white tempos darting along with all the other horn-honking, black tempos represent the fragile hope of improving Katmandu's air and future.

Named "SAFA {clean} tempos," and driven by electric power, the vehicles emit no exhaust fumes, no rasping noise, just an emission- free hum powered by batteries.

Successfully replace all the old tempos with SAFA tempos, and in an ideal world, this could be the start of a trend to significantly reduce pollution in an ancient valley. So goes the rationale included in several master plans for the city and valley. And with plenty of untapped hydropower for generating electricity from Nepal's many rivers, charging the electric tempos is potentially not a problem.

But in Nepal's nascent democracy, with a parliament established only in 1990, the absence of any kind of national capacity to plan or create infrastructure has an immobilizing impact on all the nation's problems, including pollution. Business plans are not common. In addition, Katmandu is growing rapidly as young men and women leave poor, rural villages seeking better lives in the city. With an inadequate public transportation system, estimates are that 600 motorcycles with high-polluting two-stroke engines are being added to Katmandu streets each week.

"There is no real political will to address pollution," says Julio Andrews, representative of The Asia Foundation, a US-based social organization involved in many programs in Nepal. "Plus, the police here have a vested interest in the old tempos," he says, alleging that many are owned by the police, "and they are not terribly happy about the electric tempos."

In fact, Nepal was the first country in South Asia to introduce SAFA tempos. Eight took to the streets in l995, funded by the Global Resources Institute (GRI) and USAID. Today, there are an estimated 200 SAFA tempos here, with several dozen battery-charging stations available. "Katmandu has more electric vehicles now than any city in the world," says Marilyn Cohen, assistant director of GRI. "It's wonderful they have reached this point." But the road to acceptability continues to be anything but smooth.

"The existing five or six manufacturers are hardly surviving because the cost for the upfront investment for an electric tempo is huge, around $7,500," says Bimal Ghimire, project manager for Lotus Energy, an alternative-energy company that markets an electric vehicle. "The owners of the vehicles say there is not that much profit margin," he says, "because interest rates for loans are 16 to 17 percent."

Late last year, SAFA owners said they were being harassed by the police. Some drivers were apparently beaten by diesel tempo owners, and some of the SAFAs were allegedly impounded by the police. D.P. Limbu of the Clean Locomotive Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal
(CLEAN) complained that the SAFAs were also denied waiting spaces in front of buildings. He said, "It is becoming more and more difficult for us to operate our vehicles." The government's Transport Ministry intervened in the dispute and allocated spaces for SAFAs in front of certain buildings.

The irony is that the government officially banned new registration of diesel tempos seven years ago. Yet this February, in the kind of jumbled reasoning that smacks of vested interests, the Transport Ministry decided to allow more diesel tempos because the ban meant there was a shortage of tempos. After a flurry of newspaper articles and outraged public debate, the ban was reinstated by Nepal's prime minister.

Nepal's Transportation Management Department can deny registration of vehicles that do not meet emission requirements. Beginning last year, the department conducted street monitoring of vehicles because most engines here are 15 years old or older, not well maintained, and have no mechanism to filter the exhaust. "The tempo owners don't want to change," says Mr. Ghimire, "because their vehicles are running and they are making money. So why should they spend a huge amount to convert to electric?"

No law exists to enforce any kind of penalty or correction. Vehicles with red stickers are supposed to be denied entrance to known areas of the city with heavy pollution, but again, enforcement is virtually nonexistent. Nonetheless, Baidhya Naih Maliik, director general at the Department of Transport Management, says that by July 2000 "we will make sure that all polluting vehicles are banned from plying the streets."

To some here, this appears unlikely, even though Ms. Cohen and others say it may be possible. "As long as the ban is intact," says Cohen,
"they can only rebuild the diesel and petrol engines so many times." The number of vehicles on Katmandu's narrow, crowded streets has exploded in five years from 70,000 to an estimated 140,000. Fuel sold in Nepal has a high lead content, among the highest in the world.

"Without the political will or the capacity to enforce laws and regulations, change will be very slow," says Lars Hermann, a spokesman for DANIDA (Danish International Development Assistance). Radio Sagarmatha, South Asia's only independent, noncommercial radio station, now sends a special "SAFA Radio" tempo out into Katmandu with scientific equipment to monitor pollution at 30 locations.

PHOTO: 1) KATMANDU WHEELS: In the old part of the city, traffic enters the Thamel area, where the streets are narrow, traffic moves slowly, and pollution hangs heavy. 2) Electric possibilities: One of only 200 non-polluting SAFA tempos in Katmandu could signal a reverse for the city's slide into chronic pollution. PHOTOs BY DAVID HOLMSTROM ILLUSTRATION: Showing a climber climbing Mt. Everest. BY YAN NASCIMBENE Copyright 1998, Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.

[ ] [edited]

>From Kanhaiya Vaidya: Electric Tempu
 Nearly two months ago, I had posted a news clip from the local daily
 The Olympian about "Electric Tempu" in Nepal. Here is the follow-up
 on the story. I believe, it+s a piece of useful information.

TECHNOLOGY Engineering Tries to Short Circuit Auto Pollution By-line: In Katmandu: An Olympia man helps the Nepalese convert diesel vehicles to electric in an effort to combat the choking air pollution. By Joel Coffidis The Olympian

The tools were old and the air so polluted that some pedestrians in Katmandu wore face masks, but Olympia electric-car engineer Jeff Clearwater calls his recent trip to Nepal a success. Clearwater visited Nepal+s capital to help train six mechanics to convert a truck from diesel to electric power. "Ten years ago, Katmandu was pristine. They remember that and they want it back," Clearwater said.

Katmandu is located in a high valley and is choked by air pollution, Clearwater said. But the city is small enough to reverse its air pollution problems within a decade, Clearwater said. To help do that, the diesel vehicles need to go electric, he said. Joined by a mechanic from port Townsend, Clearwater left for Nepal on Sept. 7 to train Nepalese mechanics to convert a diesel-powered "tempo" to electric. Tempos, or autorickshaws, are the workhorse vehicles of the city, he said. "It was totally successful," Clearwater said.

The converted vehicle could travel 60 kilometers - about 40 miles - between battery charges. Clearwater worked in challenging conditions: one time it took the group four hours to find the right drill bit. A gasoline torch was used for soldering, something not seen in the United States for years. Despite that, Nepal+s Prime Minister Giriga Koirala summed up much of the enthusiasm of the people, Clearwater said. During a ceremony for national television in the nation of 20 million, the leader said, "wow, it+s so quiet, it+s like magic."

During test runs, police officers had to keep people from jumping onto the silent tempo, which advertised its uniqueness in writing on the side of the vehicle, Clearwater said. The 36-year-old Clearwater, a 1979 graduate of The Evergreen State College, owns SolarSource and Northwest Electric Car of Olympia. He was asked to go to Nepal by Global Resources Institute of Eugene, Ore. The group had a $20,000 grant to finance the trip. Now Katmandu, together with the U.S. Agency for International Development, is preparing for the second and third phases of the "safa tempo" or "clean tempo" project, Clearwater said.

Phase II would demonstrate various charging schemes, including quick battery exchange, which would be like a gasoline station for electric cars. Plans also call for building three more demonstration vehicles. Clearwater plans to return to Nepal in January or February. Phase III would solicit the private sector to aid in the production of 100 vehicles to be purchased by the city of Katmandu and other government and non-government agencies, Clearwater said.
****************************************************** Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 14:41:38 -0800 From: Katie Bates <> To: Subject: schools in katmandu

Dear Sir

I have been trying to find out about the Daffodil Public School in Battisputali, Gaushala in Kathmandu. Does your journal have any information on the School or could you put me in the right direction so tht I would know where to find inforamtion on it.

I do have their fax number so I could find out direct.


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 12:15:42 +0000 From: Jonathan Levitt <> To: Subject: Radio Shanghai International


My name is Jonathan Levitt and for the past 4 years I have been recording a show stateside and sending it over to China for airplay in the cities of Shanghai and Lanzhou. I have accomplished much in this time. In fact I am the first person to have ever done this . I am serviced by many labels both major and indie. This is why I have taken the liberty of contacting your label, I hope your label will consider sending us music for airplay on the show. I have a website that I hope you will check out On this webite you will find monthly playlists as well as articles that have already been written about the show, all for your perusal.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Jonathan Levitt Radio Shanghai International PO BOX 440212 West Somerville MA 02144 USA

********************************************************** From: "Sharma, Niranjan" <> To: "'NEPAL-REQUEST@MP.CS.NIU.EDU'" <> Subject: Help me to find emai address of British Gurjha camp at Jawalakhel Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 09:15:25 +1200

I am at present in New Zealand, I have been trying to find out the email address of British Gurkha Camp at Jawalakhel, Katmandu. Can you help me in this regard? I appreciate your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks Niranjan

****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 10:27:24 -0400 (EDT) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> To: The Nepal digest Editor <> Subject: Two Cheers for Election '99 (Edited Version)

        As school children in eastern Nepali plains, we used to go from courtyard to courtyard in the neighboring villages, singing a song, and dancing to its tune, in order to collect funds to get the roof and furniture of our elementary school fixed. The song went like this:
"Barah maasa ghumi firi feri Tihar aayo lau, deyuse bhai lai kati rumailo" (Tihar is here again; how excited we are as Deyuse singers!). Well, in a like fashion, the Parliamentary elections are here again in Nepal, but can I say, "The elections are here! How happy we are!"? I don't think so.

        General elections in any democracy bring renewal of electorate's confidence in those who govern them. They are rituals of rebirth and regeneration of people's power over themselves. John Locke, after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, in which James II was removed from the throne of England for his secret sympathies for the Catholic cause, and William and Mary were brought in to rule, came up with a new theory of political contract between the monarch and the people in his "Two Treatises of Government" and laid out the political belief that the governor must obtained and renew the consent of the governed periodically in order to rule. Abraham Lincoln, more than a hundred and fifty years later on November 19, 1863, at the height of the Civil War in which the North and the South of the United States butchered each other over slavery and states' rights, Lincoln further endorsed this idea of people's power at his Gattysburg speech about demoracy of the people by the people and for the people and so forth (God, I had memorized these lines before knowing what democracy was and who Lincoln was!). So both Locke and Lincoln point out the inevitability and validity of the elections as ritual renewal of people's power over and faith in their rulers. But George Bernard Shaw, the Anglo-Irish Fabian socialist, would disagree with it. He would say that a general election in a democracy ought to do more than just that. It should bring new faces, new leadership, new ways of fulfilling old expectations; it should empower the dispossessed. But if all the candidates in a given election theoretically happen to be a bunch of scoundrels, he would say, then the people have no choice but to choose one of the many scoundrels in the field. Shaw would say that this is what happens in a parliamentary democracy, in which parties could choose scoundrels all the time and throw them on the people, leaving no other option for the voters but to choose one of the scoundrels.

        While I may not go that far in endorsing all of Shaw's views about candidates, nor endorse those who have chosen to boycott the elections in Nepal and play the suicidal game of armed struggle in this radically transformed global geopolitics (I have no space here to elaborate either ob these here) I do feel like saying, We've been there, done that. So what? We have had all kinds of elections, all kinds of governments--majority, minority, coalitions, etc. In less than a decade, one feels like having lived a century of political experience if one chooses to call what has happened in Nepal's political life since 1990 a serious political experience.

        It is not only that such permutations might occur again, but worse possibilities seem to loom on the Nepali political horizon. The Congress is certainly not as strong as it was when it contested the first election and won a majority; internal dissensions would have been fine, but rat race for power is out in the open already. As they say in Maithili, "Paani me machri, nau nau kutia bakhara" (Let's divide the fish before the catch). But the surprising aspect of this election is that there is not only no hope of new leadership emerging within each party, chances of even older, tried-and-failed leadership appear primed to mislead the country once again.

        They are talking about saddling Nepal with Mr. K. P. Bhattarai's leadership, let alone letting new blood take over the reins. The case of the Communist factions is no different, even though one is yet to see how a majority Communist government runs the country. The leadership in each party needs a drastic overhaul, and that has to come from within their own rank and file rather than anyone from above. Mutually recriminating leaders of Nepali political parties urgently need a lesson to learn. Each one of the recriminating, power hungry megalomaniac political leader needs to be retired for a few years to read books and calm the fires of personal ambition. Within less than ten years of multiparty system, one feels like saying that the democratically committed leadership in each of these parties has little to offer the country save the fulfillment of their own personal ambitions and pockets by fair or foul means.

        The older the leadership, worse the possibilities. Those who grew up feeling the full blow of the Panchayat system during its thirty-year tenure have their minds and hearts stifled and numbed for too long to think clearly, feel clearly, see clearly for a future of Nepal in which difficult decisions would have to be made--to bring together Nepal's diverse ethnicities and induct them into state power, to help convert the natural resources into active capital, make better use of foreign aids for building infrastructure, to make a drive toward self-sufficiency and generation of wealth, and bring about a revolution in thinking, education, etc. And in order to do all these, Nepal needs not just a leader but a line of leaders, many who are both visionary, informed, enthusiastic, yet able to feel the pulse of the ethnically complex country. But the personalities of most of the old generation of the leaders, otherwise perfectly capable of flowering and producing results, remained caged and shrunk due to the constrictions imposed by the Panchayat system. The unprecedented corruption, fueled by Cold War foreign aids, set the limits to the moral possibilities of even those who were outside Panchayat's venomous shadows. That is why, young generation of leaders need to emerge to frankly tell the old guards in all these parties to call it a quit if they continue to sow dissension; they ought to cheer and counsel from the sidelines--and stop wrecking the boat of democracy through their nefarious, petty personal designs. The new leadership, in any of these parties, ought not be there just to make it a place of grandfatherly retirement or youthful shadow boxing but a hot spot that demands young hearts and young minds to use their full energies to think about the future of Nepal's poverty-stricken people living in one of world's most difficult geographical terrains (I just read a 1998 UNESCO's collection of essays on globalization and world culture in which Nepal has been sigled out at the bottom of the list as an exemplar country with the lowest literacy, per capita income, etc.) Such a hotspot demands that the new leadership create opportunities to morally whip awaken the centuries of political somnambulism of the country. Such a leadership wouldn't beg the donor countries for aids, but ask them to help build infrastructure on the basis of accountability and payment and so put its own conditions on which loans or aids would be taken. So far in Nepal, foreign aid money has not only been mismanaged and misused by the politicians, bureacrats, and many of the donors themselves, it has created an atmosphere of passivity and terrible dependency among the educated classes in Nepal.

Frankly, I can live with a few sex scandals if we get some hot-blooded leaders, male or female. What I can't bear is a bunch of worn hearts and sagging minds at the helms who are too encumbered by old ways and institutions to think through the culture of feudalism, fatalism, clientalism, no offense to our venerable fathers and grandfathers everywhere. But what are the chances that such a situation would occur at the end of this election?

        It won't make any difference whether any one party wins the majority or no party emerges as dominant. We have seen the farce played out in the last two elections. The outcome of this one would be no different given the parameters of the constitution. The constitution is flawed, borrowed without consideration of the failings of the decolonized nations' murky record in democratic politics of the last four decades, abetted and worsened by Cold War.

        But perhaps looking at the glass that's half full as half empty is not the right way to look. And so I say there are two cheers for election 1999. One, elections are always the best way for the political education of new democracies in the Third World, where colonialism, both external and internal, and Cold War politics created unprecedented poverty and illiteracy. Elections are even more important for Nepal, because, for reasons of locked history and geography, and the failure of its own rulers in dealing with its people that would shame even the worst colonialists, the country remained politically illiterate. As a result, we have two kinds of political leaders at this time in Nepal, both severely handicapped because of the nature and place of their training. The older generation of the democratic leaders received their political training in the anti-colonial struggle in India, and the younger generation as students on college campuses within the country during the Panchayat era.

        In both cases, leadership didn't emerge from the people, from the grassroots level, as a result of constant dialogue and interaction with the people. Those who fought the British hand- in-hand with the Indian freedom fighters were right in thinking that as long as India didn't gain independence, Nepal never would from its own internal colonialism, as the simultaneity of Cold War politics and Panchayat system's life span bear out the impact of global geopolitics on many non-Western countries. But relevant and indispensable as the anti-colonial struggle had been politically for the change of 1950, the struggle had but faint impact on the political consciousness of the people within Nepal. And as soon as the Panchayat system took over, there was no question of democratic leadership emerging based on ideas and programs, approved or disapproved by the people, as the system was based on the principles and practices of feudalism. It was a system imposed from above, and even those who chose to stand as candidates from the villages came from the ranks of feudal aristocracy that existed in an ideological vacuum. It wouldn't be unfair to say that this leadership wasn't even conservative in the full sense of the term, because it lacked a system of conservative ideas in its ranks for reasons of lack of literacy and dominance of stale, half-literate priestly knowledge. (The first systematic attempt at generating conservative ideas was through the establishment of PANIJABUSA)

        During the Panchayat era, political ideas existed in unofficial forms among the teachers and students in schools and colleges. One could get more insight into the country's contemporary culture and politics by talking to the student groups than reading the text books, which had for the most part an official gag on free thinking and analysis further aggravated by the annual exam system. But ideas that foster in an atmosphere of informality and insecurity remain at the level of gossip, rumor, and underground dissemination, which are very often effective forms in oppositional politics but not so potent in the political education of even those who bear them, let alone the populace at large. For example, one couldn't figure out where those ideas about democracy, socialism, critique of the Panchayat system came to the politically engaged students on college campuses. One knew of course that they came from some underground source, but there was no means to test and interrogate either such ideas or their source. As a result, those who bore those ideas very often formed a sort of fraternity privilege, a club, as though they were in possession of some secret, empowering Gayatri mantra or any other Tantric potion, whose magical power could be sensed but couldn't be tested out in the open. A kind of stubbornness and skewed orthodoxy developed as a result, which manifested very often in these students' descent to violence against each other rather than ascent to discussion and debate and mutual education and enlightenment.

        That is why, this and other elections, more the better for another decade or two, would bring out ideas in the open and people would get to hear both the ideas and their bearers. These elections are great ways of cultivating political literacy and eventually throwing up leaders from the grassroots rather than imposed by the central committees of the parties in a country with very low conventional literacy.

        Another cheer for election '99 is the possibility, unfortunate though it is, that we will have another cycle of unstable, aayaa Ram, gayaa Ram governments--and this would hopefully knock some sense in Nepal's intellectuals and politicians for political reform. The post of prime- ministership would have to be announced before the election in order to enhance accountability and such a person would have to be made relatively immune to the wheelings and dealings and "dalbadaloo" proclivities of the fickle, opportunist parliamentarians. Nepal's intellectuals would have to come to understand that in a poor country like Nepal monetary temptations very often disguise as genuine political and doctrinal difference and that power of money, which means executive power sharing, anywhere strong enough to weaken democracy, is unanswerable in an economically deprived country.

        Accordingly, a set of safeguards would have to be put in place that would provide relative immunity to the already declared and elected chief executive of the government. There is no other way Nepal would achieve stability and channel its political energies for people's work instead of wasting them in intraparty bickering and leg-pulling, a habit whose source could be traced in human genes but also in the feudal political system that was well and alive only ten years ago. After all, we don't want Clintons and Blairs and Castros to come and give us a better, visionary government; we have our own Koiralas, Adhikaris, Gautams, Nepals and what have you. Human beings without adequate structures, training, and tools function everywhere the same. So the challenge is how to turn the fresh pebbles into diamonds and discard rotten or too ripe apples to the sidelines for manure, and, in my view, only a dynamic constitution evolved on the basis of trial and error would be able to do so. So, welcome election '99.

******************************************************** Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 00:36:07 -0500 Subject: Contact. From: "Stephen A. Cole" <> To:`listmgr/tnd/0018.html. Please tell me if this is the correct address for the Home Page of Nepal Digest. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1964-66(taught at Amrit Science College). Also, is there any way to contact Rising Nepal? Best regards, Steve Cole, M.D..

************************************************************ From: Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 13:59:04 EST To: Subject: Laxmiprasad Devkota (part two)
        Dear Editor:

I am writing to you today to ask your help in locating a poem by the great Nepalese author Laxmiprasad Devkota. I used it for a public reading when I was in high school, and now I want one of my students to do the same. Your Journal's web-site came online when I searched the Internet for Mr. Devkota's works in hopes of finding the poem myself.

Could you e-mail me the poem "Crazy?" If you don't have a copy of it, could you direct me to a site that would? I need the text no later than the end of next week. I originally found it in a small anthology in the corner of a small public library that no longer exists, and I am getting frustrated while desperatly searching for it.

It has been brought to my attention that a partial copy of this letter has already been sent. Please disregard it. Thank you for your time and attention,

Aleisha Force, Assistant coach of Speech activities Humble High School near Houston, Texas

****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:42:26 -0400 From: "Paramendra Bhagat"<> To: <> Subject: News Clippings

"Disclose candidates' property" Pro-Public, an NGO working for enhancing democracy through checking corruption, has again urged for all candidates to disclose their .............
<> Violence mars pre-poll scene Violence of various kinds are marring the pre-election scene barely two weeks before the nation goes to the polls (first phase). ............
<> Pre-election violence As the nation approaches the first phase of the third general election after the Jana Andolan of 1990, there is -- regrettably -- a worrisome ..........
<> Nepalese economy likely to grow by 2 percent
<> Yahoo! cyber-nuts will have to pay less for browsing now
<> India Stands At Doorstep Of Mid-Term Poll
< india_44.html> Congress given more time
<> Sonia Gandhi fails to win majority support to form government
<> No hasty decision: Narayanan
<> Numbers elude Congress
<> Mulayam raises hopes for Third Front-led govt.
<> Vajpayee re-elected to lead BJP in the House
<> BJP dissidents intensify campaign to oust Kalyan
<> IMF warns India against political instability
<> Congress may clinch the numbers game today
<> BJP prepares for snap poll
<> Congress rejects Third Front idea of coalition Govt
<> President unhappy
<> BJP submits list of 270 MPs
<> President invites Sonia for consultations
<> SP spanner in Cong works
<> Congress still mum on alternative Govt
<> Cong raring to go as Vajpayee Govt bows out
<> How Cong won over Mayawati
<> Analysis: Chronic instability of Indian politics
<> Mulayam Singh Yadav: The people's politician
<> BJP celebrates anniversary
<> India's Time of Transition
<,1051,SAV-9904200092,00.html> Sonia's Biggest Test
<> Opportunity Knocks Too Soon for Sonia Gandhi
<,2960,23336-101990419,00.html> Indian Government
<> Indian National Congress Party
<> Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
<> Communist Party of India (Marxist) - CPI(M)
<> Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
<> Shivsena

************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 10:00:24 +0530 From: Newman-Rai <> To: Subject: query about ktm uni's music dept

In response to the the letter below,

gert weger's email address is: website:

hope you get in touch with the school, sareena rai (student)

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