The Nepal Digest - May 27, 1994 (16 Jestha 2051 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Friday 27 May 94: Jestha 16 2051 BkSm Volume 27 Issue 3

Today's Topics:
         Note: Apology for no headers due to time restrictions.

                - TND Editorial Board

  * TND Board of Staff *
  * ------------------ *
  * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
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********************************************************************** From: Puspa M Joshi <> Subject: Congratulation To: (The Editor) Date: Sun, 22 May 94 13:37:02 EDT


We would like to congratulate Mr. Mukesh Kumar Singh on his graduation from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio with a Master of Law degree.

Puspa, Arun, Rummi, Kiran and Ashish Joshi May 22, 1994

News from Columbus, Ohio: By Puspa Joshi

On the evening of May 14th, Mukesh Kumar Singh and Sarala Pandey Singh hosted a dinner party at the Buckeye Village recreation center. Mr. Singh, Lecturer of the Law School in Kathmandu, graduated from Capital University with Master of Law degree in International Marketing. His commencement ceremony on May 15th happily concided with the day of his second wedding anniversary.

Guests at the party were entertained with delicious special Nepali foods which included Tama tarkari with bori and alu (bamboo curry) and Alu ra kerau achar.

While most of the guests were from the Columbus area, some were travelling to Columbus for the event, including Prof. Pralhad Pant and his family from Cincinnati and Baikuntha Sharma and some students from Lexington.

After dinner, there were cultural activities. Mr. Kumar Sharma of Nepal Commercial Bank who is visiting his brother Kuber in Columbus, with his mother, entertained the attendees with Nepali Muktak, Hindi Shayeri ad classical Nepali songs. All the hosts as well as guests also participated in singing, dancing, or telling jokes.

************************************************************************ Date: Sun, 22 May 1994 22:35:53 -0500 (CDT) From: Padam Sharma <> Subject: Kurakani To: Nepal Digest <>

  Glimpses from Nepal....Part IV
  by Padam Sharma
  After a week of stay in Kathmandu, we hit the roads to visit Chitwan,
  Morang-Sunsari, and Jhapa. Our first destination was Rampur, Chitwan, the
  home of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science where I used to
  work before. For Kathmandu to Narayanghat, we took the advantage of
  `tourist couch' service called Baba Transport. More convenient than the
  general daily express bus services (which means stoppage at every formal
  and informal bus stops), these coaches are mostly used by tourists
  visiting the Royal Chitwan Wildlife Refuge at Souraha.
  I would like to narrate here one incident of significance that took place
  at about 6 AM on the bus-departure site at King's Way. There were about
  7-10 buses on line to go to Pokhara and other tourist destinations. The
  travelers (mostly Europeans) were busy boarding the bus, loading their
  backpacks on the roof, negotiating with rikshaw drivers and their guides
  from the hotels, or being ripped up by the side street vendors.
  Suddenly, there was a scuffle. A tourist had caught the hand of one Nepali
  pick-pocket in the act of removing his passport and money. The drivers
  and conductors of the buses surrounded him and were commenting about the
  pick-pocket problem and how it was hurting their business and giving a bad
  reputation for Kathmandu. Mr. thief was a suited-booted gentleman (dressed
  hip with clean colored shirt and pants with a printed tie and a black
  jacket and good looking dingo boots), about 20 years old, and looked like
  a college student. They said that two of his equally well dressed partners
  fled during the melee. He was quiet not because that he was read his
  rights to remain silent but due to fear that he could be dealt with
  instance justice if he opened his mouth. We did not wait to find out what
  happened to him, but they were talking about giving him a good beating
  before handing over to the police. A sign of the changing times in Nepal,
  the growth of this enterprenuership skill in Kathmandu puts her at par with
  most of the cities in north India.
  We started at about 7 AM from Kathmandu and arrived Noubise at about 9 AM,
  a distance of about 20 miles(?). The traffic was stop and go due to bumper
  to bumper flow of incoming night buses and trucks. We did not count but
  about 100 night buses (coming from all over Nepal) and about 300 trucks
  (hauling goods to Kathmandu) for the two hour ordeal may be an
  underestimate. How many other trucks and vehicles come and go from
  Kathmandu during the rest of the 22 hours? The traffic intensity gives one
  a perception of how much Kathmandu has grown and why the Vikram tempo is
  only a scapegoat for causing all the air pollution problem in Kathmandu.
  The section of road between Kathmandu to Naubise is real bad. Given the
  strategic importance of this road, I wondered why it could not be
  maintained regularly. Are we still recuperating from the effect of last
  year's heavy rain? Is it that Nepal does not have any money and that no
  donor country or agency has taken pity and come forward with offer to
  finance the maintenance of that road? Or that the need to supply goods and
  services to the spiraling population of Kathmandu valley is so intense that
  Kathmandu can not afford to stop traffic for a few days to resurface the
  road. Whatever the hang up is, the pitiful maintenance (or lack there of)
  of the road and the bottle-neck of traffic flow from Naubise to Thankot
  typically exemplify how the country is being managed in all other sectors
  of national development. The good news is that the road from Naubise to
  Mugling and beyond to Pokhara is being widened and resurfaced. I do't know
  who should we thank here for the progress (the Chinese who built the
  original road? or some other donor).
  Mugling, a favorite food stop at the intersection of Kathmandu-Pokhara road
  with links to Narayanghat on the East-West Highway, is hustling and
  bustling, as usual. This is the only town in Nepal that never sleeps. Any
  time of day or night, the Thakali DALBHAT shops are always ready with rice,
  dal, chicken curry, and beer. The passengers can relieve themselves in the
  outhouses (synonyms: toilets, latrines, bathrooms) behind each eatery.
  These relief houses are supplied with water, relatively safe to step on,
  and tolerant to one's nose (sorry, no tissue papers and commodes yet). Signs
  of times are evident in Mugling; there are more halwai shops (than before)
  and chanawalas (snack peddlers) catering to needs of increasing population
  of Indians (tourists and significant others) in transit.
  Every known little and big town along the way has grown little bigger.
  The service sector economy and mom-pop enterprises are, perhaps
  unprofitably, numerous. Specifically noticeable are the location of shops
  on second and third floor of some multi-story buildings (no sky-scrappers
  yet!) in big towns such as Narayanghat. There are many more tea stalls,
  tailor shops, cloth, grocery, hardware stores, and significantly many
  agri-vet stores. Beer and cigarette bill boards dominate these towns along
  with their pride possession of one, or more private "English" Boarding
  schools. The names are so fancy: Little Star, Morning Bright, Little
  Angels, Future Bright .....and more.
  After a stay over at Rampur Campus and a visit to the Royal Chitwan
  National Park at Sauraha (canoeing the Rapti, jungle walk, the elephant
  ride and rendezvous with the rhinos: Aah! the trouble of taking my
  camcorder really paid off here! ) in Chitwan, we took a night bus from
  Narayanghat to the east. The road from Narayanght to Hetaunda is generally
  good; Hetaunda to Pathlaiya is bad; and Pathlaiya to Lahan and beyond is
  ugly. Some reconstruction effort (by Indian assistance, I was told) is
  underway between Dhalkebar and Kanchanpur. The sector from Pathlaiya to
  Dhalkebar, built by the USSR, has disintegrated like the former states of
  the Soviet Union. Along this sector or along many other sectors in the
  east (built with Indian cooperation), one would have difficulty locating a
  road sign that I thought would be appropriate, "BUMP IS NOT HERE".
  We could not sleep througout the 10 hours of roller-coaster ordeal from
  Narayanghat to Itahari. We admired the talent of the drivers in keeping
  the buses and trucks on the road or whatever surface that is left of
  the original road. These drivers could easily win the Olympics on
  "rough terrain racing" of mass transit vehicles, a sport that Nepal
  should push for inclusion into the Summer Olympics.
  We also went to Biratnagar which has grown little bit but not at an
  alarming rate like Kathmandu or some nearby towns like Itahari and
  Birtamod. Thanks to consistent effort of the British to upkeep with the
  maintenance work, road link between Biratnagar to Dharan is the best in
  Nepal. I was impressed with the width of the newly reconstructed section of
  the road in Biratnagar which has provision for two driving lanes each way.
  It is a delight to see the open space being utilized by the numerous and
  quite affordable rickshaws - a sustainable and environmentally sound
  in-city transportation system for the Terai. A sight that I missed in
  Biratnagar was the "Bar-gachhi", the famous bar-tree which symbolized
  Biratnagar's struggle for democracy in Nepal. It became a casualty of
  the wide new road.
  We finally arrived at Jhapa, my home district, at a time when political
  activity was hot due to the by-election. After a decade, it was nice to
  come home and visit my family members, relatives and neighbors. We were so
  busy seeing people that all the political activities related to the
  by-election in Jhapa was of no immediate concern. Only problem we suffered
  from the election hoopla was the election day "no transportation" rules
  at Chandragadhi (the headquarters of Jhapa District) and coersion by
  Saraswati worshippers to local bus-drivers which resulted in a three day
  transportation strike (chakka-jam) from Birtamod to Bharatpur. After
  flying from around the world and having come to Birtamod without any
  incidence, we could not go to Bhadrapur (about 20 km?) to meet our closest
  As most of you know, the Congress Party won the `other' by-election in
  Jhapa (most of the national attention was on KP's election in Kathmandu) at
  the expense of the UML. Rumor was that the communists had a relatively
  "unknown" person in the ticket and a lack of serious campaigning effort.
  Symbolically, the congressis were gloating on the fact that they had
  finally breached the "Red Fort" of Jhapa. This did not mean that Jhapalis
  are making right turns or endorsing the Congress Party's role in the
  government. I think the politics was local and a general lack of
  enthusiasm of voters for the by-election. The other significant event of
  the time was the death of our famous neighbor, C.K.Prasai, an
  intellectual, socialist stalwart of the Congress Party. About 100,000
  people including the GP and KP (?) attended his funeral.
  So far I have received a few positive comments on my recounts of our visit
  to Nepal which encourage me to write some more. However, I would like
  some more feed back. If I am boring you with my ganthan of the jatra,
  please let me know. I can always shut up.
  Yet to come are my general overall perceptions of the current state of
  Nepal and some analysis of my visit to Nepalese communities in adjoining
  states of India and Bhutan.


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 23 May 94 11:32 CDT To: From: Sirdar_RJS_Khalifa
 <A10RJS1@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU> Subject: Influx from the Southern Border - Neighbour Nations Watch

"Much has been said about population influx to Nepal from
 Southern Border. Nothing has been done to stop/encourage
 the influx.

 Russia and China were/are in similar situation. It is interesting
 to note Moscow's solution to the percieved problem."


Russians Fear Invasion of Chinese Traders 155
----------------------------------------- Source: The Washington Post, 5/18/94 By: Lee Hockstader

BLAGAVESHINSK, Russia - Some squatting on their haunches, some bustling around their stalls, dozens of Chinese merchants were doing a brisk business the other day hawking cheap shoes, talking wristwatches and kitschy knickknacks at the central market in this Russian border town.

Russians watched with a mixture of suspicion and admiration as the Chinese did sales-and clinched their reputation in Russia as the shock troops of a stealthy commercial invasion from the south.

Since 1988, when then-Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev gave the green light, tens of thousands of Chinese have streamed into Russia through border points such as Blagaveshinsk, where the high strains of Oriental music can be heard drifting across the icy Amur River from the Chinese town of Heihe just across the way.

With estimates of the number of Chinese in Russia now ranging from 200,000 to 2 million, debate has intensified in Moscow and Russian border regions between those who see the influx as a vital trading link that can lift Russia's economy and those who want to stanch the flow of Chinese, whom they see as dumping substandard goods while draining Russia of its raw materials at bargain prices.

In recent months, the latter forces have succeeded in choking off some of the cross-border traffic-"regaining control of our borders," as they put it-much to the applause of Russians who believe illegal immigration is out of hand but to the distress of those whose shopping habits, and in some cases livelihoods, have been disrupted.

In Russia, the debate is tinged with racism, nationalism and an ancient fear of being overrun by a vastly more populous neighbor, particularly in the sprawling and sparsely settled territories of Siberia and the Russian Far East.

Nonetheless, the Chinese never blended into Russian society as fully as, say, Koreans did at the time. They rarely became Russian citizens, often spoke no Russian and maintained insular Chinese communities.

Many of the Chinese left in the 1930s as the Bolsheviks tightened their grip on the Russian Far East, turning private farms into collectives, closing down private businesses and opening factories. In 1938, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin expelled the few Chinese who remained. One of the city's Chinese theaters was turned into an officers club for the forerunner of the KGB.

"Our guests felt too much at home on our territory. People started to say there were too many of them, that their behavior on the street was strange," said Tatyana Kurts, head of the foreign trade commission for the Amur River region. "People were afraid of Chinese expansionism, afraid that we'll have Chinatowns here."

That sentiment led local officials in Russia's Far East to tighten immigration, customs and tax procedures so they could keep closer track of the Chinese. In Vladivostok, authorities expelled the Chinese from a downtown market by banning the sale of manufactured goods there. Elsewhere, police hassled the Chinese at every turn, and customs officials did their part by extracting sky-high taxes and bribes. But the central government in Moscow went even further, imposing much tighter restrictions on Chinese seeking visas.

Since January, traders have been required to have an international passport as well as proof of an invitation from a Russian business partner or official organization. Then they must wait for months before the paperwork is processed. Local residents said the Chinese presence here already is dwindling.

******************************************************************** Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 08:44:21 EDT To: From: Subject: Birth in S Asia: Panel at 1995 Washington AAS

Birthing Practices in South Asia [Provisional Title] Panel for AAS Meeting, Washington, D.C, April 6th to 9th 1995

The limited range of studies so far available (mainly from North India and Bangladesh) suggests that South Asia forms a distinct cultural region with respect to birthing practices. Specific features include a high degree of conce rn with pollution; traditional birth attendants (dai etc) of low caste or status, whose primary role is to remove pollution rather than aid the birth process itself; a high level of concern with supernatural danger; little or no antenata l care; limited postnatal care for mother and child. This situation poses problems for strategies which aim to improve birthing practices, maternal and child health by working through traditional birth attendants. Papers are invite d which support, challenge or modify this account. Papers dealing with adjoining regions (e.g. peoples in Nepal, Tibet) and with other aspects of reproductive health are also welcome.

We are hoping to present a panel at the 1995 Association of Asian Studies Annual Convention (Washington, D.C., April 6th to 9th, 1995) on the above topic. The intention is that the papers from the panel, along with other papers from contributors not able to attend the panel, form the basis of a book. Potential contributors are invited for the panel (as paper-giver or discussant, preferably the former) and for the book.

We are both social anthropologists, currently working at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Newcastle, Australia. Santi Rozario has carried out research on reproductive health in Bangladesh and written two papers on Bangladeshi village birthing practices (
"The Dai and the Doctor: Discourses on Women's Reproductive Health in Rural Bangladesh," and "Boundary as Predicament: The Case of the Dai in Rural Bangladesh." both to be published shortly. (We can send you copies of these papers on request). Geoffrey Samuel's work so far has mainly been with Tibetans in India and Nepal, focussing on religion in Tibetan societies, and recently examining questions of shamanism and healing. We have recently commenced a joint comparative research project on women, health and ritual, focussing on questions of reproductive health, in Bangladesh, West Bengal and southern Nepal.

If you are interested in giving a paper at the AAS meeting, we need a title and one-page abstract for your paper in time to submit to the AAS for their deadline. We are not quite sure when this deadline will be, but in 1993 i t was 3rd August, so we need this material as soon as possible.

Santi Rozario and Geoffrey Samuel Department of Sociology and Anthropology
  University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia TEL: (049) 215927, 521970FAX: +61 49 216902 EMAIL:

********************************************************************** From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - May 19, 1994 (8 Jestha 2051 BkSm) To:

I agree with Mr. Leader's suggestion of decentralizing the Nepal Home Page. If anyone wants to setup and maintain a specific part of it, please let me know. Also, is it possible to ftp anonymously to If so, maybe you could setup a directory in there and put previous issues of Nepal Digest
(say, like from the past year) so that they would be available both through ftp and WWW.

%%%%%Editor's Note: It is not possible to ftp anonymously from %%%%%%
%%%%% But if there is enough interest %%%%%%
%%%%% to access TND via FTP, I can make my machine %%%%%%
%%%%% anonymously accessed. %%%%%%
%%%%% But this machine is "cooperative multitasking" %%%%%%
%%%%% running Microsoft Windows 3.1. It is not %%%%%%
%%%%% "pre-emtive multitasking" like UNIX or OS/2. %%%%%%
%%%%% All this means is that when people are FTPing %%%%%%
%%%%% to my machine, it will slow down my work and %%%%%%
%%%%% it may even crash my machine (Software wise :-)%%%%%%
%%%%% Anyone out there who has enough hard-disk %%%%%%
%%%%% space on UNIX (Sun or others) willing to %%%%%%
%%%%% store back-issues of TND for FTP and Mosaic %%%%%%
%%%%% access? - Rajpal J. Singh %%%%%%

********************************************************************** From: Message-Id: <> To: Cc: Subject: Commendable job

Dear Rajendraji,
                Thanks for a commendable job by adding a lot of information on our country - NEPAL on WWW browser (NCSA mosaic) Information Highway System. I hope a lot of people who has the access to the system will be benefitted by this kind of information. Meanwhile, I also thank the TND editorial board for sending these messages on such nice things to the TND subscribers. Once again, thanks to Rajendraji.
                                       Devendra Amatya
                                       North Carolina State University
                                       Raleigh, NC

************************************************************************ Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 14:58:00 EDT To: From: MUSYAJU@BINAH.CC.BRANDEIS.EDU Subject: thank you

Rajpalji , Thank you very much for including me as a member of TND subscribers. I feel very happy to get my own copy now. I thank Del Friedman for giving me the opportunity to get news from "home" through his enclosures last many issues. Sulochana Musyaju

************************************************************************* Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 11:34:33 EDT To: From: (Sunil Shakya) Subject: News from Nepal

Headline: Bus accident kills 22, injures 24 Dateline: KTM, May 23, 1994 Source : UPI

A bus drove off a mountain highway in west Nepal on Monday, killing 22 people and injuring 24 others, a home ministry spokesman said. The bus was travelling between Tansen and Tamagas when it drove off the highway near Gulmi, about 125 miles (200 km) west of the Nepalese capital, KTM. Twenty people died at the scene of the crash, and two others died on the way to the hospital. They have not yet been identified. Eleven of the injured were flown to a nearby hospital in Palpa, and 13 others were airlifted to KTM for emergency treatment, the home ministry spokesman said. One person escaped without injuries.

Headline: Pakistan's Butto asks for no nukes Dateline: KTM, May 23, 1994

Pakistan P.M. Benazir Bhutto has asked India not to develop or deploy nuclear weapons. She said nuclear security can be achieved only if India is prepared to accept an obligation not to develop or deploy nuclear weapons.

Headline: Nepal to control pollution in KTM valley Dateline: KTM, May 20, 1994 Source : Xinhua

Nepali P.M. Girija P. Koirala directed the National Planning Commission
, environmental protection council and ministries concerned to make action plan to control the growing environmental problem in KTM valley. The Nepali P.M. gave this directive on Thursday while presiding over the 5th meeting of the environmental protection council. Koirala said that appropriate incentives should be arranged for the factories to create a congenial atmosphere for the shifting of the factories outside the KTM valley. The P.M stressed that the decisions which bring long-term benefit to the people should be implemented with political conviction even if they are unpalatable in the short term. The meeting decided to monitor environmental pollution from vehicles and not to permit uncertified vehicles to enter the Singh Durbar where the government and parliament building are located from the World environment day- June 5, this year. The meeting also decided to fix physical, chemical and biological parameters to check the releasing water from the existing carpet factories in the valley, and conduct pre-feasibility study for construction of a sewerage.

Headline: Bhutto on nuclear programme, Kashmir, SAARC, relations with China Dateline: KTM, May 23, 1994 Source : BBC

Pakistan's P.M. Benazir Bhutto, has asserted that Islamabad will not accept any unilateral conditions on its nuclear programme. Bhutto, who begins a three-day visit to the Himalayan kingdom on Tuesday (23rd May), said Pakistan was ready to accept any equitable and non-discriminatory regime for banishing nuclear weapons from South Asia for ever and charged India with not accepting Pakistan's proposals in this regard. She made these remarks in interviews to "The Kathmandu Post" and
"Kantipur", two dailies published from KTM. Accusing India of adopting a
'negative stand' on Kashmir, the Pakistani P.M. said an "amicable settlement of the Kashmir problem was central to improving Indo-Pakistan relations. Bhutto said the U.S. perception of Pakistan had changed after the disintegration of former Soviet Union, affecting U.S.-Pak relations. Nevertheless, the U.S. was not moving closer to India due to these developments, she said, adding the Clinton administration acknowledged both India and Pakistan as key players in the region. Describing China as a factor of stability in the security equation of the region, she welcomed normalization of Sino-Indian relations, which, according to her, was extremely essential for regional peace. Bhutto said: "SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) may not progress to its full potential until its charter disallowing discussion of contentious bilateral political problems is amended with a view to resolving them amicably through negotiations." She expressed confidence that her Nepal visit would help further cement the relations between the two countries.

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