The Nepal Digest - May 3, 1995 (20 Baishakh 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wednesday 3 May 95: Baishakh 20 2051 BkSm Volume 38 Issue 2

  Today's Topics:

        1. ANMA Convention in Ohio - Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-28)

 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
 * SCN Liaison: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
 * Consultant Editor: Padam P. Sharma *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta *
 * Book Reviews Columns: Pratyoush R. Onta *
 * News Correspondent Rajendra P Shrestha *
 * *
 * +++++ 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 *
 * *

********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 20 Apr 95 19:33:02 CDT From: (Sanjay B. Shah) To: Subject: Re: Message

Dear Editor,
        Please publish the follow message in the forthcoming issue. Thanks Sanjay Bikram Shah
        I would like to contact Ms. Taranmum Bajracharya (Business senior @ Kansas State). I tried contacting you via telephone, but to no avail (the # given by ISC was no longer operational). Neither could I access your email address via internet.
        I might come to Kansas State to do my PhD and I would like to have some information about the place. I'd be grateful if you would contact me. Thanks Sanjay

********************************************************** Date: 20 Apr 95 20:35:23 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News4/17-19 To:

 April 17 PM arrives in Beijing Excerpts from Xinhua report

    Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari arrived in Beijing this morning for an official good-will visit to China at the invitation of Chinese premier Li Peng. Accompanying the prime minister on the visit are his wife Sadhana Adhikari, Minister Of Finance Bharat Mohan Adhikari, Minister of Public Works and Transport Ashok Kumar Rai and some business people. The Nepalese Prime Minister and his party were greeted at the airport by Wang Senhao, head of the Chinese government reception committee and minister of coal industry.

Home Minister leaves for Thimpu for talks with Bhutan Excerpts from UPI and Reuters reports

   Home Minister K.P. Sharma Oli left for Bhutan on Monday for talks aimed at resolving the issue of the 100,000 Bhutanese refugees in camps in Nepal. The visit comes after crucial talks aimed at resolving the five-year-old dispute broke down in February.

   ''We will propose that a third party be involved in the talks now, which have so far remained a bilateral exercise and it could be any human rights organisation. We support any third party acceptable to Thimpu,'' a senior Home Ministry official told Reuters.

      Five earlier minsterial meetings between Nepal and Bhutan, two of the world's 10 poorest countries, have yielded little as the two neighbours differ on how to identify the refugees.

    Nepal is demanding a joint team of officials should conduct on-the-spot identification of those forcibly evicted from Bhutan, those who left voluntarily, criminals and non-Bhutanese nationals living in the camps.

   Thimpu insiststhe two governments should agree on these four categories of refugees before identifying them, and says it will take back only those refugees who were forced to leave their homes in southern Bhutan.

   The last meeting in February ended in deadlock as only 15,000 refugees could return under Bhutan's formula.

   ''We are not in favour of prolonging these talks. We are hopeful that the current round of meeting will be successful in resolving the problem,'' Oli told Reuters before leaving for Thimpu where he will hold discussions with his Bhutanese counterpart Dago Tshering.

    Nepal's present government considers the issue a problem between the Bhutan government and the refugees themselves. '' Nepal became involved only because we have given them humanitarian shelter,'' Oli said.

   He said Nepal was worried over the dispute as the refugees had contributed towards social and economic problems. ''We want Bhutan to free us of these problems,'' Oli said.

 April 18 PM Adhikari meets Chinese premier and president Excerpts from Xinhua and DPA reports

   Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari helds talks with Chinese Premier Li Peng in Beijing Tuesday. During the meeting, Li said China and Nepal are close neighbours and have a profound and long-standing friendship, adding that there are no unresolved problems.

    Adhikari said Nepalese-Chinese relations have been growing smoothly and Nepal is grateful to China for its support and assistance over the past many years.

    Adhikari reiterated the position that Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory and that the government of the people's republic is the sole legal government representing China, and that Tibet is an autonomous region in China. Li appreciated the Nepalese government's position on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet. Adhikari also invited Li to visit Nepal again, and Li accepted the invitation.

    After the talks, Li and Adhikari attended a ceremony for signing several documents of agreements between China and Nepal.

    The agreements include economic and technological cooperation, the maintenance of Nepal's Pokhara-Baglung highway, China providing equipment to a cancer hospital, and China providing 10 trolley buses, as well as the minutes of a meeting of a joint committee on the economy and trade.

   Prime Minister Adhikari also had a meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin later in the day. They discussed the strengthening and developing the traditional friendship between the two countries.

   Adhikari briefed Jiang on Nepal's domestic and foreign policy, restating Nepal's "one China" stand and the position of opposing anti-Chinese or separatist activities on Nepalese territory. Jiang thanked Nepal for these positions. Jiang also thanked the Nepalese government for its support for China on the human rights issue.

   During the meeting, Adhikari delivered a letter from King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev of Nepal to Jiang and an invitation from the king for Jiang to visit Nepal. Jiang accepted the invitation.

Nepal, Bhutan Hold Talks Excerpts from Xinhua report

   The 6th meeting of the joint ministerial committee of Nepal and Bhutan started in Thimpuy, Bhutan, today, according to Nepali Foreign Ministry sources. The 2-day meeting between Nepali Home Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and his Bhutanese counterpart Lyonpo Dago Tshering is to find out a durable solution to the Bhutanese refugees problem in Nepal.

 April 19 Kathmandu cab drivers strike over call for tamper-proof meters DPA report

    Taxi cabs in Katmandu stayed off the road Wednesday in protest at government moves to make them install tamper-proof electronic fare meters.

    The cab strike has been called by the Federation of National Transport Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal, said to be aligned to the opposition Nepali Congress Party which is stepping up its drive to oust the minority communist government.

    Taxi drivers say the call for accurate meters is a move solely designed to benefit the manufacturers of the devices.

Opposition says Nepal Headed towards recession Excerpts from Reuters and Xinhua reports

    Nepal's main opposition party said on Wednesday the country was heading towards economic recession and accused the communist government of doing little to prevent it.

   The ruling party said the criticism was unfounded.

   "I don't see any basis for the criticism of our policies," UML parliamentarian Chandra Raj Dhungel told Reuters.

   "There is no budget deficit, revenue collection has grown and there is no pressure on prices of commodities except on a few items like cement which we admit we have not been able to control," he said.

   The opposition Nepali Congress party, however, said the six-month-old government was wrong.

   "Shortfall in production and national income and slackness in implementation of development projects are clear indicators that the country is heading towards economic recession," Nepali Congress member Ram Sharan Mahat told a press conference held in Kathmandu.

   Mahat is the coordinator of Nepali Congress' economic and planning committee in parliament.

   Mahat said economic growth had slowed since the communists took over. Gross domestic product, which grew seven percent last year, was expected to expand by just 1.5 percent this year, he said.

   "The trade deficit this year increased 52 percent compared to last year and in total terms, the trade deficit is estimated to exceed 40,000 million Rupees (800 million US dollars)," he said. He also said that development spending by the government was down 23 percent.

***************************************************************** Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 20:41:05 -0400 To: Subject: Langtang Trek From: (Robert Kingston)

I am interested in doing the Langtang trek in November. From reading it seems to be less crowded (relative term I suppose) and very beautiful. I would love to hear from anyone who has done it. I need to know (1) Are there adequate tea houses, lodgings etc. (2) how does it compare to other treks in scenery? (3) I have read that the Tibetan Buddhist presence is very strong there; is that correct? Thanks.

******************************************************************* Date: FRI, 21 APR 95 12:42:36 JST From: "BISHWA P SUBEDI, IUJ, JAPAN" <193041@JPNIUJ00.BitNet> Subject: Mr. Mishra, Badhai! To: The Nepal Digest <>

Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate to P Mishra for the most enlightening post I saw on the subject so far. I even, ot put it frankly, do not have words to praise his laudable post, not to mention to exaggerate it. We TND readers are fortunate, IMHO at least, to find such well-balanced and profound write-up.

Thanks and regards, Bishwa P Subedi

******************************************************************** Date: Fri, 21 Apr 95 02:49:38 EDT From: To: Subject: New Economic Policy of the UML Government

The Revised Economic Policies of the UML Government Summary

The UML Government has recently clarified its positions on economic policies. These are not new or even substantially revised policies but rather clarifications that now must be implemented. The economic polices were not handed down from the leaders to the masses, but were subject to extensive discussion. As such, they represent compromises. Further, economic policy is evolving. Current policy differs from that enunciated in the Budget Speech, which differs from the policy favored by the UML when they were in opposition. Their program is likely to change again in the future. At this point most of the policies exist on paper only, judgment must be reserved until implementation details become known.

The major change in Government is in its attitude. They now talk of the need to harness the energy and creativity of the private sector and involving them more in decision making. Government has a better understanding of the need to provide incentives to businesses to change their actions, rather than issuing directives. While rhetoric has changed, there have not yet been complimentary actions.

Another area where there has been major change is Government's attitude toward privatization. From being almost entirely opposed, Government now sees the need for selective privatization. They have clarified the changes they would like to make in the process. It is expected that as they explore these alternatives (cooperatives, management contracts and Employee Stock Ownership Plans ESOPs) they will find them of less value than full privatization.

Government is committed to controlling domestic borrowing as per the Expanded Structural Adjustment Facility ESAF agreement. They will not allow domestic spending to increase the deficit. Government is now emphasizing increases in indirect, not direct taxes as was stated in their earlier policy papers. While not committing themselves to the VAT, they are talking favorably about it and the need to establish the implementation mechanism as well as secure a consensus in support of it. It is hoped their earlier commitment to transparency, accountability and simplicity in taxes becomes real.

Another positive tax change is the commitment to eliminate the Octroi Tax, although there is no discussion of with what it will be replaced. The gradual elimination of the export service fee was demanded by the private sector, however, given the profits these firms make it appears they ought to pay some taxes.

Government has moved away from the protectionist policies enunciated shortly after coming to power and now talks of lowering duties and encouraging competition. Similarly, they recognize the need to lower the maximum company tax rates so as to provide incentives comparable to those offered elsewhere in the region.

Government continues to talk about establishing Fair Price Shops. These will be targeted to the poor, will sell only essentials and will be run by cooperatives. Government recognizes the difficulty of establishing these shops and assuring they are not abused. Thus, their slow implementation is positive. Similarly, talk of price controls is being replaced with efforts to influence supply by influencing imports. This too is positive, although greater import of essentials will lower farmgate prices in Nepal.

Government's first steps at old age pensions for the poor, extension of free primary health services, and work on allowing daughters to inherit property are also positive.

Government is expanding the Grameen like banks as a way to provide sustainable credit to rural women. There is reason for concern because of the speed with which the program is being expanded, but the approach is correct.

On business registration there are two positive changes, the selective relaxation of the Rs20 million minimum foreign investment rule (although the conditions need to be made transparent and predictable), and the expansion of the one- window system to domestic investors. It is vital that the implementation procedures preserve simplified registration.

There are two positive changes in Government's policy toward banks. The most important is an emphasis on monitoring and regulating banks, rather than directly controlling them. Government will continue to allow the market to determine interest rates. The other change is to recapitalize the large state banks and explore ways to restructure them. Allowing more private investors onto the Board is good, but additional steps to recover bad debts and prevent them from recurring are necessary.

With respect to foreign exchange the Government is committed to further liberalizing the service and transfer accounts that will allow easier access to foreign exchange. They have also decided to study whether to continue the fixed link between the Nepali and the Indian rupee.

Nearly all the changes in policy are improvements over earlier pronouncements. Other than in the foreign exchange area, this Government will not blaze new paths to liberalization, but neither will they backtrack much.

******************************************************************* From: (Sanjiv Shrestha) Subject: Ways to make your roomie..... To: Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 03:17:09 -0700 (PDT)

> Just thought that students out there who have nightmarish roommates
     might like this:

> 30 ways to make your roommate have a mental breakdown:
> 1. Make brown-bag lunches for your roommate every morning. Give them
> to him/her before he/she goes to class.
> 2. Every time you enter the room, sit in a chair, lean back too far,
> and fall over backwards. Laugh hysterically for about ten minutes.
> Then, one day, repeat the falling-over exercise, but instead of
> laughing, get up, look at the chair sternly, and say, "It's not
> funny anymore."
> 3. Read with a flashlight when the lights are on. Pretend to read
> without one when the lights are out, remarking every so often how
> great the book is.
> 4. Get a surfboard. Put it on your bed. Stand on it, and pretend to
> surf for about fifteen minutes. Then, pretend to "wipe out," and
> fall off the bed onto the floor. Pretend you are drowning until
> your roommate comes over to "rescue" you.
> 5. Keep a hamster as a pet. Buy a blender, and make milkshakes every
> day. Then, one day, get rid of the hamster. Make a shake using a
> lot of ketchup. When your roommate comes in, look at the shake,
> look at the empty cage, and tell your roommate, "I was curious."
> 6. Make toast for breakfast every morning, but don't plug the toaster
> in. Eat the plain bread, looking at the toaster angrily, and
> complain that the toaster doesn't know what it's doing. If your
> roommate suggests plugging it in, go on a tangent about fire-safety
> hazards.
> 7. Pack up all of your things and tell your roommate that you're going
> away to "find yourself." Leave, and come back in about ten minutes.
> If your roommate asks, explain that you're not a hard man to find.
> 8. Never speak to your roommate directly. If you need to ask or tell
> him/her something, go to another room and call him/her on the phone.
> 9. Every night, before you go to bed, beg your roommate for a glass of
> water. When he/she brings it, dump it on the floor and immediately
> go to sleep. If he/she ever refuses to bring you a glass of water,
> lie on the bed and pretend to be dying of dehydration, making
> annoying gagging sounds, until he/she does so.
> 10. Every time the phone rings, turn on the stereo at full volume and
> begin to violently slam-dance with your roommate. If he/she asks
> about it, say, "Oh, that damn hypnotist...."
> 11. Hang a picture of your roommate on the wall. Throw darts at it.
> Smile at your roommate often, saying things like, "How nice to see
> you again."
> 12. Get a can of beans. Label them, "Jumping beans." Eat them, and
> then jump around the room. Get another can of beans. Label them,
> "Dancing beans." Eat them, and then dance around the room. Get
> another can of beans. Label them, "Kill Your Roommate beans." Eat
> them, smiling at your roommate.
> 13. Every time your roommate falls asleep, wait ten minutes, and then
> wake him/her up and say, "It's time to go to bed now."
> 14. Insist that your roommate recite the "Pledge Of Allegiance" with
> you every morning.
> 15. Recite "Dr. Seuss" books, all the time. Eventually, think up
> melodies for the words and sing them, loudly, directly to your
> roommate. If he/she tells you to stop, act offended and spend the
> day in bed.
> 16. Put up traffic signs around the room. If your roommate doesn't
> obey them, give him/her tickets. Confiscate something your
> roommate owns until he/she pays the tickets.
> 17. Walk, talk, and dress like a cowboy at all times. If your roommate
> inquires, tell him/her, "Don't worry little buckaroo. You'll be
> safe with me."
> 18. Complain that your elbows, knees, and other joints have been
> bothering you. Get a screwdriver, and pretend to "fix" them.
> 19. Paint abstract paintings, and title them things like, "Roommate
> Dying in a Car Crash," and "Roommate Getting Whacked in the Head
> with a Shovel." Comment often about how much you love the
> paintings.
> 20. Wear glasses, and complain that you can never see anything. Bump
> into walls and doors. Put your clothes on backwards. Say, "Who's
> that?" every time your roommate enters the room. When you're not
> wearing the glasses, act like you can see fine.
> 21. Buy a lava lamp. Stare at it for hours, imitating its movements
> with your face. Explain to your roommate that you have established
> a connection with the spirit world through the lava lamp. Tell
> your roommate that "Grandma said hi."
> 22. Keep empty jars on the shelf. Tell your roommate that this is your
> collection of "inert gases." Look at them often. One day, act
> surprised and angered, and accuse your roommate of having released
> one of the gases. Cover your nose and mouth and run out of the
> room.
> 23. Wear scary Halloween masks. Look in the mirror and scream
> hysterically for about five minutes every time you put one on.
> 24. Rollerskate up and down the hallway. Every time you see your
> roommate, crash into him/her and knock him/her down. Apologize,
> and say that he/she looked like "the enemy."
> 25. Put headphones on your roommate while he/she is sleeping, and
> subliminally teach him/her to speak Spanish, play the trombone,
> and memorize all the major imports and exports of each African
> nation.
> 26. Stick your head out the window, but forget to open it, so that your
> head crashes through the glass. Then say, "Silly me," open the
> window again, and try to stick your head through. Act like you hit
> your head on something.
> 27. Dress like a military officer. Insist that your roommate salute
> you upon sight. If he/she refuses, insist that he/she do 100
> push-ups. Keep saying things like, "Your momma isn't here to take
> care of you any more."
> 28. Keep a collection of teeth in a jar. Act excited whenever you add
> to it, and say things like, "In a little while I'll have enough for
> that sailboat."
> 29. Get a pet rabbit. At a designated time every day, take the rabbit
> into the bathroom and engage in loud shouting matches. If your
> roommate inquires, refuse to discuss the situation.
> 30. Spread toothpicks all over the floor. Stare at them, acting like
> you're trying to read something. Tell your roommate it's a message
> from God, but you're not sure whether it's a warning about a loved
> one in danger or a recipe for really great chili.

***************************************************************************** From: sgautam@neoucom.EDU (Shiva P. Gautam) Subject: Re: Brahmin in the house of untouchable To: Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 13:19:20 -0400 (EDT)

This is a response to Padam K. Mishra (although it is a digression from the main topic of Sanskrit) to his question 'Have you seen a Brahmin perform ritual in the house of an untouchable? If you have, let me know.'
 Here goes- his name is Chhabilaal Pokhrel- a Sanskrit teacher in Pindeswari, Dharan. And he is still revered by the Brahmin (priest) community
- I have also seen a Rai given a Brahmin priest status. His name I believe is Swami Prapannacharya. Some passing comments
- I am told that in Aarya Samaaj (a movement started last century(?) which considers rituals all mumbojumbo??) everybody is the same -no caste.
-Krisna Pranaamis (in Nepal also) do not practice castism and rituals
(Krisnaism is their only ritual). Like Hare Krishna Group (ISKON?)
-Vaisnab sect also does not practice caste system (so I heard).
- Buddha was against rituals- that's why Brahmin of that time declared Buddha to be an atheist and Buddhism an atheism. Only the Brahmins of later period incorporated him in Hinduism by declaring him as an incarnation of God.
-Krishna was also vehemently against Brahministic rituals.
- So ridiculous was the caste system Rana's used to 'dole out' caste. Whenever a powerful Rana married beautiful woman of lower caste they would promote her family's caste to Chettri. Some of the Pandey Chettry of Kathmandu are examples of this. Ranas upgraded one group of untouchable Newar and one group of untouchable Terai people. An aunt of my acquaintance was demoted to untouchable because she lit her 'biDI' with a
'biDi' a untouchable was smoking (about 50-60 yrs ago). Rana's did not administered capital punishment to Brahmins but used to something so that they will be demoted to lower caste including untouchable.
-By the way, is not caste a Portugese(Portugese came to Goa, India before the British) word which means color?
 Some other comments on Mishra's posting; Mishra writes 'Nepali is a necessary evil'(or something like that). Why so? If it is evil why is it necessary? and if it is necessary why is it evil? What language is unnecessary and what language is saint in Nepal?. A speaker of any other mother tounge would not have said that his language is evil. Only a Brahmin would have made such an incoherent, too eagerly compromising and too esily giving in comment. (note that Nepali-also known as Khas Kura did not used to be Brahmin's language. Bhanubhakta was critisized by the Brahmins of that time for writing Raamaayan in Nepali). Mishra is either a non-Nepali speaker who hates Nepali or a Nepali speaker who is too filled with guilt for having Nepali as his mother toungue. If he is a non-Nepali speaker then he should know that a large number of people speak Nepali, and if somebody had made such a remark about his (Mishra's) language I don't think he would be happy about it. If he is full of guilt then he should swith to other language. Although my forefathers did not speak Nepali, I do speak Nepali, and love it dearly. Every body should beproud of their culture, language as long as it does not do any harm to other group.(such things are not stagnant any way the keep changing, and if necessary one should try to bring changes for good purpose). One other possibility for Mishra's saying that Nepali is an evil language is to appease non-Nepali speaker or look good or look intellectual or just for fashion - to be cool. When you have to compromise you do not need put down yourself, your family, your community, your language, your country or anything that you love dearly. It can and should be done on the basis of equal footing.
 - Other than that I agree most of the comments made by Mishra.
**************************************************************************** From: (Raju Tuladhar) Subject: Language&Religion To: Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995

Re : Shiva P. Gautam's article in TND (18th April)

I appreciate Mr. Shiva P. Gautam's efforts to rationalize rather a complex issue. Nuru Lama has tried to point out some bitter truth.
 As one says "TRUTH IS BITTER BUT IT IS STILL THE TRUTH", this bitter truth Mr. Lama has pointed out seems hard to swallow for some people.

I do not intend prolong this language discussion, and this article is not regarding the language issue, however, I am responding here to raise some questions about Mr. Gautam's view point.

Mr. Gautam has correctly pointed out "Extreme worship of ethnicity may result in 'for me not for thy' attitude, and he has rightfully asked "should we be carried out too much by language or religion issues? which seems to put the humanity at risk. Similar arguments can be applied to religion as well.

But it is also necessary to clarify some people's misconception, otherwise, very soon there will not be any distinction between truth and hearsays.

Mr. Gautam on one hand says that his remarks are not intended to offend anybody, but at the same time he makes the remark that Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism.

This sounds a very controversial claim. To me, this is just
* an another case of minority oppression
* an another case of snubbism

This statement can be compared to : somebody trying to write an abstract of a book without reading even one page.

I am sure if Mr. Gautam had put little effort to understand Buddhist concepts, he would not made have such statements. But if he has not understood or tried to understand Buddhism by its original concept, then it is not appropriate to make such an arrogant statement by educated people like Mr. Gautam.

Can Mr. Gautam explain on what basis does he think that Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism?

(a) Is it because Buddhism was developed in an area where Hinduism
    is prevalent now?
(b) Is it because Buddha was born in a family which people now think
    was a Hindu family?
(c) Is it because Mr. Gautam has seen only Newari Buddhists who are
    also following Hindu rituals?
(d) or is it because some Hindus regard Buddha as one incarnation of
    Lord Narayana?

If (a), and (b) are the reasons, then this statement that Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism can be compared to the following (abbreviated) joke:

There were two people from country A and B. The person from country A put all the efforts and made a noble invention, then the person from country B comes and puts the rubber stamp "Made in B".

Should not the educated people like us give some credit to the original idea? The very word Buddha means perfectly enlightened person through his own effort. The teachings proponented by Buddha were not based upon any "Vedas" or existing epics, but through his own knowledge. If the people do not believe this, I will mention two major differences in Buddhism from other religion:

(1) In Buddhism, there is no such thing as "Atman" (permanent soul), for
    the reason that everything in this world is only temporary.
(2) In Buddhism, the universe and living beings was not created by
    some super-powerful being, but the universe existed ever since, and
    it will continue to exist, but it may only go through the cycle
    of formation, sustainance, and devolution. Similarly, the living
   beings are the product of continuing evolution process.

There are many other differences, which I am sure that sincerely interested persons can find out through some good Buddhist texts. One more difference which might be relevant and beneficial to the situation of Nepal is that, Buddhism teaches that liberation can be obtained only through self effort, and it makes the individual people self responsible. It discards the idea that people can be liberated through "Gau Daan" or "Saraddha" or "Washing away one's crimes in river".

Buddhism is not a rubber stamp religion, although, the situations in Nepal and Kathmandu give such an impression. To be Buddhist, one must genuinely practice Buddhism. A person genuinely practicing Buddhism will be self-responsible and have an un-biased compassion for others. In Buddhism, humanity and compassion for others have more priority than believing or worshipping the god.

The situations in Kathmandu and Nepal are different. Due to over several hundred years of co-existing with fellow Hindus, the rituals followed by Newar or Other Buddhists in Nepal look very similar to Hindu rituals. Contrary to the original Buddhist teachings, there are castes among Newari Buddhists, and they do "Saraddhas" and go to the river to wash away their mis-deeds. The caste system was introduced by Jayasthiti Malla who is another non-Buddhist King. But the deviation in the path followed by certain people should not be taken as the reason to discredit the original teachings.

Some people regard Buddha as one of the incarnation of the lord Narayana among ten incarnations (ninth in the order, after Matsya, Katsya, Baraha, Narasimha, Bamaan, Parshuram, Ram, and Krishna). But ironically, the same people who regard Buddha as one of the incarnation, they also never try to learn about what Buddha actually said about, or deliberately they ignore what Buddha said, and gets turned off even by the mention of the word Buddhism.

Buddhism is popular all over the world. It is very pathetic that it is struggling hard for its existence in those area where the Buddha was born (in Nepal) and Buddhism grew up (in India). Buddhist concept was prolific one time in India too. But it suffered the back lash, because it does not give any special status to few particular castes.

My criticisms are not directed against any other religions or the group following that religion in general. It is only for those people having some mis-conceptions and makes some statements out of the hat (like by a magician) that Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism.

Gold is gold whether one calls "Suun" in Nepali, "nLoo" in Newari,
"Sona" in Hindi, "Gold" in English, or the symbol "Au" in periodic
 table. Similarly noble truths and ideas in essence will not change.

It is really not so important, whichISM we are really following, so long as we are doing what the founders of these different whichISMs expected us to do that is the upliftment of the humanity.

But at the same time, it is also important to clarify and raise the voice against some people's mis-conceptions. Some people have habit of snubbing others just by saying "you are in my pocket, so I am always better than you". The truth can get buried under such attitudes.

"Dhanyabaad" Raju Tuladhar

*********************************************************************** From: (Diwas Khati - student) To: Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 15:10:23 -0400 (EDT)


Here is a small request from a Nepali in a small-town America..... Is the Nepal Digest thinking of publishing a list of Nepali Holidays or other festivals with their corresponding dates in English calendar so that Nepalese like myself would be well informed and well equipped when it came to observing such occasions...and there are more people who would be glad to have such info.....just a modest request....


*********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 15:57:43 -0700 (PDT) From: Dahal Durga <> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - April 20, 1995 (7 Baishakh 2052 BkSm)

To Pramod Mishra, Hi dear, why do you intend to swim in the marsh. So far I know, no body should be sick, while radio talks in Sanskrit. Just turn off your radio. I am with you. Love Pramod.

************************************************************************ From: (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Essay To: (tnd) Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 21:34:06 -0400 (EDT)

The following essay was published in the Kathmandu Post sometime during fall 1994. It is posted here with the author's permission.

Kathmandu's Dirty History

by Abana Onta

There have been many debates and discussions lately in the media regarding how Kathmandu has turned into a dirty valley over the last few years. The debates are there only because Kathmandu in fact has become dirty as never before. The air has become very polluted. Solid waste accumulates faster than it can be removed from the streets even as a permanent disposal site is being sought. The uncontrolled urban growth has resulted in traffic congestion and the non-availability of adequate supply of drinking water, parks, public toilets, and sewage facilities. While the subject of pollution in Kathmandu finds space in the front pages of newspapers and TV talk-programmes, no immediate solution to Kathmandu's woes can be seen.

It is correct to say that the volumes of solid waste and sewage have increased greatly in recent times due to the enormous growth in the valley's population. Also absolute quantity of vehicular exhaust pollution has gone up - one can feel that in the air we breathe without the assistance of scientific studies. However, much of the present talk about Kathmandu's pollution seems to imply that Kathmandu at one point in the past was a very clean city. Of course, it was not as dirty as now but it was also not very clean in the past.

A complete account of Kathmandu's dirty history is yet to be written. Here I simply present some extracts from published works as a preliminary effort toward the making of such a history.

Daniel Wright who was a surgeon at the British Residency in Nepal in the1860s described the streets of Kathmandu in the following manner: "The streets of Kathmandu are very narrow, mere lanes in fact; and the whole town is very dirty. In every lane there is a stagnant ditch, full of putrid mud, and no attempt is ever made to clean these thoroughly. The streets, it is true, are swept in the centre, and part of the filth is carried off by the sellers of manure; but to clean the drains would now be impossible without knocking down the entire city, as the whole ground is saturated with filth." Then he added, "the houses are generally built in the form of hollow squares, opening off the streets by low doorways; and these central courtyards are too often only receptacles for rubbish of every sort. In short, from a sanitary point of view, Kathmandu may be said to be built on a dunghill in the middle of latrines."

Much of the same observation regarding Kathmandu's filth can be found in what Lt. Col. G.H.D. Gimlette, who was also a Surgeon at the British Residency here in the 1880s, wrote in his book, Nepal And The Nepalese. Published in 1928, this book discusses social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of Nepal at the time of his stay here. Gimlette wrote,"The filth of the city is abominable. Along the sides of the streets and lanes, which are paved with brick or stone, lie deep gutters a foot or eighteen inches wide and of about the same depth, filled with stagnant, stinking black mud, into which every sort of refuse finds its way. These gutters are never thoroughly cleansed. The foundations of the city must be saturated with the filth of more than a thousand years"
(emphasis added). Writing elsewhere Gimlette mentioned that the stench coming from Kathmandu's streets was at all times bad but on warm rainy mornings, it became sickening.

While Wright and Gimlette had been long-term residents of the Valley before they wrote the above commentaries on Kathmandu's filth, Henry Ballantine who visited Kathmandu for a few days in 1885 had the following to say in his book, Nepal The Gurkhas' Mysterious Land (1896): "On the opposite side from the esplanade lay the capital city of 50,000 inhabitants wedged in between the Bagmati and Vishnumati, extending up from the point where these streams unite, and presenting a most picturesque appearance outwardly, but inwardly reeking with filth; a city which has dunghills for its foundations, stagnant pools for ornamental lakes, whose streets do duty for drains and latrines, where the widest thoroughfares are narrow lanes wretchedly paved, only fit for inoculated pedestrians. Such is Kathmandu with its ever present effluvia and stench, so that it is no wonder that during the summer just closing ten thousand, or one fifth of its population had fallen victims to cholera."

These observations come from the few foreigners who were in the valley during the second half of the last century. Similar observations made in almost identical words can be found in works by other visitors but we need not present them here. The basic point to be noted is that old Kathmandu's streets, sewage system and water distribution schemes left a lot to be desired in terms of cleanliness and hygiene. A reading of memoirs written by Nepalis did not reveal similar descriptions but several references to epidemics of gastroenteric diseases were found in them. As mentioned in the above extract from Ballantine, the filth of the city was the main cause of these epidemics.

Epidemics of cholera, typhoid and other diseases occured very often. Report on the cholera epidemic of 1885 in Nepal by G. H. Gimlette published in The British Medical Journal is especially useful for our present purposes. According to Gimlette, the first recorded epidemic of cholera in Nepal took place in 1823. It appeared first in the east and gradually spread all over the country including Kathmandu, causing great mortality. During the nineteenth century, similar epidemics occured in 1831, 1843, 1856, 1862, 1867, 1872, 1882, 1885. The epidemics of 1856 and 1885 were the most severe. They lasted for several months, and the mortality in Kathmandu was said to have been, for some weeks, 200 to 250 daily. Gimlette further wrote that the lack of pure drinking water, clean open spaces, and ignorance among the people of the valley were responsible for these epidemics. Much closer to the present , Hari Shrestha (of the Newari newsreader over Radio Nepal fame) writes in his memoirs, Aatitka Smriti (1989), how epidemics of cholera and typhoid wiped out most of his eight siblings during the first half of this century. Similarly severe epidemics of cholera in Kathmandu in 1948 and 1958 reportedly caused many deaths.

Kathmandu is currently facing an outbreak of diarrhoea and cholera. Although not an epidemic, it has nevertheless taken the lives of many people. Contaminated water supply is one of the main reasons why these diseases and others like typhoid spread easily among a wide population. If this is true today, then it was also true in the past. While the scale of the Valley's current pollution-related problems are unprecedented, it should not force us to think that its past was a clean one. The memory of those who perished in the epidemics mentioned above is testimony enough of Kathmandu's dirty history. END

********************************************************************* Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 00:36:56 -0400 To: Subject: Press Release for Asian Magazine From: (Advanced Microcomputer Systems)

Press Release For Asian Magazine

We publish magazine called Desh - Videsh. It is a magazine covering the articles and news items intested to Asians-Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankans Trinidadiads. The magazine is mailed in florida free of charge to all the asians and americans who is interested in asians culture. Soon we will be launching a local edition in Houston, Detroit, San Diego, and Philadelphia. Please forward all your press release to the following address.If you are in charge of any organization or a company and if you want to receieve a complementry issue, please Email your address.

Desh Videsh 1460 SW 3rd St. Pompano Beach, Fl 33069

(305) 784-8100 Phone
(305) 784-8101 Fax
(305) 784-0056 BBS

********************************************************************** Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 00:40:39 -0400 To: Subject: WTD: Rules for Bagh Chal game. From: (Fergal Purcell)

I recently received the games Bagh Chal (Tiger Moving Game) from Nepal. The rules for the game are in written in poor English which makes it difficult/impossible to understand how to play the game. After having a go at playing the game yesterday, there were too many questions which remain unanswered.

EG. If a tiger is encircled can it escape by jumping a goat and therefore removing that goat from the board ? Can another tiger
'come to the rescue' to eliminate one of the encircling goats to releasing the encircled goat ? Is an encircled tiger removed from the board ? Are all tigers to be encircled for the goats to win ? etc etc etc

If anyone has the rules (in understandable English), I'd appreciate it if they'd Email the rules to me.

Thanks, Fergal

****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 00:41:21 -0400 To: Subject: favor request From: (Pratyoush R. Onta)

If there is anybody out there who is heading toward Kathmandu before the end of April and is willing to do me a favor by taking a 30-page paper and a floppy disk, please contact me at

I need to meet a deadline. I would not be able to do so with other affordable mail services.

Thanks in advance. Pratyoush

************************************************************************ Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 00:42:01 -0400 From: Subject: language, ethnicity, and nationalism

I am trying to write a paper on the way linguistic differences and ethnic identities affect nationalism in Nepal. How widespread was Nepali before the gorkha conquest? HOw quickly did Nepalese become the national language. Was there any concerted effort (govt or grass-roots) for or against the spread of Nepalese as the national language? How was Nepalese standardized and when did this happen? HOw did education, transportation, communication, and govt influence at the local level affect feelings of nationalism in Nepal? Was there any sense of Nationality before the Gorkha conquest in 1678? To what extent is there now a sense of nationality? Is this greater among some classes/castes or ethnic groups than others? Is it greater in some regions? These are the types of questions that I am trying to answer. If anyone knows of a particularly interesting issue to look into on this subject please tell me. Also any historical or current information or suggestions for sources of information would be greatly appreciated.

thanks (Dhanyabaad) Eric Wiesen

************************************************************************ Date: Sat, 22 Apr 95 17:40:50 JST To: Subject: Needing information on kathmandu valley From: (Dhakal Amod)

There used to be many artcles on kathmandu valley in the past issues. I am in need of information like population growth pattern,traffic, environmental problems, crimes etc. I will appreciate it very much if someone having those articles could mail that to me.

Rajpal ji, Can you help me!! Amod sagar Dhakal

************************************************************************ Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 11:53:24 -0400 From: To: Subject: Scholarships for Nepali students


Does anyone know if there are any shcolarships specifically for Nepali students in the USA.?

***************************************************************************** Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 18:10:51 -0400 From: (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: Langtang Trek

Cross-posted from SCN:

Robert Kingston ( wrote:
: I am interested in doing the Langtang trek in November. From reading it
: seems to be less crowded (relative term I suppose) and very beautiful. I
: would love to hear from anyone who has done it. I need to know (1) Are
: there adequate tea houses, lodgings etc. (2) how does it compare to other
: treks in scenery? (3) I have read that the Tibetan Buddhist presence is
: very strong there; is that correct? Thanks.

Well, you have misunderstood perhaps. Langtang trek is one of the easiest among the trekking routes and close to Kathmandu. Therefore, it will be crowded during the main trekking period Feb-August and is less crowded as it gets colder. I trekked during August. You can go by bus to Dhunche. There are plenty of lodges and tea houses on the route. However, I would suggest you to Carry a sleeping bag with you which you can hire in Kathmandu stores (go to Thamel for this). Carry some supplies like trekkers' food items - soups, noodles and sausage. This will be convenient if you don't like the food in the local eating places. People in the high altitude are mostly Budhists who closely resemble Tibetans but are not truely Tibetan. You will pass via Shyabru Besi where they have a monastery. They also have a monastery at Kyangshing Gumba and at Shing gumba (Chandanbari) on the trekking route. Visit also Gosain kund while you are there. Have a nice trek. _ Nagendra

********************************************************************* Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 16:39:32 -1000 From: Ratna Shrestha <ratna@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - April 20, 1995 (7 Baishakh 2052 BkSm)

On "kathmandu's Pollution Update:"
        Thanks to A. Tuladhar for sharing the data on KTM's pollution. The figure warrants an immediate but appropriate policy response. However it will be prudent to look at aggregate air quality rather than emission of each vehicle.
        In part the emission standard themselves are at fault. First the standard is set on the basis of percentage of CO in emission; it does not
 take into account of time rate, ie, how much CO is emitted per mileage or day. Second, as the population grows and the number of vehicles on the road increase, air quality necessarily deteriorates even if every car has met the standard.
        Nevertheless I do not necessarily mean to argue against such standard, what I want to emphasize is that the relevancy of such standard for overall pollution control should be caefully analyzed before its implementation. To me the present standard seems too stringent in the sense that if it is enforced more than 6o% of vehicles will be wiped out from the srteet of KTM.
        Ktm' pollution problem from vehicle exhaust (not taking into account of other sources) is localized in nature, you experience smoke mostly along the busy streets. Therefore one way to mitigate the pollution is by reducing the road congestion. Car pooling, mass transit such as buses, off-lane bus stops, systematic parking, staggerred office hours for govt and non govt agencies among others are a few worthile ways to lessen the congestion problem. Stringent rules such as higher emission standard are harder to enforce. Therefore the present standard should be made lenient and supplemented by economic incentive programs if we really want to breathe cleaner air. Subsidies or less tax on spare parts, and a little increase in gasolene tax can substantially improve the air quality in KTM without or with less direct regulation on vehicles.

        On A Tuladhar's comment, I would like to say the following. The contribution of SO2 and NO (from KTM's vehicle exhaust) to green house gases is negligible because the emission is very small and can easily be assimilated by the nature. Similarly Lead is a fuel additive used to prevent the loss of gasolene by evaporation and should therefore be controlled at the refinery not at the vehicle level.

Namaste, Ratna K. Shrestha Hawaii

******************************************************** From: (NA Punal) Subject: Thank you for responding to... To: Date: Sun, 23 Apr 1995 08:01:09 +0100 (BST)

Dear readers of TND,

Tank you for responding to my short enquiry on the trekking situation in Nepal and on Adventure travel. The information was of use and has served as a useful backup to my knowledge of the subject...

I would like to make another request (totally unrelated to Adventure Travel),

This summer I will be working in Atlanta GA on a special exchange programme from the United Kingdom...

I was wondering whether there are any readers of TND who may live in Atlanta and if it is possible to get in contact with them.

Although not a Nepali myself, I am extremely interested in meeting more people from Nepal and learning about your culture and I view this trip as a magnificient opportunity to do so...

May I take this opportunity to wish everybody a happy new year 2052 and may this year be a "fruitful" one in every sense!...


Nicolas Punal Bristol, England, UK.

*********************************************************************** From: Puspa M Joshi <> Subject: New Year To: Date: Sun, 23 Apr 1995 13:11:53 -0400 (EDT)

                         IN COLUMBUS, OHIO By: Puspa Joshi

Kudos to Mukesh Singh who organized a grand new year's party on Friday evening
(April 14th) at the Buckeye Village Recreation Center. This time, with the help of Mary K. Rose, Mukesh was able to create a new menu. We had chicken and goat (not a lamb! - real taja khasi ko masu) instead of chicken and pork. As it was a pot luck dinner, all the participants brought a Nepali dish. In addition, everyone donated a few dollars for the purchase of the khasi.

Though some students were out of town, because of the presence of guests from Bowling Green, (Ohio), Cincinnati, and Illinois, the party was very lively, with delicious food enjoyed by all.

As usual, after the dinner there was a short cultural program organized by Sarala Pandey. The folk dance performances by children, Ashish Joshi and Robin Vaidya and Ninka Tamot were excellent even though time allowed for only a few days' rehearsal. This entertainment will be a part of the much larger Nepali gathering in Columbus in May 27-28. In addition to the program presented by the local community (singing, dancing, telling jokes and musical instruments), there were artistic contributions from visitors as well. A Newari poem was recited by Dr. Mohan Shrestha and a Nepali song was sung by Pushkar Shrestha. The party ended around 12 0'clock.

********************************************************************** Date: Sun, 23 Apr 1995 15:56:24 -0400 (EDT) From: Nirmal Ghimirez <NGH42799Q236@DAFFY.MILLERSV.EDU> To: Subject: Khoj


Could someone knidly inform me about my cousin from Dang. His name is Ananta. He is more known as "Bhaiya".He was studying in Minnesota or Minnapolis I am not sure.
"Bhaiay" if you get this information please respond to me.


************************************************************************ Date: Sun, 23 Apr 1995 15:08:48 -0700 (PDT) From: Sujata Rana <> To: Subject: sexist education - BKS saga

on 18 April, Rabi thapa responded to my posting about the sexist nature of education in Nepal, saying that BKS was infact a co-ed school. this is something that I am fully aware of, and yet I do contend that BKS is as sexist as the education system in the rest of NePal - just allowing girls does not change the essential nature of the system. Also, how long after BKS establishment did it take for them to realise that girls also might benefit from their school?

Sujata rana.

******************************************************** Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 11:31:31 -0700 (PDT) From: Dahal Durga <> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - April 20, 1995 (7 Baishakh 2052 BkSm)

Dear D Gurung, where ever you are, why do you write Nepal as a poorest country in the world? Which one you saw the richest? As a Nepali, I never sa Nepal poorest while travelling the world? Do you want to citate some others, or you say so. I heard Birendra Shah saying so because he wished more donations, whose most part he used to commission within self, and relatives. For you what? Thank You.

Hi Bista, There are thousands of Nepali in Singapore. I am not sure which you wish to know?

Yes, and I have some informations from Neapl. I like to say that I am one short of experties about Nepal. Let us go ahead.

******************************************************************** Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 10:49:24 +0100 To: From: (Petter)

To anyone interested in human-rights-issues in Nepal: I am a swedish journalist student and I am going to visit Nepal in May this year. I want to investigate and write about to what degree human rights are respected in Nepal. I plan to concentrate on the following aspects of human rights: 1: The respect for the integrity of the person. This aspect concerns police-brutality, "disappearances", torture and arbitrary arrests and simular violations of the human rights. I am also interested in how mentally ill persons are treated in institutions and in every-day life. 2: Respect for political rights. Are all opinions and political parties respected by the government? 3: Freedom of speech and press. How free is the nepalese press? To what degree are Article 13 and the State offenses act circumscribing the journalistic freedom? If anyone could give me ideas regarding these issues or names of organizations or persons to contact, please send me a message to my e-mail: I am grateful for all kind of help. Petter Ljunggren, University of journalism in Gothenbourg

************************************************************************ Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 11:54:15 +0100 To: From: Subject: childlabour

Does anyone out there have any information on childlabour in Nepal? I=B4m a journalism student from Sweden going to Nepal end of May and will be writing articles on various aspects of childlabour. Have conditions improved for children in carpet factories? Is rugmark a good idea? What alternatives exist for working children? What does the situation for childlabours look like in other sectors? Would be grateful for ideas on useful contacts, reports and so on. Please write to

From: Subject: arun111

Arun 111 - ring any bells? If so, and you know something I might not, then write to me... I am a journalism student from Sweden and will be going to Nepal at the end of May. Will be writing about ARUN 111. Want to know as much as possible about discussions going on internally and externally in the World Bank, the Nepali government, enviromental organisations. How come the Nepali government decided to go through with the project? And why is the World Bank stubbornly holding on? Please write to Thank-you!

********************************************************************* Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 12:46:16 +0100 To: From: (Niklas)


I am a journalist student from Sweden and I will visit Nepal in May and June this year. My purpose is to write about a few different subjects in the nepali society and now I am looking for people to contact. So if you have information about the following subjects please send me an e-mail as soon as possible. 1. Education: What is done to give every citizen basic knowledege in reading and writing and what forces are working against such a development? What chanses are given to girls, adault women, the poorest and other groups? 2. Gender awareness: What is done to give women power to control their on lives? 3. Refugees from Bhutan: What will happen with these people? Whos fault is it that the situation is as it is today and who is responsible for solving it? Nepal, Bhutan or India? 4. Football: Is it big or small? Economy, tradition and future possibilites.

My address:

*********************************************************************** Date: 25 Apr 95 08:49:37 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News4/20-23 To:

April 20 At least 85 arrested in Kathmandu during vehicle strike AFP report

    At least 85 people were arrested Thursday for allegedly trying to stop state-run buses from plying the Nepalese capital as a transport strike left thousands of commuters stranded, union leaders said.

   But Home Ministry officials confirmed only 21 arrests of people trying to obstruct buses belonging to a state-run cooperative.

   The strike was called by a transport entrepreneurs' trade union after the government rejected a set of demands, including restrictions on movements of Indian vehicles and compensation for shifting to electronic taxi meters.

   Due to the strike, some 12,000 vehicles including taxis and buses were kept off the roads of Kathmandu valley's three cities -- Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

   "The strike will continue indefinitely until our demands are met," a spokesman for the protesters said.

   Windshields of a few buses were smashed by troublemakers, they added.

   The strikers said that while Indian-registered vehicles could enter Nepal and stay for three days, Nepalese-registered vehicles needed permits from the Indian embassy in Kathmandu, apart from other formalities.

   Nepalese transport owners complained the practice was hurting their businesses.

   "A nation-wide strike will be called if the government continues to ignore our problems," a spokesman for the strikers said.

Delegation returns from Bhutan empty-handed Excerpts from AFP and Xinhua reports

   A delegation headed by Nepalese Home Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli returned home from Bhutan on Thursday after a failed round of talks on the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees, a foreign ministry official said.

   The Bhutanese side participating in this sixth round of talks on the issue was led by its Home Minister Dago Tshering.

   The ministerial joint committee only exchanged names of the five members of the joint verification team from each side and both Nepal and Bhutan agreed to meet again, said a joint press release issued after the 6th round of talks.

   Talking to newsmen at the airport, Oli said that although the Bhutanese monarch's attitude had been positive towards resolving the problem, the same attitude had not been shown by the Bhutanese side in the talks. Oli said that "talks in themselves are not the main thing. what we need is a concrete solution of the problem."

   The two sides failed to agree on how to categorize the 100,000 Bhuatanese sheltering in Nepal. Nepal wants to repatriate all the immigrants, but Bhutan has said certain categories should not be allowed back.

   "It is not possible" to differentiate and all should be sent home, the ministry official said.

   The disputed categories are Bhutanese nationals who voluntarily migrated, non-Bhutanese who settled after the mid-1970's and criminals against the state.

   The Bhutanese side had maintained that its country's 1988 citizenship rule dictated that, once its nationals leave the country voluntarily, their citizenship rights will be relinquished and cannot be taken back.

   It has said it will only accept Bhutanese of Nepalese descent who had been forcefully evicted from the country.

   "Bhutan really does not want the refugees to return home so it is deliberately delaying the process to buy time," a spokesman of the Bhutanese Human Rights Organization said.

   "But Bhutanese want to return to their homeland soon as possible," he said.

 April 22 Transportation strike continues in Kathmandu Xinhua report

   Most privately owned public vehicles including buses, taxis and some tempos continued to stay off road for the fourth consecutive day today in the Kathmandu valley.

   The strike was called by the Nepal National Transport Entrepreneurs Federation (NNTEF) on april 19 in protest of a government rule that requires taxis to install modern tamper-proof electronic meters.

   The strikers have put forth myriad demands in a 14-point memorandum which, among others, asks especially for scrapping of the electronic meters rule by the government and also calls for checking unauthorized entry of India-registered vehicles into the country, asserting that such unauthorized entry by Indian vehicles is eating in their business.

   Although the strike is mainly an agitation by taxi owners, it has also been supported by other privately owned public transporters such as truckers, bus and minibus owners and three-wheeler operators under the NNTEF. Only private vehicles and a few public buses run by the state-owned corporation were seen plying the capital's streets these days. The strike has forced tens of thousands of early morning commuters throughout the valley to walk to their working places.

   The Department of Transport Management contends that the decision for replacing the mechanical meters with the more accurate and tamper-proof electronic meters had been agreed with the NNTEF six months ago as one of the conditions for raising the taxi fare by 50 percent then. The NNTEF had put fare raising into practice immediately afterwards.

   The replacement is designed to safeguard consumers against unscrupulous taxi operators bent on milking commuters with inflated fares by tampering with their mechanical meters. The new meters would have made that impossible. According to local press reports, the strike seems to be launched without popular encouragement while the government's stand was gaining more support.

   Dr. Sunder Mani Dixit, a leading consumers' rights advocate, accused the strikers' demands of violating the consumers' interests and cautioned the government not to make any compromise. Meanwhile, the Nepal Consumers Forum has also strongly opposed the current strike, saying that "the forum also urges the government not to backtrack from earlier decisions to put electronic meter in local cabs."

   The Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs and the Nepal Drivers' Union had also made it clear that they opposed the strike. The government said that its doors are open for negotiations while the strikers, sticking to their original demands, warned of a nation-wide agitation if the government failed to heed their demands.

PM begins Mongolia visit Excerpts from Xinhua report

   Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari arrived in Ulan Bator today for a three-day official visit to Mongolia. During his stay, the Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with his Mongolian counterpart Puntsagiyn Jasray, President Punsalmaagiyn Ochirbat, and chairman of the state great Hural Nachagyn Bagabandy. An agreement on cultural cooperation between the two governments is expected to be signed during Adhikari's visit.

Queen recovering from Dislocated Ankle Excerpts from Reuters report

   Queen Aishwarya was recovering in hospital on Saturday after undergoing an operation on her dislocated right ankle, doctors said.

   The queen, who is 46, injured her ankle on Friday during a holiday with King Birendra at the jungle resort of Bharatpur, 140 km (90 miles) south of Kathmandu.

   She was taken to Kathmandu by helicopter and operated on in a military hospital, the royal palace said in a statement. It did not give details of the accident.

   The operation went well and she was expected to spend a few days in hospital before returning to the palace, it said.

 April 23 Transport strike called off Excerpts from AFP and Reuters reports

   Transport firm owners in Nepal called off a five-day-old strike Sunday, saying they wished to save the public from further inconvenience, even though talks with the government went nowhere.

   However, a spokesman for the Federation of National Transport Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal (FNTEAN), Sharad Upreti, vowed to continue the fight.

   "After holding twelve-hour long marathon talks spread over Saturday and Sunday, the dialogue between the two sides ended in failure," Upreti told AFP.

   "The government officials refused to meet our 14-point demand, and only agreed to form a joint committee to study our grievances by mid-May," he said.

   The demands include more support for the sector, scrapping plans to force taxi drivers to install tamper-proof electronic meters, and reducing the free movement of Indian vehicles.

    Nepal allows Indian vehicles free entry for 72 hours but Nepali transport workers claim they often stay beyond the limit and deprive locals of work.

   "We called off the strike, keeping in view the difficulties faced by the general public during the five-day strike observed by taxis, buses, auto-rickshaws and other public vehicles, even though our demands were not fulfilled," he added.

   The struggle against the Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist and Leninist (NCP-UML) government would continue, he said.

   During the strike, only private vehicles, state-owned trolley buses and a few state-run buses were seen on the streets.

   The strike, which brought some 12,000 transport vehicles to a halt, had left many commuters stranded but delighted with the drop in air pollution, which has become a major problem in this Himalayan city.

   ''We at least had some fresh air to breathe, thanks to the strike,'' said Parsuram Mukhiya, a business commuter.

   Emissions from poorly maintained vehicles and runaway sewage are major sources of pollution in this temple-studded capital surrounded by distant snow-capped peaks.

   Last month authorities began enforcing compulsory inspection of petrol stations but the initiative had to be called off when protesting station operators stopped pumping fuel in protest.

   Transport operators say the state-owned Nepal Oil Corp has failed to provide quality fuel.

   ''We want the government to maintain the quality of fuel sold to the vehicles, and ensure the supply of standard spare parts and proper maintenance of automobiles to control pollution,'' NNTEF general secretary Bishnu Shivakoi said.

Health Minister Gets in Another Controversy

[Note from Rajendra: Previous newsreports saying that Padma Ratna Tuladhar had resigned over the Sanskrit affair was inaccurate. He had only threatened to resign and, according to the Independent, has a
"ready-made resignation letter in his pocket".]

AFP report

    Nepal's health minister has unleashed angry Hindu protests and received a death threat after violating the most sacred of cows with a comment that non-Hindus could eat beef, a report said Sunday.

   Thousands of Hindus have been out in force here over the last month waving black flags and effigies of Minister for Health and Labour, Padma Ratna Tuladhar, who made the comment at a human rights conference last month, the Kantipur daily said.

   An Indian holy man has also been arrested for allegedly putting a price on the head of the communist politician, who has traditionally enjoyed enormous popularity in the capital.

   The Nepalese constitution prohibits the killing of cows, but asked whether Moslems or other non-Hindus could eat beef at the conference, Tuladhar had said the existing law "would have to be changed," the report said.

   "If my remarks have hurt anyone's religious sentiments then I am really sorry and I apologize for it because I did't mean to hurt anyone nor any religious faith," Kantipur quoted him later as saying.

   "I was only talking about human rights at Kalaiya," he added, referring to the venue of the conference, south of here.

   Meanwhile, Sudama Shastri, a holy man attached to Benarus University, southeast of New Delhi, was arrested Friday after allegedly telling a meeting he would offer a reward for anyone who killed the minister, the report said.

   "To anyone who brings the head of the person who said cows should be slaughtered, our committee will give rupees 50,000 (1,000 dollars) to that person," Kantipur quoted him as saying.

   He allegedly made the threat speaking to the "Save Hinduism Struggle Committee" (SHSC) at Janakpur, southeast of Kathmandu, after having attended the Kalaiya conference.

   The Kathmandu-based World Hindu Federation (WHF) added to the storm of protest, saying that because Nepal was the world's only Hindu kingdom, the minister's remarks had been "unthinkable and unpardonable," the report said.


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 10:29:41 -0400 From: (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: A Pradhan's Objections

Cross-posted from SCN:

Dear Pradhan,

Debate on Sanskrit on SCN is not nonsensical, I agree with you. I think I have never told this anywhere because I never have this in my mind. Please reread the post again if you have doubt.

Your next finding on me that I think there is no debate on ethnicity (eg langua ge, religion, culture, etc.) does not hold water. My indication was on degree o f seriousness. While I was writing that post I had in my mind the pictures of Rwanda (spelling?), Bosnia, etc and relatively calm Himalayan kingdom.

Again, my objection was the way the issue is being lead, not on the issue per se.

Regarding the 'allegation' of restriction from participation I am still
'adamnant' to my original stand! So long as the participant does show due regard, honour, sympathy to the integraty, peace and harmony among the diverse country, anyone is welcome, otherwise why? BTW, the
'finding' in my post that I require to 'shut up' anyone is your invention, or conclusion not my expression as such. Being neither an autocrat nor a right authority, it would tentamount to rediculous/rude to say that way. It is a most welcome act and 'right' of anyone on this earth to solve the problems like this. But the way, I thought,
 Peter was presenting himself then was not to solve but to add the problem. I sensed that he was targetting some- thing beyond the issue at hand (the debate of Sanskrit) & spreading hatred among ethnic groups on the country or like that. (Sorry, I do not have his original litter with me, I access SCN not through WWW but by 'WWW through e-mail.)

BTW, Peter and me are discussing on our previous posts via email. Peter, if you are reading this post you might have been getting a feel of rude and crude expression again!

Thanks and regards, Bishwa Subedi

************************************************************************ Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 10:30:51 -0400 From: (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: Weather above Namche Bazaar at end of June?

Cross-posted from SCN:

Mike Robinson ( wrote:
: My wife and I plan to be in Nepal for a month beginning June 15.
:We plan to go trekking above Namchi Bazaar and know the weather will be bad.
: Some articles indicate that most rain will occur in the afternoon.
: I would like information from someone with first hand experience who can give me info
: about what we can expect. Will it be rainy, snowy, and cloudy most days?
: How high up towards Mt. Everest can we go? Will we get into new snow at 17000 feet?
: What will the trails be like?

: Will any tea houses be open? Will we find lodging in Inns?

: I would apprecitate any help you can give.

: Thanks,

: Mike Robinson

Dear Mike, I'm a former Peace Crops volunteer that hiked Khumbu during the monsoon, against all advice, and loved it.

Weather: I don't actually recall ever being rained on while walking. We may have missed a rainy day or two while acclimatizing. It was pretty cold and we dressed for it, and were prepared for rain, but didn't have that much. All in all it was great walking--not too hot! The biggest problem with the climate then is that the clouds obscure all the peaks. If you want to see *everything* then you need to plan to stick around a while, or else get really lucky. For instance, while on Gokyo peak it never cleared for us (in three days in the valley), but on Kala Pattar we had about an hour of viewing Everest and taking pictures. Still we saw Cho Oyu while walking up valley in Gokyo, and had a number of views of Lhotse and Everest from down-valley as well.

The absolute best thing about the weather is that it keeps the flocks away. You'll be next-to-alone in most places. Second best thing is that the rain brings out the wildflowers. (-:

Snow: we ran into none. We even tried to cross from Gokyo into Kuhmbu via the high route, and although we accidently came down into Gokyo again
(okay, we got lost in the clouds) I'm not even sure that that pass would've had snow, although it's certainly possible.

Inns: No problem; not everything is open, because there's so little traffic, but every stop has a least one inn open. Food is actually a little more expensive cause there's not so much of it being brought in then.

Routes: all of the major thoroughfares are open, and you may go as high as you're able. E.g. Everest base camp is probably possible, although we limited ourselves to Kala Pattar and Lobuche (we even stayed in a tent at Gorak Shep one long rainy night--didn't sleep much).
  The big warning , of course, is to go slow and obey the altitude rules: 1000 feet per day only and a rest day every 3000 feet. Dozens of people had died in only a few years before we were there, mostly because they didn't listen to their bodies, or gave into peer pressure to keep going. Relax, move slow, and schedule the extra time--you'll be glad you did. As someone who later got pneumonia on another trek and had to helicoptered out, it's exceedingly scary to have your body fail at altitude. It's also a revelation to see your body have to slow so much at 18000 feet just to walk up a little hill....

Enjoy, and place a stone for me on a cairn somewhere!

Good luck! Barney

******************************************************************* Date: 25-APR-1995 17:49:36.26 From: NDHAKAL@EAGLE.WESLEYAN.EDU Subject: subscription To:

To the editor(s): Please put me on your email subscription list. My address is

Thank you.

************************************************************************** Date: Wed, 26 Apr 95 11:30:40 JST To: Subject: REQUEST FOR NEPAL NEWS THROUGH YOUR E-MAIL SERVICE From:

Dear Sirs, I am a Nepali citizen and at present, I am a final year PhD student in the Institute of Environmental Systems, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. I will here atleast till the end of March 1996.I am also going to apply for residenceship visa to New Zealand in near future. Well I had heard about you (Nepal Digest) quite long time back, however I had no e-mail address to contact you. Today I received your e-mail address and I'm very happy to contact you now. Considering my keen interest on you, could you kindly keep my name and e-mail address in your mailing list so that I can be in contact with you and have a chance to read your fresh and important news of Nepal.

Thanking you and hoping to receive your goodwill through e-mail service, I remain.

Sincerely Yours, Ram Sharma Tiwaree Institute of Environmental Systems, Kyushu University 36, Fukuoka, Japan.

E-mail Address:

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 23:50:42 -0400 From: (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: Who is and who is not a Hindu

Cross-posted from SCN:

>Indranil DasGupta ( wrote:
>: Anybody
>: uncomfortable with polytheism never grew up in a Hindu family. David
>: Frawley never did. He is trying to make a watered down version of
>: Hinduism for himself and his clones.. those who are eternally worried
>: about the number, gender and race of the entity called God.
>: Davis Frawley's Hinduism is a Judeo-Christian Hinduism. It's ugly
>: because it's artificial.

Dear Indranil,

Normally I agree with almost anything you say, but here I need to take issue with you. No doubt you have heard of the Arya Samaj. They worship a single deity, conceived theistically (as opposed to the pantheistic conception in the advaita). They do not use images or icons. They do not follow the caste system or the medieval puranic legends. In the philosophic area, they are indistinguishable from naive, pristine Greek rationalism (as opposed to modernist philosophies such as postivism, existentialism et

c.). They are active in the fields of education, social work and in combating Judeo-Christian-Islamic theologies. Would you call their sect "Judeo-Christian Hinduism"? Are they Hindus at all?

It seems to me that, while specific Hindu sects (such as ISKCON, Shaiva-Siddhantins, Bhairavas, Swaminarayan, Arya Samajis, Kapalikas, Smartas etc.) are "definable" in terms of their viewpoint and their practices, "Generic" Hinduism as such is not.

Generic Hinduism is *Absolutely anything* one wants it to be, within the context of India's hybrid Sanskrit-Dravidian culture, of course. This culture provides the "form" into which you can pretty much pour any "ideological substance." Thus, if you can speak an Indo-Aryan or Dravidian language, have Hindu forefathers and have a Sanskrit or Dravidian name, you're an "ethnic Hindu". In this case, anything you choose to believe in or to do is Hinduism. And, you need not be a formal member of a Hindu sect t

o be considered a Hindu. On the other hand, if you do not meet all of these above-mentioned three criteria of what a Hindu is, then you considered a Hindu only if you're formally initiated into a Hindu sect -- the latter rule applies, for instance, to a Caucasian American or a Japanese person who consders himself a Hindu.

These are my own unscholarly views of what Hinduism is or who a Hindu is. Others, undoubtedly, have sounder definitions. Let us know what you think!

Rajesh Kumar

************************************************************************* Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 13:14:34 +0000 From: deschene@JHUVMS.HCF.JHU.EDU (Mary Des Chene) Subject: KURA_KANI: Bhutan To:

I have just received the The Thunder Dragaon: Newsletter of the America-Bhutan Council, Vol. 1, No. 1, March 1995 in the mail. The organization is described as "a North America based association chartered by the Royal Government of Bhutan". It appears to be organized by Karl G. Springer who is Editor-in-Chief of the newletter. In a photo caption he is described as working for ABC. Below I have reproduced his article from the newsletter on Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. For anyone who wants to respond directly to this propaganda, the address of this organization is The America-Bhutan Council. 423 East Ojai Ave., Suite 107-108. Ojai, CA 93023. Tel/Fax is 805-646-6390.

Mary Des Chene


        The Himalayas have been home to many ancient Buddhist kingdoms which have flourished peacefully for centuries. This region, however, has seen tremendous political, social and cultural changes in the last fifty years and the world has watched in silence as these cultures and kingdoms slowly disappear, being overrun or absorbed by other countries. In addition to political changes, explosive population gowth in the region and an inundation of neighboring countries have led to serious demographic changes in the region. The population explosion has endangered the fragile Himalayan ecology, creating widespread poverty and threatening the cultural and social balance. This is increasingly causing political instability and creating turmoil among the various peopoles and communites that have for a long time lived in harmony. The Kingdom of Bhutan, once the remotest and most tranquil country in the region, has over the past five years begun to feel the strain of these changes and is being shaken by political agitation and violence previously unknown.
        The origin of Bhutan's current problems can be traced to the large-scale Nepalese immigration to the southern part of the country. Bhutan started to exert some control over its borders and in the mid-eighties began to carry out a proper census to determine the legal status of the population residing in or migrating across the border. This was met by fierce opposition by some groups of ethnic Nepalese extremists.
        Enouraged by the successes in Sikkim in the seventies, the Gorkhaland movement in the Darjeeling hills in the eighties and recent political changes in Nepal in 1990, these extremists initated a regin of terror in southern Bhutan carrying out numerous terrorist attacks against residents and public facilities. Their original objective was to try and bring down the Government of Bhutan by creating choas and initiating a large-scale political movement by ethnic Nepalese in Bhutan as well as those living in adjacent areas. Their aim was to bring about permanent demographic and political changes through uncontrolled immigration. When this approach did not get support, they initiated a campaign of terror directed at intimidating and forcing many ethnic Nepalese into fleeing Bhutan to camps already set up in Nepal. Having built up a significant number of people in the camps with Nepalese of various origins, they started to conduct a propaganda campaign to make the issue one of "human rights" for ethnic Nepalese citizens of Bhutan. This political ploy has had some success and the anti-Bhutan propaganda continues.
        Bhutan on its part has moved quickly towards resolving this difficult problem. His Majesty the King has personally traveled to the southern border areas repeatedly to bring calm to the area and has pardoned many Bhutanese Nepalese responsible for terrorist activities. Bhutan has also been bringing to the notice of the international community the actual facts of the situation. Bhutan's only interest is to preserve its political sovereignty and protect the interests of all its citizens including those of Nepalese origin,the majority of whom continue to live peacefully in Bhutan.
        To resolve the current situation, the governments of Bhutan and Nepal are engaged in active negotiations in finding a long-term solution to this painful problem. The following article is an anlaysis of the ongoing negotiations between the two Governments by Dr. Leo Rose who is a leading academic and specialist on both Nepal and Bhutan. The article is followed by the recent editorial in Kuensel [Bhutan newspaper] on the same subject.
[End of Springer article; Rose and Dorji editorial not reproduced here]

******************************************************************* Date: 26 Apr 95 18:55:54 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News4/24 To:

April 24 Taxi Drivers end Strike Excerpts from Xinhua, UPI, Reuters and DPA reports

   Commuters in Katmandu on Monday heaved a sigh of relief when taxis appeared on the street after a six-day strike that paralyzed life in the Nepali capital. Children were able to return to school after a forced holiday as buses returned to service. Bus drivers supported the taxi operators' strike.

   The government did not yield to the demands of the Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal, including a key dispute over a requirement that electronic meters be installed on taxis. Authorities insist that taxis install the electronic meters to stop widespread tampering with mechanical meters and to standardize fares in the capital.

   The strike was also reportedly withdrawn in view of public anger and divisions among the strikers.

   But the drivers' union suggested it might seek support for a fresh protest beyond the Himalayan kingdom's capital of Kathmandu.

   ''For the present we have called off our strike, taking into account the inconvenience to commuters,'' said Bishnu Shivakoti, general secretary of the Nepal National Transport Entrepreneurs Federation (NNTEF). ''This is only a tactical retreat,'' said Ram Prasad Singh, an official of the drivers' group said. ''We will launch a nationwide strike in the coming days.''

Former PM appears before RNAC investigating commission Excerpts from AFP, DPA, Reuters and Xinhua reports

   Former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala appeared Monday before a commission investigating financial irregularities and accused the communist government of trying to defame him.

   Koirala made a statement to the three-man commission which is investigating financial irregularities by flag carrier Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation (RNAC) and later told reporters "the commission has been formed only to defame me, assassinate my character and above all for political vendetta against me."

   "The commission has no legal validity. I could have ignored its call to appear before it if I wanted to," he said.

   "I have neither concern nor connection with RNAC dealings and I do not know why I have been called to appear before the commission," he added.

   He alleged that the commission had been formed at a time when his Nepali Congress (NC) party was preparing a nationwide campaign against the "corrupt and inefficient" communist leaders and government. ''The government has failed to deliver on their promises and, to cover up its inaction, it has unleashed a campaign to malign me,'' Koirala told reporters.

   Asked when he would be appearing again before the commission he said: "Never, this is my first and last appearance."

   The commission, headed by former district justice Gajendra Mani Pradhan, was formed last month to investigate allegations of a misuse of authority by Koirala when he was prime minister in appointing a London-based company, First Airlines Representations Europe Limited
(FARE Ltd) as agent for RNAC in 1993.

   FARE Ltd, which is owned by a British passport holder of Indian origin, Dinesh Dhamija, a close relative of former Indian prime minister Chandra Shekhar, was set up with minimum funding.

    The GSA for the European sector is the moneyspinning part of airline's organisation and it was alleged that the awarding of the European GSA to Dhamija was against the "rules and regulations of the corporation".

   Since its appointment sales in Europe have dropped sharply leading to losses of 50 million US dollars by RNAC, officials have alleged.

    The deal was unilaterally canceled by RNAC's new management last month.

    Last year, parliament's public accounts committee probed the deal and virtually indicted Koirala. Before the committee could put its report before parliament the lower house was dissolved by Koirala and fresh elections ordered.

   Koirala's questioning led to demonstrations by supporters of the Nepali Congress. Students and party workers shouted anti-government slogans outside the RNA building in the heart of Kathmandu as Koirala appeared on Monday before the panel.

   The chairman of the investigation panel had been forced to retire prematurely by Koirala when he was prime minister. ''The commission cannot be fair as the chairman appointed by the UML was the person who was compulsorily retired when I was prime minister,'' Koirala said.

   But government officials, who stressed the panel was constituted within legal guidelines, denied the probe was an act of vengeance.

   ''It has full legal validity,'' Law Minister Chandra Nemwang told Reuters. ''If he comes out clean during the investigations, he will remain clean.''

************************************************************** Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 10:01:07 -0400 To: Subject: BOMB ** EXPLOSION ** at ** OKCity From: Kunga Rotta <>
  My heartfelt gratitude to Ashok Sainzu dai,studying in Japan, regarding his genuine concern over our well-being. We need those stuff from time to time.
         By now, most of you all must've heard 'bout the bomb explosion at oklahoma city. I don't wanna go in detail about the incident, but what I found intriguing about the whole thing is ..even at this moment I cannot fathom the immense magnitude of the blast.

It was few minutes past nine when the bomb exploded and at that moment I was in a class. My classroom windows shook slightly. We could feel the tremour but we were at bay as to its causes. My university is around 15 miles from the explosion site and I was so dumb founded knowing that the sound wave of the explosion could actually shake things along this distant pemeter.

At this moment the whole of oklahoma city is numbed by this horrifying incident. The situation is preety tense outhere.

A point to ponder...a guy called one of the radio stations and said that he had seen caucasians quote "kicking around international students" at oklahoma city university. He didn't clarify about their nationality.

A friend of mine is scared to drive to work thinking he might be pulled over by some freaks. You never know some of the Okies.

There's still this big question looming large over everyone's mind.
******************************************************************** Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 10:02:39 -0400 From: (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: Who is and who is not a Hindu

Cross-posted from SCN:

>Indranil DasGupta ( wrote:
>: Anybody
>: uncomfortable with polytheism never grew up in a Hindu family. David
>: Frawley never did. He is trying to make a watered down version of
>: Hinduism for himself and his clones.. those who are eternally worried
>: about the number, gender and race of the entity called God.
>: Davis Frawley's Hinduism is a Judeo-Christian Hinduism. It's ugly
>: because it's artificial.

Dear Indranil,

Normally I agree with almost anything you say, but here I need to take issue with you. No doubt you have heard of the Arya Samaj. They worship a single deity, conceived theistically (as opposed to the pantheistic conception in the advaita). They do not use images or icons. They do not follow the caste system or the medieval puranic legends. In the philosophic area, they are indistinguishable from naive, pristine Greek rationalism (as opposed to modernist philosophies such as postivism, existentialism et

c.). They are active in the fields of education, social work and in combating Judeo-Christian-Islamic theologies. Would you call their sect "Judeo-Christian Hinduism"? Are they Hindus at all?

It seems to me that, while specific Hindu sects (such as ISKCON, Shaiva-Siddhantins, Bhairavas, Swaminarayan, Arya Samajis, Kapalikas, Smartas etc.) are "definable" in terms of their viewpoint and their practices, "Generic" Hinduism as such is not.

Generic Hinduism is *Absolutely anything* one wants it to be, within the context of India's hybrid Sanskrit-Dravidian culture, of course. This culture provides the "form" into which you can pretty much pour any "ideological substance." Thus, if you can speak an Indo-Aryan or Dravidian language, have Hindu forefathers and have a Sanskrit or Dravidian name, you're an "ethnic Hindu". In this case, anything you choose to believe in or to do is Hinduism. And, you need not be a formal member of a Hindu sect t

o be considered a Hindu. On the other hand, if you do not meet all of these above-mentioned three criteria of what a Hindu is, then you considered a Hindu only if you're formally initiated into a Hindu sect -- the latter rule applies, for instance, to a Caucasian American or a Japanese person who consders himself a Hindu.

These are my own unscholarly views of what Hinduism is or who a Hindu is. Others, undoubtedly, have sounder definitions. Let us know what you think!

Rajesh Kumar

******************************************************************* To: Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 11:15:23 -0400 (EDT) From: "Anil Shrestha" <>

To: The Nepal Digest From: Friends of Nepal at Michigan State University Subject: Congratulations
                            CONGRATULATIONS!!! We would like to congratulate the following people on their graduation:

Prakash Dhital MS in Agriculture & Extension Education Lakshman Shrestha MS in Agriculture & Extension Education

They will be graduating this summer and we are sure that there are other people in places around the world who would like to join us in congratulating them.

P.S. It is going to be a historical graduation for them as President Clinton is the speaker in the commencement this year!!!

Good luck to you two on all your future endeavors !


****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 27 Apr 95 18:09 EDT To: From: "Balkrishna.Sharma" <> Subject: Janakari about a Population and Ecology Research Lab In Nepal

Michigan State University alumni Dr.Ganesh Shivakoti and The Penn State University faculty Dr. Axinn have established a population and ecology research lab inInstitute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences, Rampur, Nepal. Dr. Shivakoti toldme during his recent visit at MSU that the mission of PERL is to foster sustained social science research and training on issues related to the dramatic social, economic, agricultural and environmental changes taking place in Nepal. The PERL seems to be equipped with modern computing equipments and hard working staff. If any of the netters are interested in knowing more about the activities of PERL you may do so by contacting Dr. Ganesh Shivakoti at IAAS, Rampur Nepal or by sending an email to By the way, Dr. Shivakoti is the faculty member of IAAS Nepal.

************************************************************* Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 11:02:24 -0500 (CDT) From: Subject: Re:Budhism_an_offshoot?? To:

                     Is Buddhism an offshoot of Hinduism??
                              by Swayum Bhu

In "Buddhism_an_Offshoot??", posted on SCN, Mr. Raju Tuladhar wanted to clear MrShiva P. Gautam's comment, "Biddhism is offshoot of Hinduism". Mr. Raju Tiladhar mentioned that people in Nepal assume Buddhism as a part of Hinduism, and Buddha as reincarnation of Narayan without doing any study or investigationabout Buddha and Buddhism.

Is Buddhism an offshoot of Hinduism? Let's look at this closely with some examples:
         What is the purpose of Buddhism? The soul purpose of Buddhism is to liberate human from suffering. Now what is the purpose of Hinduism? It is also to liberate human from darkness of suffering..

         Why is there suffering among human beings? Hinduism: The nature of the world is duality. It contains each thing and its opposite; joy and sorrow, goodness and evi, love and hate. Through experiences of them, we learn and evolve, finally seeking TRUTH beyond all opposites.

Buddhism: The principle cause of suffering is our attatchments to the worldly desire, which is impermanent. We need to detatch ourself and seek TRUTH beyond our world.

         What is the Law of Karma? Buddhism: The Law of Karma says every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first event, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillfull or unskillfull. A skillfull event is one that is not accompanies by craving, resistance or delusion; and unskillfull event is one that is accompanies by any of those things.

Hinduism: The Law of Karma says that if you commit sin or do wrongful act, you will pay for that later. If you commit dharma or rightful act, you will be rewarded or get satisfied

        What is a practical behavior? Hinduism: A man's senses are like horses of the carriage, and he should always guard and guide them like the charioter guards and guide the horses.

Buddhism: A man should both control both his mind and body, he should guard thegates of his five senses. He should be afraid of even a trifling forgetfulness and from moment to moment should endeavor to practice only good deeds.

Now let's look at the sources Prince Siddhartha utilized to seek to be liberatedfrom suffering. First method he learned ascetic practice from Hindu hermit Bhagava. He could not get much benefit from ascetic practice, so decided to quit it and stick to meditation (Dhyana), which used to be done by Hindu Rishis and follwers. While he was meditating under the tree, he reached the point of enlightenment, and became Buddha, an Enlightened One.

Later in his teachings Buddha utilized the meditation (Dhyana) as a tool for his Noble Eightfold Path to improve the effectiveness. 1. Right Mindfullness (maintain pure and thoughtful mind) 2. Right Concentration (keep the mind pure and tranquil) 3. Right Thoughts (the resolution not to cherish desire) 4. Right Observation (undestand Four Noble Truths)
   These four are directly effective by meditation. 5. Right Effort (be guided by right spiritual ideals) 6. Right Livelihood (avoid any life that would bring shame to a man) 7. Right Speech (avoid lying, idle and abusive words) 8. Right Behavior (practice kindness, honesty, and purity)

We can look at more example and go on and on, but we have seen the point that the rays of Hinduism have shined on Buddhism.

"One is all, and all is one" OM SHANTHI

***************************************************************** Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 21:40 EST From: Subject: condemning hindu hegemony and politics of violence To:

Dear Editor:

Recently a news item mentioned that an Indian sadhu "sudham shsatri" called for Rs 50,000 for the head of Padma Ratna Tuladhar for mentioning that the laws would have to be changed when some reporter at a Muslim gathering in Kalaiya asked him if muslims could eat beef in nepal.

I unequivocally condemn this politics of violence on our soil, this indian sadhu made the statement in Janakpur.

Second i also condemn the statement of World Hindu Federations mentioning that Padm a Ratna statment advocated the "slaughter of cows in a Hindu kingdom" so could not be pardoned, implicitly endorsing the statment of this sadhu to impose hindu hegemony in Neopal. For all our dvoutly Hindu nepali friends who enjoy beef in usa and for all those htat declaration of a Hindu state is only a harmless symbolic gesture that should not resisted, this incident and the continued passions ofdn GIrreenepali over sanskrit makes clear that there are significant numbers of people who resent being defined as Hindu in Nepal by the HIndu discourse and are making their exceptions felt.

concernd nepali

amulya Tuladhar clark university iaka

******************************************************************* Date: Sat, 29 Apr 1995 14:01:14 -0700 From: To: Subject: Just inquiry

I would like to know that if there is

anybody doing master or doctoal degree in any university in aquaculture or related field. Anybody among the TND users or hsi/her friend, could I keep in touch, please ?

is/her friend ,could I keep in touch, please ?

************************************************************************ Date: Sat, 29 Apr 1995 15:40:23 -0400 (EDT) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <> Subject: SLC and ethnic asymmetry To:

Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 09:27:37 -0700 (PDT) From: Mari Sullivan <> Subject: SLC and ethnic asymmetry

On Thu, 27 Apr 1995, Ashutosh Tiwari wrote:

> I agree with Mari that that ["equality" in Nepal]
> statement is too naive a statement.

        Still, I wanted to use your ["targetting KU"] to GENERATE a discussion
> on the SLC (which, in my view, should be abolished -- replacing it with
> more community-based and community-relevant curricula with lots of
> non-formal stuff. [Easy to say; hard to do; I know.]

> My frustration with SCN is that more and more interesting issues do not
  get debated well and vigorously by Nepali users. To be sure, SCN does not
  have to solve every problem of Nepal, but it's frustrating to see the
  level of debate degenerating to the level of "you-said-this, no-I-did-not
  yes-you-did" type of idiocy. But, hey, why give up hope, right?

> On Thu, 27 Apr 1995, Mari Sullivan wrote:
> > Hello!

> > I did not mean to "target KU"...when I asked my question, but as a former
> > teacher in Nepal, and as someone who lived there for many years and is
> > married to a Nepali I do have some idea of the issues facing those who
> > are in minority ethnic groups. I think there is a fair amount of "ethnic
> > asymmetry" as [Ashu] called it in general in Nepal, as it is here as well
> > in many instances. Obviously I have never taken the SLC but I have
> > tutored a number of my 10th class students and interestingly, even though
> > most of these students were Brahmin they were from a very rural area and
> > so some of the scientific concepts being tested were difficult for these
> > students to understand since many of them had never seen much technology
> > first hand. It should also be noted that my students barely could get
> > through the required HMG curriculum in the hill schools whereas those at
> > BKS zipped through those books and moved on! The BKS Kathmandu set did
> > not have to contend with teacher strikes, farming needs, etc.
> >
> > As for [someone's] statement that "We all Nepalese treat all Nepalese
> > equally" this is a bold faced lie. Many of my students of the dhummi or
> > khami caste sat automatically in the last row of the class. They also
> > had to sit outside of tea shops and wash their own glasses. As for the
> > treatment of other castes....One time I had to do an emergency medical
> > procedure on the child of a sarki woman that involved my boiling water
> > and sterializing an instrument. The little bahinni that lived with
> > me...Sita Tiwari...and absolutely wonderful young woman by the way...went
> > ballistic because I let "those people" into my house! She had to even
> > lipnu the entire floor and build a new stove...which I assured her was
> > unnecessary.
> >
> > More to the point in later years as a medical provider in Nepal, I saw
> > many cases of poor Rai's and Limbu folks having to grovel to get anything
> > out of the district health center...while those of the B and C caste
> > faired much better.
> >
> > I was not trying to be inflammatory...Merely asking a question. Until we
> > recognize our problems as a society we cannot solve them...Right? I also
> > think that [SCNers] should examine the way women are treated by their
> > mother's in law...and occassionally their well, before
> > proclaiming complete equality!!!
> >
> > Respectfully,
> >
> > Mari C. Sullivan, MSN,ARNP
> > Family Practice
> > Univ of Washington

>From Sat Apr 29 16:47:43 1995
Received: from by with SMTP id AA24958
  (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for <>); Sat, 29 Apr 1995 16:47:41 -0500 Received: from schlitzen.Dartmouth.EDU ( []) by (8.6.11-DND/8.6.11) with SMTP id RAA27846 for <>; Sat, 29 Apr 1995 17:47:39 -0400 Message-Id: <4269226@schlitzen.Dartmouth.EDU> Date: 29 Apr 95 17:47:39 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News4/26-28 To:

April 26
----------------------------------------------------------------- Finance Minister Warns of Drought

AFP report

   Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari has said that Nepal is facing a severe drought that will affect agriculture, Radio Nepal reported Wednesday.

   Adhikari was reported to have said that agriculture production had grown by about seven percent during the 1993-1994 fiscal year, but could decrease by one percent in the current fiscal year ending July because of the drought.

   However, gross domestic product is estimated to rise by four percent despite the decline in agricultural production, he said.

   Adhikari said exports increased by 30 percent in the second quarter of the current fiscal year against 3.6 percent increase during the same period in the 1993-1994 fiscal year.

 April 27
----------------------------------------------------------------- Fertilizer shortage to hit in a few Weeks

DPA report

    Nepalese farmers are expected to face an acute shortage of chemical fertilizers as a government deal to import 60,000 tons of urea has fallen through, officials said Friday.

    The government-owned Agriculture Inputs Corporation (AIC) which has the monopoly on the import and distribution of fertilizers, said it has a stock of just 7,000 tons of urea which it says will meet demands up to mid-May.

    "After that, it is difficult to see how we can meet the demand of the farmers at a time when fertilizers demand is at its peak," the AIC officials said.

    AIC has entered into a 11.1 million dollar deal with the Napier company of Canada for the supply of urea at 185 dollars per ton.

    The fertilizers should by now have been shipped to Nepal but Napier company representative, Ruth Jensen, said that the necessary letter of credit was never presented to the company in Canada.

    "Without that document, there can be no transaction," she said.

    The local representative of Napier on Thursday withdrew from the deal citing "lack of appropriate documentation from the AIC".

    Government officials are now trying to get supplies from Bangladesh but Dhaka has also banned the export of fertilizers.

    However, Kathmandu is said to be working through diplomatic channels for a one-time government-to-government deal with Dhaka.

 April 28
----------------------------------------------------------------- King Birendra to attend VE Day Anniversary

Excerpts from AFP, UPI and Xinhua reports

   King Birendra will attend the commemoration gathering to mark the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day at the invitation of the British Government, a Royal Palace communique said Friday.

   Though Nepal is not a member of the Commonwealth, King Birendra was invited to the commemoration of the Allied victory in Europe because of Nepalese Gurkha soldiers' participation in the first and second World Wars, a British Gurkha source said.

   King Birendra will leave Kathmandu for London on May 5. He will be accompanied by Prince Nirajan and Princess Sruti. Minister for Law Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and General Administration Subash Chandra Nemwang will also accompany the King. The king will return home on May 15.

   This will be King Birendra's first formal visit to Britain after Nepal shifted to a multi-party system with constitutional monarchy in November 1990.

******************************************************************** Date: Sun, 30 Apr 1995 21:13:53 -0400 (EDT) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <> Subject: To:
        In the past few months, more than 30 Nepalis have sent me various e-mails re: How to get into Harvard. Given the volume of growing e-mail on the subject, I thought some of these thoughts might be relevant:

1. Harvard has many faculties, such as the College, Law School, Business
   School and so forth. Each faculty has its own admissions office, and
   financial aid system. One should write DIRECTLY to the appropriate
   faculties for applications and info on financial aid. Nepali students
   like me have -- sadly :-) -- NO SAY on any of the admissions. We cannot
   "source-force" or talk to some professors on your behalf. Please do
   understand that. It's a BIG university in terms of the sheer physical
   size, and getting around campus takes a lot of time.

2. Harvard College, the undergrad division, has need-blind admissions.
   That means, if you can get in, they'll give you all the money you need
   to attend the College. Most Nepalis, in their late teen-age and early
   20s, are in the College. There is no formula for getting in, though
   good grades, high SATs, strong recommedation letters, and strong essays
   play a significant role. Typically, Harvard looks for COMPETENT
   people with INTERESTING ideas and interests, if that's any help . . .
   Personally, I must say that with the exception of two Nepalis, who are
   no longer on campus, I have been very, very impressed with all other
   Nepali students/graduates of the College. It would be a joy to follow
   some of their careers in Nepal or abroad.

3. Harvard Business School rarely accepts students WITHOUT any job
   experience, though three Nepalis have graduated from here. B-school
   is not looking for perfect grades, but at lots of FUTURE management
   potential, whatever that means.

4. Harvard Law accepts foreign students for their JD program; a few
   Nepalis have completed their LLMs from here. The hardest part is
   getting in, and getting the money.

5. Harvard Medical School also accepts foreign students; the hardest
   part is also getting in, and getting the money.

6. The Kennedy School of Government offers classes on public policy and
   public administartion. Quite a few Nepalis have graduated from these
   KSG programs. Again, money is tight.

7. Most PhD programs at Harvard's GSAS, like that in other top schools, are
   primarily aimed at training future professors. If you are a good student,
   but with no burning life-long academic commitment, then you are better off
   going to PROFESSIONAL schools than perhaps feeling miserable in a
   four-year-plus PhD program.

8. It's easy to get hung up on Harvard's prestige; but lots of other
   schools everywhere also offer top-notch education and opportunities; and
   in the long-run of life, it really does not matter where one went to
   school. What matters is what one does with one's education. And academic
   success NOW does not mean success in life LATER or vice versa . . .
   After all, there's more to life than school ko prestige.

9. Finally, all the Nepalis at Harvard College have come here by applying
   on their own. There is no special "source-force", "milau.nay" or
   "special quota" for Nepal. They have received no funding the American
   or Nepali goverments, or the UN, and the likes but have been awarded
   scholarships. High schools represented in the past and the present
   are: St. Xavier's, BKS, Lincoln School and St. Mary's. Strong Nepali
   students who have had their schooling OUTSIDE of Kathmandu out in the
   villages can also be strong candidates for Harvard; and if you know
   of such people, have them apply to the College . . .

10. Not all Harvard faculties are as "prestigious" as the College, Law
    School, Business School, and the Medical School, and the GSAS. In
    terms of acceptance rate, the "EASIEST", relative speaking,
    schools to get into are: The Divinity School, the Education School,
    and the School of Public Health.

    These are ONLY my highly subjective and biased viewpoints. Nothing
    more. Hope these answer most of your questions . .. those of you
    who had asked those questions.

namaste ashu

****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 30 Apr 1995 22:01:56 -0600 (CST) From: "Bibhakar S. Shakya" <> To: Subject: ANMA CONVENTION IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

Dear Editor,

The 14th Convention of Association of Nepalese in Midwest America
(ANMA) is being held in Columbus, Ohio during Memorial Day Weekend
(May 27-28, 1995). We would like to invite all who are interested in joining us for the meeting. Enclosed are the details regarding the convention. Please, post this info. in the upcoming edition of TND.

If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact me via e-mail ( or Dr. Maheswor Baidya (Phone: 614-451-3728). Look forward to meeting you all in Columbus....Thank you.

Bibhakar Shakya

                   THE 14TH ANNUAL CONVENTION

                        (MAY 27-28, 1995)

                          COLUMBUS, OHIO


It is our great pleasure to inform you that the 14th Annual Convention of the Association of Nepalese in Midwest America is being held in Columbus, Ohio May 27-28, 1995 (Memorial Day Weekend).

The preliminary program is filled with a stimulating agenda including presentation by authorities on a variety of subjects of relevance to the Nepali community, educational activities aimed at improving the quality of life for children and comprehensive cultural programs. We are confident this convention is going to be educational, pleasurable and memorable. Do not miss this special event, and we urge you to register in advance.

We are very much indebted to the International Education Department of Capital University for sponsoring the ANMA convention and allowing us use of the facilities of this renowned university. We also wish to thank the Director of the Conservatory of Music for allowing the use of various facilities in Mees Hall.


I. President: Rajendra Rathi II. Convention Chairman: Dr. Maheswor Baidya III. Advisors: Dr. S. Khatiwada, Dr. D. Koirala, Dr. P. Pant,
     Sharada Thapa, Dr. Gaury Adhikari, Dr. P. Dhital IV. Conference Committee :Dr. Maheswor Baidya, Raja Rathi,
     Dr. P. Pant, Mohan Shrestha, Dr. Jagdish Devkota V. Cultural Program Committee: Co-directors-
     1) Sarala Pandey 2) Nischal Shrestha
     3) Saroj Prajapati 4) Beena Baidya
     1) Bibhakar Shakya 2) Krishna Prajapati
     3)Sugan Shrestha 4) Pushpa Joshi
     5) Vijaya Shah VI. Convention Site and Accommodations:
     1) Kuber Sharma 2) Mukesh Singh VII. Decoration and Art Exhibition:
     1) Dina Bangdel VIII.Registration Committee:
     1) Beena Baidya 2) Anita Adhikari
     3) Rajani Thapa 4) Bindu Pant IX. Hospitality:
     1) Roshan Bajracharya 2) Wendy Thapa


1. Basudev Dhungana, HE Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the US 2. Narendra Bikram Shah-HE Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the
     United Nations 3. Josiah H. Blackmore, President, Capital University 4. John C. Huntington, Professor of Asian Art, The Ohio State
     University 5. Burkhard Von Rebenau, Professor of City and Regional Planning,
     The Ohio State University 6. Don Herr, Emeritus Professor, The Ohio State University


Saturday, May 27, 1995 Registration begins at 3:00 P.M.

3:00-5:00 P.M. Social Hour

5:00-7:00 P.M. Reception Dinner, Capital University Dining Hall.
     Chinese Dinner by Mark Pi's Restaurant

7:30-8:30 P.M. Slide show from Nepal presented by
     Professor Don Herr 8:45 -11:00 P.M. Children's Cultural Program or Nepali Movie Show
     (See Registration form).

Sunday, May 28, 1995 Registration begins at 8:00 A.M.

OPENING SESSION: 9:00-9:10 A.M. Welcome and introduction by Maheswor Baidya
          (Chairman) 9:10-9:15 A.M. Address by Rajendra Rathi, ANMA President 9:15-9:30 A.M. HE Nepalese Ambassador Basudev Dhungana 9:30-9:45 A.M. Address by keynote speaker,
          Capital University President, Josiah Blackmore 9:45-10:10 A.M. Professor Burkhard Von Rabenau 10:10-10:30 A.M. Professor John C. Huntington,"Need for
          Preservation of Arts in Nepal" 10:30-10:45 A.M. Break 10:45-11:00 A.M. Narendra Bikram Shah, HE Royal Nepalese
                    Ambassador to the United Nations 11:00-11:20 A.M. US Immigration Laws:Khagendra G. Chettry,
                    Attorney 11:20-11:40 A.M. US Estate and Tax Planning:Mukesh Singh, Attorney 11:40-11:45 A.M. Fund Raising Campaign for ANMA,
                    Dr. Sohan Khatiwada ACTIVITIES OF ANMA: PANEL DISCUSSION Dr. Prahlad Pant, Moderator: 11:45-11:55 P.M. 1996 ANMA Convention- Dr.Pralhad Pant 11:55-12:10 P.M. Children's Cultural Center- Dr. M. Baidya and
               Sharada Thapa 12:10-12:25 P.M. Future Activities of ANMA- Rajendra Rathi,
                Anita Adhikary
            1. Scholarship Program
            2. Research Projects

12:30-2:00 P.M. Lunch, Capital University Dining Hall

                EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: 2:30-3:30 P.M. Nepali Teaching and Readings-
          Pushpa Joshi, Sharmila Phuyal and Bishnu Phuyal 3:30-4:00 P.M. Nepali Customs, Family Values, Rights and Wrongs:
               Rajani Thapa 4:00-4:30 P.M. Issues in Traditional Nepali Arts: Dina Bangdel 4:30-5:30 P.M. Business Meeting 5:30-6:00 P.M. Election: Ram Bashyal 6:30-8:00 P.M. Dinner provided by Taj Mahal Restaurant 8:30-10:30 P.M. Cultural Program 10:30-10:45 P.M. Awards and Presentation

A complete list of cultural programs and the participants will be available at the registration desk.

There will be a Nepali Bazaar where limited quantities of goods and gifts authentically made in Nepal may be purchased.


Establishing a Nepali-American Children Center somewhere in the Midwest has been an im_por_tant goal of ANMA. The primary focus of this center is improvement of the quality of our children's lives by promoting through education some of the good values of Nepalese customs, beliefs, and practices.

While it may take years for us to obtain a building for the center, we need not wait to begin the intended cultural and educational activities. At this convention we would like to demonstrate some of these activities that we consider valu_able for the children of Nepalese origin or those interested.

The scheduled activities consist of teachings and readings of the Nepali language, customs, and family values and demonstration and explanation of Nepalese arts including a slide presentation from Nepal.

We know you will be pleased with the many activities included in this convention. Please encourage your children in participating in this valuable program.

If you want to contribute to the Nepali-American Children Center, please make check payable to ANMA (ref. Children Center). Your contribution will be used only for the funding of the Nepali- American Children Center.


The convention will be held at Mees Auditorium located within the Conservatory of Music, Capital University, 2199 E. Main Street, Co_lum_bus

Columbus can be visited within one day of driving from many cities in the Midwest, east coast and southeast, e.g.:

     Washington, D.C., 420 miles (8 hours)
     New York City, 560 miles (10 hours)
     Boston, 760 miles (14 hours)
     Toronto, 450 miles (8.5 hours)
     Chicago, 360 miles (6.5 hours)
     Madison, W.I., 560 miles (10 hours)
     St. Louis, 420 miles (8 hours)
     Atlanta, 600 miles (10.5 hours)
     Omaha, 720 miles (13.5 hours)

For directions to Columbus, Holiday Inn-Airport and Capital University see enclosed map. A map of Ohio may be obtained by calling 1-800-BUCKEYE. Adequate parking is available at the campus of Capital University.


A block of rooms has been reserved at Holiday Inn-Airport, 750 Stelzer Road at a special convention rate of $59.00 per night for one room with two double beds. Reservations may be made by contacting the hotel directly at (614) 237-6360. Making your reservations early is recommended. The cutoff date for the group rate is May 13, 1995.

Holiday Inn East, at I-70, Hamilton Road exit (614) 868-1380 or Quality Inn East, 4801 E. Broad Street (614) 861-0321 may have rooms at special rates on a first come, first served basis.

If you have any problems with hotel reservations or accommodations, you may contact Mukesh Singh at (614) 291-3964


The registration fee includes convention reg_is_tra_tion fee, two dinners, one lunch and one continental breakfast. You can see substantial savings by registering in advance. So advance registration is encouraged.

Membership dues are separate from registration fees. All members are requested to renew their membership and nonmembers are encouraged to join ANMA. Membership dues and any contributions to ANMA are tax deductible.

Please return your registration form with your check or money order for the total amount payable to ANMA and addressed to:

Beena Baidya, Treasurer 4720 Old Ravine Court Columbus, OH 43220 Telephone Number, (614) 451-3728

Copies of the registration form may be dis_trib_ut!ed to anyone not on our mailing list. The full program will be mailed to you upon receipt of the registration form.


Name ________________________________ Address________________________________
     ________________________________ Phone Number _________________________

Advanced Registration (must be postmarked by May 15, 1995): Number Amount

Adults-$35.00/person ______ ______ Students-$25.00/person ______ ______ Children(6-12)-$20.00/person ______ ______ Children under 6- ______ Free

On Site Registration: Adults-$45.00/person ______ ______ Students-$35.00/person ______ ______ Children(6-12)-$25.00/person ______ ______ Children under 6- ______ Free

*Nepali Movie (if available) Yes No
$5.00 per person ______ ______

ANMA Membership Dues: Adult-$20.00 ______ ______ Family-$30.00 ______ ______ Student-$15.00 ______ ______ Life Member-$250.00 ______ ______

Total Enclosed _______________

*The newly released Nepali movie will be ordered if there is enough interest to justify the expenses and work involved. Include $5 per ticket if "yes".

******************************************************************** Date: Mon, 1 May 1995 14:45:27 +0700 (GMT+0700) From: Krishna Pahari <> To: Subject: Anyone in Mongolia or Beijing?

Dear friends,

I am planning to go to Mongolia for field work relating to my dissertation from middle of June for about a month, and on my way back, I plan to stay in Beijing for about a week. If there is any reader of TND in those places, I am very eager to contact. Or, if any one can give me some contacts about Nepalis (preferably students) over those places, I would greatly appreciate.

        Thank you for your cooperation.

                - Krishna Pahari
                  Remote Sensing Laboratory,
                  AIT, GPO Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand

**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 1 May 95 05:18:23 EDT From: To:, Subject: Local Credit Markets



In "Rural Credit in Nepal: An Overview" (ECONews, Vol. 5.5), Anita Tuladhar provides an excellent summary of the history of and recent innovations in the provision of rural credit by the formal sector. This article is intended to follow up on Tuladhar's work by considering the range of credit institutions in both the formal and informal sectors, and the relationship between them. Rather than consider Nepal as a whole, as Tuladhar has usefully done, this article focuses on one particular location, the Newar town of Sankhu. While Sankhu is by no means representative of the rest of Nepal -- where a remarkable cultural diversity is indeed reflected in the complexity and diversity of credit systems throughout the country -- observa tions based on ethnographic and survey research in a particular place can have important implications for financial policy planning at the national level. This article thus briefly outlines the credit institutions which exist in Sankhu, and suggests ways in which the situation in Sankhu bears on HMG's dual objective of development banking and economic liberaliza tion.


Both Nepal Bank and the Agriculture Development Bank Nepal (ADBN) serve a roughly 10- VDC wide area that encompasses Sankhu. Through the Production Credit for Rural Women, Intensive Banking Program and the Small Farmer's Development Program, all of which are discussed by Tuladhar, the two banks are engaged in rural banking schemes designed to make credit available to poor borrowers. In both cases local residents are very critical of the banks' ability to serve as a significant source of credit. The Sankhu branch of Nepal Bank extended Rs1.4 million, or 21% of the branch's loan portfolio to the priority sector in 1993, the most recent year for which data is available. Former Bank staff, as well as knowledgeable local informants, however, suggest that these loans have gone, not to the genuinely poor, but to those who wield power locally. The genuinely poor lack the skills, confidence and resources to even approach the formal banking sector, including its targeted programs, and bank person nel lack the commitment to seek out the kinds of borrowers for whom the programs are intended.
                 What is most striking about the relationship of Nepal Bank with the Sankhu area is that the majority of its loans -- 75%, or Rs4.9 million in 1993 -- are collateralized by gold and silver. This trend reflects a lack of sophistication and inflexibility in underwriting loans on the part of both the bank and its borrowers. From the bank's perspective, giving 70% cash loans against gold entails less risk, administrative cost, and processing expertise than other forms of collat eral. But this practice also suggests that the bank is not engaged in productive lending (since there are no checks on the uses that are made of loans against gold) and that there is consider able scope for fraud. The scale of such 'social lending' (a misnomer, since people generally use the informal sector for consumer credit and 'social loans' for launching or expanding business enterprises) also reflects an entirely different approach to doing business than is typically espoused by Western schools of Management. People in Sankhu generally base entrepreneurial decisions on observations about other entrepreneurs' success
(opening a soft drink stand, for instance, because their neighbor who also has a soft drink stand just bought a motorcycle), rather than market and feasibility studies. This logic is conducive only to very simple collateralizations schemes such as cash loans against gold.
                 Moreover, those entrepreneurs who have the technical skills and vision to produce viable business plans, cannot be served by the local branch of Nepal Bank, because it does not provide overdraft or hire purchase facilities, and because of the low ceiling on loan size. Other than priority sector loans and loans against gold and silver, Nepal Bank has made only 11 additional loans, all against land or godowns, and all overdue. Currently the bank branch will not entertain this kind of loan due to the poor repayment record.
 Local perceptions that Nepal Bank has done little to invest in the area are corroborated by the bank's own data, which reveals a relatively high rate of deposit mobilization. With 3,138 deposit accounts totalling Rs25.5 million in 1993, the bank's loan to deposit ratio for the same year was a meagre 1:4.
 That is, for every Rs4,000 the bank raises in deposits, it lends out only Rs1,000. Assuming that the excess deposits are lent out elsewhere, Nepal Bank is actually creating a net drain of capital from the Sankhu area. The low loan to deposit ratio also suggests that the Sankhu branch is running at a loss.
                 ADBN is generally perceived to be a more innovative and accommodating credit facility than Nepal Bank, and indeed, at Rs8.0 million for 1993, it provided 4.7 times as much lending to the priority sectors in the Sankhu area than Nepal Bank. ADBN also requires a business plan, even for the Small Farmers Development Program, for which the bank does provide loan applicants some assistance. Nonetheless, ADBN is experiencing extraordinarily low rates of repayment, at 31% on both SFDP and regular loans (even lower than the national rate for SFDP of 40%). Local informants explain the low repayment rates by the fact that borrowers rarely use even the priority sector loans for the purposes specified in the loan application. Rather, applicants take the minimal steps necessary to satisfy bank staff of their intention to carry out an enterprise (such as borrowing a friend's water buffalo to substantiate a loan for livestock raising), and then use the loan for entirely different, generally nonproductive, purposes. One informant had himself likewise borrowed a neighbor's raw wool and spinning machine in order to acquire a loan for cottage industry from ADBN, and then used the loan to pay off debt he had accrued in the informal sector. Because such uses of borrowed money do not yield a return, borrowers cannot generate capital to repay the loans, and the area suffers a loss of productive investment.
                 The experience of both Nepal Bank and ADBN suggest there is a profound mismatch between the objectives of the banks to distribute credit to the rural poor, and bank programs for pursu ing these objectives. In addition, however, the banks lack a banking public -- borrowers who approach credit as a means to invest in productive enterprises. The practices and beliefs about credit held by the targeted groups themselves are not consistent with the banks' own concerns to, at the very least, minimize risk and make a profit. These mismatches are re flected in a quite low-rate of bank use, relative to other sources of credit. Although 21% of the 150 households we surveyed held deposit accounts, only 13% had received loans from a bank , some of which are not even located in the Sankhu area. Local informants blamed the low rates of bank use on several additional factors. The most common local explanation was, as Tuladhar has already suggested, the long, bureaucratic processes entailed in applying for and receiving a bank loan -- a cost which is proportionately greater for small borrowers. Informants also relate the failure of formal credit institutions to meet local credit needs to their ownership structure. Since they are state-owned institutions, staff are simply 'eating a job' (as the Nepali expression translates) and have no stake in the profitability of the bank.

Informal-Sector Credit Institutions

a. Moneylenders
                 The astounding diversity and high costs of informal credit in Sankhu illustrate just how peripheral banks can be in local credit markets. The most common source of credit is still the local moneylenders -- used by 53% of the indebted households in our survey . In Sankhu, although the number of people who lend money as a business is reportedly in decline, the moneylenders still clearly wield tremendous influence. Traditionally the moneylenders were large landholders, many of whom had received land grants, local government posts or revenue-raising contracts during the Rana period. Since local governance at that time was extremely decentralized, the moneylenders were left with tremendous discretion to manage credit markets; needless to say, the legal limit of a 10% interest rate was not observed. Moreover, the demand for credit was formerly extremely high, given the high and fluctuating rents charged by landlords, heavy unpaid labor requirements and an onerous tax system. These circumstances combined to give the moneylender consider power vis a vis borrowers, manifested in high interest rates, other 'costs' of borrowing including royalties and unpaid labor, confiscation of land and other wealth in the event of nonpayment, and even private jails where defaulting borrowers could be retained and punished.
                 Currently, the local rate is still high, at 36%, or Rs1 for every Rs1,000 borrowed per month (charka byaj). For longer -term loans moneylenders often take collateral in gold; they either retain a small margin and charge a rate slightly lower than 36%, or, more commonly, they write a contract for an adjusted loan amount, 10% of which yields an interest equivalent to 36% of the actual loan amount -- 10% still being the legal rate of interest moneylenders can charge. When loans are paid in kind, a practice which is in decline, the rate of interest is extraordinarily high -- up to 4 pathi per Rs100 (1 pathi is approximately 16 kg); at the current market price of Rs25/pathi of unhusked rice, the interest may be as high as 100%. Not only are the interest rates high, but also the terms of the loans are quite unfavorable to the borrower. Thirty percent of the money lenders surveyed indicated that their borrowers performed unpaid labor in lieu of interest payments (although it is more likely that this labor is performed in addition to interest payments); only 8% reported there being written contracts of their borrowing from moneylenders; and 8% of the borrowers surveyed reported giving royalties (usually clarified butter, fruits, eggs, and other small gifts to win the favor of the moneylender.
                 These are extraordinary costs to pay for credit, especially when it is much cheaper from the formal sector. The fact that a majority of borrowers in Sankhu still opt for this form of credit suggests that, even so close to the capital city, the costs associated with bank borrowing make it prohibitive for most borrowers. Since bank interest rates are generally at least half what moneylenders charge, borrowers are clearly perceiving other costs, such as the lengthy application process or the collateral requirements, that dissuade them from using bank credit.

b. Upahar Karekrum
                 Newer forms of informal-sector credit procurement are even more compromising to the borrower. In one scheme, upahar karekrum, which translates as 'gift program,' borrowers (referred to as 'players') pay on an instalment basis for a given consumer good, most commonly a daraj, or steel dresser (a status item among those aspiring to the middle class). The total payment, made over the course of a fixed number of monthly payments, exceeds the retail price, but the item is not delivered until after all the installments have been made. What is remarkable about this arrangement is that the lender bears no costs until after the full payment has been made; the entire payment (cost plus interest) can be invested before the lender gives anything to the borrower, who both pays interest and defers consumption. Upahar karekrums clearly do little to oblige the lender to the borrower, and indeed lenders often provide substandard products (unpainted, or smaller than advertised, for instance). The gimmick that attracts the borrower is a monthly lottery for a consumer item of higher value than the daraj itself, commonly a television set. In Sankhu, both efforts to run an upahar karekrum failed because the lender was unable to deliver the goods at the end of the instalment period. In several other cases, people participated in larger operations run out of Kathmandu, whose lenders fled at the end of the program without delivering the product at all.

c. Dhukuti

Dhukutis are another recent innovation, said to be an adaptation of the Thakali lending circles of the Mustang region, although Newars in Sankhu are certainly unaware of this origin. Dhukutis are a bidding game, whereby the
'players' contribute an equal share to a fund man aged by the dhukuti leader. Each month a share of the fund goes to the highest bidder. In monthly rounds of bidding, the highest bidder receives an amount equal to the total fund, less the amount bid, and each player contributes an equal share of the amount due. The problem is that the fund's success depends on bidders who have received their share to continue making payments to the fund for the remaining months of the karekrum. In addition, the combined payments to the fund over the course of 20 or so months constitute extraordinarily high interest payments -- often as high as 70%. In two of the three cases about which we learned in Sankhu, the dhukuti had collapsed due to nonpayment of dues by members who had already received their payment from the fund. Just as in upahar karekrums, in dhukutis the borrowers have no legal recourse in such circumstances.

d. Friends, neighbors and family

Another important source of credit in Sankhu is simply trusted friends, neighbors and rela tives; 25% of the indebted households in our survey had borrowed money from these sources. These transactions tend to be short-term, small-scale, interest-free and unsubstantiated by loan documents. They are also different from loans obtained from moneylenders because they are essentially exchanges among equals, rather than two people of fundamentally different status. Among friends, relatives and neighbors, it is common to have borrowed from or lent to more than one person, or to have both lent money out and borrowed money in at the same time. To the extent that these loans are kept small and short-term, they are an effective way of coping with inevitable fluctuations in expenditures in a culture where formal financial institutions do not play a significant role. However, they are also the site of many broken friendships.

e. Guthis

These small-scale loans among friends are rarely transacted, as is so often suggested by the literature on credit, through the guthi organizations which are so characteristic of Newar society. Guthis are socio-religious institutions serving a variety of functions, the most univer sal of which are to carry out the long, complicated Newar mortuary rights and worship of lineage deities. What is most striking about guthis is that the enormous cooperation in ritual and social matters is not paralleled in the economic realm. Some guthis do have lending facilities for their members, but the pot rarely exceeds a few thousand rupees. In several cases, 'borrowing' the money is a responsibility that rotates with the person whose turn it is to host the annual guthi feast, which are financed in part by the high interest rates (18-36%). It is clear, then, that the priority with these loans is to store the guthi's wealth and finance guthi functions, rather than to provide a reliable source of credit. Guthis do not, therefore, consti tute Nepal's own indigenous credit scheme that might be replicated on a larger scale, as is often suggested by the literature on rural finance.

f. Udharo

In addition to supply credit facilities for short-term consumption needs, the informal credit sector also finances most businesses in Sankhu. Of the 71 business people in our sample, 75% said they bought their products on credit, and 88% said they sold on credit. This udharo system also runs entirely on trust, with no collateral taken, no interest charged, and no con tracts written. It's only logic is that, as a borrower, if you fail to make payments, you lose your supply, and your business suffers. Most business people report facing significant losses to nonpaying borrowers, but no other alternatives for supplying retailers or turning over merchandise have developed to this point.

As mentioned earlier, the banking sector has inadequate facilities for financing local, small- scale retail, industrial or other entrepreneurial activities. But it is also the case that the Newar approach to business is not conducive to formal sector finance. Business is strictly a family affair. Distinct ventures are like subsidiaries of the family corporation. While businesses depend on networks of kin, guthi alliances, and long-term friendships for supply and market ing, there is generally profound distrust for anyone outside of one's immediate household. Only 17% of the households we surveyed in Sankhu had ever been involved in a partnership -- most of which had long since failed. The success of the udharo system depends on closed networks of well-established (often generations-old) trading partners and retailer-consumer relationships. As these begin to erode with expansion of markets (a trend directly related to new open market policies), the security of the udharo networks is becoming threatened.

Policy Implications

Much criticism had been levelled at the Congress government -- and the Communist govern ment seems committed to the same policies -- for its ambiguity with respect to financial policy. On the one hand it had taken measures to liberalize the financial sector, such as facilitating the emergence of new kinds of institutions like finance and leasing companies, creating more favorable terms for joint-venture banks, and deregulating currency and interest rates. On the other hand, the government is still committed to the idea that financial institu tions have an obligation to develop the productive capacity of the nation, a policy residual to the panchayat era of planned economic development. At the time when all financial institu tions were wholly or partly government-owned, this policy was more straightforward to implement. With more recent efforts to encourage a variety of private sector institutions, this policy becomes more problematic. The government has attempted to maintain its commitment to rural economic development by imposing priority sector lending requirements, which Tuladhar has already described, on all financial institutions. This policy has resulted in the following complications:

a) There is perhaps less incentive for a foreign investor to launch a financial enterprise in Nepal than some other country where such requirements do not exist.

b) Private-sector institutions, such as joint-venture banks, may not be the most skilled or effective provider of services to the rural poor, since their expertise is in financing transna tional business enterprises.

c) The priority sector requirements have been manipulated such that it is not the truly poor who are benefiting. Loans to carpet industries, for instance, fall within the priority sector requirements.

On the one hand, the range, high cost and riskiness of informal credit institutions in Sankhu suggests that there is a very high demand for credit, for both production and consumption purposes. Although dhukuti and upahar karekrum have largely been rejected as sources of credit, the eagerness with which they were first embraced illustrates how responsive borrow ers are to new forms of credit. Thus far, the formal sector has been utilized primarily to meet consumer credit needs; productive credit demands have been met largely by the informal sector, with the exception of Nepal Bank's social loans. This mismatch is due in part by the inadequacy of facilities at the banks, and in part by a local credit culture that expects credit on short notice and operates on the basis of trust. On the other hand, the relatively high level of deposit mobilization by Nepal Bank suggests that there is a resource base for lending to the rural poor that has not been adequately utilized. Given the ambiguous policy environment and the observed relationship between the formal and informal sector, we find the following approaches to financial planning in Nepal particularly promising.

a) If the government is to retain its development banking objective, then financial institutions might be encouraged to meet their priority sector objectives by capital contributions to other financial institutions, whose objective is to meet the credit needs of the rural poor. This policy has already been put into practice with commercial banks' investment in the Rural Development Banks, but it could be pursued and enforced far more rigorously. In this way, the banks would not be absolved of their development banking responsibilities, but rural credit delivery would be left to institutions established specifically for that purpose.

b) The costs of credit in the informal sector suggests that the Rural Development Banks need not subsidize credit. If interest rates are set such that the RDBs make a profit, then (i) the banks will be more sustainable in the long run, and (ii) credit will still be cheaper than in the informal sector.

c) Priority sector requirements should be reduced and redefined so that they benefit the genuinely poor (perhaps more along the lines of what is currently called the 'deprived sector').

d) Policy requiring a minimal level of reinvestment of deposits from the locality from which they were mobilized should be introduced.

e) NGOs such as Nirdhan are perhaps an ideal venue for delivering rural credit. Credit Unions might also be more seriously pursued in Nepal, since their collective ownership structure might encourage borrowers to understand the concepts of risk, the importance of making productive investments, and need for financial institutions to operate profitably.

f) Whatever the structure, the ultimate providers of rural credit must operate not just as a bank, but also as a consultant, technical assistance facility, and community development program.

g) When credit is provided for entrepreneurial purposes, the banks should be obliged to make check payments directly to suppliers of necessary goods and services, rather than cash loans to the borrower.

h) Laws governing the informal sector should be revised so that they more meaningfully reflect credit markets. The 10% interest rate limit, for instance, should be altered; and without a sound contract and tort laws, the informal sector will remain outside the ambit of the legal system.

***************************************************** Date: Mon, 1 May 1995 14:32:34 -0500 (CDT) From: Mickey Veich <> To: Nepal Digest <> Subject: 15th OD World Congress

The Organization Development Institute (ODI) headquartered in Cleveland, OH, announced this year's World Congress to be held in Kathmandu with a short trip to the Chitwan National Forest.

Dr. D. Cole, Executive director of the ODI, indicated that he would be looking for any Nepalese educators dealing with organization development and organization behavior and who may be interested in starting a Nepal OD Institute. Cole can be reached at:

The OD network has adjunct facilities around the world most notably in Poland, Croatia, Russia, Latvia, India, Kuala Lumpur, South Africa, etc. OD Institute members, all educators and professional OD consultants annually present major project they worked on the past year.

Jai Nepal Mickey Veich

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