The Nepal Digest - May 9, 1995 (26 Baishakh 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Tuesday 9 May 95: Baishakh 26 2051 BkSm Volume 38 Issue 5

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

********************************************************************** Date: 07 May 95 23:17:20 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News5/3-5 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

May 3 Two Solvenes ski down Annapurna, making history

Reuters report

   Two Slovene climbers created history when they skied from the top of Annapurna I, the world's tenth-highest mountain in the Himalayan range, Nepal's Tourism Ministry said Wednesday.

   The ministry said two Slovene brothers and a Mexican climber reached the 26,000 ft. summit on April 29 from the north face.

   It said the brothers from Jezersko, in Slovenia, 32-year-old ski instructor Davorin Karnicar and 25-year-old Drejc Karnicar, skied back to their base camp at 14,018 ft. on the same day, making it the first continuous ski descent.

   A French mountaineer skied down the slope 15 years ago, but did not do it in one go, officials said.

   Carlos Carsolio, 32, from Mexico City, has climbed nine of the world's 14 mountains that rise above 26,0000 feet.

   Only seven other climbers in the world have conquered as many as 10 mountains above the 26,000 ft mark.

 May 4 Strike Paralyzes Kathmandu Excerpts from AFP, DPA, Xinhua and Reuters reports

   About 400 activists were arrested and at least 15 injured Thursday in a one-day general strike called by Nepal's extreme left-wing United People's Front (UPF-Bhattarai), party president Pumpha Bhusal told reporters.

   A Home Ministry spokesman, however, confirmed the arrest of only 100 people and damage to seven buses in stoning attacks by unidentified people during the stoppage which brought Kathmandu Valley to a virtual standstill.

   Shops and schools in three cities were closed as private vehicles stayed off the roads in response to the call for a general strike, officials said.

   Commuters and office workers walked to work as state-run buses struggled to cope with peak rush-hour traffic, witnesses said.

   The strike, called to protest against the policies of the ruling Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist and Leninist (NCP-UML), affected work in shops, government offices, factories, schools and colleges.

   Witnesses said that around 80 percent of shops were shut in the first general strike to be called by a political party since the NCP-UML came to power last November.

   The government did not attempt to stop demonstrations, but ordered the deployment of 5,000 policemen clad in riot gear to guard post offices, telecommunications offices and other public establishments, officials said. Groups of youths from the UPF sought to ensure the success of the strike by roaming around Kathmandu despite the security patrols.

   The highpoint of the day's demonstrations was a UPF rally which drew a crowd of more than 8,000 people at which government policy was attacked by speakers.

   The UPF called the strike, demanding an immediate end to the 1950 Nepal -India peace and friendship treaty, revocation of the Nepal -India pact on the Tanakpur project, re-introduction of work permits for foreigners - particularly for the large migrant Indian community - and a ban on vehicles in Nepal with Indian licence plates.

   Officials of UPFN-Bhattarai said other demands included price controls, the withdrawal of what it said were false police cases and the release of political prisoners.

   "These are demands which the ruling communist party of Nepal was raising itself while in opposition," UPFN-Bhattarai President Pampha Bhusal told Reuters. "Now that they are in the government, they refuse to listen to us."

   "The government is positive to meet possible demands and ready to negotiate," Home Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli said. "But they have not made any approach to meet the government."

 May 5 Army Chief Resigns after Eight Officers are Court-Martialled for Corruption Excerpts from AFP, Xinhua, UPI and Reuters reports

   The head of the Royal Nepal Army has resigned after a military court sanctioned eight officers, including his successor, for corruption, a defence ministry official told AFP Friday.

   After the military's General Court issued an unprecedented ruling handing down jail terms or dismissals to the eight, the chief of army staff, General Gadul Shumshere Rana, tendered his resignation to King Birendra on moral grounds, the official said.

   General Gadul Shumsher Rana resigned on Thursday after the decision in order to uphold the diginity of the Royal Nepal Army, a communique from King Birendra's Narayanhity Palace said.

   "General Rana submitted his resignation on moral grounds to maintain the image of the Royal Nepalese Army as well as the prestige and dignity of the office of the chief of army staff in the context of the case of corruption and financial irregularities," the statement said.

   The King accepted his resignation, it said.

   The Defence Ministry announced that Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikary's government approved an army court martial decision to sack four officers and jail two of them.

   Among those court-martialled, the highest-ranking officer is Major General Yogendra Pratap Rana -- who would have succeeded Shumshere Rana on May 14, had he not been involved in corruption, the official said.

   Shumshere Rana, trained in Germany, was to have completed his four-year tenure next week.

   He accepted responsibility for corruption in senior ranks that caused a loss of 14.73 million rupees (294,609 dollars), the official said.

   The court found last June that the money had been embezzled through forged documents and purchase bills for machinery. Officials said the court martial found retired Major General Yogendra Pratap Jung Rana guilty of extending benefits to civilians in return for bribes.

   The army probed allegations of irregularities, corruption and forgery last year in the ordnance office that Major General Rana headed before his retirement, they said.

   Rana was found guilty of deliberately incurring losses to government property and not fulfilling his responsibilities honestly, the Defence Ministry statement said.

   Major General Yogendra Rana was fined 14.54 million rupees (209,087 dollars) and sentenced to four years in prison. But he has been allowed to remain in a military hospital under guard because of a heart ailment, the official said.

   Others involved in the case, Colonel Girban Yuddhan Bickram Shah and Lieutenant Colonel Mahendra Bista, were found guilty of counter-signing a cheque without scrutinizing documents for equipment purchase.

   They were dismissed from the army but are to be allowed to work for the government in future.

   Major Nil Bahadur Rawal was found guilty of tampering purchase bills and other documents for his personal benefit. He was given a three-year jail term and fined 702,100 (14,042 dollars), the source said.

   He is barred from holding government posts in future, he said.

   Four junior officials were fined between 27,527 US dollars and 2,000 US dollars and given jail terms ranging from six months to four years.

Trouble growing for Padma Ratna UPI report

   A Nepali Cabinet minister is facing sharp protests and even a call for his assassination after he suggested the Muslim minority in the Hindu kingdom be allowed to eat beef -- even though Hindus consider cows sacred animals. The cow is also Nepal's national symbol. Many Nepalis are furious over what they see as a call to allow the slaughtering of cows. Health Minister Padma Ratna Tuladhar denied calling for the lifting of a ban on the slaughtering of cows. The opposition National Unity Front has started distributing 10,000 copies of tapes it says are of the minister's statement on the issue and the weekly newspaper Nepalparta Friday printed the transcript of the recording. Tuladhar made the controversial statement at meeting of a human rights organization in Kalaiya, South Nepal, two months ago.
''Shouldn't Moslems and Mongolians be permitted to eat beef? If we are tolerant and if it is the culture of the Muslims, shouldn't they be permitted in their localities?'' he asked. ''In my opinion, they should be exempted,'' Tuladhar said. Protests against the minister are being held daily and one person has even offered a reward of
$1,000 for Tuladhar's assassination. Banners have been strung across the narrow streets of the Nepali capital stating: ''we don't want Padma Ratna. You can't slaughter cows in Nepal. ''

************************************************************************ Date: Sun, 7 May 1995 23:31:38 -0400 (EDT) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: On responses to Sanskrit To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

        Sanskrit-issue (SI) has brought forth many responses; some good and some not-so-good. But none so goofy as Durga Dahal's "nobody will get sick because of [the broadcasts]", clearly implying that it is useless to have debates/discussions on the SI.

         For Durga's information, there are many intelligent TND readers who are quite aware that news-broadcasts in Sanskrit have no perceptibly beneficial effects on one's health, physical or mental. That is why, various contributors have raised objections to or given their defence of SI on GROUNDS other than that of health and hygiene.

        To use, amiably I might add, Durga's own favorite three words: "Try to learn".

namaste ashu
        
************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 01:25:59 -0400 (EDT) From: Rakesh Karmacharya <karmacha@aecom.yu.edu> Subject: Photographic Exhibition in Cambridge,MA To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

        Namaste. Images from Nepal: "Seeking the Invisible"

Pat Rabby invites Friends to share her photographs of Nepal on view the month of May in the Friends Center (Quaker), 5 Longfellow Park (off Brattle Street), Cambridge, MA (within walking distance from Harvard Square).
"Seeking the Invisible," the photographs offer intimate scenes of Nepali life and worship.

Technically, her pigment transfer prints are a blend of modern graphic process with an early photographic method combining color by hand, layer by layer. The oil prints are estimated to be color stable for hundreds of years.

Please join Pat Rabby and guests in the Friends Room on Sunday afternoon, May 14th, from 2-4 PM for a reception and conversation.

And enjoy the pictures throughout May. The hours are 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. You can also enjoy the pictures on most Sunday afternoons.

***************************************************************** Date: MON, 08 MAY 95 15:13:40 JST From: Ashok Sayenju <194038@JPNIUJ00.BITNET> Subject: Corruption in the Army!!! To: The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu>

The resignation of C-In-C General Rana last week taking moral responsibility for corruption by senior army officials is a commendable thing for the whole Royal Nepalese Army even though he was about to retire in two weeks later any way. This is probably the first time a C-In-C has resigned rather than being sacked or retired. It is however amazing to know that C-In-C was unaware of corrupt practices happening right under his command or even being powerless to take immidiate disciplinary actions against those involved before the court mar tial proceedings whichever was the case in the beginning. It is not the first t ime the highest ranked official who was court martialled is involved in the conduct unbecoming of a high ranking officer. He was also involved in some scandal couple of years ago.

There had been few cases of corruption that had become public before. It is well known in Nepal that misuse of government property is widespread in the RNA and Police. I am unaware if it is official HMG policy to treat these bodies separately (Can anyone with working knowledge of civilian and military justice fill me on this). The punishments for abusers should be severe so it wo uld deter others from doing the same in the future.

There is also an attitude with most Army people when it comes totheir dealings with the civilian sector. An army officer friend of mine had told me long time ago that they are taught to think that they are superior than the civilians when they join the service. Of course, joining the service and pledging to defe nd the country against foreign and domestic enemies is prestigious in a society like ours. I guess the superior feelings come from all the pomp that military people enjoy such as having an ardali and things like that.

This is just a personal opinion that are allowed to express in a free forum like the TND and not intended to be disrespectful towards all who ser ve in the military. In fact, there are many hardworking, honest, patriotic people in the army whom I think are doing a very good job such as representing the country in various UN Peacekeeping duties abroad, rescue operations in cas es of emergencies, etc.

I would like to hear from among our TND readers who have served in the RNA previously if there is anyone.

Dhanyabad!

Ashok Sayenju Email: 194038@jpniuj00.bitnet

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 08 May 1995 11:36:31 EDT To: The Nepal digest Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <pkm@acpub.duke.edu> Subject: Holy Cow!

(Caustion!: Paragraphs may be long. You may stumble upon
"dumped feelings.")

"C, O, W=kau; kau maane gai; C, O, W . . ." Any child who has grown up in the vernacular schools in Nepali villages would, as I do, recognize this first lesson in the English language. Along with "dog" and "cat," "cow" was the first word that opened such a child's door into the miraculous, sweaty labyrinths of the English language. Learning the spelling of such words as
"horse," "elephant," even "buffalo" denoting the names of other everyday animals seemed too difficult, even impossible, to master at this stage. So "cow" became one of the first words a Nepali child learned while learning English in the villages. And when learning a full sentence, the first essay had to be on "The Cow," whose first sentences began as "The cow is a four-footed animal. She gives milk. She is our mother."
     Forget that buffaloes also gave milk; in fact, thicker and tastier milk than the cow's, but nobody in our school ever wrote an essay or memorized one that said, "The buffalo is our mother." Ridiculous! Unthinkable! How can you call buffalo your mother? Even the English teacher would have objected in exclamations and superlatives. Indeed, the buffalo I tended had sword-sharp horns spread sideways like the wings of an airplane; it rolled its angry eyes without even the slightest provocation; and was so wilful that on many occasions, it didn't hesitate to repay my kindness and care by throwing me off its back (you had to ride one holding its nose-rope in order to graze a buffalo) to fall into the rock-dry clay of the field while it galloped away into a nearby lush crop. With tearful eyes and bruised limbs I would return home to report. Tired of this buffalo's tantrum- filled belligerent ways and its incurable barrenness, my father sold it in an animal fair across the border in India and bought me my first pair of leather shoes. A pandit and a vegetarian, he said after the deal, "Let the butchers slaughter and enjoy its meat."
     But with cows, the experience was different. At one point in my career of tending the herd of cows, I could swear that the cows and calves of my days understood and obeyed my instructions and never strayed to somebody's crop and got lost in the jungles when I told it not to do so, thus allowing me to play marble and King Kabbaddi or Kapardi with my colleagues the other teenagers of the village who were mostly hired herdboys of the Rajbanshi tribals. And whenever one of the cows or calves disobeyed, I admonished it, and at times even hit it a stick or two, and repented the hitting as though I had fought with a human being weaker than myself. Our cows let my mother milk them without any trouble, but when a neighbor had to tie his cow's hind legs while milking to prevent it from throwing its legs and spilling the milk and hurting the milker, my father warned, "What a butcher! How would they drink such milk? Never ever borrow or buy their milk."
     But now, five years short of the twenty-first century, I ask, What made the cow holy and the buffalo despised? Was it just the everyday experience with these animals that deified one and demonized the other? Surely, the easy spelling alone could not have been the sole reason that made us write an essay on the cow as a four-footed animal and mother. Any Hindu, even an untouchable, can easily give an answer even now as confidently as a Brahmin pandit would that a buffalo is symbolic of Mahishasur, the buffalo demon, to be slaughtered and sacrificed; a cow, on the other hand, is representative of Kamdhenu, one of the wonders that surfaced as a result of churning the ocean (along with lotus the flower?, Laxmi the goddess, Eraabat the elephant?, the moon, Uchchaishrawa the horse, and Kalpabriksha the tree, Amrit the immortalizing elixirs, and Kalkoot the poison), and so to be worshipped and milked and its milk drunk to derive strength and longevity.
     Hindus worship cows, the symbol of goddess Laxmi; they purify themselves by drinking a haifer's urine ("gaumoot or gaunt"), and when the pollution becomes too strong, they swallow doses of cowdung and Gangajal, the water the the Ganges, and its sand, like a strong dose of antibiotic to kill some venom. For a Hindu, his kitchen is more sacred than even his bedroom; it is therefore more vulnerable to all kinds of pollution. But cowdung even here works as no antibacterial cleaning agent would.
     A cow reminds a Hindu of the idyllic Brindavan where Krishna played his flute and took care of his herd, where evil was taken care of and good always thrived and triumphed. Wherever there is a temple of Lord Shiva, a Hindu finds the statue of a humped bull seated with folded legs right in front. And most important of all, a cow is the only creature by grabbing whose tail, a sinful Hindu can cross the Ocean of the World, Bhavasagar, which is filled with temptations and slimy creatures, and go to heaven, get out of the never- ending cycle of births and deaths. For this reason, a Hindu gives away cows to the Brahmans so these cows could appear in his time of need in the murky ocean. In a Hindu's mind thus, the cow represents non-violence, innocence, and sacrifice--an unfailing means of salvation and immortality.
       It is, therefore, not surprising that the India-frustrated Sudama Shastri (Sudama, incidentally, was the name of Lord Krishna's poor Brahmin friend) whose Hindu wishes have been thwarted and crushed for almost a millennium now, first by the Muslim invadors and then by the British and then by the secularist British-educated Indian leaders like Gandhi and Nehru, pronounced a curse--a Hindu Fatwah--on Padma Ratna Tuladhar the leftist, the health minister, who not only harbors misgivings about God and the Vedas by virtue of his Marxist ideas but is perhaps more so concerned as the health minister about the protein-intake of his poor countrymen.
     Fifty thousand rupees for our heath minister's blood- dripping head! What a cheap price! There is no petro-money in India nor is it ruled by the saffron-garbed, dread-locked and bearded, pot-bellied Sudama Shastris. Otherwise, who knows the price for Mr. Tuladhar's head might have been weighed in gold and diamond. An Indian Hindu is at long last emulating his arch enemy the Muslim; an Indian vegetarian Sudama Shastri emulating the camel- eating Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini. What a world of following the footprints of the great! Fanaticism recognizes no national borders; no specific color; no religious order.
     Otherwise, there is much to be said about the merits of eating beef and demerits of eating cow-meat. Toward the end of the nineteenth century when the Japanese emperor (all autocrats like to call themselves emperors) launched a campaign of modernizing Japan, one of the key modernizing projects he adopted and imposed (wearing Western clothes was another) was eating beef. He was much concerned about the vertically challenged figures of his subjects. So the Japanese started eating beef like crazy, and, lo and behold, ten years later, they say the average height of the Japanese increased by no less than a couple of inches.
     Once a Brahmin student of philosophy told me in India that a particular relative of his was exceptionally brilliant
("Samskari"), and it was, he said, because of the man's exceptional obsession with dietary restrictions--complete abstention from garlic, onion, alcohol, tobacco, meat, fish, red radish, black eggplant. Because of his dietary habits, my friend contended, this relative of his could know so much, could memorize so much, was an exceptionally learned man. Well, as you can guess, it didn't take me long to tell him that much of what makes modern progress in science and technology, even in other branches of knowledge and achievement, from philosophy and literature to painting, was done by people who voraciously ate cow-meat (of course, at the time I had no idea about beef farming), such as the Jews and the Christians. What more, Maha Pandit Rahul Sankrityayan (does this name ring any bell?) who wrote, among other books, "From the Volga to the Ganga," "Manav Samaaj,"
"Samyabad Hi Kyon"?, notoriously contended that in the early Vedic period a well-to-do Brahman expressed especial hospitality for his guest by sacrificing a calf and offering the guest with its tender meat. One wonders if this dietary hospitality had anything to do with the composition of the marvelous Vedas.
     But folk beliefs and childhood convictions die hard, and people very often cling to some habits just to make life a little more exciting and meaningful and worthy of living. Years after meeting this student of philosophy, I visited Darjeeling, where I learned that they had a butcher market right in the middle of the town, where they slaughtered cows and sold their meat. No sooner did I learn this, I couldn't wait to visit the place, but at the same time all kinds of taboos hindered my path to the butcher market. My scruples on this occasion resembled those I had had while walking by the area of the town where lipstick- hardened, powder-weary women hawked their bodies in broad day light. I always wanted to see those places and things--the secret alleys, curtain-darkened rooms, stained beds, sounds of turtle drum and cymbals, profane language and love-lorn songs, seeping out of the holes of the faded window sills and damp walls. But I couldn't. To my adolescent libido and conscience, they at once represented both poison and elixirs, leading at once toward the bottomless pit of hell and to the empyrean Devloka. I could never visit those tabooed corners for fear of some unknown calamities befalling me. Whenever I had to walk those lanes, I kept my apprehensive eyes downcast, stealing from time to time furtive glances from the corner of my eyes.
     At any rate, when I visited this meat-market in Darjeeling, I got the shock of my life. Before, I had seen only the tempting carcasses of goats hanging in the Muslim butchershop or choice pieces of red goat-meat spread on banana leaves in my village. Now, the whole hunks of slaughtered cows hung by giant hooks and surrounded me everywhere, their knife-wielding owners ready to chop and do business. I entered the bazaar, looking left and right, and hurried through its assaulting sight as though I were chased by a rabid dog. I felt, and later told my friend, that if I ate the cow-meat, it would taint my blood for generations; such was my disgust, verging on a feeling of awe and sublime. Although contrary, all these feelings seized me all at once in spite of my staunch suspicion about the existence of God and His kingdom, in spite of my recognition that beef probably contained the highest quantity of protein found in meat, and in spite of savoring the riches of the cow-eating language and culture.
     Even after years of staying in the United States, where the animal out of which beef is obtained is itself called beef, where the packaged meat in the supermarkets looks like any other meat
(and seems to grow out there somewhere as any other vegetables such as potato or tomato would) but for the tag identifying it; where I freely eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and other fast foods without caring about the height, size, and type of animal its meat comes from--even here, even now, it takes special courage for me to buy beef, which I rarely do. Instead, I go for more harmless fares-- chicken, lamb, turkey products, and of course fish. My ideas about the protein content of beef, about its easy availability, about its famed taste, about the absence of God, about belief in revolutionary changes in social systems have not yet succeeded in preparing my taste for beef, let alone cow-meat. And beef's high cholesterol nowhere accounts for my dislike for it.
        So if the Nepali Hindus responded with outrage at Mr. Tuladhar's pronouncement about the possibility of eating cow-meat in Nepal, it's hardly surprising. But the question arises now, whether the outrage came spontaneously from the Hindu populace or was organized by the Hindu zealots, those whose nefarious designs have been foiled in India and who want Nepal to make the bastion of their bigotry and fanaticism, those oblivious of Nepal's ethnic complexity and tradition of tolerance among its people (I'm not speaking here of the rulers, mind you).
        Over the centuries of human civilization, the established religions have done some definite good, but they have caused equal, if not more, harm. And the more we flow into the womb of future with the ideals of civil society based on equality, liberty, and fraternity, the more intolerant and harmful their fanatics make them. Most religions have lost their spiritual depths; they have become explicitly and outrageously political and spilled a lot of blood. Even the Buddhists, otherwise following the path of non-violence preached by the Buddha, influenced by whose teachings, even Ashoka the war-demon renounced war and embraced peace, even the robber Angulimal (Finger Wreath) who killed his victims and wore their fingers around his neck renounced violence--even the Buddhist monks now-a-days have turned hateful, intolerant inciters. Just look at the Singhalese Buddhist monks and see how they hate the Hindus of Jaffna, who were not the majority and rulers in that land.
     Politics and zealotry, whatever their causes, have become the bane of established religions; and those who follow them have more often than not ruled and exploited and persecuted others who didn't believe in the same set of beliefs. In our times, they are driven more by the lust for power than any spiritual concern. The fanatics among the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, and even the Buddhists all are eggs of the same basket. Modern-day zealots of any of these faiths preach, outright or in disguise, hate instead of love; teach to scorn followers of other faiths in stead of teaching to respect them. In principle, therefore, Mr. Tuladhar was definitely right if he said that to make eating beef possible for people in Nepal who are not Hindus, the law had to be changed But in practice, if you allow cow slaughter in Nepal, it will not only insult many passive, peace-loving followers of Hinduism; it will invite the zealots of other faiths from the whole of South Asia to slaughter cows just to assert their rights and provoke the Hindus and it will equally invite the whole band of Hindu fanatics the likes of Sudama Shastri from all over India to incite the Nepali people to overthrow democracy so Nepal could once again go back to Ram Rajya, so Nepalis could kill each other in the name of cows and pigs.
     In India, Hindus and Muslims have killed each other over and over again over cows and pigs. Even Binoba Bhave, the simple- minded follower of Gandhi, more than once staged fast-unto-death so the Indian government could outlaw cow-slaughter. But there are more pressing issues in Nepal than the wrangle over eating beef or pork or lamb for the non-Hindus. They can make up for the protein that might come from beef with buff which may be even be healthier. The Communist government needs to establish its credibility first; it needs to fight poverty, disease, improve the standard of living of the Nepali people; it needs to secure the participation of people of all regions and ethnic backgrounds in the national mainstream; it needs to eradicate the entrenched vested interests of the elites from the army, from the bureaucracy, from all walks of Nepali life; it needs to win a clear majority in the next election. So as an intellectual, Mr. Tuladhar may have been right, but as a politician, his move was not discreet.
     In the meantime, let the Hindus in Nepal sell their barren and old cows in the animal markets of Letang and Madhumalla, Dohmana and Chunnimari (I know of only eastern Nepal) in the hands of the Muslim traffickers to take those unholy cows to the slaughter houses of Bengal and Bangladesh. And those of us non-Hindu Nepalis, who are dying to eat beef, should come either to the United States (too expensive, isn't it?) or go just over the border to Darjeeling and eat beef to their fill and return to Nepal. Of course, if Mr. Tuladhar wants to make a statement, he should strive in the parliament to enact laws that would commute the sentences of those who are serving life imprisonment in the Nepali prisons for accidentally or deliberately killing a cow, for to equate cow- slaughter with murder is outrageous and inhuman. Something must be done about it. And, also, something must be done about freeing those women who are serving life-imprisonment for aborting their unwanted babies. I'm sure Nepali people will support Mr. Tuladhar in his efforts, for these harsh laws were not made with the consent of the people but with the express wish of either some pandits or some power-maniac law-makers. Let's give preference to those issues which directly impact the lives of the Nepalis. And let's keep fanaticism off Nepali's hearts and Nepal's borders.

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sun, 07 May 1995 21:03:02 To: nepal-request@cs.niu.edu From: himal@himpc.mos.com.np Subject: Porter Conference

Hard Livelihood Conference on the Himalayan Porter 3, 4 August 1995, Kathmandu

Himal, the magazine of the Himalaya, is organising a meeting to discuss different aspects of portering in the mountains of South Asia. This will be a gathering of experts from diverse disciplines coming together for the first time to address the most excruciating of human labours. Panelists will include economists, sociologists, mountain medicine specialists, physiologists, geographers, planners and trades people. The audience will include all of the above as well as a larger group representing academia, media, community activists, as well as the portering world. There will be video and slide presentations.
     The conference seeks to raise awareness about the portering way of life and to promote scientific study of an important segment of Himalayan society and economy. What is the impact of a lifetime of portering on the physiology of a porter? Does portering affect the health of men and women equally? What is the migration pattern of porters? Which muscles are used in different kinds of portering? How does one measure the physical pain of carrying porter loads? What are the techniques of portering that the mountain people have evolved over the centuries of carrying basket loads? What is the nutritional value of a porter's diet? What will helicopters and highways do to portering? What are the prospects for collective bargaining? As the rural economy meets market forces, what will happen to porters and portering? Is there a future for portering as a source of cash income for rural hill people?
     These are some questions to be addressed in the two days of moderated discussion and debate in Kathmandu. Tentatively, the subjects have been divided along two broad heads: economics of portering; and health aspects. There will be two half-day sessions devoted to each head. More details on the sessions by mid-June.
     Himal invites papers for presentation in either of the two broad subject areas mentioned above. Panelists must submit prepared text for distribution by mid-July. Up to 20 minutes will be allowed for making presentation. While Himal magazine will be publishing a detailed news report on the session, publication of an edited volume of papers is also being considered.
     As the organisers are at the initial stages of planning, suggestions which will help make conference more in-depth and effective are welcome. While this conference will not go beyond the Himalaya, for future reference we seek information on portering in other mountain regions.

     Organisation:
* The conference will meet at Summit Hotel in Sanepa which is about five minute's drive
     from the Bagmati Bridge at Thapathali.
* Himal will arrange for lunches and dinners during the two-day meeting.
* The conference will meet in one session at a time. Participants are expected to sit in on
     all presentations and participate in discussions. The meetings will be moderated to use
     time to maximum advantage.
* Himal is not able to subsidise the travel or stay of participants. However, we will arrange
     for discounts at the Summit Hotel itself as well as in a range of hotels and lodges in the
     Patan neighbourhood.

Kanak Mani Dixit Coordinator, Hard Livelihood PO Box 42, Lalitpur, Nepal
 tel: 977 1 523845 fax: 521013 e-mail: him@himpc.mos.com.np

****************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 05 May 1995 23:31:21 EDT To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

                       Top Ten Questions
                         I Have In My Mind
                          Right Now
                                                

10. Why does Ashutosh Tiwari always sign off with a self-conscious
    "namaste, ashu". Is he trying to be Mr. Oh-So-Hip Lower-Case Nepali?

09. Why does Nirmal Ghimirez have that irritating 'z' at the end of his
    last name?

08. Does Pratyoush Onta not have better things to do than recycle his
    unreadably pretentious academese that he calls "articles"?

07. Does Pramod Mishra spend a month writing his mega-meandering and
    laughably stilted deep-thoughts on issues he seems to have
    little original opinions?

06. Does Amulya Tuladhar ever go to class? Or, is he forever glued to
    the e-mail terminal?

05. Who is this guy or girl (or maybe someone in between) who writes
    this sort of stupid top ten lists, making fun of everybody from
    Nepali Congress to the UPF to respected TND veterans?

04. Is that Nepali community in Boston the only one active on the planet?
    Or is G.B.N.C. just too publicity-conscious?

03. If people get married through TND, will they invite all the readers
    to the bhoj? If so, how will they distribute rasbari, lal-mohan
    and paan-masala on the net?

02. Are these naively idealistic students who prattle about Nepal ko bikas
    actually go back to Nepal someday?

01. Don't you have better things to do than read this inane, humor-less
    and stupid top-ten list?

        Now you are angry; hey, it's not my fault.

********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 16:40:48 +0100 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu From: petter.ljunggren@jmg.gu.se (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: petter.ljunggren@jmg.gu.se I am grateful for all kind of help. Petter Ljunggren, University of journalism in Gothenbourg

*********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 18:08:30 +0600 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu From: karin.maclennan@jmg.gu.se (karin maclennan) Subject: ARUN and Child labour

Do you have any views or information on the ARUN 111 project or on child labor, specifically in carpet factories, then mail me a line. I am a student of journalism at the university of Gothenburg in Sweden and will be going to Nepal the 26th to write articles on these issues. Grateful for any responses.

Karin MacLennan

*********************************************************************** From: nshresth@capital.edu (Nischal Shrestha) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Lyrics for Nepalese Song

ATTENTION TO ALL:

                        Lyrics for Nepalese Song

        I am looking for a lyrics for a song. I will accept poem also. I am not looking for romantic lyrics. It should not be too long.
        If anybody is interested, then please let me know. If I like it then I will be putting the song for my coming second album.
        Further information :

                                Nischal Shrestha
                                1660 North 4th Street
                                Apt# 2B
                                Columbus, Ohio 43201
                         Tel- 614 299 0780 E-mail nshresth@capital.edu

                        I will appreciate it.

p.s. It will better if I can get the answer by May 15th 1995.

****************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 16:48:49 -0400 From: Dibesh Bikram Karmacharya <ds@cyberspace.org> To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: To the Editor,

This is in response to the article "The dirty kathmandu(?)" by Abana onta Mr. Onta people like you are not welcome in Kathmandu..If you dislike Kathmandu so much(well it seems your article suggests that you dislike KTM) just do not go there and KTM will be clean..WE are sick of your quotes and big mouth..no offense.. Thank you..

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 09 May 1995 11:26:11 -0000 To: a10rjs1 <a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu> From: WAGLE@VAX.LSE.AC.UK Subject: The King in London.

Millions watched and over sixty heads of state attended the special (VE) Servic eat St Paul's Cathedral in London this Sunday. Surely the world's best-known faces like the English royalty or Chancellor Kohl were there to be recognized by all but many must have wondered who the "Gentleman" seated on the front row
(fifth in order of protocol) was. While Albert Gore representing the greatest power on earth occupied coyly an inconspicuous fourth-row seat, King Birendra accompanied by the winsome Princes sSruti was seen on the first row, just three seats away from King Hussain and his American-born wife, ranked highest on the list. A confident looking, Daura- Suruwal clad Hindu king was very much at ease throughout the service and could clearly be seen appreciating the superb interior of the seventeenth century Christopher Wren masterpiece - little wonder he was the only front seat occupie rnot to sing the hymns. An alien christian tradition, that can be worrying to unfamiliar foreign leaders, was handled gracefully by the king, thanks largely to his schooling at Eton. One might perceive these as hollow gestures that have no effect whatsoever on the people and our real problems back home. Indeed, It is debatable whether we can actually afford to go around being glamourous, chartering planes and sleeping in Hilton suites when in reality, picture at home is quite otherwise - But I'll leave that to the idealists to argue over. What is definitely satisfying though is that the King, suave by consensus, is seldom an embarrasment to the rest of us. Hopelessly ill-mannered diplomats and politicians have constantly damaged hard-earned national reputation. Ambassador snick books (Pradhan in Washington), Mayors board planes without ticket (PL Sin ghin Gatwick), Prime Ministers crack rude jokes (KP told he wasn't sterile at a SAARC dinner) and these days Comrades with, allegedly, very little manners roam around different countries on an almost weekly basis achieving nothing new. If only the enormous cash burden on the treasury could be lightened and the king became more subsistent, and paid taxes, I for one would have little hesitation to say that "The House of Gorkha" is there to stay (Well, atleast until Charlie blows it all at Windsor).

S Wagle London School of Economics.

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