The Nepal Digest - October 27, 1997 (13 Kartik 2054 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Tues Oct 27, 1997: Kartik 13 2054BS: Year6 Volume67 Issue 2

                       H A P P Y D I P A W A L I !!!!!!!!

Today's Topics:

                   From The Editor's Desk
                   A Call for Political Alternatives in Nepal
                   Sports News From Avi
                   Nepali News
                   No Laws Regarding Child Sexual Abuse in Nepal
                   Anti-terrorism bill not needed, says PM Thapa
                   Re: Nepal: Problems...

 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 18:23:47 -0400 (EDT) To: The Nepal Digest <> From: Rajpal J.P. Singh (Editor - The Nepal Digest) Subject: From The Editor's Desk

     On behalf of TND Foundation let me wish you a Happy Dipawali. I hope you had an enjoyable Dashain. Its an wonderful reminder that the good will prevail and the evil will be vanquished. Just a note to the article posters that we had a small disk mishap few days ago. If you do not see your article, please resend them. We apologize for the inconviniences.

    We have some wonderful news to share amongst us. TND Foundation is expanding its active role. Dr. Kirshan Bdr Hamal from Australia and Anil Shreshta from Canada, have kindly offered to volunteer their personal time to serve as "Co-ordinating Directors" for the respective regions. On behalf of TND Foundation and its worldwide members, Dr. Hamal and Anil Shrestha jyu, please accept our thanks. The Foundation urges all the members worldwide to touch base with our Directors to further the Foundation activities and to help the interests of Nepal, Nepalis and friends of Nepal. We are still looking for volunteers to come out in other geographical regions. Please send in your names.

    Yet another political turn has taken place in Singha Durbar. These political turns can be better or worse for the mere mortal us (Nepalis) depending in the situation and the players involved. If the nation can function without the interruptions in its development course irrespective of what happens with the political equation in Singha Durbar, then the lawmakers have executed their duties responsibly. If they have not, or if the constitution is such that, it allows or leaves no option for the lawmakers but to disrupt the development course of the nation everytime Singha Durbar decides to play musical chairs then now is the time to take a closer look at the constitution and start the daialogue amongst the voters and lawmakers to amend the constitution. This is what democracy has to mean to us. The people have to protect and chereish the freedom that our constitution provides; yet there must be provisions to ammend the constitution when there is a serious need to further the rights of the people and democracy.

   On the same note, I'd like to invite readers to ask ourselves, "Is the constitution complete? Does it need the ammemndments? If so, what should be the ammendments?" Mr. Pramod Mishra has articulated many of these arguments in his article in this issue. Mr. Rupesh Pradhan has augmented some notes on what indivduals can do to aid in the development couse of Nepal inspite of the political instablility in the country.

  Let the dialogue begin!

Nepal Ko Jai Hos! Rajpal J.P. Singh TND Foundation

****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 18:23:47 -0400 (EDT) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> To: The Nepal digest Editor <> Subject: Democracy or The Mock-Racy?: A Call for Political Alternatives in Nepal

           I had written part of this piece when UML-RPP coalition had formed their government some seven months ago, and now we have another combination of Nepali political spices in power in Kathmandu. In seven years, we have had almost seven governments, seven prime- ministers, three combinations involving the ex-Panchayat factions, proving their indispensability in Nepal's political scenario. Did the same kind of politicking take place during Panchayat system, forming, breaking, making moves over cards and drinks in order to grab political power? They have made a mockery of the darn thing called democracy. And there is no more Ganeshman to fume, shout, fret and threaten from the sidelines.
        What's gone wrong? In the following piece, I blame the West Minister system that contains an in-built loophole for such a muddle. But Britain itself hasn't had such muddled period for a long time. Wasn't it Atlee's government right after World War II that faced such a situation? Correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe Britain has two-party system for a long time, only recently the Liberals regaining their popularity. Is the system wrong? I think so, particularly when one considers the socio-economic condition and literacy level in Nepal. The people are poor, ignorant, politically uneducated, uninformed. On the other hand, each Nepali political leader thinks himself to be a Mao, a Ho-Chi Minh, a Castro, a Nehru, a Sukarno, a Nassar, a Kenyatta. When these two ingredients--uneducated voters and power-hungry, unscrupulous leaders--combine together, only a solid, foolproof political system can save the day. But that's not the case in Nepal. We can't change the people so fast; we can't change the politicians, but we can improve the system.
        Stability has become a mirage for the successive governments, and democracy a Westminster desert for the Nepali people. I mean how many governments can a nation have in seven years? We have had six since 1990. We have made all kinds of governments: government with full majority, minority government of democratic communists, coalition by the congress, and now back to a Panchayat-day prime-minister. In seven-odd years, we have come full circle. When it was a majority government, that of Mr. Koirala, his party members accused him of megalomania and threw him out. When we had the largest number of seats won by the communists, they were still in the minority because they didn't have more than fifty percent of the parliamentary seats. They, too, collapsed at the hands of the scared Congress. When the Congress formed a government in league with the rightist RPP, dissension ravened the rightists' ranks caused by the communists, and the coalition fell. And now the communists have formed an alliance and made a Panchayat-time prime-minister a multi-party prime-minister. In Nepal, even now you don't have to go to the people to ask for a mandate to be the prime-minister; you just make some clever moves, tempt, maneuver and manipulate in the corridors of power in Kathmandu and become a run away success in fulfilling your ambition. Hail the Westminster model of democracy! Some would say, glee hidden under their sleeve, hail multi-party system and democracy itself!
        But these times of uncertainty are also times of introspection and retrospection. We must look back and review Nepal's history in modern times. Full promise dawned only after 1950. The instability between 1950 to 1959 did much damage instead of repair and healthy beginning. The story of the seventeen-month B.P. government at that time is too difficult to interpret here, but one can fairly say that the congress got too drunk with their sweep in the elections, and many nascent communists thereafter proved to be less communists than maneuverers and politickers-- plain opportunists. So we had thirty years of Panchayat dictatorship or democracy, depending on your loss or gain, and political ideology. During the referendum, again such an unstable period, much of the forest in the Terai the government sold to raise funds, the rest many patriots looted and smuggled to India. The common people, awe struck, just watched the big drama, beyond their comprehension.
        The history of multi-party system since 1990, I'm sure, won't be written differently. This exercise of democracy has become a game of chairs, always short for the ambitious, for every elected member of parliament wants to occupy chairs--possibly that of the prime-minister. And rightfully so. Without power and government, no party thinks it can win an election in Nepal nor people can come to trust them. Power still carries both trust and purse in the Himalayan kingdom. But, even otherwise, I don't blame these parties and their politicians, however unscrupulous they may be. That's what the constitution provides, and the constitution has been borrowed from one of the oldest democracies. How can it be wrong?
        But the present constitution of Nepal is deeply flawed. We have had histories of unstable governments all over the world--in Italy, Israel, India, and in more than one African country, as a result of following blindly the British system. Some solved this problem of perpetually unstable democracy by bringing in the rule of a barrel, giving birth to Abachas, Babangidas, Idi Amins, Boccassas. Or its milder variants in Thailand, Indonesia, and many other South-East Asian countries.
        Nepal's people deserve better, even though they may be like the monkey god Hanuman right before his jump across the ocean to Lanka. A bear needs to remind the monkey that he can cross the ocean; that he has tremendous powers, dormant but not absent. Similarly, the people of Nepal need education; they need a reminder of their dormant powers in a democracy, subject as they have been so far to looking up to their rulers for whipping, mercy, and governance. Can the intellectuals and new breed of politicians function as bears?
        Yes, Nepal's people deserve better from their politicians, intellectuals--from themselves. The constitution needs to be reexamined and amended. After a series of coalition governments, Israel amended its constitution, making the post of the premier directly elective along with the parliamentary seats. Even Tony Blair, Britain's New Labour prime-minister, harbors ambitions to accomplish old radicalism by amending his country's revered political tradition by abolishing the voting rights of hereditary peerage in the House of Lords and heralding an era of written rights and proportional representation. Of course, we may not have to follow Israel, the US, or any other model that has built-in stability in its political structure. We may come up with a different plan for structural stability. But a debate needs to be started, both among the intellectuals and politicians--and a committee formed to find a way out of this quagmire.
        As it is, the Westminster system, much suitable as it may be or have been for England, is deeply flawed for a country like Nepal, where both geography and demography, let alone history and economy, militate against television-driven, media-propelled, empire-boosted democratic exercise. The poor prime-minister, whether he (let's for now confine ourselves to this gender alone) is Koirala or Adhikari, Deoba or Chand, the poor prime-minister, by the nature of the constitution and the lust for power and greed for pelf of the elected officials, within or without the party, the poor prime-minister has to spend sleepless nights thinking about the loss of his chair next morning. What can he do, think--how can he devote his day and night--planning for the upliftment of his voters, when the voters' representative themselves become, with the backing of the constitution, to use a popular word in India, hankerers after power so he can get pelf? In such a situation, even the stable branches of government--the police, the civil servants, the military-- even if clean, cannot provide direction, guide the hunger and nakedness out of the bodies' of the people.
        One or another of the MPs would always be ready to quit the party, conspire and form a coalition with others, no matter the ideology, and propose the vote of no confidence or confidence--to get a berth in the cabinet, or just become the next prime-minister. I mean this whole darn business of confidence or non-confidence has become a puppet-show, a joke, a high drama and circus good only for television--definitely not for the half-naked, half-starving people living in the dripping huts in the hills, mountains, and plains of Nepal. If the Westminster model is faulty for a poor country like Nepal, we can't afford to be its systemic victims for ever.
        But we can't do without democracy, either. The barrel of a gun is no substitute for a healthy reassessment of our own system, taking control over our own destiny and direction. Don't trust men, trust the system, particularly in a country like ours with its high illiteracy and deep poverty. And the system has to be made stable, democratic, and open to treatment like any non-divine entity. We have witnessed and are witnessing the consequences of gun barrel polity-- famine, disease, foreign bank accounts, and flight. Turning back the clock is no solution at all. Democracy is the only way to a healthy twenty-first century. We in Nepal have to amend the hastily hatched constitution to get that democracy, for lots of Nepali people, both inside Nepal and outside, have grown fed up with this monthly farce called vote of confidence--and no less fed up with the empty promise of stability.
        There could be three alternatives to this muddle next time around when an election is held. 1. Make the post of a prime-minister directly electable, although at the same time as the parliamentary election is held. This will end party crossing and intraparty quibbling and buying and selling of loyalties like mangoes and oranges. Or, 2. It's not based on how many seats a party wins in the parliament that would help make the government, rather which party gets the maximum votes under the leadership of an already declared Party Chief, who is entitled to rule for the whole term according to his and his party central committee's wishes. Or, 3. Make the election of the prime-minister separate from that of the Parliament, somewhat like the American Presidential system, with the difference that the Crown would act as the head of the state. 4. Come up with other alternatives to get us out of this muddle.
   A appeal the TND readers to come up with other such political alternatives so we can have a pool of ideas and also this electronic campaign for ideas would knock some sense into the politicians in Kathmandu. It may generate such debate there as well. We owe this to the salt or cream we have eaten in the name of Nepal.

****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 08:35:46 +0545 (NPT) To: From: (Pratyoush Onta) Subject: The Politics of Knowledge

Source: From The Kathmandu Post, 24 October 1997

The Politics of Knowledge Beyond Empty Symbolic Nationalism by Pratyoush Onta

Our dominant discourses on nationalism hardly surpass the terrains of empty symbolic nationalism. Most of the time when we talk about nationalism in Nepal we tend to reduce it to cultural symbols, ones, as we like to claim, that are unique in the world. Sometimes it is our flag that we celebrate, saying it is the only bi-triangular flag in the whole world and we do not forget to add that it is the 'oldest' flag among those used by various nations today (notwithstanding the fact regarding the novelty and recent history of the idea of the nation itslef!). Other times, we designate a bird, an animal and a person as belonging to our national symbolic pantheon and pay our sycophantic obeisance to them as if doing so constitutes the entirety of our duty as Nepali citizens.

On other occasions, we chant the names of Mechi or Mahakali or evoke the memory of Balbhadra and Amarsimha and bask in an ersatz nostalgia of the Gorkhali empire that supposedly preserved the last bastion of Hinduism in the Subcontinent. We participate in this sort of exercise a whole generation after the late poet Bhupi provided biting criticisms of this variety of nationalism in his immortal poems such as 'Hami', 'Galat lagcha malai mero desko itihas' and 'Yo hallai halako des ho.'

It is not my intention to suggest that our nationalism be completely devoid of symbolic elements. Symbols here, like in other nations, should continue to be used to marshall the positive emotional force that nationalism can be so that the citizens of this nation can begin to benefit from the institutional phenomenon that nation (and the state that goes with it) can be. However, I consider our deployment of nationalist symbols to be devoid of commitment toward enhancing the ability of Nepali citizens to benefit from membership in the Nepali nation. This deployment is mostly guided by the desire to cultivate culturally unique symbols around which the nation can be narrated. It is this deployment of symbols, vacuous and done in the name of the nation, that I call "empty symbolic nationalism."

A new entrant: A new entrant in this empty symbolic nationalism dance is a recent book by another columnist of this paper, Mr Nagendra Sharma. In Tarka Bitarka (some comments about which he has published in his column
'Recollections' in The Sunday Post of 21 September 1997), Sharma advocates that the Nepali language, currently written in the Devnagari script, should be written in the Newari script. The latter happens to be one of the many scripts in which Newari or Nepal bhasa has been historically written. This book is a compilation of extracts from Sharma's previously published essays. To exemplify his proposition, these extracts are alternatively presented in Devnagari and Newari scripts.

Sharma presents two arguments to back up his proposition. Since Nepali and Hindi share the same Devnagari script, a person who can read Nepali can also read Hindi. Since a massive amount of publications exist in Hindi - and that too of various quality and price-range - their popularity can easily displace Nepali language publications. Hence Sharma concludes that until the Nepali language adopts a separate script (such as the Newari script), we cannot escape from the "linguistic imperialism" of Hindi. Until we adopt such a measure, he adds, it would not be possible to save our national identity.

Sharma's second argument is related to the internal aspects of Nepali nationalism. He writes that the Newari script is a product of our own soil. Since it is our own creation and a part of our ancient tradition, he claims that this script is more emotionally close to us than Devnagari. Hence, he adds, if the Nepali language adopts the Newari script, it will be a benchmark move toward our national integration.

If we are to be convinced by Sharma's first argument, he needs to provide us with an answer to the following questions: how come Nepali language and its publications were not washed away by Hindi publications some decades ago when there were few Nepali writings available? Instead how is it that during the past few decades we have seen a massive increase in the number of publications available in the Nepali language written in the Devnagari script? Why should we consider the ability to read Hindi on the part of somebody who can read Nepali to be a disadvantage? I, for one, see this as an advantage. No matter how massive the world of Hindi publications might be, Nepali readers can choose to read what is useful for them just like they can choose to read Nepali language materials useful for them. Many literate Nepalis routinely read Hindi materials just as many others do not. If we respect the intelligence of the readers, the ability to read Hindi materials can never be thought of as being part of a "linguistic imperialism" that will destroy Nepali nationalism and identity.

With regard to his second argument, Sharma fails to convince me as well. If a "product of our own soil" was the sole determiner of how emotionally close we were to it, then the various scripts that have been historically used to write Newari would not have disappeard. They were discontinued because they could not withstand the new challenges of the technologies of writing. Amongst Nepalis who can read, the Devnagari script is the most familiar one today and we should consider ways to use this fact to enhance the possibility of more engaged dialogue between Nepalis of various jatis and janajatis. With respect to Sharma's argument that the adoption of the Newari script for the Nepali language would be a benchmark move for national integration, he should consider why various proponents of the janajati agenda in Nepal today use the Nepali language and the Devnagari script for their activist work. The long list of janajati publications available in Nepali written in Devnagari have already proved the effectiveness of both the Nepali language and the Devnagari script in the present janajati movement. National integration comes about by facilitating real dialogue and not through the adoption of unique scripts.

Empty symbolic nationalism marshals its arguments in facile narratives that can look convincing. Hence it is no surprise that scholars of the stature of Shiva Regmi, one of Nepal's premier literary historians, has supported Sharma's proposition (in a review of the book) without any active engagement with his arguments. It seems as though that Sharma's reference to the issue of 'national integration' can by itself justify the absence of critical dialogue with his arguments. If this reflects what we have achieved after decades of talking and living through empty symbolic nationalism, I say that it is time to dump it.

Our first discourses beyond empty symbolic nationalism should begin by answering the following question asked by poet Dinesh Adhikari in his justly famous poem, 'Harkabahadur', a decade ago. In my crude translation, it reads: "The year before last/ When his seven-year old daughter/ Died after a snake-bite/ How come nationalism did not translate itself/ Into an anti-venom medicine?"

Yes, how come?

************************************************************ To: Subject: volunteering From: (carol demech) Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 22:42:37 EDT

            Please send me information about volunteering in Nepal. I will be in India in mid November volunteering for the Sisters of Charity and would like to visit Nepal and volunteer. I was a high school teacher and I have many other skills. I look forward to hearing from you. Please e-mail at

        Carol Demech

******************************************************* Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 07:08:41 -0400 From: "Rudy E. Schaelchli" <> To: Subject: question about king of BHUTAN FROM LINDEN@TACONIC.NET


****************************************************** Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 09:45:55 -0400 (EDT) From: "Avinaya S. Rana" <> To: Subject: Sports News From Avi

World Cup Preview

      Main cities:
                              Douala, Bafoussam, Garoua
      System of government:
      Head of state:
                              Paul Biya
                              CFA franc
      Time difference:
                              1 hour in front of Paris

     1st round Africa zone: exempt
     2nd round Africa zone:
     10 November1996
                                Togo - Cameroon
     12 January 1997
                                Cameroon - Angola
     6 April 1997
                                Cameroon - Zimbabwe
     27 April 1997
                                Cameroon - Togo
     8 June 1997
                                Angola - Cameroon
     17 August 1997
                                Zimbabwe - Cameroon

     1st in Group 4 :
          14 points
          10 goals scored
          4 goals conceded

                         SONGO'O (age 35)
                         KALLA (age 24)
                         SONG (age 22)
                         MIMBOE (age 23)
                         WOME (age 20)
                         TCHANGO (age 19)
                         FOE (age 22 )
                         MOREAU (age 27 )
                         TCHOUTANG (age 21)
                         TCHAMI (age 30)
                         MBOMA (age 26)

     Number of players used during the qualifying rounds: 24
     National team colours: Green, red and yellow
     FIFA ranking (on 18 July 1997): 46th

   World Cup: Participated 3 times in World Cup finals (1982, 1990, 1994)
   1982 : eliminated in the first round;

   1990 : eliminated in quarter-final by England (2-3 after extra time);
   1994 : eliminated in the first round.
   Africa Nations Cup: Twice winners of Africa Nations Cup (1984, 1988)
   Finalist in 1986

   was an international footballer between 1966 and 1980, and later
   assistant to Valeri
   Nepomniachi's during Cameroon's glorious 1990 World Cup run. After a
   fine playing
   career with the Canon Yaound club he picked up a coaching certificate
   at the INF in
   Vichy before joining the staff on the Cameroon national side. He was
   named national
   team coach on 3 July 1997 with the aim of steering Cameroon to a
   better performance
   than in 1994, when it failed to get past the first round.

14 Teams have won their ticket to FRANCE 98
               South Africa

**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 06 Oct 1997 10:34:46 -0500 From: Kunga Tshring <> To: Subject: Nepal Virtual Bookstore with

Happy Vijaya Dashami !!!! If you thought finding a book on Nepal over the Internat was remote and very unlikely, you might want to think again. Now, in association with the world's largest online bookstore, AMAZON.COM, has the most elaborate books on Nepal stored for you. You may purchase your fav book online. The books are heavily discounted.

For the Nepal Virtual BookStore visit us @

thank you

*********************************************************** From: Date: Fri, 03 Oct 1997 02:47:27 -0400 To: Subject: Hi


I am interested in finding out more info about possible volunteer opportunities available in Nepal. Any information you could send me would be very much appreciated. Thanks for your time.


Kate Frank 161 South Conger Ave. Congers, NY 10920
********************************************************* Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 17:48:41 -0500 To: "Rajpal J. Singh" <> From: Padam Sharma <psharma@Soils.Umn.EDU> Subject: Re: Empower Nepal Foundation

Introducing Empower Nepal Foundation

Dear Friends of Nepal: Namaste!=20

It has been almost a year since I communicated to you about the idea of forming a global network of Nepalis and friends of Nepal, pool our resources, and help Nepalis in Nepal help themselves. Encouraged with suggestions, support and best wishes from many of you, we were able to advance the network idea into a formal and legally incorporated organization, called, Empower Nepal Foundation.=20

Empower Nepal Foundation was incorporated in the state of Minnesota, USA in November, 1996. Since then, we have formed a provisional Board of Directors, passed bylaws, opened corporate account, and applied for tax-exempt status with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. On August 14, 1997, we received the Federal tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) (3). The Foundation will function as per Federal and state of Minnesota non-profit corporation laws as a public supported organization. =20

The mission of Empower Nepal Foundation is to form a global network of individuals and institutions, pool resources from network participants, and disseminate the resources to support the people of Nepal improve and sustain the quality of life and that of the environment. The goal of the foundation are to:

     Build an international network of individuals and institutions interested in quality of life
     enhancement and environmental restoration work in Nepal.=20

     Pool resources and coordinate activities to promote 4-E focus areas of quality Education and
     health care, Environmental restoration and protection, Economic development, and
     Enlightenment of general public on stewardship of human and natural resources.=20

     Facilitate network participants to volunteer consultancy services, teach classes, conduct
     research and academic exchange programs, demonstrate appropriate technology, evaluate
     policy alternatives, initiate business activities, and organize community development seminars,
     debates, and workshops in Nepal.=20

     Disseminate availability of pooled resources, community development activities, research and
     development news, and Nepal related human and natural resource database to the benefit of
     international public by supporting global information outlets in the cyberspace and other media.=20

While Nepal is going through this critical period of transitional political, and socio-economic struggle, the current democratic constitution of Nepal provides donor organizations an window of opportunity to empower local communities and under privileged minorities help solve local problems. By working together with an organized effort, Nepal lovers from around the world can interject ideas and resources at people to people level.=20

The Foundation recognizes lack of education and health care, unemployment, population pressure, environmental degradation, mismanagement of available resources, and corruption as major impediments to sustainable development in Nepal. To help Nepali people break these barriers to development, Foundation focuses to disseminate the pooled resources (money, volunteered time, ideas and skills) in four general areas: Education and health, Economic development, Environmental stewardship, and Enlightenment of individual=92s role in a democratic society.=20

 In simple words, the Foundation will support activities to educate the young and the old, plant trees and crops that provide additional income, improve land productivity and prevent soil erosion, clean water and air, prevent diseases, promote small business and entrepreneurial activities, and prevent new generation of bureaucrats and politicians from being corrupt by cultivating a culture of integrity and ethics. By supporting dedicated individuals and local volunteer organizations involved in community building activities in villages and municipalities, Empower Nepal wants to strengthen and sustain the pillars of democratic system of governance in Nepal.

The Foundation aims to develop its network of sponsors in 1997-1998, and initiate selected activities in Nepal by 1998-99. The Foundation may opt to support ongoing mission related activities in Nepal through creditable individuals and NGO=92s or directly fund new activities envisaged by individual network participants. The current task at hand is to spread the word about the Foundation, expand the network of sponsors, collect money and database of available skills, write grant proposals to other philanthropic organizations, and identify worthwhile projects in Nepal.=20

A text version of Foundation documents is available at:
<>. At this initial stage, the Foundation needs your monetary and volunteered support to develop the organization structure, disseminate information through printed brochures and Web page linkages, and identify projects and logistics in Nepal. =20

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, I personally appeal you to please print out the sponsor enrollment form and mail your tax-deductible contribution to "Empower Nepal Foundation, 2269 Hillside Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA". Your response will help us develop the initial database of stakeholders of the Foundation. As a stakeholder, you get the right to serve on the Board of Directors and participate in shaping the mission and activities of the Foundation. As an empowered sponsor, you get the opportunity to harness Foundation resources to develop and fund mission related activities in Nepal. =20

 If you want to volunteer to develop a chapter or a local area network of the Foundation in your area, identify projects in Nepal, raise money, or write grant proposals to other foundations, please contact me or any of the other members of the Board of Directors. Your contributions, participation, comments and suggestions will be fodder for the survival of this organization embryo.

Of course, we may want to do more for Nepal individually in our own time and with our own resources. By contributing to the pool of network resources
(money, time, ideas and skills) in a small way, we make a big splash of effectiveness with multi-disciplinary effort. Such an organization fulfills the much awaited need of our time by helping Nepal from wherever we are in this World. By continuing to support people of Nepal learn and live a decent life, we improve our quality of life by getting the satisfaction of helping Nepal in anyway we can. In the process, we will leave the legacy of a well established Nepal support global network for the 21st century and generations to come.

With eight out of 10 highest mountains in the world touching the sky, Nepal is closest to heaven. This most beautiful country in the World does not deserve to be the poorest in the World. We love Nepal in our own ways. By working together, we can transform the combined love into deeds of helping Nepal take the initial steps of climbing the Sagarmatha of human dignity and environmental quality. One individual, one family, one village, one tole, one community, and one watershed at a time.

Empower Nepal Foundation thanks you for your support and appreciates your love for Nepal.


Padam Prasad Sharma, Ph.D President Empower Nepal Foundation 2000 Como Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.
(612)- 644-3733 Email: Padam Prasad Sharma, PhD Research Associate Home Address: UM/WCES,HWY 329 2000 Como Avenue Morris, MN 56267 St. Paul, MN 55108 Phone:(320)589-1711(Work) (320) 589-1355 (Apt) Phone: 612-644-3733


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 12:16:56 -0600 (MDT) From: SUAZO GILBERT AARON <suazog@ucsu.Colorado.EDU> To: Subject: Nepal Government

Dear TND,
     Could you please tell me the current composition of the Nepali Government? I am conducting research on the Nepal, but I am having a difficult time finding current statistics about the government. For example, how many members of House of Representatives are affiliated with the Nepali Congress Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, etc.
     Do you know who may have this information or how I can get it? I have contacted numerous agencies with this request, but nobody seems to be able to give me much assistance.
     I appreciate your time and assistance on this matter...

Aaron Suazo University of Colorado at Boulder

********************************************************* Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 14:18:23 -0400 To: Subject: No Laws Regarding Child Sexual Abuse in Nepal

  Source: The Kathmandu Post Minors victimized in most sexual abuse cases By a Post Reporter

KATHMANDU, Oct 25 - The 165 cases of sexual abuse recorded in the past 32 months at the Maternity Hospital has a big number related to child abuse alone. Out of these 165 cases, 12 cases were related with victims under five years of age and 12 between 5 to 9 years. The incidence of abuse of girls between the age of 10 to 14 years was 31 and those of 15 to 19 years was 40.
"These are only the recorded cases," says Dr Saraswati Padhye. However, many incidences of abuse go unnoticed and unrecorded as "most of the time parents dont file a case at the police station." The chances of a case of sexual abuse going unrecorded and unreported is higher when the offender is the victims relative. The offenders can be brothers, uncles, fathers or even grandfathers. And most of the victims of sexual abuse are victimised by their trusted people. This fact is recorded in the survey done by UNICEF which shows that sexual abusers are often the trusted people, contrary to the common assumption that they are strangers.

Dr Hari Krishna Banskota, paediatrician, narrates a real incident which is a typical example of why cases of abuse go unreported. About a month back a woman from Mulpani VDC came to him with her six year old daughter. Her complaint: The girl was not eating well and was showing abnormal behaviours. He checked the girl but could not diagnose anything. It was only when the mother, out of sheer frustation muttered, "I dont know what that mora did-- shes been like this for two months," did realisation hit him. He realised the girl was the victim of sexual abuse. Banskota asked one of his colleagues to check her and found out that she was brutally abused. It was later revealed that the little girl had been sexually abused by a 27 years old man for two months. "We didnt know about it as the man gave our daughter five rupees to keep quiet every time he raped her," said the victims mother. It was only when the girl couldnt take it any more and confided it to her mother and showed the money that the parents came to know about it. Even then, the girls parents didnt hand over the man to police. They sent the abuser, who was their relative, back home "for the sake of family name". The other reason why such cases are not reported is because of lack of law. The victim is further victimised at police station where they are made to wait for days before anything is done.
"This can be a traumatic experience which scares people to report," say doctors. As Dr Aruna Upreti says,
"We have law preventing bestiality but not one on child abuse or paedophilia." Doctors define child abuse as "the involvement of dependent, immature children in sexual activity which they cannot fully understand and are unable to give or withhold informed consent to, and which can destroy accepted roles in the family and boundaries between adults and children." They suggest parents should talk to the children when they start to show abnormal or different behaviour. Dr Sishir Regmi says parents have to be alert when children show following symptoms. The symptoms are: Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) in children, withdrawal symptoms, like remaining silent and watchful, unexplained fear of men and certain places, ritualistic behaviour, suicidal and destructive behaviour, conversion symptoms and psychosomatic complaints and poor school performance. The abused children have to be treated immediately as it might leave behind lasting effects. Mostly sexual abuse has following effects on children: physical injury, confusion about sexual norms and sexual identity, stigmatisation "guilty party" stamped for life, loss of trust, and powerlessness.

Subject: Anti-terrorism bill not needed, says PM Thapa Source: The Rising Nepal Kathmandu, Oct. 13 (RSS):

The House of Representatives which is now prorogued at its meeting the other day gave Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa a vote of confidence. 109 votes were cast in favour and two votes against when Prime Minister Thapa tabled a motion stating that the House of Representatives had confidence in him. Votes in favour of the motion were 86 from the Nepali Congress, 17 from RPP, three from Sadbhavana Party and from independent MPs Bhakta Bahadur Rokaya, Asha Kazi Basukala and Moti Prasad Pahadi. MPs of the main opposition CPN-UML did not take part in the meeting. Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Padam Sundar Lawati of RPP also did not take part in the discussions.

Independent MPs Pari Thapa and Navaraj Subedi voted against the motion. Earlier, Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa, tabling a motion at the House of Representatives last Thursday to the effect that the House has confidence in, him, said the present coalition government would safeguard and promote the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990 which is the important gain of the historic people's movement of 1990, as well as safeguarding and promoting parliamentary democracy, constitutional monarchy and the basic human rights of the Nepalese people. Describing the country as a confluence of various communities, religions and cultures and replete with variety, he said it is our duty to build national unity while at the same time preserving this diversity, and to this end we should generate confidence in every Nepalese from the Himalayas down to the Terai and from the Mechi to the Mahakali that the means, resources and opportunities available within the nation are being used by the state in equitable fashion for the good of all Nepalis.

Prime Minister Thapa voiced commitment to the development and progress of the various communities, the backward classes and the people of the Terai and said special initiative would be taken to resolve the problem of citizenship in the Terai. The Prime Minister said the present government would seek dialogue and coordination with all political groups including the opposition party for resolving important questions concerning national development and the burning issues facing the people, adding that the interests of the smaller political parties would also be safeguarded.

He said the law would be reformed to give recognition to small political parties as parties present alongside the national parties. Pointing out that another significant responsibility of the present coalition government would be to consolidate the liberal, competition-oriented economy with special emphasis on stability at the policy level, administrative streamlining, incentives and follow up, the Prime Minister said the government would remain effortful to bring the fruits of development to the doorsteps of the poor. Remarking on the responsibilities of the coalition government, he said that a campaign for the security of the people would be launched effectively and soon with a view to providing security to life and property, lifting the shadow cast by violence and terror upon the people and the country and freeing people from the Maoist terror.

Stating that an anti-terrorism bill is not necessary, Prime Minister Thapa said that efforts would be made to resolve this problem while keeping within the parameters of the constitution and existing laws. Referring to the problem of landless settlers, he said keeping in view the encroachment of forests and their environmental impact, a comprehensive plan would be worked out within two months and implemented to register land in the names of those who have been the real users for a long time, and land not previously registered and village blocks would likewise be registered. Unnecessary expenditures would be cut and a policy of austerity adopted in government expenses, fiscal discipline would be implemented with vigour, the present slackness in internal revenue intake and financial mobilization would be ended and foreign aid mobilized further by cultivating international credibility, he said.

Referring to the ideals of the rule of the people and an impartial administration, PM Thapa said political interference would be kept out of the civil service and the police, the military would be freed from political pressure and transfers, promotions and appointment brought in line with administrative regulations, values and ideals, arbitrary administrative decisions taken in the past would be corrected and purity brought to the administration. The educational sector would be kept free of political pollution, quality levels would be improved to make education more modern and in keeping with the times so that it will be able to cope with the challenges of a changing world, and the products of the educational system would be made more responsive to the needs of the market, he said, adding that the government would take necessary measures to bring about basic and structural changes in this sector. The present government will increase employment opportunities in the rural areas for educated youths who are unemployed and an effective campaign for skill development, training, self employment and productive employment would be launched, he said, adding that it will also give continuity to programmes for institutional loans, training, skill development and employment generation initiated by the previous governments.

The present government will also stress the continuity of allowances for the old, helpless, disabled and widows initiated in past years and make these programmes more effective, he said. The Prime Minister said this is what the present coalition government envisages for the days ahead and on the basis of this a wide-ranging programme will be brought out in the near future. out in the near future. Security and stability: Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa has said that the main commitment and responsibility of the present coalition government will be to end insecurity and instability, give priority to local self-governance and empower the institutions, dynamic economy, rural development, employment promotion, social security, responsible, honest and effective government, people's rule, impartial administration and national coordination, goodwill and consensus. The Prime Minister made these remarks the other day at the meeting of the House of Representatives while tabling a motion at the House of Representatives to the effect that the House has confidence in him. In the past the politics of the country was heading towards seriousness, uncertainty and crisis because of the widespread violation of the constitution, parliamentary democracy and human rights, Mr. Thapa said, adding the present government has been constituted as a result of the commitment of the Nepali Congress, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Nepal Sadbhawana Party to work unitedly for the sake of constitution and parliamentary system. The first priority of the present government is to protect the life and property of the Nepali people and to free the country and the people from the dark shadow of violence and terror, the Prime Minister said and vowed to immediately launch an effective programme for protecting the life and property of the people and to free them from Maoist terrorism.

Mr Thapa made it clear that as it is necessary to deploy the police administration to resolve these problems, the present government considers it necessary for the political parties and enlightened people to express their commitment to defeat the politics of violence and reach national consensus. Another important responsibility of the present coalition government is to consolidate the self governance through decentralization of powers, means and resources and the commitment of the Nepali Congress, RPP and the NSP towards empowerment of the local bodies and decentralized system of administration is deep and firm. Prime Minister Thapa said, adding that though the pervious coalition government said that local bodies will be empowered, the main constituent of it exhibited undemocratic behaviour by capturing the local bodies for the political purpose and being indifferent toward the impartial election system. His Majesty's Government will make effort to correct this distortions and aberrations of the past and bring to book the persons found guilty of the crimes during elections. He made it clear that the present coalition government will punish the actions against the law, policy and the by laws seen during the time of the last local elections and shoulder the responsibility of holding the remaining elections in a fair manner. Another important responsibility of the present coalition government is to give special emphasis on stable policy, administrative simplicity, encouragement and follow up by making the liberal and competitive economy consolidated the effective and to take the fruits of economic development to the houses of the poor people, Mr. Thapa said, adding that the present coalition government is committed to utilize the skill, entrepreneurship, capital and managerial expertise of the private sector to the maximum possible extent in the country within the liberal economic structure. As it will not be honest to speak of economic development unless the living standard of our villages and the rural people burdened with poverty and unemployment is raised, rural self-reliance programme including roads and small irrigation along with the provision of school, health services, drinking water and the campaign of the previous government to provide the powers of the villages to the villages is given continuity, he said, adding that the effectiveness of these programmers will be enhanced further. As the unemployment problem has been a challenge for our social and economic life, the present coalition government will start effective campaign of skill development, training, self-employment and productive employment in the rural areas for the educated youths, he said.

The present coalition government will provide continuity to the programmes, of institutional loans, training, skill development and the work initiated by Employment Promotion Commission, the Prime Minister said. The programmes started in the past to provide grants to the elderly, helpless, widows and the disabled persons will be provided continuity and made more effective and arrangement will be made to provide direct benefit to the poor families through such programmes, Prime Minister Thapa said, adding that special attention will be given to provide essential commodities to the people easily, price rise will be closely observed and effective steps will be taken to check it, and the government will be sensitive towards the problems of the indigenous, oppressed and backward ethnic groups. He said that the progress made so far for resolving the problems of the landless settlers will be reviewed, genuine landless settlers will be identified and an effective programme will be initiated within the next two months for the distribution of the land. Prime Minister Thapa said that the policy of austerity will be followed and the government will prevent extravagant expenditure, financial discipline will be pursued strictly, the government will be committed to financial mobilization by ending the deficiency and weakness in internal revenue and mobilization of foreign aid will be enhanced by promoting international credibility. Stating the ideals of the impartial administration as the government of the people, Prime Minister Thapa said the interference in the civil service and the police service and political pressure on the army will be prevented and the appointment, transfer and promotion will be done on the basis of the administrative regulations, norms and values. The unilateral administrative decisions of the past in contravention of the rules and regulations will be rectified and administration will be made clean, he added. The education sector will be freed from political pollution, its quality enhanced and modernized, Prime Minister Thapa said adding that the government will take necessary steps for the structural and fundamental changes in this sector to meet the changing demand and requirement of the production aspect of the education sector. Necessary steps will be immediately taken to keep the process of selection and appointment of the teachers under the Public Services Commission to discourage the politicization of this sector, he added. Necessary infrastructure will be created to provide administrative and financial autonomy to every campus for conducting higher education,

Mr. Thapa said adding that the policy of the present government is to encourage competition and excellence in institutional manner. Every Nepali living at any place from mountainous to Terai region or from Mechi to Mahakali must be able to believe that the state has utilized the available means, resources and opportunities for the progress and prosperity of the Nepalese in a just manner and the present government has adopted this point of view, Prime Minister Thapa said adding that the government will be dedicated to progress and prosperity of various ethnic groups, backward classes and regions including the Terai and special initiative will be taken to resolve the problems of citizenship of the Terai. The present government will make attempt to hold talks with all the political parties including the opposition to resolve important issues of the national development and burning issues of the people, the Prime Minister said, adding that the opinions, suggestions and criticism of the opposition will be respected and the government will remain committed to enhance the democratic norms and values. Prime Minister Thapa made it clear that the bill designed to curb the terrorist activities is not necessary and the laws under the present constitution are sufficient to curb such activities. Custody: Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa has said that the political workers being held in custody under false charges would be released soon after fulfilling necessary legal procedures. Mr Thapa also had informed the House that directives have already been issued to the district administration and police to remain aloof from politics. Referring to the possibilities of incidents likely to take place in the process of celebrating the Dashain and Tihar festivals as well as anger out of the change in the government, Mr Thapa called on all the leaders and workers of political parties to move ahead with tolerance so that people can feel secure. Earlier in his concluding remarks, leader of the Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party Girija Prasad Koirala said that the new coalition government should give priority to make the people feel secure and release all the political workers being held under false charges. Stating that the government should make the people its focal point to maintain its image, Mr. Koirala said that the Nepali Congress would extend full cooperation to the government in works aimed at safeguarding the country, people and democracy. President of the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and MP Narayan Man Bijukchhe said that the Parliament would only be a formal meeting place if the bills passed by it (parliament) were not implemented. Mr Bijukchhe said that the government should make the people feel the change in government by carrying out good works. MP Navaraj Subedi said that the government should implement the bills passed by the parliament and carry out development works in accordance with the aspirations and wishes of the people.

Earlier the House of Representatives had approved the proposal made by the National Assembly to discuss the Offshore Financial Centre Bill -2054 B.S. The replies of the ministers concerning their ministries were also tabled at the meeting.

Source: The Rising Nepal Thapa commits to competent bureaucracy BY A STAFF REPORTER,

Kathmandu, Oct. 20 Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa said "The challenge before us today is to build a strong normative framework for institutional development of parliamentary democratic ideals and values." In an exclusive interview with The Rising Nepal Sunday. Thapa who clinched the prime ministerial post for the record fourth time bouncing balk from political oblivion of 14 years just a fortnight ago asserted "Only an unflinching conviction to and unflagging adherence of constitutional values and norms can provide a sense of security and impartiality in bureaucracy and allow for self-sustained growth and development of democratic institutions". Responding to a query about the parameters of the incumbent coalitional arrangement Prime Minister Thapa observed "The coalition partners-Nepali Congress, RPP and Nepal Sadbhavana Party-share identical views and perceptions in the consolidation of parliamentary democratic values".

The policy pronouncements in the Parliament right after the ascendancy of new coalitional government reflect the spirit of core arrangements of coalitional tie up", he added. Allocation of ministerial portrolios and other relevant issues which underpin the coalition relationship shall be carried out pursuant to the spirit of understanding, he clarified. He said "We have acquired some experiences on coalition building in the past. the lessons can be some help to us in alleviation strains fany, in the arrangement". In his characteristic tone Prime Minister Thapa articulated" The functioning of the coalition government will be reviewed from time to time and necessary changes can be contemplated to lend succour to the coalition performance". When his attention was drawn to the political polarisation seeped in all ranks of bureasuracy Prime Minister Thapa retorted "It is not due to ideological convictions or affiliations that civil servants work at the back and call of political parties. It is for fear of losing job or being disfavoured in promotions or opportunities that they are forced to do it".

I am committed to impart a sense of security to civil servants, Prime Minister Thapa remarked. Theachers' recruitment shall also be kept under the purview of Public Service Commission to warrant that the job becomes more dignified, competitive and less politicised, he stressed. Referring to his pledge in the Parliament not to introduce the the much controverted anti-terrorism bill Prime Minister Thapa emphasised "The existing legal provisions are provisions are adequate enough to deal with the challenges posed by terrorist activities." Country's intelligentsia is against such 'draconian' measure, he said. We should enforce the existing laws fully to counteract such activities, he said. When asked to shed light on the government stand on decentralisation and local governance Prime Minister Thapa said "Local bodies should be made fully competent and autonomous. Local institutions should be so streengthened as to integrate the wishes and aspirations of multicultural ethnic groups". To a question relating to foreign policy thrust of the coalition government the head of the government explained "Our foreign policy is guided by some salient geostrategic realitities". Intensified ties with our neighbouring countries-India and China is a matter of our priority, he added.

Referring to the outstanding issues to be sorted out with India like Detailed Project Report (DPR) and Kalapani, Prime Minister Thapa pointed out" We are committed to resolve the issues in a cordial and friendly atmosphere to the mutual advantage of both the countries". We will sateguard our national interest, he assured. The refugee issue should be duiscussed with Bhutan and "I am for repatriation of the Bhutanese refugees to the country of their origin", he emphasised. Prime Minister Thapa talked about the need of consensus of political parties on the issues of national importance and observed "I shall seek to develop rapport with the major opposition party in the parliament and other smaller parties. Fielding a query concerning the forthcoming RPP convention the RPP President and Prime Minister exuded confidence and said" RPP shall emerge stronger after the party convention." The central Council meeting held in the past has given clearcut direction to reorient the tenor of party organisation, he added. In response to a question about what he felt after assuming the post of prime minister in a different political context the Prime Minister said" Parliamentary political process attached crucial role to the post of Prime Minister. I have taken it as a big responsibility entrusted to me and prepared to undertake it". Meanwhile Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa today briefing the media persons pledged that his government would give top priority to control corruption and other irregularities. Transparency in bureaucracy is very essential to give continuity to the development activities. Premier Thapa at the first press confernce orgnaized after the assumption of his high office nearly two weeks before. Elaborating the programmes of the RPP-led three party government, Mr. Thapa said, the government is also taking the issue of the landless settlers more seriously and has brought out programmes for the uplift of the weaker sections in the society. Mr. Thapa said backward sections of the society will be given opportunities for education and employment."

In a question about the government's approach to the detailed Project Report
(DPR) related with Mahakali Project and the step taken by the previous government on 1950 Treaty. Mr. Thapa assure the new government's stance to safeguard the 'national interest'. When asked about the inclusion of the Nepali Congress in the cabinet, he clearly mentioned that Nepali Congress-the main coalition partner-can join the government at "any time they like". When will the government conduct the election in areas where the voting could not take place? "It would be done through the consultation with the Election Commission," said Mr. Thapa. In reply to a qeustion relating to the violation of the Anti-defection law by his own party Mr. Thapa said that the decision was taken on the basis of the decision made by the majority. However, Mr. Thapa ruled out the possibilities of the party's splinter in the future.

************************************************************* Date: Sun, 19 Oct 97 00:36:40 UT From: "Himal Ghimire" <> To: "Nepal Digest" <> Subject: Reminder

Dear Sir/Madam:

I sent you an e-mail few weeks ago. I though that the address which I sent might be wrong so I am sending the same context again.

I am a Nepali student studying in USA, California.

Few day ago I was going through the Internet. I say an old Issue of your Newspaper. I got Interested in reading through it because I saw an article related to Jagdish Ghimire (I am his son).

The more I read your newspaper, the more I felt interested in reading it.

Now I an so interested in your Magazine that I am interesting in subscribing it. I would be grateful if you could let me know how I could receive it (Via e-mail or postal service). I would also like to know what you terms and conditions are.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Himal Ghimire

****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 13:08:49 -0500 Forwarded by: "Rajpal J. Singh" <a10rjs1> To: Subject: Re: Nepal: Problems...

>Of course government corruption and stabilty affects a country's progress.
>I don't deny that. But it is also true that the main thrust for
>development comes from the people (the business community, the
>intellectuals, the social workers, the industrialists etc. etc.). Blaming
>the government for all our problems is like a donut: looks nice, feels
>nice...but it's got a big hole in the middle!
>Look at Italy....they have had 40 governments in 50 years (or may be 50
>governments in 40 years....I can't remember, it does not matter). It was
>one of the poorest countries in Western Europe for the better half of
>these fifty years. But while the governments were busy getting drunk in
>power and corruption, the nation marched along. Forza Italia!
>Take just two examples of Asia: Taiwan and South Korea. By any standards
>of the world these two countries had very corrupt governments during the
>Seventies and Eighties..and all the while they were developing
>economically at historically unprecedented rates!
>Let's go to Latin America: Argentina and Brazil probably have the most
>monstruous/corrupt bureaucracy in the region. But in the last ten years,
>both of these countries have posted better economic progress than any
>other Latin American country (except perhaps Chile).
>The point is clear: while a good stable clean government would help, it is
>neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for development. Had the
>people of Taiwan, Italy, South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Brazil (and there
>are numerous other counrties) waited until their government became stable
>and/or clean before they did their own part, they would still be waiting.
>Just like you, me and the rest of Nepal.
>Rupesh Pradhan

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