The Nepal Digest - October 9, 1995 (26 Ashwin 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Monday 9 October 95: Ashwin 26 2052 BS Volume 43 Issue 1

 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *

********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 13:35:16 -0400 (EDT) From: mahesh maskey <> Subject: errors in article To: The Nepal Digest <>

Dear Editor,

I noticed some errors in my article "The explosion of TB...." after it was posted to TND. Please delete or discard the posting. I shall send a corrected version some times later today.

Thanks for the help

mahesh maskey 29th sept. 1995

(this is my revised version)

    TB Resurgence:Indicator of Deteriorating Socio-economic Condition?

I thank amulya for drawing our attention to the problem of MDR-TB
(multi drug resistant TB) in Nepal. He has outlined almost all the important points discussed in "Foreign aid and TB control policy in Nepal". The problem of MDR-TB and DOT has to be understood, apart from inefficiencies in our own system of health care, in the light of global situation of Tuberculosis resurgence and particulary in the background of what is happening in India.

In 1993 WHO declared TB as a global emergency. And this was especially true for developing countries since out of 8 million new cases appearing each year in the world, 7.6 milion(95%) are in developing countries. It is projected that by the year 2000, no. of TB cases will increase to about 10.2 million.(1) About 3 million die each year and thus since 1993 six million people have already died because of tuberculosis. South Asia has the lion's share in the death toll. Few months ago in June 1995, Klaudt, a WHO expert described the situation in India as a country "sitting on a TB- time bomb". In the same statement the synergy of TB with HIV has also been highlighted. " The time bomb has a shorter fuse now. The dual TB/HIV epidemic is on a deadly collision course in India. The epidemic of HIV is spreading faster in ASIA then anywhere on the planet". Apart from our own problem of TB morbidity and mortality and rapidly spreading infection of HIV, it is obvious that open border and girl trafiking to India have much to decide the epidemiological patterns of disease in our country.

Are we Nepalese prepared to deal with the impact of this unavoidable collusion in the Indian subcontinent? The answer is no, not so far. It has been recognized that TB is a major problem in Nepal but no "national survey has been done, the reporting system is defective, exact magnitude of the problem is not quantifiable."
 so says Dr. Thir man Shakya,(2) Director of National Tuberculosis center and a stalwart in tuberculosis control program in Nepal. On the basis of tuberculin surveys however Annual Infection Rate (ARI) is calculated which is 2.2% in Nepal. This corresponds to an incidence of 110/100000 population. And with Nepal's population arround 20 million it is estimated that 22,000 (new) cases of sputum positive TB occur each year. Including non sputum positive and other form of TB, the total no appearing each year is estimated to be 47000.(2). But since case finding rate is 45%, only 10,000 new sputum positive patients were reported last year . In other words another 10000 or more go without detection and treatment. WHO estimates that 15600 people die from tuberculosis each year in Nepal.

In this background the importance of the introduction of Short Course Chemotherapy (SCC) has to be understood. SCC had proved to be less costly because of the shorter duration of treatment and less frequent sputum check ups, simple and superior structure of drug regimens, incresed patient compliance, higher completion rate as compared to long course chemotherapy ranging from 12 to 18 months. The cure rate is also very high in SCC. Hence this method is hailed by WHO as the most powerful
 weapon in the fight against Global resurge of TB. But the success of SCC strongly depended upon what is called Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) ie. the health staff should watch the patient swallow the prescribed drugs. Where it has been carried out properly there are high success rates eg. United states , some countries of subsaharan Africa (89% in KwaZulu Natal), even in India(83% cure rate in 3 pilot studies). One study conducted in Nepal shows 92% of sputum conversion to negative in the patients who had completed the full course of treatment. but the defaulter rate is very high
(31%) hence overall success rate is only 60% (3).

High defaulter rate, inadequate or improper use of the drug are the main reason for the development of MDR-TB. The world at present has quite potent anti tuberculosis drug at hand and if they are properly used drug resistance is not a problem. Rifampicin whether used separately with other anti TB drugs or in combined formulation does not matter, the efficacy is almost same. If however Rifampicin is taken singly the chances of developing resistance is high. Be it as it may, most notorious problem in TB management is defaulter rate. Defaulter rate is very high for various socio- economic cultural reasons, Taking drugs for some time and discontinuing it makes multidrug resistance highly probable The challenge of TB management hence is to curb down the defaulter rate and improve the proper use of drug by ensuring accessibility of the care under supervision of health staff. Because of these reasons DOT is a must for the success of SCC. It appears from the article that Nepal has not taken DOT seriously or was not in a position to take it seriously while trying to implement SCC. This makes sense because to ensure an effective DOT the country has to have a well functioning Health care delivery system and motivated community participation.

It should however be mentioned that tuberculosis and MDR-TB are not the problem of underdeveloped countries only, alarms have been raised in the 'developed' countries as well. While the rich in underdeveloped countries are usually shielded from its attack,the poor in the rich countries are becoming vulnerable in an unprecedented scale. In an article in New England Medical Journal
(26 jul,'95), Dr. Thomas Frieden reported " over a 15 year period ending in 1992, the no. of TB cases nearly tripled and the no. of cases that showed resistance to standard treatments more than doubled. In central Harlem, NY. the TB rate was higher than in many Third world countries." The same concern is echoed in Britain .The incidence of Tuberculosis had lowered in Britain and the western world long before the advent of even the first generation anti TB drug. This was possible because of the improved socio- economic and environmental condition. Now British scientist are again blaming poverty by quoting their study results " TB is 10 times more common in the poorest 10% of the borough and districts in England than wealthiest 10%."( Dr. John moore, British Medical Journal , 12 April 1995).

I share the conviction with many professionals that drug based approach to the problem of tuberculosis does not yield sustainable result unless it is also integrated with developmental approach. Worse, it may invite troubles. Nepal's effort may be a case in point. The message is not to abandon help or 'gift'from another country but to strive for its proper use by providing a matching efficiency in health care system. In most part of national control efforts , however, our governments' priorities have been to provide a false sense of security to the people by relying on short term efforts and urge for quick results. My personal feeling is that we are only witnessing the Tip of the Iceburg of the health problems that are about to emerge in coming decade. The cumulative effect of various determinant are pointing towards that direction. People's awareness, initiative and active participation for the control and management of their health in overall developmental perspectives seems to be only ray of hope for ensuring goverment's committment to the long term management of such a colossol task. This is why the solution for medical problem has to be sought very often in 'non medical' realms. I find the following words of Janet Dabishire,Director of Medical research council's HIV clinical trial center in London an accurate discription of our problem and its challenges.

 " The failure to reduce tuberculosis in most developing countries in spite of availability of effective chemotherapy has been attributed to failures to improve socio-economic conditions and the evidence from Britain supports this ". ( BMJ, 12 April'95).

mahesh maskey 29 sept, 1995.

1) Raviglione MC et al. Global Epidemiology of Tuberculosis...JAMA, 273;1995. 2) Shakya TM. National Tuberculosis Program In Nepal. JNMA, Feb. 1995. 3) Shakya TM. Eight months short course chemotherapy infield condition of
              Nepal. JNMA, Feb.1995.

Subject: Change in Nepal - Editorial article in "The Hindu" Date: Fri, 29 Sep 95 16:28:42 EDT From: (Rajesh B. Shrestha)

Here's the text of the article which can also be accessed through the URL:

The change in Nepal

Date: 12-09-1995 :: Pg: 12 :: Col: a

Cl: Editorials

         NEPAL'S YOUNG DEMOCRACY, caught in the machinations of the extremities of the political spectrum, monarchists on one side and Marxist-communists on the other, is gasping for breath and well wishers of the Himalayan kingdom's tryst with people's rule must be relieved that the crisis has been resolved for now through the established constitutional process. This is no mean feat considering that the youth wing of the Communist Party ofNepal
(United Marxist-Leninist), true to its political dogma, threatened to take to the streets, issuing death threats against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for a judgment that merited, in fact, to be hailed as a landmark in subcontinental constitutional progress. In the short time between the historic court ruling and the reconvening of the dissolved national Parliament which it ordered revived, the Communist Party had demonstrated in adequate measure its reludissolved and mid-term elections be held, for a second time in hardly a year. The monarch accepted the advice for whatever reason, his own decision reversed by last month's judicial intervention.

         The constitution bench, in an eight-to-three judgment, had ruled that Mr. Adhikari's recommendation to dissolve Parliament was feuding. The party still enjoyed majority support in Parliament and there was no constitutional obligation for the Ministry to resign. Only after the Opposition communists failed to convince the King of their ability to form an alternative government were elections ordered. This June, when the Adhikari Government lost the parliamentary support that ensured its survival, a coalition consisting in the main of the Nepali Congress and the Rashtriya Praja Parishad did petition the King to allow it to form a government. In hindsight, the King's action in opting for the costlier alternative of elections has served to expose the democratic credentials of the different parties.
         On the centrist forces, led by the Nepali Congress, now rests the responsibility of guiding the country through the economically and politically difficult months ahead. The experience of the last year and a half might not be in vain if the Nepali Congress leaders, at least the new generation of them who seem to be emerging, realise the high cost of factional politics. One area of reform that needs continued attention is land reforms where the Adhikari Government rightly concentrated. A return to Nepali Congress-led rule may also ensure a return of the foreign capital that the country requires especially to upgrade its primitive industrial infrastructure. The Adhikari Government failed to display the political moderation needed during a time of transition to full-fledged democracy and paid the price for its actions that tended to heighten social

      Have you scaled the Himalayas in Shangri La Home Page yet?
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 10:40:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Change in Nepal - Editorial article in "The Hindu"

Amulya's comments:

i laud Rajesh's effort to give the Indian point of view of Nepal politics. Whether it is "right" or "wrong" that viewpoint does generate Indian policies to nepal and with India's geographical domination of Nepal, this opinion matters.

It may be relevant to point out that various newpapers share various constituencies and influence various portions of the indian populace. The Hindu represents the view from down under, the Deccan plateau, Andhra Pradesh, the 'southies' as the powerful northern indians define them. Politically, the southern view has been a relatively minority view because the politicians from up, bihar and delhi dominate over 80% of the national legislature and cabinet, but the southies are an economic power machine and have progressively demanding and getting larger share of the political and economic pie of the Indian national polity.

The "Hindu" though started in Andhra pradesh, if i remember correctly, [definitely southern states] outgrew its provincial background in the late nineties with the help of superior technology and business acumen to publish from several national centers including of course Delhi. However, this national reach of the newsppaer logistics have not been matched by its growth in national and international sophistication with regard to news coverage, editorials, and op-ed pieces.

This is apparently true even in the following piece. I will point these in the text as follows: =============================

In a previous article, (Rajesh B. Shrestha) wrote: ->Here's the text of the article which can also be accessed through the URL: -> -> -> ->The change in Nepal ->------------------- -> -> ->Date: 12-09-1995 :: Pg: 12 :: Col: a -> ->Cl: Editorials -> -> NEPAL'S YOUNG DEMOCRACY, caught in the machinations of ->the extremities of the political spectrum, monarchists on one ->side and Marxist-communists on the other, is gasping for breath ==================== The opening line if very spiced up to be dramatic and vivid to catch the readers attention, more tabloidish used to a parochial audience than say a national city audience of The Times of India. =============================->

and well wishers of the Himalayan kingdom's tryst with people's ->rule must be relieved that the crisis has been resolved for now ->through the established constitutional process. This is no mean ->feat considering that the youth wing of the Communist Party ofNepal ->(United Marxist-Leninist), true to its political dogma, ->threatened to take to the streets, issuing death threats against ->the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for a judgment that ->merited, in fact, to be hailed as a landmark in subcontinental ->constitutional progress. In the short time between the historic ->court ruling and the reconvening of the dissolved national ->Parliament which it ordered revived, the Communist Party had ->demonstrated in adequate measure its reludissolved and mid-term elections ->be held, for a second time in ->hardly a year. The monarch accepted the advice for whatever ->reason, his own decision reversed by last month's judicial ^^^^^^^^^ The Hindu's characterization of the Monarch's acceptance of the PM advice as "whatever reason" as well as the earlier characterization of the Chief Justice's decision as "the land mark in subcontinental constitutional progress" is start contrast to The Times of India and the Hindustan Times deliberate and reasoned editorials with close argumements and specific reasons. Obviously the Hindu editor does not have much sophistacation in commenting on constitutional matters and he is trying to gloss this over with sweeping general statements. ==================================== -> intervention. -> -> The constitution bench, in an eight-to-three judgment, ->had ruled that Mr. Adhikari's recommendation to dissolve ->Parliament was feuding. The party still enjoyed majority support in ->Parliament ->and there was no constitutional obligation for the Ministry to ->resign. Only after the Opposition communists failed to convince ->the King of their ability to form an alternative government were ->elections ordered. This June, when the Adhikari Government lost ->the parliamentary support that ensured its survival, a coalition ->consisting in the main of the Nepali Congress and the Rashtriya ->Praja Parishad did petition the King to allow it to form a ->government. In hindsight, the King's action in opting for the ->costlier alternative of elections has served to expose the ->democratic credentials of the different parties. -> p73 -> On the centrist forces, led by the Nepali Congress, now ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ =================== The reputation of NC as a centrist force politically juxtaposed between the rhtists represented by the monarchist on one extreme, see the Hindu's opening line, and the leftist communists on the other extreme is label that has outlasted current realities.

close watchers of nepali politics cannot help observing that even with this continuum of nepali politics, nc as a poltical body has been moving towards the right while the UML has been movig towards the centre.

For instance, the rightist faction withing NC, the Girija group has been successfully inmarginalizing both ideologically and organizationally the party's earlier centrist positions and members. Girija and his supporters, the current PM among them have been keener to form alliance with the monarchist political group and the landlord economic class of the country represented by the reformed panches and the panchangress to pursue free-market liberal policy, a shamed-face desertion of social democratic policies enunciated by bp one of the founders of nc.

on the other hand, the uML has moved right from the undifferentiated extremist mass called the communists by declaring and pursing leftist policiew withing the larger matrix of constitutional multiparty democracy while its other leftist purists, represented by the Mashal grups are sticking to its earlier roots. -----------------------------------

->rests the responsibility of guiding the country through the ->economically and politically difficult months ahead. The ->experience of the last year and a half might not be in vain if ->the Nepali Congress leaders, at least the new generation of them ->who seem to be emerging, realise the high cost of factional ->politics. One area of reform that needs continued attention is ->land reforms where the Adhikari Government rightly concentrated. ->A return to Nepali Congress-led rule may also ensure a return of ->the foreign capital that the country requires especially to ->upgrade its primitive industrial infrastructure. The Adhikari ->Government failed to display the political moderation needed ->during a time of transition to full-fledged democracy and paid ->the price for its actions that tended to heighten social ->tensions. Lessons that the new Government can profit by. -> ->


*********************************************************************************************** To: From: (Sher B. Karki) Subject: News 9/28/1995

Copyright 1995 Reuters Limited The Reuter European Business Report

September 28, 1995, Thursday, BC cycle -09:31 Eastern Time

LENGTH: 428 words


BYLINE: By Gopal Sharma


BODY: Nepal's new finance minister said on Thursday he would press the World Bank to reverse its recent decision to pull out of a large-scale power project in the Himalayan kingdom.

Ram Sharan Mahat told Reuters in an interview he would meet World Bank president James Wolfensohn in Washington on October 8 on the margins of the annual meetings of the multilateral lending agency and the International Monetary Fund.

Wolfensohn announced last month that the World Bank was withdrawing financial support for the US$ 1 billion Arun III hydropower project because it was too ambitious a programme for a small economy like Nepal's.

The bank's concessionary lending arm, the International Development Association, had earlier proposed lending $ 175 million to help build the 201 megawatt plant in east Nepal. The World Bank's withdrawal of support doomed the project.

"We'll make all efforts to restore the project," Mahat said. "But I can't say what the chances for this are."

Mahat took over as finance minister earlier this month after the nine-month-old communist government was ousted in a no-confidence vote.

After the World Bank backed out of the Arun III project, the three parties in the present ruling coalition, which were then in opposition, blamed the communists.

"The World Bank decision was no doubt due to the wrong economic policies and the absence of timely decision on the part of the communist government," Mahat said.

Businessmen and analysts say investment in Nepal would remain weak until adequate power was provided.

Currently only 12 percent of Nepal's 20 million people have electricity. The kingdom can generate 241 megawatts, less than its peak need of 244. The shorfall is met through regular power cuts

Nepal's energy consumption is growing by 10 percent every year, but most of its 83,000 megawatts hydroelectric potential is untapped.

"There are a number of pending projects which will also be discussed with the World Bank," Mahat said. "More importantly, the purpose will be to gain the World Bank's support for the type of policies the new government has adopted in Nepal. " The three-party coalition which took power this month has announced a more liberal economic programme than the communists'.

Mahat was architect of the free-market policies introduced by a Nepali Congress government in 1992.

In addition to the Arun III project, the World Bank and Nepal are discussing a forest renewal programme, irrigation projects and drinking water schemes, a Finance Ministry official said.

Copyright 1995 Xinhua News Agency

The materials in the Xinhua file were compiled by The Xinhua News Agency. These materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The Xinhua News Agency.


LENGTH: 171 words

HEADLINE: nepali prime minister on tourism

DATELINE: kathmandu, september 27; ITEM NO: 0927066

BODY: nepali prime minister sher bahadur deuba said the world tourism day should inspire nepal to further intensify its tourism promotion endeavors. in a message on the occasion of the world tourism day which fell on tuesday, deuba said that it was also the day for a developing country with tremendous tourism potentials like nepal to assess the achievements it has made so far in tourism sector and chart the right course for the future. he urged all concerned to maintain a clean environment. tourism is one of the major sources of foreign exchange for this himalayan kingdom. it earned the nation about 88.20 million us dollars last year. according to the department of tourism, nepal attracted nearly 150,000 foreign tourists in the first half of this year, about 8 percent more than that of the same period of 1994. western tourists normally come to nepal for trekking and mountaineering, while indians, who account for the largest share of the visitors to the country, mostly come here for shopping and pilgrimage.


LENGTH: 173 words

HEADLINE: terms decided for south asian development fund

DATELINE: kathmandu, september 27; ITEM NO: 0927206

BODY: an expert group today decided the terms for the establishment of a south asian development fund at the south asia association for regional cooperation (saarc) secretariat here. a two-day meeting of the expert group, which ended today, decided on the terms of reference, operational modalities and composition of the governing board of the development fund. according to a press release of the saarc secretariat, the fund will include three windows: one for identification and development of projects, one for institutional and human resource development projects and one for social and infrastructural development projects. saarc secretary-general y. k. silwal said tuesday at the opening of the meeting that the saarc leaders had already endorsed the establishment of the development fund. he stressed that the fund had the potential of becoming an effective instrument of economic and social development in the south asian region. saarc members include india, pakistan, bangladesh, sri lanka, nepal, bhutan and the maldives.


LENGTH: 135 words

HEADLINE: new chief justice appointed in nepal

DATELINE: kathmandu, september 27; ITEM NO: 0927071

BODY: senior justice surendra prasad singh was appointed chief justice of the supreme court tuesday by king birendra of nepal, a communique of the royal palace said today. singh, who will replace bishwonath upadhyaya as chief justice, is the most senior justice in the 11-member supreme court which reinstated the dissolved parliament last month by a vote of eight to three. the parliament was dissolved by the king three months ago at the recommendation of former prime minister man mohan adhikari as a pre-emptive move to avert a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition. lawmakers from the communist party have been trying to file impeachment motions in the parliament against chief justice upadhyaya and justice singh who strongly supported the supreme court's decision to revive the parliament.

September 27, 1995, Wednesday, BC cycle

SECTION: International

LENGTH: 292 words

HEADLINE: Nepali Parliament resumes proceedings



BODY: Nepal's Parliament resumed normal proceedings after disagreeing factions reached a compromise over impeachment motions registered against two Supreme Court justices. ''It is a privilege of individual members of Parliament to move impeachment motions against officials of constitutional organs,'' Speaker of the House of Representatives Ram Chandra Paudel told lawmakers Wednesday. ''Such impeachment motions will not be rejected in the future,'' he said. But Paudel told Parliament his summary rejection of the impeachment motion against retired Supreme Court Justice Bihawanath Upadhaya, who retired Tuesday after reaching the mandatory 65-year-old retirement age, stands. The minority communists had been obstructing parliamentary proceedings for three days while demanding discussion of the impeachment motion against Upadhaya. The compromise reached Wednesday paves the way for the filing of a new impeachment motion. Radha Krishna Mainali, politburo member of the communist opposition, said later that his party will file an impeachment motion against new Chief Justice Surendra Prasad Singh on Thursday. King Birendra administered the oath of office to Singh at the royal palace Wednesday. Both Upadhaya and Singh, in a majority 8-3 decision earlier this month, ruled in favor of reinstating Parliament, which was dissolved June 9 by the communists, who were in power at the time. The restoration of Parliament led to the downfall of the minority communist government. The Supreme Court ruled the party unconstitutionally dissolved Parliament to avoid a no-confidence motion. The communists now charge that Sing forged documents that list him as younger than 65, the mandatory retirement age.

Proprietary to the United Press International 1995

September 27, 1995, Wednesday, BC cycle

SECTION: International

LENGTH: 532 words

HEADLINE: New 'tuk-tuk' to ease Bangkok pollution



BODY: A U.S. diplomat Wednesday formally handed over to the Thai government three prototypes of an electric rickshaw that could one day replace the city's noisy, smoke-belching three- wheeler taxis known as ''tuk-tuk'' because of the chugging noise they make. U.S. Charge d'Affaires Ralph Boyce handed over the keys to the sleek, fiberglass vehicles to Science, Technology and Environment Minister Yingpan Manasikarn. The ceremony came after two years of work on a $2 million U.S.-funded project to clear up Bangkok's toxic environment. Promoters of the project hope that the clean-running vehicles may one day replace the nearly 10,000 loud and smoke-spewing tuk-tuk taxis currently plying the streets of Bangkok. ''Tuk-tuks powered by internal combustion engines are noisy, polluting machines,'' Boyce said at the presentation ceremony. ''Indeed, the vehicle takes its name from the 'tuk-tuk' sound produced by its smoke-belching two-stroke engine. On the other hand, the tuk-tuk is something of a cultural icon in Thailand.'' The Zero Emission Electric Tuk-tuk Testing Project began in 1993 with a memorandum of understanding signed by U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Thailand's then deputy prime minister Amnuay Virawan to promote cooperation on environmental initiatives. Boyce said the tuk-tuk project gave hope for the future of Bangkok's air -- which a recent UN study said was the most polluted in the world in particulate matter. ''The idea of electric tuk-tuks for Thailand has proven to be an innovative, yet pragmatic idea, utilizing advanced U.S. electric vehicle technology in a traditional Thai vehicle to solve a serious environmental problem,'' he said. He said the project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), would be used as a model for the possible development of similar clean-running vehicles in India and Nepal. Lou Senter of the Planet Electric Company of California, which helped design and build the electric tuk-tuks, said the vehicles cost about $6, 000 each and run for three hours before they need re-charging. ''But the costs will come down and a new type of battery will make it possible to run for five hours without a charge,'' he said. He said the tuk-tuk prototypes presented to the Thai government Wednesday, the first of 30 to be donated under the project, contain their own re-chargers and can be plugged into any electric outlet. ''We put them through some pretty rugged testing,'' he said. ''We've run them at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.'' Senter said that in addition to the electric tuk-tuk's environmental benefits, it can be run very cheaply, for as little as 0.47 cent a mile. He said the technical know-how to build the electric tuk-tuks was developed for the production of golf carts in the United States. Sender said electric vehicles were becoming increasingly popular in the United States, in retirement communities and for use by police, post offices and delivery companies. He said he expected the first commercially available tuk-tuks in Thailand to be personal vehicles used for shopping and short errands rather than as taxis.

September 26, 1995 03:05 Eastern Time

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 294 words

HEADLINE: Now it's Virgin Mary drinking milk: reports


BODY: Following the religious frenzy spurred by reports of statues of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh drinking milk in India and elsewhere, devotees here now say statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus are doing the same.

The English-language Sun tabloid reported Tuesday what it said was its photographer A Arumugam's "eye-witness account of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus sipping milk off a tablespoon" at the home of Hindu devotee R. Rajamohan in the Kelana Jaya suburb outside Kuala Lumpur.

"The milk vanished in two minutes," the Sun said.

"After reading news reports on the statues of Lord Ganesha drinking milk, I thought I would try the same thing on Mother Mary and baby Jesus. They drank a whole spoonful," said Rajamohan, a Hindu who also believes in the Mother Mary.

Rajamohan said he does not understand what he is witnessing, but believes it is a blessing from God.

Sacred idols drinking milk appeared last Thursday in India, triggering a frenzy that sent tens of thousands of devotees on pilgrimages to Hindu temples. Similar occurrences were reported in Hindu communities in England, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands and the United States.

Copyright 1995 Agence France Presse Agence France Presse

September 26, 1995 07:17 Eastern Time

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 374 words

HEADLINE: Communist MPs attack ruling coalition government lawmakers


BODY: A brawl between opposition communist MPs and ruling coalition lawmakers interrupted the fourth day of parliamentary proceedings here Tuesday, a parliamentary source said.

Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist and Leninist (NCP-UML) lawmakers and Nepali Congress MPs exchanged punches when a fist-fight broke out during a debate in the lower house of parliament, witnesses said.

Speaker of the House Ram Chandra Paudyel was hustled away by martials of the lower house as communist MPs attacked members of the ruling tripartite coalition, the witnesses said.

The house is to resume its debate Wednesday morning.

The NCP-UML parliamentarians have been demanding an impeachment motion against retired supreme court Chief Justice Biswo Nath Upadhyay and his successor Surendra Prasad Singh, who is to be sworn in later this week.

The court on August 28 reinstated the lower house of parliament, saying its dissolution by King Birendra in June at the recommendation of NCP-UML Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari was "unconstitutional."

The court also cancelled mid-term polls slated for November 23 and ordered parliament to continue. Eight out of 11 justices voted in favour of the reinstatement.

The impeachment motion, registered against Upadhyay and Singh last week, was rejected by the Speaker of the House for lack of concrete evidence that the justices had failed to carry out their "responsibilities impartially." The communists have been obstructing procedures of the 205-member house since Sunday by hampering discussion in the house, which is to hear a modified budget for 1995/96 later this week.

Copyright 1995 Agence France Presse Agence France Presse

September 26, 1995 10:12 Eastern Time

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 200 words

HEADLINE: King appoints new chief justice


BODY: Nepal's King Birendra appointed Surendra Prasad Singh as the new chief justice Tuesday after the former chief justice retired on Sunday, state-run radio announced.

Singh is the most senior among 11 justices of the supreme court.

He had come under fire from Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist and Leninist (NCP-UML) parliamentarians, who registered a motion of impeachment against him and outgoing chief justice Biswo Nath Upadhyay for a ruling in which the court held the king's dissolution of parliament unconstitutional. The motion failed.

The court on August 28 reinstated the lower house of parliament, a move which led to the fall of the NCP-UML government, which was replaced by a coalition.

Copyright 1995 Reuters, Limited

September 26, 1995, Tuesday, BC cycle

LENGTH: 310 words

HEADLINE: Communists throw Nepali parliament into chaos

BYLINE: By Gopal Sharma


BODY: Opposition communists disrupted Nepal's parliament and scuffled with security guards Tuesday in an unsuccessful attempt to force the speaker to accept a motion to impeach two supreme court judges.

Witnesses said members of the Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party stormed toward speaker Ram Chandra Poudel, surrounded his rostrum and demanded that he place the motion before the lower house.

After Poudel abruptly adjourned the house and left the chamber, communist deputies tried to clash with members of the parliamentary majority but marshals again intervened.

The communists then climbed on to their desks, shaking their fists and shouting before dispersing after about 15 minutes, witnesses said.

Last week Poudel rejected a communist motion to impeach Supreme Court chief justice Bishwanath Upadhyaya and deputy Surendra Prasad Singh for allegedly failing to discharge their duties honestly.

Last month the court voted 8-3 to quash a decision by King Birendra, backed by the then-UML government, to dissolve parliament and call new general elections for November.

The communists were then voted out of power in a no-confidence motion in parliament this month, paving the way for the Himalayan kingdom's first coalition government led by the Nepali Congress party.

Upadhyaya retired as chief justice Tuesday and his deputy, Singh, is next in line to take over.

Both of them voted in the majority against the communist-backed decision in June to call fresh elections, while Singh dissented.

Political analysts said if Poudel accepted the impeachment motion and brought it before the lower house of parliament for debate, Singh's appointment as chief justice could be delayed.

The impeachment motion would probably fail as the UML has only 89 of 205 seats in parliament, while the three-party coalition which opposes the motion has 107.

Proprietary to the United Press International 1995

September 26, 1995, Tuesday, BC cycle

SECTION: International

LENGTH: 380 words

HEADLINE: Scuffle breaks out in Nepali Parliament


BODY: A scuffle broke out in the Nepali Parliament Tuesday afternoon soon after Ram Chandra Paudel, speaker of the House of Representatives allowed discussions on King Birendra's address to Parliament outlining the programs of a three-party anti- communist alliance. Members of the opposition Nepal Communist Party rushed toward the speaker shouting slogans immediately after Paudel ordered discussions of the royal address. Marshals simultaneously formed a chain between the speaker and her shouting communist legislators. Paudel then adjourned Parliament for Wednesday. Immediately confusion followed. Scuffles broke out, and one woman leaped to the Parliament floor from the spectator gallery and was thrown out by a ruling party legislator. Peace resumed after 20 minutes of pandemonium, and parliamentarians left the chamber floor. Earlier, the opposition spent three hours demanding that Paudel reconsider his decision to reject without discussion a communist- sponsored impeachment motion against Chief Justice Bishwanath Upadhaya, who retired Tuesday after turning 65, the mandatory retirement age. Members of the ruling coalition supported Paudel's decision to reject the impeachment motion without debate. The communists succeeded for the third consecutive day in obstructing parliamentary proceedings by insisting Paudel reconsider. The party is upset with Upadhaya because a majority Supreme Court decision last month reinstated Parliament, which was dissolved by the minority communists when they were in power. The reinstatement led to the defeat of the communists and the effective annulment of the Nov. 23 elections they called. The communists were banking on winning the elections and forming a majority communist government following the polls. The communists argue that Paudel had no right to reject the impeachment motion after 25 percent of the House of Representatives signed such a motion and registered it in Parliament. Paudel said, ''No proper reasons or justifiable basis have been mentioned to prove that Chief Justice Upadhaya'' acted improperly. The impeachment motion would need two-thirds support in the 205- member House of Representatives, and would have been defeated regardless.

Copyright 1995 British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

September 25, 1995, Monday


LENGTH: 400 words

HEADLINE: FOREIGN RELATIONS; Nepalese paper reportedly demands apology for North Korean propaganda quiz

SOURCE: Source: Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English 0900 gmt 22 Sep 95

BODY: [9] Text of report by the South Korean news agency Yonhap

Bangkok, 22nd September: The North Korean embassy in Nepal has been harshly criticized for its recent false propaganda praising the late Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Chong-il and for provoking the Nepalese youth. In an article, obtained in Bangkok, entitled "North Korea is making fools out of the Nepalese youth" , a Nepalese weekly reported that North Korea is now engaged in a dangerous game of false propaganda and unethical practices targeting the vulnerable Nepalese youth when it held an inter-country school quiz contest recently in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

All the "correct" answers to the quiz were supposed to be "North Korea" , the Jana Bhawana National'pointed out in its edition dated 18th September. The Nepalese weekly revealed some of the questions of the so-called quiz - Which country does not have AIDS, unemployment or taxes? Which country is a paradise on earth, and Where does one find the best education system? Which country has the market of cheapest food grains and rice?

"If the questions asked and the answers given are to be evaluated in proper perspective, it can easily be interpreted as an insult to our intellect, talent and time... It unquestionably invites harsh criticism," the weekly demanded.

Such programmes create nothing but falsehoods and are a gross insult to the pride of the Nepalese people, the weekly commented. The paper stressed that authorities from around the world describe North Korea as a country facing acute food shortages and note that the situation is ever-worsening there, to such an extent that North Korea had to even beg its bitter foe South Korea for food grain assistance. "North Korea's Kathmandu- based embassy is engaged in activities that are a waste of time for Nepalese youth. Why is it engaged in such an exercise? This is a matter of considerable concern and curiosity for Nepalese in general. This has not only made North Korea a target of scorn but also created an atmosphere whereby," the paper said.

The weekly urged that the Nepalese government should demand an apology from the North Korean officials at its embassy there and also any others involved in instigating the Nepalese. If such activities are repeated in the future, North Korean embassy will be the centre of protest from students, teachers and intellectuals here, the paper concluded.

*************************************************************** Subject: Vacation to Nepal From: (Denis Beriau)

I am planning to go to Nepal at the end of november and i will like to have some sugestions on , where to stay, what to see, what to eat an how to get prepare for my trip.

I know that there is som guide about Nepal but i rather have some kive suggestions from people who live there or have been there.

I eard that there is a conflict now between the pakistanise and the indian. So this area is not safe for easterners.

I will apreciate any comments.

Thank you

********************************************************************* Date: Fri, 29 Sep 95 14:23:55 EST From: To: Subject: looking for rabindra shrestha


surendra pradhan (from Biratnagar) is looking for rabindra shrestha (from Biratnagar) now residing in Sydney,Austrailia if you have his e-mail address please send to the following address:

hi rabindra, if you get this message please write me to the above address.

********************************************************************* To: Subject: Invitation Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 18:04:53 EDT

Rajpal ji, could you publish it with your next issue. Thanks!


The Greater Boston Nepalese Community invites you to its annual Dashain Bhoj to be held on Oct 7 at Burton Hall, MIT. We will be cooking pulau and khasi-ko-masu-made-with-the-expert-hands-of-Raju (TM) all day long and promise to get everything ready by 6 pm. Nepali music will be played and chances of watching some songs (Nepali, of course!) on video are also relatively high. The spacious Burton Hall is on 410 Memorial Drive (minutes away from the famous Talbot Lounge, where we used to have parties before). Watch for signs around Talbot Lounge and Kendall T station. GBNC election is the other highlight at the Bhoj.

What: Dashain Bhoj w/ khasi ko masu, pulau, beer... Where: Burton Hall, 410 memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139 (i.e. at MIT) When: Oct 7, 6 pm onwards...

Come to hang out with fellow Nepalis in Greater Boston area and meet news ones. Price is $10 per person and $25 for a family. Should you need directions, please call me (617 225 8128) or Raju (617 924 8852) or Sunil (617 868 2128).

Oh, almost forgot. Tika and jamara will also be available!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We wish everyone a very happy Vijaya Dashami. May Devi Durga will bless you all!

Shree Krishna Pandey for GBNC

**************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 19:20:15 -0400 (EDT) From: "Achyut Gyawali (FO 1995)" <> To: Subject: Re: Suva kamana

Vijaya Desami ko Hardirk Manglemaya Suva Kamana Achyut and Anita Yale University New Haven, CT.

****************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 10:26:06 CST To: From: <> Subject: The Ganesh Drinking Milk

Last Friday(9/22), when I read the news about the idols of the Ganesh drinking milk in various part of India, Nepal, and even in North America, I was more inclined to believe the scientific explanation tendered by various prestigious organizations (e.g.RONAST, IIT Delhi Scientist, etc.). I even almost believed the statement by the ruling Congress Party of India that it was BJP's propagand ato garner more votes in the forthcoming election in India.

However, my perspective in this regard has abruptly changed from yesterday(9/28 )based on what I saw with my own eyes. It was at a Travel Agency in Houston where the boss (an Indian lady) was non-stop in describing the miracle of Lord Ganesh's 2" x 3" marble idol at a house of an Indian family where she had gone in the morning to offer milk. She had a pass for 3 persons, and her destinatio nwas again to visit the idol after her work. She offered me and my friend to join her to see the miracle of God Ganesh. We followed her.

I was 148th person that day to visit. After removing my shoes and othe leather stuffs, I followed the queu in front of me. I could see 5 persons in front of me who offered a spoon full of milk and the idol sucked the milk in fraction of seconds. One can easily see the sudden motion (suction) created in milk as soon as the milk touches the lower tip of the trunk. And yes, the idol size was just 2" x 3". It was the 6th day since this miracle started and some 9000 people have already visited- all surprised! There was no smell of sour milk, as forecasted by some Indian scientists, nor could I observe a single drop of milk in the well-lit vicinity of the idol. I've never seen that kind of Capillary Action or a Surface Tension Phenomenon while performing these tests in advanced Physics classes.

Lastly, I'm still open to a convincing scientific explanation, until then, however, I've tilted to beleive this phenomenon as "something supernatural".

Jai Ganesh ! Sincerely,

Ratan K Jha Austin, TX

***************************************************************** From: Jagadish Dawadi <> To: The Nepal Digest <>


..........wishing all of you peace, progress and prosperity on the occassion of Happy Vijaya Dashami................. ****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 01 Oct 1995 11:23:52 -0500 (EST) From: (Margaret L. Dundon) Description: Re: Mahat to beg WB to restore Arun III

In article <>, wrote: > A recent news item has said Finance Minister Ram Sharan mahat will meet with > WB president J W next month to ask him to restore Arun III. > > I think this amounts to begging and selling nepal's sense of dignity after > being rejected by WB. > > Second, to what extent can we believe WB would reconsider the request of a > wobbly coalition govt which hardly has a roaring endorsement of the nepali > electorate that they will sink so many million dollars? Doubtful, This is a > trip for mahat and his political alliance to pay tribute the lone superpower > and get their unofficial endorsemnt in the corridors of White house. BTW, has > any one heard of Bill Clinton congratulating Deoba yet? > > Third, it must remembered that the WB decision was a response to a convergence > of a lot of powerful forces other than cold economics, which Mahat thinks he > understands, these include the environmental INGOs and their constituencies in > US and the Western nations. > > I wonder how others see this . > > amulya > y R chridna Hi! I did a lot of research on Arun III, and it would have been a disaster for Nepal, not necessarily along the same lines as Narmada (but Nepal's ability to pay back the loan is even more precarious than India's) yet still a disaster. I would tend to agree that the motivation for "begging" for the loan is mainly a political search for legitimacy in the development financing arena... Nepal needs development dollars, but not to the scale that Arun III requires. Better than none, I think, is the political logic... Indeed, Western pressure from NGO's was great. International Rivers Network, based in Berkeley, along with the rest of Arun Concerned Group, brought problems with the project to the WB's own Inspection Panel. The IP agreed that the economic logic of mega-hydro for Nepal is flawed... I don't have the recent info on Arun, but will be traveling to Nepal in Jan of 96. Have any hints on people to work for (NGO's) in Kathmandu? Maggie Dundon e-mail:

********************************************************************** id m0szYao-0008y0C; Sun, 1 Oct 95 17:18 PDT Date: Sun, 1 Oct 1995 17:18:50 -0700 (PDT) From: Don Messerschmidt <> To: Nepal Digest <> Subject: Observations on "Time Traveling..."

Nepali friends & Friends of Nepal

Ive read the article (posted to me on Oct 1) entitled "Time Traveling in Todays Nepal" by Richard Reeves, a syndicated writer, as it apparently appeared in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette on August 17, 1995.

What can I say it is cheap shot, grossly exaggerated, etc. etc. But, sad to say, what Richard Reeves and his family saw, heard, smelled, in Kathmandu is what too many visitors see, hear and smell. Locals, too (as you all know). And, until the Nepali citizens and their government leaders and representatives it takes BOTH get their act together, and THE POLITICAL WILL TO DO SOMETHING about the environmental problems which plague the city (and the nation), this will continue to be what visitors see. And fewer visitors will want to come and see it.

I know, I hear you. Nepal doesn't have much money or resources available to spend on cleaning up. True. But, it doesnt always take money it shouldnt, anyway to keep ones property, ones neighborhood, ones city and national pride, clean. Where is the Nepali spirit of common property management. It exists in community forests and on irrigation schemes and alpine pastures in the hinterland, why cant it be seen very clearly in the community neighborhoods of Kathmandu? Aha but it is seen in some places. Take Dhulikhel a small city which, whose politically astute mayor and an interested and dedicated electorate have, over the past decade or so, successfully found the resources and done the job. It has happened to a degree in Patan under another politically able mayor. Party politics aside, it CAN HAPPEN. But, whats going on in Kathmandu? Lots of rhetoric, but wheres the action? When I was last in Kathmandu (July 1995) the garbage crisis was paramount with no end in sight.

There isnt much you can do without the political will. And that, sad to say, seems to be lost in the turmoil between the political parties. That makes it all the more mandatory that the common PEOPLE get involved, with small steps, on a neighborhood basis, to do the job. I know it can happen. You know it can happen. It IS happening in some neighborhoods. Some business persons are pushing in the right direction. Why not city-wide?

These are big questions? Not easily answered, not easily addressed. But until they are, tourists and writers like Richard Reeves and his family are going to continue to see the dirt and filth and ill-health of an otherwise fabulous country and people. Too bad he couldnt have reported on some of the gentler, more pleasant aspects of the life and times of Nepal. The mere fact that he didnt tells us all something. . . DON MESSERSCHMIDT < > Donald A. Messerschmidt, PhD (+ Kareen, Hans, Liesl & Arjun)

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