The Nepal Digest - September 2, 1995 (19 Bhadra 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Saturday 2 September 95: Bhadra 19 2052 BkSm Volume 42 Issue 1

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta k945184@atlas.kingston.ac.uk *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha rshresth@black.clarku.edu *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *
 ******************************************************************************

********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 19:20:54 -0400 (EDT) From: karki_s@a1.mscf.upenn.edu (Sher B. Karki) Subject: News 8/14/95 To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu

Xinhua News Agency HEADLINE: nepal to generate 270 mw power by 2000

DATELINE: kathmandu, august 14; ITEM NO: 0814037

BODY:
   the nepalese government has decided to generate over 270 megawatts' electricity by the year of 2000 in order to meet growing power demand in the country, minister for water resources pradip nepal said sunday. talking to reporters, the minister said the government had identified different small hydro projects to completely remove the load-shedding problem by the end of the century. these projects are not the alternatives to the arun iii project which had been canceled due to the world bank's decision not to support it earlier this month, but they are under the periodic electricity program of the government, nepal said. according to him, the unilateral termination of the arun project by the world bank would not affect the regular program of power generating and supply in nepal. meanwhile, nepal said, the world bank's decision not to proceed with the funding for the arun project did not mean that other donor agencies have lost interest in investing in other projects in nepal.

************************************************************************ Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 22:46:13 -0500 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: sharma@plains.nodak.edu (Padam Sharma) Subject: "Aayo..Gorkhali...": An endangered culture!

#7 A few good Gurkhas give Hong Kong intense sense of security

By Keith B. Richburg Washington Post Foreign Service
      HONG KONG -- Position Wanted: Ex-soldier seeks full- or part-time employment as security guard or domestic helper. Disciplined, willing to work long hours, handy with a carved dagger. Twenty years' experience with the British military, including the Falklands War and the Persian Gulf. Conversant in English. Salary and benefits negotiable.
       This may sound like an ad that some old mercenary might place in Soldier of Fortune magazine. These days it could also be the plaintive posting from Hong Kong's legendary Gurkha battalion, the Nepalese fighters with a reputation for ferocity who have formed the backbone of this British colony's military garrison for 30 years.
       Universally respected for their combat prowess, feared by enemies, and battle-tested in two world wars and countless smaller military expeditions, the Gurkhas now face perhaps their most formidable challenge: redundancy.
       With Britain in the midst of a sweeping military downsizing, the Gurkha brigade that once numbered 7,500 is scheduled to be cut to 2,500 by 1997. And with China set to regain sovereignty over Hong Kong in less than two years, the Gurkhas will lose their principal base. "All the Gurkhas are very sad at this time to see these vast reductions in the British army," said Deoraj Subba, a retired Gurkha lieutenant. "It is a tradition to join the army, generation after generation."
       The phasing down of the British Gurkhas is more than just a personal tragedy for the soldiers being pushed into early retirement and the regiments being dismantled. In Nepal, entire villages depend on the money the Gurkha soldiers send home, and the reduction in recruiting means fewer opportunities for families in the Nepalese hills to build a house or educate a child.
       Is there life after the British army? Enter Chris G. Hardy, retired major, an 18-year veteran whose father was a British officer commanding Gurkhas.
       Hardy was serving with the British garrison in April 1991 when the cuts were announced, and soon he was trekking through Nepalese villages to meet retired Gurkha officers, many still physically fit but subsisting on army pensions.
       "So much of the income of the villages depends on remitted salaries from the boys," Hardy said, while the retirees have "seen the world. They've seen the opportunities out there in the big, wide world. They see the importance for their children of education, which they probably did not have. . . . I came back from Nepal with that message firmly implanted."
       So Hardy devised a plan. He found an American partner and in the fall of 1992 set up a company called Maximum Security Asia that would recruit some of the ex-Gurkhas for the private security business. Another Hong Kong company, the wide-ranging Jardine's conglomerate, had a similar idea, and the two merged into Jardine Securicor Gurkha Services Ltd., with Hardy as managing director. From 60 Gurkhas at the time of the merger, the group now has 748 men deployed, with demand growing daily.
       The Securicor group supplies Gurkha guards at 65 bank branches around Hong Kong, as well as at luxury apartment buildings, department stores, the government stadium, the Jewish Club, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, a United Nations-run camp housing Vietnamese refugees and at businesses including Motorola and a Chinese government construction company.
       A few Gurkhas have been hired as private bodyguards, although Hardy insists he will not allow his men to become "bullet-stoppers." The firm has turned down security contracts with some well-known Kowloon discos. But Gurkhas in plain clothes sporting earphones like secret service agents were spotted recently in the entertainment district of the city, providing security for a couple of local beauties who were riding in an open-top carto promote beer.
       The popularity of retired Gurkhas as security guards has to do with their reputation for ferocity in battle, including the legend that they can silently slice off the heads of their enemies in the night, or cut the shoestrings of a sleeping sentry just to let them know the Gurkhas were there. "By look, we certainly do not reflect the image of a dangerous, fierce-looking warrior," said Subba, 43, a soft-spoken ex-lieutenant who is now the chief administrative officer at the Securicor group. "We are not tall, big." He said the reputation derives from tough situations on the battlefield, because "at that moment, their true fighting spirit will come to the forefront."
       "They are not naturally violent people. What they are is very proud," said Hardy. With a history of military service often going back three generations in the same family, and with an entire village's honor and livelihood dependent on the one member chosen by the British army, "the biggest fear a Gurkha has is fear of failure.
     "Are they ferocious? Yes, because they are motivated."
       If pride and a sense of destiny moved them to become soldiers, the harsh economics of rural Nepal now are driving many former Gurkhas to be private guards for hire.
       They have found that after some 20 years away -- the average length of service for a Gurkha -- returning to life in the village often proves difficult.
       Deepak Chandra Rai, a retired warrant officer, said, "I wanted to come here and get a job in the Far East. It's much better here than at home. It's not easy to find a job in Nepal. We are quite used to it here in Hong Kong."
       And Hong Kong is quite used to Gurkhas, since they have provided the main force of the British military garrison in the British colony since shifting here from what was then Malaya in 1966. The Gurkhas became a part of the colorful local tapestry, among other tasks providing security along Hong Kong's land border with China -- a job now mainly taken over by the police in preparation for the 1997 transfer of Hong Kong to China.
       Both Britain and the local Hong Kong government -- which pays most of the cost of keeping a military garrison in the colony -- found the Gurkhas the most cost-effective way to maintain a troop presence. A Gurkha soldier is paid far less than his British counterpart.
       Gurkhas have served with the British army since 1815, after an Anglo-Nepalese war in which the legendary fighters so impressed their British adversaries that they decided to recruit the Gurkhas. They later proved their loyalty by siding with Britain after an 1857 Indian army rebellion. Queen Victoria rewarded them with the rank of "rifleman," which at the time meant they could eat in the same canteen as British soldiers and could ride inside trains instead of on top.
       Some 200,000 Gurkhas fought for Britain in World War I, and another quarter-million fought during World War II. Indian independence later split Britain's 10 Gurkha regiments between Britain and India, with the British Gurkhas going on to fight in Malaya (now Malaysia), Borneo, the Falklands
-- although the war ended before they got ashore, to the Argentines' relief
-- and in the Persian Gulf War against Iraq. India maintains its own units.
       "Gurkha" applies to any Nepali serving in the armed forces. The term comes from early in the last century, when Nepal was a series of kingdoms, and the most powerful ruler, the King of Goorkha, which is a town west of Kathmandu, was expanding his empire and fought the clash that impressed the British.
       With a military tradition stretching back generations, the main problem facing Gurkhas today in the private sector has been boredom. The pay is good, they say, but guarding apartment buildings and banks is just a job, not adventure.
       They have had their moments. Gurkha guards have received local praise for apprehending shoplifters, nabbing illegal immigrants at construction sites, thwarting would-be burglars and even apprehending a gun-toting Vietnamese refugee at the Pillar Point camp that Gurkhas now guard on contract. In most cases, the Gurkhas perform unarmed or carrying only nightsticks.
       To make the Gurkhas comfortable, Hardy said he has tried to impose a military-style structure, calling himself "commanding officer" and devising a system with a quartermaster, company commanders and, at the lowest level, platoons. Gurkhas sign two-year, renewable contacts and undergo some basic training, mainly to "soften them up," said Hardy.

******************************************************************** Date: TUE, 15 AUG 95 12:25:51 JST From: Ashok Sayenju <194038@JPNIUJ00.BitNet> Subject: Nepali Expatriate Professionals Needed in Nepal!! To: The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu>

Please post this in your TND issue:

OUTSTANDING NEPALI EXPATRIATE PROFESSIONALS NEEDED!!

UNDP, Kathmandu urges outstanding expatriate Nepali professionals living and wo rking abroad to volunteer their services for well-prepared consultancy missions for a period of 3 weeks to 3 months, in their motherland under a unique program known as " TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE THROUGH EXPATRIATE NATIONALS" (TOKTEN).

UNDP pays for the travel and living expenses. So far 27 Nepali expatriate exper ts have served under this program in various fields such as Environmental Plann ing, Urban Policy and Planning, Biotechnology, Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Psychiatry, Anaesthesiology, Animal Science and Genetics, Health Services Deliv ery Planning, and Financial Management.

To qualify for the program, a graduate level degree and at least 8 years of work experience with at least 5 years in a senior position with an organization outside Nepal is needed. If you think you are qualified enough give it a shot for the betterment of Nepal.

Send your resume with a brief statement on the problems/institutions in Nepal where you feel your expertise could be use to:

UNDP, P.O.Box 107, KTM, NEPAL. Fax: (977)-1-523991, 523986.

To you all Nepali expert professionals everywhere, this is a golden opportunity to help your motherland.

Good luck!!!

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 15 Aug 95 04:32:47 -0400 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: bishow@iris1.sb.fsu.edu (Bishow Adhikari) Subject: Our culture

It appears that there is a vast number of SILENT readers out there like me who scan the digest, form their own opinions, but shy away from writing back. I am one of those majority! Since I have some time tonight I thought of posting some thoughts to share among us. If you are like myself, why don't you voice/share your concerns or opinions with the rest? The few postings fail to give the general view of the Nepalese community within the net.

THE FEAR OF CULTURAL INVASION IN OUR FOOTHILLS

I recently read and got the feeling that one of the fears perceived by the of the Arun project was the invasion of our hill tribe culture due to its accessibility by road. I hope it is not only myself who is surprised by this notion. It sounds nearly ridiculous for a number of reasons. First of all, all cultures change. In today's world, the rapid mixing of different cultures is inevitable - because we have incredible access to any part of the world. It is only that the western culture seems to dominate every other culture there is. But it is unstoppable. However, each meeting of disparate cultures usually brings about not only the best features of both but also an appreciation for one another; especially when people are aware. Secondly, it is unfair to ask the hill tribes to remain untouched by the western culture and face sudden and perhaps complete death later. We also cannot make choices for someone. The complete death is based on the fact that when a small culture is enclosed by a large and dominating culture, and if it the two are very different, it cannot survive. Cultural exchange over a longer period of time helps curb that. In addition, some of the traditions may be so outdated as to be unsustainable. What is most important is that the hill tribes and their customs have to survive, and the way to do is to teach them about both cultures and prepare them so that they can adapt and preserve their culture by changing it to fit with the rest. The American Indians and the Japanese society come to my mind, for example. And what of Kathmandu? Whether you like it or not, culture is subject to the same rule of natural selection that governs biological adaptation.

My point is, the logic behind preventing accessibility to the remote villages by road as a way of preserving their cultural heritage is wrong, there are better and effective ways of doing it.

You may not be convinced. Or perhaps I have been blind to some critical reasoning. If you feel like it, please comment.

Bishow

************************************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: RESULT: soc.religion.hindu moderated (revote) passes 551:34 Date: Tue, 15 Aug 95 10:53:18 EDT From: handler@sub-rosa.com (Michael Handler)
                                 RESULT
           moderated group soc.religion.hindu passes 551:34

There were 551 YES votes and 34 NO votes, for a total of 585 valid votes. There were 2 abstains and 1 invalid ballot.

For group passage, YES votes must be at least 2/3 of all valid (YES and NO) votes. There also must be at least 100 more YES votes than NO votes.

There is a five day discussion period after these results are posted. If no serious allegations of voting irregularities are raised, the moderator of news.announce.newgroups will create the group shortly thereafter.

  soc.religion.hindu passed on Fri Jul 21 16:15:51 1995

Newsgroups line: soc.religion.hindu Discussion about the Hindu dharma, philosophy, culture.

The voting period closed at 23:59:59 UTC, 9 Aug 1995.

This vote is being conducted by a neutral third party. For voting questions only contact Michael Handler <handler@sub-rosa.com>. For questions about the proposed group contact Ajay Shah
<ajay@mercury.aichem.arizona.edu>.

CHARTER

Hindu dharma (religious philosophy and way of life) is followed by over 650 million people in the world. Prominent among its teaching are the acceptance of various religious paths, and the sprit of universal family.

Although there is soc.religion.eastern, soc.religion.hindu will be different. It will be the forum to discuss various Hindu docterines as they are applicable to day to day living. Unlike soc.religion.eastern, it will also be used as a forum to discuss various issues that affect Hindus living around the world. These issues include, environmental awareness from the Hindu perspective, war and peace, human rights and participlation of Hindus in political process to promote the universal ideals mentioned above. It will also be used as a forum for cultural news about Hindus from around the world.

This forum will also be different from soc.culture.indian (sci) because, sci is more concerned with the issues affecting India, whereas soc.culture.hindu will be of interest to the people from around the world who are eager to learn about the Hindu dharma (religious philosophy + way of life) and culture.

MODERATION

Moderator: Ajay Shah <editor@rbhatnagar.csm.uc.edu>

The moderation will be used mainly for netiquette. It will follow the same standards that have been followed on alt.hindu (which I moderate as well). Primarily, these are:

1. No personal attacks.

2. No "malicious attack" on Hindu dharma. Please note that although this sounds like a broad classification, it is not. On alt.hindu have rejected less than 5 out of over 3000 postings based on this criteria.

3. No commercial announcements (unless made for Hindu related books/fonts etc., and that too, it should be more informational than commercial)

4. No chain letters.

5. No posts that are outside the purview of the clearly defined charter for soc.religion.hindu (Please refer to the charter of the newsgroup).

I have had to reject a total of less than 40 posts in about 3 years, and out of over 3000 postings for alt.hindu. So, debates and discussions are more than welcome, as long as it is "clean".

Moderator: Ajay Shah <editor@rbhatnagar.csm.uc.edu> Submissions Address: srh@rbhatnagar.csm.uc.edu Contact Address: srh-request@rbhatngar.csm.uc.edu

************************************************************** Date: Tue, 15 Aug 1995 20:55:27 -0400 (EDT) From: karki_s@a1.mscf.upenn.edu (Sher B. Karki) Subject: News 8/15/95 To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts HEADLINE: FOREIGN RELATIONS; Premier in hospital after helicopter crash SOURCE: Source: All-India Radio external service, New Delhi, in English 1530 gmt 14 Aug 95

BODY:
   [19] Text of report by All-India Radio

   The Nepalese prime minister, Mr Man Mohan Adikhari, escaped with minor injuries in a helicopter crash near Nepalganj in west Nepal this afternoon 14th August . According to reports reaching Kathmandu, the prime minister was returning to the capital from Nepalganj after an inspection of the flood-affected areas when his helicopter crashed on the banks of the Ropti River. The home minister and the depty general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal -UML Unified Marxist-Leninist were accompanying the prime minister. They escaped unhurt. Mr Adikhari was taken back to Nepalganj, where he is being treated in a hospital.

Xinhua General News Service HEADLINE: first nepali geological conference held in kathmandu DATELINE: kathmandu, august 15; ITEM NO: 0815208

 BODY:
   the first nepalese geological conference sponsored by the nepalese geological society opened here today. inaugurating the conference, finance minister bharat mohan adhikari said that nepal is applying the knowledge of geology to infrastructure projects such as dam, road, irrigation, hydropower, water supply, town planning and exploitation of mineral resources. the nepalese geo-scientists are making contributions to the country not only through their research on natural disasters but also through their recommendations on disaster relief, he added. he expressed the hope that the deliberations at the conference will be conducive to unveiling the geological mysteries of the himalayas and the intricate relationship between the environment and geological processes.

    the two-day conference was also attended by about 250 geologists from
 nepal, india, pakistan, bangladesh, the united states, japan, austria, switzerland and france.

HEADLINE: nepali pm's helicopter makes emergency landing DATELINE: kathmandu, august 14; ITEM NO: 0814177

 BODY:
   a helicopter carrying nepali prime minister man mohan adhikari made an emergency landing near the seti river this afternoon. the helicopter, which was flying from nepalganj, mid-western nepal to kathmandu, lost contact with the tribhuvan airport, kathmandu, soon after its take-off, sources said. the prime minister was safe with only minor injury caused by the forced landing, the sources said. home minister k.p. oli and some other high-ranking government officials were also on board.

HEADLINE: nepal to chalk out arun development plan DATELINE: kathmandu, august 13; ITEM NO: 0813163

 BODY:
    nepal will soon chalk out a program for the development of the arun valley in east nepal, prime minister man mohan adhikari said today. the prime minister urged the national planning commission to soon formulate a program for the development of arun area, about 200 kilometers east of kathmandu, during a meeting with a delegation from arun area as well as high-ranking government officials. adhikari also advised various ministries to launch development programs through mutual coordination. the arun area delegation came here to hold talks with concerned agencies on the ways of promoting the area's development work in the wake of the cancellation of the proposed arun iii hydropower project. the world bank announced earlier this month that it decided not to provide the 175 million us dollars loan it pledged before for the most ambitious hydroelectric project so far in nepal. the bank's pullout led the de facto abortion of the 784 million dollars arun project, which would have an installed capacity of 402 megawatts if completed in 2001. adhikari said the fund earmarked for the project by the government would not be spent on any other purpose but on the development of the area. according to the prime minister, world bank president james wolfensohn had assured him the bank's commitment to the development of the arun valley despite its withdrawal from the project, and a vice president of the bank is scheduled to visit nepal soon to negotiate alternatives to the arun project with the nepalese government. during the meeting, minister for water resources pradip nepal said that programs for the development of electricity, roads, educational and other facilities would be carried out in the arun valley.

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 15 Aug 1995 22:23:32 -0400 (EDT) From: kenneth pumford <kpumford@umdsun2.umd.umich.edu> To: The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Investment in Nepal?

Does any TND subscriber out there know whether there are any formal or semi-formal means of investing in Nepal's development? Perhaps this topic has been addressed in a past issue of TND which I missed, but even if it has another look at this issue would be timely as this year's Nepali graduates move into paid employment (by one means or another).

I would like to be able to invest in projects which increase Nepal's economic well-being while creating jobs and providing needed goods and services. Many investors in ASEAN countries are doing well as the economies of those countries expand, in large part because of that investment, and it is reasonable to expect that there are similar opportunies in Nepal. For example, take the recent World Bank decision not to procede with the Arun III hydropower project but rather to fund smaller-scale projects that develop hydro-project building capacity in Nepal. Businesses need to be created in Nepal that will provide the civil and electrical engineering for forthcoming hydropower projects, build the projects, build the transmission and distribution systems, build the roads to the worksites, and on and on. As far as I can see Nepal needs investment in almost everything except carpet, beer, and chau chau factories.

What I'm looking for is a Nepal-specific mutual-fund or investors' club, managed with concern for investor rate of return as well as benefit for Nepal. With all the concern for Nepal's development that flows over TND's pages between well-off PhD's, MD's, and engineers, I suspect some investment vehicles of the sort already exist. Please let me know at the address below and/or via TND.

Regards, Ken Pumford kpumford@umich.edu

**************************************************************** Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 11:49:43 +0100 (BST) From: Khadga Man Samyuhang <K.M.Samyuhang@reading.ac.uk> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: TITARBITAR

Why only MATAWALESES are recruted in British Army and not to CHHETRI AND BAHUN by the british govt.? I am very interested to known about this matter, I therefore welcomes to all views/arguments on this matter from all Nepalese or British friends. Thanks you for your cooperatin.

********************************************************************* Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 10:34:41 +0530 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: og13@cornell.edu (Om Gurung) Subject: Helicopter crash

        According to Radio Nepal of August 14, 1995, a army helicopter crashed near Bheri river in West Nepal. The helicopter was flying from Nepalganja to Kathmandu carrying the Prime Minister Mr. Mana Mohan Adhikari and M.P of dissolved parliament Mr Bamadeva Gautam. According to the source, Mr. prime Minister has broken one of his hands and Mr. Gautam his head. Two Helicopter pilots were seriously injured. No body knows the cause of accident. But the care taker government of UML has already set up a committee of 9 memebers to investigate the casue of the accident.

******************************************************************** Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 12:22:48 -0400 (EDT) From: Bhanu Neupane u <neup2011@mach1.wlu.ca> Subject: Volunteer To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

Dear Editor,

Count me in! And best of luck with your volunteer-hunt.

Bhanu

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 13:01:46 -0400 (EDT) From: Pradeep Bista <pbista@xser.sci.ccny.cuny.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Chautari Home Page on WWW

Chautari can now be seen on the World Wide Web. The URL is:
                http://www.sci.ccny.cuny.edu/~pbista/chautari

Please note the following before you browse:

1. Due to the English/Nepali, as well as the image content (cartoon, for now) of the publication, Chautari home page contains the scanned pages of the actual newsletter.

2. The image files take time to load; this means you have to be patient. The complete 12 pages (for the August 1995 issue) takes about one and a half minutes to load up. If you have a slow internet connection, you might be left hanging.

3. Because of the image attribute of the pages, text-only browsers (eg; lynx) will not give you anything.

PS: WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR ARTICLES IN BOTH ENGLISH AND NEPALI FOR OUR SEPTEMBER 1995 ISSUE, PLEASE SEND YOUR ARTICLES ASAP. THE ADDRESS IS: 45-13 79 ST ELMHURST NY 11373

YOU CAN E-MAIL ARTICLES IN ENGLISH (OR SCAN ARTICLES IN NEPALI) AND ATTACH IT TO YOUR E-MAIL CORRESPONDENCE.

--Pradeep

*********************************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: U.S. Visa: a response to millerdd's views on "Sponsoring Visitor" Date: Wed, 16 Aug 95 17:18:19 EDT From: rshresth@BBN.COM

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

        This is in response to millerdd@aol.com's response to "sponsoring a visitor." I hope that this reply will also get posted in the TND.

        Millerdd, who once worked in Nepal as a Peace Corps volunteer, wrote : "I disagree, [I] don't blame the U.S. embassy for their strictness in distributing visas to Nepalese."
        
        I think millerdd completely missed the point: the Nepalese--at least the ones who have been posting on this thread lately--are angry not at the strictness per se, but at the ARBITRARINESS of visa issuing officials at U.S. embassies. Whether or not you get a visa to the U.S. is now more or less based on the whims of immigration officials at U.S. embassies.
        
        Consider the case of the person who posted the "Sponsoring a Visitor" piece: her brother-in-law was denied visa because he was "too handsome," and could therefore get married in the U.S.!
        
        This kind of "harassment" is not only limited to the U.S. embassy in Kathmandu; I have heard of similar whimsical behaviors in U.S. embassies in other parts of the world too.

        Consider this case of a Nepalese friend of mine I have known for a few years. He, a bona fide student in the U.S., went to a Latin American country over the summer. When he applied for visa to come back to the U.S., he was told that he needs to go to Nepal to get his visa to return to the U.S.! That's not all; a friend of his from Spain, who was also a student like himself, was, however, given a visa. The only difference was that the Nepalese guy went to a window different from the window the Spanish guy had gone.
(The embassies have rows of windows, and each one of them has an immigration councilor, and you are supposed--after staying in line for a couple of hours-- to go to whichever window is free at your turn.)
        
        The Nepalese guy told the official that he doesn't speak Spanish, all his belongings are in the U.S., he has return ticket only for the U.S., and that he doesn't have money to go back to Nepal. But to no avail. She-- the official--just told him, from behind the thick glass window, in a cold voice,
"I have already spent enough time with you," and gestured the next person in line to come to the window, as if to say to him "I don't even want to talk to you. Get out."
        
        It was very embarrassing for the Nepalese guy to be treated like that in front of everyone. He just went to the window where his Spanish friend was getting his visa, and told the other councilor his situation. The other councilor then went back, and talked to the official with whom he had talked the first time. Only after much convincing, and a voice test to see how well he spoke English, did they gave him a visa.
        
        If millerdd finds the above incident hard to relate to, he/she might want to try to imagine the following reverse-role scenario:
        
        You, as a peace corp volunteer decide to go to Sri Lanka to travel after spending a year in Nepal. You have all the stuff you brought from the U.S.--pictures of your family, your favorite music tapes, letters from your friends, most of your belonging, and your money--still in Nepal, and after traveling in Sri Lanka for about two weeks, you run out of money. It is time for you to go back to Nepal, you decide. But when you go to the Nepalese Embassy in Sri Lanka to get your visa to go back to Nepal, the Nepalese immigration official tells you: "You have to go to the U.S. to get your visa to go back to Nepal." He however, decides to give visa to your Mexican friend, who also came with you from Nepal. (Maybe because he looks like a Nepalese, you know, just like the way the Spanish guy who got the visa looks like a
"typical" white American?) How would you feel?
        
        Nepalese are not the only ones who are being singled out. I have also heard of similar incidents that happened to Indian students. I have had extensive hands-on experience with Indian and Nepalese education systems, and for that reason I am more familiar with the visa problems faced by students.
        
        I really don't think that the Nepalese are saying that visas to the U.S. should given to them without any "trouble"; all they are asking for is that the decision to grant or deny a visa should be based on some reasonable law, that is uniform, and consistent in all U.S. Embassies. It is basically a matter of justice and fairness. What they cannot stand is this arbitrary decision, based on a five-minute interview across an impersonal glass, that can change all your future plans, dreams, hopes, and, in some cases, even risk losing lives--like in the case of the person who couldn't accompany his niece for her surgery in the U.S. because he is "too handsome." Everyone deserves an answer for his/her denial of the visa based on specific law; not just because the visa councilor "thinks" that the person will not come back.
        
        Whose fault is it that so many Nepalese students now want to come to study in the U.S. ? In the late 1980's lots of American college presidents and other admission representatives (and sometimes organizations like American Nepal Education Foundation--headed by an Oregonian Dr. Hugh Wood) from the U.S. gave talks to hundreds of Nepalese students at Everest hotel, Shanker Hotel etc. teaching them how to apply to U.S. institutions. Most of them said that you had to be among top 3% to get admission at colleges. They normally gave out applications materials, and gave the impression that it is really "good" to go to study in the U.S. Therefore, the blame for increased interest in the Nepalese wanting to study in the U.S. also falls on American "recruiters."

        Is the anger of a Nepalese student who has been denied his first visa justified? Let's say that after hearing these talks by different admissions officials, you--as a student--spent Rs. 700 a month learning English at an English language institute in Gairidhara, taught by an American college student; Rs. 5,000 (approx. $100)--about two months of your father's salary-- on taking TOEFL, GRE, and sending the score reports; and another Rs. 10,000
(approx. $200) on admission fees; and probably another Rs. 1000 on mailings to send in your applications. Finally, you get an admission at a university. And after obtaining your I-20 form you go to the American Embassy, and pay up
$16 (I guess that's the visa fee these days, but I could be wrong) for visa. By this time, you have spent a lots of money, even by the U.S. standards, but now you are talking about a country with a per capita income of less than $240
(has it gone up now?) After having spent all that money, you go to the immigration official behind the window, and he/she after looking at your papers for three minutes says to you: "Sorry, I think you are going to the U.S. to work. Visa denied." All your preparations, hopes and everything gone down the drain in three minutes. Wouldn't you be angry too?
        
        Is it then too much to ask of the embassy officials to post the documents needed to obtain a student visa outside the embassy, the documents all of which if submitted would automatically guarantee the applicant a visa?
        
        Maybe the fault does not lie in its entirety with the immigration official at the embassy, but, if they at least had a sign outside saying that these are the documents that you need if you want to go to study in the U.S., don't you think that that would have at least saved the student $16 visa fee?

        millerdd also wrote about the fact that how he helped his tour guide to come to the U.S., and that the guide never returned to Nepal. From this he seemed to have derived his main thesis that "I don't blame the U.S. embassy for their strictness in distributing visas to Nepalese." I think this is nothing but a hasty generalization. While I was in Nepal I met lots of people in Nepal who had been trained in the U.S. There were people from Columbia, Yale at the Ministry of Justice; people trained at Iowa State in Agriculture Development organizations; even in business fields there are people like Mani Harsa--I could have gotten the names confused between son/father--(one of the most successful business people in Nepal) who were educated at Harvard Business School. Even now, as I am writing this, Suman Manandhar, who graduated with a degree in software engineering from MIT is developing internet infrastructure in Nepal.
        
        It is true that some do end up staying in the U.S., but then again, didn't thousands of Americans who came to Nepal on 15-day tourist visas, also end up staying for years during the 1960's and 70's--Vietnam war era--as Hippies? At that time, as far as I can remember, Nepalese took them in and accepted them as guests.
        
        millerdd wrote: "The embassy hassled me for having written his [the tour guide's] recommendation, and told me that this was not unusual. In fact, 75% of the Nepalese that come to the U.S. stay and work illegally. For single Nepali males, the rate is even higher."

        I find it hard to believe that 75% of Nepalese in the U.S. work illegally, simply for the fact that, because of federal rules and regulations, no business can hire a person without proper documentation. I guess by
"illegal" millerdd meant without proper paper work, and not something like sellingdrugs, or similar activities.
        
        Even if the embassy people meant to say that 75% of the Nepalese who come to the U.S. eventually stay in the U.S., I would find even that hard to believe. I have a letter in front of me from Pamela G. Poon, Executive Director of the United States Educational Foundation in Nepal, dated September 28, 1988, in which she wrote: "[Nepalese students] enjoy one of the highest return rates in the world."
          
        Granted that things could have changed since 1988, and even if the embassy people had figures to say that X number of people went to study in the U.S., but only Y number of people returned to Nepal, that does not necessarily mean that X-Y, that is, X minus Y, people, stayed in the U.S.: these students could have gone anywhere else in the world. I have seen Nepalese professionals in many parts of the world, from Japan to Germany. When I called up this Nepalese student of mine, he said that the last time he left the U.S. to go to Nepal, it was only when he reached Hong Kong that he realized that the airlines people had forgotten to take his departure card from his passport. Therefore, it is very hard, if not impossible, to come up with the figures that millerdd quoted.
       
        Is it really bad that Nepalese are working in countries (U.S. or other countries) other than their own? Off course not. When I was in Brazil, I saw recent American college graduates working there; when I was in Austria, I saw American college students working as translators; there are Americans working even in India. So why shouldn't Nepalese be allowed to work elsewhere too? Why is that people expect every Nepalese student to go back, and work in Nepal? Isn't that double standard? They have as much right as any American to work and live where they like. It is part of the great global movement.
        
        Even if the Nepalese in the U.S. are working illegally--a proposition which I find hard to believe--I have no objections to their working here for two reasons: First, this country, unlike any other country in the world, is made up of immigrants (the Irish came to America to escape starvation due to potato drought; Eastern Europeans also came to the U.S. in the late 19th century and early 20th century to escape poverty and prosecution). These earlier immigrants themselves came to escape poverty, and worked whatever jobs they could get to better themselves; so how can these people and their descendants say that the work done by the Nepalese in the U.S. is illegal? Therefore, if any Nepalese comes to the U.S. and works here, they are only pursuing what all the immigrants here did before--pursuing their right to life, liberty, freedom, and pursuit of happiness.
        
        Second, even in Nepal, I have seen many American students and scholars working in schools like St. Xavier's, and teaching English at local schools. Nobody ever questioned their legality. Therefore, the Nepalese have a right to work wherever they want without any paper work ("illegally" according to millerdd's defintion) just by the virtue of the fact that Americans do the same in Nepal.

        What can the Nepalese do? Should the Nepalese also deny visa to an American every time a Nepalese is denied visa? There are lots of American students coming to study in Nepal these days--at Lincoln school and other schools. Maybe harass them a little bit; give them the first visa to come to study in Nepal, and after they have brought all their belongings there, deny them the second visa? Something like during the cold war: when the Americans expelled some Russian spies, the Russian also expelled some American spies.
        
        I am sure many Americans have also been unjustly treated by Nepalese immigration officers; but that does not justify the current attitude of U.S. immigration officials in its embassies--the U.S. should be held to a higher standard because, unlike Nepal, it is a superpower, it has greater resources, and manpower, and does not face the kind of problems that Nepal faces day to day.

        But, in all seriousness, do we always have to go to the lowest denominator? Whoever among the two is worse, the other also has to go down to that level? Surely, Nepal and the U.S. could do better than that.

        Here are a few suggestions:

1) The U.S. should remove any personal discretionary power from visa issuing officials at its embassies, except in cases that would be advantageous to the visa applicant, or that would pose a threat to the security of the U.S. government.

2) The issuance, or denial of visa should be based on some legal rules that should be posted outside the embassy.
        
        For example, one of the rules could say, something to the effect of:
                     
        As long as a student has obtained an admission at a University or
        college in the U.S. and has obtained an I-20 form, and can provide the
        bank statement to the effect he/she will get the visa.
                          
        That way, any student who meets the criterion will know that he or she can get a visa for sure, and not have the visa denied just because the official thinks something else.
        3) The INS should inform all the international offices at different colleges and universities to tell their students to take certain documents with them when going to back to their country, or any other country, and that as long as they have those documents they would definitely be granted another visa. Right now, even though officially the only thing that is required is the signed I-20 form, the officials at embassies have been known to ask for transcripts, etc. And that the students are supposed to meet certain GPA etc. How are the students supposed to know that unless they are told even before they leave? That way the visa official will not be able to deny visa to anyone based on his or her "arbitrary" decision, and his own "made-on-the-spot" rules.
         4) There should be a higher authority to whom people could appeal to if they really felt that there has been injustice. To reduce the paperwork, certain criterion could be instituted before any appeals are accepted. Right now, in my opinion, even the ambassador at the embassy cannot do much to change the visa councilor's decision.
        5) Once the visa has been issued, there should be no restriction on what kind of work the person can do during the time visa is valid. Of course, exceptions can be made in works related to national security. This itself, assuming that the laws that relate to granting of visas are clearly stated without any ambiguity, and any "arbitrary" power given to the visa official has been removed, will save lots of internal paperwork, and greatly increase tax revenue (there would then be no incentive to do illegal work, assuming there are any).
         6) And the visa issuing officials have to learn to that every visa applicant has a right to be treated with respect.
        7) The American people, and visa issuing officials, and people like millerdd have to accept that even if people do decide to stay in the U.S. it is eventually good for the U.S. It is because of the zeal of new immigrants like these that the U.S. is what it is today.

        And you cannot say that the Nepalese have to stay back in Nepal to develop Nepal either. Should the emigrations of Jews from German and Poland have been stopped after the second war because their coming over would have slowed down the development processes in German and Poland? People like Albert Einstein, and Teller (father of Atomic Bomb) were also foreign scholars, and their working in the U.S. greatly contributed to the betterment of the U.S., and world at large.

8) Millerdd was right when he said that there are people from other countries who are more deserving of emigration to the U.S. Even though, that is the reality, the current immigration rules favor rich western countries. I know a lot of people from German, Austria, Spain who came to the U.S. for a short visit and eventually decided to stay here forever. Their staying hasn't caused anyone to even flutter their eye-lids. They can come without a visa
[is it only tourist visa?], unlike poor Mexicans who usually get shown on TV trying to crawl across the border at night.

        In fact, there appeared an article in a prominent newspaper recently
(I forgot the name of the paper ) in which it was stated that more immigrants come from Europe--they just come down the plane wearing dark glasses, big straw hats, while holding small colorful umbrellas in their hands, and then go quietly to stay with their Greek, Irish, or Italian relatives--than from Mexico.
        
        If the sufferings in a country is the sole criterion, as millerdd would like to have, then the visa application fee, the documents one needs to provide for visa application (all according to explicit written rules) should be made more lax for people from countries like Rwanda, Somalia and Bosnia, than for people from Nepal. But still, there should not be any personal
"arbitrary" powers in the hands of visa officials.

9) The U.S. government has to realize that often times the visa councilors are overworked. For this reason, the U.S. government should consider increasing the number of visa councilors to reduce their workloads, or increase their salaries. Given the fact that the first and usually lasting impression of a person about a country is usually formed by the behavior of the visa issuing official, it is a small price to pay.

         Even though I disagreed with most of what millerdd had to say, I would like to thank him/her for bringing out this important issue. People in the U.S. should not view my remarks as an attack on their national self-respect. No country is perfect; it is only through open and frank discussions like this that things can be made better.

- Anonymous

*************************************************************** From: Scdietri@sip.EUnet.fr Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 16:17:09 cdt Subject: !!!!!!!bpkoriala!!!!!!!!! To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

please keep me informed. has the bp koirala legacy been completely forgetten or discredited or what. i do not understand how the nepalese people could have so quickly done away with the history and sacrifice of koirala's teachings and leadership example. i lived with bp for several years in the us and in kathmandu, and it is striking how little reference is attributed to his contribution lifelong to building solid foundations for democracy. i regret terribly not having written and published my book on koriala, if only to it would have served to preserve that memory for the people and history. christopher dietrich, friend of nepal, former director koriala defense fund (members included bruno kreisky, willy brandt, philip noel baker, hans janitschek)

************************************************************ Date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 08:04:11 -0400 From: IN%"msharma@vt.edu" 16-AUG-1995 15:40:40.39 Subj: Nepal update

This is the recent news about Nepal I received from Dr. Karki today.

"The PM and his team met helicopter accident on Monday but escaped from lifethreatening injury in Nepalganj area. The pilot says it was the first such successful crashlanding in the World. They are all in the hospitals. At the IOF a commission is examining re. student complains so it is quiet for sometime. The Supreme court will decide on Aug 28 re. PM's advice to the King and NC/RP are ready to form govt. if parliament is restored and go for electoral alliance if elections are to be held. Ganeshman is back to Congress, Janjagaran is now a part of NC, all NC party rebels to be given pardon etc. More later, Madhav."

  Mahadev

*************************************************************** Date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 20:43:21 -0700 From: nrb957802@rccvax.ait.ac.th (Shyam Sundar Shrestha) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: 21 nepali took Ph. D. and Master Degree from AIT

The Editor, TND I will appreciate if you could kindly publish this news in your TND. Thank you very much. Sincerely Yours Shyam Sundar Shrestha General Secretary AIT Nepali Samaj

In this term, among 7 Ph. D. candidates 4 Nepali received Ph. D. Degree from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok. Similarly, among 192 master degree candidates, 17 are Nepali. Names of those successful Nepali scholars are given below:

1. Mr. Ammorottam Shrestha - Ph. D., Computer SCience 2. Mr. Indra Prasad Tiwari - ,, Human Settlements Development 3. Mr. Ek Raj Ojha ,, ,, 4. Mrs. Mona Shrestha ,, ,, 5. Mr. P. L. Raj bhandari - Master, Natural Resources 6. Mr. Awadh Kishor Sah ,, ,, 7. Mr. Tana Gautam ,, ,, 8. Mrs. Ishara Mahat ,, Human Settlements Development 9. Mr. Laxmi Sharma ,, ,, 10. Mrs. Sangeeta Sharma ,, ,, 11. Mrs. Pushpa Gimire Niraula,, ,, 12. Mr. Raj Kumar Thapa ,, Energy Technology 13. Mr. Mahen Sharma ,, ,, 14. Mr. Keshab P. Pokharel ,, ,, 15. Mr. Bishnu Hari Devkota ,, Environmental Engineering 16. Mr. Nav Raj Khatiwada ,, ,, 17. Mr. Suman P. Sharma ,, ,, 18. Mr. Birendra Man Pradhan ,, ,, 19. Mr. Chandra Shekhar Yadav ,, ,, 20. Mr. Ramji P. Neupane ,, Agriculture and Food Engineering 21. Mrs. Niru Dahal Pandey ,, ,,

*********************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: How's Informatization/ Computers in Nepal ?? Date: Thu, 17 Aug 95 10:38:58 EDT From: manuel@ccs.neu.edu (Manuel Freitas)

Hi,

Last year I spent some time traveling through the Far East, including Nepal and I couldn't help notice the fast advances in all high tech industry. Mostly, how people and companies depend more and more on the use of computers.

Amongst all the countries that I visited, Nepal seemed to be the country where computers are not very much used, although I believe that that will be just a matter of time.

When I say that computers are not very widespread I don't mean just the simple use of a PC but more in terms of computer networking or the informatization of a given industry or company.

As a Computer Science college student from Portugal I have particular interest in knowing what your opinions are regarding this topic. Better even if there are any Nepali Computer Science students out there.

Thanks in advance,
        -- Manuel.

***************************************************************** Date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 17:17:17 GMT+0200 From: PANDEY@ITC.NL Subject: subscription To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

Please subscribe me The Nepal Digest in pandey@itc.nl Thank You.

********************************************************************* From: shrestha@zfn.uni-bremen.de (Madhur Shrestha) Subject: You can work with SeaGate! To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 22:23:01 +0200 (DFT)

Dear Editor,

I would be thankful, if you could put the following information in your Nepal Digest. I believe it helps many people.

                 Computer professional required!
                         --------------

If you are computer professional or anything related to computer, and wish to do something in Kathmandu, please contact the following address:

SeaGate Computer Institute P O Box 748 Kathmandu Nepal

Tel 00977 1 522289
    00977 1 522566 Fax 00977 1 227873

Get job without experience and get experience without job!

We would definitely enjoy working with you.

********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 13:31:24 -0700 (PDT) From: Karmacharya <amresh@wsunix.wsu.edu> To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: tnd subscription

Dear Editor,

I asked you to postpone the subscription of TND in my previous address. Now I am at Pullman, WA and I would like to request you the resumption of the subscription in the following new address, amresh@wsunix.wsu.edu .

I hope to read next issue of TND at the earliest possible. I have always enjoyed it.

Amresh.

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