The Nepal Digest - September 3, 1995 (20 Bhadra 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Sunday 3 September 95: Bhadra 20 2052 BkSm Volume 42 Issue 2

 * 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, 18 Aug 1995 22:15:43 -0500 (EST) From: To:,,, Description: Bad Media Cover on Nepal...

Bad Media Cover on Nepal...
  In the three years I have been in US, the entire coverage of any news on Nepal would be less than one paragraph. And in the meantime, there have been massive floods that killed over 3000, massive upheavals in politics, a few mountaneering events, so when I see an entire column dedicated to Nepal in op-ed pages, you can imagine how excited I was.
  I was quickly deflated, however, after reading the column by reknowned travel syndicated columnist Richard Reeves piece entitled, "Time traveling in today's Nepal," which may have appeared in some fifty papers all over US. Mr. Reeves, according to my information, spend 4 days in Kathmandu during Monsoon after 2 days of jet travel and he was thoroughly disappointed. I refer interested readers to the full article but i give some of the quotes from that article:
  Note bracketed info is my commentary/.
"Going to Nepal is time travel. I do not mean that as a compliment... In real life and real time, nonfiction Nepal is a perverse tribute to modernity."
  Reeve makes fun of the Nepalese attempt at modernity by noting how his name is entered into a ibm computer at the terminal and then is taken back to the technological antediluvian age of pressing his signature through carbon papers while he gets his 48,000 rupiahs for $ 1 ,[ he must be in a haze of Indonesian currency and Nepalese consciousness here]
  To make it sound the worse creepy disgusting first impression here is his drive from the airport:
"Driving from the airport, we weave through {note expressways of the West} bony cows (sacred ){only beef cows of brazil get fat on tropical forests for us mcdonalds} and the bodies of dead dogs with their legs pointing to the sky in rigor mortis, and through muddy piles of garbage (what do you expect in a monsoon season?), food for living scavenger dogs and rats, both of which are sacred to Nepalese who believe in reincarnation (an obvious put down on Nepalese counter modern irrationality, of course). One of the signs along the broken road reads, "Leprosy Station" (he must really have hunted around to see this sign, which i have never seen on the route from the Airport.)
  He describes coollies breaking stones in the kingdome Rajesh is excited about entering into the exciting world of computers and software engineering export
(see TND) and writes:
"On the ridein , my 10-year old daughter Fiona, asked: "If they have a king, why doesn't he do more for his people?" {I ask myself the same question both of Nepal to those who say the king is the symbol of unity for this poor country and to americans who are so rich as a nation but has homeless on the streets, why?). "It is the filthiest place she has ever seen. It is, in fact the filthiest place my wife, Catherine O'Neill, and I have ever seen, and she has worked in most of the world's refuggee camps, most recently in Rwanda."(i wonder how many people smile in Rwanda with all that civil war compared to the relatively peace loving and happy kingdom, Nepal?).
"Nepal is a miserable place. The mortality rate fornew borns is as high as 50% in countryside, half the babies die before they reach age 5. That has something to do with the fact mothers in after-birth have traditionally been seen as "unclean." New mothers nursing their babies are often sent to live in cow sheds for two weeks. Great!" {What dramatic stereotyping of Nepal's Hindu customs, I though Tilak Shresth, who is waxing eloquent about Hindu religion inthe TND, argued that things were not so bad when Pramod Misra brought his series on Women in Hinduism).
  Reeves relates an incident about a teenager who came up to his sone in Bhaktapur and asked him where he was from. "Los Angeles" he replied. to which the nepali teenager remarked, "Hollywood, Gunss. Drugs"
"Fair enough" Reeves concedes.
  summarized by Amulya Tuladhar Clark University USA

************************************************************ Date: Sat, 19 Aug 1995 16:12:24 -0600 (MDT) From: Samira Luitel <> To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - August 18, 1995 (4 Bhadra 2052 BkSm)

Hi Hariji,

It was really a great pleasure to know that yoy have already completed your degree. Have you been offered a job in the Connecticut University? congratulations. We do talk about you most of the time. Especilly Bejuna and Bidya Nath. perhaps you don't remember me. I know you when you worked in a project at Cerid. I can still remember your dance at Dakshinkali picnic. You were really a jolly fellow. We heard about your family from Hridaya and we were expecting you in Edmonton but you did not appear. We had planned to visit Vancuver this summer but could not work out. We hoped we missed you too. We used to say Hari Koirala is in Vancouver as if just in our neighbourhood. But now you will be away too. Time has moved so fast. I am hoping to complete my Ph.D this fall. I would also like to stay here for sometime (in US not in Canada) but how and wher to apply? I had not a thought to stay here anymore but now it seems going back to Nepal is even worst than this. Please reply soon you receive this e-mail and forward your e-mail address from your new place so that i can contact you. Convey my best wishes to your family.


************************************************************* To: Subject: Arun III Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 14:39:51 EDT From: Shreekrishna Pandey <skpandey@MIT.EDU>

This is a reply to the article lamenting the loss of Arun III (TND Aug 18th). Six pages of bad format notwithstanding, I took the time to follow through the article to the end. Although I am yet to figure out the writer of the article, I can tell that the writer knows NOTHING about the technical aspects of the behemoth project.

He mentions that most of the arguments opposing the project fail to convince him. However his list of unconvincing arguments is incomplete, and it so happens that the arguments he omits is THE most important reason that establishes the malign nature of Arun III. The argument? That of CAPABILITY BUILDING and SUSTAINABILITY. The two foremost NGOs in Nepal which campaigned for the cancellation of Arun III are Alliance for Energy and Arun Concerned Group. AE is a group of professionals - ranging from economists to environmentalists to electrical engineers - who by much careful calculations and research established why Arun III is very expensive compared to other alternatives. ACG campaigned mostly on matters of legality of the way WB and the Government are hiding information from the public. Later, a case filed in the Supreme Court ordered the Government to make public all the documents related to Arun III.

Unless the writer can establish Nepalis are richer than Americans, he has good reason not to be unconvinced by the argument that Nepalis will NOT be able to afford Arun electricity. Do you know the per unit cost of electricity from Arun? It has been proved the per unit cost would be 9-10 cents! My goodness! That is almost twice the rate that they charge here in the U.S.! And do you know how much does it cost to generate 1 kW of electricity from Arun III? $3800!! You can verify if you wish ($764 million for 201 MW). You mention:

>>But my impression was that the Arun
>>possessed large potential for cheap electricity

Well, sorry. Don't argue on impressions; argue on FACTS.

And yet, private power companies in Nepal are doing a good job spending less than $2000 for a kilowatt when they take on medium sized projects. Not surprisingly, Arun III is one of the most - perhaps the most - expensive hydroelectric project in the world! And that too, in a country renowned for huge potential. As lately as last year, when the electricity tariff was increased to approximately Rs 3 per unit, there was much resentment and protest among the people in Kathmandu. So much for Nepalis being able to afford Arun electricity.

Another important thing the writer is missing concerns the distribution of power from Arun III if ever it had been completed. He notes:

>>> Now in Nepal, if Arun III had gone on to be a complete project, every villa
>>>could have had at least electricity.
>>>I want ever
>>>villager, living in the far off hills or the interior Terai, to have every
>>>ort of a city
>>>dweller. And for all this, Arun III was a must.

How funny is that? Your fervent hopes of Arun electricity going to different hilly terrains and parts of Terai where people use kerosene lamp are based on wrong information. Note that Arun III has no provision to make electricity available to villages. The electricity gets connected to the national grid and people of Kathmandu enjoy full 24 hours of electricity while the plight of people in the villages remains. They say it will be too expensive to connect isolated villages to the grid. True! That's why we need to trash Arun III for the moment and focus on other smaller alternatives designed mostly to meet the local requirements without too much emphasis on grid connection. And you may find it heartening to know that there are villages where such projects have been successful. Take the case of Ghandrung, or Mustang where medium sized projects designed to meet local requirements have been completed at a surprisingly cheap price. Further, they were constructed to a large part by local manpower and even today are managed by people in the village. So, wake up! Arun was not about to revolutionalize the lives of villagers.

It is now time to forget Arun for the moment and focus on other smaller alternatives. Those can be handled by local manufacturers, engineers and entrepreneurs with some support from foreign countries. This will give a big boost to the fledgling hydroelectricity industry in Nepal, and as they gather more experience and become more capable, they will be able to take on projects on the magnitude of Arun, and maybe Arun itself. This is called CAPABILITY BUILDING. Arun could be cheaper and affordable when done locally.

Another crucial thing to note is the long gestation period of Arun III, which is estimated to take a decade to complete. That means for ten years there will be not even a single unit of electricity from Arun! And suddenly when it is completed, it will be found that even 201 MW will not be enough to offset the balance between demand and supply at that time (assuming present rate of growth of demand). What a sad situation that will be! So the ticket is NOT Arun. Rather, it is the development of short term alternatives that will foment distributed and sustainable development and contribute to capability building.

Comments are welcome. Shree Krishna Pandey

************************************************************************** Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 21:40:57 -0500 (CDT) From: Subject: A Poem dedicated to Yale University To:
                     INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE WALL
                               by Robin Panday

                          On the journey of awaitingg
                           The arrival of the guests
                  The greetings, it was diplomatic and mild
                       The usual handshakes and smileses
                  Then there was the smile, so familiar to me
                   The smile that stopped me for a moment
                 That moment I felt like I know her for years
                    I looked at her eyes, it was beautiful
                   I know I have never seen in her before

                  There is the transparent wall around me
                     Then there is the guard, my ego
                    It does not permit myself to jump
              I have jumped once I fell and broke my bones
              Inside the wall I am protected but not free
                    I am waiting to go out and be free

             I waited if she can hear me, but I did not cry for it
                           My ego wouldn't let me
                         I wanted to break the wall
                 The wall made out of academic knowledge
                            It is indestructible

                  Perhaps my head can open the door for me
                   That night I talk to the head in depthh
                    I let my heart join the conversation
                     My heart seldom wins over my headead
                 But this time my heart celebrated the victory

                        The door on the wall opened up
                           I was able to picture her
                               She is beautiful
            It was the smile, eyes and face I have been looking for
                        I have come outside of the door
              I went to the garden and picked some roses for her

**************************************************************** Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 17:11:26 -1000 From: Ratna Shrestha <> To: Subject: Anti-child labor policies:A critical Review

Recently, the issue of child labor in Nepal has been a matter of great concern for many TND/SCN readers. Although child labor is not a new practice in Nepal, its use in carpet factories has drawn central attention as it is the principal earner of foreign currency. There is no doubt that children should be going to school, not working in the factories. Unfortunately, many LDCs including Nepal need to go a long way before school can become a reality. Nevertheless, govt can do a lot to mitigate the exploitation of children through appropriate policy tools. Govt should evaluate every possible outcome of a policy tool before its implementation. Over the past months many TND readers have proposed excellent ideas as possible solution to the problem. In what follows I have made some critical review of those ideas.
        A complete crackdown (CC) on it can spur even more serious problems. The unemployed children can end up in brothels or streets or the Indian dhawas. Child labor is not a separate issue that we can treat independent of our socio-economic reality like robbery, gangs, drugs, etc., which call for a complete crackdown.
        The threat of Germans and other European buyers to boycott carpets produced by child labor has persuaded the Nepalese govt to devise a system of distributing child labor free certificates (CLFC). Only the carpets with this certificate qualify for export. This system has satisfied the foreign buyers to some extent, but the system is not free from problems. It can brew a covert link between the bureaucrats and the factory owners; bureaucrats can exchange the certificate for commission or bribes. Moreover, the monitoring of the diffused factories, to determine if they employ children can be a very costly affair.
        An alternative to the above system is a minimum wage legislation
(MWL). Unlike CLFC system, MWL induces children or their families to speak against any underpayment as theyll have the legal right to do so; no monitoring is necessary. Our legal system will be responsible to ensure commensurable pay for every worker. Such a legislation will help strengthen our judiciary system. One netter questioned the relevancy of MWL in earlier postings as the works are done through contracts, not daily wages. But it is important to note that even in contract system, the contractor has to employ workers and pay wages. In this case MWL applies to the contractors who directly employ the workers. If the contractors are their family members, then MWL is of little help. The other disadvantage of MWL is that it makes Nepalese carpets relatively expensive and less competitive in the international market.
        Moreover there is one fundamental difference between the above two systems. The former (CLFC) is equivalent to the CC in the long run whereas the latter (MWL) simply prevents the exploitation of children (or any other workers) beyond the acceptable limit.
        The School lunch program will complement the above systems but in itself may not be a complete solution. It can hardly attract the Nepalese children, particularly those working in the carpet factories. They can earn more working in the factories than going to the school (I mean lunch). However, MWL and SLP can have synergistic effect to each other if implemented together. With increased income as the result of MWL, children will work fewer hours and can find some extra time to go to school. Then if SLP is in effect, children will find school more attractive. However, SLP can be very costly and may face many other implementation problems.

Ratna K. Shrestha Hawaii

************************************************************** Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 11:40:02 -0500 (EST) From: Subject: Reeve's portrayal of Nepal

Dear Editor:

For the six years I have spent in US, a citizen of Nepal, like me, has not seen so many words devoted to Nepal as Richard Reeves has done in his article:
"Time traveling in today's Nepal," a commentary that appeared in your paper on August 17, 1995.

And it was not complimentary. Since 1983, when I first entered US, there have been revolutions, floods that killed 3000, several who have scaled Himalayan peaks, but for Reeves, Nepal is a "muddy, miserable, filthy country worse than Rwanda ... where the King does not care if young boys have to crack rocks the size of footballs for road gravel; and where new mothers nursing their babies are often sent to live in cow sheds for two weeks because the Hindu religion considers them unclean."

Reeves' ramble seems to be a dyspeptic and confused jumble of facts, fiction, and bias resulting from a short, hectic world travel on 22 hours of jet flight. Most of his "historical facts" of Nepal obviously come from some travel book he was reading on the plane where he looked up the currency rate for Nepal (Rupees 49.80 to $1) and ended up with that of Indonesia which is "48,000 rupiah to a $1."

In his desire to run-down Nepal, he has generalised the impression of a dirty part of the city for the entire country.This is as unfair as the impression I made of entire US when I saw the filth and poverty of DC Dupont Circle and experienced the dread of running into armed muggers after a lifetime of fantasizing about glassy skyscrapers, free citizens, and open stretches of the Midwest that graced the pages of
"Swotantra Viswo" or "Free World," a magazine published by the US Information Agency in Nepal.

His characterization of Bhaktapur, for instance, as a town of of "spectacular but decaying Hindu temples" is surely meant to incite an
'Orientalist' snicker; for his information, Bhaktapur has had German help in restoring the original architecture and arts for the last decade and half so well that Bernando Bertoloucci used this city as a backdrop of his
"Little Buddha" kingdom of yore.

Had Reeves visited Nepal in a non-Monsoon season (where everything is muddy) and hopped to see Pokhara, took a mountain flight over the Himalayas, swung to the Tiger Tops to see tigers and rhinos, he would have known why tourism remains the biggest source of foreign income in this country. I invite Reeves to visit Nepal at a more relaxed pace so he can see a little more instead of sticking to his unfair impressions.


Amulya R. Tuladhar Clark University Worcester, MA 01610

************************************************************* To: Subject: World Bank considers Nepali power fund Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 12:04:33 -0400 From: Amrit R Pant <arp@lhotse.LCS.MIT.EDU>

         KATHMANDU, Aug 18 (Reuter) - The World Bank, which earlier this month dropped its support for a big hydroelectric dam in Nepal, said on Friday it was considering setting up a fund to finance smaller power projects in the Himalayan kingdom.
         The bank said it hoped the fund would help develop the remote Arun valley in the eastern reaches of the land-locked nation without overburdening its finances or damaging the environment.
         "We cannot run away from our responsibility for the development of the Arun valley," World Bank vice-president Joseph Wood told reporters at the end of three days of talks with the country's communist rulers.
         The World Bank decided earlier this month to drop plans to lend US$175 million from its concessional arm, the International Development Association, to build a 201-megawatt hydroelectric project in the Arun valley.
         The bank said Nepal's finances were inadequate to implement the $764 million Arun III project and it would prefer to support small and medium-sized projects, less environmentally controversial, to meet the country's electricity needs.
         Nepal, which can generate 200 megawatts of electricity, against a peak hour demand of 244 megawatts, is among the world's richest countries in terms of hydropower potential, which exceeds 83,000 megawatts.
         But only 10 percent of its 20 million people have access to electricity, and the country is among the world's 10 poorest in terms of national income.
         The backward Arun valley in eastern Nepal is home to some 450,000 people, most of them subsistence farmers. The power project would have meant the construction of a 120-km (80-mile) road, giving them access to far-off markets.
         The project would also have created some much-needed jobs.
         Analysts said a separate fund would be jeopardised if the cash-starved government failed to come up with its share.
         "The bank's support depends on the availability of money for the counterpart fund, which is the necessary commitment of the government to take loans and grants from donors," said Binayak Bhadra, of the Centre for Economic Development and Administration.
         "Foreign aid disbursement is already falling because there is no money for the counterpart fund to meet local costs of projects."
         Bank officials said they had discussed financial management with the government. "They have reassured (us) to give priority to maintaining macroeconomic and fiscal prudence," Wood said.

********************************************************* To: Subject: News 8/20/95 Date: Mon, 21 Aug 95 14:17:40 EDT From: (Sher B. Karki)

               Copyright 1995 British Broadcasting Corporation
                        BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

                            August 21, 1995, Monday


LENGTH: 65 words

HEADLINE: CORRUPTION, ECONOMIC CRIME; Lhasa customs crack "most serious" gold smuggling case

SOURCE: Source: Xinhua news agency domestic service, Beijing, in Chinese 2114 gmt 10 Aug 95

   [39] Lhasa customs cracked a major gold smuggling case on Tibet's border with
 Nepal, seizing 89.22 kg of gold worth 10.7m yuan. This is the most serious case of its kind in the history of China's customs. The gold was discovered on a jeep when it was about to leave the country. Three offenders have been detained and will be transferred to the public security organ for prosecution.

                  Copyright 1995 South China Morning Post Ltd.
                            South China Morning Post

                                August 13, 1995

SECTION: Letters To The Editor; Pg. 11

LENGTH: 1027 words

HEADLINE: Highly Regarded

    JOHN Whelpton (letters, Sunday Morning Post, July 16) shows some animus and poor judgment.

    My reservations about aspects of past policy implementation in Bhutan are well -known, and rest on documented facts and personal experience since 1980.

    I was also in southern Bhutan at the time of southern Nepalese (Lhotshampa) anti-government demonstrations (September, 1990). Readers should know that Mr Whelpton, like some of his friends "who have been in Bhutan", has a close emotional bond with contemporary Nepal, and this may cloud professional judgment. He seems unfamiliar with the facts and politics of population migration, or of "refugee politics". The main issues should not be smooth-talked away.

    Bhutan, developing from isolation, has come in the space of only three decades to be highly regarded by both UN and private aid agencies as an exemplary and efficient utiliser of foreign development funds for all-round modernisation. This is on the record. In Nepal, the history of development aid is otherwise: there is envy of Bhutan in some quarters.

    A major part of Bhutan's modernisation has been to update its legal code and procedures, and to clarify citizenship rights and duties - a process still being refined - in a principled way. Illegal Nepalese settlers were evicted from Bhutan from early 1988, and it has been entirely proper and necessary for Bhutan to clarify and implement its nationality law. To argue otherwise is to deny the entire basis of state sovereignty anywhere in the world.

    Bhutan's 1985 citizenship law was not "applied retrospectively". It built upon and logically extended the first nationality law of 1958 (revised 1977) which granted citizenship to some existing Nepalese settlers. Indeed, the 1985 law was more generous in its statement of conditions for foreign Nepalese to receive the citizenship grant. By 1987, many migrant Nepalese in southern Bhutan who did not have citizenship, had "acquired" land: these laxities had to be rectified, yet many cases received benefit of the doubt.

    Local authority zealousness over citizenship laws, when it briefly erupted, was vigorously combated by higher authority. Bhutan's central administration is much less corrupt than other south Asian bureaucracies. If blame is apportioned, between 1988 and 1990, some Lhotshampa village-level officials were also over-zealous in applying regulations.

    It is untrue to state that pre-mid-1980s the Nepalese in Bhutan "felt secure in their status as citizens". This "golden age" theory implies willing acceptance of obligations. But many Lhotshampa whose "citizenship" status had not been legally acquired resented political and civil obligation, while making extensive use of social welfare facilities and (successfully) requesting more.

    Some Nepalese childishly seek only to impose their will on Bhutan, without regard to the political realities. The suggestion that an American academic chair a commission to adjudicate the status of Nepalese gathered into the Jhapa camps lacks seriousness. The only viable, lasting solution to the issues that have come between Bhutan and Nepal must be based on unemotive, unforced and principled mutual acceptance of sovereignty rights, and respect for civic obligations and civic rights - including those involving regulation of one-way population transfers.

    Mr Whelpton reluctantly asserts there "could have been" "intimidation" of southern villagers in "some" cases. But the victims themselves are proof of continuous armed terrorism launched from Jhapa. If villagers feel "threatened" by local Bhutanese officials, why do the majority of Lhotshampa citizens stay put, organise village self-defence teams, and arrest terrorists from Jhapa?

    Does the Bhutan army dynamite or burn its own schools and clinics? Why are identity cards stolen from villagers? Finally, Mr Whelpton seems to imply that because Nepal is "much more over-populated", Bhutan has some kind of moral obligation to accommodate many more Nepalese within the state.

    From a humanist and legal view, the people of Nepal deserve better leadership than they have had; likewise, tiny Bhutan deserves to have its sovereignty - and the facts, not rumours, of its situation - respected.

 BRIAN C. SHAW New Territories

                  Copyright 1995 International Herald Tribune
                          International Herald Tribune

                                August 17, 1995


LENGTH: 947 words

HEADLINE: World Bank Ends Heyday of the Big Project Loan

BYLINE: Paul Lewis


    The new president of the World Bank, signaling that the institution is taking a more cautious approach to lending, has withdrawn $175 million in credits promised to a hydroelectric project in Nepal, canceling the $1 billion development. James D. Wolfensohn, who has been the international lending agency's president for about two months, said Nepal was too poor for the power project to succeed.

   The withdrawal of the promised credits from the project, known as Arun 3, was a sign that Mr. Wolfensohn wants the World Bank - which spent $10.4 billion on development last year - to become more cautious in financing big infrastructure projects.

   It also means that a borrowing country's ability to manage a development project, and to profit from it, is likely to become an increasingly important consideration when the World Bank decides whether or not to offer financial backing.

   "Canceling Arun 3 signals a very rigorous approach to evaluation," said Jan Piercy, U.S. representative on the World Bank's executive board.

   In announcing the cancellation last Friday, the bank said that the increase in domestic electricity rates needed for the project's success, along with expensive new social and environmental programs, was "beyond what Nepal could realistically have achieved at present." Bruce Rich of the Environmental Defense Fund said, "We've not previously seen the bank put such public stress on ensuring projects are properly implemented."

   The bank also said it doubted that other donors would provide additional funds after a finding last year by the Federal Audit Office of Germany that Arun 3 " is not ripe for decision at this stage, especially in regard to its economic viability, sustainability and the minimization of risk."

   The Nepalese project had been opposed for years by many private environmental and antipoverty groups. They saw it as an example of World Bank lending for big projects that in some cases had backfired, increasing poverty and harming the environment instead.

   Opponents of the power project argued that it was too large and costly for a country whose population, they said, had an average income of only $180 a year. Instead, they favored building many smaller hydroelectric stations.

   "This was a 200-megawatt plant costing $1 billion, when the rule of thumb is
$1 million per megawatt," said Patrick McCully of the International Rivers Network, a California environmental group. "It was too expensive and would have undermined other development priorities." In making its announcement, the bank promised to develop "alternative approaches to meeting Nepal's energy needs."

   As a result of the protests, Arun 3 last year became the first development project to be referred to an independent inspection panel that the World Bank created to evaluate complaints about projects. The panel initially sided with the project's critics, but reversed that position after the World Bank proposed
"remedial measures."

   Ultimately, however, Mr. Wolfensohn canceled the planned credits after a review carried out by Maurice Strong, a Canadian businessman who organized the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

   Within the World Bank, concern about big projects began in 1992, when a report by a former bank official found that 37.5 percent of projects backed by the bank were performing badly


*********************************************************************************************** To: Subject: Nepalese child labor Date: Mon, 21 Aug 95 15:09:18 EDT From: rshresth@BBN.COM

Crsoss-posted from SCN:

In article <40ool4$>, (Anil Tuladhar) writes:
> In article <> writes:
>>In article <>, (GP) writes:
>>> In article <3v4bqo$> (Anil Tuladhar) writes:
>>> |
>>> |Only because they know the difference between "Child_labour issues" and
>>> |"child_labour propaganda". They also know for sure that "child-labour"
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> |itself is not bad but the mistreatment of working children and cheating
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> I know people are againt this seemingly negative phrase I included in my above
> posting. I think I have to elaborate the meaning of above underlined phrase.
> First thing that troubles me is, the very definition of "Child labor". What
> do you mean by this term? Why do you think it is negative? I can see no reasons
> why should we all borrow the views and definitions set by We-sterners? I have seen
> hundreds if not thousands of children working and still happy and leading a very
> normal full life. I myself have worked as an adult when I was just 10. Together
> with my brother (he was then just 13), we used to go for Electrical wiring and painting
> jobs. Both of these jobs were hard and dangerous but we enjoyed them a lot because
> they gave us more freedom and self esteem. We never hampered our health or our
> education by doing those jobs. In Kathmandu, in our time, everyone used to help his/her
> parents. I do not know about the children of "Jagirdars" but almost all of my
> friends whos family own small business or farm had to work really hard when
> they were young. Some families were carpenters, where they had to help
> their family right from planing the planks to applying sand paper on the rough
> surfaces of the furniture. Nailing Desk-benches, and hammering index finger were
> their most obnoxious experiences. Some were Nakarmis, they worked hard with lathes and drills
> till late night toiling their hands and dress. Some were having press. Seems to be
> quite cool, but they too had to work till night composing letters, applying inks etc.
> Not to mention about the farmers. So I take this oppertunity to tell you that it is
> unfair to pick on Kathmanduties. Not all Kathmanduties fit to the definition
> of lucky, rich, snubbish people. They too know the pain of hardworking and
> lackings. Well I seem to deviate a bit from my focus. I was discussing about child_labor.
> Well, if child labor ware bad, all of my friends including me should now be having
> a very miserable life. But in contrary they are leading a very good life. Instead
> early exposer to the practical field has given them an edge. They are all doing well.
> Of course most of them did not become doctor, engineer or scientist. But my question
> is for a country like Nepal, why should we have a nuclear physicist? Why should
> we have a control expert(like me)? My friends are contributing more than me.
> So far carpet industries are concerned, We must make sure that worker will not suffer
> from any respiratory diseases. If proper healthy atmosphere is set, I am not against
> using children in carpet industries too. They are perfect for knitting smooth
> carpets with their wonderful small robotic fingers. I will be happy to see them knitting.
> I will recall my wiring days when my brother used to make all the circuits and I used to
> bend the clips (for staircase wiring). My small hand was perfect for that job. So I
> once again stress that it is not the child labor which is evil but the ruthless exploitation
> which is to be controlled. We can even have child labor centre to teach children these
> skills so they could become independent in future. Why should we teach "C-O-W cau CAU mane
> Gai"? Let them know how to make "Gober Gas" instead. Scientist now believe that the brain
> of 4 year old child is as developed as that of an adult. So only physical limitations
> should not belittle them.
> Any comments welcome.
> -Anil

Anil, although I could not grasp the whole idea that you are trying to convey, I had a pretty good feel for your idea. I think, we are not really sure about what we are discussing about and so just bypassing each other. I am not sure about you, but definitely I am having trouble in tracing out the heart of the discussion.I could not really figure out how we are using the terms "child-labour". I saw it be used in a few different contexts which themselves are very loosely related or apparently even unrelated.

As far as what I know and what I think, the language itself is far less important than what ideas and feelings it carries. So I don't think we should have a lot of trouble with the words as long as we can make sure that nobody misunderstands the ideas and concepts behind it. If you define dog = cow, and say that a dog has two horns, that's perfectly fine to me. That does not worry me at all. What worries me is whether everybody understands it in the same way and get the same meaning from that expression. Only then, we can evaluate the argument and decide whether it is sensible or not.

So, lets make sure that everybody understands the word "child-labour" in the same way, i.e. lets define it uniquely for the purpose of our discussion. Otherwise, we will be just bypassing each other and not getting to any meaningful conclusion, in other words just a wastage of time.

Lets also define the scope of our discussion. I mean which of the following areas are relevant to the current discussion: (Please note that the list is not exhaustive and there may be many more other areas in which children are being abused):

1. Commercially employed children by the industries such as carpet
   factories etc. 2. Children kept at houses in the condition that they get education, but at
   the same time made to do the household works. This type of question was
   raised by G. Pokharel in the previous posting. 3. Children who have to help their parents (i.e. have to work very hard but
   the work is directly related to their parent's works,in which case 'pay' or
   'salary' does not make any sense.) 4. The children who live their homes for various reasons and in search of
   job, get to other countries (particularly India) and work as "KANCHHA"
   in restaurants and other industries. 5. Same as no. 4 but who are still struggling in Nepal. 6. In many places in Terai, I have seen that the child is employed by some
   other families as assistant to their household and farmworks and he/she
   (strictly speaking, his/her guardian) gets paid for it. 7. Any other categories which are not coming off the top of my head
   right now.

Of course, if we are really concerned about the child's life (I'm not saying that only child's life is a matter of concern, adults are also living very miserable lives in many situations), we should take account of all the above. And for this, we will have to go and study all of those aspects of child labour in detail to get a useful conclusion.

Even so, there is nothing wrong in discussing about a particular type of child labour.At least we may come up with some solutions (or say conclusions) that apply to that particular type. But the most important thing is that we should not mix up all those types of child labour and claim that one characteristics of one of those type is applicable to all other types.

So far, what I have seen is, knowingly or unknowingly we have been switching from one type to another at some critical points. Obviously, we can't apply the same formula to all these 'particular type of child-labours'.I don't deny the fact that all tose different types might have a common base or a common reason from where they branch into different directions. But when it comes about policy-making, we will need make different policies for those apparently different cases. Isn't it pretty hard to make same rules for the children who are working in the carpet factories and children who have to help their parents at home to earn their livings.Not to mention the numerous children who are working as "KANCHHA" in indian restaurants and working as child child coolies over there. Our rules simply do not apply there. So we are forced to seek alternative solutions and not rely on just making the rules (God knows how many of the rules so far have been implemented in prctice !).

Anil, I'm qute impressed by your explanation. But I think you also have missed the point. All what you have mentioned are the things that exist now or "what it is now". But "what it is now" is not the same as "what it should be". I know you can argue that "what it should be" is a very controversial statement and involves a large amount of value judgement. Ok,I agree. Then what ? Isn't a society a dynamic system ? Has it always been the same in the past ? Is it true that we absolutely don't have any control over our actions ? Is it a good idea to keep everything as it is forever ? Don't we want to make actions more efficient and effective so that we can prevent orselves (our culture and society) from being exterminated in this highly competitive era?

The answers to these questions are not easy and probably not unique. However, we can still discuss it, try to find the best solution for it, at least best in our context.

Of course, it is not in my interest to import the term "child-labour" from the western world and use it in our context. My point is that there is
"something" (if you don't want to call it child-labour) in our country because of which the children are being abused. I know you don't like to say that those children are being abused, but rather you would say they are being productive. Think about it honestly for a moment.Ok, for the moment forget that it exists right now, but think is it what we really want ? In place of those children, if we could mobilize the adult man-power (that has been wasted, I guess more than 60-70%) and give the children chance to become more fruitful and more productive citizen (which, of course comes from education), then wouldn't the future of our country be different ?

You have mentioned above that "if child child labour were bad, all my friends including me should now be having a very miserable life.But in contrary, they are leading a very good life." Please think about it again. Can you
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ generalize it to all children in Nepal who are working as child-labour?

You have also said that "For a country like Nepal, why should we have a nuclear physist ?" Maybe we don't need nuclear physist right now, but we definitely need doctor, engineers and scientists. Don't think about just 5-10 years but think it in long term,at least 50-60 years. What will be happening in that time? What will be the demand of time ? What will be our position compared to other countries in the world ?

It is not our 'will' but the 'time' that forces us to change ourselves. If we can not adapt ourselves according to the 'time' then our whole generation, whole society will be endangered. Our existence will be very unstable. Darwin's theory of "Natural selection and survival of the fittest" not only applies to the evolution of the species but also applies to the evolution of society. So if we worry about our existence, then we'd better be careful in time.

Considering all these facts, do you still say "child-labour" is a good thing ?

Now I'm going to stop it here. I didn't mean to offend anybody, but if you feel offended, I apologize for that. Please feel free to make any decent coments, criticisms.

Shubhash wasti University of Newcastle Australia e-mail:

**************************************************** Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 16:20:34 -0400 From: (Rajesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: Nepal television

Cross-posted from SCN:

Walt Dis. 's $19b deal is a new step in communication. They are thinking of going to reach south-asia , especially India's largest population. If it enters india, it surely makes something change/effect to Nepalis , too. Because of growing satelite TV and easy access to these challenging TV programs, has put NTV's usual programmes in to question mark? Are all the programme viewed by Nepali TV viewers? If not why should waste money? To televise national interest programme and news we need to have our own TV, how to run it? Should the TV be run from the tax raised from Humli, or taplejunge's as MAlpot fee or directly from net TV viewers? In my opinion, every person having TV set within Nepal, should pay NTV tax and rest peoples without having TV should be freed from the burden of TV's excessive cost. If we can establish a seperate NTV tax, a fixed charge for the family who owns TV set. May be 100/50 rupees permonth from 100, 000 families, it will surely help NTV to produce good national interest programs and be alive . It will further force TV viewers to watch and control whether their tax is used in worthfull manner.

How do you think, about NTV tax?


P.S> This is my idea. You don't need to accept, but, if you can give any worthful idea, I would be enlightened. As we guys living in Japan, know that every jap. owning a seperate TV set must pay about $15 per month for the national TV, called NHK. So, why not we too introduce this system and make alive NTV even after Walt Dis. enters south asia. Gyaneswor Pokharel Department of Civil Engineering Nagoya University Nagoya-464-01 Japan

****************************************************** Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 16:23:43 -0400 From: (Rajesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: Nepal television

Cross-posted from SCN:

I strongly and totally disagree with the proposition put forward by Dr. Gyaneswor Pokharel. While I agree with his initial contention that a Humli shouldn't be forced to pay tax (in the form of maalpot) for NTV -- something they don't get to watch, the idea of levying viewer fee for a non-cable television station will be nothing less than shoving yet another regulation down the throat of public. A far better idea would be to privatize NTV entirely so that the only way it can remain viable (if programs are not good, it won't be viable) is to enhance it's programming to increasing revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship. The U.S. government does not charge any viewer fee to sustain ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox, yet they are all well and alive.

Rs 100 viewer fee per month?! You must be kidding, Dr Pokharel; that's a lot of money. Most people who own TV set does not make that kind of money in a day.

Ajay Pradhan [Email:]

******************************************************************************* Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 18:25:13 -0400 To: Subject: Nepal Update From: (SumanS)

Nepal Update is a Washington, DC based quarterly publication. It is committed to bring the latest developments in Nepal to you. It also provides you with a forum for the expression of your ideas and opinions for the benefit of the country and people you love.

A complimentary copy can be acquired by sending your snail-mail address to-

For additional inquires, comments and suggestions, please write to-
     Nepal Update
     P.O. Box 3774
     Merrifield, VA 22116-3774

Thank you! Suman Shrestha Washington, DC

************************************************************************ Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 18:25:45 -0400 To: Subject: ganesh man in NC again From:

This looks like a alliance of rightist forces are finally settling their differences to fight the communists. The communists have been weakened by the following:

1. The withdrawal of World Bank from Arun III makes them vulnerable to the charge that they do not have the political blessings of the West to bring in development in Nepal, and in Nepal, those who cannot "develop" have no legitimacy to power.

2. Ganesh and his detractors in the Congress have shelved their differences to let in Ganesh Man and his followers in their terms?(= let girija be in political low profile, an event that seems to be already true in recent political events, he is hardly making any of his inflammatroy marks).

3. The willingness of the RPP to forma an alliance with the NC to form a govt whereas the same alliance broke down over the RPP's unwillingness to accept Girija's leadership of such a coalition (this too hints Girija is in strategic retreat to allow RPP/NC to come to power?)

4. The cropping up of more politically suspicious accidents ? or assasination attempts? whatever is the truth, one effect is sure, the UML rank and file will be demoralized, furious and "irrational" and less deserving of the power to lead the govt in the eyes of the Nepali public, so their opponents think.

========================= From: IN%"" 16-AUG-1995 15:40:40.39 Subj: Nepal update

"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."


***************************************************************** Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 18:28:09 -0400 To: Subject: News 8/17/95 From: (Sher B. Karki)

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

HEADLINE: Radio Nepal to start broadcasting on VHF/FM

   [39] Text of report by Radio Nepal

   Radio Nepal is to begin FM broadcasting from the month of November this year. The FM station will broadcast entertainment and informative programmes daily, from five in the morning to midnight local times . The FM transmission will be run by Radio Nepal, with provision to lease airtime to private broadcasters.

The Daily Yomiuri

HEADLINE: A season for all trekkers

BYLINE: Rodney Woodford ; Daily Yomiuri


   Trekking in the Himalayas is not just for mountain goats, triathletes, or the wool-shirted, plus-foured old folks you see bounding around the mountains of Japan. It is for anyone who enjoys a hike, forests, mountain scenery, meeting people and being a long way from the sounds of the city.The super-fit do not seem to do any better than the fair-to-middling, so dust off your walking boots and see the world's highest mountains. It is a sobering thought that the distance from the snowline, which starts a long way up, to the top of many Himalayan peaks equals the height of the average mountain in the Swiss Alps. But the nearest you may get to vertigo is crossing the rope bridges.

   There are a lot of treks to choose from. You might prefer the Everest trail, the 17-day Annapurna circuit that takes you right around to the dry Tibetan side of the mountains, or one of the shorter low-level forest treks that are especially popular in midwinter.

   We trekked along the sides of lush rice-terraced valleys, through forests of blooming rhododendrons with monkeys chattering overhead, and up through snow to a point where we were completely encircled by peaks of 7,000 to 8,000 meters. In
 Nepal it is never just up, as the trails follow ridges, hug the sides of valleys and dive down to cross roaring mountain streams.

   Trekking days start early. Breakfast on a terrace with spectacular views of the sun breaking over snowy peaks is a pretty good way to start a day. You trek at your own pace, one at which you can enjoy yourself, and you manage to get up the hills. Everyone does, somehow. By about 3 p.m., you will probably be finishing for the day and checking into one of the tea-houses.
   These stone and wooden huts are divided into small two-bed rooms. They are quite comfortable, candle-lit, and have a basic shower that may be just a bucket of hot water or the more luxurious solar-heated type. Porters, guides and trekkers congregate in the dining room, a convivial place, to swap tales of trekking and, surprisingly, tips on where to find culinary delights.

   The food is good and you soon find yourself looking forward to the pizza at Chomrong's International Guest House or the apple pie and custard at Everest Lodge. Some consult their stomachs when planning their treks. If you like daal-baht, the Nepalese staple (lentils, rice and vegetables), you will be in gastronomic heaven.

   Higher in the mountains the dining room is also the "warm room." A blanket-covered table with a kerosene stove roaring away underneath serves as a kotatsu. Why the whole place is not incinerated remains as much a Himalayan mystery as the Yeti, but it is a great place to be before you head for your sleeping bag. A good bag is a must, even though it is T-shirt and shorts weather during most of the day.

    Nepal is not a wilderness. There are people all along the way; children walking the two hours to school, people with baskets on their backs carrying anything from live chickens to powdered chicken soup. Buffalo wander the trails and mule trains clang past. Do not get on their downhill side as their loads can be wider than the trail!

   Regular travelers to Nepal come as much for the people as the mountains and as you trek you will realize why. The regional differences are noticeable but a wide grin and a cheery "namaste" are universal.

   On a higher mountain trek the scenery is quite different. I was headed for the Annapurna Sanctuary (4,000 meters) and found myself walking through silent bamboo forests one minute and picking my way across avalanche tracks the next, wondering, with fingers crossed, why on earth I had not done this earlier in the day or, better still, earlier in the season.

   When you cross the snowline, the likes of unconquered Machapuchhre (6,993 meters), Annapurna South (7,219 meters), and Annapurna 1 (8,091 meters) are no longer in front of you, they are above you.

   A flexible schedule is essential so that you can pace yourself. Take more time if you need it. Rush up the last 1,000 meters and you may have to be rushed back down because of "mountain sickness." I climbed up the most beautiful valley I have seen, through hard-packed snow, to Machapuchhure Base Camp. Another two hour's walk brings you to Annapurna Base Camp, the top of the trail. But if you did not ascend in easy stages, the last stretch can seem an eternity.

   At Annapurna Base Camp you wake from a very cold night, grab your hot tea and head outside, ready for the sunrise. (Those without good down sleeping bags will have been lying awake for several hours dreaming of this moment). You are completely surrounded by daunting peaks. The early rays of the sun break golden along the ridge of Annapurna 1 and the scene changes by the minute, until the unmistable fishtail of Machapuchhre is lit up. The brilliant white of the peaks is offset by the deepest blue sky imaginable.

   Three rolls of film later, you may head down. Some people stay here for a few days to do a bit of climbing (that indomitable breed) or paint a few landscapes, as one British couple were doing with the aid of liberal shots of rum. The rosy hue of their cheeks belied their claim that they used it to keep the watercolors from freezing on the palette.

   Booking a porter and guide in Katmandu takes the hassle out of everything, costs little, contributes positively to the Nepalese economy, and provides much needed employment. It is a lot more fun hauling around a daypack than 20 kilograms. Besides, you learn a lot more and enjoy the company. -- Using a reliable trekking agency such as the Sherpa Co-op in Katmandu (fax 977-1-227983; tel. 224068) and booking everything in advance from Japan means you will need only one full day (not a Saturday) in Katmandu to obtain your trekking permit, as opposed to three days if you wait until you get there.

   --For two people it costs 37,000 yen each for 10 days of trekking and includes: a return flight to Pokhara, all food and accommodations on the trek, a porter and guide; basically everything except drinking water and luxuries such as cigarettes and alcohol.

   --The trekking agency will need you to decide where you want to trek so read up before you go (e.g. the Lonely Planet's "Trekking In Nepal" ). You can rent the equipment you will need but it is always best to have your own boots.

   --September to April is the trekking season and the best weather is generally October-November, but it is more crowded as well. The higher treks are very cold in mid-winter so you may want to tailor your trekking plans to the season. You should also be aware of the health risks and get the appropriate vaccinations.

   --You can fly direct from Kansai International Airport to Katmandu on Royal
 Nepal Airlines or via Bangkok on Thai Air with an overnight stay in Bangkok.

************************************************************************* Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 18:30:03 -0400 To: Subject: Look to the web! From: Arun Dev Pant <>

If you suffer from sudden bouts of "Nepal news/views" pangs, there isn't much you can do except hope that the current attrition facing the SCN would soon come to an end. Incessant bombardings by rather tedious threads such as Eklavya... and the "I have a point to prove" Jai Maharaj blitzes just have made matters worse. So, with the help of a web browser and a search engine, I came across interesting Nepal connections. Most of the people may be familiar with these connections but for those who haven't seen them, they are indeed a treat.

The most definitive Nepal page is without doubt Rajendra Shrestha's The Nepal Home page ( ). This one needs no further explanations as almost everyone seems to have visited and greatly liked the site. It has good links to other home pages related to Nepal.

I stumbled on to a page called Kathmandu Home Page by Rupesh Pradhan. It has attractive graphics and a lot of economic data on Nepal. Though, it is still incomplete, it has a pontential of being an excellent Home Page. The address is

Another new entry is the Chautari page maintained by Pradeep Bista. The first issue of the newsletter can be found at: The newsletter is a very professional piece of work and has pages both in English and Nepali as well as graphics and comic sketches.

Additional sites include:

Home Links
       . Nepal Background Notes - U.S. State Department . Nepali Connections . Arts and Culture . Nepali
       Literature Home Page . Asian Arts ...
       --- [576] (3K)

       June 28-July 4, 1995 . News about the world of adventure travel from Mountain Travel*Sobek reported by
      Richard Bangs from Redwood Park on his AT&T Safari Laptop computer
. "A good holiday is one spent
       among people whose notions of time are ...
       --- [556] (11K)

Friends In High Places Home Page
       --- [553] (4K)

       NEPAL TODAY . NEPAL TODAY(Summar '94) . OTHER INFORMATIONS . Information on Arun III
       Project . .
       --- [552] (<1K)

A Visit to Nepal
       --- [551] (<1K)

       --- [550] (4K)

I would like to express my appreciation to those people who have taken the time to put a fair amount of information on the Net - hoping to come across more interesting sites in future.

Arun Pant University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

***************************************************************** Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 18:33:06 -0400 To: Subject: News 8/19/95 From: (Sher B. Karki)

                   The Xinhua General Overseas News Service
                          Xinhua General News Service

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.

                  AUGUST 19, 1995, SATURDAY 13:05 Eastern Time

LENGTH: 236 words

HEADLINE: d e 1602 bc- nepal -economy hke081932 -- nepal's economy up 4.1 pc last year

DATELINE: kathmandu, august 19; ITEM NO: 0819168

   the real growth of the gross domestic product (gdp) in nepal was estimated at 4.1 percent for the fiscal year of 1994-95, nepal's central bank said today. although the agricultural production declined 0.3 percent due to bad weather, the country's economy witnessed a moderate growth as a whole in the fiscal year ending july 15, mainly thanks to the 7.5 percent increase gained by the non-agricultural sector, according to a press communique of the nepal rastra (national) bank. total resources last year increased 26.3 percent to about 27 billion rupees (531 million us dollars), with revenue receipts constituting nearly 92 percent of the amount, the bank said. improved revenue collecting performance helped the government control the fiscal deficit last year. last year's deficit increased only 2.7 percent to 5.55 billion rupees
(109 million us dollars) despite the relatively much higher expenditure growth in the year, it added. while exports to third countries showed a negative trend at 14.5 billion rupees (285 million dollars), exports to india increased 30.7 percent to 3.4 billion rupees (66 million dollars) in the 1994-95 fiscal year. according to the bank, the country's total foreign exchange reserves by the end of 1994-95 fiscal year stood at 806 million us dollars, representing a more than one percent rise over the previous year.

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.

                           AUGUST 17, 1995, THURSDAY

LENGTH: 185 words

HEADLINE: nepal awards cash money to mt. everest climber

DATELINE: kathmandu, august 17; ITEM NO: 0817001

   the nepalese government wednesday awarded a cash prize of 500,000 rupees
(about 10,000 u.s. dollars) to a renowned summiter of the world's highest peak, mt. qomolangma (everest). it was the first ever such reward. at a ceremony organized by the tourism ministry, ang rita sherpa received the cheque and a letter of appreciation presented by tourism minister bhim rawal. the 47-year-old mountaineer made history last april when he scaled the world's highest peak without artificial oxygen for the ninth time. it is a new world record in the mountaineering history. ang rita sherpa has climbed various himalayan peaks above 8,000 meters for 14 times in his career as a mountaineering guide for foreign climbers. speaking on the occasion, the minister hailed sherpa a national asset. he said the nepalese government was committed to the development of mountaineering as it was a major source of revenue for the country. the government will also award other climbers who haved grorified the nation, according to pradip nepal, minister for information and communications, who also attended the ceremony.

                        Copyright 1995 Agence France Presse
                              Agence France Presse

                       August 16, 1995 13:36 Eastern Time

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 960 words

HEADLINE: UN begins large-scale withdrawal from Croatia


   Some 120 UN troops from Nepal packed up and said goodbye to their commander Wednesday as the United Nations began withdrawing most of its troops from Croatia after a failed peacekeeping mission.

   The Nepalese soldiers attended a brief farewell ceremony in Zagreb with the commander of all UN forces in the former Yugoslavia, General Bernard Janvier of France, and were to board a plane later to take them home to Kathmandu.
   The United Nations has decided to withdraw the vast majority of the 13,000 troops it had deployed in Croatia, following the Croatian army's recapture this month of the Krajina region from Serb secessionists who had controlled it since 1991.

   The job of the UN troops had been to keep the two sides separated and help Croatia recover sovereignty over all its territory through diplomacy.

   The UN special envoy to the former Yugoslavia, Yashushi Akashi, said this week that the UN presence in Croatia would be reduced to about 1,000 staffers, mainly military observers, human rights monitors and civilian police.



   The first group of peacekeepers left their posts in Croatia Wednesday, heralding the departure of the vast majority of the UN troops that have been stationed here for more than three years.

   A hundred Nepalese soldiers flew out for Kathmandu early in the morning, after a brief ceremony at the UN headquarters at Zagreb attended by General Bernard Janvier, head of the overall UN peacekeeping force in the former Yugoslavia.

   The UN mission in Croatia had some 13,000 men from 11 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Poland, Russian and the Ukraine.

   After the 892-strong Nepalese battalion, the Argentinians, with 866 solders, were due to go. Both units were stationed in the western Slovenia region, which the Croatian army recaptured in May.

   UN sources say the Czech and Polish contingents will leave last, having been given responsibility for overseeing the withdrawal.

   Most of the troops are expected to have gone within six weeks.

   A second phase of the withdrawal, lasting until mid-November, will mainly be concerned with equipment: some 4,000 vehicles and several thousand prefabricated bungalows.

   The low-key departure marks the failure of the UN's mission in Croatia; which was to preside over a diplomatic solution to the secession of a large part of Croatia, known as Krajina, seized by Serbs in 1991.

   In the event, the reunification of most of Croatia was achieved by military force, in a lightning offensive by the Croatian army early this month.

   Scorned by both sides, said one western diplomat, "the United Nations didn't know how to make its presence felt."

   Although warmly welcomed on their arrival in 1992, they were very soon being accused by Zagreb of "freezing" the captured territory. Relations between Zagreb and the United Nations kept getting worse, as talks between Croatia and the Serbs made no progress.

   After this month's Croatian victory over the Krajina Serbs, most of the reasons for the UN presence here disappeared, and it announced that it would keep only a slimmed down presence in Croatia.

   All the land controlled by the rebel Serbs has now been recaptured, except for eastern Slavonia in the extreme east of Croatia, bordering Serbia.

   Technically, the whole operation should present no major difficulty since it was already scheduled for the end of November. The United Nations' mandate entrusted to it last April -- the "United Nations Operation for the reestablishment of confidence in Croatia" -- had an eight-month life.

   The UN would like to retain a reduced military presence in Croatia in the form of military observers, civil police and officials charged with making sure the rights of the minority Serb population are respected.

   The world body also wants to keep observers on the border of eastern Slavonia, notably along the River Danube.

   The UN mission's current mandate in Croatia must still be cancelled by the Security council.

   According to the UN's special envoy Yakushi Akashi, that would bring back at least a thousand men home and allow the organisation to make important savings.

   Akashi, like General Janvier, will remain at the UN headquarters for the former Yugoslavia, in Zagreb.

               Proprietary to the United Press International 1995

                       August 13, 1995, Sunday, BC cycle

SECTION: International

LENGTH: 168 words

HEADLINE: Floods reported in Nepal


   Heavy rains in southern Nepal Sunday washed away homes and a bridge, disrupting traffic on a national highway, Home Ministry spokesman Keshab Raj Rajbhandari said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The rains washed away a portion of a bridge over the Badari Rivulet near Dhalkebar, 52 miles (85 kms) southeast of the Nepalese capital, bringing traffic on the Mahendra Highway, which joins east and west Nepal, to a halt. Hundreds of passengers were stranded as authorities tried to reopen the highway by building a diversion road, Rajbhandari said. Water flooded homes in the towns of Gaur and Janakpur and 25 houses were swept away in Sarlahi district, Rajbhandari said. The river Kosi appeared about to break an earthen dam in southeast
 Nepal, threatening to inundate the village and surrounding areas, the official National News Agency said. Earlier weather officials said most parts of the Himalayan kingdom recorded the heaviest rainfall in 23 years.

******************************************************************* Subject: Proper attire for women? To: Date: Tue, 22 Aug 1995 09:30:48 -0400 (EDT) From: "Rajesh B. Shrestha" <rshresth@BBN.COM>

Cross-posted from SCN:
--------------------- (Anne Tweet Knoche) writes:

>I have read in some older travel books that women should wear a skirt when
>treking in Nepal. Is this still true? Are pants or knickers acceptable

Let's put it this way: Most Nepali women in the countryside wear some attire other than trousers. (ie I ONCE saw a Sherpa woman wearing jeans).

In Nepali society men and women play distinct roles, this is reflected in distinct styles of dress for each sex.

If a purpose of your trek is to attempt to interract with Nepali people you would do well to wear some sort of skirt (for a US$ or two you can buy a light wraparound in Kmdu that you could wear over trousers). By doing so you would look 'dressed' as opposed to looking 'undressed' in local eyes, thereby removing one barrier to communication. A way of reaching out.

Then again, if you don't, nothing untoward will happen to you. The Nepalis on the popular trekking trails have seen it all.....



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