The Nepal Digest - September 5, 1997 (20 Bhadra 2054 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Fri Sep 5, 1997: Bhadra 20 2054BS: Year6 Volume66 Issue 1

Today's Topics:

                     Violence Against Women in Nepal
                     Volunteer Work
                     On The Kathmandu Post Book Review
                     New Issue of SINHAS
                     KATHMANDU EMBRACE

Editor's Note: Due to insufficient humours articles for Gaijatra issue,
                this issue is a general one.

 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh (Open Position) *
 * Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 19 Aug 97 08:19:32 CST From: Dharmendra Dhakal <RCDHAKAL@VM.CC.OLEMISS.EDU> Subject: Nepal Digest To: Nepal <>

Dear Raj Palji, Namaste! I like to request you to publish this materials in upc oming TND issue. Dear Friends, The residents of Oxford, Mississippi and Host of Annual conventio n of Nepalese Association in Southeast America(NASA) cordially invites you to a ttend our annual celebration on August 30-31. Please call any one of the follo ing to get more information about the program. Aryal, Shakti Nath 601-234-1555 Ghimire, Pradeep 601-234-6655 Dhakal, Dharmendra 601-236-3801
 We are looking forward to meet you during our convetion. Thank you in advance
 for your help and attendence.

************************************************************************ To: Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 14:01:12 -0500 Forwarded by: "Rajpal J.P. Singh" <a10rjs1>

     If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely
     100 people. With all existing human ratios remaining the same, it
     would look like this:

     There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Western
     Hemisphere (North and South) and 8 Africans.

     51 would be female; 49 would be male

     70 would be non-white; 30 white.

     70 would be non-Christian; 30 Christian.

     50% of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands of only 6
     people and all 6 would be citizens of the United States.

     80 would live in substandard housing.

     70 would be unable to read.

     50 would suffer from malnutrition.

     1 would be near death, 1 would be near birth

     Only 1 would have a college education.

     No one would own a computer

     When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed
     perspective, the need for both tolerance and understanding becomes
     glaringly apparent........

******************************************************** Forwarded by: Anne Joshi-Atlanta <> Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 09:21:05 -0400 To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: VNY '98 Nepal

>Subject: Violence Against Women in Nepal
>Dear Friends,
>Would it be appropriate to post a timely warning of a specific
>threat to the well-being of women travellers?
>I summarised this article in my own words because there was a
>question about copyright, although to the best of my knowledge it
>isn't a problem in Nepal.
>> Published in the Independent, Kathmandu, Nepal.
>> Sexual Harassment of Tourists.
>> In Thamel, the tourist district of Kathmandu, there is
>> a travel agent of seemingly perfect manners and
>> reputation. As well as arranging safaris and rafting
>> trips, he organises mountaineering expeditions and
>> package treks, but his specialities include tailor-made
>> treks for discerning travellers with individual
>> requirements. For example, the safety-conscious lone
>> woman... Plainly this is no backstreet operator. With
>> his charisma and precise attention to detail, he wins
>> the confidence of an international clientele.
>> Superlatives are lavished on him and his company.
>> Registered, main-stream, immaculate... Having all the
>> right connections, he gains the trust of women who look
>> to him for security. And he capitalises on this trust.
>> Sexual harassment is an understatement...
>> He prefers rape. In fact, serial rape. <<
>> So at this point you not only wonder who this guy is,
>> but how he can get away with it.
>> The author continues...
>> Unfortunately, he cannot be dismissed as a fly-by-night
>> operator easily avoided by any woman with common sense.
>> As a main-stream tour operator, with income from the
>> Western world, he is a very prosperous man in an
>> extremely poor, corruption-ridden country, where
>> officials and police are underpaid and the human rights
>> of women are scarcely understood. Police may opt not to
>> make enemies of wealthy powerful men, preferring, at
>> the least, to be invited to parties with plenty of
>> alcohol.
>> In most countries rape is a seriously under-reported
>> crime because the process of reporting it is a fearful
>> ordeal for its victims. And not only is this rapist /
>> travel agent very discreet because he has to maintain
>> his perfect reputation, but he and his accomplice
>> threaten victims with retaliation. In such a corrupt
>> country the victims take these threats seriously. Also
>> the time limit for reporting rape in Nepal is very
>> short. However, with his guilt firmly established, in
>> due course his habits could place his victims, his wife
>> and himself at risk from HIV, and ultimately, death
>> from AIDS.
>> In one of the poorest countries on earth, tourists are
>> a major source of foreign income. So the Nepalese
>> government aims to increase tourism and to encourage
>> tourists to deal with registered companies. Although
>> this man brings foreign exchange into the country, yet
>> tourists return home with horror stories of having put
>> their trust in a registered and "reputable" company and
>> later suffered severe abuse. Male friends and relatives
>> fear for the safety of the women they know, so in the
>> long term his behaviour, as he exploits more and more
>> women, could eventually damage the reputation of
>> tourism in Nepal.
>> What actions, if any, are taken to prevent such
>> offences, not only for the safety of women travellers,
>> but also to protect the image of Nepal and the
>> interests of innocent Nepalis involved in tourism? Do
>> the owners of all travel companies and hotels in
>> Kathmandu realise that it is in their own financial
>> interests to put pressure on this offender, if they
>> know who he is? <<
>> In Asia, independent women are far too easily confused
>> with immoral women, [no matter how carefully they
>> dress]. The author went on to challenge the myth that
>> victims are to blame in any way whatsoever for being
>> raped. Clearly it was the intention of this man, and
>> others like him, to deceive innocent women into
>> believing they were safe in situations where they can
>> be easily victimised.
>> Some people are so prejudiced they see rape as shame
>> for the woman, not the man, but rape can only take
>> place when the woman's intentions are virtuous and the
>> man's are immoral and indecent. It is natural not the
>> victim's fault in any way that she was born with less
>> physical strength, but obviously her spirit and
>> intellect are equal to that of any man. So rape of
>> course brings shame to the man, not the woman,
>> and also to anyone so irrational as to blame the
>> woman for being exploited. In the tourist industry,
>> such beliefs, like these systematic rapes, can only
>> damage the reputation of Nepal. <<
>The author was anonymous, possibly to protect her identity
>as a victim.
>Next year is Visit Nepal Year, when the Nepalese government is out
>to encourage as many tourists as possible, yet nothing appears to
>have changed. So although the article was published 3rd February
>1993, this warning is still appropriate. I would like to know how
>many other men there are who operate in the same way and why we hear
>so little about them, although they are able to market holidays
>through travel agents in the first world.
>However I am aware that the British Foreign Office under the last
>administration "handled" the issue by totally denying it and the
>reaction of representative of the US Department of State was just as
>reprehensible. I tried to spread warnings but an official from the
>American Embassy threatened me. It seems their priority is not to
>disturb a government that turns a blind eye to the trafficking of so
>many of its own citizens. [Even this e-mail is in defiance of their
>attempts to silence or discredit victims.]
>"He who saves a life saves the world entire" - Talmud.
>I believe publicising this could save more than one life by saving
>women from a situation that could result in suicide, if not AIDS.
>For people who wish to protest, the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism
>has just acquired e-mail.
> ,
>Also: [I believe this is a separate part of the
>I would like to follow up this post with short sample e-mails that
>people could send to them.
>Helen Brown:
>--"All that is necessary for evil to succeed
> is for good men to do nothing."
> --Edmund Burke 1729 -1797
> -- good women also! --

This is a problem we all, regardless of gender, need to help eradicate. We are talking about half of humankind, and if governments of underdeveloped nations wish to measure up to the requirements of 21st Century life, we need to make them aware and conscious of this continued global problem!

Aiko A. Joshi Georgia STate Univ., M.A. Candidate, Women's Studies

>From: Debra Guzman <>
>Subject: Unknown Faces - Trafficking of Women
>Edited/Distributed by HURINet - The Human Rights Information Network
>author :
>This is another article from me on trafficking of women as part of my
>NFI media research fellowship which has been published in The Hindu.
>Meena Menon

>The Unknown Faces
>By Meena Menon
>The much -quoted report of the Central Social Welfare Board
>lists Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and
>UP as the high supply zones of women in prostitution.
>Belgaum, Bijapur, Kolhapur are some of the common districts
>from which women migrate to the big cities either as part of
>an organised trafficking network, or due to socio-- economic
>compulsions. Poverty, desertion by husbands are among the
>two major factors contributing to women entering
>prostitution, according to the same study. In a visit to
>what is called the devdasi belt or the districts bordering
>Maharashtra and Karnataka, I find the trafficking
>structure operates at various levels. This may or may not be
>part of a mafia, which exists in big cities with contacts
>all over the country. What one often tends to disregard is
>the ubiquitous system of contacts which the women seem to
>have. Everywhere it seems there are people posted to "help"
>women in distress and give them the right contacts or
>addresses so that they can earn a living in this profession.
>When the women are asked who these people are, there is
>always a vague reply. They are either reluctant or find it
>difficult to pinpoint exactly who helped them enter the
>profession. Several women in prostitution in this region are
>either deserted by their husbands or have had broken
>marriages. Some were dedicated to the goddess Yellamma or
>had to fend for themselves after their husbands died. Only a
>few women were trafficked out of the region from among them
>or even brought to the present brothels through coercion or
>deception. In the heart of Pandharpur is a small dirty
>basti along the main road. K who comes from Satara, had a
>bad marriage and after her relationship broke up, she had
>nowhere to go. She met a friend who gave her a contact and
>she landed up in Pandharpur. Her only daughter lives in
>Satara. In a small dark room partitioned by a bedsheet, she
>conducts her business. Used condoms are dumped in one
>corner. A young girl shows me the red and white beads that
>signify dedication to the goddess Yellama. She is in her
>early teens and says,"Can you give me some work. I can do
>anything but I cannot read or write." Business here picks
>up during the pilgrimages or waris held annually and during
>that time women come here from surrounding areas as well. In
>one of the cities in this region, the red-light area is
>marked by a row of clean whitewashed tenements with old
>wooden doors. P is from a village near Latur. She was
>married and lived in Bombay with her husband. An
>appendicitis operation forced her to go home and during
>that period, her husband remarried. Another reason was that
>she did not have any children after marriage."I wish I had
>children then my husband would not have left me." Despite
>pleading with him, he refused to leave his second wife and
>she decided to return home. While waiting for the bus home
>from Solapur, she was gang-- raped by five men. This ended
>her resolve to go home and she found work in a mill where it
>was difficult because of daily taunts made by men. "I had to
>enter this line as at least now I have some security," she
>said. Another girl, T used to sleep with a man who would
>later give her a meal in exchange. Today illness has
>claimed her sister and she is left with a 12- year-old niece
>for whom she wants a better future. "I do not want her to
>end up like me." The women here have formed their own
>collective and have taken a strict stand against child
>prostitution. In another city in the same region, in a
>prosperous pucca house, sits G , a gharwali and a devadasi.
>One of the major traffickers of the area, she has contacts
>all over Karnataka. Women come to her through personal or
>local contacts. "I don't buy or sell women but parents come
>to me for help, they bring their daughters and I pay them
>whatever they want." Most women arrive here after a few
>months of attaining puberty and are very young. There seems
>to be no obvious pimping or trading here in the literal
>sense of the word but there exists a well-entrenched system
>of contacts and a strong network. G accepts only devdasis,
>widows or those women whose marriages have broken up. Some
>of her relatives are employed in her brothel. "When I go
>back home, I go in full regalia, lots of jewellery, heavy
>saris and people are very impressed. I leave word with
>families. If the families are in dire straits, the girls
>will come to me. I have no business dealing. I am helping
>these people." She admits that girls are tricked into going
>to big cities where they are sold but that does not happen
>here. KP is another successful gharwali from Karnataka.
>"When my husband died, I entered this line." But she
>acquired a malik(master) and raised enough money to set up a
>brothel of her own. "I visited my village and other areas
>and left word with people that I would require girls. They
>start coming on their own after that . It works through word
>of mouth or through the girls themselves who know others."
>All the girls in her house are devadasis or have been
>dedicated to Yellamma. There are about 15 girls in her
>brothel which has a top floor with cubicles partitioned by
>thin wooden boards and cramped beds. It is morning and the
>two main rows are full of women waiting for prospective
>customers. The girls are very young, some may be around ten
>years of age. Here the seems to be no community pressure on
>children entering the profession. However, though the women
>deny the existence of a trafficking syndicate, there was one
>young girl who was taken to Bhiwandi and sold there. Her
>parents borrowed money to bring her back to this city, where
>she is at present. At the end of a narrow dingy passage, is
>a small concrete tenement with small windows. Outside in a
>small courtyard, men sit waiting on benches. This is one of
>the typical lodges which abound the mofussil towns and even
>bigger cities. One of the owners said the girls are not
>brought here but come of their own will. "They never tell
>the truth. We prefer girls who are forward and prefer city
>--based women. I think we are protecting the girls and
>giving them a good life. Many have built bungalows for
>themselves." Inside another innocuous looking lodge,
>slightly better ventilated, about ten girls, all dressed up,
>wait for customers. A client arrives and points to one of
>the girls and a brief transaction is made. "We go and bring
>these girls from various brothels. We have to pay the
>brothel owners some money. We send word or personally go in
>a vehicle. If girls are interested , they come along." A
>woman who has run away from one such lodge, said,"The girls
>are treated like prisoners. They are not allowed to go
>anywhere on their own. Besides, the owner often pockets half
>the earnings and the girls rarely get any money for
>themselves." "The lodges are dingy, filthy places and the
>women have to sleep where they work. The place is
>unhygienic," a local activist said. However, most owners are
>keen that their women practice safe sex and encourage them
>to use condoms. In fact, at one place, the women turn away
>customers who refuse to use condoms. In Nippani, B, a
>gharwali has two or three girls working for her. One of
>them supports her entire family back home. She is quite
>young and a devdasi. Nippani once had a number of devadasis
>but business has reduced here for fear of HIV/AIDS, the
>women said. Also, women said the practice of dedicating
>women was on the decline. Now, most parents got their
>daughters married instead of dedicating them to the goddess.
>Meena Seshu, activist with SANGRAM , based in Sangli,
>Maharashtra, which has been instrumental in forming
>collectives of women in prostitution in various places in
>the region, said,"Our contribution for the last five years
>is that we have demarcated trafficking from prostitution. We
>must have a separate law talking about routes, criminal
>nexus and how these issues can be tackled. Trafficking is a
>criminal offence and it has been unnecesarily confused in
>the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking act. It has become a
>moral or immoral issue. If you penalise the victims of
>trafficking, then are you addressing the problem," she
>asked. "We have to talk of who is facilitating the
>situation, who is falling prey to the demand and supply
>situation. Traffickers, and this can include family members,
>are all part of an organised criminal network. They are
>waiting like hawks for the girls to come of age. Today the
>state is actually responsible. Abject poverty is one of the
>main reasons. Why are things coming to such a pass. This has
>to be looked at in terms of politics and the issue has to be
>fought politically," she said.

But for each wave that is stemmed, how many new tides of hapless young women are forced into such a degrading life! It is all our responsiblity, regardless of gender, to save half of humankind. Education is the key! It is easy to turn a blind eye and deaf ear; it's easier to do nothing, to click our tongues in sympathetic horror but think, it's nothing to do with me. Say that 20 - 30 years from now, when the full extent of governmental and private neglect of these women and young girls will be felt then. Aiko A. Joshi

>From: Debra Guzman <>
>Subject: THA: Prostitution tide is turning
>Edited/Distributed by HURINet - The Human Rights Information Network
>author : bardsley@ACCESS.DIGEX.NET
>Fewer northern girls enter flesh trade
>Fear of Aids, harsher laws help block move by Anjira
> 1 August 1997 (Bangkok Post): Thousands of northern girls
> have been saved from prostitution due to the fear of Aids
> and efforts by the government, non-governmental
> organisations and private helpers.
> Some 16,000 girls in eight northern provinces have been
> encouraged to remain in school due to continuous
> campaigning by the government and non-governmental
> organisations. Now fewer girls are turning to the flesh
> trade to make a living.
> Sompong Jitradab, a lecturer at Chulalongkorn
> University's Faculty of Education who heads the
> Marginalised Children's Cooperation Centre, said
> educational programmes and jobs provided by the
> government and NGOs had done much to help.
> Most girls turning to prostitution mainly came from
> broken or poor families with incomes of less than 50,000
> baht per year. Most...came from villages where
> prostitution as a career was common, where relatives and
> neighbours had already left home for jobs as sex workers.
> Some had even been encouraged by their parents to take up
> such work as a way of making good money and of honouring
> them.
> ...a survey last year by Mahidol University's Institute
> for Population and Social Research, covering more than 40
> brothels in 18 provinces, failed to find young girls from
> the North entering the trade.
> Dr Sompong said this was due to a number of factors. One
> was thanks to the persistent efforts of a series of
> governments in cracking down on child prostitution.
> "Since the Chuan Leekpai government there has been a
> clear-cut policy, with tough measures brought in to crack
> down on child prostitution. The Banharn Silpa-archa
> government...enacted the Sex Trade Bill to impose tougher
> penalties on owners, operators, procurers and customers,"
> he said.
> After it became law fewer girls aged under 18 were found
> in brothels because some brothel owners sent them back
> home fearing the harsh penalties.
> Most at-risk northern girls were now forced to attend
> school, benefiting from scholarships provided by the
> Education Ministry for those in primary and secondary
> education. At least 90 percent of these girls willingly
> continued their studies at secondary level.
> Of the 16,000 girls, 20 percent have finished high school
> and are about to continue their studies at Rajabhat
> institutes. Many...also already received their nursing
> certificates.
> The widespread fear of HIV infection also meant...many
> were now fearful of going into the sex trade. Many
> prostitutes returned to the villages with Aids and this
> scared others away from prostitution.
> The private sector had also helped by providing
> scholarships for students and jobs for graduates to
> prevent them from turning to the sex business.
> Dr Sompong said he was worried...the girls might be
> pressured by their families and neighbours to enter the
> flesh trade after finishing their education and returning
> home.
> He said the government needed to ask teachers, kamnans
> and village headmen for help since they were widely
> respected and could convince both the girls and their
> parents to change their attitudes.
> Dr Sompong a result of the success of the
> campaign in the North more child prostitutes were now
> being lured from northeastern provinces or from abroad,
> especially Burma.
> Others had been tricked into prostitution. About 60
> percent of Burmese girls who entered the sex trade from
> the Thai-Burmese border had been told they would get a
> good job and money in Thailand, while others knew exactly
> what was involved.

******************************************************** Date: Thu, 7 Aug 97 12:02:57 -0700 From: "kkthapa.UOP" <> To: Subject: On the humerous side

The following are in no way meant to be offensive to any one. The Sole purpose of this is humor.

                            If They Married

* If Yoko Ono married Sonny Bono, she would be Yoko Ono Bono.
* If Dolly Parton married Salvador Dali, she would be Dolly Dali.
* If Bo Derek married Don Ho, she would be Bo Ho.
* If Oprah Winfrey married Depak Chopra, she would be Oprah Chopra.
* If Cat Stevens married Snoop Doggy Dogg, Hey! it's the '90's!, he would be Cat Doggy Dog.
* If Olivia Newton-John married Wayne Newton, then divorced him to marry Elton John, she would become Olivia Newton-John Newton John.
* If Sondra Locke married Elliot Ness, then divorced him to marry Herman Munster, she would become Sondra Locke Ness Munster.
* If Bea Arthur married Sting, she would be Bea Sting.
* If Liv Ullman married Judge Lance Ito, then divorced him and married Jerry Mathers (Beaver), she would be Liv Ito Beaver.
* If Snoop Doggy Dogg married Winnie the Pooh, he would be Snoop Doggy Dogg pooh.
* If G. Gordon Liddy married Boutros-Boutro Ghali, then divorced him to marry Kenny G., he would be G. Ghali G.
* If Ivana Trump married, in succession, Orson Bean (actor), King Oscar
(of Norway), Louis B. Mayer (of MGM), and Norbert Wiener (mathematician), she would then be Ivana Bean Oscar Mayer Wiener.
* If Woody Allen married Natalie Wood, divorced her and married Gregory peck, divorced him and married Ben Hur, he would be Woody Wood Peck Hur.

Kabindra Thapa Phoenix, Arizona

******************************************************************** Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 12:40:24 -0700 From: Lorraine <> To: Subject: volunteer work


My name is Lorraine Flett. I am interested in doing volunteer work in Nepal for a period of six months, beginning in September, if possible. Can you suggest where I should begin to find out about volunteer opportunities?

Thank you for your help. Lorraine Flett 415-221-5140

********************************************************** Date: Sat, 09 Aug 1997 11:03:44 -0700 From: Rick Silveira <> To: Subject: volunteers

i would like information on volunteering opportunities in nepal. where do i start? thanks, rick silveira


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 10:27:55 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Subject: On The Kathmandu Post Book Review

The August '97 issue of "The Kathmandu Post Review of Books" is being co-ordinated by Mr. Kumar Pandey -- our friendly neighborhood electrical engineer in Kathmandu, who, in the last 18 months, has published about a dozen serious articles, essays and book-reviews (in both English and Nepali languages) on Nepal's hydro-power concerns.

And in this August '97 ko Book Review issue:

1. Mr. Samrat Upadhyay, a PhD candidate in English and American literature as well as a prize-winning Nepali poet and writer at the University of Hawaii, reviews The New Yorker (magazine) ko THAT double issue (June 23 1997 - June 30 1997) on the Indian writers writing in English language.

2. Miss Seira Tamang, a PhD candidate in international relations at The American University in Washington DC reviews Catherine Caufield's book: "Masters of Illusion: The World Bank and the Poverty of Nations."

3. Mr. Saurav Dev Bhatta, a PhD candidate in urban and regional planning at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, reviews: "Comparing development patterns in Asia", a book by Cal Clark and K.C. Roy.

4. Mr. Kumar Pandey, this issue ko co-ordinator, writes the lead-essay titled: "Attitudes on development: Looking back at Kulekhani."


5. Herr Karl-Heinz Kraemer, a German social scientist, reviews Ulrike Muller-Boker's book: "Tharus of Chitawan: Knowledge, valuation and the use of physical environment in Southern Nepal."

Be sure to read all these well-written articles on Sunday, August 31. In the Kathmandu Post.

On another note, plans are also afoot to construct a Kathmandu Book Society (KBS) ko homepage on the Web. Such a homepage will hold all past book-reviews and other related essays/articles and research notes. Will let you all know when that homepage gets ready.

Meantime, at the Kathmandu Book Society, we are always looking for new writers who bring fresh perspectives and new ideas. If you want to contribute essays and reviews to the TKP Review of Books, you are most welcome. Keep in mind that your reviews and essays need NOT be Nepal- or Nepali-related. Please send inquiries/submissions to Shailesh Gongal ( at MIT or to Lazima Onta-Bhatta
( at Cornell. THE END.

********************************************************************** To: <> From: "Juan Medrano" <> Subject: Voluneer Opportunities

Please send information on volunteer opportunities within your organization.

e-mail address:

U.S. Postal Service address: Juan Medrano
                                6543 Glenview Drive #1012
                                North Richland Hills, Texas 76180

****************************************************************** To: The Nepal Digest <> From: Subject: Info wanted on Nepalese authorities and media.

I am looking for up-to-date information on the names and fax numbers of various Nepalese officials, and especially e-mail addresses, if they have them yet.

Those I have are:

1) Lokendra Bahadur Chand, Prime Minister. Fax: 977-1-227286 2) Bam Dev Gautam, Vice Prime Minister and Home Minister. Fax: 977-1-525106

I would like the name of the new Minister of Tourism, Minister of Sport and the current I.G.P.

I have three e-mail addresses for the Ministry of Tourism.

Am I right in thinking that the first two are promotional but the last is the regular address for the Ministry, as the names suggest?

How many Nepalese publications currently have e-mail addresses?

 H. Brown:

***************************************************************** Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 18:29:32 +0545 (NPT) To: From: (Pratyoush Onta) Subject: New Issue of SINHAS

New Issue Out

Studies in Nepali History and Society Vol 2 No 1 June 1997


Editorial Writing and Reading about Nepal Mary Des Chene and Pratyoush Onta

Articles Selective Exclusion: Foreigners, Foreign Goods and Foreignness in Modern Nepali History Mark Liechty

Activities in a 'Fossil State': Balkrishna Sama and the Improvisation of Nepali Identity Pratyoush Onta

Kalo Patti Parva: Jana Andolanko Junkiri (in Nepali) Khagendra Sangraula

"We Women Must Try to Live": The Saga of Bhauju Mary Des Chene

Commentary Foreign Aid in Nepal: No Bang for the Buck Kanak Mani Dixit

Sabdaka Bui Chadhare Nirman Bhairaheko Bikas Byuhako Kinarbata (in Nepali) Sharad Paudel

'Tramping on the Skin of the People': The Politics of "Compulsion"
(A context for reading Mechi-Mahakali Express) Mahesh Maskey and Mary Des Chene

Mechi-Mahakali Express (A One-Act Play) Sharad Paudel
(Translated by Mary Des Chene and Mahesh Maskey)

For Subscriptions contact Mandala Book Point, GPO Box 528, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: 977-1-227711, 245570, 249555 Fax: 977-1-248553; email:

The Style Guide for SINHAS submissions is available from the editors or on the World Wide Web at: Further information about the journal is also available on the above Web site.

****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 17:08:33 -0600 (MDT) From: Dangi <mdangi@slate.Mines.EDU> To: Subject: Update

Dear editor,
        Would you please update my e-mail address and send all of your coming publications on this new address: instead of
        I thank you for your past years contribution and timely publications of some of my articles. Nepal digest has done great job by providing free service in these past years.
        I wish all the good luck to you and all the upcoming future publications!

Mohan Dangi Denver, CO

********************************************************* From: "sudheer birodkar" <> To: Subject: Book on ancient Indian Sciences Date: Mon, 01 Sep 1997 01:32:41 PDT

Dear List Member,

Here goes a Sloka (couplet) from the Atharva Veda
(one of the 4 Vedas - treatises on knowledge from ancient India) which embodies the true spirit of humanness expressed, not today, but four thousand years ago.

We are the birds of the same nest, We may wear different skins, We may speak different languages, We may believe in different religions, We may belong to different cultures, Yet we share the same home - OUR EARTH.

Born on the same planet Covered by the same skies Gazing at the same stars Breathing the same air We must learn to happily progress together Or miserably perish together, For man can live individually, But can survive only collectively

It is this spirit of humanness that has been the undercurrent of existence in a part of the world known as India. This spirit has also prevailed in many other parts of the world where the right thinking of humankind has prevailed.

In India, this spirit has found expression in the philosophy of non-violence, religious tolerance, renunciation - in non-temporal matters. In temporal matters, which is the subject of this book, it has found expression in achievements in all areas of science and technology. Achievements which did not remain limited to India alone, but were transmitted to many corners of our globe.

These achievements are not just a matter of pride for Indians alone. They represent the triumph of the human mind and hence are a matter of pride for the human species irrespective of nationality.

For more info on the progress made in Science and Technology in the period 1000 B.C. to 1000 A.D. visit the web edition of the book "India's Contribution to the World's Culture" at the following free site:


Regards Sudheer

**************************************************************** Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 12:57:21 -0400 (EDT) From: GURUNG ARJUN <> To: Subject: KATHMANDU EMBRACE

To all music lovers,

The first Nepali CD "Kathmandu Embrace" to be produced in the United States is released in New York. Produced by Arjun Gurung and music by Raj Kapoor, "Kathmandu Embrace" has nine songs and one instrumental, all full of melody that you will like. The songs are based on folk rythem and some soft pop. In this special production, the talents of professional American musicians are joined with the gifts of Nepali artists creating an inspiring experience for all. It has a beutiful layout and top quality digital sound tracks.

The CD will cost you $15 U.S dollar plus $3 shipping and handling (outside NY). You can obtain your copy either by sending your check to Arjun Gurung or from our distributors in major US cities. Also we like to hear from individuals or organizations who like to share the profit becoming our distributor in their area.

For more information please visit

Thank you very much. Arjun Gurung 64-03 Broadway #2F Woodside, New York 11377 USA. Tel (718) 476-1156

*********************************************************** From: (Larsen, Anne Birgitte (Ordblindeinstituttet)) To: <> Subject: Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 21:01:26 +0200

Dear Sir

Please tell me if any school in Kathmandu has an e-mail address.

I want to get in touch with: Mrs. Sharada Siwakoti Kshitiz Secondary English Boarding School Battis Putali Height Old Baneshwor NEPAL

Regards Bengt Mxllskov

********************************************************** Date-Warning: Date header was inserted by JHUVMS.HCF.JHU.EDU From: deschene@JHUVMS.HCF.JHU.EDU (Mary Des Chene) Subject: Commentary on Anti-Terrorist Bill To:

The following two essays appeared on the editorial page of the Kathmandu Post on 29 August. The first, by Pratyoush Onta, appeared in his regular column (every 2nd Friday), "The Politics of Knowledge". The second, by Khagendra Sangraula, was also published in Nepali in Kantipur of 30 August. The editorial section of the Post for 29 August was not put on-line, so I am making these essays available here in TND. Mary Des Chene

****************** The Politics of Knowledge Revisiting the terror of 'Asian Standard' by Pratyoush Onta

        The 'Asian Standard' mantra: Eleven years ago, during the post-Referendum phase of the Panchayat era, senior journalist Bhairav Risal wrote an article about the then current slogan: the 'Asian Standard.' In the previous year (2042 B.S.), His Majesty the King had announced that by the turn of the century (i.e., year 2000 A.D.), the living standard of Nepalis would be raised to the 'Asian Standard'. The then Finance State Minister, Mr Bharat Bahadur Pradhan, had said that the main objective of the annual budget for the fiscal year 2043/44 B.S. was to prepare the infrastructure necessary for raising Nepal to the 'Asian Standard'. While the contents of the budjet were still being discussed in the Rastriya Panchayat, Risal, in one of his regular contributions to the popular Rajdhani Weekly, raised a few questions regarding this stated objective.
        In his characteristically clear writing, Risal first asked what was meant by the 'Asian Standard.' He then stated that even without a clarification regarding what standard was to be reached by the year 2000, the process of reiterating the 'Asian Standard' mantra had begun in a typically parrot-like fashion. In reference to the council of ministers, he stated that once the slogan had become fashionable, all the Hanuman-like ministers were promising the putative 'Asian Standard' to the Nepalis at large. After an analysis of the budjet presented that year and comparing it with those presented in years before the 'Asian Standard' slogan came into vogue, Risal concluded that there was nothing in it that would contribute toward the building of the infrastructure necessary for raising Nepal to the 'Asian Standard.'
        In such a context he challenged the then council of ministers led by Marich Man Shrestha to explain to the nation at large how the budget and the economic development it envisaged could generate the 'Asian Standard' and added that if his analysis was right, such a development as wished by His Majesty was impossible. Hence he further challenged the ministers to publicly prove his analysis wrong or acknowledge that they were using their offices and the 'Asian Standard' as a thagi khane bhando (literally, a container used for swindling). The then Panchayat Raj, not known for its generosity towards people who refused to become Hanumans to its ideology or the slogan of the year, charged Risal and the late Angdorje Lama, publisher of Rajdhani Weekly, of having indirectly defamed His Majesty. They were imprisoned according the Rajkaj Ain of 2019 B.S.. Risal's 10-month experience in the jails, first at Dillibazaar and later at Nakkhu, is documented in his book Sadhulai Suli, published last year.
        This book is a fine piece of social history of the late Panchayat Era. It allows us to not only revisit the original context (the 'Asian Standard' tamasha) for which Risal and Lama were put behind bars, but also provides insightful vignettes into different aspects of Nepali social worlds, both inside and outside the Panchayati prisons. My main purpose for evoking it at the moment is to question how far the present political bosses tolerate speech and writing that challenge the Hanuman-like subservient behaviour they expect from those who make a living by writing.
        Policing Thought: Just some months after the so-called Maobadi Janayuddha began in early 1996, writer Khagendra Sangraula was rounded up in the streets of Kathmandu. While it is clear that his writings have been determined as unpalatable to the NC-RPP-UML bosses, he was rounded up putatively for questioning regarding the Maobadi movement. When this linkage could not be proved, the then NC-RPP government released him after accusing him of having disturbed public peace and the like! Sangraula was not the first or the last of writers to be imprisoned in a supposedly democratic Nepal. Other writers and journalists - Shakti Lamsal, Om Sharma, Milan Nepali, Ramkumar Karki and many others - have been similarly imprisoned at different times. In each of these circumstances, the government has cooked up false charges against these people who have refused to become Hanumans to multi-party 'democratic' Rams of the NC-RPP-UML ilk.
        If the present RPP-UML government succeeds in passing the proposed Anti-Terrorist and Destructive Crime Prevention and Control Act, we can be sure that thought policing and the number of writers who will be imprisoned will increase geometrically. Because of the flexible way in which
'terrorism' and 'destructive crime' has been defined in the proposed bill, any journalist, writer or columnist that raises questions about any business of the government can be deemed a 'terrorist' or a provoker of
'destructive crime' and can hence be put behind bars. No plans or slogans offered by the party and government bosses will be open for questioning without risk to the writer. In this context, the kind of analysis of the
'Asian Standard' mantra written by Risal for which he was imprisoned, can be re-interpreted as an act of 'terrorism'. If one of the central characteristics of a multi-party democracy is that the members of this nation can engage in analytic writing without the fear of retribution, then this 'Terror' Act, if passed, will have quashed that possibility.
        At this juncture, those of us who make a living by writing - journalists, investigative writers, communicators, academic researchers and the like - should demand, much like what Risal did eleven years ago, how our above-mentioned fear regarding what will happen to writers of all kinds if this Act is passed is not justified. Much like Risal, we challange the present political leaders to tell us how our analysis of the post-Act future is wrong. If we are right, then the challenge for the present political leadership is to publicly acknowledge that what it wants is Panchayat-style terror state and Hanuman-like reproduction of its power-mantras. It should publicly say that the Jana Andolan of 2046 B.S. was a mistake. Along with the former Panche leaders, NC and UML bosses should then declare themselves as heads of a police state where only Hanumans as writers have a right to live.
        Otherwise why is it that after weeks of protests on and off the streets against the proposed Act, the present political bosses have not withdrawn it and come out with a public apology to the nation at large? Do they think they can reinstate a full-blown reign of terror in Nepal? Can they learn any lessons from history? Writers are watching the action of the present set of political leaders. If the Act is passed, we will not be as generous towards them as they were to the former Panches after the Jana Andolan.

******************** The Kathmandu Post 29 August 1997, p. 4

The Road to Hell in the Guise of UML by Khagendra Sangraula

        Some may be thinking: 'why all the vain fuss about this Anti-Terrorist Bill? After all, surely it's the job of the state to protect us from terrorists. The parliamentarians finally try to do something for the people instead of busily lining their own pockets and those leftists act like they're committing a crime!...'.
        Some may be thinking like that. I am instead thinking about human stupidity. About human greed. About human hypocrisy. And I am thinking about humans' apparently infinite capacity to repeat obvious mistakes when drunk with power. If the consequences were not so tragic, so immoral, so traitorous, we might just enjoy the morality (or anti-morality) play that well-known actors are performing on the national stage, day in and day out, for the edification of the public.
        But sadly, the stage of history shows the consequences to be just that - tragic, immoral, traitorous. As the curtain opens on the Anti-Terrorist Act of this play, it shows every sign of becoming bloody and torturous as well. How many who fought for, or even just hoped for, the end of Panchayati mis-rule, had in their minds what we witness on the stage of history today as their image of an ideal post-Panchayat future? It is hard to imagine the person, of any political persuasion, who could have pictured today's perverted alliances as the ideal future. And so, it is not enough to watch the play of fools - which is, of course, no mere farce, but our present reality and our future in the making. Thus it is absolutely essential that we think clearly about its consequences - for our own sake, for the sake of the country, and for the future's sake, it is absolutely essential that we make this effort to reflect..
        If we think back just a few scenes in this twisted play, we can understand something critically important about some of the main actors. Remember the Chand-UML marriage scene? Families and friends on both sides quarreled over this inter-caste union. On the UML side it was finally justified as a necessity; they were "compelled" to tie the knot in order to create a better ruling couple for the country than the RPP-NC union had produced. Although neither word nor deed had changed a whit on the RPP side, they felt compelled to substitute themselves for NC to improve the situation of the country. The UML cast of characters also claimed that:
'later on, after producing a pure UML offspring, we will divorce RPP, and that untainted creature will lead the country to a Communist heaven on earth.' Many UML family and friends still cling, pathetically or defiantly, to this fabulous tale.
        But the actual reality presents a completely different picture. In the scenes that have followed the Chand-UML marriage, several things have become as clear as the noonday sun: Theirs was not an inter-caste union at all. Rather, it was simply an alliance of convenience, like those of kings and emperors of old, contracted between two ruling dynasties in order to preserve and strengthen their power and wealth by joining forces. Though they deny it to themselves, and try to keep it even from the rest of the family, their "secret" is exposed for all to see: this union was made at the cost of auctioning off body and mortgaging soul. I have said elsewhere that Bam Dev is no longer Bam Dev at all, but the last Panchayati Home Minister, Nayan Bahadur Swar in the guise of Bam Dev. I doubt it would be difficult to figure out the precise substitutions made for other key UML families members too. But forget the details, the terrible truth is that UML is no longer UML at all, but rather a reincarnation of Panche spirits in the guise of UML. Thus the sad truth is there can be no pure UML offspring born of this union. This is a bitter thing to realize for those in the family and for friends who remember the UML of bygone days. But without recognizing it, they can only help demons sheathed in the skin and appearance of their departed loved ones to perpetrate more crimes in the name of Marx and Lenin. And that's no way to honour the memory of dear departed Comrades.
        To understand how such absurdity has come about, think back a little farther, to the Bahudaliya Janavad scene. Then too there was a family dispute within UML and between UML and its more distant relatives: Could the path of Bahudaliya Janavad lead the Nepalii people to that shining Communist future? Those playing the role of UML argued that it could. It was a detour, to be sure, but the main road looked too risky - prone as it was to landslides -, and so the longer and steeper trail had to be taken. But in the end, they claimed, it would reach to the same place. Some relatives dissented and broke off relations. But most members of the family, even those with misgivings, dutifully took to the path of Bahudaliya Janavad Marg.
        It is time to check where it has actually led to, and where it might lead from here. What is now abundantly clear is that Bahudaliya Janavad Marg has simply widened and paved an old route, the route of Jangabahadurs' horses. Bahudaliya Janavad's version of 'des bikas' has turned out to consist of fixing up that old route for their shiny new Pajeros. And the price paid for that "bikas" is that Jangabahadurs' horses are prancing and snorting with pleasure, galloping freely down Bahudaliya Janavad Marg, trampling anyone in their path.
        Suddenly we are informed that it is essential to Pajeroist des bikas to pave Bahudaliya Janavad Marg all the way to Rolpa and Rukum. What for? For the sake of "the people", what else? After all, though UML now rides Jangabahadurs' horses, it still feigns to hoist a red flag as it parades down Bahudaliya Janavad Marg. But this is no ordinary play - there's more. Why do Jangabahadurs' horses need to be able to reach everywhere and everyone with ease? To quote from their Neo-Communist Manifesto (the Anti-Terrorist Act): "to maintain the peace and security of the Kingdom".
        Exactly how is the Kingdom to be kept "peaceful"? By silencing the people. In that silence a few sounds will be audible: the sucking sound of torrents of water heading south, and the crackling sound of the last pages of the people's Constitution burning to ashes. But those sounds will soon be joined by others if the Neo-Communist Manifesto becomes the law of the land: the sound of presses being closed, peoples' homes being broken into and searched in the night, the sounds of gunfire, as those astride Jangabahadurs' horses give the order to shoot the "suspicious-looking" and those who look like they might flee before they can be trampled. This is, according to their Manifesto, what the new emperors believe is required,
"to maintain the ... security of the Kingdom". And they may be right, if the arrangement they seek to maintain is the current one of a hungry, oppressed populace and a dollar-fattened, power-intoxicated elite.
        Some in the audience appear dazzled by the army parading down Bahudaliya Janavad Marg. Among them are many UML faithful. After long years underground, they say, how can we not swell with pride at the sight of our army marching victoriously? The uniforms of the enemy that their leaders wear are, they say, but an expedient of the last battle. Soon, they explain, their leaders will discard their mandale uniforms and ride forward under their true colours. But the terrible truth is that beneath the uniforms there is nothing left but the skin, the bones, and the hearts of mandales.
        Others in the audience appear stunned by this parade. Stunned into silence. Among them are many who should know that silence at such a moment, silence that allows forces of repression to organize and coalesce, means being silenced for years to come.
        Yet others in the audience shout in protest at this spectacle. The generals sit astride Jangabahadurs' horses and shout right back: 'Fools! How can we protect you without such powers? Without such a law we're helpless to save you.' This they shout without shame while having at their command the very laws and the very powers used to gun down their own unarmed Comrades in the grand opening scene of this play - the Jana Andolan scene. The generals have yet more to say: they claim they will use the powers of their "anti-terrorist" law only against those who have taken up arms against their regime. But they fall silent when asked why, then, they need the power to shoot an old person carrying a walking stick, or to label as a "terrorist" anyone who dares to question the wisdom of their rule and then to imprison such "terrorists" for life - unless, having looked like they might try to hide when Jangabahadurs' horses come galloping toward them, they have to be killed before they can be imprisoned.
        In that dialogue and its silences we can hear clearly what some in the audience have shut their eyes to avoid seeing: that beneath the red banner they fly, beneath the Panchayati uniforms they claim are just costumes, beat the hearts of mandales. No, this is no ordinary play: it is our present reality and our future in the making. In this decisive scene we are being shown the future course charted out for Bahudaliya Janavad Marg. It leads not to Communist heaven but to the People's hell.
        It's not too late to change the end of this scene, nor too late to write another scene in which, once again, the longer, steeper road is chosen - but this time a road chosen for the sake of the people instead of the interests of the ruling class. A road that might lead to just struggle and peace, not invite the era of the Jangabahadurs. Are the script-writers listening?

***************************************************************** Date: Wed, 03 Sep 1997 21:26:48 +0200 To: From: Mara & Stewart <>

Hi, I'm Mara Pelizza and I'm an Italian journalist from Padua. With a group of friends we are setting up a non-profit association for the diffusion of Nepalese traditions and culture. It is therefore our intention to establish contacts between Padua and Nepal, Tibet and also India. At the moment our founding members are: myself, Valeriano Drago (a lawyer) and Stewart Park (a British translator). Surfing the net, we have been fascinated by your site, and we are sending you this e-mail to ask if you could send us more information, useful numbers, references such as organisations, information on getting about in Nepal, useful advice, customs and traditions. Too much to ask? If so, then just decide what to send us, anything is fine for us. In fact, for us it is important above all to make new friends and create a meeting place. Thanks for any help. Friends of Asia. Mara, Valeriano, Stewart.

********************************************************* From: Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 07:07:59 -0400 (EDT) To: Subject: L/C scandal

Dear Editor,

I sent you an Email on August 31, 1997 requesting information on a scandal in which a local bank and businessmen swindled 33 million dollars. I would like to know which banks were involved and how they managed to get away with this.
 And is anything being done to punish the bank and the business people.

Thanks, Paul

*************************************************** Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 20:29:09 -0400 From: To: Subject:

   I am wondering if there are books (literature only, please!) out there written originally in English by Nepali authors, or authors of Nepali origin. I'm interested in stuff like poetry, novels, short stories... you know the stuff of literature. I suspect such a body of works is sorely lacking, as I can not even name one such work. I may be mistaken though. And if such works do exist, where can I buy them (looking for address, here)?
   I'm sure there are literary magazines published in English. If so, how can I subscribe to them?
   I am not interested in English translations of Nepali works, but rather in works written in English by authors of Nepali origin.
   I know, I am such a stubbornly picky person. I hope some one in cyberspace has the answers to my questions. My premature thanks goes out to him/her.

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