Friday, September 28, 2007

Our identity crisis

Our identity crisis

Who are we, and why is Prashant Tamang our hero?

From Issue #368 (2007-09-28 - 2007-10-04)
When the boys from the boondocks were the only contestants left, Indian journalists in Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai lost interest in Indian Idol. The mainstream press quickly dubbed the competition a ‘battle of the hills’ and relegated the story to the inside pages.
Flamboyant front runner Amit Paul is from Shillong. Prashant Tamang, the dark horse, is from Darjeeling. The Indian glitterati, for whom these small towns may as well have been in outer space, dismissed Prashant’s victory as an SMS aberration rather than a well deserved success.
The mood was completely different in Darjeeling, where the boy wonder was hailed as the epitome of Gorkhali grit and determination in the face of adversity. Sikkim announced a two-day holiday to celebrate, while in Kalimpong it was three days. Any pretext is good enough for Gorkhalis to stay away from work and indulge in revelry.
The celebrations in Kalimpong and Kurseong were understandable. For the ecstatic Gorkhalis of the Indian northeast, here was an event that transcended their Indian identity. When DD Bhutia, state land revenue minister of Sikkim gushed that “Prashant has sent the message of unity and brotherhood to the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim,” his sincerity was unmistakable.
The Nepali diaspora’s excitement was also explicable. The humble policeman from Kolkata was a kindred spirit. But the celebrations within Nepal defied all logic. Why were people rushing on to the streets in the middle of the night in Dharan, Tanahu and Kathmandu and setting off fire crackers to rejoice at victory of an Indian citizen?
This was a sign of just how deep Indian satellite television has gone in Nepal. Marketers have discovered that gullible customers are prepared to pay a premium for mobile phone texting to express their sentiments. And above all, Prashant’s popularity has exposed the hollowness of our modern nationalism: behind the mask of sophistication, we are all tribals. We place ethnicity above nationalism.
That also partly explains the communal divide over the outrages in Kapilbastu. And it shows that the idea of ethnic nationalism propounded by the courtiers of Chandra Shumshere persists despite more than 50 years of effort to replace it with territorial nationalism.
There are two types of ethnic nationalism. The French version hides its exclusivity behind the slogan of liberty, equality and fraternity. But Parisian cosmopolitanism has no place for distinct ethnic identities of minorities. The ‘different’ members of society form a subordinate population group. French nationalism subsumes other ethnicities before accepting them as near-equals in national culture.
The Germanic tradition of nationalism is more closed, believing in the existence of a Volk which predates the notions of nation-state and citizenship. Its membership may include people living in different parts of the globe. Consequently, it is free to exclude citizens working within the boundaries of the state even though they pay their dues.
Like most democrats of his time, BP Koirala was inspired by the French version, which forms the third leg of the NC platform along with socialism and democracy. To counter its influence and create a separate constituency of loyal supporters, King Mahendra embraced the concept of Nepali Jati based upon the German idea of Volk.
The entire Nepali polity is divided along these lines. Paradoxically, the Maoists and royalist parties are closer to the NC’s assimilation ideology, while UML and most other leftist parties embrace Mahendra’s ethnic nationalism. Neither concept has been able to hold all Nepalis together.
Nepaliya nationalism must be more accommodating to the aspirations of dalits, janajatis, madhesis, Muslims and other marginalized groups. Republicanism aspires to popular rule. Federalism is meant to ensure people’s participation in governance. Both become meaningless in the absence of consensus over the definition of ‘people’. Establishing the ideology of ‘We, the People of Nepal’ is perhaps the most pressing issue of the moment.
Please find a detail report on " The Human Right To Food In Nepal"

Nepal issues currency notes without King’s image

Thursday, 27 September , 2007, 20:54
Kathmandu: Nepal's national bank on Thursday issued new currency notes of Rs 500 denominations without the King's name, image or any royal sign, in another symbolic downslide for the country's embattled monarchy.
In the new notes, the world's highest peak Mt Everest has replaced the King's image and the picture of the national flower, Rhododendron, has been printed on the place of the previous watermark of the crown.
"This is for the first time in the history of Nepal the paper note has been printed without any symbol of the monarch, his name or picture," an official at the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) said.
As part of the interim government's move to slice royal power, the NRB had issued new two-rupee coins without the King's name and any royal symbols for the first time in the country's history on September 5.
The central bank had printed two crore new currency notes of Rs 500 denominations in Indonesia's security press, the official said.
The king has been stripped off most of his powers and privileges after a mass movement in April 2006 that saw the end of his direct rule.
Nepal is scheduled to hold an election in November to choose a special assembly that will rewrite the country's constitution and decide the fate of the monarchy. The former rebel Maoists had been demanding that Nepal be declared a republic before the polls.

India, Nepal to set up joint force to curb crime

New Delhi, Sept. 27 (PTI): India has expressed its concerns to Nepal on trans-border crime and fake currency racket at the just concluded Home Secretary level talks in Kathmandu, where it was agreed to soon set up a joint task force comprising members of security agencies from both sides.
"We have expressed our concern to Nepal on activities of criminal groups and militants and fake currency rackets during the talks yesterday," Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta, said on his return from the Himalayan country.
Gupta said the first Constituent Assembly elections in Nepal in November came up for discussion with his counterpart, Umesh Mainali.
"We have told Nepal that whatever assistance is possible, India will be happy to extend to ensure peaceful polling," he said.
Gupta said it was decided that the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), a para-military force under the Union Home Ministry guarding the 1,751 km boundary with Nepal, and the Nepal Armed Police Force would have better coordination.
The Home Secretary, who called on Nepal Home Minister, K P Sitoula, during his two-day visit to that country, said it was also decided that the district magistrates on the Indian side of the border will coordinate with their counterparts on the other side for sharing information.
Sources in the Ministry said a salient feature of the the Home Secretary level talks was the decision to set up a joint task force to strengthen security along the border to control escalating crime.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nepal ruling party calls strike ahead of poll meet

Kathmandu, Sep 27 - A powerful communist party that is a dominant partner in the ruling alliance Thursday called a general strike in central Nepal, ahead of a crucial election meeting, to protest the attack on its leaders by Maoists.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), the third largest party in parliament, called a shutdown in Dhading district, north of Kathmandu, after the Maoist guerrillas, who left the government this month, allegedly beat up nearly 30 supporters, causing at least three to be admitted to hospital.
Though the Maoists in the past had repeatedly called strikes despite being in the government, this is the first time since the restoration of democracy in Nepal last year that another ruling party has called a closure.
The strike call comes even as the top leaders of the six ruling parties were scheduled to hold a crucial meeting Thursday afternoon with the Maoists to try and persuade them to call off their anti-election campaign.
While Nepal's government is gearing up to hold the twice-deferred constituent assembly election on Nov 22, the Maoist guerrillas have threatened they would oppose the polls unless the government agreed to abolish monarchy before the exercise.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, UML chief Madhav Kumar Nepal and other leaders of the six ruling parties would ask Maoist chief Prachanda at the meeting to return to the government or at least call off the stir.
While holding the election would be difficult if the Maoists continue their opposition, poll prospects received a boost this week with Koirala's Nepali Congress, the biggest party in parliament, reuniting with the Nepali Congress-Democratic that had broken away from the party five years ago.
The election would determine if King Gyanendra gets to keep his 238-year crown or becomes a commoner in a republican state.
Though there is still strong public support for monarchy, despite the unpopularity of this king who tried to rule the country through an army-backed bloodless coup, King Gyanendra lost an important prop Wednesday.
The Nepali Congress, that in the past supported constitutional monarchy, capped its reunification with a new manifesto that now supports a federal republic.
The new manifesto, however, has created fresh turmoil in the party that still has members supporting a constitutional monarch.
The unified party faced the first dissent Wednesday with its surviving founder member, former premier and a respected political leader Krishna Prasad Bhattarai resigning from the party in protest against the switch to republicanism.

Battle for Inclusion

battle for inclusion

Miles to go together

On September 17, 2006 in Silghadi, a town in far western Nepal, the Dalits were attacked after they entered a temple they gained access to after years of struggle. What ideally should have been a dawn of a new beginning gave way to violence. Finally an agreement was signed between Dalits and non-dalits giving Dalits the access to the temples. But is everything just as fine as it seems? Ekchhin visited Silghadi to take stock of the latest situation and bring home to MS the lessons learned.Mohan Rai 19. September 2007

This little hill town of Silghadi looks calm. It’s difficult to imagine the Shaileshwori temple incident occurred here. The people seem complacent and do not want to talk about it. “It’s over”, they say readily, even before you can ask them. “Now the Dalits can enter the temple just as anyone”. If you try to persist, some will even tell you to your face that they do not want to talk about it because it's all over. But all is not well in this beautiful, seemingly simple, little hill town.

This becomes obvious when you visit the temple. The atmosphere is quiet except for the occasional tolling of the bells and the low beating of the drum by an old Dalit man who sits at the corner of the entrance of the temple and who does not like to identify himself as a Dalit. There is no hurly burly, no strong smell of incense. If you are fortunate you will meet about ten people at a time and if you want to come across a Dalit worshipper you will have to wait and watch, and sometimes even pray. It's hard to believe that six months back a community fought with another to enter into this temple. But what becomes harder to believe is that it has now become accessible to all.

Accessible but not really accessed

“Before (the incident) one member from almost every Newar household, especially women, used to come for puja every morning. Now the number of worshippers have decreased very significantly”, observes a local journalist, who does not want his name mentioned.

What about the Dalits who hard won their rights to enter the temple? “Dalits are working class people. So they don’t get much time for doing things like worshipping in a temple. Most of them pay visit only during major festivals, which is twice a year”, explains Mahesh Taylor of Equality Development Centre (EDC), one of the two Dalit organisations that played a key role in the Shaileshwori movement. But some argue there is another reason too. “Many Dalits in the surrounding villages still fear that the goddess will somehow punish (them if they enter)”, says the anonymous journalist.

Of course many non-dalits have no qualms about Dalits or any other people entering the temple. You will even find many—especially the younger lot of Dalits as well as non-dalits - who do not bother to visit the temple and do not care who goes into it or who doesn't. Others are willing to accept it as an inevitable change brought about by time. But there are many non-dalits who have not come to accept the fact that the Dalits have started entering the temple. “They (Dalits)just wanted to attack our faith”, says Netra Man Shrestha, secretary of the Shaileshwori Area Development Committee (SADC) and one among the18 arrested (non-dalits) by the local administration on charges of disrupting peace and security in connection with the activities in the aftermath of the temple incident where around 50 Dalits were injured.

The Shaileshwori temple in particular is special to the local Newars, they take it for their own and they have invested quite a lot in its development and maintenance. Moreover, they are resentful that though the movement was waged for gaining access to the Shaileshwori temple, the Dalits wanted to enter other temples too once were given the access to Shaileshwori.

Why did the non-dalits agree to sign the agreement then? “The non-dalits agreed to a compromise under very compelling circumstance. Dashain was very near. And some government employees had been arrested on charges of disruption of peace and security. Their families would have to observe the festival with them in jail. The government employees could lose their jobs”, explains Shankar Thapa, editor of Doteli Aawaj, a local tabloid.

The Dalits’ struggle for access to temples in Doti dates back to at least 2000 A.D. That year human rights activists Daman Nath Dhungana and others were in Silghadi for a seminar against caste discrimination. Dhungana said he would stand at the entrance of the Shaileshwori temple holding the then constitution open and the Dalits could enter into it. However, as they went towards the temple it was discovered that the temple premises had been sealed by the army. The then prince Dipendra had come out of nowhere and was paying homage to the goddess. By the time the prince left, a crowd of non-dalits had gathered at the temple premise and the attempt ended in a scuffle. “Very few realised at that time that such a rash action would not solve the problem”, says Naresh Ale, another anonymous local journalist.

The Dalits continued with their struggle in varied ways: organising common feast, mass gatherings, public debates etc. However, observers say there were apparent lapses in this advocacy. In the period after, the Dalits slowly became more organized and strategic. In May 2006, the Dalits held a conference and formed a Dalits’ Rights Network to fight untouchability. The network did campaigns at district and grassroots level.

The attack on dalit worshippers

The movement gained momentum after a dispute between the Dalit women and the priest in a Shivalaya temple on Teej day on August 26, 2006. Following this the Dalits formed a 21-member joint struggle committee. After tough and repeated attempts, on September 16, 2006, the local administration brokered a two-point agreement that gave the Dalits the access to the Shaileshwori temple. The very next day Dalit worshippers entered the Shaileshwori temple while non-Dalits watched passively. But when the Dalits went on to enter the Radha Krishna temple, a smaller temple some 200 meters away from the Shaileshwori temple, they were attacked by a mob of non-dalits. Several Dalits were injured, especially while fleeing through a steep slope at the back of the temple. The mob also vandalised the offices of EDC and Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO). After this the Dalits intensified the movement and finally another agreement was reached on the 17th of October that gave Dalits access to the temple. The shortcomings of the Shaileshwori movement

Though the movement met with historical success, it has not gone uncriticised. Some contend that the organisations that led the movement failed to sensitize and involve the Dalits in the surrounding villages, particularly those in the 'Barha Barela'. Historically the Shaileshwori temple was established by the inhabitants of Bharha Barela, 12 villages surrounding the town and it is the people from there who still run the day-to-day activities of the temple.

Lack of wider participation of the local Dalits is one reason why many non-dalits consider the movement the miscreant act of a handful of Dalits from town engaged in NGOs. They see it as dollar-driven and one with vested interest. They are angry that the NGOs and INGOs working with Dalits or Dalit issues have tried to upset tradition. In fact, in a rally organised by the non-dalits on September 6, 2006, slogans demanding extermination of NGOs working on Dalit issues from the town, were chanted.

Others add that there were few efforts done to sensitize and hold dialogue with non-dalit community. Some organizations even contend that the Dalit organisations were so keen on making the movement a Dalit-driven one they did not really bother to involve these other organisations and acknowledge the role they could play.

Finally,when the agreement was signed, the non-dalits differed from the Dalits in the way they perceived the agreement. “Non-dalits thought it was a compromise. But some Dalits took it as a victory against the non-dalits”, recalls Shankar Thapa. And you will find many who argue that the Dalits moved too fast.

Of course, the Dalit leaders do not buy all these arguments. “It would not have been possible with meetings, workshops etc and with laws and declarations. We needed this kind of approach. The fact is we have never had a social movement in this country. We need more and diverse movements that will eventually give way to a social revolution”, contends Dharma Singh Bishworkarma, of FEDO and the president of the joint struggle committee. And some non-dalits agree too. “We talk of gradual change but how gradual should it be? I have seen this way all my life. What happened was inevitable”, says Ram Hari Ojha, programme coordinator of Human Rights and Peace Campaign Nepal (HURPEC), Doti.

The Dalits in EDC say the Dalits in the surrounding villages wanted to participate but could not because of pressure from their landlords. Most of the Dalits in the whole region do not have their own land and cultivate the land owned by non-dalits on share cropping basis. Dalits also say they had tried to involve non-dalit organisations and seek their support. They are very dismayed that these organisations did not get involved and support them. “Even the NGO federation did not support us, let alone others“, says Mahesh.

Dalits also see the conflict as a fight for resources. “Till now the non-dalits were using up all the property of and income from the temple. Some even misappropriated it. True 'Kariya' (the Dalits from Barha Barela who participate in rituals and other activities in the temple) Dalits from Bharha Barela received some but it was very little. Now we have demanded that Dalits should included in the SADC committee and that its accounts are made transparent”, says Adhiraj B.C.

How can Silghadi move forward?

The dalits can enter the temple but many have not accepted this fact. Six months have passed and the Silghadians have not really moved ahead. “Before the terms of the agreement can be realized in a real sense, it requires the involvement and acceptance of all the actors of the society, particularly the non-dalits. You cannot impose something upon a community even if it is ethically correct and legally binding,” Shankar argues, “there is a need to involve and sensitize the entire community rather than just the Dalits”. And this is obviously a tremendously arduous task. The Newars, who comprise almost 70 percent of the non-dalit community in Silghadi, are utterly traditional conservative elite.

“It is difficult but not impossible”, says Sachidananda Joshi of Samaj Sewa Doti (SSD). “For example, we have 100 non-dalit members in our organization. Through these 100 members we can start educating and sensitizing 100 families. But that takes time. What is important is whether we want to make it happen or not”, he adds. But the Dalits feel they have been oppressed and exploited for too long and do not really seem willing to reach out. They accept that the Dalits cannot do it alone. Some talk of involving political parties and other organisations. Others talk of forming an alliance of democratic forces. But they do not stress the importance of bringing non-dalits in particular on board.

However, some attempts have been made. On 21st of March the Dalit network organised a program and invited the members of civil society and representatives of political parties to tell them that they need to get involved. Political parties and civil society say they will. But the Dalits still do not seem to be assured of their genuine participation. The feeling, like before, is that they will have to do it alone. “We will resume the movement if they do not receive the compensation they incurred on October 16th from the state”, they say almost in a cautionary tone. If that happens without adequate initiative to hold dialogue and involve the non-dalits, it could lead to more conflict. Perhaps what is badly needed now in Silghadi is a third party that can initiate the process of dialogue both with the Dalits and non-dalits?

Dialogue can never be enough

In the long run, all the stakeholders, particularly the NGOs and INGOs, will have to give up the segregated approach of doing things: “The tendency has been to go only to Dalits to discuss Dalit issues. This can never solve the problem”, says Ramhari Ojha. “The NGOs and INGOs educated and sensitized the Dalits. But the non-dalits were left out”, observes Joshi. "Also, social inclusion can never happen without social acceptance and at the cost of social cohesion.”

However, not less important is to educate, aware and unite the Dalits. As long as untouchability exists within them, they will have a tough time fighting it without. They will also need to give up the hesitation and fear borne out of superstition before they can really savor the joy and experience the bliss of being at the inside of where gods reside. Finally, the temple entrance issue can—and should—never be seen and dealt with in isolation with the overall state of the Dalits. “When their non-dalits landlord started throwing their things out of their shops in the wake of the incident, the Dalits came to us urging to make a compromise”, recalls Keshab Pariyar, the president of EDC. Unless Dalits are empowered in other spheres, particularly economically, the long-cherished dream—and the right Dalits are entitled to by the virtue of them being human beings—to enter in temple will remain at best half-fulfilled.

Quotes: “They (Dalits) just wanted to attack our faith” Netra Man Shrestha
? “Dalits are working class people. So they don’t get much time for doing things like worshipping in a temple.”, Local journalist

“Non-dalits thought it was a compromise. But some Dalits took it as victory against the non-dalits”, Shankar Thapa

social inclusion can never happen without social acceptance and at the cost of social cohesion.”
“We talk of gradual change but how gradual should it be? I have seen this way all my life”. Ram Hari Ohja

“We will resume the movement if they do not receive the compensation they incurred on October 1st from the state”

MS director: Time for the stakeholders in the Shaileshwori incident to debate in an inclusive mannerThe Shaileshwori incident shows the complexity of inclusion andexclusion in Nepalese society. The access to the Shaileshwori temple is an important symbol of the Dalit's struggle for their rights as citizens, but it is also connected to the much broader issues of justice, recognition and self-determination denied to them for many years. MS believes that a movement which fights a history of grave inequality needs to risk confrontation with the rest of society at times to move forward. But it is extremely important to follow up on this kind of advocacy by attempts at inclusive dialogue in order to reach mutually agreeable solutions. MS strongly condemns the use of violence; whether against the Dalits or anybody else. Violence will inevitably disrupt any dialogue and peace building initiative. NGOs (international as well as local) need to follow their principles of poverty reduction, democracy and inclusion in a manner that considers the building of peace and management of conflict in the long run. The present state of the temple incidence indicates a strong need and cause for all stakeholders working for social inclusion to continue the debate about the issues of the temple in a truly inclusive manner and MS partner organisations in Doti, i.e. SSD, EDC and BSS, can and should play an important and active role in this process.

Timeline of the Shaileshwori incidence 2006

June 4-5: Dalit conference organised; Dalit Rights Network formed.
August 26: Dispute between the Dalit women and the temple priest In Shivalaya temple regarding accepting the offerings of the former; Dalit women approach the local administration
August 29: The local administration tries to resolve the conflict between the Dalits and the non-dalits unsuccessfully.
August 31: The Dalits submit a memorandum to the government, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and civil society organisations.
September 8: Formation of 21-member Joint Struggle Committee.
September 9-15: Dalits carry on with their struggle through mass gathering, sit-ins, meetings etc
September 16: Local administration calls for all stakeholders' meeting. The Dalits and non-dalits agree on a two-point agreement that gives the former the access to the temples
September17: The Dalits enter the Shaileshwori temple but are attacked when waiting to enter another temple.
September 18 to October15: The Dalits intensify their struggle in Silghadi and elsewhere. The issue attracts national attention. Social Welfare Council team visit Silghadi. The Joint Struggle Committee initiates the process of dialogue with other stakeholders.
October 16: The agreement, prepared through tough negotiation, is finally signed by both parties. The non-dalits involved in activities against the Dalits apologise.
October19: Non-dalits invite the Dalits for joint worship. The Dalits participate.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The politics behind Prashant's Indian Idol win

Kathmandu, September 24, 2007
First Published: 13:00 IST(24/9/2007)
Last Updated: 18:31 IST(24/9/2007)

When he decided to try his luck at the Indian Idol reality show, winner Prashant Tamang probably did not dream that he would make it to the top.
Even if he did imagine that, the 24-year-old from Tungsung village in Darjeeling district could have never thought, even in his wildest dreams, that for many in Nepal his win would become a symbol of political victory over their southern neighbour India, frequently regarded as an arm-twisting bully.
For nearly two months, Nepal agonised over Indian Idol while its own contest Nepali Tara went ignored. Indeed, the Nepalese contest had to change its timing since no one watched it while it clashed with Idol.
Why would a nation ignore its own talents and devote its energies to promoting a singer whose ancestors originated from Nepal?
The answer is because, for many Nepalese, Darjeeling is still part of Nepal.
In the 19th century, Darjeeling and other parts of Sikkim had been annexed by Nepal. However, as the British East India Company tried to open trade routes to Tibet via Sikkim, Nepal waged war against the Company and lost.
As a result, it was forced to sign the Sugauli Treaty and withdraw from all the territory it had occupied in Sikkim, Kumaon, Garhwal and much of the Terai.
Though the British found it difficult to govern the Terai and restored some of it to Nepal, Darjeeling, Kumaon and Garhwal remained part of British India.
When India obtained independence in 1947, Nepal hoped to get back its wrested land but did not.
Since then, the dream of achieving a "Greater Nepal" some day in the future with the lost area still remains in the mind of the Nepalese.
Royalists had been demanding a Greater Nepal and the Maoists, the opponents of the royalists, want it as well, demanding that the Sugauli Treaty be scrapped.
There has been no formal treaty between Nepal and India after 1947, even after Sikkim's merger with India in 1975, which Nepal regards as the annexation of Sikkim.
Nepal still does not formally recognise Sikkim's "annexation", nor has India sought recognition from Nepal.
Therefore Nepalis still regard Darjeeling as a part of Nepal that should be restored and Prashant Tamang is considered a Nepalese.
His victory Sunday therefore is the victory of Nepal over India in a way, which is why, despite his Indian citizenship, the fact that Prashant speaks Nepali at home, which constitutionally is an Indian language as well, is being regarded as evidence of his being a Nepalese.
Ironically, actress Manisha Koirala, who carved a niche in Bollywood, was never an icon in Nepal.
One reason was probably because she came from one of Nepal's most influential families and the average Nepali did not identify with her.
Her popularity also took a dive after she supported King Gyanendra when the king tried to seize absolute power through an army-backed coup.
Nepalis feel that Manisha obtained stardom with the help The politics behind Prashant's Indian Idol winof the Indian film industry, she did not "defeat" thousands of Indian contenders to attain success.
© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times

Nepal parties mull compromise

Press Trust of India
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 (Kathmandu)

Seeking to end the current political crises, Nepal's eight main parties are planning to bring in a resolution in the interim Parliament expressing their ''joint commitment'' to make Nepal a Republican country to pacify the Maoists, government sources said on Tuesday.
Maoists pulled out of the ruling coalition last week insisting that the Himalayan nation be declared a republic before the November 22 Constituent Assembly polls.
Maoist Chairman Prachanda and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula on Tuesday agreed to find an early solution to the current political impasse through a meeting of the top leaders of the eight parties following a meeting at Prachanda's residence.
Cabinet sources said that a mid-way will be sought to accommodate the demands of Maoists.
The eight major parties are planning to call a special session of interim Parliament where they would adopt a resolution pledging their ''joint commitment'' to declare Nepal a Republic, the sources said.
However, the final decision on the country's political future will be taken up by the Constituent Assembly at its first meeting, the sources said.
Prachanda on Monday indicated that some ''new consensus'' was possible on declaring Nepal Republic state and proportionate voting system, the two major issues that led to the resignation of four Maoist leaders, after which they could rejoin the government.
''It is possible that some sort of understanding will be reached within a few days,'' Prachanda told reporters at a party function.
Maoists want a fully proportional representation system of election.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

US Urges Nepal Travelers to Stay on 'High Alert'

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US State Department on Monday urged citizens traveling to Nepal to stay on "high alert" following a series of bombings in the Himalayan kingdom.
The State Department renewed its May warning, urging Americans "contemplating a visit to Nepal to obtain updated security information before they travel."
"Nepal continues to experience sporadic incidents of terrorism and politically motivated violence in major urban areas," it said a statement, citing a triple bomb attack on September 2 in Kathmandu that killed three people.
"Nepal police believe that the improvised explosive devices were planted intentionally where people congregate, and in a moving microbus carrying passengers," it said.
"American citizens are reminded to remain on high alert, avoid public transportation ... and be cautious of unattended baggage in public places."
Two ethnic groups from Nepal's restive southern Terai claimed responsibility for three bombs -- one in a minibus, one at a bus stand and one outside Nepal's Army headquarters -- which detonated in near-simultaneous explosions.
Officials said two little-known ethnic groups from the southern region -- the Terai Army and the Nepal People's Army -- said they had carried out the attacks, which were condemned by Nepal's former rebel Maoists, who ended their decade-long civil war last year and joined the government earlier this year

Over 500 bombs defused in eastern Nepal

13:20, September 23, 2007

More than 500 bombs and improvised explosive devices were defused at the first Divisional Headquarters of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)'s "People's Liberation Army" at Chulachuli in eastern Nepal, The Rising Nepal daily reported on Sunday.
Deputy Commander of the cantonment Pawal said that the bombs were defused Friday afternoon with the help of the joint team of United Nations Mission in Nepal and bomb disposal specialists.
According to the daily, the bombs were used by the Maoists during the 11-year-old conflict ended in 2006.Pawal was quoted by the daily as saying that there were more bombs in the cantonments, some 240 km east of Kathmandu, and they would also be defused within a few days. Source: Xinhua

Sunday, September 23, 2007

'Nepal Prime Minister May Not Contest Polls'

23 Sep 2007, 0115 hrs IST,PTI
SMS NEWS to 58888 for latest updates

KATHMANDU: Prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala may not contest the crucial November constituent assembly elections that will form a body to frame a constitution and decided the fate of the 238-year old monarchy, a senior member of the Nepali Congress has said.
Shekhar Koirala, Nepali Congress central committee member, said PM Koirala is unlikely to contest the constituent assembly elections on November 22. Though the Morang and Sunsari chapters of Nepali Congress have urged the PM to be their candidate, there are chances that he will not file his candidacy, Shekhar said at an election programme.
Supporting the idea, Shekhar said, "As the party should be led by youths, PM Koirala should not file his nomination papers," for the polls stating that the legitimacy of the government will be under threat if the polls were not held on time.


Finally, the long wait over the two NCs unification appears to have come to an end.“The very draft paper that has the entire details for such unification is already in place”, said an insider of the NC from the Koirala camp.

Sources close to the Nepali Congress-Democratic said that the unity efforts would get a last boost by the two heads of the NCs right this evening hopefully.

According to reports leaking from high placed NC quarters say that the NC’s Student and the Female wing will be headed by the Koirala congress. The Tarun Dal will go to the pockets of the NC-D, it is learnt.2007-09-23 16:34:54

परराश्ट्र मन्त्रि साहना प्रधान बेल्जियमका एमालेहरुका बीचमा

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cltly g]skf-Pdfn]_ sf7df08f} lhNnf sldl6 ;b:o tyf k//fi6 dlGqsf] :jsLo ;lra s) ;fu/ g]kfnn] g]skf-Pdfn]_ a]lNhod sldl6n] /fv]sf] sfo{stf{ e]nfsf] k|;+zf ub{} g]kfnL hgtfsf] Psdfq qmflGtsf/L kf6L{ g]skf-Pdfn]_ Pp6f cfGbf]ng ePsf]n] o'/f]kaf6 c´ ;zQm9+un] cfGbf]ngdo x'g] ck]Iff /fVb} xflb{s wGoafb 1fkg ug{' eof] .

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g]skf-Pdfn]_,a]lNhod sldl6sf ;+:yfks ;lra tyf g]kfnL nf]stflGqs d~r -Pg)l8)Pkm)_, a]lNhodsf ;+:yfks cWoIf s) s[i0f vltj8fn]
g]kfnL qmflGts} uf}/jdo lh+pbf] O{ltxf;, g]kfnL sDo'lgi6 cfGbf]ngsf] al/i7 g]t[, g]skf-Pdfn]_ :yfoL sldl6 ;b:o tyf at{dfg nf]stflGqs g]kfn ;/sf/sf] k//fi6 dlGq s) ;fxfgf k|wfgn] cfÎgf] clQ Ao:ttfsf] afah'b klg ;do lbP/ ug'{ePsf] zDaf]wgn] g]skf-Pdfn]_sf sfo{stf{x?nfO{ g]kfnL qmflGtsf] kIfdf a]lNhodaf6 c´ ;zQm 9+un] nfUg k|]/0ff / k|f]T;fxg ldn]sf] atfpb}+ pxf+k|lt xflb{s cfef/ tyf wGoafb k|s6 ug{'eof] / ;fy} gj lgaf{lrt g]skf-Pdfn]_ dlxnf kf6L{ ;s[o bn, a]lNhodsf gjlgaf{lrt ;ldltnfO{ xflb{s awfO{ lb+b} sfo{sfn k'0f{ ;kmntfsf] sfdgf ug{' eof] .

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Crooked Minister and His Bungling Administration

A smutty shame to work with a
Crooked Minister and His Bungling Administration

Observation, Home Ministry, Kathmandu,

Some officers are very infuriated to work under the team of a crocked Home Minister Krishna Sitaula and his bungling administration. The angry officers says, they had never seen and neither heard in any world history that minister and senior administrators are also hold such pitiable morale and ethical ground in democratic governance.

They expressed that they know ministerial top administrators who are very perfect to enjoy and use all the governmental power and resource for their personal remuneration. However, they so called senior administrators (by age and chakari)) always get not succeed when situation ask for their valid role and accountability.

It is just because, they don’t have idea and knowledge that how an administrator should deal with the situation in ongoing transitional crisis period. Neither have they wanted to take risk because of the entirely stupid manner of our home administration approach.

Let put in plain words, since the beginning of Madheshi movement, there is a big demand of Madheshi people that he should resign immediately in morale ground because his bungling administration frequently failed to maintain even minimum law and order in nation and resulted the heavy bloodshed, murders, communal clashes and other violent activities in all over the Madhesh part of nation.

Although, he was protected and didn’t even realize that it is his morale issues. Now, The Kapilvastu and neighboring districts confrontations are another major question towards the Home Minister Situala and his inutile administration. A crosscutting question raised that why a nation need a home minister or home administration? What are the uses for such mechanism if they even not able to fulfill the principal duty to mention fundamental peace and security? We don’t know but should the Nepalese people further continuously accept him as Home Minister, who is coolly watching these episodes of bloody death and murder?

Should Home Ministry protect and promotes the administrators who played either overstepped role or became away from the violent site which produced, hundred of murders, classes and uncountable violent incidents?

It is really serious to know such people and their mentality that how come they are still working on behalf of such posts? Are they belong to criminal mentality or they consider producing violent and conflicts as part of their job? Really shame shame-shame on such people!

If you observe the posting culture, our crook minister promotes and protects the inefficient administrators and deputes the professionally incapable officers in key position of Home Ministry. If you have a look on the professional profile of the majorities CDOs and Police’s chiefs who are in key position since their entry. Then you will find what the reality is and why these majorities’ senior administrators’ guys fail to mention even minimum law and order in their concerned districts and regions.

Let state, in Home Ministry there is no evaluation of professional capacity and no one cares you and any development administration mode, just need to have three major things, either money or power or relative to achieve good posting. Remarkable, good posting means where officials can enjoy high level of corruption, maladministration, drinks and luxurious adult bar facilities. The most serious point is, these all things are systematical shares and approaches to the local-district-regional-central level. Therefore you could evaluate the accumulated level of Minister that how much he involve to push the country in civil war and to build a land like abscond orbit.

Of course, there are some good people too, although their administration style is being failed because they are also suffering with the bungling nature of Situala leadership. These honest people are either rucksack somewhere in useless duties or being asked for unnecessary donation and stuffs, deep influence for unwanted decision and more. They people are getting punish and mental harsh when they perform their true roles and duties. Hence, in such wretched situation, it is oblivious that good people would get failure too.

Moreover, these types of few officials also don’t want to play active role because neither the ministry and nor the minister take responsibility for their doings. However, there seems less thereat, less corruption and less violent where these good people are deputed. One funny things is there are no any norms of scientific performances evaluation of administrators accept the Ghus, goat, wine, and similar things.

In last, it is re-appealed with the crook minister and culprits’ administrators to resign immediately on the moral ground otherwise, patience of people will loose and wide awake of direct punishment to you bad guy for such bad doings. Be aware and save your future by extending your instant resignation otherwise you people will be the next Kamal Thapa and and his team.

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