Saturday, October 27, 2007

Madheshi Insurgent Group of Nepal

Nepal Peace Process, CA Election’s Environment, JTMM: UN Responsibility?

Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha – Jwala Singh (JTMM-J)

Formation

The Jwala Singh faction of the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-J) was formed by Nagendra Kumar Paswan a.k.a. Jwala Singh in August 2006 after he broke away from the Jaya Krishna Goit led JTMM. Jwala Singh is a former CPN-Maoist cadre and had joined Goit when he floated the JTMM. Later, he developed differences with Goit over the strategies to be adopted for the liberation of the Terai and establishment of an independent Terai state.

Objective

Jwala Singh demands complete secession from Nepal and to form a new independent state of Terai. In fact, he has already declared Terai as an independent state and says that any talks with the Government will be to demarcate the border only.

Demands

  • The Terai should be declared an independent state.
  • There should be proportionate participation by determining constituencies on the basis of population.
  • All the police, army and administration in the Terai should be evacuated and Madhesi people should be posted there.
  • Population census should be conducted in Terai under the supervision of Madhesis.
  • All the revenue collected from Terai should be spent for the development of Terai.
  • All the Madhesi killed by the state and Maoists should be declared martyrs and NPR 1.5 million should be provided as compensation.
  • Citizenship should be issued from the central to district level in coordination with the Madhesis.
  • The land of Madhesis captured by Maoists should be given back.
  • Maoists should end their ‘donation drive’ and tax collection in Terai.

Leadership and Structure

Jwala Singh is the leader of the organisation. The group claims to have formed an armed militia in 12 of the Terai’s 20 districts. With a cadre strength of a few hundreds, this group has an organisation modeled on the CPN-Maoist, with a central committee, central and district level governments, a Terai Liberation Army and district committees across the districts.

Area of Activity

It is primarily active in the Terai region bordering India in the districts of Siraha, Dhanusha, Morang, Sarlahi, Bara, Saptari, Mohattari, Birgunj and Rautahat.

Incidents involving JTMM-J:..... (It will come soon)

Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha – Jaya Krishna Goit (JTMM-G)

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The Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) was formed in July 2004 by Jaya Krishna Goit after splitting from the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maois). Goit, formerly a leader of the Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), was also co-ordinator of the Madhesi National Liberation Front of the CPN-Maoist. Gradually, as he came to believe that the Maoists were not serious about the development of the Terai region, he floated a separate outfit charging the Maoist leadership of betraying the Madhesi people.

Objective

JTMMM-G demands an independent state for the Madhesis in the Terai region. He believes that Terai was never a part of Nepal; rather it was annexed by the Nepali pahade (hill people) rulers and then parts of it were ceded to them by the British through treaties. Thus, he says that, his armed struggle is meant to correct the historical wrong committed by the Nepali rulers.

Leadership and Command Structure

JTMM-G is led by its founder Jaya Krishna Goit. The cadre strength of the JTMM-G remains difficult to estimate, though unconfirmed reports suggest a support base of a thousand, including hard-core cadres and sympathisers. The Goit faction functions with a central committee, East and West Terai Regional Bureaus, village, ward and cell committees and a parallel military organisation.

Areas of Activity

The JTMM-G is mainly active in the Terai region bordering India, particularly, in the districts of Siraha, Dhanusha, Morang, Sarlahi, Bara, Saptari, Mohattari, Lalitpur and Rautahat.

Incidents involving JTMM-G:..... (It will come soon)

Please be in touch to see their rebellion updated activities report(info fromwww.satp.org)

Friday, October 26, 2007

A guide to Mediation

A must read book

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nation: A Hostage To Indecision

By Yuba Nath Lamsal,

Nepal has become a hostage to indecision. The political parties, in general, and the three major parties, namely, the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist, in particular, are busy calculating their partisan gains and losses instead of seeking an amicable solution to the present political crisis. This has created a situation of political deadlock and serious political and constitutional crisis in Nepal. The recent developments have shown that our political forces have not been able to rise above their partisan interests. Otherwise, the present political crisis would not have cropped up in the first place.

Demands

The new crisis began after the Constituent Assembly election, which had been scheduled for November 22, was postponed. The election was postponed because the Maoists put forward their 18-point demand and threatened to disrupt the polls if their main demands were not met. As the election without the participation of the Maoists would be meaningless, the Election Commission, upon the request of the government, has postponed election indefinitely.

Following the poll postponement, the political parties have been engaged in the blame game. The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have accused the Maoists of scuttling the election process. But the Maoists have their own logic. According to them, the Constituent Assembly election is the process of creating a new Nepal in which there would be total restructuring of the state leading to the establishment of a federal democratic republic. This, according to them, is the mandate of Jana Andolan II and wishes of the people.

The establishment of a federal democratic republic would abolish the monarchy. Moreover, all the major political parties, in principle, have agreed to go for a republican set up. The Maoists are of the view that since all the political parties have adopted the republican line, there should not be any delay in declaring Nepal a republic. Their argument is that the monarchy would not allow the election to take place because the monarchy is going to be abolished if the Constituent Assembly election was held. The Maoists claim that as long as the monarchy remains, the Constituent Assembly election cannot be held. Thus, the Maoists have demanded that the monarchy be abolished to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections and a smooth transition.

However, the other political parties oppose the Maoist demand. According to the NC and UML, since it was agreed that the fate of the monarchy would be decided by the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly, they should abide by the earlier agreement. The NC and UML are of the view that there should be a due and democratic process for the abolition of the institution that has been in Nepal for more than 238 years.

Both the arguments seem plausible. But one thing is clear that the monarchy would definitely be a hurdle to a smooth democratic transition. History is witness that the monarchy has been the stumbling block in the democratic development of Nepal. Even in 1951, when the monarchy was restored through a popular movement, it was the king that betrayed the people and political parties.

A tripartite agreement signed among King Tribhuvan, the Nepali Congress and the Ranas in New Delhi then had agreed to hold the Constituent Assembly election. The then king Tribhuvan, right after he retuned to Kathmandu from his self-declared exile, had publicly announced that there would be a constitution written by the elected representatives of the people.

Once King Tribhuvan regained his lost power, he immediately started ignoring the political parties and people and scuttled the process of the Constituent Assembly election. He instead started hobnobbing with the Ranas, feudals and landlords to strengthen his own position. The king deliberately prolonged the transition period and scuttled the new political process.

The emergence of King Mahendra proved even worse for Nepal's political and democratic development. Instead of holding the Constituent Assembly election, King Mahendra conducted the parliamentary election under the constitution given by the king. The king's motive was to marginalise the Nepali Congress and bring the royalists to power through the sponsored election. However, the king's plans failed as the Nepali Congress won a landslide victory. After the election, the Nepali Congress formed the first elected government with BP Koirala as the Prime Minister.

Right after the election and formation of the elected government of the Nepali Congress, King Mahendra started hatching a conspiracy against the elected government and democratic process in Nepal. The king with the support of the army engineered a bloodless coup though which he overthrew the democratically elected government and took over power. This move introduced a dark era in Nepal's political development as the democratic polity that was established through the sacrifices of the people was once again pushed back.

This is how the democratic process was scuttled. But the enthusiasm and hunger for democracy did not die down in Nepal. As a result of a joint movement, multi-party democracy was restored in 1990. But the political parties, mainly the Nepali Congress and the United Left Front (ULF), ignored the people's demand for framing the constitution by the elected representatives of the people. Instead, the constitution was written by some handpicked people of the Nepali Congress, ULF and the king.

Although, the constitution was relatively better, it failed to adopt the legitimate process. Even after the 1990 political change, the monarchy has often tried to create a hurdle in the process of democratic consolidation. The rise of King Gyanendra following the death of King Birendra proved a disaster for Nepali politics. Soon after he ascended the throne, he started meddling in politics and ultimately followed the path of his father by taking over absolute power. All these developments have proved that the monarchy has been against democracy in Nepal.

Analysing Nepal's political developments against this background, the Maoist demands appear to be definitely genuine. Jana Andolan II has clipped the wings of the king. Thus, the monarchy is definitely down but not completely out. It is hard to believe that the monarchy will remain idle and let the Constituent Assembly election be held smoothly. The royalists would definitely make their last-ditch effort to sabotage the Constituent Assembly election so that the monarchy would continue to hold sway.

Partisan interest

The royalists are working in a planned and clandestine manner. But the political parties are showing weakness due to constant bickering. They have failed to assess the situation and gravity of the problem. With the frequent postponement of the election, a big question of legitimacy and credibility has arisen both at home and in the international arena. This is the time that all political parties and leaders must rise above their partisan interest and make sacrifices for the larger interest of the nation. The present political deadlock must be ended through a reasonable and liberal approach, for which leaders must demonstrate a sense of great magnanimity. (editorial 7-10-25 Rising Nepal)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nepal at Crossroads: Ban Ki-moon

UN news center,
The peace process in Nepal is facing unprecedented challenges, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report, urging the parties there to reach agreement on future steps, including a realistic timetable for elections that were to have been held next month but have been postponed to an as yet undetermined date.
Report of the Secretary-General on the request of Nepal for United Nations assistance in support of its peace process:
Introduction
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1740(2007), in which the Council established the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) in response to the request of the Government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN(M), for United Nations support for the peace process. UNMIN was established as a special political mission with a mandate to monitor the management of arms and armed personnel of CPN(M) and the Nepal Army, assist in monitoring ceasefire arrangements, provide technical support for the conduct of the election of a Constituent Assembly in a free and fair atmosphere and provide a small team of electoral monitors.2. The report reviews the progress of the peace process and the implementation of the mandate of UNMIN since my previous report to the Council of 18 July 2007 (S/2007/442). It further takes stock of the challenges facing Nepal in its efforts toconsolidate peace and embark on its historic transition. furthermore, please click here

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Vision for Nepal

My Vision for Nepal

By Prof. Dr. Khagendra Thapa

According to the 2001 census of Nepal, there are 103 different ethnic groups in Nepal. They speak at least 90 different languages. Some of the ethnic groups are as small as 164 people. Nepal is a country of minorities. The largest minority group is that of Chhetris at 15.80% followed by the Brahmins at 12.74%. Magars constitute the third largest minority group at 7.14%. Realizing the complexities of the make up of the population, Pirthvi Narayan Shah, the founding father of Nepal declared in 1767 AD that Nepal is a garden for people of all races and ethnic groups. In fact, Nepal was well known as a peaceful nation with complete harmony among people of diverse ethnic groups who practiced different culture and spoke different languages.

To give an example as to how people live in the villages of Nepal, let me describe the village in Dhankuta where I was born and raised. To the South of my home there were four Newar families. To the East side there were three Newar families and two Sunar families. To the North side there were six Newar families and six Chhetri families. To the west side there were four Damai Families and Chhetri families. Further in the East side there was big Limbu village mixed with Brahmins and Chhetris. Further South and South East there were more Limbus, Chhetris and Brahmins. In the North West there was a large group of Kami and Magar residents. There was even a Sarki family in the village. All these people lived in complete harmony. There was no presence of any police in the village. Any dispute among the villagers was settled by the village elders without any involvement of the courts. There was only one court in the district head quarters. I am sure it is a typical mountain village in Nepal. It was a self sustained village in that Damais tailored the clothes, Kamis made the tools for agriculture and house hold items out of iron, Sunars made the jewelry and Sarkis made the shoes. The villagers produced just about everything they consumed. When they wanted to eat some produce such as peanuts or mangoes or bananas they went to another village where there was a bazaar held once every two weeks where villagers bartered their produce. For example, those living in the hot areas and cold areas bartered their products.

We have lived in peace and harmony for centuries. After the movement of April 2006 sidelined the monarchy and brought the former insurgents(Maoists) to government, there has been numerous incidents of racial and ethnic group uprising thereby creating tension and conflicts among the various groups. Some groups are demanding cessation from Nepal and establish a separate independent country. All political parties have agreed to at least divide the country into Federal Republic. However, not a single party has any clue as to how to divide the country into different units. Various ethnic groups have demanded Self Governing Units based on Ethnic Groups. This is not going to work due to the lack of the homogeneity of population settlement. Moreover, Nepal has always been a unitary government. No single part of the country has ever been a self governing unit for the last 240 years which is a long time. Therefore, when the political parties promised Federal Structure to Ethnic Groups and Terai residents, they have not realized that they are treading into the uncharted territories.

At the time when many nations are working together and uniting their efforts such as the European Union, it is impractical and stupid to divide an existing nation to appease a handful of selfish politicians, thugs, and armed terrorists. The division of nation will bring about untold amount of misery and suffering to the people. It will benefit no one. We should learn from what happened when the British left India and the former colony of Britain was divided into India and Pakistan. We need to have a logical approach to solving problems so that the demands of Terai residents as well as the demands of the other ethnic groups are met without destroying the basic structure of the society. The foolish and selfish politicians and administrators living in luxury of Kathmandu do not understand the problems faced by the people in the villages of the terai, hills and the mountains. Are these fools aware of the fact that a pregnant mother has to carry drinking water for the family two miles up the mountain? Men do not fetch drinking water in Nepal. When I was out in Salyan to survey for water supply, I was both saddened and surprised to note how difficult life did a Magar village had because of lack of drinking water in the vicinity. They had to travel two miles down the steep mountain to fetch water.

It seems that the political parties do not have the interest of the people or the nation in mind. They are all busy in planning to take care of themselves, their relatives and their cadres. Not a single political party has given a program or plans as to how they are going to solve the problems of the people regarding poverty alleviation, eradication of illiteracy, economic development, train workforce to develop the country, health care, education, transportation, maintain racial and ethnic group harmony, and above all protect our territorial integrity and preserve our sovereignty.

Since no political party was willing to give a plan of action, I decided to give mine with a hope that they might decide to copy my plan so that our motherland and our people will benefit.

Our Goals as a Nation

The goals are divided in different aspects. Different goals may require different time limits.

Education and Literacy

1. Every school age child between the ages of 5-16 years should have access to school with books and school supplies.

2. Every Nepali should be able to read and write. For this, we must run a massive literacy campaign. Every literate Nepali must be challenged to help make three fellow illiterate Nepali to read and write within a year. Democracy without the literate citizens becomes a joke just like the one we had from 1990-2002.

3. We must open life skills development centers where we provide training in basic health care, carpentry, plumbing, electrical wiring, masonry work (brick laying), etc. These centers must be opened at least one in each district.

4. We must emphasize in trained practical hands on education in areas of engineering technologies such as electrical, welding, manufacturing, plastics, surveying, construction, automotive, HVACR as well as nursing, dental hygiene, physical therapy, radiography, respiratory care, sonography, phlebotomy, nuclear medicine, etc.

5. We must emphasize on female education and achieve gender equality by empowering women.

6. We must provide equal opportunity to education to people of all regions and all ethnic groups with special attention given to historically disadvantaged groups.

Health Care


1. No Nepali should die of communicable diseases or due to lack of medication of any kind of diseases.

2. Every village should have a pharmacy and a basic health care provider.

3. Nepal must manufacture its own medications in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical companies. If proper incentives are given, big Pharmaceutical Companies would be willing to shift their Asian Head Quarter to Nepal because of our weather which is highly conducive to all kinds of herbal plantations and central location.

4. We must have at least one Major Hospital in every zone.

5. We must strive for a steady decrease in child mortality

6. We must increase the awareness of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS

7. We must help improve maternal health.

Fulfilling our Energy Needs

Nepal has one of the largest hydroelectric power generation potential. However, because of the lack of leadership and vision, we do not have enough energy provided even in the capital city forget about the villages. To fulfill our energy needs for domestic consumption as well as for transportation and manufacturing, we must aggressively launch hydroelectric power generation programs with an intent to fulfill our complete need for energy without having to import any fossil fuels from other countries.

Transportation

1. We must build major electric train service that runs from East end of the country to the West end.

2. There should be north south connections to the major east-west electric train by electric buses as well as rope ways.

3. All other vehicles should be based on electric energy or other alternative energy.

4. All government owned vehicles should be sold and government and corporations should not provide transportation to the employees. If transportation is provided to the government officials it should be a bus which will pick them up in certain locations and drop them off at the end of the day. Even government ministers should not be provided with government vehicles. A poor country like Nepal cannot afford to provide expensive cars to the high ranking officials or ministers.

Economic Development

Nepal must rely on its own resources and stop begging for money and donations from other countries even to pay the salary of its incompetent and idiotic bureaucrats. Nepal must fight for fair trading practice with other countries particularly with its immediate neighbors. One of the areas where Nepal can immediately start benefiting is in exporting bottled water. In addition, it should increase the production of medical herbs for export. Our emphasis must be to encourage farmers to cultivate herbs for export purpose.

Turn Nepal into the Business and Financial Center of Asia

Once Nepal establishes its basic infrastructure, it should actively entice the multinational corporations such as Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Citi Corp, and many others to establish their Asian Head Quarters in Nepal. Nepal’s central location in Asia, its honest and hard working people and great weather should be very appealing to the Corporations. If we are able to bring political stability, there is no reason why the multinational corporations would not be willing to relocate their head quarters in Nepal. In addition, they will save a lot of money in energy costs since we have wonderful weather requiring less heating and cooling than any other Asian country.

Food and Agriculture

Nepal’s population is increasing both due to natural growth rate of 2.2 % and immigration from India. The available cultivable land is only 14% of the total area. Therefore, we must emphasize on increasing agricultural production.

1. We must provide irrigation for agriculture so that the farmers do not have to depend on the rainfall alone. Currently, only miniscule areas of the arable land are irrigated. Increased irrigation will help farmers to produce more food and cash crops.

2. We must use Biotechnology to produce more food. For example, according to Jimmy Carter because of the recent developments the following areas of food production using Biotechnology may help Nepal to produce enough food to feed its population:
Golden Rice enriched with beta carotene and iron that can help combat vitamin-A deficiency, a major cause of blindness among poor people in Nepal. Researchers also are working on a "Golden mustard" that will yield cooking oil enriched with vitamin A. Mustard oil is widely used in Nepal to prepare food.

New varieties of corn, sorghum, sweet potato, and wheat that are being developed to provide more amino acids such as lysine, an important dietary protein.

Cucurbit crops that resist viruses and increase yields of these important staples for Nepali people.

"Pharma foods" that may help prevent or cure diseases such as cholera and diarrhea, leading causes of infant mortality in Nepal.

New banana varieties resistant to Black Sigatoka that could reduce the need for chemical controls, improve production agronomics, and increase the quality of bananas. These Bananas could also be exported as cash crop.

3. We must make a proper use of land for agricultural purposes. Instead of just producing the traditional staple crops such as rice, corn, millet and wheat, Nepali farmers should produce more vegetables and products that cause less soil erosion. The market for such products is readily available in the cities in Nepal as well as in India. For example, farmers in East Nepal already export substantial amount of vegetable to India.

4. Proper land use may prevent both soil erosion and land slides. Both increase the siltation in the rivers thereby causing flooding and river changing its course. River course changes can destroy a lot of arable land. It takes over 400 years to replace the top soil that is being washed away from the hills and mountains of Nepal because of improper land use.
Housing and Shelter

Because of the increase of population and displacement of people from their homes to cities as well as to district head quarters due to the Maoists insurgency, there has been an acute shortage of housing in these areas. In addition, because of increasing loss of forested areas, the poor people are finding more and more difficult to find basic building material for their shelter.

Our goal should be such that every Nepali family has a some kind of a shelter. As much as possible shelters or houses should be built using local resources. For example, using jute sticks, bamboo and mud Satars, Dhimals, Tharus, and others build beautiful little huts for themselves whereas in the mountains villagers build good homes using bamboos, stones and clay.

Of course, our politicians and rich businessmen and those who are historically privileged build concrete and brick homes especially in Kathmandu. I do not believe there is a single politician (other than Maoists) who does not have a nice home in Kathmandu. Some of the highly corrupt ones also own homes in India along with fat bank accounts. Some of the rich people’s homes in Kathmandu can also withstand earthquakes but not as well as the beautiful huts built by Satars.

Make Nepal the Play Ground of Asia

Nepal has many historic and religious places such as Lumbini the birthplace of Lord Buddha and several religious places for both Hindus and the Buddhists. Moreover, as stated above we have great weather as well as natural beauty. In addition, seven of the ten highest mountains including the Mount Everest are located in Nepal. The holy city of Kathmandu is not only the home of Lord Pashupatinath but is a great historical place with its majestic pagoda style temples and palaces built in the last seven centuries. In addition, there also famous Buddhist holy places such as Swoyambhu and Bauddha.

Nepal should make it appealing to tourists not only from countries all over the world but also should pay special attention to tourists from its both neighbors China and India. The rising economy of these countries has created a large middle class which can afford to spend money on traveling.

In addition to the existing cultural, religious, and natural beauty, Nepal should add new attractions to entice other kinds of tourists. Nepal must clean up its religious places and establish many casinos from East to West so that we can keep more of the tourist’s money in Nepal. Casinos could play an important role in improving the economy of a region or country. For example, look at Nevada in the USA. It has no agricultural land and no industries. Yet it is thriving economically. Right now the great industrial States such as Michigan are in a very poor economic situation where as Nevada is flourishing economically primarily because of its casinos.

Preserving Our Heritage

Nepal has many historical religious places with ancient temples especially in the holy city of Kathmandu. There are also important historical temples and places outside the capital for example in the holy city of Janakpur, there is a beautiful Janaki Mandir. The all powerful parliament has declared Nepal a secular state, nevertheless these unruly parliamentarians should not be allowed to destroy our national heritage like the way Taliban destroyed Buddhist Statues in Afghanistan. When the Maoists come to power and Comrade Prachanda becomes the first President of Nepal as he promised to Nepali people, I genuinely hope that he will not burn our religious books and burn down our temples.

Maintaining the Harmony and Peace among Communities

Thanks to Maoists Comrades, civil Society Members, NGOs and INGOS, the peaceful coexistence that existed in Nepal for centuries is no longer there. The events of Kapilvastu, Gaur, Nepalganj and the constant Chakka Jam and Nepal Bandha are burning examples of what has happened to otherwise peaceful society. The random murders by members of one ethnic group to other ethnic groups are taking place just about every day not to mention about the threats of violence and intimidation. As a result, some communities living and working in some parts of the country have been displaced.

In order to maintain and to reestablish the inter-ethnic and itra-ethnic group peaceful coexistence, Nepal needs to form Peace and Reconciliation Committees, comprising of the representatives of all ethnic groups (residing in the area) in each village and communities.
Observe Baisakh 1st the day of National Unity and Reconciliation

The Muluki Ain (Civil law) declared about forty years ago did away with all kinds of discriminations and untouchability. However, the law was only limited in paper. The successive governments of all political color did nothing to really implement it. Now, it is time for the people to come forward and implement the law and repair the fractured race and ethnic group relations. In order to achieve the peace and tranquility in the society, we must declare Baisakh 1st (The Nepali New Year’s day) as the Day of National Unity and Reconciliation. In order to get rid of the issue of untouchability and discard the feeling of superiority and inferiority by people of different castes, I propose that we hold parties and get together in every village, town , and city blocks and have feasts sitting, singing, dancing and enjoying together so that Brahmins, Podes, Sarkis, Damais, Chamars, Kamis, Madhises, Pahades, everyone gets along on the day of Day of National Unity and Reconciliation. We must also welcome people of all religious faith no matter whether they are Muslims, Christians, Buddhist, or Hindus. There are two issues which bring about division and dissension among people and those are politics and religion. Discussion about these issues must be banned from these parties. Consumption of alcohol must not be allowed in these get together. Political leaders who want to bring political issues and religious leaders who want to talk about religion must not be allowed to participate. However, as long as they are willing to participate without political agenda and religious prejudice, they should also be welcome. People themselves should organize these parties (may be pot lucks) without the involvement of the government.


*************
Khagendra Thapa is a professor and Vice President of Academic Senate at Ferris State University. He was educated in Nepal, London England, Canada, and the United States. He holds five degrees from the above countries.
Source:http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/print.html?path=HL0710/S00326.htm

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nepal in German Sight

An E: dialogue:


Namaste, how do you like to introduce yourself?
  • My name is Armin Hartmann from Bonn/Germany. For a number of years I have worked as travel agency manager and tour guide. At present, I also teach business English and administration in a German institute.
How was your trip? Could your give us a short explanation now about your perception on Nepal?

  • From the start to the finish my journey was pleasant and trouble free, full of inspiring impressions and kind people. A country with a rich nature and landscape - well not every local has noticed it yet, sad to say.
How did you enthuse for Nepal trip and what was your major goal of this trip?

  • For about ten years I have had contact to Nepalese citizens staying temporarily in Germany. As a number have gone back in the meantime, the list of invitations and my wish the see them again grew. It made me glad that I could meet most of them in Nepal.
What kinds of things you considered as part of your trip?

  • Next to seeing my friends I wanted and managed to see Chitwan, Pokhara and to trek in Langtang.
What were your most liked and disliked things in Nepal?

  • I liked the people and nature a lot. Negative was pollution and the poor busses. The constant throat-cleaning and spitting of people was also quite irritating.
What do you feel about the behaviours and general welcoming manner of our Immigration, custom, airlines, security and others staffs inside the airport? Did you suffer any problem, or bureaucratic stress?
  • All airport people were friendly and open, problem-free. The queue for immigration without visa was a bit long when I arrived and patience was needed. A sign at the entrance which form needs to be filled in would be helpful, not just silently putting the forms on a desk next to the window. And not every passenger travels with a pen. After I had checked-in for my return flight I wanted to say bye to my friends waiting outside the terminal building. The security man did not let me pass out again at first, what was annoying, but let me go - strange.
As you told Nepal is one of the richest country in nature, culture and society, although we have not been able to achieve needy success in tourism development. What you think why? Would you like to give any remark with your worthy suggestions?

  • This question requires deep thinking and listening about: Who am I? What are my strengths? What do I have to offer? What do visitors expect? Why should they come? What will disturb them? Do I have the desire and courage to change and improve things? Many who have to do with tourism in Nepal have seemingly never asked themselves these questions. The general attitude of people (friendliness, crime etc) is good, infrastructure often poorly maintained or inadequate. It does not need to be expensive. Many small changes have huge effects! Very dangerous holes in footpaths and roads and inadequate street lighting in tourism zones (e.g. in Pokhara, when you arrive by bus or walk around after sundown). Better busses for tourists taller than 1,60m are urgently needed - Nepalese bus quality and safety is a really good reason for a strike. I have been to more than twenty countries outside Europe and never seen such vehicles in transport. Better signs on roads and places for tourists needed. Properly maintained toilets are essential at sightseeing points. Ban the major air polluters from the roads. Also in many other countries the traffic works smoothly without anyone beeping a horn! A capable and authorized central tourism agency should inspect all tourism relevant places and ask the above questions and cooperate with those who have been to the countries the tourists come from - that works! Many tourist have little understanding why they have to pay far more (sometimes more than sixfold) than locals for the same service.
Please tell us, how we can attract more European tourists in forthcoming days to our country? Do we need any unique promotional program for Europeans people? If yes than what and how?

  • In finding answers to the questions in #7. What do tourists expect and why do they come? Meet their expectations at least. Find out what they want and use it! Of course a campaign design for Indian or Chinese will not work in Europe, a different strategy is needed. Europeans come for nature, trekking, culture. Professional support is well spent money.
What you think about the role of our Europe based diplomatic missions concerning the Nepalese tourism development point of view? Do you have any suggestions to our authorities?

  • Until now I have not noticed their efforts in promoting tourism much. A cooperation with a good PR agency would be a useful step to use the budget wisely.
Do you have any plan to contribute in Nepalese development? If yes, then what and how?

  • More than before I will help my Nepalese friends in Germany understand the importance of environment protection and to look closely the mistakes we made here in past and to avoid them in the first place. If I could give my support even locally - I would feel highly honoured.
Do you like to say something to our future tourists who want to visit Nepal in near future?

  • Learn to love rice. Avoid the busses. Get in touch with the locals and let their hearts inspire you. And always have a role of toilet paper and soap with you!

What you say to your people that why should they chooses Nepal as their tour destination?
  • If you love unspoiled and genuine nature, great scenery, green landscapes - Nepal is where you will find it.
Any concluding remarks or special message that you want point out?

  • A word to the local tourist guides: You can easily double your income by not spitting in front of the group (even before saying Namaste), showing personal interest and using thank you and please frequently...


Please tell us something in Nepali?

  • Nepal derai ramro chha!

FM radios of Nepal

Image FM 97.9

Nepal and Government

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Nepal On Programs

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Nepal Video

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Nepalese festivals

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United States Institute of Peace

Nepal Regional Video

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