Saturday, December 8, 2007

This is the Way in Nepal?

This is the Way in Nepal?

What's there to do: A culture of resignation ails Nepalis, says DR. J.

Ke garne? Nepalma yestai ho... What's there to do? This is the way in Nepal


So many brainy heads and even dim-witted people have come up with so many theories on why Nepal is a society that it is. There are both sanguine theses and gloomy renderings of the Nepali sense of failure and helplessness.

Not to hurt the self-esteem of many we-will-make-a-difference-type Nepalis from the younger generation, first, some seemingly bright propositions: Nepalis can do. They were always an independent type, and they are. Given the freedom and the means, they will make it to their dreams. They can write their own fate. And they can lead a revolution, too.

Don't you see, for instance, what Prashant Tamang has become, of late? Also, forget not Manisha Koirala, or perhaps an already old-timer Udit Narayan? If you follow the news, we beat even the modernizing Koreans in English language tests, which you should agree is a sort of a doorway to possibilities. For so many of us today, it is an ordinary feat to casually commute the high-tech subways of New York and London and Tokyo, and as we do that, whisper on cellphones to our folks in Nepalgunj or Lamjung or Tikapur. Can't you recall some tales of our ancestors who returned home because they could not learn how to flush the toilet after they pooped, use a credit card, or speak English? The fear of the unknown is not an issue for the young generation. Blah, blah...

Now the pessimists would clamor: Not in Nepal, not ever. Ke garne? Nepalma yestai ho... What's there to do? This is the way in Nepal.

It is a perennial question, almost philosophical-- What is it that it is? Where is this there? What action does doing involve? Who is the doer? And a little beyond the obvious-- to what end is the action?

The answer-- this is the way in Nepal-- is perennial, too. What is this? What does "the way" stand for? And "in Nepal?"

The reality is, the pair of question and answer short-circuits a sense of resignation that is deeply embedded in the Nepali culture. Blame, it does Nepal, not necessarily Nepalis. So the contradiction-- the very Nepali who makes it big abroad will have to slouch low at home because this is the way in Nepal.

There is nothing to do, except the way it is in Nepal. For more than 2 hundred years, since Prithvi Narayan Shah, we have a battle for a political what that is going on in Kathmandu. This is the way in Nepal. We don't know for sure, what that what is. We never tried to define it clearly, and still today we vacillate between many extremes, ranging from an antique monarchy to a modern republic to a radical democracy. Ke garne? We cannot together say Yehi garne, let's do this. Rather, we have an easy way-- this is the way in Nepal.

At a practical level, Ke garne is a brilliant question. It directly speaks to our need for priorities. But the philosophy behind the question has overwhelmed our sensory faculties. We always look for a big redemptive answer-- as if there is one BIG answer, a single answer, a key to all our worldly problems. Every little "what" has become a question of the last judgment, the hereafter. That is an ethical probe, seeking a "right" path, so often emphasized in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other isms in the West.

This principled arrogance will lead us nowhere, because the ultimate remains unresolved. The pragmatics are workable. Whereas there are a million little answers because there are a million little needs: Don't be swallowed up by the echoes of your own question that you answer yourself, or at least think you already have an answer for. Solicit more voices beyond the proverbial repartees. Why seek votes when you are not interested in someone's answer. The "what to do" about the proposed constituent assembly elections is here for us to reflect our resignation about the way that things can be in Nepal. There are answers that we don't want to accept: Pick up the trash that is everywhere around us because this should not be the way in Nepal as it is in many other world cities. If you are bothered by political chaos or unemployment or other personal failures, stay awake to ponder on some nikash, a way out. It is incredible that a mega city like Kathmandu is a ghost town as early as seven in the evening-- people fall asleep so quick as if they are a very happy lot and the worldly troubles are nowhere around them. Perhaps they find solace in their dreams-- they can escape their stale answers that have led them nowhere. But what about peeing on the street, spitting in public, disturbing your neighbors with a loud family fight in the middle of the night, shouting obscene slogans, and concocting a bogus wedding with a guy who just got a DV visa for the US of A, just because this is the way in Nepal? There are many more examples we all share.

Perhaps we must reexamine who we are now. The news media are supposed to help us in that process. Journalists are supposed to spotlight a diversity of actors and current affairs. Unfortunately, the headlines in newspapers and the soundbites on air convey little of that. There is talk of inaction, there is talk of deadlock, and there is talk of helplessness. Deviation has become commonplace and the ordinary has become deviation. So look beyond the headlines, in the inside pages, in the dramas and profiles, to read the real news, to come to refute that this is not the way in Nepal, rather these are the ways in Nepal.

A businessman helps streets boys. A Maoist cadre resigns to protest violence and discrimination. Nepali doctors find cure for blindness among poor. Villagers bring light to their town... the list is endless... What isn't there to do? These are the ways in Nepal


Dr. J is pen-name of a Nepali Journalist based in the United States.

Source:nepalmonitor

Secularism?

By Biswo Poudel:

I think we are taking this 'we are secular country and so prime minister shouldn't do this and that' thing way too far. How far are we going to push this argument to bother an old, ailing and frail prime minister? What else can he not do? Perhaps he shouldn't wear a red tika in public anymore. Perhaps he shouldn't go to temples anymore. Perhaps he shouldn't seek the blessing of deities anymore. Perhaps he should not mourn his Bhauju's death and let his head unshaved. Perhaps a secular country should privatize the temples (and to please the 'progressives', nationalize all corporations in the country). Why is it that the atheists have no inhibition in wearing their 'faith' (or lack thereof) on their sleeve, and why is it that we faithful have to be so subdued? Isn't communism a religion itself? Religion believes in the existence of the god, communism believes in the nonexistence of the god on unsubstantiated ground without offering any valid reasons for our origin, motive and so many other phenomena.

Hinduism, and Buddhism to some extent, permeates our society, it has been our guiding principle, and to refute it, in the minimum, we need a leader who can pull more crowd than Ramdev for a morning calisthenics, or we need a leader who can inspire people to donate more money for philanthropy than Pundit Pokhrel. Those who have to close the schools and drag kids to fulfill their crowd requirement, or those who don't have a courage to go to election to write a new constitution or approve the current changes in the constitution including secularism, hardly have any moral authority to speak against our religious tradition or religion per se. Under our secular partymen, the Moslems have been attacked in Kapilbastu and their mosques have been razed. Secularism in Nepal has nothing to do with protecting and empowering Nepali Moslems and other minorities who are sitting ducks for proselytizing evangelists from far flung countries: our country was made 'secular' to please the foreigners and the self loathing leftists. Does any 'progressives' have the guts to take it to referendum, they way they want to take the monarchy?

And Not all devout Hindus are for king: I visited Devghat in Chitwan immediately after the success of Jana-Andolan 2. In that sacred place, I was blessed with a meeting with a shree 108 Guru who oversees some of the Devghat's activities. I asked him whether he approved of the king Gyanendra or monarchy in general because another religious leader there seemed to do so. He told me that a king who has betrayed people's trust has no right to rule the country. I asked him specifically about Gyanendra and he categorized Gyanendra as one of those without any right to rule the country. And then he told me, to disassociate Hinduism from monarchy, that Hinduism has no relation with the monarchy, nor does it teach its followers to be obedient to the king. " Who do you think fought against the brutal kings long before these revolutionaries were even born, long before there was Marx?" He said. In deed, the first war against slavery was waged by Vishwamitra. Our scriptures are brimming with the examples of Rishis seeking to overthrow bad rulers.

Hinduism is as much of about diversity and tolerance as anything else. It doesn't attribute a shape to god (Nirakar god), it doesn't preclude atheism (Charwak is immortalized), and it doesn't even believe in conversion. You can pray any shaped god, you can even rail against it, and you can be apathetic to it. Those who actively seek to behead the nonbelievers, those who profess a monolithic state system, and those who carry the baggage of a failed system propounded by a failed German economist have neither a moral stand to face Hinduism, nor stamina to withstand it. I personally am always proud of the rich culture, and venerable tradition our esteemed ancestors have bequeathed to me, and would continue to observe it as much as I can, if needed publicly otherwise privately, full with the faith that it will guide me to the light even where there is a lot of darkness around [ tamasomaa jyotirgamaya].

Friday, December 7, 2007

Nepal Police


This collection of essays was written exclusively by Nepali experts and reflects their personal opinions on policing, community safety and justice provision in Nepal. While Saferworld has been actively involved in supporting, editing and translating this publication, it has not sought to change or influence the arguments contained within the text. It should be noted that the views expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the position of Saferworld.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Madhesis of Nepal

The Madhesis of Nepal

By K Yhome

Dramatic events in the past one year since the 2006 “April Revolution” in Nepal have been redefining the political landscape of the Himalayan nation in more ways than one. One important change is the visible rise of “marginalized” groups in national politics. The “excluded” groups - cutting across ethnic, religious and language lines - are demanding their due rights. In the midst of these changes is the rise of the Madhesis.2 This paper attempts to assess the response of the Nepalese government towards the Madhesi uprising, the shaping of the contours of the ethnic problem in the future, and its impact on peace in Nepal up in coming days and weeks and the prospects for peace in the country. The article ends with an assessment on India’s role in Nepal.

map-of-nepal.jpg

  Map of Nepal

The Madhesis3

Madhesis are an important segment of the population in Nepal.4 They occupy economically the most significant region of the country with 70-80 per cent of the country’s industries being located in the Terai region. It accounts for 65 per cent of Nepal‘s agricultural production. Needless to say, the country’s economy depends heavily on the region. Strategically, the Terai belt constitutes the lifeline of Nepal. All the key transportation routes from India pass through this region, making it the gateway to the landlocked country. Almost all the country’s import and export takes place through this region. Given these factors, any disturbance in the region involving the Madhesis becomes extremely critical as it has the potential to seriously jeopardise the country.

With strikes, bans, and road blockades that continue to mark the unrest in Terai, economic activities have been brought to a virtual halt. Trade has been severely affected with goods worth millions of rupees stranded at border points and many manufacturing industries in Birgunj and Biratnagar shut down owing to crisis of raw materials. A recent report released by Nepal Rastra Bank, indicates that the country’s foreign trade recorded dismal performance during the first nine months of 2006/07, with 2.9 per cent fall in total exports. The report identifies the Terai unrest as one of the major factors for the poor performance of the export sector.

The size of the Madhesis has been a contested issue. According to the Population Census 2001 based on mother tongue for Village Development Committees (VBCs), the Madhesis population was 6781111.5 If one were to go by this figure, the Madhesis formed 29.2 per cent of the total population of Nepal in 2001. However, Madhesi political leaders, scholars, and activists have long questioned these figures. They claim that the Madhesis form 40-50 per cent of the total population of Nepal today. For instance, Jwala Singh, leader of the Janatantrik Mukti Morcha (JTMM-Singh) has claimed that Madhesis population is 14 million.6 While the truth is difficult to establish, one can safely say that the Madhesis constitute a major chunk of Nepal’s demography.

The Unrest in Terai7

Two issues need to be highlighted. First, the Madhesi issue is not a communal issue. Secondly, the Madhesi issue has not emerged in January 2007. The Madhesi question is not one of Madhesis (‘people of the plains’) vs Pahadis (‘people of the hills’). This misinterpretation of the Madhesi nomenclature by making it a community-based issue could have grave implications for the country.8 The Madhesi issue in Nepal relates to a movement against the state’s ‘discriminatory’ politics. It is a fight for recognition of rights - political, cultural as well as economic - and a struggle for equal representation and opportunity. 9

The current Madhesi protests began to surface in late 2006. The interim constitution became the rallying point, which the Madhesis claim, has failed to address the issues related to their rights. The trouble soon took a different turn when the country’s draft interim constitution came into effect on 15 January. Rapidly, the largely peaceful protests snowballed into widespread violent demonstrations, strikes and bans. Since then, the situation has only deteriorated. Three Madhesi outfits have been leading the agitations. The outfits are:

  • Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) or Madhesi Peoples’ Right Forum (MPRF) headed by Upendra Yadav. The outfit has been spearheading the ongoing Madhesi agitation in Terai. MJF’s main demands are: amendments to the interim constitution to include provisions for ethnic and regional autonomy with the right to self-determination and proportional representation based on ethnic population for the elections to Constituent Assembly (CA). Yadav has also been criticised from several quarters for his alleged ties with “palace forces”. The outfit’s student wing, Nepal Madhesi Student Front severed its allegiance in March accusing their leader of working with the “royalist” to subvert the CA elections.10 Interestingly, on April 26, the MJF submitted an application for party registration at the Election Commission and said that it will participate in the CA elections as a political party.
  • Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-Singh faction) led by Nagendra Paswan alias Jwala Singh. JTMM-Singh group is a breakaway faction of the Maoists that has been active mainly in Siraha and Saptari districts of Terai. The group spilt from JTMM led by Jaya Krishna Goit in mid-2006. The JTMM-Singh faction has been demanding for an autonomous and separate independent Terai state; equal participation of Madhesis in government security forces. In fact, on March 30, the outfit declared the Terai region a “Republican Free Terai State.”11 The group has been accused of fueling communal feelings between “people of hill origin” and “people of Terai region”, however, Singh reportedly claimed that his group is against the “system of unitary communal hill state power” and not people of hill origin.12
  • Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-Goit faction) led by Jaya Krishna Goit. Some of the conditions that the group has put forth for talks include declaring Terai an independent state, fresh delimitation of electoral constituencies based on populations, eviction of non-Terai officials and administrators from Terai region, among others. Both the JTMM groups want UN mediation in the talks. The group has been alleged of “divisive” campaign for its demand from industries to remove “people of hill origin” and replace them with Madhesi people or “people of plain origin” in eastern Terai region.13

Another outfit, Madhesi Tigers, a splinter group of the Maoists re-emerged in March after a long period of inaction. Madhesi Tigers is a splinter group of the CPN-Maoist formed a few years ago. Reportedly, its leader was killed in April 2005. According to the news reports, the Madhesi Tigers abducted eleven persons from Haripur area on March 1 but were released few days later.14 The past months have also seen emergence of new outfits. A group calling itself Terai Cobra has emerged in central Terai. Not much is known about this outfit. The first time it came out in public was on May 9, when it called a bandh in Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat districts in central Terai. Normal life was affected as markets and schools remain closed and traffic was disrupted.15 On 14 May, yet another outfit called Terai Army Dal, unheard of before, claimed responsibility of the bomb blast in Rautahat district that injured 14 people.16

Government Response

Has the government mishandled the Madhesi uprising? Arguably yes, if the worsening situation in the Terai is any indication. During the initial phase of violence in the Terai, the government perhaps failed to respond to the problem effectively. It was busy with other issues at hand, particularly, the peace process and the formation of government.17 The government’s indifference was compounded by differences between the government and the CPN-Maoist leadership (the Maoists joined the government in 1 April) over how to approach the problem. On 22 January a meeting of the eight-party alliance was called by Prime Minister GP Koirala to discuss the Terai situation. While the Prime Minister (PM) felt that the issues raised by the Madhesis and other groups can be resolved through dialogue, the CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda and senior leader Babu Ram Bhattarai ruled out the possibility of dialogue with the Maoist splinter groups claiming that these groups were supported by “royalists elements and fundamental Hindu activists”.18

The Prime Minister’s address to the nation on January 31 and February 7, calling upon the agitating groups for dialogue evoked mixed reactions. While the PM’s address received positive response from some groups, it failed to improve the deteriorating situation. Under intense pressure from various quarters, the government formed a committee for talks with the agitators on February 2 under Mahanth Thakur, the Minister of Agriculture. Despite this initiative, the government was increasingly coming under criticism from both within the SPA and other political parties.19 Amid growing pressure from Madhesi and other communities, the government on February 2 decided to amend the two-week old interim constitution and assured the inclusion of all communities in the organs of the state.20 However, differences among the parties delayed the PM’s second address to the February 7. The eight-party alliance voiced its collective support to the PM’s address and signed a commitment paper that they were serious about the movement in Terai and would want to resolve it by addressing the Madhesi people’s demands and aspiration.

Meanwhile, the MJF responded positively to the PM’s second address by suspending their protest programme for ten days. On the other hand, the JTMM-Goit faction criticised the PM’s address. While the JTMM-Singh faction and the MJF initially showed willingness for dialogue, the JTMM-Goit rejected talks offer saying that the government has not created conducive atmosphere for talks. Soon the MJF followed suit and on 19 February, it said it would resume agitation alleging that the government did not show seriousness. The Thakur committee’s invitation for dialogue with the agitating groups never took off. Rather more conditionalities were put before the government to start the government for the dialogue. The interminable unrest in the Terai also pushed the NSP-A to take a tougher position, even threatening to pull out of the SPA if the government did not adopt the proposal to amend the constitution before March 6.

As though the rapidly growing tension and violence was not enough, the Gaur incident, in which a clash between the MJF and the CPN-Maoist aligned Madhesi Mukti Morcha (MMM) took place on March 21, 27 people were killed and many injured, further excerbated the tension.21 Reacting to the incident the eight-party alliance in a press statement said that the government must take stern measures against such acts and safeguard life and property of the people. In the wake of the Gaur incident and in the midst of CPN-Maoists demand to ban the MJF, the government prohibited any MJF programmes.

Efforts to curb the increasing violence remained ineffective as also the invitation for dialogue remained a non-starter. In the face of the deteriorating law and order situation, the government formed the Peace and Reconstruction Ministry and appointed a new three-member committee on April 11 headed by Ram Chandra Poudel entrusted with the task to hold talks with all the protesting groups. By appointing a new ministry and a new team for talk, the government wanted to send a message that it was serious about the issues raised by the agitators. In a significant development, the MJF and the government held their first formal talks on June 1 in Janakpur. It was reported that the two sides agreed on some of the demands raised by the MJF.22 However, a final agreement is yet to be reached.

While the government expressed its concern over the continued incidents of violence and called all agitating groups for talks, the situation in many parts of Terai remained chaotic with killings, extortions and strikes marking the protests. The violence has been taken a new direction with the rise in clashes between Madhesi outfits and Maoist sister organisations. This has further complicated matters.

Prospects and Recommendations

The situation in Terai remains grim with no signs of improvement. There is nothing to suggest that protests and violence will subside in the near future. Killings, strikes, demonstrations and clashes may continue. Even as the government insists on talks with the agitating groups, there has been a reluctance to address the core Madhesi problems and demands.

In the event of any outfit entering into an agreement with the government, the level of violence may be brought down. However, so long as other groups indulge in violent activities, the situation may only worsen in the coming weeks with serious implications, given the explosive nature of the issue. And now with new outfits emerging, the complexities are only growing for the government because even if any outfit enters into dialogue with the government, the possibility of dissidents joining the new groups to carry on their violent activities cannot be ruled out.

It is feared that the situation if allowed to deteriorate further, may result into ethnic riots. However, the recent incidents indicate that the danger seems to have been averted owing to the new dimension that the violence has acquired i.e. - the Madhesi vs the Maoists, which is as dangerous.

The urgent imperative is that all the agitating groups including the Maoists must desist from violence. The first priority of the government should be to seriously address the demands of the protesters. The Madhesi groups should not forget that their real cause is political. The present political situation in Nepal provides all ethnic groups the opportunity to resolve their problems amicably. Therefore, it would be folly on the part of the Madhesis to play the spoiler. The SPA and the CPN-Maoist also need to display more maturity.

India’s Role

India has been playing a constructive role in Nepal’s political transition. On several occasions New Delhi has expressed its desire to see Nepal resolve its internal problems and move towards establishing a stable democracy. On the development front, India has been engaged in education, infrastructure, and health projects in Nepal. Since India’s shares a long porous border with Nepal’s Terai, the trouble in the region is of great concern to it. Trade between the two countries depends on this region, as all the trading points are located there. Since violence has erupted in the Terai, India has shown serious concern over the volatile situation. Also of major concerns to India is the possiblity of the spill over of violence in Terai into India. The Indian government has been closely watching the developments in the Terai and has constantly been in touch with Nepal’s government.23

Notes:

  1. The assessments in this essay are based on developments till June 2007.
  2. Several other “marginalized” groups such as the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), am umbrella organisation of 54 indigenous and ethnic groups, the Kirats; the Tharus; the Muslims among other groups have been protesting and demand the government to address the issues of ethnic groups.
  3. The term Madhesi is derived from the word Madhesh meaning “mid-land” in Nepali and is defined as the lowland plains in the southern slopes of Nepal bordering Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttaranchal. It refers to the Terai region (See Figure I). The foothill of the Chure hill is considered the dividing line between the Pahar (the hills) and the Madhesh (the plains). Hence, the people occupying the Terai belt are called Madhesis. The name is a generic term and also a topographic reference. The Madhesis include different cultural and linguistic groups - Maithili, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Tharu, Hindi, Urdu, and other local dialects.
  4. There is currently a debate in the academic discourse on whether all groups in the Terai can be considered Madhesis. I have argued elsewhere that a Madhesi “identity” has came about as a result of long state “discriminatory” politics. See “Constructing Identity: The case of the Madhesis of Nepal Terai” Paper presented at Social Science Baha conference on Nepal Terai: Context and Possibilities in Kathmandu on 10-12 March 2005.
  5. This figure included all the mother tongues spoken in the Terai - Bhojpuri, Maithili, Awadhi, Tharu, as also Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Rajbansi, Santhali including Punjabi and Marwari (though their share is marginal).
  6. See “The Himalayan Times”, January 15, 2007.
  7. The origin of the movement can be traced back to early 1950s. Several political parties and organisations - the Terai Congress in the 1950s; the Nepal Sadbhavna Council in the 1980s and later the Nepal Sadbhavna Party (NSP) in the 1990s - emerged at different point of time to fight for the Madhesi cause. All these organisations have fought against state’s “discriminatory” laws of citizenship and language as well as recruitment policies to the armed forces and bureaucracy. However, the problems persisted undressed under different regimes for decades. It was in this context that when the “People’s War” of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) emerged in the mid-1990s some sections of the Madhesis joined the Maoists, which had promised political, economic and social rights. With this background, an attempt is made to understand the current Madhesi agitations in Nepal.
  8. K. Yhome, “Madhesis: A Political Force in the Making?,” Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, Article no. 2058, 5 July 2006
  9. K. Yhome, “The Madhesi Issue in Nepal”, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, Article no. 2228, 2 March 2007
  10. See “Nepal News”, March 25, 2007, http://www.nepalnews.com
  11. See “The Himalayan Times”, March 31, 2007.
  12. See “The Himalayan Times”, January 15, 2007
  13. See “Nepal News”, January 19, 2007, http://www.nepalnews.com
  14. See “Kantipur Online”, March 1, 2007, http://www.kantipuronline.com; also see “Nepal News”, March 4, 2007, http://www.nepalnews.com
  15. See “Nepal News”, May 10, 2007, http://nepalnews.com
  16. See “Kantipur Online”, May 15, 2007, www.http://www.kantipuronline.com
  17. A source close to the government told this author in March that the government had initially “underestimated the potential of the Madhesi uprising.” For political reasons the name of the source is keep undisclosed.
  18. See “Kantipur Online”, January 24, 2007, http://kantipuronline.com; also see “Nepal News”, January 23, 2007, http://www.nepalnews.com
  19. NSP-A on February 2 announced that it would participate only in those meetings that discuss Madhesi issues. The traditionally “royalist” party, Rashtriya Prajatankri Party (RPP) accused the government of not been serious toward the real issue of the Madhesis and that the attitude has been fueling more crises in the country. See “Nepal News”, February 3, 2007, http://www.nepalnews.com
  20. On February 5, top leaders of five political parties, namely the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-Maoist, Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), Nepali Congress-Democratic (NC-D) and NSP-A agreed on three major political issues: the interim constitution would be amended with firm commitment to a federal structure of governance in future; the election constituencies will be delineated in proportion to the population with special provision for sparely populated districts in the hill region; and to express commitment for representation of people from all castes and creed in state organ. See “Kantipur Online”, February 3 & 5, 2007, http://www.kantipuronline.com
  21. See “Kantipur Online”, March 21, 2007, http://www.kantipuronline.com
  22. See. “Nepal News”, June 2 2007. http://www.nepalnews.com
  23. A Nepali delegation met India’s Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister in New Delhi on January 30 where both the Indian leaders expressed their concern over the violence in Terai. Again, India’s External Affairs Minister reiterated India’s concern to a delegation of Nepali politicians when the latter called on him in New Delhi on January 31, 2007. See “The Himalayan Times”, January 31 and February 1, 2007. A Nepali delegation comprising senior leaders of the eight-political parties came to New Delhi on May 31 to held talks with Indian leaders, see http://www.nepalnews.com May 31, 2007.

K Yhome, Associate Fellow Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

Source:indiandefencereview

Monday, December 3, 2007

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Embassy’s house turned into prostitution and drug-addict's centre

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Krishna Hari Pushkar
Berlin, Germany

This is a pity story and a black and white truth about our Embassy’s building in the heart of Europe that currently turned to an illegal prostitution and drug-addict centre. Observers also claimed that it is a centre point for illegal activities and thugs; however, it is still an under-going research. This house might possibly be listed as an illegal activity centre in European security record as well due to the shameful carelessness of Nepalese Foreign Ministry.


I guess majority of conscious Nepalese and Germans are awfully familiar of our beautiful and luxurious building that used to be a principal official building of Nepalese Embassy in Bonn, Germany. The most remarkable is, it is still one and only official building in Germany which was bought by the tax of Nepalese people and still belongs to Nepal Government.


Since our embassy moved to Berlin, it became completely vacant and orphan. The huge and beautiful building and the worthy properties have now become useless and completely ignored due to the raucous lackadaisical management policy of authorities in Nepal. The most shameful pint is, such huge properties are getting weathered and dwindled. Our government is continuously paying thousands of Euros per year as compulsory basic service fee from our taxes to the various German authorities. Isn’t it disgustingly shocking? It seems that our authority’s bench is somehow promoting illegal activities through such approaches. Shame on such guardian-class policy makers!


I have personally invested lots of effort through various approaches and informally interviewed various people and authorities on the existing situation of our beloved Bonn based building. They observed and reported that most of the materials from light bulbs to windows, doors, glass, plants, trees, garden, electronics, sanitations, etc have been hacked or deteriorated. Thugs, Illegal prostitution activities, drug addicts, drunkards and some of unidentified groups around and inside our premises are the most often witnessed horrible scenario at isolated hours of day and night in Bonn’s Building.


Though, one can’t blame our Berlin embassy and Ambassador for such a horrible situation, for I learned during my investigation that our Ambassador has been trying his best since last few years to resolve this problem. Selling the Bonn’s building and buying a new one in Berlin would have been a better solution and our Embassy here kept no stones unturned to sell the building under the proper provisions by government of Nepal but unfortunately embassy’s hands are cuffed to do anything other than writing and discussing the issue with senior bureaucrats and leaders; as Nepal’s law only permits Ministry of foreign affairs and our cabinet to resolve such issues. Embassy and Ambassador have repeatedly asked and approached officially and personally to the ministers, ministry and the secretaries regarding the problem. Despite the fact is that no one cares about the issues, they always have a beautiful smile and a well set verbal assurance, but the outcome is zilch till now.


I guess there might be some sort of problem in sharing personal benefit and commission among the concerned authorities. An example, our Embassy in London, the building which is hardly in the condition to be sold than Bonn’s building, however, our top concerned bureaucrats and responsible political leaders are insisting and processing to sell the building as early as possible; the question emerges why they are highly focused on UK’s building avoiding the Bonn’s instead?


I challenge our authorities to publicly expose the comparative situational need of selling the Bonn’s building and London’s building! Do they dare to show any rational report in details about the true situation that which one is more significant to be sold immediately? In my opinion, deciding to sell Embassy’s Building in London and turning blind eye to the management of Bonn’s building would be a crime against state and new generation. There can be superficial justifications as the renovation cost would be huge, but here I object and I myself being in the land of Europe, I am well aware of the cost that may range in renovating the oldest of the buildings, taking the UK’s building in concern, It won’t need any more than one tenth of the budget that would otherwise be as commissions or bribe spawned by the sale of this building.


I humbly appeal to all concerned Nepalese to take immediate action against the above mention savage state of affairs. I thank you all for your help and cooperation. Thank you.


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