Digital Himalaya Journals

Nation Weekly October 3, 2004, Volume 1, Number 24 Upadhyay, Akhilesh 2004-10-03

Item Metadata

Download

Media
dhimjournal-1.0365022.pdf
Metadata
JSON: dhimjournal-1.0365022.json
JSON-LD: dhimjournal-1.0365022-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): dhimjournal-1.0365022-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: dhimjournal-1.0365022-rdf.json
Turtle: dhimjournal-1.0365022-turtle.txt
N-Triples: dhimjournal-1.0365022-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: dhimjournal-1.0365022-source.json
Full Text
dhimjournal-1.0365022-fulltext.txt
Citation
dhimjournal-1.0365022.ris

Full Text

 RULE OF LAW   MARATHON MEN I ERSATZ NOSTALGIA I SOARING OIL PRICES
OCTOBER 3,2004 VOL. I, NO. 24
1VS, ^oV{   Wl,3RiW
1
J.
Hnl^StRS
PB.W
artics wage a prop
www.nation.com.np
WEEKLY
&£&!
.— —
m
—■ ■
 Medicover
Consultancy
Your Health Plan Advisor
FREE EMERGENCY SERVICE
Sponsored by Lions Club of Kathmandu Bag Durbar
Note: This is for First Aid purpose and works as advisor. However for treatment one will have to visit health service provider (clinic / hospital).
*This service may be chargeable and valid for Kathmandu valley only.
 ATM
artinair
• •••
Answer and Win
Answering the simple questions given below
One lucky winner will receive two
Economy Class return tickets
(Kathmandu-Amsterdam-Kathmandu)
ism
GENERAL SALESAGENT
For further details
Marco Polo Travels
Tel: 4247215 Ext. 112-115
^£35*     Fax : 977 1 4244484
 Cw*&
JjAonouD ^JGianasar
H A N D I C rA FT   C E N T E RV
Trldevi Marg, Thamel   Opp. of Sanchayakosh Buildirv
Tel: 4416483,4417295   E-mail: wapema@wlink.com.np
ihondup Khangsar is your one
stop solution for every floor covering
need, where we bring you world
class products all under one roof.
With an extensive range to suit any
budget, our qualified staff will assist
you in making the best choice to suit
your needs. Step into Dhondup
Khangsar today - where Quality and
Service come first.
 OCTOBER 3, 2004
VOL. I, NO. 24
COVER CONCEPT: SUBROTOBHUMIK
COVERDESIGN: RAI SHRESTHA
COVER STORY
20 Price Of Peace
By Satishjung Shahi and Aditya Adhikari
Statements from the government, the Maoists, the parties and peaceniks are
conflicting and confusing. What's clear is that the clock is ticking for Prime
Minister Deuba, and neither peace nor elections seem any closer.
18 Scarecrows
Byjohn Narayan Parajuli
The rule of law is in danger. Some of
the worst abusers are those who
created the law and those appointed to
uphold it.
26 An Earned Right
Byjohn Narayan Parajuli
As the debate on providing British
citizenship to Gurkhas gathers
momentum, the Blair government is
undecided about what to do
28 Unprepared
By Indra Adhikari
The Kathmandu Valley has a history of
major earthquakes; another one is
inevitable. Action now could save tens
of thousands of lives and billions in
property damage when the next maha
bhukampa strikes.
BUSINESS
32  As Oil Prices Boil...
By Bipul Narayan
Subsidizing oil is neither the most
efficient nor the most equitable way to
spend scarce government resources
ARTS & SOCIETY
34    Utter Neglect
ByAjitBaral
COLUMNS
PROFILE
The only museum dedicated to the
history of modern Nepali art is a
11 Delhi Runs And
42 The Good Doctor
dismal failure. It needs a new location,
Strong Men
By Dhriti Bhatta
an adequate budget and conscientious
By Saubhagya Shah
a    M      One ofthe top orthope-
i   die surgeons, Dr. Chakra
mana
gement.
V                                            •   T.          ,
DEPARTMENTS
\                 Raj Pandey, yearns to treat
top athletes
6
LETTERS
30 Ersatz Nostalgia
10
PICTURE OF THE WEEK
By Pratyoush Onta
14
CAPSULES
SPORTS
16
BIZ BUZZ
50 The Marathon Men
17
MILESTONE
38 Don't Drink
By Sudesh Shrestha
44
The Water
Nepal's best chance for
CITY PAGE
By Ian Bairn
international distinction is distance
49
WEEK IN PICTURES
52
SNAPSHOTS
running. The discipline
56
needs little specialized training and no
KHULA MANCH: KEDAR SHARMA
40 High On Cloud
expensive facilities.
57
BOOKS: "THE INVENTION OF INDIA
Number 9
58
LAST WORD
ByKunalLama
 ii Both parties to
the conflict rule
through the
barrel of a gun ■■
JAGANNATH LAMICHHANE
Press in peril
"PRESS IN PERIL" RELAYS HOW FAR
the security forces and the Maoists have
gone to muzzle the press (Last Word, September 26). Both parties to the conflict rule
through the barrel of a gun, and the unarmed public can only watch helplessly.
My thanks to the press for going a long
way in protecting civil liberties. It has won
a lot of public trust in the bargain.
JAGANNATH LAMICHHANE
TRIBHUVAN UNIVERSITY, KIRTIPUR
Science and RONAST
I FEEL IN PART HAPPY THAT MY
views in your Khula Manch (August 22)
provoked a response from the slumbering (white?) mammoth that is
RONAST, transmitted in the name of
Dinesh Bhuju (Letters, September 12).
Although Chandra Shumsher brought
electricity, established the first college,
abolished slavery and burning of widows, etc., I never said that his was a
golden era. Why does praise of Gahendra
Shumsher's courage in standing up to
the autocrats to usher in science upset
RONAST? Maybe because it contrasts
sharply with the present scientific leaders who stifle independent opinion to
pander Lysenkoism in the name of science. Only these neo-Lysenkos are
graced by the title of scientist. Those
who toil in the lab to keep alive a semblance of research are never recognized.
This was admitted at a seminar by a VIP
from RONAST, who said he had abandoned his rightful place in the lab for
the post that offered him better perks.
So my "flat no" about scientists in Nepal
was for the leadership, and I am sorry
for any misunderstanding.
Reveling in distributing the taxpayers'
money as awards and grants at a very large
overhead, the RONAST letter rues my
Ysung Scientist Award, as if it was given
to silence me. Claiming credit for the 25
or so physics students that are finding
opportunities for higher studies in the
United States every year, RONAST turns
a blind eye to the many who roam the
streets of Kathmandu in search of a livelihood. Had Abdus Salam's public offer
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 of a high-tech center for Nepal been accepted, we would be way ahead in the
fields like IT, biotech, materials, etc.
It is praiseworthy that a numerical record
of my publications is maintained. I plod on
for personal entertainment and am not as
prolific an author as RONAST's stalwarts.
But, I am most likely the first Nepali whose
papers were accepted by the prestigious journal Physical Review in 1980. My paper accepted by the same journal in 1982 was the
first from Nepal. Einstein's relativity was
based on the electromagnetic wave equation,
whose version in conducting medium has
been known for long. A general solution I
found admits faster than light propagation. A
committee of experts thought it worthwhile
to publish my results in the International
Journal of Modern Physics in 1998, another
in its Letters the same year, then a third time
in 2000. RONAST does not tire of ridiculing my efforts as a challenge to the genius of
Einstein, mocking me to make discoveries
like his.
An outstanding scientific contribution
is something that furthers the current
knowledge or some application that greatly
improves the quality of life. Countries
neck to neck with us 30 years ago forged
way ahead by using science. Where does
our umpteen-fold increased scientific
manpower hide when the riversides are
turned into garbage dumps—or does this
portend the science policy that RONAST
is busy formulating for two decades?
Crying hoarse about the vast water resources, the experts remain oblivious to the
parched throats ofthe majority, supplying
drinking water full of germs and pollutants
to the fortunate few, and producing the most
expensive electricity. Almost the whole
country faces famine conditions.
RONAST finds glory in its history
of strikes, lockouts, defilement of its
own CEO, etc., to paint a rosy picture.
Yet this bastion of Nepali science gets
swayed to the breaking point by the little
wind that I have made.
UDAYARAJ KHANAL
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
TRIBHUVAN UNIVERSITY
Army reservations
THE DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC
Relations (DPR) of the Royal Nepal
Army expresses strong reservations on
certain portions of the article "Elusive
Peace"(by John Narayan Parajuli, September 19). Parajuli's intentions are not
clear in the article and the DPR feels
that the contributor has unjustly tried to
tarnish the image of the Army.
He has accused that the Army is
against peaceful solutions. One must not
forget that the terrorists have raised arms
against the state and the people, and that
they are responsible for the current chaos
in the country. The Royal Nepal Army,
like any other army in the world, is just a
tool of the government and is used as
per the situation. The Army, along with
other security forces, is shedding its own
blood to bring peace by forcing the
bloodthirsty armed terrorists to move
towards the mainstream.
The soldiers are sacrificing their lives
for the preservation of democracy and the
fundamental freedom ofthe citizens, like
Rokka and Parajuli, ofthe country. Therefore the efforts to bring Army into such
controversies through a well reputed and
balanced weekly like yours surprises us.
We ask Parajuli if he has done any homework to verify what he heard from his
ghost friend, quote "in Thapa's government" unquote, and Hari Rokka's baseless imagination with no supportive facts.
Secondly, in the article, Rokka has
been quoted as saying that the Army's
accounts have not been audited since
1999 by the auditor general's office. The
auditing by the auditor general's office
is a continuous process and it never
ceases. From the first month ofthe current financial year, the auditing of the
previous fiscal year automatically begins.
For Rokka's information, the auditor
general's office had finished the auditing of the fiscal year 2059/60 in Puosh
2060 and the auditing of 2060/61 fiscal
year, which finished on Ashad 2061, has
just started from this Bhadra only.
The Army, as stated earlier, is fighting to preserve the fundamental rights
of the citizens of our country and respects the freedom of expression too. But
this freedom should not be misused to
unjustly tarnish the upright image ofthe
Army. We request that facts are verified
and steps taken to prevent such unsubstantiated reports appearing in your esteemed magazine again.
BRIGADIER GENERAL RAJENDRA THAPA
DIRECTOR, DRP, ROW. NEPAL ARMY
Nation Weekly, The Media House, Tripureshor,
Kathmandu, Nepal (Regd. 165/059-060).
Tel: 2111102,4229825,4261831,4263098
EDITOR: Akhilesh Upadhyay
editorial@nation.com.np
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Suman Pradhan
COPY EDITOR: John Child
SEN I0RSTAFF WRITERS: Sushma Joshi, Satish Jung Shahi,
Tiku Gauchan
STAFF WRITER: John Narayan Parajuli
PHOTOJOURNAUSTS: Sagar Shrestha, Das Bahadur Maharjan
DESIGNER: Raj Kumar Shrestha
EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS: Indra Adhikari, Yashas Vaidya
AD & CIRCULATION DIRECTOR: Krishna Shrestha
OPERATING MANAGER: Ashish Bhattarai
ASSISTANT MARKETING MANAGER: Rameshwor Ghimire
ad@nation.com .np
SUBSCRIPTION OFFICER: Akshaya Shrestha
subscription@nation.com.np
ASST. SUBSCRIPTION OFFICER: Jeshna Karmacharya
DISTRIBUTION: Angiras Manandhar
MARKETING CONSULTANT: Kreepa Shrestha
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Nripendra Karmacharya
PUBLISHER: The Mirror Media Pvt. Ltd
AD ENQUIRIES: Tel. 4229825, 4261831, 4263098
COLOR SEPARATION: ScanPro, Pulchowk, 5548861, 5552335
PRINTING: Variety Printing Press, 4278869
DISTRIBUTION: R.B. News, 4232784, 4244679
Nation Weekly is published every Monday by Trie Mirror Media Pvt. Ltd.
All Rights Reserved. Trie reproduction of the contents of this
publication, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the
prior consent of the publisher.
Vol. I, No. 24. For the week September 27-October 3, 2004, released on September 27
CONTACT
www.nation.com.np
■ •
We prefer to receive letters via e-mail, without
attachments. Writers should disclose any connection
or relationship with the subject of their comments.
All letters must include an address and daytime and
evening phone numbers. We reserve the rightto edit
letters for clarity and space.
E-mail: editorial@nation.com.np
Fax: 4216281
Mail: Nation Weekly
The Media House, GPO 8975, EPC 5620
Tripureshor, Kathmandu, Nepal.
SUBSCRIPTION
E-mail: subscription@nation.com.np
Nation Weekly, The Media House, GPO 8975
EPC 5620, Tripureshor, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 2111102, 4229825, 4261831, 4263098
Fax: 4216281
ubscription
subscription@nation.com.np
2111102
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
 THE    TRUE    COLORS    OF    LIFE
www.nation.com.np
 EVERY WEEK. EVERY MONDAY
nation
THE NOTION
OF NATIONHOOD
 l/i
JOINING HANDS FOR PEACE: Hundreds kept a
candle-llt vigil at Mandala, Maltlghar, to mourn
the deaths of more than 10,000 people In the
nine years of conflict
nation weekly/Sagar Shrestha
 uest Column
Delhi Runs And Strong Men
Deuba did not sign away national sovereignty or get robbed of his shirt or soul in New
Delhi, as some had feared
BYSAUBHAGYASHAH
Tne nation is finally beginning to let off a collective sigh of relief as
no new untoward fate has befallen our motherland as a result of
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's recent visit to New Delhi. As
if the Valley's resident political pundits had discerned a sinister omen, all
kinds of dire consequences were being predicted about Deuba's Delhi
jaunt. From the way the warnings were being sounded, one would have
been excused for believing that our unsuspecting prime minister was
walking into a den of thieves to be robbed of his shirt and soul rather than
paying a routine visit to a close neighbor. "While in Delhi, Deuba's going
to sign away national sovereignty": The alarm bells started ringing. The
shrill ones insinuated that the prime minister was going to sell the remaining Nepali rivers and other national resources to India while the
politically savvy analysts vouched that the visit was meant to pave the
way for Indian takeover of Nepali security. The amazing thing behind the
whole hysteria was that it was not only the usual suspects—the knee-
jerk nationalists and habitual India baiters—but also those for whom
enduring Indian goodwill, fair play and enlightened avuncular guidance is
a cornerstone of political faith.
Pray, what was the reason for such a heightened sense of apprehension among the citizenry? The Nepali penchant for self infantalization
simply knows no bounds. Some experts noticed that Deuba had not
done sufficient "homework" for the trip. As a result, it was argued, he was
bound to be hoodwinked bythe ever-so-clever Indianbabudom. Deuba
was certainly not going to Delhi to sit for a college admission exam before
Dr. Manmohan, the Oxfordian. Nor are deals between states primarily
determined bythe amount of diligent homework. They are the outcomes
ofthe relative bargaining strength ofthe two sides. And this strength is
not only size or might, it is more a reflection of how coherently and
unitedly the national position is articulated. But more of this later. The
second concern was that being an appointed prime minister without the
support of all the political parties, Deuba would be too weak to stand up
to various Indian shenanigans and pressures at the negotiating table.
Even a cursory glance back at the last six decades wou Id have shown
us that all of these misgivings were more or less misguided, if not outright
conceited. Strength is a relative term, but such prime ministerial
"strength"—whether democratic or otherwise— seems to have mattered very little in securing fair and honorable treaties with India. In the
last sixty years, perhaps no other Nepali premier was more powerful than
Mohan Shumsher Rana, the scion of an autocratic dynasty. The Treaty
of Peace and Friendship, the absolute ruler signed in 1950 with India, is
still viewed by many as a deal which put serious fetters and constraints
on Nepal's independent options. The revolutionary government that was
formed after the defeat ofthe Rana regime was no less powerful: One of
the first deals the new prime minister, Matrika Prasad Koirala, made with
India was the agreement regarding the Koshi River. Eight years later in
1960, the first elected prime minister, Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala, whose
Nepali Congress had absolute majority in the short-lived Parliament,
concluded the Gandak River Project treaty with India. Both of these
deals have since become exemplars of "unequal treaties" in the Nepali
psyche: Most ofthe hydroelectric power and irrigation benefits ofthe
joint projects accrue to India, while Nepal is left with all ofthe human
displacement, land submersion, ecological degradation and the attendant economic ruin.
After the demise ofthe Partyless Panchayat system we had two more
"strong" prime ministers. After taking over as the morally and politically
powerful interim prime minister in 1990, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai flew to
Delhi to sign new accords and understandings that some observers have
say are more detrimental to Nepal's interests than the one by the last
Rana prime minister in 1950. A year later in 1991, the newly elected
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, with a commanding majority in the
Parliament, made the same run to Delhi to ink the controversial Tanakpur
Hydro Project Agreement which has since become a document of shame
for many.
What can explain this paradoxical correlation between "strong" prime
ministers and such cheap sellouts at the negotiating table in New
Delhi? In contrast, "weak" prime ministers, such as the Marichman
Singhs of yore, have proved far less costly in this respect. The absence
of a bottom line and a consensus-driven national foreign policy towards India among the various political parties and forces in Nepal is at
the root of this paradox. Nepal is perhaps the only country in the world
where the various parties and constituencies have their own autonomous foreign relations with their most important neighbor, relations
which compete with and subvert the national foreign policy agenda.
This state of affairs has given rise to a market situation characterized by
a single foreign buyer and competing local sellers. It is only natural that
when the hawkers are trying to outbid each other and undercut their
domestic rivals, the sole buyer will ask for bargains that can only be met
by a "strong" party. Kathmandu critics should therefore not only cry
wolf when our prime ministers fly south, they should also beware when
other political luminaries make the same pilgrimage—often mixing business of a serious nature with health checkups or family visits—to hammer out the finer details of this unique bilateral relationship awayfrom
the glare ofthe not-so-inquisitive media.
When all is said and done, despite the jumbo size of his retinue,
Deuba's present visit proved to be less onerous on the nation than the
ones by his illustrious predecessors. In fact, it was much better than the
Mahakali River Project he brokered as the prime minister of a powerful
coalition involvingall the major political parties in 1996. If the only thing
Deuba did was sample the famed Indian hospitality, taste the exotic fare
of biryani and tandooh, and contribute to our age-old goodwill over a
dessert of succulent rasgoola, it is still a first step in the right direction for
our "strong" men.
When King Gyanendra does the Delhi round next month, he will
hopefully take it upon himself to rectify the legacy of the 1965 security
treaty his father concluded with India. All that has done so far is to breed
insecurity for the Nepali people, n
.L
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
11
 Comfortably
safe in reliable hands.
We are second to none when it comes to comfortable
journey, punctual operation and high quality service.
Our friendly staff are always at your service.
Buddha Air is the first and only private airline in Nepal
to operate brand-new, straight-out-of-the-factory and
currently in production Beech 1900Ds, each worth
US$5 million.
41
Buddha Air
1
Sales Hattisar: Ph# (977-1) 4436033,4437677 Fax# (977-1) 4437025 Reservation : 5542494 Fax# (977-1) 5537726
Email: buddhaair@buddhaair.com ~ Website: http://www.buddhaair.com
 THE PARK AVEITOE
Putali Sadak, Kathmandu, Tel: 4244521
WORLD CLASS
Kumaripati, Lalitpur, Tel: 5537519
TEX.WORLD
New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Tel: 4780395
THE DESIGNER
Putalisadak, Kathmandu, Tel: 4421574
 Capsules
Koirala summon
The Supreme Court ordered
Nepali Congress President Girija
Prasad Koirala to be present in the
court ■within a ■week to explain in
■writing his public comments
about the court. Justice Bhairab
Prasad Lamsal issued the order to
Koirala. Seven lawyers representing ProPublic, a public advocacy
group, had filed a writ against
Koirala for making remarks
against the apex court that
amounted to "contempt of court."
Koirala's disparaging remarks
about the court came after it
quashed petitions filed by the
former prime minister and ordered
him to answer the CIAAs sum-
Deuba's call
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur
Deuba officially called on the
Maoists for peace talks following the first meeting of the
high-level Peace Committee,
headed by the prime minister
himself. Deuba said that talks
with the Maoists would be held
discreetly and with proper preparation. The government formed
the high-level committee in
August to support the Peace
Secretariat. The government
believes that the secretariat will
go a long way towards institutionalizing peace initiatives.
Other members ofthe committee are CPN-UML General
Secretary Madhav Kumar
Nepal, RPP Chairman
Pashupati Shumsher Rana,
NSP Chairman Badri Prasad
Mandal and Minister
Mohammed Mohsin, a royal
nominee to the committee.
On death row
A Nepali, Indra Bahadur
Tamang, is facing a death sentence in Indonesia, according to
Amnesty International. The
group has appealed to Indonesian President Megawati
Sukarnoputri and Attorney
General Muhammad Abdul
Rachman to withdraw the execution order issued to 10 convicts, including Tamang.
Tamang and the others who are
on death row face imminent execution after their appeal for
presidential clemency was rejected in June, Amnesty said.
Jobs abroad
The number of Nepali workers
going abroad for jobs, which had
come to a complete halt after the
September 1 riots, has risen
sharply. The Department of Labor and Employment Promotion has been providing preliminary approval to 700 to 900 job
seekers daily which is about the
same number as prior to September 1. The department issued final approval for 3,354 Nepalis
to work abroad in the last 10
days. The manpower agencies
have resumed work after the
government decided to provide
them with compensation.
Robinson case
The British drug peddler Gordon
William Robinson was believed to
have been arrested by police in
Dharan, a day after the Supreme
Court acquitted him on April 23,
newspaper reports said. The local
police in Dharan had informed the
police headquarters and the Judicial Council Secretariat in
Kathmandu separately about
Robinson's detention at the time.
The police say that Robinson is not
in their custody.
Maoist abduction
The Maoists abducted over 600
students and teachers from two
secondary schools of Putali Bazaar, the headquarters of Syangja.
The two schools were Kalika
Higher Secondary School and
Panchakanya Secondary School.
Reports quoted the Maoists as
saying that the abducted students
and teachers would be released
after a week of militia training.
The abductees were taken towards neighboring Parbat.
Anti-measles drive
The first phase of the national
measles prevention drive aimed at
children between nine months
and 15 years of age began in 35
districts ofthe Eastern and Central Regions. Over 40,000 immunization posts and about 8,000
trained volunteers are involved in
the campaign. The campaign will
be completed in three phases. The
World Health Organization and
UNICEF will provide $6.2 million, while the government will
bear Rs. 7 million for the cam
paign. Each year over 5,000
children die of measles in Nepal.
SC orders
The Supreme Court ordered the
offices ofthe prime minister and
the Cabinet, the Home Ministry the Defense Ministry the
Army the Nepal Police and the
Armed Police to make public the
whereabouts of 14 people. The
14 were said to have been taken
into custody by the security
forces on suspicion of being
Maoists from different parts of
the country on different dates.
Amnesty International in its recent report said that Nepal had
the highest rate of cases of disappearances in the world. According to Amnesty more than
600 cases of disappearances by
the state have been reported.
Maoist reply
The Maoist supremo
Prachanda responded to Prime
Minister Deuba's call for peace
talks with a list of questions.
The questions ranged from
whether the government
would be able to get the political parties on board for fruitful
talks to the issue of constituent
assembly. He also questioned
whether the government had
any control over the Army. In a
related development, the Supreme Court asked the government to clarify why the CPN-
Maoist had been banned as a
political unit.
Photo competition
Nepali sports photographer Mukunda Bogati
bagged first prize in an
international photo competition
organized by Asea Brown Boveri,
an energy company in Switzerland. The theme of this year's
competition—"Responsibility Respect and Determination." Among
700 photographs from 45 countries, Bogati took the top prize of
$1,500 for the best photograph in
all categories.
X
14
OCTOBER 3
nation weekly
 Protests again
The four agitating political parties
began another season of their protest against"regression." Demonstrations ofthe four parties—the
Nepali Congress, the People's
Front Nepal, the Nepal Peasants
and Workers Party and the Nepal
Sadbhavana Party-AD—converged into a rally in Ratna Park,
chanted anti-government slogans
and marched past Bagbazaar,
Putalisadak, Bhadrakali, Shahid
Gate and Bhotahiti. The four agitating parties announced new
rounds of agitation after almost
two months of lull during the
monsoon.
Bordervigil
Nepali and Indian security officials have agreed to tighten security along the border. Reports said
the security officials of Nepal and
the Indian state of Bihar have
agreed in principle to step up their
vigil along the border from
Janakpur to Mechi. Security forces
from both sides have started secu-
ritychecks.Themeeting between
the Nepali security officials and
DIG of Bihar Police Ram Prabesh
Singh decided to keep security
forces on both sides ofthe border
on a state of alert. During the meeting both countries decided to exchange intelligence on Maoists
activities. Top Maoist leaders have
been arrested in Bihar in recent
days.
RNACvaluation
A team of consultants from the
International Civil Aviation Organization has valued Royal Nepal
Airlines Corporation's total assets
at Rs. 4.56 billion. The valuation
comes as a surprise, as a similar
study done by a task force, under
the coordination of former Chief
Secretary Damodar Gautam, had
assessed RNAC's property at Rs. 8
billion. The team evaluated
RNAC's 14 ropanis of land at
New Road at Rs. 1.4 billion and
two Boeing-757s owned by the
national flag carrier at Rs. 1.13 billion, Kantipur reported. RNAC
owns 35 ropanis of land and a
number of buildings at prime locations in various parts ofthe country plus a 12.5 percent share of
the Soaltee Crown Plaza. The government had asked the ICAO
consultants to assess the properties of the RNAC as part of its
plan to privatize the ailing corporation. The valuation, however,
does not include the credit and
monetary worth of traffic rights
from RNAC's bilateral air service
agreements with several countries.
Coffee in Parbat
Highlands Coffee Company, a
Nepali venture, is exporting coffee produced in Parbat to Japan
and the Netherlands. Coffee
worth Rs. 175,000 was exported
to these countries last year, and
coffee worth Rs. 200,000 was exported in first five months of this
year. Wth the increase in the exports, farmers have been attracted
towards the cash crop. Presently
35 families in the district are involved in coffee farming.
Dacoit encounter
Two villagers were killed and three
injured in Lahorthokari VDC of
Parsa in an encounter with Indian dacoits, reports said. The villagers had retaliated when about
50 of the robbers raided the vil
lage. Two villagers were killed by
the dacoits; both of them shot
dead. The deceased are Najib Mya
Dhobi of Lahorthokari-1 and
Bahadur Miya Jolaha of
Lahorthokari-2. The injured are
at the Narayani Sub-regional
Hospital Birgunj. The dacoits
made off with cash and jewels
worth more than Rs. 500,000,
Nepal Samacharpatra reported.
NEA in court
The Nepal Electricity Authority
is to file a case against the contractor ofthe Kali Gandaki A project,
Impregilo Spa, at the International
Chamber of Commerce Court,
according to Kantipur. The NEA
has decided to move to court, as
efforts to seek settlement through
mutual understanding failed, the
daily quoted an NEA official as
saying. The contractor had demanded $4.5 million from the
NEA and a pledge that the NEA
would not withdraw any amount
from contractor's deposit in Banca
Intesa, an Italian bank, for there
to be an out-of-court settlement.
Negotiations failed after the government tried to withdraw the deposit. Two months ago, Impregilo
Spa filed a case against the NEA at
the international court demanding the amount of project construction.
Fund management
The Ministry of Health handed
over management of the Global
Fund to the United Nations. A
memorandum of understanding
to this effect was signed in the last
week of August. According to the
agreement the United Nations
will oversee the management of
the fund and of Nepal's overall
HIV/AIDS strategy for the next
two years. The move comes after
the government was unable to
find a management support
agency for the operation of the
grant. Nepal has so far received
$53,000 from the fund as a first
installment.
Kharel bail
The Special Court set a bail of
Rs. 10.5 million for former IGP
Achyut Krishna Kharel. It had
earlier remanded the former police top brass to judicial custody.
He was taken into custody on
the request ofthe Commission
for Investigation of Abuse of
Authority to complete his interrogation. The CIAA had filed a
case against Kharel on charges
of amassing wealth disproportionate to his income during his
service as police chief. He was
reported to have absconded after
the case was filed last month, but
later appeared before the court.
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
 Biz Buz
NTB AND RNAC PROMOTE TOURISM
Nepal participated in the international travel
fair that concluded on September 19 in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. The fair is the number one
consumer travel show in Malaysia. The Nepal
Tourism Board and Royal Nepal Airlinesjointly
participated in the fair to promote Nepal as a
tourist destination. The Malaysian Association
MITF
of Tour & Travel Agents organizes the event
every year to promote Malaysia and other destinations as wel I as to sell tourism packages.
More than 85,000 visitors visited this year's
fair, the 18th, and more than 15,000 visited
the Nepali stall. The fair was held in an 11,500
square meter area comprising four halls with
633 booths. The national tourism organization, state tourism boards, airlines, hotels, resorts, theme parks, tour operators, travel agencies, cruises and other travel related companies exhibited and sold their products and
services.
MARTIN AIRTO RESUME FLIGHTS
Martin Air will resume flights to Kathmandu starting October 3. Martin Air flies directly from
Amsterdam to Kathmandu during tourist seasons. The resumption ofthe flights for the fall
will hopefully send a positive signal
to the international community that
Nepal is still a preferred destination.
ECONOMIC FIGURES
FROM ADB
Nepal's economic growth
is projected to be 3.7% in
the fiscal year 2004-05
according to an Asian Development Bank report.
Earlier, the figure had been
put at around 5 percent.
The report said that the
economic growth remained unchanged from
that of the previous year mainly due to the
continuation ofthe internal conflict and the
attendant negative impact on manufacturing,
transport and tourism. The expected figures of
growth for different sectors in FY2005 are as
follows: an increase of3.7 percent for agriculture, 3.8 percent for services and 3.3 percent
for industries. The report said inflation for the
FY2005 would stand at 5.5 percent.
STC TO EXPORT HONEY
The Salt Trading Corporation is al I set to export
honey and is encouraging the production of
honey in the country. STC has extended its
services to the agricultural sector, and it is starting a honey business with the objective of providing benefits to farmers engaged in beekeeping. STC will set the standards and quantity of
honey and will sign agreements with farmers'
associations.
DIRECT AIR LINKS TO KOREA
Nepal and South Korea have signed an air service agreement for direct air links between the
two countries. According to the agreement, both
countries have access to multiple designations,
and the agreement al lows four passenger fl ights
and three cargo fl ights per week between the
two countries. Lava Kumar Devkota, secretary
at the ministry of civil aviation, and ParkSang-
Hoon, ambassador ofthe Republic of Korea to
Nepal, signed the agreement at the ministry on
behalf of their respective countries.
KRUNZALOOZ AND PEPSI
Fast Foods Nepal has launched a combo offer
of a Phuchche Pepsi free with the purchase of
a pack 35g Krunch Alooz. This combo is priced
at Rs. 22.
NYEF OPENS BRANCH
IN BIRATNAGAR
The Nepalese Young Entrepreneurs Forum
opened a branch office in Biratnagar
in cooperation with the
Morang Industry Organization. The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and
Industry promotes the forum of young entrepreneurs, established last year, to bolster
young entrepreneurs. The forum is also the
youth wing of federation; it encourages young
entrepreneurs and works for the socio-economic development ofthe country.
GOOD LIVING!
Global Exposition and Manpower Services,
Management Events and VoxPop Production
are jointly organizing the second Good Living
Expo from October 13 to 17 at the Birendra
International Convention Centre. The expo will
exhibit furniture, furnishing, housing, interiors,
cosmetics and new items produced by local
and multinational companies. Management
Events is also organizing the Bada Dashain
Festival at the same time.
SPICE GETS MOBILE LICENSE
The Nepal Telecommunications Authority issued
a license to Spice Nepal to operate cellular
mobile services in the country. Until now Nepal
Telecom was the only license holder for mobile
services in the country. Spice Nepal must start
operations within nine months and deliver services to 10 municipalities in the country to fulfill
the terms of its license.
PSA APPOINTED FOR
UNITED AIRLINES
President Tours and Travels was appointed as
the Passenger Service Agent (PSA) for United
Airlines, a leadingU.S. airlinethatfliesto many
destinations around the world. This is the first
time that United has had a PSA in Nepal. President Tours and Travels will develop an
online reservation system for
United in Nepal.
16
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Milestone
Peace Mark
Puskar Shah, a 34-year-old cyclist, reached
his 62nd country, the tiny South African nation of Mauritania, on his one man-mission
to spread the message of world peace and
love. Shah set out on the world cycle tour in
1998 and has covered over 100,000 kilometers, riding across Asia, Australia, North
and South America, and Africa. Last week,
he arrived in Mauritania from Morocco.
Born in 1970 in Makaibari, Dolakha, Shah
saw his father, an Indian Gurkha soldier, killed
during an attack by the separatist BODO
rebels in Assam. During the 1990 Jana
Andolan, Shah was arrested numerous times
and even received a gunshot wound. Shah
began his journey with just Rs. 100 given to
him by his mother. But as word of his one-
man mission spread, help came from different
quarters. He has been using the donations to
purchase airline tickets to cross the seas and
oceans.
Shah has taken his message of love and
peace to 22 Asian, 14 Caribbean, four South
American, six Central American, two North
American and many African countries. It
hasn't been an easy ride though. Bandits
looted his goods in the Barbados, and his
bike and belongings were stolen in New
Zealand, where Sir Edmond Hillary came to
his aid. Hillary helped him get a new bike and
other supplies for his journey. Actress
Sharmila Malla has helped Puskar raise funds
from business communities. Other known figures like former Speaker Daman Nath
Dhungana have coordinated efforts to form
a national support group for this lone cyclist's
journey.
Puskar still wants to cover 85 more countries. He expects to complete his one-man
peace mission in 2009. After that he wants
to scale Everest and write a book.
nation
We're committed
to you
Here at Nation Weekly the very same care and attention that
go into our magazine go into customer service. This means that if
you're a Nation Weekly subscriber, your complete satisfaction
is guaranteed. It's our top priority.
We're always
■  When you have
hereto help....
suggestions
or comments - especially about ways
■  When you have a
in which we can improve subscription
question
service - we welcome them.
about your subscription, such as
undelivered issues, duplicate
■  When you want
invoices, your subscription
uninteruupted delivery -
expiration date, or anything else
guaranteed
- please don't hesitate to get in
please be sure to renew your
touch. Be sure to include your
subscription early. We'll notify you in
Full Name and Address when
advance, so you needn't miss a
you contact us.
single issue.
Write or telephone:
E-mail: subscription@nation.com.np
Telephone: 2111102, 4229825, 4261831
Fax: 4216281
Nation Weekly
GPO Box 8975 EPC 5620
Media House
Tripureshwor
Kathmandu, Nepal
Mailing Address:
nation
THE MIRROR MEDIA PVT. LTD.
nation weekly
 Rule    Law
SCARECROWS
The rule of law is in danger. Some of the worst abusers
are those who created the law and those appointed to
uphold it.
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
ANOTHER SEASON OF RATNA-
park-centered protests has dawned.
As in the past, there will be plenty
of talk about democracy, the rule of law
and the people's sovereignty. Despite
the high rhetoric, it is worth asking
whether our political leaders really care
about the rule of law.
"I don't want to generalize," says
Kedar Khadka of ProPublic, a public-
advocacy group, "but some of them seem
to care very little about the law." Some
even take to bullying; what better shows
their sense of impunity, he asks, referring to the recent vilification of the Supreme Court by Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala.
When the Supreme Court quashed the
writ application filed by Koirala on September 15 against the decision ofthe CIAA
to summon him for an inquiry Koirala
turned his back on the court, condemned
the judiciary and suggested that the court
be shifted to the palace. Koirala's verbal
salvos against the court show how little
regard he has for the law and the institution of the judiciary which he himself
helped to build after the restoration of
democracy in 1990. "Any person who
claims to be a democrat and believes in
the rule of law," says former Foreign Minister Bhek Bahadur Thapa, "is at odds with
himself if he questions the decisions taken
by the [judicial] institutions." Speeches
and statements of leaders have immediate and lasting effects on the perception
ofthe people who see them as role models. And when role models give the wrong
impression, it has a significant effect.
 "Political leaders give the impression
that they are above the law," says senior
advocate Janak Bhandari. "This is setting
a bad example." Worse, leaders are also
setting a precedent of bad interpretation.
Some leaders have totally mixed up
the concept of civil disobedience and
gross violation of law out of contempt,
says Jogendra Ghimere, a lawyer and columnist with Nation Weekly. Civil disobedience is taking of the law into one's
own hands temporarily, in order to declare what the law should be. "It is a declaration that there is incongruence between the law and humane values," writes
Professor Howard Zinn in his book "On
the War." Leader of the Nepal Majdoor
Kissan party Narayan Man Bijuchhe
Rohit tried to blur the line when he suggested that those who oppose this government needn't be bothered by the laws
this government implements.
Rohit was defending Koirala during
a protest rally in Ratnapark last week
over Koirala's tryst with the law. But
while some leaders want to personalize
the matter, there is a consensus in the
society that Koirala's badmouthing ofthe
Supreme Court was a mistake. Law professors and legal experts lament the tendency among the leaders to disparage
people and institutions when decisions
don't go their way. "You can't just vilify
the court if it doesn't decide in your favor," says Professor Bharat Bahadur
Karki, professor of law at Nepal Law
Campus. "The law doesn't give that kind
of leeway to individuals, whoever they
are." But in recent days a series of events
has undermined the law and the institution of the judiciary.
The Robinson scandal tarnished the
Supreme Court's prestige. "This is the
most damaging incident in the [Supreme] court's history," says Ghimire.
This incident will definitely erode
people's faith in the apex court, says Professor Karki. Critics of the apex court
say it has failed to display foresight. They
say the court must sort out irregularities
and inconsistencies within the judiciary
to be able to command continuous respect from public. An incident like the
Robinson saga gives anarchists and detractors ammunition. Apologists say the
wrong actions of some judges should not
be generalized to defame the whole judicial system that the Supreme Court
FREE FOR NOW: The Supreme
Court freed Wagle until it decided    y^
on his application for bail
heads. They say the prestige ofthe court,
once defiled, would be hard to restore.
"How will those who vilify the court
today restore the lost respect ofthe court
tomorrow when they come to power?"
asks one legal expert, preferring anonymity. Despite the controversy, the Supreme Court is still vital.
"The Supreme Court must play an
expedient role when the country is going through a period of crisis," says
Karki. The Supreme Court is the last
remaining feature of the post-1990
democratic system that is fully functional. Many believe it can play a lead
role in solving the current political crisis, if only it displays foresight. Before
that, the first task is to sort out the
Robinson affair. But however bad that
turns out to be, abuse of law by politicians is much worse.
Leaders in every government since
1990 have done more to undermine the
law than uphold it. When the Special
Court convicted former minister and the
prime minister's close associate
Chiranjivi Wagle, the police under Home
Minster Purna Bahadur Khadka, a close
friend of Wagle's, displayed little interest in implementing the verdict of the
court, allege critics. The police cited red
tape for the lack of action. When the
Kathmandu District Court asked the
police to put Wagle behind bars, the government said that Wagle had fled. A few
days later Wagle turned up dramatically
at the Supreme Court to appeal the Special Court verdict. "Individuals take undue advantage of the loopholes in the
law," says Professor Karki, referring to
Wagle episode.
As the controversies and abuses continue, they will gradually erode people's
faith in the state and make the rule of
law a straw man—as Shakespeare notes
in "Measure for Measure" about the
extent of lawlessness in Vienna. He says
that laws are like scarecrows. They are
initially installed to scare the birds.
Once the birds realize that the scarecrow is a harmless doll, they build their
nests on it. What was true about Vienna
500 years ago may also be true about
Nepal today,  d
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
19
 first casaulty as
opposing partiej
wage a
propaganda war
 Statements from the
government, the
Maoists, the parties
and peaceniks are
conflicting and confusing. What's clear is
that the clock is ticking for Prime Minister Deuba, and neither peace nor elections seem any closer.
BY SATISH JUNG SHAHI
AND ADITYA ADHIKARI
ashain is just around
the corner, and talks
of peace have
peaked. As the
country held vigil
on the International
Day of Peace, September 21, Prime Minister Sher
Bahadur Deuba went on record once
again to state his government's commitment to a lasting peace and fruitful peace
talks. But this time, he said, the talks
would take place "secretly," far from
media glare, unlike the two previous
rounds.
"You will not even know when the
talks [with the Maoists] will take place,"
he told the media after the meeting of
the high-level Peace Committee, comprising the leaders ofthe four parties in
the government, called the Maoists for
peace talks. A day later, the Cabinet endorsed the invitation.
Despite the formal nature ofthe call
and the attendant fanfare, what the prime
minister said is what he has been saying
since King Gyanendra appointed him
on June 2. And he has gotten the same
reply from the Maoists each time.
Maoist supremo Prachanda issued a
statement Friday evening, saying that his
party was ready for negotiations if the
government creates "a conducive envi-
- ■  *-.
... y
vi
■ ^
1.1. ' *-Jl*V*B
*              •
■*-■'
5j
r
*    *.\'V.<v
:■*■:* *■"♦.♦•'
♦.;*-:
r
i
#v
FACILITATORS FOR PEACE: Rights
activists have called both parties
to the conflict to lay down arms
ronment" for talks. The statement asked
the government to answer six questions,
not so different from those the four parties protesting on the streets are asking
(see Box).
"Our party believes it is important to
make public the masters of the old regime who are behind the curtains for
talks, keeping in mind the current mistrust and suspicion," said Prachanda. He
claimed recently that the conflict has
THE MAOIST
QUESTIONS
1. Is the government in a position to return
to the status quo before October 4 or otherwise correct regression?
2. Is the government in a position to involve
the political parties in fruitful peace talks
"against the desires ofthe Palace and Army
generals"?
3. Is the government in a position to punish
those who have conducted political killings?
Can the government punish the killers of UML
cadre Hem Narayan Yadav, whose party is in
the present government?
4. Is the government willing to discuss constituent assembly and actually grant sovereignty to the people?
5. Is the government open to bringing in an
international human rights group for talks
rather than "begging" India for arms?
6. Is the government able to perform at least
one gesture to prove that it holds control
over the Army?
^
entered into the stage of strategic offence: The Maoists now feel they are
equal in power to the state.
Independent analysts say the claim is
demagoguery and that the state has much
greater military power. The demagoguery aside, as recently as last month the
Maoist leadership went on record to say
that they want to hold talks directly with
the King's representatives and not the
government in office. This led many to
wonder if the Maoists were finally showing their true dual character.
The Nepali Congress president,
Girija Prasad Koirala, contributed his bit
to the peace process and the ensuing confusion when he claimed that he had met
the underground Maoist leaders recently
and that they had been asked by the King
to join hands with the Palace. The
Maoists, Koirala said, rebuffed the call.
If these stories are any indication,
there seem to be countless parallel
peace parleys going on; it's hard to decide which holds substance. Prime
Minister Deuba defends his government vigorously, saying his is a legitimate government since the four parties
in power held a clear majority in the
dissolved Parliament, the closest thing
to a popular mandate. He says he has
the mandate to broker a lasting peace, a
claim that doesn't go down well with
everybody.
The increasing military budget and
plans to expand the Royal Nepal Army
have led many to question Deuba's corn-
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
21
 mitment to peace, despite security officials' argument that military strength is
key in pressuring the Maoists into talks.
Disagreement on the issue aside, there
is a general feeling that all parties, including those in the
government, those outside and
the Maoists, have used the
peace card for their own benefit, and most Nepalis are confused as to which way the peace
process will go and whether
talks will take place at all.
Truth is always the casualty
in a propaganda war. "Even I
am confused [with the current
developments]," says rights
activist Padma Ratna Tuladhar,
facilitator for the previous two
rounds of peace talks. "There are serious charges that all parties are fighting
for the credit for resolving the Maoist
issue and are playing games in the name
of peace talks." Tuladhar himself has been
charged of making one too many public
statements on what the Maoists want,
even when he has hardly had any official
contact with the Maoist leadership.
Nowhere is the game more evident
than on the streets of Ratna Park. Protests against "regression" are fueled by
charges from Nepali Congress President Koirala that the Palace and the
Maoists are joining hands to sideline
the political parties. With the apex
court giving the go ahead to the CIAA
to investigate corruption charges
against him, Koirala has even gone public in accusing government bodies of
giving in to the Army and the Palace to
push his party into the government.
That's     demagoguery,     but     the
22
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 itory
government's lack of progress and lack
of specificity about the talks make the
prime minister's statements look
equally hollow.
None of the government ministers
we talked to would give us concrete in
formation on the peace talks, or the
timeline for one. All they said was that
they were looking forward to "concrete
discussions. "The modalities will be discussed soon and will be made public at
the right time," was the most common
PIECE OF PEACE THIS WEEK
September 21: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba asks
media and rights activists to
pressure the Maoists for peace
talks.
September 22: The high-level
Peace Committee invites
Maoists for peace talks; Deuba
says talks will be held secretly.
September 23: The Ministerial Cabinet endorses the invitation to the Maoists for talks;
the CPN-UML says the terrorist tag and Interpol red corner
notice should be scraped.
September 24: Maoist
spokesman Krishna Bahadur
Mahara declines the govern-
_L
ment offer in an interview to
Communications Corner;
Maoist supremo Prachanda
repeats Mahara's line later in
the evening but says he is
ready for talks if the government creates a "conducive environment" and answers the six
questions he has asked.
answer. It either means the
government was in the process
of doing something "concrete," or had done nothing
"concrete," or that it would be
asked to formalize the "concrete" agenda, which is still in
the works.
Tuladhar is convinced that
the government is merely
stalling. "The announcement
[ofthe high-level Peace Committee] to take institutional
initiative for talks only proves
that nothing concrete has actually taken place," he says.
"The responsibility of the
government does not only end
by calling the Maoists for
talks. They must also come up
with concrete, well researched proposals." Editor of
the left-leaning Mulyankan
monthly Shyam Shrestha says
the government call for talks
is just a "drama" and that it
hasn't done enough homework to make the upcoming
peace talks, if they happen at
all, any different from the previous two rounds.
It certainly didn't sound
like talks were uppermost on
Prime Minister Deuba's mind
when he returned from a five-
day India visit on September
12. While his carrot and stick
approach to the Maoists wasn't
unexpected, it was still undiplomatic of the prime minister to trump
up his "stick" card before giving the "carrot" a clear chance.
The prime minister declared he
was ready to take a hard stand against
the Maoists—a move many believe he
won support for in meetings with senior Indian officials. But left-leaning
intellectuals like Tuladhar and Shrestha
think the government has taken a
wrong direction. They suggest that the
government should instead go for such
confidence-building measures as removing the terrorist tag and the
Interpol red corner notices slapped on
the Maoists, as was done during the
previous talks.
The move, they believe, could be a
key step towards what Prachanda de-
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
23
 Ceasefire Timeline
Talks 1
■ Prime Minister Sher
Bahadur Deuba declares
ceasefire on July 23, 2001,
four days after his appointment replacing mentor-
turned-foe Girija Prasad
Koirala.
■ Talks 1, Round 1: Five
government talk-team members led by Chiranjibi Wagle
and three Maoists led by
Krishna Bahadur Mahara
meet at Godavari Village Resort on August 30, 2001.
Rights activists Damanath
Dhungana and Padma Ratna
Tuladhar act as facilitators.
Other government team
members are Bijay Kumar
Gachchhedar, Chakra
Prasad Bastola, Mahesh
Acharya and Narhari
Acharya. Top Bahadur
Rayamajhi and Agni Sapkota
are the two others in the
Maoist team.
■ Talks 1, Round 2: The government and the Maoists
meet for two days at Tiger Tops
Jungle Resort in Bardia, starting September 14, 2001.
The Maoists say they want an
interim government, constituent assembly, a new constitution and steps to institute a
republic.
■ Talks 1, Round 3: The
government and the Maoists
meet at Godavari Village Resort on November 13,
2001. The government deactivates public security
regulations and releases 68
Maoists. The Maoists' demand list boils down to constituent assembly, which is
rejected by major political
parties.
■ Maoist boss Prachanda
calls off negotiations and
sets up a 37-member Joint
Revolutionary People's
Council on November 21,
2001, to be led by
Baburam Bhattarai.
Maoists launch attacks in
Surkhet, Dang, Syangja and
Salleri, includingon Royal
Nepal Army barracks. King
Gyanendra declares a
State of Emergency on November 26, 2001, and the
Army is deployed to tame
the Maoists.
Talks 2
■ Prime Minister Lokendra
Bahadur Chand declares a
ceasefire on January 29,
2003, about 72 hours after
Maoists assassinate Armed
Police Force IGP Krishna
Mohan Shrestha.
■ Talks 2, Round 1: Six
government talk team members led by Badri Mandal and
five Maoists led by Baburam
Bhattarai meet at the Hotel
Shanker on April 27, 2003.
The facilitators are
Damanath Dhungana,
Kama Dhoj Adhikari, Padma
Ratna Tuladhar and
Shailendra Kumar Upadhya.
Other members ofthe government team are Anuradha
Koirala, Dr. Upendra
Devkota, Kamal Prasad
Chaulagain, Narayan Singh
Pun and Rameshnath
Pandey. The Maoists are
Dev Gurung, Krishna
Bahadur Mahara, Matrika
Yadav and Ram Bahadur
Thapa, alias Badal. Narayan
Singh Pun is said to have
brokered the peace talks
with the help of D. R.
Lamichhane and Dr.
Birendra Jhapali.
■ Talks 2, Round 2: The
government and the Maoists
meet for talks at the Hotel
Shanker on May 9, 2003.
Both sides speak publicly of
a 22-point code of conduct,
including a clause restricting
the Army to within 5 kilometers from its barracks. The
government agrees to release
Maoist central committee
members Bamdev Chettri,
Mumaram Khanal and
Rabindra Shrestha. Another
central member, Krishna Dhoj
Khadka, and his wife, Rekha
Sharma, are also released
from Gorkha.
■ Prime Minister Surya
Bahadur Thapa is appointed
on June 4, 2003 after
Lokendra Bahadur Chand resigned on May 30, 2003 for
failing to garner support from
political parties. Prime Minister Thapa expresses commitment to continue the talks,
and the Maoists remain positive.
■ Talks 2, Round 3: The
government and the
Maoists meet for three
days, beginning at the Hotel Sneha in Nepalgunj on
August 15, 2003 and then
at a private house in
Hapure, Dang. The new
government talks-team
comprises Prakash
Chandra Lohani and Kamal
Thapa only. The government presents a paper to
address issues raised by
the Maoists and says it is
ready even to rewrite the
Constitution. The Maoists
stick to their demand for a
constituent assembly. The
government insists the talks
will resume, but the Maoists
say there is no need for further talks.
About 19 Maoists are killed in
Doramba, Ramechhap bythe
Army as the talks are taking
place.
■ Maoist supremo Prachanda
pulls out of the talks on August 27, 2004. CI
scribed as a "conducive environment" to
sit for talks.
"The Maoists sat for talks last time
only after the government assured them
of their security in writing," says
Tuladhar. The CPN-UML agrees; their
standing committee on September 23
asked the government to take the terrorist tag off the Maoists and repeated their
call for a unilateral ceasefire to create a
positive environment for talks.
Last week hundreds of people gathered at Maitighar, Basantapur Durbar
Square and Boudhanath to express their
solidarity with the Nepalis affected by the
conflict and to mourn for the 10,000
deaths in the "people's war." A gathering
of rights activists in Nepalgunj marking
the International Day of Peace made an
appeal to both the government and the
Maoists to call for a ceasefire starting
Dashain.
The government should be feeling
the time pressure too. The King, while
appointing Deuba as prime minister,
gave him a clear mandate to hold elections by April 2005 and broker a lasting peace with the Maoists. He, however, gave no hint where his priority
lay. Elections in Kashmir, which Prime
Minister Deuba frequently cites, are a
poor example to emulate. Even in the
best of times, Nepal just doesn't have
the overwhelming state resources that
India commands, and the Kashmir
problem is far from over despite the
elections.
So the government alternately goes hot
and cold over elections and peace talks.
Last week, its spokesman Mohammed
Mohsin once again resorted to the usual
rhetoric, "Nepalis are getting killed. There
should be no reservations or conditions
on the main agenda of peace. There should
now be only war of ideologies, not might."
He appealed to the media to pressure the
Maoists to sit for peace talks.
Minister Mohsin's words and the
government's formal call to talks may just be
the "carrot" to match the "stick" ofthe prime
minister's tough talk and increased military
aid. But even the prime minister knows that
the stick alone won't achieve his goals by
April. The carrot just might. He will have to
show that substantive talks can be held despite the rhetoric and propaganda that now
dominate the issue. Much the same applies
to the Maoists as well, d
24
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 The Only Lifestyle/Culture Magazine in Nepal
... probably the most admired too.
MY      BEST      SHOT
The photographers' gallery
%
25
DISCOUNT
For One Year
Subscription
Rs. 675 for 12 issues
of full color magazine
More than 100 pages
Also Available at major
bookstands and
Departmental stores.
www.ecs.com.np
TO SUBSCRIBE, CALL SUBSCRIPTION AT 2111102 OR E-MAIL AT SUBSCRIPTIONf@ECS.COM.NP
 Gurkh
AN EARNED RIGHT
As the debate on providing British citizenship to Gurkhas
gathers momentum, the Blair government is under pressure. Even though it acknowledges that the Gurkhas have
made a strong case, the British government seems undecided about what to do.
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
ON SEPTEMBER 1 MORE THAN
400 retired Gurkhas took to the
streets in Liverpool. The reason:
They were demanding the right to a British passport, which even the British say
is long overdue. The Gurkhas, based
mainly in Kent—the majority live in
Folkestone and Hythe—demonstrated
outside the Home Office Immigration
Nationality Directorate in Liverpool,
where applications for British citizenship are processed.
"It is very difficult when we have no
status as citizens," said Tikendradal
Dewan, chairman of the Brigade of
Gurkhas Welfare Society addressing the
demonstration. "If we leave the country
to visit family in Nepal, we are afraid
that we will be denied re-entry to the
U.K." Dewan, a retired Gurkha, is spearheading the campaign for the right to citizenship for Gurkhas at par with citizens
from Commonwealth countries. He has
had some initial success. Gurkhas who
fought loyally for the British Empire
might win their latest battle: The British public and politicians seem to realize the basic fairness ofthe request. Support has come from many quarters.
The support is growing too. Charles
Kennedy, the leader ofthe Liberal Democrats, the opposition party in Britain, and
his party members have stood firmly behind the Gurkhas. "Gurkhas soldiers who
have fought for Britain should not have to
fight for citizenship as well," said Kennedy,
commenting on the demonstration. "The
Gurkhas should be granted British citizenship as a right of service." In another
development on September 22 councilors of Warwickshire County voted unanimously in favor of granting residential status to former Gurkhas. "Citizens from
26
Commonwealth countries are eligible for
British citizenship after only four years of
service, but we are denied it even after 15
to 25 years of service," says Prem Bahadur
Bega, an ex-Gurkha. "This is gross injustice." Bega served with the 3rd Royal
Gorkha Regiment before his retirement
in 1999 after 15 years of service.
The British public also agrees about
the injustice ofthe situation. As the campaign gathers momentum, the British government is now hard pressed to make a
decision quickly on an issue it has avoided
for almost seven years. Finally the government announced a review of the policy
early this month. According to Daily Express newspaper, public support in favor
ofthe Gurkhas is growing. The paper's
office has been overwhelmed by thousands
of phone calls from readers who, according to the paper, have voiced their support.
The Daily Express has strongly supported
the Gurkhas' campaign for citizenship. In
early September the Daily Express ran
a poll as a part ofthe campaign.
It asked readers whether
Gurkhas should be offered
citizenship. Among the
more than 16,000 votes
polled, 99% ofthe respondents agreed. "The
Gurkhas, who have fought
so loyally and bravely for
Britain, shouldn't have to
take to the streets fighting
for British citizenship,"
the paper said.
The Daily Express
sums up the argument of
the Gurkhas: If they are
good enough to die for
Britain, they should be
good enough to be given
a British passport. The
y, i ,      , i     ,     SPOTLIGHT: Issues
Express has also launched   r      .    , ,.
r news back home
a petition in its newspaper calling on the
British government to reconsider its position and to give fair rights to soldiers
prepared to serve Britain with honor. Apparently under intense pressure from the
public, the media and the opposition,
Prime Minister Tony Blair was forced to
take up the issue. This has raised the level
of optimism among the retirees.
They are especially pleased that on
September 15 Prime Minister Blair responded to questions from the leader of
the opposition, Charles Kennedy, at the
House of Commons with an
acknowledgement that the Gurkhas had
made a strong case for British citizenship.
He said then that his government would
make the decision soon. "This is an issue
we are looking into now, we are examining it very carefully," said Blair, "and I
hope that within the next few weeks we'll
be able to make an announcement on it."
Retired Gurkhas in Britain and Nepal
have welcomed the remarks.
"It is positive news," says vice president of the Gorkha Army Ex-Service-
men Organization, Krishna Rai. "We have
been fighting for the right to British citi-
concerning British Gurkhas have always made
 zenship for long time now, among other
issues of equal treatment." The organization claims that it has more than 18,000
retired Gurkhas as members, out of the
estimated 26,000. Rai is hopeful that the
Labour government in Britain will recognize and honor the sacrifice and con-
Certificate of
registration of a
British citizen
tribution of the Gurkhas to the British
Empire for over almost 200 years.
The Gurkhas have been an integral part
of the British armed forces since 1815,
when they helped suppress the Sepoy
Mutiny in India. About 3,600 are still serving in Britain and overseas. After the Brit
ain j,,ji.'.
LLTtif».-iU'crfn^isjT3ltHH1
rN.-^.T.ii'vr*j[ <tenaedU>
■•.vjvt, .TiTmlKllTlMi*,^..^*.. \t r*i
ai,i-J.-viJlJi|*r*i iui»iJltl-,iij
ikinmiimi nm
■i tn»
fW7
CALL FOR JUSTICE: Prem Bahadur Bega, an ex-Gurkha, calls the
denial of British citizenship a gross injustice
ish withdrawal from Hong Kong, Gurkha
regiments have been re-organized. Most
of them are now based in the U.K The
Royal Gurkha Rifles, the Brigade Training
Team and the Band of Brigade of Gurkhas
are based at the Sir John Moore Barracks,
Shornecliffe, Folkestone. Many retired
Gurkhas have been recently
hired as bus drivers after there
was a shortage of bus drivers
in Wales. "Time and again they
have come to our aid," the Express said. "They have never
deserted us when we needed
them, but now we are betraying them." That feeling is
common among retired
Gurkhas here in Nepal.
"They use us when they
need us and dismiss us when
they don't need us," says
Prem Bahadur Bega.
Gurkhas who were there
when Britain needed mercenaries to fight are still
there when they need low-
paid drivers in Wales. But
when it comes to granting
citizenship, the British government seems to be reluctant rather than eager to
honor the contribution of
the Gurkhas. "We simply have to examine what other consequences there may
be of agreeing to the Gurkhas' case," Blair
said. That consideration has been going
on for years already.
The decision on 550 Gurkhas' passport applications has been gathering dust
at the British Home office. Out of more
than 26,000 retirees, only a small number of them have been able to settle in
the Britain. The figure is estimated at
650-700. There are many retirees who
aspire to live in Britain, but the policies
ofthe British government make that difficult. That's why they are demanding
the right to a British passport in return
for their contribution.
"We have been serving the British
empire like its citizens," says D. B.
Bomjon, a retired lance corporal of the
British Army, "and we are entitled to all
the benefits of citizens." The Gurkhas
have already earned the right to own a
British passport and the British government may do well to recognize it—
sooner rather than later. □
27
 Disaster Manageme
UNPREPARED
The Kathmandu Valley has a history of major earthquakes; another one is inevitable. Action now could save
tens of thousands of lives and billions in property damage when the next maha bhukampa strikes.
BY INDRA ADHIKARI
LAST YEAR, ALMOST 70 YEARS
after Nepal's last great earthquake,
the government announced a new
building code to lower the risk of earthquake damage. Since then, only one municipality in the country, Lalitpur, has
made it mandatory that new buildings
include earthquake-resistant features according to the code. Kathmandu, where
the earthquake took a heavy toll in 1934
is yet to adopt the law.
President ofthe National Society for
Earthquake Technology, the NSET,
Shiva B. Pradhananga says that the
Kathmandu Valley is especially vulnerable. Traditional construction methods
using unskilled laborers, poor maintenance of houses, rapidly increasing
population and unplanned urbanization
has increased the risk. According to
Pradhananga, more than 60 percent of
the houses in the Valley are poorly built.
Most of them will not survive the next
big quake.
The soft sediments of the
Kathmandu Valley are part ofthe problem, say B. Jaisi, Wei-Xin Ren, Zhou-
Hong Zong and Prem Nath Maskey in
their book "Dynamic and Seismic Performance of Old Multi-Tiered
Temples in Nepal." The amount of
damage in an earthquake is strongly influenced by the nature ofthe soil. The
Valley floor is a prehistoric lakebed, and
most ofthe ground is sand, gravel and
mud washed into that lake over the last
millennia. During a major earthquake
these soft, unstable sediments change
to a semi-liquid state, and the ground
literally becomes soft. The effect increases earthquake damage, especially
to traditional brick buildings, according to researches.
28~
The old city of Kathmandu, where
most ofthe houses were built by traditional methods, is likely to suffer the
heaviest damage in case of a big quake.
In the 1934 earthquake, estimated at 8.4
on the Richter scale, about 5,000 people
lost their lives, over 25,000 were injured
and about 60,000 houses were damaged.
In each of the three great earthquakes
(measuring more than 8 on the Richter
scale) ofthe 19th and 20th centuries, a few
thousand people lost their lives, and a
few thousand houses were destroyed in
Kathmandu.
A study done by the Japanese International Cooperative Agency four years
ago extrapolated from those figures and
the population growth over the last 200
years. The predictions: More than
40,000 people would lose their lives,
60,000-90,000 people would be severely injured and another 60,000
would be left homeless by a quake of
the same magnitude today. The study
estimates that almost all water supplies
and 40 percent ofthe electricity would
be cut off. Sixty percent of the telephone lines would stop working, and
60 percent of the bridges in the Valley
would be unusable. More than 90 percent of the houses would be damaged
beyond repaired, the JICA report
warns.
Surya Prasad Acharya, an engineer
with the NSET, says the tightly packed
construction in the city will cause more
casualties because falling buildings will
cause other buildings to fall in turn.
Hospitals and clinics will be damaged
too, because only a few of them were
designed to resist earthquakes. With
many private healthcare facilities unavailable, the NSET warns, the 7,500
government hospital beds, almost full
even in ordinary times, would be completely overwhelmed in case of a big
quake.
HISTORY SPEAKS: The Pachpana
Jyale durbar and other buildings of
the Bhaktapur durbar square in
ruins after the 1934 earthquake
 The Richter Scale
Average Number
Description
Richter Magnitude
Earthquake Effects
Per Year
Micro
Less than 2.0
Microearthquakes cannot be felt.
About 8,000 per day
Very Minor
2.0-2.9
People generally cannot feel these,
but instruments record them.
About 1,000 per day
Minor
3.0-3.9
People feel magnitude 3 quakes, but
they rarely cause damage.
49,000 (estimated)
Light
4.0-4.9
Noticeable rattling and shaking, but
significant damage is unlikely.
6,200 (estimated)
Moderate
5.0-5.9
Major damage to poorly constructed
buildings over small regions is possible.
Well-designed buildings suffer slight damage
at most.
800
Strong
6.0-6.9
Minor damage caused to many buildings,
and some buildings are destroyed.
120
Major
7.0-7.9
Serious damage to many buildings.
18
Great
8.0 or greater
Major damage occurs over a wide area.
1
{Adapted from U.S. Geological Survey documents.)
QUAKE DAMAGE: A study estimates that 60
percent ofthe bridges in the Valley would be
unusable in the case of a magnitude 8 quake
A report from NGO Geohazards says,
"The seismic record ofthe [Himalayan]
region, which extends back to 1255 A.D.,
suggests that earthquakes of this [1934's]
size occur approximately every 75 years,
indicating that a devastating earthquake
is inevitable in the long term." NSET
records show that earthquakes measuring from 4 to 6 on the Richter scale occur every two or three years, and earthquakes measuring up to 7.5 occur every
six years. It has been 70 years since Nepal
saw a major quake.
Much like the Himalayan region, Japan is also quake-prone because of the
tectonic plate underneath, which moves
at regular intervals. A recent 7.4 Richter
near Tokyo caused only 14 injuries. California in the United States is also a
quake-prone region but suffers only
modest damages during earthquakes.
Geohazards says that a schoolchild in
Kathmandu is 400 times more likely to
be killed by an earthquake than a
schoolchild in Kobe, Japan. The difference is proper planning and preparation.
The construction of earthquake-resistant schools in Thechho and
Jhonchhe and awareness campaigns by
the NSET and municipality authorities
in Dharan, Tanahu, Banepa and
Kathmandu are good, but very small,
beginnings. A major public awareness
campaign and implementation of the
new building code throughout the Valley are urgent and long-overdue steps,
suggest experts.
According to Acharya, building a
house that can resist earthquakes adds only about 10
percent to the normal cost.
There are no complicated
formulas; no specially
qualified or experienced
laborers are required: A
little training is enough.
Simple techniques—
more overlap of the iron
rods in beams and poles,
stronger corners and laying bricks a bit differently—are enough. Every
year of delay in implementing the building code
means more unsafe buildings now and greater casualties later.  □
29
 ERSATZ j
I have begun to wonder
how, despite all their reading and at times beautiful
mastery of the English
language, our young
journalists produce such
pedestrian writing about
Nepal
BY PRATYOUSH ONTA
I MUST SAY THAT I WAS FIRST
amused by the effort Ajit
Baral makes to not mention the
Martin Chautari discussion forum in his
article "Guff Addas" in the last issue of
this magazine. Upon first reading, I
thought maybe the omission could be
justified because the writer was only interested in guff addas located in chiya pasals.
However, reading the piece a second time
made me realize that was not the case.
After all, he talks about addas in chiya pasals,
around bookshops, one that meets in
Trichandra College and another in
Kirtipur. Certainly that kind of portfolio
could have easily included Martin
Chautari, recently described by Abhi
Subedi as a forum in which participants
are expected to sit on chakatis and participate vigorously. After my second reading, I began to worry about the new generation of Nepali writers and journalists
who are full of enthusiasm, but I am
afraid, full of ersatz nostalgia, a dangerous
combination.
I do not want to speculate on why
the writer omitted Chautari in his article. He is certainly aware of its existence. After all he has participated in many
discussions at Chautari over the past
three or four years and has been the main
presenter on at least one occasion.
Many ofthe people mentioned in the
article—Lok Raj Baral, CK Lai, Suresh
Dhakal, Chaintanya Mishra, Govinda
Bartaman, Khagendra Sangroula, Krishna
Khanal, Krishna Hachhethu, Hari
Sharma and Abhi Subedi—have been the
main presenters at Martin Chautari on
CHAUTARI: A forum in which participants are expected
to sit on chakatis and participate vigorously'
one or more occasions. Many of these
same individuals and others he mentions
including his fellow Pokharelis,
Sarubhakta and Usha Sherchan, have
also participated in Chautari discussions. When non-Nepali nationals, including the Darjeeling-based writer
Indra Bahadur Rai and the Calcutta-
based social scientist Ranabir Samaddar
(a "fiery communist" of the 1970s),
made presentations and participated at
Chautari, they have lamented the absence of such addas in their own hometowns. This has also been the experience of some Nepalis from other parts
of Nepal, and some of them have been
inspired to initiate such addas after having seen Chautari at work.
I worry about journalism that is based
on denial. Surely, the public work of a
journalist or a writer is judged by the
social landscape he makes visible to
the  readers. When readers
of this newsmagazine know about the
existence of Chautari (after all Nation
Weekly carries notices about Chautari
discussions every week), they will certainly wonder when one omits any discussion about this particular adda.
Had this been a simple case of a
writer being bent on insulting the intelligence of Nation Weekly's readers,
this omission wouldn't have deserved a
mention here. But it is suggestive of a
larger lacuna in English-language journalism in Nepal, and that is why I am
worried. A write-up that cannot mention a case of homegrown success while
pretending to describe the "changing
urbanscape" of a particular theme is not
journalism. It also raises questions about
the process of editorial value addition to
an inadequate copy submitted by in-
house or outside writers.
M
30
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Chautari's record speaks for itself.
Started in October 1991 as an informal discussion forum regarding development issues (among its founders are Bikash Pandey
and the late Martin Hoftun), it has become
the longest-existing forum of its kind in
Nepal at the moment. Initially its addas
were scheduled two times a month, now
16 scheduled discussions take place each
month. As demand has grown, it is not
unusual for Chautari to hold one or more
additional unscheduled discussions each
month. Despite banda-induced cancellations, it managed to hold 195 such discussions during the last fiscal year.
The list of those discussions also
demonstrates the variety of themes that
Chautari has brought into the discussion
arena. Moreover many discussions held
at Chautari have given birth to research
agendas, friendships between participants and much more. Since the article
laments about the "closed" nature of
other addas in town, one should also take
note of Chautari's ability to attract a continuous group of new and young Nepalis
to participate in multi-dimensional conversations, a point emphasized by journalist Raghu Mainali on September 14
when Chautari held an open session in
which it invited critical comments and
suggestions from one and all about its
work. If Chautari adda has entered its 14th
year at a time when such addas have disappeared from some of the more intellectually sexy metros of the world, then
it is doing something right.
There is a passage in the article that
refers to milestones in world history to
account for the decay in the culture of
addas elsewhere. Therein the article
quotes columnist CK Lai pliantly regarding how "the disintegration of the Soviet
Union and the march of globalization" is
responsible for the death of high lefty idealism and the dying culture of addas elsewhere. Lai should have been challenged
to explain how precisely in that same era
the Chautari adda was born and grew tremendously and how Chautari brought the
likes of Lai and Khagendra Sangroula together in the same room in the mid- and
late-1990s. What idealism informed such
a n
encounter? Anyone
who knows a bit
about the history of
"democratic" and
"progressive" intellectual camps in
Nepal would have
noted that such an encounter was no small
achievement then.
As a former convener and (at
present) a member
of the executive committee of Martin
Chautari, I do not seek praise for the
work we have done. I seek critical
appraisal. Critical appraisal means,
among other things, asking simple but
probing questions: How did Chautari
thrive in an era in which many of the
other addas in Kathmandu died? Why
has it been able to attract an average of
30 people in each of its sessions? Why
are new young people who are think-
Can our young
journalists and writers
who talk about Paris
and America to lament
about conditions at
home conceive of their
worlds alternatively?
ing about a variety of career options
coming to Chautari week after week?
Anyone writing about Chautari need
not have talked to any of Chautari's organizers but could have interviewed
some of the young participants and
asked them what prompts them to
come to Thapathali, week after week.
Answers to these simple questions
would reveal the reasons for the success
and longevity of a single adda in Nepal
and contribute to a real debate about adda
culture in our society. Such analysis is
basic journalism, nothing more.
I have picked up on the guff adda article because it is representative of a new
tendency among young journalists writing in English in Nepal today. Simply put,
in an attempt to be "chic," their writings
are replete with ersatz nostalgia about far-
off places and fascination with globally
visible people. They also contain non-illuminating quotes from heavyweights, as
if these lines can make up for the lack of
thorough research. I have begun to wonder how, despite all their reading and at
times beautiful mastery ofthe English language, these journalists produce such pedestrian quality writing about Nepal.
Can our young journalists and
writers who talk about Paris and
America to lament about conditions
at home conceive of their worlds alternatively? Can
they evaluate homegrown contexts and
institutions with
historical depth,
the only kind of
journalism that
matters in the long
run? Can they demonstrate to us that
they are interested
in  Nepal de
scribed in words
that are the products of good research, diligence and
fair analysis? Can they show to us that
beyond name-dropping, their wide
reading contributes to our understanding of a complex Nepal?
Finally, can they drop their ersatz
nostalgia for a revolutionary Calcutta
"thick with smoke and the smell of rum"
and Parisian pubs and coffeehouses and
ask if Thapathali has lessons for Calcutta
and Paris? □
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
31
 Business
— i     In—ti      I
m,   *—■■—i—■—■     ■     ■ 1 1 «—»
ji*^.*-  *■-*■-- * * i x
fTftliilirl  (w\il*\
sua
QFIMMKOL
te3IRl
£53 2..'AT
aaEsewV:-*^
The cost of keeping oil prices at the current level could
be as high as Rs. 1.5 billion a month or Rs. 18 billion a
year—almost half of the government's total development
spending. Subsidizing oil is neither the most efficient nor
the most equitable way of spending scarce government
resources.
BY BIPUL NARAYAN
THE GOVERNMENT'S DECI-
sion to hike prices of petroleum
products has again invited a din
of protests from the usual quarters—
political parties, student organizations,
and transport and consumer associations. On the face of it, it is quite inexplicable that petroleum prices should
hold such a prominent place in public
imagination.
Yes, petroleum prices have risen
sharply in recent years but so have prices
of other essential products such as medicines, food, clothes and housing. If anything, petroleum prices have been less
pressured than other prices because of
the massive support provided by the
government. Last year, the government
spent Rs. 2 billion to subsidize the petroleum products while hardly any government subsidy was provided to other
commodities. Petroleum prices, thus,
rose by 0.3% while prices of medicines,
education, vegetable and fruits, construction materials and clothes were up 3.5%,
4.8%, 7.2%, 19.5% and 6.7%, respectively.
Even after the latest hike, the government is still incurring a cost of almost
Rs. 500 million every month to keep oil
prices low.
Why, then, is the public up in arms
against the recent hike in prices of pe-
32
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 I&pfrm
troleum products? There are two main
reasons for this.
First, a government owned monopoly—the Nepal Oil Corporation, the
NOC—distributes petroleum products.
Price hikes are, thus, looked upon as po-
itical decisions, not economic ones.
Common people perceive government
insensitivity to their plight in a decision
to raise prices while opposition parties
see a potential political opportunity to
be exploited for political gains. This also
explains why governments are loath to
increase prices until forced into it and
why political parties adopt contradictory
stances depending upon whether they are
in the opposition or in the government.
Second, there is a lack
of transparency in the way
petroleum   prices    are
fixed in Nepal. When the
government   hikes   oil
prices, people are unsure
whether it is to fill up the
pockets of high-ranking
officials or because of the
pressure of international
prices. Their distrust of
the government and the
NOC is further compounded by the fact that
petroleum prices, which
are hiked up when international prices go up, seldom come down with international prices.
The way out ofthe current mess—where the
government is not only
losing money but also inviting the ire of all concerned—is for the govern
ment to completely disassociate itself
from the price fixing process. This could
be done in the short term by replacing
the current administered pricing system
with a mechanism that would automatically reflect changes in international
prices. Such a mechanism could use a
publicly declared formula to fix prices,
increasing the confidence of the common people in the process. This would
be consistent with the government's liberalization policy, which has consciously
sought to link domestic prices to world
prices through trade liberalization. In
the medium term, the government
should open up the petroleum sector for
the private businesses so that prices are
set competitively.
Setting up a transparent mechanism
for setting oil prices will be crucial because the current level of government
subsidy for petroleum products is unsustainable. Crude oil prices, which have
risen to $48 a barrel from about $28 last
year, are expected to go up to as much as
$65 a barrel until they bring on a global
recession that finally slows demand. The
cost of keeping oil prices at the current
level could be as high as Rs. 1.5 billion a
month or Rs. 18 billion a year—almost
half of the government's total development spending.
Spending such huge amounts of
money on subsidizing oil is neither the
most efficient nor the most equitable way
of spending scarce government resources.
The country would be benefited more
through government investment in education, infrastructure and agriculture
rather than in petroleum products, which
mainly benefit the urban minority at the
cost of the rural majority. □
M
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
33
 Arts   Society
The only museum dedicated to the history of modern
Nepali art is a dismal failure. It needs a new location, an
adequate budget and conscientious management.
BYAJITBARAL
The National Association of Fine
Arts was established in 1965
to promote Nepali art. One of
the first things it did after its establishment was to open the Birendra Art Museum. The idea was good; almost every
country has at least one art museum dedicated to its national art history. India has
the Indian Modern Art Museum. In the
museum there are paintings by Raja Ravi
Verma; artists from the Bengal School
of Art, Jamini Roy, Amrita Shergil,
Rabindranath Tagore and the Progressive Artists' Group neatly displayed in a
chronological order. The paintings tell
the story of Indian modern art.
Nepal's equivalent, the Birendra Art
Museum, fails to tell the same story. It
seems the paintings in the museum were
procured without a plan. Senior artist
Madan Chitrakar says, "NAFA is being
run by people with no sense of history."
34
The selection of the paintings in the museum is inadequate. More importantly, the
works of some of the artists like Tej
Bahadur Chitrakar and Chandraman
Singh Maskey are missing entirely.
Bajuman Chitrkar's visit to Britain
in 1850 helped bring British academic
naturalism to Nepal. The Rana rulers,
who were enamored by the British style
of painting, encouraged Nepali artists to
paint in the same style. The Ranas were
the only patrons of art in the country
then, and the style found widespread
currency. The influence of British academic naturalism remained strong until
1950, when artists like Maskey, Chitrakar
and Manohar Man Singh Pun tried to
paint a little differently. These artists
were the bridge between British academic naturalism and Nepali modernism. The museum could have thus started
by procuring the works of these artists,
and it could have added the works of artists who helped define the contour of
 Nepali modern art later. But it seems
NAFA members didn't know what to
do with the museum.
NAFA appointed a committee to
select paintings for the museum. "But
it never fixed any criteria [for selection]," says art critic Mukesh Malla.
That explains the glaring omissions of
artists and bad selection of paintings.
At present there is no committee at all;
the head of NAFA has been procuring
paintings at his own discretion for several years. There is criticism about his
choices. "Many below-par paintings
have found their way into the museum,"
Malla says. "What will foreigners think
of our art after seeing the paintings in
the museum?"
Even overlooking the poor selection   and   glaring   omissions,   the
museum's state of neglect is enough to
discourage visitors. Water seeps into
the hall, and the air is damp. There are
daubs of yellow paint all over the white
walls. The paintings are displayed on
stretcher boards. The lighting is awful
and distracts the viewer. The carpet is
filthy. The windows are broken, and pigeons enter and perch on the frames,
which are rough and poorly made. Canvases have yellowed; worse, many paintings have started to peel. If this neglect
continues, the few important paintings
in the collection, like those of Bal
Krishna Sama, will be damaged beyond
repair in a few years.
Sunita Bhandari, who is in charge of
the gallery, says she can do very little. "The
museum hardly gets anything for its upkeep," she says. NAFA has a budget of Rs.
300,000. With this amount NAFA has to
organize art activities like the National
Art Exhibition as well as pay its operational expenses. But if this building, never
intended to be a museum, can't be maintained, then the museum has to be moved.
Bhandari suggests that the museum
could be taken to the Royal Nepal Academy and that the offices ofthe academy
could be shifted to the NAFA building.
That's a good suggestion, though unlikely to bring cheers at the academy.
The academy has a huge building, which
would make a museum worthy of
Nepal's fine art. It could also be developed into a center for promotion of the
arts, just what NAFA was intended to
do.  □
35
 TrtM Jin
'7Ti£ i^iT-rh.vd 7/1'. Pr^ram in Xspat
i'iVi;:
L   Nepal Television* every Tuesday at 8:00 AM.
!gsA The repeat telecast can be viewed on
Image Metro, every Sunday at 2:00 PM.
for i. ,-•:<<.;
H-M<til:-inf<*AliHiimt!llfafHHtSe.CtHH.
il'ch Mlnr-mi'ip. trtriiHtrdiahtHM.ct/m.i
T*cfnn*'itittJtiwnr Pvt. Ltd.      m
P.S..\it.2lMiS
Chabahil. KTM. NEPAL
Cttti-MStMM
^vtytammKiifisrv
'
^d^Tcf 9lfdbdcb1 oilOl
t>|u lyxi^^T^gr^i^Bc^^cragH^AjJi^gfl*
iiUiTjcbojfJJl
<tei?ai art.rt ot>i iKaytm u^ifffi nun ycoyuu
tirr>al:5t*nHi.:iptiriC:hakGri,|.a.ii=TTi.r^. - www.pancnaloanrya.Cionn.np
uiW-duiy-mw
Manufactured on/y from Prime Raw/materials
fltfi AraiRfril
® ISO I
 The Everest Hotel has been Nepal's symbol of
luxury for years. Spacious & grand, it exudes the
warmth of a rich Nepalese tradition that heralds
the guest as a god. The Hotel offers everything
that a discerning traveler would seek. Luxuriously
&    aesthetically    designed    rooms.
A myriad of business & meeting facilities. A
sizzling dining experience with a choice of Indian,
Chinese, Continental & Nepalese cuisine.
Impeccable service. A lively and alluring casino &
a sparkling discotheque. An experience that is a
delight to behold and savor.
New Baneshwore, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 4780100, 4781010, Fax: 977-1 -4780510, 4781288
Email: sales@everesthotel.com.np
www.everesthotel.com.np
T
I he Everest Hotel t
kathmandu*mefal1
 Column
Don't Drink The Water
The Maoists are not Nepal's biggest problem, not even close
BY IAN BAIRN
It's human nature to misestimate risks. Almost everyone worries about
flying in an airplane, statistically a very, very safe thing to do; most of
us don't think twice about riding in a car or on a motorcycle, even
though it's 100 times more dangerous than flying. Our perception ofthe
Maoist problem suffers from the same mis-estimation.
When asked why the Maoist problem is so terrible, most people
point to the deaths, a ghastly 10,000-plus in eight and a half years.
But what else kills Nepalis? According to CWIN, 99,000 children die
each year in Nepal from diarrhea, pneumonia, smallpox, malaria and
malnutrition. Why aren't we spending billions to prevent these easily
averted deaths? Where is the concern and support from Big Brother
to the south and Uncle Sam (who seems to be everywhere) for this
huge problem?
Besides dead children, we have tuberculosis. The Britain-Nepal Medical Trust says that 16,500 Nepalis die each year from the disease.
That's three times the casualty rate ofthe worst year ofthe insurrection,
and TB goes on and on. A study a few years ago bythe Ministry of Health
estimated that 12 women died each day from preventable complications of pregnancy. Do the math: It comes to 4,380 women dead each
year just because they lacked medical care of even the most basic sort.
The situation certainly hasn't gotten any better since the study. It's an
enormous problem, but an easy one to underestimate, since there's no
shock and outrage, no media coverage.
The cost ofthe insurrection seems staggering too. The government
estimated the total cost ofthe deaths, destruction and damaged economy
at Rs. 18 billion, through the end of 2003. As huge a sum as that is, it's
roughly what the property losses due to floods, landslides and other
fl
natural disasters came to during the same period. Estimates of deaths
and displaced families from the disasters were also similar to those
caused by the insurrection. We can put an end to our self-induced
disaster; Mother Nature will be with us forever.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says that continuing deforestation costs Nepal Rs. 11 billion per year, five times the
average cost of a year ofthe insurrection. The gross depletion of our
natural resources is a much bigger drain on the nation's wealth than the
Maoists.
Then how about the Maoists' damage to the economy? It's hard
to estimate, but the cost surely amounts to billions. So does the
damage caused by smuggling, a lucrative "business" with alleged ties
to top political figures. The Nepal Textiles Industries Association says
that textile smugglingfrom India and China costs their industry Rs. 6
billion per year, and has almost driven them out of existence. Eighty
percent of imported fabrics, the association says, evade customs,
costing the nation a fortune, destroyingan industry and putting people
out of work. That's one example of a vast problem, far, far worse than
the Maoists.
Perhaps you are willing to grant all that, but still feel the Maoists are
our number-one problem. Don't they prevent anything productive being
done about all those other problems? Yes and no. It's certainly harder to
get services into Maoist-controlled regions now, but there wasn't much of
an effort before the insurrection, when it would have been much easier.
The real reason nothing got done was mismanagement and greed. Officials responsible for helping the nation instead helped themselves to,
estimates say, 50 to 75 percent ofthe money. Much ofthe rest was
wasted. That's a terrible problem, one that is far harder to resolve than
the insurrection.
So let's clean up corruption. That's
what the pol ice and courts are for, right?
Sorry. The lack of ethics, responsibility and
honesty in the whole legal system makes
it almost impossible. The culture of impunity and absence of rule of law on the
part ofthe "good guys" isa much, much
bigger problem than the Maoist bad guys.
The Maoist problem is easier to solve,
less costly and less deadly than any of
these other problems. We are preoccupied with the Maobadi samasaya for the
wrong reason: It's spectacular, like an
airplane crash. But the real danger is
everyday, on the highways and in the
inexorable toll taken by poor education,
no health care, slow development and
terrible governance. Drinking the water
is more dangerous than the insurgency
in most villages in Nepal. And that, of
course, is why we have a Maoist problem in the first place. □
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 BROADLINK
Cable Internet
...where    reality   exceeds   expectations
For the first time in Nepal, you have a better choice to browse the Internet. BroadLink gives
you a superior and faster browsing experience with the pleasure of viewing more than 68 of
the most popular channels. We use fiber optic cable connection in delivering you with quality
TV channels along with an enhanced Internet service and your telephone still rings.
For further information:
SU3iSU
CABLENET
Subisu Cable Net Pvt. Ltd.
G.P.O. Box: 6701
Baluwatar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel: 4429616, 4429617, 4424862
Fax: 4430572, 4240165
E-mail: info@subisu.net.np
■*-
nation
READ THE STORY BEHIND THE NEWS
The Media House, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu
Tel: 2111102, 4261831, 4263098
subscription@nation.com.np
www.nation.com.np
Yes, / would like to subscribe to nationweekly for,
□ 52 Issues (25% @ Rs. 1170)    O 26 Issues (10% @ Rs. 702)    O 12 Issues (5% @ Rs. 342)
NAME (Mr/Ms)
ORGANISATION
ADDRESS
PHONE
MOBILE
FAX
E-MAIL
FROM
TO
SIGNATURE
□ Cash   □ Cheque   □ Bill me later
* Cheque should be made payable to The Mirror Media PVT. Ltd
52 Issues
for
To subscribe, fax completed form to H-2.J-b2.ol. or call
Subscription at 2111102 or email at subscription@nation.com.np
 aughinj
High On Cloud Number 9
A flying leap could leave you sky-high
BYKUNALLAMA
Whether Nepal isafailed,failing or flailing (my preferred, more
accurate coinage) state, one thing it is for sure: stunningly
beautiful. On a recent trip to Pokhara, as the Beechcraft flew
over, through and under dramatic cloud formations, the country below
was emerald. Mountains, hillsides, valleys, plains, all in that eye-soothing, vibrant, amazingly alive green. The monsoon had done its magic,
transforming the grey-brown-scape intoa land that we can be thankful
to be living in. (Sometimes, though, flying over can befun-and easier!)
The monsoon this year has been quite different. Spells of intense
rainfall interspersed between periods of scorching sun and sticky humidity. The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM—here we go
again) has termed monsoon 2004 "weak." It has, however, had its
usual effects: East Nepal got thoroughly soaked, resulting in landslides,
floods and losses of I ives, whereas in the West, paradoxical ly, droughts
have caused severe damages to crops and the livelihood of its people.
To have learned that I needn't have paid 4,040 rupees (Mother of God!
For a flight which lasts 20 minutes one-way, a glass of water to rehydrate
my drained budget and a lovely Ms. Rai or Gurung—sensational in disco
heels and tight long skirt—in attendance, but is she going to be of any
use when we have to jump out ofthe aircraft hanging on to our bottom
"emergency floatation" seat if we are lucky enough to be over Begnas or
Phewa??? I have seen similarly attired airhostesses wobbling up or
down suspended stepladders and through the narrow aisles inside,
gingerly balancinga trayfull of cotton wool and sweets. Once, on a flight
to Meghauli, when the aircraft was being buffeted by strong winds, a
dutiful attendant, checking to see if the seat belts were on, had such a
time keeping her balance that she had to claw her way back to her
bucket seat, leaving a line of mauled and good-naturedly bemused
passengers in her wake!). Goodness me, no: Icouldhavejustsatona
bench and looked around to see that, in spite of just 252 mm of rain in
August (24 mm less than last year; on an average, the Kathmandu
Valley receives over 1,500 mm of rain annually), thanks to the monsoon, even my garden had changed and was growing very well indeed.
Spreadi ng particularly prol if ica I ly was the water hyacinth {Eichhornia
crassipes). Discarded dismissively by a friend a few months ago, the
hyacinth was now marching out ofthe confines of an evidently inadequate
terracotta bowl. Royal intervention was immediately required, but how
could I let the multi-lakh Harley Davidson roar its way through my small
garden? It wou Id surely destroy my del icate bed of ajuga {Ajuga reptans)
forming an effective groundcover around small shrubs of azalea {Azalea
hybrida), hydrangea {Hydrangea macrophylla), the uniquely-named Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow (Brunfelsia calycina) and an ungainly-and-strug-
glingsaplingoffloweringcherry(P/unusceraso/ctes). Ajuga is as prolific as
the hyacinth, but on dry land, and it shoots up short stems studded with
cheerful purple blossoms in the spring. Must say the hydrangea bushes
look a bit the worse for wear, but they should come back to form soon.
On a north-facing brick wall a-jangle with ugly overhanging corrugated
iron sheets, a spectacular display of intertwined morning glory {Ipomoea
hederacea) and nasturtium {Tropaeolum
majus) climbing over lOfeet have been wowing my envious friends. A closer friend, given
to experimenting with psychoactive and hallucinogenic substances, has asked me to harvest the morning glory seeds. If you want to
have visions of Mr. G. R Koirala getting out of
his SUV and walking the hundred or so meters
to the dilapidated domestic terminal, all you
have to do is grind up the seeds, mix them up
with milk in a form of shake and gulp it down.
The active substances—belonging to the Lysergic acid amide group—in the seed dissolve deliciously in the fet content ofthe milk.
This could get addictive! Better stick with nasturtium flowers in your salads and pickle its
plump green seed heads in brine as a substitute for the enormously pricey capers from
Spain.
Gardening note: IVejust bedded out cockscomb (Ce/os/a argentea), marigold {Tagetes
patula), chrysanthemum {Chrysanthemum
morifolium) and salvia (Salvia leucantha) in a
variety of colors except red. The first two are annuals, prefer well-drained
soil, full sunlight and should flower through December. The latter two are
perennials. Just make sure that you divide the chrysanthemums every few
years, discarding the woody center. Chopping back the salvias after flowering ensures they bloom again and again.
The beauty ofthe monsoon is soon to leave us. Dare we hope that
it wil I be replaced by the bounty ofthe autumn? Or are we to stock up on
LSD and suchlike? □
.L
40
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 WSiQH\HQ LUMiy
Furniture • Flooring • Accessories
SSSBti^^^^gg^.
In collab
Showroom location: Basundhara opp. to
'rice ranging from Nrs
■:.■-.*"-
~~rii
iformation contact: 4356913, 9851021346
Interior Design By Suban Rajbhandari
 Profil
The Good Doctor
After  the  exasperating traffic  at
Chabahil and the overwhelming
rush of patients inside the Medicare
National Hospital and Research Centre,
it's a relief to be in Dr. Chakra Raj
Pandey's quiet office. Dr. Pandey,
however, is anything but quiet. He
has a natural gift for gab: He's
deliberate,    articulate    and
engaging. The managing
OCTOBER
3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 director of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology
at Medicare has already achieved what others of his age can
only imagine. In his seven-year career he has pioneered modern orthopedic surgery in Nepal. Knee, hip and even spine
replacement surgeries are rare in the country but Pandey in
his late 30s, has done them all.
The doctor talks of a 65-year-old man who is suffering
from a rare case of cancer. Eleven major operations
had already been perfomed on the cancer patient: One half of his lungs had been removed
and half of his leg amputated at a hospital in
Mumbai. The last time he flew to India, the
65-year-old received the worst news of his lifetime: Nothing more could be done, and he had
no more than a few months to live. Eight months
later he is still alive. Dr. Pandey did a hip replacement surgery on him.     "This was one of
the toughest surgeries I have undertaken," says Dr.
Pandey.   "It   was
risky throughout,
and one small mistake
would have ended everything." The difficulty and
challenge motivated the doctor, as they have all his life.
The son of a farmer
from a remote village in
Sindhupalanchowk,
Pandey left home as a child
to complete his S.L.C. in Kathmandu. He
says living in his uncle's home in the city was
always a struggle. "There was a total mismatch," he
says. He wanted to do his best academically but didn't
get "the proper environment, the proper nutrition; not
enough of everything." The difficulty motivated rather than
discouraged him. He couldn't afford higher education; the
challenge to earn a good scholarship along with his "instinctive urge" for knowledge spurred him on. He finished
sixth among all students in his S.L.C. examinations and later
became the first Nepali to be chosen for an MBBS scholarship in Turkey.
In Turkey he drove himself hard, excelled again and received another scholarship for a five-year-long orthopedic
residency. "I actually wanted to be a cardiologist," he says.
"But because I hurt my knee once during my MBBS program,
curiosity led me into becoming an orthopedic surgeon."
Pandey's intellectual curiosity and willingness to take on difficult tasks won him his medical degree and orthopedic specialty.
The same things drive him still. His office in the
orthopedics department at Medicare is filled with
shelves of well-ordered books. A personal computer in
one corner gives Pandey access to medical websites.
The doctor tries to keep abreast with the latest developments in his field through meets abroad. "In every
workshop you learn something different. You are up
dated with what's going on internationally" says Pandey.
"There is always a sea of knowledge to take in." In 2003
he was one of four international doctors who were
awarded a scholarship by the AAOS, the American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons.
Dr. Pandey is dedicated to his specialty; he says it is because he is a perfectionist. He remarks, "I don't think I'm flexible
enough to manage too many
things at a time. It's basically
about specializing in one thing
and being the best at it." Unlike many doctors, Pandey
dedicates all his time to a
single hospital and keeps no
outside office. He has been
at Medicare for two years;
earlier, he was with B&B
Hospital for five and a half
years.
"I have this philosophy" he says. "Doctors
should wait for patients,
not patients for doctors.
I don't take my patients
for granted. What I am
today is partly because
of them, and by working at too many places
I would do no justice
to them." That attitude and his determination to excel
have made him one
ofthe leading surgeons    in    the
country.
Even so, Dr.
Pandey is unfulfilled. Why?
The career he really wants—a sports medicine practice—doesn't yet exist in Nepal. "During my residency program in Turkey I felt a certain pull towards sports
medicine, and I took up special courses on this subject,"
says Pandey. In 2002, he received a traveling fellowship to
study sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery in the
United States. He also had a chance to practice sports medicine.
During his medical residency program in Turkey Pandey
accompanied the Turkish national youth basketball team to
Germany as their sports doctor. Nothing similar has come his
way in Nepal, but he is optimistic: "I know sports medicine
isn't still big in Nepal, but if organizations like the National
Sports Council come up with the initiative we can form a
team of sports doctors and give our players the same treatment
they get only after paying millions of rupees abroad." With his
track record, don't bet against his achieving his sports medicine dream. "After all," he says, "it's only about having the vision." □
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
43
 CHY TTiisWeek
CHANGA CHAIT
Dashain is just around the corner. Keeping up with the
Dashain festival, Club Himalaya
is organizing the "Chang Chait
2061" for the second consecutive year. A kite flying competition among Nepal's top corporate houses, financial institutions, travel/tourism industry,
export/trading companies and
multinational companies,
Changa Chait 'will be conducted
through three stages. After two
preliminary rounds, the final
match ■will be held between the
■winners from the previous
rounds. In the final match the
three ■winners ■with the highest
points ■will be awarded.
Csportsmanship among corporate bodies and also revive our
age-old culture of kite flying.
Also enjoy the food festivals,
fun games, music, dance party,
and much more. Venue: At the
Club Himalaya, Windy Hills,
Nagarkot. Dates: September
25, October 2 and October 16
(finals). For information:
4410432.
Masquerade Night
Raizz International is organizing a Masquerade Night. The
event will feature models
from Cybernepal, Nepali pop
artists, DJs Alex and Rupesh,
and juggling and flamming
bartenders. At Club Platinum,
Hotel Yak & Yeti. Date: Saturday, October 2. Time: 8 p.m.
Entry: Rs. 350 per person.
Batsayana
In Town
ar|
This September marked the 19th anniversary of Siddhartha Art
Gallery's establishments. To celebrate its commitment to arts, the
gallery is exhibiting the paintings by one of Nepal's foremost artists, Durga Baral. Over the years, Durga Baral has reached much
fame as a cartoonist and is known by his nom de plume "Batsayana."
Over the years, Baral's paintings have been valued for their sublime
exploration ofthe socio economic and political situation in Nepal.
This time his exhibition titled "The Faces of Time and the Colors
of Sensibility" focuses on the civil war that has gripped Nepal for
the last nine years. He seeks to sensitize the viewers to the human
tragedy that is taking place in Nepal.
Even though there
is no political posturing in this exhibition, it is indeed
critical of our pathetic inability to
end the violence
and the suffering.
Starting October 1.
Cine Club
Movie: Taxi 3 (2002). Director: Gerard Krawczyk. Starring: Samy Naceri. At the Alliance Francaise,
Tripureshwore. Date: October
3. Time: 2 p.m. For information: 4241163.
Tourism Products
Exhibition of new tourism
products in Nepal on the
occasion ofthe 25th World
Tourism Day. Also featuring
documentary movies, art
and culture shows, interaction programs and photo-
exhibitions. Venue: Tourist
Service Centre,
Bhrikutimandap,
Kathmandu. Date: September 24-27. For information:
4269768.
fTTTTQ2Q£2|
• RESTAURANT
'cmnm»
"The 'e for the
you ever had'
LAIANA RESTAURANT
Near Radisson Hotel, Lazimpat,
Kathmandu, Nepal
tel. 4413874
44
>vwU*C l*«^o-/v^tU4e C<*vtv*>*
■ " t    - -
Parking facilities available
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 For insertions: 2111102
or editorial@nation.com.np
Page
This week at Martin
Chautari
SEPTEMBER 28
MANGALBARE
DISCUSSION
Topic: Village Tourism in Nepal.
Pundit: Shreekanta Khatiwada.
Time: 5 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 30
MEDIA DISCUSSION
Topic: Gender Discrimination in
Nepali TV Programs. Pundit:
Deepa Gautam, Chief Program
Producer, NTV Time: 3 p.m.
For information: 4256239.
Films @ Lazimpat
Cafe Gallery
OCTOBER 5
Love Actually
The directorial debut by Richard
Curtis, screenwriter of "Four
Weddings and a Funeral,"
"Notting Hill," and " Bridget
Jones's Diary" is a romantic comedy that boasts ajaw dropping line
up of a A- list British and Hollywood talent, including Hugh
Grant and Colin Firth. " Love
Actually" is a delightful mess,
which inter weaves 15 stories of
love and heartbreak and is unpre-
tentious about ■what is—cute,
fluffy and utterly charming. Time:
7 p.m. For information: 4428549.
ONGOING
San Miguel
Oktober Fest
The season to eat, drink and
dance is here. This San Miguel
Oktober Fest brings you
bratwurst, frankfurter, chicken and
steak barbeque, smoke ham
carving and much more. This
along with unlimited beer and extraordinary live music at the
poolsideto make your body spin.
At the Hotel Yak & Yeti. Date:
September 24 - October 3. For
information: 4248999.
{Longest Happy Hour
Hotel Yak and Yeti introduces the
longest happy hours . Buy any
drink and get a second one free.
Add an array of sumptuous exotic
snacks to the mix, and you will see
why the happy hours have become happier. Venue:
The Piano Lounge Bar.
Time: 12-7:30 p.m.
Rock@ Belle
Momo
Steel Wheels, a rock 'n
roll band, at the Belle
Momo, Durbar Marg.
Also enjoy the delicious
Belle Combo meal. Every Friday. 6:30 p.m.
onwards. For information: 4230890.
Sekuwa Saanjh
Enjoy the Sekuwa Saanjh at The
Dwarika's Hotel. Price: Rs. 555
plus tax per person; includes BBQ
dinner, a can of beer or soft drink
and a good time. Live music by
Abhaya &The Steam Injuns playing blues, jazz & more. Also drop
your visiting cards or BBQ coupons
for the lucky draw. Every Friday.
7p.m. onwards. For information:
4479488.
Fusion Night
at Rox
The rhythmic and
harmonic tunes
of both eastern
and western instruments will be
a treat for your
senses. Enjoy the
sensational tune
of Sarangi played
by Bharat Nepali,
blended with the
western instruments played by The Cloud Walkers. Every Wednesday. At the Rox
Bar. Time: 6 p.m. onwards. For information: 4491234.
the most awaited album of our time
^                                            now available
f^t                                                                                        at all leading music stores
*#^r   Moments or
W !^fe.                                       1    y                                        /^i, marketed bv
Moments of
.     1      sinasi
|^k    ^^^^H         ,   V                                   ■!                                  The Bluestar Building. GPO Box 21116
m\ ^fl                                                               H-^^5mI                                               Trim imwrnr Knthmnnrii i Nfinnl
Ky Ani Cliuvi'Kf DoJmn                      HlwnpMlijH
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
45
 THE   WORLD'  S  BEST   CLOTHS
► DELIVERY WITHIN 24 HOUR
► PARKING FACILITY AVAILABLE
urn*
■       i
.JJ^Lk-    '^rf JL-     iotJ
Putalisadak, Kathmandu
Tel: 4412017, Fax. 977-1-5539787
E-mail: dormeuil@wlink.com.np
 Yeti Airlines
Proposed Revised Flight Schedule
(Covering remote sectors)
Effective from 16 SEP - 31 DEC04
From
To
Flight No.
Days of
Operation
Dep.
Time
Arr.
Time
Rupee
Tariff
One way
Dollar
Tariff
One way
Remarks
Kathmandu
Lukla
YA 111
Daily
0700
0735
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA 101
Daily
0705
0740
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA103
Daily
0710
0745
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA 105
Daily
0715
0750
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA107
Daily
0840
0915
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA113
Daily
0845
0920
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA109
Daily
0850
0925
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA 115
Daily
0855
0930
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YAH 7
Daily
1020
1055
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YAH 9
1,2,4,5,6,7
1025
1100
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Taplejung
YA901
3
1025
1135
2695
164
DHC-6/300
Phaplu
YA181
1,3,5
1030
1105
1480
85
DHC-6/300
Rumjatar
YA221
2,4,7
1030
1105
1245
61
DHC-6/300
Manang
YA601
6
1030
1130
2995
122
DHC-6/300
Meghauly
YA171
Daily
1130
1200
1340
79
DHC-6/300
Bharatpur
YA173
Daily
1200
1225
1160
61
DHC-6/300
Bharatpur
YA175
Daily
1400
1425
1160
61
DHC-6/300
Simara
YA141
Daily
1330
1355
970
55
DHC-6/300
Simara
YA143
Daily
1500
1525
970
55
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
Kathmandu
YA301
Daily
0700
0800
4800
109
SAAB340B
Kathmandu
YA302
Daily
0705
0805
4800
109
SAAB340B
Kathmandu
YA303
Daily
0820
0920
4800
109
SAAB340B
Biratnagar
YA151
Daily
0945
1025
2585
85
SAAB340B
Biratnagar
YA153
Daily
1430
1510
2585
85
SAAB340B
Biratnagar
YA155
Daily
1640
1720
2585
85
SAAB340B
Pokhara
YA131
Daily
0815
0840
1710
67
SAAB340B
Pokhara
YA137
Daily
0955
1020
1710
67
SAAB340B
Pokhara
YA135
Daily
1415
1440
1710
67
SAAB340B
Bhairahawa
YA163
Daily
1555
1630
2220
79
SAAB340B
Bhadrapur
YA121
Daily
1135
1225
2950
109
SAAB340B
Nepalqunj
YA177
Daily
1155
1250
3500
109
SAAB340B
Biratnagar
Kathmandu
YA152
Daily
1050
1130
2585
85
SAAB340B
Biratnagar
Kathmandu
YA154
Daily
1535
1615
2585
85
SAAB340B
Biratnagar
Kathmandu
YA156
Daily
1745
1825
2585
85
SAAB340B
Pokhara
Kathmandu
YA132
Daily
0905
0930
1710
67
SAAB340B
Pokhara
Kathmandu
YA138
Daily
1045
1110
1710
67
SAAB340B
Pokhara
Kathmandu
YA136
Daily
1505
1530
1710
67
SAAB340B
Bhairahawa
Kathmandu
YA164
Daily
1655
1730
2220
79
SAAB340B
Bhadrapur
Kathmandu
YA122
Daily
1250
1340
2950
109
SAAB340B
Nepalgunj
Kathmandu
YA178
Daily
1315
1405
3500
109
SAAB340B
Lukla
Kathmandu
YA 112
Daily
0750
0825
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA 102
Daily
0755
0830
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA104
Daily
0800
0835
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA106
Daily
0805
0840
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA108
Daily
0930
1005
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA 114
Daily
0935
1010
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA 110
Daily
0940
1020
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA 116
Daily
0945
1025
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA 118
Daily
1110
1145
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA120
1,2,4,5,6,7
1115
1150
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Phaplu
Kathmandu
YA182
1,3,5
1120
1155
1480
85
DHC-6/300
Meghauly
| Rumjatar
Kathmandu
YA172
Daily
1120
1155
1340
79
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA222
2,4,7
1250
1325
1245
79
DHC-6/300
Manang
Kathmandu
YA602
6
1145
1245
2995
122
DHC-6/300
|Taplejung
Kathmandu
YA902
3
1150
1300
2695
164
DHC-6/300
1 Bharatpur
Kathmandu
YA174
Daily
1240
1305
1160
61
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA176
Daily
1440
1505
1160
61
DHC-6/300
Simara
Kathmandu
YA142
Daily
1410
1435
970
55
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu
YA144
Daily
1540
1605
970
55
DHC-6/300
Sub feci to change without prior notice.
Monday 1, Tuesday 2, Wednesday 3, Thursday 4, Friday 5, Saturday 6, Sunday 7
i Subject to CAAN Approval
CORPORATE OFFICE
Lazimpat, Kathmandu
Ph. No. 4411912 (Hunt. Line)
Fax: 977-1-4420766
RESERVATIONS
4421215 (Hunt. Line)
Fax: 977-1-4420766
Email: reservations@yetiair.wlink.com.np
TRIBHUVAN
AIRPORT OFFICE
4493901, 4493428
OUTSTATIONS TELEPHONE NUMBERS
BIRATNAGAR
POKHARA
021-536612/536613 (Cty sales office)
021-523838 (Airport)
061-530016 (City sales office)
061-532217 (Airport)
081-526556/526557 (Cty sales office)
081-550637 (Airport)
BHADRAPUR
071-527527 (City sales office)
071-527528 (Airport)
023-522232 (City sales office)
023-522242
 PROCESSED BY ULTRA-MODERN AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY
WORLD   CLASS
GUARANTEE
priog
Reverse
Osmosis &
UV treated,
Ozonated
'*'.
I
i
i ir     y
i ;f^. \ jW. Jf
m Himalayan Pure Drinking Water.
lanufactureVby
Himalayan
Spring Water Incj?
Chalnakhel, Kathmandi
Tel: 2052347, 2052349
2030204
i^^_
B L I ) I N G    DUCK
Hxorit Onj D«r
<>
t-
■
Everyday Llv* Band
Saturday Live Prism Band
Dev Rana & Ram Shrestha
with Friends.
BEIJING ROAST DUCK RESTAURANT,     (arlsl^
I UN II l>N DHY h M
BICC Complex, New Baneshwor. Kathmandu
fctntiT IM. Ud Tel: 2040339' 446B539 Fax: 977-1-4473652,
 eek In Pictures
1. NO COMMENTS: Former police chief Achyut Krishna Kharel being taken into
judicial custody after he appeared before the Special Court
2. HONOR: Journalist Pannalal Gupta receives Gopal Das Patrakarita Pruskar
from Prime Minister Deuba for his contribution to field of journalism
3. CELEBRITY NUN: Anni Choying at a concert at the Dream Garden, Keshar
Mahal, to raise funds for the Arya Tara school
4. HERE WE GO AGAIN: The four agitating parties begin another round of Ratna
Park-centered protest programs
5,6. CANDLE-LIGHT VIGIL: Hundreds gather at the Mandala at Maitighar to
light candles to mourn those who have died in the eight-and-a-half-year long
conflict
7. FESTIVE SEASON BEGINS: Devotees observing Rishi Panchhami near Pachali
Bhairav
8. DAY OF PEACE: A gathering at Basantapur organized by Himsha Birodh
Abhiyan, the Campaign Against Violence
iT^HT fa<^ K"**l~£rt "VfZVi
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
49
 •n
Marathon Men
Nepal's best chance for international distinction is
distance running. The discipline needs little specialized
training and no expensive facilities, just as legendary
marathon man Baikuntha Manadhar says.
BY SUDESH SHRESTHA
H
_■_   _I_r
ow should we feel for the Nepali
athletes who were in Athens last
.month? Happy for their once-
in-a-lifetime moment or sorry that they
were so far behind while confronting the
very best in the world? The results were
the same during Nepal's previous eight
appearances at the Olympic Games, starting at Tokyo in 1964. It was the same
drama of listless despair—except that this
time we had a protagonist in the
taekwondo star Sangina Baidya. The fact
that she had fought her way to a place
among the top 16 to qualify for the event
raised the hopes of a nation.
Member-secretary Kishore Bahadur
Singh, who attended the Olympic
Games in Athens as chef de mission of
the Nepali contingent, understands how
to add official gloss to the Olympic lament. "It's been more of a
learning experience," says Singh.
Even the most fervently patriotic
Nepalis have no illusions that
Nepal's Olympic dreams will be
fulfilled any time soon. There's a
reason. An Olympic medal is such
a sought-after commodity that developed nations hardly leave anything to chance. They will test every conceivable method—cutting-edge technology and, in some
cases, even drugs—in order to
win.
The competition is demanding.
Olympic disciplines like swimming and most athletic events are
now well beyond the reach of poor
countries. That doesn't mean there
is no room for individual talents,
and those talents have their best
shot at middle- and long-distance
running. Despite their lack of resources, Kenya, Ethiopia and Morocco continue to produce top-
notch runners, for example.
At 5,000 meters, Kenyan runners
hold 48 ofthe 100 best times ever, followed by Morocco with 23 and Ethiopia with 18. "They have a quality that
stems from severe hardship that they
are exposed to since their childhood,"
explains Prakash Pradhan, who holds a
Ph.D. in sports science. "Much like
Nepal, these resource-poor African nations have no roads. There's no alternative to walking and running. And with
some help, they become world-beaters," he adds.
While Olympic medals may be beyond our reach in the immediate future,
Pradhan believes Nepali distance runners have realistic chances to excel at the
Asian level. Baikuntha Manandhar,
Nepal's marathon man, shares his views.
"I never went through advanced training
when I was running, recalls the three-
time SAF Games gold-medallist. "I used
to run for two to three hours regularly
and increase it before major competitions." His record of 2:15:03 set at the
third SAF Games in Calcutta remains
unchallenged.
Athletics experts say that with advanced training, he could have had a podium finish at the Asian Games. The
performance of Nepal's own self-effacing distance runner Rajendra Bhandari
in Athens suggests he could be a top
runner too. His timing of 14:04.89 in
the 5,000 meters heats may be off the
final qualifying mark in Athens, but this
soldier from Tanahun has potential to
climb up the ladder. In Athens Bhandari
clipped over 30 seconds off his silver-
medal winning time of 14:42.63 at the
ninth SAF Games. Noushad Khan of
Pakistan won the gold there with
14:39.47.
"That's [Bhandari's time in Athens]
better than any of the winning times in
the SAF Games yet," confirms athletics
coach Pushpa Raj Ojha. "If we pay proper
attention, he can be a medal prospect at
the Asian Games," Ojha adds. At 27, age
is definitely on Bhandari's side, and he
will work hard for the 2006 Doha Asiad.
The only worries are over officials'
frivolous attitude toward players.
"Hopes for a good showing were
sunk less by strong opponents
than by infighting among officials," Bhandari says, recalling the
incident at the Kathmandu airport
before flying for Athens. He and
three other athletes were left
stranded there with no sport officials in sight for hours. The infighting comes because the
nation's sports authorities are divided into two factions—a morale-sapping situation that no one
appears to have the political will
to end.
"The officials should now
work to create the right environment for players to cast off the
unpleasant experience," Bhandari
says, "and to work on the right
prescriptions for better performances." Sports enthusiasts agree
and hope the guardians of
country's sports will pay more
attention to the athletes' needs
and less to power games. □
50
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 mimm
Cinderella Institute of Hair & Beauty Care
►    A Beauty Salon of your Choice
How well said, "Beauty lies in the
beholder's eyes"
hence for somebody beholding you,
why don't you come over and permit us to
bring
your beauty to fullest bloom and glow, with
Soft and glossy facial
Attractively inviting hair-do  .
_ Perfect nurturing of body and face
rofessional and personal coursi
'I IV
Give us a try and await
opportunity to serve you to
your best satisfaction.
Binu Shrestha (Beauty specialist)
*Trained from W.W.I. Delhi, India
Alessandro, Germany
Line-A System Therapy, Germany
*Official Beautician of Miss. Nepal
We are in the heart of Kathmandu city to conquer
your hearts.
Mt. Makalu Building,
Dharmapath, New Road
GPO Box: 10607, Tel: 4232488
Email: bizmail@mail.com.np
[Onthly magazine
NCHING on
tober 1
v^ ^
from the publishers of W&
to rjook your copy IN \J W ^
Rs. 500 for 12 issues. o
 II., u
ataxrr o-p c
YGR-r -imar
<i donoK. jkhi con ■.** ftm-ofti* to
Rr ircn irfc, lcJI J2M9B? w,
f-wjj  nrs<.vi>vCjlflrtom;arvid«G.rorri
A'dreams&ideas
i' www.dr91msandnlens.CDin
T:.ip Fl«*. M? Hcvrfl. TrpimhuTOc K*m;»TiJu
Snapshots
BY DHRITI BHATTA
New Challenge
Movie director TULSI GHIMIRE is taking time out
from his busy schedule. He is now a brand ambassador for Mayos Noodles. The TV program "Mayos
Super Challenge" is his new venture. "I wanted to
come out with an informative program that would
tell the audience about our history, civilization and
above all ourselves," says Nepal's most successful
movie director. His idea got an instant green light from
the makers of Mayos. The
only hitch: The NTV quiz
show only caters to the
recipients of the Golden
Coupon found inside the
Mayos packs. Fourteen
episodes ofthe program, the first of which
went on air on September 18, have already been
confirmed. Catch his
program on Saturdays on
NTV at 8:40 p.m.
DIFFERENCE MAKER
MEERA BHATTARAI is a rare breed: a woman entrepreneur in Nepal
who has achieved international recognition. She recently won the
SCHWAB Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award-2005, given out
by the Swiss SCHWAB Foundation that honors outstanding social
entrepreneurs around the world whose work has significantly improved people's lives. Established in 1984, her organization—the
Association of Craft Producers, the ACP—works with 1,000 producers from 17 districts; 90 percent of them are women. Their products
include ceramics, baskets, toys, wool products and furniture. Her
goal: To make Nepali women independent by providing them with job
opportunities. Already 70 percent of ACPs sales are to the international market. Her model is one definitely worth emulating.
Nepali Touch
ANI CHOYING DOLMA is an internationally reputed
singer with a Nepali touch. Her five albums with Tibetan
chants and mantras and Nepali songs have been highly
acclaimed. The Tibetan-Nepali has made several ^^**Ww
international tours to Europe and the United
States. Last week, she was home—at the Garden of Dreams in Keshar Mahal for a concert
titled after her latest album, "Moments of
Bliss." It was a total sellout. From local
Nepalis to expats, you could see everyone
swaying to Choying's euphonic voice. Next
up is a tour to Germany scheduled for later
this year. She'll mesmerize them there, too.
 II
We are a publishing
organization willing to
learn and improve
with every initiative. If
you believe that creativity is a process and
that there is no substitution for hard work,
here is an opportunity
to join an inspirational
team of professionals.
COMPUTER OPERATOR («)
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Assist in designing various print publications published bythe organization.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: Competent in graphic designing programs such as, Adobe Photoshop,
PageMaker, Corel Draw etc. Pre-Press knowledge in publishing will be an advantage.
FINANCE OFFICER (1)
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Managefinancial activities, keep records and produce reports.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A bachelor's degree in Accounting/Business with previous experience in
similarfield.
MARKETING OFFICER (4)
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Market the various publication and services offered bythe organization.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A bachelor's degree in Business with experience in media marketing is
preferable.
MARKETING/SALES EXECUTIVE (5)
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Market and solicit sales of the various publication and services offered by the
organization.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: Intermediate.
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER (1)
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Manage office facilities,assets and supervise support staffs.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A bachelor's degree in Business with experience in similarfield is preferable.
RECEPTIONIST (2)
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Manage office telecommunication, fixappointments, file correspondence and
administer front office duties.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: Intermediate with secretarial training
DRIVER (1)
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Drive and maintain company vehicles.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A valid driving licence with minimum 2 years of driving experience
Interested applicants must send their CV/Bio-data by E-mail, indicating the position applied for and
the expected salary by Wednesday, 15th October 2004. Please mention
your contact address and your day telephone number. Successful candidates will be called in for
interviews.
Te 1:2111102 or E-maihjobsvacancies@yahoo.com
Real JOBS
for the Real PEOPLE
Real Solutions is a gateway to a
better job for YOU. If you are
looking for a Real JOB in any of
the following positions or others;
contact us to discover
new frontiers of career
advancements, where our clients
demand nothing but the very best.
JOB POSITIONS
REQUIREMENTS
OFFICE ASSISTANTS FIVE FEMALE
ENGINEERS (Telecom/ Electronics) TWO M/F
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATORS TWO M/F
MARKETING EXECUTIVES TWO M/F
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS TWO M/F
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS FIVE M/F
Only the candidates with good
command in English language,
pleasant personality and
willingness to prove their
professional abilities may apply.
Detailed nature of the companies and the job
descriptions can be obtained at Real solutions.
Real Solutions
Anamnagar, Kathmandu
ROBox: 19910
Email: info@realsolutions.com.np
Or for immediate enquiry or registration,
Contact: 4-268557
Congratulations to all the members employed
through Real Solutions.
"We wish you all the very best"
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
53
 FREE TRIAL CLASS REFORE
ADMISSION
Why should you believe  us?
OEveryday differnt class with
handouts.
ORegular new-tech audio-video class.
OCombined course of American &
British English.
OFree sufficient materials for each
student.
OModern well equipped & convenient
classrooom with not more than 8-9
students.
OTo check your improvement weekly
testing system.
OEffective super learning system.
We haven't had a record of even a single
student who joined Axis Int's Education became desatisfied from our services.
S^kU^
vnv
'AXIS
"-1 Int'l Education
Putalisadak (opp. Share Market)
Study in GERMANY on
Full Tuition Freeships
Join us for exciting careers
- in any desired academic field -
from Bachellors upto PHD level
* Intensive German course (20h/wk)
* International study groups
* Recognised by all German Universities
* University application support
* Conditional letters of admission
* Free tuition at all German Universities
* Accommodation with local Host families
* Individual support for students
* Health, accident and liability insurance
Mr B K Shrestha
Int'l Director - Memorex
will be available for
FREE COUNSET J JNG
ANDINTERVIEWS
at The Memorex Centre
Naag Pokhari - Hattisaar
Call: 4422988 / 4424839
So many students are
Working and Studying on
Full Tuition Freeships !!
£nft/i
■
You could too!
WARNING; Please beware of
fake marketing gimmicks we can
help you choose the right University
Executive
Member of ECAN
%<rnr tfcra w^f ?ra
Vour future starts here
An Institute that is continually developing its educational facilities for students.
SALIENT FEATURES:
<*- Affordable fees.
op- 100% regular classes
«- 100% puncutality of teachers
«- Classes run seven days a week.
■»- Out standing scores in
TOEFL, SAT, IELTS, GRE, GMAT
«- Good success in Visa Preparation
.*- Abroad Study Counselling
«- Outstanding success in fluency in spoken English.
These features are notjust printed for an advertisement
* visit our office to see for yourselves. We can assist you to achieve the results you've always dreamed of.
Richard's Language Center
(Opposite Aangan Sweets), Putalisadak
Tel. 4420751
Planning to go abroad?
Worrying About Your Future?
HEY GUYS
If so, then join with us and grab the
golden opportunity
We Provide :-
TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT, SAT I, SAT II &
ENGLISH LANGUAGE
(WITH LATEST MATERIALS BY
EXPERIENCES INSTRUCTOR)
Tuition for all level & all
subjects
APEX EDUCATIONAL ACADEMY
(OPP Shanker Dev Campus)
Putalisadak, Kathmandu
Tel: 2003120
54
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 To advertise contact nation weekly      g±u    ^   ■£■    j
Tel: 2111102, 4229825. Email: ad@nation.com.np      If IdSSITIGCI
Ambience
ience life style r ltd.
House of Furnishing
New Baneswor, BIJull Bazar, Kattimandu, Nepal
Telephone: 4781071, 4781072, 4781073
Fax: 5535122 E-mail: amblence@lnfodub.com.np
SHAWLS AND CASHMERE PRODUCTS.
Cashmere House
Exclusive Showroom of Pashmina
Shawls and Cashmere Pullovers.
Basantapur Plaza,
Basantapur Durbar Square,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 4230975,9851071304
E-mail: cashmerehouse@wlink.com.np
Opening Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
PIONEER IN
NEPALI & NEWARI
CUISINE
For Details:
4225172,
KEYMAN. **%££>•
KAMALADI KATHMANDU     .,„.,.,„»^m;.,,,,,,,,
NOW INTRODUCING AN EXCLUSIVE RANGE OF SAREES
l
SHOWROOM: #351, Third Floor, Bishol Bozor, New Rood
lei: 977-1-4242258   |  fax: 977-1-4223344,4435617
manaslu@pashmina.wlinluom.np
"
KATHMANDU: Bansbari Show Room, Ratnapark, 4223483,
KG Shoe Center, Ratnapark, 4231485 PATAN: Lalit Shoe
Center, Lagankhel Buspark, 5529692, United Shoe Center,
Mangalbazar, 5533761, Family Shoe Center, Mangalbazar
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
55
 Bridging The Divide
Something happened last week, something not
generally seen in our country, caught up in
conflict. Common people, people from the middle
class, gathered to make their voices heard against the
growing culture of violence. First on Monday, September
20, hundreds gathered at Maitighar to light candles to
mourn the more than 10,000 who have lost their lives
in the eight and a half years of conflict. A
day later at Basantapur they protested the
use of violence for political ends. The
gatherings organized by the Himsha
Birodh Abhiyan, the Campaign Against
Violence, a loose coalition of civil society groups, were the first of their kind.
Using e-mail, SMS, phone calls, radio
and television, organizers were able to
spread the word within a day or two.
They were able to tap into a segment of
the population that generally stays away
from politics—professionals and the
apolitical crowd among the city's school
and college-goers. Yashas Vaidya talked
to writer and filmmaker Kedar
Sharma, one of the many people behind the campaign.
How did the program come about?
We wanted to do something on the International Day of Peace on September
21. We didn't want take out a rally to disrupt traffic and normal lives. We wanted
to do something that was thoughtful.
Soon more people came aboard, people
doing event management, those in the
media and so on. Everybody contributed. All this came about within a week.
What is your message?
We wanted to protest against the culture
of violence that is slowly taking root in
our society. We believe that violence
shouldn't become routine. We wanted
to make sure that violence doesn't take
root in a society that is normally as tolerant and peaceful as ours.
How did the culture of
violence come about?
I personally think that the UMT while
in the opposition started this—uproot
ing railings, burning tires. Then when
others moved into the opposition they
did the same. Soon if anybody wanted
something addressed, the thing to do was
to resort to violence. What happened on
September 1 [the riots that followed the
killing of 12 Nepalis in Iraq] is indicative of this. Violence is just not limited
to just the security forces and the Army.
Your movement doesn't have a
public face. Was that intentional?
Yes. We wanted to avoid the traditional
focus on protests: Who is doing it, rather
than what is it.
If middle-class
Nepalis don't speak
out for other Nepalis
today, then there will
be no one left to
speak for them
So this obviously is a movement
of a different kind...
It's an experiment. When just a rumor of a
banda by an unknown, underground group
is enough to have a disturbing impact, we
wanted to see if similar calls for peace from
an unknown group would work. They did.
The gathering at Basantapur was huge and
had many professionals—editors, writers,
intellectuals and artists. And, more importantly, the common Nepalis from different walks of life came.
You were able to mobilize a segment
of the population not too involved in
the political process.
Yes. I believe some of it had to do with
the medium we used—emails, SMS,
telephone calls and some radio and television stations as well. We felt we
needed to get our message to the urban
middle class. Most people in
Kathmandu haven't felt the brunt ofthe
violence that has wracked the rest of
the country The closest they've come
to witnessing the conflict is, probably,
the closure of educational institutions.
There is a message for us from the Holocaust. It's about a German pastor.
When the Nazis came for the Jews, the
communists, the trade unionists, and
Catholics, he didn't speak up because
he didn't belong to any of these groups.
In the end when they came for him
there was nobody to speak up for him.
If middle-class Nepalis don't speak out
for the sorrows faced by other Nepalis
today, then there will be no one left to
speak for them.
You have chosen the theme of "anti-
violence" and maintain that your message will be strictly apolitical. That's
fine, but doesn't it all boil down to politics, as two failed peace processes
prove?
Our movement is apolitical, but the
roots of problem and probably the solution are political.
Do you think there is a realistic chance
that a movement such as yours will
bring peace to the country?
Maybe. There's an apt line from a Tata
Mangeskar song that comes to my mind:
"Mere batan ke logo, jam bharalo aakhomai
pani," countrymen, fill your eyes with
tears. One Nepali must feel the hurt of
another,  d
56
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Books
Nehru's Legacy
Shashi Tharoor's very readable book about Jawarhalal
Nehru is about democracy and secularism, Nehru's
abiding legacies, and also about socialism and
nonalignment, now nearly forgotten
BY SOHAM DHAKAL
Many in India think that Nehru
was "too" soft on Nepal. As
recently as 2000, BJP leader K.
R. Malkani said Nehru lost a major opportunity when King Tribhuvan offered
Nepal to Nehru. Nehru may or may not
have been soft while dealing with Nepal,
but it's inconceivable to think that he
would have acted in any way to diminish
his stature in the international arena. According to Shashi Tharoor, "Nehru's foreign policy positions were self-justifying
emanations of his intellect; to link them
to direct benefits to the Indian people |
was beneath him." However, his life did
revolve around serving the Indian masses,
and, without much opposition, he held
influence in practically every matter ofthe
newly independent India. It is therefore
fitting to include "The Invention of India"
in the title of the book.
Nehru grew up a privileged child,
born into a family that had close ties with
the colonials. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, and entered
politics within a few years of returning
to India. Tharoor touches on all the major events in the life of Nehru including
the defining Amritsar massacre, which
Nehru was sent to investigate. Upon
finding out that the expatriates had raised
a quarter of a million pounds for Dyer,
who had carried out the massacre, he
understood "how brutal and immoral
imperialism was and how it had eaten
into the souls of the British upper
classes." As Nehru's involvement in the
National Congress increased, so did his
closeness to Mahatma Gandhi and consequently his rise within the party.
Tharoor also gives a superb analysis of
the relationship between Nehru and his
family, especially through the tumultuous times spent in prison. Even with all
the hardship that Nehru endured, his
biggest contributions would come after
independence.
Tharoor summarizes Nehru's contribution to India as "four major pillars":
Democracy, secularism, socialist economics and nonalignment. It's the legacy of a
democratic secular India that he gives most
importance to. Even though Nehru was
successful in promoting a democratic India, his shortcomings lay in his economic
assumptions. According to Tharoor, this
partly stemmed from the fact that Nehru
was instinctively suspicious of ev-
SH.SHI   '«*»0°"
Nehru: The inventionof India
by Shashi Tharoor
Penguin Books (Hardcover)
PAGES: 282
PRICE: Rs. 462_
ery foreign business: The British East
India Company had come to India to
trade but later became the rulers. This,
coupled with Gandhi's ideas about economic self-sufficiency, led to protectionism. Tharoor is honest about criticizing Nehru's follies.
EHWJ
Tharoor also amply highlights the
personal characteristics of Nehru, who
believed in democracy and was able to
connect, despite his aristocratic roots,
to the masses so easily that a "threat of
resignation was all that was needed if anyone opposed him." At the same time, the
thing that he feared most was autocracy.
Thus he wrote "anonymous articles
warning Indians of the dangers of giving
dictatorial temptations to Jawaharlal
Nehru." He never craved a dynasty and
was not too keen about grooming his
daughter for politics. Tharoor concedes
that the greatest irony of his legacy was
that "the Jawaharlal who had warned of
the temptations of dictatorship should
produce a daughter who would, albeit
briefly and unsuccessfully, suspend
India's democracy." In this Tharoor
provides one of the most valuable lessons that any young democracy can realize; even though some may associate
democracy with "inefficiency, corruption and mediocrity" and tyranny and
dictatorship might enjoy some support,
especially from those who are "themselves untouched by it," democracy
provides everyone, including the victims, the "means of redemption through
the ballot box."
Shashi Tharoor's "Nehru: The Invention of India" is, as he declares in the
preface, not a scholarly work, as "it is
based on no new research into previously
undiscovered archives." It is rather a
"reinterpretation—both of an extraordinary life and career and ofthe inheritance it left behind for every Indian."
Tharoor is therefore free to remove
any dry narrative and present Nehru's
story both delectably and analytically.
It is difficult to capture all aspects of
a man like Jawaharlal Nehru (and
there have been many books on him),
but what Tharoor is able to accomplish
is to make him accessible to everyone,
including audiences outside of India.
However, the pains he has taken in reiterating some ofthe things that should
be understood by Indians show how
far removed Nehru is becoming from
modern India. Tharoor's conclusion
illustrates this fact: "...the consensus
[Nehru] constructed has frayed; democracy endures, secularism is besieged, nonalignment is all but forgotten and socialism barely clings on."   El
nation weekly |  OCTOBER 3, 2004
57
 NEPAL PASHMINA INDUSTRY
n: Sodtea Mode (On the way to Hotel Soahee)
Thamel Showroom: Opposite SaiKhoykosh building
Ibl: 4-273292,277023,283644 | fat 4-270092
Email: npi@moLcoin.np | Vhb: www.napalpashminaindiHlry.co
A  I   S   H  O   R
Y  A   £  T   H  A
PHOTO CLUB ®3BS1(JHTTB
Last Word
i?]
Ordinary Virtues
Where, to the eyes ofthe ordinary people, the
situation seems to offer no al-ternative, where it
seems that one must bow to circumstances, the
hero fights the odds and, through some extraordinary deed, manages to bend destiny to his own
ends...
"Facing the Extreme,"
Tzvetan Todorov
Todorov's classic work is about the
human capacity for moral life amid extreme pressure—life inside Nazi concentration camps and Soviet gulags. Through
his painstaking research, Todorov questions the conventional wisdom that
moral life dies in extreme circumstances.
He instead constructs gestures of dignity, compassion and solidarity that triumphed over the prevailing hopelessness inside the camps. In a world that
was devoid of grand heroes, little acts of
ordinary virtues were quietly heroic;
they held enormous political symbolism and moral significance for posterity.
We saw something similar happen
on the streets of Kathmandu last week.
The 'ordinary virtues' were abundantly
evident. And we can't help documenting them. Tike in Todorov's heroes inside the camps, we saw ordinary virtues in scores of school kids who had
gathered to mourn the deaths of 10,000
faceless Nepalis killed in the so-called
people's war. It was a spontaneous gesture that relied on word-of-mouth—
friends called friends, one colleague told
another. Many of those who held the
candle-lit vigil  at   the   Mandala  in
Maitighar on Monday were not the typical government-hating crowd you have
come to associate with protests at Ratna
Park that have continued for the past year.
Most were urban middleclass kids, who
wanted to show solidarity to the pains of
Nepalis outside Kathmandu, who have
seen it all for years (see Khula Munch,
page 56).
Next day, a much larger crowd gathered in Basantapur. If the first gathering
had a large number of high school students, this one was pretty mixed—writers, intellectuals, journalists, civil society
representatives and common Nepalis. The
modest gathering at Maitighar the day be
fore seemed to have galvanized a large urban population. The message: After eight
and a half years of needless violence,
Nepalis desire peace and the desire is overwhelming. The constituency demanding
that both the Maoists and the state immediately put down their guns is growing.
They want concrete actions; not
smokescreen statements that have jammed
our airwaves and flooded our newspapers
since the ceasefire collapsed last August.
It's hard to decide whether the
ceasefire is any closer now than it was in
June when Deuba took office amid great
expectations that peace would finally be
restored. Four months on, all one sees is
that everyone's busy talking up peace,
blaming the other party for the impasse.
The net result: Nothing happens on the
ground. In the long run, it doesn't matter what you say; people will begin to
see you for who you are. Do the warring
parties really care about the people?
To Todorov, caring is one ofthe prime
"ordinary virtues" of a hero. And we take
heart from the fact that scores of
Kathmandu residents showed last week
that they care. They are our heroes.
Akhilesh Upadhyay, Editor
OCTOBER 3, 2004   |  nation weekly
 v'Vflei' ih I
i,
fnuii
T)JCffl.aa.iH
!]UV/u!ir/i
PREMIUM
^4v
V
■    ;i3ieiet£S   d
,,,  650ml   ,.J%
■.?f*YlH).
\
I
J^ £ (cjeieomte
 THE NEW
INTERNATIONAL PACK

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.dhimjournal.1-0365022/manifest

Comment

Related Items