Digital Himalaya Journals

Nation Weekly September 26, 2004, Volume 1, Number 23 Upadhyay, Akhilesh 2004-09-26

Item Metadata

Download

Media
dhimjournal-1.0365029.pdf
Metadata
JSON: dhimjournal-1.0365029.json
JSON-LD: dhimjournal-1.0365029-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): dhimjournal-1.0365029-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: dhimjournal-1.0365029-rdf.json
Turtle: dhimjournal-1.0365029-turtle.txt
N-Triples: dhimjournal-1.0365029-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: dhimjournal-1.0365029-source.json
Full Text
dhimjournal-1.0365029-fulltext.txt
Citation
dhimjournal-1.0365029.ris

Full Text

 DASHAIN BOOM   PRESS IN PERIL I GOOD NEIGHBORS I TEAHOUSE CULTURE
SEPTEMBER 26,2004 VOL. I, NO. 23
1o, RoV\  spsf "t, afar ^
www.nation.com.np
WEEKLY
RS.30       ISSN 1811-721X
b/jLJ^JiJJJSJjJip
 We Dedicate This Award to You
Tlie Banker
7.
4
^25
<^
fc
w
V.
Bank of the Year 2004
v Nepal
After all, our every success is a result of our partnership with You.
The Bank of the Year 2004 Nepal
Call
• Kamaladi:4429546    Kantipath:4227181    New Road:4224533    Jorpati:4470498    Lalitpur:5520431
• Birgunj:521476     Butwal:541059     Bhalawari:560357 • Biratnagar:526213 • Itahari:580741
• Dharan:530130     Pokhara:525715     Alau:528680     Bhairahawa: 524041     Nepalgunj:524221
NUBILBANK
Your Bank at Your Service
 ATM
artinair
Answer and Win
Answering the simple questions given below
One lucky winner will receive two
Economy Class return tickets
(Kathmandu-Amsterdam-Kathmandu)
GENERAL SALESAGENT
ma
For further details
Marco Polo Travels
Tel: 4247215 Ext. 112-115
Fax : 977 1 4244484
 QJtwfo
m
on
anqsar
w
H A N D I C R/A. FT   C E N T E
Trldevi Marg, Thamel   Opp. of Sanchayakosh Buildin
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.
 COVER STORY
20 Just A Breather
Byjohn Narayan Parajuli
The reopening of 47 businesses comes as a huge relief, but there is uneasiness
that it might just happen all over again. The fact that the Maoist threats were
enough to shut down major businesses proves that the Nepali state is under
severe strain.
COLUMNS
PROFILE
11 Useful Idiots
Byjogendra Ghimire
30 Aid Agencies
Rethink Strategy
By Sophie Arie
38 Messiniraq
By Samrat Upadhyay
40 We Don't Need
No Education
ByKunalLama
42 Restoring Tradition
ByAditya Adhikari
Rabindra Puri's preoccupation is to
change his surroundings in ways that are
in harmony with the traditional order
LIFESTYLE
47 Guff Addas
ByAjitBaral
Coffeehouse culture is on the wane, but
there is still hope
SPORTS
50 New Kids on the
Block
By Sudesh Shrestha
Nepal's youth team is the best in South
Asia. Tet's now see how they fare
against the titans.
18 Good Neighbors
■ Byjohn Narayan Parajuli
fc»-  1 India's growing military
I assistance is nothing to be
afraid of. When your house
is on fire, your neighbor
has good reason to be concerned.
26 Living
Dangerously
By Satishjung Shahi
Journalists are facing
unprecedented threats
from both the security
forces and the Maoists. Truth is already
a major casualty.
28 In Good Stead
By Nirjal Dhungana
More TV channels are coming online
soon, but no one in the industry seems
too worried about the competition
BUSINESS
32   Dashain Aayo
By Satishjung Shahi
After some difficult months, optimism
is in the air as Dashain approaches
ARTS & SOCIETY
34    Everyday Art
ByAditya Adhikari
Alex Gabbay and Subina Shrestha make
films that offer offbeat perspectives on
the things around us. But marketing
films like theirs isn't easy, and there are
many moviegoers who have never seen
their work.
DEPARTMENTS
6 LETTERS
10 PICTURE OF THE WEEK
14 CAPSULES
16 BIZ BUZZ
17 MILESTONE
44 CITY PAGE
52 SNAPSHOTS
56 KHULA MANCH: TARANATH DAHAL
57 BOOKS: "READING LOLITA
IN TEHRAN"
58 LAST WORD
 NEPAL-INDIA. TKS
ii Sumi, who defied
social taboos to
opt for artificial
insemination,
\i     is my hero fj
SUSHMA SHRESTHA
To my hero
"Your September 19th issue was excellent.
I particularly enjoyed Dhriti Bhatta's
"Call Me Mother," a profile of a daring
single woman who defied all the social
taboos to opt for artificial insemination.
To Sumi Devkota, her deeply personal
need to be a mother outweighed all the
potential social stigmas attached to
motherhood outside the wedlock put together. Sumi, you are my hero.
SUSHMA SHRESTHA
NEW ROAD
Shame on us
Your coverage of riots was exceptional
(September 12). However, I am not sure
I agree with the position taken by a lot of
journalists, including by Nation Weekly,
that the government should have negotiated with the obscure terrorist organi
zation by meeting them somewhere in
the middle of the Iraqi desert. According to a recent New Yorker report,
kidnappings are becoming extremely
rampant in Iraq—both of Iraqis and foreigners—and the survival rate decreases
sharply after the first 24 hours of abduction. Small-time kidnappers often sell
their prey to bigger, more brutal groups.
Given that we have hundreds of thousands of Nepali in the Gulf, paying ransom to secure the release of Nepali captives couldn't have been viable as a state
policy. It makes a lot of sense to think
that those Nepalis were abducted by incorrigible brutes. Now that the unimaginable has already happened in the
hot deserts of Iraq, we as a state should do
everything to help Iraqi Prime Minister
Iyad Illawi and his government ferret out
the criminals and bring them to justice.
Where the Nepali government
failed, and failed big time, was at home,
right in the capital—in front ofthe Royal
Palace, next to police stations, left of
Singha Durbar and right of the
Bhadrakali Army headquarters. That is
where the government failed. And in
case we think we are absolved from the
guilt, the civil society failed right where
the government failed. We shamed ourselves with what we did to the minority,
all right, but also with the deafening silence ofthe majority that followed. This
was a result of a combination of things—
a gradually weakened civil government
and the Nepal Police that has been
eclipsed by the Royal Nepal Army; a
self-serving bunch of Kathmandu-based
intellectuals who don't know how to
stand up for the convictions they so
dearly hold; a monarchy, which is los-
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 ing its support base; the rise of Hindu
fundamentalism; and the rise of urban
gangs and the sense of impunity among
them. In this context, to single out a
couple of ministers for the catastrophe
is just a knee-jerk reaction.
We need to look beyond the obvious. We should conduct transparent investigations and public trials ofthe hooligans and their bosses responsible for
the riots, so that when our progeny learn
of this despicable day, they don't blame
us for not doing enough. If the incidents
were unprecedented, so should be the
investigations and trials that follow.
BISWO NATH POUDEL
UNIVERSITYOF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
Pampered rebels
Sagar Shrestha's viewfinder found an
image perhaps no other photojournalist
noticed (Picture of the Week, September 19). The latter always run after Girija
Prasad, Madhav Nepal and cruel and
ruthless Maoist guerillas. In fact, the
plight of 11-year-Dhana Bahadur Bhujel
(you always tend to miss this part,
though: I want to know where is this
fellow from and when and how did this
landmine accident happened to him),
mirrors the plight of modern-day Nepal,
ofthe tens of thousands orphaned, ofthe
tens of thousands widowed and hundreds
of thousands caught in this senseless
cycle of violence. The Nepali media has
pampered the rebels a lot, and last month
the rebels showed their true face when
they attacked and killed journalist
Dekendra Thapa in the Midwest. It's the
classic case of your pet dog biting you.
It's about time Nepali journalists and the
civil society introspected, corrected
their mistakes and charted out a new
path—one of peace and humanity. Please
show images that are often ignored and
are yet very, very powerful, like that of
Dhana Bahadur. Would any Nepali national daily, or the state-run Radio Nepal
or TV care? The Maoists are more than
insurgents; Nepali Maoists are terrorists, just like al-Qaeda, the Khmer Rouge
and the like. Poor Bhujel's damaged
limbs—just like the country's ruined
economy and tattered social fabrics—are
a testimony to this. Still, Bhujel holds a
pigeon and is about to release it. He must
have done that. Yet peace continues to
elude Nepal. Only if, and when, the warring addicts agree on a ceasefire will a
lasting peace be restored in the country.
Or else the Maoist terrorists will go the
al-Qaeda way, inviting foreign invasion
and, in the end, doomsday for Nepal.
Tet's get it over with.
SUMEET GURUNG
NOIDA, NEW DELHI
Dangerous militarization
Ujol Sherchan's column "Collateral
Damage" (Through The hooking Glass,
September 12) is right on, except that he
has failed to mention the untold damage
increased militarization has done to the
five-party alliance and democracy. The
gun-butter tradeoff he mentions also
underpinned the agenda of this year's
Nepal Development Forum, which
more or less resolved that peace and security must come before development.
India, the United States, Britain and the
donor community as a whole appear to
be towing this line. No wonder, this is a
bonanza year for "ambulance chasers,"
arms merchants, self-proclaimed conflict resolution specialists and human
rights groups.
The inevitable consequence of all
this has been that we are now blessed
with a prime minister, never the one interested in resolving the Maoist insurgency in the first place, who returns from
New Delhi with promises of military
aid as if the unspoken mandate of his
government is: "Well if the Nepali
people cannot have bread, let them eat
bullets."
The guns that can be used against the
Maoist rebels can also be used against
the innocent people (and they have been)
and the Palace. Test we forget, it was a
gun that took out the entire family of
our late King. The RNA is the Tord of
the Rings of Nepal; he who controls it
rules us. Beware!
KRISHNA PAUDEL
JHAPA
More humor
As a regular reader of your magazine, I
would like to see more humor injected
into it. What about short ads and more
happening columns?
PRAWSUN
VIA EMAIL
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 Tlie Mirror Media Pvt. Ltd.
All Rights Reserved. Tlie 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. 23. For the week September 20-26, 2004, released on September 20
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 right to 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 |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
 THE    TRUE    COLORS    OF    LIFE
www.nation.com.np
 EVERY WEEK. EVERY MONDAY.
nation
THE NOTION
OF NATIONHOOD
 _**t
h
MADE IN NEPAL: Tripana Budamagar of Rolpa
weaves a yarn at an exhibition on cottage
industries at Bhritkutimandap
nation weekly/Sagar Shrestha
 Useful Idiots
The Maoists do not want to antagonize the media and the human rights community. They want
'useful idiots' in these communities to continue to serve them as apologists
BY JOGENDRA GHIMIRE
Finally, Comrade Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the spokesman ofthe
Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, faxed a statement last week
on behalf of his party to the Federation of Nepalese Journalists,
the FNJ. This came in response to an ultimatum that the umbrella body
of Nepal's media persons issued after the murder of journalist and
human rights activist Dekendra Thapa by the Maoists. The FNJ had
threatened to boycott all Maoists-related news if the Maoists failed to
state clearly their position on freedom of expression, especially the way
they viewed the media.
As was expected, Mahara said that his party had no policy of attacking or persecutingjournalists and indicated that all attacks on media by
the rebels were aberrations. He also insisted that reporters had all the
freedom to report from wherever they wanted, provided they took necessary permission from the local Maoist leaders for such visits and
made the visits under their supervision.
Already, questions are being asked about how committed the Maoists
are to their pledge, and what stops them from releasing a couple of
journalists they have taken hostage. But on the whole, Nepali society's
"useful idiots" are likely to take the assurance as gospel and give the
Maoists a clean chit, despite their systematic attack on free speech.
Lenin, the Soviet com-
munist leader, used to
refer to the apologists of
the Soviet system in the
western world as "useful
idiots." These were
people who, in their desire to appear objective,
liberal and tolerant, debated about the virtues of
the new Soviet communist order and tried to convince their peers in the
democratic west that
things were not as bad in
the Eastern Bloc as they
were believed to be.
One ofthe most infamous of Lenin's band of "useful idiots" was a Pulitzer Prize-winning
journalist, Walter Duranty, The New York Times' Moscow correspondent.
Stationed in Moscow during Stalin's man-made famine of the 30s,
Duranty reported authoritatively that there was neither famine nor starvation nor was there likely to be one. He accused "rumor factories" in
the west of an anti-Soviet bias. Itwas not until the official Soviet statistics on the famines were released during Mikhail Gorbachev's presidency that the true extent of famines became clear to the rest ofthe
world. Chairman Mao's famine in China is supposed to have killed in the
region of 20 million people, and yet there were useful idiots who were
vigorously opposingclaims that the famine was a reality in the People's
Republic.
In hindsight, many more died of Soviet famines than in the hands of
Hitler's fascist regime in the Holocaust, and far more died due to the
Chinese famines.
Through his statement addressed to the FNJ, Mahara and his party
leadership were essentially trying to allay any concerns that Nepal's civil
society—especially the media and the human rights community—may
have finally begun to develop and express about the Maoist party's
tactics of targeting individuals by orchestrating kangaroo court judgments
that are based on such charges as "enemy ofthe revolution."
Clearly the Maoist party does not want to openly antagonize the
media and the human rights community and wants to ensure that the
band of "useful idiots" in those communities continue to serve them by
being vociferous apologists for them.
By all indications, the
rebels have been admirably successful in leveraging the voices of these
"useful idiots" to put the
Nepali establishment on
the defensive. While attacking the lonely soldier
on a leave of absence
from duty or a helpless
schoolteacher in a far off
village for failure to adhere
to their dictates, they
have been extremely
careful not to ruffle the
feathers of human rights
workers and the media.
These are groups with a
voice.
When they killed Dekendra Thapa, Mahara and his leadership were
essentially testingthe waters. They wanted to see if the apologists in
the media and the human rights community would take it asjust another death. As was evident, they did not. But despite having got the
message loud and clear—that the Maoists will come at the media and
the human rights workers when they feel sufficiently confident—it is
unfortunate that the civil society declines to confront the fundamentals
of an armed offensive.
As a reaction to the insurgents' killing of a fellow journalist, all that the
FNJ would ask ofthe Maoists was an assurance that no more journalists
would be killed. Doesn't that, by implication, mean that it condones the
killings of other groups—thousands of innocent Nepalis who are neither
journalists nor human rights workers? d
.L
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 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
 ,tf*J
HLt.
m
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
I
The Everest Hotel t
KATHMAHDU'HEPAl|
 Capsules
REEL WORLD: Actor Nikhil Upreti jumps off a helicopter over Chobhar.
Upreti has made a name for himself as a stuntman.
Peace Corps closure
The U.S. government officially
closed down Nepal operations
ofthe Peace Corps, a volunteer
program that started in 1962 in
Nepal. The decision to close the
program for six months came after an attack on the American
Center on September 10. The
police claim that the Maoists carried out the attack. More than
80 volunteers were working in
Nepal when the decision came.
Over the years, more than 4,000
Peace Corps volunteers have
served in different sectors like environment, education, health,
forestry and family planning. At
one point, Nepal was the most
sought after Peace Corps destination and had the highest rate
of Peace Corps returnees in the
world.
Maoist escape
The committee that inquired
into the breakout ofthe Maoists
from a Kanchapur prison reported that the security personnel helped the them escape.
Nineteen Maoists escaped from
the prison after breaking the toilet and the outer wall of the jail
on September 11. A Maoist prisoner who was hit by a police bul-
let was found dead near the
Shukla Phanta National Park the
next day. The district level inquiry committee claimed that
Tejsingh Karki, a sentry helped
the Maoists drill holes in the wall
and stage the dramatic breakout.
The Maoists claimed that 15 of
their comrades, including policeman Karki, were now in their
contact.
Everest record
The government declared
Pemba Dorjee Sherpa the fastest Everest summiteer after a
Cabinet meeting. On May 21
Pemba scaled Everest in eight
hours and 10 minutes. But the
previous record holder, Lhakpa
Ghelu Sherpa, filed an official
complaint questioning the veracity of his claim. A committee was formed by the Ministry
of Tourism, Culture and Civil
Aviation to investigate the controversy.
Government offer
The government has decided to
provide Rs. 500,000 each to the
manpower agencies that were
vandalized during the September 1 protests over the killing of
12 innocent Nepali workers in
Iraq. The amount will have to
be returned to the government
within a year. According to reports, the government decided
to provide the sum from the
amount the manpower agencies
had deposited while registering
their company.
Illegal detention
The government will soon legalize detentions of suspected
Maoists under the Public and
Security Act 1990 and Terrorist
and Disruptive (Control and
Prevention) Ordinance, 2004.
The Kathmandu Post reported
that the Maoists who are being
illegally detained in the Army
barracks will be shifted to
Sundarijal Old Arsenal, where an
inquiry and investigation center
has been set up as a unit under
the Central Jail. Quoting a highly
placed source in the Home Ministry the Post said that detainees
would be interrogated at the center primarily by the civil police.
The Army will also be allowed to
enter the center to investigate if
needed. The move to legalize the
detentions came in wake of
mounting pressure from the national and international human
rights groups.
Maoist warning
Maoists have threatened to use
suicide bombers in India if it goes
ahead with its plan to provide
military assistance to Nepal, the
End of closure
F
orty-seven businesses that
had remained shut due to
Maoist threats opened their
doors after successful negotiations
led by human rights activists. The
negotiation team comprising
Sudhip Pathak, Padma Ratna
Tuladhar and Malla K Sunder was
able to bring the government and
BBC Nepali Service said. The
threat was made through pamphlets pasted on walls in
Jhulaghat of Pithoragarh district, India. This threat came in
the wake of Indian promises
during Prime Minister Sher
Bahadur Deuba's India visit to
provide military assistance to
Nepal to fight the Maoist insurgency.
Riot arrests
The Home Ministry said 66 persons have been arrested for vandalism and arson during the
protests against the killing of 12
Nepali hostages. It said that action would be taken against 50
persons involved in the violence
and the destruction of property.
Investigations are underway on
16 remaining cases. In total, Rs.
218,000 has been recovered
from those arrested, and 1,200
passports found during the investigation have been handed
over to the Department of Labor and Employment Promotion. The government said it is
committed to bringing the culprits to book.
the employers around to the demands of the Maoist-aligned
trade union, All Nepal Trade
Union Federation. Surprisingly
the agreement came a few hours
after Minister Mohammed
Mohsin, the government spokesman, had said that the government would not negotiate with
the Maoist sister organization
"on a piece-meal basis."
14
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Petroleum hike
Nepal Oil Corporation has raised
the price of diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene.
This is the second time the NOC
has increased the prices of petroleum products in a month. A
month back the government had
formed a five-member committee headed by Yubaraj
Khatiwada, member ofthe National Planning Commission, to
adjust the prices to those in the
international market. The prices
were hiked on the basis of the
report ofthe committee. According to the revised prices, diesel
will cost Rs. 35 per liter, up Rs. 4;
kerosene Rs. 28 per liter, up Rs.
4; and a cylinder of LPG Rs. 750,
up Rs. 25.
Homeward bound
Twenty-three Iraq bound
Nepalis who were stranded in
Lebanon are returning home,
reports quoting Nepal's acting
ambassador to Egypt, Dhan
Bahadur Oli, said. Oli is in Beirut
in an attempt to rescue the
Nepalis stranded in the Lebanese
capital.
Mobile license
The Supreme Court annulled
the government's decision to
grant a license to United Telecom
Limited (UTL) to operate mobile phone services in
Kathmandu. A special bench
comprisingjudges Bhairab Prasad
Lamsal, Khilaraj Regmi and Min
Bahadur Rayamaji delivered the
judgment by majority vote. The
judges said the government neither studied the UTL proposal
properly nor appointed experts
to examine the feasibility ofthe
services it said it would provide.
Counter terrorism
Some 100 Nepali policemen are
undergoing training in counter-
insurgency operations near
Hyderabad, Indo Asian News
Service reported. The secret
training at the headquarters of
an elite anti-extremist force,
Grey Hounds, at Gandipet on
the city outskirts, might deal a
blow to ongoing talks between
the Andhra Pradesh state government and the People's War
Group, the report said. The training, which had been kept secret,
came in the wake of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's visit
to India.
Death sentence
A Tibetan court has sentenced
two Nepalis to death for smuggling weapons. The Foreign
Ministry has ordered the Nepali
Consulate in Lhasa to gather
further information about the
incident, the RSS news agency
said. According to the details received, the Shigatse Intermediate Court issued death sentences
to two Nepalis while two others
were sentenced to four to seven
years in prison for smuggling
weapons. It wasn't clearwhat the
weapons were.
British citizenship
British Prime Minister Tony
Blair has said that his government will look into the possibility of providing British
citizenships for retired Gurkhas.
Blair said that the British government was studying the issue,
according to the AFP. Only a
handful of Gurkhas have received British citizenship to date
despite having served in the British Army for nearly two centuries. Public pressure is growing
in Britain to grant Gurkhas British citizenship. Over 600 retired
Gurkhas live in Britain.
Indian arrest
Indian security forces have apprehended six Maoists in a raid
at a Patna hotel in Bihar. Among
those arrested, two have been
identified as Rambabu
Chaudhari     and     Agendra
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
Parajuli. Chaudhari is reportedly
a central leader of the Maoist-
aligned Madhesi Liberation
Front while Parajuli is said to be
an area commander ofthe Maoist
"people's army." Security forces
also have recovered important
documents from the Maoists,
reports said. Indian authorities so
far have not contacted Nepali
officials regarding the arrest. In
June, the Bihar Police had arrested 11 Maoists including two
central leaders from Patna.
Koirala verdict
The Supreme Court quashed
writ petitions filed by Nepali
Congress President Girija Prasad
Koirala, against the decision of
the CIAA to summon him for
inquiries. Koirala and some of his
party members had filed separate
writ petitions at the apex court
14 months ago challenging the
anti-corruption body's jurisdiction to issue them summons.
The CIAA had summoned
Koirala and other NC leaders
Govinda Raj Joshi, Arjun
Narsingh KC and Laxman
Ghimire on the basis a probe report on all public officials post-
1990. The two-member bench
ofthe Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice Govinda
Bahadur Shrestha and Justice
Hari Prasad Sharma, said the
CIAA had summoned Koirala
only for an inquiry and had not
filed any charges against him.
Royal visit
King Gyanendra will visit India
later this month. His week-long
visit, which gets underway on
September 30, comes nearly
three weeks after Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's New
Delhi visit. The King will meet
Indian President Abdul Kalam,
Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and other senior leaders.
The details ofthe visit, however,
are yet to be announced. The
King is expected to discuss the
Maoist insurgency during the
visit.
15
 MORETOURISTSFROM
SPAIN AND ITALY
The number of visitors coming to Nepal by air
during August rose by 3 percent compared to
same period last year according to the Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport.
The number of non-Indian visitors grew 17
percent, and the Indian market fell by 22 percent.
In comparison to August 2003, the biggest
growth came from the Spanish and Italian
markets, which grew 91 percent and 102 percent, respectively. These two markets contributed 25 percent of arrivals for the month. The
number of French visitors has also gone up by
seven percent. The other major non-Indian markets for Nepal—American, German and British—all fell. With this month's decline, Indian
visitors made up only 27 percent ofthe total.
This is the third consecutive month that the
number of Indian visitors has declined.
FIGURES FOR AUGUST 2004:
Spain up 91% to 3,345 visitors
Italy up 102% to 2,476 visitors
France up 7% to 1,193 visitors
India down 22% to 5,960 visitors
US down 14% to 1,014 visitors
Germany down 23% to 708 visitors
Japan down 1% to 1,460 visitors
China down 1% to 349 visitors
NIC BANK
NIC BANK OPENS
BRANCH IN POKHARA
Nepal Industrial and Commercial Bank has
opened its seventh branch in Pokhara. The
branch will provide full banking service including saving accounts, safe
deposit lockers, trade finance facilities, consumer
loans and business loans.
NIC Bank recently tied up
with Western Union Money
Transfer to facilitate inward remittances from
Nepalis working overseas. In the financial year
2060/61 NIC Bank recorded increases of 158
percent in net profit, 64 percent in deposits
and 46 percent in loans, compared to the previous financial year.
NATA CHANGES ITS NAME
The 39th annual general meeting of the Nepal
Association of Travel Agents has decided to
change the association's name to the Nepal
Association of Tour and Travel Agents. According to a press release issued here today by
NATA, the change in name will clearly specify
the workingareas of travel agents, since they
are doing both ticketing and tour operations.
WORLD BANK ASSISTANCE
The International Development Association of
the World Bank has agreed to provide an assistance of Rs. 3 billion to Nepal for two
projects—the Second Rural Water Supply and
Sanitation Project, and the Poverty Alleviation
Fund Project. The bank will provide Rs. 1.89
billion loan assistance for the water supply
project and Rs. 1.12 billion in grant assistance for the poverty alleviation project. The
loan assistance for the water project will be
utilized to improve rural water supply and the
sanitation sector's institutional performance.
The project also plans to put the Rural Water
Supply and Sanitation Fund Development
Board within the government system and to
support local community water supply and
sanitation users' groups to plan, implement
and operate drinking water and sanitation infrastructure. The group is expected to deliver
health education to rural households in a sustainable manner.
NABIL BANKAWARDED
BANK OFTHE YEAR
The Banker, a Financial Times publication, has
recognized Nabil Bank as Nepal's Bank of the
Year 2004. The Banker is a leader among international banking and financial publications.
This year it presented the Bracken Bank ofthe
Year awards to the leading bank in 133 countries, nine regions, 14 investment banking categories, four technology functions and two corporate responsibility categories.
Several leading banks from Nepal participated
and were evaluated. Nabil Bank, the first joint
venture bank in the country, was chosen for
the prestigious award.
NT PRE-PAID LANDLINE CARDS
Nepal Telecom will distribute pre-paid landline
phone cards before Dashain. The cards will
come in denominations of Rs. 200, Rs. 500
and Rs. 1000. The pre-paid cards can be used
to make local, longdistance and international
calls through any ordinary telephone, with or
without STD/ISD facility.
IRRIGATION CANAL BUILT
THROUGH LOCALFUNDS
The construction ofthe Manyangkhola Khardi
irrigation project at Bhimeswor has been completed at a cost of Rs. 100,000. The municipality and locals contributed to the construction ofthe plant. Fifty households in the ward
will benefit from the irrigation project.
ELECTRICITY GENERATION
THROUGH LOCALFUNDS
A three-ki lowatt capacity peltric electric generator has been installed in Sekhimba in Terhathum
district. The peltric set was constructed at a
total cost of Rs. 449,784. The district's public
fund decentralization and development program
provided Rs. 331,730, and local residents provided the remainingamount.
.L
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Milestone
Died
Suresh Panthi, 49, former national football
team captain, died on September 11. He
was suffering from a rare form of bone cancer.
In his distinguished career, Panthi remained a member ofthe national football
team for 15 long years, starting in 1971. He
played as a defender. In 1983 he was a
member of the team that won gold at the
South Asian Federation Games. He also led
the national team in several World Cup qualifiers. Nicknamed "The Wall," Panthi bagged
the Best Player Award for the year 2039 B.S.
from the All Nepal Football Association. He
retired as a football player in 1986.
Panthi played for a number of local clubs
in Kathmandu, including Boys' Union, the
New Road Team and the Friends Club before
establishing himself as a regular for the
Mahendra Police Club. He also served as a
traffic inspector at the Valley Traffic Police Office.
In the last couple of years, Panthi had
been making regulartrips to Bangkok for treatment. He received assistance from the Nepal
Police, ANFA and the Nepal Sports Council.
Three charity matches were held in
Kathmandu to raise money for his treatment.
The National Sports Council organized a
two-hour memorial service last week at
Dashrath Stadium, where Panthi's colleagues,
fans and officials paid tribute to the legendary footballer.
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.
 Secur
GOOD NEIGHBORS
India's growing military assistance is nothing to be afraid
of. When your house is on fire, your neighbor has good
reason to be concerned.
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
LAST WEEK PRIME MINISTER
Deuba came home a happy man,
buoyed by the assurance of Indian
support. The key component of the
prime minister's India visit was to appraise New Delhi of the poor security
situation in Nepal. What he got from
New Delhi was indicative of the importance India places on Nepal's internal security.
"Nepal is located at the heart of India's
strategic security perception," says Professor Lok Raj Baral, former ambassador to India. "To the north, there is
China, which India views as a competitor." India thinks of Nepal
as the most vulnerable frontier, with an open border
about 1,800 kilometers long.
Indian policy still centers
around the statement India's
first prime minister,
Jawaharlal Nehru, made to
the Indian Parliament in
1950: ".. .as much as we appreciate the independence
of Nepal, we cannot allow
anything to go wrong in
Nepal or permit that [Himalayan] barrier to be
crossed or weakened, because that would be a risk
to our own security."
Post-cold war, the
Nehurvian perception still
occupies an important place
in India's scheme of things.
With a strong Maoist movement flourishing in Nepal,
India has stepped up security assistance. New Delhi's
recent package includes
three advanced light helicopters;   20,000   INSAS
18
rifles; 15,000 self-loading rifles, SLRs;
and 900 trucks, jeeps and mine-protected
vehicles. These supplies will definitely
help the security forces as they try to create a semblance of order. The assistance
is not the first of its kind. India and
Nepal have a long history of military relations.
In 1952 the first Indian military mission arrived in Kathmandu to help Nepal
reorganize and modernize the Royal
Nepal Army. The mission was prompted
both by Nepal's need to upgrade its
forces and Indian fears after China annexed Tibet, which New Delhi had regarded as a buffer zone, shielding the
subcontinent from Chinese threats.
Many believe that the 1950 Treaty of
Peace and Friendship between Nepal
and India was signed due to Indian fears
that China might eventually subvert or
invade Nepal. The treaty required both
parties to consult and "devise effective
countermeasures" in the event of a security threat to either country
After Indian and Chinese forces
fought a brief but nasty war over disputed
territories in 1962, there was a realization in Nepal that it had to play a perilous balancing act as a buffer zone. The
era of Nepal as a yam between two boulders had returned; but the balancing act
has often proved difficult.
Nepal-India ties suffered a serious
jolt after King Birendra concluded an
arms purchase deal with China to supply air defense artillery in 1988. New
Delhi vigorously protested the deal.
Nepal resented India's objection. As the
 tension mounted, India closed 13 of its
15 border-points with Nepal in 1989.
Relations normalized after 15 months of
political and diplomatic trouble; both
countries eventually reaffirmed their
faith in the 1950 treaty.
Even though the 1989 Indian blockade was an economic one, it had military
and security underpinnings. Nepal
wanted to avoid being seen as too closely
allied with India, and India feared that
the northward tilt of Nepal was the beginning of an alliance that posed a risk to
its own security. India's primary interest in Nepal is Nepal's security and stability, which according to India, guarantees its own security and stability. Reckoning the Maoists as a common threat,
India has since 1996 steadily increased
its security assistance. New Delhi told
.
■
<T*i
V
the visiting Prime Minister Deuba that
it would provide "all possible help" to
Nepal. Comments in the Indian media
referred to this as a blank check. The
assistance, India says, is in recognition
of a common danger. "The Maoists are a
shared threat," says Sanjay Verma, press
secretary at the Indian embassy.
But many in Nepal don't see things
that way. "What is the reason behind
Nepal accepting help from India and not
from the United Nations?" questioned
CPN-UML leader Bam Dev Gautam at
a press meet after Deuba's return from
New Delhi. "Deuba's heavy reliance on
India may result in betrayal. It is the
Nepali people who can solve the problem, not India," Gautam told reporters,
referring to the security assistance.
But not everyone buys Gautam's argument. "The assistance was sought by
Nepal, and it is nothing to be nervous
about," says political commentator
M.R. Josse. India cannot remain a mute
spectator when Nepal is burning, he
says.
India realizes the helplessness of the
situation in Nepal, though it doesn't believe that its military assistance can quell
the insurgency. "Ultimately we don't
believe that there is a military solution
to the Maoist problem," says Verma.
What Indian officials seem to believe is
that their security assistance will pressure the Maoists into talks. A stable and
secure Nepal is vital to India's own security interests too, a realization that
seems to have dawned on the Indian
officialdom rather late as far Nepal's
Maoist rebellion is concerned.
Despite common security threats,
and strong economic and cultural ties,
the two neighbors have often regarded
each other with suspicion. "There is a
love-hate relation between Nepal and
India," says Josse. And differences in perceptions have caused relations to oscillate wildly at times. India believes it has
a lead role to play in South Asia, and its
assertiveness often gets the better of it
and its neighbors begin to wonder about
its motives. "Relations between any two
countries are likely to have points of
agreement and points of disagreement,"
says Josse.
Nepalis hope that India's growing
concern about the Maoist problem as a
trans-boundary menace will push the
Maoists into negotiations sooner than
later. The links between Indian Maoist
outfits, such as the Maoist Communist
Centre and the Peoples' War Group, are
no longer tenuous. There are mounting
evidences of strong cross-border connections.
Analysts like Professor Baral dismiss
suggestions that New Delhi's nervousness over the Maoist problem could spill
over the border. "These fears are baseless," says Professor Baral, in reference
to speculations that Indian troops may
cross over to Nepal to quell the insurgency.
To others, what Nepal now expects
of India is just plain, good neighborli-
ness. "When your house burns," says
Minendra Rijal, a Deuba aide and NC-
D spokesman, "you have to seek help
from your neighbors." C
19
 d*.
V   /
/
r
i
j.
\2
j
>
 The reopening of 47 businesses comes as a
huge relief, but there is uneasiness that it could
happen all over again. The fact that Maoist
threats were enough to shut down major businesses proves that the state is under severe
strain.
J
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
Iffi MONTH-LONG OR-
^leal has finally come to an
end. The Maoist-affiliated
All Nepal Trade Union
Federation withdrew its
indefinite closure of 47
businesses last week. But
the question on everyone's mind is: Is it
really over?
"This is a patchwork," says Rajendra
Khetan, vice president of FNCCI and
executive director of Khetan Group.
"Hopefully we won't be the victims of
political issues again."
Khetan's response reflects the hopes
of the Nepali business community and
the government, both of which were
forced to cave in to the Maoist demands.
It also reflects the fragile situation on the
ground. Nepalis now regard Maoist violence, once a distant risk, as an imminent
danger. The business community ignored
repeated assurances from the government
that it would guarantee the safety of their
businesses. They finally opened their shutters only after the Maoists officially withdrew their demands.
The reasons put out in public by the
Maoist trade union for their demands:
To press for the release of their leaders
and to end the exploitation of labor by
the employers. The union also talked
about promoting "national industries"
and discouraging "foreign industries."
Though the Maoists say they are concerned about laborers' problems, the
underlying motive for the closure could
have been to show Nepalis that there is a
state within a state and that the rebels
can openly defy the government and the
state machinery
Since the beginning of August the
Maoists have launched targeted psychological and economic offensives against
the state. They have been hitting hard
where it hurts most. The state machinery has been able to do little to counter
their tactics, despite the security forces
being bigger and better trained than the
Maoists. The blockade and the business
closures were both part of the Maoist
offensive against the state and the government that represents it.
On August 17, the Maoists issued a
closure order against 12 businesses and
detonated a bomb outside the Soaltee
Crowne Plaza to underscore their threat.
On August 27, they issued a similar order telling 35 businesses to close. The
Maoists first said all businesses except
those with American investments could
resume operations. After some confusion they then announced that the original closure order slapped on the 12 businesses was still in place.
"The Maoists want to extract more
concessions from the government," says
Minendra Rijal, spokesman of NC-D,
the prime minister's party. "But they are
insensitive to the laborers' plight." Insensitive or not, the Maoists seem to have
gotten what they want.
PRESSURE TACTICS
The Maoists trade wing called off the
closure only after extracting concessions
from the government and the business
community. After hectic parleys for days,
a group of facilitators, including Sudip
Pathak Padma Ratna Tuladhar and Malla
K. Sunder, eventually persuaded the
ANTUF, the government and unions
representing the jobless workers to
come to an agreement. The government
agreed to release two central committee
members of the federation, Ramesh
Lama and Bishnu Thapa Magar, from
custody.
Other commitments made by the
government, the ANTUF and the industrialists were announced at a late-night
press conference in the capital last
X
21
 Wednesday, the day before the businesses
reopened. The government agreed to
start making public the whereabouts of
50 ANTUF members who had "disappeared" from government custody, beginning September 22. The process is
likely to be completed within a month.
The employers of the businesses that
remained closed for a month have also
agreed to pay their employees' wages
for the time the businesses remained
closed.
This concession concerning the
workers' wages is bigger than it appears.
"The Maoists have sent a message to
workers that a shutdown won't affect
their paychecks," says Chitra Tiwari, a
Washington-based analyst, who keeps a
close tab on the Maoist insurgency and
has written a number of articles on the
subject. Because the Maoists can force
the employers to pay, they emphasize the
weakness of the state.
IS IT OVER?
At least, say business leaders, it's over
for now. "We have come out ofthe problem, but there is a difficult road ahead,"
says FNCCI's Khetan. Industrialists say
that some points ofthe compromise deal
with the ANTUF will be difficult for
the businesses, and many fear that giving
in to the illegitimate Maoist union will
cause bigger problems in the long run.
"The labor market is very fluid, and we
fear that negotiating with Maoist trade
unions could set a bad precedent," says
an industrialist. "The compulsion is that
we have to."
The Maoists must have been jubilant over the concessions. But they may
have also realized that their ability to
issue demands has a limit. The government has been ineffective, but collective pressure has now caused the
Maoists to step back twice. On August
24, the Maoists withdrew their week-
long blockade of the Valley. "The withdrawal came following pressure from
civil society," says Shyam Shrestha, editor of Mulyankan monthly. Civil society has been vocal in telling the Maoists
that their pressure tactics are unacceptable. The Maoists have apparently
started to listen: Public opinion is critical for their own existence; it is the first
step towards achieving legitimacy as a
political force.
"Any force that aspires to wield the
power of the state cannot dare to alienate the civil society," says Arjun Karki,
president of the NGO Federation
Nepal.
The closures exacted a heavy price,
ultimately borne by all. The total loss
of the closure is still to be accounted
for, but early estimates run into billions. Each day ofthe closure cost the
government more than Rs. 120 million in revenues, according to one estimate. Twelve businesses remained
closed for 30 days while the 35 others
had to pull down their shutters for 10
days.
Apart from the direct loss, the closures also told foreign investors that
Nepal is a risky place to do business.
"Such closure would affect the flow of
foreign direct investments in Nepal,"
said British Ambassador Keith
Bloomfield during an Industrial Security Group press meet on September 11.
The group consists of representatives
from the American, British, German,
CHILLED: Bottlers Nepal,
the makers of Coca-Cola,
was an obvious target for
the U.S.-bashlng Maoists
ii_
Peace Corps Goes Home
The U.S. State Department temporarily suspended Peace Corps
operations in Nepal in the
wake ofthe explosion at the
American Center in
Gyaneshwore on September
10. All the volunteers will be
sent home or on other assignments. The program may be
restarted after six months, the
American Embassy said. "It is
unfortunate and disturbing,"
says Jesse Brandt, a former
Peace Corps volunteer in
Nepal. Tne suspension will
affect some of the programs, he says. Nepal has
long been one most
sought-after Peace Corps
destinations; it also has
one ofthe highest rates of
returnees. The volunteers
who pulled out last week
had been working in many
areas including maternal
health, neo-natal health
and HIV-AIDS prevention.
The suspension is likely to affect many of these projects.
There are 87 Peace Corps volunteers in Nepal. More than
4,000 volunteers have served
in Nepal after the operation began in 1962.
Along with the volunteers,
some other Americans may be
going home as well. The American Embassy said it would allow non-essential workers and
families of embassy staff in
Nepal to return to the United
States for 30 days. "The embassy has received information that the Maoists may attack or take actions specifical ly
against U.S. citizens," the
State Department said.
Sources said that the threats
were against Americans working with the security forces
and NGOs in remote areas of
the country, not against tourists. The American Embassy
confirmed that no foreigners
had been seriously hurt during the eight-year insurrection and said that no
American has reported
significant problems to
the embassy recently.
They added that they
were deeply concerned
about the American
Center bombing, which
led them to suspend
Peace Corps operations
and allow dependents
and non-essential staff
to leave. E
22
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 French and Indian embassies and their
bilateral chambers of commerce. Both
the closure and the warning come at a
time when a report by the Department
of Industry says that foreign investment
grew 55 percent last year, from Rs. 1.77
billion to Rs. 2.75 billion. The department says it approved more than six
dozen new foreign investment projects
last year. A reversal would severely hurt
the economy.
"It's both a political and economic
sin," says Ram Sharan Mahat, former finance minister and Nepali Congress
leader, discussing the Maoist closure. "If
there is no Nepali chow chow, won't
the consumer just eat Indian chow
chow?" The Maoists have failed to understand simple economics, he says. But
even if they fail to understand Mahat's
economics, they have effectively used
economic targets against the state for
political ends.
g
COMMON ENEMY:
Prime Minister
Deuba rallied
Indian support to
fight the Maoists
BRINKMANSHIP
The Maoist economic offensive reflects
their brinkmanship, say analysts. They
are taking the state to the edge. "They are
using economic strangulation as a strategy to bring the government to its
knees," says Mahat. "It is another manifestation ofthe Valley blockade." In early
August the Maoists imposed a blockade
on the Kathmandu Valley to choke the
economy, then withdrew it after seven
days of intense pressure from civil society.
Public pressure has again worked,
but the Maoists are likely to make
similar moves. The blockade was their
first attempt to prove the failure of the
state machinery in its very bastion,
Kathmandu; they seem to have analyzed the experiment as a success howsoever others look at it. And there is
every reason to believe that such experiments will be repeated. "The
Maoists are sharpening their tools,"
says former Speaker Daman Nath
Dhungana. "This could happen all over
again." Recent Maoist statements suggest as much.
A Maoist statement says that the
rebels have shifted their strategy from
strategic equilibrium to strategic offensive. And by offensive they seem to mean
everything that hurts and weakens the state,
including closures and blockades. Those
23
 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 SUBSCRIPTION@ECS.COM.NP
 are just tactics in the
Maoist struggle, which
is a manifestation of political differences, says
Dhungana. What are
the Maoists up to then?
Is the state getting run
down, or are the
Maoists playing a psychological game?
POLITICAL PROBLEM
Without discussing the
fundamental political
issues at hand, the conflict—and economic attacks—will continue,
say analysts, and the Maoists will resort
to every single tactic to undermine the
state. "No permanent solution can be
found without resolving the issues of
constituent assembly and U.N. mediation," says Dhungana.
But some ofthe Maoist tactics are
getting confusing. In a recent state
ment, the Maoist supremo Prachanda
said his party would not talk with the
government, preferring instead to
hold talks with the King or his direct
representatives. The government, led
by Prime Minister Deuba, is wary of
Maoist betrayal. There have been no
visible confidence building mea
sures as a prelude
to a political dialog ue from the either side. Following his visit to India, Prime Minister Deuba has
hinted he may
adopt a carrot and
stick approach to
deal with the
Maoists if they fail
to come to the negotiating table.
Whether or not
Deuba will get what
he wants, the fear is
widespread. Even as businesses resume
operations and the government, the
Maoist labor union, the industrialists
and the laborers seem to be at peace
for the moment, the crisis is far from
over. "This is just a relief and not a solution," says Dhungana. "We are headed
for a deeper crisis."    Q
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
25
 Media
\mm
pmsmw:-:
1
■v£x
^r
LIVING
UANGERO
Journalists are facing unprecedented threats from both
the security forces and the Maoists. Truth is already a
major casualty.
BY SATISH JUNG SHAHI
ON SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 12, THE
Maoists raised the level of violence again in the Valley using a
gas cylinder to detonate a powerful bomb.
The cylinder was left on the Bagmati
Bridge in Minbhawan at a busy time of
the day. Television footage showed torn
pieces ofthe metal cylinder strewn about.
A Nepal Television cameraman on
duty at the scene was among the more
than a dozen people who sustained injuries during the blast. Ishwore Maharjan
is still recuperating at B&B Hospital in
Gwarkhu. Increasingly more and more
journalists feel that their job is getting
both difficult and dangerous.
"Our workplace, where we gather the
news, is turning seriously dangerous,"
says photojournalist Ravi Manandhar. He
had a near-death experience more than
three years ago when a bomb went off at
Tudikhel while he was taking photos for
Himalaya Times, a Nepali broadsheet.
He was at a gathering of pro-royalist
Rastrabadi Milan Kendra, who were protesting against the Maoists. Manandhar
regained consciousness while his friends
were dragging him to Bir Hospital. He
had a deep cut on his bleeding foot. "If it
had been in an explosion like last
Sunday's [September 12], I would surely
have died," says Manandhar.
Deepak Bhattarai of Kantipur Television had a similar experience last April
when he rushed to Chhaimale village,
southwest of Kathmandu. Bhattarai was
one ofthe first journalists to reach the site
with his cameraman"Ybpesh Pradhan. They
had heard that some dead bodies of Maoists
still lay in the VDC building where an accident had caused an explosion while the
Maoists were making bombs. Suddenly,
they heard an explosion from where the
Army was defusing the remaining bombs.
Bhattarai and his crew had just stepped
away from the area. A soldier lay seriously
injured, calling out that he was dying, praying to god and asking for water.
"It was only then we realized that we
could have been in his place," says
Bhattarai, who recalls the incident with
fear and excitement. "That was the most
frightening moment in my career." The
soldier survived the blast and was evacuated by an Army helicopter.
Not all incidents are as heroic and
memorable. In many cases, journalists
have been harassed and some have even
been killed by the parties to the conflict
on charges that they are with the opposing side. Matrika Poudel of Nepal 1 television was taken from his office last December by the Army on charges of being
affiliated with the Maoists, based on articles he had written in Rajdhani daily.
"Some Army interrogators were decent, but some made threats that they
would treat me like they had treated
Krishna Sen," says Poudel. The Maoists
say Sen, the editor of the pro-Maoist
newspaper Janastha, was killed by the
security forces while in the government
custody, a claim corroborated by human
rights workers. Poudel says he was blindfolded for more than nine hours during
the custody. "Some Army personnel said
that journalists are the Maoists," he says.
26
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Rewati Sapkota of Rajdhani daily
has been on the receiving end of both
the government and the Maoists. Four
years ago, the Maoists bombed his
house in Kubinde VDC in
Sindhupalchowk because police had
stayed in his barn. Sapkota's family had
made repeated requests to the police to
vacate after the Maoists started sending
threats. Then two years ago the police
took him from his Maitidevi residence
to Kamalpokhari Police Station and then
Mahendra Police Club, where he was
beaten with batons and rubber strips,
mostly on the feet, until he fell unconscious. On June 24 this year, the Army
took him for interrogation.
"There is no way that I can ever write
news freely," says Sapkota. He gets bad
headaches and his feet feel sore whenever he works late nights, which he often does. But it's the psychological scar
ofthe incident that's more damaging than
anything else. That both parties to the
conflict felt threatened by the same reporter shows how precarious the situation of the journalists is.
"Most journalists I know
[in Nepalgunj] have received
some kind of threats from the
security forces or the Maoists
over the years," says Rudra
Khadka, who reported for
Kantipur daily for five years
from the Midwest headquarters of Nepalgunj until he
joined Samaya weekly early
this year. "A lot of journalists
end up doing news reports
they would never have done.
The level of threat, from both
the parties to the conflict, is
extremely high outside
Kathmandu."
And things are unlikely to
get any easier any time soon.
Recently, the Maoists issued
a conciliatory statement after
the murder of Radio Nepal's
Dailekh correspondent
Dekendra Thapa, saying the
killing was a mistake. Anyone
comforted by that should remember that their senior leaders had apologized for the
killing of journalist
Gyanendra Khadka in
Sindhupalchowk last year.
Maoists still hold two journalists in
their custody and have threatened to kill
10 journalists, two of them with
Kantipur—even as the Maoists maintain that they support press freedom.
In a letter addressed to the Federation of Nepalese Journalists on September 10, the Maoist leader Krishna
Bahadur Mahara assured the federation
of his party's commitment to press freedom and said that the central leadership
had directed their cadres to leave the
journalists alone. The government has
also repeatedly committed itself to the
constitutional right of press freedom. It
'?■*•
\JW
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 200
was reiterated with much fanfare when a
police inspector and an Army major
signed the first florescent press jacket
early this year as a symbolic commitment
to press freedom. The jackets were distributed by the Nepal Federation of
Photo Journalists to the press photographers, who, more than the news reporters, face greater dangers. Camera-wielding photographers are readily identifiable and become easy targets.
"There is a tendency among both the
government forces and the Maoists to
use journalists for their own propaganda," says Taranath Dahal, president of
the Federation of Nepalese Journalists,
the FNJ. "Journalists are fine so long as
they serve your purpose."
Dahal says that journalists based outside Kathmandu, especially in rural districts, are the most vulnerable lot. They
face extreme dangers and their working
conditions are pitiable. "In most cases,"
says Dahal, "neither the government administrators nor the Maoists look at
them favorably. And there's the constant
pressure of deadlines from their headquarters in Kathmandu." District reporters tell Nation
Weekly that security forces
constantly summon them for
questioning, sometimes even
demanding to know who
their sources are, something
a journalist is ethically allowed to guard. According to
a veteran reporter in the Midwest, he has been forced to
write news by both the security forces and the Maoists on
numerous occasions.
Compensation and security, however, are a far cry.
"Neither the government nor
the media owners seem serious about confronting such
important issues as insurance
of journalists in case of death
or injury, rescues in case of
crises or supporting their
families in case of their
death," says Dahal. "A serious
thought needs to be given to
this issue. It is a fact thatjour-
nalists are already taking casualties." When journalists
suffer, truth becomes the first
casualty.  □
27
 Television
More TV channels are coming online soon, but no one
in the industry seems too worried about the competition
BY NIRJAL DHUNGANA
E HOUGH  THE PRO-
longed economic slump has
had a debilitating effect on the
economy at large, the television industry is
in fine form. The sound health ofthe business is due to the Rs. 2 billion advertising
sector, which is witnessing constant growth.
According to experts, 43 percent of total advertisement is allocated to TV in the
Asia-Pacific region. The growing market
in Nepal, they say, should be no surprise.
Of the six channels, five—NTV, NTV
Metro, Kantipur, Image Metro and Channel Nepal—are beamed from inside
Nepal while Nepal 1 from New Delhi.
With two more channels, Avenues and
Shangri-La, preparing to enter the market,
the competition will heat up. One of the
new channels, Avenues TV, ATV, will go
on air as early as December this year.
"Since the preliminary tasks, including the procurement of hardware and
arrangement of location, are nearing
completion, we will hit the market
shortly," says Ajay Mishra, general manager of ATV Their Rs. 220 million investment is a first for a news channel in
the country. "What will set our news
apart from other channels is its sophistication in presentation
and transmission,"
says Mishra. He adds
that ATV will have a
nationwide network
for live transmissions.
"Since the promoters
of ATV already have
some two decades of experience in the
field of TV operations, carving a market niche will not be too difficult for
us," he says.
Ad Avenues, one of the leading ad
agencies in the country owns ATV With
their connections with major advertisers, they should also be able to command
top rates. "More than 90 percent of total
expenditure for TV advertising in Nepal
is for news-based programming," says
Mishra.
ATV plans for wide distribution of
its signal: More viewers mean higher
advertising revenue. According to the
general manager of ATV, the channel will
be beamed to more
than   35   countries
across the Asian region. ATV also has
ambitious plans for
operating   multiple
channels.
Shangri-La TV, the
other upcoming channel, has a deal with
Abstar 5 for satellite distribution of its
signal. "The production of software and
the acquisition of the equipment required for satellite uplinking is under-
jL
28
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 way," says STV chairman Nir Shah. STV
also has identified a niche area: The major thrust of STV will be educational programming for rural Nepal.
But the STV boss is deeply concerned about the state of the nation and
fears the current political stalemate could
be a roadblock to his venture. Total investments so far amount to Rs. 7 million, but no launch date has yet been
fixed.
The existing channels are not sitting
idle either. Kantipur TV launched two
years ago, is already planning a major expansion. "From both commercial and
non-commercial standpoints, we are
doing fairly well," says Kantipur
Television's chief executive producer,
Bhusan Dahal. KTV is believed to have
invested Rs. 300 million to date. "Currently, we are in process of charting out
the second phase," says Dahal. Over the
next three years, KTV will spend Rs. 200
million for satellite uplinking and 24-
hour operations. According to market
sources, KTVs investments could reach
as much as Rs. 1 billion before the ambitious project is over. That money has to
come from somewhere.
"Like other channels, programs pertaining to news and current affairs are
the prime revenue earners of KTV" says
Dahal. "And, of course, trained crews and
sound technical and financial health are
our major strengths." The brand name
Kantipur—with a number of major publications and an FM radio station—is
their strongest card.
Image Metro, another recent entrant,
is said to be nearing the breakeven point.
"If everything goes as planned, I may
shortly be freed from injecting some Rs.
1 million monthly from my pocket," says
R.K. Manandhar, chairman of Image
Metro. Image Metro bought programming time on NTV for eight years and
operates an FM radio station. "KATH
97.9 and morning transmissions on NTV
substantially added to our resources for
the Rs. 70 million TV venture," says
Manandhar.
Going to satellite broadcasting could
put them in the black. Image Metro is
waiting for a satellite uplink, but claims
the government has been slow to issue
their license. "Image Metro and Kantipur
applied for satellite permission at more
or less the same time. Now
KTV is up and running
while the government has
been unscrupulously lethargic as far as we are concerned," Manandhar complains.
Not to be outdone, the
government's own NTV
Metro is also all geared up
for satellite broadcasting.
"We will uplink our signal
probably with either the Asia
or Intel satellite very
shortly," says the channel's
Prakash Jung Karki. NTV
Metro programming will
primarily focus on the
youth. It plans to expand news and current affairs, and the channel funded by a
Rs. 540 million investment from China
hopes to collect Rs. 20 million in advertising revenue this fiscal year.
State-run NTV still rules the roost
with almost 90 percent of the market
share. It earned Rs. 240 million in ad revenues last year, up from the annual target
of Rs. 180 million. About 85 percent of
TV viewers count on NTV for news-
related programs, according to a survey.
"The soundness of NTV can safely be
attributed to strong transmission network, copyright of software, huge archives of visuals, vride geographical coverage and, of course, good international
relations," says NTV Deputy General
Manager Bishwa Prakash Maskey.
But NTVs grand monopoly, already
under fire, is all set to crack in the days
ahead in the face of aggressive competition from private channels. Already, the
state run enterprise is struggling due to
high operation costs, bureaucratic red
tape, overstaffing and underutilization
of assets. But it also has the government's
deep pockets to bank on, come what
may.
No such luck for Channel Nepal,
once the only private broadcaster. Its
monopoly over cable transmission—
it is owned by the country's largest
cable operator Spacetime Network—
once gave it a crucial edge. The recent
government directive to cable operators to carry all the Nepali channels
will substantially weaken its market
position.
Remarkably, almost none of the TV
channels are too worried about competition. "With the entrance of new players, the market size will also grow," argues Karki of NTV Metro. "The
sustainability of some dozen FM radios
operating in the Valley is a case in point."
That is, as long as the advertising pie
keeps growing.  □
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
29
 The Ess
AID AGENCIES
RETHINK STRATEGY
A new report urges top humanitarian groups to create
local presence in disaster-prone areas—a change from the
current firefighting mentality
BY SOPHIE ARIE
MUCH OF THE DEVELOPING
world is facing crises of biblical proportions—floods,
droughts, even locusts. But in the post-
9/11 era, these disasters pose new problems. Many fail to capture the attention
of a west preoccupied with terrorism;
others are complicated by the nexus of
humanitarianism and politics. As a result, aid agencies are struggling to respond.
A group of the world's leading nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including
CARE, OXFAM, Save the Children and World Vision, have
called on the experts to tell them
how to cope. The result is a new
report, entitled "Ambiguity and
Change: Humanitarian NGOs
Prepare for the Future." Its advice is brisk.
HUMANITARIANISM
UNDER FIRE
"It's time to realize: You can't sit
in the United States and send
fire-fighting missions [to the
world's disaster zones] any
more," says Peter Walker, a disaster-relief expert at Tufts
University's Feinstein International Famine Center in
Medford, Massachusetts, who
led the team that compiled the
report. "You have to get local,
become embedded in each country You have to be there before
disaster strikes and stay there
when the emergency's over."
According to Mr. Walker, a former
director of disaster and refugee policy
for the International Federation of the
Red Cross, western-run aid agencies are
facing a "crisis of legitimacy" as they
struggle to be neutral in countries where
their western faces make them appear to
be part ofthe enemy.
Aid groups have traditionally relied
on the principle that their work is free
from military or political influence to
keep them safe in war zones. While maintaining that principle has always been dif-
HANDSON:Aid
agencies try to get local
ficult, aid groups say it's especially challenging now.
The United Nations confronted this
reality last year when terrorists attacked
the United Nations' Baghdad headquarters killing, among others, the U.N. special envoy to Iraq, Sergio Viera de Mello.
At the same time, senior aid figures
say that, because of their direct contact
with local people, they are being forced,
in countries like Afghanistan, to be the
"public relations" branch ofthe U.S.-led
military operation, leading a "hearts and
minds" campaign to win the support of
the local population.
"We need the partners in the war on
terrorism and particularly the U.S. to
start respecting humanitarian principles.
We want them to separate their
political and military activity
from the operations of humanitarian agencies," says Phil
Bloomer, Oxfam's head of advocacy. "Otherwise there is a
danger that all humanitarians are
perceived as nothing more than
an extension of..the military operation."
Oxfam has recently decided
to stop accepting funds from the
British government, formerly
one of its biggest sources of
funds. And in July, after five of
its workers were fatally ambushed, Doctors Without Borders pulled out of Afghanistan.
In its press release, the group
complained that U.S. military
efforts jeopardized its neutrality and endangered its members: "...The United States-
backed coalition consistently
sought to use humanitarian aid
to build support for its military
and political ambitions."
While aid agencies battle to
be neutral, there are some coun-
30
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 BALANCING ACT: Organizations such as the
Untied Nations need to maintain neutrality in
places of conflict
tries that the war on terrorism has now made almost
impossible to help.
NGOs have faced a particularly dire situation in
North Korea—a country
President Bush said was
part of the "axis of evil" in
2001. By July, the World
Food Program (WFP), the
chief provider of food rations for the famine-
stricken Marxist state, had
raised only 20 percent ofthe
funds it needs for this year's
effort in North Korea. Program leaders have felt compelled to stop feeding some
people.
"We have had to stop giving food rations to the elderly. It's an excruciating decision to have to make," says
the deputy director of the
Rome-based WFP
North Korea is an extreme
case. Aid agencies and government donors say donations and budgets have actually increased since September 11, and a large proportion
of aid is going to Muslim
populations.
But people are thinking
more carefully about who
will best spend their donations. U.N. agencies are seen
as too bureaucratic and tied
to the politics of member nations. Instead, donors are
slowly shifting toward the
big, reliable, specialized
agencies. NGOs are finding
it difficult to call attention
to a crisis that lacks an "evildoer."
"These days, because
there are so many disasters, there have to
be millions facing death before the west
is going to notice," says Brenda Barton,
the WFP's chief spokeswoman at its
Rome headquarters. "We have noticed
that the media and the public imagination can respond massively when there
is a 'villain' in the picture. But when the
villain is Mother Nature, people find it
harder to react."
Bangladesh's floods have made headlines, but the response is not proportionate to the 20 million Bangladeshis
whose homes are underwater.
"The people of Bangladesh are not
the only ones whose plight has gone
largely unnoticed," says John Powell, the
deputy executive director at the World
Food Program. Powell cites a swarm of
locusts in West Africa, droughts in
Kenya, Cuba and Afghanistan, and freak
weather conditions in Nicaragua and
Peru as other problem areas being ignored. WFP officials say there are so
many disasters now that disasters are
fighting with each other for media attention.
"On top of that it is hard for us to tell
people about hunger when they are obsessed with obesity and trying to lose
weight," he adds from his office in
Rome.       (The Christian Science Monitor)
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
31
 Busin
DASHAIN
After some difficult months, optimism is in the air as
Dashain approaches
BY SATISH JUNG SHAHI
Kathmandu streets are coming to
life, and shops in New Road,
Ason, Mahabaudha and at major
shopping complexes are seeing an upturn in customers. The lead-up to
Dashain has slowly begun. The festival
starts on October 20, barely a month
away. It is a time when Nepalis spend
more freely; buying new clothes, household and electronic goods and party supplies. The festive spirit and the buying
spree will continue until the end of
Tihar, on November 15.
Businesses are very optimistic about
their prospects. Already shopkeepers can
be seen putting up discount signs and
marking sale prices on items to attract
more customers. Many others are planning special schemes. "The Dashain feeling has already caught on," says Nilendra
Man Pradhanang, office secretary at the
China Town Shopping Center in
Sundhara. The shopping center is hosting a Dashain Festival with concerts and
fashion shows on its premises from September 21-27. Deputy Prime Minister
and Finance Minister Bharat Mohan
Adhikari is likely to inaugurate the event.
Last year's festival drew huge crowds.
"There was not even enough space
to stand last year. We hope it will be
much better this year," says Pradhanang
excitedly. "Finally, all the bad news for
business seems to be over at least for a
while."
The events of recent months have not
been good for to the business community. First it was the Maoist "blockade"
and then the riots of September 1. Then
47 businesses were forced to shut down
by the Maoist-aligned trade union. News
of daily bombings in public places in
Kathmandu followed. "It was like dasha,
ill-fate, had struck us," says Rajesh Bhakta
Shrestha of Kastamandap Supermarket,
who, like many others we met, is planning special Dashain schemes for his
customers. "But if sales are as high as in
previous years, Dashain is likely to bring
back smiles on the faces of businessmen
like us," he says happily.
Most businesses told Nation Weekly
that their transactions shoot up by 70 to
80 percent during the Dashain season.
The most popular purchases are
readymade garments, food items and
32
 consumer goods. At the China Town
Shopping Center alone, shop owners say
that over 10,000 customers visit them
daily during the Dashain season, three
to four times as many as on a regular business day.
Bishal Bazaar, Bhatbhateni Departmental Store, Pashupati Plaza and
Ranamukteshwore Complex all expect
strong business in the lead-up to the festival too. Last year some complexes conducted raffle draws for high-spending
customers; most said they were planning
to repeat such promotions this year too.
Most shoppers in New Road, Ason,
Bagbazaar, Putali Sadak and Mangal Bazaar told us they had already started their
Dashain shopping or at least had already
prepared their shopping lists. "Dashain
shopping starts right from the festival of
Teej," says Rama Neupane, a housewife
who was buying tika and bangles for Teej
in Bhedasingh. "Being a latecomer for
Dashain shopping could mean paying
more, and the marketplace is likely to
be more crowded."
From past experience, we should expect massive traffic jams and battles for
parking spaces during the festival season. Those inconveniences spread far
beyond the electronics shops of New
Road, the clothing shops at Dharahara
or the supermarkets. The Dashain markets for the goats, sheep, ducks and
chickens also clog traffic. Traders in
Bagbazaar and Balkhu told us they were
already stocking up the animals to meet
demands in Dashain.
Even the music business seems to be
picking up, with lots of new recordings
in the shops. "Many in the industry believe this is the right time to launch a
new album in the market," says Nima
Rumba, pop singer and this year's Hits
FM Music Award winner in the pop category. "It is a general trend that people
purchase more music in between
Dashain and Tihar when they have more
money." One ofthe most awaited albums
this Dashain season is from the popular
band Mongolian Hearts led by Raju
Lama. Based on their previous
groundbreaking sales, the band is highly
optimistic.
Optimism is the tone everywhere, as
it should be in the run-up to the two
great festivals. Everyone deserves a
break.  □
33
 Arts   Socie
Everyday Art
Alex Gabbay and Subina Shrestha make films that offer
offbeat perspectives on the things around us. But marketing films like theirs isn't easy, and there are many moviegoers who have never seen their work.
BYADITYA ADHIKARI
Tf you ask people in Kathmandu 'who
has AIDS,' they will say no one. AIDS
along with sex and drugs does not exist
in the mind of Kathmanduites. Those are
the problems of the others. Nobody
wants to talk about them."
So begins the 26 minutes of
"Kathmandu: Untold Stories." The creators are Alex Gabbay and Subina
Shrestha, filmmakers based in
Kathmandu. When UNICEF approached them two years ago for a film
on HIV/AIDS in Nepal, it took them
time to figure out how they could make
their work most effective. As the film
was meant for policymakers in
Kathmandu, they decided that rather than
going out into remote areas to show the
effects of AIDS, they would concentrate
on Kathmandu as seen through the eyes
ofthe youth—aversion of the city hidden from the gaze of
older people,
where drugs and sex
are easily available.
The film is divided
into episodes, each
featuring a different
character: A heroin
user who contracted HIV; a gay
man who, unable to tell his family of his
sexuality, is married and has two children; and a depressed dancer at a dance
bar. These are people that everybody
knows exist in our city, but few know
their activities, thoughts and desires.
There are startling revelations: The married gay man says that he usually has safe
sex but one day in the recent past a friend
had unsafe sex with him when he was
drunk and passed out. He admits that
there's a possibility he might be HIV
positive.
Gabbay came to Nepal in 2001 to
make "Fistful of Rice," a documentary
about malnutrition, on commission
from BBC World. That was when he met
Subina Shrestha, who worked on the
film as translator; since then they have
both been based in Kathmandu and have
made 12 films together. Shrestha usually
works on the research and the script,
while Gabbay does the directing, camera work and editing.
"To be able to
make films is a privilege," says Gabbay.
"There's no point making films if you
don't put everything you have into
them." So his eyes are always open, looking for opportunities. A project he is particularly fond of is "King for a Day." In
2001, before he came to Kathmandu,
Gabbay went to Bangladesh to make a
film commissioned by BBC World.
While he was there he noticed heavy
preparations for a 12-hour visit by Bill
Clinton, the first time an American
president visited Bangladesh. After the
film he was supposed to make was com
plete, he decided to stay an extra month
in Dhaka to make a film about the excitement and anticipation surrounding
the visit. The mode he chose to tell the
story was through the eyes of a skeptical,
lower-middle class journalist. This fictional character, when not on the streets,
stares blearily at the camera or lies in
bed smoking cigarettes and reading the
newspaper. The writer Ruchir Joshi, who
also wrote the narrative, adopts an exaggerated Bangla accent while reciting it:
"Salamalekhum! Good morning Mr.
President. Welcome to Bangladesh. Welcome to Dhaka Bangladesh. Welcome to
the capital ofthe real world here the heat
is hot and the poor are poor and floods
are floods and aid is aid. Welcome! Welcome!! Welcome!!!"
In the course of the film we meet
many characters: Workers cleaning the
streets who are unaware that they are doing so for Clinton's visit, anti-globalization demonstrators and hut-builders who
are thrilled that the "King of America" is
coming to their little village. Particularly
funny is a scene where an elderly man is
asked what he thinks about the visit of
this U.S. president, who had gone through
a sex scandal back home, to a devoutly
Muslim nation. "If it is
the will of Allah," says the
old man, "the president
will start following the
ways of Islam."
After the journalist is
not allowed to come anywhere close to the U.S.
president, he focuses instead on the people on the
street       for       whom
Clinton's visit means
nothing: No matter how much the U.S.
decides to increase garment imports from
Bangladesh, the garment workers will
still earn a single dollar a day.
Through the eyes ofthe man-on-the-
street, Gabbay and his crew create a witty
and pointed critique of globalization.
"This film cost only $1,000," says Gabbay
to belie that the common conception that
good films require immense investment.
The film commissioned by BBC World
cost 10 times more than that, but "King
for a Day" won more admirers, and it
won awards at anthropology and human
rights film festivals in the United States
and Argentina.
X
34
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Part ofthe power ofthe films Gabbay
and Shrestha make comes from their
ability to look at events as outsiders, noticing both farce and melancholy in ways
that a local would not. Though Shrestha
is native to Kathmandu, she spent some
of her formative years in Mumbai, the
United States and Buenos Aires, and her
vision of Kathmandu is detached, co
ored by her experiences elsewhere. This
is not to say that she doesn't care for the
city she grew up in: She does feel deeply
rooted in it, but finds many aspects of it
depressing. "I get upset when anyone
about Kathmandu. "I felt that tango was
an apt metaphor for my feelings about
Kathmandu," says Shrestha. "The mixture of the pain of loss with intense passion. The sweetness of pain, so to speak."
makes a negative comment about
Kathmandu," she says. "But when I
see the things here, the events in the
media, the sight of young people
wasting their potential, sometimes I just
want to leave this place."
Her conflicting feelings towards
Kathmandu are expressed in her 17-
minute visual essay "Un Amor sin la
Vida" (A Love Without Life, 2002). What
is shown is a darkened Kathmandu,
awash with rain. A lone young woman,
whose face is never clearly seen, walks
around town immersed in her solitude.
The sight of a figure lost in an urban
landscape, completely alone even
when surrounded by crowds, is reminiscent of Wong Kar Wai's Hong Kong.
The faceless passers-by she encounters are distant, and the heavy rain falling over temples in our ancient squares
contributes to the unbroken melancholy
that pervades the film. Shrestha herself
provides the narrative voice ofthe young
woman protagonist. She speaks of a tango
dancer she met in Buenos Aires, a despondent woman in love with nothing
but dancing, and then moves on to her
own ambivalent, melancholy feelings
Charges that the work is too abstract,
that the creator has been too self-indulgent in its creation and that the non-linear narrative line does not sustain the
audience's interest may be leveled against
"A Love Without Life." Shrestha admits
"the film is not for everybody." One of
her friends even described it as
"Hawa ma udayko
jasto." Still there have been times when
this acute portrayal of a woman lost in
her own city has resonated with audiences around the world. Shrestha particularly remembers a showing in
Dhaka, where audience members came
up to her to tell her that she had
exactly captured their feelings
about their own city.
So it is among small pockets
around the world that Gabbay and
Shrestha find their admirers.
Film festivals and small groups
of concerned individuals, like the
teachers' groups who watched
"Kathmandu: Untold Stories,"
remain the chief audience. There
cannot be a large market for films
of the sort Gabbay and Shrestha
make anywhere in the world, and
especially not in Nepal where distribution facilities are inadequate. "It is
important to me that Nepalis watch our
films," says Shrestha, but marketing
films like theirs isn't easy. So far the
only exposure their films have had in
Nepal are at the film festivals and twice
on Kantipur Television. There are plans
to hold showings in cafes in Thamel,
but private screenings are no substitute
for a professionally managed distribution campaign. For the time being the
pair is happy to continue creating short
films that seek to offer off-beat perspectives on everyday things instead of the
mainstream film industry's momentary
escape into collective fantasy.  □
5JSSS5=-—
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
 6A ute»H*K»i NftMiU^ Ij^j ^ ^
Irt-USrl
^fd§RT Blftiwicbl ellf^
Ji"i_w^^^gr^A^IB^i^^^ciiigi^pftj
^lM^d^ondJIi
, *ta BI..,
r.'ii.w wtuw
orrh3l:if*nHi.:L"pcir«ihatar^G.Lx:rn.r^ - www.piancJialiianva.com.iip
fltfQ ftniftnat
OTrassro?
Manufactured only from Prime Rawmatertala
 www.texworldnepal.com
EX. WORLD
Top class styles and
designs with a touch of perfection.
Fabrics to enhance your confidence
in colors to meet every mood.
Feel the difference with the world's
greatest names and the wheels are
yours to command.
£JKiGfSLl^n
i
THE PARK AVENUE
Putali Sadak, Kathmandu, Tel: 4244521
WORLD CLASS
Kumaripati, Lalitpur, Tel: 5537519
TEX.WORLD
New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Tel: 4780395
THE DESIGNER
Putalisadak, Kathmandu, Tel: 4421574
 Sense   Nonsense
ki
Messiniraq
An open letter to American presidential candidate John Kerry
BY SAMRAT UPADHYAY
Dear John,
I'm peeved at you since you're making me eat my words from my last
column, where I happily declared that you're trumping Bush on the
electoral votes projections. In the past few weeks things have changed.
Now, after the Republican National Convention, it's Bushyman The War
President who's ahead on polls, and you, Johnny Come Lately, are
scrambling to get your message straight. Good thing you came to me last
night, and we had one of your Front Porch Tour chats, with my four-year-
old Shahzadi riding her bike on the driveway and Babita watering her
flowers in this terribly middle class neighborhood in Bloomington, Indiana. The scene was as American as coconut curry—small town, happy
family, sounds of a baseball game from a nearby school, neighbors
waving hellos—except of course I and my wife still identify ourselves as
Nepalis. Since we Nepalis are well-known for offering unsolicited advice,
I can't help but tell you how to run a better campaign. I want Bush out in
November. This is how to do it:
1. ATTACK THE IDEA THAT BUSH MAKES AMERICA SAFE
The Republican convention pounded home one big lie: Bush makes
America safe. It evoked 9-11, linked Iraq to terrorism and presented
Bush asa resolute,jaw-clenching cowboy who'll keep 'em marauders
and murderers at bay. It's working. Most Americans think Bush, not you,
is better at fighting the war on terror. You need to demolish this dishonest
but brilliantly established connection between "Bush" and "safe." Your
recent slogan that "W stands for wrong—the wrongdirection for America"
is good, but not potent enough. Link "Bush" to "danger." (This might
sound sleazy but it's closer to the truth than Vice President Cheney's
suggestion that a vote for you would lead to more terrorist attacks on the
United States.) Say with conviction:
"Bush's rush to war has put America
in danger because it has spawned
more terrorists." "With no exit plan in
Iraq, Bush has put our troops in escalating danger." "The Bush
administration's intelligence failures
have made us more exposed to dangerous terrorists." Once you equate
Bush to danger and the obsessive-
compulsive American media starts
echoing your words, the public will
make the connection and the truth
will emerge: Bush is a dangerous president for America.
2. STOP THINKING IN FRENCH
Your calibrated approach to foreign
policy is backfiring; so abandon it.
Stop the "nuance" nonsense—the
American public wants clear-cut an
swers. Copy some of Bush's shoot-straight-from-hips-strategy. Offer
concise, simple answers to the complex Iraq problem, even though we
all know that Bush's simpleton approach to fighting terror has angered
the world like never before. Come to think of it, from now on whenever
you mention Iraq, use the word "mess." Iraqmess. Messiniraq. Think
like a poet, but be practical enough to tell us exactly how you'll tackle the
messiniraq. You've boldly stated that you'll get the U.S. troops out of
Iraq bythe end of your first term. Now give us a year-by-year scenario of
how you'll achieve that goal. Tell Americans, "This is how I'll fix Bush's
Iraqmess." Whether your plan will materialize is another matter, but the
public will notice your plan above Bush's no-plan. Also, remind voters
every day that people are dying in Iraq: "As of today, 1004 U.S. soldiers
and 10,000 Iraqi civilians dead in Iraqmess." Yes, emphasize that we
need not only mourn American lives—Iraqis are people too. Please say,
"Thousands dead, countless injured/maimed, millions lives shattered."
Don't hide the lump in your throat when you say this. It's okay to cry over
an insane war. Don't forget to add to your count a dozen of my Nepali
countrymen: They only wanted to work so they could send money back
home. They are the far-flung victims ofthis crappy war. Include in your
stride the sti I l-war-tom country of Afghanistan. Remind voters that the
Taliban is gaining force once again, ethnic violence is flaring up and drug
barons rule the country. Repeat after me, "Afghanistan is a mess."
3. EMBRACE THE DISENFRANCHISED
When Bush calls in on the radio show ofhis "good friend" Rush Limbaugh,
a certified racist and misogynist, you know what the Republican Party
"really" thinks. Women, blacks, gays and other minorities came out in
full-force in New York to protest the Republicans. Doesn't that tell you
something? These are the people, if you appeal to them more vigorously, who'll come out to vote for
you in November. Keep hammering away at Bush's attempt to
marginalize those who are already
marginalized: Forty five million
Americans without healthcare in
2003. Significant cuts in federal
education funding for disadvantaged kids. An attempt to put bigotry into the constitution by federally banning same-sex marriage.
Opposingminimum wage increase.
Slashing funds for childcare and
victims of domestic violence to provide tax cuts for the wealthy. Opposing affirmative action. And all
of this in just four years. Make
Americans shudder at what the
next four years might accomplish
under Bush. Yes, America is a
mess. Say that in your sleep. D
38
SEPTEMBER 26, 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
■*-
.*-
i
Moments of Bliss
By Ani Choying
yearly subscription
Ves, / 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
 No Laughing Matt
We Don't Need
No Education
Alphabet soup is not the best way to learn your ABCs
BY KUNAL LAMA
I've taken a strategic decision: I'm not going to write about current
events. This decision was imperative: My column would have been
dreadfully bleak because the events ofthe recent weeks have been
so cluelessly repetitive, with only nauseatingly minor variations. Take for
example the plight ofthe Department of Labour and Employment Promotion (DLEP) on September 14th, a terrible Black Tuesday for them,
"9/14." (Edit: In big, black, bold letters please) About 50 persons, led by
two representatives ofthe Nepal Association of Foreign Employment
Agencies (NAFEA), vandalized the offices ofthe DLEP Incredulously, the
two representatives of NAFEA were both owners of manpower agencies.
Can anyone see a vague suggestion, a faint outline, of logic emerging
here? Oh, you can? Clever you because I certainly can't.
Itwas Black Monday, "9/13," for Modem Indian School (MIS). The
story begins thus (and clearly illustrates the present state of our educational system, schools and the students, all in dire need of edification):
On Saturday, September 11, students of MIS were attacked by a
gang of students from Saipal School—armed with khukris, our national
weapon—in Golphutar. The Saipal students managed to chop off the
fingers ofthe MIS sports teacher and fracture the hand of one its students. All this over a basketball match that MIS students scored over
Saipal. On Monday, furious MIS students damaged property worth lakhs
of rupees of their own school after accusing their principal of not initiating
action against the incident on Saturday. Apparently, MIS students were
so violent that even the police could not take them under control. MIS
is closed until situation normalizes.
I want to say something, a clever commentary on this incident; write a
searingly articulate analysis ofthe troubled minds and nature of our desperately lost and misled youths—our only hope for the future—but I'm
utterly and completely dumbstruck. Imagine my shock and horror that this
wasn't an isolated case; in fact, it seems that it's all the rage for students
to rail and vent fury at their institutions to prove their point. Instances:
Padma Kanya (PK) College students locked the Department of Rural
Development (RD)—started earlier this year—on Black Sunday, "9/12,"
over issues "colored by politics" and, presumably, darkened by rumors.
The objective of RD is "to improve the standard of rural development
education in the country." The city scholars are setting an exemplary
example to theircountry cousins, then, aren't they? Well done. Bravo.
On Black Thursday, "9/9," would-be engineers from the Institute of
Engineering (IOE) at Pulchowk locked-outthe IOE admission committee
office until Tribhuvan University (TU) and the Ministry of Education and
Sports (MOES) "solve the problem of reservation quota for dalits, janajatis
and women." Furthermore, a joint press release was issued by FSU,
ANNFSU, NSU and NSU "close to" NC (D) stating that, "the indefinite
lockout was the only way out." I suppose the minds of Nepali engineers
are being thoroughly exercised battling this immensely ingenious and complex conundrum while those of other countries build machines, roads,
bridges and buildings which soar to the sky defying gravity and human
incredulity. While we luck out.
Tables were turned on Black Friday, "9/10," when temporary teachers
of public schools closed down their schools throughout the nation. The
demands the Temporary Teachers' Movement Central Committee (TTMCC)
want fulfilled—or else: displaced teachers to be given placement
and temporary teachers to be made permanent Simple enough
demands: Howterrible to hold the entire nation hostage though.
And how can they ever again hope to expect discipline and good
behavior from their students? There is a lesson here somewhere.
Even foreign governments are at it. The American Embassy
in Panipokhari has urged the Department of State in Washington to suspend the activities ofthe Peace Corps in Nepal in the
wake of "twin bomb" attacks on the American Center, in what
will be seen as a yet another Black Friday, "9/10." The news is
that Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) have been asked to leave
Nepal for six months. At least this is a not an indefinite but
defined lockout of Nepal bythe Americans. And how very sweet
of them to sweeten the sourness ofthe lockout by providing us
a million dollars in additional security assistance. Gee, thanks,
cowboy, it's gonna be real helpful.
And let's not leave out Royal Nepal Airline Corporation
(RNAC) when it comes to the unenviable tradition of lockouts.
On another Black Monday, "9/13," the RNAC Employees' Union
(RNACEU?), RNAC Employees' Association (RNACEA?) and Nepal Airlines Pilots' Association (NAPA?) gheraoed and locked out the offices of
the corporation's managing director and the board. Amongst the demands of RNACEU, RNACEA and NAPA: that RNAC be allowed to fly with
wind beneath its wings, a la Bette Midler.
RIP □
.L
40
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 k®
Development Publication House (P) Ltd.
GPO Box: 1415, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
Tel: 4410455, 4412193, 4413383, Fax: 977-1-4428743
Email: connect@mos.com.np, Web: www.nepalpages.com
and reputed organisations below join hands together for mutual progress.
BIR SINGH
AUTO
CENTRE
Super Lubricants and
Greases from Thailand
PO Box: 5697, Sitapila, Ktm
Tel: 4270243, 4276880
Fax: 977-1-428430
Email: nbs@mos.com.np
CHHIRING    CARPET
CENTER    UDHYOG
riA4"Mt4~<$tJ.CAS)ft%
PO Box: 1210, Tinchuli, Boudha, Ktm, Nepal
Tel: 4479395, 4475308, Fax: 4486017
Mobile: 9851027629
Email: cccu@enet.com.np
Web: www.chhringcarpetcenterudhyog.com
DAKALI
dakal. INDUSTRIAL
MARKETING
PVT. LTD.
Contact us at
Savitri Kunj (Beside National Trading Ltd.
102 Nakhyo Gali, Teku, Kathmandu,
Nepal Tel: 4240944, 4223996
Fax: 977-1-4245996
Email: dakali@ntc.net.np
We believe in Excellence!
And we can help you excel in
your dyeing jobs !!
iw.hi*.u>j>.t=a=mj.-ij-t.t
A UK BASED
LEADING
WORLDWIDE
EXPRESS
GPO Box: 21789, Bijuli Bazar, New
Baneshwor, Kathmandu
Tel: 4780761,4780533,4780299
Fax: 4780829,
E-mail: skyn et@wlink.com. np
Website: www.skynetwwe.com
Polyglass
Industries
GPO Box: 55,
Kupondol, Lalitpur
Tel: 5538735, 5520992
Fax: 5529171
Email: polyglass@wlink.com.np
Web: www.polyfiberglass.com
Deals with Fiberglass product
Xathmandu
%evotving
'Hestaurant
Only one Restaurant
in Kathmandu with
Revolving floor
Tel:
4224978
D.B.S. Carpet
Industries
Jorpati-3, Bouddha, Kathmandu, Nepal
P.O. Box: 20132, Tel.: 4490666
Fax: 977-1-4472529, Mobile: 98510-31454
E-mail: info@dbscarpet.com.np,
ganbacarpet@hotmail.com,
pushkal5@hotmail.com
Website: www.dbscarpet.com.np
Alpine
International
College
The first IT College
Affiliated with London
Metropolitan University
Tel:
4466666
HANS0PH0NE
EPABX
A World Class
Pioneer EPABX
Tel:
4466666
PVC
PARTITION
&  DOOR
European Standard
Product
Tel: 4466666
^.OMttcAuia Soon-
j y\ e > J
Be port of on exciting, new
all women's magazine
through your articles, photography, cartoons,
short stories, poeiryor humour.
ntriljj^y^pleasE write 1o editoriat@vow.corn.rip
■17S0394
,
Publishers al the bOSS. Shangri-la Inflight and
Casino Times magazines
 Profit
Restoring
Traditions
BYADITYA ADHIKARI
People normally get their inspiration
from constructive works: I got
mine from destruction," says
sculptor, restorer and art historian
Rabindra Puri. Belonging to a family
who boast a lineage in Bhaktapur that
goes back to the days of the Malla Period,
Puri was been fascinated by the Nepali arts from an early age, and
the rapid growth of ugly buildings has caused him a lot of pain.
His Namuna Ghar, which stands a short distance from the
Dattatreya temple in Bhaktapur, was awarded an Honorable
Mention in this year's 2004 UNESCO Heritage Awards for
Culture Heritage Conservation. Namuna Ghar is remarkable
in its creation of a modern living space out of an ancient
Newari building without infringing on the integrity of the
traditional structure. "A problem with many restoration
projects," Puri says, "is that they destroy the whole building
and then start from the ground up. I put all my energy into
using all the original materials and preserving the exact
structure of the building."
The desire to rehabilitate old struc
tures did not come suddenly to
Puri: It grew gradually from an
early age. When he was 16 he
began his restoration work by
scraping the walls of the house he
was living in. Pointing out of the
window of Namuna Ghar, he shows
us the house where he still lives with
his mother, his wife and his brother's
family: "That house is really old. I was
born there; my father and grandfather
were too," he says proudly. What is now
Namuna Ghar was, throughout his
childhood, a dilapidated, unoccupied
building. From the windows of his own
home, Puri would stare out at the nearby
building and wish he owned it and could
restore it. "People used to think this building
was haunted and used to call it Bhut Bangala,"
42
Puri says. "They used to avoid walking in front of it. When I
finally managed to buy it for seven lakhs in the 90s, it had
become a place to raise chickens. They overran the place."
To buy a derelict building and attempt to recreate it as a
hospitable living space was a big challenge for Puri, but he has
never been one to shy away from challenges. Restoration
began in 1999. At that time Puri was working fulltime as
house program officer at the German development agency,
GTZ. He recalls how he was obsessed with the creation of
the house even while he was at work. His speech is animated,
and speaking of his work clearly gives him a great deal of
pleasure. He stops for a moment searching for the right words
to describe the feeling of inspiration that drove his project.
The expression on his face and the movements of his hands
reveal his excitement and he bursts out with: "Bhitra dekhi
kaukuti lagayko jasto," like being tickled from the inside.
Building restoration isn't the only thing that "tickles"
Puri: There are many projects he feels as strongly about.
After finishing his SLC he wanted to study sculpture, but his
father wanted him to do something more practical: He
began by studying law. As soon as he realized that his law
classes would be held in the morning, he went to enroll
himself at Lalit Kala Campus for classes in sculpture. His
zeal for many different subjects
led him to complete four
Bachelor's degrees—humanities and social sciences, law,
fine arts and commerce.
While working towards his
degrees he also got a job as a
sculptor at the Patan
l      Museum, which was then
in the process of construction. He is responsible not only for some
of the sculpture there
but also for the design
of the rear patio of the
museum and the
model of
Boudhanath that
still occupies a
prominent
position on the
second floor. In
1993, Puri, then
1004   |  nation weekly
 \V
'■--
HARMONY: Creating a model
living space out of an ancien
Newari building
24, went to Germany to study sculpture. After a semester
he decided that while he was there it would be wise to take
a degree in something practical, so he went on to study
development policy at the University of Bremen. Initially
it was difficult for him, as all classes were held in German,
but he persisted, mastered German and went on to
graduate with distinction.
"I don't understand people who just want to hold a nine
to five job and then hurry home to drink and play cards
with their friends," says Puri. "My philosophy has always
been to work 16 hours a day, no matter what. Out of those
hours I try to sell the work of eight of them."
With a far off look in his eyes Puri continues: "My
dream is..." Then as though catching himself he looks
straight at this reporter and smiles: "One is permitted to
dream, is he not? My dream is to restore the entire village
of Panauti, to make a modern city using only our traditional architecture." Bhaktapur already has too many new
buildings to create such a project. Panauti, in comparison,
is untouched by the types of buildings
that now dominate most of the Valley.
Puri has already completed restoration
work on a home in Panauti and is now
working on others. He is also involved in
the creation of a traditional-style hotel in
Bhaktapur and the development of a
homeopathic institute there.
After he left GTZ in 2001, Puri met
two Spaniards, Fernando Palazuelo and
Jose Ojeda, who work on restoring old
apartments in Spain. With their help, there
are plans to create two "leisure centers" in
Bhaktapur. "It is no longer possible to
stand in a place in Bhaktapur and only see
traditional architecture all around," says
Puri. "The purpose of the leisure centers
is to create a circle of structures, where, if
one stands in the center, it will be like reentering the ancient city."
He continues to work on his sculpture,
teaches sculpture and Nepali art history at
Kathmandu University and has plans to
write books on Newari architecture and on
the tools used by traditional craftsmen. "I
have to write," Puri says. "I have done a lot
of research, and I can't let that go to waste."
Puri has found a way to bridge the past
with the future. He still lives with his
extended family, in the same place where
his family has lived for generations. His
inspirations arise from what lies in his
immediate surroundings, and his preoccupation is to change his surroundings in
ways that are in harmony with the traditional order. His pursuit is to demonstrate
how traditional culture, which many
perceive as dead, can in fact be rehabilitated
and given a new dynamism. □
43
 CHY ThisWeek
rnporo BVfcL   ■
an it a &
Anita and Me
SEPTEMBER 21
Anita and Me, written for the
screen by Meera Syal from her
best-selling novel of the same
name, is a coming-of-age film
about Meena, an British-born
Indian girl and her 14 year old
blonde neighbor, Anita. Each
character in the film is ■well developed ■without seeming to rely
on stereotypes and caricature.
Dawdling around these two
characters, "Anita and Me" is hilarious, thoughtful and in the
end quite touching. Cast: Max
Beesley Sanjeev Bhaskar, Anna
Brewster, Kathy Burke, Ayesha
Dharker. Director: Metin
Huseyin.
Ghost and the Darkness
SEPTEMBER 26
John Paterson was sent to East
Africa to build a railway bridge.
He had a deadline to meet and
was confident he and his large
workforce of Africans and Indians ■would get the job done on
time. Someone to keep his word,
John demonstrates his skills by
killing a pestering lion on his first
day. This earned John respect, but
it didn't last very long. A few
weeks later two man-eating lions start to interrupt his work.
After losing dozens of ■workers,
the railroad company brings in
Remington, an American '"great
white hunter," to take care ofthe
problem, but even his reputation
for being the best cannot prevent
yet more carnage. Cast: Michael
Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom
Wilkinson, John Kani, Bernard
Hill. Director: Stephen Hopkins.
Show timing: 7.p.m.
Funds received will be used
for a charitable cause. For information: 4428549.
Insignificant
Details of Life
ar|
m
I
.
T^"
■. -^
"A
-r>
Ljfi
Pfl
- t
?--
*   -
r.;;
_L
Markjordans, a Dutch artist, puts on show his collection of paintings "Insignificant Details of Life" at Siddhartha Art Gallery. Jordan has been living in Nepal for over five years and ■works as a child
psychologist for the Centre for Victims of Torture. His first solo
exhibition was held in April 2003 in Kathmandu. His work evolves
around depicting the intensity, beauty and meaning of the details
in his life. In this exhibition, he again tries to create images from
the search of such details.
Date: September 16-24.
NEXT: Solo exhibition,
titled "The Faces ofTime and
the Colors of Sensibility," by
eminent painter and cartoonist Durga Baral. In the
exhibition, Baral makes a
statement about the present
conflict that is ravaging the
country. Date: September
26-October 9. At the
Siddhartha Art Gallery. For
information: 4218048.
Seafood Experience At Hyatt
The seafood festival at the Rox Restaurant beckons
guests with an exotic, lavish and tempting spread.
Be it the luscious lobsters, crispy crabs or savory
prawns dipped in palate tantalizing sauces, the
wide-ranging menu offers scrumptious dishes. Chef
Narender Singh and his team will prepare the food
at sight in an interactive open kitchen. This will allow
diners to watch the chefs in action as they conjure
up innovative seafood. The seafood festival is accompanied by an array of selected and exotic wine. Date: September
15-25. For information: 4491234.
44
Parking facilities available
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 For insertions: 2111102
or editorial@nation.com.np
Page
Cine Club
Movie: Les diaboliques (1954).
Director: Henri-Georges
Clouzot. Starring: Jean
Brochard. At the Alliance
Francaise, Tripureshwor. Date:
September 26. Time: 2 p.m. For
information: 4241163.
Sunsilk Nepal
Fashion Week
IEC is organizing
""\ the Sunsilk
Nepal Fashion
Week. Here is a
chance to feast
your eyes on
the country's
most glamorous
fashion collections from
Nepal's leading
designers. At
Hotel Yak &
Yeti. Date:
September
2 4-30.
Time: 6 -
9 p.m.
Fashion
show followed by dinner and
dance at Club Platinum @ Rs.
600. For information:
4247475.
Working Together
Against torture
Centre for Victims of Torture
(CVICT) is organizing a interaction program on "The Role of
Media in Eradication of T
orture." At the Park Village Hotel, Budhanilkantha. Date: September 20-21. Time: 8:30 a.m. -
1:15 p.m.
Discover Thimi
After three successful years, The
Thimi Festival-2061 is all set to
hit the streets once again. Enjoy
the breath taking landscapes and
the culturally rich civilization of
the city. Date: September 25-26.
This Week At
Martin Chautari
Open discussions at Martin
Chautari, Thapathali. Participation is open to all. For information: 4256239, 4240059.
SEPTEMBER 21
MANGALBARE DISCUSSION
Topic: Development Management During the Current
Conflict Situation. Pundit:
Mohan   Das   Manandhar,
ODC Inc. Time: 5 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 23
MEDIA DISCUSSION
Film @ Chautari (show and discussion):  Michael  Curtiz's
Casablanca (1942, 1 hour 14
mins). Time: 3 p.m.
ONGOING
Exclusive Ladies
Night At Hyatt
Ladies do you ever feel like
having a blast with your
friends? We have an exclusive
ladies night for you. Join us
to have fun every Wednesday
at the Rox Bar. Swing to the
beat of our live band—The
Cloud Walkers or Dj Raju will
cater to the needs of the dance
floor. Time: 7 p.m. onwards. For
information: 4491234
Fusion Bar @
Dwarika's
Abhaya and The Steam
Injuns play blues, jazz &
more at the Fusion Bar,
Dwarika's. Every Friday
from 7 p.m. onwards. Rs.
555 plus tax per person, includes BBQ dinner, a can
of beer or soft drink. For
information: 4479488.
Food program
Special barbeque lunch
(chicken, fish, mutton) at restaurant Kantipur, Club
Himalaya. Every Sunday. Price:
Rs 500 per person. For information: 6680080, 6680083.
Rock @ Belle Momo
Steel Wheels, a rock 'n roll band,
at the Belle Momo, Durbar
Marg. Also enjoy Belle Combo
meal. Every Friday 6:30p.m. on-
wards.Forinfbrmation: 4230890.
SHOWING AT
JAI NEPAL CINEMA
FOR INFORMATION: 4442220
TOM   CRUISE      J'-AMI       FOXX
t MICHAEL MANN mi v U;
COLLATERAL
the most awaited album of our tirru
Moments of
now availabl
at all leading music stor
arketed by
Moments of
The Bluestar Building, GPO Box 21116
Tripureswar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 4242572, Fax: 4241529
tx
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
45
 :&mk>
«
>|..
ise your freedom
Freedom is a state of mind. Express it the way you
think it. Freedom is a precious gift. Cherish it. Freedom
lives within you. Unleash its spirit.
The Himalayan Times is all about freedom. Freedom of
thought and expression. Freedom of knowledge and
information. Freedom without mental boundaries. Freedom
is calling. Are you up to it?
The Himalayan
GREAT    NEWSPAPER
 Lifestyle
Coffeehouse culture is on
the wane, but there is still
hope
BYAJITBARAL
Tn his book "Gone Away," Indian poet
Dom Moraes tells how his poetic
sensibilities ■were shaped by endless
discussions ■with fellow ■writers and artists in the 1940s' London over tea, coffee
and drinks at pubs and coffeehouses.
Coffeehouses, teashops and pubs
have been the meeting place for artists,
■writers and academics worldwide; there
they discuss various abstruse subjects.
Poets Andre Breton and Paul Valery and
artists Picasso and George Braque shared
ideas on surrealism, both in art and ■writing, in the pubs and coffeehouses of
Paris. Poets Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and
their contemporaries ■would spend hours
on end discussing the craft of ■writing in
the pubs and coffeehouses. Closer
home, many fiery communists talked
about revolution, Marx, Sartre, Kafka,
Camus in the addas, coffeehouses in
1970s Calcutta, thick with smoke and
the smell of rum.
Nepal has had its own share of chiya
pasals where poets and novelists
launched literary and democratic movements. Scholar Lok Raj Baral and senior
advocate Ganesh Raj Sharma deliberated
on the political trajectory of Nepal at
the chiya pasals of New Road, Ratna Park
and Dilibazaar in the 80s. And literary
figures like Tirtha Shrestha, Sarubhakta
and Usha Sherchan carried out sahitya guff
(literary discussions) at Aamako
Chiyapasal in Bagar, Pokhara.
Pubs and coffeehouses have long
been places ■where people from different ideological persuasions and academic backgrounds regularly meet to
share information, discuss politics, art
and literature. Many established con
ventions have been shattered and new
ones formed over endless rounds of coffee. As importantly, people have become
more open to opposing views.
Of late, however, the coffeehouse and
chiya pasal culture has been on the wane
worldwide. In the process, its tenor has
been changing as well. Columnist CK
Lai says that once political economy used
to dominate the talks, but now art and
literature are more common topics.
Says Lai, "Coffee culture is dying out
even in France, the bastion of cafe klatch
culture." He thinks the slow death
started with the fall of the Berlin Wall
and the march of the market economy.
Traditionally, left leaning intellectuals
have been the energy behind addas and
guff sessions. But with the disintegration
of the Soviet Union and the march of
globalization, leftist intellectuals have
become disillusioned ■with Marxism and
shed their high idealism. They have become pragmatists, and many of them have
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
47
 been co-opted by the development
"business."
The development sector offers
more than $60 per hour to write reports. Who would then want to waste
two to three hours in idle discussion,
however important the issues may be
for personal growth or to society? Better to stay at home and jab furiously at
the computer preparing reports to satisfy the NGOs and their donors. Lai
says, "Friends in the U.S. have told me
that they have seen the revival of coffee culture." Surprisingly, it's thanks
to the development industry. "The urban crowd [meaning intellectuals who
live on consultancies] is growing in
America," says Lai. "They do
consultancies for various organizations
for two or three months and live on
that money for the rest of year, spending time at pubs and coffeehouses ■with
likeminded people, brainstorming
ideas that they could sell."
Suresh Dhakal, a regular at one of
Kathmandu' premier guff addas, located
in Chabahil, says that attempts are being
made to renew the old tradition of coffee culture.
Sociologist Chaitanya Mishra, writer
and poet Govinda Bartman, novelist and
columnist Khagendra Sangroula meet
every evening for tea at Chabahil. Another group comprising political analysts
and ■writers Krishna Khanal, Lok Raj
Baral, Krishna Hachhethu, Hari Sharma,
Abhi Subedi meet each day at the
Mandala Book Point at Kantipath,
browse through for new arrivals and head
to a nearby coffee shop. In tea shops
around Pipal Bot, New Road, another
set of literary writers meet each day, pore
over newspapers and take up just about
every single subject.
One common refrain among those
■who occasionally take part in these conversations is that these guff centers are
mostly confined to the middle-aged
people and are hubs for a set of retirees.
They seldom care to induct new companions, especially those from the
younger generation. As
a result, they end up recycling the same old
ideas and attitudes over
and over.
This also perhaps
points at a changing
urbanscape. The chiya
pasals ■were especially
vibrant before 1990
■when there ■was not a
single daily newspaper
of repute and the private
media ■was nonexistent. The Internet and
television as sources of information ■were
still in their infancy. So the addas ■were the
primary forum for discussions and also
hubs to exchange information and gossip.
Not everyone though seems to be
happy ■with the new-age information
overload, offered by countless TV chan-
Not everyone though
seems to be happy
with the new-age
information overload.
offered by countless
TV channels
nels, newspapers and the Internet. A
small group of youths in their late 20s,
for example, is running Philosphy
Manch. Their idea is to fill the lacuna of
philosophy discussion in Nepal. They
meet twice every month at Trichandra
Campus. Last Saturday, they discussed
"How to approach darshan shastra."
Bichar Shibir meets at least once a
■week, mostly in Kirtipur. The young
participants read out stories, discuss
books and essays over tea. One of the
Shibir members, Netra Acharya, ■who is
■working on a Master's thesis on
Nietzsche, says, "Knowledge is power.
So much information
passes around you that
if you don't put a tab
on it, you feel dated
quickly."
The more the talk
forums, the merrier.
"If a group of people
meet once a week, or
better, each day, that
does help them update themselves ■with
lots of information,"
says Acharya. "Not all the people read
or hear the same thing and everyone in
the group always has one new thing or
another to share." Early this month as
Kathmandu was slowly returning to normalcy after a nasty riot, the group discussed "Nietzsche as a Poet" at a chiya
pasal in Anamnagar.   □
48
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Yeti Airlines
Proposed Revised Flight Schedule
(Covering remote sectors)
Effective from 16 SEP - 31 DEC04
From
To
Flight No.
Days of         Dep.            Arr.                    Rupee                          Dollar
Operation      Time          Time                  Tariff                            Tariff
One way                      One way
Remarks
Kathmandu
lukla
YA 111
Daily
0700
0735
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA101
Daily
0705
0740
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA103
Daily
0710
0745
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA105
Daily
0715
0750
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YA107
Daily
0840
0915
1665
91
DHC-6/300
Lukla
YAH 3
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
Nepalgunj
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
YA102
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
Kathmandu
YA172
Daily
1120
1155
1340
79
DHC-6/300
Rumjatar
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
ISimara
Kathmandu
YA142
Daily
1410
1435
970
55
DHC-6/300
Kathmandu                   YA144                      Daily           1540                  1605                            970                             55              DHC-6/300
Subject 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 OUTSTATIONSTELEPHONE NUMBERS
AIRPORT OFFICE BIRATNAGAR   021-536612/536613 (City sales office)
4493901   4493428 021-523838 (Airport)
061 -530016 (Cty sales office)
061-532217 (Airport)
081-526556/526557 (City sales office)
081-550637 (Airport)
POKHARA
BHADRAPUR
071-527527 (Cty sales office)
071-527528 (Airport)
023-522232 (Cty sales office)
023-522242
 fF
3
•
^?^fer
Nepal's youth team is the best in South Asia. Let's now
see how they fare against the titans—-Japan, Vietnam and
host Malaysia.
BY SUDESH SHRESTHA
After a string of disappointments
from the national team in recent
years, fans hope the youth brigade
will salvage some of the lost pride. The
Under-20 team headed for Malaysia last
■week to participate in the Asian championship.
The All Nepal Football Association,
ANFA, has reasons for hope, thanks to a
youth program initiated by ANFA President Ganesh Thapa three years ago. This
is the first time that Nepal has made it
through to the second round of Asian-
level competition since 1990. "Nepal is
the only country from the South Asian
region to have qualified for the AFC
Youth Championship in Malaysia," says
Thapa.
The 18-member team led by coach
Shyam Thapa left for Thailand last ■week
The Nepali youth team plays three
friendly matches, two with the Thai Under-20 team and one with a premier club,
before heading for Malaysia. The 15-na-
tion competition kicks off on September
25. The final will be played on October 9,
and the top four teams qualify for the
FIFA World Youth Championships to be
held in the Netherlands next year.
Following an impressive performance in the qualifying leg in Bangladesh
last December, Nepal is anxious to keep
the momentum going. Nepal beat Pakistan 3-0 and held Bangladesh to a 1-1 draw
to qualify on goal difference.
"For now, all we are aiming at is to get
across the group stage," says Thapa. "That
would be the first step toward ANFA's
ambition of at least reaching the level of
second-tier countries in Asia." He hopes
the friendly matches in Thailand will give
the Nepali team much-needed exposure
in the run-up to the competition in Malaysia. "It is not entirely impossible if the
boys remain focused on the task at hand
in Malaysia," he adds.
But that will not be
easy. Nepal is in Group
A alongside Asian powerhouses Japan, Vietnam
and hosts Malaysia.
Nepal, ranked 35th in
Asia, has suffered huge
defeats abroad. In Malaysia its opening encounter is against Japan, arguably the strongest football country in Asia. The September 25 encounter is followed by
games against Vietnam on September 27
and Malaysia on September 29.
"We are not an excellent team, but
we are at least a good team, especially
when you take into consideration our
conditions and compare them to Japan's,"
says Shyam Thapa, the former Indian international, who was roped in recently
Football has made
rapid strides in recent
times, especially at
the grassroots
by ANFA as a coach for youth teams. "It
is important that the boys don't lose their
concentration for even a few minutes."
The players were put through tough
physical training for over a month and a
lot of planning has gone into getting the
right combination of players.
"We are now seeing a lot of progress
in our team work," team captain and goalkeeper Bikash Malla told Nation Weekly
before leaving for Malaysia. "I can assure you everybody ■will do their best.
For me, as a team leader, it is always about
trying to win my next game."
Regardless ofthe outcome in Malaysia, Shyam Thapa, a battle hardened coach,
insists that Nepal has a bright future.
Football has made rapid strides in recent times, especially
at the grassroots level,
he says, referring to
ANFA's youth development program. The
fact that investment in
youth guarantees a
good return was underscored in the recently concluded
AFC Asian Cup, where Japan and China,
both with strong youth programs, dominated. Japan clinched the title; China finished second.
"Our youth program marks the beginning of a production line which allows Nepal a battery of young players to
cement our place in the international
arena," coach Thapa says with confidence. But football fans want to see these
claims translated into results. □
50
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 A
Available in all Leading Stores in Nepal
2*
ar warranty
,
Year* warranty
Refrigerator
Wathjng Machine
Television
\'\--\-\:--i:-.: in i \-.j-A br. '■'.. ■'. rj'-.<■.-■.., r.:.,\:=:\\i-.?.■'..
 Snapshots
BY DHRITI BHATTA
European Diva
LAKY ZSUSSANNA, Miss
Europe 2003, is a natural beauty.
She needs no media hype, no self-
promotion. The European diva ■was
in Nepal last ■week to attend
WOCO-2004. Organized by the
Round Table Nepal, a youth
forum, the seven-day event ■was
aimed at giving an in-depth
view of Nepal and Nepali
culture. The reason she was
here: To lobby for WOCO-
2007 to be held in her
native Hungary. As for
her experience in
Nepal, Zsussanna said
she loved the country
and ■wanted to come
back again. Aged
only 20, she has a
lifetime ahead of
her to do just that.
BIG LEAGUE
Among millions oF websites your
website has to stand out in the
consumer's eye. It is imperative
that in addition (o information it
is visually striking., easy to use,
made secure by the latest
technologies and promoted
though'fully. Wo help you do
jus! that!
Nearly a year after his triumph in the Manhunt Nepal,
SHURID JYOTI is all set to make it big. He is headed to
Manhunt International 2004 which will be organized later
this year in China. "As the program was postponed last
February due to the SARS epidemic, I have already completed the preparations to some extent," says Jyoti confidently. He will be performing a lakhe dance for the talent
round. A U.S.-educated industrial engineer, he is currently
working as a project manager for the Jyoti Group. He has
the looks, the brain and the confidence. Well, he has it all.
Fi'td inu< .-'tvo □■
wwwrdrea msc nd ideas rcom
^dreams&ideas1
■StorViCB ftrmWfcrarf frac. Pml & Mnl»nnrta
Kcthncnrlij Nepal
Crll <?B 1547"7. vfl 105270fl
Tj JJiMMPFq. JIJMBJI
Natural-born Artist
PRAMILA BAJRACHARYA's second
solo painting exhibition, "Nature and
Eternity," started last week at the Park
Gallery. Her first painting exhibition in
2002, "Images of
Landscape," was a
success: She received the Arniko
Yuwa Puraskar for the
year. Her new exhibition, with 40 paint
ings, shows her deep concern for nature.
On show are semi-abstract oil and acrylic
paintings of her surroundings. She is a
founding member of Kastamandap Art
Studios. "I always
had a habit of scribbling whatever I had
in my mind," says
Bajracharya. "That
habit turned into my
L
 II
REQUIRED BUSINESS
DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS
We are looking for young self driven
BBAs & MBAs from a good
business school (age 25-35 yrs)
and endowed with a
pleasing personality and excellent
communication skills,
ability to lead a team, train and
effectively motivate them for
Third Party Administration business
in the domain of Healthcare Service.
Candidates having experience in
marketing of services, TPA or
Healthcare Services will
be an added benefit.
Interested candidates should
sent their resume with
application within 7 days.
Application should be
addressed to Managing Director.
Medicover
Consultancy
Your Health Plan Advisor
Radha bhawan, Tripureshwor
Post Box: 10176, Kathmandu
Tel: 2013335, Fax: 4227791
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 |   SEPTEMBER 26, 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^
AXIS
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 !!
»
You could too!
WARNING; Please beware of
fake marketing gimmicks we can
help you choose the right University
Executive
Member of ECAN
%tm 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
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 To advertise contact nation weekly      g±u    ^   ■£■    j
Tel: 2111102, 4229825. Email: ad@nation.com.np      If IdSSITIGCI
Kathmandu
Office
Thamel,
Tel : 429820
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.
At CrossKitehen you don't need to worry
about safety of food-
He have an open kitchen
so you cm see for yourself
where and how your food is prepared.
Mw • *
i^HHEA,il       hi r
Our mtdep Tun is ready ta serve yau
de|lgh?£ of French aid rndian cuitimeti
ddly from 10 nm nil 10 pm.
Kids' Corner and Men
Daily Special
Problem): parking your cor?
Call and ftc'll tell you •fthcrcTa park
lei. 5B3!0-B3BQfi,ma|: craaetatctmiinf^nhna.tiam
O-a&ltfrdien is situxltd In Lazhtfiar.
adjaceitf to shangriLa haTeel
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
55
 Leading The Charge
It's been a victory of sorts for the media. They have
made the Maoist leadership come out with an apology
for atrocities committed against them. In a statement
last week, the Maoists even directed their cadres to keep
their hands off journalists. No other professional group I
has dared publicly rebuke the rebels so strongly as the I
media have done in the past month and none has
gotten the Maoists to acknowledge their
mistakes so openly. And leading the
charge is Taranath Dahal, president of
the Federation of Nepalese Journalists.
In a letter sent to the federation, the
Maoists said they are committed to press
freedom and apologized for the killing
of journalist Dekendra Thapa and others. Satish Jung Shahi talked to Dahal
about the Maoist response to the media
outrage and the role ofthe media during
the conflict.
How do you view the Maoist statement
saying they have no intention of attacking the media?
It is the first time that the Maoists
have addressed any institution—in this
case, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists. They have admitted their mistakes, guaranteed press freedom and have
expressed their commitment to take the
media criticism positively. More importantly they now have to translate their
commitment into actions. They still
have two journalists in their custody
Daan Bahadur Rokka (Radio Nepal) and
Kul Bahadur Malla (Karnali Sandesh).
The Maoists are still insisting that the
journalists need to inform them in advance of any visits to their aadhar
chetras...
We are opposed to that. We want free
movement ofthe press. This we demand
of both the Maoists and the security
forces. There should be no obstruction
of news collection. The Maoists say the
security forces are disguising themselves
as journalists to enter their areas, but we
say we will be more vigilant and will try
to stop that, if that's the case. But at least
the commitment to a free press has come
in writing. It is a historical achievement.
What has been the Maoist
record so far?
In the past, their apologies, as when they
killed journalist Gyanendra Khadka,
came through interviews and writings
by their senior leaders. This time, it came
in the form of a clearly worded public
statement. However, we are well aware
that this could just be a ploy to revamp
their public image. We do not take their
word at face value.
We do not take the
Maoists' words at face
value. We are well
aware that this could
just be a ploy.
Still, this may not sound fair to others:
That it's all right to kill others as long
as you keep your hands off the press?
I have spoken time and again in meetings with other professional associations such as the FNCCI and educational institutions to ask the Maoists to
make clear their agenda regarding these
sectors. There must be a lot of debate
on these subjects but also on the Maoist
claims of government atrocities. At
least, the modest success of the federation has given the society some confidence. First and foremost, we protested
as a united front. That should be a lesson for all others.
X
Still, why should the media matter so
much when everyone is suffering?
Right now, the press is the only forum
that allows people from all walks of life
to express their views. There is no Parliament, no elected local bodies, nor an
elected government. The press has an
important role to play to resolve the current crisis. We're not demanding a privilege; only protection to perform our
own duties well. Journalists have to report from conflict areas and on issues
that may neither please the security
forces or the Maoists. But such is our
job.
How would you describe the situation
of journalists in present-day Nepal?
Journalists are at a high risk even while
performing their normal day-to-day
routine. The conflict has vastly increased the dangers they are exposed
to. Our role is to discourage militarization from either of the parties to the
conflict.
Do you think that the press lacks
analysis and we have routinely been
used by political parties, leaders,
various interest groups, even the
Maoists?
Our history of professional journalism
is very short. It's only been a decade. It is
not wrong to have ideological beliefs,
either political or otherwise. But it is
wrong if one violates the professional
ethics of journalism. However, it is
worse to divide journalists and take action against them just because of their
beliefs, as both the state and the Maoists
have been doing.    □
56
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Books
Life's Lessons in Literature
Azar Nafisi taught literature in Iran's top universities until
she was driven underground by the Islamic republic. She
kept on teaching in her home, using books to teach her
students about their own world.
BY KARUNA CHETTRI
Reading Tolita In Tehran" by Azar
Nafisi is a powerful, passionate
and compassionate memoir that
depicts the insatiable desire for intellectual freedom in revolutionary Iran. The
period was rife with anti-American, anti-
western sentiments and movements
against western books, movies, television shows and clothes. Nafisi, who
taught literature at the University of
Tehran, the Free Islamic University and
the University of Allameh
Tabatabai in Iran, was expelled from the University of
Tehran for refusing to wear a
veil. The book shows her love
for literature, which shone
through in her determination to
continue teaching in the privacy
of her home and away from the intrusive and condemning eyes ofthe
Islamic republic.
Nafisi reads heartrending excerpts
from the controversial novel "Tolita"
by   the   brilliant writer Vladimir
Nabokov to her class of seven female
students. They meet clandestinely in her
home to discuss works from western literature, works banned and illegalized by
the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini. "Please
remember ladies and gentlemen of the jury
that this child [12 years old], had she lived
in the Islamic Republic [of Iran], would
have been long ripe for marriage to men
older than Humbert." explains Nafisi, as
she reads: "I am going to tell you something very strange: it was she who seduced
me.. .not a trace of modesty..."
Nafisi deliberately selects "Tolita,"
which tells the story of a defenseless, hurt
and lonely 12-year-old girl who is raped
by Humbert, her guardian. Nafisi sees a
strong analogy to the rape and torture of
Iran and Iranians by the Islamic republic. "We are not against cinema, we are
against prostitution," Khomeini had proclaimed as his henchmen set fire to the
movie houses. The parallel drawn between the regime and the evil, lecherous protagonist of "Tolita" is that both
defend their acts of destruction with
rhetoric meant to appeal to the higher
sense of morality Hence, with determination, Nafisi applies literature to real
life in Iran to expose the vilification of
the innocent in the name
of an obscure
5-S3#
A**
r£I
greater
good for society.
Nafisi has loosely divided "Reading
Tolita in Tehran" into four sections; each
for a novel she has picked out for her
literature class:  "Tolita" is an analogy
for the loss of innocence and life; F.
Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
stands for loss of lives in pursuit of a
fantasy; Henry James' "Daisy Miller"
is an analogy for the quiet courage,
strength and rebellion against the oppression of her students; and Jane
Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" helps
create a parallel fantasy for Nafisi's students, who are helplessly trapped in a
culture of frenzied frustration resulting from a totalitarian government.
Azar Nafisi has the magical ability to
wield words into powerful images to coax
the reader down the humiliating path of a
woman's life and identity in a repressed
society Iran is wracked with confusing
Islamic slogans and riddled with suppressed sexual energy; both of these point
accusatory fingers at the "immoral,"
"makeup-wearing," "hair-showing" western influenced provocation of the "sexually corrupt" and "morally bankrupt" unveiled woman. Although her pontification
is devoid of drama, the realities of a revolutionary Iran under Khomeini and during the Iraq-Iran war unfold like a
woman's worst nightmares: She could be
jailed, whipped or expelled from university just for the way she ate a peach in
public! However, Nafisi allows her readers a small hope, a tiny flickering light in
the ink-black darkness of despair. It is
the light of intellectual and verbal free-
, dom exercised by her young students
("her girls" as she calls them) during
the analytical discussions in the se-
I   crecy of her home.
In 1997 Nafisi and her family
were  finally  allowed  to  leave
Tehran. They settled in Washington D.C. Nafisi is currently a
professor  at Johns  Hopkins
University in Baltimore. Tike
{   anyone   forced  by  circumstances and in search of a better future, she left Iran with
mixed feelings of guilt and a
sense of relief. However, in
doing so Nafisi left a piece
of herself in each one of her
students, a hope of a better tomorrow and her perpetual love of literature. As Geraldine Brooks, author of
"Nine Parts of Desire and Year of Wonders," said, "The ayatollahs don't know
it, but Nafisi is one of the heroes of the
Islamic Republic." Indeed, she is!  □
nation weekly |   SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
57
 NEPAL PASHMINA INDUSTRY
n: Soohea Mode (On the way to Hotel Soahee)
Thamel Showroom: Opposite SaiKhoykosh building
Ibl: 4-273292,277023,283644 | fat 4-270092
Email: npi@moicorn.np | Vhb: www.napalpashminaindvslr]uo
-; i i - -j r
V  A   £  T  H  A
cHDTOCLUB ®BnMOH77U
Last Word
rc
Press in Peril
In the conflict that has gripped Nepal
since 1996," says the New York-based
Committee to Protect Journalists,
"both state security forces and Maoist
rebels have carried out attacks on journalists. Incidents have increased since
the breakdown of the ceasefire in August 2003."
The statement by CPJ, which advocates for press freedom worldwide,
came on August 18, two days after journalist Dekendra Thapa's death at the
hands of the Maoists.
Indeed, the press has been a major
casualty since the ceasefire collapsed a
year ago. Two journalists have been
killed—both by the Maoists and both
over unfounded charges of spying for the
government. Gyanendra Khadka, the
Sindhupalchowk reporter
for the news agency RSS,
was brutally murdered last
September in his village:
The rebels tied his hands
to a volleyball pole and slit
his throat.
Tast month, the wife of
the Dailekh-based reporter of Radio Nepal Dekendra Thapa
found that her repeated pleas to the
Maoists to release her 34-year-old husband from their custody had fallen on
deaf years.
In total, 13 journalists have been
killed since the "people's war" began in
1996. Ten of them were killed by the security forces, according to the FNJ, the
largest press union in the country. Currently two journalists remain in Maoist
custody and three others in government
custody.
Many Nepalis have correctly asked
why the press is making such a big noise
about its own safely when just about everybody has been indiscriminately targeted by both parties to the conflict. We
do not believe that the press as a group
should enjoy any more privilege than
other Nepali citizens as far as their personal safely is concerned. In fact as a claimant to be the custodian of the society it is
the responsibility of the press to advocate
for the safely of every single citizen, including all professional groups.
Still, the safely of journalists is right
at the heart of what a democracy stands
for. Indeed, it is indispensable, if a society is to remain functional. Journalists
travel to troubled spots to keep the citizenry informed, and it is important that
they get to see and hear firsthand what
has transpired on the ground, without
fearing for their lives or safety. Their
writings help others make up their
minds about, for example, the casualty
figures, how the Army bungled its much
publicized attempt to win the local
population's hearts and minds and the
threat to VDC officials from the
Maoists.
A number of reporters, especially
those based in troubled spots outside
Kathmandu, tell us they work under constant threats from both the
security forces and the
Maoists. There is intense
pressure on them to "balance" their stories, lest one
side assume that they belong to the enemy camp.
Some journalists even acknowledge that they have
on odd occasions filed stories, or given
their stories slants, just to keep their tormentors at bay. Two journalists—from
Gorkhapatra and Rajdhani—recently fled
their villages in Dailekh because the
rebels were not too pleased with what
they wrote: The Maoist extortion rings
were demanding steep levies.
Violence and threats from the
Maoists and the security forces will continue to have a chilling effect on press
freedom. And this plague, already at an
alarming level outside Kathmandu, is all
set to invade the capital. What we demand from both the security forces and
the Maoists is more than token statements on their commitments to press
freedom. A free press is vital, for it brings
in moderation. And without moderation,
the polarization between the warring
parties will only deepen.
Akhilesh Upadhyay, Editor
SEPTEMBER 26, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Medicover
Consultancy
Your Health Plan Advisor
Note: This is for First Aid purpose and works as advisor. However for treatment one will have to visit health service provider (clinic / hospital).
 

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.1-0365029/manifest

Comment

Related Items