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Nation Weekly July 4, 2004, Volume 1, Number 11 Upadhyay, Akhilesh 2004-07-04

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 THAMEL'S BUBBLES I KHOTANG UNDER THE GUN I COMMUNITY COP
JULY 4, 2004 VOL. I, NO. 11
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JULY 4, 2004
VOL. I, NO. 11
COVER: Kishor Kayastha (9851052778)
PHOTO: Sagar Shrestha
18 The Chairs Are Still
Empty
By Satishjung Shahi
While the wrangling inside and
between the parties over prized
ministerial seats continues, the nation is
waiting
26 Under The Gun
By Deepak Khanal
People working in governmental and
non-governmental organizations say the
same thing about Diktel, though in different languages
28    Negative Economy
By Sunil Pokhrel
Vegetable giants have opened offices in
Banepa which finance farmers' purchases of the essentials for planting.
Farmers who take the financing must sell
all their produce to the financiers, who
fix the price ofthe harvest
COVER STORY
20 Nepal On Tier 2
By Sushmajoshi
Nepali parents find their children living a life of servitude in an Indian circus.
But they also find out that trying to extract their own children from the circus
can be dangerous
Opinion: We Have Lessons To Learn by SalinaJoshi
Interview with: Khem Thapa of NCWF and Gauri Pradhan of CWIN
COLUMNS
11 Court Calls
Byjogendra Ghimire
The Army should obey the court orders
before more and more Nepalis start
wondering: does it have a moral superiority over those it is fighting against?
30 Constitutional Craft
By Swarnim Wagle
And, so, it's now official.
The 1990 Constituion
needs a handsome
upgradeand these big questions need quick answers:
38 Guru Of
Meandering
By Samrat Upadhyay
The wisdom of a teacher isn't located in
his brain. It emerges, often beautifully,
from the interaction among the teacher,
the students, and the text
40 Unwanted Guests
ByMera Thomson
I believe that the majority of foreigners
living in Nepal have chosen to be here
out of a genuine desire to contribute to
the country's development. But the government does not make it easy for us
BUSINESS
32   Picturing The World
ByBaishaliBomjan
Digiplus brings world-class
technology to Nepal
a
ARTS & SOCIETY
34   Doors Of
Perception
By Tiku Gauchan
Robert Powell's paintings are of everyday
sights that we overlook but there is no
denying the power they can have over you
36  The Belly Of the
Beast
By Kirsty Fisher
Thamel seems to have developed as a
result ofthe demands of those who claim
to want "the real Nepal"
DEPARTMENTS
6 LETTERS
10 PICTURE OF THE WEEK
14 CAPSULES
16 BIZ BUZZ
39 CITY PAGE
44 KHULA MANCH:  SITARAM HACHHETHU
45 BOOKS:  ROYAL NEPAL ACADEMY
46 LAST WORD
 The Maoists
continue with ways
which are terrorist
by UN's own
definition.
n
RAMS. MAHAT
Defending St. Xavier's
REPRESENTING A GENERATION OF
Xavierians from a single family, it is a
natural compulsion to respond to
Pradip Silwal's opinion about "what
might have been at St. Xavier's" (Re:
"Darkness Under The Lamp," Opinion,
June 7). His points of views are well
taken but they are entirely an outsider's
opinion lacking much information and
knowledge about the history of the
school and the challenging and difficult
circumstances in which the Jesuit Fathers commenced their educational
tryst in Nepal.
"If wishes were horses beggars
would ride"! What a delightful situation
that would be if all Nepali children
could prepare for life in a school such
as St. Xavier's. But the responsibilities
of providing an optimal education for
the entire nation rest primarily with the
leaders who formulate national policies
and wield the economic wand. At the
non-governmental level, what is targeted and achieved has got to be scaled
down out of practical necessity. St.
Xavier's Godavari started in Nepal with
an urgency to translate into reality a center of excellence in high school education (of the types already in operation
in India). The challenges and uncertainties faced by the pioneer Jesuit Fathers
can be read in "Moran of Kathmandu"
by Don Messerschmidt.
And St. Xavier's was by no means a
school entirely for the elite. There were
many students who completed their
education there despite being unable to
pay the fees, which is even today,
amongst the best bargain in comparison to other schools. During the early
years, the classes were very small and
the revenue generated from the fees was
nominal. The school ran successfully,
largely because ofthe unflinching devotion ofthe wonderful teachers. Accommodating an entirely free admission/
education policy for the needy local
community naturally needed to wait.
The success of St. Xavier's and the impact this institution has made in the different arenas of life in Nepal speaks volumes for the dedicated teachers. They
have been behind the St. Xavier's dream.
Then success story also reflects on the
staggering shortcomings ofthe government educational system which is
largely responsible for providing basic
education to the needy. That is where
our fingers need to be pointing.
ANIL BANSKOTA
BANSBARI
On UN mediation
I AM HAPPY THAT MY VIEWS ON UN
mediation on the Maoist problem
evoked interesting responses from the
readers (Re: "Talk of UN Mediation Is
Premature," Cover Story, June 20). Let
me clarify certain points.
1. Being a former the UN employee
myself, I would be more than happy, if
peace could be restored with UN's immediate mediation. In fact, in
my writings elsewhere, I identified five
areas in which the UN's role in the peace
process of Nepal could be useful.
These include: an exercise in quiet diplomacy to find meeting point for settlement between the concerned parties,
relief and rehabilitation of conflict victims, monitoring of human right violations and the UN's moral pressure on
the Maoists to stop violence to attain
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 this political objective. Based on my talk
with the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor, Tamrat Samuel, I conclude
that it is this role the UN seems to be
interested in. The chief of the UN's
Nepal office, Matthew Kahane's recent
statement also indicates the same. The
UN itself may not be interested that its
good name should be used, when
Maoists continue with ways which are
terrorist by UN's own definition. What
is important at this stage, therefore, is
confidence-building measure, through
quiet diplomacy, and not high-profile
mediation, spending more time on formalities, paraphernalia and publicity I
have seen such over-publicized mediation not bearing results foryears and years
in other countries. Also, our own experience tells us that the so called peace
exercise can be used by both sides
to consolidate their respective military
positions for renewed violence. We must
guard ourselves against repeating past
mistakes. I would certainly welcome
them, if the Maoists are genuinely interested to join political mainstream sans
arms through UN mediation, and notjust
to gain legitimacy for their "people's war"
without giving up their violent ways.
2.1 am as concerned as anybody else
about daily violence, killings and destruction. In fact I myself, including my own
family, have been at the receiving end of
Maoist atrocity We all want to see this
come to an end as early as possible. But
mere peace-and-mediation rhetoric will
not address the problem. There must be
a comprehensive national approach to the
problem without which even the UN's
mediation cannot yield desired results.
Unfortunately, that does not exist at the
moment, and the situation has only benefited the Maoists. We do not even have a
representative government accountable
to a functioning legislature. The UN is
no substitute to our own efforts and national commitment. It is not a supra national authority that can force its will on
the contending parties.
3. The reference to Brest-Litovsk
Treaty and the Chunking negotiations
does not reflect my 'erudition'; they
were taken out from the statements
of Maoist leaders like Prachanda. They
have left us under no illusion that all talks
of negotiation is only to advance the cause
of   their    revolution,    and    they
consider the "revolution" in Nepal a
joint effort of national liberation movement and the world proletarian revolution. Nepal would be a new base area
for world proletarian revolution,
and weapons would not be discarded
until the final construction of communism. Many may consider this as impracticable romanticism. But this is what they
believe in. The only hope is that the geopolitical and other realities ofthe modern world would force them to realize
the futility of this adventurism, and that
they negotiate to work under a peaceful
multi-party democratic polity in which
all ideas and philosophies can compete
without the fear of gun and reprisals.
RAMS. MAHAT
BANSBARI
FOURTEEN YEARS OF WILDERNESS
would make anyone despair; it is apparent that the refugee population in Jhapa
is getting restive (re: "Red Alert," Cover
Story, June 27, by John Narayan Parajuli).
And fears of Maoist penetration seem
well-founded. While it is understandable that the Maoists, who are always in
the lookout to expand their sphere of
influence, would want to influence the
restive population, that alone doesn't
explain the new dynamics in refugee
camps—assuming that there is a Maoist-
refugee nexus. There are a number of
other variables. One is certainly Jhapa's
close proximity to Bihar and West Bengal—both Maoist/Naxalite strongholds.
SUBASH PATHAK
TIKHE DEWAL
BHASKAR GAUTAM ASKS SOME
difficult questions to the UN and the
Nepali state in their commitment to the
Bhutanese refugees ("For Want Of Some
Papers," Opinion, June 27). To me, it is
very simple: both Nepal and UNHCR
have failed the refugees. The UN now
wants to leave the refugees in the lurch,
but why doesn't Nepal take the 100,000
refugees in its fold? After all, Bhutan is a
totalitarian state and one can't really expect it to welcome the ethnic Nepalis
with an open arm. Not now, not ever.
Nepal could do better than that.
RESHAMKARKI
DAMAKJHAPA
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Vol. I, No. 11. For the week June 28 - July 4, 2004, released on June 28
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nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
 POLITICS
SPORTS
ARTS AND SOCIETY
OPINION
Did you, too, O friend, suppose
democracy was only for
elections, for politics, and for
party name? I say democracy is
only of use there that it may pass
on and come to its flower and
fruit in manners, in the highest
forms of interaction between
people and their beliefs—in
religion, literature, colleges and
schools—democracy in all
public and private life...
Walt Whitman
 Pictu
■
«
BEPATTA: Chunauti Tripathi with a picture
of her father Gyanendra Tripathy, who was
abducted by the security forces
nw/Sagar Shrestha
t:i:
I
If
 Legal Eye
Court Galls
The Army should obey the court orders before more and more Nepalis start wondering: does it have a moral superiority over those it is fighting against?
BY JOGENDRA GHIMIRE
The Supreme Court's recent criticism ofthe Royal Nepal Army, visa-vis its interface with the judicial process, is something the armed
forces could do without. For an Army that is fighting an insurgent
force, which seems to have graduated beyond all bounds of cruelty and
inhumanity, decline in its public standing and moral authority, should be
a matter of serious concern. The members ofthe armed forces should
go an extra mile to win the war on the public relations front.
The June 22 censure, issued by a division bench ofthe Supreme
Court comprising Chief Justice Govinda Bahadur Shrestha and Justice
Balaram K.C, was issued in the context ofahabeas corpus petition filed
on behalf of one Kamal K.C As publicly available accounts ofthe case
indicate, Kamal K.C. was allegedly taken away—blindfolded—by members ofthe armed forces from Kirtipur in September last year. Hisfamily
members allege that he is being held incommunicado at the Bhairabnath
Battalion, and have petitioned the Supreme Court to order the Army to
have him released or presented in person before the Court.
During the last three months, Bhairabnath has failed to honor
the order ofthe Supreme Court to furnish it the reasons behind
the detention. Perhaps out of frustration with the Army's attitude, thejudges took the opportunity to remind the Chief of Army
Staff that he, as a responsible state official, should refrain from
disobeying court orders. They also ordered the Army chief to
"assist the Court in protecting the human rights" ofthe citizens
and also instructed him to ensure that henceforth the orders of
the summons and notices ofthe court are followed by the authorities concerned.
This is unprecedented. No predecessor of Pyar Jung Thapa
has been at the receiving end of such a harsh commentary from
the apex court. However, as far as the response ofthe security
forces to the court orders is concerned, it's a rather long list of
gross neglect. Nepal Police too has a pretty inglorious record of
defying the court orders, or deliberately stonewalling and misleading thejudges in its responses. Queries from the National
Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the statutory watchdog of human
rights, have met a similar fate in more than one instance. In one interesting incident more than three years ago, a district police office in
western Tarai publicly announced that it had released a detainee from its
custody. Only weeks earlier, they had written to the NHRC in that the
person in question was not in their custody.
What this does, besides of course the violation of the rights of the
individual^) in question, is that it ends up giving the security forces a very
bad name—clearly more than what their fair share of bad name should be.
Like it or not, because ofthe unfortunate reality of the insurgency, the
current Nepali state is heavily militarized, with the Royal Nepal Army
playing a key role in the running of the affairs ofthe state. The way the
institution—and its individual officers—behave and conduct themselves,
therefore, has a very strong bearing on the image that the state creates
for itself among the Nepalis and before the rest ofthe world. Because it
is the principal state institution which has a decisive sway over important
matters, it is but natural that the RNA will be in the spotlight all the time.
It is important that the Army adheres to the ideals of rule of law, or at least
makes a sincere effort to adhere to it. Only in such a situation can the
opinion-makers be expected to give the Army their benefit of doubt when
it fails to do so. People will then be more open to Army's claims that on
certain cases use of force is unavoidable if order is to be established.
Towards that end, the security forces should take some urgent steps.
First, they should try and make a marked departure from their current
tendency of holding suspects indiscriminately and keeping them incommunicado for months. Second, they should honor and promptly reply to
queries from the judiciary and every other watchdog institution regarding
the whereabouts of individuals. Third, the Army should recognize that as
the most influential institution in the affairs ofthe state, it is likely to face the
most scrutiny from the media, the judiciary and the civil society. It'd better.
It should be willing to face up to the vigilance, rather than taking cover
under the "national security" umbrella. Fourth, the Army should explore
possibilities of trying insurgents in its custody in a military court if it has
justifiable national security reasons for not trying them in civil courts.
If need be, the government should be forthcoming with legislative
enactments to facilitate that process. Sure, it will be a hard sale and may
even make things difficult for the security forces, who are not always
used to meeting the bare minimum ofthe legal requirements. But if Army
leadership realizes that the Nepali state needs to maintain a high moral
authority in its counterinsurgency measures, it should start changing its
ways right away. The first step could be putting to rest the practice of
demeaning the Supreme Court. Or else more and more Nepalis will start
wondering: are our security forces any different from the people they are
battling against?   □
nation weekly |  JUNE 27, 2004
11
 exercise 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?
A    GREAT    NEWSPAPER
  Capsules
NC supremo
Nepali Congress President
Girija Prasad Koirala has said
that he is open to the idea of a
constituent assembly if it helps
resolve the political stalemate.
This is the first time the NC
supremo has weighed the
option, though several NC
central committee members in
recent days have asked the party
to review its support for
monarchy Koirala, who took a
hardline approach to the
insurgency as prime minister,
vowed to initiate dialogue with
the Maoists and bring them
back to mainstream politics.
Terrorist tag
The government has officially
removed the "terrorist" tag
slapped on the Maoist student
wing, ANNISU(R). The
decision was made during a
Cabinet meeting after schools
and colleges remained closed
for 12 days following an
indefinite educational strike
called by the Maoist students
demanding the removal ofthe
tag. The Krantikaris called off
Cricket win
Nepal kept alive its hopes of
playing in the ICC Trophy in
2005 by beating Afghanistan by
47 runs in the Asian Cricket
Council Trophy. ICC
Associate Members (non-
Test playing) like Nepal can
gain entry into the cricket
World Cup through sterling
performances in the ICC
trophy. Nepal had earlier lost
to Qatar and the encounter
against Afghanistan was a
must-win situation to keep
alive its hopes.
14
the strike last week after the
government agreed to lift the
tag-
Crippling dalits
Maoists crushed the lower
limbs of eight dalits in Thalsa,
Achham. Maoists said itwas a
punishment for defying their
call to the dalits to abandon
their landlords. The dalits
were tortured in full public
view in the premises of a local
school. The Maoists warned
that any dalits, who continue
to work for their landlords,
would meet a similar fate. They
also prevented the dalits from
receiving medical attention and
warned health workers that
defiance of their order would
lead to persecution.
SC verdict
The Supreme Court ruled
that its earlier verdict to
acquit alleged drug trafficker,
William Gordon Robinson,
deserved a revision. This
ruling came in response to a
petition filed by the office of
the attorney general at the
Court asking for such a
review. Robinson, a British
national, was arrested last year
at the Kathmandu airport. He
was in possession of more
than two kilograms of brown
sugar during the arrest,
according to the charge sheet.
The alleged trafficker was
acquitted in a controversial
decision by a joint bench of
Justices Krishna Kumar
Verma and Balram Kumar.
Earlier a Special Court had
handed him a 17-year jail
sentence and slapped a fine of
Rs. 1 million.
Budhanilkantha blues
Narayan Prasad Sharma has
been reappointed as the
principal of Budhanilkantha
School, a post that has
remained vacant for the past
four months. The story is that
Sharma was earlier shown the
door following his
differences with the Attorney
General, Sushil Kumar Pant,
a member of the school
management committee.
After Sharma's reinstatement,
Pant submitted his resignation
to the chairman of the
committee, the Secretary at the
Ministry of Education, Nepal
Samacharpatra reported.
Spilt milk
The dairy farmers in Kavre
dumped their milk on the
streets infuriated by a decision
from the Nepal Diary
Association (NDA) not to
accept milk from local
producers for two days. The
NDA, which represents
private sector dairies, refused
to take milk from the farmers
to protest charges against
private sector dairies that they
were marketing milk infected
with coliform bacteria,
Kantipur reported. The
Panauti-based Anamol Diary,
which collects milk from
some 1,000 farmers, was the
dumping site for the angry
farmers. One ofthe highest
milk-yielding districts, Kavre
produces 120,000 liters of
milk everyday.
Busy ministers
Minister for Physical
Planning and Works Prakash
Man Singh requested the
public not to invite the prime
minister and ministers to
official functions. He said
that cabinet members
needed to focus on the grave
problems before the country
rather than attending daily
rounds of programs. There
are currently only three
ministers in the Deuba
Cabinet and the CPN
(UML) General Secretary
Madhav Kumar Nepal
attributed the delay in cabinet
expansion to Prime Minister
Deuba's indecision.
JULU 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 New envoys
The King appointed Madan
Kumar Bhattarai as ambassador to Germany and Kedar
Bhakta Shrestha as ambassador to the United States of
America. Madan Kumar
Bhattarai is the spokesperson
at the Foreign Ministry Kedar
Bhakta Shrestha was former
Foreign Secretary and has also
served as the ambassador to
Belgium.
Valley security
The Royal Nepal Army
claimed it has foiled a major
Maoist operation in the Valley. The Army said that the
Maoists were planning a
huge explosion, possibly
through a motorcycle, on a L
government installation. One [
possible target could be se- t
curity forces outside Singha |
Durbar. The Army said it had |
seized a huge cache of explo- t
sives, mostly pager bombs,
socket bombs, time bombs I
and pressure cooker bombs E
in locations around Tokha, j
Chabhil and Teku.
Nationwide blackout
The entire country was enveloped in darkness for some   I
15 minutes on Friday. The   I
blackout occurred due to   I
technical problems in the
transmission lines ofthe Kali
Gandaki "A" powerhouse,
Kantipur said. With a maxi
mum capacity of 144 MW, the
Kali Gandaki "A" is the
country's largest hydroelectric project.
Circus probe
The Indian Human Rights
Commission sent a three-
man team to Gonda,
Lucknow to investigate the
Great Roman Circus incident
involving the forced labor of
Nepali children. There are an
estimated 500 Nepali children working in circuses all
over India.
Bus accident
Two people died and more
than two dozen went missing when a Malangwa-bound
bus from Kathmandu
plunged in the Trishuli river
on Sunday. Nepal
Samacharpatra said the bus,
with 48 people on board, fell
off the Mugling-Narayanghat
Highway when some of the
passengers were pushing the
bus after its engine had failed
to restart after a traffic jam.
Reports quoted traffic officials as saying that the accident was caused by a brake
failure. Though follow-up
reports said that a search and
rescue operation was still be
ing conducted, the whereabouts ofthe 41 people who
had gone missing is still unknown.
Nepathya abroad
For the first time, Nepathya is
traveling abroad. On July 4,
they will perform in the United
States at the annual convention
ofthe Association of Nepalis
in the Americas (ANA) in
Phoenix, Arizona. The band has
just concluded its Shanti Ko
Lagi Sikchya Tour 2004, which
took them to 14 locations all
over Nepal. It has been considered the biggest tour by any
single artist or band in the history of Nepali music.
Nepathya took to the road
with its message of peace
while the country remained
near-paralyzed by bandas.
Fertiliser scam
A Special Court has granted
the CIAA permission to keep
Managing Director of Krishi
Samagri Company (KSC) in
police custody for 25 days.
CIAA will now investigate
Chaturbhoj Bhatta and his son
Deepak. They are accused of
opening a Letter of Credit
(LC) account for the purchase of fertilizers and embezzling Rs 1.2 billion, Nepal
Samacharpatra said.
SAF name change
The South Asian Federation
(SAF) Games has been renamed the South Asia
Games, according to Pakistan News Service. The first
South Asia Games will be
held in August next year in
Colombo. There will be 19
disciplines altogether as
compared to 15 in the 9th SAF
Games in Islamabad. The
new disciplines include
wushu, judo, cycling and archery. There had been talks
of dropping squash, rowing,
weightlifting and wrestling
from the games but they still
remain on the list.
TO BUILD A FIRE: Four-party protests resort to Masai Julus to protest regression
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
15
 Biz Buz
2PM CELEBRATES
HAMAL'S BIRTHDAY
2PM instant noodles, manufactured by Asian
Thai Foods, organized a special event to celebrate the birthday of their brand ambassador
and Nepali film actor Rajesh Hamal at Dragon
World on June 19. The event was organized to
allow children to celebrate the film star's birthday with the actor himself and many of them
had their pictures taken with the actor. Many
other celebrities attended the event as well.
The adults also participated in the fun fair along
with their children. The event also featured magic
shows, games, free rides and live musical performances by Nepali pop artists.
FAMILY AWARDS 2060 AT
PHOTO CONCERN
Photo Concern recently organized its Family
Awards for the year 2060 B.S. at Hotel Baishali,
Thamel. It gave away two "Lifetime Honor"
awards to Saradanath Baskota and K. B.
Chitrakar, one "Outstanding Award" to M. M.
Khan, the Chief Photographer, "Staff of the
year 2060 B.S." award to Sanjeev Lai
Shrestha, Marketing Executive, and 30 Letters
of Appreciation to various employees in its organization.
MALAYASIA TRULY ASIA
Tourism Malaysia has launched its "Malaysia
Truly Asia" destination program in Nepal. Tourism Malaysia's Destination marketing partners
are Marco Polo Travels, Qatar Airways and J&T
Associates. The program will be launched during
a Mega Cultural Event in early July. Some ofthe
highlights of the calendar of events in Malaysia
are "Food & Fruit Fiesta Month" in July, "Malaysia Mega Sale Event" in August, various sports
events in September, "Malaysian Motor Cycle
Grand Prix" in October and "Kuala Lumpur Mega
Sale Carnival" in November and December.
ASIAN PAINTS EXCLUSIVE
SHOWROOM
Asian Paints launched its first exclusive Color
World showroom atTeku in Kathmandu recently.
With around 1,200 shades of colors, the exclusive Color Showroom provides customers
with over 127 shades of green, 206 shades of
blue and 118 shades of yellow. The computerized process ofthe Automatic Tinting Machines
in the Color Showroom ensures that the shade
produced is consistent over time. Asian Paints
already has 24 Color World outlets in
Kathmandu and 13 more in various other locations throughout the country but this is the
first time that the company has made a foray
into exclusive showrooms.
NEW KYMCO BRANDS
Star International Limited has recently launched
three new models of Kymco brand motorcycles:
the Pulsar 125, the Hipster 150 and the Spike
120. Star International is actively promoting the
Spike 120 as the ideal ladies' scooter for Nepali
women. It has an engine displacement of
123cc, a maximum outputof8.79 BHPand a
mileage of 50 kilometer per liter. Taiwan-based
KYMCO exports its bikes to 72 countries.
nation
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 Politics
THE CHAIRS ARE
STILL EMPTY
While the wrangling inside and between the parties over prized ministerial seats continues, the nation is waiting
BY SATISH JUNG SHAHI
Mi
ajor party offices were buzzing
this week with meetings of
.Prime Minister Sher Bahadur
Deuba's aides and senior party leaders
over opening the cabinet to more ministers from other parties.
Though the contents of what Deuba
aides are calling a "common minimum
program" still hasn't been made public,
the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and CPN-
UML offices are still lingering with lists
of demands that they want Deuba to fulfill. The UML's Madav Nepal welcomed the amendment ofthe work performance regulation that his party
claimed was empowering the Royal Palace with the cabinet's executive powers.
However, the official go-ahead is yet to
come, with its list of ministers: its arrival will be a relief to the prime minister.
"We are still working over the legalities," says Subash Nembang, UML senior leader, whose party has come up
with 51-point, 35-point, 18-point, 9-
point demands that has now come down
to three major points to correct regression, resume peace talks and line-out
progress since they quit the joint street
protests with four other parties after
Prime Minister Deuba's appointment on
June 2. "Things still do not look easy
keeping in mind the present turbulent
political scenario in the country apart
from our few demands like amending
the work performance regulations," says
Nembang.
RPP's senior leader Lokendra
Bahadur Chand immediately denied he
had amended the regulation to favor the
Royal Palace, as the Deuba government
accuses. "The government should make
[the regulation's] contents public," said
Chand to a room packed with reporters
at his residence in Lokanthali. "It was
Deuba who himself handed over powers to the King in October 4,2002."
After his re-appointment from the
Palace, Deuba has been maintaining that
"regression" is now over. However, the
Nepali Congress and the smaller parties
are in no mood to show mercy: they are
all saying that the UML is falling into a
trap set by the Royal Palace. The Rastriya
Prajatantra Party is simply waiting until
the UML makes the first move in joining the government.
"We have been repeating our stand
for a broad national consensus, at least
among the parties in the dissolved parliament," says Roshan Karki, RPP
spokesperson. She adds her party is willing to make party unity the top priority
even including members from the Thapa
faction in proposed ministerial berths
for an all-party government.
Many say factional infighting and the
RPP's decision to take to the streets de-
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Maoists Are Into Revolutionary Romanticism
Prakash Chandra Lohani,
the finance minister in the
last government, was one
of two government negotiators who
held talks with the Maoists. He
talked with Satish Jung Shahi of
Nation Weekly on the peace talks
with Maoists and the current political stalemate.
Why did the peace talks with
the Maoists fail?
We had prepared a paper on how
the Nepali state could move forward, addressing issues of ethnic
and social divide the Maoists have
been raising. The package had reservation mechanisms for dalits,
janajatis and women—on education, employment, and power-sharing. We went to the talks with an
open mind to even discuss the status ofthe security forces. But the
Maoists weren't willing to talk, insisting that all they wanted was constituent assembly. It is going to be
difficult for future parties to negotiate if the Maoists remain that way.
As a negotiator, do you take any
responsibility for the failure of
the talks?
That is up to the people to decide.
Any negotiation depends on both
sides to the conflict but we were
reasonable and flexible. We had
gone for talks with an idea and
strategy. The Maoists rejected us
outright.
Wasn't the government too rigid
in its stand against constituent
assembly?
We said we were even ready to
re-write the constitution and sit
down and decide on a consensus
to implement our proposals. Our
point was that there are three
forces: the Maoists, the constitutional King and the parties and it
was necessary for all to re-engineer the political house united. It
was clear that they only wanted to
give legality to one-party Maoist
regime. They wanted to dictate an
interim government and reach the
villages with a psychology of having achieved victory and conduct
elections with guns.
The key areas of differences
that ultimately led to the breakdown of the talks?
The government side was willing
to sit for more talks but the Maoists
said there was no point talking.
We decided the talks had been
stalled, suggesting it shouldn't be
called off. Even Maoist Chairman
Prachanda issued a release, saying the ceasefire wasn't broken.
However, a third force overruled
him within his own party. They are
certain elements carried out by
revolutionary romanticism.
How much influence did the
Palace have on the talks?
The government made the entire
proposal duringthe peace talks and
the Palace was duly well informed.
The interest ofthe Palace was that
peace should be restored come
what may and that al I parties should
be involved in the process. The
Maoist demand to discard the constitution created by a government that
came through the 1990 people's
movement wasn't reasonable.
There was a perception that the
security forces had gone off-
track in Doramba by shooting
to death unarmed Maoists while
the peace talks were on?
The incident wasn't responsible for
the breakdown in ceasefire. We
had problems before that. By that
time, they had already rejected our
proposal. We came to know ofthe
Doramba incident only 2-3 days
after the dialogue (in Hapure.) But
that the incident took at place at
all is indeed unfortunate.
Is it now time for foreign intervention to resolve the Maoist
problem?
We have the goodwill of all the countries and I think they mean well by
offering help. But we should try to
solve the problem ourselves and not
look too much on other sides. Look
at Afghanistan, theythrew a monarchy and started a communist revo
lution to give way to civil war. Then
they went through religious dictatorship ofthe worst kind and there is
now a multinational government.
We should take lessons from this
and avoid being carried away by
revolutionary romanticism.
What are your views on the
much-hyped amendment to the
Work Performance Regulation
carried out by the Deuba government?
It was never an issue when I was the
government. I tabled the policies from
my side as Finance Minister, including the new budget, and the cabinet
decided it on its own. It has now become a political issue with the UML
and a few other parties who want to
justify that their movement has
achieved something.
How does your faction within
the RPP view the ongoing street
protests?
I am glad to see that the UML has
backtracked. Anyone's appointment would be made according to
Article 127. The tendency to say
127 is regression unless when one
is prime minister is bad. The parties
should be addressing issues that
are of concern to the people. The
people want peace within multiparty
framework and constitutional monarchy. We are willing to help under
that condition and hope UML-
Deuba combine will be able to fulfill
the mandate to form an all-party
government and hold elections provided bythe King. Though that still
remains a huge challenge.  □
manding the resignation of its own government was one of the key reasons
Thapa's tenure as prime minister ended.
But both Thapa and Rana were in a jolly
mood after their meeting at Thapa's residence in Maligaon last Monday, the first
meeting since Thapa stepped down from
office on May 7.
"We [Thapa and Rana] do not share
any enmity" said Thapa, talking to jour
nalists at his residence. He denied rumors that he was starting a new party "I
just made one request to the party president to see the decisions made by the
party when I was in government."
One major decision made by the
party during Thapa's tenure as prime
minister was to expel one of Thapa's key
aides, Kamal Thapa, from the post ofthe
party's general secretary. The move re
duced Thapa's hold on the party: his influence had already been weakened by
Rana's appointment as president at the
party's general convention at Pokhara in
2002.
Despite the smiles on party leaders'
faces, the RPP may have a lot of internal
reunification to do before it joins the
new government. Waiting for the UML
could give them the time.   □
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
19
 ■
/
Nepali parents find their children living a life of servitude in an Indian circus. But they also find out that trying
to extract their own children from the
circus can be dangerous
BY SUSHMA JOSH I
When four parents from
Bijauna village in
Makwanpur left for India on June 13 in an attempt to rescue their
children from The Great Roman Circus near Lucknow, they did not know
they were going to end up in jail. The
raid organized by the Nepal Child Welfare Foundation (NCWF) and the South
Asian Coalition Against Child Servitude
(SACCS) turned violent as circus employees attacked the activists and journalists present. Of the estimated 35
Nepali children working in the circus,
only one of them, Nita Lama, escaped
with her parents. She too found herself
held in custody at the magistrate's office
in Karnailganj, Uttar Pradesh.
The story illustrates how international and national mechanisms that protect children are strongly determined by
local conditions. Laws vary from country to country and state to state, leaving
local police to devise their own standards of protection. In states like Bihar
and Uttar Pradesh the law often collaborates with local criminal elements: trying to extract a child from a site of trafficking can be dangerous. Parents and
legal guardians often stand on thin ice
during judicial procedures if it is found
out that they were involved in transactions where they accepted money in exchange for their children.
NGOs like Nepal Child Welfare
Foundation (NCWF) are at the forefront
of the anti-trafficking movement, but
there is strong consensus that the government needs to get involved. Lobbying from human rights organizations has
often bought the issue of international
agreements against trafficking on the
table. While informal accords have been
floated, no strong international law has
been created at a regional level. In Nepal,
20
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Bureaucratic Red Tape In The Way
the Human Trafficking Control Act of
1986 criminalizes trafficking in persons,
but comprehensive legislation has yet to
be enacted and implemented.
Gauri Pradhan, Founder President of
Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) says
his NGO has a simple goal: 'We are asking that all the children who have been
illegally smuggled and sold into forced
labors in circuses in India be provided
safety and rescued, returned to their
motherland, reunited with their families and helped to readjust in society"
Earlier this month, the U.S. government underscored the seriousness with
which it regards this issue when it released the fourth annual Department of
State Trafficking in Persons Report in
Washington D.C The 141-country report looks comprehensively at the efforts of governments to combat severe
forms of trafficking in persons. The report, which calls trafficking "modern-
day slavery" suggests various best prac-
Gauri Pradhan,
Founder President
of Child Workers in
Nepal, spoke to Nation
Weekly's Yashas Vaidya about
the current protests over the
Great Roman Circus incident.
What is the aim of this
protest?
We are requesting our government, the Indian government, the UN and the SAARC
Secretariat to help rescue the
Nepali children trapped in the
circus and their return home
and to punish those accused
of exploiting the children and
attacking Mr KSatyarhti and
the human rights activists
who tried to rescue the children. We are also asking that
the Indian government to take
responsi bi I ity for the security
of Nepali members ofthe rescue team and Mr Satyarthi.
What has been the response
to your demands?
The Indian Ambassador to
Nepal informed us that he had
not yet received an official request from the Nepali government asking for the return of
the missing children. On the
other hand, we did approach
the Nepali prime minister who
gave us his assurance that he
would look into this matter immediately.
The botched rescue attempt
took place on June 15 but
there have been no developments since. Can't the two
governments do something?
Nepal's prime minister is now
aware ofthe situation. The Indian government states that
it will not hand over the children directly to the INGOs.
There is a lot of bureaucratic
red tape getting in the way
and slowing down the process. Other than that, it's a
fact that there isa big Indian
crime network involved. We
believe that the local police
and the magistrate are in
league with the circus owners. Also, there is a big syndicate that has been bringing
Nepali children from villages
and selling them into forced
labor in Indian circuses, going
a generation back.
We plan to create more
pressure for the fulfillment of
these demands. This protest
rally is by various organizations
that stand united on this issue. The Global March Against
Child Labor, with offices in 150
countries isalso involved in this.
We plan to approach Indian
embassies all over the world
though the organization and
thus create more pressure on
the Indian government to take
some sort of action. We also
aim to create international pressure about this issue.
So there is a larger focus
than just this single case?
There is a bigger issue at hand.
The drive against girl trafficking
may be successful, but now
children are being trafficked
and taken to India to work as
domestic laborers or in circuses. There they are forced
into labor and become the victims of sexual exploitation in
many cases. It is just like old
wine in new bottle. We do still
face the problem of sexual exploitation. Also, we are making
an attempt to classify circus
work as hazardous and not
appropriate for minors aged
below 18. This is not the case
now. Our aim is to create legal
restrictions and stop children
frombeingexploited.   Q
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
 Story
Indian Authorities Are Corrupt'
For the past one year or so, Khem Thapa, head of the Hetauda-based Nepal Child
Welfare Foundation (NCWF), has been at the forefront in rescuing Nepali children
from Indian circuses. But it was only after the circus owners attacked rescuers in
Kamailgunj in Uttar Pradesh that the plight of Nepali children came to light. Thapa talked
with John Narayan Parajuli of Nation Weekly over phone from Kamailgunj (near Lucknow)
where he, alongside Indian activists, has been waging a courageous, and often dangerous,
battle to rescue Nepali children from The Great Roman Circus.
What is the situation
on the ground?
From the very beginning we knew
it would be difficult due to the
notoriety ofthe circus owner. The
raid which was conducted in the
presence ofthe local authority, that
is, the Sub Divisional Magistrate
Mr. HavaldarYadavand an inspector of the police station in
Kamailganj, (but) the thugs from
the Great Roman circus started to
beat up the activists and parents
who were there to release the children while they (the local authorities) were mute spectators. Then
onwards, a lot of pressure was applied bythe concerned citizens and
numerous social organizations but
the local authority has turned a
deaf ear. There is a great danger
from the circus owner who is freely
roaming around Gonda and
Kamailganj with his hoodlums. We
know they are armed and many
death threats have been received
bythe activists ofthe BBA.
There are reports of missing
children, how many of them are
missing?
We had affidavits from the parents of 11 children of whom four
accompanied us to Kamailganj.
Only one child was rescued on the
15th of June. Although seven other
children were also present during
the raid (according to the girl who
was rescued) of which one was
snatched away by the goons of
the circus from her father. Nowthe
circus people are saying none of
the girls whose affidavits were presented are there. It appears they
got the names from somewhere
and the girls have been hidden
away from the circus. So, 10 girls
are now missing.
How do you describe the mental and physical condition ofthe
children?
Unfortunately, I cannot comment
on the mental and physical conditions ofthe children because we
are not allowed to meet them at
the circus. But I can safely saythat
they are under great threat from
the owner of the circus and I
would not be surprised if there are
permanent or long-term psychosocial problems. The girl who is in
the police custody in Gonda is also
under tremendous mental and
psychosocial pressure. The girl
needs to be removed into a safer
environment immediately.
How do you describe the role of
Indian authorities?
I have never seen or heard of such
a corrupt and uncaring authorities.
They are all in league with the
owner ofthe circuses.
And the Nepali side?
As soon as the raid was conducted
and the behavior of the authori
ties came to light, I contacted the
founder President of Maiti Nepal
Mrs. Anuradha Koirala and other
leading NGOs in Nepal, including
Mr. Gauri Pradhan of CWIN. All of
the NGOs have been very supportive and they have moved heaven
and earth to help our cause. A delegation from NGO Fed have already seen the prime minister of
Nepal and the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu. The Nepalese
Embassy in Delhi has been in contact with me since 18th of June
and they are ful ly supportive of our
cause.
What do you think must be done
to secure the safe release of
these and many other children
trapped in the circus?
We need to continuously apply
pressure from Lucknow as well as
from outside. Nowthe Nepali government is involved, I strongly feel
that a representative from the
Nepali Embassy must be in
Lucknow to deal directly with the
state government and the local authorities. In the meantime all social organizations must maintain
the pressure on the central gov
ernment of India as well as the
local government in UP
Indian NGOs have been in the
forefront of all these. How do
you describe their role?
Without their involvement, it is
difficult for a Nepali NGO to carry
out any activity in India. That is
why we formed a partnership with
BBA more than two years ago
specifically to deal with the problem of child labor in Indian circuses.
Are raids in circus the best way
to free these kids?
We have been working towards
freeing the children who are in
bondage in Indian circuses since
2002. We have had numerous
conferences with the Indian Circus Federation where they had
declared that they would not recruit children; they even made a
token gesture by handing over
nine children during a big press
meet in Delhi on the 27 January
2004. They have repeatedly gone
back on their promises of freeing
children or even supplying names
of children working in the circuses.
Furthermore, not all the circuses
are members of the federation
and they have no reason to comply with the declaration made by
the Indian Circus Federation. We
do not believe in confrontational
approach and we tried the negotiation and dialogue route for a long
time with very little tangible results.
Therefore it was imperative that a
raid had to be conducted to free
the children from the clutches of
the circus owners.
What other measures do you
suggest?
A commission should be set up to
investigate the working conditions
inside all circuses. All circuses must
submit the list of names of all artists working in the circuses with their
details. Recruitment of children
under the age of 14 in the circus
must be outlawed and anyone
found breaking the rules must
have his license revoked.  □
22
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Story
Indian Authorities Are Corrupt'
For the past one year or so, Khem Thapa, head of the Hetauda-based Nepal Child
Welfare Foundation (NCWF), has been at the forefront in rescuing Nepali children
from Indian circuses. But it was only after the circus owners attacked rescuers in
Kamailgunj in Uttar Pradesh that the plight of Nepali children came to light. Thapa talked
with John Narayan Parajuli of Nation Weekly over phone from Kamailgunj (near Lucknow)
where he, alongside Indian activists, has been waging a courageous, and often dangerous,
battle to rescue Nepali children from The Great Roman Circus.
What is the situation
on the ground?
From the very beginning we knew
it would be difficult due to the
notoriety ofthe circus owner. The
raid which was conducted in the
presence ofthe local authority, that
is, the Sub Divisional Magistrate
Mr. HavaldarYadavand an inspector of the police station in
Kamailganj, (but) the thugs from
the Great Roman circus started to
beat up the activists and parents
who were there to release the children while they (the local authorities) were mute spectators. Then
onwards, a lot of pressure was applied bythe concerned citizens and
numerous social organizations but
the local authority has turned a
deaf ear. There is a great danger
from the circus owner who is freely
roaming around Gonda and
Kamailganj with his hoodlums. We
know they are armed and many
death threats have been received
bythe activists ofthe BBA.
There are reports of missing
children, how many of them are
missing?
We had affidavits from the parents of 11 children of whom four
accompanied us to Kamailganj.
Only one child was rescued on the
15th of June. Although seven other
children were also present during
the raid (according to the girl who
was rescued) of which one was
snatched away by the goons of
the circus from her father. Nowthe
circus people are saying none of
the girls whose affidavits were presented are there. It appears they
got the names from somewhere
and the girls have been hidden
away from the circus. So, 10 girls
are now missing.
How do you describe the mental and physical condition ofthe
children?
Unfortunately, I cannot comment
on the mental and physical conditions ofthe children because we
are not allowed to meet them at
the circus. But I can safely saythat
they are under great threat from
the owner of the circus and I
would not be surprised if there are
permanent or long-term psychosocial problems. The girl who is in
the police custody in Gonda is also
under tremendous mental and
psychosocial pressure. The girl
needs to be removed into a safer
environment immediately.
How do you describe the role of
Indian authorities?
I have never seen or heard of such
a corrupt and uncaring authorities.
They are all in league with the
owner ofthe circuses.
And the Nepali side?
As soon as the raid was conducted
and the behavior of the authori
ties came to light, I contacted the
founder President of Maiti Nepal
Mrs. Anuradha Koirala and other
leading NGOs in Nepal, including
Mr. Gauri Pradhan of CWIN. All of
the NGOs have been very supportive and they have moved heaven
and earth to help our cause. A delegation from NGO Fed have already seen the prime minister of
Nepal and the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu. The Nepalese
Embassy in Delhi has been in contact with me since 18th of June
and they are ful ly supportive of our
cause.
What do you think must be done
to secure the safe release of
these and many other children
trapped in the circus?
We need to continuously apply
pressure from Lucknow as well as
from outside. Nowthe Nepali government is involved, I strongly feel
that a representative from the
Nepali Embassy must be in
Lucknow to deal directly with the
state government and the local authorities. In the meantime all social organizations must maintain
the pressure on the central gov
ernment of India as well as the
local government in UP
Indian NGOs have been in the
forefront of all these. How do
you describe their role?
Without their involvement, it is
difficult for a Nepali NGO to carry
out any activity in India. That is
why we formed a partnership with
BBA more than two years ago
specifically to deal with the problem of child labor in Indian circuses.
Are raids in circus the best way
to free these kids?
We have been working towards
freeing the children who are in
bondage in Indian circuses since
2002. We have had numerous
conferences with the Indian Circus Federation where they had
declared that they would not recruit children; they even made a
token gesture by handing over
nine children during a big press
meet in Delhi on the 27 January
2004. They have repeatedly gone
back on their promises of freeing
children or even supplying names
of children working in the circuses.
Furthermore, not all the circuses
are members of the federation
and they have no reason to comply with the declaration made by
the Indian Circus Federation. We
do not believe in confrontational
approach and we tried the negotiation and dialogue route for a long
time with very little tangible results.
Therefore it was imperative that a
raid had to be conducted to free
the children from the clutches of
the circus owners.
What other measures do you
suggest?
A commission should be set up to
investigate the working conditions
inside all circuses. All circuses must
submit the list of names of all artists working in the circuses with their
details. Recruitment of children
under the age of 14 in the circus
must be outlawed and anyone
found breaking the rules must
have his license revoked.  □
22
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 tices to deal with the transnational problem.
Nepal was placed in the Tier 2 group,
a soft rating. "The Government of Nepal
does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of
trafficking," says the report, which then
adds, "however, it is making significant
efforts to do so." If a country's practices
land it in Tier 3, it faces sanctions, as
Bangladesh and nine other countries
found out.
A porous border that allows traffickers to transport their victims with ease
compounds Nepal's trafficking woes.
Across the border are Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar, two states whose police and law
are some of the most corrupt in the
world. Nepali victims often end up farther away in cities like Mumbai and
Delhi, where they remain due to economic constraints and vulnerability.
The case ofthe 35 girls in the Great
Roman Circus is hardly unique. Estimates
vary but activists say about 500 Nepali
girls are working in major Indian circuses. Most of these girls come from
Makwanpur.   Like   Nuwakot   and
Sindhupalchowk, other districts close to
the capital that suffer the most poverty
and from where large numbers of women
get trafficked, Makwanpur is also a district whose economy has been impoverished with its proximity to the capital.
The U.S. report suggests best practices for ending trafficking, including
linkages amongst diplomats, diplomatic
protection for victims, using surprise
inspections on labor agencies, discouraging the sex industry intercepting potential victims and cooperation between
transit and destination countries.
Cases include those of
Panama, which enacted a new
anti-trafficking law that ad-
• ■'•'
dresses trafficking and takes child pornography sex tourism and the use ofthe
Internet into account. Among other
stipulations, the law obligates airlines,
tour agencies and hotels to inform customers in writing about the prohibitions
ofthe new law.
Laws of this nature would warn potential customers who see the South
Asian region as easy game for child pros-
*5>
Public Appeal
Nepal has ratified Convention against Torture; therefore, as an obligation government submitted the report recently to
UN. Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Coordination Committee is preparing the alternative report and the secretariat
office is established at the central office of CVICT, Nepal, at Bansbari, Kathmandu. The secretariat office is organising
discussion programmes in Biratnagear, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, etc. areas in this regard. Therefore, the secretariat
requests all stakeholders and the civil society to provide valuable suggestions and available torture related information and
be the part ofthe effort in preparing the alternative report.
We primarily focus to:
■ Consult all human rights organisations, journalists, lawyers, victims and care providers, in series of meetings/
workshops to discuss and collect general and expertise views;
■ Analyze the media news and findings, research findings and related literature.
Therefore, we request to
■ Government agencies including the security agencies,
■ Non governmental organisations and human rights organisations
■ Media organisations and professionals working in human rights and torture fields,
■ Civil society and
■ Victims of torture and the professionals working closely for the victims
to join this effort to prepare the alternative report to submit to UN treaty monitoring body.
Centre for Victims of Torture, Nepal (CVICT)
POBoxNO: 5839, Bansbari, Kathmandu
Tele: 01-4373902,01-4373486 Fax: 01-4373020 Email: rajendra@cvict.org.np
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 tory
OPINION
We Have Lessons To Learn
BY SAUNA JOSHI
The recent incident at "The
Great Roman Circus"
comes as a shock. But perhaps less to those of us who have
been working on areas of cross-
border trafficking.
Rescuing women and children
has always been a very difficult task
in the absence of a clear legal
mechanism, bilateral agreements
and extra-territorialjurisdiction. The
SAARC Convention on Preventing
and Combating Trafficking in
Women and Children for Prostitution can perhaps be a starting point
to develop such a mechanism.
In recent times, several Nepali
girls were stranded in India after
they were rescued and awaiting
repatriation. It was the complex
legal framework that led to this unfortunate incident. Many ofthe girls
didn't have access to NGOs, who
could otherwise have stepped in
on their behalf.
Unsurprisingly, Nepali human
rights organizations and the civil
society groups at large have been
at the forefront in the current campaign to free the children from The
Great Roman Circus. They have
met Prime Minister Deuba and the
Indian Ambassador, Shyam Sa-
ran, urging them to take immediate action to find, rescue and repatriate the children. Human rights
organizations in India have joined
forces. The National Human Rights
Commission in India is already in
Gonda investigating the entire episode.
If both Nepal and India are
committed to preventing such
horrific pain inflicted on children,
both the countries need to work
out a clear legal framework for res-
cuingand repatriating the survivors as well as punishing the criminals. As we have found before in
separate incidents, it is once again
evident that circus rings are protected bythe police. Many NGOs
working for rescue and repatriation of trafficked survivors have
been stonewalled time again and
again. The bureaucratic apathy
and vague legal framework have
not helped.
The current incident has
brought to light various malaises:
the trafficked women and girls are
notjust used in the circus stunts.
Often times, they are forced to perform sexual services and are deprived adequate food. As a human
rights worker, I hope the Roman
Circus debacle will play a catalystic
role in at least speeding up the process of setting up a well-defined
legal system that tackles extremely
contentious issues of cross-border
human trafficking.
Initiatives to develop a bilateral agreement have started and
it is imperative that roles of police
and NGOs in Nepal as well as in
India are clearly defined in the
accord. But just as importantly,
there needs to be constant pressures for its implementation.
(Joshi works for the Forum for
Women, Law, and Development, FWLD)
titution. Interestingly and perhaps predictably, cases of street children being
molested in Thamel has not raised the
same ire in child rights activists as cases
of children being molested in Indian
brothels. Individuals who have busted
child sexual abuse amongst the expatriate community have been ostracized in
the past, pointing to a deeply entrenched
culture of silence.
The other case is that ofthe Ministry
of Foreign Affairs (MFA) ofthe Dominican Republic, which has created four
"anti-trafficking networks" among diplomats in its embassies in countries that
are major destinations for trafficked
Dominican women. These networks
encourage diplomats to be proactive in
addressing trafficking issues. They work
with host governments to identify and
assist Dominican victims, many of
whom have escaped their traffickers and
fled to their consulates for help, to collect information on trafficking patterns
and to identify traffickers. This information is reported back to the MFAs
consular affairs office and is shared with
the Dominican Republic's allies in the
anti-trafficking fight. A network of this
nature, established by the Nepali government, is sorely needed in the Gulf
countries.
Nepalis stranded in Malaysian jails
seem to make the front page on a regular
basis. They would greatly benefit from
shelters like the ones the Indonesian
Foreign Ministry operates at its embassies and consulates in a number of countries, including Malaysia, Singapore,
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Over the past
year, these diplomatic establishments
sheltered thousands of Indonesian citizens, including potential trafficking victims. In coordination with government
agencies, the embassies also assisted with
repatriation of victims.
These are some ofthe best practices
followed by other countries. Until comprehensive legislation comes into place
in Nepal, victims like Nita Lama might
find themselves stranded in jail in a foreign country while they awaitjustice. For
Lama, who has filed a case of severe
abuse against the circus employees, the
wait for justice might take a while as the
police investigate her claim. Her parents
will stay with her until she is allowed to
go. For other girls in the circus, the moment of freedom is still far away.
CWIN's Pradhan says that the fight
against child labor is not yet as organized
as the drive against girl trafficking. He
quickly adds, "But we are only beginning our fight against this sort of exploitation. I do believe affirmative action will
be taken, but it depends on the pressure
we can create." □
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
25
 Conflict
UNDER THE GUN
People working in governmental and non-governmental
organizations say the same thing about Diktel, though in
different languages. They say that the Maoists' movements
are increasing day by day, and anything could happen
anytime
BY DEEPAK KHANAL IN DIKTEL
Twenty-three year old Radha Rai,
resident of Diktel, has been living
in a state of fear for the last year.
She has nothing to do with the Maoist
rebels or the security forces; she doesn't
even know much about them. But the
regular rumor that Maoist activists are
preparing to attack Diktel, headquarters
of Khotang, is in her mind every night.
From her teashop Rai says, "I have
heard that they are coming here with big
guns. We might be killed." Rai is not alone
in her fear. Khotang is under heavy
Maoist pressure these days. Everyone in
Diktel is afraid of getting killed in a
shootout. They point out that the
Maoists have already attacked the headquarters of other hilly districts in the
east, including Sankhuwashava, Bhojpur,
Solukhumbu and Okhaldunga.
Even the security officials feel the
Maoists' intense pressure. "Yes, their
mobility has increased in this district in
the later days," says Shiva Lamichhane,
Deputy Superintendent of Police at the
District Police Office. He adds quickly,
"but it is more propaganda than reality"
People working in governmental and
non-governmental organizations say the
same thing, though in different languages.
They say that the Maoists' movements
are increasing day by day, and anything
could happen anytime. Bikash Rai, executive chief of People's Service Cen-
26
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 ter, a popular NGO working in the rights
sector, is acutely aware of warnings of
attack.
There are 76 VDCs in Khotang. Apart
from Diktel and Aiselukharka, five hours
walk away, all are controlled by the
Maoists. About 1,200 security personnel from the police, the Armed Police
Force and the army are working and
guarding the district. In Aiselukharka a
new army platoon has been set up with
three hundred soldiers. "We have managed the security arrangements as per
our capacity," DSP Lamichhane
says.
Diktel is under curfew from 7:30
p.m. to 4 a.m. During curfew even the
security personnel do not move. There
are no night patrols, but in the daytime
security forces are highly visible. A local resident asks, "How can they provide security to us while they themselves
are not sure about their security?"
DSP Lamichhane reluctantly agrees.
'We have not reached the people, and
our access is limited," he says. Several
incidents involving the security forces,
especially the army, have damaged their
reputation. A local hotel owner says the
Army, "came and tied me and my husband and beat us badly without any reason. They charged us of opening the hotel late," she says bitterly. The local
people protested against the army officer
who was involved: later he was transferred.
Occasionally, army patrols reach villages outside the headquarters. According to residents, the teams observe the
situation of villages from a distance and
sometimes shoot or torture school students, local youth and others on the
charge of being Maoists. If security
forces see someone walking fast and carrying a bag, they conclude that the person is a Maoist and attack him. The local
people say that a number of such inci-
6
Diktel is under
curfew from 7:30 PM
to 4 AM. During
curfew even the
security personnel
do not move
dents and innocent killings
have taken place in
Khotang's villages. "We
don't need the army and police for our security" a man
in Rabhuwa says.
The local people also
feel insecure if they encounter strangers. We
faced this: people watched
us suspiciously and didn't
want to answer questions.
One older man listening
to  Radio  Nepal
said, "We don't
know you. You
speak and behave
well, ask questions     about
Maoists  and
army. We answer,     but
later we are
charged
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
with being either rebels or informants.
About a half-dozen innocent villagers
have been killed here."
The Maoists formed a district
people's government under the leadership of Ratna Rai, resident of Haleshi.
Rai is a former district committee
member ofthe CPN Marxists-Leninist.
According to Maoist sources, around
2,000 guerrillas have been working in
Khotang. The Maoists have built a training centre about seven hours walk from
Diktel. A villager informed us that two
trainers from India have been teaching
the art of guerrilla warfare to the Maoists,
but Maoist sources denied the claim of
foreign trainers.
The Maoists successfully control the
areas outside ofthe headquarters, but
they have done it through the power of
guns rather than ideology. "I do not
know party politics. What I know is how
to handle a gun," Maoist guerrilla
Pratirod said. Though the party leadership claims that they have formed
"guerrilla-activists, activist-guerrillas," many rebels don't have
the capacity to deal with the
political issues. Even officers have little information
about their party leaders.
We asked them to name the
district secretary, but they
said that they didn't know
their names.
Khotang is now isolated
from the Tarai by Maoist
blockades, and Maoist activists
have imposed a ban on transporting food within the district for
the last six months. Food prices are
skyrocketing; a packet of iodized salt
is twice as expensive as before. "If
security is provided, we can import
rice, but it cannot be done on a regular basis," Chief District Officer
Mohan Prasad Sapkota says
helplessly. If the Maoists
lift  the  ban  on
transporting
food, there is
enough   to
feed everyone. Until
then,
Khotang is
facing both fear
and famine, n
27
 Marketpla
NEGATIVE
ECONOMY
Vegetable giants have opened offices in Banepa which finance farmers' purchases of the essentials for planting.
Farmers who take the financing must sell all their produce to the financiers, who fix the price ofthe harvest
BY SUNIL POKHREL
Govinda Prasad Luitel, a frail old
farmer of Panch Khal, is in despair over the declining profits
from his vegetables. Luitel has a deep
sense of anger over the lack of distribution, storage and pricing mechanisms
that would enable farmers to increase
their earnings and improve their lives.
Forty kilometres north of
Kathmandu, the Panch Khal valley is a
different world. It is one ofthe most fertile regions in Nepal. The construction
ofthe Arniko Highway paved the way
for farmers to grow cash crops and send
them to Kathmandu via Banepa. Itwas a
lucrative business initially.
"Last year, I lost Rs 150,000 because
the price for 2.5 kg of tomato was less
than two rupees," Luitel says. He decided
not to pick his ripe tomatoes: cost of
labor would have been greater than the
money the crop would have fetched him.
This year most ofthe farmers again didn't
grow tomatoes at all.
Farmers of Panch Khal have little understanding ofthe factors that determine
the price of their products. Ram Bahadur
Thapa brought cauliflower to Banepa last
week. A businessman from Kalimati
promised him a good price. Thapa came
with the businessman to Kalimati and
waited for the whole day to get his money.
Later in the evening Thapa was given Rs.
6 per kg. His cauliflower was sold for Rs.
14 per kg to the customers. "A clique of
businesspersons has formed a syndicate,
which has monopoly over the price," a
distressed Thapa says. Farmers ofthe area
haven't been able to come together with a
collective voice for their rights.
Some vegetable giants have opened
offices in Banepa, from which they finance farmers' purchases ofthe essentials for planting. Farmers who take the
financing must sell all their produce to
the financiers, who fix the price ofthe
harvest.
Farmers also believe that the vegetable giants short-weigh their vegetables. "The difference in the weight
of any product at Banepa and Kalimati
goes as high as 5 kg," says Bidur Dhahal,
a farmer from Nala.
The wholesale price of vegetables
announced by the Kalimati Fruits and
Vegetables Development Board and
broadcast every morning by Radio
Nepal seems to have no logic. Laxmi
Neupane from Chovar came to sell tomatoes at Kalimati. When businessmen
identified her as new to the place, nobody was willing to give her more than
Rs. 5 per kg even though they were selling tomatoes for Rs. 35 per kg to the
customers. She returned back home with
her load.
"The businessmen are pressing
farmers hard, very hard, to sell as low as
possible," says Bhupal Dahit, a porter
who has been around the Kalimati area
for 24 years. "I have not seen any significant improvement for any farmer
who regularly comes to sell his products, but the economic advancement
made by the businessmen in the area is
unbelievable," he adds. Businessman
*'d'- TR
a^l^a!?
w#
ipsa
-  .    s   f \:l
Survey of some items at the Kalimati
Fruits and Vegetables Market, Rs /kg
Price
Price
given to
paid by
Profit
Item
farmers
consumers
Margin
Potatoes (round)      7
11
57%
Ginger
35
70
100%
Garlic
16
32
100%
Tomatoes
28
35
25%
Cauliflower
6
14
133%
.• <
28
 1 j****'- ■-
Brajesh Kumar Jha denies the charges that
the farmers are cheated: "We don't have
profit margin of more than Rs. 4 on any
product," he says. Our informal survey
at the Kalimati market suggests otherwise. (See table)
Frequent bandas are a grand festival
for businessmen at Kalimati. They collect vegetables in advance from the farmers at the lowest possible price. In case
of extended bandas, farmers rush to sell
their vegetables before they get spoilt.
The same products are sold at three to
four times the cost during the bandas.
In recent years, to add more misery
to the lives of farmers, the productivity
of Panch Khal has been on a decline. According to Gopi Kunwar, Junior Technical Assistant at the Horticulture Center, Panch Khal, farmers use three times
as much chemical fertilizers as is required. They lack information about the
harm caused by excessive use of chemical fertilizer; that has cost the farmers
and the biodiversity of the area dearly.
Kunwar says that he no longer sees the
large flocks of butterflies that were common in the area 15 years ago. The farmers' use of pesticides also exceeds the
national average.
Desperate farmers are now resorting
to the use of hybrid seeds.
This has caused yet another problem: native
seeds have been displaced by new hybrids
that are infertile. New
seed stock must be purchased every year at high
costs. Hybrids are also
very vulnerable to pest attacks. In Panch Khal,
farming has in fact become a negative
economy, with farmers
spending more to buy
costly essentials than they
receive for their produce.
Determined to provide urbanities with fresh
vegetables but without leverage, the farmers of
Panch Khal are facing
ruin. If the situation persists, the farmers may have
to leave the profession
they like most, with their
dreams shattered.  □
29
 Writin
BY SWARNIM WAGLE
Anyone scanning the front pages of
Nepali broadsheets on 22 June
must have been struck that they
all carried Girija Prasad Koirala's public
declaration about his "openness" to the
options of electing a Constituent Assembly or holding a general referendum to
break the nation's impasse. This was
noteworthy, not because Mr. Koirala's
musings merit consideration all the time,
but because he is one ofthe last serious
politicians from a mainstream political
party to lend credence to the option of
electing a Constituent Assembly. In fact,
until recently he spoke against the idea,
hence perhaps the prominent coverage
of his apparent shift in position - and
intensification ofthe debate fifty-four
years on.
On February 18, 1951, King
Tribhuwan declared: 'We desire and so
decide that henceforth, this nation's governance shall be in accordance with a republican [sic] constitution as formulated
by a Constituent Assembly elected by
the people." B.P Koirala, among others,
has clarified in hisAatmabrittanta that the
word "republican" was unintentionally
used because its Nepali translation
"ganatantra" was confused with a decep-
tively similar term for democracy,
"prajatantra." The larger point, however,
is that after the fall ofthe Ranas, Nepal
did brace itself for a progressive constitution fit for a new democratic age. But
immediate instability that followed was
complicated by the posturing of King
Tribhuwan's son, Mahendra, who acceded to the throne in 1955. Historian
Surendra K.C. notes that by June 1958,
amidst much discord and exhaustion,
even the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party had given up their demand
for a Constituent Assembly in favor of
elections for a legislating parliament.
30
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<fn?PT f^n^ vtt*n *nw
 With Ivor Jennings' inputs, a nominated
committee, and not an elected assembly,
then drafted the kingdom's third written constitution. This gave sweeping
"emergency" powers to the King under
Article 55, which he duly abused two
years later.
Ganeshman Singh vividly describes
in his memoirs, "Mero Kathaka
Panaharu," the day of February 18,
1951, when King Tribhuwan introduced the idea of Constituent
Assembly: "It began a cold day in
Kathmandu. But by 10 a.m., the
warmth ofthe sun had beaten the
foggy nuisance, and the sky was
completely clear. From children
to old folks, everyone felt the
warm sun, the new experience of
being free citizens, and subjects
no more." But this political poetry from an otherwise inarticulate man, to today's talkative
Maoists, I believe, exaggerate the
benignity of Tribhuwan's statement. The transfer of sovereignty
then was glaringly incomplete. It
was a mere intra-aristocracy handover of authority from the Ranas
to the Shahs. It was not a real
democratic step of recognising the
people as the source of all state
power. In fact, the transfer was
farcical in its literal manifestation.
On February 17,1951, one day before the royal pronouncement,
Mohan Shumsher actually returned to King Tribhuwan the
"panjapatra" obtained by Jung
Bahadur Rana from a Shah king,
as his seal of rights to govern under murderous circumstances in the 1840s. Despite this gap, everyone hails Tribhuwan's
Falgun 7,2007, statement as truly landmark. Why?
The answer lies perhaps in the dramatically different relationship between
the monarch and his people then and
now. In 1951, the interest ofthe Shah
King was intertwined with that of the
people. The people brought back a King
who had vacated his throne, and fled.
Before he fled, they had conspired with
him for ten years using an assorted crew
of helpers: Brahmins, bodybuilders,
vendor of sweets, and Nurse Erika. The
King and his people in 1951 were on the
same side, everyone believed and hoped
for the best in Tribhuwan's promise for
greater freedom. Today, there is little
trust between the King and the people's
representatives, with an unnecessary
zero-sum game being played over their
respective constitutional rights. This
intensified, ironically, after June 1,2001,
when two of the most underexposed
Nepali institutions, the Royal Palace and
35*^
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the Royal Army, got demystified. They
always knew they were no holy cows,
but today they know the people know
too.
And, so, it's now official. The 1990
Constitution needs a handsome upgrade,
and these big questions need quick answers: rewrite, renew, or replace the
constitution with what, when and how?
The existing document is ductile enough
to be moulded to include much, from
new structures of devolution and representation, to reform ofthe Army, and a
more binding, contractual status given
to the Directives ofthe State, etc. Yet,
the clamour for a Constituent Assembly
continues to grow for two reasons. First,
the Maoists wouldn't settle for anything
less - they need this gesture to justify
their entry into mainstream politics. The
Constituent Assembly, they hint, is a
trade-off for peace. Second, even those
who saw between 1991 and 1994 that the
King could, if he wanted, be a textbook
model of a constitutional monarch, have
lost faith, feeling the need for a tighter
regime to police him.
Tacitly, the Maoists see in a
Constituent Assembly a distant,
smoky hallway that could one day
lead them to power. The monarchy sees in it the contours of its
own coffin. The silent majority
including this columnist, that
doesn't want to see either ofthe
options unfold, is concerned and
clueless. But it does know a thing
or two: drive for a republic
through the vehicle of a Constituent Assembly elected on the
strength of guns, is as dangerous
as the false expectation that the
Maoists will capitulate without
significant concessions. The
puzzle for negotiators is, how
much should we bend backward
to accommodate the leftist extremes without provoking a cataclysmic rightist backlash? How
should this dangerous fault line
be tread by the Nepali Middle?
The debate that is set to advance
will no doubt inform the details,
but broadly, the stakes for all parties in the upcoming gamble over
crafting the country's sixth constitution in six decades must be
lowered. And this includes noting the following reality at a time when
staunch anti-monarchists themselves
concede that they would accept a reformed monarchy with curtailed powers
as a final compromise. Many in the Middle
know that pushing for a republic in haste
is like ejecting toothpaste out ofthe tube
- you can't put it back if you discover
soon that dental hygiene is really not your
most important concern. The Maoists, of
course, would have us believe that, in their
Utopia, our teeth won't need brushing;
but then, we are all old enough to realize
that Santa Claus doesn't exist.
(Views expressed in this column are
personal, and do not necessarily reflect
those of institutions the writer is affiliated with.)   □
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
31
 Business
old
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BYBAISHALIBOMJAN
A digital camera takes pictures in a
computer-like form rather than
by exposing a roll of film. A few
years ago digital cameras were expensive novelties, but the technology has
improved greatly. Today professional
photographers, hobbyists, travelers and
mobile-phone users are all snapping
away. Digital photography is taking
Nepal by storm.
Digital photo studios are ready. In
April, Digiplus opened a professional
photo studio that is a completely digital
environment with an array of services
for both digital and conventional photography under one roof. Passport photos; life size portraits; laminating,
mounting and framing; developing and
printing of rolls and digital media - they
do it all, and there's always someone to
assist customers.
"We want Digiplus to be a one stop
photographic solution for our customers," says Amar Pradhan, Chairman ofthe
company. Pradhan has been actively involved in the photographic industry in
Nepal for over 17 years. He says the studio was "an opportunity and a vision to
32
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Say Cheese
do something in Nepal equivalent to the
west. We know the technology and we
have the skill, with trained professionals in our staff, so why not?"
Digiplus is stocked with world-class
equipment from leading manufacturers,
including Macintosh computers with
color-calibrated displays and graphics
tablets. Their lights are the latest, replacing old flash technology. They have a top-
of-the-line Hasselblad high-resolution
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photographers still using film, they offer one ofthe world's best film processing systems, imported from Italy. The
proof of the picture is the print: Digiplus
has two first-class photo printers, in-
Nation Weekly
talked to Madhu
Pradhan, Managing Director of Digiplus
Pvt. Ltd. about the digital
photography trend, the
improving technology and
how the photography
business has flourished in
recent years.
How has the digital
photography trend been like?
Since the last couple of years
digital photography has made
a big impact in Nepal, especially in the urban areas. The
number of customers aware of
the technology has grown rapidly enough to sustain even a
totally digital company like ours.
But isn't digital photography
more expensive?
Yes, digital photography is still
expensive in comparison to the
traditional format. Digital cameras are stil I out ofthe reach of
the common man whereas the
traditional camera is almost a
common commodity. Even the
equipment and accessories
used in a digital work is very expensive. However the heartening fact is that world wide digital
photography isfast replacing the
analogue format because digital technology is getting cheaper.
I strongly feel that it will not be
too long before digital photography will be within the reach of
everyone, even in Nepal.
How's the competition?
Currently there are not many
companies in Nepal that can
match Digiplus as far as digital
photography goes. Yet with our
advent, the competition has really heated up and it revolves
around the issue of 'price'.
However, we intend to win the
hearts of our customers not by
cheap pricing but with quality
products, good service and total customer satisfaction.
Why should customers still
choose Digiplus?
We provide professional quality solutions for almost every imaging need that a customer may
have. So any customer walking into Digiplus can have the
peace of mind that all their photographic needs will be taken
care of under one roof. We have
well-trained staff and we provide international standard
quality service. We have an array of services lined up to suit
customers with every demand.
From the smallest passport size
photo to the largest life size
portraits, large format inkjet
printing for both indoor and
outdoor needs, laminating,
mounting and framing of your
photographs, commercial and
outdoor photography, digital
solutions like prints from digital media, image editing... the
list is endless. We even have
special privileges for customers
who join the Digiplus membership program. Program members are entitled to a host of
attractive discounts and free
gift vouchers.
What technology do you use
at Digiplus?
Digiplus brought the latest state
ofthe art, worldclass digital technology within easy reach ofthe
Nepali consumer. Whether it is
developing and printing of a roll
of film, studio photography, large
format inkjet printing, digital
scanning or any digital solutions,
we have carefully chosen the
best equipment in every category from the world over. To
give you an indication of our superiority in technology, we use
an 11 megapixel medium format digital back mounted on a
hasselblad camera to shoot portraits in our studio. Even in a
large market like India there are
only a couple of such devices
in use.
Is it possible for you to
survive the cutthroat
competition?
Digiplus has been started with
a vision to develop it as the
leading professional photographic institution in Nepal. And
we can innovate. We hope to
change the face ofthe digital
photographic industry.- □
eluding one that can print on a variety of
media.
The well-trained staff exercises strict
quality control procedures. 'We have
over 35 people on our staff who were
trained for two months prior to the opening," says Pradhan. The list of services
includes studio, outdoor and commercial photography, developing and print
ing, retail merchandising, pre-press services, digital archiving and a photo gallery. A membership entitles studio users to discounts: the membership fee has
been reduced to Rs 500 as a part of their
promotional campaign. The response has
been "very good, and better than anticipated, especially from embassies and the
expatriate community" says Pradhan.  □
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
33
 Arts  Societ
Doors Of Perception
BY TIKU GAUCHAN
Robert Powell's paintings seem to
catch you unawares wherever you
find them. His portraits of landmarks, richly detailed subjects isolated
from their surroundings and etched onto
stark backgrounds, always demand more
than a second look. Describe them as
you will—ethereal, surreal, hyper-real—
but there's no denying the power they
can have over you.
Why is that so? Try to get the artist to
explain why, and the sage-like white
haired Australian will not rattle off a
longwinded explanation. "I paint subjects that I'm drawn to. Some places have
a special energy about them and that's
what I try to capture," he says. His paintings of everyday sights that we overlook—for example, a bicycle loaded with
radishes, or a rundown building in
Bhakatpur—are like images around us
unveiled in their essence for the first
time before our desensitized eyes.
His paintings of Mustang's village
dwellings, chortens and the haunting caves ofthe region's windswept
terrain look like animated beings.
The subjects of his paintings are isolated from the everyday noise that
they exist in and shown in their element.
Sometimes it's hard to figure out
exactly how "real" the representations are. Powell is a trained architect (he graduated with a B. Arch,
from New South Wales University)
who meticulously studies his subject. He often takes over 50 photos
from different angles to understand
better what he's painting, and he
usually takes up to three or four
months to finish his work. But after
he sifts through the details, he
chooses what he wants to accentuate in his paintings and what to leave
out. His technique of coloring certain portions—a bold splash of ochre
on a ceremonial gate in Mustang, a
bright yellow dab that drips from a
huge charm against evil spirits hung
on a house's limestone fagade—
seem to highlight the soul, the energy of
the place.
In some of his work, Powell uses
creative license to paint surreal portraits
where objects from day-to-day life are
juxtaposed in strange combinations. For
example, by placing gigantic ram horns
(considered charms against evil spirits)
atop a Mustangi house he creates an
imaginary abode that seems all prepped
up to do battle against the harsh Mustang climate. And as if to keep you from
questioning the validity of the dream
image, the horns are made to look like
natural       out-     	
growths of the
house: they are
coated with a mosaic of colorful
tiles and you can
almost hear
Powell chuckling
34
ground, saying, "You bet this is real."
Powell's "imaginary" works are not arbitrarily slap-dashed together to give
them that surreal feel just for art's sake.
The surreal depictions hit you with an
emotive force, the force ofthe place that
the artist might have felt in the first place,
and which may not come through in a
more realistic format.
But perhaps most importantly,
Powell's paintings accord sanctity to the
landmarks. It's like he's saying, "Look,
this is how precious your heritage is. "Vbu
look but you don't see how important
your humble landmarks are." By including details of older bricks behind the
crumbling plaster in the houses of
Bhaktapur, by showing the dampness
seeping through the painted walls of a
school in Chahabil, he documents the
times the buildings have seen. The paintings acknowledge the intimacy that someone at sometime shared with the landmark—places infused with a sense ofthe
common man's history. He doesn't paint
landmarks touted as "historical sites" by
the state but attempts to give dignity to
places that people hold dear. Towards that
end, most of his paintings have long
captions that explain the meanings
of the cultural symbols incorporated in the works.
Powell first came to Asia in 1974
when he visited Ladakh. He's been
living on and off in Nepal for over
26 years. He's documented landmarks in Ladakh, the Kalash and
Swat Valleys in Pakistan and the
Anhyui province in China. While
in Nepal, he's lent his services to
Bhaktapur's lokta paper workers,
helped UNICEF design cards and
worked with the Janakpur Women's
Art Center. His portraits of Nepal
have been displayed at the
Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C and in the Museum ofEth-
nography in Zurich. He won't tell
you this, but apparently the government hasn't done one whit to help
him stay here. Bynextweek, Powell,
a native son through his deeds if not
by creed, will have already left Nepal
for Cambodia. Probably for good.
His creations are the visual landmarks he'll leave behind. □
(Prints of Powell's work can be bought at the
Pilgrims Bookhouse)
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
  Arts   Societ
FIRST PERSON
The Belly
Of The Beast
Thamel seems to have developed as a result of the demands of those who claim to want "the real Nepal," but
still ask for the comforts of home
BY KIRSTY FISHER
Two months ago I checked into a
guesthouse on the edge of Thamel,
where many visitors head after
touching down in Kathmandu. They
want to collect their thoughts, reset body
clocks and adjust to a different country
and culture. The irony is that these
people have flown thousands of miles
specifically to come to Nepal yet they
congregate in Thamel, a place that could
not be further removed from the culture and spirituality ofthe country
Every restaurant offers a menu from
every country ofthe world, all remarkably similar. It's as if they have all agreed
to provide the same bland mash of cultures. At any one time your ears are assaulted by western music from at least
three conflicting locations: snatches of
reggae riffs compete with the overplayed
Hotel California intro bit or, this seems
to be a favorite here, a rendition ofthe
Door's "Roadhouse Blues" for domination ofthe sound-scape. The streets in
Thamel are littered with trash, and the
traffic becomes gridlocked several times
a day. Mass produced souvenir-kitsch is
sold across Thamel at specially inflated
tourist prices, and children patrol the
streets tirelessly, attempting to sell jew
elry, bags or other such artifacts to wealthy
and largely disinterested tourists.
Many people who come to Nepal
appear to be determined to get what they
expect out ofthe experience, no matter
what. They seem to have
preconceived ideas and
are unwilling to change
them. Perhaps this is the
reason so many visitors
are blind to the irony of
Thamel. It has developed
to meet the demands of those who claim
to want "the real Nepal" but still ask for
the comforts of home. Businesspeople
keen to make a fast buck are eager to
oblige and have created the colorful and
vibrant yet disturbingly fake world of
Thamel. Look a bit deeper and you will
see beneath the veneer: nothing can hide
the fact that Nepal is a third world country with a lot of problems, not an idyllic
and peaceful land where everyone exists
in peace and harmony, as many of the
people who come here would like to
believe.
To reach one of Thamel's meditation
centers, an oasis of calm and stillness
enclosed by a high fence, you have to
walk down an alley where on some
nights a man sleeps curled up in his col
orfully painted rickshaw. If you look
The tourists
enjoy their own
image of IVepal
closely you'll see the body of a rat has
been left to decompose in the alley for
the last two months. Yet most of the
people who make up the ever-changing
tourist population of Thamel seem
happy to wander the streets oblivious to
this underbelly. The familiarity of the
coffee shops, bars and restaurants makes
those far from home feel safe, and this
blinds them to the fact that what they are
experiencing is not typical Nepal and
does not truly represent the lives of
people across the country
It is truly astonishing to hear tourists
in cafes complaining that the replicated
western food is not quite the same as at
home. One is forced to wonder why
such people spent their money on a plane
ticket and endured the
long flight if what they
want is the food they can
get in the comfort of
their own homes.
Perhaps the reality of
Nepal would spoil the
fable of Shangri-la, so a bubble enclosing Thamel has been created to shelter
the seekers of enlightenment and mountain tranquility Recently Thamel has become more than just this. It is also a haven from the political turmoil that is
paralyzing normal life across the rest of
the city. On bandh days mostof Thamel
maintains business as normal. The noise
ofthe ever-blasting music drowns out
the sounds of the daily protests in the
streets not so far away. This raises a question: is it right that people should come
to a country with so many troubles and
be allowed to lead a perfectly comfortable existence, totally oblivious to these
issues?
The ethical issue may not matter.
Thamel's bubble used to seem solid:
parties, protesters and Maoists were
generally happy to allow this oasis a sheltered existence. But in recent months
Maoist bombs have gone off in and
around Thamel. Blasts at a massage parlor and in the parking lot ofthe Sanchaya
Kosh building sent tremors rumbling
through the tourism business. Foreign
countries now routinely issue frightening travel advisories about Nepal to their
citizens. Could it be that the time of tourists blindly enjoying their image of
Nepal is over? Is the Thamel bubble
going to burst?   □
CTnKD
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 In-depth Analysis of
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Business in Nepal
People have their say on
the upcoming
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ON NEWS STANDS
 Sense   Nonsense
Guru of Meanderings
The wisdom of a teacher isn't located in his brain. It emerges, often beautifully,
from the interaction among the teacher, the students, and the text
BY SAM RAT UPADHYAY
For me the joy of teaching literature comes from its surprises.
Literary works are not memorandums, policy documents, or mathematical equations with precise answers, so readers can enter
them from multiple angles, and come out with multidimensional, complex understanding. Literature floats in a sort of an airy-fairy space
that allows readers to enter and exit at will—that's why it's often
instructive to open a page at random and start reading, for a work of
iterature often bypasses our usual linear, cause-and-effect thought
mode that seeks easy answers to complex issues of human living.
For this reason I dislike enteringa class with pre-conceived notions of
what I'm going to say about a particular text. This strategy has worked
well for me, even as the moment before I approach the classroom I
am beset by a mild anxiety: What am I going to say? As a teacher,
don't I have a responsibility of "illuminating" the text for my students?
Don't the students expect the teacher to know more than they do?
Don't they look upon me as their guru—if not of love, then at least of
infinite wisdom they themselves don't have?
But the wisdom of a teacher isn't located in his brain. It emerges,
often beautifully, from the interaction among the teacher, the students, and the text. If I start a discussion of a literary work with what I
think it "means, "then the next thing the students will do is begin to
take furious notes, which instantly kills
thoughtful contemplation. Taking notes
comes from our age-old fear of being
"tested" on the text: what does this passage mean? How do you link this evidence to the earlier thesis statement?
IfX travels at the speed of 25 miles per
hour, how long will it take X to reach
from point A to Z? Literature often
doesn't travel from point A to Z. It stops
for a scenic refill at point D, then returns
home to point A, pick up a left-behind
character, zooms through D to Fat 100
miles an hour, only to receive a speeding ticket at G, gets caught in the evening
rush-hour until point M, and the path
from N to Z reveals that the character
picked up earlier is merely a ghost, that
he's actually watchingTV back at point
A. Does it make sense, then, for the
guru to blather on about what the book
means when the meandering travel itself dictates that we travel along
meanderingly?
The best way to kill my mild anxiety is to ask, after I've taken my
teacherly seat, "So, what do you think?" This puts the onus squarely on
the students, and I can start relaxing. It goes without saying that this
strategy works better with graduate students, who have a propensity
towards verbosity and who are often better read than I am. The "what do
you think" question works because it doesn't demand a specific answer.
More importantly, it doesn't tell them what I am thinking, which often is
not much. But it also leads the discussion to exciting territories that I
alone, despite my guru status, wouldn't be capable of thinking. A good
example is my graduate contemporary short story course's discussion of
Ha Jin's The Bridegroom last semester. A writer of infuriatingly delightful
spare prose, Ha Jin's body of work focuses on the social changes in
post-Cultural Revolution China. I was thinking of discussing how the
short story handles themes of politics (we'd read South African writer
Nadine Gordimer's "Jump and Other Stories" recently), but my "What do
you think?" question led the students, one in particular, to immediately
zero in on Ha Jin's stories' brilliant defiance of creative-writing-school
dictum about point of view, a dictum that holds that point of view switches
from one character to the next, especially in a short story, often alienates the reader. In Ha Jin's "Saboteur," the point of view is closely
tied to Mr. Chiu, the protagonist, as he gets imprisoned for a minor
altercation with policemen in the town square of Muji (yes, funny in
Nepali) and is accused of sabotage. But the last few paragraphs
move away from Mr. Chiu to his lawyer,
who witnesses his client eat at many restaurants after being released, and the last
section adopts an objective point of view
that informs us that "eight hundred people
contracted acute hepatitis"—Mr. Chiu's
revenge on his oppressors.
The point of view discussion dominated our three-hour session, and we
talked about how some "international"
writers, who haven't attended creative
writing schools, feel less restricted by rules
that can seriously hamper budding American writers. For future writers, as my students are, Ha Jin's play with point of view
turned out to be a poignant lesson on how
good literature often makes its own rules.
And for me, the session proved, once
again, that I don't need to illuminate any-
thingfor my students—they'll travel toward
the light themselves, and best thing I can
do is hop in forthe joy of the ride. D
(Author of novel "The Guru of Love,"
Upadhyay teaches in the MFA writing program
at Indiana University, Indiana.)
38
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 For insertions: 2111102
or editorial@nation.com.np
Page
CITY ThisWeek
Films @ Lazimpat
Gallery Cafe
Free Admission; Time: 7 p.m. For
information: 4428549
JUNE 29: LOVE ACTUALLY
This directorial debut by Richard
Curtis, screenwriter of "Four
Weddings and a Funeral,"
"Notting Hill" and "Bridget
Jones's Diary," is a romantic comedy that boasts a jaw-dropping
line up of A-list British and Hollywood talent, including Hugh Grant
and Colin Firth. "Love Actually"
is a delightful mess, which interweaves 15 stories of love and
heartbreak, and is unpretentious
about what it is: cute, fluffy and
utterly charming.
JULY 1: SHREK 2
The sequel to the Oscar winning
animated flick, "Shrek," explores
what exactly does the "after" in
"happily ever after" mean for
Shrek (Mike Myers) and Princess
Fiona (Cameron Diaz). They are
supported in the movie bythe an-
noyingly funny Donkey (Eddie
Murphy), the suave Puss in Boots
(Antonio Banderas) and a multi
tude of colorful characters. Shrek
2 is an enjoyable feature appropriate for the whole family.
The Yale Whiff en poofs
The world famous acappella
band, the Yale Whiffenpoofs, return to Nepal with a repertoire ranging from their own renditions of
classic jazz, English folk songs and
Motown hits to their own authen
tic arrangements. Time to soar high
among the clouds along with The
Yale Whiffenpoofs. June 29 and
30. For information: 4248999
ext. 2865.
Secret Moments
An exhibition of paintings by
Bhairaj Shrestha. Siddhartha Art
Gallery, Baber Mahal Revisited. Till
July 15. Time: 11 a.m. -6 p.m.
For information: 4218048
An Evening with
Pankaj Udhas
McDowell's No.l presents an
evening with Pankaj Udhas at the
Hyatt Regency Ballroom 6 p.m.
onwards on July 2. Tickets: Rs.
3,000 (includes dinner and
drinks).     For    information:
2080392. Also at Ratna Hotel,
BiratnagaronJuly3.
British Film Festival 2004
British Council is organizing the
British Film Festival from June 28
to July 2 at the Gopi Krishna Cinema Hall. The festival boasts a
varied line up of movies from different genres. "TouchingThe Void"
(June 28) describes an extraordinary story of survival and adventure. Based on the international
best seller by Joe Simpson it tells
the story of a climb Simpson and
his climbing partner, Simon Yates,
undertook in the Peruvian Andes
in 1985. "Dirty Pretty Things"
(June 29) is an urban thriller set
in a world of asylum seekers that
lies behind the familiar urban
metropolis of London. It is a tale
of two cities, both of them in London. "The Warrior" (June30) isa
timeless story of an epic journey
of a warrior from the deserts of
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
Rajasthan to the snow capped
peaks ofthe Himalayas. "Anita and
Me" (July 1) paints a poignant and
colorful portrait of village life in
1972 in the era of flares, power
cuts, glam rock and decimalization
through the story of 12-year old
Anita. "About A Boy" (July 2) based
on the book by Nick Hornby tells
the story a rich, child-free and irresponsible Londoner who just happens to meet a certain special boy.
Tickets free of cost from the reception at British Council. Remaining tickets available on the day of
the show from 6 p.m. at Gopi
Krishna. For information:
4410798
 Viewpoi
Unwanted Guests
I believe that the majority of foreigners living in Nepal have chosen to be here out of
a genuine desire to contribute to the country's development. But the government
does not make it easy for us
BY MERA THOMPSON
Last year I met an American doctor setting up a medical training
program for monks and nuns and buildinga series of small clinic-
hospitals in the villages of Nepal'sfar-flung mountain regions. He
had traveled regularly to Nepal—on his own dime—and was committed
to seeing through a project that he believed would be of great assistance
to the resource-deprived hinterland. About a month after our first meeting, I received a surprising e-mail from the doctor. He was leaving Nepal,
this time for good. A meeting with senior officials at the Ministry of Health
had failed to yield the necessary visa that would enable his work to go
ahead and had ended badly with a straight-out demand for cash bribes.
Pleas from the U.S. ambassador on his behalf were of little help. The
ministry officials showed little interest in his proposed work or the potential benefit for those without access to state-sponsored health care, the
doctor said. The doctor was headed for India, where he hoped his
project would be met with a warmer welcome.
Despite the varying impressions the public at large may have of
foreigners, I believe that the majority of us living in Nepal have chosen to
be here out of a genuine desire to contribute to the country's development. Many go to work in the remote districts, filling a void left by educated Nepalis who choose to settle in the rela
tive comforts of Kathmandu or beyond. But
the government does not make it easy for
us. My Nepali friends are consistently
shocked to learn that even a tourist visa
cannot be accrued for more than five
months running (India, by contrast,
offers five and 10-year tourist visas), and if you're hoping for a
long-term business or work visa,
you better be willing to pay. Many
foreigners possessing skills of potential
value to the local economy and to local commu
nities, like the American doctor, are shut out
essential ly from the get go.
I lived in China for a number of years before moving to Nepal. Despite their continuing reservations about
foreign culture and "ideas," Chinese authorities have realized that a
certain degree of openness is necessary in this day and age. At least
50,000 foreign nationals now live in Beijingalone, bringing with them
technology, trade and investment that have played a role in local development: Americans have set up schools, Canadians have opened hospitals, and Germans have designed research and development centres
that employ thousands. Real estate development, shopping centers
and entertainment venues designed to accommodate these expatriates, and the upwardly mobile locals they train, employ and attract back
from overseas, have made the municipal economy one ofthe strongest
on the mainland.
Which raises the question—why hasn't a comparatively foreign-
friendly country like Nepal followed suit with its Asian neighbors? It is clear
that keeping us out has become a big money business in certain quarters. Last I heard, the going rate for "arranging" a work visa was in the
range of Rs. one to three lakh, while the state-levied fee for a Non-Tourist
Visa (required for those working in the development field) can reach
$100 a month. Alternately, a Resident Visa might be offered to foreigners interested in a one-time investment of $lmillion in a local industry of
their choice. The difficulty in obtaining a visa has reached such a peak
that on meeting another foreigner in Kathmandu, one ofthe first questions generally asked is along the lines of, "So... how are you managing
yourvisa?"The range of answers is truly mind-blowing. (Out of sympathy
for those resorting to these unconventional methods, I won't mention
them here, but there are certainly loopholes to be found bythe persistent and the resourceful.)
That being said, the risks of straying into these "gray areas" ofthe law
are considerable. Take a visit to the Public Relations Office at the Central
Jail in Sundhara and you'll learn that easily half of the foreigners incarcerated in Nepal have been jailed for visa fraud of some sort.
Interestingly, most of those sentenced are from the developing countries of Africa and Asia. Those who can
afford to pay off officials who catch them on the
wrong side of visa regulations tend to walk free.
Unscrupulous officials, pockets bulging a little fatter, are only too happy to oblige.
The fact is that few foreigners in
Nepal—INGO and diplomatic staff
being the notable exceptions—work
for organizations that are able to provide long-term visas. Though non-profit
groups registered with the Social Welfare
Council are on paper able to apply for
at least one visa per foreign staff, they
are often dissuaded from doing so by
the overwhelm ing bureaucracy and the arbitrary palm
greasing it will involve.
Perhaps it's time to start a renewed debate on the issue—do average
Nepalis really believe that allowing more foreigners to live in this country
would do more harm than good? Keeping a stranglehold on visa issuance
clearly increases the propensity for graft in direct service and for those in
power, but does it benefit Nepal on a macro level? It might seem petty to
wrangle over a comparatively trivial issue when so many more immediate
crises loom over the country, but perhaps at this time of impending change
in Nepal it would be in due course to give a rethink to opening the country's
doors a bit wider. Doingsohascertainlyservedothernationswell.   □
J.
40
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Jobs
Vacancy Announcement
POST TITLE: ASSISTANT FINANCE OFFICER
Responsibilities : The Assistant Finance Officer -will be overall resposible for the financial
management ofthe project office, which includes timely payments to the vendors, partners,
conterparts and staff S/he will have to prepare the monthly payroll, expenses analysis report,
budgeting ofthe project and financial report for the central office and donors. S/he will also have
to support local partners in enhancing their financial system. Only those who are -willing to live
and work in remote districts should apply
Areas of required competencies:
■ Familiarity -with budgeting and reporting systems of international funding agencies
■ Familiarity -with the fund accounting system
■ Ability to handle financial management ofthe project independently
■ Ability to run and generate reporting from computer based accounting software
■ Interpersonal, supervision and training skills
■ Budget and expense analysis skills
■ Sound knowledge of local grant management and auditing
■ Ability to use computer to run office application software packages ( MS Word, Excel)
Qualifications:
■ Minimum Bachelors Degree in Business Management
■ Three years experience in the related field with similar organization
Salary and benefits: As per the rules ofthe organization
Interested Nepali citizens are requested to apply with curriculum vitae and contact telephone
number by 20 July 2004
To:
The Human Resource Department
CARE International in Nepal
Pulchowk, Lalitpur
P.O. Box 1661, Kathmandu, Nepal
Only those selected for interview will be notified. Telephone enquiries will not be entertained.
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For further details and application procedure, please visit us at
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Telephone calls will not be entertained
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Tel: 2003120
42
JULY 4, 2004   |  nation weekly
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nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
43
 Books
Not So Royal
BYAJITBARAL
The Academy has become a conveyor belt that consistently churns out low quality books
The Royal Nepal Academy was instituted in 1957 to promote language, literature, art and culture.
Till 1996 it had published 467 books (12
books per year or so.) In the last few
years it has been publishing on average
20 books a year, apart from a clutch of
journals and literary magazines. To date
it has published more than 650 books.
Most people therefore expect it to be a
full-fledged publishing house, but it has
never acted like one.
Every publishing house should have
the mechanisms of writing—commissioning, peer reviewing, substantive editing, copy editing, etc.,—in place. The
Academy however doesn't. It doesn't
commission books, send submitted-
manuscripts for peer review or substantially edit the manuscripts. What it does
byway of editing is proofreading. And
writers have to have the right connection and a good reputation in order to
get published. The result: the Academy
has become a conveyor belt that consistently churns out low quality books.
Although the Academy publishes
books on all sorts of subjects and genres:
criticism, history, travel, stories, poems
and      culture,
books of poems
and criticism top
the numbers list.
Criticism books
are all like the
BasudevTripathi
type, that is, written in the old
dharra, style. Poetry has only a
small readership,
yet the Academy keeps bringing out collections of poems.
Travel books are high on romantic
rumination and low on life. The journals are erratic. A good scholarly work
gets clubbed together not infrequently
with pedestrian articles. What is worse,
research articles, especially those written in English, are badly written. And
most ofthe English books are guest-edited by those with exaggerated reputations but with no proven editing skill.
If the contents of the Academy's
books are nothing to write home about,
its packaging of books is slapdash at best.
It doesn't package its product the way
professional publishing houses do. Academy books look shabby. Little surprise
then that the Academy puts its publications on sale every year at 10 to 80 percent discount to clear its stock.
Instead of trotting outthelis of books
of criticism and poetry that have little
readership, the Academy should give
grants to books that need to be urgently
written. A book on Nepali contemporary art and language comes immediately
to mind. Those writing in English can
refer to books like "The Art of Fiction"
by John Gardner, "The Elements of
Style" by William Strunk, "The King's
English" by Fowler, and"The Use and
Abuse of Language" by Eric Partridge to
learn the nitty-gritties of good writing.
But those writing in Nepali cannot consult any such books.
Professional publishing houses have
to worry about where to get money for
the next titles. So
they set their one
eye firmly on the
market and the
other on quality
But the Academy
gets a certain
amount of money
each year to publish books irrespective of their
quality. Therefore there is no real emphasis in bringing out saleable books. It's time that the
Academy had a separate publishing department headed by someone who
knows the tricks ofthe publishing trade
and the department be given complete
autonomy and made to run mostly on
the sale of its titles. Only then can it start
publishing good books.  □
Image Metro's 26-year-old television
news anchor Usha Bhatta loves fiction and
books that analyze social trends. "It's also a
way to increase your knowledge," says Bhatta
other reading habit. She also likes reading research related articles and says that the reading helps her in her writings. Though she mostly
reads Nepali books, she doesn't ignore English
works either.
First reading memories
Comics and storybooks—Chacha Chaudhary,
Betaal and Archie's. We used to hide them
between our textbooks and read them in class.
The teachers never caught on. I also remember story books such as 'Yomari Maiya" and
"Siruki Bhakri." It's sad to see that these books
are not read by present day kids.
Last read
"Nepalko Rastriya Jhanda, Itihas, Baiseshtya
Ra Prayog" by Dr. Daya Ram Shrestha. It won
the Madan Purashkar in 2053 and deals with
the various codes of conduct that should be
followed regarding the national flag. It was an
interesting read—had some interesting facts
that I would have otherwise never known.
On my bookshelf
"Arms and the Man" by George Bernard Shaw
and "Emma" by Jane Austen.
Favorite writers
Paarijat and Purushwottam Shumsher Rana. I
like Rana's writings on Nepal's history.
Book I want to read but haven't had time for
"Living History" by Hillary Rodham Clinton and
Bill Clinton's newly released book, "My Life."  □
nation weekly |  JULY 4, 2004
45
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Last Word
n
It's A Circus Out There
It would perhaps have never come to
our notice. And hundreds of Nepali
children would have continued to
toil under huge tents in faraway Indian
cities, entertaining others their own age,
never allowed to speak their own language, and seldom venturing outside the
narrow confines of their compound. And
few of us in Nepal would have got to
hear their stories of distress. Much less
decide to do something about it.
All this came to light for most of us
when the activists ofthe Nepal Child
Welfare Foundation and South Asian
Coalition on Child Servitude were attacked by the goons of The Great Roman Circus in Kamailganj, near
Lucknow. The activists knew that the
circus had children working for it and
mute spectators even as the circus hoodlums attacked the rescuers: the raid took
place under the nose ofthe Sub Divisional
Magistrate, Havaldar Yadav. Two weeks
on, the goons of The Great Roman Circus still roam freely in Kamailganj (in the
district of Gonda, UP). And it is the rescuers who are beginning to fear for their
lives. It has been some circus, all this.
It hasn't all been a waste however. The
Indian Human Rights Commission last
week dispatched a fact-finding team to
Gonda and actor Nandita Das famously
joined hands with the activists. That's good
news for an estimated 500 Nepali children
who are in the tight clutches of Indian circuses. We are with Khem Thapa, head of
the Hetauda-based NCWF, which has
been at the forefront in these rescues, when
were conducting what was to be a surprise raid to free them. They were
emboldened by a similar raid in April
when they rescued 29 Nepali children
from The Great Indian Circus at
Palakkad, Kerala. The youngest one was
only seven.
The Lucknow operation drew
everybody's attention, simply because it
ran afoul. We are shocked that the four
parents who had accompanied the activists would not be allowed to return home
with their own children. We are even
more shocked by the fact that local authorities present during the raid remained
he says we need to continuously apply pressure to the circus owners from Lucknow.
The Indian Circus Federation declared in
2002 that it would not recruit children and
even freed nine children during a high-
pitch press meet in New Delhi in January
2004. We call on the Indian government to
ensure that they follow-up on their promises. Even in these shockingly violent times,
violence against children continues to
shock us.
Akhilesh Upadhyay, Editor
JULY 4, 2004   I  nation weekly
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