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Nation Weekly May 9, 2004, Volume 1, Number 3 Upadhyay, Akhilesh May 9, 2004

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 NEPAL'S YOUNG CRICKETERS | WAR WIDOWS | NEW NEPALI DREAM
MAY 9, 2004 VOL. 1, NO. 3
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 nation
MAY 9, 2004
VOL. 1, NO. 3
COVER: Klshor Kayastha (98510 52778)
COVER STORY
16 Nepal's Donors Fall Out
By Akhilesh Upadhyay
This week's NDF merely showcased the long-festering
differences between Nepal's donors: Europe firmly stands
for human rights; United States and India are not about to
give up their national security concerns.
COLUMNS 	
9
18 Bones Of
Contention
By Suman Pradhan
At this point in Nepal's conflict, the
18-point demand by the parties has
emerged as the bone of contention
between the monarch and the parties.
32 Women And
Militarization
By Seira Tamang
The decision to recruit women did not
come from a sudden realization by the
military that women are equal citizens
or that there should be more adequate
representation of women in the forces.
It emerged from the basic reality of
needing more bodies in the fight against
the Maoist insurgency.
34 New Nepali Dream
By Yubraj Acharya
Only after a sense of kinship is
created will a Pahadi Bahun from
Arghakhanchi empathize with a
Magar from Baglung and vice versa.
It is this feeling of Nepaliness that
will attract youngsters abroad to head
back home.
26 Five Ironies On
Chinese Brassieres
By Swarnim Wagle
When Maoists say the United States
intends to use Nepal to "encircle"
China geo-politically they seem
unaware that the United States and
China are already economically
entangled in US$ 170 billion of annual
trade.
14 Return Of
The Rana ?
■ l s   -_ By Satishjung Shahi
■ RPP boss Pashupati SJB Rana
n once again hogs the center-
m stage, and in style.
22 Nepal Is Now Big
Business
By Sushmajoshi
The buzz of excitement around
Nepal's entry into the World Trade
Organization (WTO), its 147th
member, has been tempered by a
school of thought that warns of the
dangers.
24 Deflecting The
Defectors
By Sushmajoshi
The government move to send former
Maoists abroad kills three birds with
one stone: It ensures the security of
defecting members, it gets rid of
people who might be tempted back to
the rebel movement and, most
importantly, it potentially lures
Maoists away from the movement.
ARTS & SOCIETY
28
Not Coming
Back Again
By Sanjeev Uprety
The Pheri yogis, original spies of the
nation and wardens against evil spirits,
may soon be out of work.
30 Great Expectations
By Sharan Marahatta
Nepal's young team is
going from strength to
I strength. But the big test,
t *  4k_ says coach Roy Dias, comes
S^Hi in the ACC Trophy in June.
DEPARTMENTS
6 LETTERS
8 PICTURE OF THE WEEK
12 CAPSULES
33 CITY PAGE
35 BOOKS: HALF A LIFE
36 KHULA MANCH: ROY DIAS
38 LAST WORD
 nation
Nation Weekly, The Media House, Tripureshor,
Kathmandu, Nepal (Regd. 113/059-060).
Tel: 2111102,4229825,4261831, 4263098
EDITOR: Akhilesh Upadhyay
editorial@nation.com.np
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Suman Pradhan
COPY EDITOR: Tiku Gauchan
STAFF WRITERS: Sushma Joshi, Satish JungShahi
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AD & CIRCULATION DIRECTOR: Krishna Shrestha
MARKETING EXECUTIVE: Rameshwor Ghimire
ad@nation.com.np
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SUBSCRIPTION: Ashish Bhattarai
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AD ENQUIRIES: Tel. 4229825, 4261831, 4263098
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CONTACT
www.natio n.com. n p
nation
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E-mail: editorial@nation.com.np
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Tripureshor, Kathmandu, Nepal.
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EPC 5620, Tripureshor, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 2111102, 4229825, 4261831, 4263098
Fax: 4216281
nation
subscription@nation.com.np
2111102
Congratulations
THE BUZZ WAS ALREADY THERE AND
now after having seen your two issues,
Nation seems to be on a roll. The layout
is attractive, the articles and analyses are
well written, and worth the money. A
well timed debut. The high standards are
evident, but can you keep it up? I'm optimistic.
GEETA PARAJULI
JARIBUTI, KOTESHWOR
CONGRATULATIONS FIRST OF ALL. IT
is incredible. There should be a search
section on your website
(www.nation.com.np). Please add articles on movies, fashion (I know it's
frivolous).
PRABAL GURUNG
NEW YORK, VIA E-MAIL
I PICKED UP THE NATION WEEKLY THE
very first day it hit the newstands and was
instantly bowled over — by the cover
(though the masthead stretching from one
end of the cover to the other seemed little
off-putting to me), the layout and the general quality of writings. I had wanted to
send in a congrats note. But I said, hold
on, because you had been planning for
the issue for months and it was bound to
be good. So I had wanted to check if you
could sustain the quality. Looking at the
second issue, it seems, you could.
The article by Deepak Thapa was excellent. So was Suman Pradhan's
("Malinowski's Diplomacy," Meanwhile, May 2). Samuel Thomas's incriminating take on the documentary
"Bhedako Oon Jasto" was interesting
(and justified) ("As Long As You Film
it," Viewpoint, May 2). But don't be
complacent yet. There are areas that
Nation Weekly could improve on, like
cutting down the section for the snippets of news to one page and making the
copy   typos-free.
GOVINDA GHIMIRE
POKHARA, VIA E-MAIL
The Royal takeover
I AGREE WITH DEEPAK THAPA THAT
our political parties needed "that jolt,
(without which) our politicians would
have continued in their business-as-usual
mode, with consequences unknown for
our country"—if not altogether with the
view that the King was the right person,
or means, to provide it ("The October 4
Windfall," A Little Word, May 2). Even
if the King's October 4 move is vindi
cated on these grounds, I do not think the
subsequent 19 months of active involvement can be justified. It has crippled
democratic institutions in their very infancy. The post-October 4 anarchy illustrates the lack of vision on the King's part.
A bold initiative is fine, when followed
up with breadth of vision to take account
of the aftermath. The King's sacking of
Deuba government and whatever has
happened thence reminds me of the situation in Iraq. President George W Bush
knew that Saddam posed a grave danger
to American interests, and hence had to
be disposed, but Bush's vision didn't extend beyond Saddam's removal. Whatever
has happened since the toppling of the
dictator is there for all to see.
BISWAS BARAL
RATOPUL, KATHMANDU
Good and bad about Nation
YOUR SECOND ISSUE WAS DEFINITELY
better than your first—in terms of both
the layout and content. Deepak Thapa's
take on the ramifications of the King's
October 4 move provided a new perspective on why the parties are taking to
the streets. Similarly, Sushma Joshi's article on Everest was different from the
run of the mill write-ups one usually
comes across in most media journals ("A
Laboratory Known As Everest," Everest,
May 2). Caroline Rodal's piece, however, seemed no different from the typical newspaper articles with its covert
pro-Girija tone ("Is This The Endgame?"
Breaking News, May 2). I wonder if
there really are thousands of non-partisan democrats in the country who "revere" Girija. Can any non-partisan democrat really "revere" today's politicians?
But, overall, your magazine definitely
does provide food for thought.
HARI JAISWAL
SUNDHARA
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
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Meanwhile
18 Bones Of Contention
BY SUMAN PRADHAN
K
ng Gyanendra's recent summons to individual politicians for
consultations to defuse the current crisis is eerily reminiscent
f the past but with a key difference. Instead of trooping
to the Royal Palace, as they did three times before, the leaders of the
five major parties, which are spearheading a pro-democracy agitation
have refused to meet the King without first winning some concessions.
While some of those concessions have already been made—release of Jana Morcha Nepal leaders and activists, scaling down of the
prohibitory orders in Kathmandu, etc.,—the key one has not: discussions with the King based on the parties' 18-point agenda. In case you
have forgotten, the 18 points basically aim to reduce the monarch's
active role, limit the royal title, re-establish control over the Royal purse,
and somehow bring the Royal Nepal Army under parliamentary control.
In essence, the demands go to the heart of the conflict between the
Palace and the parties.
The Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) president, Pashupati Shumsher
Rana, who is among the very few people to have the ear of the Palace,
has said that the 18 points are a hindrance to a real dialogue between
the monarch and the parties. The indication coming out ofthe Palace is:
the parties should drop some ofthe most stringent demands and there
could be reconciliation, perhaps even an all-party government led by
someone who is the parties' choice.
Clearly, at this point in Nepal's conflict, the 18 points have emerged
as the bone of contention between the monarch and the parties. The
King sees his interest in retaining as much power and authority for himself as he can, and the parties see theirs as beingjust the opposite.
In this two-way tussle for supremacy, the Maoists—the third force in
the confl ict—are waitinginthesidelines, watch i ng how the parties and the
monarch play out their chess game. Their intention, no doubt, is to come
in at some point and check-mate both sides. The rebels seem content at
the moment to win some favorable press coverage, as with the release of
the 41 policemen abducted from Pashupatinagar on April 8.
Just the fact that the Palace has made overtures is being seen by the
parties as a victory of sorts. Some ofthe politicians and activists I have
spoken to in recent days seem to bel ieve that the street protests were
crucial in forcing the monarch to seek a dialogue. While this seems to be
true to some extent, it is not the whole truth.
Without the impending embarrassment of a potentially unsuccessful
Nepal Development Forum meeting, and without pressure to reconcile
from donors whether they be India, the United States, Britain or any
number of other European countries, the government (and by implication the Palace) would probably not have sought a dialogue at this point.
After all, despite all the hullabaloo raised by the press, the sad fact of
the protests is that it is still devoid ofthe masses. They may have spread
out from Bagbazaar to New Road and Chabahil, but the protests are still
largely attended bythesame politicians, activists, students and partisan
members of civil society groups.
But the King has thrown the ball in the parties' courts, and they have
already sent a stinging rebuke. The danger now is two-fold.
The first is that, a chance at genuine dialogue could be missed. It
sounds simple, but dialogue is always better than confrontation. The
parties should ask for a collective meeting with the King, and lay out their
position with a precise road-map ofthe future. The King should, in turn,
hold the dialogue in good faith, notjust aim to increase his powers which
is at the source ofthe conflict with the parties.
And the road-map the parties propose should not confine itself to
bits and pieces ofthe 18-point agenda but rather include the overarching
issues ofthe political and social conflict embodied by the Maoist insurgency. This is where the second danger lies: in their attempt to limit the
monarch's role, the parties may forget that there are real bread and
butter issues out there which the people want them to deal with.
In short, the parties should listen to some of their own activists and
supporters, people like CPN(UML) activist Bishnu Maden of Dhankuta,
who know why there haven't been mass participation in the protests,
and what needs to be done about it. Appearing dejected after a sparsely
attended party protest in Dhankuta Bazaar on a recent day, Maden said:
"This agitation has taken the character of a middle-class agitation, not
an agitation ofthe masses. The reason is that the parties are not saying
what the people want to hear. People are more concerned with livelihood
issues. The parties have lost touch with the people's aspirations. Now
the parties must reform if they are to survive. They must reform their
philosophy, their structures, and the way they do things. They have to
democratize from within and allow for more discussion from the grassroots
up. The time to do this is now, not later after we win power back from the
Palace."    □
.L
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 Capsules
New envoy, old policy
James F Moriarty, the U.S.
ambassador-designate, went
through a Senate hearing last
week. "I promise to work in
close coordination with our
international partners to
assist the government of
Nepal in countering the
Maoist threat," Moriarty
told the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee. "The
Maoists commit serious
human rights abuses
through their policies of
systematic torture, murder,
kidnapping and extortion."
Each ambassadorial appointee has to be confirmed by
the Senate. If history is any
indication, it takes anywhere between several days
to several weeks for an
ambassadorial appointment
to be confirmed, a U.S.
Embassy official told
Nation Weekly. Analysts say
the U.S. policy on Nepal is
unlikely to change with the
departure of Michael E
Malinowski, who was not
particularly popular with
the political parties.
It's the Times now
The New "York Times last
week had a loud headline.
"Kathmandu Asks: Is
Gyanendra Smoking as
Nepal Burns?" "As an
intensifying Maoist insurgency kills an average of
nearly 10 of his subjects a
day," said the Times, "King
Gyanendra of Nepal has
spent most of his time
(Jhc JiVlu jJorJc iJiiTif a
J.'-t .Nbpi l.fe A/rrl or. Ntfrmi fArv Jlmi
sitting in his palace chainsmoking, writing vaguely
worded speeches and,
Nepalese leaders and
foreign diplomats say,
keeping nearly everyone in
his anguished Himalayan
kingdom guessing." The
Times quoted an Indian
diplomat as saying, the King
has managed to create a two-
front war for himself—one
with the Maoists and
another with parties.
According to the newspaper
of records, the King
receives tips on what books
to read from Henry
Kissinger, former U.S.
secretary of state.
Free at last
The government last week
released Vice President of
Janamorcha Nepal
Lilamani Pokharel, and
more than 20 others from
his party after 17 days in
custody. Many said the
move was long overdue
and quickly attributed it to
the pressure on the
Royalist government on
two fronts—the support
base of the five agitating
parties (Janamorcha is one)
is widening and the
international community
is increasingly disenchanted with the government giving the cold-
shoulder to the parties.
Others see this as a
prelude to an all-party
government and insist that
the days ofthe Thapa
government are numbered.
Obit to a reporter
Pushkar Thapa, 30, a reporter
with Space Time Dainik,
died on April 24, three days
after he was hit by a minibus.
Thapa was returning from a
news assignment at the
Federation of Nepalese
Journalists premises in
Sanchargram, Ring Road.
Kantipur quoted an unnamed eyewitness as saying
that Thapa was hit twice by
the bus. Many believe that
the country's Transport Law
treats drivers who kill
pedestrians less harshly than
those who just knock them
down short of death.
Test tube babies
Couples unable to conceive
will get a helping hand from
science soon. Om Hospital
and Research Center in
Chabahil will have an in-vitro
fertilization (IVF) center up
and running from July. Most
infertile couples have been
getting artificial insemination
in Indian cities. IVF, the most
common artificial reproductive technique used the
world over, is the preferred
method of choice for women
with fallopian tube defects
and men with sperm
deficiencies. It's a four-stage
process: a follicle-stimulating
hormone is used to stimulate
growth of eggs, which are
removed from the ovary. The
eggs are then transferred to a
laboratory dish after which a
sperm fertilizes the egg. In
the final stage,  the fertilized
egg is inserted back into the
uterus where the egg
develops into a fetus. Unlike
popular misconception, test
tube babies are not grown in
test tubes. The IVF procedure will cost Rs. 200,000.
Oxygen in the Valley
Some months ago, newspapers ran stories of hospitals
running low on oxygen for
surgeries
during the
Maoist called
banda in the
Valley. This
gave Shanker
Lai Agrawal
the incentive
to start
Shanker
Oxygen Gas. Around 57
percent of some 700 liters of
oxygen brought into the
Valley everyday is consumed
for medical purposes. It is
also used by metal workers,
high-altitude trekkers and
the aviation sector.
Shooting the sheriff
Mayor of Butwal Punaram
Pokhrel last week became
the second city chief to have
been shot by the Maoists.
Maoists had shot to death
Gopal Giri of Birgunj
earlier this year for allegedly
refusing to give in to their
extortion demands. Like
Giri, Pokhrel too belongs to
the ruling RPP Pokhrel,
who was airlifted to the
capital, was fighting for his
life when we went to press.
12
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 New development
The 14th Nepal Development Forum slated for May
5 and 6 will take place on
time after all. The European
donors who had earlier
almost given in to the main
political parties' demands to
postpone the forum have
now decided to stick to the
schedule.  In an attempt to
quell the parties' demands
that the NDF not take place
during the tenure of a non-
representative government,
the donors had asked the
parties to nominate a
common prime ministerial
candidate. The bilaterals,
after holding an informal
meeting amongst themselves, said that their taking
part in the meet does not
signify that they have given
up on their support for a
representative government.
The first NDF took place
in 1976 in Japan while the
first NDF in Nepal took
place in 2002.
Show it in India
Nepali entrepreneurs and
senior government officials
will be on a road show in
major Indian cities later this
year to attract Indian
investments. They will
travel to Bangalore,
Chennai, Hyderabad,
Kolkotta, Mumbai, and
New Delhi in September.
The Federation of Nepalese
Chambers of Commerce
and Industry (FNCCI) and
Confederation of Indian
Industry (CII) are the
organizers.
Nepal banda
The five agitating parties, to
protest the Palace's recent
"politicking," have called a
Nepal banda on May 11 and
12. They have called for a
shutdown of educational
institutions, government
offices, business enterprises, public organizations
and a nationwide chakka
jam. The only vehicles
which will be allowed to
ply the roads during the two
days are: ambulances, water
tankers, fire brigades,
vehicles belonging to the
press, garbage carriers and
diplomatic missions'
vehicles.
Free abductees
Maoists freed 39 police
they had abducted from
Pashupatinagar early last
month. They were set free
in Guphapokhari,
Sankhuwasabha in the
presence of human rights
groups and the International Committee of the
Red Cross officials. The
Maoists apparently gave the
released policemen Rs.500
each as travel expenses. The
ICRC had been in the
forefront during negotiations with Maoists in
March too, to mediate the
release of the security
personnel abducted from
Beni on March 20.
Nigerians return
Three Star Club became the
first football team in Nepal
to import international
footballers when they
recruited Ibrahim Babayaro
Samuel and Adams Musa.
Well, not quite. When we
went to press, the news was
that the Nigerian duo
refused to take the field
over their disenchantment
at what they called poor
quality of football played in
Nepal. Three Star Club
finished their game in style
though, scoring 10 goals
against Brigade Boys.
Striker Surendra Tamang
scored the first hat-trick of
the Sahid Smarak league
this season with five goals
to his name. In India,
football clubs-encouraged
by the success of Chima
Okerie in the domestic
league in the 80s-started
signing up African players,
mostly from Nigeria,
Ghana and Kenya.
Hyundai sells 2000 cars
Deep Lama became
Nepal's 2000th Hyundai
vehicle owner in Nepal and
won himself a Cosmic
Yingyang motorcycle from
the vehicle's distributors
AVCO International. W S.
Min, Hyundai Motor
India's executive director
says that they exported 536
cars to Nepal and recorded
a growth of 40 percent over
the previous sales calendar
year. AVCO sells over 600
cars a year.
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
 RETURN OF THE
RANA?
Rana once again hogs the center-stage, and in style. Not
only did he come out on the streets to oppose his own
party's government, there are now whispers that he is
also the King's choice for the next prime minister.
BYSATISHJUNGSHAHI
The Kathmandu skies cleared on
Thursday, a day after heavy downpour. The barometer quickly
soared to regular early-summer temperatures and hovered in the higher 20s.
On the eastern edge ofthe Valley
in Baneshwore, away from the
government's "riot-prone" area where
the regular party protests were taking
place, a man in his crisp white daura
suruwal and a thick, green belt made
his way on foot. Wearing black Nike
sneakers, instead of his customary
shiny leather shoes, he was constantly
wiping perspiration from his forehead.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party President
Pashupati SJB Rana paused for a while
and drank from a tumbler that had been
carried by his aide. Behind him were
party cadres sloganeering for an all-party
government. Unlike the protest in other
parts of Kathmandu, no one uttered a
word against the King or against his October 2002 move.
Suddenly scores of media persons
surrounded Rana. Two photojournalists
broke into a near-scuffle—one had got
into the other's picture frame.
Rana once again hogs the center-stage,
and in style. Not only did he come out
on the streets to oppose his own party's
government, there are now whispers that
he is also the King's choice for the next
prime minister.
"The sun ("Surya," the prime
minister's first name) is setting and the
light ("Prakash," finance minister's first
name) is dimming. Even the lotus
("Kamal," the Home Minister's first
name) is withering," he told hundreds
of party cadres from a makeshift stage
erected outside Birendra International
Convention Center in Naya Baneshwor.
The underlying message he seemed to
convey to the party cadres: he can now
afford to take a potshot at powerful ministers.
The streets this past week were rife
with rumors over who would be the future prime minister, ever since the possible fall of the Surya Bahadur Thapa
government started doing the rounds.
Since April 22, the King has started meeting leaders from mostly smaller parties.
Rana and Nepali Congress (Democratic)
President Sher Bahadur Deuba were
among the first Royal invitees.
RPP hasn't clearly spelled out its
prime ministerial candidate yet but Rana
is making the right noise. If ever the elections take place, it seems he wants to
oversee them.
"This government must go," Rana
declared. "It is impossible to resolve the
current crisis under the present circumstances and the government has been a
major barrier between the King and the
protesting parties."
One of the protesting parties, the
Nepali Congress is set against Deuba's
possible appointment as the new prime
minister. "'It is better to keep Surya
Bahadur as prime minister rather than
have Deuba,'" a Deuba aide quoted
14
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Nepali Congress President Girija
Prasad Koirala as saying in reference to
the NC supremo's intense dislike for
Deuba.
Koirala has gone on record to say that
he wants the King to discuss the 18-point
agenda put forward by the five agitating
parties in limiting the Royal perks and
privileges, and bringing the Army under
the parliament. The government complied with the demand ofthe protesting
parties to release their cadres arrested
during the agitation and downsized its
riot zone. But the protests have turned
anti-King in recent days and the Rastriya
Prajatantra Party wants to cash in on that.
"We want to take the mid-path between the socialists and the communists," says Jogmeher Shrestha, an old
RPP hand. "We are against an active monarchy but we have to realize that the King
is also a power to reckon with."
To be sure, the Rastriya Prajatantra
Party is a party of former Panchas, and
most of its senior leaders enjoy some
sort of personal ties with the Palace. But
it has always shown two strands—pro-
Palace and liberal—though the ideological leanings are decided often by
convenience. Prime Minister Thapa,
once touted as a liberal, is a classic example.
When the party faced the first democratic elections in 1991, it had two factions—one led by Thapa and another by
Lokendra Bahadur Chand. The two
came together after humiliating results
in the elections.
"We are not pulling the prime minister down as an act of vengeance," says
Chand, who belongs to the same faction
as Rana. Chand joined Rana last week in
asking Thapa to step down. "Wejustwant
to create an environment for all constitutional forces to sit together and come
to an agreement."
Only last year, Thapa was the prime
engineer in pulling down the Chand
government, the first one to be appointed
by the King after he took executive powers in 2002 October.
Last Friday, at least 35 out of 45 RPP
central committee members decided to
call for a national council meet to renew
its demand for Prime Minister Thapa's
resignation. The Thapa faction responded by holding its own meeting a
day later and decided not to abide by the
party's call.
Thapa is a tenacious politician as history proves and he still controls a sizeable following. "RPP joining the street
agitation isn't the party line at all," says
central committee member Bhuvan
Pathak, a Thapa ally. "It is just personal
animosity spilling onto the streets but
the government still controls the rural
base ofthe party."
When the party asked him to resign
early this year, Prime Minister Thapa had
an easy answer: "I was never put into this
chair by the party." He instead managed
to collect 415 (out of 680) signatures to
call a national council meeting and
threatened to oust Rana from presidency.    □
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
15
 Ifr
r±-
EF»v*
i iC
NORS
ALLOU1
nw/Sagar Shrestha
16
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Li i
This week's NDF merely showcased the long-festering differences
between Nepal's donors: Europe firmly stands for human rights;
United States and India are not about to give up their national
security concerns
BYAKHILESH UPADHYAY
ith the major political parties deciding to boycott
the much-awaited Nepal Development Forum, the
donor meet slated for this week hit a roadblock
even before it got under way. While political parties
do not, by practice, directly influence the outcome
of NDF,  the  donors  had  solicited  their  active
participation in NDF's preparatory
meets last month. The donors had even
gone so far as to ask ministers in the Thapa
cabinet to keep out ofthe NDF consultations so as not to antagonize the parties.
Their rationale: The parties have
been pushed to the fringes, but they still
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
17
 Story
have an important role to play in Nepal's
development and their participation
would lend NDF a much needed legitimacy at a time of deep political polarization.
Donors do not make pledges for
funds at NDF but they do discuss
overarching development strategies with
government officials at the forum—with
civil society representatives and political parties on the sidelines.
The polarization of political forces
has also cut a wedge in the donor community.
On one side are the Europeans, Canadians and United Nations, who are
extremely unhappy with the
government's poor human rights record
and the attendant security situation,
which they believe will significantly affect the development programs. "Human
rights abuse inevitably impacts the
poorest and most vulnerable," says Robert Smith, Deputy Chief of the British
funding agency, DFID, "so you cannot
separate development and protection of
human rights."
Last week, 11 donors sided with the
parties in demanding for the restoration
of a representative government. For a
while, they even seemed willing to delay NDF to let that happen. Britain, despite its solidarity with the Europeans
NO THANKS: NC's Acharya says it's not
the right time to discuss development
on human rights and a number of other
issues, decided to stick to the scheduled
date in line with the other two major
donors—the United States and World
Bank which co-chairs the forum with
the government.
The 11 European donors, including
delegates from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and
the European Union, met at the Norwegian Embassy on Thursday to chalk
up their plan of action. After a long day,
they decided to move according to schedule but only after asserting that human
rights and political reforms would feature high up in their agenda in the forum, though some analysts see this compromise as back-tracking on their earlier stance.
Japan and the Asian Development
Bank, the largest bilateral and multilateral donors, have largely remained silent
in the pre-NDF battle marked by loud
statements.
For their part, political parties continue to stick to their guns: with a non-
representative government in office, it
makes little sense to discuss issues of
good governance and forward-looking
development strategies, they say.
"NDFs are meant to give impetus to
Nepal's development," says Nepali
Congress central committee member
Narhari Acharya. "Why discuss sundry
technical stuff on development at a time
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 when the whole nation is embroiled in a
larger battle of defining its very polity?
And that too under a government that
doesn't have any legitimacy."
While the core issue of the
government's legitimacy has been
around for sometime, the parties now
sense that the King may even decide
to give a fresh lease of life to the Thapa
government, whose days looked numbered last week. The parties have a
bagful of worries in the next few
weeks, if the government does outlast
the NDF: street protests against regression have remained largely confined to Kathmandu, and with the
NDF gone, the government will face
less direct pressure from the donor
community.
Nepal's donors have been divided for
quite a while. NDF only brought forth
the inevitable public showdown in
Kathmandu.
Last month, during the Human
Rights Commission's annual session in
Geneva, the United States and India lobbied against the Swiss-sponsored Item
19, which binds member-nations to ac
cept international human rights monitoring. But the Europeans still managed
to keep Nepal in the dock through the
ruling from the Commission's chairman
who issued a binding statement asking
Nepal to accept international monitoring of its human rights situation.
It is understandable that the donors
do not want to get caught up in the party-
The parties have a bagful
of worries in the next few
weeks, if the government
does outlast the NDF
government polarization and yet their
position can be traced in their veiled language.
"The government's recent Human
Rights Commitment paper was awelcome
development but it needs to be implemented and independently monitored as
a matter of urgency," says DFID's Robert
Smith. "Human rights abuse inevitably
impact on the poorest and most vulnerable. So you cannot separate development
and protection of human rights. Human
rights is very high on the UK agenda for
NDF."
India, which is not a member ofthe
NDF, has been invited to take part as an
observer. No one questions either its
role in influencing the state of affairs in
Nepal or its concerns that poor security
situation in Nepal will have a direct bearing on India. New Delhi is increasingly
concerned that Nepal's Maoist insurgency is having a spillover effect in its
territory.
Unlike the Europeans who see that
improvement of human rights situation
as fundamental to arrest Nepal's downward spiral, the Indian reading of the
Nepal situation is informed more by its
national security concerns, much like
America's.
New Delhi, which has never appreciated international pronouncements on
Kashmir, fears that the international monitoring of Nepal's human rights situation
could be "an intrusive." Outgoing U.S.
Ambassador Michael Malinowski, in his
pre-departure, press meet, seemed to
echo the Indian concern.
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
19
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IBE AND ENJOY SUBSTANTIAL SAVI
 "Since it is always easier to investigate
and to castigate established governments
rather than insurgencies," says Indian Ambassador Shyam Sharan, "such an intrusive
approach can even, inadvertently, play into
the hands of a violent and often brutal insurgency, by putting the legitimate State in
the dock." For the present, for all the dif
ferences between the donors and the
bleakness that surrounds the nation's development, Nepal Development Forum
looks all set to move on time,    n
India believes that allowing international monitoring of human rights situation could be dangerous
in that it is easier to investigate established governments than insurgencies. Britain, on the other
hand, argues that international human rights monitoring would help improve Nepal's ground situation which is vital in implementing development programs. Indian Ambassador Shyam Sharan
and Deputy Chief of the British funding agency, DFID, Robert Smith spoke to Nation Weekly
ahead ofthe National Development Forum.
What is your response to the resolution on Nepal in Geneva?
There was no resolution adopted at the
UNHRC in Geneva. India did, however, join
the international consensus reflected in the
Chairman's statement on the human rights situation in Nepal.
What is your position on NDF, now that the
parties have called for its postponement?
India is not a member ofthe NDF, but has been invited to participate in its deliberations as a major economic partner. It is for the
Nepal government to decide whether the meeting should be postponed, not the donors. In its current difficult situation, Nepal
needs the sympathy and support ofthe international community
in facing both the security and economic challenges confronting
it.
Your thoughts on the human rights situation in Nepal
The armed forces must be convinced that adherence to human
rights norms is one of their most effective weapons to fight insurgency successfully and not a constraint that weakens them. This
would be far more effective than adopting an intrusive approach,
insisting upon the right to investigate and to judge alleged cases,
of such violations. Since it is always easier to investigate and to
castigate established governments rather than insurgencies, such
an intrusive approach can even, inadvertently, play into the hands
of a violent and often brutal insurgency, by putting the legitimate
State in the dock.
What is the solution to the present crisis?
India's own experience in dealing with insurgency clearly indicates that a military solution is usually neither probable nor even
possible. The armed forces can only help create a space within
which political process can be activated for a negotiated solution.
We believe the same applies to the current situation in Nepal.
How do you view the political parties?
It is clear that there can be no multiparty democracy without the
leading role of political parties. India has taken a consistent position, that the two pillars required for Nepal's political stability are
the institutions of constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy and that to successfully deal with the challenge of Maoist
insurgency, the security offensive must be accompanied by coming together of all constitutional forces on the basis of a national
consensus.
Parties are saying that this government is illegitimate and therefore a meet so important as NDF
should be withheld until a representative government takes office?
It is for the government to decide the timing of NDF. The decision by
the Parties not to participate represents a missed opportunity and
will make the NDF less representative and inclusive. This is a pity.
The previous NDF meetings were marked with fair bit of
optimism. What is the mood like before this NDF?
I think it fair to say that the mood is different and reflects the
difficult situation in which Nepal finds itself. We are approaching
NDF with some real concerns related to the operating environment
in which development partners are working. The environment is
becoming increasingly difficult and NDF represents an opportunity
for open discussion between partners and government about those
concerns and ways in which progress can be made towards developmental objectives in a conflict impacted environment.
Unless something is done to agree and define different approaches
to service delivery in an environment where large parts of the
country are inaccessible through traditional government delivery
systems, there is a real risk that the development process will
stall.
Britain has on more than one occasion said that political parties should have a bigger role in governance?
Democratic, accountable and open government is central to effective development. We continue to urge those concerned to find
a way to bring about representative and multi-party government.
The development and governance agendas are intertwined and
will inevitably come together in the NDF discussions.
What is your position on the human rights situation and
conflict in Nepal?
There is no military victory possible for either side (Maoist or the
government). The move towards peace and a negotiated
settlement must be accelerated by all those with the
best interests ofthe Nepali people at heart. It has to start with
a resolution of the current impasse involving the political parties.
The government's recent Human Rights Commitment paper was
a welcome development but it needs to be implemented and
independently monitored as a matter of urgency.
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
21
 WTO
NEPAL IS
NOW BIG
BUSINESS
BY SUSHMAJOSHI
T
he buzz of excitement around Nepal's entry into the
World Trade Organization (WTO), its 147th member,
has been tempered by a school of thought that warns
ofthe dangers posed to Nepal's economy
by the new international membership.
Will the WTO membership harm or
benefit Nepal? This depends upon who
is asking the question, and who is answering it.
"It's a question of interpretation,"
says Dr. Gopi Sedai, who is with Pro-
Public, an organization that, among oth-
ers, lobbies for small farmers. "Not all
countries are on the same playing field.
Some are stronger than others." The basic problem, says Sedai, is that the WTO
is a spin-off of the General Agreement
on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), an international organization whose rules were
designed for industrialized countries.
The least-developed countries were
*^h*i
TAKING ON THE WTO: Anti-WTO protestors
in Cancun, Mexico, last September just
before the WTO conference broke down
only allowed entry much later. The rules
and regulations, therefore, are geared to
help countries with stronger economies
and trading systems.
A huge chunk of Nepal's economy is
based on subsistence agriculture, and is
non-taxable and non-commercialized.
Small farmers, who used to receive subsidies for pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the 1950s, were cut off from subsidies as the 80s brought a new era of
liberalization and privatization.
The fertilizer story illustrates how
liberalization might not work for countries where basic monitoring institutions are not yet in place. In the 1980s,
Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani, the current finance minister, ushered in the
Nepal Fertilizer Policy, which cut off
public subsidies. Private companies
took over the import of chemical fertilizers. The lack of controls soon led
to sub-standard products being brought
in. The government then nominated individuals with no training to be "fertilizer inspectors" to make sure the products were authentic, and not manufactured at unregistered factories. A small
bribe, however, was enough to get the
paperwork certifying quality. The farmers had no legal institutions to complain
about the sub-standard fertilizers be-
22
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 ing pushed onto them by private companies.
Nepali farmers, who today fund
their own fertilizers and pesticides, are
at a tremendous disadvantage vis-a-vis
multi-national corporations and even
small farms from countries like the
United States whose farms are heavily
government-subsidized.
The industrialized nations are not
averse to protecting their own domestic
economies. "The WTO says its members cannot have trade barriers, but if you
look at the actual practice of developed
countries, they have many laws that restrict free trade," says Sedai. He points
out that raw milk, which would be very
expensive to airlift from other countries,
has zero tax in the United States, butyak
cheese, which would sell very well, has
an approximate 400-500 percent tax
slapped on it.
"I cannot answer whether the WTO
membership would benefit or harm
Nepal in general," says Anil Bhattarai,
a community health researcher at Martin Chautari. "But I can tell you how it
will affect specific groups." The WTO,
he says, would significantly benefit
trading classes and people who have
access to international funding. But
small-scale farmers would lose.
Bhattarai, who is researching the
privatization of health care systems in
Nepal, observes that even the rudimentary public health care system that
is in place will be in danger of collapsing if the WTO's conditionalities are
to be imposed.
Small farms and health-care are not
the only institutions at risk. Basic services like water, electricity and telecommunications, which are currently state-
run, may have to be privatized under
WTO's arm-twisting policies. The Asian
Development Bank, which is providing
a $40 million loan to Nepal, has asked
that the Dairy Development Program in
Pokhara be privatized.
"Three to four lakh litres of milk is
consumed daily in Kathmandu," says Dr.
Sedai. "Around two lakh families produce this milk. If that were to be commercialized, a multi-national could take
over a village, pay a high salary to two
managers, hire 30 laborers, and keep
cows that are engineered to produce a
lot of milk. The milk will become much
more expensive. Thousands would lose
their livelihood." Sedai's figures are not
ON THE WAY OUT: Oil mills like this one
in Khokana already have a hard time
competing with foreign companies and
their future looks even worse
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
derived from highly funded research
projects, but his model of lost livelihood
is concrete enough.
Small business-people who see
larger corporate houses taking over
their traditional turf are also concerned. In Khokana, the hub of
Nepal's mustard oil industry, hundreds of small oil presses have gone
out of business as industrial houses
have taken over their market. "Business is not like it was before," says
Suryabahadur Maharjan of the
Khokana Oil Mill, shaking his head.
"We used to sell a lot more before."
Maharjan has seen the insidious work
of globalization first hand, as the oil
crop of Khokana has given way to
those from France and Denmark.
History proves that catering to big
business is not always good for the poor.
After the garment factories of Kathmandu
lobbied the government to lower taxes
on imported raw cloth, the market became flooded with cheap cotton from
India. Small handloom farmers found
their woven clothes were out of reach
for even middle-class families. Today,
even the cotton homespun dhoti worn
by Padma Kanya students are imported
from India.
The gap between rich and poor gets
worse with liberalization, say its critics. In Nepal, where employment opportunities are not being created,
people will lose their traditional livelihoods to multi-national corporations.
Thousands will end up being displaced
to industrialized countries as cheap labor.
Sources at international organizations
are also concerned about the impact of
WTO laws on intellectual property
rights, on wildlife, herbs, and traditional
and indigenous knowledge.
As with any other package, the WTO
one is a mixed bag—richer countries can
ask truant states to impose environmental and health standards on level with
international ones, providing benefits to
all people in the long run. But the harm
far outweighs the benefits, observe its
critics.
"The WTO is a group that protects
the interests of big business. We are going to them and begging them to let us
in, promising to conform to their rules
and regulations," says Dr. Sedai.    □
23
 Work For
DEFLECTING THE
DEFECTORS
The government move to send former Maoists abroad kills
three birds with one stone. It ensures the security of defecting members, it gets rid of people who might be tempted
back to the rebel movement and, most importantly, it potentially lures Maoists away from the movement
BY SUSHMA JOSH I
Rita Basnet lives alone in a rented
room in Dhumbarahi with her
three-month-old baby. Her teenage niece comes over at night to sleep
with the 22-year-old and her infant so
they won't be alone. She had been married for six months, and pregnant for five,
when her husband Dambar Bahadur
Basnet was shot and killed by Maoists.
Rita is not alone. Hundreds of other
young women, many of whom have often been married for less than a year, have
been widowed by the civil conflict. The
increasing number of widows include
both the wives of security forces as well
as the Maoists. The government, in an
attempt to provide for the young widows of security forces, has initiated a new
program which sends them to work
abroad.
On January 25, the Armed Police
Force (APF) and the SAARC Secretariat
jointly organized a new initiative to give
employment to wives of slain security
personnel. Fifteen widows were flown
to Maldives to start work at the Maldives
Industrial Fisheries Company. Ten widows of the APF and five of the Nepal
Police accepted the offer.
To work abroad is a common Nepali
dream, which lures thousands out ofthe
country every year to try their fortune
from the Gulf to North America. Now
the overburdened government has, in an
ironic twist, harnessed this dream not
only to provide for young widows, but
also to rehabilitate former Maoists.
Nepal One, a television channel, recently showed a program in which the
Royal Nepal Army sends off a defecting
Maoist to the Gulf. The former guerrilla gave an extensive interview about
his disillusionment with the Maoist
movement and leaders. After being garlanded with marigolds, and given a warm
hug by the security personnel to show
there were no hard feelings, the lucky
man was sent off towards a plane with
Arabic letters. In the last scene, the triumphant man moves in slow motion
towards the stairs that will fly him to his
destination.
The move by the government to send
former Maoists abroad kills three birds
with one stone. It ensures the security
of defecting members, and it gets rid of
people who might potentially be
tempted to join the rebel movement
again if they are left without any options
of employment. Most importantly, it
potentially lures people away from the
Maoist movement.
It was very likely a group of disaffected young men without employment
opportunities who were recruited to
shoot Rita Basnet's husband to death.
Dambar Bahadur, 25, an Army havaldar
was returning from the post office on
his bicycle in Tikapur, Kailali. Four
Maoists, dressed in school uniforms and
mixing with a crowd of students, shot
him fatally. His body was brought over
to his pregnant wife at 2 a.m. She was
helicoptered, along with his body, to
Kathmandu the next morning.
"The Army gave me Rs. 25,000 for
cremation expenses," she says in her
soft voice. She declined to go back to
the village to live with her mother-in-
law, preferring to be close to her
brother's family in Kathmandu instead.
She received Rs. 900,000 in compensa-
24
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 tion. About Rs. 150,000, she says, would
have to be paid as "tax" to the Maoists if
she were to live in the village.
"We advocate for labor migration of
widows of notjust Army personnel but
also so-called Maoists," says Lily Thapa,
director of Women for Human Rights.
Her organization has specifically advocated for women's rights to get passports
without their guardian's signatures, a requirement which still exists in the law.
Many widows have a difficult time getting their fathers-in-law to sign the papers required for them to get their travel
documentation.
"But I am not in favor of sending
women to work outside the country
en masse," Ms. Thapa adds, saying
women widowed by conflict should
have opportunities within the country itself, by getting recruited in
places like factories, police and the
Nepal Agricultural Development
Bank.
Activists who support women's
rights to work abroad say widows
should have the right to go and work
abroad without restrictions. These
opportunities would give them financial stability, and a means to support
their children at a time when the
economy offers little employment to
women.
The argument that sending women
abroad to work would break up families
and dislocate them is false, they say. Most
families split by conflict are already facing dislocation and disruption in family
life, with children being sent to work as
domestic workers in middle-class
homes in the cities.
Not all widows, however, are jumping on the migrant bandwagon. Rita
Basnet was offered the chance to work
in Malaysia by the Army. Five months
pregnant at that time, she declined.
The Army, as part of its compensation
package, must offer her a job that gives
her Rs. 3,600 a month for seven years,
after which she can retire and get a pension. "I would rather stay here and be
with my son than go work in another
country in difficult conditions," she
says.
(Names have been changed to protect
identities.)     □
WAR WIDOWS: Widows of slain personnel
are given compensations by the government but that does not make a livelihood
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
 Writing On The W
FIVE IRONIES
ON CHINESE
BRASSIERES
BYSWARNIMWAGLE
I
n February, the influential U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, went to Beijing to
acknowledge "tremendous accomplishment" in Chinese reforms since 1980. As Russia
tried to join the WTO, Zoellick wanted China and the United States to coordinate their
stances in Geneva, on terms for their
former enemy's entry into the club. On
handling Russia, Mao and Nixon had a
similar conversation 30 years ago in the
thick of Cold War enmity. Nixon felt he
needed to engage China as a great, progressing nation, and not as the "epicenter of world revolution." Mao had
agreed, saying Maoist anti-imperialist
remarks were "empty cannons" anyway.
Yet, in the jungles ofthe Nepali Mid-
West, we have compatriots dying and
killing in the name of Mao, likening their
territorial "acquisitions" to Hunan and
Hubei. 'War is politics by other means,"
the Chairman said. But this was 66 years
lion of annual trade. That's 30 times the
GDP of Nepal, which shares a mere
three percent of the long borders of
China, a nation 90 times larger in size
and 55 times in population. This is an
age when sorties of American bombers
begin in England or Louisiana—not
Mustang—and return to England or
Louisiana the same day. And on last
count, China had 14 neighbors that surrounded it. Had Nepal not been Tibet
and India-locked, we could so easily
have been out ofthe Beijing radar. Who
is going to ask our comrades to relearn
their geography and history? Brian
Hodgson, the British resident in
Maoists say the United States intends to
use Nepal to "encircle" China. They seem
unaware that the United States and China
are already economically entangled
ago, long before he was to tease Nixon
saying he preferred dealing with right-
wing leaders for their predictability. This
is Irony School One.
When Maoists say the United States
intends to use Nepal to "encircle" China
geo-politically, they seem unaware that
the United States and China are already
economically entangled in US$ 170 bil-
Kathmandu observed in 1842 that the latest news about Chinese actions vis-a-vis
the British in Canton (and Afghan actions in Kandahar) would influence how
polite Hanuman-Dhoka was to
Lainchour. Did the crazy royal court of
King Rajendra, then, assess world realties better than today's Maoists? This is
Irony School Two.
No nation proves as spectacularly as
post-Maoist China how much the world
has changed in the past three decades. It
engaged in 15 years of negotiations to join
the WTO. Its trade with the United
States was less than US$8 billion when
the process began; it had increased by 20
times in 2003, when its growth rate itself
crossed a phenomenal nine percent. A
voracious market, it is now wedded to
the United States to drive the global
economy this century, the couple already
creating 12 trillion dollars of annual output as a combined capitalistjuggernaut.
This unhappy, but durable, marriage is
Irony Number Three.
Recently, George W Bush slapped
restraints on import of Chinese bras, taking advantage of a safeguard clause that
China accepted in order to join the global trading system. Restrict inflow of
bras from China, but see if you can sell
the Chinese as much soybean as possible:
this is Bush trade policy. And, ifyou can
have the Chinese pay for American fiscal and current account deficit by buying 100 billion dollars of U.S. securities,
even sweeter. It is trade as the driver of
globalization that binds nations today.
Trade in bras and beans, Cognac and cars,
ideas and patents, matter more than trade
in tirades (empty cannons, as Mao called
them). In contrast to the big example of
Iraq, stuff about bras and beans is small,
but they are better illustrations of the
26
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING: Post-Mao China, in stark contrast to its Communist past, is a
superpower whose exports like cheap bras have infiltrated global markets
nature of today's frontlines that limit or
stretch other wars. This is Irony School
Four.
Of course, the Chinese appear careful not to let rising economic freedoms
reform what Amartya Sen clumsily calls
political unfreedom. The New York
Times reported on April 20 that the U.S.
Vice President Dick Cheney negotiated
to speak live and uncensored on Chinese TV during last month's visit, but
his printed remarks were freely edited
for troublesome words like freedom.
Regardless, in 2008, byway of hosting
the Olympics, China will make a splash
on the world stage. Just like its giant ships
paraded on the Indian Ocean 500 years
ago (until bizarre imperial decrees, un
der the Ming, reduced a fantastic navy of
3,500 vessels to zero). Some argue the
economic decline of China began with
this withdrawal in the 16th century, and
the nation could only be revived after
Mao's death 430 years later. But, what
are we picking from our big neighbor's
grand history? So archaic is our learning
that the Chinese themselves are shy to
call the Maoists of Nepal byname. I was
told in Beijing that they are simply
"rebels" on state TV This Irony Number Five is cruel to our Maoists who have
become a minor embarrassment in the
land of their own namesake.
In the 1990 People's Movement, activists apparently adopted a gender-insensitive gesture of sending "bangles and
threads," Nepali feminine marks, to
groups not supporting their cause. Call
it an impolite wake-up call. For refusing
to get it, for defying reason and humanity, for having stopped reading good
books since the 1970s, I suggest Maoist
ideologues deserve similar dispatches.
The orator Pradip Giri, ofthe Nepali
Congress(D) notes how being an underground leaders is like being held "immobile in a spiderweb," distanced from
reality. To show a glimpse of today's
world to comrades in tropical spider
holes, why not deflect to Lucknow and
Siliguri the next cargo of Chinese bras
that George W Bush no longer wants.
This, alas, is the irony that shall never
be.    D
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
27
 Arts   Societ
Not Coming
Back Again
The Pheri jogis, original spies ofthe nation and wardens
against evil spirits, may soon be out of service
BYSANJEEVUPRETY
Dilbar Nath Yogi, a professional
performer of the dying Pheri
ritual, is a permanent fixture in
Taudaha. Every year for the past 28 years,
Dilbar Nath, who hails from Morang,
has visited the village on the south-western edge of Kathmandu Valley to conduct Pheri.
The 55-year-old Dilbar Nath wears a
red cap, and carries a long iron trident
wrapped in red cotton. He blows a wind
instrument made of the horn of
Krishnasagar and chants mantras to set up
a mystical circle of divine protection
around the houses in Taudaha. It is believed that such a ritual wards off illness
and famine and prevents evil spirits and
ghosts from entering the houses within
the circle. 'When the four suras or the
tones ofthe house become disjointed its
psychic defense is breached," Dilbar
Nath explains. "It is through such a breach
that misfortunes, evil spirits, and ghosts
enter into houses and cause mischief" His
task is to tie the four suras—a word that
signifies for him both inaudible cosmic
sounds as well as the four directions to
which they are linked.
Dilbar Nath complains that his
pouch—containing salt, turmeric powder and various herbs—was seized by the
security officers during his bus trip from
Morang to Kathmandu. Maoists had
killed about a dozen policemen in an ambush the night before and the police
wouldn't take any chances while checking the luggage of those coming into the
Valley. "But I need my pouch while
chanting mantras," laments Dilbar Nath.
"They took away my pouch even after I
explained to them that I was not some
terrorist but a Pheri jogi and showed
them my iron trident and my
Krishnasagar horn. The government's
spies and security men are inefficient.
No wonder, there are so many untamed
violent energies and spirits in Nepal."
Dilbar Nath's bitterness is then directed
at contemporary political leaders. "Prime
Minister Thapa, like Girija, or Nepal, or
Deuba before him, is unable to tie thcsuras
ofthe nation," says Dilbar Nath. "The line
of protection is broken. Evil spirits and
ghosts are wandering around the Army
camps and Maoist holdouts. Violence is
spreading in all four directions."
Dilbar Nath Yogi belongs to the Nath
community The guru of all the Naths is
Gorakhnath who is also considered to be
an emanation ofLord Shiva. It is popularly
believed that Gorakhnath's blessing enabled
King Prithvi Narayan Shah to win over numerous kingdoms and unify Nepal in the
Pheri—which means "again"—gave the
ritual its name.
Prithvi Narayan Shah also used such
Pheri performing jogis as spies ofthe
state. Since the jogis visited the houses
during the night, and re-visited them
early in the morning to collect ritual offerings, they were obviously in an excellent position to collect information and
keep an eye on the criminals. The concepts of secular and religious protection
were thus fused together during the 18th
century. By performing their second
role as spies working for the government,
they played their part in protecting the
people from thieves, swindlers and other
criminals.
Today, however, these original spies
ofthe nation have no place in the spy
networks or systems of surveillance set
up by both the government and the
Maoists. Modern systems of surveillance are based on classification and interpretation of visible data rather than an
evocation of invisible deities. Dilbar
Nath says that he might not come back
to perform Pheri at Taudaha from next
year. "There is no incentive or encouragement for us Pheri jogis," he says, "and
18th century. That is why Gorakhnath's
name is still engraved on Nepali coins.
Dilbar Nath says Prithvi Narayan Shah first
initiated the practice of the wandering
Naths who went around the towns and villages performing the ritual of Pheri.
When the people saw that Pheri was
protecting them from evil spirits and illnesses, they asked the Naths to "come
back again" to perform the ritual. This
demand for repeated performances of
with the younger generation seeking
other opportunities, the tradition of
Pheri is dying out gradually." Since their
work—as spies ofthe secular world and
protectors of the spiritual one—no
longer has any value, people like Dilbar
Nath have become marginalized in the
nation's march of modernity. It seems
likely that the call for the "again"—or
future performances of Pheri—will
gradually fade into oblivion,    n
28
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 semiT nayalamiH ehT gnidaer evol I
Most people read their newspaper from the back
to the front. If you are one of them then don't
worry because we are great from either
end - front or back.
The Himalayan
T I M W E S
A   GREAT   NEWSPAPER
 Crick
Great Expectations
Nepal's young team is going from strength to strength
But the big test comes in the ACC Trophy in June
BY SHARAN MARAHATTA
Seldom have Nepal's cricketers
come under this kind of media
glare. No sooner were critics
done with their dissection ofthe disappointing Under-19 World Cup outing
in Bangladesh early this year than it was
time for the national side to brace up for
a major encounter. In a three-nation contest, Nepal was pitted against Malaysia
and UAE, both of whom looked better
than Nepal, at least on paper.
It was also the first time the young
team—it had several players from the U-
19 team that had played in Bangladesh—
was getting baptized in the longer version ofthe game. In the Intercontinental
Cup, Nepal would play two three-day
matches—an away-match against UAE in
March, followed by one against Malaysia at home in April.
Nepal performed commendably in
both the encounters. It managed a draw
against UAE, though UAE pocketed 18
points, as against Nepal's 14, by the vir
tue of its first innings lead. But the Malaysian team was roundly beaten at home.
Now UAE travels to Malaysia to decide
the final standing. UAE had beaten
Nepal on all four previous encounters.
The 12 teams in the Intercontinental Cup have been pooled in four categories: Asia, Americas, Europe and Africa, with Nepal, UAE and Malaysia making up the Asian region; Canada, the
United States and Bermuda the Americas; Holland, Scotland and Ireland the
European pool; and Namibia, Uganda
and Kenya, Africa. Two teams from each
pool will advance to the second leg that
will be played in UAE in November.
The competition has been widely
regarded as a warm-up for bigger and
better things: the first step to the elite
Test club. Cricket's world governing
body, ICC, conceptualized this tournament in view of Bangladesh's run of dismal performances since its elevation to
the No. 10 Test playing nation in 2000.
Bangladesh, for all its early promise,
has lost more than 20 Tests and won only
two one-day matches—the last one during its recent Zimbabwe tour. People
expected wonders when it upset Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup.
Obviously, the failing fortunes of
Bangladesh has a lot do with the ICC's
determination to put its associate members—those outside the Test club—to
the rigors ofthe longer form of cricket
before giving them the Test baptism.
This exposure is expected to narrow the
gap between the top Test playing nations
and rest ofthe cricketing world.
Nepali cricket officials, who are reluctant to admit their shortcomings in
Bangladesh, aren't at least complaining.
The consensus seems to be that Nepali
players, while skilful, are woefully inadequate in their tactical game-plan. Batsmen, for example, still don't know how
to pace their innings and bowlers are good
only for short bursts, not sustained spells.
The domestic league introduced in 2002
has been limited to 50 overs-a-side.
President ofthe Cricket Association
of Nepal Jay Kumar Nath Shah doesn't
believe that Nepal's Bangladesh campaign
was a letdown, but he admits, 'We've
strongly felt that it would be simply too
difficult to achieve our goal (of gaining
Test status) unless we rise above the conventional training regime." He adds,
'We're planning to add services of a physiotherapist and psychologist to the team."
No wonder then, taking into consideration the high endurance level that these
three-day games demand, the team coach
Roy Dias had geared up the training regimen. A closed camp put players under
long sessions of training each day. Dias is
also trying to put up a well-drilled team
plan where every single player knows
what exactly is expected of him.
For the moment, he is all focused on
the ACC Trophy, which starts on June
12 in Malaysia. "I'm really looking forward to the ACC Trophy," Dias told
Nation. "And if we put in a good performance there, I will be very excited about
the future of Nepali cricket."
Nepal is pitted against Bhutan and
Iran in Group D. The top two teams in
the 15-team event will qualify for the
2008 Asia Cup featuring India, Pakistan,
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and for the
ICC Trophy to be held next year in Ireland. The ICC Trophy serves as the
qualifier for the World Cup.    n
30
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Z.MERIDIEN
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In the breathtakingly serene
and tranquilly lush surroundings
of Gokarna's verdant forest.
lies the "Harmony Spa"
The Spa glorifies the six senses of:
Aroma - using the finest herbs and aromatic oils
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Vision ■ an asthetically conceived decor and ambience
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Come relax, rejuvenate and
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loolhe   your   tentatJ I
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Rajnikunj, Thali, Kathmandu
Ph: 4451212—216
8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
seven days a week
 Viewpoint
Women And Militarization
The decision to recruit women did not come from a sudden realization
by the military that women are equal citizens or that there should be
more adequate representation of women in the forces. It emerged
from the basic reality of needing more bodies in the fight against the
Maoist insurgency
BYSEIRATAMANG
The induction of women in the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) in armed, nontechnical positions including the military police has received wide approval. Feminists and others have seen this step as a major victory for
the empowerment of women and an added challenge to the stereotypes of women only being fit for domestic work.
Strangely enough, the connection between the ongoing militarization of society and the abrupt decision to include women in armed
positions in the military has not raised any questions. The decision
to recruit women did not come from a sudden realization by the
military that women are equal citizens or that there should be more
adequate representation of women
in the forces. It emerged from the
basic reality of needing more bodies
in the fight against the Maoist insurgency.
The history of other militaries in
times of war and insurgencies has
shown that women are recruited
when recruitment of men do not
match up to the required levels of
labor power. Recruiting women for
certain positions such as computer
and signal operators enable militaries to "free men to fight." RNA headquarters had asked for applications
from women for various positions including computer/signal operators
and drivers. Will they, as in other militaries, be mainly assigned to positions of clerk and secretary? Is this
really a chance for Nepali women to
show that they do not lag behind
men in any sphere—as stated by
one renowned feminist?
Women have historicallyjoined the
military for varied reasons. These include the need notjustto demonstrate patriotism or learn military skills,
but also to leave suffocatingfamilies and villages, and delay marriages.
Free shelter and food, a steady payingjob, medical care, etc., are also
clear incentives for many. In Nepal, it is likely that basic economic
benefits are the most powerful pull for the majority of potential female
army recruits.
A closer attention to the dynamics of militarization and the influence
of military values into society during this time of instability is necessary.
The military is one ofthe most, if not the most, patriarchal of institutions.
It is run by men, for men, accordingto masculine ideas. Military recruiters
and trainers play on young men's desires to prove their manliness. The
link between 'combat' and the construction of 'manhood' exists throughout the world. Soldiers in basic trainingare told to run faster, to not run
"like a girl," to lift more weights because "their grandmother could lift
more," etc. To prove one's manhood is to prove that one is not a
woman. Military life is built on a foundation of belittlingall that is female.
Feminists point out that with the military built on such women-hating
ideology, it is no wonder that men rape
during wars and that military wives as
a population are more prone to being
beaten by their husbands.
Military forces embody and legitimize violent attitudes and behaviors.
That women now also have equal opportunity to kill and injure is a questionable "victory. "Yet prominent female activists have called for widows
ofthe conflict to be recruited into the
military in various roles. One has
stated that this RNA initiative counterbalances claims by Maoists that
40 percent of their cadres are women.
Forgotten in the current congratulatory atmosphere of women being recruited into the Royal Nepal Army is
the fact that women are now able to
directly contribute to the country's militarization process. Women are actively
participating in legitimizing the state
definition of "security" in which the purchase of new guns and ammunition is
more important "for the well-being of
people" than the supplying of staff and
medical supplies to health posts.
Militarization is an ideological process which legitimizes violence.
Whether it be soldiers, or wives of soldiers who take care ofthe family
so soldiers can be "free to fight," or women within the military institution
working "for security," all are playing roles in the legitimization of violence, and in the military as a solution.    □
32
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Page
BUDDHA GALLERY
AND ZEN CAFE
There is a new art gallery in town
where artists can showcase their work
without having to pay for space, thanks
to Korean photographer Cho Go
Dam's Buddha Gallery and Zen Cafe
in Thamel.  Cho Go Dam says, "I want
this gallery to be a meeting place for
artists and art lovers, where we can
share our ideas and promote art and
culture in Nepal." Clio's love-
relationship with Nepal goes a long
way back. He first
came to Nepal in
1984 during a
trekking expedition.
He was diagnosed
with stomach cancer
later that year and
was given only six
months to live. He
came back to Nepal
to visit Muktinath,
one of the holiest
sites in the country
and after the trip he
emerged healthier
and with a renewed faith in Nepal's
mystical powers. A thorough medical
examination revealed no signs of
cancer whatsoever. "I got a second
chance at life which made me believe
in miracles. I see my future in Nepal
and I can think of no other place that I
would call home," says Cho.
At the Zen Cafe people can read, relax
and eat; and at the Buddha Gallery
artists can showcase their work for
free. The gallery will formally open to
the public on May 4.
For information: 4422915(T),
981041182(M)
MOVIES
Lazimpat Gallery cafe: May 4—Green
Mile, May 6—Gladiators
Martin Chautari
Let's talk men: 4 documentaries by
directors from Nepal, India and
NAGA THEATRE, HOTEL VAJRA
"Fire Raisers" an English adaptation of
the contemporary drama "Biedermaan
und die Brandstifter" by Swiss
playright Max Frisch.
May 7, 8, 9 at 7:15 p.m.
Bangladesh on the burden of being a man      For information: 4271545
Main Hoon Na: Starrring Shah Rukh
Khan, Sunil Shetty Sushmita Sen,
Zayed Khan and Amrita Rao
Showing at: Jai Nepal, Gun Cinema,
Gopi Krishna, Barahi Movies
RUSSIAN CULTURE CENTER
Students of Rato Bangala School will
stage "Macbeth", May 7-9
SURYA LIGHTS
GRIND
Freedom to do the Jive, Tango, Mambo
& other moves that don't have a name
yet. International DJs, dance acts,
40,000 watts of pulsating music & cool
blue water.
Venue: Poolside, Hyatt Regency
Date: May 8
Time: 2 p.m. Price: Rs. 300
ART GALLERIES
GALLERY NINE, LAZIMPAT
Sound of hope. An exhibition of
paintings by Manish Lai Shrestha
Till May 9
SIDDHARTHA ART GALLERY,
BABARMAHAL REVISITED
An exhibition of photographs by
Wayne Amtzis titled "Still Life/Street
Life". Till May 3. For information:
4414607.
SRIJANA CONTEMPORARY
ART GALLERY, KAMALADI
Paintings and sculptures by prominent
contemporary artists as New Year's gift
exhibition. Till May 13. For information: 4247889
INDIGO GALLERY
Healing elements Acrylic paintings by
Chungo Tsering and Reiki carpets by
Rupert Smith
GALLERY MOKSH (inside Hardic Club
compound), JHAMSIKHEL
Diary of portraits by Carolyn Boch
spanning 1996-2004: Over 40 portraits
of people met in Nepal. Till May 15.
For information: 2113339
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
33
 Letter       America
New Nepali Dream
Only after a sense of kinship is created will a Pahadi Bahun from
Arghakhanchi empathize with a Magar from Baglung and vice versa. It
is this feeling of Nepaliness that will attract youngsters abroad to head
back home
BY YUBRAJ ACHARYA
Thanks to the Maoist war, an increasing number of youngsters
seem interested in Nepali politics. But the number is still too
small. To state that very few consider returning to Nepal in the
future will not be so much of a generalization.
I am surrounded by graduates from some ofthe best schools in
Kathmandu. Manysaytheycfo want to return, but there is always a
lingering qualifier: "if things get better," or "not in politics, though."
Sometimes online-forums get charged with political discussions, but
our involvement in national affairs is limited to just that.
Every Nepali student in the United States need not be interested
in politics and need not return to Nepal. After all, it is a question of
personal interest. However, it goes beyond the general what-will-my-
kids-think-later dilemma, political instability, and the lack of employ
ment opportunities back home, to something missing from all of us.
And that something, to borrow a phrase from a friend, is "the idea of
Nepali Dream."
If you speak against democracy in an American college, you will
be surprised to see how many people get offended. What offends
a Nepali? Someone calling him an Indian? Probably not. A
significant number of our population lives inTerai. And many of us
look similar to the Indians. Whatdoesa middle-class SLC graduate
from Doti, who has a hard time understanding Nepali, and
someone who attends the most elite school in Kathmandu have in
common? Not much. Definitely not language, not ethnic group and
in some cases not even religion. Now, what obliges me—a Pahadi
male from a Bahun family—to think for a Magar from Baglung, my
neighboring district? I do not see anything.
We never had a strong democracy to take pride in as a symbol of
national identity. We do not have a homogenous society—with the
same language, culture and religion. The attempt by our course
books to force into us the concept of nationality—to the extent that
there is a chapter on Prithvi Narayan Shah, in one subject or the
other, from the fourth grade all the way to the tenth grade—has
simply failed. Until recently, many believed the King to be the symbol
of unity. But this construct has now come under a closer scrutiny.
While the street agitations get more intense by the day and
the civil society and the political leadership
discuss an outlet to the present crisis, the issue
of nationality, national unity, or one of "the
Nepali Dream" is too urgent to be ignored. No
matter what system we have in the future—a
republic or a multi-party democracy—the
success ofthe system—our success—rests on
the level of affinity we have towards each other.
If a person from Kathmandu, for instance,
cannot sympathize with the agonies of a person
from Rolpa, the war like the one we have right
now is bound to recur. That affinity can no
longer emanate from our culture, language,
ethnicity, a political institution, and the like. That
affinity—the Nepaliness—can emerge only
through a new Nepali ethos built on the
foundations of decentralization, affirmative
action, gender equality, educational reform and
transparency.
Any solution to the present crisis will be fleeting
if, after the present crisis is resolved, we continue
in our old path. It is only after that sense of
kinship is created will a Pahadi Bahun from Arghakhanchi empathize
with a Magar from Baglung and vice versa. It is that feeling of
Nepaliness that will make youngsters abroad to head back home, to
be involved in the decision-making process, to protect the country
from malaise. The central role ofthe civil society and intellectuals
now is to create this Nepaliness.
(Acharya is an undergraduate student at Swarthmore College,
USA)    □
34
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Letter       America
New Nepali Dream
Only after a sense of kinship is created will a Pahadi Bahun from
Arghakhanchi empathize with a Magar from Baglung and vice versa. It
is this feeling of Nepaliness that will attract youngsters abroad to head
back home
BY YUBRAJ ACHARYA
Thanks to the Maoist war, an increasing number of youngsters
seem interested in Nepali politics. But the number is still too
small. To state that very few consider returning to Nepal in the
future will not be so much of a generalization.
I am surrounded by graduates from some ofthe best schools in
Kathmandu. Manysaytheycfo want to return, but there is always a
lingering qualifier: "if things get better," or "not in politics, though."
Sometimes online-forums get charged with political discussions, but
our involvement in national affairs is limited to just that.
Every Nepali student in the United States need not be interested
in politics and need not return to Nepal. After all, it is a question of
personal interest. However, it goes beyond the general what-will-my-
kids-think-later dilemma, political instability, and the lack of employ
ment opportunities back home, to something missing from all of us.
And that something, to borrow a phrase from a friend, is "the idea of
Nepali Dream."
If you speak against democracy in an American college, you will
be surprised to see how many people get offended. What offends
a Nepali? Someone calling him an Indian? Probably not. A
significant number of our population lives inTerai. And many of us
look similar to the Indians. Whatdoesa middle-class SLC graduate
from Doti, who has a hard time understanding Nepali, and
someone who attends the most elite school in Kathmandu have in
common? Not much. Definitely not language, not ethnic group and
in some cases not even religion. Now, what obliges me—a Pahadi
male from a Bahun family—to think for a Magar from Baglung, my
neighboring district? I do not see anything.
We never had a strong democracy to take pride in as a symbol of
national identity. We do not have a homogenous society—with the
same language, culture and religion. The attempt by our course
books to force into us the concept of nationality—to the extent that
there is a chapter on Prithvi Narayan Shah, in one subject or the
other, from the fourth grade all the way to the tenth grade—has
simply failed. Until recently, many believed the King to be the symbol
of unity. But this construct has now come under a closer scrutiny.
While the street agitations get more intense by the day and
the civil society and the political leadership
discuss an outlet to the present crisis, the issue
of nationality, national unity, or one of "the
Nepali Dream" is too urgent to be ignored. No
matter what system we have in the future—a
republic or a multi-party democracy—the
success ofthe system—our success—rests on
the level of affinity we have towards each other.
If a person from Kathmandu, for instance,
cannot sympathize with the agonies of a person
from Rolpa, the war like the one we have right
now is bound to recur. That affinity can no
longer emanate from our culture, language,
ethnicity, a political institution, and the like. That
affinity—the Nepaliness—can emerge only
through a new Nepali ethos built on the
foundations of decentralization, affirmative
action, gender equality, educational reform and
transparency.
Any solution to the present crisis will be fleeting
if, after the present crisis is resolved, we continue
in our old path. It is only after that sense of
kinship is created will a Pahadi Bahun from Arghakhanchi empathize
with a Magar from Baglung and vice versa. It is that feeling of
Nepaliness that will make youngsters abroad to head back home, to
be involved in the decision-making process, to protect the country
from malaise. The central role ofthe civil society and intellectuals
now is to create this Nepaliness.
(Acharya is an undergraduate student at Swarthmore College,
USA)    U
34
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 II
Baring It All
A Nobel Laureate's Fictionalized Life
REVIEWED BYSWARNIM WAGLE
c
alf A Life" is a work on studied non-
I chalance to conformity, to this need
of self-respecting men across societies to
pretend that life is going on fine when it
is not, when to admit so is sacrilege, and a
life of emptiness continues to be led.
Naipaul deconstructs this through a talented character blessed and cursed in
equal measure by circumstances beyond
his design. He gives public confession of
under-performance a new sort of respectability by saying that awkward things do
happen to innocent people. And he whispers this in a tone of devastating fatalism.
Naipaul's protagonist, William
Somerset Chandran, has an uncanny resemblance to the author himself In 1956,
Willie, son of a Brahmin and a sister of an
untouchable radical from a princely protectorate in India, lands a scholarship at a London college,
thanks to his father's comical
fame as the man who attracted
tourists by keeping a vow of silence. Willie finds the bohe-
mian atmosphere of the
immigrant's London in the 50s
mildly liberating. He experiments with sex, scorns his clos-
est relations, reads
Hemingway, and gets published. He then falls in love
with Ana, an heiress to an African estate, and follows her to a colony
where they spend 18 uneventful years. The
country is unnamed, but the overdone
Portuguese pedigree and other clues give
it away as Mozambique.
Willie's career in the book is not illustrious. Certainly nothing like the
Naipaul we know today—an accomplished life adorned with a Booker and a
Nobel, and a giant so tall that a reviewer
in his country of adoption recently declared, "In the canon of contemporary
British writing, he is without peer." Willie
is the Naipaul who never became, but
could easily have, given how he himself
portrays fate dragging complete lives of
promise to mediocrity. If the intention is
to allow a convincing merger of honest
reportage from a life that he knows best
HALT A NTH
with the invention of failure, the other
life that he knows he partially avoided,
Naipaul succeeds. "In Haifa Life" we have
three distinct voices narrating happenings
in India, England, and Africa. It is the final section that is particularly joyous
where, as the Nobel citation puts it,
Naipaul "unites perceptive narrative and
incorruptible scrutiny to compel us to
see the presence of suppressed histories."
There's an awful lot of sex in the novel.
Mostly, it is of the imprudent variety:
Willie tactlessly seducing women who
belong to his friends, or sleeping with insulting prostitutes in London and girls
with tight breasts in Mozambique. Willie's
early years with Ana mark some pleasant
discoveries, but it is only through brazen
infidelity at the age of 33 that he finds bliss.
Willie spends 18 years with Ana, and yet
that predictable product of most
| marriages isn't even mentioned. A painful conversation
occurs when a graceful Ana
confronts an indifferent Willie
about his indiscretions. Even
she is not spared the humiliation at the end.
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad
Naipaul declared the novel
form of narration dated five
years ago, foretelling that his
next creation would introduce
a new style. "Half A Life" does this by
ending without a climax, without a resolution, with Willie becoming incorrigibly unfaithful, divorcing Ana, and flying
to Germany to meet his sister Sarojini.
Naipaul's books apparently don't sell
well, not in big numbers. The marketplace for his readership is diverse, but it
is a skeptical crowd without a huge, loyal
core. It is easy to appreciate Naipaul because nobody writes like him. But to
admire him, people need to see in him a
partial reflection of themselves, almost
connect with his origin in a humbled,
ignored land, or his attempt to
reconfigure his relation to his roots with
the luxury of distance.    □
PILGRIMS BOOK HOUSE
4700942
Boo If
Marllm
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Twenty-three-year-old Preeti Sitaula,
who was crowned Miss Nepal last
year, is an unconventional reader. At a
time when most people her age might
be reading bestsellers and modern
writers, here's a youngster who's into
Shakespeare and medieval writer
Geoffrey Chaucer. She is currently
reading "Othello." The first book she
ever read was "Romeo and Juliet,"
when she was in the ninth grade. For
Preeti, "The Letter A" is a must, a book
about a child who fights physical
disability and manages to write the
letter "A" with his toe. And why is it
her favorite book? Because Preeti too
is the kind who will not give up easily:
she's a go-getter! Not surprisingly, her
favorite literary character is the wife of
Bath-that feisty feminist from Geoffrey
Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." The
book that has had the most impact on
her: "Shakespeare in Love."
BY PRATEEBHA TULADHAR
nation weekly |   MAY 9, 2004
35
 Khula Man
The Man Who
Sees Tomorrow
N
epal's cricket team is gradually making its
presence felt in the international arena.
Cynics may argue that as a South Asian
nation Nepal was bound to make a mark sooner
or later. India and Pakistan have been there for a
long time. Recently Sri Lanka achieved the landmark, and Bangladesh followed. But that's like
saying Brian Lara's 400 against England
in the recent series came in a flat
wicket, well after the West Indies were
pulverized by the opposition. The fact
is that Lara still needed to score those
A lot of credit for Nepal's recent
success should go to coach Roy Dias,
former Test player for Sri Lanka. Dias
talked to Satish Jung Shahi of Nation
Weekly about Nepal's standing in the
international circuit, and how the
young players are shaping up.
How do you rate Nepal among non-
Test playing cricket nations?
Nepal is among the first three. UAE is
a very strong side followed by Hong
Kong because they have a lot of
expatriates playing for them. Among
these three, one will be promoted to
play one-day cricket. Everything will
depend on the ACC Trophy that will
be played in Malaysia (in June).
Does Nepal have any advantage
over UAE and Hong Kong?
Yes, because UAE will have a lot of
Pakistanis playing for them and Hong
Kong the expats. Nepal can only go up
because we have our own young
players unlike UAE and Hong Kong
where the players might return to their
country once they get older.
How far is Nepal from
getting Test status?
Sri Lanka got its test status in 1979 and
we played our first Test in 1982. Sri
Lanka has one ofthe best cricketing
school structures to tap younger
players. Nepal still has a long way to
go-
Has your experience as a player in
Sri Lanka helped in establishing a
structure here?
When we were young, under 13, we
had very fine coaches who had no
certificates as such but introduced
coaching the way they knew cricket.
Maybe in a year or two, quite a few
coaches will come up in Nepal.
A coach in Sri Lanka
doesn't have to teach
Sanath Jayasuriya
how to bat or (Marvan)
Attapattu how to bowl.
In Nepal, it's different.
What is the role of a coach
in cricket?
It's different in each country. A coach
in Sri Lanka doesn't have to teach
Sanath Jayasuriya how to bat or
(Marvan) Attapattu how to bowl. In a
country like Nepal, it's different.
Does Nepal have that critical mass
of players to form a well-rounded
national side?
What has happened to Nepal is that we
have a maximum of 13 or 14 school
kids with a certain aptitude and we
have had to work with them. But for
the last one and half years, we have
young players coming in and even the
national side has two or three young
guys because we have the under-15 and
under-17 tournaments. The seniors are
under pressure because ofthe youngsters.
What have been your major
disappointments as a coach?
So far none. Many say it was the loss
with Scotland in the Under-19 World
Cup (early this year) but I say
Scotland isn't a weak side as they
already have professionals playing the
county circuit for a long, long time. I
asked a journalist to name his top
three batsmen. He named Rahul
Dravid. And where did Rahul Dravid
play top class cricket? In Scotland.
Scotland even played in the World
Cup in 1999.
Who are the top players in Nepal?
The seniors are already there but if
you compare up and coming youngsters, I think Sharad Veshwakar and
Paras Khadka from the Under-15
and Under-17 will be future players
that could do so much for the
country. They have a long career
ahead.
What are your future plans?
I am just taking it tournament by
tournament and we need to keep
improving. The ACC Trophy (in
Malaysia in June) will be our litmus
test.    □
36
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
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Last Word
VI
Development Dilemma
At his pre-departure interaction
with the press two Mondays ago,
American Ambassador Michael
Malinowski was conspicuously calm and
composed, displaying a quality some
people he has worked with don't always
give him credit for. The previous week, a
newspaper had claimed that he was being
unceremoniously recalled by Washington,
eight months before his scheduled departure. So the press conference (though
Malinowski had initially insisted that everything was "off the record") at the U.S.
Embassy spokesperson's residence at
Chundevi came on the heels of a blazing
controversy.
Still, when the question of his recall
inevitably popped up, Malinowski
seemed well prepared. He
made a point to stress that
his successor, James
Moriarty, was named
months ago and that his was
only a routine departure. In
the heat ofthe moment, it
was easy to miss perhaps the
more important message:
that there was going to be no
policy shift in the way Washington viewed Nepal's insurgency.
While we still have reasons to doubt Malinowski's claims about
his recall (diplomats we have talked to
since his departure continue to tell us
conflicting stories), there is little ground
to question him when he says that the
U.S. policy on Nepal will remain unchanged.
And therein lies our concern. The
United States continues to view Nepal's
Maoist insurgency through the prism of
its global "war on terrorism," as it once
again did at the UN Human Rights
Commission's annual meet in Geneva
last month, when it almost scuttled the
European attempt to bind Nepal to international human rights monitoring. We
believe that America's fixation with terrorism has given cover to many governments, like ours, to justify their own
crackdown on human rights.
The National Development Forum,
which brings Nepal's donors together,
gives us a new opportunity to re-assess
our development priorities and make a
statement on how the differences between the political entities and the attendant poor human rights situation inevitably impacts development. And how best
we can utilize aid in these desperate times.
We were much encouraged when
diplomats based in Kathmandu told us
that human rights will be their top agenda
at NDE The government, on the other
hand, insists that issues of human rights
and development cannot be boxed together and Nepal, at this point, needs
foreign aid and not the politics that come
with aid (the government spin is "D"
stands for "Development"). But that's a
rather limp argument.
The insurgency has killed
more than 2,300 people since
the ceasefire collapsed in August; human rights group,
INSEC, puts the daily toll at
12. And we have every reason
to believe that a lot ofthe dead
were innocent. We are not
singling out the security
forces—Maoists have to take
their fair share ofthe blame—
but we do strongly believe
that a representative government is more likely to feel
the public pressure to correct its wrong
than the current one. Some donors, especially the Europeans and Canadians, supported the call for postponing NDF to
make way for a representative government
within a timeframe. But the more important ones, like the United States and
the multilateral agencies, saw no need to
postpone the developmentjamboree. The
underlying argument is Nepal needs support in its development efforts no matter
what the cost ofthe conflict. But it is worth
reflecting how the development dollars
can reach where it matters most—the
grassroots—if large parts ofthe country
remain inaccessible. Who says development and politics are not tied up?
Editor
38
MAY 9, 2004   |  nation weekly
 I I I I I
Board
Meeting
&More
Club
Himalaya
CLUB HIMALAYA
Nagarkot  Resort
cover.pm6
The Resort, Windy Hills,
Nagarkot, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Tel:6680045-47/80/83 I Fax:6680068
E-mail: club@mos.com.np
Hotel Ambassador, Lazimpat,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 4414432,4410432
E-mail: ambassador@ambassador.com.np
 HISEF
A decade of experience and goodwill accumulated by HISEF will now complement young dynamism and progressive outlook
of Laxmi Bank to create synergies that will propel us to become a leading player in the industry. The winners of this merger:
customers, investors and the Nepalese economy. We thank you for your patronage and look forward to serving you better.
This merger is the first of its kind, truly driven by passion for excellence.
o
Laxmi Dank Limited
 Board
Meeting
&More
7i ] ciub
Himalaya
...
^:W
CLUB HIMALAYA
Nagarkot  Resort
The Resort, Windy Hills,
Nagarkot, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Tel:6680045-47/80/83 I Fax:6680068
E-mail: club@mos.com.np
Hotel Ambassador, Lazimpat,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 4414432,4410432
E-mail: am bassador@ambassador.com.np
 I I I I I
INSPIRED BY NEPAL
STATUTORY DIRECTIVE: SMOKING IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH.
Laxmi Bank Limited
HISEF
A decade of experience and goodwill accumulated by HISEF will now complement young dynamism and progressive outlook
of Laxmi Bank to create synergies that will propel us to become a leading player in the industry. The winners of this merger:
customers, investors and the Nepalese economy. We thank you for your patronage and look forward to serving you better.
This merger is the first of its kind, truly driven by passion for excellence.
0
Laxmi Bank Limited
cover.pm6
-f
5/2/04, 1:08 AM

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