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Nation Weekly October 10, 2004, Volume 1, Number 25 Upadhyay, Akhilesh 2004-10-10

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OCTOBER 10,2004 VOL. I, NO. 25
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VOL. I, NO. 25
20 America Beckons
By Satishjung Shahi
The Friday crowd at the USEF is made up of typical U.S. bound Nepali
students—young, urban and middleclass. Most of them are from Kathmandu.
Their numbers are growing.
Reborn In The U.S.A.
ByAditya Adhikari
Young students arrive in the US without any plans. After initial hiccups, many
of them soon find themselves absorbing American values
Interview: Mike Gill, the executive director of the Fulbright Commission
for Educational Exchange between the United States and Nepal
OPINION:   That Big Bhoot by Sushma Joshi
The Second Sex by Rajani Thapa
11 Watching The
Byjogendra Ghimire
38 Swagger Vs
By Samrat Upadhyay
40 Save A Little
Prayer For Me
By Kunal Lama
42 Steely Scholar,
Fr. Stiller
By Satishjung Shahi
Posterity will perhaps best remember Fr.
Stiller as the author of half a dozen books,
including "The Rise of the House of
Gorkha," "Planning for
People" and "Nepal:
Growth of a Nation." All have contributed significantly to our understanding of Nepal.
18 Ceasefire
Byjohn Narayan Parajuli
The government is under pressure to
send out immediate peace feelers or
declare a unilateral ceasefire
31 The Art Of
Byjohn Narayan Parajuli
History of armed insurrections shows
that insurgents rarely win outright
victories, but are also rarely defeated
47 Fashion Fad
By Satishjung Shahi
Even ordinary Nepalis
have started to pay attention to nation's growing
fashion industry
50 Let Them Be
By Sudesh Shrestha
It's not fair to expect
our players to follow
the footsteps of legendary footballers such as
Zidane and Figo and
take early retirement
kk Peace is the only
^  i     acceptable
weapon to unify
the people i
A question to Onta
when he says young Nepali journalists
writing in English time and again fail to
get a handle over issues despite their
beautiful mastery over the language ("Ersatz Nostalgia," Oct 3). The reason is
simple enough; they lack rigor. People
like Onta, however, will do well to keep
this in mind: What are you doing to help
overcome this handicap? Over the years,
how many young researchers have you
mentored at Martin Chautari, for example? I ask this question not just to
Onta, but to all bright young men and
women—in their 30s and 40s and many
of them with an excellent education. Are
you doing anything for the larger good
of society? Are you conscious about leaving something substantive for posterity,
besides expensive consultancy reports
for INGOs?
Ordinary virtues
Akhilesh Upadhyay's Last Word (Oct 3)
on "Ordinary Virtues": Sensitive! Rather
than politicize the act of compassion expressed by the mourning mass, he has
focused on the basic ingredient of what
it means to be human in the face of tragedy. The mention of Todorov brings to
mind Victor Frankl (1905-1997) of the
founder of Logotherapy. It was during
his arrest and time spent at the concentration camp of Bohemia that Frankl, a
professor of psychology and philosophy,
discovered the meaningfulness of life.
He observed three amazing characteristics among his fellow prisoners despite
their horrifying circumstances: Life has
meaning under all circumstances; people
have a will to meaning; people have freedom under all circumstances to activate
the will to meaning and to find meaning.
The "ordinary virtues" that Todorov observes are none other than the simple
peaceful rituals at the Mandala where the
mourners had congregated to light a
candle for each life unceremoniously
snuffed out in the last eight and a half
years of conflict.
The candle-lit vigil was a refreshing
change from the daily sloganists, demonstrators and rioting mass. Can the
battle be won by peaceful vigils and protest rallies? Gandhi and Martin Luther
King Jr. have both proved that peace is
the only acceptable weapon to unify the
people. Indeed, we live in paradoxical
times; while our children are being exposed to "democratic" anarchy and violence, they are simultaneously learning
the meaning of every life, and the value
of every death.
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
 House in disorder
Kudos to Saubhagya Shah for his article
("Delhi Runs And Strong Men," Oct 3).
Shah hits the bull's eye when he says that
there's no national consensus on foreign
policy i.e, every party has its own foreign
policy and that is what makes the "strong"
elected prime ministers less powerful
than the "weak" appointed prime ministers. It is no secret that Nepal's "strong"
political leaders who criticized Prime
Minister Deuba's visit, and who display
their concerns over sovereignty, independence and foreign influence in Nepal,
themselves go to Delhi to get advice from
Indian leaders when they face the slightest of problems. Have any ofthe opposition leaders who made the Delhi rounds
recently submitted the transcripts of their
talks with the Indian leaders to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or reported in
detail their conversation with the Indian
leaders to the media? No. They don't see
any harm in their conduct of secret diplomacy with India. And now they are
the ones who scream their throats off in
Ratna Park, talking of Indian influence
in Nepal. Yes, India will keep on influencing the turn of events in Nepal as long
as our leaders treat their Indian counterparts as their advisors.
If they are really concerned about
India's intentions and "grand-design" on
Nepal, they should first back the government unanimously and support its
efforts to solve the Maoist problem. They
also have to do away with the culture of
"criticism for the sake of criticism." Once
we start resolving our intra-party feuds
ourselves, we will give that much less
leeway to foreign powers to play police
in our domestic politics.
Business of Bush-bashing
Does publishing a couple of books guarantee Samrat Upadhyay a permanent
space in your magazine? All I have read
from him so far are his rants against
George Bush. It's irrelevant to the general Nepali readership and it's getting
repetitive. Stop taking the easy way out
and give fresh writers with fresh ideas a
Insightful writing
Aditya Adhikari's essay "Identity Crisis" was
brilliant (Sept 19). As a non-Nepali, it gave
me a great insight into the past and present
which has shaped the Nepali psyche, whilst
presenting a view for the future.
All the king's men
We have been suffering Jogendra
Ghimire's columns for many months
now. In his last column "Useful Idiots"
(Sept 26), he talks about dictatorial regimes and dictators and their spin doctors. The sweep included Lenin, Stalin,
and our home grown Maoists. However
it is intriguing that he never mentions
our own dictator who is in power now
and his spin doctors, including himself,
Jogendra Ghimire.
For the record
Thank you for featuring me in your magazine ("A Good Doctor," Oct 3, by Dhriti
Bhatta). The article has enabled me to
share my views with your readers. I
would, however, like to point at some
inconsistencies in the article. I am the
Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology and not the
Managing Director of Medicare National
Hospital. I perform hip and knee transplantations, and not spinal transplantations. Yes, I did face economic hardship
as a school kid. However, my uncle and
aunt were very supportive and I am enormously indebted to them for their support during my lean years. As a small child,
it was never easy staying away from my
parents and the pain of separation still
haunts me. I had no intention to hurt
anybody's feelings, least of all my uncle's
and aunt's who I grew up with, when I
said that I had a rough time as a child.
There seems to have been some misunderstanding over what I was trying to explain and what your reporter seems to
have understood. For the record, I am
grateful to all the people, who have contributed to my development.
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Vol. I, No. 25. For the week October 4-10, 2004, released on October 4
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nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 APPLICATION OVERLOAD: 17,000 people came
to submit job applications at the Kathmandu
Metropolitan Office last week. The office had
announced 386 vacant positions
nation weekly/Sagar Shrestha
 Watching the Watchdog
Koirala's contempt ofthe Supreme Court was unwarranted. But it is time we questioned whether the
CIAA has the unfettered right to compel suspects to answer questions.
Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala is in the news
again, thanks to his infamous outburst against the Supreme
Court last month. The criticism from the octogenarian came
immediately after the apex court declined to entertain his call that the
Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority be stopped from
summoning him to furnish his property details. The CIAA had asked the
former prime minister to appear before it to answer questions on his
property holdings—allegedly disproportionate to his known sources of
income—in light ofthe report ofthe high level Judicial Inquiry Commission on Property.
There are two very distinct, albeit closely related, legal issues in this
controversy. Unfortunately, it isjust the issue of contempt of court that
seems to have hogged the limelight. Going bythe words that Koirala
used to demean the Supreme Court, it is difficult to see how anyjudge
can pronounce that he was not contemptuous—unless Koirala takes a
180-degree flip or his lawyers come up with some fantastically creative
interpretation of his language: "The Supreme Court has come under the
influence of the King and it took the decision at the behest of the
monarch," he said. That's what caught the attention ofthe media and
the court.
What has received far less attention is Koirala's assertion that he
would not go to the CIAA to testify about his property details, even if that
means going to the jail. Koirala, in fact, has every right not to testify. There
are some pretty strong reasons for any accused to not cooperate with an
investigating agency.
Koirala'sjustification for his decision against
honoring the CIAA summons does not
neccessarily mean that he is taking a principled
stance in defying the constitutional body. The
defiance seems politically motivated: He has
been able to energize the Congressi mass.
There is, however, a very compelling constitutional and legal argument that high-profile public figures like Koirala could use to decline CIAA
summons. Enunciating it clearly would clarify for
the CIAA and the public that public figures need
not meekly appear before the commission every time it summons them, purely out of fear
that their failure to do so could result in imprisonment.
When CIAA writes to "public servants" both
past and present to appear before it for questioning, what the anti-corruption watchdog is doing is essentially inviting a potential accused in a
possible criminal prosecution to confess before
it or to assist it with the investigation: to prepare
a case against himself. Under the law, the CIAA
has all the authority to investigate an official on charges of abuse of
authority or press charges against him, but it cannot force any individual
to be a witness against himself. Any accused—or potential accused—
can decline to make any statement that he deems will ultimately go
against his defense. Compelling that would be a violation of that
individual's constitutionally protected right against self-incrimination.
Conceptually, this protection of right against self-incrimination is available to any person who is accused or is likely to be accused of an
offence and against whom there is, or is likelyto be, a criminal prosecution. Such protection does not start only after a case has been filed with
a court, but from day one of an investigation or questioning, because the
statements before an officer could be entered as evidence against the
individual in court.
The philosophical underpinning of this widely adopted Anglo-American common law principle comes from another core principle of criminal
law: Every individual shall be presumed to be innocent unless proven
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The logic is that presumption of innocence cannot be effectively exercised if a person who should be presumed to be innocent is instead forced into speakingand assisting the
The CIAA tends to use its authority to compel suspected offenders to
appear with a vigor that may violate the constitutional protection against
self-incrimination that every individual is entitled to. In fact, any public
servant who is summoned by the constitutional body can appear before
it and choose to remain quiet.
The wide leeway that the CIAA is enjoying in course of questioning
suspects—essentially by unspoken pressure to speak or face imprisonment during investigation—needs to be questioned. Not because controlling corruption is undesirable but because it is important that we watch
the authorities of our state organs to prevent them
from abusing their authority. It's time we watched
the watchdogs.
Koirala's case provides a good opportunity to
put the CIAA to greater public scrutiny and set a
precedent for the future. The former prime minister should, therefore, honor the letter from the
CIAA, appear before the constitutional body and
tell his investigators that he wishes to assert his
constitutional right against self-incrimination. In
case of any other public figure, the most likely
reaction ofthe investigators would be to put him
behind bars for his failure to cooperate with the
investigation. With Koirala, they will be forced to
think twice. This should have a far-reaching impact on individual rights by expanding our due
process protections against unchecked state powers. If nothing else, the whole Koirala episode will
then have had at least one positive result. □
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
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Ceasefire tactic
The Maoists forcibly sent over
1,000 relatives of security personnel to demonstrate at the
District Administration Office
in Surkhet to call for immediate
ceasefire from the government
side, reports said. Many of them
staged a two-hour-long sit-in at
the office. They carried placards
with slogans such as "send our
sons back" and "declare ceasefire" and submitted a memorandum to the Chief District Officer to pressure the government
for long lasting peace in the
Banda again
The two-day banda called by the
Maoists on Tuesday and Wednesday in six eastern zones—Mechi,
Koshi, Sagarmatha, Janakpur,
Narayani and Bagmati—affected
normal life. The "Eastern Command" of the CPN-Maoist
called for the banda to protest the
killing of two of its central leaders few weeks ago while they
were returning from a central
committee meeting in Dang.
Despite the ban, a few vehicles
with terrorism insurance coverage operated in Kathmandu. The
government on the eve of the
banda had announced up to 90
percent compensation for vehicles
damaged or destroyed during the
banda. Security forces guarded
roads in large towns and patrolled
the highways. Some vehicles
were even manned by undercover Security personnel, unverified reports said.
Downsizing bureaucracy
The government has decided to
limit the strength ofthe civil service to 80,000. As part of the
good governance roadmap, the
government will institute a voluntary retirement policy, sometimes called the golden handshake, to downsize the civil service and to make it more efficient. The cabinet, according to
Ministry of General Administration, approved the policy prepared by the administrative reform committee a year ago. At
present there are 78,715 personnel, including 10,000 gazetted
and 14,356 non-gazetted officers. There are 30,977 clerks and
26,000 peons. Seven thousand
positions have already been
scrapped, and about 9,000 posts
are still lying vacant.
Gurkhas win
Retired British Gurkhas won a
partial victory in their campaign
for British citizenship. British
Prime Minister Tony Blair announced a "new immigration
policy" allowing Nepali
Gurkhas who have served in the
British Army to become British
citizens. British Gurkhas have
been fighting for the right to citizenship for the last three years.
However the new immigration
rules will apply only to those
Gurkhas who were discharged
from service after July 1,1997, a
statement issued by the British
Embassy in Kathmandu said.
British Ambassador to Nepal
Keith Bloomfield briefed the
Nepali government prior to making the announcement. Then
Undersecretary of State in the
British Ministry of Defense, Dr.
Moonie, undertook to examine
immigration arrangements for
Gurkhas in March 2003. The
statement said that there are currently 3,400 Gurkhas serving in
the British Army. They are based
mainly in UK and regularly serve
in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone
and the Balkans. Other 700 ex-
Gurkhas have already settled in
the UK.
Victory and defeat
Pradeep Dangol defeated Vietnam by 1-0 with a penalty kick
in the Asian Football Championship in Malaysia. Dangol
scored the goal in the 62nd
minute. Nepal lost a match to
Vietnam during qualifying
rounds of the tournament, but
was in control over Vietnam
during the whole second match.
However the Nepali team lost
its next match to Malaysia on
Wednesday, 0-3.
Ammo from U.S.
A Bulgarian cargo plane belonging to Vega Arlines carrying arms
and ammunition landed at
Tribhuvan International Airport.
The plane was chartered by
United States, which is providing more than $40 million of
worth of military aid to combat
Maoist rebels in the country. After Maoists detonated a bomb at
American Center in Kathmandu
on September 10, the United
States had said that it would in-
crease military support to
Death sentence
China denied that two Nepali
Maoist rebels suspected of
smuggling arms across the Himalayan border had been sentenced to death, but it confirmed that they were being
tried. AFP quoting foreign
ministry spokesman Kong
Quan on Tuesday as saying that
the case is still being heard. In
earlier reports a Nepali diplomat in Tibet was quoted as saying that Hira Lai Shrestha and
Gyaljen Sherpa, who were arrested last year in a Tibetan
border village with illegal arms,
were subsequently sentenced to
Water talks
India has agreed to provide
more outlets for water from the
Laxmanpur barrage to prevent
inundation of Nepali territory.
The agreement came after the
meeting of Nepal-India High
Level Committee of experts.
Under the agreement, India
has agreed to open waterways
on the Kalkaluwa embankment. The meeting also established a six-member committee to calculate the amount of
water that needs to be discharged from the Kalkaluwa
embankment. The committee
will decide how many waterways would be necessary to discharge the required volume.
The meeting also agreed to
construct an embankment on
both sides ofthe Rapti River to
minimize flooding due to the
Laxmanpur embankment.
Nine Nepali villages in Banke
were faced with inundation
during monsoon due to the
Laxmanpur barrage. The two
countries were unable to reach
an agreement on the
Rasiyawal-Khurdalautan barrage. The next meeting is
scheduled for December.
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
 Border skirmishes
Two Indian policemen were
killed and three more injured in
skirmishes with the Maoists near
the bordering town of
Aadharpur in the Indian state
of Bihar, reports said. No further details had emerged about
the incident by the time we went
to press. In related news, Indian
police in Naxalbari have arrested
a Nepali national, Nir Bahadur
Chhetri, with 800 kilograms of
explosives. Police suspect
Chhetri was trying to smuggle
the explosives to Nepal. On
October 1, the copilot of a
Karnali Airways helicopter was
injured when Maoist insurgents
opened fire on it after it took off
from Surkhet. The MI-17 chopper was transporting food to
Dunai in Dolpa, reports said.
Rioters in dock
The government filed cases
against 77 people, including the
head of a Nepali group claiming
to be associated with the Shiv
Sena in India, at Kathmandu
District Court, for their involvement in the September 1 riots
following the killing of 12
Nepalis in Iraq. A group of rioters and arsonists destroyed about
300 manpower agencies and
vandalized the Nepali Jame
Masjid and Kashmeri Masjid in
Kathmandu. The police filed
charges against Kiran Singh
Budhathoki, the president ofthe
Nepal Shiv Sena, for leading and
inciting the violence. Property
worth over Rs.l .5 billion was destroyed during the riots.
Peace death
A Nepali soldier serving in U.N.
peacekeeping operations has been
killed, and five others were
wounded in Burundi when a grenade they were handling detonated, a military spokesman ofthe
U.N. mission to the Central African country, Major Adama Diop
said, according to AFP reports.
Soldier Bir Bahabar Gurung ofthe
Nepali contingent was killed on
September 21 at Rugombo camp
following wrong manipulation of
a grenade, the Major said. Five
other Nepalis soldiers were
wounded when the grenade went
off. Meanwhile another peacekeeping team left for Haiti. The
advance team ofthe first contingent ofthe Shri Bhawani Baksh
battalion left for Haiti to join
peacekeeping operations there at
the request ofthe United Nations.
The battalion comprises 125 army
personnel including ten officers.
Lieutenant Colonel Ganga
Bahadur Gurung is leading the
Spaniard in custody
Spanish national Mayor
Seldeveyar was arrested at
Tribhuvan International Arport
with two grams of hashish as he
was trying to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha en route to
Barcelona He had hidden the
hashish inside a bandage in his
left leg. Police said further investigation is underway.
Stolen Indra
The statue of Lord Indra was stolen from Chandeshwori temple
prior to the Indra Jatra festival.
The statue, which normally remains locked up, is displayed
once a year in front ofthe temple
for devotees to offer pujas. The
statue has already been stolen
twice and recovered each time.
In cold blood
An unidentified group killed three
members of a family in Lahan,
Siraha. According to police, a group
of about seven people attacked
Shova Kant Chaudahry and his
25-year-old wife with sharp weap-
ons early in the morning.
Chaudhary and his wife were
dragged about 500-meters away
from their home to a nearby school
where they were shot dead. The
same group shot Chaudhary's
seven-year-old son dead at his
house. Police said they did not
have any clue about the motive
behind the murder and that they
were probing into the incident.
For a cause
A walkathon organized by the
Rotary Club International raised
Rs. 2.4 million for poor cancer
patients. Nearly 1,000 people
joined in the walkathon that
started simultaneously from two
spots, Basantapur and
Dhulikhel, and walked to
Bhaktapur. The walkathon that
began from Basantapur passed
across Thapathali, Kupondole,
Mangal Bazaar, Bal Kumari and
Thimi and ended at Bhaktapur
Durbar Square. The funds will
be donated to the Bhaktapur
Cancer Hospital. There are
about 40,000 cancer patients
who cannot afford treatment in
Nepal, the organizers said.
Maoist connection
Maoist rebels are providing training to a section of Bhutanese
refugees in eastern Nepal, an Indian newspaper, The Telegraph,
claimed. The paper quoted an
Indian Border Security Force
member. The paper also claimed
that the Maoists were providing
training in Jhapa to a group of
ULFA and BODO militants
from Assam. We have conclusive proof that the Nepali
Maoists are hand-in-glove with
ULFA KLO and NDFB militants, Border Security Force
Deputy Inspector General
Sukhjinder Singh Sadhu was
quoted as saying. The BSF feel
trained Nepali refugees could
also help the rebels establish
camps in "non-traditional" parts
of Bhutan, the paper said. Meanwhile Bhutanese refugee leaders
say that Bhutan is trying to blow
the issue out of proportion, although they concede that few
people from the refugee camps
might have connection with the
GRANT ME SUCCESS: Bhutanese human rights leader Tek Nath Rizal offering prayers at Bhadrakali before
departing for Geneva
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 Biz Buz
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) participated in the
Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA)
2004 Fair organized in Tokyo from 24-26 September. NTB found it a good forum to convince prospective tourists ofthe adequacy of
the safety measures adopted by NTP and other
tourist related associations. A number of
travel-trade operators and journalists visited
the Nepal pavilion and received information
on the various natural and cultural attractions
of Nepal as well as on the measures adopted
for tourist welfare duringthe crisis. Promotional
materials were also distributed to the visiting
Similarly, Destination Promotion Night was
organized by NTB for Japanesejoumalists and
travel-trade operators on 22 September in
coordination with the Royal Nepalese Embassy
in Japan. Three other private travel companies
also participated in the Fair under the umbrella
banner of NTB.
Members of the Confederation of Nepalese
Industries (CNI) are to attend the annual general meeting of the World Bank to be held in
Washington DC on October 2-3.
Duringthe meeting the CNI delegation will
provide professional and private sector perspectives on issues relating to financial reforms and
global trade.
President Binod Chaudhary and Vice-president Pawan KGolyan are leadingthe delegation. It is the first time that people from the
private sector are included in the official delegation to the US.
Presidents Forum Nepal (PFN), a forum of past
presidents of various professional associations
was formed Monday under the chairmanship of Pradeep KShrestha. Shrestha is
the former president ofthe Federation of
Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FNCCI).
The special meeting of PFN also led
to the formation of an ad-hoc committee
in an attempt to expedite the 'Peace for
Development' project, which is one of
the major agendas of the forum. PFN
has also decided to work on prominent
national issues concerning socio-economic advancement. The ad-hoc committee members, besides Shrestha, are
Mahesh K Agrawal (Co-chairman),
Madhukar SJB Rana (Co-chairman),
Rabindra Man Singh (Co-chairman),
Yogendra Shakya (Co-chairman) and Gopal
Tiwari (secretary General).
The six-member committee has also established a 'constitution drafting committee' for
the forum, which is headed by Mahesh K
Agrawal, the immediate past president of Nepal
Chamber of Commerce (NCC).
The committee has also made provisions
for senior presidents of different associations
to work for common goals like peace building,
policy formulations and advocacy for all Nepalis.
The forum is open to all who have gained relevant knowledge through their involvement in
various activities and associations in their professional career.
The King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (KMTNC) and the New Delhi based Energy
and Resources Institute (TERI), have signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) to
pledge long-term research and technical cooperation and to establish collaborative projects
for the benefit of local communities.
The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has given
the responsibility of selling a quantity of kerosene at a subsidized rate to the Salt Trading
Corporation (STC). NOC and STC signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to
this effect recently. According to the regulations, STC will appoint retailers to sell kerosene at the subsidized rate and will take
responsibility for the quality and quantity of
kerosene sold. The retail sellers will have to
display a signboard at their outlets clearly
mentioning that subsidized kerosene is available as well as the price at which it is to be
Nepal Engineering College (NEC), Ministry of
Science and Technology (MoST), Kathmandu
Engineering College (KEC), Worldlink Communications and Nepal College of Information Technology are jointly organizing the Asian Applied
Computing Conference 2004 on October 29-
The seminar is being organized for the second time in Nepal. Participants from 13 countries are taking part in the fair. System and architecture, mobile and ubiquitous computing,
soft computing, man-machine interfaces and
innovative applications for the developing world
are some of the headings of the 41 papers
that will be presented by various researchers,
academicians and IT professionals.
DrTilak Rawal, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank
(NRB), left for Washington DC to take part in
the joint annual meeting ofthe International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank
(WB) to be held on October 3. The meeting will
deliberate on current economic situations and
development issues and also on current challenges, risks and opportunities concerning monetary and financial policy. Tulraj Baral, executive director ofthe research department of NRB,
is accompanying Dr Rawal.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) participated in the
Royal Nepal Airlines and Pacific Asia Travel
Association (PATA) Travel Mart held in Bangkok
from September 22 to 24. The focus ofthe
meet was to disseminate destination information to the media and to provide assurance that Nepal was well prepared for the
upcoming tourist season. 345 global buyers
representing 309 organizations from 39 countries participated in the fair.
Participation at the fair is part of NTB's ongoing effort to reach new markets and invite
more tourists from countries in the region,
mostly to visit Buddhist sites in Nepal.
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
A British nonprofit, Global Ideas Bank, honored Mahabir Pun this month with the 2004
"Overall Social Innovations Award" to recognize his work in connecting high Himalayan villages to the Internet. Pun's determination to
connect his village, Nangi, and other Himalayan villages has already earned him recognition as a social innovator.
Pun received a good education through the
efforts of his father, a retired British Gurkha.
His family moved to Chitwan for his schooling,
and later, when he finished high school, he
took a teachingjob to support his family. After
teachingfor 12 years, he was accepted at the
University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he
received his Master's degree. It was after an
absence of 24 years that he returned to his
village in 1992.
Two years ago, Pun brought wireless
Internet to his village at the altitude 7,300-
feet. With no electricity and no phone service
to Nangi, the project seemed impossible, but
Pun was determined. Today five villages in the
high Himalayas have Internet access, and more
than 100 students, teachers and villagers have
email accounts. Pun has also started a tele-
medicine project, which connects doctors and
patients with the help ofthe Internet and a
webcam. A doctor in Pokhara helps Pun run
the project.
"I think it was the sheer bravado of what he
did [that impressed thejudges]," Nick Temple,
director ofthe Global Ideas Bank, said. "How
did it even occur to him that this was possible?"
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o0atenotc       ance\
The government is under pressure to send out immediate peace feelers or declare a unilateral ceasefire. The prime
minister has said no before, but is obviously feeling the
heat. Whose job is it to take the first step?
tactical ball into the
government's court on September 21 when Prachanda spoke of talks
under "conducive conditions" and asked
the government to answer six questions.
There has been a mixed reaction to
Maoist supremo Prachanda's statement,
which doesn't really say whether or not
the Maoists are willing to talk with this
government, after previously declining.
But the statement has put the pressure
on the government for a response, a
peace feeler or a unilateral holiday
ceasefire: Witness the lengthy meetings
ofthe High Level Peace Committee last
week. The Maoists almost certainly intended their ambiguous statements to
increase pressure on their government;
so far they have had modest success.
The strongest pressure comes from
within the government. The UML, the
biggest constituent in the ruling coalition, says the government must act immediately to cash in on Prachanda's
statement. CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal called on the
government to declare a ceasefire even
if the Maoists fail to reciprocate. His
statement seems to have served as a rallying cry for others outside the coalition: Many involved in Nepali national
life are repeating the UML supremo's
Apparently under pressure, the Cabinet and High Level Peace Committee
discussed Nepal's proposal last Tuesday
and Wednesday. Despite a careful hear
ing, Prime Minister Deuba and the NC-
D ministers seem to be against the idea.
Home Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka
downplayed the possibility of a unilateral declaration of truce. His comments
may reflect the security forces' assessment on the ground. Both seem in tune
with the prime minister's own thinking.
Since his appointment for a third inning, Deuba has sent a consistent message: I don't trust the Maoists; they have
betrayed me. During an interview with
Nation Weekly in June, Deuba clearly
spoke his mind. 'We will negotiate again
with the Maoists, but the negotiations
will be different from last time." Although he declined to elaborate on the
difference, his subsequent remarks were
a clear signal of an act-tough approach,
unlike the all out peace gestures made
during his previous tenure. The lack of
trust seriously compounds the problem.
But there are others besides the prime
minister who find the call for a unilateral ceasefire unwise.
"Ceasefire is two-way traffic," says
former Foreign Minister Bhek Bahadur
Thapa. "It must be total, based on mutual respect." Technically there can be
no ceasefire without a similar commitment from the Maoist side. Many fear
that calling a unilateral truce would just
give the Maoists an opportunity to regroup and revamp their organization.
The Army still laments the last two
ceasefires: They say Maoists used them
to buy time and strengthen themselves.
Army officers avoid direct answers to
questions about the prospect of declar-
LOGJAM: So who will bell the cat?
ing a unilateral ceasefire. "It is for the
government to decide," says Brigadier
General Rajendra Bahadur Thapa, the
Army's spokesman. "We will implement
whatever the government orders." But
the Army's apprehension about a oneway truce is obvious. "What was the
value ofthe last two ceasefires," says an
Army officer, "and who benefited from
them?" The Maoists only expanded their
organization and made effective use of
the truce period for tactical advantage.
Many see similar motives behind the
present Maoist drive. There are reasons
to believe that the Maoists are desperate
for a ceasefire and that they are behind
the pressure on the government. Reports
from Surkhet say that Maoists there
forced hundreds of families of security
personnel to attend a sit-in protest to
pressure the government for a unilateral
cease-fire. If that's true, Madhav Nepal
and the protesters are, presumably unwittingly doing the Maoist's bidding.
The government agrees that the
Maoists are using the issue. "The Maoists
are driving a wedge between the mainstream political forces," Minister Horn
Nath Dahal told reporters. After
Prachanda's latest statement, the four
parties have suddenly found Maoists us-
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
PI ■■ dM PI
ing language similar to their anti-"re-
gression" rhetoric to question the
government's legitimacy and ability to
call a truce. This should give pause to
Comrade Nepal and the opposition NC
leaders, but they seem unfazed.
"It is a question of who is supposed
to be more responsible," says senior
Nepali Congress leader, Narhari
Acharya. "The government or the
Maoists?" To a nation yearning for peace,
almost any ceasefire would be welcome.
Those calling for a ceasefire are counting on that for political support. They
present the problem as a moral conundrum for the government, which, they
say is expected to "act responsibly" regardless of
what the insurgents do or
say. And as the countdown
to Nepal's biggest festival
Dashain ticks off, there are
high hopes. All eyes are
now set on the government and the moves it
The issue bears every
bit of discussion and scrutiny. A bold, positive action
by the government could
set the nation on the road
to peace. But the risk that
the Maoists' ambiguous
"offer" is just a tactical move
to give their forces a
breather before the "final
battle" is high. So are the
stakes. "Nobody can question the desire of people for
a cease-fire," says former Foreign Minister Bhek Bahadur Thapa. But desires do
not necessarily translate into good strategy or good politics. "If the Maoists are
ready for a negotiated settlement and durable peace," says security analyst Kama
Bahadur Thapa, a retired Major. "It
doesn't matter who calls it quits." E
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 J    fcH
Is U.S. Study Appropriate
1. Adequate Funding, sis* - $«k Schoi
3, Strong English skills -
4. Entrance examinations, tocfu sat
5t Student Visa
IN THE U.S. IN 2003
Numbers               % Growth
over 2002
3,729                           23.5
74,603                        11.6
64,757                            2.4
3,596                            -8.6
Sri Lanka
2,094                             1.2
[Source: Institute of International
Education, New York]
i ON
The Friday crowd
at the USEF is
made up of typical
U.S. bound
Nepali students—
young, urban and
middleclass; most
of them are from
Kathmandu. Their
numbers are
a.m. Friday: The air-
conditioned   meeting
I hall on the second floor
of the two-story United
States Educa-tional Foundation, (USEF)
building in Gyaneshwore is filled with
27 young Nepalis. They are attending a
free information session on studying in
the United States. Most are dressed in
jeans and sneakers; some even wear baseball caps, much like American kids their
age. A map ofthe United States hangs on
the wall, and there is a U.S. flag in the
corner, complete with a bald eagle topping the flag post.
The hall is abuzz with excitement and
anticipation, like the U.S. college campus at the start of a new academic season.
The educational advisor, Gaurav
Katwal, gives a PowerPoint presen-
Schools supplying most applicants for higher
studies abroad:
Brihaspati School, Budhanilkantha School,
Kathmandu University, Lincoln School, Modern
Indian School, Rato Bangla School, St. Mary's
School, St. Xavier's School and Shuvatara
Outside Kathmandu: Arniko BoardingSchool in
Biratnagar and Gandaki Boarding School in
ISource: Based on our interviews]
tation on the do's and don'ts of applying to colleges in the United
States. His colleague Selena Malla is
writing the names of reference books
and web sites on a whiteboard after
distributing brochures to the attendees. The two take turns with the presentation.
Questions keep coming. There are
no bad questions here; anything goes—
other than visa enquiries. How does the
SAT help you get scholarships? How are
TOEFL and GRE scores evaluated and
what kind of scores will get us scholarships? Is the SAT required for graduate
studies? What about community colleges? Do we have to give all these examinations, Sir?
Katwal and Malla, both educated in
the United States, come up with instant
answers for anything hurled at them.
The types of students who come each
Friday are similar, and their questions
too. The day we attended, the room
wasn't full.
"The turnout was quite low today.
Maybe it was last week's two-day banda
and the rain this morning," says Malla,
who has an accent that would be mistaken for an American's. The USEF allows a maximum of 60 students in a single
session, which is mostly full. Downstairs,
the USEF library records 200-300 visitors a day.
The crowd at the USEF is made up
of typical U.S.-bound Nepali students—
young, urban and middleclass, most of
them from Kathmandu.
The number of Nepali students in
the United States is growing at a rapid
clip, say USEF officials, and is among
the highest in the world. Nepal sent
3729 students in 2003, as opposed to
3019 in 2002, a 23.5 percent increase. The
growth rate of countries like India and
China, which send many more students,
was 11.6 percent and 2.4 percent for the
According to the U.S. International Institute of Education, 71.5 percent of Nepali
students currently in the United States are
enrolled in undergraduate studies.
"An average undergraduate student
applying for a visa these days has a profile of a typical kid from Kathmandu,"
says Mike Gill, executive director of the
Fulbright Commission for Educational
Exchange between the United States and
Nepal: "The student comes from a private school and the family has money."
The students we met seemed to
match that profile. "I am giving it a try, as
a relative in the States told me I should
try for a scholarship if my academics
were good," says Mikesh Raj Shivakoti,
who has just completed his Class 12 from
Chennai, India. Shivakoti, who studied
up to his S.L.C at Adarsha Vidya Mandir
in Lalitpur, has already taken the TOEFL
exam and is planning to take the SAT in
More and more students like
Shivakoti have received a good English
education. According to USEF's Katwal,
their TOEFL scores are much higher
than that of most Nepali students 20 years
ago. This has made them more competitive for admission to U.S. colleges. Easy
access to information (thanks to the
Internet) means they are also more aware
of what is in offer there and what they
Madhur Lamsal, who completed
high school from Nepalgunj and received his B.Sc. from ASCOL, is interested in taking another undergraduate
degree in insurance policy. "The subject
I am looking for isn't available here," he
says. "That is why I want to go to the
United States."
The major attraction of studying in
the United States, alumni of American
schools told Nation Weekly, is the quality of education and the marketability
of American degrees. Almost every
single student we interviewed told us
that U.S. colleges and universities had a
lot more choices in terms of subject selection than they had imagined possible
while in Nepal. Many of them said
well-stocked libraries and easy access
to enormously rich documentation
(both electronic and print) were the
best part about studying in the United
But all that comes at a price.
Undergraduate studies in the United
States cost anywhere between $12,000
to $40,000 per year. That includes tuition fees, living expenses, health insurance, books, supplies and travel expenses.
Katwal says an "average Joe" that
comes for counseling at the USEF expects to pay only for the first semester and then work to pay for the rest
of the semesters. "I always tell them
education in the U.S. is expensive,"
he says. "They are allowed to work
only 20 hours per week on campus.
That won't be enough to pay for their
The Fulbright Commission's Gill
says some 75 percent of international students in the United States are self-
funded; statistics for Nepali students are
similar. Only about 30 percent of students from Nepal are able to get scholarships. And because they're coming
University and State
1. University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma
2. Wichita State University, Kansas
3. Ferris State University, Michigan
4. University of Southern Alabama, Alabama
5. University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska
Number of
Nepalis enrolled
[Source: Based on forms voluntarily filled
out by students who received student visas]
STATES WITH HIGHEST NEPALI STUDENT CONCENTRATION: California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC
[Source: USEF]
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
from Nepal, most tend to go to cheaper
schools that are not necessarily of high
Still, many Nepalis manage to get
into prestigious colleges and universities. A few of them got over 90 percent
waivers last year from the University of
Pennsylvania, Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, Grinnell College in Iowa and
Bates College in Maine.
But the quality of schools and scholarships are not the only thing that goes
into the selection. Nepali students of
ten apply to colleges where there already
are many other Nepalis. That makes the
experience of being in a foreign land that
much more comfortable, but it may also
reduce their chances of winning a scholarship.
And hanging out with other Nepalis
also means less cultural interaction. 'Why
not go to the States to increase your understanding of other cultures? It is not
only books; there are lots of other things
to learn," says Katwal, perhaps suggesting that students should keep away from
Nepali students
enrolled in
US colleges
% Growth
[Source: Institute of International
Education, NewYorkl
'They're Getting Younger
Interview with Mike Gill, the executive director ofthe Fulbright
Commission for Educational
Exchange between the United
States and Nepal.
Has the ongoing Maoist conflict
increased the number of students going to the United
I don't know. But what I can tell you
is that since 9/11 the numbers of
international students from India
and China as well as some other
significant countries like Malaysia,
Indonesia and Pakistan have all
decreased. But in Nepal, the numbers of appl icants for student visas
and the number of students to
whom visas have been issued have
increased quite a bit. The figures
come from the International Institute of Education, which keeps track
of these things. The percentage increase of students coming from
Nepal is among the highest in the
world. The actual number is still quite
small. Last year there were about
1,500 student visas issued in
Nepal. The number has been going up steadily in the last several
years. This year is the highest as
far as I know. It is logical to assume
that the current situation in Nepal
is one factor in that increase, but I
doubt that it is the only one.
In your last interview with Nation Weekly (Vol. 1, No. 6) you
said that the liberal arts education is extremely good in the
States. What makes it so?
The most attractive thing about
undergraduate education in the
United States, and what is almost
uniquely American, is what we call
the four-year undergraduate liberal arts curriculum. In parts of
the world that follow the British
education [students] specialize
very early. In Nepal, even in the
SLC, students start specializing,
and the best and brightest students are pushed by their parents
into sciences. Yes, of course, any
country's economy needs lot of
trained people in the technical
fields. But you also need people
who have the big picture, who
can assess policy. Anything we
do as a human being takes place
in a social context, whether build-
inga building or developinga vaccine.
What academic disciplines are
Nepalis studying in the United
The most common fields are engineering, computer science, business, agriculture and other technical fields. And those are precisely
what you expect from Nepal.
Is it because job opportunities
are higher in those fields?
Sure, that is a major part of it. I
hope in two or three years ... that
there would be more opportunities for people [in]
social sciences and humanities streams as well.
What is the broader
trend of students leaving for higher studies?
Over the last 20 years
there's been a shift. There
are now 70 percent or
more going for undergraduate studies; that's
almost the reverse of 20 years ago.
Now you have younger people
What do you think it will be like
10 years on?
I hope that there will be more
people with better, solid educations coming back to Nepal. One
ofthe things that I hope for Nepal
is that those who have gone out
in technical fields will comeback
and start a Nepali Infosys or even
What do you think is the strength
of Nepali students?
Extreme level of motivation.
People who are coming from the
middleclass or lower middleclass
in Nepal know when they have an
opportunity, and for the most part
they take it. Nepalis are unique,
especially in the technical fields.
They have been instilled with the
value of education at young age,
and those who leave here know
they're on a gateway to something
On the other side, what do you
think are the weaknesses of
Nepali students?
One of the reasons why I think
there has been an increase in
undergraduate students [goingto
the U.S.] is that English education
has become stronger. But the other
big challenge... is their inability to
work independently and ask questions ofthe teachers, to disagree
with the teacher and to do independent research.
Why do Nepalis want to go to
the United States for higher
The U.S. system is the most flexible and varied, and the quality is
as good as anywhere in the world.
The range of choice and quality is
unparallelled anywhere. E
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 such schools like St. Cloud University,
which has over 100 Nepali students, or
Bellevue College in Nebraska, with
over 200. Katwal says there is another
important reason why one should avoid
schools with large Nepali student populations: The chances of getting a visa
approved is likely to go down with a
high concentration of Nepalis in one
The U.S. student visa, or the F-l visa,
is one of the "iron gates" Nepalis have to
pass through. Last year about 1,500
Nepalis got the student visa. Many are
already in America, specializing in liberal arts, business administration, engi-
neering, medicine and information technology. "The visa is always a concern but
I am fairly confident of getting one," says
Neer Shrestha, 25, a final year student at
Institute of Engineering at Pulchowk.
"To me, U.S. means opportunities for
new experience, greater knowledge and
better opportunities." E
That Big Bhoot
America, in spite of its limitations, welcomes people into its fold with its original myth—everybody is
a pioneer in a new continent. My own story with America is a mythic one.
Another of our children has been taken by the bhoot of America,"
my mother complains every time she hears about a young cousin
who makes off to that continent. "What is there? Kay cha tya?"
she asks. "I couldn't live there with all those ugly buildings."
Skyscrapers and fast cars, chain stores and mega-malls. These
are the outward manifestations of a culture that fascinates and
draws hundreds of thousands of students from all parts ofthe world
to America every year. But contrary to popular understanding, people
go notjust for the amount of money they can earn, or the pile of
things they can buy. If money were everything, then all those foreign
students would have ended up in Saudi Arabia, or Japan. But they
end up in rural Alaska and in the inner city neighborhoods of New
York not because money is easy to come by, most often it isn't, but
because America promises something radically different—a new
beginning, a place where one can remake oneself based not on
one's gender, caste or ethnicity, but on one's ability to work and
accomplish in a seeming meritocracy. I say "seeming" because
even America has its hierarchies, its closed doors, its glass ceilings.
But America, in spite of its limitations, welcomes people into its fold
with its original myth—everybody is a pioneer in a new continent,
breaking new ground, surviving on their own merit and labor. This is
an exhilarating concept, especially to those who come from places
in the world where their roles and opportunities are already restricted by birth- by gender, by caste, ethnicity, race, religion or
other defining factor.
My own story with America is a mythic one. At thirteen, duringafitof
adolescent rage with my mother, who had threatened to marry me off so
she wouldn't have to deal with a hormonal teenager, I sat down and
wrote to Emmanuel College, a small liberal arts college in Boston. The
catalogue I found in a pile that my brother had collected to go abroad.
What was surprising was not the long letter I sent off requesting the
college admissions board to admit me at age thirteen—the surprising
part was the courteous and professional reply that I received, signed by
the director of admissions, telling me that I was slightly too young to
apply but they would take me into consideration as soon as I finished my
high school education. That letter was the first sign of a culture where
even thirteen-year-olds undergoing hormonal temper tantrums had
rights—gasp!—to a response. That, to me, was the first indication of
democracy in action, the first signs of (extra-terrestrial?) beings who
believed in treating underage girls in Nepal with the same respect they
gave to anybody else.
America's democratic culture is one reason why people are drawn to
study there. The other is its liberal education system. A liberal education draws on the old European ideal ofthe Enlightenment, one where
boundaries between different disciplines are dissolved and people
seek knowledge from all fields while being equally adept in all. A
liberal education makes a person equally comfortable conversing
about philosophy and the sciences, and the linkages between the
two, or talking about a painting or new technology. I was fortunate
enough to attend an institution where this ideal was actively encouraged. Of my college friends, many ended up doing cutting edge work
in fields very different from what they studied—philosophy majors
became computer programmers, computer programmers went on to
make films and videos, math majors did PhDs in literature. And indeed, many of the most innovative thinking and research, the most
entrepreneurial ideas have come from individuals who have received
a liberal education.
In Nepal, people interested in arts and culture are relegated to low-
quality institutions with Third Division students. An original idea is often
considered silly, irrelevant, condescending to the teacher, or worse—
wrong—as those of us who have experienced the Nepali educational
system know so well. Trying to learn two fields of knowledge, ortwo skills,
is a sure sign that that person is willful, non-committed or "all over the
place." Making linkages between different skill-sets, or different fields of
knowledge, is not encouraged. Leonardo Da Vinci would be considered
a madman, or a liar, in Nepal.
I am convinced that the elevation ofthe sciences to a godly realm in
Nepal, at the expense of creativity and original thought, is at the heart of
the political gridlock we are in today. How can people imagine new worlds
if their faculties to create new possibilities were never encouraged? That
free reign to dream—whether it is an American dream or some other
dream—has always been the defining feature ofthe American educational system. That is the bhoot that continues to draw people in the
thousands to that far-off continent. E
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
Young students arrive in the US without any plans. After
initial hiccups, many of them soon find themselves absorbing American values.
college in the United States
four years ago, he had no clear
academic plans. On his application
form, KC had written that he hadn't
decided on a major yet. Before leaving for Sarah Lawrence College in
New York, he was "too preoccupied
thinking about being in the U.S. itself.
All I wanted at that time was to be
During his first semester at Sarah
Lawrence he decided to take up dance as
his chief pursuit. He had made a lasting
impression on his friends at
Budhanilkantha School as a dancer, but
had no formal experience. In the United
States he enrolled as a dance student.
This led him to the discovery that dancing could be an intense joy but the novelty eventually wore off. By the end of
his sophomore (second) year of college,
the pleasure of dancing started to wane.
There were more important things in
Events like the insurgency in far-off
Nepal and the destruction of the World
Trade Center in the United States filled
him with an urge to understand the
world better. It led him to the realization that the pursuit of happiness was
not enough. He started to read about
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 In his junior (third) year he took a
class titled "Marx and Marxisms" to learn
more about Maoist movements. Reading Marx was an experience that changed
KC completely. "Marx did not merely
change my world, he shattered it," he
says. "He did not merely inspire me, he
kicked my ass."
Reading numerous books on the
Russian, Chinese and Latin American
revolutions changed the way he understood history and gave him an
acute sense of the injustices of the
world. Sympathy for the downtrodden and the oppressed led him to
study subjects like labor movements
and feminism. This past August he
began a master's degree program at
Fulbright Two-year masters program, postgraduate program
Hubert Humphrey Non-degree program for mid-career professionals at policy level.
EastWest Funding by University of Hawaii, includes technical fields.
Sarah Lawrence in women's history,
something that he had never imagined
he would do when he left Nepal four
years ago.
As the profile of Nepali students
heading west gets younger, many young
Nepalis, particularly those who went to
the United States for undergraduate studies, speak of similar life-shaping experi-
[Source: USEF]
ences . Until the 70s, an average Nepali
student would head to a graduate school
or was a professional, often married.
Most students now leave home while
they are in their teens and early 20s. They
are mostly single and at a very impressionable age.
These students find themselves immersed in a world freer than they have
ever encountered; the possibilities are
endless. Most only have a vague notion
of fields of study they will pursue. The
undergraduate education they receive
serves more as an exploration of themselves and to develop their personalities,
LONE RANGER: Early days in U.S. can be difficult
the most fulfilling
aspect of being at an
American college."
Bennington is a
unique college that
grants students great
freedom to design
their own course of
study—there are no
compulsory classes
and no grades are
awarded. Niranjan
Kunwar, who graduated from
Bennington last
May, found that he
could pursue his
own projects without any kind of pressure. "For the first
time in my life,
studying and going
to classes became a
routine that I looked
forward to," he says.
That the intellectual quest can be both
fun and rewarding is immensely empowering for young students. There is an
emphasis on independent thought, and
students find, again for the first time, that
their ideas are valued. "The curriculum
in Nepal tells you what to think," says
Yubraj Acharya, who will be graduating
from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania this May. "An American liberal arts
education is mostly focused on how and
why to think."
The intellectual tools that students
acquire enable them to question things
that they have always blindly accepted as
fact. With the feeling that they as individuals have something to offer to the
world comes also a sense of responsibility that goes well beyond the aspirations they initially had when heading to
the United States.
To Biswonath Poudel, a Ph.D. student at the University of California at
Berkeley, the future was always associated with financial security. That led the
Chitwan resident to take a bachelor's
degree in engineering in China. In the
United States, he encountered various
people, including some of his professors, whose work had far-reaching implications on society. This led him to
think of more abstract matters than financial security. "I started to think of my
Nepalis left for U.S. this fall
THANK YOU: "I learned to
appreciate difference"
legacy, my contribution to mankind," he
Not every experience in the United
States for these students is as ennobling.
Adapting to American social norms and
customs can be overwhelming. While
there is always an urge to mingle with
people from one's own background,
many Nepalis feel that the
most fulfilling part of living in the United States is
being able to adapt and in
accepting the new surroundings.
"I've met several
Nepali students in the U.S.
who still want to surround
themselves with Nepali
people," says Kunwar.
"This can be more detrimental to your personal
growth than you might
think." Happily, since
there are relatively few
Nepalis at most schools in
the US, students are generally forced to adapt.
America's diversity is an
opportunity to interact with
various kinds of people, and
most Nepalis, after an awkward phase of adjustment,
find their world-views significantly broadened by exposure to different cultural backgrounds. Personal contact
with people who are different makes Nepali
students grow fast. They begin to recognize the importance of co-existence.
Karuna Chhetri, who left Kathmandu
after finishing a B A. degree, went on to get
a graduate diploma in Montessori pedagogy
She currently teaches in a primary school
in Maryland. Her greatest challenge in the
United States has been to discard the eth-
nocentrism she grew up with and to internalize cultural relativity. "It has been a slow
but a rewarding process," she says.
A broader acceptance of differences
also leads to a greater appreciation of others. "In the U.S. I learned how to value
even the small contributions that people
make," says Dharan native Tika Rai, who
studied electrical engineering at the
University of Norman in Oklahoma.
Currently he sets up wireless Internet
connections at the Magnus Consulting
Group in Purano Baneshwore and tries
to implement work strategies he learned
in the United States. He believes that
showing appreciation for the work of
employees is important for a healthy
work climate. He's happy he went to the
U.S. right after high school.
Leaving home at an early age means
that new values, even those alien to
Nepali society, are more easily accepted.
The knowledge, discipline and ethics
learned in American colleges remain
central to students for the rest of their
lives, and most Nepalis cherish their
education. Writer Samrat Upadhyay, who
teaches at Indiana University, says, "My
exposure to U.S. academics has been the
crux of who I am today."   E
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
The Second Sex
Nepali students find themselves confronting their sexual naivete when they arrive in the US
When I was first preparing to leave home to go and study
abroad, my mother decided to talk to me about sex.
Actually, she asked my older brother to talk to me. My
mother, apparently, was conservative enough to feel too uncomfortable to talk to me directly, yet open enough to the prospect of discussion—as opposed to rigid denial. My brother—
admitting sheepishly that my mother had put him up to it—told
me that the conventions of the west would be very different from
what I was used to in Kathmandu. He told me that men could get
certain ideas that I might not necessarily be trying to convey,
and that I should be careful to make myself clear in certain
No one in my family had ever talked to me about sex before,
and while this seems somewhat incredible to me now, it is not at
all uncommon. So when young Nepali students travel to the
west, where sexual mores are famously lax, they may be confronted with much more than academics, work, money, homesickness and so on. Even though my mother did not feel the
need to have a similar conversation with my brother when he
was the one who was going off to college, both men and women
find themselves confronting their own sexual naivete and inexperience when they come to the United States for the first time.
This kind of experience is, I believe, one ofthe most common
and most interesting—yet least talked about—phenomena facing Nepali students abroad. Sexual inexperience, needless to
say, is something everyone goes through at one point in their
life, but going through it in the United States—where one imagines, accurately or not, sexual permissiveness imbedded in the
very culture—can be deeply overwhelming. Women may find
themselves in even more unfamiliar territory than men, because
we don't seem to traditionally have a culture of discussion and
information sharing about sex within our own gender that men
seem to have from a rather early age. One ofthe few times I
have heard sex discussed among women—of different generations—is at rateu// ceremonies during weddings. But these occasions are always boisterous and comic; too public and awkward to be of any educational value.
What happens, then, when we go out into a world that many of
our mothers never saw, in many cases equipped with very little?
During one rateu//ceremony I was at, my older married relatives
made a figure of a penis from flour dough and left it on the bridal
bed as a prank. While it was certainly done in the spirit of mischief
and fun, it is quite conceivable that many women leave home for
the first time with little more than such glimpses into the world of
sexuality—when they are old enough to know much better. I myself acquired all of my sexual information from women's magazines that were helpfully lying around at home, and encyclope
dias. The result of this ignorance can often be comical, but it can
also be difficult, alienating or disastrous.
Other women in the United States can be just as inexperienced
as us when they first leave home for college, but they probably do
not have traditional notions of honor and shame tied to a woman's
body and sexuality ingrained in them in the way that we do.
It is not enough—as I have found—to expect women to adhere to
traditional values and abstain from sexual experimentation. This is
certainly what our mothers expect and hope for from us with their
non-discussion of sexand sexuality. However, the very act of encouraging women to go and study abroad and make a life and career for
themselves—which an increasing number of parents do—serves to
stretch the reach and boundaries of tradition and societal standards.
Moreover, while our mothers—even the more educated of that generation—got married wh i le they were barely out of their teens, Nepal i
women nowadays increasingly confront their sexual awakening while
they are still unmarried.
This was on my mind when I did a presentation in a class in
Kathmandu for students who were planning to leave for the United
States soon. My presentation focused on safe sex and sexual
health resources for students on campus in American colleges.
Afterwards, a classmate came up to me and remarked that he
felt that I was encouraging people to engage in pre-marital sex
during their college life. I answered that in keeping with the theme
of my presentation, I hardly had anything to say to people who
would decide to abstain from sexual activity. My presentation
was supposed to deal with sexual health and contraception—
subjects pertinent to those who decided to engage in sexual
Now that I have been in the United States for several years, it
strikes me that many students do not make a premeditated decision
to become sexually active. To put it bluntly—sometimes itjust happens. This is the experience of countless Nepali students in the United
States, both men and women. Which is not to suggest that these
situations do not occur in Nepal; but the combination ofthe freedom
of being so far away from home and the college atmosphere of
carefree enjoyment which often includes experimentation with alcohol and drugs, can mean that even the most cautious, even the most
resolutely conservative among us, can find ourselves in situations
that we are not prepared for.
What I have learnt as a student in the United States is that we are
in unknown territory; most of our parents are unable to counsel us
adequately because what we experience is alien to them. Most of us
are not thwarting traditional values deliberately as much as inevitably
growing in our perceptions ofthe world and of our own identity.
As it turns out, my brother's conversation with me about sex
turned out to be incredibly valuable. It made me, at least, open to
unexpected situations and helped me deal with some ofthe overwhelming feelings that were in store for me. Q
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
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History of armed insurrection shows that insurgents
rarely win outright victories, but are also rarely defeated
Maoists have run a relatively success
ful guerilla campaign against the
state. The speed with which the rebels
expanded their influence over the territory and their ability to influence events
is astonishing. A small group of ragtag
rebels operating in the remote Midwest
in 1996 barely made news: Now there's
hardly any other news but the Maoists.
So what exactly is guerilla warfare? What
are the chances of success for a counter-
insurgency operation, and what do the
security forces need to do?
Guerilla warfare is, traditionally the response of a small indigenous group combating a powerful force, such as a state or
an occupying power. It is asymmetric
warfare, unlike most formally declared
conflicts. Guerilla warfare involves mobile, small and flexible units, fighting
without a distinct front line. Though
most insurgencies never achieve much,
except death and destruction, two prime
examples from the 20th century show
that they can actually win. Mao Zedong
and Ernesto Che Guevara, a Cuban revolutionary of Argentine origin, were spectacularly successful using the tactics.
Mao ran a successful guerilla war against
the Kuomintang government in China
and replaced it with communist rule in
1949. Che helped Fidel Castro overthrow the dictator Batista in Cuba and
to found a communist state in 1959.
Ambush and sabotage are typical tactics of guerilla warfare; the aim is ultimately to destabilize the state by means
of a prolonged, low-level confrontation.
The Nepali Maoists have adopted the
same tactics.
At the beginning of the insurgency in
1996, progress for the Maoists was slow
but still steady. The Maoists, following
the Chinese leader's strategy declared
their struggle a "people's war." At the beginning they attached great importance to
winning the "hearts and minds" of the
people to establish base areas. At the same
time they found terror an indispensable
tool to command obedience from the residents ofthe same base areas.
The Maoists moved to a full-fledged
guerrilla war in November 2001, with a
major offensive against police stations
and military posts. Professor Thomas A.
Marks, a military strategist at U.S. Army
War College Strategic Studies Institute
at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, describes the
warfare scheme of Nepali Maoists in the
following words: "Terror facilitates or
establishes the 'space' necessary for the
insurgent political campaign eliminating societal rallying points [creating a
As the Police responds to the new
situation the Maoists would attack the
Police in guerrilla actions with small
patrols— as a consequence they retreat
and consolidate their forces, exposing
larger swaths ofthe population to insurgent domination, according to Professor Marks.
Much to the rebels' delight security
forces overreacted, causing human rights
violations. The government attempted a
crack down on the Maoist activities
twice. Operation Romeo (1997/98) investigated and arrested suspected
Maoists. Operation Kilo Sierra (1998/99)
was a search-and-arrest campaign in the
Midwest. This caused the state forces to
lose the hearts and minds of villagers,
which the Maoists cleverly exploited.
From the beginning, the Maoists appear
to have successfully translated their
thinking into action.
In 1996 they fought with the civilian
police force that was largely unarmed
or ill equipped. As the Maoists organized themselves into rough guerilla
formations, they began to target police
posts. Their tactics then were guided by
their need to organize and equip themselves as a unified force. They captured a
substantial amount of weapons in the attacks, and trained their cadres and officers. As their firepower grew, they began
READY FOR THE BATTLE: Maoist guerillas parade
during a function in Sindhupalcowk to announce
'people's government'
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 to make long-term war plans—as espoused by Mao.
Mao Zedong's theory of guerilla warfare divides conflict into three phases.
It talks about establishing base areas, strategic defense, strategic balance or equilibrium, strategic offense, and finally
capturing the cities. In the first phase the
insurgents gain support of the population and attack government offices and
officers. They also disseminate propaganda that targets government institutions. In the second phase insurgents
widen attacks on security forces and vital institutions, and take effective control of more territory. In the final phase,
conventional and psychological attacks
target major cities and take over the country. But there is a difference between
Mao's China and Nepal today.
The key difference: No external
force is involved in Nepal. The anti-Japanese sentiments served as a rallying cry
for both the Kuomintang and Maoists in
1930s in China. The same is not true
about Nepal today. Analysts say the
Maoists are trying to lure India into the
fight precisely to fill the Japanese role.
They say their recent exhortation against
New Delhi is designed to achieve their
goal. Despite Maoists claims about inevitable victory, the difference: The absence of a similar rallying cry will affect
their ambition.
The Maoists now claim that they are
in the final phase, a strategic offensive
beginning 2004 adopting Mao's tactics:
Surround the cities with liberated villages. From 1996 to 2001, the Maoists
ran a strategic defensive phase. In 2003
they claimed that they had attained the
strategic equilibrium. They have some
justification to substantiate their claim:
The only parts of the country still under
full government control are the district
headquarters and cities and rest are by
default under Maoists control. But the
Maoists do not have what Mao had—
sufficient forces to take the urban areas
or maintain permanent base areas.
"The Maoists have failed in their
schemes of things," says military analyst
Kama Bahadur Thapa, a retired major.
"They have failed to overrun the state
according to their time-frame." Despite
their apocalyptic rhetoric about the final phase and the end ofthe "old regime,"
the Maoists know they cannot beat the
Army if they have to fight a conventional
war. But the Maoist weakness doesn't
necessarily imply that the security forces,
in particular the Army, have succeeded
at counterinsurgency.
The Army's counterinsurgency operation that began in 2001 hasn't been able
to contain the insurgents. Many say it
has been a failure. "You can't
even talk about counterinsurgency failure in Nepal," says Saubhagya Shah,
a writer who keeps a close tab on security related issues, "because there
wasn't any [counterinsurgency operation] to start with." What the
government forces have been doing so
far   is    passive    defense    of   static
Not a number's game
positions, which hardly counts as
counterinsurgency, he says.
Analysts agree that the Army's effort is
falling short. They say insurgency
is difficult to crush even for a superpower,
if the insurgency has external shelter and
support. They cite the ordeal the American
military is facing in Iraq as an example. Even
with the best technology and massive force,
the U.S. Army is having a tough time. The
Iraqi insurgents get support from sympathizers in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. "One ofthe main determinants [ofthe
success of] any counterinsurgency operation around the world is whether the insurgents have safe havens and bases outside
the country" says Shah. Counterinsurgency
successes have been rare.
Only two counterinsurgency operations after World War II are counted as
outright successes: the British campaign
in Malaya against the Communist
Party of Malaya from 1948 to 1960 and
the Philippine operation against the
Hukbalahap Peoples' Anti-Japanese
Army, a Communist resistance group in
Luzon in the Philippines, from 1946 to
1954. The French and Americans failed
grandly in Vietnam. There are conflicting opinions about the success of similar operations in Algeria against the Algerian National Liberation Front, and
about the Angola conflict. With limited
positive experience to draw on,
there's no roadmap for how to win a
».*»    4'. *'
counterinsurgency campaign, but all
analysts agree that information gathered
by people on the grounds, human
intelligence or "humint," is critical.
"Governments that were able to create
effective intelligence organizations
and use them efficiently were normally
successful in their counterinsurgency
efforts," wrote Dr. Charles A. Russel
(former Chief of Acquisitions and Analysis Division, Directorate of Special Organizations, U.S. Air Force) and Major
Robert E. Hildner, a former American
counterintelligence officer in their joint
essay "Intelligence and Information Processing in Counterinsurgency." Fighting
an insurgency means combating an indefinable and shadowy enemy who is intermingled with the local population. It is
hard to pin-down who is a rebel and who
is not without a reliable humint network.
The pattern of attack and counterattack
in guerrilla warfare is that a weaker foe
attacks a stronger enemy in the place of
his choosing, then melts into the population. And for a long time, the Nepali Army
had been kept away from the people.
For many years the Army remained
isolated, literally within their bases for
the most part. Since its deployment
against the Maoists in 2001, the RNA has
put a lot of effort into revamping its intelligence network by planting
informants and deploying regular army
personnel undercover. But the key
problem seems that it hasn't been quite
able to develop relationship with ordinary Nepalis.
"The Army hasn't been able develop
as good a humint network as expected,
since its deployment," says analyst
Thapa, the retired Major. "But even the
Trying to build
civilian intelligence network [the police
and the National Investigation
Department] has been destroyed by the
political leaders in last 12 years."
It has become a mere recruitment center for party cadres, he says referring
to the National Investigation Department. One serious charge against the
military commanders in the outpost is
that they don't seem too keen to intermingle with the local population—who
can prove helpful for intelligence gathering. But more than poor intelligence
constrains the Army.
There just aren't enough soldiers.
"The Army is stretched too thin to contain the insurgency," says an Army officer. There are 11 infantry brigades and
seven specialist brigades. Most of them
are engaged in Kathmandu or are deployed to guard city centers and district
headquarters. Only a small force is available for search-and-destroy missions.
Only 30,000 Army personnel are available for mobilization: The rest are a
backup force, says one retired officer.
But increasing the number is not a
solution. The Army has to think out of
the box. The Malaya operation succeeded because the British forces successfully learned the tactics from the
battle ground and ways to identify insurgents from local population with the
help of local Malayan forces—using
"psychological operations" at unit level.
Military Analysts note that the British
forces were highly successful at gathering human intelligence dispersing their
forces through a strategy that separated
the insurgents from the local population. They conducted their operations
using a calculated response, avoiding reprisals and excessive use of force. If this
post World War II counterinsurgency
successes are anything to
go by, the Army has to realize that more soldiers
and firepower may simply not work, if they continue to implement conventional Military textbook manuals and doc-
I trines. The Army hasn't
learnt how to fathom the
ways the Maoists think,
says an analyst. Without
that the Army is unlikely
to beat the insurgency. □
 Week   Pictur
^^ 1
f   w  &>
I^^m.                  .         ^^M
Gyanendra and Queen Komal
observe Indrajatra
2. MILESTONE: Rotary
International celebrated its
100 year anniversary
walk to contribute to
Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital
4. AGAIN: Agirl participating
in four party protests
General Secretary Madhav
Kumar Nepal was escorted to
Singh Durbar to attend peace
committee meeting
Kumari, the main attraction of
the Indrajatra
pulling chariot carrying Kumari
sovereignty campaign to
pressure World Trade
Organisation for subsidy to
farmers ended in Nepal
9. NO-FLY ZONE: Armed
Police personnel put up a
barricade to stop party
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
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Sense      Nonsense
Swagger Vs Analysis
Corn is not persuaded that a majority of Americans don't favor Kerry because-
haven't happened yet
-duh!—the elections
Terry McAuliffe, Please Shut Up"—scolds David Com in his latest
column \nThe Nation magazine. McAuliffe is the chairman ofthe
Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Com is irked at emails
from DNC about Bush's missing-time service in the National Guard duringthe Vietnam War. "Whatever Bush did way back then," Com argues,
"his record in the White House is more critical—particularly what he has
done since September 11, 2001." Com writes that by constantly harping on the National Guard issue, DNC is not only alienating voters but is
also shifting attention away from what Kerry has begun to do in the past
couple of weeks: attack Bush on his greatest vulnerability—Iraq.
Corn's annoyance is understandable. Kerry's speech on September
20 at New York University was the most aggressive he's given in his
campaign. He chastised Bush for his "catastrophic decisions" in Iraq
and for rejecting the United States' old-time allies. The speech has
galvanized Kerry supporters. Finally their candidate is tackling Bush head-
on on one issue where the voters give Bush low marks. Now Bush is on
the defensive, and the Republicans are resorting to the sleaze by saying
that a vote for Kerry is a vote for Al Qaeda, a tactic The New York Times
finds "despicable" and "unAmerican."
I first watched Com on C-Span when he debated Rich
ard Lowry of the National Review, a right-leaning magazine, at Cornell University. Com was smart, articulate, and offered succinct arguments as to why
Kerry is a better candidate for president. Com is
a sought-after liberal analyst. Apart from being
the Washington editor of The Nation, the oldest political weekly in America, he's also a regular on many television and radio shows, including Fox News, National Public Radio, The
McLaughlin Group, Hardball, and a host of other
It seemed natural, then, for me to seek out
Com to ask for some insights on the madness of
American presidential election campaigns.
I started off by asking him something I've
struggled with. Given how badly things are going for
Bush (the Iraq war, the lousy economy, the huge
budget deficit) why hasn't John Kerry, the preferred candidate for the rest ofthe world by
a 4-to-l margin, convinced most Amen
cans that he's a much better alternative to Bush?
Corn is not persuaded
that a majority of Americans
don't favor Kerry because—
duh!—the elections haven't
happened yet. "Bush is
president at this time," Com says. "He's been able to give the country an
impression of strength. The election is about 'swagger' (Bush) versus
'rational analysis' (Kerry)."
Until recently, however, Kerry's 'rational analysis' Com refers to was
not obvious to the American public because the media has focused on
Kerry's Vietnam record and more recently, the CBS forged-document
scandal. In his September 24 speech at Temple University in Philadelphia, Kerry said that the war on terror is not a clash of civilizations (finally!) but "between civilization and enemies of civilization"—a distinction that trounces the easy "the rest ofthe world hates our freedom"
nonsense that the Bushies have promulgated. The clash of civilizations
theory has also led the right-wing religious zealots to couch the war in
terms of Christianity versus Islam—a never-ending prescription for worldwide death and destruction. Writes Com, "The battle between the United
States and Al Qaeda and jihadism is a geostrategic struggle, not a
storybook tale."
Com faults the media for ignoring Kerry's specific proposals, which he's
had for months now, for Iraq and the war on terror. I asked Com why he
thought the American media easily adopted the Bush administration's
talking points. "The American media has a quasi-deferential attitude toward those in power," Com says. "It is more sociological than
Com seems happy that Iraq and war on terror has taken central stage in the very few
weeks left for the elections. "Kerry Kicks
(Policy) Ass," he titles his latest entry in his
weblog (
In the Temple University speech, Kerry
outlined specific proposals that made it
clear that his administration would be
substantially different from Bush's. One
particular line caught my attention: "We
will win when they [ordinary people]
once again see America as the champion, not the enemy, of their legitimate
yearning to live in just and peaceful societies." I asked Com how important this
election was for normalizing relationships
between the US and many countries that are
skeptical of US motives and actions. "It's a
very important election in terms of
our ties with the rest ofthe
world, and how we are perceived," Corn says. "If
Bush wins, the rifts with our
friends and allies will continue. If Kerry wins, we'll
have an opportunity to start
healingthose rifts." □
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
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Kumari Jatra is still a spectacle, even if it takes a telescope to see it from the public viewing area
We Nepalis love spectacles, and it doesn't get any better than
the most spectacular festival in Nepal: Indrajatra. Combining a festival in honour of Indra, celebrating ironically his
capture with a festival in honour of Kumari, Indra Jatra this year fell on
September 27th, which also happens to be the World Tourism Day.
"Athiti deva bhava," "Guests are Gods", a common refrain when we
invoke the magic mantra of local hospitality—presumably not when the
Maoists or CIAA officials come knocking —but it was befitting that we also
feted tourists, modem day Gods ofthe Greenbacks, on the same day as
the King of Gods and the Living Goddess.
Well, bythe time I got to Durbar Square, the entire population ofthe
Valley appeared to have amassed
to witness the annual ritual of the
King paying public homage to the
Kumari and her two companions,
Bhairab and Ganesh, as they were
drawn in separate chariots through
the square. Needless to say, where
there is King, there is security. Lots of
them. The public got shooed back,
not so politely, as far away as possible from the magic circle that increasingly isolates His Majesty. It is a
telling commentary of the present
time that this circle is getting bigger,
those allowed in fewer, and the ordinary citizens don't pass muster. I got
pinned against some shops all the
way back at the edge ofthe square
but, luckily, in full view ofthe ersatz
and sloppily lime-washed Hanuman
Dhoka palace where the King, his
royal spouse, his court and government, his generals, foreign emissaries and other dignitaries assemble
as the chariots pass by. I would have
needed the Hubble telescope to see
anythingclearly, but it wasn't as bad
as I am making it out to be.
The tourists had it easy. They had
the steps of an entire temple reserved for them. The "Press,", "Ladies" and "Gents" were also dedicated a temple each, but there were
just too many of them. The crowd was in a restive but celebratory mood.
And it was in a constant state of traffic. People pressed and surged in
and out. As some got inevitably stuck, trod upon or rudely shoved or
mangled, there was loud laughter and the most inappropriate, ungodly
swearing. I vividly remember a feisty young lady crying vengeance at the
youths who must have unintentionally brushed roughly against her. She
was carried away by the moving crowd, still shrieking revenge. A vegetable vendor got stuck with a huge basket atop his bicycle! He was
cursed soundly. Then there were those making the most ofthe festive
occasion: singing, dancing or simply makingjoyful music on their drums.
The heat, the still air, the noise and the stench ofthe sweaty bodies were
driving me mad. As I thought to myself, "This is not the place to gurgle
with diarrhea", the French windows ofthe palace suddenly swung open
wider, the medals on the chests ofthe Royal courtiers caught the light of
the glittering chandeliers inside theGaddi Baithak, their Majesties descended on to the balcony, the generals' wives arranged themselves to
the right ofthe royal couple in the strict hierarchy of their husbands'
positions, the dark-coated cabinet members to the left opportunistically
dispensed with the pecking order completely, canon shots rent the air,
the golden top of a chariot was
sighted and, a cheer and applause
went up, for the Kngorforthe Kumari
I could not tell. Itwas heartening to
witness these traditions being received instinctively- and enthusiastically.
The prime minister, on the other
hand, is having a helluva time —
the High-Level Peace Committee
(HPC) notwithstanding—receiving
and responding to the six questions
put to his cabinet by Maoist
supremo Prachanda. The tricky
questions should have been asked
of someone else really, but Mr.
Deuba is the prime minister. With
full executive powers. Allegedly.
Dear Chairman Prachanda, if you
want a quicker response next time,
please do take care to posit
mulitiple-choice questions. Even if
the queries are not for him to answer, the prime minister will, at least,
be able to put a tick next to one of
the options available. Actually, on
second thought, don't do that.
Don't ask any questions at all. Just
come out of hiding and talk peace.
If Indra could come down from
heaven in full human form, why
can't you? Okay, Indra, mistaken for a petty thief, was caught, bound
and caged, with his arms outstretched, at the top of MaruhityTole, but
when his mother rescued him and revealed his identity, startled
Kathmandu citizens prostrated themselves, released him immediately
and even instituted a festival in his honour. Now wouldn't that be
grand, to have a festival named after you? Come on, say yes. The
prime minister will too. n
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
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From the Publishers of
Subscribe to the
The first full colour English Women's Magazine in Nepal.
Fantastic introductory offer....
Get 12 issues for the price of 10 (NRs. 500) including delivery
4781153, 4780394, 4780450
G.P.O. Box: 2294, Kathmandu
Steely Scholar, Fr. Stiller
Tall and lean, Fr. Ludwig F. Stiller
S.J. comes across as a person of
steely resolve and determination.
He exudes an aura of authority; his
words precise and measured. Not one to
indulge in empty talk, he likes to respond
in short and direct sentences. Decades of
discipline as a Jesuit priest have honed
his body and mind.
It is not surprising that
many Jesuit priests
are famed
researchers and
educators and
Nepal has been a
witness to that. History has it that Portuguese Jesuit, Fr. Joao
Cab rai visited the Kathmandu Valley in the spring of 1628
and was received by King Lakshminarasimha Malla. For
centuries, Jesuits have been the scholarly wing of the Roman
Catholic Church, traveling all over Asia, where they would
learn the local cultures and teach the locals what they knew.
In Nepal, their institutional involvement started in 1950
with the establishment of St. Xavier's School. Fr. Stiller,
who came to Nepal in August 1956 from the U.S. state of
Ohio, is a classic example of the compassionate Jesuit
scholar, deeply involved in the life of his adopted country.
Like most other Jesuit priests in Nepal in the 50s, Stiller
taught at St. Xavier's and in 1966 helped establish the
Godavari Alumni Association. It was important that the
students felt like  family and association with their alma
mater continued even after their graduation.
To Stiller, who is now 76, his academic life is as
important as his life as a teacher. He earned himself
a Ph.D. in Nepali history from Tribhuvan
University and also became a founder-
member of the Center for Nepal and Asian
Studies, popularly known as CNAS. Later,
his work evaluating how Nepalis respond
to programs brought by foreign development projects took him to 22 districts.
But posterity will perhaps best
remember Fr. Stiller as the author of half
a dozen books, including "The Rise of
the House of Gorkha," "Planning for
People" and "Nepal: Growth of a
Nation." All have contributed significantly to our understanding of Nepal.
"Nepal is our child and we should
let it grow. Nepal doesn't live in the
Panchayat, Parliament or political party
but in the villages," says Fr. Stiller,
who was awarded Nepali citizenship in 1969, the third Jesuit to
have received honorary citizenship in Nepal. He has been an
ardent advocate of decentralization.
"I found I was getting older, and
my superior moved me back," he says.
"I end up walking or riding the bus, I am
fascinated by the number of schools and I
keep in touch," he says, adding after a brief
pause, "with a little political news."
Fr. Stiller feels sad that development
projects operate with a Kathmandu-centric
vision, which, according to him, ignores the
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
 villagers. "One has to go to Humla to see what the people
there think things should be like," he says as he points
excitedly to a huge map of Nepal hanging on a meeting
room of his residence and shows us the places he has been.
He seldom travels beyond the Valley now.
"The strength has always been the people instead of
processions down Durbar Marg," he says, obviously
disapproving of the daily protests that now mark the
urbanscape. Nepali strength and wisdom have saved him
personally he points out humbly.
During his stay in southern Humla, he almost fell off a
steep trail. A companion quickly grabbed his rucksack and
kept him from sliding hundreds of feet below into a
turbulent river. Another time a local fisherman walked up to
him and demanded that he come down from a "great big
rock," where Fr. Stiller was sitting. The fisherman later told
him that he had seen many people sit on the same rock and
then end up in the river below. "That's wisdom I didn't
know and was totally unaware of" says Fr. Stiller. "Itjust
showed how concerned the villagers were."   He learned
quickly about life in remote Nepal.
Other than his own near-death incidents, Fr. Stiller has
many interesting stories to tell. One is about how well
newspapers traveled in those days, when reading daily
papers was considered a luxury. In a tiny bazaar in Humla he
met a military officer eagerly waiting for a copy of The
Statesman, the Indian newspaper. "The newspaper was brand
new and had come on our plane. And I was thinking how
remote this place was as it was so difficult to even move
around the country" he recalls.
Another memorable moment came in Dhading in the
70s. He, alongside two other friends, were
asked to devise a project for the
German development agency
GTZ. It was an exciting offer:
Unlike most other projects, the
villagers were themselves asked to
decide their needs and even manage
the project. They were divided
equally between all 450 village wards,
and procedures were devised for
checking expenditure. He still recalls
how he stood up to address the local
assembly "thanked the gathering, said
namaste, walked back to the highway
and went back to Kathmandu on a truck,
as there was no bus in those days."
It was a local project; this modest man
trusted the villagers to carry it out
without his advice. He was right. It was
the enthusiasm of the local people, says Stiller, that led to
the success of the project. The same project was replicated
in other districts, and Fr. Stiller got the Agriculture Development Bank to lend their expert, Chandrakant Adhikari, to
train villagers to manage the money so that it would grow.
"The concept worked because of the involvement of the
people at the lowest level," he says. "Such projects are not
just the responsibility of the government or an aid agency."
Fr. Stiller cites another instance of people helping themselves. A Far Western district headquarter, he says, had
banned the local rakshi the place was famous for among
travelers. The
women in the
locality decided
they'd had enough,
halted the production
and took offenders to
the police. "This is an
extreme example, but
it shows how much
people can do to
help themselves if they
are motivated."
It is in keeping with
Fr. Stiller's character
that he, a man who has
spent his life helping
others, speaks mostly
about people helping
themselves. And even
though he is now
confined to
deskwork in his
residence in
Sanepa, he is still
involved in the
life of the wider
society. Apart from his
research on Nepal's modern political
history Fr. Stiller still teaches occasionally (upon requests) and performs his regular functions as a priest in
Some years ago, the indefatigable Jesuit produced a series
of videotapes on the history of Nepal. He is now busy
putting them on CDs for wider distribution. "It is a challenging project," he says, with typical authority. That will be
another milestone in the life of Fr. Stiller and Nepal, his
home for nearly 50 years. □
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 CHY TTiisWeek
Stone Age At Hyatt
The Hyatt Regency
Kathmandu combines the ancient art of volcanic stone cooking ■with modern day technology for the preparation of sizzling tender steaks, chicken and
fresh seafood at the Rox Restaurant till October 15, everyday from 6 p.m. onwards. Hot
stone is a unique dining concept. Hot stone meals are quick,
delicious and healthy.
The volcanic stones are heated
for six to eight hours in a specially designed ■wood char oven
and made to retain heat for
forty-five minutes on stoneware plates designed to ■withstand the intense heat. Fresh
ingredients are placed directly
onto the hot stones, which cook
and lock in the nutrients, juices,
flavor and a lot of sizzle. For
information: 4491234 Extn.
North West at The Cafe
Enjoy traditional Northwest
frontier Cuisine in a contemporary setting from 6:30 p.m.
onwards at The Cafe in the
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu.
In Town
Painting exhibition of Durga Baral titled "The Faces of Time and
the Colors of Sensibility" at the Siddhartha Art Gallery till October
31. Over the years, Baral's paintings have been valued for their
sublime exploration ofthe socio-economic and political situation
of Nepal even though his cartoons in Kantipur and The Kathmandu
Post under the nom de plume "Batsayana" have overshadowed his
reputation as a painter. He is making his first solo appearance after a
gap of 21 longyears, this time, 'with
a powerful statement about conflict-ridden Nepal.
The exhibition also marks the 19th
anniversary of Siddhartha Art Gallery.
Graphic Prints
September Collection from Nepal, Finland, India and the USA at
Gallery Moksh, Cross Kitchen in Lazimpat till October 18.
Walk Along Bagmati
Mix media painting exhibition by Dagmar Mathes at Park Gallery,
Lazimpat till October 10. For information: 4419353.
The food of the Northwest
frontier, developed in its different regions, has its own set
of dishes with differences in
flavor, color and preparation.
Chef Narender and his team
have conjured up relishing
fare in the form of Dahi Ke
Kebab, Jimikand Ke Shami,
Murgh Kalmi Kebab, Subzi Ke
Shikampuri and other delica
cies. Unwind over an unending list of mouth-watering
delicacies and savor the flavors of authentic spices,
herbs, seeds and seasonings of
an exotic cuisine. For information: 4491234 Extn. 5223.
Changa Chait 2061
The final showdown of the
"Kite Flying Competition" is
"The 'e for the
you ever had'
Near Radisson Hotel, Lazimpat,
Kathmandu, Nepal
tel. 4413874
■ " t    - -
Parking facilities available
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
 For insertions: 2111102
taking place at the Windy
Hills of Club Himalaya,
Nagarkot from 11 a.m.-3
p.m. on October 16. The
best among Nepal's top corporate houses, financial institutions, tourism industry
trading companies, and
multinational companies
will be battling it out with a
fight high up in the skies.
Entry fee is Rs. 100/- with
one welcome drink. For information: 6680080,
1974 AD Jam
1974 AD will perform at the
Rox Bar in the Hyatt Regency
on October 8 from 7:30 p.m.
onwards. Ticket prices are Rs.
300/- for girls, Rs. 500/- for
guys and Rs. 700/- for couples.
Includes a free shot of whiskey or a soft drink. Door
prizes and giveaways are included. Organized by Collage
Pvt. Ltd. For information:
Cine Club
Movie: Team Riders (2002).
Director: Gerard Pires. Starring: Stephen Droffi At the
Alliance Francaise,
Tripureshwore. Date: October 10. Time: 2 p.m. For information: 4241163.
Chiso Chiso Hawama
Enjoy a getaway package of 1
night and 2 days at Club
Himalaya for Rs. 1700 per person on twin sharing basis for
Nepalis and expats. A barbeque
lunch of chicken, fish and mutton is also served at Restaurant
Kantipur for Rs. 500/- per person every Sunday. For information: 6680080, 6680083.
Dwarika's Thali
Enjoy Nepali cuisine and hospitality for lunch at Dwarika's The
Heritage Courtyard. Also at
Krishnarpan, the Nepali specialty restaurant at Dwarika's
Hotel, 4 to 16 course ceremonial meals are served for lunch
and dinner (table reservation
recommended). On Fridays,
blues, jazz & beyond by Abhaya
& The Steam Injuns at Fusion,
Ithe Bar at Dwarika's, from 7 pm
onwards. Have a good time during
"Sekuwa Saanjh" with barbeque
dinner and a can of beer or a soft
drink on Fridays at Dwarika's for
Rs. 555/- per person. Happy
hours from 1600-1900 hrs with
a "Lucky Draw" from visiting cards
or BBQ coupons. For information:
Jack's BBQ
Complimentary shot of Jack
Daniel's with every barbeque order at the Splash Bar&Grill in the
Radisson Hotel, every Wednesday,
Friday and Saturdayfrom 6 p.m.
onwards. Live band on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Longest Happy Hour
Buy any drink and get another one
free at The Piano Lounge Bar at the
Hotel Yak and Yeti. An array of exotic
snacks also available. Time: 12-7:30
p.m. For information: 4248999.
Rock@Belle Momo
Rock 'n roll band, Steel Wheels,
will be performing every Friday
6:30 p.m. onwards at Belle
Momo, Durbarmarg. Also enjoy
the Belle combo meal. For information: 4230890.
Friday Nights at Jatra
Live music by The Strings every
FridaynightatJatra, Thamel. For
information: 4256622.
Spin and jive with DJ
Raju and The Cloud
DJ Raju spins out the beats ca-
teringto the needs ofthe dance
floor - hip hop, reggae, rock,
pop, latino, arabic, underground
and electric music for party owls.
Also jive with The Cloud Walkers. Enjoy the happy hour from
6-10 p.m. At the Rox bar, Hyatt
Regency. For imformation:
Bride And Prejudice
Kumari Bank Limited
Hearty Congratulations
on the Successful
Completion of
3 years of operation.
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
Putalisadak, Kathmandu
Tel: 4412017, Fax. 977-1-5539787
*   -l
a ::
I      t
The well-to-do have always known
that "clothes make the man," and
trendy types have always counted
on the clothes they wear to make heads
turn. People in the fashion business tell
us that many ordinary Nepalis are now
starting to pay more attention to the fashion scene.
More people are opting for designer
wear from boutiques, which seem to be
mushrooming in Kathmandu, Pokhara
and Dharan. Pass through Kupondole,
and you'll notice half a dozen boutiques
there. Designers tell us that their clients
are chiefly working women who are setting a new and highly fashion-conscious
trend in urban areas. Once they see
Kusum sashaying a certain kurta on Sony
TV they want the same design tailored
for them.
"The increasing numbers of fashion
design institutes opened to meet the increasing demand shows the trend," says
Shailaja Adhikari, managing director of
IEC, one of a dozen fashion schools currently in operation around the country.
Adhikari, whose institute has also
opened a branch in Pokhara, says three
of her students there have already opened
their own boutiques after completing a
year and a half of studies.
IEC last week organized the Sunsilk
Nepal Fashion Week, bringing together
works from 29 design groups on a single
platform over five days, starting September 24. Their works covered a wide
range: from summer wear, casual wear
and wedding wear to party outfits in attractive colors. Some designs included
artistic embroidery and cost up to Rs.
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 40,000. Models displayed casual skirts
and trendy tops, party gowns, kurtas and
saris to the accompaniment of the
evening's music and lights. Though there
was designer wear for men, it played a
minor role in the shows; as designers
put it, most Nepali men still opt to stay
out of boutiques, though the numbers
of those who are attentive to fashion
trends is steadily rising.
"It was a wonderful opportunity"
says designer Suzeesha Sen, who also
had a stall at the event held at the Yak
and Yeti Hotel. "More than just business, designers like us got to interact
with each other as well as build personal contacts with potential clients
who came to the event."
According to Adhikari, the event
was extremely successful in attracting
VIPs, a class most other fashion shows
fail to capture. "Among our guests were
the British Ambassador, business
people and art gallery owners, who
seemed very anxious to promote the
fashion scene," she says. The work of
young designers is starting to make a
mark; their work needs to be showcased in events like these.
The sponsors ofthe event, were delighted by the turnout. "On average we
had over 250 people who bought tick
ets for Rs. 600 on each ofthe first four
days. Even on a work day like Monday the turnout was tremendous," a
Sunsilk executive told Nation Weekly.
"This certainly describes the emerging fashion scene in the country."
One male viewer, less than impressed with "fashion" pointed out that
some of the clothes displayed on the
ramp were unwearable. In particular,
some ofthe short and transparent summer dresses showcased during the fashion show caused gasps. "I felt quite
embarrassed at some moments," he
said, "It'll be ages before girls in
Kathmandu are bold enough to wear
But with fashion, you never can
tell. □
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
 There are two sides
to every story.
There are always two sides to every story. Who's right
and who's wrong does not depend on which side you're
on. To a third person, there may not even be a right or
wrong, just a difference of opinion.
The important thing is to move on, change and adapt
while keeping your goals intact.
The Himalayan Times is not about taking sides. It is
about positively expressing the view of both sides.
The Himalayan
Let Them Be
It's not fair to expect our players to follow the footsteps
of legendary footballers like Zidane and Figo and take
early retirement
t was as stunning as the Greek triumph at Euro 2004: Football followers all over the world were
taken by surprise when a
Europe's top players retired
after the championship in
Portugal. Zinedine Zidane
and Luis Figo, arguably two
of the finest footballers of
our time, decided to call it
It's sad that their fans won't
get to see these gifted players
in their national jerseys anymore. Much of France
thought Zidane still had a few
more years left in him.
Retirement is never an easy
decision. But players have to
decide whether to keep playing until their bodies can take
it no more or to continue just
for the pleasure of the game.
Or perhaps they step out while
at the top, wanting to be remembered as a winner rather
than an also-ran.
To Figo and his teammate
Zidane, who both play for the
Spanish giant Real Madrid, the
second option seemed wiser.
"I don't want to abuse my
fame, and I'm not afraid of retiring," the 30-year-old Figo
told ESPN in a recent inter-
vie w.
Of course he's not, when
he has for years drawn a weekly
salary of over $100,000 and
firmly secured his economic
future for himself and his family for the rest of their lives.
Many top-flight players
in Nepal share the retire-at-
your-prime sentiments: It's
best to bow out while the
fans still want you around.
host of
But their careers have dissimilar endings.
"Drawing comparisons with stars
like Zidane and Figo is the stuff of wild
fantasy for us," says former national team
goalkeeper Upendra Man Singh, who
recently announced his retirement from
international football.
Singh takes comfort from modest
successes: recent improvements in club
football in Nepal and bigger clubs trying to develop themselves along professional lines. Singh, along with Dev
Narayan Chaudhary and Bal Gopal
Maharjan, were given awards and
Rs.100,000 each for their outstanding
performances. Chaudhary was declared
Player of the Year for 2001; Singh for 2002
and Maharjan for 2003.
"It's difficult to imagine living a decent life being a full-time footballer
RICH AND COZY: Figo gets a
weekly paycheck of
 superstar Zidane called
for early retirement
here," says 30-year-old
Singh. Still, he counts himself among the fortunate ones.
"Thanks to God, I always had
a family business to fall back
His long-time teammate
on the national side, Bal
Gopal Maharjan, believes it's
unfair to compare Nepali
footballers, whose annual
income is below Rs.100,000,
with their compatriots in
India and Bangladesh, let
alone superstars.
Top professionals in
Bangladesh earn around Tk
2 million (Rs 2.57 million)
in one season. In India, they
make up to IRs. 1 million.
Maharjan at 29 has been
a bulwark for Nepal's
midfield for over a decade.
He says Mahindra &
Mahindra of India paid
him a monthly wage of
IRs. 25,000 during his
brief stint during the
1997-98 season. He also
played with Bangladeshi
club Brothers Union between 2001 and 2003. "I
was paid $1,500 per month
there," he says.
"Four or five good professional seasons in India or
Bangladesh means a secure
future," says Maharjan.
"Little wonder there are
hardly any qualms over retirement there." Not so in Nepal, and
the reason is none other than financial.
Maharjan is considering a career in ref-
ereeing after his retirement, while taking up another profession—he is a certified pharmacist. Meanwhile, he wants
to continue playing for a couple of more
For many Nepali football players,
there is virtually no career after retirement, especially for those who come
from outside the capital. Many of them
spent their best years fighting for a national berth rather than preparing for
college exams.
Even the limited opportunity that a
number of Nepalis enjoy playing club
football in India and Bangladesh is now
under threat. Indian and Bangladeshi
clubs are more interested in scouting
talents in West Africa, most notably
Nigeria, for subsistence wages, as little
as $500 per month. "Burly Africans at
bargain prices mean Nepali players are
losing out," says a player who has played
club football in India and Bangladesh.
For the guardians of Nepali football who have a dream to take Nepal
to the second-tier in Asian football,
after such top-tier luminaries as Japan and Korea, by promotion of young
talent, this is a scary prospect. An
individual's motivation will depend a
lot on a clear roadmap of his current
career prospects and prospects after
"That's one big challenge," admits
Ganesh Thapa, the president of All Nepal
Football Association (ANFA). He hopes
that the new crop of players will at least
have a breathing space. "We've raised the
prize money in a majority of tournaments." Thapa says. Some players now
earn as much as Rs. 10,000 per month, a far
cry from salaries during Thapa's club days.
He likes to talk proudly of a Rs. 4
million special welfare fund, which
helps players and coaches meet their
medical expenses. "We may be behind
our neighbors in terms of players' earnings," he says, "but we're at least trying
to follow their footsteps." For now, there
will be few Zadines and Figos in Nepal,
where every player dreads retirement. □
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
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Earthly Beauty
ANITA GURUNG, Miss Nepal 2004 Second
Runner-Up, will be the first participant from
Nepal to feature in the Miss Earth contest. The
beauty pageant will be held in Manila on
October 24. The 18-year-old well realizes that
she has her task cut out. "I will try to introduce
Nepal to the world," the 5'5" tall beauty told the
media before leaving for the Philippines on
September 29. Gurung is among more than 70
other contestants, who will be competing in the
fourth occurrence of this pageant that advocates
protection of the environment. "We can solve
our environmental problems," writes Gurung on
the Mss Earth official website, "by having strong
partnership with different companies and with
communities in order to share information."
Jyoti Brahmin, another beauty of Nepali origin,
is representing India at the Manila pageant.
Gurung told us she would be performing a
Nepali folk dance, carrying a traditional doko. A
lot of Nepalis will be dancing to her tune.
K        \ -■ *
Distance Runner
Athens was a huge disappointment for Nepal. Last
week, RAJENDRA BHANDARI salvaged some of
our pride. He won a gold in the Asian All Star Athletics
Championship in Singapore, completing the 5,000-
meter race in 14 minutes and 16.33 seconds. He then
delivered Kennedyesque advice to his fellow athletes.
"Think of what you can do for your country before you
expect something in return." He bagged two silvers at
the ninth South Asian Games in Islamabad early this
year. In Athens, he broke, notjust the national record,
but also a SAARC record, running the 5000 meters in
14 minutes and 14.04 seconds. But that just wasn't good
enough for an Olympic medal. For
now, that will have to wait.
Like most other sectors, the media too has been hit hard by the
conflict. It took President of International Federation of Journalists
CHRISTOPHER WARREN to come to town himself to express his
solidarity for a free press. Warren also promised assistance to Nepali
journalists, which he said, could include either economic aid,
security-related training or a global campaign for the safety of
the beleaguered press. He identified Nepal as one of the
most dangerous places for journalists and the present
working conditions as tough as that in Iraq or the
Philippines, which last year recorded the highest number of
deaths among journalists in Asia.
We are a publishing
organization willing to
learn and improve
with every initiative. If
you believe that creativity is a process and
that there is no substitution for hard work,
here is an opportunity
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KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Assist in designing various print publications published bythe organization.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: Competent in graphic designing programs such as, Adobe Photoshop,
PageMaker, Corel Draw etc. Pre-Press knowledge in publishing will be an advantage.
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Managefinancial activities, keep records and produce reports.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A bachelor's degree in Accounting/Business with previous experience in
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Market the various publication and services offered bythe organization.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A bachelor's degree in Business with experience in media marketing is
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Market and solicit sales of the various publication and services offered by the
KEY RESPONSIBILITY: Manage office facilities,assets and supervise support staffs.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A bachelor's degree in Business with experience in similarfield is preferable.
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MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: Intermediate with secretarial training
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MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: A valid driving licence with minimum 2 years of driving experience
Interested applicants must send their CV/Bio-data by E-mail, indicating the position applied for and
the expected salary by Wednesday, 15th October 2004. Please mention
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Te 1:2111102 or
for the Real PEOPLE
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nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 Training Classes
Research training and Consultancy Division of NCIT
opens few seats for outside participants in the
following computer courses. Registration will be
done on first come registration basis.
1. RHCE with server tuning & optimzation
(Red Hat Certified Engineer)
Oct 27-Dec 2004 (120 hrs)
2:00-5:00 PM.(Sunday-Friday)
Rs. 8000.00 for individual
Rs. 6000.00 for students (with valid ID)
2. Basic JAVA Training
Oct 27-Nov.26, 2004 (50 hrs)
2:00-5:00 PM. (Sunday-Friday)
Rs. 5000.00 for individual
Rs. 4000.00 for students (with valid ID)
3. Advanced JAVA Training
Duration     : Nov.27-Jan.26, 2004 (135 hrs)
Time : 2:00-5:00 PM. (Sunday-Friday)
Fee : Rs. 8000.00 for individual
Rs. 6000.00 for students (with valid ID)
4. Computer Hardware Training
Oct 27-Nov 26, 2004 (40 hrs)
2:00-4:00 PM.(Sunday-Friday)
Rs. 1200.00 for individual
Rs. 1000.00 for students (with valid ID)
Research Training & Consultancy Division
Nepal Collage of Information Technology
Imadol, Lalitpur
Ph. 5554308/5546473
fo undation
Han *ffllialu -of MOPE- «vrWit*J
HOPE Foundation is a non-profitable organization
registered under the District Administration Office of
Kathmandu, Nepal.
Our mission is to empower disadvantaged adults and
youth to become productive members of the society
through basic educational assistance, vocational and
technology training, mentoring, teaching, and arts & sports
HOPE Foundation provides educational opportunities for
disadvantaged children, adolescents and adult through
developmental programs that enhance personal growth
and improve economic stability.
We operate a school, dental clinic/ HIV AIDS Programs
and Adult Education programs at 16 Balaju, Boharatar in
Kathmandu. We also provide extra auricular activities and
sports programs to develop the skills and characters of
inner-city youth.
To learn more about our education programs and how you
may help, please explore our given options:
► Computer Training
Your gift will help fund a computer training course.
► Medical Training for Maternal Health
Your gift will provide training for midwives in the
developing countries.
► Special Needs Education
Your gift will support our program staff for programs
for uniquely challenged individuals.
► Vocational Training
Your gift will help provide vocational training in the
developing countries.
► School in impoverished area
Your gift will help build or operate a school in
an impoverished area.
We would like to invite you to visit us at Asha Vidhyashram, 16
Balaju, Bohartar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Thakur Samsher Singh
Director Finance/Administration
Mobile 98510-68219
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O Everyday differnt class with handouts.
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O To check your improvement weekly testing
O Effective super learning system.
We haven't had a record of even a
single student who joined Axis Int's
Education became desatisfied from
our services.
^P>,  AXIS
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OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
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nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 Khula Man
Making A Difference
Her friends both in the United States and in Nepal
know her as a shouting optimist, who always
wanted to come back home and make a
difference—in whatever little ways she could. So the career
choice wasn't too much of a dilemma for Manju Karki
when she completed her studies (Masters in Public Health
from University of Michigan in  2002). After working
for an NGO in the United States and at
WHO headquarters in Geneva, the destination was Nepal and her field, the NGO
world. A year after her return, she has lost
none of her infectious optimism, but the
earlier zeal is now tempered with caution. "I think there is also a lot of favoritism," says Karki about Nepal. "Many
times employees only work to please
their boss instead of thinking of their job
as their own project." Working in regions
affected by conflict was another huge challenge that has sapped some of her motivation. Last month, Karki found out,
rather painfully how it was to be on the
receiving end ofthe conflict: The Maoists
bombed her Dhumbarahi residence,
which was partially rented to the government run Agricultural Development Office. 'We had a close call," she says. Currently working for Women's Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), she is soon moving on to Action Aid. She talked to Aditya
Adhikari about her decision to return to
Nepal and her experiences, both in Nepal
and in the west.
What made you decide
to return to Nepal?
There were many incentives to keep
working in the west. There was a great
deal of competition and there were rewards. There was the opportunity to do
original research and publish findings in
journals. But somehow there was something lacking. Perhaps that had something to do with being away from family
in Nepal, and also the desire to make
changes here. Hearing about interesting
projects that my friends in Nepal were
involved in was also very tempting. I felt
that I could really make some kind of
difference here.
How would you describe the work culture of the western NGO world?
I was impressed by the separation between the personal and professional lives
when it came to work. That everyone
was highly motivated was also exciting.
What is the NGO world like in Nepal?
I can't speak for everyone, but from what
I've seen, it is a little unhealthy. There is
no clear distinction between the personal and professional lives. I think there
is also a lot of favoritism. Many times
Nepali employees only work to please
the boss instead of thinking of their job
Many have been
made unnecessary
victims and I feel that
the cost we have to
pay because of the
conflict is too high.
as their own project. This hampers motivation. Of course this doesn't apply to
the organization I work for, but is rather
my general observation of the NGO
world in Kathmandu. But the opportunities are immense: to create
projects, for travel and networking.
There are also many talented people
working. The experience I got working in the field broadened my horizons
and gave me a multidimensional perspective. All this has made for an exciting work climate.
How did your work experience in
the west help your work in Nepal?
My writing and research skills improved
tremendously in the States. I learned to
back up my ideas with concrete facts and
information. I also developed leadership
qualities that I wouldn't have had if I
hadn't lived abroad. If there are ideas I
don't like, I'm not hesitant to voice my
opinion even if the person I am talking
with is much more senior to me.
How has working in Nepal for
he past year been?
When I came it was really exciting and
the work has been largely fulfilling. But
sometimes I feel that the cost we have to
pay because of the conflict is too high.
Our staff have been unnecessary victims,
for example, and has had to face harassment in places like Dang and Baglung.
My own house [in Kathmandu], which
was rented to the government run Agricultural Development Office, was
bombed. All these things are really frustrating and brings down your motivation.
What advice do you have for Nepalis
abroad who wish to come back?
Don't be over-ambitious. There are
problems of convenience and accessibility that may be frustrating. Even
simple things like the Internet and photocopy machines may be inaccessible.
Perhaps the people you meet will not
always reciprocate the enthusiasm you
have. But, again, the opportunities are
immense. If you want to work in the
NGO world and have concrete plans of
your own it isn't that difficult to get funding, provided your proposal is sound. The
work here is fulfilling as it gives an opportunity to work in a wide number of
fields instead of narrow specialization
as in the west. □
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
Justice Without War
War is nasty, brutish and never short enough
Those who fight in wars have no illusions about "good" wars. Who
better to write of the ruthlessness
and brutality of war than someone who
has fought in one? Professor Howard
Zinn's historical perspective, which is
often seen as radical, is informed by his
experience as a bombardier during World
War II. What makes his position "radical" is that he sees no justification for
ever going to war. In an e-mail response
to this reviewer, Zinn says that his "book
is intended to show by historical
example, personal experience and logical argument
that war is not morally acceptable or practically effective as a solution for
whatever problems we face
in the world."
He explains why: "War is a
monstrously wasteful way of
achieving a social objective, always involving indiscriminate
mass slaughter unconnected with
that objective." The book is a collection of 22 anti-war essays; the
subcontinent edition features a forward by Arundhati Roy who intro
duces Zinn by saying, "The title of his
lucid, engaging autobiography—"You
Can't Stay Neutral on a Moving
Train"—is a clear giveaway of the kind
of man he is." Zinn's views are always
powerfully expressed and often sharply
at odds with conventional wisdom. He
explains what led to this book: "After my
own experience in that war, I moved
away from my own rather orthodox view
that there are just and unjust wars, to a
universal rejection of war as a solution
to any human problem."
Equally unorthodox is his rejection
of the common conception of the historian as an impartial observer. He once
remarked, "Objectivity is impossible,
and it is also undesirable." His essays
are powerful partly because they are
partisan. The essay "The Massacre of
History" is an account of how an air of
nobility was accorded to "ugly realities"
of American history by sympathetic
chroniclers. He gives many examples
of how even profound believers in
democratic ideals have trampled on others' rights in the name of "nationalism
and expansionism" since the period immediately after American independence.
His  arguments  explain
what he calls the
Ho***rd *"!" as^rzi
Rule By Force (Howard Zinn on war)
by Howard Zinn
Natraj Publishers (Paperback)
PAGES: 214
PRICE: Rs. 400
in American foreign policy" by means of
examples from the founding of America to
the present time. Zinn says that America
talks about democratic ideals and yet
continues to pamper and plant dictatorships abroad. He cites instances from
South America, South-east Asia and the
Caribbean. "In the United States today
the Declaration of Independence hangs
on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy
follows Machiavelli," he states, and he
further claims that a nation's relative liberalism at home often serves to distract
domestic attention away from ruthlessness abroad.
His criticism of American government may strike many as hyperbolic. In
"On Libya" he argues that if Libyan leader
Khadafi was one face of terrorism, the
other face was President Ronald Reagan
during his presidency. "Does a Western
democracy have a better right to kill innocent people than a Middle Eastern
dictatorship?" In "Of Fish and Fishermen," Zinn offers a powerful metaphor
about the need to reverse the perspective to see the horror of war: He refers
to an eerie movie clip in which the fisherman gets hooked instead of the fish
and makes a desperate bid for escape.
For the first time the fisherman gets
to see himself from the standpoint
ofthe fish. The image ofthe fisherman is used to explain why
there was a Japanese pacifist
movement following the dropping  of atomic  bombs   on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"A Speech for LBJ [president
Lyndon Johnson]" suggests that
the then president tell the nation:
"Some have criticized us for not
trying even more force. Of course
we could do this. No one in the
world needs to be told how powerful we are. We can stay in Vietnam
as long as we like. We can reduce
the whole country to ashes. We are
powerful enough to do this. But we
are not cruel enough to do this. I as
your president am not willing to engage in a war without end that would
destroy the youth of this nation and the
people of Vietnam."
Zinn would find the equivalence
between Vietnam and Iraq obvious. "All
wars," he says, "present agonizing
moral questions," and every war has
two faces. If one face ofthe war in Iraq
is promoting democracy and emancipating Iraqis from the ruthless chains
of Saddam's tyranny the other face is
unending violence and mounting human casualties.
Zinn's insistence that there is no such
thing as a "just or righteous war" is a challenge to the world to confront issues of
justice, not without a struggle, but without war. □
nation weekly |   OCTOBER 10, 2004
 Last Word
n: Soahee Mode (On the way to Hotel Soahee)
Thamel Showroom; Opposite SaiKhoykosh building
lei: 4-273292,277023,283644 | fat 4-270092
Email: | Web: www.napalpashminaindiHtry^)
A  I   S   H  O   R
Y  A   £  T   H  A
Young Believers
There were times when all SLC toppers would flock to Amrit Science
College and then compete for
MBBS or BE degrees. Any digression
from the script was frowned upon; it was
considered ignoble. All intelligent students did science. Business studies were
for lesser ones. Lesser still were those
who went to law and liberal arts colleges;
their poor SLC grades, bench mark for
admissions, were not good enough for
other disciplines.
That annual ritual was best evident
after the SLC results. Just about every
single SLC topper would have a frontpage interview in Gorkhapatra (later also
on NTV), where he (mostly a "he")
would announce that he wanted to be a
doctor. He wanted to serve the country's
poor and needy.
Times have changed. And thank goodness. It was stifling. The urban middle
class kids now have as many careers to
choose from as the schools and colleges
they go to. Private schools and colleges
have long overtaken Amrit Science in
terms of admission applications they get
from young students. While medicine
and engineering are still major draws
among our best and brightest, these disciplines no more sound like the exclusive club they once did.
Today's young students seem to have
a sense of enterprise and adventure. And
a better sense of what they want to do
with their lives without their parents
telling them the course of action. Increasing numbers of Nepalis are heading west for better education, for example. "The reason I want to go to the
States is for better education," says Yashas
Vaidya, 18, a triple A student at the A Levels. "And for the overall development of
my personality." Unsurprisingly more
than 70 percent of Nepali students currently enrolled in the United States are
So what does all this mean? It means
several things. For one, the United States
offers one of the most competitive educations in the world. In a globalized
world, our own youngsters want to make
sure that they want a degree that they can
market beyond the confines of national
boundaries. This also means that we are
going to lose a chunk of our best and
brightest to foreign lands each year. The
lure of the Land of Milk and Honey is
not the only reason for the exodus. Protracted instability at home has significantly contributed to the dynamic. But
it need not be our loss. The Nepali community in the United States has been
steadily growing in size over the years—
thanks also to the U.S. Diversity Visa.
It's now time to add some stature to the
With proper leadership and vision,
Nepalis in the United States can be an
influential lobby. Many of them have the
habit of comparing themselves to the
huge Indian community and feeling bad
about their failure to influence the turn
of events in Washington. That's being
very harsh to themselves in a country of
immigrants. Immigration pundits say it
takes at least a generation or two for an
incoming ethnic community to establish itself in the United States. It is only
in recent years that a critical mass of
Nepalis seems to be building up there.
While many of these young students
will no doubt be leaders of the new
Nepali community in the US, many of
them will come back to start a new life
at home. Tika Rai, a native of Dharan,
has been running a wireless Internet
startup since his return from the United
States last year. The electrical engineer
only has eight employees at the
Baneshwore-based Magnus but a grand
vision. The company imported its management manual from the U.S. and he is
now trying to impress on his young staff
such important values as ethics, punctuality and communication skills. "We
know they are not going to be with us
forever," says Rai, 35. "But when they
shake hands with us to say goodbye, we
want them to feel that they are saleable
anywhere in the world." If Nepal ever
needed such believers, the time is now.
Anyone can tell you times are hard.
Akhilesh Upadhyay, Editor
OCTOBER 10, 2004   |  nation weekly
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