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Nation Weekly February 6, 2005, Volume 1, Number 42 Upadhyay, Akhilesh 2005-02-06

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 GORKHALAND POLITICS I FALLING REMITTANCES I NEPAL STAR
FEBRUARY 6,2005 VOL. I, NO. 42
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 REPORTS
Rights Warning 20
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
UN human rights chief Arbour declared
that 'a grave human rights crisis is afflicting Nepal.' More importantly, she
warned both parties to the conflict in
Nepal and particularly the Maoists that
the world has 'entered an era of accountability'
The Other Nepali
Politics 27
BY SARA SHNEIDERMAN IN DARJEELING
A new agitation has started for the future
of Darjeeling, which has the largest
Nepali-speaking population outside
Nepal
Taming AjigaraTal 30
BY DEEPENDRA JOSHI IN KAPILVASTU
The local community manages the 17
hectares ofthe wetland in Ajigara
BUSINESS
Shrinking
Remittances 37
BY INDRA ADHIKARI
The flow of money from Nepalis abroad
is drying up. It could get worse.
20
27
LI FESTYLE
The Making of a
Superstar 40
BY BISWAS BARAL
Nepal 1 could be as big a winner as the
"Nepal Star" finalists
Cashing in on
Catchy Tunes 42
BY KUMUD NEPAL
Radio and TV jingles are catching on in
Nepali advertising. Business houses love
the results, and singers and composers
love the easy money.
40
COVER    STORY
Engineering Elections   22
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
Any hope for the prime minister's mission to hold elections depends upon getting his party and coalition firmly on board
and persuading the parties in the streets
not to boycott the polls
COLUMNS
Urgent Lessons for
Nepal 32
BY BISHNU RAJ UPRETI
Puppy Love 38
BYKUNALLAMA
DEPARTMENTS
LETTERS 6
PICTURE OF THE WEEK 9
CAN INFO-TECH 2005 10
CAPSULES12
MILESTONE 15
BIZ BUZZ 15
CITY PAGE 34
SNAPSHOTS44
KHULA MANCH48
LAST PAGE 50
42
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fcrrtRS
(•(• The revision of the
Gurkha pension and
perks was long
overdue ««
IP GURUNG
The Gurkha cause
THANK YOU FOR THE EXCELLENT
coverage of the post-1990 awakening
among the Gurkhas and their long
struggle for parity in the British Army
("Parity for Gurkhas," by John Narayan
Parajuli, Jan. 30). The revision ofthe
Gurkha pension and perks was long overdue.
IP GURUNG
VIA EMAIL
I HAVE SAID THIS IN THESE PAGES before and am saying it again: Nation has
given ample space to cover Gurkha issues. But the last issue, where you covered the Gurkha problem as the cover
story, was the icing on the cake. While
most newspapers were busy with their
usual diet of political news, you put
the spotlight on the possible revision
of the Gurkha pensions and pay. Still,
I took note ofthe mixed emotions the
decision provoked in the Last Page:
"Happily, the grand anachronism is finally being righted. British Defence
Secretary Geoffrey Hoon has pledged
a 'wide-ranging review' ofthe Gurkhas'
longstanding grievances. ... It's a most
positive statement, though cruelly belated." Moreover, I am especially
pleased that you singled out GAESO
for praise. There are many in the
Gurkha community who are quick to
dismiss the organization as a "nuisance." With all its weaknesses, I still
credit it for starting a very legitimate
debate: parity for Nepalis in the British Army.
RAMAN SUBBA
DHARAN
Unproductive workplace
IN A SHORT INTERVIEW, YANGDUP
Lama said a lot: Tourism, like most other
businesses, is about making the customers happy and investing in your employee is not a waste (Khula Manch, "Of
Bars, Booze and Bartenders" by Yashas
Vaidya, Jan. 30). Lama, for example, explains that he actually hires a tutor if he
finds that his bartenders have poor English. How many of our employers, and
notjust in the tourism trade, bother to
1  .^H
FEBRUARY6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
 go that far? Unless they realize that most
ofthe employees need to be trained and
trained with painstaking effort, the idea
of a productive workplace will remain
empty rhetoric dished out in the boardrooms.
MAHESH SHARMA
KATHMANDU
Politics of oil
BIPUL NARAYAN INSIGHTFULLY
deliberates the issues faced by traditional government monopolies in
Nepal ("Politics of Oil," Jan. 30). While
I commend him on his understanding
of institutional and social issues, it is
important to understand that oil
should remain a government monopoly, at least until the near future.
Nepal is not yet ready for privatization
ofthe NOC and the handing over of a
crucial national security-related institution to foreign multinationals. The
ideal way to improve efficiency and
decrease corruption would be to
corporatize the NOC. An independent
and autonomous organization, all right,
but its stakes still controlled entirely
by the government.
POOJAJHA
KATHMANDU
the clashes between the Maoists and security forces stopped? Why the rush for
what looks like a bloody election?
Telling irony
RAJIB DAHAL
HYDERABAD, INDIA
"FLAVORS OF INDIA, MADE BY NEPAL"
by Purna Basnet and Bela Malik (Jan.
30) talks about the plight of Nepali
workers in India without trying to
sound overly grim.
The article is a brilliant commentary
on the Nepali migrants—that most
Peace before polls
HOLDING ELECTIONS WITHOUT securing peace is a bad idea ("Costs and Benefits," Meanwhile, by Suman Pradhan,
Jan. 30). Have we secured peace? Have
food stalls at the Dilli Haat in New
Delhi, representing the 25 states in the
Indian union, are in fact run by
Nepalis. Can there be a more telling
irony r
SUSHMA SHRESTHA
NEW ROAD
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Vol.1
No. 42. For the week January 31-February 6, 2005,
January 31
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FEBRUARY6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
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THE MIRROR MEDIA PVT. LTD.
No polls yet
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur
Deuba said that he 'was not yet
prepared to announce polls. In
an interview with the BBC
Nepali service, Deuba said he
would carry out extensive consultations with the Election
Commission, coalition partners
and those parties outside the
government before he makes a
decision. A day before the interview, on Jan. 22, the government
spokesman, Mohammed
Mohsin, said that the government should either announce
polls within a week or quit as per
the King's mandate. CPN-
UML General Secretary
Madhav Kumar Nepal says elections will be meaningless without peace.
NRN funds
The Association of Non-Resident Nepalis will set up a $100
million-fund to promote Nepali
products abroad and increase investments in Nepal. The president ofthe association, Upendra
Mahato, said that the team overseeing the funds would have
representatives from the government, the Nepal Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, and the
association.
Circus ruckus
Eight Nepali girls were rescued
from the Empire Circus in
Mumbai. Nepal Child Organization initiated the rescue. The
girls, who had been working in
the circus for the last two years,
said that they were forced into
hard labor by the circus owners.
In August, the plight of Nepali
girls working in Indian circuses
made the headlines when Baal
Bachao rescued Nepali girls from
a circus in Uttar Pradesh.
SC order
The Supreme Court ordered the
government to explain the hike
in transport fares. Justice Ram
Prashad Shrestha who gave the
order was responding to a writ
challenging the hike. Fares shot
up by up to 20 percent after increases in the petroleum prices.
The fares for long-route buses
went up by up to 15 percent,
while those of short-distance
micros by 20 percent.
Everest height
The Chinese Academy of Science announced a month-long
survey, starting on March 20,
to measure the height of
Mount Everest. In 1990, a similar survey carried out by the
Geographic Society of America
put the height of Everest at
8850 meters. The government
has not validated the survey.
Nepal still maintains that the
height of the peak is 8848
meters, as measured during an
expedition in 1954.
GDP growth
The growth in the Gross Domestic Product for the current
fiscal year was downgraded to
3.33 percent from 3.5 percent.
According to the Central Bureau
of Statistics, the growth rate of
the agriculture sector is 3.86 percent, while the non-agricultural
sector has witnessed a growth of
3.05 percent. The highest growth
was seen in the trade, restaurant
and hotel groups, which registered a 6.38 percent climb.
Meanwhile, the per capita income increased from Rs.18,851
to Rs.20,020.
UML pullout
The five zonal CPN-UML
committees urged the party leadership to pull out ofthe government. The committees asked the
party to withdraw from the government instead of being part of
a government that will go ahead
with elections. They said that
elections were not possible given
the poor security situation.
Dalai Lama
The government shut down two
offices affiliated to the Tibetan
Buddhist leader, Dalai Lama, in
FEBRUARY6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
 Indian state of Uttranchal. The
five were arrested with two boxes
of gunpowder, which they were
trying to smuggle into Nepal,
the Indian police said. Al the five
Kathmandu. The office of the
representative of Dalai Lama and
the Tibetan Refugees Welfare
Office, both in Lazimpat, were
closed down. The government
says that the offices had breached
foreign policy norms by operating without its permission. The
New York-based rights group
Human Rights Watch urged the
government to allow the two
offices to reopen, as the organizations were working to safeguard the interests of thousands
of Tibetan refugees in Nepal.
Indian arrests
The Indian police arrested five
suspected Nepali Maoists with
explosives in Pithauragadh in the
have been identified as
the residents of Bardiya. The
District Administration Office in
Bardiya, however, has said that
it has no information about such
arrests.
DNA tests
The National Forensic Laboratory will conduct DNA tests
from May. It will be the first
instance of official DNA-test-
ing in Nepal. The laboratory
has been carrying out trial runs
since October. That since the
government decided to introduce DNA analyzers to solve
complicated legal and forensic
cases, especially those involving rapes, and maternity and
paternity identification.
Insurgency no excuse
Bakul H. Dholakia, director of
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad said the
Nepali business sector
should not blame the insurgency for all the
wrongs in the
country. He
urged Nepali
businessmen
to be more proactive and not to be
disappointed with the
current political climate. The
service sector needs improvement in undeveloped countries
like Nepal to reap immediate
economic benefits, said
Dholakia during a talk program
on "Globalization and Managerial Challenges," organized by
the Apex College.
RNA appointments
The Army for the first time appointed women as second lieutenants, Nepal Samacharpatra
reported. All the 70 women selected will be deployed after the
completion of a nine-month
training. Another 151 women
have been hired by the Army
for various non-technical jobs.
FEBRUARY6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
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SUBSCRIBE   AND   ENJOY   SUBSTANTIAL   SAVINGS
 BIZ BUZZ
NEW SHOWROOM
Morang Auto Works, the authorized dealer of
Yamaha in Nepal, has unveiled its new showroom in Biratnagar. The outlet will sell all models of Yamaha motorbikes. In another announcement, the dealer said that the prospec-
H YAMAHA
tive customers will now be able to test ride the
new Yamaha Fazer bike. Morang Auto will also
provide 80 liters of free petrol to the customers of Yamaha Libera LX. To add to those benefits, the company will offer its Crux and YBX
models on easy installments and at zero percent interest. All schemes are valid until Feb.
11.
RBB ANNIVERSARY
Rastriya Banijya Bank celebrated its 40th anniversary on Sunday, Jan. 23. Bruce F.
Henderson, its chief executive officer, said that
the bank would emerge as a model bank by
January 2006, amid a function in Kathmandu.
Toward that end, the bank has already introduced automobile, education and housing
loans. RBB, the largest commercial bank in
the country, registered a net profit of Rs.1.1
billion during the last fiscal year, said
Handerson. The bank has 117 branches in
67 districts across Nepal.
NEPSE GROWTH
Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) recorded a
nine-fold growth in the fiscal year 2003-04 as
compared to 2002-03. Nepse witnessed an
rise in bourse from Rs.590 million a year ago
to Rs.4.8 billion this year. The rise of 36.62
points in the Nepse index is one of the biggest
yearly gains. The commercial banks covered
73.13 percent ofthe total shares' transactions, while finance companies held 3.66 percent of trading shares in 2004. Nepse, which
started its operation 11 years ago, currently
has a total share value of Rs.44 billion with
average daily transactions of Rs.20.34 million.
CAN INFO-TECH
The biggest IT fare in the coun
try, the CAN Info-Tech, kicked
off at the Birendra International
Convention Center on Tuesday,
Jan. 25. Prime Minister Sher
Bahadur Deuba inaugurated the
11th edition ofthe annual show. The 120 stalls
aimed at bringing about 200,000 visitors this
year. The six-day event also featured a two-
day special Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) conference. Breakingfromthe
traditional moulds, the exhibitors applied innovative marketing styles—such as using models
to demonstrate as well as sell their products.
Cell phones, laptops, and wireless Internet were
the main attraction ofthe event.
RMC ROOF SHEETS
Rajesh Metal Crafts has introduced a new
brand of galvanized roof sheets in the Nepal
market. The company, which has been manufacturing various construction materials for over
a decade, has introduced the sheets after the
success of RMC pipes, its other popular brand.
ISO FOR MERCANTILE
Mercantile Solutions has been awarded ISO
90001:2000 certification by International Organization of Standardization, the ISO. Mercantile is the manufacturer of Nepal's first branded
personal computer. Mercantile's computer assembly, sales, and support services are at par
with any international organization, ISO said.
ISO 9001:2000 is a globally recognized, process-based quality management system
(QMS) developed bythe ISO.
FEWA NOODLES
Him-Shree Foods has introduced Fewa
Noodles in the market. In addition to the available chicken and vegetable flavors, the company has now added mutton flavor. The price
of a packet has been set at Rs 11. Him-Shree
also has started a new prize scheme for the
customers. Stickers, t-shirts, caps, bags and
cash prizes from Rs.5 to Rs.1000 may now be
won inside the Fewa noodles packets.
SUBSIDIZED KEROSENE
Nepal Oil Corporation has started the distribution of its subsidized kerosene, which will cost
Rs.30 a liter, down form Rs.36 the unsubsidized
form costs. The subsidy maybe claimed bythe
poor, the conflict-hit and the wage earners in
the Valley. The corporation has also decided to
distribute kerosene to students at a concession rate of Rs.25.20 per liter. The subsidized kerosene is available from 66 outlets throughout the Valley. The fuel will
be sold at the subsidized rates only
when proper identity cards or the
previously distributed privilege coupons are
presented.
VISIT
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
The United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights Louis Arbour visited
Nepal from Jan. 23-26 to study the
human rights situation in the country. Arbour is
the highest ranking U.N. human rights official to
visit Nepal since the start ofthe insurgency in
1996.
A Canadian, Arbour has served as the chief
prosecutor for the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
from 1996 to 2000. She indicted the former
Yugoslav and Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic for war crimes and crimes against
humanity when she was the head ofthe tribunal.
"I am here to express my support for the human rights defenders in the country," Arbour
said of her Nepal visit, which gained added significance amid the international outcry over exacerbating rights situation in Nepal. Arbour described the country's human rights situation as
"serious" and asked both sides to the conflict
to abide by international human rights conventions.
Arbour asked for an immediate end to the disappearances, executions and torture. She
called upon the government to sign the Rome
Treaty, which will make Nepal a party to the
International Court of Justice. E
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0930
1665
91
DHC-6/300
LUKLA
YAH 7
DAILY
1020
1055
1665
91
DHC-6/300
LUKLA
YAH?
1,2,4,5,6,7
1025
1100
1665
91
DHC-6/300
TAPLEJUNG
YA 901
3
1025
1135
2695
164
DHC-6/300
PHAPLU
YA181
1,3,5
1030
1105
1480
85
DHC-6/300
RUMJATAR
YA221
2,4,7
1030
1105
1245
61
DHC-6/300
MANANG
YA601
6
1030
1130
2995
122
DHC-6/300
MEGHAULY
YA171
DAILY
1130
1200
1340
79
DHC-6/300
BHARATPUR
YA173
DAILY
1200
1225
1160
61
DHC-6/300
BHARATPUR
YA175
DAILY
1400
1425
1160
61
DHC-6/300
SIMARA
YA201
DAILY
0825
0845
970
55
SAAB 340/B
SIMARA
YA141
DAILY
1330
1355
970
55
DHC-6/300
SIMARA
YA143
DAILY
1500
1525
970
55
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
KATHMANDU
YA301
DAILY
0700
0800
4800
109
SAAB 340B
KATHMANDU
YA302
DAILY
0700
0800
4800
109
SAAB 340B
BIRATNAGAR
YA151
DAILY
1000
1040
2585
85
SAAB 340B
BIRATNAGAR
YA153
DAILY
1210
1250
2585
85
SAAB 340B
BIRATNAGAR
YA155
DAILY
1700
1740
2585
85
SAAB 340B
POKHARA
YA131
DAILY
0825
0850
1710
67
SAAB 340B
POKHARA
YA137
DAILY
1000
1025
1710
67
SAAB 340B
POKHARA
YA135
DAILY
1410
1435
1710
67
SAAB 340B
BHAIRAHAWA
YA163
DAILY
1550
1625
2220
79
SAAB 340B
BHADRAPUR
YA121
DAILY
1140
1230
2950
109
SAAB 340B
NEPALGUNJ
YA177
DAILY
1415
1515
3500
109
SAAB 340B
BIRATNAGAR
KATHMANDU
YA152
DAILY
1100
1140
2585
85
SAAB 340B
BIRATNAGAR
KATHMANDU
YA154
DAILY
1310
1350
2585
85
SAAB 340B
BIRATNAGAR
KATHMANDU
YA156
DAILY
1800
1840
2585
85
SAAB 340B
POKHARA
KATHMANDU
YA132
DAILY
0910
0935
1710
67
SAAB 340B
POKHARA
KATHMANDU
YA138
DAILY
1045
1110
1710
67
SAAB 340B
POKHARA
KATHMANDU
YA136
DAILY
1455
1520
1710
67
SAAB 340B
BHAIRAHAWA
KATHMANDU
YA164
DAILY
1645
1720
2220
79
SAAB 340B
BHADRAPUR
KATHMANDU
YA122
DAILY
1250
1340
2950
109
SAAB 340B
NEPALGUNJ
KATHMANDU
YA178
DAILY
1535
1635
3500
109
SAAB 340B
LUKLA
KATHMANDU
YA 112
DAILY
0750
0825
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA102
DAILY
0755
0830
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA104
DAILY
0800
0835
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA106
DAILY
0805
0840
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA108
DAILY
0930
1005
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA 114
DAILY
0935
1010
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA 110
DAILY
0940
1025
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA 116
DAILY
0945
1020
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA 118
DAILY
1110
1145
1665
91
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA120
1,2,4,5,6,7
1115
1150
1665
91
DHC-6/300
PHAPLU
KATHMANDU
YA182
1,3,5
1120
1155
1480
85
DHC-6/300
MEGHAULY
KATHMANDU
YA172
DAILY
1215
1245
1340
79
DHC-6/300
RUMJATAR
KATHMANDU
YA222
2,4,7
1120
1155
1245
79
DHC-6/300
MANANG
KATHMANDU
YA602
6
1145
1245
2995
122
DHC-6/300
TAPLEJUNG
KATHMANDU
YA 902
3
1150
1300
2695
164
DHC-6/300
BHARATPUR
KATHMANDU
YA174
DAILY
1240
1305
1160
61
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA176
DAILY
1440
1505
1160
61
DHC-6/300
SIMARA
KATHMANDU
YA202
DAILY
0905
0925
970
55
SAAB 340B
KATHMANDU
YA142
DAILY
1410
1435
970
55
DHC-6/300
KATHMANDU
YA144
DAILY
1540
1605
970
55
DHC-6/300
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 HUMAN RIGHTS
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
LOUISE ARBOUR, THE
U.N. high commissioner for
human rights, didn't come to
Kathmandu to twist arms. On
her arrival for a four-day visit last week,
she said she was here to appeal to reason
in a country where conflict seems to be
taking its toll on people's sensitivities.
But the attention ofthe United Nations
and the presence of the high commissioner herself must have made the government uncomfortable.
UN human rights chief Arbour declared that 'a grave
human rights crisis is afflicting Nepal.' More importantly,
she warned both parties to the conflict, particularly the
Maoists, that the world has 'entered an era of accountability'
It had the opposite effect on rights
activists, who got a big boost from her
visit. Emboldened by her arrival, rights
activists and victims' families openly
pressed the government and security officials about missing people. The Arbour
visit came at a time when accusations that
the security apparatus was targeting human rights activists were flying around.
On the final day of her visit, Arbour
issued a stern warning to both sides to
the conflict to play by the rulebook
RIGHTS WARNING
■t
IN THE DOCKS: Chief of Army Staff Pyar
Jung Thapa listens to Devi Sunwar, whose
15-year-old daughter was reportedly
arrested by security forces last year in
i:
\
 problem is not visibly a large-scale humanitarian crisis, that doesn't diminish
its gravity. There is a "hidden face" to it,
Arbour noted. Some of those faces were
evident during the visit.
At a reception hosted in Arbour's
honor at the Yak and Yeti Hotel, Devi
Sunwar, the mother of 15-year-old Maina
who was reportedly arrested by security
forces on Feb. 17 in Kavre, had an opportunity to hear directly about her
daughter from the Chief of Army Staff
Pyar Jung Thapa.
As Devi spoke with Thapa, tears
rolled down her cheeks. "It's been almost a year," she said. "I haven't heard
about my daughter." Devi and her husband have done all they could to find
their daughter, but to no avail. They visited numerous Army and police offices
and lodged an application with the National Human Rights Commission.
They met the chief district officer and
other regional officials. The officers at
the Army post in Kavre, the Shanti Gate
barracks, where the girl was reportedly
taken for interrogation, deny having
Maina in their custody. "I can only imagine what you are going through," Arbour
told Devi. "I will do everything in my
capacity to know the whereabouts of
your daughter."
Maina's case has already been frontpage fare in The Washington Post after
both Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch documented it. "I
want to know where my daughter is,"
Devi Sunwar told the Army chief. Thapa
responded by empathizing with her sorrow and assured her of a response within
a day or two.
Arbour hopes that her visit will increase the awareness the world over about
the terrible plight of many Nepalis like
the Sunwar family, caught in the midst
of an armed conflict that has resulted in
rampant abuse of basic human rights. She
says very often the rest of the world
doesn't wake up until it sees large-scale
humanitarian displacement.
High Commissioner Arbour met
Nepalis from all walks of life. During
her meetings with government and security officials, she says, she was assured
that they understand the need to uphold
and defend the human rights of all
Nepalis. "It is now critical for this understanding to be translated decisively
into concrete action," her statement said
pointedly. Arbour demanded that disap
pearances, executions and torture immediately come to an end.
Her warning lived up to her reputation as a tough former prosecutor at the
International Court in the Hague: "In
every part ofthe world, political and military leaders who thought themselves immune from prosecution," she said, "are
answering before the law for the gross
human rights abuses they perpetrated."
In reply the Army chief, Thapa, says
the Army is punishing those found guilty
and that more than one hundred Army
personnel have been disciplined. As for
the Maoists? Arbour hopes some leaders within the insurgency will respond
to her "very legitimate and reasonable
argument."
Arbour knows that words are not
enough. She said, "Effective and credible measures to bring to account those
responsible for such acts must also be
put in place now." She pointedly and
publicly invited the government to sign
the Rome treaty, which would make
Nepal a party to the International Court
of Justice.
Not arm-twisting, but pressure all the
same. The high commissioner's visit
should give heart to more than just the
rights activists.  □
r**-     —■
7
A
SOLIDARITY: Arbour speaks to local
human rights workers. Also seen in
the picture is Devi Sunwar
 COVER STORY
T
c
ns
\
/
 Any hope for the prime
minister's mission to hold
elections depends upon
getting his party and the
alition firmly on board and
persuading the parties in the
streets not to boycott the polls
BYJOHN NARAYAN PARAJULI
WHAT IF THEY CALLED
AN ELECTION AND
NOBODY CAME?
In Gokhunga VDC in Arghakhanchi in
May 1981, the voting booth was ready,
security was adequate and the polling
officers were there on time to supervise
voting. But no votes were cast: No one
turned up. The whole population had
boycotted the election. At the end, fearing that they would lose their jobs, the
incumbent election officers cast a total
of seven ballots themselves. Lesson: You
can't engineer an election, even in times
of peace and tight central authority.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur
Deuba's coalition partners think he's trying to do just that: literally bulldoze
those who oppose his one-man crusade
to "salvage democracy." Even the election commissioners reportedly got a
sharp warning from the prime minister:
"I am the King's employee, and so are
you. Therefore you should stick to the
mandate given to us." The King has given
Deuba until mid-April to hold elections.
The gist of Deuba's argument is that
elections are the only way to restore democracy. Holding them will be incredibly
difficult—former election commissioners
have described a meaningful election as next
to impossible under the circumstances.
Former Election Commissioner
Ram Chandra Poudel says, "Three things
are prerequisite for a meaningful election: Consensus among the parties, voters' preparedness and the government's
resolve, which includes the election
commission's ability to conduct polls."
"Election is our compulsion," says
NC-D leader Narayan Khadka. "But the
question is," he adds, "is the environment conducive for it?" He thinks not.
Though Deuba got his election plans
endorsed by his party early last month
in the run-up to Jan. 13 deadline given to
the Maoists, there was considerable dissension. "It was the majority's decision,"
Khadka says. He adds with a meaningful
tone that more than a month has elapsed
since then. Khadka's doubts are shared
by others, reflecting a deep division
within the prime minister's own party.
The rift within the governing coalition is even deeper, endangering its continuity. The dissent has now risen to
23
 COVER STORY
Cabinet level: Deputy Prime Minister
Bharat Mohan Adhikari of the CPN-
UML now downplays the possibility of
holding elections. He described the
prime minister's statements as Deuba's
own, not those of the government. The
deputy prime minister is pressing his
own proposal to pursue peace options
vigorously within the Cabinet as a
counterweight to the prime
minister's election proposal.
Adkhikari's remarks pose a serious
problem for the coalition and they
must have dampened the prime
minister's optimism that the UML
will accept his plan.
Deuba had pinned his hopes on the
UML's last official word on elections:
that it endorsed them as the last resort, if
all options for peace were exhausted.
The UML will have a chance to reconsider that position: "Our party will make
a decision soon," says UML leader Bhim
Rawal, who resigned in early January
epals gag on his party cadres on speaking
out about elections backfired and UML
leadership is under pressure from pa14"
workers to quit the government.
 from the High Level Peace Committee
accusing the committee of failing to prioritize the peace process. The party is
under pressure from its grassroots members to quit the coalition. A gathering of
regional party leaders at UML headquarters in Balkhu has come down heavily
on the party leadership, both in and outside the government for failing to live
up to the commitments made in the 43-
point Common Minimum Program and
for acting against the interest ofthe common people.
"The election is a bombshell," says
NC-D's Narayan Khadka, "that has the
potential to bitterly polarize the mainstream forces against each other." Experts
say that the critical factor to successful
elections during conflict is strong commitment to them both by the parties and
the voters. So far the prime minister's ef
forts have failed to muster that commitment within his party or the coalition.
"The public won't participate in the elections," said UML leader KP Oli in an
interview. He's not the only one who
thinks so. People are going to think first
about their security, and there is every
reason to believe that the security situation will become more chaotic in the
run-up to the election. Army officers
don't rule out the possibility of significant violence. Lack of security dampens
the prospect of high voter turnout, especially outside the valley.
'Voters are bound to wonder how safe
they would be: Even chief district officers
have been abducted. Moreover, voters
would want to have security for a prolonged
period, not just while the polling places are
open. Once the election is over, voters would
have to live with fear of Maoist reprisal for
having supported the "old regime." If a
Maoist decree can keep people from voting, they can ruin the poll's legitimacy.
Voters are bound to wonder how safe they would be: Even
chief district officers have been abducted. Moreover, voters
would want to have security for a prolonged period, not
just while the polling places are open.
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
25
 COVER STORY
During the 1997 parliamentary elections, recalls former election commissioner Ram Chandra Poudel, at one polling station in Jajarkot no one voted. Voters had thronged to the polling place,
but a notice posted outside the booth by
the Maoists turned them away. The notice said: "The first one to vote will be
killed." This time the Maoists may not
issue such gentle notices; they could
bomb or burn polling stations even before elections are held, once the
government's plans are announced.
An observer who recently traveled
to Rolpa, Salyan and Jajarkot says that
security forces stay mostly within their
NC-D's Narayan Khadka thinks election will
bitterly divide the mainstream political forces
#* m9 \
barracks in the district headquarters. He
questions what sort of election the government can hold in such circumstances. The prime minister has a ready
answer.
Deuba and those close to him take
solace from the elections held in Afghanistan and Iraq. They argue that if
the violence-torn Iraq can hold the elections, Nepal can hold them too. Experts
say that if the majority of the population is prepared to vote, it makes sense
to hold elections, even if a minority
would boycott or be unable to cast ballots.
Without strong support from voters, a boycott of elections by the parties in the streets could also leave the
resulting government illegitimate. "It
could be like the polls organized by
General Ershad in Bangladesh in 1986,"
says Mathura Prasad Shrestha, who was
an observer in that election. The opposition boycotted the elections, and
Ershad eventually had to resign.
The prime minister says that elections are the last chance to restore
Nepal's eroding democracy and that
elections are possible if the mainstream parties come together. But so
far all the prime minister's resolve to
that end has counted for little. Despite
his tough exterior, Deuba must be profoundly uncomfortable about his
party's dissention and his coalition
partners' lack of support amid their
own internal divisions. Even the outspoken Minister of Communications
and Information, Mohammed Mohsin,
once a key proponent of elections, is
reticent now. "I have no comment
about elections," he told Nation
Weekly. "Let the parties in the government come up with their official decision first."
The prime minister knows that successful elections would brighten his future, and he may believe that even a bad
election would save his reputation. Failing to hold elections at all will mark him
with the "incompetent" label, perhaps for
life. High enough stakes indeed for
Deuba; no wonder he is so resolved. But
he needs to remember that bridges are as
much a part of engineering as bulldozers.
No one would think him the lesser democrat if he admitted the enormity of the
task ahead and asked for help, d
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 GORKHALAN
THE OTHER NEPALI POLITICS
A new agitation has started for the future of Darjeeling,
which has the largest Nepali-speaking population outside
Nepal
BY SARA SHNEIDERMAN
IN DARJEELING
KATHJV1ANDU IS NOT THE
only Nepali-speaking capital awash with talk of strikes
and elections these days. The
last few weeks have seen the same issues grabbing headlines just across the
border in the town of Darjeeling, the
capital of West Bengal's Darjeeling district and the seat of the Darjeeling
Gorkha Hill Council, the DGHC.
The elusive DGHC chairman,
Subash Ghisingh, made his first public
appearance in three years on Jan. 10 to a
crowd of over 30,000 in the town's central Chowk Bazaar. He spoke against the
DGHC elections set by West Bengal's
state government for February and
called for a 72-hour strike to mark the
beginning  of a   new  agitation   for
Darjeeling's future.
With a population of over 1.7 million that is overwhelmingly of Nepali
origin, Darjeeling has the largest and
most politically active Nepali-speaking population outside Nepal. The
area first claimed international attention in the mid-1980s when Ghisingh,
then the party secretary ofthe GNLF—
the Gorkha National Liberation
Front—led a violent uprising against
the West Bengal and Indian governments to demand a separate state.
Gorkhaland, the dream state, would
remain a member ofthe Indian union,
but would be run by and for people of
Nepali origin, who would implement
policies appropriate to the hill areas
in which they lived.
1 I
The dream never became reality. In
1988 Ghisingh agreed to end the agitation in exchange for the creation of an
autonomous council—the DGHC. This
was the first of its type in India, soon to
be followed by similar setups in Ladakh
and other areas. According to the official
GNLF position, the creation of the
DGHC was never intended to be a permanent solution to the problem, but
rather an interim step that would provide day-to-day governance while a long-
term plan was hashed out in tripartite
meetings between DGHC councillors,
West Bengal state officials and representatives ofthe central government.
But over 15 years later, not much has
changed. Frustration with the DGHC's
inability to work as a full-fledged governing body has grown from all sides.
GNLF partisans who support the
DGHC claim that it has been ineffective because it remains largely tethered
to decisions made at the state and central
levels and has not been granted a realis-
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
27
 i'V»V-
tic budget to implement the policies it
makes. At the same time, opposition
political leaders, who have recently
banded together to form the PDF, the
People's Democratic Forum, say that
Ghisingh is a paranoid and corrupt megalomaniac. That he accepted the inadequate terms of the DGHC's creation
because they gave him personal power,
but that he has done little to develop it
into the democratically governed body
it should have been. Still more conspiracy theories abound about how the
state and central governments colluded
to dupe Ghisingh into accepting DGHC
as an interim step, while never intending to take the Gorkhaland talks any further.
As one local journalist put it, "The
big question is: Did Ghisingh know that
he had brought a dud?" In other words,
was he guilty of shaking hands behind
the backs of the oridinary citizens who
had supported him in order to set up a
power structure that kept him at the top,
but that he knew could never deliver at
the bottom?
Local opinion is divided on this
question, but it seems clear that
Ghisingh is a mastermind at
manipulating public sentiment. When asked who they
would vote for if an election
were held tomorrow, most
locals told this reporter that
they would still cast their lot
with Ghisingh despite the
DGHC's inability to deliver. Why? Because
Ghisingh was the first to articulate the suppressed feelings of Indian Nepali—or
Gorkhali, as Ghisingh prefers to call
it—nationalism that almost every
worker in the tea plantations and every porter on the street identifies with,
and that initial loyalty remains.
But Ghisingh claims that there are
other kinds of masterminds at work
who are making it impossible for such
CONTROVERSIAL: Chairman
Subash Ghisingh
an election as those announced by the
West Bengal government, to be held.
The primary purpose of the Jan. 10
Chowk Bazaar rally was to disclose
an Oct. 6 letter to the Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh. In it,
Ghisingh accuses the central government of not adequately investigating the
murders of three DGHC
councillors, allegedly orchestrated by a shady network of "masterminds,
linkmen and their big
Bosses," who are supported by "International
Spying Agencies" based in North
Bengal.
Until the murders of Rudra Pradhan
(1999), C.K. Pradhan (2002) and Prakash
Theeng (2003) are fully investigated by
the Central Bureau of Intelligence, says
Ghisingh, DGHC elections cannot be
held because security cannot be guaran-
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 POPULAR BASE: Many in Darjeeling are
still loyal to Ghisingh and his party, the
GNLF
teed for the candidates and their parties.
With elections scheduled every five
years and the last round held in 1998,
polls are long overdue. Ghisingh has
delayed them twice already, each time
citing security reasons. This is understandable to an extent, since he also survived an assassination attempt in 2001—
which he gave as an excuse for ending
his participation in the last round of tripartite talks regarding Gorkhaland,
which were ongoing at that time. But
the tone of his letter and his Jan. 10
speech were distinctly paranoid. Even
the circular inviting internal GNLF participants to the rally stated explicitly at
the bottom, "For security reasons all
concerned are hereby directed not to
enter the meeting Hall with personal
arms and ammunitions."
Many think that the security scare is
just a ploy to avoid facing an election
that might for the first time call into question Ghisingh's right to the DGHC
chairman's throne. Although it is unlikely that he would lose, given his con
tinued popular base, an election campaign would give the newly strengthened
PDF opposition coalition, led by Madan
Tamang, the opportunity to expose
Ghisingh's shortcomings and propose an
alternative platform. The PDF claims
that Ghisingh has sold out, abusing common people's genuine aspirations for
Gorkhaland to achieve his own ends.
They advocate a return to the Gorkhaland
campaign, but through non-violent
methods. And when it comes to the
murders, many fingers point at Ghisingh
and his cronies, since all three of the
councillors killed were in fact opposition party members. Even a 10-year-old
child said, "Everyone knows who killed
them: Ghisingh himself."
Besides the demands for a CBI investigation, many of Ghisingh's requests
ofthe central and state governments are
reasonable ones. He seeks a redistrict-
ing of Lok Sabha constituencies so that
Darjeeling would receive proportional
representation (the district currently has
the same number of MPs as Sikkim despite having over three times the popu-
in ■■■! mi
*       JIM OS      FAST     FOOD
lation); a revision of financial policies
so that DGHC would control its own
coffers more effectively; the declaration
of Darjeeling as a tribal area under India's
constitution; the full transfer of
infrastructural development departments (such as Mines, Water Resources,
and Land Reform) from the West Bengal state government to the DGHC; and
the development of Bagdogra as an international airport in order to boost the
all-important tourism economy in
Darjeeling.
So what does all this mean for the average Indian citizen of Nepali origin?
Most Darjeeling residents seem tired of
the political intrigue and more concerned
about how the town's water and electricity supply systems can be modernized to
avoid the crippling shortages and blackouts that dominate daily life. One of the
PDF's main charges of corruption against
the GNLF is that the DGHC has received Indian Rs.160 million of funding
since 1988 to revamp the municipal waterworks, but there is no evidence of any
such work ever having been conducted.
In his Oct. 6 letter to the Indian prime
minister, Ghisingh himself claims that the
limitations set by the central and state governments have prevented the DGHC
from becoming anything more than a
"micro-development agency." But one
glance at Darjeeling's plumbing and pot-
holed roads makes one wonder whether
the DGHC has even been able to work
effectively on this level. In the swirl of
Gorkhaland politics, one hopes that the
people get a fresh drop to drink. □
29
 CONSERVATION
■'■HPf
/
TAMING AJIGARATAL
BY DEEPENDRAJOSHI
IN KAPILVASTU
w
> IN THE
murky waters of Ajigara
Tal, the women of Ajigara
and Bhilmi village development committees in Kapilvastu are
lined up, extracting the fronds ofthe medicinal plant, liadjod (Equisetum
mmosissimum). It is a hot afternoon, and it
can take days of backbreaking labor to
extract this increasingly rare plant. To take
their minds off their hard labor, the
women are singing and trading jokes—
eliciting loud, wicked laughter that resonates across the wetland.
Hadjod has been used as a paste to treat
fractures for hundreds of years in these
villages. But as its wetland habitat degrades and is lost, there is growing concern that the plant and the traditional
healing practices surrounding it will die
out.
IUCN Nepal has been supporting a
wetland conservation project in Ajigara
30
since August 2003. The project is aimed   i
at developing local capacity to manage
I   this important natural resource in a sustainable manner for better livelihoods
and resource conservation.
According to Narayan Poudel, chairman of the Lumbini Kapilvastu Bachao
Abhiyaan, an NGO that works with
IUCN Nepal to implement the project,
there has been an upsurge in local interest concerning the efforts to restore
Ajigara's habitat. The community realizes the rapid loss ofthe resource; they
also see the promises of local collaborative efforts. The locals have formed a
community-based organization and registered with the District Administration
Office for the sustainable management
of Ajigara wetland.
The campaign has successfully incorporated socio-economic and ecological issues. The locals now want to
restore an ecologically important marshy
area wedged between Ajigara and Bhilmi
VDCs, 20 kilometers southwest of
Taulihawa, the headquarters of
Kapilvastu.
Through its local partners, IUCN
Nepal has facilitated various wetland
conservation awareness activities such
as researches, survey and participatory
demarcation of wetland boundaries and
development of community action plans.
It also clarified the legal tenure of the
wetland and convinced the owners—the
local VDCs—to hand over management
responsibilities to the community-
based organization.
The 17 hectares of wetland are a valuable in-situ repository of two wild rice
species, Oryza mfipogon and O. nivara, out
of four species reported in Nepal. The
presence of these species of wild rice continues to be the invaluable source of new
genetic material for developing disease resistance. In addition to providing critical
habitats for over 42 bird species, the wetland also supports the globally threatened
Saras crane (Grus antigone), as well as a number of reptiles and indigenous fish.
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 ■ ■■ D
"Our dream is to see the wetland
as we remember it 20 years ago," says
Abdul Rahim Manihar, a local farmer.
"The people will support this because they realize how important the
wild rice is for the whole village. It's
not just their resource; it's for their
children too. No one wants to see
the wild rice habitat disappear. We
want to conserve our wetland and the
rice for all time."
The community approach has been
found to be effective in managing and
conserving the Ajigara wetland. "In fact,
now that the communities feel a sense
of ownership, the prospects are very
promising," says Modraj Dotel, chief
district officer of Kapilvastu. "It has
demonstrated to communities, the local
government and policy makers how successful the community approach to natural resource management can be."
The secretary ofthe Ajigara wetland
conservation committee, Rijesh Kumar
Shukla, says the community participation holds the key to the sustainability
ofthe project.
The most encouraging part ofthe
Ajigara gene pool conservation is the
tremendous shift in attitude the
project has brought about among the
locals. From bleak fishing communities south of the wetland to the
deeply rural people in lush Karma
village, the roughly 390 households
ofthe project area display a near-uniform enthusiasm and a new sense of
confidence.
The opportunity to do something
about the degrading local environment
has raised hopes and expectations. The
idea of belonging to a group entrusted
with the task of renovating the wetland
has conveyed a new sense of ownership
in these two VDCs.  □
 URGENT LESSONS FOR NEPAL
Reconciliation is an integral part of building lasting
peace in a conflict-ridden society. It is a goal as well as
a process.
BY BISHNU RAJ UPRETI
ANY ARMED CONFLICT
induces deep divisions in a
society. It creates severe
negative psychological impact such as fear, agony, empathy, frustration, hopelessness and feelings of revenge in individuals who are the victims ofthe conflict. Proper understanding of conflict victims provides a basis
for reconciliation. The question concerns on defining the victim.
In this context, the United Nations
Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victim of Crime and Abuse of
Power and the U.N. General Assembly
Resolution 40/34 of Nov. 29, 1985 defines victims as "persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm,
including physical or mental injury,
emotional suffering, economic losses
or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through acts or omissions that do not yet constitute violations of national criminal laws but of
internationally recognised norms relating to human rights." If we use this definition of a victim in the context of the
armed conflict here, hundreds of thousands of Nepalis are conflict victims.
Every day we come across new cases of
killings, disappearance, torture, rape,
forced donations, threats of attack and
arrests and so on. Peace is a distant dream.
The conflict actors say they are not anti-
peace, but people hardly believe what
they say.
The armed conflict has seriously undermined the very notion of democracy,
a system of managing differences without recourse to violence. Democracy
and reconciliation are intertwined in
shaping a peaceful societal system, particularly in a war-torn society. In Nepal
none of the parties to the conflict is too
worried about establishing a link between reconciliation and democracy in
a bid to restore peace. Conflict scholars
such as David Bloomfield, Tersea Barnes
and Luc Huyse, in highlighting the relationship between democracy and reconciliation, argue that while a democratic compromise produces solutions
regarding issues in conflict, reconciliation addresses the relationships between
those who will have to implement those
solutions.     Hence,     reconciliation
strengthens democracy by developing
the working relations necessary to successfully practice it.
However, reconciliation, it seems,
has neither been properly understood
nor is there a serious attempt to use it as
a democratic exercise in building peace.
Reconciliation is an integral part of
building lasting peace in the conflict-
ridden society. In essence, reconciliation is a goal as well as a process of achieving peace. At times, the victims of a conflict feel that reconciliation ignores their
sufferings and provides an excuse to the
offenders. But this will only be so ifthe
concept behind reconciliation process
is misunderstood by those involved as
only a goal—to forgive and forget—and
not a combination of both process and
goal.
But the most important aspect of
the reconciliation is its attempts to
address justice, healing and truth. As
reconciliation is a voluntary process,
no one can impose it. The victims
themselves acknowledge, remember
and learn from the past and find ways
to live in the future, rebuilding relations and expanding hope. It is a process in which changes with reconcil-
iatory underpinnings taken place in
individuals—"forgive but not forget."
Reconciliation is not an excuse for
impunity.
32
j_
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 How is reconciliation possible in
an escalated conflict such as ours? It
might be interpreted as a post-conflict
issue, starting only after a settlement
is reached between the Maoists and the
government. This argument is only a
half-truth. In fact reconciliation is an
ongoing process of peace building.
Nepal has to start reconciliation efforts immediately to prevent the triggering of the escalation of the conflict.
If the state is not concerned with the
victims of the conflict, the frustration
of the victims can turn into revenge
and retaliation that contribute to further escalation. The government interprets the provision of temporary rehabilitation at Dhakaltar confinement
camp of those Maoists who surrender
as an important achievement in rehabilitation and reconciliation. But in
fact, it is neither rehabilitation nor reconciliation.
If we examine the efforts made by
the governmental and non-governmental sectors in reconciliation, there
are no deliberate attempts and plans.
In fact, all peace-building approaches
seem "reconciliation-blind." How can
you anticipate durable peace without
rebuilding trust, healing animosity and
improving the relationships? In
pointing out the importance of reconciliation as a means of peace-building, Desmond Tutu, chairperson ofthe
very famous Truth and Reconciliation
Commission of South Africa once
said: "There is no handy roadmap for
reconciliation, no simple prescription
for healing the wounds of the divi
sion of a society ... creating trust and
understanding between former enemies is a supremely difficult challenge. It is however, an essential one
to address in the process of building
lasting peace. Examining the painful
past, acknowledging it and understanding it, and above all transcending it altogether, is the best way to
guarantee that it does not and cannot
happen again."
Truth, justice and reconciliation are
strongly interrelated. If we revisit the
history of conflict-ridden countries,
many inquiry commissions have been
established for "truth and reconciliation." Revealing truth and seeking accuracy about the past is extremely important to shape the reconciliation process.
Seeking truth, giving justice to the victims and making offenders accountable
for their wrongs can heal the wounds of
war and re-establish relations. There is
no standard method or universal model
of reconciliation that anyone just picks
■msf •
■*
up and applies. It is context-specific,
depends on the actors involved and is an
evolving process.
If Nepal wants to use reconciliation
as one of the means of conflict transformation and peace-building, the following basic principles suggested by
David Bloomfield and his colleagues
can be useful:
• Begin early, when attitudes are most receptive to change and challenge.
• Stick to the commitments, and deal with the
hard issues: They will only get harder with
time.
• Give it sufficient time. It cannot be done in
haste.
• Be transparent about the goals, the difficulties, the timeframe and resources.
• Create an environment that replaces fear with
non-violent co-existence, which consequently
leads to the building of confidence, overcoming
of mistrust and the development of empathy
• Initiate the reconciliation process not only at
of individual level, but also with groups and
communities as a whole.
• Provide immediate justice to the victims.
• Repair both the physical and psychological
damage inflicted on the victims of war.
Experiences of Northern Ireland,
Rwanda, Guatemala, South Africa,
Mozambique and Cambodia demonstrate that reconciliation is an effective
means of conflict transformation and
peace-building. It enables victims and
perpetrators to get on with their lives
and live in a society; it helps to establish political dialogue and the sharing
of power at local levels. Nepal needs
urgent attention in initiating reconciliation as a part of the conflict transformation strategy. If we do not take this
issue seriously now, we will face more
complications later,  d
33
 CHY TTiisWeek
This February Hotel Yak and Yeti serves you luscious martini.
Martini is a bartending mystery The martini cocktail has no
single inventor like in the case of any masterpiece. One ofthe
oldest legends to the mystery of the birth of Martini takes us
back to the 19th century at a hotel in San Francisco, when a
traveler on his way to Martinez, California, asked the hotel's
barman to prepare something special. The unusual drink in a
small glass with an olive dropped into it was called the
"Martinez cocktail," now known as the "martini." The traditional recipe of martini contains 60ml of chilled gin or vodka
with a dash of dry vermouth, shaken or stirred over ice. There
will be off-beat creations using flavoring and coloring agents
to mix and match the moods of every individual. The quest for
the perfect martini continues. Martini bars abound and the
popularity seems to grow with each generation around the
world. Enjoy the succulent flavor of this cosmopolitan drink
at the Hotel Yak and Yeti this winter. Till Feb. 12. Time: noon
to midnight.
The Solitude
of Color
ARl
EXHIBITION
Binod Pradhan, an artist with more than 13 years of experience, exhibits his new range of paintings. Pradhan uses strong
basic colors to express his emotions. Forms are featured in-
between a variation of colors that creates a kind of zing in his
paintings. Combination of solid colors, decorative forms and
lines display the artist's expressions and nuances of his style.
The artist enjoys painting cityscapes, temples and the life of
Nepali people immersed in daily chores. He likes abstraction
and has evolved a personal style to depict his subjects, which
mirrors his individuality. Cultural and architectural perspectives are more open in his
paintings. His recent series pays
more attention to details in the
form of stupas, temples and
streets with the dingy colors.
At the Siddhartha Art Gallery
Date: Feb. 2-18. For information: 422-0735.
Trip of all Times
In Rs.5999 for Nepalis and
$199 for expatriates, the
Jomsom Mountain Resort provides two nights and three days
accommodations. The price'will
also include roundabout airfare
from Pokhara to Jomsom, daily
buffet breakfast and dinner,
pick up and drop from the airport to resort and a walking tour
of the Marpha village in
Jomsom. For information: 449-
7569.
Margarita Night
Dwarika's Hotel presents the
Margarita Night serving
Churasqueria BBQ, Latin
American Delicados and refreshing margaritas. Also enjoy
the Latin beats by Abhaya and
the Steam Injuns. Every last
Friday of the month.
Price:Rs.799. Time: 7p.m. onwards. Happy hours from
4p.m. - 7p.m. everyday at Fusion Bar. For information:
4479-488.
PUBLISHED
District Development PROFILE of NEPAL 2004
COVERAGE
Divided mniiily on three pnrli,
the publication cavers
i. National ii. Districts iii. Municipalities
1130 Pages
District Section includes-
District Maps /Development Indicators of Each District /VDC data on
Population & Infrastructure /District wise database on-
Topography, Demography Household Characteristics, Economic Activities, Social Characteristics,
Agriculture, Irrigation, Forest, Co-operatives, NOD'S, Transportation, Communication, Energy
System, Education, Health, Drinking Wate& Gendei Children and many more
Basic Information on all 58 Municipalities
Available at Renowned Bookstores in Town
Informal Sedor Research & Study Center(ISRSC): Kamladi, Kathmandu, Nepal/Ph: 4429324/ Email: informal@ntc.net.np/ Website: http://www.isrsc.org
34
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 For insertions: 2111102 or
citypage@nation .com. np
CITY PAGE
Night For Little Heroes
Celebrating life and Lhosar.
musicians from the east and the
west join hands to support sick,
destitute kids in the hospitals of
Kathmandu. Funds go to the
Ganjala Outreach, a new initiative by Ganjala Children's
Home. Date: Feb. 12. Time:
6:30p.m. Venue: 1905,
Kantipath. Artists: Kutumba,
McTwisters, Vijay Lama, Willow,
Ganjala Troupe and the Hyolmo
Sherpa Dance Group. Price:
Rs.1000 for singles and Rs.1750
for couples, including a cocktail. For information:
9841350008 (David Tashi Lama)
and 9841348563 (Lucia de
Vries.)
Malaysia Dream Holiday
ONGOING
Taste of Thailand
The Rox Restaurant features diverse range of popular dishes of
Thailand. The herbs, spices and
fresh ingredients will make a difference in your culinary experience. Thai buffet lunch every Fridays and Saturdays. Time:
12:30 - 3 p.m. For information:
449-1234.
Seasons Special
Exotic Thai, sizzling tandoori, traditional Nepali and Italian encounter daily for lunch at the
Shambala Garden Cafe, Hotel
Shangri-la. Price: Rs.450 including a bottle of soft drink or
mineral water. For information:
441-2999.
Krishnarpan
The Nepali specialty restaurant
at Dwarika's Hotel offers fine
dining ceremonial cuisine. Four
to 16 course ceremonial
Marcopolo Travels and Qatar
Airways present enchanting
and affordable holidays. State-
of-the-art metropolis, sun kissed
beaches, bargain brand name
shopping, theme parks, fusion
cuisine and much more. Abrand
new package includes five-, six-
or seven-night trips to the
Sunway Lagoon, Genting Highlands, Penang and Kuala
Lumpur. Prices start from
Rs.45,500 per person. For information: 201-2345.
meal. Open for lunch and dinner. For information: 4479-
488.
Fusion Night
The Rox Bar welcomes everyone
to be a part of the Fusion Night.
The rhythmic and harmonic
beats of the eastern and the
western instruments—a treat for
the senses. Enjoy the sarangi
played by Bharat Nepali with a
well-blended mix of western
tunes played by The Cloud Walkers. Every Wednesday. Time: 6
p.m. onwards. For information:
449-1234.
Winter Splash
Want to sweat in the winter? Go
and experience Shahahshah's
indoor heated pool and relax in
the steam and sauna. Price:
Rs.350 per person. Exclusive ladies' day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Time: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Radisson Delicacy
Hotel Radisson features an array of stunning new BBQ combinations. BBQ Dinner every
Wednesday and Friday with
happy hours from 6-
8p.m. Also BBQ Lunch every
Saturday and Sunday with happy
hours from 12- 3p.m. Special offer: Drinks, buy one get one free.
Jukebox Experience
The jukebox experience with
Pooja Gurung and The Cloud
Walkers every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Rox Bar. For
information: 449-1234.
jjrjjmjj^;
• RESTAURANT
'gmmz-uu
"The T 'e for the
you ever had"
LAIANA RESTAURANT
Near Radisson Hotel, Lazimpat,
Kathmandu, Nepal
tel. 4413874
Parking facilities available
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
35
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Tel: 2052347, 2052349, Fax: 977-1-4224663.www.himspring.com.np,Email:himspring@water.infoclub.com.np
 ECONOMY
SHRINKING REMITTANCES
The flow of money from Nepalis abroad is drying up. It
could get worse.
BY INDRA ADHIKARI
With tourism down, industries weak and exports off,
remittance money sent
home by Nepali workers
abroad has been more than a silver lining: It has kept the economy afloat. Not
any more, according to figures from the
first three months of the current fiscal
year. Remittances from July to September last year decreased by more than 16
percent, in stark contrast to 80 percent
growth during the whole of the previous fiscal year. According to the Nepal
Rastra Bank, Rs.2 billion less came in
during those three months from last year.
The weak economy had come to depend on the remittances and had expected them to continue their sharp
growth. That doesn't look likely anymore. Economists point out to a multitude of factors that could have caused
the decrease.
The first is the weak U.S. dollar. The
low exchange rate has shrunk the rupee
value of remittances made in dollars and
many other currencies. At its peak, one
dollar sent home was worth almost
Rs.78. This fiscal year the rate has never
exceeded Rs.72 to the dollar. Analysts
say that workers have been holding their
earnings abroad rather than sending them
home, hoping that the rate will improve.
Recent events at home seem to have
affected remittances too. The Sept. 1
riots following the killing of 12
Nepalis in Iraq apparently slowed the
remittance rates. During the Dashain
and Tihar that followed, the flow also
decreased, a major surprise, as this is
normally a high point ofthe year. There
is a lot of concern that remittances during the post-holiday period, always
slow, will decline further.
If that happens, the poor will be the
most affected. Remittances drive the rural economy. Most of the money sent
home goes to the countryside, significantly improving the living standards
of the people. Jagannath Adhikari of
Martin Chautari, who has been studying remittances in the rural areas for the
last 10 years, says people in remote areas are the hardest hit by decreasing remittances. Many families in these villages have at least one family member
abroad and depend on the money they
earn for household expenditures.
Adhikari says that 60 to 70 percent of
the money earned abroad is spent by
rural families in Nepal to buy food. The
remainder goes into buying luxury
goods, educating children and in increasing the fixed assets of the family.
The districts of Kaski, Syangja,
Parbat, Lamjung, Gulmi and Baglung are
most affected, according to Adhikari, by
the decreasing remittances: Nearly half
ofthe the total inflow goes to these and a
few other surrounding districts in central and western Nepal. If the decline
continues, the people in these rural districts will face a major food crisis. The
families depend upon the remittances to
sustain themselves for at least half-a-year
because their farm produce can feed
them only for half the year.
Remittances through unofficial
channels, put at two to 20 times the officially documented flow, are also
down. Workers abroad use the hundi
system or send cash through people
coming back to Nepal on leave or after
termination of their contract, avoiding
tax and transaction charges but taking
the risk that the money will be discovered during security and customs
checks. Nepalis in India—a million or
so of them, about a quarter of all Nepalis
working abroad—often choose to send
cash with people heading home, because
the porous border makes the risk of discovery low.
These workers in India are unaffected by exchange rates ofthe U.S. dollar and have an easy way to get the money
home. But even then rural areas—from
where these workers mostly go—is seeing a drying up of money sent in.
"People going abroad from these areas
are reluctant to send their hard-earned
money, since they are hardest hit by the
Maoist insurgency," says Suman
Neupane, a senior manager at the Himalayan Bank. "After the family debt has
been cleared, most workers prefer to
keep the money safe with them." That's
also true for Nepalis working in countries like the United States, Japan, Germany and other European countries.
With no sign of peace at home and
the dollar still weak, the flow of money
could dry up further.  □
37
 NO LAUGHING MATTER
Puppy Love
A saucy bark in favor of our four-footed friends
BY KUNAL LAMA
Since mature female dogs come into heat at least twice
a year, it's very common to see miserable bundles of
fur padding about despairingly in the streets of
Kathmandu. My heart hurts every time I see a little
puppy, unkempt and injured, desperate for food and shelter.
It's not possible, however, to rescue all of them. But last August, I did rescue one.
I'd seen this pup running up and down my street for two
weeks, artfully dodging taxis, the kicks of shopkeepers and
the bites of bigger dogs. He had brown-yellow coat, black-
tipped furry ears and bushy tail, beautiful kohl-lined eyes, a
dark muzzle and long legs, the typical look of a Tibetan mastiff crossbred with a German shepherd. He somehow caught
my eye, so much so that every time I heard him yelp, I would
rush to the window to check if a vehicle had hit him or someone was being horrid to him. Then he started entering my
compound, aiming for the rubbish no doubt, but also to rest
and hide from the crazy and hurtful world outside. One day I
found him curled up in front of my door. He lay there quietly,
watching me with big eyes. He made no attempt to ingratiate
himself with me; neither did he try to run away. It was as if he
was offering friendship but, at the same time, would not hold
it against me if I did not respond. There was something noble
about him, a feeling reinforced when he allowed himself to
be collared and
leashed and, instead of
gulping the food
placed in front of him,
ate slowly and carefully. For reasons unknown, the Hindi
film song "Jimmy, aaja,
aaja" kept playing in
my head.
How was I to
know that within
days, regularly fed,
cleaned of fleas and
ticks and with plenty
of people fawning
over    him,   Jimmy
would turn into a cheeky, playful pup, full of vim and vigor?
In the few months he's been with me, he has chewed several
pairs of slippers and shoes, a chair, a couple of cushions, my
favorite pajamas, a scarf, an expensive pair of sunglasses, a
whole jar of Vaseline and a 1,000-rupee note. I've woken up in
the middle of the night only to tread on his excreted dinner,
spending several shivering minutes ridding myself of the mess
and smell. He drives me mad barking senselessly every time
the neighbors' dogs do. Perhaps I should be thankful he doesn't
howl like a Siberian husky or yodel like an African basenji! He
sleeps on my bed, the sofa and on the shower tray, and wakes
me up in the morning with a big slurp on my face, then immediately begins to nip my exposed extremities. Basically, he has
succeeded in taking over my flat and life.
Members of Canis familiaris, dogs as we know them, are
related to wolves, foxes and jackals. Humans have actively intervened in the evolution of man's best friend through the
most rudimentary form of genetic engineering, breeding to
accentuate instincts that were evident from their earliest encounters with us, creating 400 distinct breeds as need or desire arose. They have lived with us for over 12,000 years as
hunting companions, protectors, objects of scorn or adoration and as friends, giving rise to many an idiom reflecting this
complex and historic relationship. When something abysmally
destructs or is ruined, we say, "gone to the dogs", as in "Nepal
has gone to the dogs." Of course, one can then say of Nepalis
that they "lead a dog's life," a life of misery or of miserable
subservience. This happens when we "wake a sleeping dog,"
that is some person or influence that is for the present quiet
but, if aroused, will create a disturbance. Oh, hell, why didn't
anyone tell us this before October 4, 2002? It would've been
wiser if we had "let sleeping dogs lie," but now it's a bit too
late, I'm afraid. We can, however, look forward to the future,
albeit slightly tremulously, after the Maoists have been vanquished; the army
has withdrawn to
the barracks; fair
elections have been
held; parliamentary
democracy has
been restored; the
H principles—writ-
WL ten     AND      in-
W" ferred—of consti
tutional monarchy
have been actively
followed; and the
nine elephant calves
in the
country's only elephant breeding
center in the Royal Chitwan National Park have been named
so that their training program can commence immediately,
when, like "every dog has his day," we, too, will enjoy a time of
action, a period of power or influence. Then, "like a dog with
two tails," very pleased and delighted, we can, "like a dog's
dinner," strut about the country dressed or arranged in an ostentatiously smart or flashy manner. Unless, as fate will have
it, it "rains cats and dogs" on our parade. □
38
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 THE  WORLD'S  BEST  CLOTHS
QORMEUJL
Putalisadak, Kathmandu
Tel: 4412017, Fax. 977-1 -5539787
Email: dormeuil@wlink.com.np
 TELEVISION
Judges (from left) Jems
Pradhan,Sukmeet Gurung
and Nima Rumba
tjviqj ft!5
.*■
m
The Making of
a Superstar
Nepal 1 could be as big a
winner as the "Nepal
Star" finalists
BY BISWAS BARAL
Nepal's version of the widespread "Idol" TV talent
shows recently premiered
on Nepal 1. Ifthe format
does as well here as in other countries,
it will dominate its timeslot and generate huge advertising revenue. The prospects look good: Huge numbers of
people turned up for the show's audition.
Thousands lined outside the Bluestar
Hotel in Tripureshwore on the morning
of Jan. 9 to try out for "Nepal Star," a reality television show modeled on "Pop
Idol." That show, the forerunner in the
Idol franchise of television shows, premiered in Britain in 2001 and has re
mained on the top ofthe television charts
since. The show's format—it's a talent
show that focuses on the contestants and
judges as much as on the contest—has
caught the imagination of audiences
around the world. The U.S. version,
"American Idol," plays on local cable and
has a huge following; recently India got
its own show, "Indian Idol." Twenty
similar shows have been licensed worldwide. Now a Nepali program is trying
to emulate the success here. The Nepal
Star is an independent venture of Nepal
1.
The line of would-be stars started
early and lasted all day. Eventually the
line from Tripureshwore reached
Maitighar. That's a great start for the
singing competition, the first of its kind
on such a scale in Nepal. The show
premiered on Nepal 1 on Friday, Jan.
28 and will air from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday and from 7:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Even before "Nepal Star's" first show,
NTV was reportedly planning a similar competition of its own, "Nepal
Tara."
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 WANNA BE A STAR: The lines
outside the Bluestar Hotel
in Tripureshv|p#i\*.,**Aj=v
"Shows like these are here to stay,"
says Nina Sharma Mahalaya, corporate communication manager at
Nepal 1. The organizers say they decided to do the show because they
believe that many singers lack opportunities they richly deserve. Nepal
Star aims to give them just that: The
winner of the contest will be signed
on by the famous Indian producer-
director Mahesh Bhatt to sing in his
future films. The Nepal Star will also
get to release a music album,
through the label, Music.com.
Moreover, if the Nepal Star also has
screen appeal, Bhatt has promised the
winner a role in an upcoming movie.
Good fortune is likely to shine on
other contestants who perform well
too. Many top-ten finishers on the
U.S. and British shows have gotten
recording contracts.
With prospects like that, more than
4,000 people from the ages 16 to 35,
mostly 20-something men, auditioned
for the program. Initial auditions were
held in three cities, Kathmandu,
Biratnagar and Pokhara. At least 2,500
people turned up for the Kathmandu
auditions alone. Seventy percent of them
were students with little training in music, say the organizers. But there were
also many semi-professional participants, from bar singers to music fans,
seeking a career in music.
"The response ofthe people has been
overwhelming," says Mahalaya. "We had
to rejects hundreds of candidates because
we were not able to collect all the entries in the limited time we had." Out of
the 4,000-plus who auditioned, a team
of six judges, all trained music professionals, selected 57. An elite panel of
three judges, singers Jems Pradhan,
Sukmeet Gurung and Nima Rumba, selected 50 of these and judged the rest of
the contest. After several rounds, 10 finalists were selected.
Not all contestants came to the auditions with serious hopes of progress
ing to the higher rounds. "Some came
only to see our faces, to say that they
were our fans; others just dropped by to
say hello," says Pradhan. But there were
many serious contenders as well. According to Pradhan, the top ones were
clearly a cut above the rest. But even so,
after developing amiable relationships
with many ofthe contestants, thejudges
said the task of deciding who went on
and who went home was an unenviable
one. "We made some tough decisions,"
says Pradhan.
Those tough decisions were mostly
received well, but the contestants' disappointment gave way to anger in some
cases. A few contestants complained of
unfairness. Minor complaints not withstanding, Nepal 1 thinks that the project
will pay off. It has invested a lot in the
show, from production costs to the expense of grooming the participants and
housing them in Kathmandu. The
channel's hopes are high.
So are those ofthe 10 finalists, among
whom one will be selected as the Nepal
Star after 33 episodes. Twenty of those
episodes have already been filmed. At
the end of all the episodes, the Nepal
Star will be chosen based on the marks
ofthe three judges and a poll ofthe television audience.
According to Pradhan, the finalists
are all good. One among them will be
the next Nepali superstar. "The Nepal
Star will be a very talented person,
not just somebody randomly picked
out from the crowd," says
Pradhan.  □
41
 ADVERTISING
CASHING ON CATCHY TUNES
Radio and TV jingles are
catching on. Business
houses love the results, and
singers and composers, the
easy money
BY KUMUD NEPAL
Between Kamalpokhari and
Putalisadak, a narrow alley
branches off the main road.
Down the alley a curious
pink building houses Music Work, the
recording studio of popular pop singer
Jems Pradhan. Pradhan has huge mass
appeal as a recording artist, but he is also
a hit with advertisers: His baritone voice
is perfect for radio and TV jingles. The
demand for catchy ads is booming, and
Pradhan is riding high.
Pradhan is the man behind Closeup
Toothpaste's "Timi Closeup Kina
Gardainau" jingle and the very catchy
"Yo Ho Jagadamba" advertisement for
Jagadamba Cement. He has already won
two consecutive Crity Awards, most
recently for the Jagadamba jingle.
Pradhan is only a part of an increasingly big business. Jingles are the hot
new thing in advertising. In the west,
pop songs are replacing jingles in most
television and radio commercials, but for
50 years jingles were a mainstay of
American and European advertising. The
trend in catching on fast here: Advertisers now demand a catchy tune and
memorable lyrics as part of an ad campaign.
"The jingle boom can be closely
linked to the spate of radio and TV sta-
tions, particularly private FM and cable
channels," says Ranjit Acharya, the CEO
of Prisma Advertising Agency. Acharya
believes the increasing number of FM
stations make it easier for businesses to
reach out to their target group of customers in a particular age group or locality. Wth growing competition, advertising can make the difference between
success and failure in business.
Ravi Shrestha, former RJ and now
manager of Superstar Media and Recording Studio in Naxal, says jingles are catching on because businesses are becoming aware that they can't survive without embracing new forms of advertising. With cheap Chinese radios flooding in, jingles reach every corner ofthe
country. Jingles are more memorable
than print ads, especially when performed by well-known artists. "Everybody listens to music, so people's attention is invariably attracted by popular tunes," says Shrestha of Superstar.
"There is a huge difference between
merely saying, 'Buy our 55- grade cement,' and packaging a catchphrase with
trendy music."
Various researches in the United
States have shown that humans are 10
times more likely to remember a jingle
than an all-talking advertisement.
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 Jingles can leave such deep
impressions in the brain that
they may be permanently recorded in our long-term
memory. The famous advertisements in India like those
of the Close-up toothpaste
and Pepsi have been noteworthy for their catchy lyrics
and the hip music. In Australia too, jingles have made a
comeback, bucking the
worldwide trend. Advertisers are resorting to the hit
jingles from the past to sell
their products. A rendition of
the golden oldie, "C'mon
Aussie, C'mon," is the new
tune for a Cricket Australia
advertisement.
The jingles have been
around for a long time in
Nepal as well. Cigarettes and
alcohol advertisers were early
adopters and sustained the
initially small business until
the 1999 ban on radio and TV
adverts for those products. By
then, jingles had caught on.
Now even the government is
using jingles in its awareness
campaigns, including the rendition of "Sasuralima," a
popular folk tune, by Badri
Pangeni in an anti-smoking
campaign.
The Advertising Agency
of Nepal's Crity Awards
honor the best jingles and also
the best jingle maker. It's recognition of how important
they are to the industry. Revenue from jingles is second
only to that from newspaper
ads, say the agencies. Prisma
Advertising, for example, is
contracted by such popular
brands as Kodak, Coca Cola,
Samsung, Kawasaki,
Campino Candy and Hulas
Steel. Prisma charges anywhere between Rs.15,000 to
Rs.30,000 for each jingle. The
agency then hands over the
project to jingle makers. Big
studios like Music Work and
Superstar get a lot of the
work, but there are smaller
studios in business as well.
There are also in-house production teams in various organizations.
"The competition in the
field is good," says Sanjay
Shrestha, who composes and
makes jingles at Superstar
Media, "but at times unhealthy." He says that low
prices charged by some studios hurt the industry and
musicians. But Pradhan of
Music Works is not worried.
He says that the good jingle
makers will always find
work, as there is demand for
quality jingles.
"The growingjingle business is opening up new opportunities for many," says
Acharya of Prisma. "The
people with good voices
can easily get jobs at studios
these days." In the end, the
bottom line speaks louder
than anything else. "Jingles
have been boon for me,"
says Pradhan of Music
Work. "Today, I earn more
from jingles that I do from
singing."  □
ON NEWS STANDS
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Get 12 issues for the price of 10 (NRs. 500) including delivery
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FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
 S NAP S H OT S  BY DHRITI BHATTA
■■*   0)
0   CD
9- -Q
Fresh off the Stands
MANJUSHREE THAPA started out in 1992
with a travelogue, "Mustang Bhot in Fragments."
In 2001, she came out with the highly acclaimed
novel, "The Tutor of History." Thapa's latest book,
"Forget Kathmandu," hit the Nepali markets last
week. Starting with an account of the royal massacre and ending with a record of her trek into
Maoist-held territory in western Nepal, Thapa,
in her new book, looks at the ongoing political
crisis. "Unlike 'The Tutor of History' which was
work of fiction, I've heard the new book is a non-
fiction; it examines the situation in the country
directly," says Sanjeev Uprety, a lecturer of English at the TU. "I enjoyed the last book and am
{   looking forward to this one as well."
Local Audience
Musicians and singers often look abroad for
lucrative performance venues. Not always,
though. Last week PRAKASH OJHA, well-
known folk singer and comic, was singing,
his songs in the streets of Itahari. His audience was made up of the local children. "If
these kids didn't enjoy my songs, I wouldn't
have come so far," says Ojha. After a series of
hits like "Jauki Kyaho Ma Pani Gym Khana"
and "Bhatkai Dinchu Bhakrako Khor Pani,"
Ojha's latest number, "Eh Bau Bhat Khana
Aau," from the album "Chaleko Chalan" is
making waves on FM stations and TV channels. His album sales have crossed 20,000 in
just two months.
Two in One
DR. ARUN SAYAMI, one of the top
cardiologists in the country, is also a
well-known writer with six novels under his belt. Many of his poems have also
been recorded as songs. On Jan. 16, the
doctor received the National Citizen
Golden Honor Award from the People's
Forum Nepal for his contributions to
both the literary and medical fields. The
doctor thinks he's ideally suited to write.
"It's rather impossible for anyone to see
life, death and human emotions as clearly
as a doctor," says Dr. Sayami. "So it's easier
for me to write about what I've actually
felt and seen."
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
 JOBS
VACANCY
ANNOUNCEMENT
Pro Public, a leading civil society organization, calls (or candidatures to the following positions (or its Civil society Anti-corruption Project (CSACP).
Funded by the Enabling State Programme / DFID, the Project will be implemented in ten districts (Jhapa, Morang, Dhanusha, parsa, Chitwan, Kaski,
Rupandehi, Dang, Banke and Kailali District over a period of 3 years.lt Invites applications from energetic,self-driven and dynamic candidates to
be a part of this growing and high-spirited team of professionals. The dalits, ethnic, indigenous minorities and woman are encouraged to apply. All
positions are required frequent visits to the above mentioned districts.
TITLES   OF   THE   POSITIONS   WITH   REQUIRED   QUALIFICATIONS
Project coordinator-1 (Kathmandu)
Training Officer-1 (Kathmandu)
Responsibilities: coordination, managing project staff and
finances; overall management of project activities; maintaining
regular contact with local clubs and central level civil society
organizations; good analysis, negotiation, communication, leadership and advocacy skills.
Qualificatons: Postgraduate degree in social science or management with 7 years of professional work experience at national level
in planning, programming, implementation, management and
evaluation of anti- corruption and governance programs. The
candidate should be able to work in a multidisciplinary team.
Understand quickly the technical aspects of the project and should
be able to work under extreme pressure.
Responsibilities: Augment overall training related
activities; organize intensive training/public hearings on
anti-corruption for national/regional and local level for
various stakeholders; prepare training proposals and
implementation reports as and when required .
Qualifiications: Postgraduate degree in social science
or management with 5years of professional work
experience in designing training and implementing on
governance issues.
Communication & Publication Officer-1 (Kathmandu)
_                            -U-l-f               □                                                       / (                                       ,1        M        1             ,1't
Advocacy Officer-1 (Kathmandu)
nc&fjvii&iviiiiic&.   neueiie    iguuilo/  igcuuigo emu ctuic  iu guil
Nepali and English Bulletin; assist Project Coordinator to
prepare periodic implementation reports; prepare regular
press releases and notes of Project activities for appropriate
dissemination of information through the national media.
Qualifications: Postgraduate degree in media communication
with preferably 3 years of reporting skills in national level
media.
Responsibilities: Develop overall advocacy tools and organize
advocacy campaigns at different level; ensure working coordination among the project's experts, consultants and support staff;
coordinate the work of field project coordinators; submit regular
progress reports to the project coordinator.
Qualifications: Graduate degree in social science with 4 years of
work experience in advocacy campaign.
IT Manager-1 (Kathmandu)
Monitoring & Evaluation Officer-1 (Kathmandu)
Responsibilities: Conduct a system analysis on the
Responsibilities: Initiate overall monitoring and evaluation of
project released activities in consultation with the Project Coordinator; develop appropriate activity monitoring check lists of Project
activities and prepare periodic outcome reports.
Qua//Y/caf/o/7s:Postgraduate degree in social development
management or relevant with 4 years of work experience in
monitoring and evaluation.
computer Dasea management inTormation system; design
and maintain electronic archival system; initiate, design and
maintain CSACP website/homepage; maintain and supervise
the  Local Area Network (LAN) system in Pro Public.
Qualifications: Graduate degree in information technology
with 3 years of professional experience in the reputed
organization.
Admin/Accountant-1 (Kathmandu)
Communication/Publication Assistant-1 (Kathmandu)
Responsibilities: Develop project administration and accounting
system for project expenditure and income in line with project's
requirement; prepare regular statements of  account for submitting
to the donors.
Qualifications: Bachelor degree in BBA/BCoM/BBS with 3 years
of work experience.
Responsibilities: Assist Communication and Publication
Officer to Publication Officer to publish bulletin; prepare
regular press release and notes of project Coordinator
to organize advocacy campaign.
Qualifications: Bachelor degree in communication with
3 years of work experience in reporting.
Office Secretary-1 (Kathmandu)
Expressions of interest must be delivered to the
address below by February 11,2005 with an                             YXv1
application, updated CV and with a photo. Please                       1%a\.
mark the title of the Post you are applying for                             wfes^Ssy
clearly on the envelope. You should mention the
name of two referees. Only short listed                     The Executive Director
candidates will be notified for further tests. Any                      Pro  Public
form of canvassing, soliciting or influencing will                P.O. BOX 14307,
be treated as a disqualification; telephone                       Kathmandu   Nepal
enquiries will not be entertained.
Responsibilities: Assist in the overall project related information
system.
Qualifications: Bachelor degree in social science with 2 years of
secretarial work experience.
FEBRUARY 6 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
45
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FEBRUARY 6 2005 | NATIONWEEKLY
 KHULA MANCH
Winds of Change
In 2001 Sadhana Shrestha was appointed country
representative for Ashoka, an NGO whose aim is "to
develop the profession of social entrepreneurship
around the world." Ashoka Nepal is one of 53 branches
around the globe. Shrestha was selected from a pool of
40 candidates, after Eugene Watrin, the then
volunteer representative for Nepal,
passed away.Shrestha comes from a
business background: She headed the
family businesses, Sresco Woollen
Mills and Srijana Cotton Webbing Industry, for 16 years. It's no surprise that
this business entrepreneur was chosen
for the task of identifying social entrepreneurs whose causes were worth promoting. Ashoka wants to blend entrepreneurship with social work, and
Shrestha had experience in both: She is
a founder member of Tewa, a philanthropic organization. Dhriti Bhatta
talked to Shrestha about Ashoka Nepal
and its activities.
How do you define a
social entrepreneur?
Social entrepreneurs are individuals with
groundbreaking ideas. They recognize a
part of society that is stuck and find new
ways to get it unstuck. They relentlessly
persevere until they see the change they
want to bring. These are people who collaborate with others and mobilize them
to replicate their innovation.
Ashoka looks at many proposals
each year and funds the best ones.
Those behind the best projects are
selected as Ashoka fellows. What
exactly are you looking for in an
Ashoka fellow?
They are obviously social entrepreneurs.
But just any social entrepreneur cannot
be an Ashoka fellow. It's a rigorous process. The person must have an idea that
looks to change the system in any one of
six sectors: education, health, human
rights, environment, civic participation
and economic development. Candidates
can either file their candidacy themselves
or can be nominated by others. In Nepal,
about two fellows are selected from a
pool of seven or eight applicants each
year. They go through a rigorous three-
phase interview process; the second interview is conducted by our representatives in Washington.
Among these six sectors you
mentioned, which one sees the most
activity and which one the least?
Looking at all the proposals we receive,
Nepalis seem to have plenty of innovative ideas for promoting human rights
in the country But health and education,
such crucial sectors for our development,
get very few proposals.
It isn't easy to come
across people with
creativity, ethics and the
entrepreneurial qualities
There are more than 1500 Ashoka
fellows around the world. Nepal has had
33 in the last 17 years. Do you think
that is a small number?
The number might not be too large.
But I wouldn't consider it small for
a country such as Nepal. An Ashoka
fellow is considered "one entrepreneur in a million." It isn't easy to
come across many people who have
that sort of creativity and ethics and
also the entrepreneurial qualities all
bundled up into one. Even India with
its huge population only has about
200 fellows.
Might not the smaller number have to
do with your low-key approach. You
don't take the limelight too often ...
m*
Ashoka has always believed in remaining a low-key organization. Before 2001,
the late Eugene Watrin was the volunteer representative of Ashoka. But he also
had many other responsibilities—with
the Social Service Organization, Social
Action Volunteers and so on. I believe
he wasn't able to fully dedicate all his
time to Ashoka. Today, I work as a full-
time representative. So, I hope to significantly add to what Fr. Watrin established here.
So what is Ashoka doing these days?
I have always believed that Ashoka fellows need to work together in order to
multiply the effects of their efforts. At
present I am trying to bring them together and keep them in contact with
others around the globe. Last October a
few of them from Nepal met with 14
fellows from South Asia—India,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan—to
share ideas and explore possibilities for
collaboration.
You were involved with the social
organization Tewa. Are you a social
entrepreneur yourself?
Well, I wouldn't consider myself a social entrepreneur now. I don't think I
am doing anything big to bring changes
in the society. I think I had the qualities
of a social entrepreneur in me from the
very beginning, from my school and college days at St. Mary's and Loretto,
Darjeeling. Maybe not like the Ashoka
fellows whom we select. They bring
changes in the whole society, but I did
my best then to bring changes in my
school and college communities. Then
I got involved with Tewa for a while. I
guess that qualifies me as a social entrepreneur, before if not now. Q
48
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
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LAST PAGE
Ol
c
Goodbye and Thank You
THIS IS MY FORTY-SECOND EDI
torial for Nation Weekly and the
final one, I am afraid. Its been a
great ride for the past 10 months. The
reader's response has been tremendous;
that more than anything else has made
up for the hard work of starting up a
magazine. On more than one occasion, I
remember members of my young editorial team asking me, 'What keeps you
going week after week?" My answer was
simple: I want to see a new issue, all
spick and span, come out every Monday.
Our part-time copyeditor John Child
came up with the most fitting description
for the weekly—and frequently crazy—
news cycle: "The Sausage Factory" What
it means is this: Ifyou were to visit a sausage factory and see the mess there, you
probably would never ever touch sausage
again. But on your dinner plate, it looks
pretty yummy. Indeed, on many occasions,
the hangover and the smell ofthe "Sausage
Factory" was so strong that it carried well
beyond the weekend and would threaten
to spoil our news cycle the following week.
It was then John would come to the office
(he works from the sanity of his home in
Sanepa) and patiently explain to us that the
articles that week were not as bad as some
of us thought. Because we were so involved
in various stages of the articles' production, we failed to appreciate the result.
The sausage has been pretty good after all. Our hard work, handsomely reciprocated by the non-editorial support
team, began to pay off a couple of months
ago. Nation has made solid inroads in
the market; its circulation has shot up.
We have tried to live up to your high
expectations from the very beginning
(April 19). "You've set high standards to
start with," wrote a reader, Peter Neil,
about our 30-page first issue. "Best
wishes to keeping this up or, even better, improving it further." In the following weeks we added content, became a
full-feature 60-page newsmagazine and
made ourselves fairly visible in a
crowded media market. The trendy
getup and reasonably well-packaged
news and analyses found ready readers.
But our offbeat essays, opinion articles,
arts and society pieces and lifestyle sto
ries seem to have really touched the
hearts of our readers.
When I left the Kathmandu Post in
November 2004, I had little clue what I
would do next, but I felt it had better be
journalism. So when Ajay Ghimire, then
a venture capitalist, and Sunil Raj Shrestha,
who had done well for himself as the publisher of ECS, offered to start a magazine
under my stewardship, I took the bait,
somewhat reluctantly, though. Magazines
are not my forte. I had worked for the
Kathmandu Post daily for more than 10
years and trained myself at New York
University, again as a newspaperman.
Fortunately, I found the transition
fairly smooth and was blessed with excellent writers. Two of our staffers—
Tiku Gauchan and Sushma Joshi—gave
the magazine much-needed energy and
variety very early on. Both were voracious readers and well versed in the nuances ofthe English language. If Nation
Weekly looked different from other
newspapers and magazines from the
word go, it was thanks to this new brand
of writers and editors, and to our columnists. The current group of staffers
inherited that rich legacy and added value
to it.
Suman Pradhan and Jogendra Ghimire,
former staffers ofthe Kathmandu Post, were
reasonably well-known names, but
Swarnim Wagle was little known outside
Sajha.com, where Paschim (Wagle's nom
de plume) had a near-cult following. Then
we were lucky to get Samrat Upadhyay and
Sanjeev Uprety in our fold. Later, another
young writer, Aditya Adhikari added a lot of
value to our content. In recent months,
Kunal's "No Laughing Matter" has attracted
a new legion of readers—people who like
good writing but detest political fare, the
staple of our newspapers.
Thanks to all of you and thanks above all
to all the readers who wrote to me, both
those with the message of congratulations
and encouragement and also those who
found our content, indeed my own writing,
vanting. Goodbye.
_L
U>
«f
Akhilesh Upadhyay, Editor
50
FEBRUARY 6, 2005 | NATION WEEKLY
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