Monthly Archives: October 2007

Role Hungry United Nations Mission in Nepal

Role-hungry statements from the UN will only complicate matters. An excerpt from an article published in the Kathmandu Post:

If two of the capital’s most notorious gangsters- Milan Gurung alias Chakre Milan, and Rajib Gurung aka Dipak Manange, both of who are in prison now- were to form a political party, continue with their criminal activities and then say that they would talk with the government only under UN supervision, would the UN jump in?

By Damakanta Jaishi

Have a look at the UN’s official news portal. On Oct 23, it carried excerpts from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report to the United Nations Security Council: “The past year saw unity among eight key Nepalese parties tested by their failure to carry out agreements, including those covering responsibilities toward cantoned Maoist personnel and the return of properties seized during the 10-year conflict.” Secretary-General recommends a review of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and its implementation. “The shortcomings and enduring strengths of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement need to be assessed in order to build on its achievements,” he writes. Continue reading

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“Maoists Killed Journalist Birendra Sah”: Source to Kathmandu Post

[Update: Nepali journalists are organizing a protest rally in Kathmandu now (10:30 AM) to raise the issue of Biredra Sah abduction.]

family of journalist birendra sah

Umarawati Devi Sah, wife of missing journalist Birendra Sah, with son Bibek and daughter Bidhya wears a weary look at a meeting with a Kantipur journalist at a guest house in Kathmandu on Monday. Umarawati arrived in Kathmandu seeking help to trace the whereabouts of her husband who was abducted nearly a month ago. Pic by Narendra Shrestha via the Kathmandu Post.

According to a news report published in today’s edition of the Kathmandu Post, the Maoists have already killed journalist Birendra Sah. “The Maoists shot Sah dead the day after he was abducted,” told an unidentified source to the Post. The source, whose identity withheld by the Post “for obvious reason” said Maoist cadres Ram Ekwal Sahani and Kundan Faujdar approached Sah and his journalist colleague Ram Dev Das, who is the FNJ district member in Pipraha market of Bara on October 4. Continue reading

Political Memo: Leaders Still Bargaining

Even as the crucial meeting of the special session of the house is hours away, the leaders of the ruling alliance and the Maoist are failing to break the political deadlock that’s marring the politics of the country n the past several weeks. A meeting of the top leaders of the seven-party alliance (which includes the Maoists) today ended without any solid conclusion. Nepali Congress and its president Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala are firm on their stand that is against the Maoist motions of seeking a fully proportional representation system of voting for the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections and an immediate declaration of a republic. Today’s Kantipur has reported that the Maoists are softening their stand: going for mentioning the word republic in the constitution and agreeing to make the First Past Post voting method of the mixed electoral system more proportional. NC has shown its willingness to agree on this second option where as the fate of the first option still remains to be decided. Continue reading

So the General Rules Out Coup. Good!

Any coup in Nepal would be not only suicidal for the coup-supporting high ranking officials of the Army but also against the Nepali peoples’ verdict.

Today’s copy of the Kathmandu Post, at my desk, welcomed me as I returned from a six-day long trek in the Helambu region of Nepal. A single column, front page piece titled “Army chief rules out coup” caught my attention rather than the six-column wide, double-decker headlined main news of the Post. The trip was superb, though I didn’t see many syau jasta gala bhayeki soltinis and Apple in the Helambu which I had expected to see in the region but I must confess the news item made my day. If General Katawal really meant (he has no other option really) what he said, then I appreciate his statement. Such an act would be not only suicidal for the coup-supporting high ranking officials of the Army but also against the Nepali peoples’ verdict. That wouldn’t last long too. The people of Nepal are much more aware, politically and socially, than they were a decade ago. They don’t want others to take care of their affairs; they want to do that themselves. If the situation demands, they are ready to state another April Revolution. Yes, the Maoists are brat. That’s almost proved. But that doesn’t mean the democracy should be a casualty of their foolishness. The main news of the past is bleak (Dashain blessings fail to break political impasse) but I hope the situation will improve in the coming days. I know not all people like these leaders with an open heart but my view is that there is no other option than having complete faith on the political leadership and political parties. The Post news on General’s remark: Continue reading

Ch..Ch..Hui!!! Play the Ping this Dashain your Way (plus worshipping cars the Nepali way)

play the ping in this dashain

As seen in Sinamangal, Kathmandu on Thursday 18 October 2007. Pics by Suraj Kunwar Continue reading

Non Resident Nepali and Double Standards

The election has been avoided and Dr. Mahato is allowed to continue as the chair of the Non Resident Nepali (NRN) movement despite his apparent unwillingness. This clearly indicates that NRN, which boasts of Kul Chandra Gautam and Prof. Surya Subedi as advisors, is no different from a political party where a personality dominates the organization.

By Paribartan
The writer is a NRN based in Japan

With ongoing 3rd Global conference, Non Resident Nepalis have decided to elect Dr. Upendra Mahato once again as president of International Coordination Council of NRN network. Though Dr. Mahato has shown his unwillingness to continue, reportedly there was unanimity in avoiding election and thus a request to Dr. Mahato to continue was made. This clearly indicates that NRN is dominated by personality of Dr. Mahato rather than the agendas that it’s pushing forward. In addition, it clearly shows that without Dr. Mahato, NRN movement can crumble and fetter away. Definitely, this is not a good sign for a fledgling organization which aspires to lay foundation for New Nepal and to cater to the needs of millions of Nepalis abroad. Therefore, it is a need of the hour for everyone to think deeply and work for real institutionalization of NRN movement.

Ever since its inception, NRN has been preoccupied with its expansion and setting up new committees worldwide. Many have aligned with this movement on flimsy grounds. As NRN status would easily bring so called name and fame, many have tried to occupy stage here as they would get a chance to brush their shoulders with Dr. Upendra Mahato. At the same time, there are many business-minded Nepalis who feel that by aligning with NRN network they could enter into some partnerships and business joint ventures. All hopes of these people, therefore, rests on presence of Dr. Mahato and hotshots like him. Bunch of NRNs who have been able to emerge as ad-hoc committee members or 1st committee members in different countries invariably want Dr. Mahato to continue. And to show their good works, these people are traveling helter-skelter to be present with Dr. Mahato in every meet and every convention. Cozying up with Dr. Mahato, a Madhesi, is now a preoccupation with many Pahadi intellectuals and business tycoons. Dr. Mahato and NRN is a prime example of how money can change the attitude of the Pahadias towards a Madheshi. Continue reading

To Celebrate Dashain, Leaders Postpone House Session

With the political deadlock and differences still into their pockets, political parties decide to postpone the special House session for abut two weeks to celebrate the festival of Dashain. The alliance of seven parties (Maoist included) today asked Speaker Subhas Chandra Nemwang to adjourn the session, called by the Maoists to decide on voting method in CA and fate of monarchy, till October 28. The session was delayed for two days and was expected to resume at 11:00 am today. Nepali Congress and Maoists are in opposing ends on both issues while UML is trying to mediate. Meanwhile, parties haven’t set the new date for the CA polls. (Click here if you want to read more on this development.)

No Deal With Maobadi but A Deal With Badi

Badi women, who are traditionally involved in prostitution, have reached a deal with the government

So what if Nepali Congress and Maobadis (Maoists) are unable to reach deal over the voting method in the CA elections, the government yesterday signed a two-point agreement with the agitating Badis. Both the sides agreed to form a taskforce to study the entire problems of Badi community including their identity, rehabilitation, population, education, and alternative employment, among others, and recommend solutions. Both the talks teams agreed to solve the Badi community’s problems through the government based on recommendations made by the taskforce. Badi women, who are traditionally involved in prostitution due to economic as well as social backwardness and ostracism, had been protesting in the capital for the last few months demanding proper rehabilitation, an alternative respectable occupation and education, among other facilities from the government. Continue reading

Maoists Suspected of Corruption in Managing PLA Fund

Government says no more funding for disqualified, absentee Maoist soldiers (PLA members). After failing to furnish details on the expenditure, Maoist leaders have put pressure on the government to convert the amount into grant so that it will not be binding on them to audit the amount.

By Yuvraj Acharya ,the Kathmandu Post

The government has cut the ration for absentee Maoist combatants in UN-monitored cantonments now and has decided to deny monthly allowance to those disqualified during the UN verification. The decision was taken last week when the government released Rs 244.1 million as three-month allowance for combatants. “We have already written to the Maoists that we will not provide ration and monthly allowance to combatants who are not in the cantonments and have failed the UN’s verification,” said Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel. According to a government source, the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has submitted final verification report on four of the seven main cantonments where the number of disqualified and absentees is about 39.7 percent of the total 15,948. Continue reading

Festivals of Dashain and South Asian Films

Happy Dashain to all. Here is today’s account from my South Asian Film Festival Diary: I was deeply saddened by watching a film that detailed the horrifying accounts of a Nepali journalist who was arrested by the (Royal) Nepali Army in 2004, locked up in a dark hell called Bhairabnath Battalion and tortured by mad, senseless and brainwashed soldiers.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

still from forgive! forget not

One documentary film after another- the marathon film watching. The Dashain, biggest festival of Nepali people, began yesterday while I was engrossed in watching non-fiction films and writing about the event in my newspaper. Hundreds of people in Kathmandu have been experiencing various aspects of the life and time of South Asia through the non-fiction films that are being screened at Kumari Cinema since Thursday. You probably guessed it right: I am talking about the South Asian film festival- Film South Asia- that is organized in the Nepali capital at this time in every two year. (Here is an account of the first day.) Today I watched films about the lives of girls working in an Indian call center (Outsourced), the saga of moustache in Bengali society (Moustaches Unlimited), the mast atmosphere (love, tolerance and ecstasy) in a Pakistani society with Sufi culture (Mast Qalandar). I enjoyed Outsourced very much as I am interested in the cultural aspects of BPO but I didn’t find anything new in the film because many things are already told in a Discovery Times documentary by Thomas Friedman who also wrote The World is Flat. The book also provides vivid account of BPO life and much more. The moustache thing was hilarious as I myself sport junga dari (moustache and beard). Continue reading