Monthly Archives: August 2008

No Need for Panic, India

One word can’t describe India’s unnecessary concern about Nepali prime minister’s Beijing visit. That’s the combination of hypocrisy, double standard, childishness and hegemony. When their Sonia and Rahul Gandhi can visit China and meet Chinese leaders, why can’t the Nepali prime minister do so?

Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s first foreign trip to China has set off a controversy (and it was created by no other than our southern neighbor India). Obviously, PM Dahal visited Beijing and met Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao before attending the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. And this visit has irritated New Delhi, a section of Indian politicians and the media who still see China through the 1962 Indo-China war. Nepal’s ambassador to India Durgesh Man Singh sought to allay anxieties in Delhi about PM Dahal’s five-day visit to China. He defended the trip by saying that Nepal’s ties with India were different, and that choosing China as the first foreign destination should not have raised anybody’s hackles. The first port of call for a new Nepali prime minister has customarily been Delhi. However, the break with tradition has stunned Delhi hawks as they fear that Chinese influence over Nepal would further corner India. Continue reading

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Paradigm Shift in Nepali Nationalism

Through out Nepal’s history, past regimes have tried to advocate for nationalism to balance diplomacy between China and India.

By Krishna Giri

Thanks to the CA members who have managed to appoint a Prime Minister after exhausting four months, 1/6th of the total time allocated to write the new constitution for new Nepal. They have not only wasted the most valuable time but also whacked over 3billion rupees for the salaries and services payments. One of the poorest people in the world has paid enough prices; money, lives, destruction; for the appointment of this new Prime Minister. Soon after his appointment, the PM was off to China to complete a disgrace tour started by de-facto minister Pradeep Nepal. Until now, every decision taken by CA assembly has waged serious questions about nationalism and patriotism. Taking the oath by VP in Hindi to costumes worn by new PM during official ceremony has rewarded unprecedented apprehensions about the paradigm shift in Nepal’s nationalism and patriotism. Equivocal nationalism demonstrated by VP and PM has unlocked doors to cease the state base nationalism and adopt ethnic and stateless nationalism. All will catch a clear picture once Upendra Yadav meets his Indian counterpart and possibly Indian PM in Madhesi attires. We are going to observe a historic inauguration of nationalism in new Nepal. Continue reading

Editors Announce New Papers in Nepal

The editors who recently resigned from Kantipur Publications have announced the new publishing company and two new newspapers.

The new company, the Nhu Republic Media, will bring out Nhu Nepal, Nepali daily, and the New Republic, English daily in about three months, said an SMS message sent out by one of the editors of a paper. Nhu is the Newari word that means new.

The editor of the Nepali daily will be Narayan Wagle who resigned from the editorship of Kantipur, Nepal’s largest daily, a few days ago. The editor of the English daily will be Ameet Dhakal who resigned from the Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s prominent English daily, a few days ago. Continue reading

Problem of Seniority in the Cabinet (and List of New Ministers)

…that led the UML to stay away from the oath taking ceremony. Only eight ministers were sworn-in yesterday as UML said they won’t join govt without 2nd ranking in the cabinet

The UML proposed that its senior leader Bam Dev Gautam be ranked in the second position after PM Dahal while the Maoists presented their senior leader and Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai for that slot.…a report by Ghanashyam Ojha

The three-party journey has landed in hot soup at the very outset, with a major partner–CPN (UML)–boycotting the swearing-in ceremony yesterday citing the ‘seniority order’ in the newly formed cabinet. With the UML’s decision to abstain from the function, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal administered the oath of office and secrecy to only eight ministers–four each from the Maoists and the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF)– at the President’s Office Friday evening. The Maoists are yet to finalize the names of five ministers. The UML decided to boycott the swearing-in at the last minute as it differed seriously with the Maoists over the issue of who should be the senior-most minister in the cabinet hierarchy after the PM. Continue reading

New Editors in Kantipur, Kathmandu Post and Nepal Magazine

Narayan Wagle and Prateek Pradhan, the original reporters of Kantipur and the Post respectively, who rose to the helm of the papers signaling the new era in Nepali journalism, call it a day

Outgoing editor Narayan Wagle (second from right) addresses reporters in the newsroom of Kantipur. The newly appointed editor Sudheer Sharma, first from right, and Hari Bahadur Thapa (third from right), the newly appoint news editor listened. Pic by Suraj Kunwar

Sudheer Sharma has been named the new editor of Kantipur daily following the resignation of Narayan Wagle, one of the most charismatic journalists of Nepal.

Akhilesh Upadhyay was named the editor of the Kathmandu Post following the resignation of Prateek Pradhan. Upadhyay is a former reporter of the Post who had left the paper some five years ago when Pradhan was elevated to the highest editorial position in the Post. Upadhyay also opened an English language weekly magazine called Nation that was ultimately closed because of economic problems. Continue reading

Maoist 'Revolutionary' is the Prime Minister of Nepal

In what will go on the pages of the history books as one of the most important days of Nepal, Maoist revolutionary (and leader of an outfit that was branded terrorist until two years ago) Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda) has been elected the Prime Minister of Nepal by a majority of votes in the Constituent Assembly this evening. Nepali Congress, second largest party in the assembly, was the opponent that filed separate candidacy. Sher Bahadur Dueba, senior Congress leader and three time prime minister, was defeated (he got 113 votes vs 464 of Dahal). Many other fringe parties supported the Maoist led alliance that included third largest CPN UML. Chairman of the CA in his capacity as the Speaker of the House of Representative announced the results a few seconds ago. Continue reading

Hopeless Hope for New Nepal

By Krishna Giri

Post Constituent Assembly election Nepal has witnessed a series of political dramas that only few people get to see in their lifetime. Some of these dramas are provocative, some are reprehensible, some are revolting and some are unpatriotic. The beauty is they all are happening in the name of democracy. I am fascinated by this term ‘Democracy’. ‘Prajatantra’, ‘Loktantra’, ‘Ganatantra’ etc etc. If we just go back to 60 years, we can find the following models of democracy in Nepal:

1. Shree 3 Rana’s Democracy (until 2007)
2. Shree 5 Tribhuwan’s Democracy (2007-15)
3. Nepali Congress’s Democracy (2015-17)
4. Shree 5 Mahendra’s Democracy (2017-36- in my view)
5. Shree 5 Birendra’s Democracy (2036-46)
6. NC/UML’s Democracy (2046-57)
7. Shree 5 Gynendra’s Democracy (2058-62)
8. SPAM’s New Domocracy, New Nepal & Loktantra (2063 onwards) Continue reading

One World, One Dream: Salute to the Olympic Spirit!

The Summer Games have begun in Beijing today in a spectacular fashion. This is one of those rare moments when the majority of the will be watching the same thing-on their TV sets- at the same time with, perhaps, the same emotions. The world is taking part in this grand ceremony of sportsmanship and celebration of humanity. Small or big, powerful or feeble, rich or poor, almost all people of the world are represented in the Games and everyone is so proud of that. It was one of those proud moments when I saw on TV the Nepali contingent marching inside the Birds Nest. Deepak Bista, the bearer of our flag, proudly led the Team Nepal on the world stage. That was quite a sight. One of my friends who was watching the opening ceremony in the Himalayan Java Coffee House in Thamel along with me screamed as he saw Deepak, our Taekwondo star, and the Team marching because he was so excited about the whole thing. Yes the medal tally will begin from tomorrow and ultimately the success of the participating country will be judged on the number of medals collected by their players but Olympics are not just able medals. President Hu Jintao of China is so right when he says this (at a luncheon with visiting heads of state earlier Friday): “The historic moment we have long awaited is arriving. The world has never needed mutual understanding, mutual toleration and mutual cooperation as much as it does today.”-by DW

Nepal’s Presidential Election: Victory of Anti-Maoist Forces

By Bishnu Pathak

The 100-day marathon of uncertainty after the April 10 Constituent Assembly (CA) election finally ended on July 21, 2008 when Dr. Ram Baran Yadav of the NC-UML-MJF alliance won the run-off with 306 (52%) out of the 590 ballots cast. The Maoists candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh was defeated with 282 (48%) votes. On July 19, none of the presidential candidates received the majority of votes, except the Vice President Paramananda Jha. Almost all national and international forces tried their best to support the formation of a new national consensus government, prioritizing the PM for the Maoists, the ceremonial role of President for the NC, and the chairmanship of the CA for the UML. Continue reading

New Nepal, New Thoughts

By Bhupendra Khanal

Efforts to form the first ever Maoist-led government in Nepal are going on. The new government will have many challenges going forward and they will have to work actively and aggressively. It is challenging but not impossible.

Here are my suggestions for the new Nepal Government.

1. Integration to Global Economy Free Trade Agreement with China, Japan and US to make the economy multi-lateral. This can be in-line with FTA with India. This should be accompanied with aggressive infrastructure building to get maximum benefit from these bilateral treaties and SAFTA.

2. Suitable Investment Climate Industrial Protection Act and Liberal Labor Regime to increase investor confidence. Indian Business houses in particular needs to be protected which are the most affected ones, as in todays world Indian Corporates are among the best governed and most aggressive ones. Entry of Companies like IBM, Accenture, GM, GE, Toyota, Infosys, Reliance, Bharti, ICICI etc can completely change the way companies function in Nepal. They will bring quality technology and huge volume of business, thus creating huge employment and great technological know-how. Continue reading