By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
[This article originally appeared on the Op-Ed page of the Kathmandu Post today. See it here as it appeared in the paper. Extended version of this story was published in Nepali in today’s Kantipur Koseli. See it here as it appeared in Koseli. Plus, here is my take on India’s Valentines culture in today’s Op-Ed of Kantipur.]
Bishnu Prasad Nepal does not work in one of those Indian call centres in Gurgaon that serve American customers, but every evening as the clock hits eight he gets ready for his duty for the next 12 hours. It’s been years since he drew the conclusion that he was born to guard a residential complex in south Delhi with two weapons: a cane and a whistle. As he patrols tapping his cane and blowing his whistle at midnight Bishnu occasionally thinks about the dream that he sees during the daytime. “I wish to make a small home,” said Bishnu who was on duty in a recent chilly night. “That’s it.” Continue reading
Ian Martin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal, addressed reporters at Reporters’ Club in Kathmandu today. Here is the Q and A, as provided by United Nations Mission in Nepal. Here is Ian’s last briefing to UNSC.
Rishi [Dhamala, the Chair of the Club], Thank you very much indeed for inviting me to come to the Reporters’ Club for one final time before I leave my present responsibilities. I want to thank you and the Reporters’ Club for the consistent interest that you have shown in the work of OHCHR and then in the work of UNMIN during my responsibilities for each of those. When I came to open the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in May 2005, defending freedom of expression, freedom of media was one of our priorities. And, as the terrible murder of Uma Singh reminds us, and many other threats to journalists, it’s still an extremely relevant agenda today, and OHCHR and many other colleagues in the United Nations will go on defending freedom of expression and freedom of media.
When people ask me if I am worried that Nepal may see a drift to some kind of authoritarianism, my answer is that the democratic spirit in Nepal is now too strongly alive for that to be a possibility even if some people wanted it. And, I have had the privilege to be in Nepal during Jana Andolan in 2006, and during the Constituent Assembly election, and I have no doubt that people of Nepal who had their say, who demanded peace and change on both those two occasions will insist that Nepal maintains a democratic country in which they have full freedom of expression. Continue reading