Monthly Archives: March 2010

Narayan Wagle comes up with Mayur Times!

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Mayur Times novel by narayan wagle Cover Image

Mayur Times is the name of , soon to be launched novel by Narayan Wagle

Palpasa Café writer comes up with his second novel- Mayur Times. Will be released on 10 April (28 Chaitra) in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal.

Narayan Wagle is the author of Mayur Times

Narayan Wagle

Journalist Narayan Wagle is all set to launch his eagerly awaited second book Mayur Times. Written in the backdrop of Nepal’s current conflict, Mayur Times revolves around Nepal’s transitional crisis, according nepa~laya, the publisher who also brought out Palpasa Café. Main protagonists of the novel- Parag and Lisara are both journalists and Mayur Times in the book is a fictional newspaper. It was not immediately clear if both of them work at the same newspaper.

“I know 5 years is a long time, but I wanted to be fully satisfied before coming out with the second book,” shared Narayan. “Nepal’s turmoil has made my second book more engaging.”

Narayan’s first book Palpasa Café was released in 2005 and is still considered as a best seller in Nepal. The book told the story of Nepali conflict through a painter and his US-returnee documentary filmmaker girlfriend- Drishya and Palpasa. Because of its elegant and simple language and modern outlook, the story captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of youngsters and book-lovers alike. For the urban Nepali youth who went to English-medium schools, Palpasa Café became the first Nepali language book that they read. Narayan’s Facebook Wall is filled with such readers and fans who thank him for writing the book and ask him when the next will arrive. Many were disheartened to learn the tragic demise of Palpasa. Many of those readers want Narayan to revive Palpasa’s character in the next book. Seems like that is not going to happen but it is certain that the book will be received warmly by the market. As the news about the book broke earlier today (and Narayan posted the link on his Wall) his ‘friends’ instantly reacted with happiness and eagerness to grab a copy as soon as the book hits the stores. “All the best for ‘Mayur Times’……. Eagerly waiting !!!” wrote one on the Wall. And a leftist politician wrote: “Thanks a lot! Keep write more. All the best!!” Another comment: “Wow gr8.Eager 2 read it..” Some expected the book to be as good (or better) as the first one: “Palpasa Cafe jastai hos, interesting.” Continue reading

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Struggling For Nepal’s True Sovereignty

India wanted to establish Nepal as a dependent state since it had ousted the British colonial regime. It did not want Nepal to have independent foreign relations. In 1975, the late King Birendra had proposed Nepal to be recognized internationally as a “zone of peace” which had received by 1990, support of 112 countries, including that of China and Pakistan. India remained silent on this count despite repeated proposals put forward by Nepal….The Maoists want to eliminate India from Nepal’s power and politics.

By Bishnu Pathak, PhD

Land-locked Nepal has always existed in giant India’s shadow. However, now that its people have tasted democracy, they want to shake off Indian influence and become masters of their own destiny. Nepal has long historic, strategic, geo-political, commercial and socio-cultural relations with India. There has been a protracted debate and discourse to continuously improve such relations. But history also shows that whenever Nepal is in its transition phases, its people encounter several problems at national and regional levels owing to the role of India. Nepalis living on the Nepal-India border have suffered in particular at the hands of Indian border security forces and criminal groups. In spite of such suffering, they have failed to attract the country’s attention as most governments and mainstream parties have turned a deaf ear to their problems, fearing reprisals from India. A principal reason behind such practices is that the Nepalese authorities seek personal/family/party/cadre benefits whenever they get an opportunity to meet the Indian establishment, pushing behind the crucial issues faced by the people.

In the course of agitation to restore civilian supremacy, the UCPN (Maoist) initiated an anti-Indian campaign torching the 1950 India-Nepal treaty, displaying black flags in front of senior government officials, protesting in front of the Indian Embassy, boycotting CA House on the issue of intrusion and holding mass assemblies at the alleged Indian-encroached border regions from January 5, 2010 for a month. On January 11, the UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, in a mass meeting at Mahendranagar, said, “I will fight for national independence and sovereignty till my last breath.” Continue reading

Ex-king Gyanendra says End Of Monarchy in the Republic of Nepal is a Hypothetical Question

ex king gyanendra interview
Suman Giri interviews ex-king Gyanendra (l). Pic via hamroblog. Nagarik newspaper has Nepali version of the interview. Also, read Republica’s coverage of the interview.

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Talking to Suman Giri of Avenues TV, a Kathmandu-based private network, for the first time since is ouster three years ago, in Janakpur where he went to worship Janaki, ex-king Gyanendra has strongly hinted that the monarchy could be revived in the federal democratic republic of Nepal. Here’s transcript of the interview:

Welcome. How do you feel about the turning point through which the country and people are passing through?

Whatever the people have aspired for is our desire. That is my desire too. Today the common man is feeling insecure, I feel. That is why I pray for peace in the country. I wish Nepali brothers and sisters and people get what they expect. There should be a space for all as soon as possible. The garland on with our forefathers had bonded this country together should not be torn apart.

In what situation the country is now?

I think it is better for you to ask the public and seek their response than me telling that.

Are you active in reviving monarchy? Continue reading

GP Koirala: An Incomplete Democrat

By Siddhartha Thapa

The demise of GPK will undoubtedly lead to a political realignment in Nepali politics. Girija Prasad Koirala was without a doubt the most influential politician in Nepal. What was truly unique about Koirala’s political strategy was his ability to fuse his belief in democracy and his Koirala legacy to further his political goals. Koirala operated as a democratic monopoly – he succeeded in portraying himself as the sole democratic crusader at the detriment of his own party and to those within and outside the party too. The most cogent portrayal of Koirala can be attributed to former Prime Minister Thapa’s observation. In 2004, I had asked Thapa why he persistently sought to ally with Koirala at the expense of UML and NC-D, and Thapa’s reply was telling of Koirala’s political capability – “no one in Nepali politics has the ability to embark on a political adventure”.

Koirala’s political resurrection came into being when King Gyanendra formally took over in 2005. His premiership much through the 90’s had been marred with corruption, nepotism and political interference in the bureaucracy and Nepal Police. A testament to Koirala’s unpopularity could be seen during the funeral of King Birendra – protestors not only chanted slogans against the prime minister but stoned the bulletproof Mercedes which Koirala was riding in – his aide de camp had to place a helmet on Koirala’s scalp to save the prime minister from incurring any injury. In a way, Koirala in his death emerged as this democratic messiah but whether or not his policies will be carried forward by his own party will determine his legacy.

B.P vs G.P Continue reading

Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit and Kathmandu in New York Times and Time

sunrise on poon hill

Sunrise on Poon Hill, with a view of 26,795-foot Dhaulagiri. Pic: Ethan-Todras Whitehill for NYT

By Dinesh Wagle

The New York Times and Time magazine are working closely, so to speak, to cover Nepal in the past couple of weeks. First came Jim Yardley, former Beijing bureau chief of the Times now posted in New Delhi, with an analysis titled “China Intensifies Tug of War With India on Nepal.” That was in mid-February. Two weeks later Jyoti Thottam, Time‘s woman in New Delhi, saw, from Delhi, Nepal “Caught Between China and India.” [Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king who unified Nepal some 250 years ago, had realized that long time back when he said, "नेपाल दुई ढुङ्गाबीचको तरुल हो । [Nepal is a yam between two boulders.]“

Both stories are worth reading but they are not something that we can cheer about. This week NYT and Time came out with two travel reports that are certainly helpful to promote Nepali travel and tourism industry. The Times publishes an excellent travelogue from Annapurna Circuit while Time highlights Kathmandu Valley as a weekend destination. I was particularly interested in the Times story, by Ethan Todras-Whitehill, because I have done parts of the Circuit- Ghandruk Ghorepani (which counts as separate route that passes via Poon Hill) and Nar Phu trek (that touches many parts of the Circuit including Dharapani and crosses via Kang-la Pass that is only a few meters shorter than Thorang-la). The main photo- brilliant- published alongside the story- people enjoying the view of Dhaulagiri range and the sunrise- reminded me of my own moment at Poon Hill three years ago. Continue reading

My Experience with Kings: Girija Prasad Koirala

Excerpted from Koirala’s address to a mass gathering organised by the Nepali Congress branch of Saptari on Dec. 27, 2002, collected in the book Simple Convictions

I am telling you something about the incumbent King [Gyanendra]. I am also sharing with you the nature of the four kings that I have experienced. I have been struggling with four generations of kings and have witnessed the vicissitudes over four generations. How does the person who has accumulated the experience of four generations perceive the King following the royal move on Oct. 4?

With the royal proclamation, the incumbent has robbed the people’s fundamental rights achieved through the historic Popular Movement of 1990. He has proclaimed to have acquired sovereignty and state authority, claiming he possesses divine power. He says he is the source of authority. We have called this King’s move regressive and we are agitating against it. From this mass gathering in Rajbiraj, I would like to tell the King – if you don’t correct the royal proclamation and immediately return the people’s rights to people; the result will be very grave, Your Majesty.

My experience with the attitudes of each king – the late kings Tribhuvan, Mahendra, Birendra and incumbent His Majesty – is different. Continue reading

A death in Nepal in the age of Twitter and Facebook (RIP #GPK)

Nepal’s top leader dies. Nepalis all over the world react hysterically on the Web.

This blog entry is a supplement to a news report that I wrote in today’s Kantipur titled: निधनको खवरले भरियो फेसबुक[Facebook filled with the news of the death (of GPK)]

By Dinesh Wagle

a death in nepal in the age of twitter and facebook
click here to enlarge ठूलो पारेर पढ्ने भए यहाँ क्लिके हुन्छ

When Girija Prasad Koirala was born in 1925 Nepal was a closed society under autocratic oligarchy and secluded from rest of the world. There were no Twitterers and Facebookers in Nepal.

After 86 years, Nepal is now a Federal Democratic Republic with a vibrant and open society that is so much connected to the world that the news of deteriorating health and death of Koirala spread all over the world in an instant via the Internet on Saturday (20 March).

Messages like “Rest in Peace, Girija Prasad Koirala” or its shorter form “RIP GPK” and similar messages in Nepali spread like wildfire all over the web via numerous tweets and Facebook statuses. Some of those messages might have appeared slightly before the iconic leader’s death and certainly a couple of hours ahead of the official announcement by the Nepali Congress party in Kathmandu. That, in a way, reflected the aam janata (common man’s) concern and interest in Koirala’s health and life in general. Koirala died at 12:11 Nepal Standard Time Saturday. Here’s a sample of conversations that took place on Facebook walls (Sanjivan Gautam is a Nepali scholar who is now in Germany): Continue reading

Girija Prasad Koirala 1925-2010

The leader has died.

May peace be upon him.

We mourn his death.

Long live democracy in Nepal.koirala, farewell

Girija Pradad Koirala, one of the great democratic leaders of Nepal, has died. Minister for Irrigation Bal Krishna Khand told mediapersons after Nepali Congress Central Working Committee meeting that 86-year-old Koirala passed away at 12.10 p.m. Saturday. His body will be kept at the Dasharath Stadium, Tripureshwor between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, one of the CWC leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba said, Republica reports. Until then, the body will be kept at his daughter and Deputy Prime Minister Sujata’s  residence at Mandikhatar where Koirala breathed his last. The last rites would be performed on Sunday, Khand added.

Albida Koirala

People pay their last respect to Koirala

The four-time prime minister who has long suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had fallen unconscious since early morning today (at around 5), according to doctors attending Koirala. Koirala had suffered from diarrhea on yesterday night which furthermore deteriorated the health of the veteran leader. “He has been further weakened though his condition had improved after treatment [at Shahid Gangalal Hospital] last week,” Sitaula said about Koirala’s health on Friday (yesterday).

Girija Prasad Koirala

[Also read: Importance of Being Girija Deepak Adhikari on Koirala four years ago.] Update (20/3): Koirala passes away.

girija prasad koirala

Girija Prasad Koirala is sick. We wish for his recovery. Pic by Narendra Shrestha

This man carries an envious history and record with him and he is sick these days. This time, it seems, seriously. Reports suggest Girija Prasad Koirala is fighting death and the main weapon this time is his willpower to live. A man with strong leadership and organizational skills, Koirala is not an immortal. Neither he is a flawless person. What he is, without any dispute, is the single most important personality in Nepali politics today who towers everyone else. He commands the moral and organizational authority that can make or break the politics. Call it a selfish demand but life of Girija Prasad Koirala is necessary for Neapli democracy today. Yes, we are no fans of Koirala but we believe so. He could be and is the strongest defender of democracy in Nepal. Continue reading

Message from Mumbai: plight of Nepali cancer patients

It is pathetic to see poor Nepalese cancer patients and their caretakers stationed at footpaths, dinning at hand cart and unable to attend natures call on time due to unavailable spots.

By Dr. Suryabahadur Singh

The Tata Cancer Hospital Mumbai (Tata Memorial Center) is one of the reputed medical centres for the treatment and research of Cancer in the world that serves people from all over the world. The hospital has produced a large chunk of trained oncologists, radiologists, and other Para-medical staffs. These medico specialists were trained from all major under developed and developing Asian countries including Nepal.

In the background of this, we will analyze the plight of Nepali Cancer patients in Mumbai. The plethora of problems starts with Nepalese patients those who cannot afford the costly treatment by categorizing them as foreign national patients at the hospital. The majority of sufferers are middle class and poor families, who hail from far flung areas with no support from the locally residing Nepalese in Mumbai or own resources. Continue reading