Category Archives: Announcements

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The Kathmandu Post interview: When blogs were Twitter and Facebook

UWB:

Dinesh Wagle interview with the Kathmandu Post

UWB founder Dinesh Wagle is interviewed by Kathmandu Post’s Weena Pun in today’s issue of the newspaper.

What is United We Blog?

It is a political blog—Nepal’s first—founded on my personal web domain in 2004. Initially it started as a forum to express private feelings and the daily grind lived by journalists and included stories by my friends Ujjwal Acharya and Deepak Adhikari and myself. Later, the site was hosted on blog.com.np and soon became the only uncensored source of political information in Nepal for a while in 2005.

Why did you decide to blog?

I was excited by the new medium of expression. In 2004, I had been a journalist with the mainstream media for seven years, and at that time, the new media was still very new in Nepal. Blogs were the ‘social media’ of that time. They provided additional and unlimited space for expressing ourselves, as opposed to limited print and air space of the old media. This ‘limitless’ space was the second reason for me to start a blog.

Originally posted on Wagle Street Journal:

The Kathmandu Post celebrates its (and Kantipur’s) 21st anniversary today by publishing a 16-page pullout on Nepal’s social media scene. The supplement, titled “Platforms of Change“, explores how Nepalis are using the Internet and its various platforms mainly to express themselves and to connect and share and debate. In the lead article ‘Teleprinter to Twitter’, Editor-in-Chief Akhilesh Upadhyay talks about the impact of technological changes (and a constitutional provision that guaranteed press freedom) in impressive expansion of Nepal’s media.

Dinesh Wagle interview with the Kathmandu Post
I was interviewed by the Post’s Weena Pun on my political blogging and journalism days.

Here’s the page as it appeared in the Post (PDF) and the following is the text:

When the then-king Gyanendra imposed his authoritarian rule in February 2005 and later clamped down on all private media outlets in Nepal, United We Blog became the go-to site for delivering uncensored political news. One of the two co-founders behind the blog, Dinesh Wagle, a former journalist with…

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Thabang: The village that didn’t vote; once hosted Maoist guerrillas

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on Wagle Street Journal:
A man in Thabang, Rolpa, face smeared with colored powder, celebrated Maghi festival. On the background is an anti-election slogan- “the one who asks for vote will get chot (hurt).” (यो लेखलाई नेपालीमा पढ्न…

Predicting the Future: Nepal Elections 2013

UWB:

Here we reblog Ushaft’s latest entry.

Originally posted on Ushaft's Blog:

More info (22nd Nov): Followups to this blog post can be seen here: How was the polling day? and Citizens’ Statement about Maoists’ walkout from vote counting. I have made some revisions about my prediction made on this post on the blog post written after polling closed across Nepal, and the results that are coming out right now confirm the general mood in Nepal I had described in one another post.


This is the third post in my election-update series. The first one is here, and the second one is here. The first post contains the definition of the Nepalese “echo chamber,” a theme which will be referred to throughout this series.


We discussed in the past blogs the reasons you need Ushaft’s election updates on Nepal and how the echo chamber you may easily fall victim to loves predicting the past. We’ll try to predict…

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Why do you need Ushaft’s election updates for Nepal?

UWB:

Ushaft says:

“I have repeated many times that the English language media circuit in Nepal is an echo chamber, consisting of a very narrow group of privileged and detached people who always agree with each other, often to imply that the Maoist war was the greatest achievement in the history of Nepal. As it is, relying on most of Nepal’s English language pundits can end up in very embarrassing situations for yourself. As was evident in one instance from last week, a very vocal “Nepal expert” English language writer was found criticizing a New York Times article because, according to her, the article was making fun of the Maoists in Nepal by calling them “Dashists” and “Cashists.” In fact, the Nepali language press and the streets of Nepal have long been using these terms coined by the Maoists themselves. In the past, the Maoists have made public remarks like calling the third largest party “an eunuch party,” and the echo chamber didn’t even produce as much as a whisper for this insult (or joke for them) that would be unacceptable in most of the civilized countries.”

“Take another example. We had an election for the constituency assembly in 2008 too. The run up to that election was full of violence, intimidation and countless other incidents that could have influenced the result in the end. However, election observers and foreign press, watching elections in the polling centers near the highways, and from the eyes of Nepal’s English language commentators, were unaware of all that was going around. In the end, a very violent polling campaign was termed as completely free and fair, even before polling had closed at all centers.

“Nepal’s politics and society is much complex than it seems. The English language press can make you believe in a very simplistic picture of good guys vs bad guys (with Nepal’s radical forces always being their good guys), but you will be left very ill informed with sources like these, which can be both ignorant about the issues and manipulative and driven by their vested interests at the same time. It is no surprise that many commentators, writers and columnists do not provide full disclosure in Nepal, often hiding their affiliations with interest groups, which however, are of common knowledge to many others inside Nepal.”

We agree with Ushaft. We will reblog him as soon as he comes up with informed analysis on the site.

Originally posted on Ushaft's Blog:

More info (22nd Nov): Followups to this blog post can be seen here: How was the polling day? and Citizens’ Statement about Maoists’ walkout from vote counting. After polling closed across Nepal, I have made some revisions about my prediction made in the initial posts of this series. The results that are coming out right now confirm the general mood in Nepal I had described in one another post and the vested interests and ignorance of the echo-chamber.


Starting today, I’ll cover some of the discussion from the Nepali social media circle related to the upcoming election. Because of the discussions being in Nepali, many outside observers will miss the real pulse of Nepal as we draw very close to the election. The aim of this blog-series is to narrow this gap and let everybody get a feel of how it is like here at present. Many such reports…

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Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Transitional [in] Justice in Nepal

As today is Blog Action Day 2013, and the theme this year is Human Rights, I thought it would be an appropriate time to write a piece about transitional justice in Nepal. All say Nepal is in political transition but none of them are clear how to end this transition. It seems political parties have not realized the gravity of human rights issues. The country which faced a decade long bloody war is yet to form an ‘independent and powerful’ Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Politicians and security forces, who were supposedly involved in war time crime, have been demanding blanket amnesty to all criminal cases. In this piece, I will focus on transitional justice and issue of disappearance in Nepal.

Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Nepal abolished the monarchy and become a federal democratic republic. In spite of the change in the political sphere, overall human rights situation in Nepal is yet to be improved. Political parties are far ahead in paying lip service to provide justice to victims. But they are reluctant to translate their words into action.

Communists waged war against the state when then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) openly declared that they do not follow parliamentarian system in 1996.

The ‘red revolution’ began with armed conflict, resulting in the death of more than 13,000 people in a decade — from 1996 to 2006. Besides, approximately 1,300 people were forcibly disappeared during a decade long armed conflict in this small Himalayan country. Continue reading

The O’Reilly Factor: सुवेदी प्रकरण र भाषा बहस

Jesse Watters and Bill O’Reilly: Scroll down to find the English text. We won’t laugh at your inability to read the Nepali text.

By शिरोमणी ढुङ्गाना/Siromani Dhungana

भाषा ज्ञानको अर्को नाम होईन । तर अपसोच नेपालमा विस्तारै भाषालाई नै ज्ञान र विद्याको अर्को नामको रुपमा लिन थालिएको छ । त्यो पनि अंग्रेजी भाषा । अंग्रेजी खर्रर्र बोल्न आउने जुनै पनि स्वाठ नेपाली समाजमा जान्ने व्यक्तिकोरुपमा स्थापित हुने र अंग्रेजी बोल्न नआउनेलाई पाखे वा ल्वादेकोरूपमा प्रस्तुत गरिने क्रम बढ्दो छ ।

भाषाको सामान्य उदेश्य सञ्चार स्थापित गर्नु हो । आलोचनात्मक सांस्कृतिक सिद्धान्तकारहरु भन्छन्ः कथित ठुलाबडाले सधैं संस्कृति निर्माण गर्छन र गरिबहरुको संस्कृतिलाई दमन गर्छन ।

यसको पछिल्लो सिकार भएका छन् एकजना सज्जन नेपाली – सुदर्शन सुवेदी । यूएनको महासभामा अतिथि भएर न्युयोर्क पुगेका सुवेदीलाई टहलीरहेका बेला अमेरिकी टीभी च्यानल फक्सको कार्यक्रम द ओरेल्लि फ्याक्टरका तर्फबाट जेस्सी वाटर्सले हठात र छिटोछिटो अमेरिकी अंग्रेजीमा केही प्रश्नहरु सोधे । सुवेदी अन्कनाए किनकी उनले भन्न खोजेका कुरा अंग्रेजीमा व्यक्त गर्न जानेनन् । तर भिडियोमा प्रष्ट देखिन्छ उनी जुन मुस्कानका साथ प्रस्तुत भए – त्यो उनको भद्रता थियो । Continue reading

७१६ जना = एक गैससः नतिजा खोई?

स्कूल हुँदा नै मैले पढेको हुँ, नेपाल मन्दिर नै मन्दिरको देश हो भनेर । ठूलो भएपछि थाह पाए, किन त्यसो भनिएको रहेछ भनेर । त्यतिबेला नेपाल हिन्दु राष्ट्र थियो, त्यसैले पो त्यसो भनिएको थियो कि ? पछि थाह पाए, यहाँ मन्दिर मात्रै रहेनछन, मस्जिद, गिर्जाघर, गुम्बा पनि रहेनछ । अलिक ठूलो भएपछि मैले अर्को कुरा पनि थाह पाए, मन्दिर भन्दा त धेरै नेपालमा गैरसरकारी संस्थाहरु नै पो छन कि ? त्यसो भए, नेपाललाई ‘गैससहरुको देश’ किन नभनिएको होला ? मैले आजसम्म थाह पाएको छैन । 

जनकराज सापकोटा 

गैसस र गैससकर्मी । यि दुवै शब्द नेपालीका निम्ती नौलो होईन । जसले सुकिलो कपडा लगाउछन, योजनाहरु कोर्छन, प्रतिवेदनहरु लेख्छन, बेला बेलामा छलफल नामका कार्यक्रमहरु चलाउछन । गाउँघरतिरको फोटो खिच्छन, भिडियो पनि खिच्छन र तिनलाई पनि प्रतिवेदनमा चढाउँछन । गैससहरुको नियमन गर्न बनेको समाजकल्याण परिषदको पछिल्लो तथ्यांक अनुसार देशका झण्डै वार्षिक २० अर्व रुपियाको बजेट यिनै गैससहरुले यस्तै काममा चलाउछन । विकासका नाममा, जागरणका नाममा अनि खाने तरिका सिकाउन, बाच्ने तरिका सिकाउन, हात धुने तरिका सिकाउन, शौचालय प्रयोग गर्ने तरिका सिकाउन र अरु धेरै कुरा सिकाउन गैससहरुले वार्षिक यतिका धेरै पैसा खर्चिन्छन । Continue reading

Chitlang revisited

UWB:

Interesting story and nice photos of a Nepali village.

Originally posted on Wagle Street Journal:

A farmer in Chitlang with his plough

A farmer in Chitlang on way to field with a plough on his shoulder

27/28 April: A hike up to Chitlang over the weekend. Passed through this village back in 5/6 May 2010 with Suraj on his motorbike.

The Maoists, still angry with President Yadav and Prime Minister Nepal almost a year after their exit from the government, had imposed an indefinite country-wide general strike with lofty aims of correcting the ‘regression’ and capturing Kathmandu (the Valley AND the Power Center). They had brought thousands of people in the Valley from different parts of Nepal (and, as we found out, Bihar). Some of these people, frustrated by the uncertainty that the ‘indefinite’ nature of the strike posed and mismanagement of the agitation program by the Maoist party, were fleeing Kathmandu. They were returning to their homes. They had to walk as long as two days because no vehicles were plying on roads. We followed some of those…

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Auditor General’s Report: a Mere Formality or an Effort to Maintain Accountability?

A brief look at Nepali peoples’ perception of the Office of the Auditor General and its annual reports.

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) can and should play the role of watchdog to control irregularities in the government entities. The OAG should make its auditing system more effective so that it can reveal all malpractices in the government agencies. It’s reports should be available widely and understandable by a layman.

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

The Office of the Auditor General in Nepal states is vision as the following:

“An Independent, efficient and effective audit institution to promote good governance.” Similarly, its mission is to “provide quality audit service to the nation for the efficient management of public resources.”

Efficient management of public resources, however, has always been in question. Effective implementation of the Auditor General’s report is a must for government accountability but that is not happening. The Auditor-General in Nepal is the auditor of more than four thousand public entities, including government departments, local authorities and their subsidiaries, security forces, licensing trusts, community boards and others. Recently, the OAG submitted its 50th annual report. The office claims that the report covers number of areas of audit concerns in the management of public funds. Continue reading

साझा बस र त्यसका कन्डक्टर*

UWB:

The revival of Sajha bus service is truly an encouraging step towards solving problems of mismanagement in the chaotic public transportation system in Kathmandu. Hope KMD succeeds in his mission.

Originally posted on Wagle Street Journal:

Sajha bus chairman Kanak Mani Dixit, standing, sees off chief secretary Lilamani Poudel who traveled in an inauguratory service.

सानो (माइक्रो) बस चढेर ठूलो साझा बसको फेरी थालिएको सेवाको गाडी चढेर उद्घाटन गर्न पुगेका मुख्य सचिव लिलामणी पौडेलसँग हात मिलाउदै बसका अध्यक्ष कनकमणी दीक्षित । तस्बिर राजेश केसी ।

उनन्सत्तरीमा सबैभन्दा जनपयोगी काम काठमान्डूमा बर्षको अन्तिम दिनमा भए जस्तो लाग्यो । शहरमा सार्वजनिक बस सेवा साझा यातायातको पुन थालियो । अहिलेलाइ १६ वटा बसले दुइवटा रूटमा सेवा दिने भनिएको छ । तर आशा गर्न सकिन्छ सेवाको विस्तार हुन्छ- शहरभरी, देशैभरी र विदेशसम्म पनि । सञ्चालकहरूले पनि त्यो सबै प्रतिज्ञा गरेका छन् । साझा यातायातको सेवा विस्तारबाट भन्दा ठूलो आशा मैले यो प्रयासले नेपालमा रही आएको नीजि यातायात सेवालाई ‘राम्रो हुन’ प्रेरणा र दवाव दिने छ भन्ने हो । एनसेलको आगमनले एनटीसीलाई कसरी प्रेरणा र सकारात्मक दवाव मिलेको छ भन्नेकुरा शहरमा हालै खुलेका एनटीसीका सेवा केन्द्रहरूले प्रष्ट्रयाउछन् ।

काठमान्डूमा सार्वजनिक यातायातको दुर्दशाको चित्रण/बर्णन गरी के साध्ये । निकै अगाडीको एउटा लेख र केही अगिको एउटा ब्लग इन्ट्रीमा मैले त्यो प्रयास गरिसकेकोले अहिले दोहोर्याउदिन । त्यो…

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