It’s not unusual in this kind of terrain to run over big mountains for a small opportunity of a job. Dreams carry people anywhere. If one desire is not fulfilled, another emerges.
By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
ब्लगमान्डू : तन्नेरी जुम्लीको पढाउने रहर
Lal Bahadur Dangi in the same school in Chautha where he hopes to get appointed as a teacher
Recently, while climbing the Danphe hill above Jumla bazaar one sunny morning, I met a young man clad in the jersey of Brazilian football team and blue jeans that was folded up to the knees. Record holder high altitude marathon runner Hari Bahadur Rokaya of Jumla, who was accompanying me up to the hill, and the Palpasa Cafe t-shirt that I was wearing immediately brought me closer to Lal Bahadur Dangi. Since our destination for the evening was the same remote village called Chautha that belonged to the Bumramadi Chaur VDC of Jumla. My plan was to head for Rara Lake the next day while Lal Bahadur was hiking for a ‘special purpose’ around which this article revolves.
The one and the only primary school in Chautha, that was run by the government had a vacancy for a teacher and this 23-year-old was hiking to try his luck for the post. Himself a teacher at Kanika Nisha English School in Jumla Bazaar, Lal Bahadur was visiting the remote place just for the heck of it. “I don’t mind working in a primary school,” said Lal Bahadur who holds the license to teach at lower secondary level and is waiting for his B Ed third year exam results”. If I get the job, I can compete internally to teach at secondary level as soon as I pass B Ed. That’s equivalent to a Section Officer. Nothing like that happens in a private school.” He was confident of getting the job if the selection was done in a transparent manner. He added: “If not, boarding jindabaad!” Continue reading
Images and ‘soundbites’ from the book signing program that we saw rarely in Nepali book world. Star of the moment was Narayan Wagle, awardwinning writer of debut novel Palpasa Cafe.
By Dinesh Wagle
As he reached the stall of Educational Book House in the Book Fair at Bhrikutimandap immediately after landing at Kathmandu airport from a week long trip to Finland and Russia, journalist/writer Narayan Wagle was surrounded by a group of fans. Everyone in the crowd had a copy of Wagle’s award winning debut novel Palpasa Café and they wanted the writer to sign the book. They also wanted to share their views of the book with the fiction writer.
Many of the readers present in the Palpasa Café signing ceremony were young and girls. For many of them, Palpasa Café was the first Nepali book (other than those included in school and university course) that they had read. “Oh…there are so many English books that I have read,” Mona Sherpa, who received Narayan Wagle’s autograph in her copy of Palpasa Café, said. “It’s impossible to name all of them now. But this is the first Nepali book I have read and I like it very much.” Continue reading
Mike Bailey, a retired US army colonel addresses a video conference from Washington DC organized by the American Center in Kathmandu. Pic by Sudhir Mahat via US Embassy.
By Dinesh Wagle
After the historic May 18 Parliamentary Declaration, the process of brining the military under the civilian control has started (though shockingly very slowly). The declaration stripped king off the post of Supreme Commander of the Royal Nepal Army and changed the name of the organization to Nepal Army. Plain and simple. But apart from the cosmetic one, there has no any substantial change taken place in the Nepal Army since the declaration. At least we don’t know what’s going on in that front. We are seeing Pyar Jung Thapa, the Chief of the Army Staff, hanging around in the Kathmandu International Airport and we just saw the chief of the Bhairabnath Battalian Rajendra Jung Kharti telling the court in writing that the battalion had never arrested nor detained Chetnath Dhungana. (Read what United Nations OHCHR had to say about the Battalion in their investigation report made public last month: Part 1 and Part 2). People believe that without firing a few dozen generals who are loyal to the tyrannical force in the country, the process of reforming the army will not get momentum. Continue reading
A personal encounter with Nepal’s Maoist rebels is a ‘show’ of force in more ways than one.
By Kevin Sites
Pics and captions by Dinesh Wagle
Even if you don’t have a gun, act like you have one! That’s what this guerilla girl was doing in a parade organized on the play ground of a primary school in Kailali last week. Because of the free environment created after the ceasefire, many of the Maoist armed guerilla have gone on leave to see their families and friends in their homes. I saw several groups of unarmed guerilla in civil uniform with their backpacks. They were returning home. The far west division commander told that armed guerilla were decentralized after the ceasefire. “But we can’t go very far from each other,” he said. “Maximum three hours of walking distance.”
CHAINPUR, Nepal- They are just flashes of green as we drive past them: members of the Royal Nepalese Army in their jungle camouflage, out for their morning run. “Those are the ones we are fighting,” says one of the men in our spotless gold Land Cruiser. The others laugh. Continue reading
American war correspondent Kevin Sites points his camera toward an armed Maoist guerilla girl in Kailali, far west Nepal, this week. Pic by Wagle
By Dinesh Wagle
A soldier heading for the war zone would carry a loaded rifle along with a bandolier of bullets. What about a journalist who is going to cover that war? Pen and a notebook. A still camera if he is a photo journalist. Video camera for a TV reporter. If that journalist is Kevin Sites then he would carry a pen and a notebook in a small pouch, a still camera in one hand, a digital video camera in another and a backpack containing a powerful laptop computer on one side, Thuraya Satellite phone on the other, a backup digital video camera in between, a satellite modem in a pocket to transfer photos and videos to California from anywhere in the world. Plus, a palmtop mobile phone on a shirt pocket. Welcome to the new world of reporting where a correspondent leads a One Man Band to do audio, visual, text and photo journalism at the same time using high-tech gadgets. Kevin Sites is a renowned American reporter of contemporary world war journalism and is currently observing the effects of war on the streets of Kathmandu. Continue reading
Walking with Maoist folks who, after being released by authorities, were taking out rally and chanting slogans on the main street of the town.
Bijaya Kuwar aka Comrade Sapana, 15, wants to continue her sixth grade study. “But,” she said while chanting slogan in a rally organized immediately after her release from 3-month-loing imprisonment this afternoon. “I don’t know what my friends [in the party] will say me to do.” In the photos below, she is seen passing contact information to one of her friends who wanted to be in touch with her in future. All pics by Wagle
By Dinesh Wagle in Dhangadi (west Nepal)
“Which name do you want?” was her unexpected reply when I asked her the most frequent question that reporters ask the people on the street. And, without giving me a second to think about the possible answer, she provided me two options. “Name in the party or home?” And she shouted “Jindabad” before I could demand both of her names. She was not only talking to me but also participating in a rally. She was responding to a slogan that one of her comrades was chanting on the main street of Dhangadi, Kailali. “Ne Ka Pa Maobadi,” her comrade was saying. [CPN Maoist- Jindabad. Up with the party!] Continue reading
In front of Singha Durbar: Nepali people are constantly pressurizing to their leaders who have assumed the responsibility of fulfilling their aspirations. Pics by Wagle
The best thing about democracy is that it lets people have their say. Another hallmark is that the folks at the government can’t stop people from raising their voices. Here is an example. Protests right in front of the gate of Singha Durbar yesterday and today signal the arrival of free days. In the days of autocracy of king Gyanendra, the government declared many places of Kathmandu restricted for public demonstrations. No one could have even imagined of protesting freely at the west gate of Singha Durbar like hundreds of protesters did yesterday and this afternoon. This right to protest really makes difference.
These are the people who fought for freedom and now they are warning their own government to work for people. They were carrying placards that said not to promote corrupt politicians, not to forget the agendas of the Jana Andolaan (Peoples’ Movement). And of course, they were saying that all they want is to see Nepal without monarchy. Here are a few images from today’s gathering in front of Singha Durbar.
Changing the National Anthem (that sings the song of the kings) and renaming His Majesty’s Government to the Government of Nepal might seem like cosmetic changes. But these proposed changes symbolize Nepali peoples’ deep hatred to Monarchy. An article in Nepali:
वाग्ले स्ट्रिट जर्नल
संसदको पुनस्थापनासँगै देखिएको हर्सोल्लासले देशमा प्रजातन्त्र पुनर्वहाली भएको भान दिएपनि वास्तविकता त्यो होइन । देशमा प्रजातन्त्र, खासगरी पूर्ण प्रजातन्त्र, आएको छैन । सकारात्मक पक्ष, यो यथार्थलाई सडकमा रहेर निरन्तर नेताहरुलाई खवरदारी गरिरहेका जनताले बुझेका छन् । प्रधानमन्त्री भएका गिरिजाप्रसाद कोइरालाले पनि लामो समयदेखि तर्क गर्दै आएका हुन् संसदको पुनस्थापना नै आन्दोलनको अन्तिम विन्दु होइन, बरु पूर्ण प्रजातन्त्रका लागि प्रस्थान विन्दु हो । त्यसैअनुरुप कोइरालाले संसदको पहिलो ऐतिहासिक बैठकमा नयाँ संविधान निर्माणका लागि संविधानसभामा जाने प्रस्ताव गरेका छन् । यो ठूलो मुद्धा हो र यसले धेरैको ध्यान खिचेंको छ । तर मलाई अचम्म लागेको कुरा चाहीँ सानातिना जस्ता देखिने कुराले हामीहरुलाई कति प्रभावित पारेको रहेछ भन्ने हो । कान्तिपुर दैनिकको ‘पाठक मन्च’ (जसलाई यसपालीको नयाँ बर्षदेखि झन्डै एक पेज स्थान दिइएको छ र सम्पादक नारायण वाग्लेका अनुसार पत्रपठाउने पाठकहरुको संख्या यति बढेको छ, सयौंले स्थानै पाउदैनन्।) मा देखिने जनधारणा, सडकहरुमा सुनिने आवाजमा एउटा वडो रमाइलो मतैक्यता पाइन्छ । कुन विषयमा त्यस्तो मतैक्यता ? दरवार र राजाप्रति रोस पोख्ने र राजतन्त्रलाई तिरस्कृत गर्ने कुरामा । Continue reading
After spending three weeks in the United States, blogger Dinesh Wagle is back in action on the politically sensitive streets of Kathmandu.
If you go by the opinions on the street, you will conclude that everyone wants to see a Democratic Republic of Nepal. Yes, Bikash Sherpa included. All pics by Wagle
Who is this boy? What is he doing? Where? When? Now the answers of all those questions: His name is Bikash Sherpa, 19. The IA first year student at Public Youth Campus, Kathmandu, works as a Noodles sales agent to earn his living. I found him today among the jubilant crowd of pro-democracy Nepalese celebrating the restoration of parliament in Kathmandu’s open air theater (popularly known as Khula Manch). I could understand he was in hurry; he had to go to work. But he couldn’t leave the venue where artists including Nanda Krishna Joshi and Rubin Gandarva were singing the songs and poems of democracy demonizing king Gyanendra. Continue reading
Nepal coverage in US media is encouraging
By Dinesh Wagle, New York
Wagle Street Journal, American Edition
Manish Swarup/Associated Press via The New York Times
Head of the wonderful American family that is hosting me in this alien land of New Jersey, half an hour drive from downtown New York City, was pleasantly surprised by what he saw on the front page of the New York Times. A big photo, actually four columns, with a boldfaced line under it: “Conciliatory Gesture by King of Nepal Does Little to Halt Violence.” Just below that line goes on the main body of the caption that explains the horrific photo to hundreds of thousands of Americans. “Police officers used clubs to break up an antimonarchy demonstration yesterday in Katmandu (Kathmandu as we spell). King Gyanendra said later that he would turn over power to a prime minister chosen by the political parties, but his statement seemed to bring little relief in the national crisis.” Then the Times wanted its readers to turn to Page A6 where there was yet another four-column photo with a six-column news story. The caption of the black and white photo read: “A photograph of King Gyanendra landed in a ditch yesterday with other items tossed there by demonstrators in Katmandu, the Nepalese capital”. The front page color photograph is credited to Manish Swarup/Associated Press where as the second one is clicked by Tomas van Houtryve for The New York Times. “It’s rare that I see Nepal on the front page of the Times,” my host said. (As I am writing this blog, I can see another report on Nepal is the leading news on the Times web site.) Continue reading