Who is the ‘international community’ in Nepal?

As a sovereign country of Southasia, if we have to listen to international opinion, does not Nepal also need to heed the views/feelings of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, or should we continue to go by the amorphous and selective use of ‘international community’?

Kanak Mani Dixit

893035_558874680856096_914955205_oAmidst the current jousting between Government of Nepal/ruling parties and certain members/combines of the ‘international community’, I would like to know who do we refer to when we say/accept the usage of ‘international community’. Are we talking of the entire community or selected members/combines? Are we talking of the European Union, in which case do the statements/activism that have been emanating therefrom include, say, Germany? Where does South Korea stand? What about the embassies unrepresented in KTM but with interest in Nepal? Do we mean ‘West’ when we say ‘international community’? When we do say ‘West’, is the focus mainly on a US-EU combine, or do we include Australia and Japan and Canada? Is there absolutely unanimity among the ‘international community’ and the “West’, or is it he who makes the noise that gets heard? When the UN Resident Coordinator puts out a note in the name of the ‘international community’, who is included – the multilateral agencies, the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF, WB, IFC), and which all embassies, and should we not have a listing at the bottom of all statements to clarify rather than add to the murk?

The broadest use of ‘international community’ in Kathmandu seems to include India and China. As a sovereign country of Southasia, if we have to listen to international opinion, does not Nepal also need to heed the views/feelings of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, or should we continue to go by the amorphous and selective use of ‘international community’? Let us have some clarity!!

(Note: I believe that the ‘international community’ has a right and duty to speak for the protection of democracy and human rights of any country, including Nepal. (In that sense, my own use of ‘international community’ includes every country from Bangladesh to Belgium.) However, the members of the diplomatic corps, from countries near and far, must keep off the terrain of constitution-writing so the Nepali people and political forces are left to themselves on this matter.)

(This article was originally posted as facebook status by Mr Kanak Mani Dixit. We have reproduced here with his permission.)

Nepal, where progressive agenda gets hijacked by “progressive elites”

Our progressive elites conveniently believe all these pahade Chhetri/Bahuns are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, just like them.

Bineeta Gurung

In Nepal, it has become fashionable to call yourself a progressive, particularly if you come from an elite family and want to rid yourself of the guilt of being born into one. No wonder all those claiming to be the voice of the marginalized are part of the PEON (Permanent Establishment of Nepal- Thanks to CK Lal for that coinage- though I don’t agree with him on the definition). Go through any English daily in Nepal, they reek of these progressives, with their immaculate English, ever ready to condemn any pahade Bahun/Chhetri. The only fault of these pahade men being their castes, as if they had voluntary control over it. Our progressive elites conveniently believe all these pahade Chhetri/Bahuns are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, just like them.

You don’t need to engage with the truly marginalized. You just need to attack your fellow elites to prove you are a progressive. Those that don’t toe your line of politics are all reactionaries. You are the lone voice meaning well for the unprivileged. The rest are oppressors.

Regarding identity politics in Nepal, the space for a nuanced discussion is shrinking. People do not speak for fear of being labeled status quoists by our progressive thinkers. Nepali progressives are the ones who use the “diversity” argument to beat up non-leftists. But they forget respecting diversity includes respecting diverse and opposing opinion as long as they are not imposed through coercion.

An Alternative Constitution for Nepal

While the CA, elected to draft and promulgate a constitution, failed to live by its self imposed deadline of 22 January to finalize the works on a new constitution, a growing political movement called BibekSheel Nepali just released its own version of Nepali Constitution — yesterday on ८ माघ (22 Jan).

Ashutosh Tiwari asked 5 quick questions to Ujwal Thapa, Chairperson of विवेकशील नेपाली BibekSheel Nepali, a political party.

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1. Why do you feel the need to come up with your version of Nepali Constitution when those who were actually elected to do so have not?

  • To prove that constitution can be built if there is good intent and honesty involved.
  • To prove constitution can be built by diverse group of people from different walks of life without wasting billions and years fighting.
  •  To prove that Nepalis can come up with an alternate if the ones who are sent to do the work, don’t make one.
  • To make sure Nepali citizens have an option.

Continue reading

“अग्रगमनको सिरक ओढ्ने प्रतिगामी”

 प्रविधि र ज्ञानको विश्वव्यापीकरणले गर्दा अब २०१७ वा २०५२ मा गरिएका कुतर्क र हो-कि हो-कि जस्तो भान पार्ने भ्रामक गफ र आस्वासन, विषयको सार होइन व्यक्तिको नियत, तुच्छ गाली र ad hominem आक्रमणको बलमा गरिने राजनीति अब सकियो ।

डा स्वर्णिम वाग्ले

Dr Swarnim Wagle

हिजो (माघ ६, २०७१) हिंडेर सीतापाईलाबाट त्रिपुरेश्वरसम्म र त्यसपछि प्रहरीको गाडीमा संविधानसभाको बैठक हेर्न बानेश्वर गइयो । दर्शक दीर्घामा पत्रकारबाहेक अरु देखिएनन्, माथिबाट डेढघण्टाजति नाराबाजीगर्नेहरुको अनुहार एक्लै नियालें । त्यसपछि मलाई लागेका केही कुरा :

१. कराउँदै संसदनै कब्जा गरेजस्तो देखिँदा पनि माओवादीहरु हतास थिए, अवकाशको संघारमा उभिएको सेनाको असफल जर्नेल जस्तै ।खित-खित हाँसोका बीच गरिएको विरोधमा कुनै sincerity को छनक थिएन ।


“उत्पीडित जनता त भजाई खाने भाँडो वा सत्ता उक्लने भर्यांग भएको कुरो उनीहरुको अन्तर्मनमा थियो होलानै, अब यसको “सुइँको” बाँकी दुनियालाई पनि छ भन्ने कुरा थाहा भएर होला सायद हो-हल्लाको कर्मकाण्डमा कुनै नैतिक दम देखिएन ।”


उत्पीडित जनता त भजाई खाने भाँडो वा सत्ता उक्लने भर्यांग भएको कुरो उनीहरुको अन्तर्मनमा थियो होलानै, अब यसको “सुइँको” बाँकी दुनियालाई पनि छ भन्ने कुरा थाहा भएर होला सायद हो-हल्लाको कर्मकाण्डमा कुनै नैतिक दम देखिएन । त्यत्रो पद ओगटीसकेका प्रचण्डको टिठलाग्दो उपस्थिति र अस्तिदेखिनै उद्दण्ड देखिईरहेका जनार्दन शर्माको प्रस्तुति बिझ्ने खालका थिए।

२. सभामुख र मर्यादापालकहरु असाध्यै शालीन, बुढा कांग्रेसीहरु भद्र। एमाले पनि उस्तै संयमित – आज सुरेन्द्र पाण्डेले त भने रे हामीपनि एकताका यस्तै उग्र थियौं तर अहिले सुध्रेम ।लोकतन्त्रमा धैर्य र परिपक्वताले फल दिदोरैछ ।

३. यो नाटकको उत्कर्सबारे कांग्रेस-एमाले पूर्ण परिचित भएजस्तो गरेपनि, उनीहरुले जोर-जबरजस्ती नगरुन् । माघ ८ को मिति जाने भैगो, अब एक-दुइ हप्ता राप सेलाएपछि संविधानकालागि “बृहत सहमति” को प्रयास जारी रहोस, नयाँ वर्ष वा जेठ १५ लाई अन्तिम मौका ठानी । तर ठुलो जनमतलाई पनि साथ लानु पर्छ — हरेक मुद्दामाथि आफ्नो तर्क र logic खुलारूपले राखुन् । माओवादीहरू पतनोन्मुख भए भन्दैमा लोकतन्त्रवादीहरु गैर-जिम्मेवार हुनहुन्न — विगतको पीडा सम्झदा रीस उठ्दोहो, तर त्यसलाई schadenfreude मै सीमित राखून् ।

४. नेपाली जनता धेरैनै शिक्षित र सु-सुचित भैसके । प्रविधि र ज्ञानको विश्वव्यापीकरणले गर्दा अब २०१७ वा २०५२ मा गरिएका कुतर्क र हो-कि हो-कि जस्तो भान पार्ने भ्रामक गफ र आस्वासन, विषयको सार होइन व्यक्तिको नियत, तुच्छ गाली र ad hominem आक्रमणको बलमा गरिने राजनीति अब सकियो । धेरैनै आशा गरिएका तर चाडैं विश्वसनीयता गुमाएका केही क्रान्तिकारी ठुला नेताहरु यसका प्रमाण हुन् । नपत्याए एक पटक पढे-लेखेकाहरु चर्न निस्कने social media मा आँखा जाओस – जनमतलाई प्रभाव पार्ने तिनै १० प्रतिशत सुकिला-मुकिलानै हुन् | ठुलो सामाजिक मूल्यमै सही, माओवादीले ग्रामीण चेतना र हक-अधिकारको विस्तार गरे बापत इतिहासमा सधन्यबाद यथोचीत स्थान पाउनेनैछन्, तर अब बोक्नुपर्ने सम्वृद्धिको agenda मा माओवादीहरू अग्रगमनको सिरक ओढ्ने प्रतिगामीनै हुन् भन्ने धेरैको ठहर छ । “प्रतिगामी” सस्तो गालीको रूपमा हैनकि साच्चैनै उल्टो बाटो हिंड्ने अर्थमा । Median voter नै निम्न-मध्य आय आर्जने व्यक्ति र वर्ग भएको मुलुकमा सबै दल समाजमुखी र परोपकारी हुन अनिवार्य छ : सच्चा प्रगतिको मापन त अब राष्ट्रिय wealth create गर्ने र त्यसको न्यायोचित बांडफांड गर्ने/गराउने सवालमा कसको मार्ग-चित्र दह्रो छ भन्नेनै मूल प्रश्न हो । राष्ट्रिय चुनौती र विश्व अवसरहरु ख्याल गरी नेपाललाई कसरी चाडैं धनी बनाउने भन्ने हो । यो अभुतपूर्व कसरतमा उग्र-वामपन्थी सोच र कार्यशैली सहायक नहोला ।

५. नेपालमा तीनवटा ठुला राष्ट्रिय पार्टीहरूको लागी space देखिन्छ | यसमा कांग्रेस-एमाले र एउटा लोकतान्त्रिक त्तेस्रो शक्ति अटाउनेछन् । साना-मसिना जातीय वा क्षेत्रीय दल-रूपी पसलहरू त चल्दै गर्लान् । तर आजैदेखि अर्को चुनावलाई कसरी १००% स्वच्छ र निस्पक्ष्य बनाउने हो भन्नेतिर लागौं – आधुनिक प्रविधिमा आधारित राष्ट्रिय परिचयपत्र, विधुतीय भोटिंग मसीन लगायत अन्य विश्वसनीय माध्यमलाई पूर्णत लागु गरौँ । चुनावमा पैसाको प्रभाव र धाँधली कसरी कम गर्ने र पछि बल्झने gerrymandering को संभावनालाई पनि रोक्ने उपाय एवं अन्य बिकृतिहरु हटाइ कस्ता incentives हरूले राजनीतिलाई सफा बनाउला भन्नेबारे गृह-कार्य थालौं । तत्पश्चात अझ धेरै दक्ष युवा पिंढी राजनीतिमा पक्कै आउनेछ भन्ने आशा गर्न सकिन्छ ।

(This article was originally posted as facebook status by Dr Swarnim Waglé. We have reproduced here with his permission.)

República’s Editorial on Brawl at the Constituent Assembly

“…any constitution that emerges from the sovereign CA cannot be labeled just another piece of paper.”

Nepal’s popular Republica daily has a powerful editorial today slamming the mid-night brawl in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly (CA) on Tuesday (January 20). The editorial reads: “…Speaking in the Constituent Assembly on Monday, Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai came down heavily on ruling parties that he said were intent on ´proclaiming a useless piece of paper´ as the constitution of new Nepal. First of all, any constitution that emerges from the sovereign CA cannot be labeled just another piece of paper. The people elected the CA to deliver a constitution, preferably through consensus, or absent that, through due process…”

Here’s the full text:

Move ahead

Nepal is at a crossroads. The choices before it could not be starker. One, the sovereign Constituent Assembly delivers a timely constitution, thereby ending the prolonged and debilitating political transition. Two, constitution making gets deferred once again and the state of uncertainty deepens. Speaking in the Constituent Assembly on Monday, Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai came down heavily on ruling parties that he said were intent on ´proclaiming a useless piece of paper´ as the constitution of new Nepal.

First of all, any constitution that emerges from the sovereign CA cannot be labeled just another piece of paper. The people elected the CA to deliver a constitution, preferably through consensus, or absent that, through due process. Whether the Maoist and Madhesi parties like it or not, Continue reading

“अतिवादी विचारको प्रवद्र्धनका लागि पालैपालो प्रयोग हुुन तयार क्रान्तिकारीहरु मार्फत विकास प्रक्रिया अवरुद्ध”

गरिबीले पहाड भन्दैन, मधेश भन्दैन, बाहुनक्षेत्री, दलित वा आदिबासी/जनजाती भन्दैन। हिन्दु, मुस्लिम, क्रिस्चियन वा अरु धर्म भन्दैन। गरिबी भनेको क्रुर हुन्छ र जसलाई पनि रुग्ण बनाउन सक्छ।

शिरोमणि ढुंगाना 

कहिले काहिँ छोटो सामग्रीले पनि धेरै कुरा बताउन सक्छ । हालै फेसबुक चलाउँदै गर्दा अनिरुद्र न्यौपानेको बिचारमा आँखा पुग्यो। सटिक तर चोटिलो विश्लेषण । हामी बीपीलाइ सम्झदैं धेरै मानिसहरुले भन्ने गरेको कुरा सम्झन्छु: कोहि मानिस अति क्रान्तिकारी भयो भने उसलाई शंका गर्नु । उहाँको पाला सम्म क्रान्तिकारितामा सिमित “अति” आजको सन्दर्भमा त बाद मै परिणत भैसक्यो।

हाम्रो सन्दर्भमा भैरहेको कुरा के भने: सान्दर्भिक वा ब्यबहारिक विचार र विचारकलाइ “प्रतिगमनकारी विचार वा विचारक” को उपमा दिने र निस्तेज गर्न खोज्ने। यसले गर्दा समाजमा ब्यबहारिक विचार राख्ने उदारबादीहरुको तर्क मसिनो बन्दै गएको छ। Continue reading

‘जीवन कतिपय’: दुइ मित्र, दुइ विचार

आफू र आफ्नालाई समर्थन गर्नेका नाजायज पनि जायज र अरुका जायज पनि नाजायज, उनले भने । ‘यसले मानिसलाई दलिय कार्यकर्ता मात्र बनाउँछ, कुनै समूहको नेता बनाउँछ, तर मान्छे बनाउँदैन ।

शिरोमणि ढुङ्गाना

भाषामा लालित्य भर्न सिपालु मित्र भवसागर घिमिरेले नाटक हेर्नका लागि शिल्पी थिएटरको टिकट लिइसक्नुभएकोले हामीसँग चिया खाँदै गफिन भ्याउनुभएन । उहाँ लागि भनेर अडर गरिएको चिया हामी तीन मित्र(जेबी, म र पुरुषोत्तम) ले बाँडिचुँडी खाइयो ।

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ठूला सिद्धान्तहरुलाई हाम्रो जीवनका साना परिघटनाहरुमा जोड्न खोज्नुभन्दा साना परिघटनाहरुबाट सिक्दै सैद्धान्तीकरण गर्दा नेपाली समाजको रुपान्तरण छिटो हुन सक्छ: जेबी विश्वकर्मा

धेरैपछि मित्रद्धय पुरुषोत्तम सुवेदीजेबी विश्वकर्मासँग एकसाथ भलाकुसारीको मौका मिल्यो जनकराज सापकोटाको पुस्तक ‘जीवन कतिपय’को विमोचन समारोहपछि ।

दुवै मित्रहरु समाजिक विषयवस्तुहरुमा गहिरो ज्ञान भएका तर त्यसलाई व्यक्त गर्न नचाहने । त्यसैले यी दुवै मित्रका ज्ञानको गहिराई अक्सर चिया खाँदा प्रस्फुटन हुन्छन् । अखबारमा लेख्न यी दुवैलाई त्यति धेरै “मन छैन” अरे । तिनकै भनाईमा । यी दुइ मित्रलाई लेख्न “मन छैन” र त म यो ब्लग लेख्न बाध्य भएँ । Continue reading

कति उत्तरदायि सोसल मिडिया: घृणा, अपशब्द र असभ्यताको एक चर्चा

(नेपाल लिटरेचर फेस्टिबल मा  शुक्रबार (आज) ४ देखी ५ बजेको सेसनमा -‘कति उत्तरदायि सोसल मिडिया ?’ भन्ने चल्दै छ  । बक्ताहरु:- @prateekpradhan @RajneeshB @sanpokh र प्रस्तोता  @amritna हुनुहुन्छ । यसै सन्दर्भ  हामीलाइ यो  लेख पहिचान नखुलाउन आग्रह सहित इमेलबाट  प्राप्त भयो र छाप्ने निधो गर्यौं )

यूडब्लूबी पाहुना ब्लग

 

नाम खुलिकै व्यक्तिहरु, र अझ समाजमा सम्मानित र अगुवाहरुले घृणा, विरोध सहन नसक्ने र गालिगलौजको प्रथालाई जग बसाल्दै बलियो बनाउँदै गएको देखिन्छ।

सोसल मिडियामा घृणा, अपशब्द र असभ्यताको विषयमा यहाँ चर्चा गर्न लागिएको छ। केहि समय अगाडि प्रतीक प्रधानले नागरिक दैनिकमा “नकाबपोस हुँडारहरुको संजाल” भन्ने लेख लेखेर सामाजिक संजालमा घृणा र विद्वेष फैलाउनुमा सम्पूर्ण दोष नाम लुकाएर अभिव्यक्ति गर्ने प्रचलनलाई दिनुभएको थियो। नाम लुकाएर गरिने गालीगलौज र व्यक्तिगत आक्रमणलाई कुनै पनि हालतमा सही मान्न सकिँदैन। त्यस्ता कृयाकलापलाई बढावा दिनु हुँदैन। तर नाम लुकाएर गरिने सबै किसिमका अभिव्यक्तिहरुलाई एउटै डालोमा हालेर हेर्दा हामीलाई फाइदा छ कि घाटा? समाजमा अलोकप्रिय र अप्रिय मानिने विचार प्रस्तुत गर्न जोखिमको वातावरण छ भने तर्क सहित त्यस्ता विचार प्रस्तुत गर्न कसैले नाम लुकाउछ भने त्यसलाई अन्यथा लिनुपर्ने कारण देखिँदैन। हो, त्यस्ता विचारको वजन र विश्वसनियता नाम खुला राखेर गरिने विचारको भन्दा कम होला, तर सोहि मूल्य चुकाएर कोहि जिम्मेवार ढङ्गले विचारको बजारमा प्रतिस्पर्धा गर्छ भने त्यसलाई के आधारमा गलत भन्ने? फेरी इन्टरनेटमा प्रयोग गरिएको कसको नाम वा परिचय सहि हो, र कसको लुकाइएको हो भन्ने कसरी थाहा हुन्छ र? कुनै बनावटी नाममा गर्न सकिने तर्क कसैले नाम लुकाएरै गर्न चाहन्छ भने बरु बढि इमान्दारी होइन र? Continue reading

Fiscal Policy 2014: Can it Revive the Economy?

On Juep(7)ly 13 the government unveiled a Rs 618 billion annual budget for the fiscal year 2014-15 with significant investment promised in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and irrigation sectors. Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, who has time and again committed to kick-start second generation of economic reforms, termed the budget as reform-and investment-oriented. Though the budget has not introduced any new programmes as such and has drawn mixed reactions from experts and politicians, the minister believes that the fiscal policy will help give momentum to the sluggish national economy. Here’s an analysis by Siromani Dhungana:

This is the first time that the government succeeded in introducing full-fledged budget on time in the last four years. The delayed implementation of the budget had resulted in economic stagnation, as economic activities could not speed up in the absence of a spur from the government, the largest spender. Though timely budget announcement this year is expected to change the scenario for the better, the journey ahead is not easy for the Finance Minister.
Expansionary Fiscal Policy
Considering the Rs 596 billion ceiling put forward by the National Planning Commission (NPC) the budget was bigger-than-expected. The Minister crossed the recommended ceiling mostly because of two reasons. Despite his reluctance, he had to concede to the pressure of the MPs from the largest partners of the ruling coalition – Nepali Congress and CPN-UML – to earmark Rs 10 million for infrastructure project in each constituency. Next to it, the budget increased the amount of constituency development fund, provided to each of the 601 MPs for funding various development activities in their respective constituency as per their discretion, from the erstwhile Rs 1 million to Rs 1.5 million per MP.  Adding to it, the budget made upward revisions in the civil servants’ salary and other perks as well.
Despite being flexible in its spending, the budget did not make any major hikes in the taxation rates. Expansionary budget, like the one under discussion, is expected to accelerate economic growth, help in employment creation and in poverty reduction. However, analysts claim that this budget comes with many risks. It may create demand pressures and fuel inflation. Analysts claim its forecast of a 8 percent inflation rate to be unrealistic.

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“Nepal May See 10% GDP Loss From Glacier Melts, Climate Extremes”

Moon rose from the east as sun cast its last rays of the day over the summit of Mt Machhapuchhre

Climate change-driven events like melting glaciers pose a grave risk to Nepal’s economy, and could cause losses equal to almost 10% of the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2100, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) climate and economics report for South Asia.

“The population is extremely vulnerable, not only to the immediate threats of increasingly frequent glacial lake overflows, landslides, flash floods, and droughts, but also to longer-term climate change, which will ultimately reduce water availability and limit crop productivity,” said Bindu Lohani, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. Continue reading