Mobile Phone Craze and Shameful Failure of Nepal Telecom

In a shameful act today, Nepal Telecom, a government entity, couldn’t provide mobile phones as per the demand and halted the distribution of SIM cards indefinitely

By Dinesh Wagle

If there is any name that represents the incompetence, pessimism and failure in a grand scale in the Nepali corporate sector, it’s undoubtedly Sugatratna Kansakar. It’s a shame that this man is the Managing Director of Nepal Telecom (NT), the country’s telecommunication giant, even after today’s artless drama performed on the streets of Kathmandu and in front of the NT offices. As many as two hundred fifty thousand people stood in the queues leading up to the Nepal Telecom counters in the city hoping to get prepaid SIM cards for the mobile phone. Telecom distributed slightly more than 60 thousand cards amidst chaos and poorly managed system. Such was the customer pressure that NT had to postpone the SIM card distribution abruptly and indefinitely. And here comes the incompetence and failure of Sugatratna Kansakar. He and his company knew that there were hundreds of thousands of people eagerly and tirelessly waiting for SIM cards. NT had refused to distribute the cards despite heavy demands citing, mainly, inadequate infrastructure. Over the several months, we have been told, NT improved and expanded the infrastructure to cater the ever-growing demand of cell phone lines. Today we saw how much improvement Kansakar did in Nepal Telecom. Continue reading Mobile Phone Craze and Shameful Failure of Nepal Telecom

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Campaign For Democratic Republic Nepal Continues

Human Rights and Peace Society of Nepal organized a program in Jorpati, Kathmandu as part of the organization’s nationwide campaign for democratic republic. In 2006’s April Revolution that began today (or tomorrow by Nepali date), Jorpati had seen some of the intense demonstrations against the despotic royalist regime.


Jhyamma..Jhyamma Ganatantra: In the democratic republic tune of folk/deuda singer Nanda Krishan Joshi, people like the man above clapped with enthusiasm. Pic by Wagle

Human Rights and Peace Society of Nepal organized a program in Jorpati, Kathmandu as part of the organization’s nationwide campaign for democratic republic. In 2006’s April Revolution that began today (or tomorrow by Nepali date), Jorpati had seen some of the intense demonstrations against the despotic royalist regime. The program was attended by around a thousand people and pro-republic and anti-monarchy singers and poets performed. A few lectures, primarily by prominent human rights activist Krishna Pahadi, were delivered. Speakers cautioned both the Maoist and Seven Party Alliance to be careful in the days ahead and not indulge in corruption. They also stressed on the fact that the government must focus itself in holding the election of constituent assembly and head country towards democratic republic. Continue reading Campaign For Democratic Republic Nepal Continues

The Maoists in 'Lose-Lose Situation'

The recent escalating violence between the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF or MPRF) and the Maoists, and level of brutality involved therein, indicates that some groups are indeed well-prepared to answer the Maoists in the same language that the Maoists spoke and understood the best.

By Chattra Bahadur

We have had mixed results in terms of ‘achievements’ when we consider events that unfolded since April 2006. The ‘reinstatement’ of democracy, comprehensive peace treaty, renouncing of armed struggle by the Maoists, the SPA government, the Interim Parliament, proposed Constituent Assembly elections, etc were milestones. However, these path-breaking events were severely undermined by the lack of sincerity of the Maoists, indetermination and meekness of the SPA government, lack of contingency planning, and lack of proactive approach of all the major political parties. Though the Maoists are well placed in the Interim government, it is too early to comment on the performance of the Maoists ministers. It is also uncertain whether there would be any change in the functioning of the Maoists after joining the government.

Though it may be euphoric moment for the Maoists, the events are increasingly becoming difficult for them. Ultimately, they may be the only major political force facing ‘lose-lose’ situation. Their continued reliance on heavy-handedness has evoked widespread criticism from every sphere of the Nepalese society. The international community, with feedback from international donor agencies, has always expressed strong reservations regarding their style of functioning, actions and motives. Moreover, repeated and open violations of party directives by the party cadres have raised many questions regarding the party’s hold over its cadres and control mechanism that exists within the ‘dedicated’ and ‘disciplined’ Maoists.

The recent escalating violence between the MJF and the Maoists, and level of brutality involved therein, indicates that some groups are indeed well-prepared to answer the Maoists in the same language that the Maoists spoke and understood the best. And this does not augur well to the Maoists’ strategy of total domination either by terror or by indoctrination. If the MJF continues to retaliate against the Maoists in the future as well, Terai is most likely to slip away from the Maoists grip. This definitely spells doom to the electoral chances of the Maoists. At the same time, the Maoists understand that Terai would be dominant and vital political battlefield since the number of seats in Terai will see dramatic increase if population is given preference while determining number of representatives. Precisely for this reason, the Maoists do not want to accept that there is a possibility for them to lose their grip over Terai. In addition, the Maoists cannot also ignore the fact that the retaliation of the MJF may embolden other groups to actively fight back the Maoists’ coercion in the same manner. Continue reading The Maoists in 'Lose-Lose Situation'

Remembering the April Revolution of Nepal

Nepal April Revolution Exactly a year ago today yet another round of movement against king Gyanendra’s regression and coup had started, and fortunately, that turned out to be the final and decisive. Tired of not getting as much public support as they would have like to have, political parties had announced another phase of movement against regression from April 6, 2006. The alliance of seven parties (SPA) was energized by the 12-point agreement they had reached with the Maoists a few months earlier. The Maoists had postponed their plan to hold nationwide protests and extended their support to the peaceful programs to be launched by the SPA. That Maoist decision added more energy to the SPA led movement.

First day of Nepal April Revolution 2006
Exactly a year ago today in Kathmandu.

[Here is a video of the April Uprising posted by Roshani Dhungana on Google Video. The link of the video was sent to UWB by Jason Andrews, Yale University.]

“Rallies, protests, arrests, campaigns and imposition of curfew marked Wednesday [5 April], the day before the four-day long General Strike,” UWB reported on 5th April. “This morning a number of leaders were arrested from their home. 37 professionals including lawyers, journalists and doctors were arrested in the morning when they tried to rally peacefully.” We knew that from the 6th of that month, April Uprising had begun. Under the title “On Photos: April Uprising I“, we posted several photographs: “The first-day of four-day General Strike saw closures, protests and police clampdowns. It was a story of make and break. The only debate was who were trying to make and who were trying to break. Protesters were burning tyres, policemen extinguishing them; protesters were chanting slogans, policemen were chasing them and protesters were putting disturbance, policemen were clearing them.” Then there was a diary of the first day that detailed the life in Kathmandu. Maoists were still continuing their violent activities against the royal regime. They attacked, UWB reported, on 6 April Magalawa, the district headquarters of Sarlahi, kidnapping a few including Chief District Officer Bodh Raj Adhikari. “An Army helicopter was ‘crashed/gunned’ down.”

And yes, we also remember that article of Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai in which he had predicted about the April Revolution. Under the headline “Maoist Expects ‘April Revolution’ in Nepal”, UWB wrote: “So Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, revolutionary by some and terrorist for others, tries to convince us that the Nepal will see an “April Revolution” and that the peaceful movement against autocracy will successfully restore democracy in the country this time around.”

April Revolution Blogs:

1. On Photos: April Uprising I
2. General Strike Day I Diary
3. Maoists Attack on Sarlahi
4. The Eve of General Strike
5. Patan Meet in the Eve of April Uprising
6. Maoist Expects ‘April Revolution’ in Nepal