Another Devilry of Young Criminal League (Maoist)

The latest rascality of the Maoist youth wing proves that the Maoists are afraid of participating in the free and fair CA elections.

The Dolakha incident: In a display of outright hooliganism, the Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League cadres beat up Chief District Officer (CDO) Uddhav Bahadur Thapa after barging into the District Administration Office (DAO) in Charikot on Sunday (29 July). The administration imposed a 5:30 pm to 5 am curfew in the district headquarters. CDO Thapa has been injured on his right eye. After YCL cadres began punching Thapa indiscriminately, Maoist district in-charge ‘Bishwa’ and another district committee member intervened and stopped YCL cadres. Over two dozen Maoist cadres and six policemen were injured as the two sides engaged in clashes when police tried to prevent the unruly mob from breaking into the office. They hurled brickbats and stones at the DAO smashing most of the windowpanes. Police fired over a dozen rounds into the air and dozens of tear gas shells to disperse the angry mob of YCL cadres, who had showed up at the DAO demanding the release of their local leader Bishal Khadka. Before their violent act at the DAO, the berserk group had taken out a motorcycle rally here. Continue reading Another Devilry of Young Criminal League (Maoist)

Jobless Journos of Gorkhapatra

The Maoist minister is trying to turn the state-owned publishing house a Maoist recruitment center

The other day, Gorkhapatra Corporation, the government owned publisher of dailies Gorkhapatra and the Rising Nepal, refused to renew the contract of 49 journalists, rendering them instantly jobless. Of the 49 working journalists, many were appointed during King Gyanendra’s direct rule as justified by the corporation for the refusal to renew the contract. But the question is: How many of them were pro-king journalists? Minister of Information and Communication Krishna Bahadur Mahara should be able to answer this though he has maintained a tight lip. The Maoists have formed labor unions and have talked about the rights of laborers in public gatherings. On this count, Mahara has turned his back conspicuously. Gorkhapatra Corporation has been a recruitment center of successive information and communication ministers. Mahara, being a Maoist, cannot be an exception. He apparently wants to fill the corporation with pro-Maoist journalists. Continue reading Jobless Journos of Gorkhapatra

Up to Rara Lake with Dohori Dhun All the Way

A musical journey to the biggest lake of Nepal in remote Mugu district with the trail filled with flowers of all kinds and the air reverberated with local folk tunes

With jeans tugged into their socks and eyes as red as ripe tomatoes, the boys were Jug Bahadur Bhandari, 15 (left), and Prakash Bhandari, 13.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

ब्लगमान्डू: राराको छेउ नजर जुराइदेउ

While going uphill the Karali Kharka range by the Jumla-Mugu borders in the hope of getting the first glimpse of Rara Lake, a melodious voice came floating in the air from somewhere below:

Samjhi narunu
Ma ta pagal bhayeni he bahini
Timi nahunu

[Don’t you cry remembering me
I’ve gone mad, oh sister
But you stay sane]

On a balmy day in the last week of Asadh, two people walked energetically uphill on a muddy path. They did not give any sign of being out of breath and both of them were conversing in the dohori rhythm of “Don’t think of me and weep”. Both of them turned out to be teenagers who were carrying a small bundle of garlic and Gadaino herbs. With jeans tugged into their socks and eyes as red as ripe tomatoes, the boys were Jug Bahadur Bhandari, 15, and Prakash Bhandari, 13. Continue reading Up to Rara Lake with Dohori Dhun All the Way

Job in Nepal Police, Duty in a Corner

Thanks to the ongoing peace process in the country, police have returned to villages to provide sense of security to people.

By Dinesh Wagle

Chautha (Jumla): In an evening a week ago, beautiful tune resonating to that of a mouth harp was heard in this corner of a remote village of Jumla that doesn’t receive the short wave signals of Radio Nepal. Following the tune, this reporter reached a house that had a sign board hung on its front which read ‘Police Post Chautha’. After entering inside the room on the first floor with permission, a young man was seen playing with a keyboard, not the harp. A few of his pals were readying themselves to go to bed while humming folk tunes.

“It’s a very boring place, sir,” said Kali Bahadur Rawal of Nepalgunj who was fiddling with the ‘MS 200 A’ instrument with 37 keys. When they are off the duty, not meditating the villagers’ feuds or not in rescue mission, police in this ‘boring’ place take refuge to music to entertain their soul. “Madal and Keyboard are [our] entertainment,” said Head Constable Dhana Bahadur Khadka who is leading the office as the post of Assistant Sub Inspector is vacant. Entertainment is only half full this evening as the traditional Nepali drum (madal) has been taken to a nearby village. Continue reading Job in Nepal Police, Duty in a Corner

Hari Bahadur Rokaya Up Close and Personal

Inside the room (and mind) of a world record holder Nepali athlete who dreams to produce players like him from his remote locale

By Dinesh Wagle

Khalanga Bazaar (Jumla): It’s absolutely fine if you feel like running (not running away) on entering this room of a house situated in the lower neighborhood of the bazaar. A close observation of the world record holder (high altitude) marathon runner Hari Bahadur Rokaya’s dwelling reflects his accomplishment, stories of his success and pains of limited opportunities.

Solar panels on the house roofs is common but why one in the corner of Hari’s room? “I take my camera along with me when I run,” said the player who has been running over hills around the bazaar since his childhood. “The panel is for charging camera batteries.” It is his hobby to take pictures of “beautiful scenes” as he runs on high hills. Continue reading Hari Bahadur Rokaya Up Close and Personal

Nepalis' Nightmare in the Gulf

Kicked out by Qatar, Nepalis greeted with animal treatment in Bahrain. A firsthand experience of a young Nepali student returning from America

By Tulsi Bhandari

Last month, Nepal’s newspapers were awash with reports of hundreds of Nepali workers in Qatar being driven from the country for demanding better pay from their employers. When I was on my way home from the United States, I was a witness to a harsh reality: the Gulf Airlines staffers treating their customers – the deported Nepalis – like animals in a dingy hell called Bahrain, where I had my stopover before flying to Kathmandu.

When I arrived at the Bahrain International Airport after about 14 hours of flight from New York, I was told that the flight to Kathmandu had been delayed for about six hours. I was taking rest in a tiny room, while, at the same time, observing peoples outside.

The desperate situation of the passengers waiting for their flights was pathetic. I talked with a few people, and listening to their stories wasn’t easy. Some had been stranded there for more than three days. I was quite keen to meet a few Nepalis, but listening to their stories made me furious. Continue reading Nepalis' Nightmare in the Gulf

Maoist Madness in The Himalayan Times

UWB is strongly against protest programs in newspapers and media house that aim at stopping the newspapers from reaching to the public.

The Himalayan Times Protest

To stop a newspaper from being circulated, like in the photo, is a crime against free society. Workers stop the circulation of the Himalayan Times. Pic via THT

The protesters in APCA House, the publishers of English daily The Himalayan Times and Nepali daily Annapurna Post have disrupted the distribution of papers as they are demanding facilities and benefits from management. The Maoist as a party is clearly behind this disruption and the national leadership must be held responsible for this mayhem in media sector. Maoists are trying to intimidate media by staging such drama in the name of facilities and benefits for workers. Yes, anyone including the Maoists can have peaceful protest for whatever the reason but while doing so no one can undermine people’s right to information. We respect and defend the agitators’ right to protest and demand facilities but we condemn their act of preventing the papers from being circulated. To stop papers from reaching to subscriber’s home or to try to stop a newspaper from being published is a crime against democracy and free society.

Information Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara of the Maoist party is encouraging such act by not acting against it and that only shows what his party might do in future. We know Maoists are not satisfied with the professional/commercial media houses in Nepal whose media outlets enjoy good circulation and ratings. Intimidation is not the way to counter those media and no newspaper in good conscience can become a Janadesh (a Maoist mouthpiece). Open your own newspaper, if you can, and join the competition. Provide quality content and readers/audiences will be yours. After all, the present media houses are not distributing their papers for free. People buy and when they do that they do that by their choice. Professional Commercial media needs to be flourished in Nepal for the shake of institutionalizing democracy in the country. Continue reading Maoist Madness in The Himalayan Times

The Karnali Express: Bumping on for 52 Hours (Jumla to Surkhet)

QUITE A DIFFERENT GOAT CARAVAN: An unforgettable ride from Jumla, one of the most remote parts in Nepal, to Surkhet in a highway that’s being constructed.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal Pics by Wagle
ब्लगमान्डू : कर्णाली एक्स्प्रेस ५२ घन्टा उफ्रिदै मच्चिदै

Vehicles pass through the dangerous Timure Bhir in Kalikot.

“Not in this lifetime,” said Hari Shankar Chaulagain as our Mahindra Bolero Jeep left Khalanga Bazaar for Surkhet. The 27-year-old man quickly surveyed the four-wheel-drive roadster and remarked: “I had never thought I would ride in one from here!” Alongside him were seated his younger brother Govinda and five others. They too had their own strange feelings. Their hands were tightly clutching the iron rod as we started motoring on the “mother of all bumpy roads”. We all looked like a monkey that was about to jump from one branch to another. Continue reading The Karnali Express: Bumping on for 52 Hours (Jumla to Surkhet)

Verification Conundrum: Inside Story of Why Maoists Stopped the Process

After stalling the verification process for their combatants for weeks the Maoists have finally agreed to resume it, but when it will actually resume remains uncertain still.

By Ameet Dhakal
[There might be rift between the Badal-Kiran and Prachanda-Baburam factions in the Maoist Party].

The on again off again verification of Maoist combatants is only a prelude to a much complicated process that will test the resolve of the government, the Maoists, the Nepali Army and even the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) in the days to come.

Why the Maoists refused to start verification at the second cantonment site in Sindhuli offers a small window on this unfolding complexity.

Part of the problem is the Maoists’ own doing. They sent “many”- it’s still not clear exactly how many – non-combatants into the cantonments. There are a number of reasons why they did that. First, they wanted to keep a good many of their combatants, who are among the cream of their cadres, outside the cantonments, but at the same time they also wanted enough “combatants” inside. Large numbers inside the cantonments meant a stronger political message and more money. Continue reading Verification Conundrum: Inside Story of Why Maoists Stopped the Process

Royals Continue To Default Electricity Bills

By Bikash Sangraula

The royal family and royal relatives have continued to default on payment of bills to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), although NEA has regularly dispatched cumulative bills during nearly two-and-a-half years of non-payment to the palace and other residences of the royals in the capital and outside. According to NEA records, the royals owe NEA over Rs 36 million in electricity bills for residences in the capital as of June 14, 2007.

The royals stopped paying after King Gyanendra’s February 1 takeover and haven’t resumed payment so far. On the other hand, the government, despite vehement protests in and outside the parliament, allocated Rs 24.5 million as allowance to the royal family in the recently announced budget. Topping the list of defaulters of electricity bills as of June 14 is the Narayanhiti palace with a whopping Rs 26.37 million in electricity dues, which is followed by Nirmal Niwas with Rs 2.73 million.

Royal relatives with hefty unpaid electricity bills include late Dhirendra Shah’s three daughters – Shitasma Rajya Laxmi Rana with Rs 909,215, Pooja Rajya Laxmi Shah with Rs 522,226 and Dilasha Rajya Laxmi Rana with Rs 486,000. Similarly, King Gyanendra’s sister Shobha Rajya Laxmi Shahi owes Rs 905,000 to NEA, while Dhirendra’s wife late Prekshya Shah owes a total of Rs 792,989 under four separate accounts to her name. Continue reading Royals Continue To Default Electricity Bills