Tag Archives: indo-nepal

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s India Trip

baburam bhattarai india trip

By Akhilesh Upadhyay
in the Kathmandu Post

OCT 20 – No visit by a Nepali Prime Minister to New Delhi has generated as much attention as that of Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s in September 2008. There was a good reason.

His party CPN (Maoist), underground only until two years ago, had thumped traditional powerhouses in their first open elections. Though Maoist leaders and India’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had worked closely to make the 12-point agreement between the Maoists and the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) possible, people in New Delhi were still not sure how the force that had historically regarded India as “expansionist” would respond in New Delhi. Continue reading Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s India Trip

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Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Nepal’s Free Media

These are not very good times for the relationship between the Nepali media industry and the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. They are at loggerheads, most recently, over a statement issued by the embassy on 27th blaming “certain print and television media” reporting “against products manufactured by Indian Joint Ventures in Nepal.” Past allegations of this nature, said the embassy, have been found to be false after thorough investigation by Nepal Government agencies.

The most damning part of the press statement is in the second paragraph. “The Indian JVs have informed the embassy that they have been approached by such media houses for release of advertisements and are being threatened with negative publicity if those requests are not met.”

Then the embassy provided us some background info on Indo-Nepal relationship telling us how much importance the JVs have in that.

“These Indian Joint Ventures make a substantial contribution to the Nepalese economy, employment, revenue to the Government and exports from Nepal. They maintain the highest standards of quality, which is proved by the fact that exports of their products are accepted across the globe. These companies are the pride of Nepal and a symbol of close relations between India and Nepal.” Then the embassy adds: “The baseless adverse publicity against the products of such joint ventures will not only hit the Nepalese economy and exports but will also deter new foreign direct investments into Nepal.”

Last, but not least, the embassy says: “We hope that concerned authorities will take suitable action against such unethical practices.”

Anything wrong with the statement? Nothing, had that been issued by a commercial company with business interests in Nepal. But the fact that it was issued by the official representative of the Republic of India in the Democratic Federal Republic of Nepal is troubling. The Indian embassy, under the able leadership of Rakesh Sood, in Nepal is not the East Nepal Company. Therefore it shouldn’t behave in a way that reminds us the East India Company. [Nepalis didn’t experience that, by the way, as they were never colonized by the British.] The embassy should have told the complaining JVs something like this: “This seems purely a commercial issue. You guys, being multinational companies, should know how to sort this out.”

But the embassy didn’t say that. It acted like the publicity wing of Dabur Nepal, the Indian company in Nepal, whose product- Real juice- got bad publicity because worm was reportedly found in its tetra pack.

The funniest thing is the company in question, Dabur Nepal, didn’t send letters or rebuttals to the media outlets that reported about its product.

The embassy’s views are highly exaggerated when it says the Indian JVs “are the pride of Nepal.” NO, they are NOT. Are Toyota, Coca Cola and Blackberry the pride of India? But yes Dabur, Nepal Unilever and Asian Paints in Nepal symbolize business relations (not close ties though) between our two nations. Dabur or Unilever are not in Nepal because they wanted to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Profit is THE priority and that is paramount. We Nepalis do understand that and we are perfectly fine with that…as long as the companies abide by the rules, sell quality products and refrain from neglecting and compromising on quality. If Dabur goes, another company will soon come to sell us juice and hazmolas before we get thirsty and face problems with digestion. They are not distributing their products for free by bringing them from India. We also know that Nepal-India relationship is not based on such shaky foundations that rely on tetra-packs juices. We also know that if a company sells something substandard they are often reported in the free presses of the world. Nepal is no North Korea and no Myanmar (Burma) whose dictator General gets red carpet welcome in India. We have a free press, vibrant and very much functional, far more responsible than the Indian press DESPITE the fact that we are only two decades old. We are vibrant, responsible and functional especially when we are compared to some Indian papers that have more than 15 decades of history and experience. [The report of worm found in Real juice was first published by Naya Patrika, a daily tabloid. It was also carried by Sagarmatha TV, a news channel. Kantipur TV, not newspapers from Kantipur Publications, broadcasted a report on that on it’s late night news show, not regular and prime time news bulletins.] Continue reading Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Nepal’s Free Media

Shyam Saran, Indian envoy, Comes to Nepal to tell our Leaders how to form a Government

shyam saran in kathmandu
Shyam Saran talks to reporters in Kathmandu.

हामी लघूमानव हौं।
हामी आफूखुशी कहिल्यै मिल्न नसक्ने
कसैले मिलाइदिनुपर्ने,
हामी आफुखुशी कहिल्यै छुट्टिन नसक्ने
कसैले छुट्टायाई दिनुपर्ने,
हामी आफू खुसी कहिल्यै अगाडि बढ्न नसक्ने
कसैले पछाडिबाट हिर्काउनुपर्ने, हिँडाउनुपर्ने
हामी रङ्ग-रोगन छुटेका,
टुटेका, फुटेका
पुरानो क्यारमबोर्डका गोटि हौं
एउटा मानोरञ्जक खेलका सामाग्री,
एउटा खेलाडीमाथि आश्रित,
आफ्नो गति हराएका
एउटा ‘स्ट्राइकर’ द्वारा सञ्चालित
हो, हामी मानिस कम र बढ्ता गोटी हौं।
[Click on the photo above to read the complete poem by Bhupi Sherchan]

You will be forgiven if you thought Bhupi Sherchan penned those lines this evening after watching Shyam Saran land in Kathmandu today afternoon as Indian Prime Minister’s special envoy to Nepal to tell the quarreling political parties how to ditch differences among them and form a government. As Bhupi says: We (the Nepalis) are nothing but subhumans, we can’t voluntarily live in harmony, somebody has to come and reconcile us with each other.. we are more carrom-men than humans that are operated by a striker.”

::::

“Prime Minister of India has sent me here as an envoy so that I can, along with excellency ambassador [Rakesh Sood], have extensive round of meetings with all the political leaders in the country to see whether or not there is someway in which we can try build consensus so that a constitution in Nepal is formulated as quickly as possible. We have great interest, as neighboring country in the political stability of Nepal, and in the economic prosperity of Nepal, and as a friendly neighbor we will try and make all the efforts possible.”

-Shyam Saran, speaking to journalists at Tribhuvan Inernational Airport, Kathmandu today.

:::

New Delhi: India has send a senior envoy to Nepal to help resolve a political crisis that has left the Himalayan nation without a prime minister for five weeks. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran has reached Kathmandu to aid talks between rival parties who have repeatedly failed to elect a new prime minister in the latest chapter of a long power struggle. “Nepal’s political situation is in limbo, and India wants to help them set up a stable government,” an Indian foreign ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Continue reading Shyam Saran, Indian envoy, Comes to Nepal to tell our Leaders how to form a Government

An Indian ambassador remembers GP Koirala

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Professor Bimal Prasad recalls his days in Kathmandu as India’s ambassador to Nepal when GPK was the Prime Minister.

professor bimal prasad
Prof. Prasad

By Dinesh Wagle

Bimal Prasad, in a way, is the first ‘official’ Indian to observe very closely the transformation of Girija Prasad Koirala from a leader on the street to the prime minister of a majority government. Professor Prasad was India’s ambassador in Kathmandu when Koirala became premier for the first time on 26 May 1991. “I had known Giirjababu long before that,” recalled 85-year-old Prasad a few days after Koirala’s demise. “We used to go to see BP Koirala while he was in Delhi (in the 70s). Girijababu wouldn’t talk much during those days.”

india remembers koirala kathmandu post special supplement
clik to enlarge

By the time he became the PM, Koirala was no more under the shadow of BP as ‘shy’ brother of ‘few words’. He had almost established himself as the most important leader in the Nepali Congress. “He was an able Prime Minister,” said Prasad. “There were problems within the party. His relationships with Kishunji and Ganeshmanji deteriorated.” Had Koirala solved the intraparty feud and mended his relationship with communists like he did during the last years of his life Nepal wouldn’t have suffered as much. “He was a strong leader but not without shortcomings,” Prasad said. Continue reading An Indian ambassador remembers GP Koirala

Struggling For Nepal’s True Sovereignty

India wanted to establish Nepal as a dependent state since it had ousted the British colonial regime. It did not want Nepal to have independent foreign relations. In 1975, the late King Birendra had proposed Nepal to be recognized internationally as a “zone of peace” which had received by 1990, support of 112 countries, including that of China and Pakistan. India remained silent on this count despite repeated proposals put forward by Nepal….The Maoists want to eliminate India from Nepal’s power and politics.

By Bishnu Pathak, PhD

Land-locked Nepal has always existed in giant India’s shadow. However, now that its people have tasted democracy, they want to shake off Indian influence and become masters of their own destiny. Nepal has long historic, strategic, geo-political, commercial and socio-cultural relations with India. There has been a protracted debate and discourse to continuously improve such relations. But history also shows that whenever Nepal is in its transition phases, its people encounter several problems at national and regional levels owing to the role of India. Nepalis living on the Nepal-India border have suffered in particular at the hands of Indian border security forces and criminal groups. In spite of such suffering, they have failed to attract the country’s attention as most governments and mainstream parties have turned a deaf ear to their problems, fearing reprisals from India. A principal reason behind such practices is that the Nepalese authorities seek personal/family/party/cadre benefits whenever they get an opportunity to meet the Indian establishment, pushing behind the crucial issues faced by the people.

In the course of agitation to restore civilian supremacy, the UCPN (Maoist) initiated an anti-Indian campaign torching the 1950 India-Nepal treaty, displaying black flags in front of senior government officials, protesting in front of the Indian Embassy, boycotting CA House on the issue of intrusion and holding mass assemblies at the alleged Indian-encroached border regions from January 5, 2010 for a month. On January 11, the UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, in a mass meeting at Mahendranagar, said, “I will fight for national independence and sovereignty till my last breath.” Continue reading Struggling For Nepal’s True Sovereignty

Message from Mumbai: plight of Nepali cancer patients

It is pathetic to see poor Nepalese cancer patients and their caretakers stationed at footpaths, dinning at hand cart and unable to attend natures call on time due to unavailable spots.

By Dr. Suryabahadur Singh

The Tata Cancer Hospital Mumbai (Tata Memorial Center) is one of the reputed medical centres for the treatment and research of Cancer in the world that serves people from all over the world. The hospital has produced a large chunk of trained oncologists, radiologists, and other Para-medical staffs. These medico specialists were trained from all major under developed and developing Asian countries including Nepal.

In the background of this, we will analyze the plight of Nepali Cancer patients in Mumbai. The plethora of problems starts with Nepalese patients those who cannot afford the costly treatment by categorizing them as foreign national patients at the hospital. The majority of sufferers are middle class and poor families, who hail from far flung areas with no support from the locally residing Nepalese in Mumbai or own resources. Continue reading Message from Mumbai: plight of Nepali cancer patients

Shyam Saran, Nepal expert, Quits Indian PMO

Saran’s exit marks the departure of the last Indian player in the Indian establishment who was behind the ground-breaking 12-point agreement that initiated the process of ending conflict in Nepal

By Dinesh Wagle in New Delhi
The Wagle Notes

shyam saran with nepali officials
Shyam Saran as India's ambassador to Nepal with Nepali officials in Kathmandu in 2004. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

Shyam Saran, former ambassador to Nepal and the man who once played a crucial role in Nepali peace process has on Friday (yesterday) announced resignation from the post of Indian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on the India-U.S. nuclear deal and climate change. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) accepted the resignation to be effective from March 14.

Despite holding a position that has little to do with Nepali politics Saran is said to be providing his inputs on India’s Nepal policy informally because of his deep understanding of the Nepali politics. He hasn’t publicized the reason for resignation but news reports have speculated that he fell out with India’s pro-active Environment minister over India’s approach to international climate change negotiations. Some reports say he was unhappy with the latest development at the PMO that saw Shiv Shankar Menon, a former foreign secretary three years junior to him, elevated to the post of National Security Adviser to the PM with Minister of State status. Whatever the reason, Saran’s exit marks the departure of the last Indian player in the Indian establishment who was behind the ground-breaking 12-point agreement that initiated the process of ending conflict in Nepal. Continue reading Shyam Saran, Nepal expert, Quits Indian PMO

Analysis: Nepal President’s India Visit

president yadav returns home
President Yadav arrives at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

The president wasn’t accorded similar levels of hospitality on all fronts: India rejected his request to supply more sugar to Nepal.

By Dinesh Wagle
The Wagle Notes

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav returned home on Thursday (yesterday) completing his four-day visit to India. It was a mixed bag. To his supporters, New Delhi not only expressed solidarity with the budding Nepali republic but also demonstrated strong support for the president for his hardline position against the Maoist-led government. His detractors, especially the Maoists, could argue that it was but natural for Delhi to accord the president a warm welcome. Delhi, to this group, gave him a ‘thank you’ for doing what he was asked to do: revoke the Maoist-led government’s decision to sack the then-Army chief Rookmangud Katawal.

Some Nepal-watchers here say New Delhi has no illusion about the ceremonial status of Nepal’s president. “After all, it is the political parties, including the Maoists, who have to come together to complete the work on the constitution,” said an Indian analyst insisting anonymity. “Indians know they can back the president only so far. If they push more than what is seen as undermining the democratic process in Nepal, they will be facing the wrath of the Nepali people as it happened in the 2006 movement.” New Delhi changed tack as Nepalis continued with the movement ignoring Delhi’s initial efforts to bring together monarchy and political parties and restore democracy. Continue reading Analysis: Nepal President’s India Visit

First President of Republic of Nepal Arrives in India

First foreign trip of the First President of the Himalayan Republic

President Yadav with LK Advani
With Advani

Dr Ram Baran Yadav has started his first foreign trip (to India) as the first head of the state of the republic of Nepal on Monday (today). President Yadav, who landed in Delhi’s IG International Airport this afternoon, started discussions with Indian leaders at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel where he is staying. Top opposition leaders Lal Krishna Advani and Sharad Yadav paid courtesy call on the president.

“I asked the President his assessment of the situation where writing constitution is not completed in time,” said Advani who is a towering personality in the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. “The president will be meeting the Prime Minister of India, Foreign Minister and possibly chairperson of the Congress party. I am sure that they would like democracy to be strengthen in Nepal. So is our party and NDA’s (National Democratic Alliance) interest.”

Asked if his party still had reservations about Maoists coming to power in Nepal, Advani replied: “That’s the feeling of many democrats even in Nepal.”

Asked if he raised the issue of Maoist’s ‘anti-India’ agitation in Nepal, Advani said: ” I didn’t raise the issue as that’s not what I am supposed to do. But I said that we would like Nepal’s religious, cultural and political relation with India as farm and strong as they have always been.”

In his meeting with the President, Sharad Yadav, leader of Janata Dal United, asked if the constitution would be written on time in Nepal. He also inquired about the challenges for the completion of drafting a constitution on time.

“The president said that the work is on right track,” said Rajendra Dahal, press adviser to the president. “But it’s slow, he said. The problem is political and the president said Nepal expects best wishes from India reminding India’s role during the time of conflict by helping to bring the Maoists into mainstream.”

Leader of ruling Nationalist Congress Party, D P Tripathi, also paid a courtesy called on the President. Similarly Indian foreign secretary Nirapuma Rao also met the President in the evening.

The president is scheduled to meet his counterpart Prativa Patil, Prime Minister Manmonah Singh, Foreign Minister SM Krishna and other leaders including United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday.

Air Service Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding with India on constructing Railway infrastructure will be signed at the ministerial level on Tuesday. Similarly two other Memorandums of Understanding on constructing a Polytechnic institute in Hatuda and a Friendship Building in Birganj will also be signed at the secretary level. The railway infrastructure MOU is about extending Indian railway links to five border points with Nepal.

President will go to Haridwar on Wednesday. State Minister for External Affairs Praneet Kaur had received the president at the airport. The president attended a dinner party hosted by the Nepali ambassador to India Rukma Shumser Rana at the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi in the evening.

Nepal India Bhai Bhai. Take Rose, Tension Nahi Leneka.

Nepal-India Friendship
Nepalis and Indians exchange roses in a show of harmony in no-man's-land at Jamunaha border point on Saturday (30 Jan). Photo by Janak Nepal

In an effort to reduce tensions between their two nations, Nepalis and Indians come at a border point to hoist their national flags, sing their national songs and pay respect to their martyrs. But Indian Border Security Force’s harassment continues in eastern border (see box)

By Janak Nepal

Flags were hoisted, national anthems sung and tributes paid to martyrs of both countries—Nepal and India— in no-man’s land at Jamunaha border point near the Nepali town of Nepalgunj on Saturday (30 Jan) for a reason. The people from the two countries exchanged roses in a show of friendship and harmony.

Civil society leaders from Nepalgunj and bordering Rupaidiya had organised a programme for reconciliation between the two sides. Tension had flared up in border areas after the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [UCPN-M], under its national sovereignty campaign, printed posters showing boots planted on the Indian national flag a week ago. Continue reading Nepal India Bhai Bhai. Take Rose, Tension Nahi Leneka.