Monday, July 25, 2005


I thought in terms of raising money for a possible movement for democracy, and that was several months back: To: George Soros (April 2). The Soros people consider Nepal outside their target region, so there is not an option to apply.

Since then I have moved to NYC. I am a happy, bubbley New Yorker, have been for over two months now: I feel like I have found my hometown. I also just so happen to be amidst reengineering my career path: Resume 2.0.

Meeting Anil Shahi yesterday (Kunda Dixit In Jackson Heights) might lead me into another direction. He called earlier today. Arnico of Sajha fame is coming down to NYC from Boston two weeks from now, and the three of us are going to hang out for hours. Like hours and hours.

And I have been thinking. I sent off an email to Anilji. This is what.

I become President of the Alliance For Democracy And Human Rights In Nepal. Nothing against Sanjaya Parajuliji, a fellow Teraiwasi to boot, but he can stick around as an Officer. And I write to the National Endowment for Democracy for $100,000. I pay myself $1000 a month, to put in upwards of 30 hours a week, and the rest of the money goes to something like this: Wiki: Shape The Movement.

If democracy is not established by winter, we have failed. There has to be a sense of urgency.

This is early stage thinking on my part. My business involvements, very early stage anyways, the number one reason I moved to the city, can be done on the side, part time. And I am someone capable of long hours.

One thing is for sure. I am not someone in exile awaiting a political career in Nepal. That just is not on my map. All you have to do is take a look at my resume, and you will see why: my aspirations are to do with the internet.

But I do have some ideas that I would like to play out in Nepal. True, the involvement is primarily emotional, but it is also intellectual. Nepal is like a human laboratory. Ideas tested there can be applied at larger scales. (Proposed Constitution, Reorganized UN, Methods)

I also prepared the framework for an online think tank: 21st Century Nepal. It just got to be populated now!

In The News
  • Nepali municipality elections to be held Xinhua, China ....Election Commission has completed all necessary preparations for the coming municipality elections and a date for it will be announced by mid October.... announcing and holding elections before mid-April 2006 and will hold elections in all the country's 58 municipalities within a year's time..... total number of voters was 15,049,438 in 3,915 villages and 58 municipalities
  • Nepal: Stealth of Nations, Nepal
  • Youth leaders demand clear agenda Kathmandu Post, Nepal .... Chandra Bhandari, youth leader of Nepali Congress ..... CPN-UML leader Shankar Pokharel ..... both the extremists -- Maoists and active monarchists -- are clear about their agenda but political parties are still confused. "Since the Maoists are a force that has emerged from among the people, we should be closer to them." Pokharel also said the parties should democratize..... NP Saud of NC (Democratic).... Saud added that all cadres are pressurizing the party to join hands with Maoists for their defense at the local level...... Ghanashyam Bhushal of CPN-UML.... Student leader Gagan Thapa, said the root cause of the present problem was feudalistic structure of Nepali society, and claimed that it would continue until progressive forces come together against the feudals.... NSP (Anandi Devi) leader Anil Jha said formulation of a new constitution through constituent assembly should decide whether we need monarchy.
  • PFN to re-launch exposure campaign Kathmandu Post, Nepal Maoists have abducted six persons including local leaders of People's Front Nepal (PFN), industrialists and ex-Maoists.... Mukti Sharma, a former full-time party cadre of the rebel outfit, was also abducted from his home at Markabang in Ratapani....
  • We want to help promote democracy: Daschle Kathmandu Post, Nepal National Democratic Institution for International Affairs (NDI) which has sponsored Daschle's July 21-27 visit..... "I am troubled by lack of movement toward reconciliation and lack of efforts by all concerned to engage in meaningful dialogue toward reconciliation" ..... Daschle also inquired about state policy on government advertisements.
  • Parties want greater Maoist commitment Kathmandu Post, Nepal.... more concrete steps from Maoists to create conducive atmosphere for dialogue .... take concrete steps toward implementing their commitments.... five fundamental things: stop harassing political activists, stop obstructing their political activities, ensure smooth running of schools, not obstruct anti-regression movement and express clear and institutional commitment to multiparty polity, human rights and rule of law..... "Abduction of three cadres of People's Front Nepal in Pyuthan and reports of rape of a United Left Front cadre are the recent cases of their brutality against our cadres" .... parties, however, reiterated that there was no alternative to dialogue to resolve the problems and intensify joint movement..... reinstatement of the House of Representatives, an all-party government and constituent assembly election were basic procedures needed for resolving the Maoist problem...... back the protest programs launched by civil servants, civil society, lawyers, journalists and HR activists....NC President Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Nepal, NC (Democratic) Acting President Gopal Man Shrestha, People's Front Nepal leader Chitra Bahadur Ale, NWPP leader Narayan Man Bijukchhe, NSP (Anandi Devi) leader Bharat Bimal Yadav and United Left Front leader C P Mainali.
  • Import of Brahimi-Daschle visits Kathmandu Post, Nepal ....both these gentlemen are not only keen observers of international politics, they also wield considerable influences .... Nepal now ranks very high on the agenda of the UN and the US radar .... Rice: 'Giving security priority over democracy gives us neither…. Democracy is the only idea powerful enough to overcome division, hatred, and violence.' ..... Brahimi, who has been to many of the really troubled hot spots of the globe ..... a return to constitutional order and multiparty democracy, an end to hostilities, and an inclusive national dialogue..... In Sri Lanka it is Norway-monitored truce which is still holding. The daily death toll has stopped since the cease-fire was inked..... Right now the ball is in the king's court.
  • Three RNA men hurt in blast Kathmandu Post, Nepal
  • ‘Democracy years better than Panchayat years’ Kathmandu Post, Nepal ....economists on Sunday shed light on the significant achievements of the 12-year period..... 12 years of democracy .... 30 years of the king's direct rule pre-1990 .... overall development, including economic and social development, was much more during the democratic period.....national poverty index decreased by 11 percent during the democratic years..... literacy rate was 39.6 percent before 1990, whereas it reached 55 percent.... only 7036 km of road network was constructed till 1990 whereas it has reached over 16834 now..... After restoration of democracy, over 40 percent households across the country received electricity, that was very negligible until 1990..... foreign investment increased by 22 percent and that provided employment opportunity to over 92,000 laborers..... in the last five months after the February One move, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has decreased to 2 percent from the expected 4 to 4.5 percent..... import and export ratio has also decreased greatly and inflation has reached 6 percent..... In the social sector, national investment increased by 19 percent..... admitted that there were some weaknesses in democratic practices and governance that must be corrected in future to consolidate the future of democracy
  • Army doesn't deny Maoists have infiltrated the city, but says it ... OhmyNews International, South Korea ..... Maoist rebels have hopes to attack Kathmandu ..... Deepak Gurung said, "Though the rebels are trying to attack Kathmandu, security personnel are alert and ready to oppose their attacks." ...... a special Maoist task force has entered the capital. Gurung didn't deny the movement of rebels in Kathmandu..... said the placement of explosives in different parts of the capital is the same as the terrorist bombings in London ..... Panic spread after people learned the rebels may lay siege to the capital ..... After the breakdown of the second cease-fire in August 2003, 4,490 rebels have been killed in security operations, while 508 security personnel lost their lives in the same period. The army also informed the press that in the same period 8,806 Maoist rebels surrendered......the government has increased the security budget to 19 billion rupees (approximately $270 million), up 26 percent from last year's 14.7 billion rupees ($209 million)...... 1998's 5.46 billion rupees ($78 million) -- 9.7 percent of the annual budget.
  • Protesters clash with Nepal police Peninsula On-line, Qatar
  • Total democracy : Student leaders see it as a republican set-up Himalayan Times, Nepal ....the agitating parties say they are fighting for total democracy, a delightfully vague concept, student leaders affiliated to those parties have started defining total democracy as establishment of a republican set-up...... Ram Kumar Basnet, vice-president of the All Nepal National Free Students ..... Jhalanath Khanal, standing committee member of the CPN-UML, said full democracy could not be restored unless the feudal system was uprooted..... Our correspondent in Janakpurdham said leaders of eight student unions demanded that the political parties make clear their position on a constituent assembly. At a public debate on Total democracy and people's movement at Janakpur today, they said the course of the agitation has been directed towards the establishment of a republican set-up. Secretary of ANNFSU (Unified), Mohan Timilsina, said enormous change was needed in the country.
  • RCCC rejects ADB report on Melamchi; Deuba, Singh cry foul NepalNews .....members of the RCCC bench ruled that the ADB report could not be taken into consideration while deciding the case .... talking to media persons after the trial at the RCCC office, Deuba and Singh strongly deplored the RCCC’s ruling not to recognise the ADB report..... It is for the first time the ADB’s Manila headquarters has conducted a study on such matters..... Deuba said, adding, “All these men [RCCC commissioners] are trying to do is to pursue political vendetta.” “How can a person of my stature indulge in corruption?” a visibly miffed Deuba questioned....... Singh termed the RCCC trial as a drama. “This is a poorly-staged drama aimed at assisting the King in destroying the achievements of the 1990’s movement” .... Another trial, probably the final one, will be on Monday.
  • Civil society leaders to take to streets on Monday NepalNews .... In what is seen as a bid to re-enact ‘jana andolan’ 1990, people from various walks of life are staging a peaceful demonstration at Ratna Park –a restricted area-- in the capital, Kathmandu, Monday afternoon..... Dr Devendra Raj Panday, Dr Mathura Prasad Shrestha and Krishna Pahadi...... the constitutional monarchy has converted itself into an absolute one, citizen’s right to organize and associate has been hijacked and free press has been strangled. Unelected and unaccountable individuals are in the seat of power.
  • No noose is good noose Kunda Dixit Nepali Times .... Now that all lorries in Kathmandu Valley are obediently following the new traffic regulation to cover their cargo with blue plastic sheets we can safely say with some degree of certainty, that there has been a vast improvement in the law and order situation in the country...... the cynical and jaded communists (oops, columnists) ..... ever since the warbles of mobiles were heard again in Pokhara this week, people instinctively knew that the worst was over and that our ship of state is now sailing forth into a glorious sunset and headed right into the tip of an iceberg...... After dominating the civil service for centuries and making inroads into the army, Bahuns are now going where no Bahun has gone before: to the top of Mt Everest.......the presence of the first priest on the peak did raise some eyebrows from indigenous locals who were heard to mutter: “They’re everywhere, they leave nothing for us.” ...... Overheard in a pub at Namche: “After all, she went up a Newarni and came down a Sherpini.”
  • Should the parties respond to the Maoist offer of negotiations? Nepali Times Poll ...
  • CK Lal Nepali Times .... In Kathmandu, time either stands still or it races like a monsoon flashflood...... That event proved King Birendra’s assertions to premier Krishna Prasad Bhattarai that the army was under the sole control of its supreme commander. And the Maoists learnt that there was no point sacking the headquarters of Dolpa–ultimate state power rested in Narayanhiti....... December 2000 when rumour-mongers succeeded in stoking the fires of hyper-nationalism over what Hrithik Roshan never said....... probably the worst slaughter of royals in human history ...... Deuba dissolved parliament in the dead of night on 22 May 2002. A day earlier, COAS Prajwalla S Rana had hinted about the army’s impatience with democratic rule. The creeping militarisation of the state had started in earnest but Deuba failed to see the trap....... Despite intense international pressure, the king has refused to correct the course of post-modern monarchy where the country is run like a large estate...... since we had a guest editor-in-chief poring over our copy ...... The charge of not being sufficiently nationalistic has been levelled at me so often that I have come to regard it as a professional hazard.......
  • Nepal: The Realignment Race NepalNews ..... The retention of the entire existing cabinet line-up, too, is being seen by the opposition as a signal of the palace’s unwillingness to compromise..... many of the new ministers were until recently prominent members of the kingdom’s leading parties, the Nepali Congress and the Unified Marxist Leninists (UML)......
  • Nepal police detain democracy activists Reuters AlertNet, UK
  • Nepal parties reject Maoist rebels offer of talks Reuters AlertNet .....The king has ignored international pressure, including from the United States, to restore democracy and analysts say he is far from cutting any deal with the parties or the Maoists.
  • Nepal parties ask Maoists to commit to multi-party democracy Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran
  • Nepal's controversial rebel road BBC News, UK eight-year-old village boy ... We asked what he was going to see. Quietly excited, he uttered the prolonged word - "Bus!" .... built by villagers with immense skill and little mechanical help. In places it is supported from below by banks of stones packed tightly together...... the surreal sight of a jeep coming up the road .... "We plan to extend our road network westwards," he said. "We're also planning to spread electricity provision and build new village markets. But the road is the backbone of our plan."......
  • Absolute power corrupts... Daily Pioneer, India
  • Nepalese Police Detain Anti-King Demonstrators Voice of America
  • FNJ Condemns Sacking of 21 NTV Journos Himalayan Times, Nepal the mass "lay off" of twenty one "pro-democratic" journalists of the state owned Nepal Television..... NTV''s district correspondent Srinarayan Shah from Dhanusha district, Prem KC, FNJ's Banke district president
  • WAR AND PEACE Kantipur Online, Nepal A conflict doesn’t end overnight. It’s a long, slow process, in which two parties, once they arrive at the table, go from small negotiations to more contentious ones. .... Mediation is tough business ..... More usually, it is the rebel forces that reject UN intervention..... The UN may be invited to mediate in a conflict and then find that its suggestions are roundly rejected...... The UN seems to do better with territorial disputes that do not already involve massive loss of human life and historic resentments...... Norway was perceived not to have any vested interests in Sri Lanka.... The Norwegians have strong experience in international mediation in Guatemala, Colombia, Haiti, Sudan, Aceh, and the Philippines, among others..... thus far, the conflict seems to have quieted down. As Norway's peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, said: “No one expects the conflict to be solved in weeks or months.”....... Lessons learnt from the Norwegian experience? Support negotiations of the warring parties. Support mechanisms to monitor commitments. Demonstrate real “peace dividends” that benefit people on the ground...... successful mediation is only possible if both parties have a genuine will for peace..... In Nepal’s case, that might mean leaving children out of the conflict by both parties, to start with. Stopping torture could be a second step. Not blockading food to civilian populations might be a third......
  • Empowering the people of Nepal: Sociopolitical and economic devolution Dr. Pramod Aryal, Dr. Surendra Devkota ..... focus should be in empowering different nationalities, minorities, and women, too .... Contrary to unification under one language, religion, and central governance, political devolution with sovereignty would truly unite the country and move ahead towards comprehensive prosperity of nationalities, minorities, women and population at large......
  • Indian Officials Harassing South Asia Tribune New Delhi ... South Asia Tribune, VA The harassment of Rajnath in New Delhi comes shortly after Pakistan Government had placed the South Asia Tribune Editor, Shaheen Sehbai, on the infamous Exit Control List which prohibits Pakistani citizens to leave the country. Sehbai is in Washington but if he enters Pakistan, he will not be allowed to leave the country..... Nadeem first tried to bribe Rajnath and offered to pay Rs10,000 per month for writing one story per month against Pakistan or Bangladesh or Nepal or Hurriyat Conference or Naxalites or any one else suggested by the security agencies..... Nadeem claimed that many top journalists covering External, Home and Defense Ministries were on the payroll of security agencies or the concerned ministries and they received handsome compensation packages..... the situation took an ugly turn when the following two stories were published in the SAT:......1. “Tamil Tigers Training Nepalese Rebels: An Interview Revealing All”, published on July 8, 2005, and ..... 2. “Maoist Working Hard to Carve Out Their Own Country”, published on July 24, 2005....... Nadeem started calling Rajnath desperately and repeatedly asked him to disclose the source of his story about the Maoists. ..... the Foreign Ministry officials think Rajnath had exposed the Indian policy on Nepal for what it was worth...... Though these stories may be true, when they are published in the international media, they cause ripples and tarnish the image of India. Such is the impact of the international media, particularly web newspapers.......

    Clarification regarding use of quotations attributed to Foreign Secretary, Official Spokesperson etc by Mr. Arun Rajnath


    It has been noted that a person filing as Mr. Arun Rajnath for the South Asia Tribune (Washington D.C.) has been using quotations and attributing them to the Foreign Secretary, Official Spokesman, MEA officials, etc. It is clarified that these quotations are absolutely fictitious. No quotations contained in Mr. Rajnath’s stories should be taken as accurate unless they are corroborated by official MEA statements or press briefings.

    New Delhi
    February 28, 2005

    Press Releases
    Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

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