Nepal in the Press -2001
questions Royal visit to army HQs <TOP>
LALITPUR, Dec 23 Central member of
the Nepali Congress (NC) and former Minister, Narahari Acharya,
Sunday expressed his concern over the recent visit of King Gyanendra
and Crown Prince Paras to the Army Headquarters at Bhadrakali.
Acharya was speaking at a national workshop
here. At the same function, former Speaker Daman Nath Dhungana,
flayed Chief of the Army Staff for appearing on Nepal Television
"The Prime Minister and the Defence Minister
should have accompanied the King during the visit," Acharya
King Gyanendra and Prince Paras last Friday
had visited the Army Headquarters to keep themselves updated
on the ongoing army operation in the country. No government
representative accompanied the royal duo.
On the matter of Chief of the Army Staff,
Prajwalla Shumshere JB Rana, appearing on state television last
Monday, Dhungana said that it was the peoples representatives
who should have appeared on the screen rather than the army
chief. Dhungana was also critical of the army being deployed
in the country.
The army chief had appeared in the weekly
Dhungana also expressed concern over the possibility
of democracy losing out to emergency. "There is a great
probability that the state of emergency will swallow up democracy,"
The one-day workshop, attended by several
political leaders and experts, was held to discuss the present
crisis situation and to look at the possibility of reaching
a consensus to resolve the political turmoil.
Professor of political science, Krishna Khanal,
said that there should not be any national political consensus
on extending the ongoing state of emergency. He, however, did
not explain his stance.
Khanal also urged the government not to link
development initiatives with the emergency since the emergency
should only concentrate on taming the Maoists.
"Development should take place in the
normal way," Khanal said. The political scientist also
demanded the government to make preparations for the rehabilitation
of those Maoists who have surrendered to the administration
since the declaration of emergency on November 26.
In his remarks, Minister for Physical Planning
and Construction, Chiranjivi Wagle, asked the political parties
and the civil society to stop being suspicious about the role
of the Royal Nepal Army. He said the army, in accordance with
the Constitution, is fighting to restore peace and save democracy
in the country.
"The government is trying hard to terminate
the ongoing emergency as soon as possible and is striving to
keep the losses at a minimum," Wagle said.
On the debate over the formation of an all-party
government, Wagle said the Constitution does not allow such
a government to be installed.
"If an all-party government is to be
formed, the Constitution should be amended first," Wagle
said. "It is high time we define what national consensus
Central member and lawmaker of NC, Bal Dev
Sharma Majgainya, demanded that the government should keep the
political parties abreast of all the negative and positive developments
during the emergency.
Note: The seminar was organized
by CCD in Kathmandu on December 23 in co-operation with FES.
infrastructure for ICT <TOP>
KATHMANDU, Nov. 29 - Experts in the field
of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have urged
the governments of respective countries of developing infrastructure
in order to keep pace with the fast changing technology.
Kunda Dixit, a renowned journalist and editor
of Nepali Times weekly, stressed that the government should
develop infrastructure. Only 0.5 per cent of the Nepali own
computer and the telephone ownership is not above two per cent
and a mere 13 per cent of the population has access to electricity.
How can such a country take a part in a race of ICT? he questioned.
He also pointed out the need to provide competent
teachers and textbooks to children in the school of remote villages
before distributing computers to them. Dixit was delivering
a keynote speech at an international conference on Information
Technology, Communications and Development (ITCD-2001) in the
Dr Alfred Diebold, Resident Representative
of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Nepal, said that FES had
organized the international conference with a view to showcasing
Nepals ICT potential and sharing experiences and knowledge
among the experts of ICT.
He also said that the two-day conference would
dwell on various issues and aspects of ICT including the policies
and laws, communications, role of Internet in social development,
democratization of Internet among others.
The participants also warned that the digital
divide is soon becoming the most visible component of the development
divide. If not tackled in time, the divide will cause severe
consequences for the developing countries.
Ajaya Kumar, Secretary to the Government of
Kerala, India, said that digital divide could enlarge marginalization
as access to opportunities to wealth creation is reduced or
polarized and potential losses of considerable development opportunities
as productivity and efficiency gains are not transmitted from
the rich to the poor countries.
Presenting a paper on Telecentres in Rural
Asia: Towards a Success, Roger Harris of Hong Kong , said that
telecentres play an important role in minimizing the digital
divide as they provide an alternative to the model of one-to-one
individual access to a computer that predominates the developed
Earlier, Mahesh Man Shrestha, Secretary at
the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that His Majestys
Government of Nepal is making every possible efforts to promote
the development of ICT in the country.
In order to facilitate the use of Internet
and make it more accessible to a larger chunk of population,
the government has deregulated the international gateway of
telecommunications and an IT park is being constructed in Banepa,
some 20 kilometers east of Kathmandu, he said.
The government has initiated the process of
providing training in ICT with a view to produce desired manpower
for the country. Within three years, 50,000 people will be trained
in ICT and the government has also established a venture capital
fund to boost the confidence of IT entrepreneurs, the secretary
Lochan Lal Amatya, President of Computer Association
of Nepal (CAN) expressed the views that for a resource-poor
country like Nepal ICT can play a vital role in expediting the
pace of development.
The two-day conference organized by FES in
association with CAN is being participated in by more than 100
experts from 25 countries, according to the organizer.
Strategies for vast water resources
Energy Policy Seminar
Kathmandu, Nov. 27: At a time when Nepal is
bracing for the WTO membership, it is high time to chalk out
strategies for reaping a desired level of benefit by utilizing
it's 240 Billion cubic meter of water. If Nepal's vast water
resources are utilize for its own interest, it can trade hydro-power
with neighbouring country like India.
Apart from this there is a high chance of
developing linkage of water resources with security as well,
said hydropower experts here today.
However, they said 'the government should
realize the actual benefit of hydropower. Even Nepal has
not been able to take any benefits from the Treaty on the Gandaki
and Koshi Rivers, it can still safeguard its interests if the
government takes timely measures,' they said adding 'the issue
of utilization of water resources at regional level should be
given emphasis during the Eleventh SAARC summit.'
Speaking at a national seminar jointly organized
by Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) and Coalition
for Action on South Asian Co-operation (CASAC) with the assistance
of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Nepal, country's eminent
water resource experts strongly pointed out the need for taking
'timely and bold steps' to use its water resources to fulfill
its own demand and the demand of neighbouring country. 'If it
fails to do something concrete on hydropower, it will have nothing
at all. Besides, Nepal has comparative benefit on hydropower
too,' they asserted.
The government has not taken any initiatives
to use country's water resources, experts said. At the seminar
organized with the objective of rendering policy input to the
government, they affirmed' considering the crises of water,
Nepal has to take timely action to tackle the problem.
Alfred Diebold, Resident Representative of
FES, Nepal pointed out the need for maximum utilization of its
vast water resources. Talking to The Rising Nepal, he said '
Nepal has missed a lot of opportunities in comparison to South
Asian country like Bhutan which sells its energy to India.
Earlier S.B Pun while presenting his working
paper expressed hope that the Eleventh SAARC Summit to be held
in Kathmandu would identify the need for regional project to
use water resources in the region.
Dr. Binayak Bhadra while presenting paper
on ' Hydro Energy For National Development' stressed that importance
of hydro energy should be given priority for national development.
Another expert Dr. Kamal Banskota spoke about economic flows
from high land to lowland.
Dr. Kamal Rijal, Renewal Energy Specialist
of the ICIMOD highlighted the importance of water resources
for meeting energy needs in South Asia. Dr. Hari Man Shrestha,
water resource expert blamed the decision makers of undermining
the national interest. While presenting paper on 'Energy as
a Security Issue', Dr. Shrestha said that Nepal could use its
water resources as a security measure.
On the occasion Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma, Dr.
Badri Parasad Shrestha, Sridhar Khartri and Dr. Ambar Bahadur
Thapa commented the working papers. Sridhar Khatri while extending
vote of thank expressed hope that the seminar would help render
some input to the government while making policy on water resources.
The seminar was participated in by around
35 people from different organizations.
seminar on WTO <Top>
Nepal's senior economists at a national seminar held Tuesday
morning have suggested the government to do proper homework
prior to joining the body of the World Trade Organization, WTO.
The Nepalese scholars were also of the opinion
that the Nepal's concerned authorities dealing with the WTO
affairs must convince the lay men regarding the benefits and
the otherwise that would accrue from Nepal's joining the WTO
The national seminar entitled "Nepal's
accession to WTO and the Agriculture Sector" was organized
by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies, NEFAS, in cooperation
with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Welcoming the attending seminar participants,
the NEFAS Executive Director Professor Ananda Shrestha said
that Nepal could benefit from WTO provided proper home work
is done prior to joining the World Trade body.
Posh Raj Pandey, a member of the government's
WTO cell, presented the paper.
Dr. Bishwanath Tiwari and Sri Dipendra Bahadur
Chetri commented on Pandey's paper.
Professor Gun Nidhi Sharma from the chair
maintained that Nepal's already high cost economy has got to
be brought down in order to compete the world market.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (November
development training opens <TOP>
Member of the Nepali Congress Central Committee
and chief of the NC Organization Department Krishna Prasad Sitaula
inaugurated the leadership development training conducted under
the joint sponsorship of Nepal Health Workers’ Association,
Nepal Trade Union Congress and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung here
In his inaugural address, Sitauda called
on one and all to unite and safeguard the basic principles of
the constitution at a time when democracy is under severe threat.
The Maoists should point out which articles
and clauses of the Constitution hinder them to work in favour
of people, he said, adding that if there are such articles and
clauses which are detrimental to the people, the Nepali Congress
is ready to amend them.
The Maoists should come within the purview
of the democracy and human rights ushered through the popular
movement of 2046 B.S., he added.
President of Nepal Trade Union Congress Laxman
Bahadur Basnet said that all workers should move ahead by analyzing
the achievements obtained within the last 12 years while keeping
in mind the rights and duties.
Acting president of the Nepal Health Workers
Association Muktiram Shrestha was on the chair.
One representative each from 20 district are
taking part in the training.
Source: The Rising Nepal, October 8,
channels pandering to vested interests <TOP>
Kanak Dixit and
KATHMANDU, October 6- Even as Film South Asia'01
is very much underway television experts, journalists and documentary
producers have shown their deep concern on the way national
televisions and satellites channels in the region were functioning.
"Television is supposed to be a public
service, but the term public service in the context of broadcasting
loses its meaning since most of the TV channels in South Asian
Region do not serve the public interest," said most of
the participants at the program organized in the sidelines of
the documentary show.
Public interests are best served by promoting
independent thought and creating pressure for democracy-- not
just as a political system of adult enfranchisement. Viewers
need to aspire towards a meaningful democracy, a just social
order in which citizens are alert and well-informed.
Meanwhile, even private TV networks are run
along commercial lines. Consider also the fact that documentaries
don't find place in private channel fares. It is also true that
governments-run TVs don't broadcast the film which is a political.
Consider also what Tapa Nath Shukla, Former
General Manager of Nepal television (NTV) said, "As a matter
of fact, the government here is not in a position of funding
such documentaries and the producers do not get sponsors."
The producers here lament that such movies
don't have a ready market. Another problem is they don't get
prime time. "In fact NTV demands us pay back to screen
such programs instead of providing us remuneration," said
Mohan Mainali, a radio-journalist.
Nupur Bassu, a documentary producer, claimed
that the televisions do not telecast the documentaries either
because of the issues or because they are not made on commercial
However, she added that the media needs to
be free from political influence.
According to Beena Sarwar, an editor of "The
News on Sunday" from Pakistan there was a need to break
away from the private monopoly on western line. She also stressed
the need to move away from traditional news formats, which by
their very nature and speed, provide information that is incomplete
Sarwar also said that appeal to emotions based
on nationalism, religion, security and identity would be considerably
hampered if people could see the full picture.
Experts said that a debate on the issue was
the need of the day, something which alone can say something
as to how public service satellite channels should be run.
Although even undemocratic governments are
trying to improve their image by allowing a certain amount of
media freedom, the same amount of media freedom, the same needs
to be further improved upon.
Meanwhile, the delegates from South Asia agreed
on the need to create presser for structural changes in the
Kanak Mani Dixit, a leading publisher, opined
that NTV should select some of the films being shown in FSA'01
since they are of good quality.
Source: Space Time Today, October 7,
Freedom in Nepal
Govt willing to work with press, says Deuba
PM Deuba addressing
Kathmandu, Sept. 30: Prime Minister Sher
Bahadur Deuba has assured the press that the government would
do its best to discuss and pass the draft on Right to Information
before the ongoing 20th session of the Parliament concludes.
Premier Deuba said this while inaugurating
the one-day national seminar on "Media Freedom in Nepal" organised
by Nepal Chapter of the International Press Institute (IPI)
here this morning.
Addressing the function the Prime Minister
said that the government was willing to sit down with the press
for formulating policies and programmes so as to facilitate
the Fourth Estate of the nation.
"I think the Nepalese press is enjoying complete
freedom, especially after the restoration of democracy in 1990,
but when it comes to facilitating it, we are always ready to
discuss and formulate policies," Premier Deuba said.
Meanwhile, he asked the journalists not to
become afraid while writing the truth and reality about the
activities that harm the interest of the country like the Maoist
insurgency which has marred the nation for the past six years.
During the programme journalist Shreeram Singh
Basnet presented a working paper on "Nepalese Press and its
Challenges in the International Context" on behalf of Kantipur
daily's journalist Yubraj Ghimire.
Ghimire was all set to present the paper but
could not do so following his hospitalization after sustaining
injury in a road accident yesterday.
Journalists Suresh Acharya, Purushottam Dahal
and Tirth Koirala commented on the 8-page-long paper on the
prospects and challenges of journalism in Nepal.
The working paper, however, was vehemently
criticised by the participants for not being able to replicate
the real history of Nepalese journalism.
Commenting on the paper, journalist Tirtha
Koirala said that it talked about the development of journalism
only after 2007 B.S. Journalist Koirala sharply criticized the
paper for not maintaining balance.
"The paper has terribly missed the more than
a century long history of journalism by talking only about the
journalism that flourished after 2007 B.S.," Koirala said.
The other participants also blamed the paper
of being totally biased and lopsided thereby shortening the
100-year long history made by Gorkhapatra Corporation.
During the session, which was chaired by NTV
General Manager Durga Nath Sharma, other commentators also criticized
the paper of not being able to replicate the whole trend of
Nepalese journalism. They said that the role of electronic media,
especially of radio and television, was largely ignored.
Source: The Rising Nepal, October 1,
Note: The programme was organized with
the support of FES Nepal.
the Young about Civic Education <TOP>
Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies organised
a one-day seminar on “Educating the Young about Civic Education”
for school and campus teachers in Palpa today. The seminar was
organised with the assistance of Friedrich Ebert Foundation
The Tansen teachers felt the need for civic
education in their schools to remedy the perversions surfacing
in the political life of the nation. Most of them linked the
degradation in the political life of the nation to the lack
of proper political education.
The teachers said that civic education had
been in the guise of one subject or the other in the past, like
Nagrik Shikshya, Social Studies, or Nepal Parichaya, and they
needed one today to spread the constitutional messages to the
people at large. The need for imbibing students with civic rights
and responsibilities, they said, was absolutely necessary to
Before the discussions began Prof. Gunanidhi
Sharma of the Economics Department of Tribhuvan University had
made his presentation on economics to suit the Nepalese needs
while another TU teacher, Khagendra Prasai, had spoken on the
need to contextualise the political culture according to the
nation’s own value systems.
In the opening session, Dr. Alfred Diebold,
the resident representative of FES in Kathmandu said that the
programme on civic education was assisted by FES to help strengthen
the democratic institutionalization process in Nepal, just as
the organisation had been doing in other countries, including
Srestha had welcomed the participants by introducing them to
the book that NEFAS had produced on the subject and asked for
suggestions to be included in the future editions of the book.
Dev Raj Dahal spoke on the need for the civic
education programme saying that the subject was being taught
in almost every democratic country “realizing that people are
not born democrats but that they are trained to become one as
Chatraraj Shakya, a local campus teacher,
had chaired the discussion sessions. Fifty Teachers from high
schools and higher secondary schools of Tansen and others from
the civil society had participated in the discussions.
views part of society: Ranabhat [UP]
(third from left) and other MPs
Speaker Taranath Ranabhat has said society
cannot exist without conflicting views and opinions and it is
not possible to completely root out one ideology and establish
Ranabhat, who was inaugurating a seminar
on strategies for conflict in consolidation of democracy organised
here today, spoke of the need to integrate different ideologies
for the larger interests of society.
Stating that the Maoists themselves don't
know what their goals are and what they are fighting for, he
said if the Maoists don't come to the political mainstream by
making use of the present favourable situation in the present
context marked by world opinion being built against terrorism,
their guns will be a burden for themselves some day.
CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal
observed that inability to run the country in the post democracy
era, blatant misuse of power, politicisation in every sector
and violation of rule of law have created the present crisis,
adding that without identifying the problem correctly, management
of the present conflict is not possible.
Stating that problems facing the people and
issues of nationality should be entered into the government-Maoist
talks, Nepal said we all should work together to create an atmosphere
where people can live without fear.
In the seminar organised by the Study Centre
for Democracy and Good Governance with the cooperation of Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung, Ananda Aditya and Prof Krishna Hachchhethu had
presented working papers on different forms of conflicts and
approaches on their management, and political conflicts and
their management respectively.
RPP's Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani and UML's
Jhalanath Khanal had commented on the working papers.
MP Pashupati Shamsher JB Rana and Achyut Bahadur
Rajbhandari also spoke at the function chaired by MP Hridayesh
Source: The Rising Nepal, October 1,
held on 'democratic socialism' <TOP>
The Martyrs Memorial Foundation and the FES/Nepal
jointly organized a two-day workshop seminar entitled "is democratic
socialism appropriate for Nepal?" here recently.
Inaugurating the workshop seminar, Martyrs
Memorial Foundation president and ex-minister Dhundi Raj Shastri
said that all the political parties should themselves be honest
in consolidating the present constitution, nationality and parliamentary
democracy by guiding the country to a new direction.
Increase in violence, corruption, oppression
and poverty has resulted in political instability, which in
turn has contributed to the growing apathy of the people, he
Nepali Congress central members former minister
Narahari Acharya and Bimalendra Nidhi expressed the view that
there is no alternative to democracy and parliamentary system.
They said that socialism would be further
strengthened if the benefits of the income-generation programs
could be ensured to the targeted communities.
Economist Dr Narayan Narasingh Khatri, Foundation
general secretary Khilanath Dahal and president of the Nepali
Congress Makwanpur district committee Ramchandra Aryal also
expressed their views at the program presided over by vice-president
of the Martyrs Memorial Foundation and ex-minister Dip Kumar
Altogether 50 persons including Nepali Congress
district committee presidents from the eastern, central and
western development regions and representatives of DECONT and
non-governmental institutions and organizations took part in
Source: The Rising Nepal (Aug 16, 2001)
discuss the problems and challenges posed by the open border between
Nepal and India
Does Nepal need an open border
with neighboring India? Most Nepalis have an opinion. When it
comes to articulating the pros and cons of an open border with
the mighty neighbor to the south, neither officials nor intellectuals
can produce persuasive arguments either way.
For long, a section of Nepalese
intellectuals, including leftist and rightist politicians, have
called for sealing the border. Others advocate limited regulation.
Over the last few months, the Indian side, too, has found itself
debating the issue, regularly accusing the Nepalese of ignoring
criminal elements crossing into India. Indian media coverage
of Nepal usually concerns the misuse of the Nepal-India open
border to destabilize India.
At a time when people on both sides
are realizing the need to take some steps to regularize the
open border, the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung organized a daylong seminar in the capital to
discuss the prospects and challenges.
Regulating the Nepal-India open
border requires intensive study and homework, as many Nepalese
living in the southern plains need to pass through Indian territory
before reaching home. A similar situation exists for many Indian
citizens. Nepalese and Indian citizens are benefiting from this
easy access to each other’s territory.
In such a situation, the open border
could be used for the equal benefit of Nepalis and Indians.
In economic and political terms, however, the facts are intimidating.
Even a small fraction of India’s massive population flowing
into Nepal would trigger panic in the kingdom. India as a big
country, however, can easily absorb even a big exodus of Nepalese
The open border between Nepal and
India has always been a matter of debate among the Kathmandu
intelligentsia. The worries of intellectuals are understandable,
as Nepal, a small country situated between two Asian giants,
India and China, has long been struggling to preserve its identity.
"Nepal cannot keep open its border
for longer period of time. The time has now come to take steps
to regularize the open border between two countries," said Dr.
Ram Kumar Dahal, a professor of political science at Tribhuvan
Interestingly, even before the
start of the debate in Kathmandu, one of the largest Indian
states, Uttar Pradesh, already announced its decision to fence
its border with Nepal. "The Nepalese government has to take
initiatives to regularize the border between the two countries,"
said Kamal Thapa, a former foreign minister and spokesman of
the Rastriya Prajatantra Party.
As a small country, Nepal’s economy
and infrastructure cannot cope with the uncontrolled inflow
of foreign citizens. This is why the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship
Treaty of 1950 also gives certain privileges to Nepal to restrict
unlimited flow of Indian citizens into the kingdom. Clause 3
of the Exchange of Letters accompanying the 1950 treaty clearly
accepted Nepalese vulnerability. Nepal shares a 1580-km boundary
on the east, west and south with India.
Some experts want more studies
to find out the implications of a regulated border. "The open
border is not a major problem between the countries. Tens of
thousands of Nepalese are employed in India compare to the few
hundred thousands Indian in Nepal. Before taking any decision
on regulating the border, the government must take intensive
study," said Badri Prasad Ojha, general secretary of the Federation
of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
To be sure, an open border per
se is not bad for the country’s economic development. In many
cases, an open border improves the possibility of achieving
economic growth. The fact that Nepal has on its borders two
emerging economic powers should be seen as an opportunity.
Nepal is not the only country that
maintains an open border with its neighbor. Even developed countries
like the United States and Canada share an open border. But
there are differences in the two cases. "The most serious and
adverse impact of open and uncontrolled Nepal-India border has
been in the form of growing and anti-social and lawlessness
activities. The ever-increasing crimes along the border have
been a major concern for both governments since early nineteenth
century, and the Treaty of 1855 was aimed at controlling these
problems. However, the open border has rather enhanced such
activities," said Dr Vidya Bir Singh Kansakar, of the Central
Department of Geography at Tribhuvan University.
Although the debate on the open
border between Nepal-India has begun, the intellectuals and
politicians have to undertake intensive studies before making
any decision on such an important and highly sensitive issue.
"We have made a modest effort to start a debate on the issue,"
said Dr. Mohan Prasad Lohani, director of the institute.
Releases Book Titled 'A Decade of Democracy in Nepal' <TOP>
Former Prime Minister and leader of the Nepali
Congress Hon'ble Krishna Prasad Bhattarai released the Book
" A Decade of Democracy in Nepal" published by the Centre For
Studies On Democracy and Good Governance on June 30, 200 1.
the book Mr. Bhattarai said that all the political parties should
work together to see that the democracy brought through long
struggle meets the interests and needs of the country and the
Mr. Bhattarai also pointed out the need for
parties to forge consensus on the basis of experiences
gained during the last ten years for the consolidation of democracy
instead of blaming one another.
CPM(UML) general secretary and present chairman
of the Centre Hon'ble Madhav Kumar Nepal, M.P. said all political
parties should accept the responsibility for eliminating political
anomalies and distortions seen during the last ten years and
shun insular and selfish thinking . He further said that there
should be a common understanding among all the political parties
on how to make our democracy strong and consolidated.
Director of the Centre Mr. Achyut Bahadur
Rajbhandary shed light on the aim and objective of the
Centre which was established in June, 1998 at the initiative
of the general secretaries of the four major political parties
of Nepal and stressed the need to review the past in order to
give direction to the future course.
Programme officer Mr. Sachidananda Shrivastava
also expressed his views on the occasion and thanked the eminent
contributors for their articles as also all those present on
The book is an outcome of a two days' seminar
organized by the Centre titled A Decade of Democracy in Nepal
- development, delays and distortions held 23 and 24 June, 2000.
The papers presented in the seminar focussed
on both the positive and the negative developments as well as
distortions in the system met with during the last ten years
and covered a wide range of areas such as constitutional experimentation,
political development, election process, local government and
decentralization, corruption, press and media, human right,
gender equality etc.
A one day interaction programme took place
following the release of the book, which was chaired by Hon'ble
Hridayesh Tripathi, M.P. an executive board member of the Centre.
The interaction programme was attended by professionals, lawyers,
journalists, university professors, civic society organizations
Both the printing of the book as well as the
interaction programme were sponsored by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung,
to make border systematic <<<TOP>
Biratnagar, May 5: The Institute
of Foreign Affairs with cooperation of Friedrich- Ebert-Stiftung
organised a day-long seminar on 'Nepal-India Open Border: Positive
and Negative Aspects", on Friday.
Initiating the seminar, chairman
of the institute's board of directors Manmohan Bhattarai said
that the time now is perfect to review and reform treaties and
agreements since people from both the countries have already
given their opinion.
He pointed out the need not to
close but make the open border more systematic in order to wipe
out anomalies taking place as a result of the porous border.
From the chair, executive director
of the institute Prof. Mohan Prasad Lohani also emphasized the
need to control the open border with a proper decision at the
Presenting a working paper on
the occasion, chairman of Tribhuvan University, Central Department
of Geography Prof. Bidyabir Singh Kansakar said problems arising
due to the open border should be resolved and further consolidate
the existing cordial and friendly relationship between the two
Former Minister of State Radha
Prasad Ghimire, Morang DDC chairman Khadga Bahadur Basnet, mayor
of Biratnagar sub-metropolis Ramesh Chandra Poudel and other
speakers also pointed out the need to check and control the
open border through mutual discussion and understanding.
Source: The Kathmandu
Post (May 6, 2001)
leaders call for SAARC forum of trade unions <TOP>
Photo: FES Nepal
Kathmandu, May 2: Labour leaders and regional
experts from the country called for the need to form a SAARC
forum of labour unions in Kathmandu, Wednesday.
Yadav Kant Silwal, a former secretary general
of the regional organisation, said "An apex body on labour,
just like the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry might be
a good idea to begin with."
He was speaking at a interaction organised
by Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung, Kathmandu, on improving the social
charter draft being developed for SAARC. The draft reportedly
does not include labour rights.
"The European charter, meanwhile, has
an elaborate arrangement of the workers interest,"
said Alfred Diebold, the FES resident representative based in
Kathmandu. "Workers rights, social protection, social
standards, codes of conduct and social labelling have all been
included in the European charter. But the draft SAARC charter
does not mention the worker or labour.
"We will do some evaluation of the proposed
social charter. If these components can be included in the South
Asian charter and sent to the governments in the region after
discussion, FES would like to play the instrumental role",
Bishnu Rimal, a unionist who presented a paper
on the trade union perspective to the proposed charter said,
"Whatever, the politics of individuals we do need a common
forum at the SAARC level to give voice to the voiceless workers.
If industrialists can have a forum, the politicians can have
theirs, why cant the labourers have the same, he asked?
But another unionist, Rajendra Bahadur Raut,
said that a regionwide forum for trade unionist has already
been established and goes by the name of SARTUC, but it could
not move ahead because of political polarization.
Participants were vociferous in showing concern
over the rank partisanism being exhibited by the trade unions
of Nepal and sought ways to at least reach a common ground to
articulate their voice regionally.
Rajendra Acharya, another unionist had said
in his presentation that the basic trade union demands on social
security like minimum wages, health care, labour standards etc.
need to be guaranteed by the proposed charter.
The Wednesday interaction was one of the few
occasions where the representatives of the three major trade
unions, NTUC, GEFONT and DECONT came together in one forum to
discuss labour rights.
Gunanidhi Sharma, a social scientist said
that there was a need to look at the whole thing from the social
perspective rather than just from the union perspective.
"The proposals we are making does not
design a social security system, we are only asking for certain
provisions to be included in a given framework, he said. The
Nepalese background needs to be understood while formulating
the Social Charter and include all the anomalies of the informal
sector as the informal sector is overwhelmingly large in comparison
to the organised sector.
"We are displacing our own resources
and designing huge multi-million dollar projects and inviting
external resources. In such a situation how will our workers
and other local resources ever get employed?"
Dr. Mohan Lohani, another academic, said that
the decision to formulate a social charter by the tenth SAARC
summit in itself was a big move. "To see that the largest
sector of the society, the workers, not included in the charter
is not a good sign. But hopefully, the leadership will discuss
it later on as there is yet a lot of discussions to be done
on the matter."
Dev Raj Dahal, FES Coordinator, said that
only a mutuality of interest among the government, capital and
labour can sustain regional cooperation.
Participants discussed the need for a financial
mechanism to support the social security system in an era of
globalization when the state itself was being downsizd throughout
Trade unionists, academics, civil servants,
INGO representatives, and people from other walks of life participated
in the interaction.
Source: The Rising Nepal (3 May 2001)