Nepal in the Press - 2003
Urban governance needs social and political integration
Kathmandu: The Municipal Association
of Nepal (MuAN) and the German Foundation (FES) organized
a one-day training program on "Gender Sensitization
in the Municipal Governance" here on December 13,
Altogether, 65 municipal authority
from ten different districts attended the training course,
it is learnt.
The chiefs from MuAN, National Association
of Village Development Committee, NAVIN, and Association
of District Development Committees of Nepal, ADDCN,
joint Secretaries of the ministry of Local Development
and Social Welfare Ministry participated in the meeting.
The meeting focused on the achievements
in the fields of womens promotion, obstacles
faced by duly elected women representatives, the need
for essential reforms in legal fields and the challenged
The preconditions for gender-balanced
urban governance formulated by the participants were:
increasing the number of women in executive committees;
strengthening of their participation through political,
economic and administrative devolution of power, capacity
building or elected and nominated women and development
of an indicator oriented monitoring system. Unless women
achieve parity "protective discrimination"
should be continued seeking womens increased representation
in the local and the national governance.
Speaking from the chair, the president
of ADDCN, Krishna Prasad Sapkota viewed that "there
should be an equilibrium system between reservation
for women and their competitiveness.
"Reservation does not guarantee
political will, what is required now is political will
among the women to participate in public life of the
society", said Sapkota.
Som Lal Dubadi, Joint Secretary, MLD,
highlighted the governments efforts towards making
gender sensitive development. Dhruba Khadka, Ministry
of Women, Children and Social Welfare sought the cooperation
of the civil society in making the urban governance
effective to suit to the demands of the day.
Dev Raj Dahal, the head of Nepal Office
of the FES argued: " Urban governance is polycentric
encompassing many competing and often overlapping centers
of decision making in which MuAN shares one civic space
along with a number of womens organizations.
"Its effectiveness lies in applying
the principles of subsidiary that is linking its local
members to decision-making level and generating a system
of check and balance between macro and micro institutions
of governance", said Mr. Dahal.
The capacity of the MuAN, according
to Dahal, becomes stronger if there is an equal social
and political integration of male and female in urban
governance and capturing the development synergy that
is both just and sustainable.
Three papers in all were presented
on the occasion. Ms. Chandra Kala Sonar dwelt on Concept
of Gender; Hari Phuyal on Application of Gender on Municipal
Governance: A legal Perspective and the Ms. Puspa Ghimire
made her presentation on Gender Sensitization on Urban
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (17 December
Bar, bench bond
vital for judicial decisions <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU, Dec 14: The process of
making judicial decisions is complicated and expensive
due to lack of mutual understanding among the legal
practitioners, court officials and the judiciary. The
problems have intensified despite the efforts of the
Supreme Court and Nepal Bar Association.
The judicial decisions can be more
prompt if there is mutual understanding between the
bar and the bench, said legal practitioners, registrars
of the Appellate Court, Patan and Katmandu District
The procedural difficulties should
be ironed out to make judicial decisions more effective.
Good laws alone are not sufficient, the people's attitude
while implementing the laws plays a vital role, they
Victims often will not go to court
for fear of being entangled in legal complications,
Expressing their views at a programme
on Human Rights for Social Justice - The process of
Case Filing and Simplification of Judicial System, officials
from various government offices, including the Land
Revenue Office and Nepal Police stressed on the need
for a common approach.
The programme was organized by Legal
Aid and Consultancy Center (LACC).
Lack of awareness, delay in the judicial
decision making process and procedural complications
discourage people in seeking justice from the judicial
bodies, they added.
Speaking about the case management
system, Registrar of the Appellate Court, Patan, Til
Prasad Shrestha hinted at the possibility of more reforms
in the near future.
Shrestha strongly pointed out the
need for developing competency to address new cases.
Shrestha further said that both the
legal practitioners and the concerned people should
be familiar with the case. The prime aim of the judicial
bodies is to provide justice to the victims as soon
as possible. However, carious problems occur while deciding
the case, he added.
Prof. Shanta Thapaliya, chairperson
of the LACC, said that people involved in the judicial
system should be aware about the victim's problems.
She said many women and children are deprived of their
rights due to legal complications. Legal and administrative
hassles have discouraged many people.
She stressed the need for generating
awareness about the legal system and that those who
are deprived of their rights should be provided with
justice in time. Justice delayed is justice denied,
Krishna Kamal Adhikary, registrar
of the Katmandu District Court (KDC), in his paper stressed
the need for developing mutual understanding among the
legal practitioners, officials and judicial bodies.
Basanti Shrestha, a legal practitioner,
spoke about the legal complications faced in the court.
Chhatra Kumari Gurung, vice chairperson of the LACC,
highlighted the objectives of her organization.
Source: The Rising Nepal (15
(Workshop organised by LACC
in cooperation with FES in Kathmandu)
youths for development <Top>
From our Correspondent
Bhairahawa, Dec. 12: The overall development
of the nation is not possible, without the active participation
of youths. They should be encouraged to be responsible
and accountable for economic and social development,
said economists and social activists here today.
They said this while discussing the
role of youths in local self governance in the existing
They also expressed deep concern over
the anomalies and frustrations among the youths. If
youths are put aside from development activities, society
will continue to bear the brunt of confrontation and
violence, they said.
Excluding youths from development
activities will have a serious impact in the economy,
said Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma.
Speaking at the regional workshop
and seminar on "The Role of Youths in Local Self-Governance"
organized by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies
(NEFAS) - Katmandu, Prof. Sharma accused the existing
state mechanism of tinkering with the force of youths.
"They are the real builders of
the nation, so their force and creativity cannot be
undermined," he said. It is state that should be
responsible for mobilizing the youths, said Prof. Sharma.
The entire structure should be overhauled
to give a fresh start to the economy. "It needs
a real shock," he said.
Prof. Sharma also noted that the economy
would deteriorate even more if frustrations among the
youths deepen. Their frustration constrains development,
He also appealed to all to do some
soul searching in order to go ahead.
Prof. Ram Kumar Dahal, presenting
a paper, about the role of youths in local governance,
stressed the need to encourage them to participate in
Shiv Kumar Dahal, a researcher and
sociologist said that the youths should be provided
with civic education in order to make them aware about
social dynamism. Civic education is a must for young
generations, he added.
He further said that the youths should
be encouraged to involve themselves in the social transformation
Executive director of the NEAFS, Prof.
Anand P. Shrestha, said that awareness generating programmes
would help bolster unity and a sense of national development
Prof. Shrestha also highlighted the
NEFAS programme to generate awareness about civic education.
Madan Prasad Dawadi, chairman of the
programme, said civic education was essential for consolidating
democracy and national development.
Around 45 people from various
organizations in Rupandehi, Palpa and Butwal participated
in the seminar.
Source: The Rising Nepal (13
for good governance stressed <Top>
By Our Correspondent
KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Scholars and media
experts have said that media should play a pivotal role
with critical and indifferent observation of the society
for the development and good governance in a democracy.
At a seminar on 'Media, Development
and Democracy' organised by the Telegraph Weekly and
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung(Germany) (FES) here today they
said that Nepali media could play a catalytic role or
watchdog on those issues related with the society, democracy
Speaking at the function, media advisor
of the FES Nepal, P. Kharel said that since the development
of media was the result of changing time, intellectual
mind should exercise with indifferent judgement for
its further development along with the democratisation
in real sense.
He said that no government had guaranteed
the right to information in the last 13 years.
Prof. P. R. Uprety said that since
democracy and media are indispensable for guiding mankind
it should work for the promotion of good governance
Presenting a paper Shrish S. Rana
said that media helps set the parameters for judging
democracy and development performance by reflecting
social values and system of the constitution.
Ananda Prasad Shrestha said that despite
of repeated commitment the government has failed to
safeguard the rights of working journalists by creating
a conducive working environment. So the prevailing media
policy should be reviewed to guarantee and safeguard
the freedom of press and the welfare of the media people.
N. P. Upadhaya, chief editor of The
Telegraph Weekly said that since the press and democracy
are interrelated, it should be provided impetus for
the real and effective institutionalisation of democracy
and development of the country.
Prof. Dr. Ram Kumar Dahal said that
since the media is the mirror of the society, the media
people and press should be professionally critical and
Source: The Rising Nepal (04 December
govt a must, says Nepal <Top>
Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, December 2: Only a consensual
government that includes all major political parties
can create a conducive environment for holding talks
with the Maoists, according to speakers, including CPN-UML
leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, at a programme organised
by the Centre for Study of Democracy and Good Governance
in support of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, here today.
"Currently, a mechanism acceptable
to the people is lacking and there does not exist any
ground to re-initiate the dialogue," Nepal said.
He said the Palace as well as the government are forwarding
a sort of "condition" to restore peace. "The
government's agenda for peace has not included people's
feelings and no lasting peace can be achieved without
support from the public," he said adding, "Only
an all-party government can bring the Maoists to the
"The peace process cannot build
up at present as there isn't such a government."
Stressing the need to re-structure
the society, he said, "Re-structuring of the society
only can ensure lasting peace and optimum flexibility
from the government is needed for societal reforms."
A scholar in conflict management,
Bishnu Raj Upreti, said formation of an all-party consensual
government will be the beginning of the trust-building
thing among all political leaders. "There will
be no long-term peaceful solution to the conflict by
ignoring the parliamentary parties," he said presenting
his paper. According to him, given the growing international
concerns and desire of the Nepalis, the only way out
is a peaceful resolution through negotiations. "If
external military and political intrusions are to be
prevented we need to resolve this conflict ourselves,"
he said adding, "The priority of the King, the
Maoists and the parliamentary parties must be to "rebuild
trust through collaboration, dialogue and collective
He further said public participation
is essential to promote peace at the local level. "Civil
society raises views and formulates recommendations
for negotiation," he said.
"Conflict should be taken as
an opportunity and it could be solved by improving the
existing socio-political structure," said Subodh
Pyakurel, a Human Rights activist.
Another activist, Nilambar Acharya,
said the need of the hour is a government that is accepted
by the people. Stressing the importance of an all-party
government, he said that only a system represented by
the people can deliver in the peace negotiation. People's
sovereignty has to be preserved if Monarchy is to exist,
he further said.
Source: The Himalayan Times (03 December
brings WTO benefits <Top>
KATHMANDU, Nov 30 - Vice Chairman
of the National Planning Commission Dr Shankar Sharma
has said that both the developing and least developed
countries (LDCs) should maintain their unified stance
in order to reap the maximum benefits offered by the
World Trade Organisation (WTO).
"Lessons were learnt from Seattle
and Cancun that only unity can help protect the larger
interests of the South that includes developing and
LDCs," Dr Sharma said. The ministerial meets of
Seattle in 1999 and Cancun in 2003 had ran down after
the South vehemently opposed the Norths hegemony
on global trade issues.
Dr Sharmas assertions come at
a time when the developed countries, especially the
United States and the European Union, are trying their
best to enter into regional and bilateral deals with
developing countries and LDCs with the intention of
breaking the strong coalition of the lesser developed
The Vice-Chairman, at the same time,
stressed that weaker economies need to diversify trade
and enhance competitiveness in order to survive under
the WTO regime. He was speaking at the inaugural session
of the conference cum training entitled Post Cancun
Agenda for South Asia that will be held until
On the occasion, Dinesh Chandra Pyakurel,
Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and
Supplies, said that the conference is timely as it is
now necessary for South Asia to take stock of what transpired
during the Cancun Ministerial and plan their future
Dr Posh Raj Pandey, President of SAWTEE
said that there has been numerous failures at the multilateral
level, but those failures did not inflict any serious
damage to the global trading regime. "The Cancun
failure has in fact given all the opportunities to introspect
where and what went wrong."
Dr Pandey added that it is in the
best interest of South Asia to have a rule-based multilateral
trading system than to have untamed trading regime under
which developed countries get free hand to develop their
own unilateral legislation and practices. Highlighting
the weakness of South Asia, he said, "Despite the
existence of SAARC, South Asian countries could not
act together in WTO Ministerial Meet, though some countries
worked together in other groups. It is now imperative
that South Asia take a common position for future negotiations."
Stating that Cancun failure exhibits
the complexity of North-South negotiations, Dev Raj
Dahal; head of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Nepal,
said that achieving a more peaceful and more equitable
world-order requires a global community based on negotiated
consensus. That is important to create a level-playing
field and to avoid distortions in trade.
"Non-implementation of WTO agreements
by the rich nations, pressure on weaker countries to
open their lucrative services markets while protecting
their own farm sectors, and rich countries relentless
pursuit for obtaining new concessions on investment
have increased weaker nations vulnerability to
global economic uncertainties," he said.
South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics
and Environment (SAWTEE), Kathmandu, and Consumer Unity
& Trust Society (CUTS), Jaipur are jointly organising
the three-day event in association with Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES), Nepal, and Novib, Oxfam Netherlands.
Source: The Kathmandu Post (01 December
of Liberation, Life and Choice
Country in crisis due to disharmony
between state and society <Top>
Center for Social Transformation,
Nepal (CST) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) organized
a one-day seminar on "Energizing Social movement
in Nepal for Better Social Justice," on November
21 in Kathmandu. Altogether 65 participants representing
Dalit, youth, women, ethnic groups and nationalities
and trade unions participated the seminar. Five theme
papers were presented on ethnic, scheduled caste, youth,
women and trade union movements in Nepal. The program
was moderated by Prof. Krishna P. Khanal and chaired
by Narahari Acharya, a central committee member of Nepali
Congress Party. Participants viewed that the country
is in crisis due to disharmony between the state and
the society. The task for political leaders is to transform
this disharmony and conflict into peace process. The
role of social movements is to energize the power of
public and prepare for forward-looking reforms.
Emerging social movements in Nepal
capture the plurality of life-world asserting their
diverse needs, rights and responsibilities before the
state. This assertion is also related to the question
of "state ownership" and the regeneration
of political process so that it can become socially
and politically representative. Most of social movements
in Nepal are seeking for structural change. Especially
ethnic groups are its leading exponents while Dalits,
women, youth and trade unions are seeking for affirmative
action. Inclusionary democracy, identity, social justice
and participation are their central concerns. Prof.
Khanal argued that political parties in Nepal became
weak because they did not take the agenda of social
movements groups when they came to power and, as a consequence,
social transformation has been delayed. Narahari Acharya
believed that regression and political radicalism began
in the country as a result of the weakness of constitution-oriented
parliamentary political parties. Five parties combine
are taking the reform agenda now because of compulsion,
rather than choice.
Dev Raj Dahal of FES argued that the
emerging social movement of Dalits, Women, youth, trade
unions and civil society in Nepal is politicizing the
everyday life of Nepalese people and allowing the power
of society to self-organize, communicate and effect
collective action. He added, "this movement has
produced a critical mass outside the hegemonic political
class representing the state which is trying to construct
a plural public spheres capable of representing the
social microcosm of the nation into political power."
The question remains can this movement combine sectoral
social action with larger public action?
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (26 november
self government and youths <Top>
BY OUR REPORTER
Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies
(NEFAS) took the discussion in the civic education series
"Civic Education: Role of Youths in Local Governance"
to Janakpur and held a seminar there on 10 November
Local governance experts, political
party workers, journalists and mainly teachers and academicians
were assembled in this central Tarai town for the discussion.
Executive director of NEFAS, Ananda Srestha welcoming
the participants said, "We believe that youths
have an important role to play in consolidating democracy
in Nepal. We are not here to impose some imported ideas
on you, but we rather seek to collect ideas that you
have regarding civic education in Nepal." There
is a need to answer questions like, 'How can youths
be mobilized to use local resources?' Or, 'How can youths
help the society in general?' We know that human rights
and a sense of justice helps youths to fulfill their
responsibility towards the society," he said and
asked the participants to provide comments to the presentations
about to be made so that they could provide a valuable
input to the publication being planned. He also lauded
the contributions of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES)
for its continuous support to NEFAS's nationwide project
on civic education.
After the brief address, the working
sessions began to discuss the issues of the day. Ram
Kumar Dahal, a political scientist, made his presentation
on "Role of Youths in Local Self-Governance"
first, followed by "Civic Education for the Young
Generation", a joint presentation by Khagendra
Prasain and Shiv Raj Dahal. The sessions were chaired
by a local university teacher, Dr. Shivendra Lal Karna.
During the discussion session, Kishori
Shah, advocate, said that the Constitution has been
praised for being complete, but he found that that was
silent on local governance. Rulers were appeared to
think that they therefore need to fill the void by forming
their own laws regarding local governance. The paper
should have pointed at this lacuna.
"Youths should have been mobilized
for Nepal's industrial development. And the fault lies
with the electoral system which allows the minority
to rule the majority. The electoral process should also
bar leaders from standing up for public posts unless
they acquire the necessary education qualification"
Shital Jha, political activist, pointed
out that villages are vacant and youths are not around.
"Not only brain drain, but, more importantly, youth
drain should have been taken up as an issue that the
government should be taking care of", he remarked.
Uday Kant Thakur, RPP activist, opined
that until the right of participation is ensured by
law, youths cannot play their role. He said, "The
Panchayat system had a separate constituency for youths,
but not today. We should think about involving youths
in governance by raising the issue of right to participation".
Bijay Kumar Lal, economist, commented
that the workshop papers only mentioned that youth participation
is necessary but doesn't say how.
Dr. Surendra Lal Karna asked to specify
the type of youth when they talk of youth - village
youth, educated youth, illiterate youth, urban youth
or any other kind of youth.
Bimal Kant Jha, school teacher, expressed
the view that the condition of youths was perhaps the
most pitiable in Nepal, whether that was regarding education,
poverty or the general environment in the country.
"The first step towards alleviating
their plight needs to be taken at the grassroots at
the pre-primary level," he said.
"The education system is creating
a wall and distorting our own traditions, cultures and
value systems. I do not see any relation between what
we are discussing today and the capacity of the education
system to deliver as of today." Prakash Chandra
Shah, engineer, questioned on which were the sectors
that youths needed to be involved and what were their
"Politicians need to have some
specific skills to deal with people,' he opined.
Sunil Kumar Mandal, school teacher,
pointed out on youths making aware about the environmental
destruction that takes place with infrastructure development.
BM Khanal, journalist, described that
democracy did not come to Nepal after people were made
sufficiently aware about the system. "We take the
right to information as the biggest achievement. In
spite of the right being mentioned in the Constitution,
we still have debates", he said.
Another journalist Rajesh Karna said
that there were inconsistencies regarding the age that
qualifies on to be a youth - at 18, you can vote, while
you need to be 25 to stand up for elections. "And
at which age does youth end", he questioned.
Also journalist Rabindra Shah commented
on International forces appeared to be trying to inflict
disabilities in our youth. "The have started by
polluting education - we never had the chance of reading
about our culture and religion in textbooks, but plenty
about alien culture and religion", he said.
Prof. Ram Kumar made his comment:
"You talk of politics as being dirty, and then
later talk about participation in politics to correct
things. You talk a lot about the dirtiness but not on
the ability of politics to do things".
"Regarding leadership, you have
not mentioned the need to fulfill promises by politicians.
I think that the political problem lies in the utter
disregard for this aspect of politics".
Digamber Raya said that education
needs to be healthy, if there are problems in the education
system, social problems abound. "That is the problem
with us at the moment".
Ram Chandra Shah made a strange question:
"You talk of infant democracy. When was democracy
born? Whatever is born will die. When will it die? You
also say, democracy has failed. Democracy never sat
for exams, why should it succeed or fail?"
"It is politics that is pushing
youths away from the country," he further said.
Minaxi Jha opined: "I do not
think that democracy has failed. All this has happened
because people were not aware, not because of the failure
Source: People's Review (20-26 November
efforts only pill for S Asian ills <Top>
Kathmandu, November 7: Experts
have argued that South Asian countries should priortise
on action-oriented and integrated approach to deal with
the existing problems in health, social development, poverty
alleviation and trade. Goals cannot be achieved if the problems
are left uncared, they stated at a seminar on "Future
of South Asia: A new generational Perspective" organised
today by the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Friedrich
Formulation and implementation of
strategies and policies with dogged pursuits, including
integrated and comprehensive approach, are sure-footed in
achieving overall goals of development in South Asia, they
Ambassador-at-large Dr Bhekh Bahadur
Thapa, giving his keynote address, emphasised an urgent
need to promote socio-economic situation in South Asia saying
that the major thrust should be laid on development, poverty
alleviation and trade. "South Asian countries should
now gear themselves up in developing trade to set a recognition
in the world," said Dr Thapa. He also emphasised the
need of smooth bilateral relationship in the region. Citing
the existing problems, he stated that SAARC should be regarded
as a region of resources and not only of problems. SAARC
secretary-general QAMA Rahim maintained that the South Asian
countries should focus on action-oriented approach to reduce
poverty by fifty per cent by 2015, according to the SAARC
agreement. He also stated that a number of initiatives had
been taken to enhance people to people contact, reduction
of visa fee among the SAARC countries, and social development.
Presenting a paper on Security in South Asian: A Future
Perspective, Nishchal Nath Pandey, deputy executive director
at the Institute of Foreign Affairs, said that the political
crisis in the South Asian countries mirrors the inability
of their governments to address the growing poverty resulting
to social problems. A home to 23 per cent of the world's
population, South Asia remains horrifically caught in conflict
and perpetual tension and hosts one of the largest number
of refugees in the entire world, he said. Pandey suggested
that it would prove useful if SAARC be formally involved
in dealing with the refugee process and not bilateralism
rather than a regional structure.
President of the Nepal Britain Chamber
of Commerce and Industry, Rajendra Kumar Khetan, maitained
that Nepal needs to develop a mechanism whereby entire efforts
of the country would be geared towards a single goal. Khetan
also argued that the Vision 2020 of Nepal should clearly
underline the target of reducing incidence in the country
from the present 38 per cent to 10 per cent.
Source: The Himalayan Times (8 November
work towards minimising conflict <Top>
GODABARI, Nov 4 - With the objective of
informing working journalists, media trainers and educators
about peace and diversity journalism, a four-day- workshop
has begun here from today.
Altogether 16 participants, comprising
media trainers, media educators and working journalists
both from print and electronic media are participating at
the workshop organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).
Joergen Eric Klussmann, a peace journalism
expert from Germany, media educator Ram Krishna Regmi, senior
journalists Dhruba Hari Adhikari and Shrish S. Rana and
Dr. Durga Pokhrel, chairman of the National Womens
Commission, are the facilitators of the workshop.
On the first day of the workshop today,
media educator Ram Krishna Regmi presented a working paper
on "The History of Nepalese Conflict" and German
expert Joergen Eric Klussmann informed the participants
about different aspects of conflict and the role of journalists
to minimise the intensity of conflicts.
Outlining the history of conflict in Nepal,
senior journalist Regmi said that the Maoist insurgency
is linked to the 1990 movement and the constitution formulated
a year later.
Alleging media of not giving due priority
and failing to cover conflict-related issues right on the
spot, Regmi expressed his worries that media is being used
by both parties in conflict to serve their political interests.
He urged the media to be very careful
while handling conflict-related issues and to ensure that
news carried out by them do not trigger new kinds of violence.
"Media should now be motivated to initiate conflict
reporting since media has a responsibility to initiate building
peace process through the flow of unbiased information,"
Informing the participants about conflict
reporting, German expert Joergen Erik Klussmann expressed
that journalists should act responsibly to minimise the
intensity of the conflict
Taking part in the discussion at the workshop,
Dev Raj Dahal of FES said that the country is losing its
monopoly of state power needed for peace, stability, democracy
and development. He remarked that the conflicting interests
and behaviour of political activists are producing disjunctive
discourses and causing deadlock in the macro-politics of
Source: The Kathmandu Post (5 November
exhort overhaul of govt media policy <Top>
KATMANDU, Nov 2 (PR) - Expressing their
worries over non-implementation of media policies, media
experts today underlined the need for a review of the existing
media policy to suit the growing media industry.
"There are activities going on against
existing media policies, which is a serious concern of the
time," Harihar Birahi, chairman of Press Council Nepal
Speaking at a workshop on Media Commission
for Promoting Professionalism, and Review of Media Policy,
Birahi criticized the government for its failure to pay
attention to punish those who have been terrorizing and
threatening journalists in the present situation of national
crisis. The programme was organized by Press Chautari Nepal,
a forum of left-aligned professional journalists in the
Addressing the inaugural session of the
workshop media expert and media advisor of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung,
P. Kharel opined that the existing media policy was not
comprehensive, as it does not cover media support systems,
radio and television. "There is no policy for radio
and television and code of conduct for electronic media,"
he said, demanding the government make FM license awarding
Yubaraj Pandey, former Director General
of the Department of Information, presented a working paper
on Some Aspects of Nepalese Media Policy. "There are
many things in the media policies yet to be implemented,"
he said while presenting the paper.
Source: The Katmandu Post (3 November
Lack of civic education hampers democratisation
KATHMANDU, Oct. 19: Lack of civic education
in the recent decades has weakened the process of democratisation,
particularly after the restoration of democracy in 1990.
The process of democratisation has been
severely affected by social alienation and frustration
among the people in the society.
The degree of frustration and alienation
has been on the rise since the mid-1990s. If this trend
continues unchecked, the country's political, economic
and social transformation will be jeopardised.
The main reason behind the social unrest
and violence is the lack of interaction among the people
in the society. Moreover, civic education for youths is
important to commit them towards the process of nation
building. Their role in consolidating the process of governance
is significant in strengthening the democratic process.
Speaking at a programme on "Civic
Education: The Role of Youth in Local Self-Governance,"
organised by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced studies
(NEFAS) in association with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES),
sociologists, economists and political scientists today
emphasised the importance of civic education.
They noted that civic education would
help youths to share their experience for the promotion
Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma pointed out
the need to maintain harmony between various generations.
Social development is not possible unless the people in
the society develop a certain confidence.
Country director of the FES Dev Raj
Dahal noted that the roots of civic competence often lie
on the edge of political consciousness.
Alienation of the younger generation
of citizens from the democratic and development process
and suppression of their voice and visibility strip them
of their responsibilities, he said.
He further said that lack of civic education
erodes their capacity to understand appropriate solutions
to social problems such as poverty, inequality, discrimination,
and pursue the project of common good.
Presenting a working paper on the role
of youths in local self governance, Prof. Ram Kumar Dahal
said that the youths in the society should be encouraged
to take part in social, political and economic activities.
The society cannot move forward by keeping them aside,
Prof. Dahal further said that the government
and the civil society should encourage youths to be active
partners in the process of national development.
Presenting their papers, sociologists
Khagendra Prasai and Shiv Raj Dahal said that the level
of judgement had eroded among the youths in the society.
Lack of civic education among the youths has affected
the process of development, they said.
NEFAS had organised the seminar with
the objective of gathering views from people representing
different walks of life. According to NEFAS, similar interaction
programmes will be organised in different parts of the
country in the near future.
Source: The Rising Nepal (20 October
in attitude necessary for equal opportunities <Top>
Kathmandu, Sept 26: Even though the
constitution of the Kingdom on Nepal-1990 has guaranteed
all equal rights, a big chunk of the country's population,
especially women and the dalits, continue to be
ignored by the society and the state.
Exclusion of women and the downtrodden
from developmental activities is the major reason behind
tardy economic growth and social unrest, say social scientists
and women activists.
Progress is not feasible by keeping
the majority of the population away from the mainstream
of development. This only instigates violence and social
unrest, they said.
Speaking at a program on Gender experience
in Nepal Idea Exchange, organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES), experts emphasised the need to ensure equal rights
in real terms.
The development of a country is not
possible without providing its citizens equal rights,
Economist Dr. Mina Acharya, said that
the state should play a dynamic role in uplifting the
status of women and downtrodden in the society.
Dr. Acharya further said that attitudinal
change was a must to bring about changes in the society,
although significant changes had taken place over the
Dev Raj Dahal of FES Nepal noted that
awareness among the people was important for economic
and social development. Exclusion of a large number of
people triggers disparity, he addes.
Bishnu Rimal, general secretary of the
General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) said
that the trade unions are playing a significant role in
empowering the dalits and women in the society.
Source: The Rising Nepal (27 September
education essential for social values <Top>
KATHMANDU, Aug 18: Sociologists and
pundits of political science in the country have emphasised
the need for educating young generations about civics
so that the people understand social phenomenon help to
The main reason of conflict and confrontation
is due to lack of understanding social values that many
people are not aware of. They should be politically conscious
as how social dynamics works said sociologists.
Sharing ideas at a discussion programme
organised by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies
(NEFAS) they said that civic education should begin at
primary level so that the students at higher level understand
the essence of social values.
When a person lacks knowledge as how
the social dynamics functions, others could manipulate
him. Therefore every person at every streams of knowledge
should understand the social dynamics and politics, they
Dev Raj Dahal of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
said that knowledge of society is essential for smooth
functioning of social activities.
Prof. Ganga Thapa stressed the need
for generating awareness at the grassroots level.
Anand Shrestha, executive director of
NEFAS said that social awareness among young generations
was essential for social development.
Khagendra prasain and Shiva Raj Dahal
also spoke on the occasion.
Source: The Rising Nepal (19 August
Experts argue that the UN is uniquely
placed to help Nepal pull itself out of its quagmire
By AKSHAY SHARMA
What is the first thing a country should
do when it discovers it can no longer solve its problems
on its own? Search for external help. The identification
of a genuinely committed and credible partner makes all
The Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies
(NEFAS) recently organized a discussion among experts
from various fields on conflict in Nepal to provide a
scholarly perspective to the extent of the prevailing
situation and efforts aimed at alleviating it.
About 66 participants took part in the
discussions, which were divided into five sessions over
two days. The first session introduced the theme of the
discussions while the remaining four were working sessions
where experts made their presentations and solicited opinions
of the participants. The seminar, which was held on May
17 and 18, was a joint initiative of NEFAS and Friedrich
Professor Ananda Srestha, NEFAS executive
director, introduced the theme of the discussions to the
participants. He asked the participants to seek the reasons
that had kept the Nepali society peaceful for a long time.
"Searching for a solution in the rich Nepali traditions
may produce a solution to the rising conflicts,"
Yadav Kant Silwal, who chaired the inaugural
session, said that conflict resolution could be a very
twisting process in Nepal. Pointing to the Sri Lankan
experience, he said that in spite of the efforts put in
from both international and domestic quarters, the insurgency
there is still continuing.
Silwal, an acclaimed diplomat who is
also a former secretary-general of the South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation - which groups Bangladesh, Bhutan,
India, Maldives, Nepal Pakistan and Sri Lanka - said United
Nations mediation would have produced a better outcome
"Because the UN had offered it,
it had a high credibility, its vested interests were limited
to the development of this country and Nepal had participated
in its peacekeeping operations since the fifties, hence,
is a good candidate," he said. "UN role would
allay many apprehensions about Nepal going on the path
of Sikkim," he added.
Regarding the ongoing peace talks between
the government and the CPN (Maoists), Silwal said, "It
is a sad fact that both sides to take up the economic
and social agenda, thus far, which have been touted as
the root cause of all conflicts in Nepal. It is this that
is going to make the talks a long and tortuous process,"
But, as experts say, geography plays
a big role in these types of issues. Moreover, the conflict
in Sri Lanka is very different in nature from the one
in Nepal. The Maoists have fought with a political agenda,
while the conflict in Sri Lanka is ethnically motivated.
As such, the nature and scope of mediation would go on
to influence the long-term prospects of the country.
Associate Professor Dev Raj Dahal, in
his paper titled "Conflict Resolution: A Note on
Contending Issues," explored the theoretical aspects
of conflict in general with references of Nepal and other
countries. Those who commented on his paper were, among
others, Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma, Shrish Rana, K.R. Jha,
and Lal Babu Yadav. Ananda Aditya chaired the session.
Dr. Krishna Bahadur Bhattachan spoke
on "Sociological Perspectives on Internal Conflict
Resolution/Management in Nepal". He pointed out to
the injustices meted out to ethnic groups of Nepal by
The exercise threw up valuable inputs
on ways of pulling Nepal out of what is acknowledged as
the worst crisis in its modern history. Whether those
responsible for doing the job are listening to - and are
even capable of implementing - the suggestions is a different
Source: Spotlight (13-19 June 2003)
told to keep off Nepal affairs <Top>
The intelligentsia in Kathmandu is unhappy
with the excessive interest of foreign envoys and diplomats
in Nepal's affairs and their prescription of solutions
to the problems plaguing Nepal.
However, despite the mention of 'foreign
hands' in 'shaping' the recent political developments
in the country, the only person who came in for flak from
the intelligentsia at a seminar organised here today was
the British ambassador to Nepal, Keith G Bloomfield.
Bloomfield has been very vocal in the
media about political developments in Nepal and has
also suggested ways to get things on
"The British ambassador cannot
talk about Nepal as if it is Britain," said Neelamber
Acharya, a Leftist intellectual. "We have a democracy
that is not as mature."
The British ambassador should understand
the circumstances and factors that gave rise to the political
problems, Acharya said, adding a solution that works for
Britain does not work for Nepal. "The two countries
cannot be compared. We have entirely different situations."
Talking about the Maoist problem and
the King's October 4 and subsequent moves, Acharya said
both the King and the Maoists have attacked democracy,
though they have maintained their moves were to "right
"A force within the palace never
accepted the movement of 1990," he said, adding it
is the King's courtiers who have been playing the game.
"The faults that the political parties made in the
12 years have been exploited by such forces."
Acharya said his own prescription for
the political problems is the restoration of the House
of Representatives and amendment of the constitution.
He was speaking at a seminar on democracy and the possibility
of peace organised by the Centre for Consolidation of
Pradeep Giri, member of the central
working committee of the Nepali Congress (Democratic),
said the Maoists are committing a mistake by disregarding
the process for peace. "The process is very important
in democracy and Maoists do not seem to understand that,"
he said, adding the process can be right only when there
is proper representation of the people. He also said the
Maoist movement is partly inspired by Mao's ideology,
Marx's thoughts and 'elemental fury' of the people.
Human rights activist Krishna Pahadi
blamed the monarchy for creating more disorder in a situation
already messed up by the political parties.
Former foreign minister Shailendra Kumar
Upadhyay said a consensus among the political parties
trusted by the people would provide a way out of the problems.
Source: The Himalayan Times (7 June
(National seminar organised by CCD in
cooperation with FES in Kathmandu)
actors ignoring people: Experts <Top>
The political actors, who are trying
to find a role and representation in the present political
scenario, have forgotten the prime actor: the people,
an expert said here today.
The three actors - the Maoists, the
King and the political parties supporting the multi-party
democracy have forgotten the mass, said sociologist Dr
Krishna Bahadur Bhattachan at a programme here today.
"The supreme but marginalised actor is the Nepali
people, who in reality have been used as means rather
than ends," he said.
Presenting his paper on sociological
perspectives on internal conflict resolution/management
at the two day seminar on conflict resolution in Nepal
organised by Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies in
cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Dr Bhattachan
said that the fourth major actor in Nepal's conflict are
the external powers especially India and United States.
"Although, external powers in general want to see
peace, democracy and development in Nepal, the US has
expressed its concerns with reference to second category
of terrorism and India has always interfered in Nepal's
internal affairs due to their interest."
Foreign influence, particularly India's
interests affects Nepal's politics and conflicts, said
Yubaraj Sangraula presenting another paper. "The
crisis between India and Pakistan is often spilled over
in Nepal in the shape of their proxy war," he said
adding that Chinese interest is related to the Tibetan
According to advocate Sangraula, the
American interest is mainly related to India and China
and has very little to do with Nepal's politics. "The
suppression of Maoists is more or less an ideological
agenda for American diplomacy in Nepal," he said.
"The resolution of the problem by political compromise
or mediation is a least priority of the American policy."The
involvement of third party in the dialogue is important
for the fairness of the process and best observance of
the agreements reached between the two parties sitting
across the negotiating table, said Sangraula in his paper
on Dynamics of continuing conflict in Nepal: A geo-political
perspective. He recommended United Nations or Scandanivian
country's involvement as the mediators as the best possible
option since they are unlikely to have their particular
interests. He ruled out India or China mediating talks
as both have their own political leanings and interests
Dr Bhattachan recommended federalism,
ethnic linguistic and regional autonomy and sub autonomy
within autonomy, proportional representation and special
measures such as affirmative action to resolve the problems.
The paper presenters put the blame on
failure to develop and integrate people's participation
in governance, lack of good governance as the causes of
escalation of conflict.
Source: The Himalayan times (19 May
disparity causing conflicts <Top>
Kathmandu, May 18: Prominent sociologists
and legal experts today said that a lasting solution to
conflicts was impossible unless the gap between the haves
and have-nots was reduced first. Economic disparity is
the prime cause of conflicts, they said.
Managing conflict is a very delicate
and complex process, hence various limitations in handling
the problem should be acknowledged, they said.
Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma, speaking at
a programme on Conflict resolution, said that unequal
distribution of resources had given rise to various types
of conflicts including social, linguistic and political.
The ultimate solution to every problem
is associated with the economy and distribution of income.
Therefore, each conflciting group should have equal access
to national income, he noted.
Prof. Krishna Bahadur Bhattachan said
that conflict resolution addresses the causes of conflict
and seeks to build new and lasting relationships between
various hostile groups in a society.
Regarding tools for conflict resolution,
he said there were different tools for different policies
of conflict resolution. "For instance, official diplomacy
may include mediation, negotiation, conciliation, peace
conference, informal consultations and good offices.
"Military measures may include miniaturization, demilitarised
zones, arms control agreement, disarmament and peace enforcement.
Political and governance measures may include constitutional
change, election reforms and power sharing arrangements.
Similarly judicial measures may include an constituent
assembly," he said.
The desirable approach to resolution
of conflict is problem solving or compromise, he added.
Yuba Raj Sangraula, a senior advocate
said that a socio-political problem is an outcome of a
long-standing conflict of interests between contituent
members or groups in the society and as such the solution
lies on agreement of the both parties.
He further said that no party in the
socio-political crisis or problem is fully wrong; the
issue of injustice and working is relative.
Sangraula said that the dynamics had
been fully ignored in the previous dialogue between the
government and the Maoists. The government in the past
ignored the dynamic that the other party had a strong
interest to defend and it was not possible for them to
agree at the cost of their socio-political interest.
Former diplomat Keshav R. Jha stressed
the need to find the root cause of the problem. Trading
charges and counter-charges among conflicting groups in
the society does not help anybody, he said.
Dr. Bharat Pokharel said that multiple
factors relating to the emergence of conflicts should
be taken into consideration while finding solutions to
The programme was organised by the Nepal
Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS).
Source: The Rising Nepal (19 May 2003)
for all-party presence in peace talks <Top>
If the country is to see permanent resolution
to the conflict all the parties need to participate in
the dialogue said intellectuals here today.
"Permanent resolution of the conflict
requires wider participation of all the parties - those
that are left out, potential and actual stakeholders and
their interest mediation rather than just those of conflicting
parties," said development expert Dev Raj Dahal presenting
a paper at a seminar on conflict resolution in Nepal.
"Nepali negotiators must learn
from the mistakes of the power equation approach to conflict
settlement that was applied to terminate 1990 movement
for the restoration of democracy. Peace cannot be created
if the outcome of negotiation creates its own enemies."
According to him, in Nepal the destruction
of state institutions, personal rule of incumbent party
leadership and patronage-based politics helped fuel conflicts,
His suggestion was that a new distribution
of power in the state and increased interdependence among
hostile parties can induce substantial changes in the
pattern of relationship among them. "Interdependence,
in conjunction with the parties' interests, might create
different patterns of conflict development," he said.
"Transformation of interests can be pursued as a
way of improving the pattern of conflict structure, this
can be done by means of increasing convergence of interests
in the context of nurturing the parties' interdependence."
The government-Maoist conflict in Nepal
until recently assumed structural features. "One,
however, also notices structural shift in the two's attitude
when both noticed the costs of geopolictical implications
of the protracted conflict," he said at the programme
organised by Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS)
in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES).
Ananda P Shrestha, executive director
of NEFAS said that transformation is inevitable as Nepal
experiments with economic development models, political
systems and even social lifestyles.
"Management of this transformation
requires a profound knowledge of exisiting traditions
deeply embedded in the society," he said.
He said that the ongoing peace negotiations
should be handled with extreme care, warning
that failure to do so would give way
to the outside powers, regional or international, to fish
in troubled waters. "It is imperative that the warring
parties steer clear of external influences and find a
remedy in the national interest through indigenous means,"
Shrestha said. Economist Gunanidhi Sharma blamed the conflict
on widespread disparity.
According to Sharma, external interests
are augmenting the conflicts in the country. "This
is an extreme scenario of helplessness here," he
Source: The Himalayan Times (18 May
to resources Key to confilct resolution <Top>
Kathmandu, May 17: As the peace talks
between His Majesty's Government and the Communist party
of Nepal-Maoist are in progress, the country's sociologists,
political analysts and economists exclusively discussed
how the dialogue could be made more fruitful.
The conflict management has been a sensitive
issue across the globe today. Various factors associated
with conflicts should be analysed while trying to thrash
out solutions, they said. The nature of conflict varies
from one country to another; therefore solutions cannot
be the same, they said adding, "The issue of equitable
distribution of national resources among the people should
be taken into consideration,"
At a national seminar on "Conflict
Resolution in Nepal", organised by the Nepal Foundation
for Advanced Studies (NEFAS), former secretary general
at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) Yadav Kant Silwal said that the features of conflict
should be well diagnosed while tackling the problem Managing
conflict is a very delicate and complex process, hence
various limitations in handling the problem should be
acknowledged, he said.
Talking about the involvement of the
United Nations (UN) in assuring the peace talks, he said,
"UN participation in the dialogue would be more effective
because of its credibility."
Nepal has already projected its image
by contributing to the UN peace making and peace building
process since 1968, hence it would be easier for Nepal
to seek such assistance from the UN, he said.
Apart from the UNO, there are other
international organisations like the World Bank (WB) and
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development
Bank (ADB), which have made significant contributions
in bridging gap between rich and poor in Nepal. They have
been assisting Nepal in its development endeavours, he
Executive director of the NEFAS, Ananda
P Shrestha said that the management of social transformation
seamlessly requires a profound knowledge of the existing
traditions deeply embedded in the society and the know-how
of making the change should bring about more problems
that already exist.
Despite having ethnic, cultural, linguistic
and religious diversities, it still remained one of the
most peaceful countries in the world, he added.
Talking about the issue of Conflict
Resolution, Dev Raj Dahal, a sociologist and defence analyst,
said that the triangular fight among the mainstream political
parties, the government and CPN-Maoist in the country
holds much potential to conflict dynamics due to the nation's
sensitive geography. "If not managed properly, it
can easily threaten the safety and well-being of Nepal
citizens and engulf them into a cycle of violence and
counter violence, " he said.
Dr. Mina Acharya, while speaking about
the issues relating to the Conflict Transformation said
that there were various issues including economic, social
and gender that have influenced the conflict dynamics
to a great extent.
While commenting the views put forth
by Dr. Acharya and Dahal, Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma said
that economic issues always play a vital role in conflict
The views presented in the seminar are
expected to render some guidelines to the government-Maoist
The programme was organised in association
of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES)
Source: The Rising Nepal (18 May 2003)
KATHMANDU, April 6 : Minister
for Information and Communications Ramesh Nath Pandey today
warned that foreign investment in national media could bring
"serious consequences in future if it was not checked in
"We all know that foreign
investment in media is coming in through the back door. Now
we need to control it by ourselves otherwise it could bring
serious results in future," the minister cautioned. Pandey
however didnt mention of any newspaper being run on foreign
investment in Nepal.
Addressing a national discussion
programme attended by editors from across the country, the minister
urged domestic media, which seeks transparency from the state,
to be transparent in their investment and functioning.
Speaking at the one-day discussion
entitled Press Freedom and Transparency, organised by Editors
Society, the editors gathered here raised voices against hidden
P.Kharel, media advisor of Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung (FES), was of the opinion that though transparency
of media is taken seriously in case of media abroad, media here
are not taking it the same way. "Our media needs to make
their investment, accounting, advertising and circulation transparent,
besides implementing policies relating to press," Kharel
Other speakers were of the opinion
that press freedom could not be enjoyed and prosper in the presence
of foreign investment in media. "Press cannot be free and
press freedom can not be enjoyed as long as there is foreign
investment in domestic media," said Govinda Biyogi, chairman
of the Editors Society.
Among those opposing foreign
investment in media was foreign policy expert Hiranya Lal Shrestha.
Shrestha was of the opinion that such investment has not come
simply for making profits. "The investment has come to
expand influence of the influential," he added.
Tara Nath Dahal, chairman of
the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, underlined the need
to amend the Foreign Investment Act and black list foreign investments
in the media.
The government is evading its
responsibility of checking foreign investment in media, merely
by admitting that such investment has entered the country, said
Gopal Giri, a member of the Editors Society. He also demanded
that the media publish their balance sheets every year.
Kathmandu: Nepals noted
academicians, youth activists and the widely acclaimed media
men have voiced their concerns regarding the sorry state of
Nepali youths who, according to them, remain in utter confusion
and direction-less due to the sheer negligence exhibited by
the State over the years towards their pressing issues and problems.
The same set also concurrently
expressed their anxiety over the dismal performance of the Nepali
media in addressing to the issues of the youths and called upon
the government to devise schemes that took care of the problems
of the youths in order to tap the immense potential what the
youths possess in them which could be later used for the benefit
of the nation.
The scholars also lamented over
the attitudes of the political leaders and their parties in
having defined the democratic system in a manner that suited
to their political tilts and urged the major political actors
to refrain from doing so in the larger interest of the system
and the nation as well.
This they said while attending
a one-day media seminar entitled "Youth, Media and Democracy",
jointly organized by the Telegraph Weekly in close cooperation
with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung last Friday.
Welcoming the galaxy of scholars
attending the seminar at the inaugural session, the chief editor
of the Telegraph Weekly, Mr. N.P.Upadhyaya said that the governments
formed after 1990 were summarily to be blamed for the present
plight of the Nepali youths who find themselves in a very pathetic
"Th media too remained a
silent spectator to the plight of the Nepali youths. Instead
of informing the youths, we disinformed them", added Upadhyaya.
Former president of the Federation
of Nepalese journalists, Mr. Suresh Acharya, said that the October
4 events have raised doubts whether the Nepali media would be
allowed to practice media freedom as guaranteed by the constitution.
The Kathmandu district president
of the FNJ, Mr. Hari Lamsal, opined that various efforts were
in the offing to do away with the plight of the small weekly
Scholar Anand Aditya highlighted
the role of the media and the youths in a democracy like ours.
"The Nepali media has a
tremendous role to play in order to strengthen the system. It
has also a role in pressing the establishment to look into the
matters related to the plight of the youths who appear disillusioned
by the existing chaotic state of the nations politics
as it stood today", said Anand Aditya.
The Public Relations Officer
at the US Embassy. Ms. Constance Colding Jones, the chief guest
of the seminar said that "in a democracy, the media have
a civic duty as well particularly to the young peopleto
inform, to teach, to uplift, to stretch, to enlarge the capacities
of thinking, to deepen understanding, explain the world and
teach the great traditions of freedom".
The chief guest made it abundantly
clear that the media can and should itself become an example
by presenting balanced information, by abstaining from propagating
wild rumors, by examining stories to make sure they represented
She also said that the media
men must frame a code of ethics and practice on how to remain
within the limits of the code thus charted while reporting an
event. ( Her speech will appear next weeked).
The first session saw a working
paper presentation by a noted sociologist of the country , Dr.
Krishna Bhattachan who said that "the current degeneration
in politics and escalating violence and counter violence in
insurgency situation was primarily due to the exclusionary,
highly centralized, West Minister model of democracy".
According to Dr. Bhattachan, what was needed instead was a multi-caste/ethnic,
language, religion, culture and region and which is what constitutes
an "inclusive democracy". ( See the full text in second
Speaking from the chair, Professor
Mohd. Habibullah said that certain political aberrations were
seen at the moment which he hoped would vanish time permitting.
Poof. Dr. Ram Kumar Dahal, yet
another political scientist of repute, presented his paer on
th same topic wherein he maintained that the "triangular
relationship among the youths, media and democracy in todays
globalised world has become a subject matter of prime concern
in any political and social system and hence it would be important
to note here that the youths are the subjects of socialization
within the nation-state, the media are the means of such socialization
and democracy, thus, become a value or ideal to be achieved
both by the subjects and the means".
Speaking from the Chair, Mr.
Shrish Rana, a widely acclaimed political analyst, said that
the excessively biased Nepali media had done little all along
these democratic years to address the genuine grievances of
the people and that the youths too must not become the political
tools of various political parties.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly
(01 January 2003)
spoil the youths! <Top>
The first offspring of Nepals
two great democratic shiftsin the 1950s and 1990s, the
political opening and activism, and provisions of fundamental
civic and human rights were heralded by none other than the
then youths. The country has grown since then at a frantic pace
for the post 52 years. The countrys massive poverty, inequality,
rampant corruption at the highest political echelons, ever growing
debt and social prejudices threaten to undermine the nations
development. Recent history did not provide a "role model"
as promised to by the namesake democratic leaders for the countrys
youths to emulate. Despite more than two hundred plus years
of the nations history the basic question for the "survival
of people" remains unsettled. Nepal needs today a generation
of the youth that will handle the nations historic task
of maintaining democratic identity judiciously with greater
respect for the rule of law, the universal principle of fairness
and the idea of freedom.
The Nepalese media cultures rooted
as they are in societal interest groups have miserably failed
in inculcating youth in the ideals, institutions and practices
of democratic aspirations and converting them into a "model
citizenship" that is capable of discharging responsibility
fallen upon them by the Spirit of the Age. Media as it stands
today even failed to educate them about their civic rights and
the accompanying duties. They unfortunately debate only on their
prerogatives of the journalists, the owners of their papers
and their exclusive rights underlined in the constitution. This
is the reason "youths" of Nepal are looking for a
"moral anchor" so that they can relieve themselves
from the "behind-the scene-maneuver" types of political
culture and help them enable to set themselves on a constitutional
path. Negativism and passivism projected by the media of late
into the delicate minds of the present day youths have contributed
to the alienation of youths from the society, migration broad,
resorting to fatalism and, even rebellion tendencies. These
tendencies all put together are lethal enemies of democracy,
modernity and human rights. How to overcome these deadly dangerous
tendencies and bring the already derailed youths to "cognitive
consonance", positivism and patriotism is the major challenge
of the Nepalese media. How youths can become a part of the community
and set the community work together are intrinsically linked
to strengthen the cohesion and harmony of civil society and
the state. Media as a cornerstone of modernity can also mediate
the ties between "youthful idealism", and the "reality
of the nation", between freedom of choice provided by the
constitution in place and the anti-constitutional tendencies
of Nepals totally corrupt elite and set off the process
of reformative politics in the nation. We believe, the media
have a positive role to play both to have transformatory potential
and communicative and socially integrative content. The nations
future lies on the youths of the nation which means they must
engage in promoting social tranquility and peace.
With these keeping in mind, this
modest newspaper in cooperation with the German Foundation,
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organized a media seminar last week
entitled Youth, Media and Democracy with the primary objective
of highlighting the role of our own sector in character building
of the youths of Nepal so as to ensure democratic future of
this nation; help overcome negative feelings among todays
youths by formulating a matrix of values to socialize the youths
to loyalty to the society and have an abiding and deep sense
of community; and finally to establish youth-media interface
and position their responsibility not just remaining agents
of bargaining and compromise their sectoral interests, but to
the interest of the now the society as a whole.
The kind of scholars, mediamen
and the youths alike participated in the said seminar and forwarded
their comments on the topic of the seminar must now jerk the
government to begin paying attention to the sector which has
remained ever neglected from the very beginning of the 1990
for obvious political reasons. It is time that the political
parties too who in one way or the other used the youths as their
political tools should abandon in doing so in the larger interest
of the youths in particular and of the nation in general. It
is also time concurrently for the youths to ascertain as to
which forces exploited their vast potentials till to date to
get misused for achieving their political gains which in the
process made them to deflect from obtaining their cherished
career. It is time that the political parties come to their
senses and allow the countrys youths to pave their fate
on their own. No more interference please in to their career.
It is also time that the countrys
youths converge and unite in safeguarding their career by summarily
rejecting to become the tools of political parties.
Source: Editorial, The Telegraph
Weekly (01 January 2003)