Nepal in the Press - 2004
Find solution of
crisis within nation, says French envoy <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU, Dec.22: The crisis perpetrated
by the conflict in Nepal has no quick-fix solution and the way
out of the present crisis for the durable peace should be sought
within the nation, said ambassador of France Michel Jovilet
Speaking at a seminar on 'Youth Media and
Peace', Jovilet said that the Nepalese media is working positively
and lobbying for peace. He also paid respect to the journalists
who lost their lives and disappeared in the ongoing conflict
and said that the Nepalese journalists have been going through
the difficult times.
Dev Raj Dahal, chief of FES-Nepal, said that
the media in Nepal have created communicative space for the
youths. However, a large number of youths have become apathetic
to the national affairs due to the ongoing conflict, which has
given birth to the feelings of fear and uncertainty among them,
Professor Gunanidhi Sharma said that development
of a flexible scientific society relies upon youth and media.
"Both media and youth make the nation technologically sound
and institutionally competent", he said.
The role of educated youth and socially responsible
journalism is vital to resolve inherent crisis of political
leadership, governance, economic development regional and ethnic
balance, gender equality, human rights, health and educational
opportunities, he said.
Narendra Prasad Upadhyaya, chief editor of
the Telegraph Weekly, said that today's youths are energetic,
dynamic and competent, however, the government's sheer neglect
to their issues and grievances have forced them to go on rampage.
He urged the youths to come forward for the
restoration of peace in the nation. "The media should back
the youth's efforts unconditionally", he added.
Academician Dr. Suresh Chalise and journalist
Bishnu Nithuri also spoke on the occasion. During the second
session of the programme, Dr. Krishna Bhattachan and Shanta
Pokharel presented working papers. The programme was jointly
organized by the Telegraph Weekly and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Source: The Rising Nepal (23
Youth leaders stress
need for broader alliance <Top>
Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, November 21:
Youth leaders today highlighted the need for
a broader youth alliance in order to form a Youth Parliament
to solve the nations political crisis.
Presenting a paper at the workshop on Crisis
in Democracy and Role of the Youth, organised by the Fredric
Ebert Stiftung and Centre for Social Transformation, Nepal,
former president of Nepal Students Union, Biswo Prakash Sharma,
said a Youth Parliament is necessary in the absence of a real
parliament and cessation of constitutional practices.
The Youth Parliament, formed with various
youth organisations, can come up with a roadmap for the resolution
of crisis, he said, adding, For the Youth Parliament
to be established, a broader youth alliance is essential.
Sharma stressed the need for a united pressure
campaign besides urging them to be determined to join a strong
movement launched with a wise resolution. He also said that
focus should be on a democratic culture. Human rights activist
Sudeep Pathak said there should be a broad alliance among the
youth of all political parties and other organisations to form
a Youth Parliament. Former Member of Parliament, Hari Rokka,
said the main obstacle to solving the crisis was the monarchy,
and without its fall democracy is not possible.
Talking about structural changes in the state
mechanism, he urged them to come up with a detailed process
how to restructure the state. Khagendra Sangroula said the October
9 incident has inspired youth to study the history of the nation
and the Shah dynasty. Lack of internal democracy among
parties is one of the major problems. He also said that
youth organisations devote more time to appease power centres
and have become lazy.
Claiming that the monarch is not a constitutional
force, central leader of Nepali Congress, Narahari Acharya,
urged parties to unite against the monarch. He said unless a
fully capable new generation comes up, the present ruling generation
will not quit.
Pointing out that Minister
for Information and Communication, Dr Mohammad Mohsin, had said
that he never speaks himself, Hridayesh Tripathi said the nation
is heading towards a dangerous zone. Pradeep Gyawali of CPN-UML
warned the youth to be very cautious as the days ahead were
Source: The Himalayan Times (22 November
PRIME Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, while speaking
at a meeting the other day, has emphasized on the need to forge
collective efforts of the countries in the region in order to
thwart the challenges posed by terrorism and the forces bent
on destabilising social and political systems. Expressing his
views in the gathering of the security experts,diplomats and
political scientists, Prime Minister Deuba pointed out the fact
that terrorism had obstructed the economic as well as the human
develpoment process as a result of which social problems like
poverty and illiteracy are yet to be tackled, and that they
have remained as the major barriers of progress. The problems
of underdevelopment and poverty are endemic and equally shared
by all the countries in South Asia where conflicts among social
and political groups are being fomented and escalated. The South
Asian nations are also being affected due to lack of mutual
understanding and confidence consequent to which perceived security
threat and misgivings have drained off huge resources which
otherwise would be channeled for addressing the needs of social
development. However, thanks to the pragmatic approach displayed
by the leadership of both India and Pakistan, it has helped
to reduce tensions in the subcontinent and strengthen the basis
for confidence building. A series of proposals floated by these
countries to address irritating and inimical aspects of the
bilateral relations through what is called as composite dialogue
provide the convincing ground created for positive and constructive
security environment. The SAARC summit being held in the capital
city of Bangladesh, Dhaka soon will definitely provide a new
opportunity to take the momentum of confidence building further.
As SAARC has recognized terrorism as a major security threat
to all the countries in the region and the regional convention
to combat terrorism has been adopted it is time that the SAARC
member nations took stock of the progress achieved in the implementation
of the regional instrument. Security challenges emanated from
terrorist outfits faced by the nations in South Asia are of
the broader and comprehensive nature as their tentacles are
spread across the countries. These demand, as emphasized by
the Prime Minister, a concerted regional approach so that the
security environment is improved and resources are allocated
for improving the lot of poor people in the region.
Source: The Rising Nepal (21 November
Joint efforts needed
to curb terrorism, says PM <Top>
Regional meet on comprehensive security opens
By a Staff Reporter
KATMANDU, Nov. 19: Regional security could
be assured if the countries of the region joined hands. Hence,
collective effort is needed to tackle the growing terrorism
in the south Asian region, said Prime Minister Sher Bahadur
Speaking at a regional conference on 'Comprehensive
Security in South Asia', Deuba, said that the region was facing
colossal challenges of security and poverty.
New problems are emanating from the arms race
and growing terrorism, and poverty remains one of the most formidable
challenges. But confidence building in good faith is a mantra
to tackle these problems," he said.
He said terrorism had obstructed the economic
as well as the human development process, but the challenges
could be overcome through collective effort. "Success must
be achieved," he said.
Though the concept of regional security is
complex, it should be continuous and revised with a multidimensional
approach, Deuba said.
He said that an end to Indo-Pak hostility
would be a milestone in ensuring peace in the region.
Talking about the national context, he said
that the government was ready to hold talks with the Maoists
to establish a lasting peace in the nation.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr.Prakash
Sharan Mahat said that South Asia has all the potential to grow
into a prosperous region.
"The South Asian nations that have geographical
and cultural commonalties could achieve prosperity by putting
the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement into practice."
He said economic integration of South Asia
was based on the directives upheld by the Social Charter that
binds all the nations to move forward collectively to tackle
the challenges posed by poverty, slow economic growth and environmental
factors. This, in turn, bolsters the commitment to a stable
"Exchange of ideas among experts and
academicians would help mitigate the challenges," he added.
Dev Raj Dahal, head of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
(FES) Nepal, said that South Asia is struggling to form a collective
identity through shared values and interests in cooperation
and engagement in restraint, non-confrontation and consultation.
"A vision of greater interdependence
of the regional peoples and the states and shared interests
in the promotion of peace and progress underscore the leitmotif
of comprehensive security,' Dahal said.
He said intensified political dialogue, confidence
building measures and social, economic, ecological and technological
cooperation can create the necessary conditions for reducing
the threat of tension and rebellion and promote the foundation
for economic and social justice, peace and progress in south
National and international experts presented
different papers on Comprehensive Security in South Asia during
the second session of the seminar.
The two-day seminar is being organized by
the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Source: The Rising Nepal (20 November
blamed for eroding journos' rights <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
LALITPUR, Sept. 26: A three-day workshop on
Building Union Capacity for Human Rights and Conflict Reporting
in South Asia kicked off here Sunday afternoon.
"Growing violence in the South Asian
region evokes fear, brutality and death of ordinary people in
conflict areas, inflicting the violation of human rights and
undermining their pursuit, " said Dev Raj Dahal on behalf
of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES),a German-funded non-governmental
organization. "Journalists also face crackdown on press
freedom threat of eviction and risks on their personal life
and professional freedoms. Any attempt by journalists to project
the visibility of victims poses risks to their profession, life
He said that the journalists as citizens had
a special responsibility to serve the public's need for peace,
freedom and public goods in times of conflict. "They can
perform this role only if freedom of the press and journalists'
safety and professional autonomy are guaranteed," Dahal
said the fundamental challenge of South Asian journalists now
was to bring back the mutilated public into normal life and
transfer the society of interest groups that were not communicating
to each other into a deliberative public.
In South Asia, where politicians tend to communicate
more to the media than to each other, media workers have additional
responsibility in spreading the message of freedom, peace and
social justice, Dahal added. He said it was essential for the
journalists to maintain a sense of proportion between perception
and judgement. "Similarly, when human lives are really
at stake, reporting the news should not be decided by market
imperatives of profit calculus, but by social utility of protecting
"The state media in South Asia are controlled
by the governments whereas the private ones are guided by commercial
motives," senior journalists P. Kharel said, talking about
media and journalism in the region. "They still need to
improve a lot in terms of content."
Kharel said the environment in the region
was not in favor of working journalists. "Majority of them
is compelled to work at low wages and their jobs are not secure;
we cannot hope them to work freely and independently in such
For them to play constructive roles, they
should first be free from the worries of livelihood, he added,
and called for closer ties among the press unions in the region
to press governments and owners to improve the situation.
He asked the media and the journalists in
the region to widen coverage of the neighboring countries. We
should not remain aliens to each other."
Cristopher Warren, president of International
Federation of Journalists (IFJ), spoke on the risks and challenges
facing the journalists in the region and stressed on regional
solidarity to improve human rights situations and mitigate conflict.
The workshop organized jointly by IFJ and
FES is being attended by about 20 senior journalists from Nepal,
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
Source: The Rising Nepal (27 September
Govt, Maoists urged
to formulate CBMs <Top>
Himalayan News Service
Leaders of various political parties, human
rights activists and members of civil society today urged both
the government and Maoists to develop confidence building measures
(CBMs) to resume peace process. They expressed their views during
an interaction programme on Dialogue for Peace organised by
the CPN-UMLs Maoist Problem Resolution Recommendation
Taskforce. Minister for Education and Sports Bimalendra Nidhi
said the government was in favour of holding secret talks with
the Maoists. The government is doing homework to resume
peace process and external mediation not necessary until internal
exercises are exhausted, he said. Professor Lokraj Baral
said the Maoist problem cannot be resolved unless a new constitution
is made. He said the negotiation should focus on political issues
and clarity of thought is essential while holding talks with
the Maoists. Pradeep Giri of the Nepali Congress (Democratic)
said it would be futile to hold negotiation with the Maoists
without understanding their political motive behind waging the
We must not forget that Maoists have
political interests in the state mechanism. Thats why
they raise arms, he said, adding that the state gave up
finding peaceful solution to the problem after the September
11, 2001 attacks in the US installations. But another NC (D)
leader Dr Minendra Rijal said the rebels are ready to accept
multiparty democracy and also ready to hold dialogue with the
government backed by the King. Dev Raj Dahal, director of Frederich
Ebert Stiftung, said that the upcoming talks should be held
based on national and rational perspectives. We
should focus on end products rather than the means, he
He said, Root cause of the Maoist conflict
is that there was no coherence on national security, democracy
and development. He said negotiation should be held at
multi-dimensional, hierarchical and horizontal level.
Roshan Karki, spokesperson of the Rastriya
Prajatantra Party, said the government should be clear as what
would attract the Maoists to come to the negotiating table.
Maoists have demanded United Nations involvement
in negotiation as they have no faith on this government,
she said. National Human Rights Commission member Sushil Pyakurel
was of the view that the Maoists would not come to peace process
unless they are sure that the government has full authority
to implement the agreement reached with them. Dr Sundar Mani
Dixit, co-ordinator of Civil Society for Peace and Human Rights,
said statements made by the government ministers were irritating
to the Maoists.
Source: The Himalayan Times (29 August
reports causing panic <Top>
By Govinda Bhattarai
GODAVARI (Lalitpur), Aug.21: There has been
much debate as to whether the Nepalese media are impartial when
it comes to covering conflict related issues. They have frequently
been charged of falling prey to emotional evaluation or caving
in before threats.
It is a big challenge to strike a balance
as reporters run the risk of promoting propaganda if they fail
to support their reports with complete information. But at the
same time, they also run the risk of being killed or mimed.
The coverage of the government-maoist conflict is just a case
in point. Since the maoist insurgency began, many sensational
reports on the violence have caused panic in the public and
have only fuelled the conflict. Instead, they can contribute
in deescalating the conflict by presenting accurate information
and balanced views, experts say.
At a workshop for journalists, some Nepalese
as well as foreign media experts asked the media to play a constructive
role during war times, especially by presenting the causes and
consequences of the conflict and suggesting ways to settle it.
This helps create public pressure on the warring
factions to come to the negotiating table. The media can also
expedite a reconciliation process by establishing communication
between the two sides, they said.
They also condemned the Maoists for killing
journalists during the course of reporting.
"We as journalists must not let our emotions
manipulate what we write," said Joergen Klussmann, a German
media expert, at the training-cum-workshop 'Peace Journalism:
On the Road to Conflict Communication', which concluded Friday.
"For this, we need proper observation and fact-based evaluation."
Participated in by 15 journalists, including
a German student and an American radio journalist, the three
day programme organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung(FES) Nepal
aimed at facilitating the media personnel to work on solutions
to the problems Nepal is facing currently.
Klussman, the principal trainer, presented
four aspects of a message and suggested the trainees to analyse
every one of them in order to avoid emotional evaluation, which
is always misleading.
Highlighting the importance of the media's
role in a conflict situation, he said the media are the only
source of information for both the contending parties and asked
the journalists to be responsible and impartial while covering
On the opening day Wednesday, Nepal press
Institute chairman Gokul Pokharel, while presenting the history
of conflict in Nepal, expressed concern over the Maoist attacks
"The gruesome murder of Gyanendra Khadka
last year and of Dikendra Thapa of Dailekh in the second week
of August this year by the insurgents are a reminder that the
Maoists are not going to tolerate freedom of expression that
goes counter to their dictates," he said.
He urged both the government and the Maoists
to practice a high degree of tolerance and create a conducive
atmosphere for the media to present issues impartially and objectively.
Senior journalist Dhruba Hari Adhikary in his paper "Contemporary
conflict dynamics in Nepal' said that in addition to the government
and the Maoists, the civil society too should be included in
the peace process. The role of civil society was even more important
"in view of the fact that the country is without a parliament
and an elected government," he said.
He suggested that Nepal accept the offer of
assistance from the international community, including the United
Nations and the European Community, in resolving the current
Dev Raj Dahal of FES Nepal said that media
persons in Nepal has additional responsibility in spreading
the message of peace and social justice.
"Media persons can provide early warning
of conflict, help the victims to get justice, freedom and autonomy,
educate the public about conflict sensitivity and flesh out
alternative approaches for crisis prevention and conflict resolution,"
Source: The Rising Nepal (22 August
for reporters covering conflict
LALITPUR, Aug 20 - A media expert has demanded
that media houses should provide insurance for reporters covering
the conflict around the country.
"Media organizations should not assign their reporters
for reporting on the conflict without insurance," said
Gokul Pokhrel, president of Nepal Press Institute. "There
should also be provision for immediate health services made
available for these reporters in case they fall ill."
He was speaking at a three-day training program
on "Peace Journalism on the Road to Conflict Communication"
at Godavari, organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) for
journalists, which concluded here on Friday. FES, a German NGO
with offices in 51 countries, works for democracy, trade unions
and media professionals.
Pokhrel, while suggesting that journalists
should not to be influenced by either the government or the
Maoists, said that the emergence of an undaunted media with
the skills and capacity to present issues impartially and objectively,
would prove to be an asset in strengthening the cause of peace
"In order to enable the media to carry
out its role fearlessly, both the government and the Maoist
should be persuaded to exercise a high degree of tolerance,
provide access to information and create an environment of trust
and confidence," he said.
Jorgen Klussmann from Germany, the main resource
person, trained the journalists on subjects like non-violent
communication, the role of communication during conflict situations,
reconciliation and peace journalism, and systemic constellation.
The training was the second one of its kind held in Nepal.
Source: The Kathmandu Post (21 August
women for end of the game of killing <Top>
SURKHET, July 25: Conflict-hit women of Surkhet
district have called for immediate end of the game of killing
fellow brethren in the country.
Speaking at the concluding function of a two-day
discussion on 'gender concepts and condition of the conflict
hit women' held here today by Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre(LACC),
Lalitpur, the participating women said peace talks should be
initiated and peace restored in the country before more other
women are made widow.
The participants also demanded the government
to provide compensation and relief to women having made widow
by both the security forces and Maoist sides.
They pointed out the need of promoting social
awareness and ending traditional ill-practices towards to widows,
thereby creating an environment for the widows to lead a respectful
Different widows including chairperson of
the organizing body Dr. Shanta Thapaliya and Surkhet CDO Tilak
Ram Sharma spoke on the occasion.
Meanwhile, president of the Nepali Congress
Girija Prasad Koirala has said that the Maoists problem is the
main problem of the country at present and development process
of the country could be forwarded if this problem is resolved
He said that the people affected by the violence
and terror of Maoists area compelled to face the additional
difficulties of natural calamity.
After inspecting the flood affected areas
of Jaleshwor of Mahottari District, Koirala said though then
Nepali Congress government had taken initiative to save the
people from flood and launched plan, the successive governments
did not give continuity to such programmes and the problem.
Source: The Rising Nepal (26 July 2004)
(This program is conducted by LACC in cooperation
Demand for Gender
Equality Training <Top>
Janakpurdham: Democratic Confederation of
Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES) organized a two-day training program on "Gender Equality
and Trade Union Status" on June 21-22. The training raised
an issue about global campaign on gender and discussed about
the exploitation of women by women and patriarchal social structure.
Participants uniformly viewed about the promotion of gender
equality for enhancing women's rights and rightful place in
society. Struggle for gender equality should lay emphasis not
on fight between husband and wife, or between sister and sister-in-laws
but against social ills and prejudices. They also viewed that
gender equality requires attitude change and reeducation of
all the generation of people. Social struggle should therefore,
center on altering attitude towards giving birth to many children
in the name of son's preference, send sons to school while assigning
girl to family works and involvement of women in trafficking
Participants demanded a provision of citizenship
certificate with the name of mother, an increase in women's
number in the parliament, adequate educational opportunity including
equal opportunity in the army, police and public administration.
Proportional representation was also sought in industry, commerce
and civil society. DECONT general-secretary Khila Nath Dahal
stated to promote gender equality in its union structure. Chairperson
of Women's Department of DECONT Rama Paudel explained the objectives
of the training and appealed all members of DECONT to support
the idea of gender equality in workplace and family. 40 women
from ten districts - Dhanusha, Mohattari, Sirha, Saptari, Bara,
Parsa, Chitwan, Jhapa, Morang and Makwanpur participated the
training. Local leaders of Janakpur Kishori Shah, Ram Saraj
Yadav, Samir Ghimire, Krishna Giri, Madhav Neupane and Ram Bharat
Shah spoke on the inauguration session. Dev Raj Dahal highlighted
the contribution of FES and four trainers Ghana Shyam Subedi,
Madhav Neupane, Rama Paudel and K. N. Dahal facilitated the
Source: Tarun Weekly (Nepali) 28 June
The ongoing conflict has afflicted every sector
of the society. More than 10,000 people, mostly innocent civilians,
have already lost their lives in insurgency related incidents
over the last eight years. A report has it that women and children
are worst hit by the insurgency and conflict. It is estimated
that about 37,000 women have been affected by the eight years
of violence and conflict. Nepalese women, who constitute half
of the country's total population, have lagged far behind in
all sectors compared to men. This is all due to our age-old
tradition and social structure. Women have little say in the
decision making process and social and economic activities.
Women's contribution to the national economy has not been duly
recognized. It is one of the reasons for Nepal's low level of
development. Already suffering from discrimination and exploitation,
the conflict and violence have further afflicted and marginalized
Nepalese women especially in the rural areas. Unless all women
are brought to the national mainstream on equal footing, it
would be difficult to achieve Nepal's sustainable development.
Realizing this, the gender issue has lately received due prominence
in all sectors all over the world including Nepal. Nepal has
ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women. The Constitution of the Kingdom
of Nepal has strictly prohibited all forms of discrimination
on the ground of sex, colour and caste. At the same time, it
has enacted several laws to ensure equal rights for women. There
have definitely been good developments concerning women and
their rights. However, in practice the situation is different.
Majority of women in Nepal are still illiterate. The law concerning
equal share for women in the parental properties has been enacted
but women are still not been able to fully enjoy this rights
due to social and cultural bias. It is mainly because of the
ignorance of women concerning their rights and legal provisions.
Thus, it is very important to raise the awareness level of women
on their rights and role in the society. Deputy Speaker of the
dissolved House of Representatives Chitralekha Yadav aptly raised
the issue of women and stressed the need for more focus on women
development activities to raise the status of Nepalese women.
As said by Deputy Speaker Yadav, more efforts need to be made
to ensure equal participation of women in all sectors, which
alone would ensure equal and sustainable development of the
Source: The Rising Nepal, Editorial
(18 June 2004)
hardest hit by insurgency <Top>
LALITPUR, June 16: Although figures about
the number of women and children affected by the Maoist insurgency
are conflicting, there is no second opinion that they have been
Some studies have put the number of women
affected by the 8-year-long insurgency at 37,000. This is based
on the assumption that 9,000 people have been killed in the
insurgency so far, most of them men.
Speaking at an interaction programme today
on "Women and Armed Conflict: Reaching towards Focused
Solution", Deputy Speaker of the dissolved House of Representatives
Chitra Lekha Yadav said that women-be it the wives of the police,
army, Maoist or any common person have suffered the most.
The programme was organised by Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES) and Samrakshan Nepal.
She said that women in the rural areas have
three to five children on average. And when men are killed or
forced to flee, the burden of taking care of them falls on the
She blamed the self-centred politics for the
woes of the country, including the conflict.
In her paper on "Participation of Women
in Conflict Resolution" Manorama Upadhyay, president of
Samrakshan Nepal, however, claimed that more than 10,500 people
had lost their lives since 1996. According to her, the conflict
has resulted in the death of 447 women.
But INSEC puts the total number of deaths
at 9,133 and of women at 446. According to a report of the National
women's Commission, women account for about 33 percent of the
Maoist militia in some districts. The figure is as high as 50
per cent in the districts highly affected by the Maoists.
The report also said that majority of the
Nepali women are legally, politically, economically, socially
and culturally marginalised and subordinated to structural injustices
Many young women are displaced from their
homes and are forced to stay away due to threats in their villages.
The paper said that killing of the male members of the family
by both the warring sides is one reason behind the women's sufferings.
The trauma faced by windows and orphans, sexual
violence, forceful eviction of women from their homes, beating,
torture and arbitrary detention have reached unbearable levels.
Migration from the villages has resulted in a six percent population
incre4ase in the cities and towns, Upadhyaya said.
She said that ignorance about women's contributions
and potential role in preserving peace and resolving the conflict
has not only hindered in providing gender equality but also
obstructed efforts to achieve sustainable peace and security.
Journalists Guna Raj Luintail in his paper
"Gender Issue in Conflict Situation in Nepal" said
the figures about the number of women killed or displaced by
the insurgency were conflicting.
President of the Institute of Human Rights
Communications Shova Gautam, in her paper "Entry Points
for women's Participation in Peace Building", said that
the armed conflict has led to poverty, malnutrition and unemployment
while slowing down the pace if development.
The conflict has also impacted economic growth,
development budget, education and health, besides enhancing
the threat of terrorism, she added.
Source: The Rising Nepal (17 June 2004)
not serious about conflict victim women <Top>
Kathmandu: Though women are not directly involved
in the conflict, they are the victim of violence and displacement.
Speaking at a seminar organized by Samrachhan Nepal on Women
and the Armed Conflict: Reaching Towards Focused Solutions,
speakers pointed out that the state should be more sensitive
towards the plight of conflict affected women. Women are
being affected by the violence and conflict all around
said the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Chitra Lekha Yadav.
She recommended the idea of the formulation of democratic structure
which makes politics people oriented than self and profit oriented.
Similarly, representative of FES Dev Raj Dahal
said that conflict can be minimized if the state tries to eliminate
structural injustices inflicted on conflict victims. On the
occasion chairperson of Institute of Human Rights Communication,
Nepal, Shova Gautam presented a paper on Entry Points
for Womens participation in Peace Building, journalist
Gunraj Luintel, presented his paper on Gender Issues on
Conflict Situation in Nepal, and chairperson of Samrachhan
Nepal Manorama Upadhayay presented a paper on Participation
of Women in Conflict Resolution.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Geeta Uprety,
Human Rights Activist Krishan Pahadi and Dr. Mohan Dev Bhattarai
put their comments on the papers. Senior journalist Dev Prakash
Tripathi, ex-Minister Yog Prasad Upadhayay, among, other said
that armed conflict has affected women and children more than
Source: Nepal Samachar Patra (17 June
NEFAS Seminar on
By our Reporter
Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS)
conducted a well-attended, two-day seminar, Sunday and Monday,
with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung cooperation on "Critical
Barriers to the Negotiation of Armed Conflict in Nepal".
Sunday morning saw Prof. Surya Lal Amatya
chair the inaugural session where NEFAS executive director Prof.
Ananda Shrestha elaborated on the seminar topic and its purposes
with the FES's Dev Raj Dahal also delving on the same.
The two working sessions that day followed
with Ananda Aditya chairing the first. Mana Ranjan Josse's paper
"History and Genesis of Nepal's Maoist Insurgency: Tools
for Negotiating Conflict" and comments by Bihari Krishna
Shrestha were hotly discussed by participants.
Discussions on the second paper "Cost
of Conflict and Donor's Dilemma: How is Nepal Coping?"
by well-known economist Prof. Gunanidhi Sharma and commented
upon by Bharat Pokharel saw chairman Arjun Jung Shah grappling
with the difficulties of time restraints and high participation.
Monday morning and Dr. Bishnu Raj Upreti's
paper "Conflict Resolution in Nepal: Traditional Approaches
and the Question of Third Party Mediation" as also Lal
Babu Yadav's comments triggered extensive participants response
prompting chairman Aditya Man Shrestha to forego his comments
from the chair in order to cope with the limits of time.
The last session saw discussion of Shravan
Sharma's paper "The Role and choice of Facilitators in
Negotiating Conflict: The Nepalese Experience". Dr. Samira
Luitel commented. Dr. Durga Pokharel chaired.
Source: People's Review (3-9 June 2004)
giving priority to Power than Peace <Top>
Kathmandu: The Nepal Foundation for Advanced
Studies, NEFAS, organized a two-day national seminar, May 30-31,
on " Critical barriers to the negotiation of Armed conflict
in Nepal", in Lalitpur.
Nepals noted scholars and academicians
participated in the two day event.
Welcoming the attending participants, the
executive director of the NEFAS, Professor Anand Prasad Shrestha,
said that the past democratic years have not only proved to
be a costly exercise but are to a great extent held responsible
for fueling, if not by default giving birth to the insurgency
Professor Shrestha also stressed the need
to tackle the core and the peripheral issues fueling the conflict
with skill and foresight and not zoom straight into sensitive
issues embodied in the former without so much as coming to some
understanding on peripheral issues.
The FES Nepal representative, Dev Raj Dahal,
on the occasion opined that Nepali politicians have not mustered
enough "political will," to transform conflict and
competition into a cooperative game. "There is a lack of
national perspective in conflict perception and that the perspectives
forwarded by various forces of society in resolving the conflict
also suffer from rationality deficit as their orientations are
partisan in nature-- either inclined to garner benefit to individual
leaders or particular party, or a group of parties or even a
regime", Dahal added.
He noted that the stubborn resistance of diverse
political actors against each other subsumes the notion that
political actors are giving priority to power over peace.
Noted journalist, M.R. Josse, presenting his
working paper said that though the Maoists have periodically
demonstrated their ability to mount sizeable attacks on State
security forces and other targets, they have not been able to
hold to their "gains" for long. According to Josse
the Maoists have immensely benefited from the great divide that
is in between the Palace and the parliamentary parties.
"The prognosis for a negotiated settlement
of the insurgency is not very encouraging despite the deafening
calls from some quarters for another cease-fire and follow up
Similarly, senior economist Dr. Gun Nidhi
Sharma presenting his paper maintained that "conflicts
in Nepal with its historical, gender, political and social and
cultural dimensions are imposing high economic costs to the
society and that these costs were explicit and implicit in that
while some of them are direct and quantifiable whereas many
others are indirect and unobservable and which can be gathered
only through impressions".
The next day of the seminar saw the presentation
of papers from Dr. B.R.Upreti and Mr. Shrawan Sharma.
Dr. Upreti said in his paper that since the
Maoists do not trust the government and hence they demand the
UN mediation at the talks. "If the UN is there at the talks,
adds Dr. Upreti, the insurgency also could enjoy legitimacy
and thus recognition as a potential political force.
Mr. Sharma concentrated mostly on how the
talks should proceed and the role of the facilitators.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (2 June
Impact of Conflict
on Women <Top>
Bardiay, May 25: One-day seminar was organized
among the journalists to discuss the impact of conflicts on
women. Jointly organized by Women Communicators Group
(WCG), Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Bardiya and
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the program was participated by journalists
from Bardiya, Nepalgunj, Dang, Kailali, Mahendranagar and Surkhet.
The General-secretary of WCG Babita Basnet
chaired the session while District Judge Bishnu Dev Paudel,
Local Development Officer Yagnya Prasad Bhattarai, Police SP
Shayam Prasad Nepal, Secretary of WCG Nirmala Sharma and the
president of FNJ Bardiya section Yubraj Sharesta shared their
views. Babita Basnet presented a paper on the News Reporting
About the Impact of Conflict on Children, and Minraj Sharma
presented paper on News Reporting from the Periphery.
The discussion highlighted about the problem of kidnapped women,
problems of the family of security forces and Maoists and the
negative impacts of conflict on their lives.
Source: Ghatana Ra Bichar Weekly (26
protection stressed <Top>
LALITPUR, May 16: A two-day workshop seminar
was organised here Saturday with the objective of identifying
the problems seen regarding bringing labourers working in the
unorganised sector within the limits of organisation and determining
the strategy and programmes to be adopted in resolving these
Inaugurating the seminar organised by the
Democratic Confederation of Nepalese trade Unions (DECONT),Deputy
Speaker Chitra Lekha Yadav said the co-operation of all sectors
was necessary to integrate the labourers working in the informal
sector and resolving their problems. She also expressed the
hope that the seminar aimed at identifying the shortcomings
seen in the strategy and programmes with regard to the rights
and interests of the labourers in the unorganised sector would
be successful in addressing the problems.
Suloman Raghubanshi of the international labour
Organisation (ILO) said ILO has already adopted a separate work
plan regarding protecting the rights and interests of the labourers
in the unorganised sector and resolving the existing problems
by making them organised.
Representative of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
(FES) Dev Raj Dahal said it would be worthless to seek solution
to the plethora of problems of the labourers until the labourers
involved in different professions and labour organisations are
He said doing so would
help in formulating the strategy and programmes relating to
the rights and welfare of the labourers.
Source: The Rising Nepal (17 May 2004)
Required for Informal Sector workers
Lalitpur: Experts point out the need for bringing
informal sector workers into the legal framework of formal economy
by extending support to their economic, social, political and
educational development. Informal sector provides employment
to 80 percent of the nations population and makes more
than 45 percent contribution to GDP. These facts have stated
by the experts in two-day national workshop on Identifying
Challenges of Informal Sector Economy for Trade Unions,
organized by Democratic Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions
(DECONT) in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
Inaugurating the workshop Deputy Speaker
of the parliament Chitra Lekha Yadav said, public policy
should be formulated keeping in mind social justice and human
rights of workers in the informal sector economy. Since bulk
of informal sector workers are women their voice and participation
should be ensured by the concerned quarters.
Planner Dr. Purna Kant Adhikari argued that
the workers in the informal sector should be identified and
organized in the union. Representative of ILO Soloman Rajbansi
highlighted the role of ILO in lobbying for guaranteeing at
least minimum social security for workers in the informal sector,
promotion of their rights including right to food security,
employment and organization. The Representative of FES Dev Raj
Dahal stated that the economy should aim to fulfill basic needs
and proper policies should be formulated for the protection
of workers in an informal sector. Property rights to the poor
should be established. Economist Binod Bhattarai said that workers
are exploited in an unsafe labor market and they do not have
institutional means to address their grievances. This situation
needs to be addressed. Out of 9269555 workers in the informal
sector 7536036 are occupied in the agriculture sector.
Lawyers Ghanashayam Subedi presenting his
paper on legal provisions for informal sector stated that 96
percent of the population is in informal sector. Low income,
job insecurity, problem in working environment, long working
hours, lack of legal protection, low quality job, governments
neglect, lack of land and capital, lack of modern technology,
problem in unionization, absence of social security, basic training
and education and problem in access to policy makers are the
key problems. President of DECONT Rajendra B. Raut, Vice-President
Khila Nath Dahal and Vice-President of General Federation of
Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) also sharing their views stated
that organization of informal sector workers should be the responsibility
of all social actors, not just the unions. It is a national
problem, therefore, the state should bear primary responsibility
to solve their problems.
SamacharPatra (16 May 2004)
State Should Formulate
Special Programs for Dalits <Top>
Lalitpur: The Vice-Chairman of National Assembly
argued that unless Dalits access to various institutions
of the state is ensured upliftment of Dalits is not possible.
Speaking at a two-day national seminar on Raising Dalit
Participation in the Governance organized by Center for
Economic and Technical Studies (CETS) he said, since Dalits
are historically excluded by the state, it is the responsibility
of the state to raise their participation in the governance.
He stated that more than 500 Dalits lost their lives due to
ongoing violent conflict in the country and many of them have
undergone torture. The concerned sectors should address this
Former Foreign Minister Shailendra Kumar
Upadhayay argued that the total abolition of untouchability
system from the country, the government, political parties and
civil society should take initiative and the existing laws and
regulations should be made effective. There should also be the
solidarity of social movement groups. Member-Secretary of National
Dalit Commission Durga Sob believed that due to the problem
of the nationalization of Dalit issue the problem of the abolition
of untouchability continued. The government has to make special
efforts to uplift them.
Representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Dev Raj Dahal said, abolition of the untouchability inherent
in the caste system is possible by proper policy instruments
and attitude change. Executive Director of CETS Dr. Hari
Bansa Jha revealed that since five years CETS has been involved
in organizing and educating Dalits on their constitutional rights.
In the seminar discussion focused on policy reforms, utilization
of foreign aid, affirmation action, legal advocacy and quota
for the education of Dalit students. (RSS)
Source: The Gorkhapatra (4 May 2004)
displaced by conflict seek justice
BY KIRAN CHAPAGAIN
KATHMANDU, Apr 27 - Deaths, arrests and abductions,
life-threats and torture, closure of newspaper offices and self-censorship.
This pretty much sums up the state of press freedom in Nepal
in recent years.
Thanks to the never-ending conflict, the insurgency, the counter-insurgency,
and now the agitation launched by
the alliance of five political parties.
The media sector, which has undergone a phenomenal
development in the post-1990 Nepal, has suffered a severe blow,
especially after November 2001 when a state of emergency was
These hardships that our "free press"
is undergoing since the Maoist rebellion started were more visible
in the voices and faces of a group of displaced journalists
who gathered in the capital today for a seminar.
They shared their stories of torture unleashed
on them and their families by the state as well as the Maoists.
Their crime: using their pens to disseminate the true state
of affairs to the masses.
"I received death threats from Maoists
for covering a heinous crime committed by the rebels who butchered
a cow and fed their cadres," Ram Krishna Gautam, a Surkhet-based
reporter of the Rastriya Samachar Samiti said. He is now living
in Kathmandu due to Maoist fears.
Thanks to the International Press Institute
Nepal National Committee, the global network of editors and
media executives, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, that jointly
organized the seminar to know the plight of journalists displaced
by the Maoist insurgency so that they can come up with programs
to rehabilitate them.
According to the Federation of Nepalese Journalists
(FNJ), umbrella forum of professional journalists in the country,
altogether 26 journalists have been displaced by the ongoing
Displaced journalists said they have been
penalized by the state for covering Maoists activities and being
Maoist sympathizers. Displaced journalists affiliated to government
media said the Maoists punish them for using the word terrorist
in their news, they accuse them of spying and covering negative
news about the Maoists.
Some journalists said security forces have
tortured them for nonsense causes. "Security forces tortured
me for wearing long beards. They said my beard makes me look
like Maoist," Bishnu Bhusal, a journalist from Arghakhanchi
Other journalists said that they have been
victimised by both security forces and the Maoists.
"Once security forces captured my Dictaphone
and mentally tortured me. Later on Maoists issued death threats
against me. Now I am forced to live in Kathmandu," Hari
Bahadur Khadka, a Radio Nepal reporter based in Arghakhanchi
Some journalists told heart-rending stories
of torture in police custody. "Please do not record my
voice. Do not take my photograph. If they identify me then they
will torture me again," a displaced journalist, who requested
to be unnamed said.
According to FNJ President Tara Nath Dahal,
some state-owned media organizations have sacked some displaced
journalists on the ground that they left their job stations.
The displaced journalists prayed that
press freedom be restored so that they can return back to their
respective work stations and continue their work. They demanded
the FNJ take initiatives to provide justice rather any relief
Source: The Kathmandu Post (28
Wrong policy spoiling
young generation <Top>
BY OUR REPORTER
Academicians, intellectuals, representatives
of different professional organizations attending a seminar
on "Youth in Civic Education" remarked that the wrong
policy adopted for the young generation has resulted in spoiling
At the seminar organised by NEFAS in cooperation
with the Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Nepal, on April 18,
the participants strongly recommended for introducing appropriate
syllabus from the primary level in education with the aim of
providing civic education to the new generation.
Participants further noted that the youths
in the country are directionless and the political parties are
using the youths as tools for achieving their political goals.
Youths are being used in agitation, they are
carrying guns under the Maoists' command, they are addicted
to drugs, the participants opined and suggested for introducing
necessary policy to properly utilize the youth force.
NEFAS executive director professor Aananda
Prasad Shrestha, in his welcome speech, shed light on the importance
of civic education at a time when the nation and nationalism
are facing internal as well as external threats.
"Civic education will provide proper
guidance while exercising democratic rights and responsibility
of the citizen, he said and added that such an education will
also help the society to be aware about the responsibility of
the citizens on the job of nation-building.
He also opined that all the castes, classes,
genders, communities, among others, should get equal opportunity
in every field.
"We are saying "politics is a dirty
game" it is because of strong domination of unhealthy competition,
nepotism and favoritism in politics," Shrestha said and
described that when those people having no knowledge of civic
education dominates politics, such a situation occurs and brain-drain
of young generation is obvious at that time.
Shrestha concluded with the remarks that lack
of civic education will turn politics into personal benefit,
create division in the society as well as the nation. Hence,
civic education is a must for better democracy and development
of the nation.
Dev Raj Dahal, FES Nepal chief, remarked that
it is a growing concern among many countries and Nepal is also
struggling to find ways to engage youth in the nation's social,
economic and political life.
"The fundamental objective of civic education
is to provide youth a comprehensive knowledge of what they are
expected to know about positive norms and values about democracy
and their role as sovereign citizens," said Dahal.
Understanding of democratic principles and
skills is important for the practice of good citizenship and
their trust in the polity, Dahal opined.
Professor Prem Raj Uprety presented a paper
on "Youths of Nepal and employment scenario in civil society".
His paper cited on historical perspectives and democratic profile
of the youth population.
Uprety finally recommended for creating more
jobs for a high growth in the economy; creating more investments
in the social sector; developing basic infrastructures and properly
managing the growing urbanization process.
He warned that rising youth unemployment would
breed insecurity, instability, crime, terrorism and anti-establishments,
demanding for justice, equality within the civil society.
Dr. Prem Sharma, CDRD, TU, while commenting
on the paper presented by Uprety, said that the paper has covered
the brand of Nepalese rulers on youth in different problematic
period as agent of political change.
The paper has pointed out the dark side of
status of youth as juvenile delinquency if they are deprived
of employment and lack of access to educational opportunities,
Shanta Pokhrel, socio-economist, another commentator
of the paper presented by Uprety, expressed the view that youths
have remained directionless. She urged for harnessing youth
power in nation-building job.
She further commented on the government's
target of exporting manpower for dangerous and dirty jobs only.
She also pointed out gender discrimination in the society and
urged for end of such practices.
Source: The People's Review (22-28
At a Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies
sponsored seminar on Nepali Youths, Nepali scholars debated
whether the Nepali youths were a problem for the country or
vice versa. The national level seminar also discussed in depth
the issues confronting the Nepali youths and the dimension of
the consequences that it might catapult into if their real issues
and concerns were not dealt with on time by the State. Naturally
scholars opined that the Nepali youths have already become helpless,
hopeless and felt alienated due to the gross negligence shown
towards their plight by the fragile governments formed after
the restoration even of the democratic order.
Noted scholar, Dev Raj Dahal, who concurrently
is the Nepal representative of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung,
a German social foundation which supported the event, maintained
that the need of the hour was to attract the attention of the
confused Nepali youths towards the societal issues confronting
the nation. Mr. Dahals appeal to the intellectuals and
the national leaders had been not to use the youths only for
their political purposes but to impart on them the positive
values which ultimately will make them not only a disciplined
citizens of the country but would also transform them into a
completely competent and energetic youths who could later serve
the societal and the countrys needs.
Scholars also shed light on the real issues
that have beset the youths of late. Todays Nepali youth
could be seen in the streets supporting the agitation; a part
of the same youth is found in the schools or for that matter
in the colleges; some youths were in the jungles; a considerable
chunk of the youths were either ragpickers or have already left
the country for good as migrant worker in order to earn money.
The rest, as academician Prof. S.L.Amatya revealed, have entered
into the Indian territories either out of fear of the Maoists
or to manage two meals a day.
If one goes deep into what the scholars have
said, what comes to the fore is that the real villain of the
Nepali youths is none other than the State itself. What the
hell the youths will do if they are denied employment; what
they will do other than to become a drug-addict if the state
fails to cater to their demands that are indeed genuine ones.
That the problems of the Nepali youths have already acquired
a frightening dimension which gets reflected from their joining
the insurgencies or migrating abroad. The fact is that if the
society or for that matter the nation does not take care of
their concerns, why should they in turn care those who grossly
neglect them and their causes?
It is not for nothing that the paper presenter,
Professor Prem Raman Uprety said that youths were an energetic
group in transitional phase who desire a safe, clean and healthy
environment for their mental and healthy development. It is
this period of the youths which demands a sort of parental care
both from the society and the State. If denied this care, chances
remain high that the youths could deviate from their normal
path which later could become a permanent headache both for
those who neglected their concerns.
What is the structural condition of the Nepalese
society? What are the possibilities for them to fulfill duties
towards the society as citizens and as human beings? How to
promote skill and will power among Nepali youth to fulfill their
citizenship rights and duties and resist those defects that
prevent them in fulfilling the national obligations ascribed
to them? What are the incentives for Nepali youth to be integrated
into the boundaries of national culture and inspire them to
be committed to the constitutional goal of creating an open
and just society? These were the questions whose appropriate
answers will be explored during the discourse of the seminar
hoped Prof. Anand Shrestha, the executive director of the NEFAS.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly
(21 April 2004)
Civic education vital
for youths <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU, April 19: Lack of civic education
among youths has severely weakened the spirit of the people's
movement of 1990 and caused a greater degree of frustrations
at various spheres of the society. The conflict, violence and
anomalies that have beleaguered the Nepalese society are mainly
due to the dearth of civic education, observed social scientists
and economists here at a programme.
High sounding words on intellectuals and planners
do not help thrash out solutions to the social anomalies, youth
force that constitute a major chunk of the country's population
should be involved in developmental activities, they said.
Speaking at a seminar on "Youth in
Civic Education" organized by the Nepal Foundation
for Advanced Studies (NEFAS), participants discussed ways to
involve youths in the national development.
They warned, "If youths are brushed aside
from the national development activities, politics and social
issues, the problems of insurgency, violence, migration and
excess consumerism will only intensify."
They affirmed that the violence was mainly
due to the lack of civic education after the seventies and eighties.
The people's movement of 1990 restored democracy,
but failed to yield a desired outcome owing to lack of knowledge
about the roles and responsibilities of the youths. Therefore,
civic education for youths is vital in strengthening democracy,
said Dev Raj Dahal, country director of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Dahal, a senior socio-economic analyst said
that the Nepalese youths are shying away due to lack of civic
education and weakened the democratic values. If they were conscious,
they would have known their responsibilities and the state would
also be cautious, he added. "That is why we have given
priority to this sector."
Ananda P. Shrestha, executive director of
the NEFAS, said that the youths should be brought into the mainstream
of development and they are the backbone of a nation; hence
the civic education is essential to guide the youths to the
Prof. Guna Nidhi Sharma, stressed the need
for educating youths for national development and constructive
works. It is role of state to educate youths and lead them to
the right path, he added.
Presenting a paper on "Youth in Civic
Education", Prof. Prem R. Uprety said that the government
or a civil society that cannot manage its youth population is
in deep trouble. For a small developing country like Nepal with
poor infrastructures and physical resources, the employment
of youth both in formal and informal sector posses a huge problem.
The NEFAS has been organizing seminars and
talks programmes in various parts of the country in order to
generate awareness among the youths.
The programme was organized in cooperation
with the FES.
Source: The Rising Nepal (20 April
alert about peace talks <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU, March 28: The government has given
utmost priority to the peace talks, but the government's aspiration
alone will not change the conflict into peace. The Maoists must
also want peace," said Minister for Information and Communication
at a one-day symposium on Democracy, Conflict and Press Freedom
organised jointly by FES (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung) and Editors'
The Symposium also issued a four-point declaration
calling on both the government and the Maoist to realise that
peace was of utmost importance and that both the sides must
work for it. The declaration also asked both the sides to be
serious in resuming the peace talks by observing a cease-fire.
It also asked the political parties for the
formation of an allparty government for a political outlet to
the situation and on the media to build public opinion on whether
the UN's mediation would help bring a lasting peace to the country.
Speaking at the function, Minister Thapa said
that the government was for peace talks and a cease-fire, but
it must not be used to regain strength for renewed violence,
and added that the government must remain on high alert for
Minister Thapa said that the political parties
and civil society must have a forward-looking approach. To create
such an outlook the role of the media is very important, he
The minister emphasised that election was
necessary to resolve the present difficulties and end the conflict.
"The Maoists could also take part in the election if they
want. Even if they don't participate they can help by observing
a cease-fire and shunning violence, Minister Thapa said.
He said that the fight against terrorism was
not the fight of the government only. The media must also take
the responsibility and show patience and pragmatism, he said.
President of the Editors' Society Govinda
Biyogi said that the Nepalese press was always in favour of
peace and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
He said now that the press itself was getting
suspicious after the betrayal by the Maosits.
Media expert P. Kharel said journalism must
not only be free, it must be correct also. He said that nowhere
in the world are statements of the rebels or terrorists printed
as they are done in Nepal.
Talking about UN mediation, Kharel said that
the UN or any other's mediation is not always good.
Source: The Rising Nepal (29 March