Nepal in the Press - 2005
to find exportable areas <Top>
By Our Correspondent
LALITPUR, Dec 24: Participants at a workshop Saturday
stressed on the need for identifying competitive exportable
areas to reap benefit from the flexibility provided by
the recently concluded 6th ministerial conference of the
World Trade Organasation (WTO).
They said at a workshop on WTO
and Question of Livelihood that Nepal had limited
goods that could be exported to the world market. So,
we have been unable to cash in on the opportunities offered
by global trade regime.
The developed countries have made commitment
of duty and quota free access to the goods of least developed
countries (LDCs) in the Hong Kong meet of WTO held last
Joint secretary at the Ministry of Industry,
Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) Prachanda Man Shrestha said
that Nepal needed to enhance national capability to avoid
He said that the commitment of aid for
trade facility to the LDCs could be channelised not only
to the government agencies but also to the private sector
for their capacity enhancement.
He said that the Hong Kong meet had
given consent to LDCs to provide subsidies at certain
level. It has given us space to bargain with the
international financial institutions like the World Bank
and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on providing subsidies
to the farmers.
Presenting a working paper on the agreement
on health safety and quality and its impact on livelihood,
Dr. Hemanta Dawadi, a WTO expert, said that developed
countries were preventing goods of LDCs including Nepal
from entering their market because of inability of the
latter to convince them in matter of production process
Nepal needs technical assistance from
the developed countries to set up laboratories and develop
Dev Raj Dahal, chief of the Friedrich
Ebert-Stiftung, said that the state must be strong to
attain benefit from trade liberalization.
He said that Nepal could face livelihood
crisis as Nepals agriculture policy was revenue
oriented rather than production oriented.
The workshop recommended proper market
access to agriculture goods, subsidy for commercial farming,
system of providing quality certification within Nepal,
responsible institutions in this area, and awareness campaign
at the grassroots.
It also recommended for national accreditation
institution for quality control and preventing technical
barrier to trade. Human resource development, exploration
of technical assistance for capacity building and awareness
to farmers are other measures essential to overcome technical
barriers to export of Nepali goods.
Similarly, the workshop focused on documentation
and registration of biodiversity, harmonization of laws
with the WTO rules, and capacity enhancement to face the
Dispute Settlement Body in the area of intellectual property
was organized jointly by FES, South Asia Watch on Trade,
Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) and the Society of
Economic Journalists-Nepal (SEJON).
The Rising Nepal (25 December 2005)
Violence and conflict have, in the last
one-decade, badly affected all sectors in Nepal. The national
economy has been worst hit. Development activities have
come to a virtual standstill. Terrorists have destroyed
development infrastructure and public property worth billions
of rupees. The tourism industry, which is the backbone
of the national economy, has suffered very badly that
has sent negative ripples to all sectors of the economy.
The recent street protests staged by some political parties
have once again sent a negative message in the international
arena. This is, indeed, a matter of serious concern for
all. Moreover, the ongoing conflict has caused mental
trauma to many Nepalese as they are forced to leave places
and live somewhere, especially in the towns as internal
refugees. One cannot easily imagine what sort of trauma
these internally displaced people suffer while being isolated
from families and relatives, unless one actually encounters
such a situation. As such, conflict experts, while participating
in a two-day national seminar on Cost of Armed Conflict
in Nepal the other day, discussed about the impact of
the conflict on the society, economy and individuals and
the sufferings of the people. In fact, the killing of
a family member, warnings from the terrorists to leave
the house, demand for donations, fear of abduction and
pressure to join the rebels are major causes of displacement
and mental trauma to the victims. They also suggested
possible solutions to the ongoing-armed conflict in the
Kingdom, previously famed for peace and harmony. According
to an expert, talks between the Monarch, political parties
and the Maoists was the only means for the effective and
fruitful resolution of the problem. Indeed, it is not
only the demand of the conflict experts but also of all
the people. However, going by the developments, there
is little chance for an effective dialogue to end the
conflict. Yes, there might be political and ideological
differences among the parties and individuals, which is
natural in a democratic system. But such differences must
be resolved peacefully, politically and amicably. Violence
begets violence, which can never serve the interest of
the nation and the people. Global experiences have shown
that violence has never been successful in bringing about
positive changes anywhere in the world. Thus, only peaceful
politics and dialogue can lead the country out of the
crisis and guarantee peace, stability and prosperity.
Terrorism being perpetrated by the Maoists has been the
major cause of crisis in Nepal at present. The ongoing
protest programmes launched by some political parties
have only added chaos to the situation. Thus, it is time
for all sensible and work for the restoration of peace
and end the violence once and for all.
The Rising Nepal (1 October 2005)
Cost of conflict
huge, say experts <Top>
By Ramesh Lamsal
KATHMANDU, Sept. 29: Sociologists, economists
and conflict experts Thursday said that the decade-long
armed conflict had incurred huge social and economic costs
and urged all the stakeholders to work towards building
Speaking at a two-day national seminar
on Cost of Armed Conflict in Nepal here today, they called
for flexibility on part of the key political actors to
transform the current standoff and usher in durable peace
in the country.
"Indiscriminate murder of numerous
people and displacement of thousands, psychological trauma,
and dispossession are the most noticeable social costs
of conflict," sociologist Khagendra Prasai said in
his paper on Social Cost of Armed Conflict in Nepal. He
also said that the protracted conflict had also intensified
alienation among the citizens, widened the gap between
the rural and urban areas and fueled communalism in the
name of ethnic autonomy.
Prasai noted that talks between the
Monarch, political parties and the Maoists was the only
means for the effective and fruitful resolution of the
problem. "This is unlikely until the parties revive
themselves through the reconstitution of ideology, organization
and leadership and win the trust of the people so that
they can press the conflicting parties to come forward
In his paper on Nepal's Conflict Displacement,
Causes and Consequences, another sociologist Bihari Krishna
Shrestha stated that there was uncertainty about the number
and status of the internally displaced people (IDPs) in
absence of reliable data. He said the number of IDPs should
be somewhere between 200-300 thousand. "Murder in
the family, warnings from the rebels to leave the house,
demand for donations, fear of abduction, and pressure
to join the rebel outfit are the major reasons behind
the displacement of the people."
He said the displacement resulted in
psychological trauma, crisis of subsistence, lack of employment,
disruption in children's education, adverse effect on
health and increased and undue workload on the old family
members left behind.
Citing calls from United Nations, he
demanded for a comprehensive IDP policy according to Nepal's
international human rights obligations to respond to the
humanitarian needs of the IDPs.
Commenting on Shrestha's paper, anthropologist
Saubhagya Shah said that it was of critical importance
to understand Nepal's conflict better as, unlike other
studies conducted so far, it dwelt on the plight of the
IDPs. "The absence of data on the number and status
of the IDPs indicates that neither the domestic nor the
international institutions are really serious to address
Another paper on An Assessment of Economic
Cost of the Ongoing Armed Conflict in Nepal Prepared by
Nepal Rastra Bank executive director Keshav P. Acharya
stated that the conflict had impeded growth and adversely
affected the economy as a whole. It is said that the economy
was losing on an average 2.2 percent of gross domestic
product each year after 2001, with an estimated total
loss of Rs. 92.8 billion between 1991-2005.
Commenting on Acharya's paper, Professor
Bishwambher Pyakuryal argued that the prolonged conflict
had devastated the national economy and warned of a total
collapse in case it persisted.
In his welcome address, Ananda P. Shrestha,
executive director of Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies
(NEFAS), said that the crisis could reach a logical end
only through national unity, political will, resolve and
Dev Raj Dahal, Head of German non-profit
organization Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nepal (FES), said
that the seminar had been organized with a view to sensitize
the conflict actors and orient them towards peace.
Organized by NEFAS with the cooperation
of FES Nepal, the seminar is third in a series of seminars
in the area of conflict. The seminars NEFAS held earlier
on the theme of conflict were Conflict Resolution and
Governance in Nepal and Critical
Barriers to the Negotiation of Armed Conflict in Nepal.
The Rising Nepal (30 September 2005)
Meet on Peace
education in Godavari <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
Godavari, Lalitpur, Aug 20: A five-day-Train-the-Trainer
Workshop on Peace Education kicked off at the Godavari
Village Resort Saturday.
Organised and sponsored by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES), the workshop is participated in by 20 reporters
and trainee journalists representing various publications
and media training organisations.
The training is fourth of its kind held
by FES. The first was held in 2003 and the second the
following year. One was held in January this year.
"These trainings have been organised
with a view to educate the journalists on the basics of
peace process and then involve them in mitigating the
ongoing conflict in the country," said Dev Raj Dahal,
chief of FES Nepal Office.
The trainings are conducted by Nepalese
and German media and conflict resolution experts. The
foreign experts bring in their knowledge on the theories
and models of conflict transformation used internationally
whereas the Nepali experts orient more towards the situation
The resource person for this round of
training include Joergen Klussmann, a German peace education
expert, FES head Dahal and noted Nepali media person like
P. Kharel, Ram Krishna Regmi and Yuba Raj Ghimire.
The trainings have been designed in
a way to equip the participants with the new tools like
systemic constellations to deal with the problem of conflict
in Nepal. Originally developed to address the family conflict,
systemic constellation is now being applied to mitigate
social and political conflict.
"Such trainings help us understand
conflict and prepare us to contribute to the larger goal
of building peace in the country," said Ranju KC,
a participant from the Central Department of journalism
and Mass Communication at Ratna Rajyalaxmi College.
Source: The Rising Nepal (21
stress need to infuse new life into SAARC <Top>
Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, July 15:
As the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) completes two decades, the issue of
of injecting new life into the institution is being raised
to achieve the goals set by its founders. Within
SAARC, there has been little progress even in intra-regional
trade, which is barely five per cent as compared to EUs
62 per cent, said KV Rajan, former diplomat who
has served as Indian envoy to Nepal. He said so while
presenting a paper in a regional conference on New
Life Within SAARC organised by the Institute of
Foreign Affairs in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
Saying there have been occasional summits that have resulted
in high sounding commitments and declared successful,
he said, If no explanation is demanded of governments
as to why these commitments were not fulfilled, it is
probably because they To inject new life into SAARC,
it would be good to remind ourselves of the GEP (Eminent
Persons Group set up by the Male Summit of 1997) recommendations
submitted to the tenth Summit in Colombo.
Foreign Secretary Madhu Raman Acharya
stressed on making SAARCs third decade the
decade of implementation.
He added, South Asia is the fastest growing region,
and SAARC has made great strides. But it is yet to attract
those outside the region. And for that, its renewal is
necessary. Acha-rya also pointed out Nepal
has taken the initiative to introduce transit economy
by offering her land to be used as the transit route for
Presenting a paper on terrorism in South
Asia, Dr Mohan Lohani said South Asia was facing the problem
of terrorism on a much larger scale with ominous implications
for regional peace and stability.
The Convention (SAARC Convention
on Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism signed
in Kathmandu in 1987) can become an
effective mechanism to combat terrorism, provided there
is a strong political will to implement it, he said.
Highlighting the importance of South Asia Free Trade Area
(SAFTA) treaty as a quantum leap in the SAARC
process, former foreign secretary of Bangladesh, CM Shafi
Sami, said, It is crucially important to recognise
that in order to achieve SAFTAs desired impact,
efforts need to be redoubled to ensure the inadequacies
in SAFTA are addressed.
Source: The Himalayan Times (16
mindset to help develop SAARC region <Top>
By our Correspondent
KATHMANDU, July 15:
The regional diplomats, scholars and
economists Friday said that the mindset of the politicians
and bureaucrats should change if the SAARC region is to
Speakers at a two-day regional conference
on "New Life within SAARC" that started Friday,
expressed diverse views, some of them even as skeptical
as SAARC was neither established with a sincere, collective
and grand vision nor a strong political will, but to subsume
short-term nationalist objectives. They also said that
the fact remains that South Asian Regional Cooperation
was not even in the priority agenda of most nations.
However, majority of them said that
SAARC could be developed as an apparatus to collectively
fight the common ills of the region such as poverty, terrorism,
underdevelopment, social exclusions and others.
The conference was meant to analyze
the progress of SAARC into themes such as - economic cooperation,
social charter, combating terrorism and restructuring
of the secretariat.
Speaking at the conference Foreign Secretary
Madhu Raman Acharya said that South Asia today have new
challenges such as terrorism, Tsunami, HIV/AIDS and many
other things. He said despite the challenges and skepticism
whatever the region has achieved was significant.
But he said that the volume of document
had rapidly increased and there has been little implementation.
Acharya said that transit economy was
a new idea put forth by Nepal and the input from the participants
would be useful to the region as a whole.
Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Nepal)
Dev Raj Dahal said that an independent commission should
be established in South Asia to monitor poverty alleviation,
corruption and other social issues. He said that wider
thinking of the political leaders would give a new lease
of life to the SAARC.
Presenting a paper on "Renewing
SAARC" former Indian Ambassador to Nepal K. V. Rajan
said that the emphasis for the first several years was
on cooperation of technical nature and that had hardly
inspired the political and civil society. The emphasis
on a social agenda, poverty alleviation, free trade area
etc. came much later; by then SAARC had acquired a reputation
of being a non-performing entity.
He said many of the commitments made
in the summits were not fulfilled because the governments
lacked credibility in the first place.
In his paper on SAFTA; significance
and Challenges, ambassador and former Foreign Secretary
of Bangladesh C. Safi Sami said that the SAFTA was in
the interest of region. With the elimination of tariffs
on all products under the SAFTA, the likely increase in
intra-regional trade of SAARC would be substantial, he
Presenting the paper on 'Terrorism in
South Asia and its Implications for Regional Peace and
Security', Prof. Dr. Mohan Prasad Lohani said SAARC had
moved into a new phase of cooperation, from symbolic to
substantive, as it has achieved significant progress in
identifying core areas of cooperation and laying the groundwork
in important areas such as trade, investment and poverty
alleviation. However, there has not been smooth sailing
for the regional body.
Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani said in his
paper that all the nations want to be seen as promoting
a new era of regional cooperation in improving the social
and economic condition of the people in the region, but
the values implicit in this commitment has not been seriously
examined with the result that regional cooperation is
surviving more as a concept than an operational plan of
Nischal Nath Pandey, executive director
of the Institute of Foreign Affairs, said that one of
the biggest hindrances for regional cooperation and economic
integration let alone the development of transportation
grid has been fact that all the SAARC countries have one
or the conflict inside the territory.
He said that these conflicts could be
more readily addressed within a framework of open regionalism
where borders and nationality do not become constraints
to intercourse of people and commerce.
Others, who also presented papers, were
Major General (retd.) Dipankar Banerjee of India, Shamsul
Islam of Bangladesh, Ramzan Ali and Brigadier General
(retd.) Arun Sahgal on topics like Meeting the Challenges
of a New Era; Energy Resources and Regional Economic Cooperation
in SAARC countries; and Dealing with the Problems of Terrorism
in South Asia.
The programme was organized by the Institute
of Foreign Affairs (IFA) in collaboration with Freidrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Source: The Rising Nepal (16
taking a vanguards role in global women rights <Top>
-Cedric Rehman ( intern at FES Nepal)
The first widows rights charter
was drafted at an international conference organized in
Katmandu from May 12 to May 14. It will find its way from
Nepal to the SAARC legislation and from SAARC to the UN
and end the complete ignorance of the problematic situation
of single women throughout the world in all the consisting
women rights charters
The conference, organized by the Nepalese
Single Women Group: Women for Human Rights,
under the participation of international organizations
such as Widows for Peace through Democracy(UK)
and BRAC (Bangladesh) and the support of international
donors like FES, USAID and SNV, touched a topic of international
relevance that can not be underestimated.
Not only Nepal but various countries
throughout the world suffer from political unrest. Political
disturbances do not only effect men, who are mainly involved
in them. On the contrary effects on their dependent families,
their wives and children are tremendous. If a soldier
falls at the front he leaves a large number of dependents
behind. The widowed wife has to take his role as the feeder
of the family. Certain social and cultural practices which
lead to a discrimination of single women, constrain their
efforts to bring up their families. Even in peace times
whole parts of the population who are dependent on female-headed
households poses reduced possibilities to take part in
social development due to certain social practices that
discriminate against single women. This discrimination
produces without doubt a backlash for the whole development
process of the effected society.
Wartimes again turn things worse, due
to the increase of households who have lost their male
head and depend as a consequence on single women.
A recent and striking example for the
change in family structures due to war is the conflict
in Iraq, which following to UN sources has produced a
approximate toll of 100 000 casualties since 2003. The
mainly male victims of the conflict left a large number
of widows and orphans behind. Due to the fact that Iraq
was being involved in a plenty of wars in the last two
decades, in Iraq an estimated toll of 65% of the female
population are widowed and 70% of the infant population
are depending on them. One can imagine the fatal impact
that discrimination of single women has on a society which
largely consists and depends on them and their dependents
in regards to social development.
Like Iraq a recognizable number of countries
see in their society an increase of single women headed
households due to war or natural disaster. They all suffer
the fatal consequences that a social context of discrimination
against single women produces not only on this growing
part of the population but also on the society as a whole.
Such societies can hardly achieve development by excluding
the increasing number of single women and their dependents
from social equality.
The widows rights charter therefore
undoes the striking evidence that single women rights
have never been specifically mentioned in any international
agreement concerning womens rights, although the
importance of legal measures against the discrimination
of single woman can not be denied.
Nepal is now the first country that
recognizes the international widows rights charter.
The widows charter consists of
ten articles, each of them dealing with a distinct aspect
of widows discrimination. They claim equality of
widows and widowers, they right of widows to inherit,
the prohibition of harmful traditional practices concerning
widows, restrictions of any kind regarding the widows
mobility, discriminations in the employment field and
violence against widows in general. The charter also claims
measures in favor of dependent children of widows and
measures to protect widows rights in times of conflict
and post-conflict, when they are especially endangered.
Further the charter claims the governments support
for the establishment of national widows networks
and the addressing of widows concerns in their work
to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and further
international agreements concerning human rights and womens
Nepals civil society represented
by Women for Human Rights and representatives
of the Nepali Government are entering with the draft a
path to improve conditions of a social development within
the country and are setting at the same time a remarkable
sign for human progress on a global scale.
Source: The telegraph Weekly
(18 May 2005)
journos to form network <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU, May 13: A national seminar
on conflict-victim journalist Friday decided to form a
coordination committee within a week to create a solidarity
network of such journalists with the representatives from
media, human rights and civil society organizations. The
objective of the network is to support the families of
the journalists who lost lives and those who are displaced,
lost jobs or were harassed while reporting in conflict-hit
areas. "This solidarity will minimize the risk and
maximize space and strength of journalists to continue
with their professional pursuit."
Experts and participants highlighted
the role of journalists to resolve conflicts by disseminating
accurate information to the public about the conflict
situation in the country.
They sought the assistance from donors,
civil society and media organizations to help and build
confidence of those journalists facing threat in the course
of reporting in the conflict-affected places.
Two-dozen Nepali journalists were killed
over the last six years while other dozens of them faced
threats, intimidation and physical harassment, and were
even forced to be displaced from their workstation due
to the conflict.
The seminar entitled 'Building Solidarity
Network of Conflict Victim Journalists' was organized
by International Press Institute, Nepal National Committee
in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) here
Senior journalist and chairman of Nepal
Press Institute (NPI) Gokul Pokharel said that conflict
had crippled the morale of Nepalese journalists. "Now
the media industry is turning into a sick industry because
of conflicts and other difficult situation facing the
Pokharel called for appropriate policy
and lobbying to address the problem. Dev Raj Dahal, chief
of FES Nepal office said that networking and solidarity
building are essential tools to form 'group mind', influence
particular course of action and organize the voice and
visibility of victims. "The power of the powerless
springs from their solidarity."
He said that communication was like
a nerve system of the state and civil society. "When
it is destroyed, the very foundation of the society collapses."
Dahal said that in a country where research
tradition is very weak and the think tank rarely exists,
journalists have the primary responsibility to educate
the public and politicians about the condition of public
life and offer perspectives to solve the problem.
Media expert Ram Krishna Regmi said
that when the journalists were kicked out from conflict-hit
areas, there would be a communication vacuum.
Nepali media are covering the conflict
issues amidst fears and confusion, said Regmi. Pointing
out the miserable condition of the conflict victim journalists,
Regmi called for giving voice to the voiceless. He also
presented a model of programmes aimed at rehabilitating
and helping the conflict-victim journalists.
Pushkar Lal Shrestha, chairman of IPI
Nepal National Committee urged the big media houses to
assist their journalists who have suffered from conflict.
"It is first up to the publication
houses that have prime responsibility to protect their
reporters from threats posed by the conflicts," Shrestha
He also asked the publication houses
to allocate a separate fund for the cause of the victim
Shreeran Singh Basnet and Arjun Bista
from IPI had highlighted the objectives of the programme
which was attended by over 30 participants, 20 of them
were conflict victim journalists.
Source: The Rising Nepal (14
It has been clear by now that the country
today is confronted with the twin problems of terrorism
and corruption. And the media plays a crucial role in
the fight against these anomalies, which are the outcome
of bad governance bereft of any accountability of the
past governments. However, the media have not been playing
as effective a role as they should in this direction.
Worse still, after the Royal move of February 1, some
sections of the media seemed to have been carried away
by external factors and failed to present the truth. Foreign
Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey and other speakers while participating
in a seminar 'Conflict Vs. Peace' organized by the Association
of Writers & Kathmandu Editors (AWAKE) with the cooperation
FES, Kathmandu, pointed out this bitter fact recently.
They also urged the international community to understand
Nepal's priority. In fact, media can influence policies
in the areas of conflict and help garner international
disseminate truth while discouraging the elements that
want to disturb peace and harmony in the Kingdom. But
contrary to this popular expectation, the media, both
local and international did otherwise and His Majesty
the King had to utilize the Jakarta Summit to clarify
Nepal's problem and reasons behind the Royal move of February
1. The foreign media hyped up the issue of democracy to
malign the well-intentioned move.
His Majesty the King's attendance in
the summits in Jakarta and Boao and His Majesty's addresses
at the two important forums helped remove all the wrong
notions the international community had about Nepal's
present state of affairs. It was a diplomatic triumph
in that the Royal move was appreciated by foreign friends
because it was aimed at fighting the menace of terrorism
which was not only a problem of Nepal but the world itself.
Terrorism that has held the country in its claws could
have been uprooted had the past governments and the other
political parties come up with a common agreed strategy
to tackle it. But that did not happen. As pointed out
in the seminar, the media could have been more constructive.
It is the media that can bring to light various approaches
to solving conflicts and articulate the need for conflict
transformation. Indeed, it must be remembered by all that
the fight against terrorism won't come to an end until
it is eliminated with the help of all, including the media.
The goal of a responsible media should be to ensure its
work promotes unity, peace and progress.
Source: The Rising Nepal (14
of journalists prime concern<Top>
KATHMANDU, May 13 - Senior journalists,
on Friday, said that the entire media sector, including
journalists, were demoralized due to the government's
'illiberal policy' toward them.
Speaking at a national seminar on building a solidarity
network of conflict-affected journalists, organized jointly
by International Press Institute (IPI) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES), they said that publishers and working journalists
should forge solidarity to put pressure upon the government
for the sake of the media and journalists.
Gokul Prasad Pokhrel, chairman of IPI,
said, "Despite the government decision to lift the
state of emergency, journalists are still in a critical
situation as all restrictions on the media continue."
He also said that the safety and security of journalists
has presently become of prime concern, as they have become
the victims of the parties to the conflict.
Dev Raj Dahal, chief of FES, Nepal,
and Ram Krishna Regmi, a media expert, said that due to
the conflict, victim journalists' problems are no longer
Collective effort, therefore, is necessary
to safeguard democracy and press freedom and support them.
According to a paper presented by Bhagirath
Yogi, general secretary of IPI, security forces and government
authorities have interrogated a total of 28 journalists
over the last one year.
"Four journalists have received
death threats and at least 51 were arrested and subjected
to harassment while in detention," it said.
It further said that five journalists
were still in custody and the whereabouts of two media
personnel still remain unknown.
Source: The Kathmandu Post (14
worry about their kids future <Top>
12 - Single women, on Thursday, warned the government
that their children would be forced to resort to criminal
activities if it failed to address their issues in the
present conflict situation.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the three-day, First
International Conference of Single Women held in the capital,
Margaret Owen, director of Empowering Widows in Development,
an international organization working for widows, said,
"Despite a widow's responsibility towards her children,
they can't ensure their children's right to education
due to their low economic status. Thus, there is high
risk of children being lured to criminal activities."
She also said that many women, whose
husbands have disappeared and been displaced, are not
even sure whether they are widows.
She further said that it would be impossible
for developing countries like Nepal to meet the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) if the government doesn't address
the issues related to single women. Many youth (considered
the future of the country) are dependent on widows.
"The trend of ostracizing single
women should end," Lily Thapa, president of Women
For Human Rights - Single Women Group said, adding, "the
government, national and international communities have
to show their concern over the issues of single women,
to end the practice of stigmatizing widows as a bad omen."
The conference aims to build a common
widow's charter under international laws and ensure the
enactment of the resolutions locally, to protect legal
and customary rights of single women, Thapa informed.
Participants from Nepal, Bangladesh,
Bhutan, Holland, India, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines,
Russia, Sri Lanka, the UK and the USA, as well as 34 single
women from throughout the country are participating in
Source: The Kathmandu Post (13
and Peace <Top>
of Writers and Kathmandu Editors (AWAKE)/ Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES) Seminar on Conflict and Peace
was occasion once again for professional media participants
to mull over the impact of a partisan media on the current
state of democracy in the country. As the just concluded
elections of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists demonstrated,
there is a growing awareness in the media sector that
a partisan media has contributed to the mess in the country
and that a professional media strengthens democracy. Unfortunately,
while this healthy growth in awareness permeates the media
culturea relatively new phenomenontoday, the
continued presence in the media of partisan coverage perhaps
demonstrates the resilient presence of political cadre
that cannot be wished away unless there is an organized
professional response to such. Such a professional response
will only come about when the utility of professionalism
dawns upon both media persons and the political sector
itself and becomes manifest in a set of conducts insured
by adequate rules and regulations. As it is, the United
Nations this year was rather explicit in declaring this
International Press Day for good governance and it is
high time that this country particularly, plagued as it
is with intense conflict, admit that among the contributors
to malgovernance is a thoroughly under-regulated media
where the political sector responsible for the conflict
If, on the one hand, conflict studies
on Nepal rightly draw a relation between the paucity of
media presence in the epicenter-areas of the conflict
in Nepal, such studies have yet to admit that proper coverage
on the growing turmoil in the epicenters now accounted
to malgovernance was very much a possibility at the very
centre of government where media presence remains high.
Had our media made aware of and warned against the excesses
of state and its impact on society a wary political sector
could have been compelled to avoid the disaster we are
facing today. Unfortunately, the continuance of this very
indulgence contributes to the reluctance of the political
organizations to recognize the popularity and the utility
of the Kings corrective moves and it reflects also
on the delayed international realization that conflict
had disrupted Nepali democracy and the organized political
sector must be squeezed to discard blatant partisanship
in lieu of a united national approach towards solving
It is the emphasis perhaps on national
unity that is gradually nudging a welcome consciousness
amidst the professional intelligentsia on national security.
A sound national security policy contributes to peace.
Faulty policies sabotage national security and contribute
to conflict. National determination to pursue a sound
and sustainable national security policy is intricately
involved with good governance. The effects of such determination
are only now being witnessed externally. Regardless of
the unfortunate initial reaction to the February 1 move,
the international community has begun a gradual turnaround.
It is time now perhaps for those who see a constituency
in the international community for political presence
at home to respect their real constituency, the people
at home, who desperately seek a national solution to the
conflict and thirst for peace. After all, it is these
politicians for whom the state must insure security enough
to present themselves as democratic alternatives amidst
a population they have neglected and, indeed, persecuted
to the extent of arousing conflict. As it is, the king
has made sure that elections are inevitable. This is regardless
of those that would rather avoid it on grounds of the
same partisanship that contributed to the conflict in
the very first place.
People's Review (12-18 May 2005)
on conflict and peace <Top>
BY PUJAB RAJ PRADHAN
AWAKE (Association of Writers and Kathmandu
Editors), an organization of professional journalists
of the mainstream media, in cooperation with FES (Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung) organised a seminar Monday on 'Conflict
and Peace' on Monday.
Speaking at the seminar Minister for
Foreign Affairs Ramesh Nath Pandey said that the Royal
proclamation of February 1 had represented the people's
sentiments and the country had regained lost confidence
to fight against terrorism and corruption. After the King's
statements in Jakarta and Boao, the international community
has realized Nepal's internal and the most pressing problems
and they are gradually recognizing the King's move of
From the Chair, Lok Deep Thapa, president
of AWAKE also said that the King's messages at the Jakarta
and Boao were instrumental in garnering international
support towards Nepal's problems. He said that the media
also cannot close their eyes towards the ground realities
of the country because journalists too are Nepalese first
and journalists later. If the media remains truthful to
their cause of the country and the people they could help
a lot in ushering in peace in the country.
Dev Raj Dahal, Executive Director of
FES, giving an elaborate reason of conflict and its effect,
said that conflict in Nepal have punished human civility
and make the weaker section of the society suffer the
He said media can influence policies
related to conflict and help in their resolution. The
communication tool and skill can also mediate various
approaches in transforming the conflict, Dahal added.
First Secretary at the German Embassy Klaus Tesch wished
that the seminar would be able to give a concrete direction
to resolving conflict and finding peace.
At the seminar, Prof. Dr. Parashar Koirala
presented paper on 'role of administrative services in
restoring peace' and senior journalist and political analyst
Srish Shumsher Rana presented paper on 'role of constitutional
forces and the media'. The papers were commented by journalists
Babita Basnet and Prakash Adhikary respectively.
(We will be publishing the full text
of the papers presented at the seminar in coming issues.)
Awake was established in 1998 and it
has been working in advocating infusing professionalism
in the media and against corruption. It had also published
poster and pamphlet in the last general election asking
voters not to elect candidates with tainted and dubious
performances and corrupt activities and sent them to all
Source: People's Review
(12-18 May 2005)
regained lost confidence to fight against terrorism: Pandey
By a Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU, May 9: International Community's
understanding towards Nepal's problem has been increasing
after His Majesty's address at Jakarta Summit and Boao
Forum recently, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Ramesh
Nath Pandey Monday.
"The February 1 move has represented
the people's sentiment and the people have regained the
lost confidence to fight against threat and terrorism
after the Royal move," he said.
Speaking at the inaugural session of
a seminar 'Conflict and Peace,' he said that opting for
local body election denotes the regained confidence and
it is also a proof that the nation is becoming victorious
The international community has understood
the internal problem of Nepal and they have been expressing
their support gradually, he added.
"The conflict should be resolved
in a constructive way and through mutual understanding
and all should unite in the matter of national interest,"
The bond and trust between the King
and people and the belief that peace could be restored
under the guidance of His Majesty the King is key to restore
peace in the nation, he said. He also urged the writers
to create a mass, which is inspired by national interest.
Lok Deep Thapa, president of Association
of Writers & Kathmandu Editors (Awake) and Editor-in
Chief of the Rising Nepal said that the King reiterated
the priority of establishing peace in the nation in Jakarta
Summit and Boao forum which were instrumental to gather
international support towards Nepal's problem.
The media should not be carried away
by external factors and they should present the truth
keeping in mind that we are Nepalese first. "Following
the international practices, if we are united in national
issues, we can contribute a lot in resolving the crisis,"
Thapa said He also urged the international community to
understand the nation's priority for peace.
Dev Raj Dahal, chief of FES said that
violent conflicts in Nepal have punished human civility
and imposed costs for the weaker sections of society and
majority of them are caught in hierarchy and structural
"Media can influence policies in
the areas of conflict and offer feasible perspectives
for the actors to consider. Its communication tools and
skills can also mediate various approaches and articulate
the need for conflict transformation," he added.
Klaus Tesch, first secretary at the
embassy for Germany said that the seminar would be fruitful
to find out a solution for the crisis.
Prakash Adhikari, general secretary
of Awake also spoke on the occasion.
In the second session of the programme,
professor Parasar Koirala presented a working paper on
"Role of Administrative Services for Restoring Peace',
and political commentator Shrish S. Rana Presented a paper
of 'Role of Constitutional Forces and the Media.'
Babita Basnet and Prakash Adhikari commented
on the papers.
Awake, a political and professional
organization, was established in 1998 and it is dedicated
in the area of media services.
Source: The Rising Nepal (10
Role of youths
vital in consolidating parliamentary democracy: Experts
By A Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU, May 7: At a time when youths
are shying away from politics and showing apathy towards
the political parties and their leaders, sociologists,
political pundits and scholars today discussed how youths
could be involved in the national politics.
Growing apathy towards politics is really
a serious problem among the Nepalese youths.
They should be made aware about the
national politics, political pundits and sociologists
Speaking at a seminar on "Education
Young Generation about Democracy in Nepal," they
said that the youths should be encouraged to take part
in national politics, so that they understand social dimensions
and political paraphernalia in the country.
Owing to lack of civic education among
the youths, they are distancing from mainstreaming politics,
they said adding "That's why politics is in the had
of incompetent and corrupt people."
Senior journalist P. Kharel observed
that youths should be made aware about the national politics
so that competent and courageous leadership could be developed
in the society. Kharel also pointed out the need for educating
youths in the present context.
Anand Shrestha, executive director of
the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) said
that the youths should be encouraged to take part in healthy
Shrestha also noted that the NFES had
been conducting various awareness generation programmes
in different parts of the country.
Senior advocate Yubaraj Shangraula also
highlighted the role of youths in consolidation of democracy.
Youths are significant component of
the society should be encouraged to participate in the
politics, he added.
Presenting the paper on "The Role
of Youth in Stabilizing Parliamentary Democracy in Nepal,"
Khagendra Prasai, an emerging sociologists said that the
youths have a very crucial and vibrant role in parliamentary
The vitality of youth is not a positive
force in itself, but there exists a danger of it being
manipulated and used by others if he/she is not conscious.
He further said that the youths should
develop some qualities which are required in democratic
They need to studious, thoughtful, critical
and deliberative to make politics a positive force of
change as expected and desired by the people.
Shanta Pokharel, a scholar speaking
about youth, nation and nationalism said that nationalism
ties diverse groups, liquidates their parochial grievances
and inspires to their wills into sovereignty.
Building national culture to conform
the state boundaries requires pluralist accommodation,
Democratic exercises and development
largely depend on the youths' involvement in politics,
The one-day seminar was organized by
the NEFAS. The NEFAS with the aim of generating awareness
among people has been conducting seminars on civic education
and youths in various parts of the country since last
couple of years.
Source: The Rising Nepal (8 May
for young journalists <Top>
By a Reporter
A three-day workshop on the principles
of peace education and practices of journalism was organized
by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung from January 26 to 28, 2005
at Dhulikhel, about 40 km east of Kathmandu. The central
theme of the workshop was "Peace Education for Young
Journalists and Advocacy Actors." Joergen Klussmann,
a German expert on peace education and conflict reporting,
was the key trainer.
Although conflict reporting is relatively
new for the Nepalese media, the subject has acquired considerable
importance and emphasis in the recent years, particularly
after the escalation of Maoist conflict which has claimed
more than 11,000 lives apart from creating economic setbacks,
hardships and instability across the country. Ever since
1996 when the Maoists went underground, the media began
placing special attention to reporting events and developments
concerning the conflict. This also led the media to realize
the need to understand the sensitivities and complexities
involved in conflict reporting. The role of the media
in conflict situation is crucial in many ways. It can
either play the role of a watchdog by taking a critical
look at the combatants while analyzing the causes and
consequences of a war or it can play the role of a propagandist
trying to promote only one side while demonizing the other
The demand for training of journalists
covering conflict-hit areas and related issues has increased.
However, due to lack of resources and expertise most media
people have not been able to enhance their knowledge and
skills in conflict reporting. FES, since 2003, has been
organizing workshops for Nepalese journalists and NGO
activists dealing with communication sections of their
organizations. In November 2003 and August 2004, the workshops
were on "Peace Journalism: On the Road to Conflict
Communication". The participants represented some
of the most prominent media organizations in the country.
In response to the excellent feedback
from senior editors and recommendations by the participants
themselves, FES organized a three-day workshop in January
2005 also. The main theme was basically modeled on the
previous two workshops but there were some changes and
variations in the course, based on earlier suggestions
The main objectives of the workshops
were to make a critical assessment of media coverage of
conflict-related issues, and victims of conflict and violence;
discuss the constructive role media can play in de-escalating
and even solving conflicts; enable journalists to prepare
themselves adequately when visiting conflict-affected
areas for news reporting; review and understand the role
and responsibility of media in promoting peace through
free, fair and impartial journalism.
A total of 20 participants, including
five women, attended the workshop. They represented different
institutions and FES partner organizations. The participants
were nominated by heads of their organization. Most of
them in their early 30s, the journalists were exclusively
from Nepali language media. This kind of initiative by
FES focusing on vernacular media was the first of its
type in Nepal.
As in the previous two workshops, Joergen
Klussmann, the German expert with considerable experience
in conducting training on conflict reporting, was the
principal trainer. Four local resource persons also made
presentations. The local resource persons were Dev Raj
Dahal, Head of FES Nepal Office; L. D. Rai, Associate
Professor at Tribhuvan University's Central Department
of Journalism and Mass Communication; Ms. Shova Gautam,
President of Institute of Human Rights Communication;
and Umesh Upadhyaya, a Tribhuwan Univeristy Lecturer of
Economics and expert on labor and trade union.
Source: People's Review (3-9
Gender Relations <Top>
By our reporter:
On 31st December 2004, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
organized a workshop on "Engendering the Development
Process" at Hotel Greenwich Village. The participants
of the workshop were FES partners representing the government,
municipal federation, different NGOs, trade unions and
media organizations. The workshop discussed about the
challenges FES partners are facing while executing the
projects and to familiarize them with changing gender
role. Gender has become a cross-cutting theme for FES
activities. Keeping this in mind, FES has started such
program from the year 2004. Samira Paudel from FES highlighted
the following objectives of the workshop to: familiarize
partners with the mandate of FES, discuss about the problems
FES partners had to face while integrating Gender in their
project/activities,share information as to how to overcome
the problem of gender integration and other works and
sharing of their success stories, and become self-critical
where programs were weak and elaborate the policy of what
ought to be done.
It is an effort to seek an improvement
in the quality and quantity of FES works sensitive to
the liberal politics of women's promotion and gender equality.
Constant reminding of gender equality in the works of
FES has helped partners better understand the concept
and importance of gender equality.
In the first part of the program, representatives
of all FES partners shared their views regarding Gender.
They explained how they have integrated Gender in their
project/activities and what problems they had to face
while doing so. The session helped organizations know
each other and their work performance even in difficult
The experience sharing was followed
by presentation of paper by Dr. Meena Acharya, Gender
Expert, where she focused on gender relations, power dynamics
and the problems of social integration. According to her,
gender relation is not only participation. Participation
lends primary level of influence. Impact and access to
decision-making is more important. She also said that
women's participation in subsistence sector is important.
Without need fulfillment, there is no prospect for participation
in strategic areas. She elaborated the paradigm shift
from WID, WAD to GAD and other 12 major issues of concern
in Beijing Conference. After her presentation, Narendra
Upadhyaya (Media), Man Bahadur Bishwakarma (Dalit organization),
Shambhu Shrestha (Media) and Khila Nath Dahal (Trade Union)
discussed and analyzed the paper from their own perspective.
Dev Raj Dahal, Head of FES moderated the session and extended
the vote of thanks.
Source: People's Review
(6-12 January 2005)