Nepal in the Press 2013
rue as ideology takes a backseat <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 24: Political leaders Tuesday lamented
the lack of internal democracy in the Nepalese political
parties, which they said, caused intra-party conflict
and slowed down democratization process of the society.
They were unanimous that ideology had taken a backseat
as the elements of globalization, identity politics and
juggernaut of mass media weakened the parties' traditional
"The leadership development is key to promoting
inner party democracy and constant dialogue among the
parties is necessary to minimize inter and intra-party
contradictions," they said at a seminar entitled
' Building Inner Party Democracy in Nepal' jointly organized
by Centre for Legal Consultancy and Research (CeLCAR)
and FES, Nepal office.
CPN-UML leader K P Sharma Oli said that there could not
be proper leadership development because of a tendency
to promote leaders on the factional line.
"The politics of equation that a handful of leaders
resorted to within the party since the establishment of
Communist Party of Nepal has scuttled the leadership development,"
said Oli, adding that the founding general secretary of
CPN Pushpa Lal was the victim of this tendency. "Those
believing in conspiracy were always up in arms to sideline
"Now, it is idea, not ideology that has taken precedence.
The political parties should prove their mettle in the
management of diverse social interests. The intra-party
conflicts need to be resolved within the broader interests
of the people and the nation," said Oli.
The influential UML leader said that the recent Constituent
Assembly election had rejected the politics of ethnicity
and gave a thumping victory to the mainstream parties
that run on the basis of ideology.
Another UML leader Pradeep Gyawali said that the parties
were formed on the basis of class. He noted that Nepalese
parties were born on the basis of ideology, not on the
real social and economic grounds.
"The parties' role has been shrunk with blow of
the wind of postmodernism that seeks to deconstruct centre,
and with the rise of culture of consumerism and utilitarianism,"
FES, head Dev Raj Dahal said that the consciousness of
Nepalese citizens about their democratic rights was disproportionately
higher than the public duties they perform.
"Ego-inflation has generated the possibility of
conflict at leadership level than healing this post-conflict
society and exposed the leaders to quarrel over defining
consensus over geopolitical, public interest, power equation
and broader societal terms. "In order to promote
inner democracy, the social base of politics must be bolstered
and party structures at all levels must be democratized
and made effective in performing key political functions."
Political scientist Lal Babu Yadav, who chaired the first
session of the seminar, called for promoting national
identity of the country. Yadav said that the mini identities,
demanded by Madhesi, women and Dalits, would subvert the
Political analyst Purshotam Dahal said that the beauty
of democracy was that embraced the voices of opponents.
CeLCAR chairman Hikmat Karki said that the interactions
on inner democracy had positive impacts on the political
Nepali Congress leader N P Saud and Bhesh Raj Adhikari
also presented their working papers. UML leader Yogesh
Bhattarai and former president of Nepal Student Association
Guru Raj Ghimire commented their papers.
Source: The Rising Nepal (25 December 2013)
transition: Leaders <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 23: Leaders from different political parties
Monday said that the prolonged transition should be ended
as early as possible in order to pave the way for the
political stability and economic revolution.
Speaking at a national seminar, they were for respecting
the recent people's mandate and writing the new statute
on the basis of consensus and collaboration.
NC senior leader Sher Bhadur Deuba said that the transition
period needed to be concluded at the earliest.
"We need a permanent constitution. Liberty is the
heart of democracy that ensures people's sovereignty and
the rights of the marginalized people," said Deuba.
He said that the new statute should be drafted on the
basis of consensus, and all parties should be represented
in the new Constituent Assembly. "The statute cannot
be written by keeping some parties out of the CA."
Deuba said that it had become urgent to stop the flight
of youth towards foreign countries for employment.
Recent study has shown that around 100,000 megawatt
of electricity could be generated in Nepal, he said and
added that the country could see prosperity by harnessing
its immense hydro power potential.
NC leader Dr Narayan Khadka said that there should be
interactions between the applied and theoretical sides
"Nepal has been a fertile land for the political
experiments for many years. If we fail to change our mindset
and culture, the transition is unlikely to be over even
after writing the new statute," he added.
CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal said that the nature of loktantra
varied according to the social-economic conditions of
He said that the parties had no right to prolong transition,
and the federal set-up should be carved out in a way that
would ensure the national identity of the country. "The
UCPN-M should respect the people's verdict. If the parties
fail to submit the list of the proportional representation
candidates by deadline, it will be tantamount to a disregard
for the people's mandate."
UCPN-M politburo member Devendra Poudel said that the
people had asked the political parties to move ahead as
per consensus and collaboration.
"We need to develop culture of running the country
based on consensus. We must be able to find middle path
to end transition and bring about economic revolution
so that the opportunities of education and employment
could be created for the youth," said Poudel.
Dev Raj Dahal, Head, FES Nepal, said that Nepal's transition
was multiple and complex and it would continue as long
as leaders did not invent a system to stabilize the behavioral
expectations of the state and its citizens.
Calling for striking balance between universal interests
of democracy and particular interests of parties, he said,
"Nepal's urgent need is to build an efficient state
capable to subdue chaos. The constitution, without a sovereign
state commanding general will, simply becomes unenforceable."
On the role of youths, he said that they needed to construct
a political project and build discursive bridges between
different life-worlds of gender, ethnic, caste, religion
and region, and integrate the diverse sub-cultures into
national political system through reformist means."
Chairman of School of Democracy Nain Singh Mahar said
that there would have been right application of ideologies
if their propounders themselves had implemented them.
"A whole generation wasted their life in political
transition and conflict. If the transition continues,
the new generation will not be able to see the country
in stability and peace," he said, and urged the politicians
to rise above petty interests.
Guru Raj Ghimire, Thakur Gaire and Dr Uddhav Raj Pyakurel
had presented their working papers at the seminar entitled
'Transitional Politics, the Youth and the CA' jointly
organized by the School of Democracy and Friedrick Ebert
Stiftung, Nepal office.
Source: The Rising Nepal (24 December 2013)
will a must to implement administrative reforms <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 22: The Administrative Reform Recommendation
Committee (ADRC) has reached a final stage to prepare its
report to be submitted to the government.
The committee coordinator Kashi Raj Dahal Sunday said that
it was working to give a finishing touch on the report that
will recommend the government for making bureaucracy effective,
efficient and accountable to the public.
Dahal said that the report would contain 23 chapters with
modest suggestions to reform the administrative sector.
"The constitution should clearly spell out about the
norms of bureaucracy and contents of democracy. It must
have provisions specifying the foreign and security policy,
local government and the number of the ministries,"
he said at an interaction organized by the committee to
solicit the views of senior ex and incumbent bureaucrats.
They put forth their opinions on the management of civil
servants under the new federal set-up, the role of Office
of Prime Minister and implementation of the reports prepared
so far for the administrative reform.
Dahal, also chairman of Administrative Court, said that
the executive parliament should have the right to decide
the number of the ministries. "The report will not
recommend ambitious agenda but the modest ones that can
be implemented to make our administrative procedures pragmatic
Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel said that reform measures
could be implemented at any time and any place. "It
is naivety that the administrative measures could be applied
only if there is a stable government in the country. We
should not hunt for ideal bureaucracy. Even small changes
send a positive message to the public," he said.
Poudel said that there should be the assessment of the performance
of secretaries so that the bureaucracy would be result-oriented
and responsive to the service seekers.
He said that the job guarantee of the civil servants had
also affected their efficiency.
Former chief commissioner of the Commission of the Investigation
of Abuse of Authority Surya Nath Upadhyay said that the
PM office should focus on devising the foreign and security
policies. It should appoint specialists for the purpose.
"The new statute should mention the federal structure
of the administration so that it will be easily implemented
in the future. A powerful mechanism needs to be formed to
address the problems that are likely to arise during the
transition," he said.
Former chairman of Public Service Commission Tirtha Man
Shakya said that transfer and promotion of the employees
had been a key problem in the administration. Shakya suggested
that the concerned ministries should be authorized to deal
with the matters relating to the transfer and promotion.
Former chief Election Commissioner Surya Prasad Shrestha
said that political will, stability and strong leadership
were prerequisites to carry out administrative reforms.
We should also evaluate the implementation of the past reports
on the administrative reforms.
Dev Raj Dahal, Head of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Nepal Office,
said that the centre must be strong enough for the effective
service delivery. "When the centrifugal forces become
active, it becomes difficult to ensure law and order."
Dahal said that now the onus of strengthening democracy
and nationality lay with bureaucracy. "If democracy
is lost, it can be regained. But, when we lose our nationality,
we can not take it back."
He suggested that the PM office should mediate between bureaucracy
and the politicians.
A host of former bureaucrats Bimal Wagle, Umesh Mainali,
Govinda Kushum Shrestha, Madhuraman Acharya, Tana Gautam,
Bal Krishna Prasai and Bharat Thapa also expressed their
views at the function.
Source: The Rising Nepal (23 December 2013)
Call for structural
changes to end GBV <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 19: Experts and women rights activist Thursday
called for structural changes to bring an end to widespread
violence and discrimination against women.
They underlined the need for decentralizing power and increasing
access to resources to ensure women's equal position in
They expressed their views at a national consultative workshop
on 'Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Nepal,' organised by
Friedrick Ebert Stiftung (FES) office here.
Chairman of the Administrative Court Kashi Raj Dahal underlined
the need of changing the existing social structure and implementing
the prevalent laws and regulations to end violence against
"We have to promote civic education. We should teach
children to be good citizens that will help create an equitable
and fair society," he added.
FES office, Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal said that women needed
to increase their reflective capacity to secure their rights.
"We should maximise our indigenous knowledge and promote
the Vedic culture that provides intellectual insights and
power to grant equal right to women. The state needs to
be strengthened and the laws rationalized to ensure justice
to the victims."
Nepal Police spokesman Ganesh KC said that his organisation
was sensitive and committed to responding to cases of gender
violence. He stressed on women's access to the economy and
education to lessen violence against them.
UML woman leader Binda Pandey said that the question of
woman identity had become a burning issue now. "Women
are not in a position to grant identity to her children.
As a result, they have to face myriad discriminations in
Pandey said that women, who were active in politics, suffered
from political violence, too.
"For example, the major political parties did not field
33 per cent women candidates in the recent first-past-the-post
Constituent Assembly polls although there is a constitutional
provision to do so. This resulted in a few of women being
elected to the new CA. When we asked the party leaders to
pick more women under the proportional representation (PR)
system to make up for the loss in the direct polls, the
male leaders accuse us of trying to snatch their PR share.
Now it seems that all - the government, the political parties
and the Election Commission - are in league to stop women
from reaching rhe decision-making level."
Woman activist Bandana Rana shared her personal feelings
with regard to gender disparity and her involvement in the
women rights campaign.
"When I went though through menstruation and I had
to live in isolation during the period. I had to face discrimination.
This developed in me an inferiority complex. The very practice
impels girls to regard men to be stronger and women weaker,"
Another women rights activist Babita Basnet urged journalists
not to romanticize violence against women. "Women's
tears are not for sale." On the increasing number of
cases of rape and physical violence against women that have
found space in the media, she said that it did not mean
that incidents of gender violence had risen but that more
and more victims were coming out of the woodwork.
Citing a recent report, journalist Arati Chataut said that
domestic violence had been a prime cause behind the death
of women aged 19-44 in the world.
"One out of three women suffers from violence. Every
female faces one or another form of violence in her life,"
she said and called for decentralisation of power to end
Dhana Bahadur Oli of the SAARC Secretariat and advocate
Rup Narayan Shrestha also expressed their views at the function.
The Gender Department head at the FES Samira Paudel highlighted
the objective of the programme that drew different stakeholders
to the function.
Source: The Rising Nepal (20 December 2013)
state institutions for effective delivery: Experts
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 4: Political scientists and experts Wednesday
called for strengthening the state institutions in order
to deliver the goods to the people effectively and save
the nation from sliding into a failed state.
They concurred that the prolonged transition had put
the state in the receiving end with the non-state actors
adding burden on the already ramshackle system. They were,
however, optimistic that the recent Constituent Assembly
polls that gave a thumping victory to the moderate forces
would help the county chart out the right political and
They shared their views at a seminar 'Strategy for strengthening
state institutions in Nepal' organised by Nepal Foundation
for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) in collaboration with the
FES, Nepal in the capital.
The speakers in the podium and the participants from
floor lamented that neo-liberal market economy that the
past governments followed blindly destroyed the public
institutions and concept of the welfare state.
"It has been already late to assert the role of
the state and revamp its institutions. The politicians,
academics, private sector and civil society should work
together to reinvent the state and awaken the citizens
for the broader cause of the nation," they said.
FES, Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal said that Nepal's successive
government since 1991 pursued neo-liberal ideology to
delink the public economy and civil society from the state's
institutions, abandoned the role of national parliament
as an arbiter of public policy and weakened the power
of Nepali peasants and workers by cutting subsidies to
"It marked the decline of Nepali state' autonomy
from the dominant interest groups of society, control
over population and policy sovereignty. In clear policy
term, it was a deviation from the historically defined
'golden mean' between the welfare politics and the capacity
of the Nepali state to produce and distributes public
NEFAS Executive Director Ananda Shrestha said that the
Nepali voters in no uncertain terms had demonstrated their
political maturity and they would no longer be taken for
"But, as has been the general practice, this is
not the time for winners to rest content on their laurels,
neither is it the time for the losers to bicker, complain
and doubt the polls results," he said, adding that
the people had been desperately waiting for the new statute
and the conclusion of the peace process and the parties
should jointly complete these historic tasks.
Political scientist Ananda Aditya said that with the
onslaught of privatization, liberalization and globalization,
the state lost its vitality. "The spoilers have hijacked
the agenda from the state while the politicians put it
in their captivity," he said.
At the seminar, Dr Ram Kumar Dahal and Dr Ved Raj Acharya
presented their working papers 'strategy for strengthening
state institution in Nepal: Political perspective' and
'Strategy for strengthening state institution in Nepal:
Economic perspective' respectively.
Experts, university teachers, students, entrepreneurs,
political leaders, media persons and professionals had
participated in the seminar.
Source: The Rising Nepal (5 December 2013)
should watchdog parties <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 2: Experts and civil society members Monday
underlined the need to draw a boundary line between the
civil society and the political parties.
While emphasizing their interface between thee civil society
and the parties for the broader cause, they were unanimous
to state that the civil society should constantly watchdog
the political parties to check their possible deviation
from common goals. They also stressed not letting the
dark shadow of politics fall on the domain of civil society.
They were sharing their views at a seminar entitled 'the
interface between civil society and political parties
in Nepal' jointly organized by Tanka Prasad Acharya Memorial
Academy and FES, Nepal here on the occasion of the birth
anniversary of late Tanka Prasad Acharya.
The participants said that the synergic relation between
the civil society and parties had brought greater changes
in Nepal. They appreciated late Tanka Prasad Acharya for
his pioneering role to spearhead the civil and political
movement in Nepal.
Former chairman of Constitutional Committee in the erstwhile
Constituent Assembly Nilambar Acharya said that the civil
society should play its greater role when the society
was deprived of basic freedom and other democratic rights.
"Late Tanka Prasad Acharya led civic and political
campaign when the Nepali society was virtually in dark
He said that civil society came to the scene when the
society faced crisis. "There is no reason to be pessimistic
about the role of civil society. It is going strong with
each passing year."
Acharya said that civil society should reflect diversity
and see the things with a broader perspective.
Human rights activist Sushil Pyakurel was a bit critical
about the role of civil society. He said that it failed
to intervene as the first CA was dissolved without writing
the new constitution.
"The political parties are obsessed with power game
but the civil society works for people's empowerment and
creates a base for the parties," he said.
He reminded that late Tanka Prasad Acharya played a role
to provide a space for the parties to come together in
the run-up to the people's movement in 1990.
FES, Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal said that civil society
as an embodiment of reason, faith and feeling must instill
historical awareness among the party leaders to respond
to the changing aspirations of Nepali citizens and reform
the tendency of politics to confine to personal, family,
private and privileged interests. "This helps political
parties to strengthen the social base of the politics
and avert the inclination of extra-constitutional participation
of non-state armed actors and extra-parliamentary formation
of caucus politics."
Dahal emphasized that the civil society should broaden
the binary code of politics steered by friend and foe
and aim for a new social contract, a workable constitution
owned by all citizens.
Tanka Prasad Acharya Memorial Academy chairman professor
Som Prasad Gauchan said that the civil society in Nepal
failed to contribute to the socio-economic changes. "We
did not witness the effective role of civil society in
the recent second CA poll when the CPN-M enforced banda
and caused disruptions to foil the polls. Rather, it is
the people, who acted the role of civil society with their
higher turnout on the polling day and wiser decision of
choosing the moderate forces through ballot."
Naresh Rimal, Roshan Pokharel and Laxmi Karki had presented
their working on the half-day seminar.
Source: The Rising Nepal (4 December 2013)
Building of Economy Needed <Top>
In the neighboring town Krishna Nagar at Muslim Community
Center Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organized a two-day national
seminar on the "Role of Civic Education in Building
Modern State," in which Nepal's senior journalists,
sociologists, educationists and lawyers were engaged.
In the first day of the two-day seminar constitutional
expert and chairman of Administrative Reform Commission
of Nepal Kashi Raj Dahal presenting his paper said that
to transform democratic theory into practice civic education
and knowledge about democratic institutions and constitution
is essential. Since democracy is a responsive rule, it
rejects the tyranny of majority. He said that since consciousness
has been circulated among the people despite non-promulgation
of constitution there is no instability, turmoil and the
spread of violence. Changing the theme he said that the
mandate of drafting constitution was only two years in
the past but political parties without caring national
sentiments extended its tenure. They should have based
their verdict on the decision of public opinion. We have
to protect the system from the parties' such tendency.
There was speculation that there will be 60 to 70 political
parties in the country but now there are 130 political
parties contesting the election with Swastika symbol marking
the ballot paper in the next CA election. Constitution
alone is insufficient until economy remains weak. Explaining
the figure he said that the contribution of tax to GDP
is only 12 percent. 30 percent contribution to GDP comes
from the remittance sent by 3.2million workers abroad.
We have also to think about the food security of those
other 30 percent below poverty line.
Senior journalist Yubaraj Ghimire said, "Nepal is
one of the oldest sovereign nation-state of the world.
But it became weak because power is monopolized by ruling
classes creating excessive corruption, poverty and neo-patrimonial
political culture. There is competition in violence which
is eroding policy sovereignty of the nation. Absence of
constitutionalism marks an atrophy of civic political
culture. We have to solve these problems through the concept
of active citizenship." Mr. Ghimire said that social
state and people-centered politics can lead the country
to development. In the seminar Professor of Tribhuvan
University, Chief Custom Officer Narayan Prasad Sapkota,
Shankar Prasad Pokhrel, Abhaya Pratap Shah also shared
their views. They seriously discussed about citizens'
role in family, society, the nation as well as their international
obligation, education and empowerment.
In the seminar Resham Lal Gaire, Dinesh Chandra Gupta,
Sushil Srivastava, Bhramananda Upahayaya, Dr. Anwar Ahmad,
Kifayatullah, Jyotirmaya Srivastava, Shailendra Srivastava,
Jaya Prakash Chaudhary, Bishhu Kanchal, Sharashwoti Garga,
Bina Agrawal, Nirupama Giri and Kalpana where huge number
of intellectuals took part.
Source: National Sahara- Hindi (29 September 2013)
is essential to restrain political distortion-says Constitutional
Expert Dahal <Top>
Deukhuri, September 27
Personalities engaged in politics since long time, newly
entrants in politics, women rights' activists and civil
society of Deukhuri for the first time gathered in one
place. They were gathered not to listen the speeches or
electoral campaign of political leaders. They were gathered
to discuss about the role of civic education in building
"Every citizens has a vision of modern state and
dreams of it. I am here to discuss and explore its possibility
and challenges," said Gangaram Bhattarai of Rastriya
Janamorcha Party. "Every citizen should know what
they can do for the country." In the program over
150 participants appeared. During the inauguration function
Constitutional expert Kashi Raj Dahal said that due to
political distortion it has become difficult to build
modern state based on constitutional principles. In order
to control the ongoing political atrophy civic education
is a must. Speaking on the occasion of two-day seminar
he said that the country's backwardness can be attributed
to politicization of crime and criminalization of politics.
So long as such problems persist it would be difficult
to modernize our society. He said, "There is an erosion
of every aspects of lives along with politics. Administration,
politics, society and economy are not immune from this
disease. Reforms are needed in these sectors and active
citizenship should be promoted through civic education
who can serve as watchdog of society. He said that those
engages in these realms should imbibe public morality,
not pursue selfish interests only. In the program organized
by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Dahal said reforms are
needed in all sectors of public life in Nepal.
Presenting his paper Prof. Dev raj Dahal said that due
to passiveness of citizens towards the state we have not
been able to create a modern state. He said civic spirit
is declining and weakening citizens' attachment to the
state. As a result, non-state actors, inter alia, become
stronger than the state which is creating an impediment
to building modern state in Nepal based on civic spirit
Source: Yugbod National Daily (27 September 2013)
on Civic Education <Top>
Palpa, September 15
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has begun two-day seminar at
Tansen, Palpa on "The Role of Civic Education on
Building Modern State." Head of FES Dev Raj Dahal
highlighted the importance of the program, diversity of
Nepali society undergoing change and the need for social
development. Chief Guest Shiva Raj Joshi, Chief District
Officer of Palpa, said that citizens have to be informed
and honest in building the Nepali state through democratic
process. Senior Constitutional Expert and former Secretary
of Law and Justice Kashi raj Dahal said that there is
erosion of morality in the public and therefore the concept
of good governance has become weak recently. He narrated
the duty of citizens to the state.
The participants in the programs lodged many questions
about the internal and external causes that impinge on
state building. They asked what sources of foreign meddling
and intervention are and suggested the need for death
penalty, identification of the nation's geography, economic
resources, 33 percent reservation for women, etc. Dr.
Savana Sharma of United Mission Hospital chaired the session
while intellectual Normal Shrestha moderated the programs.
Participants also identified the need to spread civic
education in rural areas of the country.
Source: Janachetana Daily (15 September 2013)
Training Kicks Off Pokhara <Top>
Two-day civic journalism training has began in Pokhara.
The training was designed to build the capacity of working
journalists of Gandaki and Dhaulagiri engaged in print
and electronic fields so that they can report about civic
issues faced by citizens. The program was jointly organized
by Gandaki branch of Nepal Federation of Journalists and
National Media Development Center and supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES). 20 journalists from Kaski, Tanahu, Baglung and
Parvat attended the meeting.
The training focused on civic journalism, civic education,
working national and international condition of journalists,
code of conduct, media and laws, etc. In the training
that will run until Saturday resource persons such as
constitutional expert Kashi Raj Dahal, former secretary-general
of Nepal Federation of Jouranlist Mahendra Bisht, Prof.
of Thribhuvan University Dev Raj Dahal, former representative
of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Dr. Erfried Adam facilitated
the training. In the inaugural functions speakers stated
that civic journalism in the media is important to educate
and empower citizens.
As citizens are demanding only rights and not performing
duties in the present context, the journalists should
seek a balance between the two by informing the citizens.
Rights and duties are the two parts of the same
coin, said Narayan Karki, former president of Federation
of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) of Kaski district . Those
who seek rights must be reminded of duties as well. Kashi
Raj Dahal said that erosion of the accountability system
of the state has bred a culture of impunity. In this context
media should steer the society in direction. Former Vice-President
of FNJ Kusum Keshav Parajuli stated that in the current
context the importance of civic education has increased
for strengthening democracy. Dr. Erfried Adam argued that
the role of media is very important to build the civic
competence of citizens.
Source: Awaj Daily (10 August 2013)
should be clear about political system before writing statute
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Aug 4: Constitution experts and political scientists
Sunday suggested that the parties should be clear about
the political system before they sat for writing the new
"The politicians must be clear under which system
they want to write the constitution," they said
They urged the parties to forge a minimum consensus and
promote constitutional culture so that the new statute
could be implemented effectively following its promulgation.
They were sharing their views at a national seminar 'Reflection
on Nepal's Constitutional Process' jointly organized by
Tribhuvan University Law Faculty and FES, Nepal.
Former attorney general Badri Bahadur Karki said that
the failure of constitution writing was the collective
failure of the country.
"The constitution is the document of trust and faith.
But, a sense of mistrust runs high when it comes to drafting
the statute. The history shows that if there were no democratic
culture, the constitution fails to work no matter how
best it is."
Karki said that the political parties must be clear about
the political system before they sat for writing the constitution.
"They must be clear what kind of statute they want
to write: democratic and communist."
Nepal Bar Association chairman Hari Krishna Karki said
that the political leaders should take lesson from the
"There is no alternative to Constituent Assembly
election in order to rid the country of constitutionlessness
and bring back it on constitutional track. An environment
conducive to the poll should be built so that all legitimate
forces can participate in the election," he said.
He urged the leaders to strike agreement amidst the disagreements
but not try to pick holes in agreement
FES, Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal said that the challenges
before the upcoming fresh CA election to draft a new constitution
lie in the creation of election-friendly environment for
the renewal of legal-rational legitimacy of law making
process, building bridges across the gaps between the
state and citizens, institutions and aspirations of the
"This requires a self-reflective learning of the
leadership about the wisdom of ordinary folk, public opinions
and cultural heritage of the nation's tolerance of diversity
nurtured by its sages, statesmen and citizens," said
Dahal. "Ironically, Nepal's political parties are
locked in their own frames and are in the loops of self-interested
impulse lacking systemic awareness for cooperative action
and the necessity of middle path for political and constitutional
Constitution expert Krishna Belbase said that the political
parties never showed their sincerity to the constitution
writing process and its implementation. "As a result,
the country is almost in the constitution-less condition
He suggested that the parties should form an all-party
commission and draft a brief constitution within a short
span of time, and then get it approved from the referendum
or a legislature-parliament.
Constitution expert and Nepal Law campus Associate professor
Ganesh Dutta Bhatta attributed the failure of constitutional
system to the external forces that wanted Nepal to move
as per their will.
Bhatta suggested drafting a constitution by a team of
experts and then endorsing it by two-thirds of majority
of Constituent Assembly. "The national forces should
move ahead for the constitution making process by forging
consensus, trust and commitment and keeping national interest
at the centre.
Senior journalist Yuva Raj Ghimire said that the parties
should shed a politics of negation and learn from the
failures of statute writing from other countries. "They
should try to forge a minimum consensus and not go for
writing a conditional constitution."
Source: The Rising Nepal (5 August 2013)
highlights Journos' plight in region <Top>
Kathmandu, July 23: A three-day long South Asia Media
Solidarity Network (SAMSN) conference concluded here on
Tuesday after deliberating and adopting different measures
aimed at safeguarding and promoting the rights of working
journalists of South Asia member nations.
The network meeting, participated around 30 participants
for eight nations of South Asia- Nepal, India, Bhutan,
Afghanistan, Sri Lanka the Maldives and Pakistan, discussed
extensively on the measures to be followed to protect
journalists' rights, promoting professional ethics among
journalists and giving highest priority to the physical
safety of working journalists.
From Nepal, representatives of Federation of Nepalese
Journalists, National Union of Journalists and Nepal Press
Union took part in the regional meeting. The representatives
also put forth their views and presented paper on the
working journalists' condition in the nation.
The three day Kathmandu meeting also adopted gender declaration
which threw light on the problems being faced by female
journalists in the region. Likewise, the meeting also
came up with the idea of establishing a media-hub in the
South Asia so that the member journalists would remain
in constant touch with each other
Various participants, while presenting their country papers
on the situation of journalists, deeply delved into the
problems being faced by the journalists of their respective
nations. The participants also thrashed out solutions
to rectify the prevailing unfavourable situation being
confronted by the media people in these countries.
The SAMSN meeting was moderated by Jacqui Park, International
Federation of Journalists Asia-Pacific Director. The FES,
Nepal head Devraj Dahal addressed the inaugural meeting.
Sukumar Muralidaran of IFJ dealt on the various aspects
of problems that the journalists of the South Asia have
Source: The Rising Nepal (24 July 2013)
in City <Top>
KATHMANDU: Thirty South Asian journalists are participating
in a three-day conclave on journalists security,
womens participation in media, their wages and working
environment, which kicked off in the Capital on Sunday.
They will assess reports of representative countries on
the said themes during the assembly, according to the
organisers, South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN),
International Federation of Journalists and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
Journalists from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh,
the Maldives and Afghanistan presented papers on journalism
in their respective countries so far. They are scheduled
to discuss the measures to resolve the problems on Tuesday.
Source: The Himalayan Times (22 July 2013)
Policy should go along with mational interests: Experts
By A Staff Reporter
Lalitpur, July 18: Politicians and foreign policy experts
Thursday emphasized that the national interests should
be the basis for the foreign policy of the country.
They underlined the need of addressing the security concerns
of the neighbouring nations while formulating the foreign
"Internal unity and strong economy are key to the
effective and independent execution of foreign policy,"
they said at a seminar on 'Nepal's nationality, and foreign
and economic policy' organized by BP Chintan Pratisthan
and FES, Nepal in Lalitpur.
Nepali Congress senior leader and former prime minister
Sher Bahadur Deuba said that the national interest should
guide the country's foreign policy.
"The foreign policy should not be swayed by anti-Indian
or anti-Chinese rhetoric. We should develop cordial ties
with India, China and the western countries," said
He noted that Nepal should be sensitive about the security
concerns of the neghbouring countries.
Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum Nepal chairman Upendra Yadav
said that geopolitical reality should be taken into account
as the country devised and executed its foreign policy.
Nepal should assure its neghbours that its land would
not be used against any neighbour.
"The political players should prove their mettle
in managing the domestic problems at the micro level,"
he said. He admitted that the nation's foreign policy
became weak following the establishment of republican
CPN-ML general secretary CP Mainali said that Nepali nationalism
was now in serious crisis as the domestic players capitulated
to the design of the foreigners.
Mainali said that the ethnic states were not in the national
interests. "They will be also the matter of security
concerns for the neighbouring countries," he added.
Former minister Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani said that the
parties should promote citizen-centric nationalism that
should be nourished by basic democratic values and principles.
He urged the parties to rise above the partisan interest
while pursuing a balance foreign policy.
CPN-UML leader Ghanshyam Bhusal noted that the country
could not witness economic prosperity until the national
sovereignty was protected.
"Our relations with India are characterized by the
elements of cooperation, conflict and competition. However,
the competitive dimensions became weak owing to the unequal
relations with India," he said, adding that the relations
with India should be improved.
He said that it was the state, not any individual that
should take initiatives to balance the ties with the neighbours.
FES, Programme officer CD Bhatta said that the country
survived only when its culture and language were well
"Nepal is one of the oldest nations in the world
but it is today aping the ideas of foreign nations in
almost every domain," he said and added that the
country's national sovereignty was really in peril because
the leaders forgot the judicious foreign policy guidelines
suggested by the unifier of Nepal Prithvi Narayan Shah.
He also pointed out the need of contextualizing the thoughts
of BP Koirala in the changed context.
Narayan Koirala of BP Chintan Pratistha said that nationalism
was facing a grave crisis as the parties failed to abide
by the value-based politics.
Dr Jaya Raj Acharya and Dr Ram Prasad Gyawali presented
their working papers 'Nepal's nationality and foreign
policy' and 'democratic nationalism' respectively.
Source: The Rising Nepal (19 July 2013)
EDITORIAL: No grain of doubt remains that Nepal's democratic
process has gone awry. An FES funded AWAKE seminar in
collaboration with this weekly concluded that, everything
remaining the same, another election to another constituent
assembly will again not yield the desired results. Indeed,
the very actors who crashed previous constitutions have
insured in government that the elections will take place
under their set designs and the very issues that they
have raised as a reason why the previous constituent assembly
failed remain as issues in the forthcoming elections as
well. Moreover, the carrot being dangled before the people
for their participation in the elections is that the composition
in the coming polls should be made to be such that individual
parties predominate to be able to determine their agenda
in the constitution. This is even more dangerous. Predomination
of any individual party in the constituent assembly would
mean the predominance of a single agenda not favorable
to the rest which would begin the process of scuttling
the new constitution if not the new constituent assembly
all over again. While our democratic friends can do little
other than to welcome the decision to go ahead for another
election to yet another constituent assembly, the Nepali
people at large are aware that what is promised as change
will either be no change or an even more dangerous change
at the expense of us the people.
Of course, there are advantages to the mainstream parties
by harping on the election theme. By and large the political
population can be diverted with the promise of change.
They can be occupied to direct the current disgruntlements
with the promise of change. Political cadre who compose
the largest section of the political population will be
mobilized to garner votes with this promise of change.
Money, muscle and media can be directed towards electoral
campaigning with the promise of change. The lay man can
be made to occupy themselves to seek suitable candidates
that can be backed for personal gains diverting them from
the current spate of woes. Elections seem the ready anathema
for the supposed set-backs of all in all fields. The catchy
solution is elections surely and even those who oppose
it outright do so on conditional grounds seeking advantage
in election itself. Reality, however, is different. Discussions
should have been centered on the constitutionality of
the change sought. The fact is that our constitutional
process has been so tampered with that justifying another
round for elections on the plea of just another constitution
no longer suffices. For corrections to be made, any sincere
attempt would mean restoring democracy at the grass roots
in the very first place. Government must first begin discussions
on how the local self-governments can be staffed by popularly
elected people in the very first place and how constitutionality
can be restored to the people of Nepal by reactivating
real commitments to the democratic process through democratic
behavior of all concerned. Elections alone no longer suffice
in the Nepali case as elsewhere too.
Source: People's Review (20-26 June 2013)
Election Mode <Top>
BY SHASHI PBB MALLA AND CHANDRA BAHADUR PARBATE
Most Nepalese had given up hope that there would be elections
any time soon. However, the current caretaker 'election'
government true to their word, finally announced November
19 as the date for elections to the new Constituent Assembly
CA)/parliament. The participating parties now have five
months to prepare and mobilize their supporters. Besides
having to govern in day to day affairs, the government
will also have to start preparations so that the elections
are truly free and fair and on a level playing field.
It will have to ensure that from now on, the path to the
elections is smooth and not paved with stumbling blocks.
This also means that it can no longer tolerate general
strikes or bandhs manipulated by political parties and
organizations to vent their ire. It must devise ways and
means to nip such bandhs in the bud, otherwise bandhs
will be rule and not the exception until the run-up to
the elections. Moreover the bandhs themselves have the
potential to compromise the elections. Bandhs have long
ceased to be legitimate forms of protest and turned into
one-sided, vociferous and tyrannical means of imposing
the will of a minority on the overwhelming and silent
majority. Unless the government acts resolutely, its standing
in the populace will start shrinking.
Unfortunately the government has already shown its weak
side by allowing the general strike (bandh) on Sunday
protesting the announcement/holding of CA/parliamentary
elections. These have been long overdue and it is the
prerogative of the sovereign people to exercise their
fundamental rights to elect their representatives and
to speak, act and legislate on their behalf. The present
disposition was merely temporary, but necessary to get
on with the job of democratization. All those opposed
to the elections should realize that they are fundamentally
opposed to the functioning of democracy as such. Democracy
is not only the rule of the people in the collective --
as opposed to that dictatorship (of a single person or
group: Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mussolini), totalitarianism
of a party (North Korea), oligarchy of a group or family
(Ranas). Although the UCPN-Maoist has paid lip service
to the holding of elections, they and their breakaway
comrades the CPN-Maoist are fundamentally opposed to the
functioning of democracy as such, as they have not eschewed
their so-called 'dictatorship of the proletariat' which
is merely an euphemism for the totalitarian rule of the
Thus, Mohan Baidya's faction, the CPN-Maoist is ideologically
opposed to the holding of elections - a truly basic democratic
exercise. Democracy is not only 'rule by the people',
but is synonymous with 'majority rule', and this can only
be established via elections. Baidya's Maoist faction
has given all sorts of spurious reasons for opposing the
elections. Last Friday in a symposium: "Constitutionalism
& Democracy Building in Nepal" (jointly organized
by the Association of Editors and Writers, The People's
Review and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation), the party
spokesperson, Pampha Bhusal was full of negative vibes.
She had the audacity to claim that her party opposed the
election purely to preserve national interests! The country
had reached such a stage of 'unconstitutionalism' that
it was ruled by crooks and thugs, and thus the elections
were a farce! Bhusal, of course, did not mention - or
more likely conveniently forgot - that it was her own
party that was involved in various extortion schemes and
the occupation of private land and property. Moreover,
the trade union affiliated with her party has been causing
havoc in trade and industry and hampering production.
Bhusal further alleged that the current government was
merely a marionette under the thumb of the 'Four Party
Syndicate' which itself had no legitimacy and was directed
from external forces. She did not directly mention the
country/ies involved, but contended that the whole process
was a grand design from outside. Such a reading is actually
too much to stomach, especially when she characterized
the whole electoral process as a farce. She further made
the prediction that even if elections were held, no constitution
would be drafted and no single party would receive a majority.
In any case, these are no valid arguments for not holding
elections, which is a fundamental right of the sovereign
people. The CPN-M wants to hijack this fundamental right
in the very name of the people by threatening to declare
a constitution "from the streets". This is all
very irregular to say the least. The country cannot be
held to ransom by a spurious political party following
its own bizarre agenda and without any positive ideas
or vision. It seems that this party has not even heard
of coalition governments in many democratic polities (Germany,
The CPN-M questions the very process of drafting the
constitution through the CA. On that Bhusal made the outlandish
statement that the whole electoral process was an attempt
to "sikkimize" the country. This of course displays
her lack of a s sense of history, as India did not integrate
that Himalayan Kingdom into the Indian Union through the
electoral process, but through outright annexation. India's
attempt to repeat the performance with Nepal would be
a very, very difficult bone to swallow, especially since
our northern neighbor China and superpower in the making
would definitely not remain a passive onlooker! The CPM-M's
disgust of democratic elections for the CA was reflected
in the statement that not all good constitutions have
been drafted by CAs and that it would be better for an
expert commission to undertake such a task and present
the finished product to the President, who would approve
it and thus make it a valid basic law. With such a simplistic
approach, the CPN-M and those opposing the elections will
have little support, even if they propagate that the forthcoming
elections will destroy 'loktantra' and Nepalese national
interests. It is also not a question of bowing down to
foreign diktat, but joining the mainstream on the path
The 42 agitating parties opposing the CA/parliamentary
elections, including the CPN-Maoist, that enforced the
nation-wide bandh last Sunday can take pride in the fact
that they deprived the majority of the population of their
fundamental rights, the nation had to incur a financial
loss of a whopping NPR 4.38 billion and vandalism was
encouraged. Hopefully the government has learnt its lesson
and no longer remains passive but takes on an energetic
role to pave the path for a proactive electoral process.
It is no longer necessary to woo the parties opposing
elections. The scrapping of the threshold condition was
a major concession, but still these small/fringe parties
did not respond. You can take a horse to the water, but
you can't make it drink. These parties fundamentally do
not trust the electorate, because they have a bad conscience
and are full aware that the electorate has a long memory.
Moreover, they have little funds to contest the elections
and little hope of winning. However, in spite of them,
or because of them, the show must go on. Elections are
after all the manifestation of the people's will.
The writers can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: People's Review (20-26 June 2013)
constitutional process first: Bhusal <Top>
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Pampha Bhusal, Spokesperson for the CPN-Maoist,
today said political parties should first amend the constitutional
process to bring agitating parties on board. We
are not against the election if it fulfills all the due
constitutional procedures, said Bhusal at a workshop
on Constitutionalism and Democracy Building in Nepal
in the Capital today.
The programme was jointly organised by Association of
Editors and Writers Kathmandu and Peoples Review
weekly in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nepal.
Stating that Nepali parties were incapable of taking
decisions, she doubted if they could deliver a new constitution
even through a new Constituent Assembly.
Bhusal said no party can acquire majority of votes in
this existing election system and that parties have already
announced that they would not hold the election until
they were sure about securing majoring votes.
She added that top leaders of High Level Political Committee
had accepted Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi as the government
head because of compulsion.
Source: The Himalayan Times (16 June 2013)
diplomacy: Expers <Top>
Himalayan News service
Kathmandu, June 14: Experts speaking at a brainstorming
program today said Nepal needs to reorient diplomatic
dealings to protect national interest in a competitive
and globalised new world order.
The state can do this by revamping the government setup,
especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they said,
adding that every diplomatic endeavour will be futile
unless and until we keep our house in order.
Presenting his paper, former UN under-secretary general
Kul Chandra Gautam suggested recruiting additional staff
at the Foreign Ministry, giving them necessary training,
deputing them in Nepali missions abroad, providing communication
and IT skills and upgrading the missions.
Our foreign policy mandarins should focus more on our
neighbours in view of the changed global and regional
context, he said, stressing the need to project national
success stories in international forums.
Presenting his paper on Nepal's regional policy, former
foreign secretary Madhu Raman Acharya said Nepal needs
to switch to multilater diplomatic engagements with regional
countries from bilateral ones.
Source: The Himalayan Times (15 June 2013)
forces in confidence:Leaders <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, June 14: Political leaders and experts Friday
underlined the need of creating election-friendly atmosphere
by taking dissenting forces into confidence.
However, they were firm that there should not be any compromise
on election under any pretext as it was the only means
to restore constitutionalism and take democracy to the
They were sharing a forum at a seminar entitled 'Constitutionalism
and Democracy Building in Nepal' in the capital.
The function was jointly organized by the Association
of Writers and Editors of Kathmandu (AWAKE) and Friedrick
Ebert Stiftung Nepal.
CPN-UML publicity department head Pradeep Gyawali said
that the country had been bristled with multiple anomalies
because of the wide gap between the spirit of constitutionalism
and the behaviour of the political actors.
Gyawali noted that the political stalemate could continue
to linger if the dissenting political parties, including
CPN-M and MJF-N, dug their toes in participating in the
"However, we could not compromise on the CA poll
that is the only democratic process to manage conflict
and end the prolonged transition," he said.
Gyawali said that external forces had become dominant
in the domestic affairs by trying to penetrate even into
the various organs of the states.
He was of the view that there should be synthesis between
the national and local identities. "It has been misconstrued
that federalism means only identity-based federalism.
Such a wrong conception had diverted the real issue."
CPN-M spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said that her party was
not against the election but until the constitutional
process was brought on track by scrapping the 11-point
and 25-point agreements, which, she said, were struck
at the behest of foreign forces and put the country on
the path of regression, the party would not join the poll
"There should be right procedure for conducting the
poll. The election held by government, formed through
the undemocratic means, could not bring the right outcome,"
She said that even the second CA could not write the new
statute because the first CA failed to promulgate it although
it had already prepared the draft.
"There are other means to write the statute and the
CA is not the only apparatus to draft it," she said
and claimed that upcoming election was going to be held
at the expense of national independence and democracy.
Nepali Congress leader Dr. Minendra Rijal said that nationalism
would be strong only when the people become economically
Rijal said that all parties including the CPN-M should
participate in the election and added that there was still
the scope for dialogue among the parties to make sure
that all could take part in the election.
"Seeking the solution of the problem through peaceful
and constitutional means is the constitutionalism,"
He called on the dissenting parties to respect people's
right to cast their votes in fearless atmosphere.
Dev Raj Dahal, head of FES, Nepal, said that the big political
task for Nepal now was to create an election-friendly
environment by building political trust among all political
parties including opposition, promulgating necessary election
laws and creating adequate security environment.
"Restoration of the constitutional tradition of politics
requires the promulgation of a popularly-owned constitution
which can heal the Nepali society. The election provides
an opportunity to demand an accountability of leaders,
reassess the relationship between citizens and government
and spurn those who deceived them while constitutional
awareness of leaders and citizens helps to convert their
partial perspectives into a larger national vision,"
The AWAKE vice-chairman Tej Prakash Pandit said that the
seminar mulled over the measures to find way out to the
constitutional crisis. "The country could not roll
ahead without a democratic election that ensures the legitimacy
of the political parties."
At the one-day seminar, professor Ram Kumar Dahal and
associate professor Ganesh Dutta Bhatta presented their
Source: The Rising Nepal (15 June 2013)
away from politics <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, June 7: Political leaders, experts and bureaucrats
Friday said that political and legal reform was the key
to administrative reform for the better service delivery
to the people.
They called for reshaping bureaucracy to make it efficient,
inclusive and democratic.
"The bureaucracy should be kept away from the political
intervention and overbearing influence of the trade unions,"
they said in unison at a national seminar on 'Constitutional
Accountability and Administrative Reform in the Context'
jointly organized by Administration Reform Recommendation
Committee (ARRC) and FES, Nepal.
Former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said the leaders
and the bureaucrats should learn to manage time, which
he said, was the precondition for the administrative reforms.
"The practices of promoting favoritism and greasing
the palm in the administration sector should be ended,"
he said and called for developing bureaucracy as an apolitical
He said that the political stability, non-corrupt government
and law-abiding leadership were necessary to ensure good
governance in the
"Meritocracy and capability should be given priority
and age and seniority should not be dominant factor when
it comes to the promotion of the civil servants,"
Chief election Commissioner Nilkantha Upreti said that
administrative reforms were possible only when political
and legal reforms were
successfully carried out.
"Elements impartiality and morality must be imbued
to make the administration responsible towards the people,"
"However, political reform is impossible without
electoral reform. So, we decided to keep one per cent
threshold provision for the political parties to get sears
under the proportional representation system.
Likewise, the candidates should submit the details of
their expenditures made during the poll, he said. He said
that the date to the Constituent Assembly would be announced
Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel said that there was the
need of promoting modern culture of bureaucracy, which
put emphasis on transparency, accountability and result-oriented
He was critical of political leadership and the 'highhandedness'
of trade unions.
"There is vicious nexus between the police, smugglers
and politicians, and this must be broken," he added.
He said that the administration has been in tight spot
- on one hand it has not institutional capacity to deliver,
on the other, there is soaring
public demand to provide services to them.
Nepali Congress leader Dr. Narayan Khadka said that dynamic,
capable and efficient bureaucracy was the need of the
The political parties must forge consensus on the number
of ministries, hydropower development, education policy
and land reform.
Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Dev Raj Dahal
said that good governance called for a judicious balance
in the demands of citizens and the supply of the production
and provision of public goods and service by the state,
private sectors and civil society across the social classes
and geographic regions.
"Governance-effectiveness rests on fostering the
centripetal forces of society and establishing state-society
coherence through national
self-determination of politics, constitutional laws and
development policies," he added.
ARRC coordinator Kashi Raj Dahal said that there was the
need to instill a sense of professionalism in bureaucracy
and moral values in the politics.
"Value-based politics is dwindling resulting into
the rise of mass disenchantment in the public about the
political system," he said.
He sought the opinions of participants on the number of
ministries, the role of trade unions, inclusiveness and
civil service acts during the
Source: The Rising Nepal (8 June 2013)
cannot be guaranteed when divided <Top>
Kathmandu, May 3
Journalists revealed that in the absence of public security
in society not only ordinary citizens and the media persons
but the entire national security is affected. This is
revealed by journalists in a national seminar organized
by Nepal Press Union (NPU)on Nepalese Media and
Public Security in the World Press Freedom Day.
They expressed anxiety over the difficulty of journalists
in attaining physical and economic security and unconcern
of the state, political parties and civil society towards
The speakers attributed that because of political parties,
ethnic and regional groups, increasing criminalization,
parochial culture of society, culture of impunity and
unprofessional character of journalists attacks on them
have not reduced.
They also criticized the media owners for not paying
remuneration to journalists for month and the government
showing apathy towards the implementation of Working Journalists
Act. They started the need for the resignation of the
chairman of council of ministers Khil Raj Regmi for its
undesirable effect on legal sector for being one person
head of executive and judiciary.
In the program supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
journalists Yubaraj Ghimire and Dhirendra Jha presented
their papers. Leader of Nepali Congress Shekhar Koirala
said that unless democracy and nationalism are consolidated
freedom of expression remains curtailed. So long as journalists
are ideologically divided their physical and economic
security cannot be ensured.
Another leader of Nepali Congress N. P. Saud said that
press freedom cannot be expected if political parties
themselves set up media. Journalists should think themselves
what they can do together than expect from the state can
do to them. Head of FES Nepal office Dev Raj Dahal said
that violence has been decentralized because of the weakness
of the state. He said that the role of media lies in connecting
the society, not dividing them.
Journalist Yubaraj Ghimire argued that so long as citizens
are insecure journalists con not be secured. Citizens
should have ownership on democracy to ensure press freedom
and freedom of expression.
President of Nepal Press Union Kiran Pokhrel asserted
that NPU, Press Chautari and Nepal Revolutionary Journalists
Union will set a new trade union of journalist if Federation
of Journalists does not convert itself into a trade union.
In the program Journalists Tara Nath Dahal, Bishnu Nisturi,
Kabir Rana, Dharemndra Jha, Kul Chandra Wagle, Jagat Nepal,
Badri Sigdel, etc spoke about public security and press
Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (3 May 2013)
has become weak: Koirala <Top>
Kathmandu May 3:
Central Committee Member of Nepali Congress Shekhar Koirala
has said without the resignation of Chairman of electoral
Cabinet Khil Raj Regmi from his post of Chief Justice
election for CA cannot be held. He said it in the context
of World Press Freedom day organized by Nepal Press Union,
Political parties like CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidya
are in the street, they need to be brought into consensus.
For this Regmi should resign to create conducive environment.
Other Central Committee N. P. Saud accused the leaders
of four mainstream parties as satellite of foreign powers.
In the program former chairman of Federation of Nepalese
Journalists Dharmendra Jha and senior Journalist Yuba
raj Ghimire spoke on public security and the media. Analyzing
the current condition Jha asked the journalists to become
responsible and revealed the collusion of journalists
with security agencies and become victim. Yubaraj Ghimire
said that journalists while analyzing event should also
be tolerant of the criticism. In the program head of Friedrich--Ebert-Stiftung
Dev Raj Dahal, Former FNJ Presidents Tara Nath Dahal and
Bishnu Nisthuri, Secretary Jagat Nepal, Chairman of Press
Union Kiran POkhrel, senior vice-president Badri Sigdel,
Hemant Kafle, and journalist Kabir Rana spoke on public
Source: Annapurna Post (3 May 2013)
Implementation Of Laws Stressed <Top>
Kathmandu, May 1: Political leaders and journalists stressed
on effective implementation of laws enacted for guaranteeing
the professional security of working journalists in different
media houses. At an interaction programme Role of
Nepal Press Union on Burning Issues of Working Journalists
organized by Nepal Press Union (NPU) here today on the
occasion of the International Labour Day, they stressed
on strengthening security of media persons as it is becoming
serious day by day.They said though the government has
formulated required laws for the rights of journalists,
numerous challenges have piled up before the working journalists
and that they were facing growing physical and professional
insecurity due to lack of effective implementation of
laws. On the occasion, leader of the Nepali Congress,
Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat said that the state was weak in protecting
the media persons when they are becoming the victims of
attacks from all sides due to their political ideology
and conviction. He stated that the Janakpur incident on
Monday was the latest example of states weakness.
Mahat complained that Nepali media houses have been neglecting
social responsibility though the media houses were becoming
result-oriented and qualitative. Similarly, the UCPN-Maoist
leader, Narayan Sharma pointed out that the media persons
should play the main role for institutionalizing the achievements
of the democratic movement.
He added that all unions should be united against attacks
on media persons. Leader of the CPN (UML), Pradip Gyawali
stressed ensuring security to all the citizens at a time
when the political system needs to be made stable, democratic
and responsible to people, adding that state restructuring
was necessary for maintaining harmony among the people
in the country. Leader of the Nepali Congress and founder
of the Nepal Press Union, Shobhakhar Parajuli, said that
the Nepalese journalism should discourage all kinds of
malpractices in the country by adopting a more responsive
approach and respectable form of journalism establishing
democratic norms and values.
Senior journalist Taranath Dahal presented a paper on
Contemporary Problems in Nepali Media and Role of
Press Union and stressed on making the state and
the management at the media houses serious on practical
implementation of the Labour Act and the Working Journalists
Act.Similarly, former President of the Federation of Nepali
Journalists (FNJ), Dharmendra Jha, presented a paper on
Challenges of Working Journalists and stressed
on running a campaign for the structural reforms in the
media policy and laws to ensure press freedom and pluralism
in the media world.
Nepal Chief of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Devraj
Dahal, journalists Kulchandra Wagle, Gagan Bista, Bishnu
Nisthuri, Khil Bahadur Bhandari, Samirjung Shah, Anil
Yogi, Ekraj Pathak among others said the bodies concerned
should be serious for the security of Nepali media, professional
security and implementation of the Media Act
Matribhumi Khabar (2 May
helps earn less than Rs 3,500 <Top>
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Domestic helps in Kathmandu earn less than
Rs 3,500, which is significantly lower than the minimum
wage of the country.
The government had set Rs 6,200 as minimum wage in March
The average earning of domestic workers is just Rs 3,400,
a study commissioned by the Centre for Labour and Social
Studies said. According to the study, domestic workers
who live in the same house where they work earn less than
those who live outside.
The average salary of domestic workers who stay in the
house where they work is Rs 1,700, said team leader of
the study Bishal Bhardwaj.
The study has also revealed the pathetic conditions in
which domestic workers live. Live-in domestic workers
usually get stale food and old clothes. They have been
exploited at all fronts. All family members tend to misbehave
with domestic workers and exploit them, he said, explaining
According to the study, the average working period of
domestic workers who live with the family and who live
outside is 48 months and 14 months, respectively. Some
major work that they do are wash clothes, clean the house
and cook, which covers around 50 per cent of their time.
There is no record of domestic workers in the country.
However, labour authorities believe that there are around
60,000 domestic helps in the country.
The absence of a law that includes domestic helps and
lack of ratification of the International Labour Organisation
(ILO) Convention 189 have weakened the rights of domestic
workers. Therefore, we are lobbying for the rights of
domestic workers, said general secretary of the organisation
Tilak Jung Khadka.
Protecting domestic workers at home and abroad should
be a key issue for the country because around 200,000
Nepalis are working as domestic helps in Gulf countries
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
Their condition is also miserable because of abuse and
exploitation by employers.
The job destinations do not have labour laws that ensure
labour rights for domestic workers. Human Rights Watch
has termed the Kafala system known as sponsorship
system as modern day slavery in a 2011 report.
The rights-based organisation and International Trade
Union Confederation have been urging Gulf countries to
ratify ILO Convention 189.
Source: The Himalayan Times (1 April 2013)
for gender justice <Top>
By Our Reporter
Nepalese women demands a full articulation of gender
justice in the nation's governance. This was raised in
a national seminar organized by the Central Department
of Home Science and Women's Studies Program of Tribhuvan
University in cooperation with FES, Nepal Office on 22
March. In the context of the formation of the Inter-Ministerial
Coordination Committee under Chief Secretary of the government
this pro-active initiative on "Women's Empowerment:
Achievements and Way Forward," is expected to provide
policy inputs. Altogether 90 female and 10 male representing
academic community, government, NGOs and civil society
deliberated on the various aspects of gender empowerment.
The secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretariat
Raju Man Singh Malla, presented government's efforts to
address violence against women and a way forward, researcher
Prativa Subedi on economic empowerment of women and and
Prof. Dr. Harinder Thapalia on gender equality though
gender re-socialization. Speaking on the occasion Dean
of Humanities and Social Science of Trihuvan University
Prof. Dr. Chinta Mani Pokhrel said that we need to evolve
proper methodology based on practical realities of the
nation and devise proper pedagogy for women's empowerment.
He said that Dalit trained by Dalits is not a way of liberation
as is being practices in Nepal. They need to educate the
other side who dominates them. Same applies to women's
Head of FES Nepal Office Dev Raj Dahal argued that a
norm-governed, not power-based society, is the hallmark
of human civility. In this context, civilization grows
with the decline of violence and coercion in social and
political life of citizens. The more the society is democratized
the better the reduction of private ambition of leaders
and beginning of the awakening of their public purpose
in politics. Nepal needs to invest a lot of its efforts
in building active citizenship as it fosters both social,
economic and political equality in society and makes the
leaders accountable for their actions. There is a need
to foster an education based on enlightenment, freedom
and democracy so they citizens are capable of reflecting
on the condition of their existence and seek to improve
their condition for better life, liberty and pursuit of
wellbeing. Participants furnished various weaknesses in
the implementation of laws, policies and programs and
suggested measures as to how to reduce violence in society
to recover Nepal from its post-conflict phase. Prof. Uma
Koirala, the coordinator of the program welcomed the participants
and Prof. Anila Shrestha, chairperson, expressed vote
Source: People's Review (28 March-3 April 2013)
Womens Empowerment <Top>
Dev Raj Dahal
Head, FES Nepal
Civilization grows with equal social development when
one set of human beings do not dominate or consume the
other set of human beings by either coercion or due process
of law. Law, therefore, is set up to prevent the Darwinist
theory of the survival of fittest. Modern constitutional
state purports to create social and political solidarity
across human species without being excessively predatory
to nature. A society in which all potential abilities
of men and women are allowed to flourish can become more
cooperative, innovative, civilized, virtuous and adaptable
to changing social, economic and technological conditions
of modernity. Education, science, democracy and human
rights broke down the walls of biological superiority
and nourished equal fitness of women for social equality,
power, position and identity. Still, removal of structural
conditions and restrictions are essential for womens
emancipation from constraints.
The gender discourse in the world in general and Nepal
in particular have brought major shifts conducive to womens
# The first shift has occurred in the discourse on development
which has enlarged the concept of states role in
the areas of concern to women. Today, womens consent
to the political system is based on the expectation of
their improved living standards. In this context, Nepali
state has become more active in family matters regarding
domestic violence, child rights, paternal property rights
and individual suicide thus expunging the liberal separation
between the public and the private realm. It sought to
imbibe feminist discourse personal is political
and formulated policies based on both needs and rights.
# The second shift is seen in its legal and policy culture.
Bounded by international law and gender obligation, Nepali
state has also enlarged the domain of womens rights
in various areasreproductive rights, right against
exploitation, non-discrimination, social inclusion and
affirmative action or positive discrimination in education,
health and income-generation and peace-promotion activities.
The government spells out commitment to remove pre-modern
patronage system of governance based on social hierarchy
which reproduces the power of males through motherly socialization
of female and her emotional attachment to children and
home only. It has introduced five-year action plan, Ending
Gender-Based Violence and Gender Empowerment-2012 to eradicate
the culture of impunity and break the culture of silence.
Growing violence against women needs be abolished through
appropriate policy intervention, proper law-enforcement
and exposure of the culprits to public shame as an unacceptable
# The third shift has occurred from equal opportunity
to equal outcome of governance for both men and women,
equality of citizenship and procedural distribution of
fairness based on law. Accordingly, new concepts such
as gender responsive budgeting and gender responsive governance
have been introduced to improve gender-sensitive indicators
# The fourth shift has occurred in the choice model of
society in society in matters of negotiation of marriage,
institutional affiliation, job preference and dignity
of life. Migration has emerged as an alternative mechanism
for better life for Nepalese as labor market is overcrowded
in Nepal due to the annual entry of more than 400 thousand
youth into the labor market and the inability of government
and private sector to absorb less than 10 percent of the
new entrants. This year a total of 22,655 Nepali women
received permission to work overseas mostly in the Gulf
region, where many of them work as domestic workers, servants
and slaves, not citizens and universal human persons entitled
with labor and human rights. But it is not without social
and economic cost to home and economic life of rural areas.
Empowerment of women can be achieved through four measures:
the normative learning, in which education of women and
men can lead to self-awakening, freedom and enlightenment
leading to re-socialization and active citizenship; organic
evolution, in which purpose of development is clearly
defined in equal gender outcome with the possibility to
enlarge material achievement through collective action;
the critical process, in which life of men and women is
brought to critical reflection to the condition of their
actual existence, gaps and opening of society to equal
opportunity to meet the modern ideals of human rights,
democracy and social justice; and creative, in which men
and women are peacefully enabled to engage in labor and
work, reap benefits from the changing concepts of ecological
justice, technological evolution, new economy, family
values and social stratification and participatory political
condition of modernity. These are critical elements to
reduce the appetite for gender violence and heal the society
from entropies, wounds and conflicts.
Empowerment is a holistic concept which cannot be reduced
to disciplinary boundaries of knowledge, institutions
or particular social division of labor. What is still
needed is to transform Nepals informal society,
economy and polity into formal constitutional process
by ensuring womens voice, visibility and representation
and enabling them to engage in the rational determination
of life, politics, law and public policies of the nationgoverning
them. Rights-based discourse alone is insufficient condition
for Nepalese womens empowerment as it favors only
the organized part of society. The scope for better gender
justice in Nepal can be provided by the provision of welfare
state, contributory funding of social security, social
protection of vulnerable women, recognition of the inequitable
burden of care work on women, good governance and affirmative
action. Redistributive mechanism of social justice in
Nepal is essential to foster harmonious society based
on social, gender and inter-generational justice. This
is one of the ways to make womens empowerment self-sustaining
and capture the spirit of new peace.
Remarks made by author during the seminar organized by
PKMC, Kathmandu in cooperation with FES, Nepal Office.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (27 March 2013)
of Civic Education Necessary <Top>
Kathmandu, March 10
On the occasion of International Womens Day Modern
Kanya Multiple College organized one-day national seminar
on Civic education in the context of Democracy and
Womens Rights. Chairman of dissolved Constituent
Assembly Nilamber Acharya, head of FES for Asia, Juergen
Stetten, head of FES for South Asia Stefanie Moser, Vice-President
of Milan Chautari Anita Achayra and journalist Anita Bindu
spoke on ending violence against women in order to create
Acharya said that election is the key to democracy. We
should not prolong political transition. In order to achieve
this we should support chief justice to facilitate election.
Juergen Stetten said that civic education has played a
great role in the political development of Germany. This
also helps to strengthens democracy.
In the second session constitutional expert Kashi Raj
Dahal spoke on democracy and womens rights while
chairperson of Womens Department of Tribhuvan University
Dr. Uma Koirala presented paper on Gender Inequality
and Womens Education. Chairman of Engineers
Associaiton Mahendra Gurung and Associate Professor of
Tribhuvan University Dr. Rama Bashyal provided comments
on the paper. Many participants , Ichha Gurung, Shonika
Tamang, Shova Pant, Junu Neupane, Chandra Dev Bhatta,
etc also added comments.
Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (13 March 2013)
Do not just Listen but speak <Top>
Democratic political culture is not possible without
proper civic education for leaders and citizens. Civility
and democracy are fraternal twins. To foster the democratic
knowledge, spirits and disposition, so said the participants
of a seminar jointly organized by Modern Kanya Multiple
Campus (MKMC) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Office,
on the topic Civic Education for Young College Girls.
The seminar was organized to mark the International Women
Day, March 8, 2013.
Chairman Prof. Ram Prasad Dahal of MKMC said that the
college hosts students from all the 75 districts of the
country and hoped that the education our students get
will help change the society in a rational direction and
remove all gender-related violence that is plaguing women.
There is a need for solidarity among women themselves
and between men and women for the equitable social development
of Nepali society, he said.
Speaking on the occasion Head of FES for Asia-Pacific
Region Dr. Juergen Stetten said that in Germany there
was a long struggle waged by women for justice, representation
FES organizes over 4,000 events every year on civic education.
Citizens become frustrated when their leaders do not fulfill
the promises. Integration of every one in society is essential
to build the base of democracy and create fairer outcome
for everyone. But there is a need for active citizens
in every sphere of lives, not just election to make democratic
political culture robust. We are happy with the German
Cooperation and the work of FES in Nepal with multiple
stakeholders including girls.
Another speaker, Stefanie Moser, Desk Officer for South
Asia, quoting Friedrich Ebert said that democracy needs
We need female democrats. What is important is
engagement of citizens to express their interests and
wishes in every day to day affair.
She said Germany has achieved a lot over the decades.
We have Chancellor Angela Merkel but there is a
long way to bridge the gender gap in economy and politics.
Our women are doing better in the university; therefore,
there is possibility for reforms in the future for gender
equal outcome. Women should not just listen but also speak.
Former Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of dissolved
Constituent Assembly (CA) Nilamber Acharya highlighted
that constitutional debates, informed discussion about
issues and awareness about rights that have spread throughout
the nation through the old CA. Now, we have to consolidate
the achievements and organize fresh CA for both drafting
the constitution and steer the nation to constitutional
path to democracy. He said that political consensus for
election environment must be built for this.
Mr. Acharya is a former Communist now turned into a Nepali
Over 200 college girls are provided training on the principles
and practice of civic education by Dr. Uma Koirala and
Justice Kashiraj Dahal.
Nepal ( 9 March 2013)
Adaptive Capacity to the Emerging Geostrategic Shift <Top>
Nepal, occupying strategic geography in the heartland
of Asia, is feeling the heat of global power shift. The
geostrategic impact on its national politics has become
visible with the arrival of multiple actors in and around
its periphery reverberating the concern of both India
and China. Germany, being the key power in the European
Union, feels the pressure for undertaking more responsibility
and significant policy say in Asia. Nepal is not a backwater
of these evolving trends.
Institute of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung,
Nepal Office, organised an interaction programme on Geostrategic
Shift in Asia: Response of German Security and Foreign
Policy on February 15 with visiting German Member
of Parliament (Bundstag) including Johannes Pflug, Member
of Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, Karin
Evers-Meyer, Member of Defense Committee and Budget Committee
and Holger Ortel, Member, Committee on Food, Agriculture
and Consumer Protection. The overarching aim of this talk
programme was to shed light as how Germans view the recent
geostrategic shift in Asia. The event was important for
obvious reasons: Germany has remained an economic power
house of the world for long time and second it has been
a key player in the European Union, the UN and NATO. Germany
has become a lynchpin for international security, peacebuilding
and development initiatives in the world.
Setting the scene for discussion, Prof. Sridhar K. Khatri
said that geostrategic calculations are worked out by
those global powers that have capacity to shift the change
of events to suit the requirements of the global players
as well as the countries associated with it directly or
indirectly. In recent years, the rise of Asian economies,
particularly that of China, and subsequent decline of
the West has aroused the attention of the US and its allies
towards the Asia-Pacific Region. Chinas increasing
ability to restrict USs role in the Western Pacific
owing to its sheer economic strength could also impinge
on other areas valued and championed by the Western powers
such as human rights, capitalism, liberal democracy etc.
The recent statement from the Chairman of the Joint Chief
of Staff of the US said in 2020 and beyond, the
security and economic challenges to our nation migrate
to the Pacific, and demographics migrate to the Pacific,
and it is pretty clear that we have to rebalance.
The outcome of 1st FES Tiergarten Conference of 2012
on fundamental geostrategic Shift suggests that: rebalancing
towards Asia-Pacific is no hype, rebalancing towards Asia-Pacific
will have differentiated consequences for other regions,
more attention and awareness of Asia-Pacific in Europe
is necessary, more political engagement and commitment
is required on the part of Europe and Germany, and there
is a need for a coherent and up-to-date foreign policy.
For Germany, it cannot simply wait for a coherent European
approach to come from Brussels out of the blue. As an
important EU member with strong diplomatic presence in
the region, Berlin needs to play a more proactive
role in facilitating and contributing to a strategic approach
that reflects the US rebalancing towards the region. Such
discussions that are taking place on both sides of Atlantic
indicate that political and economic rise of Asia will
have to be seriously looked into and handled carefully
for the peaceful world order. This also carries significance
for the smaller states in the region including Nepal.
For Nepal, both of its immediate neighbours, India and
China, are seen as rising economic powers and wield tremendous
political powers in the extant world order. Striking a
right strategic balance would be crucial for its economic
prosperity and political stability. However, in recent
time, Nepal has become a centre of geopolitical battle
in the region and its consequences are seen in the domestic
politics as well. Speaking in the programme Johannes Pflug
said that smaller countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and
Bhutan should unite for their well-being and security
and German would be more than happy to lend support to
such initiatives. Johannes Plfug also said that while
China wanted to create a win-win situation for all (an
harmonious society), the US and its allies, for their
part, do not necessarily aspire the same. He pointed out
that so far EU has failed to articulate common foreign
and security policy an Germany has no intention to hold
political power it may, though, be economic one. That
Germany can be a facilitator and mediator in the process.
Pflug also highlighted different security dynamics including
the issues in Afghanistan, Pakistan, northeeast, Arab
world, Africa and South China Sea. He argued stability
in this region will beacon towards regional and world
stability in the long run. Karin Evers-Meyer also said
that Europe is worried about this shift of American power
from Atlantic towards Asia-Pacific and the smaller states
in the region will have to face serious geopolitical implications
arising out of this. The program was attended by over
70 eminenet persons- diplomats, security agencies, officials
of various ministries, politicians, senior civil servants
Source: The Reporter Weekly (1 March 2013)
Of Social Democracy In Nepal <Top>
Ritu Raj Subedi
The Constituent Assembly (CA), which was dissolved without
completing its task, was historic from different viewpoints.
Among its many characteristics, it was dominated by Lefts
and social democrats. More than 62 per cent of the CA
members were from moderate and hardliner communist parties.
Non-Left forces like Nepali Congress and Madhes-based
parties also identified themselves as followers of socialism
and social justice. With UCPN-Maoist formally giving up
violent path and embracing peaceful means to realize socialism,
the three major forces are heading towards a confluence
of their philosophies. NCs democratic socialism,
CPN-UMLs peoples multiparty democracy and
UCPN-Maoists 21st century janabad (capitalist revolution)
have found a common ideological ground to evolve into
social democracy that advocates for peaceful and evolutionary
transition of society from capitalism to socialism. Social
democracy stands for universally accessible public services
such as peoples rights to education, health and
job, and rule of law, social justice, workers rights
and inclusiveness. Unlike neo-liberal democracy, it strives
to create level playing field for all for equal participation
in public life rather that creating spaces for winners
Social democracy was born in the 19th century Europe.
General German Workers Association, founded by German
socialist Ferdinand Lassalle in early 1860s, was perhaps
the first social democratic party. The Association took
the reformist line although it was influenced by international
revolutionary socialism and Communist Manifesto of Karl
Marx and Friedrich Engels. In 1864, International Workingmens
Association, also known as the First International, came
into existence to accommodate the socialists of various
hues and colours. It consisted of different rival socialist
factions. In 1869, Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel
joined their hands to found Social Democratic Workers
Party of Germany on the Marxist line. Since then the social
democratic movements witnessed various ups and downs.
Later version of the movement abandoned Marxs revolutionary
and class conflict approach and adopted evolutionary and
reformist one espoused by Edward Bernstein and Karl Kautsky.
However, before the split of noted socialist thinkers
in different groups over the means of attaining goal,
Marx himself changed his position on the nature of revolution
during the Hague Congress in 1872. He said, We know
that the institutions, customs and traditions in the different
countries must be taken into account; and we do not deny
the existence of countries like America, England, and...I
might add Holland, where the workers may achieve their
aims by peaceful means. But this is not true of all countries
Hence, out of Marxism emerged two schools of socialism:
One group embraced peaceful line of Marxism and became
social democrat, and another one went to advocate pure
Marxism or scientific socialism and took the revolutionary
line, which was later spearheaded by Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg.
The Frankfurt Declaration of Socialist International
was crucial to further advance the cause of social democracy.
It rejected capitalism and one-party rule of communism,
preferred parliamentary democracy, gradual democratic
reforms and ethical values to secure workers rights.
According to noted German social democrat Rudolf Hilferding,
the transition from Marxism to revisionism has been facilitated
by the incapacity of orthodox Marxists to develop a scientific
analysis of social dynamics and scientific prediction
of future developments. The 1930 Great Depression was
the litmus test for the government under the social democrats.
They weathered the crisis with the Keynesian instrument
of state intervention and the adoption of the principles
of welfare state. However, social democracy suffered in
the 1970s as the economic crisis of overloaded welfare
state led to the Thatcher-Reagan counter-revolution. It
promoted neo-liberalism that spanned through 1980s and
1990s, which saw the state a problem and market as the
Political scientist and FES head, Dev Raj Dahal, argued
that a number of factors emerged to deal blow to social
democracy in 1970s. A large section of working class was
elevated to the middle class and the labour was itself
divided into blue-collar and white-collar, which weakened
the workers movement. The privatization of industries
reduced the size of working class and workers were themselves
interested in high-tech job. The spread of non-class values
such as peace, ecology, gender and multiculturalism influenced
the concerns of diverse electorate, he said. In addition
to this, social democracy found it difficult to manage
the globalization of economy, politics and society. However,
in the mid-1990s, social democracy saw its renewal with
electoral defeat of neo-liberal governments at the hand
of social democratic. The invention of Third Way
and New Labour of Tony Blair rejuvenated social
democracy based on changing political dynamics although
Left-leaning social democrats rebelled against Third
Way, which accepted market economy but rejected
the market society.
After becoming federal democratic republic, Nepal has
apparently chosen the path of social democracy as envisaged
in the interim constitution, which has provisions to ensure
social and cultural rights of people such as rights to
work, health, education, habitat and food sovereignty.
It has given due emphasis on inclusiveness and proportional
representation of the marginalized community in the state
organs. Nepals endorsement to civil and political
rights as well as social, economic and cultural rights
of Universal Declaration of Human Rights impelled the
political leadership to chalk out social democratic laws
and policies. Likewise, Nepals adoption of humanitarian
laws, social charter of SAARC, Kyoto Protocol, womens
rights and social justice provisions of ILO encourages
the state agencies to work for the guarantee of social
justice. More importantly, the majority of populace demands
that the state should increase its role to provide social
security and the benefits of the welfare state to the
citizens. As an improvised nation, Nepal is not in a position
to expand welfare economy. In addition, the country is
in the midst of political and constitutional crisis, which
has prevented it from realizing economic aspirations.
Despite this bitter reality, most of the political parties
have stood for social justice, economic equality and inclusiveness,
which can only be achieved within the social democratic
Rising Nepal ( 24 February 2013)
MPs interacts with local people in Gaidakot <Top>
Gaindakot, Nawalpaasi: FES Nepal office in cooperation
with local NGO, Sahamati, organized a half-day interaction
program at Gaindakot between the visiting parliamentarians
Johannes Pflug, Foreign Affairs Committee, Karin Evers-Meyer,
Defense and Budget Committee and Holger Ortel, Agriculture
and Defense Committee of German Bundestag and local leaders,
NGOs, citizens groups, civil society and officials of
development organizations of Chitwan and Nawalparasi.
Welcoming the participants head of FES Nepal office Dev
Raj Dahal introduced the theme Continuity and Transformation
at the Local Level and explained that Nepal sought
to achieve transformation in five domainscontext,
discourse, issues, rules and actors. But, these changes
remains far from consolidated as political leaders failed
to transform sovereignty to people, make politics public
and transform diverse people into equal citizens. Precondition
for modernization in areaseducation, economy, technology,
organization and leadership behavior, accountability and
responsiveness remained weak. Only transformational leadership,
not transactional, authoritarian and personalized, is
capable of sustaining the change underway and balance
three groups of rightsindividual, group-specific
and human rightsand steer the nations politics
in responsive direction seeking to link rule with rights
and duties and achieve self-governance. He said at the
moment there is only governance, not elected government
of the people at the local level.
Johannes Pflug narrating the difficult days of Germany
during Great Wars said that in Nepal, political parties
can play constructive role to make politics responsive
and democratic and make social contract binding to all
sides. We all three MPs have started our career with local
politics and addressed the needs of local people for health,
education, sanitation, jobs, infrastructural and development
needs allowing people to harness their potentialities.
National politics should have strong base in local politics,
economy and society. We can fight in the German parliament
for the possible support for Nepals initiatives
and take the funding to right place.
Another speaker Holger Ortel said that for the development
of your villages there is no need for you to become a
member of any political party. You have to avoid extreme
partisanship and overcome ideology. There is also no need
to have higher level of education to become a leader.
What is essential is common sense which is possessed by
everyone. But you have to decide what is right for you.
Local governance is generally based on the principle of
subsidiarity, that is, decisions have to be taken at the
local level who have to bear the costs and share benefits.
People should be the center of development.
Karin Evers-Meyer, who extended immense support to Sahaj
Community Hospital said that Germany has a high level
of affection for Nepal and the Nepalese people. I have
started politics from grassroots level. At that time villagers
were facing scarcity of many basic needs. I tried to solve
the problems of my community. Then I got elected at the
district and became mayor. For Nepal also the urgent task
for Nepal is election for the parliament and local bodies.
Parliament monitors and directs the government, sees whether
the government has performed assigned tasks or not and
makes them accountable to the people. In Nepal also, people
are very conscious of their rights.
Therefore, you should focus on both national and local
election as they provide legitimacy to rule and your representatives
will help to solve your problems. Government is an instrument
to improve peoples living standards. Above 40 speakers
of the area including Susma Bajracharya, Chau En-Lai Shrestha,
Padma Prasad Ghimire, Bhuvan Ale, Rajiv Neupane, Laxmi
P. Khatowada, Radha Chapagain, Badri Nepal, Bhim Prasad
Sharma and Karun Sagar Subedi, interacted with the visiting
Source: Peoples Review (Thursday, 21 February
Shift in Asia, German reply on Security and FP <Top>
Mrs Karin Evers-Meyer, SPD MP, German Bundestag
How is Germany stepping out of decades of pacifism/military
non-intervention into a bigger role for security within
Europe and NATO? What impact has Germanys rise as
an economic power on its security policy?
Mrs. Karin Evers-Meyer, MP from German Bundestag (SPD)
was here in town for a short trip. Prior to her departure
to Berlin, she made a small but yet beautiful presentation
as regards the German foreign policy measures now being
undertaken at a brief seminar organized by Nepal Institute
of Foreign Affairs, February 15, 2013. She has already
left for her home country.
- Asia has accomplished a remarkable development preserving
its unique character.
- Lot of things happening here in Nepal.
- Germany a friend of Nepal and Asia.
- Germany is not a teacher, but as an assistant, and
- US says and demands more responsibility and
a larger share of the burden.
- In saying so US wants more money from Germany.
- SPD demands UN nod for military engagement.
- US doesnt exert pressure on Germany.
- Germany makes its weight felt for peace wherever it
Karin speech begins:
Many things have changed in Asia over the last
decades. Asia has accomplished a remarkable development
while preserving its unique character. On the political
side, the elections in Myanmar, the economic rise of China
and the situation in Afghanistan are the probably the
most obvious developments perceived in Europe. And, of
course, we do see a lot of things happening here in Nepal.
Germany is and will continue to be a friend of the Nepali
people and a friend of Asia. We are aware of the responsibilities
that we have in the international community. Germany makes
its weight felt for peace wherever necessary, and is a
trustworthy partner when a crisis strikes.
German foreign policy appreciates, that different cultures,
languages, views, religions and ways of living are an
asset, not a burden. It is our political understanding
that tolerance is a matter of course. When being asked
for help, Germany is not coming as a teacher, but as an
assistant, and a friend. The best assistance supplies
the means and abilities to those in need, to let their
energy float freely to get into the position to ensure
that the job is done.
Geostrategic shifts are not a new development at all
in international politics. Policy is a feature of development
and progress, too. It is not a static feature unable to
adapt and react accordingly. Hopefully, politics provides
a degree of consistency and reliability. The care for
security is independent of a countrys economic power.
It is an attitude.
Germany can be trusted to consider upon its foreign policy
very carefully - its duties within NATO or the European
Union notwithstanding. Frankly speaking, when, for example,
America says that it demands more responsibility
and a larger share of the burden from Germany, I
understand they want us to pay more money. Well, ok. This
is not a new thing to happen. And it also may be indicated
from time to time. But for Germany it is the parliament
that will decide at last.
Indeed, we know our duties, and we are prepared to make
our impact felt. We already do so at the coasts of Somalia
where we provide security for ships. In Mali where we
are present with combat medic. And in Turkey we help to
bring stability into a fragile region in collaboration
with other nations. Let me be clear: Germany does not
sense pressure from the government of the United States
of America to step in more intensely. As it does not sense
pressure from any other country. In the Social Democratic
Party of Germany, which I am a member of, we believe that
a United Nations mandate is the ground for deciding upon
a military engagement. I do not see this changing, and
I consider this the right basis of decision for us.
Coming as a guest to Nepal today feels really good. On
behalf of our tiny delegation let me thank you for your
hospitality and kindness we are experiencing every day.
It is our perception that we are meeting friends here
in Nepal. I am sure that we will return with the best
feelings about your beautiful country and people. And
I also hope that our visit will increase the degree of
cooperation and communication between our countries. In
fact, I do not have the slightest doubt.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (20 February 2013)
MPs Stress on accountability of leaders <Top>
Three members of parliament of German Bundestag visited
Gaindakot, February 14, 2013, to remain abreast with the
local democratic process of Nepal.
On that occasion FES Nepal office in cooperation with
Sahamati, an NGO, organized an interaction program between
German Parliamentarians Johannes Pflug, member of Foreign
Affairs Committee, Karin Evers-Meyer, member of Defense
and Budget Committee and Holger Ortel, member of Agriculture
and Transportation Committee of Bundestag and local leaders
of Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts.
Addressing over 60 participants, Johannes Pflug explained
the purpose of the delegation visit which had been to
give a boost to political parties and enable them to solve
the current stalemate.
He touched upon the difficulty of political transition
of South Asian countries including Nepal. He added, democracy
thrives in moderate space. Unfortunately, this space is
squeezing due to rise of undemocratic elements. Extremist
forces are trying to weaken both democratic space and
the state. In Nepal, political parties have to play constructive
role to make politics responsive to the citizens
demands and make social contract, a working constitution
binding to all sides. We all three MPs have started our
career with local politics and helped our people to address
their needs such as health, education, sanitation, jobs,
infrastructural and development needs. National politics
should have strong base in local ecology, politics, economy
and society. He promised to fight in the German parliament
for the possible support for Nepals democratic,
development and peace initiatives. Big parties should
support the smaller parties after election and tell them
how can we help you and how can we work together. We would
like to compromise. They should work together for the
resolution of practical issues based on ground realities.
Recovery of Nepals post-conflict condition also
requires extensive public works and creation of opportunities
for youth, poor and unemployed for works. Ideology only
operates at theoretical level which too is revised once
reality is changed. On behalf of German MPs he expressed
thanks to Nepali hosts for the warmness they extended
to them as well as enabling them to know the local conditions.
Karin Evers-Meyer, who immensely contributed to a medium-sized
Sahaj Community Hospital said that she started politics
from grassroots level and supported the community upliftment
projects. Then she got elected at the district for mayor
ship. She suggested the Nepalese leaders to organize the
election of the parliament and local bodies so that it
would be easier to monitor the performance and functions
of the government. In Nepal also, she found people conscious
of their rights and added that they can make the leaders
accountable in solving their problems. Government is an
instrument to improve peoples living standards.
Nation-building can be completed only when women play
pro-active role in public affairs and politics and influence
public policies, Mrs. Karin observed.
Another speaker Holger Ortel said that for the development
of your villages there is no need for you to become a
member of any political partyUML or Congress. You
have to avoid extreme partisanship and overcome ideological
obsessions. Good education helps to understand and solve
problems. But what is important in politics is common
sense which is possessed by every individual.
FES, GIZ and other development organizations should contribute
to local development, said Mr. Ortel.
These agencies can only show you the ways of development
based on international experience, but you have to decide
what is right for you. Local governance is generally based
on the principle of subsidiarity, that is, decisions have
to be taken at the local level. People should be the end
of development and then comes the nation. You have to
broaden your understanding to get cooperation from others.
People have rights to put their demands on the government.
The earning classes have to pay the tax and the government
should increase the budget on education from 10 to 15
percent of the national budget.
Dev Raj Dahal, Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal
office introduced the theme about social transformation
in Nepal and said that Nepal sought to achieve transformation
in five domainscontext, discourse, issues, rules
and actors. He said that Nepalese leaders and attentive
public are using various terms-social change, social transformation
and revolution to describe Nepals shift of regime
power without knowing their deeper meaning and without
creating preconditions. It was, therefore, difficult to
consolidate change as political leaders failed to transform
sovereignty to people, make politics public and transform
diverse people into impersonal equal citizens. Consolidation
of change requires modernization in five key areaseducation,
economy, technology, organization and leadership behavior,
accountability and responsiveness. Only transformational
leadership is capable of sustaining the change and balance
three groups of rights-individual, group-specific and
human rights-and steer the nations politics in responsive
direction. He said at the moment there is only governance,
not elected government of the people at the local level.
Active citizenship can help achieve local government elections
and address the concern of citizens for education, health,
irrigation, jobs and other daily necessities of life.
The presentation was followed by lively discussion. Among
the participants were Susma Bajracharya, Chau En-Lai Shrestha,
Badri Nepal, Radha Chapagain, Padma Prasad Ghimire, Bhuvan
Ale, Rajiv Neupane, Laxmi P. Khatiwada and Karun Sagar
Bhim Prasad Sharma, Chairman of Sahaj Cooperative Hospital,
thanked the German parliamentarians for sparing their
time with them and sharing their experiences with the
local people, supporting their initiatives and sharing
concern for development. He thanked Karin Evers-Meyer
for supporting the Sahaj Cooperative Hospital and FES
for supporting the program.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (20 February 2013)
Talk on Geostrategic
Shift in Asia held <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Feb 15: The Institute of Foreign Affairs in
collaboration with FES Nepal organised a talk programme
on "Geostrategic Shift in Asia: Response of German
Security and Foreign Policy" in the capital Friday.
German members of parliament Johannes Pflug, member of
committee on political affairs and democracy, Karin Evers-Meyer,
member of defense and budget committee and Holger Ortel,
member of committee on food, agriculture and consumer
protection were present in the programme.
Pflug said tht geostrategic shift that was taking place
in the world would have serious implication on the regional
and global security. "The rise of China, India and
subsequent decline of European Union and other powers
would bring new dynamics in the region."
For smaller countries in South Asia, this will have a
special meaning for their own survival and they also need
to adjust their policy with these changing global shifts
of power, Pflug noted.
Dr. Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, Kul Chandra Gautam, Rajan Bhattarai
and CP Gajurel also spoke at the function. Professor Shreedhar
Khatri chaired the session.
Source: The Rising Nepal (16 February 2013)
suggested ending Deadlock soon <Top>
The visiting German parliamentarians Johannes Pflug,
Holger Ortel and Karin Evers-Meyer to Gaindakot expressed
concern about Nepal's political stories and suggested
Nepalese parties to break this situation as soon as possible.
German parties played key role to break their authoritarian
past and build modern architecture of development. They
also suggested Nepalese parties to work for the nation's
well beings. They interacted with local leaders, citizens
and representatives of social institutions of Chitwan
and Nawalparasi districts intensively about local and
national developments and busied themselves. They visited
Sahaj Community Hospital in Nawalparasi district run by
Sahamati - an NGO having chapters in various parts of
In a brief press meet at Bharatpur airport they said
that Nepalese leaders have to be serious to solve the
nation's problems. This is possible if they shorten the
political transition. Karin Evers-Meyer said that Nepali
government should focus on solving people's problems.
She also expressed happiness to extend cooperation to
Sahaj Community hospital. Bhim Prasad Sharma, Chairman
of the hospital, explained the purpose of the visit of
German parliamentarians and expected more cooperation
in the days ahead. He also said that Nepal has to learn
from the German progress in many areas. Head of FES, Dev
Raj Dahal explained the transformation process in Nepal
in a number of areas and the need for the modernization
of the country. He said German cooperation is selfless.
Chairman of Sahamati Karun Sagar Subedi, member of international
department of Nepali Congress party Chauyenlai Shrestha
and other greeted the guests.
Meanwhile the same day Sahaj Community hospital, Gaindakot
and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organized a dialogue on "Continuity
and Transformation at the Local Level: Sharing of German
- Nepali Experience". German MP Johannes Pflug, member
of Foreign Affair Committee, shared the problems of Germany
in the first and second world wars to now. Another MP
Karin Evers-Meyer from defense and budget committee and
MP Holger Ortel of agriculture and transport committee
focused on the principle of subsidiary, that the local
problems should be solved locally. They all stressed on
local development as a backbone of strengthening democracy.
Chairman of Sahamati Karuna Sagar Subedi said that the
visit of German MPs will be a milestone to expedite the
solution of Nepal's problems. Bhim Prasad Sharma thanked
all the guests and participants.
Source: KayaKairan Daily News (15 February 2013)
parliamentarians concerned about ongoing political stalemate
Visiting Gaidakot, Nawalparasi District German Parliamentarians
expressed their views that the ongoing political stalemate
in Nepal has to be ended. They suggested that stalemate
causes instability. Referring the case of Germany they
said that political parties played creative role for the
rise of Germany as prosperous nation. They added Nepalese
parties should play important role for the prosperity
of Nepali nation.
They have arrived at Nawalparasi to interact with the
local leaders, NGOs civil society and development organization
of Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts on the political
situation of the country and know the progress in development.
They were busy on Thursday interacting with people and
visiting the Sahaj Community Hospital, run by Sahamati
which also organized program on "Continuity and Transformation
at the Local Level: Sharing of German-Nepali Experience"
German parliamentarian Karin Evers-Meyer, Holger Ortel
and Johannes Pflug sharing their views expressed that
leaders have to solve the problem of people. Bhim Prasad
Sharma, Chairman of Sahaj Community Hospital, viewed that
we have to learn a lot from German experience of democracy
and development. Dev Raj Dahal, Head of FES, said that
German attitude toward Nepal is always Cooperative and
Source: Chitwan Post, Daily (15 February 2013,
parliamentarian in Gaindakot <Top>
German Parliamentarians suggested Nepali political parties
to end current deadlock as soon as possible. Positive
and democratic behavior of German political parties transformed
authoritarian post into a modern nation. They also stressed
Nepalese leaders to stress on peace and prosperity.
They have come to Gaidakot to interact with political
leaders, social workers and civil society to discuss about
Nepal political and development situation. They were busy
in visiting Sahaj Community hospital run by Sahamati -
a national NGOs and interacted with the community members
the whole Thursday. Speaking to the journalists at Bharatpur
Airport they expressed that Nepalese leaders should reduce
the time of political transition and engage in solving
the problems of the country.
German Member of Parliament Karin Evers-Meyers after
visiting Sahaj Community Hospital said that she is happy
to support the hospital and added that Nepali government
would be able to solve the problem of people.
Bhim Prasad Sharma, chairman of Sahaj Community Hospital,
narrated the purpose of visit of German parliamentarian
and expected more cooperation from the German side in
the coming days. He also said that Nepal has to learn
a lot from the Germany's democratic development.
Head of German Political Foundation FES in Nepal Dev
Raj Dahal said that the EU and Germany often see Nepali
positively. German team was greeted by the people at Bharatpur
airport. Chairman of Sahamati Karun Sagar Subedi and Nepali
Congress leader Chauyenlai Shrestha also welcomed the
Source: Loktantra Sandesh, National Daily ( 14
February 2013, Gaidakot)