Nepal in the Press 2014
of Civic Education <Top>
Raj Kumar K.C
RECENTLY there was a news report
about physical assault; a septuagenarian man in eastern
Nepal was severely beaten by his son over a dispute relating
to distribution of parental property. Another news report
about an old lady from an affluent family in Kathmandu
was forced to leave her home after the death of her husband.
Similarly, a high school teacher was beaten by his own
students for not letting them to cheat in the examinations.
These are the events that have not been quite rare in
the recent years. It is often said that the society has
been experiencing a harrowing decline of civic sense.
Particularly the new generation profusely lack civic sense
which has caused social anomalies, corruption, and political
instability. Why does corruption happen? It also happens
in economically developed society, but is more rampant
in a society which is ravaged by poverty and socio-economic
disparity. Moreover, impunity in the name of democracy
has triggered lots of aberrations.
However, society scientists are
bowled over the increasing trend of social anomalies taking
place in the recent decades. They are of the view that
growing poverty along with population growth has largely
contributed to frustration among youths. What are the
reasons for decline in civic skills and civic disposition
among the youths in Nepalese society? How has it affected
the overall social phenomenon?
The reasons behind decline in
civic skills and civic disposition are simple. Firstly,
today's youths are largely influenced by the distorted
forms of western culture which does not fit into our society
because the value they have does not match with ours.
They have better civic sense and posses greater degree
of civic skills and disposition which are appropriate
in the western culture, whereas the values that our society
bears are different. Secondly, lack of social security,
economic opportunity can also be blamed for deterioration
of civility among youths. Thirdly, illiteracy and lack
of access to national resources has also caused frustration
among people. A kind of enviousness among youths due to
growing disparity has also caused resentment 'why should
I regard this?' This kind of attitude has made them more
Besides, our education system
has lots of flaws. Today's education is more fragmented.
If one studies mathematics, he/she has the knowledge of
mathematics alone. It has become 'one way traffic', says
Dev Raj Dahal, a social scientist and author.
However, there are different dimensions
that affect civic skills and civic disposition. Economic
dimension, socio-cultural dimension, academic dimension
all these factors largely contribute to shaping of civic
Even great Hindu civic educator
Chanakya has affirmed that civility and depravity are
diametrically opposite. Civility cannot be expected in
a society where there is poverty and the poverty ultimately
causes corruption, crimes and social anomalies.
It is said that a society becomes
corrupt once the tendency of grabbing power, property
and position is on the rise. Moreover, the Nepalese society
is largely based on fatalism (belief that is based on
fate) that can put the civility in jeopardy (Bista: Fatalism
and Development, 1994).
According to Margaret S. Branson,
Associate Director and Charles N. Quigley, Executive Director
of Center for Civic Education of George Washington University
in the US, Civic education, is or should be a prime concern.
There is no more important task than the development of
an informed, effective, and responsible citizenry.
Democracies are sustained by citizens
who have the requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
Absent a reasoned commitment on the part of its citizens
to the fundamental values and principles of democracy,
a free and open society cannot succeed. It is imperative;
therefore, that educators, policymakers, and members of
civil society make the case and ask for the support of
civic education from all segments of society and from
the widest range of institutions and governments.
Civility does vary according to
the social values and beliefs. On top of that socio-economic
factors also determine the overall attitude of people.
When the attitude of people in a certain society moves
towards civility the ripples can be seen in nearby area.
But, the economy and literacy do play a vital role. Civic
skills and civic disposition can be expected only through
Civic education, according to
Dahal is an education about enlightenment about freedom
from all kinds of 'subordination'-- familial, civic, political
But civic education cannot be
confined within the boundary of enlightenment and freedom
alone, it has wider perspective. To understand it in a
simple way, it is a process of learning that changes our
behavior in holistic manner through which a person does
realize the existence of others including that of animals
and nature. Renowned Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky
in his novel 'Crime and Punishment' has stated that civility
is simply an acknowledgement of existence of others in
There is no need to eulogize the
civic education; one can simply understand it as the realization
of other's liberty/ freedom. Parijat, a littérateur
in her famous novel Blue Mimosa (Shiris ko Phool) has
also underlined the need to be sensible towards other
However, psychologists, social
scientists and even development experts are greatly puzzled
with decline in civic skills and civic disposition among
the Nepalese youths in the recent decades. No authentic
remarks have been made in this regard so far, but based
on the views appeared in the social media, cases of social
anomalies have been rampant particularly after the restoration
of democracy in 1990 and has become more rampant in the
aftermath of People's Movement in 2006.
There could be a number of reasons
behind gradual decline of civic sense among the majority
of Nepalese youths, but political instability along with
poor management of national resources and over-politicization
noticeably sparked frustrations in almost every sector.
It is the fact that accumulation of frustrations gradually
caused erosion of civility in the Nepalese society. Erosion
of civic sense did not happen overnight, it is continuously
dying down. There is a debate on the issue - whether poverty,
political instability, deepening disparity heaped up anomalies
or burgeoning social stigma caused poverty, political
instability. But everybody agrees with the fact that dwindling
political-economy is the prime reason that is wearing
down civic sense in the Nepalese society.
In the past there was a fear of
sin as mentioned in the religion. People had some kind
of regards towards nature, animal and the entire universe
as a result of which a kind of ecological balance was
in existence. Over the period of time, material development
heavily encroached nature that has often been boomeranged
as natural disaster. Harmony or co-existence with nature
is possible only through enlightenment (Dahal: 2014).
The root cause of all anomalies,
according to Prof. Ram Kumar Dahal is the inability/lack
of understanding towards the existence of others which
can be rectified by the civic education. However, economist
Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma points out at economic aspects for
fair and fearless society. Economy is the pivotal that
determines every aspect in a society. Civic skills and
civic disposition cannot be expected from an individual
who is economically deprived. Hence civic education with
plethora of economic instruments is more meaningful from
the point of view of making a stable and healthy society.
Economic Dimension of Civic
Every individual needs some kind
of economic assurance. He/she wants to be economically
secured. In developed western society, the state provides
economic support to its citizens. Through the economic
empowerment, the individuals become more assured for their
basic needs and develop a pride towards the nation. They
expect that their etiquettes enrich the society. On the
other hand, the states which do not provide social security
to their citizens can seldom expect civility to the desired
extent because every individual wants to be economically
secured for themselves and their kids.
The objective of civic education
cannot be fulfilled as long as people remain in poverty.
A hungry man does hardly display civic skills and civic
disposition. A local participant at a seminar on Civic
Education for Youths in Dapcha, Kavrepalanchowk recently
confided that today's youths have no option other than
going abroad for blue-collar job. The state does not provide
any support and the opportunity for economic subsistence
is bleak. In such a situation, how can we expect our youths
to display civic skills?
Dr. Sharma also firmly believes
that the government should be well-aware about economic
opportunity for the youths, otherwise they do not see
their future here and civility becomes a far-cry. Economic
opportunity with civility makes development sustainable
and a society becomes peaceful and stable. Hence, economic
development and civic education should go hand in hand.
If they go together people become happy and regard the
existence of others.
Political/ Socio-cultural Dimension
The politics need not, indeed
must not be a zero-sum game. The idea that "winner
takes all" has no place in a democracy, because if
losers lose all they will opt out of the democratic game.
Sharing is essential in a democratic
society the sharing of power, of resources, and of responsibilities.
In a democratic society the possibility of effecting social
change is ever present, if citizens have the knowledge,
the skills and the will to bring it about. That knowledge,
those skills and the will or necessary traits of private
and public character are the products of a good civic
education (Branson and Quigley, Role of Civic Education,
A society cannot move forward
in the absence of political stability, because politics
gives guideline to the society. Lack of civility makes
politics stagnant and drags the nation towards failure.
Therefore, affirmative political culture is a must to
make people citizen. (Dahal, Shiva Raj, 2014)
Apart from political culture,
timely changes should be made in our education system.
Education, according to Bista is not looked upon as an
act of acquiring intellectual power or technical skills,
but is another form of ritualistic behavior. On being
educated the worldview of some students may be modified,
and acculturation may support the development of genuinely
instrumental ideas. But this is not the common response
to education in Nepal (Bista, Fatalism and Development,
However, the importance of civic
education has been gaining ground across the world. Many
East Asian countries including Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
have introduced civic education in their school level
curricula. China has laid more focus on civic education
from the primary school.
Hence, in this context, Nepal
should not delay in introducing civic education to make
youths more civic and responsible towards their society.
For sustainable development and good governance, importance
of civic education cannot be ignored. Let's hope our society
would become more sensible and our youths become more
well-mannered with plenty of glow in their face. Plethora
of civic sense and civic disposition reflect positivism
and make a society more affluent and able.
Bista, Dor Bahadur, Fatalism And
Development - Nepal's Struggle for Modernization, 1994
Branson and Quigley, Role of Civic Education, 2014, George
Washington University, USA
Chanakya, Chanakya Niti &Kautilya Arthashatra- Translated
and collected by Banmali Subedi, 2007
Dahal, Dev Raj, Civic Education through Multipliers of
Knowledge, 2014 (Unpublished)
Dahal Shiva Raj, Civic Education for Youths, 2014 (Unpublished)
Source: The Rising Nepal, Friday
Supplement (27 December 2014)
to idea of hindering statute process in pretext of consensus:
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 24: CPN-UML chairman KP Sharma Oli Wednesday
said that his party was for writing the new constitution
in consensus but it objected to the idea of obstructing
the entire statute writing process in the name consensus.
"We want to forge consensus on fundamental issues
of the constitution but we protest that there should be
consensus in all contents of the constitution," Oli
said, speaking at a one-day seminar 'Institutionalization
of inner party democracy in Nepal' jointly organised by
the Centre for Legal Consultancy and Research (CeLCAR)
and FES, Nepal office, here.
Oli said that the UML always stood for national unity
Registering his strong opposition to the creation of
ethnic states Oli said: "Our party will not allow
Nepal to turn into Rwanda and Crimea. Nepal is a multicultural
society and making new provinces on the basis of ethnicity
is simply unacceptable."
"Prithvi Narayan Shah had said that Nepal is a garden
of 4 castes and 36 colours but some communist leaders
do not have perceptive power to comprehend the character
of Nepali society even in a way the unifier of Nepal did
some 240 years ago," Oli said.
He noted that there has been a tendency not to abide
by laws, constitution and morality.
"If you do not agree on my stance, I do not come
to consensus is what the UCPN-Maoist has been saying,"
"The Constituent Assembly is a sovereign body and
it cannot be subordinate to its thematic committee. By
creating rumours of consensus, there is tendency to include
anti-people elements in the statute. Can the CA not take
its decisions independently? The current CA is not the
part of first CA and it is not tied to the decisions of
the first CA," said the UML leader.
Stating that the UML initiated the process to strengthen
internal democracy in Nepal and other parties followed
suit, Oli said that collective leadership, institutional
decisions and accountability towards the people were prerequisite
to the democratization of the parties.
He also said that he would step down as the party chair
after completing one term to promote internal democracy
in the party.
UML secretary Pradeep Gyawali said that the democratization
of the political parties was the key to the democratization
of the entire society. He highlighted the efforts the
UML made in the direction of promoting inner democracy
and its impact on other parties.
Political scientist and FES, Nepal office head Dev Raj
Dahal said that inner party democracy needed constant
political education about enlightenment so that leaders,
cadres and citizens knew not to behave arbitrarily and
remove those agencies of socialization that subordinated
them, disseminate democratic values in the society, political
parties, leadership and governing institutions, create
democratic institutions and promote participative civic
"Democracy ought to be an active verb in the parties
to make their structures robust and functional, not just
the passive noun with no concerns to the political promises,"
Political analyst Purshotam Dahal said that co-forces
of democracy such as media and professional groups needed
to be democratized for promoting inner party democracy.
CPN-Maoist leader Suresh Ale Magar warned his party might
choose using force to usher in proletariat-led revolution
now or in the future.
Political scientist Lal Babu Yadav said that over 80
per cent Madhesi people were against the One Madhes One
Province and the new federal design should include the
mountains, hills and Tarai belt.
CeLCAR chief Bhesh Raj Adhikari said that the seminar
sought to unleash creative debates on the inner democracy
involving the concerned stakeholders.
UML leader Gyawali, political analyst Muma Ram Khanal
and Adhikari presented their working papers on the themes
of internal democracy as practiced by the political parties
Source: The Rising Nepal (25 December 2014)
on time still possible: Nembang <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 24: At a time when the major political
parties have been sharply divided over the contents of
the new constitution, Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman
Subas Nembang Wednesday sounded a note of optimism about
the timely constitution writing.
"There is still possibility of promulgating the
new constitution by deadline through the amendment of
the CA regulations if the political parties agree for
this," Nembang said speaking at a seminar on ' Role
of Media in Nation Building' organized by the Federation
of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in cooperation with the FES,
Nepal office here.
Chairman Nembang underlined the need for consensus for
writing the statute by 22 January 2015.
Pointing to the leaders, he said: "You should work
round the clock to strike consensus on the disputed issues
of the constitution so as to meet the deadline."
CPN UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal attributed the current
deadlock to the lack of mutual understanding among the
He urged the main opposition UCPN- Maoist to create an
environment conducive to promulgating the new statute
by including differing opinions for the time being.
Nepal said that the UML would not accept federal states
based on single ethnic identity.
"The federal structure should be based on national
and geographical unity, and the elements of inclusiveness
democracy," he added.
He said that the new statute could not incorporate everyone's
demands but it should be amended according to the needs
and demands of time.
Former Prime Minister and leader of the UCPN-Maoist Dr
Baburam Bhattarai said there was no alternative but to
unravel the knot of disputed issues among the parties
for the time constitution writing.
"The constitution is a legal document of agreement.
The constitution promulgated through two-thirds majority
will not be acceptable to all," he added.
He noted that there was no alternative to institutionalizing
the achievements made through Comprehensive Peace Accord,
12-point understanding and different democratic movements.
Nepali Congress general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula
said that the new constitution should be promulgated from
the CA even by adopting the process if consensus eluded
the political parties.
"Unlike a religious text, the statute can be amended
after receiving new people's mandate," he added.
Senior journalist Yubaraj Ghimire said the constitution
promulgated through the 'fast track schedule' would deprive
the larger section of populace of participation in the
Programme officer at the FES, Nepal office C D Bhatta
called for striking a right balance between the universal
and local values to address various types of conflicts
and maintain Nepali-ness and facilitate statute writing
process. "National identity derives from language,
religion, culture and tradition," he added.
Press Council Nepal Chairman Borna Bahadur Karki said
the nation would plunge into calamity if the constitution
was not promulgated in time.
A host of speakers, including FNJ president Dr Mahendra
Bista, its former chairman Shiva Gaule, Nepal Press Union
president Badri Sigdel and Press Chautari Nepal chair
Rajendra Aryal called for ensuring press freedom in the
Source: The Rising Nepal (25 December 2014)
Civic education stressed to maintain
social values <Top>
By Our Correspondent
Bhotechaur, Nov 29
The anomalies that the society has been encountering
after the reinstatement of democracy in 1990 are mainly
due to gradual degeneration of social values and failure
of political leadership thereafter. On top of that inability
of state in addressing the burgeoning aspirations of people
can also be blamed for disorder, discontent and derailment
of politics. Our education system has become more 'fragmented'
as a result of which it has failed to deliver social needs,
said sociologists while sharing their views with enthusiast
local people in this tiny, green touristic village.
Divulging on the issues at an interaction programme on
'Civic Education to Youths', they said that dearth of
civic sense among people ultimately drags a society towards
Speaking at the inaugural session of a day-long programme,
Executive Director of Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies
(NEFAS) Prof. Ananda Prasad Shrestha expressed his firm
belief that civic sense among people largely contribute
to the democratization process. Hence, our youths should
have greater sense of social values and ethics. The interaction
programme, Shrestha said adding that would at least help
in gathering opinions from the people living in different
parts of the country. Moreover, youths who are the torch-bearers,
should be well-aware about civic education. He further
said that informed youths should take the lead. If youths
become uninformed, consolidation of democracy is not possible,
said Prof. Shrestha.
Head of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Dev Raj Dahal
explained how the FES came into being and works for peace,
liberty, social justice and freedom through its offices
in 125 countries. He further said that civic education
makes people aware about social values, sustainable development,
co-existence and mutual understanding. Today we are becoming
educated, but our knowledge has become more specialized
or segmented. We are losing our wisdom no matter what
level of education we achieve. Hence, our emphasis should
be on widening our knowledge based on wisdom.
Therefore, civic education largely helps in building
wisdom of an intellect, he said.
Referring to the Hindu philosophy, he said our society
is based on knowledge, hence Buddha has suggested to enlighten
ourselves (Apa Dipo Vaba). It's great lesson that we should
learn to enlighten ourselves. Awareness is not possible
without developing inner vision, said Dahal adding that
civic education helps in metamorphosing people into citizen.
Civic education is praxis - it constitutes a relation
of politics to people's life and supports and equality
and brotherhood as opposed o petty infantilism and arrogant
juvenility. It teachers that leaders are neither divine
nor superior to citizens, he said.
Critical debates civil rights and duties can be expected
to contribute to strengthening the bedrock of citizens'
attachment with the state, polity and public institutions
and build a social and national consensus for policy coherence
on the basis of the changing popular mandate, he said.
Prof. Gunanidhi Sharma dwelling upon the economic issues
emphasized the need for economic empowerment. Today's
youths should be cautious as how the national resources
have been sneaked by a handful of people. If youths remain
unaware about politics, there will be a dominance of regressive
forces, he said.
Prof. Sharma further said that civic education would
at least generate awareness about the rights and responsibilities
Prof. Ram Kumar Dahal outlining the essence of civic
education said that it would generate awareness among
budding youths that it is the politics that leads the
society towards a certain direction. Hence, politics should
not go into wrong hands. It is the civic education that
teaches us to bolster social values, he said.
Presenting a working paper sociologist Shiv Raj Dahal
said that civic education largely contribute to uphold
social values. He said that anomalies and frustrations
that have spoilt our younger generation are mainly due
to harrowing fall of our social values. If this continues,
we cannot imagine our future, he said.
There has been a growing concern about civic education
in India, China and other Asian countries, so we should
lay our priority to educate our people- specially youths
as what their role should be in the society. Consolidation
of democracy is not possible without informed youths;
hence it is our efforts to draw the attention of youth
from different parts of the country.
From the chair, Padam Bahadur Karki, principal of the
Sri Saraswoti Higher Secondary School at Bhotechaur spoke
about the significance of civic education to boost morale
of youths. Over 125 people including 45 female participants
from different walks of life actively took part in the
The programme was organized by the NEFAS in association
Source: The Rising Nepal (30 November 2014)
Civic Education <Top>
Rameshwor Adhikary: Dapcha, Nepal Foundation for Advanced
Studies, NEFAS, organized a one-day seminar on civic education
for youth. Organized at Sri Krishna Multiple Campus Head
of FES Prof. Dev Raj Dahal, Former Vice-Chairman of National
Planning Commission Prof. Dr. Gunanidhis Sharma, Senior
Political Scientist of Tribhuvan University Prof. Dr.
Ram K. Dahal, Prof. Anand Prasad Srestha and Program Coordinator
Shiva Raj Dahal trained the participants. Altogether 150
participants-youths, politicians,and teachers surrounding
Dapcha area participated the meeting.
Source: Madhya Marga Weekly (30 November 2014)
Ready to Enforce ARC Suggestions: Pandit <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Nov 17: Experts and top government officials
Monday laid emphasis on accountability, rule of law and
political stability to ensure good governance and quick
They were for symbiotic ties between the bureaucrats
and politicians so as to minimise conflict between them
and ensure prompt service delivery.
They expressed these views at a seminar on 'Constitutional
Accountability, Justice Execution and Administrative Reforms
in the Context of Good Governance,' jointly organised
by the Administrative Court and Friedrick Ebert Stiftung,
Minister for General Administration Lal Babu Pandit said
that he was ready to implement the recommendations of
the Administrative Reform Commission to make the bureaucracy
dynamic and efficient.
Calling for coordination and enhancing trust between
the politicians and the administrators, Minister Pandit
noted that every problem seen in the bureaucracy could
be resolved if all put the nation and the people above
any other consideration.
On statute writing, he said, "The leadership should
have far-sighted vision.
The new statute should be based on the realistic grounds.
Anything can change - nothing is written in stone. The
constitution written now can be amended later to address
the changing dynamics of the society."
Nepal Human Rights Commission chairman Anup Raj Sharma
said that the new constitution, written by the Constituent
Assembly, should be owned by all the people.
The political parties should also reach consensus on
adopting a process to settle the contested matters of
the new statute, he added.
Sharma said that it was difficult to promote good governance
in the absence of elected local governments.
Former Speaker Daman Nath Dhungana insisted that while
writing the new statute, the ruling parties should recognize
the UCPN-M's rebel status as the peace process had not
been completed yet. "The new statute must be framed
based on the political doctrines expressed in the 12-point
agreement, the Interim Constitution, the Comprehensive
Peace Agreements and different
accords signed with the Madhesis, Janajatis and Tharus."
Supreme Court Justice Kalyan Shrestha said that the new
constitution would not be implemented properly if there
was no constitutional accountability and the culture of
abiding by the rule of law. Shrestha was for introducing
a master plan to enforce the rule of law and good governance.
Another Apex Court Justice Sushila Karki said that corruption
was the key problem of the country, and there should be
a responsive and transparent government to ensure good
governance. "There is a tendency of liking and disliking
the verdicts of the courts on the basis of one's personal
biases, and this mindset does not help promote the independence
of the judiciary and constitutional accountability."
Government chief secretary Leela Mani Poudel called for
symbiotic relationship between the politicians and the
bureaucrats. "However, the bureaucrats must admit
that in positions they are subordinate to the politicians,
who have come to the government through the popular mandate."
Chairman of the Administrative Court, Kashiraj Dahal,
said that Nepal could be a role model in conflict resolution
and that the international community was keenly watching
it. "I urge the politicians to demonstrate collective
wisdom in order to rid the nation of the painful and tedious
FES Nepal Office head Dev Raj Dahal said that plurality
of the parties in Nepal did not mean a problem in collective
action if they elevated their goals and strategies above
partisan politics and worked single-mindedly to draft
the constitution. "Inability of the top leaders to
adapt to new concepts, the new mandate of the people and
meet the requirements of the Nepali electorates for democratic
and peace dividends give rise to the fractured political
Chief secretary Poudel, SC Justice Karki and former minister
Biddhyadhar Mallik had presented their working papers
at the one-day seminar.
Source: The Rising Nepal (18 November 2014)
Prudence and wisdom comes through
culture, not constitution <Top>
Mahottari, November 12, J. Correspondent
Constitutional expert Kahsi Raj dahal said that prudence
and wisdom comes through political culture and not through
constitution. He added that Constituent Assembly could
not timely promulgate a new constitution in Nepal because
we have demanded only rights without performing proper
duties. He was speaking at a two-day seminar organized
at the premise of Nepal Journalist Association at Mahottari
district on the "Role of Civic Education in Building
Modern Constitutional State." Dahal said that a good
constitution cannot be drafted without ending the existing
discrimination. The program was organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES) Nepal Office.
Head of Nepal Office of FES Dev Raj Dahal highlighted
the condition of Nepalese people and the state and argued
that rights and duties complement each other. He also
compared Nepal with many developed states of the world
where constitutions are sincerely implemented. He said,
"non-implementation of constitution pushes the country
toward conflict." Chief District Officer Deepak Kafle,
Former Minister Ganesh Nepali and local civil society
stressed on the need of civic education for promoting
active citizenship and nurture the culture of democracy
and peace in Nepal.
Source: Jaleshwor Today Daily (13 November 2014)
effortful to hoist country's image: Pandey <Top>
Kathmandu, Sept 9
Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey
has said that the major objective of the foreign policy
was to promote the country's pride amidst the international
community, and the government was active towards that
Inaugurating a seminar on "Defending National interest
in the Emerging Internal, Regional and International Challenges"
organized by Institute of Foreign Affairs with support
of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung here today, he said the nation's
respect and pride would enhance in the international sector
through the contribution of honest, laborious and civilized
citizens. Pointing out the need of national consensus
for promoting national interest thought the foreign policy,
he stressed on the need of prejudiced-free deliberations
in these areas.
The present government is focused in the building of
democratic, stable, peaceful and prosperous Nepal, the
Foreign Minister said while adding that only a stable,
peaceful and prosperous country can contribute to global
peace, security and prosperity.
Our neighbor India and China have expected that the Nepali
territory is not used in activities against them while
the international community wishes to see Nepal become
truly democratic, committed to human rights, rule of law
and a country with social harmony, Minister Pandey said.
Likewise, former Foreign Minister Bhekh Bahadur Thapa
said the country should not be kept for long in a transition
in the name of making a political stride and added that
there was no danger to Nepal from outside but the problems
He also expressed concern that despite the political
change there was not much progress in the country's foreign
Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shaker
Das Bairagi said it is the duty of diplomats to work as
per the foreign policy.
Presenting a working paper on "Indefence of Nepal's
national interest, internal and regional perspectives'.
Former Permanent Representative to the UN, Madhu Raman
Acharya commented that Nepal's intellectual sector, political
and diplomatic leadership were not clear about national
Likewise, former Permanent Representative to the UN Sambhu
Ram Simkhada discussed about defending national interest
in the context of emerging international challenges while
emphasizing on the need of seeking a point of national
unity amidst diversity.
Source: The Rising Nepal (10 September 2014)
wrong instituting HLPM: Minister Nidhi <Top>
Kathmandu, Aug. 27: Minister for Physical Infrastructure
and Transport Management Bimalendra Nidhi says there is
nothing wrong setting up the High-level Political Mechanism
of the major political parties to assist the Constituent
Nidhi, who is also the central committee member of the
Nepali Congress, has come up with this opinion at a time
the two main ruling parties - the Nepali Congress and
the CPN (UML) - have been saying that the constitution
of the mechanism as sought by the main opposition party,
the UCPN (Maoist), was not possible at all.
Addressing an interaction titled 'Role of Media in Nation
Building' organised by Nepal Press Union (NPU) in association
with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) here today, Minister
Nidhi said the parties should be honest in forming the
high-level political mechanism as mentioned in the four-point
agreement signed by the major three parties.
He said the argument put forward by the NC and the UML
that forming the said mechanism would lead to the formation
of a 'super cabinet' was only their skepticism, stressing
the need of forming the mechanism through a consensus
to formulate a new constitution in the stipulated time.
Stating the media has played crucial role in each and
every pro-democracy movements that have taken place in
the country, he urged the media to play the same role
at present for constitution writing.
Senior journalist Harihar Birahi said the goal of the
media differed as per the national needs and called upon
the journalists to be serious about their profession as
theirs was not just a profession but also a change-agent.
Aiding institutional development of democracy is the
'mission' for the media at present, he added.
At the function, NPU advisor and editor of the Deshanter
Weekly Kabir Rana, senior journalist Tej Prakash Pandit,
former president of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ)
Dharmendra Jha, FES Director Devraj Dahal, NPU Acting
President Badri Sigdel and Vice-president Gangadhar Parajuli
spoke on the role of media in nation building.
The immediate past president of NPU Kiran Kumar Pokharel
presented a working paper on the role of the media in
nation building and senior journalist Hari Bahadur Thapa
another titled 'Mission Journalism versus Professional
Source: The Rising Nepal (28 August 2014)
Nidhi Says formation of High Level Political Committee Makes
no Difference <Top>
Bhisma Raj Ojha, Kathmandu.
Minister for Physical Planning and Transport Bimlendra
Nidhi said that it makes no difference to create a High
Level Political Committee of major political parties to
support the work of Constituent Assembly. As a central
committee member of Nepali Congress party Nidhi revealed
this in response to the demand of UCPN (Maoist) and opposition
parties for HLPC and the resistance of NC and CPN-UML
against this proposal.
Minister Nidhi was expressed the view that leaders must
be honest about four-point agreement between the NC, CPN-UML
and UCPN (Maoist) which stipulated to set up of this HLPC.
He said this at a seminar organized by Nepal Press Union
in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) on
the Role of Media in Nation-Building here in Kathmandu.
The doubt of parties that the Committee would look like
a super-cabinet is unfounded as its purpose is to aid
the constitution drafting and peace process. To draft
the constitution in time this HLPC is necessary. He appreciated
the media for supporting all the political movements of
the past and the time has come to lend support to constitution
Senior journalist Harihar Birahi said that communication
needs adapts to the needs of the nation and journalism
in not only a profession bust also a vehicle of social
change. Therefore, journalists have to be sensitive about
their profession. Journalist Birahi said that mission
journalism and professionalism cannot be aimless. Their
need is to help consolidate democracy.
In the program advisor of the Press Union and editor
of Deshantar Weekly Kabir Rana, Senior Journalist Tej
Prakash Pandit, former president Nepal Federation of Journalists
Dharmendra Jha, Director of FES Dev Raj Dahal, acting
president of Press Union Bdri Sigdel, Vice-President Gangadhar
Parajulu spoke about the role of media in nation-building.
In the program former President of Press Union Kiral
Pokhrel presented a paper on "Role of Media in Nation-Building"
and senior Journalist Hari Bahadur Thapa presented another
paper on "Mission Journalism versus Professional
Source: Hamrakura (Wenesday 28 August 2014)
of High Level Mechanism Does not Make a Difference: Nidhi
Kathmandu, August 27
Minister for Physical Planning and Transport Bilendra
Nidhi said that it does not make a difference to set up
a high level political mechanism of major parties to support
the work of Constitution drafting. The said this as a
member of central committee of Nepali Congress party at
a time when ruling parties including Nepali Congress,
CPN-UML were opposing the demand of UCPN (Maoist) and
other opposition parties to set up High Level Political
Minister Nidhi said this in a seminar organized by Nepal
Press Union in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES) on Wednesday here in Kathmandu on "The Role
of Media in Nation-Building." He said that the political
parties should be honest to the four-point agreement between
three mainstream parties where the formation of HLPC had
been agreed. He added that since media played creative
role in political movement for democracy now the time
has come for them to support the constitution drafting
In the program senior journalist Harihar Birahi, Chief
Editor of Deshantar Weekly Kabir Rana, Senior Journalist
Tej Prakash Pandit, Former Chairman of Federation of Nepalese
Journalist Dharmendra Jha, Chief of FES Nepal Office Dev
raj Dahal, Acting Chair of Nepal Press Union Badri Sigdel,
and Gangadhar Parajuli spoke on the role of media in nation-building.
Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (28 August 2014)
South Asian region hosts forty percent of world's poor <Top>
Dev Raj Dahal
Head FES Nepal Office
Economic growth in South Asia saw the decline of poverty.
Still, it hosts 40% of the world' poor. Poverty reflects
an unjust order because those at the bottom of development
statistics are governed by necessity, not freedom. Judicious
harnessing of its great potential for inclusive and equitable
economic growth can alleviate scarcity, reduce ecological
and social risks and maintain a balance between upward
integration of economy and downward benefits to the people.
The symbiosis of humanitarian standards and moral obligation
of the state to tax the wealthy and powerful to subsidize
social protection have been justified to stabilize the
life of society and make community building a robust enterprise.
International assistance does not solely presume the triumph
of free market forces. It is about securing human rights
and protecting people from multiple risks-hunger, child
labor, joblessness, social alienation, illness, old age,
disability and vulnerability. Only a caring society is
the hallmark of flourishing civilization.
Land of Hope:
The heritage of South Asia operating under the Karmic
moral accounting of the universe often sought to remove
the structural dualism between the duty to maintain certain
social standards and freedom to accumulate. This heritage
reconciles rational order with ecological, social, gender
and intergenerational justice. South Asia shares a common
political economy. It has evolved a regional public based
on collective aspiration for a democratic life. There
is a positive "demographic dividend," youth
occupies the largest size. Except Maldives and Bhutan,
all the countries are labor surplus and labor exporting
countries. The remittance flowing though migration of
youth force has contributed to the life of rural economy
and eased their poverty. But it has also created a vicious
cycle- enormous social costs, shortage of productive youth
force and decline of domestic production. Other factors
are the shortage of energy and high inflation. The integration
of South Asian labor market outside the region has increased
common stake of regional states and people but they lack
leverage to effectively negotiate. As a result, social
security of workers is determined by contractual obligation.
Safety nets, social security, microcredit and employment
programs adopted in South Asia as social protection mechanism
are essential to foster the dignity of life.
There are some common sets of welfare policies in South
Asia. All the eight countries have espoused the concept
of welfare state. As signatory of social contracts and
a variety of universal rights states are obliged to create
equal opportunity and uplift material condition. The ongoing
discussion in the region for the establishment of living
wage or minimum wage for the poor aims at up scaling social
and economic wellbeing.
Social security mechanism in the formal sector is determined
by the rules of procedural distribution of benefits while
in the informal sector income is determined by scalar
distribution-the more people work the better they can
earn. Labor markets continue to suffer from high rates
of informal and agricultural employment where jobs are
poorly paid and unprotected transmitting poverty at inter-generational
level. Labor market intervention, social insurance and
social assistance for the helpless are essential social
protection measures to harness hope of people.
Social Charter seeks to achieve poverty eradication,
population stabilization, empowerment of women, youth
mobilization, human resource development, promotion of
health and nutrition and protection of children. The adoption
of social charter by regional states tends to combine
need-based justice and burden sharing of the poor, marginalized,
women and children to materialize the rights-based fairness.
The means of social protection is essential for dignified
living. But they are, however, fragmented not only along
line agencies of the state but also at the level of governance-international
regimes, the states, markets and micro local institutions,
such as NGOs, civil society and community-based organizations
lacking a synergy. Many of them are less competitive requiring
overarching framework for governance-clear provision,
coordination and monitoring in both formal and informal
sectors. There are governance gaps between rising demands
of people and informalization of work, inequality and
short supply of public goods. Operation of social protection
at multi-level governance has also imposed complexity
in its management. How coordination is made for the implementation
of social protection, social security and social charter
since this job remains with national states based on their
own political will, economic strength and institutional
In this context, the current debate on strengthening
social protection in South Asia aims to bridge the incoherence
of social, economic and political policies and minimize
disharmonies through the shared interest of the state,
employers, employees and ordinary citizens in mutually
beneficial cooperation. The liberal conception of stability,
progress and peace requires the social solidarity to make
each individual equal stakeholder.
Poverty deprives the poor of their self-dignity and humanity
and drives them to unknown destination as refugees, migrants,
seasonal workers and permanent settlers. South Asia has
tremendous resource and human potential to reshape production
and politics and transform the crisis discourse into a
collective economic opportunity. Demonstration of political
will is essential to upscale certain social and economic
standards irrespective of the structure of economy and
inspire the skeptics to build hope of social solidarity.
So long as peoples' lives pivot on the concept of inadequate
means of living, democratic and development discourse
only inflame their passion.
Vote of thanks delivered by the author at a Regional
Conference jointly organised by FES with SACEPS on "Developing
a Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection in South
Asia-A Multi-stakeholder contribution to the upcoming
SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu August, 21, 2014: Ed.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (28 August 2014)
Nepal: Income disparity challenge
social unity, political stability and eco growth
Ms. Julia Mueller
Director, Office of Regional cooperation in Asia, Singapore
On behalf of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, I would like to
warmly welcome you to this two-day conference to develop
a multi-stakeholder input for a SAARC Declaration on "Strengthening
Social Protection in South Asia".
It is my great pleasure to greet you as one of the co-organizers
of this regional conference. We are honored to have cooperated
closely with our colleagues and friends from SACEPS and
the FES Office in Kathmandu to prepare this conference.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is a German political foundation
and was established in 1925. It is the legacy of Friedrich
Ebert, the first democratically elected president in Germany.
Since its establishment, FES has been committed to the
ideas of democracy, peace and social justice-in its national
programmes in Germany as well as in its international
programmes in more than 100 countries all around the world.
In Asia we have been active for nearly 50 years and currently
conduct dialogue programmes, conferences, expert workshops,
trainings and regular research countries all over Asia.
For social democrats, social security is a fundamental
Right for all human beings. It shall protect and serve
as a buffer against the adverse social effects of sudden
drops in income and employment-if it is illness, injury,
ageing or unemployment.
The recent years have seen an increased worldwide debate
about social protection. According to my observations,
I attribute this trend mostly to following factors:
First, studies by various international, institutions
like the Asian Development Bank have confirmed that economic
growth has lifted many people out of poverty, but that
expanded social protection programmes would have helped
to increase the number by far;
Second, income inequalities are on the rise worldwide.
They challenge social cohesion, political stability and
economic growth. Even the World Economic Forum ranks wide
income gaps between rich and poor as one of the major
risks to economic growth. Social protection has proven
to be one of the most effective instruments to increase
income inequalities and contribute to more socially just
Third, in 2012 the member states of ILO approved the
recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors which calls
for nationally-defined sets of basic social security guarantee
that secure protection aimed at preventing or alleviating
poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion. The discussion
and approval of this recommendation had a great impact
on shaping a global discourse on social protection.
With these global and regional trends in minds and considering
current national discussions on the expansion of Social
Protection in South Asian countries, this regional conference
happens at the right time. I am convinced that South Asia
will make use of this momentum to expand social protection
to all people in order to ensure everybody can live a
life in dignity.
I wish you all an interesting conference with fruitful
Welcome remarks made by Julia Mueller, Director, FES
Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia at a Regional
Conference on "Developing a Declaration on Strengthening
Social Protection in South Asia" in Kathmandu, 21
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (26 August 2014)
efforts needed to ensure social security: Foreign Minister
Kathmandu, Aug 21: Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra
Bahadur Pandey has said that united and coordinated efforts
are needed to ensure social security in regional and national
Addressing a regional conference jointly organized by
the South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS) and
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Office for Regional Cooperation
in Asia in the capital today, Minister Pandey said so.
The programme has been organized to prepare the agendas
of social security to be included in upcoming 18th South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to
be held in Nepal in upcoming November.
Similarly, Minister Pandey said that the European Union
(EU) and Association of South-East Asian Nations have
successfully implemented different programmes related
to social security through regional cooperation.
'The main goal of the SAARC is to promote the welfare
of the people of the South Asia to improve their quality
of life, to accelerate economic growth and to provide
them opportunities to live in dignity' minister Pandey
Meanwhile, Mr Pandey reminded the spirit of the social
charter of the SAARC signed in the 12th SAARC summit and
the spirit should be respectfully implemented. SAARC member
country has implemented different measures to ensure people's
social security by providing senior citizens allowance,
child support, ensuring employment, and support for widows
and food distribution to the needy people, Mr pandey added.
Similarly, Minister Pandey further said that the SAARC
countries are working for ensuring health, nutrition,
food security purified drinking water, sanitation among
others under its SAARC structure.
Likewise, chairman at the programme and former Foreign
Minister Dr Bhesh Bahadur Thapa pointed out the need of
working together for the issues of common interests and
social securities. Previously held issues of social security
should be seriously implemented, Dr Thapa added.
The SAARC should be oriented to the implementation of
its previous decisions rather than only deciding the issues.
The SAARC needs cooperation from ASIAN and the EU for
its unity and activeness, Dr Thapa added. The prime theme
for upcoming SAARC is prepared Connectivity for Shared
The preparing report would be tabled to the government
within two weeks, said Thapa who is also a coordinator
at SAARC Advisory Group. Coordinator Thapa said that though
the decision of connecting the capital cities of each
SAARC countries via aircraft has not been seriously brought
in practice yet.
Director at the SAARC Dhan Bahadur Oli said that the
SAARC has given high priority to social sectors from its
establishment and the children and women trafficking are
the serious problem of SAARC regions therefore, the social
charter of the SAARC is centred in it.
Director at Singapore based Regional Support Office of
FES Julia Muller said social security help ensure social
justice, lessen poverty and end social evils and marginalization.
Similarly, Executive Director at the centre Rajju Malla
Dhakal pointed out the need of security for immigrant
workers, ending violence against women, empowerment of
women and providing social security to them.
Country director of the FES Dev Raj Dahal said that the
South Asia has an adequate possibilities and chances therefore,
stakeholders should be serious for the implementations
of issues mentioned in social charter of the SAARC.
Representatives of different organizations of people's
level from each SAARC countries are participating in two-day
conference held in the capital. RSS
Source: The Rising Nepal (22 August 2004)
Work to Garner
Public Opinion to write Statute, Media urge <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Nagarkot (Bhaktapur), Aug 9: As the country is passing
through a long-drawn transition, experts have pointed
up the role of the media in the nation-building task.
Journalists and constitution experts concurred that the
media should be proactive to create active citizenship
to secure their contribution to writing an inclusive statute.
"At the moment, the media must brainstorm for ideas
to solve the contentious topics of the constitution as
part of their nation-building task," they said at
a two-day seminar on 'the role of media in the nation
building' that concluded in the idyllic resort of Nagarkot
Organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Nepal
Office, the function was attended by chief editors, senior
reporters, experts and social activists. They preferred
for specifying the areas for the media campaign to write
constitution, thereby, discharging their responsibility
towards the nation.
They were unanimous to state that the informed citizens
would contribute better in the statute writing and others
FES, Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal, in his keynote speech,
said that that media created a critical mass and it could
check the government that controls power.
"It has the strength to catapult the powerless to
the centre. ''If the media give a new knowledge and correct
information to the people on the contents and process
of the constitution-making, it will help in realizing
the nation building agenda."
Dahal argued that it was the mission journalism that
could connect and reconcile among the opposing forces
in the society.
"Ethno-centric politics is exclusionary while the
demos-centric politics promoted inclusiveness, and makes
the people active and enlightened. Active citizenship
widens the scope of democracy but the passive citizenship
weakens the state," he noted.
Stating that the media provide indicators to gauge the
development status and social dynamics, he said that the
multi-layer society needs synthesizing mechanism to ensure
durable social contract. "Right to information is
a must for transparency. More the information is flowed,
the more the people are informed."
Administrative Court chair Kashi Raj Dahal said that the
constitutions were framed through methods and procedures.
"If the parties solve the political questions and
set the principles before embarking for the statute writing,
they write the statutes in time and such the statutes
will become durable and ensure reconciliation in the society
as seen in South Africa," he said, adding that the
statute was a formulaic document and it was not rational
to cram everything in it.
Senior journalist Yub Raj Ghimire said that effective
communication helped conclude the peace process. "If
the media lose social trust and credibility, the nation
should also bear bigger losses." During the conflict,
the Nepalese media had offered platforms for the communication
between the rulers and the ruled.
Another senior journalist Kanak Mani Dixit said that
the media had failed to build strong public opinion on
the necessity of the local elections.
The media should prioritize their issues. "At the
moment, they should give specific focus on fleshing out
the contentious issues of the new statute-
federalism and form of government."
Federation of Nepalese Journalist chairman Mahendra Bista
stressed for building the capacity of the journalists.
Associate professor of political science Lal Babu Yadav
asked the media to promote national identities instead
of parochial ethnic ones steeped in divisive elements.
Programme moderator Arati Chataut said that the agenda
of empowering the women and marginalized groups must not
be undermined just because they lacked capacity and merit.
Source: The Rising Nepal (10 August 2014)
socially embedded market <Top>
Professor Dr Thomas Meyer, 71, is the chair of Political
Science, University of Dortmund, Germany and Director
of the Political Academy of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation,
Bonn. He is a vice-chairman of the Basic Values Commission
of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. An author of
around 20 books on politics, culture and theory of social
democracy, he is considered to be an influential proponent
of social democracy principles. His books include Social
Democracy: An Introduction, The Transformation of Social
Democracy and Identity-Mania, The Politicization of Cultural
Differences, among others. He is one, who has pored over
all books of Marx and notes that Marxism provides ample
ideological points to develop social democracy. He won
a doctoral degree at the University of Frankfurt for a
thesis on the role of the proletariat in Karl Marx's theory
of liberation in 1973. He was awarded the Habilitation
from the Free University of Berlin in 1977, the highest
academic award in Europe and some other countries. Recently,
he was in Nepal to participate in BP Koirala'a birth centenary
function and he spoke to The Rising Nepal on various political
contents such as social democracy, Marxism and market.
He emphatically says that there should be regulation and
social control of market and the domination of private
capital should not be allowed at the expense of the society.
How do you define social democracy?
It is very simple. If you accept not only civil and political
rights but also the social basic rights like social security
and economic basic rights like good works for everybody,
then you are a social democrat and build social democracy
on all these bases. For this, you normally need regulated
economy and some kind of welfare state.
Could you provide examples of the countries that have
robustly applied social democracy?
Yes, in Europe, there are many. Most countries in Europe
developed social democracy at some level. Not only the
European nations, but also the countries in Latin America,
for example, Chile has substantial elements of social
democracy. Even in the state like Kerala in India, there
are remarkable elements of social democracy. So, in many
places around the world, there is a well-functioning social
What is the relationship between capitalism and social
democracy? Is it collaborative or confrontational?
It is transforming; collaborative transforming in the
sense that private property in the production is accepted
in social democracy. The rights of private property must
be socially embedded and regulated. The market is accepted
but it must be regulated and corrected. The market and
private property should not dominate. They should be in
service of the community.
In the world, there are many rich nations but do not
want to go for social democracy. How do you see this?
There are not so many. In the Western world, let's say,
it is only the United States. It has small scale of welfare
state and some form of regulation. It has the history
of workers' movement. There is a history that after crises,
the US has often developed social democracy and adopted
the elements of welfare state. It is power and big money
that have hampered its adoption. In many other countries,
one or another form of social democracy prevails. Except
for the US, all other countries have highly developed
or elementary elements of social democracy.
Does the social democracy have its root in Marxism
Marx has many interpretations. There is not one clear
Marx. Marx said many things in different times over fifty
years. You can find some points you can develop the revolutionary
interpretations of Marx. There are many points you can
use for the reformist interpretation. You can be a good
social democrat on the basis of certain interpretations
of Marx. But, Leninism is not well-founded in Marx. There
is a big difference between Marxism and Leninism. If you
are Leninist, you are not a true Marxist. You can be a
social democrat for a variety of reasons - if you have
social interests or on ethical ground or democratic understanding
But, Lenin said he was a real interpreter and successor
Yes. He said so. I have written many books on Marx and
studied all texts of Marx. I can confidently say that
Leninism is not Marxism. What Lenin understood the dictatorship
of proletariat, it had nothing to do with Marx's writings.
Even Engels used the term- the proletariat of dictatorship
in the sense that the private property should not have
absolute right. He did not mean that there should be the
dictatorship of one party over the rest of the society.
Did Engels too refuse to subscribe to the idea of
dictatorship of proletariat?
Yes. He used this as a formula. Then, he said in the
early 1890s that what he meant by the dictatorship of
proletariat is a full-fledged democracy or a normal democracy
with several parties participating in it.
Then, why did Marx and Engels use this term in 'the
Communist Manifesto' as defining element of communism?
In the Communist Manifesto, it is very clear. Marx says
verbally/literally that the first thing what the victorious
proletariat should do is to introduce democracy because
democracy is rule of the people and through the people.
And then socialists should use it and socialise segments
of production for the introduction of socialism. He never
says do away with the rights of the people. He did not
say abolish democracy but pointed out the need to establish
it to change the society.
Would you like to introduce yourself as Marxist?
I could find an interpretation of Marx as very close
to social democracy. But, my foundation is more in the
ethical socialism that means more justice. I don't need
any doctrine. You don't need any doctrine to be a social
How is the popularity of Marx in your country?
Marx did not play any role except for its impact on a
small sector. After the financial crisis, Marxism has
been again discussed in the certain circles of the Lefts.
Even the major newspapers have given coverage to it. The
discussion on Marxism is more cultural than economic or
political. Marx's books mainly are about labour analysis
and the problems of mankind. You do not find things about
particular society in Marx.
In Nepal, there is another interesting discourse that
some major communist parties are saying that the capitalist
political revolution is over and now they should embark
on capitalistic revolution. Just imagine that the communists
say they are going to build capitalism. What do you say?
I think they have a big confusion about the word. They
want to profit from the confusion of the word and language.
It is their policy or politics because they are not communists
in a real sense or even in a true sense of Leninism. They
are not Leninist either because Leninism advocates the
dictatorship of one party and socialisation of all means
of production. They are very close to social democracy.
They use the term communist to be more radical in the
eye of the people. The use of the term capitalism is also
misleading. The word capitalism is not clear. Some people
ask: Does Sweden have capitalism? Yes. But, the political
economy of western countries is very different. There
is acceptance of private property and market but they
are regulated. The Nepalese communists should say that
they need market and private property and investments
but not in a dominating way. This linkage is absolutely
They seem to mean that they want to bring an economic
growth under the leadership of communist parties a la
In that sense, it is ok. But, this has nothing to do
with capitalism. They need the role of private property
and market but should also control them. There should
be political dominance. There should be the control of
the social problems caused by the private property. The
US-type capitalism is not worthy of following.
There has been debate among the Nepalese Lefts about
whether the country has entered the phase of capitalism.
You have been a watcher of Nepal's political developments
for many years. Can you shed light on the parameters to
prove that the given nation has been qualified as capitalist
or is still in a feudal stage?
This is an interesting question because feudalism means
personal bondages, obligations and legacies. It is like
this- I am a lord and you are dependent servants. When
you cut these bondages and introduce market, you become
the participant of market. It is necessary to abolish
feudalism because it is based on the relations of absolute
dependency. There is development from feudalism to market
Are the terms market and capitalism synonymous or
There are differences. Where there is domination of private
property and not regulation, it is capitalism. And market
that is regulated and tamed by democracy is not capitalism.
Capitalism normally means domination and serves the interests
In Nepal, some communist parties have the nametag of
Marxist and Leninist but they say that they have embraced
basic values of social democracy. How much is it compatible?
It is not compatible. If you understand yourself as Leninist,
let's say, Leninism does not accept pluralism and basic
rights of the people but the dictatorship of proletariat.
Nepal's Interim Constitution and the election manifestos
of the major parties contain a lot of rosy provisions
that aim to take Nepal on the path of social democracy
but the country's economy hardly allows the country to
implement them. How can it apply the elements of social
You have choice here as well. The country needs to put
social and political framework for all private properties
and investments so that they would not dominate. We establish
the rule of the game. This democratic process makes capital
as the servant of society, not its master. The embedded
social market economy is possible here. The foreigners
have their interests here for the investments, they need
to be regulated to motivate workforce and create certain
balance. Social democracy is a welfare system. Those,
who have no money, should have access to the elementary
and secondary education and healthcare system. In economy,
you should enforce regulation and progressive taxes. You
need to take care of the ecological conditions while letting
the establishment of factories by multinational companies.
You have to ensure decent working conditions for the workers.
That will be a good start for social democracy.
Source: The Rising Nepal (22 June 2014)
A Social Democratic
Moment Has Arrived: Dr Meyer <Top>
By Ritu Raj Subedi
Lalitpur, June 16: Political scientists Monday said that
a moment of social democracy has arrived with the failure
of market fundamentalism and hardliner communism.
They assumed that a strong wave of social democracy is
going to sweep the world and will bring its core values
- 'social rights, embedded markets, the primacy of democratic
politics and a basic line of welfare state security'-
to the fore as the necessary instruments to realize the
ideals of social democracy.
Participating in an interaction on 'the recent trends
on Social Democracy' organized by the BP Thought Academy
and FES, Nepal, they offered their prognostic analysis
to the inevitability of social democracy as the new century
Renowned German scholar professor Dr Thomas Meyer said
that the social democracy had emerged as the strong alternative
to libertine or the US-type democracy, which he said,
preponderantly excluded the citizens from wealth, security,
good education, social participation and power.
Dr Meyer, an authority of social democracy principle,
strongly lashed out at the US right-wing think-tank Francis
Fukyama for confining the ideological evolution of mankind
to merely neo-liberal democracy or the libertine democracy
following the downfall of communism.
"Fukyama had said that the world history had reached
its final destination with the end of the communist empire
in 1989. What he meant was that it had become clear by
then that history has nothing else I store for humankind
as liberal democracy," said Dr Meyer.
"Fukyama ignored that the US-type democracy has
been challenged since by a more profoundly democratic
alternative that was built in Europe in a century of pressure
by strong labour and social movements," he said.
Dr Meyer said, "A society that doe accept not only
the civil and political basic rights of the 1966 UN Charter
alone, but also the cultural, social and economic basic
rights declared in this document is well called a social
democracy as opposed to a merely libertine democracy."
He further said: "Thus, progress towards social
democracy is obviously what the world needs in order to
move in a more sustainable direction after the resounding
defeat of neo-liberalist ideas of how to organize the
economy in the global finance market crises 2008 and thereafter.
The neo-liberal moment that dominated the world since
the 1980s is spent; a social democratic moment is coming
to the fore, he argued.
Political scientist Dev Raj Dahal said that the irrationality
of neo- liberal attack on the welfare state's regulation
and individualization of human life and the radical left's
vision of withering of the state and an end of individual
had been confirmed by the recent developments of historical
"One suffered from excessive greed and the other
from lack of incentive. Loaded with excessive materialistic
passion rather than normative drive, both the ideologies
have now produced systemic crisis, leaving unintended
consequences for environment, societies and the people
in the various parts of the world," said Dahal, also
the head of FES, Nepal Office.
He said that social democracy is an open-access political
order that support specific laws pertaining to labour,
women, indigenous people, Dalits, minorities and disabled,
thereby, increasing their access to the institutional
Dahal maintained that Nepal holds great potential for
social democracy and in order to balance the extremes
into middle path required completing the unfinished tasks
of constitution making, fostering inclusive and sustainable
development and achieving the durable peace.
BP Though Academy chairman Haribol Bhattarai said that
neither the Marxist fundamentalists not the capitalist
economy could be able to deliver justice and peace.
"Social Democracy or Democratic Socialism is the
only road to progress and prosperity for the humanity
in the years to come," said Bhattarai.
He argued that late BP Koirala had already envisioned
the inevitability of democratic socialism more than 50
years ago but political highhandedness, selfishness and
abuse of power had posed as a big stumbling block to the
realization of social democracy.
Source: The Rising Nepal (17 June 2014)
democratic moment has arrived: Prof Meyer <Top>
KATHMANDU, June 16, 2014 : Arguing that there is a great
struggle both in the arena of ideas and of political power
between libertarian and social democracy, a senior German
political scientist Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer has claimed
that a social democratic moment had arrived in the world.
Addressing a talk program organized jointly by BP Thought
Academy and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Lalitpur on Monday,
Prof Dr Meyer said social democracy that incorporates
the idea not only of civil and political basic rights
but also the cultural, social and economic basic rights
as opposed to libertarian democracy had brought about
social democratic moment around the world.
Prof Meyer, who has authored several books on the history
and theory of social democracy, argued that present day
world witnessed a tremendous economic, social and political
disaster in many parts of the world starting with the
US financial crisis.
"Thus, progress toward social democracy is obviously
what the world needs in order to move in a more sustainable
direction after the resounding defeat of neo-liberalist
ideas of how to organize the economy in the global finance
market crises 2008 and thereafter," he added.
"The neo-liberal moment that dominated the world
since the 1980s is spent, a social democratic moment is
coming to the fore. Obviously what the world needs in
response to this challenge is a strong wave of social
democracy: social rights, embedded markets, the primacy
of democratic politics and a basic line of welfare state
security everywhere," Prof Meyer further said.
He said the rule of market was made possible by mere
market states as they were coined, elite or libertarian
democracy for the well-to-do is not sustainable because
it is a systematic exclusion of the many both from the
government and from the wealth of their societies.
"Social democracy is not a luxury good for rich
societies: it is a condition for the inclusion of all,
for social peace, for an equitable development of all
societies -- not the least for the poorer ones,"
In his opening speech, Prof Dev Raj Dahal, head of the
FES, Nepal, had shed light on various aspects of social
democracy and democratic practices being made in Nepal.
He argued that freedom, gender-justice and solidarity,
among others, as key elements of social democracy.
Source: My Republica (17 June 2014)
Through Social Democracy <Top>
Kathmandu: Author of two dozen books on social democracy
German Prof. Thomas Meyer said that social democracy is
prerequisite for development. He said all should understand
the concept of democratic socialism. He said, "It
is a system that includes all people. Since it accommodates
all opinions and culture it can foster equal development."
He added that there is no conceptual confusion about democratic
socialism. Confusion arises in practice.
Political elites have now understood that this concept
is relevant for Nepal as well as capitalist and workers
can get benefit from this. If development process proceeds
along this line, then equal development is possible. He
said this in a seminar on "Recent Trends in Social
Democracy," jointly organized by BP Thought Academy
and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Head of Nepal Office of
FES Dev Raj Dahal said that those following social democratic
line should adopt the Thought of BP Koirala.
Source: Annapurna Post, Nepali Daily (17 June
Laureate Suu Kyi hails Nepal's negotiated compromise <Top>
By Ritu Raj Subedi
Kathmandu, June 14: Democratic icon and Nobel Peace laureate
Aung San Suu Kyi Saturday hailed Nepal's consensus and
compromise-guided political evolution.
Suu Kyi said that Nepal had learnt to accept the idea
of negotiated compromise.
"Nepal has achieved the political skill of negotiated
compromise. I believe that it will never fail. This will
enable the country to write the new constitution,"
Suu Kyi said, addressing an international conference on
'Relevance of Social Democracy' organized by the BP Thought
Academy to mark the birth centenary of late BP Koirala
Suu Kyi, who is in Kathmandu for a four-day visit to
Nepal, is also the member of parliament and chairperson
of the National League for Democracy of the Republic of
Union of Myanmar.
At the function, she exuded cheerfulness, confidence
and a sense of humour. She was the central attraction
She was greeted with rounds of applauses as she candidly
put forth her views that were about the essence of democracy
and spirit of humanity.
She spoke of the future of democratic socialism and pinned
her unwavering faith in inclusive democracy, stating that
democracy should not be for any dominant class but for
She observed: "Democracy is about equity. It should
not be for any dominant class. It should solve the basic
problems of the people and be linked with the daily life
of the people."
On social democracy, she said, "It is an expansion
of the governance system- it should be inclusive and participated
in by all social groups.
Democracy is not merely the people's participation in
the elections. It must enable them to participate in government's
decisions in more active way."
The iconic woman's faith in non-violence is ever deepening.
She said: "I believe in democracy and non-violence
because these enable the people to raise themselves and
keep spirit and strength alive."
She strongly stood against violence. "I don't believe
in violence because it stifles human spirit."
She said that the long military rule in her country destroyed
the spirit of her people.
"Decades of military rule have thrown us into penury
and the people lost their spirit and made them unable
to come out to chart out their won destiny," she
She offered her cosmopolitan viewpoint and called for
solving problems- national and international - through
the global perspective.
"We should not think of only of our own country
in an isolated way; we are the part of the world and seek
to solve problems through global approach," she remarked.
She attached greater emphasis on equality and equity:
"Giving equal respect and equal responsibility to
the people is very important. Equality is the basis for
all good relations. Until the nation gets a system, it
is unlikely to maintain diversity based on the mutual
She said that the political parties, religions, different
ideologies and ethnicities formed the basis of the society.
Touching on her country's politics, she said, "My
nation was deprived of institutional and legislative mechanism
for almost fifty years. This has created problem to achieve
democracy in true sense."
She appreciated Nepal's democratic struggle and its natural
endowments. She expressed her deep gratitude to Nepal
and its government for warm welcome and hospitality.
At one point, her speech had the audience rolling in
the aisles when she said that since her arrival she met
many former prime ministers and found it hard to recall
Former Nepalese diplomat Dr Jaya Raj Acharya shed light
on Suu Kyi's political personality.
Dr Acharya said that she was a global icon of struggle
for democracy and human rights. "She is a luminous
star, scintillating in the world history."
Her untiring struggle for freedom must have been inspired
by the Buddhist enlightenment, he gauged.
"Madam Suu Kyi must have got the inspiration for
her tapasya from Lord Buddha himself, who said life is
full of miseries but these miseries can be removed by
practicing the eightfold path," he said.
Dr Acharya further said: "Incarcerated for 15 out
of the last 20 years or so, she has come out like a pure
gold from the furnace. She has shown the path of liberation
from the pains of dictatorship in the same way as Buddha
and Gandhi have shown."
Secretary General of the Socialist International Luis
Ayala said that social democracy was for social justice,
security and freedom. The capitalistic system is just
churning out economic crises, one after another and is
not solving the problem of unemployment, he added.
Speaking in the closing session, renowned socialist thinker
professor Dr Thomas Meyer said that the struggle for a
better, a fairer and a more inclusive and solidarity based
society went on. He said that it was social democracy
that would help humanity to realize these aspirations.
In his working paper, 'This is a Time for Social Democracy',
the German political scientist said that the US-type of
democracy was exclusionary one and had been challenged
since long by more profoundly democratic alternative that
was built in Europe in a century of pressure by strong
labour and social movements and had found support in many
parts of the world.
Commenting FES, Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal called for ensuring
inter-generational and ecological justice in order to
consummate social democracy.
Dr Yagya Adhikari said that the 21st century was the
century of social democracy.
Source: The Rising Nepal (15 June 2014)
of Press in Constitution Making <Top>
Kathmandu, May 23
Minister for Information and Communication Dr. Minendra
Rijal said that constitution will be made by keeping people's
interest at the center and satisfaction of all sides.
Dr. Rijal said that CA has been set up by 70 years of
people's struggle and sacrifice where media will have
vital role in the making of new constitution. Speaking
on the occasion of a seminar organized by National Union
of Journalists-Nepal, FES and AWAKE and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
on Friday Minister Dr. Rijal said that all the parties
driven by their own ideologies are aspiring for change
but there is no alternative to move forward through cooperative
action. Each political parties have to follow the rules
of game in the CA. The country will benefit if rule, process
and norm will be followed. With the intension of including
CPN (Maoist) party the CA has constituted Political Dialogue
and Consensus Committee and he suggested it to be engaged
in the constitution drafting process.
Deputy Chairman of CPN (Maoist) C. P. Gajurel, however,
said that his party will not join the current CA just
to produce a constitution as this CA does not have any
adequacy. The sacrifice made by his party so far is for
people's constitution. This CA cannot produce such constitution.
He added, "This CA cannot write people's constitution.
It will write a constitution not based on the aspiration
of people. We did not fight just for a any type of constitution."
He claimed that this CA will reproduce the Constitution
of 1991 just by removing the monarchy. Contradicting the
allegation that his party did not context the election
due to inability to enter competitive politics he said
that intentionally they were excluded.
Head of FES Dev Raj Dahal said democracy empowers the
people through social inclusion. Voice for inclusion is
increasing. In the seminar participants debated on two
working papers focusing on challenges of democracy and
nationalism, constitutionalism. Senior lawyer Ram Prasad
Shrestha stressed that without constitutional tradition
of politics and its maturity constitutional system will
not be stable. Another paper writer Yubaraj Gautam said
that the nation can enter into democratic development
with constitutional process and progress and Nepali citizens
should protect both democracy and nationalism. The participants
also stressed that Nepali democracy has not been sufficiently
Source: The Gorkhapatra Daily, Nepali (24 May
on Trade Union and Cooperatives <Top>
Class Nepal and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organized a
two-day national seminar on Trade Unions and Cooperatives.
Inaugurating the seminar national Chairman of Cooperative
Keshav Badal said that cooperative contributes 3 percent
to national GDP. Chief Guest Badal argued that some of
cooperatives are deviating from their philosophy, values
Joint Secretary of Poverty Alleviation and Cooperatives
Suresh Pradhan stated that since the ministry has already
shaped policy this seminar will help us in formulating
and executing concrete programs. He under lines several
areas such as education, health, energy etc which can
contribute to development.
In the program head of FES Nepal office Dev Raj Dahal,
representative of UNI-Apro office Rajendra Acharya, Secretary
of GEFONT Keshan Dawadi and Umesh Upadhayay, Vice-Chairman
of NTUC Ganesh Niraula, Shankar Lamichhane and Deepa Bhardwaj
of CLASS-Nepal spoke on the role of trade union in building
In the program Deepa Bhardwaj spoke on the role of trade
union in strengthening cooperatives, while Ganesh Aryal
spoke on the role of cooperatives in alleviating poverty
and income generation. The second day program engaged
in participants in formulating future strategy . Over
73 participants from trade unions, micro-credits, cooperatives
and other fields.
Source: Ghatana Ra Bichar Weekly (30 April 2014,
over the Erosion of Loyalty to the Nation <Top>
Narayani Correspondent, Hetauda
A program organized at Makwanpur said that citizens'
loyalty to the nations is eroding.
The residential permits of the US and Europe undertaken
by high government officials is unfortunate. Supported
by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nirmal Multiple Campus of
Basamodi VDC of Bastipur organized 2 day seminar on "Role
of Civic Education in Building Modern State". The
participants at the local level argued in need of local
development. The chairman of high level administrative
commission Kashi Raj Dahal said that our country has been
made beautiful by nature but deformed by individuals.
The other countries are made beautiful by people but our
country is deteriorating. Dahal informed that he has asked
the government to take action against those high level
government officials who hold green cards because they
do not love the country. Those working in the Gulf Region
owing to the lack of job opportunities at home are undergoing
painful experience. About 5.5 million youth entering into
job market abroad indicates that we are facing downward
spiral said Dahal asking how long country can run by remittance.
Participants of 30 community school who attended the
seminar were teachers, management, local political parties,
social workers, intellectuals and attentive citizens.
Head of FES Prof. Dev Raj Dahal said that drafting of
new constitution requires building consensus. He explained
the challenges on state-building. The participants said
that we have to identify our resources and work for proportional
distribution. They also said that all the sectors are
facing lawlessness. Therefore, we have to focus on civic
education to overcome national anomalies.
The program to be run until Sunday will be addresses
by senior journalist Yubraj Ghimire, Federal expert Prof.
Lal Babu Yadav of Patan Multiple Campus said field coordinator
of FES Shiv Raj Dahal.
Source: Narayani Express National Daily (27 April
in statute writing stressed <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Banepa, Apr 23: Political leaders and experts Wednesday
concurred that youth should play their proactive role
in writing the new statute and taking the country on the
path of stability and prosperity.
They put emphasis on creating educational and job opportunities
for the youth to stop their exodus to the foreign nation.
They were sharing their views on a seminar 'The Changing
Politics, Youth and Constituent Assembly' jointly organized
by the School of Democracy (SoD) and FES, Nepal office
Addressing the function, Minister for Urban Development
Dr Narayan Khadka said that if the youth were not brought
to the political mechanism, there would be anarchy.
"It is high time to utilize the energy of youth to
bring about positive socio-economic changes in the country.
The parties should find ways to tap the youth power,"
said Dr Khadka.
He admitted that the definition of youth was strange in
his party. "The leaders continue to call themselves
as youth even after crossing 50 years. I am still a youth
leader in the party," he quipped.
Dr Shankar Sharma, former Nepalese ambassador to the US,
said that there was no alternative to democracy but the
scope for making its strong and vibrant always existed
Dr Sharma underscored that effective service delivery,
rule of law and property rights were some fundamental
requirement for the deepening of democracy. "It needs
to be linked with economic opportunities."
Constituent Assembly Ram Hari Subedi said that despite
having the glowing tradition of democratic movements and
unprecedented level of awareness among the people, the
leaders had not yet sloughed off feudal mindset, causing
trouble within the parties.
Subedi noted that the last CA failed to deliver the new
statute because of the extremist thinking and approach.
He expressed his confidence that the nation would get
the news statute by the Nepali month of Magh 2071 BS.
FES Programme officer C D Bhatta said that freedom and
equality was the cornerstone of democracy. "Freedom
is not enough. There should be economic justice to consummate
Bhatta stressed on molding democracy as per the inherent
cultural and social values of the given society. "Our
state has become weak because we could not nourish democracy
with the cultural elements and societal knowledge."
He also urged the youth to learn history to strengthen
democracy and the state.
SoD president Nain Singh Mahar said that democracy was
a continuous process and the SoD aimed at enriching knowledge
for the changes. He expressed his worry that individualism
was rising and collective thinking was on the wane.
NC lawmaker Min Bahadur Bishwokarma, CPN-M central committee
member Lekha Nath Neupane and Chirnajivi Bhandari presented
their working papers on the very title of the seminar.
Bishwokarma said that the youth had strong desire for
change that was not comparatively available in the old
leaders. He said that many youth had entered politics
and this had revived hope for the positive changes.
Neupane presented grim economic indictors and said that
over-dependency on the foreign assistance would pose a
threat to the national sovereignty.
Bhandari was of the view that the political parties had
written rosy words to lure the youth to their folds during
the election but were not serious about addressing their
NC district leader Krishna Bahadur Pachahatatre and Tej
Bahadur Chhetri of UCPN-M also expressed their views at
the function participated in by the people of different
walks of life.
Source: The Rising Nepal (24 April 2014)
democracy ensures political stability <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Pokhara, Mar 20: Participants at a function called for
promoting internal democracy to avoid intra-party conflicts
and ensure political stability in the country.
"Inner-party democracy helps for the smooth transfer
of leadership and accommodates the diverse views within
the party," they shared at a seminar 'Inner-Party
Democracy,' organised by the FES, Nepal office here other
They expressed their worries over the increased use of
money and muscles in the politics. "The leaders have
feudal mindsets and are hesitant to encourage the new
and alternative views within the parties."
Presenting his working paper, Dr Christian Wagner said
that the political parties intermediate between the society
and the state, and give legitimacy to the political system.
"They represent specific interests and look for compromise."
He noted that inner-party democracy has its implications
when the party candidates and leaders are selected and
policies are framed. "The inner-party democracy has
potential to protect a virtuous circle linking ordinary
citizens to the government and offers voters better policy
He further said: "Inner-party democracy is in a state
of transformation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution."
FES, Nepal office head Dev Raj Dahal said that his office
has been organising the debates on the inner-party democracy
for more than five years and leaves a positive impacts
on the Nepalese political parties.
He said that the parties are weakened by caucuses and
are unable to resolve conflicts.
"Ideas, changes and transformations come from the
parties. If the parties are democratised, this will also
help democratise the state and society as well. The ideas
generated from the grassroots help widen the scope of
democracy," he added.
The people from different walks of life attended the
seminar. The issues of gender rights, inclusion and upliftment
of marginalised groups were raised at the function. The
participants showed their enthusiasm about the status
of women in Germany and the kind of federal structure
The representatives of different political parties, universities,
media and other domains of social life participated in
the one-day seminar.
Source: The Rising Nepal (21 March 2014)
parties must have democracy in their Internal Life
Pokhara, March 20
Participants on Thursday meeting in Pokhara stressed
on strong and open-ended debate on the internal party
democracy. In a program organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
(FES) participants of various social organizations stressed
on the need for democracy within the structures of political
parties. Main speaker of the program was German Scholar
Dr. Christian Wagner who said that parties should be inclusive
of social diversity and they should aggregate the interest
of society and articulate in policy regimes. Democracy
can become participatory if parties' internal structures
are made both representative ad deliberative. It will
also enable parties to become more transparent and accountable.
But, he also said that inner party democracy also weakens
leadership structures and weaken their credibility to
address the demands of people promised in the elections.
Parties may then become competitive.
Source: Samadhan National Daily (21 March 2014)
from politicising federal structure: Dr Wagner <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Lalitpur, Mar 17: A noted German scholar Monday suggested
that Nepal should adopt territory-based federalism owing
to its complex social structure.
"I rather prefer for Nepal to go for four to five
federal units based on territory as the country has diverse
and complex social structure," said Prof. Dr Christian
Wagner, head of Research Division, Asia, Stiftung Wissenschaft
and Politik (SWP), Berlin.
He was sharing the federal experiences of Germany at an
interaction organised by the Contemporary Research Centre
and FES, Nepal here.
Federalism has been the key issue in the contents of Nepal's
new constitution and disagreement on it had led to the
dissolution of the first Constituent Assembly elected
Dr Wagner admitted that federating the country into various
provinces was a daunting task but he warned against politicising
"Depoliticise federal structure, build institutional
framework and make them articulate," Dr Wagner told
a gathering of the selected audiences that comprised politicians,
experts, students and media persons.
Dr. Wagner's proposition for depoliticising the federal
agenda, which is the most contested issue of the world's
youngest republic- could provide a fresh approach to the
subject excessively politicised by the ethnic and regional
The German think tank head noted that the provinces should
be made viable to let the government function smoothly.
Dr Wagner called for exploring instruments for self-autonomy,
economy and self-determination. "However, the quest
for self-determination is endless.'
The German political scientist said that one-size-fits-all
idea simply did not work. Nepal should adopt its own model
of federal structure that will lift the people out of
poverty and redress the balance for the marginalised communities,
"The countries are poor in paper but not in resources.
There should be specific authority to collect taxes,"
On the downsides of the heterogeneous structure, he said
that the new groups bring new dynamic and make the governing
process dysfunctional. "The process is paralyzed
by the procedures."
Providing German experiences, he said that federalism
was a continuous process in which the affluent and the
poor provinces are merged. "Federalism is a boring
subject for the students but it is the political parties
that bring process for its reform."
He informed about the complex structure of federalism
of German and how the rights and powers were shared between
the federal government and the federal units. "Our
federalism is cooperative and under-construction. The
states can give advice to the centre and participates
in the negotiations with the EU when their interests are
CA member and professor Dr Ganesh Man Gurung said that
federalism should address Nepal's diversity and question
of identity but the economic viability should be the primary
element for the formation of the new provinces.
FES, Nepal office head Dev Raj Dahal said that federalism
was not a panacea to all maladies of new Nepal but a means
to ensure fair distribution of national wealth and resources
among the people.
Lal Babu Yadav, an associate professor at the TU, said
that the second CA elections had rejected the ethnic federalism
and One Madhes One Province slogan, and the people's mandate
was for cooperative federalism.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Pyare Lal Rana, Kiran Yadav and
CPN-UML lawmaker Ram Kumar Bhattarai called for balancing
between the economic viability and identity while slashing
the country into provinces.
Source: The Rising Nepal (18 March 2014)
Lamki, March 5: A two-day seminar on "Building Modern
State Through Civic Education" began at Lamki, Kailali
District. In the seminar organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
and managed by Lamki Multiple College participants from
various sectors of society such as representatives of
political parties and various local institutions, school
and college teachers, student unions, journalists, social
leaders, etc participated.
In the first day of the seminar senior political scientists
Prof. Dev Raj dahal presented lecture on changes and solution
on building modern state, constitutional expert and chairman
of Administrative Reform Commission and Chairman of Administrative
Reform Commission Kashi Raj Dahal spoke on federalism
rule of law, and constitution-drafting process and senior
journalist and political analyst Yubaraj Ghimire spoke
about the role of media in civic education, federalism,
secularism and the role of various social organizations.
He also responded questions about secularism and non-secularism,
the role or absence of monarchy, politics of negation.
The second day training program focused on the principles
of democracy, role of civic education in it and media's
functions in the spread of democratic values and culture.
These issues are attended by Chandra Dev Bhatta, Kashi
Raj Dahal and Dev Raj Dahal.
Source: Tikapur daily (5 March 2014)