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FES Nepal in the Press 2016

Amendment bill reeks of conspiracy: Gautam <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 28: CPN-UML vice-chairman Bam Dev Gautam Wednesday said that the constitution amendment bill was brought with the motive of harming the nation's territorial integrity.

"There is a conspiracy behind registering the amendment bill as it seeks to split the Terai from the hills," Gautam said while addressing a seminar 'The challenges of statute implementation and end of deadlock', jointly organised by the Contemporary Research Centre (CRC) and FES, Nepal Office.
The UML vice-chair said that he was bemused by the logic that the hills should be segregated from the Terai belt at any cost.

"In the 4,000-year-long history, the Terai was never separated from the mountains and hills. Even ancient kings from the Terai state had the hills and mountains as parts of their state," he said, adding that it was up to the concerned provincial assemblies to change the boundaries of the provinces.

Gautam said that the ruling parties had forcefully pushed the bill by bypassing the main opposition, UML, which played a crucial role in writing the new constitution.

Chairman of the Administrative Court Kashi Raj Dahal said that the nation had got a democratic constitution but it sorely lacked a democratic culture.
"The parties are indulging in power politics, only helping to prolong and complicate the transition," said Dahal.

Urging the political parties to take a collective decision in a wise manner, he noted that the rule of law, strong security and effective service delivery were vital in addressing the challenges arising from the federal exercise.

FES, Nepal Office head Dev Raj Dahal said that a coalition of progressive and social democratic actors was needed to reclaim the state and build a strong political network to help achieve the integrity of public institutions and eliminate the toxic agents of the system, mediate the social interest, ideology and identity through the golden mean and promote good life of the citizens.

"This demands inter-generational redistribution of wealth, power and recognition and move both citizens and leaders towards maturity," Dahal added.
CRC chairman Ganeshman Gurung said that unity in diversity was the asset of the Nepali society, and this must not be disturbed.

UML lawmaker Lal Babu Yadav said that the 16-point deal, reached among the major three parties - Nepali Congress, UML and CPN-Maoist Centre - was the first independent decision taken by the Nepali political actors since the Sugauli Treaty.

"The agreement led to the promulgation of the statute, but the leaders did not go to the villages to inform the people about the constitution. This gave a space for some elements to spread rumours against the statute," said Yadav.

NC leader NP Saud urged the UML to let the House run and solve the deadlock through it.

"Democracy should give space to the disgruntled voices. It is necessary to go to the polls by forging consensus among the major parties," he added.

CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Nisha Kumari Shah said that the statute had recognised the elements of identity and capability.

NC lawmaker Man Bahadur Bishwokarma said that it was a challenge to hold the three-tier elections by January 2018.

Another NC lawmaker Badri Pandey called for respecting the principle of the separation of powers.

UML lawmaker Meena Pun said that nowhere in the world was the constitution all-acceptable.

Lawmakers Balbir Chaudhari, Dil Bahadur Nepali and Surendra Chaudhari also expressed their views at the seminar attended by people from different walks of life, including 40 lawmakers.

Source: The Rising Nepal (29 December 2016)

Youths should struggle to national identity: Experts <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 17: The Nepalese youth have to struggle for creating coherent national identity at a time when mini identities have weakened the nation's strength and unity, said participants in the capital other day.

"The youth have to clean up politics and make it a means of service to the society and nation," they said at a national seminar jointly organised by the Scholl of Democracy and the FES, Nepal.

Nepali Congress central committee member and lawmaker Min Bishwokarma said that the youth was the agent of democracy.

"Democracy cannot sustain just by writing about it in the constitution or just talking about it. I would like to quote Bhimrao Ambedkar. He had said that until and unless democracy is socialized, it becomes a game of elites," he said

FES, Nepal Office head Dev Raj Dahal said that Nepali youths had to struggle for the formation of national identity based on citizenship as it removed the binary code of politics played on friend and foe and foster common background condition for the resolution of interest, ideology and identity related conflicts.

"This means Nepali youths must regain the capacity for feeling towards national life, if they are properly informed by the general condition of people and history of nation-building," added Dahal.

Lawmaker Lal Babu Yadav said that Nepal had never witnessed ethnic, regional and territorial conflicts.

"There is a ploy not to make dalits, Madhesis and women as citizen in the name of politics of identity and inclusion," he said.

Ex-registrar of Supreme Court Ram Krishna Timalsina said that nationalism could not be built and saved by tearing down the history and geography.

He said that federalism stressed the self-rule and shared-rule but today it had been confined to the constitution.

CPN-Maoist centre central committee member Lekhnath Neupane volleyed many questions to the youth: Is politics a social service or profit-making venture? How to fight against consumerism within the political parties? Where lie the sovereignty of cadres in the operation of parties and leaders' free decision-making capacity?

"Every cadre has to do soul-searching as to why s/he has joined the given political parties," he added.

Nepal Trade Union Congress chairman Khilanath Dahal said that as over 500,000 youths joined the labour market, it had now become urgent to focus on the employment generation.

Pushpa Kumar Shahi, acting president of Nepal Student Union, said that the youth were the agent of change and creation.

Acting president of School of Democracy Sanjay Mishra said that it was necessary for the forceful intervention in the organs of the state and at the same time they had to build their capacity and ability.

Source: The Rising Nepal (18 December 2016)

Civil society's role not effective <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Dec 12: The role of civil society has not been effective in the aftermath of earthquake and constitution promulgation, said participants at a function in Kathmandu Monday.

"The civil society should link between the state and people, and be active to provide relief to the victims of the earthquake," they shared their views at a national seminar 'The role of civil society after the earthquake and statute promulgation.

It was jointly organised by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

FES Nepal office head Dev Raj Dahal said that the state should have ownership of politics, law and development policy.

"The people and state are sovereign but they have now become weak. Quite the contrary, those institutions, which are not sovereign, are getting stronger," said Dahal.

He said that the civil society had to explore the middle ground to connect the divergent social and political groups. "The civil society should be autonomous and enlightened."

Senior journalist P. Kharel said that the Nepalese civil society had been divided into different political groups and, therefore, they were unable to play their effective and independent role.

NEFAS executive director Ananda Shrestha called for giving a fair crack of whip to the youth in the political leadership so as to bring a viable change to the country.

"There should be the age limit for the politicians; the Prime Minister should not be allowed more than two terms in office and one must be a graduate to be a lawmaker," he added.

Lawmaker Lalbabu Yadav admitted that the parties failed to go to the people in the aftermath of the promulgation of the new constitution and inform them about its positive attributes.

Former vice-chair of National Planning Commission professor Gunanidhi Sharma said that the identity of the state would be in jeopardy if every ethnic and cultural group attempted to seek their own identity at the expense of country.

Professor MP Lohani said that it had become tricky to define the term 'civil society' as it had been highly partisan and incoherent.

Assistant professor Roshan Pokharel and social analyst Naresh Rimal had presented their working papers 'Democracy, Constitution and Law' and 'Community Resilience and Post Reconstruction in Nepal: Civil Society Perspective' respectively.

In his paper, Pokhrel cautioned that the new constitution could breed new lines of conflict if the people failed to enjoy fundamental rights enshrined in the new constitution.

Rimal said that there was the need for meta-disciplinary public administration and management for offering solution and readiness for disaster risk minimization for community resilience.

The people from different walks of life attended the seminar.

Source: The Rising Nepal (13 December 2016)

Civic Education in Rural Areas <Top>

The Public Correspondent, December 3, Gaushala

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has conducted a two-day civic awareness program to raise the issue of building the state and patriotism at a time when the nation is reeling under the vortex of constitutional amendment. FES has organized this program in Phul Kumari Mahato School of Bandipur, Sirha District on Friday focusing on issues of contemporary relevance and political change. Over 200 participants attended the program. They said that owing to a lack of vision in political leadership and their selfish interests have impeded the solution of problems the nation now is facing.

Chief Guest of the program and chairman of High Level Administrative Reform Commission Kashi Raj dahal said that due to partisan interest and short-sighted vision of political parties the Constitution of Nepal 2015 failed to become a road map for the creation of a national political system. He added that all Nepali citizens should stand in a common platform for the protection of national interest and proper utilization of natural resources for development. For the effective service delivery all the state organs should be effective, active and robust.

Head of FES Nepal Office Dev Raj Dahal spoke on the need to promote active citizenship for state building and enable it to resolve national problems and make the leaders accountable to democratic political culture. The country has become a prisoners of indecision of political leaders. He said that education sector is less reflective of national condition and needs while absence of business-friendly environment is causing capital flight.

In the program Chief District Officer Sri Krishna Shrestha of Sirha District argued that in the absence of learning about duties, constitutional rights have become ineffective. The field coordinator of FES Shiva Raj Dahal said that FES has executed civic education program in over 300 place of 67 districts of the country promoting public awareness about democracy, citizenship and peace. Organized under the chairman of school Jagar Nath Yadav, District Education Officer Arbinda Lal Karna and many others shared their views.

Source: The Public (3 December 2016)

Nepal's democracy weakened: experts <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Nov 26: Politicians and experts Saturday called for enlightening the people about their rights and duties enshrined in the new constitution in order to implement it.

"Until and unless the people are not well informed about the core contents of the statute, the nation building task does not gain momentum," they shared their views at a national seminar entitled 'Constitutional approach to nation building in Nepal' jointly organised by the Martyrs Memorial Foundation (MMF) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Kathmandu.

The speakers, paper presenters and participants were in unison to state that Nepali state had dangerously become weak as power superseded knowledge and the leaders lost touch with the people.

Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak said that the constitution linked the people with the state.

"The constitution is not a dogmatic document but a living one that must ensure the ownership of majority of populace," said Lekhak, adding that national agenda ahead of them was to make the national charter acceptable to the majority of the people and implement it through the three-tier elections.

He called for finding a middle path to sort out the current impasse in the statute amendment.

MMA chairman Dhundiraj Shashtri noted that realising goals of socialism was the need of the hour as the people were yearning for equality and prosperity.

Dev Raj Dahal, FES, Nepal Office head, said that national political parties must have to make a 'common cause' with each other and politically significant groups of society to implement the constitution and carve a viable path of democracy, nation building, reconciliation and social peace.

"Election of local self-governance bodies ensures stability and inclusion, restores the right of citizens to decide themselves and a return to the effective governance," added head of FES, a German political foundation that promotes values of social democracy, justice, peace and freedom.

Nepal Student Union president Nain Singh Mahar said that it was the duty of the political parties to make the people understand the inner contents of the statute in order to increase their access to the constitutional rights.

MMA general secretary Khilanath Dahal said that the martyrs laid down their lives for the brighter future of the Nepalese people.

"The martyrs had envisioned social dignity, cultural preservation and economic prosperity but their dreams have not yet been met," he said.

Senior journalist Yuvaraj Gautam said that democracy in Nepal got enfeebled each passing year despite the big political upheavals.

Santosh Pariyar, a lecturer of political science, said that nation building was a project to make a country for all differences and make it a common place for all for peace, prosperity and happiness.

Lawyer Shanta Sedhai urged for embracing the women issue as national agenda by rising above the partisan interests.

Trade union activists, workers from different political parties, students and media people attended the one-day seminar where three working papers were presented and commented.

Source: The Rising Nepal (27 November 2016)

SC ahead in implementing federalism: CJ Karki <Top>

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Nov 23: Politicians and bureaucrats Monday called for ending the transition at the earliest by sorting out the disputes besetting the new constitution.

"Strengthening national unity and making the political parties accountable are necessary to ensure good governance," they said at a national seminar 'Constitution implementation and accountability', jointly organised by the High Level Administration Reforms Implementation and Monitoring Committee and FES, Nepal office.

Addressing the seminar, Chief Justice Sushila Karki said that the judiciary had made a resolve to implement the new constitution.

"The Supreme Court is the first among other state organs to implement federalism, a key move in the direction of the statute's implementation," said Chief Justice Karki.

Karki said that the SC had announced setting up a High Court in seven provinces, and judges were working hard to settle the court cases in a proportionate manner.

"Since the nation had made huge investment and the lawmakers great efforts in writing the national charter, it is imperative for all to implement it to achieve peace and development," she said and added that the leadership should maintain restraint during transition as it has witnessed many problems cropping up.

Appreciating the progressive provisions of the national charter, the Chief Justice said that constitutional provisions related to proportional representation of the marginalised people were rarely found in the statutes of other nations.

Former Speaker and CPN-UML Parliamentary Party deputy leader Subas Nembang said that the political parties stood on a common ground when it came to ideology but got pulled in opposite directions when it came to implementing it.

"A total of 128 new laws need to be framed to hold the elections, but the government had stopped sending vital electoral Bills to the parliament," Nembang.

He said that the process of implementing the statute was slow or it almost came to a complete halt.

"The constitution contains directives and guidance, but it does not offer intelligence, wisdom and aptitude no matter how good it is," he said.
He called on the parties that stood together to bring down the autocratic regime again to come to one place to implement the statute.
Chief Election Commissioner Chief Dr Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said that no election laws had landed on the table of the EC.

"The EC is able to conduct the elections if it is granted at least 120 days from the day of the announcement of the poll date. It is a must to hold the elections at all levels in a fair and free manner to implement the statute and ensure good governance," said Dr Yadav.

Chairman of the High Level Administration Reforms Implementation and Monitoring Committee Kashi Raj Dahal said that the nation could come out of the transition if the major political parties took collective decisions to implement the post-conflict arrangement.

"Election is the key to legitimise the changes and ensure the rule of law," he said.

Dahal noted that the people were yearning for development, and it was up to the political parties not to let latent conflicts to flare up.
Chief secretary Som Lal Subedi said that it would be difficult to implement the statute if there was no culture of constitutionalism.

"Restructuring the administration into the federal map won't be successful if the civil servants focussed only on where their position was and what they gained from it," he said.

Subedi called for taking wise and ruthless decisions to shape the bureaucracy into the federal structure.

Former minister Lal Babu Pandit urged all to keep the nation's interest first and said that no Madhesi leader had signed any treasonous agreement to this day.

Former Nepali Congress leader NP Saud said that the amendment to the constitution was for bringing the marginalised groups into the mainstream.

Source: The Rising Nepal (24 November 2016)

Civic education strengthens democracy <Top>

By Our Correspondent
Dumre, Tanahu, Nov. 11: Experts have called for promoting civic education to free the nation from various anomalies, thereby strengthening social harmony and democratic institutions.

"Students need to be instilled with civic and moral values in order to take the nation on the right track. Civic education help control corruption and gain political stability," they said at a seminar entitled 'Civic Education in the National Context' organised at Dumre, Tanahu other day.

The Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS), in coordination with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), organised the seminar.

Former Vice-Chairman of National Planning Commission Dr Guna Nidhi Sharma said that the Nepali society was strongly craving for economic development in line with the new statute that has envisioned building a socialist-oriented economy.

Dr Sharma said that it was necessary to do soul-searching as to who had benefited from the economic liberalisation. "It has triggered incongruous development and created vast inequality in the society."

He said that happiness should be the aim of development as material hunger had no limitation.

NEFAS director Ananda Shrestha said that naturalized citizens should not be allowed to hold high public posts until three generations of theirs had lived in Nepal.

Shrestha underlined the need for electing leaders with a clean image. He called on the youth to join the politics to clean up it.

FES programme officer CD Bhatta said that there should be balance between freedom and equality.

Bhatta said that civic education was the need of the day and students should absorb its values should. "Nepal's diversity should be taken as strength, not liability."

NEFAS programme officer Shiva Raj Dahal said that the citizens should be conscious, active and competent to make the state strong.

Stating that they should be aware of their rights and duties, Dahal noted that the civic education was the key to maintaining ethnic goodwill, religious tolerance and class balance. "It is imperative for the youth to understand the universal values of democracy so that they will be accountable to the society and nation."

Lawyer Roshan Pokhrel warned that the nation would be mired into new kinds of constitutional conflicts after the people started filing writs at the Supreme Court, demanding that the state implement the fundamental rights enshrined in the statute.

"The principle of the separation of powers should be strictly abided by in order to ensure rule of law and constitutionalism," added Pokhrel.

Chairman of the management committee of Chij Kumar-Bishnu Kumari Community Campus Man Bahadur Shrestha said that there was the need for changing the mindset to develop the society.

He lauded the organizers for conducting the seminar on civic education, which he said, had become very important in the present context.

Teachers, representatives of different political parties and civil society members attended the programme.

Source: The Rising Nepal (12 November 2016)

Country is in social democratic path <Top>

National News Agency

Kathmandu: September 3

Leader of Nepali Congress Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat says that the country is moving along social democratic system. Speaking in a program organized by Center for Consolidation of Democracy (CCD) on Saturday on "Rebuilding Nepal through Social Democratic Approach," Dr. Mahat said that due to social democracy rural Nepal is gaining access and facilities to motorable road, education, health and drinking water.

He said that before 25 years only 40 percent of the people could get safe drinking water, now it has reached to 85 percent, average age was 45 years now it is 71 years, poverty was 49 percent, now it has been reduced to 23 percent. All these are the achievements of social democracy. Dr. Mahat also said that Nepali Congress government has contributed to the growth and expansion of democratic socialism.

Deputy General Secretary of CPN-UML Ghanashayam Bhusal said that vote buying through money and pouring liquor to the voters during election cannot strengthen social democracy. He said that protection of social democracy requires unity among the parties. "Implementation of constitution can protect social democracy and lead the country to progress" he said. Central Committee member of Nepali Congress Party Kalyan Gurung accused the leaders that when they are catapulted into power they forget democratic socialism. He asserted that putting people in scarcity and the nation in crisis cannot institutionalize democracy. Central Committee member of NC Kiran Yadav said that unless the problem of Madhesi comes to conclusion, democratic socialism cannot leap forward. She said that the country can move ahead only with the values of social democracy.

Chairman of Nepal Student Union Nain Singh Mahar said that since the constitution is drafted along social democratic line, law and policies should be formulated accordingly. Chairman of CCD Dr. Jagadish Pokhrel concluded that meeting saying that democratic socialism is indispensable for Nepal's political, social, economic and cultural development.

Source: Gorkhapatra (4 September 2016)

Country running under democratic socialist system: Dr Mahat <Top>

Kathmandu, Sept 3: Nepali Congress leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat today said the country was moving ahead on path of democratic socialism.
Speaking at an interaction on 'Democratic Socialism base for Nepal's development' organized by Centre for Consolidation of Democracy (CCD) and FES here, Dr Mahat attributed the rural sector's access towards motorway, education, health and drinking water to democratic socialism.

The leader also emphasized that Nepali Congress had played a significant role in democratic socialism's development and expansion in the country.
On the occasion, CPN (UML) Deputy General Secretary, Ghanashyam Bhusal, said democratic socialism cannot be protected with the trend of buying votes in election and paying for drinking binges. "There is need for unity among the political parties for defending democratic socialism," he said.
Nepali Congress central member, Kalyan Gurung, accused the leaders of forgetting about democratic socialism after reaching power positions. He added that the democracy cannot be institutionalized by keeping the people in deficiency and nation in crisis.

Nepal Student Union (NSU) President, Nainsingh Mahar, said the constitution was drafted in line with socialism hence rules should be formulated on the same basis. RSS

Source: Image Khabar (3 September 2016)

Civic Awareness Program <Top>

Tika Kharel, Sainamaina

On the initiative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung two-day civic awareness seminar began at Sainamaina College. The program discussed on the issues that educational curriculum must be formulated to make education life-oriented, civic and public oriented so that it helps to strengthen democracy, fosters the sovereignty of people and links politics to policy making and public morality. It can help improve social standards and make citizens loyal to the state.

In the program, experts discussed about addressing national and local questions, spirit of the age, adoption of appropriate technology and economy to make society ecologically sustainable and development able to foster ecological, social , gender and intergenerational justice.

In the first day of the program head of Nepal FES Dev Raj Dahal highlighted on the essence of civic education to make active citizen, challenges to building modern state and offered their solutions. Similarly, senior constitutional expert Kashi Raj Dahal explained the main contents of 2015 Constitution for nation-building while Chief District Officer of Rupandehi Bishnu Prasad Dhakal appreciated the program for civic awareness building.

District Education Officer Tek Bahadur Thapa said that educational access of the poor and quality education are key elements to nurture civic disposition and skills and strengthen democracy in the country.

In the two-day program Dr. Chandra Dev Bhatta and Kashi Raj Dahal spoke about the universal principles of democracy and explained about civic lesions through practical examples. In the program over 180 persons including 45 headmasters, campus teachers, representatives of political parties, civil society, representatives of various social organizations, students and active citizens took part in the meeting. Representative of Ministry of Education Dhundi Raj Bhandari chaired the session while sociologist Shiva Raj Dahal moderated the program. Forty percent of the participants were women.

Source: Sainamaina Sandesh (20 August 2016)

Education system producing two classes of citizens <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Boharatar, Sindhuli, July 13: Experts have warned that the existing education system was creating to economic classes in the society with the adoption of neo-liberalization policies.

"Those with the fat purse can send their wards to the expensive schools but the poor parents are unable to provide quality education to their children. As a result, it has created fault lines in the society," they said, speaking at a seminar entitled 'the Civic Education in the National Context' jointly organised by the NEFAS and FES Nepal office other day at Boharatar of Jhangajholi Ratamata VDC.

They also underlined the importance of civic education to educate the people about their rights and duties in the society.

Former Vice-Chairman of Planning Commission Dr Gunanidhi Sharma said that blind persuasion of neo-liberal economic policies had weakened the state and gave upper hand to the private sector, which was not honest towards the people and the nation.

"Health, education and drinking water are the public utilities that the state is obliged to ensure these facilities for the citizens," he said.

Dr Sharma said that privatization has left the students belonging to the lower class high and dry. "It is creating two classes of citizens, and this trend must be stopped."

NEFAS executive director Ananda Shrestha said that the time had come for the youth to assume the leadership role to bring economic transformation.

He said that frequent strikes had negatively affected the education sector.

FES Programme Officer CD Bhatta said that the existing education system had failed to link life with the world. "It is neither producing knowledge nor giving employment to the youth."

He said that the civic education promoted positive thinking and taught the people to respect labour.

NEFAS Programme Coordinator Shivaraj Dahal said that the civic education opened up the horizon of the people.

"It converts the people into citizens, enabling them to defy the political highhandedness and societal anomalies," added Dahal.

Lawyer Roshan Pokharel said that 31 fundamental rights enshrined in the new constitution were its positive attributes and needed to be implemented to bring about changes to the life of the people.

Dev Kumar Acharya, principal of Pragatisheel Higher Secondary School, the education system did not impart moral education to the students.

Chairman of Pragatisheel Higher Secondary School Management Committee Chandra Bahadur Shrestha said that the teachers should instill a sense of ethic into the students.

Programme coordinator Arun Kumar Singh highlighted the objective of the one-day seminar attended by the teachers, representatives of political parties, local intellectuals, farmers and students.

Samiksha Acharya, a student, said: "The poor students like me have no chance to be a doctor and engineer in this country. Is education the property of the rich? We have also dream but the state has shown a height of indifferent to the offspring of the poor."

Source: The Rising Nepal (14 July 2016)

Government trying to stifle press freedom, says Lekhak <Top>

Published: July 06, 2016 3:37 am

Nepali Congress central committee member Ramesh Lekhak has accused the government of trying to control the media and stifle press freedom.
Speaking at an interaction 'Media in the mediation of social cleavages' organised in the capital today, Lekhak said the government wanted to control free flow of information through the online media directive.

In the name of online media directive, the government wants to stifle press freedom," he said. The program was jointly organised by Nepal Press Union and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. He said the government itself was the biggest hurdle to implementing the constitution.

Prakash Rimal, editor of The Himalayan Times presented a papers entitled 'Challenges Nepali media face' at the interaction.

Source: The Himalayan Times (5 July 2016)

State indifferent to problems of working class <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, July 3: Experts, politicians and trade union leaders Sunday said that the state was indifferent to the problems of working class people that make up around half of the population of the nation.

They highlighted the role of workers in the political movements and their plight in the context of the crisis of welfare state.

"Workers participated in every democratic movement but they are immediately left in the lurch," they said, adding that spirit of welfare state could not be realised until their basic needs and aspirations were well addressed.

They shared their views at a seminar 'the power of political networks: trade unions and the crisis of welfare state' jointly organised by the CLASS Nepal and FES, Nepal office in Kathmandu.

They noted that the new statute had oodles of progressive contents to usher the nation in the welfare state but it sorely lacked the enabling structures, political will and consensus needed to build an egalitarian state.

FES Nepal Office head Dev Raj Dahal said that the new statute had not envisioned a Labour Commission despite the fact that it contained many other commissions because the workers could not strongly lobby for it.

"The working class is deemed as the weakest section of the society so their voices were not heard in the corridors of power," said Dahal, adding that neo-liberalisation, globalization and IT-driven economy had vitiated the trade unions movement and their solidarity worldwide.

He called for 'producing organic intellectuals' to keep parasites at bay and build Nepal anew based on the indigenous knowledge and resources.

CPN-UML secretary Yogesh Bhattarai said the political revolution was over and the phase of reconstruction had begun.

"The political parties have used the people merely as a vote bank. Therefore, they should be active and keep vigil on the activities of the parties," he said.

Nepali Congress central committee member Guru Raj Ghimire said that the political parties had not fully transformed themselves into true democratic forces.

"Democracy also means good conduct and culture but political and civil society leaders still suffer depressions," he said.

Naya Shakti spokesman Khim Lal Devkota said that it was a time to rethink as old mindset could not bring prosperity to the nation.
National Planning Commission member Gopinath Mainali said that it was necessary to socialize opportunities and promote people's participation to minimize economic disparity.

The FES Programme Officer CD Bhatta underscored the need for strengthening family values to create welfare state. "It is imperative to free from old mindset for the democratic transformation of the society."

CLASS Nepal president Lekha Prasad Burlakoti said that once the problems of working class people were addressed, many of social woes would automatically disappear.

Experts Pitambar Bhandari and Shrawan Sharma presented their working papers at the seminar attended by trade union activists, representatives from different political parties, students and media persons.

Source: The Rising Nepal (4 July 2016)

National Consensus in needed for the implementation of Constitution <Top>

Gorkhapatra Correspondent

Kathmandu June 17. Senior leader of Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Poudel said that Nepali Congress is seeking consensus not for power sharing but the execution of federal democratic constitution. Inaugurating the two-day seminar organized by women's department of Nepal Press Union in Kathmandu Poudel said that government is requested by the party to move forward in the implementation of constitution prepared under the leadership of Nepali Congress through the preparation of a schedule.

He accused the government of moving in monopolistic way. He said such a tendency cannot create an environment of trust for national consensus. He also requested Madhesi parties to come to talk with positive environment and NC can provide leadership for a consensus between the government and agitating force. He also said that it is a dangerous situation to control press freedom. Central Committee member of NC and former Communication minister Dr. Minendra Rijal expressed that there should not be any restriction on online journal. But the online journalism should be made credible and responsible. He said that there should be a clear distinction between online journalism and blog.

The Central Committee member of NC Arjun Narsinga KC said that capacity building of worm journalist and an environment of professional security can improve the dignity of this profession. Congress leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula argued that Congress should take the leadership in the implementation of Constitution as it is made by NC. For this all should come together in the formulation of necessary laws.

NC central committee member Purna B. Khadka said that if people are not allowed to enjoy the rights granted in the constitution the country might plunge into multidimensional conflicts. He said that NC should take lead in the implementation of Constitution by mobilizing all sectors of society.

In the program Chairam of Nepal Press Council Borna B. Karki, member of National Information Commission, Kiran Pokhrel, former Chairman of Gorkhapatra Sansthan Ramesh Tufan, Nepal Federation of Journalists Dr. Mahendra Bista, Chairman of Minimum Wage Determination Committee Poshan KC, Head of FES Dev raj Dahal, Chairperson of Nepal Women's Association Dila Sangraula, Vice-Chair of Nepal Trade Union Congress Rama Poudel, etc spoke on the need to take special initiatives in enhancing the role of women journalists.

In the conference over 200 women journalists associated with Nepal Press Union attended the meeting. Coordinator of women front of Nepal Press Union Bala Adhikary said that the meeting will discuss on the participation and continuity of women in journalism and stabilization of this profession.

Source: The Gorkhapatra Daily (18 June 2016)

Democracy is a distributive, not extractive system <Top>

Post Correspondent,

Dhanagadhi, May 28: Political scientist and head of FES Nepal Dev Raj Dahal said that only active and loyal citizens can consolidate democracy. Dahal said, "Democracy is distributive, not extractive system of governance." There are certain positive and certain negative rights and democracy is accountable to the people. Since democracy is a system of compromise it solves identity, ideology and interest-based problems through dialogue, deliberation and negotiation and brings the actors in a common platform.

Politics revolves around the aspirations of people and their right to national self-determination he said this in a seminar on "Role of Law in Strengthening Democracy" organized on Saturday at Dhanagadhi. Self-determination of people in politics makes the state take right direction while outside manipulation makes it weak. Dahal said that state should be stronger than non-state actors and continuous privatization of public sphere only makes the state feeble. The role of law lies in the replacement of violence. The advent of democracy has added more rights to Nepali citizens which requires corresponding duties.

Executive Director of National Law College Dr. Ram Krishna Timalsena spoke about the need of social transformation as per the changing rules of life. Political system in Nepal is neither capitalist nor socialist. Presenting his paper on the role of law in strengthening democracy he said that we have taken outside model. The nation is facing crisis. Can the nation politically afford federalism? We need to discuss about it. Religion should be in the private sphere while politics in the public and politics should be linked to the livelihood of people. But in Nepal they are operating in opposite direction.

Associate Professor of Nepal Law Campus Ganesh Dutta Bhatta said that constitutional stability requires change with continuity. Achievement of political movements should be consolidated rather than perpetually indulging in agitation. The Constitution is an article of faith. If it is not implemented the country will have to face serious crisis. Presenting his paper on the institutional and constitutional provisions for the consolidation of democracy he said that political stability is essential. Nepal always remained a victim of controlled-instability and had hard times to consolidate democracy.

Ex-registrar of Far-Western University Prof. Dr. Hemraj Panta said that economic development is a prerequisite for democracy consolidation. Main problem of Nepal is of poverty. Political instability impeded development. Sustainable democracy demands the benefits of democracy trickle down at the lower level of society. Campus Chief of Kailali Multiple Campus Surendra Chanda said that rights alone is not sufficient the crucial question is the implementation of constitution. The oppressed people of rural areas should be given justice. Education and access to resources must go down to the people at the rural level. He also said that the people's opinion on state restructuring and federalism should be included.

Vice-President of Nepal Bar Association Kulananda Upadhayay said that democratic republic should be institutionalized. As equality, justice and freedom are the main organs of democracy their strengthening should accompany the promotion of independent judiciary. The program was organized under the chairmanship of Nepal Law College Karna B. Thapa and Chandra Dev Bhatta welcomed the participants. The program was jointed organized by Nepal Law College, Constitutional Foundation and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Source: Dhanagadhi Post (29 May 2016)

Growing geopolitical interests posing challenges to national security <Top>


By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, May 27: Increased geopolitical interests and internal conflicts have posed serious challenges to the national security, experts said at a national seminar in Kathmandu Friday.

"Security is not just about the absence of fear but is also related to the livelihood guarantee of life and the state's ability to exercise legitimate monopoly of power, which form essential preconditions to subdue internal chaos, break criminal networks and forge partnership with international community," they viewed.

The seminar entitled 'Implementation of National Security Policy in Nepal' was organised against the backdrop of the recent adoption of national security by the government.

Former Police Council Nepal, the Relief Trust, the Peace and Development Studies and FES, Office Nepal organised the event.

Opening the seminar, Minister for Home Shakti Basnet called for synthesizing the universal values of democracy with the specific needs of the nation to effectively apply the national security.

"The ICT-induced socio-economic changes, geopolitical considerations, globalization and seismic political upheavals have emerged as chief factors in defining national security," said Minister Basnet.

He noted that broader national outlook and self-reliant economy buttressed national security.

"Citizens need to demonstrate patriotic feeling while the political parties must rise above petty interests to implement national security robustly," added Basnet.

Echoing Basnet's views, former minister Lal Babu Pandit said that every Nepali should nurture a feeling of Nepaliness.

"We need to expose those who pursue political career in the backing of foreign aid and blessing. Neighbouring nations spend around Rs 200 million to grant scholarships to the offspring of Nepalese politicians, bureaucrats and senior security officials," claimed Pandit.

He said that no one had right to demand the secession of the nation in the name of press freedom or human rights.

FES Nepal Office head Dev Raj Dahal said that the new security architecture required fulfilling human development, security-citizens ties, economic, diplomatic, military and communications effectiveness, anticipatory planning and security alertness and early disaster preparedness.

"The conventional threat posed by inter-state conflict has become moderated while intra-state conflicts have increased with the emergence of critical 'minority' stoked by both informational revolution and geopolitical penetration. Now the time has come to bind the fragmentation of Nepalese society, weaving individuals, families and communities and strengthening social connections of citizens with the state," added Dahal.

Vice chair of Former Police Council Nepal Dr Chuda Bahadur Shrestha said that effective implementation of national security became urgent in view of several internal challenges that posed threat to the country's security and sovereignty.

Hiranya Lal Shrestha, Rajendra Thapa, Monish Bajracharya and Ramesh Bhandari had presented their working papers at the programme attended by the representatives from security agencies, bureaucracy, civil society and media.

Source: The Rising Nepal (28 May 2016)

Economic Development Essential for Constitutional Stability <Top>

Dirgha Raj Upadhayay

Dhanagadhi: Constitutional and political science experts say that raising living standards of people is essential for constitutional stability. They said that several constitutions in Nepal were terminated in a short span of time owing to their disconnection with the prosperity of people. For the stability of the new Constitution focused should be placed on economic development enabling it to address some left out issues. In a seminar organized at Dhanagadhi on the Role of Law in Strengthening Democracy, political scientists said that all the stakeholders should be engaged in the implementation of Constitution otherwise unforeseen consequence will follow. Political systems in Nepal have been changed owing to their inability to develop the nation, therefore, the nation should single-mindedly concentrate on economic development. With the aim of fulfilling people's aspirations all the stakeholders should concentrate on the implementation of Constitution. Political scientists and head of FES Nepal, Dev Raj Dahal said that citizens should be familiarized with the contents of the Constitution and the government and political parties should seek to fulfill the rights of citizens. The nation's progress suffered because of apathy of citizens. Dahal added that contextual laws should be formulated and address the nation's problems. The framework of binary-politics taken from medieval Europe is outdated to modern times.

Dr. Ram Krishna Timalsina, former registrar of Supreme Court and Constitutional expert, argued that the Constitution can be implemented if it improved the livelihood of citizens. To convert it into people's constitution, its provisions should be implemented earnestly. Future laws should be promulgated as per societal requirements. Associate Professor of Nepal Law Campus warned that if this constitution remains unimplemented, the nation might have to face the grave risks. All the stakeholders, therefore, should commit to implement the Constitution. He added that current Constitution has included many progressive elements such as secularism, federalism, republic , independent judiciary, adult franchise, periodic election, proportional inclusion, social justice and federalism. The Constitution is promulgated with the approval of 92 percent of legislators which is no mean achievement. Prof. Dr. Hem Raj Pant said that previous regimes were collapsed for not doing development. The democratic system now should be institutionalized to avert its alternative which will be disastrous. But achieving constitutional stability demands alleviating the misery of people. Only economic progress can ensure democratic development and positive peace. The achievements so far have been consumed by creamy lawyer of society at the top. Chandra Dev Bhatta argued that if people cannot enjoy democratic dividends, instability ensues. Protection of the weak is necessary for strengthening democracy. Unconstitutional behavior must be stopped.

Prof. Surendra Chand said that the Constitution has ensured enough rights. What is required now is its execution. Oppressed people do not know what their rights are. Political parties should impart civic education and simultaneously foster economic development. Central Vice-President of Nepal Bar Association Kulananda Upadhayay warned that grave situation may arise if Constitution is left in limbo without implementation. We have thrown other systems to bring democracy. In case it fails what system should we bring? Therefore, all political parties should direct their effort in the implementation of Constitution. The program was jointly organized by Nepal Law College and FES. In the programs Dr. Ram Krishna Timalsina and Ganesh Dutta Bhatta presented their papers on the role of law in strengthening democracy.

Source: Paschim Today Daily (29 May 2016)

BP's vision still relevant: Leaders <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, May 5: With the failure of market and communist fundamentalism, Bisheshwar Prasad Koirala's vision of democratic socialism has gained ground, said the top political leaders and experts at a national seminar in Kathmandu Thursday.

They noted that nationalism, democracy and socialism that BP had espoused some half a century ago have still relevant as the nation practically entered into the federal, republican and secular era.

"The nation has come to a sad pass because the parties neglected BP's thoughts," they shared their views at the second national conference of BP Thought Academy. The FES Office Nepal extended the support to the event.

The conference has the theme of prosperous, self-reliant and strong nation.

Nepali Congress president and former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said that BP's thoughts would continue to guide the party in the years to come.

"He was a towering and inspirational figure in the Nepalese politics and the NC continues to follow them," said Deuba.

He noted that BP had stressed the development of villages, which also laid the foundation of development of the nation as a whole.

CPN-UML leader and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said that orthodox capitalism and communism fell on the stony ground and therefore socialism should be based on the ground reality.

"Socialism cannot be realized through rhetoric and verbose. It requires true commitment and action," he said and added that the nation's immense hydropower potentiality could be tapped by promoting cooperatives."

Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani said that BP should not be limited to any party. "The nation did not see the economic take-off as we failed to embrace BP's thoughts."

BP Thought Academy president Haribol Bhattarai said that the nation was in bad shape because of the neglect of BP's thoughts.

"National prosperity and social justice form the basis of socialism," he said.

FES Nepal office head Dev Raj Dahal said that nationalism promoted national thought and converted the small identities into a national vision.

"In order to strengthen people's sovereignty, the nation should have ownership of political, legal and development policies. The nation has become weak as the mediating forces have been enfeebled. Constitutional enlightenment and strong political is a must to evolve dynamic system and solve the national problems," added Dahal.

Academy general secretary Devendra Poudel said that around 250 delegates and 50 observers are attending the three-day conference that will deliberate on development discourse, the inner contents of statute and BP's policies.

Academy general secretary Pradeep Koirala and Treasurer Trilochan Poudel will present their reports at the conclave tomorrow.

Source: The Rising Nepal (6 May 2016)

Balance capital and labour: Experts <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, April 4: Experts and trade union activists have called for collaborative approach to effectively implement the UN guiding principles on business and human rights.

They shared their view at a seminar entitled 'UN Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights: Trade Union Concern' jointly organised by the Union Networks International (UNI) and CLASS Nepal in Kathmandu Monday.

The participants were mainly focused on the role of stakeholders to translate 13 guiding principles on business and human rights endorsed by the Human Rights Council in 2011.

The principles chiefly carry three premises - state is obliged to respect, protect and fulfill human rights; the business enterprises are required to comply with all applicable laws and respect human rights, and adoption of effective remedies if these rights and obligations are breached.

Brother Christopher NG, Regional Secretary, UNIO APRO underlined the need for collective responsibility to implement the principles.

"If we fail to implement these principles, exploitations and abuses continue to perpetuate. Therefore, all should unite to translate them into practice," he added.

FES, Nepal Office head Dev Raj Dahal said that the state must seek to abolish the state of anarchy, enforce rule of law, protect human rights and take appropriate steps through effective policies, laws regulations and adjudication against rights abusers including the business enterprises- both state owned and private. "The state, business and trade unions can collaborate on fair wage, social protection and dignity of works."

Trade Union Policy Institute director Umesh Upadhaya stressed on collaboration and participation to implement the UN guiding principles.

Shankar Lamichhane, president of UNI-National Leadership Centre, the guiding principles needed to be taken forward to resolve conflict between the business and labour.

CLASS Nepal president Lekha Prasad Burlakoti was of the view that the trade unions had opportunity to make optimal utilization of the guiding principles for the cause of working class people.

A host of speakers, including Hemanta Dawadi of Sammbridhi Foundation, Rajendra Acharya of NCL, Khilanath Dahal of NTUC and Ganesh Regmi of ANTUF also expressed their views at the seminar.

Source: The Rising Nepal (5 April 2016)

Civic education key to democratise society <Top>

By A Staff Reporter

Mahadevsthan (Kavrepalanchowk), Mar. 31: Experts have urged the citizens to be imbued with cardinal values of civic education so that they can play critical role to democratise society and clean up the politics.

"Civic education enlighten the people about their rights and duty, ultimately transforming them into awakened citizens, who possess moral fibre and strength to knock bad politicians off their perch," they said at a seminar entitled 'Civic Education: Present National Context' organised at Dedithumpko Higher Secondary School, Mahadevsthav Wednesday.

The programme was jointly organised by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

They were of the view that civic education had become a necessary intellectual instrument to evolve the nation into a robust, sovereign and prosperous republic in the aftermath of the promulgation of historic constitution.

National Planning Commission former vice-chair professor Guna Nidhi Sharma said that India's malign intention and hegemonic policy towards Nepal created repeated hurdles to development drives it had been pursued for the last more than half a century.

"Added to it, fatal neo-liberalisation and free market economy, which the post-1990 government adopted impetuously, put the country's economy in shambles," he said.

Sharma said that pro-market mantra that 'the might is right' alienated the people from the state, leaving them in the lurch.

FES Office Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal said that civic education aimed at liberating people from their infantile behaviour and self-ordination, and transform them into awakened citizens and human beings.

'Civic education is praxis- the use of critical knowledge to shape positive attitude towards the nation and polity and create norms that are socially binding," he said.

According to him, civic education offers chance to the Nepali citizens to converse with power elites on equal terms and create a common ground for cooperative action. "It, in this sense, seeks to foster normative consensus over democratic values across the political parties of various hues and boost state-citizenship ties.'

Professor Ram Kumar Dahal said that Nepal was one of 17 oldest ancient states with the dignified socio-economic and cultural tradition.

"It is necessary to think retrospectively as to how we have come to such a pass," he rued.

Dahal urged the people to pay equal attention to their rights and duty. "The lopsided focus on rights create anarchist situation as we have seen for decades."

NEFAS programme coordinator Shiv Raj Dahal called for purging politics of evils and greed that are ruling the roost.

"The politicians have become dealers, not the leaders of people. They have used politics as a means for minting money. This egregious practice must be eliminated to democratise the society," he said, adding that civic education made man moral, wise and conscious of things happening in the society.

Principal of Dedithumpko Higher Secondary School Ram Chandra Lamsal underlined the need for promoting democratic culture.

From the chair, Ganga Kumar Mandal said that the programme was highly propitious to inform the participants about the core values of civic education.

Arun Kumar Singh moderated the programme and highlighted its objectives.

Teachers, representatives from different political parties, students and local intellectuals participated in the seminar.

Source: The Rising Nepal (1 April 2016)

Information minister Rai points out need to carry out economic development <Top>

Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai today stressed the need to take the country on the path to economic development while implementing the newly promulgated constitution.

"The constitution has adopted republic, inclusiveness and secularism while ensuring the rights of people in mountain, hill and Tarai and Dalits and women among others. Now we should focus on nation building," he said. Minister Rai was speaking at a symposium on 'civic education for citizen, women's rights' here in the Capital.

He said that the country has got two women to the topmost posts of President and Speaker with the promulgation of the constitution, which he said is a progressive move. "Now next agendas should be of the post-quake reconstruction, economic development, good-governance and prosperity," he said.

On Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's scheduled China visit starting Sunday, he said that the visit would reach a new height on the basis of mutual understanding, faith and respect between Nepal and China.

Also on the occasion, lawmaker and Nepali Congress central member Min Bishwokarma said that capacity and intelligence of people should not be weighed on the basis of gender, caste and geography.

Likewise, Election Commission Commissioner Ila Sharma said that it is sad for women to suffer gender discrimination even in the 21st century. RSS

Source: ShareSansar (20 March 2016)

PM Oli's China visit begins today: Visit would take Nepal-China ties to new height, says Rai <Top>

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Mar 19: Leaders and experts have called for promoting civic education to educate people about their rights and duties in the society.

Speaking at a seminar 'Civic Education and Women Rights' jointly organised by the Modern Kanya Multiple College and FES, Nepal office here Saturday.

Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai said that Nepal would not play either Chinese or Indian card while expanding its ties with its neighbours.

Rai said that Prime Minister KP Oli's visit to India helped clear misunderstandings besetting the two nations while his China visit would take Nepal-China relations to new heights.

Rai, who is also the government spokesman, said that the government was going to hold talks with the Nepali Congress in a bid to muster its support to the nation building drive.

He said that women's rights had been well scripted into the new statute and now they should assert their role as outlined by the national charter.

Minister Rai said that the phase of struggles, sacrifices and hardships of women was over. "From now onward, they should roll up their sleeves to implement the statute to ensure their place at the decision-making level."

He noted that the nation had braced up for attaining prosperity and good government with the promulgation of the new statute that has guaranteed the rights of all marginalized groups, castes and regions.

"It is not time to fuss about but to implement the statute in letter and spirit," he said, adding that civic education would play a vital role to generate awareness among the people about their rights and duty.

Head of FES office Nepal, Dev Raj Dahal said that the gap between knowledge and wisdom in Nepal had widened, fuelling tension in human life.

"In this context, civic education seeks to bridge this gap for the promotion of good citizen not through rigorous scheduled educational courses but enabling them to carry on democratic deliberation," he said.

Dahal said that civic education is also praxis for linking democratic values, and institutions to practical activities to help resolve the problems of everyday life of society, reform social evil and irrationalities, maintain clean and green environment and enable citizens and leaders become capable of taking independent decisions.

Election Commissioner Ila Sharma said that economic and political rights were key to uplift the position of women in the society.

"I urge women to be either conscious voters or not to be used by the leaders. They must not detach themselves from politics," said Sharma, adding that civic education needed to be promoted to generate awareness among the people.

Nepali Congress central committee member and lawmaker Min Bishwokarma underlined the need for setting standards to define merit, and linking rights with duty.

Chairman of Modern Kanya Multiple College Ram Prasad Dahal said that education was the key to attaining all sorts of rights of women.

College principal Sabin Pokharel said that despite relentless struggle, the women had not reached top position of leadership.

The one-day seminar also saw three working papers from experts on the given theme. The college's students and the people from different walks of life attended the function.

Source: The Rising Nepal (20 March 2016)

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