We all have heard the often quoted remark that Nepal is blessed with wonderful natural resources and in particular the country’s hydro and tourism potential are without comparison. However, I have hardly come across an article that tries to quantify for the layman what this potential really is and therefore what is it that we are losing as a country by not getting it to deliver for our country? So I thought I would make an effort here. Let me start with the tourism industry.
Human Rights Commission, Politics and Rights Abuses – (III part)
By Dr Gyan Basnet
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 12:55
In Part II, I argued that our National Human Rights Commission (hereafter the Commission) was facing insurmountable challenges at this time. It should be making an immense contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights in our country, but at present it suffers not only from structural problems but also from functional deficiencies. I noted that the ‘hallmark of a successful National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) is its independence from both the state and civil society’. I strongly suggested that the key challenge today for our Commission is not just to re-define its space and attitudes (as I had recommended in Part I), but ‘to protect itself from excessive interference, be that from government, NGOs, donor bodies and other institutions in society. Most importantly, it must improve its institutional capacity and competency’. Here I seek to make practical suggestions for improving the independence and competency of the institution itself.
"I cannot speak loudly nowadays… I cannot even speak that much louder." These words late B. P. Koirala uttered while making his last address at the Khula Manch in Kathmandu in January 1982 at the time of the referendum greatly touched the listeners. He was suffering from throat cancer. He died on July 21, 1982, in Kathmandu. An estimated half a million people attended his funeral.
Managing climate change has been one of the most serious challenges of the twenty-first century. Most scientific bodies have projected that if the global temperature rises 2 degrees Celsius above the level of 1990, it will cause drastic changes in weather patterns, extinct several species, and introduce new diseases among others. Countries of the world have officially, under the umbrella of the United Nations, been battling to address the threats of climate change since 1988.
Owning a home in Kathmandu: A pipe dream to most salaried workers
By Dr. Manoj Shahi
Monday, 03 September 2012 16:54
“Hello, my name is Rameshwar Yadav. I hail from Parasi. I come from a farming family and thanks to my parents and my own efforts, I was able to attend Kathmandu University and graduate with a BS in computer engineering. At graduation at the age of 22, I was lucky enough to get a job as a trainee with a reputed software firm. My starting salary was 10,000 rupees per month and 12 years later at age 34, I am now a senior software engineer and earn a monthly take home pay (after taxes) of 48,000 rupees which becomes 52,000 rupees if I prorate my Dashain allowance. Along the way I married and live with my wife and two children a boy who is in grade 1 and a girl who is in grade 3. Both of them go to a private school.
Human Rights Commission, Politics and Rights Abuses (II)
By Dr Gyan Basnet
Monday, 27 August 2012 13:42
This article on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is a continuation of my earlier column (5 February 2012) under the same title: a third part will follow later. In the first part I argued that despite the existence of the Commission, Nepal has an extremely poor human rights record. ‘What is the point of the institution,’ I asked, ‘if it achieves nothing? Does it have a proper strategy?’ I examined the basic mandate of the NHRC, I assessed its successes and failures, and I made a strong suggestion that it ‘re-define its space and attitudes’ in order to produce a better outcome while maintaining its institutional autonomy. This second part deals with various aspects of the NHRC in terms of its financial, political and institutional autonomy based on the established traditions of the Paris Principles. The final part will provide practical solutions and suggestions for improving the independence and competency of the institution itself.
The other day while on my late evening walk, I passed Prestige Apartments located in Chandol in front of Kundalini Health Club. Of the 46 units with an advertised starting price of 1.5 crores each, I only saw lights emanating from one. I thought to myself. "here was an example of another white elephant that have been sprouting up in various parts of Kathmandu valley".
At a time when the Nepalese media get bombarded with revelation of fact that in the past Nepal had to experience frequent interference in country's domestic affairs from one of her neighbors, elaboration of a policy on bilateral nuclear cooperation by India’s ex-foreign secretary lends credence to apprehension that our neighborhood is fraught with danger. Shyam Sharan, a former ambassador of India to Nepal and an architect of Indo-US Civil Nuclear Co-operation Agreement (2005-08) then in the capacity of foreign secretary has been quoted by “Foreign Policy” saying “The above agreement reflects a certain strategic convergence between India and the U.S.”