April 28, 2008

GOLDEN WEEK

'Golden week' is about to start. For some it may already be the golden week.

In Japan, the week comprising of last few days of April and first few days of May is called the golden week. Four public holidays fall in this period. Sometimes Saturdays and Sundays fall before and after these holidays and a long vacation period is created. Even if there is no such alignment, like this year, many people use their paid leaves and get vacation longer than a week. It is the travel time for Japanese. They mostly leave for overseas or some scenic spots inside Japan. Some go to their parents' home in villages. Children seem very excited to meet their 'ojiichyan'(grandfather) and 'obaachyan'(grandmother).

Tomorrow is '昭和の日'(The Day of Showa). (I am not clear but) it must be for commemorating the last emperor's reign, as that period is called 'Showa period'. Every emperor's reign is given a special 'period' name. The current one is 'Heisei period'. May 3 is 'Constitution Day', May 4 is 'Greenery Day' and May 5 'Children's Day'. May 6 is 'Substitute Holiday' as 'Greenery Day' falls on Sunday. If a public holiday falls on Sunday, the next working day becomes 'Substitute Holiday'.

Although it is called 'Children's Day', it is dedicated to boys only. 'Koinobori'(carp banner) is displayed all over Japan from April to early May. Koinoboris are made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other nonwoven fabric. They are displayed in honor of sons and hoping that they will grow strong and healthy.

The day dedicated to daughters is called 'Hina Matsuri' and falls on March 3 (the third day of the third month) when people display ornamental dolls inside their home.

Doesn't it sound too 'traditional' and 'sexist' that 'sons' are displayed outdoors and 'daughters' indoors?:)


'Koinobori' being displayed

April 24, 2008

मुक्तक

आज दुई टुक्रा मुक्तक।

'आकाश र समुद्र-१'

पाँच मात्रै किन?! सय इन्द्रियले पिएको हुँ
तिमीलाई पिउन भनेरै,तिमी माथि तैरिएको हुँ
तिम्रो नि:श्वाशको खातमा अडिएको छु म
तिम्रै उष्णताको बलमा क्षितिजसम्म फैलिएको हुँ।


'आकाश र समुद्र-२'

तिमी सधैं नवीन, म उस्तै अधैर्य पर्खिएँ
दिएरै लियौ तिमीले, लिएरै म रित्तिएँ
धर्ती सर्वाङ्ग भिजिसक्यो, अब विवाद किन
तिमी छाल छचल्कियौ या म बादल बर्सिएँ!

April 21, 2008

'Obama' campaigning for 'Obama', in Japan

If election campaigns are dramas, then the Presidential campaigns of US are the most captivating. Or you can say their campaigns are very much sophisticated multi-act dramas. It seems very much engaging. They look like highly polished marketing campaigns.

Many nations still have ‘monologues’ instead of such engaging plays. Russia has Putin’s monologue continuing for the time being. Mugabe doesn’t want to hide behind the curtain and is trying to do whatever he can to continue his one-man show. Chinese communists increased their tenure a couple of months ago without ‘much noise’ among people. Myanmar and North Korea have guns in the ‘lead role’.

My first impressions of American Presidential campaigns date back to 1992 when Bill Clinton was challenging Bush senior (Ross Perot was the third candidate). I was in China at that time. I didn’t have much knowledge of American party politics, democrats or republicans. Until then, America was America for me and I had very little knowledge on policy differences between these two parties.

Bush was very much popular in China. He was the US ambassador to China during seventies. I am not clear about the other reasons except this but Chinese communists were praying for his reelection. When Bush lost, they were very sad. We used to joke about that.

Being a superpower (the sole one from 1990s), American presidents have always commanded the attention of the whole world. So people around the world watch election campaigns very eagerly. Year 2000 may go down into history as the ‘most famous American presidential election’. It was around then that I started to have some good views about democrats. I wished for Kerry’s victory in 2004.

I wish Hillary could win this time but her nomination seems almost impossible. This is purely my personal affection. They call her calculating, cold, ‘does anything to win’ etc. but all of them are doing the same. In my opinion she will be a very good president, much better than all from the last half century. But Hillary may lose this race. The greatest lesson that any ambitious young girl can take from Hillary’s political life is that ‘Don't marry into the same profession!’. She is better than Bill Clinton, but he got the ‘first chance’ and when she wanted to try herself, she couldn’t detach his presidency from her image. Her road to presidency might have been much easier if she wasn’t ex-first lady. Just some personal thoughts.

Actually, if you forget about ‘personality’ or ‘body language’, it is not much different for the world, whether they elect a democrat or a republican. I think a democrat would also attack Iraq. I read somewhere that every American president wants to be remembered as a wartime president. One of Bill Clinton’s greatest worries, according to his friends, is that he didn't have a chance to serve as a wartime president. But he was no less aggressive. It was in his time that Kosovo was separated from Serbia. It might be a good decision but no one, whether a democrat or a republican, will even try to confront China like that, say for Tibet. Bill Clinton denied Boutros Ghali the second term as UN Secretary General without any reason. US just disliked him. US, the freedom messiah will always befriend countries like Saudi Arabia with medieval rules. Americans have created a great country for themselves but their world policies are generally determined by resources and not by human rights, democracy etc which they say.
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Japanese media covers American Presidential campaigns very well. My feeling is that Japan doesn’t have any preference between democrat and republican. They will always have good relations with the US.
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There is a small coastal city called Obama in Japan (I haven’t been there). People there are very much enthusiastic about this election. They are ‘campaigning’ for Barak Obama. They have sent him gifts too. They hope Obama as the US president will boost their Obama city! Curious people may go to visit that city or people may get interested to buy their products.

Hillary also has a campaign team in Japan, but not a whole city. A machinery factory is ‘supporting’ her.

Please follow the link below for more.

Obama and Hillary campaigns in Japan

April 19, 2008

Stand and Deliver!!

नेपालको संविधानसभा-चुनावको 'आश्चर्यजनक' नतीजा पछिका अडकलबाजीहरु चालू छन् जताततै। माओवादी नेताहरुका मुखबाट चुहिने बिभिन्न कुराका आधारमा यी अडकलबाजीहरु फेरिनु स्वाभाविक छ।

कान्तिपुर अनलाईनले प्रचण्डसंगको कुराकानीको बारेमा लेखेको छ। प्रचण्ड भन्छन् "हामी राजालाई 'सम्मानजनक विदाइ'(Graceful exit)को मौका दिन्छौं।" मलाई एउटा पुरानो कुराको याद आयो। दोश्रो जनआन्दोलनको सफलताको केहि समयपछिको प्रचण्डको अन्तर्वार्ता (शायद बीबीसीसंगको थियो)को कुरो हो। 'तपाईँहरुको नेतृत्वको सरकार बनेको भए के गर्नुहुन्थ्यो?' भन्ने सवालको जवाफमा प्रचण्डले 'सबभन्दा पहिला हामी ज्ञानेन्द्र शाहलाई गिरफ्तार गर्छौं---' भनेका थिए।

तिब्र उथलपुथलबाट गुज्रिरहेको नेपाली राजनीतिमा दुई वर्ष भनेको लामो समय हो। तर माथिका दुई भनाईमा रहेको भिन्नताको प्रमुख कारण भने 'प्रतिपक्षी मानसिकता' र 'सत्तापक्षी मानसिकता' को भिन्नतानै हो। यो चुनावमा यदि माओवादीले थोरै संख्यामा मात्रै सीटहरु जितेको भए उनीहरुले पूरानै कुरा दोहोराउने थिए। 'प्रतिपक्षी' राजनीति राजनीतिक हिसावले सजिलो राजनीति हो, किनभने जे कुराको पनि विरोध गर्दिए पुग्छ, तर 'डाडु-पन्यू' आफ्नै हातमा आईसकेपछि स्थिति फरक हुन्छ, विरोध र उग्रताको ठाउँ समझदारी र परिपक्वताले लिनुपर्छ।

हुनत, देश र जनताविरुद्धका अनगिन्ती अपराधहरुका लागि ज्ञानेन्द्र शाहलाई गिरफ्तार गरेर कडा सजाय दिए म खुशी हुनेथिएँ (यस्तै निर्णय कथित 'जनयुद्ध' कालका माओवादी ज्यादतीहरुका लागि प्रचण्ड र माओवादीहरुका हकमा पनि गर्न नसकिने होइन), तर सबै कुरो आफूले चाहेजस्तो हुन सक्दैन। देशले थप रक्तपात र अन्यौल भोग्नुनपर्ने बाटोबाट परीवर्तनहरु खोज्नु हाम्रो वाध्यता र दायित्व दुबै हो। यो अवश्थामा ज्ञानेन्द्र शाह र राजतन्त्रको 'सम्मानजनक विदाइ' स्वाभाविक बाटो हो। तर ज्ञानेन्द्र शाह, दरबार र सेनाले कसरी लिएको छ यो कुरालाई भनेर स्पष्ट हुन केहि समय अझै लाग्ला।

दोश्रो जनआन्दोलनपछि कांग्रेस‍-एमालेले आफूलाई एक किसिमले संस्थापन पक्ष वा सत्तापक्षकै रुपमा प्रक्षेपण गर्दै आएका थिए, तर संसद र सरकारमा यथेष्ट भाग ओगटेर बसेपनि माओवादीले आफूलाई जहिले पनि विरोधी र प्रतिपक्षी शक्तिको रुपमा पेश गर्दै आएको थियो। कुनै पनि चुनावमा सत्तापक्षले झेल ग-यो भने "धाँधली" मानिन्छ। प्रतिपक्षले पनि झेल गर्न सक्दोरहेछ भन्ने अर्को 'आश्चर्यजनक' उदाहरण पनि दियो नेपालले दुनियाँलाई। तर प्रतिपक्षले गरेको झेललाई धाँधलीको रुपमा परिभाषा गर्न राजनीतिशास्त्रले दिँदैन शायद। त्यसैले आक्कल-झुक्कल यसो भयो र त्यसो भयो भनेर मुठ्ठी बटारेपनि यो चुनावको नतिजालाई शिरोपर गर्न सबै बाध्य छन्। परिणाम यस्तो हुनुमा कांग्रेस-एमालेको कुरुप विगत, तिनले उठाएका भ्रष्ट उम्मेदवारहरु, दश वर्षमा बदलिएको राष्ट्रिय राजनीतिक परिवेशको तिनले गर्न नसकेको सही विश्लेषण र माओवादीले गरेको जातीय राजनीति जिम्मेवार छन्। वाइसीएलको 'रामलीला' पनि ठूलो कारण हो भने पनि दोष मूलत: काँग्रेस-एमालेकै हो। स्थितिको पूर्ण जानकारी हुँदा-हुँदै र चुनावको धेरै अघिबाटै वाइसीएलको 'रामलीला' देख्दा-देख्दैपनि त्यसलाई नियन्त्रण गर्नसक्ने संयन्त्रविना चुनावमा जाँदाको परिणति यहिनै हो।

आफू काठमाडौंको भएको कारणले त्यहाँबाट एमाले 'बढारिएको' प्रसंग पनि कोट्याइहालौं। एमाले हारेपनि काँग्रेसले छ सीट ल्याएकोमा खुशी लागेको छ। यसपटक काठमाडौंबाट जितेका कांग्रेसका उम्मेदवारहरुमा सबैजसो स्थानीय छन्। एमालेले उपत्यका र विशेष गरी काठमाडौं जिल्लालाई सधैं आफ्ना केन्द्रीय नेताहरुको भ-याङको रुपमा प्रयोग गरेको छ र थोरैमात्र स्थानीय नेतृत्वलाई मौका दिएको छ। अबका दिनमा उसको चेत खुल्ला, स्थानीय नेतृत्वको विकास गर्ला र त्यसलाई बढी अवसर देला भन्ने आशा गरौं।

फेरि फर्कौं माओवादीतिरै। सबैभन्दा ठूलो राजनीतिक दलका रुपमा स्थापित भएपछि उ स्वाभाविक रुपमा 'सत्तापक्ष' को प्रतीक बनेको छ। अब उसले कत्तिको परिपक्वता देखाउँछ, त्यसैमा उसको राजनीतिक भविष्य भर पर्नेछ। हो केन्द्रीय नेताहरु रातारात 'गुलिया' कुराहरु गर्न थालिसके, तर उसको कार्यकर्ता पंक्ति अझै 'रामलीला'मा ब्यस्त छ। माओवादीले वाइसीएल भंग गर्छ कि गर्दैन, विगतका सम्पूर्ण सम्झौताहरु पालन गर्छ कि गर्दैन---, धेरै कुराहरुले उसको नियतलाई छर्लङ्ग पार्नेनै छन्। देशको औद्योगिक-ब्यापारिक क्षेत्रमा शुरु भएको डर-त्रासलाई चाँडै निवारण गर्न सक्षम छन् कि छैनन् उनीहरु? तीन हजार डलरको नारामात्रैले केहि हुनेवाला छैन। देशको आर्थिक तरक्की त औद्योगिक-ब्यापरिक क्षेत्रको भयमुक्त परिवेशविना असम्भव छ। देशको शिक्षित जनशक्तिको ठूलो भाग यसैपनि विदेशमै छ, बाँकी रहेकाहरुमा पनि विदेश पलायनको लहर शुरु हुनसक्छ अब। के माओवादी यो लहर रोक्ने कुरामा साँच्चै गम्भिर छ? अझ विदेश बसिरहेकाहरु पनि फर्केर आउने वातावरण बनाउन सक्छ उसले? माओवादीले आजसम्म बौद्धिक समूहलाई आफ्नो शत्रुको रुपमा ब्यबहार गरिरहेको छ। तर अब यो फेरिनैपर्छ।

अर्कोतिर, माओवादीभित्रका कट्टरपन्थीहरुमा नेपाललाई पनि उत्तर कोरियाजस्तै कथित 'उन्नत समाजवादी' मुलुक बनाउने लोभ जाग्यो र तिनीहरु हावी भए भने देशले अर्को ठूलो दुर्भाग्यको सामना गर्नुपर्नेछ।

अन्त्यमा, माओवादीले देश र जनतालाई अनेकौं सपनाहरु बाँडेका छन्। अनीहरु आफ्ना ज्यादतीहरुलाई बैध बनाउन तिनै सपनाहरुलाई तेर्स्याउँछन्। ठीक छ, जनताले एउटा मौका दिएका छन्। हामीले भन्न सक्ने यतिनै हो; "Stand and Deliver!!"

April 18, 2008

Why doesn't China talk with Dalai Lama?!

So the olympic torch relay was held in New Delhi without any 'major' incident. Thousands of Tibetan refugees demonstrating nearby are 'minor' and not 'major'. This world defines things in strange ways.

During my hospital stay, I watched too much of television. Many Japanese Channels were repeatedly showing scenes of olympic torch relay 'drama' from London, Paris, San Francisco, Buenos Aires.

I read someone (probably from Reporters without Borders) saying the next olympics "is going to be held in the biggest prison of world". People may have different opinions of this view, but nowhere it sounds truer than in the torch relay itself. Multiple layers of security arrangement gives you the feeling of a 'perfect' prison.

You can see that Chinese 'commandos' switch off the torch anytime they want. It was particulalry sad to see two French athletes, carrying 'switched off' olympic torch, abandoned by the Chinese 'Commandos'. It seems Chinese don't care about the symbolism,continuous burning of the flame, of the olympics. Their logic is that the olympic lantern is continuously burning, so it doesn't matter to switch off the torch. But what most of the people see is the torch only and it carries significance. Chinese want to complete the relay at any cost.

Tibetans have no alternative of intensifying their protests now. This is the time when world will see and hear. The world will ignore and forget them soon after the olympics. Who remembers Burmese monks now?!

Dalai Lama is not demanding independence. He wants more autonomy only. This is as flexible as possible for a leader of an annexed land. But China is not ready to talk with him. Anti-China sentiment is as bigger in Taiwan as among Tibetans. But why does China treat Taiwanese politicians and Dalai Lama so differently? Is it because Tibetans have their own culture and way of living than that of Han majority? Or is it that Taiwan can invest billions of dollars in China and Tibetans can't?

Polticians complicate simple matters. If Chinese leaders inititate dialogue with Dalai Lama, this torch relay 'drama' will end. The torch will be able to come out of 'prison'. But dictators don't see this way. They are not flexible. Their rigidity is the cause of many problems of this world.

But when they break, they break like glass and are never able to put themselves together.

April 14, 2008

"Repair"sounds strange

Belated though, let me wish you a very Happy New Year 2065.

I was hospitalized for some days, so couldn't update and reply to comments. I was not much updated about CA elections results from Nepal too.

I underwent a minor surgery to get my hernia repaired. It was on the right side of my lower abdomen, a type of hernia called direct inguinal hernia.

Though you can consider any medication, especially surgery as repairing your body, repair sounds strange. The body part of us, basically, is a very complicated machine. But I find it very hard to imagine it as a machine.

It must have been some months, or even one year ago when I saw a small bulge in the right side of my lower abdomen. I didn't care about it at that time as it was not painful. But from around three months ago, the bulge was big enough to be serious. I started to have pain there too, especially after walking or standing for a long time. It was not visible when lying down.

Not having much medical knowledge, I couldn't decide where to go. Thinking that it might be related to some problem in my kidney, I went to an urologist's first. I took his medicine for two weeks and seeing no improvement (but my urine most have become very "clean!"), he referred me to a surgeon. The surgeon told me that it was better to operate and repair it before it became "incarcerated", meaning it didn't go back inside even when lying down.

The method of repairing was tension free plug method, which uses plug and mesh. It is the first time that anything foreign has entered my body. This is what I found in the homepage of British Hernia Centre about the merits of this method;

Once inserted, the mesh rapidly becomes incorporated within the muscle and
surrounding tissue and forms the core of a much stronger area within the
abdominal wall. This is very similar to the way builders put a steel mesh inside
reinforced concrete.

Although the mesh we use is wafer-thin, lightweight (yet extremely strong), the
principle is the same, in that the mechanical load becomes spread over the whole
area rather than pulling on any individual stitches through the muscles.


It seems to happen mostly in men (another type of hernia called femoral hernia is more common among women) and after 40. This "after 40" is little bit painful to me. I am not yet 40! Such things are enough to make you sad! And I remembered, one of my friends had the same repaired when he was 33. This gave me a little solace:)

Jokes aside, hernias can occur to anybody at any age. Hernias can happen to other parts of body too, but most common is in the abdomen. Surgery is the only treatment. It can't be healed by taking medicine only.

So if you have any symptoms, be serious and get it "repaired" soon.

"Repair" sounds strange though!

April 09, 2008

शुभकामना र आशा नयाँ दिनको लागि

जतिसुकै खराब समाचारहरुको बाढी देख्नुपरेपनि मेरा आशाहरु, प्रार्थनाहरु र शुभकामनाहरु मेरो देशको नाममा! भोलिको दिनले मेरो प्यारो देशको भविष्यलाई उज्यालोतिर डो-याउने संकेत देओस्!

जहाँसुकै बसेका भएपनि, नेपालीको लागि समृद्ध र शान्त नेपालको विकल्प छैन। हाम्रा तमाम पिडाहरुकोलागि मल्हम भनेकै विकसित र स्वाभिमानी नेपाल हो। प्रार्थना छ, भोलिको दिनले त्यो संकेत लिएर आओस्!

April 08, 2008

स्मृतिहरुमा उँघ्दै--------

हिजो दिउँसोबाट आज बिहानसम्म पानी परिरहेको थियो। घरको याद, नेपालको याद अरु बेलामा पनि नआउने होइन, तर झरी परेको बेलामा झन बढी आउँछ।

हिजो 'बेन्तो' किन्न निक्लेको थिएँ। भर्खर पानी पर्न थालेको थियो, तातेको सडकमा पानीका थोपाहरु परेपछि उठेको गन्धले अचानक अलि भावुक बनाइदियो, घरको यादमा। बाल्यकालका केहि स्मृतिहरु एकैचोटि थुप्रिए। कुनै चैतको साँझमा आमाले काटेर ल्याएर थुपारेको घाँसको गन्ध सम्झिएँ र त्यसपछि बाले आँगनमै भैंसी दोहेपछि खाएको काँचो दूधको स्वाद सम्झिएं। घना-हरिया रुखहरु बारीमा गाढा छायाहरु गाडेर उभिइरहेका होलान्, कान्ला-कान्लामा चुत्रो र ऐंसेलु झुलिरहेको होला, चैतको उच्चाटलाग्दो दिनलाई चिर्दै चरी "काफ्फल पाक्यो!" भनिरहेको होला-------

संविधानसभाको चुनावमा नेपालमा हुन पाइएन, यसले अर्को पिडा थपेको छ। भोट हाल्न त जसरी भएपनि जान्छु भनेर धाक दिँदै (!) हिँडेको थिएँ, केहि समयअघिसम्म, तर जान सकिएन। विदेश बस्नेले भोट हाल्ने ब्यबश्था गर्ला सरकारले भनेर ठूलो आशा मैले कहिल्यै गरेको थिईँन, तर समानुपातिकतिरको लागिसम्म मात्रै भएपनि भइदिएको भए हुन्थ्यो। प्रत्यक्षतिरको ब्यबस्था मिलाउनु अलि जटिल कुरो हो। यस्तो अवसरमा लाखौं नेपालीको मतको केहि पनि मूल्य नहुनु अत्यन्त दु:खलाग्दो कुरा हो।

नेपालमा भइदिएको भए के निर्णय हुन्थ्यो कुन्नि, यहाँ कुरा गरेर कहि हुनेवाला पनि छैन। नेपालको हकमा, दल हेरेर भन्दा पनि ब्यक्ति हेरेर भोट हाल्ने निर्णयमा पुगेको हुँ म धेरै पहिला। पहिलो चोटि भोट हालेको २०४८ सालको संसदीय चुनावमा। त्यतिखेर एउटा दलको 'अन्धो' घोडा भएर हिँडेको थिएँ म र भोट पनि त्यहि दललाई हालेको थिएँ। पहिलो परदेश बसाईबाट फर्केर आएपछि २०५४को स्थानीय चुनावमा बिल्कुल ब्यक्तिगत सम्बन्ध हावी थियो मेरो मतदानमा। २०५६(०५७?) सालको संसदीय चुनावमा गाउँनजिकैको जंगलमा बनभोज गईयो, मत खसालिएन। आफ्नो क्षेत्रका उम्मेदबवारहरु कोहिपनि ठीक नलागेकोले मतदान नगरेको हो, कुनै सांगठनिक वा राजनीतिक अभियानको 'घोडा' बनेको भने बिल्कुलै होइन। यसपाली भने 'चोरहरु माझको सबैभन्दा असल चोर'कै स्थिति भएपनि भोट हालिन्थ्यो होला।

ठीकै छ, भोट हाल्न नपाएको पिडा त केहि दिनमा कम भएर जाला।

तर घरको याद भने आइरहनेछ!

यो दोश्रो परदेश बसाईमा चार पटक नेपाल फर्किसकियो तर चारै पटक पारिवारिक दायित्व/ब्याबहारिक झमेलामा डुबेर बिते नेपालमा हुँदाका दिनहरु। दिनभरि देवीथानको चउरमा बसेर बात मार्दै ती सहस्र किरिङमिरिङ नागबेली बाटाहरुलाई आँखाले नाप्न पाईएन, ती नागबेली बाटाहरुका छेउ-छेउमा थपिएका घरहरु गन्न पाइएन, काफल खान भनेर दाजुभाई-साथीहरुसंग हूल बाँधेर पँधालीको वनतिर लाग्न पाईएन----

कहिलेकाहीं सोच्छु, के मान्छेको वयस्क जिन्दगी भनेको कहिले पढाइको नाममा, कहिले पेशाको नाममा मन नलागी-नलागी घस्रेर बाँच्नु र बेला-बेलामा आफ्नो बाल्यकाल/किशोरकाल सम्झेर सुस्केरा हाल्नुमात्रै हो?!

April 04, 2008

Tibetans have right of peaceful protest in Nepal!

It is a shame for all of us that our governement is acting so harsh against Tibetan refugees protesting peacefully in Kathmandu. Tibetan people living in Nepal (or anywhere) have right to peaceful protests for their cause.
It is a shame to see us getting reduced to China's slaves!

I thank Prajwoljee for initiating this matter in his blog. I request all other Nepali bloggers too to post against Nepalese government's crackdown against Tibetans in Nepal.

**********

From kantipuronline;

Nepal as usual kowtows to China
By The Speaking Pen

India has always maintained a huge interest in Nepali politics. But the only interest that seems to beget China's attention to Nepal, are the Tibetans living here. China has chosen to maneuver any means possible into arm twisting the Nepalese authorities to make the life of Tibetan people living in Nepal as difficult as possible.
With the recent protests and killings in Tibet that continue unabated, Tibetans here cannot even perform a solidarity peace protest. With the protest that has been happening in Kathmandu since March 10, hundreds of Tibetan people have been beaten, baton charged, tear gassed, detained, threatened and et al. It is unfortunate that the current government in Nepal has so quickly forgotten that it came to power through the leverages of similar democratic protests. Tibetan refugee protesters in venting out their frustrations are dealt with disdain and with a level of harshness that has now become an international shame for Nepal.

In normal circumstances, it requires a high level approval (read home

ministry) before the security forces can disperse/detain the protesters. But in case of the Tibetan refugees, the security forces have pre-approved authority to detain and baton charge any Tibetan protesters. No warning is issued. Much to the delight of China, security personnel will crush any protests with gung-ho.

It is surprising with election in the offing that the Nepalese authorities have so much time and resources in hand to pursue the Tibetans with such a vengeance. Even the Tibetans and people with similar facial appearance plying either in taxis or microbuses were not spared. They were found taken out of the vehicle and detained by the police. Nuns were restricted from moving beyond the vicinity of their nunnery. Monks, nuns and women have borne the brunt of police brutality. Instances of sexual groping by the police have also been reported. Till now more than 1500 Tibetans have been arrested and detained.

The District Administration Office of Kathmandu went so far as to issue an arrest warrant against eleven (some say sixteen) Tibetan individuals who they believe are the ring leaders of the protest. This office also coerced several Tibetans into signing a sworn affidavit relinquishing their right to protest, otherwise risk arbitrary arrest or deportation. The UN office of human rights has issued several press statements and has written to the Prime Minister in coordination with Amnesty International denouncing such heavy handedness of the police which till now has fallen on deaf ears.

While Ian Martin is busy sashaying around Nepal to monitor any upcoming elections news, he or his office should not remain a mute spectator to the fact that Tibetans in Nepal are beaten, incarcerated and threatened by the security forces. I am sure the diplomatic community in Nepal is not pusillanimous but their silence surely is deafening.

Even more saddening is the fact that Tibetan protesters didn't find support even among ethnically and linguistically similar Nepali Buddhists, whose religious teachers are Tibetans. Yes, we all know that Nepal is a small country and comes under heavy diplomatic pressure but not to the extent that the roar of the dragon becomes their own.

(The Speaking Pen is the pseudonym of a Kathmandu-based commentator)

Posted on: 2008-04-03 10:40:13 (Server Time)

April 02, 2008

One small announcement

Friends, I got my own domain and will be publishing through it for the time being. I may switch back to blogspot too.

I am thinking hard for a new name(theme)of my blog. Actually I have been thinking for it since the day I started this blog!

And I wish I could give some 'quality time' to my blog, on regular basis!