Nepal in the Press
cannot be guaranteed when divided <Top>
Kathmandu, May 3
Journalists revealed that in the absence of public security
in society not only ordinary citizens and the media persons
but the entire national security is affected. This is
revealed by journalists in a national seminar organized
by Nepal Press Union (NPU)on Nepalese Media and
Public Security in the World Press Freedom Day.
They expressed anxiety over the difficulty of journalists
in attaining physical and economic security and unconcern
of the state, political parties and civil society towards
The speakers attributed that because of political parties,
ethnic and regional groups, increasing criminalization,
parochial culture of society, culture of impunity and
unprofessional character of journalists attacks on them
have not reduced.
They also criticized the media owners for not paying
remuneration to journalists for month and the government
showing apathy towards the implementation of Working Journalists
Act. They started the need for the resignation of the
chairman of council of ministers Khil Raj Regmi for its
undesirable effect on legal sector for being one person
head of executive and judiciary.
In the program supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
journalists Yubaraj Ghimire and Dhirendra Jha presented
their papers. Leader of Nepali Congress Shekhar Koirala
said that unless democracy and nationalism are consolidated
freedom of expression remains curtailed. So long as journalists
are ideologically divided their physical and economic
security cannot be ensured.
Another leader of Nepali Congress N. P. Saud said that
press freedom cannot be expected if political parties
themselves set up media. Journalists should think themselves
what they can do together than expect from the state can
do to them. Head of FES Nepal office Dev Raj Dahal said
that violence has been decentralized because of the weakness
of the state. He said that the role of media lies in connecting
the society, not dividing them.
Journalist Yubaraj Ghimire argued that so long as citizens
are insecure journalists con not be secured. Citizens
should have ownership on democracy to ensure press freedom
and freedom of expression.
President of Nepal Press Union Kiran Pokhrel asserted
that NPU, Press Chautari and Nepal Revolutionary Journalists
Union will set a new trade union of journalist if Federation
of Journalists does not convert itself into a trade union.
In the program Journalists Tara Nath Dahal, Bishnu Nisturi,
Kabir Rana, Dharemndra Jha, Kul Chandra Wagle, Jagat Nepal,
Badri Sigdel, etc spoke about public security and press
Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (3 May 2013)
has become weak: Koirala <Top>
Kathmandu May 3:
Central Committee Member of Nepali Congress Shekhar Koirala
has said without the resignation of Chairman of electoral
Cabinet Khil Raj Regmi from his post of Chief Justice
election for CA cannot be held. He said it in the context
of World Press Freedom day organized by Nepal Press Union,
Political parties like CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidya
are in the street, they need to be brought into consensus.
For this Regmi should resign to create conducive environment.
Other Central Committee N. P. Saud accused the leaders
of four mainstream parties as satellite of foreign powers.
In the program former chairman of Federation of Nepalese
Journalists Dharmendra Jha and senior Journalist Yuba
raj Ghimire spoke on public security and the media. Analyzing
the current condition Jha asked the journalists to become
responsible and revealed the collusion of journalists
with security agencies and become victim. Yubaraj Ghimire
said that journalists while analyzing event should also
be tolerant of the criticism. In the program head of Friedrich--Ebert-Stiftung
Dev Raj Dahal, Former FNJ Presidents Tara Nath Dahal and
Bishnu Nisthuri, Secretary Jagat Nepal, Chairman of Press
Union Kiran POkhrel, senior vice-president Badri Sigdel,
Hemant Kafle, and journalist Kabir Rana spoke on public
Source: Annapurna Post (3 May 2013)
helps earn less than Rs 3,500 <Top>
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Domestic helps in Kathmandu earn less than
Rs 3,500, which is significantly lower than the minimum
wage of the country.
The government had set Rs 6,200 as minimum wage in March
The average earning of domestic workers is just Rs 3,400,
a study commissioned by the Centre for Labour and Social
Studies said. According to the study, domestic workers
who live in the same house where they work earn less than
those who live outside.
The average salary of domestic workers who stay in the
house where they work is Rs 1,700, said team leader of
the study Bishal Bhardwaj.
The study has also revealed the pathetic conditions in
which domestic workers live. Live-in domestic workers
usually get stale food and old clothes. They have been
exploited at all fronts. All family members tend to misbehave
with domestic workers and exploit them, he said, explaining
According to the study, the average working period of
domestic workers who live with the family and who live
outside is 48 months and 14 months, respectively. Some
major work that they do are wash clothes, clean the house
and cook, which covers around 50 per cent of their time.
There is no record of domestic workers in the country.
However, labour authorities believe that there are around
60,000 domestic helps in the country.
The absence of a law that includes domestic helps and
lack of ratification of the International Labour Organisation
(ILO) Convention 189 have weakened the rights of domestic
workers. Therefore, we are lobbying for the rights of
domestic workers, said general secretary of the organisation
Tilak Jung Khadka.
Protecting domestic workers at home and abroad should
be a key issue for the country because around 200,000
Nepalis are working as domestic helps in Gulf countries
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
Their condition is also miserable because of abuse and
exploitation by employers.
The job destinations do not have labour laws that ensure
labour rights for domestic workers. Human Rights Watch
has termed the Kafala system known as sponsorship
system as modern day slavery in a 2011 report.
The rights-based organisation and International Trade
Union Confederation have been urging Gulf countries to
ratify ILO Convention 189.
Source: The Himalayan Times (1 April 2013)
for gender justice <Top>
By Our Reporter
Nepalese women demands a full articulation of gender
justice in the nation's governance. This was raised in
a national seminar organized by the Central Department
of Home Science and Women's Studies Program of Tribhuvan
University in cooperation with FES, Nepal Office on 22
March. In the context of the formation of the Inter-Ministerial
Coordination Committee under Chief Secretary of the government
this pro-active initiative on "Women's Empowerment:
Achievements and Way Forward," is expected to provide
policy inputs. Altogether 90 female and 10 male representing
academic community, government, NGOs and civil society
deliberated on the various aspects of gender empowerment.
The secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretariat
Raju Man Singh Malla, presented government's efforts to
address violence against women and a way forward, researcher
Prativa Subedi on economic empowerment of women and and
Prof. Dr. Harinder Thapalia on gender equality though
gender re-socialization. Speaking on the occasion Dean
of Humanities and Social Science of Trihuvan University
Prof. Dr. Chinta Mani Pokhrel said that we need to evolve
proper methodology based on practical realities of the
nation and devise proper pedagogy for women's empowerment.
He said that Dalit trained by Dalits is not a way of liberation
as is being practices in Nepal. They need to educate the
other side who dominates them. Same applies to women's
Head of FES Nepal Office Dev Raj Dahal argued that a
norm-governed, not power-based society, is the hallmark
of human civility. In this context, civilization grows
with the decline of violence and coercion in social and
political life of citizens. The more the society is democratized
the better the reduction of private ambition of leaders
and beginning of the awakening of their public purpose
in politics. Nepal needs to invest a lot of its efforts
in building active citizenship as it fosters both social,
economic and political equality in society and makes the
leaders accountable for their actions. There is a need
to foster an education based on enlightenment, freedom
and democracy so they citizens are capable of reflecting
on the condition of their existence and seek to improve
their condition for better life, liberty and pursuit of
wellbeing. Participants furnished various weaknesses in
the implementation of laws, policies and programs and
suggested measures as to how to reduce violence in society
to recover Nepal from its post-conflict phase. Prof. Uma
Koirala, the coordinator of the program welcomed the participants
and Prof. Anila Shrestha, chairperson, expressed vote
Source: People's Review (28 March-3 April 2013)
Womens Empowerment <Top>
Dev Raj Dahal
Head, FES Nepal
Civilization grows with equal social development when
one set of human beings do not dominate or consume the
other set of human beings by either coercion or due process
of law. Law, therefore, is set up to prevent the Darwinist
theory of the survival of fittest. Modern constitutional
state purports to create social and political solidarity
across human species without being excessively predatory
to nature. A society in which all potential abilities
of men and women are allowed to flourish can become more
cooperative, innovative, civilized, virtuous and adaptable
to changing social, economic and technological conditions
of modernity. Education, science, democracy and human
rights broke down the walls of biological superiority
and nourished equal fitness of women for social equality,
power, position and identity. Still, removal of structural
conditions and restrictions are essential for womens
emancipation from constraints.
The gender discourse in the world in general and Nepal
in particular have brought major shifts conducive to womens
# The first shift has occurred in the discourse on development
which has enlarged the concept of states role in
the areas of concern to women. Today, womens consent
to the political system is based on the expectation of
their improved living standards. In this context, Nepali
state has become more active in family matters regarding
domestic violence, child rights, paternal property rights
and individual suicide thus expunging the liberal separation
between the public and the private realm. It sought to
imbibe feminist discourse personal is political
and formulated policies based on both needs and rights.
# The second shift is seen in its legal and policy culture.
Bounded by international law and gender obligation, Nepali
state has also enlarged the domain of womens rights
in various areasreproductive rights, right against
exploitation, non-discrimination, social inclusion and
affirmative action or positive discrimination in education,
health and income-generation and peace-promotion activities.
The government spells out commitment to remove pre-modern
patronage system of governance based on social hierarchy
which reproduces the power of males through motherly socialization
of female and her emotional attachment to children and
home only. It has introduced five-year action plan, Ending
Gender-Based Violence and Gender Empowerment-2012 to eradicate
the culture of impunity and break the culture of silence.
Growing violence against women needs be abolished through
appropriate policy intervention, proper law-enforcement
and exposure of the culprits to public shame as an unacceptable
# The third shift has occurred from equal opportunity
to equal outcome of governance for both men and women,
equality of citizenship and procedural distribution of
fairness based on law. Accordingly, new concepts such
as gender responsive budgeting and gender responsive governance
have been introduced to improve gender-sensitive indicators
# The fourth shift has occurred in the choice model of
society in society in matters of negotiation of marriage,
institutional affiliation, job preference and dignity
of life. Migration has emerged as an alternative mechanism
for better life for Nepalese as labor market is overcrowded
in Nepal due to the annual entry of more than 400 thousand
youth into the labor market and the inability of government
and private sector to absorb less than 10 percent of the
new entrants. This year a total of 22,655 Nepali women
received permission to work overseas mostly in the Gulf
region, where many of them work as domestic workers, servants
and slaves, not citizens and universal human persons entitled
with labor and human rights. But it is not without social
and economic cost to home and economic life of rural areas.
Empowerment of women can be achieved through four measures:
the normative learning, in which education of women and
men can lead to self-awakening, freedom and enlightenment
leading to re-socialization and active citizenship; organic
evolution, in which purpose of development is clearly
defined in equal gender outcome with the possibility to
enlarge material achievement through collective action;
the critical process, in which life of men and women is
brought to critical reflection to the condition of their
actual existence, gaps and opening of society to equal
opportunity to meet the modern ideals of human rights,
democracy and social justice; and creative, in which men
and women are peacefully enabled to engage in labor and
work, reap benefits from the changing concepts of ecological
justice, technological evolution, new economy, family
values and social stratification and participatory political
condition of modernity. These are critical elements to
reduce the appetite for gender violence and heal the society
from entropies, wounds and conflicts.
Empowerment is a holistic concept which cannot be reduced
to disciplinary boundaries of knowledge, institutions
or particular social division of labor. What is still
needed is to transform Nepals informal society,
economy and polity into formal constitutional process
by ensuring womens voice, visibility and representation
and enabling them to engage in the rational determination
of life, politics, law and public policies of the nationgoverning
them. Rights-based discourse alone is insufficient condition
for Nepalese womens empowerment as it favors only
the organized part of society. The scope for better gender
justice in Nepal can be provided by the provision of welfare
state, contributory funding of social security, social
protection of vulnerable women, recognition of the inequitable
burden of care work on women, good governance and affirmative
action. Redistributive mechanism of social justice in
Nepal is essential to foster harmonious society based
on social, gender and inter-generational justice. This
is one of the ways to make womens empowerment self-sustaining
and capture the spirit of new peace.
Remarks made by author during the seminar organized by
PKMC, Kathmandu in cooperation with FES, Nepal Office.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (27 March 2013)
of Civic Education Necessary <Top>
Kathmandu, March 10
On the occasion of International Womens Day Modern
Kanya Multiple College organized one-day national seminar
on Civic education in the context of Democracy and
Womens Rights. Chairman of dissolved Constituent
Assembly Nilamber Acharya, head of FES for Asia, Juergen
Stetten, head of FES for South Asia Stefanie Moser, Vice-President
of Milan Chautari Anita Achayra and journalist Anita Bindu
spoke on ending violence against women in order to create
Acharya said that election is the key to democracy. We
should not prolong political transition. In order to achieve
this we should support chief justice to facilitate election.
Juergen Stetten said that civic education has played a
great role in the political development of Germany. This
also helps to strengthens democracy.
In the second session constitutional expert Kashi Raj
Dahal spoke on democracy and womens rights while
chairperson of Womens Department of Tribhuvan University
Dr. Uma Koirala presented paper on Gender Inequality
and Womens Education. Chairman of Engineers
Associaiton Mahendra Gurung and Associate Professor of
Tribhuvan University Dr. Rama Bashyal provided comments
on the paper. Many participants , Ichha Gurung, Shonika
Tamang, Shova Pant, Junu Neupane, Chandra Dev Bhatta,
etc also added comments.
Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (13 March 2013)
Do not just Listen but speak <Top>
Democratic political culture is not possible without
proper civic education for leaders and citizens. Civility
and democracy are fraternal twins. To foster the democratic
knowledge, spirits and disposition, so said the participants
of a seminar jointly organized by Modern Kanya Multiple
Campus (MKMC) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Office,
on the topic Civic Education for Young College Girls.
The seminar was organized to mark the International Women
Day, March 8, 2013.
Chairman Prof. Ram Prasad Dahal of MKMC said that the
college hosts students from all the 75 districts of the
country and hoped that the education our students get
will help change the society in a rational direction and
remove all gender-related violence that is plaguing women.
There is a need for solidarity among women themselves
and between men and women for the equitable social development
of Nepali society, he said.
Speaking on the occasion Head of FES for Asia-Pacific
Region Dr. Juergen Stetten said that in Germany there
was a long struggle waged by women for justice, representation
FES organizes over 4,000 events every year on civic education.
Citizens become frustrated when their leaders do not fulfill
the promises. Integration of every one in society is essential
to build the base of democracy and create fairer outcome
for everyone. But there is a need for active citizens
in every sphere of lives, not just election to make democratic
political culture robust. We are happy with the German
Cooperation and the work of FES in Nepal with multiple
stakeholders including girls.
Another speaker, Stefanie Moser, Desk Officer for South
Asia, quoting Friedrich Ebert said that democracy needs
We need female democrats. What is important is
engagement of citizens to express their interests and
wishes in every day to day affair.
She said Germany has achieved a lot over the decades.
We have Chancellor Angela Merkel but there is a
long way to bridge the gender gap in economy and politics.
Our women are doing better in the university; therefore,
there is possibility for reforms in the future for gender
equal outcome. Women should not just listen but also speak.
Former Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of dissolved
Constituent Assembly (CA) Nilamber Acharya highlighted
that constitutional debates, informed discussion about
issues and awareness about rights that have spread throughout
the nation through the old CA. Now, we have to consolidate
the achievements and organize fresh CA for both drafting
the constitution and steer the nation to constitutional
path to democracy. He said that political consensus for
election environment must be built for this.
Mr. Acharya is a former Communist now turned into a Nepali
Over 200 college girls are provided training on the principles
and practice of civic education by Dr. Uma Koirala and
Justice Kashiraj Dahal.
Nepal ( 9 March 2013)
Adaptive Capacity to the Emerging Geostrategic Shift <Top>
Nepal, occupying strategic geography in the heartland
of Asia, is feeling the heat of global power shift. The
geostrategic impact on its national politics has become
visible with the arrival of multiple actors in and around
its periphery reverberating the concern of both India
and China. Germany, being the key power in the European
Union, feels the pressure for undertaking more responsibility
and significant policy say in Asia. Nepal is not a backwater
of these evolving trends.
Institute of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung,
Nepal Office, organised an interaction programme on Geostrategic
Shift in Asia: Response of German Security and Foreign
Policy on February 15 with visiting German Member
of Parliament (Bundstag) including Johannes Pflug, Member
of Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, Karin
Evers-Meyer, Member of Defense Committee and Budget Committee
and Holger Ortel, Member, Committee on Food, Agriculture
and Consumer Protection. The overarching aim of this talk
programme was to shed light as how Germans view the recent
geostrategic shift in Asia. The event was important for
obvious reasons: Germany has remained an economic power
house of the world for long time and second it has been
a key player in the European Union, the UN and NATO. Germany
has become a lynchpin for international security, peacebuilding
and development initiatives in the world.
Setting the scene for discussion, Prof. Sridhar K. Khatri
said that geostrategic calculations are worked out by
those global powers that have capacity to shift the change
of events to suit the requirements of the global players
as well as the countries associated with it directly or
indirectly. In recent years, the rise of Asian economies,
particularly that of China, and subsequent decline of
the West has aroused the attention of the US and its allies
towards the Asia-Pacific Region. Chinas increasing
ability to restrict USs role in the Western Pacific
owing to its sheer economic strength could also impinge
on other areas valued and championed by the Western powers
such as human rights, capitalism, liberal democracy etc.
The recent statement from the Chairman of the Joint Chief
of Staff of the US said in 2020 and beyond, the
security and economic challenges to our nation migrate
to the Pacific, and demographics migrate to the Pacific,
and it is pretty clear that we have to rebalance.
The outcome of 1st FES Tiergarten Conference of 2012
on fundamental geostrategic Shift suggests that: rebalancing
towards Asia-Pacific is no hype, rebalancing towards Asia-Pacific
will have differentiated consequences for other regions,
more attention and awareness of Asia-Pacific in Europe
is necessary, more political engagement and commitment
is required on the part of Europe and Germany, and there
is a need for a coherent and up-to-date foreign policy.
For Germany, it cannot simply wait for a coherent European
approach to come from Brussels out of the blue. As an
important EU member with strong diplomatic presence in
the region, Berlin needs to play a more proactive
role in facilitating and contributing to a strategic approach
that reflects the US rebalancing towards the region. Such
discussions that are taking place on both sides of Atlantic
indicate that political and economic rise of Asia will
have to be seriously looked into and handled carefully
for the peaceful world order. This also carries significance
for the smaller states in the region including Nepal.
For Nepal, both of its immediate neighbours, India and
China, are seen as rising economic powers and wield tremendous
political powers in the extant world order. Striking a
right strategic balance would be crucial for its economic
prosperity and political stability. However, in recent
time, Nepal has become a centre of geopolitical battle
in the region and its consequences are seen in the domestic
politics as well. Speaking in the programme Johannes Pflug
said that smaller countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and
Bhutan should unite for their well-being and security
and German would be more than happy to lend support to
such initiatives. Johannes Plfug also said that while
China wanted to create a win-win situation for all (an
harmonious society), the US and its allies, for their
part, do not necessarily aspire the same. He pointed out
that so far EU has failed to articulate common foreign
and security policy an Germany has no intention to hold
political power it may, though, be economic one. That
Germany can be a facilitator and mediator in the process.
Pflug also highlighted different security dynamics including
the issues in Afghanistan, Pakistan, northeeast, Arab
world, Africa and South China Sea. He argued stability
in this region will beacon towards regional and world
stability in the long run. Karin Evers-Meyer also said
that Europe is worried about this shift of American power
from Atlantic towards Asia-Pacific and the smaller states
in the region will have to face serious geopolitical implications
arising out of this. The program was attended by over
70 eminenet persons- diplomats, security agencies, officials
of various ministries, politicians, senior civil servants
Source: The Reporter Weekly (1 March 2013)
Of Social Democracy In Nepal <Top>
Ritu Raj Subedi
The Constituent Assembly (CA), which was dissolved without
completing its task, was historic from different viewpoints.
Among its many characteristics, it was dominated by Lefts
and social democrats. More than 62 per cent of the CA
members were from moderate and hardliner communist parties.
Non-Left forces like Nepali Congress and Madhes-based
parties also identified themselves as followers of socialism
and social justice. With UCPN-Maoist formally giving up
violent path and embracing peaceful means to realize socialism,
the three major forces are heading towards a confluence
of their philosophies. NCs democratic socialism,
CPN-UMLs peoples multiparty democracy and
UCPN-Maoists 21st century janabad (capitalist revolution)
have found a common ideological ground to evolve into
social democracy that advocates for peaceful and evolutionary
transition of society from capitalism to socialism. Social
democracy stands for universally accessible public services
such as peoples rights to education, health and
job, and rule of law, social justice, workers rights
and inclusiveness. Unlike neo-liberal democracy, it strives
to create level playing field for all for equal participation
in public life rather that creating spaces for winners
Social democracy was born in the 19th century Europe.
General German Workers Association, founded by German
socialist Ferdinand Lassalle in early 1860s, was perhaps
the first social democratic party. The Association took
the reformist line although it was influenced by international
revolutionary socialism and Communist Manifesto of Karl
Marx and Friedrich Engels. In 1864, International Workingmens
Association, also known as the First International, came
into existence to accommodate the socialists of various
hues and colours. It consisted of different rival socialist
factions. In 1869, Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel
joined their hands to found Social Democratic Workers
Party of Germany on the Marxist line. Since then the social
democratic movements witnessed various ups and downs.
Later version of the movement abandoned Marxs revolutionary
and class conflict approach and adopted evolutionary and
reformist one espoused by Edward Bernstein and Karl Kautsky.
However, before the split of noted socialist thinkers
in different groups over the means of attaining goal,
Marx himself changed his position on the nature of revolution
during the Hague Congress in 1872. He said, We know
that the institutions, customs and traditions in the different
countries must be taken into account; and we do not deny
the existence of countries like America, England, and...I
might add Holland, where the workers may achieve their
aims by peaceful means. But this is not true of all countries
Hence, out of Marxism emerged two schools of socialism:
One group embraced peaceful line of Marxism and became
social democrat, and another one went to advocate pure
Marxism or scientific socialism and took the revolutionary
line, which was later spearheaded by Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg.
The Frankfurt Declaration of Socialist International
was crucial to further advance the cause of social democracy.
It rejected capitalism and one-party rule of communism,
preferred parliamentary democracy, gradual democratic
reforms and ethical values to secure workers rights.
According to noted German social democrat Rudolf Hilferding,
the transition from Marxism to revisionism has been facilitated
by the incapacity of orthodox Marxists to develop a scientific
analysis of social dynamics and scientific prediction
of future developments. The 1930 Great Depression was
the litmus test for the government under the social democrats.
They weathered the crisis with the Keynesian instrument
of state intervention and the adoption of the principles
of welfare state. However, social democracy suffered in
the 1970s as the economic crisis of overloaded welfare
state led to the Thatcher-Reagan counter-revolution. It
promoted neo-liberalism that spanned through 1980s and
1990s, which saw the state a problem and market as the
Political scientist and FES head, Dev Raj Dahal, argued
that a number of factors emerged to deal blow to social
democracy in 1970s. A large section of working class was
elevated to the middle class and the labour was itself
divided into blue-collar and white-collar, which weakened
the workers movement. The privatization of industries
reduced the size of working class and workers were themselves
interested in high-tech job. The spread of non-class values
such as peace, ecology, gender and multiculturalism influenced
the concerns of diverse electorate, he said. In addition
to this, social democracy found it difficult to manage
the globalization of economy, politics and society. However,
in the mid-1990s, social democracy saw its renewal with
electoral defeat of neo-liberal governments at the hand
of social democratic. The invention of Third Way
and New Labour of Tony Blair rejuvenated social
democracy based on changing political dynamics although
Left-leaning social democrats rebelled against Third
Way, which accepted market economy but rejected
the market society.
After becoming federal democratic republic, Nepal has
apparently chosen the path of social democracy as envisaged
in the interim constitution, which has provisions to ensure
social and cultural rights of people such as rights to
work, health, education, habitat and food sovereignty.
It has given due emphasis on inclusiveness and proportional
representation of the marginalized community in the state
organs. Nepals endorsement to civil and political
rights as well as social, economic and cultural rights
of Universal Declaration of Human Rights impelled the
political leadership to chalk out social democratic laws
and policies. Likewise, Nepals adoption of humanitarian
laws, social charter of SAARC, Kyoto Protocol, womens
rights and social justice provisions of ILO encourages
the state agencies to work for the guarantee of social
justice. More importantly, the majority of populace demands
that the state should increase its role to provide social
security and the benefits of the welfare state to the
citizens. As an improvised nation, Nepal is not in a position
to expand welfare economy. In addition, the country is
in the midst of political and constitutional crisis, which
has prevented it from realizing economic aspirations.
Despite this bitter reality, most of the political parties
have stood for social justice, economic equality and inclusiveness,
which can only be achieved within the social democratic
Rising Nepal ( 24 February 2013)
MPs interacts with local people in Gaidakot <Top>
Gaindakot, Nawalpaasi: FES Nepal office in cooperation
with local NGO, Sahamati, organized a half-day interaction
program at Gaindakot between the visiting parliamentarians
Johannes Pflug, Foreign Affairs Committee, Karin Evers-Meyer,
Defense and Budget Committee and Holger Ortel, Agriculture
and Defense Committee of German Bundestag and local leaders,
NGOs, citizens groups, civil society and officials of
development organizations of Chitwan and Nawalparasi.
Welcoming the participants head of FES Nepal office Dev
Raj Dahal introduced the theme Continuity and Transformation
at the Local Level and explained that Nepal sought
to achieve transformation in five domainscontext,
discourse, issues, rules and actors. But, these changes
remains far from consolidated as political leaders failed
to transform sovereignty to people, make politics public
and transform diverse people into equal citizens. Precondition
for modernization in areaseducation, economy, technology,
organization and leadership behavior, accountability and
responsiveness remained weak. Only transformational leadership,
not transactional, authoritarian and personalized, is
capable of sustaining the change underway and balance
three groups of rightsindividual, group-specific
and human rightsand steer the nations politics
in responsive direction seeking to link rule with rights
and duties and achieve self-governance. He said at the
moment there is only governance, not elected government
of the people at the local level.
Johannes Pflug narrating the difficult days of Germany
during Great Wars said that in Nepal, political parties
can play constructive role to make politics responsive
and democratic and make social contract binding to all
sides. We all three MPs have started our career with local
politics and addressed the needs of local people for health,
education, sanitation, jobs, infrastructural and development
needs allowing people to harness their potentialities.
National politics should have strong base in local politics,
economy and society. We can fight in the German parliament
for the possible support for Nepals initiatives
and take the funding to right place.
Another speaker Holger Ortel said that for the development
of your villages there is no need for you to become a
member of any political party. You have to avoid extreme
partisanship and overcome ideology. There is also no need
to have higher level of education to become a leader.
What is essential is common sense which is possessed by
everyone. But you have to decide what is right for you.
Local governance is generally based on the principle of
subsidiarity, that is, decisions have to be taken at the
local level who have to bear the costs and share benefits.
People should be the center of development.
Karin Evers-Meyer, who extended immense support to Sahaj
Community Hospital said that Germany has a high level
of affection for Nepal and the Nepalese people. I have
started politics from grassroots level. At that time villagers
were facing scarcity of many basic needs. I tried to solve
the problems of my community. Then I got elected at the
district and became mayor. For Nepal also the urgent task
for Nepal is election for the parliament and local bodies.
Parliament monitors and directs the government, sees whether
the government has performed assigned tasks or not and
makes them accountable to the people. In Nepal also, people
are very conscious of their rights.
Therefore, you should focus on both national and local
election as they provide legitimacy to rule and your representatives
will help to solve your problems. Government is an instrument
to improve peoples living standards. Above 40 speakers
of the area including Susma Bajracharya, Chau En-Lai Shrestha,
Padma Prasad Ghimire, Bhuvan Ale, Rajiv Neupane, Laxmi
P. Khatowada, Radha Chapagain, Badri Nepal, Bhim Prasad
Sharma and Karun Sagar Subedi, interacted with the visiting
Source: Peoples Review (Thursday, 21 February
Shift in Asia, German reply on Security and FP <Top>
Mrs Karin Evers-Meyer, SPD MP, German Bundestag
How is Germany stepping out of decades of pacifism/military
non-intervention into a bigger role for security within
Europe and NATO? What impact has Germanys rise as
an economic power on its security policy?
Mrs. Karin Evers-Meyer, MP from German Bundestag (SPD)
was here in town for a short trip. Prior to her departure
to Berlin, she made a small but yet beautiful presentation
as regards the German foreign policy measures now being
undertaken at a brief seminar organized by Nepal Institute
of Foreign Affairs, February 15, 2013. She has already
left for her home country.
- Asia has accomplished a remarkable development preserving
its unique character.
- Lot of things happening here in Nepal.
- Germany a friend of Nepal and Asia.
- Germany is not a teacher, but as an assistant, and
- US says and demands more responsibility and
a larger share of the burden.
- In saying so US wants more money from Germany.
- SPD demands UN nod for military engagement.
- US doesnt exert pressure on Germany.
- Germany makes its weight felt for peace wherever it
Karin speech begins:
Many things have changed in Asia over the last
decades. Asia has accomplished a remarkable development
while preserving its unique character. On the political
side, the elections in Myanmar, the economic rise of China
and the situation in Afghanistan are the probably the
most obvious developments perceived in Europe. And, of
course, we do see a lot of things happening here in Nepal.
Germany is and will continue to be a friend of the Nepali
people and a friend of Asia. We are aware of the responsibilities
that we have in the international community. Germany makes
its weight felt for peace wherever necessary, and is a
trustworthy partner when a crisis strikes.
German foreign policy appreciates, that different cultures,
languages, views, religions and ways of living are an
asset, not a burden. It is our political understanding
that tolerance is a matter of course. When being asked
for help, Germany is not coming as a teacher, but as an
assistant, and a friend. The best assistance supplies
the means and abilities to those in need, to let their
energy float freely to get into the position to ensure
that the job is done.
Geostrategic shifts are not a new development at all
in international politics. Policy is a feature of development
and progress, too. It is not a static feature unable to
adapt and react accordingly. Hopefully, politics provides
a degree of consistency and reliability. The care for
security is independent of a countrys economic power.
It is an attitude.
Germany can be trusted to consider upon its foreign policy
very carefully - its duties within NATO or the European
Union notwithstanding. Frankly speaking, when, for example,
America says that it demands more responsibility
and a larger share of the burden from Germany, I
understand they want us to pay more money. Well, ok. This
is not a new thing to happen. And it also may be indicated
from time to time. But for Germany it is the parliament
that will decide at last.
Indeed, we know our duties, and we are prepared to make
our impact felt. We already do so at the coasts of Somalia
where we provide security for ships. In Mali where we
are present with combat medic. And in Turkey we help to
bring stability into a fragile region in collaboration
with other nations. Let me be clear: Germany does not
sense pressure from the government of the United States
of America to step in more intensely. As it does not sense
pressure from any other country. In the Social Democratic
Party of Germany, which I am a member of, we believe that
a United Nations mandate is the ground for deciding upon
a military engagement. I do not see this changing, and
I consider this the right basis of decision for us.
Coming as a guest to Nepal today feels really good. On
behalf of our tiny delegation let me thank you for your
hospitality and kindness we are experiencing every day.
It is our perception that we are meeting friends here
in Nepal. I am sure that we will return with the best
feelings about your beautiful country and people. And
I also hope that our visit will increase the degree of
cooperation and communication between our countries. In
fact, I do not have the slightest doubt.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (20 February 2013)
MPs Stress on accountability of leaders <Top>
Three members of parliament of German Bundestag visited
Gaindakot, February 14, 2013, to remain abreast with the
local democratic process of Nepal.
On that occasion FES Nepal office in cooperation with
Sahamati, an NGO, organized an interaction program between
German Parliamentarians Johannes Pflug, member of Foreign
Affairs Committee, Karin Evers-Meyer, member of Defense
and Budget Committee and Holger Ortel, member of Agriculture
and Transportation Committee of Bundestag and local leaders
of Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts.
Addressing over 60 participants, Johannes Pflug explained
the purpose of the delegation visit which had been to
give a boost to political parties and enable them to solve
the current stalemate.
He touched upon the difficulty of political transition
of South Asian countries including Nepal. He added, democracy
thrives in moderate space. Unfortunately, this space is
squeezing due to rise of undemocratic elements. Extremist
forces are trying to weaken both democratic space and
the state. In Nepal, political parties have to play constructive
role to make politics responsive to the citizens
demands and make social contract, a working constitution
binding to all sides. We all three MPs have started our
career with local politics and helped our people to address
their needs such as health, education, sanitation, jobs,
infrastructural and development needs. National politics
should have strong base in local ecology, politics, economy
and society. He promised to fight in the German parliament
for the possible support for Nepals democratic,
development and peace initiatives. Big parties should
support the smaller parties after election and tell them
how can we help you and how can we work together. We would
like to compromise. They should work together for the
resolution of practical issues based on ground realities.
Recovery of Nepals post-conflict condition also
requires extensive public works and creation of opportunities
for youth, poor and unemployed for works. Ideology only
operates at theoretical level which too is revised once
reality is changed. On behalf of German MPs he expressed
thanks to Nepali hosts for the warmness they extended
to them as well as enabling them to know the local conditions.
Karin Evers-Meyer, who immensely contributed to a medium-sized
Sahaj Community Hospital said that she started politics
from grassroots level and supported the community upliftment
projects. Then she got elected at the district for mayor
ship. She suggested the Nepalese leaders to organize the
election of the parliament and local bodies so that it
would be easier to monitor the performance and functions
of the government. In Nepal also, she found people conscious
of their rights and added that they can make the leaders
accountable in solving their problems. Government is an
instrument to improve peoples living standards.
Nation-building can be completed only when women play
pro-active role in public affairs and politics and influence
public policies, Mrs. Karin observed.
Another speaker Holger Ortel said that for the development
of your villages there is no need for you to become a
member of any political partyUML or Congress. You
have to avoid extreme partisanship and overcome ideological
obsessions. Good education helps to understand and solve
problems. But what is important in politics is common
sense which is possessed by every individual.
FES, GIZ and other development organizations should contribute
to local development, said Mr. Ortel.
These agencies can only show you the ways of development
based on international experience, but you have to decide
what is right for you. Local governance is generally based
on the principle of subsidiarity, that is, decisions have
to be taken at the local level. People should be the end
of development and then comes the nation. You have to
broaden your understanding to get cooperation from others.
People have rights to put their demands on the government.
The earning classes have to pay the tax and the government
should increase the budget on education from 10 to 15
percent of the national budget.
Dev Raj Dahal, Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal
office introduced the theme about social transformation
in Nepal and said that Nepal sought to achieve transformation
in five domainscontext, discourse, issues, rules
and actors. He said that Nepalese leaders and attentive
public are using various terms-social change, social transformation
and revolution to describe Nepals shift of regime
power without knowing their deeper meaning and without
creating preconditions. It was, therefore, difficult to
consolidate change as political leaders failed to transform
sovereignty to people, make politics public and transform
diverse people into impersonal equal citizens. Consolidation
of change requires modernization in five key areaseducation,
economy, technology, organization and leadership behavior,
accountability and responsiveness. Only transformational
leadership is capable of sustaining the change and balance
three groups of rights-individual, group-specific and
human rights-and steer the nations politics in responsive
direction. He said at the moment there is only governance,
not elected government of the people at the local level.
Active citizenship can help achieve local government elections
and address the concern of citizens for education, health,
irrigation, jobs and other daily necessities of life.
The presentation was followed by lively discussion. Among
the participants were Susma Bajracharya, Chau En-Lai Shrestha,
Badri Nepal, Radha Chapagain, Padma Prasad Ghimire, Bhuvan
Ale, Rajiv Neupane, Laxmi P. Khatiwada and Karun Sagar
Bhim Prasad Sharma, Chairman of Sahaj Cooperative Hospital,
thanked the German parliamentarians for sparing their
time with them and sharing their experiences with the
local people, supporting their initiatives and sharing
concern for development. He thanked Karin Evers-Meyer
for supporting the Sahaj Cooperative Hospital and FES
for supporting the program.
Source: The Telegraph Weekly (20 February 2013)
Talk on Geostrategic
Shift in Asia held <Top>
By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Feb 15: The Institute of Foreign Affairs in
collaboration with FES Nepal organised a talk programme
on "Geostrategic Shift in Asia: Response of German
Security and Foreign Policy" in the capital Friday.
German members of parliament Johannes Pflug, member of
committee on political affairs and democracy, Karin Evers-Meyer,
member of defense and budget committee and Holger Ortel,
member of committee on food, agriculture and consumer
protection were present in the programme.
Pflug said tht geostrategic shift that was taking place
in the world would have serious implication on the regional
and global security. "The rise of China, India and
subsequent decline of European Union and other powers
would bring new dynamics in the region."
For smaller countries in South Asia, this will have a
special meaning for their own survival and they also need
to adjust their policy with these changing global shifts
of power, Pflug noted.
Dr. Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, Kul Chandra Gautam, Rajan Bhattarai
and CP Gajurel also spoke at the function. Professor Shreedhar
Khatri chaired the session.
Source: The Rising Nepal (16 February 2013)
suggested ending Deadlock soon <Top>
The visiting German parliamentarians Johannes Pflug,
Holger Ortel and Karin Evers-Meyer to Gaindakot expressed
concern about Nepal's political stories and suggested
Nepalese parties to break this situation as soon as possible.
German parties played key role to break their authoritarian
past and build modern architecture of development. They
also suggested Nepalese parties to work for the nation's
well beings. They interacted with local leaders, citizens
and representatives of social institutions of Chitwan
and Nawalparasi districts intensively about local and
national developments and busied themselves. They visited
Sahaj Community Hospital in Nawalparasi district run by
Sahamati - an NGO having chapters in various parts of
In a brief press meet at Bharatpur airport they said
that Nepalese leaders have to be serious to solve the
nation's problems. This is possible if they shorten the
political transition. Karin Evers-Meyer said that Nepali
government should focus on solving people's problems.
She also expressed happiness to extend cooperation to
Sahaj Community hospital. Bhim Prasad Sharma, Chairman
of the hospital, explained the purpose of the visit of
German parliamentarians and expected more cooperation
in the days ahead. He also said that Nepal has to learn
from the German progress in many areas. Head of FES, Dev
Raj Dahal explained the transformation process in Nepal
in a number of areas and the need for the modernization
of the country. He said German cooperation is selfless.
Chairman of Sahamati Karun Sagar Subedi, member of international
department of Nepali Congress party Chauyenlai Shrestha
and other greeted the guests.
Meanwhile the same day Sahaj Community hospital, Gaindakot
and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organized a dialogue on "Continuity
and Transformation at the Local Level: Sharing of German
- Nepali Experience". German MP Johannes Pflug, member
of Foreign Affair Committee, shared the problems of Germany
in the first and second world wars to now. Another MP
Karin Evers-Meyer from defense and budget committee and
MP Holger Ortel of agriculture and transport committee
focused on the principle of subsidiary, that the local
problems should be solved locally. They all stressed on
local development as a backbone of strengthening democracy.
Chairman of Sahamati Karuna Sagar Subedi said that the
visit of German MPs will be a milestone to expedite the
solution of Nepal's problems. Bhim Prasad Sharma thanked
all the guests and participants.
Source: KayaKairan Daily News (15 February 2013)
parliamentarians concerned about ongoing political stalemate
Visiting Gaidakot, Nawalparasi District German Parliamentarians
expressed their views that the ongoing political stalemate
in Nepal has to be ended. They suggested that stalemate
causes instability. Referring the case of Germany they
said that political parties played creative role for the
rise of Germany as prosperous nation. They added Nepalese
parties should play important role for the prosperity
of Nepali nation.
They have arrived at Nawalparasi to interact with the
local leaders, NGOs civil society and development organization
of Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts on the political
situation of the country and know the progress in development.
They were busy on Thursday interacting with people and
visiting the Sahaj Community Hospital, run by Sahamati
which also organized program on "Continuity and Transformation
at the Local Level: Sharing of German-Nepali Experience"
German parliamentarian Karin Evers-Meyer, Holger Ortel
and Johannes Pflug sharing their views expressed that
leaders have to solve the problem of people. Bhim Prasad
Sharma, Chairman of Sahaj Community Hospital, viewed that
we have to learn a lot from German experience of democracy
and development. Dev Raj Dahal, Head of FES, said that
German attitude toward Nepal is always Cooperative and
Source: Chitwan Post, Daily (15 February 2013,
parliamentarian in Gaindakot <Top>
German Parliamentarians suggested Nepali political parties
to end current deadlock as soon as possible. Positive
and democratic behavior of German political parties transformed
authoritarian post into a modern nation. They also stressed
Nepalese leaders to stress on peace and prosperity.
They have come to Gaidakot to interact with political
leaders, social workers and civil society to discuss about
Nepal political and development situation. They were busy
in visiting Sahaj Community hospital run by Sahamati -
a national NGOs and interacted with the community members
the whole Thursday. Speaking to the journalists at Bharatpur
Airport they expressed that Nepalese leaders should reduce
the time of political transition and engage in solving
the problems of the country.
German Member of Parliament Karin Evers-Meyers after
visiting Sahaj Community Hospital said that she is happy
to support the hospital and added that Nepali government
would be able to solve the problem of people.
Bhim Prasad Sharma, chairman of Sahaj Community Hospital,
narrated the purpose of visit of German parliamentarian
and expected more cooperation from the German side in
the coming days. He also said that Nepal has to learn
a lot from the Germany's democratic development.
Head of German Political Foundation FES in Nepal Dev
Raj Dahal said that the EU and Germany often see Nepali
positively. German team was greeted by the people at Bharatpur
airport. Chairman of Sahamati Karun Sagar Subedi and Nepali
Congress leader Chauyenlai Shrestha also welcomed the
Source: Loktantra Sandesh, National Daily ( 14
February 2013, Gaidakot)