Nepali Bloggers Breaking New Grounds

Libertarian-ism. You don’t hear this ism in Nepal that often. Political discussions in the country are largely tussle between liberal, centrist,or conservative bend. Nowadays xenophobic right wing tilt is also visible-because of regional and cultural shifts.

Surath Giri’s blog looks at Libertarianism through Nepali lens. Posts on  flat tax system, Nepali capitalism “Whatever little degree of capitalism Nepal has practiced so far has been riddled with practices of crony capitalism. The majority of the wealthy class of Nepal were either born rich or became so by political and bureaucratic connections. Why do few business houses thrive whereas majority of the populace languishes in poverty? Why do few industrialists dominate the economy? Not because they provide quality goods and services to satisfy the customers but because they happen to have political and bureaucratic connections.”, youth unemployment and the Occupy Wall Street movement are interesting.

While the merits of libertarian-ism versus liberal or conservative form of government is wide open and not settled, Giri does pushes new way of looking at things in Nepal. It has not caught on because let’s be honest, the idea of self-reliance and small government is not  attractive in Nepali context. Mainstream media has largely ignored this school of thought.

Ushaft’s blog is the Nepali media watchdog (I so hope one day our news/media organizations will have an ombudsman), until then this blog what we have. His (??) posts on press release journalism, and the outrageous child trafficking case criticize the media culture and corruption within-something the fraternity has been unable to do for a long time.

The two blogs are pushing new ideas, reaction from the media establishment is non existent. Shows that the old guard is too set in its way or is there a communication gap which if bridged could resolve the disconnect?


Nepali Media: Legal Aspect

Under the Interim Constitution of Nepal (2006),freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed. Free press and right to information and right to privacy is also addressed:

15. Right Regarding Publication, Broadcasting and Press :
(1) No publication and broadcasting or printing of any news items, editorial, article, writings or other readings, audio-visual materials, by any means including electronic publication, broadcasting and press, shall be censored. Provided that nothing shall be deemed to prevent the making of laws to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the sovereignty or integrity of Nepal, or which may jeopardise the harmonious relations subsisting among the peoples of various castes, tribes or communities; or on any act of sedition, defamation, contempt of court or incitement to an offence; or on any act which may be contrary to decent public behaviour or morality.
(2) No radio, television, online or any other types of digital or electronic means, press or any other communication media shall be closed, seized or be cancelled the registration because of publishing and broadcasting or printing any material by such means of audio, audio-visual or electronic equipments.
(3) No newspaper, periodical or press shall be closed, seized or be cancelled the registration for printing and publishing any news items, articles, editorial, writings or other reading materials.
(4) No communication means including press, electronic broadcasting and telephone shall be obstructed except in accordance with law.
27. Right to Information :
(1) Every citizen shall have the right to demand or obtain information on any matters of his/her own or of public importance. Provided that nothing shall compel any person to provide information on any matter about which secrecy is to be maintained by law.
28. Right to Privacy : 
(1) Except on the circumstance as provided by law, the privacy of the person, residence, property, document, statistics, correspondence and character of anyone is inviolable.

As we can see, the Constitution bars censorship-except under special circumstances (national sovereignty, communal harmony, defamation, sedation etc). But that does not mean it is a smooth sailing in Nepal.

Hindi movie Delhi Belly faced Nepal’s film censor board and several screenings were cancelled on grounds of obscenity. And last year, the country’s media authorities raised eyebrows when they put Huffington Post on the list of banned websites (turned out to be a huge misunderstanding, they actually wanted to band sex/porn related sites).

Although compared to some of its neighbors, Nepali government is not actively involved in censoring materials, slip-ups do happen and they show that the it is still a long road ahead for a truly free media culture  take hold.

Government’s apparent absence may be because political activists and caders do much of the dirty work for their party and the establishment to silence opposition.

Violence and threats have pushed many to embrace self censorship. Bhuwan Sharma reports at IPS,

“While many are used to violence never being too far away from their work, especially at the height of the 10-year Maoist insurgency, what worries journalists is the fact the culprits behind these attacks are almost always never apprehended.

Already, fear has driven the staff of ‘Janakpur Today’ newspaper, the chairman of whose publishing group was killed by unidentified gunmen on Mar. 1, to finish work as early as they can and leave the office by 6 p.m. before nightfall, says Ajit Tiwari, a journalist who reports from the eastern plains of Nepal. “

Nepal’s ranks 119th out of 178 in 2010 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom index. From the summary of the report at Nepal Monitor,

“RSF says that that after an apparent improvement in the situation in 2010, political instability and an increase in activity by several political parties and armed groups are threatening media freedom and the safety of journalists, especially in the districts.

“Some political leaders are providing political protection to people who are threatening and attacking journalists and media,” Reportaers Without Borders said. “This encourages a climate of impunity that is endangering all the achievements of previous months regarding press freedom.”

Impunity and lack of leadership-are often repeated when discussing threats to Nepal’s budding media, and yet successive governments have failed to address the issues properly.

For citizen journalists, facing adversity is even tougher because they do not have an organization(employer) supporting them and the current press laws are not very clear on protections a citizen journalist has.

For suggestions on safety for citizen journalists, here are some posts:

Death Penalty Will Not End Crime, It is No Justice

Yesterday, state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, convicted of killing an off duty police officer. Davis, to the very end-moments before being injected with lethal drugs, claimed innocence. His case gathered many supporters from around the world, including some very well known figure like Rev. Al Sharpton, Jimmy Carter, the Pope; because there was too much dobut whether Davis was the actual killer.

No murder weapon was found, and the seven of the nine eyewitnesses changed or recanted all or part of their testimony and the lack of physical evidence directly linking Davis to the crime also added to the mounting doubts. Unfortunately, after years of efforts to set him free or at least clemency from death penalty, Troy Davis was executed.

This case presents the huge moral dilemma of the Death Penalty. You cannot kill a citizen without infallible proof, even slightest doubt or possibility of misstep should be enough to stop an execution because no matter how long it takes to prove the truth-it can be done. A person once gone, is gone forever.

In Troy Davis’ case, what harm would it have done to state of Georgia if they had stayed the execution and investigated the conviction some more? Yes, he got number of opportunities to prove his innocence, but what wrong can one more chance do?

But the man is now dead and if it is proven in future that indeed an innocent man was killed by the state, what repercussions will the state face? How much will that hurt the justice system and people’s faith in the system?

Unfortunately, some idiots (yes, I will call them that) are now calling Nepal to bring back death penalty. I don’t think they understand the gravity of this punishment. You are asking a state to kill its citizens in the name of the law and that is a huge moral black hole. There is no justice in killing someone, and for a country with limited diagnostic and legal resources bringing back death penalty will surely kill hundreds of innocents.

What Nepal needs is better policing, more spending on resources for the victims and also for the accused and a Government serious on ending current environment of impunity. Death penalty should have no place in Nepali justice system.

Here are some relevant posts:

Demand to introduce capital punishment in Nepal

Nepalese capital hit by demonstrations demanding death penalty


Militant Unions and Sinful Profits

Terror of militant labor organizations is nothing new in Nepal. In a country suffering from chronic unemployment, almost all of the major political parties are heavily invested in nurturing and boosting militant labor unions whose sole goal is to shut down factories and businesses-not worker welfare and labor reform.

Surya Nepal Garment’s factory was forced to shut down after the workers, instigated by Maoist affiliated labor union, put forward unreasonable demands and hindered company operations. Unable to bear escalating losses, the factory-largest garment manufacturer in the country, closed shop. Surath Giri has a great post on this incident.

What did the union gain from this? About 700 workers lost their job and the country lost a good revenue source. But for the Maoists it was a serious coup. They were, once again, able to instill fear among the business owners and industrialists in the country. It is the Mao way or the highway.

And to make the matters worse, Maoists and their sympathizers have successfully changed the message. Now it is  sinful to make profit in Nepal-you are automatically termed bourgeois oppressor and have to be punished. Even if you are an honest entrepreneur, by virtue of making a profit, you have committed grave sin against the people of Nepal.

By demoralizing the business community and equating industrialists with profit hungry monsters, Maoists and their supporters have created an environment of fear and uncertainty in Nepal where no sane person would ever want to invest.

How are the other great pillars of Nepali democracy responding to this Mao style? By copying them, of course. Organizations affiliated with Nepali Congress and UML are equally responsible creating anti-business, anti-profit environment in the country. It is sad though that only the Maoists get criticized publicly and most loudly while the others largely escape the blame.

Cutting off the hand that feeds, seems counter intuitive but put the cynical glasses on and it makes prefect sense.

A prosperous, upwardly mobile and educated mass is the worst nightmare for Nepali political leadership. Then they would not be able to play their childish games- fear mongering, degrading a certain section of population to gain sympathy from the other, accusing one community of being anti-national etc. They need to keep the people poor, angry and hungry to succeed and that is what they are doing now.

A Village Without Women: Nepal’s Shame

Human trafficking is a huge social ill plaguing Nepal. Every year hundreds of women, girls and children are trafficked-majority of them are sold into sexual slavery.

MySansar has an investigative report from Sancharika Features Service, on a village without women-due to trafficking.  The original report is in Nepali, English translation is an unofficial version, by Bhumika Ghimire.

आफन्त नै दलाल भएपछि…

-कपिलदेव खनाल-

When loved ones turn traffickers

Kapildev Khanal

नुवाकोटको घ्याङफेदी–६ सिसिपुकी १८ वर्षीया सेलमेन्दो तामाङलाई उनकै काका जितबहादुर तामाङले बिक्रीको प्रयास गरे। असार १, ०६८ मा माइती गएकी सेलमेन्दोलाई काकाले घुमाउन लैजाने भन्दै गाउँबाट रसुवा पुर्‍याए। सानैमा बाआमाको मृत्यु भएपछि काकाले नै पालनपोषण गरेर सात महिनाअघि विवाह गरी पठाइएकी सेलमेन्दो माइत आएकी थिइन्। माइत गएको दुई दिनसम्म श्रीमती घर नफर्केपछि श्रीमान् आइतमान तामाङले खोजी गर्दा आफ्नी श्रीमती बिक्रीका लागि भगाइएको चाल पाए। सेलमेन्दोको खोजी गरिदिन उनले प्रहरी र विभिन्न सङ्घसंस्थासँग हारगुहार गर्ने क्रममा रसुवामा छोरी बिक्री गर्न हिँडेका जितबहादुर भेटिए। प्रहरीको हातबाट उम्किन सफल भएका उनी आजभोलि गाउँमै छन् भने सेलमेन्दोलाई शक्ति समूहले उद्धार गरेर घर फिर्ता गरेको छ। ‘काकाले बेच्न लगेको भन्ने थाहा पाएपछि माइती पनि टुङ्गियो,’ सेलमेन्दोले भनिन्, ‘गोसाइँकुण्ड जाऊँ भनेर चार दिनसम्म जङ्गलैजङ्गल हिँडाएर रसुवा पुर्‍याए। प्रहरीले फेलापारेपछि मात्रै आफू बेचिन लागेको थाहा पाएँ।’

19- 18 year-old Selmendo Tamang of Nuwakot Ghayanphedi-6; her uncle Jitbahadur Tamang tried to sell her to human traffickers. While visiting family members, Selmendo was approached by her uncle, who offered to take her on a trip. An orphan, Selmendo was raised by that uncle, and readily  accepted the offer. When she did not return home, her husband Aitaman Tamang started looking for her around the village and heard that Selmendo was taken on a trip to be sold to traffickers. He then asked local police and social organizations for help. Selmendo was rescued, but her uncle escaped from the police and is now living as a free man in his village. A newlywed, Selmendo said to the Police, “I have no family now, my own uncle tried to sell me”. “He told me we were going on a pilgrimage to Gosainkunda, and made me walk through the jungle for four days. When the Police found us, only then I realized that he was going to sell me”.

सेलमेन्दो तामाङमाथि भएको यो घटना एउटा पछिल्लो उदाहरण मात्र हो। नुवाकोटमा मानव बेचविखनका अनेक रूप छन्। आफन्तकै मिलेमतो र सक्रियतामा हुने महिला तथा बालिका बिक्रीले घ्याङफेदी गाविसमा भयावह रूप लिएको छ। यहाँका तीन हजारभन्दा बढी महिला र बालिका भारतका विभिन्न वेश्यालयमा बिक्री भइसकेका छन्। ‘केटी दलालले गाविस नै रित्तो बनाइसक्यो, कुन–कुन घरमा महिला छन् भनेर औंलामा नै गन्न सकिने अवस्था छ,’ सिसिपुका सीताराम तामाङले भने।

Selmendo is yet another example of Nuwakot’s human trafficking epidemic. Relatives and family members collude to sell women and girls and in village of Ghayanphedi this has taken an alarming turn. More than 3,000 local women and girls have been trafficked to brothels in India. Local Sitaram Tamang says, ” traffickers have emptied the village, only handful of homes now have a woman”.

०२२ सालमा पहिलोपटक भारतको वेश्यालयमा बिक्री भएकी सिसिपुकै एक महिलाबाट सुरु भएको यो अपराधले अहिले गाविसलाई महिलाविहीनताको अवस्थामा पुर्‍याएको छ। गाउँमा भएका युवती सकिएपछि पछिल्लो समयमा दश–बाह्र वर्षका बालिका गाउँबाट हराउने गरेका छन्। ‘गाउँबाट कुनै बालिका वा महिला हराए भने सीधै कोलकाता र मुम्बईका यौनकोठीमा खोज्न गए हुन्छ,’ स्थानीय शिक्षक कमल सिटौला भन्छन्। उनका अनुसार गाउँकै दलाल भनेर चिनिएकाले चेली बिक्री गर्ने गरेका छन्। विकासको नाममा गाउँ भित्रिएको सडकका कारण दलाललाई महिला बिक्रीमा सहजता मिलेको छ। गाउँबाट हिँडाएको एकै दिनमा नेपालको सिमाना काटिसक्ने भएकोले प्रहरी र कानुनको आँखा छल्न सजिलो बनेको छ।

In 2022 BS, for the first time a local woman was sold to an Indian brothel, and now trafficking has turned the village into a women-less land. Now that all the young women have been sold off, girls as young as 10-12 are being targeted by the traffickers. Local school teacher Kamal Sitaoula remarks, “if a girl or a woman is missing from the village, you should go to brothels in Mumbai and Kolkata to search for them”. He says that traffickers live among the villagers, which makes it easier for them to target potential victims. New roads coming into the village has also made it easy for the traffickers, now they can cross the border into India within a day of leaving home.

गाउँका धेरै महिला वेश्यालयमा पुगिसकेको कारण घ्याङफेदीमा कल्पना नै गर्न नसकिने एउटा सामाजिक समस्या सिर्जना भएको छ। सयभन्दा बढी पुरुषले महिलाको अभावमा विवाह गर्न पाएका छैनन्। जसमा १६ वर्षदेखि ५२ वर्ष उमेर समूहका पुरुष छन्। ‘गाउँका केटी दलालले ठूलो गाउँ (भारत) पुर्‍यायो, यो उमेरसम्ममा पनि विवाह गर्न पाइएन,’ सिसिपुका ५२ वर्षीय सेलबोन तामाङले भने। उनले विवाह गर्ने रहर पालेको पनि ३० वर्ष नाघिसकेको छ। छिमेकी गाविसहरूमा विवाहका लागि कुरा चलाए तापनि विवाह गर्न केटी नै नपाएको उनको भनाइ छ। ‘आफ्नै गाउँमा केटी भएको भए मेरो पनि विवाह हुन्थ्यो होला, घरजम्म बस्थ्यो होला,’ उनले भने।

Trafficking epidemic has created a social situation in Ghayangphedi village, more than 100 men-ranging in age from 16-52, are unmarried and cannot find a suitable match. Local Selbon Tamang(52),says , “traffickers have taken all the girls to India, so I am still a bachelor at this age”. He did look for girls in neighboring villages, but no luck. “If we had girls in our village, I would have been married and would have a family by now”.

सिसिपुका ३२ वर्षीय आइतमान तामाङसँग ०६७ मङ्सिरमा सेलमेन्दो तामाङको विवाह हुँदा गाउँभरि नै तरङ्ग छाएको थियो। त्यस गाउँमा आठ वर्षपछि भएको त्यो एक मात्र विवाहलाई गाउँमा निकै महत्वका साथ लिइएको थियो। स्थानीय सीताराम तामाङ र कुमार तामाङका अनुसार महिला नहुँदा विवाह गर्न नपाएका पुरुषको सङ्ख्या एउटै गाउँमा ६० भन्दा बढी छ।

When Selmendo married Aitaman (32) last year, the whole village was excited. After eight years, there was going to be a wedding in the village. Local Sitaram Tamang and Kumar Tamang said that in one village, more than 60 men are unmarried because there are no women.

गाउँका महिला सकिएपछि दलालले बालिकालाई वेश्यालयमा बिक्रीका लागि गाउँबाट भगाउन थालेका छन्। घरमा केही दिनका लागि महिला मात्रै छाडियो भने बालबच्चासहित परिवार नै दलालले भगाउने गरेको घटना पनि गाउँमा छन्। ‘तीन वर्षको बच्चा र श्रीमतीलाई घरमा छाडेर छिमेकी दावा र म गोसाइँकुण्ड गएका थियौँ, फर्कंदा दलालले बच्चासहित श्रीमती भगाए छ। चार वर्षदेखि मेरी श्रीमती कोलकाता १५ नम्बर गल्लीको कोठीमा छ,’ घ्याङडाँडाका ४५ वर्षीय वीरबहादुर तामाङले भने। श्रीमतीलाई चिनजानकै व्यक्ति बोलुङ गाउँका प्रेमबहादुर तामाङ र छोपा भनिने काले तामाङले बिक्री गरेको उनको भनाइ छ। उनी श्रीमती फर्किएर आउने बाटो हेरिरहेका छन्। ‘यो उमेरमा अर्को महिला पाइँदैन, केटाहरूले त विवाह गर्न पाएका छैनन्, म बूढाले कसरी विवाह गर्नसक्नु। बरु मेरी श्रीमती फिर्ता ल्याउन कसलाई भन्ने होला?’ वीरबहादुरले भने।

Traffickers are now going after little girls. Women and girls left at home alone, even for couple of days, are being whisked off .” I left my wife and three old child at home and went for pilgrimage to Gosainkunda with my neighbor Dawa. By the time were back, the traffickers had taken my wife and my child to  Kolkata. For the last four years, they are in a brothel in 15th street”, said Birbahadur Tamang (45). He says that two men who knew the family-Prem Bahadur Tamang and Kale (alias Chopa) Tamang, from nearby village of Bolung, were involved. Waiting for their return, Birbahadur says, “At this age, I will not find another wife. Yong men are having hard time finding a bride, I have no chance. But where should I ask for help in getting my child and my wife back?”.

गाउँमा साना बच्चा र पुरुषहरूको बाहुल्य रहेको छ। गाउँमा भेटिने ज्यादै थोरैको सङ्ख्यामा रहेका महिला ४० वर्षभन्दा माथिमा मात्र छन्। त्यसमा पनि केही महिला एचआईभी/एड्स सङ्क्रमित भएपछि वेश्यालयबाट फर्काइएका छन् जो मृत्युको समय कुरेर बसिरहेका छन्। शिक्षक कमल सिटौलाका अनुसार घ्याङफेदी गाविसबाट वेश्यालयमा पुगेका महिलामध्ये ६० जनाले आफै वेश्यालय सञ्चालन गरेर बसेका छन्। ४० जनाभन्दा बढी महिला यता घरमा श्रीमान्लाई बच्चा हेर्न लगाएर उता यौन व्यापार गरिरहेका छन्। शिखरबेसीनिवासी एकीकृत माओवादीका जिल्ला नेता लालबहादुर तामाङ भन्छन्, ‘यही अवस्था रहिरहने हो भने गाउँमा जनशक्ति अभाव प्रमुख चुनौती बन्नेछ।’

Only babies and men live in the village. Few women who remain are over 40. Some of them sent back from the brothels after contracting HIV/AIDS. Local teacher Kamal Sitaoula says that 60 women from Ghyangphedi village who were sold into brothels in India, now have started their own. More than 40 have left husband and children at home and are working in the sex industry.Local Maoist leader Lalbahadur Tamang says, “If things remain the same, we will face serious manpower crunch in the village”.

घरको झ्यालमा बसेर हाँसेपछि बाटोबाट पैसा फाल्छन् र टिप्न पाइन्छ भनेर मुम्बई पुर्‍याइएकी राममाया (नाम परिवर्तन) अहिले गाउँ फिरेकी छिन्। उनी के गरियो के गरिएन अहिले जीवनलाई फर्किएर हेर्न चाहन्नन्। मानव बेचविखन अदृश्य तर व्यापक बनेको छ। आफन्तहरू नै महिला बिक्रीमा प्रत्यक्ष संलग्न रहने कारणले प्रहरीमा यस्ता उजुरी ज्यादै कम पर्छन्। प्रहरीका अनुसार नुवाकोटमा मानव बेचविखनमा संलग्न आठजना पक्राउ परिसकेका छन् भने ३० जना फरार अभियुक्तको खोजीकार्य भइरहेको छ।

Just stand at the window and smile at them, and they will throw money at you-Rammaya(name changed) was promised. Now she has returned home from Mumbai and does not want to remember her past. Human trafficking is invisible but widespread. When loved ones turn traffickers, very few complaints are filed. Police say that in Nuwakot district, 8 traffickers have been arrested and they are looking for 30 absconding criminals.

प्रभावित गाउँका सचेत नागरिक भने प्रहरी प्रशासनले यो समस्या रोक्नका लागि खासै चासो नदेखाएको आरोप लगाउँछन्। प्रहरीको गाउँमा हुने पातलो उपस्थिति र दलाललाई हुने राजनीतिक संरक्षणका कारण समस्या विकराल बन्दै गएको शिखरबेसीका बुद्धिजीवी कुमार पण्डितको ठम्याइ छ। उनी यो समस्या रोक्नका लागि सरकारले गाउँमै रोजगारीको अवसर सिर्जना गरिदिनुपर्ने बताउँछन्।

Residents of worst affected areas complain that the local police and authorities have shown no interest in combating human trafficking. Limited police presence and politicians aiding traffickers has made the problem worse, says local Kumar Pundit. He says that creating employment opportunity at local level is the best way to deal with the crisis.

प्रहरी कार्यालयका अनुसार आर्थिक वर्ष ०६७/६८ मा ४९ जना महिला हराएको उजुरी परेको छ। त्यसैगरी आव ०६६/६७ मा ४५ जना महिला हराएको उजुरी परेकोमा १३ जनाको उद्धार गरेर परिवारको जिम्मा लगाइएको छ। आव ०६५/६६ मा २८ जना हराएकामा १५ जना फेलापरेका थिए। ‘हराउने र बिक्री हुनेमा १०/१२ वर्षका बालिका बढी रहेका छन्,’ प्रहरी नायव उपरीक्षक बालकृष्ण थापाले भने, ‘फेलापारेर आफन्तको जिम्मा लगाएकाहरू पनि फेरि हराएका र बिक्री भइसकेका छन्। आफन्त नै छोरीचेली बिक्रीमा कत्तिको सक्रिय छन् भन्ने कुरा यसबाट पनि थाहा हुन्छ।’

Data compiled by the Police says that in the 2067/68 BS, there were 49 cases of missing women. In 2066/67 BS, out of 45 missing women, 13 were rescued and reunited with their family. In 2065/66, out of 28 missing , 15 were rescued. Sub Inspector Balkrishna Thapa at local police station says, “Among the missing and rescued, majority are 10-12 year olds”. ” Even those rescued and reunited with their family often go missing or are trafficked. This shows you how involved relatives and family members in selling their own.”

गाउँमा मानव बिक्रीविरुद्ध आवाज उठाउनेलाई दलालले ज्यान लिनेसम्मको धम्की दिने गरेका छन्। शिखरबेसी गाविसका प्राथमिक विद्यालयका प्रधानाध्यापक विष्णुप्रसाद आचार्य मानव बिक्रीविरुद्ध लाग्दा आफूलाई खतरा भएको सुनाउँछन्। त्यसैगरी शिखरबेसी– ८ का शेरबहादुर तामाङ र सत्यमान तामाङसमेत दलालको सञ्जाल गाउँमा सुषुप्त तर डरलाग्दो रहेको बताउँछन्। उनीहरूविरुद्ध लाग्नेमाथि आक्रमण हुने गरेको उनीहरूको भनाइ छ। गएको महिना घ्याङफेदी–९ बोलुङका स्याङ्जा तामाङले १० वर्षकी आफ्नी छोरी हराएर गाउँमा खोजी गर्दा दलालको हातबाट मरणासन्न हुनेगरी कुटाइ खाएका थिए। उनलाई आफ्नी छोरी हराएको कतै खबर नगर्ने सर्तमा उपचार गर्नका लागि गाउँबाहिर जाने अनुमति दिइएको थियो। उनी अहिले आफ्नी छोरी बिक्री भएको विषयमा केही बोल्दैनन्।

Villagers who stand up against trafficking  often face death threats. Bishnu Prasad Acharya, Principal of  Shikharbesi village’s  primary school, says because of this activism against trafficking, he faces constant danger. Locals Sherbahadur Tamang and Satyaman Tamang also point towards the quite but dangerous presence of traffickers in the village. Last month, Shayanja Taman’gs 10 year old daughter went missing from Ghayangphedi-9. Local traffickers severely beat him up and threatened him.He was allowed to seek medical treatment for his injuries outside the village, after promising the traffickers that he will not lodge complaint about his missing daughter. Nowadays he never discusses her.

यो एउटा घटनालाई छाडेर महिला र बालिका बिक्रीका घटनालाई हेर्ने हो भने आफन्तकै प्रत्यक्ष संलग्नता बढी छ। आर्थिक प्रलोभनमा परेका एक दम्पतीले आफ्नै छोरी भारतीय यौनबजारमा बेचेका छन्। रालुकादेवी–२ चिलाउने गाउँकी १९ वर्षीया सीता तामाङ भारतको यौनकोठीबाट फर्किएपछि उक्त घटना सार्वजनिक भएको हो। तामाङलाई गाउँकै एक महिलाले भारतको कोठीमा पुर्‍याई यौन–व्यवसायमा लगाएकी थिइन्। भारतमा यौनकोठी खोलेकी चिलाउने गाउँकी मैया तामाङले सीतालाई तीन वर्षअघि घर–परिवारको अनुमतिमा लगेकी थिइन्। नेपाल आएपछि सीताले प्रहरीमा उजुरी दिएको आधारमा दलाल मैया तामाङ र बिक्रीका लागि सहयोग गर्ने आरोप लागेका चिलाउने प्राथमिक विद्यालयका प्रधानाध्यापक इन्द्र खतिवडा पक्राउ परेका छन्। आफ्नै शिक्षकले आफूलाई गाउँबाट सदरमुकामसम्म ल्याएका र त्यसपछि मैया तामाङले भारत लगेको सीताले बताएकी छिन्।

Except for this incident, majority of women and girls are trafficked by the near and loved ones. A couple seeking financial gains sold their own daughter to a brothel in India.When 19 year old Sita Tamang of Ralukadevi-2 Chilaune village returned from India, her parents’ misdeeds came to light. Three years ago,Tamang was taken to the Indian brothel by Maiya Tamang, after her parents agreed to sell her.After returning to Nepal, Sita went to the police and filed complaint against Maiya and local school principal Indra Khatiwada ( accused of helping Maiya ).Both accused have been arrested. Sita told the police that the school principal took her from the village to the district headquarters, and then handed her over to Maiya, who took to India.

मैयाले सीताको घर–परिवारसँग कुरा गरेर भारत लगेको बताउँदै आफूले भारतमा सीतालाई यौन–व्यवसायमा लगाएको स्वीकार गरेकी छिन्। त्यसका लागि सीताको बुबा साइला तामाङलाई बीस हजार नेपाली पैसा दिने सहमति भएको पनि उनले बताएकी छिन्। नेपाल आउने एक चिनजानको व्यक्तिलाई भारतबाट सहमतिअनुसारको पैसा पठाएको भए तापनि परिवारले नपाएपछि आफ्नोविरुद्धमा प्रहरीमा उजुरी दिएको मैया तामाङको आरोप छ।

Accused trafficker Maiya has accepted the blame, but she said that Sita’s parents agreed to sell her to a brothel in India. Sita’s father was to be paid NRs.20,000 for the trade. Maiya says that the family went to the police after they didn’t receive the promised amount in time.

मानव बेचविखनको विकराल समस्या भोगिरहेको घ्याङफेदी गाविसबाट यो रोग अब शिखरबेसीका वडाहरूमा समेत फैलिएको छ। वडा नं. ५, ६, ७, ८ र ९ मा महिला बेचविखन बढ्दो छ। ती वडाबाट पाँच सयभन्दा बढी महिला र बालिका बिक्री भइसकेका छन्। यस्तै छिमेकी गाविस गाउँखर्क, राउतबेसी, बेतिनी, रालुकादेवीमा समेत महिला र बालिका बिक्रीको अवस्था डरलाग्दो छ। यसका साथै भारतका वेश्यालयबाट फर्काइएका महिला अधिकांश एचआईभी/एड्स रोगको सिकार भएका छन्। गाउँ भित्रिएका ती महिलाका कारण घ्याङफेदी र शिखरबेसी गाविसमा एचआईभी/एड्सको महामारी फैलिएको छ। तीन वर्षको अवधिमा दुई गाविसमा ३० जनाभन्दा बढी एचआईभी/एड्स सङ्क्रमितको मृत्यु भइसकेको छ।

From Ghayanphedi village, the epidemic of human trafficking has now spread into nearby Shikharbesi. From village wards 5,6,8 and 9, more than 500 women and girls have been trafficked. Neighboring villages of Gaaukharka, Rautbesi,Betani, Raluka are also being targeted by traffickers. Most of the women returning home from Indian brothels are infected with HIV/AIDS. In Ghayanphedi and Shikharbesi, number of HIV/AIDS infected has gone up substantially.In last three years, in the two villages, more than 30 infected with the disease have died.

साभार : संचारिका फिचर सेवा

(कपिलदेव इमेज च्यानल टेलिभिजनका नुवाकोटस्थित संवाददाता तथा नुवाकोटबाट प्रकाशित हुने इमेज साप्ताहिकका सम्पादक हुन्।)

Courtesy: Sancharika Features Service

(Kapildev is Image Channel Television’s Nuwakot correspondent and edits local paper Image Weekly)

Wikileaks, Nepal and the Media

Wikileaks is making waves in Nepal, thanks to some pretty scandalous and surprising revelations. United We Blog for Democratic Nepal is doing a great job of posting relevant cables, for instance this one on secret meeting between Nepali Congress leader Girija Koirala and Maoists supremo Prachanda in Singapore exposes deep nexus between the Maoist leadership and the business community.

Businessman Dinesh Manandhar accompanied Prachanda in the trip, and got a Singapore based telecom company to pay for the trip. Manandhar is a partner in that company.

The cable has Manandhar under “strictly protect”, but now that seems impossible. The link has been exposed, and he is not the only one.

This cable has listed The Kathmandu Post’s editor Akhilesh Upadhaya as “Embassy Contact”. The Post is the largest selling English daily in Nepal and part of the Kantipur family-the country’s media powerhouse. Mr. Upadhaya is a respected name in Nepali journalism, but this revelation certainly raises questions. What does an “embassy contact” do or doesn’t do, does it in any way affect his work as an editor of a prestigious paper?

Unfortunately, while the Nepali media is relishing on dirt exposed by the leaks on Prachanda and various other political figure, media personalities and the business insiders exposed have escaped any examination.

This shows Nepali media’s split personality. They are eager to discuss everyone but themselves.Why? is it because there are too many skeletons in the closet?

Nepali Women and their Place in Society

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is doing a commendable job by putting a spotlight on Nepali women and their place in post conflict society. Global Post correspondent Hanna Ingber Win and student fellow Anna Tomasulo are sharing stories from Nepal, focusing on maternal health, child marriage, and women’s rights.

Hanna is now on her way back to Mumbai, and will share more from her reporting trip to Nepal. Please visit Global Pulse (Global Posts’s blog on health issues) for more. In her post on maternal health and rural development, Hanna discusses her meeting with a health and social justice activist Asmani Chaudhary, and the struggle to provide rural women access to health care, especially maternal and postnatal care.

Her most recent post is on Nepal’s political turmoil and how it affects health care programs.

“The political situation affects Nepal’s healthcare system in a number of ways. First, the frequent turn over of ministers creates a situation where little progress can be made because much time is devoted to convincing each new minister of a particular program or approach, Bidhan Acharya, an associate professor in the department of population studies at Tribhuvan University, told GlobalPost.

The political system also exerts great influence on the health sector as some politicians put people from their own party, whether the most qualified or not, to fill top positions.

There is a strong feeling of frustration with the government in Nepal, and critics argue that the politicians are so busy fighting among themselves they have little time to work on the nation’s development”

Meanwhile, student fellow Anna has shared post on child marriage and maternal health care in Nepal’s remote Dolakha district. Her recent post is on Nepali women and their place in society, where he discusses relevant issues with women’s rights activist Rita Thapa.