Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Civil war’

2012 Women Peace Makers Radha Paudel

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 19, 2012

Radha Paudel, the founder and president of Action Works Nepal (AWON), has been described as “one of those people who just makes things happen.” She founded AWON on the principle of action over lip service, and assists primarily rural, poor and marginalized women to live dignified lives in a country still recovering from a 10-year civil war.

Paudel began her career as a nurse as the civil war between the Maoist insurgency and the government army broke out. Working in Karnali Zone, an isolated, mountainous and conflict-ridden area in the Mid-Western Region of Nepal, she witnessed women and girls arrive day after day at the hospital suffering from gender-based violence or preventable diseases. But getting them help was risky. She was targeted by both the Maoists and the government, as each side suspected her of assisting the other. At times, Paudel had to move from house to house to escape being abducted or killed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Syria Facing a Yugoslavia-style Breakup?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

Even if the regime loses its grip on growing swathes of territory, the civil war’s sectarian dimension could see it opt to retreat into enclaves controlled by its base of Alawite, Christian and non-Sunni support.

Smoke billows over Damascus, Syria, July 18, 2012

“This is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday, following the Damascus bombing that lacerated the inner circle of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. “And for that reason it’s extremely important that the international community […has] to bring maximum pressure on Assad to do what’s right — to step down and to allow for that peaceful transition.” Panetta’s concern is understandable, because the escalating civil war means that Syria is not only no longer under the effective control of the Assad regime, but that its outcome is increasingly beyond the control of the U.S. and its allies or any other international powers. Needless to say, Panetta’s prescription for maximum international pressure on Assad to step down appears to be wishful thinking. The same may be true for the Obama Administration’s idea of a “managed transition” in which the opposition cooperates with a regime that remains intact after Assad has been removed.

Russia remains firm in its opposition to Western efforts to press for Assad’s ouster. “If we are talking about a revolution, the U.N. has no business here,” said Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, according to Businessweek. “Assad won’t quit and our Western partners don’t know what to do.” Indeed, the latest violence in the capital renders even more remote the soft landing envisaged by Panetta and by the best-case peace scenario of U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan. The denouement of the Assad regime is likely to be nasty, brutish and not especially short. Read the rest of this entry »

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Birth in Nepal – Witness

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 3, 2011

Nepal has some of the worst maternal death statistics in the world,



with some six women dying in childbirth every day.

Despite the political instability of the past ten years of civil war, the Nepalese government is introducing measures to improve safety for mothers but so far little seems to be working.

Subina Shrestha, a Nepalese filmmaker who is herself five months pregnant, sets out to find out why so many mothers are dying in childbirth. In the following account she looks at the human stories behind these statistics.

Ten years of civil war in Nepal took over 15,000 lives. Within the same period, childbirth took the lives of over 22,000 women.

The war led to a revolution and there was an overhaul of the Nepali political system. The maternal deaths, however, hardly even featured in the newspapers.

When I realised that I was pregnant, I thought there would be no better time then now to look into this situation. And there was no better place than Accham.

Accham to me is one of the darkest corners of Nepal. I had been to the district ten years ago and had been shocked by the total lack of services. Ten years on, I believed myself to be a jaded journalist and a filmmaker. Accham proved me wrong once again.

Our destination, Sanfe Bagar, a dirt track flanked by shops of corrugated iron sheets, was as dusty as before. The mules had been replaced by motorcycles and people ran around scared every time young men drove spewing out dust and exhaust.

Birth in Nepal – Witness – Al Jazeera English.

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India and China wrestle for influence in turbulent Nepal as civil war fears rise

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 23, 2011

Two giant neighbours employ different tactics in popularity contest, with Beijing pulling ahead

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun

As the Himalayan nation of Nepal struggles to find a political solution to years of civil war, the country has become a battleground for strategic influence between its two giant neighbours, India and China.

All the indications are that China is winning as it employs far more deft tactics of diplomacy, and economic and military aid than its rivals in New Delhi.

India, in contrast, has on several occasions been exposed as using the kind of heavy-handed and hectoring tactics it employs all too frequently when dealing with its junior partners in the South Asia region.

This is more than a popularity contest between Beijing and New Delhi among the power brokers of Kathmandu. Nepal and its 30 million people occupy some highly strategic geography between India and Chinese-occupied Tibet.

This is a region where New Delhi and Beijing have several unresolved territorial disputes and there are regular skirmishes. Both countries are upgrading their roads, railways and airstrips along their borders so as to be able to move their armies swiftly to the front if need be.

Nepal became particularly fertile ground for Indian and Chinese rivalry after November 2005, with an agreement to end the country’s decade-long civil war in which Maoist insurgents battled the forces of a corrupt and dissolute monarchy.

Elections early in 2008 for a 601-member Constituent Assembly led to the end of the monarchy.

King Gyanendra was replaced by President Ram Baran Yadav as head of state.

But there has been almost no progress in drawing up a new constitution since then. That work was meant to be completed within two years. But there was a political vacuum for the first eight months as assembly members made 16 failed attempts to select a prime minister.

They were then given a yearlong extension to the end of May this year, but they only met eight times for a total of 95 minutes.

President Yadav has now given the assembly a further three months to come up with an outline constitution. But few expect to see any significant developments by the end of August. Read the rest of this entry »

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Walter Breuning, World’s Oldest Man, Dies In Montana At 114

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 15, 2011

It is said that old is gold. We missed one important gold.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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A village comes back to life

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 25, 2010

NYEWOLIHUN, 25 May 2010 (IRIN) – The inhabitants of Nyewolihun village in northern Liberia almost escaped the civil war unscathed, but as the conflict entered its final phase, their village was attacked.

Terrified, they fled into the bush. When they returned days later they found 16 bodies among the ruins of their village. They fled again.

It was in 2001 that the remote village in Lofa County, near the Sierra Leone and Guinea borders, was abandoned.

But today Nyewolihun is gradually coming back to life. Many of the villagers have returned and they have told IRIN how they worked to rebuild their homes, their village school, their town hall, and farms – all without outside help.

After the attack by soldiers, some, including the town chief, hid deep in the forest. Others fled to the capital Monrovia 233 km away, where international peacekeepers could protect them, or to refugee camps in Sierra Leone or Guinea. Read the rest of this entry »

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