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

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

Posts Tagged ‘Kathmandu’

A Film to be watched: KATHMANDU A mirror in the sky Full movie 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2013

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The Practice of Child Brides

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 14, 2012

Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

Shiwa HasmiAfter the tragic news this week of 16-year-old Shiwa Hasmi of Bardiya district in Nepal, I am asking governments and the UN to enforce laws against child marriage and in favour of universal education for girls. Shiwa died in hospital after being set on fire following her refusal to be forced into a child marriage against her will. Read the rest of this entry »

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Buddha Birthplace

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 22, 2012

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Personality: Prabal Gurung

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 12, 2012

Prabal Gurung launched his first collection under his own name during New York Fashion Week in February 2009 at the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea. For Fall 2010, he staged his first runway show in the Tents at Bryant Park. Gurung’s designs have been worn by Michelle Obama, Demi Moore, Zoe Saldana and Oprah Winfrey. Gurung resides in New York City.

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World’s Most Dangerous Roads – Nepal (2011)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 10, 2011

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The World’s Most Earthquake-Vulnerable Cities

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 20, 2011

Tiffany M. Luck

In Pictures: The 20 Most Earthquake-Vulnerable Cities
Earthquake Reaction And Overreaction
The World’s Most Earthquake-Vulnerable Cities
China’s Mandate Of Heaven
A Tale of Two Disasters
Quake Could Rock China Life
Economic Impact Of China’s Great Quake

The earthquake in China’s Sichuan province killed perhaps 15,000 people and left thousands of people buried under heaps of rubble.

And while a massive quake like this one–magnitude 7.9–would undoubtedly do damage to any world city, the death toll and degree of destruction has more to do with investment in well-designed infrastructure capable of handling a massive earthquake than the quake itself. Unlike the Beijing Olympic venues, built to withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, the majority of China’s infrastructure in the area proved ill-prepared for a shock like Monday’s–felt as far away as Hanoi, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand.

Blame the mortality spread on exponential population growth, increasing poverty and lax or nonexistent building codes. In short: Poor nations–like China–run far greater risk of earthquake fatalities than rich ones.

In Pictures: The World’s Most Earthquake-Vulnerable Cities

GeoHazards International, a nonprofit research group aiming to reduce suffering due to natural disasters, measured the lethal potential of seismic disasters facing small and large cities in Asia and the Americas–areas most at risk for seismic calamity. The sample cities spanned both developed and developing countries. Variables measured: building frailty, potential for landslides and fires, and the rescue, firefighting and life-saving medical abilities of local authorities.

Kathmandu, Nepal, ranked first in the 2001 study, followed by Istanbul, Turkey; Delhi, India; Quito, Ecuador; Manila, Philippines; and Islambad/Rawalpindi, Pakistan–all of which could expect fatalities in the tens of thousands if disaster struck. The only first-world cities on the list were in Japan: Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe. Fatalities in these cities were estimated in the hundreds, not thousands.

Events since then show the estimates to be fairly accurate, if not low. The magnitude 7.6 quake that struck the Kashmir region of Pakistan in October 2005 killed more than 73,000 people, many in remote parts of the country, not dense urban centers like Islamabad. Geohazard’s study predicted a 6.0 hit on Pakistan’s capitol would kill 12,500 people.

In a 2004 paper, Brian E. Tucker of GeoHazards warned the problem would become worse, citing a study of estimated earthquake fatalities based on population growth and construction changes in northern India. One scary finding: A magnitude 8.3 earthquake striking Shillong might kill 60 times as many people as were killed during a similar size quake that hit in 1897, even though the population of the region has increased by only a factor of about eight since then. Reason: The replacement of single-story bamboo homes with multistory, poorly constructed concrete-frame structures, often on steep slopes, has made the population much more vulnerable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hidden History of Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 6, 2011

This is an English translation of excerpt from the book called Nepal Geschenk der Götter(Nepal gifts of the Gods) -> written in German language

Since 1716, Gorakh Nath Narbhupal Shah had been sitting on his throne made of mud. He found his throne very uncomfortable, and wanted to change it with the silver throne of the Kathmandu Valley at any cost.

With this aim in mind , he married many times to widen his territory and built alliances. But he was not successful .Finally , he changed his tactics.In 1732, he sent his 10 years old son Prithvi Narayan to stay with the king of Bhaktapur.

In a covering letter, Narbhupal Shah requested the king of Bhaktapur to raise his son and provide him a good education which was only possible in Nepal.
But his real intention was to place his son in the palace so that he could spy on it and gather vital information.

The Malla king of Bhaktapur took in his young guest Prithvi Narayan Shah with friendship and showed him the prince of Gorkha.Prithvi Narayan Shah had an excellent memory , and remembered everything that he saw.

After five years, he returned to his hometown Gorkha. He had gathered much information about the reasons behind the quarrels among the valley kings, the exact quantity of military equipments and the strategic locations in Nepal.

Prithvi Narayan Shah was sure that he could conquer the pass of Nuwakot, so in the same year he sent his Gorkha soldiers to attack Nuwakot. The young prince had miscalculated or his father had underistimated the Mallas. The Malla kings banded together and their armies beat the Gorkhas very badly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wikileaks Nepal Document:In Nepal, ‘India’s Frankenstein’s monster’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 15, 2011

P. Sainath

MUMBAI: “New Delhi seems oblivious to how close the Maoists are getting to victory here. That makes sense: New Delhi godfathered the working relationship between the Maoists and the Parties and doesn’t want to acknowledge that it might have created a Frankenstein’s monster. Moreover, India’s Marxist party (a key supporter of the governing coalition) has proclaimed that everything here is going just fine. In that context, I hope that a discussion on Nepal will feature prominently in future conversations with senior Indian leaders.”

That was James F. Moriarty, U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, writing home to the State Department, in his cable headlined “Crunch time in Nepal?,” dated September 22, 2006 (79370: secret/ noforn).

“We need to do more to keep the Indians in lock step with us,” the cable goes on. “I coordinate closely with my Indian counterpart here and in private he pushes the exact same message I do: that the police need to enforce law and order and that the GoN [Government of Nepal] should not let armed Maoists into an interim government.”

“I was more than a little annoyed to find out, however, that the Indian Embassy had complained to the PM’s office about our training activities with the Nepal Army….” This last one was “the incident” which “underscored the fact that, while worried about current trends, New Delhi seems “oblivious to how close the Maoists are getting to victory here.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Visit Nepal 2011

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 29, 2010

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Music for life – An evening for Kumar Kancha

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 14, 2010

KATHMANDU, Dec 13: Veteran singer Kumar Kancha is fighting for his life at the S L Raheja Hospital in Mahim, Mumbai and a handful of Nepali singers have come together to perform at a fundraiser concert to raise funds for Kancha’s treatment.

“An Evening for Kumar Kancha” will see singers like Hemant Rana, Ram Krishna Dhakal, Mallika Karki, Shreya Sotang, Dharmendra Sewan,Suresh Kumar Chhetri and bands like The Unity and Aghoors perform at the Patan Musuem from 6 pm onwards, on Saturday, December 18.

Currently bedridden with paralysis, Kancha is living with his wife and two sons in Mumbai and in a video uploaded earlier on YouTube, the singer can be seen appealing to his fans and Nepali music lovers to help him financially.

“I have been bedridden for a month now. I have been left paralyzed from the waist down after a spinal cord operation. For those who can help me financially, please do and for those who can’t, I ask for your prayers,” he appeals. Read the rest of this entry »

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UN vows support for Nepal’s peace process after exit

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 4, 2010

Gulf Times

The United Nations is to maintain its supervision of Nepal’s peace process after its mission in the Himalayan nation

Chief of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, talks to the media upon his arrival in Kathmandu yesterday

ends, a UN official said yesterday.

UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe, who arrived yesterday inKathmandu, said the world body would continue supporting and monitoring Nepal’s peace process for three years, even after the UN Mission in Nepal’s (UNMIN’s) mandate ends on January 15.

“UNMIN is here for only 43 more days,” Pascoe said. “The time is really short, and we’re here to talk with people to see how much the political leaders are keeping their promises.”

UNMIN said the visit was aimed at encouraging politicians to implement the agreements on integration and rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants now living in UN camps. More than 19,000 former fighters have been living there since the Maoists signed a peace deal with the government in 2006, ending a decade-long insurgency.

During talks with Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, Pascoe said clarity was needed on the number of combatants to be integrated into the national army and the number of those to be rehabilitated. Read the rest of this entry »

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Awarding the music fraternity

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 4, 2010

My Republica

KATHMANDU, Dec 4: Veteran singer Bhakta Raj Acharya was felicitated with the “The life time achievement award” at the first Bindyabasini awards held at the Army Officers Club, Bhadrakali on Friday.

Awards were distributed in 27 categories to various artists of the Nepali music fraternity. Acharya was given a cash prize of Rs 50,000 along with the title. The night belonged to the Acharya family as the veteran singer’s two sons- Satya and Swaroop Raj Acharya were also big winners at the award function.

Satya Raj Acharya bagged the award for the Best singer (pop) while his brother Swaroop bagged the award for the best duo with Shreya Shotang for their song “Chup chap chup chap”.

The event saw a list of Nepali artists perform on stage. Rajesh Payal Rai, Pramod Kharel, Junu Rijal Kafle among others mesmerized the audience with their acts.

Addressing the crowd, chairperson of Bindyabasini Music Private Limited, Leela Regmi Sharma mentioned that Bindyabasini music record company was happy to organize the award and the organization would give continuity to such endeavors. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anuradha as I know her

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 4, 2010


I had been planning to write this story, and my pending plan rushed me when I read the weekly “Kopila” of the Kantipur daily of Sunday, November 28. In it, Suraj Kunwar writes that Ranjit Gazmer and I had opened a school called Amar Adarsha in Baneshwor, and Anuradha Koirala came to Kathmandu to join the team. This is fictional journalism, and the “kopila” readers of the weekzine can be misled.

Had the two of us operated this imagined school, I wouldn’t still be working as a copyeditor in Kathmandu and Ranjit wouldn’t have immigrated to Bombay, now Mumbai. Hence, I must write the true story. What I write herein are mostly pickings from my already previously published columns, and I add a few more points in the second part, as the true occasion for writing this particular piece warrants.

Anuradha Gurung in Darjeeling

At Mr. Amber Gurung’s Art Academy of Music in Darjeeling, there was Ajay Gurung as a member who was an excellent tabla player, second only to another member, Ranjit Gazmer. This was in the winter of 1961/62, and the other musicians were Karma and Gopal Yonzon, Sharan Pradhan, Indra Thapalia (Amber’s miitjyu), Aruna Lama, Lalit Tamang, Jitendra Bardewa, Indra Gazmer, Puru Subba, and others – including this writer.

Another Gurung was Abhay (recently departed) who shone for many years as a national footballer in India, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal. In Kathmandu, he was a guru to many national kickers and dribblers and played for many clubs.

These were Anuradha’s older brothers. Since Ajay was a fellow musician at the Academy, I visited his Toong Soong cottage where Colonel and Mrs. Gurung had deposited their six or seven brats to give them a permanent moor in life and save them the military transfers their soldier father had been subject to, as the Indian Army required.

Anuradha and her younger sister were kids to us, and they had nothing to do with our serious business – music. Anuradha was a hockey schoolgirl at Loreto Convent, and we saw her in town in her school uniform, with a hockey stick. And that was that.

In Birgunj

I graduated from college in late 1966, and I had ten months to decide my future course of actions. As people of Darjeeling fled its gloomy and misty winter, an annual event, I was visited by Phurba Tshering – a member of The Hillians whom I led. He asked me to accompany him to Birgunj in Nepal to help manage a new “English medium” school. Ranjit Gazmer also joined us. Phurba had already joined the school, so we were in good hands. So off we went, traveling mostly on railway through India – Siliguri, Galgaliya, Sugauli, Barauni and then Raxaul to enter Nepal at Birgunj. The school was in a rural flatland called Itiyahi, some dusty kilometers away from Birgunj town. When we reached our destination in the evening, I saw, to my surprise, Anuradha Gurung who already was a teacher at the school. Thus began our lifelong relationship. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal activists plea on animal sacrifice

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 25, 2010


One year after Nepal shocked animal lovers worldwide by the slaughter of thousands of birds and animals at a Hindu temple close to the Indian border, animal rights campaigners yesterday began a sombre purification ceremony to commemorate the pains of the victims and renew their appeal for an end to animal sacrifices.

The cleansing march and candle-light vigil is led by Pramada Shah, niece-in-law of deposed king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah, who however has refused to lend his voice to the campaign, saying he was a “Hindu first”.

Last year, the Gadhimai temple in Bara district on the Indo-Nepal border, thronged by thousands of Indians from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, turned into the largest “animal killing field” as devotees butchered nearly 250,000 animals, including buffaloes, goats, pigs, sheep and poultry, turning the area into a river of blood strewn with carcasses.

The festival, that takes place once in five years, was held on November 24-25 in 2009 with the biggest sacrifices offered by Indians as a thanksgiving to the power goddess so women give birth to sons and to cure diseases. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apex court censure makes Nepal parliament review PM’s poll

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 15, 2010


Kathmandu, Nov 14 (IANS) On the eve of the 17th round of the prime ministerial election, Nepal’s parliament Sunday called the top seven parties to an urgent meeting to review the controversial poll after being censured by the apex court for failing to give the country a new government even after four months.

Subhas Chandra Nembang, the parliament chairman, called Sunday’s meeting with the ruling parties as well as the opposition, including the Maoists, to find a way out of the farcical election amidst speculation that Monday’s vote would be put off.

Nembang, facing public criticism for allowing the election to go on endlessly even though there was only one contestant left in the fray, was forced to call the review meeting after Nepal’s Supreme Court said either the election process should be amended or the lone contestant be declared the winner. Read the rest of this entry »

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