November 23, 2017

Nepal’s Three Curses

The first curse of Nepal’s governance is domestic political failure, resulting in poor governance and continued destitution of this country’s long-suffering citizens.   The chronic mindless misconduct of politicians masquerading as ‘the people’s representatives’ is leading to another squandering of the electoral mandate. The horse-trading, wheeling-dealing, and backroom bargaining prove that the so-called rulers of Nepal have learnt nothing.   ... Read More »

Can Himalayan Hydro Power Bring Water Cooperation?

Considering how often the fear of looming water wars is perpetuated in the media and blogosphere, you would be forgiven for not knowing that 2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. But cooperation is not merely the absence of conflict, and indeed conflict and cooperation coexist in every relationship, be it between individuals or states managing trans-boundary ... Read More »

Nepal Voters Are Disenchanted With Maoists

Most of the spin doctors in Nepal were completely taken aback by a record 70 per cent turnout in the second Constituent Assembly elections last week, despite a serious threat by the radical Maoists who had vowed to disrupt the polls. The complacent senior leaders of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias “Prachanda”, ... Read More »

Tensions Mount as Nepal Contentious Election Nears

Protests and logistical challenges are heightening tensions before a scheduled 19 November national poll in Nepal that is seen as critical to the country’s stability and development, say analysts. Voters are to choose a new Constituent Assembly (CA), which serves as the country’s parliament. The last assembly dissolved in May 2012 after failing to produce a much-anticipated post-war constitution. Citizens have ... Read More »

Agro-Meteorological Early Warnings for Nepal’s Farmers

The Nepalese government is planning to pilot the country’s first weather warnings for farmers, something it is hoped will stem agricultural losses during the June-August monsoon. Thousands of hectares of arable land are damaged during this period; in 2013 alone an estimated 10,000 hectares were lost to land erosion, floods and water-logging, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MOAD). ... Read More »

The Deft Politicking of Nepal’s Army

The fact that the army is the most powerful state organ in Nepal is fairly unremarkable. It is an established norm of most countries, especially a post-conflict state managing a difficult democratic transition to peace. The interesting aspect of the Nepalese Army (NA), however, is its limited public role in national politics. This stands in stark contrast to other militaries ... Read More »

China Finds the Lost Kingdom

  One of the most isolated regions in Asia, Mustang lies in the north of Nepal, nestled between the Chinese border on the Tibetan plateau and the Nepalese provinces of Dolop and Manang on the other. For centuries, this land has been closely linked by language and culture to Tibet. Indeed, many believe that Tibetan culture, region and traditions are ... Read More »

A Scenic Drive Through Nepal’s History

Nepal’s highways get a lot of bad press, sometimes justifiably so. But beyond Kathmandu’s potholed roads and the permanently cratered Naubise section of the Prithvi Highway, the roads are pretty good (the 108 mile long highway connecting Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and Pokhara, a tourist city in the western part of the country). Nepal is better known for trekking, but driving holidays ... Read More »

The Anatomy of Radicalism

  When the Indian Mujahideen’s bomb-maker, Yasin Bhatkal, was caught in Pokhara (in western Nepal) last week (August 29), there was justifiable jubilation in India. Yasin spilled the beans on interrogation, revealing that Nepal’s scenic lakeside resort has become a hideout of choice where Indian extremists can lie low. But few know that Yasin was radicalized by what he erroneously believed ... Read More »