Nepal – the country of Mt. Everest and Buddha

Nepal – the country of Mt. Everest and Buddha

Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

बुद्ध जन्मस्थल बिषयमा केन्द्रित कुराकानी

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 16, 2016

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700 square kilometers encroached upon

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 22, 2013


No other issue fuels anti-India sentiments in Nepal more than border encroachment. While left-leaning parties continue to whip up Kalapani and Susta, reports of border dispute with China have also begun to surface with more frequency of late. What is the state of Nepal’s frontiers with India and China? Is Nepal’s territory shrinking?Mahabir Paudyal, Koshraj Koirala and Prem Thapa sat down with renowned border expert and former Director General of Survey Department Kalapani, Sugauli, to find out.

Can you enlighten us on the state of encroachment of our borders?
Nepal shares 1,880-km border with India with 26 districts adjoining the giant neighbor. There are claims and counterclaims at 71 different locations. Of this, the most disputed is Kalapani-Lilmpiadhura area of Darchula district. There is a history behind the encroachment of 37,000 hectares of land there. During the 1962 Indo-China war, Indians were looking for a place where they could be safe and yet harm Chinese troops should the latter make further inroads into India. Indian troops found Kalapani the perfect place to do so. They thought they could use the 20,276-feet high butte there as their station to thwart the Chinese attack and disperse Chinese troops, by rolling down rocks and stones if everything else fails. They occupied Kalapani for this purpose and have been doing so ever since. Susta of Nawalparasi is the second largest encroached upon area with 14,500 hectares in dispute. But nature seems to have played a big role in this encroachment. By the time Nepal signed Sugauli Treaty on March 4, 1816, Narayani River was flowing toward north-south from Triveni Ghat. Subsequent floods changed the river course. The river began to erode Nepali land and India could claim more and more of Nepal’s territories.

Photo: Prem Thapa
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LUMBINI: Mikel Dunham’s interview with Lisa Choegyal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 11, 2012

Lisa Choegyal is a tourism consultant who works throughout the Asia Pacific region, specializing in pro-poor sustainable tourism planning and marketing. With a background in the private sector, she was for over 20 years Director of Marketing of Tiger Mountain, Nepal’s pioneer trekking, adventure and wildlife operator. Based in Kathmandu, she has worked since 1992 as a senior associate of TRC Tourism (formerly Tourism Resource Consultants) in Wellington, New Zealand  ( Lisa was Team Leader of the ADB Ecotourism Project 2000-2001, DFID tourism monitor on TRPAP 2001-2005, tourism-marketing specialist for the ADB SASEC program 2004-2008, and prepared the UK Aid DFID Great Himalaya Trail development program for SNV Nepal 2006-2010. She serves on a number of non-profit boards related to tourism and conservation, and is New Zealand Honorary Consul to Nepal since 2010.


02-nun at Lumbini
DUNHAM: How do you assess the current framework for development in Lumbini, the framework that is already and has been in place for a long time?

CHOEGYAL: The institutional framework is interesting with so many stakeholders, different factions and historical complexities. UNESCO has a crucial role to play to preserve its world heritage status. The Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) is the obvious main custodian although it needs to be evolved into an Authority rather than a Trust. It is typical of the current political scenario that existing institutions become politicized. . Perhaps it was felt, in this case, that it is easier to create a parallel organization and just blow LDT out of the water. Three billion dollars is a convincing figure.

I’ve worked on Lumbini, from a tourism perspective, on and off, for the last twenty years but most recently with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) tourism infrastructure study, where I was part of a consulting team that designed the South Asian Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) tourism components. SASEC is an ADB grouping of five countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India – actually the north and northeast States of India – Nepal and Sri Lanka. We worked for six years as tourism sector advisors on the SASEC program with our firm, TRC Tourism, which is based in Wellington, New Zealand. SASEC was modeled on the ADB’s Greater Mekong Sub-Region tourism program, on which TRC had also been tourism advisors (Cambodia, China (PRC, specifically Yunnan and Guangxi), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam).

In many ways, South Asia was easier than the Mekong because we were dealing with countries that were used to working together in tourism, and had been cooperating and selling joint packages for decades — whereas in the Greater Mekong, many of them had been emerging from long-term conflicts. We were able to make a lot of headway in the tourism sector in South Asia, whereas other SASEC sectors, such as water resources roads and large-scale infrastructure had a much more complex agenda.
Lumbini emerged as being one of the priority areas in the sub-region for tourism development using a sub-regional rationale, linked, as it is, very convincingly, with the footsteps of the Lord Buddha circuit in India. Of course it is also an incredibly important national tourism site for Nepal. Read the rest of this entry »

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LUMBINI: Mikel Dunham’s interview with UNESCO’s Axel Plathe

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 11, 2012

Axel Plathe is the Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to Nepal. Mikel Dunham spoke to him in his office in Kathmandu, March 6, 2012.

-Archeological investigation-Jan-2011

DUNHAM: Perhaps the best way to begin is for you to describe UNESCO’s interest and involvement with Lumbini.

PLATHE: As you know, the site was inscribed in 1997 in the World Heritage list. Since then UNESCO has been engaged in Lumbini more or less strongly. We have particularly been helping, throughout the years, since the inscription, in managing the site. We have helped the government in establishing an approach on how to manage this World Heritage site.

We have also helped the government in the very cumbersome and heavy reporting exercise that the World Heritage Convention requests from state parties to the Convention.

Every second year, the state party, (in this case the government of Nepal), has to submit a report on the status of preservation of Lumbini. Read the rest of this entry »

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An Interview with Dr. Minendra Rijal by Mikel Durham

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 7, 2012

Dr. Rijal is a member of Nepal’s recently created Greater Lumbini Development National Steering Committee, chaired by ex-Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. Dr. Rijal, a member of the Nepali Congress political party, is also a current member of the Constituent Assembly, ex-Minister of Culture and Chairman of Apex College. Mikel Durham interviewed Dr. Rijal focussing on Lumbini issue.

DUNHAM: You’ve recently been appointed as a Member of the Greater Lumbini Development National Steering Committee. Now that the committee has been created, what progress can be reported?

RIJAL: So far, we have not been able to spend as much time as is needed to move the Lumbini project forward. Prachanda is terribly busy with the politics of the country. In some respects, I am also quite busy — nothing compared to his busy schedule but –
DUNHAM: How many members are on the committee?
RIJAL: Right now we are a six-member committee. And then there is a provision to add another eleven members later on.

DUNHAM: Prachanda is Chair.


DUNHAM: What has the committee actually done so far?

RIJAL: We went to New York and saw the Secretary General (SG) of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, in November. And the reason we went was that we wanted the involvement of the UN in the development of Lumbini.

It all started, however, when, earlier, I was the Minister of Culture. At that time, I established contact with Ban Ki-moon’s office and he extended an invitation. I went there. I presented my argument on Lumbini and he was very keen. He has long been interested in helping Lumbini and in realizing its potential. I knew that his mother was a devoted Buddhist and felt that her son, as Secretary General, should do something for Lumbini.

For his part, Ban Ki-moon also feels that it is his obligation on behalf of the larger Asian Buddhist community– he is the second Asian Secretary General – to do something for Lumbini.

That was one reason, last November, that we thought he could be of great help. And the visibility of his office was going to be very important to help Lumbini realize its potential.  Read the rest of this entry »

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China eager to bring train service to Lumbini

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 29, 2011


Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha is back after wrapping up his week-long visit to China in the wake of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao´s impending visit to Nepal in mid-December. OurSpecial Correspondent Purna Basnet met Shrestha in Hong Kong on his way back to Kathmandu. Excerpts:

How did your first China visit as a foreign minister go?

After becoming foreign minister, I have been to UN General Assembly, India and SAARC summit under the leadership of prime minister. This is the first formal foreign visit under my leadership and it has been very fruitful. We held cordial discussions on all aspects of bilateral relations and I am confident that we will see positive results soon.

What would such positive results be?

Nepal-China friendship should not be seen as just another neighborly relation. It holds great significance. We could convince China to expand financial help to Nepal which was one of the two major agendas of my visit. China is likely to announce an increment in its annual grant to Nepal during the Chinese premier´s visit in December. We have also sought a one-time special grant at a time when we are approaching the final stage of the peace process and constitution drafting.

Did you have any discussion on reducing the massive trade deficit with China?

We had serious discussion on increasing bilateral trade and reducing the trade deficit. We have not been able to capitalize on the duty waiver offered by China on export of around 400 goods. Therefore, this time we urged China to provide waiver on those goods that we can export. They have asked us to provide a list of such items. Read the rest of this entry »

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An Interview with Agni Frank Eickermann and Domo Geshe Rinpoche

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 11, 2011

Domo Geshe Rinpoche

On the occasion of 2555th Buddha Jayanti and the first Anniversary of Kapilvastu

Agni Frank Eickermann

Day Movement, KDM is presenting an interview with its two Advisors Agni Frank Eickermann and Domo Geshe Rinpoche. On behalf of Kapilvastu Day Movement Ram Kumar Shrestha took this interview with them.

Agni Frank Eickermann: Founder: Chateau Amritabha, Riebeuvillé, France. Author of 11 books, some translated in English, German, Swedish, Chinese, Russian, Dutch, Italian, French and Spanish. Founder: Spiritual Teachers Training with more than 300 teachers worldwide. Founder: Alpha Chi Consultants (1200 Feng Shui Consultants on 5 continents). Founder : “Path into Light”, conducted in 39 countries. Founder: over 100 Light-Center in 50 countries and all continents. Speaker: Spirituality, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Feng Shui, Management solutions, Golden Age.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Tara WangchukSpiritual Director, White Conch Dharma Center. Rinpoche is considered to be a reincarnated Tibetan high lama of the Geluk order.  Her healing-related talks are accessible Western interpretations of Tibetan Buddhist teachings on how to achieve spiritual and emotional wellbeing. She is also theFounder and Director of the Tibetan-American Friendship Foundation and Tibetan Resettlement andProject Coordinator for the largest community of Tibetans in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepalese are the losers the ultimate winner is RAW and South Block

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2011

Dr. Shastra Dutta Pant

Born in Badahare, Mulpani, Baglung, Nepal, Dr. Pant has drawn upon his long experiences as High School Head Master,College Principal, Project Manager of Resettlement Project, Director at Nepal Administrative Staff College and Officer on Special Duty to His Majesty, Janch Bujh Kendra, Royal Palace. Dr. Pant is an eminent scholar in public administration, disaster and environment management, studies of ethnic groups and above all rural development in Nepal.

Dr. Pant has participated in various national and international level seminars and presented papers of important issues.

He is awarded with Mahendra Vidya Bhusan First Class, Daiviprakop Uddhar Padak , PTA medal, Gaddhi Arohan Rajat Mahotsav Padak.

Dr. Pant has several books to his credit but the most popular among them are the “Machination of RAW in South Asia”, “Continuous Interference”, and “Nepal India Border Problems” in English language and RAW ko chalkhel –(Activities of RAW), “Abiral Hastachhep- “Continuous Interference” and “Nepal-Bharat Seema Samasya-Nepal-India border Problems” in the Nepali language.

TGQ1: As an acclaimed political scientist of Nepal, how you Dr. Pant been analyzing the unfolding political events in this country? Are we heading for a positive peace or a negative one? Your comments please!

Dr. Pant: No Nepali could win any political race during the half-century long run competition of Nepali politics. The NC (Nepali Congress) was defeated, CPN-UML was defeated, CPN Maoist defeated, and the King was defeated. We all Nepali are losers. The winner is RAW; the winner is south block at last. Lastly, the impossible thing became possible, the bullock but not the cow, gave birth to a calf. The calf has created doubts, confusions, fears, dangers, and insecurity. The alien domination is rampant. A true Nepali is highly troubled for the dangers over sovereignty, independence and national integrity. The age-old tranquility is gone. The politics is in a very fluid state. Economy is deteriorating by the day and the administration is mired with lawlessness and anarchy. The parties in power are taking undue benefits. Corruption, black marketing, price hike is rampant. The government exists only for the namesake. Nepali and Indian criminals are working hand in hand to create lawlessness. There exists politics of revenge. There still seems a dual government action. People are paying taxes for the two. The whole scenario is frustrating. However, none of the political actors are serious for nation and nationality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Greater Nepal not against India but Indian colonialism: Phanindra Nepal

Posted by completenepal on May 23, 2010

Chairman of the Unified Nepal National Front (UNNF), Nepal is General Secretary of the Border Concern Civil Committee.
Excerpts of an interview by BN Dahal to Phanindra Nepal;
Q: You obstructed the road leading to Indian Embassy on 2 December. What is the significance of 2 December?
A: Britain had sent the proposal of Sugauli Treaty on 2 December, 1815. It mentioned ceding 40% of former Greater Nepal territory. Nepal under pressure had to sign the treaty on 4 March, 1816. Sugauli Treaty of 2 December is the reason behind the current geo-poltical reality of the nation. This is why we mark 2nd December as a ‘Black Day’ annually. This programme is a certain every year. It will continue until India returns our territory.
Q: There are allegations that the programmes you have launched are anti-Indian?
A: Our programmes of Greater Nepal are not against India. We have opposed the Nepali border encroachment by India. We have not opposed India. They neglected our appeals to stop encroachment, so we lunched the programmes. The territories that we have demanded do not belong to India. But when we raised the issues of Nepal’s nationality, sovereignty and its territories, India perceives such programmes as against it. We are not against India, we want to be its good friend. If it stops encroaching Nepali land and stops making Nepali people suffer, we would not go against India unreasonably. Read the rest of this entry »

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We could regain GREATER NEPAL

Posted by completenepal on May 20, 2010

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, Border specialist of Nepal says …

We could regain Greater Nepal

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, a former director general of the Department of Survey, is probably the most distinguished survey research scholar of Nepal’s international boundaries. He has been working in the field of surveying and mapping for the last 41 years. Shrestha has authored several books on the Nepal-India border demarcation and management. He was trained and educated in surveying and land-use mapping in India, Canada, Germany and Japan.
Shrestha, who was awarded the coveted Madan Prize 2057 for his book Boundary of Nepal, spoke to Kamal Raj Sigdel of The Kathmandu Post on the current Indo-Nepal border dispute. He says India has encroached on almost 60,000 hectares of Nepali territory over the last 72 years. Excerpts:
Q: You have been a vocal critic of Indian encroachment on Nepali territory for a long time. What actually is the Read the rest of this entry »

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