FEDO Demands a maximum term for the murderer of Januka Nepali
Kathmandu, December 12, 2005
Reading a Press Release of Feministic Dalit Organization (FEDO) on Januka Nepali’s murder case at Reporters Club in Kathmandu, General Secretary of Femisitic Dalit Organization (FEDO) FEDO, Ambika Gazmer demanded maximum sentence for the murderer Banu Bishwakarma , who under the high influence of patriarchal supremacy of feudal system committed heinous crime of brutally murdering Januka Nepali. She said, honoring the contribution of Januka Nepali as a devoted social rights defender and a Dalit activist, FEDO has institutionalized Januka Nepali Memorial Trust, and also renamed the FEDO Scholarship Trust as Januka Nepali Scholarship Trust. For more, Read the FEDO’s Presse Release in Nepali
From participants, Member of National Dalit Commission Mohan Mijar has appealed to the government for making a new law on citizenship rights based on the name of mother. He demanded for the punishment of the murderer Banu Bishwakarma as much as the legal provision allows. On the press interactions folliwing the press release, Gajadhar Sunar of DNF said that this inhuman murder directly or indirectly creates threat to social and women activists, and Sabin Shreshta, FWLD has commented on legal loopholes in punishing the murderer. According to him, the victim’s family could not get any compensation though the government has seized the culprit property. He pointed out the need for amendment of legal system. Rajkumar Trikhatri, Dalit Team leader, Action Aid answered to the Journalists’ some of the questions about this incident. Finally, FEDO President Durga Sob called for solidarity from the government, Human rights defenders, women rights defenders and journalists to create pressure for sentencing maximum terms of punishment to the murderer Banu Bishwokarma, and to support to the victim’s family for her children's education and survival. Report by Sunil Basnet/FEDO.
Jana Utthan Day- Completion of a decade
Anamnagar, July 19, 2005
Jana Utthan Pratisthan is completing a decade of its contribution to Dalit movement in Nepal. The occasion will be celebrated as "Jana Utthan Day" on July 23, 2005 at Hotel Orchid, Tripureswor, Kathmandu, Nepal. There will be a ceremony for Jana Utthan National Award distriubution as part of the celebration. For further information, please contact: Kopundole, July 18, 2005. Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) will be celebrating its anniversary on Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at Staff College in Jawalakhel, Patan, Nepal. One of the guest speakers will be Mr. Ian Martin, the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal from the United Nations. For further information, please contact: (This list is endorsed by Advocate Ratna Bahadur Bagchand, President, LANCAU Nepal via email on Thu, 7 Jul 2005)
For further information, please contact:
Kopundole, July 18, 2005.
Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) will be celebrating its anniversary on Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at Staff College in Jawalakhel, Patan, Nepal. One of the guest speakers will be Mr. Ian Martin, the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal from the United Nations.
For further information, please contact:
(This list is endorsed by Advocate Ratna Bahadur Bagchand, President, LANCAU Nepal via email on Thu, 7 Jul 2005)
A Reaction to Govinda Pariyar’s Views Published in Samaya, a National Weekly
June 10, 2005
An article, “Dalit Andolan- Bichalit Andolan” by Givinda Pariyar, published in “Samaya”, a national weekly of Kathmandu on May 26, 2005 (Jestha 12, 2062 B.S.) has drawn the attention of the concerned organizations and individuals, who flatly refute the allegations of misuse of resources in the course of Dalit movement, as made in the article. Here are some reactions to his article:
Dalits have been deprived from knowledge, education, awareness, authority and wealth, and are tied up into a chain of age-old slavery due to their oppression based on classes and Varnas for centuries. There is a dearth of good thoughts and trends for their liberation. We confirm that the struggle for Dalit liberation is essentially a war based on definitive thoughts, which we must carry on with. Unless the thoughts are clear among us who are engaged in the efforts for Dalit liberation, there cannot be any strength in our struggle. We must identify our friends, class based enemies and other hidden enemies. Otherwise, we will end up in peril of unnecessary criticism, counter-criticism, and infighting among ourselves. Sometimes, this pattern could appear among Dalits. Govinda, in his article, has alleged that Dalits’ conditions have not improved despite huge sum of 50 crore foreign aid and 3.75 crore government budget invested, but it has rather resulted in the birth of new feudal lords among Dalits. Internal conflicts and divisions, corruption, nepotism, favoritism and extreme politicization have clouded the Dalit movement against the caste discrimination in the country. The concerned organizations and individuals flatly refuting these allegations are asking anyone to show where on earth such foreign donors are giving away huge sums of money for misuse as alleged. It is known to everyone that foreign aids are given to serve specifically targeted programmes, largely based on donors’ own interests, their own working diplomacy and strategies. There is no basis to claim that anyone from Dalits could possibly amass wealth from such stringently administered foreign aids to become a feudal lord as alleged.
We wonder if Govinda is aware of some history from the erstwhile British India! But, way back in 1857, British India inducted a large number of Dalits into their armed forces and gave them education to counter the increasing threats from dominating high caste people. It is in fact a similar phenomenon seen now in sense that Dalits of Nepal are getting some attention lately. Any transient support forthcoming from foreign donors and a bilateral component from Nepalese government is mainly the result of ongoing conflict based on class based struggle. The foreign forces have been wary of the impending threat that the extremely exploited Dalits, 90% of whom currently fall below the poverty line, could easily be swayed away into the fierce revolution. Everyone clearly knows why the ongoing conflict is gaining momentum. However, the current establishment of the state which is heavily dependent on the ideology of their class supremacy cannot possibly yield to the oppressed lot, dismantling all structures and functions of its deep rooted class based exploitation. Therefore, there is no whole hearted support, financial or otherwise, forthcoming for Dalits from anywhere except for some “partial relief operations”. Whatever may be seen as huge foreign and domestic investment are only the desperate means intended to calm down aggravating situation. Anyone who enters any NGO or INGO to learn about the intricacies of its functioning would know what the facts are, as opposed to the fallacies claimed in the Govinda’s article.
Govinda has raised the issue of “reform”. Unfortunately, the reformist approach will not bring desirable and lasting change in the society. It will only follow the “trickle down” approach of development that rather looks for sustenance of status quo without introducing any disturbance to the existing structure and its environment. It does not envisage any turbulence of revolt to burst out against the humiliating discrimination meted out to Dalits, and will not solve much of our eventual problems. This approach will bring only some “partial reforms” in a very conservative way. However, we are accepting the partial support programmes as a means for strategic building up of our strengths through creation of widespread awareness for Dalit cause.
To be candid, our movement for Dalit liberation is more of a long term struggle, much akin to how it took about 50 years to realize the supremacy of people’s parliament in Great Britain, and how it took more than 30 years for Vietnam to liberate itself despite all the overwhelming support from Soviet Union and China. We are on our long term struggle, passing through all ups and downs of life and deaths in the path of our struggle and final liberation, being ourselves more committed to our victorious path, learning from our own tests of failures and successes. In this path, we ought to be always forward looking, gaining strength from victory over the hatred and stupidity of regressive elements. Transient physical amenities that may facilitate some of our efforts in our path are only the means to our intended end, but not the end in itself. We must leave behind petty matters, if we are to forge ahead a meaningful struggle for Dalit liberation.
Let us all have a new outlook of total change in our society amid the ongoing multitude of conflicts and power struggles! Let us all unite to convert the strengthening tide of our Dalit movement into the ultimate Dalit liberarion!
Moti Lal Nepali
Recommendations to National Planning Commission on Dalit Budgets for fiscal year 2062/63
June 9, 2005
Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) along with Dalit Development Committee and National Dalit Commission visited the Hon’ Vice-Chairperson and other members of National Planning Commission (NPC) on the 29th May 2005. The joint delegation team presented a memorandum asking to bring special programmes for the upliftment of Dalit community.
The memorandum included the detailed budget estimates recommended for Dalit welfare and development programmes during the fiscal year 2062/63. Mr. Suk Lal Nepali, Acting President of DNF read out the memorandum and handed over “Implementation status of 10th Plan with regard to Dalit & policy and programmes for Dalits in upcoming budget 2062/63” to Vice-Chairperson of NPC. An estimated budget recommended for different ministries and line agencies of HMG/N was Nrs. 83,76,30,000.
Field visit report on affected Dalit and other civilians in the Siraha District battle (May 8-9, 2005) in Nepal
May 31, 2005
There was a battle between Maoists and security forces in Dharapani, Bandipur, Mirchaiya and Choharwa in Siraha district on the night of 8-9 May 2005. This battle resulted in casualties, both human and livestock, and loss of property. The events of the night have not been completely verified. A team from Jagaran Media Centre (JMC) conducted an independent investigation on 21-23 May 2005. The focus of the fact-finding was on the effects of the clash on the resident civilian dalit community. There seems to have been no other independent investigations till date. This report contains the main findings of JMC’s fact finding.
The Maoists attacked mainly Bandipur, Mirchaiya and Choharwa villages. Bandipur was the worst hit by the attack. Bandipur village is situated on 2 sides of the main road. On one side, there is a bazaar and the houses of the so called “higher caste” people. On the other side of the main road, the houses of the Dalit community surround a recently installed Royal Nepal Army (RNA) camp. These houses are made of mud and straw.
The office building of the Kamalamai
Irrigation Project was lying unoccupied to the south of the main
There are 109 households in Bandipur. Among them 101 are landless and dalits, who are mainly dependent on wage labour. These households are economically, politically and socially marginalized. With the loss of life and property, not to mention the uncalculated psycho-social trauma, these families are rendered even more vulnerable after the event.
Situation of the Bandipur village cluster
There is a high-density settlement at Bandipur. The RNA base camp is settled right in the village. The Maoists attacked the base camp as their main target at night from around the settlement. The security forces put up their defense, and counter attacked the front of the settlement. The aerial attack from security forces occurred in the same night. The burden of the battle was borne by civilians who lost family members and their assets. Given the intense nature of the battle, it can be assumed that both the security forces and Maoists bore losses though the exact nature of those may not be known forever.
Loss of human life
• 9 civilians were killed including a pregnant woman, two children
(aged 5 and 8) and a 65-year-old person; 5-year-old Lukhidevi
Shah, 8-year-old Sanjeev Shah, 65-year-old Kaushaldevi Chaudhari,
60-year-old Savitri Devi Poudel, 25-year-old Rekha Mukhiya, 24-year-old Amdadevi Mahara, 32-year-old Jogendra Mahara, 62-year-old Mal Bhogidevi
Chaudhari and 33-year-old Sanjaya
Thapa were killed during the cross firing.
• The bullets and bombs have destroyed 60 houses of dalits. The bullets also destroyed the utensils, clothes
and other possessions of these households.
The JMC team found that many domesticated animals (cows, oxen, goats and buffaloes) were killed. Some animals were injured.
The economic losses are estimated at NRs. 1,200,000. This amount is based on the damage of houses (58), livestock (22), furniture and utensils. The expected relief costs have also been taken into account.
Conclusion and recommendations
• Independent fact-findings should be conducted to assess the
extent of loss and damage.
• Food and clothing need to be supplied at the earliest.
• They cannot be expected to live away from their homes out of
fear. The camp, which was set up only recently in March 2005, has to move.
Jagaran Media Center (JMC) is an organization set up by Dalit journalists to advocate on Dalit issues. It was established in 2000. Since its establishment, JMC has been active in raising the issues of Dalits locally, nationally and internationally.
JMC has been involved in various activities including discussions that create awareness among Dalits about their basic rights, social unity and inclusion. JMC broadcasts a weekly radio program, and is currently producing a teleserial on Dalits. Also, JMC publishes a variety of documents, books and reports on Dalit Human rights.
JMC is proactive in advocating Dalit issues, but maintains strictly neutral politically.
For more information,
Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) lobbies for Dalit development, submits memorandum to Vice-Chairman Kirti Nidhi Bista
May 24, 2005
A delegation team of Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) visited Mr. Kirti Nidhi Bista, the Vice-Chairman of the current Council of Ministers, and submitted a memorandum on the 20th of May 2005 in his office at Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, lobbying for various policy changes and programmes targeted to Dalit development.
The DNF delegation’s meeting with the Vice-Chairman Bista started with the introduction of the delegation team members. The team was led by the Acting President of DNF Mr. Suklal Nepali (Badi), and the other members of the team were Executive Director & Secretary of DNF Mr. Tej Sunar, Senior Programme Officer Mr. Tirtha Burma, Networking & Documentation Officer Mr. Pratik Pande, Programme Assistant Ms. Renu Sijapati and Mr. Raju Khadka.
Acting President of DNF read out the memorandum, and handed it over to the Vice-Chairman along with other documents. The delegation team asked HMG/N to give priority to the Dalit issues in its upcoming budget, and handed over to him the documents including Reservation Modality along with the Kathmandu Dalit Declaration and the Full Report of the historic event, International Consultation on Caste-Based Discrimination, which was held in Kathmandu from 29 November – 1 December 2004.
Some of the matters included as demands in the memorandum were as follows:
After hearing the memorandum, the Vice-Chairman Mr. Bista agreed on all the demands put forward, and remarked as all of them being “practical demands” from the Dalit community. He also agreed on the need for establishing a separate ministry for the upliftment of Dalit community; however, he also mentioned that he alone cannot make it happened, and promised to take it positively and seriously. He too had similar thought on establishing a ministry for disadvantaged people, which was already published in an article written by him for the Kathmandu Post, an English National Daily Newspaper, some time ago when he was not in the Cabinet of Ministers. He also mentioned that the problems of Dalits are to be resolved urgently. On the occasion, he also remembered the contribution of Late Hira Lal Bishwakarma and Late T.R. Bishwakarma to the Dalit movement of Nepal.
Vice-Chairman Mr. Bista’s immediate action was highly appreciable, as he called Joint Secretary Mr. Kabindra Bahadur Bista, and asked him to forward the memorandum to Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commission to see how they could manage incorporating programmes for Dalits in the coming fiscal year 2062/63. He also assured that he would personally direct the concerned authorities to act on the memorandum in all the possible fields as demanded.
Report by: Pratik Pande
One more case against discrimination won
Statement by Ratna Bahadur Bagchand, Executive President, Lawyer’s Campaign Against Untouchability (LANCAU-Nepal)
One more landmark case against untouchability crime has landed in our favour. LANCAU Nepal once more has won the case filed [at the Supreme Court] against the defendants [on 19 Aswin 2061- 5th October 2004], today. The final hearing of the case (Discrimination in the distribution of drinking water) proceeded with the Directive Order “not to discriminate in distribution of drinking water and to increase awareness against caste discrimination” from the Division Bench of Justices Ram Nagina Singh and Sarada Shrestha. Advocates Ratna Bahadur Bagchand, Narayan Nepal and Dinesh Tripathi pleaded from LANCAU’s side….
Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) submits Reservation Modality to HMG/N- A Summary Report
May 9, 2005
A delegation team of Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) submitted a Reservation Modality for the Dalit Community of Nepal to Dr. Tulsi Giri, the Vice Chairman, the HMG/N Council of Ministers on 4th May 2005. In the last few years, Government had announced to make provision of reservation for the Dalit community, but has not yet been able to implement it. The newly formed Government under the Chairmanship of the King of Nepal has included reservation for Dalit Community in its “21 point-programme” list of priorities.
DNF since last two years had been involved in different investigation and researches on the form of reservation modality for the Dalit Community of Nepal. In this regard, DNF consulted various intellectuals & experts, studied reservation system of India & other countries and drafted the Reservation Modality required for the Nepalese Dalit Community and finally handed over to HMG/N. The Delegation team headed by the General Secretary of DNF, Mr. Gajadhar Sunar and Mr. Maan Bahadur Bishwakarma – Former MP of the Upper House and Advisor of DNF had Mr. Tej Sunar – Secretary & Executive Director of DNF, Mr. Tirtha Bishwakarma, Ms. Renu Sijapati and Adv. Mr. Bimal Bishwakarma as its other members. Mr. Gajadhar Sunar read out the memorandum whereas Advocate Mr. Bimal Bishwakarma informed about the modality of reservation. On the occasion, DNF raised its voice and concerns towards the burning issues related to Dalits. Various other relevant demands related to Dalit community were also presented. Major points for reservation demanded were as follows: Vice Chairman thanked the delegation team for their effort in preparing and submitting reservation modality to the Government. He showed his keen interests in some other issues related to Dalits and finally told that everyone should focus not just on making laws & policies but implementing it. He also committed that upon the availability of resources, he would implement it gradually. Report by: Pratik Pande
DNF since last two years had been involved in different investigation and researches on the form of reservation modality for the Dalit Community of Nepal. In this regard, DNF consulted various intellectuals & experts, studied reservation system of India & other countries and drafted the Reservation Modality required for the Nepalese Dalit Community and finally handed over to HMG/N.
The Delegation team headed by the General Secretary of DNF, Mr. Gajadhar Sunar and Mr. Maan Bahadur Bishwakarma – Former MP of the Upper House and Advisor of DNF had Mr. Tej Sunar – Secretary & Executive Director of DNF, Mr. Tirtha Bishwakarma, Ms. Renu Sijapati and Adv. Mr. Bimal Bishwakarma as its other members. Mr. Gajadhar Sunar read out the memorandum whereas Advocate Mr. Bimal Bishwakarma informed about the modality of reservation.
On the occasion, DNF raised its voice and concerns towards the burning issues related to Dalits. Various other relevant demands related to Dalit community were also presented. Major points for reservation demanded were as follows:
Vice Chairman thanked the delegation team for their effort in preparing and submitting reservation modality to the Government. He showed his keen interests in some other issues related to Dalits and finally told that everyone should focus not just on making laws & policies but implementing it. He also committed that upon the availability of resources, he would implement it gradually.
Report by: Pratik Pande