Biru Nepali- Kathmandu
Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House speaker, was welcomed to Taiwan by leaders eager to accept American support. But when she departed on Wednesday, she left behind a crisis.
Pelosi met with Taiwanese lawmakers and then with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, offering assurance of U.S. support for the island that China claims as its own. The meetings, though light on substance, were widely welcomed in Taiwan as a rare symbolic victory in which a major foreign power showed its support in the face of intense opposition from China.
Taiwan is now bracing for China to begin live-fire military drills on Thursday — an escalation without recent precedent — that could encircle the island and drop missiles only 10 miles from its coast. China also suspended its exports of natural sand to Taiwan and stopped imports of certain types of fruit and fish from the island.
Diplomacy: The Biden administration has spent months building an economic and diplomatic strategy in Asia to counter China, and Pelosi’s visit leaves allies to wonder what damage has been done to the president’s united front. Europe, which mostly does not support the independence of Taiwan, has sought to stay out of the conflict.
In the region: Japan, whose westernmost inhabited island lies less than 70 miles from Taiwan, has increasingly come to view Taiwan as important to its national security.
U.N. peacekeepers opened fire at a border crossing on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing two people and injuring 15 others amid escalating protests demanding the agency’s forces to leave the region.
The gunmen were arrested, the country’s top U.N. official said, adding that he was “deeply shocked and dismayed” by the “unexplained” shooting. The killings came just days after at least 19 people, including three U.N. peacekeepers, were killed and 60 others injured in demonstrations against peacekeeping missions.
Protesters said that the U.N. soldiers had failed to protect civilians against a surge of violence carried out by an array of militant groups. Since late last year, hundreds have been killed or injured and more than 160,000 people have been displaced.
Dalit advocacy group’s report regrets dwindling Dalit representation in local governance.
The results of the second cycle of local elections on May 13 has shown that the political parties of the country are reluctant in ensuring the representation of Dalits as the number of their representation has decreased compared to the previous 2017 local polls.
As the number of Dalits representatives in different positions of the local level has reduced compared to the 2017 polls, the Foundation has said the community that constitutes around one-fourth of the total population of the country has been deprived of fair political representation.
“The new constitution has stated that Nepal will adopt proportional inclusiveness in governance and the republican Nepal has ensured constitutional and legal provisions for the political representation of Dalit community though inclusive principles,” states a press statement issued by the Foundation on Monday. “But the Dalits have not got their rights on the basis of their population.”
As per the study of the Foundation, the political parties didn’t bother to field women Dalit candidates in 124 wards ignoring the mandatory provision, and from among 293 municipalities, just three mayors are Dalit, or 1 percent of the total mayor positions. The number of Dalit mayors has reduced to half this time compared to the previous local polls.
The number of deputy mayors from the Dalit community has also decreased from 11 in previous polls to eight this time which is only 2.73 percent of the total deputy mayor positions.
However, the number of chairpersons of rural municipalities has increased from just one in the previous polls to seven this time. This is 2.73 percent of the total 460 rural municipalities. But the representation of Dalits in vice-chairs of rural municipalities has come down to seven from the previous 16.
Only 148 Dalits were elected as ward chairs, which is 2.19 percent of the total 6743 ward chair positions.
Among the 13,486 ward members only 878 have been elected from Dalit community which is 6.51 percent on the total positions.
“The results proves that the political parties are still infected with traditional feudalist thinking,” states the statement issued by Pradip Pariyar, chairperson of the Samata Foundation. “To weaken the representation of the community excluded historically instead of ensuring their meaningful political representation is nothing but making fun of the spirit of the constitution.”
Pariyar has also said such reluctance of the political parties would also raise questions about the democratic process and practices. “Therefore, I strongly demand parties to ensure meaningful representation of Dalit community in the upcoming provincial and federal polls,” Pariyar said.
Source : Kathmandu post
KATHMANDU, MAY 28: The government has formed a five-member probe committee to investigate the death of a Dalit youth Sundar Harijan at the prison in Rolpa two weeks ago.
A resident of Gharbaritole of Nepalgunj, Harijan’s body was found suspiciously hanging at the Rolpa district prison on May 16.
After the news was published in Nepal’s largest newspaper Kantipur on Saturday the Home Ministry formed a five-member probe panel led by the director of the Department of Prison Management, Jharendra Prasad Chapagain.
“A five-member probe panel has been formed to investigate the suicide of Sundar Harijan at the prison in Rolpa at 6:30 pm on May 16 to present the report in 10 days,” states a press statement issued by the Home Ministry spokesperson Phanindra Mani Pokhrel.
According to Pokhrel, the Home Ministry will make necessary reforms so that such incidents are not repeated after the panel comes up with its report.
KATHMANDU, APRIL 27
A Dalit youth of Khadak Municipality-4, Saptari district has been attacked to death for helping a person to file a nomination for an independent candidate in the upcoming local polls.
Santa Lal Paswan, 25, was thrashed to death for helping Mahadev Paswan to nominate for ward chairman’s position in the local polls.
According to news reports, he was thrashed on his head with iron rods and was rushed to Nobel Hospital in Biratnagar where he had taken his last breath.
Local Dalit activist Rajdev Ram said Paswan was killed just because he helped a person to contest for ward chairperson as an independent candidate. “Some people of Chaudhary community had threatened him for fielding an independent candidate,” Ram told nepalpress.com. “Now he has been killed. Authorities must take action against the culprits.”
KATHMANDU, APRIL 8
The second national gathering of the National Dalit Lawyers Forum has elected a 17-member new committee led by Mohan Sashankar on Friday. The three vice-chairpersons of the Forum are Bhojman Lamgade, Bal Maya Bishwokarma, and Chakraman Bishwokarma.
The new leadership of the legal professionals representing the Dalit community was elected from the second national gathering held with the slogan ‘Inclusiveness for equity, non-discrimination, and social justice: implementation of the constitution following amendments today’s need’ here in Kathmandu.
The gathering has elected Shailendra Ambedkar Harijan as the Forum’s general secretary and has elected Ram Bahadur Mijar, Sundar Bahadur Snehi, and Saraswoti Nepal as secretaries while Balmiki Aauji was elected its treasurer.
Newly elected members of the Forum are Rakshya Ram Harijan, Kunjini Pariyar, Dankaji Bishwokarma, Narayan Budhaprirthi, Yam Kumari Dadel, Chija Maya Bishwokarma, Dal Bahadur Bishworkarm, and Devi Sunar.
An advisory committee was also formed with Narayan Nepal, Bimal Bishwokarma, Dr. Yam Kisan, Tek Tamata, Luma Singh Bishwokarma, and Shyam Kumar Bishwokarma. The gathering concluded by issuing a 12-point Kathmandu declaration.
Incidents of discrimination haven’t decreased due to lax implementation of law, according to national rights body.People from the Dalit community, who already lacked access to the justice system, were further deprived from justice due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Nepal was declared a nation free of caste-based discrimination and untouchability 15 years ago, but the Dalit community continues to suffer from discrimination and hate crime.
Reports by various organizations advocating for Dalit rights show that the people from the community have become more vulnerable to discrimination during the pandemic.
“The crisis impacts the marginalized community the most,” Pradip Pariyar, executive chairperson of Samata Foundation, an organisation advocating for the rights of Dalit community, told the Post. “This was apparent from the experience of Covid-19 pandemic in the first wave and the situation is worsening in the second wave.”
Dalit right activists say an overwhelming number of people from the community experienced discrimination during the pandemic and the problem was even more serious among women.
A survey conducted by the foundation among 1,500 people from the Dalit community showed some 18 percent of them faced discrimination during the pandemic. Similarly, an assessment conducted by Feminist Dalit Organisation showed 48 percent of Dalit women experienced caste-based discrimination last year while 30 percent experienced domestic violence.
People from the Dalit community, who already lacked access to the justice system, were further deprived of justice due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The National Human Rights Commission has a similar observation. The constitutional human rights watchdog says despite the constitutional and legal guarantee against caste-based discrimination, incidents of discrimination haven’t decreased due to their lax implementation.
“The cases of murder, assault, torture, social exclusion, and denial of state facilities continue against the people from the Dalit community in the lack of effective implementation of the legal shield against such practices,” said Tika Ram Pokharel, spokesperson at the commission. “We are concerned over the impunity in the cases related to caste-based discrimination and untouchability.”
The Constitution of Nepal provides protection against any form of discrimination. Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence) Act-2011 and the Criminal Code, which came into effect in 2018, have made discrimination a punishable offense.
However, the survey of Samata Foundation shows that out of 78 cases of caste-based discrimination reported in the fiscal year 2019/20, only 40 cases were reported to the authority. Moreover, perpetrators were convicted in just 10 percent of the reported cases.
“Complaints from the Dalit community are hardly heard,” Pariyar said. “Even if they are registered, police files weak cases in the court of law leading to a low conviction rate.”
Court proceedings when it comes of cases of discrimination are also slow.
For instance, the district court of Rukum (West) is yet to announce its verdict in the killings of six youths in Soti village of Chaurjahari Municipality in May last year. Although the accused individuals are in judicial custody, the families of the victims are yet to get justice.
Binod Pahadi, a former lawmaker and a Dalit Right activist, says the discriminatory state mechanism is largely responsible for the continued discrimination against Dalits.
“The government has made no attempts to address the concerns of the marginalised communities even when they have been affected the most amid this pandemic,” he told the Post.
The survey by Samata Foundation, which covers the period between March to December last year, also shows that 45 percent of people from the Dalit community faced jobs cuts due to the pandemic. Similarly, nearly 82 percent of the survey participants reported financial distress due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed to contain the virus spread.
There has not been any substantial improvement in the condition of Dalits, like their social status, economic condition, literacy and employment rates, access to land ownership and justice, according to the report by the foundation.
Dalit rights activists say the government must establish a Dalit cell in all police station to look into the cases relating to the community. They also recommend that each district’s court should have separate bench so that the cases related to caste-based discrimination and untouchability are swiftly decided.
Dalit rights activists have also called for the formation of monitoring committees in all national human rights institutions to monitor cases of caste-based discrimination.
“Government’s responsibility should not be limited to issuing reports and statements,” Pahadi said. “It should walk the talk, work proactively towards ending all forms of discrimination.”
KATHMANDU: An award-winning scholar, prolific social entrepreneur Dr Bishnu Maya Pariyar has been awarded with New Jersey-11 hero.
The program to honor heroes was introduced by the member of the lower house representing the New Jersey 11th Congressional district — Mikie Sherrill.
A Democratic Party member of the US House Sherrill had assumed office in January 2019. This honor was awarded to those who played a crucial and inspiring role to combat pandemics in the communities.
Among which Dr Pariyar was selected from the Nepali community, according to Sherrin’s office. Heroes were selected from among the teachers, health workers, volunteers, and first responders.
Her colleague Sandy Hecker had nominated Dr Pariyar, one of the most admired Nepali-American personalities, for the honor.
Also the coordinator of Gender and Domestic Violence program Dr Pariyar had played an inspiring role in combating pandemic in Nepal. She was honored by different organizations for her contribution to fight coronavirus.
In 2015 the City of Louisville, Kentucky honored September 27 as “Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar Day” by Mayor Greg E. Fischer for her outstanding social contribution.
Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar’s life-struggle story has been featured in a higher education textbook, ‘The Writer’s Mindset’ by Dr. Lisa Wright Hoeffner which was published by one of the world’s top publications, McGraw Hill in 2021.
Dr. Pariyar’s brain-child social integration organization, ADWAN aims to foster a measure of economic independence, to boost self-esteem, dignity and to instill solidarity among diverse communities and build a sense of national pride.
Through her dedication and passion for the marginalized and Dalit community-the so-called low-caste or untouchable people, Dr. Pariyar has overcome tremendous obstacles of gender, caste discrimination, and poverty in Nepal as well as challenges that emerged because of socio-economic inequality and exclusion.
In the years 2020 and 2021, as Coronavirus devastated the community in the United States and around the world, Dr. Pariyar has been in the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic relief assistance program to needy Nepali and South Asian American community and international students.
Dr. Pariyar was conferred with honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) from her alma mater, Pine Manor College, MA for her pioneer social contribution.
BIRU NEPALI-BUTWAL: Minister of Health and Population Lumbini Province Indrajit Tharu said the Dalit community has to face disgrace because of the feudal thinking and capitalist structure of the society. Tharu said the constitution has clearly mentioned Dalit’s right but there was problem in its implementation. While addressing at the discussions with stakeholders on the bill about Dalit empowerment organized by Jagaran Media Centre last week he said the government was positive on drafting separate law to ensure rights of Dalits. He also asked the participants to suggest lack of laws on which specific sectors have affected the implementation of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the Dalit community. “The presence of Dalit community is seen at the parliament and the governments just because the constitution has made the representation mandatory,” Tharu said. “Since Dalit community has been underprivileged in every sector including economic, social, and health a special provision should be made for them.”
He also said there is an urgent need of creating awareness among other communities to end the discrimination and other bad traditions.
Member of the Constituent Assembly Binod Pahadi said the Dalit empowerment bill was essential to resolve the problems of Dalits at the Lumbini province and also to send message to the country. Members of Lumbini Provincial Assembly Deepa Bishworkarma and Jalpa Bhusal also expressed their commitment for the separate law for Dalit empowerment.
Rupandehi Secretary of CPN (Unified Socialist) Abiram Bishwokarma, advocate Padam Bahadur Karki and Dalit leaders Lok Bahadur Nepali, Arjun Rasaili, Sabitra Bishwokarma, Yam Bahadur Sunar, Ram Bahadur Bishwokarma, Sumitra Baral, Kanti Pariyar, Sabi BK had presented their views among others. Chaired by Lumbini coordinator of Jagaran Media Center Binod Pariyar, the interaction was conducted by Ambika Pariyar.
KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 10: Speakers of a program have said an awareness revolution was essential to end all kinds of discrimination rampant in society.
Lawmakers and journalists have pointed out that various forms of discrimination against women, Dalits, and other marginalized communities are still rampant in society due to the lack of proper awareness among the people despite having the necessary policy, rules and laws.
They have made such comments at a function entitled “Situation of Gender-based Violence and Role of lawmakers” organized by Jagaran Media Centre on Thursday to commemorate the 73rd International Human Rights Day and as part of the 30th 16-day campaign against gender-based violence.
The speakers have expressed concern over the connection of religious, cultural, social and political aspects in the discriminations and violence against women and other communities which impedes their access to justice.
Presenting her paper at the function former commissioner of the National Information Commission Yashoda Timsina said very few applications were filed against gender-based violence despite the incidents are increasing, it is very difficult for the victims of such cases to get justice and they also lack awareness of legal provisions. She said some existing laws were also not sufficient and even they are not properly implemented.
Addressing the function, a member of the National Assembly Khim Kumar BK said there were laws to address the discrimination against women, Dalit, and other marginalized communities but they could not be implemented in practice.
He said some laws need amendment while more laws are necessary to address the existing problems of discrimination for which he was sensitive and working for it.
Member of the Bagmati Provincial Assembly Maina Achhami said there was an urgent need to take the awareness campaign against gender-based violence at the community level.
Speaking at the function rights activists Mina Swornakar said lawmakers do not raise voices on rape, murder, the violence of children and women. She said the silence against such brutality was the result of their connection with parties, class, ethnicity, and religion, on the basis of which discrimination against women, Dalit, and other marginalized groups are rampant in the society. All the speakers said that Dalit women suffer the most from both gender-based violence and caste-based discrimination.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In support of this civil society initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.
The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will run from 25 November to 10 December 2021, is “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”
During the interaction chaired by Kamala Bishwokarma, chair of the Jagaran Media Centre, rights activists Rajan Bishwokarma, Kalpana Bishwokarma, peoples’ representative of Lalitpur Metropolitan City-14 Sangita Achhami, Chairperson of Youth Advocacy Forum Narendra Khatiwada, advocate of Juri Nepal Bal Maya Bishwokarma, Rajkumari Dura of Nepal Disable Women Association, Anjila Lama of Blue Diamond Society, Student leader Rajan Nepali and journalists Laxman Darnal, Kamala Rasaili and Keshab Bhul had presented their views on various forms of violence and discrimination.