Biru Nepali- KATHMANDU: Jagaran Media Centre has organised its 22nd annual general assembly on Thursday here in Kathmandu. The assembly chaired by its chairperson and member of Constituent Assembly Kamala Bishwokarma has assessed the programmes of the organisation and discussed the further strategy and work plan to achieve its objectives.
Officials of the JMC said the media centre has completed historic programmes in the past including its continuous support in different movements including Dalit related struggles and developing Dalit journalists besides enhancing their skills. JMC was in the forefront in raising the issues of Dalits and other marginalised communities through different media and therefore they stressed on the need to keep records of its contribution.
According to its member’s collective effort, cooperation and mutual respect will help democratise the organisation and help to make it inclusive and develop a system and it also helps in personal growth as well as in organisational development.
The participating members of the JMC have pointed out that they have to face newer challenges with the change in problems. They also hailed the JMC’s activities to lobby for the right of Dalit and other marginalized communities and suggested for widening such activities.
Advisor of JMC and researcher JB Bishwokarma said collective effort is essential to speed up its activities to develop it as a common organisation.
Saying that JMC has created healthy discussions on Nepali Dalit movement through media Bishwokarma said JMC has played a crucial role to establish the issue of Dalit inclusion in the media and to increase the number of Dalit journalists in the media.
During the general assembly, General Secretary Bhim Bahadur Ghimire had briefed about the ongoing programmes of the organisation for the fiscal year 2077-78 BS.
Treasurer Shushil Darnal presented income and expenditure of the fiscal year 2077-78 BS. He said the total income of JMC in the fiscal year was Rs 9.216 million among which Rs 9.083 was received from donor agencies and remaining from internal funds. The expenditure for the fiscal year was Rs 7.798 million.
Addressing the function Chairperson Kamala Bishwokarma had thanked all those who contributed to bring the JMC to this stage including the founding members and advisors. “There are a host of challenges to run the organisation but we should take it as an opportunity,” Bishwokarma said. “We are planning to run the JMC with a new plan and vision.”
The JMC is a non-governmental organisation established in 2000 by the journalists representing Dalit communities. Ever since its establishment the JMC has been advocating to mainstream various social, cultural, economic and political issues of Dalit in the mainstream through media. It has been utilising various media including radio, television programmes, online, newspaper, and social media networks in its bid to create a just and equitable society ending caste-based discrimination from the society.
WASHINGTON, DECEMBER 7:
A group of civil rights organisations including International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) have submitted a policy memorandum to the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the US Department of State requesting the Department recognize and elevate the important of fighting case-based discrimination across the world.
The rights organisations calling for the attention of the US Department of State include Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus Sadhana, Boston Study Group and Dalit Solidarity Forum and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) besies the International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR).
“We strongly believe that recognizing and elevating caste based discrimination internationally represents a fundamental human rights issue and aligns with US foreign policy goals, especially as it champions democracy and inclusion in its upcoming Democracy Summit,”states the released issued on Thursday. “We provided multiple recommendations of various complexity to the US Department of State that would help progress the US’s leadership on this issue.”
The civil rights organisations have said they have recommended that the Department include caste-based discrimination within the human rights section of the White House Summit for Democracy on December 9 and 10, as well as within the commitments that relevant national governments are expected to bring to the Summit.
“We further recommended for action the Department take a renewed focus
on caste discrimination by increasing programming and research funding to the issue, reviewing and refining existent policies—including immigration policies—to account for caste discrimination, and engage with interagency partners and non-governmental organization partners to advance the issue,” the release states.
According to recent estimates in South Asia, over 300 million Dalits are impacted every day by caste-based atrocities, lynching, and discriminatory practices that were formally outlawed by national constitutions and international laws.
Congress has already recognized that caste-based discrimination exists and is unacceptable in India and other South Asian countries. In 2007, the 110th Congress (2007-2008) passed the historic House Concurrent Resolution (H.Con.Res.139), “expressing that ‘caste-based discrimination’ is unacceptable and the United States is committed to eliminating it and ensuring the human dignity and rights of Dalits by the U.S. government or U.S. organizations.”
The civil rights organisations also believe that the upcoming Democracy Summit would be a prime opportunity for the US to be a leader on caste-based discrimination issues, and that leadership on that issue now and in the future will be strategically advantageous for US foreign policy interests.
KATHMANDU: Nepal has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, but many of its promises still are to be fulfilled, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter, said today after conducting an 11-day official mission to the country.
Nepal has succeeded in reducing multidimensional poverty by 12.7 percent between 2014 and 2019, and its Human Development Index has improved, as have indicators related to health and education. But significant gaps remain,” the UN expert said.
“Women are still lagging on a number of indicators. Though banned, caste-based and ethnicity-based discrimination remain a reality in social life, and it is a major factor explaining the perpetuation of poverty. Land issues remain unresolved, despite the efforts to accelerate the rehabilitation of former bonded laborers and to ensure landless Dalit benefit from land redistribution.”
Poverty reduction owes more to remittances than to proactive Government anti-poverty policies, De Schutter said. “A quarter of the decline in poverty can be attributed to outmigration only, with estimates showing that, without remittances, poverty would have increased in Nepal,” he said. Remittances in Nepal were 10 times larger than foreign aid and 2.5 larger than total exports only in 2017. “It is clear that much more needs to be done by the Government to meet its own target of reducing multidimensional poverty to 11.5 percent by 2023-2024,” the expert said.
“The Government should ensure its skills and training programs reach the poorest families. While public works programs such as the Prime Minister’s Employment Program have considerable potential, in practice the program has yet to deliver on its promise of providing 100 days of work per person per year.
“In the country, 80 percent of workers are informal, which exposes them to higher rates of abuse, largely because the Government lacks the ability to enforce minimum wage legislation in the informal sector. Although informal workers should also contribute to and benefit from the Social Security Fund, there is currently no plan to include them in the program.”
De Schutter’s fact-finding mission began on 29 November, just weeks after the UN General Assembly voted a resolution inviting Nepal, along with Bangladesh and Lao People’s Democratic Republic, to prepare for graduation from the status of Least Developed Country (LDC) to that of an emerging economy. The country will benefit from a five-year transition period. “Graduation from LDC status is a major milestone for Nepal,” said De Schutter. “Poverty reduction must be at the heart of the country’s transition strategy to ensure that no groups are left behind.”
The UN expert met with communities who suffer from intersecting forms of deprivation. Most were landless daily wage laborers working in agricultural or informal jobs and struggling to send their children to school. Many were from historically disadvantaged and discriminated groups including Dalit, Madhesi, and Indigenous people, as well as women. “The stark inequalities resulting from the deeply entrenched norms and values of the Nepali caste system continue to perpetuate disadvantage today,” De Schutter said.
Women suffer the brunt of a historically patriarchal society, earning almost 30 percent less than men, suffering from higher rates of informality, owning only 19.7 percent of homes and land, and enduring a 17.5 percent literacy gap compared to men, the UN poverty expert noted. “Nepal can and must do better,” he said.
Children experience the worst forms of deprivation because of the poverty their families face, he added. Over one million children work in Nepal, and in rural areas over a fifth of children do.
“During my mission, I met with countless families whose children, especially girls, engaged in agricultural or domestic work,” De Schutter said. “Wealth inequality is a major factor: over 20 percent of children in poverty work, compared to only five percent of children from rich families.
“The Government must take child poverty seriously and take the necessary steps to end child marriage and labor and improve quality of and access to education,” he added.
During his mission, the Special Rapporteur visited Bagmati, Karnali, Lumbini provinces, as well as Province 2. He met with nine ministries, including six ministers, as well as local and provincial authorities, people affected by poverty, civil society organizations, and development cooperation, and UN agencies.
CHITWAN: The Chitwan district court has sent two people involved in thrashing Bhim Bahadur BK to judicial custody for further investigation on November 12.
BK was thrashed to death by locals near Durga temple situated at Bharatpur Metropolitan City-4 a day before the greatest festival of the Hindus–Dashain.
Bhim Bahadur’s son Kisan BK had filed a petition at the District Police Office accusing local Sitaram Basnet and Dilip Shrestha of murdering his 58-year old father by thrashing him demanding legal action against them.
Family members of Bhim Bahadur have accused that locals rebuked and thrashed for asking them about sacrificing he-goat at the temple for the Dashain festival.
The district court has ordered the police to send both of them to prison for judicial investigation. Police had started the investigation by arresting both Basnet and Shrestha.
Dalit-related organizations have been demanding stern legal action against the culprits claiming that the incident happened due to caste-based discrimination.
However, Police have claimed that they have not found any evidence of caste-based discrimination during their investigation.
According to Chitwan District Police Office spokesperson DSP Surya Bahadur Thapa, the postmortem report has stated that he died due to a head injury.
Basnet had thrashed BK with an electric wire while Shrestha, who owns a medical store, had hit him, who had fled to some distance after he was thrashed, on his head. BK’s family members have not accepted his body yet.
In its preliminary report after the field visit National Human Rights Commission has suggested an independent and fair investigation of the incident besides the need for awareness among the public on caste-based discrimination and had requested media to disseminate factual information only.
Agency: As negotiators at the Glasgow climate talks try to agree on greenhouse gas cuts, African leaders say poorer countries can’t be expected to remake their systems as quickly as wealthy ones.
Sub-Saharan Africa contributes about 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, among the lowest of the world’s regions. Yet African countries are particularly affected by the consequences of climate change.
Improvements can be costly, and many people still don’t have basic needs like electricity. Leaders point out that some wealthier countries keep natural gas in their own transition plans.
Context: Development banks and richer countries alike have been rolling back their support for fossil fuel projects, including ones in African countries with an abundance of fossil fuel resources.
Agency: Global markets weeks ago were fretting over the possible failure of China Evergrande Group, the property developer, as it grapples with $300 billion of unpaid debts. A broader panic contributed to a wave of defaults among Chinese developers. Property value is still falling, and sales are plummeting.
But the developer says the worst is over, and the Chinese authorities say the risks are manageable even as other companies show signs of trouble. Evergrande and Beijing are managing the company’s struggles in secret, allowing it to meet some payment deadlines without explaining how.
The approach may stem panic, but it papers over broader pressures on the sector. “The fundamental situation for Evergrande hasn’t really changed,” Matthew Chow, a China property analyst and director at S&P Global Ratings, said. “We remain sure that default is almost a certainty.”
In flux: More than a million home buyers are waiting for unfinished apartments, and the company may owe money to just as many workers. Another deadline for Evergrande approaches on Wednesday, when the grace period on $150 million worth of bond payments will end.
Agency: Barack Obama, who helped to seal the Paris climate agreement six years ago, returned to an international climate summit to rally nations to heal the planet.
“To be honest with ourselves, yes, this is going to be really hard,” Obama said. He added: “Sometimes we will be forced to settle for imperfect compromises. But at least they advance the ball down the field.”
Negotiators from about 200 countries were entering Week 2 of climate talks trying to resolve big issues around money, transparency and timelines. Attendees are sharply divided over how much progress is being made.
Some are optimistic, pointing to flashy new promises and heads of state coming together. Others note that the gauzy commitments with decades-long deadlines often lack the concrete details to follow through. As the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg put it, “Blah, blah, blah.”
Quotable: “The actual negotiations here are in danger of being drowned out by a blitz of news releases that get great headlines, but are often less than meets the eye,” said Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a research institute based in Kenya.
Recap: More than 100 countries agreed to cut methane emissions. Another 130 countries vowed to halt deforestation by 2030 and committed billions. India committed to net zero emissions by 2070.
Agency: The U.S. reopened its borders for fully vaccinated travelers from dozens of countries on Monday, ending 18 months of restrictions on international travel.
Emotional scenes and reunions played out at airports across the country, like in Miami, where a woman from Brazil met her newborn grandchild at the airport. In San Diego, a traveler from Mexico arrived for medical treatment.
Fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to enter the U.S. if they can show proof of vaccination and a negative virus test taken within three days of travel. Unvaccinated Americans and children are exempt, but must take a test within one day of travel.
Data: The loss in visitor spending amounted to nearly $300 billion, and more than one million American jobs were lost. The U.S. Travel Association does not expect international inbound travel to recover to 2019 levels until at least 2024.
The basics: Here’s what you need to know.
U.K.: Thousands flocked to Heathrow Airport in London on Monday for the first flights to America. Airline employees were dressed in Elvis costumes and waved flags. The mood was jubilant.
Changes: Some countries are restricted by the new rules. Russia was not one of the 33 countries under the old ban, but the country’s Sputnik V vaccine is not on the list of accepted vaccines for entry. So the door to the U.S. shut for many Russians on Monday.
DIGNITY REPORTER – KATHMANDU: Dalit Liberation Front of Nepal is organising its fifth National Conference on November 13-15, at Dhangadhi of Kailali district.
General Secretary of Communist Party of Nepal, Netra Bikram Chand, better known as Biplav, is scheduled to inaugurate the conference as a chief guest amid a mass gathering on November 13.
“Preparations for the conference are almost complete,” said the General Secretary of the Front, Ramlal Bishwokarma. “We have prepared our ideological, political, organizational, publicity and managerial proposals for the conference.”
According to Bishwokarma, around 350 delegates from all the 77 districts of Nepal and abroad are participating in the conference.
The political organizations working for Dalits which are affiliated to the major political parties of Nepal and India have been invited to attend the programme as guests.
As per the schedule, the inauguration programme will start after a huge mass rally along with cultural programmes and typical Dalit community folk musical instruments among others.
This Front is struggling against the alround politico-economic and socio-cultural exploitation, repression, discrimination and deprivation of the Dalit Comunity for a long time by the state.
“It believes that the total change in the present comprador parliamentary system and the establishment of scientific socialism can only liberate the Dalit Community completely. It can be achieved through a unified Dalit movement along with class struggle under the leadership of a communist party,” Bishwokarma told the Dignity Post. “The conference is going to discuss and synthesize on Dalit ideology, politics, political line, name of the organization and policy and programmes.”
India: Narendra Modi’s ruling party has long pursued a Hindu-first agenda. Now, its hard-line attitude toward Muslims has undermined India’s reputation as a voice for tolerance in South Asia.
The erosion of human rights in India has weakened its moral high ground in a region where the country has historically set the tone, and where sectarian conflicts are worsening. India’s tensions are also spilling out over its borders, as ethnic clashes deepen in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Balance of power: The shift could open opportunities for China, which has used the promise of investment and access to its hard-charging economy to cultivate stronger relations with its rival’s neighbors.