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Nepal

The combination of market fundamentalism and identity politics of the majority is fuelling the rightward drift of Nepali society and providing space for authoritarian institutions and personalities.

 
Nepal offers an extremely positive example of a poor country moving forward effectively. Donors take note. There are great opportunities to facilitate additional progress and to learn lessons from Nepal. The country needs immediate help to get its infrastructure repaired after the devastating 2015 earthquake, including for its 14 damaged hydropower stations. Nepal government officials might also take note. There are enormous opportunities to be had from lifting the veil from the great progress that has been made in Nepal. Tell the story, assert climate leadership, tout your ratification of the Paris Agreement, and fully leverage resources from donors and investors to continue the great work.  
 

India’s diplomatic offensive since the Uri attack has led to the isolation of Pakistan and the cancellation of the SAARC summit in Islamabad. Back in Nepal, the current chair of SAARC, the government is being criticised for not doing enough to save the regional forum. High-placed sources say China is keen to assess Nepal’s perception regarding the future of SAARC.

 
 

There is one Buddhist nun everyone in Nepal knows by name - not because she's a religious icon and a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, nor for her work running a girl's school and a hospital for kidney patients.

 
Almost every top political leader, Prime Minister, President and the former King greeted people customarily through public messages, and the latter two also threw open the otherwise heavily guarded gates, for general people to come and exchange greetings.  
 
As Dashai, the main festival of the Hindus with over 80 per cent of the population begins, security forces are beefed up in and around major ‘Shakti’ and ‘Bhairav’ temples where the President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is scheduled to pay a visit on Sunday.  
 

An activist judiciary may make its pronouncements clearer and be far less ambiguous in its approach, but it may also generate a stronger, equally loud and opposite reaction. This is the situation the supreme court of Nepal is facing in the wake of the appointment of a dozen new judges, some of them civil society activists who had earlier worked closely with external donors.

 

In Nepal out of every one in five adults die because of heart diseases. Nepal, like many other countries with similar economy, has seen an exponential growth of heart diseases and other non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases in recent years.

 

Perhaps Dashain is not the right time to discuss something disturbing like this. Ideally, this is the time for family reunion, sharing of joy and spending the days by relishing delicacies. But since we will have to confront these uncomfortable questions in a week’s time anyway, why pretend otherwise?

 

The historic town of Dolakha, nestled in the lap of Gauri Shankhar, has been a strategic entrepôt between Kathmandu Valley, Tibet and Northern India for centuries. It was fabled far and wide for its wealth and stunning natural beauty. The historic mint here used ore from copper mines of the Tama Kosi to make coins for the kingdoms of Tibet and Kathmandu.

 
 


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