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Off The Cuff

NOV 29 -

Whining and dining

Mahesh Basnet, who brought the the Young Communist League (YCL) into prominence, has lately been struggling to secure his place in the Youth Association Nepal. His general secretary Niraj Acharya, who is also a potential candidate for the YAN chief, muddled the issue of work division just ahead of the YAN general convention and leaked the news to the media, forcing Basnet to fend for himself. Basnet, however, is no spring lily. He rallied the media, inviting an army of journalists from major mediahouses to garner support (read: positive coverage) for his campaign. The journalists feasted upon choicest of dishes and imbibed a substantial amount of imported liquor, forgetting conveniently that YAN has a long history of thrashing mediapersons, often at Basnet’s behest. I wonder if any of those journalists even thought twice before downing pegs of Black Label like fish in the water.

— Robert Hook

Better late than never

It is never too late to hold a press conference as officials at the Department of Mines and Geology showed. On Monday, the Department held a press meet for the first time in its 40-year history to announce the 27th international conference on the geology of the Himalayan, Karakoram and Tibet regions. The officials were completely at a loss as to how to go about gathering journalists and so, had to turn to a journalist relative for advice. More interestingly, all of the reporters present at the event were education journalists, not those who deal with environment issues. It looks like the Geology Department would have never gotten an occasion to hold a press meet if the conference had not been held in Nepal.

— DONIB

How right are these rights defenders?

The recently held International Conference on Rights of Migrant Workers proved a disaster in more ways than one. It revealed the patriarchal, dogmatic mentality of many revered faces and showcased how far behind we South Asians are in many respects. Although gathered for the noble cause of defending the rights of migrants, these messiahs viciously defended the government’s unlawful move and even went so far as to defame migrant workers themselves. A statement from the joint secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs topped the list, with his comment that Nepali migrants were “dumb people.” One Indian commissioner justified the age-ban on women, calling them a “vulnerable race.” Yet another representative from Afghanistan publicly slammed the Iranian government as the “most irresponsible government in the world.” The deplorable etiquette of such diverse participants, including luminaries like governmental officials and commissioners of various human rights commissions, paints a grim picture for human rights in South Asia and reveals the deeply held counterproductive, feudal views that many of these so-called ‘saviours’ hide.

— Light

 

Posted on: 2012-11-30 08:42


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