Globalization and Nepal
By Kamala Sarup
Nepal has so much geography against it, e.g., mountains, that I don't see much hope for it taking part in globalization. War adds to the problem by wasting resources.
One way would be to become strong in industries that require no transportation, e.g., software design. However, that requires a good educational system, which Nepal does not have. India, on the other hand, has a good educational system and its people are fluent in English. China has very strong growth and cheap labor at this point in their development. Hence, US, Europe, Japan and other developed countries are investing heavily there.
Software and services, e.g., accounting, call answering, research, etc. are going to India. China is picking up heavy industry.
Women and children in Nepal are the worst victims of the growing violence. Therefore, I want to find ways to lessen the impact of the conflict on women and children and determine what the media can do to create pressure on the warring factions. Women and children are being affected in one form or another both by the political movement as well as by the Maoists conflict. The media could play an important role to mitigate such a situation. Human rights groups have failed to raise the rights for peace of the common people.
It is not unusual for Maoists to show some flexibility to try gaining power without fighting and solve the problem or to achieve their goals through political and diplomatic means, which they failed to attain through battle. The Maoist position in Marxist language is "if the anarchical activities are not solved in time through peaceful means, the country and the people will have to bear a great loss of lives and property." Therefore, all should go for solving the problem. Talk is certainly the best thing, and if all the sides could sit down at the negotiating table it would be easier to reach to an agreement. For that the process for talks must be started immediately.
I have recently started looking at Nepal again after a hiatus of several weeks. Why? I personally have high hopes that all the parties, government and Maoists concerned will work out that which they have been discussing, particularly the ongoing economic issues.
The large earthquake a couple of months ago in Pakistan has created an effective zone of non-control by the government of General Musharraf. The most effective aid workers to the tens of thousands of displaced people there have been terrorists.
There remains a strong possibility that radicals will attempt in the near future to use the ancient "hash trail" to smuggle WMD contraband past the noses of the authorities in India and Bangladesh. Nepal sits astride this route.
There is quite a bit of geopolitical jockeying going on between India, China, Pakistan, the USA and the UK, not to mention Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran, all of whom have power and interest considerations in play depending on what happens in Nepal and neighboring Bhutan, two quaint religious Kingdoms, one Hindu, one Buddhist. Thus, the great game is getting a bit complicated. It just so happens that the helpless people of Nepal, particularly the poor women and children there, are smack dab in the middle of all this Master of the Universe stuff.
The New Terrorists have as far as I can determine become members of all religions, sects, cults, etc. No help there. You cannot reliably use appearance as a guide.
Kamala Sarup has been nominated as Universal Peace Ambassador (2006) in the framework of the Universal Peace Ambassadors Circle, Geneva Switzerland and is an editor of http://peacejournalism.com/
* The views of Opinion writers do not necessarily reflect the views of NewsBlaze
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