Saturday, February 05, 2005

Pretty Pictures Break

Take a break, enjoy. More postings and political vitriol to follow. If you like any of these, let me know and I'll blow them up to full size on the next posting.
-=blogdai

Clockwise from upper left: Kongde Massif, Namche houses, Dark sunset over Kathmandu, Sunset over Pumori, Porters, Tibetans with candles at Boudinath Posted by Hello


20 Comments:

At 7:17 PM, February 05, 2005, Blogger Fadereu said...

blogdai, we'd love to have you over at Dogs Without Borders (CSF). We were the people who gave the first-person reports from Sri Lanka and South India when no one could...

send me an email fadereu (AT) gmail DOT com so I can send you a membership...

How come your lines are open?

 
At 9:12 PM, February 05, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Are you a journalist in Kathmandu? Would you happen to know anyone in the media community? email me sanjaythelostboy@gmail.com

 
At 9:36 PM, February 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai, How can we contact tour operators in Nepal? A friend and I are supposed to do the Manaslu Circuit trek in mid March and we haven't been able to contact our tour operator, Kumar Basnet at Adventure Fairsteps Holiday Tour & Treks. The business telephone is 977-1-4352212, but of course the lines are not working. If things are safe in KTM in March, we am still planning to go, but I really need to talk to Kumar before I decide what to do. Are folks in Nepal still receiving snail mail? Do you suggest mailing him a letter? I've tried sending email, but it keeps bouncing back. Any advice greatly appreciated. I love Nepal- I've been there 3 times- and I want to come spend my $$ there on trekking, but I've got to talk to Kumar to decide. Thanks! Trekhigh (from Denver, CO)

P.S. Do you think communications will be open anytime soon?

 
At 9:39 PM, February 05, 2005, Blogger sudeep said...

Wow !! nice pictures.. :-)

 
At 12:09 AM, February 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a break, enjoyed the pictures.

But still, the question remains unanswered, could you please tell us when at least the telephone lines, the international ones, will be restored? So at least we can call ourselves to our beloved ones? Or mail them?
Any suggestion?

 
At 1:29 AM, February 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came across your blog while looking for news on Nepal. Our good friend, Dhan Bahadur Tiwari is currently at home in Pokhara visiting his wife Bimkala and their 2 children. Dhan Bahadur lives the better part of the year in Florence, Italy, where he works as a cook. We would like to have word that he and his family are ok. Maybe we can initiate whatever needs to be done so that he can come back here - together with his family this time - and be safe. He has told us many times of having to hide and escape from their home because of Maoist rebels in their area. We are very concerned.

 
At 3:02 AM, February 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop giving private details to this person. It seems he is some sort of an undercover agent.

 
At 6:27 AM, February 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People, People..

Do not give out any personal details to this person. He is not what he appears to be and he has surely got some hidden purpose behind all of this. He has been posting messages in numerous websites encouraging people to ask him for assistance. And now he has starting publishing all this propaganda. DO NOT TRUST THIS PERSON, we don't even know his/her name.

Also, see this post for more info.

 
At 7:36 AM, February 06, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Oh Relax, it seems that we all have spent our lives watching bad television.

Ask yourself, what evil purpose is there in establishing a line of communiction to a cut-off nation? All the embassies in Nepal have this capability and their people are calling their loved ones as we speak. They do not open this service to the public because they would be overwhelmed. People are already standing in line at their embassies in Kathmandu trying to get word out. Some succeed, some do not. Go ahead, try to call or e-mail your embassy in Kathmandu; see what I mean? Plus, the diplomatic community has various security protocols that probably do not allow them to act as a mass-communications outlet.

When I start asking for credit card numbers, then you should worry.

Look, blogdai feels lucky to be able to offer this type of help. There is no conspiracy, I am an agent for no one.
-=blogdai

 
At 8:11 AM, February 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have nothing to hide, please identify yourself with credible evidence. It is not right that you encourage people to reveal their identities while you keep yours secret. And please also tell us how exactly you establish your contacts.

 
At 9:55 AM, February 06, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

I don't really agree with all those people want Blogdai to identify him/herself. If he'she is genuine then this could prove to be quite a secrutiy threat. So can we stop talking about that?

What I want to ask is how is Blogdai going to find all these people? Some people will give him phone numbers Some people may give him addresses. Some people will give him just names, like this (taken off a post) ...Dhan Bahadur Tiwari is currently at home in Pokhara visiting his wife Bimkala and their 2 children... So how exactly is Blogdai going to find this person? Is he going to search the entire Pokhara for this person? Please understand. Whoever posted info like this, your concern is justified but there's realy no one who's going to be able to look for people based in info like this.

Even if i give Blogdai a phone number what's he going to do? He himself says many phone lines are not working. What's he going to do? Drive around the countryside looking for these people?

I know what it is like because just after the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka many people emailed me and asked me to look for people. And in many of the cases I had to apologise and say I couldn't do it because there was no way I was going get in a car and drive around looking for people. Sorry, I wish I could've done it. But it was just not feasible.

So Blogdai may have noble intentions. But I seriously doubt how effective he can be.

Sorry.

 
At 10:00 AM, February 06, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Here's a suggestion. You say there are people standing outside embassies trying to get info out to their loved ones. Why don't you go there and get some of that info and then come and publish it online? I'm sure they can't have anything against that. That seems to be the most realistic thing for you to do at this time. Instead of looking for 'lost' individuals in a not-very-methodical way. It's seems your work would be much more of a success and you'd be helping out a lot more people.

Think about it Blogdai.

 
At 11:29 AM, February 06, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Thanks Morquendi and all.

You are right about revealing information in this forum. Specific methods and names are not relevant to this project-only results. Security is an issue, both for our field staff and those we are trying to find.

There are no guarantees that blogdai can find anyone. This is an attempt. For security reasons, those requesting word from people in very rural areas of Nepal are not acted upon; small-town attention attracts Maoists.

So, a brief hint for you doubting Thomases:

Security of the person we are contacting in Nepal is the number one concern. We do our best to scrutinize each person asking for information about someone. This is where danger lies. Anyone with any motive could be looking for someone in Nepal. When contact is made, the person contacted is given the name and e-mail address of the person requesting info. The contacted person can then decide whether or not to respond. This, combined with other techniques helps insure the safety of the person in Nepal.

We have a second method in place that is similar to your idea of the embassy. Repeat, similar. No embassy staff personnel are involved.

Let's do a little research here. Word is getting out of Nepal and it is not that difficult to see how this is being accomplished.
-=blogdai

 
At 2:31 PM, February 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there. I don't know if you can be of any help in this regard, but there are many people from around the world who are in various stages of the process of adopting children from Nepal. At this time we are unable to communicated with the facilitators or the people who are caring for our children. The process has been in delay for many months. For example, I was there in May and met my son and was told I would be able to come back and bring him home in 2 months. Still I do not have my son. Many cases have been stuck in the CDO in Kathmandu for long months. Since we are unable to get information at this time, I wonder if you have any way of finding out if the CDO and ministry will continue to process these cases and if there will be further delays because of the King's recent actions? I would appreciate any information or thought that you might have. Thank you.

 
At 2:45 AM, February 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my! I hope I have not put my friend in danger. See what happens when communication is cut off? People do drastic things.

 
At 5:12 AM, February 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well to cut out the cloak and dagger stuff well just got news from kathmandu valley first hand as of MOnday 7/2/05 that all is well and absolutely normal in the valley normal as in there are no riots in ratna park & putlisadak as we had daily over the last 2 years ...the only affected ones are the politicians..Phone lines are cut out temporarly and service is
enabled only localy, but today's Kathmandu post
announced that even inbound calls from abroad will be
enabled soon. All together much about nothing, so
let's hope that a program announced by King will work
at least to stop thousand and one political rally
every week, so people can run business. Promises are
high, but if they will do at least a minimum will be
something.

 
At 5:19 AM, February 07, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

confirmed. Those of us who visit, live and work in Nepal know that the western media, in order to get everyones attention, tends to sensationalize events on the ground. One American breathlessly said that "things are far worse than anticipated" in a news article yesterday. Thanks for the update -=blogdai

 
At 12:17 PM, February 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear that the international phone lines and email are back up now. This should partly allay some people's fears but of course not others.

Some people seem to enjoy living in fear and a world full of conspiracies - that's aimed at those who think blogdai is some sort of malevolent agent of the CIA. Actually, I reckon he's an alien from outer space who has abducted the king and replaced him with a doppleganger, who is his de facto mouthpiece.

Come on fellow Nepalis it's time to put on a brave united front or are we inherently incapable of doing that. The deed has been done and there's no point crying over spilt milk. There is everything to gain and all to lose. Rather this than the slow suffocating death Nepal was going through.

 
At 12:51 PM, February 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Himalayan Times Online
Printed from www.thehimalayantimes.com

 
Phone services resume; Internet to follow today
 
Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, February 7:
The government has resumed landline telephone services including STD and ISD. It will also resume Internet services from tomorrow. Wireless communication services like UTL (United Telecom Ltd) and mobiles, however, will remain on the blink until a comprehensive evaluation of the current security situation is done.
Services resumption was decided by the security coordination meeting held at the Royal Nepalese Army Headquarters today. Over 30 Internet Service Providers have reportedly been given directives to ensure that certain websites, including that of the Maoists, are blocked. “Except for UTL and mobile, all national and international telephone and internet services will resume,” secretary for Information and Communication, Mukanda Sharma Poudel told this daily. STD and ISD services resumed from early this evening.
Apart from Poudel, secretary of defence Bishnu Dutta Upreti, secretary of home Chandi Prasad Shrestha, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Pyar Jung Thapa, RNA generals and inspector generals of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force, Shyam Bhakta Thapa and Shahabir Thapa respectively were present at the meeting to discuss current security affairs. The meeting lasted about two hours. The government plans to resume all disrupted services including UTL and mobile after evaluating development, according to officials. All means of communication including telephone, mobile technology and UTL services were disrupted since February 1 after the King’s takeover.
“Landline service has resumed from today, and internet too will be resumed shortly,” said army spokesperson, Brigadier General Dipak Kumar Gurung, adding, “However, the Security Administration Sub-Committee will periodically evaluate the situation.”
Meanwhile, General Thapa held a meeting with Indian ambassador to Nepal, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, at the RNA headquarters. “The Army chief apprised the Indian envoy of the current situation,” a senior army official at headquarters said. The COAS is learnt to have told Mukherjee that “Nepal expects India to continue with the military aid it was providing RNA” and the envoy said he would apprise his government of the current situation.
India has been providing military aid to RNA on a 70:30 ratio (30 per cent paid by Nepal government) in the purchase of military hardware from India. Apart from Advanced Light Helicopters to RNA, India has also provided Land Mine Protected Vehicles and other military equipment in the past.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramesh Nath Pandey said Nepal’s international relations which had been dormant for the last five had now become galvanised and active after the changes in the political situation here. He said this after meeting ambassadors and heads of various foreign missions at his office. Those who met him are ambassadors of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Norway, South Korea and Australia to Nepal. The United Nations Development Programme resident representative, Matthew Kahane, and EU heads of mission also met the minister.
Pandey said, “Nepal’s international relations that had been dormant for the last five years have now become active.” He said he “apprised foreign diplomats of the political developments and the reasons behind the King’s compulsion to take such a step.”

THE HIMALAYAN TIMES PUBLICATION.

 
At 2:07 PM, February 07, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

There you have it. The Himalayan Times is an Indian sponsored paper. It mostly gets the story correct, although it has taken a lot of criticism from the citizens of Nepal. As soon as Kunda Dixit and the Nepali Times comes on line with the same story, I'll feel better.

I tend to agree with the renewed sense of international communication between this new government and the diplomatic community in Nepal. No one, repeat, no one felt comfortable dealing with the Nepali government under Deuba. Foreign aid was becoming increasingly conditioned on actual performance if not cancelled outright. Plus, the news that G.P. Koirala was considering a run for PM again (at 87) confirmed to the international community that Nepal was not a place with a serious sense of governmental responsibility.

Thanks for this good information.
-=blogdai

 

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