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  Focus News (2006):



* Nation-wide Campaign for Cooperative Feasts Launched


“When the labour, skills and blood of Dalits are useful with no barriers to touch, why is the water from them of no use and untouchable?” This is the question that the Central Committee of Nepal Rastriya Dalit Mukti Sangathan, a national level Dalit organization is raising while steering a campaign for organizing a “cooperative feast” with the participation of people from all castes. The organizer of the campaign Rarendra Baraily, who is also the President of the organization has said, “The purpose of this campaign is to eradicate the practice of untouchability deep rooted in the society, despite the fact that the evil practice has been abolished by New Mulukin Ain (New Civil Penal Code) of Nepal.


“Following launching of the nation-wide campaign, as series of “cooperative feasts” have been organized in various parts of Chitwan, Makawanpur and Dang Districts so far. Read more in this story in the box below in Nepali text.



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Tribute to Human Rights Defender Dayaram Pariyar


Dalit communities of Nepal mourn with grief of the tragic death of Human Rights Defender Dayaram Pariyar, who was killed by the Nepal Police men when they fired indiscriminately in Janakpur last Friday evening the March 24th, and also deplore the heavy handedness and lawlessness of the police under the current autocratic regime.  As reported by Dilip Kumar Nepali from Jagaran Media Center in Kathmandu, Pariyar sustained gunshot injuries, and passed away at night on Monday while undergoing treatment at TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu.


Paying tribute to Pariyar, Moderator of the nepaldalitinfo Moderator Laurie Vasily said, “This is terribly sad news, please pass along more detailed information when it's possible and let Mr. Pariyar’s family know that people all over the world are mourning his death.”, while the network Founder Dr. DP Rasali also expressed deep sense of his sympathy to the bereaved family.


The current autocratic regime is fully responsible for the killing Human Rights Activist Pariyar, who was killed when he was on his duty from National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) serving people and defending their rights. The nepaldalitinfo network urges all national and international communities to declare him a martyr of the Himalayan nation. 



(Photo: Bikash Karki) reports: Human rights activists and relatives of late Pariyar paid their last tributes to Pariyar at the NHRC premises, Lalitpur on Tuesday.





World Social Forum (WSF) 2006 held in Karachi:


Dalit Movement of Nepal makes its mark holding a special program


March 27, 2006; World Social Forum, Karachi Pakistan – Nepali delegates in the World Social Forum (WSF) held here has organized a program today.  The program was attended so many distinguished and international personalities, dalit activists and delegates from Nepal as well as many other countries. The International media as well as many foreign participants attended the program with interest.  In the event, Mr. Moti lal Nepali, Chairperson of Dalit welfare Organization, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal presented a paper on Dalit Movement In Nepal”. He in his paper, portrayed the Dalits’ situation in Nepal and the problems they are facing due to the discrimination meted out to them by the so-called upper cast people.  The paper was commented by the following international delegates:  1. Mr. Ashok Bharati – Indian Dalit Activist, 2. Mr. Paul Diwakar – National president, NCDHR India, 3. Mr. Mukul Sharama – Convener WDF, 4. Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti – Him Rights Nepal,  5. Dr. Arjun Karki – NGO federation Nepal, 6. Mr. Kishore Patel – President kotti Association Pakistan (Advocate), 7. Mr. Jeremy Corbyn – MP British Parliament and others.
>>> More on this story




International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) Formed

Commission announced on the eve of 43rd International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


March 20, 2006; London (UK). The International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR), an independent and impartial international institution for dalit rights has been instituted with a mission to promote humanity, self-dignity and justice. This has been announced today in a press release by the Secretary General of the Commission DB 'Sagar' Bishwakarma on the 43rd International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.


“We remember the 1960 massacre of 69 civilians from Sharpeville, South Africa by the police force at a peaceful protest against apartheid.  But 43 years on, nearly 260 million Dalit people worldwide and especially in South Asia, Japan (Buraku) and parts of Africa, are still suffering from segregation, modern-day slavery, "untouchability", and other forms of discrimination and physical violation.  Every year, thousands of Dalits are missing, killed and tortured by the so-called dominant/ruling caste because of their so-called "low caste" or descent. Racism and casteism are two sides of one coin. Caste imposes enormous obstacles to the full accomplishment of socio-economic, civil and political rights. However, the global human rights and social justice movements have failed to address casteism and related intolerance.“, says the release.


The release further says, “There is an urgent need for this movement to promote justice and dignity for the world’s poorest and most victimized Dalits at international level, focusing on caste or descent based discriminations. ICDR advocates the formulation of affirmative action policies and the implementation of international laws, principles and programs aimed at eliminating caste or work and descent-based discrimination, poverty and works as a monitoring watchdog, both at the national and international levels.”


“Social exclusion, extreme poverty and conflict are closely associated with caste discrimination in South Asia. Dalits, women and other ethnic minorities have been misused and victimized by the state security and Maoists in Nepal's decade-long arm conflict. Nepal’s democracy, freedom and human rights are increasingly under threat. The ICDR has condemned the Nepal's government restrictions over politics, the media, civil society and harassment for Dalit Activists. We urge the United Nations and the international community to advocate for the restoration of inclusive democracy and civil liberty in Nepal.”, the release adds.


The ICDR, in all its sincerity, appeals to the international community, Dalit/human rights defenders, Dalit Solidarity Networks, Dalits and pro-Dalit national and international institutions, media, academics and other similar institutions/forums to join hands to integrate the Dalit Rights movement with the global human rights and social justice movements.


Finally, the Commission affirming the fact that the struggle against injustice and casteism is not yet won, calls for all concerned to start working collectively with mutual understanding and respect at all levels. 

[Report by ICDR/ nepaldalitinfo special correspondent]



“Fighting everyday racism”, UN theme for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.


Kathmandu 20 March, Kathmandu – “Fighting everyday racism” is the theme chosen this year to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In Nepal, this is a crucial day to reflect on the impact that racial discrimination has on the lives of all Nepalese. It is also an opportunity to commit to action to address and eliminate such hindering practices.

“Fighting racism and discrimination should not be seen as a campaign of charity but one of social justice that is needed for the economic and social progress of Nepal,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Matthew Kahane. “Discriminating any group of people ignores a critical mass of human potential and closes doors to development.”

Racism in Nepal particularly affects members of the Dalit and indigenous as well as refugees and other ethnic communities.

Caste-based discrimination has been recognized as a critical problem worldwide, with particular impact in South Asia. Its causes and effects are deep-seated and need to be addressed in a comprehensive way, by governments, non-governmental organizations and communities.


Nepal has international and domestic legal obligations to take action to eliminate caste-based discrimination,” said UN Resident Coordinator Matthew Kahane. “But today, we would like to focus on the issue of everyday racism and on how we can all take action to address what should be considered a great challenge to all Nepalese, women and men, girls and boys, from all walks of life.”


In villages, towns and cities, in the mountains and in the Terai, there are large numbers of Nepalese who suffer daily racial discrimination. The effect is devastating: loss of opportunities for education, health services, work and earning livelihoods, and access to community resources such as land and water.

Schools can be a place, which facilitate positive awareness, interaction and exchange of cultural differences as a way to oppose discrimination. Learning environments free from racial discrimination can nurture equality and the sense of social solidarity.


In the workplace, treating colleagues with respect and dignity and providing all with opportunities to perform and improve is the absolute minimum to be expected.

“Today, is a day for all of us to stop and think about what we could do to help eliminate racial discrimination in our communities: in the schools, the workplaces, in the village and towns. Small actions may trigger big changes,” said Kahane. Source:




* Dalit woman activist Gajmer named Member Secretary of National Women Commission


Ambika Gajmer, a Dalit woman activist has been named as Member Secretary of National Women Commission in Nepal with other five members of the Commission including Bandana Rana as its Chair. Ms. Gajmer is central general secretary of Feminist Dalit Organization, treasurer of Dalit NGO federation and central member of NGO federation. She has a record of more than a decade of dedicated social work for the emancipation of women in general and Dalit women in particular.


The nomination of a Dalit woman leader in the high position of Member Secretary of the Commission is definitely an achievement for Dalit movement in Nepal; it can be viewed as a result of continued pressure from Nepalese Dalit movement, international community, rights organizations, press and civil society for inclusive governance. However, some quarters within Dalit intellectual circle have viewed her appointment under the current autocratic direct monarchial rule in the country as ploy to sway Dalit leaderships away from the current movement for restoration of democracy in the country.


The National Womean Commission was institutionalized in Nepal during the tenure of democratically elected Prime Minister Ser Bahadur Deuba, before he was dismissed by King Gyanendra.



Editorial in The Kathmandu Post
(Kathmandu, March 8, 2006)


Peril of Dalits


"There can be no practice uglier than the caste system, one that continues to oppress a huge chunk of population."


The country has retained the centuries-old caste system due to weak legislative provisions that discriminate Dalits in every sphere of life, including religious practices and access to land and education. The other day, a mass of high caste-locals severely beat four Dalits and verbally abused media persons, rights activists and a former parliamentarian who had gone to conduct a on-the-spot probe after the Dalits were denied access to a local well in the capital. Victim Nani Maya Nepali, who was denied access to the well, had lodged a complaint at a local NGO. Although the NGO took the case to the Lalitpur Police Office, the media persons, rights activists and a former parliamentarian had to intervene into the matter to let the Dalits have access to the well at Bungamati. Now, two agreements signed in the presence of deputy superintendent of police allow Dalits to use the local well. However, such agreements will never put an end to the age-old caste practices permanently.


On paper, legal protections for Dalit community are strong. Under the Civil Liberty Act of 1954, unequal treatment of Dalits by the government is prohibited. Section 01A of the Civil Code also prohibits some forms of discrimination against Dalits but it excludes religious places. In August 2001, the Bill to Uplift and Protect Dalits was introduced in the Parliament and the National Dalits Commission was created. Unfortunately, five years down the line, the legislation has gathered enough dust. This legislation, which would have protected Dalits from abuse by the upper caste, may not see itself enacted since the government has failed to enforce the existing legislation, including basic provisions of criminal laws. Still, Dalits are denied from entering temples, fetching water from public wells. They have been living in segregated neighborhoods. They have been denied economic and political benefits. It is obvious the caste system has been taking a huge toll on them. It is estimated that 21 percent of the country's population are Dalits. The government can neither ignore such a huge population nor has it been able to take any radical move to integrate this population into the mainstream yet. The discrimination ranges from food and drink to prohibition on entry into houses, temples and public places. Dalits also suffer from unfair wage system. There can be no practice uglier than the caste system, one that continues to oppress a huge chunk of population. It is high time the government realized this stark reality and enacted the legislation to put an end to centuries-old caste system permanently.


Source: Posted on: 2006-03-07 20:22:44 (Server Time)



* The Social Inclusion Research Fund established in Nepal includes Dalit theme


Dalit research has been included under a Group Specific Theme for research grants offered by the Social Inclusion Research Fund. The Fund has been established to address the challenges of social inclusion/exclusion in Nepal as identified by a study conducted on social inclusion and nation building. The social inclusion and nation building that focuses on structural inequalities and their implications for building a more inclusive groups and civil society organisations to advocate their interests to influence parts of the research agenda. The Research Fund also aims to facilitate the dissemination of critical discourses related to the outcome of the research programmes, as well as allowing for advocacy groups to use the research results for their own purpose. The research fund is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and managed by SNV/Nepal.


The Social Inclusion Research Fund will primarily function as a financing institution inviting applications and granting support. The fund will operate grants to achieve the different identified outputs.


Under the Dalit Group Specific Theme, three categories of the proposals seeking research grants from The Fund are 1. Dalit skill technologies and their perspectives, 2. Sociological study, and 3. Religious and cultural problems of Dalits. For more information on components of the Fund, procedure & guidelines, announcements for grant proposal and other details, go to:


* Dalit activists thrash out protection and promotion of Dalit rights with Human Rights Cell of Nepal Police
Cops promise 10 minute time action


On 31st January 06, a delegation of Dalit activists discussed with the officials of Human Rights Cell of Nepal Police on the various aspects of the discrimination against Dalit and how that can be overcome through mutual cooperation. The outcome of the meeting was very positive as both side agreed to exchange ideas and experiences and report to the cell any incident of the violation of Dalit Human Rights and the concerned officials promised to take a necessary action within 10 minute time. The delegation of five lead by General Secretary of Dalit NGO Federation Mr. Gajadhar Sunar had a cordial meeting at Nepal Police headquarters in Naxal Kathmandu. Other members of the team were Mr. Hira Vishwakarma (Team Leader of DEIP), Mr. Birendra BK (Programme Officer DEIP), Mr. Chakraman Vishwakarma (General Secretary of DWO) and Mrs. Gomati Sunar (Advocate, DNF). From the Nepal Police side, the Chief of Human Rights Cell Mr. Pushkar Karki (Dy. Superintendent of Police), Mr. Sabin Pradhan (Inspector) and Chief of Central Women and Children Service Centre under Crime Investigation department Ms. Parvati Thapa (Superintendent of Police) participated in the discussion. >>> More


Special Focus Report:
(Also appeared in Mulyankan)


* Rajako Shasanma Chhuwachhut [Untouchability under King's Direct Rule] - An investigative report by Dilip Kumar Nepali


"It is a social tradition; there exists a social law as well. So, it cannot go away at once. It will go away gradually".
  This was the reply from the visiting King, when a local dalit activist Birendra Kumar Nepali appraised him of the outrageous situation of untouchability in Doti area in the remote Far-West Region. The King was then on a royal tour to oversee the living conditions of the people in the remote rural areas of the Region. Earlier, the Government had built separate drinking water taps for non-dalits and dalits in the area. Non-dalits have well built taps in the clean spots, while dalits are forced to use taps built in the spots where trashes and garbages of the locals are dumped. More atrociously, the non-dalit locals, showing their hatredness to local dalits, have defecated and urinated on the taps built by the Government for Dalits. As a result, the Dalit women and children have to go down the hills miles away to fetch water from spring water spouts- it takes more than half a day for a child to fetch a gallon of water. On a day, when any of a Dalit family could not head out for fetching water, borrowing some water (maybe a jug or two) from another neighbour Dalit family is the only way the family members could quench their thirst for that day. >> Full Report [in Nepali]
English Translation of the fulltext


* Nepal's apex court nullifies discriminatory provision for admitting only Brahmins to publicly funded Tindhara hostel facility


The Supreme Court of Nepal declared the discriminatory provision of admitting only adult Batuk Brahmins to publicly funded Tindhara Sanskrit Hostel under Mahendra Sanskrit University as nullified, declaring it as contravening the provision of equality laid down in the Constitution of Kingdom of Nepal 1990.

Details in Reports:
   The apex court nullifies discrimination in admission into Tindhara Pathshala hostel [in English]
    Sarbochha Adalat Dwara Sanskrit University Ko Naunma Nirdeshanatmak Adhesh Jari [in Nepali]


* Social Committee of FNCCI commits to be more Inclusive for Dalits


<<< Interaction Program at FNCCI


An interaction programme between the Social Committee of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Dalit NGO Federation was organized on 23 January 06 to promote the inclusion of Dalits within the programme and structure of the country's largest network of industrialists and traders. A total of 31 participants were present in the programme which had the representation of various officials of different committees within FNCCI, DNF, DEIP and DWO. A two hour long programme discussed the various aspects of Dalit inclusion.


Mr. Lok Bikram Thapa, Chairperson of the Social Committee welcomed the participants and Hira Vishwakarma, Team Leader of Dalit Empowerment and Inclusion Project (DEIP) highlighted the situation of Dalits and their deplorable conditions. Since privatization and globalization has been the prime focus of the liberal democratic governments there are less and less jobs available in the government sector therefore, there is a need for private and business sector to be more inclusive. He also distributed to the participants an article on "Private Sector and Inclusion of Dalits" which indeed served as the concept paper for the interaction. His deliberation was followed by an interview of Mr. Rajendra Khetan, the first vice president of FNCCI and Nepal's leading industrialist on Sahayatra TV programme. In his interview Mr. Khetan has highlighted the need to be more inclusive for Dalits. He emphasized that if our immediate neighbor is hungry it should be our responsibility to feed him. He also informed that in his industry there are about 3% employees from Dalits and in the future he wants to increase upto 15%.


It was very interesting to note that within FNCCI there are various committees, projects and programme having significant number of females either heading the programmes or being entrepreneurs themselves. All of them appreciated the programme and have committed that they will look for Dalit candidates for their programmes and projects they will do in future. They have also requested the Dalit organizations to supply them lists of Dalits having various skills both practical and academic qualifications.


Mr. Jagmahendra Goyal from Nepal Rastriya Marwari Parisad stated that members of Marwari community in Nepal do know very little about Dalits and non-Dalits as they hardly care whether the person they are employing is a Dalit or non-Dalit. He expressed his commitment that he is ready to organize a similar interaction between the members of the central committees and Dalit organizations so that both can mutually benefit.


Mr. Bibekman Karmacharya from Bhaktapur district FNCCI emphasized the need of organizing such programmes at the district level so that the officials and representatives of the business sector will be more sensitized and plan programmes to benefit Dalits living in those districts and he is ready to start such initiative in his district. He stated that many Dalits are artisan and produce many goods and items and may have problems in marketing in which network like FNCCI could be of help.


Mrs. Shanti Chadda informed that there are units in 34 districts of Nepal which aim to empower women through enterprise development and they are very much willing to include Dalit women. Dalit organizations need to supply the list of women who want to benefit from their programmes.


Mr. Dhrubaraj Joshi from Cottage and small industries department informed that Nepal Hastakala Udhyog Sangh is the umbrella organization of 42 handicraft producing industries and can be of resources to Dalit organizations who want to engage in the handicraft business. His organization can market the product produced by Dalit enterpreneurs, provide trainings to enhance skills and so on.


Ms. Hema KC from MEDEP of UNDP emphasized the urgency from the side of FNCCI to start inclusion of Dalits. She stated that we have already crossed a stage of asking whether to adopt inclusion or not, and such programmes should have been organized not in the initiation of DNF/DEIP but in the initiation of FNCCI itself.


Mr. Gajadhar Sunar, General Secretary of DNF thanked all the participants and FNCCI on behalf of DNF and reiterated the need of having such interactions more in the future. Mr. Lokbikram Thapa, the convenor of the interaction concluded the programme with a note that this was just the beginning and his committee will organize more programme with increased solidarity with the Dalit organizations and inclusion within FNCCI.
Report by Hira Vishwakarma


* A Delegation of Nepal’s Dalit Movement Meets Indian Ambassador


A delegation lead by Mr. Omprakash Ramdam Vishwakarma, the President of Nepal India Dalit Friendship Association, had a cordial and friendly meeting with His Excellency Mr. Shivshankar Mukharjee, the Ambassador of India at his office today at 11:30am. Other members of the delegation were Mr. Ratna Bagchan, General Secretary of the Association, Mr. Gajadhar Sunar, General Secretary of Dalit NGO Federation, Mr. Hira Vishwakarma, Advisor of DNF and Mrs. Mithai Devi Vishwakarma, Dalit Women Leader and recipient of Ambedkar International Award for 2005.

After a brief introduction of the delegation, a special letter (the text of the letter is given below) was read and presented to the Ambassador followed by about 20 minutes of discussion about the contemporary issues and problems of Dalits of Nepal. Ambassador has promised the members of the delegation that he would respond to the request made within a week time. He assured, he is very much positive about the problems and issues of Dalits, and Indian embassy through its project can consider for their benefit. He further reiterated that a project that would benefit Dalits living in villages can be submitted to the Embassy, and without any delay such projects can be considered by his office.

He was informed that about 35 years ago, Nepalese Dalits were benefiting from the scholarships provided by Government of
India to acquire college education in Allahabad through the courtesy of Late Jagjiwan Ram. He further enquired about its discontinuation. The delegation informed that there was some misuse, as a few none Dalits were also sent, as during that time educated Dalits were hardly available. He has assured the delegation that he will look into the matter.

It was a pity for all of those engaged in the Dalit movement for not having been able to draw the adequate attention of Indian Government through the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu so far for long time. The meeting of the delegation today, it is hoped, will prove to be a milestone in this regard. There is a great need from all from the side of Dalit Movement of Nepal to follow this up continuously. Special thanks go to Mr. Omprakash Ramdam for his tireless efforts to materialize this initiation. [Report contributed by Hira Vishwakarma,
Jan. 9, 2006]

The Text of the letter presented to Indian Ambassador


3 January 2006


Your Excellency Shivshankar Mukharjee

Indian Ambassador to Nepal                                                          

Indian Embassy

Lainchaur, Kathmandu



Subject: Dalit agenda of Nepal and mutual cooperation



Your Excellency,


Nepal and India have very friendly and brotherly relations not only at the state to state level but at the people to people level as well. So as Nepalese Dalits have the relations with the Indian Dalits. Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi lead by one of the prominent literary figure of India Dr. Sohanpal Sumakashar confers international Ambedkar awards to encourage the Nepalese Dalit movement and our organization Nepal India Dalit Friendship Organization has been working as a pool to strengthen our areas of mutual cooperation and understanding.


It is our great pleasure to note that about 3 decades ago Indian embassy used to provide scholarship to Nepalese Dalits to acquire college education in India which due to some reasons could not continue. We appreciate very much the bilateral support provided by the Government of India through Indian embassy for the development of Nepal. We the Dalits of Nepal are very keen to establish both friendly and brotherly relations you’re your good office so that we can benefit mutually. During our auspicious meeting with your Excellency we would like to discuss on the following matters.


  1. Dalits of Nepal comprise one fifth of the total population and we have been struggling for our rights and dignity for the last 6 decades. Like other social and political movement of Nepal, it be regarded as separate struggle.
  2. Explore the areas of mutual cooperation and enhance the exchange of visits between the leaders of Dalit movement of the two countries.
  3. Nepalese Dalits be regarded as specific beneficiaries of all bilateral support between Nepal and India.
  4. Reservation being one of the major issues of Dalit movement, government of India also provide support to this.
  5. Scholarship quota for Nepalese Dalit student especially on technical education in the area of medical, engineering, management and social sciences.


We very much look forward to your audience and with warm anticipation I remain.


Yours sincerely,




Om Prakash Ramdam

President, Nepal India Dalit Friendship Association