Nepali Diaspora in Australia
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 6 Sep 2010
Bishnu Pathak, PhD, Peace and Conflict Study Center – TRANSCEND Media Service
“Om Bhur Bhuvaha Svaha Om Tat Savithur Varenyam; Bhargo Dhevasya
Dheemahi; Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat… (The word that is God the almighty; God who is eternal, embodiment of vital or spiritual energy; God who is the creator, destroyer of suffering; God who is independent, embodiment of happiness, that eternal God; That creative principle of light manifested through Sun; That Supreme God propagated by the highest Gods; That light that bestows wisdom, bliss and everlasting life; The light of that effulgent God; we mediate; May our intellect; Be directed by that lord, towards illumination….)”
The above mentioned short invocation of the Gayathri Manthr[i] is a common spirit of all Nepali living in Australia, particularly Nepali residing in Grandville[ii]. This Mantra was playing at the Pujakotha, (worship room) of Mr. Goba Katuwal on Saturday July 10, 2010 at 8.15 hours while I arrived. On the door of the Pujakotha, a computer typed Matters not to be Forgotten by the Humans, (Nepali) collected by his wife, (Ms. Bishnu Katuwal) has been pasted in front of the living room, (See box 1). I went there respecting their invitation for breakfast from the neighborhood house of Mr. Bharat Pant and Ms. Shanta Pant, (Sangroulla). Shanta has also decorated the Pujakotha with the photographs of Shiva, Bishnu, Devi, etc at the ground floor of her house. Nepali, most of the time, speak Nepali and eat the traditional Nepali food such as; dal, bhat, tarkari and achar for the evening meal.
The Katuwal[iii] and Pant[iv] families migrated to Sydney from the Ilam[v] and Jhapa districts[vi] respectively. Both families took this course to search for better education, job opportunities and a bright future for their children, but would not leave their cultural beliefs and practices behind.
It means the behavioral and structural context shall easily be changed, but not the attitude guided by the identity. After the down fall of communism (romanticized controlled democracy) in the former USSR, the identity factor is revealed within the electoral-liberal dogmas democracy (emperor model capitalism). The identity referring to the castes, ethnicities, classes, genders, regions, religions, cultures and languages[vii] for example. Identity seeks to ensure a set of individual behavioral and structural characteristics by which a person is recognizable as a member of a society or community. Identity is the freedom from risk or danger, anxiety or fear, exclusion or sanction, injustice or discrimination, and hunger or famine[viii]. After the decline of communist ideology, the present world is more divided along the lines of religions, regions, cultures, developed and developing nations with both individual and group identity.
The researcher visited Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney to participate at the TRANSCEND Global Meeting; “Enabling Peace: Pedagogy and Training”, in early July 2010. The meeting was approved to establish the TRANSCEND Peace University (TPU), South Asia Regional Chapter, the first ever in Nepal. While I visited John Street in Grandville, in the New South Wales Sydney, I found a total of 12 Nepali families including; Pant and Katuwal families, Mr. Uttam Adhikari, Mr. Nares Thapa, Mr. Balchandra, Mr. Sagar Shrestha, Mr. Ashok Hirachan, Mr. Nanda Gurung, Mr. Dhruba Subedi, Mr. Dambar Shrestha, Mr. Kumar Shrestha and Mr. Bhuwan Thapa.
This article is written on the basis of my participant observation, meetings, living with the families, particularly with Pant and Katuwal families, Mr. Gopal Pathak, Mr. Palpasa Shrestha, Mr. Arun Baral, Mr. Amod Rijal, Dr. Hom Murti Pant and Mr. Uttam Adhikari amongst others. I also read many literatures including, “From Northern Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere”, (Travel memoirs)[ix].
The purpose of the study is to explore the position and status of Nepali in Australia and share and exchange their behavioral, structural, attitudinal and contextual factors to other Nepali living in the other parts of the world.
It is estimated that about 50,000 to 60,000 Nepali, including students are living in Australia. Most of the Nepali demographic resides in Sydney and subsequently Melbourne and Canberra. A total of 2,700 Nepali people have been members of the Non Resident Nepalis (NRN) in Australia and has had the second highest figure after NRN in the UK out of 54 chapters[x]. The RNR is patronized by Dr. Upendra Mahato, (Belarus), Nr. Ram Pratap Thapa, (Germany) and Mr. Bhim Udas, (Lesotho)[xi]. The NRNA came into existence through the NRN First Conference held from October 11-14, 2003 in Kathmandu.
The definition of NRN implies, “A Non-Resident Nepali (NRN) is a Nepali citizen or a person of Nepali origin who has been staying outside Nepal for at least 183 days in a year for employment, business or self employment and indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad. Non-resident foreign citizens of Nepali origin are also covered under this definition.” But Nepali citizens working for Government of Nepal or for Nepali resident organizations abroad or Nepali citizens working in SAARC countries are not covered under NRN[xii] definition. Recognizing the importance of their citizens living abroad, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Sri Lanka Governments respectively, have drawn their citizens under a legal framework to encourage them to send foreign remittances into their countries of origin. Bangladeshi citizens living abroad are named Non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB), Indian citizens are called Non-resident Indians’ (NRI), Pakistani people called Overseas Pakistanis (OP), and Sri Lankans called Non-resident Sri Lankan (NRS)[xiii].
The Nepal Government decided to provide the NRN status to its citizens who spent more than two years in foreign countries with the purpose of business and studies among others, apart from those in the SAARC countries. For this, the Non-Resident Nepali Regulations 2066 B.S. has already approved by the Cabinet forwarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nepalese studying and working in various countries such as Europe, Gulf, USA, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, among others shall receive an ID card and enjoy the facilities of an NRN. It is estimated that about 3 million Nepalese shall fall in this category. The duration of the validity of such ID cards shall be for 10 years for foreign nationals of Nepali origin. Such people shall receive cards by process of registering their name either with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Nepali Embassies when abroad. The card holder of foreign nationals of Nepali origin entitles the holder to buy, own and sell properties in Nepal. NRNs can purchase two Ropani or land inside Kathmandu Valley, as well as eight Kattha, within a municipality in Tarai districts[xiv] as well as up to four Ropani in other municipalities and one Bigha in Village Development Committees[xv].
The Nepal Government formally initiated distribution of the special identity card providing the first to Mr. Dev Man Hirachan, the president of NRN on February 14, 2010. The individual should pay US $ 500 to secure the identity card[xvi]. It is to be noted that only 100 Nepali had received NRN identity card at the end of June, and 25 are from Australia alone. Dr. Raju Adhikari (Australia) says that the lack of clarity in the process is the main problem for people not receiving the card out of estimated 2.5 million NRNs[xvii]. For the process of registration for the ID of the NRN, the concerned individual shall provide citizenship, valid passport, business/office identity card of their country of residence and recently taken photograph[xviii]. The NRN ID Card regulations which were promulgated by the Government of Nepal in 2009 as a part of implementation of the NRNA regulations 2066, ardently working towards dual citizenship. As a result of that, the NRN ID card regime was received by the NRN community with mixed reactions[xix]. The motto of NRN is economic development of Nepal ‘by Nepali for Nepali.’
The NRN Australia was established in 2005 under the leadership of Mr. Mana K.C. first and then Mr. Goba Katuwal. The current team is led by the Mr. Dhruba Subedi (Annex – I). There had been huge efforts of all individuals and the institutions for the successful establishment of the NRN Australia. This chapter successfully conducted a second NRN National Conference on July 2, 2007 and third National Conference on July 11, 2009 with the principal motif, “We all are Nepalese.” It seems that the NRN Australia is the most representative and inclusive in its structures, views and activities. Business communities, community institutions, intellectual communities, individual NRNs, etc. are the pillars of the encouragement and support of the NRN Australia. The provision (NRN Act) of a 10 years visa for People of Nepali Origin (PNO) to the foreign passport holders has been the greatest achievement of the NRN. The Third Global Conference of NRN ICC has been enabled to introduce the cause for dual citizenship through the successful lobbying of the Nepali leaders and the united commitments of all members of the NRN. Some of the activities or philanthropic projects conducted by NRN Australia from 2007 to 2009 are:
- · Second Bi-annual National Conference was conducted representing NRN Global and NRA Australian community
- · The report of Second Bi-annual National Conference was produced
- · Discussion paper on how to accommodate interested NRNs into NRN activities for the next two years was endorsed by the NRN executive meetings
- · On the course to prepare a skill database of Nepali residing in Australia, a committee for “Who is who in Australia” was formed.
- · A program on NRN act was finalized to address the Nepal Government’s high level delegates.
- · A country profile of NRNs Australia was prepared for its Third Global Conference in October 2007
- · NRN Australia contributed to Koshi Flood victims in September 2007
- · An Expression of Interest on business partnership programs were sought for to NRN Australia
- · Interaction program for NRN Act was conducted in the presence of Foreign Secretary, Government of Nepal
- · A strong contingent of 25 NRN Australia team was participated in the Third Global Conference on October 15-17, 2007 in Kathmandu. The Australian team was recognized as one of the most unified team of the NRN
- · An interaction program on Foreign Employment Opportunity was organized to Nepali skilled worker in Australia and New Zealand with the high level delegates from Nepal Government
- · E-newsletter was initiated to communicate NRN Australia and Global NRN
- · A library was developed in Sunkoshi Campus in Sindhuli district
- · Nepali Festival 2008 was organized in Melbourne and Sydney
- · Twenty trolleys were donated to Kathmandu Airport
- · A workshop for constitution making in Nepal was organized
- · Interaction programs on professional networks with Nepalese Community Professionals residing in Australia were conducted
- · Nepalese Community Center was established in Sydney
- · NRN Australia third national conference was conducted in July 2009
Some of the philanthropic projects contributed by NRN Australia were: Aud $3,212.50 and NRs $200,000 to Flood Relief Fund 2007 (Eastern Tarai Regions Nepal), $1,110 NRN registered membership fees to NRN ICC Kathmandu, Banners worth $450 to NRN Third Global Conference in Kathmandu, donations NRs $110,000 to the Devghat Briddhashram Project, NRs $400,000 to Jiri Multipurpose High School, and $2,692 for Save a life of Dolma Sharpa. A further, $12,000 to a joint project with HeNN Nepal to library community Project in Sindhuli, $2,000 to the Third NRNA ICC Regional Conference Bangkok Thailand, $4,864.00 to late Suroj Shrestha widow, $2,671 to Koshi Flood Victims Relief, $5,000 to Kathmandu Airport Trolleys Partnership Program, $2,213 to the Victorian Bush Fire Victims Relief Funds, $2,700 to Sanjay Hamal Medical Treatment and $95,000 to Nepal Festival Melbourne and Sydney 2008[xx].
Nepalese NGO culture (ngoization) has flourished in the NRN in Australia for the commitment to raising the living standards of people in Nepal. Some NGOs are, NINFA Nepal, ANTA (Nepal Tarai Association), Global Welfare Nepal, NAWA (Nepal Association of Western Australia), JSS (Australia), NAFA(South Australia), GNC Sydney, NADF Sydney, NEHURIPD Sydney, NAA Sydney, NINFA Australia, ANPPF Sydney, NAWS Sydney, NAV Queensland, NAV Victoria, HeNN (Help Nepal Network) Australia, Baglung Samaj Sydney, Club Nepal Sydney, Jhee Pucha Sydney, etc[xxi]. Nepalese Association of Victoria, Nepal Eye Programme Australia, Nepali global charity origination, The Gorkha Nepalese Community, Nepalese Community Center, Guthi Australia. Dr. Raju Adhikari (ICC member) of Melbourne, Dr. DD Kandel of Canberra including Dr. Hom Murti Panth, Ms. Indra Ban, and Dr. Santosh Aryal etc. have established the HeNN with the slogans of, “two dollars (AU) a month fund for Nepal”.
Most of the Nepali Diaspora in Australia is due to the wish to pursue further studies. Some return to Nepal, but many have stayed due to rampant injustices, lack of opportunities, discrimination and further restrictions in Nepal. A few brief profiles of the successful academia, business entrepreneurs and others have been mentioned below.
- Dr. Raju Adhikari was a formal senior scientist at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology in Nepal, he is now a Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Material Science and Engineering in Australia. He was recipient of CSIRO Molecular Science SAP award 2004, CSIRO Molecular Science SAP award for Innovation 2004 and CSIRO medal for research innovation in 2006. He has 16 patents and over 45 publications in international refereed journals. He founded Nepali Association of Victoria (NAV) and Help Nepal Network Australia. He is the current member of the NRN ICC and Chair of the NRN ICC task force on Skill Knowledge and Innovation (SKI) Exchange. His contribution to enhance the Nepali community in Australia is highly regarded. He presented a concept paper on NRN Knowledge Investment at NRN Australia Third National Conference in Melbourne in July 2009 and Fourth NRNA ICC Global Conference in Kathmandu in October 2009 that has helped NRN to include knowledge investment emphasis in the NRN declaration, helped establish the task force and support Open University like flagship projects in Nepal.
- Dr. Hom Murti Pant has been working at Australian Bureau of Agricultural and resource economics, Australian Government, Canberra as a senior economist. He is a well known intellectual of the Nepalese community in Australia. He argues, “Unless political interferences are stopped, government decisions are made transparent and decision makers are made accountable for their decisions, justice can not prevail in the country and sound economic development is not possible.” He presented a paper on Making NRN Organizations part of Civil Society at the 3rd National Conference of NRN Australia held in Melbourne in July 2009 along with Dr. K. Vaidya. His presentation on, “Peaceful and Prosperous Nepal: What can NRNA do to realize our common dream?” was appreciated at the 4th NRN global conference. He led Australia-Nepal Friendship Society Inc. as president during 2007-2008 and Executive Member, Help Nepal Network Australia (HeNNA). He went to Australia on the course to attain further education.
- Mr. Shesh Ghale, 52 is a Nepalese-born Civil Engineer cum entrepreneur who has been listed 176th in Australian richest man amongst the Australia’s wealthiest 200 people of the year 2010. In 1996, he established Melbourne Institute of Technology (MIT), Melbourne six years after he started his carrier being a student in Australia from Nepal[xxii]. The MIT offers degree courses mainly in technology and accounting to 3,000 students with campuses at Melbourne and Sydney. He who was worth $208 million last year has increased his wealth and fortune this year to $237 million. He received Australian Citizenship in 1997 and Served as Honorary Consul General of Nepal between 1997 and 2000 in Victoria. He originally comes from Lumjung in Western Nepal and lives with his wife Jamuna Ghale-Gurung, the Director of the MIT, and one child in Melbourne[xxiii].
- Mr. Goba Katuwal (CPA) who born in Managalbare of Illam district came to Australia in 1996 to study a Hotel Management Course at Regency Hotel School, Adelaide under ADB scholarship. After the completion of course, he went back to Nepal and lead CTEVT team to establish Dhawalagiri Technical School, Lete Mustang in Nepal in 1996. He received a medal on the 50th anniversary of late king Birendra for his exemplary work in remote areas. He came back to Adelaide in 1999 to finish his Hotel Management course and received the most outstanding International Student Award. Currently, he serves as the coordinator of the Oceania Region of ICC of NRN. Being one of the founding members of NRN in Australia, he held many positions such as Ad Hoc Committee of NRN Australia 2005; founding National Coordinator of NRN Australia 2005 to 2007; President of NRN Australia July 2007-10 July 2009; Regional Coordinator NRNA ICC 2009 to 2011. For his outstanding contributions, he has received NRN of the Year NRN Australia Award 2008 and was one of the architects of the most successful Nepal Festivals in 2006 and 2008. NRN Oceania is currently playing a key role for SKI Exchange Task Force, Civic Society forum and Capital Investment, establishing Nepalese Community Centre in Australia and Tourism promotion under his proactive leadership. He has been practicing as principal of S and S Accounting and Business Services, an accounting firm based in Sydney.
- Ms. Indra Ban immigrated to Australia in the mid 1970 after completing her Master degree in Political Science in Nepal. She then completed her education at the University of New South Wales in Librarianship. She is/was one of the founding members of the Nepalese Australian Association established in 1976, Nepal Eye Programme Australia established in 1988, Help Nepal Network in 2003, Non Resident Nepali Association (International Coordination Council), etc. She was vice president of the NRN Australia in 2005 and Regional Coordinator of the NRN ICC in 2007[xxiv] .
- Mr. Pradip Kumar Dhakal, IT Software Engineer arrived in Australia in 1996 as a student. An advocate, he is a well renowned public figure in Australia and is trying hard to establish a Nepalese Community Centre in Australia. He has become a successful business entrepreneur over 10 years of experience in the Vocational Education Sector. He is the founder and CEO of Pacific College of Technology in Sydney. The Pacific College offers courses on accounting, information technology, telecommunication and business administration[xxv].
- Dr. Om Dhungyel came to Australia in 1990 after receiving a FAO Fellowship for his Masters degree on Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. Later, he completed his PhD and has been working as a research scientist at the same university. He has been a key member of successful Australian funded collaborative research projects in Nepal, Bhutan and Australia and has travelled widely to disseminate his research works. A very active and dedicated member of Nepalese Community, he has been instrumental in establishing Nepalese Community of Western Sydney. He enjoys and takes as a privilege working for Social and cultural community organizations[xxvi].
- Mr. Deepak Kumar Khadka a civil engineer by profession is a successful business entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in Engineering and Construction industry fields. He migrated to Hong Kong from Nepal to work as an engineer for a multi-national construction company and later started his own construction company. He is one of the founding members of NRN ICC. He is the CEO of a private education Crown Institute of Business and Technology in Sydney, Australia. He is also an Honorary Consul of Nepal for New South Wales appointed by the Government of Nepal in 2009[xxvii].
- Mr. Bhabani Prasad Oli is a young business entrepreneur who migrated from Charpane, Jhapa district. He heads the Oli and Associates which has been providing accounting, immigration and educational services for the last 14 years. He is presently serving as a Youth Coordinator for NRN, ICC. In addition, he is also serving various Australian companies as a director. He holds Master of Accounting and Finance degree from Macquarie University, Sydney apart from his post graduate qualification in Physics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal[xxviii].
- Dr. Narayan Pradhan retired as a senior scientist on Environment Protection in Sydney in 2003, having migrated to Australia in January 1974 after completing a PhD in Chemistry from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. He worked as Executive Member of NAA (1978-85), President, NAA (1985-94), Founding Member of Nepal Eye Program (1988), and President, Gurkha Nepalese Community (1997-2002 and 2007- present)[xxix]. He has been involved in many Nepalese organizations in Sydney to promote Nepalese culture and traditions to the new Nepali generation in Australia[xxx].
- Mr. Dhruba Subedi started his carrier as a student in Australia in 1998 and has completed Master of Environmental Management, University of Western Sydney and Master of Information System Management, Central Queensland University. He is a current President of NRN Australia. He is dedicated to build a collective approach to serve to the Nepalese Community in Australia. He is working as an Environmental Consultant specializing in water treatment, quality control, monitoring and research[xxxi].
- Mr. Shamser Singh Thapa has been living in Australia since 1991. He is a law practitioner in the Supreme Court of NSW and High Court of Australia. He is involved in various community and other activities, such as conducting a Radio Program on Children’s Rights in Nepal, Legal Programs on Nepal Television and many interviews and Articles in Australia[xxxii].
- Mr. Chandra Yonzon is a successful business entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in hospitality management. He immigrated to Australia in 1989. He is a CEO of a Gurkhas Institute of Technology, Australia and the director of Dolma, three-and-half star Hotel in Melbourne. He is also the founder of the very popular Nepalese restaurant chain Gurkhas in Melbourne. He is serving as an Honorary Consul of Nepal for Victoria, appointed by the Government of Nepal in 2008. He is a very reputable and well renowned public figure in the Nepalese Community. He was a former Vice President of NRNA and is currently an advisor for NRN Australia, Nepalese Association of Victoria and Help Nepal Network Australia[xxxiii].
- Mr. Bharat Pant, an Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) recipient from Nepal in 2001, Bharat Pant is a Registered Nurse with MPH qualification from UNSW; has a strong background in international health and development work; worked with Save the Children and Family Health International for more than a decade to uplift health and socio economic status of rural and disadvantaged people in Nepal. His interests include design and execution of development interventions in resource constraint settings to increase access to and use of ‘basic minimum services’. His ongoing passion for helping people in need is reflected in his recent contribution for designing and implementation of a Community Library Project ( jointly supported by Help Nepal and NRN Australia) in Sindhuli, Nepal festival 2006 and 2008 and active involvement in other local community events in Australia and Nepal. Currently, he works for a Community Health Centre in NSW.
The members of the NRNs including NRN Australia have several interests in establishing their business entrepreneurs in Nepal. Many members have already initiated projects and some are on the process of feasibility studies. More flexible NRN Regulations encourage them to invest more money in Nepal. Some of their interests are:
- Agro-based industries such as Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Floriculture, Tea Development, Sericulture, Processing of spices
- Textile and Wearing Apparel Industry such as Readymade garments Terry towels, Sericulture and silk production, etc.
- Construction Industry such as Stone-aggregates, Floor and wall tiles, PVC doors/windows, Slate, granite and cement
- Tourism Industry such as Resort areas, hotels, lodges and motels, Cable car complexes, Trekking and rafting equipment, Hot air ballooning and Para-sailing
- Service Industry such as Engineering consultancy services, Sea and Air freight, forwarding services, Nursing homes, Computer software
- Energy Industry such as solar energy, Wind energy, Hydro electric plants
- Manufacturing Industry such as Production of malt, Assembly of electronic components, Cane furniture industry, Mineral water
- Mineral Resources such as Jewelry manufacture with precious and semi-precious stones
- Exploration and processing quartz, Processing mica, Gas and Petroleum exploration and exploitation[xxxiv].
The grand success of Sydney-Nepal Festival on September 13, 2008 has been a common plate to unite all Nepali without discrimination of caste, ethnicity, sex, profession, class, religion, gender, region, etc. and to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relation between Nepal and Australia[xxxv]. In the festival it is estimated that 20,000-22,000 Nepali were enthusiastically participants. Almost all caste, ethnic and regional populations performed each with their unique socio-cultural identity based performances. That might be the first such colorful mosaic or inclusive program in a foreign land of Nepali origin. For examples, cultural and music performances, ethnic fashion parade, food and information stalls, and many more[xxxvi]. Both the Sydney and Melbourne (September 7, 2008) festivals attracted large number of people and those programs made a great propaganda with some pleasing results. While I was watching thousands of crowd with full zest and zeal in the video of Sydney festival, I found myself become emotional.
The Media Officer Department of CRC Warren Duncan of the New South Wales Government sent a letter appreciating the program. It states, “Dear Gobu, I am writing to congratulate you on a fantastic festival on Saturday. I think I can say without any fear of contradiction that I have been to a more festival in Sydney than anyone by a long margin. Yours was as well organized and as enjoyable as any I have attended in the last ten to fifteen years…”. The Sydney Morning Herald entitled Kids play… youngsters enjoying yesterday’s Nepalese Festival in Sydney writes, “The Nepalese community turned out in their most colorful national costumes to dance and sign in Darling Harbor…. Nepal Festival held Sydney and Melbourne to preserve Nepali Culture among the 22,000 Nepalese….” It further states, “Thousands of people …came to learn about life in the mountainous country, one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in Australia.” Similarly, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) says, “One of the best festivals yet and the largest in term of the infrastructures staged festival at Tumbalong Park, Darlin Harbour Sydney.” Several media both in Australia and abroad quoted of the “Historic success of Nepal-Sydney Festival 2008.”
Both Sydney and Melbourne festivals were jointly organized by NRNA Australia and Embassy of Nepal, Nepalese Consulate Offices NSW/Victoria and Nepalese Community organizations in Australia. As such festivals intends to organize in every two years since 2006 as mega event of NRN in Australia to encourage brotherhood relationship among Nepali people living in Australia, support Nepal and Nepali cultural heritage in Australia. Nepal Festival 2010 is again going to organize in Darling Harbor, Sydney on September 4 and Federation Square, Melbourne on November 20, 2010 with the slogan of Bringing Nepal at Your Doorstep[xxxvii].
A favorable climate is vitally important to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). The political stability, security, proper implementation of rule of law and ending culture of impunity are the key factors to FDI. The overcome of political uncertainty fosters investment proliferating economic opportunities for all through the means of job availability. Such opportunities enable youths to take a route aside from labor forces abroad or youth rebellions.
The prime cause of the armed conflict in Nepal is precisely the intolerable poverty and unequal distribution of resources, particularly in the countryside, that widens the gap between the rich and poor after the restoration of democracy. The poor became poorer and rich richer. The revolutionary synergy of youths shall transform into the peaceful works through the means of socio-economic opportunities, equitable justice, and non-discrimination among other positive solutions. The mass processions or demonstrations, strikes, blockades etc. shall subsequently be downsized. It means the non-involvement of youths in armed, semi-armed and criminal activities create conducive environment to transform the conflict into peace and peace for the positive development.
The formulation or development of clear policies from the experts including the active participation of labor forces makes for a conducive environment to declare zones of peace to the public important industries, for instance hydropower. The zones of peace strengthen more foreign investment in power, transportation, industries, tourism, amongst others. The end of culture of impunity and equitable rule of law are other principal tools to restore peace and security for the people’s needs-and-participatory-based development. The duty access and markets to Nepalese commodities are to be ensured through the dialogue or mutual exchange and sharing abroad. However, a strict measure to control the quality of productions is to be formulated through the policy amendment or reform and technology renewal and improvement.
Besides to create conducive environment to the FDI, the concerned members of the NRN should receive PNO card similar to standard credit card or driver’s license to be carried in the wallet. The PNO card fees to be reduced reasonably. The card should automatically qualify as a visa for 10 years with multiple entries from the date of entry and the PNO Card should be somewhat like the Permanent Residency Card. The cardholders should have right to work in Nepal, right to remain in Nepal for 10 years, right to open business and transfer foreign currencies from Nepal, right to retain, sale or dispose of any ancestral land and other properties among others[xxxviii].
Nepal, sandwiched between two emerging superpowers China and India, has tremendous potential for economic development by expanding hydro-power and tourism infrastructure. Similar to the major role in development led by the Non Resident Chinese and Indians in their countries, Nepal is honestly expecting NRN as a genuine partner for her development strengthening the considerable FDI. Focusing the future direction, the NRN Australia has initiated its coordination and assistance efforts for the development of Nepal. The establishment of Sanima Bikas Bank is just one example of NRNs’ commitment for the nation’s development. The success of NRNs investment in Nepal shall make a fertile to attract the other FDI. NRN’s investment is easier than the other foreign investors as they know people and customs and they are informed on running a business in Nepal[xxxix] and on combating obstacles that arise.
The Government of Nepal and politicians need to focus more to ensure peace, tranquility and security on the course to create conducive environment to FDI for the economic development, amending or formulating more liberal rules and regulations.
The present NRN encounters a lot of problems. The demand for dual citizenship has not been fulfilled yet. The political favors can be clearly seen among the NRNs including NRN Australia. The political parties try hard to win the race putting the NRN in their fold to control or to pollute them from their united efforts. Some of the influential members of the NRNA attempt to get close with political parties seeking greater roles in relation to prestige and position and try to earn financial benefits even from their publicly shown social services. The NRN leadership has been less interested in uniting the students under its umbrella which prevents proliferation over the size of it. In part, there has been an anonymity relationship between the NRN and the United Nepalese Front (UNF), a close ally of the UCPN (Maoist). Some business entrepreneurs prioritize to hire Australian citizens rather than supporting Nepali students or needy section of Nepalese. It has two reasons: (i) such entrepreneurs desire to prove that they are superior among others and (ii) they want to treat others the same as they suffered under seniors in their earlier days.
The interest of the NRN should focus on various innovative sectors of development in different geographical locations of the country. The investment particularly outside the urban areas shall be the best assets of opportunity to NRN’s to uplift poverty stricken Nepalese. It is to be remarked that most of the successful business entrepreneurs in the NRNs including NRN Australia are from the countryside or remote villages or poor family members and their coordinated, cooperated and philanthropic efforts will be the best resources towards the development of their own native birth places, families, relatives and poor people. It is true that man/woman is mortal, but his/her benevolence works or contribution to economic assistance or development to those or places in need, create a noble history for ever. An example is Mother Teresa. Even if NRN is from rich family, he/she think to consider remote areas for the economic development because of equal (naked) birth and death in both poor and rich families. Man/woman born and dies freely. Indeed, no discrimination in birth and death to all. Why unhealthy competition or (armed) conflict in between ages?
The NRN including Australia should move away from Nepal’s “divide and rule” policy of dirty politics, and should be out of the chain of political command, otherwise, the NRNA strength breaks along with each faction amongst political parties. Politicians are of the worst form compared to many other professions. Politics favors union(ism), breaking people’s desire of united efforts for their temporary benefits. Nepal’s politicians still follow the traditional concepts, “whoever (politician) makes a fool of the largest section of the people, s/he recognizes as the successful leader.” This is a concept. It does not long last. Today’s people seek united efforts against the union dimension.
The Gayathri Manthra in long invocation points explains seven worlds (lokas) which briefs (i) bhuhu (earth, the physical world), (ii) bhuvaha (astral/desire/breath, the world of becoming), (iii) suvaha (mental, the world of thinking), (iv) mahaha (causal, silent mind, the world of emotion), (v) janaha (world of creative generation), (vi) tapaha (world of intuition), and (vii) satyam (world of absolute truth). The Gayatri Mantra is first recorded in the Rig Veda (iii, 62, 10) which was written in Sanskrit about 2500 to 3500 years ago. The Gayatri refers only to the meter used the mantra. For more please visit http://www.gayathrimanthra.com/contents/gayathri/meaning.html
[ii] Grandville is 15 minute walking distance from Maryland, half-hour from Parramatta, 35 minutes from Auburn.
[iii] He has been living with two sons and two relatives in extended family similar in Nepal.
[iv] Pant family has a daughter Bharosa and a son Prem.
[v] a decade ago
[vi] a half decade
[vii] Pathak, Bishnu. 2005. Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal. Kathmandu: BIMIPA Publication.
[viii] Pathak, Bishnu. October 14, 2009. Tarai-Madhes. Searching for Identity-based Security. Kathmandu: CS Center
[ix] Pant, Nimmani. 2010. From Northern Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere. Kathmandu: BharatPant and Shanta (Sangroulla) Pant.
[x] Namely, Brunei, Brazil, Denmark, Fiji, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Yemen, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Lebanon, Lesotho, Luxemburg, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, North America, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates.
[xi] For more please visit http://www.nrn.org.np/nrna/nrnicc.php
[xii] Available on http://www.nrn.org.np/nrna/status.php
[xiv] Available on http://www.ekantipur.com/2010/02/15/headlines/Govt-starts-distribution-of-ID-card-to-NRNs/308440/
[xv] NRN Regulations 2066. Available on http://www.mofa.gov.np/pdf/nrn_niyamabali.pdf
[xvii] Dr. Raju Nepal, NRN ICC member, Australia
[xviii]NRN Regulations 2066. Available on http://www.mofa.gov.np/pdf/nrn_niyamabali.pdf
[xix] Adhikari, Ambika P. et al. September 2010. Non-Resident Nepali Association International Coordination Council (NRNA – ICC): NRN ID Card Evaluation Committee (IDCEC). NRN ID Card Benefits Assessment: Committee Report
[xx] Katuwal, Goba. undated. Massage from the President. Sydney
[xxi] Available on http://www.ausnepalnews.com/index.php?action=news&newsId=11574
[xxii] Available on http://www.mit.edu.au/
[xxiii] Shesh Ghale – The 176th Richest Person in Australia. Available on http://www.nepaleseabroad.com/2010/06/shesh-ghale-176-richest-person-of-australia/ (Accessed on July 19, 2010)
[xxiv] Katuwal, Goba. 2000. Nepalese Community Centre Limited. Sydney.
[xxv] Available on http://www.pct.edu.au/index.html
[xxvi] Katuwal, Goba. 2000. Nepalese Community Centre Limited. Sydney.
[xxix] Available on http:// www.gnc.org.au
[xxx] Katuwal, Goba. 2000. Nepalese Community Centre Limited. Sydney
[xxxiv] Katuwal, Goba. Un dated. Business Investment in Nepal by NRNs: Opportunities and Constraints. Sydney: A Discussion Papers
[xxxv] Available on http://www.nepalmelbourne.com/?p=300
[xxxviii] Adhikari, Ambika P. et al. September 2010. Non-Resident Nepali Association International Coordination Council (NRNA – ICC): NRN ID Card Evaluation Committee (IDCEC). NRN ID Card Benefits Assessment: Committee Report.
[xxxix] Thapa, Basanta E P. 2004. Non-Resident Nepalis as Investors in Nepal. Germany: Albertus Magnus Gymnasium.
*Bishnu Pathak is Director of the Peace and Conflict Study Center (PCS Center) formerly known as Conflict Study Center (Cs Center) in Nepal, the South Asia Convener for TRANSCEND International, and a Academic Director TRANSCEND Peace University, South Asia Regional Chapter. His book Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal is a widely circulated volume. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are grateful to whom they supported us voluntarily to conclude this article including Mr. Surendra Uprety (PhD scholar, Nepal), Mr. Bharat Pant and Mr. Goba Katuwal, Australia among others, Mr. Joseph Bergson, (PCSC Representative in UK) etc.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 6 Sep 2010.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Nepali Diaspora in Australia, is included. Thank you.
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