Landmark Report Highlights Persistent Challenges Faced by LGBT Community in Nepal

Kathmandu (24 November 2014) - While Nepal is often cited as a
progressive country in terms of equal rights for sexual and gender
minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in
the country continue to face a wide range of obstacles as individuals
and as a community, according to a new comprehensive report released

The 'Being LGBT in Asia' country report produced by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund
(UNICEF) and the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) reports widespread bullying in schools and a lack of
protection from discrimination by employers. Other challenges include
limited programming to address reproductive health needs of lesbians
and the lack of sensitive HIV healthcare for transgender women and gay
men who are at higher risk of HIV infection than the general

"All people deserve to be treated with dignity no matter who they are
or who they love. And so it's especially pleasing to be in a country
where citizens have led an important movement to bring about historic,
meaningful, lasting change," said USAID Mission Director Beth Dunford.

The report also notes that despite a Supreme Court verdict in 2007 to
protect the rights of these minorities, an anti-discrimination law to
protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI)
people has not been enacted nor has same-sex marriage been legalized
as ordered by court.

"As part of the 'Being LBGT in Asia' initiative, the Nepal Country
Report is important; not only will it help in creating a common
understanding, but also in setting the priorities for the future,"
said Nepal United Nations Development Programme Resident
Representative Jamie McGoldrick.

'Being LGBT in Asia: Nepal Country Report' calls on the Government of
Nepal and Nepali society to accept the existence of LGBT individuals
as an integral and contributing part of society. It calls on all
stakeholders to respect and protect the rights of LGBT people through
existing national and international human rights mechanisms and
through additional laws and policies as needed.

"Guaranteed LGBTI rights are fundamental for us because it is a matter
of being able to live a dignified life free of fear. It also is about
the future of LGBT children and youth in coming generations. We are
merely demanding equal rights and are not asking for special
privileges," said Manisha Dhakal, acting Executive Director of Blue
Diamond Society, a prominent civil society organization that has been
promoting LGBT human rights and access to HIV healthcare since 2001.

This report, part of the broader regional 'Being LGBT in Asia'
initiative, aims to provide an overview of the legal and social
environment for LGBT people and organizations in Nepal. It provides a
review of LGBT rights as related broadly to human rights conventions
and laws, the legal environment, the socio-cultural environment and
religion; and more specifically to education, employment, family
affairs, health, media, political affairs and the capacity of LGBT
organizations. The report is a joint collaboration between UNDP, USAID
and leading LGBT civil society groups and is based on information
gathered during the "'Being LGBT in Asia" Nepal National LGBTI
Community Dialogue held in April 2014 in Kathmandu as well as other
field work and reviews.

Download the English and Nepali reports here:

For more information, kindly contact:

Bharat Man Shrestha (

LGBT Human Rights, HIV and Law Officer, UNDP Nepal I Phone:
+977-1-5523200 Ext. 1717/ Mobile: +977-98033-62518

The Basis of Indigenous Spirituality [Meeting Rivers Series - 48]

The Basis of Indigenous Spirituality

By Yangkahao Vashum*

The belief that God is everywhere and knows everything is the basis of
indigenous people's spirituality. Spirituality originates from the
Spirit of God. Spirituality for the indigenous people is a way of
living in the constant consciousness of the presence of God. It has to
do with the way they live, act, and relate with God, fellow human
being and the whole of God's creation.

Indigenous peoples' spirituality emphasizes on the wholeness of life
and interconnectedness of all. It is basically a spirituality of
relationship; our connectedness to one another and the whole of God's
creation and the spirit world. Tribal worldview makes no distinction
between what is the spiritual and physical, material and immaterial,
sacred and secular; heavenly and earthly, etc.

Honesty, sincerity, speaking the truth and dignity of labor are all
important spiritual values of the people. Hospitality, communitarian
spirit and respect for one another are the hallmarks of tribal people.
They practically lived out these values in their life.

Theirs is a spirituality that is centered on community, social justice
and peace. They lived and worked for maintaining balance and harmony
in the community as well as for the whole of creation.

Indigenous peoples' worldview can be described as the recognition of
the undifferentiated unity of all things, meaning, there is no
distinction drawn between the spiritual and physical, material and
immaterial, sacred and profane, and spiritual and earthly. Nor does
an indigenous worldview recognize any structure of hierarchy in
creation. They see the world and all its surroundings in holistic
perspective. While a Western worldview is essentially anthropocentric,
an indigenous worldview is creation-centered and is characterized by
understanding the interdependence and the interrelatedness of all
creation, including human beings. Therefore, indigenous peoples across
the world that I know believe that the whole of creation are our
relatives. The Lakota nation of American Indians has an expression
which describes beautifully all that concerns the Indigenous
worldview, "We are all related."

Leroy Little Bear observes that the indigenous "paradigm is comprised
of and includes ideas of constant motion and flux, existence
consisting of energy waves, interrelationships, all things being
animate, space/place, renewal, and all things being imbued with

As noted above, indigenous "peoples do not differentiate their world
of experience into two realms that oppose or complement each other.
They seem to maintain a consistent understanding of the unity of all
experience."2 Referring to Naga religious view, J. H. Thumra asserts
that "unlike many modern Christian belief in the dichotomy of the
'sacred' and the 'secular' or the 'spiritual' and the 'material', the
traditional Naga religion does not have such a dichotomy. For them
the 'sacred' and the 'secular' are one."3 In "An Emerging Asian
Theology: Tribal Theology," Wati Longchar makes a useful comparison
between dominant Christian worldview and traditional Tribal worldview
in which he underscores their differences.4 Indigenous peoples around
the world view reality in its wholeness and perceive life as one
single web and many smaller webs of relationships which is the
antithesis of the dominant Christian dualistic and individualistic
views. Further, their cultural and religious values are governed by
respect for one another and reciprocity is the norm for their
day-to-day interactions.

The well-being of all creation including that of human beings depends
upon preserving and restoring the harmonious interrelationships of all
creation. All living creatures including humans are meant to work
toward maintaining balance and harmony and these are to be seen as the
ultimate concern of all beings. Indigenous peoples do not believe in
the superiority of humans over against the rest of creation.

Indeed, indigenous people consider animals, other living creatures,
and all created as "'people' in the same manner as the various tribes
of human beings are people."5 Indigenous peoples claim they have
reciprocal relationships with all living things, which includes the
so-called "inanimate" objects such as rocks, plants, and other natural
forms.6 Everything is imbued with spirit so all is sacred for
Indigenous peoples. Because all creation is sacred the very land we
walk and till must be treated with respect and reverence. Therefore,
they treat life and creation with respect and reverence. One reason
land is sacred for Indigenous peoples is that it is the dwelling place
of the spirits; the ancestors have lived and worked the same land and
they take their final rest and their bones becomes the land.7

Indigenous worldview is further characterized by being spatially
oriented rather than temporally focused as is of the Euro-American
worldview. This worldview of spatiality essentially accentuates and
locates the all important life qualities of relationships among and
between human beings and the whole of creation. This understanding
extends and embraces the way Indigenous peoples view the world and
relate themselves to the spirits and God(s). In "Full Circle of
Liberation: An American Theology of Place," George E. Tinker argues
that the traditional Christian Euro-centric notion of God's action in
time, which incidentally, is also embraced by Black theologians and
Latin American theologians, is not how American Indians could
understand a relation to God. God acts in space and in place. Tinker
explains, "God reveals God's self in creation, in space or place, not
in time."8 For Tinker and other Indigenous thinkers, the traditional
linear thinking of temporality that is fundamental to the Western
intellectual tradition is quite alien to Indigenous peoples and is in
fact destructive to their livelihood.

Space-creation centered spirituality calls for critical reevaluation
of our ways of life, our Christian spirituality and our attitude
towards all God's creation. The ecological crisis which we are
confronted today is primarily a spiritual crisis. Looking from the
indigenous people's holistic view of life, there is no separation
between what is physical and spiritual, matter and spirit and
everything including human, spirits and the rest of creation are
interrelated and interconnected. For the indigenous people
spirituality is therefore a way of life; our living style, habit and
the way we conduct and relate with other fellow human beings and
creation are all integral part of their spirituality.


1 Leroy Little Bear, "Foreward", in Gregory Cajete, Native Science. x.

2 Deloria, Spirit and Reason. 354.

3 Jonathan H. Thumra, "The Naga Primal (Traditional) Religion and
Christianity: A Theological Reflection," in V. K. Nuh, ed. In Search
of Praxis Theology for the Nagas (New Delhi: Regency Publications,
2003), 54.

4 For a detailed comparison see A. Wati Longchar, An Emerging Asian
Theology: Tribal Theology: Issue, Method and Perspective (Jorhat:
Tribal Study Center, 2000), 64.

5 Vine Deloria, Jr, God is Red: A Native View of Religion. 2d
ed.(Golden: North American Press, 1992), 89.

6 Walking Buffalo articulates this truth: "Did you know that trees
talk? Well they do. They talk to each other, and they'll talk to you
if you listen. Trouble is, White people don't listen. They never
learned to listen to the Indians, so I don't I suppose they'll listen
to other voices in nature. But I have learned a lot from trees:
sometimes about the weather, sometimes about animals, sometimes about
the Great Spirit." Quoted in Deloria. Ibid. 90.

7 M. Horam, Nagas Old Ways New Trends (Delhi: Cosmos Publications, 1988), 15f.

8 George E. Tinker, "The Full Circle of Liberation: An American
Theology of Place," in David G. Hallman, ed., Ecotheology: Voices from
South and North (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1994), 221; Spirit and
Resistance, 91-92.

*Rev. Dr. Yangkahao Vashum is Associate Professor of Systematic
Theology and Tribal Theology at the Eastern Theological College,
Jorhat, Assam, India. He is also Dean of the Post-Graduate Studies of
the College. His email id:

Time Is Now for Vietnam to Join the International Criminal Court

Global Coalition calls on Vietnam to take the regional lead on international justice


Bangkok/New York/The HagueVietnam should act in accordance with its stated commitment to international justice and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Coalition for the ICC said today.


In a letter dated 6 November to Vietnamese President Trương Tấn Sang, the Coalition recognized Vietnam's openness towards the ICC and called on the government of Vietnam to carry the progress it has made so far to its logical conclusion by ratifying the Rome Statute at the earliest possible date.


"The government of Vietnam has displayed a positive and open attitude towards the ICC and a commitment to international justice," said Amielle del Rosario, the Coalition's Asia-Pacific regional coordinator. "Vietnam was involved in the process that gave birth to the court and has been seriously considering and making progress towards ratification for nearly a decade—now is the time to join the Court."


In its United Nations Universal Periodic Review in 2010 and 2014, it accepted numerous recommendations to consider ratifying the Rome Statute. In 2012, Vietnam signed an agreement with the European Union that recognized the importance of the ICC and included a commitment to considering joining the Court. Vietnam's Ministry of Justice has also hosted two workshops on the ICC in order to build an understanding of the Court and learn from other Asian countries' experiences.


The letter emphasized that while these initial steps were positive, Vietnam should now sign and ratify the Rome Statute after nearly a decade of studying the treaty. By ratifying, Vietnam would gain recognition for the great strides it has made in its broader effort to bring domestic judicial legislation in line with international standards. The letter noted that incongruities between Vietnamese law and the Rome Statute are relatively limited—Vietnam's penal code already provides for crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and the crime of aggression to some extent—and that there are few obstacles in the way of Vietnam's ratification.


By ratifying the Rome Statute, Vietnam would establish itself as an important player in international justice, becoming only the fourth Southeast Asian state to join the ICC.


"Due to its tumultuous history, Vietnam has a deep understanding of the importance of ending impunity for grave crimes and can set an example for other states in the region by joining the ICC," said, Sunil Pal, director of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA). "In doing so, Vietnam would not only help strengthen a growing international system of justice already endorsed by most of the world, but also gain a stake in its operation."


Cambodia, Timor-Leste and the Philippines are the only states from Southeast Asia that have ratified the Rome Statute.


Accession to the Rome Statute would allow Vietnam to participate as a state party in the sessions of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and shape the future of international criminal justice by participating in all negotiations and decisions of the ASP, including making proposals on any amendments to the Rome Statute.



BACKGROUND: The ICC is the world's first permanent international court to have jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Central to the Court's mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.


There are currently nine active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic I & II; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; Kenya; Libya; Uganda; Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. The ICC has publicly issued 31 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear. Two trials are ongoing. The Office of the Prosecutor has made public that it is examining nine situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia; the registered vessels of the Comoros, Greece and Cambodia; Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq (examination re-opened in 2014), Nigeria and Ukraine. The Office of the Prosecutor has concluded preliminary examinations relating to Iraq, Venezuela, Palestine and the Republic of Korea, declining in each case to open an investigation.


The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in over 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.


Diwali: Hearing Earth's Cry

Anantanand Rambachan*

On the occasion of Diwali 2014, I want to share a reflection on one of
the central narratives associated, in the Hindu tradition, with this
festival. This is the narrative that connects Diwali with the
celebration and rejoicing over the return of Rama to his home, after a
lengthy exile, and his defeat of the oppressive and tyrannical,
Ravana. Citizens welcomed him by lighting thousands of lamps, even as
over one billion Hindus do today throughout the world. The story of
Rama has become a central narrative of Diwali because of the Hindu
understanding of Rama as embodying divinity and also because it
addresses the universal human longing for freedom from oppression and
the hope of living in a world where there is peace, justice and

Rama's return to his home in Ayodhya and the joyous illumination of
the city with earthen lamps conclude the story of his life as told in
most versions of the Ramayana. I want, however, to return to the
beginning of the story. For this, I turn to the version of the life of
Rama authored by the religious poet Tulasidas in the 15th century.

The Ramayana begins with an account of unbridled greed, the violent
exercise of power and oppression perpetuated by Ravana and those who
served him. He ravaged the earth, and used its resources, human and
natural, to serve his own ends. "There is no limit," says Tulasidas,
"to the evil of those whose hearts delight in violence."

The first to protest the suffering of the world is Earth herself.
Tulasidas personalizes her describes her as being alarmed and
distressed. "The weight of mountains, rivers and oceans," she says to
herself," is not as burdensome to me as one human being who oppresses
others." She notices also that people are silent from fear of speaking
out. After careful consideration, she takes the form of a cow and goes
to the place where all the good beings are hiding in fear. With tears
flowing from her eyes, she tells them of her suffering, but receives
no offers of help. In her condition of grief and sorrow, they
accompany her to the world of the deity, Brahma. Realizing his own
inability to help, Brahma advises that they seek the help of God, who
alone can bring the suffering of the earth to an end.

There is a predicament, however, before they can approach God to seek
God's intervention. "Where can we find God so that we may plea for
help?" they wonder. Someone suggested that they all go to heavenly
world of Vaikuntha. Another reminded them that God dwelt, not in
Vaikuntha but in the ocean of milk. As the discussion went on, Shiva,
who was present among them, offered a word of wisdom. God, explained
Shiva, is identically present everywhere. There is no place and no
time when God is not. God pervades the entire creation. There is no
need to go anywhere. "It is love alone," said Shiva, "that reveals
God, even as friction reveals fire." Shiva's words bring tears of joy
to everyone and a beautiful hymn of love spontaneously rises. In
response, a heavenly voice assures them that God will incarnate among
them as a human being to relieve the earth of her suffering. Shri Rama
is then born in Ayodhya as the child of Dasaratha and Kausalya.

I chose to describe Tulasidas' profound and poetic framing of the
advent of Rama since it speaks powerfully to our contemporary context
and especially to our degradation of the earth and its fragile
climate. His narrative deepens our understanding of our relationship
with the earth and suggests a fundamental value for our
transformation. There are three insights from Tulasidas that I want to
lift up and share.

The first is that human actions are consequential. The consequences of
our actions, however, are not limited to impacting other human beings.
Our actions disrupt the balance of the natural world. Greed, and the
violence that inevitably accompanies greed, rupture the web of life
and earth suffers. The effects of greed can never be compartmentalized
or limited to the world of human beings. Tulasidas is calling our
attention to deep unity of existence in which human choices always
have implications for the natural world. In Tulasidas' account the
earth is the first to speak out against human evil and its effects on
her. "The weight of mountains, rivers and oceans is not as burdensome
to me as one human being who oppresses others."

The second insight from Tulasidas is that the earth is a living
system. Earth is alive. He represents her as suffering and distressed
by human choices. The earth is not a passive and inert field,
dualistically separate from us that we may thoughtlessly and
inconsequentially exploit for our purposes. Our lives are inextricably
bound together and our well being inseparably linked. The earth
community includes every creature depending on her for sustenance and
so Tulasidas has earth speaking of her pain in the voice of a tearful
cow. The impact of climate change adversely affects every life form.
The cow is a powerful symbol of the generosity of the natural world
pleading for human reciprocity and concern.

The third insight of Tulasidas is embedded in the words of Shiva. When
the helpless gathering is debating God's location, Shiva reminds them
that there is no need to search for God anywhere. God is equally
present everywhere and in everything (hari byāpka sarbatra samānā).
God becomes manifest, Shiva explains, only through love even as fire
is made visible through friction. The teaching that God exists equally
in everything, repeated twice in this conversation, is a call to us to
see the radiance of God in the earth. In the Hindu tradition,
everything in which God is present is regarded as God's form (rūpa).
This means seeing the entire universe as embodying the divine. The Isa
Upanishad opens with the beautiful invitation to see the world as
enveloped by God (isa). Such seeing, described in the beautiful
Sanskrit word darshan, must express itself in a profound and loving
reverence for earth. This loving reverence, as Shiva attests, calls
forth and releases a tremendous energy that is devoted to saving the
earth. God's energy is manifested when our actions are inspired by

The tears of our earth, poignantly described by Tulasidas, have not
ceased, afflicted as she is by pollution, the rapid loss of her
bio-diversity and by climate change that threatens her ability to
sustain life itself. Our religious traditions must awaken and
re-awaken us to a reverence for the earth and inspire energy and
action to respond to her plea and to relieve her from suffering.

We celebrate Diwali with lamps molded from the earth, in which we
place cotton wicks soaked in oil. As we hold these fragile lamps in
our hands this year, may we be mindful of our earth. May we know our
unity with her and be filled with gratitude for her gifts. May we be
attentive to hear again her cry and may we respond with loving

(Inspired by the Religions for the Earth Conference at Union Seminary
NY (19-21 September 2014) and the UN Climate Summit that followed)

The article originally appeared in Huffington Post on 15th October 2014.

*Anantanand Rambachan is Chair and Professor of Religion, Philosophy
and Asian Studies at Saint Olaf College, Minnesota, USA, where he has
been teaching since 1985. Prof. Rambachan is the author of several
books, book-chapters and articles in scholarly journals. Among his
books are, Accomplishing the Accomplished, The Limits of Scripture,
The Advaita Worldview: God, World and Humanity, The Hindu Vision and
Gitamrtam: The Essential Teachings of the Bhagavadgita.

UNFPA resource center in Janakpur

In an effort to enhance knowledge of local people on development
issues including population, youth, sexual and reproductive health and
rights and gender equality, social inclusion, a resource center has
been established at the Regional Support Office of UNFPA, the United
Nations Population Fund, in the southern Nepalese town of Janakpur.
The city, historically called Mithilanchal, is the center of the
ancient Maithili culture, which has its own language and dialect.

Despite being one of Nepal's fastest-growing towns, Janakpur with a
population of 97,997 (Census 2011) still faces long hours of power
outages. Local people in the city lack access to an uninterrupted
internet facility or a resource center having a wide range of resource
materials on development and contemporary issues. "Keeping these
issues in mind, we established the center to cater to local needs,"
says Narendra Mishra, Regional Development Coordinator of UNFPA Nepal
in Janakpur, also a famous religious city.

The center is expected to benefit young people particularly adolescent
girls, women, researchers, scholars, students, journalists and others
who have an interest in these issues but lack access to a variety of
resources. A high speed internet facility even during power outages
will be available free in the center together with books, published
reports, journals, district profiles, district periodic plans, IEC and
other materials in both electronic and hard copies, says Mishra.

Women and young people make up almost half of the population in
Janakpur so it is fitting that there is a center which will help
development workers, students and researcher's understand their needs
more fully and will provide adolescents and women the chance to also
understand their rights more fully.


The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) is a 60 credit point degree that seeks to develop the capacity of emerging leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to protect and promote human rights. It is offered in partnership by the University of Sydney, Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, the Kathmandu School of Law in Nepal, the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka and Ateneo de Manila Law School in Philippines.

The Asia Pacific Program in 10 points:

  • Highest standards of inter-disciplinary scholarship
  • A uniquely regional lived experience of human rights and democracy
  • Focus on the most pressing issues in the Asia-Pacific
  • Exposure to emerging areas of human rights scholarship in the Asia-Pacific
  • Practitioner-led training and development activities
  • Opportunities for independent research
  • Field experience and internships
  • Unique regional professional networks
  • Exposure to cutting-edge research
  • Engagement with leading human rights campaigns

At the end of the program, students graduate with a firm grounding in the philosophical, political, institutional, legal, sociological and cultural dimension of human rights and democratisation. The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia-Pacific region) brings the study of human rights and democracy to life.


The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) is taken over 1.5 years with an option to complete in 1 year. Students attain foundational knowledge and skills at the prestigious University of Sydney (from July to November). All students then undertake a regional semester at one of the leading human rights educational institutions in the region (January - July if students nominate to accelerate their studies, or up to September on a 1.5 year schedule), choosing either an experiential or research–based elective stream. Students also undertake a one–week intersessional intensive unit of study, which is offered at either the University of Sydney (in November) or off–shore (in January) each year (note, the 2015 calendar has not been released yet).

See Degree Structure for more information.

Financial support – scholarships for study

Scholarships for the 2015-16 cohort are now open until 12pm December 14 2014.

There are two types of scholarships available:

  • International Scholarship Scheme: Covering course fees to the value of 60 credit points of domestic student tuition at the University of Sydney and partner universities. It also offers a partial stipend to cover some living costs. Open to students from the Asia Pacific region including, in exceptional circumstance, Australians and New Zealanders.
  • Domestic Scholarship Scheme: Covering course fees to the value of 60 credit points of domestic student tuition at the University of Sydney and partner universities. Open to Australians only.

See the Financial Support page for more information about scholarships including selection criteria or download the 2015-16 Scholarship Application Form.

Applications for admission

Applications for admission should be made online via

Visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.


Telemor – Viettel Group’s subsidiary in Timor-Leste is the winner of “Startup of the year” Award in International Business Awards 2014, being the first company of Viettel making profit after launching only six months.

Paris, France (10th October 2014) – Today at the Gala event of The 11th Annual International Business Awards held at the Westin Vendôme Hotel in Paris, France, Telemor - subsidiary of Viettel Group in Timor-Leste is presented to be the Siver Winner of “Startup of the year” Award.

Telemor – a young telecom operator in Timor-Leste has made a strong impression on the Judges because of its significant achievements just within the first year of business operating since its launching on July 2013. Telemor has covered mobile services to 96% of Timor-Leste population. Its subscribers has grown dramatically catching up with the number of subscribers that its competitor developed in more than 10 monopolized years, increasing the mobile penetration of Timor-Leste from 33% to 75% population. The appearance of Telemor has brought up a remarkable change to the telecommunications of Timor-Leste, as The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Xanana Gusmao said: “Telemor has quickly created remarkable differences and changes”. Telecom services (mobile 2G and 3G, internet) are now accessible to every population thanks to Telemor’s good price, wide coverage and strong supplying chain to each village, even the remote areas.

Telemor had to compete with more than 3,500 nominations from organizations and individuals in more than 60 nations to be presented “Startup of the Year” award, an encouraging recognition of Telemor’s effort and success as leading innovative operator in the market. Among others, this is the first project of Viettel to make profit after only 6 months running business.


Telemor is the 5th offshore investment projects of Viettel Group with total value of USD 15 millions.  Another subsidiary of Viettel – Movitel in Mozambique also dramatically won the Award “Fastest growing of the year in Middle East and Africa”.

Viettel has been granted telecommunications in 9 countries with total population of over 160 millions, total investment value of USD 1.5 billions. 5 subsidiary companies in CambodiaLaosHaitiMozambique and Timor have provided services. 2 companies in Peru and Cameroon is going having official launching on October 2014. The other 2 in Burundi and Tanzaniaare under infrastructure deployment of their networks.

Total revenue from overseas business of Viettel reached USD 1 billion in 2013 with around 11.5 million subscribers, bringing in more than USD 180.5 million accumulated profits.

Media Contact:

Bui Thi Phuong Thao (Ms)

Communications Executive


Tel: +84 979438100

Emily Dickinson - If you were coming in the fall ...

Emily Dickinson 

If you were coming in the fall,
I'd brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly
If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.
If only centuries delayed,
I'd count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemens land.
If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I'd toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.
But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time's uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

"We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks

“We Real Cool” 



We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

by Gwendolyn Brooks

Philip Levine

“He Would Never Use One Word Where None Would Do” 

Philip Levine

If you said “Nice day,” he would look up

at the three clouds riding overhead,
nod at each, and go back to doing what-
ever he was doing or not doing.
If you asked for a smoke or a light,
he’d hand you whatever he found
in his pockets: a jackknife, a hankie –
usually unsoiled — a dollar bill,
a subway token. Once he gave me
half the sandwich he was eating
at the little outdoor restaurant
on La Guardia Place. I remember
a single sparrow was perched on the back
of his chair, and when he held out
a piece of bread on his open palm,
the bird snatched it up and went back to
its place without even a thank you,
one hard eye staring at my bad eye
as though I were next. That was in May
of ’97, spring had come late,
but the sun warmed both of us for hours
while silence prevailed, if you can call
the blaring of taxi horns and the trucks
fighting for parking and the kids on skates
streaming past silence. My friend Frankie
was such a comfort to me that year,
the year of the crisis. He would turn
up his great dark head just going gray
until his eyes met mine, and that was all
I needed to go on talking nonsense
as he sat patiently waiting me out,
the bird staring over his shoulder.
“Silence is silver,” my Zaydee had said,
getting it wrong and right, just as he said
“Water is thicker than blood,” thinking
this made him a real American.
Frankie was already American,
being half German, half Indian.
Fact is, silence is the perfect water:
unlike rain it falls from no clouds
to wash our minds, to ease our tired eyes,
to give heart to the thin blades of grass
fighting through the concrete for even air
dirtied by our endless stream of words.

If for nothing else, you should read Philip Levine for the simple fact that he was just anointed our newest Poet Laureate. A champion of the working man, whom Edward Hirsch called “A large, ironic Whitman of the industrial heartland,” we love the tender vitality of this piece.

Poem that can be eaten

“This is Just to Say” 
By William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

[We love this poem for its sheer deliciousness. It reads like a piece of the most beautifully written found poetry — a note taped to the icebox door. Succinct, simple, and yet juicy, the limited lines profess a narrative far beyond what actually exists on the page.]

गङ्गामाया अधिकारीको जीवन रक्षाको लागि अविलम्व आवश्यक सम्पूर्ण कदम चाल्न नेपाल सरकारको विशेष ध्यानकर्षण ।

मिति २०७१ असोज ८
माननीय उपप्रधान तथा गृहमन्त्रीज्यू,
नेपाल सरकार, गृह मन्त्रालय 
सिंहदरबार, काठमाडौं 

विषय ः गङ्गामाया अधिकारीको जीवन रक्षाको लागि अविलम्व आवश्यक सम्पूर्ण कदम चाल्न नेपाल सरकारको विशेष ध्यानकर्षण । 

२०६१ साल जेष्ठ २४ गते आफ्ना छोरा कृष्णप्रसाद अधिकारीलाई अपहरण गरी चरम यातना पश्चात हत्या गरिएको विरुद्ध न्यायको माग राख्दै अधिकारी दम्पतीले दशक भन्दा वढि समय देखि अनेक प्रयत्न गर्दा पनि सो हत्यामा संलग्न भएका मुख्य अभियुक्तलाई गिरफ्तार गरी विश्वसनीय अनुसन्धान नगरेपश्चात न्यायको माग राखि नन्दप्रसाद अधिकारी तथा गंगामाया अधिकारी विगत ११ महिनादेखि आमरण अनशनरत रहदै आउनु भएको कुरा सर्वविदितै छ ।  

आफ्नो छोरा कृष्णप्रसाद अधिकारको हत्याको स्वतन्त्र, निष्पक्ष एवं विश्वसनीय अनुसन्धानको माग राखि अनशनरत अधिकारी दम्पत्तीको न्यायको मागलाई नेपाल सरकारले निरन्तर वेवास्ता गर्दै निज नन्दप्रसाद अधिकारीलाई मृत्युवरण गर्न वाध्य बनाएको घटनाले समस्त नेपाली जनतामा नेपालमा कानूनको शासन तथा जवाफदेही सरकार रहेकोमा गम्भिर आशंका उत्पन्न भएको छ । सरकारी रेखदेखमा सरकारी अस्पतालमा नै रहेको अवस्थामा र न्यायको माग राखि संघर्ष गर्दा गर्दै सरकारको वेवास्ता तथा चरम लापरवाहीको कारणले एकजना नागरिकले देह त्याग गर्नु परेको यो घटनाले सम्पूर्ण न्यायप्रेमी मानव समुदायलाई मर्माहत तुल्याएको छ । 

यो घटनाले नेपालमा नागरिकहरूको न्याय प्राप्तीको आकाङ्क्षा प्रति नेपाल सरकारकोे चरम उदासिनता उजागर गर्नुको साथै लोकतन्त्र, मानवअधिकार तथा विधिको शासनको पनि उपहास गरेको छ । यसले नन्दप्रसादको देहावसान भन्दा पनि समग्र न्यायको देहावसानको सङ्केत गरेको छ । 

वर्षौदेखि न्याय प्राप्तीका विभिन्न मार्ग अपनाउँदै आएका अधिकारी दम्पत्तीले कतैबाट पनि न्यायको आशा अनुभुती गर्न नसकेपश्चात अन्तिम अस्त्रको रूपमा आमरण अनशनलाई अंगालेका थिए, जसमा हामी मानव अधिकारकर्मीहरु यो आत्मविनाशी तरिका इन्कार गरी न्याय प्राप्तीका अन्य मार्ग एवं प्रक्रियाहरू अवलम्वल गर्न भरमग्दुर प्रयास गरेको जगजाहेर छ । तर दुर्भाग्य न्यायका लागि मर्ने अन्तिम चरणमा पुगेको अवस्थामा समेत उनलाई सो बाटो परित्याग गर्न र न्याय प्राप्तिको सुनिश्चिता गर्न सरकार कुनै ठोस कदम चाल्न असफल रह्यो । 

मानव अधिकारको गम्भीर उल्लंघनको घटनामा न्याय प्राप्तीको लागि संघर्षरत नेपाली नागरिकलाई सरकारको उदासीनता एवं लापरवाहीको कारणले मृत्युवरण गर्न बाध्य बनाइएको यस लज्जास्पद घडीमा सम्पूर्ण न्याय प्रेमी जनताको तर्फबाट जवाफदेहीता निगरानी समिति नेपाल सरकार समक्ष निम्न लिखित माग गर्दछौं ।

१. निज नन्दप्रसाद अधिकारीसंगै आमरण अनशनमा रहनु भएकी निजकी पत्नी गङ्गामायाको जीवन रक्षाको लागि अविलम्व आवश्यक सम्पूर्ण कदम चाल्न नेपाल सरकारको विशेष ध्यानाकर्षण गराउन चाहन्छौ । 

२. कृष्णप्रसाद अधिकारीको हत्यामा संलग्न व्यक्तिहरुलाई अविलम्व पक्राउ गरी निष्पक्ष, स्वतन्त्र र विश्वसनीय अनुसन्धान गर्न अविलम्व कदम चाल्न नेपाल सरकार समक्ष माग गर्दछौ । साथै निजको हत्यामा संलग्न देखिएका मुख्य व्यक्ति नेपाल बाहिर रहेको भन्ने सन्दर्भमा निजलाई नेपालमा झिकाई अनुसन्धान कारवाही अगाडी बढाउन अविलम्ब आवश्यक कदम चाली नेपाली जनतामा कानूनको शासनको अनुभुती गराउन जोडदार माग गर्दछौं । 

यस दुखद घडीमा आफ्नो जीवनको अन्तिम क्षणसम्म पनि न्यायको लागि निरन्तर संघर्षरत निज नन्दप्रसाद अधिकारी प्रति हार्दिक श्रद्धान्जली व्यक्त गर्न चाहन्छौं ।

सुशील प्याकुरेल

Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala visiting and observing architecture of Grand Mosque in Abudhabi

Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala visiting and observing architecture of Grand Mosque in Abudhabi and listening its historic aspects. Photo Credit: PMO

Social media games battle gender stereotypes in Nepal

UNDP Nepal has experimented a new quiz game that aims to fight gender-based violence. It is using Facebook network to spread the quiz game -- the game's core idea is that if you present people with flipped gender roles, they will be shocked and correct their ways..

25 Aug 2014 by  Sachchi  Ghimire  Karki  and  Kamal  Raj  Sigdel

The problem with social norms is that even the most conscientious of citizens often stop questioning them.
They simply perpetuate.
Across South Asia, and in Nepal in particular, despite major strides in women’s economic empowerment in the past decade, gender stereotypes, domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence still continue to cripple society. According to a 2012 study, more than half of Nepali women experience violence in their lifetime.
One way to fight these stereotypes and end gender-based violence is to swap roles so that men can experience what it feels like to walk in a woman’s shoes.
At UNDP Nepal, we’re building on that premise as we look to tackle the high levels of violence against women in Nepali society. Behavior change is easier said than done, so we’ve decided to try and break the chain of violence by focusing on young people and their willingness to question social norms. 
Here’s our gambit: we’ve designed an online interactive quiz for Facebook that turns how young people view gender roles in society inside-out and back-to-front. You can access the quiz at:
Six short animated videos, each followed by multiple-choice questions, depict situations where traditional roles have been inverted so as to raise the user’s awareness of their own potential prejudices and stereotypes.
One scenario projects men being harassed by female passengers on a public bus. When several of the men complain about how harassment is commonplace on public buses, the women retort, “if it is so difficult for you to tolerate chance physical encounters in crowded spaces, you should have a private vehicle or hire a cab.”
We will have six such animated videos, each one focused on a particular form of violence such as harassment, domestic violence, political violence and sexual violence. These will be launched through UNDP’s social media channels and, to reach out to a larger audience, we plan to launch a publicity campaign (radio announcements, links on main newspaper websites, etc.) to mobilize participation among youth.
We’re excited that in the first week of preparation, we have already formed a partnership with the University of Chicago Gaming Lab, to draw upon their technical expertise in the design of the gaming framework that incorporates the animated videos and quiz questions in an interesting package.
Can you think of photos and videos that switch gender roles or create empathy to help us fight against gender violence? Let us know what you think.

Check out these animations with flipped gender roles:
   video video
video video


Nepal Cabinet Decision on Transfer of Secretaries - August 14, 2014

Cabinet decisions on transfers taken on August 14, 2014
[Based on media reports]

1.     Secretary Suman Sharma to Ministry of Finance (MoF) from Ministry of Information and Communications
2.     Secretary Dhan Bahadur Tamang to Women and Children from the Peace and Reconstruction 
3.     Secretary Dipendra Nath Sharma has been posted to Ministry of Youths and Sports
4.     Secretary Dipendra Nath Sharma to Ministry of Youth and Sports
5.     Secretary Ranjan Lakaol to Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) 
6.     Secretary Sarada Prasad Trital to the National Planning Commission
7.     Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha to Ministry of Health and Population From Ministry of Local Development
8.     Secretary Sharad Chandra Poudel to Ministry of Forest and Soil-Conservation
9.     Secretary Shreedhar Gautam to Ministry of Cooperative and Poverty Alleviation
10. Secretary Somlal Subedi to Ministry of Local Development from NPC
11. Secretary Sri Ranjan Lakaol Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) from Ministry of Energy and Irrigation
12. Secretary Sureshman Shrestha to Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation,
13. Secretary Uttam Bhattarai to Ministry of Industry Agriculture
14. Suresh Man Shrestha to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation from Labour Ministry
15. Secretary Anup Upadhyay to the Office of the President
16. Secretary Arjun Bahadur Karki to Ministry of Urban Development
17. Secretary Nar Bahadur Rajwar to Nepal Trust
18. Secretary Bishnu Prasad Lamsal to Public Service Commission from Ministry of Finance

1.     Acting Secretary Jivan Prava Lama to National Information Commission,
2.     Acting Secretary Khumraj Punjali to Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction.
3.     Acting Secretary Prem Kumar Rai has been posted to Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA)
4.     Acting Secretary Ramesh Kumar Sharma to National Vigilence Centre
5.     Acting Secretary Sunil Bahadur Malla has been posted to Ministry of Information and Communications
6.     Acting Secretary Tanka Mani Sharma to Office Public Procurement Monitoring
7.     Acting Secretary Ishwari Poudel acting secretary Water and Energy Commission Secretariat

·      Ram Prasad Dhital as the Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre
·      Annapurna Das has been appointed as the Acting Administrator of the Eastern Development Region
·      Bijaya Kumar Mallik as the Acting Administrator of the Mid-Western Development Region
·      Dinesh Thapaliya as Acting Administrator of the Western Development Region
·      Dr Bimal Dhakal in the Special Class equivalent to 12th-level in the Ministry of Health and Population
·      Parmeshwor Pokharel as the Chairman of Nepal Drinking Water Corporation
·      Prasanna Kumar Koirala as the Member-Secretary of National Cooperatives Development Board
·      Prof Dr Ram Briksha Sahu as the Chairman of Singhadurbar Vaidhyakhana Vikas Samiti

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