Monday, October 11, 2010

What Happens When UNMIN Exits From Nepal ?

By Divas

UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs B Lynn Pascoe wrapped up his 40-hours visit to Nepal after talking to more than 40 personalities directly involved in the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants within UNMIN's Jan. 15, 2011 deadline. The visit is significant as an indication of the Security Council's intention to follow closely developments in the Nepal's peace process during the final months of UNMIN. Pascoe will report his findings to the Security Council on Wednesday.  During his earlier visit to Nepal in March, Pascoe had strongly objected to the criticism of UNMIN as unfair and absurd and criticized the present Madhav Kumar Nepal Government and his political allies for blaming the UN mission to “cover up their failures”.

The debate on the fate of Maoist Army has intensified with the Maoist Party’s insistence on integrating the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) guerillas into the National Army, and on the other hand, the opposition Nepali Congress’s  strong reservation over integrating PLA into the National Army. The Terai parties like MJF & TMDP also have strongly objected to what they call “wholesale integration” of the Maoist guerillas into the Army. Similarly, Nepal Army Chief Chatraman Singh Gurung  has reiterated his predecessor Rukmagad Katwal’s Army policy of accepting only those “deemed fit through free competition.”

Tackling the issue of “integration” or “rehabilitation” of around 20,000 UNMIN certified Maoist combatants would be the most daunting task for the political leaders after the peaceful abolition of monarchy and promulgation of republic in Nepal two year’s back. However, some Nepal Army officers claim that “integration” of the guerillas would not be of much concern provided the politicians refrained from attaching their personal egotism with the issue and begin vigorous but informal track-three consultations among the stakeholders.

There is a widespread concern among the commoners that if the UNMIN really exits from Nepal in January 2011 and if the integration issue is not resolved by then, there is a real danger of the issue flaring up into another armed conflict.

Monday, August 16, 2010

An Adoptive Mom’s Plea to United States Government

*Author's Identity Withheld on Request

I am one of the US adoptive parents adopting from Nepal. On August 6th 2010, US suspended inter-country adoption program from Nepal. The wordy and heartbreaking notice posted on US Department of State’s website ( was essentially to tell US citizens who did not receive the referral before August 6th to give up seeking adoptions from Nepal, and ask those parents who received referral before suspension to be prepared for the worst scenario. I am posting my voice here to hope that anyone came across this message to help us fight for the following causes:

First we need to fight for the Nepali orphans to have the right to a forever family.

Second we need to fight for the families that have a referral of a child to get their child home safely and in a timely manner. (We do not wish to see the indefinite delay for the reunion of the 80 families in the pipeline due to the complexity of the structure within the US government, which could mean layers of approval requirements from one office to another).

Third we need to help fight for those families that have submitted dossiers into Nepal Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare but are waiting for a child.

As an adoptive parent, I do want ethical adoptions in Nepal, but I am also hoping that US government is taking into account Nepalese culture and ways of life. When a parent abandons a child in the US do we have to ask why? So why is the US asking Nepal this? Would a Nepali mother tell people in her village that she abandoned her child, would she do it in public, is she shamed how she would be treated in her village....? Is it that the US thinks that the policemen in Nepal are stealing the children? Then we need to investigate if there is such corruption in Nepal, is this common in their culture. If a family has had their child stolen do they not shout out for help in their village? Does the US have a person that has been educated in Nepalese culture to help with these sorts of questions in order to fully understand what is going on with finding orphans with very little information?

We know that US is allowing adoption programs in some other countries that have similar issues. In China adoption program, very few biological parents would step out to admit they abandoned their kids because of the shame and fear of legal sanctions. Most Chinese orphans adopted to US have no information of their biological parents, and just for the record, China is not a country totally innocent of corruption charges… If US government can solve these issues in China’s adoption program and other western countries are able to work with China to carry out a well-organized adoption program, I am confident that they will be able to work out a solution with Nepal government to solve the very similar problems. I am urging Nepal government and US government to keep working together to find a solution for these Nepali orphans as soon as possible.

It is very tragic that these adorable Nepali children may have to remain in orphanages (where they have already lived for one or more years) for the rest of their childhood because the US Department of State is now reviewing each abandonment case on a guilty until proven innocent view instead of an innocent until proven guilty burden. These children who have been abandoned for years living in an orphanage are not going to be given a visa to the US to come and live with their forever family that will provide a safe, loving and nurturing home because their original abandonment cannot be substantially verified. That is, these Children might not have any  opportunity simply                because these mothers/family members/relatives will go to all costs not to be identified due to the Nepalese culture, norms and rules. Doesn't sound reasonable, does it?

I hope that the US government is taking into account these things.

Lastly, I would like to request that you help the orphans and the adoptive families to be joined together as soon as possible. Please advocate for these children now. Hurry, time is of the essence.

Thanks for your time and thanks in advance for your immense support.