In The News (2)

Was Nepal a Soft Power Victory for China?
The earthquake in Nepal did not arouse a wave of public sympathy in China, unlike the mass support and concern conveyed in India, where there have been public vigils in multiple Indian cities..... China remains a distant and alien culture and society for most Nepalis. But it is China’s distance and remoteness that has earned it a positive, even awe-inspired image among its southern neighbors. ...... Nepalese often view Indians, with whom they have close historical, cultural, religious, and linguistic ties, as big brothers. It’s a complex relationship that has elements of intimacy and mutual respect and at the same time contains a significant amount of suspicion and tension. Many talk about this in terms of a somewhat insensitive big brother dealing with a significantly weaker younger brother.
Remote Village Receives Quake Assistance More Than One Week On
Information Minister Minendra Rijal said the major rescue work in Kathmandu and surrounding areas has been completed and that the remaining operations can be handled by local workers. ....... Since the April 25 earthquake, 4,050 rescue workers from 34 different nations have flown to Nepal to help in rescue operations, provide emergency medical care and distribute food and other necessities.
About 100 bodies found in Nepal trekking village
Nepal’s Bureaucracy Is Blamed as Earthquake Relief Supplies Pile Up
Relief supplies for earthquake victims have been piling up at the airport and in warehouses here because of bureaucratic interference by Nepalese authorities who insist that standard customs inspections and other procedures be followed, even in an emergency ....... “The bottleneck was the fact that the bureaucratic procedures were just so heavy” ..... “So many layers of government and so many departments involved, so many different line ministries involved. We don’t need goods sitting in Kathmandu warehouses. We don’t need goods sitting at the airport. We need them up in the affected areas.” ...... Early complaints said the government had all but disappeared, a criticism that even top officials here acknowledge was fair. ........ “Everyone was panicked, everything was closed, and we all tried to save our own lives,” Purna Bahadur Khadka, joint general secretary of the governing Nepali Congress, said in an interview at the prime minister’s official residence. “And some critics can say there was no proper coordination for the first two days.” ...... And that is when, Western aid officials say, government officials began insisting that a list of rules must be followed, even for emergency relief supplies. ..... it was a problem that the United States intended to help fix, as a huge C-17 transport plane unloaded a UH-17 helicopter and, separately, four Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft flew into Nepal on Sunday to help carry supplies from Kathmandu to devastated rural areas. ....... But even that help had been delayed .... “We’ve been sitting on a ramp in Okinawa for the last 72 hours,” waiting for permission to land at Kathmandu ...... “The accusations are false,” Mr. Rijal said in a telephone interview. “It would be better if the U.N. involved itself more in its duties rather than engaging in criticizing the government.” ...........

delays were occurring not only at the Kathmandu airport but at border crossings with India and even at district headquarters across the country

, and Nepalese journalists have quoted customs officials at the Indian border crossings as affirming that relief supplies needed to “go through strict inspections.” ......... “Planting season is six weeks away, and if you miss that you’ll need to deliver food aid for another three months,” he said. “The monsoon is coming in eight weeks. So it’s very precarious.” ...... Anil Kumar Thakur, the chief district officer of Bhaktapur District, said bureaucratic requirements had prevented most distributions of cash under a plan to compensate families who suffered deaths. ..... “Although we have already started to distribute cash relief, it is not going well,” Mr. Thakur added. “It requires verification letters from police and other documents that establishes relations with the deceased one.” ...... The bureaucracy and political machinery in Nepal are unusually independent of each other
Earthquake-Devastated Nepal Toll to Climb 'Much Higher'
the toll will jump once teams reached far-flung villages feared flattened in the worst quake to hit the impoverished Himalayan nation in more than 80 years. ...... In the hardest-hit districts of Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk, almost 90 percent of the mostly stone and mud homes have been destroyed .... the tonnes of foreign aid pouring into Nepal was being held up by red tape. ...... numerous reports of many getting stuck at Kathmandu's small international airport, and customs officials stopping trucks filled with aid from crossing into the country from neighbouring India. ...... The Red Cross has warned of "total devastation" in far-flung places, where whole villages have been destroyed and survivors are sleeping in the open..... The UN's situation report says teams that have arrived in Gorkha have discovered a "dire need for shelter, particularly tents and blankets".
Runway damage hits Nepal aid plan
Survivors feel abandoned at dark heart of Nepal quake
"The ground still shakes a little every day. We don't know when we are alive, when we are dead," Gopal Gurung told AFP in the village of Laprak as an Indian helicopter delivered supplies. .... "We are not protected, it is raining all the time, (we don't) know what can happen. Scared, people scared now," he said in broken English.
Treacherous journey to epicenter of deadly Nepal earthquake
At a local grocery store, we meet a group from a village further up the mountain. They've been walking down to the road every day since the quake hit to try to get assistance, but so far none has arrived. ...... The little aid we do see is generated by the community. We encounter 10 friends who say they have driven 100 km (62 miles) on their motorbikes to distribute supplies. ...... Ninety-five percent of the homes here are destroyed -- those that survived are made of brick and concrete, as opposed to the stone and timber construction that predominates. ...... Even here, at the earthquake's epicenter, aid has been frustratingly slow in arriving.

One of the few signs of assistance is an Indian army medical team, treating the infected head wound of an injured girl, who cries as they insert stitches.

How India’s Media Reported #GoHomeIndianMedia
#GoHomeIndianMedia: Here's why Nepalis are mad as hell at the Indian press
#GoHomeIndianMedia: When Indian smugness meets Nepal's thin-skinned nationalism
A Nepali's Angry Letter Shows Why #GoHomeIndianMedia became Top Twitter Trend
Nitish Kumar prays at Buddhist temple for quake victims
Janata Dal (United) to Raise Centre's Advisory to Nitish Kumar Not to Go to Nepal, in Parliament

Our faith in authority is fading as we start to rebuild Nepal ourselves
This day, 25 April 2015, would be the dark day our generation would talk about for the rest of our lives, like my grandparents did about 1934. ...... the ripple effects of not having elected local representatives in village and district councils are already being felt by those who were spared death but not destruction in the earthquake. Many families are returning empty-handed from local authorities’ offices ..... Last week, I met several families in Sindhupalchok – one of the worst-hit districts, about 43 miles (70km) east of Kathmandu – who were all agitated by the state’s negligence. A local schoolteacher demanded to know why they had still not received a single tarpaulin sheet, despite the money and relief materials pouring in from all over the world. ...... These sentiments aren’t surprising given how little faith we now have in the state. Whether it was the landslide in Sindhupalchok last year, or the 2013 flood in Darchula in western Nepal, we have seen the government’s inability to help the victims live a dignified life in the aftermath of a disaster. And even now it is the communities in these districts who have been fending for themselves. ....... As I walk past the potholed roads of my neighbourhood, with some sections exposing the underground rusty pipes always being tinkered with by some department or other, I am reminded of how last week’s earthquake will accentuate already existing problems – water supply, power shortage, health services, hygiene, sanitation and security. A nearby bridge, damaged by the monsoon in 2008, was only rebuilt last year. If this rebuilding process is marred like several others in the past, the communities already living on the fringes of the society will be pushed further to the margins in the aftermath of the disaster. ........ Despite the despair, we Nepalis have shown remarkable resilience and kindness. In Sindhupalchok, I interviewed an 87-year-old lady who had survived the big quake of 1934 and now lives under a tarpaulin sheet after her house was completely razed. Saying farewell, she offered me money and something to eat on my way back home. ....... For Nepalis of my generation, adolescence was marked by the decade-long armed conflict and then by the subsequent years of prolonged political transition. Last week’s devastating earthquake, and the government’s faltering relief distribution, has angered many of us. However, as grim as their own situation might be, many young Nepalis have come together to support those who are most in need. ....... Whether it is accumulating the data about those most in need or ferrying whatever little supply they can in their two-wheelers across the windy roads of Sindhupalchok and Dhading, the social media-savvy generation of Nepalis have stepped in to fill some of the gaps in our disaster relief mechanism on the ground.
Why is Indian media facing a backlash in Nepal?
India is leading the search-and-rescue efforts with 704 personnel on the ground, followed by China (168), Bangladesh (140) and the US (120). ..... "The shrillness, jingoism, exaggerations, boorishness and sometimes mistakes in coverage have rankled the host community," Kanak Mani Dixit, editor of the highly respected Himal magazine, tells me. ..... So when hordes of young Indian journalists from hundreds of news TV channels are flung into covering a big news event in the neighbourhood, the deficiencies show. For many, says a senior Kathmandu-based editor, the first stop is the Indian embassy to pick up the cues that often end up colouring the coverage. ..... Also, many say, Indian media's overdependence on access-based journalism means that a disproportionate amount of coverage often ends up on eulogising how their government and its agencies handle crises - there was similar criticism of the media's coverage by flood-affected people in the Kashmir Valley last year. Some channels also pretty openly identify themselves with the ruling government and the bias is amply reflected in the coverage. ...... Prannoy Roy, chief of India's leading NDTV news channel worries, "Why is India becoming 'no country for honest journalism'?"
The latest in Nepal: Canadian aid flights to Nepal resume; Centenarian pulled from quake rubble
Questions over the ability to land Globemasters, which can carry 75 tonnes of troops and equipment, threatened to throw a major wrench into a relief mission already struggling to operate across massive distances. Using the Globemasters, Canada expected to need 48 hours to complete a single one-way flight from Canada to Kathmandu. The alternative was to fly C-130 Hercules that are smaller and slower with less cargo capacity....... Canadians on the ground have been moving toward Sindhupalchok, one of the most heavily-affected regions int he quake. “We’re pushing an initial medical capability out there,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Kelly Williamson, spokeswoman for the Nepal mission. Troops have worked alongside NGOs like the World Food Programme and Save The Children. ....... Canada has purchased five Globemasters since 2007, the most recent bought for $415-million, to bolster its strategic airlift capacity. ...... Nepal is urging foreign rescuers to return home or go to rural areas saying most of the rescue work is over and the remaining operation can be handled by local workers. ...... Since the April 25 earthquake, 4,050 rescue workers from 34 different nations have flown to Nepal to help in rescue operations, provide emergency medical care and distribute food and other necessities. At least 7,276 people were killed and 14,267 injured in the quake.
Nepal Asks Foreign Rescuers to Leave as Hopes Fade
“We have already asked them to go home,” Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a Home Ministry spokesman, said on Monday, adding that roughly half of the 4,000 foreign rescuers had already left. “I think all the rescuers will go to their respective countries by Friday.” ...... Some of the teams, however, said they had no intention of leaving immediately. ...... The leader of a large Spanish team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he had not been authorized by his embassy to speak publicly, said that Nepal’s government would soon divide Kathmandu, the capital, into sectors so that various teams would have responsibility for specific parts of the city. In the early days of the rescue effort, teams often ended up searching the same sites because of a lack of coordination. ...... “We have the technology for surveying under the rubble; we have dogs that sniff people out,” the team leader said. “And we have other kinds of techniques.” ..... Dr. Ian Norton, head of the World Health Organization’s program of foreign medical teams, praised the government’s announcement, which he said would free up airport and other resources. ....... “More is not better at this point,” Dr. Norton said. “If you’re not contributing, you need to make way for those who are.” ..... about 50 foreign medical teams comprising nearly 10,000 people had saved hundreds of lives and even more limbs. ....... “I’m not saying rescue teams are bad, but there needs to be a balance,” Dr. Norton said. “This announcement by the Nepali government is completely appropriate.” .....Mr. Dhakal explained that many of the rescue teams refused to take part in the dreary and sickening task of recovering dead bodies from the still-towering piles of rubble in some parts of Kathmandu, “so their relevance is now over.”
Chinese Security Force to Repair Damaged Nepal Highway


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