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Kantipur FM Commentary: Wild Nepal I

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In this March 12 (1998) episode of Marlboro Music Network Music program, which I hosted in the Spring of 1998, I shared my opinion on the way the government was saying they were dealing with wild life contraband they had seized.

 

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[Opening jingle]

Hey…. All right….

I’m back for the last time this week with another hour of Marlboro Music Network here on the one and only Kantipur FM.

This is Dorje. There are some great music coming your way. And this hour I do have a question for you.

And the question is: What don’t you need a nose for to tell that it really stinks? What don’t you need a nose for to tell it really really stinks?

While you ponder over that question here’s Puff Daddy with a number that anyone and everyone should recognize — I Will Be Missing You.

[Music]

Following Puff Daddy was the the Doors with People Are Strange.

On the front page of yesterday’s issue of The Kathmandu Post there’s an article by Kavita Sherchan. It is under the heading “Government Decides to Destroy Wildlife Contraband.” The contraband under question is stored in Chitwan.

The Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), had come to that decision after getting the go-ahead, the green light from CITES, the international convention governing the trade in wildlife and plants. There’s more where that came from, so stay tuned.

Here’s Metallica with Unforgiven II.

[Music]

And following Metallica was Rod Stewart with Every Beat of My Heart.

The contraband had been decaying and keeping it safe was too much of a financial burden on the DNPWC. The DNPWC, it seems, had sent a letter to CITES in 1995, and had finally gotten the green light — just last month — for the destruction of the contraband after waiting for over two years.

So what is the problem? More about that later. In the mean time here are the Backstreet Boys with All I Have to Give.

[Music]

And that was the Stereo Mc’s with Step It Up.

So what are the problems?

Problem #1 (and I quote from the article): “When asked to comment on the content of the correspondence with CITES, the International Convention, officials [of DNPWC I presume] maintain a tight lip.”

There are two more to come. In the mean time here are the Rolling Stones with Low Down.

[Music]

And that was Van Halen with Top of the World.

Okay, on to problem #2: The cabinet meeting in December, which endorsed the DNPWC decision, some experts charge, was held behind closed doors.

And the third problem with all this as I see it, which the article also points out, is that the date and the venue for the destruction of the contraband has not been made public…of course!

Up next, INXS with She is Rising.

[Music]

And that was Chris Rea with Curse of the Traveller.

Okay, so there’s all this secrecy surrounding the said destruction. The wildlife experts complain, among other things, about the lack of transparency in the whole affair, understandably.

This brings me to the question of the hour.

What don’t you need a nose for to tell that it really stinks?

All that secrecy surrounding this contraband destruction issue is what stinks, more than the decaying contraband themselves, and you don’t need a nose for it.

Next, Beatles Twist and Shout.

[Music]

Going back to the contraband…incidentally, the article says prior to 1990, the contraband used to find its way to the Royal Palace.

As for now, look out for Pajero-driving official in leopard-skin cap or crocodile-skin boots or tiger-skin bag!

That’s it for me this hour and this week.

[Music and closing jingle.]

 

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Not much appears to have changed since the 1998 episode. The trading in wildlife contraband has not changed at all. Afterall, all the players are still the same people. Pretty much all the powerful individuals — leaders of political parties, those in the Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary branches of the government, and those running (ruining?) the bureaucracy — are still the same people.

Shrada Ghale in Small Fish and Scapegoats, published in The Kathmandu Post in April 2017, provides all the details of how it all still works the same way, twenty years on.

The connected and the powerful make sure that the law applies only to the poor in the country.

 

Update May 23, 2017

Came across two articles today describing how just yesterday — yes, the day I published this blog post –a huge cache of wildlife contraband was destroyed.

The first one, published in The Kathmandu Post, describes how Over 4,000 Valuable Animal Parts [were] Burned to Ashes. The article provides a list of the type and the number of each contraband incinerated. It also says, “The last time the country destroyed animal parts and trophies was on Mach 22, 1998,” ten days after the above episode was aired!

The second one appeared on BBC. The only difference being that their reporting included photos as well.

 

Update May 25, 2017

OnwardNepal.com even produced a video of the event. Click here to go to their article.

 

 

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