Volume 20, N0.4, Oct 1999

BHUTANESE REFUGEES IN NEPAL: QUEST FOR CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES

by Lok Raj Baral

           Lok Raj Boral, Ph.D., is Professor of Political Science, Tribhuvan University, Katmandu, and Executive Chairman, Center for Contemporary Studies, Katmandu. An earlier version of the paper was presented at a National Seminar on “Nepal’s Foreign Policy: Issues and Options” organized by Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) in co-operation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Germany, August 20-21, 1999

          The policy of forced assimilation by the Bhutanese monarch vis-à-vis the southern Bhutanese of Nepal origin alienated the latter leading to refugee influx into Nepal. Despite the fact that Nepal’s response to the cause of these refugees has been sympathetic, it has added another burden to its growing population. Having burdened with these refugees, Nepal has been pursuing a bilateral approach towards the solution of the problem. But bilateral negotiation has been resulting in failure due to a host of reasons particularly for the lack of mutual trust and confidence. On Nepal’s part, internationalization of the issue or making India involved in seeking the solution of the problem would not be rational since such an effort is likely to invite outside intervention. However, the lingering of the problem is not only problematic for Nepal, but also the Bhutanese regime. Therefore, in addition to showing respect for human rights law, it is essential for the Bhutanese regime to create an environment suitable for the return of the refugees.

 

RETHINKING THE CONCEPT OF PEACE PROCESS

by Moonis Ahmar   

          Moonis Ahmar, PH.D., is Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi, Pakistan. The author gratefully acknowledges the support and assistance of the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, United States, where he was a Visiting Fellow in fall semester, 1999

         This paper aims at critically examine the concept of peace process in the post-Cold War era by responding to the following questions: What are the contradictions in the theory and practice of peace process? Is the concept of peace process useful in the just resolution of conflicts? What are the limitations in peace process? The basic argument which this paper tries to make is: peace process is facing a serious credibility crisis because of long delays in negotiations, non-implementation of agreements and attempts made by the powerful peace processes in the last 10 years, it seems that the emphasis has not been on resolving critical issues but on freezing such issues so as to reduce the intensity of the conflict. As a result, basic irritants, which cause violence and the outbreak of hostilities, are not removed but temporarily shelved. Given the credibility problem of the peace process, there is a need on the part of the protagonists of peace to contemplate on how to address that issue.


U.S. NON-PROLIFERATION POLICY AND THE NUCLEARISATION OF SOUTH ASIA

by Ruksana Kibria   

          Ms. Ruksana Kibria is Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka.

          Being an important part of U.S. foreign policy, much effort is given to promote the goal of nuclear non-proliferation. This is buttressed by three basic approaches: establishment and strengthening of treaty regimes, and dealing with the supply and demand sides of the problem. The non-proliferation policy received a jolt when India and Pakistan exploded their nuclear devices in May 1998. Displeasure was initially expressed through the imposition of economic sanctions on the two countries. The United States has since then relented over the issue of the nuclearization of South Asia. Although a laudable goal, U.S. non-proliferation strategy is facing challenges among which are domestic politics and the need to consider broader geopolitical and economic interests.

 

REVERSE ENGINEERING: A PROMISE FOR HARNESSING SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT IN BANGLADESH

by  M. Kamal Uddin

         M. Kamal Uddin, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor, Institute of Appropriate Technology, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), Dhaka.

         Reverse Engineering is a process of diffusion of technologies that plays an important role for incremental change leading to sustained technological development. Reverse engineering can be considered as essential phase for a developing country like Bangladesh for triggering technological revolution and can act as forward and backward linkage in the process. This paper hinges upon the conceptual setting, momentousness of Reverse Engineering for the country’s industrial growth and the present status of Reverse Engineering practices in the country. Pragmatic solutions and required organizational set up are proposed in the paper against various hindrances and problems prevailing in the country in the process of following Reverse Engineering technique. Observations make in the paper are based on a sample survey undertaken on light engineering industries and three sample survey undertaken on light engineering’ organized recently.

 

CROSS CURRENTS OF EMPOWERMENT AND MARGINALISATION: WOMEN OF BANGLADESH IN TRANSITION

by Tasneem Siddique   

           Tasneem Siddiqui, Ph.D. is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Dhaka. An earlier version of the paper was presented at a Regional Consultation on Women’s Rights, organized by South Asia Forum for Human Rights in collaboration with Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at Lahore on November 13-14, 1998.

           The women of Bangladesh are going through a transitional phase in which they are experiencing cross currents of both social and economic empowerment and marginalisation. Since independence, major socio-economic changes have occurred in rural Bangladesh. These  helped a significant section of women, particularly those belonging to the bottom half of the population, to break out from the traditional values and norms that subjected them to social control and subjugation. This paper argues that in the ultimate analysis, such a process has empowered women both socially and economically. However, in the new  environment, although some forms of exploitation have been   overcome, new forms of marginalisation processes have surfaced. This paper identifies areas where women are currently being marginalised.