The Perspective of Nepal
Nuclear Waste, and the Struggle for Peace & Justice

May 2002

Brief Statement from Shiva Shrestha (President of Save the World-Nepal)

Dear Friends in Peace,

Nepal is a very poor country situated between two very big nations with a long history of civilization & culture- India & China. Both these countries are growing rapidly in terms of GDP & have consequently dwarfed Nepal's aspiration for peace & justice.

At the moment Nepal cannot claim any initiative for development because the mega development of India & China can not be questioned or paralleled. For Nepal the issue is more basic- just peace. Nepal was a peaceful nation till recent times even though it used her young men to defend the interest of India & Great Britain as mercenaries. But these mercenaries send home their salaries so that their families could live in peace. We know that this situation is an anomaly. It has to be corrected.

Before the end of the cold war we use to think that the USA & the Soviet Republic as the archrivals & the proponents of violence & subsequent peace. We never thought of other nuclear power owning state as the archrivals for global violence. We feel that nuclear weapons can not be used & will not be used at all but the problem of nuclear waste & the problem of management of nuclear stockpiles will be ultimately detrimental.

Nepal is facing problems of development investment, development management & a situation of civic strife. Unfortunately development is money which is wasted in the management of civil strife & nuclear waste. We do not condemn the USA for its insistence on security. We do not condemn other nuclear weapon holding states for their security problems. We do not have any co-relative data to measure the cost of nuclear weapons & the provision of education, health & jobs to the guardians of poorer children & depressed women.

We learn from the media that a single rocket costs more than US $20 million & this cost could translate to providing 10 years of school education to a hundred thousand school children in Nepal. After all education for a Nepali child is not expensive. We are thinking of only literacy, numeracy & language skills not of education in universities which promote weapons research. The need of Nepal is very basic.

Nepal desires access to drinking water, school education, health facilities, vocational training & several simpler basic needs. To Nepal, the provision of these basic necessities is security. To Nepal, a gallon of safe water, a seat in a school, intelligent information on health is the security that
is desired. In the absence of these wants civil strife has begun & is gaining momentum. This momentum can not be broken by rockets & atomic delivery systems that is why we want simple peace to provide drinking water, school education, family health & the opportunity for employment to maintain our self respect. After all family income & jobs create the opportunities for healthy life, for a civilian opportunity for those who aspire to gain self-respect. Every third World nation's interest is water, bread, education & self- fulfilling small employment. If nuclear weapons are banned the world will have enough resources to provide a decent life.

Let us work to prevail peace in  the world.

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