There is an appalling amount of confused, distorted and self-contradicting information about the case of Bomjon’s victim, Marici, in the media. From being held in a “tank” or “kidnapped from my hotel” and “rescued by police” there are many inaccuracies that question the seriousness of not only the authors of those articles, but also their famous big media.
What is entirely unnecessary, because Marici, myself, is still alive, still able to speak and write and even easy to contact through this website, which jumps up during most searches about Ram Bomjon on Google. There is a contact form on this website, which many others use, but for some mysterious reason, I had never been contacted by any of the big media houses or wire services to get their facts (about me) right directly from me.
I cannot promise always quick reaction, due to my technical possibilities and compromised health, but in the time when Newsweek released its article, I was still regularly online. Answering emails and comments is a very important part of the mission of this website.
Yet, until now, only personal bloggers, tabloids or magazines asked me for an interview. Mainstream media, it seems, prefers to write about crime victims without checking out what they have to say about their cases. I even got into a discussion with Wikipedia, which took (with a similar logic) the claims of mainstream media who were all writing something about me, yet not the correct details. I have offered myself, here I am, ask me. Yet Wikipedia believes more the sources dropped there by some editors, when it comes to a crime victim of Bomjon than the very subject (me, Marici) about which that paragraph they publish. This is the irony of modern journalism and encyclopedialism. It is like telling “You are not the right source about describing your own victimization by Bomjon, we have Newsweek and Lalit Magazine, they know better the detailed circumstances of your kidnapping than you yourself!”
I could never understand this discrepancy. It started already in 2012, when Nepalese journalists from all kinds of mainstream and local newspapers and TVs had been lining up in front of the Immigration Detention, and bribing the security guards to let them inside to interview me, Bomjon’s victim, exhausting me with many hours conversation on a daily basis, but not providing me food, medicine, or any other help or reward…. OK, I did it for free, for the truth. I trusted it had some sense, at least to warn the public. Yet, to my surprise, when I returned to Europe and read the Nepalese news, most of the things I had told them, had been distorted, twisted, confused, turned over chronologically, or just not mentioned (and instead of them they wrote something else).
A tent or a tank?
The tragicomic side of this all was that when Slovak news agencies wanted to find out something about my case, they got it from not even second-hand, but maybe fifth-hand, and with a bad translation, which resulted in the word “tent” misspelled, misheard or mistranslated as “tank”. Due to this all Slovak newspapers had been repeating the same mistake, that Bomjon had been holding me in a “tank” (“mesiace držali v nádrži“)! Now, how many tanks (water tanks) are there in Halkhoriya Jungle? Zero. No one ever took the courage to check out…
A surprising part of this story is that when I was reading in the Slovak media about the comments of the then foreign minister Mr. Shwarzenegger about my case, who had but never spoken to me, he was just repeating the same misinformation, without checking if the details were actual facts.
I was long trying to find out how this mistake could appear, and I realised later when I read in some Nepalese source that I had been held in a “tent”. When you say “tent” and “tank” in a phone conversation, it could be misheard. Could it not be easy to ask me? I do speak all the relevant languages, English and even Nepali. I could have provided a better translation maybe…
Kidnapped from “my hotel”?
Yet I cannot accept that Newsweek, which is a bigger media than the Slovak tabloid, did not even try to get its facts right before speedily publishing the article about the latest Bomjon affairs. They wanted to make it as complex as they can, by adding an information about Bomjon’s past victim from 2012. Yet even if Google offers loads of articles about my story, and they can even find my own descriptions of the details on this Halkhoriya Times, they write something new, what had never appeared in any news yet, and they even claim that I myself had said that: “. … said she had been kidnapped from her hotel“.
Whom did Newsweek ask about how things were? We can guess that “some wire”. Which one? No clues at the article. Or did they just ask some walker-by in Kathmandu? A friend in a travel agency which organized their Annapurna Trek a few years back…? Who knows. Sources are not mentioned in the Newsweek article.
How easy it could have been if they could ask me, the very subject of the paragraph in the text, how things really were. But they did not. Similarly like many other “wires” and media houses, most journalists totally ignore that the victim of Bomjon about whom they are writing, is able to tell the truth for herself! Why to use someone’s name, and then claim incorrect things about her without any will to check it with her first? What is the secret of good journalism? Putting together some words from fifth- or tenth hand, instead of trying to contact the person they are mentioning?
I was not even staying in a hotel prior to kidnapping. I was staying in Simara town’s small Buddhist monastery, run by Tcheku Lama. a traditional Tamang Buddhist monk who eventually was kidnapped together with me, but released by Bomjon due to his diabetes (but also because he had family members and a Buddhist community in Simara, who would not let the cult hold him hostage). I was kidnapped only after I was lured by Bomjon’s messengers Darshan Subba limbu and Budha lama, who arrived to the East-West Highway at Piluwa village on a motorbike, to tell me that “Guruji wanted to speak to me urgently”. The highway is 6 km from Bomjon’s Halkhoriya Compound in the jungle it runs along. As I was still considering Bomjon a “holy man” and myself a brave supporter, although it was evening already, I convinced Tcheku Lama to come with me on the two motorbikes (one of Darshan’s, one of Tcheku’s).
The fake news about police rescuing Marici
The mistake does not seem so important, and does not harm my reputation in any way. Yet the other incorrectness is something which is more important. Newsweek also writes: “In 2012, Nepali police said they had rescued a Slovakian woman who had been held by followers of Bomjan for more than two months”
Yes, this sounds nicely ordinary, yet it was not true. Nepal is not an ordinary country, and police was (and is, partially still) in the hands of Ram Bomjon and his political supporters, not lower than two Prime Ministers, one Maoist Party leader, one ex health minister. This was even more in 2012, when Jas Bahadur Waiba, the nearby Piluwa village’s “Don” and local “powerman” (Thulo Manche) had been regularly bribing police chiefs NOT to proceed with any case which involved Ram Bomjon as the accused.
As a consequence, even if Tcheku Lama, who was a direct witness of my kidnapping, alerted the police, they did NOT come to release me all 3 months! Even when Bomjon finally released me on 24 March 2012, I did not see a single policeman around me in Halkhoriya. I could have been re-kidnapped easily, and there was an attempt from Polish Tomasz Tarnawski to push himself to the car which was taking me out of the jungle to Simara. But at my alarm and shouting and crying finally the other devotees of Bomjon agreed not to add my 3-month torturer to the crew. I had been escorted to Simara by an Indian driver, Andrea Good, Semyon Shekovtsov and Jatin Sharma of India. No police!
Police did not rescue me at all, ever, and even when they knew exactly where I was and in what condition, they were idle, because Bomjon’s supporters bribed them and used their political contacts to block any action. The only people who tried to rescue me were the 5 journalists who arrived to film Bomjon’s “Maitri Puja 2012”, held during the time of my torture in the riverbed at the jungle I was held. They knew I was there, and Bomjon knew they came to search for me. He sent his men to attack them and break their cameras.
I am repeating this all over again and again, already 6 years, but instead of checking my own witness-victim accounts, journalists are parroting some “wires” which got their information directly from Bomjon’s followers in 2012! It is very sad and speaks a lot about the standard of journalism today.
Are two wrists called “an arm” in English?
Then the next claim of Newsweek: “She reportedly had a broken arm when she was eventually released.” Now, dear Newsweek’s David Brennan, who keep yourself unreachable and reply to my emails with postponed “Mailer Daemon”, you do not need to be a medical expert to see the following X-rays and photo, if that is called “an arm” or “two wrists” which had been broken during Bomjon’s torture:
What are wires?