Correspondence with the BBC

I have decided to very publicly 'share' the communications exchanged between myself and:
Firstly, Navin Singh Khadka, Environment Reporter, BBC World Service;
Secondly Ms Unsworth, Director BBC World Service;
Thirdly Kumar Malhotra (Mr Khadka's supervisor/editor, which initially Mr Khadka denied having);
BBC Complaints Section (Type of Complaint BBC News (TV, Radio and website); Complaint Category Standards of interviewing/presenting; Complaint Description Distressed at conduct BBC World Service Reporter
BBC Secretary

I consider it fair to observe that I was seriously ill at the time, suffering from major pain for the majority of every day.  Thankfully, my youngest son was still at home at the time (studying for A levels); most of my e-mails were typed on the computer by him with me dictating, lying in a reclining seat (obtained in a charity shop in Slough for a mere £30 as I cannot afford the price of these new).  I had been ill for several years prior to a diagnosis and then a further 18 months.  I have experience of severe pain through food-poisoning episodes and kidney stones but in time, these all wore off but to be in significant pain every day, over years, is debilitating physically and mentally.  I could not remember important information which could have been used in my defence at that time  (though I still disproved all of Mr Khadka's allegations anyhow - not that this was ever going to stop him maligning me publicly, which will be there for as long as the internet exists, in a prominent position in searches - why don't you type in Chris Chadwell and see where 'illegally collected seed...' appears) ); slowly, several matters have "come back to me".  Of course the BBC relies upon the lack of education (in most cases intellect) of those it targets, such that very few are in a position to defend themselves nor have the funds (like Sir Cliff Richard) to take them on.  They also are aware of how intimidating they are, even to someone like myself, whose intellect and education, matches, in most cases, exceeds all of their staff - despite the obscene amount many of them are paid.... Had I not had an intelligent son available at home, to help, I would have struggled even more.  Most people do not realise just what proportion of British people are barely literate.  The BBC also relies upon the respect it is held it.  The British public trusts the BBC.  I used to as well.  IF you take the time to read through my evidence (I am not alone in being treated in this fashion but few are able to articulate what went on) you will realise that as things stand, the BBC cannot be trusted - you only have to think of the decades its staff permitted Jimmy Savill to behave, so blazenly and then block a Newsnight Expose, to instead broadcast a tribute to Savill.....  If I had been a victim of Savill, I would have been distraught.  I am concerned for myself, though more importantly, my family, of 'dirty' tactics which may follow from the BBC..., being so critical of them.  I knew there would have been no point in sending a complaint to the BBC's Director-General, as he would have no doubt "covered the backs" of Ms Unsworth and Mr Khadka.  Years ago I approached my then MP, over a matter concerning one of my son's education.  She covered the backs of the professionals concerned..... This is the way the world works.  I am a nobody, of no significance - who has been stupid enough to devote much of my adult life to the study, cultivation and attempted conservation of Himalayan flora.  To be portrayed as a villain is out-of-order but the problem is I know the truth.  Perhaps, when I reveal the identity of a very senior BBC figure who has endorsed a conservation charity which is a con-trick, this matter may be viewed differently - though some will trust this person and not believe me, despite evidence to the contrary.

Instead of Ms Unsworth and Mr Khadka being sanctioned, she has been promoted and now comes up with the same pathetic claim of "being in the public interest" as she informed me in the Sir Cliff Richard case.... Funny old world. See:



Communications with Navin Singh Khadka, Environment Reporter, BBC World Service (NOTHING to do with Radio 4's Today Programme)


On 9/11/15 Mr Khadka sent the following e-mail:

"I am a journalist with the BBC World service and I cover environmental issues with the Himalayan region my focus. I was wondering if we could interview you on your seeds collection project in the Himalayas. Pity Mr Khadka's command of the English language is lacking.  'Seed' is plural, so it is not 'seeds'. I am surprised that someone who focuses upon the Himalaya, does not know the correct spelling which is Himalaya, not 'Himalayas' (note the BBC Series with Michael Palin on the 'Himalaya').  Mind you Mr Khadka is not alone is misusing 'Himalayas' - Mr Attenborough does as well!  What is the point of employing someone born in the Indian sub-continent (no doubt to appear 'politically correct') if they do not know their subject.  Not being able to use the correct name is a pretty fundamental fault......

Basically, we are interested in how it is done and how do you obtain permits from host governments. Basically, he was not interested in being informed about my projects in the Himalaya but wanted to "dish the dirt".

I shall highly appreciate your time, Sir"  What a strange expression.  I think that Mr Khadka should study for 'O' level English. In case anyone reading this, considers my criticism 'racist', I advise that I am the last person such an accusation could be levied against. I have corresponded by letter and e-mail with dozens of Indians, Nepalese, Pakistanis, Tibetans residing in India and a few Bhutanese, over a period of nearly forty years; I also was hosted in the homes of Indians, Nepalese and Bhutanese, never encountering such an expression before.

I am particularly curious what he means by "we"?  Is it the 'Royal' we which Mrs Thatcher was prone to use.....

It is pertinent to ask, why was Mr Khadka (and those who commissioned his services) not actually interested in my actual projects, since my seed collecting in the Himalaya was not a project at all.  Why was he (they) not interested in my 'Himalayan plant Association?' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/latest-situation) - he did not even pay a paltry £10 year's subscription to research properly! or my 'Himalayan Plant Identification Project' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/identification-of-himalayan-plants) or 'Where have all the flowers gone Project?' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/where-have-all-the-flowers-gone-project-1) or my 'Flowers fit for a Dalai Lama Project' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/flowers-for-a-dalai-lama); or my 'Turning Ladakh Deserts Green Project' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/turning-ladakh-deserts-green); or my 'Giant Himalayan Stinging Nettles, Saviours of Villages Project' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/giant-himalayan-stinging-nettles---saviours-of-landslip-prone-nepalese-villages) or my 'Digital photographic guides to the floras of Kashmir, Ladakh, Lahaul & Himachal Pradesh  Project' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/digital-photographic-guides-to-wild-flowers-of-kashmir-ladakh-lahaul-himachal-pradeshor my 'Flowers of the NW Himalaya, a digital guide Project' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/on-line-digital-guide-to-flora-of-nw-himalaya); or my 'How to genuinely conserve native floras around the world' (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/how-to-genuinely-conserve-native-floras-around-the-world); or my 'How to reliably identify plants in any country in the world Project' (unless plant are correctly identified and their true rarity or abundance ascertained it is impossible to conserve them), see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/how-to-reliably-identify-plants-in-any-country-in-the-world; or my 'The Giant Plant Conservation Con' https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/the-giant-plant-conservation-con; or the 'Examplesd of incorrect, at times fraudulent, claims of Himalayan species being 'Endangered' section of this web-sites (scroll down on LHS Navigation Bar - sorry, this obviously would be too advanced for Mr Khadka or the BBC, who know nothing about botany).....

OF COURSE NONE OF THE ABOVE IS 'NEWS WORTHY' OR 'IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST' - WHAT UTTER GARBAGE THE BBC PROCLAIMS, AND AS I TYPE THIS, I SEE THAT A MINOR CELEBRITY'S DECISION (A SENSIBLE ONE) TO RETURN FROM A FOOLISH ATTEMPT TO BE GUIDED THE EASIEST ROUTE UP EVEREST, WITH FIXED ROPES HAS BEEN 'HEADLINE NEWS' (SEE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-44006678 and was subsequently interviewed on the BBC).  THE BBC CERTAINLY HAS IT PRIORITIES RIGHT.  IT CANNOT HAVE READ: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/penguins-on-everest

THOSE READERS OF THIS WHO ARE RESIDENT IN THE UK SHOULD DEMAND THEIR TV LICENSE FEE BACK!!!!!


My response (on 10/11/15) - which was the following day, so I could hardly have been accused of failing to promptly respond!

Greetings. I am unsure how much of the detailed content of my web-site you have read - many complex and difficult issues are raised.

As I do not expect to be in a position to undertake any further expeditions to the Himalaya on the basis that I did in the past, I am thus not in a position to help you with the information you seek.

Wishing you well with your future reports.

On 10/11/15 Mr Khadka sent the following response:

"Many thanks for your response.

But forgive me, I need to ask some follow up questions.  This site http:/www.chadwellseeds.co.uk/prospectus says you planned to collect seeds this year during fall from the Himalayas.  Did you have permission from the host governments to do so?  If yes, could you let us know which government gave you the permission? Due to ill-health I was not able to visit the Himalaya in 2015, thus I could not have collected seed there that year!  I was planning to visit the Himalaya the year before (2014) to meet Krishan Lal to present him with a gold medal on behalf of the Himalayan Plant Association (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/kohli-memorial-gold-medals) but had to cancel this (which would have included a tour to photograph flowers). As this was at a time of year when there is no seed ready, I could not have collected any seed!

This site http:www.chadwellseeds.co.uk/Nepal-2013 shows your expedition in Nepal in 2013 and this one in Kashmir in 2012 http/www.chadwellseeds.co.uk/Kashmir
He appears to have forgotten to ask any questions about these sites?  Does he assume every time I visit the Himalaya, I collect seed or undertake expeditions? IF, this is the case, he is mistaken!  Several of my trips involved leading botanical tours (typically in the summer, when there is no seed) and for other purposes, such as two 'expeditions' in the summer, one to India, one to Nepal, with my youngest son (aged 9 & 10), in one case to deliver the key-note speech at the 2nd Kohli Commemorative Event in Delhi (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/kohli-commemorative-events)

http://www,chadwellseeds.co.uk/himalayan-garden-sheffield-botanical-gardens-england says "This section of Sheffield Botanical Garden mostly consists of a selection of introductions from the Himalaya from seed gathered during Chadwell expeditions..." Can you please tell us if you had collection permission from the governments in the region? Mr Khadka does not have a clue about seed-collecting or expeditions.  See the response to the next question.

Your websites suggest that you have had several such expeditions in the Himalayan region in the past (your respomnse below also confirms that), can you please share with us if you had obtained permission from the authorities in the region. If yes, who was it that provided you the permission? I didn't see it is any business of his for me to provide such detailed information.  Why does he not start by answering some of my questions!  But I will give one example relevant to the Sheffield Botanical Garden.  Kindly note that the Sheffield Botanical Garden has never received any seed from me! Yes, the 'Himalayan' Bed at the garden does have a majority of specimens which were raised from seed I allocated reference numbers (some would call these collection numbers) to - they came from a number of sources including 'Chadwell' expeditions. These plants were grown until sufficient a size to be planted out in the garden. The person who grew a majority of seed, received seed from such sources as me, the Himalayan Plant Association Seed Exchange (items in this were originally introduced from the Himalaya but came from garden plants) & P.Kohli & Co.  Let me give an example, of the first time this person obtained seed from a 'Chadwell' Expedition.  I was not able to go to the Himalaya that year and thus did not gather any of the seed myself.  The seed actually came from two main sources - P.Kohli & Co., and an expedition to a Himalayan country that did have formal permission to export the seed.  P.Kohli & Co. had a long-standing export license and in fact the seed did not come from the wild anyhow but from their nursery.

Finally, when you say "As I do not expect to be in a position to undertake any further expeditions to the Himalaya on the basis that I did in the past", could you kindly explain what was the "basis".  I was not aware that I was in a 'court of law' such that I need to consider every nuance as to what every single word might be falsely interpreted as meaning.  He did not ask why I did not expect to undertake any further expeditions to the Himalaya on the basis I did in the past.  I consider that I "played by the rules" (it is in my nature to abide by rules) as they were in the past but since the adoption of the ridiculous 'Nagoya Protocol', my assessment is that it has become virtually impossible to gain permission to undertake botanical study in the Indian Himalaya.  Thus 'basis' means they way things were before i.e. pre-Nagoya in October 2014. 

Many thanks for your time and help.  Really...

I did not reply to Mr Khadka, as it was clear he was only out to defame my good name - after all, I was under no legal nor moral obligation to do so.  PLEASE NOTE THERE WAS NO REQUEST FOR AN INTERVIEW.  I do in fact possess a letter authorising me to export seed (and botanical specimens) from Nepal after my first expedition there signed by the then Director-General,  His Majesty's Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forests & Soil Conservation, Department of Forestry & Plant Research, Thapathali, Kathmandu!


On 9/2/16 Mr Khadka sent the following e-mail:

"Hi Chris,

Many thanks for your time the other day. By this he means when he 'door-stepped' me when an audience were waiting for me to deliver a digital presentation about Nepal, which raised money for The Britain-Nepal Medical Trust'.

Following that interview, we have been trying to find out about P.Kohli and company that you mentioned but have been unable to find out anything about them.  Another lie, or is Mr Khadka incapable of using a search engine and there was sufficient information on my web-site!

I was wondering if you could provide the company's contacts (phone no., e-mail and persons' names etc.) The business card you gave us during the interview has not detail of the company. It has become very important for us to speak to the company because the Indian authorities have told us that collection and export of plant seeds is simply not allowed.

In Sheffield Botanical Garden, we saw some plants that have labels showing they come from Nepal and we have been told that some of the seeds were provided by you.  One of the labels says it is from the Everest region in Nepal and also has your initials CC (officials there said it stood for your name). If that is true, could you please let us know which authority in Nepal gave you the permission for collection and when?

We have also been told that most of the Himalayan seeds for the Sheffield garden came from Tibet. And some of the labels have your initials.  If you collected the seeds from Tibet, would it be possible to know how was the permission obtained and if there are local companies involved, can we have their contacts please?

I highly appreciate your time and help.


On 10/2/16 I replied to Mr Khadka:

(My son is typing this for me, as I have been in severe pain for most of the past few days and had to cancel a blood test at a clinic on Tuesday).

I am feeling dizzy, but I felt I should acknowledge receipt of your e-mail at the earliest opportunity.  Rest assured I am willing to address your concerns and answer your individual questions.  But my mind is not clear at this precise moment. As these are serious matters and my reputation appears to be at stake, I naturally wish to be as accurate as I can be.  I did have legitimate reasons for declining your offer to be interviewed or answering the subsequent questions.  I shall be explaining why.

I myself have concerns and questions. I think it is reasonable that you provide me with the name, position and a contact email for your supervisor. I think this is the best way to proceed at this stage.

I was pleased to learn that you have been taking an interest in the 'Himalayan Bed' at Sheffield Botanical Garden and appear interested in the conservation of Himalayan plants. There are many really important issues that  the BBC could help raise.  

I look forward to hearing from you.

Genuinely, I have been seriously ill since 2014. For a significant part of every day, I am in serious pain. I have been diagnosed and take a daily cocktail of drugs which helps manage the situation, including proper painkillers, but can only operate in short bursts. However, I still have little feeling in my feet and it is a major undertaking to travel to my lectures (I do not drive, reaching them by bus and train). I have managed to honour all my lecture commitments in recent years, but only just - often being close to collapse on the way home. I was able to officially open the 'Himalayan Bed' at SBG but would dearly have liked to have cancelled - I don't like letting people down.

I was in reasonable condition, thankfully, when you appeared in the very dark car park in Hampshire last month, as my internal adrenaline had "kicked in" prior to the start of my lecture. But was somewhat unsteady on my feet and so was alarmed when the car nearly reversed into me...

Incidentally, I did not get home until after midnight, although the start of the lecture was slightly delayed. There was a collection for the Britain-Nepal Medical Trust afterwards; which raised £82.50 - a worthwhile amount.


On 12/2/16 I replied to Mr Khadka:




Dear Navin

(My son is typing for me again)  It has been a better day today for me. I have been in less pain but very dopey having slept quite a lot. This is good as I had slept little for a couple of days because of the pain. Unfortunately at present I am dizzy and feel like I wish to be sick. So my thinking is not clear.

I was disappointed that you declined to provide me the information I asked for in my previous email:

I myself have concerns and questions. I think it is reasonable that you provide me with the name, position and a contact email for your supervisor. I think this is the best way to proceed at this stage.

I am entitled to contact your supervisor/manager to raise these concerns, so for a second time I make this perfectly reasonable request. Should you on this occasion decline, I cannot but view that as a refusal.

That would mean I am obliged to contact Francesca Unsworth.

This seems silly and not a little extreme, as surely I should firstly provide your immediate supervisor/manager with the opportunity to address my concerns before troubling a more senior person. But I cannot do that unless you tell me who they are.

Furthermore, if I am obliged to do this the communication will be in the form of a letter. This would be more formal and time-consuming for me to compose and for Ms Unsworth to read - and surely she would then pass it on to your supervisor/manager to read anyhow.

All this would take more time. You indicate in your most recent email that you have deadline pressure. It is your choice.

I would also like to observe that when someone is genuinely ill (please note IF you had my condition, you would have been on full-time sick leave since 2014 or presumably no longer working for the BBC) it is difficult for them to think clearly. As it seems you scrutinise every single word I put in emails, I wish to make sure you will understand correctly what I am actually saying.

I easily get muddled and am forgetful at times. I wish it was not like this.

Surely it is ESSENTIAL that I provide accurate and reliable information for you. This takes much longer than it would have done when I was not ill.

Accurate and reliable information is ESSENTIAL for reporters. Otherwise they could misunderstand, misinterpret, or "get the wrong end of the stick". This can result in them "jumping to the wrong conclusions". 

Thus, what they publish online or broadcast can end up being inaccurate and misleading, or even fraudulent.

This is not what is expected of any reporter, let alone one working for the BBC. The BBC still mostly enjoys the confidence and respect of its viewers and readers. I am sure you wouldn't wish to do anything to damage the good name of the BBC.

So if the ESSENTIAL background research has not been completed you should not broadcast or publish online as this at the very least would be misleading for listeners or readers.

That is quite enough for me at this time. I hope it makes sense.

  



On 10/2/16 Mr Khadka sent the following e-mail:

Many thanks for your reply and I highly appreciate that you responded despite your health conditions. I wish you a speedy recovery.

As you know, this is a story I am working on and editorially I am responsible for it.  It is the reporter who asks questions and that is exactly what I am doing.

I would appreciate if you could kindly provide answers at the earliest as I have deadline pressure.

Many thanks for your time.









 

 
















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