Nepal Today

Saturday, August 23, 2008

European Commission help for flood victims

Kathmandu, 24 Aug: European Commission has pledged up to €1 million to assist victims of the floods that affected Sunsari district, an official announcement said.
Food aid and nutritional support will be provided to the victims. Funds will be channelled through the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department, ECHO, under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.
This assistance will target up to 50,000 people displaced by the floods. They will receive emergency food aid and the most vulnerable will benefit from nutritional support through the World Food Programme.

PM Prachanda hold talks with Chinese counterpart

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Aug: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda Sunday morning held talks on bilateral with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, Radio Nepal said quoting an official of the Nepalese embassy in the Chinese capital.
He was assisted by Communication Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara and top Nepali government officials in the entourage.
Prachanda will Sunday’s closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics Sunday, Radio Nepal said.
He will hold talks with President Hu Jintao, Radio Nepal said.

India is following the visit closely.
Prachanda arrived in Beijing Saturday night.
Breaking tradition, Panchakanyas didn’t see off the prime minister at the airport Saturday morning.
Nepal put us a dismal performance in the Olympics without winning a single medal.

Indian, US, British ambassadors didn’t see off PM Prachanda

Kathmandu, 24 Aug: Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood, US Ambassador Nancy J. Powell British Ambassador Andrew Hall didn’t see off Prime Minister Prachanda at the airport Saturday.
They had been invited by the protocol office of the foreign ministry.
Chief Justice Kedar Giri also absented himself.


Jhalanath Khanal threatens to stay away from govt.

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Aug: CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal Saturday threatened to stay away from government even as the party decided to join the Maoist-led ministry.
He demanded the second position for former deputy prime minister Bamdeb Gautam above Dr Baburam Bhattarai in government.
Gautam and five other members of the UML team didn’t take their oaths of office Friday when Maoists refused to concede second position to Gautam.
“We won’t join the government losing our self-respect. Hierarchies and roles are important,” he told a public meeting in Bara Saturday.

222 assembly members involved in irregularities

Kathmandu,.24 Aug: Altogether 222 CA members have drawn Rs 11,450 monthly salaries of private secretaries without mentioning their names, Naya Patrika reports.
They have withdrawn such salaries for four months.
This is a financial irregularity.
Only 372 of 594 CA members have disclosed names of their private secretaries.

Asian Mountain Bike Championship in Nepal
Kathmandu, 24 Aug: Nepal, famed for the world’s tallest peaks, will host the
14th Asian Mountain Bike Championship 6 to 10 November.
Nepal Cycling Association and Asian Cycling Federation signed an agreement in Beijing recently.
Around 200 cyclists from 22 countries are expected to participate in cross-country and downhill race.

Without revolutionary fervour, PM Prachanda calls for real change

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Aug: Without much revolutionary fervour, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said Nepal’s history has changed as monarchy has ended with the establishment of a republic and added the nation is being restructured on a federal basis.
Prachanda said government will root out all vestiges of feudal economic and social system to build a new Nepal where people realize change in the real sense in all aspects.
In his first address to the nation Saturday after assuming office one day earlier, he said nationality and socio-economic transformation are his government’s top priorities while protecting sovereignty, national unity, independence and territorial integrity.
The 13-minute address relayed by radio and television reflected the difficulties he is facing in assembling a government with coalition partners even though most of the seven parties are communists with an absolute majority.
Prachanda said government will promote immediate relief and special help to the poor and backward regions, helpless, aged, disabled, families of disappeared and martyrs of people’s war.
The 12-point peace agreement has been successfully implemented, he claimed for which all Nepalis should be happy.
CPN9 Maoist) is now responsible for implementing the agreement with the Nepali Congress now in opposition and out of government and the CPN (Maoist) is also in control of the ministries of peace and reconstruction and defence.
Prachanda called for change and sustainable peace.
He asked for national understanding and called on other parties to rise above party interests and assist the government.
He appealed for ‘moral and material’ international help and support for the Maoist-led government, including co-operation and assistance from neighbouring countries.
He made no mention of India and China by name.
Prachanda said the new government will honour all international commitments of the previous government.
He appealed for national understanding and said one person or organization couldn’t build a new Nepal.
.He expressed commitment to multi-party periodical elections, rule of law, human rights and press freedom.
Support won’t be for ‘formal’ loktantra [Indian name for prajatantra or democracy now a bad work in Nepal because of its abuse by parties] but ‘real’ loktantra, he said.
The peace process will be taken to its logical conclusion and a new constitution drafted.
He assured foreign investment in sectors of national priority will be encouraged and protected.
He asked all three security agencies, including Nepal Army, to forget bitterness of the past and assured the government won’t have ‘ purbaghra [prejudices]’ against them in an appeal directed to gain their support.
He asked for help from the administration to run the country.
Prachanda addressed the nation from his office in Singha Durbar only hours before proceeding for China.
Nepali Congress General Secretary Bimalendra Nidhi said the address without specific programmes was meaningless.
Rashtriya Janasakti Party vice-chairman Dr Prakash Hohini said the address was ‘positive” and added,” In the past positive statements has been forthcoming but they were never implemented.”

Relief continues to help flood victims; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Aug: Army, police, local administration and volunteers continued search, rescue and relief efforts Sunday in flood-ravaged Sunsari district.
Relief was being taken in boats to people who refused to leave their flooded homes to protest their property.
Bodies of hundreds of Nepalis carried downstream by flooded Kosi river have been found in Bihar, India, Nepal Samachaptra said quoting Indian journalist Pankaj Ranjit of Channel Sahara.
As water receded Saturday, some flood victims from 24 camps returned to four villages in Sunsari to recover belongings from their abandoned homes most of which were destroyed.
The Sapta Kosi river level rose Saturday raising additional concern as diseases spread.
The river continued to erode embankments threatening and flooding villages along the river which burst its banks.
Forty-percent of thousands of people in 22 relief camps are suffering from diseases like pneumonia, cold, typhoid and diarrhea as diseases spread..
A Nepali government study team has pinned responsibility for non-maintenance of the Kosi barrage leading to death and destruction, The Kathmandu Post said.
‘Every year in the past the Indian side used to do at least some maintenance work. But his year they did not carry out the repairs,” Khom Raj Dahal, Deputy Director of the department of Induced Disasater Prevention (DWIDP) told the Post in its Saturday editions.
“This was the main reason why the Kosi breached embankment and submerged about 10,000 hectares of cultivated and villages.”
Indians responsible for repairs and maintenance arrived too late.
Two Nepali water resources experts said India deliberately neglected maintenance to force and give Nepal government messages that New Delhi wanted construction of the Kosi high dam along the foothills as the Kosi barrage has built more than 50 years ago has lost its utility.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said the agreement to construct the barrage was a historical mistake; no reaction has been forthcoming from India so far but it’s sure to react negatively as New Delhi is sensitive to such unflattering comments.

Foreign Minister Yadav visiting India

Kathmandu, 24 Aug: Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav is visiting New Delhi Thursday to attend a conference of foreign ministers of member states of BIMSTK.
The conference begins the following day.


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