Nepal Today

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dr Dambar Narayan Yadav joins Forum

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: Panchayat era minister Dr Dabar Naraian Yadav quit Nepal Sadbavana Party and entered the Madesh Janaadhikar Forum with several colleagues.
Forum Chairman Upendra Yadav handed over party membership to Dr Yadav who said Forum is the mainstream tarai party.

Special committee must complete work in four months

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: A special committee formed by the government for the integration of Nepal Army and PLA must complete its work four months after beginning work, Annapurna Post reports.
Government may extend its tenure.
The committee will establish foundations for integration and resettlement.
A cabinet decision took this decision.

Right and responsibility of integrations Nepal’s: Ban

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: It’s Nepal right and responsibility to take a decision of integration, visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters Saturday.
He can UN can only assist the process.
Ban held separate meetings with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav and main opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala before flying for Lumbini on a pilgrimage.
He will view Mount Everest on a clear and sunny day en a flight to the birthplace of The Buddha.

Has details of objections to govt. appointed special committee on integration

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: Major parties in the CA, including main opposition Nepali Congress, have raised serious objections to a special five-member government integration committee under Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam for the unification of Nepal Army and Maoist PLA.
The objections have put obstacles on the path for early integration of the two armies.
Nepali Congress says the unacceptable unilateral formation of the committee is a breach of an agreement between seven parties and against a provision in the interim constitution.
An agreement between seven parties says a high-level political committee should be formed for integration, resettlement and weapons management with the representation of major political parties.
Article 146 of the interim constitution says a special committee should be formed by the cabinet by including major parties in the CA.
‘There should be an understanding between major parties for the formation of the committee; it’s not for the government to take a unilateral decision,” Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi told Kantipur.
Congress has refused to sit in the committee and other representatives in the committee are only from the CPN-UML and MJF.
“Government has formed the committee stealthily through the backdoor. Who is the government to determine the prominent parties?” asked Hridesh Tripathi on the Tarai Madesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP).
Other parties not included in the committee have asked the same question.
The committee is stillborn with the eruption of differences.
Maoist coalition government partner top leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal also said the committee can’t function without including Nepali Congress.

Maoist leader says Maoist commander qualifies to be Nepal Army Chief

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: Top hard-line Maoist leader CP Gajurel said Friday Maoist Commander Nanda Kishore Pun Pasang is qualified to be chief of the integrates Nepal Army and PLA.
“Pasang along with the PLA has received qualification certificates from the UN. Pasang has also been awarded by the UN. Why can’t be the chief of the national army?” Gajurel asked in the capital Friday, according to Rajdhani.
Gajurel said the two armies should be integrated at the brigade level.

Controversial Maoist leader lashes out at Baburam Bhattarai

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: Maoist leader Matrika Prasad Yadav top leaders have been influenced by foreign powers to remove the suffix Maoist from the party’s name, Rajendra Uprety reports in Kantipur from Mohottari.
He said this at a public meeting in Jaleshwor.
‘We fought the people’s war pursuing the ideals of Maoism. Removing the suffix to please foreigners will never be acceptable. Maoist is the party’s ideals and principles,” Yadav said. “It’s objectionable when some [Baburam Bhattarai] say the suffix should be removed while in the USA or when another person [Prachanda] says the same in competition.
Yadav said the statements to please foreigners are attempts to minimize the people’s war and will harm new Nepal.
He said opportunists should be expelled from the party whose members are amassing wealth and constructing houses.
Nepali Congress additionally charged the government has unilaterally set terms of reference for the special committee.

Secretary-General Ban to discuss hurdle with opposition leader

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: Before leaving for Bangladesh on the last leg of a four-nation Asian tour later Saturday, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon will discuss hurdles in implementing Nepal’s peace process with main opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala.
Ban, who arrived Friday on a 20-hour visit will discuss obstacles in the management, integration and resettlement of 19,000 Maoist combatants; Ban is the fifth of eight secretary generals to visit Nepal.
Hurdles erupted in the peace process after main opposition Nepali Congress, which negotiated the peace process while in government, refused to join a special integration government committee for integration of Nepal Army and Maoist PLA.
Congress is demanding the dissolution of the five-member committee and its reconstitution; Congress is demanding equal two seats in the committee with Maoists.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, holding a banquet for his guest Friday night, said Ban’s visit was an encouragement to the peace process that began in 2005.
Prachanda asked for continued UN assistance even after the completion of the peace process which is unlikely to fructify before the 23 January 2009 deadline when the second UNMIN ends in another three months.
The Maoist combatants are still in the 28 cantonments and satellite camps under UN supervision.
Ban told his host Nepal’s peace process was a world example and his Nepal visit was ‘historic’ because it comes after the formation of the CA.
Ban will fly to Bangladesh from Bhairahawa after paying prayers at Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.
The secretary-general will take a mountain flight and view the Himalaya range, the world’s loftiest mountain range with Mount Everest.
He will pay a courtesy call on president Dr Ram Baran Yadav and address the CA—the first foreign dignitary given such an opportunity.
The visitor will also hold discussions with Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav and CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal—whose party is in the ruling coalition.
The election for the assembly was held 10 April with Maoists emerging as the largest party in the body that acts as parliament and is empowered to draft Nepal’s new constitution.

UN Secretary-General Ban arrives

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived for less than a 24-hour visit Friday to urge the completion of the peace process that has run into rough weather before UNMIN extended second mandate ends in the third week of January 2009.
Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav greeted the first foreign guest of the Maoist-led government when he arrived from New Delhi in a special aircraft.
He immediately huddled into talks with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda who later in the evening hosted the visitor to a dinner reception.
Ban will address the CA before flying directly to Bangladesh from Lumbini Saturday after paying pilgrimage at Lumbini, the birthplace of The Bhddha.
Before flying to Lumbini, the visitor will pay a courtesy call on President Dr Ram Baran Yadav.
He will have separate talks with main opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala and CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal.

Nepali Congress puts hurdle before special integration committee

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: Hours before the arrival of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday to push the completion of the peace process initiate din April 2005, main opposition Nepali Congress said a special committee on integration between Nepal Army (NA) and Maoist PLA can only function on political consensus.
An informal meeting of top party leaders at the residence of party President Girija Prasad Koirala demanded proportional representation in the committee which has two Maoist members.
Government has set aside only one seat for the Nepali Congress in the five-member committee which it has refused o join obstructing the committee work to push integration pushed by Maoists.
The committee constituents, the opposition party, said should first prepare its term of reference before approval by the cabinet.
Congress said the government last week formed the special integration committee against the spirit of agreements between Maoists and eight parties.
Nepali Congress and the CPN_UML leaders Friday discussed the committee formation.
Former CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said Friday the committee cannot function without participation of the main opposition even though the government with his party formed the integration committee.
Maoist Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar Girija forgot the signature he put on the agreement to form the committee.

Has details of Prachanda, Ban talks

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: The mandate of the UNMIN that ends 23 January 2009 will depend on the speed with which a special integration committee works on unifying Nepal and Maoist PLA, Hari Bahadur Thapa, foreign advisor of Prime Minister Prachanda said.
Thapa was giving details of discussion between Prachanda and Ban Friday.
Ban, he said, sought from Prachanda details of the work of the committee just formed by government but boycotted by main opposition Nepali Congress.
Thapa described the Ban, Prachanda talks as a continuation of a dialogue that started in New York during the UN general assembly session in September.

Govt for integrated talks with tarai parties

Kathmandu, 31 Ocr: Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar said Friday government is for a joint dialogue with tarai parties.
Government has established contacts with at least nine tarai parties to discuss regional demands.
The tarai parties have themselves formed an integrated front to approach the government.
No firm dates have been set to initiate the dialogue.

Revenue collection up 24 percent

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: Revenue collection jumped 24 percent in the first three months of the current fiscal year 2008/09 until the end of October to Rs 25 billion compared to the same period the previous year, the Finance Ministry said.
Customs, VAT, income tax and others revenue collections increased.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

General-Secretary Ban arrives Friday

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: General Secretary Ban Ki-moon arrived in Nepal Friday on the third leg of a four-nation Asian tour to discuss with Nepalese leaders UN operations, including concluding the peace process before a UNMIN mission ends in the third week of January 2009.
The peace process has run into trouble and is doubtful if it conclude before the UNMIN mission ends in January 2009.
Main opposition Nepali Congress which brokered a peace agreement with rebel Maoists in New Delhi is now opposed to the integration of the former combatants in the Nepal Army.
Ban arrives from India where he arrived from Philippines and will cap his Asia visit by visiting Bangladesh Saturday.
Ban will hold immediate discussions with Prime Minister Prachanda after arriving on a special flight from the Indian capital.

43 injured in a bus fall

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: Forty-three persons were injured in a bus fall into Trisuli river at Benibhat in Dhading Friday morning.
Six of the seriously injured have been rushed to the capital for emergency treatment.

Govt. offices reopen

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: Government offices reopened Friday after three-day tihar celebrations.
With the opening of government offices, the festive dasain and tihar celebrations 2065 concluded Friday.

Abinesh Shah dead

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Abinesh Shah, 33,died of a heart attack at Norbic Hospital Thursday morning..
He was married to Sitashma Shah, the second daughter of late Prince Dhirendra.
He left behind a three-year-old daughter.
Former King Gyanendra and former Crown Prince Paras visited Maligaun to extend condolence to members family at the grieving family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bhai tika observed

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Sisters put on tika on brothers Thursday on the last day of tihar to protest them for a long life.
The auspicious time for tika was for 10 minutes from 11.45 to 11.55 in the morning, according to Nepal Astrologers’ Council.

Criminal activities in tarai delaying talks: Home minister Gautam

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Deputy Prime Minister Bamdeb Gautam has alleged criminal activities, like extortion and acts of violence, have delayed negotiations between government and rebels groups in the south to address regional demands.
Some of the demands are separatist.
Government has said it will hold talks with only political and not criminal groups.
Government said it has established contacts with at least nine of nearly two dozen groups active in the south—many based across the border in Bihar and Utter Pradesh.
Gautam said action against criminal groups is proving difficult as their leaders conduct their activities from across the border.

Local bodies being formed

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Local Development Minister Ram Chandal Jha said local bodies are being formed by government by Paush [December end] end.
Government is holding consultations with political parties.
Nepal has been without elected bodies for more than nine years.
Appointed government officials run local bodies.


UN General-Secretary Ban arrives Friday

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon arrives Friday on a two-day official visit to discuss the large and even controversial three-pronged activities of the world body in Nepal.
Besides the regular activities in the Himalayan state, the UN has been involved for nearly 17 years in managing UNHCR-administered camps for 108,000 Bhutanese refugees in east Nepal and is also managing Maoist arms and combatants.
The regular activity includes financing development assistance.
For 17 years, the Bhutanese refugees have been managed and fed in the camps without their return home.
Instead, the UN is now involved in resettling nearly 50,000 Hindu refugees of Nepali ethnicity to the West, including USA. They were forced out in an ethnic cleansing policy by Buddhist Bhutan through India to land-locked Nepal as the UN watched helplessly the movement of helpless people across two international borders.
Another mission of the UN came with the security council mandate after April 2005 to oversee impartial elections of the constituent assembly and manage Maoist arms and combatants to mainstream the Maoists who launched a bloody people’s war killing 13,000 on both sides of the conflict.
Most of the UN personnel have now returned after the controversial 10 April election in which Maoists emerged as the largest political party and capture4d state power through a vote after emerging from their hideouts in India and the jungle.
The election was held even when conditions weren’t right.
The UN and major world powers pushed election, whether it was free or not, just to facilitate the declaration of a republic.
The result: Nepali Congress, now the main opposition, claims the vote wasn’t fair. But the fact remains, the government which is headed conducted the vote , thinking it would win.
It abandoned pre-conditions like Maoist return of seized assets and went for the vote in haste; it’s now repeating the pre-conditions after the vote and putting hurdles in the implementation of the peace process to mainstream Maoists.
Prime Minister Prachanda said he spent eight on the 10 years of the people’s war in India which declared Maoists terrorists.
New Delhi was either sheltering declared terrorists or its agencies were using them against the rulers of a friendly neighbour.
The remaining mandate to manage the Maoist arms and combatants ends mid-January 2009; the UN has two and a half months to complete an extended mandate to manage the responsibility.
Top Nepali Congress leaders charge UNMIN hasn’t been impartial and has favoured Maoists—a charge that has been repeatedly denied.
The peace process can’t be complete without the integration of the Maoists and their arms.
UN says the process may not be completed in the remaining time as Nepali Congress and openly come out against integration of for former rebel force in Nepal Army.
Ban will discuss the difficulties and complexities of completing the process in the remaining three months with his host Prime Minister Prachanda and constitutional assembly members before flying for Bangladesh Saturday.
Ban will visit Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.
Besides integration, political uncertainty now prevails.
With direct confrontation between Maoists and Nepali Congress, doubts have surfaced whether a constitution can be drafted by the CA in the remaining 16 months.
Discussions haven’t started nearly seven months after the election.
A culture of street politics and the shredding of basic laws by them have been established.
Major political players are already divided on the nature of a new constitution whose draft hasn’t even been discussed.
Nepali Congress says democracy is being derailed by Maoists who want to impose a radical people’s republic on the strategic land-locked state between China and India.
UN has already said it can’t complete its remaining limited task before the assigned the third week on January 2009.
The mandate may have to be extended again.

PM Prachanda holds reception to celebrate tihar, Nepal sambad

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Prime Minister Prachanda Wednesday held an official reception to celebrate tihar and Nepal sambad 1129 recognized by the government as a national calendar.
He hoped the reception will start a precedent
Representatives from all walks life and foreign diplomats attended the function at Baluwatar.
The calendar has been given the same status as the Bikram sambad and the Roman calendar.
NC President Girija Prasad Koirala wasn’t present at
Baluwatar where Congress was represented by his deputy Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Former CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal didn’t also attend.

Unidentified parties protecting criminal groups: Upendra Yadav

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Foreign Minister and MJF President Upendra Yadav charged Wednesday unidentified political parties ‘carrying one or two country-made weapons” were protecting them and talks on the tarai can’t be held with such ‘criminal groups’
This is the first time such a frank assessment has come from a leader of a tarai-based party.
Yadav supported the stance of Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam who earlier said negotiations on regional demands will only be held with ‘political groups’
Government has confirmed contacts have been established with nine rebel groups for negotiations.
Jwala Singh, leader of the most violent group, demanded government withdraw police from villages to district headquarters as one of four pre-conditions to initiate a dialogue.

Bamdeb Gautam criticizes Congress

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Home Minister Bamdeb Gautum, who also heads a a committee to integrate Nepal Army and Maoist PLA, said Wednesday since the committee decisions will be based on consensus Nepali Congress decision to stay from the body is meaningless.
Congress is demanding two seats in the committee like Maoists.
Gautam asked the Congress to join the government body with representatives of three ruling parties; one seat has been set aside for the main opposition Nepali Congress.
MJF Chairman and Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav also asked Congress to join the committee since it is headed not by Maoists but by the CPN-UML.

Black flags greet home minister in camps

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Black flags waived by people displaced by the Kosi river greeted Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam when h inspected camps in east Nepal.
Displaced demanded immediate resettlement.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gobardhan puja observed

Kathmandu, 29: Gobardhan puja was observed Wednesday ahead of bhai tika in remembrance of Lord Krishna Thursday.
The cow, ox and calf is worshiped.
Newar community observed Wednesday at their New Year 1129 with the Maoist-led government giving the calendar national recognition for the first time this year.
The traditional noisy motorcycle rally was brought out in the capital.
The community observes Mha puja or the worship of the self in the evening.

Bloodiest tarai group sets four conditions for talks

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: The most violent rebel group in the tarai set four pre-conditions to sit down for talks with government, including police withdrawal from villages, to resolve separatist demands.
The withdrawal will give rebels freedom to move around the rural to conduct what government calls criminal activities including extortion.
The pre-conditions were set by the Jwala Singh of the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha (JTMM).
Other demands include release of arrested activists, withdrawal of what has been described as false charges and security for talks.
Government says it has established links with at least nine of more than two dozen groups to initiate the dialogue.
“All conditions have to be met if government is serious for a dialogue,” Jwala Singh told The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post.
Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam said nabbing rebels was proving difficult as separatists operate from across the border like Maoists before April 2005.
Singh criticizes elected political parties in the CA from the south.
He called the parties ‘saboteurs’ and charged they ‘compromised with the pahadis’.

More details of govt special committee for integration

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Main opposition Nepali Congress has opposed the government special five-member committee appointed by the cabinet’s political committee Tuesday for the integration of Nepal Army (NA) and Maoist PLA in the next six months.
The committee formation was discussed Tuesday by Prime Minister Prachanda and UNMIN Chief Ian Martin.
Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel said his party won’t join the committee without equal representation with Maoists and even rejected the terms of reference for the committee set by government.
Congress is demanding two seats in the committee on par with Maoists.
But Prachanda said government was ‘very flexible’ in the committee which is being chaired by CPN-UML and not CPN (Maoist).
The previous committee under the Koirala was headed by Paudel who was peace minister and had Congress Home Minister Krishna Prasad Shitaula as member.
Maoists were represented only by one candidate in that committee.
Congress has adopted a hardened stance against the Maoist government charging it of attempts to derail democracy.
Party Party Girija Prasad Koirala even rejected the word ‘integration’ and said Maoist combatants should be ’managed’ outside the NA.
Paudel said Congress objections to the committee formation have been conveyed telephonically to the prime minister, CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal and MJF Chairman Upendra Yadav from Koirala’s residence Tuesday.
The government committee was discussed at the Congress president’s house.
Government has empowered the committee to form its own terms of reference.

Two injured in Bara bomb blasts

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Three persons, including a child, were injured Wednesday in an abandoned bomb blast at Sirsiya, Bara.
Tow of the three injured are serious.
Sporadic violence continues in the tarai despite a cease-fire declared by most rebel groups during the festive season..

Bhutan’s King Jigme remains last dictator in South Asia

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Bhutan’s King Jigme Singhe Wangchuk is last dictator who continues to rule in South Asia.
Nearly 106,000 Hindu Bhutanese of refugees of Nepalese ethnicity live in UNHCR administered camps for more than 17 years after forcible eviction in an ethnic cleaning policy tolerated by the international community.
Some refugees are being re-settled in the west, including USA.
The other dictator Mohammad Gayoom of toppled by a rival candidate in a presidential runoff election whose result trickle into the Nepalese capital Wednesday morning.
Gayoom was familiar to the Nepalese scene.
He attended all three SAARC summits in the Nepalese capital.

PM Prachanda seeks explanation from Koirala for clarity; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Prime Minister Prachanda Tuesday sought explanation from main opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala to understand critical comments.
“I’m not clear. Everything will be clear if he tries to explain,” the government chief said in response to Nepali Congress President Koirala’s jihad against CPN (Maoist) and its chief.
Koirala charged Prachanda for breaking unity and consensus politics as he threatened to take different path of confrontation.
Prachanda said the cabinet political committee formed a special committee for integration of the Nepal Army (NA) and Maoist PLA ‘very flexibly’ saying chairmanship of a special committee was awarded to the CPN-UML.
Prachanda argued the previous government coordinator was then Peace Minister Ram Chandra Paudel in the KOirala government; the present committee member is only ex-oficio member
Congress, now opposed even to the mention of the word integration, hasn’t nominated a member to the committee where a seat has been set aside for the main opposition.
Party Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel said Congress won’t sit in a committee formed without consuktation..
Deputy Prime Minister Bamdeb Gautam heads the committee while has Maoist Defence Minister Rambadadur Thapa Badal as member and Maoist Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar as ex-officio member.
Political Science Prof. Mohammad Habibulla represents the MJF from the ruling coalition.

Political appointments to state enterprises

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: BK Man Singh has been appointed chairman of Nepal Airlines by the government while Karma Rangbu Sherpa has been appointed member-secretary of :Lumbini Development Trust, an announcement said.
Bishnu Dhakal has been appointed to lead the Timber Corporation and Bal Gopal Magar has been appointed Chairman of Hetauda Cement Factory.
Komal Baral has been appointed Chairman of RSS national news agency.

Girija’s swipe at Deuba as well

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: An angry Girija Prasad Koirala didn’t spare his deputy in the party and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba who recently said the peace agreement with Maoists was flawed.
“He should ask himself. He should recognize himself before pointing fingers at others,” Congress President told reporters who asked him for his comment on the Deuba criticism.
“My request to friends is first recognize yourself. You can’t recognize issues without this.” Koirala said in his defense even while personally accusing Maoists of betrayal.
Ailing Koirala has suddenly turned active throwing wild accusations; he has launched a jihad against Prime Minister Prachanda and CPN (Maoist) charging them for perceived attempts to derail democracy.
He charged Jhalanath Khanal for ‘talking irresponsibly’ when the CPN-UML general secretary charged reactionaries will benefit by the Congress awareness campaign against Maoists.
“He has a defeatist mentality.”
RPP-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa charged Koirala was responsible for the rise of the extreme left in Nepal.
“He has no status.” Koirala said belittling Thapa.

Goddess Laxmi welcomes into homes

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Goddess of wealth Laxmi was ushered into homes and worshiped for prosperity.
Despite brave effort to regularize power during load-shedding, supply broke down for short periods.
Houses, public buildings and markets electrified.
The cow was worshiped in the morning.

Five-member combatant committee formed

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: A political committee of the cabinet—not the full cabinet—Tuesday formed a five-member combatant management committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Deb Gautam from the CPN-UML after a prolonged dispute.
Maoists previously demanded they should head the committee opposed by main opposition Nepali Congress and even CPN-UML..
One seat has been set aside for the Nepali Congress.
Maoists are represented by Defence
Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal in the committee and another seat has been set aside for another constituent in government—the MJF.
Political Science Professor Habibulla is the fifth member of the committee.
Maoists demanded two seats in the committee.

Narayan Sharma appointed Chairman of Press Council

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Narayan Sharma, close to Maoists, has been appointed Chairman of Press Council.
Sharma replaces Rajendra Dahal who was close with the main opposition Nepali Congress.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trisuli-3A to constructed by NEA

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is constructing the 61MW Trisuli-3A with a $120 million loan from a Chinese bank, Nepal Samacharpatra reports.
An international construction tender is being called after tihar.
A 4km tunnel has to be constructed after building a diversion for the river.

Maoist and Madesh rebels to benefit

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Maoist and tarai rebels will be beneficiaries when government withdraws what has been described as 349 political cases against them.
Government took a decision Monday night to withdraw the cases.
Prime Minister Prachanda, Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai and Communication Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara will be among the beneficiaries.

Girija threatens to walk an independent path; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Accusing Prime Minister Prachanda and Maoists of abandoning consensus politics, Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala threatened to walk a different path.
The immediate effect of the threat in the worsening of national political scenario that could trigger a direct clash between Congress and CPN (Maoist) and delay the constitution drafting process.
Koirala said he won’t plot the downfall of the government but won’t join a Maoist-led government either.
‘He has committed a grave mistake by breaking the unity of understanding, cooperation. This was a basic factor. This was a driving force- this nationalism force,” Koirala said.
“I’ll not compromise with anybody on issues. I have emotional relation with him [Prachanda],” the angry party president said.
‘He has adopted a wrong path. I’m disheartened by this. He has set aside nationalist forces; we arrived here of that basis.”
‘When major subjects have failed, what right does he have to say that lesser issues should be implemented,” Koirala replied when asked on the issue integration of two armies.
‘Importance shouldn’t be given to minor matters when basic foundation has been broken. Prachanda has forgotten the basics of understanding. Either he has to recollect; if not, I’ll go my own way and he’ll take his own path. He has forgotten nationalist forces.”
Koirala charged Prachanda now follows foreigners.
“The very powers sent emissaries to meet us yesterday, why does Prachanda today personally go to them,” Koirala asked.

Meeting of army integration again put off

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: A cabinet meeting of proposed integration of Nepal Army and Maoist PLA was again put off Tuesday even without discussion.
The meeting was put off the second time in 12 hours.
A similar meeting was abandoned Monday evening after a hardened attitude of Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala who said even the word integration shouldn't be uttered..
Koirala instead suggested ‘management’ of former rebel combatants in other security agencies.

First mass promotions in army after Maoist come to power

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Cabinet has approved the first mass transfer and promotions in Nepal Army after coming to state power nearly three months ago.
One brigadier has been promoted to major general, four colonels have been promoted brigadiers and four have been appointed colonels.
Dambar Singh Gurung has been promoted maj gen and Himalayan Thapa, Rajendra Karki, Hamenta Kunwar and Arjun Basnet have been promoted brigadiers.

Laxmi puja being celebrated Tuesday

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Tuesday is Laxmi puja the third day of tihar.
The Goddess of wealth will be worshipped in the evening.
Three-day government holiday for the festival also begins Tuesday.

Three Congress nominated ambassadors recalled.

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Cabinet Monday approved a proposal to recall three Nepali Congress ambassadors from Washington DC, London and New Delhi.
Those recalled are former secretary of then Prime Minister Dr Suresh Raj Chalise, retired Foreign Secretary Murari Raj Sharma and Dr Drugesh Man Singh, a former ambassador to Belgium and nephew of Ganesh Man Singh.
Other Congress nominated ambassadors are being recalled in the second phase.
Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav of Madesh Janaadhikar Forum is lobbying to send his party nominee as ambassador to the Indian capital.

Norwegian aid

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Norway has extended a Rs 390 million grant to implement an integrated pest management programme the
same day Monday when Denmark extended a Rs 2.8 billion financial assistance to the on Maoist-led government.
The Maoist-led government is relying heavily on assistance from these Scandinavian countries, including Finland to budget the government’s ambitious development programme through the annual budget.
With the onset of international recession, expected Rs 61 billion in foreign aid may not be forthcoming whill be problematic for the Prachanda government.
Scandinavian countries are positive to the Maoists and the government it is leading.

Constitution being amended to enfranchise 18-year-olds

By Bhola B Rana
Kathmandu, 28 Oct: The cabinet Monday gave approval to a proposal to amend the constitution to enfranchise those who reached 18 years in the second week of April 2007 to vote in by-elections in early 2009.
By-elections are being held in sis constituencies vacated by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Prachanda and Ministers Upendra Yadav, Bijaya Gachedhar, Deb Gurung and former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
The president vacated a constituency in Dhanusha after his election as head of state and the prime minister, ministers and Deuba were elected from two constituencies.
Ironically, the CA has only been involved in amending the constitution without even beginning preliminary work to draft a new constitution nearly seven months after the assembly election.
Work on drafting a constitution is being sidelined with deep political differences that have surfaced between the Maoists and main opposition Nepali Congress.
Congress has begun a jihad accusing Maoists of attempting to derail democracy.

Manipokhari declared 9th ramsar

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Manipokhari in the mid-hills has been declared Nepal’s ninth ramsar or wetland.
The 10th meet of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to Convention of Wetlands in Changwon, South Korea, declared the wetland.

349 political cases being withdrawn

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Cabinet Monday night decided to withdraw 349 cases leveled against persons during the movement in the tara.
Government Spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara described the charges as mainly political following the cabinet meeting.
Home and law ministry will identify the cases and will culminate in the release of nearly as many prisoners.
There was no decision on the formation of committees for integration of armies and coordination of government activities to be taken again by the cabinet Tuesday morning.

Forget integration, go for management: GP Koirala

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: In a new twist to the integration of the PLA in Nepal Army, Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala asked to forget the word integration and suggested the ‘management’ of the Maoists combatants and not in Nepal Army.
Koirala charged there’s can’t be integration because Maoists have broken past agreements.
Koirala has lately been singing praises of Nepal Army---an institution he and his party abused during his successful campaign against the royal regime before April 2005.
Koirala now praises the national state army after agreeing in agreements and the constitution to integrate the rebels.
Maoists never defeated Nepal Army on the battle field but demoralized the state army by signing an agreement for integration demoralizing the national army that too on foreign soil.
In the vague ill-defined agreement, Koirala now says the words agreement was used to integrate rebel combatants in ‘security forces‘ of which Nepal Army is one of three separate units. .
But CPN (Maoist) says agreements and the constitution clearly mention integration in Nepal Army.
The cabinet met Monday evening without even discussing integration after the controversy.
Integration will be taken up Tuesday by the cabinet, government spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara said.
Koirala repeated his new pet theme attempts are on to scuttle democracy.
“I will never compromise with anybody,” Koirala said in the capital after returning from Biratnagar.
But Mahanta Thakur, chief of Tarai Madesh Loktantrik Party, said in Malangawa Monday ‘responsible parties have signed’ agreements and integration of PLA and Nepal Army must be implemented.

Koirala lashes out against CPN-UML and Kamal Thapa

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala Monday told General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal and his party to refrain from commenting on other parties.
Koirala charged Khanal was himself living in a glass house.
Khanal Sunday made critical comments about Koirala after launching a jihad against CPN (Maoist) after opting to stay in the opposition.
Koirala called Kamal Thapa a ’person without status’ after the RPP President charged the Congress president was responsible for the current mess in national politics.

Prachanda holds discussions with former panchayat leaders

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Prime Minister Prachanda Monday held separate but extensive discussions with RPP President Pashupati SJB Rana, RP-Nepal Chairman Kamaal Thapa and former royal foreign minister Ramessh Nath Pandey.
Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal and senior leader Mohan Gaidya Kiran assisted the government chief.
Details weren’t available but the meetings took place as Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala started a tirade against Prachanda and CPN (Maoist).

China hands over hospital to govt.

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: China Monday handed over a Chinese-aided hospital for civil servants and their families built in capital.
Representatives of the two governments signed the handover document at Singha Durbar.

Denmark assistance

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Denmark agreed Monday to extend a Rs 2.8 billion assistance for the year 2009.
Nepal must proposed projects to Denmark which will extend grants, finance ministry sources said.

Another Chavez dig at Bush

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: President Hugo Chavez had another dig at outgoing President George W. Bush in the presence of Nepal Maoist leader C. P. Gajurel who was recently in Venezuela.
“When I nationalized banks George W. .Bush was really against it. But now he has become my comrade, he too has nationalized banks in his country,” Chavez jokingly told Gajurel, according to the Nepali Maoist in The Kathmandu Post.

Maoist present interim constitution to prove democracy without opposition

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Maoist ideologue C.P. Gajurel Monday gave the example on the interim constitution without an opposition in an attempt to prove there was be Maoist-conceptualized multi-party democracy.
“..there will be competition between parties that are nationalist that have fought for the country and republicanism, who want to make a new Nepal.
“Its not necessary that, like in parliament, there has to be an opposition party and a ruling party.
‘In the interim period we didn’t have an opposition but the system was democratic, In fact, there is no provision for an opposition in the interim constitution.
“Only after the Nepali Congress decided to stay in the opposition did we decide to allow for it,” Gajurel told The Kathmandu Post Monday.
Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala fighting for democracy , before opting to stay in the opposition, even wanted such a system to continue for another 10 years.
Maoists want to impose rules and conditions for parties to function under their rule.
Immediately after April 2005, Maoists pursued conservative and traditional parties.
To argue there can be democracy without a parliamentary system by extending the example of transitional rule under the interim constitution before April 2008 is childish.
The Koirala rule after April 2005 guided by the interim constitution was the worst example of democratic rule in Nepal when there was no rule of law and the judiciary and legislature were stifled.
There was a dictatorial rule of seven/eight parties—mostly of communist bent.
Gajurel said there must be ‘commitment towards the constitution we draft’ although they fought a people’s war and topple the 1990 constitution which wasn’t accepted by Maoists before they went to the jungle.
The constitution to be drafted will be final—a document which can’t be challenged by anybody.
On an average, Nepal has had one constitution for every 15 years.
A tradition has been established to topple constitutions and governments through street protests without developing constitutional government.
This tradition will continue unending.
Maoists are embroiled in a debate and differences on a people’s republic or a democratic federal republic.

Govt invitation to nine rebel groups

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar has confirmed government has sent invitations to nine tarai rebel groups for talks to resolve southern demands.
Response of five groups, he said, was positive.
Formal talks are yet to start.

Govt attempt to monitor meetings of foreigners with political leaders and govt officials

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Foreign diplomats in Nepal will compulsorily have to inform the foreign ministry of their meetings with political and government officials, Anil Giri reports in Annapurna Post.
Such meetings will have to held in the presence of officials of the foreign ministry.
A seven-point directive presented by Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav was approved by the cabinet Saturday.
Foreign Secretary Gyan Chandra Acharya said this was to re-vitalize the foreign ministry.
The spirit behind the effort is good and appreciable although such an effort is not new.
Such rules existed in the past but were relaxed and ignored after 1990 to the joy of foreign diplomats who direct access into the bedroom of the prime minister in Baluwatar.
The effort should start with the meetings foreign diplomats seeks with the prime minister and ministers; their meetings should be recorded by the foreign ministry.
Appointments should be also directed through the foreign ministry to control mayhem that currently exists.
The chaos started with Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai in 1990 and peaked during the Koirala rule when even junior officials mainly from India had direct to ailing Koirala’s bedroom.
Bulawatar under Koirala, was the focal point of. international conspiracy with involvement of the government chief.Foreign diplomats resisted attempts to curb their direct access with Nepal’s power centers.
How can the foreign ministry monitor meetings with politicians? It’s not practical.
Look at the background of the MJF of Yadav; MJF was an NGO funded by westerners now turned into a regional political party.
MJF was never transparent about its links with foreign organizations.
The spirit behind the move is good; push it to the extent possible.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cabinet meeting to discuss formation of special integration committee

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Amid differences between three ruling parties and main opposition Nepali Congress, the cabinet meets later Monday to form a special committee to integrate the Nepal Army and the Maoist PLA.
“Integration may not necessarily take place only in the Nepal Army,” Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal said in a conciliatory tone in the Annapurna Post.
Maoists reiterated committee should be headed by Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prachakar with another Maoist member in the five-member committee including representatives of the four parties—three ruling and the Nepali Congress..
Prime Minister Prachanda said the previous committee under the Koirala government was headed by Congress Peace Minister Ram Chandra Paudel and included Congress Home Minister Krishna Prasad Shitaula.
Congress now opposes inclusion of two Maoist members in the special committee which the party says shouldn’t be headed by CPN (Maoist).
CPN-UML says it should now headed the special committee.
The cabinet is also discussing formation of a coordination committee to coordinate activities of ruling parties.
Maoists have proposed the name of top leader Mohan Baidya Kiran while CPN-UML has proposed the candidature of former General Secretary Madav Kumar Nepal.

Monday is kukur puja

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Devotees gave additional living care to the dog Monday on the second day on Tihar.
Pets and those without dogs garlanded street dogs fed and put tika on them.
Astrologers said auspicious tike for bhai tika Thursday is between 11.45 to 11.55 in the morning.

Casino workers to obstruct traffic

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Casino workers will obstruct vehicular movement on the capital’s streets for one hour Monday protesting a police raid on a casino last week.
They have demanded end to such raids and threatened to launch a Valley strike this week in phased protests if such raids don’t stop.

Deuba bows down to Girija

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Sher Bahadur Deuba , an aspirant to lead the Congress in the CA, says he is ready to work with Girija Prasad Koirala who declared he is still leader on the main opposition.
After speculation Koirala might now contest the leadership, Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel staked claims.
“I have no objection if the octogenarian leader wants to lead the party again in parliament,” Deuba said in Biratnagar Sunday.
Ailing Koirala with breathing problems and who has to move around with oxygen tank by his aside, has lately become active in the opposition.
He is currently in his hometown Biratnagar from where he has declared a jihad against Maoists and Prachanda..

VP seeks recognition

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Vice-president Paramandha Jha has sought a more active role for himself.
“I threw this tea reception to let people know where live,” Jha told invitees at his guests at his Bahadur Bhawan office Sunday.

10 countries approved for child adoption

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Nepal has identified 10 countries as eligible for inter-country child adoption, The Himalayan Times reports.
Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Norway, United States and Canada have been passed the muster, thanks to their unblemished record in safeguard of child rights.

Abandoning loktantra, Girija asks Prachanda not to renounce democracy

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala has lately abandoned loktantra, the Indian synonym for democracy, he adopted after the fall of the royal regime in 2005.
The former prime minister has now started re-using the name prajatantra or democracy.
Koirala now says prajatantra is again under threat from Maoists and declared jihad against the extreme communists from Biratnagar Saturday.
He never realized or even ignored the threat while mainstreaming them by bringing the rebels into the mainstream from 11-years of exile in India and the jungle.
“Prachanda became prime minister becoming the prime minister because of democracy movement; he’ll be sidelined it he abandons democracy,” Koirala said in Biratnagar Sunday.

Maoist wanted for murder in cantonment under UNMIN observation

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: A missing Maoist suspect Kali Bahadur Kham Bibhid wanted for the murder of Koteshwor trader Ram Hari Shrestha is at a cantonment in Shaktikhor, Binod Tripathi reports in Kantipur from Bharatpur, Chitwan.
He is active in the cantonment issuing directives.
He had been suspended from the party which assured action against him.
He met Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal in Chitwan last week as police watched helplessly.
Shrestha’s widow, Ramila, Sunday demanded immediate action against the suspect.
UNMIN is also watching helplessly when a wanted man is inside a cantonment under its observation.

PM Prachanda objects to Congress charges; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Denying Nepali Congress and Girija Prasad Koirala’s charges Maoists had abandoned politics of consensus, Prime Minister Pushpa Kanal Dahal Prachanda Sunday warned the nation will head for a crisis without unity between political parties.
Prachanda objected to Koirala’s feudal charge and said he’ll take up the accusation with Koirala after he returns to the capital from Biratnagar.
“Drafting the constitution and finalizing the peace process isn’t possible without unity between political parties. Without them, the country will move in the wrong way,” the prime minister said.
Prachanda said the constitution can’t be drafted within the stipulated timeframe without unity between political parties and added,” The situation is serious. The country has no future without peace and constitution. They have to move in tandem”
Without the constitution the country will head for a deep crisis, he warned.
Meanwhile, RPP-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa Sunday blamed Koirala for the current crisis in the country which he said is moving to the extreme left and called for unity traditional and democratic forces.
He predicted a direct clash with democratic forces with the king and extreme leftists
Thapa blamed Congress and Koirala for ‘wrong perception’ and ‘confusion‘ leading to the. country’s crisis; Thapa blamed Koirala’s last of ‘deep understanding’ for the present crisis.
Koirala Sunday continued his jihad against Maoists in Biratnagar Sunday.
CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal waned Congress threat of a new movement will only help ‘reactionaries’ and asked the party to play the role of a’ responsible opposition’.

Don’t create confusion: Prachanda.

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: PM Prachanda Sunday asked ‘not to create confusion’ or ‘stretch to the left or right” for the integration of the Nepal Army and PLA..
He said the integration will
Done under provision in the constitution.
He said Maoists in government should head a special committee for integration like the Congress did under the Koirala government with two Congress members.
Prachanda reminded then Peace Minister Ram Chandra Paudel headed the special committee with Krishna Prasad Shitaula as member.
Maoists have said current Maoist Peae Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar should head such a committee with another Maoist member objected by Congress.

Casinos workers submit memorandum to prime ministers

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, casino workers threatened to continue protests against what they called police excesses on them and casinos.
They protested last week’s raid in Casino Anna on order of Home Minister Bamdev Gautam.and launched a public protest which will culminate in a strike this week.
Maoist cadres have infiltrated the capital’s casinos.

No UNMIN role

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: UNMIN said Sunday it had no direct role in setting aside 93 weapons for Maoists for the security of Maoist leaders agreed by then Koirala government and the CPN (Maoist).
But UNMIN said it only verified them.
The denial comes as GP Koirala and Congress demanded the return of such weapons.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Follow-up developments
Deuba threatens to launch movement against people’s war

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Sher Bahadur Deuba Sunday threatened to launch a movement against Maoist people’s war one day after the Nepali Congress party and its president Girija Prasad Koirala launched a jihad against Maoists.
The former prime minister and second in command in the party said accused Maoists trying to impose a totalitarian system.
Deuba issued the threat in Biratnagar the hometown of Koirala from where the party launched what it called an awareness campaign.
Nepali Congress and Maoists have fallen out after the latter drubbed Congress in the 10 April elections and captured state power immediately after emerging from the jungle and India.
Koirala has now put Premier Prachanda and former King Gyanendra on the same pedestal after losing elections and government control.
Koirala never realized ideological differences between his party and CPN (Maoist) while bringing the former rebels into the political mainstream.
He even ignored criticism from senior leaders who accused Koirala of taking up a Maoist agenda.
The new Congress fight for democracy –should it gain momentum--will now certainly delay the drafting of a constitution.

Kathina robes presented on behalf of Thai king

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: On behalf of Thai King Bhumibol, kathinn robes were presented to Buddhist monks at Sirikitti monastery in Kirtipur Friday.
The robes were presented by a senior Thai delegation led by former deputy prime minister Dr Surakiart Sathirathi.

Tihar begins

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Tihar festival began Sunday with the worship of the crow.
Bhai tika is on Thursday.

Swiss consulate general reopens

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: The Swiss consulate general has reopened to begin consular services without visa service, an announcement said.
Visas will be issued by the embassy in New Delhi.

Has more details of Koirala outrage against Maoists

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala said he has ‘forgotten’ Prachanda as he forgot the king while declaring a jihad against Maoists in his hometown Saturday.
“To talk of Prachandapath as an alternative to democracy and a people’s republic as parliamentary system has failed are indications of fuedalism;” the Nepali Congress president said using the discarded word.prajatantra instead of the now adopted Indian word loktantra.
Koirala charged Maoists were even conspiring to appoint nominees of the people’s court to district and supreme court.
‘This is against loktanrta,” he added.
Previously critical of Nepal Army, Koirala heaped praises on the state army where Maoists can’t be integrated, he said.
He also asked UNMIN to seize weapons from Maoists with UN tags authorized by his government after former rebel guards entered the CA with them.
Even as his unelected government took decisions of far-reaching consequences, Koirala said,” This is an interim government and can’t take big decisions.”
The Prachanda government is elected.
“Don’t dream of becoming another king just as one has been toppled,” Koirala advised Prachanda.
“How can other agreements be implemented when the main agreement has been violated,” the party president asked before thousands of listeners.
After taking credit for bringing Maoists into the political mainstream with Indian assistance, Koirala now said he will fight until his death for parliamentary democracy, human rights, free press and individual freedom.
“I waged a lifelong battle for this; I’m still waging a battle and won’t comprise with anybody.”
Koirala added: “They are feudals even as they accuse others.”
“I have come here to blow the bugle against the formula that they have broken—the formula that brought them [Maoists] so far,” the aging Congress leader said. ‘Congress has he responsibility to complete it. It will do it.”
Koirala revealed UN won’t accept former Maoist combatants in UN peacekeeping operations even if they are integrated in Nepal Army.
“Therefore, there can’t be integration even as the UN wants it.”
“UN has already said the PLA combatants can’t be chosen for peacekeeping force even if they are integrated into Nepal Army.”
The former prime minister said,” I’ve come here to remind Prachanda; if he’s intelligent let him work intelligently.”
‘At one time I was close with the king; such relationship existed with Maoists; this relationship won’t remain from now on.
“To forget Prachanda is no big deal when I even forgot the king,” the former prime minister said.

Absconding rhino tusk smuggler WWF employee

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: An absconding rhino tusk smuggler is an employee of WWF according to Bardiya National Park administration, Naya Patrika reports.
But WWF has denied the involvement of Yagya Raj Yogi.

PM gets a personal secretary

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: A personal government secretary has been appointed by the cabinet Saturday for Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.
Home ministry joint secretary Pratap Kumar Pathak was promoted before the appointment.

Congress launches anti-Maoist campaign from Koirala hometown

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Nepali Congress Saturday launched an anti-Maoist launched a two-month nationwide ‘awareness campaign’ from Biratnagar, the hometown of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.
Thousands of workers people from 16 eastern districts heard other top leaders including, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Sushil Koirala and Ram Chandra Paudel blast Maoists and the government Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda is leading.
Koirala argued, there was no meaning about talking of Nepal Army/ PLA integration to implement past agreements which Maoists had flouted.
Koirala charged Maoists for imposing one-party rule with help of ruling parties.
Leaders came down heavily on activitie4s on the YCL .whose activities were tolerated by the Koirala government ousted through the 10 April CA election.
Koirala said he won’t bow down to any power centre to push democracy, human rights and other liberal values.
Maoists are publicly talking against democracy, Koirala charged.
Koirala rejected a Maoist offer to join a government led by them.

POL prices reduced

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Government effective midnight Saturday reduced prices of petrol, aviation fuel and kerosene.
Petrol price was reduced Rs 5 to Rs 85 per liter; price of aviation fuel was reduced by Rs 7.96 per liter and kerosene will now cost Rs 70 instead of Rs 80 per liter.
Price was adjusted after fall of price of petroleum in the international market.
Supplies have become more regular although kerosene is still scarce.
Nepal Oil Corporation is now in profit after fall in international prices, government said.

No agreement on formation on special integration committee

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Agreement was elusive at Saturday’s cabinet meeting on the formation of a special committee for integrating Nepal Army and PLA after differences between three ruling parties and he main opposition Nepali Congress.
But the cabinet approved terms of reference for the committee, government spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara said.
CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal again publicly reiterated Saturday his should head the integration committee and not representatives of Maoists or Nepali Congress.
There was also no agreement on a special committee to coordinate work of ruling parties.

Another murder in Kapilvasthu as violence continues in tarai

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Pipara VDC secretary was shot dead by three motorcyclists in Kapilvasthu Saturday as violence continues in the south.
Three assailants sped away on a motorcycle after shooting Ram Milan Prasad Gupta who died instantly.

Major government transfers, promotions

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Sixteen secretaries were transferred by the cabinet Saturday and 20 joint secretaries were promoted.
Radio Nepal didn’t provide immediate details.

Susta encroached by Indians

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Indians with the assistance of Seema Surakshya Bal (SSA) again started encroaching on Susta since the last two days planting winter crops and building temporary structures.
Adam Khan, chief of Save Susta Committee, gave the information.

Casino workers stage demonstrations

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Casino workers in the capital staged a demonstration Saturday demanding security work and protested Friday’s attempted police raid ob Casino Anna in which two dozen workers and policemen were injured..
The demonstrators launched the protest from Ratna Park and held a corner meeting at Mandala Square where they condemned Home Minister Bandeb Gautam.
Police lobbed teargas shells in a failed attempt the casino at eight in the evening.
Gautam has ordered closure of dance restaurants from 11 PM amid protests of workers and management and removed street vendors from the capital.
Protesting vendors are also demanding alternative space to sell their ware.

Maoist national wormer’s meet postponed

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: A national meet of workers of CPN (Maoist) schedule din the capital from 10 November has been postponed, party sources said.
The meet was postponed amid differences between two factions on a people’s republic and a democratic republic.
A faction led by senior leader Mohan Baidya Kiran is demanding an immediate people’s republic while the faction led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai defend a democratic republic in a transition phase.
The differences have come out in the open with the Kiran faction calls the rival faction revisionist.
Both claim majority in the central committee..
Bhattarai even said publicly in Washington DC this month only the coming generation could enforce communism in Nepal—a clear hint the Maoist-led government may even abandon communism after attaining state power by emerging from the jungle in 2005.
The national meet has now been postponed to the first week of Mangshir beginning 16 November.
No firm dates were given.

No cabinet discussion special integration committee

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: The cabinet didn’t appoint a special committee for the integration of the Nepal Army and Maoist PLA.
Differences persist in the four main ruling and main opposition parties.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nepali Congress launching awareness campaign Sunday

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Main opposition Nepali Congress us launching a nation-wide national awareness campaign from Biratnagar Saturday following poor performance in the 10 April CA election and charges Maoists are trying to impose a totalitarian system through a people’s republic.
Ailing President Girija Prasad Koirala, who is launching the campaign from his hometown says he will continue his fight for democracy.
The campaign of the divided Congress, which Koirala says isn’t fully united psychologically, will be held in all 240 electoral districts.
Maoists emerged as the largest single party following the assembly vote to the surprise of the Nepali Congress and have seized the political initiate while heading a government.
Uncertainty prevails in the country.
With the declaration of a republic, Koirala thought the last battle for democracy had been fought and the future generation wouldn’t have to worry about a constitution.
Koirala knew what would be forthcoming when he brought the Maoists into the political mainstream mainly with Indian guidance in 2005 although the Congress and CPN (Maoists) were ideologically divided on democracy.
Koirala himself has repeatedly confessed he took a gamble.
Maoists are now pushing a people’s republic without a parliamentary system, which they say is discredited, and want to impose the rule on the proletariat.
Maoists argue a parliamentary and democratic republic will still continue tobe dominated by what they call feudals.
The drafting of the constitution will be problematic with the differences even as two groups led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Mohan Baidya Kiran respectively advocate a democratic republic and people’s republic.
But Prachanda still says a democratic republic is only one phase of a continuing struggle to achieve a final Maoist goal.
Maoists, it appears, are only juggling with words, as they attempt to hold on to state power after emerging from the jungle and India after a 11-year people’s war.

New controversy in special Nepal Army, PLA integration committee

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: A new controversy emerged Saturday is the formation of a special committee of four top parties to form a special committee to integrate the Nepal Army and Maoist PLA.
Main Nepali Congress is now demanding ruling parties CPN (Maoist), CPN-UML, MJF and the main opposition should be represented in the committee by two members.
Congress rejected a Maoists demand it should be represented by two members in the committee fearing the CPN (Maoist) will have a majority in the committee to enforce its decision.
Maoists want full integration of the former rebel forces and the state army to form what they call a national army.
Full integration has been rejected by two other coalition partners and Nepali Congress.
Surya Bahadur Thapa, chairman of Rashtriya Janasakti Party, Friday joined hands with Nepali Congress to oppose integration.
The cabinet is meeting later Saturday to discuss integration and a committee formation for it.

Congress appointed ambassadors are being recalled

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Breaking an agreement with the seven parties and the previous government, government is recalling ambassadors from three major capitals, Surendra Paudel reports in Nepal Samacharpatra.
Surendra Chalise, Murari Raj Sharma and Durgesh Man Singh are being recalled from Washington DC, London and New Delhi respectively.
They were Congress appointed.
In the previous government, Nepali Congress had appointed seven, CPN-UML six and Maoists three ambassadors.
A proposal for recall the ambassadors is being taken to the cabinet Saturday.
The three will be replaced by a representative from the foreign ministry and a nominee each of Maoists and Madesh Janaadhikar Forum.
Hira Bahadur Thapa, foreign advisor of the prime minister and a joint secretary, is being appointed ambassador.
Maoists are considering nominating either Bishnu Hari Nepal or Janak Shah while Forum could nominate Shyam Nandan Suman or Arjun Thapa.
Suma is foreign department chief in Forum.
In the second phase, government is considering recalling Congress nominees Baijanath Thapaliya, Dr Surya Nath Mishra, Nabin Jung Shah and Bal Bahadur Kunwar from Israel, Qatar, Thailand and Pakistan respectively.
Ambassador to Germany Madan Kumar Bhattarai has been recalled after completing his term.

.Former minister of state for home Dr Gangadhar Lamsal dead

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Former Minister of State of Home from Nepali Congress Dr Gangadhar Lamsal die din Bangkok while undergoing treatment.
His body is being brought to Bangkok.Saturday for cremation.

Security council calls for progress on fundamental issues

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: The Ambassadors of the permanent five members of the Security Council (China, France, the UK, US and Russia) met Friday to discuss progress on Nepal’s peace process ahead of the Nepal visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the British embassy said on behalf of the ambassadors..
UNMIN Chief Ian Martin briefed them on recent political developments and the activities of UNMIN in support of the peace process.

The Ambassadors noted the importance of on-going discussions among the political parties on a range of fundamental issues.
With the perspective of the imminent visit of the Secretary General and the end of the UNMIN mandate in January 2009, they called on the parties to agree to deliver early concrete progress on fundamental issues.
“The issues include the discharge of unverified combatants and a rationalisation of the arms and armies monitoring.
“They reiterated their support for Nepal’s peace process and their commitment to working with the Government of Nepal to provide appropriate support both bilaterally and through the UN.” the embassy said.

Maoists give up demand to head special integration committee : Ram Chandra Paudel

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Maoists Friday gave up their demand to head a special committee for the integration of Nepal and PLA, Nepali Congress Vice-President said.
Paudel said the issue was discussed at a meeting of CPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and MJF.
Paudel added his party will accept the committee leadership by any other three parties.
But Maoist Law Minister Deb Gurung said the matter was only informally discussed.
The issue could be discussed at a cabinet meeting Saturday.

Task force to study fiscal year

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: The cabinet Friday decided to set a task force to take make recommendations on an annual fiscal year.
A government task force will also be constituted to make recommendations on other calendars like the Bikram era and Romal calendar, government spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara said.

Govt decision to return seized arms suicidal

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: The cabinet decision to return seized weapons of the general public to owners will be suicidal, Kantipur reports.
Rebel forces in the terai will benefit directly.
The guns were collected from the people during the Maoist people’s war.
The cabinet decision was taken without consultations with police.

Dollar crossed Rs 80 mark

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: The US touched a record high of Rs 80 against Nepali rupee Friday with the Nepali legal tender losing 70 paise in one day. .
The dollar was selling at Rs 63.85 to the greenback I January 2008.
Nepali rupee is pegged to the Indian rupee which is slipping against the dollar in the international with heavy capital outflow.
The dollar’s gain in Nepal will have an inflationary impact with rise in the price of imports.

Nepal sambad gets national status

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Nepal sambad
was recognized as a national calendar Friday by the cabinet.
The Newar community has been pushing a long campaign for national recognition.
The recognition comes as the nation prepares to celebrate tihar.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opposition Nepali Congress to launch another revolution for democracy

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Pushed into the main opposition after a Maoist victory in the 10 April CA election, Nepali Congress is again pushing for what it calls democracy.
Congress, with direct support of India, brought Maoists home from exile from India in 2005 to topple the 238-year-old monarchy.
“I have come to Biratnagar to rouse workers, students and all people to safeguard democracy, civil liberties and human rights,” party president Girija Prasad Koirala said in his home town Thursday.
‘National and international power centers will be watching and listening to what I sday,” he said.
The Congress and Koirala are Saturday launching what it calls a national awareness campaign; Koirala is to address rallies in Birgunj, Malangwa and Janakpur as well.
Nepali Congress, from the opposition, has been launching repeated movements for democracy without efforts to safeguard the mush abused word and concept while in power.
Loktantra, the Hindi equivalent of prajatantra and democracy is being used as a translation for democracy.
Congress charge with the Maoist promotion of a people’s republic, democracy is again in danger in Nepal.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda charged in the capital Thursday the Maoist-led government hasn’t ben able to function independently amid obstructions.
The great national liberation movement has to be continued even as imperialists are attempting to foil the achievements of the people’s war. Struggle is going on in another form. The ultimate battle has to be fought with elements attempting to netage the gains of the people’s war.
We are firm on our objective and goal,” Prachanda said.

USAID moving to Janakpur from Itahari

Kathmandu, 24 Oct United States Agency for International development’s (USAID) Office of Transition Initiatives (OT) is transferring its regional office to Janakpur from Itahari after the floods in east Nepal citing breakdown of road transport, US embassy said.
The breakdown has impeded the ability to serve communities in Siraha, Saptari, Sarlahi, Mahottari and Danusha, the embassy said.

Defence minister Thapa meets fugitive wanted for suspected murder

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Defence Minister Raam Bahadur Thapa met Kali Bahadur Kham, the main accused behind the killing of Kathmandu businessman Raam Hari Shrestha at District Administration office Chitwan in the presence of journalists Tuesday, Binod Tripathi reports in The Kathmandu Post.
Kham, who is in the police list along with two other Maoists-Keshav Adhikari and Ganga Bahadur Thapa—in connection with the abduction and kicking of Shrestha arrived at the DAO in a jeep with three men to meet the minister.
However, security personnel who were present there did not arrest Kham.

Nanda Kishore Pun being sent to China

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Without informing the defence ministry an Nepal Army, the Maoist-led government is sending chief of the military department Nanda Kishore Pun Pasang to China for training at the national defence academy, Shyam Luitel reports in Rajdhani.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal took the decision.

CA assembly prorogued until 7 November

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: The CA session has been prorogued until 7 November even without discussing the drafting of the constitution nearly seven months after the 10 April assembly election.
The mandate is prepare the document within two years—only 17 months remain.
Agreement of rules of a committee representing 25 parties to draft the constitution has been elusive with smaller parties calling for an independent vote and bigger parties demanding the appointment of whips to enforce party firectives.
Discussions on appropriations for the annual budget 2008/09 ended Thursday and ministers will furnish replies to points raised for three days when the assembly meets again.

.Construction of outer ring road to begin from this month

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Construction of theChinese-aided outer ring road in the Valley will begin this month [Nepali] immediately after tihar, Annapuran post reports.
All preparations have been completed for the construction of the six-lane 72 km highway within 10 years.

.UN Secretary General to address CA

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is addressing the CA 1 November, Annapurna Post reports.
He arrived 31 October for a two-day visit.

Four leading parties discuss committee formation amid differences

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Amid deep differences, leaders of three ruling parties Friday started a dialogue to form a government committee to coordinate activities between ruling coalition.
The Nepali Congress leaders also joined the CPN (Maoist), CPN-UML and Madesh Tarai Janatantrik Forun (MTJF) to form another committee to discuss integration of PLA with PLA opposed by non-Maoist parties.
Maoists are pushing the candidature of their senior leader Mohan Baidya Kiran for the job of coordinator of the ruling coalition while CPN-UML is pushing the candidacy of former General-Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal.
CPN-UML, MTJF along with the Nepali Congress oppose the mass integration of the PLA is the committee that, according to the constitution, must include the main opposition.
Maoists insist there’s a clear provision for integration in past agreements and the constitution denied by other parties.
The differences cropped up because of the vague agreements signed by seven parties with Maoists in an effort to get the former rebels into the political mainstream in 2005.
Nepali Congres leaders Tuesday vehemently opposed propose integration.
‘We suspect Maoists have support of neighbouring China for this [appointing Nanda Kishore Pun Army chief.]…. We object to it,” Chief Whip Shovakar Parajuli said.
He said Maoists are planning to send the chief of the PLA to China for an officer level training to prepare his for the job.
NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba even claimed there’s no mention of integration in agreements and only words ‘security agencies’ have been used.

Former king, Koirala meet?

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Former King Gyanendra and Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala have met twice for discussions and on Monday at Nirmal Nibas for a feast, Nepalpatra reports.
The meetings took place against the backdrop of Koirala’s claim the former king and Chairman Prachanda could together.
The leader who considered the king and the army enemies of democracy and signed an agreement for integration of two armies is now shedding crocodile for the army.
Political pundits say the meetings are an attempt to improve relations.

Cart before the horse, govt. UNMIN signing agreement

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Twenty-one months after UMNIN came to facilitate the peace process government and the NN agreed last week to sign an status of mission agreement, Annapurna Post reports.
The agreement has been sent to the cabinet for approval.

President, PM met

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal called on President Dr Ram Sharan Yadav Thursday and briefed his on current developments.
The meeting comes a time when a working relationship has not been established with.
There’s no precedent in a republican Nepal.
But called have been made for the development of such working relationship.

Teacher shot dead in Rautahat

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: Teacher Sunil Rana was shot dead by assailants in a school premise in Rautahat Thursday.
He belonged to a tarai party represented in the CA.
Violence continues unabated in the south
Twelve persons were injured in a bomb explosion in Dhanusha Wednesday.
Five rebel groups in the region announced after a merger after 12 groups met across the border in Bihar to launch a joint struggle.

Rs. 3.54 billion South Korean assistance

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: South Korea is to give an assistance of Rs3.54 billion for the construction of the 30MW Chimele hydro power plant.
The plans will be located in Darchula.
An agreement was signed Thursday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

GP Koirala won’t give up leader of Congress parliamentary party

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala said Wednesday he won’t give up leadership of the Nepali Congress parliamentary party.
“I am the leader of the Congress parliamentary party. I’ll again be the leader of the parliamentary party. It’s necessary to make Congress effective.
“A historic responsibility has come on the shoulders of Congress,” the former prime minister told Ghatana ra Bichar.
Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel were aspirants.
Koirala’s declaration indicates he will continue active politics even as he frequently says he will handover responsibilities to the younger generation.
Koirala earlier said the declaration of his candidacy by Paudel for the leadership of the parliamentary party was untimely.

China invites Bamdeb Gautam

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam is going to China seeking a three billion rupees aid package, Janaastha reports.
Gautam is visiting China immediately after Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal returned with a Rs 100 million assistance.
The visit is likely to take place from 24 November to 1 December.

Naxalites kill 12 policemen

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Only days after the Election Commission announced assembly polls in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh, extremists Monday attacked a group of CRPF personnel in Bijapur district killing 12 of them on the spot and injuring six others, Amitabh Tiwari reports in the Times of India from Raipur.
A Maoist was killed when jawans opened fire.
[Note: The federal Indian government won’t negotiate with Naxalites to resolve the insurgency. But India imposed Maoists on Nepal.]

New people’s republic to fight Indian expansionism: Mohan Baidya Kiran

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Hard-line Maoist leader Mohan Baidya Kiran says a new people’s republic is necessary to counter Indian expansionism.
Kiran said this in a differing alternative proposal presented at a recent CPN (Maoist) central committee meeting.
Prime Minister and party President Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda presented a proposal for a democratic republic.
Both proposals will be debated by the party national meet in November amid a demand for a people’s republic opposed by major political parties.
Kiran’s proposal was published by the Janaastha Wednesday.
“Our strategy is the establishment of a new people’s republic against Indian expansionism in the Nepali context of feudalism and expansionism especially. Except this strategy cannot be achieved through a reformed work strategy. A revolutionary approach is necessary,” said in the paper.
“I asked him [Prachanda] why Maoists were pushing people’s republic slogan against democracy,” Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala told Ghatana ra Bichar.
Koirala was giving details of his meeting this week with the prime minister who asked Koirala to abandon a ‘rigid’ stance and join government.

Nepal insulated from global financial crisis

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Nepal has so far been insulated from the global financial crisis because its economy isn’t integrated with the world economy.
“Basically the Nepali economy is insulated; neither our stock market nor real estate sector has any direct foreign investment (FDI), so there is no major direct effect on our economy,” said CEO Siddhant Raj Pandey of Ace Development Bank.
“I guess the insulated stock market and absence of FDI has proven to be a major plus point for Nepal.”
Pandey said the Nepali rupee could be devaluated with the crisis.
Former National Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Shanker Sharma said recession in Europe could later impact foreign aid flow and tourist arrivals.
“The problem will be in remittance especially from Malaysia as it is a country which is very much dependent on FDI,” Sharma said.
CEO of Nabil Bank Anil Shah also said aid flow could be impacted.
“With the economies of lthedonor nations badly affected by the crisis, the quantam of aid or soft loans to Nepal may be limited,” Shah warned.
The Maoist-led government hopes to finance ambitious development plans with a 100 percent increase in foreign aid flow totaling Rs 61 billion rupees.
If Nepali banks haven’t deployed dollars ‘in a prudent manner abroad’ such investments could be a ‘ deep cause of concern’, said Sujit Mundul, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Ltd.
“… have commercial banks in Nepal deployed their dollars abroad in a prudent manner? Hopefully, if the answer is yes, we are on a safer side,” he said.

Maoists to be taken off US terrorist list

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: The USA has started a long process to take Maoists off the US terrorist list, Hari Bahadur Thapa, foreign advisor to the prime minister said Tuesday.
US Ambassador Nancy J. Powell told this to the government chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda at a meeting Tuesday.
“Maoists cannot be minimized. US is now ready to move ahead by improving relations,” Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai told Radio Nepal Wednesday describing his talks with American officials in Washington DC recently.

Mohan Baidya Kiran resigns from CA

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Maoist leader Mohan Baidya Kiran has resigned from constituent assembly, Naya Patrika reports.
The resignation was registered Monday and his resignation has been verified.
Kiran resigned on party advice.

$ 42 million US assistance

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: USAID has released an additional $42 million assistance for Nepal’s development in health, economic sector, governance, democracy and other sectors, an announcement said.
A $ 67 million aid package was signed 23 September after Maoists-led government was installed.
France has provided Rs 51.8 million in food assistance through the WFP for flood victims.

. :
TMLP to obstruct CA proceedings

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Tarai Madesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) said it will disrupt Wednesday’s CA proceedings if government doesn’t give a statement on the murder of two party activists in Kapilvasthu recently.
The party boycotted the assembly session for the third successive day Tuesday demanding security.

Thai king’s gift to be delivered to Kirtipur monastery

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Royal Kathin robes gifted by Thailand’s revered king will behanded over to Sirikirti Viharn monastery Saturday, the Thai embassy said.
A top thai-delegation led by former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai will deliver the gift.

Palace officials transferred

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: The transfer of officials attached to the Narayanhiti Palace has begun, Nepal Samacharpatra reports.
Thirty persons were transferred by the ministry of general administration to the ministry of labour and two to the president’s office.
Altogether 415 senior and lower rank officials are presently at the Narayanhiti Museum, the former palace.

CA members on foreign tour; presence in assembly nominal

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: There’s very little activity in the CA after dasain, Rajendra Phuyal reports in Kantipur.
What are the assembly members doing?
More than 30 CA members are studying federalism abroad; the visits are being finances by INGOs.
A 22-member delegation is studying federalism in Germany and Switzerland.
Another 11-member delegation is in Japan on JAICA’s invitation..
Earlier, 24 assembly members visited South Africa at the invitation of IDAS affiliated with the African National Congress.
More than 200 assembly members from big and small parties have taken diplomatic passports for foreign visits.


Amik Serchan’s suspension lifted

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: A three-month suspension of Amik Serchan from Janamorcha Nepal was lifted Tuesday by the party.
The suspension was lifted two weeks before the end of the suspension period.
Serchan was suspended for defying a party whip during presidential elections.
Meanwhile, Shyam Sundar Gupta has been electecd chairman of his faction of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party by a party meet in Bhairahawa Tuesday.
The party has split into three groups.

132 district judges transferred

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: Altogether 132 district judges have been transferred by the judicial council in a mass transfer described as the biggest so far.
The Maoist-led government has transferred CDOs and senior army generals as well.

Special committee on armies integration to be formed

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: A special committee on the integration of Nepal Army and Maoist PLA will be formed by the cabinet Tuesday.
An agreement was reached Monday between Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal.
This was revealed by Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar who said the main opposition will also be included in the committee.
Bijaya Gachedhar, Physical Planning Minister, opposed the proposed integration Monday.
He threatened people of tarai origin will take up arms if bulk integration is enforced.
People from the tarai will also demand mass integration if PLA combatants are integrated in Nepal Army, he said.
Prabhakar said unofficial contacts and discussions have been initiated with rebel groups.
to discuss regional demands of the south.
Formal talks will start soon, he said.

CA session boycotted

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: Tarai Madesh Loktantrik Party boycotted the CA session for the third successive day Tuesday.
The party was protesting the murder of its activists in the south and demanded government security.

GP Koirala haunted by former King Gyanendra’s ghost

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala is still haunted by the ghost of former King Gyanendra even after the declaration of a republic by the CA.
Koirala fears Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and the former king will join hands to derail democracy.
“Gyanendra and Maoists could come together. The question frequently comes to my mind,” Koirala revealed said Monday.
Koirala and Nepali Congress raise fears of totalitarianism and dictatorial rule from the opposition bench; but they have abused democracy and never contributed much to the institutionalization of the much abused democracy while in government.
Power hungry Koirala twice toppled the majority government of his own party when he was out of office and split the Nepali Congress triggering instability and finally royal intervention of King Gyanendra who imposed a three- year personal rule.
Koirala blamed the king for the royal intervention without blaming himself.
Girija now says Maoists are a threat to democracy when he himself brought them into mainstream politics by conniving with foreign forces, especially India, USA and United Kingdom.
He colluded with these countries encouraging foreign intervention and subsequent instability threatening the institutionalization of democracy.
When he was prime minister, Baluwatar was a focal point for international conspiracy.
Through an unelected parliament, Koirala shred the 1990 constitution drafted by his own party and described as one of the best constitutions in the world.
An interim constitution was arbitrarily imposed on 24 million Nepalis without popular consent and consultation.
More than six months after the 10 April election for the CA, discussion hasn’t even started on drafting a constitution within the remaining 18 months; the constitution, if it’s drafted within the timeframe, will be imposed by parties without consulting the people.
A culture of street politics and foreign intervention has been encouraged by Koirala—the biggest threat to the institutional development of democracy in Nepal.
Koirala and the Congress are now colluding to topple the Maoist-led government only four months after its installation on the flimsy ground of a Maoist threat to democracy; the replace government of a so-called democratic front will be unstable as Maoists are the single largest party in the assembly.
Koirala charges Maoists for abandoning consensus politics.
But Koirala never wanted to give up power and wanted to continue as prime minister; he never thought Maoists would win assembly elections.
Unwilling to give up power after losing elections as a democrat should have done, Koirala attempted to create a new power center in a president.
Maoists understood the Koirala game plan and effectively stoped Koirala from becing elected Nepal’s first president.
Nepal has entered an uncertain era, thanks to Koirala’s gamble; the very survival of the country is threatened with such uncertainty.
Democracy without a country is meaningless.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Name change controversy in CPN (Maoist) storm in tea cup: Baburam Bhattarai

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai dismissed Tuesday a controversy in the CPN (Maoist) on removing the Maoist suffix as a storm in a tea cup..
“The comments are just a storm in a tea cup,” Dr Bhattarai told party mouthpiece Janadesh.
A faction led by Mohan Baidya Kiran charged there’s a danger of revisionism in the radical party.
Dr Bhattarai sided with Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda who suggested removing the suffix from the party’s name.
Kiran, at the last central committee meeting, presented an alternate proposal to Prachanda’s concept of democratic republic; Baidya is pushing a people’s republic.
Bhattarai said the November national meet. solidly back Prachanda.
“Prachanda’s concept is the mainstream revolutionary concept, The party is moving ahead for a democratic republic in a new way to establish a people’s oriented and independent republic through the constitution. There’s nobody to effectively challenge this concept,” Bhattarai said.

Transfers in army

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: Government Monday transferred senior generals of Nepal Army, Annapurna Post reports.
Nepal Bhusan Chand has been moved to the Office of the Adjutent Generral while Netra Thapa has been shifted to central region headquarters; Dambar Singh Gurung has ben transferred to the far-western region headquarters, Pradip Jung Thapa to the mid-west regional headquarters while Daman Ghale has been brought to army headquarters.
Ananta Thebe has been transferred to the national security council secretariat.

Nawalparasi closed

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: Government offices remained closed in Nawalparasi Tuesday to protest the murder of a bank official in the district one day earlier.
Violence continues unabated in the tarai.

Displaces street vendors, police clash

Kathmanduu, 21 Oct: The capital’s street vendors demanding alternative space clashed with police in front on the municipal corporation.
Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam cleared the streets by removing them.
Former mayor Keshab Staphit has been appoint to find alternate space for the vendors.

Nepal, India trade treaty is being amended

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: Some articles of the 1996 Nepal, India treaty is being amended following a meeting of commerce secretaries in New Delhi Monday, Annapurna Post reports.
This was stated by Commerce Secretary Purusottam Ojha.
Commerce ministers will sign the amendments after approval by the cabinet.
A petrol pipeline is also being laid between Raxaul and Amlekhjung.
A company
A bilateral government company with private sector participation is being formed to lay the pipeline.
New Delhi has agreed to lift the export ban on Nepali garments exports India and waive duty of steel goods export to Nepal.

Nepali couple in USA establish trust for orphans

Kathmandu, 21 Oct: A $150,000 trust has been established by a Nepali couple in USA for Nepali orphans, Annapurna Post reports.
The Praladh, Bindu Trust was established by Dr Praladh Pant and hid wife, Bindu.