Nepal Today

Friday, January 30, 2009

Six injured in Birgunj blast, other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 31 Jan: Six persons were injures, including two children, Friday in a socket bomb explosion during purchases for Basanta panchami which is celebrated Saturday.
Madesh Mukti Tigers has claimed responsibility.
Terai is heating up with the advent of spring.
Locals in Jaleshwor defied a curfew and clashed with police amid charges government was moving Mohottari district headquarters to Bardibas—a charge denied by government.
Nearly a dozen locals and police were injured.
Meanwhile, journalist Rajesh Verma
of Annapurna Post was threatened over cellphone and ordered to leave Siraha district within seven days.
Amid spiraling violence in the south bordering India, PM Prachanda has directed security chiefs to step up security in the region.
One person was shot dead in Piprari, Mohottari overnight.
“There can be no single federal state in the Terai-Madesh region, considering its geography and diversities in culture and languages,” Unified CPN (Maoist) Spokesman Dinanath Sharma said Friday at the end of a two-day party conclave to address terai concerns ‘scientificlly’.

Maoist PLA chief says strength will be increased to 32,000

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 31 Jan: Maoist PLA Chief Nanda Kishore Pun Pasang has threatened to increase the strength of the former rebel force to 32,000 from 19,000 to match vacancies being filled in by Nepal Army against orders of the Maoist-led government and support from outgoing UNMIN Chief Ian Martin.
Pun said there should be no recruitment to fill in vacancies until the peace process is completed.
The 19,000 former combatants are under watch by UNMIN in 28 cantonments and satellite camps.
Recruitment by Nepal Army has been supported by ruling parties CPN-UML, Madesh Janaadhikar Forum, NSP and main opposition Nepali Congress.
Nepal Army had defied orders to stop 2,800 recruitments by Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal creating tensions between the Maoist-led government and the state army.
The issue was discussed Friday between Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala and Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guo Hong.
“It [PLA recruitment] won’t be acceptable to us,” Acting Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala said.

Girija accuses Maoists of totalitarianism

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 31 Jan: After bringing Maoists into the political mainstream and finally government with foreign help, main opposition President Girija Prasad Koirala Friday accused Maoists of totalitarianism.
He made the call one day after Surya Bahadur Thapa called on Koirala to lead a democratic front until next parliamentary elections and even as little headway has been made to draft a constitution before such elections.
Koirala leveled the charge through a statement read out at party headquarters by Prakash Saran Mahat.
The charge will further cool relations between Unified CPN (Maoist) and Congress and act as an obstacle to drafting a constitution.
Maoists have said their ultimate goal will be to slap communism in Nepal.
“Though the government is aware of the need for consensus and adherence to democratic norms to draft a new constitution and bring lasting peace, it has adopted totalitarian methods. This will deepen a prevailing crisis,” Koirala said.
“Issuing the ordinance to form the commission on disappearance without making any consensus and consultations exposes the government’s bad intention.”
Girija opposed promulgation of three ordinances immediately after parliament was prorogued and plans to form Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a commission on disappeared through ordinances as well.
Former Prime Minister Girija also defended Nepal Army and criticized government.
“Instead of boosting the morale of Nepal Army and mobilizing it to defend national interests, this government has demoralized the institution by triggering disputes,” Koirala charged.
Nepali Congress received firm support for attempts to from such commissions through ordinances International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Amnesty International.
“Such legislations should be promulgated through regular democratic process and not though the executive ordinances,” ICJ said.
Meanwhile, Acting Congress Sushil Koirala has threatened to launch street protests if the rule through ordinances aren’t immediately stopped.
But Maoist Communication Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara defended the government saying ordinances were promulgated as per ‘constitutional provisions’.

New Sri Lankan ambassador

Kathmandu, 31 Jan: Thosapala Hewage assumed office as Sri Lanka’s new residential ambassador in Kathmandu Friday.
He presented his credentials President Dr Ram Baran Yadav the same day.


“The mode of our struggle has changed but we are still fighting for an autonomous terai state and the rights of Madeshi people.”

(Foreign Minister and MJF Chief Upendra Yadav, The Kathmandu Post, 31 Jan.)

“UML is staying in government just because it is a responsible party.”

(Party Chief Jhalanath Khanal, The Himalayan Times, 31 Jan.)

“No matter how many signatures the prime minister initials, they [seized assets] won’t be returned. They can’t be returned because during the war the land was distributed to the poor and landless.”

(Maoist leader CP Gajurel, Kantipur, 31 Jan.)


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