Nepal Today

Friday, February 27, 2009

Govt declares 7,000 martyrs

Kathmandu, 28 Feb: The cabinet Friday decided to declare 7,000 persons killed during the people’s war, Madesh protests and Janaandolas-II martyrs.
Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma proposed 8,000 names.
Nearly 13,000 persons, including soldiers and policemen, were killed during the Maoist insurgency.
Security forces were deployed against Maoists by successive governments to fight the communist insurgency.
Soldiers and policemen deployed to defend the state don’t obviously fall in that category.

Committee formed to recommend nominees to Disappeared People Probe Commission

Kathmandu, 28 Feb: Government has formed a three-member committee to recommend nominees to a proposed Disappeared People Probe Commission.
The team is headed by Padma Lal Bishwakarma, president of parliament’s international relations and human rights committee.
The commission has been declared through ordinance.

Fight Maoists: Girija Prasad Koirala

Kathmandu, 28 Feb: Indicating worsening relations between main opposition Nepali Congress and Unified CPN-Maoist), party President Girija Prasad Koirala Sunday asked party activists to retaliate against Maoists if they are attacked during elections for free student union.
Sweep the elections, Koirala ordered.
Koirala issued the directive while addressing workers in Chitwan Friday.
“If you’re attacked by Maoists, retaliate. The party is ready to take responsibility,” Koirala said.
Koirala continued to last out at Maoists charging the ruling party for breaking a politics of consensus.

Rishi Dhamala jailed

Kathmandu, 28 Feb: Chairman of Reporters’ Club Rishi Dhamala was sent to jail along with three other journalists by The Kathmandu District Office while charges of attempted murder and extortion under the arms and ammunition are being investigated.
Dhamala was arrested more than one month ago for alleged links with Ranabir Sena.
Sena was behind three bomb blasts in the capital demanding a Hindu state.
Dhamala has denied the charges.

US ready to provide logistic support for Nepali peacekeepers in Chad, Sudan

Kathmandu, 28 Feb: USA is ready to provide logistic support to Nepali troops going to Sudan and Chad as UN peacekeepers, Annapurna Post reports.
US Ambassador Nancy J. Powell held discussions with discussions with Prime Minister Prachanda Friday.
Prachanda asked Powell to take Maoists off the US terrorist list.

Prohibitory orders around Chinese embassy

Kathmandu, 28 Feb: Areas around the new and old Chinese embassy in the capital were declared prohibited areas by the local administration.
Protests and meetings around the areas have been banned.
The protests coincide with the approach of the crushing of a rebellion by Tibetans against China is Tibet 50 years ago.
The declaration came as authorities feared protests by Tibetan exiles in the capital.


“The dress-up [national dress Girija Prasad Koirala started wearing after 1990] didn’t exactly help to delink in the national consciousness the Tanakpur hush-hush from the reality that he was born on Indian soil. Nevertheless, Koirala stuck with the national outfit.”

(Maila Baje, People’s Review, 28 Feb.)

“Presidential system is not acceptable to Nepali Congress.”

(Girija Prasad Koirala, The Himalayan Times, 28 Feb.)

‘We can’t be slaves of agents of any country. We can’t b slaves and agents of India or China. We’ll fight against intervention.”

(Matrika Prasad Yadav, founder of CPN-Maoist, Annapurna Post, 28 Feb.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Maoists committed grave humanrights abuses

By Bhola B Rana
Kathmandu, 26 Feb: Maoists, Maoist-affiliated YCL and members of ethnically based armed groups committed numerous grave human rights abuses in 2008, a US State Department report said, according to the US embassy..
The U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Wednesday, Wednesday in Washington, DC.
Some highlights of the 2008 Report for Nepal are listed below:
- Members of the security forces committed some human rights abuses during the year, and the Maoists, the Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League (YCL), and members of other small, often ethnically based armed groups committed numerous grave human rights abuses.
- Members of the Nepal Police (NP) and Armed Police Force (APF) occasionally used excessive and lethal force in response to continued demonstrations throughout the country.
- Numerous armed groups, largely in the Terai region in the lowland area near the Indian border, engaged in attacks against various entities, including civilians, government officials, members of particular ethnic groups, each other, or Maoists.
- Impunity for human rights violators, threats against the media, arbitrary arrest, and lengthy pretrial detention were serious problems.

Special Chinese envoy calls for stop to anti-China activities

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 26 Feb: Assistant Minister and Special Envoy of the Chinese government Liu Tieji Thursday asked Prime Minister Prachanda to stop anti-Chinese activities while inviting him to visit China later this year.
Prachanda is expected to visit the northern neighbour sometime in April/May.
Anti-China activities is an euphemism for the Free Tibet movement of Tibetan exiles and foreign governments from Nepal.
Liu arrived for a two-day visit leading a 14-member delegation.
Nepal and China are expected to sign an economic cooperation agreement during Prachanda’s visit.

Narayanhiti palace museum opened

Kathmandu, 26 Feb: Prime Minister Prachanda formally inaugurated the Narayanhiti palace museum Thursday.
It will be open to the public from Friday.
Former King Gyanendra vacated the palace last year.
The former royal couple is on an India visit for the first time after ouster to attend a wedding of a relative.
The museum contains royal relics and is spread over 318 ropanis of land.
Foreign ministry has moved to part of the former royal palace where the former King’s mother resides.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Former king, queen fly for New Delhi

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Former King Gyanendra and Queen Komal flew for New Delhi by a regular flight of Jet Air Wednesday.
The couple is scheduled to attend a wedding ceremony of a relative in India during a two week stay.
For the first time after the declaration of a republic, they left the country.

Jhalanath Khanal calls for national govt.

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Newly elected CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal Wednesday called for a government of national consensus that includes Nepali Congress.
Khanal also said the party will lead such a government, if asked.
He asked not to label pro or anti-Maoist charges on him.
The 8th general convention of the CPN-UML general convention ended in Butwal four days behind schedule Wednesday by adopting a 25-point proposal.
The convention directly elected a new leadership for the first time by electing Khanal a powerful executive chairman.
The second powerful man to emerge in the party is Ishwor Pokhrel who was elected general secretary.
Khanal asked Maoists to run government on agreed democratic principles.
The convention asked the government to be cautious on imposing education tax on schools and not to put psychological pressure on children.
The government had said students from schools that don’t pay education
Tax won’t be permitted from appearing for SLC examinations.
The ruling party border encroachments must stop.

Unified CPN (Maoist) adopts presidential system of government

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: A constituent assembly meeting of the Unified CPN (Maoist) Wednesday adopted a presidential system of government opposed by the main opposition Nepali Congress which argues the system will be dictatorial.
Congress has opted for a parliamentary system of government.
The assembly meeting elected Narayan Kazi Srestha deputy leader of the parliamentary party which is headed by Prime Minister Prachanda.
Analysts said this is a blow to Dr Baburam Bhattarai.
“Dictatorial system will emerge if a presidential system is adopted,” Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala reiterated.
Dr Bhattarai denied the claim.
Bhattarai said presidential system is there in USA and Nepal should go for a presidential system like in France and Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Former king, queen flying for New Delhi later Wednesday

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: For the first time after being ousted, former King Gyanendra and Queen Komal fly for New Delhi later Wednesday.
The couple is leaving the country for the first time after ouster.
The former king and queen are expected to be away for about two weeks to attend a wedding of a relative, published reports said.
In the Indian capital, the former king is expected to hold discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress I President Sonia Gandhi and main opposition leader Lal Krishna Advani.
Should the meetings take place, they will create political ripples in Nepal.
India helped oust monarchy in Nepal by helping to bring Maoists into the political mainstream.
This was admitted recently by Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the annoyance of Maoists.

Unification of two communist youth groups being announced

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Unification of Maoist YCL with the People’s Youth Association (PYA) of former CPN (UnityCenter/Mashal) is being announced
at the open air theatre Wednesday.
The new group will retain the Maoist YCL name.
YCL Chief Ganesh Man Pun will lead the organization while Raju Khadka of PYA will be co-coordinator.
The working committee will have 250 members.

PM requests Koirala’s help to curb Nepal Army

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Nepal Army is becoming an increasing headache for Prime Minister Prachanda, Janaastha reports.
Army is moving ahead without obeying the prime minister.
He has repeatedly drawn the attention of main opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala.
Koirala told Congress party workers Sunday,” The army is the biggest headache for him [Prachanda]. Prachanda has complained the army is disobeying the government. He asked me to remind the army chief.
“Prachanda at the country’s honour should be saved. Prachanda argues disobedience has brought problems everywhere.”
Prachanda has told the chief to issue a public statement urging the army will abide by orders.
The prime minister advised a statement should be issued henceforth army will abide by government orders. But the chief is not listening.
On Army Day Monday, the chief said in the presence of the president and prime minister the army is ready to abide by government’s order.
But the statement didn’t meet Prachanda’s requirements that to stop recruitments henceforth.

Maoists keep watch on ministries run by other parties

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Unified CPN (Maoist) is now keeping on ministries run by other parties, Annapurna Post reports.
The party’s government mobilization committee meeting Tuesday took the decision.
The committee was formed by the party under chairmanship of Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai after concluding there was no coordination in the six-month Maoist-led government.
Dr Bhattarai will watch activities of the foreign ministry under MJF while Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal will monitor activities of the home ministry under CPN-UML.
Tourism Minister Hishila Yami will watch transport and forest ministries while Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar will look after agriculture and youth ministries.
Communication Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara will monitor activities of water resources and while Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Deb Gurung will watch local development and labour ministries.
Health Minister Girirajmani Pokhrel will be in-charge of education ministry and State Reconstruction Minister Gopal Kirati will monitor environment ministry and Minister for General Administration Pampha Bhusal will oversee the supply ministry.
The Bhattarai committee discussed a possible expansion of government.

Public holiday declared to celebrate Gyallo Loshar

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Government for the first time Wednesday declared a public holiday to celebrate Gyallo Lhosar.
The holiday was announced for the first time to celebrate the festival mainly in the hill regions.

Gurkha veteran museum opened in Pokhara

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: To keep alive the history and legacy of internationally lauded gallantry of Gurkha soldiers, Gurkha Memorial Trust on Tuesday unveiled the museum of Gurkha warriors in Pokhara, Kaski, The Kathmandu Post reports from the resort town.
The Gurkha Memorial Museum was inaugurated by British Commander-in-Chief Land Forces General Sir David Richards.
According to Lal Bahadur Rana of the trust, the museum has a collection of around 10,000 items from World War I and II used by the Gorkha soldiers.


Govt. intervention to curb food prices

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Government is intervening from Wednesday to curb increasing prices of food and essential goods.
Government has failed to curb their prices even as they fall in the international market.
Rice will be sold at subsidized price through depots of Nepal Food Corporation and sugar will be sold through Salt Trading Ltd.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Wednesday received a consumer cards for a gas cylinder at Baluwatar from gas dealers.
The cards are also being distributed in Chitwan and Pokhara for the first time.

Dollar gains in money market

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: The dollar crossed the Rs 80 mark for the first time in recent months.
Nepal Rashtra Bank fixed Wednesday’s selling rate at Rs 80.20 to one dollar.
The price of gold has also soared in the market touching almost Rrs 30,000 per tola.


“Protection of political parties rather than the absence of law to control terrorist activities are the problem.”

(IGP Ramesh Chand Thakuri, Annapurna Post, 25 Feb.)

Jhalanath Khanal will push collective leadership in CPN-UML

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Jhalanath Khanal said Wednesday he will push collective leadership in the CPN-UML after being directly elected chairman of the party for the first time one day earlier by the general convention.
The central committee previously elected the party chief.
“I will work for collective leadership and internal democracy has been strengthened after the vote. There will be a high-level of division of labour as well,” Khanal told Radio Nepal.
Khanal defeated his only rival KP Sharma Oli.
He said he will work for ’goodwill and understanding in government’.
Khanal has been elected to lead the party for the third time and added ‘during the historic transition’ there were six responsibilities,
He said the new constitution in must be drafted within the May 2010 deadline and the peace process must be concluded.
“There should be only one national army.” he added.
Khanal said ‘national unity should be reinforced and all Nepalis should be united’ defeating separatist forces.
Former General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal who didn’t contest elections said,” The new leadership should unite the party.”
Khanal said multi-party people’s democracy will be the party’s guiding principle while denying he was pro-Maoist adding he will push unity after election in the party.
Votes are being counted Wednesday for the election of 115 central committee members.
Results of elections for chairmen, general secretary, vice-presidents and secretaries were announced Tuesday night.

Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav leaving for Sri Lanka

Kathmandu, 25 Feb; Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav flies for Sri Lanka later Wednesday to attend a foreign ministers’ conference of SAARC member states.
The meet begins of the seven-nation grouping begins in Colombo Friday.

Maoists, Nepali Congress disagree on type of govt.

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: Girija Prasad Koirala, president of the main opposition Nepali Congress Tuesday opposed a presidential system of government being pushed by Maoists.
The difference in the system of government could be problematic in drafting a constitution.
Unified CPN (Maoist) and Nepali Congress are Nepal’s two biggest political parties.
“Nepali Congress is for drafting a constitution that will strengthen the parliamentary and not a presidential system.
“Authoritarianism can again surface by making a president strong.. We must frame a constitution that reinforces multi-party system,” Koirala said in Biratnagar.
Koirala said this as Maoists have proposed a French and American style presidential system.
Unified CPN (Maoist) parliamentary party meeting is being later Wednesday to discuss a presidential system of government.

President angry with Nepal Army for calling Nepali Congress terrorist

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Feb: The relationship of President and Supreme Commander-in- Chief of Nepal Army Dr Ram Baran Yadav with the state army has suddenly deteriorated, Janaastha reports.
The army’s relationship with the government and defence ministry is bad.
The president, at the last moment, refused to launch a 1000-page book prepared by the army; the book was entitled: History of Nepal Part 2.
The book brackets Nepali Congress as a terrorist group.
The book was to be released Monday on Army Day.
The book refers to ‘terrorists’ sent to Solokhumbu during the rule of King Mahendra; the Royal Nepal Army was deployed against them.

[Note: Nepali Congress then launched an anti-king and anti-panchayat campaign from bases in India.]


“Was it not your father [Girija] who turned Nepal into a secular country instead of retaining it as a Hindu nation?”

(BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani asking Sujata Koirala as she complained of anti-religious Maoist activities, newsfront, 25 Feb.)

“Service tax directives clearly state that the tax [education service] should be paid by the service bearers. The private schools are only the mediators to collect the tax and submit it to the government and the guardians will be the ultimate tax payers.”

(PABSON, The Himalayan Times, 25 Feb.)

Bird culling ends in Jhapa

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Culling of birds and destruction of eggs ended in Jhapa 350 km east of the capital Tuesday after a continuous three day effort by a rapid response team.
The disease appeared for the second time in two months after the infectious disease was contained in January.
A three-month ban on sale and raising of chicken has been enforced in the district adjoining the Indian state of West Bengal.

Yubaraj Geywali elected not Pradip Geywali

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Yubaraj Geywali was elected one of three secretaries.
A previous report said Pradip Geywali was elected.


Three charges filed against Rishi Dhamala

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Three charges were charged by police at Kathmandu district court Tuesday against Chairman of Reporters’ Club Rishi Dhamala.
Dhamala was charged for extortion, attempted murders and involvement in arms and ammunition trafficking.
He was charged for links with Ranabir Sena charged for three bomb blasts in the capital.
Dhamala denied the charges.

Former king meeting Indian prime minister Singh, Sonia Gandhi

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Former King Gyanendra leaves for a fortnight’s India visit Wednesday, Punarjagaran reports.
He was ousted by parliament which he restored and a republic has been announced by the constituent assembly.
The visit is intriguing and important.
The visit is personal; he is going to attend a wedding of a relative.
But he’ll meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress I president Sonia Gandhi and MJP leader Lal Krishna Advani.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is coordinating the visit.
The visit is not only to attend the wedding of a relative.
[Note: The wedding takes place in Orissa; the shortest flying distance there is via Kolkata; but he goes there via New Delhi.]

Jhalanath Khanal elected CPN-UML chairman (BREAKING NEWS)

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Incumbent CPN-UML general secretary Jhalanath Khanal was elected chairman of the party by the 8th general convention that ended Tuesday.
He defeated his only rival KP Sharma Oli by 128 votes.
Khanal collected 942 votes while Oli got 814 votes.
Official result is yet to be announced.
The chairman is now the most powerful position in the party after a statute amendment approved by the convention.
Ishwor Pokhrel was elected general secretary; he defeated Pradip Nepal in election for the most powerful position in the third largest party in Nepal.
Pokhrel was supported by Khanal.
Ahok Rai, Bamdeb Gautam and Bidya Bhandari were elected vice-chairmen.
Bishnu Paudel, Shanker Pokhrel and Pradip Geywali were elected secretaries.
Former General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal didn’t contest; he supported Oli.
Election result shows Nepal had lost control of the party to Khanal who is considered close to Maoists.
Oli was considered close to main opposition Nepali Congress.
Nepal lost the 10 April CA elections from two constituencies even as he heads a committee to draft the constitution.
The result of elections for 115 central committee members is yet to be announced.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jhalanath Khanal leads in vote counting

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Jhalanath Khanal leads KP Sharma Oli in vote counting for chairmanship of CPN-UML, Nepal’s third largest political party.
Election for the powerful chairmanship was held Sunday in Butwal; vote counting continues; final results are expected later Tuesday.
Khanal has bagged 615 votes while Oli has 586 votes.
More than 1,700 votes were cast.
Ashok Rai is ahead in the contest for vice-chairman.; he is supported by Oli. Bidya Bhandari and Bamdeb Gautam are in second and third place.
Pradip Nepal trails Ishwor Pokhrel in election for the second most powerful post of general secretary.
Pokhrel has collected 650 votes while Nepal has 510 votes.
Pokhrel is supported by Khanal while Nepal is supported by Oli.
Elections were held for one chairmen, three vice-chairmen, one general secretary and three secretaries.
Bishnu Poudel, Shanker Pokhrel and Yubaraj Geywali lead in contest for secretaries.
Ballots were also cast for 115 central committee members; Amrit Kumar Bohara was elected uncontested.
Modnath Prashit announced retirement from active politics at the general convention.

Bird culling continues for third day in Jhapa

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Bird culling continued in Jhapa for the third consecutive day Tuesday after bird flu resurfaced inj the district 350 km southeast of the capital.
The district was declared free of the disease after it first surfaced there in January.
Jhapa adjoins the Indian state of West Bengal from where the disease spread to Nepal.
More than 8,000 birds are expected to be culled in the next two days.
More than 1,000 chickens, ducks and pigeons were killed in Sharanamati and Ruimari tole VDCs Monday; eggs were also destroyed by a rapid response team sent from the capital.

Former king flies for India Wednesday

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Former King Gyanendra flies for Orissa, India, Wednesday, Jana Bhawana reports,
He will be there for two weeks.
The former king is scheduled to attend the wedding of Princess Bharati’s daughter.
The Princess is the former king’s aunt.

Chinese special emissary arrives Wednesday

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Ji arrives Wednesday on a three-day visit as special emissary of the Chinese government, Rajdhani reports quoting a spokesman of the Chinese embassy.
The emissary is scheduled to hold discussions with Prime Minister Prachanda, Deputy Prime Minister Bamdeb Gautam, Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal and others,

Narayanhiti Palace Museum to be opened for public

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: The Narayanhiti Palace Museum will be opened to the public from Friday.
Former King Gyanendra vacated the palace June 2008.
Foreign ministry has shifted to one wing of the palace.

Former Maoists joining CPN (Maoist)

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: A meeting of former Maoists this week at Rautahat has decided to join the CPN (Maoist) launched by Matrika Prasad Yadav.
A meeting of nearly 350 of former Maoists from 60 districts decided to join Yadav’s party amid charges Unified CPN (Maoist) had abandoned the people’s war.
The group calls itself the Revolutionary Left Wing.
Mani Lama is a prominent defector with the group.

Who will defend Nepal Army?

Kathmandu, 24 Feb: The supreme court intervention in the soldier recruitment dispute has thrown up an interesting question—Who will defend the Nepal Army, The Himalayan Times reports.
The government attorneys are supposed to defend the government in any case filed against it. But in this case, if they defend the army it would harm the interest of the government.
Deputy Attorney General Surya Koirala acknowledged the dilemma. “I cannot say right now what will happen. We’ll discuss tomorrow (Tuesday) what should be done in the case,” Koirala said.
Stating that the army was a part of the state, a senior government attorney ruled out private lawyers to defend the Nepal Army.
“We’ll defend the army. We’ll not take sides but defend the constitution and law,” he added.
Brig Gen BA Sharma, Legal Department Chief of Nepal Army said,” I’ll consult the Supreme Court over the appointment of defence lawyers because such a situation had never arisen in the past. Attorney General used to defend our cases.”


Kathmandu, 24 Feb: USA won’t immediately give duty free access to Nepali garments, Kantipur reports.
Concerned business sources said this quoting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher who was recently in Nepal.


“Foreign power centers have been meddling and they are hell-bent on thwarting the constitution drafting process.”

(Communication Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Kantipur, 24 Feb.)

“Since we are in the most crucial stage of the peace process, the main responsibility of Nepal Army is to cordially accept the decision taken by the people in a democratic system by keeping national unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty at heart.”

(Chief of Army Staff Gen Rukmangud Katawal, The Kathmandu Post, 24 Feb.)

“We had taken a decision at a central committee meeting to take 100 good decisions in 100 days after forming government. But we didn’t succeed.”

(Maoist Spokesman CP Gajurel, Naya Patrika, 24 Feb.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Election for chairman of CPN-UML held

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: Altogether 1,790 ballots were cast overnight in Butwal to elect chairman of CPN-UML, Nepal’s third largest political party.
There were altogether 1,820 eligible voters at the party’s general convention.
General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal and former Deputy Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli are contesting the powerful presidency.
Former General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal isn’t contesting.
Power in the party is now being transferred to the chairman from general secretary through a statute amendment.
Vote counting started at seven in the morning Monday.
Result is expected to be announced later Monday.
Oli said he has the support of Nepal and pledged to from a national government by inducting Nepali Congress if he’s elected.
Effort for a consensus candidate failed.
Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala said the election of Khanal or Oli won’t make any difference to the main opposition party.
Oli is contesting to lead the party for the first time.
Khanal has led the party as general secretary for two stints.

Shibaratri being celebrated

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: Shibaratri is being celebrated by Hindus from Nepal and India Monday .
Thousands of pilgrims from the country and India have converged at Pashupati where devotees took a holy bath at Bagmati.
There thousand plus policemen have been deployed at the temple for security.

Supreme court stops army recruitment

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: A one-man bench of the supreme court Sunday ordered the government and Nepal Army to stop recruitment to fill in vacancies.
The army has already announced the results to fill in 2,8000 in the state army.
A stay order was issued by the court after a public interest litigation was filed at the apex court saying the recruitment was unconstitutional.
The army defied a defence ministry order to stop recruitment.

Yogendra Sakya elected GAA chairman

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: Yogenbdra Sakya has been elected chairman of Godavari Alumni Association (GAA).
Hotelier Sakya succeeds Alok Tumbahangphey.

Supreme court stops appoint at Nepal Academy

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: The supreme court Sunday ordered the government not to implement the prime minister’s decision to appoint members of the Nepal Academy.
Government had appointed Ishwar Chandra Geywali chairman, Bhupal Rai vice-chancellor and Arabinda Kular Lal secretary.

Bamdeb Gautam suffering Bell’s Palsy

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: Deputy Prime Minister Bamdeb Gautam is suffering Bell’s Palsy, The Kathmandu Post reports.
He has been admitted to TU Teaching Hospital for physiotherapy treatment.
Gautam just returned from Bangkok where he had gone for treatment.

Bird flu again surfaces in Jhapa

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: Bird flu has again surfaced in Jhapa which was declared free of the disease.
The disease was first detected in east Nepal last month.


“We’ve reached conclusion to give alternative and challenge to Maoist threat of rebellion and capture of state power.”

(Congress Spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC, Annapurna Post, 23 Feb.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

51 lawmakers refuse to visit remote districts to collect opinion on constitution

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: Fifty-one lawmakers have reused to visit remote districts to collect opinion on a proposed constitution, Naya Patrika reports.
“Some legislators nearly beat us up. We are in tension,” the newspaper quoted an official of the secretariat as saying.
The lawmakers said they should be sent to districts of their choice.
According to the first list, Maoists Narayan Kazi Sherstha, Barsha Man Pun and Top Bahadur Rayamajhi were first assigned to Solokhumbu, Lamjung and Manang and Humla respectively.
They are now been sent to Dhading, Kathmandu valley and Kapilvasthu and Rupendhaehi in that order.
Nepal Majdoor Kishan Party Chief Narayanman Bijukachaya rejected going to Rukum and will stay in the Valley.
Congress Vice-President Gopal Man Shrestha will not go to Jajarkot; he’ll also work in the Valley.
Nabindra Raj Joshi of Congress has now been assigned to valley after refusing to go to Mugu.

Another journalist shot in terai; other details (BREAKING NEWS)

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: Radio journalist Gyanendra Raj Mishra was shot and injured in Birgunj Thursday.
He was shot by a group of three or four persons who sped away on a motorcycle, according to eyewitnesses.
He was shot in front of the town’s stadium.
Three children were injured in a bomb blast in Sarlahi Thursday as they played with an abandoned bomb.
The injured are undergoing treatment at Malangwa.
Violence continues unabated in the south.

Three top CPN-UML leaders meet to discuss consensus elections

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: Former General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, incumbent party chief Jhalanath Khanal and KP Sharma Oli held collective discussions in Butwal Thursday for a consensus candidate for the powerful post of party chairman of CPN-UML.
They are meeting again after a lunch break following three hours of talks.
A party general convention is currently underway in the west Nepal town.
A closed-door session is discussing a party political report and stature amendment.

Voluntary retirement scheme for 13,000 officials before cabinet

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: General administration ministry Tuesday presented a scheme for the voluntary retirement for 13,000 officials, Kantipur reports.
The cabinet is expected to discuss the scheme and approve it Thursday.
Nearly 13,200 officials who were promoted 18 months ago can apply for retirement.
Those who have completed 20 years of service and aged 50 years can apply; previous retirement age was 58 years.
The promoted officials weren’t given new assignments after their promotions.
The scheme will cost the government exchequer one billion rupees.
Critics claim the scheme is a disguised Maoist attempt to fill positions in government with their supporters.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

541 killed in 2008 Nepal violence; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: Altogether 541 were killed in continuing violence in Nepal in 2008 of which state was responsible for 50 killings, 729 others were abducted and 1,017 citizens were injured, an annual report released by INSEC said.
The highest number of violence was reported from 20 terai districts in east and central terai where 383 persons were killed and 477 others were abducted.
Maoists and YCL were responsible for one dozen killings.
The south is affected and insurgency and separatist movement.
Chairman of National Human Rights commission Kedarnath Upadhaya said,” Withdrawal of cases on the pretext of political and impunity are two faces of the same coin. Withdrawal of cases encourages impunity.”
A dialogue team member of United Janatantrik Terai Morcha and central committee member was shot and injured in Rautahat Wednesday.
Sheikh Gulam Sarbar survived an assassination attempt.
There’s been no headway in government, separate rebel group talks.

Nepal. China ties won’t affect relations with India

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: Indian Foreign Secretary Shib Shanker
Menon said Sino-Nepal won’t adversely affect the Himalayan state’s relations with New Delhi.
“Nepal is an independent state. It can have relations with any neighbouring country. We also have relations relations with others,” Menon said before emplaning for New Delhi after a two-day visit.
Nepal’s relations with China won’t have any affect Indo-Nepal relations, he said.
Menon said this amid Indian main opposition BJP concerns of growing Chinese influence after Maoists were swept to power.
Such concerns have in the past been made even by ruling circles in India as well.
Menon this time publicly minimized the concerns.
“Nepal’s relations with third countries were outside the ambit of our bilateral ties. India will not interfere in Nepal’s internal matters,” Menon told reporters.

Ambassador to India sacked

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: Ambassador to India Dr Durgesh Man Singh has been relieved of his responsibilities, Annapurna Post reports.
He has been relieved for leaving his post to return home without informing the foreign ministry,
Acting Secretary Pradumna Bikran Shah sent a letter to the embassy Wednesday.
Indian government has been informed Kushnath Shrestha is officiating ambassador.

[Singh’s ailing mother died.]

45MW electricity being imported from India from Friday

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: Altogether 45MW electricity of being imported from Kataiya, Bihar, from Friday by repairing five transmission poles damaged by flooded Kosi river six months ago, Annapurna Post reports.
The poles have been repaired.
Nepal is facing an acute power shortage as people suffer a crippling 16-hour daily load-shedding.

President alerts constitutional council to abide by the constitution

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, through a letter, has alerted the constitutional council headed by Prime Minister Prachanda to abide by the constitution, Annapurna Post reports.
The main opposition Nepali Congress is also represented in the council.
This is the first time the president issued such an alert.
The president alerted the council 50 percent of nominees of to Public Service Commission should be retired civil servants.
Only one of four recent nominees was a civil servant.

Change of YCL name to be referred to Maoist youth group

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: A proposal to rename the controversial YCL will be referred to a youth group of the ruling party.
The party’s secretariat took the decision Thursday.
There was no agreement at Thursday’s meeting to rename group formed mostly of former combatants of the PLA amid opposition to rename the group after unity between the CPN (Maoist) and CPN (Unity center/Mashal).
Main opposition Nepali Congress has been calling for the dissolution of what has been called a militant group.
A decision was taken to refer to appoint candidates for by-elections in six constituencies 6 April through electronic voting to a committee which report to the secretariat Saturday when it meets for the second time in three days.
Six candidates including Prime Minister Prachanda and former Prime Minister Sher BahadurDeuba, were elected from two constituencies.
Six parliament members elected from six constituencies have vacted one seat each.


“”The pro-Indian slur stuck on the elkder Koirala [Matrika Prasad], which situated New Delhi just fine. Despite enjoying close ties with Kings Mahendra and Birendra, Matrika never saw his political fortunes soar again. In the national consciousness, he could never claim the place he deserved as our first commoner prime minister.”

(Maila Baje, People’s Review, 19 Feb.)

“In loktantra, the army should follow the instructions of the government, not that the government should follow army’s order. It is only in a military rule that the government heeds the orders and advice of the army.”

(Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, The Rising Nepal, 19 Feb.)

“Because we are keeping quiet, Congress and UML have started jumping around Ratna Park, Janadisha, 19 Feb.)

“Today’s CPN-UML is yesterday’s Maoists; today’s Maoists are tomorrow’s CPN-UML)

(Badri Narsingh KC, Janadharana, 19 Feb.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proposal for Nepal to rarify the Rome Convention

Kathmandu, 18 Feb: Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav presented to the cabinet 5 February a proposal for Nepal ratify to the Rome Convention.
The proposal has yet to be ratified by government,
‘The proposal is important as killings, violence continue. Those involve din serious crimes can be taked to the international criminal court after the proposalis passed,” Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav told Janaastha.
Persons charged for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes can be presented before the court at the Hague after acceding to the treaty.
Because powerful nations like USA haven’t acceded to the treaty, Americans charged for serious crimes can’t be produced before the international court.

Mahendra highway o be restored in March

Kathmandu, 18 Feb: The damaged Mahendra highway in east Nepal will be restored by the end of March with Indian help.
The highway was damaged by flooded Kosi river six months ago.
Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shib Shanksr Menon said this after meeting Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav before flying home.
Menon called for national understanding to resolve Nepal’s major issues.


“CPN-UML now is a spoilt communist party; its become directionless
,bourgeois or new bourgeois. UML now is neither bourgeois or socialist.)

(Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav, Naya Patrika, 18 Feb)

Former King Gyanendra remembers grandfather

Kathmandu, 18 Feb: Former King Gyanendra remembered his grandfather King Tribhuvan on the occasion of 51st democracy day Wednesday.
The ousted king paid homage to the late king even as governments after April 2006 attempt to erase traces of monarchy from the country unified and founded by Shah kings 239 years ago.
The former king hoped all democracy day will inspire all Nepalis to protect and promote Nepal national sovereignty, independence, patriotism and democracy.
Former King Gyanendra noted democracy was established with the cooperation of the king and people.

BJP concerned with ’increased’ Chinese activities in Nepal

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 18 Feb; India’s main opposition BJP leader and former foreign minister Jashwant Singh said Chinese activities are increasing in Nepal and the Indian government was inactive, PTI reports.
Singh said in the Lok Sabha Monday.
Singh said this as Indian Foreign Secretary Shib Shanker Menon arrived Tuesday and discussed current Nepali affairs with Prime Minister Prachanda and main opposition Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala.
India has been maintaining keen and special interest in Nepal’s internal affairs since 2005.
“China, Nepal relations are increasing. But Indian government its sad Indian government is completely unconcerned of this,” Singh said.
Menon returns to New Delhi after concluding his Nepal visit Wednesday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Indian foreign secretary Menon arrives

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon arrived Tuesday for two-day consultations with Nepali leaders, including Prime Minister Prachanda and main opposition Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala.
Menon is holding talks with the prime minister later Tuesday.
Reports from New Delhi said Menon will push for implementation of agreements between Prachanda and Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee in November 2008.
Menon is in town although his counterpart is in Beijing for annual consultations with his Chinese counterpart.
Talks begin Tuesday.

Another murder in terai

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: Violence continues unabated in the terai.
Narendra Khati, supervisor of Janakpur Cigarette Factory was shot dead by the Jwala Singh group of Janatantrik Mukti Morcha was shot dead overnight in Janakpur; he’s of hill origin.
Jwala Singh group is the most violent of nearly two dozen groups active in the south.
There’s been no headway in government/rebel talks to discuss regional demands.
Some of the demands are secessionist.

Nepal does not favour end to Gurkha recruitment

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: Prime Minister Prachanda Monday told a visiting British parliamentary union delegation led by Sir John Stanley the Maoist-led government desires continuity of recruitment of Gurkhas in the British Army.
The prime minister’s Foreign Advisor Hira Bahadur Thapa said after the meeting Prachanda assured the delegation Nepal doesn’t favour stopping recruitment in the British army.

Maoists, out of government, said they wanted an end to recruitment of Gurkhas in the British and Indian armies.

Dolma Sherpa’s death sentence commuted to life imprisonment

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: The death sentence passed by a Kuwati court on Dolma Sherpa has been commuted to life imprisonment in December last year.Kantipur reports quoting Nepal’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Blood money of $10,000 was paid to the family of a person who had been allegedly killed by Dolma.

American India policy a future challenge: Nepal Army

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: Globalization, superpower USA, emergence of China as a power and American India policy are foreign challenges.
This is mentioned in a book on national security policy presented to the national interests committee of parliament by Nepal Army Friday, published reports said.
Increasing insecurity and inequalities in South Asia are also challenges.
The availability of nuclear material for civilian purpose by India from USA, human rights and the use of Nepali territory by foreigners for Free Tibet movement are also mentioned as foreign challenges.
USA and other powers have developed a India-centered South Asia policy.
The report mentions the chilling relations between India and Pakistan, terrorism, activities of armed groups Afghan problem as challenges.
China desires Nepal territory shouldn’t be used against China on pretext of human rights and Free Tibet movement.
The report mentions interim security challenges and opportunities.
Political instability, inequalities, ethnicity, regionalism, open international border, cross-border criminal activities, terrorism and sharing of internal resources are probable areas for internal danger.
A mechanism should be formed to develop and implement a national security policy which should not only be the prerogative of the council of ministers, the book suggests.
“Because of the excesses seen in Nepal, terrorism, refugees, criminal activities, hunger, border and ethnic disputes, neighbours and other powerful nations on the pretext of national security or in the name of humanitarian assistance can intervene politically, economically and military.”
Border dispute is also a danger and challenge and refers to border encroachment along Nepal-India border as an area of concern and suggests the timely settlement scientifically and legally.
Patriots and entire people should be alert; if diplomatic efforts are made to solve the issue, Indo-Nepal relations and national security will be jeopardized.
Religious disputes and surfacing of dangerous weapons are emerging problems, the book says.


Govt. releases names of 339 willful defaulters

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: Government Monday released names of 339 willful defaulters who will be denied passport and other facilities.
Finance Ministry’s Bimal Wagle says they owe banks Rs 16 billion.
Defaulters owe banks Rs 10 to 50 million.
The Maoist-led government has formed a committee under lawmaker Hari Rokka to monitor government drive to recover the money.
Previous governments had, on international pressure pledged to recover the loans; the pledge was never seriously implemented.
Indian and Pakistani nationals figure in the list.

New CPN-UML leadership shouldn’t be affiliated with Congress or Maoists

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: Madhav Kumar Nepal said Tuesday the new CPN-UML leadership shouldn’t get ‘entangled with Congress’ or be’ bogged down with Maoists”.
Nepal, contesting the powerful chairmanship of the CPN-UML, said in Butwal as the closed session of the party bean on the second day of the six-day general convention.
Incumbent General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal said final effort continues to seek a consensus candidate.
Khanal and KP Sharma Oli are also contesting.

Police seeking extension of Dhamala remand

Kathmandu, 17 Feb: Police said Tuesday they are seeking an extension of a remand for Rishi Dhamala for investigation.
A 14-day remand expires Tuesday.
The chairman of Reporters’ Club was arrested for alleged involvement in extortion and three bombings in the capital.


“.. to make the present democratic republic a true people’s democratic republic, there is a need of an another movement in the country.”

(Dr Baburam Bhattarai, The Rising Nepal, 17 Feb.)

PM Prachanda calls for a communist center at CPN-UML general

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 16 Feb: Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda Monday asked CPN-UML ‘not to be used” by ‘counter-revolutionary and regressive forces’ to invite ‘regression’.
Prachanda made the call at the 8th general convention of the CPN-UML general convention which has joined the main opposition Nepali Congress in demanding a parliament session to discuss ordinance-rule; a no-confidence motion against the six-month Maoist-led government could be introduced at the session after the six-day convention.
Maoists feel threatened by the convening of parliament.
Prachanda told the convention delegates and Nepal’s major political parties CPN-UML holds an ‘important position’ while calling for a communist center, short of calling for a unified communist parties.
Prachanda said communists have waged successful revolutions in Nepal but failed to government the country effectively.
Prachanda hinted the six-month government could fall without CPN-UML support.
Prachanda said communists and supporters have two-third majority in the 601-member parliament to approve a constitution.
Prachanda said this even as main opposition leder Girija Prasad Koirala said a ‘politics and unity, understanding and consensus has begun’ from BUtwal where the convention is being held.
Prachanda asked Koirala to implement it in his ‘working-style’.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiba Shanker Menon arrives Tuesday

Kathmandu, 16 Feb: Indian Foreign Secretary Shiba Shanker Menon arrives Tuesday for a sudden unscheduled visit, diplomatic sources said.
He arrives amid increased Chinese military activities in Nepal and when his Nepali counterpart is away in China for an annual bilateral meeting of foreign secretaries beginning Tuesday.
Menon comes immediately after the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher.
India and USA held consultations on Nepal after the Boucher visit; Boucher was the first official of the Obama administration to visit Nepal.
Washington and New Delhi are coordinating their Nepal policy through consultations.

Nepal Army calls for referendum to secede on secular state

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 16 Feb: Nepal Army has suggested major issues like a secularism, citizenship and future state structure and other main issues should be decided only through a referendum while drafting the constitution, Kantipur reports.
This was suggested in a book to the national interest committee of parliament Friday chaired by Amik Serchan.
The suggestions are incorporated in a 52-page book.
“We presented the suggestions after extensive discussions,” Army Spokesman Brig Gen Ramindra Chetri said.
Only the Nepali people can decide on religious and cultural identify, the suggestions say.
Decision shouldn’t be taken only through political or party lines.
Nepal, a Hindu monarchy until April 2006, was declared a secular state by a parliament reinstated by King Gyanendra through a ‘political decision’ and without popular participation.
King Prithvi Narayan Shah should be a symbol of national unity, the army suggests.
The national security council should be headed by the army chief, the suggestion says, according to Rajdhani.

Ram Karki being appointed ambassador to India

Kathmandu, 16 Feb: In a test case that might diplomatically ‘embarrass’ India, or at least project the giant neighbour ‘morally weak’, the government headed by CPN-M is likely to nominate Ram Karki, alias Partha Chhetri, as Nepal’s ambassador to India, newsfront reports.
India had chosen to hand KArki, a wanted ‘terrorist’ over to the Nepal authorities for trial while ignoring the presence of many other senior Nepali Maoists leaders on its soil in 2004.
This, however, is not the first time a Nepali political leader, tried or arrested in India for criminal charges, is being sent back as ambassador to Delhi.
Chakra Prasad Bastola of Nepali Congress, who was facing a place hijacking case in Bihar, as posted as ambassador way back in 1991.

Former king to give message to nation

Kathmandu, 16 Feb: Former King Gyanendra is to issue a message to the nation on 7 Falgun Wednesday, Janabhavana reports.
He is giving continuity to past practice.


“We’ve received information not only Congress but some CPN-UML leaders are plotting a downfall of government. But the government fall just because some wish so.”

(Baburam Bhattarai, Rajdhani, 16 Feb.)

:Prachanda is welcome in my party if he reforms himself; he’s also said he’s also come if he fails.”

(Maoist defector Matrika Prasad Yadav, Naya Patrika, 16 Feb.)

Chinese ambassador says Nepal capable of supporting China to stop infiltration into Tibet from Nepal

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: China’s Ambassador to Nepal Qui Guohong said Monday Nepal is ‘capable of supporting China’ to prevent what he called “Tibet independence forces’ from infiltrating and sabotaging China through Nepal on the south of Tibet.
“The government of Nepal of is capable of supporting China and adopting effective measures to stop Tibet independence forces to conduct infiltration and sabotage to China by using the land of Nepal,” he told The Rising Nepal in an exclusive interview.
He called for ‘further communication and cooperation to effectively fight criminal activities, particularly the trans-border crimes” and called for treaties between Nepal and China for judicial cooperation
to fight cross-border crimes.
Ambassador Qui said this as a 19-member delegation is in Nepal to discuss security along the 1,414 km Nepal-Tibet frontier along the Himalaya that boasts of the world’s tallest peak, including Mount Everest.
Nepal and China share Everest.
Qui called for direct communication channels ‘for information sharing’ to control cross-border crimes.
“This kind of cooperation is now underway because there is China’s Tibet policing affairs delegation in Nepal at the moment,” he said.
The ambassador recalled Nepal took ‘very severe measures to ensure” the smooth operation of September 2008 Beijing Olympics and ‘stopped those Tibet independence separatist activities to intrude and storm in the Chinese embassy and stopping their attempts to march into Chinese territory through Nepal”.
Nepal deployed the army to stop Free Tibet demonstrations at Mount Everest, yet an Australian climber succeeded in hoisting a Free Tibet flag on the summit.
“A stable, developing and friendly Nepal is very important to the security of China’s southern part, particularly the stability and security of Tibet Autonomous Region,” the envoy said.
Qiu suggested talks between China, India and Nepal to develop river systems for development.
“We have already initiated or are trying to push for cooperation among China, Nepal and India for water resource utilization,” he said.
Bhramaputra and Mekong rivers originate in Tibet.
The ambassador, without mentioning India, called on Nepal to end what he called ‘discriminatory’ practices.
“Some other countries enjoy some favourable treatments, not China.”
He added “..I hope the government of Nepal could eliminate differences and create good conditions for Chinese enterprises.”
Indian goods have preferential access to land-locked Nepal; in 1989 the Rajiv Gandhi government slapped a crippling economic blockade
Nepal has denied such access to Indian exports after Nepal imported Chinese weapons for Royal Nepal Army, including anti-aircraft guns.


“”.. neither his [Baburam Bhattarai’s] counterpart, the Japanese finance minister, not the foreign minister met him during his recent his stay in Tokyo. So much so that even Japan-Nepal parliamentary group chose to ignore him. Such an embarrassing embarrassment has never occurred to any high level political dignitary from Nepal.”

(KK Joshi, The Kathmandu Post, 15 Feb.)

‘At this crucial time when students are zeroing in on the nearing SLC exams, we shouldn’t disturb children’s psychology.”

(N-POBSON-President Gita Rana on government threat to debar students of schools not paying taxes from appearing in SLC exams, The Kathmandu Post, 15 Feb.)

Politics of understanding, cooperation demanded at CPN-UML general convention

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 16 Feb: CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal launched the party’s 8th general convention in Butwal where main opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala called for understanding and consensus.
In the presence of Prime Minister Prachanda, Koirala said politics of understanding and consensus has started from Butwal.
“The prime minister is encountering difficulties for breaking consensus,” Koirala said.
PM Prachanda attended even as Maoists have been labeled CPN –UML ‘opportunists and status quoists’.
A top Congress leader asked CPN-UML asked the party to behave like a democratic and not a communist party for cooperation.
Delegates from 14 countries and all major political parties are attending the
Nearly 300,000 persons have been bussed in from Nawalparasi and neighbouring districts.
Madhav Kumar Nepal, incumbent General Jhalanath Khanal and KP Sharma Oli are contesting the power chairmanship of the party; an effort for consensus is being efforted as well.

Nepal won’t permit anti-China activities: PM Prachanda

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: Nepal won’t permit anti-China activities from its soil.
This assurance was given by Premier Prachanda to a visiting Chinese delegation led by Liu Hongcai currently in the country to attend a general convention of CPN-UML.
The delegation led by the deputy head of the International Department of Chinese Communist Party also invited Prachanda to visit China in 2009.
A 19-member Chinese military delegation also held discussions with the prime minister Sunday before concluding a week-long Nepal visit.
The delegation discussed security along the sensitive Nepal-Tibet border during the visit.
China has become sensitive to activities by Tibetan refugees in Nepal after prolonged protests by exiled Tibetans ahead of last years Beijing Olympics.
Tibetans from across the border in India participated in the protests; they crossed the open 1,700 km border to come to Nepal to participate in anti-China protests.

Defence Army claims responsibility for a failed assassination on Sakthi Basnet, personal secretary of Prime Minister Prachanda.

PM Prachanda visiting China again in 2009

A three-member Nepali delegation is preparing a visit of Prime Minister Prachanda to China later in 2009—his second to the northern neighbour.
The delegation is also discussing a proposed visit by Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav.
Nepal is asking China to increase a one million yuan annual assistance while asking Beijing to build a hydro power plant to meet an acute power shortage.
Assistance will be sought for the construction of the Trishuli-3 north of the capital in neighbouring Nuwakot district.
Foreign Secretary Gyan Chand Acharya is leading a three-member delegation to the annual Nepal-China consultative meeting in Beijing beginning Tuesday.
The 2009 meeting was held in Kathmandu.
The delegation flew for the Chinese capital Sunday.
The team will discuss a ban of visas for Nepalis going to China after hundreds of people from the Himalayan state entered the island illegally to seek refugee status.

Maoist combatants demand interim military rule

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: Maoist PLA combatants have demanded an interim military rule soonest, Rajdhani reports.
This was demanded by a meeting of seven division commanders and assistant commanders at Shaktikhor military camp in Nawalparasi during an annual function addressed by Prime Minister Prachanda Saturday,
Deputy Commander Chandra Prakash Khanal said Nepal Army and PLA should be placed in the same status in the rule.
Prachanda assured the commanders the new rule will be enacted soon by a special committee on army integration which the government and party chief heads
Commander Nanda Kishore Pun Pasang the new national army will be under the special integration of the special committee which has members of the main opposition and three ruling parties.
PLA has been given the status of a national army, Pasang quoted Prachanda as saying.
“We consider this historic and important responsibility,” Pasang told Rajdhani.
The meeting discussing sending circulars to seven divisions on the important developments.


Kathmandu, 15 Feb: Tourist arrivals fell a whopping 16 percent in January 2009 compared to the same month the previous year, Tourism Board said.
Only 21,944 tourists visited Nepal in January.
Indian arrivals fell 10.6 percent—the main reason for the slump.
Arrivals fell from USA and Europe as well.
Tourism is the mainstay of Nepal’s economy.

Govt. meets revenue collection target

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: Government collected Rs 72.26 billion in revenue in the first seven months of the current fiscal year exceeding the target.
The Maoist-led government had planned to collect Rs 69.25 million.
The finance ministry under Dr Baburam Bhattarai has launched an aggressive tax collection drive
The collection drive increased 32.5 percent compared to the same period the previous year.


“The country is in a semi-colinial state from the neighbouring country [India] due to the unequal treaties and agreements signed with that country in the past.”

(Jhalanath Khanal, The Rising Nepal, 15 Feb.)

‘There’s a storm in government; it will fall for its own reasons.”

(Sher Bahadur Deuba, Annapurna Post, 15 Feb.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Be prepared for revolution: PM Prachanda

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: Prime Minister and Chairman of Unified CPN (Maoist) Saturday asked party supporters to be ready for another revolution to protest what he called ‘gains’ while addressing a trade union affiliated with the party in Lalitpur.
He made the call as top party leaders threatened street protests to impose a people’s republic if the six-month Maoist-led government was toppled.
The government is now in a minority in the 601-member parliament.
“After a long analysis, we entered the peace process, constituent assembly and constitution drafting process.
“This was not forever; another situation can also arise and this situation will not last for ever and we’ll have to be prepared for another situation
“We are now in critical phase of the revolution. Form and substance sometimes look different under such circumstances but they are the same.
“There will be another disaster if an alternative is sought for the government.
“We must be prepared for widespread gains through revolution,” Prachanda said.” We have surprised imperialists and are moving ahead.”
Prachanda threatened another revolution hours after a secretariat meeting concluded ‘national and foreign conspirators’ are conspiring to bring down the government.
As expected, the secretariat expelled
Politburo member Matrika Prasad Yadav who defected and launched CPN (Maoist)

CPN-UML general convention begins Monday

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: A general convention of CPN-UML, the country’s third largest political party, that begins in Butwal Monday is set to elect a new leadership.
Unified CPN (Maoist) replaced the CPN-UML as Nepal’s biggest communist party in the 10 April constituent assembly election.
Lately, Maoists have been charging CPN-UML as a ‘opportunistic and reactionary’ group.
Attempts are being made by a group led by politburo member Bharat Mohan Adhikari to elect a collective leadership through consensus.
Former General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, his successor Jhalanath Khanal and KP Sharma Oli are contesting the all-power party chairmanship.
The powers are being transferred to the chairman from the general-secretary.
The convention by 1,800 plus delegates will also approve a new party statute.
The meeting will also discuss the party’s cooling relations with Maoists who are now leading the government.
Top CPN-UML leadership have lately been demanding the party should lead the government if a constitution is to be drafted within the May 2010 deadline.
Main Opposition Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala, who is attending the convention even as he is sick, has publicly supported Madhav Kumar Nepal to replace Prime Minister Prachanda.

British legislators arriving

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: A British Inter-Parliamentary Union Group arrived Monday in parliament’s invitation.
The visit aims to reinforce relations between parliament’s of the two countries and help Nepal’s peace process.

Five attackers of police post encircled

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: Five Maoist defectors who attacked a Pyuthan police post and decamped with seven seized weapons have been encircled by a special task force of police personnel on neighbouring Rolpa Saturday, police said.
Air and ground operations are continuing to seize them with weapons.
Two others have already been nabbed.

Female rhino dead

Kathmandu, 15 Feb: Vets failed in the Chitwan national park to save a suffering female rhino whose precious horn was sawed off by poachers.
The rhino died Friday night after a two-week struggle.
A bullet was also lodged in her neck.


“Having a green card [there are reports ambassador- designate Dr Sukhdev Sah to USA has a green card] is like having the citizenship card. A green card holder could not be appointed to a post higher that the post of consul general.”

(Congress leader Chakra Prasad Bastola, The HImalayan Times, 15 Feb.)

“The UNMIN made uncalled for remarks over the recruitment process, which blew the recruitment issue out of proportion.”

(Sher Bahadur Deuba, The Kathmandu Post, 15 Feb)

“They [bombers of UN office] are a criminal group; talks won’t be held with them.”

(Peace Minister Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar, Naya Patrika, 15 Feb.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nepali Congress Dhangadi bombed, destroyed

Kathmandu, 14 Feb: Nepali Congress Dhangadi district office at Hasanpur was bombed and destroyed overnight.
The ground floor of the building constructed only one month ago was damaged.
Nobody has claimed responsibility.
Meanwhile, Peace Minister Jarardhan Sharma Prabhakar inspected the bombed regional UN office in Nepalgunj Saturday.

Sher Bahadur Deuba supports; army chief lashes out at UN

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 14 Feb: Sher Bahadur Deuba Saturday supported the Chief of the Army Staff Gen Rukmamgud Katawal who Friday asked a parliamentary committee not to dray Nepal Army into a controversy.
The request was ‘natural’, the former prime minister said.
Katawal made a spirited and aggressive defence of the committee.
Congress and CPN-UML have come in open support of the state army after denigrading it during the successful April 2006 movement against the royal regime.The
Army stands in between the complete Maoist takeover of the country even as the Congress and CPN-UML helped Maoists to join the political mainstream.
Unified CPN (Maoist) has displaced the two parties to become the largest political party in Nepal.
Maoists are aggressively challenging the state army into which they seek total integration amid opposition of other major political parties.
Gen Katawal implicitly hit out at the UN whose UNMIN office in Nepal has said army violated a 12-point peace accord signed in New Delhi between seven parties and Maoists in 2006 by recruiting 2.800 personnel to fill in vacancies.
The UN itself has said the document is vague.
It has linked PLA integration into Nepal Army with undefined ‘democratization ‘ of the state army.
What is democratization anyway?
Is Nepal to accept an unilateral interpretation of a UN official like Ian Martin?
“It’s been a long time since we worked with the UN. We also know very well how the UN system works. Let’s not talk much here; something else will happen tomorrow,” the general told a parliamentary committee.

Maoist secretariat to meet

Kathmandu, 14 Feb: Top policymaking body of Unified CPN (Maoist) secretariat meets later Saturday to discuss a fluid political situation.
The party will discuss defections in the party led by former minister Matrika Prasad as well, party spokesman Dinanath Sharma said.
The party top leaders have threatened to launch street agitation if toppled by parliament through a majority vote.
“The PM warns of revolt from his official residence in Baluwatar if he could not form majority. What kind of democracy is it,” Congress Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel asked.

Team members of committees to collect public opinion sought

Kathmandu, 14 Feb: Team members of 40 teams visiting 75districts to collect public opinion for a constitution was finalized by CA Chairman Subasm Nemwang.
He has sought security for the teams from the government to visit disturbed areas, especially in the south along Nepal-India border.
The teams return from districts 23 March to submit reports five days later.
Fourteen parliamentary committees have received requests for jobs and regular water and electricity supply while suggestions were sought from the public on a proposed constitution.
Even Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal of the constitution drafting committee said he didn’t know his responsibility.
The country is facing acute water and power shortage.


“Only those who meet standards are recruited into the army just like sherpas are chosen over cheetris and bahuns while climbing Himalayan peaks.”

(Chief of the Army Staff Gen Rukmangud Katawal, Rajdhani, 14 Feb.)

“Federalism can make and even destroy the nation. Federalism is a double-edged sword; this should be a tool for unity.”

(Girija Prasad Koirala, Kantipur, 14 Feb.)

Another Maoist threat to take to the streets

By Bhola B Rana

Another top Maoist leader has threatened to capture government through revolt if the six-month Maoist-led government is toppled.
The threat came as 18 parties, two defectors from the coalition government, called on PM Prachanda to call parliament into session; Maoists are in a minority in the 601-member parliament.
“Government is walking a straight path through the people’s mandate. If obstacles are placed, there will be no alternative but to capture power,” hard-line secretariat member Netra Bikram Chand Bipbal threatened in Surkhet Friday.
“We are preparing for it,” he revealed.
Party Spokesman CP Gajurel also asked the party Friday to quit government and impose a people’s government through street protests instead of facing daily criticism by continuing in government.
The Maoist threats come amid rejection of a parliamentary system of government by the party leadership.
Meanwhile, Main opposition Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala warned,” The drafting of the constitution won’t be completed within the deadline without cooperation, understanding and unity. But Maoists haven’t understood this.
‘I’ve reminded Prachanda many time of this. I haven’t succeeded,” he revealed at a programme in the capital Friday.
The constitution has to be drafted my May 2010.

UN office bombed in Nepalgunj

Kathmandu, 14 Feb: The regional office of the UN Office of Human Rights was bombed overnight in Nepalgunj.
There were no casualties in the socket bomb attack
Pamphlets of Bishan Himal Bagh were recovered claming responsibility for the blast.

No military rule in the country: Army Chief

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 14 Feb: Gen. Rukmangud Katawal aggressively asked a parliamentary committee Saturday not to draw Nepal into a controversy amid threats from Maoist Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa to said his for defying an order to stop 2,800 vacancies to fill in vacancies.
The chief of the army was in an aggressive mood at the committee to Protest national Interest headed by Unified CPN (Maoist) lawmaker Amik Serchan; Defence Minister Thapa didn’t appear before the committee.
He asked the committee not to draw army into controversy.
“If the national army is dragged into controversy, nobody, including the country and government, will benefit. Nepal Army has taken oath to the flag, not to a family or a party,” he said.
He refused to answer questions on recruitment saying the issue was an ‘internal matter’.
The army chief told committee members: ”There’s no military rule in the country; that can’t even be conceived. We’ve obeyed government orders.
‘There are political changes everywhere. We are working with the change. Army everywhere helps the political process.”
He denied there was discrimination in army recruitment.
“Can you give me any instance of discrimination? There are minimum standards for recruitment through competition,” the general said amid a government decision to give employment in state security agencies to ethnic groups.
Katawal appeared before the committee in civil dress.
The grilling lasted two hour long.

CPN-UML to have 1,802 delegates

Kathmandu, 14 Feb: Altogether 1,802 delegated in participate in the Butwal general convention that begins Monday.
The names were endorsed by the last central committee before the convention Friday.
The committee nominated 86 members Friday.
The convention is electing a new party leadership.
Talk of government change is rife after the convention.
CPN-UML leadership is pushing for government change under its leadership.


“There are many experts within the country to help draft the constitution. The constitution will be drafted with the suggestions of CA members. However, foreigners could also send their experiences and suggestions in the course of drafting the constitution.”

(CA Chairman Subash Nemwang, The Himalayan Times, 14 Feb.)

“The directives of the supreme court has put hurdles for implementation of a peace agreement to give stability to the country by managing the conflict.”

(Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam, Annapurna Post, 14 Feb.)

“The prime minister is power crazed…Maoists have failed to embrace democracy after all.”

(Congress Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel, The Kathmand Post, 14 Feb.”

Army chief parries questions on army recruitment

Kathmandu, 13 Feb: Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal Friday parried questions from lawmakers on army recruitment to fill in 2,800 vacancies in Nepal Army disobeying an order from the defence ministry led by a Maoist minister.
The chief said the matter was an internal issue.

Recommendation to increase police strength

Kathmandu, 13 Feb: Strength of the police force should be increased to 150,000, a task force suggested Friday.
The report was presented to Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam.
There should be one policeman for every 200 persons, the report said.
The report said there should be no political interference in police matters.
A police staff college has been recommended.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top Maoist leader urges Maoists to quit government and start street politics for people’s republic

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 13 Feb: Top Maoist leader and party Spokesman CP Gajurel Friday asked Maoists to quit government and launch street protests to gain a people’s republic in strategic Nepal between India and China.
Continuing in government after five months will make the party even more unpopular, he argued.
Gajurel said it will be better to quit instead of facing daily criticism telling reporters in Sindhili the party had become unpopular after joining government.
The politburo member said the party will have difficulties in facing parliament and therefore should quit government.
He revealed the party is preparing a third people’s movement.
He called coalition partner CPN-UML an opportunistic party which will soon be sent to the museum.
Nepali Congress has called for a ‘broad democratic front’ against Maoists.
The main opposition has collected the support of 17 parties so far; they have a majority in the 601-member parliament.

Army Chief summoned before parliamentary committee

Kathmandu, 13 Feb: Parliamentary national interest committee has summoned Friday Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal for a hearing.
Integration of Maoist PLA in Nepal Army and recruitment of 2,000 personnel to fill in army vacancies will be discussed.
Defence ministry under Maoists ordered a halt to recruitment overruled by the army.
Top Maoist leaders, including Prime Minister Prachanda, charged “national and international reactionaries’ are attempting to eliminate the Maoists with the help of the army.

Top Obama administration official tough US attitude towards Nepal’s Maoists

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 13 Feb: A top Obama administration official, on his first Nepal visit, confirmed Thursday a tough attitude towards the Maoist led government indicating Maoists won’t be immediately taken off the US terrorist list.
US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher argued Washington was dealing with ‘Nepal Government’ and not a Maoist –led administration.
USA has maintained direct links with Maoists after they swept constituent assembly elections in April 2008 to draft a new constitution.
‘We started to review to take them [Maoists] off the list. But I don’t have a timetable and I have not set an end dare to that. That will happen when we think they have done the necessary things to disassociate themselves to reject terrorism in word and deed.
“We don’t yet have normal relationship with the Maoist party as they are in the list.
“The more they act within the political system and abandon harsh practices of terrorism and violence, it will be easier for us to finish this review,” Boucher told reporters before flying for New Delhi at the end of a two-day visit.
Maoists shot dead two Nepali security officials with the US embassy and bombed the American Cultural center during the 10-year people’s war before joining the political mainstream in April 2006.
US withdrew the Peace Crops from Nepal during the war saying there was no security for its volunteers.

German, UN officials attend controversial Maoist PLA parade

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 13 Feb: Germany’s GTZ and UN officials Thursday attended a controversial military parade of the Maoist PLA even as they are supposed to be in 28 UNMIN-administered camps and cantonments without uniform.
Other embassies rejected invitations to attend the 14th anniversary of the launch of the people’s war and the eighth anniversary year of the founding of the PLA.
Political parties also boycotted the function.
PM Prachanda and Maoist government ministers didn’t obey an instruction of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav not to attend.
Dr Yadav rejected an invitation of the Maoists to be present at a military installation of Maoists in west Nepal.
PM Prachanda inspected a parade by Maoist combatants.
“I am not here today as your supreme commander but as the prime minister,” Prachanda told the combatants as he attempted to justify his presence.

NSP withdraws support for govt.

Kathmandu, 13 Feb: NSP has withdrawn its support for the Maoist-led government, Annapurna Post reports.
A national working committee which started Wednesday took the decision Thursday.
The decision to withdraw support was taken after government promulgated ordinances by promulgating parliament.


“”Workers are pressing me to contest the party chairmanship but Maoists are conspiring to defeat me.”

(CPN-UML leader KP Sharma Oli, 13 Feb.)

Top Maoist leader lashes out at coalition partner

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 12 Feb: Top Maoist leader Mohan Baidya Kiran Thursday lashed out at coalition partner CPN-UML accusing the party deceiving Maoists.
“Especially, CPN-UML is playing a wrong role. It has deceived our party saying it will stay in government; it has deceived the people as well.
“It continues in government but doesn’t let it work,” Kiran charged.
‘The party is pouring venom against government by continuing in it. It has a dual character.” Kiran told party mouthpiece Janadisha.

Operational manual for integrating PLA and Nepal Army approved

Kathmandu, 12 Feb: An operational manual for integration Maoist PLA and Nepal Army has been approved by a special army integration committed headed by Prime Minister Prachanda.
Two members represent main opposition Nepali Congress in the committee.
The committee Wednesday decided to develop terms of reference for a technical team on army integration as well.


Kathmandu, 12 Feb: Government has decided to take action against 238 willing defaulters.
The government has prepared a 10-point action plan.
Their passports will be seized and won’t be given position in government; they will be denied government facilities and their back accounts will be frozen.
Maoist lawmaker Hari Roka will monitor action against defaulters.

Cricket coach Roy Dias extended for one year

Kathmandu, 12 Feb: Cricket coach of the national team Sri Lanka’s Roy Dias has been extended by Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) by another one year.
Dias has been coaching Nepal’s team since 2001 with glory.
Nepal has won the U-19
ACC cricket tournament four times.

Nepal lifts ACC U-17 Elite Cricket tournament trophy

Kathmandu, 12 Feb: Nepal
lifted for the first time the ACC U-17 Elite Cup cricket tournament trophy.
The home team Thursday limited Malaysia to 124 runs in 37.1 overs.
Nepal scored the victory without loss of any wicket.


“Is Radha Krishna Mainali about to join the Maoists? Or is Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal merely seeking wisdom from one of the towering figures of Nepali communist movement? The man’s evolution is gripping as his early unsavory reputation.”

(Maila Baje, People’s Review, 12 Feb.)

“Didn’t like Prachand wearing a topi.”

(Maoist defector Matrika Prasad Yadav, Naya Patrika, 12 Feb.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PM Prachanda attending PLA anniversary against president’s advice; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 12 Feb: Against the advice of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Prachanda Thursday is launching a function at a Maoist PLA 4th division in Hattikhor, Nawalparasi, to observe the anniversaries of the founding of the Maoist army and he launch of a ‘people’s war’ against the state.
Maoists joined the political mainstream in April 2006 and put fighters in 28 cantonments and satellite under UN observation.
Dr Yadav rejected an invitation to attend the function.
The president had advised ministers in the Maoist-led government not to attend the function.
The people’s war was launched exactly 13 years ago.
Maoists have invited foreign diplomats and even Nepal Army against which it fought.
The army rejected a Maoist-led government directive to stop recruitment to fill in 2,800 vacancies.
“The army should not give orders to the defence ministry, but it should instead follow the government orders,” Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal told a parliamentary committee Wednesday.
In an anniversary message, Prachanda Thursday Maoists are working for
permanent peace, development of people’s constitution and establishment of a nationalist, democratic republic.
Observers are keenly watching who will attend the Maoist week-long function.

Girija tolls Richard Boucher democracy in danger in Nepal

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 12 Feb: President of main opposition Nepali Congress Girija Prasad Koirala told visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher Thursday democracy is in danger in Nepal.
He said this to reporters after discussions with the former prime minister who has been succeeded by Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda after winning the 10 April constituent assembly election on 10 April 2008.
Boucher told Koirala US will assist to strengthen democracy, according to Sujata Koirala, daughter of Girija.
Before leaving for India, he held discussions of annual $70 million US assistance and pledged to continue it; trade issues were also discussed.
Boucher visited Nepal Army headquarters for discussions with Nepal Army Chief of Staff Gen Rukmangud Katawal.
He also paid a courtesy call on President Dr Ram Baran Yadav.
Boucher is the first top official of the Obama administration to visit Nepal.
President Bush lost Nepal to Maoists in the second administration even as
he urged then government to ‘search, find and kill’ Maoists in the first term.

Mongol revenge Group behind murderous attack on police outpost

Kathmandu, 12 Feb: Mongol Revenge Group was behind an attack of a police outpost killing one soldier and inuring another while seven weapons were seized, according to Home Secretary Home Secretary Govinda Kusum.
The dissident Maoists attacked the post with automatic weapons including M16 rifles supplied to Royal Nepal Army by USA.
Two persons have been nabbed.

Maoist govt. appoints ambassadors to US, UK and Germany
Kathmandu, 11 Feb: The government Wednesday appointed retired IMF official Sukhheb Shah Nepal’s ambassador to USA.
Career diplomat Suresh Pradhan has been appointed ambassador to Germany.
Ram Soraya Raya, a political appointee, has been appointed ambassador to Great Britain.
The Maoist government had recalled appointees of the previous Koirala administration.
The appointments have to be approved by a parliamentary committee.


Boucher holds talks with PM Prachanda

By Bhola B Rana
Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher said he discussed the peace process and drafting a constitution with Maoist PM Prachanda Wednesday.
Defence Minister ram Bahadur Thapa Badal was present.
Boucher arrived Wednesday from Bangladesh for a two-day visit.
He flies to Bhutan from Nepal.
He is the first official of the Obama administration to visit Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Richard Halbrook, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is visiting India.
Boucher postponed a routine trip to Nepal in December so that he could travel with then Secretary of State Rice to India.
US embassy said Boucher will discuss Nepal’s transition to democracy with in Nepal. U.S. Ambassador Nancy Powell has been in Washington DC for routine meetings at the Department of State and is not here in Nepal during Assistant Secretary Boucher’s visit, the embassy said.
Boucher also held discussions with CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal.
Boucher held discussions with ministers even as Washington puts Maoists on its terrorist list.
Prachanda asked Boucher for help to resettle 4,000 Maoist disqualified mainly child combatants in UN camps.

Matrika Prasad Yadav defects from Maoists amid serious accusations
Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Defecting from Unified CPN (Maoist), Matrika Prasad Yadav Wednesday charged Maoists had ‘no principle’ and they ‘betrayed the revolution’.
The charge was leveled at a news conference in the capital after he launched a new political party.
“I don’t have confidence with you. Consider I have resigned,” Yadav said he told PM Prachanda.
He accused the party of financial indiscipline.


One person shot, injured in capital
Kathmandu, 11 Feb: One person was shot and injured in Kapurdhara in the capital Wednesday evening.
Rs 1.1 million was looted from him.
The incident occurred hours after Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam claimed security had improve under his command.

Voluntary tax disclosure scheme extended one month

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Government Wednesday extended a scheme to voluntarily declare income tax by another one month.
Prospective taxpayers held discussions with PM Prachanda and Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, who returned from Japan Wednesday.
Dr Bhattarai said one billion rupees had been collected so far under the tax declaration scheme.

Parliament asks for security to collect public opinion on constitution

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Speaker Subash Nemwang Wednesday sought security from Prime Minister Prachanda and ministers to collect public opinion on drafting a constitution from 27 February.
Nemwang called for security as the country faces secessionist calls in the south bordering India; terai rebels operate from across the border as Maoists did during the 19-year people’s war that ended in April 2006.
Maoist dissidents armed with US M16 rifles supplied to Royal Nepal Army and other sophisticated weapons have started attacking and killing police posts and seizing weapons.
Nemwang called for security as it will be difficult to collect public opinion on a new constitution which many doubt will be drafted before the May 2100 deadline.
Chairman of the drafting committee Madhav Kumar Nepal said he is not clear on his role; Nepal was defeated in constituent assembly elections in April 2008 from two constituencies amid claims people are drafting the proposed republican constitution.
Nepal helped draft the 1990 constitution shredded by parliament restored by then King Gyanendra by a ‘political’ or a constitutional decision through national and international pressures
The call for security comes amid admission by a senior official of committees drafting the new constitution people have responded to requests for suggestions by asking for employment, uninterrupted electricity and water supply.
People don’t know what a constitution is or they just don’t care.
Security was demanded as the terai demands One Madesh, One Pradesh—a call rejected by Maoists, main Nepali Congress and CPN-UML—the three biggest parties in parliament.
Parliament is planning to send teams to 40 districts to collect opinions on a constitution.
Meanwhile, RPP Nepal, supporting monarchy, demanded a referendum Wednesday to decide on a new constitution.
If the constitution is ever drafted, Nepal will have three constitutions in four years—probably a world record.
The 1990 constitution as described by drafters and present rulers as one of the best in the world.
The constitution wasn’t drafted by King Birendra who only promulgated it after it was presented to him.
If a constitution is now drafted, it will be a document imposed on people by a coterie of elite party workers without consultation with the people.
There will no popular debate on the basic document for the country even amid claims that people will be drafting it.
Nepal on average has been having one constitution every 15 years amid a culture to shred constitutions through foreign interference and riots.
Maoists are also trying to impose a communist constitution rejecting the role of an opposition and parliamentary democracy.
A clear divide is emerging between extreme communism and what opposition calls a ‘democratic front’.
Signals are ominous for Nepal.

PM Prachanda, army chief hold security discussions

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: PM Prachanda and Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal held security discussions Wednesday.
Details weren’t revealed.
The meeting took place immediately after the prime minister and Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal charged foreign and national reactionaries were encircling Maoists to finish and kill them.
Army defied a government order to stop 2,800 recruitments to fill in vacancies.
Badal told a parliamentary committee Wednesday relations had chilled between government and the state army.

Ramesh Chand Thakuri appointed IGP

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: AIG Ramesh Chand Thakuri has been promoted to IGP.
Thakuri succeeds Hem Bahadur Gurung who is retiring.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chinese military team holds talks with Deputy PM, IGP

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Lt Gen Yang Gangming, leader of visiting 19-member Chinese PLA delegation, held discussions security along Nepal-Tibet border and anti-China activities in Nepal with Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam Wednesday.
Separate discussions were also held with IGP Hem Bahadur Gurung.
The delegation arrived Tuesday for a week-long visit on invitation of the home ministry.
Members of the delegation are responsible for security along the Nepal-Tibet border.
The delegation is the third Chinese military to visit Nepal in as many months.
China and offered to sell non-lethal military weapons besides helping to resettle and integrate Nepal’s former Maoists combatants in the state army.

First winter ascent of Makalu recorded

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: An Italian and a Kazak scaled the 8463 meters high Makalu for the first time in winter Monday.
Italian Simone Moro, 41, and Denis Urubko, 35, stepped on the summit at two in the afternoon, expedition sources said.
Winter climbing is not popular in Nepal because of extreme cold and jet-stream winds.
Makalu is the world’s fifth tallest peak on the Nepal-Tibet frontier.
Peaks in Nepal Himalaya, renowned for the world’s tallest peak including Mount Everest, were opened for climbers 29 years ago.
Famed Italian climber Moro has also climbed 8000 meter high peak Sisha Pangma in Tibet in winter besides traversing
Everest from the south in Nepal to Tibet in the north.


“… most of the people sending their comments to the committees [drafting the constitution] have expressed grievances rather than given suggestions on the issues to be incorporated in the new constitution. Their most ‘most common’ demands are employment, regular electricity and drinking water supply, among other things.”

(The Rising Nepal, 11 Feb.)

“Maoists are still on the terrorist exclusion list. US government has some conditions and rules for delisting. The tag can be lifted if Maoists agree to conditions and rules.”

(Former Nepali Ambassador to USA Dr Suresh Raj Sharma, Janaastha, 11 Feb.)

First official of Obama administration arrives Wednesday

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Richard Boucher, top US diplomat of the Obama administration for South Asia, arrives Wednesday for two-day talks with the Maoist-led government of Prime Minister Prachanda.
The Nepal government will attempt to the Maoists off the US terrorist list.
Boucher will hold talks with top Maoist leaders in government amid charges by top Maoist leaders of foreign interference in Nepal’s internal affairs.
Maoists charge ‘expansionists and imperialists’ for interference.
Imperialist is euphemism for USA.
Unified CPN (Maoist) had recently decided to form an internal front against imperialism.
Boucher, a Bush appointee, continues in the Obama administration.

Matrika Prasad Yadav to launch new terai-based party

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Politburo member and former minister Matrika Prasad Yadav is defecting from the Unified CPN(Maoist) and launching CPN (Maoist) Wednesday.
Efforts by stop Maoist leadership to stop the defection failed.
“I am not with Unified CPN (Maoist). I am with Maoists.
The party is being reorganized because others have left the party,” Yadav told Kantipur.

CPN-UML central committee meets Wednesday

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: The last meeting of the CPN-UML meets later Wednesday to review preparations for its general convention meeting in Butwal 16 February.
The convention will elect top party executives, including the powerful chairman.
Madhav Kumar Nepal, incumbent General Secretary Jhalanath Khamal and KP Sharma Oli are contesting.
The central committee will appoint five percent of elected members for the convention.

Team formed to investigate attempted murder of PM personal secretary

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: A six-member team led by SSP Birendra Babu Shrestha has been formed to probe an attempt Sunday to kill Shakti Basnet, personal secretary of PM Prachanda.
Fifteen suspects have been arrested for investigation.
Party leaders charged ‘reactionaries’ were behind the incident to obstruct drafting of the constitution.

Expected suggestions haven’t come before constitution drafting committees

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Expected suggestions haven’t arrived at 14 constitution drafting committees, Kantipur reports.
Suggestions had been sought nearly six weeks ago through newspaper advertisements.
Committee members reviewed Sunday, Monday suggestions received so far; the review continues.
Two hundred suggestions have been received so far.

Ian Martin gets Gaza assignment

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Ian Martin has been appointed chief of a five-member team to probe last month’s attack by Israel on UN facilities in Gaza Strip.
Martin was head of now down-sized UNMIN to minitor arms and ammunition of Nepal Army and Maoist PLA and oversee last year’s constituent assembly elections.


“Prachada should now reform. There are big groups after money in Congress and CPN-UML. They are now also entering Maoists.”

(Founder of CPN Nara Bahadur Karmacharya, Naya Patrika, 11 Feb.)

“There can’t be cooperation with those who consider us enemies.”

(Congress Spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC, Annapurna Post, 11 Feb.)