Nepal Today

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.)


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