Nepal Today

Saturday, March 28, 2009

PM Prachanda begins Norway, Finland visits Sunday

Kathmandu, 29 March: Prime Minister Prachanda Sunday begins week-long official visits of Norway and Finland Sunday,
He will first arrive in Oslo after transiting through Bangkok where he was greeted on behalf of the Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva Saturday, according to Radio Nepal.
Nepal and Norway will sign an economic cooperation agreement during the premier’s rescheduled visit.
Prachanda begins his Finland visit Wednesday.
To charges for traveling abroad when parliament meets for its winter session Sunday, Prachanda said five parties in government and main Nepali Congress and TMLP approved the visits of the Scandinavian countries.
The foreign visit is Prachanda’s fourth after assuming office six months ago having visited China, India and New York to address last September’s annual UN general assembly session.

Five injured in bomb blast

Kathmandu, 29 March: Five persons were injured in a powerful bomb blast overnight in Garuda bazzar, Rautahat.
Two persons are critical.
One person was injured Saturday in a stray bomb explosion in Sarlahi.

Parliament meets for winter session

Kathmandu, 29 March; Parliament meets for its winter session later Sunday amid charges by major parties in the government and opposition the Maoist-led government was trying to rule through ordinance.
The parties demanded government convene a parliamentary session.
Main opposition Nepali Congress and other political parties began consultations Sunday how to present themselves in the legislature.
Congress is expected to draw its serious attention against what was called interference in media, judiciary while adopting a critical position against the Maoist-led government at a politically critical time.
Congress will raise issues of YCL excesses and government effort to stop the extension of tenure of eight brigadiers of Nepal Army; the brigadiers have been reinstated by the supreme court where the decision has been challenged by government.
Three ordinances and 13 other bills are being presented by government.
Ordinances updating voters’ list, forced disappearance and inclusiveness in public services are being presented.
“The nation is in darkness. We will raise issue of implementing past agreements with Maoists,” Congress whip Shobakar Parajuli. said
He has Maoists were running away from responsibility to run parliament when the PM flew abroad Saturday on a foreign visit one day before the legislature was meeting.
“It is irresponsible. We have serious objections,” Parajuli said.

Curfew relaxed for six hours in Butwal

Kathmandu, 29 March: Curfew was relaxed for six hours from six in the morning Sunday in Butwal and adjoining areas.
The town is tense after CPN-UML charged Maoists for killing its student leader.
CPN-UML has threatened to withdraw from government if action isn’t taken against culprits.

Vote counting starts in Kirtipur campus

Kathmandu, 29 March: Vote counting suspended 21 March for student elections at the Kirtipur Campus started from six in the evening Saturday.
Maoist students had obstructed the counting even as they led in counting.
Maoist student leader Himal Sharma is leading in Kirtipur.
But overall, CPN-UML has swept the elections.

Dr Baburam Bhattarai launched tirade against army, judiciary

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 29 March: Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai told a public in Parbar Saturday the republic will be ambushed if Nepal Army and judiciary aren’t democratized.
Bhattarai leveled the charge immediately after the supreme court asked government to push the retirement of eight brigadier generals.
“W attempted to retire monarchist corrupt generals. But they secretly conspired, took the court into their hands for their reinstatement.
“Right now the judiciary is attempting to overturn whatever good decisions are being taken by government. It’s clear the judiciary is being politicized,” Bhattarai charged.
“The army and judiciary should also be democratized. There should be right to take action against corrupt. They only a republic will be institutionalized.”
“Those who don’t respect the judiciary cannot reinforce democracy,” Sher Bahadur Deuba told a public meeting in Mahendranagar Saturday. ‘Maoists are attempting to run the country through the barrel of a gun, khukri and terror instead of ruling through law.”
The Maoists have launched nation-wide protests against the supreme court and judges following its verdict on the extension of tenure of brigadiers.
CPN-UML acted similarly after 1990 when the supreme court overturned a decision of the Manmohan Adhikari government to dissolve parliament and hold mid-term polls.


ADB sacks managers [Excerpt]

Kathmandu, 29 March: Asian Development Bank, major donor of the Melamchi Project, has sacked General Manager Richard Austin and Financial Manager Kelvyn Palmer of Kathmandu Upatakya Khanepani Limited, the utility responsible for distributing drinking water in the Kathmandu Valley, The Himalayan Post reports.
Chairperson of KUKL Board of Directors Dhruba Bahadur Shrestha said they had written to ADB to oust the foreign officials, as they had failed to perform up to the mark.
Board members Rudra Gautam has been appointed the new GM. Gautam assumed office yesterday [Friday].
“Ausin frequently said he was not accountable to the board. He never presented us the reality of the body for the management of which he was responsible,” Shrestha said.” He failed to effect institutional reforms.”


“There’s intense pressure to extend the tenure of OHCHR. This is strong evidence of foreign pressure to run the country’s politics.”

(National Human Rights Commission member Dr KB Rokaya, Annapurna Post, 29 March)


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