Nepal Today

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

President urges prime minister not to sack army chief

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 April: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, who is also supreme commander-in-chief of Nepal Army, has asked Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal not to dismiss Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal ‘bypassing constitutional and legal provisions’.
The president sent a memo of his Tuesday talks with the prime minister for record, the president’s press advisor Rajendra Dahal said.
The president and prime minister are to meet Wednesday before a cabinet which will discuss Maoist threat to sack the army chief.
Sixteen parties Tuesday also asked the president to intervene and take constitutional measures to stop the dismissal.
Government came under international pressure to act with restraint.
The cabinet meeting couldn’t be held Tuesday after strong protests against the Maoist threat to sack the army chief by coalition partners CPN-UML and MJF.
Maoist affiliated organizations took to the streets in the capital Tuesday to support the Maoist threat.
“This is an attempt to weaken security agency in an attempt to capture power,” Congress spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC said.
One lawyer charged the Maoists were attempting to influence the supreme court considering a government request to reconsider an earlier decision asking the defence ministry to reinstate eight brigadier generals.
One of the Maoist charge against the army chief was he challenged a government order to terminate the tenure of eight brigadiers at the apex court.
“How can the government sek an explanation on a sub-judice case? It is aimed at pressurizing an apex court,” lawyer Dr Bhimarjun Acharya said. ow How Nnnn

No meeting of constitutional council to appoint new chief justice

Kathmandu, 22 April: A meeting of the constitutional council to appoint a new chief justice of the supreme court’s wasn’t held as scheduled Tuesday.
Grave differences have surfaced between the Maoists leading government and the main opposition Nepali Congress.
The latest differences following the Maoist threat to sack the army chief allegedly for disobeying directives and orders of an elected civilian government—a charge denied by the chief in a written reply to the council of ministers Tuesday.
Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri retires 4 May.
Opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala is also member of the council.
Koirala, who is suffering lung infection, has been asked to rest for two weeks.

Tharus to re-launch protests from Wednesday

Kathmandu, 22 April: Tharu community in the terai announced re-launch of their anti-governments from Wednesday with an indefinite strike in 22 southern districts.
Community leader Laxman Tharu charged government was blind to its demands charging previous agreements hadn’t been met.
Tharus are demanding de-listing from the Madeshi group.

Record cricket match at foot of Mt Everest

Kathmandu, 22 April: A British team recorded history Tuesday by playing a Twenty20 cricket match at Gorakshep at 12,000 feet below Mt Everest—the highest point where such a match was ever played.
The attempt had health hazards with players prone to altitude sickness by playing a strenuous match in the rarefied air.
A team named after Sir Edmund Hillary defeated another team named after Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the first conquers of Everest, by 35 runs.
The 55-member group descends to lower camps Wednesday.

PM begins week-long China visit

Kathmandu, 22 April: Prime Minister Prachanda begins a nine-day official China visit 2 May, Kantipur reports.
He will begin the visit from Tibet and end it is Hong Kong.
He will inspect the Three Gorges Dam and visit Shanghai as well.
The agenda for the visit is still being prepared.


$25.6m ADB grant

Kathmandu, 22 April: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released $25.6 million to held last year’s flood victims to revive the economy.
Nearly 300,000 persons were affected by floods in east and west Nepal.
Flood damage is estimated as $88 million.
Victims of the Kosi floods in Nepal continued their protests Tuesday even after the government offered a Rs 2 billion relief package,
Local administration in Sunsari issued prohibitory orders banning protests along highways in the district this week to facilitate the movement of vehicles.


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