Nepal Today

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ceremonial president can’t make a mistake: Jhalanath Khanal

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Aug: Ruling Party CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal defended President Dr Ram Baran Yadav’s action to retain Maoist sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal who has gone on home leave prior to retirement in three weeks.
He, in effect, rejected a Maoist charge the president staged a coup with the military to retain the chief forcing the ouster of the Maoist-led government of Prachanda three months ago.
Khanal said national understanding to break a political deadlock and draft a constitution are priorities charging Maoists for obstructing parliamentary session.
Maoists have gone on street protests and Tuesday again obstructed parliamentary proceedings for the ninth time delaying the passage of the annual budget 2009/10.
Chairman Prachanda Monday threatened another popular uprising if a demand on a censure motion against the president in parliament is denied by ruling coalition partners.

Sujata Koirala appears before party

Kathmandu, 25 Aug: Foreign Minister Sujata Sujata Koirala who earlier ignored parliamentary party summons personally deposed before the Nepali Congress parliamentary party meeting.
She lobbied for support from lawmakers angry with her sudden boycott of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s just concluded India visit.
Girija Prasad Koirala, her father and party president, earlier said her boycott of Nepal’s first India visit was a non-issue.
Sujata said she couldn’t accompany Nepal because of her busy schedule.

Prime minister, president ask vice-president to take oath

Kathmandu, 25 Aug> Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and President Dr Ram Baran Yadav after a meeting Tuesday asked Vice-president Parmananda Jha to take an oath of office in Nepali within four days as directed by the supreme court.
Jha also held discussions with the president.
Uncertain continues over the refusal of the vice-president to take the oath in Nepali instead of Hindi decaled unconstitutional.
Madesh parties have supported Jha..
Government has earlier told supreme court after its first edict it would implement the apex court order asking Jha to take oath in Nepali.
Maoist leader CP Gajurel said Tuesday there’s no alternative for Jha to take oath in Nepali as directed by the court.
Language issue has been created a major political issue.
TMLP staged protests in the capital and the terai Tuesday supporting Jha.

One Maoist killed in Taplejung

Kathmandu, 25 Aug: One Maoist was killed at Taplejung district headquarters overnight and a YCL worker was seriously injured in a khukri attack there.
Rakam Dhoj Lumbi died of bullet injuries in the chest.
Maoists said an activist was also killed in Dhanusha Monday and demanded a government investigation.

South Asian youth to discuss environment

Kathmandu, 25 Aug: The first South Asian youth summit on climate change in the region will be held from 3 to 6 September in Dhulikhel.
Over 1000 delegates from the South Asian region will participate, organizers said.
The meeting will recommend commitments and an immediate action plan.
A network on climate change will be launched to connect country-wide movement and a team representing youth of the region will be formed.

Prachanda asks vice-president to resign

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Maoist Chairman Prachanda suggested Vice-president Parmamanda Jha should resign as language was a serious issue.
Prachanda recalled he had resigned.
“I resigned the vice-president should also resign,” he said.
The Maoist chief told this to reporters in Butwal Wednesday.
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal asked the vice-president Tuesday to take oath of office in Nepali within three days as directed for the second time by the supreme court.
Jha took the one year ago in Hindi wearing a dhoti even as the president administered it in Nepali.
The oath fueled immediate street protests.
Four terai-based parties—MJF, MJFL, NSP (Debi) and NSP--backed Jha Tuesday and said the vice-president shouldn’t the oath in Nepali.
The parties concluded at a joint meeting the apex court decision was a disrespect for national languages.

Japan to continue with UNMIN

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Japan decided Tuesday to extend the peacekeeping mission in Nepal by an additional six months until 31 March, Xinhua reports from Tokyo.
The extension beyond the scheduled 30 September expiry is in response to a UN security council decision in July to extend military observer mission to Napal until 23 January 2010.
Japan has sent six Self-Defence Forces officers to Nepal since March 2007 to participate in the UN Mission to Nepal (UNMIN), a special mission to help the peace process in the country.

Russian chief justice in town

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Russia’s Chief Justice Vyacheslav Mikhailovich arrived Tuesday on a four-day visit as guest of his Nepali counterpart Min Bahadur Rayamajhi.
The visitor will pay courtesy calls on Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and President Dr Ram Baran Yadav besides visiting tourist and religious sites, including Lumbini, the birthplace of The Buddha.
Discussions will be held to enhance cooperation between judiciaries of the two countries.

Matrika Yadav on secret India visit

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Even as India has adopted a strong posture against Maoists, rebel Maoist leader Matrika Yadav has secretly gone to New Delhi, Jana Aastha reports.
It’s not clear where he went in invitation of Indian government on or to establish contact with Indian Maoists.
“He went Friday for a medical-check-up,” headquarter coordinator Bikrant told Janaastha.
Other politicians have also been visiting India for so-called ‘medical check-ups’.

Chatraman Gurung next army chief

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Cabinet decided Wednesday to appoint Lt Gen Chatraman Gugung to replace Gen Rukmangud Katawal who is retiring.
The cabinet decided to send its choice to the president for appointment from 9 Sept..
For the first time a Gurung will be Nepal top army officer who were Shahs, Ranas, Thapas and a Basnet.

UNMIN under fire; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Ruling Nepali Congress charged UNMIN for failure to fulfill a duty as the UN unit in Nepal condemned Maoists for coming out of camps Monday under watch of the world body.
“We’ve concluded that UNMIN had failed to carry out its duties,” Nabindra Joshi said after a parliamentary party meeting. “We’ve concluded that UNMIN
The party said UNMIN could not stop the movement of uniformed and armed Maoists out camps under UN watch.
“The incident has harmed the peace and constitution drafting process,” Joshi said.
UNMIN has rejected similar charges in the past.
A UNMIN statement Tuesday said the weapons seized by police from Maoists one day earlier were verified by UNMIN for perimeter security at the main cantonment site-4.
“The arms monitors determined that the 19 Maoist army personnel were all verified combatants. They also determined that the nine weapons had bar codes and serial numbers and were registered by UNMIN for use in providing perimeter security at main cantonment site-4.”
Local administration in Kapilvasthu Monday went to site-4 and satellite camp I in a convoy with arms monitors’ team and police to deliver the weapons securely at the camps.
Detained Maoist combatants were also delivered to UN monitors.
UNMIN said the movement of armed and uniformed combatants outside camps was a serious violation of an agreement to monitor and manage arms and armies and a comprehensive peace agreement between Maoists and political parties while its ‘serious concern’ had been drawn by this week’s incident.
Maoists said the combatants had gone to Nepalgunj for the protection of Chairman Prachanda.
UNMIN said it will raise the issue at a meeting of the joint monitoring coordination committee with representatives of Nepal Army and Maoists.
This is not the first time armed and uniformed Maoists have come out of camps under UNMIN watch.

Sujata Koirala defiant

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: A defiant Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala Tuesday claimed she only quelled some doubts at a meeting of the parliamentary party which summoned her to depose before it and explain why she dropped out of the entourage of Prime Minister Madhav Kuamr Nepal’s India team.
“I do not term it a clarification. “I came her to quell some doubts regarding my skipped trip to India,” she told reporters at the party office where she went with dozens of slogan shouting supporters.
The party summoned her for the second time and personally depose after she first refused and submitted a written statement first.
The foreign minister reiterated she was sick.
“There was nothing special,” Koirala said after coming out of the second meeting.
But others said the call to Sujata was historic.
“This is a historic achievement for the party as it has established that no one in above the parliamentary party and the statute,” Purna Bahadur Khadka said.

Promotion of brigadier stopped

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Defence ministry has stopped the recommended promotion of Brig. Gen Raju Pratap KC, Kantipur reports.
There were complaints of superceding seniors and he hadn’t completed national defence college course for promotion.


NIBL to disburse 20 percent dividend

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Nepal Investment Bank Ltd. (NIBL) board Tuesday
Decided to disburse 20 percent dividend to shareholders from its 2008/09 fiscal year earnings.
The bank has earmarked Rs 481.41 million for dividend from its net profit of
Rs 900.619 million.

Direct flights to resume between Nepal, Europe

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: A British tour operator is bringing in tourists through direct charter flights between Amsterdam and Kathmandu, Annapurna Post reports.
The charter flights by a 180 seat capacity aircraft will begin from 19 October until 6 April.
Direct flights between Nepal and Europe are being resumed after five years,

NRNA to finance trade schools

Kathmandu, 26 Aug: Non-resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Tuesday gifted FNCCI Rs 1.5 million to operate trade schools.
Schools are run by FNCCI to train manpower for industries.


“I neither have clashes with anyone not do I have any competitors. I don’t discuss party members with journalists; I’ll first discuss that in the central committee and politburo.”

(CPN-UML Chairman, Jhalanath Khanal, Nagarik, 26 Aug.)

“Those who wish Girijababu well won’t ask him to take leadership of the Congress.”

(Dr Narayan Khadka, Ghatana ra Bichar, 26 Aug.)

“Nothing can be more disastrous for the manner in which three-time Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba lost of Ram Chandra Paudel. This is a situation he didn’t comprehend.”

(Congress leader Chakra Prasad Bastola, Ghatana ra Bichar, 26 Aug.)


Peace Minister criticizes UNMIN

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: Peace Minister Rakam Chemjung revealed Wednesday the Office of the Prime Minister has expressed dissatisfaction with the office of the UNMIN for the ineffective role of the UN in minotoring the activities of 19,000 Maoist combatants in cantonments and satellite camps.
The minister said the issue will be raised seriously at a meeting of the unified joint commission coordination committee in which Maoists are represented along with UNMIN and Nepal Army.
The dissatisfaction was raised after 19 armed Maoists came out of a camp in the district and went towards Nepalgunj to protect Chairman Prachanda.
The Maoists were armed with automatic weapons verified by UNMIN for the security of stored weapons in the camp.
UNMIN has said Maoists violated a peace agreement and agreement of monitoring of weapons.
”UNMIN was unaware when armed Maoist fighters came out of camps in Kapilvastu in large numbers. The government feels its monitoring is weak.
“UNMIN has three separate responsibilities for the security of the weapons stores in containers, cantonments and leaders,” the minister said.
Ruling party Nepali Congress has also criticized the UNMIN over the incident which is not the first of its kind.

Govt. to check quality of food distributed by WFP

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: Government is to check the quality of food distributed by UN WFP, Nagarik reports.
The check is being conducted after revelation food distributed by WFO was unfit even for animal consumption.
According to finance ministry sources, preparations are ongoing to complete a report within one month by a team under the local development ministry.
The team will consist of representatives from WFP and consumer rights activists.

Cabinet being expanded by including Churebhavar

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is expanding the government by Monday, Naya Patrika reports.
Three ministers and half a dozen ministers of state are being appointed by including representatives of Churebhavar and other parties supporting the government.
‘Homework is going on. Council of ministers will be expanded by Monday,” MJF Loktantrik leader Ram Janak Chaudhari said.

Nobody injured in chopper collision

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: All ssurvived when two choppers collided in Surkhet Wednesday.
A 9-N-ADD helicopter of Shree Air collided a parked Simrik Air helicopter at Surkhet airport.

EC help for peace process

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: European Commission (EC) Wednesday doled out Rs 625 million equivalent to 5.95 euros for the peace process.
The money will be used to support peace and stability under the Nepal Peace Trust Fund, an announcement said.

Haribabu Chaudhary being appointed NSC member-secretary

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: Haribabu Chaudhary is being appointed member-secretary of National Sports Council (NSC), Sports Minister Ganesh Tiwari Nepali said.
Chaudhary, a TMLP supporter, is a former footballer who will succeed Jeewan Eam Shrestha of CPN-UML,
Chaudhary was appointed council member by the cabinet Wednesday.

Election of chairmanship of constitution drafting committee Friday

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: Election for the chairmanship of the main constitution drafting committee is being held Friday; the position was vacated Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal three months ago.
A list of candidates of being published later Thursday.
There’s no agreement on a common candidate between Maoists, CPN-UML and Nepali Congress.
Vice-Chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai is the Maoist candidate while Nepali Congress has proposed the name of Nilambar Acharya.
Congress is demanding the job because constitution assembly chairman and vice-chairman are from CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) respectively.
“Main parties haven’t efforted discussion and understanding on drafting a constitution. He parties are confused.
“There should have been a dialogue for drafting a constitution; there isn’t any,” Speaker Subash Nemwang said.
The main political players differ even on fundamentals for a constitution; Maoists are for a hard-line communist state opposed by other parties.
The constituent assembly hasn’t met for two weeks to discuss a draft to replace the present interim constitution.
There are fears the constitution may not be complete within the mid-May 2010 deadline ion which case a political crisis will ensue.
The deadline for drafting it can be extended for another six months.


ADB projects grim Nepal picture

Kathmandu, 27 Aug: Large pockets of extreme poverty and hunger persist in Asia, where the global downturn makes it more difficult to achieve U.N. goals to reduce the ranks of the poor, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday, according to a AP report from Manila.
In 19 Asian economies, including the most populous China and India, more than 10 percent of people live on less that $ 1.25 a day and more than 10 percent are malnourished.
Nepal is the worst off with 55.1 percent of its population surviving on less than $1.25 a day.
The report said that Asia faces serious challenges in meeting goals linked to sanitation and maternal deaths, which remains unacceptably high in countries such as Afghanistan, Nepal and Laos.


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