Nepal Today

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last minute Girija appeal to Maoists to call off movement

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: Ailing Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koiraka Sunday morning in a last minute appeal asked Maoists to call off their anti-government protests and sit down with government for negotiations.
Maoists are launching their movement Sunday to correct what they call unconstitutional decision by a ceremonial president to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal at the request of 18 ruling parties.
Maoists launch the movement with torchlight rallies nationwide.
Koirala called for unity in the divided Congress party while launching the three-day party general congress attended by 1,250 delegates.
Party spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC called for collective leadership in the party.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sri Lankan president flies back home

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns home Saturday after concluding a three-day official visit.
He returns home one day ahead of a Maoist strike to topple government.
The president rescheduled his visit by three days to beat the strike.

Maoists call off strike

Kathmandu, 31 Oct, Maoists Friday called off a strike of five eastern hill districts that paralyzed life in the region.
They called the strike to force authorities to act against assassins of an activist and compensation demand.

Nepali striker signs Rs 6.36 million deal with Indian club

Kathmandu, 31 Oct: Striker Anil Gurung has signed a three-year Rs 6.36 million contract with Shillong Lajung Football Club.
Gurung is the highest paid professional footballer of Nepal.


“The statute will be drafted but could be delayed by six months to a year. As the new constitution should last several years, a sustainable constitution sou8ld be drafted.”

(Sher Bahadur Deuba, The Himalayan Times, 31 Oct.)

‘Girija Prasad Koirala would be be happy with a republic if he was president. But Prachanda wants a republic. Where’s the point of agreement, Monarchy has been abolished but what’s to replace it.”

(Dr Tulsi Giri, Annapurna Post. 31 Oct.)

‘We know how be to prime minister if we act like them [incumbent rulers]. But we hate becoming prime minister in that fashion. We want o be prime minister of the strength of the people and their desire and not on the desire of some people.)

(Chairman Prachanda, Annapurna Post, 31 Oct.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Skydiving record

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Jai Kishan of India, Tom Noonan from USA and Wendy Smith of New Zealand Wednesday jumped out of a Fishtail Air AS 350 B3 from 21,3000 feet just south of Mount Everest and landed on a plateau at Gorakshep, Kalapattar.
Suman Pandey of Explore Himalaya said the feat was a skydiving record.

Kathmandu, 30 Oct:


“The PLA fighters should be rehabilitated in society or integrated in the national forces well before the promotion of the new constitution and women and Dalit combatants should get the first priority.”

(PM Nepal, The Himalayan Times, 30 Oct.)

“The majority of them [prostitutes] want to continue with the profession. Half the females tell us outright that they will not get enough money if they leave this profession.”

(SP Nawaraj Silwal, The Himalayan Times, 30 Oct.)

Maoists preparing for launch of mass movement

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: One day after the cabinet asked Maoists to sit down for negotiations to end a five-month political stalemate, top party leader, including Chairman Prachanda, held a training camp for activists at party headquarters in the capital.
Internal preparations were being finalized for the launch of the movement from Sunday.
Maoists said they will blockade the Valley and surround the airport servicing the capital to disrupt flights.
Even while internal preparations were being finalized for the movement launch, Maoist Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai said Friday the door was still open for talks with government.
Negotiations to end the stalemate look slim.

Sri Lankan president on pilgrimage in Lumbini

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on a pilgrimage, Friday offered prayers and puja at Maya Debi temple in Lumbini, the birthplace of The Buddha.
He is also scheduled to inaugurate a monastery built by Sri Lanka.
Nepal has leased land to foreign governments to construct monasteries at the sacred site.
Rajapaksa returns to the capital later Friday for talks with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
He flies back home Saturday, one day before the Maoist launch of nation-wide anti-government protests to dislodge government.

Life in eastern region disturbed

Kathmandu, 30 Oct. Normal life in the hill districts of the eastern region was disturbed for the second successive day Friday by a Maoist strike call.
Vehicular movement on highways has come to a complete halt.
Maoists are demanding action against those responsible for the murder of an activist and compensation.

PM Nepal’s brother appointed Hong Kong consul general

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s brother, a mechanical engineer at the industry ministry, has been appointed consul general of Hong Kong.
The cabinet Thursday endorsed the proposal to appoint Binod Kumar Pandey presented by Industry Minister Mahendra Yadav of UCP-UML.
A government rule was amended to facilitate the appointment of the prime minister’s brother who is from the technical service.
Normally, officials from the general service are appointed consul generals.
In a give and take between the three biggest ruling parties, Suresh Chandra Chalise, close to Nepali Congress, was appointed ambassador to United Kingdom while Shyam Lal Tabdar, affiliated with LMJF) was appointed ambassador to Egypt.

Delayed foreign ministry denial of controversial Sujata statement

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: The foreign ministry Thursday denied a statement of Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala saying she had evidence Nepal’s Maoists were arming their Indian counterparts across the border.
The foreign ministry denied the report published by the Indian Express while it made no comments when the claim made by her in Nepalgunj were first published in the Nepali print media.
‘It is an outright concoction and has no truth whatsoever.
“The news report has malicious intention to put the word in the mouth of Koirala,” the statement said referring to the Indian Express report with the headline: I have evidence of Indian, Nepal Maoist links.
The ministry also said Sujata made no mention of the issue in Nepalgunj or elsewhere.
The foreign ministry went one step ahead of Indian Home Minister P Chidambaran who earlier said Indian Naxalites were receiving arms supplies from Myanmar and Bangladesh and ‘possibly’ from Nepal’s Maoists.
Sujata got embroiled in a controversy earlier saying there was no border problem with India even as lawmakers in parliament said India was encroaching the border.
The foreign minister is placating India.

Kulshekhar Sharma dead

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Kulshekhar Sharma died Thursday.
He was 84.
During a long as a civil servant career, he was government’s chief secretary, governor of Nepal Rashtra Bank and royal Nepalese ambassador to USA.


Revenue collection up

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: Government collected Rs 34.32 billion if the first three months of the current fiscal year ending mid-October—up 53.7 percent compared to the same period the previous year.
The government hopes to collect Rs 177 billion in revenue this fiscal year.
But two successive governments haven’t been able to increase development expenditure despite increased revenue collection.

Travel agents meet

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: The 43rd world congress of United Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) will be held in the capital from 20 to 23 November.
Tourism, entrepreneurs from 80 countries are participating in the congress.

Foundation stone of Kulekhani-III laid

Kathmandu, 30 Oct: At a time when government is facing a power crunch, Energy Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat Thursday laid the foundation of the Rs 2.43 billion 14MW Kulekhani III at Bhaise.
The project will be completed in 2012.


“The comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) was signed between the then seven party alliance and the rebel Maoists three years ago. The agreement is irrelevant in the changed context and the government wants to modify it. I think my proposal to revise the CPA is in favour of Nepal Army and the country.”

(Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari, The Rising Nepal, 30 Oct.)

Sri Lankan president arrives on three-day official visit

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived Thursday on a rescheduled three-day official visit ahead of planed Maoists anti-government protests Sunday.
He laves for home Saturday before the launch of the agitation.
Security for the visitor was tight.
Roads were closed for vehicular from the airport to Soaltee Hotel for one hour for enhanced security.
The president goes on a pilgrimage to Lumbini Friday.

CPN-UML lawmakers ask govt. not seek solution outside parliament

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: CPN-UML lawmakers asked government Thursday not to bypass parliament to pass the annual budget 2009/10.
The budget hasn’t been approved with Maoist obstruction of legislative proceedings for more than five months.
The lawmakers asked government led by CPN-UML to seek a consensus with Maoists.
Government is contemplating use of force, proroguing parliament and promulgation on an ordinance to enforce the budget.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, three days ahead of the threatened Maoist protest, suggested amendment in the constitution to meet Maoist demands.
Maoists at one time had demanded amendment to clearly define powers of the president.
Maoists have adopted a hard attitude to government.

Curfew in Bara

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Local administration Bara slaped a curfew around Kasuwa area after violence broke out Thursday over granting of a fish pond tender without contract.
Police fired several rounds of teargas shells to control rioters.
Curfew continued for the second day Thursday in Bhojpur where Maoists attacked and seriously injured a campus chief there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Constitution drafting committee meeting adjourned

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: A constitutional drafting committee meeting of the constituent assembly was adjourned until Friday without the required quorum.
Only 15 of 63 members committee members were present
A committee on fundamental rights Thursday recommended 31 fundamental rights.
There were differences in the committee on property right with Maoists restrictions on property.
Only seven months remain to promulgate a republican constitution by 28 May 2010 deadline.
A republic has been declared while it has yet to be institutionalized and sustained.

Maoist strike disrupts life in five eastern districts

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: An indefinite strike called by Maoists has affected life in five eastern hill districts Thursday closing down schools, businesses and industries.
Maoists damaged a vehicle in Dhankuta in an arson attack for defying strike,
UCPN (Maoist) are protesting the murder of activist Madan Limbu.

Three Nepalis feared killed in Taliban Kabul attack

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Three Nepalis working with the UN assistance mission in Afghanistan were feared killed Wednesday in a Taliban attack in Kabul Wednesday.
Afghanistan’s local television channel Tolo TV said a Taliban attack killed at least three Nepalis.
RIA Novosti news agency of Russia also quoted Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman as saying three Nepali employees of the UN assistance mission n Afghanistan were among the dead.
Taliban militants wearing suicide vests and police uniforms stormed a guest house used by UN staff in the heart of the Afghan capital Wednesday, killing 12 people—including six UN staff, AP reports from Kabul.
It was the biggest in a series of attacks intended to undermine next month’s presidential runoff election.
But another published report said four Nepalis escaped unhurt in the attack.
The report in Nagarik said four Nepalis were in the building during the attack.
Dinesh Malla, Ashok Karki, Sudip Paudel and a person with Gurung surname of British Gurkha Service smashed windows and jumped out of the building.
“They left their mobiles in the building. But the condition of all Nepalis is normal,” said Pradumna Deuja from Kabul.

Sri Lankan president begins three-day official visit

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala will receive Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the airport when he begins a three-day official visit Thursday.
The visit that was to begin Saturday was rescheduled by two days.
The president and his wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa will now return home Saturday or one day before Maoist threat to launch nation-wide popular movement to topple government.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is scheduled to hold discussions with the visiting president who is leading a 70-member delegation.
The Sri Lankan president and President Dr Ram Baran
Yadav will hold discussions Friday.
Rajapaksa, a devout Buddhist, will visit Lumbini, the birthplace of The Buddha, and offer prayers.
The president’s visit was aborted in March 2009 when he returned home abruptly after an attack of a Sri Lankan test cricket squad in Pakistan.

Govt. begins consultations to thwart Maoist movement from Sunday

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: With time running short, ruling parties Wednesday began urgent consultations to thwart a planned Maoist popular movement to oust the government of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Planned Maoists movement will be launched Sunday as major political players have failed to end a deadlock even for five months.
Nepal held discussions with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and Speaker Subash Nemwang Wednesday while consultations were held between major ruling parties, including CPN-UML and Nepali Congress.
Government is facing an imminent political and financial crisis with continued obstruction of parliamentary proceedings for five months.
Only the account bill has been approved by parliament which still has to approve the appropriation bill.
The annual budget for fiscal year 2009/10 has to be approved by 15 November.
Government is even mulling promulgating the budget through ordinance by proroguing the current parliamentary session—a move opposed by Nemwang.
‘There’s no alternative to approving the budget from parliament, Nemwang said after consultations with the prime minister who even suggested forceful means to approve the budget.
“The prime minister urged Memwang to use his power to let the budget pass through the house if consensus could not be reached on the Maoist demand.
“The speaker can say the budget tabled for approval has been passed even if the Maoists continue chanting slogans. If it doesn’t work, he could even use force to evict the unruly parliamentarians,” Republica quoted an unidentified source at the Office of the Prime Minister as saying.
Even three days before the protests, the prime minister Thursday hopingly told the CPN-UML parliamentary party meeting he expected a resolution after discussions with Chairman Prachanda Wednesday.

WFP again in the dock

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: UN WFP is again in the dock after National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday again said inedible food was distributed in the mid and far-West during the monsoon when more than 360 persons died of cholera and diarrhea.
But the rights body didn’t such food triggered the epidemic.
The UN in Nepal earlier this tried to drag the government into a controversy
threatening to stop food assistance; it asked government to certify the qualify of food distributed.
Temporary cutoff of food assistance created additional problem by creating shortage.
“It has been found that inedible food was distributed in the epidemic affected areas, whatsoever the reason of the outbreak of the epidemic.
“It cannot be said that the food distributed by WFP was the only reason that caused diarrhea though the food were found polluted and reached the people as inedible food,” NHRC said in a statement.
NHRC called for a judicial inquiry, compensation for victims and asked CIAA to probe malpractices in food distribution and punish guilty.
“People’s right to life shouldn’t be violated,” said NHRC Chairman Kedar Nath Upadhaya while releasing findings of a month-long probe.
WFP rebutted charges and said the food distributed was not sub-standard.

Two Nepalis murdered in New Delhi

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Two Nepali nationals were found bludgeoned to death in their rented house here on Wednesday with police suspecting the role of their roommates in the crime, PTI reports from New Delhi.
Bhola,25, and Kartik Yadav, 24, who sold Chinese food at a roadside stall were found dead in their residence in Mundka village in outer Delhi, a senior police official said.
Police suspect their roommate, who is also from Nepal, to be behind the double murder.
A case of murder was registered at the Mundka police station.
A search is on to nab the suspected killer who has gone missing.

Nepali gets honourary Korean citizenship

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Seoul municipality Wednesday gave honourary Korean citizenship to a Nepali who has been working in Korea for the last 17 years, Nagarik reports from the South Korean capital.
Sixteen foreign were honoured for their contribution to Korean society.
“I am happy for the honour for a Nepali amongst a select few foreigners. I don’t have to relinquish Nepali citizenship as the citizenship is honourary,” KP Shitaula of Jhapa.
He is a tourism entrepreneur.

Parliamentary committee suggestion to upgrade army weapons

Kathmandu, 29 Oct: Parliament’s state affairs committee has suggested Nepal Army should be provided modern weapons to replacing aging SLRs and SMGs more than 34 years old, Nepal Samacharpatra reports.
Such weapons are not being used by armies in elsewhere and they aren’t also being manufactured.
Nepal Army is facing problems finding replacements for the aging guns.
Fifty-percent of guns with Nepal Army are INSAS and M-16 while 45 percent are SLRs and SMGs.


“The envoy [US charge de’ affaires] informed us that the process to lift terrorist tag from our party is moving ahead positively.”

(Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara, The Rising Nepal, 29 Oct.)

Sri Lankan president reschedules Nepal visit ahead of Maoist protests

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa rescheduled his Nepal visit to arrive two days Thursday ahead of the original schedule.
He was originally scheduled to begin the three-day visit Saturday.
Foreign ministry gave no reason for the reschedule visit.
But Maoists have announced nation-wide protests from Sunday to push their demands for what they say is enforcement of civilian rule.
Maoists said they will disrupt domestic and international flights at the airport servicing the capital Sunday.
The president returns home Saturday.
Rajapaksa cut short his official Nepal visit in March after a Sri Lankan cricket was attacked in Pakistan.
He is scheduled to inaugurate a Sri Lankan monastery in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.
Nepal has allocated land for the monastery construction.

Maoists again disrupt parliamentary proceedings

Kathmandu, 28Oct: Maoists Wednesday disrupted parliamentary proceedings for the second time in two days after the legislature met after an extended dsain, tihar recess.
Preime Minitser Madhav Kumar Nepal Nepal discussed the five-month disruption with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav Wednesday.
Disruptions for five months have stalled the approval of the annual expenditure of 16 ministries as government faces an imminent political and financial crisis.
Government is already suffering a money crunch as finance ministry hasn’t been able to disburse allocated funds to ministries,

Tibet, Nepal local officials meet in Khasa

Kathmandu, 28 Oct. Local officials of Tibet and Solukhumbo in Nepal adjoining the Nepal –Tibet border held discussions in the Tibetan border town of Khasa Wednesday to and discussed trans-border problems.
Mount Everest lies in the region.
Nepali and Chinese officials also discussed local issues in Mustang Wednesday.
First reports said they reached a nine-point agreement in Mustang.
Details weren’t immediately available.
China is concerned with activities of Tibetan exiles from Nepal against China and has asked for the deployment of Armed Police Force which oit will assist.

Death toll in Bhaktapur sand mine collapse rises to five

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: With the recovery of the body of one more labourer, the death in Wednesday morning’s sand mine collapse in Bhaktapur has risen to five.
Search is going on for others buried and feared killed in the collapse.
Three injured are undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Three prisoners break hail in Morang

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Three prisoners broke jail in Morang overnight.
They were being held for illegal possession of arms and ammunition.
Arms and ammunition are mostly held by rebels seeking wither autonomy or independence in terai.

Diarrhea claims two more lives in Dailekh

Kathmandu, 28Oct: Diarrhea overnight claimed the lives of two more women in Dailekh overnight even with the onset of autumn.
Cholera and diarrhea claimed 32 lives in the district alone in the monsoon that has receded.
More than 360 persons died in an outbreak of an epidemic in the mid and far-West during the monsoon.


“We should not be giving an impression that some junior officials in the diplomatic missions run this government. The PM was giving more weight to foreign diplomats over a senior minister.”

(Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari tells PM Nepal who reportedly stopped the promotion of Maj Gen Toran Bahadur Singh at request of two defence attaches, including British military attaché, newsfront, 28 Oct.)

“It is only natural we support Khanal [Jhalanath to replace PM Nepal] if he is ready to rectify the mistake that the President committed. That will amount to the enforcement of civilian supremacy.”

(Unidentified Maoist leader, newsfront, 28 Oct.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NC central committee meets

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Nepali Congress central committee is meeting later Wednesday to discuss preparations for November party general congress and an amendment in the party statute to be passed by the congress.
A statute amendment committee has proposed 66 central leaders should be elected to limit extensive powers of the president opposed by party chief ailing octogenarian Girija Prasad Koirala.
Koirala is being challenged stiff opposition in the party central committee coming
Younger generation leaders are pushing collective leadership in the party dominated by Koirala.
The central committee rejected Koirala’s push to cancel the congress and has summoned him to explain his successful request to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to promote daughter and Foreign Minister Sujata in government.
She was also appointed deputy prime minister..
An unofficial decision by Koirala critics have either to recall the Congress team in government or issue a warning to the president not to take personal decisions by bypassing parliament.
The issue could come up for discussions Wednesday.

Four buried alive in Bhaktapur

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Four persons were buried alive while collecting sand in Bhaktapur where three others were also injured.
They were mining sand in Duwakot.
Three labourers are missing.

Prachanda, US diplomat hold talks

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Chairman Prachanda and the chief of the US embassy held discussions at the Maoist chief’s residence Wednesday amid Maoist threat to launch a popular movement from Sunday.
They discussed the political situation after Maoists announced details of their protests from 1 November.
The embassy is without an ambassador since the recall of Nancy J. Powell after Barack Obama was elected president.
Her replacement hasn’t been announced by the White House as yet.
Washington still puts Maoists on its terrorist list even as USA has established direct contacts with the biggest communist party in Nepal; UCPN (Maoist) is also Nepal’s largest political party.

SAFTA meet starts in capital today

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: The fourth South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) ministerial-meet starts in the capital later Wednesday.
Commerce ministers of seven SAARC countries are leading their delegations while Pakistan is represented by a joint secretary.
Not much headway has been registered in declaring the region dominated by India as a free trade zone.

China, Nepal officials meet in Mustang

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Local officials of Mustang and across the border in Tibet are meeting in Jomson Wednesday to discuss border and other issues as Beijing asks Nepal to deploy Armed Police Force along the entire Nepal-Tibet border amid Chinese fears of mounting across-activities activities by Tibetan exiles against China.
The Nepali delegation is led by Mustang chief district officer (CDO) Umesh Kumar Dhakal; the Tibetan delegation arrived in Mustang for the talks.
Nepal is asking China to allow locals free movement 30 km into Tibet; an agreement was reached three years ago.
Locals are pressing for supply of essential goods from Tibet and promotion of border trade.

Maoist announced details of protests; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Maoists announced a blockade of the Valley, including Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on 10 November—a part of their protests from Sunday if government doesn’t meet their demands to correct what they call an unconstitutional act of the president to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal.
Maoist Vice-Chairman and Chief of the protest committee Dr Baburam Bhattarai released details of the protests Tuesday.
Government is unlikely to meet Maoist demands for a package solution, including the formation of a Maoist-led national government, by Sunday.
Maoists will mobilize thousands of people and immobilize Singha Durbar, the central secretariat for two days on 12 and 13 November.
Protests will begin Sunday with a nation-wide torch rally.
Maoists will declare autonomous regions 9 November even as major parties aren’t agreed on a new state structure in the new constitution.
Maoists will hold corner meetings and pocket VDCs and municipalities Monday 2 November.
They picket 75 district headquarters for two days 4 and 5 November.
‘We’ve run out of patience. The way talks are progressing, there’s no hope for consensus. But we are still giving time until 1 November,” Dr Bhattarai said.
Maoists are becoming aggressive ahead of the protests.
Former prime minister and Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba escaped unhurt when Maoist YCL Tuesday smashed his car in Chitwan Tuesday.
Minister Bal Krishna Khand also escaped unhurt.
Congress lawmaker Gagan Thapa fled the scene of the clash and sought shelter in a nearby house.
Seven persons were injured, including Congress youth leader Thakur Raj Bista in an exchange of brickbats between Maoist and Congress activists..
Congress central committee condemned the attack on Deuba.
Deuba said in Bharatpur Tuesday after the attack,” Maoists are obstructing development by disturbing parliament. They first destroyed physical infrastructure. They’re now obstructing development by disrupting parliamentary proceedings.
Maoists, he charged, are threatening other parties to impose themselves on the nation.
Maoists Tuesday again obstructed proceedings when parliament met after a long dasain and tihar recess.
Maoists released details protests as only seven months remain to promulgate a constitution by the 28 May 2010 deadline.
The constituent assembly is without work after five subject committees have failed to submit their suggestions on a new basis law to the main drafting committee headed by Nilambar Acharya.
Parties differ on fundamentals, including parliamentary system as Maoists push a communist state.
Meanwhile, Chairman Prachanda reportedly told CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal Tuesday the country is heading towards presidential rule and the president’s unconstitutional should be addressed in some form.
“The country is slowly heading towards presidential rule. The president’s action should be addressed in some form.” CPN-UML leader Yubaraj Geywali quoted Prachanda as saying.
Ruling parties oppose Maoist demand saying the president can do no wrong.
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav retained Army Chief Gen Katawal at the request of 18 parties against the spirit of the third popular movement which created a powerful executive prime minister.

Nepal Army invites Indian army chief

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Reflecting restoration of relations between Indian and Nepal Army (NA), Army Chief Gen Chandraman Singh Gurung has invited his Indian counterpart Gen Deepak Kapoor to visit Nepal at a convenient time.
The invitation reflects the normalization of relations between the armies of the two South Asian states snapped during the royal regime when arms supplies to Nepal were suspended.
India, the largest arms supplier of NA, has now agreed to restore supplies to the state army as Nepal Army faces ammunition crunch with the delayed peace process.
The cabinet Friday cleared the invitation.
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is scheduled to appoint the Indian top general honourary general of Nepal Army.

PM Nepal opposes defence minister’s Bhandari’s demand for review of CPA

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Tuesday opposed the call by Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari for a review of the of the comprehensive pace agreement (CPA) between seven political parties and Maoists brokered by New Delhi.
Bhandari said the delayed implementation of the CPA is an obstruction
for the running of Nepal Army; she said the CPA envisaged the full implementation in six months abut hasn’t been completed even in three years.
“The views [Bhandari’s] are personal,” PM Nepal told the special army integration committee where Maoists objected to Bhandari’s call.
CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal also opposed the review of the CPA an urged its speedy implementation.

British Gurkhas to again drag British govt. to court

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Veteran Gurkha soldiers are launching another court battle against the British government over pension rights on Tuesday, AFP reports from London.
The British Gurkha Welfare Society (BGWS) is going to London’s high court because it says around 24,000 veterans and dependents who served in the British army before 1997 receive only a third of the normal payments.
In May, Gurkha veterans with minimum four years’ service won the right to settle in Britain.
“It is an insult that the Gurkhas are yet again forced to take the British government to court,” said Chhatra Rai, general secretary of BGWS.
Ninety-four British lawmakers have so far signed a house of commons motion calling for improved pension rights for Gurkha veterans.

Nepal to host another international organization

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: SAARC-level secretariat to stop illegal trade in wildlife and body parts will be established in Kathmandu, Nagarik reports.
Nepal, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh agreed Tuesday to establish the secretariat in the Nepalese capital.
Nepal Tuesday proposed at an international meet on tigers a secretariat on SAARC wildlife trade control secretariat should be established in Kathmandu.

Maoists recall member from technical committee

Kathmandu, 28 Oct: Maoists are seeking an amendment in a suggestion of the technical committee of the special army integration and rehabilitation committee of which Maoists are members, Kantipur reports.
The special committee met Tuesday under the chairmanship of Madhav Kumar Nepal.
The technical committee 15 September submitted a suggestion to the special committee on a chain of command for combatants and work procedures.
Maoists are seeking an amendment saying combatants haven’t been put in the same status as personnel of Nepal Army.
Maoists are recalling Indrajit Rai from the technical committee.
Sources said Rai is being recalled Wednesday as the technical committee forwarded a suggestion to the special committee against the interest of Maoists.
YCL in-charge and politburo member Krishna Bahadur KC and Maoist PLA Deputy Commander and politburo member Chandra Prakash Khanal are being sent to the technical committee.


“I am ready to sacrifice my life, but will never agree on changing the present government under the leadership of the Unified CPN-Maoist.”

(DPM Bijaya Kumar Gachedhar, The Himalayan Times, 28 Oct.)

“Recently, the foreign secretary of India had called on me. I had told her ‘Look, I am born in Tedi, India, which is located just 30 kilometers away from Biratnagar. I have notified that there are some obnoxious elements who want to destroy Nepal’s social harmony in the name of colour and language.”

(Part of Girija Koirala’s circular to foreigners and Prachanda, Janaastha, 28 Oct.)

Congress activist killed

Kathmandu, 27OctL Maoists allegedly killed Congress youth activist on the Ilam-Godak sector of Mechi highway Monday, Nepali Congress said.
Congress youth leader Chandra Prakash Hangan was shot dead by an armed group in Ilam.
He hailed from Taplejung.


Nepal Airlines opts for Airbus

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Nepal Airlines has opted for the Airbus after 21 years.
The state airlines used Boeings to operate international flights.
The airlines Monday decided to buy one Airbus A320-200 by the third quarter of 2010 and a A 330-200 by the first half of 2011.

Inflation down to single digit

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: For the first time in 15 months, inflation has come down to single digit.
Inflation in mid-September came down to 9.7 percent, Nepal Rahstra Bank said.
Inflation peaked to 14.4 percent in January 2009.
Inflation dropped as prices of non-food items and services came down.
But price index of food and beverages increased 16.3 percent.
Vegetable and food prices soared 43.5 percent.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Maoists finalizing detailed plans for popular movement

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: A Maoist popular movement secretariat Tuesday started discussions to chart out detailed programme of popular movement that will be launched 1 November.
The plans will be presented to the central committee for approval later Tuesday.
Maoist demand for correction of what they call unconstitutional decision of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal was rejected by ruling parties.
Despite Maoist threat to launch the, movement, last minute efforts are still being made to find end a five-month political deadlock.
Chairman Prachanda held discussions with CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal who is meeting separately with top Congress leaders.
Chairman Prachanda said Monday the movement is being launched to complete an incomplete revolution.

British delegation arriving

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: British parliament’s international development committee is arriving later Tuesday to study the work of DFID Nepal.
The committee appointed by the house of commons examines expenditure, administration and policy of DFID that manages British aid to developing countries..
The delegation is led by Malcolm Brice, member of the house of commons.

Nepali peacekeeper dead in Haiti

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Nepal Army peacekeeper in Haiti has died.
Posh Raj Adhikari’s body is being flown back home Tuesday after he died 19 October.

Nepal, India sighing trade treaty

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Commerce ministers of India and Nepal are signing a trade agreement in the capital Tuesday.
The treaty will be valid for seven years with provision for automatic extension after expiry.
The two countries will also upgrade a treaty that controls unauthorized trade.


“I know arms are going to India from Nepal, but I talks much on this with journalists.”

(Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, Rajdhani, 27 October.)

Kathmandu global tiger workshop begins

Kathmandu, 27 Oct: Prime Minitser Madhav Kumar Nepal Tuesday launched the Kathmandu global tiger initiative workshop.
Delegates from 14 tiger range countries, conservationists and donors will discuss means to protest the endangered species in the next four days.
They are also discussing ways to stop illegal trade in wildlife.
The meet will issue the Kathmandu Declaration to protest the endangered wild cat

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ruling parties and supporters meet

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Ruling parties and supporters are meeting later Monday to discuss a continuing political deadlock as Maoists gave an ultimatum to meet their demands by 1 November.
The meeting is being held at the initiative of the Nepali Congress.
A meeting of Maoists, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML was again inconclusive Sunday as the ruling parties rejected a Maoist proposal for a package deal including the formation of a Maoist-led government.
Meanwhile, Maoists have been conducting training camps for fraternal organizations to mobilize people for the threatened movement.
Chairman Prachanda is personally imparting training.

International conference to protest endangered tiger

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Nepal is hosting a four-day international conference in the capital from Tuesday to protect the endangered tiger,
Experts from 14 countries where tigers are found are participating in the conference.
CITES secretariat, Global Tiger Forum, Global Tiger Initiative, World Bank, National Trust for Nature Conservation and WFF are supporting the global initiative to protest the endangered cat.
The meet will issue the Kathmandu Declaration to be endorsed by ministers of tiger range countries.
Meanwhile, Forest Minister Dipak Bohara said Nepal has presented China a draft of a memorandum of understanding to be signed by the two neighbouring countries to curb illegal trade in wildlife, including the tiger.
Tiger bones are smuggled to China from Nepal.

Minister threatens to pass budget by proroguing parliament

Kathmandu, 26 Oct> Government Spokesman and Communication Shanker Pokhrel has threatened to pass the annual budget 2009/10 by issuing an ordinance and proroguing parliament.
“Government can’t run without finances. Government will introduce the budget through ordinance and proroguing parliament,” he said in Sunday Dang where Maoists greeted him with black flags.
Maoists have been obstructing parliamentary proceedings for five months.


Army running short of ammunition

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: With the delayed peace process, supplies of ammunition of Nepal Army is dwindling, Kantipur reports.
One solider fires five hundred bullets during one exercise.
Eight million bullets are required for 80,000 soldiers in one annual exercise.
Three million bullets are fired during regular firing exercises.
Fifty million bullets have already been fired by Nepal Army in five years during exercises; the bullets haven’t been replenished.
“If this situation continues, army will have to carry guns without bullets,” a senior officer told Kantipur.

Quotes of former army chief removed from barracks

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Quotes of former Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal are being removed from different barracks, Annapurna Post.
The quotes were removed from all barracks on order of Army Chief Gen Chatraman Singh Gurung.
Gen Katawal placed the quotes at barracks before proceeding on home leave prior to retirement.

Dr Madan Bhattarai appointed foreign secretary

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Dr Madan Kumar Bhattarai has been appointed foreign secretary.
The cabinet took the decision Friday.
He succeeds Gyan Chandra Acharya who has been appointed permanent representative to the UN in New York.
Dr Bhattarai is former ambassador to Germany.

Home Minister Rawal going to China

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Home Minister Bhim Rawal is visiting China by 31 December, Kantipur reports
Exact date hasn’t been finalized although the home ministry has started homework for the visit.
He received an invitation through Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala who recently visited China.
Rawal will discuss security issues with his counterpart.
China is helping deploy Armed Police Force along the Nepal-Tibet border.

India keeping Maoists at distance: Mahara

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 26 Oct: Top Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara said his party feels Indian ruling class are keeping Nepal’s main opposition at a distance,
“…I do not label our relations with India as bad. Still then, we have sensed that the Indian ruling class wants to keep us at a distance.
“However, we are in regular touch with the Indian leaders said office bearers,” the chief of the party foreign department told The Rising Nepal.
Mahara claimed China feels it would be earlier for Beijing to deal with a government led by Maoists.
“As per Chinese foreign policy of non-interference, the leaders did not specify who should be leading the government, But, of course, they were in the opinion that it would be easier for them to deal if we were leading the government,” Mahara said.
He was responding to a question: You have been arguing that without a national unity government led by your party, peace and constitution writing cannot be accomplished. What was the Chinese view in this connection?
Mahara accompanied Prachanda on his just completed China visit when President Hu Jintao met the Nepalese communists.
“We have found that Chinese leaders are more positive to us now compared to their perception of us in the past,” Mahara added.
China, in the past, said Nepal’s Maoists were defaming the founder of modern China by tagging his name to the party.
“China wishes that there is a national consensus government in Nepal,” Mahara said.


“Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachedhar has termed the Upendra Uadav-led Madesh Janaadhikar Forum an NGO run by foreigners.”

(The Himalayan Times report, 26 Oct.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chatt festival ends

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Chatt festival ended Sunday morning with the worship of the rising sun.
In the capital, the festival of the terai community was celebrated at Ranipokhari where President Dr Ram Baran Baran Yadav also offered worship.

Nepal’s Maoists ‘possibly’ helping Indian Naxalites: Indian Home Minister P Chidambaran

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaran said Nepal’s Maoists are ‘possibly’ helping Indian Maoists called Naxalites.
“We know now that the weapons are coming through Bangladesh and Myanmar and possibly Nepal. The Indo-Nepal border is very porous,”
PTI quoted the minister as saying.
“There is no evidence of any money flowing in from abroad to the Maoists, But there is certainly evidence of weapons being smuggled from abroad through Myanmar or Bangladesh, which reached the Maoists,” Chidambaran said.
The Indian minister didn’t bracket Nepal with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Chidambaran made the comment even as it brokered the comprehensive peace treaty in New Delhi with Nepal’s Maoists and seven political parties.
But New Delhi refuses to negotiate with Naxalites even as senior officials admit the insurgency is India’s biggest internal political problem.
“In terms of the threat to security from internal sources, Naxalism remains the biggest threat,” PTI quoted the minister as saying.
“Asked if Naxalites were being supported from abroad, Chidambaran said,” I don’t know. It is possible that they get some intellectual support. I hear voices of some human rights groups from abroad. This is the intellectual support I am referring to.”

CPN-UNL Chairman Jhalanath Khanal is also visiting India

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Amid Maoist threat to launch a popular movement from 1 November if their demands to correct what they call unconstitutional presidential action isn’t met, CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal is also flying to New Delhi for political discussions with Indian leaders.
Surya Bahadur Thapa and Sher Bahadur Deuba returned after holding discussions with ruling party and opposition, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
After India’s interventionist role in Nepal’s internal politics, Nepali leaders have no qualms in discussing Nepal with foreigners, particularly Indians, at home and abroad.
CPN-UML standing committee Saturday approved the week-long visit in invitation of the Indian government from 3 November.
Thapa said on his return home from New Delhi, India wants continuity in government.

Representatives of UN security council members urge completion of UNMIN work by 23 January 2010

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Ambassadors of six members of the UN security council Friday welcomed progress made in preparing for the discharge of disqualified Maoist army personnel, including minors, and urged immediate follow-up action, the British embassy said.
Nepal is being discussed by the council in New York 6 November.
“They also welcomed the reformation, and resumption of work, of the Special and Technical Committees,” the embassy added.
The ambassadors reiterated the deep concern of the security council while calling for the creation of conditions ‘for the completion of the outstanding aspects of UNMIN’s mandate by 23 January 2010.
Ambassadors called for renewed and sustained efforts to create a unified approach among political parties in the spirit of the peace agreements.
The diplomats asked the Government of Nepal to publish the action plan it offered to the council at the last UNMIN renewal and begin the process of discharge, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist army personnel.
Ambassadors and Charges d’Affaires of China, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States Friday visited a cantonment and Nepal Army weapons storage site in the capital.
This is the first collective visit by Security Council Ambassadors to a Maoist cantonment and the Nepal Army weapons storage site reflecting the concern of the security council members to urge progress on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsequent agreements, the British embassy said.
It also underlines the desire of the Security Council to see the completion of UNMIN’s mandate by the end of the current mandate on 23 January 2010, the embassy added.

Three parties attempt to break deadlock

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Maoists and CPN-UML leaders Sunday morning again held discuss a to draft common parliamentary resolution before the extended Maoist deadline to meet their demands by 1 November.
Maoist vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhatarai and CPN-UML leader Yubaraj Geywali are leading the respective teams.
The two parties will hold discussions with Nepali Congress later Sunday in another attempt to end a five-month deadlock.
Maoist are demanding parliament must discuss in some form what they call the unconstitutional action by a ceremonial president to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal.
Ruling parties have been rejecting the Maoist demand.

Prachanda, Karen Landgrin meet

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Chairman Prachanda and UNMIN Chief Karen Landgrin Sunday discussed the delayed peace process and other issues before UN security council discusses Nepal New York 6 November,
She also hold discussions with CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal later Sunday.
She already held discussions with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal last weeks.
Landgren flies for New York Monday,

MJF threatens movement from 1 November

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: MJF Chairman Upendra Yadav Sunday threatened to launch a three-day movement from 1 November if terai demands aren’t met.
He said the form nature of movement is being discussed.
Yadav threatened the movement will be more intense if demands aren’t considered by 3 November,

Jhalanath Khanal entrusted responsibility

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: CPN-UNL standing committee meeting Saturday entrusted responsibility to Chairman Jhalanath Khanal to unite party rank and file after parallel committees surfaced in districts, including Kathmandu, amid deep differences amongst top leaders.
“Chairman Khanal has been entrusted responsibility to unite two parallel committees in Kathmandu district by 30 October,” Secretary Shanker Pokhrel said after the meet.
Parallel committees will hold tea receptions to forge unity as well.
Leaders are divided on how to handle Maoists with KP Sharma Oli leading a anti-Maoist camp in the party,
Oli Saturday held a dinner reception at his home to prevent a division in the party; Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal nd Chairman Khanal were present.

India accepts Rukma Shumshere Rana’s appointment

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: India has accepted the appointment of Rukma Shumshere Rana as Nepal’s ambassador to New Delhi.
Rana is son of Subarna Shumshere Rana.
India approved the agreemo Friday, the foreign ministry said.
The post was vacant for nine months after the Prachanda government recalled Durgesh Man Singh.

Congress discussing statute

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: The Nepali Congress committee Sunday is discussing sweeping measures to curtail the unlimited powers of the party president.
The discussions are being held as ailing President Girija Prasad Koirala ,who has ruled the party with an iron grip, is under heavy fire from central leaders for taking personal decisions without consulting the central committee and parliamentary party.
More than one dozen amendment proposals have been presented to a stature prepared by Krishna Prasad Shitaula, a staunch Koirala loyalist.
Younger leaders are pushing for internal democracy in the party and collective leadership.
The new statute is being presented to the November party general congress for approval.
Girija has come under intense criticism for recommending to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal the promotion of daughter Sujata to deputy prime minister.

Nepal-Tibet meet in Mustang

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Local officials from Mustang and across Tibet are meeting Wednesday in Jomsom to discuss cross-border issues.
The prime minister visited the district across the Himalaya as government prepares to deploy Armed Police Force along the Nepal-Tibet border at China’s request.
Beijing is worried with activities of Tibetan exiles from Nepal and is urging watch and curbs.

President concerned with political deadlock

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav Saturday discussed Maoist censure motion, the obstruction of parliamentary proceedings and the budget with some lawyers Saturday, Annapurna Post reports.
One lawyer said the president took interest on the repercussions of a discussion in parliament on a censure motion against the president to end a political deadlock.
The president discussed the impact if the constitution isn’t drafted within the 28 May 2010 deadline at a time when the vice-president is inactive.
Lawyers suggested the president can’t stop the government from introducing the budget through ordinance when the parliament proceedings are disrupted.

Two alternatives against Girija being discussed

Kathmandu, 25 Oct: Senior Congress leaders have agreed at a tea meeting on two alternatives to counter party President Girija Prasad Koirala’s decision to promote daughter Sujata to deputy prime minister without institutional party decision, Rajdhani reports.
Vice –chairman Ram Chandra Paudel took initiative at the home of Purusottan Bassnet, an invited member of the central committee.
Girija will either be warned or his decision should be taken back.
Some suggested the president should agree in the future to consul or seek approval for an institutional decision.


“”Why are you honking? Don’t you have any work?”

(Girija Prasad Koirala tells constitution drafting committee chairman Nilambar Acharya who is at the wheels of a parked empty bus moving for the 28 May 2010 deadline to draft the constitution; Girija, Prachanda and PM Nepal are playing cards by the roadside, Kantipur cartoon, 25 Oct.)

“But conspiracies are being hatched to prevent the country from embracing ethnicity-based provinces.”

(Chairman Prachanda, The Kathmandu Post, 25 Oct.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tapanath Sukla stages comeback

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Tapanath Sukla has staged a comeback at the communication ministry.
Former Nepal Television chief Sukla was appointed Executive Director of Radio Nepal by the cabinet Friday.
The cabinet also appointed Santosh Pandey member-secretary of Social Welfare Council.

Maj Gen Toran Bahadur Singh appointed acting army chief

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Maj Gen Toran Bahadur Singh Saturday takes over responsibility for running Nepal Army from Army Chief Gen Cthatraman Singh Gurung.
Gen Gurung leaves for Hawaii Saturday to attend a conference of top army officers in his first foreign outing after appointment earlier this year.
The cabinet Friday appointed Maj Gen Singh acting army chief even without approving a recommendation by three ruling parties and the army to promote his to Lt Gen.
Reports said Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is sitting on the file after protests against the second-ranking office in NA for rights abuses, especially UN.

Maoists extend threats to launch movement

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Maoist standing committee Friday didn’t go ahead with a threat to immediately launch the next phase of their street protests immediately after chat being celebrated in the terai Saturday by worshiping the sun.
The committee instead gave the ruling parties until 1 November to meet their demands, including the formation of a Maoist-led government.
Maoists also are demanding a correction in the decision of ceremonial President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to retain Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal by the Maoist-led Prachanda government earlier this year.
The president acted on the recommendation of 18 ruling parties against the spirit of the popular movement that snatched powers of the king and made vested power in the prime minister.

KDC refuses to withdraw charge against Rishi Dhamala

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: A Kathmandu district court (KDC) district bench Friday refused a government request to withdraw charges against Chairman of Reporters’ Club Rishi Dhamala for alleged involvement in three bombings in the capital and extortion
Police, during the Prachanda era, has charged Dhamala and two other journalists of for links with Ranabir Sena, a armed terai group.
The court decision is a serious embarrassment for the government which withdrew the charges against Dhamala to take him to the New York in Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s entourage to address the UN general assembly.
The court said charges can’t be selectively withdrawn
The US embassy first refused Dhamala a visa.
PM Nepal was heckled in the USA by a group for including Dhamala in his entourage.

Girija sick

Kathmandu, 24 Oct: Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala Friday underwent a medical check-up after complaining of chest pains.
He is resting at home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maoist standing committee meet to determine nature of movement

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: Maoist standing committee is meeting Friday to determine the shape and form of a movement after its demands for what it called correction of unconstitutional action of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal earlier this year was rejected by ruling parties.
Maoists have said the movement will start after chatt festival that ends early next week.
A task force of three major parties, including Maoists, couldn’t find a common formula to end a five-month deadlock; the task force meets again Sunday.
The Maoists have empowered United National Popular Movement Committee headed by Dr Babauram Bhatarai to determine the from of the movement.

UNMIN inspects Ilam camp

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: UNMIN Chief Karin Landgren, accompanied by Kathmandu-based diplomats of members of the security council , are visiting a Maoist camp in Ilam Friday to determine how the discharge of 4,000 plus disqualified Maoist combatants is progressing.
Nepal is being discussed by the council next week.

Indian woman killed in bus accident

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: An Indian woman was killed Friday in a bus accident in Makwanpur Friday.
Twenty-two persons were injured.,

Defence minister Bidya Bhandari firm despite UNMIN concern

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari demanded a review of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) between seven parties and Maoists despite UN objections.
“The CPA had aimed to resolve within six months after formation of the government following the constituent assembly elections.
“It was signed under an entirely different political equation.
“But six months have passed and the political equation has changed, and I have floated the idea of the revision of CPA.” The Kathmandu Post quoted Bhandari as saying.
UNMIN Chief Karin Landgren Thursday told Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal the CPA should be implemented and not reviewed.
The agreement brokered by India is vague and parties have interpreted clauses to suit their interests.
The UN which has played a controversial political role in Nepal after being invited by political parties hasn’t been given the sole responsibility of interpreting vague clauses in the CPA.

Nepali in US goes missing after pocketing $1 million

Kathmandu, 23 Oct: A 25-year-old Nepali convenience store clerk pocketed a customer’s $1 million winning lottery ticket, claimed the prize and skipped town, possibly back to Nepal, authorities said, according to a AP report from Austin, Texas.
Pankaj Joshi tool 67-year-old Willis Willis’ winning Mega Millions megaplier ticket after Willis asked Joshi in May to check whether any of his numbers were winners, investigators said in a search warrant affidavit last month.
Joshi claimed the prize about $750,000 after taxes at the lottery claim centre in Austin, had the money wired to bank account and disappeared, authorities said.
“Never to this degree have we seen a clerk steal a megaplier winning ticket,” assistant district attorney Patty Robertson said on Wednesday.

Security council to discuss Nepal

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: UNMIN Chief Karin Landgren Thursday asked Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal for official government position on the comprehensive peace process between Maoists and then parliamentary parties signed in New Delhi.
There are different interpretations to the vague agreement; the UN is not the final arbiter.
She asked for the position after Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari and others asked for the agreement’s review which she said was an obstacle in operating the Nepal Army.
Landgren called for the strict implementation of the agreement and not a review.
UNMOIN chief asked for the government position even as there is widespread dissatisfaction with UNMIN work in Nepal.
Replying to UNMIN criticism, the organization has says it has only soft presence in Nepal when millions of dollars have been spent.
UNMIN probably was suggesting only a military presence of the UN Nepal could effectively ensure the implementation of the peace agreement.
UN security council is reviewing the delayed peace process and the non-progress in drafting of the constitution within the 28 May deadline in New York next week.
There’s speculation the schedule for drafting the constitution may be rescheduled for the seventh time after five subject committees again failed to submit their reports to the main drafting committee.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern.
Landgren held discussions with Prime Minister
Nepal Thursday before proceeding UN headquarters.

Maoist central leaders meet

Kathmandu, 22 Oct, Amid threats by Vice-chairman Dr Baburm Bhattarai to launch a movement in two days if demands aren’t met, central leaders are holding a meeting Thursday to discuss the threat and non-implementation of their demands by ruling parties.
A task force of three major parties was also scheduled to meet Thursday to draft a common resolution for discussions in parliament to discuss what Maoists call the unconstitutional act of the president to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal.

Army recruitment drive in Oct

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari held discussions with senior officers of Nepal Army to fill in vacancies including Army Chief Gen Chatraman Singh Gurung Wednesday at the defence ministry, Rajdhani reports.
The supreme court had scheduled Wednesday on a writ challenging the army decision to fill in vacancies; a hearing has snow been scheduled for 18 November.
“The government is currently engaged in an exercise to resume recruitment, I have asked the Army to submit the number of personnel needed and the departments where positions are vacate,” The Kathmandu Post quoted Bhandari as saying after the meeting “I think we will resume recruitment within October.”
She said fresh recruitment can be carried out so long as the number remains within the 95,753 ceiling.
”We can’t keep the Army at a standstill by referring to clauses in the comprehensive peace agreement,” Bhandari added.
She earlier called for its review opposed by Maoists.

Congress dissidents to take up Sujata promotion with PM Nepal

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Congress will formally take up the issue of the promotion of Sujata Koirala with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Rajdhani reports.
Congress lawmakers and central committee members have held three separate meetings in 24 hours.
They will push for necessary action against Sujata Koirala demanding an institutional decision.
After the formal protest, a political crisis will be created for the prime minister and even inside the Congress, according to political analysts.
Congress is preparing to draw the attention of the prime minister.
A meeting was held Wednesday at the residence of Dr Ram Sharan Mahat; Acting President Sushil Koirala and other central leaders were present.

Top UML leaders attempt to end differences

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Three top CPN-UML leaders- Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and KP Sharma Oli--met Wednesday at a hotel in the capital to sort out deep differences in the ruling party.
The trio met for the first time jointly after last year’s Butwal general convention which elected Khanal.
Differences are ideological and personal as well.
There was no firm agreement at the meeting.

Govt. considering hike in electricity tariff

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Energy Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat said government is considering a hike in electricity tariff which, he said, hasn’t been raised for 19 years.
He revealed Nepal Electricity Authority is losing Rs 14 billion annually.
Dr Mahat said load-shedding will continue for another three years.

Nepali cricket squad selected

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has selected 18 players for the ACC T-20 being hosted by UAE from 20 to 30 November.
Dipendra Chandhary, Ajaya Rajbanshi, Ram Kumar Pradhan, Binod Das, Sanjan Regmi, Paresh Lohini, Prakash Khadka, Gyanendra Malla, Sarad Veswakar, Shakti Gauchan, Basanta Regmi, Amrit Bhattarai, Rahul Kumar BK, Mahesh Chetri, Binod Bhandari, Chandra Saud, Naresh Budhayer and Mehboob Alam have been selected for a closed camp.


“Nepal Majdoor Kishan Party Chairman Narayanman Bijukakchya said there’s no alternative of president’s rule if political parties are incapable of ending the present political deadlock.”

(Report in Rajdhani, 22 Oct.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dr Baburam warns movement will be launched in two days

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Maoist Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai for the second time in two consecutive days warned his party will launch a movement within two days if demands aren’t met.
Dr Bhattarai repeated the warning in the capital Tuesday at a public meet.
The third ranking Maoist leader.
Dr Bhattarai demanded the correction of what he called the ‘unconstitutional’ order of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to retain Army Chief Gen Rukmanguk Katawal sacked by the Maoist-led government of Prachanda who was himself ousted from power by a majority vote in parliament.
Maoists are opposing the action of a ceremonial president at the request of 18 political parties.
Dr Bhattarai first issued the threat in Kavre Wednesday
“We are worried about the possible repetition of such unconstitutional moves in future which paralyzes the power of the executive body, the government,” he said.
The Maoists shave come out on the streets for nearly five months and parliamentary proceedings have been paralyzed as well.
Ministers haven’t collect their salaries without parliamentary approval of the budget creating a financial crisis.
One proposal mooted is to approve the annual budget of 2009/10 through ordinance.
A stiff latitude of Maoists was reflected when Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was invited to a Maoist tea reception Tuesday not as government chief but as member of the CPN-UML.
Nepal didn’t attend the reception.


Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Ananda Sharma arrives Tuesday to sign a Nepal-India treaty which will be valid for seven years.
The present treaty is valid for only five years.
There’s a provision for the automatic extension of the treaty after its expiry.
Nepal and India are also signing a new agreement to control unauthorized trade from third countries.

ADBL going public

Kathmandu, 22 Oct: Agriculture Development Bank Limited (ADBL) is going public in November to collect Rs 960 million by floating 96,00,000 shares with par value of Rs 100 a share.
Ace Development Bank will manage the issue—the biggest so far,


“In our ties and interactions with our two neighbours, we don’t have any desire to play any card or use relationship with one against the other.”

(PM Nepal, The Kathmandu Post, 22 Oct.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bhai tika celebrated

Kathmandu, 19 Oct: Bhai tika was celebrated on fifth and the last day of tihar Monday for the prosperity and long life of brothers and sisters.
Auspicious time for tika was at 11.56 in the morning.
Brothers and sisters exchange tika on bhai puja.
Brothers without sisters visited a temple at Ranipokhari opened once a year and put on tika.
The Newar community celebrated Nepal Sambad 1130 with a motorcycle in the Valley.
The extended festive dasain and tihar festive season ended with bhai tika.

Chairman Prachanda returns from China amid political uncertainty

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 19 Oct: Chairman Prachanda returned home Monday after a week-long visit of China where he held discussions with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The Maoist chief returned home as the UCPN (Maoist) threatened to launch a popular movement without an agreement in sight between three major political parties to end a four-month political stalemate.
Maoists have stalled parliamentary proceedings obstructing the passage of the annual budget 2009/10.
To avert a political and financial crisis, there’s one suggestion to promulgate the budget through ordinance if Maoist obstruction continues.
Only a vote of accounts has been passed that allows the government to run administrative.
Maoists are holding a tea reception Tuesday to mark the festive season; the reception will be a forum for leaders to find last-minute end to a stalemate which is unlikely to be broken.
Ruling parties and Maoists have stuck to their demands with Maoists demanding a debate on a censure motion against President Dr Ram Baran Yadav for what they call an unconstitutional act of the head of state to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal on recommendation of 18 parties of the ruling alliance.
Katawal was sacked by the Maoist-led government of Prachanda who was forced out of office earlier this year by a parliamentary majority vote.
Maoists, who won the April 2008 constituent assembly, charge the government for creating a parallel powerful center with foreign prodding; they say the government should be the center of power instead.
CPN-UML and Nepali Congress oppose Maoist demands for discussion of the president’s action in parliament arguing the head of state shouldn’t be dragged into controversy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Monk killed, 50 others injured

Kathmandu, 18 Oct: One monk was killed Saturday and 50 in a monastery were injured in an attacked by an armed group inside Dhorpatan reserve on the border between Rukum and Baglung.
The gang decamped with stolen goods worth millions of rupees.
A police team has been sent to track down the attackers whose whose identity wasn’t immediately known.

Gobardhan puja observed

Kathmandu, 18 Oct: Gobardhan puja was observed Sunday with the worship of the cow and bull.
Sunday is the fourth day of tihar.
Bhai tika is on Monday.
The Newar community will observe maa puja or the worship of the self in the evening.

Deuba also opposes Sujata’s promotion

Kathmandu, 18 Oct: Another top Nepali Congress has opposed the propulsion of Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala to deputy prime minister at the request of her father and party President Girija Prasad Koirala.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal promoted het at Girija’s request to save the government under threat from Maoists.
But Girija has come under heavy fire in the party central committee for acting unilaterally without discussing the promotion in the central committee and parliamentary party.
Sujata also leads the Congress team in government.
The central committee has summoned Koirala for an explanation after tihar.
‘New play is the party is objectionable,” Deuba said Saturday after returning from New Delhi where he discussed Nepal’s current political situation with Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Deuba said no senior party leader was taken into confidence and,” bypassing them has no doubt hurt their sentiments,” the former prime minister added.“.
“I’m really serious after coming to know Sujata was promoted,” Deuba added.


“UML and Congress are directed from somewhere. That’s why the drafting of the constitution within the deadline is in danger.”

(Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal, Annapurna Post, 18 Oct.)

“The agendas are not addressed and there is no discussion, however, photos are taken and tea is served in the meetings [of three major parties trying to break a political deadlock].”

(Maoist leader Narayan Kazi Shrestha Prakash, The Himalayan Times, 18 Oct.)

PM Nepal visits Mustang bordering Tibet

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Saturday inspected the border with Mustang as the government prepares to deploy Armed Police Force (APF) along districts along Tibet as Beijing’s request.
China has pledged assistance for the deployed force.
Mustang is a restricted area north of the Annapurna range and is restricted to foreigners.
Mustang is an extension of the Tibetan plateau in Nepal.
Tibetan khamps guerrillas used the region as a base for attacks against Chinese in the 1970’s.
The army flushed them out during the rule of King Birendra.r
In an attempt to gain influence in the strategic region, Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood went there and distributed money to a monastery and a school.
China is wary of such activities just as New Delhi objects to Chinese in terai bordering India.
Sood cut short his visit this week after developing altitude sickness.
China has told Nepal to control activities of Tibetan exiles in the bordering districts by using monasteries as cover for anti-China activities.
A top home ministry delegation visited China this week to discuss the deployment of APF.

Dev Man Hirachan to lead NRNA

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Dev Man Hirachan, based in Japan, will lead the Non-resident Nepalis Association (NRNA) for the next two years.
The forth convention of the association unanimously elected Hirachan to take over the leadership from Upendra Mahoto.


“I am the senior deputy prime minister as I was the first one to be appointed as the DPM.”

(Bijaya Gachedhar, The Kathmandu Post, 17 Oct.)

Prachanda tells President Hu constitution drafting process delayed; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Chairman Prachanda and his entire delegation held their second discussions with Chinese President and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the 11th Chinese national games in Jinan Friday.
The meeting lasted 30 minutes at Nepal time 8 PM Friday.
An official visit of Prachanda to China as prime minister was aborted after the Prachanda-led government was voted out of office by parliament.
China had proposed signing a new peace and friendship treaty during the visit.
Prachanda and Hu first met during the opening of the Beijing Olympics.
Second-ranking leader Mohan Baidya Kiran, Foreign Department Chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara and son Prakash are accompanying Prachanda on a week-long visit.
Prachanda spent two hours with the Chinese president during the inauguration of the games, Maoist mouthpiece Janadisha quoted Mahara as saying.
Mahara told Janadisha talks centered mostly round strengthening relations between the two communist parties.
‘On our behalf, Chairman Comrade Prachanda informed President Hu of the current situation in Nepal, peace process, constitution drafting process and the delay in the constitution drafting process,” Mahara said.
Prachand told Hu Nepal needed China’s help for the peace process and constitution drafting process.
Mahara quoted Hu as saying,” Nepal’s peace process should reach a logical conclusion, the constitution should be drafted in time and Nepal should develop fast.”
HU pledged Chinese assistance for development and the peace process.
‘Both sides said relations between two parties should be intensified and it should be taken to new heights,” Mahara said.
“The leaders took part in serious discussions on South Asian political situation on the changed global political context. They also dwelt upon on the security situation of the two countries,” The Himalayan Times said quoting an unidentified Maoist source.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is scheduled to visit China in 2009.

Public holiday on Tuesday

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Government declared Tuesday a public holiday on Tuesday coinciding with the new year of Nepal sambat.
The Newar community had threatened to launch protests without such a declaration.
The cabinet took a decision Friday.

God day observed

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Kukur [dog] puja was observed Saturday on the third day of tihar.
Laxmi puja will be observed in the evening.

Home ministry checking illegal chopper flight to restricted area with four Belgians

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Home ministry is investigating an illegal helicopter flight to a restricted area bordering Tibet, Kantipur reports.
Simrik Air 10 October landed at the restricted area Chepuwa in Sanhuwasabha with four Belgians and one Nepali Congress lawmaker Pasang Sherpa.
Prior permission of the home ministry is needed to fly into and land in the region
“Preliminary investigation shows negligence of the helicopter pilot and the
And the civil aviation authorities,” Kantiput reports quoting an unidentified official.
But the lawmaker said they flew into the region for a feasibility study for investment in a project.

Swine flu detected for first time outside Kathmandu

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Swine flu case has been detected for the first time outside the capital and in Chitwan where three cases have been detected, health ministry said.
Three cases have been detected in the district.
Total cases of the disease in Nepal has now reached 44.
No deaths have been reported so far.

Sher Bahadur Deuba meets Indian leaders

Kathmandu, 17 Oct: Former prime minister and Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba held discussions with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi this week, the party said.
He also held discussions with cabinet Singh’s colleagues.
The meeting comes at a time when Maoists are threatening to launch a revolt after tihar if their demand for a discussion on a censure motion against President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is disallowed by ruling parties.
Maoists said a ceremonial president acted unconstitutionally to retain sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawalk dismissed by the then Maoist-led government.
Surya Bahaur Thapa earlier held discussions on Nepal with Singh before Deuba.
Thapa later said New Delhi seeks continuity of the Madhav Kumar Nepal government,
Nepali leaders discuss internal issues particularly with India which has played an interventionist role in Nepal after the royaltakeover.
They have invited foreign interference in Nepal and even invited UN to intervene in politics.


“It’s good news that a group of leaders of the UCPN (Maoist) have started a struggle against Comrade Prachanda’s revisionist path.”

(Indian Maoist leader Ganapati, Kantipur, 17 Oct.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Injured Birgunj businessman dead

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: A seriously injured Birgunj trader died while undergoing treatment in the capital Thursday morning.
Manoj Hasyal died while another seriously injured in undergoing treatment.
They were shot and injured in the border town this week.

Tihar begins

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: Tihar or Yamapanchak festival started Thursday with kag or crow puja.
Bhai tika is on Monday.

Girija to be summoned by party central committee after tihar

Kathmandu, 15 Oct. Nepali Congress central committee will summon party President Girija Prasad Koirala after tihar to explain why daughter Sujata was recommended as deputy prime minister without an institutionalized decision, Nagarik reports.
A system for institutionalized decision-making in the party will be encouraged and the next central committee will discuss how, Nagarik quoted central committee member Amod Prasad Upadhaya as saying.
“The central committee will call the party president after tihar and arrangements will be made for his personal presence. Sujata was sent to the government without party decision and now she has been appointed deputy prime minister. A clarification will be sought,” Nagarik quoted Upadhaya as saying.
Eyewitnesses said Sujata was restrained by a central committee member when she attempted to physically assault Ram Chandra Paudel and Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, her vehement critics in the central committee.
There were heated exchanges at the committee meeting.
Sujata said her father appointed Paudel vice-chairman without consulting the party.
Girija didn’t chair the meeting and flew to his hometown Biratnagar instead Wednsday to inaugurate statues of BP Koirala and Nona Koirala at the Morang office of the party Thursday.
Nona is Girija’s sister-in-law.
Aging Koirala is now being openly challenged in the party which he led with an iron grip until recently.
Koirala pushed a republican agenda in the party even without discussion, Khum Bahadur Khadka said.

Rs 25, 000 for each family

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: Government will provide Rs 25,000 to each family affected by the devastating floods in the mid-and far-West that claimed more than five dozen lives and left behind a trail of destruction.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal told a parliamentary committee Wednesday government has set aside Rs 150 million for relief.

Seized red sandalwood handed over to India

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: India has taken back seized red sandalwood smuggled into Nepal, Annapurna Post reports.
Twenty-five metric tons of the previous wood was handed over to India Wednesday.
The first consignment was handed over to officials of India’s forest ministry and Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood after discussions.
The previous government had decided to return the wood to India.

UN official coming to observe discharge of Maoist child soldiers

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict said she’s coming to personally inspect the discharge of 2,973 Maoist child soldiers from various camps.
The delayed process has started from a camp in Sindhuli and Ramechap amid uncertainty whether Maoists will cooperate with the government in their discharge.
The UN official said Chairman Prachanda had given assurances Maoists would cooperate.
“These children have a right to start their lives anew and help to build a peaceful and prosperous Nepal. The UN and its partners stand ready to provide support and assistance for their successful rehabilitation into Nepali society,” she said in a statement.
The minors were put in camps under UN watch and given dole even after they were verified as minors by the world body.

Sweeping transfers in Nepal Army after Gen Chatraman Singh Gurung takes over

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: Army headquarters has transferred principal staff officers and division chiefs, Annapurna Post reports.
The transfers were made two months after Gem Chatraman Singh Gurung was appointed army chief.
Maj. Gen Toran Jung Bahadur Singh, the second-ranking officer in Nepal Army has been transferred to the inspection office.
His file for promotion has been pending at the Office of the Prime Minister for more than three months; he has been accused of human rights abuses.
The transfer comes at a time when Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari is pushing his promotion.
Maj Gen Pawan Jung Thapa has been appointed chief of the eastern division.
Maj Gen Daman Bahadur Ghale has been appointed Valley Division chief.
Maj Gen Shiba Ram Pradhan has been transferred to National Security Council as coordinator.
Brig Gen Nara Bahadur Kandel has been appointed acting western division chief.
File for transfers has been sent to the defence ministry for approval of the cabinet.


Gold cross Rs 30,000 per tola mark

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: Gold crossed the Rs 30,000 per tola mark in the market Wednesday as the price of the yellow metal also rose in the international market.
Gold sold for Rs 30,052 per tola [11.664 grams] while silver sold for Rs 443 per 10 grams.
But the price of the dollar has plummeted in the Nepali money market.
Nepal Rashtra Bank fixed Thursday’s selling rate of the dollar at Rs 74.14 per dollar.

US, Nepal discussing signing trade agreement

Kathmandu, 15 Oct: At a time when Nepal’s trade with the US has been going down, the US has proposed to sign a bilateral trade and investment agreement with Nepal to boost trade and investment to a new height, The Kathmandu Post reports.
The US has forwarded the proposal some one month ago which is being discussed by the ministries and the private sector.
Chiranjivi Nepal, advisor to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala, told the Post that the government has received the draft of the agreement and that discussions were underway to incorporate the concerns of the commerce ministry and the private sector.


“Nepal Army, courts and cabinet are the centers of corruption according to CIAA Secretary Bhagwati Kumar Kafle.”

(Report in Rajdhani, 15 Oct.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Girija challenged in central committee

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Irked top central committee members of the Nepali Congress Wednesday challenged party President Girija Prasad Koirala’s request to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to promote daughter and foreign minister Sujata to deputy prime minister.
The president was challenged as he loses control over the party mechanism amid charges of nepotism and autocratic behaviour.
The issue came up for discussion in the committee although the committee was originally scheduled only to discuss statute amendments and the 21 October general congress in the capital.
Girija flew to Biratnagar, his hometown, in huff.

Seven killed, at least 30 injured

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Seven persons were killed and at least 30 passengers were injured Wednesday when a bus fell off a highway in Baitadi.
The bus was proceeding to Dhangadi from the district.

Two traders shot, seriously injured in Birgunj

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Two traders were shot and seriously injured in the chest and legs overnight in continuing violence in the border town.
They were cloth merchants and have been flown to the capital for treatment.
The shootings come immediately after the assassination of another in the town three days ago.

Constitution drafting committee differences continue

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Differences continued in the main constitution
drafting committee on the definition of a nation, national flag and national symbol.
Maoists are demanding a change in the two tri-angled national flag and national symbol.
The main committee was discussing a sub-committee reports on which there were fundamental differences.

Army chief going to USA is his first foreign trip

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Army Chief Gen Chatraman Singh Gurung is going to the USA on 26 October in his first foreign trip to attend a conference of army chiefs, Ghatana ra Bichar reports.
He is visiting the USA at the invitation of Chief of the Asia Pacific Command.
Gen Gurung is extending an invitation to his American counterpart to visit Nepal.

PM stops promotion general at behest of foreigners

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: It has come to light the cabinet hasn’t taken a decision on the promotion of a general in the Nepal Army following intervention from international human rights organizations and officials of the US and British embassies, Nagarik reports.
The defence ministry had recommended the promotion of Maj Gen Toran Bahadur Singh to Lt Gen.
Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and MJF also okayed the recommendation of Nepal Army for promotion.
Singh has been accused of human rights abuses.
PM Nepal has kept the file pending saying the promotion will create a controversy.


“We decided to go for the English calendar [from Bikram sambat] for we cannot ignore the global phenomenon and we need to change ourselves with the changing time.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Congress central committee to discuss Sujata promotion

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Amid protests in the party hierarchy over the promotion of Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala to deputy prime minister at the behest of her father and President Girija Prasad Koirala, the party central committee meeting has been called later Wednesday.
Acting President Sushil Koirala and parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Paudel have protested the promotion without consulting the central committee and the parliamentary.
The anger has been directed against Girija and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Girija has been accused of nepotism at a when he appears to be losing his grip over the party.
The party overruled him and decided to go ahead with the party general congress in the capital 21 October.

Jhalanath Khanal says Maoists offered him premiership

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal revealed Tuesday Maoists offered his premiership by ousting the government of Madhav Kumar Nepal.
“I didn’t give it importance having worked for the people and not or power. Right now CPN-UML is leading the government. There’s no difference whether I or Madhavji leads the government,” Khanal told reporters in Beni.
Khanal asked Maoists to join the incumbent government instead.
The offer is part of a Maoist ploy to split the loose 22-party ruling alliance
even as it has demanded a national government under them to complete the peace process and draft a constitution.
A four-month political deadlock continues.
There was to agreement between Maoists, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML Tuesday with the two ruling parties rejecting a Maoist proposal to discuss a censure motion in parliament against President Dr Ram Baran Yadav who UCPN (Maoist) charges for illegally retaining sacked Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal.

Prachanda discusses developing ties with Communist Party of China

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: A Maoist delegation headed by Chairman Prachanda Tuesday held discussions with top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing to develop ties between the two communist parties, Maoist mouthpiece Janadisha reports.
“Discussions centered on relations between the two parties. Discussions were good,” Foreign Department Chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who is accompanying Prachanda said.
Prachanda Monday held discussions with Jia Qinglin, standing committee member of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).
Prachanda is scheduled to hold discussions with President Hu Jintao who didn’t meet Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala who was earlier in the Chinese capital to pave the way for Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s visit later this year.
The Maoist Chairman’s visit to China as prime minister was aborted five months ago when the government was ousted by majority vote in parliament.
China proposed signing a anew peace treaty between the two countries when Prachanda was prime minister.

Indian Ambassador Sood sick; airlifted to capital from Mustang

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood has cut short his visit of Mustang, Nagarik reports.
He was airlifted to the capital in an army helicopter Tuesday although he was first scheduled to return only Friday.
He developed altitude sickness and a leg problem during a trek.

Bhai tika at 11.53 Monday

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Auspicious time for tika on Monday is at 11.53 in the morning, Rajdhani reports.
Panchayan nirnayak samiti meeting fixed the timing Tuesday.

Responsibility may be given to retired Army Chief Gen Katawal

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari said retired Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal may be given some responsibility, Annapurna Post reports.
“He has done a good job, he may get some responsibility, Bhandari told Annapurna Post. “ Everyone should appreciate his contribution to establish the supremacy of the people and unify the institution.”
She added,” The peace agreement must be reviewed. It shouldn’t be made part of the constitution.”

EU to establish ambassadorial-level commission

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: EU is establishing an ambassadorial-level commission in the Nepalese capital, Annapurna Post reports.
EU has invested heavily in the peace process and development.
EU council of ministers has already decided to open a commission in Nepal.
EU embassy in New Delhi looks after Nepal right now.

Meena Sunar’s father found dead

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Purna Bahadur, 51, father of Meena Suna abducted by the army and killed five years ago, was found dead under mysterious circumstances this week, Kantipur reports.
His body was found on the street in Banepa found days ago.
Family identified the body only Tuesday.
He had been living in a rented room in Banepa after his daughter was murdered at his village in Kavre.
The body is being brought to the capital for postmortem.

UIAA meet in Nepal

Kathmandu, 14 Oct: Union Internationale des Associations d’ Alpinisme (UIAA) will hold an international mountaineering meet in Nepal in 2011 though exact month and dates haven’t been finalized yet.
UIAA general convention in Portugal took a decision this month.
Nepal, home of the world’s loftiest peaks, has hosted such a conference before.


“We will not let journalists who do not write about issues concerning Tarai go unpunished.”

(Tarai leader Baban Singh, Republica, 14 Oct.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

PM inspects flood-hit mid and far-West

Kathmandu, 13 Oct: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Tuesday flew to the mid and far-West to inspect the damage created by floods and landslides.
Government has released Rs 150 million as relief.
Maoists greeted the prime minister with black flags in Surkhet.
More than five dozen persons were killed by the natural disaster that left behind a trail of death and destruction.

President inaugurates 4th NRN world conference

Kathmandu, 13 Oct: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav Tuesday inaugurated the 4th world conference of NRS in the capital.
More than 500 delegates from 52 countries are participating.
A new leadership is being elected for a two-year term.

Resentment in Congress at promotion of Sujata Koirala

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 13 Oct: Resentment is brewing in the Nepali Congress at the promotion of Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala to deputy prime minister.
Top party leaders criticized Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal for prompting her Monday at the behest of Sujata’s father and Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala.
Angry Nepali Congress leaders Monday boycotted the function when President Dr Ram Baran Yadav administered the oath of office and secrecy to Sujata.
“Government didn’t inform us about its decision to promote Sujata, nor was it an official decision of the party,” Spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC said. “With this decision the prime minister seems to have sent a message that he no longer needs NC’s official support.”
But Nepal said he promoted Sujata at Koirala’s request which was a party decision.
“I appointed her as requested by Girija Prasad Koirala. His request reflects the decision of the Nepali Congress,” Nepal told reporters.
Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Paudel telephoned the prime minister Monday expressing anger.
“You as prime minister have the right to promote someone to deputy prime minister, But you should be aware whether the NC’s support to he government will remain intact if you disregard the party’s institutional decision,” Paudel reportedly warned Nepal.
The anger is the Congress is brewing as Girija is losing control in the party.
Central committee rejected Koirala’s pressure to postpone the party general congress later this month.
The NC parliamentary party last month sought explanation from Sujata for allegedly dropping out of the entourage of the prime minister who visited India.