Nepal Today

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

UML discuss proposal for national understanding

Kathmandu, 24 Feb.: Amid a prolonged political deadlock, a proposal for national understanding was presented at a central committee of UML Tuesday.
The proposal was prepared by a seven-member party task force headed by Bharat Mohan Adhikari, a former finance minister.
The task force was formed Monday.
The central committee will discuss the proposal for the second consecutive day Wednesday.
The idea is likely to be made public Wednesday.
Maoists have been demanding the replacement of the nine-month Madhav Kumar Nepal government with a national government headed by Maoists to draft a constitution within a 28 May deadline and complete a delayed peace process.

Cabinet to discuss foreign minister proposal

Kathmandu, 24 Feb.: The cabinet Wednesday is to discuss a proposal to print machine readable passports (MRPs) without a tender at a security printing press of the Indian government at Nasik in India.
India has offered to print passports at 4 dollars a piece.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala is tabling the proposal at the cabinet.
Malaysian government has offered to print such passports at a lower rate.

Constitution drafting committee meeting postponed without agenda

Kathmandu, 24 Feb.: Meetings of the main constitution drafting committee headed by Nilambar Acharya was adjourned Tuesday indefinitely amid fears a constitution to institutionalize a republic may not be promulgated by the 28 May deadline.
A self-appointed parliament declared a republic while toppling a 238-year-old monarchy that unified modern Nepal.
The committee has received only one suggestion from a subject committee from the constituent assembly (CA).
The drafting committee has to receive directions and suggestions from all 11 subject committees, Acharya said.
The drafting committee has to submit a proposed draft of a constitution to the CA by 5 March.

1,550 SCL exam centers

Kathmandu, 23 Feb: Students will sit for this year’s annual SLC examinations from 25 to 2 April at 1,550 examinations centers, the Offfice for the Controller of Examinations said.
For the first time centers are being opened at villages this year; previously centers were opened only at district headquarters.
Question papers are being this year in India as well.
Nearly 432,000 students are appearing for the examinations this year.

Curfew in Nawalparasi for second day

Kathmandu, 24 Feb.: Curfew was extended for the second day Tuesday at Sunuwal in Nawalparasi to launch a search and curb illegal felling of trees at a community forest.
Local officials took the measure after widespread destruction of a community forest.
Logs worth nearly Rs 100 million have been recovered in the search.

Maoist central committee meeting adjourned until Thursday

Kathmandu, 24 Feb.: Maoist central committee meeting has been adjourned until Thursday after there was no agreement Tuesday even after four days on continuous debate on an expanded central committee and politburo.
There’ll be no discussion as Chairman Prachanda proceeds for Gorkha Wednesday.
The central committee with a strength of 137 members is being expanded to 175.
The expanded politburo will have 90 and the standing committee 70 members respectively.

Two terai rebels killed

Kahmandu, 23 Feb.: Two leaders of Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha of Jwala Singh group were killed in an encounter with police at a village in Rautahat Monday.
Jaman Yadav and Birendra Yadav were killed.
Jwala Singh group is the fiercest of nearly two dozen groups active in the terai.
Police have launched an operation in the south bordering India.

No business at stock exchange for third day

Kathmandu, 23 Feb.: No business was transacted at Nepal Stock Exchange for the third consecutive day Tuesday amid a continuing boycott by investors demanding government 22 demands to arrest a bearish trend.
Investors boycotted the country’s only stock exchange even as Nepal Rashtra Bank relaxed call margin lending rates.
Investors said the central ban k move was inadequate.
Investors are to boycott the stock exchange for the fourth consecutive day Wednesday.

RPP-Nepal calls for restoration of monarchy

Kathmandu, 23 Feb.: RPP-Nepal Tuesday gheraoed the central secretariat at Singha Durbar Tuesday demanding the restoration of monarchy abolished two years ago.
The royalist party demanding a referendum to decide constitutional monarchy, a Hindu state and a federal structure encircled Singha Durbar one day after a strike crippled three Valley districts.
At a rally in Basantapur after the gherao Chairman Kamal Thapa told nearly 100,000 workers the tenure of the constituent assembly can’t be extended if a constitution isn’t promulgated by the 28 May deadline.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Tuesday dismissed possibility of monarchy’s restoration.

President, ministers stay away from Tibet celebrations amid Chinese warning

Kathmandu, 23 Feb.: China has taken strong exception to failure of top officials, including President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, to adhere to Nepal’s commitment to one-China police, The Kathmandu Post reports.
It has conveyed its displeasure to the government through thee foreign ministry.
The latest setback to the government came on Sunday after president Yadav, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala and Minister for Culture Minendra Rijal were invited to a little known pro-Tibet organization Sechen Maha Bouddha Bihar to mark the 100th anniversary of Dilgo Khencha Ri.
“The president, the cabinet and the lawmakers, in principle, should solicit opinion from either the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) or the foreign ministry when they are not sure about the nature of the inviting organizations.
“This is a serious lapse of diplomatic protocol and gross violation of a policy commitment Nepal has made to China,” said a government official familiar with high-level protocol affairs.
Chinese Military Attache Col Cheng Xizhong met Foreign Secretary Madav Kumar Bhattarai on Sunday morning to express his government’s displeasure ou a scheduled visit to the Tibetan organization by the president, foreign minister, a number of other ministers, CA members and senior government officials.
Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guhong called on Foreign Secretary Bhattarai on Monday and asked him to adhere to Nepal’s commitment to one-China policy
‘We quickly communicated the message to the PMO which in turn relayed it to the president, the cabinet ministers and other official invitees,’ said a foreign ministry official,” A disaster was averted.”

Girija says the Madhav Kumar Nepal govt. will continue and draft a constitution

Kathmandu, 22 Feb.: Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala, who is also coordinator of a high-level political mechanism (HLPM) assured Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Sunday the incumbent government will continue and promulgate a constitution.
The government has full support of the Congress, Koirala said
He asked Nepal to be confident and promulgate a constitution in time.
He said this amid media reports chiefs of UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and UML had agreed to discuss forming a national unity government with Maoists to end a prolonged political stalemate, Koirala’s political aide Krishna Prasad Shitaula said.
Koirala, according Shitaula, was saddened with reports of the Nepal government fall.
Prime Minister Nepal, who is only an invited member of the HLPM, is dissatisfied with the functioning of the mechanism and has been boycotting its meetings.
Koirala summoned influential UML leader Oli Sunday and told him the Nepal government will continue and draft a constitution.
The assurance came amid demand in the UML central committee meeting
For the resignation of the government to facilitate a government with Maoists to promulgate a constitution within the 28 May deadline.
Nepal met Koirala Sunday asking the Congress president to agree to a 30 April schedule to integrate and rehabilitate 19,000 plus Maoist combatants.
While government is pressing for integration ahead of the constitution promulgation deadline Maoists say integration will proceed only after the a people’s constitution is announced.

PM Nepal says import of weapons import regular

Kathmandu, 22 Feb.: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal told parliament’s state affairs committee Sunday import of weapons from government was a regular government act without violating a 12-point peace agreement between parliamentary parties and Maoists.
Without naming the nine-month government led by Chairman Prachanda, Nepal said a previous government had brought in weapons.
The prime minister said weapons were brought in to strengthen security agencies not to incite civil war as claimed by Maoists.
Maoists demanded imported weapons should be monitored by UNMIN.
Armed Police Force Saturday forcibly brought in weapons and explosives through Sunauli as Maoists prevented movement of vehicles transporting weapons.
While replying to queries why vacant positions in constitutions weren’t filled, Nepal said such vacancies can’t be filled without cooperation of the main opposition.
He suggested a mechanism for majority decision in the seven-member constitutional council through amendment in a law.
Main opposition leader Prachanda has been boycotting council meetings to recommend appointments.
The state affairs committee meets again Tuesday to continue discussions.

RPP-Nepal strike

Kathmandu, 22 Feb.: RPP-Nepal Monday has called a strike in the Valley to demanding a referendum to decide constitutional monarchy, a Hindu state and a federal structure..
Thousands of activists held a torchlight rally in the capital ahead of the closure.
The rally started from Basantapur Square and ended at Gaushala.
The party is gheraoing Singha Durbar later Monday.
A Hindu state was declared a republic and a secular state by a self-appointed parliament without a popular vote to determine aspirations of the people.

Nepal stock exchange closed down for first time

Kathmandu, 22 Feb.: There was no trading in Nepal Stock Exchange for the second day Monday
Investors boycotted trading; stockbrokers earlier down the country’s only stick exchange where shares and bought and sold.
The market closed down last Thursday at 485.14 points at the end of weekly trading.
Investors are pressing government to intervene to stop a continuing bearish trend.
Three umbrella organization of investors are demanding finance ministry and Nepal Rashtra Bank stop the sale of 19 percent promoter shares as public shares.
Investors the secondary market will be flooded and will burthr bring down share prices.
Investors are also protesting non-renewable of marginal lending by financial institutions pressing 22 demands.

Bhutanese refugee leader killed

Kathmandu, 22 Feb.: Ramesh Subba, chief of the United Revolutionary Front of Bhutan, was killed in Jhapa Friday
The organization had been conducting underground activities in refugee camps in the district.
He was shot dead by an armed group.
The party was pushing a republic in the Buddhist kingdom.

Likely police excesses kill father, son

Kathmandu, 22 Feb.: Bikram Gyangmi Magar, 25, of Prangbung VDC who was detained 10 days ago in a theft case, died last night [20 Feb.] while in police custody, The Himalayan Times reports from Phidim,
Bikram’s father, Bal Bahadur, who was detained in the sam case had died in police custody February 13.
The deceased’s relatives alleged that the police tortured them physically while they were detained in Prangbung police post.
Bikram breathed his last at BP Koiralka Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan and Dal Bahadur died in district hospital while under treatment.

Khagendra Thapa bid to get into record book

Kathmandu, 22 Feb: Khagendra Thapa Magar, 18, and who weighs only 4.5 kg and is only 20 inches tall, flew for Rome Sunday in a bid to enter his name in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s shortest man.
The record in currently beheld by a Chinese.
He is accompanied by his father Rup Bahadur.
A team of Italian radio workers is sponsoring Khagendra’s drive.


Economic growth projection scaled down

Kathmandu, 22 Feb.: Government Sunday scaled down economic growth projection from an ambitious 5.5 percent to four percent in 2009/10.
‘Due to low yield in agriculture—especially the major crops like maize and rice—and non-agriculture sector’s not meeting the expectation, the growth is going to be lower than what was forecast, “Finance Minister Surendra Pandey said.
“The growth is expected to be around four percent,” Said Vice-Chairman of National Planning Commission Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada.
Agriculture production has been affected by a poor monsoon.
Agriculture sector contributes 32 percent to the GDP.
Paddy and maize production fell 11.05 and 3.91 percent respectively.
The non-agriculture sector has been hit by power outage, strikes and labour problems.
Neighbours China and India have reported nine 9 and 7 percent GDP growth respectively.


‘Prachandaji. You said then [at a meeting with Girija Prasad Koirala] 3,000 combatants should be integrated? Prachanda then said let us integrate a little more—up to 5,000.”

(PM Nepal at parliament’s state affairs committee, Nagarik, 22 Feb.)

‘The government will kdep to the mechanism’s decisions if they have been made in line with the constitution and existing laws but it will not adhere to them if they are against the main law of the land.”

(Communications Minister Shanker Pokhrel, The Rising Nepal, 22 Feb.)

“Those [politicians] who entered the Kathmandu Valley with a almost nothing but the clothes they were wearing now have palatial buildings to their names. How did one amass the fortune to possess all that property? Did CIAA ever bother to find out.”

(Shyam K.C., The Kathmandu Post, 22 Feb.)


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