Nepal Today

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maoists response to Madesh demands

Kathmandu, 29 July: A meeting of Maoist office bearers Thursday decided to give its official written response to 16 demands of a front of four Madesh parties ‘either today or soon’, party Vice-chairman Narayan Kazi Shresstha said .
The front asked for a written response after request by both Maoists and NC for support for their candidates for prime minister.
Chairman Prachanda and NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel are contesting the third runoff elections for prime minister 2 August.
UML said it will again boycott the vote—a move that will force the fourth runoff elections.
Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood Wednesday held discussions with UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and hoped the 2 August election will be decisive.
Sood held discussions with after US Ambassador Scott H.DeLisi held similar discussions with Khanal.
Nepali Congress is in a weak position; Paudel can’t get even a simple majority voteinthe599-member parliament without UML and
Madesh parties’ support.
A majority communist government can be formed if UML decided to coalesce with Maoists.
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Maoist killed in Bara

Kathmandu, 29 July: Khesang Yadar, a Maoist leader from Bara was killed
in the central terai district overnight.
He was associated with the YCL as well.
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UN objects to repatriation of three Tibetan refugees

Kathmandu, 29 July: Nepal forcibly repatriated three Tibetan refugees, the United Nations said on Wednesday, adding it was ‘extremely concerned’ by the move, AFP reports from Kathmandu,
The UN refugee agency said it had written to the Nepal government about the incident in early June, details of which were published in a report by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).
Two of the refugees—s Buddhist monk and a young woman—are now in jail in Tibet after they were detained in western Nepal, and taken by helicopter to the border, where they were met by Chinese security forces, the ICT said.
‘Nepal is duty-bound under its own agreement with UNHCR to ensure the safe transit of Tibetan refugees through its territory,” said ICT President Mary Beth Markey.
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Skipper messed up NA shipment: UN
KATHMANDU, July 20: -
The UN said on Tuesday that the Pakistan-bound ship — The Aegean Glory — that was carrying, among others, military vehicles belonging to Nepal Army’s UN peacekeeping troops in Liberia hit rough weather, because the captain of the ship did not follow the route planned by the UN when it set sail from Liberia, The Kathmandu Post reports.

The 153-meter cargo ship, operated under the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), was stopped by Indian intelligence in Kolkata last week “for investigation” on the suspicion that it was carrying a huge cache of arms and

ammunition without proper documents.

The ship was there to offload the NA military cargo. When the Indian authorities denied it

entry, it sailed back to Karachi on July 25.

According to Martin Nesirky, Spokesman for the UN Secretary General, the ship was stopped by Indian authorities due to “inadequate communication” between the ship’s captain who did not follow the scheduled route and the Indian authorities.

The UN News Center states that the ship was originally scheduled to sail from Liberia on May 18 and dock at Karachi, and then Kolkata before proceeding to Chittagong, Bangladesh. The ship instead reached the Indian port city directly.

“Apparently, a unilateral decision to alter the route was taken without consulting the United Nations and that’s why it arrived in Bangladesh first and then went on to India. This resulted in the Pakistani cargo still being on board the ship when it arrived in Indian waters. That was

obviously not the original plan,” said Nesirky in the press briefing at the UN headquarters on Tuesday.

Earlier, Indian media had quoted senior police officers as saying that the ship was carrying rocket launchers, smoke bombs and anti-aircraft guns, apart from other sophisticated arms and ammunition.
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SC scraps petition challenging army recruitment
KATHMANDU, 29 July:: Stating that disputes on the Comprehensive Peace Accord fell under the purview of the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee, the Supreme Court today scrapped a writ petition challenging recruitment in the Nepali Army three months ago, The Himalayan Times reports..

Upholding recruitment in technical posts, a division bench of Justices Bala Ram KC and Gauri Dhakal said the Supreme Court did not need to look into issues that the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee should resolve. “Since the Supreme Court is bound to settle disputes in accordance with internationally accepted principles of justice, the apex court need not settle disputes related to the agreement, under its extraordinary jurisdiction,” the bench observed.

Despite a warning from the UN, Nepali Army began recruitment for non-combatant posts such as doctors, technicians and mechanics. It had announced vacancies in November 2008 and April 2010.

A public interest litigation was filed immediately after NA began recruitment of 271 army personnel.

Accusing the government and the NA of violating the constitution and the CPA signed with the Maoists, International Institute for Human Rights, Environment and Development (INHURED-International) filed a PIL at the apex court seeking its immediate intervention.

The petitioners sought order to the Cabinet, the Ministry of Defence, Nepali Army Headquarters and the Recruitment Committee of Nepali Army to stop the recruitment drive.

Stating that Nepali Army began recruiting against the apex court order, the petitioners alleged the army had violated Articles 144 and 147 of the interim constitution and Article 5.1.2 of the CPA and the Agreement on Arms and Ammunition signed between the government and Maoists, and sought an order scrapping the recruitment.
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Proportions and politics of prejudice

Vice-President Parmanand Jha certainly spoke for much of the country last week. “Even after the year-long extension of the constituent assembly, the Nepalese people are not at all certain whether they will get their constitution,” he declared, Maiala Bahe writes in Nepali Netbook..
Seeking to prove the Veep wrong, the major parties have set April 13, 2011 as the date for promulgating the new statute. Seeking to project an element of seriousness to their assertion, they gave a two-month timetable to the state restructuring commission to come up with recommendations on one of the more contentious issues. Yet 22 out of the 25 parties in the assembly registered their disagreement over the decision by the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the UCPN-Maoist to form the commission. Not quite a confidence booster.
That’s where Jha’s other assertion gains relevance. In order to build an inclusive society, he said, it is vital to enact inclusive acts and put into practices rather than limiting them into mere words. It would be wrong to view the preceding as a mere reiteration of Jha’s well-known claims of anti-Madhesi discrimination. Things are different this time, something even the Veep appears to acknowledge.
In a statement he made a few days earlier, Jha had the candor to claim that discrimination had been reduced to some extent. The top two – albeit ceremonial – offices have gone to the community. The caretaker premier is associated with the Tarai constituency he lost in the last test of popular strength than the Kathmandu neighborhood that spurned him. Moreover, a Madhesi leader is among the men staking their claim to form the next government. And all this is happening at a time when we still haven’t settled on who is a madhesi or what it take to be one – geography, ethnicity, skin color, verbal intonation, political sympathies, social behaviors, etc.
“Why can’t the state openly accept that there exists discrimination at the state level?” “Is it incorrect to demand equal representation?” When Jha asks such questions, they must be taken as rhetorical ones. Otherwise, the deadliness of the Maoist insurgency and the difficulties of peace process are there for all of us to see.
Stung by the parochialism that marred his last attempt at prominence, the Veep has attempted to rope in the cause of other marginalized groups. But the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) has opted to break its own new ground. It declared a fresh stir to pressurize the political parties to draft the constitution on time. “It is immaterial for us which party leads the government and who is elevated as next prime minister,” Rajkumar Lekhi-Tharu, the chairman of NEFIN, said at a press conference. “We want a constitution that ensures rights to the Janajatis,” he said repeatedly.
Finally, someone seems to have their priorities right. NEFIN has declared economic blockade August 14, 2010 for Kathmandu valley and disruption of vehicle movement throughout the country. If this is not the kind of common cause Jha had hoped to build, then perhaps he should begin wooing other constituencies that now feel dispossessed, such as, say, Brahmins and Chettris.
As to the issue of discrimination in general, someone once said that if we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon. Another averred that human history is written by the fluid of prejudice. Still another claimed that everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences; no one can eliminate prejudices – they can just recognize them.
What do you do after that? Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument, we are told. Since it is all in the mind, if you believe that discrimination exists, it will. These nuggets of human wisdom accumulated over experiences good and bad over the centuries have their relevance in our context. But for the international laboratory that we have become, there is that added problem. We can’t really recognize where the highlighting of discrimination ends and the rationalization and legitimization of it begins.
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