Nepal Today

Sunday, August 29, 2010

PM consulting Chinese, Russian ambassadors

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is having separate consultations with ambassadors of China and Russia, permanent members of the UN security council on the future of UNMIN whose tenure ends 16 September.
The discussions come a day after 16 political parties urged the government to extend the tenure only by limiting the mandate of the UN’s political wing in Nepal by taking Nepal Army (NA0 off the watch of UNMIN.
The parties asked the government to keep the Maoist PLA under UNMIN observation.
Major parties, except Maoists, are dissatisfied with the work the functioning of UNMIN.
A government task force also has suggested the UNMIN should be limited in a changed context after three of five responsibilities entrusted to it have been completed.
The cabinet is yet to decide the UNMIM future.

President continues consultations

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav Yadav Monday continued consultations with parties in parliament amid a prolonged political deadlock after the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal more than two months ago.
The country is run by a caretaker government.
The president is holding consultations with Nepal Majdoor Kishan Party Chairman Narayanman Bujukakchaya who has been pushing for presidential rule.
The president is also meeting independent members of parliament.

Two killed, four injured

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: Two persons were killed and four were injured Monday morning when a bus was heading for Rukum from the capital
fell 500 meters off the road at Salyan.
The bus was heading for Rukum via Dang.

First informer rewarded

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: Bhaktaraj Syangtang, the first person to inform Armed Police Force (AFP) of the crashed Agni Air Dronier over Makwanpur 24, was Sunday present a Rs 5,000 cash award by APF.
The money was handed over in Shikarpur, Makwanpur.
Syangtang informed AIG Shailesh Kumar Shrestha over telephone prompting APF to immediately send a search and rescue team to the crash site.
Fourteen passengers and crew were killed in the crash.
A search goes on the aircraft’s black box that can give clues for the crash.

MJF-Nepal to abandon neutral stance

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: MJF-Nepal, one of four parties of the Madesh front, will abandon its neutral stance in voting for prime minister in the sixth round 5 September.
Party Chairman Upendra Yadav said this in the capital Sunday.
The party is close to Maoists.
Eleven members defied a party whip of votes for Maoists in our round of voting in parliament.

Maoists support media, condemn Indian embassy

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: Maoists Sunday supported the media and condemned Indian embassy for violating diplomatic norms and interfering in Nepali media.
The media had reported the sub-standard quality of a juice produced by Dabar-Nepal- a joint venture company in Nepal.
The embassy alleged the media for an extortion drive by media demanding advertisements.
:”We express our solidarity with the views expressed by media bodies on Saturday and urge the government to take the issue seriously,” Vice-chairman Narayan Kazi Shrestha said.
Four media associations Saturday said the embassy ‘overstepped its boundary’.
‘Nepali media are free to choose their contents and have fully utilized this right. We caution the embassy to respect diplomatic norms and values of press freedom,” a joint statement said.
The Indian embassy says it was surprised by the reaction of the media houses.
“At no point did the embassy refer to the media in Nepal in general. The reaction by these media associations would have been credible if backed by condemnation of such unethical practices and an offer to discuss how to address the issue with concerned companies,” The Himalayan Times quoted an Indian official as saying.
Indian joint venture companies generally don’t advertise in media critical of India on the urging of the embassy, media managers say.
The fresh showdown between the media barons and the embassy comes after a consignment of newsprint imported by Kantipur Publications was held up at Kolkata port for several weeks.
Two publications of the media house leaked a letter of Ambassador Rakesh Sood to the government soliciting award of a contract to print machinese readable passports.
A French company won a competitive tender bid.

815 still missing after end of people’s war

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: Although 815 person are still unaccounted for since the end of the 10-year people’s war, according to records.
The state is responsible for 614 and Maoists 201 disapearances.
Embassies of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, EU, Finland, Germany, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, UK and USA asked government and Maoists to act on cases of disappearances coinciding with the International Day of Disappeared Monday.
A statement said Nepal Army and Maoists should act fully on cases of disappearances
‘Their long refusal to do so has prolonged the anguish of relatives, and delayed justice” a statement added.
“The government should also ensure that police and court orders are followed through and that Nepal Police acts on outstanding arrest warrants.”
The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) says more than 1,300 went missing during the 10-year people’s war—victims of state security forces and Maoist PLA.
“To this day, their whereabouts and their fate remain unknown. We remember all those disappeared during the conflict,” the ICRC said.

British Gurkha regiment to be trimmed (Excerpts)

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: The Gurkha regiment could be one of several sacrificed as a result on an increasingly bitter government dispute over defence funding, Mark Townsend and Toby Helm report in The Observer from London 29 August.
The Gurkhas have formed part of the British army for almost 200 years but may be among those cut unless the government meets Ministry of Defence demands for more money to fund the replacement of Trident nuclear missile submarines,
Last night, hopes for extra funds were fading as the Treasury rejected demands for more money from the defence secretary, Liam Fox, and insisted that 20 million pounds sterling cost of replacing Trident had to be met fully by the MoD.
One expert said that the increasing costs of running the Gurkha following
-actress Joanna Lumley’s high profile campaign last year to improve their rights –added to the sense that the ‘writing on the wall; for the British Gurkhas, which has 3,640 personnel.
Fox has been pushing hard for the Treasury to increase the MoD’s budget in some of the toughest negotiations spending review, aimed at slashing Britain’s 135 billion deficit.
Last night the MoD conceded that, given the financial pressures, ‘anything is possible’ regarding the Gurkhas and other regiments.
Defence experts said it was a cruel irony that Lamley’s campaigning- which led to retired Gurkhas being given the right to settle in the UIK- had made the Nepalese soldiers more vulnerable.

Gold import regulation bill likely on Sept 5

Kathmandu, 30 Aug.: Finance Minister of the caretaker government Surendra Pandey today conferred with chief whips of the major political parties in the presence of the Speaker about tabling a Finance Bill in parliament to regulate import of gold, The Himalayan Times reports..
It is expected that the Bill could be tabled in the House on September 5, immediately after voting on the Prime Minister’s sixth round of election.
The tenure of the second ordinance introduced two months ago on importing precious yellow metal is expiring on September 3. Constitutionally, tenure of an ordinance expires 60 days after it is introduced unless parliament replaces it with a new Bill. The government cannot introduce an ordinance when the House is in session.
Pandey briefed chief whips of the major political parties about the seriousness of the situation and sought cooperation of the respective parties, especially the main opposition, Unified CPN-Maoist, to pass the Bill at the earliest. It takes at least five to six days to pass a Bill by the House.
After the second ordinance on the revised taxation of imported yellow metal expires, the government has no other legal option but to roll back to the previous taxation that was in place before April 5.
The council of ministers had introduced the first ordinance to raise import duty by Rs 430 per 10 grams of gold on April 4 to control its export to other countries. The second ordinance came into force in the first week of June and it is also expiring on Friday.
Monsoon menace shows no signs of ebbing
Kathmandu, Aug. 30: -
Monsoon rainfall wrought havoc in various parts of the country on Sunday as well. At least two people died and scores have been displaced by floods and landslides within the past 24 hours, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Roshan Rai of Mangtewa VDC-5, Sankhuwasabha, died in a landslide on Sunday. The landslide buried him alive while he was repairing an irrigation canal, police said.
Similarly in Makwanpur, rain-fed Manahari rivulet swept away Rudra Kumari Phuyal, a resident of Manahari VDC-4, on Sunday morning. According to locals, the incident took place while she was crossing the rivulet.
Likewise, a man has gone missing when the swollen Kaligandaki river swept away him while he was digging out sand on the river banks in Baglung. The missing has been identified as Kushal Budhathoki, a permanent resident of Rukum.
Meanwhile, another landslide in Baglung swept away a house belonging to Putali BK at Adhikarichaur VDC-3 on Saturday night. According to villagers, six other neighbouring houses are at landslide risk.
Our correspondent from Makwanpur said 32 families of three different VDCs have been displaced due to landslides triggered by incessant rainfall. The displaced people have been taking shelter in school buildings and houses of their relatives.
In Chitwan, some 200 people, who were rendered homeless after floodwaters inundated Imeliya settlement of Gardi VDC-1 recently, have demanded their resettlement. The victims have also called on Chief District Officer Basantaraj Gautam to provide relief materials.
Another report from Bara said at least houses are at high risk of a flood due to the rising water level in Khayar and Gadwan rivulets following heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, our Kanchanpur correspondent said the Mahakali River continued eroding its embankment on Sunday morning. Locals and security personnel have swung into action to tame the river.


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