Nepal Today

Thursday, September 30, 2010

UML STUDENT WING ELECTION

Kathmandu, 1 Oct. The 20th national convention of Akhil Rashtriya Swatantra Bidyarthi Union, a student wing of the UML, will elect a new leadership in Janakpur where a meeting begins Friday.
There are 2009 delegates attending the meet that will be launched by UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal.
Madhav Dhungel and Soviet Dhakal are aspirants for chairman.
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SHRI KRISHNA UPADHAYA AWARDED

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Shri Krishna Upadhaya, 65, has been awarded the Right Livelihood Award-2910 for the “Alternative Nobel”, AP reports.
Upadhaya is founder of Support Activists for Poor Producers of Nepal established in 1991.
He was declared joint winner along with human rights activists from Nigerian Brazil and Israel.
Upadhaya was honoured for his fight against poverty in Nepal.
“Upadhaya had been on the shortlist for thee award for many years and the magnitude and quantity of what he has been doing means he really deserves to be recognized,” AP said quoting Ole Von Uexkull, executive director of Right Livelihood Award Foundation.
The award will be presented in the Swedish parliament 6 December four days before Nobel prizes are distributed.
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NA DIVISION CHIEF MEET BEGINS

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: A two-day coordination meet of Nepal Army (NA) principal staff officers, regional division chiefs ad director generals began in the capital Thursday.
The meeting was convened by Army Chief Gen Chahtraman Singh Gurung to discuss institutional problems and formulate policies.
Regional commanders will presented reports with recommendations and suggestions.
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HARI SHARAN MAHAT DEAD

Kathmandu, 1 Oct. Panchayat-era minister Hari Sharan Mahat,74, died in the capital Thursday.
He’s survived by three sons and three daughters.
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MISS NEPAL ’10 LEAVES FOR CHINA

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Sadichha Shresths, Miss Nepal 2010, leaves for China Friday to participate in the Miss World pageant 2010.
The final will be held at Sanya 30 October.
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PRACHANDA LEAVES FOR MALAYSIA FRIDAY

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Maoist Chairman Prachanda leaves for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday to participate in a meeting of Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation.
He’s accompanied by son Prakash and Foreign Department Chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara,
Following his return home, Prachanda will travel to China to attend the closing of Shanghai Expo.
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TRADE, COMMERCE, ECOOMY

4,180 PASS KOREAN LANGUAGE TEST

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Altogether 4,180 candidates have been declared eligible for jobs in Korea after passing the Korean language Test (KLT) conducted by Human Resources Department of South Korea.
Altogether 36, 181 job aspirants sat for the examinations.
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SPORTS

NEPALI WOMEN CRICKET TEAM LEAVES FOR SINGAPORE

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Nepali women Twenty20 cricket team leaves for Singapore to participate in the ACC U-19 Women’s Championship from 4 to 12 October.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) Thursday announced an annual calendar of events.
Nepal will participate in five international and organize six national events in 2067/69.
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RAJESH HARI JOSHI IN FIDE

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Nepal Chess Association (NCA) President Rajesh Hari Joshi was Thursday unanimously elected board member of FIDE, the international governing bodyof lchess.
He was elected at the 81st congress of FIDE in Khanty, Russia.
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MEDIA GOOGLE

“Koirala [Girija] took the country towards a republic without discussion and on assurances of borrowed presidency.”

(RPP-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa, Nagarik, 1 Oct.)

“Hindus are being converted spreading rumours that Adibashis, Janajatis and Dalits were exploisted when the country was a Hindu state .It’s necessary to be alert to this in time.:

RPP-Nepal Chairman Kamall Thapa, Annapurna Post, 1 Oct.)
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CA to keep parties on statute toes

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Concerned by the snail-paced constitution drafting process, the Constituent Assembly (CA) is going to press top leaders of all political parties into service from next week, The Kathmandu Post reports.

It has decided to resolve the political deadlock and speed up statute-drafting. CA Chairman Subash Nembang has invited the parliamentary party leaders of all the 27 parties represented in the CA on Sunday for discussion on the reports of eight thematic committees. The reports of eight of the 11 thematic committees are in dispute among parties.

The decision comes after a 15-member panel formed to study the concept papers submitted by the 11 thematic committees to the CA submitted its report to Nembang on Thursday. The panel led by lawmaker Agni Kharel has prepared questionnaires regarding 220 contentious issues that should be agreed by political leadership to finalise the new constitution. An all-party mechanism will function as per the Article 70 (3) of the Interim Constitution, which states the parliamentary party leaders in the CA shall consult each other to forge consensus if unanimous decision can’t be taken on the preamble or bill relating to the new constitution.

“The mechanism was supposed to work sooner or later for forging unanimous agreement among parties on the new constitution. Its early reactivation would help prepare the first draft by resolving the disputed issues,” said Nembang.

Upon receiving the report, Nembang stressed for consensus among major parties to conclude the peace process and constitution drafting. He said that constitution writing process can’t reach to conclusion unless the parties resolve their differences.

The panel, in its 16-month tenure, It has prepared questionnaires on the disputed issues among parties over the concept papers prepared by other seven thematic committees apart from Committee on the Restructuring of the State and Devolution of State Power.

“The differences on constitutional issues can only be resolved with the engagement of the political leadership,” said Kharel. “The constitution writing process can only move ahead if the senior leaders resolve the row.”

The revised CA schedule endorsed in July had planned to forward the CA directives on the report of the thematic committees to the Constitutional Committee (CC) by Oct. 17.

The scheduled has given Nov. 17 deadline to the CC to prepare the first draft of the new constitution.
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SC limits prez to ceremonial role

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: In a first ever verdict related to the president’s action since the country was declared republic, the Supreme Court today [Thursday] categorically said the president as the Head of State neither has the constitutional privilege nor immunity under the interim constitution, Ananta Raj Luitel writes in The Himalayaan Times..

While issuing a verdict on President Dr Ram Baran Yadav’s May 2009 move to reinstate the then Chief of the Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal, a full bench of Justices Top Bahadur Magar, Prem Sharma and Mohan Prakash Sitaula stated that the Head of the State does not enjoy privileges and immunity in his action — like the king during the earlier regime used to. The bench observed that nor could he ‘justify’ the move citing any principle, such as Doctrine of Necessity.

President Dr Yadav had reinstated Katawal a day after the then government led by UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal sacked the army chief and appointed second-in-command Kul Bahadur Khadka as CoAS.

Today’s precedent-setting verdict bars the president from taking any decision (or action) on his own. Stating that the president’s authority is limited to recommendations by the authorities—the Council of Ministers, the Constitutional Council, the prime minister and the Speaker—the bench stated ‘the recommending authority should be answerable for any

kind of decision taken by the Head of the State’.

As the constitution does not provide any privilege or immunity to the Head of the State — the way the 1990 Constitution did to the king — any action of the the president can be tested by and at apex court, the judgement text read.

Advocates Sri Krishna Subedi and Ram Krishna Kafle on behalf of INHURED-International had filed a public interest litigation seeking the apex court intervention into the president’s move.

The bench, however, quashed the writ petition challenging the president’s move, as Katawal and his then successor both have retired and the government has already amended the Army Act.

“Since the lacunae in the Army Act have already been removed, making the Act compatible with the fourth amendment of the interim constitution, and the provisions for the president have been inserted, the situation has significantly changed, rendering the apex court intervention meaningless. Moreover, the government has already rectified the decision of sacking the then CoAS on June 18, 2009. So, an apex court order to nullify the letter of the president (of overriding the govt decision) is not required,” the bench observed.

What he can do on recommendation

• Call and prorogue parliament session

• Address the parliament

• Appoint PM, CJ, parliament’s general secy, CoAS, ambassadors

• Authenticate Bills

• Issue ordinances

• Appoint chief justice

• Appoint constitutional heads and members

• Control, mobilise army

• Grant pardon and commute or remit sentence

• Remove constitutional anomalies
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DENGUE VECTOR FOUND IN HOSPITAL PREMISES

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Even as Chitwan continues to grapple with dengue fever, Bharatpur Hospital premises have been found infested by its principal vector, Chandni Hamal reports from Chitwan in Republica.
A team from Insect Transmitted Disease Investigation and Training Center, Hetauda, found Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in water collected in the hospital compound.
The team also found mosquito larvae in flower pots in the general ward, administrations section, store and doctors’ quarters and disposed tires, drums and containers.
“Patients are not secure even in the hospital. There is no point talking about stat of other places,” head of the team Dr Sishir Panta said.
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Fourth Estate in what state!
When news media and media workers are in the news, people sit up to attention. When these same media and folks occupy lots of space and airtime for days, something terribly is wrong. This is precisely what has happened in the Nepali media world these past few weeks. At a dinner hosted by a prominent business establishment, a motley crowd gathered, some of them journalists. Black Label talk produced interesting information, Trikal Vastavik writes in People’s Review..
The Chief National Information Commissioner, Vinay Kasajoo, is in a state of shock. Ever keen to prove that he is a doting father of two sons Avinav and Dipankar who did not do academically well but went on to have a reasonable understanding of information technology, Kasajoo received a wave of sympathies from his friends recently when police booked the apples of his eyes for questioning. The charge was copyright piracy. The Kasajoo siblings suffered detention not even his family’s political connections and affiliation with Home Minister Bhim Rawal’s UML could do much about initially. Someone at the UML headquarters at Balkhu was overheard complaining that the party failed to treat the affected properly. "After all, Kasajoo (the Senior) writes in our party’s official paper (Budhabar weekly)."
Meanwhile, "Republica" and "Nagarik" that succeeded in netting regular advertisement orders from an Indian beverage company reportedly with Indian Ambassador’s blessings and policy (See for conclusion: "Himal" magazine, September 17-October 1, 2010, p. 32-33, and "Janadesh" weekly, September 21, 2010, p. 1) have a story of their own. The two broadsheet dailies have their online incarnations run by their combined media grouping. One day, the photos of the Kasajoo brothers figured along with the story of their arrest, the next day the photos vanished, reportedly at the intervention of one of the poorly educated editors.
Interestingly, "Republica" gave the names of the alleged culprits involved in copyright piracy referring that they were the sons of the nation’s Chief Information Commissioner. There were debates as to whether the name of the senior Kasajoo should have been dragged in such manner.
Indisputably the country’s largest circulating daily, "Kantipur" did not give the senior Kasajoo’s name but named the alleged culprits. Was it an outcome of organizational policy or an isolated case of "favor"? If the paper’s past serves any guide, the Kasajoo episode is an exception. If the incident heralds a new policy, the future will surely tell us that Kantipur group of media have changed their gear.
But then how are we to take the manner in which a recent Beauty Contest was blacked out by the media house. An Indian company-dominated business group triggered anger in the Kantipur House whose publications, radio and television went full blast against the company products. It may be no coincidence that the business company had stopped giving advertisements to Kantipur media for about a year. When translated into Nepali, it means an annual depletion of seven million rupees, according to sources in breakaway group "Nagarik". However, according to Kantipur Television sources, the revenue loss amounted to eleven million rupees a year. If that were the case, Kailash Sirohiya’s anguish emanating from pocket-burning experience can be weighed.
Sirohiya deludes himself with the conclusion that he made the "most" contributions to ending monarchy in Nepal and bringing in "loktantra". Actually, Sirohiya’s heydays are over. He may be hobnobbing with the Maoists now but, according to his senior editors, he will not hesitate to quarrel with Lainchaur embassy but make a one-sided pact scripted by the South Block in New Delhi. The latest charade he tries to exhibit is one of serving "national interest" even as he rages over not only losing millions of ad revenue from the Dabur company but that he could have slept well partially if the advertisement had not been funneled to his one time inseparable pal friend now turned archrival.
It was Sirohiya who led the campaign against foreign investment in Nepali media. He paid for a major media gathering to allow voices to be raised against foreign investment in media. Some of the participants raised concerns out of conviction. Sirohiya looked worried more about the compulsion of competition for circulation and ad revenue than anything else, after the "Himalayan Times" made entry and "Annapurna Post" followed suit. Bulk advertisement from Indian companies is guaranteed for the latter two. This alone has made "Himalayan Times" a profit-making paper, even if "Annapurna Post" continues to lose money.
Nepali media have always been in the know about the Indian embassy using Indian company advertisements for political purposes in Nepal. "Kantipur" chaps were also in the know. It is only that they did not raise the issue as long as the dinner was good. They were in glee when the ad dried up to other daily and weekly papers for writing critical comments on Nepal-India relations. The situation has changed, as the "Kantipur" bosses should realize.
That is why, Kantipur House looked so isolated from much of the rest of the media. Pro-Maoist media raised some voice because it suited their political purpose at a time when Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has been making a spate of critical statements on Indian interference in Nepal’s domestic political affairs.
"Nagarik" has made significant inroads into the "Kantipur" turf, although "Republica" is yet to make proportionately similar dent on its archrival "The Kathmandu Post". But both the "Post" and the "Republica" are proving to be a drag on their parent company. Their editors experiment with gimmicks that do not work with the public, except the foreign community whose sympathies do not lift the publications from the red.
"Post" editor Akhilesh Upadhyay’s penchant for articles and statements pouring in from UNMIN and especially American agencies and writers is being linked with his previous work experience at INGOs. Prateek Pradhan, with his limited knowledge and limited writing skills, should vouchsafe for such accounts. His years in Kantipur group and "Republica" establishment did not give anything much to make the country’s first broadsheet daily business paper run even at a snail-like pace. Is it because of the resultant anguish that this someone who considers himself as a professional joined the Nepali Congress publicity committee for the party’s general convention recently?
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