Nepal Today

Sunday, October 31, 2010


By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: The 15th round voting for prime minister Monday will also be inconclusive Monday.
NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel is the sole candidate in the race after Maoist Chairman Prachanda withdrew from the contest.
UML standing committee Sunday endorsed the party establishment decision to continue the prime ministerial vote boycott amid demand from a section of the party backed by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Sharma Oli to change party stand and support Paudel.
NC President Sushil Koirala Sunday rejected a personal call by Prachanda to force Paudel to withdraw from the contest.
Koirala told the Maoist chief the party will change its position after Maoists present an acceptable package solution for drafting a constitution and concluding the peace process.
Meanwhile, there have renewed calls inside NC demanding Paudel withdraw his candidacy.
The party’s central committee meeting last week was abruptly called off after demand by a faction led by three-time Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba the NC parliamentary party leader and vice-president
should make way for another party candidate for government chief.
Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala repeated the demand in public Sunday/
Sujata, who claimed she had been promised post of vice-chairman in the party in exchange for withdrawing her candidacy for general
Secretary in the just concluded 12th general convention, said Paudel should withdraw from the race to avoid a grave crisis.
He told a public meeting in the, as foreign minister, she feared a conspiracy to usher in autocratic rule.
“… a grand conspiracy is being designed to end the democratic system and bring in autocratic rule,” she told the Reporters’ Club without going into details/
Law ministry Sunday said the position in CA rules for parties to stay neutral in parliamentary voting was democratic.
“The rules are democratic and the apex court should not scrap
the provision,” Law Secretary Madhab Paidel said in writing to thee supreme court.
A group of advocates filed a writ petition at the court asking it to annul provisions in CA assembly rules that allows parties to stay neutral in voting.
Most parties have either stayed neutral or boycotted parliament during the vote for prime minister in repeated rounds of elections.
Ram Chandra Paudel has even said he hasn’t lost the parliamentary vote and asked UML to change party policy and vote to force a result.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: There were no casualties in six-hour
Gun battle with hemp traffickers and policemen at a village in the far-West district of Bhagang overnight.
The firefight broke out one hour walking distance from district headquarter Chainpur.
Seven bags of hemp were recovered by police.
Reinforcements have been sent to the area to trace down traffickers.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: President Dr Ram Baran Baran Yadav Sunday held discussions with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in
Shanghai where he attended the closing ceremony of the six-month Shanghai Expo.
They discussed bilateral ties and topics of mutual interest.
Yadav appreciated Chinese assistance to Nepal and supported a One China policy during the meeting, Nepal’s Ambassador to China Tanka Karki said.
The president also met Sri Lankan President Mahendra Rajapakshe on the sidelines of the Expo Saturday.


Kathmandu,1 Nov.: A high-powered Prachanda-led seven-member
task force to speed up the delayed constitution writing process met Monday and discussed issues of national interest protection to be incorporated in a delayed constitution.
There was agreement on five points, Ramesh Lekhak of NC said. meeting was inconclusive.
Differences persisted on compulsory military training and mention of PLA combatants in a proposed constitution.
The task force is preparing a report with suggestions for submission .to Chairman Subash Nemwang.
The task force agreed at Sunday’s meeting the executive head should lhead a judicial council to appoint, transfer and punish judges.
Major parties differed earlier on who should lead it.
The meeting Monday will discuss the name, jurisdiction and structure of the council.

Kathmandu, 1 Nov. UML central committee will meet 30 November to 3 December to again discuss the extended political deadlock.
The party standing committee took the decision Sunday.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Sharma Oli, firm party critics opposing establishment support for Maoists to ask NC to withdraw Ram Chandra Paudel’s NC candidacy for election of prime minister, stayed away from the standing committee meeting.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov. With a looming financial crisis, government has intensified efforts to present a delayed full budget by 16 November.
Finance Minister Surendra Pandey appealed to parties to help present the budget at a meeting of parliament’s business advisory committee chaired by Subash Nemwang.
The meeting was inconclusive Sunday.
Pandey said there’s no alternative to presenting budget.
Nepali Congress, which is attempting to take leadership of the government to replace Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal..
supported the UML which is leading the government.
Maoists proposed amending the interim constitution to present only a budget to meet recurrent expenses.
The main opposition argues a caretaker government can’t present a lfull budget without policies and programmes.
The prime minister, saying the budget has to be presented by mid-November, Sunday consulted government legal experts and leading advocates to break the deadlock.
One option under consideration is a budget through ordinance/
PM Nepal Sunday held two-hour discussions with Nepal Majdoor Kishan Party Chairman Narayanman Bijukakchaya at his Bhaktapur constituency.
The leader of the splinter communist group suggested handing over responsibilities to the president as an option.
The prime minister also discussed with lawyers and Bijukakchaya the obstruction by Chairman Pachanda, who as leader of the main opposition, is member of the constitutional council that recommends appoints to constitutional bodies.
Prachanda has refused to accept invitation letters from the Office of the Prime Minister to attend meetings of the council delaying appoints for more than six months.
Positions have been vacant in for constitutional bodies whose members haven’t also been appointed.
The supreme court recently overturned government appointments of chiefs of the election commission and the CIAA saying their appoints without the approval of the main opposition wasn’t legal.
The supreme court recently ruled on a petition on behalf of Prachanda, meetings of the council without him were illegal.
Nepal, in his meetings, suggested for ways to convene meetings of the council.
One suggestion was to convene the meeting through public notice.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Police Sunday arrested a Maoist combatant verified by UNMIN with a camp in Chitwan for alleged involvement in blasts in th capital in May.
He is also registered as a student of Patan Multiple Campus for responsibility in blasts in the capital .
Police recovered a leave letter approved by UNMIN.
The former PLA combatant has been identified as Sher Bahadur Chaudhary, 23.
Rajendra Bisunkhe,22, and Kishore Bisunlhe,23, were also arrested.
Rajendra is a village chief at a village in Dhading.
They have been accused for involvement in blasts in front of the CA building Naya Baneshwor 22 May.
Dynamic Youth Forum Nepal claimed responsibility for the blasts.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: A four-member delegation of the development committee of European Parliament arrives for a five-day visit Monday.
‘The visit, first of its kind, holds significance because of its timing as the outcome will be given due consideration to determine the way ahead for EU-Nepal bilateral and development cooperation,” the delegation of European Union to Nepal said on a news release.
The delegation will review EU-Nepal cooperation and progress and observe the status of the peace process and constitution drafting.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov. Norway’s Minister for Trade and Industry Trond Giske held talks Sunday with Energy Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on hydropower development.
They discussed the launch of the 800MW Tamakoshi –III andinstallation of power lines.
Norway’s SN Power and Tata Power of India are developing


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Transport entrepreneurs decided to stop the movement of POL products nation-wide for two days from Monday.
They are protesting government refusal to sit down at the negotiating table to consider 11 demands.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: German tourist Germard Stessen Wurse, 55, died in his hotel room in Mustang Saturday.
He was visiting Muktinath temple.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov. Industrialist Pashupati Giri, former FNCCI chief, died of a stroke Saturday while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the city.
He was 78.



Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Surendra Man Pradhan has been appointed CEO of Sunrise Bank.
He retired from Nepal Rashtra Bank where he served 22 years.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Gold and silver were sold Sunday for
record prices of Rs 38, 800 and Rs 718 per told respectively in the local market following increased prices in the international market..
On Phulpati this year, the yellow metal price reached
Rs 38,600 per tola.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: The murder of a teacher in Bara district last night — the latest in a series of killing incidents in the Tarai — sparked protests today in Nawalparasi, Dhanusha and Mahottari districts, The Himalayan Times reports from Bara.

A gang had shot dead Suresh Patel, 38, a teacher at Nepal Rastriya Primary School in Bishunparba VDC, while on his way home with Sujit Koiri on a motorcycle .

According to district police office Bara, the gang shot him after taking him to Jamuni River and left Sujit unhurt though they tied his limbs. Patel was shot five times.

Meanwhile, GK Singh, who identified himself as Bara area in-charge of Akhil Tarai Mukti Morcha Pratik Group, owned up the incident to the media over phone.

Locals and members of Nepal Teachers Union demonstrated in the district headquarters Kalaiya demanding compensation for the victim’s kin and stern action against the culprits. Demonstrators obstructed the Kalaiya-Birgunj road section by placing Patel’s body on the road. They also protested in front of district administration office and district police office. Bara chairman of the union Devendra Giri alleged the police were involved. Meanwhile, Bara SP Manoj Neupane informed that investigation was underway. According to him, the protest programmes had stopped after the victim’s family and the administration reached agreement.

According to CDO Shiva Prasad Nepal, the administration agreed to recommend his name for martyrdom, bring the culprits to book and provide Rs 25,000 for funeral expenses. The highway reopened at around 5 pm.

Locals also demonstrated in Parasi, district headquarters, Nawalparasi, claiming that police administration had become apathetic towards the deteriorating security situation. Demonstrators picketed the district administration office claiming that police had failed to nab culprits involved in various criminal activities. They also submitted a memorandum to the CDO demanding security.

Meanwhile, government offices in Mahottarai and Dhanusha districts have also shut. Various civil servants’ organisations halted work at government offices after an armed outfit shot dead Lal Kishor Jha, section officer of district education office, last Thursday. Agitating staffers said they would shut offices until a conducive working environment was in place.

Kathmandu, 1 Nov: UCPN (Maoist) Vice Chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday claimed that the Nepali people have accepted him as a new prime minister. He said he would not be the prime minister at the behest of foreigners but at the will of the people, Ajit Tiwari writes in Reupublica from Biratnagar..

"Nepali people will elect Baburam a new prime minister not the foreigners," said Dr Bhattarai during a press conference organized by Revolutionary Journalists Association, Morang.
“A large number of people have voted to make Baburam a new prime minister even in television surveys. Perhaps you might also have voted for me."

Bhattarai claimed that certain forces were at work to eclipse his popularity among the people. "Such a tendency is unhealthy whether it is within the party or outside."

Stressing the need for a consensus government to deliver peace and constitution in the country, Bhattarai said, the UCPN (Maoist), as per its line, is ready to hold negotiations with other political parties.

"Let us forge consensus on all three issues including peace, constitution and government," he said, adding, " There is no possibility of ending the current deadlock if the parties remain stuck to their stances."

He also took strong exception to statements claiming that the UCPN (Maoist) was yet to transform into a civilian party. "The UCPN (Maoist) is a civilian party as it has entered the peace process. Those who claim otherwise have not understood the essence of the peace process," he argued. "The Maoists are ready to find solutions to all problems through a package deal."

He also clarified that the Maoists floated the proposal of strategic alliance of China, India and Nepal and stated that the proposal was aimed at economic development, not the resolution of the current political deadlock.

Dr Bhattarai has admitted that he presented the contents of his political paper among leaders and cadres of the party´s Kochila State Committee.

"I have put my views with my colleagues and have asked them to explore the truth," he said. "There is discussion and debate in a vibrant party. This is not for promoting factionalism."

He said that the extended plenum will hold discussions on all three political papers including those prepared by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and another Vice chairman Mohan Baidya.

"This will bring new unity in the party," he said. "I have not come here to count head or lobby for my proposal."


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: With the UCPN (Maoist) plenum approaching fast, some Maoist leaders

have started an “exercise” to bring party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal

and senior Vice-Chairman Mohan Baidya together to sideline Vice-

Chairman Baburam Bhattarai, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Notable among them are Krishna

Bahadur Mahara, Dev Gurung and Barsa Man Pun. They are pressing

both Dahal and Baidya to come up with a joint document before the

extended plenum. A meeting of the party’s Central Committee had decided to take the three separate and conflicting documents

presented by Dahal, Bhattarai and Baidya to the plenum to prepare a

uniform one. Alarmed by recent efforts for the formation of a Dahal-Baidya alliance, the Bhattarai faction has also started to form an alliance with Dahal to defeat Baidya’s hard-line stance. Dahal and Bhattarai have virtually the same line when it comes to the peace and constitution writing

processes. Both have stressed struggle from the streets, a government and Parliament to ensure peace and a constitution, while the Baidya-led faction wants immediate revolution to ensure a ‘Janabadai’ constitution. However, Dahal and Bhattarai are at odds over the “principal enemy,” the most debatable issue within the Maoist party. As part of the negotiations,

Bhattarai is ready to accept Dahal’s leadership in the coming days if

the latter embraces the political line taken by him. “Bhattarai has already given this message to Dahal,” a leader close to Bhattarai said.

The Baidya faction is reasoning that Dahal should give up leadership if his political line falls in a minority.

Leaders close to Bhattarai have cautioned that the Dahal-Baidya alliance would be “artificial” and that it will not last long. “There is no possibility of an alliance between Dahal and Baidya, as they represent two opposite views on the party’s future course and national politics,” said Central Committee member Bam Dev Chhetri.

The possibility that a single document would come up before the plenum is slim as two rounds of talks with Bhattarai and Baidya have failed. “If Dahal and Baidya go against Bhattarai with the artificial alliance, it might trigger a split in the party,” said a leader close to Bhattarai requesting anonymity.

As efforts from both the sides to garner support have intensified, the top leaders of the party seem to have clearly breached the direction issued by the Standing Committee that top leaders should not be allowed to gather cadres and give orientations on certain documents. All the three factions are busy lobbying for their line with the party rank and file.

Bhattarai himself is busy in consultations with cadres in major cities like Biratnagar and Janakpur. Cadres supporting Dahal and Baidya are opposing Bhattarai’s attempt to give orientation to cadres.

Leaders close to Baidya are also organising indoor gatherings at the state committee level to garner support for Baidya’s line. Baidya’s aides CP Gajurel, Netra Bikram Chand, Gopal Kirati and Dharmendra Bastola are visiting many districts with a view to influencing cadres.

Dahal is meeting district and state committee level leaders to garner support for his political document. Dahal commands a majority in the state committee level.


Kathmandu, 1 Nov.. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Sunday said that the government was doing its best to restore peace in Terai and bring the perpetrators of violence to book, The Rising Nepal reports from Janakpur.
Talking to the media people in Janakpur, PM Nepal lamented over the worsening condition of law and order in Terai belt.
The PM vowed to punish the murders of Education Officer Lal Kishore Jha in Mahatori and said that the groups involved in extortion, kidnapping and murder could not be dubbed as political forces.
He also informed that the government forwarded the process to take action on the PLA commanders for visiting China without informing the government.
On the impending budgetary crisis, he said the government was firm to unveil the budget although the opposition Maoist was protesting it.
"The country can’t run for long without budget. Those, who are trying to block the budget announcement, are hell bent to ruin the nation. We should keep alert of them," PM Nepal.
Stating that the government had compulsion to bring the full-fledged budget, he urged the political parties to shun their irresponsible behaviours and cooperate either for the formation the new government or letting the caretaker government bring the budget.
The PM admitted that it was not good practice to unveil the budget by the caretaker government but it became the necessity as the country was heading to bigger fiscal crisis in the absence of full-fledged budget.
Meanwhile, speaking at a greeting exchange programme organized by newly elected central committee of All National Free Student Union (ANFSU), PM Nepal expressed serious concern over the failure of the parliament to elect the new

PM even after four months of his resignation.
"The nation is facing sever crisis because it is unable to get the new PM in one after another round of polls," he said.
He blamed the three major parties for the election deadlock.
"There is the need of serious dialogue among these threes forces. They must demonstrate honesty, flexibility and mutual trust so as to find way out of impasse," PM Nepal added.
He said that main parties were squabbling for the PM’s post. "As their dream to sit on the hot chair of PM is getting elusive, they are showing misgiving and deviating from their commitment."
PM Nepal observed that the broader political consensus was the need of the hour to write the new statute and conclude the peace process.
He asked the Maoists to cut their ties with combatants and weapons so as to take other parties in confidence and demonstrate their commitment to democracy.
UML leaders Pashupati Chaulagai, Gokarna Bista and other a host of speakers also expressed their views at the function.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Kathmandu, 31` Oct. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is attending the closing ceremony of the Shanghai Expo Sunday.
He’ll meet Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in the sidelines of the Expo coming to an end six months after its opening in the Chinese commercial hub.
The president inspected the Nepal pavilion at the Expo Saturday; the pagoda pavilion attracted 7.5 million visitors.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Maoist Chairman Prachanda-led seven-member task force began meetomh again Sunday to narrow down differences in parries on 230 points to be incorporated in a proposed constitution to institutionalize a declared republic.
The task force, with representatives of major parties, is preparing a report to be submitted to Chairman Subash Nemwang.
Discussions on a name and body to appoint, transfer and sack judges wwere inconclusive Saturday.
Prachanda was optimistic hopeful of an agreement Sunday
No work has been registered in five months after its two-year elected term was extended 28 May 2010; only seven months remain now to proclaim a constitution seven as differences persist on eight of 11 subject committees.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: UML standing committee which began meeting Sunday will discuss the current prolonged political deadlock besides reviewing the party position on the issue.
The committee will discuss current issues and an end to the deadlock, Secretary Yubaraj Geywali said.
The party faction led by Chairman Jhalanath Khanal has asked NC to join an effort to form a government of national unity.
But a powerful section in the party with the support of Caretaker Prime Minister and KP Sharma Oli are pushing for a coalition with NC.
Khanal Saturday asked NC and its Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel to withdraw candidacy and join an effort to from a joint national government.
Paudel, the sole candidate in the race for prime minister, has asked UML to abandon its policy to boycott with Maoists and join the voting process to end the deadlock.
The UML standing committee meets before Monday’s 15th round parliamentary vote.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Pascale Bruderer Wyss, speaker of Swiss national council, arrives Sunday at the invitation of Speaker Sumabsh Nemwang.
He’ll hold discussions with the speaker and leaders of political parties while inspecting Swiss-aided projects.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: While Chandra Kumar Chandhari of Sunsari has been elected president of Tharu Welfare Society by the 20th general convention in Dang.
Eleven women and 24 men were unanimously elected office bearers from a district each.
The assembly met to push community interests after 61 years.
Chaudhari got 68 votes to defeat his nearest rival Thakur Singh Tharu of Banke who secured 58 votes.
Dhani Ram Chaudhari of Rupandhaehi and Sharashwori Chaudhari of Kathmandu collected 12 and four votes respectively.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Suresh Patel, a teacher of terai origin, was abducted and shot dead in Bara while driving home overnight on his motorcycle.
He was abducted and shot by a group of 10 to 15 persons along a river bank in the central terai district.
A trader has been detained for questioning.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Peshal Kumar Dahal, 76, NC leader who was elected to parliament from Okhaldungha in the first parliamentary, died Saturday in the capital.
He was suffering asthma.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Two persons died and three others were injured when a a tractor plunged into a river in Surkhet overnight.
The owner was driving the tractor which was just bought.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has begun shifting its two divisions to Singha Durbar from its Narayanhiti office.

The move is aimed at creating more space at Narayanhiti office for

the issuance of Machine Readable Passports, the first consignment of which is expected to arrive

next week.

On Friday, two of its divisions: North American and Europe; and North-East and South-East Asia, were moved to a newly built building in Singha Durbar. The building was built as an annex block for the Ministry of Finance.

MoFA is planning to shift all political desks and office of the foreign minister in Singha Durbar; whereas the passport and protocol divisions will remain in Narayanhiti.

Deputy Spokesperson of MoFA, Harish Chandra Ghimire, said other remaining divisions of

the ministry including

the office of foreign

minister and foreign secretary will be moved to Singha Durbar soon.

He, however, informed that MoFA would need around four months to move all the divisions as furnishing and cabling works are still going on in the new building.

As per its agreement with French firm Oberthur Technologies, which is supplying MRP to Nepal, MoFA has to create at least 1,000 square feet of space for MRP personalisation.

MoFA has estimated that it has to issue up to 4,000 MRPs per day after its introduction before January 1, 2011.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Defending champion Tribhuvan Army Club entered the final of the 17th Tilottama Gold Cup Football Tournament defeating Nepal armed Police Force (NAO) 1-0 in extra-time in Butwal Saturday.
Tribhuvan Army Club will play the Sunday’s winner in another semi-final—either Himalayan Sherpa or Jawalakhel Youth Club.


“It’s a bitter truth. There are five, six persons in the race for prime minister.”

(Maoist Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai. Nagarik, 31 Oct.)

“Food, clothes and roof are our essential needs but its difficult to survive with cuts in our relief. After resettlement started, we’ve been additionally ignored.”

(Bhutanese refugee Maniraj Gurung of Beldangi refugee camp, Annapurna Post, 31 Oct.)

‘To obstruct budget presentation and talk of dissolution of parliament and presidential rule reflect the extremes of the decline of Nepali politics. This should be prevented.”

(Chitra Bahadur KC, Chairman Rashtriya Janamorcha Nepal, Chalphal, 31 Oct.)


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Chief Ramesh Kharel Is leaving for China Wednesday to participate in a conference on urban security in Asian cities with other Asian counterparts, Nagarik reports.
He’s scheduled to return 16 November after a fortnight’s absence from the capital.
Police officers from 10 countries will exchange experiences in Beijing at a conference organized by the Chinese government; police, army military and diplomats are attending.
Kharel is preparing a report of Nepal’s security system and experiences.
There are fears he’s being replaced on the pretext of his long absence from the city.
A decision hasn’t been taken whether a DSP should be appointed Acting
SP or another SP appointed to replace Kharel. A decision could be takes with the return of IGP Ramesh Chand Thakuri from USA Saturday.


Kathmanddu, 41 Oct.: In his first full-length interview after his return from China this week, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has stressed on the need for “a strategic tripartite partnership” between China, India and Nepal, whose cornerstone would be peace, stability and development, Akhilesh Upadhaya writes in The Kathmandu Post..

“It’s not an abstract concept. You don’t need to be intrigued by it,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Kathmandu Post and Kantipur at his Naya Bazaar residence on Saturday morning. “Both China and India have made rapid advances in economic development. If Nepal lags behind as an underdeveloped country, it may affect both the countries negatively.”

He suggested that it was time the region took cue from successful global trends of regional partnerships such as the EU and ASEAN.

Dahal also stressed that the three countries had mutual security concerns and only through a common approach could they be addressed.

“Historically, all three countries have had respective security concerns. The thinking I am putting forward aims at addressing concerns of all the three at once, and would strategically allow all to focus on development,” he said during the 40-minute interview at his residence packed with party workers discussing preparations for the party’s upcoming extended plenum in Gorkha where over 5,000 party leaders will discuss the party’s strategic vision.

“Our concerns and issues of national independence are still there. We haven’t let go of the issues related to national sovereignty. It’s just that we try to settle the issue sometimes through the streets, sometimes from the table. Right now, we want to solve the

issue from the table. This is not an issue we can easily let go of as it directly relates with our sovereignty, peace, stability and development,” a visibly relaxed Dahal said.

Coming on the heels of very topsy-turvy ties with India the last one year or so, the plenum will be closely followed for how it would define the party’s relations with India.

Already, the party hardliners are insisting that India be named its “principal enemy,” a suggestion many

others, most notably party Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai, are opposed to. It is not yet clear how many political documents the plenum will discuss and whether the party chairman will choose the hard-line position, go with the pragmatists, or combine both schools of thought.

During the candid interview (see page 7 on Monday for the full interview), Dahal indicated that he would visit New Delhi after the plenum, though he didn’t offer any dates.

“I don’t think it will be possible before the plenum. Perhaps after the plenum. I had talked with some people about the visit (to India) and they had brought a proposal to create a conducive environment around Nov. 15. Given the time constraints around the plenum, I have told them it would best if an arrangement can be made after the plenum.”

The plenum, first scheduled for Sept. 21, was on Thursday postponed for Nov. 21.

Dahal acknowledged suggestion that his popularity, especially outside his own party, had suffered the last couple of years. “Two years ago, there were some expectations and attractions about my leadership for the middle ground and for those outside the party as well. But no leadership in the world can remain in the peak for ever. Protests, controversies and ups and downs are part and parcel of a political life “

But he seemed convinced that his popularity will soon be restored once people realized “what he was trying to do. I think it will again go up and they will put me on even a higher ground. “Marx and Lenin also passed through the same stages (of ups and owns).”

Dahal said China has advised his party to improve ties with New Delhi and that China sounded positive on a tripartite agreement between China, Nepal and India

He stressed that the traditional ties needed to be redefined in view of the changed geopolitics and this, he said, would further strengthen the relationship, not weaken it. He said Nepal’s relationship with Indian needed to be further strengthened at the political level

“It is not that difficult to understand China’s concerns. If there is peace and stability in Nepal, their security concerns related to Tibet will be addressed,” he said in the interview.

Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Distribution of the wheat seeds in Doti district has been stopped following the meager harvest in the area apparently caused by sterile paddy seeds distributed by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Mohan Shahi reports from Doti in The Kaathmandu Post.

A local NGO that has been distributing the strain of wheat to farmers in the district has directed its employees to stop distributing the seeds in the mountain areas.

District Development Officer of Doti Yagya Raj Joshi said the strain of wheat named “Gautami” is not suitable for the areas and it will not yield good harvest like that of paddy seeds named “Radha 4”.

However, the NGO has been distributing the seeds in the areas of the inner Tarai.

Most of the farmers of the district are reluctant to sow the wheat seeds fearing the same fate as that of the paddy.

They were deceived when they were given the paddy seeds, said a farmer Shiva Raj Upadhyay of Khirsain-5. “We are worried that we may meet the same fate again,” he added.

The office has said that sowing of the Gautami seeds in Tarai areas where the climate is hot poses no harm. It has also requested the farmers not to hesitate to plant the seeds.

“We have halted the distribution,” said Sher Bahadur Malla of the NGO. “There was a technical problem in the distribution of the strain of paddy, but the same will not take place in the case of wheat seeds,” he added.

“We have taken special precautions in the distribution of the wheat seeds,” said coordinator of the NGO Chandra Prasad Nepal, asking farmers in areas where the seeds have already been distributed not to be worried.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct: Maoist Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai presented his ideological line at a gathering of cadres and leaders including those close to other Maoist factions, in Biratnagar Saturday, Ajit Tiwari and Khlilanath Dhakal report in Republica from Biratnagar.

The gathering, held at the office of the Maoist Kochila state committee, was not a "separate meeting" of those willing to listen to him, as planned earlier, but also saw the presence of cadres loyal to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.
The Maoist party is vertically divided into three factions led by Dahal, Baidya and Bhattarai.

Leaders close to Dahal and Baidya had prevented Bhattarai from holding a separate meeting in the districts to disseminate his party line in the run up of the party plenum slated for November 21 in Gorkha.

Due to the opposition, Bhattarai later planned to hold the meeting on the outskirts of Biratnagar, but again decided to present his views during the gathering at the Kochila state committee office.

The three top leaders are scheduled to present their separate political documents during the Gorkha plenum.

"I have only told you some of the contents for discussions; it is not the whole political document," said Dr Bhattarai addressing the gathering for nearly an hour. "This is my line, these are the Chairman´s and Baidya´s. Please hold a discussion and come to the plenum with a conclusion," he added. Leaders from all three factions including Maoist lawmaker Sabitri Poudel, who is close to Dahal, and politburo member Ram Karki, who is close to Bhattarai, were also present at the meeting.

Only Maoist state and district committee members were allowed to participate in the meeting.

"We are using parliament, the streets and the government to complete the people´s revolution. Though our principal contradiction seems to be with the imperialism of India, the situation demands that we continue fighting domestic feudalism," sources quoted Bhattarai as saying.

He argued that it would be counterproductive to declare India the principal enemy at this time and declare war against that country, and warned that the achievements made so far would be lost if the party moves toward that direction.

He argued that the revolution to be conducted within the ´parameters´ of parliament and the government would be the ´original revolution´ in Nepal. Dahal and Baidya are for declaring India as the principal enemy.

Leaders close to Dahal and Baidya were not happy with the program held by Bhattarai. Maoist deputy in-charge Ganesh Uprety, who is close to Dahal, said that Dahal and Baidya should also visit the districts to express their views.
At the conclusion, Bhattarai said that the country should move ahead joining hands with India, that a people´s revolt is not possible and the issue should be left to be decided in the future.
"We expected that his ideological line would come out only at the party plenum in Gorkha, but they held a gathering of state and district committees," said Uprety.
Responding to queries by journalists, Bhattarai said that it would be against democratic norms to prevent cadres from meeting their leaders. "Nobody has prevented me from meeting the party cadres. I came here to meet them. The party also doesn´t have such a policy and if someone thinks so, it´s absolutely wrong."

The meeting saw the presence of over 150 cadres from Ilam, Jhapa, Sunsari, Morang, Dhankuta, Panchthar and Taplejung. According to sources, Bhattarai will also meet cadres close to him on Saturday evening.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct : The intra-party dispute over the distribution of commission received from ration contractors of the Nepal Army (NA) has come out in the open after the local Maoist cadres engaged in a nasty brawl and accusations against each other, Lamall Thapa reports in Republica from Rukum.

Local Maoist cadres clashed after differences surfaced in the distribution of commission received from the contractors who bagged ration contract of The Famous Mahinda Dal Battalion on October 26. Maoist State Committee member and a member of Rukum District Committee Secretariat Dhanbir Oli has been injured in the incident.

A dissenting group led by the party´s Young Communist League (YCL) district committee member Bishal Gautam had attacked Oli after differences over the distribution of commission surfaced. Gautam alleged that Oli had paid more commission to the youths brought from Kathmandu than to the local youths.

“Party´s district leadership had called youths from Kathmandu to bag ration contract of the Nepal Army. The youths were given more commission,” Gautam said.

“The clash ensued after we demanded that all youths be paid equal commission.” He said such a practice would only incite conflict within the party. The Gautam faction has accused the party´s district committee of blowing the issue out of proportion in a bid to assassinate their character.

When asked to comment on the incident, Oli refused. “Please ask the district secretary about the incident,” he said. “I cannot comment on the incident now.”

Meanwhile, the Maoist party has suspended three cadres in connection with the incident. The suspended cadres are Rukum district secretariat member Iswar Man Budha and YCL district committee members Bishal Gautam and Yuwan Pun.

According to a press statement issued by the party´s Rukum District Committee Secretary Ramsur Budha, the cadres were suspended as they were found engaged in illicit activities against the party´s policy and ideology. “The trio has been suspended indefinitely as per the party´s policy,” he said.

The suspended cadres in a separate statement on Saturday, however, have demanded action against district committee secretary Budha instead, alleging that the latter took action against them without prior notice.

“The party leadership which used hooligans to receive commission from contractors has attempted to assassinate our character,” said the joint statement.

The trio claimed that suspension has been made without prior notice and giving an opportunity of clarification.

This is the first time the Maoist leadership has publicly taken action against its cadres.

Meanwhile, preparation is underway to file a complaint at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) claiming that there were irregularities in the tender process of the Nepal Army, the Nepal Police and a local school.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: A feasibility study has been started to bring out the eastern regional edition of Gorkhapatra from Biratnaga, The Rising Nepal reports from Biratnagar.
Gorkhapatra Corporation chairman Vijaya Chalise has arrived here with an administrative officer in this regard.
Chalise held discussions with correspondents and distributors of the eastern development region.
On the occasion, chairman Chalise said that GC was planning to bring out the regional edition so that the readers could easily avail of the issues of the daily.
He expressed hope that all problems related to distribution, advertisement and news would be solved gradually as the management was improving.
He urged the reporters to work responsibly.
Chalise also went to Itahari and held discussions with distributors.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Spurious liquor killed five persons, including a woman at two villages in Sarlahi overnight and Saturday, police said.
A bhatti [village liquor shop], owner has been arrested.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct. Discussions in a Prachanda-led high-powered task force to narrow differences between parties and push delayed constitution drafting didn’t make headway Saturday.
The seven-member body will meet again Sunday.
Maoist chairman minimized differences predicting there’ll be an agreement Sunday saying he had a busy schedule Saturday.
He attended a public reception in Thankot constituency from where he was elected to the constituent assembly (CA)/ parliament.
The task force discussed formation of a mechanism to appoint, transfer and sack judges.
Maoists sought leadership of the body.
The task force was discussing a name, mechanism and its composition.
There were differences on who should head the body.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who heads a special committee to integrate, resettle and supervise 19,000 Maoists, Saturday blamed Maoists for the delay in executing the processes
while talking to reporters in Lalitpur.
He charged Maoists weren’t ready to give up their arms and stlll have a rebellious mentality.
Nepal and Chairman Prachanda reached a four-point agreement to complete the processes before UNMIN quits 15 January 2011/
After initial progress, the processes have again called with UN predicting the 15 January deadline may not be met.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct. Maoist Chairman Prachanda charged Saturday he wasn’t elected prime minister because of foreign interference.
“There are some parties that are remote-controlled, not us. Is the government and Nepal independent? ” he asked while addressing his constituency in Thankot Saturday. “We have to consider this. Nepal is being dishonoured,”
He said his election as prime minister to replace Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was sure—but for foreign interference.
15th round voting for prime minister is being held Monday.
He charged Madesh parties for being close to India.
The chairman claimed his party is being defamed.
UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal told another meeting in the capital Saturday the election process was ‘undemocratic’ and again asked NC and Ram Rchandra Paudel to withdraw candidacy for national understanding.
The call was reiterated one day after NC central committee decided not to withdraw Paudel’s candidacy until a package solution for completing a peace process and constitution drafting.
Maoist Vice-chairman Dr. Babauram Bhattarai made a similar call in Biratnagar Saturday.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Footage of protests against Nepali peacekeepers alleged to the cause of the outbreak of cholera in Haiti was shown on Nepali television channels Saturday.
Accompanying reports said demonstrators shouted slogans against the peacekeepers demanding their withdrawal from the Caribbean island.
UN, following an investigation, said Nepali peacekeepers weren’t involved defending them.
At least 300 persons have died are 4,700 have fallen sick.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Nepal’s Star Club was defeated 4-3 Saturday in a tiebreaker of the quarterfinal of the governor’s gold cup football tournament in Sikkim against Bengal, Mumbai Football Club.
The score was 1-1 in normal play.
A replay was ordered after complaint Nepal fielded an African polayer registered in an Indian club.
Nepal had qualified for the semi-final in a 1-0 victory against the opposing team.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Maoist Vice-Chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai said he’s ready for a government investigation into the first shoe attack of a foreign envoy in Nepal.
The incident occurred at Solokhumbu this month.
He claimed Maoists weren’t involved in the assault on Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood for alleged anti-China along the sensitive Nepal-Tibet border.
Sood has been running from pillar to pose demanding action against Maoists for violating the Geneva Convention that protects foreign emissaries from assigning their talks in a country where they are assigned.
India has not bothered and showed similar concern on the blatant killings in Nepal and attacks by party representatives against public officials during strikes and daily protests as the law and order worsens.
Foreign governments and UN have encouraged protests as an individual and organizational right to pursue fundamental human rights.
The UN has not reacted to the shoe attack.
Chairman Prachanda defended it saying even UN President George W. Bush suffered the same humiliation at a news conference in Iraq.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Voice has been raised within the NC to present an alternative to the candidature for prime minister of party Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel, Kantipur reports.
Khum Bahadur Khadka and supporters of Sher Bahadur Deuba,in the party Friday’s meeting of the central committee said an alternative to Paudel’s candidature should be considered within the party.
They suggested if a Congress-led government can be formed without Paudel, it should be considered.
Paudel lost the 14th round parliamentary vote Friday.
Alternative candidates weren’t mentioned at the meeting.
‘Other parties have reservations about party candidate. That’s why he hasn’t bee able to become prime minister. We should be ready to provide an alternative,” a leader quoted Khadka as saying.


Kathmandu. 30 Oct. Federation of Petroleum Transport Entrepreneurs Saturday stopped the import of POL products from two points in Barauni and Amlekhgunj and internal distribution as well.
The federation is pressing 11 demands.
The strike comes in the middle of the festive season.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: A Prachanda-led task force to speed up drafting a delayed constitution by removing differences is discussing Saturday a mechanism to appoint, transfer and take action against judges.
The task will force will consider a mechanism and its name.
The new body will be independent.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Maoist Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai said a full but should be presented but only with the formation of a new government by 15 November.
He warned in Biratnagar Saturday the country will be engulfed in a crisis without the government and new government adding Madhav Kumar Nepal has already resigned as government chief.
Bhattarai reiterated a caretaker government can’t bring a full budget.

Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Three leaders from Nepal’s major political parties will visit the United Kingdom at the invitation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 31 October to 4 November 2010, the British embassy said.

Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Vice Chairperson of the UCPN-Maoist,. Prakash Man Singh, General-Secretary of the Nepali Congress and Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Secretary of CPN-UML will travel to the UK.
Whilst there they will call on Alistair Burt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responsible for South Asia and Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State for International Development among others.

The purpose of the visit is to provide an opportunity for the three senior leaders to discuss Nepal’s peace process and other relevant issues with British leaders and also to expose them to the UK’s federal governance structures, the British embassy said..

In a meeting with the three leaders earlier this week, British Ambassador, John Tucknott, said, “We are delighted to invite major party leaders to the UK and we hope that the visit will provide a valuable experience for Nepal”.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Auspicious time for bhai tika Sunday 7 November is at 11.31 in the morning, Panchangi Nirnayaj Samiti said after a meeting Friday.
Kaag and kukur tihar is on 4 November, Laxmi Puja falls on 5 November and gai and hour pula is on 6 November.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: President Dr Ram BaranYadav is inspecting the Nepal pavilion at the Shanghai Expo Saturday; he arrived in Shanghai from Xian Friday.
The president will attend the closing ceremony of the Expo Sunday in the presence of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao
The president changes his schedule at the last moment and will also inspect the Indian pavilion is the city Saturday, Radio Nepal said.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Eleven passengers were injured when a bus overturned near Kusum in Banke Saturday morning.
The bus was heading for Nepalgunj from the capital.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Nearly 1, 500 former lawmakers will meet in the capital 13/14 December to direct parties amid a continuing political deadlock.
Survivors of the first parliament of 1959 and former legislators of four parliaments after restoration of multi-party democracy in 1990 will attend.
Former lawmakers elected in 2048. 2051, 20 56 and 2063 will be invited.
Lawmakers of thee panchayat are not eligible.
A meeting of the former legislators’ front took the decision to convene the meet Friday.


Kathmandu 30 Oct.: A Rs 1 million award to a person,
institution or a group contributing to social welfare has been established in memory of businessman Gopal Rajbhandary.
Rotary International District 3292 announced the institution of the award Friday.
“The award [Gopal-Kamala Rajbhandary Rotary Award] will be given every two years to a person,, institution or group contributing to welfare of society,” said Debendra Raj Shrestha, Secretary District 3292 secretary.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: UML trade union leader Madhav Neupane, 52,
died Friday.
He was suffering brain TB.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: A FNCCI delegation led by Chairman Kush Kumar Joshi flew for Shanghai to join the delegation of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to attend the closing ceremony of the Shanghai Expo Sunday.



Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Bank of Asia Friday extended a Rs 8 million loan to National Sports Council (NSC) to finance Nepal’s participation in the forthcoming ASIAD in China with a bank loan—the first time Nepal is participating in the sporting event with a loan from a commercial bank.
In the past, government funded the participation.
The bank extended a loan against a Rs 4 million from the Players’ Welfare Fund.
Government is cash strapped without the presentation of a full budget even three months after the beginning of the fiscal year 2010/11.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Two Nepali nationals who allegedly looted their employer’s house in Gurgaon after serving them food faced with sedatives were arrested in the capital, police said Friday, according to a PTI report from New Delhi.
The arrested have been identified as Khadak Bahadur, 21, and Prakash Bahadur,19. Police have allegedly recovered IRs 450,000 fromthem.


‘Commanders of Maoist fighters, without informing government and UNMIN, visited China for rebellion and military purposes.”

(Peace Minister Rakam Chemjung, Annapurna Post, 30 Oct.)

“The prime minister’s party which is a part of the current coalition should either forge consensus or cast its vote. Certainly, a way out would come to end the deadlock.”

(NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel after 14th round defeat in election for PM, Republica, 30 Oct.)

Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Following obstruction by Kochila State Committee, UCPN (Maoist) Vice Chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai who was scheduled to visit Biratnagar to attend a function on Saturday will instead address his party cadres on the outskirts of the city, Ajit Iiwari reports from Biratnagar.

The program was suddenly rescheduled on Friday.

The Kochila State Committee has barred Dr Bhattarai from holding meetings with party cadres in its area.

DR Bhattarai is currently visiting various parts of the country to garner support for his political paper to be presented in party plenum to be held in Gorkha in a month.

The venue of the program has been rescheduled as Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya objected to such meetings, a source close to Dr Bhattarai said, adding, "The venue and the time of the program have been kept very secret."

The source also informed that they have invited Maoist cadres from Jhapa, Sunsari and Morang to attend the meeting. Invitees are also unaware of the venue and time of the program.

Dr Bhattarai will meet Maoist leaders and cadres available in Biratnagar at the office of Kochila State Committee at 3 pm on Saturday. Maoist leaders close to Dahal and Baidya are also invited at the office.

"Bhattarai will address party cadres secretly either before or after attending the short program at the Kochila office," the source added.
Kochila State Committee deputy in-charge Gangaram Shrestha also confirmed the program scheduled at Kochila State Committee office. "He will meet and address the cadres at committee office," he said, adding, "He will listen to the views of party cadres after addressing them."

Kathmandu, 30 O)ct.: The Maoist move to repeatedly postpone its crucial plenum indicates that the party is perhaps keen to negotiate with India to bring about a thaw in its icy relationship with the southern neighbour. Party insiders say that from the leadership viewpoint it makes a lot more sense to hold the extended plenum after finding out the Indian position, rather than before the plenum, Kamall Raj Sigdel and Kamal Dev Bhattarai write in The Kathmandu Post. .

The plenum — which is expected to hammer out the party’s key political documents, including its India policy — was first scheduled for Sept. 21, and was again postponed for the fourth time on Thursday. The new date now is Nov. 21.

“There could be a number of reasons for the postponement of the plenum but the most important consideration at this point in time for the party would be to find out the Indian position,” said a Maoist leader seeking anonymity. “The tone and tenor of the Gorkha plenum will be decided by how our relationship with India develops in the interim.”

The Maoist decision to postpone its extended plenum follows party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s visit to China, which asked the Maoists to improve their ties with India. Maoist-Delhi relations have soured in recent months, especially after the Maoist government sacked then-Army chief Rookmangud Katawal and subsequently resigned from office.

Following the China visit, Dahal and Delhi are trying to open back channels to reach out to each other. Party sources claim informal talks have already begun.

“The talks with India are going on through both formal and informal channels and we want to re-establish cordial ties with India, though Delhi seems to have a caveat to hold the upper hand,” said Maoist politburo member Hari Bhakta Kandel.

Maoist insiders say the results of the talks with India would go a long way in deciding what will be the focus and objective of the plenum, which is expected to bring more than 5,000 Maoist leaders of various levels together. One of the key agenda would be to decide who the party’s “principal enemy” will be. The party is still deeply divided over the issue. Hardliners such as Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya say India should be declared the ‘principal enemy’.

Leaders like Vice Chairman Babu Ram Bhattarai are opposed to the idea, who suggest that the party can’t afford to confront India.

Maoist insiders say Dahal, still undecided which way to go, wants to use the time before the plenum to see how Delhi looks at such key issues as the peace process, especially integration of the party’s combatants, constitution writing, and formation of the new government.

The long stalled budget, according some Maoist insiders, has also provided another window of opportunity for the party to strike a deal. If the Maoists fail to sort out all outstanding issues before the budget, the next trigger could come round Jan. 15, the date for UNMIN’s exit.

Yet another important date will be May 28, when the Constituent Assembly term expires
- nnnn.

Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: The United Nations headquarters has insisted that tests of samples taken from Nepali peacekeepers based in Haiti have proved ‘negative’.

The UN’s clarification comes amidst allegations that sewage water coming from latrines at the Nepali peacekeeping base in Mirebalais could be the source of cholera outbreak in the Caribbean country, Maahesh Acharya reports in The Kathmandu Post from New York..

The UN has reiterated its point amid international concern over the cholera outbreak.

During the daily noon briefing at the UN headquarters on Thursday, Spokesperson for the Secretary General, Martin Nesirky, said, “Tests of samples from the military camp and waters adjacent to the river were conducted on October 22 and proved negative.”

Denying claims that there were leakages in the sewage system, Nesirky told reporters that the overflow of water seen near the latrines is actually from the kitchen and showers of the Nepali camp. He added the soak pit is located three metres away from the latrines, and hence misleading passers-by into believing that the soaked ground is caused by the overspill of human waste.

MINUSTAH has said all human waste in the camp in connected to seven septic tanks, all constructed in close circuit and allowing for organic treatment of the waste, which are emptied four times a week by a private contractor. The private contractor discharges waste at a nearby landfill site authorised by the Municipal Council, MINUSTAH added.

The Nepali camp is based near the source of Meille river, a tributary of the Artibonite river which is considered to be the major source of the cholera outbreak.

Expressing UN’s serious concern over the allegations on Nepali peacekeepers, Nesirky said the mission is always ready to let in journalists to see the conditions inside the camp. The Force Commander and the Chief Mission Support Officer have agreed to allow interested journalists to have access to the Nepali compound and verify that MINUSTAH is in full compliance with all sanitary and environmental standards, he said.

The UN has also denied allegations that Nepali peacekeepers are suffering from cholera. “MINUSTAH would also like to stress that all 710 Nepalese soldiers underwent all required medical tests prior to their deployment in Haiti between 8 and 15 October,” Nesirky added. “None of them is cholera-positive.”

Till date, cholera has claimed nearly 300 lives in Haiti.During the daily noon briefing at the UN headquarters on Thursday, Spokesperson for the Secretary General, Martin Nesirky, said, “Tests of samples from the military camp and waters adjacent to the river were conducted on October 22 and proved negative.”

Denying claims that there were leakages in the sewage system, Nesirky told reporters that the overflow of water seen near the latrines is actually from the kitchen and showers of the Nepali camp. He added the soak pit is located three metres away from the latrines, and hence misleading passers-by into believing that the soaked ground is caused by the overspill of human waste.

MINUSTAH has said all human waste in the camp in connected to seven septic tanks, all constructed in close circuit and allowing for organic treatment of the waste, which are emptied four times a week by a private contractor. The private contractor discharges waste at a nearby landfill site authorised by the Municipal Council, MINUSTAH added.

The Nepali camp is based near the source of Meille river, a tributary of the Artibonite river which is considered to be the major source of the cholera outbreak.

Expressing UN’s serious concern over the allegations on Nepali peacekeepers, Nesirky said the mission is always ready to let in journalists to see the conditions inside the camp. The Force Commander and the Chief Mission Support Officer have agreed to allow interested journalists to have access to the Nepali compound and verify that MINUSTAH is in full compliance with all sanitary and environmental standards, he said.

The UN has also denied allegations that Nepali peacekeepers are suffering from cholera. “MINUSTAH would also like to stress that all 710 Nepalese soldiers underwent all required medical tests prior to their deployment in Haiti between 8 and 15 October,” Nesirky added. “None of them is cholera-positive.”

Till date, cholera has claimed nearly 300 lives in Haiti.

Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang may have reasons to preside over the futile parliamentary voting to elect a new prime minister, but constitutional law experts fail to see ‘a method in his madness’. Ananta Raj :Luitel reports in The Himalayan Times..

Rather, they think his inaction has invited what they call a ‘political and constitutional impasse’.

“The Speaker is not functioning as Constituent Assembly Chairman,” Daman Nath Dhungana, former speaker and veteran constitutional law expert, told this daily. “His role does not seem to fall in line with the dignified post of a presiding authority of a sovereign body.”

The weak role that the Speaker has been playing is ruining the image of political parties, he said. According to Dhungana, Nembang has the authority to rule the House to remove difficulties and resolve the problem.

The Speaker should work to boost the image of the CA, he said. “The Speaker is a thinking being, he should understand the powers vested on him.”

A reputed pro-UML lawmaker declined to comment on the Speaker’s role to facilitate the CA to choose the new PM. Constitutional law expert Purna Man Shakya said the Speaker can issue a ruling to resolve the crisis. “The Speaker might be thinking of exercising his authority at the last hour. He can scrap the PM’s election and issue an appropriate ruling,” Shakya said.

Upendra Keshari Neupane, former Chairman of Democratic Lawyers’ Association, took strong exception to ‘Speaker’s role in prohibiting’ the government from bringing the budget. “The Speaker might be right on the issue of PM’s election as he is stressing consensus politics, but he is totally wrong and working unconstitutionally by prohibiting the government from bringing the budget,” Neupane noted.

On his part, the Speaker said he is ‘ready’ to work, provided the parties accept his ruling. “People have frustrations and I am also under intense pressure.” “If I call off the election, the parties will not just make a hue and cry, but will also accuse me of violating Rules and Regulations,” he said.

Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Delay in budget may affect assistance from donor agencies, which in turn can hurt development activities, The Himalayan Times reports.

“If the current impasse continues, it will hut development activities in the long-run,” said Sultan Hafeez Rahman, director general, South Asian Department at Asian Development Bank (ADB) while talking to newsmen here today.

The delay will not only slow down development activities, new projects planning well get affected as well, he said.

ADB that contributes around $270 million to $300 million to Nepal, making it one of the largest donors, has not yet figured out consequences and their magnitude, it is hopeful that the leaders will understand the urgency. Nepal has no luxury of time, and every day lost is a loss of livelihood of people and economy, he said.

At a time when ADB has doubled its assistance, the government has not been able to bring budget that can propel the development activities.

“Despite uncertainties economic activities have been continuing after the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006,” he said, adding that Nepal did not face recession and the growth rate has been hovering around three to four per cent, which is satisfactory.

Agriculture and construction will continue to do well, he said, adding that manufacturing and energy sectors have been sluggish. Exports need to be revived and macroeconomic situation has to be managed well, he advised. He blamed the monetary expansion in the last few years for escalating inflation. “However, it is not overly alarming,” Rahman who used to head ADB Resident Mission in Nepal during 2003-2006 said.

A conducive political climate and good macro-economic management can fix these problems, he said. ADB is also planning to help Nepal improve movement of goods and services to make the economy more competitive. “North-South connectivity can help increase the movement by bridging the gap between produce and market,” he added.

The international community has a tremendous goodwill for Nepal.

ADB’s commitment to assist Nepal is line with its Country Partnership Strategy 2010-2012. Rahman is on an official visit to Nepal from October 27.

Kathmandu, 29 Oct 29: The number of people at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS was increasing in Nepal, stakeholders stated, The Rising Nepal reports.
The existing law was responsible for increasing the risk of HIV/AIDS, they said.
Speaking at the programme on the occasion of National Condom Day, Dr. K.K. Rai, director of National Centre for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC), said that condom was the only safe way to minimise the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and control the population growth.
The 16th National Condom Day is being celebrated on Saturday with the slogan of Universal Access to Condom for Dual Protection. The NCASC and various NGOs are preparing awareness generating programmes for the occasion.
Government health authorities are working to increase the access of condom to most-at-risk-population (MARP) by distributing condoms freely. On the other side, government security forces have been arresting sex workers on such flimsy grounds as finding condoms with them. Due to this type of dual policy, sex workers were compelled to hide their identity. This has increased the risk of HIV/AIDS and STD transmission, Dr. Rai said.
Until the ground as well as MARP groups revealed their status, every individual was at a risk of HIV infection, Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, general secretary of Nepal Red Cross Society said.
If the government did not come up with a clear policy about sex workers, use of condoms will not increase among the most-at-risk population. If the situation persisted, Nepal’s condition may be like that of Africa, Dr. Rai said.
Thailand, a most popular country for sex tourism, has now notably decreased its HIV/AIDS and STD prevalence rate by increasing the access of MARP groups to condoms.
According to global estimation, around 70,000 Nepalese are HIV infected. However, according to NCASC, so far only 16,000 HIV-infected Nepalese have revealed their status.
Saying that having sex using condom is the only safe way to protect and control the HIV and STI transmission, stakeholders asked the government to increase people’s access to condom.


Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: A meeting of the constitutional council (CC)
won’t be immediately held after the leader of the main opposition Pushpa Kamal Dahal refused to accept an invitation from the Office of the Prime Minister, Nagarik reports.
Following the refusal, chiefs of constitutional bodies and their members can’t be appointed; there are vacancies for more than three-and-a-half years.
Dahal has been invited to attend Sunday’s meeting of the CC.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: Two dengue cases were detected in Nawalparasi adjoining Rupendhaehi.
The disease transmitted by mosquitoes has assumed epidemic proportions in Rupendhaehi and Chitwan.
A parliamentary committee summoned health officials for a briefing Friday.
The committee asked government to launch special campaign to halt a spread of the disease.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct. Government offices in Mohottari were closed down for the second consecutive day to protest the murder of a government education official from the district in Janakpur Thursday.
Lal Kishore Jha died of gunshot wounds while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the capital Friday.
District officials have threatened to close down office indefinitely if security isn’t enhanced.
Meanwhile, traders of Birgunj handed over a memorandum to Home Minister Bhim Rawal Friday demanding security after another shooting incident in the town overnight when trader Gopi Kayal was shot and injured.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct. Chandra Kumar Chaudhary of Sunsari was Friday elected chairman of Tharu Welfare Council in Dang Friday.
The council met after 61 years to push interests.
Tharus oppose a One Madesh One Pradesh demand of Madeshis.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: Nepal Panchayan Nirnayak Samiti said bhai tika should be observed Sunday.
The Samiti said this Friday amidst protests to government from the Newar community.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct. Fourteenth round voting for prime minister was also inconclusive Friday.
The sole candidate NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel got 96 votes, two opposed his candidacy and 40 lawmakers stayed neutral.
Fifteen round voting will beheld 1 November.


Kathmandu, 28 Oct. A high-powered Prachanda-led task force to remove differences on 230 points to be included in a proposed constitution to institutionalize a constitution agreed in principle to an independent and objective judiciary.
They also agreed on a mechanism to appoint judges.
The mechanism will be discussed to appoint, transfer and act dissmiss judges and who will head it at Saturday’s meeting.
The task force in empowered to provide suggestions of Chairman Subash Nemwang of the constituent assembly (CA)


Kathmandu 29 Oct.: NC central committee Friday decided to support the caretaker government’s plans to present a delayed full budget in parliament.
Maoists object the full budget presentation.
NC support on the second day of central committee meet Friday came as NC opposed UML hobnobbing with Maoists failed attempts to elect a successori of Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal,


“It’s certain he [PM Nepal] will be portrayed as a villain in history. What’s his success as a prime minister in the final analysis? Experts are beginning to compare him with Prime Minister Nagendra Prasad Rijal of the panchayat era.”

(Yubaraj Ghimere, Annapurna Post, 29 Oct.)

“People would be grateful if leaders who boasted of making Switzerland at least converted Nepal into Bihar of Nitish Kumar.”

(Shriman Narayan, Naya Nepal, 29 Oct.)


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: Differences have surfaced in the NC is the issue of empowering the central and district presidents, Kantipur reports.
Sher Bahadur Deuba, amid charges .
On the pretext of further empowering the president at the central working committee (CWC) Thursday, Sher Bahadur Deuba said President Sushil Koirala is arbitrarily attempting to increase his powers by amending the party statue.
Koirala presented an amendment proposal proposing the president can also appoint non-elected CWC members vice-president and secretariat members.
Deuba supporters accuse Koirala of increasing powers by seeking to appointments of non-elected like district presidents,
Deuba faction is against empowering the president through statute amendment.
“The president favours increasing presidential through statute amendment.
We’ll not let that happen,” Deuba supporter and central committee member Manmohan Bhattarai said.
Deuba has objected to his placement in fourth position in the party minute book after the president, general secretary and treasurer.
But he’s second in protocol after the president in seating arrangement.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: The government is finally converting Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) into a company and initiating a process to induct a strategic partner with up to 51 percent stake to revive the long-ailing national flag carrier. Milan Mani Sharma reports in Republica..

Though much talked about, the restructuring of NAC is being executed at last after the Privatization Committee on Wednesday endorsed a restructuring plan and a new prospectus for the airline as a company.
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) had submitted the restructuring plan with a specific implementation timeline a few months ago.

“The ministry will initiate the process to register NAC as a company as soon as we get the Privatization Committee´s decision letter from the Ministry of Finance (MoF),” said Kishore Thapa, secretary at MoTCA.

The overall process could take just a few weeks, officials told Republica. Once the process is completed, it will automatically kick off capital and organizational restructuring at NAC.

“The registration of the company will instantly annul the existing NAC Act and Regulations and dissolve the existing board,” said Ranjan Krishna Aryal, MoTCA joint-secretary.

A new board headed by senior government officials will then take over NAC operations and execute the restructuring process as per the plan set out by the ministry and completely overhaul the capital and organization structure.

Going by the plan, the government will convert its existing 100 percent stake in NAC into a 49 percent share and invite the strategic partner to invest the equivalent of the additional 51 percent of share capital.

Out of its 49 percent stake also, the government will sell a 15 percentage point equivalent to the public through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). It will further divest another 10 percent share to tourism entrepreneurs and 5 percent to NAC employees.

“Once the plan is executed, the government will have only a 19 percent stake in NAC,” said the source. “NAC´s capital will be more than double the existing amount.”

The company will be run under public-private model. And with the presence of a strategic partner experienced in handling international business, the government expects NAC to become a much stronger and more efficient airline company that will reclaim its goodwill and its business.

“NAC is well known as among the safest airlines. With strong and experienced management, it will surely build a new image, coming out of a long-running depression,” said Thapa.

Latest valuation shows that NAC has assets worth Rs 16 billion. These include its corporate office at New Road, two Boeings and seven Twin Otters, and spares.

Although just endorsed, the idea of converting NAC into a company and inducting a strategic partner is nothing new. Various studies commissioned by the government in the past had put forth suggestions along the same lines.

Since 2000, the government has commissioned six different studies for restructuring and reforming NAC. Even though their major recommendations were almost similar, the government never actually implemented the suggestions.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Kathmandu, 29 Oct. Fourteenth round voting in parliament for prime minister to succeed Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will be held later Friday.
NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel is the only candidate in the race after Maoist Chairman Prachanda withdrew from the contest,
The vote will again be inconclusive as Maoists and UML, the biggest and third largest parties in parliament respectively, won’t participate in the contest.
Altogether 301 votes are required for victory.
NC first central working committee following the 12th general convention Thursday decided Paudel won’t withdraw from the contest until there’s a package agreement to draft a constitution and conclude the extended peace process.
NC renewed demands for return of seized assets and disbandment of YCL after it was defeated as the largest party in constituent assembly elections 2008 by Maoists.
They were-preconditions abandoned under intense international pressure to go for the vote from the international community by NC for the vote hoping the extreme communist would be defeated after emerging from the Indian urban jungle and Nepal’s forests following a 10-year people’s war..


Kathmandu, 29 Oct. A high-powered seven-member task force led by Maoist Chairman Prachanda to suggest ways to speed up the delayed drafting of a constitution to institutionalize a declared republic began meeting Friday morning.
The meting will suggest recommendations to constituent assembly Chairman Subash Nemwang.
The meeting started after a summit of the Big Three parties.
Major parties differ on at last 230 points to be incorporated in a proposed constitution.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav arrives in Shanghai Friday from Xian on the third day of his week-long China visit.
He’s attending the closing ceremony of the Shanghai Expo in Shanghai.
The president is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Expo.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: Three persons were killed and five were injured when a trolley fell off a road at Bulung in Dolakha Thursday.
The trolley with passengers got detached from the tractor and hurled off the road.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: International Court of Jurists (ICJ) Thursday protested the two-year extension of Col. Raju Basnet by the cabinet.
He has been accused for alleged rights violation during the 10-year Maoist insurgency.
The colonel’s brother, another senior army officer, was shot dead by Maoists at his home in the capital during the conflict.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: Friday’s UML standing committee meeting has been rescheduled.
The committee will now meet Sunday.
The party is divided on whether the caretaker government headed by the party can present a full budget in parliament.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct. Hotelier Gobinda Das Shrestha has been unanimously elected dean of Honourary Consular Corps Nepal.
Ambica Shrestha, Binaya Man Shrestha, Rajendra Khetan and Lisa Cheogyal have been nominated executive committee members.

Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: 29: In apparent manifestation of brewing conflict among the top party leadership, the UCPN (Maoist) Kochila State Committee has barred party Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai from holding meetings with party cadres in its area, Ajit Tiwari reports in Republica from Biratnagar..

Kochila State Committee In-charge Haribol Gajurel issued verbal directives to party cadres not to hold a meeting on Thursday shortly after party leaders and cadres under the state committee were asked to attend a Jaycees function on Saturday at Tankisinuwari, Morang.

The move comes after Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya objected to such meetings, saying Dr Bhattarai was trying to solicit support to consolidate his ´hold´ at the party plenum. Leaders close to the two senior leaders said party leaders cannot hold meetings on individual basis.

Chairman Dahal and Vice-chairmen Bhattarai and Baidya presented three separate political papers on the party´s future course, at the central committee meeting in August. As unanimity on any of the papers was elusive, the central committee decided to table three papers at the plenum to finalize the party´s course.

According to a source, Gajurel came to Biratnagar on Tuesday to thwart the scheduled gathering. “He returned after directing party leaders and cadres under Kochila State Committee not to attend the function,” added the source.

The source said Gajurel verbally directed party leaders and cadres to attend only functions at which all three leaders are present. Sources added that party leaders and cadres present at functions addressed by Dr Bhattarai alone have been threatened disciplinary action.

Dr Bhattarai is currently visiting various parts of the country to meet cadres and garner support for his political paper.

“I heard that Dr Bhattarai is visiting Biratnagar. But Dr Bhattarai himself has not said anything about it,” Gajurel said by phone from Kathmandu.

Gajurel said though it is natural to have a simple meeting, it is not good to call meetings of party cadres
to lobby them on the eve of the party plenum.

A senior Maoist leader in Kochila, seeking anonymity, said the meeting was called to make Bhattarai´s views clear to party leaders and cadres. “Dr Bhattarai plans to solicit support from cadres not in his favor by elucidating his views on the current political situation,” added the leader. “Fear has gripped Dahal and Baidya that their supporters could join Dr Bhattarai´s fold.”

However, Co-incharge of Maoist Kochila State Committee Ganga Shrestha said the scheduled meeting will take place at any cost. He said Dr Bhattarai will make clear the current political situation and his line. “I have arranged the meeting as Dr Bhattarai wants to meeting party cadres here,” said Shrestha.

Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, widely regarded as close to Bhattarai, said party policy prohibits central-level leaders from participating in debates on political papers with intent to influence such debate.

According to the policy endorsed by the central committee, a central-level leader is required to obtain party clearance if s/he wishes to participate in such debates.
The objective of the policy is to ensure decency in such debates and encourage independent analysis of the papers [by cadres],” Rayamajhi told Republica. “The policy is not targeted against any particular leader, it applies to all.”

However, no one can restrict the movement of leaders at local level. “Nobody has power to prevent Prachanda [Dahal], Kiran [Baidya] and Baburam from meeting cadres.”


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: The Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) has rejected reimbursement claims made by seven government ministers for travel undertaken during the Dashain holidays, on the ground that such claims violate standard norms.

Citing that no ministers or other government officials are supposed to make official trips during the Dashain holidays, OPMCM rejected the travel documents submitted by the ministers seeking approval for initiating reimbursement procedures.

As per regulations issued by OPMCM, ministers´ travel claims are reimbursed only after approval of their travel documents. OPMCM rejected the travel documents submitted by the ministers, saying the government does not bear expenses incurred during public holidays including Dashain.

"Dashain holidays are public holidays. Neither ministers nor other government officials are supposed to make any official trips during such holidays that place a financial burden on state coffers," said an official at OPMCM on condition of anonymity.

Most of the ministers who sought approval for their travel documents claimed that they were attending various programs in their respective districts even during Dashain.

Republica has learnt that Minister without Portfolio Laxman Lal Karna, Minister for Youth and Sports Ganesh Tiwari Nepali, and Minister for Federal, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs and Culture Minendra Rijal submitted travel documents at OPMCM claiming that they made their trips even during the Dashain holidays.

Similarly, State Minister for General Administration Jeet Bahadur Darjee Gautam, State Minister for Energy Chandra Singh Bhattarai, State Minister for Industry Dan Bahadur Kurmi Chaudhari and State Minister for Commerce and Supplies Saroj Kumar Yadav sought approval for domestic trips of a personal nature made during Dashain.

The ministers seeking approval for their travel documents, however, said they havd no ill intention in submitting such documents.

“It was my duty to inform OPMCM about my travel plans during Dashain. I had no ill intention in seeking approval for my travel documents. It is up to OPMCM whether or not to reimburse my bills,” said State Minister Gautam.

Government officials, however, termed the minister´s attempt a “misuse of power.”
Seeking approval for travel documents means seeking reimbursement of bills incurred during travel. This is nothing but an example of how our government ministers have long been misusing their power,” the source added.

Following reports of irregularities, OPMCM only recently asked ministers to furnish evidence of their domestic and foreign travel to claim reimbursement of expenses.

In a letter dispatched by OPMCM, the ministers have already been informed that the finance section at OPMCM will not reimburse expenses if they fail to show evidence where, when and why they made such trips.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: U.N. investigators took samples of foul-smelling waste trickling behind a Nepali peacekeeping base toward an infected river system on Wednesday, following persistent accusations that excrement from the newly arrived unit caused the cholera epidemic that has sickened more than 4,000 people in the earthquake-ravaged nation, AP reports from Mirebalais, Haiti..

Associated Press journalists who were visiting the base unannounced happened upon the investigators. Mission spokesman Vincenzo Pugliese confirmed after the visit that the military team was testing for cholera — the first public acknowledgment that the 12,000-member force is directly investigating allegations its base played a role in the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the epidemic continued to spread, with cases confirmed in two new departments in Haiti’s north and northeast, said U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokeswoman Imogen Wall. At least 303 people have died and 4,722 been hospitalised.

Haitians are increasingly turning their attention to its origins: How did a disease which has not been seen in Haiti since the early 20th century suddenly erupt in the countryside?

The mission strongly denies its base was a cause of the infection.

Local politicians including a powerful senator and the mayor of Mirebalais are pointing the finger at the Nepali peacekeeping base, which is perched above a source of the Meille River, a tributary to the Artibonite River on Haiti’s central plateau.

The Artibonite River has been the source of most infections mostly down river from the mouth of the Meille.

“They are located exactly where the sickness started,” Mirebalais Mayor Laguerre Lochard, who is also running for Senate, told the AP. Area residents are also blaming the base; a young man walked by its gate laughing and chanting, “Co-co-cholera. Cholera MINUSTAH” — referring to the peacekeeping mission by its French initials.

Cholera is almost unheard of in the Western Hemisphere. It is endemic to Nepal. A recent article in the Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases about outbreaks in 2008-09 said the strain found by researchers was “Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa biotype El Tor.” That is the same strain that has been identified in Haiti, epidemiologist Eric Mintz told the AP. But he cautioned that strain is common and description too general to be a “smoking gun” that would identify the strain’s country of origin.

In a statement UN said on Tuesday that the Nepali unit there uses seven sealed septic tanks built to US Environmental Protection Agency standards, emptied every week by a private company to a landfill site a safe 820 feet from the river.

But those are not the conditions AP found on Wednesday.

A buried septic tank inside the fence was overflowing and the stench of excrement wafted in the air. Broken pipes jutting out from the back spewed liquid.

One, positioned directly behind latrines, poured out a reeking black flow from frayed plastic pipe which dribbled down to the river where people were bathing.

The landfill sites are a series of open pits uphill from family homes. Ducks swim and pigs wallow in pools of runoff.

Lochard said that he had told Nepali officers not to place the landfill sites in that location but never received feedback from peacekeeping headquarters in Port-au-Prince.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: First, it was a re-branding exercise, then the launch of the BlackBerry, the start of the 3G and data services and now a 3G base station at the highest point on Earth, Ncell is on the roll.

On Thursday, Ncell, the country’s first private GSM operator, announced that it would be spending US $ 100 million (Rs 7.15 billion) in 2011.

Through aggressive marketing promotion and innovative service, Ncell is now aiming to become the No. 1 player in GSM mobile telephony in Nepal. This was spelled out loud and clear at a press meet on Thursday organised to mark the setting up of the 3G base station in the Everest Region. Lars Nyberg, the CEO and President of TeliaSonera, said the company wants to become a leading operator in each market it has its presence.

Nepal’s first private GSM operator, Ncell is fastly reducing the gap between it and the market leader Nepal Telecom. “We will be a market leader by early next year,” said Tero Kivisaari, the CEO of the Eurasia Region that looks after the Nepal market. Nepal Telecom’s GSM mobile subscriber base is 4.01 million by the end of mid-August.

TeliaSonera that took a controlling stake in Spice Nepal Private Limited/Ncell in 2008 has already spent US $ 300 million for network expansion. And, they have valid reasons to spend in Nepal. Nepal is one of the countries in TeliaSonera’s Eurasia region which is growing very strongly.

According to TeliaSonera’s Interim Report (January-September 2010), in the Eurasia region, growth was the strongest in Nepal and Kazakhstan with a rise of 1.6 million and 1.3 million subscriptions to 3.4 million and 8.4 million, respectively. Nepal has recorded the highest growth in the region with a subscriber base increasing by 0.7 million in third quarters. “The strong growth trend is a result of a successful launch of a new tariff plan with the same price to all networks and the improved customer perception of Ncell since the successful rebranding,” the report says.

The last two years has been remarkable for TeliaSonera and Ncell in Nepal. Not only it increased its subscriber base from 1.5 million to 3.7 million, but it also launched various services, both- premium and mass based. This year, while on the one hand it launched the luxurious BlackBerry handsets for the corporate world, it introduced the cheapest handsets at Rs 999 for the rural Nepal on the other.

Witnessing the growing market potential in data service like in other parts of the world, Ncell had launched the 3G service in mid-September and Ncell Connect, one of the fastest data services on September 30.

TeliaSonera, according to Nyberg, had decided to increase investment in Nepal in voice and data service. The fact that Ncell has been adding an average of 200,000 subscribers every month justifies its decision to come to Nepal. Nyberg’s third visit to Nepal in the last 18 months shows Nepal is on TeliaSonera’s high priority list.

For 2011, Ncell has big plans. It wants to increase its penetration to 90 percent from the existing 75 percent. The company is spending US $ 100 million for that. “We’ll spend US $ 100 million for the network expansion,” said Nyberg. “Next year, we will be adding 500 base tower stations in Nepal.” As of now, it has over 1000 such stations across the country.

At a time when foreign companies are thinking twice to come to Nepal, TeliaSonera is increasing its investment in Nepal. Upendra Mahato, a local partner of Ncell, said investment by TeliaSonera in the telecom sector in Nepal clearly shows Nepal is safe for foreign investment. “TeliaSonera is a good example of this,” he said.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: In view of not-so-sweet-smelling sanitation scenario, the government is making preparations to launch yet another five-year plan to clean up parts of the country, a worthy addition to a long list of such plans, The Himalayan Times reports.

The Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW) said the upcoming five-year plan is meant to restrict open defecation in 200 village development committees and five municipalities of the country, which has 75 districts, 3,915 village development committees and 58 municipalities.

Funding need not be a problem as United Nations Office for Project Support (UNOPS) and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) have set up Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), which will provide $5 million to raise awareness on the importance of sanitation and support the ultra poor families for sanitation.

A government report states that although 1.48 lakh toilets are constructed in the country annually, only 10 per cent of the poor have access to toilets.

Moreover, 13,000 children under the age of five die annually because of waterborne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, which result due to poor sanitation and hygiene.

The project is the first of its kind in the nation, said Raj Kumar Malla, coordinator of National Coordinating Body comprising representatives from the Ministries of Health, Local Development and Education, donors, government departments, civil society and I/NGOs.

“On the basis of ecological region and geographical structure, including Tarai, hilly and mountainous zones, we will select the DDCs, VDCs and municipals to execute the programme,” he said.

GSF has recently started working globally launching projects in more than half-a-dozen countries in Asia and Africa.

Nepal and India are the first countries in South Asia to implement this programme. “The project will begin this fiscal,” said Malla, who is also a joint secretary at the MoPPW.

Regarding the project’s operation, UN Habitat has already signed a deal with UNOPS, said Krishna Prasad Acharya, joint secretary at the MoPPW.

In Nepal, only 45 percent of the total population of about 26 million have access to toilets.

There is a wide gap between urban and rural areas where there is low priority and inadequate resources for sanitation and hygiene with a report claiming that 54 per cent of the population still defecates out in the open.

Different reports disclose that 46.3 per cent of the urban households are without basic facilities of safely supplied drinking water and 45.6 per cent are without sanitary system.

Hardly one fourth of the households in the mid-western region have toilets, a report of the regional monitoring and supervision office under the Department of Water Supply

and Sewerage reveals, pointing out the lack of toilet

facilities as the main reason behind frequent epidemic outbreaks.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: After President Sushil Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel second and third leaders in protocol ranking in the NC following the 12th party general convention, Nagarik reports.
Seats for officials and central committee members at the meeting hall of the party headquarters have been placed according to protocol ranking.
The central working committee met Thursday for the first time after the convention.


Kathmandu, 29 Oct.: MJFL is on the verge of splitting, Naya Patrika reports,
Some lawmakers and office bearers are forming a new party.
Physical Planning Minister of State and central member Saanjaya Shah, Pramod Gupta, Karima Begum, Ramananda Mandal, Kaushal Yadav, Om Prakash Yadav are considering opening a new party.
“If such behaviour of the chairman continues, we can’t stick with him. That’s why it’s our compulsion to open a new party,” central member Sanjaya Shah told Naya Patrika.” Now we’ll move ahead in an organized manner. We’ll push Madesh issues.”

Kathmandu, 28 Oct. Police Thursday recovered 77 packets of
brown sugar concealed under a bra.
Two women on a scooter have been arrested from Symbhunath.
This is the first time brown sugar concealed under a bra was recovered in the capital.
The drug was smuggled in from Raxaul, Annapurna Post reports.