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.


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