Nepal Today

Monday, November 29, 2010


Kathmandu, 29 Nov. An empowered meeting of the Maoist central committee meets Thursday in the capital after the conclusion of a main opposition 6thplenum plenum in Gorkha during the weekend.
The meeting couldn’t resolve intra-party differences of future party strategy to handle a prolonged political deadlock with `other parties.
The committee has been empowered to sort out internal party differences which the plenum couldn’t resolve—hence the importance of the committee meet.
Differences will be taken to a party general convention if the central committee can’t settle the disputes.
UML central committee also meets 14 December amid a prolonged political deadlock.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal accompanied by another Maoist critic KP Sharma Oli leave for Cambodia Tuesday to attend a conference of Asian political parties in the Cambodian capital.
Chairman Jhalanath Khanal is also flying for South Africa to attend another conference even as Speaker Subash Nemwang asked lawmakers not to leave the capital amid attempts to convene a session of parliament to approve a national budget and elect Nepal’s successor.
Nepal has been a caretaker government head since 30 June.
Nepal held routine consultations with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav Monday before flying abroad.
Nepal said he could cut short his foreign visit, if necessary, to be present at home to assist in a political breakthrough—an unlikely possibility.


Kathmandu, 29 Nov.: A meeting of the NC central working committee (CWC) will continue for the third consecutive Tuesday amid opposition in the committee to appoint nominate office bearers by party President Sushil Koirala.
Koirala has proposed Ram Chandra Paudel and Krishna Prasad Shitaula vice-chairman and general secretary respectively amid widespread opposition.
Spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC Monday urged understanding and warned a division in the committee though voting to confirm nominations will be disastrous for the party.
Committee members pressed for a secret vote if elections are held.
Fifteen CWC members spoke Monday after 11 members elected by the just concluded general convention presented their views Sunday.


Kathmandu, 29 Nov.: There were no casualties when the Janatantrik Mukti Morcha triggered an explosion by a planted bomb in front of the Rupedhaehi district court Monday.
Police helped evacuate the building following the explosion.


Kathmandu, 29 Nov.: The annual international World Polo Championship got underway in Meguali in Chitwan Monday.
The championship was launched 1985 by Jim Edwards, of Tiger Tops fame.
Eight foreign and local teams are participating.
The championship is back in Chitwan after it was held in Bardiya in 2009.


Kathmandu, 29 Nov.: The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has summoned the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTA) Secretary Kishor Thapa, Joint Secretary Ranjan Krishna Aryal and Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) Chairman Sugat Ratna Kansakar over the issue of allowing Air Arabia to operate flights on the Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur route and beyond, Bhadra Sharma reports in The Kathmandu Post..

Civil servant unions at the NAC had filed cases against the secretary and chairman. “Following several complaints, the Commission summoned them,” a highly placed source at CIAA told the Post. The complaints registered with the anti-graft body say that their sole intention in allowing the international air company to operate on the said route was to cause bankruptcy of the national flag carrier and feed vested interests.

The unions alleged that this was tantamount to ‘handing over NAC’s fifth freedom right’ to Air Arabia. The fifth freedom right refers to the right to “enplane traffic at one foreign point and deplane it at another foreign point as part of continuous operations” also connecting the airline’s home base.

Air Arabia is scheduled to launch air service to Malaysia from its hub in Sharjah starting Dec.16. The airline has already started selling tickets for Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) directly through its “two official agents” General Sales Agents and City Express Travels and Tours even before a route agreement has been signed with the Ministry.

For NAC, Malaysia is one of the most important passenger destinations. The unions claim the logic behind this transfer of fifth freedom right is self-defeating. Financially, Malaysia is a cash cow for NAC.

On Sunday, CIAA dispatched separate letters directing the NAC officials to come up with all the original documents within a week. Sources close to the CIAA claimed the NAC had taken this decision following pressure from Deputy Prime Ministers Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, Sujata Koirala and Tourism Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari, among others. “Both the NAC chairman and secretary were visibly under pressure when I handed them separate letters,” said a CIAA official.

Reportedly, the Commission has been preparing to grill the tourism minister. Currently, NAC is left with only one Boeing after its Boeing 9AOB grounded in Hong Kong for months. “If the corporation does not revoke its decision, all of us 1,400 staffers will have no option but to be left jobless,” National Civil Servants Employer’s Origination Vice-President Nimanada Khanal said. Five years ago, the government had given similar rights to Qatar Airways but revoked that decision after criticism from all quarters and when the NAC faced a serious financial crisis.


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