Nepal Today

Friday, December 17, 2010

SUNDY’S SESSION WILL WIDEN GULF; PM NEPAL

Kathmandu, 18 Dec.: A meeting of ruling parties Friday decided to defeat Maoist maneuvers in parliament which meets for a special session Sunday.
The move was taken because the meeting was called without consensus.
NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel, who is the sole candidate for prime minister, said the parties will face Maoists unitedly.
Paudel, who is also NC parliamentary leader, said his candidacy still stands although coalition partner UML asked him and NC to withdraw the candidacy.
NC hasn’t taken any decision on his candidacy, Paudel said.
UML said it will now vote against the candidacy of Paudel.
UML and Maoists had earlier stayed neutral in parliamentary voting.
Paudel’s bid to get elected premier will be defeated should UML and Maoists now decide to cast their ballots against Paudel.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar said Saturday differences between parties will be widened at the special session.
Maoists and some parties called the special session while attempts were being made to convene a normal session,
The outcome of the special session can’t be positive, he added.
The Big Three are meeting Saturday before Sunday’s session.
Maoists have convened a special session to elect a prime minister and amend procedures for the election of a government chief.
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EU DELEGATION PUSHED UNMIN’S WORK

Kathmandu, 18 Dec.: A European Union delegation headed by James Moran, Director for Asia and European Commission in meetings with leaders urged work of UNMIN which is retreating 15 January 2011 is consolidated and carried forward.
“With just six months away for the drafting of the constitution, the mission encouraged the political parties to rapidly narrow down their differences and agree on a shared vision for the future of the country’s political, economic and social development.
“They urged the parties to work together in a spirit of compromise, trust and show genuine flexibility, The parties should rapidly agree on a comprehensive action plan to ensure that the work of UNMIN is truly consolidated and carried forward.
“In the meetings Mr.Moran reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the peace process and called for an early adoption of the constitution.
“The EU mission stressed the importance of a rapid integration and
rehabilitation of Maoist ex-combatants. This is now paramount
given UNMIN’s scheduled departure for 15th January 2011,” a statement said.
The delegation reminded, “Failure to act on human rights, abuses undermining respect for rule of law” will “endanger sustainable peace”.
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UML IMPROVEMENT CAMPAIGN


Kathmandu, 18 Dec.: UML which is heading a coalition has decided to launch a four-month improvement campaign nation-wide, Secretary Yubaraj Geywali said.
The central committee took the decision Friday.
The meeting continues Saturday.

NAXALS KILL SEVEN IN WEST BENGAL

Kathmandu, 18 Dec.: Indian Maoists or Naxals killed seven villagers loyal to the Communist Block in West Bengal, radio reports said.
Naxalites have been on a campaign of terror in at least 19 states in India.
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MAOIST CC ENDORSES PRACHANDA REPORT

Kathmandu, 18 Dec.: The UCPN (Maoist) central committee meeting has approved the contemporary political document by party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, according to a RSS report Friday.

The document prepared by Chairman Dahal, after incorporating suggestion and recommendations made from different sides at the sixth plenum held in Palungtar, Gorkha, was approved by the central committee meeting held Friday at the party's central office, spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma said.

The meeting also decided to play an active role in making the special session of the Legislature-Parliament scheduled for December 19 a success, and hold discussions with various political parties on the same on Saturday.

Based on the proposal passed by the Palungtar meeting, the central committee meeting today also decided to finalize programs for peace, constitution, nationality, people's democracy and livelihood, to hold political and ideological training at the five development regions until the second week of January, run public awareness program on the same until second weekly of February and prepare for a people's movement if obstacles were laid to the peace and constitution making process.

Spokesperson Sharma said the meeting decided to hold discussion on the possible ideological differences within the party by publishing a magazine titled 'bichardhara'.

Meanwhile, the UCPN (Maoist) Parliamentary Party shall meet on Saturday to make additional preparations to the special session.
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NEW IDEA FOR INTEGRATIONAL
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Kathmandu, 18 Dec.: Experts at the Special Committee Secretariat have floated a proposal regarding the integration of Maoist combatants into the security agencies.

The concept that was discussed at the Technical Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants is yet to get a nod from the 12-member secretariat body.

The proposal, opposed by the Maoist leaders, suggests the combatants should be integrated into the Nepal Army (NA), Nepal Police (NP) and the Armed Police Force (APF) on the basis of the strength of these security agencies. The proposal assumes the strength of NA, NP and APF as 95,000, 56,000 and 32,000, respectively.

“This means the NA, the NP and the APF would share 50, 31 and 19 percent of the total number of the combatants to be integrated into the security agencies,” states the document obtained by the Post. At this estimate, if all the 19,602 UN-verified combatants are to be integrated into the three security agencies, the NA will take 9,801, the NP 6,076 and the APF 3,724 combatants.

Accordingly, if 7,000 combatants are agreed to be integrated, the distribution would be 3,500 in the NA, 2,170 in the NP and 1,330 in the APF. In case of integrating 5,000 fighters, 2,500 will go in the NA, 1,550 in the NP and 950 in the APF while the share will be 1,500 for the national army, 930 for the police and 570 for the APF in case of 3,000 combatants.

“This model can be useful to distribute the combatants into security agencies once the number of combatants to be integrated is finalised,” said the source requesting anonymity. “We can’t accept any proposal that aims to mix People’s Liberation Army with the existing security agencies,” said PLA Spokesman Chandra Prakash Khanal. “Both the armies should be merged to form a new national army.”
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MAOIST SAURAHA MAHOUTS HALT SAFARI

Kathmandu, 18 Dec.:The UCPN (Maoist)-affiliated Mahout-Phanit Regional Committee (MPRC) has stopped the elephant safari service in Sauraha, Chitwan, for the past two days. Scores of visiting tourists have been deprived of elephant safari, a major attraction of tourist hub Sauraha, Dipendra Baduwal writes in the Kathmandu Post from Saauraha. .

The coordinator of the Maoist Closed Hotel and Restaurant Regional Committee, Bikash Chhetri, said the elephant safari will remain off until Jan. 1. “We were compelled to launch the protest programme as entrepreneurs were reluctant to implement the grade system and fix a minimum scale for the monthly salary,” Chhetri said.

The MPRC has been agitating for the past three weeks demanding an increase in perks and salaries of mahouts and phanits to Rs. 7,500. Phanits are two ranks above mahouts, which entitles them to handle an elephant in all formal functions.

Keeping in view the tourists’ demand for the service, some safari operators conducted the safari themselves on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, Maoist activists are preparing to obstruct the tourists’ movement in the area from Saturday, alleging that the entrepreneurs are trying to water down their protest.

Agitating workers and entrepreneurs have held a series of talks but to no avail. The entrepreneurs have agreed to increase the salary to Rs. 5,100 and Rs. 5,200 for mahouts and phanits respectively and give a five to seven percent increment on their salary annually.

“Other employees won’t remain silent after the salary increment of 80 mahouts. There are about 2,000 employees in Sauraha. The entrepreneurs will have to close their business if they are forced to pay Rs. 7,500 monthly salary to the employees,” said Shankar Sainju, chairman of the Regional Hotel Association.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs are working on a war footing to make the International Elephant Race, that will kick off from Dec. 26, a grand success. They claimed that the elephant race would be organised despite the workers’ protest. In a press meet on Friday, the entrepreneurs said that the international tournament will be held on schedule at any cost.
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