Nepal Today

Friday, March 25, 2011

CHINESE ARMY CHIEF CONCLUDES NEPAL VISIT

MAOIST, NC SUMMIT

Kathmandu,, 25 March; After assuming office with UML 3 February, Maoists Friday held their first summit with NC leaders at hotel in Thamel .
Maoist Vice-chairman Narayan Kazi Shresths said ‘serious’ discussions were held.
Discussions on the derailed peace process, constitution drafting and integration of 19,000 plus Maoists former combatants figured in the talks.
Maoist Chairman Prachanda and NC President Sushil Koirala were assisted by top party leaders as differences on major issues between the two parties have widened recently.
Maoists again invited NC to join government—an offer rejected by NC.
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EU ENVOYS EXPRESS CONCRN WITH PM

Kathmandu, 25 March: In a collective meeting with Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal Friday, ambassadors of EU member states expressed concern with he government chief on obstacles to economic development and the completion of the peace process, an aide to Khanal said after the meeting.
The extended transition was affecting development, the aide said quoting the EU ambassadors.
He said the envoys asked Khanal when the delayed peace process would be completed.
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CHINESE ARMY CHIEF CONCLUDES NEPAL VISIT

Kathmandu, 25 March: Chinese Army Chief Gen. Chen Binghe returned home Friday after concluding a rare three-day Nepal visit.
China offered Nepal assistance to upgrade a military hospital and logistics support for development activities.
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ACTION INITATED AGAINST JUDGE FOR MISCONDUCT

Kathmandu, 25 March: A judicial council meet chaired by Chief Justice
Ram Prasad Shrestha Friday initiated action against Pokhara appellate court judge Om Prakash Subedi for misconduct.
The council asked Subedi to furnish a reply within why action shouldn’t be initiated against him.
The move came after a report on his behaiour was submitted to
the council.
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TWO BOMBNGS IN RAUTAHAT

Kathmandu, 25 March: Am armed rebel group in Rautahat Friday bombed a women’s development center in district headquarters.
There were no casualties.
But 10personswere injured, three seriously, in a bomb explosion in a passenger.
The bomb was planted by Terai Tigers, according to its chief Nagrajsn.
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BLIZZARD, SNOWSTORM KILLS TWO IN LANGTANG

Kathmandu, 25 March: A blizzard and snowstorm killed two persons in Langtang adjoining Tibet overnight, a local relief worker said Friday.
The snowstorm destroyed 24 houses in a village.
Two persons swept away by Dovan khola om Palpa died Friday while undergoing treatment in hospital.
They were away swept while bathing.
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TULSI RAM AGRAWAL APPOINTED HONOURARY CONSUL GENERAL

Kathmandu, 25 March: Tulsi Ram Agrawal has been appointed honourary consul general for Maldives, an announcement said.
He is vice-chairman of Vishal Group Ltd.
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GORKHA DEVELOPMENT BANK DECLARED TROUBLED

Kathmandu, 25 March: Gorkha Development Bank has been declared troubled by Nepal Rashtra Bank (NRB).
An emergency meeting of the central bank made the declaration Thursday.
The meeting also decided to liquidate Samjhana Finance Company.
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MEDIA GOOGLE

‘If the past three-years’ record is anything to go by, the security situation has improved a lot in the central tarai of late, thanks to coordination among the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department.”

(PM Jhalanath Khanal, The Himalayan Times, 25 March)
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LANKAN ASYLUM SEEKERS FLEE

Kathmandu, 25 March: A group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers, who had been living underground in Nepal for the last 10 months, have fled to India after perceiving ‘increasing risk’ of arrest and deportation to Sri Lanka, Kamal Raj Sigdel writes in The Kathmandu Post..

The Sri Lankan dissidents, who worked closely with former Gen. and Commander of Sri Lankan Army Sarath Fonseka during Sri Lanka’s 2010 presidential and general elections, had entered Nepal via the open Nepal-India border in May last year with the hope of receiving asylum on “humanitarian grounds”. They said they had to flee their country to save their lives from the ‘repressive’ regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who beat Fonseka in the 2010 presidential elections. Fonseka and some of his men were arrested and sent to jail after Rajapaksa was elected in February.

Santha Karunaratne, the leader of the group, told the Post over telephone from a bordering Indian town that five of his men crossed the international border from Birgunj in the wee hours of Wednesday and that two of his freinds are out of contact.

“We fled after we concluded that it was futile to stay in Nepal illegally without hope for shelter. There was also growing risk of arrest and subsequent extradition.” Karunaratne said he worked as an “All Island Coordinator for Gen. Fonseka’s Political Office” during the election.

The group plans to contact the UNHCR office in New Delhi and apply for asylum in Switzerland, which has already rejected their first application sent from Nepal.

Though initially there were 14 in the group, only seven were living together under the “unofficial protection” of the UNHCR. According to Karunaratne, five of them “went out of contact” after a few months of illegal stay in Kathmandu, while one managed to fly to Canada and the other had died of a heart attack on Oct. 10, 2010, as the death certificate issued by the Sahid Gangalal Heart Centre revealed. The dead has been identified as C.G.H.H. Chandrasekere, who was a former Sri Lankan armyman.

Apart from the refugee leader and the dead man, others in the group were General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Progressive Front Ananda Jayakody, his Assistant Secretary Dhammika Swarnapali, Sujith Kariapperuma, Sisil Pathirana, and Kasun Chandrasekere. The documents issued by the ICRC, Colombo, and the arrest warrant, given to the Post by the refugees, show some of them were once arrested on Jan 29, 2010 and released on bail on Feb 2, 2010.

The Sri Lankans feared that their lives would be in danger if they were extradited to Sri Lanka as they have a case pending in their country. They were tried under a terrorist act for “conspiring in collusion with Fonseka to overthrow the Sri Lankan government through a military coup”.

The refugee said they were able to cross the border after the UNHCR provided them with travel costs. UN sources in Kathmandu, however, refused to comment, but confirmed that they were “unofficially protected” as the government did not have any policy or law to grant them a refugee status.

The Home Ministry was unaware of their illegal stay for long, though lately, the police had intensified a manhunt.

Home Ministry Spokesperson Jay Mukunda Khanal said the government does not have any policy to grant asylum to any one except the Tibetans and the Bhutanese.
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