Nepal Today

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PM KHANAL, SUSHIL KOIRALA TALKS

PM KHANAL, SUSHIL KOIRALA MEET

Kathmandu, 28 April Main opposition NC President Sushil Koirala held protested government’s decision to convene parliament’s budget session one month before the normal time during a meeting with Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal Thursday.
Khanal is also chairman of UML
Relations between the two parties have soured after Khanal forged a relationship with Maoists to form a communist-dominated government with majority in the598-member legislature.
NC was in a UML-led predecessor government led by senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.
NC helped in bringing down the 21-month Nepal government arguing the party should lead a government to complete the delayed peace process and constitution drafting.
Khanal also worked inside the party to pull down the Nepal government and finally negotiated a secret deal with Maoists sidelining NC which was enraged.
Koirala/Khanal Thursday discussed other burning issues including approaching 28 May deadline to promulgate a constitution; the deadline won’t be met for the second time in three years.
Parties haven’t officially adopted positions to adopt after 28Maythough they floated ideas and concepts—some saying there shouldn’t be another extension of the tenure of the constituent assembly empowered to draft a basic law.
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TWO INJURED IN KAVRE FIRE

Kathmandu, 28 April: Two persons were in a fire at Dapche in Kavre Wednesday.
Six houses were destroyed,
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NO RELEASE IN SIX MONTHS EVEN AFTER RANSOM PAYMENT

Kathmandu, 28 April: Family of a teenager abducted from Birpur VDC in Saptari six months ago is concerned without his release, RSS reports from Saptari.
Family of Sanjaya Kumar Sah has appealed for assistance.
The family said Sanjaya hadn’t been released even after payment of Rs 1.3 million ransom by some villagers.
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NINE PARTIES HANDING OVER MEMORANDUM TO SPEAKER

Kathmandu, 28 April: Following another meeting Thursday, nine parties, including NC, are handing over a memorandum to Speaker Subash Nemwang.
The parties first met Tuesday and formed a coalition after NC factions of President Sushil Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba united to move ahead in tandem.
The coalition against the Maoist/UML ruling parties doesn’t have a majority in parliament.
Besides NC, other parties in the new alliance are: MJFL, TMLP, TMLPN, NSP, RJP, CPN (ML), RPP and Samajbadi Prajantrik Janata Party.
Leaders of three Madeshbadi parties, RJP and RPP have come together after visiting New Delhi for political consultations with top Indian leaders and officials.
The parties have decided to obstruct the budget session of parliament charging government was sidelining peace and constitution drafting. The session has been one month ahead of normal time
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INTERNATIONAL VISITOR ARRIVALS TO NEPAL INCREASE 12 PERCENT

Kathmandu, 28 April: International visitor arrivals to Nepal, a popular adventure tourism destination in South Asia, jumped 12 percent February.
Figures were released by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Wednesday.
Arrivals to the area showed a year-on-year increase of five percent.
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MEDIA GOOGLE

‘If Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal can’t gather for peace and constitution leader Oli can also be an alternative. Oli is capable. UML can’t hang on to one person by sideling peace and the constitution.”

(Bidya Bhandari, former defence minister and widow of Madan Bhandari, Annapurna Post, 28 April)
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CHINESE TEAM IN TOWN FOR AIRCRAFT SALE

Kathmandu, 28 April: Effort has renewed for the purchase of aircraft for Nepal Army; an agreement was reached during the royal rule for purchase from China, Bishnu Subedi reports in Annapurna Post.
Rs.400 million was advanced five years ago for the purchase.
A five-member Chinese team has arrived to discuss the army proposal for the purchase.
The team of China Aviation Technology Import and Export Corporation has held discussions with Defence Minister Bishnu Paudel, Defence Secretary Nabin Ghimere and Army Chief Gen. Chatraman Singh Gurung on the old agreement and new proposal.
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SUDAN SCAM LEAD INVESTIGATOR REMOVED
BHADRA -
Kathmandu, 28 April: The government has transferred Rajendra Subedi, lead investigator of the Sudan scam, to Appellate Court Nepalgunj. The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had assigned Subedi to probe the scam, one of the biggest corruption cases where high-level Nepal Police officers are accused of misappropriating Rs 350 millions in purchasing Armoured Personnel Carrier (APCs) and other logistics worth Rs 400 million, Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post..

CIAA officials are already questioning the motive behind his transfer. They argue that his transfer now will delay the investigation into the 17-month old corruption case. “The transfer will adversely affect investigation. A new case officer will have to spend a lot of time learning the basics of the case,” said a highly-placed CIAA official.

According to him, the anti-graft body will not be able to come up with a decision within the May 28 deadline as demanded by the Parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC). The SAC has directed the anti-graft body time and again to take a decision over the Sudan scam at the earliest, arguing that the country’s security situation been affected by prolonged investigation into the involvement of senior police officials in the scam.

Over 48 senior officials including former police chiefs Om Bikram Rana, Hem Bahadur Gurung and incumbent police chief Ramesh Chanda Thakuri have been dragged into this scam.

SAC Chairman Ramnath Dhakal expressed serious concern over the government’s decision to remove the lead investigator. “If the decision has been taken to help any of the accused, we will certainly call the government to account,” said Dhakal.

The Office of the Attorney General transferred four Joint-Attorney Generals— Sameer Silwal, Khaga Raj Poudel, Subedi, Ramesh Pokharel—working at the CIAA to the Office of the Attorney General, Rajbiraj Appellate Court, Appellate Court Nepalgunj and Patan Appellate Court, respectively.

Among them, Subedi has been involved in probing Sudan scam. Officials at the CIAA said Subedi shown the courage to probe the case that implicates senior police officials. Many other Joint Attorney Generals earlier declined to be the lead investigator.

Attorney General Yuba Raj Sangraula said the reshuffling was part of a regular bureaucratic process and that the change of the investigator would not affect the probe. Subedi has completed two years at the CIAA and government officials say that he was transferred after completion of his tenure. Incidentally, the CIAA source, several other Joint Attorney Generals deputed at the CIAA have been left undisturbed despite completing their two-year tenures.
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CLIMATE CHANGE A MAJOR AGENDA OF UN LDC CONFERECE

Kathmandu, 28 April: The fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to be held in Istanbul, Turkey next month will adopt climate change as one of the major agenda in the Istanbul Plan of Action for LDCs, Kosh Raj Koirala reports in Republica.

This is the first time the UN conference on LDCs is going to specifically incorporate the agenda of climate change and mitigation and adaptation measures to deal with the menace in the Action Plan. The issue of climate change was not recognized as a major issue facing the LDCs in previous three UN conferences and therefore has not received due priority.

According to Rudra Nepal, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two inter-governmental meetings of the preparatory committee aiming to achieve a new action plan to advance the economic and social development of these vulnerable countries have already been held in January and April.

“Negotiations are currently underway to finalize the Istanbul Plan of Action for LDCs,” Nepal said. “The new action plan will incorporate climate change as one of the major agenda facing the LDCs.”

Nepal as the current chair of the Global Coordination Bureau of 48 LDCs has pushed the agenda of climate change as LDCs are at the receiving end of the effects of climate change. Nepal´s Permanent Representative to the UN Gyan Chandra Acharya is coordinating the inter-governmental preparatory meetings and negotiations to finalize the Istanbul Plan of Action.

UN conference on LDCs is held every 10 years. While the first and second UN conferences on LDCs were held in Paris in 1981 and 1990, the third UN conference on LDCs was held in Brussels in 2001.

The Fourth UN conference on LDC being held from May 9 to 13 will assess the results of the 10-year Brussels Action Plan for the LDCs and adopt new measures and strategies for sustainable development of the LDCs into the next decade.

The priorities outlined for the Istanbul conference on LDCs include promotion of productive capacity across the board, infrastructure and energy, science and technology and ICT, commodities and trade, human and social development, gender equality and empowerment of women. Food security, environmental degradation, financial resources for development and capacity building are also among the priorities identified for the LDCs.

Unlike the previous three conferences, the upcoming Istanbul conference on LDCs will have four different tracks on its sideline namely inter-governmental, parliamentary, civil society and private sector. They will contribute expert knowledge in their respective areas to help address widespread poverty and structural weaknesses of LDCs´ economic, institutional and human resources.

Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal is scheduled to leave for Turkey on six-day visit on May 7 to address the UN conference.
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NOMINATION OF NEW INDIAN AMBASSADOR ACCEPTED

Kathmandu, 28 April: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has approved the assignment of new Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Jayanta Prasad, a 1976 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) cadre, Anil Giri reports in The Kathmandu Post.
Prasad will replace incumbent Indian envoy Rakesh Sood.
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APPLICATIONS FOR 7,100 JOBS IN SOUTH KOREA

Kathmandu, 28 April: The government is starting new batch of Employment Permit System (EPS) from next week, The Himalayan Times reports.
Department of Foreign Employment is calling application for 7,100 South Korean jobs from Nepali youth aged between 18 and 39 years on May2-5.
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