Nepal Today

Friday, September 30, 2011


Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Lokesh Agrawal, proprietor of Kanhaiya Ghee who was was arrested 8 September for producing and marketing substandard ghee produce and marketing the produce, was sent to jail Friday by Kathmandu district administration.
He didn’t settle a Rs.1 billion bail for his release.

But manager of Anmol Sweets Suman Thapa, arrested the same day, was released after posting a Rs 200,000 bail.

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Top leaders of the ruling UCPN (Maoist) and the main opposition, Nepali Congress (NC), are working behind the curtains on a package deal, which aims at settling all contentions in the peace process and power sharing issues, Kamal Deb Bhattarai reports in The Kathmandu Post..
The leaders said they have sorted out most of the issues and are likely to reach consensus immediately after Dashain, provided things go uninterrupted by inter- or intra-party differences.
Chances of such a deal appear high after the parties agreed to sort out the issue of rank determination—the most contentious one—in consultations with the Nepal Army. Leaders said that if the deal is sealed, they will kick start the regrouping of combatants immediately after Dashain, resume the stalled statute writing process and extend the Constituent Assembly tenure by another six months.
Leaders said that as part of the package deal, the NC has agreed to increase the number of combatants to be integrated from its official 4,000 to 6,000 and the Maoists have agreed to accept the standard norms of the Nepal Army for integration of combatants.
In return, the NC has agreed to give concessions on age, education and marital status of the combatants to be integrated and said the Maoist combatants could remain in groups until the completion of the “bridge course.”
The NC agreed to keep the combatants in groups after the Maoist leadership explained that such a process would help the party appease its hardline faction that has been firm on “unit wise” integration.
According to a top Maoist leader, power sharing is the main issue now and once it is settled the stalled peace and constitution writing processes would move ahead.
The Maoists say that the NC is not against the peace process, but wants to make sure that it, too, has the ownership in the successful completion of the peace process. “We are ready to address NC’s fear of losing the ownership,” he said.
To address the main opposition’s apprehensions, the Maoists have offered the NC the leadership of the government that will hold elections after the promulgation of the new constitution. NC, however, is yet to trust the Maoists given the past experiences.
“The Maoists have said they are open on power sharing on a rotational basis. We are positive on that,” an NC leader said. “Let’s hope we can sort out the rank determination issue and seal a package deal during Dashain,” an NC leader privy to the development said. “Talks have moved very positively and a breakthrough is possible after Dashain.”
NC Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Poudel said consensus on peace and constitution is possible even with the current government. “There has been encouraging talks with the Maoists in recent days,” he said.
Both NC and the Maoists believe that once they agree, it won’t take time to bring the CPN-UML on board.
“It’s meaningless to engage in talks with UML. Right now, it’s NC which has to agree,” said a Maoist leader.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been meeting NC President Sushil Koirala and key NC leaders, including General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula, to forge consensus on the disputed issues.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai plans to start the combatants’ regrouping process before he leaves for India. “Our Chairman is in consultation with the NC and talks are heading towards a positive direction,” said Janardhan Sharma Prabhakar, a Special Committee member from the Maoist party.
The Maoist party has postponed its scheduled Central Committee meeting for an indefinite period after talks with the NC showed positive signs. Dahal wants to seal a deal with the NC on the peace and constitution writing processes before the CC meet. Dahal has also asked the NC to understand the hardliners’ pressure on him.
The plan of action
• NC will lead govt and hold elections
• Rank determination in consultation with Nepal Army
• Group entry till bridge course ends
• NC ready to agree on integration of 6,000
• Maoists ready to accept NA's norms.
Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is all set to visit New Delhi next month, most likely from October 21, Anil Giri reports in The Kathmandu Post.
Although, a detailed programme and itinerary of his visit are yet to be fixed by the Indian side, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) have already started legwork for the visit.
“Homework for the PM’s India visit is underway. The date of the visit is around the third week of October,” Bishwodeep Pandey, a close aide to the PM, said.
In a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 24 in New York, Bhattarai had said that he would likely visit New Delhi on the third week of October. In response, Singh had assured India’s full support to Bhattarai on his peace roadmap. Both the PMs had also agreed to hold bilateral talks mostly on pending bilateral issues in New Delhi during the upcoming visit.
A PMO source, however, said the PM’s India visit will be cantered more on the political aspect, seeking full Indian backing for his roadmap to peace and constitution than the pending bilateral issues.
“The PM also wants to have some ‘specific and tangible progress’ on peace and constitution writing fronts before he embarks to New Delhi,” the source added.
As the PM’s India visit plan gains momentum, two Indian universities, including the Kalinga University of Chhattisgarh, have invited him to deliver speeches. “However, the PM rejected the invites due to time constraints as he is planning to have a short trip,” the PMO source told the Post.
The PM is also said to have told PMO officials that his India visit would be a goodwill one and that it will mostly dwell on seeking ‘full Indian backing’ for his government to complete the peace and constitution drafting processes.

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Visiting US Congressman Steve Chabot today assured that his country will remove the UCPN-Maoist from its terrorist watch-list once Nepal gets lasting peace and a new constitution, Lekhnath Pandey writes in The Himalayan Times.

“Discussions on removing the terror tag attached to Nepali Maoists are already underway in Washington. I am confident that we can remove this tag once Nepal gets lasting peace and constitution,” Dhananjya Jha, America Division Chief at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), quoted the US Congressman as saying at the meeting with PM at the latter’s office in Singha Durbar.

Though the Maoist party has joined mainstream politics and led the government twice, it continues to figure in the US State Department’s Terrorist Exclusion List and Specially Designated Nationals. Specially designated nationals are organisations and individuals who are restricted from doing business with the United States, American companies or Americans.

The Maoist party has been seeking the removal of the tag, which the US had attached during the insurgency. At his meeting with US President Barack Obama last week, PM Bhattarai, who is also UCPN-M vice-chairman, had also sought removal of the tag. At today’s [Friday] meeting, Chabot, who is chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia in US Congress, also expressed concern about the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants and statue writing process.

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Visiting US Congressman Steve Chabot today [Friday] met with Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung and discussed bilateral military cooperation, including recently commenced activities on natural disaster rescue and relief efforts, The .Himalayan Times reports.

The duo also dwelt on the issues of integration of Maoist combatants into the Nepali Army and peace process, among others, at their meeting held at military headquarters, said a statement issued by NA.

The US leader lauded NA’s professional integrity and its contribution in world peace. Separately, the US Congressman also visited Maiti Nepal and met its chairperson and champion of anti-human trafficking campaign, Anuradha Koirala. During the meeting, they discussed the problems of human trafficking in Nepal and need to strengthen legal and social services for trafficking survivors, according to US ambassador Scott H DeLisi, who accompanied Chabot at both the meetings.


Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: Balance of payments (BOP) surplus surplus increased to Rs 8.30 billion
in the first month of the fiscal year 2011/12 with fall in trade deficit growth and increased remittance inflow, Nepal Rashtra Bank (NRB) said.

Remittances reached Rs 21.87 billion –a 23 percent jump compared to the same month the previous year, NRB said.

Exports in the review period totaled
Rs 6.07 billion and imports increased nominally by 7.2 percent to Rs 32.69 billion.

Trade deficit was Rs 26.62 billion as
garment and pashmina exports rose.

Inflation fell to 7.7 percent in mid-August 2011.

But food and beverage price increased 9.9 percent in the review period.

Gross foreign exchange reserves totaled Rs 283.77 billion-- sufficient for financing merchandise and service imports for 7.6 months.


Kathmandu, 1 Oct., In a move to mend fences with his vice-chairman Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’, UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda met him in Gongabu this [Friday] morning, The Rising Nepal reports.
It is learnt that the two leaders agreed not to further intensify the internal rift and seek dialogue to solve it.
They discussed on managing internal rift, holding the central committee meeting after Dashain and the controversial statement of Defense Minister.
The Baidhya faction has been protesting the handover of keys of arms containers to the Army Integration Special Committee, and the four-point agreement signed between the Maoist party and the United Democratic Madhesi Front. Recently, it took to the streets to denounce the statement of Defense Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari.
The party central committee meeting, scheduled on Friday, was postponed for indefinite period.
However, the Baidhy faction gave continuity to their scheduled protest programmes despite its commitment not to take them to the public until the CC meeting sorted out it.
The supporters of Baidhya faction took out torch rally in Kathmandu and other parts of the country this evening, demanding the removal of Minister Bhandari from the post and abrogation of the four-point agreement.
Sister organizations close to Baidhya took out rally in Ratnapark, Lagankhel and Bhaktapur and Chitawan.
The Baidhya faction termed Bhandari’s remark as anti-nationalistic and against the geographical integrity.
The Maoist Standing Committee meeting, held some days ago, decided not to take the internal dispute in the public until the CC meeting.
Party split unlikely
Meanwhile, Maoist politburo member Haribol Gajurel said that the ongoing intra party debate has only helped to consolidate the party and such debate will not lead to the party’s split.
Speaking at an interaction organised by Reporters Club here, Gajurel said that some leaders were trying to pollute the party but such a move will not succeed. If, eventually, there is a split, the party will get rid of the pollutants which is beneficial.
He said that Matrika Yadav and Rabindra Shrestha groups tried to split the party in the past. They succeeded to take a small chunk away which cleaned the party, he said.
"A small number of people may leave the party. That will only make the party free from polluting elements," Gajurel said.
He said that the four-point deal has tried to ensure the rights of the Madhesi people which will only help to promote nationalism. He ruled out the need to scrap the deal and said that those who have been opposing the deal are not nationalists.
All the political parties have no option but to support this government for the sake of concluding the peace process and writing the new constitution.
Gajurel alleged that NC was not honest to conclude the peace process
CPN-UML leader and former Home Minister Bhim Rawal said that the Prime Minister should conclude the peace process within 45 days as he has made a pledge.
Rawal said that 15 days are left for the Prime Minister to conclude the peace process and he added, "If he fails to meet his pledge regarding his task on peace and constitution, he is going to lose public trust."
Rawal demanded the scrapping of the four-point deal as it has undermined Nepal’s nationality.



Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: CPN-UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal Thursday said that it was quite objectionable that the government failed to react to the statement of Defense Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari, which he said, was tantamount to anti-national dignity, The Rising Nepal reports.
"Bhandari’s remark is against the national integrity and dignity," chairman Khanal said, talking to the media persons at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Khanal returned home after completing his five-day visit to India.
He went there to attend an anniversary of KIT College in Orissa.
He also criticised Dr. Baburam Bhattarai-led government, saying that it could not move ahead to conclude the peace and constitution writing processes in line with 45-day timeline.
"Works relating to the peace process came to a complete halt. There is not clear signal that this government will be able to finish the twin historic tasks. This has further justified the relevance of national consensus," said the UML chair.
He also urged other parties to follow the path of national consensus.
According to Khanal’s

personal secretary Nirmal Bhattarai, Khanal addressed the two separate functions organised by the Kalinga Institute Industrial Technology (KIT).
Bhattarai said that Khanal did not engage in any political meetings. Next year the college will bestow honorary Ph. D upon Khanal.
UML vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam went to the airport to receive Khanal.
Meanwhile, UML secretary Shankar Pokharel asked Nepali Congress and UCPN-Maoist to abandon their rigid stances and follow the path treaded by his party.
"The NC has found it difficult to embrace the political change of 2006 April Uprising while the Maoists are not satisfied with the achievements of the change," he said.
He was speaking at an interaction organised by the Constituency No 2 of UML Sankhuwasabha district committee in Chainpur.
Pokharel also demanded that the government clarify the controversial statement of Defense Minister Bhandari.
He also termed the four-point agreement, signed between the Maoist party and United Madhesi Democratic Front, as anti-nationalistic.




Kathmandu, 1 Oct, Devotees flocked Bhagawati temples
Saturday on the fourth day of Dasain Saturday.
Tika is on Thursday.


Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: In a major shift in stance, five leading trade unions including the ones affiliated to UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have agreed on no-work, no-pay and hire and fire provisions on the condition that these provisions will be applied in genuine cases only,
Ashok Thapa writes in Republica.

So far, trade unions would vehemently protest such proposals of the private sector. The breakthrough was achieved when Central Labor Advisory Committee (CLAC) - the apex body for improving industrial relations - met after a gap of almost three years on Friday.

Some major decisions were taken in the meeting, especially the one ending seven-month long confusion over minimum wages. Disputes over the minimum wages were the major reason behind the recent spate of industrial unrest and the confusions prevailed mainly because two agreements were in existence - one that private sector signed with big three trade unions on March 24 and the other that the government signed with smaller and regional trade unions on April 16.

CLAC that has representatives from employers, trade unions and the government agreed to merge the two pacts. Now, the workers will get better pay among the two pacts and in return, trade unions promised not to call any industrial strike for four years. They also agreed to ´conditional´ hire and fire and no-work, no-pay regime.

"We agreed to pay a minimum of Rs 6,200 a month and Rs 231 a day to daily wagers," said Pashupati Murarka, vice-president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).

In response, leaders from five participating trade unions agreed to endorse the agreement that FNCCI signed with big three unions including General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF).

"We agreed not to go on strikes for four years and expressed openness to no-work, no-pay, hire and fire and restricting workers participation in political activities," said Ramesh Badal, secretary of GEFONT.

The CLAC meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai himself as the government lacks a Minister for Labor and Transport Management - the designated Chairperson of CLAC. The meeting decided to set up a Labor Relation Reforms Committee (LRRC) at the central level to oversee and take instant actions for addressing industrial disputes. The committee will be coordinated by the Director General of Department of Labor (DoL).

"We also decided to establish 10 LRRCs at the district level to make sure that industrial disputes draw timely attention of the authority and actions are taken promptly to resolve the problems," said Dr Man Bahadur BK, director general of DoL. The district-level LRRCs will be headed by the chief of Labor Office.

As for the social security package, a crucial component of the labor reforms supposed to be implemented by the government, PM Bhattarai instructed the Labor Ministry to take serious initiatives to introduce the Social Security Act. He also instructed officials concerned to finalize flexible labor law.

"This is a historic decision. It has created a win-win situation for both employers and workers," said Murarka. If trade unions respect and stick to their promises, Nepal can soon achieve much-needed labor law reforms.

Conflict still persists

However, fringe trade unions including Tarai-based unions and other two revolutionary factions of ANTUF flayed the CLAC endorsement of no-work, no-pay and hire and fire provisions.

"The agreement goes against the interest of workers. We will strongly protest the decision," said Badri Bajagain, coordinator of ANTUF- Revolutionary. Officials of another faction of ANTUF- Revolutionary led by Lal Dhoj Nembang and Tarai-based trade unions said they oppose all the decisions taken at CLAC, except for the decision on pay revision.

Kathmandu, 1 Oct.: US Congressman Steve Chabot said on Tuesday that Nepal´s decision to support the statehood of Palestine “would not necessarily cause change” in US relation with Nepal, Republica reports.

The remarks of Chabot, who is the head of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia in the US Congress, have come amidst concerns that Nepal´s decision to support the statehood of Palestine may affect Nepal´s relation with the US and Israel

“I do not anticipate that would necessarily cause change in our relation with Nepal,” visiting Congressman Chabot said during a press conference.

Chabot, who is on a trip to South Asian countries, including India, arrived in Nepal on Thursday for a two-day visit to “see things from his own eyes”. He met Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayankaji Shrestha and other political leaders to discuss the peace process, constitution writing, human rights and other bilateral issues on Friday. He also met Chief of Army Staff Chhatraman Singh Gurung.

Replying to journalists, the Congressman from Ohio also outlined US foreign policy priorities in Nepal. He said that promoting peace process, reconciliation, encouraging human rights and trade opportunities were the areas of US interest.

“We want to see security, stability and prosperity in Nepal,” said Chabot. He also said that there are a lot of opportunities for investment, hydropower and tourism in Nepal.

The Congressman from Ohio appreciated Nepal´s assistance to Tibetan refugees and the works of Maiti Nepal. On the issue of Tibetan refugees, US Ambassador to Nepal Scott H DeLisi, who sat by the side of the Congressman during the press conference, said that US stresses on upholding the rights of refugees worldwide whether they are Tibetans or Bhutanese.

Asked if the US sees Nepal from other´s eyes, especially of India, he said, “No. Our relation with India is important. Our relation with China is important. Our relation with Nepal is important.”




Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: For one hour 45 minutes beginning at 8.15 Sunday the evening, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will directly interact with questioners over Radio Nepal, the state controlled radio announced Friday.
This is the first time a government head in Nepal’s history will participate in such a programme to promote direct public relations.
The move comes as he takes initiatives to establish direct contacts with the public using latest communication networks.
He responded to a letter to the editor in a vernacular daily this week mentioning problems it is encountering in running a Naxal school; he assured help.
But the doctorate holder in architectural engineering is already encountering problems after completing one month in office.
Wife Hishila Yami, according to a newspaper demanded an expensive limousine for personal use despite an executive order from the premier to government to discard use of expensive vehicles at government expensive.
He was accused by protestors waiving black flags in New York this month waiving black flags this month.
Bhattarai was charged for staying at Hyatt Hotel even while flying to New York economy class –called a hypocritical stunt.
Protests have swelled from within his UCPN (Maoist) as he adopts a pro-Indian policy even asking for Indian assist to help draft a delayed constitution.
Bhattarai didn’t ask for the help but his party boss Prachanda did so on his behalf this week citing New Delhi had brokered a 12-pont agreement between UCPN (Maoist) and seven parliamentary parties even as Bhattarai told the UN in an address to the UN general assembly the transition from monarchy was locally generated—a laughable claim.
The prime minister is facing stiff resistance from the party for signing a controversial ‘anti-national’ four-point agreement Madeshibadi parties to secure leadership of government by conceding regional demands including mass recruitment of Madeshis in Nepal Army.
Initial moves have already started even as demand for integration of 19,000 plus former rebel fighters have been sidelined.
The premier is facing rocky weather even as he has barely settled down at
Baluwatar and Singha Durbar.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept. Senior leader of the Nepali Congress, Sher Bahadur Deuba has said a package deal has to be reached for the withdrawal of his resignation from the post of central member of the party, RSS reports .

Talking to media persons following a meeting with leaders of the sister organizations of the party at his Budhanilakantha residence today, Deuba said the party establishment side should ‘give us respectable position’ in order to sort out the dispute over the dissolution of the sister organizations.

It may be noted that the office-bearers of the dissolved sister organizations’ executive committee had staged a hunger strike for ten days calling for withdrawal of the decision at the central office in Sanepa, Lalitpur.

Also on Thursday a meeting of the senior leaders including Party President Sushil Koirala had decided to urge Deuba to take back his resignation.

At the discussion held at the Deuba residence today, a decision was reached to forge a consensus only of the general convention preparation committee was formed under the convenorship of the current leaders of the sister organizations.

A decision was also taken to resort to a nationwide movement if the establishment side of the party did not review its decision to dissolve the sister organizations, according to Tarun Dal President Mahendra Yadav.

Leaders of Nepal Tarun Dal, Women's Association, Indigenous Nationalities leaders and some central members of the party were present on the occasion.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: USA Friday gave Nepal an additional USD 65.474 million equivalent to Rs. 5 billion through United States Agency for International Development (USAID) this year under an
ongoing five-year assistance agreement.

Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Lal Shanker Ghimire and
Director of USAID/Nepal David C. Atteberry signed the agreement.

The money will finance activities that help achieve the objectives of President Obama’s three global initiatives—Feed the Future, Global Climate Change and the Global Health Initiative, US Embassy said.
USAID has provided USD 53.938 million through the bilateral agreement.

Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Sixth national games will be held in Mahendranagar and Dhangadi 26 February to 4 March
National Sports Council (NSC) announced the date Friday.



Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Auspicious time for tika on Bada Dasain Thursday has been fixed at 10.35 in the morning.
The time laws fixed by Nepal Panchatan Nirnayak Simiti Friday.

Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Visiting US Congressman Steve Chabot called on Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai at his office in Singha Durbar Friday, RSS reports.

Matters pertaining to the peace process and the constitution writing were discussed in the meeting, according to Bishwadeep Pandey, the Prime Minister’s aide.

In the meeting Chabot informed the Prime Minister in what ways the U.S. Congress and the government could help Nepal in taking the peace process to logical conclusion.

The Prime Minister said the tasks related to the peace process and constitution writing were steadily moving forward and the goodwill of the American people, the U.S. government and Congress was necessary for that.

U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi was also present in the meeting.

Thursday, September 29, 2011



Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: NC senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba has decided to take his struggle for internal democracy in the party to the level of wards in village immediately after Dasain.
Deuba Friday charged there’s a move in the party to crush dissidents, according to a participant at a meet at the residence of the three time former prime minister.
Deuba was talking to 35 supporters of four sister organizations on a death fast protesting dissolution of executive bodies of the fraternal wings of party.
The senior leader resigned from the party central committee protesting the dissolution ad asked his supporters to call off the death fast..
Deuba blamed Girija Prasad Koirala for the first split in the party and assured we won’t permit a second party split, participant at the meet said.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: British government will compensate families of those killed in the British embassy compound wall collapse, Kantipureports.
Three persons were killed and one person was injured in last week’s earthquake.
The families of the killed will be compensated Rs 400,000 and the injured will get a Rs.100,000 compensation, according to Resham Gurung, convener be concerned group.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Preparations are afoot to get eight aircraft for internal flights of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) with Chinese government assistance, Gorkhapatra reports.
China is gifting five 19-seater aircraft and three aircraft with 50 seat capacity are being purchased with a soft loan.
China has asked for a request letter for aircraft by September.



By Bhola B. Rana

Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Mohan Baidya faction of the UCPN (Maoist), leading the government with five Madeshbadi parties, is holding Friday its second torchlight procession in a week, protesting the handover of keys to containers with insurgency-era Maoist weapons to a special committee headed ex-officio by the premier.
The faction of first Vice-chairman Baidya is protesting the
handover without the conclusion of the peace process while the establishment faction claims the keys were delivered to complete the process.
The Baidya is also protesting a four-point accord with five Madeshbadi parties addressing regional demands to from the government of Baburam Bhattarai.
The two issues have caused a deep chasm in the party with Baidya charging the four-point accord is anti-national.
The group also had demanded an official government on a statement of Pahadi Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari threatening cessation of 22 of 23 terai districts if criticism of the four-point deal continued.
The Maoist faction, main opposition parties NC and UML and even Madeshbadi parties and leaders have denounced the Bhandari statement.
Baidya and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa called Bhandari’s remarks an indication of Indian plot to ‘Sikkimize” Nepal in implicit reference of takeover of the Himalayan state of Sikkim by India.
‘Nothing can be greater than the nation, the agitation will
continue unless the anti-national four-point pact is scrapped.
“The party’s announced policy should be changed if the deal is
not scrapped.” Maoist Secretary CP Gajurel demanded Thursday.
Chairman Prachanda, who once charged Baburam Bhattarai for pro-Indan leanings, have now closer as they attempt to develop closer ties with New Delhi on the eve of the premier’s India visit.
The Maoist boss this week even invited India to help draft a delayed constitution; he said India should help in constitution drafting revealing a 12-point deal between self-exiled Maoists in India and seven parliamentary parties was brokered by India.
Foreign help to draft a constitution is anthem to most patriotic Nepalis.
Britain’s Sir Ivor Jennings, an expert of constitutions, helped draft the 1959 constitution.
British government wasn’t involved in its drafting.
The panchayat constitution that replaced the 1959 constitution was drafted by Nepalis as was the 1990 constitution drafted by the king’s two representatives and political parties.
Foreign attempts to help draft a 1990 a constitution were resisted.
Prachanda is holding another round of discussions with Baidya Friday to remove differences.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Unified CPN-Maoist Secretary CP Gajurel today warned of third Jana Andolan if the controversial four-point deal reached between his party and United Democratic Madhesi Front while forming the Baburam Bhattarai-led government on August 28 was not scrapped, The Himalayan Times reports.

Addressing a function organised by Reporters’ Club, Gajurel said the third Jana Andolan had already begun from Wednesday and it would soon gain momentum.

“A government is not more important than nation, nationalism and territorial integrity,” said Gajurel, adding that the andolan would continue unless the four-point deal was revoked.

He said the controversy surrounding the four-point deal, which talks about bulk entry of up to 10,000 people from Madhesi community into the Nepali Army, was more serious an issue than that of handing over keys of Maoist arms containers. “We will have to change our policy of safeguarding nationalism and national interest if the four-point deal were to continue,” said Gajurel, adding that the deal was against the party line.

He added that Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari’s latest statement which he made on Monday was but an outcome of the four-point deal.

Relevance of the government, he said, will cease if it fails to protect nationalism, national interest and territorial integrity and a person like defence minister makes such a controversial statement.

Minister Bhandari had said no constitution or law would prevent the 22 districts of the Tarai from seceding if they chose so. But Minister Bhandari, issuing a press statement yesterday, refuted media reports and claimed that his statement was distorted.

Gajurel also warned that the Bhattarai-led coalition government would soon see a fall if some contents of the four-point deal remained unchanged.

“We formed the government to safeguard the country and to provide service to the people, not to cause harm to national interest,” he said.

He also revealed the fact that the party had formed a five-member team to hold talks with UDMF before the formation of the government. “But party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Bhattarai reached the deal without roping in other members of the talks team,” he said.

He also demanded that the prime minister immediately sack Minister Bhandari for making such a controversial statement.

Nepali Congress leader Arjun Narsingh KC said it was unfortunate that the defence minister made such a statement against nationalism and territorial integrity which was beyond anyone’s imagination. “People had high hopes on the Bhattarai-led government,” said KC. “But it has now turned out to be just a fiasco. How can we believe in the PM’s statement when he himself backtracks on his own words and says the major talks of the peace process will complete in 45 days only after the parties reach consensus to this effect?”


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Nepal has officially opened the Great Himalayan Trail, one of the longest and highest trekking routes in the world, the Nepal Tourism Board said today [Thursday], AFP reports.

Billed as the ultimate trek, the arduous hike over Nepal’s mighty Himalayas stretches from Taplejung in the shadow of the world’s third-highest peak, Mount Kanchenjunga, to Humla at the border with Tibet.

“This is a completely new product and we hope that it will help boost the tourism industry,” said Sharad Pradhan, a spokesman for NTB. “It will also help cement Nepal’s reputation as the ultimate destination for adventure seekers. Adventure tourism, as a niche, is new to us but this is definitely an attractive package.”

Adventurers who complete the 1,700-kilometre trek will encounter a huge variety of cultures from the mainly Buddhist Tamang people of the central Langtang region to the ancient animist practices that mix with Hinduism in the far west. GHT covers 16 districts, ranging from Dolpa that connects with the Tibetan plateau, to Darchula, which borders India.

It will take experienced trekkers around five months to complete, although it can also be broken down into smaller sections.

Nepal hosts thousands of trekkers and mountaineers annually. The country has eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres, including the world’s highest, Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres.

The Everest region

offers several trails that range from 10-day to three-week packages.

The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal’s most popular, is a 300-kilometre, three-week trek that rises to 5,416 metres and passes through two river valleys.

“The trek is expected to be 150 days long, if it’s done in phases, as we have divided it into 10 different sections,” NTB adviser Gyaneshwor Mahato said. “But for those who attempt the trail in one go, they could finish it in up to 60 days.”

In 2010, American adventurer Sean Burch set a Guinness World Record by completing the Great Himalayan Trail in 49 days, 6 hours 8 minutes.

Fewer than 10 people have attempted the route so far. On October 2, Dutch couple Han Tijnagel and Elvira Nijkan plan to take on the daunting trail as the first trekkers to attempt it after the official launch.



Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Babita Tiwari, widow of Hindu youth leader Kashi Tiwari, gave up her fast on to death in Birgunj Thursday.
She started the fast Monday demanding persons involved in her husband’s murder by shooting should be arrested ad charged.
Babita gave up her fast when the local administration assured her demands would be met.
Local police have written to police headquarters in the capital to arrest Maoist Law Minister Prabhu Sah for questioning for possible link to the murder last year.
No follow-up action has been taken.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: The house of Saptari Maoist leader Raj Kumar Gain at Bhardaha-1 in the district was targeted in blast in the district Wednesday night.
Nobody was injured when one of three devices exploded at the house.
Two devices were defused by army bomb disposal unit.

Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: The house of Saptari Maoist targeted din bomb blast

Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: The Ministry of Defence has started discussion with the Nepal Army (NA) to increase the representation of Madhesis in the latter, Phanindra Dahal writes in The Kathmandu Post.
The Defence Steering Committee chaired by Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari on Thursday decided to expedite work for formulating policy to increase the representation of Madhesi youths in the national army. The initiative comes in line with the commitments made in the four-point agreement signed by the UCPN (Maoist) and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) last month and the relief programmes announced by the government on September 9.
The four point agreement signed ahead of the prime ministerial elections commits for creating a separate unit reflecting Madhesi identity in the national army.
The relief package announced by the government pledges ‘fixed quotas’ in the upcoming recruitment plans to ensure that the number of Madhesis in the Army goes up to 10,000.
“We have started discussions to strengthen ownership of Madhesis over the Army by transforming it into an inclusive institution in accordance with previous agreements,” said Defence Minister Bhandari. “We will continue discussions and set the entry procedure.”
The Defence Steering Committee that comprises the Chief of Army Staff and the Defence Secretary apart from the Defence Minister held its first meeting on Thursday after the formation of the incumbent government. During the discussion, the Army chief is learnt to have told the government to formulate a policy on the inclusiveness drive.
“We will support the government in accordance with the new policy,” a source quoted Gurung as saying that the Nepal Army was now an inclusive institution. According to the NA, there are more than 6,200 Madhesis in the Army, including the Sabuj Battalion with 850 personnel, 90 percent of whom Madhesis.
The Nepal Army recruits 55 percent soldiers in free competition and has reserved 45 percent seats for inclusive quota. Of the reserved seats, 32 percent are allocated for indigenous people, 28 percent for Madhesis, 20 percent for women, 15 percent for Dalits and the remaining five for other backward groups.
Even if the national army had 95,753 seats during the Royal rule, its current strength is 92,753. The government and the Madhes-based parties want to increase Madhesi participation in the Army under the 3,000 vacancies that were endorsed by the Palace but were not fulfilled after the Finance Ministry declined to release budget following the political change of 2006, a Defence Ministry source said.
Currently, the Nepal Army has four battalions meant for particular ethnic groups: Purano Gorakh Battalion (Magar), Naya Sabuj Battalion (Madhesi), Ripumardan Battalion (Rai) and Kali Bahadur Battalion (Gurung). A majority of soldiers in the units are from the respective caste groups.

Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: After a lengthy slump, the real estate sector has seen signs of revival with banks and realty traders offering attractive packages to sell apartments, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Of late, the liquidity situation in the banking sector has improved and they are daring to invest in the real estate sector, specially housing, again.
On the other hand, realty traders are also looking at an opportunity after the government increased the income source disclosure requirement to Rs 10 million for purchase of land and houses.
As the environment is becoming favourable for both banks and real estate traders, about half-a-dozen housing entrepreneurs have opened bookings for apartments and houses with special discount packages before the Dashain and Tihar festivals.
According to realty traders, 6,000 apartments and 1,800 houses have been opened for booking. “These include buildings and apartments whose construction has already been completed and those still under construction,” said Min Man Shrestha, the general secretary of Nepal Land and Housing Developers’ Association (NLHDA).
“The market confidence seems to have strengthened,” he said. “The construction of all the apartments and houses will be completed and handed over winthin the next five years.”
Traders who saw a lengthy stagnation in the business are ready to sell apartments and houses even by reducing their projected profit margin. “The main problem has been the complete stalemate in the trading,” said Bhesh Raj Lohani, the secretary of NLHDA. “Now, there is a ray of hope appearing.”
Everest Bank has introduced a special scheme for those willing to buy apartments and houses. “We have received very good response to the scheme from throughout the country,” said a source at the bank. “Customers are attracted to the scheme as we have promised not to hike the interest rate for a year and provide loan for furnishing and maintenance as well.”
Apart from Everest Bank; a few other big banks have also made house loans easier. Traders are also jubilant with schemes being introduced by the banks. “The interest rate has come down to 13 percent from as high as 17 percent for the realty sector,” said Lohani.
According to real estate traders, the central bank’s latest provision to increase the cap of home loan to Rs 8 million eased the transaction to some extent. “Similarly, the Cabinet’s endorsement this week of the budgetary provision that one should not disclose the income source to buy land and house worth Rs 10 million also gave us a huge relief,” said Shrestha.
After banks reduced their realty sector exposure below the level fixed by the government, their lending in the sector has eased of late. They were required to reduce the exposure of loans to 25 percent as of last fiscal year. “We have seen positive developments in the housing sector,” said NRB spokesperson, Bhaskar Mani Gyawali. “However, we have sought to control lending in land plotting, which is an unproductive sector.”
Entrepreneurs say banks are not only offering home loans, but also providing loans to develop housing projects. “They are lending as per the quality of the projects,” said Shrestha.
Despite the high demand, developers say they have the capacity to hand over only 1,600 house/apartments per year. “Latest statistics show that there is a need of 900,000 more houses,” said Shrestha. “There is space for coordination between real estate entrepreneurs and the government to meet the requirements and promote an organised settlement.”
Developers are also optimistic that the easing of the liquidity situation will stimulate the sales of houses and apartments. “September/October is considered the beginning of the season for housing business,” said Shrestha. “We expect a good fortune this year.”



Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Nepal will host a conference of governors of central banks of all eight SAARC member states in 2012, Nepal Rashtra Bank said.
Central bank officials took the decision when they met this
month in Washington DC for the annual meeting of World
Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The meeting will discuss monetary policies and challenges faced by central banks in South Asia.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: A nine-year-old girl has been found
murdered after rape in Sulughng-5 Thursday morning,
Republica reports from Ilam.
Locals found her body stuffed into a sack in amriso field at
around seven Thursday morning.
Eyewitnesses said she was bleeding from her vagina and had
bruises on the neck.
Rejna’s mother Rajana lost her consciousness on hearing
about the incident and is receiving treatment at the district hospital.

FNCCI, workers reach agreement, CLAG meeting to endorse the pact

Kathmandu, 30 Sept. The months-long disputes between workers and employers, which has been a major cause of industrial unrests, might come to an end soon as leading trade unions and Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on Thursday showed flexibility on matters related to pay and hiring system, Ashok Thapa reports in Republica.

FNCCI, the apex business representative body, agreed to pay a minimum monthly salary of Rs 6,200 and daily wage of Rs 231 as demanded by the trade unions and as announced by the government through a gazette on May 15.
FNCCI and three major trade unions--General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF)--had met on Thursday to thrash out their differences on the eve of the meeting of Central Labor Advisory Committee (CLAC) scheduled to be held on Friday. Earlier, FNCCI had been officially refusing to pay the remuneration as demanded by the trade unions.

Reciprocating with FNCCI´s flexibility, the workers unions agreed to abide by the spirit of the bilateral pact signed on March 24 that envisages four-year industrial peace, no-work-no-pay, hire and fire as well as limitation on participation in political activities by workers, among others.

Both FNCCI and trade unions have also agreed to press the government for prompt implementation of the social security package mentioned in the deal as well as to take serious initiatives to implement the Act related to social security of workers.

“It is a major breakthrough in resolving the months-long industrial dispute. We are going to propose what has been agreed at CLAC meeting on Friday to get it endorsed,” said a senior office bearer of FNCCI.

In a bid to pave the way for amicable solution of the problem, the FNCCI has also agreed to withdraw the case filed at Supreme Court (SC) against the government announced pay package.

Dharmendra Kumar Singh, president of NTUC said that the CLAC meeting will resolve all the differences and dilemmas prevailing in the industrial sector of the country. “We have made a preliminary agreement with FNCCI as groundwork for the meeting. We hope the meeting will be a success and guide the employers-workers relationship to a better path.”

Responding to the FNCCI and trade unions´ request to arrange a meeting of CLAC, Ministry of Labor and Transport Management (MoLTM)--the ministry responsible for implementation--has called the Friday´s meeting.

As the government hasn´t appointed a Minister for Labor and Transport Management, Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai himself is scheduled to chair the meeting.




Kathmandu, 30 Sept. A five-member investigation team began its probe Tuesday of a Buddha Air US-built Beech 1900D
aircraft crash that killed 19 passengers and crew Sunday by visiting
the crash site.
All 10 Indians, two Americans, one Indian and six Nepalis were killed
when the aircraft flying low smashed against a hill southeast of the capital’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIS) while landing on returning from an abortive mountain flight to view the lofty Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest.
The body conducted technical measurement and talked
locals and rescue workers on the first day of its work, an announcement said.
The Buddha Air’s crash was the private carrier’s first in 14 years.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Nepali doctors demanding equal pay
with their Indian counterparts have called off their strike with the festive season at the Manipal College of Medical Sciences in Pokhara.
All Nepal Progressive Health Worker’s Association said their demands haven’t been met and threatened resumption of the strike after the festive season amid threats by management to close down the college.


Kathmandu, Sept. 29, UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ Thursday said that he was effortful to make agreement with the other parties over contentious issues related to peace process before Dashain festival.
"Just yesterday I had held discussions with Nepali Congress president and I realised that we are near agreement to move forward and conclude the peace process, said Prachanda at a tea reception programme at Thamel.
The chief of the main ruling party pointed out at the need of agreement on modality of army integration, number, rank harmonisation, standard norms and rehabilitation package. "It would really give good news to all including the business community in the context of happy Dashain if we political parties could make agreement on these vital issues before the great festival."
He hoped that there would be agreement if the issue of state-restructuring could be finalised.
The chief of the largest party said that the package-deal with regard to conclusion of peace process would not be as proposed by any one party.
"If we cannot take concrete decisions to conclude peace process and constitution within two months, the country would plunge into a crisis," he said.
Prachanda dismissed that the intra-party dispute in his party would hamper the peace and constitution writing as he said that the discussions on vital issues were normal in any party.
Meanwhile, ambassadors of the EU countries met with Prachanda at his residence at Nayabazar.
During the meeting, the EU envoys enquired Prachanda about the state of the peace and constitution building process and the Maoist position in that regard.
Talking to the journalists after meeting, Danish ambassador Morten Jespersen informed that the discussions were focused on peace and constitution writing process. He said that the ambassadors of the EU countries assured Prachanda of continued assistance and support for the conclusion of peace and constitution building process.



Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Information and Communications Minister Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta has said that the remarks of Defense Minister Sarad Singh Bhandari were uncalled for as they go against the principles and policies of the Madhesi alliance, The Rising Nepal reports from Rajbiraj.
The issue of nationalism is being projected by some political forces in the manner of the panchayat regime in a bid to show the failure of the present government, Gupta said.
Speaking at a gathering organised by Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Republican) here Thursday, Gupta said the Madhesi Front, composed of five Madhes based parties, is in favour of one Nepal.
The outcry over the so-called splitting of the nation has no meaningful purpose, he said.
The Front will not support any such view, he clarified.
He objected to the criticism made by Mohan Baidhya faction of the UCPN-Maoist, and by Nepali Congress and CPN-UML of the four-point agreement as lacking a solid basis.
Minister Gupta added that these forces outside the government were venting their discontent over the formation of the present coalition.
He said that the issue of nationalism should never be used for partisan interests.
The objective of the Madhes movement was to establish an autonomous Madhes province, not to divide the country, he said.
It was a false propaganda to say that India was interfering with Nepal’s national unity, he said.



Kathmandu, 30 Oct. The fifth Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Global conference begins n Kathmandu 12 October and will continue for three days until 14 October.
Nearly 700delegats are expected to participate.
The meeting will jointly by sponsored by NRNA and FNCCI.
A new executive board will be elected for a two-year term.
A conference organizing committee headed by Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kazi Shrestha reviewed
preparations for the meeting.


Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: The Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) has asked the Ministry of Commerce and Supply (MoCS) to immediately prepare a list of those who have long been involved in producing and supplying adulterated foods, other products and services and declare them ineligible for operating businesses in future, Bimal Gautam reports in Republica.

OPMCM Secretary Leelamani Paudyal dispatched 10 separate letters in the names of various ministries including MoCS, asking them to regulate daily essentials and blacklist those found supplying sub-standard products, that cause severe problems in public health.

"Trace back three generations of those who have been found producing and supplying sub-standard foods and other products, blacklist them and also declare them ineligible for running any kind of business in future by formulating the required regulations," states the directive signed by Secretary Paudyal.

Paudyal, on behalf of OPMCM, also directed MoCS not to leave any stone unturned to book, blacklist and disqualify for further business activity those who have been found guilty of selling date-expired medicines. "Declare ineligible those who are proved guilty in connection with producing and selling adulterated foods and medicines and also ban them from operating any kind of food business and other trade in future," the directive further states.

OPMCM has also asked MoCS to probe and prepare a list of those who have long been operating one fradulent business after another. "We have information that a number of individuals and firms have closed their businesses to evade revenue and escape possible action only to re-start after renaming the companies," said Paudyal, adding, "We have asked MoCS to probe and prepare three-generation lists of such individuals and companies, blacklist them and declare them ineligible for running businesses in future."

In another letter, sent to the Ministry of Energy (MoE), OPMCM has asked the latter to probe 20 big industrial firms allegedly involved in pilfering electricity. "We have directed MoE to probe 20 major industrial firms and also find the officials at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) who have allegedly been involved in abetting such pilfering," Paudyal added.

MoE is also being asked to recover dues from such industrial firms without further delay. In a letter sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), OPMCM has directed it to control visitor visas and beef up checking for those going to work in Gulf countries using tampered passports and other documents.

In a separate letter to the Ministry of Labor and Transport Management (MoLTM), OPMCM has directed the latter to control the trend of sending innocent Nepalis, mostly women from various parts of the country, purportedly for lucrative jobs abroad including in Kuwait. "There have been a number of complaints that the manpower mafia has long been trafficking innocent Nepalis to the oil-rich countries with the help of forged passports and tampered documents," Secretary Paudual said, adding, "MoLTM is also being asked to arrange smooth transport flow by making transport fare rates and routes public at bus parks and other key points such as Kalanki."

OPMCM has also asked the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW) to ensure the quality of drinking water and its effective, regular and equal distribution in the Valley."

OPMCM has also proposed to Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai a probe panel to investigate the expenses incurred in maintaining the Naubishe-Naghdhunga highway section, the status of roads being maintained, and the present state of the Naubise-Naghdhunga section and roads within the valley.



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: NC President Sushil Koirala said Thursday he won’t accept the resignation tendered by senior party leader Sher Bahadur Deuba from the central committee Wednesday.
The party held a meeting of officers Thursday.
But Deuba said after a meeting with his supporters the ball is now in the court of the party establishment to resolve differences in the party.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Two persons were killed Thursday in a motorcycle accident in Kailali.
Three others were injured; one person was rushed to India across the border for emergency treatment.



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: A meeting of Maoist office bearers began Thursday to promote understanding amid rising intra-party differences over handover of Maoists weapons to government and the signature of a four-point deal of Madeshbadi parties.
First Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya Thursday attended a meeting of party office bearers boycotted by General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa and Secretary CP Gajurel of the Baidya camp.
Office bearers met after Friday’s central committee meet was postponed amid deep party differences.



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: The cabinet decided Thursday to raise compensation to those killed during the 10-year 10-year Maoist people’s war the Madesh movement.
The same amount will be paid to will receive minimum compensation to families of disappeared persons.
Government spokesman Narayan Kazi Shrestha, who is also deputy prime minister and foreign minister said this while giving details of the cabinet decision.
Amid mounting pressure from a section of UCPN (Maoist) and other parties, the cabinet also expressed its commitment to national unity, integrity and sovereignty, he added.
Maoists are leading the government with five Madeshbadi parties.
The faction led by First Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya Wednesday demanded an official government position on the controversial statement of Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari threatening cessation of 22 of 23 terai districts.
Cessation was threatened if criticism of a four-point agreement between UCPN (Maoist) and Madeshbadi parties continued.
Bhandari has already issued a conciliatory statement saying he was committed to the country’s independence and territorial integrity.

Bhandari’s MJFL also attempted to calm the atmosphere created by the statement.
It defended Bhandari saying his statement wasn’t ill-intentioned while criticizing the language and presentation.
The party also censured the minister when MJFL said ti was saddened by the statement.
Bhandari deposed at the cabinet meet.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, who is also a former prime minister, Thursday demanded the immediate resignation of Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari for his controversial statement.
He expressed surprise at the official silence over the controversial statement.
Khanal returned after a four-day India visit.
UML chief, who was heavily criticized for bringing Maoists into his government through a seven-point agreement, doubted Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will meet his commitments when he assumed office.
“We were hopeful. Events are showing the prime minister’s commitments won’t be met,’ Khanal said.
UML, through a statement of Acting Chairman Bamdeb Gautam, has already demanded the resignations of Bhandari and Maoist Land Reforms Minister Prabhu Sah.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Congressman Steve Chabot has arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday for a two-day visit, RSS reports..

During the visit, Chabot is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai and senior government officials, political party leaders, media representatives, and civil society leaders and discuss issues relating to the peace process.

Chabot is scheduled to hold a press conference at 6:30 on Friday evening.

Congressman Steve Chabot has represented Ohio's First Congressional District in the US Congress for fifteen years and currently serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Pubudu Dassanayake ,former Sri
Lankan test player and now a Canadian national, arrived Thursday to take up responsibility as national cricket coach.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) President Binaya Raj Pandey welcomed him at the airport.
"Coaching is challenging and I´m here to face it.
"My first assignment is to qualify for the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers through the ACC Twenty20," he told reporters at the airport.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011



Kathmandu, Sept.: Effective 18 October, the capital’s residents will
compulsorily have separate degradable and non-degradable garbage for disposal by municipal authorities.
The new plan will be applicable for residents of all the
city’s 35 wards.



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: With the Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Mohan Baidya factions engaged in a full-throttled war of words, talk of a split in the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) has become louder,
Maila Baje writes in Nepali Netbook.
Despite the growing acrimony in their public references to each other, Dahal and Baidya both claim the Maoists will defy Nepalese political convention by remaining united.
Still, the escalating duel has sent reverberations at multiple levels. The cynical school still maintains that the wily Maoists have manufactured another crisis for public consumption while aiming to gain further ground. Regardless of how the infighting ultimately affects the future of the Baburam Bhattarai government, the prime minister will still be complicit in putting the party above everything else.
Let’s take the realist school next. The decision to hand over the keys to the Maoist weapons containers and the four-point pact with the Madhesi alliance to cobble together the ruling coalition are the two things that has infuriated the Baidya faction. It is hard to believe that Dahal and Bhattarai could have pushed through either by keeping the hardliners in the dark. So any bad blood today would have to take account not only grievances accumulating over time but also the shifting alliances of the recent past.
What specific commitments did each faction make and who double-crossed whom? Here, too, the Maoists have only deferred to the personality and patronage-based debilities that are intrinsic to the system they have entered (which, again they had originally vowed to overthrow).
The more disturbing element of the discussion of the latest intra-party rivalry is the one that is being pursued with the greatest seriousness – superficially, though. The fighters in the camps do not support Baidya and his bluster of an armed revolt, we were told right after the keys row erupted. The Maoists have invested too much in the political process – and have become too dependent on its patronage – to do anything but struggle along through peaceful competition.
That narrative seemed to lose its luster pretty quick. Now we are told – including by expatriate conflict experts – that there is a real chance of at least a faction of the Maoists reverting to armed insurgency. Should they do so, one expert warned the other day, all of us should be prepared to bear responsibility.
Maila Baje, as usual, believes that alien hands are getting off too easily here. The external dimensions will define much of the international deliberations on the Maoists. Just consider the following:

* The Indians, who nurtured the Maoists the most during their most lethal years, are having the toughest time dealing with them in their ostensibly defanged form.

* The Chinese, who not only publicly repudiated the local adherents of the Great Helmsman as a stain on his memory but also continued to arm the royal regime until the very end to suppress the rebels, are today seen as the primary beneficiaries of the political rise of the Nepalese Maoists.

* In a span of three years, two American presidents – representing sharply polarized political parties – spared time for Nepalese Maoist prime ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly while still keeping the organization on the terrorism list.

And we’re not even talking about the Europeans who have collectively and individually deployed the Maoists as a tool of autonomous assertiveness. (The international non-government sector has only picked up from where officialdom has chosen to restrain itself.)
So, who really needs our Maoists to split? Given the current goings-on in the party, the one-party Nepali Maoist state that everybody seems to dread might not be so all-round asphyxiating after all.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s self-imposed six-week deadline to demonstrate substantial actions in good governance and peace process is approaching fast and will expire next fortnight. A semblance of positive indicator, noted initially in favor of the new premier, is fast proving to be a bubble bursting at the first tests, Trikal Vastaavik writes in People’s Review.
Things are exactly where they were previously. The handing over of the key of the containers storing Maoists’ weapons is only a minor event in the long and excruciating march to the peace process which cannot afford to go on tolerating the existing snail-like pace of progress since the past three and a half years that have produced neither a new constitution nor addressed the issue of the Maoist troops, placed in various cantonments since four years.
Vaidya has been advised by some of his loyalists to break away from the party, if need be, because of the “revisionist” nature of Dahal’s approach. Although he has rejected the suggestion, closed door meetings have been held at different venues to weigh the pros and cons of the available “alternatives”.
Clearly, interesting times are ahead. Bhattarai is being seen as someone who responds with speed but in measured tones. His hold on the Maoist party is not as strong that of Pushpa Kamal Dahal or Mohan Vaidya. The three-faced party follows the geometrical rule that any two sides of a triangle are bigger than the third side. In the NCP (Maoist), Dahal has the clout, Bhattarai the calculation and Vaidya the ideology.
In contrast to his earlier stands, Vaidya was also party to the agreement signed with the Madheshi Morcha in exchange for the latter’s support to the Maoist led government replacing the Jhala Nath Khanal government. Former Prime Minister Khanal is hopping mad at the “betrayal” of the Maoists as he lost weight, height and stand in his own CPN (UML) for his seemingly outright support of Maoists that enabled his rivals to claim that he had carried the agenda of the Maoists at the expense of UML’s policies and credibility.
Maoist chairman Dahal is playing his cards close to his chest this time, sharing his thoughts with only the most trusted ones. He is yet to be reconciled to the fact that Bhattarai is the new prime minister. He had approached at least two other members of his party to stake their claims for the post of prime minister. Both shied away from the offer. Although Bhattarai is aware of this, he has not mentioned it to his party chief.
On his part, Dahal is all the more suspicious that Bhattarai is taking the whole issue lightly. The Maoist supremo realizes that Bhattarai, too, has a long memory and with his “extraneous” support Bhattarai could be looking for the occasion and time to strike it hard for taking over the party reins. Bhattarai has vowed to support Dahal for his continuation as the party boss for a new term.
It could very well be that Dahal is biding his time till the party convention before he makes the next move. India is watching the development closely and directing its sympathizers accordingly. Some Nepali politicians, known for their close links with Indian intelligence agencies, sum up Dahal as unpredictable but amenable provided he is given “the attention.” They find Vaidya as “too rigid” and expect the Maoists to split.
New Delhi is happy with Bhattarai in the prime minister’s seat, as is also indicated by the manner in which Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh telephoned Bhattarai and invited him to pay an official visit to India. This contrasts with Jhala Nath Khanal’s desperate desire to make a trip to the southern neighbor but all in vain.
Bhattarai has not been able to do anything of note so far, except to raise some dust in this already dusty city when he decided to ride a modest “Nepal made” car instead of imported, luxurious and expensive Japanese cars. He has made people sit up and comment on his actions and non-actions. A prime minister is also known by the team members he is accompanied by. The faces from the Madheshi Morcha are all too familiar and many of the backgrounds far from flattering.
Gone are the first 100 days being treated as a period of “honeymoon” for a new government to announce its policies and programs. Bijaya Gachjchhedar was the only other member who was sworn in office on the day Bhattarai was sworn into office as prime minister. The second installment came a few days later.
Bhattarai the “intellectual” (for having obtained a Ph.D. from Political science department at Jawaharlal Nehru University) showed his bankruptcy when he appointed Barsha Man Pun as the finance minister and decided to continue with the budget estimates tabled by the previous government. Just as he considered no experytise necessary for looking after an important ministry like that of the finance, Bhattarai’s so-called intellectualism also does not overwhelm others.
Delivering something that has been promised is a difficult task. Will Bhattarai and his supporters define that “considerable” achievements made in his first six weeks in office? Or would the prime minister dare to step down and throw the gauntlet at his successors, whether from his party or others, to do what he could not?
Considering he has compromised heavily with the Morcha just to become the premier and have his portrait hung on the wall at Singh Durbar, Bhattarai will try to retain the chair he publicly dismissed as not important but wormed his way to the same through a variety of pulls and strings. Quitting is not easy. The resignations by Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Khanal in the last three and a half years were under compulsion.
Bhattarai is trying to paint himself as someone who gets the work done. He will be under pressure from his party to do what he may not like to do. He may also come under pressure from his patrons who may want him to do something that neither Dahal nor Vaidya support.
Bhattarai’s immediate past predecessor Khanal is bitter over the Maoist having engineered his government’s early fall. Khanal had spoken of consensus government but managed to form only a majority team. His own party colleague Madhav Kumar Nepal could have continued in office if merely a majority government was the need.
Even when political parties have been blatantly involved in politicking and power-brokering and backroom bargaining, the elite and the so-called civil society leaders are mum over the issue.



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Kist Bank Ltd. has convened a special general meeting 19 October to empower the board to discuss
merger with an unnamed foreign strategic partner, an announcement said Thursday.
The meeting has been called to empower management to signed
a memorandum of understanding with the partner.
Although the partner wasn’t identified, a published report earlier said India’s Punjab National Bank, is negotiating to acquire majority 51
percent in the Bank.
Punjab National Bank has minority stake in Everest Bank Ltd.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: SP Rajendra Shrestha took over charge Wednesday at Metropolitan Police Range, Hanuman Dhoka.
He took charge from SP Kedar Rijal.
Rijal was replaced after this week’s after a Muslim leader was shot dead this week in the capital.


“Madeshis are patriots but Bhandari’s remarks have made them look like

(MJFN Chairman Upendra Yadav, Republica, 29 Sept.)

Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: The government is doing groundwork to make the National Vigilance Centre more powerful in a bid to what it says bring ‘political corruption under the legal net’, Ananta Raj Luitel writes in The Himalayan Times reports.

“The bill to this effect is still under consideration,” said Trilochan Upreti, Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. “The proposed idea is to empower NVC to investigate cases of political corruption — an attempt to develop it somewhat like the Central Bureau of Investigation of India.”

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had hinted about strengthening the anti-corruption body in his immediate relief programme.

The bill with the proposal to equip NVC with some additional jurisdiction — technical audit, monitoring and more activities against corruption — was presented by the Nepal Law Commission at the Jhala Nath Khanal-led Cabinet a few months ago. But the incumbent government has moved a step further to propose empowering NVC to look into political corruption as well.

According to NVC Spokesperson Arjun Prasad Khanal, the government has also proposed giving NVC the authority to protect public properties and monitor public offices. NVC can also issue an order to public institutions. Currently, NVC has been working under Section 37 of the Corruption Prevention Act, 2002 as an institution directly under the prime minister.

Maoist lawmaker Eak Raj Bhandari said the government was mulling over developing NVC as a strong anti-graft body because the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority ‘failed to rein in corruption’.

“The move will help bring political corruption under legal net,” said Bhandari.

But CIAA Spokesperson Ishwori Prasad Paudel accused the government of hatching conspiracy to weaken the anti-graft watchdog. “The proposed jurisdiction (of NVC) is duplication of CIAA’s jurisdiction, and the government cannot do so unless the constitution is amended,” said Paudel.

CPN-UML leader Pradip Gyawali said the government bid is ‘ill-intended’. “This is against the spirit of the constitution. The government is planning to suppress political opponents,” said Gyawali. So said Nepali Congress lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak. “We have CIAA working against corruption as an umbrella institution,” said Lekhak.

Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: A control room has been set up at the Prime Minister’s office to keep the Prime Minister abreast of burning
issues and the people’s concerns, The Himalayan Times reports.
The high-level mechanism instituted on Monday has three
officers and supporting staff under the supervision of a
secretary at the PMO.



Kathmandu, 28 Sept.: One day after senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba resigned from NC central committee, party President Sushil Koirala Thursday morning consulted close central leaders on how to tackle the situation.
Deuba is holding a separate meeting with his supporters Thursday as well.
The three-time former prime minister was nominated central committee member after Koirala was elected by a general convention one year ago.
Sushil succeeded his cousin Girija Prasad Koirala as party chief as Deuba attempts to himself ass party leader.
Deuba is exerting pressure on Koirala to reinstate sacked executive committee members of four fraternal wings of the after their elected tenures were completed.
Koirala overturned suggestions of a body suggesting executive chiefs should be retained to conduct elections forcing Deuba to quit.
Deuba charged Koirala for attempting to run the party unilaterally and argues the party can’t sacked elected officials.
The senior party leader said a repeat split in the party’s won’t recur.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: President Dr. Ram BaranYadav will pay a four-day stat visit of Qatar from 10 October soon after Dasain, foreign ministry said.
Agreements on investments, civil aviation and labour facilities are being during the visit, the foreign ministry said.
An estimated 400,000 Nepalis work in Qatar and more could get job opportunities following the visit.

Kaathmandu, 29 Sept.: UCPN (Maoist) leader and wife of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Hisila Yami, has asked Chief Secretary Madhav Ghimire to arrange for an India-made Bolero or another cheaper car for her, reports The Kathmandu Post.
The Post ran a news report on Wednesday that said Yami was flouting the government’s austerity drive championed by her husband by demanding luxurious cars from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“I have sent a message to the chief secretary to arrange for a Bolero or a cheaper car for me as the current (another Prado used by former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala) is not functioning well,” Yami told The Post, adding that she had never demanded a Toyota Prado car.
Ghimire, however, refused to comment on the issue. The Bolero costs Rs 3 million approximately. The government’s austerity directives introduced by the PM forbids the purchase of vehicles that cost over Rs 3 million even for government secretaries and ministers.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the BBC Nepali Service on Wednesday, Bhattarai was asked to clarify his wife’s demand for luxurious cars.
In response, Bhattarai said there was a premeditated attempt in the media to tarnish his government’s image.
He, however, added that he will spare no one if found guilty. “I am worried and I will not tolerate such things if enough evidence is produced before me,” Bhattarai said.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: With the hard-line faction of the UCPN (Maoist) upping its ante against the four-point agreement signed between the party and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, there are speculations that the government might face tough time in the coming days due to the growing dissidents, Pranab Kharel/ Kamal Dev Bhattarai write in The Kathmandu Post.
The Baidya faction has demanded scrap of the “anti-national” deal, arguing that it would lead the country to “Sikkimisation”. However, members of the coalition rule out the possibility of the statement affecting it. “Morcha reached the agreement with the Maoist faction, which, like the Morcha itself, stood for the middle path on issues of peace and constitution,” said Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Nandan Dutt. He added that the four-point pact was signed with full knowledge of the Baidya faction. Dutt also said the government would complete its mandated tasks of furthering peace and constitution writing.
Echoing similar views, Local Development Minister Top Bahadur Rayamjhi said Baidya's statement was his personal and that it had nothing to do with the government. He dubbed the statement of the Baidya camp reflective of the “Panchayat-era nationalism”.
Asked whether this statement and the subsequent move of the Baidya faction would affect the party's hold in Madhes, Rayamajhi ruled out such possibilities. However, observers believe that this might affect the party's position in the southern plain. Analyst and Madhesi affairs watcher Chandra Kishore says that the statement and the moves of the Baidya faction could hamper the party in the region, where they have been trying to consolidate their hold. “The alliance between the Morcha and the Maoists is an attempt on the part of the latter to gain grounds in Madhes,” states Kishore. As the party is weaker in the region in terms of organisation, the Maoists have been trying to forge alliance with the Madhes-based parties, he argued.
Crucial CC meet put off again
The widening rift within the UCPN (Maoist) seems to linger as the party's crucial Central Committee (CC) meeting slated for September 30 has been postponed. Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal put off the meeting after he failed to cajole the miffed Mohan Baidya faction into supporting his peace mission. The CC meeting was expected to take a call on the contentious issues of the peace process, including the Baidya camp's demands. Leaders say Dahal decided to postpone the meeting citing the lack of time to do homework to resolve the intra-party differences.
The Baidya faction has been opposing the party's decision to hand over keys of arms containers to the Special Committee and the four-point deal signed between the government and the Madhes-based parties. According to leaders, Dahal has concluded that the CC meeting that was scheduled to begin on September 30 could neither unite the party nor split it, but indecision would prevail in the party.
Earlier, the CC meet scheduled for September 19 was postponed, as Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had to leave for New York to attend the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations. Politburo member Haribol Gajurel said it was meaningless to hold the meeting on September 30 in view of the upcoming Dashain festival. The non-Maoist parties are calling on the Maoists to solve the internal dispute to take the peace and constitution-writing processes ahead.
The Maoists' 45-day plan to accomplish the peace process has hit a snag due to objection from the Baidya faction on several issues. The rift became more conspicuous after the Baidya camp spoke against the government in the parliament.
Maoist Standing Committee member Top Bahadur Rayamajhi said the government would move ahead as per the decision of the earlier CC meeting. “The CC meet that concluded on August 22 had decided to concentrate all efforts on peace and constitution, so we will move ahead according to that decision,” said Rayamajhi.



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: A meeting of Maoist office bearers is being held Thursday after Friday’s central committee Friday was postponed with swelling intra-party differences on handover of Maoist weapons to a government committee.
Differences have also broken out on a four-point agreement between UCPN (Maoist) and five Madeshbadi parties giving concessions on regional demands of terai-based parties to form the coalition parties.
The agreement has been called anti-national.
A meeting of office bearers couldn’t be held Wednesday when a hardline faction ked by First Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya decided to boycott the meet.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept. Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari of MJFL Wednesday issued a clarification and a conciliatory statement after his threat of cessation of 22 of 23 terai districts if criticism of a four-point agreement between UJCPN (Maoist) and five Madesshbadi parties continued.
The threat was widely condemned.
“I’m clear and firm even now in that belief. If my reaction is studied wholly, my intention will itself by certified,” Bhandari said saying he was for strengthening unity by bringing 23 terai districts into the national mainstream.
“I only expressed consequences that could happen and everybody should be alert of the consequence when Madeshi, adibashi, janatati and, backward Nepalis aren’t included inclusively in Nepal Army(NA) and other state agencies,” the defence minister added.
“That was not my wish or warning,” he said of his reference to cessation.
“Today’s need for all of us is to reinforce the traditional unity between Madeshi, Pahadi and Himali people. All of us should be even more active in reinforcing this unity.
‘In the past and even now, as defence minister I’m continuously active for the country’s nationality and national unity
Bhandari asked all sides to not to have doubts.
A handlne faction in Maoists leading the government with Madeshi Wednesday evening held torchlight processions nationwide condemning the statement and asked government for its official position.
The Mohan Baidya faction of the party called the threat a part of an Indian design to ‘Sikkimize’ or overrun Nepal.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Nepali Congress senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba Wednesday announced his resignation from the post, accusing the party establishment of not being serious about solving the row besetting the dissolution of sister organizations, Ram Prasad Dahal writes in The Rising Nepal.
With his resignation, his supporters, who were on the fast-onto-death for the last 10 days in party’s central office, Sanepa, also called it off. Deuba offered them juice.
"My resignation is for saving the party from possible division and against the monopoly of party establishment side," Deuba said, talking to the media persons.
He said that he did not tender resignation from the CC post to be saint and split the party.
Deuba blamed that party president Sushil Koirala breached the earlier agreements struck with late Girija Prasad Koirala as well as with him during the time of party unification and appointment of party vice-chairman and general secretary.
He also accused the party president of not showing humanitarian behaviour with those involved in fast-onto-death even though their health became poor and were hospitalized.
These political developments occurred after Deuba held meeting with his central leaders and lawmakers close to him.
NC cadres of the both factions resorted to fast-onto-death for and against the party’s decision but the supporters of establishment side quit the fasting on Tuesday. Earlier, an informal meeting of party establishment, held at president Koirala’s residence Maharajgunj, decided to be maximum flexible to address the issues raise by the Deuba faction.
It demanded to withdraw the 20 September decision to dissolve the central body of Nepal Tarun Dal, Nepal Women’s Association, Nepal Aadibasi Janajati Sangh and Nepal Prajatrantra Senani Sangh and form the prepration committees to hold their convention within six months.
"We are flexible to address the demand made by the Deuba faction by keeping the decision intact and forging consensus" informed party general secretary Prakash Man Singh after the meeting.
However, he said the hunger strike had started before the decision had so it was wrong move from the Deuba faction. Another general secretary Krishna Sitaula informed the meeting reached a conclusion that the party should go ahead with unity.
Central member Arjun Nursing KC said that the meeting discussed about the formation of preparatory committee consisting the representatives from both sides to hold their general conventions.
Likewise, the party affiliated professional organizations also appealed to the leadership to resolve the dissolution rift.
Issuing a joint press release, the heads of Nepal Democratic Medical Association, Nepal Teacher Association, Nepal Democratic Layers Association, Democratic Professor Association, and Center for Democratic Lawyers Association requested to settle the issue through democratic manner as soon as possible.



Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: A pressure cooker bomb hidden under a
truck exploded at Siddhanath Kastha Udyog at Chatakpur in Dhangadi Wednesday.
There was no major damage at the furniture factory.
Another bomb was recovered nearby from a shop; the bomb was
defused by an army bomb disposal unit.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Health of Babita Debi, widow of slain founder of
Hindu Yuva Sangh Kashibath Tiwari, on a death fast in Birgunj since Monday deteriorated Wednesday..
She initiated the fast Monday.
Babita has been put on saline.
Maoist Land Reforms Minister Prabhu Sah has been implicated in the shooting of Tiwari last year in the town.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: A weeklong strike at Chinese-aided Gorakhkali Rubber Factory was withdrawn Wednesday as production resumed in Gorkha.
Workers called off the strike after management agreed to annul new appointments and give locals priority in recruitment.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept. Deepak Maharjan crashed out of the AIBA World Boxing Championship and 2-12 London Olympics Wednesday.
The only Nepali medalist of the 10th Asian Games lost to India’s Dinesh Kumar 20-8 in the 81kg weight category at Baku in Ajarbaijan.
Maharjan’s hopes of qualifying for the Olympics are still alive.

Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai said on Wednesday that the first draft of the new constitution would be prepared by November 30 and so would the categorization of ex-Maoist
Combatants, Republica reports.

In an interview to BBC Nepali Service on Wednesday, the prime minister said, “It will not be possible to prepare the complete draft of the constitution in the next two months]. So the first draft of the constitution will be readied by then.”

Stating that the Constituent Assembly term can be extended until the constitution is promulgated, the prime minister said the CA would require an extension of six additional months for the drafting of a complete statute.

When asked about the Supreme Court verdict that allows for CA term extension by only six months, the prime minister said, “Even the Supreme Court has accepted the principle of necessity and the Constituent Assembly can extend its term as per the principle.”

The prime minister said categorization of the ex-Maoist combatants would not begin until there is consensus among the parties but added that the categorization would be completed by November 30 when the extended term of the CA expires.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the UCPN (M) and Nepali Congress leaders on Wednesday reached an understanding to resolve the outstanding issues of the peace process within three/four days.

“We agreed to hold talks to produce results within the next three to four days,” NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel, who attended the meeting, told Republica.

Emerging from the meeting, NC leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula told media persons that the meeting was fruitful.

At the meeting, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had assured the NC leaders that the internal conflict in the party would not affect the peace process, according to Paudel.


Kathmandu, 29 Sept. Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa on Sunday accused the party establishment of being "conspirators and cowards" and of deviating from the ideals of revolution, reports Republica.

Thapa expressed this view while speaking at a cadre orientation program at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, held by the party hardliners.

"The cowards do their things from hiding. They signed the four-point deal and handed over the container keys secretly. But we are not cowards. We have launched our struggle openly," a participant quoted Thapa as saying.

Thapa told the cadres that his faction would see how the party establishment presents itself in the forthcoming central committee meeting, and chart out a course accordingly.

"We will see how they present themselves. But we must if necessary give a push to break the current course," Thapa argued. He meant that if Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam continued along the current path, the party would clearly deviate from its revolutionary path, and the opposition faction must then take initiatives to save the party.

Thapa argued that the new struggle launched by the hardliners was not meant to split the party. "But when we set such a goal, there will be a separate government and separate army," a cadre quoted Thapa as saying.

According to the participants, Thapa stated that his faction had not yet broken relations with the party establishment and he would do his best for reconciliation.

Thapa argued that it is the party establishment -- not the hardliners --who are for splitting the party by flouting the party´s official decisions.

He stated that the party establishment, by returning seized property and handing over the container keys, made a great "capitalistic leap" - not any leap for communism.

Meanwhile, cadres from the party hardline faction marched from Jawalakhel to Santibatika protesting against the statement of Defense Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari that the 22 districts of the Tarai may announce a separate state. Maoist leader Tilak Pariyar addressed the gathering at Santibatika.

Meanwhile also, the Maoists have postponed a Central Committee meeting scheduled for Sept 30, citing the upcoming Hindu festival of Dashain.