Nepal Today

Friday, December 30, 2011

PRESIDENT, SPEAKER HOLD DISCUSSIONS

SPEAKER, PRESIDENT MEET

Kathmandu, 30 Dec.:THMANDU: Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Nembang called on President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav at the President's Office in Seetal Niwas Friday , RSS reports.

On the occasion CA Chairman Nembang informed President Dr. Yadav about the progress on constitution writing process.

The duo held discussions on the latest progress on peace and constitution writing process.
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SUSHIL KOIRALA AGAIN CLAIMS GOVT. LEADERSHISP
Kathamandu, 30 Dec.: President of the Nepali Congress (NC), Sushil Koirala has claimed the NC leadership for the would-be national consensus government, RSS
Reports from Parsa..

Speaking at a news conference in Birgunj on Friday, NC chief Koirala claimed the NC leadership for the national consensus government as there is no expected progress in peace and constitution writing process.

Koirala claimed the NC was claiming the leadership for the next government to expedite the constitution writing process.

He said peace and constitution-writing processes would not consume five months if political parties were serious to the twin tasks of the nation.

Saying the Maoist party has no alternative to concluding the peace process and supporting the writing of the constitution, Koirala urged the Maoists to implement the past pacts signed with other political parties.

On the occasion, Koirala also expressed dissatisfaction towards the deteriorating condition of law and order in the country. He added that the criminal forces would vanish themselves if constitution was written in time.

Koirala was of the opinion that the NC was in favor of delineating federal states based on consensus, capability, and identities.

In a separate context, Koirala said the NC was in favor of the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the CA term extension, adding that rule of law should prevail and all should respect the verdict of the court.
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KEEP EDUCATION SECTOR POLITICS FREE SAYS EDUCATION MINISTER SHARMA
Kathmandu, 30 Dec : Minister for Education Dina Nath Sharma has said that education sector should be kept free from politics for educational reform in the country, RSS reports..

He said problems in the education sector were seen, as the issues of responsibilities were forgotten and the issues relating to rights were talked about too much.

The teacher-turned politician, Sharma said this at an interaction organized in the District Education Office on Friday.

Minister Sharma urged the teachers to give priority to their duties as the government was committed to resolving their problems.

Sharma urged the teachers not to engage in politics in the sector of educational development, adding that the forum for politics was separate.

Minister Sharma further said that the government was planning to bring new education system to address the existing problems of the sector, adding that country┬┤s education sector was in a crisis due to lack of appropriate policies in the past.

Minister Sharma said the present education system was based on the education policy of 2028 BS as no new education policy was adopted after the restoration of democracy in 2046 BS.

Sharma said the Education Act would be amended in a bid to give permanent status to temporary teachers with due process and to recruit new teachers through open competition to address the problems of the sector gradually.

He said the new Act has envisioned giving permanent status and total facilities with due respect to temporary teachers as they have been suffering for a long period.

Minister Sharma said the Ministry of Law has agreed to the Education Act and the Ministry of Education was engaged in dialogues with the Ministry of Finance, and added that the Act would be implemented at the earliest.
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UPPER HOUSE OF INDIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS FLAGSHIP
ANTI-CORRUPTION BILL
Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: India's government faced fierce criticism in the media and from the opposition on Friday after it failed to push through its flagship anti-corruption law in the upper house of parliament, AFP reports from New Delhi..

The legislation cleared the lower house earlier in the week and the government had insisted it would put the draft law to a vote in the upper house on Thursday, the last day of an extended parliamentary session.

After more than 13 hours of debate, proceedings were finally adjourned shortly before 12:00 pm amid scenes of disorder and shouting from lawmakers described as a "midnight farce" by one newspaper.

The opposition and some news reports accused the government of orchestrating the disruption in a cynical ploy to have the house adjourned and avoid a vote it looked set to lose.

Minority parties in the ruling coalition -- led by the Congress party of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh -- had turned against the government and demanded amendments, meaning the law would have almost certainly failed to pass.

The Indian Express daily said the ruling coalition had "egg on its face" while the Mail Today tabloid said the law was now "in cold storage."

The Trinamool Congress, an increasingly unreliable member of the coalition which had demanded amendments to the law, called it a "shameful" day for democracy and a result of "orchestrated chaos".

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) repeated its call for Singh to resign and urged the government to hold fresh elections -- demands that were unlikely to be heeded.

Thursday's failure is another blow to the increasingly vulnerable Singh, whose administration had to withdraw another major reform earlier this month allowing foreign supermarkets to operate in India.

The future of the bill is now uncertain, but it will most likely be revised and again presented to lawmakers in the opening session of parliament in 2012 in late February.

There were more than 180 proposed amendments filed by the opposition during the debate on Thursday which the government has promised to examine.

"The bill is not in cold storage and will be taken up in the budget session," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal promised on Friday.

He accused the BJP, which has struggled to benefit from the government's recent difficulties, of sabotaging the legislation by filing contradictory amendments designed to prevent the passage of the law.

"The opposition parties would rather see the nation fail than the government succeed," he said.

Singh's government had invested considerable political capital in passing the so-called Lokpal Bill before the end of the year, seeing it as a vital signal that it was keen to fight the scourge of corruption in India.

The law has been one of the biggest political issues in India for months, the subject of an angry wrangle between the government, the opposition and civil society activists.

A mass movement demanding a tough new anti-corruption law was spearheaded by anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare, who captured the public's imagination in August when he staged a 12-day hunger strike against graft.

Under the Lokpal Bill, an independent ombudsman would be created with powers to investigate and prosecute public officials, but a debate has raged over which officials will come under his remit and his autonomy to pursue them.

Hazare tapped into widespread anger over an Indian graft culture fed by a series of high-profile scandals involving ministers in Singh's cabinet and senior figures in the Congress party.

His latest campaign demanding that the draft law be toughened further was called to a halt on Wednesday with the frail 74-year-old drawing small crowds in Mumbai amid concerns about his health.

V.G. Verghese, at the Centre for Policy Research think-tank, said the failure to pass the Lokpal Bill indicated the problems and divisions within the ruling coalition.

"It would be much better that instead of carrying on for the sake of carrying on, the government throws out its allies, hold fresh elections and reconstitute the parliament," he told AFP.

"But no one wants fresh elections," he added.
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