Nepal Today

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Kathmandu, 1Feb : Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai Tuesday put on hold a
government decision to restrict flow of government information amid widespread protests.
The premier announced this at a meeting with journalist representatives.
The government backed out of a government decision when while defending the action saying the action was a follow-up of decisions of previous governments.
Meanwhile, supreme court (SC) Tuesday issued an interim order asking the government not to implement the directive to restrict dissemination of “information of public importance”.
A single bench of Justice Baidya Nath Upadhaya issued a stay order.
The Democratic Lawyers Association filed the petition, accusing the government of violating the Right to Information Act.
Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: A judicial probe commission formed by the government to investigate into the murder of NC-aligned Tarun Dal Chitwan President Shiva Poudel in the prison has started its works, RSS reports from Chitwan .

The team that arrived in Chitwan on Tuesday started investigation into the murder case from Bahratpur prison, informed Chitwan Police Chief Bhupal Kumar Bhandari.
A nine-member team including technicians headed by former justice Mohan Prasad Sitaula has begun investigation into the incident.

The team has started acquiring information from eye witness, police and prison employees since Wednesday morning.

Poudel was attacked inside the prison on December 6 and subsequently died while undergoing treatment on
December 17.


Kathmandu, 1 Feb.:: Members of the parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) have expressed serious concern over growing competition between India and China to provide security assistance to Nepal, KoshRajKOirala reports in Repblica..

Speaking at a meeting of the parliamentary committee held on Tuesday, committee members criticized the government for not giving due consideration to the national interest while accepting assistance meant for the army and police. They also asked the government not to accept support in sensitive areas like security.

"There has been growing competition between India and China to provide security assistance to Nepal in recent days. I wonder whether our government has paid heed to the national interest while accepting such assistance," said Nepali Congress lawmaker on the committee Arjun Prasad Joshi.

Joshi cautioned the government that acceptance of aid in the sensitive area of security may seriously undermine the national interest. "This is a very sensitive issue. The government should be very careful while accepting such assistance," he added.

The concern by lawmakers comes against the backdrop of both India and China pledging huge security assistance to Nepal in recent years. In its biggest-ever extension of military support, China recently pledged $ 7.7 million worth of aid to the Nepal Army, besides pledging assistance for setting up the Armed Police Force Academy. India, likewise, has pledged assistance for building the Nepal Police Academy in Panauti and provided military supplies as requested by Nepal.

Speaking at the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense and Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, Maoist lawmaker on the committee Pampha Bhusal criticized the government move to accept Indian assistance for the Nepal Police Academy and hire Indian security officials as consultants.

"The prime minister recently announced that we can collect over Rs 6 billion if all government employees donate their salary for one day and seek support from Non-resident Nepalis. We are ready to donate two days´ salary, not just one day´s, to build the police academy," Bhusal said.

Arguing that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had cut short his visit to just four hours from his originally scheduled three-day trip, most lawmakers speaking at the meeting also flayed the government for failing to maintain effective law and order in the country. "Neighboring countries have failed to feel assured about our security situation. This has placed our credibility into question in terms of security," argued UML lawmaker Pradip Gyawali.

Expressing his reservations, Gyawali also sought the government´s clarifications over the proposed Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that reportedly contains a provision allowing India legal professionals to plead on behalf of Indian nationals in Nepali courts, and over the government´s plan to seek Indian assistance for changing the entire setup of the immigration offices.

The SAC had summoned Minister Gachchhadar to brief it about his recent visits to China and India, amid speculation in various quarters that controversial agreements had taken place during the visits. Lawmakers raised the issues of missing pillars along the Indo-Nepal border, alleged encroachments of Nepali territory from the Indian side, hassles and misbehavior meted out by Indian border security personnel, and the extradition and mutual legal assistance treaty with India.

Minister Gachchhadar clarified to the parliamentary panel that they had not inked any agreement with India or China during the visits.

"While China has suggested to us to maintain good relations with India, India on the other hand has suggested we maintain good relations with China. This is great political magnanimity. My visit has helped further strengthen our relations with both countries."

Home Secretary Sushil SJB Rana informed the committee that during a recently held home secretary-level meeting in New Delhi, agreements were reached with India to conduct regular joint inspections of the border pillars, hold meetings between chief district officers concerned and their Indian counterparts on a quarterly basis, and exchange real-time information to curb illegal activities including smuggling of fake Indian currency in bordering areas.

"The meeting took stock of the security situation. Both sides exchanged their concerns and analyzed recent security trends," he said.


Kathmandu, 1 Feb:: The State Restructuring Commission Tuesday submitted its report to Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai recommending 11 federal states for Nepal, The Rising Nepal reports.
Among the proposed 11 states are Limbuwan, Kirant, Tamsaling, Tamuwan, Narayani, Magarat, Karnali-Khaptad, Mithila-Bhojpura-Koch-Madhes, Lumbini-Abadh Tharuwan, and one additional state for the dalits.
In the 170-page report, the commission gave priority to communities of people accounting for more than 1 per cent of the total population of the country and living in compact settlements while proposing the states, according to a member of the commission.
He said the commission suggested autonomous areas for Sherpa, Jhangad, Urau, Dhimal, Meche, Santhal, Pahari, Yakkhya, and other communities, accounting for less than one per cent of the total population.
Commission chairman Dr. Madan Pariyar said that the report was unanimously written.He informed that notes of dissent from the commission members were also included in the report.
"We all submitted the report together as the commission members and it bears all of our signatures," Dr. Pariyar said.
Refuting the news report that three of the members submitted separate reports, Dr. Pariyar said that not only three members but all others had differences of opinion.
The SRC, formed to submit the report in two months, got a week’s extension to prepare the report.
Members Ramesh Dhungel, Sabitri Gurung and Sarbaraj Khadka were reported to have presented their notes of dissent.
After the submitting the report, Dhungel told journalists that he had differences regarding the number of states, their borders, names, first rights and the right to self-determination.
"Our opinions were also included in the report," Dhungel said.
According to a statement issued by Dr. Pariyar, the report was prepared as per the mandate given to the SRC by the government by making capacity and identity as the bases of state restructuring.
Demanding information about the report of the State Restructuring Commission prior to its submission, Sherpa lawmakers of various parties staged a sit-in and chanted slogans near the Prime Minister’s Office inside Singha Durbar.
As the commission team reached the PMO to submit its report, the lawmakers demanded to know whether it had included the Sherpa state in it or not.
According to lawmaker Lucky Sherpa, security personnel escorted commission members into the PMO.
Sherpa said the lawmakers staged a sit-in
after receiving information that the commission removed the Sherpa and Jadan Pradesh from its report. The Constituent Assembly committee report proposed such a Pradesh.
CPN-UML lawmaker Pasang Sherpa and Lucky were among others in the sit-in protest.

Kathmandu,1 Feb.:The release of the combatants opting for voluntary retirement will begin after the coming Thursday, according to the Army Integration Special Committee, The Rising Nepal.reports.
The AISC had earlier decided to initiate the work from Tuesday.
However, lacking logistical preparations, the team assigned to oversee the discharge of the combatants would leave for the cantonments only on Thursday.
According to AISC secretariat member Dr. Shambhu Simkhada the team could not leave for the cantonments in time due to delay in preparing the bank checks to be deposited in the name of the combatants.
Some 7,365 combatants had opted for voluntary retirement during the regrouping.
It would take two more days for the joint secretary of the Peace Ministry and account officer of the Office of the Auditor General to sign the checks.
The Finance Ministry released Rs. 1.97 billion for the combatants.
The government had urged the combatants to open their bank accounts in Agriculture Development Bank, Rastriya Banijya Bank and Nepal Bank Limited.
By Tuesday, over 5,000 combatants opened their bank accounts and provided the AISC their account numbers.
The team would accomplish the task of releasing the combatants in 12 days after it left for the cantonments, according to Simkhada.
“The people who form the government lose their conscience in lack of consensus from people then resorts to anarchism and censorship of information”,

(UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, 1 Feb.)


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