Nepal Today

Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Kathmandu, 1 March. : The Big Three agreed Thursday to conclude peace process and constitution drafting as per terms set between parties in and out of government, according to NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel Thursday.
Paudel said.this amid charges by opposition Maoists are constantly setting new conditions to conclude the twin tasks of peace and constitution drafting The three-party meet concluded after several hour discussions Thursday.


Kathmandu, 1 March. : Kailali border in the far-West was sealed with Utter Pradesh Thursday.
Extended state assembly elections are being held in adjoining areas across the border in the Indian state..
Sealing of border during elections on both sides of the border is common practice to prevent irregularities during the vote.
Kathmandu, 1 March: A second group of 14 lawmakers is visiting India for one week beginning Saturday under a Nepal-India Parliamentarian Exchange Programme
The legislator will interact with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi.
The lawmakers represent major parties in and out of government.

Kathmandu, 1 March: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav Thursday inaugurated a three-day Rotary South Asia Conference on literacy in the capital.
Nearly 500 delegates and speakers from the South Asian, including ministers, government officials, parliamentarians, celebrities, international funding agencies, NGOs, education experts including Rotary International (RI) President Kalyan Banerjee, and the RI Board of Directors are attending the programme.
State of literacy, the shortcomings and opportunities in the region are being discussed.
RI has taken initiatives in South Asia by taking illiteracy as a major problem leading the region to poverty and unemployment.
“The conference will focus on identifying the role of Rotary in promoting and enhancing literacy in South Asia so as to develop a strategy to attain cent percent literacy in this region,” said RI Director Shekhar Mehta, who is also the convener of the event.

Kathmandu, 1 March: The government is giving housekeeping training to foreign employment seekers to keep them afloat abroad. Around 500 persons will be among the first beneficiaries of this new initiative started by the Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB), The Kathmandu Post reports.
The first batch of workers are currently undertaking classes in various training centres of the Capital. The training include house cleaning, cooking, skills to use various household equipment and so on.
“We hope to train all workers by the end of Chaitra. Around 250 persons have already completed the course,” said FEPB Managing Director Sthneshwor Devkota. According to FEPB, 99 percent of the trainees are male and most of the trainee intend to go to the Gulf countries.
Stakeholders say such training will help equip workers with vital skills. “In the past, workers were forced to recoup for the mistake they committed due to lack of knowledge. There are evidence of many workers paying compensation for damaging vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens etc. This training will help them work safely and efficiently,” said Devkota.
The board has been spending Rs 5,300 on each migrant worker through its welfare fund. It has authorised 14 training centres to run the training programme.
The government charges each migrant worker Rs 1,500 before they leave for the destination countries for employment and uses the workers' welfare fund for their betterment.
Officials the at Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) say many migrant workers engage in unskilled and low-wage jobs. According to an estimate, only 2 percent foreign migrants are skilled, 23 percent are semi-skilled and 75 percent are unskilled. Age-group wise, majority (almost 80 percent) are in 20-30 years age group. Moreover, most migrants are high school dropouts.
“We hope to give such training to around 1,000 persons this year with required budget been readies. Admission of female migrant workers is discouraging,” said an official.
The government estimates that approximately 2.2 million Nepalis are working as migrant workers in various countries. Out of them, 10 percent of migrant workers are female. Among the migrants, nearly 90 percent are working in Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait. An unofficial figure claims similar number of people have gone through illegal channel.
The government is planning to provide other skill-oriented training like electronic and plumber training to workers in the future.

Kathmandu, 1 March: Chinese traders gather at the bordering town of Khasa twice a week to purchase tortoises that are illegally imported from Nepal, Manoj Basnet writes in The Kathmandu Post from Khasa..
Every week around 60 tortoises captured from the wetlands of Koshi Tappu
Wildlife Reserve and other parts of the Tarai region are smuggled to Khasa through the Araniko Highway and other secondary roads leading to this Chinese town.
Smuggling of tortoises to Khasa does not have a long history, a source said. “It’s only been a few months since smugglers started selling tortoises in the Khasa market.
These reptiles have become the new smuggling item of late while the authorities are focused on curbing smuggling of red sandalwood,” the source said.
It is learnt that many former red sandalwood smugglers have switched over to tortoise smuggling.
Smugglers based in the Tarai districts purchase a tortoise for Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 before bringing them to Kathmandu and sending the animals to Khasa, concealed among other unsuspicious items. Each of these endangered reptiles, which are used as food and medicine in China, could fetch up to Rs 15,000.
The authorities, meanwhile, are clueless on the matter. Though the tortoises smuggled from Nepal are openly sold in Khasa, the security check posts along the Araniko Highway have not come across any case of tortoise smuggling so far.
“We have left no stone unturned to contain the smuggling. We are thoroughly checking every item that is being taken to Khasa,” said Basanta Lama, the police chief of Sindhupalchowk district.
Nirmalhari Adhikari, the chief of the Tatopani Customs, said it was impossible for smugglers to take in live tortoises to Khasa, given the strictness in the inspection of goods that are ferried across the border.
The district forest officer in Sindhupalchowk, Panchalal Shah, said he had not heard about tortoises being smuggled to Khasa. “If the reports are true, it is against the law and thereby a crime.”


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