Nepal Today

Friday, June 29, 2012

FIRE AT TU FREE STUDENTS’ UNION OFFICE Kathmandu, 30 June: A fire overnight at the office of the Free Students’ uNION office At TU destroyed furniture, first reports said. The fire was extinguished in one hour by the Valley’s firefighters. nnnn WRITER KRISHNA DHARABASHI WEDS MANJU BIMALI Kathmandu, 30 June: Writer Krishna Dharabashi wed Manju Bimali of Birthamod Friday. The marriage was their second. nnnn. LEADING GOLFER SHIBARAM SHRESTHA WEDS KALPANA LAMA Kathmandu, 30 June: Nepal’s leading professional golfer Shibaram Shrestha wed Kalpana Lama Friday. nnnn . 69 FORMER LAWMAKERS YET TO RETURN DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS Kathmandu, 30 June As many as 69 former Constituent Assembly members have yet to return their diplomatic passports that they had acquired in capacity of parliamentarians, despite National Vigilance Centre's directive to do so. The former lawmakers were supposed to return their diplomatic passports within a week of dissolution of the CA, The Himalayan Times reports. NVC, an-anti-corruption body, had sent circulars to the Parliament Secretariat and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to do the needful to get diplomatic passports from former lawmakers back. “Of 522 former CA members, 69 have not returned their red passports,” informed an official at MoFA. The Secretariat is planning to make public names of those parliamentarians who have failed to follow the NVC directive. "Discussions are under way whether to publish a notice with the names of non-complying former lawmakers or make their names public through the print media," said an official at the Secretariat. Mukunda Sharma, Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat, however, said the former lawmakers have sought some time to return their passports. "They should have returned their passports of their own volition after they lost their CA membership," said Sharma. In its circulars, NVC has mentioned that the red passports could be misused. Six CA members were convicted of misusing their red passports in the past. nnnn FRUSTRATION AMONG FORMER PLA FIGHTERS HIGH IN CAMPS Kathmandu, 30 June: Former People´s Liberation Army (PLA) chief Nanda Kishor Pun has demanded that the government and political parties start the integration process as early as possible, saying the delay in starting the process has spread frustration among the combatants in cantonments. Talking to Republica on Friday, Pun said the combatants have been exerting "tremendous" pressure on him for an early start of integration process, which was supposed to begin immediately after completion of the second phase of categorization in mid-April. Altogether 3,123 combatants have been waiting for integration into the national army. "They have been pressing to start the process as soon as possible," said Pun, adding, "The frustration among combatants has soared up due to delay." Sources told Republica that handover of the cantonments to the Nepal Army on April 10 has further added to the frustration among combatants. The demand of the former PLA chief to start the process has come at a time when Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has already said that the integration process would start from July 3. Despite the government´s plan to proceed with the process, the prime minister is yet to bring the opposition parties on board. Saying that the integration process would move smoothly, the former PLA chief also said the combatants are desperately waiting an end to their uncertain future. "All comrades will participate in the integration process and they will be integrated in the national army," said Pun, "I urge all comrades not to run after rumors." nnnn ________________________________________ UML DISSIDENTS CALL FOR CA REVIVAL Kathmandu, 30 June: The group of dissident leaders from ethnic, indigenous and Madhesi communities in the CPN-UML plans to press the party to stand firmly for the reinstatement of the Constituent Assembly (CA), Republica reports. They said they will raise the issue of CA revival as one of the preconditions for resuming their work in the party or else they will break off relations with the UML in the days to come. A group of UML leaders led by party Vice-chairman Ashok Rai has been boycotting the party´s formal events and meetings, demanding that the UML be ready to delineate and name federal provinces after single-ethnic identity and reinstate the CA, among other things. But the party leadership is reluctant, saying that federalizing the country solely along ethnic lines would be sowing the seeds of ethnic and sectarian conflict in society. In a bid to pacify the dissident leaders, a recent Central Committee meeting of the UML endorsed a seven-province model based on multi-ethnic identities. As per this proposal the provinces would be named after the identities of the dominant communities and a neutral entity, such as in Bagmati-Newa-Tamsaling. UML politburo member Prithivi Subba Gurung, a key member of the dissident group, said the party should clearly and firmly lobby for CA reinstatement because the task of constitution writing cannot be accomplished by any institution other than the CA. "Any decision to write a new constitution while bypassing the CA is simply unacceptable," he said. He criticized the party leadership for not clearly standing for CA revival. "It seems that our party is waiting for a decision to be taken by the Nepali Congress (NC) or some other party and only then would it follow suit," said Gurung. The UML dissidents´ decision comes at a time when a large number of former lawmakers from another opposition party, Nepali Congress, have already started campaigning for CA revival. According to Gurung, the dissident group is not satisfied with the party´s decision to mandate a group of experts with the task of delineating the provinces. "The subject of delineating provinces requires the support of experts. Therefore, a constitutional commission comprising experts from related fields should be formed and the task of delineation carried out as per the suggestions offered by the commission," the party´s decision had stated. Gurung believes that such a decision came with the intention of further derailing the process of federalizing the country. Another demand of the dissident group is that the party leadership commit itself to making the UML leadership and organization more inclusive from the next general convention. "All the communities should be well-represented in party organs and the diversity of Nepali society reflected in the UML leadership at various levels," Gurung explained. Yet another demand of the group is that the party revoke its decision to take action against some UML leaders for their involvement in the campaign for ethnic federalism. The party had removed its central committee member Rajendra Shrestha as UML chief for Kathmandu Valley and expelled Aung Kaji Sherpa, general secretary of the National Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), from the party´s general membership, for using inflammatory language that risked inciting ethnic violence. "The decision to take action against them should be revoked and the leaders must ensure that party members involved in the campaign will not be under any shadow in future," he said adding that only such a move will create an atmosphere conducive to their continuity in the party. He informed that he is taking initiatives for talks with the party leadership to create an environment for the dissident leaders to resume their work in the party. "But there is no progress in this regard so far," he said. nnnn ________________________________________ GOVT. FAILURE PROPELS ECONOMIC PROBLEMS Kathmandu, 30 June: The government's failure to fulfill its primary responsibility of prosecuting those who try to control others' life, liberty and property by force or fraud has led to a need for more institutions like regulators that have in turn created more problems, according to a renowned libertarian, Kuvera Chalise writes in The Himalayan Times.. Countries with a strong banking regulation have eight times more chances of facing a banking crisis than in states where there are less regulations, said associate professor of Economics and Political Science at Hawaii Pacific University Ken Schoolland, who is at present in Nepal. "Regulatory authorities — that are also government agencies — have created more room for market players to exercise monopoly," he said, adding that monopoly has created inefficiency leading them not to do their duty faithfully and efficiently. The writer of the world famous book, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible - A Free Market Odyssey, opined that governments around the world are inefficient because they enjoy monopoly. Similarly, companies also try to destroy competition and create a monopoly in the market by doing some favour to the government, the free market guru said, adding that there is no better investment than to invest on a politician and the companies in return get some kind of favour like regulations. "Regulation is an instrument for monopolists promoting crony capitalism in the name of free market giving more room for cartels," he said. "With more regulations, governments make cartel possible forcing consumers to suffer. When government has no skin in the game, it's more secure and companies ensure that they remain competent." In a free market, players always worry about new entrants and remain competitive, the associate professor opined, adding that a free market provides choices to people leading to competition, innovation and choice. "However, one's choice should not injure another person's choice." Similarly, ethics is a key for market players as a free market does not mean robbing consumers with the help of politicians, Schoolland clarified. nnnn


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