Nepal Today

Saturday, June 30, 2012

FORMER KING LAUNCHES VISITS OF MID-WEST TERAI DISTRICTS Kathmandu, 1 July: Former King Gyanendra leaves the capital for a four-day visit of Rupendhahi, Nawalparasi aand Kapilvastu districts of the mid-West Sunday after of terai districts of the eastern and far-western districts. The former king launches his visit from Bhairahawa. He’s offer puja at temples and Lumbini, the birthplace of The Buddha. nnnn CA ELECTION NOT POSIBLE SAYS UML CHAIRMAN KHANAL Kathmandu, 1 July: CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal Saturday said that the UCPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress (NC) had lost their capacity to lead the country, The Rising Nepal reports from Butwal He said that the Maoists’ orthodox communist ideology and NC’s traditional mindset could not lead the country in the current situation. Speaking at a Lumbini Zonal level meeting of the party, he claimed that his party UML was a rising power in the country. Khanal said that the Maoist-led government was trying to remain in power for a long time by declaring the impossible election. He said, "Holding the new CA election in the stipulated deadline is not possible." He said that the Maoists were responsible for the dissolution of the CA. "They did nothing to save the CA," he said. He further said that the Maoists were creating confusion among the people by dissolving the CA and accused them of pushing the country towards a deeper crisis. He said, "They will never succeed to puzzle the people every time. The people should understand the Maoist ploy to misguide and confuse the people." He also said that the hardliner communism and anarchy within the Maoists were what led to the split in the UCPN-Maoist. He said, "The people should defeat the hardliner communists." UML secretary Bishnu Poudel said that his party would give the solution to the issues of state restructuring. He said that all leaders and cadres should struggle within the party to meet their demands. UML politburo member Surendra Pande said that Dr. Baburam Bhattarai had only the right of a caretaker Prime Minister. "President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav should take the steps to form the new government," he said. UML leader Parshuram Megi Gurung said that the UML’s vision about the federal system was scientific and the party had no any internal dispute. Nnnn CHINESE PARTY FUNCTIONARY AI PING URGES LEADERS TO RESOLVE CRISIS THROUGH CONSENSUS FURTHER DETAILS Kathmandu, 1 July:: Vice Minister for Asian Affairs at the International Department of China Ai Ping Saturday suggested the top leaders of the major political parties of Nepal should start consensus politics to resolve the current political crisis, The Rising Nepal reports. A Chinese delegation led by Ai Ping Saturday met UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Nepali Congress (NC) president Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal and urged the leaders to play the key roles to end the current political deadlock. He arrived in Nepal on Friday and started holding meetings with the top level leaders of the key political parties. The vice-minister met with UCPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda at the latter’s residence in Lajimpat and talked about the He inquired with the Maoist chief about the causes of the CA dissolution. During the meeting, Maoist chairman Prachanda said that the CA was dissolved due to lack of trust among the parties. He also informed that his party was trying to find a new political consensus to resolve the ongoing crisis. He also asked him about the split of UCPN-Maoist and urged him to resolve the crisis soon through consensus. On the occasion, Prachanda said that the party split would not hamper the peace and constitution writing processes. He also said that his party was serious to resolve the crisis. During the meeting, he said that the Chinese government was positive to increase the assistance for Nepal’s development process. Similarly, the meeting between the Chinese vice-minister and NC president Koirala held at Maharajgunj centered about the matters of current political deadlock in Nepal. After the meeting, Koirala said that the Chinese delegation stressed the consensus politics to settle the current political crisis. He said that the meeting also centered in ‘One China policy’ of NC and the country and China-Congress relationship. "I informed the Chinese delegation that the NC was playing a positive role to end the current political situation and the parties have no alternative but to reach a consensus," Koirala told. He informed that the NC initiated dialogue with the leaders of different parties. Talking to journalists, the vice-minister said that he suggested the leaders for consensus politics to determine the further steps of the country. He said he also got information on Nepal’s current politics. Meanwhile, the Chinese delegation also held talks with CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal at the party’s central office at Balkhu and talked about the consensus politics of Nepal. Khanal said that the Chinese leader urged him to start consensus politics. Nepal was always in favour of ‘One China policy’, Khanal added. UML leader K.P Sharma Oli and general secretary Ishwor Pokharel, other leaders and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yang Houlan were also present during the meeting. This is the most senior Chinese delegation visiting Nepal after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. During the meeting, the visiting Chinese leader said that China always wanted to see prosperity and development in Nepal. He also wished for Nepal’s success to resolve the political crisis and added that Nepal could end the political transition period to start the economic development of Nepal. Nnnn LAKE BURST THREATENS HUMLA VILLAGE Kathmandu, 1 July: As the Halji river breaches its banks and advances rapidly, its namesake village in Humla district is under a high risk of flooding. Locals said that the river floods during the monsoon with an increase in water flow from the melting snow, Jaya Bahadur Rokaya writes in The Kathmandu Post from Humla.. The river has already destroyed four houses in the Halji village. “Some villagers moved to safety two years ago but those who cannot afford to flee are left to suffer,” said Khendap Tamang, a local resident. “The main problem in the village is the eroding river. As it advances towards the village, we are under the menace of landslides,” said village leader Tandupa Tamang. To add to the danger, landslides are becoming increasingly frequent and a glacial lake threatens to burst. Khendap said that Halji and its surroundings would surely be swept away in a glacial lake outburst. Tandupa also claimed that his family had been spending nights out in the open fearing landslips. Villagers are unwilling to abandon an 11th century monastery, the heart of the village, which also runs the risk of being swept away by a landslide or flood. Locals have accused the government and political parties of doing nothing to prevent a disaster. Two years ago, the Water Induced Disaster Prevention Office, Surkhet, set up a makeshift embankment of gabion boxes at the cost of Rs 1 million. However, villager Chhingnurbu Tamang said the structure was swept away. Chief District Officer Bijaya Narayan Manandhar has assured the people of initiatives to tame the river. Nnnn UML IN DILEMMA OVER CA FUTURE Kathmandu, 1 July: The CPN-UML, which bluntly rejected the fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections declared by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, has yet to take a formal position on revival of the CA, Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post.. While a section of Janajati and Madhesi leaders of the party demanded revival of the CA in a nine-point demand submitted to the party leadership, nothing has been mentioned in the minutes of the recent national gatherings of cadres and the Central Committee. Very few leaders have spoken out in favour of CA revival as an alternative. Party insiders said the UML is afraid of disgruntled Janajati and Madhesi leaders going against the party line due to differences between the Janajati-Madhesi and party establishment on issues of federalism. “UML has this fear, but revival of the CA is inevitable,” said Politburo member Prithvi Subba Gurung, who was head of the Janajati caucus in the dissolved CA. The party’s recent meetings and national gatherings endorsed multiple identity-based federalism while Janajatis have been pressing the party to opt for single identity-based federalism. Before CA dissolution, 51 Janajati and Madhesi lawmakers of the UML signed in favour of single identity-based federalism, a total of over 400 signatures from the dissolved 601-member CA. However, the party establishment has said it will support CA revival for a few days in case of a package deal that sorts out all the unresolved issues of the constitution. “The UML is not in favour of CA revival but we can support other parties to this effect only if they forge consensus on all unresolved issues including those of constitution writing, its promulgation process and power sharing,” said former lawmaker Rabindra Adhikari. “The UML is not in favour of CA revival but we can support other parties to this effect only if they forge consensus on all unresolved issues including those of constitution writing, its promulgation process and power sharing,” said former lawmaker Rabindra Adhikari. Senior UML leaders, including party Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, are in a dilemma after leaders like Pradeep Nepal spoke out against federalism while others favoured a referendum to sort out key issues including federalism and state restructuring. Unlike the UML, 78 of the total 114 Nepali Congress lawmakers have put their ignatures to a campaign demanding CA revival. Even UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has spoken out publicly in support of the assembly’s revival. Nnnn CAAN RESUMES TENDER EVALUATION OF POKHARA AIRPORT Kathmandu, 1 July: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has resumed the process of awarding tender for the construction of Regional International Airport in Pokhara after the Ministry of Finance (MoF) asked it to move ahead the bid evaluation process and select the contractor strictly complying with the existing laws, Republica reports. . CAAN had halted the evaluation process and knocked on the doors of MoF after the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu recommended the name of four bidders, asking it to select one. The names recommended by the embassy were China CAMC Engineering, China International Water and Electric Corporation, Sinohydro Corporation, and China CWC. "And the embassy´s letter had grossly confused us. Except for China CWC, which was disqualified on the ground of not submitting all the required documents, other three firms were already in our list," said a source at CAAN. Owing to the confusion, CAAN had approached MoF to clarify its position, mainly to learn if it had held further talks with the Chinese government on soft-loans it was providing for airport construction. "MoF a few days ago informed that CAAN is authorized to select the contractor and suggested us to move ahead the selection process as per the law," the source added. Deputy Director General at CAAN, Suman Shrestha also confirmed that CAAN has resumed the tender evaluation process of the regional international airport in Pokhara following the green signal from MoF. "We are hopeful of completing the evaluation within a week," said Shrestha, adding that CAAN would award the project to the lowest bidder qualifying on technical evaluations. Once the contractor is selected, the officials are hopeful that implementation of much-talked Pokhara Regional International Airport project will gain full momentum. The overall process of selecting the contractor had drawn controversy after CAAN published the tender notice with a short deadline of 45 days. The lawmakers in March had also raised questions over fairness of the bidding process after they found Finance Minister Barshaman Pun of signing an agreement with China CAMC Engineering, assuring it of providing the contract. The controversy was later settled after Pun apologized for his mistake and dismissed his agreement with China CAMC Engineering, and CAAN on Public Accounts Committee´s instruction extended the bid submission deadline by another 45 days. The government is eyeing soft loans of around $ 145 million from Exim Bank of China for the development of the regional international airport in Pokhara. The Chinese government has responded positively, and committed of signing the loan agreement once the contractor is selected for engineering, procurement and construction of the project. According to CAAN, the project will be completed within three years from the date of commencement. The total cost of the project is estimated at around $ 166 million. The airport, once completed, will be able to handle single aisle jet aircraft. The government had acquired 3,106 ropanis of land at Chhinedanda in Pokhara for the construction of the airport in 1975. nnnn ________________________________________


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