Nepal Today

Thursday, January 31, 2013

VICTORY AT HAND FOR COMMUNISTS SAYS MAOIST CHIEF Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has said that Nepal's communist movement was nearing its victory, RSS reports.. Releasing a compilation of documents entitled 'Nepali Communist Movement's Historical Document' at the party headquarters in Paris Danda on Thursday, Dahal said Nepal's communist movement that took a momentum in 2006 B.S is very close to its victory. He said the compilation would be fruitful to study, understand and take into consideration Nepal's communist movement. Nepal's communist movement has passed innumerable bends through violent revolt to peaceful movement and despite the communist parties' division in the country, the revolutionary force has established strongly, he said. "Over two-thirds people in the country have their hopes and expectations in communist party. But, communist movement has not been successful to its height due to groupism, dogmatic and self-centered thoughts." Dahal said Nepal's communist party remaining at the helm of power was a matter of pride at a time when communist movement in the world was in the defensive. The UCPN (Maoist) Chairman also said that the revolutionaries across the world were filled with energy due to revolutionary thoughts of the UCPN (Maoist) . Dahal was of the opinion that the party's seventh general convention would follow a new thought and working policy. Also speaking at the same programme, UCPN (Maoist) leader Amik Sherchan hoped that the book would help those wishing to study Nepal's entire communist movement. He said taking lessons from the series of splits in the communist parties was the need of the hour. Coordinator of the UCPN (Maoist) Magarat State Committee Lokendra Bista Magar, leader Tek Bahadur Basnet and others have compiled the book. Bista said the book would be made available in an easy and accessible manner and would be published in English soon. The only living founding member of Nepal Communist Party Nar Bahadur Karmacharya was also present on the occasion. Top leaders of the CPN (UML), CPN (Masal) and others did not show up at the programme though they were invited, it is learnt. Nnnn MAOIST PREPARATION FOR CONVENTION COMPLETE Kathmandu,, 31 Jan.: Preparation of the seventh general convention of the Unified CPN (Maoist) has come to a final stage, RSS reports. A joint meeting of central office and department of organization held at Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s residence at Lazimpat on Thursday endorsed the statute to be presented in the general convention of the party, said party spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota. The statute has laid emphasis on adopting collective system including collective leadership and decision-making process bearing in mind the pro-people centrality. There will be responsibility of all ranks and files of the party while enforcing collective decisions, states the draft statute. The party source said that conventions have been completed in all districts of the country excluding Rasuwa and Siraha. Likewise, former combatants of the UCPN (Maoist) would also be allowed to participate in the conclave. A special arrangement is said to have been made for this. The meeting also dwelt on the organizational structure and fundamental principles the party should adopt following the general convention, said the spokesperson. Also discussed in the meeting was matters related to future course of the party to accomplish backlog of tasks of the revolution. Likewise, the party would build people-centered organization to complete rest of the responsibility of revolution. The joint meeting also discussed the impact of the district conventions held across the country on people and party ranks. Meanwhile, the UCPN (Maoist) said that the necessary preparation for the general convention has come to the final stage and the delegates and observers have started coming to the general convention site. Nnnn

NTNC GETS MANAGEMENT CONTRACT OF ANNAPURNA CONSERVATION AREA Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: The management of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) will be given to the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) for two years, according to cabinet decision Thursday.. nnnn JHARANA GURUNGRECIVES CASH REWARD Kathmandu, 31 Jan.:Jharana Gurung has received e a cash reward of Rs 100,000 from government Thursday. She was third in the Eighth Asian Wushu Competition that concluded recently. .

SENIOR JOURNALIST KRISHNA LAL JOSHI DEAD Kathmandu, 31 Jan.:Senior journalist Krishna Lal Joshi passed away at his residence Arjundhara of Jhapa district on Wednesday, RSS reports from Jhapa. He was 89. Joshi was the president of the Nepal Journalists' Association, Nepali migrants' committee in India in 2013 BS. He had also worked in the government media in India. He was suffering from heart and stomach-related diseases, according to the family sources. Joshi had established the Gorkha Library in Shillong, India in 2010. He also edited the newspaper Hatekhabar published from there at that time. His last rites were performed at the bank of the Kankai River the same day. RSS nnnn

NEPAL SECURES THIRD PLACE IN ACC WOMEN’S CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: Nepal defeated Hong Kong by eight wickets in the in the ACC Women Championship THursdayin Thailand for a third place in the tournament. The match was reduced to 19 overs because of wet ground conditions. Hong Kong scored 32 runs in 19 overs. Nepal achieved the target of33 run target in 7.3 overs losing two wickets. nnnn PREPARATIONS AFOOT FOR FRIDAY’S MASS ANTI-GOVT. POTESTS Kathmandu, 31 Jan.:, NC President Suhsil Koirala will address an opposition rally against the government in Nepalgung Friday. Sher Bahadur Deuba has been assigned the responsibility in Biratnagar, Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel in Pokhara and Treasurer Chitra Lekha Yadav in Bhairahawa,. Dr Ram Saran Mahat will address protests in Dhangadhi and Arjun Prasad Joshi in Baglung. Leaders have been nominated to mobilise and coordinate all party organizations. nnnn MOVEMENT WILL PULL DOWN GOVT. SAYS DEUBA Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: Senior leader of Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba has said the movement waged by the nine opposition parties would end only with the ousting of the incumbent, RSS reports from Birtnagar. government. Talking in brief to media persons at Biratnagar airport on Thursday, he said the present government has lost its significance after failing to hold elections. Stating that there is no alternative to a national consensus government, he said the present government should be removed as soon as possible. nnnn COLD CLAIMS 60 LIVES IN EASTRN REGION Kathaamandu, 31 Jan.: As many as 60 persons were dead due to excessive cold in the Eastern Development Region, in this winter season, according to the East Regional Police Office, RSS reports from Biratnagar.. Of them, 34 are men, 24 are women, and two children. As per the report from the Office, 37 persons died in Saptari, 13 people died in Siraha, seven died in Jhapa, two in Udayapur and one in Panchthar districts. It is reported that there was excessive cold in Tarai this year, compared to last five years. nnnn

GOVT. REWARD Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: Each player and coaches of the SAFF Women’s Champishionwill get Rs.50,000 from the cabinet following its decision at a regular meeting Thursday. The team was runner-up in the tournament of Sputh Asian states. Government also decided to provide Rs 300,000 to family members of Bholiya Devi Mukhiya, 55 killed bya wild tusssker iutsid Koshi Tappu Natural Preserve in Sunsari. Her family and supporters have been disrupting movement of traffic on Mahendra Highway since Wednesday pressing demands, including compensation . nnnn NNNN

STOCK PRICES SLIP ON LAST DAY OF WEEKLY TRADING Kathmandu, 31 Jan.; Nepse closed on the last day of weekly trading at 510.88 points losing 1.04 points. Altogether 186,975 shares were traded for Rs. 74.569 million in1094 transactions. nnnn

SAHARA CLUB ENTERS FINAL OF AAHA GOLD CUP Kathmandu, 31 Jan.:: Local team Sahara Club Thursday entered the final of the Aaha Gold Cup being hosted by Pokhara. Nepal Army was defeated 4-2. Sahara Club will play Three Star Club in the final. nnnn

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

FOREIGN MINISTRY STOPS VICE-PRESIDENT FROM VISITING EUROPE Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: The foreign ministry has intervened and stopped the planned visit of Vice-president Parmannda Jha to Lithuania beginning from Friday, Nagarik reports. “A person like the vice-president was going for a travel meet to a country without political, economic and cultural ties,” said an unidentified foreign ministry official. Nnnn UNCLE KILLED Kathmandu, 31 Jan.:A 59-year-old man was murdered by his cousin over a minor dispute at Bhotenamlang VDC in Sindhupalchowk district on Wednesday Night, RSS reports from Sinshupalchowk. Harka Bahadur Tamang, 31, killed his uncle Chini Bahadur Tamang in a fit of rage following a minor dispute between them at a Chhewar ceremony. The cousin, Harka Bahadur, hit his uncle with a butt of a gun and killed him. Harka Bahadur fled the scene after committing the crime but police arrested him from the local Tipeni forest an hour's trek from the village. Nnnn ISRAELI JETS BOMB TARGET IN SYRIA Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: Israel launched a rare airstrike inside Syria, U.S. officials said Wednesday, targeting a convoy believed to contain anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. The attack adds a potentially flammable new element to tensions already heightened by Syria´s civil war, AP reports from Lebanon.. It was the latest salvo in Israel´s long-running effort to disrupt the Shiite militia´s quest to build an arsenal capable of defending against Israel´s air force and spreading destruction inside the Jewish state. Regional security officials said the strike, which occurred overnight Tuesday, targeted a site near the Lebanese border, while a Syrian army statement said it destroyed a military research center northwest of the capital, Damascus. They appeared to be referring to the same incident. U.S. officials said the target was a truck convoy that Israel believed was carrying sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the operation. Regional officials said the shipment included sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which if acquired by Hezbollah would be "game-changing," enabling the militants to shoot down Israeli jets, helicopters and surveillance drones. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. In a statement, the Syrian military denied the existence of any such shipment and said a scientific research facility outside Damascus was hit by the Israeli warplanes. The Israeli military declined to comment. However, many in Israel worry that as Syrian President Bashar Assad loses power, he could strike back by transferring chemical or advanced weapons to Hezbollah, which is neighboring Lebanon´s most powerful military force and is committed to Israel´s destruction. The airstrike follows decades of enmity between Israel and allies Syria and Hezbollah, which consider the Jewish state their mortal enemy. The situation has been further complicated by the civil war raging in Syria between the Assad regime and rebel brigades seeking his ouster. The war has sapped Assad´s power and threatens to deprive Hezbollah of a key supporter, in addition to its land corridor to Iran. The two countries provide Hezbollah with the bulk of its funding and arms. A Syrian military statement read aloud on state TV Wednesday said low-flying Israeli jets crossed into Syria over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and bombed a military research center in the area of Jamraya, northwest of Damascus. The strike destroyed the center and damaged a nearby building, killing two workers and wounding five others, the statement said. The military denied the existence of any convoy bound for Lebanon, saying the center was responsible for "raising the level of resistance and self-defense" of Syria´s military. "This proves that Israel is the instigator, beneficiary and sometimes executor of the terrorist acts targeting Syria and its people," the statement said. Israel and Hezbollah fought an inconclusive 34-day war in 2006 that left 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead. While the border has been largely quiet since, the struggle has taken other forms. Hezbollah has accused Israel of assassinating a top commander, and Israel blamed Hezbollah and Iran for a July 2012 attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. In October, Hezbollah launched an Iranian-made reconnaissance drone over Israel, using the incident to brag about its expanding capabilities. Israeli officials believe that Hezbollah´s arsenal has markedly improved since 2006, now boasting tens of thousands of rockets and missiles and the ability to strike almost anywhere inside Israel. Israel suspects that Damascus obtained a battery of SA-17s from Russia after an alleged Israeli airstrike in 2007 that destroyed an unfinished Syrian nuclear reactor. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of the dangers of Syria´s "deadly weapons," saying the country is "increasingly coming apart." The same day, Israel moved a battery of its new "Iron Dome" rocket defense system to the northern city of Haifa, which was battered by Hezbollah rocket fire in the 2006 war. The Israeli army called that move "routine." Syria, however, cast the airstrike in a different light, linked to the country´s civil war, which it blames on terrorists carrying out an international conspiracy. Despite its icy relations with Assad, Israel has remained on the sidelines of efforts to topple him, while keeping up defenses against possible attacks. Israeli defense officials have carefully monitored Syria´s chemical weapons, fearing Assad could deploy them or lose control of them to extremist fighters among the rebels. President Barack Obama has called the use of chemical weapons a "red line" that if crossed could prompt direct U.S. intervention, though U.S. officials have said Syria´s stockpiles still appear to be under government control. The strike was Israel´s first inside Syria since September 2007, when warplanes destroyed a site that the U.N. nuclear watchdog deemed likely to be a nuclear reactor. Syria denied the claim, saying the building was a non-nuclear military site. Syria allowed international inspectors to visit the bombed site in 2008, but it has refused to allow nuclear inspectors new access. This has heightened suspicions that Syria has something to hide, along with its decision to level the destroyed structure and build on its site. In 2006, Israeli warplanes flew over Assad´s palace in a show of force after Syrian-backed militants captured an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip. And in 2003, Israeli warplanes attacked a suspected militant training camp just north of the Syrian capital, in response to an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing in the city of Haifa that killed 21 Israelis. Syria vowed to retaliate for both attacks but never did. In Lebanon, which borders both Israel and Syria, the military and the U.N. agency tasked with monitoring the border with Israel said Israeli warplanes have sharply increased their activity in the past week. Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace are not uncommon, and it was unclear if the recent activity was related to the strike in Syria. Syria´s primary conflict with Israel is over the Golan Heights, which Israeli occupied in the 1967 war. Syria demands the area back as part of any peace deal. Despite the hostility, Syria has kept the border quiet since the 1973 Mideast war and has never retaliated for Israeli attacks. In May 2011, only two months after the uprising against Assad started, hundreds of Palestinians overran the tightly controlled Syria-Israeli frontier in a move widely thought to have been facilitated by the Assad regime to divert the world´s gaze from his growing troubles at home. Nnnn

UPDATE MAOIST IRRGANZATION REP MEEY Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: The organization department representatives will select remaining 10 percent delegates to the convention The organization meet will also attempt to resolve disputes of representatives at the convention, ,Spokesman Agni Sapkota said. Nnnn TWO SUSPECTED ABDUCTORS OF BIRATNAGAR TRADER ARRESTED Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: Family members of Biratnagar trader Ganga Bishan Rathi paid ransom for his release from two suspected Indian abductors, Nagarik reports.. They were arrested in West Bengal’s Bolpur Tuesday in a joint operation of Nepal and Indian police.. .Five million rupees ransom in Indian currency notes were recovered the two abductors Surendra Kumar Mishra and Avajit Basu. nnnn

MAOIST ORGANIZATION REPS MEET Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: A meeting of representatives of UCPN Maoist is ongongin the capital Thursday morning ahead of Saturday’s first general convention inHtauda. Final preparations for the convention are being discussed, including selection of delegates. Nnnn CAPITAL’S MORNING TEMPERATURE 3 DEGRES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: The capital’s morning temperature was three degrees Celsius at six in the morning Thursday. Temperature is expected to rise to 20 degrees Celsius on a clear afternoon. Nnnn . . ARMY PLAYS SAHARA CLUB IN SECOND FINAL OF AAHA GOLD Kathmandu, 31 Jan. Nepal Army plats local Sahara Club in the second final of the Aaha Gold Cup in Pokhara Thursday. The winner will play Three Star Club in the final. nnnn

OE KILLED, FIVE INJURED IN BUS ACCIDENT IN CAPITAL Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: One person was killed when a bus overturned at Machapokhari in the capital at Machapohari Thursday morning. Five others were injured. The driver is absconding. Nnnn . MAOIST CHIEF THREATENINGLY CALLS ON OPPOSITION FOR CONSESUS Kathmandu, 31 Jan,: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has urged the opposition parties to either forge a political agreement or miss the opportunity for ever, Republica reports. “I urge Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to be ready for political consensus or else it would be too late,” Dahal said at a joint gathering of Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) in Kathmandu on Wednesday. The FDRA gathering apparently aimed at countering the mass meeting held by the opposition alliance on Tuesday. Dahal also urged the opposition parties not to further delay consensus. Addressing the same function, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai reiterated that he was in favor of fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls in May-June. Accusing the opposition parties of trying to avoid election, he said the ruling alliance would compel them to participate in the elections. On a separate note, PM Bhattarai said that the road expansion drive initiated by him had been successful. Stating that he is in favor of change, Bhattarai claimed that he would move bring about progressive change and accused the earlier governments of bringing the country to its current miserable state. “The government with its hands tied has been thrown into a pond, but we are still trying to swim,” said Bhattarai mentioning that his government could not formulate its own policies and programs. Addressing the meet, Deputy Prime Minister and Madhesi People´s Right Forum (Democratic) Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar accused the opposition parties of being “anti-federalist” and stressed that the alliance should remain intact until the promulgation of a new constitution that guarantees identity-based federalism. Gachchhadar also claimed that such a constitution would not be possible only through the Constituent Assembly and urged the major opposition parties -- Nepali Congress and CPN-UML -- to stop protesting against the government and step forward for a package deal. Minister for Information and Communications and Madhesi People´s Right Forum (Republican) Chairman Raj Kishor Yadav said NC and UML are still holding on to orthodox ideas when the country has already turned a republic and warned that political forces resistant to change would perish. Similarly, Minister for Health and Chairman of Sadbhawana Party Rajendra Mahato accused the major opposition parties of obstructing the country´s transformation to a federal republic by saying that a federal structure would disturb communal harmony and bring about disintegration of the country. Earlier, FDRA activists and leaders had staged protest march at various places in the Kathmandu Valley before converging into a gathering. The protest march had disrupted traffic movement at various road sections in the capital. nnnn ________________________________________ CENTRAL BANK EASES RESTRICTION Kaaathmandu, 31 Jan.: Remittance inflow might see an increase as commercial banks can now open a liaison or representative office outside the country, The Himalayan Times reports.. Commercial banks that have fulfilled the basic criterion according to the central bank’s rule can now open a representative or liaison office outside the country, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) said today. They must, however, have minimum basic paid up capital, been maintaining one per cent more buffer capital since the last one year, have Non Performing Assets of less than five per cent for the last three years, and the central bank must not have penalised any of the directors within the last six months. Those commercial banks that fulfill the criterion must first apply at the central bank with financials of the last three years, declaration of its capacity to abide by the regulation of the regulatory authority of the concerned country where they are willing to open a representative or liaison office, besides a feasibility study and the bank’s board decision, said Nepal Rastra Bank that will permit banks with time restriction, if the applicant fulfills all the criteria. Commercial banks must get approval from the concerned country’s regulatory authority within six months and a final approval from the central bank to open a representative or liaison office that must come into operation within six months and they must inform the central bank. “Commercial banks must take approval from the Foreign Exchange Department of the central bank for the foreign currency needed to open an office in a foreign country,” NRB added. Commercial banks have been asking the government and the central bank to allow them to operate offices outside the country. Some of the commercial banks have, even, been planning to open a liaison office in the key remittance originating countries like India to officially channel in remittance through banks. Though a World Bank report has projected remittance inflow growth rate to slow down, a large chunk of remittance inflow from India has not yet been completely channelised through formal banking channels making it difficult to track its contribution to the total remittance. Recently, Global IME Bank had sought the central bank’s permission to open a liaison office in New Delhi, India, to channelise the remittance inflow through the bank. The Monetary Policy has also promised commercial banks to allow them to open offices outside the country, though earlier, the Unified Directives 2010 had allowed only licensed institutions established with foreign equity participation to open a liaison or representative office according to the conditions stipulated by the central bank. Nnnn ICJ URGES GOVT. NOT TO NOT TO INTERFERE WITH JUSTICE Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: The International Commission of Jurists today [Wednesday] called upon Nepal government not to interfere any further in the investigation into murder of Dailkeh-based journalist Dekendra Thapa. “Political interference in an ongoing criminal investigation constitutes a fundamental attack on the rule of law in Nepal,” said Frederick Rawski, ICJ Nepal Country Representative, in a press release issued today. “The government must ensure that there are no further attempts to subvert the course of justice.” A murder case against nine persons — four of who are still at large — was filed at Dailekh District Court on Monday seeking life imprisonment to all the accused. The legal proceedings in the eight-year-old murder case had hit a snag following Attorney General Mukti Narayan Pradhan’s order in writing on January 11 to district authorities to halt the investigation. Prosecution had though resumed after the apex court on January 15 directed Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and AG Pradhan not to interfere in the investigation and prosecution. But the government on January 24 had transferred the chief district officer and police chief, a move that was viewed as further interference in the investigation despite apex court’s order. “It is now the obligation of the justice system to ensure the due process and the right to fair trial,” said Rawski. “This is an opportunity for Nepal to illustrate the political will to address past human rights violations and that the country’s judiciary can provide justice for the victims while protecting the rights of the defenders,” he added. “Dekendra Thapa was one of the thousands of civilians whose deaths have gone without proper explanation or justice.” Hailing district authorities’ move to take the case forward, Rawski said, “Thanks to the courageous decision of the local authorities to proceed with the case, there is an opportunity for the Nepali justice system to begin answering the demands for justice.” nnnn

OPPOSITION LEADERS ASK PRESIDENT TO INTERVENE Kathmandu, 31 Jan : Opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress (NC), have urged President Ram Baran Yadav to take the initiative to form a new government saying that the president´s move has become imperative due to the failure of the major political parties to find a common prime ministerial candidate, Republica reports.. Emerging from the president´s office, NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel said that the president had expected the major political parties to come up with a solution but months have gone by without any progress. “It is desirable that the elected representatives or political parties resolve the political deadlock but since the parties have failed there is no option other than entrusting the president with finding a solution.” Paudel said the president should come up with a solution in accordance with the international practices and democratic values. “When various forces fail to end crisis, at least some one should come forward to salvage the country. As the head of state, now the president should find a solution,” he added. CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal said they would bring the ruling parties to their knees through the protests. “The ruling parties should have acted more responsibly but they are trying to deepen the crisis further,” said Khanal. “We have already taken to the streets. So now the protests will find a course.” However, UCPN (Maoist) leader Amik Sherchan who had accompanied party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to the meeting, said NC and UML leaders were adamant on one-point demand for government leadership while neglecting other crucial issues. He said his party has proposed a package solution to the ongoing political deadlock. “When we agree on ways to resolve crucial political issues and hold elections, among others, the issue of electing the new prime minister will automatically be settled,” said Sherchan. “But NC and UML leaders aren´t ready to think beyond leadership of the new government.” Earlier, the president held a separate meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on ending the deadlock. Prime Minister Bhattarai said they discussed ways to create grounds for early elections. “We must hold elections by the end of May. Now the political parties need to hold serious talks on holding polls on time,” the prime minister told reporters while emerging from the president´s office. The president has resumed consultations with the prime minister and top leaders of major political parties at a time when both the ruling and opposition alliances have taken to the streets. An alliance led by the ruling UCPN (Maoist) gathered thousands of cadres in Kathmandu and top leaders including Dahal, Prime Minister Bhattarai and other key ruling leaders addressed the mass. They came down heavily on NC and UML leaders while accusing the opposition parties of obstructing consensus. The nine-party alliance led by NC and UML has announced to gather tens of thousands of people in Kathmandu on February 8. Nnnn UCPN MAOIST CONVENTION BEGINS SATURDAY Kathmandu, 31 Jan.:- In the party's upcoming general convention scheduled to begin on Saturday, the UCPN (Maoist) leadership will work to make its organisational structure smaller and more efficient, The Kathmandu Post reports/. Party leaders said the party's current structure is cumbersome as the number of committee members from the centre to the grassroots level is high. After unification with many smaller parties since joining mainstream politics in 2005, the Maoist's organisational structure has been in a mess. The party is holding its general convention after 22 years. The party is facing problems in the decision making process due to the mismanagement in its organisational set-up, leaders said. According to party leader Hemanta Prakash Oli, top leaders, including Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-Chairmen Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha, are holding discussions on scrapping the provision for a 16-member Standing Committee. The removal of the Standing Committee will leave a three-tier organisational structure--office bearers, Politburo and Central Committee (CC). If the Standing Committee is removed, members in the seven-member office bearers are likely to increase. According to Oli, the party is also working to lessen the number of CC members. Leaders are in consultations to create a 125-member CC at the convention. Before the party split, it had a 148-member CC. However, as the number of candidates aspiring for the CC is high, it will be a tough job for top party leaders to limit the number. There will be no polling at the convention to elect CC members. Instead, an understanding among the top leadership of the party will settle the issue. According to another leader, if there are disputes on the appointments to the party's organisational structure, a small CC will be formed and additional appointments made later. Nnnn CPN MAOIST MOVEMENT TO BE LAUNCHED Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: CPN-Maoist is all set to begin the people's movement, directed to pressurise the government for guaranteeing the promulgation of a federal republican constitution, safeguarding national sovereignty, The Kathmandu Post reports. . Furthermore, the leaders are also demanding the replacement of the present incumbent government with a national consensus government. A central committee meeting held for the first time after the seventh general convention of the party concluded that the top leaders of four main political parties have failed to avert the political crisis in the nation. Thereby, they have decided to launch people's movement from February 12 to pressurise the government for scrapping the unequal treaties signed by the present government. The meeting also decided that the party would resort to people's movement to mount pressure to withdraw all the cases related to the insurgency labeled against the Maoist including the murder of Dailekh-bases journalist Dekendra Thapa, said party sources. Issuing a press statement today, the leaders have announced that they have also decided to delegate responsibility to party leaders to expand party organizations and form a central advisory committee. Furthermore, addressing a press conference, Chairman Baidhya said there is no alternative but to launch agitation since parties have failed in their bid to go for fresh elections. "Our party is positive to form national consensus government through roundtable conference," added Baidya. nnnn

INDIAN TRADER FOUUNDDEAD IN BIRATNAGAR Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Indian businessman SN Gupta was found dead in a hotelin Traffick Chowk Biratnagar Wednesday, police said. He was a motor parts dealer. Body has been sent for postmortem. Nnnn MASS TRANSFERS IN POLICE Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nepal Police Wednesday transferred 28 Superintendents of Police (SP) to different postings in the country. Nnnn RUSSIA SCRAPS LAW ENFORCEMENT DEAL WITH US Kathamandu, 30 Jan.: Russia scrapped a law enforcement agreement with the United States on Wednesday, further turning back the clock on a "reset" in relations since President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin last year, Reuters writes from Moscow.. An order to end the deal, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, was posted on the government's website. It said the agreement, under which Washington provides financial assistance for law enforcement and drugs control programs, "does not address current realities and has exhausted its potential". Lawmaker Alexei Pushkov, a Putin ally who heads the parliamentary committee on international affairs, welcomed the move. "Russia is reformatting its relationship with the USA: this is already the third agreement cancelled in the last half-year. We are saying farewell to our dependence on 'Power No. 1'," he said on Twitter. Since Putin's return to the Kremlin in May, his foreign policy rhetoric has become increasingly focused on external threats, including from the United States which Russia has accused of trying to meddle in Russian politics. Moscow was infuriated by a U.S. human rights bill that barred Russians accused of human rights abuses from entering the United States and freezed any assets they have there. It responded with a bill in December imposing similar measures and banned the adoption of Russian children by American families, clouding what was left of the "reset" in ties hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama at the start of his first term. Moscow also outlawed U.S.-funded "non-profit organizations that engage in political activity" and last October ordered the U.S. Agency for International Development to cease operations in Russia, saying Washington was using the mission to interfere in politics. The government statement on Wednesday said Russia's Foreign Ministry had been told to inform U.S. authorities about the withdrawal from the 11-year-old law enforcement agreement. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow declined immediate comment. REDUCING U.S. INFLUENCE Russia announced last October that it was withdrawing from a decades-old agreement under which Washington helped it dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons. Russia argued it now had the power and finances to carry out disarmament itself. Dmitry Trenin, director at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, said Putin was playing on Russians' patriotism by portraying Washington as a meddling foreign power in an attempt to cast dissenters as traitors working for an outside threat. "Mr. Putin's goal is to reduce as much as he can U.S. influence on Russia internally," he said. "I'm sure there will be a lot of damage but they believe the pay-off will be bigger: whoever opposes the leadership here will be seen as a fifth column who is doing the bidding of the United States, unpatriotic at minimum and very likely a traitor." Several members of a protest movement against Putin, which started after allegations of vote rigging after a 2011 parliamentary election, have been portrayed by the media as being on the payroll of foreign countries. The United States withdrew from a bilateral civil society group earlier this month to protest against what it said was Moscow's clampdown on civil rights and public activism. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the U.S. human rights bill, named after lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in detention in 2009, as "odious", but said Moscow wants constructive ties with the United States. Trenin said that while Russia was likely to continue to reduce the United States' presence in the country, Moscow was unlikely to cut major initiatives. Russia allows the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force to use a rail route through its territory to transport equipment. He added that some of recent deal-breaking with the United States was being driven by a desire to shed its image as an aid recipient. nnnn

CHAKRA PRASAD BASTOLA IMPROVING IN NEW DELHI HOSPITAL Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nepali Congress (NC) leader Chakra Prasad Banstola's health condition has seen gradual improvement, RSS reports from Bhadrapur.. Banstola is undergoing treatment at Medant Hospital, New Delhi, after he suddenly fell unconscious due to brain hemorrhage. He had been transferred to ICU from ventilator after gradual improvement in his health was seen, but he has been receiving treatment keeping at another special treatment unit for the last three days, said his nephew Tara Banstola. The doctors stopped giving oxygen from his mouth now. The infection that was seen on his health was no more and that swelling in his brain was gradually recovering, said Tara quoting the doctors involved in NC leader Chakra Banstola's treatment. However, Banstola has not been able to open his eyes and return to conscious state yet. He went through first surgery in Siliguri of India after he suddenly fell ill due to brain haemorrhage on December 29. Nnnn VETERAN EVEREST CLIMBER ANG NIMA DEAD Kathmandu, 30 Jan,::Ang Nima Sherpa (59) who was one of the oldest serving Sherpa among the Mt. Everest- Khumbu Icefall doctors, passed away in his home village of Pangboche on January 25, 2013, RSS reports.. The 'Icefall Doctors' are Sherpas who set and maintain the safest path through the icefall by laying down a series of ladders across the crevasses. They stay on the mountain maintaining the route and making sure that the ladders and ropes remain in place to ensure safety of the climbers, said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former chairman of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). It is an extremely dangerous job with hazards like avalanches, moving glaciers and tumbling seracs threatening them every day, added former Chairman Ang Tshering. nnnn UPDATE DETAILS OF PM, PRESIDENTDISCUSSIONS RSS Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai called on President Dr. Rambaran Yadav as political crisis deepens in the country, RSS reports.. The talks were held at the presidential palace, Sheetal Niwas, this morning as political crisis lingers on for failure to forge consensus among political parties. After the meeting, Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said discussions were being held among parties on giving an outlet to the political stalemate by holding election by May end, 2013. "We should seek consensus by keeping election in focus, and efforts for talks are being made for going to election within the date among parties," he said. Bhattarai said he informed the president on efforts being made for consensus among parties. On the occasion, President Dr. Yadav urged him to give an outlet to the existing political stalemate in the country by forging consensus at the earliest. nnnn

CHAKRA PRASAD BASTOLA IMPROVING IN NEW DELHI HOSPITAL Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nepali Congress (NC) leader Chakra Prasad Banstola's health condition has seen gradual improvement, RSS reports from Bhadrapur.. Banstola is undergoing treatment at Medant Hospital, New Delhi, after he suddenly fell unconscious due to brain hemorrhage. He had been transferred to ICU from ventilator after gradual improvement in his health was seen, but he has been receiving treatment keeping at another special treatment unit for the last three days, said his nephew Tara Banstola. The doctors stopped giving oxygen from his mouth now. The infection that was seen on his health was no more and that swelling in his brain was gradually recovering, said Tara quoting the doctors involved in NC leader Chakra Banstola's treatment. However, Banstola has not been able to open his eyes and return to conscious state yet. He went through first surgery in Siliguri of India after he suddenly fell ill due to brain haemorrhage on December 29. Nnnn VETERAN EVEREST CLIMBER ANG NIMA DEAD Kathmandu, 30 Jan,::Ang Nima Sherpa (59) who was one of the oldest serving Sherpa among the Mt. Everest- Khumbu Icefall doctors, passed away in his home village of Pangboche on January 25, 2013, RSS reports.. The 'Icefall Doctors' are Sherpas who set and maintain the safest path through the icefall by laying down a series of ladders across the crevasses. They stay on the mountain maintaining the route and making sure that the ladders and ropes remain in place to ensure safety of the climbers, said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former chairman of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). It is an extremely dangerous job with hazards like avalanches, moving glaciers and tumbling seracs threatening them every day, added former Chairman Ang Tshering. nnnn UPDATE DETAILS OF PM, PRESIDENTDISCUSSIONS RSS Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai called on President Dr. Rambaran Yadav as political crisis deepens in the country, RSS reports.. The talks were held at the presidential palace, Sheetal Niwas, this morning as political crisis lingers on for failure to forge consensus among political parties. After the meeting, Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said discussions were being held among parties on giving an outlet to the political stalemate by holding election by May end, 2013. "We should seek consensus by keeping election in focus, and efforts for talks are being made for going to election within the date among parties," he said. Bhattarai said he informed the president on efforts being made for consensus among parties. On the occasion, President Dr. Yadav urged him to give an outlet to the existing political stalemate in the country by forging consensus at the earliest. nnnn

NEPSE SLIPS Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nepse closed at 511.92 points Wednesday after losing 2.55 points. Trading was heavy. Altogether 447,674 shares were traded for Rs. 111.681 million in1034 transactions. nnnn

PRESIDENT RENEWS ATTEMPT TO END DEADLOCK Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: President Dr.. Ram Baran Yadav Wednesday renewed his abandoned effort for find a consensus between parties in and out of government to hold constituent assembly (CA) elections in April/May. The effort came as parties move on a collision course before which the president had given up efforts to build consensus nine times without success. Dr.Yadav began consultations Wednesday first with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarat and separately with leaders of NC, UML and a coalition of Madeshbadi leaders in government. Wednesday’s effort was inconclusive MORE UPDATE THREE STAR CLUB ENTERS AAHA GOLD CUP FINAL Kathmandu, 30 Jan. Three Star Club Wednesday entered the final of the Aaha Gold Cup in Pokhara. The Club defeated Jawalakhel Youth Club 2-1 in injury time. nnnn

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

UPPDATE NEPAL LOSES TO THAILAND Kathmandu, 30 jan. Nepal, lost to host Thailand by even wickets Wednesday in the ACC women’s championship. Nnnn TRAFFIC DISRUPTED IN SUNSARI AFTER WOMAN KILLED BY TUSKER Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Loved ones of a woman killed overnight by a wild tusker in Sunsari outside Koshi Tappu Wednesday obstructed traffic in Mahendra Highway with the dead body. They presented five demands including the delaration of the dead woman a martyr and compensation for family. Nnnn RS.70 MILLION COLLECTED AT PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nearly Rs.70 million has been collected in 10 months after government enforced rules for pujas at Pashupatinath temple, Dipendra Bista writes in Kantipur. More than 30 special pujas are conducted evrey day after enforcement of new rules. nnnn HILLARY CLINTON CASTS DOUBTS ON WHETHER SHE’LL RUN FOR WHITE HOUSE Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday cast doubt on speculation she might run for the White House in 2016, Reuteers reports from Washington.. In an interview taped for National Public Radio, Clinton was asked what questions she needs to answer for herself as she decides whether to run for president. "I'm not even posing those questions. I am really looking forward to stepping off the fast track that I've been on. I've been out of politics as Secretary of State. I don't see myself getting back into politics," she said, according to an excerpt of the interview. Whether this is her last word on the subject is unknown. She will face strong pressure from Democrats to join the field of contenders. Clinton will step down this week, following Senate confirmation Tuesday of Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry as her successor. Those close to Clinton are eager for her to announce a 2016 run, so much so that a group has already formed a new super PAC and registered with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, called "Ready for Hillary." In 2008, she lost to President Barack Obama in a bitter Democratic primary campaign to be the party nominee for the White House. Although Clinton, 65, did not categorically rule out another presidential run, in a separate NBC interview she said that she was healthy enough to wage a campaign. "I have no doubt that I am healthy enough and my stamina is great enough and I'll be fully recovered to do whatever I choose to do," Clinton told "Andrea Mitchell Reports" in an interview that aired on Tuesday. Clinton was hospitalized in December after doctors found a blood clot stemming from a concussion she suffered previously. She intends to do more public speaking and writing, and work alongside her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea on "mutual foundation interests," she said in the NPR interview. "I want to be involved in philanthropy, advocacy, working on issues - like women and girls - that I care deeply about," Clinton said. nnnn

COUPLE KILLED IN SINDHUPALCHOWK Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: A grouo of thieves Tuesday killed Mam Kumari at Larka in Sidhupalchowk and snatched gold earrings They also killed her husband. Thirteen-year-old son escaped. Nnnn RULING ALIANCE SHOW OF FORCE IN CAPITAL Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Twenty-one parties supporting a Maoist-led government of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and five Madeshbadi parties is coming out on the capital’s street Wednesday one day after an opposition rally that pressed the government’s resignation. Government has ignored and rejected opposition calls. The showdown between government and opposition is getting violent. Fourteen opposition activists were injured in clashes with government supporters in Banepa Tuesday. nnnn NB GROUP PROMOTER FACES ARREST Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Key officials of the NB Group including managing director Laxmi Bahadur Shrestha face possible arrest on banking fraud charges as evidence against them has been mounting. Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has recently submitted further details regarding the irregularities committed by them to the police, The Katahmandu Post reports.. Shrestha, who has been accused of banking fraud at Nepal Sri Lanka Merchant Bank (NSMB) and is wanted by the police, has managed to stay out of custody allegedly due to strong political protection. The police have already filed cases against him, his family members and relatives and former NSMB officials for banking offences. Shrestha has not been directly charged in the scam at NSMB. According to a central bank source, it has provided details about his misdeeds in other financial institutions. “We have sent a letter to the police mentioning the irregularities committed by Shrestha and his family members by taking loans through third parties such as their employees and other people,” said the central bank source. The source added that they had borrowed Rs 200 million to Rs 250 million, and the amount due would be double that if interest were to be added. “But he and his family members have failed to repay those loans,” added the source. The Bank and Financial Institution Act forbids promoters, bank directors and promoters with a share of more than 1 percent from taking loans from their own company. “The money taken as loans has been found to have been spent on buying shares, personal expenses and sharing with others,” said the NRB source. The source said the additional evidence would help the police to build a stronger case against Shrestha. He has been charged with banking offence after former NSMB directors in custody told the police that they had acted as per his instructions. The police have arrested former NSMB executive chairman Rubi Joshi and former directors Sri Ram Prasad Lamichhane and Gaurishankar Chaudhary. NSMB had provided loans worth Rs 353.1 million illegally as it was about to be merged with Nepal Bangladesh Bank (NBB) about two years ago. As a result, NBB suffer a huge financial burden after merging with a cash-strapped NSMB. The police launched a manhunt for Shrestha after the arrested bank officials named him as the key architect of the scam, but they have not been able to trace his whereabouts. The police have been under greater pressure to arrest Shrestha since the central bank’s letter reached the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB). “We have heard that Shrestha has been asking the government prosecutor to create an environment to repay the loans,” said an NRB official. Shrestha was charged years ago, however, no action has been taken against him due to protection from political circles and the NRB board despite his irregularities being an open secret. The board members of the central bank who have been protecting him have already left. “We have heard that he has been making noises that the central bank has been harassing him,” said the NRB source. The police have filed cases against Shrestha and his family members and relatives including Purna Bahadur Shrestha, Jen Shrestha, Gita Shrestha, Mukunda Acharya, Elija Vaidya and others based on the statements given by those who have been arrested on the charge of committing irregularities at NSMB. Nnnn BREAKTHROUGH AGREEMENT TO SELL STAR MALL Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nepal Share Market and Finance (NSMF) has signed an agreement with Global IME Bank and Siddhartha Bank, which has allowed NSMF to sell Star Mall. The finance company will use the money received from the sale of the business complex located in Putalisadak, Kathmandu, to pay the interest of the loans taken from the banks to develop the property, as per the agreement,. Prithvi Man Shrestha writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The crisis-ridden finance company plans to the recover around Rs 1.72 billion embezzled by its former executive chairman Yogendra Shrestha by selling the property, which is owned by a firm Shrestha has promoted. Likewise, the two banks are seeking to recover around Rs 350 million lent to Shrestha against the collateral value of Star Mall. As per the agreement, the finance company will sell the business complex within a year and will pay the outstanding interests by the time the property is sold. “The two sides signed the agreement under the coordination of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB),” said a senior central bank official. The NRB encouraged the two parties to go for such an agreement, fearing that the business complex could be sold at a cheaper price if the banks put the property up for auction, making it difficult to repay depositors’ money. The central bank has been barring the banks from auctioning the property for the last few months. Recently, NSMF had issued an auction notice to sell the mall, but found no buyers even after two deadline extensions. Although the central bank had estimated the value of the property at Rs 1.3 billion, the finance company had sought to sell it at around Rs 900 million considering the recession in the real estate market. An NSMF official said talks were underway with some interested parties. As the finance company has not been able to recover any significant amount from Shrestha, NSMF officials say a big chunk of the embezzled amount could be recovered if the mall is sold. Shrestha embezzled Rs 1.72 billion from the finance company by creating fake loanees, according to a due diligence audit (DDA) report. He created 96 bogus borrowers and took the money himself. NSMF has so far recovered Rs 150 million from Shrestha by selling his shares in Machhapuchchhre Bank. It has also been able to recover a substantial amount of loans issued to other loanees; as a result, its liabilities to the depositors have decreased considerably over the last year. When the fraud at NSMF was exposed on May 9, 2011, the company had deposits worth Rs 3.12 billion, which have now come down to less than Rs 1.5 billion. Its lending has also come down to Rs 1.37 billion from Rs 5.26 billion over the period. The finance company has also recovered Rs 375.5 million deposited in Star Savings and Credit Cooperative. Nnnn

NEPAL WOMEN DISMISSED FOR 38 RUNS UPDATE Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nepal omen dismissed for 38 runs by Thailand Wednesday in the ACC Women’s Championship in Thailand. Nnnn SC AND CONTEMPT CASES Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: The Supreme Court seems to be too liberal when it comes to dealing with contempt of court cases, Ananta Raj Luitel writes in The HoImalayan Times/. Several former prime ministers, ministers and other high-ranking officials have faced contempt charges when they were in office, but instances of apex court convicting them of contempt are extremely rare. “The apex court seems to have adopted a liberal attitude towards contemners, and if this situation continues, chances of court losing its dignity and failing to keep justice dispensation system intact are high,” said Sarbagyaratna Tuladhar, former attorney general. “Because of such leniency on the part of court, rulings are not being followed properly.” The recent contempt charge against Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Attorney General Mukti Narayan Pradhan drew massive attention. Both have appeared in court to defend the charges. A court ruling on the case, however, is due. Former prime ministers Manamohan Adhikary, Girija Prasad Koirala and Pushpa Kamal Dahal all have faced contempt charges. But Adhikary was the only prime minister who was convicted of contempt and was fined Rs 100 for his offence — criticising a judgment issued on August 28, 1995, that reinstated Parliament by quashing his decision to dissolve it. During the Panchayat regime, the court had convicted former prime minister KI Singh. In 1995, then editor of Bimarsha, a vernacular weekly, Harihar Birahi faced contempt charge, but the court took equally liberal attitude. However, Nihita Biswas, who shot to fame after marrying serial killer Charles Shobhraj, and her advocate mother Shakuntala Thapa were sent to jail for 15 days two years ago on contempt charge. Two dozen locals of Chamati, Lalitpur, were also sentenced for two weeks for chanting slogans against judges in courtroom. Harikrishna Karki, newly elected President of Nepal Bar Association, said SC does not seem to be consistent on contempt cases. “Most of the contemners argue that they had no ill-intention, so convicting them is not easy,” said Shreekanta Paudel, Spokesperson for SC. “We don’t have Contempt of Court Act and measuring intention is but impossible.” What makes one a contemner • Obstruction of justice • Disobeying court rulings willfully • Not obeying court orders • Scandalising the court • Creating hindrance to judges and court staff • Trying to influence sub-judice cases Nnnn HETAUDA TEXTILE TO BE LIQUIDATED Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: The government has finally decided to liquidate Hetauda Textile Factory, concluding that the factory cannot be revived, The Himalayan Times writes.. It has completed the valuation process, said joint secretary at the finance ministry Khum Raj Punjali. “The government has valuated its land at Rs 210 million,” he said, adding that the building has been valuated at Rs 81.4 million and machinery parts at Rs 81.2 million. “The government had appointed Daman Bahadur Bista as liquidator who recently submitted the valuation report of the factory’s assets.” As per the liquidation plan, the factory area will be taken over by Industrial Estate Management Ltd (IEML), Punjali added. Hetauda Textile Factory was closed a decade ago after it posted a huge loss due to its failure to compete with cheap imported textiles that flooded the market. Prior to its closure, the factory used to consume 1,200 tonnes of cotton and used to employ about 1,200 individuals. The government has decided to invest the land and buildings as its shares and sell the machinery parts, he said. Industrial Estate Management Ltd has already initiated the process of finding another suitable company to be operated on the premises of Hetauda Textile, he said, adding that IEML will be responsible for utilising the land and bringing in a new factory. Punjali further said that the liquidation process will gain momentum once the cabinet approves the liquidation proposal. “The government will appoint another liquidator after the cabinet approves the liquidation proposal.” The factory holds eight acres of land, old buildings and about 15,700 sets of machines used in thread-making, dyeing, and spinning, among others, according to the Ministry of Industry. The incumbent prime minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai had, earlier opposed the idea of privatising the factory, saying that the government should operate it. When he was the finance minister in 2008, Dr Bhattarai had claimed he would revive moribund and sick firms demonstrating a socialist manifestation and a big planner attitude. He had promised to inject money and resuscitate state-owned enterprises like Hetauda Textile, completely compromising efficiency and productivity in favour of a populist political agenda of creating employment. He had also claimed that government agencies and security forces would consume production from these incompetent companies. However, after the government repeatedly failed to operate the factory, Dr Bhattarai has, in contradiction to his earlier stand, started the process of liquidation. The assets of Hetauda Textile Factory could not be sold even after six years of its liquidation, according to the Financial Survey. “By fiscal year 2010-11, the government’s share investment in 37 government owned enterprises totalled Rs 92.19 billion, whereas loan investment stood at Rs 95.16 billion as compared to a share investment of Rs 82.75 billion and loan investment Rs 84.91 billion a fiscal year back, indicating a rise in government’s share investment by 11.40 per cent and loan investment by 12.07 per cent,” it stated, adding that of the total 37 PEs, some 14 PEs are operating at net loss. nnnn

WOMAN TRAMPLED TO DEATH IN SUNSARI Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: A wild elephant came out of its protested habitat at KOsi Tappu Tuesday and trampled to death a fleeing 40-year-old woman. Elephants have been on a rampage destroying hutments in Shripur and Haripurar around the protected area keeping in a herd of wild buffaloes. Nnnn FOUR INMATES ESAPE FROM DHANGADI PRISON Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Four inmates escaped from Dhangadi prison overnight, police said. They escaped through a prison cell window. The prisoners were serving sentences for theft and kidnapping. nnnn. WARMER WEDNESDAY PREDICTED FOR VALLEY Kathmandu, 30 Jan. A warmer Wednesday is predicted Wednesday for the capital. The minimum temperature is predicted at 4 degrees Celsius at maximum at 18 degrees Celsius. Nnnn FIRST SEMI-FINAL OF AAHA GOLD CUP Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Three Star plays Jawalakhel Youth Club Wednesday in the first semi-finsl of the Aaha Gold Cup in Pokhara. Pokhara is hosting the tournament. Wednesday’s winner will play either local Sahara Club or Nepal Army hoplayis another semi-final.. nnnn CPN-MAOIST FORMS FIVE COMMANDS Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Centralizing power of the party organization, CPN-Maoist has formed five commands dissolving its six geographical and two non-geographical bureaus keeping in mind the party´s upcoming struggle programs, Kiran Pun writes in Republica.. The meeting of the party central committee on Tuesday held at the party head office in Buddha Nagar also reshuffled responsibilities appointing party top leaders, including -vice-chairman CP Gajurel and general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, as command in-charges. The party will make its struggle programs public on Wednesday by holding a press meet. “The commands have been formed by downsizing the bureaus in a bid to streamline party activities," said Jayapuri Gharti Magar, central committee member. The Maoists had formed such commands also during the insurgency. General Secretary Thapa has been appointed in-charge of the central command. Thapa held the same post during the insurgency. Similarly, vice-chairman Gajurel has been appointed in-charge of the international command. Gajuel also held the same post during the insurgency. The central command is supposed to be very important as it also comprises the capital. Newa, Tamsaling, Bhojpura and Mithila state committees would also be under the central command. Earlier, Bhojpura and Mithila state committees were under the Madhes bureau. Similarly, Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma has been appointed in-charge of eastern command comprising Kirat, Limbuwan and Kochila state committees. Similarly, mid-western command would be headed by party leader Indra Mohan Sigdel. The mid-western command would comprise Tamuwan, Magarat and Abadh state committees. The Abadh state committee was under the Madhes bureau in the past. There was no mid-western command during the insurgency. Likewise, Dharmendra Banstola has been appointed in-charge of the western command comprising Bheri-Karnali, Tharuwan and Seti-Mahakali state committees. Similarly, Kul Prasad KC has been appointed in-charge of Tamsaling state committee. Hit Man Shakya has been reappointed as in-charge of Newa state committee. The remaining state committee in-charges retain their positions. The CPN-Maoist has a total of 14 geographical and non-geographical state committees. The meeting also removed the post of co-in-charge from the party´s organizational structure. There were more than one co-in-charges in the state, district and area committees. "The struggle programs to be made public by the party will be publicity-oriented," said Anil Sharma Birahi, central committee member. Nnnn MPRF, TMDP MERGR UNLIKELY SOON Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: The much-hyped unification between Madhesi People´s Rights Forum (MPRF) and Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) is not likely anytime soon, say leaders knowledgeable of recent developments, Ganii Ansaroi writes in Republica. . Both Madhes-based parties had formed their respective talks team some five months ago to expedite the unification process. “The parties are yet to agree on major issues including, leadership of the unified party,” said a leader on condition of anonymity, adding, “This is not likely anytime soon.” TMDP Spokesperson Sharvendranath Shukla, who is also a member of the talks team formed by his party, said that they are just waiting for an appropriate time to declare party unification. "This is not the right time to declare party unification as the country is passing through political crisis,” stated Shukla, adding, “There should either be fresh polls or the launch of a new movement.” Shukla also claimed that there was no problem between the two parties for unification. However, MPRF leader Ram Sahay Yadav, who is a member of the talks team formed by his party, stated they are yet to reach consensus for unification. “We had just started to hold discussions on all issues including the name and strength of central committee of the new party but have not reached any conclusion,” he added. Yadav said that they have not held talks on the issues for the past couple of months as TMDP leaders are busy in the regional convention of the party. According to sources, MPRF leaders are not ready to share power in the central committee of unified party, saying their party´s position is better than that of TMDP. Another Madhesi leader claimed that the two parties would soon merge as MPRF Chairman Upendra Yadav and TMDP Chairman Mahantha Thakur are ready to make any sacrifice for the formation of a unified party. Nnnn

NEPAL,PLAYING THAILAND IN ACC WOMEN SEMIFINAL Kathmandu, 30 Jan.: Nepal is batting first against host Thailand Wednesday at Ching Mai in a semifinal of the ACC Women Championship losing five wickets cheaply. The tournament winner will make it to the World Qualifier in August. Nepal emerged on top of Group A winning all four matches. snnnn.

DHURBE “MISSING’ Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: Rampaging elephant 'Dhrube', which had terrorized people after killing a Bote couple in Madi of Chitwan lately, has been still out of sight for the Past one month, RSS reports from Chitwan. . The Chitwan National Park administration has recalled additional security personnel and vehicles from Madi on Monday after consultation with office-bearers of local community forests and other stakeholders. The administration had mobilized 16 domesticated elephants, two vehicles, 50 security personnel, 20 national park employees, 10 employees serving at the Bio Diversity Conservation Centre and 32 Mahouts to take the rogue elephant under control after it took the lives of Buddhiram Bote (65) and his wife Jariya Bote (60) on December 15. Meanwhile, Buddhi Bahadur Kumal (37), a local of Meghauli in west Chitwan died on the spot on Tuesday after being mauled by a tiger while he was on his way to the forest for collecting fodder. Nnnn NEW GOVERNOR FOR TIBET Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: China appointed a new governor for remote and restive Tibet on Tuesday, naming a hardline ethnic Tibetan in a signal that the government has no plans to ease up on its tight control on the Himalayan region, Reuters reports from Beijing.. Losang Gyaltsen, 55, was elected at the end of the annual meeting of Tibet's largely rubber stamp regional assembly, and replaces previous governor Padma Choling, according to an announcement by the official Xinhua news agency. Losang Gyaltsen is a former mayor of Tibetan capital Lhasa and once taught Marxist theory, according to his official biography. His name is also spelled Losang Jamcan in English. He reports to Tibet's top official, Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo, a position which traditionally has always been held by a Han Chinese rather than an ethnic Tibetan. "He's rather hardline, but all officials at that level are the same," said prominent Tibetan writer Woeser. "There will be no real change in Tibet." China has defended its iron-fisted rule in Tibet, saying the mountainous region suffered from dire poverty, brutal exploitation and economic stagnation until 1950, when Communist troops "peacefully liberated" it. A post in Tibet is one of the most challenging positions for Communist Party officials, but can also be a route to higher office if they are judged to have performed well. President Hu Jintao served as party boss in Tibet from 1988-1992, while rising star Hu Chunhua, recently appointed party chief in booming Guangdong province and seen as a possible future president, has some two decades of Tibet experience. Speaking to Tibet's legislature on Tuesday, the new governor, Losang Gyaltsen, said the government would "resolutely struggle" against exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who China accuses of promoting violent separatism, charges he denies. "We will unswervingly protect the unity of the motherland and ethnic harmony ... and maintain harmony and stability in Tibet," the China News Service quoted him as saying. "Harmony and stability are the basic guarantee of Tibet's development and prosperity," he added. China has tightened already strict controls in Tibet since an upsurge in self-immolations by Tibetans protesting Chinese rule over the past two years, though most of the burnings have happened in heavily Tibetan areas outside of what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region. Almost 100 Tibetans have set themselves alight since the protests began in 2009, most of whom have died. Despite expectations for improvement, the crackdown inside Tibet could become even worse once Chinese Communist Party boss Xi Jinping becomes president in March as he seeks to cement his rule, said an overseas Tibetan rights advocate. "I wouldn't be surprised if at the beginning of his tenure things might get worse before they get better, because he will want to stamp his authority early on," said Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet. Xi's late father, Xi Zhongxun, a liberal-minded former vice premier, had a close bond with the Dalai Lama before the monk fled into exile in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. nnnn

UPDATE SAHARA CLUB NTRS SEMIFINAL OF AAHA GOLD CUP Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: Local team Sahara Club beat MMC convincingly 4-1 to become the last team to enter the semifinal Tuesday of the Aaha Gold Cup in Pokhara. Sahara Club won in a tiebreaker. Nnnn

UPDATE OF OPPOSITION POTESTS Katthmandu, 29 Jan.: Nine opposition political parties including the Nepali Congress, CPN-UMLon Tuesday organised a joint protest meeting near the Martyrs' Gate, Sundhara, demanding the ousting of the incumbent government and formation of a national unity, RSS reports. government. The programme began with paying of tributes by laying wreaths on the statues of the four martyrs there. Addressing the programme, leaders claimed that government that dissolved the Constitution Assembly (CA) before the promulgation of the new constitution has no constitutional and political ground to remain in power. They urged the government to quit the post immediately. The opposition leaders accused the UCPN-Maoist-led coalition government of heading towards totalitarianism and thereby argued that it demanded the ousting of the government as quickly as possible. They also warned of launching a decisive protest meeting at open theater or Khulamanch, Tundikhel on February 9 against the government. "The protest is not meant for getting into power, but for ensuring free and fair CA election with the formation of a national consensus government to draft the new constitution", leaders said. CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli said the new constitution could not be drafted on time due to ultra-leftist character of the UCPN-Maoist which is against federalism and democracy. NC general secretary Prakashman Singh said the agitation was the need of the hour to end present transition in the country and safeguard nationality and democracy. "Our protests would continue until fresh CA election was not guaranteed", he said. nnnn

CAPITAL’S MINIMUM TEMPERATURE 2 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: Capital’s minimum temperature Tuesday was 2 degrees Celsius.. Mercury is expected to rise to 20 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Nnnn FIRE AT BHUTANESE REFUGEE CAMP Kathmandu, 29 Jan.; A fire Tuesday at Beldangi Bhutanese refugee camp destroyed at last 100 huts... Efforts are ongoing to fight the outbreak –a regular affair at the camps in Jhapa. nnnn.

SECOND PHASE OF ANTI-GOVT OPPOSITION PROTESTS Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: NC ,UML and several other opposition parties launched anti government and Maoist protests in all districts coinciding with martyrs memorial day. The opposition says the protest is the second phase of anti-government protests. In the capital, protests will begin from Martyrs Memorial Gate. Protests are aimed to pull down the government in the absence of parliament ven as Chairman Prachanda claimed Monday Maoists will continue in office for 10 more years. Maoists have been in power for thee second time more 16 months with support of five Madeshbadi parties giving in to regional demands to continue in government. The last several months has been wasted just in a power struggle as even President after nine failed efforts failed to assemble a consensus government finally giving up. . RSS reports from Myagdhi: NC: Vice President of Nepali Congress (NC), Ramchandra Paudel, said that the CA election could be ensured only under NC-led government. Talking at a press meeting organised by Nepal Press Union, Myagdi chapter, here today, Vice President Paudel claimed the election held under NC leadership in the past have been justified to be fair, adding that, the next Constituent Assembly election should also be held under NC leadership. The political parties failed to forge consensus as the Unified CPN-Maoist and some Madhes based political parties did not want election by fearing that result of the CA election would come against them, said NC leader Paudel. It has been justified that the UCPN-Maoist did not want the election for the Chairman of the party publicly delivered his speech for continuing the current government for more 10 years, he added. The opposition parties would organise stern protest for institutionalising democracy in the country as the current government encouraged anarchism and totalitarianism at a time when the constitutional bodies were vacating and President became more flexible. "The political parties in the government alliance have been stiffer when President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav becomes flexible," said Paudel. The CA election under this government's leadership was not possible and that there is no alternative to stern protest for the fresh election," added NC Vice President Paudel. nnnn

Monday, January 28, 2013

SAHARA CLUB PLAYS MMC Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: Sahara Club plays MMC in the last quarterfinal of the Aaha Gold Cup in Pokhara Tuesday. Three Star Club[not RCT as reported] .was the third team to enter the semi-final Monday defeating RCT in a tiebreaker. Nnnn PROCEDURE RELATED TO 500MW PDA ENDORSED Kathmandu, 29 Jan: The Ministry of Energy has endorsed the Procedure Related to Hydro Electricity Development Agreement 2069, The Himalayan Times reports.. The procedure approved on January 23 and meant for projects below 500 MW aims to ensure clarity, transparency and proper management in dealing with survey licence holders and also to curb delays in the name of Project Development Agreement. The procedure has provisioned seven requirements for PDA, including processing fee deposit of 1500 US$ per MW in the government’s account as mentioned in the survey license for projects below 500 MW that are awarded without competition. Likewise, they have to submit copies of Power Purchase Agreement, Connection Agreement, letter of intent of financial institutions to invest in the project along with investors’ study and analysis report of the project’s feasibility study. Likewise, shareholders for equity investment have to declare 50 per cent of their property in the documents, according to the procedure. This is first time the government has issued the procedure to discourage the trend of holding projects for months citing the PDA, said MoE officials. MoE informed that the new guideline will deal with projects uniformly. It is believed that this provision will separate projects that need the PDA and those that do not. Besides the trend of delaying projects will be monitored . Most of the projects have chosen not to reach PPA with NEA and financial closure on grounds of the PDA. PDA is needed for projects that bring Foreign Direct Investment. However, multiple projects have been cheating the government for months and even years by reporting that their PDA is under way. PDA is a detailed project study that includes financial closure. Nnnn PRESIDENT CAN REINSTATECA SAYS JUSTICE SHARMA Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: A senior Supreme Court justice today said President Ram Baran Yadav can reinstate the dissolved Constituent Assembly to bail the country out of current constitutional and political crises, The Himalayan Times reports. . “If he feels that the CA was dissolved without completing its tenure, the President can reinstate it,” said Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma at a talk programme on ‘constitutional crisis and way forward’ organised by Constitutional Lawyers’ Forum in the Capital today. “The President can ask the Speaker to conduct the session; there is even no need of any proposal from the government for that,” added Sharma. The CA, which doubled as Parliament, was dissolved on May 27 as per an apex court verdict of November 25, 2011, in which a five-member bench — which included Justice Sharma himself — had given six more months to the constitution-drafting body to accomplish its task and had said failure to do so would lead to CA’s automatic dissolution. The bench had also suggested three alternatives, but neither the government nor Parliament pursued any of the suggestions. Sharma also underlined that the Head of the State can reinstate Parliament for the remaining time — implying 27 minutes which was suggested by constitutional law expert Chandra Kanta Gyawali — and proceed to find a suitable solution — fresh CA polls or any other option. Gyawali had suggested that the CA could be reinstated for at least 27 minutes because it was called dissolved by the government on May 27 at 11:33pm which was 27 minutes earlier than the time set by the apex court for its automatic dissolution. “The Speaker too can proceed with the needed action,” stated Sharma. Former Nepal Bar Association President Shambhu Thapa suggested to the apex court to take a bold decision to resolve the constitutional crisis. Senior advocate Bishwokanta Mainali, however, said there was no option left except going for fresh polls. nnnn

PM VISITS LAINCHAUR THIS YEAR TO REMEMBER MARTYRS Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, ministers and senior government officials unlike last year, placed wreaths at a memorial for martyrs at Lainchaur next to the British embassy Tuesday. The premier remembered four martyrs who ere hanged at different point in the capital for opposing their 104-year regime. The government head last year went to Kirtipur to observe the day remembering communist leadership. Nobody knows how many martyrs there are now. The Postal Services Department was forced last year to delay release of first day covers because it did not have biographical details on persons in whose names Postage stamps were issued on political party pressure. nnnn.. . FIRE AT NEPAL LUBRICANTS Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: Property worth million gutted to cinder after a fire has broken out in Nepal Lubricants at Chhata Pipra in Pathalaiya Industrial Corridor Area last night due to an electric shock, RSS reports from Parsa.. But, the fire was brought into control with the help of locals, security forces and a fire engine, said Area Police Office Jitpur. No human casualty was reported in the incident. nnnn CPN-MAOIST TO REVIVE COMMAND SYSTEM OF PEOPLE’S WAR Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: After adopting "people´s revolt on the foundation of people´s war" as its political line through its general convention, Mohan Baidya´s CPN-Maoist is planning to revive the insurgency-era organizational structure in the party, Kiran Pun writes in Republica.. At the central committee meeting of the party which is under way at the party´s head office in Buddha Nagar, leaders are holding discussion to change the existing bureau system into command system. Under the system, power will be centralized in the commands, which will be headed by top leaders. The meeting which started on January 20 is still continuing with gaps. "Discussion is underway to set up command system," Santosh Budha Magar, a central committee member, told Republica. Now there are eight bureaus including six geographical and two non-geographical and these are headed by politburo members. The Eastern, Central, Western, Madhes, Far-Western and International bureaus were headed by Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma, Hitaman Shakya, Indra Mohan Sigdel, Kul Prasad KC and Dharmendra Banstola, respectively. Likewise, the non-geographical bureaus -- publications and publicity, sister wings and fronts -- were headed by Pampha Bhusal and Narayan Prasad Sharma, respectively. Under the bureau system, the state committees are more powerful than the bureaus. There are 14 state committees including geographical and non-geographical state committees. Once command system is implemented the bureaus will be dissolved but state committees will be retained, according to a top leader. "Discussion is under way to form between three and four commands," said another central committee member. During the insurgency period, the then CPN (Maoist) had formed various commands, sometimes three, sometimes four and sometimes five in number. The party had formed Eastern, Central and Western Commands with top leaders as heads of the commands. The party had also formed a Valley Command and a Prabas Command [for Nepalis domiciled abroad]. Nnnn MARTYRS DEVALUED Kathmandu, 29 Jan.:: As the country celebrates Martyrs´ Day on Tuesday amidst various functions, family members of those who sacrificed their lives for people´s liberty and rights in the course of various political struggles find it a hollow occasion for paying lip service to the martyrs, Republica reports.. The kin of the martyrs complain that the decision of each successive government after the political change in April 2006 to declare as martyrs those dying from both political and non-political causes has not only undermined the contribution of the genuine martyrs, but also devalued the very term ´martyr´. “Neither have the political parties, once coming to power, been able to pay due heed to achieving the cause the martyrs readily sacrificed their lives for, nor have they been able to accord proper recognition to the martyrs who fought for the betterment of the country and its people,” complained J B Dhaulakoti, chairman of Martyrs and Injured Citizens Coordination Committee. Dhaulakoti, whose father Hasta Bahadur was killed in Surkhet during the referendum held in 1980, said it is really disappointing to find even people with questionable backgrounds declared martyrs by the governments formed after 2006. “We had set criteria for declaring martyrs, in a report submitted to the then government. But no government paid heed to our suggestions,” added Dhaulakoti, who was also a member of the Mod Nath Prashrit-led committee. The Prashrit-led Committed formed in December 2009 had recommended that a person must have fought for truth and righteousness to qualify for martyr status and his/her fight must not have served any personal or vested interest so that the person honored with martyrdom will be seen as someone having common appeal among the masses. The committee, likewise, recommended that someone qualifies to be a martyr only if he/she chooses death over life when offered the choice. Sukra Raj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dasharath Chand and Ganga Lal Shrestha are regarded as the first fours martyrs. They were hanged in 1941 for challenging the then Rana oligarchy. Though it was expected that the criteria set by the Prashrit Committee would discourage the practice of declaring individuals martyrs under street pressure and encourage the honoring of only those who sacrificed their lives in the cause of nation and people, this could not happen. The governments formed since have continued declaring martyrs on a ´random´ basis. According to the Home Ministry, altogether 101 people have been conferred martyrdom after the success of the people´s movement in April 2006. Besides that, over 7,000 Maoist leaders and cadres were declared martyrs by the Pushpa Kamal Dahal government in 2009. This list does not include recently declared martyrs since, including Supreme Court Justice Rana Bahadur Bam and four persons killed in a bomb explosion in Janakpur in May 2012. Officials at the Home Ministry said that after the political change in 2006, it has been normal for a victim party to seek martyrdom in every incident involving death as this would fetch them Rs 1 million. The government would be compelled to confer the honor as political parties bow to pressure from relatives or support groups launching indefinite strikes and protests. Instead of discouraging the practice of declaring martyrs on such random basis, political parties seem to be only supporting the practice. The current Maoist-led government had formed a separate panel under Nawa Raj Subedi to determine criteria for martyrs as the recommendations of the Prashrit Committee did not include those killed during the Maoist insurgency. A section of political leaders admits that there were weaknesses on their part while declaring martyrs. “There must be broad consensus among political parties and civil society on the definition of martyrs. It is very unfortunate to see the random way of declaring someone a martyr,” said Madhesi People´s Rights Forum (Democratic) leader Jitendra Dev, who was also a member of the Prashrit Committee. “I am disappointed to see the recommendations of our committee ignored by the government.” Martyrs declared post-April 2006 • Janaandolan II Martyrs: 25 • Tarai Madhes Martyrs: 30 • Civil Servant Martyrs: 13 • Financial Institution Martyrs: 3 • Local Body Martyr: 1 • Teacher Martyrs: 6 • Agriculture Council Employee Martyr: 1 • Nepal Police Martyr: 1 • Armed Police Force Martyr: 1 • Religious Martyrs: 4 • Corporation Employee Martyrs: 4 • Limbuwan Movement Martyr: 1 • Journalist Martyr: 1 • Justice Rana Bahadur Bam • Four persons killed in Janakpur bomb blast Nnnn

DISPLACED JOURNALISTS RETURN TO DAILEKH Kathmandu, 29 Jan. : Twenty-two journalists displaced to Surkhet under Maoist threat were accompanied back to Dailekh district to return to work accompanied by a journalist tem led by Shiba Gaule Tuesday. The return comes after a written three-point agreement with journalists and The regional administrator of the mid-West region. Journalists were assured security. Police Monday filed murder charges against nine Maoists Tuesday despite intervention by the prime minister and the attorney general to influence the investigation. nnnn MADHAYAPUR FINED FOR INDISCIPLINE Kathmandu, 28 Jan, ANFA’s disciplinary committee Monday fined Madhyapur Youth Association with Rs 200,000 for indiscipline in an ongoing martyrs memorial A division football league. Three officials were debarred from any football activities for one year. Period with immediate effect.. A fight broke out with Himalayan Sherpa 23 January 23. Madhyapur has been rlated to B division. Head coach and President Upendra Man Singh were among the officials debarred. Nnnn PM SAYS MARTYR CONRIBUTION INCREDIBLE Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and top leaders of different political parties have expressed heartfelt condolence to both known and unknown martyrs for sacrificing their invaluable lives for the bright future of the country and the people, RSS reports.. On the occasion of the Martyrs´ Day, President Ram Baran Yadav has said that all Nepalis have wished for economic prosperity and social development by establishing political stability drafting the new constitution by forgetting the minor disputes. In a message today, President Yadav said, "Taking the country to the path of drafting a democratic constitution by forming the Constituent Assembly through a free and fair election based on political consensus would be the due respects to the martyrs ." "It is necessary for all of us to follow the path shown by our brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of democracy with a dream of the building an economically prosperous and just society," the President said. For this, completing the task of writing a new constitution was inevitable for institutionalizing the federal democratic republic in the country, the President said. In a similar message, Vice President Parmanand Jha drew the attention of one and all towards materializing the dream of the martyrs . Through the message, he has also paid his respects to all known and unknown martyrs . Likewise, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has extended a message to all the people on the occasion of the Martyrs´ Day and paid tributes to all known and unknown people who attained martyrdom for the welfare of the nation and the people. "Let the historic day inspire us all to move ahead for establishing peace, developing the nation and making a prosperous future by cooperating with all," the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister said the contribution of martyrs was incredible in favour of people and country´s chances. Saying that the contributions of the martyrs for country´s independence was long-lasting due to their sacrifices by standing against the Rana oligarchy, the Prime Minister said the current government was effortful to translate the dreams of the martyrs into reality by giving due respect to their contributions. Similarly, the Nepali Congress President has also expressed heartfelt condolence to the known and unknown martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country and the people from 1997 B.S to 2063 B.S. Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala has said that all should forget the minor disputes for safeguarding the democracy and translate the martyrs ´ dream into reality. Nnnn GHIMERE LOBBIES FOR NEW AIRCRAFT FOR NAC Kathmadu, 29 Jan.: Newly-appointed chairman of the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) board Sushil Ghimire on Monday pointed out that the airline needs to add new planes to meet the growing air travel demand, The Kathmandu Post writes.. Ghimire, who is also the secretary at the Tourism Ministry, said that NAC with its well-trained human resources has an immense opportunity to grow in the aviation market despite emerging challenges. “There is a need for a collective technical and financial evaluation of NAC to make jet procurement process easier,” Ghimire said, speaking at a welcome programme organised by NAC on his honour. He said that arranging financial resources to procure new jets was not the problem NAC is facing. NAC needed restructuring as it cannot be run under the existing old infrastructure, Ghimire said, while giving assurance to resolve all problems inside the airline’s management. Nnnn THREE CHARGED FOR MINOR RAPE Kathmandu, 29 Jan.: Police on Monday made public a case of a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly gang-raped in Butwal , Rupandehi, Amrika Anamol writes in The Kathmandu Post from Butwal/. Bhim Bahadur Sunar and Ramesh Thapa of Butwal -9 and Hari Pathak of Waling-1 in Syangja district were arrested for their alleged involvement in raping the girl. Police said the men took the victim into a bus that was parked at the Butwal Buspark and raped her on December 22. The seriously injured victim had been rescued by a police team the same night. The victim, originally hailing from Rolpa district, had been in town in search of work. The three men had promised to find a job for the girl. Police did not talk of the incident then as they thought doing so would prompt the perpetrators to flee. The victim is now taking shelter at KI Nepal, an organisation working against trafficking of women. The girl is said to be frail, physically and mentally, and is undergoing treatment in the Lumbini Zonal Hospital. Assistant programme coordinator of the organisation, Ishwori Prasad Sapkota, said she is in deep mental stress. Doctors attending to the girl said she needs at least one more month to recuperate as she has suffered severe uterus injuries. The victim had gone to her uncle's house in Dang before she headed for Butwal after her stepmother forced her to leave the house. Her father is working in India. Deputy Superintendent of Police Raj Kumar Baidawar said a case has been filed in the District Court and the three men have been charged with raping a minor. nnnn

MURDER CHARGE REGISTERED IN DAILEKJ DISTRICT COURT AGAINST NINE MAOISTS FOR JOURALIST MURDER Kathmandu, 28 Jan.; Police Monday filed cases at the Dailekh district court demanding life sentences along with confiscation of the property of nine Maoists who confessed murdering journalist Dekendra Thapa eight years ago. The cases were filed despite central government pressure on district officials not to pursue the charges. Nnnn

MAOIST LEADER SHRESTHA DEAD Kathamandu, 28 Jan.: Central General Convention Organising Committee Member of the UCPN- Maoist and peasants' leader Dil Bahadur Shrestha passed away this morning at Norvic International Hospital. RSS reports. He was 78. kong suffering from cancer of the lungs, leader Shrestha had joined politics since 1954. Born in Thaiba of Lalitpur district, Shrestha, who led the peasants' movement of the Kathmandu valley, had struggled unabatedly for the liberation of the farmers. His body will be kept at the UCPN- Maoist party office at Parisdanda from 2:00- 4:00 pm today for paying final tributes. Then his body will be kept for tribute at Fulchowki Higher Secondary School, the party said. His funeral will be performed this evening. Meanwhile, UCPN-Maoist Spokesman Agni Sapkota in a press communique said Nepal's communist movement has suffered an irreparable loss from his demise. Nnnn FIGHT BREAKS OUT AT MAOIST MEET Kathmandu, 28 Jan.: Scuffles were reported in the secret district meeting of the UCPN- Maoist in Sunsari district, RSS reports from Itahari. In the meeting organised in Itahari of Sunsari for selection of representatives to be participated in the UCPN-Maoist General Convention, police had to be called as situation of scuffle arose during selection of representatives in the second day even if held secretly for two days. Police was called as there was a situation of attack by cadres dissatisfied with Kochila State Committee Convenor and former minister Gopal Kiranti who was chief guest of the meeting concealed from media person. Chairs were thrown and vandalised in the meeting held at Rijal's Vision Hall after militant youth leaders were not selected and the venue got tense. As there was no situation of equal selection of representatives loyal to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, PM Baburam Bhattarai and DPM Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the cadres were angered with Kiranti. A total of 22 representatives were to be selected from Sunsari district on the basis of party membership. nnnn

UCPN (MAOIST) RULE FOR A DECADE Kathmandu, 28 Jan.: Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal has claimed that his party would rule the country for coming 10 years, RSS writes from Kawasoti . "The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML won´t get chance to lead the government even after the election," Chairman Dahal said, claiming that his party has fully dominated the national politics. Inaugurating the second unity district convention of Nawalparasi district here on Monday, Chairman Dahal claimed that the NC and UML came close to the Maoists after they were ousted by the monarchy. The general convention of the party would bring quality change. It would not be a copy but an original one, he added. Similarly, Chairman Dahal said those willing to wage long-term revolution were status quoists. The socialist revolution would be accomplished through the fronts both from the government and streets, he said. According to him, the UCPN-Maoist would respect people´s decision but not of the opposition parties. On the occasion, Vice-Chairman of the party and Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai challenged the opposition parties to face election if they wanted to grab the power. He said some political parties were afraid of election and federalism. However, the journalists boycotted the programme addressed by the Prime Minister reasoning he promoted impunity. Meanwhile, the PM directed the officials in the district not to avoid duty citing the transition. At a programme at the District Development Committee Nawalparasi, PM Dr Bhattarai urged the government officials to abide by the rules and work for people´s welfare. Only progress in paper was not real so it was time to do something practical by the government employees, he stressed. Moreover, the PM directed the security chiefs in the district to remain vigilant to check border crimes. Nnnn OPPOSITION MISUSING MEDIA MAOIST CHARGE Kathmandu, 28 Jan.: UCPN (Maoist) Spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota has said that the opposition parties were using journalists as their political weapons to fulfill their partisan Interests, RSS writes.. Addressing an interaction program organized on the eighth anniversary of the Revolutionary Journalists´ Association in the capital on Monday, Spokesperson Sapkota said the opposition parties were using journalists for their interests though the journalists are supposed to disseminate free and fair information. The UCPN (Maoist) Spokesperson said the opposition parties plotted the Dailekh incident against the prior agreement of dealing all the conflict era cases through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Arrest of Nepal Army Colonel Kumar Lama in the UK was interference on Nepal´s sovereignty and the Dailekh incident was violation of the comprehensive peace accord, Sapkota said. On the occasion, General Secretary of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Om Sharma said some big media houses that neglected the murder of journalists during the insurgency period are now exaggerating some minor cases to meet their petty interests. He said, "Those not paying the journalists for nine months are making much fuss in the name of independent journalism and security of journalists. The working journalists should counter such follies of the media houses." Also speaking at the same program, coordinator of Association Govinda Acharya accused the FNJ of moving ahead unilaterally. Acharya expressed dissatisfaction to the absence of FNJ Chairman Shiva Gaunle at the program Nnnn IRAN SENDS MONKEY INTO SPACE Kathmandu, 28 Jan.: Iran on Monday successfully sent a monkey into orbit, paving the way for a manned space flight, Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television, AFP reports from Teheran.. Arabic-language channel Al-Alam and other Iranian news agencies said the monkey returned alive after travelling in a capsule to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight. "This success is the first step towards man conquering the space and it paves the way for other moves," General Vahidi said, but added that the process of putting a human into space would be a lengthy one. "Today´s successful launch follows previous successes we had in launching (space) probes with other living creatures (on board)," he added. "The monkey which was sent in this launch landed safely and alive and this is a big step for our experts and scientists." Iranian state television showed still pictures of the capsule and of a monkey being fitted with a vest and then placed in a device similar to a child´s car-seat. A previous attempt in 2011 by the Islamic republic to put a monkey into space failed. No official explanation was ever given. A defence ministry statement quoted by Iranian media said earlier Iran had "successfully launched a capsule, codenamed Pishgam (Pioneer), containing a monkey and recovered the shipment on the ground intact". Iran announced in mid-January its intention to launch a monkey into orbit as part of "preparations for sending a man into space," which is scheduled for 2020. Iran´s space programme deeply unsettles Western nations, which fear it could be used to develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads they suspect are being developed in secret. The same technology used in space launch rockets can also be used in ballistic missiles. The Security Council has imposed on Iran an almost total embargo on nuclear and space technologies since 2007. Tehran has repeatedly denied that its nuclear and scientific programmes mask military ambitions. Iran´s previous satellite launches were met by condemnation from the West who accused Tehran of "provocation." The Islamic republic has previously sent a rat, turtles and worms into space. It has also successfully launched three satellites -- Omid in February 2009, Rassad in June 2011 and Navid in February 2012. In mid-May last year, Tehran announced plans to launch an experimental observation satellite Fajr (Dawn) within a week but it did not happen and Iran gave no explanation for the delay. The Fajr satellite was presented by Iranian officials as "an observation and measurement" satellite weighing 50 kilos (110 pounds), built by Sa-Iran, a company affiliated to the defence ministry. Nnnn