Nepal Today

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

EIGHT-MEMBER TASK FORCE MEETS AGAIN THURSDAY TO TRY REMOVE DIFFERENCES Kathmandu, 28 Feb.: A eight-member task force of four main ruling and opposition parties and an alliance will meet again Thursday to resolve differences on constitutional and legal issues to pave the way for the installation of an election government led by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi. A meeting Wednesday was inconclusive after differences on issues like citizenship in the terai, rank of former Maoist PLA fighters who have joined Nepal Army and other issues. The recommendations have to be approved by leaders of the parties and a Madeshi frpnt in government. The leaders didn’t meet Wednesday with Maoist Chairman Prachanda away in POkhara. nnnn FORMER KING, QUEEN CONSULTING DOCTORS THURSDAY ON CONDITION OF PARAS THURSDAY Kathmandu, 28 Feb.: Former King Gyanendra and Queen Komal will discuss Thursday medical treatment of their son and former Crown Prince Paras Shah at a Bangkok hospital where he’s undergoing treatment following a major heart attack, reports from the Thai capital said. The former royal couple drove straight to the hospital from the airport Wednesday to visit Paras who for the first time spontaneously moved some parts of his limbs following the 19 February heart attack. Parents of Paras flew for the Thai capital Wednesday to be with their son. Other family members, including Crown Princess Himani, are also in Bangkok. Three children ot Paras and Himani flew for the Thai capital with their grandparents. The former king, with a rudrakshayaa necklace, said the life of Paras was in the hands of God and doctors and asked for prayers from well-wishers before boarding a flight. RPP-Nepal activists gave the couple and their grandchildren a sendoff at TIA. Nnnn o . in Bangkokare; r THURSDAY MORNING CAPITAL TEMPERATURE 8 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 28 Feb.: Thursday morning in the capital at eight was 8 degrees Celsius. Mercury on a clear day is expected to rise to 25 degrees Celsius. Nnnn ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS NOT POSSIBLE IN JUNE ELECTION OFFICIALS SAY Kathmandu, 28 Feb.: At a time when political parties are trying to forge consensus on holding fresh polls by mid June, officials at the Election Commission (EC) have ruled out any possibility of conducting election in the given Time, Republica reports.. “Now, there is no place to compromise despite our flexibility to hold polls by mid-June,” said an EC official on condition of anonymity, adding, the given time is not sufficient. The constitutional body had prepared a 92-day plan to conduct polls and has said that polls can be held by mid-June if necessary legal and constitutional hurdles were removed by earlier this week. “It is very difficult to conduct polls by mid-June but we are still doing our best to make this possible,” EC Spokesperson Anil Kumar Thakur told Republica. The government is yet to appoint chief election commissioner and other election commissioners. EC officials said besides removing legal and constitutional difficulties, EC needs about five weeks to publish ballot papers, four to five weeks to update electoral rolls, and a month to register political parties, among other things. “Before we publish ballot papers, we must finalize the number of political parties to participate in the polls. Besides, Janak Educational Material Centre needs additional time for maintenance of machines,” stated the EC official, adding, “So, it does not seem possible to accomplish all these tasks in the given time.” Another EC official who also preferred anonymity said it would not be possible to review the number of election constituencies in accordance with the latest census by mid-June. EC has said Acts on Election Commission and election to the Constituent Assembly should be amended in order to hold fresh polls. Article 63 (7) of the Interim Constitution states that for the purpose of the election to the Constituent Assembly, every citizen of Nepal who has attained the age of eighteen years on or before 15 December 2007 shall be entitled to vote, as provided in the law. EC official stressed the need for amending Article 63 (7) stating that even eligible voters would be deprived of their voting rights as hundreds of thousands have not registered in the new voters´ list. Also, Article 142 (5) of the interim constitution needs to be amended as the article states that a petition with the support and signature of at least 10,000 voters shall be required for registration of a new party and the provision shall not apply to the parties represented in the Interim Legislature Parliament. Currently, the Interim Legislature Parliament is no more in existence. Similarly, Article 63 (3) (a) states that the members elected on the basis of first-past-the-post electoral system consisting of one member from each of the 240 election constituencies delimited by the Election Constituency Delimitation Commission constituted pursuant to Article 154 A, based on the population fixed by the national census preceding the election of the Constituent Assembly, while treating an administrative district as an elected district, and, as far as possible, maintaining the same proportionality between such districts and the number of members. Nnnn CASINOS NOT PROVIDING DETAILS ASKED BY POLICE Kathmandu, 28 Feb.: Following the reports that casinos in the capital are skirting the ban on the entry of Nepalis by providing fake ownership and staff identity cards, the Metropolitan Police Range Office sought identity details of the staff and owners of all casinos operating in Kathmandu, Kamal Pariyar writes in Republica.. A circulation in this regard was dispatched to all the casinos last week, requiring them to submit the details within 10 days. However, none of the casinos have submitted the identification details till late Wednesday, according to DSP Chakra Bahadur Singh, spokesperson at Metropolitan Police Range Office (MPRO). Many casinos, a police official admitted, provide their regular customers with employee identity cards, whereas those flush with money are given cards that identify them as owners. So unless we get complaints against them, it is difficult for us to take actions against them, the official added. According to the police sources, some highly placed police officers, loaded political cadres and gangsters supply money to Nepali gamblers at different casinos. Such investors deploy agents and gangs to provide Nepali gamblers up to Rs 10 million. If a gambler wins, the money is taken back along with the high rate of interest on the spot. But if he loses the money, the investors issue threats and use hooligans until they get their money back. Police officials say hundreds of desperate gamblers have been living an underground life after failing to pay off such gambling debts. According to sources, Akash Shrestha of Sindhuli is one of the main lenders at the Everest Casino, whereas Sanjeev Lama aka Syal and Bisnu Lama supply money to gamblers at Casino Royal. Similarly, Dawa Lama funds the gamblers at Casino Sangrila, Arun Sendhai and Ajay Shrestha at Casino Rad, Sovit Silwal at Casino Venus and Ganesh Lama and Sanjeev Lama at Casino Anna. Nabin Kumar Ghimire, secretary at Ministry of Home Affairs, said, “We have asked the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Local Development to begin the process to restrict the entry of Nepalis into casinos.” An officer at the MPRO said that the police frequently conduct raids at casinos to arrest Nepali gamblers, but it is hard to arrest those who produce staff identity cards. But the newly launched campaign, he said, would curb the entry of Nepalese gamblers. AIG Navaraj Dhakal, commissioner at the Metropolitan Police Commissioner´s Office (MPCO), said, “I have instructed MPRO Chief SSP Rana Bahadur Chand to crack down on casinos by deploying policemen in plainclothes round the clock.” SSP Chanda said, “We will start taking actions after we get the details about employees and owners of casinos.” The casinos that are found flouting the rules would be locked, he added. Nnnn THREE CENTRAL HILL DISTRICTS HAS BIG POPULATION OF RED PANDAS Kathmandu, 28 Feb.:: The recent data has revealed that Dolakha, Ramechhap and Sindhupalchowk districts are the major habitats of red panda, popularly known as Habre in Nepal, The Rising Nepal reports from Dolakha. . All these districts are lies under the Gauri Shankar Conservation Area. A year long study conducted by the conservation area in 2012 showed that all these three districts are the habitat to approximately 4,000, 000 population of red panda. Project Chief of the conservation areas Satya Narayan Shah said under the conservation area Kalinchowk, Marbu and Shyama of Dolakha, Phulpingkatti and Tatopani of Sindhupalchwok and Gumdel and Chuchure of Ramechha districts are the major habitat of this animal. Before this, red panda was found at Langtang National Park and in a jungle of Tapljung district. Red panda has been enlisted in the list of endangered animal of the world. Since the red panda has been losing its existence, World Wild Fund (WWF) has been promoting its conservation my keeping the picture of red panda in their official logo. Red pandas that found in mountainous regions eat bamboo shoots and laves. This animal is gradually disappearing due to the rising cases of poaching, forest fire and unsafe habitat, said conservationists. Shah informed that the conservation campaign has been carried out at Gauri Shankar Conservation Area to preserve the red panda. The campaign has targeted to increase the population of red panda by 2/3 within 2017. Likewise, a campaign has been initiated in high hills of Western Rgion aiming to conserve critically endangered animal called pangolin. The campaign is being initiated by Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation by reaching different districts known as the habitat of pangolin. The foundation has been making people aware about the importance of pangolin for maintaining ecosystem. The rising poaching of pangolin scales has been threatening the existence of this endangered animal. The campaign is being carried out at hilly districts of Western Region, including Ilam, Tapljung, Sankhuwasabha and Dhankuta. In view of the increasing cases of scales poaching, the foundation has initiated the campaign with the support of WWF. Research Officer of the foundation, Kaustub Neupane and assistant Dipendra Adhikari have been making local aware about the pangolin conservation by reaching at each schools, VDCs, forest office, administration and police stations of Ilam. The high hills of Eastern and Mid-Western Region are the habitats of approximately 5,000 population of pangolin. There are all total eight species of Pangolin are found globally. While only two kinds of pangolin, including Kalo and Tame pangolin are available in Nepal. Neupane said that one pangolin could eat 70 million of insects per year that helps to keep crops away from the diseases. Thus, the conservation of pangolin is important to maintain ecosystem. National Park and Conservation Act has enlisted 27 species of mammals of Nepal in the list of endangered animal. The act has strictly banned the poaching and trade of such animals. If anyone found guilty for violating this act, then he/she has to pay compensation of Rs.70, 000 to 150, 000 and get two years of jail sentence. Likewise, the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) has also stated that the permission is necessary while taking such endangered animals from one country to another. Various conservationists have been claiming that the increasing tradeoff pangolin scales for the past five years have threatened the existence of this endangered animal. Nnnn POLLS POSSIBLE IN JUNE SAYS PRACHANDA Kathaamandu, 28 Feb.:: UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ Wednesday said that the fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) election was still possible by mid-June, The Rising Nepal reports from Pokhara.. Speaking at a press meet organized by the Revolutionary Journalist’s Association here, he said that the political parties were ready and the Chief Justice (CJ), who had agreed to lead the government on political consensus, had also expressed strong will to hold election within three months. “Discussions are underway on other alternatives if the CA election could not held by mid-June due to unforeseen circumstances,” said chairman Dahal, clarifying that the country should go to the polls by mid-November in such case. He said that it would be ideal to move ahead on the basis of political decisions instead of letting the country linger in political stalemate. Stating that the parties would head forward by using the article related to removing constitutional and legal obstacles, he reiterated that no one could stop the country from going to the polls. “The political parties have finally consented on forming the government under the CJ keeping in view of special necessity of the country,” said Dahal, reiterating that rounds of discussions were held on other alternatives prior to settling on forming the CJ-led government. He said that the government under CJ Regmi was born out of the theory of necessity and added that alternative had garnered support of the international community. Chairman Dahal said that he had anouncede CJ Regmi’s name during the UCPN-Maoist convention as discussions were already held with the Chief Justice earlier about the formation of government under his leadership. “The new government would not take oath to office before the hearing of writ filed against the political consensus formed to make the CJ-led government scheduled for March 7 at the Supreme Court,” he said. He clarified that consensus would be forged by the political parties to form CJ-led government for holding CA election by removing obstacles on Thursday. nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “Youth Association Nepal [YAN] will continue working against corrupt and anti-democratic forces and provide security to the party, Basnet said at a press meet held in Butwal by Press Chautari on Wednesday. “It works just like the police.” (Newly elected UML YAN Chief Mahesh Basnet, The Rising Nepal, 28 Feb) nnnn


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