Nepal Today

Thursday, March 28, 2013

CANADA TO TAKE IN 1,000 MORE BHUTANESE REFUGEES Kathmandu, 29 March: Canada will take in 1,000 more Bhutanese refugees for resettlement from camps in east Nepal districts of Morang and Jhapa. Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the announcement Wednesday. The North American state has taken in 5,000 of Bhutanese refugees while most of the 100,000 plus refugees of Nepali ethnicity who have been forcibly pushed out of Buddhist Bhutan have resettled in uSA. The Nepalis are of Hindu ethnicity and are victims of an officially encouraged policy of ethnic cleansing pursued by the Buddhist Himalayan kingdom in South Asia.. "Canada has a longstanding tradition of assisting refugees and welcomes one in 10 refugees resettled globally, more than almost any other country in the world.. "We recognize the importance of family reunification in this process, and resettling refugees who already have family in Canada will help them adjust much faster and more easily," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday. Most of the refugees have been resettles in western countries. Several thousand refugees still continue to live in refugee camps opened 23 years ago and managed by UNHCR. The new lot of will be selected and resettled in two years. US has accepted 63,400 refugees. Another 3,837 have gone to Australia, 724 in Denmark, 710 in New Zealand, 326 in the Netherlands, 546 in Norway, and 257 in the United Kingdom (257). nnnn 15 NAXALITES KILLED IN JHARKHAND Kathmandu, 29 March: A central Naxalite leader and 14 followers have been killed by dissidents in the grout at a district in Jharkhand in northeast India, radio reports said. The dissidents consider the mother party as a greater enemy that the Indian state. New Delhi says the bloody Naxalite insurgency is its worst internal problem. nnnn VIOLENCE BY NEPALI WORKERS HURTS Kathmandu, 29 March: Talking to Nepali the media earlier this week, Choon-Bok Lee, the vice president of Human Resources Development Service (HRDS) of Korea expressed his concerns about the growing number of cases of Nepali workers employed under Employment Permit System (EPS) involved in unionization with political interests, Prabhakar Ghimere writes in Republica.. Choon´s concerns came a day after the Nepali media was flooded with news about a clash between two groups of Nepalis involving local gangs in the southern Malaysian city Johor Bahru that left three Nepalis injured on Sunday. "Their [workers´] protests some times are not intended for their professional rights but targeted for political interests. It has created problems at a time when Nepal is one of the priority countries for South Korea to source workers," Choon, who came to Nepal to inspect the newly opened Korean language exam center in Lalitpur, said. The Malaysian police arrested nine Nepalis suspected to have been involved in the incident and later filed cases against them at the local court. Keeping in view the possible backlash to the event, the Nepali embassy in Kuala Lumpur had to publicly urge Nepalis in Malaysia to stay calm. "We urge all Nepali brothers and sisters to continue their work with restraint and not to get involved in any provocative activities," the embassy said in a statement that day. A couple of days before that, the Malaysian police had filed charges of criminal offence against 19 Nepalis for being involved in vandalism in Maur, Malaysia demanding salary hike. Protest activities by Nepali workers go further. About 600 Nepali migrants employed in Maxter Glove Manufacturing Company in Perak of Kelang Neru near Kuala Lumpur resorted to striking in September 2012 demanding better food and accommodations. The action brought the company’s operations to a standstill for three days. In another case of violent protest, more than 5,000 migrant workers, which also included hundreds of Nepalis employed at JCY Co Ltd, an electronics factory in the Tebrau Industrial area of Johor Bahru, protested near the workers´ quarters over reported negligence by their employer when a fellow Nepali worker died of high fever while at work. The incident took place on August 16, 2010, when the employer was alleged to have prevented him from being taken to the hospital in time. These incidents are sufficient to show how Nepali workers are turning more violent in labor destinations in recent days. South Korea, which had put Nepal as the best source country in 2010 for a well-managed process for sending workers, is now showing concern over some of the cases of protests and ‘unethical behavior’ shown by Nepalis against their employers. Malaysia, which has sourced security guards exclusively from Nepal, is still the most popular destination for Nepalis. But, the recent incidents have tarnished Nepali workers’ image as loyal and disciplined. "It is a very serious issue that the trend of Nepalis being involved in violent protests in the labor destinations putting forward demands that can be resolved through negotiation. Such acts will create a negative feeling toward Nepalis in overseas employers’ mind," Bal Bahadur Tamang, the president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA) says. Tamang says Nepali workers, who are still known for loyalty, will be tagged as strikers in recipient countries. "We have had reports of Nepali workers turning violent even in Gulf countries where laws strictly prohibit industrial protests. Worse, incidents of clashes between Nepali groups have worried us much," says Tamang. However, not all the cases where Nepali workers have been involved are they on the wrong side. Exploitations by employers violating contract agreements with workers are also causes of rising industrial tension involving Nepalis in labor markets. "We shouldn´t undermine their genuine demands. But we have to be more serious about the emerging trend of Nepalis resorting to protests defying the law of land in destination countries," Tamang adds. Nepal has been receiving remittance worth around Rs 400 billion annually from Nepali migrants in the overseas markets, making its contribution to the economy as much as one-fourth of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Remittance, which is also the key source of foreign currency earning at a time when country´s exports are slowing, will be badly affected if labor destinations, reacting to violent acts, cut their demand for Nepali workers. Though strikes, industrial closure, protests, picketing and manhandling of employers by workers have become common in Nepal, such acts are not accepted by the law in most of the host countries. With the international labor market starting to increasingly show more preference for skilled workers, the situation for Nepalis who are mainly unskilled labor is becoming tougher. Resorting to impractical protests, workers are risking their own jobs whilst found to be spending a lot of money that they borrow from local money lenders at predatory interest rates. They have the responsibility to financially support their dependent family members back home. But why are they involved in such protests challenging the law of the land? Foreign employment expert Dr Ganesh Gurung says such acts in labor markets by Nepali migrants is the products of the frequent bandas, strikes and other forms of violent protests that they experience back home in Nepal before they leave for overseas jobs. "Most of the workers, who are working in overseas labor markets, lived through the major political movements during the last three decades besides hundreds of strikes and bandas. They are practicing what they learnt in Nepal," Gurung, who has also visited a number of places where Nepalis are working in Malaysia, says. Gurung says that job-seekers should be given pre-departure orientation about their rights and responsibilities as worker in the foreign labor destinations to make them more disciplined and avert such incidents in the coming days. Nnnn 23 NC CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS DEMAND GOVT. CHIEFRESIGN AS CHIEF JUSTICE Kathmandu, 29 March: Keeping in view the upcoming CA elections, Nepali Congress (NC) on Thursday decided to hold its Mahasamiti meeting in Nawalparasi district in the second week of April, Kosh Raj Koirala writes in Reublica. . A CWC meeting held at the party´s headquarters in Sanepa decided to hold the four-day Mahasamiti meeting starting April 8 to formulate party´s election strategy and also to collect suggestion from Mahasamiti members to prepare the election manifesto. The Mahasamiti members are expected to give suggestions to the party´s leadership on various contentious issues such as federalism, system of governance, inclusiveness and various other issues related to the new constitution and concurrent political situation. Mahasamiti meeting, which is mandated to take policy decisions, is the most powerful body of the NC after the party´s general convention. "The Mahasamiti meeting will also bring amendments to the party´s statute as per the suggestions made by the 12th General Convention, national gathering of the party´s district presidents, and suggestions received during the orientation of the party´s regional gathering," CWC member Jiwan Pariyar told Republica. The CWC meeting entrusted Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel to prepare a political paper and General Secretary Krishna Sitaula to prepare the party´s statute amendment proposal to be presented at the Mahasamiti meeting. Poudel and Sitaula have been asked to submit their respective draft proposals at the next CWC meeting scheduled for Tuesday for endorsement, according to NC spokesman Dilendra Prasad Badu. NC had last held its Mahasamiti meeting to bring various amendments to the party´s statute in November, 2009. Among other things, the meeting had introduced reservation policy in the party´s organizational structures and made a provision of directly electing one general secretary and treasurer through the general convention. The CWC meeting Thursday also asked the Election Commission to run a campaign to update voters´ registration across the country. The meeting asked the government to make necessary arrangements to provide citizenship certificates by descent to the children of those acquiring citizenship certificates by birth. Altogether 13 CWC members including K B Gurung, Bimalendra Nidhi, Arjun Narsingh KC, Bal Bahadur KC, Mahesh Acharya, Narahari Acharya, Prakash Sharan Mahat, Sujata Koirala, Bhism Raj Angdembe, Shekhar Koirala, Chandra Bhandari, Dhan Raj Gurung and Pushpa Bhusal had put forth their view on various issues during the meeting. They underscored the need for holding dialogue with the ´disgruntled political forces including the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist, which have been obstructing voters´ registration process, to ensure timely poll as the protracted political transition had not only rendered the country historically weak, but also stalled overall development process in the country. 23 CWC members demand Regmi step down as CJ A group of ´disgruntled´ CWC members of the party have demanded that Chairman of the Interim Election Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi should resign immediately from the post of chief justice. CWC member K B Gurung on behalf of the 23 CWC members presented a four-point proposal for endorsement at the outset of the CWC meeting. In the proposal, the ´disgruntled´ CWC members demanded that the party officially ask Khil Raj Regmi to step down from the post of chief justice, ask the govt to conduct election by mid-July, fill the remaininig vacancies in the constitutional bodies only after fresh election and start holding negotiations with the political forces that have been obstructing the voters´ registration process. The CWC members argued that the same person heading both executive and judiciary violates the basic principle of separation of powers. They also expressed strong dissatisfaction over the decision of the party to support the Maoist proposal to appoint chief justice as head of government and said the decision undermined NC´s credentials as a democratic party. Referring to the position of the Nepal Bar Association and various international organizations including the International Commission of Jurists, CWC members including Shekhar Koirala, Pushpa Bhusal, Chandra Bhandari, Sujata Koirala and Arjun Narsingh KC had come down heavily against the party leadership for agreeing to appoint the chief justice to head election government. "It seems we made mistakes by putting huge trust on our senior leaders. The decision of the party´s top leaders to accept a CJ-led government is against the decisions made by the CWC meeting earlier," CWC member Chandra Bhandari had said at the meeting. Nnnn


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