Nepal Today

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FAGU CELEBRATIONS BEGIN WEDNESDAY Kathmandu, 20 March: Week-long fagu celebrations begin Wednesday with government asking revelers to be restrained. Celebrations, indicating spring is here, begin with the erection of the chir at Basantapr square in front of Kumari Ghar later Wednesday. Celebrations culminate Tuesday in the hills and the following day in terai. Nnnn NRT TAKES ON RCT IN FOOTBALL SUPER LEAGUE Kathmandu, 20 March: NRT takes on RCT in Wednesday’s martyrs memorial A division super league AT Dashrath Raagashala. Eight cubs are participating in the championship. Three Star is leading. Nnnn . MAOISTS PREPARE FOR ASSEMBLY ELECTION WITH AGREEMENT ON COMMON MANIFESTO WITH FRINGE PARTIES Kathmandu, 20 March : The former ruling alliance Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) led by the UCPN (Maoist) has decided to go to elections with a common manifesto, common candidates and a common agenda, Republica writes.. A meeting of the FDRA secretariat held at the residence of alliance chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Lazimpat Tuesday, also decided to hold talks with other political forces to expand the alliance. "The meeting has decided to give responsibility to our alliance chief Prachanda to play the role of coordination and hold talks with other political forces that accept our agenda," said Prem Bahadur Singh, spokesperson of FDRA. FDRA leaders have been arguing that the alliance is a new force favoring federal states based on ethnic identity. According to the leaders, the political parties in the FDRA are a new force with its new agenda. "We will try to bring parties into our alliance through talks and discussions," added Singh. According to him, the parties in the alliance will hold their own party meetings within this week to work out their agendas. He also said that the meetings will try to work out a maximum common agenda within the alliance. "The FDRA meeting, which will be called after this week, will give final shape of all the decisions," added Singh. The meeting on Tuesday also decided to expand the FDRA in all districts. It will decide through consensus which alliance party will head the alliance in which district. FDRA was formed to counter the then opposition parties --Nepali Congress and CPN-UML-- when they launched street protests demanding the resignation of the Baburam Bhattarai government. On Sunday, FDRA had decided to fight the upcoming election as an alliance. Dahal agreed to include the fringe parties, admitting that the big four -- UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) -- had made a mistake in not including them in the decision-making process. He expressed a commitment to call them to such meetings in future. Nnnn JAYAPRAKASH PRASAD GUPTA TO LAUNCH ANOTHER PARTY Kathmandu, 20 March : A day after his release from jail, former minister and former chairman of the Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Republican Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta has announced to launch a campaign in a bid to form a new political party, Republica reports. . Amid a function organized in the capital Tuesday, Gupta said they will launch ´Tarai Madhes National Campaign´ from Wednesday in order to form a political party with ´new´ concept that will fight for the cause of Madhesi, indigenous, Muslim and women, among other marginalized communities. “We can cooperate with various political parties for our national campaign,” he said, “We have been holding discussions with Madhes-based political parties that are not aligned with United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF).” Gupta stated that he has also appealed to the armed outfits in the Tarai to lay down arms and join peaceful politics. He maintained that their campaign will not only create a ground for formation of a new revolutionary political party but it will also exert pressure to make new Constituent Assembly (CA) successful. However, Gupta claimed that polls for CA cannot be conducted until major political parties express their commitment on major issues of new constitution including basis of formation of federal states, among others. He also stated that CA poll is impossible without first reviewing number of electoral constituencies as per the 2011 national census and resolving the citizenship issue. He accused the constituent parties of UDMF of engaging in politics for the sake of power instead of for promoting the Madhesi cause. “the new party will not be like the existing Madhes-based political parties that have surrendered the Madhesi agenda in exchange for a few ministerial posts,” Gupta added. He said that they will continue their struggle until a final deal on Madhesi issues is struck among the political parties. Nnnn CHIEF SECRETARY PAUDYAL IN DILEMMA AFTER SIX FORMER COLLEAGUES APPOINTED MINISTETS Kathmandu, 2- March: Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal is likely to resign from the post of Chairman of management committee of the Nepal Electricity Authority. He dropped a hint to this effect during the management committee meeting today, when he said, “This may be my last meeting.”, The Himalayan Times reports. It is learnt that Paudyal is dissatisfied over the appointment of former secretaries Shankar Koirala and Umakanta Jha as ministers. Both Koirala and Jha were in the race for the post of chief secretary, which eventually went to Paudyal some seven months ago when the then prime minister Baburam Bhattarai picked him for the post. High-level sources in the bureaucracy said Paudyal was miffed at the political leadership after he had to report the development of NEA to Jha who was junior to Paudyal in the chief secretary race. An official at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers said the chief secretary was not enthusiastic about his job. The sources added that Paudyal met very few persons in the secretariat. All this has set the tongues wagging and it is not clear whether Paudyal will resign from the post of chief secretary or only quit as NEA board chairman. Yesterday, Chairman of the Interim Election Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi had appointed Koirala as finance, industry and commerce minister, while Jha was given energy, science and irrigation portfolios on the recommendation of High-Level Political Committee. Koirala has the backing of the Nepali Congress, while Jha was recommended by United Madhesi Democratic Forum. Newly appointed government spokesperson Madhav Paudel, however, expressed ignorance about the reported remark of the chief secretary. “I don’t have any information in this regard,” said Paudel, who is also the Minister for Information and Communications. (Note: Six cabinet ministers resigned saying incumbent chief secretary superseded them last year in the Baburam Bhattarai regime An unprecedented crisis may be developing in the bureaucracy ) nnnn VIEWS OF TALLEST PEAKS FROM ATOP EVEREST Kathmandu, 20 March: Google has added views from some of the world’s tallest mountains to scenes woven into its popular online map service, AFP reports from San Francisco. Arm chair explorers were invited to take virtual adventures with members of Google’s Street View team to Aconcagua in South America; Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Europe, and Mount Everest base camp in Nepal. “Whether you’re scoping out the mountain for your next big adventure or exploring it from the comfort and warmth of your home, we hope you enjoy these views from the top of the world,” Google adventurer Dan Fredinburg said in a blog post. “With Google Maps, you can instantly transport yourself to the top of these peaks and enjoy the sights without all the avalanches, rock slides, crevasses, and dangers from altitude and weather that mountaineers face.” The mountains climbed by the Street View team were among peaks referred to as the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on the Earth’s continents. ‘Googlers’ who made the ascents took the pictures with tripod-mounted digital camera equipped with a fisheye lens to capture 360-degree views. Google’s Street View teams have cycled, driven and walked through cities and towns around the globe capturing photographs to add to online maps, letting people see what it might be like to stand at a spot they are curious about. Google has added images from a Nunavut community in the Canadian Arctic and a portion of the Amazon in Brazil. nnnn


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