Nepal Today

Thursday, March 28, 2013

FOUR DEAD IN DANDELDHURA JEEP ACCIDENT Kathmandu, 29 March: Four persons died and seven were injured overnight in a jeep accident at Amargadhi, Dandeldhura. The jeep was heading for Mahendranaga from Doti. Two women and an infant were among the killed, first reports said. nnnn. MAOIST CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEETS SATURDAY Kathmandu, 29 March: UCPN Maoist central committee meets Saturday. following a meeting of party office bearers Thursday. The meeting is expected to nominate members of the central committee ahead of elections for a constituent assembly. Difference have surfaced in the party over a decision to nominate 399 central committee when the just concluded 7th general convention decided on a committee half the size of a proposed jumbo committee. nnnn JAPAN FAIR STARTS Kathmandu, 29 March: Nepal-Japan International Students’ Committee (NJISC) is holding a two-day Japan Fair in the capital from Friday. The fair is to familiarize Nepali students with Japanese education system and job opportunities in disseminating information from a single window. nnnn FACTIONALISM RESURRECTS IN UCPN MAOIST Kathmandu, 29 March: Though the UCPN (Maoist)’s seventh general convention held last month had declared an end to factional politics, rival factions within the party are stepping up efforts to bolster their hold on the party’s Central Committee (CC). As a result, the party failed to expand its 98-member CC elected from the general convention, The Kathmandu Post reports.. On March 25, the convention had decided to form a 399-member CC with 151 ‘full members’ and 248 ‘alternative members.’ However, the party has failed to finalise the names of CC members due to a dispute between party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairmen Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha. Top party leaders held an informal meeting on Thursday in an attempt to resolve the disputes, but failed to finalise the names again. According to a leader close to Dahal, this time around, Bhattarai and Shrestha are not directly campaigning to appoint leaders, but are mounting pressure on Dahal indirectly through other leaders close to them. The focus of the dispute has been the Madhes region, where the party is relatively weak. Through his confidante Prabhu Sah, Bhattarai is piling pressure on Dahal to nominate more leaders from the Madhes in the party’s CC. Bhattarai, who has a stronger position in the Madhes, believes that his influence in the CC will amplify if more Madhesi leaders are appointed. According to sources, Sah has threatened to quit the party if the Madhes constituency is not given a respectable share in the CC. Madhesi Maoist leader Biso Nath Sah, who is close to Shrestha, has also demanded more leaders from the Madhes in the party’s CC. “We have demanded over 50 CC members from the Madhes,” Sah said. In a bid to boost his own strength, Dahal, a few months back, had nominated his close aide Haribol Gajurel as the Madhes in-charge. However, Maoist Madhesi leaders objected to Gajurel’s appointment, stating that it was a “humiliation” for them. Dahal’s Madhesi figure is Ram Kumar Sharma, who joined the Maoist party from the Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party two years ago. Madhesi leaders who are close to Dahal have become flexible on their stance while the Prabhu Sah-led faction remains adamant. A few days ago, Dahal had said that he is willing to contest elections from the Madhes and had requested the Madhesi people to support him. According to leaders, the prime motive of the statement was to strengthen his hold on the party. The Maoist party is trying to strengthen ties with its Madhesi constituency. Leaders said their position in the hill is stronger than that of Congress and UML. “If our position in the Madhes is further strengthened, we will surely become the largest party in the upcoming elections,” said Gajurel. Dahal plans to bring in UML leader Ram Chandra Jha into the party fold and appoint him as the Madhes in-charge. However, leaders from the Bhattarai and Shrestha factions are opposed to this idea too. Nnnn VOTING RIGHTS FOR NEPALIS ABROAD DEMANDED Kathmandu, 29 March: The Youth Association Nepal ( YAN ) has urged the Election Commission (EC) to grant voting rights to the Nepali diaspora in various parts of the world, The Kathmandu Post writes.. Citing the UN accreditation to grant voter rights to eligible voters living abroad, YAN expressed the necessity of their participation in the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. Submitting a 15-point memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety on Thursday, the youth wing aligned with the CPN-UML requested the election body to ensure voting rights to youth above 16 years of age and the Nepali population abroad. Earlier in 2011, EC had conducted a research to enlist the Nepali diaspora as voters for the first time. Countries with over 100,000 Nepalis were initially targeted in the voter registration drive. Separate EC teams visited countries like Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea to conduct a feasible study. The reports submitted after the study hasn’t been made public so far. According to the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), around two million Nepalis have legally left the country for employment in countries other than India. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Nepalis are living abroad illegally with the number of Nepali students in foreign universities also increasing every year. The EC, however, doesn’t have any plans to introduce postal or e-voting systems. The commission had expressed the need to amend some election regulations and directives before starting the voter registration programme abroad. The commission claimed that Nepalis are living in 112 countries for education, employment or business. nnnn WATER SHORTAGE A PERENNIAL PROBLEM Kathmandu, 29 March: Amidst a rapid urban growth, industrialization and climate change, the Kathmandu valley denizens have continued to face a perennial shortage of drinking water, The Rising Nepal reports.. Per day, around 350 million liters of fresh water is in demand in Kathmandu Valley but hardly 150 million liters can be supplied in the rainy seasons and only 90 million liters during the dry seasons. Among the total demand of water, 25.5 million liters of water is supplies from tankers in dry season and 10 million during rainy seasons. This was revealed at a symposium on ‘Water Co-Operation: Building Partnership’ organized on Thursday by Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) marking the Nepal National Water Week 2013. Speaking at the function, Minister for Energy, Science and Technology, Environment and Irrigation Umakanta Jha said that all institutions and government bodies who are working in water sector have failed to give emphasis on how to preserve the sources of water. Among several institutions, only few are actively working in the sector of water, he said and added due to lack of knowledge people had been losing massive amount of water to unnecessary areas. The crisis of water is the most challenging issue so it is a need of hour to create suitable environment to preserve water, Jha said. In the case of Nepal, political parties are mostly concerned with political issues related to water. He appealed all not to politicize water issues in negative way because water is an essential part of human life. Ganesh Shah, former Minister for Environment, said that 2.4 billion people will not have safe drinking water by 2050. The river water is increasingly getting poisonous due to huge use of pesticides in agriculture sector, he said. Iswor Prasad Khanal, chief science faculty of NAST said that Nepal is counted among the rich countries in water sources but due to the several reasons it has not bee able to harness its water resources in judicious way. The sources of water are polluted gradually due to increasing human activities, he said. Khanal said that due to the lack of equal distribution crises would be invited in future. The huge part of nation is far from irrigation facility and water consumption per person and the standard of water is low from the international point of view, he said. In the programme, eight experts presented papers on underground water facility and its quality. nnnn.


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