Nepal Today

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

HOLI BEING CELEBRATED IN TERAI Kathmandu, 27 March: Holi is being celebrated u 21 terai districts Tuesday. Government has declared a public holiday in the region. Holi or fagu—the festival of colours—ws celebrated u 54 hill districts Tuesday in a restrained manner compared to previous years. The celebration marks the advent of spring. The chir or tall wooden pole with three-tiered coloued festoons erected at Basantapur square in front of Kumari Ghar eight days ago was Pulled down Wednesday morning marking the end of the the Valley and hills Nnnn FOOTBALL LEAGUE Kathmandu, 27 March: Three Star play Machindra in the martyrs memorial A division super league football championship at Dashrath Rahgashala Wednesday. Three Star leads the chart. Last year’s champion Nepal Police plays MMC. Three Star and MMC are in a race to claim the championship. The winner will gat a price money of Rs.7.5 million. Nnnn CAPITALS MORNING TEMPERATURE 10.8 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 27 March: Capital’s Wednesday morning temperature at seven in the morning was 10.8 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 32 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. nnnn. UML’S JHA UNCRTAIN ON JOINING UCPN MAOIST Kathmandu, 27 March : The much anticipated defection of UML leader Ram Chandra Jha to the UCPN(Maoist) has plunged into uncertainty after Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal fail to persuade senior party colleagues to provide Jha a senior position in the party, Republica reports.. A party central committee meeting on Monday could not take any decision about the post for Jha in party. Madhesi leaders among the Maoists had expressed serious objection to Dahal and other party leaders bypassing them over deciding a post for Jha and also to the very idea of providing him a top party post. After objections by the Madhes-based Maoist leaders, Jha could not join the party as scheduled at a function Friday at Dhanushadham, which Chairman Dahal himself had participated in to welcome him in. Dahal had met Jha at his residence and the latter had told Dahal that he would join only after the conformation of his post in the party. According to Maoist sources, Jha had demanded membership of the party standing committee at minimum. Maoist leaders have been saying that Jha deserves a post of secretary in the party. "We all are party central committee members. First of all he should join the party central committee. Then we can fight for what he deserves in the party," said central committee member Ram Rijhan Yadav, adding that it was not a good thing to bargain for a post before even joining the party. According to Yadav, there is no doubt that he deserves the same post as in the CPN-UML. Jha was UML politburo member. "Suspicions arose when the party leadership negotiated with Jha, bypassing the organizational structure," said Yadav adding that the party leadership had bypassed the Madhes leaders concerned. After serious objections by Madhesi leaders including Shrawan Yadav, Dahal had called them and urged them not to go against a senior post for Jha. According to central committee member Ram Kumar Yadav, Shrawan Yadav had not gone to Jha´s home while Dahal met with leaders Haribol Gajurel and Bishwanath Sah before the party´s mass meeting at Dhanushadham. Ram Kumar Yadav argued that his was a communist party and as per the trend in communist parties Jha could get the post of central committee member but nothing higher. He also claimed that there was no dispute among the Madhesi leaders about the post for Jha. "The chairman called us and said we should not harbour any suspicion about Jhaji. It is not a good thing to go against his position on the eve of elections," said Ram Rijhan Yadav. Nnnn NC LEADERRS DIVIDED OVER CHOICE OF ELECTION PARTNERS Kathmandu, 27 March : Senior leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC) are divided over whether to forge an electoral alliance in the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election, Santosh POKhrel writes in Republica.. While President Sushil Koirala is in favor of an electoral alliance with “democratic forces”, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba has turned down the idea. Likewise, Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel said it was too early to say anything about any electoral alliance. Responding to media persons over whether the NC would forge an alliance with other parties for election, NC President Koirala said the party could forge an alliance with other parties. The UCPN (Maoist) has already announced to forge an alliance with various constituent parties of the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA). Seated together with President Koirala, senior leader Deuba and Vice President Poudel immediately reacted against Koirala´s remarks. While Deuba argued that the party would not opt for an electoral alliance, Paudel said it is too early to comment on the issue. Koirala was then overheard whispering to Deuba not to make conflicting remarks on the issue of electoral alliance. “We should all say the same thing on the issue Sher Bahadur ji. Our remarks should be unanimous. Let us not make conflicting remarks. This will go to the media,” Koirala was overheard whispering to Deuba. Local leaders and activists of the party gathered at NC district office, Kaski were discussing the issue after the conflicting remarks of top three leaders. “We can even forge an alliance with small parties for the election. There could be an alliance with those believing in democracy,” Koirala said. “But the party has not taken any formal decision as of yet.” Koirala argued that NC should be ready for an alliance if the situation so demanded. However, Deuba maintained that there is no possibility of NC forging an electoral alliance with any party. “There is no need for an alliance. Those parties that have recently split may need an alliance. We do not need any alliance as our party remains intact,” he added. Vice President Poudel refuted the remarks of both Koirala and Deuba.” “This is something to be decided later. We are in no hurry to comment on the issue,” Paudel said. Nnnn PASHMINA EXPORT SLIPS 90 PERCENT Kathmandu, 27 March: Export of Nepali pashmina has been declining over the years. Even registration of its trademark ‘Chyangra Pashmina’ in 42 countries could not help improve its export owing to lack of fund to promote the trademark, The Rising Nepal reports.. In the last 12 years, export of pashmina dropped almost by 90 per cent and it further decreased this year. In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, export of Nepali pashmina declined by 4.9 per cent to Rs.1.22 billion, said Pushpa Man Shrestha, the president of Nepal Pashmina Industry Association (NPIA). Nepal exported Pashmina worth Rs.1.9 billion during the fiscal year 2011/12. He said, “We are unable to promote the trademark in home and abroad due to lack of fund and the trade mark will have no meaning until it is promoted in all the 42 countries.” He said that they repeatedly ask the government to provide fund for its promotion but in vain. According to him, Rs.100 million was essential for the promotion of the trademark. “The government should allocate the fund if it really wants to increase the export and reduce the mounting trade deficit of the country,” he said. The Chyangra Pashmina trademark was in more than 42 countries in a year through the joint effort of the government and the association. If the government provided the needed support to market and promote the trademark, the export would retain its situation of 12 years back, he said. The country’s pashmina international trade had reached Rs.10 billion in 2000. He said, “We had a ray of hope that the business of pashmina would improve with the registration of the trademark but we have failed to promote the trademark.” Stating that the Chinese tourists were showing interest in the Nepalese pashmina, he said that around 60 per cent pashmina was taken home by the Chinese tourists. He also said that they were effortful to define the pashmina for preserving its quality as well as its trademark in home. Nepali Pashmina reaches in the markets of over 81 countries, he said. Shrestha urged the government to invest Chyangra (mountain goat) rearing in the northern belt of the country to enhance the livelihood of people as well as reduce dependency on imported raw materials. Nnnn GHARIALS NOT DOING WELL Kathmandu, 27 March: The gharial crocodile breeding centre in Chitwan has bred and released a total of 871 gharial crocodiles into natural river habitats so far, SHanta Adhikari writes in The Rising Nepal from Chitwan. However, the conservation efforts have faced major setback as only 102 crocodiles are found to be surviving in the river environment where the animals have to take care of themselves. River pollution and human intrusion, among other factors, have been blamed for the tough challenges these animals are facing in their natural river habitats. In addition, these water reptiles cross a point of no return when they swim down dams as these structures are not considerate enough to facilitate their movement upstream. But on top all, lack of public awareness on conserving these animals is responsible for survival threats, said Bed Bahadur Khadka, chief of the Gharial Conservation Centre located at Kasara of Chitwan. Gharial crocodile has been listed under Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), which means the species is highly endangered and rare. The Gharial Conservation Centre has been breeding and releasing the crocodiles in different rivers of Nepal in the past 32 years. But the conservation efforts have not paid off encouragingly. Khadka also puts blames on rising urbanization, harmful fishing practices and other human interference as contributing factors for heightening survival challenges for gharials. Gharial crocodiles are found in Nepal’s Narayani, Rapti, Karnali, Mahakali, Kaligandaki, Saptakoshi and Babai rivers. Dams built in these rivers have a toll on gharial population because they cannot return once they go downstreams, according to Khadka. Gharials have an important place in the health of wetland ecology. Considering this truth, gharial breeding centre was set up in Chitwan in 1978 with the cooperation of Frankfurt Zoological Society. The centre has currently more than 600 gharials including young and adults. Latest count showed that their population has declined in the natural environment. In initial years, gharial eggs used to be collected from natural habitat and hatched at the breeding centre. Now, the centre produces its own eggs. nnnn


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