Nepal Today

Thursday, March 28, 2013

NAC INCREASES FLIGHT FREQUENCY BETWEEN KATHMANDU, MALAYSIA’ SUSPENDS OPERATIONS TO DELHI, DUBAI Kathmandu, 29 March: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is increasing its flight frequency between Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur to meet increased demand for seats. The state airline will now operate seven flights every week between the Nepali and Malaysian capitals from 23 March. NAC has suspended all flights to Dubai and Delhi. Nnnn ELECTION COMMISSION SEEKS CLARITY ON GOVT. , PRESIDENT AGREEMENTS Kathmandu, 29 March: Election Commission has sought clarity on the 11-point deal and 25-point presidential order to clear some concerns before giving the finishing touches to the proposed amendments to election laws, The Himalayan Times reports.. Commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung told THT that the EC was preparing to send the draft amendments by Monday or Tuesday to the government. Amending election laws is one of the major prerequisites before the EC can suggest the date for polls. Asked whether the EC would be able to hold the election by third week of June, Gurung said, “It depends on when the election laws come into effect and how much time it takes to complete the voters’ registration campaign.” Gurung said the EC would send teams to each VDC and municipality so that no one misses the chance to get registered. “After making a thorough assessment of all factors, the EC will tell the government how many days it will need to hold the election,” said Gurung. A source at the EC, however, told this daily that the election holding body was baffled by questions like how much it could compromise on democratic process and how free and fair the election would be if it were to be held by third week of June. The EC also interacted with the drafters of the 11-point agreement and officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law about the 25-point presidential decree. EC Spokesperson Anil Kumar Thakur said the objective of the meeting was to ensure that both the EC and the major stakeholders — the four forces and the government — could be on the same page on the 11-point deal and 25-point presidential decree. “We wanted to know from the stakeholders how our office can coordinate with other government agencies to hold elections. We now know that the focus of the citizenship provision is granting citizenships to the children of citizens by birth,” said Thakur. EC commissioners today also met President Ram Baran Yadav at Shital Niwas and apprised the latter of the preparation EC was making. In today’s meeting at the EC, MoHA proposed to depute 305 citizenship distribution teams across the country. UML leader Agni Kharel, who attended the meeting, said the parties advised the government to add more citizenship distribution teams if required. In the past, Thakur added, only a new party was required to submit signatures of 10,000 people, but from now on all old and new parties will have to submit 10,000 signatures. The meeting also suggested some changes in Election to Members of Constituent Assembly Act 2008, Nepal Citizenship Act 2006 and election laws. “We now know that if we hold elections by third week of June, we do not need to delineate new election constituencies, but if the date is pushed further, we will have to re-demarcate constituencies (as per new census),” Thakur said. He said the EC would send its team to update voters’ list once MoHA dispatches citizenship distribution teams across the country. MoHA Spokesperson Bhola Prasad Siwakoti told THT that his office was preparing to send citizenship distribution teams in the third week of April. “We are still doing the groundwork. We do not have the budget now,” Silwal added. nnnn GOVT. REVIEWS POLL SECURITY WITH APF Kathmandu, 29 March: Inspector General of the Armed Police Force Kosh Raj Onta has briefed Home Minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire about security arrangements for the upcoming Constituent Assembly electionsm The Himalayan Times reports.. During Ghimire’s visit to the APF Headquarters yesterday evening, Onta informed that all APF units in the country now have Election Cells to ensure free and fair polls. The Central Election Cell at the APF Headquarters can be reached over the phone at any time. “We are also considering an orientation session to prepare APF personnel for election-centred security arrangements. The force will use all its resources during the vote,” Onta said. “APF employees are physically and mentally ready to help the government conduct free and fair elections in a peaceful environment,” he added. Minister Ghimire praised the APF for the roles it had played during previous elections and directed the force to demonstrate the same kind of professionalism during the CA elections. “The nation is heading towards elections and your efforts should be focused on making a conducive environment for polls so that citizens can exercise their right to vote in a peaceful atmosphere,” Ghimire maintained. He directed the law enforcement agency to take bold decisions while enforcing reward and punishment policy within the force. During his recent visit to the Nepal Police Headquarters, he had told the law enforcement agency that peace, security and crime investigation cannot wait. Minister Ghimire has pledged to take initiatives for resolution of problems facing the security bodies. Nnnn FRENCH TROOPS KILL NEPALI IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC Kathmandu, 29 March: PARIS: Two men from Nepal and India were shot dead by French troops guarding the airport of Bangui, the Capital of the Central African Republic, after a coup, the French defence ministry said today, AFP reorts from Paris.. Paris had earlier said two Indian nationals had died in Monday’s shooting when the soldiers opened fire on a car that came hurtling towards them even after they fired warning shots. A three-car convoy consisting of the two civilians and Chadian policemen were targeted in the attack, general staff spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard told reporters. “It now appears that the convoy comprised Indian and Nepali civilians as well as Chadian policemen,” he said. “Two civilians died when the (French soldiers) opened fire, one was Indian and the other Nepali.” He said four Chadian policemen were among a dozen others wounded. Around 550 French soldiers are present in the Central African Republic to ensure the security of French nationals and other expatriates after a weekend coup. nnnn


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