Nepal Today

Saturday, March 9, 2013

NEPAL ARMY OBSERVES ARMY DAY Kathmandu, 10 March: Nepal Army is observing Mahashibaratri as Army Day Sunday. President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav will be the chief guest at a function at the Army Pavilion at Tuhdikhel. Three former Indian chiefs as been invited as guests. Nnnn MACHINDRA, NRT PLAY IN MARTYRS MEMORIAL A DIVISION SUPER LEAGUE Kathmandu, 10 March: Machindra Club plays NRT in the Martyrs Memorial A Division super league in the capital Sunday. Friends Club defeated Nepal Army in the first semi-final 2-1 Saturday. nnnn SHARASHWOTI CLUB PLAY SHANKATA IN SECOND SEMI-FINAL OF BIRAT GOLD CUP SUNDAY Kathmandu, 10 March: Sharashwoti Club and Shankata play in the second final of the Birat Gold Cup in Biratnagar Sunday. APF Saturday defeated India’s Durgapur Steel FC 4-0 in the first semi-final. Nnnn THREE NEPALI PEDDLERS ARRESTED IN CHANDIGADH Kathmandu, 10 March: Three Nepalis were arrested and 14 kg hashish was recovered from them in Chandigadh Friday, Times of India reports. The peddlers confessed they were hired to supply hashish at all important tourist destinations including Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Dalhousie, Dharamshala and Himachal. DSP (operations) Jagbir Singh said, according to the newspaper. The kingpin of the gang paid the accused Rs 10,000 each to distribute the consignment. A case was registered at sector 36 police station. nnnn. SIX MONTHS FOR NAME CHANGE OF SCHOOLS WITH FOREIGN NAMES Kathmandu, 10 March: The Department of Education (DoE) has issued a directive to Regional Education Directorates and District Education Offices (DEOs) to change foreign names of private schools within six months. The fiat comes on the heels of a DoE decision to that effect, The Kathmandu Post reports. . Issuing the directive, the DoE has asked its subordinate offices to replace the names as per the clause 154 of Education Regulations 2002 within six months since the directive to regulate and monitor private academic schools has already been endorsed. The government on February 19 endorsed the directive. The new provision has it that the names of private schools should be after the national heroes, intellectuals, scientists, historical icons or places. “All the DEO’s and directors should ensure that the foreign and English names are changed in six months,” read the directive issued on Wednesday. The DoE move follows series of protest programmes by student unions against higher secondary schools with foreign names with some of them even attacked for having English names. The student unions close to the ruling and the opposition parties attacked and brunt hoarding boards of various schools a few months ago. The process to change the foreign names will not cost the schools as the respective DEOs and Company Registrar’s Offices will waive all the charges needed for the legal process. Though the DoE does not have the exact data about the number of schools with foreign names, its estimation shows there are around 250 in the Kathmandu Valley alone. The schools, using the word ‘international’ in their names, should also remove it if they don’t have foreign students or have not acquired an ISO certification. According to the new directives, schools with such a word in their names name must acquire ISO certification or at least one percent students should be foreign. nnnn . .GOVT. DELAY IN PUNISHING FAKE RECRUITMNT AGENTS Kathmandu, 10 March: The government’s delay in punishing over 100 fake recruitment agents traced by the Nepali embassy in Saudi Arabia has not only denied the victims justice but has exposed thousands of prospective female migrant worker s to risk, Roshan Shedai writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The embassy gathered information on 115 agents spending over a year and sent it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Foreign Employment recommending stern legal action. The agents were identified based on the information provided by over 500 victimised women. The embassy claimed that those fraudsters had been actively smuggling Nepali women to Saudi and other Gulf countries via India through ‘airport setting’. The list contains names, addresses and contact numbers of these agents, said the embassy, refusing to disclose details citing ‘security reasons’. However, to the dismay of the embassy, the concerned ministries never took action against any single agent in the past six months. Home Ministry spokesman Shanker Koirala said he was unaware of the receipt of any such letter. “Although I do not know exactly on the matter, I can say that the ministry has directed its department to take necessary action,” said a joint-secretary at the ministry, Bhola Siwakoti. Having received around 86 names of these fraudsters in the first phase some six months ago, the DoFE had referred the letters to the Ministry of Home Affairs. “Since the cases of trafficking do not fall under our jurisdiction, they have been recommended to the Home Ministry,” said Purna Chandra Bhattarai, DoFE director general. However, according to officials, the ministry has referred the list of the fraudsters to the concerned police unit recently. If the allegation is proved, they could get up to seven years in jail as per the Foreign Employment Act and around 15 years on an average if charged under the Trafficking Act. However, the sentence depends on the nature of crime and the culprit’s role. Notwithstanding the existing ban on women to go to Saudi Arabia as domestic workers, the Nepali embassy in Riyadh estimates that around 70,000 Nepali women are currently working in the desert kingdom. In the past year, records show that a total of 433 victimised women sought refuge with the Nepali embassy in Saudi Arabia. The embassy sent them back home. While some victims suffered overwork, low wages, physical assaults, and workplace discrimination, the embassy said many others were not even allowed to eat, contact their family members and return to the country at their will. Since the Kafala (sponsorship) system practised in Saudi Arabia and some other Islamic nations authorises employers to suppress employees, migrant worker s are always exposed to higher risks. The law bars even the rights groups and the embassy from inspecting the condition of the workers, making it impossible for them to rescue the victims in need. nnnn


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