Nepal Today

Monday, March 25, 2013

NEPAL SETS MALAYSIA A TARGET OF 171 RUNS IN ACC TWENTY20 CUP Kathmandu, 26 March: Nepal set Malaysia a target of 171 runs Tuesday in the ACC Twenty20 Cup at Kirtipur. Nepal lost the toss and was sent in to bat first. Pradeep Airee scored 59 runs in 26 balls. MORE . UNCERTAINTY PREVAILS IN ANNOUNCING FIRM ELECTION DATES Kathmandu, 26 March: When four major forces signed the 11-point deal to form an interim election council, they proposed fresh election to new Constituent Assembly for June 21. But as of today’s development, the government and the Election Commission both seem to be uncertain whether polls are possible on the said date, Prakash Acharya writes in The Himalayan Times.. EC mulled over election issues throughout the day today and held its first preliminary consultation with Cabinet members and high-ranking government officials at the official residence of the Chairman of the interim election council, Khil Raj Regmi, in Baluwatar this evening. The discussion, however, ended with no concrete conclusion regarding polls by June 21. According to sources at the government and EC, some striking issues were discussed: When should the process of updating voters’ list be stopped? How to maintain coordination between updating of voters’ list and government drive to issue citizenship certificates to those who are yet to get them? How to accomplish the task of amending laws and regulations related to election at the earliest? How to create political atmosphere by taking the political forces opposing the election into confidence? When EC members today put forth these issues before the government, the government responded saying it would now intensify the groundwork and would interact with the commission on a regular basis, said the sources. “We still have several issues at hand, including amendment to the laws related to polls, to settle, so the time is still not ripe for announcing election date,” Madhav Prasad Paudel, spokesperson for the government, told The Himalayan Times. “Today we held preliminary consultation with EC, and we will hold talks with EC officials on a regular basis.” EC member Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said, “It will take another few days before we suggest the poll date as there are many issues interlinked.” If the government fails to hold the polls in June, it will have to announce a new date, not later than November 15, with the consent of the High Level Political Committee. One of the major problems is settling the issue of updating the voters’ list amicably as political forces and the government are still not sure about the cut-off date to stop the process, according to EC Spokesperson Harihar Sharma. “If the process of updating the voters’ list could be closed by April 13 (19 days from now), polls could be held in June,” he said. “However, the weather condition in June, creating political atmosphere by taking other political parties into confidence and amending election related laws are other key issues that need to be taken into consideration before announcing a date for election.” EC Commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung told THT that EC would suggest the poll date only after assessing the policy level issues, such as creating political atmosphere, security situation and government’s preparedness. Gurung added that Chairman Regmi today assured EC that the government would fully address the concerns raised by EC. Looming questions for the ballot • When should the process of updating voters’ list be stopped? • How to maintain coordination between updating of voters’ list and government drive to issue citizenship certificates to those who are yet to get them? • How to accomplish the task of amending laws and regulations related to election at the earliest? • How to create political atmosphere by taking the political forces opposing the election into confidence? • How big a challenge will the weather pose if polls are set for third week of June? • Above all, will it be possible to take the parties opposing election into confidence before announcing poll date? Nnnn DIPLOMATIC FAILURE IN PROTECTING NPALI WORKERS Kathmandu, 26 March: Migration experts and outsourcing agencies have blamed weak diplomacy for lack of safety of Nepalis migrant workers abroad, despite their contribution to keep the economy afloat since last one decade in the form of remittance, Yadav Raj Joshi writes in The Himalayan Times. . Failure to enforce labour centric economic diplomacy in major destinations like Malaysia has been creating problems in destination countries, they said while commenting on dispute between Malaysian and Nepali workers in Johor Bahru of Malaysia yesterday evening. At least two Nepalis have been injured and nine were arrested in the incident, according to the Nepali embassy in Malaysia that has asked the Nepali migrant workers to remain calm. “There are lots of misinformations coming from Malaysia,” said president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA) Bal Bahadur Tamang. “It’s high time for the government to take labour centric economic diplomacy seriously as such incidents may turn into communal violence in the destination countries,” he said, adding that the misinformation may create law and order problem back in Nepal too. Action taken from Nepali embassy in Malaysia is insufficient to address the problem, according to Tamang, who opined that the government should immediately deploy a high-level talk team to have dialogue with Malaysian government. “But the government seems insensitive towards the rights and safety of the Nepali migrant workers, who have been sending remittance to save the country from being a failed state.” The association is watching the development in Malaysia seriously. “We have asked outsourcing agencies to maintain records of workers they send and maintain regular communication with them.” Malaysia is major foreign job destination to Nepali migrants since last one decade. The South East Asian country has been providing jobs to around half a million Nepalis in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, service and security sector. About 773,940 Nepalis had joined Malaysian jobs between the fiscal year 1998-99 and 2011-12. According to Labour Force Survey 2008 Nepalis working in Malaysia have been sharing about 19.2 per cent in the total remittance inflow, which has been increasing with the increase in number of migrant workers landing in Malaysia. “Nepalis working in Malaysia that had sent Rs 69.03 billion last year is the second largest remittance sending country after Qatar,” according to an data. Migration expert Dr Chiranjivi Nepal said that the government should have act immediately following the incident. “As Malaysia is the workplace for half a million Nepalis and second largest remittance sending country also, the government should have shown some seriousness,” he said, adding that the government should focus on labour centric diplomacy in the Gulf and Malaysia to support and protect Nepali migrant workers, who are keeping the economy afloat despite decade long conflict that has destroyed economic structures back home. “As there are highest numbers of Nepali migrant workers, diplomatic missions in Gulf and Malaysia should have adequate staff and resources,” Nepal said, the staff also should have better knowledge in migrant workers related problem. “Unfortunately, we don’t have such mechanism.” There are many cases of diplomatic failure in migrant workers related cases that are key and sensitive too, he said, citing the example of Libya crisis that was resolved with the help of outsourcing agencies. About 1,800 Nepali migrants were rescued from Libya following protest against Dictator Muammar Kaddafi in March 2010. Likewise, the government must sign and renew labour pact — a primary tool to protect workers in foreign land — on time with the host destination countries to protect Nepalis working there. Though, the government has started appointing labour attaché — after pressure from various quarters — in key host destination countries, they have not been able to be labour friendly and sensitive. nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala today said that his party had accepted Khil Raj Regmi as a chairman of the interim election council to accomplish two agendas of removing Bhattarai from power and holding the fresh elections to the Constituent Assembly. (Report in the Himalayan Times, 26 March) Nnnn RUSSIAN TYCOON FOUND HANGING IN UK Kathmandu, 27 March:: Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, whose body was found in the locked bathroom of his luxury mansion near London over the weekend, died by hanging, British police said on Monday, Reuters reports from London. , . Police, who had earlier removed his body from his home to conduct an autopsy, said there were no signs of a violent struggle, adding that further tests would be carried out, including toxicology and histology examinations. Once known as the grey cardinal of Kremlin politics, the former billionaire power broker helped Vladimir Putin come to power before fleeing in 2000 for Britain where he became one of the Russian government's fiercest critics. The 67-year-old Berezovsky's body was found in his sprawling property in Ascot, an affluent town a few miles (kms) from Queen Elizabeth's Windsor Castle, on Saturday. Some of his associates earlier had hinted Berezovsky might have killed himself because he had been severely depressed after losing a bruising $6 billion court battle last year against another Russian tycoon, Roman Abramovich. "The results of the post-mortem examination, carried out by a Home Office pathologist, have found the cause of death is consistent with hanging," police said in a statement. "The pathologist has found nothing to indicate a violent struggle." Detectives earlier had searched Berezovsky's house for traces of radiation and chemicals but found none, and said there was no evidence anyone else was involved in his death. One of the most powerful of Russia's so-called oligarchs, Berezovsky also had been known as the "godfather of the Kremlin" and wielded immense influence in politics and business during a turbulent decade that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Always surrounded by controversy and conspiracy theories, he survived several assassination attempts, including a bombing that decapitated his driver. FEARED FOR LIFE In exile, he often said he feared for his life, particularly after his friend and former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died from radioactive polonium poisoning in 2006. In Russia, Kremlin allies and pro-government media pressed ahead with portrayals of Berezovsky as a beaten man who had begged Putin's forgiveness in a last-ditch effort to return to his homeland. Berezovsky's friends in London have denied this. Nationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky said he had met Berezovsky by chance in the Israeli resort of Eilat in January, and that Berezovsky had said he would do "anything Moscow and the Kremlin told him" in order to return to Russia. "The only condition (Berezovsky named) was a decree pardoning him" for the crimes he has been convicted of in Russia, Zhirinovsky told the daily Izvestia in an interview published on Monday. A former mathematician, Berezovsky made millions running post-Soviet car dealerships and expanded his business empire massively throughout the 1990s. He was one of a handful of well-connected businessmen who became instant billionaires under former president Boris Yeltsin when the state arranged for them to buy giant oil companies for what quickly proved to be a fraction of their value. As one of the central figures in Yeltsin's inner circle, he helped forge the career of Yeltsin's hand-picked successor Putin, a little-known official named prime minister in 1999 and acting president when Yeltsin resigned on millennium eve. After Putin was confirmed in the presidency in an election in 2000, Berezovsky quickly fell out with him and left for Britain where he denounced his former ally as a corrupt "bandit" surrounded by former KGB agents. nnnn


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home