Nepal Today

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

TWO NATION-WIDE BANDHS IN TWO DAYS CRIPPLES LIFE; BRINGS NATION TO STANDSTILL Kathmandu, 7 March: A Nepal bandh Thursday brought life to a complete halt in the capital and the rest of the country. Thursday’s bandh or strike was called by the seven-party Sanghaiya Loktantrik Manch led by MNFN of Upendra Yadav. The Manch also opposes a proposed election government led Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi. A crippling bandh called by a four-party alliance led by CPN Maoist Wednesday also completely paralyzed life in the country’ more than 20 vehicles were vandalized nation-wide. Nnnn POL PRODUCTS BEING MOVED UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS Kathmandu, 7 March: POL products are being moved by tankers at night not to create shortages during the strike, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) officials said. Severe shortages were created during a strike by tanker workers demanding cpensation and security work after a driver was abducted along with loaded taker in India. The strike was called off after worker demands were met. nnnn CAPITAL’S MORNING TEMPERATURE THURSDAY 12 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 7 March: Capital’s Thursday morning temperature was 12 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 26 degrees in the fternoon. nnnn SC ABOLISHES STATUTE OF LIMITATIONSFOR RIGHTS VIOLATIONS Kathmandu, 7 March : Abolishing the six-month statute of limitations for human rights crimes, the Supreme Court on Wednesday has paved the way for victims to lodge complaints against human rights violations at any time of their convenience, Gani Ansari writes in Republica.. A special bench of Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi and Justices Ram Kumar Prasad Shah and Girish Chandra Lal on Wednesday nullified clause 10 (5) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2068 stating that the clause contravenes article 132 (2) (c) of the interim constitution. Clause 10 (5) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2068 states that complaints regarding incidents of human rights violations or its abetment shall have to be lodged at the commission within six months from the date on which the incident took place or within six months from the date on which a person, under control of someone else, got released and became public. In the same verdict, the apex court scrapped clause 17 (10) of the act which states: notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Section, with regards to matters on which recommendation has been made by the commission pursuant to Clause (c) of sub-Article (2) of Article 132 of the constitution, if the Attorney General decides that a case cannot be initiated pursuant to prevailing laws, the Office of the Attorney General shall have to inform to the commission thereof. Article 132 (2) (c) of the interim constitution states that if it is required to institute a case against any person who has violated human rights, to make recommendation to file case in the court in accordance with the law. NHRC and human rights activists, who had been vehemently objecting to the provisions in the Act, have welcomed the SC verdict. “Action by the government on NHRC recommendation against perpetrators was not effective,” said NHRC Spokesperson Gauri Pradhan, adding, “The verdict will be supportive in making the NHRC recommendation mandatory for the government to implement.” Talking to Republica, human rights activist Subodh Pyakurel maintained that the apex court verdict has given a moral boost to the human rights condition of the country. “There should no statute of limitations for human rights crimes,” he said. However, Pyakurel said that it was challenging to implement the SC verdict stating that the government, especially Baburam Bhattarai-led government, is reluctant to implement the orders passed by the apex court. Amidst strong objection from right activists, the Maoist-led government had introduced the act by replacing the pervious act that had imposed no statute of limitations for filing cases against human rights crimes. Advocates Om Prakash Aryal, among others, on April 1, 1012 had filed writ petition at SC arguing that the provision contravenes the interim constitution and previous NHRC act as well as with the Geneva Convention 1949. Nnnn DOCTORS AT TUTH INVOLVED IN IRREGULAR PRACTICES Kathmandu, 7 March: Some senior doctors at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) not only stole patients, but also used to bring patients to TUTH from nursing homes for treatment free of cost. When cases at nursing homes went wrong, they hastily brought the patients to TUTH to avoid the ire of relatives and its consequences, Arjun Paudel writes in Republica.. "Taking advantage of being senior doctors, they used to bring patients from nursing homes and admit them here as academic cases," said Narbada Thapa, chairman of TUTH Employees Association, adding, "The hospital had to bear all expanses for the treatment of the botched cases." With his appointment as director of TUTH, Dr Bhagwan Koirala had stopped the admission of patients as academic cases, especially patients brought from nursing homes. Thapa said that the association had requested Dr Koirala to stop such practices that had depleted the hospital financially. TUTH is the teaching hospital of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and academic cases are required to teach medical students. But Thapa said senior doctors have been taking undue advantage of this loophole. "They fleeced the patients at the private centers as much as they could and transferred them to the government hospital after their families become bankrupt," an employee preferring not to be named said adding, "When they botch up a case they used to bring it here for treatment free of cost until the patient is cured or dies." He said that relatives used to keep mum on condition of the free treatment. Chairman Thapa said that this is one reason senior doctors were hostile towards the measures adopted by Dr Koirala. The hospital has been able to save millions through the scrapping of such practices and the credit goes to Dr Koirala, said Thapa. "It became extremely painful when some of the leaders and clean professors started justifying the patient referrals," Dr Koirala wrote in his statement on his abrupt resignation. Dinesh Bastola, assistant professor at TUTH, said that senior professors had been completely unsupportive of Dr Koirala, which was very unfortunate for the institution. "We must recognize the changes that have happened at the hospital under Dr Koirala´s leadership," said Bastola, adding, "It has become hard for some of our friends to acknowledge the changes brought about by him." Senior doctors also used to skip off to the private centers during duty hours, something which Dr Koirala had put a stop to. Doctors also used to take overtime allowances from the hospital, and this also was scrapped. Meanwhile, hospital employees and locals of Maharajgung area staged a sit-in protest at the hospital premises to create pressure not to accept Dr Koirala´s resignation. Representatives of several social organizations and clubs, who reached the hospital to express solidarity with Dr Koirala´s demands, urged the government to fulfill those demands immediately. nnnn


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