Nepal Today

Friday, March 29, 2013

UCPN MAOIST CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEETS SATURDAY Kathmandu, 30 March: Maoist central committee meets Saturday to discuss appoints in the body. A dispute has broken out in the party following a decision of office bearers to expand the central committee strength to 399 members to accommodate factions. Critics say an expanded committee will be unwieldy.. The seventh Hetauda general convention decided on a central committee of 150 members. The committee meeting Saturday will also discuss the constituent assembly elections. nnnn INTER-CASTE MARRIAGE CAUSES DISPLACEMENT Kathmandu, 30 March: Various organizations crusading for Dalit rights have voiced concern over the issue of inter-caste marriage and subsequent violence it has resulted in society, RSS reports. They blamed the government for sheer negligence to settle inter-caste marriages occurring in any society. Issuing a joint press release, Jagaran Media Centre, Samata Foundation, Nepali Forum Monthly, Ekata Foundation and National Dalit Liberation Front said that the family of Buddhi Ram BK from Khaskusma-8 Chappargaudi, Banke has been forcefully displaced due to inter-caste marriage. The locals had beaten and threatened to their life resulting in the displacement of the BK family. The incident took a nasty turn when Chitra Bahadur BK; son of Buddhi Ram BK, had married to Khuma Khadka on March 20. Though the country is declared a caste discrimination free nation, the issue of inter-caste is still a big problem in Nepal societies. Nnnn WORLD BANK GRANT FOR SOLD WASTE MANAGEMENT Kathmandu, 30 March: Acting as administrator for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), the World Bank has approved a grant of US$ 4.3 million to improve access to high quality and financially sustainable solid waste management (SWM) services in five municipalities in Nepal, The Rising Nepal reports.. The grant will finance service delivery subsidies for each participating municipality, over a four year period, to cover the gap between the costs of delivering SWM services and the beneficiary revenues collected through SWM fees, provided that the said services meet verified minimum performance criteria, according to a press statement issued by the WB on Friday. Subsidies will be paid to the municipalities based on agreed multiples of verified beneficiary revenue collected upon the services’ meeting pre-agreed minimum performance criteria, read the statement. The project will initially target Tansen, Dhankuta, Lalitpur, Leknath and Pokhara municipalities and sub-metropolitan cities. More than 800,000 people of these municipalities would be benefited from the project. “This project is pioneering a new approach to providing much needed support to municipalities while also encouraging financially sustainable services. If successful, this model may be applicable to other sectors,” said Tahseen Sayed Khan, World Bank Country Manager for Nepal. The Solid Waste Management Technical Support (SWMTSC) and the Town Development Fund (TDF) will jointly provide technical and project management support to implement the activities covered by the output-based aid (OBA) grant. “This project will help put solid waste operations in a reasonable financial position at the end of the subsidy scheme, thereby strengthening each municipality's ability to commit resources thereafter to cover any shortfalls that may be needed going forward without compromising other municipal services,” said Dr Sumitra Amatya, Executive Director, SWMTSC. Consistent with the OBA approach, the design of the project includes a two-stage independent verification mechanism that will be used to trigger the release of OBA subsidies, the press statement stated. A first verification will measure how municipalities perform against a scorecard of pre-agreed performance criteria. "The success of the project can open doors for more output-based financing projects through TDF in the municipalities in the near future,” said Sushil Gyewali, Executive Director, TDF Participating municipalities will each sign Tripartite Project Implementation Agreements with TDF and SWMTSC as a basis for participation in the project. The project requires participating municipalities to prepare SWM service improvement plans identifying those service delivery improvements to be covered under the project; decide on the service delivery model, implement service delivery improvements as per agreed plans and implement a designated SWM fee charged to all waste generators, and collect the revenues. Nnnn DIG KOIRALA CLAIMS HIS CONFESSION ON WIFE’S MURDER FAKED Kathmandu, 30 March: Giving a new twist to a murder tale, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Ranjan Koirala has retracted on his earlier statement and claimed that his signature on a statement furnished before the court was faked. In the statement, Koirala had confessed to the murder of his wife Geeta Dhakal in January 2012, Ankit Adhikari writes in The Kathmandu Post.. Responding to Koirala’s claim that the signature was faked, the Kathmandu District Court (KDC) on February 17 directed the bodies concerned to conduct a forensic test to see if Koirala’s signature matched the one on the statement. As suggested by Koirala’s lawyers, the KDC ordered that the signatures be tested at the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Khumaltar. However, Koirala claimed no knowledge of his fingerprints on the statement, one of the victim’s relatives said. “Koirala himself signed the statement in front of us,” government attorney Man Bahadur Karki claimed. “I don’t know what is going on.” Family members of the victim also claimed that there is “foul play” going on. “Instead of verifying the statement by questioning officials in front of whom Koirala signed the paper, the court issued an order to conduct a scientific test,” a relative of Geeta Dhakal said. “This way, Koirala will have ample time to influence officials through whatever means necessary.” After Koirala appealed his conviction last year, the February 17 decision of the court also directed the bodies concerned to investigate once again certain things that were “left out.” The order called for a medical check-up at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) to ascertain whether Koirala’s left hand was really dysfunctional at the time of the murder. In his appeal, Koirala had maintained that he could not have murdered anyone as he had broken his left arm a few months before the murder. The court also ordered verification of photographs obtained by the police from Geeta’s home. The police, during a preliminary search of Geeta’s residence, had reportedly discovered photographs of the deceased with “some Indian men”. The police also recovered an Indian SIM card from the same place. The court order called on the police to coordinate with the Interpol and find out the specifics concerning the SIM card’s registration and its call details. A single bench of Justice Keshari Raj Pandit issued an order-list to this effect. However, the victim’s family took issue with the court’s orders for a re-investigation, saying the order was “irrelevant” as Koirala himself had confessed to his crime. The family appealed to the Appellate court demanding that the KDC’s orders be scrapped. However, on February 28, the appellate court upheld the KDC orders. The high-ranking Armed Police Force (APF) officer and his wife Geeta had been living separately for the past six years following property and personal disputes. However, they were not divorced yet. Geeta was living in a house built on two ropanis of land in Budhanilkantha, worth around Rs 40 million. According to the police, on January 11, 2012, Koirala reached Geeta’s home, saying that he wanted to take his son, who was living with her, on a trip around the city. Leaving his son with his driver at a mall, Koirala returned to Geeta’s home and allegedly murdered her. He then locked the house and went out to make arrangements to dispose of the body. The same night, he loaded the body into his vehicle and set out for Tistung-8, Makawanpur, where he burned the body, investigators claimed. On January 21, Koirala was held at the same location by locals who informed the police of his “unusual” activities at the site. As he was returning to Kathmandu the next day, a special squad from the Metropolitan Police Range and the Metropolitan Police Crime Investigation Division arrested Koirala at Nagdhunga, the Capital’s entry point. During investigations, Koirala admitted to the crime, but said that the murder was unintentional, according to the police. “She died after her head struck the wall,” Koirala’s statement read. “The violence started when she called me to the house and said that she was in need of Rs 500,000.” Nnnn PARTIES OPPOSED TO ELECTIONS ADAMANT Kathmandu, 30 March: The government on Friday formed a three-member talks team to hold dialogue with parties who are opposed to elections, The Kathmandu Post writes.. The team led by Home Minister Madhav Ghimire, comprises Minister for Communications Madhav Poudel and Minister for Health and Population Bidyadhar Mallik. The Cabinet decision comes in the wake of continued protests against the Khil Raj Regmi-led election government by the CPN-Maoist, which has obstructed the ongoing voter registration process. Even parties like the Upendra Yadav-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal (MJF-N) have been demanding Regmi quit as chief justice. Leaders from both the CPN-Maoist and the MJF-N, however, expressed reluctance to hold talks with the newly-formed team. “We are against the regressive move of Chairta 1 (March 14) that led to the formation of the present government,” CPN-Maoist Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal told the Post, adding, “We won’t hold talks with those who don’t have any status.” MJF-N leader Arjun Thapa also questioned the legitimacy of the government and the talks team. “There is no meaning in holding talks with a team that is primarily driven by the syndicate of the four parties,” he said. Later on Friday, the Cabinet issued a statement, appealing to the political parties, civil society and common people to cooperate in holding the elections. “Doubts, dilemma, concerns and complaints regarding elections should be sorted out through talks and coordination. The Cabinet appeals to all stakeholders to support the national election campaign,” the statement said. The Cabinet also appealed to agitating government employees to take back their protests and cooperate. It further urged political parties and their sister organisations, professionals and private sectors not to organise strikes and bandas. Also on Friday, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress Vice-President Ram Chandra Poudel, CPN-UML leader KP Sharma Oli and Raj Kishor Yadav from the Samyukta Madhesi Morcha met Regmi at the latter’ residence in Baluwatar. In the meeting, Regmi told the leaders about the obstructions to the voter registration drive and the delay in the formulation of electoral laws as major hurdles to announcing the poll date. Earlier, a meeting of the High-level Political Mechanism formed to facilitate the functioning of the Regmi government on Friday decided to inquire with the government and the Election Commission (EC) their preperations for holding the polls in June. The leaders, according to Yadav, expressed their displeasure at the government’s delay in announcing the poll date. UCPN (M) members skip meet Members of the cross-party taskforce representing the UCPN (Maoist) failed to show up in a meeting called by the Election Commission on Friday. The two members from the party—Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Shakti Bahadur Basnet, substitute of Khil Lal Devkora—remained absent in the meeting. The meeting was supposed to update three key electoral laws—Electoral Roll Act (2007), the Election Commission Act (2007) and the Constituent Assembly Act (2007)—for holding fresh Constituent Assembly elections. “I called up Maharaji and inquired about their whereabouts. He told me to move ahead with the amendment process and also said that some new members, possibly Lilamani Pokharel, will attend the next meeting,” said Bimalendra Nidhi, a member of the taskforce from the Nepali Congress. The EC had earlier planned to complete the amendment of the draft of the electoral laws on Friday and present them before the all-party mechanism. nnnn


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