Nepal Today

Monday, April 8, 2013


.NC MAHASIMITI CLOSED SESSION EGINS Kathmandu, 9 April: The closed session of NC Mahasamiti began at Tribenidham in Nawalparasi Tuesday morning. The party is discussing for the next three days its political agenda when the country is debating dates for the second constituent assembly elections and amendments to party statute. Four agenda items ar m going meeting of the Nepali Cbeing taken up amid challenge to the establishment by Young Turks numbering nearly two dozen demanding resignation of government chief Khil Raj Regmi as chief justice. The party is presenting a public image of a united organization pushing assembly elections n December. nnnn. 1,338 Mahasamiti representatives, five from each constituency across the country, along with 700 observers are attending the closed session. The venue is located some 23 kilometers from the district headquarters, Parasi. MEDIA GOOGLE "Everything related to the Maoists have come to the public along with its charm and mystery. People have understood what the Maoists are and by whom they are mobilised." (UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, The Rising Nepal, 9 April) nnnn NC TO ADOPT OFFICIAL VIEWS OF NATIONAL ISSUES Kathmandu, 9 April: : Top leaders of the Nepali Congress today said that the party will make its view clear on burning national issues — federalism and forms of governance — during its four-day mahasamiti meeting that kicked off in Parasi today [Tuesday]. Prkash Acharya writes in The Himalayan Times from Parasi/. The closed session will begin tomorrow morning in Gajendramoksha Dham in Nawalparasi where over 1,300 mahasamiti members and 700 observers will discuss party issues and national agendas. Party leaders said the mahasamiti, the second most powerful body of the party, will take important decisions on thorny national political issues. Congress mahasamiti had some five-and-a-half years ago decided to embrace the republican system, relinquishing the constitutional monarchy, a system of governance the party had followed since its establishment. During the mahasamiti meeting inauguration today, which saw hundreds of supporters, NC Vice-president Ramchandra Paudel said, “We had agreed upon all other issues related to constitution, but federalism and forms of governance emerged as the most thorny issues. We will discuss these issues at length and will come up with party’s clear stance before fresh elections are held.” The leaders will also devise party policy on national, economic, social, infrastructure development and employment generation agendas, he said. Party President Sushil Koirala and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba told party workers that they can be sure about Constituent Assembly elections in November. “Rest assured that the Congress will go to the polls as a united party,” they added. Both the leaders told party workers that there was no need to fall for ‘rumourmongers’ speculations’ that the Khil Raj Regmi-led government would turn autocratic. “Nor do you need to worry about polls not being held in November,” the leaders said. “The Unified CPN-Maoist, which is conspiring to foil the election for the fear of defeat, will be brought to the polls by hook or by crook.” “We have successfully achieved our key agendas — pulling down the Baburam Bhattarai government and ensuring fresh polls by a new government,” said Koirala. “That the incumbent government will fail to hold polls is a baseless speculation.” Deuba said that the Maoists despite leading the government twice failed to live up to people’s expectations. “Nor were they able to address even one of the 40 demands they had put forth just before waging the war that claimed more than 15,000 lives,” said Deuba. General Secretaries Prakash Man Singh and Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Treasurer Chitra Lekha Yadav and Central Working Committee member Bimalendra Nidhi urged party members to start poll campaigns. 200 join Cong PARASI: As many as 200 members of different political parties, including the UCPN-Maoist, CPN-UML and some Madhes-based parties, joined the Nepali Congress during the party’s inauguration ceremony of the mahasamiti meeting here in Nawalparasi on Monday. Meanwhile, some underground groups handed over three weapons to chief district officer through NC’s Nawalparasi district president Devendra Raj Kandel. Party member electrocuted Bimal Kandel, a Nepali Congress cadre, of Panchanagar died of an electric shock on Monday. Three others, also from Panchanagar, have suffered injuries. They were setting up a gate for the mahasamiti meeting. Police said Kandel died of electric shock after he accidentally touched a live electric wire running above the gate. Injured Kamal Parajuli, Prithvi Chaudhari and Bimal Ghimire are undergoing treatment in Butwal. nnnn MRS. THATCHER EMBARASSED NEPAL Kathmandu, 9 April: The foreign policy issues related to Nepal during the tenure of Margaret Thatcher, who died in London today [Monday] following a stroke, concerned the 1989 stand-off between Nepal and India, the question of 80 Christian preachers’ arrest in 1985, who faced up to six years in prison for converting people to Christian faith, and managing the Falklands War despite opposition of the Nepali government, Lekhnath Pandey writes in The Himalayan Times.. But above all, what made her tenure noteworthy apropos Nepal’s relations with Britain during her premiership was to use Nepali Gurkhas in the Falklands War. She even wanted to visit Nepal after the contribution of the Gurkhas about who she said she would not forget the exemplary courage and determination they displayed. But the Nepali government had then taken exception to Thatcher’s move. On April 5, 1982, the then Nepali prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa told her: “The use of force by any country against another is fraught with serious consequences for stability and peace in the world. Nepal has always deplored such actions and will continue to do so in all international fora.” At one point she was worried about reports of casualties by a Nepali media (with a small circulation), with the British mission in Kathmandu urging that they provide the news to the Nepal government before they heard it from somewhere else. On June 28, 1982, she wrote to then Nepali prime minister: “We will not forget the exemplary courage and determination displayed by the first battalion the 7th duke of Edinburgh’s own Gurkha rifles and the crucial part they played. Shortly after landing they assumed responsibility for both the defence of the Darwin/Goose Green area and the surveillance of the southern half of the east Falkland Islands. Subsequently they took part in the recapture of Port Stanley. I am delighted that they suffered only light casualties.” As many as 649 Argentine armies, 259 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders had died during war with only one Gurkha casualty. The Thatcher Foundation had released the ‘confidential’ document last month. “This, no doubt, was a reflection of the Gurkhas’ reputation as brave, fearless and accomplished soldiers,” Thatcher had mentioned in her letter. But Nepal faced huge embarrassment in international fora then, recalls former foreign minister Ramesh Nath Pandey. “Nepal not only became unpopular in Argentina but also met with severe criticism as a country of sending mercenaries against another friendly country,” says Pandey. Though Nepal took exception then, just as it is evident from then prime minister Thapa’s letter to Thatcher, it fell short of forcing the Thatcher government to stick to the 1947 tripartite treaty between Nepal, Britain and India in relation to using the Gurkhas. As per the agreement, Gurkhas should not have been deployed, neither by Britain nor by India, against any friendly countries of Nepal, unarmed crowd and Hindus. “That was one of the weakest phases in Nepal’s diplomatic history,” says a former ambassador. Nepal may have gone through a diplomatic debacle, but Thatcher rode on the back of the success of that war to win two consecutive elections to become the longest serving British prime minister in modern history. Thatcher continued to remain a great admirer of Gurkhas and sympathised with the Gurkhas’ rights campaigns. In 2009, when the British government introduced a new law barring ex-Gurkhas from getting permanent settlement in the United Kingdom, Thatcher took no time to come forward to express her dissatisfaction. “I think the treatment of the Gurkhas by the (British) government is outrageous and I am very distressed by it,” she had said. (Note: Gurkhas with the British army were withdrawn from Hong Kong in 1999 with the islands reverted back China. Thatcher moved the Gurkhas base in Kong Kong to the United Kingdom from where they are deployed. Grkhas currently are fighting in Afghanistan Some families of Gurkhas live and work in hOng Kong after the takeover of the islands by Beijing.) nnnn ONLY GUNS ARE LEGITIMATE SAYS MOHAN BAIDHYA Kathmandu, 9 April: CPN-Maoist chairman Mohan Baidhya 'Kiran' Monday claimed that most of the steps taken by the four parties and the President were unconstitutional and that only guns were legitimate now, Upesh Maharjan writes in The Rising Nepal reports.. Addressing an interaction organised to mark 6th anniversary of Radio Mirmire, the chairman of the new Maoist party said that only the national army and the police (guns) were constitutional and they were leading the country to fascist autocracy. He termed the four parties small monarchs and claimed that those who claimed themselves to be protector of parliamentary system had acted to end themselves. He argued that the March 14 move of the four parties and the President would eventually take the country to fascism. Chairman Baidhya suggested that formation of a progressive national united government incorporating all the political parties and dismissal of the March 14 step would only resolve the present crisis. He said his party's agenda had of late become more timely and committed that his party would remain firm in its demands. He clarified that there could be talks with the four parties separately but not with the government or the four parties' mechanism Nnnn

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