Nepal Today

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NEPSE GAINS 2.74 POINTS Kathmandu, 7 April: Nepse closed at 516.02 points after gaining 2.74 points Monday n the second day of weekly five-day trading. Altogether 265,821 shares were traded for Rs.54.32 million in 1091 transactions. Prices rallied after a fall when the market opened. Shares of hydro power and insurances companies gained. nnnn QATAR ROYAL HEADS FOR EVEREST IN A RARE WEST ASIAN BID FOR ON WORLD’S TALLEST PEAK Kathmandu, 7 April: Having already scaled the highest peaks on six continents, a member of Qatar i ruling family is here to conquer the final frontier: Mt Everest, the world’s highest peak this May. Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdullah al-Thani also has another mission: to raise money for charity to support education development in Nepal. Accompanied by four other Everest aspirants from Palestine, Lebanon, the UAE and the first female from Saudi Arabia, al-Thani headed for the Everest mission on Saturday. A brand ambassador of the Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), a Doha-based private non-profit organisation, is raising funds to support education in Nepal. “We are raising funds from my clients. Whoever donates the fund will come to Nepal,” he said. Although ROTA has been donating funds for the development of schools, this time it plans to provide scholarships to students in Nepal. “We are planning to collect $1 million for this purpose.” ROTA, in partnership with ActionAid International, is currently assisting three projects in Nepal, including one in Kailali to improve quality of teaching learning, strengthen school management system in 75 public schools there. Founder of, Sharjah Paintball Park and a number of catering companies, al-Thani also holds a seat on the Air Arabia board. An adventurous traveler, and a passionate mountaineer, he had been in Nepal in 2007 and 2009. “Last time we had spent eight days to reach the Everest Base Camp. But this time, we are attempting the peak,” he said, adding that the mission is set by the end of May. While mountain expedition and trekking are popular among the westerners, it has not become an allure to people from the Middle East. The young Sheikh said people from the region prefer traveling countries such as Britain, France, Egypt, and Lebanon for shopping and leisure activities and they describe adventure activities a “crazy job.” As Nepal has tremendous potential for eco-tourism, more awareness is needed to attract the people from the “desert”, he said. “The ‘mouth of words’ can be the best option to make them backpackers.” nnnn NAC BOARD CONSIDERS AIRCRAFT LEASE FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS BEFORE AIRBUS ARRVAL IN 2015 Kathmandu, 7 April: The Nepal Airlines Corporation’s (NAC) board is likely to approve its management’s plan to lease an aircraft until it gets delivery of its proposed jets from Airbus, The Kathmandu Post writes.. Tourism Secretary Sushil Ghimire said the board will soon approve the NAC management’s proposal which will help the national flag carrier to continue its service uninterrupted. “Due to limited aircraft, which are frequently grounded, NAC has not been able to provide reliable service,” said Ghimire, who also chairs the NAC board. “Besides, the number of NAC’s flight operating stations has also dropped.” Currently, NAC has two ageing Boeing 757. The management has recommended leasing an A320-200 aircraft from Airbus. “As NAC has signed a revised memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to procure two A320-200 aircraft, the proposal of NAC to lease the same type aircraft will also help train its pilots to fly Airbus.” On Friday, NAC signed the MoU to procure two A320-200 aircraft from the European planemaker. As per the agreement, Airbus will deliver one of the two aircraft in February, 2015, and the second one will arrive in March. NAC Spokesperson Ganesh Bahadur Chand said the management has proposed leasing aircraft from any of the aircraft-leasing companies. “After NAC gets the board’s green signal, a notice will be issued to aircraft leasing companies so that NAC gets plane at a competitive rate,” Chand said. According to Chand, the management has proposed two options — dry lease or wet lease. “The management has given priority to the dry lease agreement as it is reasonably priced,” he said. Dry lease means bringing the plane from the aircraft leasing company, but lease includes operation and the crew of the leasing company. However, ministry officials said the board will prefer the wet lease agreement. “As NAC needs pilots, maintenance and training crew and spare parts if dry-leased, a notice for wet lease will be better,” the ministry source said. If things go as planned, officials said the NAC will get an aircraft by September, which is also Nepal’s peak tourist season. As the carrier has withdrawn a number of international destinations, it plans to resume flights there once the plane arrives. NAC withdrew flights to Delhi and Dubai recently. “Besides, we also plan to go for new destinations,” Chand said. Currently, NAC links Doha, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. As one of its two 757s has been grounded, it has suspended three flights to Kuala Lumpur and a flight to Hong Kong. nnnn NC LEADERS START ARRIVING IN NAWALPARASI FOR MAHASIMITI MEET Kathmandu, 7 April:: NC leaders, including President Sushil Koirala.Sunday started arriving in Nawalparasi to participate in a Mahaszmiti meeting that begins Monday. The closed door session is being held at Tribenidham. The meeting being held after two and a half years is discussing four agenda items.. Arrival of some leaders has been delayed because of the Nepal bandh. MORE GOLD PRICE SLIPS RS. 800 PER TOLA Kathmandu, 7 April: Gold price fell Rs.800 per tola in the bullion market Sunday. The yellow metal was being traded for Rs.56.500 per tola. Price slumped last week after a fall in international market. nnnn . BIRD FLU BREAKS OUT IN TAPLEJUNG AS WELL Kathmandu, 7 April: Hundreds of diseased fowls were culled today in the district headquarter Phungling following the outbreak of bird flu in the eastern hilly district of Taplejung, The Himalayan Times writes from Taplejung. According to the sources at the Taplejung District Livestock Office‚ about 640 fowls‚ from as many as 19 houses and poultry farms in Phungling‚ were culled after they were diagnosed with H5N1 virus after a lab test confirmed bird flu. The outbreak was first detected in the fowls of a local Jeeban Adhikari’s house. “After the fowls in Adhikari’s house began to die one by one we had sent the samples to Biratnagar‚ and then to Kathmandu. Later‚ it was sent to the United Kingdom from where we got the confirmation of the outbreak‚” said District Livestock Office chief veterinary Dr Hari Narayan Yadav. A team of six technicians had been deployed at the outbreak-hit place to cull the affected fowls. The houses and poultry farms‚ whosefowls were culled will get an adequate compensation on the basis of their weight‚ authorities said. Meanwhile‚ with the finding of the disease in the district‚ authorities have banned the import of chicken and related items. “Keeping in view of the further spread of the disease‚ we have banned the import of chicken from outside and even banned the purchase of chicken inside the district itself‚” confirmed Chief District Officer Kiran Thapa‚ also the Bird Flu Control Committee Coordinator. (Avian flu has also broken out in Chitwan, Jhapa and Nawalparasi simultaneously.) nnnn NEPALIS IN SOUTH KOREA CONCERNED Kathmandu, 7 April: If media reports are to be believed, the situation in the Korean peninsula is fast escalating towards warm The Himalayan Times writes. North Korea is becoming more and more aggressive and has put its missiles system ready to strike against American defence bases in South Korea and elsewhere in the region. The United States has also warned it will respond appropriately to any attack and has kept its defence bases on high alert to retaliate swiftly. Thousands of Nepalis living in South Korea have panicked given the developing situation there. However the Embassy of Nepal in Seoul that has come up with words to cheer up Nepalis in the country. “The situation is not as bad as has been reported,” Kaman Singh Lama, Ambassador of Nepal to South Korea, told THT over telephone. As many as 23,000 Nepalis are living in South Korea; most of them are there as migrant workers. If war breaks out between North Korea and the United States, its impact will automatically be felt in South Korea as it is a US ally and North Korea considers the South as its “enemy”. Ambassador Lama said Nepalis have started dialling or approaching the Embassy of Nepal in Seoul expressing their concern about the evolving situation. To address their anxiety, the embassy issued a public notice, stating that the situation is normal and there is nothing to be worried about. Lama said there were no room to fear any future war between the two Koreas. Even the South Koreans felt confident a war would not erupt. “They are calm and confident that there won’t be any war at least any time soon,” he added. “The South Korean defence minister had also told parliament there was no immediate threat of war.” Nevertheless, North Korean foreign ministry yesterday asked all foreign embassies in Pyongyang to evacuate their missions by April 10, signaling that war was imminent. According to Lama, there are only a few dozen Nepalis working with international bodies such as the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation and other non-governmental and humanitarian organisations in North Korea. nnnn


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