Nepal Today

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ARMY CHIEF DISCUSSESS MILITARY TIES WITH INDIA’S DIRECTOR GENERAL OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE Kathmandu, 9 May: Visiting Director General of Military Intelligence of India, Lt. Gen. RN Singh held discussions Wednesday with Army Chief Gen. Gaurav Shumsher JB Rana at Army Headquarters,. They discussed bilateral military relations and cooperation, Nepali Army Directorate of Public Relations said. The meeting comes at a time when .government has asked India, Nepal’s largest weaapos supplier, to resume supplies suspended during the royal regime. Lt. Gen. Singh is on a five-day Nepal visit. Nnnn SUPREME COURT HAS NEVER WORKED UNDER NFLUENCE OR PRESURE SAYS ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE Kathmandu, 9 May:: Acting Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma has said that the Judiciary of Nepal has never worked under the influence or pressure of any side, and would not either in the days to come, RSS reports.. In a message on the occasion of Law Day 2070, acting Chief Justice Sharma said the Judiciary is itself an independent body, and with the Bar, the media, civil society, political parties and democratic institutions playing the role of a watchdog one cannot even think of the independence being comprised. "The Judiciary is working towards establishing rule of law and putting an end to impunity by protecting and promoting the norms and values of human rights and democracy", he has said in the message. Every year Baisakh 26 in the Lunar calendar is observed as the Law Day in commemoration of the enforcement of the Nepal Apex Court Act in 2008 BS. It is also a public holiday in the judicial sector. nnnn 10-POINT SADBHAVANA DEMAND Kathmandu, 9 May: Sadbhavana Party today submitted a 10-point charter of demands to Chairman of Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi demanding immediate announcement of the Constituent Assembly elections, The Himalayan Times reports. . The party announced its first phase of protest programme from today. District chapters of the party have also submitted demands to the government through district administration offices today, said Chairman of the party Mahato. The party has called a general strike on May 12. It is organising relay hunger strike in all the district headquarters from May 9 to 11. Asked how appropriate it would be for his party, which is a constituent of the four-party mechanism, to resort to pressure tactics, Mahato said the government was formed to hold polls and because it was dilly-dallying with regard to announcing the poll date, his party had been compelled to resort to pressure tactics. Mahato said if the government ignored their demands, his party would launch more protest programmes. The memorandum has asked the government to immediately form the electoral constituency delimitation commission and enable mothers who have acquired citizenship by birth to transmit citizenship to their children. “Those who voted in the last CA election should have the opportunity to vote even if they have not acquired their citizenship. This was the understanding among political parties and laws were amended accordingly, yet the Election Commission is ignoring this provision and is seeking citizenship to register people’s name in the voters’ list,” the Mahato said. Addressing a press conference after submitting the memorandum, Mahato said the government was not providing security to cadres of armed groups of the Tarai who wanted to join mainstream politics. “If security is not provided to the cadres of armed groups, those who want to join peaceful politics may not be able to participate in the election,” Mahato said. The SP also asked the government to meet the demands put forth by two of its leaders — Santosh Mehta and Dev Ram Yadav — who have been staging a fast unto death for the last seven days in Sunsari district. The party also demanded that inclusion of Madhesis in all government bodies, including the judiciary be ensured. It has also sought increase in the Madhesis’ age of entry from 35 to 40 years of age as is the case with other categories. The party has asked the government to open exchange counters across Tarai districts to deal with the problem of acute shortage of Indian currency. On a different note, Mahato said some Madhesis who deserted their mother parties in the past to become ministers were now desperately seeking to merge with other Madhesi parties or form an alliance, but his party was against such opportunistic move. “Power hungry Madhesi leaders want to join a party or alliance because their only goal is to secure a seat in the next CA,” Mahato said. SP had split twice in the past. Nnnn VALLEY ROAD RECONSTRUCTION DRIVE HITS SNAG Kathmandu, 9 May: Reconstruction of expanded roads in the Kathmandu Valley has come to a halt in certain areas due to the lack of coordination between two government authorities, Bishnu Prasad Aryal writes in the Himalayan Times. The authorities under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management and the Ministry of Urban Development have been blaming each other for the tardy progress in the reconstruction work in the valley. The government started widening roads in the valley about two years ago and structures along 120 km stretch of roads have been demolished till now. But only 12 km section has been completely reconstructed, according to the Department of Roads. “There are obstacles regarding drinking water pipelines, phone lines, electricity wire management and demolition of houses and buildings along the widened section of roads,” said Shyam Kharel, manager at the Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project under the DoR. “Work is on to reconstruct 70 km of the demolished section,” he said. The Kathmandu Valley Development Authority is responsible for demolishing illegally constructed buildings along roadsides and demarking the road area. However, the authority has not been doing its work diligently, which is creating problems in construction of roads, claim officials at the DoR. The KVDA officials bulldoze the roads but don’t return to clean up the mess, claim DoR officials. According to the DoR, these problems are persistent in Shankhamul, Old Baneshwor, Lainchaur and Maharajgunj. “An illegal structure of Home Makers along the Maitighar-Tinkune section is blocking reconstruction on the Araniko Highway and should be demolised immediately,” a DoR official told THT. Dr Bhai Kaji Tiwari, one of the commissioners of the KVDA, said they had forwarded the file to MoUD, demanding funds to demolish illegal houses and other structures along the roads and clear them. “However, the ministry is yet to provide us the needed fund,” he said. Suresh Prakash Acharya, joint-secretary at the MoUD, said they had already forwarded the file to the Ministry of Finance seeking budget for the KVDA. “We are awaiting their response,” he said. Chairman of the Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi had ordered the authorities concerned to speed up construction of valley roads two weeks ago. Kharel said the government had allocated Rs 2.43 billion in the current fiscal year for reconstruction of roads in the valley. “We will need an additional Rs 5 million in the current fiscal year if the hurdles are cleared to meet the target,” he said. Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the MoPITM, said the construction work would continue as there was no shortage of fund. “We have targeted to complete 50 km of demolished roads by the end of the current fiscal year,” he claimed. Nnnn BANGLADESH BUILDING COLLAPSE DEATH TOLL NEARS 900 Kathmandu, 9 May:: Eight people were killed when a fire swept through a clothing factory in Bangladesh, police and an industry association official said on Thursday, as the death toll from the collapse of another factory building two weeks ago climbed to 892m Reuters reports from Dhaka.. The fire, in an industrial district of Dhaka, comes amid global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh's booming garment industry following the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza, on the outskirts of the city, in the world's deadliest industrial accident since the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984. "It is not clear to us how the accident happened, but we are trying to find out the cause," Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told Reuters. On Wednesday the Bangladesh government said it had shut down 18 garment factories for safety reasons following the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories making clothes for Western brands. Salvage teams are still pulling bodies from the rubble of the building in Savar, around 20 miles northwest of Dhaka, and on Thursday a spokesman at the army control room coordinating the operation said the death toll was now nearly 900. Roughly 2,500 people were rescued from the building, including many injured, but there is no official estimate of the number still missing. The government has blamed the owners and builders of the eight-storey complex for using shoddy building materials, including substandard rods, bricks and cement, and not obtaining the necessary clearances. Bangladesh's garment industry, which accounts for 80 percent of the poor South Asian country's exports, has seen a series of deadly accidents, including a fire in November that killed 112 people. The latest fire, in the Mirpur industrial district, broke out at a factory belonging to the Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter, after most workers had gone home, police said. A fire service official and BGMEA president Islam said the Bangladeshi managing director of the company and a senior police officer were among the dead. Tung Hai Group says on its website that it has more than 1,000 employees and its customers include major Western retailers including Britain's Primark, and Inditex Group of Spain. It makes products including cardigans, jumpers and pyjamas. nnnn


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