Nepal Today

Sunday, May 5, 2013

NC”S DR, MAHAT WORRIED OVER ANTI-PARTY STATEMENTS OF MINISTERS Kathmandu, 6 May: Central member of the Nepali Congress and former Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat has expressed worries over members of the Interim Election Council of Ministers and chiefs of constitutional bodies delivering speeches against political parties even as the government is an election government, RSS repors from Panchthar.. Mahat expressed the view that their delivering speeches saying that political powers did not support them, has created doubts even as the government was formed through political consensus to give an outlet to the country from political dilemma. He expressed the view at a news conference organised by the Panchthar branch of Nepal Press Union at Phidim this morning. The former Finance Minister said that the Nepali Congress has moved ahead by adopting the ideals and thoughts of BP Koirala. He said NC would not make electoral alliance with any rival political powers but would co-work at some places if necessary. Nnnn LIMBUWAN STRIKE HITS EASTERN REGION Vehicular movement has been standstill in Sankhuwasabha for the second consecutive days today due to shutdown enforced by Federal Limbuwan State Council in nine districts of the eastern region, RSS reports from Sankhuwasabha. Despite police releasing Limbuwan cadres arrested from Dhankuta district, the shutdown is still in place. With this, hundreds of passengers and vehicles en route to Dharan, Itahari and different districts in Terai have been stranded in Mudhe Bazaar of the district. The passengers were running out of money because of sudden announcement of shutdown. Meanwhile, the Council has continued to enforce shutdown of eastern region today as well demanding release of their cadres. The general strike will not be called for till their demands including disagreement to four-party consensus a national consensus, building national consensus among all parties, stopping voters' enrolment campaign, said Council Chairperson Kumar Lingdel. The shutdown has halted all traffic operation in the East-West Highway and sub-ways along the Koshi Highway. Likewise, educational institutions and market areas in the districts have remained closed completely. RSS REPORTS FROM BHADAAN’ Cadres of Sanghiya Limbuwan Parishad (Council) vandalized four vehicles in Itahari today for defying banda called by the group. The banda enforcers arrived in a militant style and smashed the windscreens of two jeeps (Ko 1 Cha 6505 and Ko 1 Cha 4271), a night bus (Na 3 Kha 6836) bound for Biratnagar from Kathmandu and a micro bus ( Ko 1 Ja 1931) heading towards Biratnagar, according to police. The local administration has mobilized the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force teams in every quarters in Itahari Municipality after the banda enforcers attacked the vehicles in public places. Itahari Bazaar was tense following the vandalism. The Parishad had called the banda in nine districts east of Arun River (Koshi river) after police arrested seven leaders and cadres of the Council in course of giving security to the government teams deployed for updating biometric voters' list at Budhabare of Dhankuta district. Police arrested them on last Friday after the team tried to obstruct the voters' list updating process. Normal life in the districts including Morang and Sunsari was affected due to the banda.Traffic in Mechi and Koshi Highways was completely disrupted. Likewise, no vehicles left from Dharan for the hilly districts of the eastern region --- Dhankuta, Bhojpur and Sankhuwasabha, - due to the banda. Meanwhile, police arrested three student leaders including Chairman of the Limbuwan Student Forum Bhojkumar Lawati close to the Parishad from Jhapa Saturday. Nnnn IN A TURNAROUND, NC, UML TO STOP APPOINTMENT OF LOKMAN SINGH KARKI AS CIAA CHAIRMAN Kathmandu, 6 May:: Top leaders of the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have vowed to stop the president from appointing Lok Man Singh Karki as the chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA)m Republica reports.. NC President Sushil Koirala told mediapersons in Kapilvastu on Sunday that appointment of a person involved in the suppression of the April 2006 democratic movement is simply unacceptable. Koirala is currently the head of the High-Level Political Committee (HLPC) that is entrusted with guiding the government and assisting it for holding the elections. Koirala also said they were put in difficult situation by UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who brought a proposal to appoint Karki as the chief of anti-graft body during the four-party meeting. "We did not immediately protest the decision fearing that it could derail the meeting," he said. CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Sharma Oli committed at the party´s politburo meeting on Sunday that they would firmly stand against Karki´s appointment. The UML´s politburo in its previous meeting had formally decided to oppose the appointment. "The leaders said at the meeting that they would submit the party´s objection in writing to the president, the chairman of interim election government and to the HLPC," UML spokesman Pradeep Gyawali told Republica. The HLPC´s first meeting had suggested to the government to appoint Karki as CIAA´s chief commissioner and Khanal had reportedly given his consent to the decision. At that time, Dahal was the head of the HLPC. But later while addressing public gatherings, Khanal expressed his reservations over the HLPC decision. Nepal and Oli have expressed differing views in public on the matter. "No matter what the leaders said in public, they have unanimously committed at the party´s meeting that they would unflinchingly work according to the official decision of the politburo," said Gyawali. Meanwhile civil society representatives have urged President Dr Ram Baran Yadav not to appoint Karki as the chief of the CIAA. Soon after the recommendation was made, a group of civil society members reached the president´s office at Sheetal Niwas and submitted a memorandum to the president. "The president assured us that he would take a decision only on constitutional grounds and as per the aspiration of the people," Senior Advocate Shambhu Thapa, one of the delegation members, told Republica. "It would be shameful to appoint the person convicted by the then Rayamajhi Commission, such a non-transparent, suspicious and mysterious way," Thapa told a gathering of Civil Society members before leaving for the president´s office. He also informed that senior leaders from UML and other political parties had pressed him not to plead in the court against the proposal to appoint Karki. Rights activist Subodh Raj Pyakurel and youth leader Ram Kumari Jhankri said appointment of Karki as head of the the crucial constitutional body was a matter of disappointment for those who fought for democracy. Nnnn THAILAND TO BUILD CREMATORIIUN IN JANAKPUR Kathmandu, 6 May: An organization of business entrepreneurs in Thailand is planning to build a crematory in Janakpur, Republica reports from Janakpur.. A four-member team headed by Thai ambassador to Nepal Kanthong Unakul arrived in Janakpur on Sunday and observed two different sites for the construction of the crematory. According to Badri Krishna Shankadev, executive officer at Janakpur Municipality, the team examined the river bank of Dhudmati River at Bispiti and a land owned by Rantasagar Temple of Ramananda Chowk. It has been stated that the team led by Thai envoy will select a site only after proper discourse and begin construction of the crematory. “We observed two different places today. But we will select a place where we can build a proper and well-managed crematory,” said a member of the Thai team. The team will return to Kathmandu on Monday. Nnnn NEPAL STUDYING FEASIBILITY OF OWN SATELLITE Kathmandu, 6 May:: Government has formed a committee to study the feasibility of launching Nepal’s first satellite to an orbital slot provided by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — originally founded as International Telegraph Union — in 1984, The Himalayan Times reports.. “Government has formed a five-member committee to study it,” Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) said. According to ITU, Nepal has to use the orbital slot by 2015. If it fails to use the orbital slot, it will be difficult to claim again. “If Nepal is unable to use the entire satellite for its internal purpose, it can be leased out to neighbouring countries for commercial purposes,” according to the ministry. It will facilitate TV broadcast and weather forecast as TV channels and weather forecasting agencies have been paying $25 million annually for accessing international satellite services. Nepal has, however, no experience of setting up a satellite. It will have to study everything from scratch, like technicalities involved, feasibility at the commercial level, estimated costs and profitability. After the study report is finalised, other supplementary studies need to be conducted before calling a tender to set up the satellite. Since it costs a huge amount of money for setting up a satellite, it could be a good option to go for public-private partnership (PPP) model, including international expertise. The other option at hand is to go ahead through a joint-venture among national and international firms and the government. China and India have their own satellites, whereas Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are working on it. The five-member committee led by joint secretary at MoIC Narayan Sanjel has representatives from Nepal Telecommunications Authority, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, and Nepal Television. Nnnn MOTHER’S CITIZENSHIP STILL BEING ACCEPTED FOR ISSUING CITIZENSHIP Kathmandu, 6 May: When the constitution and citizenship acts were amended granting citizenship to children of citizens by birth a few weeks ago, Prina Tiwari of Birgunj Municipality Ward-16 was excited, The Himalayan Times reports.. However, when she approached ward Secretary Madan Prasad Kurmi requesting a citizenship recommendation letter, she had to return empty handed. Prina wanted to obtain her citizenship on the basis of her mother’s nationality as her father, who had died six years ago, was an Indian national. Though her mother is a Nepali citizen by birth, the ward secretary refused to issue the letter saying she needed to produce her father’s citizenship for such recommendation. According to Prina, all her siblings — four brothers and two sisters — were born in Nepal and they have been living in this country since birth. Prina’s mother Hira Devi Tiwari had obtained her citizenship after the 2006 people’s movement when the provision for citizenship by birth was incorporated in the Interim Constitution. Prina, who studies at Triton International College in Kathmandu, is a rising Bhojpuri actor. She has acted in Bhojpuri films — Shivcharcha and Dildar Sajana and a TV serial Chhori — produced by Haribansha Acharya and Madan Krishna Shrestha. She said life without citizenship was like a living hell. “It’s difficult to land a good job when you don’t have citizenship,” she lamented, adding, “I can’t even go abroad when I get offers for a foreign tour.” The 25-point presidential order states that ‘an amendment be made granting citizenship by descent to children of persons who became citizens by birth and whose children were born before they (the parents) became citizens of Nepal’. However, the Home Ministry’s newly issued citizenship directives’ clause 17 (B) states ‘the applicant will have to produce a photocopy of father’s citizenship certificate, birth certificate and if possible also academic certificates’. Chairman of the Tarai Human Rights Defenders’ Alliance Dipendra Jha said the constitutional provision only mentions ‘persons’ and not ‘father’ so children of citizens by birth are entitled to citizenship by descent on the basis of either their father or mother’s Nepali nationality. Joint Secretary of Home Ministry Bhola Prasad Siwakoti said the ministry would consider the applications of children of citizens by birth positively if they could prove certificate of their father’s death and marriage certificate of their parents. “But in normal case, we seek father’s citizenship,” he said. Jha said he had received complaints from 25 people of Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Nawalparasi and Parsa who were denied citizenship on the basis of their mother’s nationality. CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel, also a member of the four-party task force that helped forge consensus on citizenship issue, said the new amendment was only for children of citizens by birth who were born before their parents obtained citizenship in the period stated in the constitution. “The constitution states that a person is entitled to get his/her citizenship if his/her father or mother was a citizen of Nepal at the time of his/her birth, and therefore, children of citizens by birth are entitled to get citizenship by descent,” Kharel reiterated, adding, the new amendment is solely for citizens by birth who were born before their parents became citizens by birth and not for others. Post-2006, when provision for citizenship by birth was incorporated, 170,042 people had obtained citizenship. nnnn


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