Nepal Today

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

PRESIDENT URGES FREE, FAIR ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 29 May: President Ram Baran Yadav has said that the country is yet to adopt a reliable way towards prosperity due to the failure to institutionalize the political changes and achievements of the 2006 people´s movement, RSS reports.. In a message today [Wednesday] on the occasion of the 6th Republic Day , Dr Yadav has said the only task to be done at the moment to ensure the Nepali people's bright future is to hold CA elections in a free and fair atmosphere and draft a democratic/republican constitution from the CA. However, the political consensus reached among the parties and the new provision made to run the affairs of the state in course of realizing the goal for the second CA elections by coming November is yet to generate enthusiasm among the people as much as expected. President Yadav has, in the message, also extended best wishes to all Nepali brothers and sisters at home and abroad on the occasion of the Republic Day and extended heartfelt tributes and respect towards the great martyrs who sacrificed their lives for justice, equality and a democratic system. Likewise, Vice-president Parmanand Jha has stressed the urgent need to further consolidate the republic and democratic system established as a result of the continuous struggle for civil rights by the sovereign Nepalis since a long time. On the occasion, the Vice-president has also wished for the happiness, peace and continued progress of all Nepali brothers and sisters living inside and outside the country. In a similar message, Chairman of the Interim Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi has wished that the Republic Day 2013 may inspire all Nepalis to become united and work towards institutionalizing the federal democratic republic. "We now have a great responsibility of holding the CA elections as the previous CA was dissolved without promulgating the new constitution in five years time", he has said in the message. Chairman Regmi has also said that the Government was working honestly to hold the elections and called for unity among all to realize the goal of drafting a new constitution as per the people´s aspiration and need. Likewise, CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal has appealed to all the Nepalis to develop a common understanding on issues of greater national interest and work towards institutionalizing the federal democratic republic. NC President Sushil Koirala said all sides concerned become honest and active from the respective side was today´s national responsibility and duty towards consolidating and institutionalizing democratic republic, established in the country through the sacrifice of the martyrs, and widespread participation of the Nepali people. nnnn BIHARI GANG BUSTED Kathmandu, 29 May: The tales of robbery executed by the ‘Shutter Todwa’ gangs from India’s Ghodasan village in Motihari district have come real in Kathmandu over the past couple of months, Ankit Adhikari writes in The Kathmandu Post.. A team deployed by the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Circle, Bouddha, on Monday afternoon arrested seven members of the notorious gang that stole over Rs 1.1 million in cash in nine incidents of theft at various stores at night in the past two and a half months. The arrestees are Sunil Prasad, Kundan Kumar Paswan, Rabi Kumar Chaudhary, Arun Ram Kumar, Munna Kumar Chaudhary, Bikki Paswan and Pramod Kumar Paswan—all 20-year-olds from Ghodasan. Bouddha police In-charge DSP Manoj KC said the gang specialises in breaking the shutters of a shop. With this skill, a generation of notorious thieves, numbering over 200, have reached several parts of India and its neighbouring countries, notoriously identified by the Indian media as the ‘shutter todwa’ (shutter breaker) gangs. According to the police, the gang of seven operating in the Bouddha area has one undersized lean and thin member, who enters the shop once the others have broken the shutter’s lock and lifted it a bit from the ground. “While the one collected cash, the others lay on the footpath, as if they were rag pickers,” said DSP KC. “Once the thin man came out with the loot, they would make off silently. The next morning, the act would appear so neat, since only the cash would be disappearing.” DSP KC added it was this very modus operandi that helped them track the burglars. Rs 19,000 cash and tools used in breaking locks were confiscated from them. The gang had been staying at a rented room in Narayantar. They came to Nepal from Bihar some three months ago. During the day, they worked as labourers. Two burglars caught In a separate operation, the Bouddha police arrested two persons, involved in organised thefts executed during the day. The arrestees are Kapil Thapa, a temporary resident of Battisputali, and Hem Prasad Gautam, of Gaushala. The duo hails from Sindhuli. According to the police, the gang would break into a house during daytime after finding its occupants out. “They first chose a house and found out the number and names of the persons living in it,” said DSP KC. “Prior to executing their plan, one of them would call out the name of a member. If no one showed up, they would break in.” So far, the duo is found to have stolen property worth Rs 300,000 at four houses over the past six weeks. Police confiscated Rs 75,000 cash from them. nnnn SOLE SHERPA SURVIVOR OF 1953 HISTORIC EVEREST EXPEDITION A HERO AT DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS Kathmandu, 29 May: He wore black boots, a knee-length gown and a hat and seemed to care little when told how historic his feat was. By Sunday, Kanchha Sherpa, 81, the lone survivor of the 1953 Everest team, had become a major attraction at Khumjung in Solukhumbu district, Sangam Prasain writes in The Kathmandu Post from Khumjung, Solu... Sixty years ago on May 29, Kanchha was only 21 when New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa made the maiden conquest of the world’s tallest mountain. “The time was 11:30 am,” he told journalists as a special guest at a function organised here to mark the Diamond Jubilee (60th anniversary) of the first ascent of Everest . Hillary built his first school in Khumjung in 1961. Kanchha is the only veteran of the 1953 British expedition led by John Hunt who is still alive. “I was excited when I found out that these foreigners were spending such a big amount just to climb a mountain,” recalled Kanchha, who has reached ‘the death zone’ above Camp 4 (7,926 metres) for the sixth time, but never been on the top. “But, later I realised it was a victory over Everest .” Death zone is altitudes higher than 8,000 metres where climbers face significant challenges to survival. In 1953, around 1,200 ‘coolies’ were hired to carry climbing equipment, food and silver coins, all the way from Bhaktapur to Namche. Twenty-five potters were employed to carry the silver coins and five police personnel sent with the expedition for security. Around 35 Sherpas were involved in the expedition, which had 16 British nationals. After spending two weeks in Bhaktapur, the expedition team trekked through Banepa-Dolalghat-Jiri-Lamjura Pass-Kahari Khola-Chaurikharka and reached Namchhe after 16 days. “We spent a week there,” said Kanchha. As the low-altitude ‘coolies’ were unable to acclimatise to the high land, all of them were sent back and the mountain gears and goods were ferried by 100 yaks to the Everest base camp. After six days of walk, the team arrived at what is now known as the base camp. “After two days, Tenzing and Hillary headed upwards to check the way to Icefall. And we carried goods to Camp 1 (6,065 metres above the icefall).” The mission then headed to Camp 2 (6,600 metres) and accordingly Sherpas carried goods to Camp 2. Around two weeks were spent in Camp 2 and finally the mission advanced Camp 3 (7,200 metres) and 4. “Tenzing and Hillary then moved to South Col and we were told to descend,” recalled Kanchha. “We were not allowed to go up from camp 4. It might be that the expedition would face shortage of oxygen,” he laughed. However, two other Sherpas from Darjeeling, India, in the team were allowed to go up to the last camp, now called Hillary Step. “I don’t know the exact reason why we were stopped, but after hours of wait, we were informed that that mission was accomplished,” he said. As the message was conveyed in Camp 2 through a walkie-talkie, the entire group gathered there. There were handshakes all around and Hillary hugged the entire team. “A helicopter landed at Camp 2 and both Tenzing and Hillary flew from there to Kathmandu,” Kanchha said. “We were paid Rs 8 a day and it was in silver coins. With tips, I made Rs 1,200, a dream for a 21-year-old Sherpa boy back then.” Obviously, the 1953 ascent was to change the Khumbu region for good. “Now, there are hospitals, schools, hotels and people who used to dream of eating rice are now eating the staple everyday.” Kanchha fled to Darjeeling in 1952 from Namche in search of a job and reached there after four days. He, along were two other Sherpas had altogether Rs 20 in their pockets. “As my father was a close friend of Tenzing’s, he hired me and I used to chop woods, cook food and wash his clothes,” he said. Tenzing was involved in the trekking business in Darjeeling. After four months of stay, Tenzing promised he would take me to Everest in February 1953 and I was hired as a porter. “After the mission was accomplished I settled in Namche and retired in 1972.” Octogenarian Sherchan gives up Everest bid An 81-year-old Nepali mountaineer Min Bahadur Serchan has pulled out of his quest to scale Mount Everest and returned to Kathmandu on Tuesday. An official at the Nepal Mountaineering Department, Tilak Pandey, said the octogenarian cited health reasons and deteriorating weather conditions on the mountain for his return. Serchan was planning to scale Everest after 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura challenged his record of the oldest person to climb the world’s highest peak. Serchan had scaled Everest on May 25, 2008 at the age of 76 years and 340 days and was officially recognised as the oldest to climb the mountain by the Guinness World Records in November 2009. Miura scaled the mountain on Thursday morning to become the oldest climber to reach the top. nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “Since holding polls is not possible without a common understanding on the electoral law, the poll date should be announce only after promulgating the ordinance,” UML Secretary Yubaraj Heywali, The Kathmandu Post, 29 May) nnnn


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