Nepal Today

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

WOMEN’S CRICKET GROUP B MATCHES BEGIN WEDNESDAY Kathmandu, 22 May: Janakpur and Nepalgunj moved to the semifinal Tuesday of the U-19 Women National Women Cricket from Group A. Group B matches begin Wednesday. Region No.1 Biratnagar plays Region No.6 Baitadi while Region No.4 Bhairahawa plays Region No. 8 Pokljara. Nnnn FORMER KING VISITING EASTERN TERAI Kathmandu, 22 May Former King Gyanendra is touring the terai, Ghatana ra Bichaar writes. The visit was suddenly suspended .earlier following the heart attack of son and former Crown Prince Paras in Thailand. The former king is expected to resume his terai visit 9/10 June although firm dates haven’t yet been fixed. He’ll visit Simara. nnnn . TWO MAOIST PARTIES ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCES Kathmandu, 22 May: Around a year after the party split, the UCPN (Maoist) has approached its breakaway faction, the CPN-Maoist , for unification . The party has also floated another option—forging an election alliance with the Mohan Baidya-led party, which is opposing the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, Kamal Dev Bhattarai writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The CPN-Maoist has, however, ruled out the possibility of the two parties re-uniting. Instead, it has said it could work together on ‘common issues.’ UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairmen Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha are holding consultations with top leaders of the CPN-Maoist , including Baidya, in this regard, UCPN (Maoist) leaders said. Citing differences over the party line taken by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Baidya left the UCPN (Maoist) and formed a separate party in June last year. According to a leader, Bhattarai proposed to Baidya that the two parties unite and go to the polls. “If the two parties are united, there is a possibility of ethnic federal forces securing a two-thirds majority and, if that happens, we can draft a new constitution as desired by the party,” a leader quoted Bhattarai as telling Baidya. In reply, Baidya put forth a pre-condition to re-uniting with the mother party—that Dahal should embrace the principles of the “people’s war,” issues of national independence and other social and economic issues raised by his party, according to leaders. Bhattarai’s close aide Devendra Poudel confirmed that the CPN-Maoist has been approached for unification before the elections. “We are convincing Baidyaji into re-joining our party, but no conclusion has been reached yet. Relations between the two parties are improving of late,” Poudel said. The UCPN (Maoist) has also proposed that they can go for an election alliance if total unification is not possible. This option, according to leaders, is meant to defeat the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML in the polls. UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Shrestha is also holding talks with Baidya and another leader Ram Bahadur Thapa. Shrestha held consultations with Baidya on Monday and Thapa on Tuesday to bring the breakaway faction on the election track. He said that as the possibility of the two parties uniting in the near future is bleak, he is trying to bring the Baidya party into the election process. “Some demands of the CPN-Maoist , such as increasing the number of seats under the proportional election system and inducting the party into the High-level Political Committee, can be addressed immediately,” said Shrestha. According to sources, Dahal and Baidya are preparing to hold intensive discussions on the issues. According to a leader, Baidya has demanded that such talks be kept highly confidential. Dahal and Baidya were scheduled to meet two weeks ago, but the meeting was cancelled at the 11th hour after the Dahal faction in the UCPN (Maoist) leaked information about the talks. CPN-Maoist leaders say Dahal’s unification proposal is aimed at “stealing our leaders and cadres who are in favour of elections.” “There is a large section in our party that want the two parties to unite and Dahal is trying to catch those sentiments,” said a leader close to Baidya. A leader close to Dahal confirmed the claim that the party’s strategy is to bring more leaders and cadres from the Baidya party and the CPN-UML into the UCPN (Maoist) fold. CPN-Maoist Politburo member Hari Bhakta Kandel said Dahal is talking about party unification “just to be in the good books of foreign power centres.” nnnn BIGGEST ARMS BUST IN VALLEY Kathmandu, 22 May: In one of the most unexpected, shocking police seizures of the recent times, a large amount of high-end bullets and ammunition, used in automatic SLR guns and modern pistols, have been recovered from Goldhunga VDC-7, Kathmandu, The Kathmandu Post reports.. According to DSP Surendra Mainali of the Metropolitan Police Crime Investigation Division (MPCID), this is the first time that police have seized ammunition in such a big amount inside the Capital. A team deployed from the MPCID, on a tip-off, recovered the “fresh-looking” ammunition hidden under piles of animal dung in a farm to the south of Prithivi Narayan School. Among the 13 different types of ammunition are 48 bullets used in SLR guns, 18 in 3 knot 3 rifles and 9 each in 9mm pistols and 0.22 mm rifles. Similarly, police also recovered 43 bullets and two magazines used in 0.22 magnum, 128 bullets and two magazines used in 7.62 Chinese pistols (54), 3 in 0.22 hornets, 44 in 7.62 Chinese pistols (77) and eight bullet shells of 7.62 Chinese pistols (54) and (77). “The arms were supposedly about to be brought to Kathmandu,” Mainali said. “Had it been brought to the city, it would have been a big threat to the overall security situation. Principally, it is a life per bullet. Mathematically, this could have been devastating.” However, according to police officials investigating the case, there could have been another possibility too. There are equal chances that the bullets had been hidden there during the armed insurgency, DSP Mainali said. “The bullets were safely stored inside plastic boxes,” he said. “However, the boxes seem very old and are wearied by mud and dung.” “We are investigating how the ammos reached there and who they actually belonged to,” said MPCID chief SSP Bijay Lal Kayastha. “It is very important to find the source and the destination of these ammunition.” nnnn PARTY POSITIONING FOR ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 22 May: KATHMANDU: Rather than addressing the contentious issues the party leaders are busy addressing gatherings and making tall claims. Leaders of major political forces, who should be sitting for talks and iron out their differences before announcing the poll date, are reiterating their stances at public forums. They appear in no mood to settle the contentious issues – threshold for constituent assembly seat under proportional representation system, strength of the CA, eligibility criteria for CA candidates and formation of constituency delimitation commission – through negotiations, The Himalayan Times reports.. Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, while addressing a programme at the UCPN-M headquarters today, said the CA polls will be held by November at any cost. “Since all the people want election, nobody can stop it,” he said. He claimed that the government would announce the poll date soon and the parties should work together to ensure elections. Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala told journalists in Pokhara, “I will advise chairman of the interim election government to step down as Supreme Court chief justice if it helps to create an atmosphere for polls in November.” He said his party would not budge from its stance on one per cent threshold for CA seat under PR system, 491-member CA and barring convicted persons from contesting CA polls. CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal told THT: “The parties should sit for rigorous negotiations to settle the issue by relinquishing their individual interests for the sake of nation’s well being. The consensus is not far if all show strong commitment for polls.” United Democratic Madhesi Front leader Mahantha Thakur told THT: “If the four forces cannot settle contentious issues they should leave it to the government to decide on them.” CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhya said at a programme in the capital that his party was holding informal meetings with the government and the four parties but would not take part in the election unless their demands were met. “We have been holding talks with the government and the four parties informally and will not sit for formal talks unless our conditions were fulfilled.” CPN-M has been leading a 33-party alliance protest demanding that the Regmi-led government should step down and an all-sector round-table conference be organised to form an election government under the leadership of the parties. nnnn AMID WIDESPREAD RIGGING, DOUBTS SUBSIST OF STUDENT UNION ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 22 May: Student unions affiliated to various political parties in Jhapa are sceptical about holding the Free Student Union (FSU) election slated for June 6., The Himalayan Times reports from Damak, Jhapa. Stating that some student unions had announced agitation programmes to foil the election, student union representatives aligned to major political parties in Jhapa today urged the government to create a conducive environment for holding the FSU election on the said date. Though the poll date is drawing close, student unions have not started any preparations — no wall painting, publication of pamphlets and brochures, and interaction with students’ representatives. CPN -UML affiliated All Nepal National Free Students’ Union (ANNFSU) Jhapa district President Deshbandhu Dhungel said student unions with weak hold in the district were carrying out activities to foil the election. UCPN-Maoist-aligned All Nepal National Independent Student’s Union Revolutionary (ANNISU - R) district Secretary Kumar Khatiwada said his union was busy preparing for the FSU poll and urged other student unions to do the same. Meanwhile, Limbuwan Federal Students’ Union, along with other student unions aligned to different political parties in nine Limbuwan eastern districts have announced protest programmes demanding a fully proportional electoral system. Jental Lawati, executive committee President, Limbuwan Federal Students’ Union, said they would padlock all campuses in the nine districts from tomorrow and organise a general strike in all nine districts on May 30 and June 6. NC-aligned Nepal Student Union (NSU) Jhapa district member Roshan Bista said anti-election activities have cast doubt on the chances of election being held. Bista said a successful FSU poll would pave the way for the new Constituent Assembly election. The RPP-aligned student union, Jhapa coordinator Kiran Bhandari said his union favoured forming unanimous executive panels in campuses. nnnn


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