Nepal Today

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ADB INVESTMENT IN SKILL TRAINING Kathmandu, 27 June: Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $20 million grant to government for training to develop market-oriented skills.for unemployed and underemployed. The money will be used to improve the quality, relevance and efficiency of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institutes. Skills Development Project will provide basic level training and employment services to 45,000 people, at least 40 per cent of whom will be women and 30 per cent from the excluded groups. Nnnn ELECTION OFFICIALS AND TOP PARTY LEADERS MEET THURSDAY AMID NEW CHARGE EC ENGAED IN POLITICS Kathmandu, 26 June: The High Level Political Committee (HLPC) comprising the top leaders of the four major political forces Wednesday expressed serious concern over the 'political statement' delivered by Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety and the issue of transfer of a secretary at the Election Commission (EC). A meeting of the cross-party mechanism held at its secretariat office in New Baneshwor decided to hold meeting with Chief Commissioner Uprety and other EC officials and inquire on the issues. The HLPC members would also seek information about the poll preparation and latest activities of the EC during the meeting. Informing the journalists about today's meeting, UCPN-Maoist vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said that the HLPC would call on the EC officials on Thursday and discuss the election-related issues in a view of holding the upcoming election on November 19. Shrestha clarified that the HLPC leaders would get information about the latest activities and poll preparations carried out by the EC rather than seeking any clarification over the alleged political statement delivered by the Chief Commissioner and the issue of the secretary transfer. The UCPN-Maoist vice-chair, however, stated that the EC officials should not make speeches outside but talk to the government and the political leaders if they had any problems regarding the poll process. Similarly, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic general secretary Jitendra Dev said that the top leaders of the four major forces would hold discussion with the EC officials over the alleged political statement of the EC chief and the transfer issue including the ongoing election preparation of the EC. Madhesi leader Dev also said that the top leaders would assure the EC officials that the major political parties was ready to cooperate with the constitutional body in order to conduct the CA election on the announced date. The meeting also decided to continue the talks with disgruntled parties including the UCPN-Maoist in order to bring them on board the poll process concluding that the latest talks with some poll-opposing parties including the Ashok Rai-led Federal Socialist Party-Nepal and Upendra Yadav-led Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal was positive and result-oriented. According to CPN-UML leader Raghuji Panta, the meeting took the latest talks of the top leaders with the agitating parties as positive and decided to hold further talks with the dissenting parties for holding the scheduled poll on November 19 in free, fair and meaningful manner. Today's meeting also entrusted the top leaders of the four parties with the responsibility of continuing talks with dissatisfied parties to persuade them to take part in the election process. UML leader Panta added that the four forces of the HLPC were unanimous move ahead by firmly sticking to the 11-point agreement and 25 point presidential decree which led to the formation of the Khil Raj Regmi-led incumbent government. UCPN-Maoist chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala and UML chair Jhala Nath Khanal were also present in the meeting chaired by the HLPC coordinator Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar. nnnn TORTURE HANT BEEN SPECIFIED AS CRIME YET Kathmandu, June 26: Even years after the government signed a UN convention against torture and formulated the required laws, perpetrators in Nepal still go unpunished as torture is not defined a criminal offense, Pragya Lamsal writes in The Rising Nepal. . “It is sad that no law of the country has a regulatory framework which takes the torture as a criminal offense,” said Chairman of National Human Rights Commission Kedarnath Upadhyay at a programme organized by the Commission here. The government signed State Party to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984 and the Article 26 of the 2007 Interim Constitution of Nepal guarantees the right to be free from torture and mandates that torture is punishable by law. However, the state is still unable to bring those committing tortures to book. Upadhyay said that the prisons across the country are turning into torture centers. "The inmates have the rights to live a life free from mistreatment," he said. According to him, psychological scars are usually more devastating than death. The Commission said it has recommended actions against 53 torture related cases to the government out of nearly 1,500 complaints received by the Commission against torture. Out of the total, nearly 500 cases have been probed. Joint secretary at the Home Ministry Ganesh Raj Karki admitted that the government has failed to monitor the condition of prisons across the country because of inadequate means and resources. He informed that the Ministry has directed the police officers to create a torture free environment. “A common effort of all is required to end the practice of torture in jails,” he added. Promotion and Advocacy Division head Surya Bahadur Deusa informed that the Torture Compensation Act, 1996 of the country mandates the payment of compensation as the state's responsibility and not of the perpetrators. He informed that custodial torture has improved over the years but has not ended completely. “Many prisons in the country are in a miserable condition and have inmates beyond its capacity and the woes of the prisoners have been left unaddressed,” he added. Of late the government has started receiving recommendation to provide compensation to the torture victims in a serious way, Deusa said. “The laws of the country against torture only talk about compensation and merely address the need to rehabilitate the victims,” programme director for Center for the Victim of Torture Jamuna Poudel said. Poudel said that the torture related incidents have gone down after the end of the armed conflict period, adding that the trend has not been ended completely. NHRC member Ram Nagina Singh attributed traditional mindset to the rising cases of torture. Armed conflict victim Srijana Singh and Kumar Bhandari said that the conflict survivors are often excluded from society and family. They said that the wounds left by the conflict could never be healed if the woes of torture victims remained unaddressed by the state. nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “We are doing necessary homework for unification with TMDP, “We will forge unite and forge alliance only with like-minded parties, “Who in Nepal is not directed by the Indian embassy?” (MJFL Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachedhar, Republica, 27 June) “The first case of drug abuse was detected in Nepal in 1974 at erstwhile Royal Army Hospital. According to recently prepared report on ‘Hard Drug Users Survey in Nepal-2069, prepared by the Home Ministry in coordination with Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), currently the number of drug abusers in Nepal reached to 91,534 from 46,309 in 2063 B.S. (Report in The Rising Nepal, 27 June) nnnn


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