Nepal Today

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CURFEW EXTENDED IN JUMLA HEADQUARTERS Kathmandu, 12 June: Curfew was extended by district authorities in Jumla headquarters Wednesday. The curfew slapped Tuesday was extended after a hour’s relaxation Wednesday. One NC activist who was injured in clashes was airlifted to the capital and is undergoing treatment at a neurological hospital. Clashes first broke between youths of the two parties Saturday. Nnnn CAPITAL’S MORNING TEMPERATURE 21 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 12 June: Wednesday morning capital temperature was 21 degees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 31 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Tuesday’s rainfall recorded in the capital was 2.6mm. nnnn: INDIAN PM SINGH TELLS DEUBA TO CONSOLIDATE DEMOCRACY Kathmandu, 12 June : Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said that India wants to see multi-party democracy being further strengthened in Nepal. And for this, he said, there should be early constituent assembly polls, Akanshya Shah writes in Republica from New Delhi. . Dr Singh expressed India´s concern about peace and stability in Nepal during his meeting with visiting former prime minister and senior leader of Nepali Congress (NC), Sher Bahadur Deuba, in New Delhi on Tuesday. Quoting PM Singh, Deuba told Republica,“India will help Nepal to further strengthen democracy." During the meeting, which lasted about 35 minutes, PM Singh also lauded the efforts made by the Nepali political parties in the democratic process beginning from the signing of the 12-point agreement. But he urged for an early elections in Nepal. Quoting PM Singh, NC´s senior leader Bimalendra Nidhi, who is accompanying Deuba said, "PM Singh has said Nepal should announce the poll date soon and through the new Constituent Assembly it must move toward peace and prosperity." Lauding the role played by India in Nepal´s peace process since the signing of the 12-point agreement in New Delhi in 2005, Deuba, on his part, has sought logistical support from India for the upcoming polls. He has also requested Indian assistance in five key development projects in Nepal. Deuba sought Indian help in the construction of a bridge on the Mahakali River to connect Mahendranagar with Banbasa, and Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track road, and Indian recognition of quality certification by Nepal of Nepali agricultural products to be exported to India. Lobbying for the western region of Nepal, which is still underdeveloped, Deuba sought Indian assistance in the construction of a suspension bridge from Gojbuda VDC t o Punaravedi and to build an Institute of Technology in the far-western region. The proposal for building this Institute has been on the cards since 2002 and was taken up with the then PM of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. India must help to hold elections by November: Deuba Addressing a gathering of larger research community of New Delhi and media at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on Tuesday, Deuba sought India´s logistical support for holding elections to the Constituent Assembly later this year. He said Nepal is in a crucial phase of democratic transition and the government and the political parties are working hard to ensure that the CA-cum-parliamentary elections are held by November this year. Deuba also sought India´s support "in encouraging the Maoists to adopt peaceful politics for now and forever". Stating that he is confident of the Nepali Congress heading the next government, Deuba also stressed the need for developing "a joint approach" to exploit the huge hydro power potential of the country. He said Nepal has the potential to generate over 100,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity. He said development of water resources for mutual benefit is a key area of priority for him. He noted that it was during his tenure in 1996 that the historic Mahakali treaty and a trade treaty were signed. The former PM said that the joint work on the utilization of water resources would also help in irrigation, flood control and mitigating climate change challenges that the region will be facing in the near future. Deuba said Nepal wants to participate in the exemplary progress of India and creating "synergy between Nepal´s resources and India´s capital, knowledge and technology" would be a good idea to achieve the goals of economic transformation of both the countries. Inviting Indian private sector to invest in Nepal, Deuba said Nepal would work toward improving the investment climate after the elections, learning from India´s economic growth since the end of the licence raj. The other possible sectors for joint work, Deuba said, are tourism, developing new road networks and upgrading the existing ones, and harnessing knowledge economy. Deuba laid stress on the need to develop infrastructure to boost tourism. Deuba dismisses trilateral cooperation During the interaction at ORF, Deuba resisted from speaking about the trilateral cooperation mechanism floated by Chairman of UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal during the latter´s visit to New Delhi in May this year. Responding to a question on what he thought about the cooperation model between India and China, Deuba said, "It is up to him (Dahal) and I don´t need to comment on it." He, however, said that India should help Nepal to develop hydro-projects and encourage Indian investment in Nepal. Asked how his party will perform in the next elections, Deuba said that if there is free and fair election,“NC will emerge as a majority party as it is the only historic party that believes in multi-party democracy." When asked what will NC do to reach out to the marginalized groups, Deuba stressed on reservation approach. He said that the Dalits, Madhesis, tribal groups, youth and other marginalized groups are“disillusioned with the Maoists". He added, "They have all seen through the Maoist propaganda. And now they will support us." Deuba dismissed all chances of revival of constitutional monarchy in Nepal and tried to convince the gathering that the elections for a new CA will be held in November this year. "Monarchy created too much problem for the country. Today there is no support for monarchy," he stated. Nnnn GOVT. FINALIZING POLL ORDINANCE Kathmandu, 12 June: With the four major parties handing over the responsibility of sorting out contentious issues related to election law to the government, the latter has begun internal homework for finalizing the election ordinance forwarded earlier by the Election Commission. The government has started internal homework after the four parties´ decision, said Bimal Gautam, press advisor to the Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi. He, however, said that the government would finalize the election ordinances keeping in view the suggestions of various fringe parties and pressure groups. Many of the dissenting parties, including CPN-Maoist, Upendra Yadav-led Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum Nepal and Ashok Rai-led Federal Socialist Party, have stood against eligibility threshold for seats under proportional representation electoral system. Even the four parties -- CPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) -- had been at loggerheads over the issue and had decided on Monday to hand over the responsibility to the government. Gautam said the government is planning to forward the election-related ordinances to the Office of the President “soon” after taking an appropriate decision. “The government will announce the date for fresh election once election-related ordinances are approved by the president,” he said. Meanwhile, CPN (UML) Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, who is also the coordinator of High Level Political Committee (HLPC), during his meeting with Regmi on Tuesday, has asked the government to finalize the election law and announce date for fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) election. He also informed the government about the decisions taken by the HLPC meeting held on Monday afternoon. He suggested to the government to finalize the election related ordinance in a “balanced manner” as the parties continue to be at odds over contentious issues such as the eligibility threshold. Khanal had said that it would be better to announce the date for election at the earliest as the pressure is mounting from various quarters. He argued that the announcement of election date would help dispel the rumor that major parties are trying to defer election indefinitely. On the occasion, Khanal also apprised Regmi that the major parties had decided to accept the government´s decision on the issue of threshold for seats under proportion representation. “There will be no dispute on threshold. We hope that the government would brings election ordinance in a balanced manner,” he said. nnnn


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