Nepal Today

Monday, June 17, 2013

PRESIDENT UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT TOKYO UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL Kathmandu, 18 June: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav will be undergoing treatment at Tokyo University Hospital, Nagarik reports. He arrived in the Japanese capital Monday. The head of state has large intestine problem. Government on recommendation of medical decided to sent the president to Tokyo for further investigation. Nnnn . CAPITAL TEMPERATURE ON RAINY TUESDAY 18 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 18 June: Tuesday morning temperature at seven in the capital was 18 degrees Celsius. Temperature on a rainy day is expected to29 degrees Celsius. Altogether 22mm rainfall was recorded in the city Monday. Nnnn FLOOD IN BAITADI BIGGEST IN 30 YEARS Kathmandu, 17 June: The Mahakali River, swollen after three days of incessant rains, swept away two persons and 50 buildings including public homes and government in Darchula district headquarters Khalanga on Monday, Gokarna Dayal writes in The Rising Nepal from Bairadi.. The raging Mahakali swept away 38-year old woman Saraswoti Raikhola of Dhap VDC-5 of the district Sunday night and 40-year old Nandan Thagunna of Chandani VDC-6 of Kanchnapur district. Saraswoti was swept away by the river when she went to the river bank near her house to have a view of the flooded river. Search for the missing people is underway, the Darchula district police office said. According to Nepal Army’s Directorate of Public Relations, rescue operation in Khalanga stepped up with deployment of 81 Nepal Army personnel and 61 Nepal Police personnel. The rescue teams are busy in shifting properties and people stranded in the areas to safer places, said the DPR. The river swept away houses of Dalit community and caused severe damage to the buildings of District Police Office and District Health Office. According to Nepal Army, 12 houses lying near the river bank, nine huts and the postmortem room of the district health office were also damaged by the flood. Nepal Army has kept a helicopter stand-by for possible emergency situation. Due to adverse weather, search and rescue teams are facing difficulty to reach the affected area. The army said that some patients in the District Hospital were shifted to safer places, said DPR. Kalagandh Hydropower Plant located at Bramhadev VDC and roads were also damaged by the flood. Local people have blamed that Darchula region faced flooding problem as the Indian government started road construction works from Dharchula to Kalapani. Two suspension bridges were swept away by the river at Uku and Dantu VDCs of the district. All transport services have come to a halt. Superintendent of Police Kuber Kathayat said that upper regions from the Darchula district headquarters were affected by a number of landslides blocking the roads. A bridge linking Dharchula of India was swept away by the flood. Likewise, villagers of Sittad VDC in Baitadi district were living in terrorized condition due to possibility of landslides. According to locals, houses lying on river banks from Bagabagad to Galfai were in peril due to the flood. Villagers have said that this is the biggest flood in the river they have seen in the past 30 years. Because of incessant rains in hilly districts, the water level in the river has suddenly risen in Kanchanpur. Similarly, the water level in the river was recorded at 400,000 cusec on Monday evening, up from 139,000 cusec measured Monday morning at 6:00 am. Meanwhile, twenty-three local people, who were stranded in an island in the middle of the Mahakali River were rescued Monday after 18 hours. They had gone there to colleclt pebbles and sands before the floods arrived. Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force personnel rescued them by using air-filled tubes, said DSP Birkha Bahadur Rawal. nnnn BIG FOUR REOPEN SETTLED ISSUE OF SYRENGTH OF CA Kathmandu, 18 June : The major political parties represented in the High Level Political Committee (HLPC) are mulling an increase in the number of Constituent Assembly (CA) seats under the proportional electoral system to appease the various agitating parties, Kosh Raj Koirala writes in Republica.. The UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) held discussions about increasing the CA size to 586 seats as against the 491 seats agreed earlier so that the demands of parties agitating in the streets to press for more seats under the proportional system could be met and they could be persuaded to participate in the election. Though Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have stood against the joint proposal of the Maoists and the UDMF, arguing that this will unnecessarily inflate the size of the new CA, the two parties have said that they can entertain the proposal only after holding talks with the agitating parties, said a senior leader involved in inter-party negotiations. Maoist Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai had formally proposed at the HLPC meeting that all the parties should be ready even to increase the number of CA seats under the proportional system if that will bring the agitating parties into the election process. Earlier, the four major parties represented in the HLPC had agreed to have 240 seats under First Past the Post (FPTP) and 240 under the proportional electoral system, with 11 seats to be nominated by the cabinet. But as the agitating parties, mainly the Federal Democratic Forum that includes the Upendra Yadav-led Madhesi People"s Rights Forum-Nepal and the Ashok Rai-led Federal Socialist Party (FSP), are demanding the same ratio between FPTP and the proportional electoral system as in the erstwhile CA, the parties are mulling an increase in seats under the proportional system. The erstwhile 601-member CA had nearly 58 percent seats allocated under the proportional system and 42 percent seats under FPTP. UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said they held discussions on various ways to appease the agitating parties. ´We proposed to increase the seats under the proportional system if that would bring the agitating parties into the election. But NC and the UML have maintained that it is too early to go for that,´ he said. Shrestha said the first HLPC meeting held under UDMF coordinator Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar on Monday decided to start talks with agitating parties to create a conducive environment for polls. The parties have decided to hold informal talks of their own with the agitating parties to learn about their concerns. The HLPC meeting also assessed the protests that the agitating parties including CPN-Maoist have launched against the election, bearing in mind the general shutdown called on Sunday. ´The HLPC meeting has decided to try its best to bring the agitating parties into elections through negotiations. There has been an understanding to go for polls even if the CPN-Maoist does not join the election proces,´ said a leader present at the meeting. The meeting concluded that the Federal Democratic Forum and the Ashok Rai-led Federal Socialist Party would eventually choose to take part in the election if their demands are addressed. The HLPC meeting, while welcoming the government"s decision to announce a poll date, expressed commitment to holding the election within the stipulated date of November 19. The meeting appealed to all political parties including those out in the streets to participate in the election process and shun strikes and protest activities that could vitiate the election environment. The HLPC meeting also wished a speedy recovery for President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, who left for Japan Monday afternoon for medical treatment. The next HLPC meeting is scheduled for June 28 Nnnn MERGERS, ALLIANCES IN TERAI FOR ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 18 June: At a time when major parties including UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have already geared up their election campaigns, various Madhes-based parties that have welcomed the government announcement of CA election date have yet to start their campaigns, jIvesh Jha writes in Republica.. The constituent parties of the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) as well as other Madhesi parties have failed to kick-start the campaign as each of these parties are working for either merger or forging alliance largely due to poor organizational strength. The parties are afraid to go to the people as most of them have largely lost their credibility for their failure to do anything specific for Madhesi people even as they remained in power most of the time in the post-April 2008 era, analysts say. Political analyst C K Lal said Madheshi parties appear to be deferring the election campaign as they are currently busy dealing with their internal problems. “They are unable to manage their party organizations, cadres and resources for CA poll,” said Lal arguing that these parties are doing homework for forging alliances. Lal argued that Madhesi parties are unlikely to gear up election campaign until they work out an election alliance or there are unifications among parties. “I see the possibility of two different alliances, one led by Upendra Yadav and other by Mahantha Thakur,” he said. Though Madhesi parties are yet to begin their election campaign, analysts believe that all Madheshi parties including those taking to the streets now would eventually decide to participate in the CA election slated for November 19. “Madheshi parties are using social media as a tool to stir up popular sentiments. They are working for forging alliances and effecting unifications,” said another political analyst Chandra Kishore while denying suggestions that Madhesi parties are yet to start election preparations. Kishore claimed that Upendra Yadav-led Federal Democratic Alliance (FDA) will take part in the election even as it has taken to the streets to press its certain demands. “Madheshi parties have sent their cadres to magnetize people toward their parties. But it is true that they have yet to start election campaign in full swing,” he added. However, leaders of the Madhes-based parties do not agree that they have not started election campaign. “Our election campaign is little different from that of others. We are doing social work, expanding party"s organizational base and welcoming leaders from other parties to our parties,” said central member of Nepal Sadbhawana Party Rajeev Jha. Jha said he had taken initiatives to build five community hospitals in his constituency of Dhanusha. “Since I am involved in various social service works, I am sure to win the elections,” he said. TMDP Vice-chairman Brishesh Chandra Lal said his party is actively preparing for CA poll. “We are providing training to our cadres at local levels, and organizing party functions at district level to make the people aware about our agenda,” Lal said. Analysts say Tarai-Madhes has yet to catch the election fever as some of the Madhes-based parties want their demands met by the government before they could start the campaign. “We are not for boycotting the CA poll. But our demands must be addressed before the elections,” said Madheshi People"s Right Forum-Nepal Secretary Ratneshwar Lal Kayastha. Nnnn COFFEE PRODUCTION TO JUMP Kathmandu, June 17: Coffee production in Nepal will witness a whooping growth of around 1500 metric tones (green beans coffee) annually by 2018, Yogesh Pokhrel writes in The Rising Nepal. . The five-year Strategic Plan prepared by the Central Coffee Cooperatives Union Limited (CCCUL) aimed at increasing the coffee production in line with the increasing demand of Nepali coffee both in home and abroad by exploiting the potential of coffee production in the country. Due to favourable climatic condition coffee can be grown commercially in as much as 30 hilly districts of Nepal. The CCCUL is the central level apex body of coffee producers’ cooperatives functioning across the country. Currently, around 400 metric tones green beans are produced annually in Nepal. However, the demand for Nepali coffee is said to have increased to over 4,000 metric tones annually. For this, the CCCUL has proposed to expand the coffee producing area as well as the productivity of the land involving more and more people in commercial coffee farming. Talking to The Rising Nepal, Govinda Barakoti, chairman of the CCCUL, said that they have envisioned increasing the annual production of coffee to at least 1500 metric tones. Stating that there was a huge potential of expanding the coffee producing areas in the country and there was high demand of Nepali coffee both at national and international markets, he said that the CCCUL would work to increase the production so as to upgrade the livelihood of the farmers by bringing foreign currency to Nepal. “Presently, the coffee is commercially produced in around 16 districts. The hilly range of Nepal spread from east to west at the altitude of 800-1600 metres is suitable area for coffee production,” he said adding that the CCCUL would work to expand the coffee production area. He added that as the youths were migrating abroad searching for jobs and there was no one to work in the villages, coffee could be a vital means to bring them back to villages. “Coffee needs quite less care and investment compared to other crops. However, the return it gives is much higher,” he said asking the government and non government organizations to extend their support in its endevour. The CCCUL would form at least 300 coffee producing cooperatives in 30 hilly districts and provide necessary technical, financial, educational and other supports to them. Nnnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “Because of the lack cooperation between the security agencies we feel nervous about the safety of our party leaders during mass gatherings or when they are visiting some place outside the Valley,” (NC leader Gagan Thapa in Republica on security for party leaders, Republica, 18 June) nnnn


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