Nepal Today

Sunday, June 16, 2013

SUSHIL KOIRALA VISITING THREE CENTRALTERAI DISTRCTS MONDAY Kathmandu, 17 June: NC Preesident Sushil Koirala leaves for three districts to attend party programmes. He’s visiting Dhanusha, Mohottari and Siraha as the party has asked workers and collect support for the 19 November elections. nnnn. FORMER FINANCE MINISTERS TO ADVISE GOVT. ON BUDGET Kathmandu, 17 June; A body with former finance ministers from different Parties has been formed to advise Finance Minister Shanker Koirala on the budget for the next fiscal year 2013/14. The fiscal year begins mid-July. The formation of the body of former finance ministers is another party attempt of the Big Three to keep government under its grip and impose party priorities. The finance ministry has been run by Maoists, NC and UML. Without parliament, for the first time in three years a complete can be presented. Partial piecemeal; budgets had to be presented by successive governments amid differences between main parties UCPB Maoist, NC and UML. One year, Maoists even snatched a budget while it was being presented by Finance Minister Shanker Pandey of UML, Chief Advisot Chiranjivi Nepal has revealed parties are putting pressure on Finance Minister Shanker Prasad Koirala not to increase salary of civil servants for the first time in three years.. Koirala has already indicated officials will get a salary hike. Parties fear the government of retired top bureaucrats will reap benefit by announcing salary hike. A government of parties would want to announce any salary hike of civil servants. nnnn CAPITAL MODAY MORNING TEMPERATURE 22 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 16 June: Capital’s Monday morning temperature at seven was 22 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 20 degrees in the afternoon. nnnn GOVT. FILLING VACANCIES IN CONSTITUTIONAL BODIES Kathmandu, 17 June: : With the announcement of the date for fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections on Thursday, the government has now started preparation to appoint ambassadors in the long-vacant positions in the Nepali missions abroad and give full shape to the constitutional bodies, Kosh Raj Koirala writes in Republica.. Sources familiar with the development said the government is preparing to make the much-awaited appointments before the Election Commission (EC) enforces election code of conduct 120 days prior to the election scheduled for November 19. “The appointments will be made soon,” said a highly-placed source. “The government is doing the homework in this regard quietly.” Minister for Foreign Affairs Madhav Ghimire on Sunday directed the taskforce formed last month to set the criteria for appointments of ambassadors at the earliest. The government will make appointments of envoys once the taskforce submits its report within the next few days. Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Arjun Bahadur Thapa confirmed the development. “Foreign minister has asked me to submit the report at the earliest,” said Thapa, who heads the taskforce. “We have received suggestions from almost all our missions abroad. As we have already prepared a draft, we will soon submit the final report.” With the term of Nepal´s ambassador to Germany Suresh Pradhan expiring in the third week of July, the number of Nepali missions without ambassadors has reached six. Nepal also needs to name its candidate for SAARC Secretary General within the next one month as it is Nepal´s turn to head the regional body. The government´s move comes in the wake of criticisms from various quarters that the failure of the government to appoint ambassadors in key countries has eroded the country´s image in the international arena. But as some Nepali ambassadors appointed under political quota have been courting serious controversies, Foreign Minister Ghimire had formed a taskforce to set minimum criteria for eligibility for the post . Earlier, the government had put aside the agenda of making the long-awaited appointments, giving high priority to finalizing the election related ordinance and announcing date for the fresh CA election. Currently, Nepali embassies in India, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt and Nepal´s permanent mission to the United Nations in New York are functioning without ambassadors. The government´s failure to appoint ambassadors in key neighboring countries like India even 22 months after the post fell vacant has drawn strong criticism from various quarters. Likewise, Nepal´s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, which is considered crucial in terms of multilateral diplomacy, is also without ambassador after then ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya was appointed as UN Under Secretary for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States in August last year. The government had last appointed a total of 10 ambassadors to various missions abroad in January, 2012 with 50 percent candidates appointed from among career diplomats and 50 percent under the quota for political parties. Foreign Secretary Durga Bhattarai, joint secretaries Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat, Ambika Luitel and Deepak Dhital are among the contenders for the post of ambassadors from among career diplomats. Sources said the government is also making necessary preparations to give full shape to various constitutional bodies, including the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Public Service Commission (PSC) and Office of the Auditor General. Though the parties represented in the High Level Political Committee (HLPC) had earlier agreed to fill all vacant positions including the post of chief election commissioner, they could agree only on the names of head of other constitutional bodies including CIAA, PSC and Office of the Auditor General. Sources said the government is preparing to give full shape to the constitutional bodies in consultation with the major political parties. Earlier, a mandatory constitutional provision of parliamentary hearings before appointments of ambassadors and commssioners in the constitutional bodies had barred the government from taking any decison after the dissolution of parliament in May last year. However, promulgation of a 25-point ordinance that removed the mandatory provison of parliamentary hearing paved the way for the appointments of the members of the constitutional bodies and ambassadors. Nnnn MAOIST CHIEF BETRAYED REVOLUTION SAYS A CLAIM Kathmandu, 17 June:: Sudha Regmi, who spent her prime years in police and army detention in Dang during the insurgency, was at the mass meet held by CPN-Maoist at Baneshwar held after the conclusion of the Nepal banda called by the 42-party alliance led by the party on Sunday, Kiran Pun writes in Republica.. Reviewing the one-year period following the split with UCPN (Maoist), Sudha, who is a CPN-Maoist cadre now, said Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had betrayed the people´s revolution. Meanwhile, CPN-Maoist Secretary Netra Bikram Chand was addressing the gathering. He said the Khil Raj Regmi-led government and the four major parties had invited confrontation by announcing date for fresh Constituent Assembly election and that his party was prepared to retaliate. However, Sudha was not happy with the achievement of the party in the one year after split. “We could have done a lot within a year. Nevertheless, the way ahead for us is clear now,” Regmi told Republica. She claimed that her party had been successful in informing the people about Dahal´s betrayal to the people´s revolution launched about one-and-a-half decades ago. Similarly, CPN-Maoist cadre Dambar Rawal, who was present at the mass meet, claimed that while the UCPN (Maoist) stooped low before foreign forces, CPN-Maoist safeguarded national interests and sovereignty. Justification of split The seed of the party split was sown during the Balaju meeting just after the peace process began. The cadres had raised questions over the “dual character” of the party leadership. Leader Netra Bikram Chand had voiced the dissatisfactions of the cadres and countered the leadership by registering the new political line at the Kharipati plenum, which was led by Mohan Baidya. Baidya´s political line was crystallized during the Palungtar plenum leading to the party split last year. After their general conventions, the two parties are heading in opposite directions. After the Hetauda general convention, the UCPN (Maoist) formally converted into a parliamentary party, while CPN-Maoist adopted the line of people´s revolt. “Firstly, we have proven that our party has become successful in safeguarding the revolutionary spirit after the mother party´s main leadership adopted a revisionist path and surrendered before the foreign forces,” Jhak Bahadur Malla, CPN-Maoist central committee member, told Republica. He also claimed that his party played a key role in thwarting projects like Upper Trishuli 3´A´ and the BIPPA agreement with India and handover of the Tribhuvan International Airport management to India, which were against the interests of the country. UCPN (Maoist) leaders, however, have been blaming Baidya for the party split. They also accused the CPN-Maoist of not having concrete political programs. “All people and party cadres will hail CPN-Maoist if they succeed in justifying the party split. It is not justifiable now to wage another people´s war,” Suk Bahadur Roka Magar, UCPN (Maoist) central committee member told Republica. Cadres switching parties A year after the party split, leaders and cadres have been switching parties. “I think, the process will continue. There are honest leaders and cadres in the UCPN (Maoist) and not all our cadres are honest,” said Regmi. After the party split, leaders including Krishna Dhwaj Khadka and Rekha Sharma returned to the UCPN (Maoist) from the CPN-Maoist. Party unity UPCN (Maoist) leaders have been claiming that there is a possibility of unity between the two parties saying the talks in this regard are on. However, cadres of the CPN-Maoist do not see any possibility of the party unity. “Party unity is possible only if Dahal abandons his revisionist stance and accepts our revolutionary party line,” said Parbati Rawal, a CPN-Maoist cadre. Nnnn


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