Nepal Today

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Kathmandu, 25 July: NC President Sushil Koirala Wednesday said
former King Gyanendra has a right like any citizen to conduct visits..
The comment came one day after Maoist leader and former
Prime Minister Babhuran Bhattaraau Tuesday called for the arrest of the
former for :’politicking’ while distributing relief to flood and landslide
of three far-West dustricts
“Gyanendra now is an ordinary citizen like us. He’s a citizen. He has a
right to conduct visits like any of us.
“This is nothing new—the activity or otherwise of a person,
” the NC chief told Gorkhapatra.
nnnn ..
Kathmandu, 25 July: Citing constitutional provisions, Chairman of Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi has told the Supreme Court that he will not resign from the post of chief justice, Pranab Kharel writes in The Kathmandu Post..
Furnishing a written reply to the court on July 18, Regmi argued that the presidential order to remove constitutional difficulties made new provisions in the constitution, which states that the government would be headed by a sitting chief justice. “If I resign from the post of chief justice, I will no longer remain as the Cabinet chairman, which in turn could lead to new constitutional complexities,” read the reply.
Regmi also clarified that the executive role he took up will not hamper the principle of separation of power as the constitution envisages defined roles for all the state organs. The chief justice, until discharging the duty of the executive, will remain completely dissociated from judicial tasks, which will ensure judicial independence, he said. Regmi also argued that petitioner Bharat Jungum has failed to clarify how he had violated the code of conduct meant for judges.
Chairman Regmi also cites international experiences of Greece, Canada and Ghana, among others, arguing that sitting chief justices have assumed executive roles. The apex court last month had asked Regmi to explain why he was holding the dual positions as head of the executive and the judiciary.
The SC bench was responding to a petition filed by Jungum, demanding Regmi’s resignation as the chief justice. Jungum had moved the court on May 27, arguing that Regmi holding the two positions is against the principle of separation of powers.
Jungum argued that Regmi, who is also the chief justice, did not even consider the fact before taking up the executive post that a petition challenging his possible appointment remains sub judice. He took the oath of office the same day a hearing was scheduled.
However, on March 18, an apex court ruling ordered that Regmi be known only as the chairman of the Interim Election Government as long as he remains at the government helm.
Jungum maintained that Regmi failed to keep his own word as a statement published by the court administration on his behalf on February 25 clarified that they would take into consideration the ‘judicial decision’ before they take any step.
He also stated that Regmi failed to uphold the constitutional provision. As per Article 106 (1) of the Interim Constitution, a chief justice or justice of the apex court cannot be engaged or deputed to any other assignment except that of a judge. Towards this, Regmi argued that there is no constitutional hurdle following the removal of constitutional difficulties and that Article 106 (1) cannot be evoked.
Kathmandu, 25 July: The European Commission (EC) will wait for the
results of an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
before completing its assessment of the safety situation in Nepal as blacklisting of Nepali airlines looms large amid a high number of accidents in the country, Sangam Prasain writes in The Kathmandu Post..
In a report published last week, the EC said that if the results of the ICAO audit or any other relevant safety information indicate that air safety risks in Nepal are not adequately contained, the commission would be forced to take action against Nepal in accordance with regulation (EC) No 2111/2005.
This means that Nepali air carriers will be subject to an operating ban within the EU and that air passengers will be informed about the airlines in which they could travel in Nepal.
The results of an ICAO audit in May 2009 found Nepal not to be in effective compliance with a majority of international safety standards.
The audit showed that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) was not capable of ensuring effective implementation of international safety standards.
It had pointed out weakness in the areas of air operations, airworthiness and accident investigation, primary aviation legislation and civil aviation regulations, civil aviation organisation and personnel licensing and training.
CAAN had invited ICAO’s coordination and validation mission to Nepal this July to validate the corrective measures Nepal has adopted to address and resolve deficiencies the ICAO had pointed out in 2009. The mission carried out an on-site audit from July 10-16.
“Right now, we cannot assess our outcome unless the audit report is published,” said Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, director general of CAAN.  “However, Nepal has made good progress on ensuring air safety so far.” According to him, ICAO’s report on Nepal’s aviation safety status will be published on August 3.
The commission in its report said that five fatal accidents involving a number of EU citizens have occurred in Nepal involving Nepal registered aircraft over a period of two years (August 2010 - September 2012). In addition, there were three more accidents in 2013.
According to the report, consultations with CAAN started in October 2012 on the basis of safety-related deficiencies identified by the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) audit in May 2009 and the high number of fatal accidents over a short period.
It said the commission received documentation of the oversight activities planned and carried out by CAAN for the years 2012 and 2013.
“The examination of this documentation indicated that there remained some safety deficiencies, and that the oversight activities seemed to be insufficient with regard to controlling the identified safety risks,” the report said.
The commission, assisted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), held technical consultations with CAAN in Brussels on 30 May 2013.
During these consultations, CAAN explained the situation in detail and provided information related to the control of safety risks.
The explanations provided by Nepal indicated that the oversight activities were more complete than revealed in the preceding documentation sent by Nepal.
CAAN also provided information on the follow-up of recommendations from accident investigation reports and several safety initiatives.
“The information provided by CAAN at the meeting will be verified by a further documentation review,” the report said.
Sita Air also participated in the technical consultation where it provided information on its safety related activities and interaction with CAAN.  Sita Air suffered a fatal accident in September 2012 and explained the “lessons learned” from this accident, the commission said in the report.
It added that several challenges remained for CAAN and the aviation industry of Nepal, including factors such as recruiting and keeping sufficient and competent staff at CAAN.



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