Nepal Today

Monday, August 19, 2013



Kathmandu, 20 Aug.: Former Crown Princess Himani Shah visited
Doleshwor Mahadev Temple in Sipadol, Bhaktapur, Monday.
She offered a special puja at the temple.considered the ‘head’ of Kedarnath temple in India destroyed by devastating floods and landslides this year.
Nitya ouja offered at the temple in India is conducted every day at the
Bhaktapur temple.


Kathmandu, 20 Aug.: Greater air traffic movement, use of heavy-weight aircraft, ageing runway and climatic conditions caused damage to the tarmac of Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) said during a press meet, The Himalayan Times reports..

This is the first time the ministry had called a press conference to divulge details on creation of potholes on the country’s only international airport.

From August 2 -12 four potholes as deep as 5 cm were created on eastern and western side of runway’s central line, said a TIA report.

“A number of factors caused damage to TIA’s runway,” said secretary of the tourism ministry Sushil Ghimire. “Most probable causes may be age of the pavement, increasing aircraft load, problems in sub-surface drainage system and weather.”

According to the project director of TIA Improvement Project Dr Punya Raj Shakya, greater movement of heavy-weight aircraft was also one of the reasons that inflicted damage to the airstrip.

Total movement of wide body aircraft has gone up by 17 per cent since 2008, Dr Shakya said. The maximum take-off weight of wide body aircraft is 212–299 tons. Ministry officials said wide body aircraft have made more than 15,000 flights to TIA as they identified the need for an alternate international airport to support the growing air traffic movement at TIA.

“Upgradation of Gautam Buddha Airport into a regional international airport on time is a must to save the country’s only international airport,” Ghimire said. “Either we have to avoid heavy aircraft landing at TIA or we will have to wait for another international airport to share the air traffic pressure that is growing gradually,” said tourism ministry secretary Ghimire.

Meanwhile, TIA management on August 16 requested airline companies operating flights to Nepal to avoid using heavy aircraft until further notice citing weak condition of the runway. TIA has requested international operators to avoid use of Boeing 777, Airbus 340, and Airbus 330.
Kathmandu, 20 Aug.: The Ministry for Foreign Affairs says defending Col Kumar Lama with private solicitors in the United Kingdom is a costly affair, Lekhnath Pandey writes in The Himalayan Times.

After spending millions of rupees, the government is now all set to get rid of private lawyers, who were hired to defend Lama, and to take legal aid for him. MoFA has already prepared a proposal to this effect, and it will be tabled at a Cabinet meeting soon for approval. Lama was arrested on January 3 in London and was later bailed. Seeking legal aid is a common legal practice, where legal practitioners themselves approach the defendant and provide consultancy services without any bias, for which the UK government pays a nominal fee.

Nepal has so far already received bills worth more than Rs 60 million from London-based law firm Kingsley Napley, which was hired in February to defend the Nepali Army officer.

“The Cabinet, after deciding to seek legal aid for Lama, has already directed the Embassy of Nepal in the UK to do the needful,” said a highly placed source.

Col Lama was in London on Christmas leave from his deployment in the UN mission in South Sudan. He was arrested by UK Police on charge of two counts of human rights crimes he had committed in Nepal in 2005 when the Maoist insurgency was at its peak.

Lama, the first Nepali to be banged up abroad on charge of human rights violation(s), was released on strict bail conditions by the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in London, in March. The final trial is due early next year.

The government had hired Kingsley Napley’s top solicitor Michael Caplan, who had once handled the case of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, to defend Lama. The law firm demanded 430,000 pounds sterling (approx Rs 57 million as per then exchange rate; with the current rate it has reached around Rs 67.55 million) in February.

Foreign Secretary Arjun Bahadur Thapa told THT that a final decision was yet to be taken, but implied that it would be taken soon ‘after following due procedures’.

“Already millions have been spent as consultancy fee,” said a MoFA official.

But questions were already being asked whether the government would, or could, spend money in the same manner if such similar cases/arrests happen in future.

Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK Suresh Chalise confirmed to THT that the government had already paid 120,000 pounds sterling (approx Rs 19 million) to the UK firm and that the rest was yet to be sanctioned.

Stating that Kingsley Napley’s fee was outrageously high, some MoFA officials had suggested to then Baburam Bhattarai-led government to seek legal aid instead of spending such a huge amount of money on private solicitors. But then government had decided to hire private solicitors, saying the ‘gravity and sensitivity of the case’ could not be ignored.

Kathmandu, 20 Aug. - The recently endorsed Regulation of the Central Investigation Bureau of the Nepal Police has brought the CIB's investigative authority directly under the control of the inspector general of police ( IGP ), Ankit
Ahikariwrites in The Kathmandu Post..
According to the regulation endorsed in May this year, the CIB will be looking into "highly sensitive crimes of serious nature" only after getting recommendations from the IGP 's secretariat.
The move is said to be aimed at nurturing the CIB as a special body within the police organisation that does not investigate "routine crimes". CIB spokesperson SP Ishwar Babu Karki said the idea is to make sure the CIB deals with the crimes of serious nature requiring in-depth investigations.
However, countering the argument of officials who think the CIB will get rid of "minor" criminal cases, another group of police officials have charged the headquarters of removing work pressure off CIB's shoulder. According to officials who support the second school of thought, the new regulation will result in lesser number of cases reaching CIB desks, which, in the long run, will make the Bureau a passive investigative body.
After the implementation of the IGP -centric assignment, the CIB cannot take any criminal cases on its own. Neither can other police units write to the CIB directly, requesting for assistance on investigations into any case. Before the regulation endorsement, the CIB had been taking up complicated cases on its own or directly from other police units in the Capital and other districts.
Refuting claims that the IGP 's secretariat manipulated the CIB's new system, SP Karki said the provision is driven by "clean intentions". According to him, the CIB need not have to scratch its head on minor criminal cases now. "The IGP will be assigning us limited but extremely sensitive issues. It is all about preferring quality over quantity."
Another CIB official, requesting anonymity, said the provision might affect the Bureau. "The CIB, a four-year-old investigative body, itself is in the process of evolution," the officer said. "As we are still on the verge of learning how to function as a specific investigative unit of police, we are not yet in a position to segregate cases as more and less sensitive. The CIB has to learn by investigating as many cases as possible."
However, according to SP Karki, nothing will be left for metropolitan police offices in the Capital and units outside Kathmandu Valley if the CIB starts handling almost all cases looking like "sensitive". "Every police unit is an investigative body and all criminal cases are somehow sensitive," he said. "And it is not that we won't be doing anything at all unless being directed by the IGP . We remain alert for every single criminal activities being reported throughout the country. It is just that we will be investigating those cases formally once the headquarters assigns."
The much-awaited regulation was endorsed in May this year. The regulations gave a legal status to the CIB for the first time since its establishment four years ago. Apart from other provisions as mentioned in the document, the CIB, most importantly, was given an authority to have its own custody and register criminal cases at court on its own.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home