Nepal Today

Monday, August 12, 2013


Kathmandu, 13 Aug.: The condition of Former Prime Minister Marich Man Singh
Shrestha admitted to a New Delhi hospital for treatment of lung cancer has not shown signs of recovery, family said.
He’s being treated at the ICU of Vedant Hospital in the Indian capital.
Singh Shrestha is former speaker of rashtriya panchayat/
He was appointed prime minister in 1985.
Kathmandu, 13 Aug.:: Veterinary doctors today said that use of unauthorised anti-bird flu vaccine imported from abroad could be responsible for bird flu outbreak in the Kathmandu Valley, Shworkazi Khaliju writes in The Himalayan Times from Bhaktapur..

They claimed that evolution of Nepal-grown strain of bird flu virus was an evidence that unauthorised vaccine was behind the spread of H5N1 virus. According to the experts, bird flu virus first seen in chickens was H5N1’s 3.2 Mongolia and H5N1’s 3.1 Chinese species.

However, the latest H5N1 detected in the fowls is purely a virus strain that grew in Nepal,

and it was the result of the use of unauthorised anti-bird flu vaccine, they said.

Dr Sitalkaji Shrestha, General Secretary, Nepal Veterinary Association, said that anti-bird flu vaccine could not be used in Nepal as no such vaccine was registered with the concerned authority. He, however, said that such unauthorised vaccines were being imported. Dr Shrestha said the government had ‘given the consent at policy level’ for vaccine import after poultry entrepreneurs demanded use of it. “But the vaccines have entered Nepal illegally. The government has consented for vaccine import only at the policy level,” Dr Shrestha added.

According to a veterinary doctor, poultry farmers in Chitwan had used such unauthorised vaccines for the first time. He said that vaccines manufactured by Merial, Pfizer and Civa companies usually enter the country. Civa is a French company, whereas Merial and Pfizer are United States-based companies.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Kathmandu today said no US vaccine for avian influenza is being ‘officially imported’ into Nepal.

Dr Prabhakar Pathak, Joint-Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Development, however, expressed ignorance about the import of anti-bird flu vaccine.

According to Dr Shrestha, no new vaccine can be imported into the country unless certain guidelines are formulated about the use of the vaccine.

Tulsiram Dhukhwa, chairman, Bhaktapur Poultry Farmers’ Association, said farmers had concealed vaccines after ‘rumours started doing the rounds that anti-bird flu vaccine was behind the avian flu outbreak’.

“Poultry entrepreneurs are frightened and are not telling the truth for the fear of possible action. They are afraid as anti- bird flu vaccine resulted in the outbreak,” Dhukhwa said, adding that vaccine sellers, even though poulteres bought vaccines from them, would not provide the farmers with the bills as they were unauthorised and were imported illegally.

Dr Sudip Humagain, a veterinarian, said that vaccines can never stop bird flu and added that anti-bird flu vaccines must have been used in Nepal.

“They rather help in spread of bird flu. Had the vaccine been not used, new strain of virus would not have originated,” Dr Humagain added.

‘Jabs for avian influenza banned’

Narayan Prasad Ghimire, Registrar, Nepal Veterinary Council, said on Monday that use of anti-bird flu vaccines is banned in the country as the government has not introduced a policy on imports or use of such shots. “However, we do not have a clear-cut policy regarding actions to be initiated against those who are involved in importing or using such vaccines,” Dr Ghimire said. Dr Ghimire has been appointed spokesperson (for the government) to make public information on bird flu outbreak. He also informed that the government was cautious about legalising circulation of anti-bird flu vaccines in the country as such shots could provide a breeding ground for new strain of vaccine-resistant viruses as seen in other countries.

Kathmandu, 13 Aug.:  The Supreme Court today stayed the government’s
directives to identify the victims of decade-long conflict, stating that the use of terms such as “armed conflict” goes against the Interim Constitution, The Himalayan Times reports..

A division bench of justices Kalyan Shrestha and Baidhyanath Upadhayay issued the order following today’s hearing.

The bench further directed authorities concerned not to implement the directives and maintain the status quo.

“The words used in the Directives, 2013, are against Article 33 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007. They do not represent victims of the conflict in a wider sense,” the order states.

The government had issued the directives on February 12 to identify the families of those, who died or disappeared during the armed conflict, to distribute reparation and compensation.

Meanwhile, members of the victims’ families, including Suman Adhikari, Dev Bahadur Maharjan, Prakash Chandra Shrestha, Man Kumari Ranjitkar and Tikaraj Aran, filed a petition at the Supreme Court against the directives. Stating that the directives increase the chances of ineligible people getting compensation, they sought an apex court order to annul the directives.

The directives contradict with Article 33(P) (Q) and (R) of the Interim Constitution, the petitioners said, adding that they only recognise the victims of political movements and undermine other conflict victims, who also deserve special treatment as per the Interim Constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Accord.


“The act is meant to make all concerned mark the festival in a decent manner and discourage ostentatious activities in the name of festival,
 ”First of all, we will request all to observe the festival without extravagance. If they disobey, we will take action against those at fault.”

(Kathmandu CDO  Basanta Raj Gautam, in The Himalayan Times 13 Aug.)


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