Nepal Today

Thursday, August 8, 2013



Kathmandu, 9 Aug.; Tarun Dal, student wing of NC, closed down cCowan Friday as well.
They cotonued their violent demand demanding release of two activists arrested an charged for assaulting an Indian citizen in the district Tuesday.

Kathmandu, 9 Aug.: A 12-year-old girl has been gang rape d by two people from the neighbourhood at Bhaluhiya VDC in Rautahat district, RSS reports from Rautahat..
Bachcha Mahato and Ram Babu Tiwari abducted the girl from her house, took her some 300 metres away into the field and raped her, police quoted the victim as saying. The incident took place on Thursday night.
Police rescued the girl only at about 5 Friday morning. She has bruises all over the body and has been admitted to the District Hospital, Gaur. Police have arrested the 25-year-old Mahato who was involved in the rape incident while Tiwari is at large. RSS


Kathmandu,  9 Aug.: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has extended best wishes to all Nepali Muslim brothers and sisters on the occasion of the great festival of Muslim community of Eid (Eid-al-Fitr), RSS reports..

In his message, the President has also wished that may this Eid-al-Fitr inspire us all to enhance mutual solidarity, goodwill, cooperation and fraternity by preserving and promoting all festivals, languages, culture and traditions active in the country.

Likewise, Chairman of the Interim Election Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi has extended best wishes to all Muslim sisters and brothers on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

In his message, Chairman Regmi has stated that social goodwill, coordination and robust unity is today´s need to institutionalize Nepal´s cultural diversity for eternal period.

He said that our cultural relation and Nepali unity is important for happiness, peace and prosperity, and equally important for maintaining stable political system.

Chairman Regmi has stated that making the November 19 CA elections a success is main goal of the hour to draft an inclusive constitution to ensure rights of all classes, communities, religions and regions.

Similarly, Vice-President Parmanand Jha has extended best wishes on the occasion of Eid (EId al-Fitr). In a message today, Vice-president Jha has expressed confidence that the festival would help enhance mutual goodwill, tolerance and fraternity among Nepalis.

Likewise, leaders of different political parties and organizations have also extended wishes to all Muslims brothers and sisters living at home and abroad.

In their messages, the leaders have wished for unity, love, good will and fraternity among all communities and castes.

Those leaders expressing wishes include Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic) Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa and others.

Kathmandu, 9 Aug.: The government’s decision to lift the ban on the sale and distribution of poultry products in the face of an uncontrolled bird flu outbreak across the country smacks of a serious public health offence that is in breach of national laws and international treaty obligations, Kamal Raj Sigdel writes in The KathmanduPost..
The government cited two reasons for its decision—’heavy loss’ suffered by the poultry sector, and ‘successful intervention’ to bring the situation under control.
While the first reason is outrageously insincere and inhuman from the public health perspective, the second one has been rendered false with the country confirming eight more outbreaks the very day (Thursday) the ban ended.
Experts and rights defenders say the government’s ad-hoc decision taken without the backing of any scientific research not only risks the domestic public health, but also puts the country in bad light in the international arena, which could have ramifications on the tourism sector.
Besides these health and economic risks, Nepal has an obligation under international law—UN Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights—to ensure that food for public consumption is safe and “free from adverse substances.” Nepal is a party to the Convention since 1991.
The phrase “free from adverse substances,” as explained in the Convention’s General Comments, sets requirements for “a range of protective measures by both public and private means to prevent contamination of foodstuffs through adulteration and/or through bad environmental hygiene or inappropriate handling at different stages throughout the food chain.”
The duties of member states thus extend to taking adequate measures to control an epidemic like bird flu to ensure the safety of food.
While these obligations show that the state is at fault, the poultry lobby group has a different reading. From the perspective of the loss-bearing poultry sector, it is logical to lobby with the government to keep their business going. Poultry farmers have claimed that “a few outbreaks cannot justify a blanket ban on the entire industry.” However, what has been ignored is whether it is a risk worth taking, given the very weak and ineffective mechanism for ensuring food quality.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says that the government is at fault.
“If the government is worried about covering the loss in the poultry sector, it should compensate them,” says NHRC Commissioner Gauri Pradhan.
The government seems to have put business interests above public health, says advocate and rights defender Mandira Sharma. “It is sheer negligence on the part of the government.”
Consumer rights activists have called for prompt investigations to guarantee that the move to lift the ban is safe.
“An investigation by experts, and not the poultry lobby should decide on lifting the ban,” says Pradhan, adding that the government decision comes despite that fact that it is well aware of the risks involved.
Eight more farms infected
As many as 25,000 chickens in eight poultry farms in Kathmandu Valley were found to be infected with the H5N1 virus on Thursday.
The ‘rapid response team’ failed to slaughter the chickens, despite an entire day’s effort. Officials said the fresh outbreak farms belong to Suryalal Herju of Chittapol 1, Pushkar Khatri of Tathali 4, Serial Acharya of Jhaukhel-7, Hari Krishna Awal of Chittapol 1, Surya Thapa of Sipadol 8, Sivaram Sulu, Ram Hari Suwal and Daya Ram Dhukuju of Jhaukhel 8.
A total of 52 bird flu outbreaks—32 in Bhaktapur, 17 in Kathmandu, three in Lalitpur—have been confirmed ever since the first outbreak was found in Chabahil and Matatirtha on July 16.
Deputy director general of the department of livestock services, Ram Kumar Khatiwada, said they are working closely with health officials to make sure that no humans are infected with the virus.
He said that although the outbreak in Kathmandu Valley has taken epidemic proportions, they were successful in controlling the spread of the virus to other parts of the country during the week-long poultry ban in Kathmandu.
He said no farmer can bring chickens to the market until government officials confirm that they are healthy. “Our teams will be visiting all poultry farms in the Kathmandu valley and testing the chickens,” Khatiwada said. Public health experts have been saying that the government’s “negligence” could lead to serious public health crisis in the country.
“Our surveillance mechanism is weak and despite the government’s assurances, it is hard to say if the meat the public is consuming is healthy,” said Dr Sarad Onta, a public health expert.
Meanwhile, Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights-Nepal said the government is more focused on appeasing business persons rather than being concerned about public health. In a statement, the forum urged all agencies concerned, including the Ministry of Health and Population, the Home Ministry and the National Human Rights Commission, to play an active role in stopping infected chickens from being sold in the markets.


Kathmandu, 9 Aug.: The Constituency Delimitation Commission (CDC) has proposed one population threshold—112,000—for the entire three ecological belts—hill, Madhes and mountain, Pranab Kharel writes  in The Kathmandu Post..
Two days before the expiry of its extended deadline, the CDC submitted a report to the government on Thursday.
The proposal is a change from the last CDC report, which had said that the population threshold for the Madhes would be 94,342 and that for hills and mountains would be 102,040.
In its report, the CDC has retained the 240 constituencies—116 in the Madhes and 124 in the hills and mountains. However, it has discussed adjusting the seats as per the population in at least 40 districts, including Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavre, Nuwakot, Gorkha, Baglung, Palpa, Dhankuta, Gulmi, Parbat, Taplejung, Sunsari, Sarlahi, Kailali, Parsa and Rupandehi. CDC members refused to give details, saying that this might “have political implications.” The report states that even though one threshold has been proposed for the three belts, the geography would also be considered as the basis for delimiting constituencies in case of districts like Manang, which has a population below the threshold.
In its 135-page report, which is yet to be made public, the CDC has made suggestions on re-delineating the constituencies. It has suggested formulation of the CDC Act, which will make the commission’s work easy, as amending the constitution is always not feasible. Other suggestions include doing away with the provision of constituency delimitation after every census. The report also calls for restructuring of local-level structures such as districts as they were formed more than four decades ago.
On the number of constituencies, the report has not made any significant changes. A host of factors, including constitutional ambiguities, are said to be behind this stance.
While Article 63 (3A) of the Interim Constitution states that the percentage of population increase should be the basis for delimiting constituencies in the Madhes, population growth should be the factor for determining them in the hills and mountains. Article 154 (8) , meanwhile, prohibits reducing the number of seats from the original 205. Constitutionally, only 35 constituencies that were added in the 25 districts in 2007 can be re-worked on.
Competing political demands also hindered the commission’s functioning. While Madhes-centric parties demanded increasing the number of constituencies in line with the 2011 census report, the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML were against the idea. The UCPN (Maoist) had adopted a “neutral” stance on the matter. The CDC was formed as per a Supreme Court order in April. The government formed a five-member CDC led by former Justice Tahir Ali Ansari on June 13.



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