Nepal Today

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Kathmandu, 7 Aug.: Election commission officials are holding consultations with security officials Wednesday, the commission said.
Election officials are holding discussions with all four security agencies, including Nepal Army.
An integrated security system is being developed for the November vote
Kathmandu, 7 Aug.: Nepal has brought home six 12th century wood covers from a premier auction house, Christie’s, in the US, Anil Giri writes in The Kathmandu Post..
After some Western historians and scholars found some months ago that Christie’s was set to put up the painted wood covers under the hammer, the Nepal i Embassy in the US and the Nepal i diaspora in that country had requested the auction house to return the artworks to Nepal .
“Christie’s officials took our request seriously and asked the “owner” if the artefacts could be returned to Nepal . The “owner,” who was not identified by Christie’s, agreed to return them,” said Arjun Kanta Mainali, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mainali recently returned to Nepal after serving for more than two years as Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington, and he brought with him the priceless artworks that could fetch up to $150,000 in auction. In Kathmandu, Mainali handed them over to Foreign Secretary Arjun Bahadur Thapa last week.
Officials at the Dep-artment of Archaeology here said they do not know when and how these historic artworks reached the US. One of them is believed to be one of the oldest known painted art objects in Nepal i history.
The six wooden covers are 24 inches long and two inches wide, according to Mainali. They were supposedly carved to cover ancient Hindu manuscripts. “We are planning to hand the paintings over to the Department of Archaeology,” foreign secretary Thapa said.
The Unesco Conven-tion for the protection of cultural property adopted in 1970 makes trade of antiquities illegal, unless accompanied by an official export license. Though Nepal is not a party to it, initiatives in the West backed by strong public opinion, have led to the return of several ancient artefacts belonging to Nepal .

Lathmandu, 7 Aug.: House construction on the encroached land at Bandarjhula of Ayodhyapuri VDC in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) is going on at full throttle, as the government seem least bothered about the reality, Binod Tripathi wriotes in The Kathmandu Post..
After homeless people set up huts in 1993 the area has now turned into a village, around 80km away from the Madi area, which shares border with India. Almost 600 bighas of land has been encroached. People coming from various districts and local residents have constructed more than 550 houses.
Everyday sal trees (Shorea Robusta) are axed for construction purposes. In need of cultivable land for agriculture, the locals are into rampant deforestation. A local social worker, Krishna Adhikari, said that unless the Bandarjhula settlement was relocated, conservation of the forest and change in the quality of life of the people were impossible. “We had taken initiatives to remove the settlement back in 1993, but the political parties with their vested interests turned it into an emotional issue,” said Kamal Jung Kunwar, Chief Conservation Officer of the CNP. He maintained that the park has a nod from the government and the process of relocation would start soon.
A 15km journey through the woods from Madi and adjoining VDCs, Bandarjhula, is home to 3,500 people. Deprived of the basic amenities like electricity, drinking water supply, telephone and health posts, the locals do not even have a secondary level school. Thori Bazaar, Parsa, is their nearest shopping destination for daily essentials. “The best option to ensure a better living condition for them would be relocation,” said Ayodhyapuri VDC Secretary Devraj Poudel.


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