Nepal Today

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Kathmandu, 22 Aug.: UML standing committee meeting continues Thursday for the second dayto discuss mainly election related issues,
The meeting decided Wednesday to push a special election campaign
in Madesh
The party has adopted the campaign slogan 'CPN-UML among voters',
A manifesto.will be drafted after directly interacting with voters.
Kathmandu, 23 Aug.: Thursday morning capital temperature was 19 degrees Celsius.
Afternoon temperature is expected to increase to 27 degrees Celsius.
Rainfall Wednesday was 7.11mm
Kathmandu, 22 Aug.:  The Airlines Operator´s Committee Nepal (AOCN) has highlighted the need to develop a separate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for effective coordination and planning to deal with runway problems at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

The meeting of representatives of international airlines operators in Nepal, specially those operating wide-body aircraft, held here on Wednesday came to a common conclusion that a separate SOP, which will create a standardized system by means of which the airlines can prepare themselves when runway problems emerge, is needed.

“The SOP emphasizing all the aspects for preparation such as flight management, passenger handling, safety enhancement, informing flight crew about the problem, responding to the situation, among others, should be made so that all the airlines can prepare themselves accordingly,” Bharat Kumar Shrestha, chairman of AOCN, said.

Currently, Air Asia, Korean Air, Thai Airways and Dragon Air are operating wide-body aircraft for Nepal flights. Similarly, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and the upcoming Turkish Airlines plan to operate wide-body aircraft from September.

According to officials, any restriction to the operation of wide-body aircraft on Nepal flights will suffer Korean Air the most as it is impossible for it to operate narrow-body for a long flight of eight hours.

“Though we are working on payload reduction to reduce load on the runway, it is not the permanent solution as airlines will have to incur huge loss if they have to deduct the number of passengers, including baggage, cargo weight and fuel weight,” said Shrestha.
Shrestha added that SOP is needed immediately as even the timely information about the problem in the runway can minimize the loss to the airlines as they can find solution to the problem.

At a time when operating cost of airlines has been increasing due to rise in fuel prices and increment in charges of various facilities by CAAN, airlines operators say they will have to bear extra loss due to runway damage as pilot have to be paid for extra flying hours when kept on hold or diverted along with extra fuel consumption.
Shrestha said that AOCN is preparing a report about best possible ways that will not have high impact on wide-body aircraft operators. It will submit the report to CAAN on Friday.

Airlines operators said their respective head offices will decide whether or not to operate flights to Kathmandu should their operating cost increases
Kathmandu, 22 Aug.: Arguing that a roundtable political conference as proposed by various agitating parties would not help resolve the current political stalemate, Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala has urged the agitating 33-party alliance led by CPN-Maoist to be flexible on their demands, Republica reports..

Koirala, who is also the coordinator of the High Level Political Committee (HLPC), said it would be impossible to forge consensus with over 50 political parties and civil society organizations in the roundtable as proposed by the Mohan Baidya-led alliance.

A day before HLPC plans to sit for talks with the Baidya-led alliance, Koirala said, “They [Baidya-led alliance] should be clear about the kind of political conference they want. It is not possible to arrive at consensus with over 50 parties in the roundtable.” Referring to his recent meeting with Baidya, Koirala said Baidya-led alliance has demanded a round table meeting of all the political parties represented in the erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA) and civil society bodies. “What kind of consensus can we expect from such a round table meeting?” Koirala questioned.

Baidya-led alliance, according to Koirala, has demanded an agreement on all contentious issues in the new statute and deferral of the CA polls scheduled for November 19, among other things, for consensus. Koirala was speaking at a function organized by Reporters´ Club Nepal at his residence in Maharajgunj.

Koirala said the demand for agreement on contentious issues in the new statute was simply impractical as the parties are prepared to go for fresh CA polls to resolve the issues. “We have concluded that we shall prepare a draft constitution within six months of the CA polls. But if we fail to resolve contentious issues even within six months after the polls, we shall go for a referendum to settle those issues,” Koirala said.

Arguing that the Election Commission (EC) has already unveiled the calendar of events and election date, Koirala also ruled out any deferral of the CA polls. “The deferral of election will not augur well for the country,” he said.

Koirala also expressed confidence that the Baidya-led alliance would eventually join the November polls. “It will not be in the interest of the country if the dissenting parties launch protests. Other elements may take advantage of this situation. Baidyaji should understand this fact,” he further said.

Asked about the HLPC´s possible move if the Baidya-led alliance decided not to participate in the election process, Koirala said, “I cannot imagine Baidyaji boycotting the elections. Nepali Congress has a bigger responsibility toward the nation. We will make serious efforts to bring them onboard the election process.”

On a separate context, Koirala claimed that NC would get an overwhelming majority in the upcoming CA polls. “The Central Working Committee meeting scheduled for Friday will hold discussions on the party´s plan and policies and election manifesto,” he said adding that NC would go to the election with the main agenda of democracy, peace, stability and development.

Kathmandu, 22 Aug.: Over 250 leaders and activists affiliated to Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which has been spearheading a movement demanding a separate Gorkhaland state, have been arrested over the last three weeks in Darjeeling of India, Benupraj Bhattarai writes in Republica from Ilam..

The demand for Gorkhaland resurfaced after the Indian Union Government formed a new Telangana state separating it from the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Despite GJM´s claim that they have been protesting peacefully, the West Bengal government has been detaining Gorkhaland supporters on the charge of obstructing national highways, picketing government offices, and displaying black flags.

According to sources, Bengal police have registered 382 cases against the arrested protestors.Chairman of Janamukti Karmachari Sangathan Khadga Bikram Subba was arrested in Kalimpong on Tuesday following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee´s warning to take action against civil servants remaining absent from office.

Subba was detained while he was going to participate in a GJM rally and has been charged with preventing civil servants from attending office and showing black flags to the state minister.

According to Binaya Tamang, secretary of the publicity department of GJM, almost half a dozen members of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) have been detained so far.

GTA Sabha members --Kalyan Dewan, Prabha Chhetri, Anit Thapa, Nima Tamang, Mahendra Pradhan and Yogenra Rai -- are among other arrested Gorkhaland activists. “We demand their immediate and unconditional release,” said Tamang.
Police have also arrested several members of Gorkhaland Personal (GLP), formed by GJM, on the charge of wearing fatigues and making the government buildings their cantonment.

Meanwhile, Shubhamaya Chaterjee, one of the members of Darjeeling Municipality who was arrested on the charge of showing a placard saying “we want Gorkhaland´ to Chief Minister Banerjee,” has been sent to 14 days in judicial custody.

“Despite the arrests, our struggle for new statehood will continue,” GMG chief had said the other day. “We will further intensity our movement if our activists are not released immediately,” he had said.


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