Nepal Today

Saturday, December 31, 2011



Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Samyukta Janatantrik Mukti Morcha
Pawan group Saturday handed over some weapons to the government in Birgunj
Follow-up measures will by taken by the terai armed rebel to abandon its open insurrection in the south.
The group and government had been holding talks.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.; Visit Lumbini Year 2012 gets off Sunday
with the new year.
The campaign will promote the birthplace of The Buddha , the
apostle of peace and founder of Buddhism who was born in Nepal.
The campaign follows the conclusion of Visit Nepal Year-2011.
First reports said a campaign to attract one million tourists in
the year wasn’t met although arrivals in the year increased
compared to previous years.
Tourism industry has been recording a boom for two successive
Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Two persons and eight injured Saturday when a bus fell several hundred meters off a road at Deurali in Nuwakot district on Saturday late afternoon.
The bus was going to Deurali in Nuwakot from Balaju in the capital.
Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Vice-chairman of the Unified CPN-Maoist Mohan Baidya has said the option of formation of national consensus government is open and that it could be formed either from within or from outside of the Maoist party on the basis of consensus, RSS reports.

He said they are waiting for the consensual decision of four leaders as the meeting held at Gokarna had entrusted them with the responsibility of building understanding on the consensus government.

Vice-chairperson Baidya termed the incumbent government as the most unsuccessful government ever in history, arguing the party should immediately pull out from the government.

At a face-to-face programme organized by Reporters Club Nepal at his residence in Baniyatar today, leader Baidya said the decisions taken by the Dispute Resolution Subcommittee headed by party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' are against the party line and have been merely taken in the name of forging consensus. So it would not be acceptable to them, he added.

"The making of new constitution is the obligation of the Constituent Assembly (CA) not that of the Subcommittee so the agreements made so far could be reversed in the CA," he asserted, claiming that the decisions made by the chairman-headed subcommittee against the party conclusions would make no sense.

Warning that they would also not accept the word "people's movement" if the phrase "people's war" is not agreeable in the to-be-framed constitution, he further stressed the need to mention all the movements in the statute.

Recalling that a seven-member mechanism of party office-bearers was formed to run the Vice-chairperson Dr. Baburam Bhattarai-led government, he expressed concern for not even consulting once in this connection.

The Congress and UML-led governments did not sign the BIPPA, but why Baburamji [Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai] has to be hasty to do so, Baidya questioned, noting that it made the government the most unsuccessful to this time.

He also made it clear that they are in favour of peace and constitution, adding, "The unilateral peace as advocated by others is not possible, let us first chart out national security policy and frame constitution by concluding the respectful integration of armies."

The immediate strategy is not the people's rebellion as talked in the town, he made it clear, claiming the voice is raised for the movement to address the demands, which have yet to be fulfilled since 2007 BS


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Nepali Congress (NC) Central member Arjun Narsingh KC said his party would respect the Supreme Court (SC) verdict regarding the term of the Constituent AssemblyM RSS reports from Kalaiya.
Speaking at a press meet organised by Nepal Press Union, Kalaiya, today, he said the Nepali people were supreme in the country and that extending the CA term against the public mandate is not fair.

He added that the Nepali people gave mandate to the CA only for two years to write the constitution.

He said political parties will be assured of the Unified CPN-Maoist's activities only when the party remains committed to the implementation of the past agreements.


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel has said his party's policy on peace and constitution would never change, RSS reports from Chitwan.

Speaking in a condolence meeting organised at his residence at Madhavpur in Chitwan on the 13th day of the demise of his mother, leader Paudel said the Nepali Congress was committed to the peace and constitution.

He said the party was working to resolving the dispute in the Nepali Congress Chitwan committee.

Party general secretary Krishna Sitaula expressed the belief that the National Reconciliation Day today would inspire the party to move forward as a unified whole. He pointed out that the party should play an important role in the present situation while the country's politics has taken a serious turn.

Other leaders of the party also expressed their views on the occasion.

Leader Paudel's mother, Rishi Maya Paudel had died at the age of 91.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec,: One person lost his life in a wild elephant attack in Jhapa district on Friday, RSS reports from Bhadrapur.

With this, the death toll by tusker attack reached three in Jhapa district in one month.

According to the District Police Office, Dil Bahadur Magar, 60, of Garamani VDC died on the spot in the elephant trample.

A herd of elephants coming from the nearby forest had attacked five pedestrians, killing one of them.

Other four managed to save their lives by fleeing the rampage.

Friday, December 30, 2011



Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Commerce and supply ministry has recommended exemption of VAT for diesel and gas, Annapurna Post reports.
The proposal was made to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai as a
solution to import of POL products.
This was disclosed Friday by concerned minister Lekh Raj Bhatta.



Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: A special committee for integration, rehabilitation and supervision of Maoists meets Sunday after a long delay, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai
told Radio Nepal Friday.
The premier heads the committee.
Not much headway has been recorded to send home those former fighters in cantonments and satellite camps after the committee’s secretariat recorded preferences of former fighters first estimated at 19,000 plus.
But their numbers were far less.
Opposition parties are demanding the caps be cleared of Maoist fighters while rejecting request for enrolment of more than 6,500 combatants in Nepal Army following desire of additional fighters to join the state army.


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.; Amrit Charan Shrestha has been appointed CEO of Nepal Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank.
He was Acting CEO of Nabil Bank.



Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: The Nilambar Acharya main constitution drafting committee beginning Saturday will review the report of the Prachanda sub-sub-committee report on themes to be included in a constitution to be promulgated by 28 May.
The Prachanda sub-committee couldn’t resolve all differences on
themes in the last three months.
Detailed discussions will begin only Monday after top leaders were empowered by the main committee Saturday to attempt further reconciliation of differences by Acharya.


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Main opposition NC Saturday marked 36th national reconciliation day nation-wide
A function is being held at Sundarijal where BP Koirala was interned during the panchayat regime.
The day marks the return home of the first elected prime minister
Koirala, Ganesh Man Singh and other NC leaders from self-exile in India where Indira Gandhi imposed emergency rule making it difficult for
the party to launch anti-panchayat activities with India as base.


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.:Another English language daily news paper hits the
Newsstand Saturday in the capital.
The New Paper published by Naya Press Pvt Ltd. describing itself as Nepal’s
first national tabloid daily is edited by Krishna Jwala Devkota.
The published brings out Naya Patrika, a vernacular daily newspaper from the capital.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.:: Deepening rifts among ministers and state ministers at various ministries have held up the important activities of government agencies. According to sources at the ministries, though differences between ministers and state ministers have escalated at almost all ministries, six ministers and their state ministers are currently openly engaged in backbiting and counterattacks over issues involving the exercise of power and work division among
them, Bimal Gautam writes in Republica.

Ministers and state ministers at loggerheads over the exercise of power and equal distribution of ministerial tasks include Minister for General Administration Ram Kumar Yadav and State Minister Sunita Kumari Mahato, Land Reform and Management Minister Bhim Prasad Gautam and State Minister Jawala Sah, Forest and Soil Conservation Minister Mohammad Wakil Musalman and State Minister Laxman Mahato, Health Minister Rajendra Mahato and State Minister Saroj Kumar Yadav, and Education Minister Deena Nath Sharma and State Minister Lila Kumari Bhandari.

Ongoing disputes between General Administration Minister Yadav and State Minister Mahato have halted the formulation of a government employees’ transfer mechanism, which, according to ministry official, should have been introduced a week ago. The Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) is all set to transfer government staff after one month.

“She has floated a long list of demands,” admitted General Administration Minister Yadav, adding, “As you all know, a state minister doesn’t enjoy any rights legally. However, she has demanded that she be involved in the government employees transfer process, among other vital activities of the ministry.”

According to Minister Yadav, State Minister Mahato has demanded a new vehicle and the flying of the national flag at her residence. “Sometimes she floats unlawful demands and I have been rejecting them as unlawful,” Minister Yadav added.
Recently, State Minister Mahato lodged a complaint with Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, claiming that she has been kept out of the exercise of power due to the minister’s obstinacy.

“The prime minister summoned me and asked me to move ahead, maintaining good relations with State Minister Mahato,” the minister told Republica, adding, “Why should I compromise with her since I have not obstructed her from carrying out her duties as prescribed by law?”
State Minister Mahato told Republica that she was deliberately sidelined in the process of transfering government employees and was thus unhappy with Minister Yadav. “Minister Yadav delegated powers to me neither verbally nor in writing. I have been rendered a mere pendulum.”
Minister Yadav added that the appointment of state ministers was itself absolutely futile. “The law doesn’t entrust state ministers with any responsibilities. Thus, the appointment of state ministers has become totally meaningless,” he remarked.

Disgruntled with Land Reform and Management Minister Bhim Prasad Gautam, State Minister Jwala Sah recently asked Gautam to either change some decisions on civil servant transfers or face serious consequences. “Minister Gautam, whom I regard as a brother, took transfer decisions without involving me,” State Minister Sah told Republica, adding, “I objected and subsequently he was compelled to revoke the decisions.”

She admitted that she has been deprived of the exercise of power due to the minister’s adamant nature. “Following repeated objections, Minister Gautam has recently assured me of power delegation. But I’m not fully optimistic over mere words. I have to wait and see whether or not he will translate his pledge into practice.”

State Minister Sah also recalled a recent incident with the minister. “When I received information about files related to squatters and transfer of ministry officials, I went directly to the minister and protested. He was then persuaded to assign me some important tasks.”
Asked why she objected to the minister’s activities, she said, “The minister has been taking various controversial decisions, which I don’t like.” She further said that she has warned the minister not to take any decision going beyond legal provisions and the transparency norms issued by the ministry.

Asked about the disputes, Minister Gautam declined to comment. “Do you media people want to sour our relations?” he questioned.
Forest Minister Musalman and State Minister Laxman Mahato are at loggerheads over the transfer of District Forest Officers (DFOs) and other issues. Asked why he has been involved in such disputes, Minister Musalman said, “The state minister is slightly unhappy with me but not completely. Come to my chamber for the details on Sunday.”

Similarly, State Minister for Health Saroj Yadav has been criticizing Health Minister Rajendra Mahato for not entrusting him with any responsibilities. “I have been rendered a pendulum,” an official quoted State Minister Yadav as saying, adding, “Whenever I go to his chamber seeking a role for myself, he tries to suggest I go on field visits.”

Likewise, disputes between Education Minister Sharma and State Minister Bhandari have also escalated. Disgruntled with Minister Sharma, State Minister Bhandari recently consulted Land Reform State Minister Sah. “Bhandari approached me seeking solutions to problems that have surfaced among ministers and state ministers,” Sah told Republica.



Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Scheduled heated discussions in the Maoist
central committee for the third consecutive day was postponed until
Sunday following the death Saturday night of the mother of Secretary CP Gajurel who is being cremated at Pashupatinath Aryaghat.
Maoist woman leader Tara Neupane is also being cremated Saturday following her death.
Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Fighters disqualified by UNMIN which abruptly left 15 January without completing the peace process Saturday closed down districts in the West after closures of the far-West and mid-West districts Thursday and Friday.
Altogether 4,007 fighters were disqualified by the political arms of the uN in Nepal without completing the peace process.
The former fighters have announced a general strike 5 January to
press demands charging they were disgracefully forced out of
cantonments and satellite camps three years ago.
The former fighters demand the disqualified tag should be removed
and they should be treated hoourably.
The former fighters are also demanding transparency of funds
provided by UN at a time when the party they fought for in involved
in a deep ideological intra-party dispute with a hard-line faction opposing integration of 19,000 plus former fighters in state security agencies without completing a peace process.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: The minimum temperature recorded in the last
24 hours in the capital was 1.5 degrees Celsius.


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.:Three banks that have lent to Krishi Premura Properties, whose promoter Rakesh Adukiya has been charged with banking fraud, have asked the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to lift the ban on the sale of the company’s property after it committed to clear the liabilities, Prithvi Man Shrestha writes in The Kathmandu Post reports.
Under a loose consortium, the company had borrowed Rs 270 million (Rs 90 million each) from Sunrise Bank, Bank of Asia Nepal (BoA) and Prime Commercial Bank to build JSB Financial Tower, a business complex, in Kamaladi, Kathmandu.
After Adukiya’s alleged involvement in the embezzlement of funds at Gurkha Development Bank, the central bank has frozen property registered in his and his firms’ names. As per the law, the central bank can allow borrowers to sell collateral to repay loans.
The banks had been planning to auction the company’s land at Kamaladi that was put up as collateral. But they decided to request NRB to lift the property sale ban after Krishi Premura requested them to halt the auction process, saying that it has signed an agreement with a company based in Belize, South America, for the sale of the property.
“Krishi Premura came up with the documents of the agreement which stated that the foreign company will set up a firm here and purchase the property,” said Surendra Man Pradhan, chief executive officer of Sunrise Bank. As per the documents, the foreign company has agreed to purchase the property for $10 million. It seeks to take ahead the commercial complex construction project ahead.
However, this is not the first time that the company committed to repay the loans. Earlier, citing technical problems in selling the plot, the company had written to Sunrise Bank on October 31, stating that it would repay the outstanding interest within three weeks even if it failed to dispose the property. According to Sunrise, the company has regularly been paying interest. The company, however, is yet to clear its outstanding interest for the first quarter to Prime.
Following the deal, the banks are optimistic about the loan recovery. “We are hopeful that our loans will be recovered and we have asked the central bank to lift the property sale ban,” said Prime General Manager Sanjeev Manandhar. “We will move ahead as per the central bank’s direction.”
The central bank is currently studying the deal to ascertain its authenticity. “We can open the door for selling collateral as long as the borrower is paying interest,” said a senior NRB official.
NRB officials, however, are not sure whether laws allow a foreign company to invest here in real estate.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: It was 12:15 last Friday. A boat with 12 people including River Rangers on board set off to sail along the Rapti river to monitor and survey the world’s largest crocodilian , Pragati Shahi writes in The Kathmandu Post reports from Chitwan.
species. Within a few seconds of the journey, two critically endangered gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) were spotted basking in the sun along the river basin.
Sushil Jha, a senior game scout with the Chitwan National Park (CNP) and one of the River Rangers, took out the GPS (Global Positioning System) device to locate the gharials spotted in the river. “Normally, we recorded three gharials in the area during our regular monitoring,” he said. During the 45-minute boat ride started from the Kasara ghat, Jha, along with four other rangers, was busy reporting and documenting the activities observed in around the river.
Activities like number of people bathing in the river or doing other activities such as carrying thatch, and number of livestock grazing in the field near the river were documented during the ride. According to Bikash Pathak, another river ranger and surveyor, the team travels around 15 kilometres on a day, four times a month, on a boat and collects information like human pressure, gharial monitoring, fishing status, livestock grazing and pollution of the river. Besides Jha and Pathak, Pipal Tamang, Suk Dev Bhattarai and Sukra Bahadur Bote are members of the team. At 33, Rapti has the second largest number of gharials after the Narayani river in the country.
The CNP, with technical and financial support from the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) Project, a team of River Rangers comprising local youths, representatives of families dependent on the rivers for their livelihood and park authorities was formed some two months ago in Rapti and Narayani rivers.
“The objective of this initiative is to ensure regular monitoring of gharial populations in the Rapti and Narayani rivers through the direct involvement of locals who have a better knowledge on the resources,” said Abdul Ansari, project co-manager, TAL. A river rangers’ training was held in September, teaching participants on GPS use, gharial and Mugger crocodile differentiation techniques, river patrol and data collection.
Meanwhile, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and WWF-Nepal are working on a River Management Plan for Rapti and Narayani that will identify strategies to protect gharials and help the indigenous Bhote, Musahar and Majhi communities dependent on the rivers for their livelihood.
With a few hundreds in number, gharial, a critically endangered freshwater crocodile, is found in the remaining habitats of India and Nepal only. The highest numbers of gharials were counted in the Rapti, Narayani, Babai and Karnali rivers with 33, 48, 17 and 4 individuals respectively, making a total of 102 gharials in Nepal. TAL project coordinator Shiv Raj Bhatta said there has not been much research on gharials and their characteristics.



Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: The main constitution drafting committee chaired by
Nilambar Acharya meets Saturday to discuss a report of a Prachanda sub-committee under it empowered to discuss differences on themes to be incorporated in a proosed constitution to be promulgated by 28 May.
The sub-committee missed a 30 December deadline to resolve differences by Friday to sort out the differences and its tenure has also ended.
NC General Secretary Prakash Man Singh said differences still persisted on form of government.
Differences have surfaced even on agreed themes in the party headed by the
Maoist chairman
Prachanda claims the differences won’t interfere with constitution drafting.


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Red Bull National League tournament started in Pokhara
Nepal Police Club beat Sangan Youth of Pokhara 4-1.
and Manang Marshyangdi Club beat Mitra Milan Club of Dharan 6-2 in another
match Friday.


Kathmandu 31 Dec.: Property worth tens of million rupees was gutted after a fire spread to 46 houses at Mandal Tole of Pakari VDC in Saptari district, on Thursday night, RSS repors from. Saptari.

The fire started from a cowshed of Jugeshwor Mandal of Pakari VDC-2 midnight, and spread in the neighbourhood. As many as 30 families have been affected by the inferno.

According to police, three houses of Jugeshwor Mandal, two of Hari Mandal, one of Rajendra Mandal, two of Shankar Mandal, three of Manoj Mandal, two of Juri Lal Mandal, one of Kuseshwor Mandal and two of Bhuwaneshwor Mandal were destroyed in the fire.

Around half a dozen cattle were also killed in the fire, according to the locals.

Victims said that everything including food grains, clothes and furniture were completely destroyed in the fire.

Police estimated that the fire inflicted a loss of around Rs. 13.6 million.

The District Police Office, Saptari, informed that a fire engine of Rajbiraj Municipality and police personnel brought the fire under control at 2:00 am this morning.


Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subas Nembang on Friday has expressed happiness over the performance of the dispute resolution sub-committee formed for resolving the disputes surfaced in course of the constitution drafting
Process, RRSS reports.

"The subcommittee completed its tasks as per schedule, now the Constitutional Committee would approve them," said the CA Chairman.

Taking part in an interaction in the Capital on Friday, CA Chairman Nembang expressed his hope promulgation of the new constitution would take place within May 28, 2012.

The Legislature–Parliament is fully accountable to the norms and values of human rights, he said, adding that a bill related to the human rights commission is in the process of ratification.

There was no dispute among the parties regarding the issues of human rights, he said and added the new constitution would be friendly to the human rights issues.

Urging the parties to give priority to the completion of the peace process, the CA Chairman said mutual trust among the parties would support the CA promulgate the new constitution within the slated timeframe.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Shortage of diesel has pushed half the
vehicles off the roads in Kathmandu Valley, making life difficult for commuters, Milan Mani Sharma writes in Republica..

Amid the short supply of petroleum products, attributed to inability on the part of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to finance adequate imports, the state-owned petroleum monopolist has not been supplying even half the normal daily volume of fuel to the market over this week.

"This has already forced well around 50 percent of diesel-fuelled passenger vehicles off the roads in the Valley," said Rishikesh Ghimire, a transport entrepreneur and secretary of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs National Federation (NTENF).

As a result, almost all bus stations in the Valley now have crowds of passengers waiting for transport, a sight quite rare in the past.

"There are fewer buses operating the Duwakot-Ratnapark route, and I waited a full 45 minutes to catch a bus at Duwakot Chowk at 9:30 A.M.," said Tara Paudel of Jhaukhel-1, Bhaktapur.

When Republica found her waiting for the bus at New Baneshwor Thursday, she said the bus crew had cautioned her to be at the station by 3 p.m. to catch a ride home because they might not operate the bus after that hour.

"It´s already 3:30 p.m. I hope I´ll catch the Duwakot bus from Ratnapark," she stated.

Jhaukhel is some 14 kilometers from New Baneshwor and Paudel has no option but to catch her bus.

Some 12 buses operate the route. "But bus crew told me they´re currently operating just three buses due to diesel shortage," she added.

Other communters that Republica talked to on Thursday and Friday spoke of similar agony and inconvenience caused by the fuel shortage.

If you think the situation in the Valley is bad, things are worse with vehicles operating between Kathmandu and other cities, said Dol Nath Khanal, general secretary of NTENF.

According to NTENF, some 350 buses used to leave daily for different destinations from New Bus Park till two weeks ago. Now only around 150 buses do so.

"Some 60 percent of buses operating long routes are already in the garage. You can imagine the trouble facing people planning to travel out of the Valley," said Khanal.

The fuel shortage has also prompted some schools to announce winter vacations a week earlier than planned. The situation at development projects and industries, currently facing ll-hour power cuts, is worse still.

NOC officials said they are trying their best to supply as much fuel as possible. "But we simply have less stock," said Mohan Bahadur Karki, chief of NOC Thankot depot.

Diesel has been in short supply since about three weeks ago, mainly after cash-strapped and heavily indebted NOC failed to secure loans from banks and financial institutions.

Amid soaring losses, estimated at Rs 1.26 billion for December alone, NOC asked the government in the first week of this month to either allow it to adjust prices or provide the money to avert looming crisis.

The government turned it down and NOC has ended up failing to import adequate volumes of both diesel and petrol.

Following the petrol scarcity, the government last week agreed to provide NOC Rs 1.5 billion in loans from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), but the money has not been released.

"The money was not disbursed because of differences over interest rate. But the matter has now been settled. NOC will get the money soon," said Commerce and Supplies Minister Lekh Raj Bhatta Friday.

Speaking at a function, he also claimed the shortage will end in a few days. However, NOC officials say they will need three to four days to ease the supply and at least a week to restore normalcy.

"And that week starts only when we actually get hold of the money and transfer it to Indian Oil Corporation," said a senior NOC official.

Meanwhile, NOC officials say the problem may resurface next month as loans will restore the fund flow only temporarily. As the gap between import and retail prices has not narrowed, NOC says it will suffer huge losses next month also. "We will then have no option but to seek more loans," said NOC spokesperson Mukunda Dhungel.

NOC currently suffers a loss of around Rs 19 on a liter of diesel, Rs 7 on a liter of kerosene and around Rs 339 per cylinder (14.2 kgs) of LPG. Its outstanding loans total around Rs 20 billion.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: A 25-year-old woman, who suffered third-degree burns in a mysterious fire that engulfed her rented room in Kathmandu- 35, died while undergoing treatment at the Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital, Sinamangal in the wee hours of Friday morning, Sabin Chandra Acharya writes in The Himalayan Times reports.

After the death, the victim's husband fled the hospital where he also was admitted but later arrested by the police.

DSP Bir Bahadur Oli, in-charge of Metropolitan Police Circle, New Baneshwor said the fire broke out in the Chhapro-based rented room at around 8.45 pm yesterday during power-cuts when Manju Choudhary was together with her husband Roshan Rai (29), who he said was a native of Darjeeling, India.

A kerosene lamp was used to light up the room when the incident occurred.

"We doused the fire within 15 minutes of the incident and rushed the couple to KMC Hospital for treatment. Doctors pronounced Choudhary dead at 2.55 am today," he informed. She was found to have infected with HIV, DSP Oli quoted a medical report of the hospital.

As soon as she died, her husband receiving treatment in emergency ward gave the slip on the pretext of going to the toilet at around 6 am.

"We smelt a rat when Rai, who was out of danger, reportedly fled the hospital even if the police were treating him as a fire victim, not a crime suspect," DSP Oli recounted.

Cops fanned out across the Valley with special focus on transit points and arrested him from Thankot where he found travelling on a bus bound for Jhapa. Now, he has been undergoing treatment in Bir Hospital amid a security cordon. DSP Oli said he was a crime suspect in the eye of law enforcement agency and details of the deceased woman were not immediately available. The only thing what Rai speaks of Choudhary is she was from Mulpani.

"We tried to find out if she was from Mulpani of Kathmandu, but in vain. Investigators are collecting all places of the country with that name to establish the fact," he informed.

During primary investigation, Rai, who used to eke out his living as a greengrocer, said he first met Choudhary in Ratna Park, Kathmandu, a couple of months ago and subsequently tied a conjugal knot with her. They were living together in the house of Krishna Bahadur Ramtel as tenants since.

Investigators have launched an investigation to figure out if it was a homicide or an accidental death.

Rai's unsuccessful bid to flee the Capital city and report of HIV infection to his wife have further complicated the investigation process, DSP Oli said.

Choudhary's body has been referred to TU Teaching Hospital for post-mortem.

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: The Maoist Central Committee (CC) meet—which still enjoys the limelight and where the establishment faction and the Maoist hardliner faction are locking horns— has resumed today [Friday] also, The Himalayan Times reports.

At the party headquarters in perisdanda, Koteshwor, leaders aligned to the party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal who prioritised on peace and statute, and the Maoist standing committee members and politburo members affiliated to Maoist hardliner Mohan Baidhya, who stressed on struggle and revolt, are making their reflections and impressions over the proposals floated by Dahal and Baidhya.

Meanwhile, Minister for Commerce and Supplies Lekhraj Bhatta has claimed that the ideological rifts within the Maoist will come to an end through discussions on the political documents of Baidhya and Dahal.

“The party will want a way out soon ,” said Bhatta hinting at the ongoing CC marked by ideological differences, at a programme organised in Reporter’s club on Friday.

Leaders aligned to the Maoist hardline faction led by Vice-chairman Mohan Baidhya — General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, Secretary CP Gajurel and standing committee members Dev Prasad Gurung and Netra Bikram Chand — have already criticised Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal for leading the party towards ‘rightist opportunism’.

Whereas Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, one of the vice-chairmen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha, also a vice-chairman, Energy Minister Post Bahadur Bogati, and the standing committee member Krishna Bahadur Mahara have stood in support of Dahal’s document.

Baidhya, who presented his 12-page document during Tuesday’s CC meet, sees no alternative to immediate people’s revolt and made a claim that opting for the peace and constitution will bear no fruits at this bleak state of affairs, where people’s hopes and aspirations have been already kept at bay." Pro-people constitution is impossible," according to Baidhya.

But, Dahal has prioritised peace and statute and not the capture of state power in his political document presented on Saturday.

Dahal has also presented offer to patch up intra-party differences through the general convention and on the majority basis.

Meanwhile, Baidhya’s document has accused establishment faction led by Dahal of trying to divert all attempts for the preparation of people’s revolt.

Dissenting Maoists have been ranting condemnations against the establishment faction for abandoning the 'line of revolt' which was adopted by the party’s sixth plenum at Palungtar in Gorkha last year.

For Baidhya, Dahal’s document was inspired by ‘rightist opportunism’ and aimed at splitting the party. " Dahal is the center of all evils and his paper cannot resolve the current ideological crisis afflicting the party," said Baidhya.

" Dahal has given up all the party stances and supported the capitalist agents," Baidhya's added.

Establishment faction and Baidhya faction inside Maoists are at bad terms since the former started taking decisions on peace, statute, government formation and power sharing single-handedly, often inking different pacts with non-Maoist actors.
(Note: The committee meet continues Saturday.)


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Senior leader KP Sharma Oli was nominated third in protocol in opposition UML by the party standing committee Friday after Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and former Prime Minster Madhav Kumar Nepal.
The party politburo and central committee have to endorse the decision.
Oli is a former deputy prime minister, foreign and home minister.
Twenty-four members expressed their views on the first day of the standing committee meet.
The party is discussing unity in the third largest party in parliament.

Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: A Prachanda sub-committee on
resolution of differences on themes to be included in a proposed
constitution Friday approved a report of the five-member Laxmi
Lal Karna unanimously.
The body was charged with responsibility by the sub-committee to resolve differences on 14 themes and submit a report Friday.
The report will be submitted t the main constitution drafting committee of Nilambar Acharya Saturday.
The tenure of the Prachanda sub-committee under the Acharya
committee ended Friday.
There was no agreement at the task force on
subjects that can’t be mended.
Differences on themes had to be resolved by Friday to enable
the Acharya committee to begin drafting a constitution.

Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Nepal Clearing House Limited (NCHL) suffered a major jolt the day it started the electronic cheque clearing (ECC) service, The Kathmandu Post reports.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Thursday dispatched a letter to the company, asking it to halt the ECC service until it completes its investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds during software procurement.
The anti-graft body has said it took such a decision following a complaint that NCHL purchased the software paying more than the actual cost. “The complaint said the company purchased the software for Rs 240 million, while the actual price is just Rs 30 million,” said Bhagabati Kumar Kafle, secretary and officiating chief at CIAA. “We have sent a letter, directing them to halt the service immediately and submit the entire procurement documents to CIAA.”
However, the NCHL management has said the software procurement was done following due international bidding procedure in which the software’s trial and tests in at least three countries was one of the major criteria.
Acknowledging the receipt of the letter, NCHL CEO Neelesh Man Singh Pradhan said they would discuss the matter at the board meeting to be held on Friday. According to Pradhan, NCHL’s first day’s operation was smooth and it cleared cheques worth $250,000. The company was expected to start clearing domestic currency cheques after a week.
NHCL has been established in the joint ownership of 23 commercial banks, two development banks, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and Smart Choice Technologies (SCT).
So far, inter-bank cheques are cleared manually, under which financial institutions (presenting banks) collect cheques of other institutions (paying banks) and forward them to NRB for settlement. The process takes up to two days.
But after the implementation of ECC, presenting banks will scan cheques and send them to NCHL, which will then forward them to paying banks. The paying banks, after verifying signature and other details, will send back the cheques to NCHL, which will then forward them to NRB for final settlement. According to NHLC, the entire process is completed in real time.
Some bankers had expressed strong reservation about the high amount paid for the software, saying that cost would ultimately be transferred to member banks and financial institutions (BFIs). Nepal Banker Association (NBA) recently formed a three-member committee to study the issue.



Kathmandu, 30 Dec.:THMANDU: Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Nembang called on President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav at the President's Office in Seetal Niwas Friday , RSS reports.

On the occasion CA Chairman Nembang informed President Dr. Yadav about the progress on constitution writing process.

The duo held discussions on the latest progress on peace and constitution writing process.

Kathamandu, 30 Dec.: President of the Nepali Congress (NC), Sushil Koirala has claimed the NC leadership for the would-be national consensus government, RSS
Reports from Parsa..

Speaking at a news conference in Birgunj on Friday, NC chief Koirala claimed the NC leadership for the national consensus government as there is no expected progress in peace and constitution writing process.

Koirala claimed the NC was claiming the leadership for the next government to expedite the constitution writing process.

He said peace and constitution-writing processes would not consume five months if political parties were serious to the twin tasks of the nation.

Saying the Maoist party has no alternative to concluding the peace process and supporting the writing of the constitution, Koirala urged the Maoists to implement the past pacts signed with other political parties.

On the occasion, Koirala also expressed dissatisfaction towards the deteriorating condition of law and order in the country. He added that the criminal forces would vanish themselves if constitution was written in time.

Koirala was of the opinion that the NC was in favor of delineating federal states based on consensus, capability, and identities.

In a separate context, Koirala said the NC was in favor of the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the CA term extension, adding that rule of law should prevail and all should respect the verdict of the court.

Kathmandu, 30 Dec : Minister for Education Dina Nath Sharma has said that education sector should be kept free from politics for educational reform in the country, RSS reports..

He said problems in the education sector were seen, as the issues of responsibilities were forgotten and the issues relating to rights were talked about too much.

The teacher-turned politician, Sharma said this at an interaction organized in the District Education Office on Friday.

Minister Sharma urged the teachers to give priority to their duties as the government was committed to resolving their problems.

Sharma urged the teachers not to engage in politics in the sector of educational development, adding that the forum for politics was separate.

Minister Sharma further said that the government was planning to bring new education system to address the existing problems of the sector, adding that country´s education sector was in a crisis due to lack of appropriate policies in the past.

Minister Sharma said the present education system was based on the education policy of 2028 BS as no new education policy was adopted after the restoration of democracy in 2046 BS.

Sharma said the Education Act would be amended in a bid to give permanent status to temporary teachers with due process and to recruit new teachers through open competition to address the problems of the sector gradually.

He said the new Act has envisioned giving permanent status and total facilities with due respect to temporary teachers as they have been suffering for a long period.

Minister Sharma said the Ministry of Law has agreed to the Education Act and the Ministry of Education was engaged in dialogues with the Ministry of Finance, and added that the Act would be implemented at the earliest.




Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: India's government faced fierce criticism in the media and from the opposition on Friday after it failed to push through its flagship anti-corruption law in the upper house of parliament, AFP reports from New Delhi..

The legislation cleared the lower house earlier in the week and the government had insisted it would put the draft law to a vote in the upper house on Thursday, the last day of an extended parliamentary session.

After more than 13 hours of debate, proceedings were finally adjourned shortly before 12:00 pm amid scenes of disorder and shouting from lawmakers described as a "midnight farce" by one newspaper.

The opposition and some news reports accused the government of orchestrating the disruption in a cynical ploy to have the house adjourned and avoid a vote it looked set to lose.

Minority parties in the ruling coalition -- led by the Congress party of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh -- had turned against the government and demanded amendments, meaning the law would have almost certainly failed to pass.

The Indian Express daily said the ruling coalition had "egg on its face" while the Mail Today tabloid said the law was now "in cold storage."

The Trinamool Congress, an increasingly unreliable member of the coalition which had demanded amendments to the law, called it a "shameful" day for democracy and a result of "orchestrated chaos".

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) repeated its call for Singh to resign and urged the government to hold fresh elections -- demands that were unlikely to be heeded.

Thursday's failure is another blow to the increasingly vulnerable Singh, whose administration had to withdraw another major reform earlier this month allowing foreign supermarkets to operate in India.

The future of the bill is now uncertain, but it will most likely be revised and again presented to lawmakers in the opening session of parliament in 2012 in late February.

There were more than 180 proposed amendments filed by the opposition during the debate on Thursday which the government has promised to examine.

"The bill is not in cold storage and will be taken up in the budget session," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal promised on Friday.

He accused the BJP, which has struggled to benefit from the government's recent difficulties, of sabotaging the legislation by filing contradictory amendments designed to prevent the passage of the law.

"The opposition parties would rather see the nation fail than the government succeed," he said.

Singh's government had invested considerable political capital in passing the so-called Lokpal Bill before the end of the year, seeing it as a vital signal that it was keen to fight the scourge of corruption in India.

The law has been one of the biggest political issues in India for months, the subject of an angry wrangle between the government, the opposition and civil society activists.

A mass movement demanding a tough new anti-corruption law was spearheaded by anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare, who captured the public's imagination in August when he staged a 12-day hunger strike against graft.

Under the Lokpal Bill, an independent ombudsman would be created with powers to investigate and prosecute public officials, but a debate has raged over which officials will come under his remit and his autonomy to pursue them.

Hazare tapped into widespread anger over an Indian graft culture fed by a series of high-profile scandals involving ministers in Singh's cabinet and senior figures in the Congress party.

His latest campaign demanding that the draft law be toughened further was called to a halt on Wednesday with the frail 74-year-old drawing small crowds in Mumbai amid concerns about his health.

V.G. Verghese, at the Centre for Policy Research think-tank, said the failure to pass the Lokpal Bill indicated the problems and divisions within the ruling coalition.

"It would be much better that instead of carrying on for the sake of carrying on, the government throws out its allies, hold fresh elections and reconstitute the parliament," he told AFP.

"But no one wants fresh elections," he added.

Thursday, December 29, 2011



Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: President and vice-president haven’t submitted details of their assets for fiscal year 2067.68, Annapurna Post reports.
This was stated by the concerned government agency.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec. Election Commission Nepal Friday through a public notice asked political parties to submit details of their annual income and expenditure.
The commission reminded parties there’s legal provision for submission of such details.



Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: CPN-UML chairman Jhal Nath Khanal has accused Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of defaming Nepal’s communist movement by, among other things, forming the largest cabinet in the country’s history and packing it with sleazebags, Maila Baje writes in Nepali Netbook.
Addressing a gathering of the party activists in Dharan last week, the former prime minister also accused the Maoist-led government of deviating from its major assignments, such as sending home those Maoist combatants who opted for voluntary discharge. All this, in Khanal’s view, has raised questions about the Maoists’ sincerity in concluding the peace and promulgating the new constitution.
At one level, Maila Baje feels sorry for Khanal, for the kind of inanities he has been reduced to uttering. Communism has been so thoroughly discredited universally that there is little one man – even of Dr. Bhattarai’s caliber – could add. But, then, you have to empathize with the UML chief. In the last test of popular strength, after all, communists in Nepal won nearly two-thirds of the votes cast.
The only way of understanding the contradiction is by recognizing that our heavily splintered communist movement survives in the debris of the ideology’s progressive decay, deepening agony and irrelevance to the human condition. Where it seems to be thriving, it is because of its external label, which is devoid of its internal substance.
In our own context, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the CPN-UML had to repackage itself into a deceptive People’s Multiparty Democracy. It retained a left-of-centre personality that helped all the second- and third-tier besieged commies in Eastern Europe to reinvent themselves as social democrats. The CPN-UML’s first chairman, Manmohan Adhikary, conceded as prime minister that “communism” merely provided a label.
The Maoists had to pander to ethnic, linguistic, regional and other forces to muster collective grievances and magnify them several fold. Sure, the “People’s War” was modeled after the Great Helmsman’s strategy and tactics. But the principal external drivers did not have as their objective the creation of a one-party workers and peasants’ paradise. In the end, the Maoists could not prevail in their principal quest – the abolition of the monarchy – without following the parliamentary parties they had once opposed with equal vigor.
Mao Zedong was too much of a territorially defined mortal to canonize his life and times into any form of a universalism. In Nepal, Maoism merely became a convenient tool for a motley demolition crew. To remain in power, our Maoists today have had to embody such diverse tendencies as corporatism, Christianity and homosexuality and fuse them into big-tent tolerance while at the same time peddling promises of that ultimate utopia.
True, there are statists today even in the land of the free and the home of the brave who have not given up. In their view, the comrades of yore simply did not do things right. Through several layers of analyses, the drivers of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the czars of Obamaville seek to lure shlubs and sophisticates alike by proffering a sense of direction and moral justification.
The media spinmeisters sanitize what is happening with the ChiComs, almost glorifying the system as a paragon of efficiency in contrast to the gridlock those dead white men bequeathed all those years ago. The Soviet Union is such a distant memory that the free health and education and lifetime employment beckon without a trace of their logical shakiness and practical shoddiness.
Dr. Bhattarai has been at the forefront of peddling precisely that kind of mendacity for so long that sometimes you wonder whether he really still believes what he professes are his beliefs. One is tempted to ask whether it is really communism that has defamed Dr. Bhattarai.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.:For the numerous NGOs and missions playing with dollars, this is the fag end of the season for calling on heads of funding agencies, rehashing previous proposals as new or simply cut-pasting the proposals already developed by others but changing the titles, venues and some words in the "vision," "mission," "objectives," "input" and "output, Trikal Vastavik writes in People’s Review.
In other words, the racket is flourishing for those projecting themselves as "civil society" leaders, who sniff around for any opportunity to stake a claim for State-appointed posts. Many members of the various commissions and committees appointed by various governments are known for their tilt toward particular political parties. They have also made careers out of civil society activism that explains their luxurious lifestyles.
This author is in the know about a score of such activists, in various attires and incarnations, who take regular briefings from foreign missions and INGOs. A well-informed source with a high degree of credibility and public stature has obtained the author's vow for not divulging the names of the racketeers for "at least ten years"!
Quite a few of these INGOs are not even registered. Some registered ones, too, have given extremely low value to the regulations in Nepal. They do not submit period reports to the authorities they are registered with. Of those that send reports, it is done once a year instead of presenting quarterly reports. Moreover, the budget part is left completely blank. That surely is not the new definition of transparency, is it?
Not all INGOs are registered with the Social Welfare Council. But, then, the Council itself is in a mess created by the short change some of the officials are alleged to have indulged in. Investigations are called for. During the Maoist decade of violence across the country, in which 15,000 people lost their lives, some INGOs channeled funds to organizations and groups sympathetic or actively supporting the weapons-carrying militants. This, for example, is how "pirate" radio was run.
The rot is so deep that individuals seen as being "close" to political leaders have their organizations well-funded. NGOs in Nepal have acquired notoriety for more than 20 years. In the last six years, their notoriety has reached new heights of audacity and impunity.
The people behind these shops have enjoyed "win-win" situation for self-aggrandizement, both financially and politically. Financially, because the pay they pocket for hardly any work far exceeds what government secretaries or, for that matter, ministers officially draw. Politically, because they treat politicians regularly, hire the politicians' nominees and family members as staff for well-paid jobs that have little responsibilities and, the resultant proximity and effects are obvious.
The nexus thus created leads to influence peddling and upholding foreign agency agendas. The New Year 2012 will therefore ring in more dollars for the well-connected while it hardly spells substantively better for the vast majority of Nepalese, who have to eke out a living under enormously challenging hardships. For the money that the "donors" are supposed to be providing in their names amount to billions of rupees a year and yet not even 10 percent of it goes to programs that have a direct bearing on the officially declared target group.
Scores of politicians are known to have their proxies work at NGOs, part of whose profits they pocket. The "generosity" from the funding agencies is greeted with acceptance of the paymaster's agendas without questioning. That is precisely why the Maoists and a few other groups so vehemently lobbied for extending the term of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).
It is now official that UNMIN counted 3,000 too many Maoist troops at the cantonments. This cost the impoverished nation a whopping Rs. 1.5 billion in support of non-existent troops. If the Indian embassy were to provide Rs. 10 million, it would make at least four stories—news of the support, news of foundation stone laying and news about the schedule for inauguration and news about the actual inauguration. This way the Rs. 1.5 billion would 600 such stories, thanks to the proxies. Lump sum collection is illegal.
A number of Christianity-promoting countries from the European Union were behind the move to prolong UNMIN's overextended stay. Angered by what it saw as UNMIN's clear tilt toward the Maoists, the Nepali Congress and the CPN (UML), which had earlier vociferously recommended invitation to UNMIN to monitor Nepal's peace process, called for it to quit bag and baggage.
There were even predictions of doom and gloom for Nepalese if the agency's tenure was not extended. Well, we survived UNMIN's absence hale and hearty.
Foreign missions and agencies treat Nepal and Nepalese like a low value partner, who can be swung around for a pittance. This is also borne by the casualness in which Nepal's bid for a seat on the UN Security Council was defeated ignominiously, only to suffer another humiliating setback when an ex-bureaucrat of the UN, Kul Chandra Gautam, was fielded for the UN General Assembly Chair.
There are dozens of deputies to the UN General Secretary. Gautam, who spent almost his entire life and career before deciding to fly over to Nepal in retirement, managed to worm his way into some leftist groups' confidence and obtained the government's nomination. Predictably to any objective analyst but shockingly to those putting unwanted faith in the retired UN staff, Nepal's candidate lost badly.

Suggestions that Nepal withdraw its nominee's candidacy and earn goodwill from the rival candidate's government were brushed aside. As if the rest of the world were naïve like most us, the Madhav Kumar Nepal government appointed Gautam advisor to the prime minister when only a few months remained for the contest.
Gautam's name was also circulated through SMS and such other networks for the job of the country's first president when Girija Prasad Koirala himself was an ardent aspirant gone painfully disappointed and Ram Baran Yadav eventually made it to the post through an intriguing play behind the curtains.
Gautam's name again cropped up for the commission constituted in November for coming up with a report-cum-recommendation on the restructuring of the state, a task the gargantuan 601-member Legislative-Parliament could not complete in almost the twice the timeframe originally mandated. Unless he is chronically hard on hearing, some should tell the chap to retire for good and collect his pension in dollars in Nepal or in New York.



Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Politburo members of the UCPN (Maoist) are expressing their views Friday on the second day of detailed discussions on two rival political papers of Chairman Prachanda and First Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.
Standing committee members presented their views Thursday on the first day of detailed discussion
The debate is heated.
Baidya has charged the party chief for abandoning the communist revolution for completing the delayed peace and constitution drafting processes while pushing for continued people’s revolt.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: A meeting of the standing committee of the opposition UML began Friday.
The party is discussing a unity proposal of Chairman Jhalanath Khanal.
The party is divided mainly between rival camps loyal to Khanal, former Prime Minister Madhav Kumarr Nepal and KP Sharma Oli.
Three major parties are divided propelling uncertainty and instability.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Disqualified former Maoist PLA combatants closed down the mid-West districts one day after they brought life to a halt in the far-West pressing their demands.
The former fighters said they’ll hold demonstrations n all five regions.
Schools, industries and markets have been closed down.
Fighters allege they were disgracefully sent out of cantonments and camps after categorization by UNMIN which quit Nepal 15 January.
Demands include integration in the state army

Kathmandu, 30 Dec.; Six activists of Khambuwan Samyukta Jatiya Morcha (KSJM), including a woman, were arrested Thursday from Itahari

They are suspected lo feting off a bomb in the town this month injuring several persons..

Those arrested areArbin Rai, Gautam Rai, Puran Chaudhary, Bijaya Kumar Raya, Ramchandra Khawas and Sita Khawas

Police recovered explosives and documents of the group from them.

Police also arrested Kedar Dahal and Hari Acharya for allegedly printing the group’s leaflets.



Kathmandu, 30 Dec : Three pedestrians died when a bus hit them at Gamne-3 in Tanahu Thursday night.
The bus was heading for Pokhara from Damauli.
The bus driver is absconding.

Kathmandu, 30 Dec.:: In a message on the occasion of the Tamu Lhosar today, President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has extended best wishes for happiness, peace and prosperity to the people of the Tamu community at home and abroad, RSS reports.

The President has, in the message, said that national festivals will help foster the feelings of brotherhood and unity among the Nepalis living in the mountainous region, the hilly region and the Tarai Madhes region (southern plains) of the country.

He also wished that this festival inspires us all to promote and develop mutual fraternity and goodwill by protecting regional, ethnic and social reconciliation and co-existence.

Similarly, Vice-president Paramananda Jha, in a message of best wishes on the occasion, noted that the among the different festivals of our country that is full of diverse cultures, festivals and unique ethos, the festival of Tamu Lhosar is a popular festival celebrated by the Gurung peoples.

The Vice President expressed best wishes to the people of the Gurung community living in the country and abroad and all Nepalis for their good health, peace, prosperity and progress.

The Vice-president has urged the people of Gurung community to preserve their costumes and languages that depict the historicity of the community.

"May this festival bring all the Nepalis together and inspire all to move forward on the path of collaboration and consensus for writing of the new constitution," he wished.

Similarly, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattrai has extended hearty best wishes for happiness, peace and prosperity to the people of the Tamu community at home and abroad on the occasion of their great festival of Tamu Lhosar.

In his message of best wishes on the occasion, Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai has said- Our country is a unique epitome of multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural uniqueness.

He noted that the national unity and prestige in the midst of these diversities has become our national identity.

Stating that the Tamu community is rich in terms of language, culture and tradition, the prime minister said the contribution made by this community in the country while promoting and developing own folk culture is exemplary and laudable.

The prime minister wished that the festival of Tamu Lhosar this year would bring new enthusiasm, vigour and zeal among all the Tamu people and promote fraternity and closeness among all the Nepalis.

Likewise, President of the Nepali Congress, Sushil Koirala has greeted the sisters and brothers of the Tamu community today on the occasion of their festival of Lhosar, wishing them happiness, peace and prosperity.

He said we Nepalis have the special tradition of giving high respect to each others´ language, religion and customs.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec : The parliament meeting on Thursday deliberated over an ´urgent public importance motion´ on finding short-term and long-term solutions to the increasing acute power shortage and its implications in the country, Republica reports..

The motion proposed by lawmaker Prakash Chandra Lohani of Rastriya Janashakti Party and seconded by Ramji Prasad Sharma of CPN-UML and Gagan Thapa of Nepali Congress (NC) was endorsed unopposed at the House meeting.

Tabling the motion, Lohani fiercely criticized the government preparations to install diesel plant as a solution to address power shortage. Saying that such an idea would cost the country dearly, he suggested to the government to give top priority to complete the under-construction projects in the country, to control power theft and leakage from the national grid and to import electricity from India.

"The country can´t afford to buy and operate a diesel plant and we may go for a coal plant instead," Lohani said at the House meeting.

Former minister of state for energy Sharma echoed Lohani and emphasized the need to control power theft. "It is possible to decrease load-shedding hours significantly if the government works as per the report prepared during our tenure," he claimed.

NC leader Thapa urged the political parties to formulate a national policy on power generation keeping aside the party, group and personal interests.

Former Finance Minister Surendra Pandey of UML also criticized the government for preparing to set up thermal plant without consulting other political parties and not listening to the feedbacks from the experts. Airing their views at the meeting several lawmakers came down heavily on the government for preparing to set up diesel plant.

However, Minister for Energy Posta Bahadur Bogati, while responding the lawmakers´ query, argued that there is no alternative other than to import electricity from India or to set up diesel plant to address the ongoing power shortage immediately.

The House meeting that was obstructed in the previous days resumed Thursday after the agitating lawmakers from dalit communities and the government reached a five-point agreement earlier in the day.




Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Maoist leaders from the party establishment faction on Thursday argued that Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal should take concrete steps to conclude the peace and constitution-drafting process without worrying about its consequences in the party, Republica reports.

The party leaders to argue along these lines were Barshaman Pun, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Haribol Gajurel, and Shakti Basnet.

“The chairman should move ahead with the peace and constitution-drafting process with full confidence and without making compromises with anyone in the party,” a party leader quoted Pun as saying during the meeting.

Pun argued that the political paper presented by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya shows the latter’s fundamental ideological differences with the party establishment.

“If we had not taken the path of peace and constitution, we would long ago have been finished off. The line of Kiran [Baidya] will only lead to anarchy,” another party leader quoted Pun as saying.

Similarly, Gajurel had argued that the task of completing the peace and constitution-writing had now come upon the shoulders of the party.

“Why did we enter the Constituent Assembly (CA) if we were not for drafting the constitution,” another leader quoted Gajurel as saying.

Likewise, Shakti Basnet argued that the Baidya faction should either abide by party discipline or form a separate party.

The party leaders were of the opinion that Dahal should take disciplinary action against the Baidya faction for their “anarchism.”

On Wednesday, party General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, who is close to Baidya, had stated that the party had already split and only awaited a formal announcement of this.

Maoist leader Ram Karki, who is close to Dahal, argued on the other hand that the party will not immediately split, given the make up of the radical faction that comprises leaders with diverse opinions about the course for the party.

“How can they (the radicals) form a separate political party with such dissimilar ideas,” yet another leader quoted Karki as saying.

Dharmendra Bastola, Hari Bhakta Kandel, Hitman Shakya and Pampha Bhusal had criticized Dahal for the latter’s ideological deviation.

Bastola argued that if the party chairman feels that he cannot advance the revolution, he should admit it openly.

According to the leaders, Kandel argued that the party had fallen into revisionism and needed to change its track. He also asked the CC members not to follow the leaders blindly, and to take sides with top leaders on the basis of the issues.

“What is there behind those smiles?”

Many central committee members stated that they were surprised by the way Dahal and Baidya smiled and whispered to each other during the meeting on Thursday. “Surprised by the way the two leaders behaved, we also began to whisper to each other,” said a CC member.

Dahal and Thapa have lately been in serious conflict with each other, and the latter has been publicly accusing Dahal of betraying the dream of revolution and being a “stooge of regressive, expansionist and imperialist forces”.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: The government has decided that bridges will be built on the basis of need and not pressure from party leaders as has been the case in the past. The government is doing a study to prepare a system for prioritising the construction of new bridges and maintenance of old ones, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Silt Consultancy, National Consultants, Hitech Valley and Bridge Consultancy are conducting the survey for the government as a joint venture. As per the contract made with the Department of Roads, the firms will identify the present condition of 1,600 bridges across the country, spot sites for new crossings and streams required to be bridged, prepare a list of bridges that need to be replaced or upgraded based on a multi-criteria analysis and install an MIS-based bridge management system.
“We will provide details of all the bridges on the website besides mentioning the locations where bridges are required,” said Naresh Man Shakya, senior divisional engineer at the department. He added that sites for 300 new bridges would be identified within January 2012 after the consulting firms submit their interim study report.
Detailed information of the bridges with a GIS map and photos will also be accessible to the general public through the department’s official website, said Shakya. Hitech Valley is developing special software to install and start an MIS-based bridge management system.
The study is being carried out with support from the World Bank to better manage construction of new bridges and maintenance of old ones. Under the Road Sector Development Project (RSDP) Additional Funding (AF), the World Bank has provided Rs 30.5 million to the government for development and implementation of an MIS-based bridge management system.
A high-level official at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works said that the system being planned for building and managing bridges would discourage pressure to build bridges as per the fancy of political parties. “Bridges will be built only after a multi-criteria analysis regarding traffic volume, socio-economic need and availability of resources. They will be built gradually one by one as per the listed locations,” added the official.
Besides managing bridges under a new system, the study is also a tool to attract more resources under the World Bank’s new lending mechanism—Programme for Result (P4R)—for the Bridge Improvement and Management Project in Nepal. An official said that the World Bank has shown interest to provide US$ 15 million each year for four years for bridge construction and maintenance under this new funding mechanism.
“It has become necessary to make information about bridges systematic and transparent to have access under the P4R funding mechanism to Nepal,” said an official at the department. The official added that they had also started the necessary lobbying for the project.
The study on creating a new system for building and renovating bridges, which started three months ago, is scheduled to be completed by June 2012. After the study is finished, the department plans to replace, upgrade or rehabilitate the existing bridges within five years. Shakya said the method would be yet another achievement after the implementation of e-bidding to maintain transparency in development projects.
Kathmandu, 30 Dec.:The Ministry of Local Development has floated three ways of running local bodies after the dissolution of the ad hoc All Party Mechanisms (APMs) formed to mobilise resources at the grassroots political units, Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmand Post..
“Holding fresh local elections is our first option. In case the election cannot take place, we are discussing alternatives,” said MoLD Spokesman Dinesh Thapaliya.
The remaining two options include handing over the charge of Village Development Committees, District Development Committees and municipalities to civil servants once again, and forming new APMs by holding them accountable. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had directed the ministry and the government to scrap the cross-party mechanisms comprising representatives of 25 political forces in the Constituent Assembly with the conclusion that they had promoted corruption.
Ministry officials said they were taking up the options with Local Development Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi. A recent research carried out by the UNDCF for the Local Development Ministry reveals that local bodies across the country misuse over Rs 20 billion annually, roughly 50 percent of the total budget allocated to local bodies. The report suggests that the government hold local elections to make local bodies more transparent.
After the term of the elected people's representatives expired in 2002, civil servants ran the local bodies until the APMs were formed in 2009.
Minister Rayamajhi and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai are positive about holding fresh local elections but no agreement has been reached among political parties, nor has the Election Commission been consulted in this regard. Even if the parties agree on fresh local elections, the ministry has to create special task forces to mobilise billions of rupees of resources allocated to local bodies for the time being. The Election Commission has already clarified that it needs a minimum of 90 to 120 days to prepare for the election and that the polls can be held in March or October.
Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Energy Minister Post Bahadur Bogati today stressed the need to build the 750-MW West Seti Reservoir Project to put an end to the power crisis plaguing the country, The Himalayan Times reports.

“There is no alternative to building the 750-MW reservoir project if we are to end load-shedding, which has gone up to 19 hours a day,” Minister Bogati told lawmakers in Parliament, which was discussing the power crisis.

Bogati noted that not a single reservoir-type project had been built since the 92 MW Kulekhani Reservoir Project came into operation in 1982. Except the Kulekhani project, all hydel projects, which have installed capacity of around 500 MW, are run-of-river type and their combined output during the dry season goes down to as low as 200 MW. The government currently imports 130 MW from India. This can hardly meet hardly six hours of daily national demand.

“The country needs at least 1,050 MW of electricity round the year to be free from load-shedding,” Bogati said.

The minister said as it was not possible to construct large-scale hydel projects immediately, a 100-MW diesel plant can be operated to cut outage by five hours a day. “But power from the plant will cost Rs 21 per unit. We will need Rs 4 billion annually to operate the plant,” he said.

Lawmaker Prakash Chandra Lohani, who tabled the motion for discussion, said installing a diesel plant was not a solution to the crisis and stressed the need to restructure the state power monopoly, Nepal Electricity Authority, to reduce leakages (currently 29 per cent) and declare incentives for the private sector to build hydel projects.

Energy scenario

Installed capacity: 600 MW

Thermal plant capacity: 54 MW

Energy output in dry season: 200 MW

Energy imported from India: 130 MW

Available energy in dry season: 310 MW

Projected power shortage: Up to 21 hours

Total energy required: 1,050 MW

Annual energy demand: 100 MW

Private sector contribution: 15 MW
Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Even as a faction of the Unified CPN-Maoist led by Vice-chairman Mohan Baidhya is pressing for transparency in party’s financial dealings, the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee today found Rs 814 million — out of Rs 9.109 billion disbursed for the Maoist fighters — unaccounted for, Lekhnath Pandey writes in The. Himalayan Times.

A financial statement presented by Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Satya Pahadi to PAC showed the state released Rs 9.109 billion for Maoist combatants from December 2006 to December 2011. Out of the total released amount, Minister Pahadi’s balance sheet showed that only Rs 8.295 billion had been spent on fighters’ salary, allowances and cantonment management. Out of Rs 814 million, which was unaccounted for, Rs 461 million has been shown as arrears in the name of Maoist standing committee member Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who had received the money in 2006 when he was minister for information and communications as ‘advance’.

The Maoist party has not been able to answer what did it do with the money that was released in the names of 2,449 fighters who were found to be ‘missing’ during the regrouping process conducted by the Secretariat of the Special Committee (for supervision, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants).

At today’s PAC meeting, lawmakers raised questions whether the Maoist leadership was lining their own pockets. The Maoists, until mid-December, had been receiving around Rs 25 million from the cantonment management office under the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction for fighters’ stipend and allowances.

Minister Pahadi, who could not explain why Rs 814 million was unaccounted for, however, tried to defend the ‘missing’ fighters, saying they ‘did not participate in the regrouping process for various reasons’, an excuse the Maoists have been giving for long. She claimed that the money taken by Mahara was spent to bring Maoist combatants to cantonments from different parts of the country. “Therefore an account could not be maintained.”

CPN-UML leader and former finance minister Surendra Pandey, however, demanded a thorough probe into the payments to ‘missing’ combatants. “Allowances have been released for all the combatants while 2,449 combatants were found missing. This calls for a probe,” said Pandey.

Prakash Chandra Lohani of Rastriya Janashakti Party and Deep Kumar Upadhyay of the Nepali Congress also demanded investigation.

Maoist lawmaker Narayan Dahal, however, said the issue was being blown out of proportion and that the allowances were spent ‘as per a political decision’. Dahal, also a brother of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, even warned that raising the fund misuse issue could derail the entire peace process. But he did link the issue with the infighting in the Maoist party.

“Had there been no conflict among the Maoist leadership, this issue would never have popped up,” said Dahal.

PAC Secretary Som Bahadur Thapa told THT that the panel wants to know the truth behind the ‘missing’ fighters and inappropriate balance sheet presented by Minister Pahadi.

Interestingly, PAC has summoned the Secretariat of the Special Committee on January 8 to clarify about the payment made to 2,449 ‘missing’ combatants. When contacted, Secretariat Coordinator Balananda Sharma, who said the Secretariat in no way was involved in Maoist combatants’ money-related issues, was taken by surprise to learn about PAC summons.
Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Scottish scientists have analysed the DNA of a mummified finger claimed to belong to a yeti, agencies report from Edinburgh.

The finger’s about three-and-a-half-inches long and blackened, with a long nail. It was recently rediscovered at the Royal College of Surgeons in London during cataloguing.

It was brought from Nepal in the 1950s — smuggled out of the country with the help of actor James Stewart. It had been removed from what’s known as the Pangboche Hand, claimed to be the hand of a yeti, and kept in a temple. Explorer Peter Byrne was able to get permission from the temple to remove one finger in secret — which was then smuggled back to Britain in Stewart’s wife’s lingerie case.

However, the finger’s now been analysed by scientists at Edinburgh zoo — who have concluded that it’s actually human. “We had to stitch it together. We had several fragments that we put into one big sequence and then we matched that against the database and we found human DNA,” Dr Rob Ogden, of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland told the BBC, which has made a documentary about the tests. “So it wasn’t too surprising but it was obviously slightly disappointing that you hadn’t discovered something brand new. Human was what we were expecting and human is what we got.”

The team says it’s very similar to known human DNA sequences from that region of Asia, and could have belonged to a long-ago monk. The Royal College of Surgeons says it’s happy to return the finger to the monastery.



Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachedhar, who is also home minister and acting defence minister as well, returns from a five-day China visit without consultations with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
But he held security talks related to a postponed visit of Wen with his counterpart in Beijing.
New date for the rare visit scheduled for 20 December hasn’t been fixed as yet.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Gurungs. who live mainly in the hill districts of the West are celebrating Tamu Loshar Friday.
Government declared Friday a public holiday to celebrate the spring festival.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Two more persons, including an Indian, have been held for suspected murder 5 December at a jewelry shop in Pulchowk, Lalitpur.
Ranjeet Sah of India and Jitendra Shrestha of Bhaktapur were arrested by Crime Investigation Bureau (CBI) for the suspected murder of Juju Kazi Bajracharya.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.:Shiva Ram Joshi and Shambhu Bahadur KB, absconding executives of a finance company, were arrested from the capital Thursday.
They are the former general manager and chairman of Capital Merchant and Finance Company Ltd. and Nepal Progressive Finance.
They were arrested by Central Investigation Bureau at the request of Nepal Rashtra Bank for misappropriation of an estimated Rs 600 million.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Altogether 18.5kg hash was recovered after a raid on a house in Naikap in the capital Thursday.
Som Bahadur Tamang and Raj Kumar Ghale were arrested.


Kathmandu, 30 Dec.: Casino Shangri-la, with a Rs 300 million Malaysian investment, closed down indefinitely Thursday following labour problems.
Labour problems surfaced afer demands of workers affiliated with Maoists and UML/
Management has notified labour ministry, labour department and workers.


Kathamandu, 30 Dec.: Nepal Rashtra Bank (NRB) Governor Yubaraj Khatiwada underwent an angioplasty procedure at Norvic Hospital Thursday.
He was admitted there after complaining of chest pain.


‘One should not question or challenge the decision of the supreme court.”

(NC President Sushil Koirala, The Kathmandu Post, 30 Dec.)


Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: Minister for Health and Population, Rajendra Mahato has said that the Supreme Court's verdict on the recruitment of Madhesi in the Nepal Army was against the Madhes and the Madhesi people, RSS reports from Janakpur., .

Addressing the silver jubilee function of the Monastic Residential High School here today, he said the apex court's verdict was a political one.

Stating that the struggle for Madhesi rights was at the final stage, Minister Mahato warned of setting up a blockade to stop supplies to Kathmandu if the four-point agreement was not put into practice.

He said an NC-led government would be formed after the completion of the peace process, and the country would go for a fresh mandate after promulgation of the new constitution.
Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: A time bomb hidden in a toilet exploded and injured eight year-old Roesya at her home in Chandranghapur Thursday.
She’s daughter of businessman Kulman Shahi.
Janatantrik Madeshi Party (JMP) in Rautahat claimed responsibility for the bombing.


Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: Leaders of various political parties have expressed different opinions over the denial of the Supreme Court (SC) to register the petition to review the SC's verdict on Constituent Assembly (CA) term extension, RSS reports.

Speaking at a programme organised in the capital on Thursday, standing committee member of the UCPN-Maoist Dev Gurung said the SC entered in the political issue by crossing its jurisdiction.

Likewise, CPN-UML leader Bharat Mohan Adhikari, however, said the CA term can't be for indefinite time and added the President should mediate between the SC and the Legislature-Parliament if dispute persists.

Similarly, lawmaker of the Nepali Congress, Shovakar Parajuli said the SC crossed its jurisdiction adding that both the court and House were criticised for CA's failure to deliver the constitution.

The SC had denied accepting the application lodged on behalf of the government and Speaker to review the SC's verdict on CA term.

Maoist leader Gurung said denial of the issue demanding judicial remedy from the administrative decision was not appropriate.

Gurung said, "If the court crosses its jurisdiction in this way, it could be interpreted that independent judiciary was heading towards becoming arbitrary."

However, leader Adhikari said the SC's verdict has addressed the people's sentiment. "In my opinion, denial of the application is appropriate."

Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: Short supply of petroleum products has been seen in the market with the scrapping of separate prices earlier set by the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) for industrialists and general people in petroleum products, RSS reports.

The NOC had fixed separate prices in kerosene and diesel few weeks ago. The government scraped the separate price after business sectors launched agitation against the decision.

According to a source at the NOC, short supply will be seen for further few days despite receiving the Rs. 1.50 billion by the Employees' Provident Fundon on the request of the government.

According to the Chairman of Petroleum Dealers Association, Saroj Pandey, the government should search long term solution as the amount provided by the Employees' Provident Fund will only solve the problem of petroleum products for few weeks.

Spokesperson of the NOC, Mukunda Dhungel said that impact of the petroleum products have been directly seen in the country after the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) refuses to supply oil until the NOC provides dues to the IOC.

Currently, the NOC has loss of Rs. 1.28 billion per month.

According to the NOC source, there is loss of Rs. 342 in each cylinder of cooking gas, Rs. 18 in each liter of diesel and Rs. 12 in each liter of kerosene oil.

There are 2,200 petrol pumps across the country. Kathmandu valley has some 124 and of them, and 75 percent of the country's petrol pumps are in the condition to be shut down.

Kathmandu, 29 Dec.:: A meeting of the Investment Board (IB) held today decided to nominate more members in the Board, RSS reports.

The meeting held at the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) decided to nominate Vice-President of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), Bhawani Rana, former President of the FNCCI, Kush Kumar Joshi, and industrialist Krishna Acharya.

According to Finance Minister, Barsha Man Pun, the meeting also appointed Anil Shah and Chandra Dhakal as the permanent invitee members in the IB.

Similarly, Minister for Energy, Minister for Physical Planning and Works and Minister for Information and Communications, and Secretary at the Finance and Infrastructure Division of the PMO were also appointed as the permanent invitee members in the IB, Minister Pun said.

Chief Executive Officer of the IB, Radhesh Pant, said discussions were held to create investment-friendly environment and the members agreed to submit concept paper in this regard in the next meeting of the Board.

Panta said, "We are doing homework to create investment-friendly environment though it is necessary to reform on the policy level."

The government has already declared 2012 as the investment year in an attempt to increase investment in the country.


Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: :Various distinguished persons and the members of the general public paid tributes to the late king Birendra Shah at a commemorative function organized by the Yogi Narahari Nath Trust Spiritual Council at Jawalakhel on Thursday, RSS reports from Lalitpur.

The commemorative function was organized on the occasion of the 67th birth anniversary of the late king.

Speaking at the function, distinguished persons have stated that the future generations should cherish the contributions made by the late king for the welfare of the country and the people.

President of the Trust, Shankar Paudel stressed that the nation should not forget the contribution and the personality of the late king Birendra who propounded the concept of Nepal as a Zone of Peace.

Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: China has released its next five-year space plan to help it on its way to its eventual goals of building a space station and putting a man on the moon., AP reports from Beijing
The white paper released Thursday says that by the end of 2016, China will launch space laboratories, manned spaceships and ship freighters, and make technological preparations for the construction of space stations.

It says the country will carry on exploring the moon using probes, start gathering samples of the moon's surface, and "push forward its exploration of planets, asteroids and the sun."

China places great emphasis on the development of its space industry, which is seen as a symbol of national prestige.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Kathmandu, 29 Dec,: Supporters of lawmaker Sanjaya Sah Thursday closed down Dahsusha
They were protesting parliamentary action against him when he broke mikes and obstructed parliament session forcing the adjournment of legislative session.
Sah attempted to show solidarity with a Dalit boy killed in Kalikot for entering the kitchen of a man perceived from a high class.
Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: All Nepal Teachers’ Association and All Nepal Teachers’ Union Wednesday announced protest programmes from 5 January pressing government to give permanent status to temporary teachers.
They presented demands to the education ministry the same day.
announced protests against the government, saying the eighth amendment to the Education Act will not address their demands.
Sit-ins , non-cooperation and school closure programmes were announced from 5 to 15 January.
A recent eighth amendment of the education won’t address demands, they said.


Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: The District Police Office, Bara arrested Nanda Lal Saha (55) of Dharmanagar-9 accusing him of hiding abductors, RSS reports from Kalaiya.

Some unidentified persons kidnapped Mahendra Chaudhary (50) of Bara, Bhodaha-4 from his house and made him captive at the house of Saha since December 26.

Abducted Chaudhary had managed to escape from the place where he was kept and informed police about the incident.

The abductors had demanded ransom worth Rs. two million for the release, Chaudhary informed.


Kathmandu, 29 Dec.: The inflow of tourists has surged in Tilaurakot, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, when there are few days to go to bid farewell to the Nepal Tourism Year-2011, RSS reports from Kapilvasthu.

Number of foreign tourists visiting the tourism site enriched with archeological and historical importance has abruptly gone up almost at the end of the tourism year.

As many as 23,300 foreign tourists excluding Indians had arrived Tilaurakot during the first 11 months of the year. Around 1,500 Indian nationals turned up the historical site during the period.

Likewise, 700 foreigners visited the place during the period from first to third week of December.

According to the records of attendance book kept at Lumbini Development Trust, Tilaurakot, score of domestic tourists visiting the Lord Buddha;s birthplace stood at 1,434.