Nepal Today

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BUDDHIST TEAM FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA ARRIVING Kathmamdu. 1 Nov.: A team of 95 Buddhist monks and disciples from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia is arriving here on Friday in connection with the Visit Lumbini Year-2012, RSS reports.. The team is arriving here at the invitation of the Charumati Buddhist Mission Nepal, the Charumati Buddha Vihar and the World Youth Buddhist Monks Association Nepal branch. During its two-day stay in Nepal, the Buddhist delegation will call on the Prime Minister and visit Lumbini, Swayambhunath and Boudhdhanath. The members of the delegation will also perform a Buddha prayer at the 2,300 years old Charumati Stupa wishing for world peace. President of the World Youth Buddhist Monks Association Nepal branch and Chief of the Charumati Buddha Vihar, Bhikkhu Tapaswi Dhamma, said this visit of a team of Buddhist monks from the South East Asian countries will help promote Nepal and contribute to the development of Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Nnnn RARE ATTACK INSIDE SAUDI ARABIA Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: An industrial building in eastern Riyadh was almost entirely destroyed by a large explosion on Thursday, a Reuters witness said, Reuters reports Riyadh. The building was almost levelled by the blast, with one corner left standing, the witness said. Nearby vehicles were on fire and at least five fire engines were arriving at the scene. The reason for the explosion was not immediately clear. Al Arabiya television reported that the blast was caused by a fuel truck exploding at a petrol station, and that there had so far been no news of casualties. The report could not immediately be confirmed. Nnnn DISGRACED BO XILIAN EXPECTED TO PUT UP SPIRITED DEFENCE Kathmandu, 1 Nov.:BEIJING: Disgraced former top Chinese politician Bo Xilai can be expected to mount a feisty defence of himself when he finally comes to trial, but a guilty verdict is not in doubt, a lawyer who had a front seat at China's last major show trial said, Reuters reports from Beijing.. Zhang Sizhi was defence lawyer for Mao Zedong's widow, Jiang Qing, leader of the "Gang of Four" that wielded supreme power during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. She was given a suspended death sentence in 1981 for the deaths of tens of thousands during that period of chaos. As such, Zhang was witness to Jiang's spirited though ultimately fruitless defence, and thinks Bo could do the same. "Bo Xilai will be given the right to defend himself, but will he be able to use it? I cannot say for certain," the still sprightly Zhang told Reuters in an interview in his spartan apartment in central Beijing late on Wednesday. "I would expect though that he will defend himself to the fullest extent, according to what I know about the man," said the 85-year-old. There is little doubt about a guilty verdict. "It will be another show trial," Zhang said. Bo, 63, was widely seen as a contender for top leadership before his career unravelled after his former police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to a U.S. consulate for more than 24 hours in February and accused Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, of murdering a British businessman. Gu and Wang have both been jailed over the scandal stemming from the murder of Neil Heywood. In September, the government accused Bo of corruption and of bending the law to hush up the murder. While formal charges have yet to be filed, China's prosecutors and courts come under party control and are most unlikely to challenge the party's accusations. The Bo scandal has rocked Beijing, exposing rifts within the party - elements of which are strong supporters of Bo's populist, left-leaning policies - at a time when the country is preparing for a once-in-a-decade leadership change. "LITTLE GIRL" Zhang said he did not expect Gu, 53, to try and kill herself like Jiang did in 1991. "Her killing herself was a political act. She did not fear death," he said. "Gu is not like this. She's just a little girl." Zhang, who was sent to toil on a farm during the Cultural Revolution, has never given up his fight for legal and political reform in China. Zhang has campaigned against censorship and, more recently, lobbied for Wu Ying, a self-made businesswoman convicted in a multi-million dollar scheme to bilk investors, in a contentious fraud case that sparked sympathy for the peasant's daughter. Her death sentence was overturned this year. With China approaching the leadership change at a Communist Party Congress which opens in Beijing next week, calls for reform have grown in state media and amongst government-linked academics. But Zhang said he was pessimistic, especially for legal reform in a country where courts are controlled by the party. "The most important reform China needs to become a country with rule of law is independence of the judiciary," he said. "I don't talk about this very often for one reason - it will not happen ... It cannot happen as long as we live in a one-party state." nnnn

UPDATE ON PRESIDNT, PM MEET Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav Thursday asked Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to bring a budget only with consensus of opposition parties. The premier told president of efforts his and Maoist party’s effort at consensus. The government chief quoted the head of state as saying ‘there was no alternative to consensus’. The president and the premier discussed a budget and current political issues and efforts at consensus. nnnn BAIDYA MAOIST FACTION TO PROTEST DEVELOPMENT OF POWER PROJECTS THURSDAY Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: The Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist on Wednesday said it will launch protest programmes against "Indian intervention" in Nepali hydro resources from Thursday, The Kathmandu Post reports.. According to party leaders, the youth wing, National Youth Volunteers (NYV), is organising a protest programme on the Upper Karnali hydroproject on Thursday. The party will also hand over a memorandum to the government to scrap the contract as the first phase of the protests. A three-day national conference of the NYV, which concluded two weeks ago, had announced mass gatherings against the Upper Karnali, Arun III and the Saptakoshi multipurpose high-dam project from November 1-3. CPN-Maoist Politburo member Dharmendra Banstola said the protests will target "freeing the nation from Indian inteference in local water resources and thereby, freeing Nepal's national sovereignty." "These projects are more in favour of India than Nepal. We will block their implementation until the unequal agreements are scrapped and fresh ones signed," said Banstola at an interaction, 'Indian meddling in Nepal's Water Resources' here on Wednesday. Banstola claimed that the handing over of the Upper Karnali and Arun III projects to Indian developers was illegal as they were offered without the parliament endorsing them. "The handing over of the Upper Karnali and Arun III breaches Article 196 of the Interim Constitution," said Banstola. A total of 28 projects have been taken up by Indian developers. Banstola said his party was not against development, but that hydropower deals should be in mutual interests. He claimed that if given a chance, his party would generate 4,180 MW of energy from the Karnali river. "We have already formed a committee to initiate this process," he said. This new move is certain to discourage foreign investment, particularly from India, in the hydropower sector. Indian hydropower developers--GMR Infrastructure and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam--are currently in PDA negotiations with the government to develop the Upper Karnali and Arun III respectively. Meanwhile, a pre-feasibility study and soil testing has begun to develop the Saptakoshi high dam project. Nepal and India had in 1996 agreed to conduct a feasibility study on the proposed 3,000 MW multi-purpose high dam and the Sunkoshi-Kamala diversion project. Authorities, however, failed to expedite the work because of protests by Maoist-affiliated associations and local residents. nnnn PADDY PRODUCTION FALLS 14 PERCENT Kathmandy, 1 Nov : Acute shortage of fertilizer and prolonged drought during plantation season is going to inflict a loss in production of 563,000 tons of net edible foods this year, says a fresh report of the government, Prabhakar Ghimere writes in Republica. “Compared to last year, we anticipate the production of paddy and maize to fall by 14.2 percent and 10 percent respectively this year,” said Prabhakar Pathak, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD), disclosing the finding of preliminary projection report on food output for 2012/13. The report, which is still to be made public, suggests that the total paddy output is expected to drop by 720,000 tons this year compared to 5.07 million tons -- all time high production -- recorded last year. Likewise, maize production is anticipated to drop by around 164,000 tons due to insufficient rainfall during the farming season. “This loss in production of paddy by 720,000 tons (or 432,000 tons of milled rice) and maize by 164,000 tons (131,000 tons in edible state) will eventually lead to a loss of 563,000 tons of net edible foods this year,” Pathak told Republica. • Impact of shortage of fertilizers, drought • Paddy production to drop by 14.2 percent, maize by 10 percent • Food demand to reach 5.3 million tons • Key producer districts reported less than 65 percent plantation • Production area decline 140,000 hectares Officials attributed the drop to severe shortage of chemical fertilizers during plantation season and long spell of drought along with insufficient irrigation facility. Paddy and maize are the key cereals of Nepal. But some 46 percent of total agriculture land is rain-fed. And productions were hit because the country recorded average rainfall of just 61 and 87 millimeter in June and July this year, whereas it was 110 and 96 millimeter respectively last year. Owing to drought and fertilizer scarcity, the total paddy plantation areas itself shrank, said Pathak. According to the report, farmers planted paddy in just about 1.38 million hectares, which is a decline by 140,000 hectares compared to a total area in which paddy was planted last year. “Plantation was done in just about 91 percent of the paddy land this year,” it reads. The paddy plantation area declined mainly as Dhanusha and Siraha -- key paddy producing districts -- reported plantation in just 49 percent and 50 percent of paddy land. Similarly, plantations in Mahottari and Saptari were done in just 60 percent and 65 percent of paddy land respectively. Last year, the four districts reported almost cent percent plantation. As a result, total production of major cereals -- paddy, maize, wheat, millet and buckwheat combined -- increased by 9.8 percent to 9.45 million tons, enabling the country to enjoy a food surplus of around 886,000 tons in 2011/12. Contrary to drop in output, the report says demand for cereals could rise by 100,000 tons to 5.3 million tons this year. “We will not face food scarcity if the winter crops remain normal. But in the context of climate change we can´t rule that out. Even if situation is normal in winter season, at least 27 districts will face food deficit this year,” Pathak added. Nnnn ________________________________________

RULING MADESHIBADI MORCHA MEET Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Ruling five-party Samyukta Loktantrik is holding discussions latwe Thursday whether to go for reinstatement of the dissolved constituent assembly (CA) or assembly elections to resolve a continuing deadlock. Differences have cropped up in the alliance governing the country with Maoists. The front meets after main opposition NC formally opted to for assembly elections around April 2013 with formation of a national consensus government to replace the Baburam Bhattarai government who sayd he’ll lead such a government and hold a vote without a package agreement.. Another opposition UML has also been demanding assembly elections. The ruling Madeshbadi front is meeting after lending firm support to government to reshuffle government if no agreement is reached with opposition on major disputed issues. Chairman Prachanda has been empowered to talk with the opposition. nnnn NO RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PROMOTED COL. RAJU BASNET Kathmandu, 1 Nov.;The government has said it has not given any responsibility to Brig Gen Raju Basnet , whom the Cabinet awarded a promotion despite his rights Record, The Kathmandu Post reports. In an explanation furnished to the National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC ) last week, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) stated that Basnet was sent to the reserve pool immediately after his promotion. The NHRC on October 6 asked the government to furnish its decision within three days regarding Basnet with an explanation for its failure to prosecute him. NHRC Spokesperson Gauri Pradhan expressed dissatisfaction at the government's response saying that it had failed to address questions raised by the commission. "We wanted to know why he was promoted, not where he was posted," said Pradhan. The human rights watchdog would hold discussions on the letter sent by the PMO and come up with its position, added Pradhan. Basnet was among 31 army officials implicated by the NHRC for their alleged involvement in torture and disappearance of 49 people arrested as Maoist suspects at the Bhairabnath Battalion, Maharajgunj, in 2003. On September 13, 2009, the commission wrote to the prime minister's office recommending action against Basnet and 30 army officials for their involvement in serious cases of human rights violation. (Note: Maoists shot dead Col. Basnet’s half-brother ,also a senior army officer in the capital. National and foreign rights groups made no mention of pardons and amnesty for serious rights abuses by Maoists by the same cabinet meet that promoted Col. Basnet. Charges against Chairman Prachanda and Premier Bhattarai for crimes during the Maoist insurgency were withdrawn by the same cabinet meet.) nnnn IMPLEMENT GOVERNANCE ACTION PLAN Kathmandu, 1 Nov.:Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Wednesday instructed all the ministers and secretaries to strictly implement the Immediate Governance and Action Plan-2012 that incorporates 201 initiatives in 15 important public sectors, The Kathmandu Post writes. The Prime Minister's Office unveiled the 23-page action plan on October 16. Although the PMO released the text of the plan in mid-October, PMO Secretary Krishna Hari Baskota formally read out the plan, officially unveiling it on Wednesday. PM Bhattarai issued the instructions after the unveiling. In his instruction to ministers and secretaries, the PM highlighted the importance of bringing out a governance plan during a protracted political transition. "We should not always keep quiet in the name of political transition. People are waiting for some kind of change and we need to deliver something to them," said the PM. Bhattarai said that the plan would be strictly implemented, thoroughly monitored and would have long-term implications on the nation's social and economic development. "Those who fail to implement the plan properly will be punished," warned the PM. The PMO has prepared an online monitoring system and will soon develop a monitoring template for the PM, concerned ministers, the chief secretary and the vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission. During the unveiling programme, Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudel said the new governance plan would set a benchmark for the upcoming budget. "Some programmes need budget while others don’t. The PMO is ready to facilitate implementation but we want to see progress at any cost," said Poudel. The new plan, fundamentally different from the previous good governance plan, is based on five principles--economic development, job creation, equity and justice, service delivery, and behaviour changes among the public and civil servants. "The plan aims to narrow down disparities between the rural and urban populations, and the rich and the poor by injecting new social programmes into the health and education sectors," said Poudel. "We have already prepared the performance rating of all the government ministries and identified the best and worst performers. This plan will not contradict the previous good governance plan," Poudel clarified during the meeting. The chief secretary also claimed that the plan was a paradigm shift and a departure from traditional thoughts on public governance as it was focussed on a result-oriented and accountable public sector. The plan will be implemented from Wednesday. nnnn

PRESIDENTIAL SUMMONS Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has summoned Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai for consultations on elusive attempts to find an outlet a cconstitution an political crisis and am emerging financial crisis.. The president also invited leaders of the Big Three in government and opposition and the ruling five party Madesh Morcha Friday for discussions. A concerned president has held at least five rounds of discussions with parties before to discuss the deadlock even threatening intervention amid warning from government to a ceremonial head of state. Major opposition parties have been demanding intervention while urging him not to announce a budget recommended by government without consensus for the remaining moths of the current fiscal year2012/13. With only a partial budget approved by a now dissolved parliament, government will run out of funds to run the administration after mid-November. Meanwhile, Premier Bhattarai has convned a meting of ;senior officials to discuss the crisis later Thursday. Nnnn PRIVATE SCHOOLS ASKED TO SHED FOREIGN NAMES IN SIX MONTHS Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Private schools bearing foreign names will have to switch to Nepali names within six months, according to proposed guidelines for private and boarding schools, The Himalayan Times reports. As per the proposed guidelines for private and boarding schools 2012, new schools will not be allowed to pick foreign names. According to the guidelines, schools should be named as per Rule 154 of the Education Rules-2059, which states that the names should reflect the Nepali identity. Notwithstanding this rule, government officials had allowed proprietors to name private schools after foreign personalities and football clubs, among others. Earlier this year, youth wings of opposition parties had launched protests against the practice of giving foreign names to educational institutions. As per the guidelines, schools cannot put the word ‘international’ without fulfilling certain criteria. “A-grade schools, institutions awarded with ISO certification or those with at least one percent foreign students can add ‘international’ to their names,” according to the guidelines prepared by a committee formed under Tek Narayan Pandey, director at the Department of Education. Only those institutions that are registered under trusts can receive support from the trusts and can be named after saints, litterateurs, scientists and educationists. The guidelines will come into effect once Education Minister okays it. nnnn NO INSIGHT OFFERED BY PROBE TEAM INTO MURDER OF JUSTICE BAM Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: The judicial probe commission formed to investigate the May 31 killing of Supreme Court Justice Rana Bahadur Bam today submitted to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai a 360-page report, offering nothing new, The Himalayan Times reports.. The commission formed under former SC justice Prem Sharma has failed to offer any new clues about the identities of those behind the broad daylight shooting in Lalitpur. A commission member said the report has suggested to the government to give continuity to police investigation into the shooting, though both police and judicial probes have failed to identify the shooters. The vague report states that the May 31 shooting is the act of an unidentified gang that is not satisfied with the Supreme Court. In the wake of pressure from the judiciary, the government had formed the commission on June 15 after declaring Bam a martyr. The report has called for the deployment of 1,000 police personnel under the command of a Superintendent of Police for the security of judges. It has suggested to the judges to be alert about their own security by arranging training for their personal security officers and drivers. The report has stressed the need to arrange a common residential complex for judges for their security. “We have suggested short-term and long-term security programmes for the courts and judges,” the member said. nnnn

FIFTH CHOPPER JOINS SIMRIK AIR FLEET Kathmandu,1 Nov.: Another helicopter joined Simrik Air During the festive season increasing the fleet strength of choppers with the private carrier to five. A French AAS 350B3-E joined the fleet during the peak autumn tourist season- Nnnn CAPITAL’S MINIMUM TEMPERATURE 10 DEGREES CELCIUS Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: The capital’s minimum temperature Thursday morning was 10 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 27 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Nnnn MACHINDRA CLUB PLAYS NPC Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Machindra Club plays Nepal Police Club (NPC) in the Safal Poljara Cup in Pokhara Thursday. NRT and APF have already entered the quarterfinal Nnnn INDIA BEAT PAKISTAN IN WOMEN CRICKET; NEPAL OUT OF CHINA TOURNAMENT Kathmandu, 1 Nov.: Indian women lifted the inaugural ACC Twenty20 in China Wednesday. Nepal was out of the championship losing to Sei Lanka, Bangladesh and China in group matches. Nnnn CPN-MAOIST IDENTIFIES NEW ENEMY Kathmandu, 1 Nov : In a major policy shift, the CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of the UCPN (Maoist), has named a combination of political, bureaucratic and ´comprador´ capitalist elements ´protected and guided by Indian expansionists´ as its principal enemym Kiran Pun writes in Republica. According to a political document presented at its central committee meeting by party Chairman Mohan Baidya this past week, the main contemporary contradiction of the Nepali people is with compradors, bureaucrats and capitalists guided and protected by Indian expansionists. The newly-formed Maoist party also said that a significant change in the political and social situation seen during the past two years had compelled the party to redefine its principal enemy. Defining of a principal enemy in a communist party´s official document carries special significance because all the activities of such a party are designed and executed to defeat the "principal enemy". According to commentators, this latest process of redefinition floated by the CPN-Maoist demonstrates a major shift from a policy adopted two years back when the UCPN (Maoist) party was united. The party had then defined Indian expansionists blended with domestic reactionary forces as the party´s principal enemy. Further explaining the nature of the presence of the principal enemy in different state organs, the CPN-Maoist said that a section of all major political parties including the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and Madhes-based parties are protected and guided by Indian expansionists. Such a trend is also visible in those bureaucratic and business classes that work to serve the interests of Indian expansionists and act against the national interests, it is stated. Most of the bureaucrats coming from the elite classes also fall under the principal enemy category, said the documents seen by Republica. Similarly, Chairman Baidya´s political document has pinpointed American imperialism and Indian expansionism as enemies and said that with the rise of the European Union and other regional alliances, the US had lost its superpower status and the world had become multi-polar. Defining the principal enemy was the main issue in the debate among the three factions led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairmen duo Baidya and Baburam Bhattarai, during the Palungtar plenum two years. Dahal and Baidya had taken a stance defining Indian expansionist as the principal enemy whereas Bhattarai had opposed that idea and had argued that it was not Indian expansionists but domestic reactionary forces, especially feudal ones, that should be defined as the principal enemy. The plenum finally endorsed the version floated by Dahal and Baidya, forcing the Bhattarai faction to write a note of dissent. However, within three months, Dahal had turned to the Bhattarai faction and Baidya had written the note of dissent. The issue of defining the principal enemy was one of the major factors that triggered a split in the UCPN (Maoist) last June. Nnnn NA SLS GOVT.FOR RS. 9 BILLION Kathmandu, 1 Nov : Stating that the Nepal Army was running out of money even to pay regular salaries and carry out day-to-day operations, Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Gaurav Shumsher Rana urged Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun on Wednesday to provide over Rs 9.94 billion, including Rs 858 million for salary payments, Kamal Pariyar writes in Republica. CoAS Rana requested the finance minister at his office at Singhadurbar to allocate the money as soon as possible so that the NA´s regular work is not affected. According to ministry sources, Minister Pun has assured CoAS Rana of releasing a budget for regular salaries at the earliest by arranging alternative sources. But he clarified that he was not able to release any budget for purchasing helicopters, for their maintenance or for the purpose of integrating former Maoist combatants, until a full-fledged budget based on political consensus comes through. According to finance ministry sources, the NA has demand Rs 2.55 billion for the purchase of two helicopters, Rs 1.33 billion for integration and Rs 5.2 billion for the maintenance of four existing army helicopters. The army has demanded Rs 136 million at present to begin integration of the remaining Maoist combatants. Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kuber Singh Rana also met Finance Minister Pun for addressing the budget crunch as soon as possible. Nepal Police has demanded Rs 740 million and the Armed Police Force (APF) Rs 360 million to pay regular salaries of the security personnel. The key political parties are unable to reach a common understanding for providing the country a complete budget before the end of this month. The incumbent government is preparing to bring another one-third budget instead of a full budget based on political consensus. Nnnn ________________________________________

THREE WOMEN TRAFFICKERS ARRESTED IN INDIA Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Three Nepali women, who were arrested with a huge quantity of hashish, have been remanded into custody in India, RSS reports from Banke. Tulasi Basnet (35) Devisara Basnet (26 )and Lalsara Basnet (30) of Naubasta-7 in Banke district, have been remanded into custody at Baharaich district of Uttar Pradesh state of India. They were arrested with 4 kgs and 10 grams of hashish while they were going to Rupaidiha, an Indian bordering town, from Nepalgunj, according to Indian police. nnnn MAN FOUND DEAD IN NARAYANGHAT Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: A person was found dead at Sahid Chowk of Narayangadh in Chitwan district Wednesday morning, RSS reports from Chitwan. The deceased has been identified as Ramesh Karki aged around 41 years of eastern Chitwan, according to the District Police Office. Karki used to collect scraps in Narayangadh. Investigation into the case is underway and the body has been kept at Bharatpur Hospital for postmortem, said police. Meanwhile, a child of Bharatpur has been injured after falling from house roof. Sumit Gupta, 3, of Krishna Mohan Prasad Gupta, a resident of Beltadi of Bharatpur Municipality -2 was injured after falling from one storey while playing. Gupta, who fell Tuesday evening, is being treated in Chitwan Medical College, Bharatpur, the District Police Office, Chitwan, said. Nnnn SIX ARRESTED FOR SUSPECTED MURDER Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Six persons have been arrested by Sindhupalchok police for the suspected murder of Bhaktapur-based businessman Bhushan Kilambu. here in the district. Hari Bahadur Tamang, 47, Kaila Tamang, 32, Shyam Bahadur Tamang, 32, Singh Bahadur Tamang, 60, Saila Tamang, 27, and Palden Tamang, 28, of Mangkha VDC were arrested and presented before media. Kilambu was found dead at Phunglingkot-9, Sindhupalchowk 17 October Nnnn CLAIM SAYS IRAN HAS GIVEN UP NUCLEAR BOMB PLANS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.:Iran has drawn back from its ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, Israel's defence minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday, while warning that his country may still have to decide next year whether to launch a military strike against it, Reuters reports fromLondon.. Tehran denies its nuclear work has any military dimensions but governments in Europe and the United States are increasingly concerned over its intentions. Diplomacy and successive rounds of economic sanctions have so far failed to end the decade-old row, raising fears of Israeli military action against its arch-enemy. Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper that an immediate crisis was avoided when Iran chose to use more than a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes earlier this year. He told the paper that the decision "allows contemplating delaying the moment of truth by eight to ten months". "There could be at least three explanations. One is the public discourse about a possible Israeli or American operation deterred them from trying to come closer," he said. "It could probably be a diplomatic gambit that they have launched in order to avoid this issue culminating before the American election, just to gain some time. It could be a way of telling the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) 'oh we comply with our commitments'." Analysts say Iran already has enough low-enriched uranium for several nuclear bombs if it were refined to a high degree, but may still be a few years away from being able to assemble a missile if it decided to go down that path. Western diplomats say Iran appears to have nearly finished installing centrifuges at an underground nuclear plant, potentially boosting its capacity to make weapons-grade uranium if it chose to do so. Asked by the British newspaper whether, if Iran had not pulled back, the crisis would have peaked "about now", Barak said: "Probably yes". He added however that he believed Iran was still resolved to build nuclear weapons. "We all agree that the Iranians are determined to turn into a military nuclear power and we all share the declaration that we are determined to prevent Iran from turning nuclear and all options are on the table," he was quoted as saying. "We mean it - we expect others to mean it as well. So it's not something just about us. But we, for obvious reasons, see the Iranian threat in much more concrete terms." He said Israel reserved the right to act alone. "When it comes to the very core of our security interests and, in a way, the future of Israel, we cannot delegate the responsibility for making decisions even into the hands of our most trusted and trustworthy ally," he told the Telegraph. "It doesn't mean that we would be sorry if the Iranians come to the conclusion on their own. The opposite is true. But, if no one acts, we will have to contemplate action." nnnn

UPDATE NC DECIDES TO OPT FOR CONSTITUENT ASEMBLY ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Main opposition NC finally decided Wednesday to opt for constituent assembly elections. The party central committee took the decision Wednesday. Nnnnl TWO ARRESTED FOR SUSPECTED MURDER IN CAPITAL Kathmandu, 31 Oct..: Two persons have been arrested for the suspected murder of an unidentified man in Bhangal in Chapali 28 October Bishnu Tharu, 26, of Manpur-2, Bardiya and Chhiring Sherpa, 22, of Garma-3, Solukhumbu were arrested, police said. nnnn

UPDATE SSP SHRESTHA SUSPENDED Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: SSP Rabi Raj Shrestha has been suspended for three months. He’s been suspended until completion of investigation for involvement in cooperating with an Indian national for smuggling our foreign currency from the TIA. nnnn UPDATE CHEQUE DISTRIBUTION TO FORMER FIGHTERS STARTS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The District Administration Office (DAO), Chitwan, has started distributing the cheques of the second installment to the former PLA combatants remaining in Shaktikhor cantonment, RSS reports from Chitwan.. The Maoist combatants would receive Rs. 250,000 to Rs. 400,000 as per their ranks and positions, said Balananda Sharma, Coordinator of the Army Integration Special Committee Secretariat. Former Maoist combatants have thronged at DAO, Chitwan, in large numbers to receive their second installment. As many as 2,722 former Maoist combatants were at Shaktikhor based cantonment. A six-member team led by Sharma has been deployed for the distribution of the cheques and started the task since 10:00 am on Wednesday. The former PLA combatants have already received half of the amount in the first installment. The Secretariat of the Committee has the target of concluding the task by November 10 to all the 13,922 former combatants remaining in seven cantonments and some satellite camps. Nnnn ALLIANCE CALLS FOR GOVT. RESHUFFLE Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: An alliance of 21 political parties supporting the government Wednesday empowered alliance and Maoist Chairman to conduct immediate talks with opposition to end a prolonged deadlock. Talks between major ruling and opposition will begin Thursday as the alliance hich has adopted a tough position against opposition meets again Friday. The alliance decided to expand the present government if Thursday’s talks are inconclusive. The front also asked the Baburam Bhattarai government to promulgate a complete budger for the remaining years of the current fiscal year 2012/13. Nnnn NRT ENTERS QUARTERFINAL OF POKHARA CUP Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: NRT Wednesday entered the quarterfinal of the Pokhara Cup. One of the country’s oldest club, defeated Pokhara 2-1- The decisive goal was scored one minute before the end of play. nnnn

NEPSE RECCORDS SLIGHT GAIN Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Nepse gained 0.92 points or 0.21 percent minutes before closing Wednesdat. Nepse closed down at 448.75 points. Altogether 50,927 shares were traded for Rs.18.130 million in 370 transactions. nnnn UPDATE CHEQUE DISTRIBUTION TO FORMER FIGHTERS STARTS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The District Administration Office (DAO), Chitwan, has started distributing the cheques of the second installment to the former PLA combatants remaining in Shaktikhor cantonment, RSS reports from Chitwan.. The Maoist combatants would receive Rs. 250,000 to Rs. 400,000 as per their ranks and positions, said Balananda Sharma, Coordinator of the Army Integration Special Committee Secretariat. Former Maoist combatants have thronged at DAO, Chitwan, in large numbers to receive their second installment. As many as 2,722 former Maoist combatants were at Shaktikhor based cantonment. A six-member team led by Sharma has been deployed for the distribution of the cheques and started the task since 10:00 am on Wednesday. The former PLA combatants have already received half of the amount in the first installment. The Secretariat of the Committee has the target of concluding the task by November 10 to all the 13,922 former combatants remaining in seven cantonments and some satellite camps. Nnnn

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SON OF SIRAHA MAOIST LEADER ARRESTED FOR ABDUCTION Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The son of local leader of the CPN-Maoist-Matrika Yadav group who was wanted by police has been arrested. He is Manoj Yadav, son of Ganapait Yadav, who is the in-charge of the CPN-Maoist Siraha Constituency No. 5 Area Committee, RSS reports from Gokbazzar, Siraha . A special team of the Area Police Office, Golbazaar arrested Manoj from his house at Ayodhyanagar-9 Wednesday morning. Manoj is wanted by the police for the abduction of a student Sandip Yadav from Tenuwapatti in August 2011. Nnnn ACTION AGAINST 18 POLICE PERSONNEL NEPALGUNJ: The Banke District Police Office has taken action against 28 personnel for misconduct, RSS .reports from Nepalgunj. Chief of the Banke DPO, Superintendent of Police Bikram Singh Thapa said personnel against whom action has been taken are of the rank of constable to sub-inspector. The Banke DPO is currently conducting an internal purification drive. The action taken against the erring police personnel ranges from dismissal from service to reprimand and halt in promotion. Thapa said only police personnel who were found guilty of committing misconduct from time to time have been dismissed from service. Nnnn MONASTERY AT MATATIRTHA Kathmandu, 31 Oct.:: The World Buddhist Association is to construct a monastery in the name of Milarepa at Matatirtha of Kathmandu, RSS reports. Milarepa is the Buddhist scholar of the Nigmapa sect under the Mahayana tradition. The monastery will have 50 rooms including a meditation centre and an auditorium. President of the Association, Krishna Kumar Shrestha, said that a plot with an area of approximately 300 ropanis has been purchased and the construction of the monastery will be started from February. The monastery complex will also have two big and five small blocks for different purposes. The estimated cost of the project is around two billion rupees and it will be completed in five years, he said. nnnn GOVT. OPENING NEW HIMALAYAN PEAKS FOR CLIMBERS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The government is planning to open new peaks that are in demand for the promotion of mountain tourism and to create new destinations, The Himalayan Times reports.. “We will soon forward our study report of the peaks that can be opened for expeditions like other regular peaks,” said under secretary at the Tourism Industry Division Surendra Sapkota. The division is currently studying applications from various regions that have requested the government to open certain summits for expeditions. “We have a list of applications requesting us to open restricted peaks to create fresh destinations for tourists who arrive in Nepal for mountain and adventure tourism,” said Sapkota. “We are going through the documents and studying peaks that can be allowed for expeditions, and we are also taking suggestions from other related associations on the matter,” he said. “As soon as we prepare proper documents, we will forward them to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, which after further verification will submit the report to the cabinet for final approval,” he said, adding that there is a demand for new peaks and along with the permission to open the peaks, it will definitely attract quality number of mountaineers and create new destinations. “It has been more than eight years since the government last announced new peaks for expeditions, therefore, it is time that the government open new border-peaks for mountaineering,” said former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association Ang Tshering Sherpa. The government had, in 2003, opened 111 new peaks, and later nine other peaks in 2004, but since then no new peaks have been opened. Currently, 326 peaks are allowed for mountain expeditions and adventure sports. “We have also recommended 25 peaks, most of which are border-peaks that can attract quality number of climbers,” said Sherpa, adding government must simplify rules and develop a one-window system so that the process is completed on time. “It has been two years since we recommended names of border-peaks that are in demand among mountaineers,” he said. nnnn

PROPOSAL FOR NC TO GO FOR ASSEMBLY POLLS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Shitaula will present a formal proposal, at the party central committee Wednesday to go for elections of the constituent assembly to end a political deadlock, Spokesman Dhilendra Prasad Baud said. The committee meets later Wednesday. Nnnn DSP COMMITS SUICIDE BY HANGING Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: DSP Basanta Kumar Thapa committed suicide by hanging from a tree overnight at his home in Gokarna, Naya Patrika reports. He was deputed at Police Headquarters and had been recently transferred from Khotang/ He left a suicide note asking not search for him. Thapa committed suicide for family reasons. Nnnn TWO NEPALIS KILLED IN ACCIDENT IN INDIA Kathmandu, 31Oct.: A boulder crashed on jeep killing two Nepalis and two Indians at Dharchula, India, Tuesday. Dhanjig Singh Dhami and Ganesh Singh Dhami were killed. Two Indians were also killed. Bodies of Nepalis are being transported home after post-mortem. Nnnn SUSPENSION OF SSP RECOMMMEDED Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The suspension of SSP Rabi Raj Shrestha was recommended by Police Headquarters to home ministry. Shrestha is suspected for colluding with Indian national Binod Kumar Soni to s,uggle foreign currency worth Rs.12.4 million out of TIA 19 October. SSP Shrestha, was deputy security in-charge at the country’s only international airport. nnnn

TWO GURKHAS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN UPDATE Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: .A man wearing an Afghan police uniform killed two NATO troops in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the international military alliance said , AP reports from Kabul. The assault appeared to the be the latest in a string of insider attacks that have threatened to sever the partnership between international troops and the Afghan forces they are trying to train to take over responsibility for the country's security. There have also been cases of insurgents donning Afghan uniforms in assaults. A statement from NATO gave no further details, saying the shooting is still under investigation. Afghan officials said there was an attack in Helmand province's Nahri Sarraj district but also could not confirm any details. "We know that there are casualties," said Ismail Hotak, the director of the provincial office that coordinates with the international forces. Both the British and American militaries have large contingents in Helmand. At least 53 international troops have been killed in attacks by Afghan soldiers or police this year, and a number of other assaults are still under investigation, the international alliance has said. The surge in insider attacks is throwing doubt on the capability of the Afghan security forces to take over from international troops ahead of a planned handover to the Afghans in 2014. It has further undermined public support for the 11-year war in NATO countries. The attacks have not been limited to members of the NATO-led international coalition. More than 50 Afghan members of the government's security forces also have died this in attacks by their own colleagues. nnnn ATTEMPT TO ;EGALOZE AFGHAN JOBS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Naresh, of Sunsari, has been working at Dyn Corps International, an American company in Afghanistan, for almost three years, despite lacking any legal document for work. Naresh left for employment in the Middle East via the Kathmandu-India-Dubai route and, surprisingly, entered Afghanistan on an airbus chartered by the US Army from Dubai. Even then, he had no visa, The Kathmandu Post writes.. Naresh, who is currently in Kathmandu for Dashain, wants to go back to Afganistan with a work permit from the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) under the recent “legalisation scheme” of the government. This scheme aims to provide work permits to thousands of migrants working illegally in Afghanistan so that the government can keep better records of Nepali workers there. However, the department will issue work permits only to those working in the Afghan “green zone” and a new problem has already surfaced. The new scheme has made it mandatory for workers to produce visas before being granted the work permit. But since most workers are directly taken to Afghanistan via Dubai by employment companies in chartered flights, they never need a visa. Hence, most workers applying for the permit don’t have visas. “I don’t have a visa but I must go back anyway. If they don’t accept my documents and identity card, I will have to take another route,” said Naresh. It is understandable for migrant workers who have already tasted the riches of foreign employment to want to return to their jobs, no matter how gruelling they are. Naresh earns Rs 200,000 a month as a fuel operator in the US Army camp. “I cannot lose my job even if the department denies me the permit. I will take the same route that I took earlier,” he said. Suman, of Itahara VDC in Morang, echoes Naresh. Suman, who is also home for Dashain, will return to work on Saturday. “It looks like I need to resort to setting to fly back to work,” he said. As a billeting coordinator at the Etco company, Suman claimed he earns Rs 250,000 a month. “The entire salary goes to my savings. It’s a highly secure place,” he said. Another worker, Ritesh, who also works for Dyn Corps International, estimated that around 200 Nepalis returned home for Dashain. “There are around 15,000 Nepalis in my company alone and most of them are willing to work legally if the government provides work permits upon the submission of an identity card and work documents,” he said. However, officials at the DoFE have said they are preparing to issue permits to those who are able to produce original identity cards and documents proving their affiliation to particular companies. “We did not anticipate such cases,” said Purna Chandra Bhattarai, director general of the DoFE. “We have only been discussing with stakeholders such as immigration.” Despite strict regulations, the government has opened up Afghanistan for migrant workers, depending on the safety and security of their work. An estimated 40,000 Nepalis are currently employed in relatively safe works in Afghanistan. DoFE records show that 823 documented migrant workers left the country for Afghanistan last fiscal year. Despite potential security threats, the war-ravaged country has been one of the most sought after labour destinations given the lucrative salary in security camps, foreign missions and commissions. Returnee migrant workers claimed their salary ranges from a minimum of Rs 80,000 ($927) to a maximum of Rs 850,000 ($10,000) a month, depending on the nature of the work. (Names have been changed to protect the identity of the workers) Nnnn BRISK BUSINESS FOR PARAGLIDERS IN POKHARA Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Another flying season is here and hoards of paragliders have crowded the airspace of the lake city. Sarangkot, Pame and Khapaudi in Pokhara see over 300 flyers Daily, Shiva Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post from Pokhara.. Considered one of the top five paragliding destinations in the world, Sarangkot attracts hundreds of thrill seekers each year. The September-January period is considered the best for paragliding in Pokhara, offering flyers clear weather and panoramic view of snow-capped mountains. It also provides them with thrills of sailing over Fewa Lake. “It’s an exciting moment that I had never imagined,” said Rebecca, an American, expressing her delight. Hundreds of colourful paragliders hovering overhead instantly attracted Rebecca, who is on her first visit to Nepal. “I will return next year and fly once again next year.” The growing number of flyers, both international and domestic levels, means the operators could hardly hold back their smiles. “We have witnessed a significant growth in flyers this season,” said Bhupal Gurung, operator of Frontiers Paragliding, which operates more than 20 flights a day. The paragliding companies charge Rs 7,500 per flight for foreigners, while it is Rs 5,000 for Nepalis. Those who want to take a photograph during their flight will have to pay additional Rs 1,700. There are around 100 paragliding pilots, including Nepalis, associated with 15 companies that operate the adventure sports business. nnnn

TWO GURKHA SOLDIERS WITH BRITISH ARMY MUDERED IN AFGHANISTAN Kathmandu, 31 Oct. Two Nepalis Gurkha soldiers were murdered Tuesday in Helmut province in Afghanistan Afghans dressed in police uniform killed the Nepalis with British army, BBC said. Nnnn GOVT. DOLING OUT RS.200,000 TO EACH DISQUALIFIED MAOIST FIGHTER Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Government led by Maoists has decided to distribute Rs.200,000 each to former disqualified fighters UNMIN, a political arm of UN that disqualified the former fighters—mostly child soldiers—disqualified the combatants who have come out of the streets demanding reinstatement an removal of the disqualified tag. UNMIN has withdrawn from Nepal without completing its original mandate. Government decided to distribute the dole without concurrence of major parties represented at a special committee headed ex-officio by the prime minister for integration, resettlement and supervision of the former fighters. UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal opposed the distribution of the dole saying government doesn’t have right for its distribution.. Nnnn FRONT OF RULING PARTIES MEETS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: A meeting of a front of 21 parties supporting the ruling oNo right party has been convened and it assembled later Wednesday. Chairman Prachanda heads the front launched as an electoral alliance to gain two-third majority in constituent assembly elections to write a constitution . The opposition and Madeshbadi parties have also formed fronts to reinforce their hold on politics. nnnn FAIR PRICE SHOPS REOPEN Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Fair price shops are re-opening after Dashain and before Tihar Wednesday. Government agencies like Nepal Food, Corporation, Salt Trading Corporation and NTL selling essentials as subsidized prices. Nnnn

NC CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEET Kathmandu, 31 Oct.:: Main opposition NC central committee meets Wednesday. The meeting will decide whether to go for constituent assembly election for its reinstatement demanded Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel. President Sushil Koirala is pushing elections.. nnnn DOLE FOR FORMER MAOIST FIGHTERS SEKING RETIREMENT Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The secretariat is handing over the second and last installment of a golden handshake for 13,000 plus former Maoist in districts Wednesday. Cheques of ADB are being distributed with the help of district administration officials in an effort to complete the peace process. Another 1,200 former combatants have opted to join the Nepal Army and are on home leave before join state security Maoists fought during the 10-year insurgency. Those seeking retirement are getting between Rs.500,000 to Rs.800,000 in government and foreign dole. Nnnn POKHARA CUP Kathmandu, 31 Oct.. NRT play Pokjara Eleven Wednesday in the Safal Pokhara Cup APF entered the quarterfinal Tuesday beating Friends Club. Nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “There must be consensus on all issues, including the budget,” Lohani quoted the president as saying. “Parties must forge consensus both on political and economic issues. There is no alternative to consensus,” Lohani further quoted the president as saying. (Dr.Prakash Chandra Lohini quoting President Yadav in Republica, 31 Oct.)- BAIDYAYA CHARGES UCPN MAOIST A PARTY OF OPPORTUNISTS Katjmandu, 31 Oct : Categorizing the parties on the basis of their political character, the CPN-Maoist has labeled the UCPN (Maoist) as a “rightist-revisionist and opportunist” party, claiming the latter has undertaken various anti-national and anti-people activities such as the BIPPA agreement, Kiran Pun writes in Republica . Presenting the party´s political document at the party central committee meeting in Buddhanagar on Monday, party Chairman Mohan Baidya said that the UCPN (Maoist) is the biggest danger for the Nepali communist movement. He also accused the party of confusing the communists and the people. "The document does not explicitly name the parties but only hints at them. This has been done deliberately as there is a compulsion to talk them," said a central committee member of CPN-Maoist. After the split, the CPN-Maoist labeled the UCPN (Maoist) a “neo-revisionist and opportunist” party. UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and vice-chairman and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai have been termed “red renegades” saying they betrayed the Nepali revolution and Nepali people. Varying interpretation of Marxism in UCPN (Maoist) was the main reason for party split. Interestingly, the political document places CPN (UML) and UCPN (Maoist) in the same category --rightist-revisionist and opportunist. The Nepali Congress (NC) and Madhes-based political parties have been placed in the second category --reactionary and “status quoist”. According to CPN-Maoist leaders, NC and Madhes-based parties represent the landlords, elites, capitalists and upper class people of Nepal. The third category is a group of patriotic, revolutionary and leftist forces. They are fringe leftist parties following Marxism, Leninism and Maoism or Maoism. The 84-page political document presented by Baidya has 13 different parts. The next central committee meeting of the party will be held on Thursday after the CC members thoroughly study the document. Nnnn ________________________________________ DHULIKHEL RESORT BRIMS WITH CHINESE TOURISTS Kathmandu, 31 Oct : Resorts and lodges in Dhulikhel in regular days are generally preferred for hosting domestic and regional seminars and meetings. But this Dashain, they became a favorite destination for Chinese tourists, Madhusudan .Guragain writes in Reublica from Banepa. Resorts operators said almost all the resorts and lodges in Dhulikhel are presently occupied by the Chinese tourists. “We have barely encountered guests other than Chinese since the Dashain festival began,” said Thama Nath Dhungana, manager of Himalaya Horizon Hotel. In other seasons too, Dhulikhel receives Chinese tourists traveling individually. But from October to December, it has been attracting Chinese tourists traveling in groups as well. “As offices remain closed during Dashain, we had feared we might not find any guest during the festival. However, since the festival started, all our rooms have remained fully occupied - thanks to the fascination of Chinese tourists toward Dhulikhel,” added Dhungana. Dipak Thapa, manager of Mirabel Resort echoed Dhungana. Dhulikhel, located some 32 km east of Kathmandu, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. In recent period, it has managed to pull a large number of Chinese tourists. Popular resorts in Dhulikhel like Himalayan Horizon, Dhulikhel Lodge Resort, Mirabel Resort and Dhulikhel Mountain Resort have remained over flown with visitors from the northern neighbor. According to statistics, of the total tourists visiting Dhulikhel, 60 percent are foreigners, while remaining 40 percent are Nepalis. “In the past, Britons, Australians, Canadian, German, Austrian and French used to make the biggest chunk of foreign tourists in Dhulikhel. Now Chinese have outnumbered them,” said Prem Kantha Shrestha, president of Hotel Association Dhulikhel and Director of Dhulikhel Lodge Resort. Shrestha has been offering special travel packages for Chinese tourists entering the country via land route of Kodari. “Wonderful view of sunrise and dozens of snowy peaks, peaceful environment and options for short hiking have really been liked by the Chinese tourists,” he stated. Recent unveiling of a trekking trail between Sundarijal, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel too has helped the ancient Newari town to get more tourists. However, hoteliers say they have not yet succeeded in marketing Dhulikhel and tapping its natural beauty to the extent it should have been done. “Presently, tourists in average are spending 3 to 4 nights in Dhulikhel. However, we have barely managed to market it for luring more visitors,” said Uday Bhusan of Tourism Information Center, Dhulikhel. He viewed entrepreneurs in Dhulikhel should incorporate more activities, which is possible by adding new products, so that visitors could stay longer in the town. Nnnn MIGRANT WORKERS SPEND ONE FOURTH OF INCOME FOR JOBS Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Migrant workers spend nearly one-fourth of remittance earning to get foreign jobs, Yadav Raj Joshi writes in The Himalayan Times. About 384,665 new migrant workers, who joined foreign jobs in the last fiscal, spent Rs 59.93 billion on service fees charged by outsourcing agencies for employment in Malaysia, the Gulf — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain — and other countries. This amounts to about 16.66 per cent of the Rs 359.55 billion remittance earned from migrant workers. “It reveals that our real earning is just Rs 299.62 billion, said economist Chiranjivi Nepal. “The government should explore more lucrative destinations and jobs,” he said, adding that the expenditure was too high in comparison to remittance earning. He suggested that the government reduce the cost for joining foreign jobs and enhance the capacity of Nepali workers. “We are exporting unskilled or semi-skilled workers. We can double our remittance, if we export trained manpower,” he said. Outsourcing agencies have been charging more service fees and other charges than prescribed by the government . For instance, the Department of Foreign Employment has set Rs 70,000 as service fee for Gulf countries and Rs 80,000 for Malaysia, but the current market price is Rs 110,000 and Rs 130,000 for Gulf countries and Malaysia respectively. Migrant workers are paying up to six times more than the prescribed amount for lucrative destinations like Israel and Cyprus. Workers in Israel earn $1,200 (Rs 100,800) a month and $650 (Rs 54, 600) in Cyprus. The cost of getting jobs as per the government rate is just Rs 31.59 billion — about 8.78 per cent of the remittance income. But because of weak monitoring, outsourcing agencies and their agents have been overcharging. “Blaming outsourcing agencies is not fair,” said secretary of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies Subarna Shrestha. The service cost was fixed 10 years ago and it must be revised, she added. “The government must explore other job destinations and provide training to migrant workers as per the global demand.” A lot must to be done, she said, suggesting that a framework for migrant workers be developed with alternative job plans. Nnnn SANDY FOILS NEPAL ELECTION BID FOR UN BODY Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: The devastating Hurricane Sandy today [Tuesday] battered the regular business at the United Nations headquarters in New York, including the one of Wednesday’s election of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), where Nepal is bidding hard for a membership, The Himalaya Times writes. Officiating Foreign Secretary Arjun Bahadur Thapa told The Himalayan Times that the long-scheduled election of the UN forum has been uncertain as the deadly storm forced the global body to shut down on Monday and Tuesday, giving uncertainty of its regular business of Wednesday’s as well. “The election has now been uncertain,” Thapa quoted Foreign Secretary Durga Prasad Bhattarai as telling him from New York over phone. “Even if the UN returns on its regular business on Wednesday, the possibility of the election is very slim because it might give priority to complete first the pending works of on Monday and Tuesday,” Bhattarai added. Nepal has intensified diplomatic lobbying to ensure its quest for having a seat of the UN’s forum. Foreign Secretary Durga Prasad Bhattarai himself has been in UN Headquarters for last one and half months to garner international support for Nepal’s campaign. The ECOSOC is considered as among influential UN organ after the Security Council. It has 54 member states, which are elected by the General Assembly. Nepal is competing for one of 11 seats reserved for the Asian countries. But, this year, only five among 11 seats will be vacated and was scheduled to fill up by an election scheduled on October 31. Nepal needs 128 countries’ support out of the United Nations’ 194 member states to ensure its election to the coveted ECOSOC seat. “As of now, our position is strong in this race,” Foreign Secretary Bhattarai told THT. A source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told THT that the local authorities at New York has urged all diplomatic community, including the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations to be keep on inside house and safe location due to the calamity, which has already claimed as many as 16 peoples and 50 million people of the North-East part of the United States, including of the New York City are said affected. Nepal is hopeful to secure its seat in the ECOSOC, which is responsible for coordinating the economic, social and related work of 14 UN specialised agencies, their functional commissions and five regional commissions. It virtually looks after issues of sustainable development, MDGs, uplifting of the status of poorer countries among others. If elected, Nepal’s say will be increased in designing and implementing ECOSOC programmes. nnnn

NC CAMP FOR TOWN PRESIDENTS Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: The Nepali Congress (NC) is all set to organize a three-day gathering of its town presidents across the country from Saturday, RSS reports from Bhaktapur.. Madhyapur Town Committee gave the information at a press conference on Tuesday. “Town presidents from all 58 municipalities will take part in the gathering”, said Asta Kumar Kaben, President of NC Madhyapur Town Committee. At the gathering, President Sushil Koirala, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, vice president Ram Chandra Poudel and general secretaries Prakash Man Singh and Krishna Prasad Sitaula will impart training to the town presidents. Nnnn NAI PUBLICATION AWARDS ANNOUNCED Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: The Nai Publication has decided to present this year's international awards to Prof. Dr Gerard Toffin of France and to Dr Haruhar Sharma, an American national of Nepali origin, RSS reports. Anthropologist Dr Toffin will be honoured with the Nai Derukh International Award carrying a purse of Rs. 300,000. Similarly, Sharma is to be honoured with the Nai Derunikha International Award that carries a purse of Rs. 200,000. The publication has decided to award Dr Toffin for his contribution in promoting Nepal's image through the articles on Nepali culture and anthropology. Similarly, Sharma is to be awarded in recognition of his contribution to Nepal's health, education and culture. Nnnn PM SAYS GOVT. ISN’T OBSTACLE Kathmandu, 30 Oct : Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has said that the government would not be an obstacle to the Consensus, RSS reports. Talking to the media persons at tea reception organized by the CPN-UML at its headquarters, Balkhu, on Tuesday, the prime minister said that the talks among the major political parties were underway to end the current political impasse. He said the government would accept agreement if political leaders forge consensus in any issue. Prime Minister Bhattarai further said that he, in the capacity of the Prime Minister, and the government would not be an obstacle to implement the consensus made by the political parties. Nnnn

PM BHATTARAI ATTENDS UML TEA RECEPTION UPDATE Kathmandu, 30 Oct. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattari, who is also vice chairman of UCPN Maoist, Tuesday attended a tea reception of opposition UML to mark the festive season. He didn’t attend Monday’s MC tea reception. Nnnn DR.PRAKASH CHANDRA LOHINI CONCULTS PRESIDENT Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Dr Prakash Chandra Lohini Tuesday consulted President on the state of the economy and the national budget. Dr.Lohini is joint chairman of Rashtriya Janashakti Party aligned with the opposition which has been pressing the head of state not to give his approval to a budget for the remaining fiscal year without consensus between government and opposition. Only a partial budget was announced at the beginning of the fiscal year and funds available to government will run out in three weeks. Nnnn UPDATE APF ENTERS QUARTERFINALS Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: APF Tuesday entered the quarterfinal of the Safal Pokhara Football tournament. APF beat Friends Club 4-3. nnnn

RULING FRONT TO DECIDE ON ELECTION OR ASSEMBLY REINSTATEMENT THURSDAY Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) has called its meeting for November 1, Thursday to take a final decision whether to reinstate the Constituent Assembly or to go for fresh elections, RSS reports. A meeting of the Front that took place at the Army Integration Special Committee Secretariat at New Baneshwor after the three-party meeting took a decision to this end, said Chairman of the Sadbhawana Party and Minister for Health, Rajendra Mahato. The UDMF has felt the need to make its views on the present hot political agenda public since most of the parties are in the mood of going for new elections, he said. The meeting has been called for 2:00 pm Thursday and it is expected to discuss about the four-point agreement reached between the Front and the UCPN-Maoist in course of the formation of the incumbent government, the budget issues and the government activities, it is learnt. nnnn TWO YOUTH DEAD IN ROLPA Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Two youth s died in a mysterious condition while sleeping in the Sky Phone Tower at Ratamate of Rolpa district, RSS reports fromRolpa. Mansingh Oli, 18, and Devraj Oli, 16, residents of Garta in Ranka VDC -7 in Rolpa, who were sleeping in the room where generator was kept, died Monday night. They had gone to sleep at the tower house with the security staff of the tower. Although four people had slept in the house, two people sleeping in separate room died, said a local Mahabir Rana. They might have died from leakage of generator gas, locals suppose. Police team has reached there from Supekuna Pachhawang. Nnnn 15 KILLED IN VEHICULAR ACCIDENTS IN EAST IN DASHAIN Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Altogether 15 people were killed in vehicle accidents in various places of the eastern Nepal during the Dashain festival period, RSS reports from Itahari. During that festival, some 122 people sustained injuries, said the Eastern Regional Traffic Police Office, Itahari. 15 people lost their lives in 63 vehicle accidents until the evening of Kojagrat Purnima from Ghatasthapana day of Dashain, said the traffic police. Accident s were caused mainly due to excessive consumption of alcohol and negligent driving, police said. Nnnn 80KG HASH SEIZED Kathmandu, 30 Oct. Police seized 80kg of hash from Darja Bahadur Ghalan of Makwanpu Monday He was arrested from Lothar VDC in Chitwan. nnnn

UPDATE SHARE PRICES RALLY AFTER DESHAIN Kathmandu, 30 Oct. Share prices rallied on the first day of trading Tuesday after a long Deshain recess. Nepse closed at 447/83 points after gaining 11.13 points or 2.33 percent. Altogether 160,181 shares were traded for Rs.39.531 million in 833 transactions. Nnnn SUSHIL KOIRALA, CHINESE AMBASSADOR HOLD DISCUSSIONS Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: NC President Sushil Koirala and Chinese Ambassador Yang Houlan held discussions Tuesday. They reviewed bilateral ties. nnnn

Monday, October 29, 2012

MAN DIES AFTER FALLING OFF BUS Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: A man died after he fell off the roof of a bus heading towards Kathmandu from here Monday night, RSS reports from Pyuthan.. He is Himal Thapa, 25, of Bijuwar-3, Pyuthan district. Thapa was traveling on the roof of the bus and he suddenly fell down. The incident took place at Kalakate in Arghakhanchi on the East-West highway, Pyuthan Police said. Thapa worked as a driver at the Water Supply and Sanitation Division Office, Pyuthan and he was going to Kathmandu to bring the office chief back, according to the family sources. Similarly, Top Bahadur K.C., 22, of Badikot-6 in the district sustained injuries after he fell off the roof of the same bus. He has been taken to Butwal for treatment, the Ilaka Police Office, Bhalubang has stated. Police have arrested the driver and impounded the bus. It is said that the bus belonging to the Swargadwari Transport Service was carrying people beyond its capacity with large number of them also sitting on the roof. Nnnn SANDY KILLS 13 IN US, CANADA Kathmandu, 30 Oct : At least 13 people were killed Monday in the United States and Canada as the megastorm Sandy slammed into the US East Coast, tearing down trees and power lines with hurricane-strength gusts, AFP reports from .New York. Local officials in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 12 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. At least five people were killed by the storm in New York state, including a 30-year-old man crushed by a fallen tree in the New York City borough of Queens, a spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo told US media. Two people were killed in Morris County, New Jersey when a tree fell on a vehicle, according to a local emergency management official. Another two people were killed in Pennsylvania, one from a falling tree and another when a house collapsed, an emergency management official told AFP, without providing further details. Elsewhere along the East Coast, a US sailor on board a replica of the HMS Bounty was recovered from the sea and later died at hospital, and the captain was missing and feared dead after the tall ship went down off the Carolinas. A woman in Maryland died after hydroplaning into a tree, officials said. And in West Virginia, a 48-year-old woman was killed when her car collided with a cement truck while driving through heavy snow caused by the storm, a local official said. The National Hurricane Center downgraded Sandy to a post-tropical cyclone as it crashed into the US coast near Atlantic City, New Jersey but said it still packed hurricane-force winds of 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour. The storm also extended hundreds of miles in diameter, causing severe weather across a vast swath of states and in several major US cities. Further north, in Toronto, Canada, a woman was killed when she was hit by flying debris, according to police. In addition to the missing ship captain, the US Coast Guard also said it was also searching for a 40-year-old swimmer who went missing off the coast of Connecticut. As a hurricane, Sandy killed at least 67 people -- including a US national in Puerto Rico -- as it swept through the Caribbean over the past few days but had been expected to morph into a far more powerful storm on Monday. Authorities have warned the threat to life and property is "unprecedented" and ordered hundreds of thousands of residents from New England to North Carolina to evacuate their homes and seek shelter. Falling trees dragged down power cables, plunging millions of homes into darkness as night fell, while storm warnings cut rail links and marooned tens of thousands of travelers at airports across the region. Disaster estimating firm Eqecat forecast that the massive storm would affect more than 60 million Americans, a fifth of the population, and cause up to $20 billion (15 billion euros) in damage. Nnnn ________________________________________

STOCK MARKET OPENS AFTER DASHAIN RECESS Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Stock market opened Tuesday after a long Dashin recess. Altogether 549 shares were traded for Rs.117,026 in15 transactions in 10 minutes after the market opened. Nnnn SENIOR DISTRICT OFFICIALS INJURED IN VAN ACCIDENT Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: A van overturned overnight at Sandhikarkha,Argakanchi injuring at least one dozen security personnel. Three were critically injured The van hit a stationary jeep. Senior district officials, including CDO, were also injured. Nnnn

BIG THREE, MADESH MORCHA TALKS INCONCLUSIVE UPDATE Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Opposition parties NC and UML Tuesday morning rejected UCPN Maoist proposals for ending a constitutional and political deadlock “There can be no agreement on a budget and other issues until the resignation of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai,” UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said after the inconclusive talks. Nnnn PM INVITED TO UML TEA AS PARTY FUNCTIONARY UPDATE Kathmandu, 30 Oct..: In party and public by UML, the opposition Tuesday invited Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai as UCPN Maoist vice-chairman. “We have invited him in his capacity as senior vice-chairman and not as prime minister,” Krishna Gopal Shrestha, coordinator of the reception said. Maoists invited Madhav Kumar Nepal, who was prime minister to a similar reception, as a party functionary. Nepal hails from UML. Nnnn

BIG THREE, MADESH MORCHA MEET BEGINS Kathmandu, 30 Oct. Leaders if the Big Three and Madeshi Morcha in government began a meeting Tuesday morning to discuss an outlet to the continuing political and constitutional deadlock. The meeting comes a day after Maoist Chairman Prachanda said his party may change a party stance for reinstatement of a constituent assembly (CA) if demabded by other parties. “There can be an agreement of election if all parties agree,” the Maoist boss said But Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is also UCPN Maoist vice-chairman,insisted he’ll lead a government of national consensus as opposition insisted demands for his resignation are non-negotiable. The party supports the beleaguered premier. nnnn LONG POWER CUTS WITH WINTER BEGINNING Kathmandu, 30 Oct.:- Independent power producers (IPPs) have produced just 170MW of power so far although they hold 11,645MW of survey licence, which is 90 percent of the total number of licences distributed. Similarly, the private sector has filed construction licence applications for only 684MW (5.87 percent), the Department of Electricity Department’s (DoED) statistics show.Apart from a few genuine private sector players, the tendency of most of the developers to hold licence without, The Kathmandu Post reports developing projects has earned them a bad reputation. A senior official at the Nepal Electricity Authority ( NEA ) has questioned the private sector’s commitment n to the hydropower sector. “This has raised doubt over authencity of those holding licences,” said the official. The NEA has 72 percent contribution to the total power generated so far, while independent power producers and NEA subsidiaries have contributions of 24 percent and 4 percent respectively. However, the IPPs, relatively new in the field, blame lack of financing as major constraints. While domestic financial institutions are increasingly getting involved in hydropower projects, they still do not have adequate resources to finance medium- and large-scale projects, they said. Nepali commercial banks have the collective capacity to finance projects with about 150MW only. The IPPs have also been hit due to the absence of project financing and long-term loans from the banks. Subarna Das Shrestha, president of Independent Power Producers’ Association of Nepal (IPPAN), however, blamed the government for the private sector’s failure to develop power projects as required. “The government didn’t allow the private sector to come into the hydropower sector for long,” he said. “The government openly welcomes the private sector in hydro power development now, but they have not been facilitated properly.” Shrestha also pointed out the decade-long conflict, lack of financing and absence of infrastructure as major stumbling blocks. According to IPPAN, the IPPs are building 23 projects with a combined capacity of 2,300 MW. Shrestha also explained that out of the total survey licence holders, only feasible projects go for the generation licence. “Survey licence holders do not go for construction until the project is technically, economically and environmentally viable,” added Shrestha. According to the DoED, it has issued survey licences for 12,874 MW out of which the NEA has been surveying projects of 1,078 MW. While the projects based on the public-private partnership (PPP) model have received survey licences for 102 MW. Ram Chandra Pandey, general manager of the NEA ’s Generation Construction Division, said that as most of the IPPs do not have technical expertise and financial resources to develop hydro projects, they are lagging behind in developing the projects. The demand for energy has gone up by 250 MW in the last three years. The NEA projects the maximum energy demand at 1,100 MW for this winter, while the production remains at 261 MW. The projects currently operating have a total installed capacity of 713 MW. Apart from Kulekhani Hydel Project, all the other projects are run of the river (RoR) type, which means the energy generation during the winter drops down by 65 percent. Unless the government implements a load-shedding reduction plan, the NEA estimates the country will see load-shedding for 19 hours a day. nnnn INDIA BUILDS POND ENCROACHING NEPALI LAND Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: India has encroached land of four Nepali farmer at Sukhani VDc and constructed a pond, Dilip Singh writes in Naya Patrika from Siraha. The pond has been constructed 15 feet across no man’s land by residents of Bihar’s Madhubani district. nnnn

MINIMUM TEPERATURE 9 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Minimum temperature Tuesday morning in capital was 26 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 26 degrees in the afternoon. nnnn

ONE INJURED IN SAPTARI FIRE Kathmandu, 30,Oct.: One person was injured in fire Bhramapur VDC in Saptari Monday. Half a dozen houses were gutted. nnnn EC CALLS FOR AGREMENT BY NOV.FOR A VOTE Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: The Election Commission (EC) on Monday said that the political parties should reach a deal within the next month if elections are to be held in April, The Kathmandu Post reports.. Acting Chief Election Commissioner Nilkantha Uprety said that parties should arrive at a consensus before November 30 to address the legal and constitutional difficulties in holding the polls. A political decision should stipulate the type and process of the election, members to be represented in the assembly and allocate funds for the task, said Uprety. "We have already expressed that the Election Commission is ready to conduct elections. What we need now is a political agreement," said Uprety. He added that parties should amend the Interim Constitution and ready electoral laws four months before the poll date. The EC chief's statement comes in the wake of growing pressure among the political parties to prefer an election to Constituent Assembly revival. Former chief justices of the Supreme Court on Sunday told Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai that the CA could be legally revived as a legislature-parliament to amend the statute and to pass laws for another CA election. The EC has also been urging the government to appoint members to vacant positions before announcing the date of the polls. In two months, the constitutional body will be vacant unless the government amends the Interim Constitution to pave the way for the appointments. Appointment to any constitutional body, including the EC, is impossible in the absence of parliament as the Interim Constitution requires a parliamentary hearing of candidates for the coveted posts. Uprety retires on November 7 while two commissioners--Dolakh Bahadur Gurung and Ayodhi Prasad Yadav--are scheduled to retire on January 10. "We are hopeful of a decision to fulfill the vacant positions while announcing the election date," said Uprety. The government, after the dissolution of the CA on May 27, announced another CA election for November 22. The EC, in July, cited the failure to amend the Interim Constitution as the reason for its inability to conduct polls on the date. Posted on: 2012-10-30 01:00 KATHMANDU, OCT 30 - The Election Commission (EC) on Monday said that the political parties should reach a deal within the next month if elections are to be held in April. Acting Chief Election Commissioner Nilkantha Uprety said that parties should arrive at a consensus before November 30 to address the legal and constitutional difficulties in holding the polls. A political decision should stipulate the type and process of the election, members to be represented in the assembly and allocate funds for the task, said Uprety. "We have already expressed that the Election Commission is ready to conduct elections. What we need now is a political agreement," said Uprety. He added that parties should amend the Interim Constitution and ready electoral laws four months before the poll date. The EC chief's statement comes in the wake of growing pressure among the political parties to prefer an election to Constituent Assembly revival. Former chief justices of the Supreme Court on Sunday told Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai that the CA could be legally revived as a legislature-parliament to amend the statute and to pass laws for another CA election. The EC has also been urging the government to appoint members to vacant positions before announcing the date of the polls. In two months, the constitutional body will be vacant unless the government amends the Interim Constitution to pave the way for the appointments. Appointment to any constitutional body, including the EC, is impossible in the absence of parliament as the Interim Constitution requires a parliamentary hearing of candidates for the coveted posts. Uprety retires on November 7 while two commissioners--Dolakh Bahadur Gurung and Ayodhi Prasad Yadav--are scheduled to retire on January 10. "We are hopeful of a decision to fulfill the vacant positions while announcing the election date," said Uprety. The government, after the dissolution of the CA on May 27, announced another CA election for November 22. The EC, in July, cited the failure to amend the Interim Constitution as the reason for its inability to conduct polls on the date. Nnnn STORM HITS US EAST COAST Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: From Washington to Boston, big cities and small towns were buttoned up Monday against the onslaught of a superstorm that threatened 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation, with forecasters warning that the New York area could get the worst of it — an 11-foot wall of water, AP reports from New York. "The time for preparing and talking is about over," Federal Emergency Management Administrator Craig Fugate said Sunday as Hurricane Sandy made its way up the Atlantic on a collision course with two other weather systems that could turn it into one of the most fearsome storms on record in the U.S. "People need to be acting now." Forecasters said the hurricane could blow ashore Monday night or early Tuesday along the New Jersey coast, then cut across into Pennsylvania and travel up through New York State on Wednesday. Airlines canceled more than 7,200 flights and Amtrak began suspending train service across the Northeast. New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore moved to shut down their subways, buses and trains and said schools would be closed on Monday. Boston also called off school. And all non-essential government offices closed in the nation's capital. The New York Stock Exchange said it will be shut down Monday, including electronic trading. Nasdaq is shutting the Nasdaq Stock Market and other U.S. exchanges and markets it owns, although its exchanges outside the U.S. will operate as scheduled. As rain from the leading edges of the monster hurricane began to fall over the Northeast, hundreds of thousands of people from Maryland to Connecticut were ordered to evacuate low-lying coastal areas, including 375,000 in lower Manhattan and other parts of New York City, 50,000 in Delaware and 30,000 in Atlantic City, N.J., where the city's 12 casinos were forced to shut down for only the fourth time ever. "We were told to get the heck out. I was going to stay, but it's better to be safe than sorry," said Hugh Phillips, who was one of the first in line when a Red Cross shelter in Lewes, Del., opened at noon. "I think this one's going to do us in," said Mark Palazzolo, who boarded up his bait-and-tackle shop in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., with the same wood he used in past storms, crossing out the names of Hurricane s Isaac and Irene and spray-painting "Sandy" next to them. "I got a call from a friend of mine from Florida last night who said, 'Mark, get out! If it's not the storm, it'll be the aftermath. People are going to be fighting in the streets over gasoline and food.'" Authorities warned that the nation's biggest city could get hit with a surge of seawater that could swamp parts of lower Manhattan, flood subway tunnels and cripple the network of electrical and communications lines that are vital to the nation's financial center. Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph as of Sunday evening, was blamed for 65 deaths in the Caribbean before it began traveling northward, parallel to the Eastern Seaboard. As of 2 a.m. Monday, it was centered about 425 miles southeast of New York City, moving to the north at 14 mph, with hurricane-force winds extending an incredible 175 miles from its center. Gale force winds reported over coastal North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula and coastal New Jersey. Sandy was expected to hook inland during the day Monday, colliding with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic. Forecasters said the combination could bring close to a foot of rain in places, a potentially lethal storm surge of 4 to 11 feet across much of the region, and punishing winds that could cause widespread power outages that last for days. The storm could also dump up to 2 feet of snow in Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia. Louis Uccellini, environmental prediction chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press that given Sandy's east-to-west track into New Jersey, the worst of the storm surge could be just to the north, in New York City, on Long Island and in northern New Jersey. Forecasters said that because of giant waves and high tides made worse by a full moon, the metropolitan area of about 20 million people could get hit with an 11-foot wall of water. "This is the worst-case scenario," Uccellini said. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned: "If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you. This is a serious and dangerous storm." New Jersey's famously blunt Gov. Chris Christie was less polite: "Don't be stupid. Get out." New York called off school Monday for the city's 1.1 million students and shut down all train, bus and subway service Sunday night. More than 5 million riders a day depend on the transit system. Officials also postponed Monday's reopening of the Statue of Liberty, which had been closed for a year for $30 million in renovations. The United Nations said it would close Monday and canceled all meetings at its headquarters. In Washington, President Barack Obama promised the government would "respond big and respond fast" after the storm hits. "My message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape. We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules," he said. He also pleaded for neighborliness: "In times like this, one of the things that Americans do is we pull together and we help out one another And so, there may be elderly populations in your area. Check on your neighbor, check on your friend. Make sure that they are prepared. If we do, then we're going to get through this storm just fine." The storm forced the president and Mitt Romney to rearrange their campaign schedules in the crucial closing days of the presidential race. And early voting on Monday in Maryland and the District of Columbia was canceled. Despite the dire warnings, some people were refusing to budge. Jonas Clark of Manchester Township, N.J. — right in the area where Sandy was projected to come ashore — stood outside a convenience store, calmly sipping a coffee and wondering why people were working themselves "into a tizzy." "I've seen a lot of major storms in my time, and there's nothing you can do but take reasonable precautions and ride out things the best you can," said Clark, 73. "Nature's going to what it's going to do. It's great that there's so much information out there about what you can do to protect yourself and your home, but it all boils down basically to 'use your common sense.'" In New Jersey, Denise Faulkner and her boyfriend showed up at the Atlantic City Convention Center with her 7-month-old daughter and two sons, ages 3 and 12, thinking there was a shelter there. She was dismayed to learn that it was just a gathering point for buses to somewhere else. Last year, they were out of their home for two days because of Hurricane Irene. "I'm real overwhelmed," she said as baby Zahiriah, wrapped in a pink blanket with embroidered elephants, slept in a car seat. "We're at it again. Last year we had to do it. This year we have to do it. And you have to be around all sorts of people — strangers. It's a bit much." Before leaving their home in Atlantic City, John and Robshima Williams of packed their kids' Halloween costumes so they could go bunk-to-bunk trick-or-treating at a shelter. Her 8-year-old twins are going as the Grim Reaper and a zombie, while her 6-year-old plans to dress as a witch. "We're just trying to make a bad situation good," the mother said. "We're going to make it fun no matter where we are." nnnn

GOVT.OFFICES REOPEN TUESDAY Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Government offices reopened Tuesday after a long closure for Dashain. The reopening marks the end of Dashain. Tihar holidays begin 13 November. Nnnn UML TEA RECEPTION TUESDAY Kathmandu, 30 Oct.:Opposition UML is holding a tea reception Tuesday to mark the festive season. NC held a reception Monday. Nnnn APF-PLAYS FRIENDS CLUB IN SAFAL POKHARA CUP Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: APC meets Friends Club in the opening match of the Safal Pokhara Cup International Football Tournament in Pokhara Tuesday. Twelve teams from home and abroad are participating on the 12-day—eight are home teams. Clubs from Bangladesh, India and Bhutan are participating. The winner will collect a prize money of Rs 305,000 and runner-up Rs 150,000. Nnnn ________________________________________ RAM BAHADUR THAPA CPN-MAOIST CANDIDATE FOR PM Kathmandu, 30 Oct : Claiming itself to be the third alternative political force in the country, CPN-Maoist has formally announced the party´s General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa as their candidate for the post of new prime Minister, Kiran Pun writes in Republica. During a meeting of the party´s central committee at party headquarters in Buddha Nagar on Monday, the party also called on the Baburam Bhattarai-led government to step down without further delay and that political dialogue should be held on the formation of the new government and its leader. Talking to Republica, the party´s secretary Netra Bikram Chand said Thapa should be given the post of prime minister for four different reasons. Chand argued that his party should get chance to lead national consensus government by virtue of becoming a progressive force. “Since UML and Maoist leaders have already led the government, there are only NC and CPN-Maoist left to lead the government. Our party´s leadership alone can give out let to the country,” he said. Chand, likewise, argued that since Thapa belonged to ethnic community, there was a possibility of consensus. “Since he is patriotic person and has been fighting for the cause of people, his leadership will guarantee peace and new statute in the country,” he further said. Earlier on Monday, party Chairman Mohan Baidya ruled out the possibility of forming a new government under the leadership of Nepali Congress (NC), and instead floated the name of the party´s General Secretary Thapa for the post of next prime minister. He had added that the new government should be led by a republican, federal and nationalist force. Thapa was the defence minister in the UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government. Even before the formal split from the UCPN (Maoist) Baidya led faction had formed a front with the fringe leftist parties to develop a third new alternative force under the leadership of party vice-chairman CP Gajurel. During the CC meeting on Monday, Baidya presented an 84-page long party´s political document. The next meeting will be held on Thursday after the CC members make a thorough study of document that is divided into 13 different parts. Nnnn DEOPOITS OF COMMERCIAL BANKS FALL Kathmandu, 30 Oct. : Deposits of commercial banks fell by over Rs 1 billion over the first two months of the current fiscal year as downward revision of interest rates propelled depositors of category ´A´ financial institution to migrate to development banks and finance companies, Republica reports. A total of 32 commercial banks reported deposit collection of Rs 860.64 billion in the two-month period through mid-Sept as against Rs 861.69 billion in mid-July, according to a recent Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) report. The fall was recorded as the latest rate reduction of up to three percentage points on certain portfolios triggered flight of cash parked in demand and fixed deposit accounts. The central bank report shows that the size of demand deposit had shrunk by 9.1 percent to Rs 82.88 billion in the two-month period through mid-Sept, while cash in fixed deposit accounts declined by three percent to Rs 288.80 billion in the same period. “The deposit portfolio reduced in size after commercial banks started slashing interest rates to discourage depositors from stashing money in their institutions,” a banker told Republica on condition of anonymity. “Although shooing away customers is not a normal business practice, banks resorted to this measure after they started losing money because of mismatch in flow of depositors and borrowers.” As banks started losing depositors, development banks and finance companies witnessed higher flow of deposits as their rates were higher than those offered by category ´A´ financial institutions. In the first two months of the current fiscal year, development banks saw deposit growth of 2.8 percent to Rs 125.57 billion, as against decline of 1.9 percent in the same period of last fiscal year. Although development banks also reported decline in demand deposits, they witnessed 7.9 percent rise in fixed deposits to Rs 40.13 billion. Like development banks, finance companies also recorded rise in fixed deposits in the first two months of the current fiscal year. These category ´C´ financial institutions, which had reported fixed deposits of Rs 36.07 billion as of mid-July, saw the size increase to Rs 37.59 billion by mid-Sept. This helped finance companies to post 1.9 percent hike in total deposits as against a 3.7-percent fall recorded in the same period last fiscal year. With this rise, finance companies reported deposit collection of Rs 76.85 billion as of mid-Sept, as against Rs.75.50 billion in mid-July. Nnnn PM NOT RESIGNING TO PLACATE OPPOSITION Kathmandu, 30 Oct.: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today made it clear the national consensus government formed under his leadership would hold the next election in the country, The Himalayan Times .writes from Argaknchi Addressing his party’s function in Argha, Bhattarai said, “There is no legal provision to form another government as per the Interim Constitution. That’s why parties can go for fresh polls by giving shape of national unity to the incumbent government.” The prime minister expressed hope that parties would find an outlet to the political stalemate within mid-November. “Country will get a way out very soon as talks between the parties are underway,” he added. Bhattarai who is also the UCPN-Maoist Vice-chairman, held that his party had opted for the revival of the dissolved Constituent Assembly for a short period. “We have kept both options CA revival and fresh polls open. If the Nepali Congress and UML have new option then we are ready for deliberation,” Bhattarai said. On a different note, the PM said all the parties were equally responsible for the current political deadlock. He said parties have no choice but to make consensus and extricate the country from the crises. “We all are traveling in a same boat. If the boat develops a hole, all will sink,” he noted. Claiming that his government had prepared grounds for national prosperity, the PM said the government had brought 201-point work plan for good governance, introduced IDs for poor and formed investment board for attracting national and international investment for projects of national importance. Bhattarai held that if he got the opportunity to govern for ten years then he would uproot poverty and unemployment from the country. At the programme, Minister for Physical Planning and Works Top Bahadur Raymajhi said that UCPN-Maoist was seeking for economic revolution and transformation in the country. In another context, he said only his party could establish the agendas of transformation in the country. Raymajhi clarified that the prime minister would not put in his papers in the prevailing political situation. He also accused the NC and CPN-UML of trying to capture power at any cost. Nnnn CONTROVERSY OVER DEATH OF SPORTS OFFICIAL CONTINIES Kathmandu, 30 Oct.:The stove has virtually stopped burning at Buddhimaya Lopchan’s rented room in Jorpati after she has lost the family’s main breadwinner. More than that, she is finding it difficult to come to terms with what she has heard: Her wheel-chair bound husband missed the flight back to Kathmandu and committed suicide in London’s Paralympic Village in the early hours of September 11, Prakash Rimal writes in. The Himalayan Times. “Why would he choose to kill himself in another country, in a place half a world away?” This question has bothered her no end since she heard the shocking news. She refuses to believe her husband would do such a thing. The same is true of Santa Bahadur, her 26-year-old son, who speaks highly of his father. “He used to drive heavy trucks till he met with an accident 25 years ago. He suffered spinal injury and has been paralytic since then, but he dedicated his life to service of the disabled,” he said. Santa Bahadur has been attending several phone calls in the past week. Often, the caller is either a policeman or an airline staff asking him to come to the airport and receive a consignment from London that landed on October 21. He refused to oblige. “The recipient of the consignment is Surendra Bahadur Basnyat, Chairman of the National Paralympic Committee. He should receive it first, then only will the family accept it,” he said. Like his mom, Santa Bahadur doesn’t think his father could have killed himself in an alien land. “They killed him or created an environment for him to commit suicide.” He accuses National Paralympic Committee officials, thus. “This should be investigated thoroughly and the family must be compensated,” says Santa. The 26 year old has knocked on the doors of the Chief District Administration demanding action against those refusing to explain the cause behind his father’s death. In a three-page chargesheet registered at Kathmandu District Administration Office, he has implicated Chairman Basnyat, General Secretary Pashupati Parajuli, Secretary Rajendra Adhikari and his dad’s roommate Tek Bahadur Gurung in the “mysterious murder’ of his dad and demanded thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to his father’s death. THT’s repeated attempts to get comments, including the controversial Committee’s official statement on the death, have failed. While Chairman Basnyat would neither receive calls nor respond to text messages, General Secretary Parajuli had one excuse or the other to avoid talking. “Newspapers have written all that we have to say,” Parajuli said curtly and disconnected his cell phone. Secretary Adhikari, the only official occasionally available for comment, was of little help. Even he stopped entertaining calls. These perhaps give enough grounds to the Lopchans to doubt whether Man Bahadur committed suicide and to suspect that he was murdered for protesting irregularities in the Committee, including the jumbo team of officials comprising wives, son and son-in-law to manage two players and a coach” participating in the London Parlympic Games. “On August 29, my father called my uncle Dilip Lama and talked to him about how he was being singled out for protesting against the 20-member contingent heading for the London Paralympics,” according to the chargesheet, filed on October 17. “My father also told my uncle that they had even threatened to make him disappear in London.” As things stand, the family is not at all convinced with what they have heard about Man Bahadur’s death, nor are they in a mood to accept the body, which was shifted to TU Teaching Hospital yesterday. As for the family, the Paralympic Committee has done precious little even by way of consoling the bereaved. nnnn