Nepal Today

Friday, May 31, 2013

FURTHER DETAILS OF SITA AIR CRASH Kathmandu, 1 June; Simikot airport in Humla has been closed to traffic after a Sita Air aircraft was damaged after crashing while landing from Nepalhunj Saturday. Both wings were damaged while landing and the airport has closed to traffic after the aircraft got bogged down on the runway. The aircraft circled the airport twice before landing in poor weather condition, airport officials said. MORE RPP-NEPAL SIGNATURE DRIVE STARTS FROM VALLEY Kathmandu, 1 June; RPP-Nepal launched a nation-wide signature drive from three districts in the Valley Saturday seeking a Hindu state with constitutional monarchy. The signatures will be delivered to President DR. Ram Baan Yadav when the collection drive ends. nnnn UPPER TRISHULI 3A TO BE UPGRADED TO 90MW Kathmandu, 1 June: The Nepal Electricity Authority NEA) board Friday decided to upgrade the 60MW Upper Trishuli 3A hydro project to 90 MW, a public announcement said Saturday. that the upgradation will result in losses to NEA due to the delay caused in the completion of the project. Friday’s meeting was chaired by Minister for Energy Uma Kant Jha. A decision was taken after reviewing an agreement with China Gezhouba Group Company. The revised cost of the project to be completed May 2014 will increase to $132 million from $89 million. nnnn MURDERERS OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICE BAM AT LARGE ONE YEAR YEAR LATER Kathmandu, 1 June: One year ago Saturday, Supreme Court Justice Rana Bahadur Bam was gunned down across the Bagmati river in Lalitpir as he was driving to office. Two others were injured Gunmen on two wheelers stopped, shot dead Justice ban and fled from the UN park.. Government formed two commissions to probe the murder—one headed by incumbent IGP Kuber Singh Rana and another headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Prem Sharma. Both the teams couldn’t identify persons behind the murder or the reason for it. nnnn

TWO CONDITIONS FOR EXTENDING DEADLINE TO REGISTER PARTIES Kathmandu, 1 June: Election Commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung said deadline for parties to participate in assembly elections can be extended if there’s national consensus and a request by government. . “Extension can be considered if there’s national consensus and request by the government, But under the present circumstances, there’s no need to extend the deadline” Gorkhapatra quoted Commissioner Gurung as saying The commission now is not in favour of extending the deadline. Several parties, including CPN Maoist, didn’t register for the vote by the Thursday deadline. Altogether 139 parties registered. nnnn ‘REALISTIC’ SALARY HIKE FOR CIVIL SERVANTS LIKELY kathmandu, 1 June:: Finance Minister Shankar Prasad Koirala Friday stated that the government was ready to revise the existing pay scale of all the government employees, The Rising Nepal reports.. Speaking at an interaction on upcoming budget organized by the civil servants at the Ministry of Finance today, Minister Koirala said that the government was ready to revise the salary of the government employees in its next fiscal budget. "I am ready to extend my support to you. Bring a realistic proposal that can be sustained by the country," he asked the government employees to give appropriate suggestion to the government. He asked the employees to foreword the government the proper ways to make the upcoming budget more pro-people. Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said that though there was no debate on increasing the pay scale of the government employees, there was problem with the mechanism to increase the salary. "There is no debate whether the salary should be increased. However, as the salary scale of more than 500,000 human resources rises along with the government staff, the revenue might not sustain it," he said. On the occasion, civil servants, however, demanded that the government should increase their pay scale by 100 per cent considering the present inflation rates. "The salary has remained the same for the past three years. It should be increased considering the family budget survey of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB)," they said. They also asked the Finance Minister to make the civil servants feel the presence of their government by increasing their pay and perks. Nnnn NO NEED TO DOUBT ELECTIONS SAYS FORMER PM BHATTARAI Kathmandu, 1 June: UCPN-Maoist vice-chairman Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Friday said that the Constituent Assembly (CA) election would be held within November by all means, The Rising Nepal reports from Biratnagar. Speaking at a party joining ceremony held by UCPN-Maoist office here, he said that the CA election was necessary to promulgate new constitution that would ensure identity of all people of the society. “There is no need to doubt on the current government as it was formed by the consensus of main political parties,” said Dr. Bhattarai, reiterating that the CA polls would be held in November after it was postponed for mid-June. Sating that Nepali people wanted identity-based federalism and federalism with constitution as put forth by the UCPN-Maoist, he said that it was the necessity of the current time to institutionalize the identity-based federalism. The former Prime Minister said that the supporters of federalism should unite to ensure majority in CA election in order to make new identity-based federal republic of Nepal. “People’s constitution will be promulgated only if the pro-federalist political forces win two-third of total seats in the upcoming CA election,” he reiterated. Stating that the door of the UCPN-Maoist was always open to progressive individuals of all political parties, he claimed that many leaders and cadres of Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML were leaving their party to join UCPN-Maoist of late. Dr. Bhattarai welcomed more than 200 individuals including former district secretary and current mahasamiti member of Nepali Congress (NC) and Gyanendra Dhakal and central member of Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party Zakeer Hussain to his party on the occasion. nnnn

FIVE PASSENGERS, CREW SURVIVE SITA AIR CRASH IN HUMLA Kathmandu, 1 June: Five passengers and crew survived when a Sita Air flight landed in rough weather Saturday morning at Simikot Airport in Humla District . The left wing of the aircraft was damaged while landing from Nepalgunj. Captain Kiran Bhattarai and Co-pilot Deepak Shah-- were in command. A Pilatus Porter of Goma Air crashed while landing at the same airpoft a few days ago on a flight from Beplgunj. nnnn TASK FORCE MEET TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCE ON ELECTION LAWS INCONCLUSIVE Kathmandu, 1 June; A Friday meeting of the eight-member task force of the Big Three and Madesh Morcha of the high-level political committee (HLPC) meets again Sunday to resolve differences between major political parties on an electoral laws needed to hold constituent polls. The first meeting held Friday one day after it was launched by HLPC was inconclusive, members said. The task force of two members each from the UCPN Maoist, NC, UML and Morcha will attempt to resolve differences on a one percent threshold to limit number of parties , size of a proposed constituent assembly [491 or 601], whether persons with criminal reords should be allowed to contest election and other issues. Disagreement on contents of an electoral ordinance proposed by the election commission has delayed announcement of formal election date by government. The task force meeting Sunday will attempt to reach understanding before a meeting of the HLPC. Nnnn AFTER MAOIST CHIEF, DEUBA GETS NEW DELHI IVITE BEFORE ASSEMBLY POLLS Kathmandu, 1 June: In what is being seen as India’s efforts to engage with major political players of Nepal while clouds of uncertainty hang over the CA polls, the southern neighbour has invited another senior Nepali political leader in a period of just over a month, Mahesh Acharya, Devenhra Bhattarai write in The Kathmandu Post from New Delhi.. The invitation comes at a time when the northern neighbour, China, has also been extending invitations to senior leaders across the Nepali political spectrum. Senior Nepali Congress leader and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is all set to visit India through June 9-13. He is scheduled to hold a spate of high-level political meetings here, official sources confirmed. Last month, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal visited India in a much-hyped sojourn through May 27-30 and met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khursid, among others. Deuba is scheduled to hold talks with Singh on June 11 at the latter’s residence at 7 Race Course Road. The sources confirmed that he will also meet Khursid, leader of the opposition in India’s lower house, Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. Deuba is scheduled to address a crucial gathering organised by the Indian think tank, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), on the day he meets Singh. On June 12, Deuba is scheduled to go to Uttarakhand, where he is scheduled to meet Governor Aziz Qureshi and Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna. During his two-day stay in the state, he is likely to visit some hydel projects or dam sites, before he returns to Nepal via New Delhi. More invitations to follow New Delhi is planning to invite more senior leaders from other major political parties in Nepal in the next few months, the official sources confirmed. It is ‘almost sure’ that the next invitee will be former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. The senior leader of the CPN-UML led the non-Maoist government after the Rookmangud Katawal saga in 2009, which resulted in a deep schism in Nepali polity. New Delhi is also mulling over the idea to invite some leaders from the Madhesi Morcha. “India wants to keep all the channels open. The efforts of engagement with Nepali leaders before the polls (in Nepal) is also in that direction and India is of the view that the election is the only way out,” one of the sources said. nnnn EC MINUTELY PROBING APPLICATIONS OF POLITICAL PARTIES Kathmandu, 1 June: The Election Commission (EC) has set tough criteria for verifying the applications submitted to it by the political parties, Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The criteria include verifying signatures given by supporters, their voter IDs and finger prints and a study of party manifestos, by-laws to confirm whether the appliations are in line with constitutional provisions. "The verification process has started. We will chek the applications to see whether the parties meet our criteria and have adopted constitutional provisions," said Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety. The EC has started entering party-wise information in its software while the finger prints and signatures submitted will be checked electronically. The move, EC officials say, is to avoid the mistakes seen during the previous Constituent Assembly election s while registering parties. In 2008, some smaller parties registered with signatures of 10,000 voters were proved failure to secure similar votes in the election s. Uprety said both the signatures and finger prints of the party supporting voters will be checked electronically. EC has developed software for their verifications. "After going through the document, we will check whether the applications are 'generally acceptable' or not. Then, benefit of doubts will be given to the parties themselves," said Uprety. The EC has planned to complete the verifications process within a month. The criteria will be only applied for the newer parties applied for the party registration as Interim Constitution has allowed parties represented in disbanded Constituent Assembly on the basis of recommendations of CA secretariat and application letter. Of late, 139 parties have applied at the EC for the party registration . The number of parties applied for the party registration is three times more as compared to the parties contested in 2008's CA election s. Only 54 parties had contested in the previous CA election s. nnnn

REPUBLIC DAY NOW A NATIONAL DAY Kathmandu, 1 June: Foreign ministry has informed foreign governments, through foreign missions of a cabinet decision, to observe national day 28 May coinciding with republic day. Republic Day was observed for he first time as a national day inside the country Wednesday following the decision of the government of retired senior civil servants headed by Khil Raj Regmi who continues to as chief justice even after his appointment as government chief tasked with responsibility to conduct second constituent assembly elections. National days previously were observed on 7 Falgun and birthdays of the king. nnnn 33 PARTIES SHUN REGISTRATION FOR ELECTION PARTICIPATION Kathmandu, 1 June: The major parties in the 33-member alliance led by Mohan Baidya´s CPN-Maoist and a majority of the other parties in the alliance have not registered at the Election Commission (EC) and have vowed to further institutionalize their alliance, Republica reports.. CPN-Maoist, which was formed after a split in the UCPN (Maoist), Matrika Yadav-led CPN (Maoist), Pari Thapa´s CPN (Ekikrit), Mani Thapa´s Revolutionary Communist Party of Nepal, Kumar Lingden´s Limbuwan State Council, Kishwor Bishwas-led front and CPN Unified Marxist are some of the major constituent members of the alliance that didn´t register in the EC even as the deadline for party registration expired Thursday. "Only a few members of our alliance registered their parties in the EC. They are still committed to the alliance´s programs and policies because they had registered prior to the alliance officially decided to boycott the process," Mani Thapa told Republica. "The major and majority parties of our group haven´t registered at the EC and we are for further intensifying our agitation against the present government." Mani Thapa said the alliance´s member parties have been encouraged as the government and other major political parties including UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and United Madhesi Democratic Front (UDMF) "failed to create division among the member parties despite their attempts for that." Even former CA member Pari Thapa, who had already practiced parliamentary politics for years, didn´t register his party. Pari Thapa said they have decided to further institutionalize the alliance by giving it a formal name. So far the grouping is known just as 33-party alliance led by Mohan Baidya. "But now we will give it a proper name. We will draft a common manifesto and a code of conduct so as to institutionalize the grouping and to further strengthen the unity and the movement," said Pari Thapa. According to him, they are likely to come up with further programs from an interaction among the member parties scheduled for Saturday. He informed that they are already decided to launch resistance protest "if the government unilaterally announced the poll date despite their objection." As the one month deadline expired Thursday, altogether 139 political parties filed applications for registration at the EC for ensuring their participation in the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections. Out of the 139 parties, 110 are new while the remaining 29 political parties were represented in the dissolved CA. Altogether 75 political parties had registered for the 2008 CA elections. Altogether 54 parties had contested the polls while 25 were elected and the number of political parties in the House reached 33 by the time of its dissolution due to splits in several parties. Nnnn CPN MAOIST WORKERS DEMAND MINIMUM RS.15,000 WAGE Kathmandu, 1 June:: The All Nepal Trade Union Federation-Revolutionary (ANTUF-R) affiliated to the CPN-Maoist has threatened to shut down all industrial establishments across the country for indefinite period if minimum monthly remuneration and daily wage of workers are not raised to Rs 15,000 and Rs 700, respectively, within five days from Friday, Republica reports.. The warning comes four days after the government raised minimum monthly remuneration of workers to Rs 8,000 --including basic salary of Rs 5,100 and dearness allowance of Rs 2,900 -- from Rs 6,200. The daily wage of workers was also raised to Rs 318 from Rs 231. “We had to issue this ultimatum as the new deal reached between the government, employers and trade unions is not in the interest of workers,” says an ANTUF-R statement issued on Friday. The ANTUF-R claims a delegation led by the trade union had met with Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi in March and handed over a 25-point memorandum seeking radical changes to minimum remuneration and daily wage structures. After the trade union´s calls were not heard, it issued a seven-day ultimatum on May 15 and announced a series of protests. “But instead of listening to our genuine concerns the government reached a deal with trade unions that had deviated from our movement,” says the ANTUF-R statement, adding, “The newly reached agreement on minimum remuneration and daily wage is not acceptable to us.” The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the largest umbrella body of the private sector, has called the demands and ultimatum of the ANTUF-R as “unfortunate”. “Such demands would only discourage private and foreign investment. This would ultimately affect job creation process and force more youths to leave the country,” Manish Agarwal, vice chairman of FNCCI´s Employers´ Council, told Republica. He also said it would not be appropriate to initiate any discussion on wage revision at the moment as “we had just raised minimum remuneration and daily wage of workers in a significant manner”. A high-ranking official of the Ministry of Labor and Employment said, “At a time inflationary pressure is creating hole in the pocket of ordinary citizens, the demands of the trade union sound genuine. But we also have to take the condition of industrial establishments into account as many are not operating in full capacity due to various problems ranging from power outage and labor-related problems to lagging economic growth rate.” Asked why the ANTUF-R was not included in the wage negotiations between the government, employers and trade unions, the official, on condition of anonymity, said the government sends its invitation to the Joint Trade Union Coordination Committee, a group of leading trade unions operating in the country. “It is up to the committee to send representatives to participate in the wage-related negotiations,” the official further said. Nnnn CIVIL SERVANTS LIKELY TO GET SALARY HIKE AFTER THREE YEARS Kathmandu, 1 June: The government is projecting a growth of six per cent in the budget for the next fiscal year 2013-14, The Himalayan Times reports.. Addressing a pre-budget interaction organised by Management Association of Nepal (MAN) here, today, finance minister Shankar Koirala said that the budget will focus on higher economic growth and inclusive development. “The budget will also try to protect the private sector’s investment,” he said, adding that the government and private sector are the key players, though the private sector could be further bifurcated to cooperatives or other sectors. “Through the budget the government will help create an investment friendly environment to encourage the private sector to invest.” However, the private sector has limitations and the budget will concentrate on five priority sectors, the finance minister said. “Energy, infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, and import substitution and export promotion will be key focus areas in the fiscal policy that will have non-controversial and non-political programmes,” the former bureaucrat turned minister said, elaborating that generation of energy — with government incentives — and construction of transmission lines will get first priority in the budget. “Likewise, infrastructure that is a key bottleneck for economic development that has never been a national priority agenda in the country, will get second priority and commercialisation of agriculture along with a focus on livestock and fertiliser production that will increase the contribution of the agriculture sector to the gross domestic product will get third priority, whereas import substitution and export promotion will help industrialisation,” he added. Unlike earlier ones, next fiscal year’s budget will not be distributive, said finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi. “The budget will focus on capital formation and sectors like infrastructure that will give returns in the long run,” he said, adding the government’s recurrent expenditure has been increasing in such a way that revenue might not be able to meet administrative and regular salary expenses, though revenue mobilisation has been encouraging as it increased by more than 23 per cent — without changing tax rates — compared to last fiscal year. President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Suraj Vaidya suggested the government to bring a productive budget that can create employment in the country. “Youths should be involved in the construction of stadiums and airports in Nepal rather than in Qatar and Hong Kong,” he said, adding that the budget should reverse the trend of increasing unemployment. However, senior economist Tula Raj Basyal suggested the government to enhance the capacity of the public sector for effective management of the fiscal policy. Presenting a paper on the private sector’s expectations from the budget, managing director of Jyoti Group Saurabh Jyoti asked the government to involve the private sector in infrastructure projects under Public Private Partnership model or Build-Own-Operate-and Transfer. “The budget should provide incentives to the private sector to generate hydropower, help land acquisition, promote ‘One district one product’ programme, reform tax laws to encourage industrialisation, simplify customs and increase skills of foreign job aspirants in association with the private sector,” he said, adding that the budget should be private sector friendly as it is the backbone for economic growth. On the occasion, the finance minister also gave away the Manager of the Year Award to chief executive of Music Nepal Santosh Sharma and chief executive of Shtrii-Shakti Indira Maiya Shrestha. Salary hike! The government has given an assurance to increase the salary of civil servants. During an interaction with civil servant associations at the Finance Ministry, on Friday, finance minister Shankar Koirala said that the government will increase the salary of civil servants in the budget. He, however, said that the salary will be revised, according to the capacity of the budget. But the civil servants have asked for a 100 per cent hike in salary based on household survey of the central bank because there has been no increase in salary in the last three years. nnnn

NEPAL, INDIA HOME SECRETARY TALKS SATURDAY Kathmandu, 1 June; Home secretary-level talks begin in the Nepalese capital Saturday to discuss a host of issues, including security. Officials of the two South Asian states meet after last round of scheduled discussions were suddenly postponed at the request of India, The 18-member Nepalese tam is led by Nabin Kumar Ghimere while the Indian side is led by R K Sigh who arrives Saturday from the Indian capital. The senior officials of the two neighbouring of central Asia will also discuss exchange of information, cross-border crimes, curbing smuggling to counterfeit Indian currency notes across the open 1,700km open border. nnnn TWO YARSHAGUMBA PICKERS DIE OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS IN DOLPO Kathmandu, 1 June: Two persons on a hunt for Himalayan viagra died on altitude sickness in Dolpo in the far-West. They died while being rushed district headquarters Dunai for medical treatment. Villages in the far-West are deserted as residents trek uphill to collect the herb that fetches huge price in the international market. Collectors risk their lives to pick the caterpillar that feeds on special mushrooms ffrom Himalayan slopes. Nnnn CAPITAL SATURDAY MORNING TEMPERATURE 10 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 1 June: Saturday morning’s temperature at seven was 19 degrees Celsius in the capital.. Mercury is expected to rise to 24 degrees Celsius in the afternoon on a rainy day. nnnn

YOUTH FREED AFTER TWO-MONTH ABDUCTION Kathmandu, 31 May: Ram Chandra Saha ,18, of Baniya VDC 8 of Matsari, Rautahat,.has been rescued from Farahadawa, Rajpur two months after his abduction. He is son of Saha Baniya. Four suspected abductors were arrested and made public in the direct.Friday.. Rs. 200,000 was recovered from them. Abductors have been charged under Abduction and Hostage Taking (Crime and Punishment) Act. nnnn ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE SHARMA SAYS CHAIRMAN REGMI SHOULDN’T RETURN TO APEX COURT Kathmandu, 31 May:- Acting Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma said in Baglung Friday he will resign is Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi returned to the apex court. Acting as said that he will tender his resign ation if Chairman of the Interim Council of Acting Chief Justice Sharma said this while addressing a meeting of the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) Executive Council in the western district, according to tenevision and radio reports. Sharma said has a major responsibility to protect independent of the judiciary. Chief Justice Sharma’s coment came amid demands from some quarters for the resignation of Regmi as chief justice while continuing as head of government. nnnn

33 PARTIES TO INTENSIFY PROTESTS Kathmandu, 31 May:: Agitating 33 political parties assessed their protest programmes and concluded that they would move ahead with further stern programmes, RSS reports. The agitating 33 fringe parties´ meeting held at CPN-Maoist also concluded that the efforts made from various quarters to split their unity, which were against the process of formation of the current government and the election process. They concluded that the timeframe provided by the Election Commission (EC) was tempted towards splitting their unity but it was made a failure. Talking to journalists after the meeting, politburo member of the CPN-Maoist, Haribhakta Kandel, said all the 33 agitating political parties gave a message of unity among them by not registering them in the EC within the timeframe provided by the EC for the CA election. He said, "The election date has not been fixed and ordinance regarding the election process has also not been endorsed. The government does not listen to the agitating political parties´ demands and that fixing the date for election right now is meaningless." Holding talks with government was not possible unless the 25-point agreement of the major political parties for removing obstacles signed on March 14 and another 11-point agreement were scrapped, said Kandel. The meeting also decided to hold extensive interactions on ´Regression and Election´ in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Butwal, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi and other cities across the country. Nnnn KAILALI COUPLE ELECTROCUTED Kathmandu, 31 May:: A couple was electrocuted due to electrical short-circuit in Kailali district, today [Friday], RSS reports from Kailali. The deceased are identified as Bhoj Bahadur Tamata and his wife Tulasi Tamata, according to District Police Office, Kailali. The Tamata couple, who were critically injured in the incident, died while undergoing treatment at Lamki-based Lalratna Hospital. nnnn

LOAD-SHEDDING REDUCTED BY TWO HOURS EVERY DAY Kathmandu, 31 May: Load-shedding was reduced by two hours every day from Friday fy Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). Power cut will be reduced to eight hours every day. Increased water flow in rivers to feed hydro power plants and Increased power import from India from 150 to 165MWA helped reduce power cuts, NEA said. nnnn

ATTEMPT TO RETRIEVE BODIES OF FIVE CLIMBERS FROM KAGCHENJUNGA GIVEN UP Kathmandu, 31 May:: It has been decided that the bodies of the climbers who died in Kanchenjunga Mountain will not be extracted from the site of their death, RSS reports fron Taplejung . They will be left in the ice in Kanchenjunga after they died in the third week of May as more expense will be taken to lift them as snow was now melted. It will be difficult to lift the bodies after snow melted and as the rescue team will be in risk of death, the trekking agency of the team and the relatives of the deceased decided not to lift them from the site. The team for rescue has returned to base camp saying they could not rescue the bodies from the site. The agency had made an attempt to lift but was not possible to rescue, said Seven Summit Trekking Agency Manager Mingma Sherpa. He said it will be risky for the rescuers themselves from this altitude as snow melting has begun from May second week, and will not be extracted as the rescuers themselves denied it. Two Nepalese and three foreigners had died at an altitude of 7400 meters at No. 4 base camp of Kanchenjunga. Those who lost their lives are Phu Dorjee Sherpa of Makalu-5 Sankhuwasabha district, and Bibas Gurung, Hatiyagola- 7 of Sankhuwasabha, and the foreigners are Hungarian citizen Peter Kiss, Zsolt Eross and Korean national Namsoo Park. Nnnn 10-YEAR-OLD RAPE VICTIM PREGNANT Kathmandu, 31May : The District Police Office Chitwan has arrested two persons on the charge of their involvement in different rape cases in the districtm RSS reports from Ratnanagar, Chitwan.. The accused are Ramraj Khanal, 25, of Jutpani-3 and Mahesh Kumal of Krishnapur of Bharatpur Municipality. According to a statement issued by the police, Khanal raped a 13-year-old girl of Padampur VDC-8 last February. Similarly, Kumar allegedly raped a 10-year-old girl of Krishnapur on May 29. He raped the girl taking an opportunity when she was alone at home. District Police Chitwan Chief Deepak Kumar Thapa said further investigations into the cases were underway. The Jutpani victim is pregnant, the police said. nnnn

GOLD GAINS Kathmandu, 31 May: Gold gained Rs 1,150 per tola Friday compared to the previous day. The precious metal was traded trading at Rs.52, 350.per tola. Silver gained Rs 18 per tola was was tradeing at Rs 889 per tola. nnnn DEUBA EXPOSES HIS PRESIDENT Kathmandu, 31 May: Senior NC leader and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba exposed President at the public meeting in Pokhara saying the party chief agreed to appointment of Khil Raj Regmi while continuing as chief justice. Deuba said there was no need for Regmi to resign as as chief justice as now demanded by Koirala. Opposition to the Koirala demand comes one day another NC leader Manmohan Bhattarai said the party chief publicly apologized after wrongly agreeing to the appointment of LOkman Singh Karki as CIAA chief. Nnnn MAINTAIN STATUS QUO FOR ELECTIONS SAYS MAHANTA THAKUR Kathmandu, 31 May:: Chairman of the Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP), Mahantha Thakur, has said it would be against the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) to forbid those convicted in criminal cases to be the candidate for the Constituent Assembly (CA) election, RSS reports from Rajbiraj . Speaking at a press conference organised by TMLP in Siraha today, he was of the opinion that banning anyone in such basis to be a candidate for the CA election unless the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) look after the cases and decides which are political and apolitical cases is not appropriate. TMLP Chairman Thakur reiterated that the second CA election should be held under the same conditions and on the basis of the same election laws on which the first CA election was held. Thakur said there was no need of threshold of vote in the CA election, saying that his party was against the provision of threshold for vote in the CA election. He stressed the need of ensuring maximum representation of people in the CA, and demanded that the ordinance on the election laws should be brought and CA election date be declared at the earliest. nnnn

GURKHA CUP MATCHES RESCHEDULED UPDATE Kathmandu, 31 May: Friday’s two scheduled matches of the Gurkha Cup will be played Saturday. ANFA said heavy rain forced the postponement of the matches.. nnnn.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

UCPN MAOISTS CUT OFF WATER SUPPLY Kathmandu, 31 May:: The UCPN-Maoist cadres have cut off the water supply mains to two Village Development Committees (VDCs) in Sindhupalchok district, causing inconvenience to the locals, RSS reports from Chautara.. People of Tekanpur and Tauthali VDCs are without water after the UCPN-Maoist cadres cut off the pipes supplying water to the villages. They cut off the pipes of the Jethal Khola Drinking Water Project constructed 13 years ago. The UCPN-Maoist cadres are also learnt to have cut off the water supply pipes at a place called Koimajor. Three thousand people of 450 households at 11 Wards in the two VDCs have been affected after the disruption of the water supply. It is said a team of 10 UCPN (Maoist) cadres led by one Phulkaji Shrestha of Tauthali VDC-9 cut off the water supply mains to the two VDCs on Sunday and Monday. Nnnn MISSING PERSON FOUND DEAD Kathmandu, 31 May: Bhuwan Singh Khatri, 50, of Banethok Deurali VDC-4 has been found dead after he went missing for 11 days, RSS reports from Syagjha. . Khatri was found dead in the house of local Tek Bahadur Khatri on Tursday evening, said Inspector Hari Krishna KC, at Ward Police Office Waling. Khatris´ house had remained empty for a long time. Khatri´s decomposed body was found in the attic of the house after villagers searched it since bad smell started emanating from there. An investigation is going on in this connection, said police. nnnn

SHARE PRICES STABLE Kathmandu 31 May: Share price was stable on the last day of five-day weekly trading Thursday. Nepse closed at 500.13 points as share prices fell 0.63 points. Shares of hydro power and insurance companies gained. Altogether 617,157 shares were traded for Rs.207.568 million in 1192 transactions. nnnn NO RETREST ON ISSUE OF 33% WOMEN REPRESENTATION Kathmandu, 31 May: UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ Thursday said that his party would not retreat from the commitment made by the top leaders of four political parties in the past to ensure 33 per cent women participation in upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election, The Rising Nepal reports.. Speaking at a programme entitled “Collective Campaign on Women’s Proportionate and Inclusive Participation in Upcoming Election” here, he said that the meeting of High-Level Political Committee (HLPC) would put all its efforts to give election-related laws final shape on Thursday’s meeting as much as possible. “The political parties are committed on ensuring 33 per cent of women participation in the upcoming CA by either reserving certain constituencies for women or increasing numbers of women in proportionate seats or through other measures,” he reiterated. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Commissioner of Election Commission (EC) Nilkantha Upreti opined that women participation could be ensured not only 33 per cent but as much as 50 per cent if the election date was announced on Friday if not on Thursday by resolving contentious issues. “The political parties should put efforts on resolving differences to institutionalize past achievements,” he said, adding that the EC was just body to just facilitate the technical aspects to hold CA election. Similarly, CPN-UML vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam said that the parties were seriously giving thought to allocate certain constituencies for only women to make sure that they represent one-third majority in the CA. He said that a society and a country could not advance without equal representation of men and women. Nnnn GET MAJOPRITY AT ANY COST SAYS MAOIST CHIEF Kathmandu, 31 May: Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda Thursday said that his party was formulating an economic policy that suits the country’s need and soil, The Rising Nepal reports. "To bring about prosperity in Nepal, the party has taken the strategy of linking party and the common people with the production system by promoting cooperatives, group partnerships and the domestic and foreign private investments," said Prachanda while instructing the entrepreneurs affiliated to Federation of National Industries and Commerce (FNIC) here. The party has approved the strategy of production, development and management with a view to preventing the party colleagues from turning bourgeois, he said. Prachanda said that the country could not be taken on the right track through the classical Marxian philosophy. "There needs ideological development in Marxism as per the changing national and international circumferences." FNIC is the association of industrialists and traders affiliated to UCPN -Maoist. He stressed that his party should garner majority in the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) elections at any cost. "The party lacked experiences when I took on the mantle of government and the government under party vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai had to confront a lot of problems. Now the party has collected experience of running the state and we need majority in the election to form the government and run it as per the people's aspirations", he said. He said that the party was busy in poll campaign to secure majority in the election. Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said that the semi-feudal structure of the society almost ended so the party had focused on developing capitalism to take the country on the path of socialism. "For making the country prosperous in short time, we need huge amount of investment which could not be fed from the national economy and needs foreign capital to bridge this gap," he said. Another vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha stressed on involving women in entrepreneurial activities. "Although Nepali women work hard, the country has yet to get the return from their works due to the lack of strategy to link their labour in production system," he said. Women leader Urmila Aryal and economists Dipendra Bahadur Kshetry, Y B Thapa, Dr. Chandra Kanta Poudel and Bijayaman Singh also addressed the gathering. Hundreds of pro-Maoist entrepreneurs from across the country were present in the orientation. nnnn

UNPECEDENTED MAY RAIN IN VALLEY Kathmandu, 31 May: Unprecedented 244mm rainfall was recoded in the Valley until Thursday. Normal rainfall in May is around 123mm. nnnn RATO MACHINDRANATH CHARIOT BEING TOWED TO JAWALAKHEL TUESDAY Kathmandu, 31 May: The chariot of Rato Machindranath is being town to Jawalaahlel for its final journey from Phulchown Tuesday for the disp0layof bhoto. The country’s longest two-month jatra concludes with the bhoto display from the chariot with the idol of the Rain God. The chariot is being towed to Jawalakhel from Thali. Nnnn . NEPAL INVESTMENT BANK INVESTS IN NEPAL,LIFE INSURANCE CO. Kathmandu, 31 May: Nepal Investment Bank Thursday bought 290,000 promoter shares of Nepal Life Insurance Co to broaden its investment portfolio. The shares were acquired for Rs.130 million. nnnn

ONE KILLEDM THREE INJUREDIN MUD COLLAPSE Kathmandu, 31 May:: One person died and three others were injured in a mud mount collapse at Maharajgunj north of the capital. The collapse at a squatter settlement was triggered by continuous rain. nnnn NEPALI RUPEE DEPRECIATES AGAINST US DOLLAR Kathmandu, 31 May: The Nepali rupee hit a 11-month low against the US dollar Friday. Nepal Rashtra Bank (NRB) fixed Friday’s buying rate at Rs. 90.06 to one US dollar—a 11-month low. The central bank sets daily conversion rate of the Nepali legal tender against liosted convertible currencies while the exchange rate against the Indian rupee is fixed at Rs. 1.60 per one Indian rupee. The devaluation of the Nepal rupee coincides with the appreciation of the value of the greenback against the Indian rupee. nnnn POLICE CHARGED FOR FRAMING UP CRARGES AGAINST TERAI GROUP Kathmandu, 31 MayL The Janatantrik Tarai Madhes Mukti Tigers has accused Parsa police of misusing SIM cards confiscated from its members to frame the outfit leaders and activists on extortion charges, Shankar Acharya writes in The Kathmandu Post from Parsa.. The underground group organised a press conference in Birgunj on Thursday and claimed that police were using SIM cards recovered from its cadres to extort civilians. Kapil Dev Tiwari, the group’s vice-chairman, said the Narayani Zonal Police Office had made several bids in the past to apprehend the party’s leaders and activists on false criminal accusations. One year ago, police had arrested three activists of the outfit from Ghantaghar of Birgunj. They were released later but police had allegedly seized the SIM cards from their mobile phones. According to Tiwari, Superintendent of Police Pitambar Adhikari at the District Police Office (DPO) dismissed the claim and sent him away when he tried to report the case. Deputy Superintednent of Police Basudev Khatiwada, who is also the DPO Spokesperson, said he did not know anything about the claim made by Tiwari and his party. Nnnn TOBACCO WARNINGS IGNORED Kathmandu, 31 May: As the country celebrates World No Tobacco Day on Friday, the government's plan to implement the anti-tobacco directive that requires tobacco-producing firms to print pictorial warnings about the hazards of tobacco consumption on 75 percent area of the packet cover is yet to be implemented, thanks to an interim order issued by the Supreme Court, Manish Gautam writes in The Kathmandu Post. . The apex court on November 17, 2011 issued a stay order responding to a petition filed by Surya Nepal, saying that the Tobacco Product Control and Regulatory Act (2010) cannot be implemented immediately as it would cause a heavy loss on its already produced items and that pictorial warnings about tobacco hazards making up 75 percent of wrappers are not consumer friendly. According to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), a total of 13 writs have been filed at the SC against the Act so far. MoHP Legal Officer Komal Acharya said all the complaints are of similar nature and that the SC plans to hear them together. The Tobacco Product Control and Regulatory Act requires all the tobacco products to have pictorial warnings of the hazards of their consumption on their covers. According to the order, cigarette packets need to have pictorial warnings of lungs affected by cancer while bidi (a small hand-rolled cigarette) packets should carry a picture of a child suffering from cancer on their wrappers. The directives also require other tobacco products gutkha (a sweetened mixture of chewing tobacco, betel nut, and palm nut), khaini (chewing tobacco) and surti (tobacco leaves) to have warnings printed on their wrappers. These tobacco products should bear a picture of a man suffering from mouth and throat cancer on the top of the front and back covers. The messages need to be printed in white against a red background. MoHP Secretary Dr Praveen Mishra said the implementation of the directive would help people curb the use of the tobacco that would in return save hundreds of lives every year. In Nepal, researches have shown that two people die every hour due to ailments related to tobacco consumption. According to the MoHP, around 23 percent of the deaths in the country occur due to tobacco consumption. This makes 15,000 deaths annually, 20 percent of the victims below 25 years of age. According to the WHO, tobacco use kills nearly 6 million people worldwide every year. The WHO on Wednesday asked governments worldwide to ban all forms of tobacco marketing--not just billboards and TV ads--as companies find new ways of reaching out to consumers. nnnn

FAIRFIELD BY MARRIOT IN THAMEL BY 2016 Kathmandu, 31 May: Fairfield by Marriot will begin service from Thamel from 2016. A management agreement was signed between Nepal Hospitality Group of MS Group and a subsidiary of Marriott International to operate the hotel with 100 rooms. Marriot International inc. is a US-based lodging company with more than 3,800 properties in 74 countries and territories. Nnnn DELAY IN HEARING REGMI CASE AT SUPREME COURT Kathmandu, 31 May:: Lawyers today [Thursday] accused the Supreme Court administration of delaying the hearing on a writ petition that has challenged the presidential order, which paved the way for the appointment of Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi chairman of the interim election government, The Himalayan Times reports.H. The charge came after a division bench of ad hoc judges Prakash Osti and Gyanendra Bahadur Karki shelved hearing on the writ that was scheduled for today. “This is nothing but the court administration’s delaying tactic,” advocate Om Prakash Aryal, who had moved the court together with advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali, said. Aryal said the full-court meeting’s decision to condole former justice Kedar Nath Acharya, who died yesterday, came in the way of the hearing. The court remained open today, but no hearing took place. Aryal said petitioners have demanded that a special bench of more than three justices test the constitutionality of their case, as it has raised serious constitutional questions. “Since the presidential order, which made way for the appointment of ad hoc judges, has directly benefited the latter, a bench comprising permanent judges must handle the case,” another petitioner Gyawali said. According to Gyawali, postponement of the hearing shows the apex court administration has been playing games to delay verdict on the case. He argued that the court administration has delayed all cases pertaining to the appointment of Regmi as chairman of the Council of Ministers. In a March 18 stay order, the apex court had directed that Regmi not be identified as Chief Justice till he retains the post of chairman of the interim council of ministers. Immediately after Regmi’s appointment as chief of the interim government, Gyawali and Aryal had moved the apex court seeking a stay order to bar him as CJ and scrap the presidential order issued to remove hurdles in the implementation of the Interim Constitution. Section 15 of the presidential order had allowed CJ Regmi to work as chairman of the Election Council of Ministers and to reassume the judicial position after Constituent Assembly elections. However, Sheekanta Paudel, SC spokesperson, termed the lawyers’ charges against the court ‘baseless’. “The apex court administration does not play games in any case,” he said, adding, “The demand of lawyers to not schedule their case to ad hoc judges is also illogical because all judges are equal while deciding cases.” Nnnn INTERROGATION OF NOTORIOUS INDIAN MOST WANTED DUBEY BEGINSL BEING HELD UNDER PUBLIC OFFEICE ACT; SPECULATION HE MAY BE HANDED OVER TO INDIA Kathmandu, 31 May:: Police have started recording the statement from most wanted Indian gangster Bablu Dubey on Thursday, Raaaaam Dahal writes in The Himalayan Times from Birgunj.. sources confirmed that police are interrogating him about his allies after he has been kept in detention at the District Police Office (DPO), Bara since yesterday evening. SSP Sarbendra Khanal of DPO, Bara informed that they are investigating any connection of Dubey in any reported criminal activities in Nepal. Sources confirmed that police, now, are preparing to jail Dubey lodging public offence cases against him. The high-profile Indian criminal was arrested from Sitapaila, capital on Wednesday on a multiple murder charge. Dubey, a resident of Kalyanpur in Motihari of Bihar, India, is reportedly connected with more than 30 counts of homicide and running extortion racket in India. A police team of Bihar, Motihari led by DSP Binaya Kumar is also in Birgunj since this morning for the statement of Dubey. nnnn

MONSOON LIKELY TO BREAK 10 JUNE Kathmandu, 31 May: Monsoon is likely to break this over Nepal 10 June this year. The Valley has received good pre-monsoon shower with rain recorded every day for nearly 10 days. Nnnn YCL BEING REACTIVATED ANEAD OF POLLS BY UCPN MAOIST Kathmandu, 31 May: Just ahead of the fresh election to the constituent assembly (CA), the UCPN (Maoist) is going to reactive the Young Communist League (YCL) as its ´additional force´. The Maoists plan to form YCL committees in every village and city neighborhood under the slogan of ´one tol one YCL committee´. The Maoists have been projecting the YCL as its ´additional organization´ rather than as a youth Wing, Kiran Pun writes in Republica.. The YCL was formed just before the last CA election, out of the cream of People´s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders in the cantonments, under the leadership of then fourth division commander Ganesh Man Pun. To reactivate the YCL, the Maoists have scheduled its first general convention for August 31 to September 3 in Kathmandu. Once the YCL is reactivated, the Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML will have a new issue to raise. The two parties have been limited for a long time to just reacting to the issues floated by the UCPN (Maoist). "We will play a crucial role to gain a majority of votes in support of the federalists," Pun told Republica, arguing that the YCL will have a constructive role in society, launching an agenda for youths. The YLC was active against the irregularities of government bodies in the past. But with its own controversial activities, the Maosits were also defamed on account of the YCL. In the past, Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML set the political agenda. They demanded the dissolution of the YCL, criticizing its activities and accusing it of interfering in the work of the government. NC and the UML had accused the Maoists and the YCL of rigging the CA election. YCL activities figured large in talk among the political parties. Finally, the Maoists countered by demanding that the NC and UML dissolve the Tarun Dal and the Youth Association Nepal (YAN) if they wanted to see the YCL dissolved. The Maoists agreed to remove the paramilitary structure of the YCL and they were kept inside closed-off buildings at factories. The YCL was rendered inactive by the Maoists because it gave them a bad name, and it also kept a low profile because of the formation of the People´s Volunteers (PV). After endorsing ´people´s revolt´ as the party line, the Maoists had decided to form people´s volunteers and keep the YCL profile low. "After the formation of the PV, all YCL activities had been halted," added Pun. But following the party split, the UCPN (Maoist) decided to activate the YCL while the CPN-Maoist activated the PV. "We would not give any chances to the oppositional parties to criticize us like in the past. We will launch programs of production and creative reform in society," said Pun, informing that the YCL would concentrate on these activities. The YCL was formed as a force of youths to train other youths in Maoist ideology. Its commanders had commanded the 10-year insurgency. The next task was to work as a youth force to launch protests against irregularities. The third task was to extend the organization of the party in the villages and cities. "After the Hetauda general convention, its added new task is to engage in production and creative work in society. The YCL will focus on production, through mobilization of the youths," added Pun. Why do the Maoists want to activate the YCL? There are various reasons for activating the YCL. According to Maoist watchers, the main reason is to enlist the youths for mobilizing muscle and money. The Maoists will use them as in the last CA election. The YCL is a trained force. Another reason is that the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has formed the PV out of former PLA, disqualified PLA, former YCL and youth leaders of the party wings. UCPN (Maoist) is going to reactivate the YCL to stop more of them from joining the PV. Yet another reason is that the youths are frustrated with the leadership. While they are brought out into the streets they are not given any responsibilities. So it is also a pretext to engage these youths who are dissatisfied at being deprived of any active role in the party. What effect will the reactivation of the YCL have on the election? The YLC will play the same role as the NC´s youth wing Tarun Dal and UML´s YAN. The political parties will use their youth wings as ´muscle´ for the election. "Don´t take reactivation of the YCL as the election. The role of the YCL in the election is secondary," said Pun. Yes, it is natural that the YCL will affect the election, but it is yet to be seen if it will be as effective as during the last CA poll, he added. Nnnn PRIECELESS TREASURES UNCOVERED FROM HANUMAN DHOKA Kathmandu,, 31 May : Antique items recently found in a treasure house inside Hanuman Dhoka, the royal palace of the Malla as well as Shah dynasties, are worth billions of rupees, said government authorities on Thursday, Prathiva Rawal writes in Republica.. A team of archeologists, representatives of various political parties, concerned ministries and security agencies had unlocked the Hanuman Dhoka treasure house on April 5. The team, headed by Director General (DG) of Department of Archeology (DoA) Bhesh Narayan Dahal, had found a huge amount of antique items, artefacts, idols and jewelries. The government had formed another committee led by Sarswati Singh, Executive Director of Hanuman Dhoka Museum Development Committee, to make an inventory of all the items found in the treasure house. Holding a press conference Thursday, the committee said brick-shaped silver bars found in the treasure house alone are worth millions of rupees. A total of 145 brick-shaped silver bars were found in the treasure house. The committee said brick-shaped silver bars weigh 4081.255 Kgs, which can fetch millions of rupees as per current market rates. According to the committee, 24 sets of Chand, a jewelry item mounted with diamonds and precious stones that top Rana officers wore on their heads, have also been found in the treasure house. Besides, plates of gold, antique coins, precious stones, pearls and archeologically-important idols have also been found. All the identified antique items have been kept in 28 separate boxes. “We are not done yet; we are expecting a lot more antique items," said Dahal. “Once we are done with making inventory, we will make all the items public." Dahal said the antique items found in the treasure house are priceless. "You cannot calculate prices of all the items," said he. "We can just say that these items are worth billions of rupees." The committee led by Singh collects the details of antique items found in the treasure house from Sunday to Wednesday. Every Thursday, the inventory of antique items is updated and briefed to concerned authorities the next day. Only seven of the total 22 containers found in the treasure house have been unlocked so far. Singh said they will open the remaining 15 containers in the next couple of months. "Inventory of small items of gold and silver is taking a long time," said she. "We have to be extra careful to collect details of such mini items." Most of the items found in the treasure house are believed to have been brought from different countries like England and China, according to Singh. "These items date back to the Malla and the early Shah eras," said she. Nnnn

130 PARTIES APPLY FOR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 31 May: Altogether 139 parties applied by Thursday’s deadline at the election commission to contest the second constituent assembly elections. The deadline was extended by one day as Wednesday was a public holiday to ark republic day. The applications are being scrutinized, the commission said. Several partiesm including CPN Maoist and Limbuwan Federal Council, opposed to the vote and the government of Khil Raj Regmi, didn’t apply. Sixty parties registered on the last day for registration Thursday. Seventy-ix more parties applied for official recognition Thursday. Parties, including those already recognized, have to register for every election, according to Nepal’s electoral law. The commission called for applications 30 April.. Nnnn NC STUDENTS DEMAND TU UNION ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 31 May: Nepal Students’ Union, student wing of NC, is disrupting the movement of vehicles in front of campuses Friday morning demanding elections for the first time in four years at campuses nation-wide under TU. The 6 June was election was indefinitely postponed by TU after widespread irregularities in registering voters for election. nnnnn HIMALAYAN SHERPA, FRIENDS CLUB MEET IN GURKHA CUP FRIDAY Kathmandu, 31 May: Jawalakhel plays Boys Union in the Gurkha Cup at the Dashrath Rangashala in the capital Friday. Himalayan Sherpa and Friends Club play in another match, MMC and Nepal Army qualified for the quarterfinal Thursday. Nnnn CAPITAL FRIDAY MORNING TEMPERATURE 15 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 31 May: Capital’s Friday morning temperature on a rainy morning was 15 degrees Celsius at seven, Mercury is expected to rise to 26 degrees Celsius on a rainy day.afternoon. Nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE (He [Sushil Koirala] is not a great leader. But he has served the party 0nC) for a long time) (NC leader and Man Mohan Bhattarai in Dishanirdesh in Kantipur TV) nnnn

DETAILS OF FURTHER GOVT. APPOINTMENTS Kathmandu, 30 May: Dr Bhogendra Sharma (Kathmandu) was nominated Thursday by government as candidate for the vacant post of the United Nations Committee against Torture.. The meeting directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lobby for Dr, Sharma. Senior scientist officer Jeevan Prasad Rihal has been appointed edecutive director at the National Forensic Laboratory. The government waived 7,000 US Dollar) royalty for a three-member French search expedition of Gerhard Kuska, father of Grigoi Kuska missing in the Mt. Manaslu. nnnn

KULEKHANI II OPERATIONAL AFTER REPAIRS Kathmandu, 30 May:: Kulekhani Hydropower Project II has started producing 10 MW powers in the first phase from today after necessary maintenance of transformer since This [Thursday] afternoon, RSS reports from Hetauda.. The project stopped producing power after the three transformers installed in the project were caught in fire on April 16. According to the Project's administration, the 10 MW power generated from today was also connected with Kathmandu based central grid. Currently, Kulekhani I is generating just 20 MW out of 60 MW, and 10 MW out of 32 in the Kulekhani II. Krishna Prasad Yadav, Chief of the Kulekhani Hydropower Project II, told RSS the project would generate power in its full capacity within a month after the further maintenance of other transformers. nnnn

TEACHERS’ SERVICE COMMISSION AMENDMENT Kathmandu, 30 May: The cabinet decided on an eighth amendment regulation of the Teachers Service Commission. A regular weekly cabinet took the decision. nnnn.

MAOISTS SEEK MAJORITY IN ASSEMBLY VOTE Kathmandu, 30 May: :Chairman of the UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has stressed that his party should garner majority in the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) elections at any cost, RSS reports.. "I lacked experience when I was the Prime Minister and there were many obstacles when party Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai was in that post, now the party has the experience of running the state and we need majority in the election," he said. Addressing a training programme organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry here today, the UCPN (Maoist) Chairman said the party was already busy in homework for securing majority in the election. The announcement for fresh election was for giving a way out to the nation from existing crisis, he said, reasoning that if there was no delay made in announcing the election date. The party has approved the strategy of production, development and management with a view to preventing the party colleagues from becoming bourgeois, he said. The main objective of the strategy is to narrow the gap between rich and poor and it will be presented at the party's upcoming central committee meeting to bring it into practice, he added. Chairman Dahal said the party has a policy of formulating an economic policy suitable to the country's soil. Party Vice Chairman and former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said the private sector should not be allowed to work freely in the construction of large physical infrastructures. Double-digit economic growth was the top priority of my government, he said. Similarly, another Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said economic development was essential for maintaining political stability in the country. He urged the people to increase investment in hydro power sector, tourism and agriculture. Likewise, leader Urmila Aryal stressed on the need for improving economic condition of the people through the means of cooperatives. nnnn

ADD OTHER MEMBERS OF TASK FORCE UNDER HLPC Kathmandu, 30 May: Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Khim Lal Devkota represent UCPN Maoist in the HLPC while UML is represented by Raguji Panta and Agni Kharel. The body mets again 3 June. Nnnn

NEPAL, INDIA HOME SECRETARY-LEVEL TALKS SATURDAY Kathmandu, 30 May: The Nepal-India Home Ministerial level talk is taking place in Kathmandu on Saturday, RSS reports.. The talks will dwell on matters relating to curbing cross-border criminal activities and improving security arrangement along the border of the two countries, Spokesperson of Ministry of Home Shanker Prasad Koirala said. 'The ministerial level meeting will hold discussion on the matters related to mutual interest and benefits, said Koirala. The bilateral meeting would also touch on the measures both the countries could take up to curb human and drug trafficking and smuggling of Indian fake currency notes. An 18-member talks team headed by the Home Secretary of India arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday to take part in the meeting, Spokesperson Koirala added. Home Ministry Secretary Nabin Kumar Ghimire is heading the Nepali delegation in the meeting. The meeting is to be attended by 18 high-ranking government officials of Home Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. Prior to this, the bilateral meeting had taken place in New Delhi of India. Nnnn MAHANTHA THAKUR SAYS GOVT. CHIEF CAN CONTINUE AS CJ Kathmandu, 30 May:: Chairman of the Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP), Mahantha Thakur, has said Chairman of the Interim Election Council (IEC), need not resign from Chief Justice (CJ), RSS reports from Biratnagar.. He made this remark while talking to journalists at Biratnagar Airport today at a time when the leaders of different political parties have begun to talk about the IEC Chairman Regmi's resignation as the CJ. Similarly, Chairman Thakur said there should not be threshold of vote for ensuring the representation of fringe political parties, indigenous nationalities, women, and all people in the Constituent Assembly (CA) election. He claimed that the political parties have made no agreement regarding the threshold of vote and registration of candidacy by a person, who is convicted of criminal case, to participate in the CA election. Thakur, however, said the political parties have forged consensus to limit the CA members to 491 against 601 in the first CA but the number could be increased if another consensus was forged among the political parties. He further said that there was a little bit delay on declaring the date for the CA election as some laws regarding the CA election process were in the process of study. During the meeting, leader of TMLP, Sarvendra Nath Shukla, said it has been the time for uniting Madhes-based political parties learning from their split in the past. Nnnn KAMAL THAPA SAYS SYNDICATE OF FOUR BE SCRAPPED FOR FREE POLLS Kathmandu, 30 May:: Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa has said that doubts remain regarding the constituent assembly (CA) elections by third week of November, RSS reports from Butwal.. Speaking at an interaction in Bhairahawa on Wednesday, leader Thapa said the four-party mechanism should be scrapped to conduct the CA elections in a free and fair manner. Government's failure to announce the CA polls date even after two months of its formation, failure to draft the electoral laws and agitating political parties against the CA polls have added doubts to the timely CA elections. Meanwhile, Co-Chairman of RPP-Nepal Padma Sundar Lawati has warned to welcome the dethroned King Gyanendra Shah back to the Narayanhiti Palace by waging protests if the CA election was not conducted by mid-November. Addressing an election campaign in the district headquarters of Therathum today, Lawati also accused the republican era's ministers of indulging in corruption. People would internalize democracy if a Hindu kingdom was reinstated, Lawati claimed. nnnn

TASK FORCE TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCE OF ELECTION ORDINANCE Kathmandu, 30 May: A delayed meeting of the high-level political committee (HLPC) of the Big Three and Madesh Morcha Thursday formed a eight-member task force to resolve differences on an electoral ordinance to conduct constituent assembly elections. The body has two representatives each from each party or group. Hridesh Trupathi and Jitendra Deb represent the Morcha while Dr.Ram Sharan Mahat and Mnendra Rizal have been nominated by NC. MORE TU ELECTION POSTPONEMENT ONTED UPDTE Kathmandu, 30 May: Constituents of a high-level political committee (HLPC) of the Big Three and Madesh Morcha Thursday objected to postponement of student union elections under TUs campuses. The body of parties called for elections. Political parties control student unions. Nnnn UPDATE GURKHA CUP Kathmandu, 30 May: Tribhuvan Club of Nepal Army (NA) and MMC entered the quarterfinal of the Gurkha Cup Thursday. NA beat Tushal 6-0 in one match. MMC beat RCT 5-1in another, Naresh GC scored hat-trick for NA. Shyam Shrestha of MMC scored two goals. nnnn

NIGHT FLIGHT PLANS TO SIMARA UNCERTAIN Kathmandu, 30 May: The Civil Aviation Authority Nepal, Simara, Bara has not been able to bring into operation the night flight plan in the airport even after completing all preparations, RSS reports.. It could not be operated as electricity was not supplied even after one year of completing the infrastructures including lighting, fire fighting and other infrastructures at a cost of Rs 250 million. It could not come into operation as NEA neglected request for dedicated feeder that provides 24-hour supply of electricity, said officiating chief of CAAN, Simara, Suraj Bishankhya. It needs such supply as other planes of international flights coming via that route also need the DVOR DME signals while landing in the capital. The airport is useful for Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Makwanpur and Sarlahi districts and for Indian tourists, industrialists of the industrial corridor, politicians and general public. Now, Buddha Air Beach Craft and Simrik Air conduct flight here. Last year, some 35,143 passengers flew from here and 34, 957 landed as per CAAN data and there is a need for night flights for busy schedule in human life. nnnn JAPANESE ASSISTANCE Kathmandu, 30 May: Japan Thursday gave USD 409,792; equivalent to approximately Rs36,139,556 to AMDA Multisectoral and Integrated Development Services (AMDA-MINDS) to provide technical assistance to a partner agency. The programe will be implemented in Four Village Development Committees (VDCs) in Rupandehi under a Phase II project. . The grant contract was signed and exchanged Chargés d’Affaires of Japan to Nepal Shuichi Sakakibara and Country Director of AMDA- MINDS Nepal Office Satoru Kinoshita. nnnn In a press communiqué issued on Thursday, the embassy of Japan said that the AMDA-MINDS will provide technical and financial support to a partner agency, to implement the Project for Improving Maternal and Child Health through Promoting Capacity Development at Four Village Development Committees (VDCs) in Rupa

BABY OF 11-YEAR-OLD DIES Kathmandu, 30 May : An infant born to an eleven-year-old mother after rape died on Wednesday night, RSS reports.. A girl from Sisne of Khudunabari-1 in Jhapa who was raped by a forty-year-old man gave birth to an immature baby boy at Koshi Zonal Hospital, Biratnagar in the morning of Wednesday. The girl with Bishwakarma surname gave birth to the baby weighing 1,200 grammes at seven months of pregnancy. According to doctors assigned at the maternity ward, the premature baby died of infection. The girl, however, was discharged on Wednesday and her condition is normal. She is now under the protection of Biratnagar-based ABC Nepal, a non-government organization fighting for the rights of women. Rapist Surendra Bishwakarma who is the victim´sb brother-in-law is on the run since the incident came into the public a few days ago. Nnnn Ma ABDUCTORS IN PARSA ARRESTED Kathmandu, 30 May:: A patrol team of the Ward Police Office, Shreepur has arrested four abductors including two Indians on the charge of abduction of a child, RSS reports from Birgunj.. Those arrested are Rajendra Patel and Bijay Patel of Parsa Bhawanipur. Likewise, Om Prakash Sahani and Gopal Patel of Raxaul, a neighboring Indian town, have also been arrested in that connection, said Inspector Ganesh Chanda at the Area police Office. They were arrested while demanding for ransom after abducting a six-year old son of Alparan Devan of Bishrampur-8, Parsa last night, said Inspector Chanda. The arrestees have been detained in the District Police Office Birgunj and investigation was on in this connection. Nnnn NEXICAN SETS EVEREST RECORD Kathmandu, 30 May: A veteran Mexican climber was confirmed on Thursday as the first person to climb Everest from both sides of the mountain in the same season, AFP reports from the Nepalese capital.. David Liano Gonzalez, 33, reached the top of Everest on May 11 from the south side, and days later started his second successful ascent of the world´s highest mountain from the north side. Gonzalez, who says he has now climbed Everest five times in total, was awarded the official record certificate from Guinness World Records at a ceremony in the Nepal capital on Thursday. "I am very happy to have set this record," Gonzalez told reporters. Confirmation of the feat comes after Nepal on Wednesday marked 60 years since the first ascent of Everest, with celebrations honouring the now legendary climbers Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Around 3,500 people have reached the top of Everest since the first conquest in 1953, and climbing to the roof of the world has become a lucrative industry for impoverished Nepal. "He (Gonzalez) summited Everest on 11 May 2013 from Nepal (the south side) and on May 19 from Tibet (the north side), becoming the first person in one single expedition season to do so," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, founder of Asian Trekking, the company that organised the expedition. Gonzalez said that after his first ascent from the Nepal side, he descended to the Everest base camp and flew to Kathmandu, before making an overland trip to Tibet for his second successful bid. There are at least four routes to the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029 ft) mountain. But most commercially guided expeditions follow the Southeast Ridge in the Nepal side and the Northeast Ridge in the Tibetan side of China. The summit season on Everest begins every year in late April, when a small window between spring and the summer monsoon offers the best conditions for making the ascent. Around 540 have reached the top this year, including an octogenarian, the first female amputee, the first women from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and the first armless man. Nnnn ________________________________________ MONARCHICAL ATTITUDE DISMAYS MJFL LEADER Kathmandu, 30 May: Things have changed a lot in the last seven years. The country is turning into a federal democratic republic from a constitutional monarchy. Narayanhiti Royal Palace has been replaced by Shital Niwas, Gani Ansari writes in Republica.. However, a popular singer who played a crucial role in attracting masses to the anti-monarchy movement in 2006 is dismayed to find “monarchial attitudes” among the top leaders of major political parties. The country on Wednesday marked the 6th republic day amid a souring of relations between civil society and the present technocratic government formed after the 11-point deal reached between the four political forces--UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF). “Though monarchy has been abolished, monarchial attitudes persist among some top leaders,” says Rabin Gandharba, who was at the forefront during the people´s movement in 2006 along with the political leaders. While the government was marking republic day amid a function at Tundikhel, Kathmandu, members of civil society held a separate function in the capital to mark the day. Like common people across the country, Gandharba is also not happy with ongoing political developments. “Some leaders of the four political forces evince the attitude that they are now kings but what they should remember is that people power, which ousted the 240 year-old monarchy, can topple such political leaders also,” he warns. At a time when the major political parties are being accused of riding roughshod over the people´s aspirations and democratic norms and values, Gandharba, 22, also suggests to the top leaders of the four political parties to mend their ways. “Common people are frustrated with the political parties,” he maintains, adding, “If the leaders do not remain worthy of the public trust, it will become dangerous for them.” So, where did the big parties slip after the announcement of the republic? “The dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA) without delivering a new statute was a most tragic event,” says Gandharba, adding, “And now the chief justice is also head of the executive branch, which is against the principle of separation of powers.” He terms the agreement between the four political forces ´unfortunate´. He also warns of dictatorship in the country if Khil Raj Regmi keeps holding on to the posts of head of the executive branch and of the judiciary simultaneously. “Abolishing the 240-year-old monarchy was no mean achievement but people´s expectations are yet to be fulfilled while the political leaders remain too busy serving their personal interests,” Gandharba says. He is unhappy over the gap between the rhetoric of the top leaders and what they are doing in practice. “While speaking in public they present themselves as concerned for the people´s cause but in reality it seems they are being guided by some other forces,” he laments. He maintains that there is uncertainty in the country and the common people do not know where things are headed. Gandharba, who was then about 14, came in contact with student leaders including Chandra Shahi and Ram Kumari Jhakri at the time of the people´s movement, and he also joined the movement. Asked if the political leaders still keep in touch with him, he said, “Times have changed a lot; at a time when the political parties need Rekha Thapa and Bhuwan KC, I may not be as important as before.” However, some political leaders including Madhav Nepal and KP Oli often phone him to inquire about his studies, he says. Gandharba is currently studying at the higher secondary level in the capital. The government provides him Rs 7,000 monthly as a scholarship. Nnnn FIRST OSTRICH FARM EXPANDING Kathmandu, 30 May : Ostrich Nepal - the operator of country´s first ostrich farm in Nepal - is on an expansion spree, Sher Bahadur KC reports from Butwal. . The company based in Gangolia of Rupandehi is planning to expand farming to Beljhundi of Dang with additional investment of Rs 50 million. “We have decided to expand farming to Dang as the existing farm that sprawls over 14 hectares can no longer serve our business plan,” CP Sharma, managing director of Ostrich Nepal, said. Ostrich Nepal has taken around 100 hectares of land owned by Mahendra Sanskrit University in Beljhundi on a 20-year lease. “We will shit parent flocks in our new farm at Beljhundi,” said Sharma. As per the plan, 1,000 parent ostriches will be transferred to Beljundi from Ruapandehi within three weeks. The company plans to raise the number of parent ostriches in Beljhundi to 3,000 within three years. In line with the capacity expansion plan, Ostrich Nepal is importing 1,000 parent ostriches from northern Africa within a few months. The company has spent Rs 50 million to develop the new farm. It has completed fencing works on the entire property, set up drinking water system and built sheds, staff quarters and office building. According to Sharma, the old farm in Gangolia will be used only for meat processing, feed production and producing parent chicks once the new farm commences operation. The farm´s hatchery has been producing 100 chicks per week. It has the capacity to hatch 100 eggs per day. Sharma said his company will also encourage local farmers to start ostrich farming. Ostrich Nepal has already invested around Rs 60 million since it commenced operation by importing 600 chicks from Australia some five years ago. It sells 20 tons of ostrich meat a year. “There is good market for this product. Big hotels in the country are importing ostrich meat products from abroad to fulfill supply deficit,” he said. Ostrich Nepal has set a target of substituting ostrich meat imports with domestic production by 2015. Ostrich meat fetches around Rs 2,000 per kg in the local market. The company is also planning to export eggs, skin and feathers. Sharma, however, said the government is not doing enough to promote ostrich farming. “Ostrich farming can make big contribution to national economy. If the government facilitates farmers by arranging concessional loans from banks, many will jump into ostrich farming,” he added. Nnnn

UPDATE TU ELECTIONS POSTPONED Kathmandu, 30 May: As expected, Tribhuwan University (TU) Thursday postponed the Free Student Union ( FSU ) elections scheduled to be held 6 June following widespread voter fraud by rival student unions. Different student groups padlocked campuses under TU nation-wide ahead of the vote—first in for years. An informal meeting of the TU Executive Committee List of voters was to be published Monday, The deadline was missed. Nnnn

SALT TRADING Y IMPORT SUGAR AT CONCESSIONAL RATE Kathmandu, 30 May: Salt Trading Ltd, is to import 30,000 metric tons of sugar paying 1 per cent custom tax. Government gave its approval Thursday. nnnn GOVT. APPOINTMENTS Kathmandu, 30 May: Arjun Babu Dhakal has been appointed General Manager of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited ( KUKL ). Jiwan Prasad Rijal has been appointedExecutive Director of Vidhi Vigyaan Prayogshala by the cabinet Thursday. Kathmandu, 30 May:hursday made the decisions, Minister for Information and Communications Madhav Prasad Poudel informed. Likewise, the meeting has given the approval to the Salt Trading to import 30,000 metric tons of sugar paying 1 per cent custom tax. NNNN

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HUSBAND KILLS WIFE Kathmandu, 30 May: A husband has killed his wife by using knife here at Damak-15 in Jhapa district, RSS writes from Damak. Husband Bhupal Rai (40) has killed his wife Ganga Rai (35) at 3:30am on Thursday. He killed his wife after drinking excessive alcohol, but the reason behind the killing is yet to be ascertained, said the Area Police Office, Damak. Rai is absconding after the murder. The Rai couple has a son, said police Nnnn MASS POLICE PROMOTIONS Kathmandu, 30 May: In an en masse promotion in Nepal Police, 724 Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASIs) were promoted as Sub-Inspectors. Nepal Police headquarters promoted the personnel as per organizational need. Nnnn GLOBAL IME GOES FOR ANOTHER MERGER Kathmandu, 30 May: Global IME Bank is merging with Gulmi Bikas Bank. The bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gulmi Bikas BankTuesday. lobal IME Bank and Social Development Bank merged two weeks earlier. Nnnn

CPN MAOIST CLOSE DOWN RUPE Kathmandu, 30 May: CPN Maoist closed down Rupedhanehi Thursday. The splinter group of UCPN Maoist of Pachanda and former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai The party is demanding release of workers arrested during anti-government protests. The party is also demanding authorities make public reportof the death of a worker in custody. nnnn

BODY OF NC ACTIVIST FOUND IN RUKUM Kathmandu 30 May: Body of NC activist Kabiram Khadka, 30, was found along a stream at Simli VDC-1 in Rukum Wednesday. Police suspect he was murdered. Nnnn SUNITA PODDAR APPOINTED HONOURARY CONSUL GENERAL IN SCOTLAND Kathmandu, 30 May: Sunita Poddar has been appointed Nepal’s honourary consul general in Scotland. A statement said she will focus on strengthening business, cultural, technological and tourism ties. nnnn

SHYAM SHRESTHA ARRESTED WITH THREE MILLION INDIAN CURRENCY NOTES BEFORE ENTERING TIBET Kathmandu, 30 May: Shyam Shrestha waas arrested Wednesday at Tatopani with three million in Indian currency notes. Prearations are afoot to hand him over to anti-money laundering authorities. Shrestha was arrested just before he entered Tibet. Nnnn PREGNANT NEPALI GRANDMOTHER BAGS EVEREST MARATHON SECOND TIME Kathmandu, 30 May: A 44-year-old three=month pregnant Nepali grandmother Wednesday bagged her second Everest marathon named after the first climbers Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary of the 8848 meters high Mount Everest. Ang Dami Sherpa ran downhill from Everest base camp to Namche Bazzai completing the internationally recognized highest long distance race in 6:02:10 and repeated her .2006 feat. “I have no words to share my happiness,” she said after completing the race ahead of another Nepali Mani Kala Rai (6:02:20) and Tara Ketner (7”28:10) of USA. “I feel pleased to win the title at this age and will run in the coming editions as well.” nnnn

LIMBUWAN STUDENTS CLOSE DOWN EASTERN REGION Kathmandu, 30 May: Students affiliated with Limbuwan Thursday closed down nine districts east of Arun river demanding student election in campuses under TU be conducted on proportional representation basis 6 June. Movement of vehicles on the Koshi and Mechi highways came to a complete halt following the strike call. Students had earlier padlocked campuses pressing demands. First campus elections in four years held normally every two years are uncertain. nnnn MEET ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Kathmandu, 30 May: A national meet to end violence against women Is being organized by All Nepal Women’s Sangh in the capital. Seven hundred representatives are participating in the two-day meet beginning Thursday.. UML women leader and widow of Madah Bhandari, Bidhaya, leads the body. . nnnn DEADLINE TO REGISTER PARTIES EXTENDED UNTIL THURSDAY. Kathmandu, 30 May: Wednesday’s deadline to register political parties for second constituent assembly elections has been extended until today [Thursday]. , Election Commission Sspokesman Nir Bahadur Rai said. The deadline was extended as Wednesday was a public holiday to mark republic day. Seventy-nine parties have registered so far the vote. Seventeen parties registered Wednesday. Nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “In a press statement issued on Wednesday, Dahal’s [Prachanda’s] personal secretariat said, “we would like to inform that the news report that Chairman Prachanda had offered Rs 7.5 million to Tripathy's family for returning his grandson is baseless,” the statement reads. (The Kathmandu Post news report 30 May) nnnn

BRITISH QUEEN RECALLS SHE RECEIVED NEWS ON EVEREST CONQUEST ON EVE OF HER CORONATION Kathmandu, 30 May: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth Wednesday recalled the first historic ascent of the 8848 meters Mount Everest 60 years ago by Tenziing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary, and said news of the conquest reached her one day before her coronation. “The news of the successful ascent reached me at a particularly memorable time, the day before my Coronation. “The Everest Expedition was an historic example of UK-Nepal co-operation and I hope that the special relationship between our two countries will continue to grow in the years to come,” she said in a message to President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. She sent the president ‘warmest regards to the Government of Nepal and re-affirmed ‘the strong ties that exist between our two countries”. Nepal observed the diamond jubilee celebrations on the conquest of Everest in four-day clebrations that concluded Wednesday. nnnn. NOTORIOUS INDIAN CRIMINAL CAPTURED BY USING WOMAN Kathmandu, 30 May: A high-profile Indian criminal Mithilesh Dubey, alias Bablu, who has long been on Nepal Police’s most wanted list for his involvement in a number of criminal activities both in Nepal and India, has been arrested in Kathmandu, Rabi Dahal writes in The Himalayan Times from Birgunj. Bablu, a resident of Kalyanpur in Motihari of Bihar, India, faces charges of more than 30 counts of murder and running extortion racket in India. According to police sources in Bihar, Bablu had served eight years in jail in India at different times since he took to crime in 2001 after he killed the murderer of his father. Bablu ran his crime syndicate through his outfit named ‘Bihar People’s Liberation Army’, which is believed to have raked in over 10 million Indian rupees from businesspersons in Champaran, Motihari, Raxaul and other cities in Bihar, earning him the sobriquet ‘Terror of Bihar’. After Bihar Police put him on the most wanted list and launched a massive manhunt, Bablu fled to Nepal some eight months ago. He had been running a hotel at bus park in Chitwan as Surendra Mishra. Police said Bablu, despite being in Nepal, was constantly running an extortion racket both in Nepal and India. According to SSP Sarbendra Khanal of Narayani Zonal Police Office, the 30-year-old was arrested yesterday from Sitapaila in Kathmandu. Police have confiscated five mobile phone sets, 10 Nepali SIM cards and Rs 173,000 and IRS 60,000 cash from him. Bablu was paraded today at Narayani Zonal Police Office, Birgunj, where he pleaded guilty to murdering six people in India. Police at a press meet today quoted Indian authorities as saying that Bablu has various cases against him, ranging from bank robbery to murder, in India, which occurred in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009 in east Champaran. Police use woman to trap Dubey Sleuths of Narayani Zonal Police Office, Birgunj, had used a woman Mithilesh Dubey, alias Bablu, had met a few months ago in Birgunj, to lure him into honeytrap. Police had brought the woman to Kathmandu and managed to find his whereabouts before the arrest. He was found to be living in an apartment in Sitapaila-based Sita Star Homes for the past two months. Bablu, it is said, was planning to move from there, suspecting that plainclothes cops were keeping an eye on him. Officials said they were preparing to hand Bablu over to Bihar Police. Nnnn BOYCOTTS MAR REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS Kathmandu, 30 May:: Nepal Bar Association and some civil society members boycotted the sixth Republic Day programme observed at Shital Niwas today to protest President Ram Baran Yadav’s nod for constitutional amendment that enabled formation of a new government under Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi, The Himalayan Times reports.. Former Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang, civil society members Kanak Mani Dixit, Sushil Pyakurel, Shambhu Thapa and some other human rights activists boycotted the celebrations at the President’s Office. Prominent leaders of other political parties, including Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Vice-chair Baburam Bhattarai, Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, United Democratic Madhesi Front leaders Bijay Kumar Gachhadar and Mahanatha Thakur were present at the programme. Vice-president Paramanand Jha, Chairman of Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi, former Prime Ministers Surya Bahadur Thapa, Lokendra Bahadur Chand, government ministers, chiefs of constitutional bodies, high-ranking government officials and security officials, former bureaucrats, former ambassadors and representatives of foreign diplomatic missions were also present at the programme. Some civil society members, who are against the CJ-led government, celebrated the Day separately in the Capital. Speaking to mediapersons at Shital Niwas, UCPN-M Chairman Dahal said republic was in the process of being institutionalised and people should not worry about it. He said people were in favour of republic. UCPN-M Vice chair Bhattarai said institutionalising republican order might take some time, but nobody could reverse republicanism. “We have established republicanism and secularism and nobody can reverse these achievements,” Bhattarai told mediapersons in response to a question. NC Vice-president Poudel said Nepal was not the only country where a new government had been formed under the CJ. “Greece, which is the mother of democracy, also had a government under chief justice. Bangladesh too has had chief justice-led government. There may be around 10 countries, which have had chief justice-led governments. Why can’t we have such a government?” Poudel asked, criticising civil society members’ opposition to the CJ-led government. UML Chairman Khanal said major political parties will hold a meeting of the High Level Political Committee tomorrow, adding that major issues will probably be settled tomorrow. If not, they will be settled in a few days, he said. State honours for 189 personalities On the occasion of the sixth Republic Day, the government on Wednesday announced names of a total of 189 people who will receive state honours. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, President Ram Baran Yadav will give away the awards. The recognitions include Sukirtimaya Rastradeep, Suprabal Janasewashree, Prabal Janasewashree, Biskashratna Padak, Samajsewa Ratna, Samajsewa Padak, Sukirti Padak, Sukirtimaya Rastradeep, Janasewashree, Nepal Pratap Subhushan, Nepal Pratap Abhushan, Mahapaurakh Bhaskar, Birata Padak, Sourya Padak and Prakriti Prakop Piditodhhar Padak. The awardees include painters, cine artistes, singers, journalists, scientists, professors, social workers, businesspeople, professionals, government officers, security officers, sportspersons and rights activists. Nnnn Nepal and India have agreed to exchange zoo animal specimens between the two countries. The National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) under the Ministry for Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) and Central Zoo Authority (CZA), India have reached an agreement to this effect. The three-year memorandum of understanding was signed jointly by Juddha Gurun, member secretary at NTNC and Bishan Singh Bonal, member secretary of CZA at a programme in New Delhi on Monday. This is the first time Nepal’s Central Zoo administered by NTNC has joined hands with the Indian zoo authority to exchange surplus animals in the next three years. Sarita Gyawali, director at Jawalakhel-based Central Zoo in Kathmandu and also a member of the Nepali team that visited India said on Wednesday that the agreement of this kind was a must with India to promote species diversity and strengthen cooperation between the two organisations working in the zoo management sector. Though CZA, the central government body to administer all zoos in India, has the authority to take a decision to exchange animals with Nepal, NTNC’s decision needs to be approved by the ministry concerned and even the central government if needed.According to Gyawali, the government may not block any decision to bring in surplus zoo animal specimens from India. She said discussions were held with CZA officials about the possible exchange of female hippos that are in excess number in India with the Central Zoo in Nepal. The Jawalakhel zoo can provide leopard and cat species to India on request, Gyawali said. Besides exchanging zoo animals , the agreement also calls for better zoo enclosures and management of animals , capacity enhancement and training to zoo staffers and collaboration in researches related to genetic species, captive breeding and promotion of conservation education, among others. During the reign of kings in the past, the Central Zoo had received some exotic animals such as siamans (arboreal gibbons), hippopotamuses and ostriches from Singapore, Thailand and Australia respectively. Nepal gifted blackbucks and different bird species to other countries as well. However, with the establishment of republic in the country, no animal exchange programme has been carried out by the Central Zoo . The last animal exchange was carried out in 2001 when the zoo got a hippo from Thailand. Nepal started giving rhinos as a gift to Germany and India, among other countries, during the monarchial period. “We are also looking for a similar agreement with Singapore Zoo in the future,” Gyawali said. Nnnn NEPAL, INDIA TO EXCHANGE ZOO ANIMALS Kathmandu, 30 May: Nepal and India have agreed to exchange zoo animal specimens between the two countries. The National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) under the Ministry for Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) and Central Zoo Authority (CZA), India have reached an agreement to this effect, Pragati Shahi writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The three-year memorandum of understanding was signed jointly by Juddha Gurun, member secretary at NTNC and Bishan Singh Bonal, member secretary of CZA at a programme in New Delhi on Monday. This is the first time Nepal’s Central Zoo administered by NTNC has joined hands with the Indian zoo authority to exchange surplus animals in the next three years. Sarita Gyawali, director at Jawalakhel-based Central Zoo in Kathmandu and also a member of the Nepali team that visited India said on Wednesday that the agreement of this kind was a must with India to promote species diversity and strengthen cooperation between the two organisations working in the zoo management sector. Though CZA, the central government body to administer all zoos in India, has the authority to take a decision to exchange animals with Nepal, NTNC’s decision needs to be approved by the ministry concerned and even the central government if needed.According to Gyawali, the government may not block any decision to bring in surplus zoo animal specimens from India. She said discussions were held with CZA officials about the possible exchange of female hippos that are in excess number in India with the Central Zoo in Nepal. The Jawalakhel zoo can provide leopard and cat species to India on request, Gyawali said. Besides exchanging zoo animals , the agreement also calls for better zoo enclosures and management of animals , capacity enhancement and training to zoo staffers and collaboration in researches related to genetic species, captive breeding and promotion of conservation education, among others. During the reign of kings in the past, the Central Zoo had received some exotic animals such as siamans (arboreal gibbons), hippopotamuses and ostriches from Singapore, Thailand and Australia respectively. Nepal gifted blackbucks and different bird species to other countries as well. However, with the establishment of republic in the country, no animal exchange programme has been carried out by the Central Zoo . The last animal exchange was carried out in 2001 when the zoo got a hippo from Thailand. Nepal started giving rhinos as a gift to Germany and India, among other countries, during the monarchial period. “We are also looking for a similar agreement with Singapore Zoo in the future,” Gyawali said. Nnnn GAS DEALERS THREATEN TO DISRUPT SUPPLY Kathmandu, 30 May: As the fourth deadline to enforce colour-coded liquefied petroleum gas ( LPG ) cylinders nears, the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and LPG bottlers are at odds, as usual., The Kathmandu Post writes. Every time the government announces a deadline to introduce the colour-coded cylinders in the market, the Nepal LPG Industry Association (N LPG IA) takes up its demand that the commission for dealers and transportation be raised. This time too, the N LPG IA has threatened to stop supply of cooking gas cylinders in the market if the government ignores their demand. They have been given a deadline of July 15 to introduce the two types of LPG cylinders. This is the fourth deadline the government has issued to the LPG traders in the past one-and-a-half years. Under the colour-coded cylinder system, households will get red cylinders at subsidised rates, while commercial customers will use blue cylinders and pay the full rate. The NOC has been rejecting the bottlers’ demand, stating that it will create a huge financial burden on the consumers. “The demand of the bottlers will not be addressed at any cost,” said Suresh Kumar Agrawal, acting managing director of NOC, at a programme here on Wednesday. “The NOC will not bow down before the bottlers.” According to Agrawal, petroleum business is the only business where the government fixes the profit margin of the traders. In fact, in petroleum business, traders do not incur losses even if the NOC suffers heavily. “The government will not keep quiet if LPG bottlers halt supplies demanding commission hikes,” said Agrawal, adding that the government will enforce the Essential Service Act over LPG bottlers if they bring the supply to a halt. Organising a strike in the petroleum sector is illegal as per the Act, which also has a provision of sentencing those involved in it to up to six months in prison. However, NLPIA president Shiva Prasad Ghimire has said they are firm on halting the LPG supply if the government fails to address their demands. “We will not obey any Act until our demands are met,” Ghimire said, adding that the government pressure will not scare traders now. Gas dealers have been demanding a hike in their commission rate for the past one-and-a-half years. Their other demands include increasing the shipping charge from Barauni of India to Kathmandu to Rs 98.81 from the existing Rs 80.45 per cylinder; increasing local transport charge to Rs 31.83 from Rs 25.36 per cylinder; company overhead expense to Rs 65 from Rs 50, and dealer’s commission to Rs 36.74 from Rs 28. Consumer rights activist Prem Lal Maharjan said that raising the commission is a specific concern of the LPG suppliers and distributors and that this tussle must not affect consumers. “As bringing the supply of essential goods to a complete halt is against the law, the government should punish such traders,” Maharjan said, adding that the NOC should not even raise the dealers’ commissions as it ultimately hits the consumers. The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies that controls the supply mechanism said LPG bottlers have been invited for dialogue at the ministry on Thursday. nnnn