Nepal Today

Monday, January 19, 2009

Govt. holds discussions to form local bodies

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Government held discussions with all 25 political parties Tuesday in the CA to resolve differences preventing the formation of local bodies.
Maoist are pushing for formation of local bodies based on result of mixed 10 April 2008 CA elections; but main opposition Nepali Congress, MJF and CPN-UML are demanding formation of VDCs, district development committees and municipalities based on results of proportional election system.
Smaller parties are demanding direct elections.
Government officials are running local bodies.
Appointments to local bodies will give parties control of millions of rupees of government grant and hence the interest in parties to control these bodies.
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MJF central committee elections

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Elections for 35 central committee members of Madesh Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) is being held in Birjung Tuesday after conclusion of the party’s second general convention.
Consensus to appoint central committee members was elusive.
Although Amar Yadav is challenging Chairman Upendra Yadav, the incumbent chairman and foreign minister’s election is certain.
Twenty-five central committee members are to be nominated.
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Bird culling continues for third day

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Culling of chickens, ducks and birds continued for the third consecutive day Tuesday after the deadly contagious disease was detected Friday in Jhapa.
Twenty-six of 75 districts in the country have been declared sensitive districts.
Culling was delayed amid protests of farmers demanding adequate compensation.
Chicken sale has fallen drastically in the capital though chicken tandoori are still in demand at eateries.
Nearly 10,000 birds have been culled so far in Jhapa by 10 rapid response teams from the capital.
Possible deaths of birds through infection in other parts of the country is being monitored amid concern.
Nnnn

Rebel Maoists form another group

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Madesh workers have launched a rebel Maoist organization under leadership of fourth division battalion commander, Kantipur reports from Parasi.
Revolutionary National Madesh Liberation Front has been formed under leadership of Battalion Commander Hira Kumar Nishad ‘Rahul’ amid charges of second class treatment.
Announcement was made at a news conference.
Nnnn


10 justices appointed to hear industrial, commercial disputes

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Supreme court has for the first time appointed 10 justices to hear industrial and commercial cases.
Government with supreme court permission had formed four such courts at government industrial centers.
A decision was taken Monday.
Nnnn

Reasons for cancellation of PM Prachanda’s Finland, Norway visits [Excerpts]

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: The cancellation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s official visit to Norway and Finland at the last minute has triggered speculations that fear of political insecurity at home was the key reason for the last-minute decision, newsfront reports.
Growing confrontation between the Prime Minister and Army Chief Gen R Katawal, mounting criticism of the government by political parties at home, and strong statement by the European Union that implies condemnation of the government on journalist Uma Singh’s murder altogether contributed to the cancellation of the trip, a senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Ambassador Thor Gilsen had already lefr for Oslo to receive the “Guest” from Nepal.
The trip was called off soon after Prachanda visited his number two Bahuram Bhattarai’s official residence the same morning [15 Jan.]
Denmark, another Scandinavian country, refused to extend an official invitation to Dahal who was keen to go there as well.
Owing to the cancellation of the visit, the proposed signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on various issues involving Norwegian assistance to Nepal’s development and peace process have been shelved at the moment.
The Norwegian Embassy was also playing host to five journalists—some of them at the recommendation of the PMO—by bearing their entire expenses so that the visit could be well covered. In fact, the Norwegian Embassy had to face hostile queries from a couple of journalists from the team, such as “Why are Norway and Switzerland quiet when the Maoists commit human rights violations/”
Nnnn

Another insight into the cancellation of Prachanda’s Norway, Finland visits

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Why was PM Prachanda’s Norway and Finland visits load-shedded? Punajagaran asks.
Two days before his departure, Norway, Finland and Denmark told him they wouldn’t finance money for the purchase of the four 50 MW thermal plants from China.
The plants were installed during the Beijing Olympics as a back-up system.
China is now selling the plants.
Nnnn


Army chief tells president recruitment hasn’t violated peace agreement

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Army Chief Gen Rukmangud Katawal met President Dr Ram Baran Yadav for one hour Monday, Rajdhani reports.
He briefed the president on orders of PM Prachanda and Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal to stop recruitment to fill vacancies.
According to a military source, the army chief told the president the peace agreement hadn’t been violated.
Nnnn


PM Prachanda says Congress is daydreaming

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: PM Prachanda said Tuesday main opposition Nepali Congress is daydreaming by predicting the downfall of the Maoist-led government.
“Now they [Nepali Congress] are saying government will fall on its own.
“They are waiting to reap the benefit after such a fall. They are only daydreaming; nothing will happen,” the premier told Maoist mouthpiece Janadesh Tuesday.
Prachanda reiterated he cancelled his Norway, Finland visits because of internal reasons.
“I stopped the visit to concentrate on resolving burning issues at home,” he said and added the visit wasn’t stopped to save the government.
He said the visit ‘wasn’t cancelled to save the government’.
PM Prachanda raised the possibility of CPN-UML being incited against Maoists.
Prachanda asked in the interview whether ‘powers at home and abroad’ are ‘inciting’ Maoists who could get a two-third majority in elections after a new constitution is drafted.
“This is the inside reason” for non- cooperation of Maoists in government, the prime minister said. “
“Is somebody inciting CPN-UML by exploiting the straightforwardness and lack of experience,” Prachanda asked.
Nnnn


Birgunj closed for third successive day


Kathmandu, 20 Jan: Schools and businesses were closed down for the third successive day Tuesday.
Protestors opposed the arrest of lawmaker Baban Singh for alleged murder.
Nnnn

Chinese company wins bid to construct Melamchi tunnel

Kathmandu, 20 Jan: China Railway 15- Bureau Group
Corporation and China CMIIC Engineering have been jointly awarded a contract to construct the 26.6 km tunnel of the Melamchi drinking water project.
The multi-million dollar project in funded by a consortium headed by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
ADB threatened to cutoff funding after the Maoist-led government refused to raise water tariff; government relented under bank pressure.
Nnnn


MEDIA GOOGLE

“Departing Ian Martin pours out venom.”

(Headline in Punajagran, 20 Jan.)


“I think the recent report submitted by Ian Martin to the UN Security Council lacks neutrality.”

(Saurav Basnet, The Kathmandu Post, 20 Jan.)
Nnnn

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