Nepal Today

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SAARC FOREIGN MINISTERS TO MEET JULY Kathmandu, 1 May: Maldives has proposed a ,meeting of SAARC meet of foreign ministers in Male in in the first week of July, sources at the headquarters in the Nepali capital said. The meeting of the eight-nation South Asian regional organization will discuss a proposed delayed summit of the body and regional issues. Nnnn EVEN AFTER SUPREME COURT VERDICT, PARTIES STILL DIVIDED OVER LOKMAN SINGH KARKI APPOINTMENT Kathmandu, 1 May: Former Chief Secretary Lokman Singh Karki ’s appointment to the top post of the anti-corruption watchdog is far from final despite a Supreme Court ruling on Monday that he faces no legal barriers to his appointment, Phanindra Dahal writes in The Kathmandu Post.. Leaders of major political parties have said they would hold cross-party talks in the new context before recommending Karki for the post of the chief commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). While top leaders of the UCPN (Maoist) and Nepali Congress are firmly backing Karki, CPN-UML has said it would not accept the ‘corrupt and controversial figure’ for such a crucial appointment. UCPN (Maoist) spokesman Agni Sapkota said the party is yet to fix its position over the appointment of Karki as CIAA chief after the court’s ruling. “Our party chairman has just returned from his India visit today. Our party is in favour of further discussion between parties over the issue in the changed context,” he said. Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel said his party would honour the apex court ruling, while taking a call on appointment at the CIAA. “Congress has always been honoring the verdict of the court. We will do what the court has said in this case,” said Poudel, cautiously avoiding any wordings that directly implies NC’s support to Karki’s appointment. CPN-UML leader Prakash Jwala said it would be ‘politically and legally’ incorrect to appoint Karki to the CIAA post. “We will not compromise against our firm opposition to his appointment just because the Supreme Court lifted its stay order. We are firm that the former bureaucrat who suppressed people’s movement in 2006 and is charged with corruption does not fit for such a respected post,” he added. On March 17, the High-level Political Committee headed by UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had recommended Karki’s name to the Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi for the top CIAA post. The Constitutional Council, a statutory body responsible for making recommendations to the constitutional body, did not entertain the request made by top leaders of UCPN (Maoist), NC, UML and the Madhesi Morcha after it was challenged at the Supreme Court. On April 16, UML’s politburo decided not to support Karki’s appointment to the anti-graft body. UML leader Jwala said his party leadership “would not accept Karki’s appointment at any cost.” Though the parties appear divided, a knowledgeable source told the Post that no one can now stop Karki from assuming the top CIAA position. “With the Supreme Court’s green signal, I think nobody can now stop his appointment,” the source said. Bimal Gautam, press advisor to the chairman of the interim election government, said the government is not in a mood to immediately make appointments to the constitutional bodies. “Currently we are totally concentrated on bringing the agitating parties in the election process. The government has not even thought about making new appointments to any of the constitutional bodies. nnnn INTERVIEWS Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal spoke to Post correspondent Mahesh Acharya about issues ranging from bilateral support to New Delhi’s perception towards his party before leaving for Kathmandu after completing his visit. The excerpts: How do you sum up your India visit? It was great. I believe this visit has helped create the atmosphere to realise the goals that I had when I arrived in India. Firstly, the objective of my trip was to create a new trust base with India. The second agenda on the list was to arrange the atmosphere for assistance and cooperation for the elections. The third and the final goal was to hold talks on economic growth and quantitative boost in bilateral support. As for the issue of building a new trust, I believe, I achieved more than I had expected. What exactly are you trying to envision when you say ‘building a new trust base with India’? We decided in our party’s general convention to emphasise on economic growth and move ahead accordingly. We must focus on progressive nationalism from now on. Blind nationalism and feudal nationalism are counterproductive to Nepal. The Rajas and Maharajas of the past fed this delusion of feudal nationalism, thereby making the people poor. What did you talk with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? Did he have any concerns? Firstly, he extended his congratulations on completion of Nepal’s peace process and the integration and rehabilitation of the combatants. He also said that it was a good thing the parties got together and formed an election government. I put before him the same things that I had said outside. That holding the elections is the main requirement at present and for that, we need support from every side. I told him that most importantly Nepal needs the support from India since the political process in Nepal right now had its genesis in New Delhi, where the 12-point agreement was signed. Our talks also touched on the subject of India’s security concern, to which I told him that this issue will be addressed once we have started moving towards the path of economic growth after there is a political stability in the country. He said that India will extend its support in this process. Were there any talks with the Indian Prime Minister on trilateral cooperation between Nepal, India and China? I did not raise the topic of trilateral cooperation, as the context on the issue never came up during our meeting. But, you had said in public that the topic was among your top discussion priorities. Why did you back off? I did not back off. I kept the subject of trilateral cooperation before the Indian people and intelligentsia. I did clearly mention the issue during my address at the Indian Council of World Affairs on Monday. Discussion on the matter also took place with the high-level officers in the Indian government like the National Security Advisor and the Foreign Secretary. The context to discuss three-way partnership, however, did not come up during my meeting with the Indian Prime Minister. We discussed many other issues. Were there any discussions on large-scale hydropower projects and development of Lumbini? I said to the Indian Prime Minister that there should be a special cooperation between Nepal and India for development of major hydropower project and Lumbini area. I also told him that it would be a good thing if we include China as well. It was not a discussion on trilateral cooperation per se, but it will eventually head towards the direction. How practical do you think it is to conceive the possibility of major projects in Nepal when the projects like Pancheshwar are moribund and when there is a heap of old problems at hand? We do need to reassess the old projects. At the same time, we also need to make a fresh start. In that vein, new and major projects are possible in Nepal. During your New Delhi stay, you said that Nepal and India should forge a new trust base and redefine the ties between the two nations according to the changed context. When you last visited India five years ago, you raised the subject of reviewing the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, but not this time. Does that mean the UCPN (Maoist) has changed its stance on the subject? There was a backlash when I brought up the issue last time. But if you closely listen to my address to the Indian Council of World Affairs, I have touched on the topic. I have mentioned that the history should be reassessed. Speaking about the 1950 treaty will be seen as provocation. So what I stressed was that we should redefine our ties befitting the conscience and awareness of the people of today’s Nepal and India. You stand among the senior leaders of Nepali politics at a time when the country is going through a transition. What do you think was the Indian understanding and perception regarding your role in guiding the country through the transition? I felt that I was invited more as a representative of my country than a chairman for some party. We are currently going through a transition and what we need is to ensure political stability in the country and press ahead with development works. The way I was treated and hosted during my stay here made me think that I was honoured as an emissary of Nepal. The honour was for Nepali people, not Prachanda of UCPN (Maoist). I believe that this will set a new relationship benchmark between Nepal and India. What is the take of India and the Indian Prime Minister on the new policy adopted by the party’s general convention? A. Learning from our experiences and weaknesses, the party’s general convention adopted a policy that was competitive and yet peaceable. We came up with a strategy for the country’s economic growth and prosperity. For that, we agreed on gathering the support from the neighbours. When I shared these things with the Indian Prime Minister, he said they were pragmatic and expressed his belief that it will help create a new relations. The same assurance had come from China. I think the pragmatic policy we adopted has started showing its effect. If we were to see what the Indian Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other leaders had to say, it is clear that India wishes for stability and development in Nepal. The Chinese side was worried about federalism. What was India’s reaction on the matter? China was concerned rather than worried about federalism in Nepal. It was a concern about how things would turn out. I did not find the Indian side were that concerned about federalism. India seems to take the issue positively. From my observation, I take it that India is okay with the track of discussion on federalism that we are having at the moment. Having concluded the visit of the two neighbouring nations with important influence over Nepal, are you hopeful that Nepal will have a speedy and successful transition? I am very much hopeful and excited after visiting the two neighbouring nations. I feel that I have a big responsibility to undertake after the two neighbours invited me and wished for stability and prosperity in Nepal. I made these visits for Nepali people and it should not be perceived with a biased judgment. There is no alternative to elections. Through the elections we should write a new constitution and propel the country towards economic progress. Nepal will reach a new level if we chart a roadmap and follow it for 10 years. The governments from both neighbouring nations and their leaders understand that their security concerns will not be addressed unless Nepal has prospered. We should utilise their goodwill for a better and larger cause of developing our country. Let us not waste this chance by fighting among ourselves. nnnn STATUS QUOISTS WINNING SAYS DEVENDRA RAJ PANDEY Former finance minister Devendra Raj Panday was among those considered by the political parties to lead a neutral government after former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai stepped down. A senior civil society leader who played a crucial role in the 2006 Janandolan, Panday has closely followed political developments since the signing of the 12-point agreement between the then Seven Party Alliance and the then CPN-Maoist. Panday spoke to the Post’s Dewan Rai about the prospects of elections and current political developments. Where are we now in this political transition? Confusion, uncertainty and the angst that followed the demise of the Constituent Assembly (CA) has made it difficult to assess the situation. We are back to square one, back to the days before the election to the last CA. Back then, we were worried about whether the elections would be held and whether the constitution would be written. Do you think the constitution will be written this time around? I am not sure but I cannot be pessimistic. Hope is the only option, especially for those of us who consider ourselves stakeholders in the constitution-writing process. People made sacrifices during various movements, whose culmination is the constitution. Why has civil society been silent in this protracted transition? Civil society is not monolithic nor is it silent; it is active. The question is, what section of civil society is active and what are their objectives and vision. During the Janaandolan, we were all together, even the political parties were together. Millions of people came together to the streets and surprised the world. But the situation changed ever since the reinstatement of the parliament. Civil society started to associate itself with the parties. How did civil society frament after the second Janaandolan? There are three types of people in civil society. First, there were those merely looking for a change in government, as Gyanendra’s autocracy was not acceptable to any freedom loving Nepali. Second, there were those who wanted not just a regime change but also a change in political structure. A reinstatement of the 1990 constitution was not enough for them; they wanted a republic. The third category believes that everything has remained the same, only the republicans have replaced the monarch. This third category, which I fall in, wants an end to the monolithic state and Kathmandu-centric government. We want the government to reach the public. We want the country to become common to all people in the federal republic. But isn’t it the right time for you to be more active? I would love to be active, just tell me how and who with. The media doesn’t seem to have given space to the third category of civil society. Civil society needs strong professional associations but we don’t have the same unity we had in the past anymore. Do you see this third category of people at the political level? Many of these agendas are there in political rhetoric but the political parties have not given attention to the third category since the establishment of the republic. The Maoists have been raising issues of decentralisation and devolution of power, at least in rhetoric. The Madhesis also have not given up on federalism. However, we don’t know the Maoists’ political plans and programmes. There is no question of supporting them when it comes to violence, war, a totalitarian regime or a Marxist-Leninist structure. But on the social, cultural and economic front, we can work together. How close are we to achieving the goals of the third category? Eventually, there will be no alternative to ending the monolithic state and going for a federal structure. Given their accountability towards the nation and their commitment to political legacy, the parties affiliated with the Seven Party Alliance have no alternative other than to follow this road. They need to decide where they stand politically in this critical stage, where intense struggles are taking place for social change. Who is this struggle with? At the moment, this is a struggle for social change between the status quoists and progressive forces, where the status quoists seem to be winning. This s not good for the country. All the aspirations, dreams and visions that the progressives captured will not come tru. Only those deaders who can internalise and lead on these issues can become statesmen of the country. The question is whether they want to do it. If this leadership fails, someone else will come up. In every party, there are young leaders who will take the lead one day. If the forces that are now winning keep winning, there could be a revolt. Why are the party leaderships oblivious to this reality? There is no doubt there are progressive forces in all parties. But like in civil society, status quoists and conservative forces are winning the battle. That’s why there is conflict within the parties. There needs to be a reconfiguration of political forces. The only thing the parties are guarding against is the opposition: the Maoists fear the bourgeois will win while the Nepali Congress fears the communists. This political strategy does not work. How hopeful are you that the goals of the third category will be achieved? The reason why we should be hopeful is that, in my experience, everyone wants to contribute to development according to their capacity. There is division in the country but what is the division about? Ethnic groups criticise the Chhetri-Bahuns but their politics is also problematic. Although Madhesi and ethnic groups seem to sometimes take extreme positions unnecessarily, at the end of the day, they are all fighting for this country and are demanding access to the state and resources and want to exercise power. Why has the political leadership not understood this? The political leaders do not interact. They have their own coterie and their own interests. We don’t want anybody to be derailed from the democratic path but the path needs to be widened to assimilate progressive agendas. But the parties don’t want to communicate with those who hold different opinions. They don’t have to agree with us but they do need to talk to us. All they want to talk about are the tactics to get power. What is your opinion of the bureaucratic government? We are in a situation where we cannot support the government but we cannot oppose it either. Because we need a constitution, we need to hold elections. The parties failed to do so themselves and brought in the wrong person. The irony of it all is that Khil Raj Regmi was instrumental in dissolving the last CA. Now, we are asking him to hold CA elections. If he considers what he did in the past to be a mistake and attempts to rectify it, that would be another matter. But if he doesn’t think he was mistaken, how can we be sure that he is actually interested in holding elections on time? If we look at this broadly, bureaucrats across the world are known for favouring the status quo. Still, we are in a situation where we need to trust these bureaucrats to guide us and bring change. This government doesn’t have to be loyal to the parties that brought it to power. In spite of all these contradictions, hopefully, they will move the process forward. Is there a guarantee that the second CA will write the constitution? The political parties did not even have drafts of the constitution in the first CA They know that they have already been discredited and are embarrassed to face the people. Secondly, they have to give the people something to hope for and the thing only they can give is the constitution. Like in the first CA, federalism will once again be the main agenda if it comes down to a contest between the Maoists-Madhesis and other forces. How do you perceive India and China’s concerns about federalism? They are both federal countries. It is natural that they will have their own interests. The type of state to be formed and the power centres to be created across the border area is their concern, which happens to also be the concern of some political and social strata in Nepal. This is where the political leadership has a role to play. They have to look at conflict points and interests. If they cannot address these issues then the elections will not be held. Finally, where do you see us headed? There are problems along the way but we are moving forward. Other countries also went through major problems during their revolutionary stages. Every nation finds its trajectory and we thought we found one in 2006 and after the 2008 CA elections. But we have deviated from that path. The country will need to take up that trajectory once again. nnnn

MAY DAY GREETINGS Kathmandu, 1 May: Chairman of Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi has assured the laborers that the government would work for their welfare in the Future, RSS reports.. In a message on the occasion of the May Day 2013, Regmi said that remarkable efforts were underway for equality, justice, social security, independence and economic prosperity coupled with laborers' demand for respect to labor. Regmi said that political stability was needed to ensure laborers' rights though expected success was not achieved to that end so far. He also urged all laborers to actively participate in the upcoming elections to the Constituent Assembly (CA). Meanwhile, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala has also pledged to work for the welfare and rights promotion of the laborers. nnnn DISPLACED STUDENTS FIND NEW SCHOOL Kathmandu, 1 May: The displaced students of Lumle-based Balmandir Secondary School (BSS) today departed for Janata Higher Secondary School (JHSS) based in Tansen, Palpa, The Himalayan Times reports. The students had fled from their school on March 4 alleging the school principal, teacher and hostel authorities of misbehaving with them and torturing them physically and mentally. Since then, their guardians had been demanding that their children be transferred to another school where the environment is child-friendly. On April 17, the children had submitted a memorandum to the education minister urging him to settle the issue by transferring the kids to a different school. They began a sit-in protest in front of the Department of Education (DoE) from April 26 after the minister failed to address their demands. The children were accompanied with few guardians and a teacher today. Earlier, due to the protest, Grade V, VI and VII students could not sit for their final board exams. Tek Narayan Panday, DoE director, said they had managed the school as per the students’ wish. He said, “Understanding the students’ psychology, we decided to transfer them to a new school,” adding, “JHSS had no objection regarding the admission of new students and the students were also happy, therefore, we decided to send them to the Palpa-based school.” Regarding action against the BSS authorities, he said two persons, including the school principal, were suspended and further investigation was on. Nirajan Bhusal, a seventh-grader, who is going to be promoted to Grade VIII this year, said he was very happy to get transferred to another school. “We were not able to concentrate on our studies due to the torture from teachers, but now we can study in a peaceful and friendly environment in a new school,” he added. The Ministry of Education changed its earlier stance of sending them to the same school after 11 student unions aligned to various political parties expressed solidarity with the students and backed their demand. Out of 68 students, 56 students were selected on scholarship quota. Lekhnath Pokharel, central member of the Nepali Congress-aligned Nepal Students Union today said it was a great victory of students. He said, “JHSS is also a reputed school in Palpa. It seems the students will have great future.” Megh Raj Puri, a guardian, also welcomed the government’s decision. He said, “We are sure now that our kids will be able to study in a healthy environment.” Nnnn NO PLAN HOLIDAY Kathmandu, 1 May: Finance minister Shankar Koirala said there will be no plan holiday, assuaging the serious concerns of development partners, Kuvera Chalise writes in The Himalayan Times... Trying to satisfy development partners — during the Local Donor Meeting here today — regarding their concern on a ‘plan holiday’ due to the vacant National Planning Commission (NPC) at a crucial time when the third Three Year Interim Plan (2013-16) needs to be finalised, he said the government will appoint planning commission members including the vice chair soon. The planning commission that remains vacant after vice chair Deependra Bahadur Kshetry and three members resigned on April 22, has not been able to call the meeting of National Development Council that will finalise the draft of the third Three Year Interim Plan. Koirala, however, asked the development partners — who are waiting for the finalised draft of the plan — to align their respective country strategy papers in line with the government’s development map. Asking the development partners to also follow the Development Cooperation Report 2013, which has concluded that foreign aid has been widely fragmented and not aligned to the government’s ongoing second Three Year Interim Plan (2010-13), he blamed untimely and low disbursement, lack of effective oversight and low absorptive capacity as the key impediments to effective mobilisation of foreign aid. “Aid effectiveness is key with accountability,” he said, adding effectiveness of foreign aid is also a concern of development partners that have been helping Nepal for the last six decades. The development partners, however, asking the government to focus on four key areas as stop-gap measures to continue mutual accountability, transparency and aid effectiveness, asked for an update on the preparation status of the next three-year interim plan. “The plan will provide the framework for long-term partnership and commitment of development partners, especially in the context of their next country partnership strategies,” said World Bank country manager for Nepal Tahseen Sayed, speaking on behalf of the development partners. She also asked the government to focus on budget and portfolio management for maximum development results; economic planning and programming; accountability and governance; and Foreign Aid Policy and aid effectiveness. “By adopting the MfDR approach in the plan, with associated results framework, greater harmonisation and alignment will take place,” said Sayed, adding that more rapid progress in establishing a medium-term expenditure framework, with stronger linkages to budget allocation and outputs would bring more discipline and better oversight in managing the expenditure programme. “We have recently seen unprecedented consensus among top political leaders on hydropower development and the government can use the opportunity to take administrative, legislative, and institutional measures to support hydropower development, including mechanisms for meaningful consultations with the local population,” she added. Hailing the release of the Auditor General’s report on time, the development partners also asked the government to form an extraordinary committee — as an interim measure — to play the role of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) consisting of qualified personnel to scrutinise accounts and take necessary actions until a regular PAC is established. On the occasion, they also welcomed and hailed the sharing of contours of the draft Foreign Aid Policy. “We understand that finalising the policy, in consultation with development partners, is a key priority of the government to bring more clarity with regard to foreign aid management,” Sayed said nnnn

BIRD FLU AT ANOTHER CHITWAN FARM, CHICKEN CULLED Kathmandu, 1 May: Avian influenza has been confirmed in chickens at a poultry farm at Mangalpur of Chitwan district, RSS reports from Chitwan. One thousand and one hundred chickens at the farm have been culled after the confirmation of bird flu at the poultry farm owned by one Dol Kumari Hamal, said Ram Kumar Karki, Chief of the District Livestock Service Office, Chitwan. The office stated that 900 out of some two thousand chickens at the farm have already died due to bird flu. Karki said that chickens in areas around the farm have also been killed and the area sanitized. Samples were sent on Friday to Kathmandu for veterinary lab for tests. The District Livestock Service Office said that bird flu has been confirmed at five poultry farms in the district in this month alone. The poultry farmers are in a state of anxiety with the detection of bird flu one after another in the district. Nnnn TWO CRUSHED TO DEATH IN GORKHA Kathmandu, 1 May Two people were killed when they were crushed by a dozer in course of constructing a road at Tersey, Ghyalchok VDC-2 in Gorkha District, RSS reports from Gorkha.. The deceased are Buddhi Bahadur Gurunga nd Pasang Tamang, police said. The incident took place last night and police have reached the incident site. Nnnn INDIAN PM SINGH URGES EARLY ELECTION IN MEETING OF MAOIST CHIEF Kathmandu, 1 May: Reiterating that a stable and peaceful Nepal is in the interest of India, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said that early elections to the Constituent Assembly will be vital for Nepal´s stability, Akamshya Shah reports in Republica from New Delhi.. He said this during his meeting with Chairman of UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal in New Delhi, Tuesday. It is learnt from sources in the Indian capital that Dr Singh said India is willing to extend all out support to Nepal in the upcoming polls. Touching upon the political changes in Nepal, Singh noted that Nepal has experienced many changes lately. He lauded Dahal´s leadership role in Nepal´s peace process and congratulated him on the successful integration of former Maoist combatants. Emerging from his 45-minute meeting with Dr Singh, Dahal told Republica that on the economic cooperation front, the Indian prime minister was positive, describing Dahal´s proposals as realistic, and saying that a new relationship between India and Nepal could be built through a pragmatic approach. Likewise, Dahal also held consultations with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday. During the meeting, the two discussed all possibilities of strengthening economic cooperation and the stability factor in Nepal. Khurshid, according to sources here, told Dahal that "India too is learning from its experiences" with Nepal and expressed willingness to support Nepal´s democratic process. The two, however, did not discuss the trilateral cooperation mechanism, which Dahal has proposed amongst India, China and Nepal. Asked to comment, Dahal said that although trilateral cooperation was not discussed in his meetings, he has proposed to take the Lumbini Development Project and some hydro-power projects ahead with both India and China on board. "It should now be a fresh start on economic engagement with India and China, and Prime Minister Singh is positive in this regard," Dahal said. On the federalism issue, Dahal said that although there were some queries in Beijing in this regard, in India "there are no serious concerns," adding, "India has taken this issue (of federal restructuring) in an easy manner." Dahal terms visit "highly successful" Terming his visit to India highly successful, Dahal has said that he has been able to work on confidence building between India and his party through his current visit to New Delhi. He has claimed that India too has accepted the transformation that his party is going through and the path which was decided during its recently concluded general convention. Stating that the hospitality extended to him by the Indian side was nothing less than that given to a head of state, Dahal said, "I have been invited here not only as chairperson of the High Level Political Mechanism but also as a representative of Nepal." He said he felt that he now had "added responsibilities" towards the country and he wanted to work to foster a conducive environment for the polls. Nnnn NEPSE DROPS TO A LOW Kathmandu, 1 May: The Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index fell to four-and-half-month low on Tuesday, as investors started raising money to purchase rights shares of Nepal Bank Limited and investment confidence took a blow due to rumors that latest regulatory provision, which allows use of stockbrokers to sell promoter shares of banks and financial institutions, would flood the share market with stocks, Republica reports. The benchmark index, which opened at 502.38 points on Tuesday, fell 1.62 points, or 0.32 percent, to 500.76 points by the end of the day. The last time the index had slumped to that level was on December 13, 2012. “The main reason for today"s (Tuesday"s) fall was public call made by Nepal Bank Limited to investors to purchase shares of the state-run financial institution by May 8 to be eligible for bank"s rights shares,” Stockbroker Nanda Kishore Mundada told Republica. Nepal Bank Limited is extending rights shares in the ratio of 1:9.5 to its shareholders, meaning every investors holding every share of the bank will get additional 9.5 shares at Rs 100 each. “Since the bank has also allowed representatives of shareholders to purchase rights, many investors have started raising funds to buy these stocks,” Mundada said. Share prices of Nepal Bank Limited soared to Rs 626 since they were relisted on the stock market at Rs 100 each on December 2. However, shares of the bank fell almost 10 percent on Tuesday as shareholders who do not have capacity to purchase huge amounts of rights dumped the stocks, according to Mundada. Another reason for Nepse fall, according to Mundada, is rumor that the Securities Board of Nepal"s (Sebon"s) latest decision to allow stockbrokers to sell promoter shares of banks and financial institutions would sharply increase supply of shares on the stock market, causing stock prices to take a dip. However, Sebon has said such a situation would not arise as the stock market does not have appetite for consumption of huge amounts of shares even if they are floated on the bourse. Sebon Chairman Babu Ram Shrestha told Republica last week: “The daily trading volume at the stock market hovers at Rs 70 million to Rs 80 million and shares of about 40 to 50 companies are traded every day. This means average trading volume of every listed company hovers at around one million rupees. So even if promoters decide to float huge amount of shares, these sellers wouldn"t find buyers and would be forced to sell shares using offer documents as in the past.” Nnnn

UPDATE MAOIST CHIEF, INDIAN PM SINGH MEET Kathmandu, 1 May: Chairman of the UCPN (Maoist), Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' who is on a visit to India held talks with Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, today [Yiesday], RSS reports.. During the meeting held at the Indian Prime Minister's residence at 7 Race Course Road, Dahal urged the Government of India to support political stability and economic development of Nepal. The political parties of Nepal have moved ahead in the process of taking forward the political process started after the 12-point agreement reached between the then CPN-Maoist and seven political parties, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been formed and the peace process has almost reached close to a logical conclusion, Chairman Dahal said and requested Prime Minister Singh to support it as the stability process of Nepal would move ahead through the election of the Constituent Assembly (CA). Emphasizing on the need of cooperation from neighbouring countries for the political stability of Nepal, the UCPN-Maoist Chairman urged the Government of India to support in the CA election and the agenda of economic development, said Dahal's aide Shiva Khakurel. On the occasion, Dahal put forth the three-country partnership proposal to Indian Prime Minister Singh. Taking the proposal put forth by Dahal in a positive way, Prime Minister Singh said that it would be better to forward the proposal after making the bilateral partnership broad and extensive. The Indian Prime Minister assured of forwarding the proposal in the near future. He said that the Government of India would provide all possible assistance for the stability and development of Nepal. RSS nnnn WB ASSISTANCE Kathmandu, 1 May: The World Bank (WB) has agreed to provide assistance of Rs. 6.69 billion to the Government of Nepal for the implementation of two different projects—Climate Change and Food Security, RSS reports.. The WB is to provide Rs. 2.67 billion to mitigate climate related hazards by improving accuracy and timeliness of weather and flood forecasts and warnings for climate vulnerable communities, as well as developing agricultural management information system services to help farmers mitigate climate-related production risks. Similarly, Rs. 4.018 billion is for the implementation of the Nepal Agriculture and Food Security Programme (NAFSP). Out of the assistance provided under the climate change mitigation head, Rs. 1.29 billion is loan assistance and the remaining is grant. The implementation period of the project will be for five years. At a programme organised at the Ministry of Finance today, Secretary at the Ministry, Shanta Raj Subedi, and WB's Country Manager for Nepal, Tahseen Sayed, signed the agreement. The NAFSP will be implemented to increase productivity of agriculture and livestock in 19 mountainous districts of the far-west and mid-west regions as well as to improving feeding and caring practices for pregnant and nursing women and children under the age of two. On the occasion, Sayed said that the WB has been supporting in the socio-economic development of Nepal as far as possible and expressed the commitment to give continuity to it. He expressed the belief that the targeted achievements would be gained from the support provided for the next five years. Secretary Subedi said that Nepal is one of the country, out of nine countries, which is getting financial support for the project related to climate change, and stressed that the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology should carry out works being sensitive to reduce risks of climate change. Nnnn 11 PARTIES REGISTER FOR ELECTIONS FIRST DAY TUESDAY Kathmandu, 1 May” The process of registering the political party has started from Tuesday for second Constituent Assembly (CA) election purposes at the Election Commission (EC), The Rising Nepal reports.. On the first day, the major parties leaders reached at EC to register their parties for second CA election. Altogether 11 political parties registered today, informed Election Commissioner Ayodhi Yadav. The EC noticed to the political parties to register at EC within one month who needs to participate in CA election. Leaders and workers of some political parties reached at EC early morning at 5.30 AM. The political parties cadres caught difference on which parties would registered first. This quarreling delayed some time to register process. Mainly CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist claimed to be first register. Maoist leaders with their supporters reached at EC main entrance at 5.30 am while UML leaders reached at EC after 40 minute. However, UML get chance to be first registered party at the party leaders stranded up the room that was allocate for the party registration. Maoist spokesperson Agni Sapkota and UML vice-chairman Bam Dev Goutam were stranded up with their supporters at right and left of the room no 102 at ground floor to become first. After their differences the EC issued notice immediate to resolve dispute. In the notice the EC said the election symbol order of political parties will be determine as per its future decision. After the notice issued registration process started at 11.30 AM. EC acting secretary Madhu Prasad Regmi said election symbol order depends on the EC’s decision not as per first cum first order. He urged to the political parties to make friendly atmosphere receiving token. He called name of UML, Maoist, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and Nepali Congress respectively to receive token. For the party register purpose UCPN-Maoist vice chairman Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, general secretary Post Bahadur Bogati, NC general secretary Krishna Sitoula, UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and vice chairman Goutam among others were present. From Maoist Bhattarai and Mukti Pradhan, from NC Chinkaji Shrestha and from UML Goutan and Agni Kharel registered their application. Today Maosit, NC, UML, RPP-Nepal along CPN-M, Terai Madesh Loktantrik Party and Nepal Nagarik Party representatives registered their application at EC. Speaking with reporters Dr. Bhattarai said his party formally registered at EC aiming to participate second CA election. “It shown the parties are eager to go in election, it makes environment positive. All should go towards election, no one should have disturb it” he said. Goutam said registration of political parties gives message that the elction will held with peaceful manner. Urging to rethink on their decision who opposing election he said election would be held. NC chief secretary Shrestha said election environment build with registering the parties. nnnn

PRACHANDA TO HOLD DISCUSSIONS WITH INDIAN PM SINGH BEFORE RETURNING HOME FROM NEW DELHI TUESDAY Kathmandu, 30 April: Maoist Chairman Prachanda holds discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Wednesday on the last day of his fpur-day India visit. He’s also scheduled to hold discussions with Foreign Minister Salnan Khursdim before flaying back home to tackle burning issues like Holding elections for the second constituent assembly for which official dates have yet to be announced. nnnn

Monday, April 29, 2013

PRACHANDA TO HOLD DISCUSSIONS WITH INDIAN PM SINGH BEFORE RETURNING HOME FROM NEW DELHI TUESDAY Kathmandu, 30 April: Maoist Chairman Prachanda holds discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Wednesday on the last day of his fpur-day India visit. He’s also scheduled to hold discussions with Foreign Minister Salnan Khursdim before flaying back home to tackle burning issues like Holding elections for the second constituent assembly for which official dates have yet to be announced. nnnn

MAOIST CHIEF ASSURES INDIA NO INTENTION ‘TO REPLACE’ EXISTING RELATIONS Kathmandu, 29 April : UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ´Prachanda´ has said that trilateral economic cooperation in the development of Nepal involving her two friendly neighbours- India and China can be the foundation for prosperity of Nepal and Nepali people, which is not only in the best interest of Nepal but, equally, in the best interests of India and China, RSS reports.. Addressing a gathering of foreign policy experts, strategists and renowned academics of India, and friends and well-wishers of Nepal organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) in New Delhi on Monday, Chairman Dahal, who is currently on a four-day visit to India, said in the changed global and regional context and ever growing economic relations between India and China, trilateral cooperation in various mutual projects in Nepal was possible and would not be a distant dream. "It is our vision for the future and, let me make it very clear that by no means I wish to undermine or replace our bilateral relations so happily subsisting for centuries", he said while expressing the belief that only by promoting bilateral co-operation between the neighbours the basis for a trilateral co-operation would and could be created. Having two rapidly growing economies in the neighbourhood, it would be rather unfathomable for Nepal to remain under-developed, poor and backward, he added. He also argued that Nepal’s economic development would herald political stability in the country which, in the long run, would contribute to ensuring and addressing the security concerns of India and China. "My contention has been crystal clear and, that is, a prosper and developed Nepal is the best way to ensure security, peace and stability in the region", Dahal said. Pointing out the need for positive definition of history of Nepal-India relations, Chairman Dahal said he would like to see the bilateral relations develop on the basis of true friendship, cordiality and mutual cooperation. Nepal is very much aware of India’s security concerns and it adopts a firm policy of not allowing any activity against its friendly neighbours from its soil. The former Prime Minister also said that Nepal highly values the friendship, cooperation and understanding shown by India, Indian leaders and its people to the aspirations of the Nepali people. On the occasion, he also appealed through the gathering for more investment from India in Nepal on projects ranging from hydropower to manufacturing industries, infrastructure development to Information Technology, from agriculture development to tourism promotion programs. RSS -------------- 44- APEX COURT CLEARS WAY FOR KARKI´S APPOINTMENT Kathmandu, April 29: The Supreme Court on Monday decided against continuing the interim order issued earlier in relation to the proposed appointment of former Chief Secretary Lokman Singh Karki to the post of the Chief Commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). A joint bench of Justices Girish Chandra Lal and Tarka Raj Bhatta decided against continuing the interim order issued by the single bench of Justice Sushila Karki, while making it clear that there was no dispute over the provision that an individual with high qualification and moral conduct must be recommended to the post of CIAA Chief, as per the required legal provision. "As it would not be right for the Court to express its view in relation to the eligibility or non-eligibility of any particular individual in an immature circumstance and also to intervene over the constitutional duty of the Constitutional Council, the interim order issued on March 22 need not be continued", reads the verdict. Advocate Om Prakash Aryal had filed a writ petition at the apex court on March 20, arguing that the decision of the high-level political committee to recommend former Chief Secretary Karki to the post of CIAA Chief was against the constitution, as a case of corruption against Karki was under consideration at the Court. Nnnn UPDATE PRACHANDA HOLDS TALKS WITH DR. KARAN SINGH Kathmandu, 30 April: Maoist Chief Prachanda held discussions with Indian Nationalist Congress leader Dr Karan Singh Monday in New Delhi. He also held talks with National Security Advisor Shib Sjanker Menon. nnnn

NEW FOREIGN AID POLICY BEING UNVEILED TUESDAY Kathmandu, 29 April: Government is uncoiling a new foreign aid policy Tuesday. The draft is being discussed with donors. The old policy ‘was too liberal’, said a finance ministry official. nnnn

FURTHER DETAILS OF UML APPOINTMENT Kathmandu, 29 April: Sanu Shrestha of Kathmandu, Chandra Bahadur Shahi of Mugu, Sherdhan Rai and Rajendra Rai of Bhojpur, Ram Mandal of Mahottari, Ganesh Kamnang of Panchthar, Yak Bahadur Rana of Tanahun, Sher Bahadur Tamang of Sindhupalchowk, and Keshav Shrestha of Chitwan jave been appointed central committee members, according to Surya Thapa of publicity department of the party quoted by The Himalayan Times. Frmer Speaker Subash Nembang and secretary at the party’s organization department Gyan Bhujel. have also been recommended as committee members.s nnnn

BIRD FLU BACK IN JHAPA Kathmandu, 29 April: Bird flu has been confirmed in two poultry farms in Jhapa district. With this, 13 cases of bird flu have been detected in various parts of Jhapa district in the last two monthsm RSS reports from Bhadrapur.. The District Livestock Office, Bhadrapur, said that cases of the bird flu were confirmed in the chicken reared by Raju Bhudhathoki of Prithvinagar-5 and Subhash Khadka of Chandragadhi. A rapid response team culled 1,270 chicken from the poultry farm of Budhathoki while 151 chickens was destroyed from the poultry farm of Khadka, said Acting Chief of the Office Jagdish Pandey Nnnn UPDATE 33 PARTIES SUBMIT MEMORANDUM TO INDIAN EMBASSY Kathmandu, 29 April: The coalition of 33 political parties including the CPN-Maoist submitted a memorandum to the Embassy of India here on Monday demanding immediate closure of the Office set up by the Government of India in Biratnagar, RSS reports.. A delegation led by Maoist Vice-chairman CP Gajurel handed over the memo to the Embassy office at Lainchaur today. The memo submitted today calls for immediate closure of the office set up and run illegally in Biratnagar, said Maoist spokesperson Pampha Bhusal. Talking to reporters after handing over the memo with signatures of all the 33 party representatives, Vice-chair Gajurel said setting up of the office of strategic importance was an attack to our national independence and warned that India would be in the loosing side if it did not take up the demand seriously nnnn NEPAL BANK LTD BOOK CLOSURE 9 MAY Kathmandu, 29 April: Nepal Bank Ltd. Monday announced its book closure 9 May. The move was made for rights shares beiNg issued to increase paid-up capital of the oldest bank. Nnnn EC TO ENSURE VOTING RIGHTS FOR 18-UEAR-OLDS Kathmandu, 29 April: The Election Commission (EC) has made an arrangement to ensure voting right to the youths aged 18 and above. The EC has prepared the temporary voting lists to ensure voting right to the police and army personnel and even to the elderly people from the place of their residence, RSS reports.. People aged 18 on the day of publishing of the notice in the Nepal Gazette after amending the Act on Voters´ Name List-2063 would be eligible to vote, spokesperson at the Ministry of Law, Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs Tek Prasad Dhungana said at a regular news conference organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications. As per the information shared at the news conference, provision of claiming compensation has been managed if voters´ name list was misused. The EC Act-2063 has stated that 120 prior days from the elections date would be considered as the election period. On the occasion, spokesperson at the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) and Council of Ministers Mahendra Kumar Thapa said that the PMO has arranged an online service based on indexes to view the monthly progress report of the projects of national pride and others. nnnn

UPDATE NINE UML CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOMINATEDD Kathmandu, 29 April: UML standing committee Monday recommended names of nine persons as central committee members, Chairman Jhalanath Khanal said. “Their names won’t be announced now,” he told reporters after a meeting of the standing committee. Nnnn KARKI APPOINTENT NOW HAS TO BE TAKEN UP AT CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL Kathmandu, 29 April: The constitutional council now can take up the appointment of Lokman Singh Karki as CIAA chairman. The government has to decide whether to appoint Karki. Nnnn PARTY REGISTRATION FOR ELECTION BEGINS TUESDAU Kathmandu, 29 April: Registration of political parties for second constitutional parties begins at election commission Tuesday. Already registered parties have to register again according to Nepal’s election laws. Nnnn NO FERTILIZER SHORTAGE THIS PLANTING SEASON Kathmandu, 29 April: There won’t be shortage of fertilizer during plantation season like last year, a senior official of Agriculture Inputs Corporation said Monday. The government agency has adequate supply of fertilizers, he added. nnnn

UPDATE NEPSE LOSES 2.66 POINTS Kathmandu, 29 April: Nepse closed at 502.39 points after losing 2.66 points Monday. .Altogether 171,992 shares were traded for Rs.59.766 million in 942 transactions. nnnn6 DETAILS OF KOIRALA, PRESDENT DISCUSSIONS Kathmandu, 29 April: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav and President of the Nepali Congress, Sushil Koirala, discussed on contemporary issues of the country on Monday, RSS reports.. During the meeting held at the Office of the President, Sheetal Niwas, today, Koirala urged President Yadav to help regarding the declaration of date of the election to the Constituent Assembly (CA) immediately by bringing the political parties, which are against the CA election, into consensus. The meeting between the President and Koirala is seen with importance at a time when Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is in India visit. President Yadav and Koirala held discussion for about one hour on contemporary political issues of the country, Koirala's aide Laxman Dhakal told to RSS. Koirala is also the coordinator of the High-level Political Committee (HLPC). nnnn NEW POLICE CHIEF FOR CAPITAL Kathmandu, 29 April: SSP Subodh Ghimire has been appointed chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range (MPR), Hanuman Dhoka. Ghimere, was transferred from the special bureau at Nepal Police Headquarters, Naxal and replaces Rana Bahadur Chand who has been transferred to Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit, New Baneshwor. Nnnn

UPDATE WAY CLEARED FO KARKI APPOINTMENT TO CIAA Kathmandu, 29 April: The way was cleared Monday for the appointment of Lokman Singh Karki as CIAA chairman. The supreme court quashed its earlier interim order not to appoint Karki, a former chief secretary during the royal regime, for excesses seven years durng anti=-king protests. A writ was filed seeking to sto[ Karki’s appoint of Karki by government on the recommendation of a high-level body of three parties and Madesh coalition supporting the government of Khil Rak Regmi. The Maoist proposal in the body was supported by NC and UML—two parties that later withdrew support. Nnnn NEPAL WINS TOSS, ELECTS TO BAT IN CRICKET MATCH UPDATE Kathamandu, 29 April: Nepal won the toss and elected to bat Monday against Uganda in its second outing in ICC World Cricket League Division Three Division Three in Bermuda. Nepal lost to USA in the first match Sunday. nnnn

PRIVATE SCHOOLS FORCIBLY CLOSED DOWN IN NAWALPARASI BY MAOIST STUDENTS Kathmandu, 29 April: The CPN-Maoist affiliated All Nepal National Independent Students Union (ANNISU-Revolutionary) has padlocked two private schools operated in Nawalparasi district, RSS reports from Kawasoti.. ANNISU- R padlocked the Bidya Sagar English Boarding School , Ramnagar, and Einstein English Boarding School , Pithauli, saying the schools have not taken procedural permission from the District Education Office (DAO). According to District Chairman of ANNISU-R, Ashok Gyawali, they padlocked the two schools symbolically for piling pressure saying that DAO did not close the private schools running illegally even as half month has passed of the beginning of the new academic session. ANNISU-R also demanded the closure of all the private schools run illegally as more than 60 private schools are operating against the policy of the state in the district. Bodies concerned said that it was sheer negligence of the DAO not taking action even after private schools have been running illegally by putting future of thousands of students in uncertainty. However, District Education Officer, Tek Bahadur Thapa, said that the DAO has called the bodies concerned on Tuesday to discuss on different issues including educational activities of the distric Nnnn NEPALI, BRITISH MINISTERS JOINTLY INAUGRATE BRIDGE IN SANKHUWASABHA Kathmandu, 29 April: British Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan and Minister for Local Development Vidyadhar Mallik Monday jointly inaugurated a bridge over Sabha Khola in Sankhuwasabha district. The British government provided £3m for the construction of the 120-metre long steel truss bridge which links villages in the district. nnnn. DAILY REPORT ON TEXTBOOKS SOUGHT Kathmandu, 29 April: The Education Ministry has directed all the District Education Offices to submit daily report to address the problems of shortage of textbooks in different places of the country, RSS reports.. The Department of Education directed to submit daily report as problems have been seen in coordination regarding the book shortage due to lack of sufficient information in the government bodies. Co-Spokesperson at the Ministry, Dr. Rojnath Pandey said that different preparations are underway to resolve problems as problems remain even if there is less shortage of textbooks this year as compared to previous years. He said the Ministry now has directed the new management of the Janak Education Materials Centre (JEMC), to present its extensive plan of business and purchase for the next academic session. Nnnn TRADING IN STOCKS OF KHANDBARI DEVELOPMENT BANK SUSPENDED Kathmandu, 29 April: Trading in stocks of Khandbari Development Banh has been suspended for now. The bank is beng merged with Birat Labour Development Bank. Nnnn FINANCE COMPANY DECLARED TRUBLES Kathmandu, 29 April” Nepal Rashtra Bank )NRB) through a public notice Monday declared World Merchant Banking and Finance Ltd. bascd in Makwanput troubled. The company has been given six months time to restore the institution’s financial condition. Nnnn STOCK PRICES FALL SECOND CONSECUTIVE DAY Kathmandu, 29 April: Nepse index slipped 3.05 points two hours after share market was opened trading Monday. Nepse slipped to 501.90 points. Insurance companies lost 5.8 points. nnnn DETAILS EMERGE ON BRAWL ON EVEREST BETWEEN SHERPAS AND FOREIGN CLIMBERS Kathmandu, 29 April:: A mountaineer on Everest described Monday the "terrifying" scene of two famous European climbers fighting with Nepalese guides in a high-altitude brawl that has sparked a police investigation, AFP reports from the Nepali capital.. Ueli Steck, a Swiss national who holds climbing records, and Simone Moro of Italy, who has climbed Everest four times, were approaching the 7,470-metre (24,500 feet) Camp Three on Saturday when the bust-up occurred. The American eyewitness, speaking to AFP by telephone and on condition of anonymity, said Steck and Moro were asked to wait on the mountain while a group of Nepalese rigged up some ropes. The Europeans, accompanied by a photographer recording their attempt to climb the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain by a new "undisclosed" route without supplementary oxygen, ignored the request and carried on, the eyewitness said. "The Sherpas told the team not to climb above them while they were fixing the ropes but they did it anyway. Then some ice fell and hit the Sherpas, which made them angry," he said. Later in the day, a furious mob of Nepalese stormed up towards the climbers' tents and pelted them with stones until the men came outside, after which a loud argument ensued and punches were allegedly thrown. "After a while the mob left, and the climbers packed up and walked past us down -- as far as we knew they were leaving the mountain," the eyewitness added. "It was terrifying to watch -- they nearly got killed." Police near the world's highest mountain are investigating the incident, local officials told AFP. "We were told our clients disagreed with the instructions of the Sherpa guides and went ahead over some icy terrain," said Anish Gupta of Cho-Oyu Trekking, the Kathmandu-based company that organised the Europeans' expedition. "We understand that at some point the foreign climbers kicked some ice back and it hit one of the Sherpa guides, causing the fight to start," Gupta told AFP. According to the climbing company, the men have since descended from the upper stretches of the mountain. Raj Kumar, a police constable in Lukla, told AFP that Steck spent the night at a hospital near the airport in the town but was "totally normal" and did not show any sign of injuries. On Monday morning Steck flew in a helicopter back to Everest's base camp to rejoin Moro, who had remained on the mountain. The pair are reportedly mulling whether to try again to reach the summit. AFP was unable to reach the European climbers for comment. Their trekking company said they did not have mobile phones. More than 3,000 people have climbed Everest, which straddles Nepal and China, since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Every year hundreds more set out in April to attempt the climb. nnnn

TIGER CENSUS BEGINS IN BANKE Kathmandu, 29 April: April 29: Counting of tigers started from today at the Banke National Park here. The national park was established three years back, RSS reports from Banke.. The tiger census would be undertaken for 55 days in three stages comprising census in the park area proper, the buffer zone area and the surrounding forests. Birendra Kandel, the assistant conservation officer at the Park, said that 80 cameras with special technology have been used for the census. A technical team comprising 32 persons including specialists has been mobilized for this purpose. Nnnn TWO KILLED IN PANCHTHAR JEEP ACCIDENT. Kathmandu, 29 April: Two persons were killed in Panchthar when a jeep proceeding to Dashami from Jhapa fell 100metres down a road at Balen in Panchthar. Seven ijured passengers are undergoing treatment at Damak-based Amda Hospital. Two persons died in road accidents in Mahottari district last night. One person died in a tractor accident at Halkhori-5 while another died when he fell off a tractor at Sahodawa VDC. One person died and 14 others were injured when a jeep met at Ghughur-kot VDC in Achham Sunday afternoon. nnnn

Sunday, April 28, 2013

KOIRALA SEEKS PRESIDENT;S HELP Kathmandu, 29 April: NC President Sushil Koirala Monday sought help of President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav to c0nduct second constituent assembly elections in November. December. Their meeting was the first after Koirala assumed chairman for one month of the body of three parties and a Madeshi coalition behind the government.for tohel of Koirala sought president’s help to get opposition to join the election fray as they demand resignation of government and its replacement by a national consensys government formed by a roundtable conference. Nnnn UML STANDING COMMITTEE MEET CONTINUES FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE DAY Kathmandu, 29 April: UML standing committee s meeting again Monday afternoon to discuss appointment to vacancies in the central committee for the second consecutive day. There are nine vacancies after defections. Vice-chairman Ashok Rai and several other top Janajati leaders quit and launched a new party protesting UML’s opposition to a federal ethnic structure based on ethnicity. A meeting of the politburo was postponed because of differences in the standing committee over central committee appointments. Nnnn NEPALGUNJ FIRE DAMAGE ESTIMATED AR RS.20 MILLION Kathmandu, 29 April: A fire in Nepalgunj overnight destroyed 11 shops causing damage estimated at Rs.20 million. An electric short circuit probably started the fire. which started at midnight/. nnnn

PRACHANDA CONTNUING DISCUSSIONS IN NEW DELHI MONDAY Kathmandu, 29 April: Maoist Chairman Prachanda holds discussions wth National Security Advisor Shib Shanker Menon in New Delhi Monday on the third day of a four-day India visit. He held a dinner meeting Sunday with main opposition Chairman Rajnath Singh and told him anti-Indian elements were no longer in the party obviously referring to CPN Maoist who quit UCPN Maoist. Maoist chief has also held discussions with Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, DP Tripathi, General Secretary of ruling Nationalist Congress of Sonia Gandhi, BJP’s Sushma Awarajand Chairman of Nepal Democracy Solidarity committee and Janata Dal Chairman Sharad Yadav. Prachanda will hold discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday before returning home. Maoist Chairman went to India after a China visit. Indian leaders said Prachanda is the first among party leaders to be invited for discussions before constituent assembly elections later in 2013. Nnnn DEMANDS BEING MADE MONDY AT INDIAN EMBASY TO CLOSE DOWN INDIAN ‘CONSULATE GENERAL’S OFFICE IN BIRATNAGAR Kathmandu, 29 April: CPN Maoist, a splinter group of UCPN Moist, is delivering a protest at the Indian embassy Monday to protest the continued operation of an Indian consulate general office’ in Biratnagar. Demands have been made publicly and by government for its closure. Government has first given permission to open an office temporarily for distribution of relief to Koshi river floods. A group of 33 political parties decided to deliver he protest. nnnn

SUPREME COURR LIKELY TO ANNOUNCE VERDICT ON LOKMAN SINGH KARKI APPOINTMENT MONDAY Kathmandu, 29 April: Judge on a writ asking the supreme court to issue an order stop top the appointment of Lokman Singh Karki as CIAA Chairman by government of recommendation of Maoists in a high-powered body of three parties and a Madeshi coalition. All parties first agreed to appointment of Karki but NC and UML later renegaded. Karki’s lawyers presented their arguments for his appointment at the apex court Sunday. Another round of hearing of being conducted Monday. Karki’s critics agrue he shouldn’t be appointed CIAA chief because he has been charged but not convicted for excesses during the royal regime seven years ago when he was chief secretary. Nnnn OFFICES AT BPKIHS PADLOCKED Kathmandu, 29 April: Junior Resident Welfare Society (JRWS), an Organization of junior doctors numbering 241 doctors at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) on Sunday padlocked the offices of Vice-chancellor Dr B P Das, Rector Dr Bikram Shrestha, Director D. Arbind Sinha and Registrar Nanda Kumar Thapa. Protesting doctors said the offices will be padlocked indefinitely. President Bikash Gauchan of JRWS said demands for perks and higher monthly allowances went unheeded amid charges of widespread irregularities in the Indian-assisted teaching hospital. Nnnn CAPITAL’S MONDAY MORNING TEMPERATURE 15 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 29 April: Capital’s morning temperature Monday hovered around 15 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 35 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Nnnn DEEP DIFFERENCES IN UML ON APPOINTMENT OF NEW CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS Kathmandu, 29 April: CPN-UML has yet again postponed its politburo meeting scheduled for Sunday as top leaders remained sharply divided over the names to be nominated for the vacant posts in the party, Republica reports/. The politburo meeting was deferred as the top leaders failed to propose names for nomination as central committee members. Leaders couldn´t finalize the names even after they held two rounds of standing committee meetings on Sunday after deferring the politburo. Party vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam said they couldn´t finalize the list as there were more aspirants than the number of vacant positions. “The politburo had earlier instructed the standing committee to come up with a unanimous list. But we haven´t yet been able to prepare such a list,” said Gautam. He said it is taking time as they are trying to forge consensus at the standing committee. “We have narrowed down the list and we will finalize the names during tomorrow´s meeting,” UML Secretary Bishnu Paudel told Republica. According to him, they are planning to call the next politburo meeting in the first week of May. A politburo meeting on April 17 had entrusted the party´s top five leaders with preparing a list of 15 candidates for nomination as central committee members and other top posts. The leaders are also to recommend names for other vacant top posts such as party vice-chairperson and politburo members. The meeting had entrusted Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, KP Sharma Oli, Bamdev Gautam and Ishwar Pokharel with proposing candidates for the posts. The party has 15 vacant positions for CC members. Six central-level leaders along with Vice-chairman Ashok Rai quit the party last year and later formed Federal Socialist Party headed by Rai. Politburo member Ram Chandra Jha recently defected to the UCPN (Maoist). Ravindra Shrestha was expelled from the party as he eloped with a girl and went out of contact. One more post fell vacant with the death of UML leader Dilli Bahadur Mahat. Similarly, the party has a provision of nominating five percent of the 116 central committee members and these nominations were long overdue. As per this provision, six members have to be nominated. “Leaders may opt to defer nominations if they fail to agree on names because each of the top leaders has a separate set of their favorite members,” said a leader. The top leaders have been given the responsibility, thinking that an understanding among them would help quell any dissatisfaction that may arise following the nominations because they command the major factional groups within the party. Sources privy to the developments said the leaders are likely to propose new members from the same ethnic communities the defectors had represented. Leaders from the ethnic communities had quit the party en masse accusing the UML establishment of dilly-dallying on its policy on federalism. While CPN-UML has endorsed the policy of delineating states based on common or multiple-ethnic identities, dissident leaders lobbied for states based on single-ethnic identity. Nnnn M LONDON EMBASSY CONTROVERSY CONTINUES Kathmandu, 29 April: The Nepali Embassy in London has once again courted fresh problems after failing to pay its annual insurance charge of 43,000 pounds sterling (Rs 58 million) for the year 2012. As the December 2012 deadline for the insurance fee has come and gone, Aviva, the local insurance party, has warned that it will terminate the insurance pact with the Nepali Embassy if it fails to submit the premium before May 1, Anil Giri writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The Nepali Embassy had failed to pay its insurance premium for more than five months last year too, resulting in embarrassment to the Nepali staff and government. The embassy building in London is considered the most expensive property that Nepal owns abroad but has not been properly maintained for long. There are outstanding requests from the London mission for 4.5 million pounds for repair and maintenance work. The Ministry of Finance only released 200,000 pounds a month ago for maintenance. The embassy had repeatedly written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) asking that the insurance be paid but the MoFA has passed the buck to the Ministry of Finance. “We do not know what will happen if we fail to pay back the insurance due,” said an embassy source in London. In recognition for the dedication shown by the Gurkhas in the British Army, the British government, in 1938, had handed over the building’s lease to Nepal. According to a bilateral agreement, Nepal would pay 100 pounds annually as lease amount for the first 25 years and 1,000 pounds for the next 25-50 years. Govt panel undecided over selling property A cross-ministerial panel headed by Nepali Ambassador to the UK Suresh Chandra Chalise has sought another 45 days to submit its report on whether the embassy building should be sold or retained. Earlier, the government had given the panel a month’s time to visit the premises and prepare its report. A preliminary report was prepared by another team led by Joint Secretary at the MoFA Ambika Luitel and forwarded to London to accommodate suggestions from the Nepali Ambassadors to Germany and Belgium—Suresh Man Pradhan and Ram Mani Pokhrel respectively—who are also members of the team. Technical details, domestic law provisions and the ramification of selling the property were mentioned in the preliminary report, along with an interim order from the Supreme Court halting the sale of the property , by the Luitel-led team. Located on London’s most expensive street, the Kensington Palace Gardens, the five-story embassy building, filled with ancient art and sculptures, could fetch 300 to 500 million pounds if sold through a competitive bidding process, according to MoFA officials. Nnnn SUSHIL KOIRALA, DEUBA DISPPTE SURFACES AGAIN IN NC Kathmandu, 29 April: Barely three weeks after the party’s Mahasamiti meeting drove home the message of intra-party unity, dispute s over appointments in the party’s internal bodies has plunged the Nepali Congress (NC) into a deeper discord, Kamal Dev Bhattarai writes in The Kathmandu Post. . The Mahasamiti meet from April 8-11 mandated the party to give a complete shape to its central departments and organisations from districts to the local level. On the strength of such authority, NC President Sushil Koirala has started homework to make appointments in the internal organisations. The main dispute lies in the nomination in the party’s parliamentary board, a body responsible for selecting candidates in national and local elections. A few days ago, Koirala demanded a list of names from the faction led by senior NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba for the appointments in the board and departments. But Deuba refused to provide recommendations citing lack of formal discussion on the appointments. Deuba has put forth a demand that the appointment row should be resolved through a package deal. “Sushilji has not held any serious discussion with Deuba about the appointment. He demanded the names of leaders through on the phone without a principle agreement on it,” said NC leader Ramesh Rijal, who is close to Deuba. According to leaders, Koirala has warned Deuba that he will finalise the names on his own. The NC’s statute has it that the 15-member parliamentary board should be formed within the two months of the completion of party’s General Convention. However, there has not been any progress towards to that effect even 31 months after the party’s 12th General Convention. As the major parties are planning to hold CA elections in November this year, the NC seems to be in urgency to form the parliamentary board as it is responsible to select candidates across the country. With the number of Central Working Committee (CWC) members willing on board going up, both Koirala and Deuba are finding it difficult to select the names from their factions, leading to a delay in forming the board. Both the rival factions want their dominant presence in the board because they believe that they can influence the candidate selection process, the most dispute d issue in election time. Formation of departments, nomination of remaining CWC members and resolving intra-party dispute s are other contentious issues the rival NC factions are at loggerheads with each other. The rift between Koirala and Deuba reached a climax after the department chiefs and zonal coordinators loyal to Deuba resigned en mass on August 15 last year. During the Mahasamiti meet, Koirala and Deuba made an understanding to keep their differences at bay stating that it would give a negative message to cadres. On July 15 last year, almost two years after the party’s 12th general convention, Koirala had nominated 42 departments and 4 zonal coordinators. While leaders from the Koirala faction say it is a privilege of the party president to make appointments, the Deuba faction claim that the NC chief is trying to maintain a monopoly in the party. nnnn

HIGHER SECONDARY EXAMS FROM TUESDAY Kathmandu, 29 April: Altogether 398,115 students will appear for the Higher Secondary Level plus two examinations nation-wide from Tuesday.fromt 932 centers nation-wide.. Among them are 24,751 girls. Examinations conclude 12 May. Examination for class 11 students starts 14 May. Altogether 435,018 examineesm including with 217,175 boys and 217,843 girls are appearing for the tests. . The Office of the Controller of Examination said 833,133 students are appearing for class 11 and class 12 examinations. nnnn MAOISTS DEMAND ANNOUNCEMENT OF POLL DATE; OTHER DETAILS Kathmandu, 29 April: UCPN-Maoist spokesperson Agni Sapkota Sunday said that alternative to the current government would be sought if it failed to hold Constituent Assembly (CA) election by November, The Rising Nepal reports. Speaking at a regular press meet organized at the party’s central office in Parisdanda, he asked the government to announce the election date immediately. He alleged that it was rather preoccupied with unnecessary activities. “There is a growing speculation among the people about the possibility of election,” said Sapkota, reiterating that other alternatives would be sought if the Interim Election Council failed to deliver its promise. Stating that it was the task of the government to convince people about holding the poll by the targeted dateline, he opined that the government was formed with the prime purpose of holding election and it should work accordingly. “The government is engaged in transferring the servants and other trivial issues instead of creating favourable environment for the election, “said Sapkota. In a separate note, he said that the party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ embarked on India visit as a representative of the country, not only as a head of a particular party. Sapkota informed that chairman Prachanda would raise the issue of trilateral cooperation among Nepal, China and India during the meetings with the Indian leaders. He expressed his hope that the vision of trilateral cooperation would be translated into reality as it was beneficial to all three countries. The newspaper adds fro Chitwan: Nepali Congress vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel Sunday urged all to believe that the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections would be held within the third week of November. Speaking with journalists at Bharatpur Airport, Poudel said poll day would be announced just a 100 days before the election. The NC leader said holding elections was the need of country to promulgate constitution through the CA. In another context, he said UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda's India visit was his personal as he did not hold any public post. Meanwhile, NC treasurer Chitra Lekha Yadav called upon electorates to give majority to her party to write new constitution. She accused communist parties of not promulgating constitution even though they had absolute majority in the first CA. Speaking at tea party and training organized by NC Krustinacne Chour Village Development Committee of Kaski, she said that the constitution would be promulgated if NC garnered majority. Yadav claimed that more people had been switched towards the NC. She said that that NC always stood for the welfare of people and urged all to unite to realize socialism and democracy. NC leaders Debraj Chalise, Gururaj Ghimire, Youbraj Kunwar and others also expressed their views. During programme, Yadav honoured 11 party cadres who served the party for the long time. nnnn KOSHI TAPPU DISCOVERED AS NEW HABITAT FOR BENGAL FLORICAN Kathmandu, Apr 29: Bengal Florican, Considered as one of the world's rarest bird species, is showing a promising presence in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve as this reserve is a home to nearly ten per cent of the bird’s total world Population, The Rising Nepal reports.. According to a scientific paper published on April 26 in the Journal of Threatened Taxa, a survey carried out in April and May 2012 counted 47 Bengal Floricans in the reserve, which is the highest number found in Nepal’s protected area. One of the authors and lead researcher of the paper is Nepal’s noted bird scientist Dr Hem Sagar Baral, past president of Bird Conservation Nepal and currently chief technical advisor of the Himalayan Nature. “With the finding of globally significant population at Koshi, it gives much hope to bird conservationists in Nepal and in the world,” said Dr Baral. Bengal Florican is strictly protected by Nepal’s National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029 and is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It means, by law, all kind of international trade on this species is banned. Though being so critically threatened, the Bengal Florican’s significant presence has very rarely made news headlines in Nepal, said Dr Baral. “In terms of its conservation status this bird is as threatened as some of the vulture species which have drawn global attention in recent years.” Current global estimate of this bird is 250 to 999 adult individuals and 60 birds are estimated to be living at Koshi Tappu, a noted bird sanctuary in Asia. Bengal Florican was first surveyed on a nationwide scale in Nepal in April and May 1982 by Carol and Tim Inskipp, authors of several books on birds of Nepal. Since then several studies have been carried out in Chitwan, Bardia and Sukla Phanta protected areas. Habitat loss and hunting as a popular game bird decimated Bengal Florican population early on in the 20th century. This prompted the Red IUCN to list the species as threatened for a number of years. With only less than a thousand left in the wild today, the species survives mainly in India, Nepal, and Cambodia. nnnn

NEPAL PLAYS UGANDA IN SECOND ICC WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION THREE MONDAY Kathmandu, 29 April Nepal play Uganda Monday evening Nepal time in Bermuda in its second outing of the ICC World Cricket League Division Three. Nepal lost Sunday night to USA in its opening fixture. Nepal won the tos an elected to field first. USA scored 366 runs for five wickets in 50 overs. Nepal was bowled out for 272 runs with one ball to spare. Nnnn ANOTHER BIRD FLU OUTBREAK IN LALITPUR Kathmandu, 29 April: Bird flu outbreak was confirmed in Chapagaun of Lalitpur district today, following which the Directorate of Animal Health culled chickens and ducks at two poultry farms owned by Prem Tamang and Jyoti Bista, Respectively, The Himalayan Times reports.. “Our rapid action team culled 498 chickens and five ducks and destroyed 150 kg feed to control the outbreak,” said DAH Executive Director Dr Bijaya Kant Jha. “The increase in cases of bird flu in hot weather is creating obstacles in managing the problem,” he said, adding that the virus seems to have developed heat resistance. The current weather condition is not suitable for bird flu virus H5N1. It is too hot for the virus, added Jha. The virus tends to be more stable and stays in the air longer when the air is cold and dry. The bird flu virus dies in heat of more than 75 degrees centigrade, says World Organisation for Animal Health, on its website. According to the organisation, the bird flu outbreak is generally noticed in winter at temperatures below 22 degrees centigrade. However, the latest cases are against the earlier patterns. The bird flu outbreak was also noticed in the Tarai — southern plains — at temperatures above 25 degrees centigrade. It was noticed in Pokharbhindi of Rupandehi. The directorate had culled 200 chickens and 50 kg feed at the poultry farm owned by Sanat Kumar Yadav there. The government has granted the right to make announcements of bird flu crisis to the Ministry of Agriculture Development, according to Clause 20 of Disaster Rescue Act. Earlier, the Cabinet used to decide on the matter. The Ministry of Agriculture Development can announce a bird flu crisis in a particular locality and withdraw the crisis thereafter, said Jha. This is the seventh bird flu outbreak in the country since January. nnnn HOSPITALS NEGLIGENT ON WASTE MANAGEMENT Kathmandu, 29 April: Bhailal Deula, 37, an employee at the housekeeping department of Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH), complained that his hard labor at the hospital is being wasted. Though Deula segregates wastes produced at the hospital, he has no choice but to throw them all into a container placed by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) at the hospital premises, Arjun Paudel writes in Republica.. "We separate wastes based on whether they are hazardous or non hazardous but are compelled to dump them into the same container," said Deula, who has been serving at the hospital for the last 14 years. The hospital has buckets of different colors for segregated wastes but at the end of the day they are all dumped in the same garbage container. He said that the hospital burns discarded syringes on the roof top. "Used syringes pose great risk to the public health, so we burn them on the roof top of the hospital," said an employee seeking anonymity. He said that due to lack of proper waste disposal facility, the hospital has been burning the used syringes. As the only national referral center for tropical and infectious diseases, the hospital have been providing treatment to patients with HIV, tuberculosis, tetanus, swine flu, dengue, Malaria, hepatitis, rabies, among others. Patients suffering from infectious diseases are sent to the hospital from across the country for treatment. "It´s a harsh reality. We haven´t been able to purchase an autoclave machine to sterilize used syringes," conceded Dr Indra Prasad Prajapati, director at the hospital. He also admitted that the hospital does not have a system to dispose medical wastes and has been mixing them with the general waste that is carried off by KMC. Doctors at the hospital said that proper management of medical waste is a big challenge in view of the emergence of new types of infectious diseases. Dr Prajapati said that the government and the World Health Organization (WHO) have urged the hospital to manage the hospital waste properly. "But we are not in a position to set up a waste management facility on our own," he said, adding, "We have been requesting to the ministry to provide additional grant but to no avail." He said that the hospital would welcome support from donor agencies and individuals willing to assist it in the waste management. Director Prajapati also said that the waste produced from the hospital is 10 times riskier than the wastes produced from other hospitals because it mostly deals with infectious diseases. Over 2,000 HIV infected patients are undergoing treatment at the hospital. Employees at the hospital said that every morning garbage collectors scramble for plastic and other medical wastes in the waste container inside the hospital premises. The hospital authority even does not think it necessary to bar them from scavenging hazardous waste Fluids, body parts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and radioactive materials come under hazardous hospital waste. STIDH, popularly known as Teku Hospital, is one among many hospitals in the country that lack proper waste disposal system of their own. "Most of the private hospitals, nursing homes, poly clinics and some government run hospital do not have waste management facility," said Dr Sumitra Shakya, executive director at Solid Waste Management and Technical Support Center (SWMTSC), which under Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). The Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) had formed a committee to propose ways to regulate hospital waste. "We have found too much negligence on the part of hospitals," said Amatya. She said that the committee has drawn the attention of all hospitals to manage medical wastes generated by them properly. "They have been complaining about lack of budget, but the problem lies in the lack of strong will to manage the waste," she added. The committee has also warned Teku Hospital not to burn used syringes on its roof. "Burning syringes in that manner pollutes the environment. We have asked them to halt the practice immediately," added Amatya. She said that the committee would take legal action against any hospital that is found not complying with the directives. She said that private hospitals have more responsibility to manage the waste produced at their institutions as they are profit oriented. The SWMTSC has also cautioned the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) against mixing up hospital waste with household garbage. KMC´s executive officer Kedar Bahadur Adhikari said that the office has decided not to collect hospital waste, which poses high risk to public health. The KMC has been providing container services to the hospitals and nursing homes and has an understanding to collect only non hazardous waste. He said that the office would take action against the hospitals which have been mixing up medical waste with those generated at homes. The move comes after the warning issued by the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) not to mix up hospital waste with those generated by households. "We will scrap the agreement with hospitals altogether if they are found mixing hospital waste with general ones," said Rabinman Shrestha, an official at KMC´s environment department. He said that the department will accelerate monitoring of hospital waste management in the future. Krishna Hari Baskota, secretary at PMO, who has taken the initiation to regulate hospital waste, said that no one would be excused. He said that private hospitals have been adding beds and costly equipments every six months but showing indifference toward waste management. He said that the concerned government authorities would also be penalized if they failed to act against erring hospitals. Krishna Hari Baskota, Secretary at Prime Minister´s Office How serious is the hospital waste management problem in our country? Waste generated from hospitals pose high risk to public health. It should be managed properly. But most hospitals, nursing homes and private clinics operating in the capital do not have mechanisms to dispose hazardous waste properly. It is a serious problem. As per the law they have no right to run the business if they cannot manage such waste properly. We have given them an ultimatum to have a system in place to take care of the hospital waste. Some government hospitals have cited budget crunch as the reason for their inability to manage hospital waste. What do you say? Even the government run hospitals cannot be excused for failing to manage medical wastes properly. If they cannot manage the waste properly they should shutdown their institutions. Just as restaurants cannot operate without having toilets, hospitals also cannot run without having a proper system to manage wastes. Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) should strictly monitor waste management system before providing license to hospitals. Officials who give nod to operate hospital would be liable if the institutions did not manage waste. Government hospitals should also be allocated sufficient funds for waste management. Nnnn NIGERIAN HELD IN SUSPECTED CYBER CRIME CASE Kathmandu, 29 April: Metropolitan Police Crime Division today rounded up four persons, including a Nigerian national, for operating an international fraud racket through misuse of internet facilities, The Himalayan Times reports. .. The detainees are Kedar Khatri Chhetri, 32, of Lalitpur, Femi Immanuel Azbede, 35, of Nigeria, Prakash Rana, 36, of Kanchanpur and Deepak Prasad Sharma, 32, of Lalitpur. SSP Bijaya Lal Kayastha, MPCD in-charge, said the law enforcement agency launched an all-out investigation into the international fraud racket after Raj Kumar Shrestha of Kathmandu, a victim, lodged a complaint with police stating that he was defrauded of Rs 2.3 million in the name of SMS lottery worth 20 million US dollars. “The racketeers texted Shrestha saying his mobile number had won 12 Call-mobile Thailand Mobile Award which carries a purse of 20 million US dollar on March 23. An elated Shrestha confirmed receipt of the information the same day,” SSP Kayastha informed. On March 24, the gang wrote an email to Shrestha asking him to contact the address of Siam Commercial Bank for payment. They asked Shrestha to deposit Rs 2.3 million in a bank account as part of administrative fees. He was suspicious after the gang told him to deposit Rs 1 million more and lodged a complaint with police. Inspector Pashupati Ray, an official at Cyber Cell of MPCD, said investigators succeeded in finding out IP address of the email used by the racket to cheat Shrestha of money before arresting the four persons for cyber crime. They have been sent to Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka to press with the charge. With more people having access to internet and mobile phones, police say the number of cases where individuals have used technology to blackmail others has risen. SSP Kayastha appealed to all not to believe in SMS and email lotteries that promise hefty reward. Khatri, a frequent offender, was recently released from jail after doing time for murdering his wife. Inspector Ray said MPCD it was receiving more complaints in connection with the fraud case. nnnn

NHRC CHIEF SAYS BODY NOT GOVT. RIVAL Kathmandu, 28 April: - Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Kedar Nath Upadhyay has said the commission is not a rival of the government for safeguarding human rights of the people, RSS reports from Biratnagar.. Speaking at an interaction on the 'Use of jurisdiction in human rights protection' organised jointly by the Judges' Society Nepal and the National Human Rights Commission, the NHRC chairman said the commission was moving ahead in coordination with the government. He said some government officials had violated human rights for their vested interests and that no one should go beyond the law. SC Justice Sushila Karki called on state organs to be active in human rights protection. Another SC Justice Ram Kumar Prasad Saha said the court has already given justice when the rights of the people were snatched away by state. Eastern Regional Administrator Janardan Nepal, NHRC Member Ram Nagina Singh and Biratnagar Appellate Court Chief Judge Gopal Prasad Parajuli said the court was always alert in human rights safeguard. Participating in the two-day seminar are 50 people including district judges of the eastern region and judges of the appellate court. Eastern Regional Commission Chief Koshraj Neupane said the seminar was organised to review the human rights protection. Five working papers will be presented in the seminar. RSS nnnn ld girl has been rape d inside a shop nearby her home in Kanchanpur VDC-9, Saptari district on Saturday night. The victim's family claimed that the girl was rape d by shop owner Harendra Dev when she went to the shop to buy some goods. Police said that Dev is also the in-charge of a Sub-Health Post in the district's Gobargada VDC. The victim has been receiving treatment at Gajendra Narayan Singh Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital. SHOPKEEPER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED RAPE Kathmandu, 28 April: Harendra Dev was arrested Sunday at Bhardaha in Saptari for alleged rape of a 10-year-old girl in his shop in Saptari.. The incident occurred in Kanchanpur VDC. Nnnn ALLEGED RAPISTS MADE PUBLIC IN KAVRE Kathmandu, 28 April: Four alleged rapists were make public in Kavre Sunday. The group allegedly raped a 16-year old girl at Kaflethok in Methinkot, Kavre . Shankhaman Moktan,, Ram Bahadur Syangtang Tamang, of Methinkot-8, Pancha Bahadur Syangtang Tamang , of Methinkot-7, Kumar BK, 22, of Sikhar Ambote-8 and Akash Tamang are made public. Krishna BK is missing. nnnn

71 FORMER MAOIST FIGHTERS WILL BE APPOINTED NA OFFICERS Kathmandu, 28 April: Nepal Army Sunday said 71 former Maoist Combatants undergoing training after joining the state army Will be appointed officers Additional 1373 former fighters will be appointed in other ranks. Directorate of Public Relations said seniority will be determined by a special committee headed by the government chief. The former Maoist combatants will take a bridging course before officially getting the ranks, A directorate with 35 percent former combatants and 65 percent Nepal Army personnel. will be led by Nepal Army Major General Ram Krishna Adhikari. nnnn

PRACHANDA REPRESENTS COUNTRY IN INDIA SAYS PARTY SPOKESMAN Kathmandu, 28 April:: UCPN (Maoist) Spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota has said that party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' is in India by l eading the country, RSS reports.. At a regular news conference at the party headquarters today, Sapkota said Dahal is visiting India in the capacity of the head of the single largest political party of the dissolved Constituent Assembly (CA) and as a responsible leader of the high-level political committee. In queries from some politicians who accuse Dahal of visiting India to meet his personal wishes, Sapkota ruled out the accusations and claimed that the visit was for country's economic development and political stability. The UCPN (Maoist) spokesperson also said that the proposal of trilateral agreement floated by the UCPN (Maoist) has created positive dialogue and added that stability and development would prevail in the entire south Asian countries if a strategic relationship was maintained between Nepal, India and China. He also said that the proposal was a long-term strategy. On a separate context, Sapkota said that the main responsibility of the Interim Election Council was to hold CA elections and the government was not allowed to perform anything by influencing the elections. Sapkota also said the EC cannot remain safe citing lack of support from the political parties as all hassles and constitutional difficulties have been cleared. He also alleged the NC and UML of involving in anti-polls activities after hundreds of NC and UML cadres joined the UCPN (Maoist) in the recent days. Nnnn NC LEADER MAHESH RAJ ACHARYA DEAD Kathmandu, 28 April: NC working committee member leader Mahesh Raj Acharya ,58, of Dang died of cardiac arrest Saturday. Acharya was a former secretary of NC district working committee Dang, and several other bodies of the party. central members of Nepal Students Union (NSU), reads a statement issued by Secretary Pradeep Parajuli. Acharya had played a instrumental role during the establishment of democracy. He is survived by a wife, son and two daughters. Nnnn SUPREME COURT STAYS APPOINTMENT OF GORKHAPATRA EDITOR Kathmandu, 28 April A division bench of the supreme court Sunday stayed a decision to dismiss editor-in-chief state-owned Gorkhapatra daily. newspaper until a final verdict.. The supreme court said the decision of the government corporation Gorkhapatra Corporation was against the prevailing law. Sitaram Agrahari challenged the corporation decision at the apex court. Pushkar Mathema, a 10th level staffer, replaced Agrahari. nnnn