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Archive for the ‘Nepal RoundUp’ Category

Nepal-India Home Secretary level meet soon

Posted by Ramesh Khati on November 13, 2009

Kathmandu, Nov 12 (PTI) Issues of security cooperation and tackling cross-border crime will figure prominently in talks as Nepalese Home Minister travels to India next week on a three-day visit, during which the two countries are also expected to give final touches to an extradition treaty.

Nepal’s Home Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal, accompanied by chiefs of Nepalese security agencies, will begin his visit on November 17 and will discuss with his Indian counterpart P Chidambaram ways to strengthen cooperation in security.

India had recently expressed concern over cross border smuggling of fake currency, and the two sides agreed to step up cooperation on the border during their Home Secretary-level talks in Nepal last week.

Rawal, who is also accompanied by Home Secretary Govinda Kusum during his first visit to India as the Home Minister, will hold talks with Chidambaram and other senior officials, sources said.

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Govt puts security on high alert, UN calls for restraint

Posted by Ramesh Khati on November 4, 2009

Kathmandu, Nov 3 (PTI) Nepal today placed its army and police forces on high alert as the opposition Maoist announced major anti-government protests to paralyse Kathmandu valley and shut down the country’s lone international airport here.

Home Ministry officials said that the army and the police have been put on high alert ahead of the Maoists’ plan to halt traffic movement in Kathmandu valley and shut down Tribhuvan International Airport on November 10.

However, the government is not yet considering to impose emergency, a senior minister has said.

“We have increased number of security personnel deployed in Kathmandu and other major parts of the country to prevent any untoward incident during the protests,” Nepal Police spokesman Bigyan Raj Sharma told PTI, making it clear that the government doesn’t want to take any chance with the main opposition party.

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Nepal Maoists call off airport blockade after world concern

Posted by Ramesh Khati on November 4, 2009

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, Nov 3 (IANS): Nepal’s former Maoist guerrillas, who have kept up a siege on parliament since May and Monday launched fresh street protests against the coalition government, finally capitulated to growing pressure from the international community and called off their proposed blockade of the airport next week.

The European Union, the US and Russia Tuesday sent their envoys to meet Maoist chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, to express serious concern about the planned demonstrations, the “risk of escalating tension” and the proposed blockade of Nepal’s sole international airport on Nov 10.

The envoys underlined the “significant damage” the proposed closure of airport and obstruction of Nepal’s tourist infrastructure would do to Nepal’s reputation, particularly during the peak tourist season, and the ensuing damage to the country’s economy.

Heeding to the mounting world concern, the former guerrillas Tuesday said the airport blockade has been called off.

Prachanda also condemned a move by party cadres Monday to set up a parallel government in Dhankuta district, saying it was done against the party policy.

Nepal’s government has already condemned the move with government spokesman, Information and Communications Minister Shankar Pokhrel, saying it violated the peace pact the Maoists had signed with the parties three years ago to end their civil war and return to mainstream politics.

The Western diplomats also asked Prachanda to reconsider the protest programme and instead use the Constituent Assembly, parliament and other peace process mechanisms to oppose the government.

They have also asked the ex-rebels to respect the safety and right to freedom of movement of the people of Nepal, foreign citizens, and of the representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations.

The mounting fears come after Maoists cadres went on the rampage in Dhankuta, torching nine vehicles and triggering a retaliatory attack by the ruling party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML).

However, it was not certain immediately if the former rebels would go ahead with their plan to blockade Kathmandu valley Nov 10.

While there was no immediate reaction from Nepal’s immediate neighbour China, India is expected to make its view clear to the chief of Nepal’s ruling party, who Tuesday began a five-day visit to New Delhi.

Jhalanath Khanal, whose Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist is leading the current 22-party government in Nepal, will be holding talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, president of India’s ruling Congress party. India has expressed support for the present government of Nepal despite the Maoist demand for its dissolution.

Khanal will also hold consultations with India’s communist leaders, who are regarded as being close to the Nepal Maoists, like Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist. The communist leader will consult India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leaders as well.

Khanal was invited by the Indian government, his party said. Nepal’s communist-headed government is grappling with fresh Maoist protests that started Sunday.

The Maoists are demanding an apology from President Ram Baran Yadav, who they say acted unconstitutionally when he reinstated the chief of the army, Gen Rookmangud Katawal, whom they (Maoists) had sacked.

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Baglung lad builds solar vehicle

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 28, 2009

BAGLUNG, Oct 27(MYREPULICA): A 16-year-old has surprised one and all in Baglung with the successful trial run Tuesday of his indigenous solar vehicle.

kushalkcsolarcarKushal KC, a 10th grader at local Amrit Adarsha Higher Secondary School, paraded his vehicle around Baglung to the approval of a massive crowd gathered on roadsides throughout the town. Born in Binamare-7, Kushal has no formal training nor did he take help from any technician in making his solar vehicle, which includes a battery, a motor and solar panels.

Kushal, who had earlier made a ´helicopter´ and displayed it in Pokhara and Kathmandu, took just 40 days to put together the solar vehicle with materials bought in China and India. He has placed six 20-watt panels at the front, rear and roof of the vehicle and these can power it even in the absence of battery as long as there is sunlight. It has to use a battery during darkness.

“I have made this vehicle to help reduce pollution and global warming,” KC said, claiming that the vehicle can hit a speed of 60kmph. “In the next five years I will make others that can compete with petrol cars in performance,” he told mediapersons gathered at his school.

He has sought government help for getting his name into the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest person to make such a vehicle and his school principal, Mahesh Chandra Pradhan, promised to take the initiative for that.

Kushal´s father Bhim KC says they had a torrid time putting together the Rs 600,000 required for making the vehicle. “NAST (Nepal Academy of Science and Technology) provided Rs 10,000 while the school helped collect Rs 200,000. We even had to take out a loan to cover the rest of the cost,” says KC.

kushalkc

Kushal´s school and different organizations felicitated him on Tuesday but his father regrets that no one has come forward to help him in his mission.

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Nepal eyes sexual minorities for tourism

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 22, 2009

KATHMANDU, OCT 22(The Kathmandu Post): Almost three years after the Supreme Court established gay rights in Nepal, the country is awaiting to host “one of the most extravagant groups of tourists in the world” — the sexual minorities consisting of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgenders (LGBTs).

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) officials hope that LGBT arrivals will contribute to the government aim of bringing in a million foreign tourists in the Nepal Tourism Year 2011.

In the recent past, the tourism authority has held a series of meetings with some internationally established private companies, tour operators and non-profit organisations to promote Nepal as a potential destination for LGBTs. The sexual minorities make up about 10 percent of the world population—670 million as of July 2008—according to the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, an acclaimed research organisation specialising in sex, gender and reproduction.

“Some international companies want to work in tandem with the go-vernment and attract LGBTs. We will develop strategies for the same,” said an NTB official. “The beginning is encouraging.”

What has encouraged the government the most is that the renowned US-based Community Marketing Inc. (CMI), which is involved in gay and lesbian market research, has agreed to join hands in promoting Nepal as one of the best destinations for sexual minorities. A CMI research shows that gay and lesbian consumers make up at least 10 percent of the consumer market.

LGBT activists say they prefer destinations like Nepal, which is rich in culture, art, architecture, cuisine and music.

The CMI believes that Nepal has both natural beauty and the goodwill of the LGBT community worldwide to emerge as one of the world’s top destinations for sexual minorities. Nepal recently made history by having Asia’s first openly gay lawmaker Sunil Babu Pant, who is also Chairman of Blue Diamond Society.

Pant, who has been involved in promoting Nepal as a destination for sexual minorities, believes that the state could revive the economy if it could bring in at least 10 percent of the total LGBT population. “All that the government has to do is welcome LGBT travellers,” says Pant.

As part of the first promotional activity, Nepal is hosting a historic international conference in February, which is expected to bring together the world’s top tour operators, airlines and agencies selling adventure tourism to Kathmandu to explore opportunities for gay tourism in Nepal.

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Floods destroy 16,000 hectares of land in Nepal

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 16, 2009

KATHMANDU, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) — Recent floods and landslides in different districts in mid and far-western regions of Nepal have caused damages to 195 irrigation projects and crops in more than 16,000 hectares of land, according to the government.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, in its preliminary report, stated here on Thursday that recent floods and landslides caused damages to more than 16,240 hectares of land.

The report said that most of the fields have been inundated and crops ready for harvest have swept away by floods in Kailali, Dadeldhura, Darchula, Doti, Baitadi, Banke, Bardiya and Dang districts.

Likewise, a total of 200 cowsheds and 7.5 hectares of fodder field have been damaged. The floods also swept away 198 cattles indifferent districts.

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World’s Shortest Man Turns 18 in Nepal

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 15, 2009

Khagendra Thapa Magar looks at his portrait on the back of a photographer's digital SLR camera at his temporary residence in Kathmandu

Khagendra Thapa Magar looks at his portrait on the back of a photographer's digital SLR camera at his temporary residence in Kathmandu

Khagendra Thapa Magar from Nepal, thought to be the world’s smallest living man who is just 56- centimeter high, has turned 18 years old and now hopes to be officially recognized for his record size.

According to THT Online report, four years ago, Thapa made his application for a Guinness World Record for the smallest man. However, he was rejected because at that time he was just a 14- year-old boy and he was too young to qualify.

But on Wednesday, he turned 18 and became an adult. He is now set to submit another application. “Now he has turned 18, we will forward the necessary documents to Guinness officials,” Thapa’ s father, Rup Bahadur Thapa Magar said as the family prepared for a birthday celebration.

“I want him to have a good future. I want him to be educated and live in an independent life”, said his father.

“When he was born he was so small he could fit in the palm of your hand. But I am proud to be his father. He has brought fame not just for himself but for his country,” his father added.

According to a website set up by his supporters, Thapa weighed only 600 grams at birth and his hobbies include “playing with pebbles” and “worshipping Buddha.”

The current record for world’s shortest living man is held by He Pingping of China, who is 73 centimeters tall.-(Xinhua)

To Read More About Khagendra:-Click Here

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Nepal honours Tenzing and Hillary

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 13, 2009

Tenzing Norgey Sherpa of Nepal (left) and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand who conquered Mount Everest in 1953, are in this 1953 handout photo. File photo: AP

Tenzing Norgey Sherpa of Nepal (left) and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand who conquered Mount Everest in 1953, are in this 1953 handout photo. File photo: AP

(PTI)Nepal has honoured Tenzing Norgey Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary by installing their statues in order to promote tourism in the country.

The statues of Tenzing Norgey Sherpa, Sir Edmund Hillary and Boris Lidanevich, a Russian national who made significant contribution to Nepal’s tourism sector by establishing the first tourist hotel, were unveiled by Tourism and Civil Aviation minister Sharat Singh Bhandari and Russian Minister for Culture Tipalov Alexandar.

Sherpa an Indian national and Hillary of New Zealand were the first persons to climb the world’s highest peak.

“Nepal was lagging behind as there was not any significant economic change following the political changes”, Mr. Bhandari said.

The minister also said that government would make efforts to establish direct air service between Nepal and Russia.

The statues were jointly set up by Nepal Tourism Board and Non Resident Nepali (NRN) Association, Russia.

The first human ascent to Mt Everest in May 29, 1953 made Nepal known to the international arena opening the door for tourism in the country.

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Koirala’s daughter becomes Nepal’s deputy PM

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 13, 2009

Sujata Koirala

Kathmandu(IANS)12 Oct 2009: The political complexities in Nepal are set to take a new turn with the new government of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Monday deciding to appoint the daughter of former premier Girija Prasad Koirala as its second deputy prime minister.

Sujata Koirala, 56, who was appointed foreign minister in June despite opposition from her father’s own party members, is now the second deputy prime minister and number three in the cabinet with the senior deputy prime minister being ethnic party leader Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, who also heads the physical planning and infrastructure ministry.

Monday’s announcement comes after a cold war between the prime minister and Girija Prasad Koirala, who remains one of the most influential politicians in the country despite stepping down as premier last year.

Koirala had reportedly been pressuring Nepal to appoint his daughter the deputy prime minister in a bid to keep the Koirala grip on Nepal politics alive.

The octogenarian leader still heads the Nepali Congress, the second largest party in parliament after the Maoists, and has been resisting demands to relinquish the leadership to younger members.

Sujata Koirala lost the election last year though her father campaigned for her.

She becomes the second woman to reach the level of deputy prime minister in Nepal.

The first was Shailaja Acharya, the niece of Koirala, in 1998. Acharya died in June this year.

Sujata Koirala’s rise in Nepal’s politics has given rise to comparisons with other daughters in South Asia who headed their nations, like Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto and Sheikh Hasina.

The mother of two, however, says that her ascension is due to her own efforts and contribution.

“In fact, I was often overlooked because I was my father’s daughter,” she told. “I had to make sacrifices so that people would not think I was being unduly promoted.”

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Extend Tibet rail line to Kathmandu: Nepal to China

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 12, 2009

Kathmandu, Oct 11 (PTI) In a demand that may have strategic geopolitical implications for India, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has asked China to extend the Beijing-Lhasa railway line to Kathmandu.
“The economic ties between Nepal and China could be taken to a new height if the railway line that has reached upto Lhasa from mainland China could be extended upto Kathmandu, and economic infrastructure could be developed on the Himalayan transit points between Nepal and China,” Prime Minister Nepal noted.
The 1956 km long Qinghai-Tibet railway is a high altitude line that connects Xining in Qinghai to Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous region. This railway is the first to connect China proper with the remote Tibetan region.
Nepal is committed not to allow anti-China activity from its soil, the Prime said.

Kathmandu, Oct 11 (PTI) In a demand that may have strategic geopolitical implications for India, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has asked China to extend the Beijing-Lhasa railway line to Kathmandu.

“The economic ties between Nepal and China could be taken to a new height if the railway line that has reached upto Lhasa from mainland China could be extended upto Kathmandu, and economic infrastructure could be developed on the Himalayan transit points between Nepal and China,” Prime Minister Nepal noted.

The 1956 km long Qinghai-Tibet railway is a high altitude line that connects Xining in Qinghai to Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous region. This railway is the first to connect China proper with the remote Tibetan region.

Nepal is committed not to allow anti-China activity from its soil, the Prime said.

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Nepal: UN welcomes fresh start to discharge of former Maoist fighters

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 12, 2009

11 October 2009 – The United Nations welcomed today’s re-launching of the discharge and rehabilitation process of over 4,000 former Maoist fighters – including child soldiers – in Nepal, with the world body’s top envoy to the Asian nation calling it an important step forward in the peace process.
The ex-combatants taking part in the process, a joint effort of the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), were identified as minors or late recruits during the 2007 verification process.
“By taking part in this overdue discharge exercise, the parties are fulfilling the agreement that they reached,” Karin Landgren, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said at the launch. “The discharge is an important sign of good faith and sincerity, and of commitment to seeing the peace process through to its conclusion.”
She underscored that “all of you who take part in making this exercise a success are playing an important part in reinforcing Nepal”s peace process.”
A decade-long civil war, claiming some 13,000 lives, ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists. After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, the nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic.
In her address, Ms. Landgren, who heads the UN special political mission in the country (UNMIN), also stressed the importance of cooperation between different groups to ensure peace and stability in Nepal.
“No parties should retain the idea of a military or authoritarian solution for this country,” she said.
“The only path to durable peace is through negotiation undertaken in a true spirit of compromise and cooperation.”
UNMIN and the UN Country Team said in a statement today that they are encouraged by the establishment of a high-level Steering Committee, led by Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong, to oversee the process. The Discharge Technical Committee has already begun its work. Both bodies include representatives from the Government, UCPN-M and the UN.
The Government’s plan for the discharge and rehabilitation process includes consulting ineligible personnel on different rehabilitation packages.
“The United Nations stands ready to provide support and assistance for this important programme to ensure successful rehabilitation of the minors and late recruits into Nepali society in line with international standards,” the statement noted.

NM

11 October 2009(UN News) – The United Nations welcomed today’s re-launching of the discharge and rehabilitation process of over 4,000 former Maoist fighters – including child soldiers – in Nepal, with the world body’s top envoy to the Asian nation calling it an important step forward in the peace process.

The ex-combatants taking part in the process, a joint effort of the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), were identified as minors or late recruits during the 2007 verification process.

“By taking part in this overdue discharge exercise, the parties are fulfilling the agreement that they reached,” Karin Landgren, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said at the launch. “The discharge is an important sign of good faith and sincerity, and of commitment to seeing the peace process through to its conclusion.”

She underscored that “all of you who take part in making this exercise a success are playing an important part in reinforcing Nepal”s peace process.”

A decade-long civil war, claiming some 13,000 lives, ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists. After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, the nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic.

In her address, Ms. Landgren, who heads the UN special political mission in the country (UNMIN), also stressed the importance of cooperation between different groups to ensure peace and stability in Nepal.

“No parties should retain the idea of a military or authoritarian solution for this country,” she said.

“The only path to durable peace is through negotiation undertaken in a true spirit of compromise and cooperation.”

UNMIN and the UN Country Team said in a statement today that they are encouraged by the establishment of a high-level Steering Committee, led by Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong, to oversee the process. The Discharge Technical Committee has already begun its work. Both bodies include representatives from the Government, UCPN-M and the UN.

The Government’s plan for the discharge and rehabilitation process includes consulting ineligible personnel on different rehabilitation packages.

“The United Nations stands ready to provide support and assistance for this important programme to ensure successful rehabilitation of the minors and late recruits into Nepali society in line with international standards,” the statement noted.

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Maoist forbids its lawmakers from making foreign trips

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 10, 2009

KATHMANDU, Oct 9(MY REPUBLICA): The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has directed its lawmakers not to visit any foreign country without permission from the party´s parliamentary bureau. A parliamentary party meeting of the party took the decision to this effect after several Maoist lawmakers were found to be frequently visiting foreign countries on the invitations from several embassies and NGOs.

“The parliamentarians will now be allowed to visit any country only after the approval of the bureau even if the invitation is personal,” said Maoist party Whip, Jaypuri Gharti. The Maoist has formed a parliamentary bureau comprising senior party leaders.

The party meeting also reiterated that it would continue to obstruct parliamentary proceedings until the “president´s move is corrected”. The Maoist lawmakers also decided to contribute Rs 1,000 each to the landslide and flood victims. The Maoist deputy parliamentary party leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the party had also instructed its lawmakers to visit their constituencies hit by landslides and floods.

The UCPN (Maoist) also appealed to national as well as international humanitarian organizations to provide support to the flood affected communities.

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