Kathmandu, Dec 7 (IANS) President Ram Baran Yadav Friday granted six more days to the political parties to pick a new consensus prime minister.
Lalit Basnet, personal secretary of the president, told Xinhua that President Yadav extended the deadline by six days on the request of four political parties.
This is the second time that President Yadav has extended the deadline for the political parties to nominate their consensus prime ministerial candidate for the new government.
Pushpa Kamal Dahal, chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) met President Yadav early Friday morning and requested him to extend the deadline.
“I, representing the four political parties, requested the president to extend the deadline by five to seven days,” Dahal told reporters after the meeting.
A meeting Thursday evening of four major political parties — the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M), the Nepali Congress (NC), the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) — had decided to request the president to extend the deadline after they failed to agree on a common candidate to lead the new government.
Kathmandu, Novem Nov 30 (IANS) The Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yang Houlan Friday said Beijing would not interfere in Nepal’s internal affairs and would continue to support the development of Nepal-India relations.
Stressing that a trilateral relationship between China, India and Nepal would be beneficial to all three countries, Yang Houlan refuted rumours that China takes exception to India’s influence in Nepal.
“China has never interfered into Nepal-India relations. Rather, China would be pleased to cooperate with India for Nepal’s broader development,” Xinhua quoted the Chinese envoy as saying during an interaction at the Reporter’s Club Nepal in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu, Nov 17 (IANS) Inadequate government support and improper management over the years have left most of the jails in Nepal in shambles. Such is the condition of these prisons that some of them are housing inmates six times more than their capacity.
According to a senior prison management official, a total of 74 prisons, built since 1947 in Nepal, are faced with the problem of outnumbered inmates.
“It is very difficult for us to manage the prisons as they are overcrowded,” reported Xinhua quoting Shambhu Koirala, director general of the Department of Prison Management.
Though a dozen of commissions and task force have been formed by the government to deal with the upgrading of jails, nothing materialised for improving the physical structures of the prisons.
The number of inmates in the 74 prisons exceeds the total capacity by more than double on an average. Some of them are even housing up to six times more inmates than their actual capacity, said Koirala.
The prisons do not seem even a bit like “correctional institutions” as they are supposed to be, he added.
“Managing the prison has become a challenge as the physical structures are deteriorating and the number of inmates rising,” said Sovendra Thakur, an official with an overcrowded Jaleshwar prison.
Koirala feels that the urgent requirement is that the government should provide enough financial resources.
“All we want is timely and sufficient budget allocation from the government to have immediate renovations and expansion of prison’s state so as to accommodate the increasing number of inmates to avert any serious trouble in the near future,” he said.
Kathmandu, Nov 2 (IANS) China is going to open a cultural centre in Nepal in its bid to augment the cultural bond between the two neighbouring countries, Xinhua news agency said.
Beijing believes that the establishment of a cultural centre in Kathmandu can provide impetus for a better understanding among the people as well as enhance mutual cooperation between the two countries.
The formal process for the centre’s opening commenced Thursday as the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at Nepal’s ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation (MoCTCA).
Yajna Prasad Gautam, secretary at Nepal’s MoTCA, and Yang Houlan, Chinese ambassador signed the pact on behalf of their respective governments. Also present on this occasion was Nepal’s Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Posta Bahadur Bogati.
On this occasion, Nepalese minister Bogati hoped that the new Chinese cultural centre would help both the countries to understand each other culturally and provide recourse to further develop the friendship in a new way.
“The establishment of cultural centre will help reduce cultural distance in hearts of the peoples of the both countries,” Houlan said.
Without divulging the exact date for the cultural centre’s becoming operational, the Chinese envoy said they were searching for a suitable land to open the centre “very soon”.
Kathmandu, Oct 12 (IANS) The London Paralympics Committee has warned that it would perform the last rites of a Nepali official who died during the 2012 London Games if it does not hear from the man’s kin by Tuesday.
Man Bahadur Lopchan, 45, allegedly committed suicide Sep 10 by hanging himself in London. He was rushed to hospital, where he failed to respond to treatment, Xinhua reported.
Issuing a letter to the Nepali foreign ministry Thursday, the London committee said it would be compelled to perform the final rites of Lopchan as the Nepali side has failed to provide information regarding the victim’s kin to receive the body upon its arrival at a Nepali airport.
Since then, the body is being preserved at a London agency for the last 23 days as Lopchan’s family are adamant that they would not receive the body unless the authorities probe into the “mysterious” death and book the guilty.
Xinhua said the family claimed that Lopchan was murdered in London as he raised the issue of “irregularities” in the Nepali National Paralympics Committee.
But no evidence has been furnished so far, and the hospital had declared that Lopchan died of hypoxic brain injury caused by short-supply of oxygen to the brain.
Kathmandu, Oct 11 (IANS) The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) has lifted its two-week-old ban on Indian films in Nepali theatres, the group announced Thursday.
The ban has been lifted due to the upcoming Hindu festival Dashain, Xinhua quoted CPN-Maoist as saying.
The Indian Embassy here had urged the breakaway group of UCPN-Maoist, which is led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, to withdraw the ban.
CPN-Maoist spokeswoman Pumpha Bhusal, however, said the lifting of the ban is temporary.
The ban on Indian movies drew mixed reactions here.
Theatres that mostly screen Indian films, suffered losses of 35 million Nepali rupees within two weeks, said Ashok Sharma, ex-chairman of Nepal Film Producers Association.
The government on Oct 2 had warned the group of action.
The CPN-Maoist said Hindi movies promote vulgarity and cultural indecency.
Kathmandu, Oct 10 (IANS) Anti-India posturing is no longer an appealing issue in Nepal today but some Maoists still believe they could find support among the masses, a leading Nepali daily has said in an editorial.
The Kantipur Daily’s op-ed “Daily doublespeak on India” Tuesday comes after a breakaway Maoist group announced an indefinite ban on Indian vehicles entering the country.
The issue of “Swadhinatako Abhiyan” is no longer appealing to people as they faced so much betrayal from the leftist parties under similar pretexts, the daily wrote.
The CPN-Maoist, a splinter group of the UCPN-Maoist led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, has also banned Bollywood films and Indian TV channels in parts of Nepal.
Though the United Democratic Madhesi Front, a constituent of the ruling coalition, has deplored the move, the UCPN has yet to take a formal position on the issue.
Bhattarai, instead of stating his party’s position, said: “No one has the right to take the law in their hands under political cover.”
The CPN-Maoist claim the ban will “promote a self-reliant national economy, protect employment opportunities for citizens and encourage domestic investment”.
The communists, having been strongly ideologically indoctrinated, continue to see India as “expansionist”, hence it will be “difficult for them to get rid of such sentiments”.
The ruling Maoist party believe majority of the people harbour anti-India sentiments, which is why it has not changed its position on India, even when the leadership often looks to New Delhi for support, the editorial said.
The PM’s recent statement that “The key (to Nepali politics) lies somewhere else” reveals the difficulty in giving up the anti-India posture. It also hinted that he is likely to continue with his anti-India stance in near future after he is out of power.
In the wake of the CPN-Maoist ban, serious concerns have been raised in India and Nepal. The move is against the spirit of democracy, it has been argued. Main opposition parties in Nepal, the Nepali Congress and UML, have condemned the move.
Tugged in the eastern Himalayas, Nepal, which shares its southern border with India, has enjoyed a close relation with India for decades.
The bedrock of this special relation was laid in 1950 when they signed a friendship treaty, which enabled Nepal to overcome its disadvantage of being a land-locked country.
In 2009, both sides revised their trade treaties that provided impetus to the business, allowing Nepal duty-free access to more Indian products. Bilateral trade was worth about $4 billion during 2010-11.
Kathmandu, Oct 3 (IANS) A strain of the swine flu virus — Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) pdm9 — has been detected in Kathmandu and three other districts outside the Nepal capital, doctors said Wednesday.
Physicians at the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital here confirmed the outbreak after it was detected in blood samples collected in Kathmandu, Chitwan, Sindhuli and Khotang districts, Xinhua reported.
Prior to this, the virus had hit Nepal in 2009.
Gita Shakya, director of the National Public Health Laboratory in Kathmandu, said people do not have to worry about the disease as it can be cured if detected in preliminary stages.
The reason behind the resurgence of the virus in Nepal was that several districts have been hit recently by viral fever, she said.
At least two dozen people have died due to viral fever in Nepal. “Of the total 24 deaths, some might have been died due to late diagnosis of the swine flu virus,” Shakya said.
Sher Bahadur Pun, a doctor at the Infectious Disease Hospital, said some patients have also been diagnosed with both types of influenza A and B of the swine flu virus.
The virus usually attacks children and young people who have low immune capability against minor diseases.
In 2009, over 40 people died due to the outbreak of the virus in the country.
Kathmandu, Oct 2 (IANS) A passenger plane in Nepal had to make emergency landing Monday after being hit by a bird, authorities said.
The Kathmandu-bound Yeti Airlines 9NJ flight returned to Pokhara airport minutes after it took off around 3.30 p.m., Xinhua reported. There were 29 people on board.
“A bird might have hit the plane as blood stains were discovered,” officials said.
It happens just three days after 19 people aboard a Sita Air-owned aircraft were killed when their plane caught fire and crashed near Kathmandu after being hit by a bird.
Kathmandu, Oct 1 (IANS) At least two people were killed and over a dozen, including five Indians, were reported missing when five vehicles were hit by a landslide on a highway in Nepal Sunday night, police said Monday.
The landslide occurred along the Mechi highway near Ilam in eastern Nepal, the myrepublica.com website reported.
Two bodies have been found and search for the rest is on. Police said one body was identified.
The second is of a woman, who was yet to be identified. Both were found 100 metres below the hilly road Monday morning, police said.
Police Inspector Bishnu Hari Ghimire said the landslide, triggered by heavy rainfall, buried a truck, two pick-up vans and two cars.
According to the ekantipur.com website, at least 14 people are missing. Seven people who were travelling in a pick-up van were rescued.
Eight people from the family of a man identified as Sharan Shrestha, including his wife, sister and sister-in-law and children, who were travelling in one of the cars, are missing, police said.
All the vehicles were travelling to Ilam from Jhapa. Traffic movement on the Mechi highway has been partially disrupted due to the landslide.
Kathmandu, Sep 28 (IANS) Nineteen people, including seven British tourists, were killed Friday when their plane turned into a ball of fire as it crashed minutes after taking off from here.
The Dornier 9N-AHA of Sita Air went down at 6.10 a.m. just a kilometre away from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, apparently due to a bird hit.
Seven Britons, on a trekking holiday to the foothills of Mount Everest, five Chinese and seven Nepali nationals were on the plane, BBC reported.
The disaster took place barely four months after an airplane carrying 21 people crashed on a cliff in western Nepal in May. At least seven Indians were among the dead then.
Tulasa Pokharel, whose house is located close to Friday’s crash site, said she saw the plane emitting black smoke landing on the bank of Manohara river, reported myrepublica.com.
“That time I could hear people inside the plane wailing and screaming.
“When we went to inform the police and locals about the incident and came back, there was just silence. We saw the plane burning and all of them dead,” she was quoted as saying.
The seven Nepalis killed include three crew members: Pilot Bijaya Tandukar, co-pilot T. Thapa and airhostess Ruja Shakya.
Kumar Magar, a Nepalese soldier, had boarded the plane without ticket.
Authorities said the crash happened after the aircraft hit a bird.
Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, an official, said pilot Tandukar had told the air traffic control that the plane had suffered a bird hit.
Tandukar said the air traffic control had contacted the pilot to inquire about “unusual manoeuvering” of the aircraft during take off.
Dipendra Paude, an official, said the British were members of a trekking group planning to hike in the hills surrounding the Everest, the world’s highest peak.
He said a fire broke out in the plane within two minutes after take off. “We don’t know how old the plane was.”
A member of Sita Airways operations office told The Telegraph that shortly before the fire broke out, the crew became aware of intense heat in the cabin.
“Then the fire began. They were very close to the airport. After two or three minutes it crashed,” the official said.
The aircraft was carrying two groups of trekkers.
The British group, the youngest of which was 27 and the eldest 60, was travelling to the Khumbu Pass for a 16-day trek to three high passes and the Everest Base Camp, said telegraph.co.uk.
Kathmandu, Sep 28 (IANS) The aircraft which crashed near here Friday suffered a bird-hit before it went down, said authorities.
The Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Civil Aviation Office said the crash happened after the aircraft hit a flying bird, reported myrepublica.com
Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, an official, said that pilot Bijaya Tandukar had told the air traffic control that the plane had a bird hit.
Tandukar said this after the air traffic control contacted the pilot to inquire about “unusual manoeuvering” of the aircraft at the time of take off, said Suman.
Nineteen people, including 12 foreigners, were killed in the aircrash that took place minutes after the aircraft took off.