News from Nepal August, 2011 (consolidated)

PM Khanal inducts 10 new ministers after Maoist pressure

Aug 2, 2011 @ 18:57

Despite strong objection from his party CPN-UML and from opposition parties, Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal inducted 10 new ministers—nine from UCPN-Maoist with its Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha leading the team as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister and one from Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum Nepal (MJF-N).

The prime minister’s move comes after the Maoists withdrew the bulk resignation of the other ministers while keeping the support to the government intact. On Saturday evening, Maoist Chairman Dahal had handed over group resignation letters of his party ministers to PM Khanal in order to exert pressure for the reshuffle with 24 new faces.

PM Khanal on Monday administered oath of office and secrecy to 10 new ministers amidst a special function at Presidential Palace at Shital Niwas. However, the prime minister has said that he would tender resignation if the Maoists failed expedite peace process within next 10 days.

No smoke, no sale of tobacco products in public places from Aug 7

Aug 4, 2011 @ 18:47

State-owned news agency RSS reported on Thursday that the much-awaited Tobacco Control and Regulation Act, 2068 is coming into force on August 7.

After this Act coming into effect, those people who smoke, sell and distribute tobacco-related products at public places may have to pay Rs. 100 to Rs. 100,000 as a fine.  Public places include the government bodies, offices, corporations, educational institutions, libraries, airports, public lavatories, cinema halls, cultural centres, hotels, restaurants and eateries, student hostels, stadiums, public transport vehicles and waiting stands, according to RSS.

This Act had been passed on April 11, 2011 by the Legislature-Parliament and the President certified it on April 29.

Statistics show that 44 people are losing lives daily in the country due to diseases related to smoking and tobacco consumption and the State has to spend Rs. 16 billion annually for treatment of patients suffering from these diseases.

According to RSS, the Act prohibits advertising tobacco products and sponsoring of programmes by tobacco companies in the media. If anyone is found to be issuing advertisements and broadcasting promotional messages in the media, the Act has provisions for imposing fine of up to Rs. 100,000 for that offence.

Further, the Act prohibited from selling cigarettes and tobacco products to people below 18 years of age and pregnant women.

In this connection, Speaker Subas Nembang today launched a programme for raising awareness and providing information about the Act. The programme is organized by the Primary Health Service Resource Centre with an objective to conduct public awareness campaigns in 52 different districts to create public pressure for the effective implementation of the Act and to ensure the people’s right to health.

Coincidence Paras Shah and Manisha Koirala went to the same temple on the same day

Aug 5, 2011 @ 19:01

Former Prince Paras Shah visited Pancha Maha Laxmi temple based in Chhaling VDC of Bhaktapur district at around 10 am on Friday and at around 10:30, actress Manisha Koirala arrived in the temple, according to RSS.

Koirala said that it was only the co-incidence, she did not come to meet former prince Paras. She came to the temple only for worshipping goddess Pancha Maha Laxmi.

RSS reported that former Prince Paras Shah expressed his concern over deteriorating condition of the country. Shah said to the media, “As one of the citizens of the country I feel very sad by the lack of the development of the country”. He complained about the slack law and order and also added that a strong law would accelerate the national development.

Shah worshipped the goddess at 12 noon after having a religious talks with Swami Kamalnayanacharya Muktinath Baba for around one hour, according to RSS.

PM will resign on Aug 13: Maoist Chairman Dahal

Aug 6, 2011 @ 18:54

Unified CPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, on Friday, has said that Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal will resign on August 13 with or without an agreement on the peace process.

At a three-party meeting held at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Dahal said this when Prime Minister Khanal replied to the question arose by NC leader Minendra Rajal and UML General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel. According to the report published by media, PM Khanal replied that , “We are here to discuss how to move ahead on the peace process and take it to a logical end since I have already publicly announced that I will resign if there is no agreement on the peace process by August 13.”

Rajal has asked, “Are we here to discuss for August 13 (proposed date of the prime minister’s resignation) or August 31 (the day the Constituent Assembly term expires)” and Pokharel has asked, “Or are we here to review what happened last May 28?”

Media writes quoting another leader present at the meeting, Dahal has said, the Maoist party has decided that PM should resign on August 13 irrespective of the progress on peace process. PM Khanal did not respond to what Dahal said.

Smoking Kills: a Nepali every 30 minutes

Aug 8, 2011 @ 07:51

smoking The Government’s decision to ban smoking in public places came into force in Nepal. From Sunday, anyone smoking in a public place will be expelled from the place or fined Rs 100 or both. If such an individual happens to be a government official, he/she will face the departmental action against non-compliance of smoking ban.

Similarly, the producer and seller of tobacco and tobacco-related products must also abide by the rule of printing the negative effects of the tobacco on at lease 75 percent of the tobacco and cigarette packets. Such a provision is expected to create awareness on the the
consumers about the disadvantages of smoking.

Although, Nepal Cancer Relief Society and various other government and non-government organizations had been advocating against smoking in public places for the past 26 years, the legal terms has only been finalized recently.

It is reported that the consumption of the tobacco-related products claims the life of a Nepali every 30 minutes in Nepal.

Medical practitioners claim that more than two dozen diseases including cancer, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes are attributed to the consumption of tobacco-related products. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 deleterious chemicals like nicotine, tar, carbon-monoxide, lead, nitrosamine. 35 million people meet untimely death due to the diseaseses caused by the consumption of tobacco-related products. (Image edited from, h-a-h-o-l in deviantart)

Girlfriend murdered, a protest organized

Aug 12, 2011 @ 10:01

On Friday, Jyapu Samaj has called for a Lalitpur closure in protest against Roji Maharjan’s murder. Ramkaji Awale, the President of Jyapu Samaj Yala said, “We are organising peaceful protest on Friday to showcase our unity and also make the government realize that such criminal activities are a grave threat to society.

Last Friday, Roji Maharjan, 21, was shot dead in the Simpani jungle of Naalu VDC in Lalitpur at around 12 am. Police recovered her body Wednesday morning. Subash Upreti, son of well-to-do parents based at New Baneshwor, was arrested by Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) along with Sachit and Hussein Rai. Rai was arrested for hiding information while Raju and Kumar are yet to be arrested.

Police said, Upreti,21, returned home from the UK without completing his BBA studies five months ago. He had love relationship with Roji when they were classmates at Nepal College of Management (NCM), Dhobighat.

The relationship fissure between the two batch-mates of Nepal College of Management took the nastiest turn as attempts by Subash including a suicide attempt reportedly to win back Roji failed, the police said.

According to investigation officers, Subash planned to kill Roji with  Raju Lohar, Kumar Ghising and Sachit Khadka of Thasikhel, all local criminals. As per their plan, Subash picked Roji from Pulchowk at 11 am and rode her on his motorbike. Before riding with Subash, Roji had parked her scooter at a bank at Pulchwok.

As the couple reached Nallu, Raju stopped them and fired a bullet on her head with his revolver,” said the police. Then Subash and Raju dumped the body in a small gorge covered with trees.

Roji´s family subsequently received two text messages through her cell phone sent to her brother´s mobile the same evening demanding a ransom of Rs 3 million for her release.

Subash was arrested following clues garnered from call details. Kumar had taken a token money of Rs 175,000 from Subash for the crime as media quoted. Police recovered two rounds of 7.62 MM bullets during a raid at his rented room at Thasikhel.

Hundreds rally in Narayanghat for gay rights

Aug 15, 2011 @ 04:57

AP reported that hundreds of gay, lesbian, transgender people marched with supporters in a southern Nepal town today to demand equal rights under a new constitution the country is in the process of writing.

On the occasion of Nepal’s traditional festival of Gaijatra honouring the dead, the estimated 500 demonstrators danced, chanted slogans and marched around Narayanghat, a town. This is the first time that activists have organized a rally outside the capital. In the past, the gay community has been holding demonstrations on Gaijatra in the capital only.

Gay rights activists and parliament member Sunil Pant said their main aim was to spread their campaign outside the capital city. Pant added more people are coming out in the open to declare their sexual preference in the urban areas, but people in rural villages are still afraid.

In Narayanghat, two decorated elephants led the rally following by musical bands drawing the local people to the streets. Many of them wore saris of bright red, pink, yellow colour and dancing with the music, and holding banners that said: “Sexual rights for all. Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender right are human rights.”

PM Khanal resigned, Prez sets deadline to form national consensus govt

Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:24

After crossing the self-imposed deadline for resignation on Saturday, Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal resigned from the post on Sunday evening. PM Khanal tendered his resignation to President Ram Baran Yadav after the Central Committee (CC) meeting of CPN (UML) approved his proposal to resign from the post.

PM did not resign by midnight Saturday due to the ruling parties’ advice for not to resign leaving the country in limbo. PM had announced to resign on August 13, Saturday if he fails to make headway in peace process by then.

As the resignation letter is received from PM Khanal, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has summoned the political parties to form national consensus government by Aug 21.

President’s Office informed that President Yadav urged to form a consensus government by August 21 at 5 pm, as per Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal.

As per the article 63 (2) of the interim constitution, if national consensus government is not formed within the given deadline, there will be election in the parliament for the majority government.

Earthquake tremor felt in the Valley

Aug 17, 2011 @ 11:50

An earthquake of magnitude 5.0 on the Richter scale was recorded by the Department of Mines and Geology and the National Seismological Centre, Lainchaur, Kathmandu on Monday night at 10:33 pm.

According to a press statement released by the National Seismological Centre, it has been projected that epicenter of the earthquake was in an eastern village Bijulikot of Ramechhap district that borders Okhaldhunga.

The tremor was felt up to Kathmandu in the west.

Two PM candidates; SLMM vows to play decisive role for nat’l gov’t

Aug 18, 2011 @ 08:08

Tuesday, the Unified CPN-Maoist reinforced its earlier decision to name party Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai for the post of prime minister.

After the meeting of central office bearers at party headquarters Paris Danda, Maoist Secretary CP Gajurel said the party would now take initiatives to form a national consensus government under the leadership of Vice-chairman Bhattarai.

As part of this campaign, senior leaders of the UCPN (Maoist) met with the leaders of Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), according to media.

Earlier, the SLMM–an alliance of five Madhes-based parties–had decided that their support will be with the party that is serious on Madhes issues among the three major parties.

After the meeting held at the office of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum–Loktantrik (MJF-L), Bhattarai said to the media persons that both the parties have agreed to form a consensus government.

According to MJF-L Chairman, SLMM has committed to play a decisive role to form a national consensus government. He also said that the decision to support which party will be taken after holding talks with the leaders of Nepali Congress (NC).

NC has projected its senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba for leading a national consensus government.

Vehicular Movement completely halted

Aug 18, 2011 @ 15:46

RSS reported that vehicular movement has been completely halted on Thursday due to rented vehicle strike enforced by Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs.

Vehicles from Hetauda to Kathmandu, Janakpur, Birgunj including other cities and from Kathmandu to other parts of the country including Hetauda are not plying due to the effect of strike, informed Chairperson of Narayani Transport Entrepreneurs Association, Hira Lal Shrestha.

Shrestha further informed that the Association has decided to bring the operation of rented vehicles to a standstill for an indefinite period protesting the government’s decision to allow the operation of additional bus, minibus, and microbus in Kathmandu.

A nationwide transport strike was called with various 41 demands including a hike in the transport fare, annulment of the provision of custom exemption to cooperatives while buying taxis and the formation of a separate transport ministry, as quoted by another media.

The talk held between representatives of the transport association and government officials at around 13:00 was ended inconclusively. Saroj Sitaula, treasurer of the Federation said, till the arrested transport entrepreneurs and workers are not freed, we won’t stay in talk. About 18 transport entrepreneurs and workers have been arrested from Gaushala, Kalimati and Maharajgunj, according to media.

Prohibitory orders in the capital

Aug 19, 2011 @ 11:47

From Thursday, the Kathmandu district administration office (DAO) has issued prohibitory orders in various sensitive areas in the capital in view of possible agitations as August 29 deadline for the Constituent Assembly is fast approaching.

According to RSS, prohibitory orders have been imposed in the peripheries of the office of the President and the Vice President, official residence of the Prime Minister at Baluwatar, Singha Durbar and Constituent Assembly building at Naya Baneshwor.

The prohibited places are: –

  • Fifty metres left and right of the offices of President and Vice President
  • Sections of road from Maitighar Mandala to Singha Durbar southern gate
  • From Padmodaya High School to Singha Durbar western gate
  • The area between Singha Durbar western gate to Bhadrakali temple
  • Fifty metres from the New Baneshwor chowk into Sankhamul, Maitighar and Hanumansthan.

Mass assemblies, rallies and protest programmes have been restricted in these areas. Chief District Officer, Kathmandu, Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, in a press release, stated that the prohibition will remain in effect until another notice.

Teacher penalized for manhandling girl student

Aug 21, 2011 @ 17:05

Krishna Bilas Poudel, a teacher of Rastriya secondary school in Rupakot-7 of northern Tanahun, has been penalized Rs. 110,000 on the charge of thrashing girl students, according to RSS.

So far, this is the ever first incident in Nepal to impose penalty to teacher for allegedly beating students. After ruthlessly beating up four girl students of grade 6 on August 13, Teacher Poudel was absconding.

School headmaster Purna Prasad Adhikari said that Poudel came in contact with the school only after joint meeting of school management committee and local guardians decided to put forward a process to take action against him through District Education Office if he did not attend school within five days.

The joint meeting was held a day after the incident and decided to take action of penalizing against the teacher.

It was decided to deposit the amount received from the teacher to the revolving fund of the school, said Cheeja Kunwar, a local guardian.

Krishna Janmastami being observed

Aug 21, 2011 @ 17:08

All over the country, hindu people are celebrating Krishna Janmashtami on Sunday.

Devotees are queuing up in famous Krishna temples in Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and other places since early this morning to mark Sri Krishna Janmasthami, the birthday of Lord Krishna.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Sri Krishna is considered to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Krishna was born at midnight on ashtami in a jail, where his maternal uncle Kansa had held his parents captive. He is the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva.

Devotees solemnize the festival with lots of joy and enthusiasm and throng to the temples of Lord Krishna. Devotees spend the whole night chanting prayers and devotional songs and dancing.

Govt registers amendment bill to extend CA term

Aug 23, 2011 @ 16:34

The government registered a bill for the amendment of Interim Constitution to extend the Constituent Assembly term by three months at the Parliamentary Secretariat in Singha Durbar on Tuesday.

A delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari registered the amendment proposal on behalf of the government. The CA term that was extended by three months in May end is expiring on August 31. This is the ninth amendment bill of the interim constitution.

The UCPN-Maoist ministers boycotted the cabinet meeting as well as the parliamentary meeting this afternoon objecting the decision of cabinet for extending the CA term by three months. The Maoist party had recommended to extend it by six months.

19 participants selected for Miss Nepal 2011

Aug 24, 2011 @ 17:25

19 participants have been finally selected to compete for the glorious and most popular beauty title of Nepal, Miss Nepal 2011. This beauty pageant aims to explore the beauty and talent of Nepali Women.

All the selected participants will compete for the finale at Army officers club Bhadrakali on 30th of August.
(photos removed)

PM elections on Sunday

Aug 26, 2011 @ 08:16

On Thursday morning, the meeting of Business Advisory Committee that took place at Singhadurbar in the Capital decided to hold the first round of the elections coming Sunday.

The first round of prime ministerial elections will be held at 1 pm on Aug 28.

The meeting of parliamentary Business Advisory Committee also fixed Friday as the deadline to file nomination for the candidacy for prime ministerial chair and the constitution amendment process would start from Aug 29

As per the amended provision of parliament of parliament regulations, there will be three rounds of voting. The third round will be held if no one gets the required number of votes in the first two rounds of polling and in the third round, those two getting the most number of votes can only contest, and lawmaker will be neither allowed to stay neutral nor boycott the election.

Update: Dr. Bhattarai elected new PM on 28th August.

Dr. Bhattarai elected new PM on Sunday

Aug 28, 2011 @ 12:44

Dr. Baburam Bhattari of UCPN-Maoist has been elected Nepal’s new prime minister on Sunday.

Dr. Bhattarai got 340 votes, while opponent Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Paudel secured only 235 votes. 575 lawmakers were present in the House this afternoon.

Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang, announced the results, Dr. Bhattarai bagged the majority vote in the present 594-member House to be elected as the new prime minister as per the constitutional provisions and the House regulations.

Father’s Day being observed

Aug 30, 2011 @ 06:52

More about Father’s Day, Kushe Aunshi and Moti Jayanti (In Nepali).
People all over the country are observing Father’s Day (Buwa ko mukh herne din) and Kushe Aunshi festival on Monday.

The major market places in the Valley have been busy since early morning with people shopping for sweets, fruits, and buying gifts for their dearly loved fathers. Today is the occasion of commemorating the love and the tie between fathers and their children and children bows to touch their father’s feet with their foreheads to express their reverence.

Those whose fathers have already passed away visit Gokarneswor temple and other sacred spots, and pray for peace to the departed soul. They also perform ‘shraddha’ to honor their deceased fathers.

On this Kushe Aunshi, Brahmins visit different houses distributing Kush, a sacred plant, in different houses chanting mantras of Veda.

PM Baburam Bhattarai has opted Nepal made vehicle ‘Mustang’ jeep

Aug 30, 2011 @ 15:31

Newly appointed PM Baburam Bhattarai has opted to ride a made-in Nepal vehicle, ‘Mustang’ jeep as a slap in the face of his predecessor. After his appointment as PM, did not continue tradition of choosing luxurious vehicles.

Bhattarai arrived at Singha Durbar in his new ‘Mustang’ van, to take charge of his new office, after being sworn in as the new prime minister. The vehicle was first brought at the Home Ministry and later it was taken to the president’s residence at Shital Niwas, where Bhattarai took oath.

Bhattarai’s ‘unique choice’ was admired by everyone wherever it went on Monday.

‘Mustang’ is the first vehicle to be made in Nepal by Hulas Motors. The vehicle neither has an air conditioner nor an automated window screen.

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