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EC directs government for security arrangement in NA election

Published Date : January 19, 2024

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: The Election Commission has directed the government and the Home Ministry to make arrangement of movement of candidates and voters only after coordinating with respective District Administration Office while participating in election related programmes for the National Assembly election scheduled for January 25.

            The government has been asked to make necessary security arrangements on the route leading to polling stations and residential areas of Province Assembly members, chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of rural municipalities and mayors, deputy-mayors as they are the voters and they live in different places in the province.

            Twenty seats at the NA are going to be vacant from March 3. Of 20 seats, the election is scheduled for 19 seats on January 25.  The EC issued such directives on the basis of recommendation of High-Level Election Security Committee formed under Election Security (Management) Directive-2078 in view of possible security challenges, said Assistant Spokesperson at the EC, Shreedhar Panthi.

            Office of the Election Officers have already been established at Province Election Office in Morang, Dhanusha, Makawanpur, Dang, Surkhet and Kailali and election code of conduct has been enforced since January 16.

            The EC, through THE Government of Nepal, and the Home Ministry, directed the security bodies to ensure effective and reliable election security arrangements making District Election Security Committee active and to provide details after carrying out necessary supervision in course of implementation of election code of conduct.

Minister pledges to resolve issues of BPKIHS from senate meeting

            Dharan, Jan 19: Minister for Health and Population Mohan Bahadur Basnet has pledged to summon the senate meeting of the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) to address the recent challenges Institute facing.

            Minister Basnet said this during a meeting with a delegation from Dharan at the Ministry of Health and Population on Thursday.

            On the occasion, Minister Basnet has agreed to prepare a proposal to submit at the governing council by immediately holding a meeting of the executive committee regarding the promotion of Institute’s teachers and officials. Likewise, agreement has been made to summon the special meeting of the governing council.

            Minister Basent said that the senate meeting will address the issues of promotion of teachers and officials and added that he was highly sensitive to the issues of the Institute.

            Minister Basnet shared that he held a joint meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Chief Secretary Baikuntha Aryal to address the issues of the Institute.

            He shared that Chief Secretary Aryal has been entrusted to do necessary homework to address the demands of the agitating sides of the Institute.

            The delegation from Dharan included former minister Min Bishwakarma, province assembly member Bijaya Rai, CPN (Unified Socialist) central committee member Jiban Rai and others.

PM interacts with Nepalis in Uganda 

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, who landed in Kampala of Uganda on Thursday evening leading a Nepali delegation to attend the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), has held a meeting with Nepali diaspora community in Uganda.

            After meeting the Nepali diaspora community, PM Prachanda said he was delighted to meet and interact with the Nepalis there, the PM’s secretariat said.

            On the occasion, the PM said the country cannot progress without addressing the issues of Nepalis living abroad. “I got an opportunity to know the sufferings of Nepalis living in African countries,” the PM stated.

            During the meeting, Minister for Foreign Affairs NP Saud urged the Nepali citizens residing in Uganda to work to uplift the nation’s dignity adding that Nepalis in Uganda are serving themselves as the non-residential ambassadors of Nepal.

            Chairman of Non-Resident Nepalis Association (NRNA) Uganda chapter, Rama Aryal, said the Nepalis community in Uganda was elated to receive the PM there and experienced the PM’s guardianship.    

            According to patron of NRNA Uganda chapter Ramesh Kandel, around 350 Nepalis are working and residing in Uganda and contributing to the nation’s development, construction and trade communities.  

            Present on the occasion were PM Dahal’s daughter Ganga Dahal, Foreign Affairs Minister Saud, PM’s foreign affairs advisor Dr Rupak Sapkota, Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal and senior officials of the Nepal government. 

            The NAM Summit is being held in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, from today. PM Dahal is scheduled to address the Summit today itself that is being held under the theme, ‘deepening global cooperation for shared global affluence’.

            It is said the 19th Nam Summit is to dwell on the ministerial report, review implementation status of the 18th NAM Summit and pass Kampala Declaration.

            Nepal is a founding member of the NAM and has been attending the NAM Summit actively since its establishment in 1961. Non-alignment is one of the fundamental foreign principles of Nepal.

Free ambulance service to pregnant women

            Gorkha, Jan 19: The Gandaki Rural Municipality in Gorkha district has started ambulance service for free to the pregnant and new moms of the rural municipality. The ambulance service was started to take the pregnant women to the birthing centres and other hospitals and take them back home, rural municipality Chairman Dipak Timelsina said.

            “The pregnant women should be taken to any of the hospitals out of this rural municipality for labour pain. In this circumstance, the rural municipality has started providing ambulance service for free,” Timelsina said.

            Economically poor women would benefit largely with the service, it is said. “The risk for women and infants’ lives is high while giving birth to the babies at home. With the availability of free ambulance service, the trend of giving birth to the babies at home will completely end,” he added.

            The ambulance service is accessible to all the citizens from all ward and has come into operation from Wednesday.

Singer Vaidhya no more

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Veteran singer and litterateur has passed away. He was 77. Suffering from diabetes for long, the popular singer passed away at Kathmandu Valley Hospital in the Capital City at 12:30 am today, a family source confirmed.

            Singer Vaidhya, who underwent kidney transplant in the recent past, was also suffering from cold. He had some issues of paralysis as well.  

            Vaidhya has sung 600 plus songs in Nepali and Newari languages. 

            Born at Nardevi of Kathmandu in 2003 BS, Vaidhya’s ‘Sapana Bhulai Sara’, Kati Pyasi Chha Jindagi’ and many other songs are popular among audiences at home and abroad.

            Vaidhya had won the first prize from the National Song Conference, Chhinnalata Song Prize and several other awards during his musical and literary careers.

            A family source said that Vaidhya’s body will be kept at Nepal Academy of Music and Drama in Naxal for tributes and the final rites will be performed at Pashupati Aryaghat today itself.  

            He leaves behind his spouse, two daughters and a son.

Madhes Province marking 6th Sacrifice Day today

            Janakpurdham, Jan 19: The 6th Sacrifice Day is being marked in Madhes Province today commemorating the completion of 17 years of Madhes Movement happened for the cause of federalism and inclusion.

The Madhes Province Government and Madhes-centric political parties mark this day (Magh 5) as the Sacrifice Day to commemorate the martyrdom of Ramesh Mahato, who was killed during a protest at Lahan of Siraha on this day. Mahato was a student at Little Star Boarding School based in Lahan. 

The Madhesi People’s Rights Forum had led the movement in Madhes expressing its serious reservation to the exclusion of federalism and inclusiveness in the Interim Constitution issued after the success of the People’s Movement-II. 

The 21-day-long Madhes movement was postponed after the agreement with the government to address the dual issues of the protestors. 

The sympathizers of the Madhes movement also call it a Madhes resurrection.

On the occasion of Madhesh Sacrifice Day, the Madhes Province Government has announced a public holiday today.

Fifteen hurt in bus accident

            Khalanga (Darchula), Jan 19: Fifteen passengers have been injured when a bus heading towards Mahendranagar from the Darchula district headquarters, Khalanga, met an accident near Dumping Site, Mahakali municipality-5 this morning.

            Information Officer at the District Police Office, Darchula, Gyanendra Bahadur Singh, said among those injured in the incident, one is in serious condition, two are moderately injured and the rest have received minor injuries.

            The injured ones are receiving treatment at the District Hospital, Darchula. The bus bearing the number plate Su Pa Pra 02001 Kha 1031 fell some 20 metres off the road, it is said.

Chandragiri municipality makes arrangement of municipal police

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Chandragiri municipality has made arrangement of municipal police. The municipality with the support of the Armed Police Force selected 24 municipal police personnel and imparted basic training to them. They were also conferred with insignia.

            At a programme organised on Thursday, Chief Administrative Officer Hemraj Aryal and Deputy Inspector General of the Armed Police Force, Kamal Giri, in presence of Mayor Ghanshyam Giri, conferred insignia to the municipal police.

            Deputy Mayor Basanti Shrestha, Municipality Spokesperson Krishna Prasad Khadgi, were also present on the occasion.

            Mayor Giri shared that the municipality had demanded application for 25 posts of municipal police, all quotas were fulfilled excepted municipal police chief. The application for the post of municipal police chief would be announced again as none of the candidate for the post passed the exam.

            The municipal police team would be mobilized under the command of Assistant Sub-Inspector and arrangement of necessary means and resources for municipal police would be made, he mentioned.

            Training related to emergency rescue, office security, security of VIPs, traffic management, human rights, drill, fire douse and crowd management was imparted to the municipal police.

CM Pandey emphasizes commitment from all for effective planning

            Madhyabindu (Nawalparasi), Jan 19: Chief Minister of Gandaki Province Surendra Raj Pandey expressed his confidence that the prosper Gandaki Province could be realized if they could start works along with effective planning.

            At an interaction held for the second five-year periodic plan for the Gandaki Province in Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Susta Purba) today, CM Pandey said that they had held the interaction to solicit suggestions for formulating periodic plans to establish the basis for the sustainable development and devise plans for coordination and cooperation among the three-tier governments by incorporating every sector.

            He assured that production-oriented and self-reliant economy, sustainable energy security, modernization of agriculture, agriculture processing and mineral excavation, establishment of industries, technical and vocational education and tourisms would be accorded high priority in the upcoming period plan.Similarly, Gandaki Province’s Minister for Agriculture and Land Management Mahendra Dhwoj GC pledged to formulate period plan considering connecting agriculture to production.

            Likewise, Province’s Minister for Economic Affairs Jit Prakash Ale Magar shared that while devising periodic plan, the main basis for economic prosperity would be identified and the employment-oriented plan will be taken forward.

            Suggestions were being collected from various organizations in local level and district level for preparing periodic plan, informed Dr Krishna Chandra Devkota, Vice-Chairperson of the Policy and Planning Commission in the Province.

            Of the 11 districts in the Province, suggestions have been collected from all districts except for Kaski, said Devkota. The provincial government aims to prepare draft of the plan by mid-March and it would be given a final touch by mid-April, according to the Gandaki Province government.

Number of Jajarkot earthquake beneficiaries reaches 79,599

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: The number of beneficiaries affected from Jajarkot earthquake has reached 79,599. It has increased by more than 12,000 in recent period. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, the number of beneficiaries has reached 79,599 after local levels identified and sent the data of beneficiaries who remained to be identified.

            Chief of Private Houses and Reconstruction Section of NRA, Chandra Prakash Adhikari, said earlier the number of beneficiaries was 67,000 and it reached 79,599 after identifying the additional number of beneficiaries till January 18.

            The NRA earlier had estimated that the number of beneficiaries would reach 80,150, he added. The government has already allocated Rs 2.26 billion so far for the beneficiaries. The government had estimated Rs 4.75 billion for the construction of temporary houses.

            Chief Executive Officer of NRA, Anil Pokharel, said the 50,000 beneficiaries have received Rs 1.26 billion so far. Similarly, 24,010 temporary houses have already been constructed and 10,000 houses are under construction, he added.

            The rest of the families are in the phase of signing grant agreement. An earthquake measuring 6.4 in the Richter scale occurred on November 3 in Jajarkot, resulting in huge loss of lives and properties in Jajarkot and West Rukum.

Four arrested with Rs 23 million of undisclosed source    

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: The team of Department of Revenue Investigation arrested four people with more than Rs 23 million of undisclosed sources today.

Director General of the Department, Nawaraj Dhungana, told , that the team arrested Naresh Agrawal and his assistant with that amount.

            The amount was found while the team of the Department raided the house of Agrawal, it was said. The seized amount is speculated to be of illegal ‘hundi’ transaction.

            The Department is preparing to take the date from the court to detain the arrested ones for forwarding the investigation into the case, according to Director General Dhungana.

Weekly weather forecast: Possibility of light rain and snowfall

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: The Westerly wind has partial influences in the country at present and the weather will be cloudy with chances of light rain and snowfall due to this, stated the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Meteorological Forecasting Division. 

            Senior meteorologist at the Division, Pratibha Manandhar said the sky over Kathmandu will be partly cloudy to generally clear today. There is possibility of light rain at one or two places of the high hilly and mountainous region of the country today.

            “It is cloudy in the hilly region and there are chances of sporadic to light rainfall at one or two places of the high hilly and mountainous region. However, there is less chance of rainfall. The fog in the Tarai belt is exiting from the western part of the Tarai. There is no weather system likely to cause heavy rain,” meteorologist Manandhar said.

            According to her, cold will increase in Tarai at the time of fog cover and in the high hilly and mountainous region as there are chances of cloudy and light rainfall there. Manandhar urged people to adopt precaution against cold as this month is the time of chilly weather.

            The weather forecast bulletin issued by the Division states that the weather is presently partly to generally cloudy in the hilly region of Koshi, Bagmati and Gandaki provinces while remaining partly cloudy to mainly fair in the rest of the regions. There is possibility of light snowfall at one or two places of the high hilly and mountainous region of Koshi, Bagmati and Gandaki provinces.

            As per the weekly weather forecast for agriculture for the period of January 19-25, the Westerly wind will have partial impact throughout this week.

There are chances of light to moderate rainfall and snowfall at a few places of the mountainous region of Karnali province towards the mid-week and the week end.

Similarly, there is possibility of intermittent to light rain and snowfall, at one or two places, and of light rain and snowfall at a few places of the mountainous region of Koshi province in the beginning and the end of the week.

             Likewise, there are chances of light rain at one or two places of the hilly region of Koshi, Bagmati, Gandaki and Karnali provinces towards the middle and the end of the week.

            The maximum and the minimum temperature of most of the places of the country are likely to drop slightly. The Division forecast occurrence of light to moderate fog in the Tarai region, and dense fog at one or two places of the region. It stated that but the fog will gradually disappear towards the noon and afternoon.

One killed in fire

            Lamjung, Jan 19: A person was killed when a house caught fire at Syage, Marsyangdi rural municipality-4 in Lamjung district. Forty-four years old Santamaya Shrestha died after fire engulfed the house last night, according to police. The victim’s husband, 45-year-old Rajendra Shrestha, however escaped he fire by running out, Police Inspector at the District Police Office, Thaneshwor Chapain, said. He added that although the locals and police tried to douse the fire, the house was completely gutted.

            The Shrestha couple from Besisahar municipality-2 had been operating a retail shop and cloth store at the place for the last 11 years. Goods and articles inside the house were destroyed by fire, and the police are assessing the damage, it is said. Only the wife and husband duo lived in the house and their children live in Kathmandu.

Measles cases detected in Jhapa 

            Jhapa, Jan 19: Cases of measles have been detected in two out of 15 local levels in Jhapa district. Immunization Officer at the District Health Office, Jhapa, Raj Kumar Pokharel, said cases of measles were detected in Jhapa rural municipality and Birtamod municipality.

            He shared that seven measles cases were recorded in two weeks in the district – six cases in Jhapa rural municipality and one in Birtamod municipality.

Three members of a single family were also found infected with measles in course of conducting blood test ar Sharanamati health post.

            Similarly, a five-year-old girl of Birtamod municipality-3 was found suffering from measles. The measles was confirmed on the girl in course of blood test at Birtamod Municipal Hospital who was brought to the hospital two days ago for treatment. The girl has now been kept in isolation.

Ballot papers transported to polling stations for NA election

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: The Election Commission has transported ballot papers to the related Election Officers’ office in all seven provinces for the upcoming National Assembly (NA) election.

            A total of 6,910 ballot papers of 38 types printed in accordance with the approved design and standards for the January 25’s upper house election has been transported to the respective offices, the Commission said.

            The province assembly members, chairperson and vice chairperson of rural municipalities and mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities are the voters in the NA member election being held for 19 seats.

            The white ballot paper having green ink and election symbol has been printed for the province assembly members while white paper with red ink and election symbols have been printed for the chairperson and vice chairperson of rural municipalities and mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities, it was shared.

            Deputy Spokesperson at the Commission, Shreedhar Panthi, said based on the number of the electoral college and the number of vacant posts there are four types of 920 ballot papers for two posts in Koshi Province, four types of 940 ballot papers for two posts in Madhesh Province, eight types of 1,760 ballot papers for four posts in the Bagmati Province have been transported.

            Similarly, there are four types of 740 ballot papers for two posts in Lumbini Province, six types of 750 ballot papers for three posts in Karnali Province and six types of 900 ballot papers for three posts in Sudurpaschim Province.

Budget calendar amended through ordinance 

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: The Fiscal Procedures and Financial Responsibility Act-2076 BS has been amended through ordinance ensuring some new changes in the provisions for budget calendar.

            Amendment got an impetus with President Ramchandra Paudel issuing an ordinance- Fiscal Procedures and Financial Responsibility Act (First Amendment) Ordinance-2080 BS on last Thursday.

            The ordinance mandates the provincial and priorities of the budget should be presented to the federal parliament three months prior to presenting the Appropriation Bill (annual budget) which means principle and priorities of the budget should be presented in the parliament within every February 17.

            Similarly, the timeline for budget ceiling has been revised by considering amendment in the Fiscal Procedures and Financial Responsibility Act-2076 BS, said Dhaniram Sharma, Spokesperson at the Ministry of Finance.

            There is a legal provision that the federal government has to present Appropriation Bill in the parliament on Jeth 15, every year.  Similarly, the suggestions should be given to the government within a month after holding discussion on the principles and priorities of budget and programmes.

            “A provision has been made where suggestions should be submitted at the Finance Ministry within a month (Chait 15) if there is any issue to be included or removed as well as any suggestion and directives holding discussion in principle once budget’s principles and priorities are submitted in the federal parliament”, added Spokesperson Sharma. 

            Earlier, there was a provision that lawmakers had to give suggestions to the government within seven days of presenting the budget’s principles and priorities in the parliament.

            Point no 29 of the annual budget of the current fiscal year 2080/81 BS has mentioned that an arrangement would be made to present the principles and priorities of the Appropriation Bill within the last of Falgun once ministry-level  budget ceiling  is determined from coming fiscal year.

            The ordinance has been brought for the implementation of this provision of the budget. It is believed that it would help to formulate a realistic budget on the basis of lawmakers’ suggestions.

NPC Vice-Chair and WB Country Director meet

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: National Planning Commission (NPC) Vice Chairman Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha and World Bank (WB) Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Faris Hadad-Zervos held a meeting today.

            In the meeting took place at the NPC office in Singha Durbar, discussions were held on how to synchronize between the WB’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) and the 16th periodic plan of Nepal, the NPC Vice-Chair’s Secretariat stated.

            During the meeting, Vice-Chair Shrestha said that the 16th plan which is currently in drafting process will be centred on infrastructure building, social sector reforms, increasing production and employment generation.

            He stated that the 16th plan gives special attention to identify and resolve the existing structural problems.

            The NPC Vice-Chair expressed gratitude to the development partners, including the WB, for their assistance to Nepal.

Finance Minister seeks substantive submissions for Investment Summit

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat has sought substantive submissions from the private sector regarding the third Investment Summit taking place in Kathmandu on coming April 28-29.

            In the second meeting of the Investment Summit Steering Committee on Friday, the Finance Minister urged the private sector to identify potential foreign investors and projects and provide cogent submissions in view of the event.

            He also directed authorities concerned to expedite efforts for policy, legal and procedural reforms and selections of projects.  As he said, to attract investment from foreign including the Non-Resident Nepali community and domestic private sector is the priority of the Summit.

            The government is hosting the Summit in coordination of the private sector and development partners.

            In the meeting, Investment Summit Secretariat coordinator and Investment Board’s Chief Executive Officer Sushil Bhatta made a briefing on the preparations for the Summit.

            The meeting was attended by various ministers including the Industry, Commerce and Supplies; Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation; Forest and Environment; Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation; and the Urban Development, Vice Chair of the National Planning  Commission, secretaries from various ministries, Nepal Rastra Bank’s deputy governor and  the private sector.

‘Professional training essential for self-reliance, entrepreneurship’

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Surendra Raj Acharya, has viewed professional training helps people become self-reliant by fostering entrepreneurship.

            Minister Acharya said it while inaugurating the training organized by Qatar Charity and the Hill Nepal. He appreciated that Al-Hail Professional Training and Cultural Centre has helped in professional training and income generation to people.

            He also inaugurated a building of Al-Hail Professional Training and Cultural Centre. Acharya viewed, “Contribution made by Qatar Charity in social and cultural sectors in Nepal is laudable.”

            The training would further strengthen two-country relations, he believed.

            On the occasion, Chairman of Muslim Commission, Samim Minya Ansari, reminded that the Qatar Charity had played a significant role on education and skill development. The Centre does not belong to only one group or faith, but to entire country, he asserted.

            The building constructed at joint efforts of Hill Nepal and Qatar Charity was handed over to Aslam Society.

            Chairman of Aslam Society, Najrul Hasan, informed that the building would be utilized for providing technical and vocational training. It would be used for the upliftment of Nepalis’ lifestyle, he added.

            Moreover, Member Secretary at Social Welfare Council, Manoj Bhatta, assured that Council would facilitate the Centre for its works.

            Programme Director of Qatar Charity Nepal, Mohammad Wakas, informed that the Centre would be beneficial for kill development among local community.

PM Dahal urges global north to take together global south in prosperity journey

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has urged the global north not to walk alone on journey of prosperity.

            PM Dahal said it while addressing the 19th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) under the theme of ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence’ in Kampala, Uganda, on Friday.

            “Global north must understand that it is not only unethical and immoral but is also unsustainable to leave half of humanity excluded from the journey of prosperity,” PM Dahal reminded.

            Similarly, he viewed NAM must stress on the economic development and prosperity of its members through the timely achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals.

            “To overcome the resource deficit, along with North-South and Triangular cooperation, we should also enhance South-South cooperation as many fellow NAM members have made significant progress both in socio-economic development as well as technological advancement,” PM Dahal stated, adding that

            NAM should accord high priority to addressing the institutional and capacity constraints being faced by developing and least developed countries on ‘Science, Technology, and Innovation’, which have become a game changer in today’s world.

            Moreover, the PM sought NAM’s role in reforming the United Nations. “Our multilateral institutions should be inclusive, transparent, and democratic to ensure enduring peace and shared prosperity,” he underlined. 

            He also reminded NAM’s role to address common and contemporary challenges we are facing.

            “I bring the message of peace from the birthplace of Gautam Buddha for the success of this Summit at a time when peace is much needed element for shared prosperity,” he shared in the event.

            He also expressed sincere gratitude to the Government and the people of the Republic of Uganda for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to us since our arrival to this beautiful city of Kampala.

            “I join fellow leaders in acknowledging the commendable work of the outgoing Chair, the Republic of Azerbaijan, for successfully hosting the 18thNAM Summit and advancing the Movement despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, reminding that NAM has come a long way since 1955 when the Bandung Afro-Asian Conference was held, and the seed of NAM was sown.

Injustice, inequality worrying

            According to him, the Movement had been instrumental in achieving political independence, freedom, decolonization, and sovereignty for many countries in the world. It has remained a beacon of hope for our dignity, pride, solidarity, and cooperation.

            PM Dahal worried that though the NAM has continued to struggle for a just, equitable, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous world order, today’s world is full of injustice, inequality, division, discord, and exclusion.

            Protectionism, violent extremism, and war and conflict are on the rise, while military expenditures and the arms race are soaring, he lamented.

COVID-19 causes deprivation, destitution

            “Since the last Summit, enormous challenges befell humanity with deaths, deprivation, displacement, and destitution of millions of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic, among others,” Dahal reminded.

            He explained that post-pandemic recovery remained slow, skewed, and uneven, hitting hardest the poorest and weakest segments of society. This is further exacerbated by the triple planetary crisis.

            Similarly, the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, which are critical to our people in ushering in an era of hope, dignity, and decent life, seems mission impossible.

            As he argued, the global financial architecture must be reformed to enable countries in special situations to secure finance in achieving their development visions and goals. To provide development justice to these countries, the developed countries must fulfill their financing commitment without delay.

Fair trade must 

            Similarly, international trade must be just, fair, and inclusive which benefits the bottom billions.

            Globalization, as we believe has not lifted all boats uniformly, rather it has increased income disparities and the concentration of wealth in the hands of few countries, he explained.

NAM stands for cooperation: PM Dahal

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the history of human civilization has abundantly taught us that it is only the ‘cooperation’ through which humanity can achieve greater and better. 

            PM Dahal said it while addressing the 19th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) under the theme of ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence’ in Kampala, Uganda, on Friday. “NAM itself stands for deepening solidarity, fraternity, and cooperation. We must strive to achieve shared affluence through stronger collaboration among ourselves,” the Prime Minister said. 

            As he said during the forum, prosperity cannot be the privilege of a few. It must be for everyone and every country. We must create a level playing field within and among the comity of nations so that global affluence will be shared as equitably as possible.

            Dahal commented that the consequences of old and new conflicts have engulfed not only the region but also the entire world, particularly the Global South. “This is high time that we find an enduring solution for peace and security through political dialogue and diplomacy with respect and dignity for all.”

            As the most representative organization after the United Nations, the Movement must play a defining role in establishing a just, equitable, and prosperous world for security, stability, and prosperity, PM Dahal asserted.

            As he said, NAM’s timeless values and principles have remained sacrosanct to us; and adherence to which has been guiding us to achieve a peaceful, harmonious, and prosperous world.

Non-alignment base of Nepal’s foreign policy

            The government head apprised the Summit that Nepal pursues independent, objective, balanced, and non-aligned foreign policy. “Our foreign policy is based on sovereign equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, and peaceful settlement of disputes. Principles of non-alignment constitute one of the fundamental tenets of Nepal’s foreign policy.”

            Nepal believes in the eternal truths of Peaceful Coexistence as taught by the icon of peace, Gautam Buddha. Likewise, Unity in Diversity, and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam meaning ‘the world is one family’ have been the way of our daily lives. These values are deeply rooted in our socio-cultural ethos since time immemorial.

            As a peace-loving nation, Nepal deplores all kinds of conflicts and geo-political rivalries in the world. The conflict situation in Ukraine and Gaza is deeply distressing.

Nepal for peace, stability in Middle East

            Nepal looks forward to seeing peace and stability in the Middle East with a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within secure and recognized international borders based on relevant United Nations resolutions.

            At home, Nepal is close to concluding its unique, nationally owned, and home-grown peace process. We are determined to secure enduring peace through resolving transitional justice once and for all. As a leader who emerged from conflict, I believe that peace is possible and so is addressing historical, socio-cultural, and economic injustice both within nations and globally, provided our strong faith and willingness.

            As a graduating LDC, Nepal is facing multitudes of challenges in her development efforts. As the Chair of LDCs, I call upon the international community for an enhanced level of cooperation to support the LDCs in letters and spirits of cooperation to get them out of the vicious cycle of poverty and to drive them to the path of prosperity.

Mountains suffering tremendously

            Coming from a mountainous country, I must say something about the mountains amidst this august gathering here. Mountains are the home of 15% of the global population and 50% of Earth’s biodiversity.

            These mountains offer global services to all living beings, but they are suffering tremendously. Nepal has been advocating for the protection of mountains, bio-diversities, and mountain ecosystems, and people living therein, he apprised the gathering. ” We have witnessed the disastrous impact of climate change on the Himalayas in the form of receding glaciers at an alarming rate and the untold misery it would bring to the lives and livelihoods of billions.

            Protecting the mountain ecosystem, mountain civilization, and biodiversity is in our shared interests. For this, I call upon fellow NAM members to support our call- the call of the Himalayas.”

Utmost sincerity among NAM members essential

            Urging the NAM members to reaffirm commitment to the values and principles of non-alignment and avoid any double standards amongst the selves. “Let’s work together with utmost sincerity, harmony, solidarity, and cooperation for our shared affluence. Let us reinvigorate NAM to make it a force to be reckoned with to build a just, equitable, peaceful, sustainable, and prosperous world leaving no one behind.”

            Finally, he appreciated appreciate the fruitful deliberations and adoption of ‘Final Document’ and ‘Kampala Declaration’ produced by the Ministerial meeting.

Quality health service is government’s responsibility: Acting PM Khadka

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defense, Purna Bahadur Khadka has laid emphasis on producing competent doctors, nurse and lab technicians required for the country.

            Noting that the health services being provided by the private sector were largely expensive and far from people’s easy access, he said it was the state responsibility to arrange quality health services by developing public health facilities at community level.

            He further shared that the incumbent government has put forth several programmes to establish citizens’ easy access to health services.

            He stressed the need to strengthen the public health institutions to ensure easy access of the general people to health services in critical time such as COVID-19 and dengue infection. Keeping this in mind the government has placed high emphasis on developing capacity of all public hospitals.

            The Acting PM said this while inspecting the Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences.

            He wished that may the Institute continue its efforts to produce competent human resource, including doctors to overcome health challenges emerged in the context of rapidly changing world.

            “Health sector is a dynamic area. New researches are being done in this sector which also result in the discovery of new treatment system, technology and medicines. There is a need of adjusting and adapting this in our health system. So, the institutions should develop further infrastructure and also embrace new technology and system”, he added.

            Also present on the occasion were Chief of Army Staff, acting Secretary of Defense Ministry and other high-level officials of the Nepal Army.

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‘Inadequate investment dents shift in agriculture’

            Sarlahi, Jan 19: Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr Beduram Bhusal said agriculture sector has received low investment in the country.

            At the second dairy, agriculture research, production and agriculture instrument exhibition fair held here today, Minister Bhusal said only three percent of the national budget has been appropriated for agriculture sector which he argued does not suffice to address its necessity.

            The minister stressed the need to promote tech-savvy agriculture with irrigation, fertilizers and seeds.

            On the occasion, Minister Bhusal shared that irrigation service has been so far made available in only around 17 percent of a total of 2.09 hectares land. “Chure conservation, and use of organic fertilizers can only boost production”, he said, underlining the need of ensuring market placement of such production.

            On the occasion, Hariban municipality mayor Ramesh Budhathoki said the fair was organized to promote and manage farmers’ production and tech-savvy agro-farming.

            Farmers with outstanding performance were felicitated in the fair that was organized with the slogan ‘Pride of Madhes Province: Milk and Agriculture is the identity of all of us’.

            The fair will take place through January 21.

Ruling coalition persists for five years: Minister Gurung

            Waling, Jan 19: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Dhanraj Gurung, has said the ruling alliance would continue for the next five years once it is consolidated further.

            During a programme organised to introduce National Assembly election candidates from the ruling coalition and to meet voters in Syangja on Friday, he pledged to take the government ahead for five years in a way that enhances significance of the alliance.

            He claimed that the coalition government eased the situation in the nation and it would be continued for the prosperity and good governance.

            The joint candidates from the ruling alliance for the National Assembly election scheduled for January 25 from Gandaki Province include Kiran Babu Shrestha of Nepali Congress and Padam Bahadur Pariyar and Manarupa Sharma of CPN (Maoist Centre).

 ‘Problems surfaced in infrastructure development sector being solved’

            Kaski, Jan 19: Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala said the problems surfaced in infrastructure development sector are being gradually resolved.

            At a press meet organized by the Socialist Press Organization Nepal in Pokhara today, Minister Jwala said that the problems emerged in the construction of Muglin-Pokhara road expansion project along the Prithvi Highway, Mid Hill Highway and signature bridge over the Seti Bridge in Pokhara are being fixed.

            On the occasion, Minister Jwala said the progress in the construction of western section of the Muglin-Pokhara project during the past two months was satisfactory.

            “We had reached to a conclusion to explore option when there was sluggish progress in the western section. Now the work progress is satisfactory following frequent follow-up and discussion with contractors. However, the speed should be increased”.

            He further shared that a committee was formed to fix the problems of Mid Hill Highway Pokhara area while noting the committee has reached near the solution.

Fellow singers pay tribute to late Baidya

            Kathmandu, Jan 19: Singer and litterateur Yogesh Baidya has been paid tribute. The singers gathered to pay tribute to late Baidya sang his songs as dirge on Friday.

            Noted singer Baidya had passed away during the treatment at Kathmandu Valley Hospital here Friday morning. He was 77.

            At a tribute gathering organized by Nepal Musicians’ Association at Academy of Music and Drama, Naxal, musician Sambhujit Baskota, Chetan Sapkota, Basanta Sapkota and Mahesh Khadka, among others paid last respect to the late Baidya singing his song- ‘Sapana Bhulai Sara’- as dirge.

            “It is an irreparable loss to Nepal’s music sector. Some days back, we lost Norbu Chhiring, now Yagesh dai,” lamented Chetan Sapkota.

            Similarly, Baskota reminded Baidya as a musician rich in mellifluous voice. 

            Bidya’s last rites were performed at Pashupati Aryaghat. He was consigned to fire by his son Lokesh Nanda Baidya.

            The late Baidya has sung over 500 songs. He was suffering from paralyses for some years.

            He is lived by spouse, two daughters and a son.

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