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PM holds consultation with Ministry regarding giving business to parliament  

Published Date : January 30, 2024

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has held discussions with the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on the topic of giving business to the Federal Parliament during its winter session commencing from February 5.

            PM Dahal called the Ministry officials to his office in Singha Durbar this afternoon and held discussions on the preparation of bills to be presented in the parliament upcoming session, the Prime Minister’s Office Secretariat stated in a press release.

            It is stated that during the meeting, the Prime Minister stressed on giving business to the parliament and making the parliament session effective at a time when there are criticism that the previous session could not play an effective role in making laws.

            “There is this assessment that the parliament could not carry out exemplary works in terms of law formulation last year. There is also the opinion that the government too could not provide business to the parliament, but this should not be the case this time,” the PM said, giving directives to the Ministry.

            Calling upon the Ministry to make preparation for registering maximum bills immediately after the commencement of the parliament session, he directed the Chief Secretary to follow up on this and the Ministry to bring bills in coordination with all the ministries.

            “Prepare well for this. The parliament should be assigned business in a systematic way. Work in such a manner that there is no that compliant this time,” he added.

            Government Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal said the bills that have undergone the legal evaluation and also the financial responsibility assessment should be promptly forwarded to the parliament, urging the Ministry to make the required preparations for the same.

            Ministry secretary Udaya Raj Sapkota shared that the Ministry has carried out the required homework on the bills to be presented to the forthcoming parliamentary session and preparations have been made so that some of these bills can be tabled immediately after the start of the session.

            He informed the meeting that works would be carried out in a swift manner in the context of additional bills.

Martyr Day being celebrated today

Kathmandu, Jan 30: The Martyr Day is being celebrated by organizing various programmes across the country today. The Day is observed in memory of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of country and people.

At different times of history, many people fought for the liberty, freedoms and democracy and got martyrdom in Nepal. In commemoration and tribute to them, week-long programmes are organized from Magh 10 to 16 every year.

Since 2012BS, then Kathmandu municipality began coordinating programmes organized in honour of the martyrs. It is continued till date.

In response to the demand of democracy, civic rights and liberty, Shukra Raj Shastri was executed by then autocratic Rana regime at Pachali, Kathmandu on Magh 10, 1997;  Dharma Bhakta Mathema at Siphal, Kathmandu on Magh 13 and Ganga Lal Shrestha and Dasharath Chanda at Shova Bhagawati, Kathmandu on Magh 15 the same year.

A morning rally is being organized from Shanti Batika, Ratnapark to Lainchaur. Kathmandu Metropolis has informed that the event would be attended by the Prime Minister, ministers, high level officials of Nepal government, along with march-past from security bodies. The known and unknown martyrs would be paid tribute at martyrs’ monument, Lainchaur.

However, there is public concern rife that dream of martyrs is not fulfilled.

Martyrs source of inspiration: PM Dahal

Kathmandu, Jan 30: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the martyrs who fought for nationality, people’s rights and livelihood are torchbearers and sources of inspiration.

Giving a message of best wishes on the occasion of the Martyr Day being celebrated across the country today, PM Dahal viewed time has come to resolve for carrying out the remaining tasks of revolution the martyrs had waged for the country and people’s liberation and change. The Martyr Day is observed as the day to pay tribute to them and enliven their contribution.

“Government has paid utmost attention in honouring and protecting the families of those getting martyrdoms at different times of history,” he assured.

PM Dahal also reminded that the present constitution was made in the background of leadership from various classes, cultures, communities and regions for their identity and rights. Protecting the achievements made so far and devoting to betterment is true tribute to the martyrs, PM Dahal observed.

He wished the Day inspired all for protection and strengthening of federal democratic republic. Dahal paid tribute to all those known and unknown martyrs and wished for speedy recovery of those injured in movements.

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Mountain flight from Nepalgunj to Kailash Mansarovar

Nepalgunj, Jan 30: A mountain flight has begun from Nepalgunj to Kailash Mansarovar at the initiative of tourism entrepreneurs’ associations.

Although the flight was scheduled to begin last Saturday, thick fog weakened visibility, resulting into two days delay.

Tourism entrepreneur Keshav Neupane said the mountain flight would help recover declining business and help identify tourism destinations for Indian tourists. “At least one flight for Indian tourists in the season will contribute to boost tourism activities,” he believed, adding that view of the Kailash Mansarovar is alluring site indeed.

Another tourism entrepreneur Dr Om Mishra, expressing happiness over the successful conduct of mountain flights after long struggle on Monday. Even Nepalgunj city is being established as a tourist destination, he claimed.

Moreover, Banke chapter Chairman of Nepal Association of Tour and Travels Agents (NATTA), Shreeram Sigdel, shared the new initiative is also linked to Nepalgunj’s future in terms of financial upliftment. He also stressed making effective Nepalgunj-Pokhara air connectivity to boost tourism.

Indian tourists who reached Kailash Mansarovar in mountain flight from Nepalgung felt happiness.

A hotelier in Nepalgunj, Punam Bhusal, said, “It certainly helps augment tourism industry.”

The Kailash Mansarovar, located at Tibet, is a common holy site of Hindu and Buddhist people. It is visited largely by the Hindus from Nepal and India.

Chandragiri municipality to enhance cooperatives’ capacity

Kathmandu, Jan 30: Chandragiri municipality in Kathmandu has launched training and orientation to the cooperatives for their capacity building. In the wake of waning status of cooperatives, the municipality has decided to empower them legally.

There are nearly 140 cooperatives in this municipality. In order for knowledge creation and sharing, it has prepared digital training resources that can be utilized via web and digital platforms.

The training materials include various 40 topics including tax, leadership development, management and institutional governance. It is prepared by a team of experts, comprising former secretaries of Nepal government, former high level officials at cooperatives and professors.

The materials are also available in audiovisual format. It is a 150-hour content.

The training and orientation which were earlier limited to closed door classes are now available in digital format, thereby conveniencing the cooperative managers, learners, share holders and concerned stakeholders, according to municipality’s administrative officer, Hemraj Aryal. “It will not only build knowledge and capacity for effective management of cooperatives, but also help solve many problems suffering this sector,” he added.

Moreover, the municipality has urged the cooperatives to issue ‘whitepaper’ and disclose property details of those who are in leadership.

Chief of economic development at municipality, Raju Bahadur Khadka, also urged all concerned to read training materials to understand well the cooperatives sector.

Ambassador Designate Oli presents credentials to Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Kathmandu, Jan 30: Ambassador Designate of Nepal to the Kingdom of Thailand, Dhan Bahadur Oli, presented his letter of credence to Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana.

Oli presented the credentials to ESCAP Executive Secretary as a permanent representative of Nepal to the UN ESCAP on January 24, according to Nepali Embassy in Bangkok.

Birthing centre running at risk waits desperately for upgrading

Siraha, Jan 30: To sheer negligence and irresponsibility of local levels and stakeholders toward new born and mothers’ health, a birthing centre at Golbazar municipality-6 of Siraha district is running in a sorry state. A dilapidated structure with leaky roof where muddy surface in rainy season and dusty in winter is commonplace.

Senior ANM at birthing centre, Mishri Kumari Shrestha, informed that when it rains, the leaky roof turns menacing- the new born and mother suffer the brunt.  More worrying is the muddy surface, she added. “In summer, there is scorching heat. The roof of zinc sheet is too hot that it is likely to jeopardize the lives of both little ones and the birth givers,” she shared the plight.

Moreover, outside the hut, the wild grass poses threat of poisonous snakes. Health workers must stay vigilant to chase way snakes from entering the hut during rains and hot days.

ANM Shrestha said the birthing centre is in sorry state for four years, but no upgrading till date. Although Mayor of Golbazar Municipality, Sham Kumar Shrestha, was made aware about the plight, there was not solution in sight.

Senior ANM inspector working at the birthing centre since 2063BS, Sabita Shakya Panjiyar, shared similar suffering. They are forced to run the facility at a dilapidated structure- a vulnerable hut, she viewed. “Adding woes, the hut was encroached during road expansion. There were two beds earlier. With road expansion, one bed is removed,” she explained, “In rainy season, water drops on new born and mother are common, while braving brutal cold is equally challenging in winter.”

In this connection, chief of Golbazar Health Post, Satya Narayan Yadav, admitted that there was no progress at all to shift the birthing centre. “It is difficult for pregnant women to step inside the hut- more difficult during labour pain and delivery due to skimpy space. Two birth attendants find it tough to arrange essentials to conduct delivery,” he said, adding that there is sewage drain near the centre’s gate. Anyone visiting the centre has to come through the squalid place.

The health workers have been crying out for help to upgrade the birthing centre, but their cry fall flat to pierce pachyderm ears of concerned agencies. They worry how they could manage if the number of deliveries rises at once.

Meanwhile, asked about pathetic situation of essential health facility, municipal chair of Nepali Congress at Golbazar, Rajdev Saha, said it was a matter of disgrace to have such miserable state of birthing centre. “It is blatant assault on citizen’s health. Golbazar municipality must pay heed to it,” he commented.

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Speaker extends tributes to martyrs on Martyrs Day        

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: House of Representatives (HoR) Speaker Devraj Ghimire has stressed that all political parties should come together to materialise the dreams of martyrs.

            Extending best wishes on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day today, the Speaker asserted the political unity is the strength of democracy and such strength is vital to defeat all sorts of efforts to weaken democracy.

            Paying his tributes to four towering figures Dashrath Chand, Gangalal Shrestha, Dharmabhakta Mathema and Shukraraj Shastri who attained martyrdom in course of their fight against tyrannical Rana regime for the sovereignty of citizens, the Speaker said all State apparatus should be equally responsible for materializing the dreams of martyrs.

            “The Constitution has defined the roles of all and we all should be effortful to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities and it will be the real tributes to all martyrs,” he said in the message.

            Magh 16 each year in the Nepali calendar is observed as the Martyrs’ Day in Nepal.

Today is the day to make resolve for fulfilling martyrs’ dreams: PM Dahal

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said that today is the day for making resolve to fulfilling the remaining works of the revolution, keeping in mind the martyrs’ dreams and their commitment.

            Addressing a programme organised at the Martyrs Memorial, Lainchaur today on the occasion of the Martyrs Day, PM Dahal said, “The great martyrs have made the supreme sacrifices for the political, economic, social and cultural transformation of the Nepali society and for establishing inclusive democracy.”

            Stating that the martyrs who sacrificed their life in course of the struggle for upholding nationality, people’s democracy and livelihood will remain a source of inspiration for us all in the past, present and the future, he paid heartfelt tribute to the martyrs and called on all to work with heart, words and deeds for fulfilling the martyrs’ dreams.

            On the occasion, the PM remembered and paid respects to the great martyrs Shukraraj Shastri, Dharmabhakta Mathema, Dasharath Chand, Gangalal Shrestha, among others who laid down their lives in 1997 BS for overthrowing the autocratic Rana oligarchy and establishing democracy in the country.

            He also paid high respects to all the disappeared fighters and said, “I wish for the speedy recovery of health and long life of the injured fighters.”

            The 16th of the Nepali month Magh each year is observed as the Martyrs Day.

New trek route connecting bordering areas in India and China explored         

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: A new trek route connecting bordering areas in India and China has been identified and upgraded. The Earthbound Expedition Company scouted the new trek route correcting Khunuwa in Kapilvastu district with Rasuwagadhi in Rasuwa district.

            The expedition company, organizing a press conference here on last Monday, launched the new trek route that links flatland area of the country with the mountainous region.

            Expedition company’s President Rajan Simkhadha shared that they researched and found out the new trek route with an objective to introduce Nepal’s Terai terrain along with hilly and mountainous terrain. “Conventionally, trek route paints the picture of mountainous region. Hence, we have identified a new trek route which encompasses areas from Tarai to mountainous areas that enables us to understand religion, culture, traditions and condition of the tourist destinations.”

            The route includes places like Taulihawa, Kapilvastu, Kudun, Jagadishpur Taal, Butwal, Masayam Hatiya, Tansen, Arya Bhangyang, Keladighat, Ghiring, Rishing, Damauli, Bandipur, Gorkha, Taribesi, Katunje, Melang, Salme, Gonga, Singlapas, Pangsing Pas, Somdang, Chilime and Kerung check point.

            The trek route whose first stop is at situated at 60 meters above the sea level ends at the last stop at 4,080 meters, it was shared.

            Famed American hiker Mike Obester was also part of the team who identified the new trek route who, during the press meet, confessed that there were many places to visit in Nepal which had hugely fascinated him.

            The team discovering the new route shared that newly explored route was 440-km and it took them 17 days to finish the trek on this route.

            A 20 to 25 days’ of package could be made for the new trek. Simkhada believed that the new route could contribute to rural economy of Nepal for it covers nine districts of 3 provinces of the country.

Title and logo of third investment summit finalised          

            Kathmandu, Jan 30:  The logo and title of the third investment summit that Nepal is hosting on coming April 28 and 29 have been finalised.

            The event has been named ‘Emerging Nepal Summit- 2024’, according to the Summit Secretariat. The second meeting of the Investment Summit Steering Committee decided the title of the event, according to Secretariat joint-secretary and Investment Board Spokesperson Pradyumna Prasad Upadhyay.

            The Steering Committee coordinated by the Finance Minister, the Implementation Committee led by the Chief Secretary, and the Technical Committee headed by the Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies have been formed in view of hosting the event. The Summit’s Secretariat coordinated by the IBN Chief Executive Officer is located at the Office of the Investment Board.

            A taskforce formed to recommend legal amendments for the Summit has proposed amendments to around one dozen of acts and regulations. As the pre-event of the Summit, the OIBN last Friday held a workshop on ‘Unlocking Nepal’s Investment Potential: Collaborative Strategies for Economic Growth,’ in Kathmandu.

Patan High Court judge Maraseni dies of cardiac arrest  

            Kathmandu, Jan 30:  Patan High Court judge Matrika Prasad Maraseni died of cardiac arrest this morning. He was 56.

            He was rushed to the Kalanki-based Nepal National Hospital after he complained of health complications at 8:30 am today and was pronounced dead by the hospital amidst the treatment at 10:00 am, according to Court Spokesperson Tirtharaj Bhattarai. He had joined the Patan High Court only a few days back following his promotion from the district judge.

            His last rites are to be performed at the Pashupati Aryaghat today itself, it is said.

Speaker says he will take initiatives for managing prison waste

            Jhapa, Jan 30: House of Representatives Speaker Devraj Ghimire has said that he will take initiatives for the management of waste generated in Jhapa prison.

            The Speaker said this while addressing the 26th annual general assembly of the Inmates Development Library in the Jhapa District Prison today.

            He also said he would take initiation to address the problem of the prison having to accommodate more number of inmates than its capacity. The Speaker viewed that the minimum facilities that prisoners compelled to spend harsh life in prison due to adverse circumstances are entitled to should not be overlooked.

            He urged the inmates to repent and learn from their past mistakes and invest their life after release from the prison in transforming society.

            “Rather than building better and luxurious prison houses, we should create an environment wherein nobody will have to spent life in prison. The criminal mindset should be checked and there should not be the situation in which nobody should be made a victim of prejudice and deception. If this happens, then there will be no need of prisons,” Speaker Ghimire said. He gave assurances of addressing the various problems faced by the inmates.

            Prison Chief Mohan Lal Paneru said the Jhapa District Prison has more inmates than its capacity. According to him, it has 1,621 inmates, including 1,527 male, 92 female and two minors. He added that they are facing problem in managing the waste generated in the prison due to the high number of inmates.

            Library secretary Ramesh Pokharel said the inmates are finding it hard to manage food and expenses from the Rs 80 and the 700 grammes rice that the government has been providing daily to the inmates.

            Lawmaker LP Sanwa, Province Assembly member Chintan Pathak, Gopal Tamang, former member Basanta Baniya, Mechinagar municipality mayor Gopal Budhathoki, Damak municipality deputy-mayor Regina Bhattarai were felicitated on the occasion in recognition for their support to the Library.

Manungkot contributes to country’s economy: Minister Acharya          

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens Surendra Acharya viewed that Manungkot in Tanahu district would contribute to tourism sector in the country.

            Inaugurating the 7th Byas Town Ultra Marathon at Manungkot in Byas municipality-5 in the district today, Minister Acharya spoke of the need to prioritize construction of physical infrastructures in Manungkot and pledged federal government’s support for the same.

            Byas municipality mayor Baikuntha Neupane shared that the ultra marathon was organized to promote tourism through sports. “The ultra marathon is aimed at promoting the tourism and culture of Manungkot.”

            The ultra marathon kicked off marking the Martyrs Day which falls on every 16th of Nepali month Magh. The 44-km long marathon connects Magar village to Gurung within the municipality.

            There are 116 marathon runners participating in the contest including departmental teams such as Tribhuvan Army Club, Armed Police Fore and Nepal Police, it was shared.

            Other participants include athletes from Kaski, Lamjung, Gorkha, Dhading, Chitwan, Dolpa, Rukum and Kathmandu among other districts.

            The marathon begins from Manungkot and ends at Pulimarang via Alainche-Chapaghat-Ansan Chautari-Safa Sadak-Bhorletar Chowk-Baireni-Dumsi-Kalesti-Pathra-Satrasaya-Baniya Hidi-Barlachi-Sotibeshi-Baguwa Risti-Bahun Pokhara.

            Check posts have been set up in various stations for the marathon. 

            The prize for the runner standing first is Rs 85,000, Rs 65,000 for the second runner and Rs 55,080 for the third. Five winners will get consolation prize of Rs 16,080 each, it was shared.

            Earlier, runners from Tanahu districts were only allowed to participate in the event which is open to participants from other districts this time.

Nepal shows slight improvement in CPI, ranked 108th position with score of 35             

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: Nepal has been ranked 108th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report launched by the Transparency International (TI), showing a slight improvement than in 2022.

            In 2022, it was ranked in the 110th position with 34 scores. 

            In the assessment of 180 countries in the world, Denmark is in the first position with 90 scores indicating the lowest corruption followed by Finland in the second position, New Zealand in the third, Norway in the fourth and Singapore in the fifth. The consecutive rankings are held by Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxemburg. 

            Somalia is in the 180th rank indicating the highest corruption problems while Venezuela, Syria, South Sudan and Yemen. Nepal’s two closest neighbours India ranked 93 with 39 scores and China in 76 with 42 scores.

            The report was based on analysis of data from the World Bank, World Economic Forum and other organizations.

            The index is calculated using data from 13 external sources.

            According to TI, its 29th annual corruption perceptions assess how countries have responded to corruption over time, reviewing progress and failures over the last decade and beyond. It is specifically focused on how weakening justice systems contribute to a lack of accountability of public officials, thereby allowing corruption to thrive.   

            As the report states, over two-third countries’ score is below 50 out of 100, strongly indicating that they have serious corruption problems.

We are ready to welcome Korean investors and entrepreneurs: Minister Saud

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prasad Saud said that they were ready to welcome Korean investors and entrepreneurs in a large number in the upcoming third Investment Summit.

            Nepal is hosting the Summit in Nepal on coming April 28 and 29.

            At a programme organized to mark the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Republic of South Korea here today, Minister Saud said that they were keen to see Korean companies expanding their investment in Nepal.

            Stating that if Korean companies such as Samsung, Hyundai Motors among others would express keen interest to explore investment opportunities in Nepal, he said the Government of Nepal would tap on those opportunities.

            “There is a tremendous potential to expand economic cooperation between our two countries. Let us explore those opportunities. Let’s increase bilateral trade and investment. Let’s further strengthen our partnership in the fields of agriculture, energy, tourism and information technology,” the Minister urged.

            Citing thousands of Nepalis migrant workers and students are residing in South Korea, and thousands of South Korean tourists are visiting Nepal, he pledged to further expand such exchange programmes.

            It may be noted that Nepal and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations on May 15, 1974.

            Stating that the relation between the two countries is becoming stronger, Minister Saud observed that this tie was based on friendship, cordiality, cooperation and mutual relations.

            Affirming that Nepal would learn a lot of lessons from the success stories of progress and prosperity achieved by South Korea in a short span of time, he asserted that Nepal would like to enhance partnership in the areas of mutual benefits.

            Similarly, Kewal Prasad Bhandari, Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, lauded the priority accorded by the government of South Korea for Nepalis in the employment sector and believed that the skills, knowledge and experience earned by Nepalis workers in South Korea would be useful for Nepal.

            According to him, the contributions made by South Korean government in the development sector of Nepal had further expanded friendly and brotherly ties between the two countries.

            Similarly, South Korean Ambassador to Nepal, Park Tae-Young, asserted that the journey of 50 years was a story of shared values, mutual respect and commitment to build a better future for the people of both countries.

            During this period, South Korean envoy opined that the bilateral ties between the two countries flourished and remained as a strong bond. He argued that   cooperation between South Korea and Nepal was a strong catalyst for personal and economic development.

            He said, “I would like to congratulate leaders and citizens of the both countries for reaching this historic milestone. It is a strong testament to sacrifices and dedication of the countless individuals who have worked relentlessly to build and expand the relations and to enhance understanding and foster the cooperation between the two countries.”

            On the occasion, the Minister and the Ambassador jointly unveiled the logo commemorating the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

            They also launched a book ‘Tapain pani malik banna saknu huncha (You Can Also Become A Master)’, based on the success stories of Nepali migrant workers from South Korea’s Employment Permit System (EPS) programme.

DPM Khadka urges for UK’s liberal approach to address concerns of ex-British Gurkhas     

            Kathmandu, Jan 30: Visiting British Army Chief General Sir Patrick Sanders today paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Purna Bahadur Khadka.

            Welcoming the British Army Chief at his office in Singha Durbar today, the Minister expressed confidence that the visit would strengthen the ties between Nepal and the UK.

            In the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister said Nepal and the UK long-standing bilateral ties have extended to people-to-people level.

            Both countries, as he said, share similar values in democracy, human rights, rule of law and independence, human values and dignity, he said. 

            Reflecting on the centenary celebration of the Treaty of Friendship last year, Minister Khadka remarked that it solidified the foundation for strong bilateral ties for the next century. Recognizing the UK as a significant development partner, he acknowledged their support to Nepal during challenging periods.

            While commending the contributions of the British Gurkhas to the UK Army, Minister Khadka urged a positive response to the concerns Gurkha armies retired before 1997 who demand perks and pensions on par with their British counterparts.

            Citing that despite prolonged discussions on the matter, a substantive conclusion is still awaited, he called on the British government to adopt a more liberal approach to address these demands.

            Underlining the significance of military exchanges between Nepal and the UK, Minister Khadka highlighted the participation of 10 Nepali armies in the Cambrian patrol in October 2023. He also commended the British government for establishing the ‘Explosive Ordnance Disposal Holding Unit’ for the Nepali Army.

            During the meeting, Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, stated that he has taken seriously the topic related to the British Gurkha soldiers which the DPM and Defence Minister Khadka had brought up. He said a situation has arisen in which the UK and Nepal have to work together in establishing international peace as the international security climate is becoming more complicated.

            Stating that as the nation contributing the second largest number of troops to the United Nations peacekeeping mission Nepal’s role in establishing international peace is significant, the Chief of the British Armed Forces said that Britain is willing for collaborating further with Nepal in the coming days. He also gave assurances that Britain shall continue to provide the cooperation that it has been giving to Nepal despite of its adverse economic condition.

            Defence Ministry Secretary Kiran Raj Sharma, Joint Secretary Baburam Adhikari, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the British Ambassador and other officials were present during the courtesy meeting.

CoAS Sharma British Army Chief Sanders meet

            Meanwhile, Chief of the Army Staff Prabhu Ram Sharma and Chief of the British Army Sanders held a meeting at the Army Headquarters today.

            On the occasion, they held discussions on the mutual ties subsisting between Nepal and Britain since centuries, on promoting cordial relations between the armed forces of the two countries and on matters of mutual interest, according to the Nepali Army, Public Relations and Information Directorate.

            Prior to the meeting, a contingent of the Nepali Army presented a guard of honour to the British Army Chief.

            General Sir Patrick Sanders is currently on a six-day visit to Nepal.

Usury victims’ march for justice from Kakadvitta

            Jhapa, Jan 30: Usury victims from various districts have staged ‘March for Justice’ from Mechi Bridge at Kakadvitta in Jhapa district today demanding justice.

            Participants taking part in the March launched in the initiative of the Usury Victims Peasants Workers Struggle Committee have set out towards Kathmandu on foot with arrangement of food and shelter needed for their journey for justice.

            There are altogether 50 loan shark victims from Jhapa, Sunsari, Siraha and Saptari districts who aim to reach Kathmandu within 15 days walking from the bordering area in the eastern part of the country to the federal capital via Chitwan, it was shared.

            Half of the participants are women.

            Meanwhile, another group of loan shark victims have also kicked off the march for justice from Mahendranagar, bordering area in the western part of the country. Both the groups would meet in Chitwan and together march towards Kathmandu, the participants shared.

            Committee’s Central Chairperson Awadesh Kushwaha said that they started their march marking the Martyrs Day, putting forth a six-point demand with the government.

            Demands include cancellation of all fake documents related to usury and cancellation of transfer of property rights of the victims to the exploitative lenders, formulation of draconian laws for culprit of financial crime related to usury and formation of high-powered judicial commission.

            Likewise, they have also pressed for opening new application for the record-keeping of the usury victims, arresting the exploitative moneylenders, investigating the deeds related to the usury unilaterally verified in the local level and probe into cases of human rights violation against the victims, and providing compensation and subsidized loan without collateral to the victims. 

            “May the government pay heed to demands of usury victims at the earliest. We will not leave the street until our demands are heard,” he warned.

British Army Chief calls on PM Dahal   

      Kathmandu, Jan 30: Chief of the General Staff of the UK, General Sir Patrick Sanders paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ today.

      During the meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, areas of mutual interest and cooperation between Nepal and the UK were discussed, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

      Senior officials including the foreign affairs advisor to the PM, MoFA officers and the British Ambassador to Nepal were also present during the meetingAlso today, the British Army chief Sanders paid courtesy call separately on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Purna Bahadur Khadka, and Chief of Army Staff Prabhuram Sharma.

President Paudel appoints non-resident ambassador      

      Kathmandu, Jan 30: President Ramchandra Paudel has appointed Dan Bahadur Tamang as the non-resident ambassador to Kenya and Botswana. Paudel also serves as the Resident Ambassador to South Africa.

      President Paudel appointed Tamang as non-resident ambassador, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers and in accordance with Article 282 (1) of the Constitution, according to the Office of the President.

Tree felling campaign for monkey control protested

      Gandaki, Jan 30 : A decision to run a campaign ‘I will cut down my trees’ for the control of monkeys has been protested in Pokhara.

      The decision made by Pokhara metropolis-19 has witnessed a hiccup. It may be noted that the ward office issuing a public notice on Monday had requested the ward residents to support the campaign by felling trees in their neighbourhood within 10 days.

      Various actor including environmentalists have protested the decision to run a tree cleanup campaign. Pokhara Metropolitan City Mayor Dhanraj Acharya said his serious attention was drawn over the campaign of ward-19 for felling trees. He further said the ward office has been cautioned for not carrying out such work as the metropolis has not made any such decision to cut down trees.

      Mayor Acharya also asked ward residents not to rely on the information issued by the ward. Ward Chairperson Pushpendra Pandey had informed ward residents to chop down trees in their surroundings for the control of monkeys in the most affected areas, Lamachaur and Purunchaur.

      The ward’s decision is abuzz in the social media too, with majority of the users expressing their opinion against it.

Book on ‘KP Sharma Oli in Parliament’ unveiled    

      Kathmandu, Jan 30 : Former President Bidya Devi Bhandari unveiled a book titled ‘KP Sharma Oli in Parliament’.

      At a programme organised by Equal Access Nepal and Savyata Innovation Centre here on Tuesday, former President Bhandari shared that documenting the series of speeches of CPN (UML) Chairperson and former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is important as he is the most popular and talented figure of current Nepali politics.

      The book would give a glimpse of the history of Nepali politics and Oli’s contribution for prosperity, she mentioned. A Ph.D student Sanu Maiya Khadka (Sabita) had prepared the book during her PHD thesis with the help of Prof Dr Rishi Ram Sharma and Prof Dr Hemnath Poudel. 

      On the occasion, Oli’s people and country-centered ideology and initiatives were praised. UML General-Secretary Shankar Pokhrel, former Chancellors of Nepal Academy Bairagi Kainla and Ganga Prasad Upreti, writer Purushottam Dahal, among others were present on the occasion.

PM Cup National ODI Cricket tournament: Koshi defeats Lumbini

      Kathmandu, Jan 30 : Koshi province defeated Lumbini Province by 16 runs to register its first win in the Prime Minister’s Cup national one-day cricket tournament.

      Put into bat after losing the toss at the TU cricket ground today, Koshi scored 172 runs in 44.4 overs at the loss of all wickets. Captain Ankit Subedi contributed the highest 49 runs for Koshi while Saujan Ghimire scored 43 runs, Minas Thapa scored 25 and Sonu Ansari scored 17 runs.

      For the bowling side, Nara Sarki of Lumbini took 4 wickets. Similarly, Bir Magar took three wickets, Abhishek Gautam took two and Krishna Karki took one wicket. In reply, chasing a victory target of 173 runs, Lumbini ended with only 156 runs on the board, after losing all wickets in 46.5 overs.

      Dilsad Ali was the highest scorer for Lumbini with 32 runs. Similarly, Birat Bhandari scored 28 runs, Samrat Bhusal scored 26 runs and Krishna Karki scored 22 runs.

Light rain and snowfall forecasted

      Kathmandu, Jan 30 : Light rain and snowfall have been forecasted to take place in different parts of the country this night.

      The Weather Forecasting Division under the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said the influence of westerly wind would trigger light rainfall and snowfall this night.  The Kathmandu Valley witnessed maximum temperature of 17.5 Degree Celsius today while its minimum temperature would fall below 3.5 Degree Celsius tonight.

      According to Division’s Meteorologist Ganga Nagarkoti, weather of the mountainous region of the country, including the federal capital Kathmandu Valley would be partial to general cloudy this night.

      Light rain is predicted to occur in one to two places of the Koshi, Bagmati, Gandaki, Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces. Light snowfall is likely to take place in one to two areas of high hill and mountainous areas of the Koshi, Bagmati, Gandaki and Karnali provinces.

      One to two places in mountainous area of the Koshi province are predicted to have light snowfall this night.

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Vegan Festival on March 2 

      Kathmandu, Jan 30: Shena’s Care, an organisation working for animal rights, is to organise ‘Vegan Festival’ 2024.

      Organising a press conference here on Tuesday, it was shared that the Vegan Festival would be organised on March 2. Organisation president Sneha Shrestha shared that vegan foods would be exhibited as well as sale and distribution stalls for vegan foods would be kept in the festival.

      There will be live music, dance, documentary screening as well as different sporting events for children. Managing Director of Nepal Homestay, Bikesh Shrestha, shared experience that that he has been following vegan lifestyle for the past 22 years and still feeling energetic and physically fit despite his old age.

      Deepak Bohara, Manager of a famous restaurant for veg and vegan foods, Utpala Café, informed that  80 per cent foods in the café is vegan.

      Sneha’s Care is working in the sector of animal rights since eight years including to rescue animals, carryout their treatment and rehabilitation, carrying out anti-rabies vaccination programme and family planning of street dogs.

Aaha Rara Pokhara Gold Cup: Church Boys into semi-finals

      Kaski, Jan 30: The Church Boys United Club has entered into the semi-finals of the 23rd Aaha-Rara Pokhara Gold Cup football tournament.

      In the last quarterfinal match of the tournament held today at Pokhara Stadium, the Church Boys defeated the departmental team Nepal Police Club by 1-0, to make it to the last four.

      The only and decisive goal for Church Boys was scored by Samir Tamang in the 73rd minute of the game. He also won the player of the match award, along with a cash prize of Rs 10,000. The first semi-final match of the tournament will be held on Wednesday between Three Star Club and Jawalakhel Club, according to general secretary of Sahara Club Pokhara, Ramji Prasad Adhikari.

      The final match of the tournament, which started on January 23, will be held on February 3.

Delivering full democracy should be ultimate purpose of politics-Chair Oli  

      Kathmandu, Jan 30: CPN-UML Chairperson KP Sharma Oli said delivering full democracy in a way to connect it with the progress of people’s lives should be the ultimate purpose of the politics.

      At a launching of a book ‘KP Oli in Parliament’, hosted by Equal Access Nepal and Civilization Exploration Centre, here today, former Prime Minister Oli said well management of social justice and arrangement should be the pursuit of politics which he claimed is the path to the direction of development and perfection.

      Oli claimed that he has been effortful for this. He stressed the need for the political parties and cadres to take initiatives to bring the country to democratic pathway by preserving the country and the nationality.

      UML general-secretary Shanker Pokharel complained that the political forces have not paid attention towards institutionalizing the achievements of the movements waged for democratic change in the country.

      Former Chancellor of the Nepal Academy, Ganga Prasad Uprety said the opinion expressed by Oli in the parliament would help the campaigners of building prosperous Nepal. Constitutional expert Nilambar Acharya said those involved in politics should study the book and come up with facts about Oli.

      Writer Purushottam Dahal said Oli’s stance for the nation and nationality were relevant. Former President Bidya Devi Bhandari launched the 836-page book compiled by Sanumaiya Khadka.

Ruling alliance parties review NA election

      Kathmandu, Jan 30: Political parties in the ruling coalition reviewed the National Assembly election held on January 25.

      They held discussion about the NA election and its results during the meeting held at the official residence of the Prime Minister at Baluwatar this evening. Talking to media persons after the meeting, Nepali Congress Chief Whip Ramesh Lekhak shared that the meeting reviewed the NA election and its result.  “The meeting discussed the loss of a seat by the ruling alliance in Koshi Province”, he explained.

      The meeting also drew the conclusion that losing the election by ruling alliance candidate in the NA election in Koshi province was unexpected.  Leader Lekhak mentioned that the issue of defeat of ruling alliance’s candidate in Koshi province does not affect the ruling coalition.

      “Preliminary discussion was held on the issue of defeat of alliance candidate in the NA election.  The alliance is united. It will however not have any impact on the alliance”, he stressed.

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