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NC Mahasamiti meeting endorses three proposals being based on recommendations

Published Date : February 22, 2024

Kathmandu, Feb 22: The Mahasamiti meeting of the Nepali Congress held at Sunrise Conference Centre in Godavari, Lalitpur has concluded today.

The meeting unanimously passed three important proposals to be finalized with modifications by the Central Working Committee based on the suggestions and recommendations received from the discussion.

In the meeting, Vice-president Purna Bahadur Khadka had presented the party’s policy proposal, general secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa presented organizational proposal and another general secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma the contemporary political proposal. These proposals have created a clear vision of the Congress’ policy, organizational action plan and contemporary context. NC publicity department chief Min Bahadur Bishwakarma said that important recommendations were received from the members in the closed session.

According to him, the Mahasamiti meeting unanimously approved all the three proposals so that the central working committee would finalize it with modifications based on the suggestions received. The meeting also accepted the financial report presented by the party spokesperson and Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat with suggestions and approved the audit report presented by accounts committee coordinator Shyam Prasad Ghimire.

Coordinator Bishwakarma informed that a press conference would be held at the NC central office at 3.00 pm tomorrow to get detailed information about the committee meeting.

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18 apply for the post of Purbanchal University VC

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: A total of 18 candidates have applied for the vacant post of Vice-Chancellor of the Purbanchal University.     

            Those in the fray are Toya Narayan Poudel, Shubnarayan Pathak, Anil Kumar Pokhrel, Jeevan Kumar Dhakal, Ashok Kumar Jha, Guru Prasad Khanal, Pramod Kumar Jha, Bijukumar Thapalia, Binod Parajuli, Devi Prasad Bhattarai, Raj Narayan Yadav, Narendra Katwal, Umesh Koirala, Sanjesh Prasad Koirala, Rajkumar Pokhrel, Resham Bahadur Thapa, Ramesh Prasad Bhattarai and Maheshraj Dahal.

            A short list of the candidates who have applied will be published for the interview and presentation of concept and future plans, said the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.    

            Earlier, out of 43 people who applied for the vacant post of Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University, 14 of were shortlisted. Among them, the recommendation committee has submitted the names of three persons to the Prime Minister and Chancellor Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

            The recommendation committee is chaired by the Minister of Education, Science and Technology.

Gandaki wins Rhino Conservation Gold Cup

            Triveni (Nawalparasi), Feb 22: Gandaki province has won 6th Rhino Conservation Gold Cup football tournament held in Nawalpur of Nawalparasi (Bardghat Sustapur).

            Gandaki defeated Atthayis Bigaha Club of Nawalpur by 2-1 goals in final match held at Rhino Stadium located in Madhyabindu Municipality-2 of the district.  

            With the win, Gandaki province also won Rs. 800,000 along with the gold cup. The runner-up, Atthayis Bigaha Club, received Rs. 400,000 in cash.

            A total of 12 teams including Nepal Army, Armed Police and Nepal Police, Lumbini, Bagmati and Gandaki Provinces, Machindra and Sankata clubs participated in the 6th edition of the competition held since the past 20 years ago with the aim of spreading the message of rhino conservation.

NC Mahasamiti meeting concluding today

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: The four-day meeting of the Nepali Congress Mahasamiti or national council is going to conclude today after presenting the suggestions received from the group-wise discussion held on various reports during the past three days.

            The Mahasamiti meeting of ruling party is underway in Godavari, Lalitpur since February 19.

            The suggestions received from the group discussion will be presented in the plenary today being by the provincial office-bearers of the party. Following this, the closing ceremony will be held later this afternoon, said, Head of NC Information, Communication and Publicity Department Min Bishwakarma.

            On the second day of the meeting, Vice-President Purna Bahadur Khadka presented a report on policy proposal, General Secretary Gagan Thapa on organizational proposal, General Secretary Bishwaprakash Sharma on contemporary political proposal, spokesperson Dr Prakasharan Mahat presented a report on the current economic situation, prospects and future direction while Audit Committee Coordinator Shyam Kumar Ghimire presented an audit report.

            The district presidents, heads of sister and well-wisher organizations, public relations committees have expressed their views on all the five reports submitted in the meeting.

            More than 2000 members of the Mahasamiti from all over the country and abroad are participating in the meeting.

Weather to remain partly cloudy with possibility of light rain

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: The weather of the country remains partly to generally cloudy today. This is due to the influence of westerly low pressure system, says the Weather Forecasting Division.

            There is possibility of light rain with thunder and lightning in some places of hilly areas of Koshi and Madhes provinces and in one or two places of the rest of the country. The Division has also said that there is possibility of light snowfall in some places of high hills and mountainous parts of the country.

            Later tonight, the weather will remain partly cloudy in Koshi, Madhes and Bagmati provinces, with clear weather in remaining part of the country. There is possibility of sporadic rain at one or two places in the hilly areas of Koshi and Gandaki provinces.

            The maximum temperature of Kathmandu will remain 21.5 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature will be 9.3 degree Celsius.

JSP CEC meeting to discuss general convention preparations

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: The central executive committee (CEC) meeting of Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) Nepal is being held today to discuss the contemporary political situation of the country, as well as preparations for the upcoming national convention of the party.

            Spokesperson of the party, Manish Suman, said that meeting called for 11:00 am at the party office, Bal Kumari, matters relating to assigning of responsibilities to the leaders to make the convention a success will also be discussed. “A committee will be formed to prepare various proposals for the convention while the current political situation will also be discussed in the meeting,” he said.

            The National General Convention of JSP is scheduled to be held in the second week of coming May.

Bharatpur comes out first in performance evaluation

            Chitwan, Feb 22: Bharatpur Municipal Corporation has been declared the best metropolis in performance evaluation. Bharatpur has come first among six metropolitan cities across the country.

            Bharatpur came out first in the evaluation carried out the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission for the previous financial year 2079-80. The evaluation was carried out on the basis of 17 indicators for the purpose of the financial equalization grant to be provided by the federal government to the province and local levels in the new fiscal year 2081-82.

            The expenses incurred by the municipality, the irregularities pointed out by the audit, the use of the local consolidated fund management system, periodic planning and division of revenue are assessed. Local tax collection, approval on budget within the time etc are other ground for evaluation.

            Based on the evaluation, a lump sum equalization grant is provided to the local level. The NNRFC evaluates and publishes the results especially in connection with the accounting system and financial system.

            Head of the Economic Administration Division of the Bharatpur metropolis, Jagannath Aryal, said that according to the information given by the commission, Bharatpur has scored 56.29 percent.

            Likewise, Kathmandu Municipal Corporation got 39.02, Birganj received 33.49, Biratnagar got 32.85, Lalitpur received 25.18 and Pokhara received 20.74 percent of marks.

Lumbini Provincial Hospital best in the country

            Lumbini, Feb 22: The Lumbini Provincial Hospital in Butwal has been declared the best among the government hospitals in the country. The result was based on evaluation of minimum service standards.

            Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Sudarshan Thapa, shared that Lumbini Provincial Hospital has succeeded in being the first for the third time in the evaluation of the minimum service standards of secondary B level hospitals.

            According to the Directorate of Health Minimum Service Standards Evaluation Committee, Lumbini Provincial Hospital has scored 89 points this year in the minimum standards evaluation.

            Subjects like good governance and management of the hospital, clinical management and support services of the hospital are the main criteria in the evaluation. The evaluation committee consists of Federal Ministry of Health and Population, Lumbini Province Health Directorate Dang and Nick Simmons Institute Kathmandu.

            Patients from Palpa, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi, Kapilvastu, Nawalparasi, Pyuthan, Syangja, Rukum, Rolpa and other districts of Lumbini province come to Lumbini Provincial Hospital for treatment.

President Paudel to inaugurate 5,555 kg bell in Panchakot

            Dhorpatan, Feb 22: President Ramchandra Poudel has arrived at Panchakot of Baglung today.

            President Paudel is in Baglung municipality to inaugurate the 5,555 kg bell placed at Panchakot located in ward no.4 of the municipality.

            The President is also scheduled to offer prayers at the Anantashree Brhamandiya Mahayagya being held in Panchakot since Wednesday.

            The grand bell has been installed with the objective of developing Panchakot as a religious tourist destination.

            Dozens of other religious structures including Sis Mahal, Gandaki Mata temple, Yagyasala, a Hanuman statue have been built in Panchakot. The grand place has been placed near the 108 feet high Gandaki Vishwashanti Kalash, which is also going to be built in Panchakot.

            The grand bell was made at a cost of around Rs. 20 million rupees.

PM studying VC recommendation committee’s work      

            Kathmandu, Feb 22:  Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is learnt to be studying whether the vice chancellor recommendation committee had adopted standard of meritocracy in recommending names for the post.

            PM Dahal studied the meritocracy of three nominees recommended by the TU Vice chancellor selection and recommendation committee led by Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Ashok Rai.

            The selection and recommendation committee had nominated Chitra Bahadur Budhathoki, Kesharjung Baral and Tankanath Dhakal for the appointment by the Prime Minister.

            A total of 43 candidates had given presentations as part of proposing candidacies for TU Vice Chancellor, while 14 of them were short listed.

            With their presentations and interviews, three of them were listed as final nominees.

            Academic attainments, research article, interview and presentation are criteria set for determining suitable candidate for the TU Vice Chancellor.

School in Kapilvastu closed due to mass hysteria among students

            Krishnagar (Kapilvastu), Feb 22: A school in the Kapilvastu district has been temporarily closed due to mass hysteria among students. Nepal Adarsha Higher Secondary School based in Shivapur of Shivaraj municipality-1 has been shut for two days as numerous students displayed symptoms such as fainting, restlessness, crying, and screaming, according to Shivaraj municipality education section chief, Dinesh Chaudhary.

            School principal Muktinath Pokhrel said students showed these symptoms during regular school hours. On Wednesday alone, over 10 girls showed these symptoms and the school sought the help of psychoanalysts to address the situation.

            After showing such symptoms for sometimes, the students get normalized. Sometimes ago, the local Saraswoti Basic School also witnessed the similar situation.

            As per doctors, this is the case of mass hysteria and it will be normalized if students are separated by closing schools for some days.

President inaugurates consecration of ‘Muktinath Mahaghanta’at Panchakot

            Dhorpatan (Baglung), Feb 22: President Ram Chandra Paudel has inaugurated the consecration of a giant bell weighing 5,555 kg at Panchakot here today.

            The bell was set up at a religious shrine, Sarbasiddhadham. It is made at the cost of some Rs 20 million.

            The undertaking was realized with the initiative of Swami Kamalanayanacharya, who envisioned the Panchakotdham and founded the Muktinath Peeth. It was set up to develop Panchakot of Baglung as a destination of religious tourism.

            The bell is called ‘mahaghanta’- a colossus bell- and made up of five metals- gold, silver, copper, brass and iron, said spiritual guru, Kamalnayanacharya, adding that it took eight years for the completion of the bell.

            Although the bell was brought to Panchakot two weeks back, it was consecrated today.

            It is claimed that the tintinnabulation- the ringing of bell- is audible in most of the settlements of Balgung, Parbat, Myagdi and Mustang districts.

            Meanwhile, President Paudel graced a mahayagya which had begun on Wednesday.

            He also observed 108-feet tall kalas, an urn.

            Then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of infrastructures of the religious site, Panchakot, eight years back.

Opposition lawmakers’ call-out on contemporary issues

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: Lawmakers from the opposition have warned that they would obstruct the House proceedings if the government failed to address contemporary issues.

           
            In a meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) today, the CPN (UML) demanded time before the Speaker to put their opinion. 

            UML lawmaker Raghuji Pant sought resignation of Minister for Health and Population, Mohan Bahadur Basnet, on a moral ground as he was being interrogated by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

            He also took time to express his grudges over the non-implementation of a report on death of two youths in a police firing at Balkumari, Lalitpur. Pant also questioned the decision of Lumbini Area Development Trust’s Vice Chair Dr Lhyarkal Lama to give a disputed public land on lease.

            Similarly, Rastriya Swatantra Party lawmaker Biraj Bhakta Shrestha demanded the government initiation to take action against those accused in the Balkumari incident. He also apprised the House that victims of usury were again forced to gather in Kathmandu for the protest.

            Lawmaker of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Gyanendra Bahadur Shahi sought a review of parliamentary system, adding that incidences of irregularities, arrears and impunity were on rise in the country of late.

Unaccountability costing dear to governance: Home Minister Shrestha

            Nepalgunj, Feb 22: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has viewed sluggishness, unaccountability and impunity are costing dear to governance in the country.

            Corruption is a huge challenge before us, DPM Shrestha said, suggesting the home administration to maintain peace and law and order.

            Addressing the Lumbini Province level security seminar here today, DPM Shrestha reminded that government had aimed at building good governance, social justice and prosperity. Crime can be curbed by building peace, he suggested.

            The DPM viewed people should be ensured atmosphere conducive for their realization of change. It is equally essential to increase public trust in current system, he underscored. Entire society needs to build positivity for maintaining good governance. “The concept of ‘citizen first’ should be internalized and enforced so that public service delivery can be effective.

            According to him, public security and development works should be taken together. Rule of law, protection of human rights, social stability are government’s priorities, he added.

            He directed for the cooperation and collaboration among the province and local governments for good governance, stability and development. DPM Shrestha however said administrative and legal frameworks were yet to the built to enforce federalism in full scale.

            He informed that the government was launching special schemes for the poverty-stricken community. He made aware the participants on misuse of social network intended to disrupt social harmony.

            “I direct the subordinates to take immediate action- to the extent of removal from post- against those who work in cahoots with criminals on girl trafficking, financial crimes, internet fraud, among others,” DPM Shrestha underlined.

            The seminar to run for two days has witnessed participation of chief district officers and chiefs of security agencies from 12 districts in the province.

Dhaulagiri, a scared land: President Paudel

            Galkot, Feb 22: President Ram Chandra Paudel has observed Dhualagiri as a scared land.

            The Kaligandaki River which is also the source of Shaligram, the Muktinath area, Panchakot, Galeshwordham and the Kalika temple have made the Dhaulagiri region special, earning reputation of scared land, he explained.

            Addressing a religious event underway at Sarbasiddhidham Panchkot of Baglung municipality-6 since Wednesday, the President today viewed significance of Panchakot was increasing lately.  He said he was happy to see the construction of significant infrastructures at Panchakot. 

            According to the Head-Of-the-State, Nepali are connected and united by culture, traditions, norms and values. 

            The President said he noticed influx of tourists at Panchakot and expected that it would contribute to promotion of religious tourism and to the enhancement of economic status of entire Baglung.

            On the occasion, Sarbasiddhadham Panchakot founder Swami Kamalnayanacharya welcomed the President at Panchakot. The religious event entitled ‘Anantashree Brahmandiya Mahayagya’ is being organised at the initiation of spiritual guru Kamalnayanachaya. 

            The President also took part in the hawan as part of the Mahayagya. According to the organiser, the event is first of its kind in Nepal and will run till February 25.

            It was informed that the proceeds generated from the Mahayagya would be used for concluding the remaining works of construction at Panchakot.

Presentation of bill delayed due to lack of quorum

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: A session of the House of Representatives (HoR) today failed to proceed with the presentation of the bill to amend the Political Parties Act in absence of quorum. 

            As Speaker Devraj Ghimire was about to propose the meeting to decide on a notice of protest presented by Prem Suwal of Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Party demanding to not  present the bill, Mahesh Bartaula demanded the House to determine the number of lawmakers present in the meeting.

            In response, the Speaker allotted times for three times to confirm the number of lawmakers present in the meeting and it was found that presence of at least one fourth of the total member (69) was missing.

            The schedule of presenting the bill in the meeting was postponed thereafter. Only 65 members were present in the meeting.

            As per Article 94 of the Constitution, quorum is a must to present a bill or a proposal for decision in a meeting of either House of the Federal Parliament.

1,063 members sign proposal of Hindu state in NC policymaking conclave

            Lalitpur, Feb 22: In the ongoing policy making conclave, mahasamiti meeting, of the biggest political party, Nepali Congress, a proposal of ‘Vedic sanatan Hindu state along with religious freedom’ has been presented on Thursday.

            The policy conclave going on at Godawari for four days witnessed signatures of 1,063 mahasamiti members in the proposal.

            The signature drive was launched by the Sanatan Hindu State Nepal Mega Campaign coordinated by central member Shankar Bhandari.

            Bhandari submitted the proposal to party President Sher Bahadur Deuba after informing the mahasamiti meeting about the need and relevance of the agenda.

            Although the present constitution has mentioned the country ‘a secular state with religious freedoms’ with the adoption of federalism, a section in the Nepali Congress has not left the agenda of Hindu state. It had also raised this agenda in the previous mahasamiti meeting held at Trivedidham, Nawalparasi.

            Most of the mahasamiti members representing Madhes Province and Sudurpaschim Province raised the issue of Hindu state, giving priority in the ongoing meeting.

            Co-convenor of the mega campaign, Lokesh Dhakal viewed, “They were not for any religious conflict but for voicing people’s aspiration through the mega campaign.”

            He further said NC could not breach the aspiration of most of the mahasamiti members. Vedic sanatan Hindu religion is common ideals of all, Dhakal argued.

Violence-free campaign yielding results

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: Maniram Musahar and Indu Musahar of Bankatti, Binayi Tribeni-7 in Nawalparasi Purba got married 15 years ago. They have three daughters and two sons.

            Since they do not have enough land to cultivate and feed the seven-member family throughout the year, the couple has sharecropped an agricultural land. Working as wage labourers and fishing are their other supporting occupation.  

            The couple had a good relationship until a few years after marriage. However, they started having troubled relationship over household issues. They had differences. Each of them started feeling suffocated within the house.

            Things got to the point that they completely stopped talking to each other and their relations were on the verge of collapse. The impacts were obvious—it took their toll on their children and the entire family.

            It continued until Change Starts At Home project intervened one year ago. Change Starts At Home is a social and behaviour change project aimed at reducing intimate partner violence (IPV) in Nepal through various intervention strategies.

            The couple was selected under the violence free campaign (VFC) project. After participating in group discussions and community awareness programmes, the couple started self-evaluating themselves and looking into the possible reasons behind their troubled relations, and seeking ways to mend their relationship, resulting in their gradual improvement in relationship.

            “I go to work in other people’s farmlands. My husband would to come home drunk, and fight and beat me for no reason. The frequent fighting between us had its adverse impact on our growing children. But nowadays, there are positive changes in us,” says Indu exuding smile.

            The couple has now shared good relations and it is working. They are among 200 couples who have witnessed positive changes in their conjugal relationship following participation in group discussions and awareness campaigns under the VFC.

            As part of the project that took place in four wards of Hupsekot Rural Municipality and six wards of Binayi Tribeni Rural Municipality in Nawalparasi East, the violence free campaigning committee (VFCC) has been formed in the total 12 wards, and one municipality with the objectives of expanding and implementing the campaign to end any forms of violence beyond couples and families into the national level, it has been said.

            Under the project, for 200 selected couples, a total of 52 discussion sessions were organised which were divided into two different segments–40 weeks of questioning constructed social norms and rules, self-evaluation and realization, and changes, and eight months of 12 sessions of the diffusion of the message. 

            As part of 40-week sessions, the respondents divided into 40 groups were made to listen to related radio dramas, movies, and street dramas, and made to participate in group discussions, and given homework. Families of the selected couples also participated in the discussion sessions and other social activities.

            Under eight months of the diffusion process (12 sessions), the participants shared what they learned from group discussions, and other awareness social activities to family members, relatives, friends, communities and entire villages.

            The VFCCs, comprising 220 influential social leaders, and respective ward chairs and municipality vice chairs as patrons, are now operating with funding from the local government and community networks. Overall, this is the community-based volunteering mechanism that can facilitate prevention work within the local government mechanism, says Soham Subedi, the project director.

            To serve its objectives of transforming existing social norms, key to prevent IPV, through the change interventions and their effective diffusion, the VFC committee works on only prevention activities, and recommends to the local system if it finds any issues that need urgent attentions, he adds.

            As part of the VFC, activities like the proposal of distributing a letter of appreciation, flag hoisting and interactions, flag hoisting activity at home, pledge sticker pasted at home (Violence free home declaration, and five points pledge), appreciation assembly, gatherings, meeting and interactions at village, ward and rural municipality levels, ward gatherings, activities done by VFCC, and orientation for community networks, elected people’s representatives and community leaders were carried out.

            With the participation of the ward offices, elected leaders, community networks, influential leaders, and municipality office, the organized diffusion was facilitated within the local government leadership. Sixty-nine splash events, 70 deep-dived events, and 56 appreciation events widely diffused IPV prevention and violence-free home messages. In the organized diffusion phase, more than 10,000 people participated in different activities.

            The violence free campaign has started bearing fruits.

            Overall, participants in the intervention communities demonstrated significant improvement across most primary and secondary outcomes from baseline to midline, controlling for baseline differences between the groups.

            According to the report, IPV decreased by 33% and 39% for community and LDAG (listening discussion and action group) participants respectively relative to participants in the control sites. Psychological IPV decreased by 32% and 35%, sexual IPV by 31% and 27%, and physical IPV by 20% and 25% for community and LDAG participants relative to controls. Positive injunctive norms also significantly improved for both community and LDAG with an effect size of over 0.5 SD. Changes in negative descriptive norms for intervention participants were not significant relative to controls.

            Gender equitable attitudes, sexual decision-making, financial decision-making, relationship quality and equity, and communication showed improvement for both intervention groups at midline. The LDAG group additionally improved on in-law violence, leadership, and GBV advocacy relative to the control group; the community group showed no significant change on these outcomes at midline.

            So far since the launch of VFC, 1,168 households declared violence-free homes in Binayi Tribeni and Hupsekot Rural Municipalities.  

            Influenced by the positive effects of VFC, the target ward levels have allocated budget ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 each for the campaign. Bishnu Rana, chair of Hupsekot ward-3, expresses his readiness to continue the campaign with new plans incoming. “We in coordination with the stakeholders are coming up with news plans to make it more effective. The campaign has already started displaying effects. It could be a groundbreaking in eliminating violence among people,” he says.

            According to him, in the current fiscal year, 2023/24, the ward has allocated Rs 100,000 for the project, and local Birat community forest users’ group Rs 500,000.

            Globally, approximately 30% of women aged 15 and older have experienced physical and or sexual IPV at some point in their lifetime (World Health Organization, 2021). This figure does not include sexual harassment.

            According to data with the Ministry of Health and Population, 2023, the 12-month prevalence of psychological, physical, and sexual IPV in Nepal was 17% in 2022 with 28% of Nepali women ever reporting one or more of these three forms of IPV (psychological 14%; physical 24%; sexual 8%).  Correlates of IPV include low caste, women’s employment, income stress, poor marital communication, quarreling, husband drunkenness, witnessing IPV as a child, exposure to in-law violence, and gender inequitable normative expectations (Clark et al., 2019).

Canada wins One-day series against Nepal 2-1

            Kathmandu, Feb 22: Nepal ‘A’ lost the third and final match under the One-day series to Canada XI by four wickets. With this, Canada XI won the three-match series by 2-1.

            Canada secured a victory over Nepal in the opening match by four wickets while the second match was won by Nepal by two wickets. 

            In today’s victory, Canada XI chased down the 182-run target in 28.5 overs incurring the loss of six wickets. In Canada’s achievement, Nicholas Kirton contributed the highest 58 with six fours in 77 balls. Similarly, Navneet Daliwal scored 38 followed by 36 from Aaron Johnson and 14 from Nikhil Dutta.

            For Nepal, Shahab Alam took four wickets while Sher Malla and Basir Ahamad claimed one wicket each.

            In the math held at the upper Mulpani Cricket Ground, Nepal was put into bat first by losing the toss and completed the first innings with 181 in 47 overs at the loss of all wickets. Ashutosh Ghiraiya top-scored for Nepal with 28, followed by contributions from Arjun Kumal (27), Basir Ahamad (25), captain Sundeep Jora (24), Sujan Thapaliya (20), and Rasid Kan and Pratish GC, each scoring 19.

            Dillon Heyliger, Kirton and Harsh Thaker took two wickets each and captain Saad Bin Zafar and Kaleem Sana took one wickets each.

Harmony among all religions is main goal of republic, President says

Achham, Feb 22: President Ramchandra Paudel has said that Nepal is a source country for eastern traditions of knowledge adding that unity and solidarity of diverse cultures and civilizations could be seen in such knowledge and traditions. 

Inaugurating the Mahakumbha along with Kotihom Mahayagya at Baidhanath Dham in Achham district on Thursday, the President said that harmony and unity among different castes, religions and ethnic and religious communities is the main goal of the federal democratic republic added that the constitution has envisioned the protection of all religions and cultures.

The President mentioned that this pious day of beginning of the Kotihom may inspire one and all to materialize this very philosophy of the federal democratic republic.

President Paudel added that the State’s social and cultural objectives should be translated by maintaining social harmony, solidarity and assimilation while respecting the cultural diversities and developing a healthy and civilized culture.

The President also expressed the pleasure towards the reconstruction of a temple from the government and public participation after the formation of Baidhanath Area Development Organization in the past for the Area’s development, protection and promotion.  

On the occasion, President Paudel emphasized the need for developing infrastructures by preparing the master plan for the overall development of the Area.

President Paudel was of the view that contribution in the nation building process could be made by developing such religious and historical sites as the attractive touristic sites after including in the budget and policy and programmes of all three levels of the government.

In his speech, the President drew attention of all to work further to unleash tourism potential of this site.Likewise, the President said he was extremely happy to visit such a holy place, the site of deities’ temples and the penance place of Rishi.

Rainfall in Kathmandu, international flight diverted

Kathmandu, Feb 22: Different places of the country, including Kathmandu Valley have witnessed light rainfall today.

Meteorologist at the Meteorological Forecasting Division, Shanti Kandel, shared that light rainfall is taking place in Bagmati, Gandaki and Karnali provinces.

Different places in Kathmandu Valley are receiving light rainfall for the past couple of hours. According to the Division, 4.8 millimeter rainfall has been recorded in Archale, Palpa some six hours ago.

Kandel said there is now partly to generally cloudy weather across the country and light rainfall is taking place in some places.

There is possibility of rainfall in the night today. Weather will gradually improve from western part of the country from Friday onward, she added, stating that there is, however, no chance of heavy rain and snowfall.

International flights from Kathmandu have been affected due to bad weather in Kathmandu. An aircraft belonging to Indian Indigo Airlines was diverted to Lucknow, India after it could not land at Tribhuvan International Airport this afternoon following unfavourable weather condition, said TIA Spokesperson Subas Jha. 

However, domestic flights are normal, though somewhat delayed, he mentioned.

Province Presidents recommend devising efforts to make NC a first party

Lalitpur, Feb 22: Province Presidents in the ongoing Mahasamiti meeting of the Nepali Congress (NC) have stressed the need to devise united efforts to make NC a number one party in the upcoming election.

Presenting the recommendations received from the four groups divided for discussion In the general council meeting of the party underway at Sunrise Conference Centre based in Godavari, Lalitpur, the Presidents said the NC has failed to attract new voters while forming coalition in the past.

In his presentation, NC Sudurpaschim Province President Bir Bahadur Balayar said the Mahasamiti members discussed on the pressing concerns of the party and the country when they were embattled by the opposition. “As the main party of the country, NC needs to come up with a document adopting an ‘one policy and a goal”, he said.

NC Koshi Province President Uddhav Thapa said He said that the issue of strengthening the party and emerging it the first party in the upcoming elections has been raised. He further said the issue of the party’s failure to increase youth attraction and a decision on the agenda of forming alliance with other parties was also raised during the discussion.

Likewise, Karnali Province President Lalitjung Shahi underlined the need to sincerely implement the policies recommended in the mahasamiti meeting.

Shahi said there should be no hurry to take a decision on whether to form an alliance or not. “There is a perception within the alliance whether it should be before or after election is a strategic issue. It is a matter demanded by the then times, so we cannot decide such issue now,” he said.

President Shahi said the incumbent alliance should be continued and a proposal that central committee member should automatically be a member of Mahasamiti should be scrapped. Saying they received suggestions from members that ticket distribution should be made transparent, President of Madhes Province Krishna Yadav mentioned that Mahasamiti members raised the issue on declining attraction of young generation to the Nepali Congress.

He added, “Mahasamiti members have raised the voice that NC general convention should be held in every two years and positive result can be achieved from such practice.” Likewise, President of Bagmati Province, Indra Baniya, shared demands including incentivizing farmers towards adopting modern agriculture, taking initiatives to resolve people’s problems, making coordination between the government and party and ensuring education and health free were raised.

Similarly, Gandaki Province President Shukra Raj Sharma explained that various issues including making party structures stronger from centre to local level, making ticket distribution transparent and running campaigns to ensure party’s majority in coming elections were raised.  

Lumbini Province President Amar Singh Pun said the three-tier government should play leadership role to translate into actions the rights guaranteed by the constitution. Mahasamiti members raised the issue that the NC should take initiative to make arrangement of voting for Non-Resident Nepalis in coming election, he added.

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Expansion of democracy will be hampered if NC weakens: Leader Koirala

Lalitpur, Feb 22: Nepali Congress (NC) leader Dr Shekhar Koirala has said the expansion of democracy would be hampered if the Nepali Congress (NC) was weakened.

He said NC was the only party that would build future of the people. In his address to the concluding session of the NC Mahasamiti meeting held at Sunrise Conference Centre in Godavari, Lalitpur today, leader Dr Koirala called for the party leadership to properly find and evaluate those who could not get proper respect despite devoting their lives to democracy and the party.

He stressed the need to initiate research to map such individuals, incidents and modes and document them properly for justice purpose. 

Recalling those glorious moments in history and the leaders who guided them, he said the elders should successfully carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them for nation-building.

Leader Koirala said that the NC should move ahead with pride in its history by shaping the present and moving ahead in the future.He said that the challenge of the day was to transform the internal life of the party by restoring the lost values, methods, ideas and ideals of the party. He said the party should work to solve the problems of the people.

NC’s former vice-president Gopalman Shrestha said there was no need to be panic. “Let us be organized, we can become not only a big party but also a majority winning party,” he claimed.

Likewise, former vice-president Prakash Man Singh stressed the need to move ahead by empowering all the three levels of government. “The path of economic revolution should be completed under the NC leadership by protecting the constitution promulgated by the Constituent Assembly,” he said.

Former vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi urged the party to go after the meeting with enthusiasm so that the party would win the upcoming elections in 2084 BS. He stressed the need to impart the message of Mahasamiti to the general public. Similarly, former vice-president Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar said it was the responsibility of the new generation to take the party forward with a long history. He said all should unite to strengthen the party.

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Maoists hold discussion on Tarai-Madhes awareness campaign

Kathmandu, Feb 22:  The CPN (Maoist Centre) has held discussions on preparations for the Tarai-Madhes (Postal Highway) awareness campaign aimed at connecting the party with the people in the southern plain area.

The standing committee meeting presided over by party chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ at the party headquarters in Parisdanda today discussed about the second phase of the campaign to be conducted on March 14-28, party secretary Ganesh Sah told RSS. General discussions were also held on the route of the campaign, he said.

The campaign will start from Chandragadhi, Jhapa and reach western Nepal via Birgunj, Thori, Madi Chitwan. The Maoists are preparing to launch the campaign on the basis of postal highway.

The Maoists had decided to launch an awareness campaign targeting the Tarai-Madhes after drawing a conclusion that the ‘Maoist Transformation Special Campaign with the People’, conducted across the country from August to December last year, went successful.

In the meeting, in-charges of seven geographical and three non-geographical provinces reported on the campaign. The standing committee meeting is scheduled to resume at 1.00 pm tomorrow.

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Sandip Lamichhane moves Patan High Court

Kathmandu, Feb 22: Cricketer Sandip Lamichhane has lodged a case at the Patan High Court on Thursday challenging the verdict of the Kathmandu District Court that convicted Lamichhane on a rape case.

According to Registrar of Patan High Court Man Bahadur Karki, the petition was lodged to make the appeal without being held in detention as per the Section 137 of the Criminal Procedure (Code) Act 2074 BS.

A single bench of Kathmandu District Court’s Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal on January 10 had slapped Rs 300,000 in fine and Rs 200,000 in compensation against Lamichhane convicting him in a rape case on Gaushala 26.

Ministers with poor performance should be recalled: General-Secretary Thapa

Godavari (Lalitpur), Feb 22: Nepali Congress General-Secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa has pointed out the need to reach out among the people with a determination of making the NC strong and powerful. 

In a concluding session of the party’s Mahasamiti meeting at Godavari-based Sunrise Conference Centre on Thursday, General-Secretary Thapa noted NC should take bold decision to investigate properties of all those who have been in leadership position since 2046 BS.

He shared, “The ministers who have no good performance should be recalled. NC should not protect the people involved in corruption cases”.

Similarly, another General-Secretary, Bishwa Prakash Sharma, said the Mahasamiti meeting has delivered a message that the NC is united to take good governance and prosperity ahead in the country. 

“We got chance to listen to the problems from all corners of the country in the Mahasamiti meeting. The NC being united will move ahead to resolve it”, he mentioned. 

Sharing that the NC is the party leading the country, General-Secretary Sharma underscored the need of following the decisions endorsed by the meeting.

Joint General-Secretary Pharmullah Mansoor laid emphasis that NC leaders and cadres across the country should be united to make the party stronger, adding now there is all-inclusive representation in the party from different spheres, including women, Madhesi, Muslim in the parliament due to proportional election system, which was made possible due to the NC. 

Likewise, other Joint General-Secretaries—Umakant Chaudhary, Mahalaxmi (Dina) Upadhyay, Bhisma Raj Aangdembe, Badri Prasad Pandey and Kishor Singh Rathore also underscored the need of making the party stronger reaching among the people.

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Recommendations received from Mahasamiti have significance-President Deuba

Lalitpur, Feb 22: Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba said the recommendations received from the Mahasamiti are the base of far-reaching significance.  Concluding the Mahasamiti meeting of the NC at Sunrise Conference Centre in Godawari, Lalitpur today, he said that important suggestions and recommendations had been received from the participants.

 “The central committee will complete the recommendations received. On the basis of this, the upcoming central committee will publish its report,” Deuba said, adding that the suggestions received from the Mahasamiti have become the basis of far-reaching importance.

In the past, the party had led movements and campaigns, from now onward the NC will lead the policy for development and prosperity. Stating that NC has always been the centre of Nepali politics, he said it would move ahead in a more effective manner in the days to come.

Vice President Purna Bahadur Khadka said crucial suggestions were received in the Mahasamiti meeting in regard to the operation of the party and the government. “NC has always been established as a centrist party in the country. We will not allow this trend to be left and right,” he said.

Khadka asserted the NC should take the lead in amending the constitution. Stating that the Mahasamiti meeting had given a message of unity, he said the party was always active in favour of national interests.

Another Vice-President and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dhanraj Gurung stressed the need for NC leaders and cadres to work towards building the party’s organisation. “The party should move ahead with clarity in principles and ideology,” he said.

NC should work in the coming days to provide food, food and shelter to all Nepalis living below the poverty line, he said, adding the matter of investigating the assets of all those who have reached the office of should be put into practice. Vice President Gurung said that the party should formulate a road map to touch the sentiments of the people.

Ministers with poor performance should be recalled: General-Secretary Thapa

Godavari (Lalitpur), Feb 22: Nepali Congress General-Secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa has pointed out the need to reach out among the people with a determination of making the NC strong and powerful. 

In a concluding session of the party’s Mahasamiti meeting at Godavari-based Sunrise Conference Centre on Thursday, General-Secretary Thapa noted NC should take bold decision to investigate properties of all those who have been in leadership position since 2046 BS.

He shared, “The ministers who have no good performance should be recalled. NC should not protect the people involved in corruption cases”.

Similarly, another General-Secretary, Bishwa Prakash Sharma, said the Mahasamiti meeting has delivered a message that the NC is united to take good governance and prosperity ahead in the country. 

“We got chance to listen to the problems from all corners of the country in the Mahasamiti meeting. The NC being united will move ahead to resolve it”, he mentioned.  Sharing that the NC is the party leading the country, General-Secretary Sharma underscored the need of following the decisions endorsed by the meeting.

Joint General-Secretary Pharmullah Mansoor laid emphasis that NC leaders and cadres across the country should be united to make the party stronger, adding now there is all-inclusive representation in the party from different spheres, including women, Madhesi, Muslim in the parliament due to proportional election system, which was made possible due to the NC. 

Likewise, other Joint General-Secretaries—Umakant Chaudhary, Mahalaxmi (Dina) Upadhyay, Bhisma Raj Aangdembe, Badri Prasad Pandey and Kishor Singh Rathore also underscored the need of making the party stronger reaching among the people.

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RSP President Lamichhane, EU Ambassador Veronique meet

Kathmandu, Feb 22: President of Rastriya Swatantra Party Rabi Lamichhane and Ambassador of the European Union to Nepal, Veronique Lorenzo, held a meeting on Thursday at the RSP central office in Banasthali.

Issues of Nepal-EU relations were discussed during the meeting, according to RSP Central Committee Member and Joint Spokesperson Prativa Rawal.On the occasion, the two reviewed the 50 years long Nepal-EU cooperation and emphasized the need of further strengthening bilateral ties in the days to come.

Likewise, President Lamichhane urged the EU Ambassador to take initiatives to remove Nepal from the Air Safety List of the EU. \In response, the EU Ambassador said that the issue was in her priority adding that EU was coordinating with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for Nepal’s tasks to do for aviation security.

7th plenary meeting of UML central committee concludes passing 22-point proposal 

Kathmandu, Feb 22: The seventh plenary meeting of the CPN (UML)’s central Committee concluded on Thursday passing a 22-point contemporary proposal. The meeting held from February 20 has drawn a conclusion to play a role from the parliament and street for the protection of federal democratic republic, effective implementation of constitution, development and prosperity, noting the incumbent government failed to address the issues of people’s livelihood.

Suggestions gathered from different group-wise discussion were presented in the meeting presided by Chair KP Sharma Oli. Emphasis was laid on the issues of strongly following the party discipline, financial transparency and moral conduct in the meeting.

On the occasion, Chair Oli called for materializing the national aspiration ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ by forming a majority government led by UML. 

Similarly, General-Secretary Shankar Pokhrel made policy-level instruction for renewal of party membership, operation of systematic party school, office management, effectiveness of purification, expansion of party activities in new generation, management of diamond jubilee, and preparation for coming by-election.

Condemning the Balkumari and Barhathawa incidents where three person lost their lives due to police force, the meeting drew the attention of the government to take action against the guilty, to provide relief and compensation to deceased families, said Chief of UML Central Publicity and Publication Department, Rajendra Gautam.

Talks positive with Bangladesh to export energy

Kathmandu, Feb 22: The talks between the officials of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (PBDB) have been positive on power trade deal.

As agreed between NEA and PBDB, Nepal would export electricity to Bangladesh from coming rainy season.The talks were held between the NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising led team and PBDP’s Tender Evaluation Committee in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. 

Ghising said that a final agreement would be done soon by giving a final touch to every point to be included in the power trade deal.”They are supposed to take approval from the higher authority. Consensus has been made to purchase electricity from Nepal from coming rainy season by completing the approval and other processes at the earliest possible time,” Ghising added.

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