Monthly Archives: September 2007

Election Update: Commission Extends Nomination Deadline

The Election Commission extends nomination deadline by five days

The Election Commission today postponed the nominations deadline following the government’s request to do so. The cabinet wrote the letter after top leaders of the seven parties agreed to push the nomination deadline by five days. Top leaders of seven parties met at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s official residence at Baluwatar today morning and a joint request letter was signed by all the leaders urging the commission to postpone the nominations deadline by five days. Now, for proportional electoral system, the parties can file a closed list of their candidates by 18 Ashwin (5 October). As per earlier schedule, today was the last day for filing the nominations. Similarly, the deadline for submission of a closed list of candidates for the first-past-the-post system has been extended to 21 Ashwin (8 October)

Responding to the request letter by the seven parties, Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokhrel said that considering the current political scenario and to hold ongoing peace process move ahead smoothly, the EC has decided to extend the deadline for submission of the nominations.

Meanwhile, the Maoists are holding informal meeting of their central committee to discuss on the issue of proportional voting system, one of their two key demands that wasn’t agreed by other parties in the alliance, mainly the Prime Minister’s Nepali Congress. The Maoists had asked five days time with other parties to discuss about the possible alternatives of their demands of fully proportional system inside their party.

Indian Idol, Protests and Nepali Identity in India

Nepali community in India is fiercely staging demonstrations to protest demeaning remarks made by a New Delhi FM RJ. Why?

By Dinesh Wagle

Indian Idol Prashant Tamang in Kathmandu Nepal

Newly crowned Indian Idol Prashant Tamang, 24-year-old Indian police constable of Nepali origin, was warmly welcomed in Kathmandu this afternoon. He is here to take part in two concerts while his hometown Darjeeling (India) is tense and his fans across the region are protesting the demeaning remarks made against him and Nepali Indian community by a Radio Jockey in New Delhi.

It was only a few days ago that North East Indian city like Darjeeling and Siliguri (or Silgadhi) were merrily celebrating their beloved boy Prashant Tamang’s mesmerizing victory in the hugely popular and closely contested Indian TV singing talent show Indian Idol. When Prashant, a 24-year-old boy of Nepali origin who is a constable in Kolkata (or Calcutta) Police, was announced the winner, his mother took out a Nepali Dhaka topi (traditional Nepali cap) and proudly put that over her son’s head. The Indian Idol program was phenomenally popular, especially among Nepali communities in India that thousands of people didn’t sleep to push Prashant towards the success by voting in the contest. Why? The answer is very easy. In a big country like India, Nepalis (Gorkhas) aren’t recognized in the way they deserve to be recognized. There is sort of identity crisis and Nepalis in India are by and large marginalized. Continue reading

Down With Maoists: Press Freedom Will Prevail in Nepal

Update 2: The Patan Appellate Court this afternoon issued a stay order: not to stop the publication of the papers. The order, issued by Justice Jagdish Sharma Poudel, also says not to organize protest programs in the office premises that the Maoist unionists were doing in the past several days and the order also says not to stop the advertisement flow in the papers.

…………..
The Maoists, Ayatollahs of Nepal, obstruct the printing of two of the biggest and best known newspapers in the country

Demonstrating the true and bitterly ugly nature of the Maoist trait, the Maoist-affiliated trade unionists obstructed the printing the Kathmandu editions of two of the biggest newspaper of Nepal: Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post. Hundreds of thousands of readers across the country today (also the Right to Know Day), especially those in Kathmandu and surrounding region, were deprived of two best known dailies papers that symbolize the democratic achievement of Nepal. [Bharatpur and Biratnagar editions of the papers were published.] Both papers were established as the pioneering private sector independent daily newspapers after democracy was restored by a popular uprising in 1990. Even during the dark old days when the autocratic Gyanendra regime tried to block the publications of the papers by imposing curfew in the city and not providing curfew pass to the publications, both papers were published albeit with less and black and white pages.

Kantipur journalists press release

This is the digitized copy of a press release issued by the Kantipur branch of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) today that condemns the Maoist union’s obstruction of printing of the papers. All reporters and editors of both Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post are united against the Maoist highhandedness. They have vowed to fight against the Maoist unionists. The statement, signed by FNJ Kantipur branch president Yuvraj Acharya and central secretary of FNJ Balaram Baniya, says that though many of the demands raised by the Unionists were genuine and supported by the journalists themselves, the act of obstruction in the printing process is condemnable. The journalists have urged the unionists to continue their talks with the management to solve the problem without disturbing the publications of the papers. The statement says the Kantipur branch of FNJ has taken such incidents by the Maoist-aligned union as a ploy to snatch around 900 employees’ jobs. (click here for large file of the statement)

Update 1: The editors and reporters of Kantipur Publications, who are against the Maoist unionists’ act to disrupt the printing of the papers, today afternoon gathered and condemned the Maoist act. Almost all staffs of the Marketing department, many of whom were actively involved in the Maoist union at the time of its formation a few weeks back, have also said that they are against the economic blockade to the publication and against the obstruction in printing the papers.

After the Kantipur branch of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) issued a statement condemning the Maoist unionist’s act, the Union has also issued a counter statement saying that they were not responsible in disrupting the printing. They instead blame “the management and the pro-royalist journalists of Kantipur Publications” for the printing disruption. This is a blatant lie because the Marketing department worked yesterday and they had sent the slug (the pages of the newspapers with details of the advertisement placement) to the editorial section and the journalists actually wrote news and articles, the designers designed the pages, the scanners scanned the pages and they were sent to the press that is about 10 kilometers away from the head office of Kantipur Publications. As the papers were about to be printed, about a dozen Maoist Unionists went and said they won’t allow the printing.

So the disruption of the printing doesn’t have support of the journalists and staffs but was done by only a handful of hardcore Maoist cadres who are mobilized by the central leadership of the Maoist trade union. An editor of the Post said: “These Maoists are trying to play propaganda with us journalists. Just imagine what they have been doing with the general public.”

Continue reading

Maoist Trade Union's Naked Intervention in Kantipur Publications

Nepal’s largest independent publishing house that publishes two biggest newspapers is the latest target of the CPN Maoist

Today’s issues of Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post are without a single advertisement. This is unusual given the fact that Kantipur, Nepal’s largest paper, attracts many pages of advertisements daily in normal circumstances. But yesterday Maoist affiliated trade union blocked the collection and publication of the ads in the papers in their efforts to bring the independent media in their terms in the name of the movement for increase in salary and other benefits. A few months ago, they did the similar act and both papers were forced to publish without a single piece of advertisement. At that time it was not reported in the papers because the management of Kantipur Publications, publisher of Kantipur and the Post, were engaged in talks. On that night, the agitating pro-Maoist workers allowed the printing and participated in the printing process on the 12th hour as the management took the paper in the press in their effort to print the paper ignoring the agitating workers. Continue reading

It's Official Now: Nepali Congress is a Republican Party

Nepal’s largest political party, whose President is the Prime Minister and acting Head of State, has officially adopted the policy of federal democratic republic

Sixty years after it was established with the mission of turning Nepal into a nation of constitutional monarchy by removing the autocratic rule of Rana family and three years after it became neutral on monarchy, Nepali Congress formally adopted the policy of republic today. The maha samiti meeting of the party, highest policy making body after the general convention, passed the party’s Constituent Assembly manifesto today that aims to establish the federal democratic republic system of governance in Nepal. The maha samiti meeting has just concluded (at the time of this writing). The manifesto promises to table a proposal to declare Nepal a republic on the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly. The manifesto also proposes that the new head of state or the President would be elected by the members of the central and regional parliaments. Continue reading

It’s Official Now: Nepali Congress is a Republican Party

Nepal’s largest political party, whose President is the Prime Minister and acting Head of State, has officially adopted the policy of federal democratic republic

Sixty years after it was established with the mission of turning Nepal into a nation of constitutional monarchy by removing the autocratic rule of Rana family and three years after it became neutral on monarchy, Nepali Congress formally adopted the policy of republic today. The maha samiti meeting of the party, highest policy making body after the general convention, passed the party’s Constituent Assembly manifesto today that aims to establish the federal democratic republic system of governance in Nepal. The maha samiti meeting has just concluded (at the time of this writing). The manifesto promises to table a proposal to declare Nepal a republic on the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly. The manifesto also proposes that the new head of state or the President would be elected by the members of the central and regional parliaments. Continue reading

Nepali Congress Is United

Nepal’s largest democratic political party is unified with its breakaway faction

After five years and four months of their split, Nepali Congress and the break away faction Nepali Congress Democratic have united today amidst a grand ceremony of joint maha samiti meeting. Girija Prasad Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba has signed the agreement paper. This is yet another milestone in the political polarization that is taking place in Nepal in the past months. The unified party is expected to adopt the policy of federal democratic republic.

[more about the event here]

At the time of writing this post, Koirala just finished his speech to the gathering of the activists of the unified party. When the MC invited Deuba to address, he introduced Deuba as president of NC D which he immediately corrected: leader of Nepali Congress which received clapping from the activists.

At the time of split, Sher Bahadur Deuba was the prime minister and he wanted to extend the emergency to continue with the military action against the Maoists. Terming that extension as unnecessary and against the party policy, the party had expelled Deuba. That incident also marks the informal beginning of the regression in Nepal. It was widely believed at that time that Deuba extended the emergency as part of a grand design by the palace to create rift in the biggest political party in the country and ultimately make the government weak. The weakness was ultimately exploited by the king. Continue reading

Update Burma: Momentous Movement in Myanmar

Our solidarity to the momentous freedom movement in Myanmar

While Nepal is going through disappointing uncertainties in the past couple of days, something extraordinary is happening in Burma that’s reminding me of our own April revolution of 2006. I feel like I want to be there hitting the streets of Sittwe, Pakokku, Rangoon and, of course, Mandalay along with those brave monks I am seeing on TV. With the posters of Lord Buddha in their hands and voice of freedom in their mouths, highly revered Bhuddhist monks are on the forefront of an unprecedented revolution that is silently taking place in the country that is suffering from one of the most repressive regimes of the world. Continue reading

The Yoga Mystery: Ram Dev's Nepal Trip

Yoga Ram Dev in Nepal

It was supposed to be a strictly yoga affair. But it turned out to be more than that when police requested the Indian yoga teacher Ram Dev to cancel his class that was scheduled to start yesterday. The yoga sessions resumed today morning after Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula inaugurated. (Pics by Shaligram Tiwari via Kantipur)

We saw a drama yesterday evening as security officials poorly handled the situation that was created after the cancellation. A minister in the cabinet, Rajendra Mahato of Sadbhavana Party Anandidevi, speaking at a press conference along with Ram Dev and other representatives of Nepali political parties, offered apologies to the Yoga instructor for the cancellation. Both the apology and Home Minister’s inauguration were unnecessary and unwarranted. Continue reading

Corrupt Faces of Nepal Come Together To Save Monarchy

Some of the most corrupt faces of the 90s, who also happen to the central members of Nepali Congress, are trying to save monarchy

[Update: President G P Koirala of Nepali Congress today clearly stated in a high level meeting of the party that the Mahasamiti (general committee) meeting that will begin from tomorrow will adopt the policy of democratic republic.]

Gobinda Raj Joshi, Khum Bahadur Khadka and Sujata Koirala! Who are they? What are they all known for? The unanimous answer is: These are some of the most corrupt faces that Nepal saw during the democratic rule in the 90s. They plundered the nation reminding us some of the most notorious scandals in the autocratic Panchayat era. Their crimes are equivalent to those perpetrated by a former Prince who smuggled out idols from Nepal and the royals who amassed millions from Nepal and sent in foreign banks. It’s a shame that these people are still around just like the former prince in question.

Now these very corrupt and rotten people are raising their heads in their last ditch effort to save another corrupt, rotten and entirely obsolete institution called monarchy in Nepal. It’s surprising that these people are in Nepali Congress, not in Rastriya Prajantra Party Nepal of Rajeshwor Devkota. Continue reading