The Legislature-Parliament avatar of the Constituent Assembly today endorsed the bill seeking to extend the term of the CA by six more months. This is the fourth extension of the CA term. Like it was in August when the CA was extended for three months, this time too there was not much drama (inside the CA of haggling by the politicians and outside the CA hall of protesters shouting against the extension). But the atmosphere was entirely different back in May when the CA was extended for three months amidst chaos.
Of the 508 lawmakers present at the House session, 505 voted in favour of the bill seeking amendment to the Interim Constitution that would pave way for extending the CA term, while three lawmakers voted against the bill. The government on Thursday tabled a bill on the 11th amendment to the Interim Constitution proposing a six-month extension beyond the November 30 deadline.
The CA, which was elected in April 2008 with a two-year term to write a constitution and take the peace process to a logical conclusion, has already been extended three times before this. None of the works have been finished till now. Continue reading
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is arriving in Kathmandu on December 20 on a three-day visit, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said on Tuesday. “After the visit of the Chinese Premier, I will visit China,” PM Bhattarai told a select group of journalists. Wen will be the highest-ranking official to visit from Nepal’s immediate neighbours—India and China—since 2001. Earlier, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Nepal in 2001 and Chinese President Jiang Zemin in 1996.
However, Wen’s detailed itinerary is in the process of finalisation and Nepali officials have begun consultation to prepare agendas to be raised during the Chinese Premier’s visit. Continue reading
We agree with CNNgo’s assessment. We also agree with what they have said at the end of their note on Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan: Never mind. The city’s markets and surrounding mountains are lovely. These photos, taken on 11 Nov, are the evidence. Pics by Dinesh Wagle [More photos at the end of this post]
Can you see a plane? Spot the Thai Airways logo. And the airport's international terminal building...
CNNgo recently put Tribhuvan in a list of 10 “world’s most hated airports” along with JFK, LAX and Heathrow. Kathmandu’s (and Nepal’s) only international airport joined in notoriety with those of New York, Los Angeles and London (and Paris too). Continue reading
Scott Mason, left, pilots a paraglider over Pokhara, Nepal, with Anita Hjertas (Bob hitches a ride for a moment). Mr. Mason created the sport of parahawking, in which the paraglider follows a trained bird of prey to catch thermals. Pic by Julian Andrews/Whitehotpix
By John Bishop
in the New York Times
THE air whistled past my helmet as I removed a cube of raw buffalo meat from the bag strapped to my paraglider harness and placed it in my gloved hand. While a soup of haze obstructed the views of the Himalayas one afternoon last spring, I was rewarded with tilting glimpses of the Nepalese city of Pokhara and of Phewa Lake below. The paraglider pilot seated behind me blew his whistle twice, and moments later, a brown Egyptian vulture swooped in an effortless arc, landing on my outstretched arm.
This was my introduction to parahawking, an adventure sport that combines falconry and paragliding, drawing both bird enthusiasts and thrill seekers. Continue reading
Feels Tuesday’s historic pact addresses its concerns
By Phanindra Dahal
The Nepal Army (NA) has expressed its readiness to fully support the landmark deal signed by parties on Tuesday night on concluding the peace process, stating that its concerns have been addressed in the agreement that will see former Maoist combatants integrated into its ranks.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha leader Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar signed the deal expressing commitment to setting up a general directorate under the NA to integrate up to 6,500 Maoist fighters. The general directorate, according to the deal, will be deployed for infrastructure development, rescue and relief operations as well as forest and industrial security.
“We feel fortunate that the parties forged an agreement on integration modality that we had suggested,” said a two-star general, commenting on Tuesday’s seven-point agreement. “We are ready to extend our full support to the implementation of this decision.” Continue reading
Leaders agree on number of Maoist guerillas to be integrated
KATHMANDU, NOV 01 – The peace process that was started five years ago in 2006 is likely to witness its logical conclusion. The meeting of the top brass leaders of the major political parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha—on Tuesday agreed on contentious issues of the peace process.
UML leader Bhim Rawal announced the deal amid a press conference organised at the PM’s residence.
The leaders have agreed to integrate 6,500 former Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army in an individual basis, Rawal informed. Likewise, the rehabilitation package has been agreed upon Rs. 600,000 to Rs. 900,000 as per the rank of the combatants.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala, UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar as SLMM’s representative signed on the “peace deal” at Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s official residence in Baluwatar.
Meanwhile, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal held a talk with his deputy Mohan Baidya—leader of the party’s hardliner faction—so as to take him into confidence.
The background: how they bargained