Narayan Wagle and Prateek Pradhan, the original reporters of Kantipur and the Post respectively, who rose to the helm of the papers signaling the new era in Nepali journalism, call it a day
Outgoing editor Narayan Wagle (second from right) addresses reporters in the newsroom of Kantipur. The newly appointed editor Sudheer Sharma, first from right, and Hari Bahadur Thapa (third from right), the newly appoint news editor listened. Pic by Suraj Kunwar
Sudheer Sharma has been named the new editor of Kantipur daily following the resignation of Narayan Wagle, one of the most charismatic journalists of Nepal.
Akhilesh Upadhyay was named the editor of the Kathmandu Post following the resignation of Prateek Pradhan. Upadhyay is a former reporter of the Post who had left the paper some five years ago when Pradhan was elevated to the highest editorial position in the Post. Upadhyay also opened an English language weekly magazine called Nation that was ultimately closed because of economic problems. Continue reading
In what will go on the pages of the history books as one of the most important days of Nepal, Maoist revolutionary (and leader of an outfit that was branded terrorist until two years ago) Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda) has been elected the Prime Minister of Nepal by a majority of votes in the Constituent Assembly this evening. Nepali Congress, second largest party in the assembly, was the opponent that filed separate candidacy. Sher Bahadur Dueba, senior Congress leader and three time prime minister, was defeated (he got 113 votes vs 464 of Dahal). Many other fringe parties supported the Maoist led alliance that included third largest CPN UML. Chairman of the CA in his capacity as the Speaker of the House of Representative announced the results a few seconds ago. Continue reading
The Summer Games have begun in Beijing today in a spectacular fashion. This is one of those rare moments when the majority of the will be watching the same thing-on their TV sets- at the same time with, perhaps, the same emotions. The world is taking part in this grand ceremony of sportsmanship and celebration of humanity. Small or big, powerful or feeble, rich or poor, almost all people of the world are represented in the Games and everyone is so proud of that. It was one of those proud moments when I saw on TV the Nepali contingent marching inside the Birds Nest. Deepak Bista, the bearer of our flag, proudly led the Team Nepal on the world stage. That was quite a sight. One of my friends who was watching the opening ceremony in the Himalayan Java Coffee House in Thamel along with me screamed as he saw Deepak, our Taekwondo star, and the Team marching because he was so excited about the whole thing. Yes the medal tally will begin from tomorrow and ultimately the success of the participating country will be judged on the number of medals collected by their players but Olympics are not just able medals. President Hu Jintao of China is so right when he says this (at a luncheon with visiting heads of state earlier Friday): “The historic moment we have long awaited is arriving. The world has never needed mutual understanding, mutual toleration and mutual cooperation as much as it does today.”-by DW
Paras at Airport in Kathmandu. Pic by Narendra Shrestha via Kantipur
Former crown prince Paras flew to Singapore yesterday amid speculation that he plans to quit the country following abolition of the monarchy ,or arrange schooling abroad for his three kids- Hridayendra, Purnika and Kritika. He reached Tribhuvan International Airport flanked by personal security officials (PSO) and close relatives. Airport security officials said that he boarded a direct Silk Air flight to Singapore at around 1 pm. Paras’s late uncle Dhirendra’s son-in-law and close aide of the former monarch, Dr Rajiv Shahi, who survived in the 2001 royal massacre, saw Paras off at the airport. Paras was accompanied to Singapore by his brother-in-law Raj Bahadur Singh and Adarsh Bikram Rana. Continue reading
A recent photo of Aradhana. All pics by Kul Chandra Neupane
A toddler who fell into the gorge of Seti River in Pokhara on yesterday was rescued after 22 hours by a teenager. About two and a half years old Aradhana Pradhan, daughter of Aarogya Pradhan of Birouta in Pokhara, was rescued by 13-year old local Kamal Nepali today. The toddler was rushed to Gandaki Regional Hospital for treatment. Local army personnel and police officers along with five canyoning team sent from the capital helped in the rescue process. They were mobilised at the site since yesterday for the rescue of the minor, who fell about 60 meters down from the ground following her father. Continue reading
With 74 days remaining for its mandate to expire the United Nations Mission to Nepal (UNMIN) has started preparations to move out of Nepal. UNMIN chief Ian Martin wrote a letter on Thursday 8th May to his staffs at the agency telling them that “It is now necessary to plan towards the end of the mission, and I have established an End-of-Mission Task Force to undertake this planning.” This comes at a time when the Maoist party, almost certain to lead the next government has repeatedly said that UNMIN is not needed after this term is over. Indian are also expressing against the presence of UNMIN. At the end of the memo, Martin adds: “Once the Constituent Assembly has been convened and a new government is in office, I will discuss with the government and report to the Secretary-General regarding any request it may make for UN support that cannot be provided by the UN Country Team.” Below is the full text of the letter provided to UWB by a senior UMNIN staff: Continue reading
CHANGE that we can believe in? HOPE that’s true!
As it’s becoming almost certain that Maoist will lead the next government Chairman Prachanda- who said he will actually be heading it- has been very quickly changing the radical tone almost sounding like a, God forbid, a bourgeois leader! Until ten days ago Nepali Army, for him, was loyal to the king, not to the people. Now there is a U-turn in that. Until recently, India and American were ‘expansionist’ and ‘imperialist’ forces. Now, he says, no he can’t say that! Until recently, he was for nothing less than the integration PLA with Nepali Army. Now, he says, hmm we are not thinking in such a mechanical manner. He quickly talks about Industrial Security and Border Security. CHANGE that we can believe in? HOPE that’s true!
Read the following excerpt from Chairman Prachanda’s interview with Sudheer Sharma and Prashant Aryal published in today’s Nepal Magazine: Continue reading
King Gyanendra’s Secretariat at the royal palace today issued a statement that said:
“The attention of the Secretariat has been drawn to the malicious reports appearing in sections of the national and international media in recent days against the royal palace. This Secretariat strongly refutes these reports as totally fabricated and unfounded.”
The background: Some Nepali and Indian media are reporting that king Gyanendra is considering going into exile in India. There are some discussions going on about that in some media. The Indian foreign minister yesterday said that no requests to the Indian government were made from the king about possible exile. Maoist leaders have given a four-week ultimatum to the king to move out of the Narayanhitti palace. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly is expected to take place within a month.
Our view: There is no question that king Gyanendra can stay in the Narayanhitti palace after the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly executes the provision of the interim constitution making Nepal a republican state. Gyanendra should go back to his private Nirmal Niwas in Maharajgunj that is reportedly undergoing renovation. If he wants to stay in Nepal, he shouldn’t be denied of that right because after the abolition of monarchy in Nepal, king Gyanendra will be just Gyanendra, a citizen of Nepal whose rights, just like our, will be defended by the interim constitution.
Bhutto Assassinated in Attack on Rally: The Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated near the capital, Islamabad, on Thursday. Witnesses said Ms. Bhutto, who was appearing at a political campaign rally, was fired upon at close range by a gunman, and then struck by shrapnel from a blast that the government said was caused by a suicide bomber. (continue reading here)
Benazir Bhutto was a courageous woman who did not hide her ideas, did not know fear and served her country with courage. ISRAELI PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES
The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH
More than ever it is necessary for the [Pakistani] legislative elections to… take place in conditions of pluralism, transparency and security. FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY
Benazir Bhutto may have been killed by terrorists but the terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan and this atrocity strengthens our resolve that terrorists will not win there, here or anywhere in the world. UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN
In her death the subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country. INDIAN PRIME MINISTER MANMOHAN SINGH
(more international reactions)
Q&A: Benazir Bhutto assassination
United Nations Mission to Nepal (UNMIN) Chief Ian Martin organized a press meet today in his office in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu to disclose the total numbers of UNMIN verified Maoist guerillas inside the cantonments.
• The corrected number of personnel registered in the first phase was 31,318. 18,923 of these personnel were verified in the second phase as members of the Maoist army.
• An additional 932 persons who had not been registered in the first phase were presented for the verification process in the second phase. 679 of this total were verified as members of the Maoist army.
• 8,640 personnel did not appear for verification interviews in the second phase and were automatically disqualified.
• 4,008 persons remain to be discharged from cantonments after the total of absentees has been taken into account. 2,973 of this total were assessed to be under the age of 18 on 25 May 2006.
• The full total verified as members of the Maoist army is thus 19,602, comprising 15,756 men and 3,846 women.
Below is a press statement read out by Ian Martin, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in front of journalists on 27 December 2007
We have distributed the statement of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued yesterday in New York, welcoming the 23-point agreement reached by the Seven-Party Alliance. I myself already had the occasion to express an initial welcome for the agreement when we honoured members of the Interim Task Force in this building on Monday. Let me reiterate that welcome today. The parties to Nepal’s peace process asked for the assistance of the United Nations with a view to creating a free and fair atmosphere for the election of the Constituent Assembly, and the seven parties have now committed themselves to achieving this for an election before the end of the current Nepali year. Fulfilling this commitment is central to consolidating Nepal’s peace process and moving forward with the democratic transition. Continue reading