Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Breaking News

Camp visits will lessen disputes in party: Maoist


PALPA, Sept 25: UCPN (Maoist) Central Committee member Top Bahadur Rayamajhi has said that their fresh program of visiting cantonments is aimed at disseminating party leaders´ three different reports to the party´s lower level and also make party cadres familiar with the reports

Talking to Republica, Rayamajhi, who is close to party vice chairman Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai, claimed that their fresh campaign will help diminish the internal conflict the party has been confronting for long.

"Our main objective of visiting different cantonments is to support combatants to understand the gist of party leaders´ three different reports tabled in party meeting concluded recently," said Rayamajhi, adding, "Our campaign will also help them hold discussions and interaction on contemporary issues."

He admitted that there are numerous internal conflicts and contentious issues in the Maoist party. "We are the largest party in the CA. So, we have numerous conflicts and undecided issues in the party," he said, adding, "We want to settle such issues by collecting feedback from cadres."

"Our campaign will also help the party leadership reach the right conclusions on various contradicting issues," he said.

Rayamajhi also informed that party´s extended meeting to be held in October in Chitwan, will decide the party´s true line.

He further clarified that party´s future line could be of practical provided that the decisions are taken consulting cadres and party´s rank and file.

Rayamajhi admitted that the trend of protesting against India publicly but courting the southern neighbor through servile attitude exists in the Maoist party.

He reiterated that the new government should be formed under Maoist leadership. "All options are open for having a prime minister from our party," he claimed.

Maoist hydro move merely political: Govt


KATHMANDU, Sept 25: The government on Friday took strong exception to the Maoist party announcement that it would halt the 14 hydropower projects to be built with foreign investment on the grounds of their being “against” the national interest, and assured security for such projects if need be.

Contrary to the Maoist claim that the licenses for the 14 projects, to be implemented mostly with Indian investment, were issued trampling on parliamentary procedures, the government argued, they had received the nod in compliance with legal obligations.

Minister for Energy Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat termed the Maoist remark an irresponsible one in the light of the fact that signing of Power Development Agreements (PDA) are on the cards for seven out of the 14 projects.

“The government is deeply concerned with regards to the opinion of the Maoists and is committed to providing security to the ongoing projects,” Mahat said.

In February this year, the UCPN (Maoist) had obstructed work at the Upper Karnali and Upper Marsyangdi projects, which have Indian investment. But the Maoist leadership blamed their local leaders for the wrongdoing, saying the party did not have any policy to target the projects. The government had even held talks with the Maoist leaders to resolve the problem.

India had taken up very seriously the security situation facing Indian investors in Nepal during the visit here of Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna early this year.

The projects targeted by the Maoists this time include Upper Karnali (900 MW), Tamakoshi 3 ´A´ (880MW), Upper Marshyngdi (600 MW), Arun III (402 MW), Lower Arun (400 MW), Balefi (50 MW) and Likhu (34 MW), which are awaiting PDA and four of which are being developed by Indian investors, either solely or through joint ventures.

A project reaches the PDA stage after carrying out a detailed feasibility study whereby it will be ready to move into the construction phase within two years.

Dr Mahat said the Indian investors in the projects have already expressed to ministry officials their grave concern over the Maoist call to obstruct them.

Earlier, the Maoist Department of Water Resources and Energy had said the ongoing hydropower projects will have to be endorsed by the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources before they can move any further.

“The Maoists, in seeking parliamentary endorsement of the projects before completion of the PDA, are merely trying to turn it into a political issue,” Mahat said. "The government urges the Maoist party to withdraw its announcement."

IPPAN, CNI concerned

The Independent Power Producers´ Association Nepal (IPPAN) and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) have expressed serious concern over the Maoist move.

Issuing separate statements, both organizations said it was a matter of grave concern that the Maoists have made public their intention to halt 14 projects that have already been granted feasibility study licenses by the government.

The statements further said that at a time when foreign investors are not so keen on pouring in their funds, the announcement by the Maoists will have adverse effect on foreign investment in Nepal.

Results for reserved NC CWC seats out


KATHMANDU, Sept 24: Nepali Congress (NC) Central Election Committee has announced the results of the voting on reserved Central Working Committee (CWC) seats allocated for dalits, women and Madhesis.

According to the NC election committee, Man Bahadur Bishwakarma, Min Bishwakarma and Jiwan Pariyar have won the three seats reserved for dalits.

Likewise, Sujata Pariyar and Kabita Sardar Batar have been elected as NC CWC members under dalit women quota. Pushpa Bhusal, Mina Pandey, Kamala Panta, Ambika Basnet, Mahalaxmi Upadhyaya ´Dina´ and Ishwari Neupane have won the six CWC seats reserved for women.

Likewise, Umakanta Chaudhary, Ajaya Kumar Chaurasiya, Mahendra Yadav from among male candidates and Parbati DC Chaudhary and Minakshi Jha from women have secured CWC berths from the seats reserved for Madhesis.

The NC has allocated 22 reserved seats for various marginalized groups. These include six for women, five each including two women for Aadibasi/Janajati, Dalits and Madhesis, and one for Muslims. Mohammad Aftab Aalam was declared winner from Muslim category on Thursday.

Vote counting for five CWC seats reserved for Aadibasi/Janajati group was underway till late Friday evening. Bhisma Raj Angdangwe, Surya Man Gurung and Indra Bahadur Gurung from male and Sita Gurung and Ratna Sherchan from women had been leading vote count till this report was filed.

The counting of votes for open (25 seats) and zonal (14 seats) categories will begin at 8 am Saturday.

Maoist, UML solicit 16 parties' support


KATHMANDU, Sept 24: The UCPN (Maoist) and the CPN-UML have expedited talks with other political parties in a bid to garner support to end the ongoing process for electing a new prime minister and begin a new process.

The two parties on Friday held a meeting with leaders from 16 parties at Maoist parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar.

As per the two-party agreement, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has agreed to pull out of the prime ministerial race and the UML leaders in return have pledged not to participate in the next round of prime ministerial voting.

"We made it clear before the 16 parties that the agreement between UCPN-M and UML is not for forging two-party alliance, it is just an initiative to forge a broader national consensus for ending the ongoing deadlock," Maoist Vice-Chairman Narayankaji Shrestha told reporters after the meeting.

"After this, we will talk to the Nepali Congress (NC) and Madhes-based parties." He claimed that the parties appreciated the Maoists and the UML for taking the initiative.

UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal said they will also urge the NC to withdraw Ram Chandra Paudel´s candidacy for the post of prime minister. "We can´t take the new process ahead unless Paudel´s candidacy is withdrawn," Khanal said.

Pashupati Shamsher Rana of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), who also attended the meeting, said they suggested to the Maoist and UML leaders to take concrete steps to ensure that the constitution is written in the next eight months.

According to Shrestha, while NC leaders had expressed their inability to attend the meeting due to their busy schedule, Madhes-based parties had promised to attend it.

"Top leaders from all the four Madhes-based parties had committed to attend the meeting. We need to enquire why they didn´t show up," he said.

Leaders from RPP, Rastriya Janashakti Party, Chure Bhawar, Nepa Rastriya Party, Nepal Sadbhawana Party-Anandidevi and Nepali Janta Party, among others, attended the meeting.

Maoist-UML agreement a conspiracy: NC


KATHMANDU, Sept 24: Nepali Congress (NC) has termed the three-point agreement reached between UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-UML to pull out of the ongoing prime ministerial race a ´conspiracy´.

A meeting of NC senior leaders held at the party´s parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar on Friday afternoon concluded that the agreement attempts to undermine issues related to the peace process and promulgation of new constitution as agreed in the three-point deal reached between the three major parties on May 28.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said NC suspects ulterior motive behind the agreement. He also said that the agreement fails to address current political crisis.

“NC is ready to find any other alternative to resolve the ongoing deadlock over prime ministerial election if other parties agree to start agenda-based talks to ensure that the peace process is concluded and new constitution written on time,” KC added.

“Termination of the ongoing process to elect a new prime minister at this juncture is not appropriate and is against parliamentary procedures.”

While Maoist Chairman Dahal has decided to withdraw his candidacy for prime minister, the UML has also agreed to not participate in the PM election until the start of a "new process".

NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi said the three-point agreement reached between Maoists and UML on September 17 is not acceptable to his party. “NC is against the agreement,” he said.

Another NC leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said the meeting decided to urge the Maoists to implement the three-point agreement reached on May 28. “The meeting concluded that the Maoists must implement the first point of the agreement as two others have been already implemented,” he said.

Stating that the withdrawal of prime ministerial candidacy is a secondary thing, Mahat said, “The primary thing now is to implement the issues related to peace process.”

NC Parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel, Gopal Man Shrestha, Nidhi, Dr Mahat, Arjun Narsingh KC, Krishna Sitaula, Mahesh Acharya and Amod Prasad Upadhyaya attended the meeting.

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