Gathabandhan warns of severing ties with govt

    TIKA R PRADHAN, Feb 25 2017

    Accusing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal of betraying them, the Sanghiya Gathabandhan has decided to launch stern protests after withdrawing support to the government if it fails to endorse the constitution amendment proposal before the polls.

    The Cabinet, despite opposition from the Madhesi and Janajati forces, has decided to hold the local level polls on May 14.

    The meeting held at the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal office in Tinkune concluded that announcement of the local election date was unconstitutional as the Local Level Restructuring Commission has yet to suggest autonomous regions and special and protected areas.

    The alliance of Madhesi and Janajati forces would hold “general protests” and wait for Parliament to pass the amendments in the first phase. If that failed, the second phase of protests would be stern including general strikes.

    Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party General Secretary Keshav Jha said the first phase of struggle involving publicity campaigns would be devised by a taskforce that was formed on Friday.

    The taskforce led by SSFN Co-chairman Rajendra Shrestha includes Brikhesh Chandra Lal, Jha, Ram Naresh Raya, Om Gurung, Bijay Sainju, Durga Rai, Dalmardan Kami and Prem Bahadur Khati. The team would devise a protest plan within a week and present it to the next meeting of Gathabandhan. It has also been mandated to consult with all the political parties, civil society and social organisations and seek their support for the movement.

    SSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav proposed that the Gathabandhan join hands with the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Nepal, civil society and social organisations for a strong movement. The offer, however, was rejected.

    Gathabandhan Spokesman Gurung said the meeting had decided to reach a decision on withdrawing support to the Congress-Maoist coalition in its next meeting after consultation with the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha and other constituents of the Gathabandhan having representation in Parliament.

    EC calls for controlling weapons

    KATHMANDU: The Election Commission has asked the Home Ministry to make arrangements for bringing licensed guns, pistols and other armaments under the control of the District Administration Offices until the local elections are over.

    After meeting with chiefs of the four security agencies and secretaries of the concerned ministries, the EC also asked the Home Ministry to check misuse of explosives, chemical materials, poisonous materials, canes, spears, knives and other weapons. The election body directed the ministry to ban sale of alcohol in the run up to the polls. (pr)

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      Militants attacked two Syrian security offices in the western city of Homs on Saturday with guns and suicide bombers, killing at least 42 people including a senior officer, a war monitor said.

      The attackers killed the head of military security and 29 others at one of its headquarters in the city and 12 more people at a branch of state security in attacks that began early in the morning, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

      Syrian state television reported that clashes had rocked the districts of al-Ghouta and al-Mohata, where the two targets were located, before three suicide bombers detonated their explosives at each place. It did not give a death toll.

      It was not immediately clear if the militants were from Islamic State or other groups, the Observatory, a Britain-based war monitor, said.

      IS has carried out bombing attacks in the city, which is under government control except for one besieged district held by more moderate rebels. Several bombings have targeted Syrian cities held by the government of President Bashar al-Assad in recent months.



      South Africa captain AB de Villiers became the fastest man to score 9,000 one-day international runs as he led his side to a 159-run victory over New Zealand in the third one-day international on Saturday.

      De Villiers scored 85, having needed just five runs to surpass former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who took 228 innings to achieve the milestone. De Villiers did it in his 205th innings.

      South Africa scored a credible 271-8 in their 50 overs and then their pace bowlers ripped the top off the hosts batting to reduce them to 58 for six in the 20th over before bowling them out for 112 in 32.2 overs.

      The victory gave de Villiers' team a 2-1 lead in the five-match series with the fourth game in Hamilton on Wednesday.

      Colin de Grandhomme was the only New Zealand batsmen to really come to grips with the drop-in pitch at Wellington Regional Stadium with 34 not out and highlighted that he was batting too low at number eight in the order.

      Andile Phehlukwayo (2-12 from five overs) and Dwaine Pretorius (3-5 from 5.2 overs) were the most economical of the South African bowlers.

      De Villiers had again held his side's innings together with a composed knock and was only dismissed in the final over when he failed to get underneath a Trent Boult full toss and was caught on the boundary.

      Quinton de Kock also gave his side a solid foundation with 68, the opener passing 50 in his last five one-day matches.

      The visitors were adept at rotating the strike and ticking the scoreboard over, with 116 runs coming from singles.

      A surprising double strike by de Grandhomme in the 23rd over slowed the visitors momentum, with the all-rounder having Faf du Plessis (36) caught by Tim Southee before de Kock was caught by Jimmy Neesham three balls later at deep midwicket.

      South Africa had been cruising at 114-1 before de Grandhomme's double strike.

      Their vaunted middle order failed to fire with wickets falling at regular intervals and they were in trouble at 180-6 by the 39th over.

      De Villiers, however, then combined with Wayne Parnell (35) to add 84 runs for the seventh wicket that gave them a target that was achievable but never in danger of being threatened by the hosts.

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