NC plans alliance with ‘democratic forces’

Post Report, Kathmandu, Jan 20 2018
The Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of Nepali Congress (NC) on Friday decided to forge alliance with the “democratic forces” in the elections of National Assembly (NA) slated for February 7.

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KMG reaches out to readers in East

Post Report, BIRATNAGAR, Jan 20 2018
The Kathmandu Post Editor-in-Chief Akhilesh Upadhyay addresses the audience during an interaction in Biratnagar on Friday.
Following the country’s shift from the unitary to a federal system of government and successful completion of three tiers of elections, The Kathmandu Post organised its first reader outreach programme in Biratnagar on Friday.

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Main News

Protests for provincial capitals continue in various districts

Post Report, Jan 20 2018
Protests for provincial headquarters continued in different parts of the country on Friday as well. There were also some incidents of clashes and vandalism, which the authorities described as sporadic and nothing out of control.
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Oli, Dahal to endorse NA candidate names

Post Report, Jan 20 2018
Two top leaders of the left alliance have decided to endorse the decision of the task force on the candidates for the National Assembly election with minor changes if necessary.
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PM Deuba advised to address protesters

Post Report, Jan 20 2018
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has been advised to make an appeal to the people demanding changes in the temporary provincial centres in several parts of the country in order to remove obstacles to holding the National Assembly elections.
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Money

World

A bus fire in north-western Kazakhstan killed 52 Uzbek citizens on a route used by migrant workers heading to Russia, the Kazakh Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

The bus was travelling along a road in the remote Aktau region that links the Russian city of Samara to Shymkent, a city in southern Kazakhstan close to the Uzbek border, Reuters reported.

It was unclear in which direction the bus, a Hungarian-made Ikarus, had been travelling, but the route is widely used to transport Uzbek workers to and from Russia where they often take work on building sites.

Only five people managed to escape the burning vehicle, the interior ministry’s emergencies department said in a statement.

The ministry said the apparent accident had happened at 1030 local time (0430 GMT), but provided no details about its cause.

A photograph posted online from the site showed the bus completely burnt out. Video footage also posted on the Web showed it positioned diagonally across a two-lane freeway in the middle of a snow-covered steppe, in flames and emitting heavy black smoke.

Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement its embassy staff were en route to the area, roughly midway between the Russian border and the Aral Sea.

Last October, another Kazakh-operated bus carrying over 50 Uzbeks was hit by a train in Russia after getting stuck on the tracks; 17 people died in that accident.

 

Four justices of India’s top court on Friday criticized its distribution of cases to judges and raised concerns about judicial appointments, in an unprecedented public airing of problems at one of the country’s most respected institutions, Reuters reported.

The move spells far-reaching implications for jurists and politicians in the chaotic South Asian democracy where the Supreme Court often sets the agenda on matters of policy and orders measures taken in the public interest.

Exposing a rift with Chief Justice Dipak Misra, some of the Supreme Court’s most senior judges told a news conference the issues involving its administration were serious enough to prompt them to go public.

“The four of us are convinced that unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country,” Justice Jasti Chelameswar said on the lawns of his residence in the Indian capital.

The justices gave few details of the incidents they were referring to, but released a letter they had written to Misra.

In the letter, they mentioned instances of cases with “far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution” that were selectively assigned by the chief justice without any rational “basis for such assignment”.

All Supreme Court judges should be involved in setting the procedures used to hire and promote judges in various courts in the country, including the high courts, they added.

Reuters could not immediately reach the chief justice for comment. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad declined to comment.

Two close aides of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was looking into the matter and had summoned top law ministry officials for consultations.

SPEAKING UP
Some Supreme Court lawyers praised the justices’ action.

“Looking at its own flaws is the first step to correcting an institution, to deepening true constitutional democracy,” said Karuna Nundy, a Supreme Court lawyer.

The Supreme Court has 25 judges appointed by India’s president, including the chief justice, and each retires at the age of 65, the court says on its website.

The four justices at Friday’s news conference - besides Chelameswar, they included Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph - are the most senior after Misra.

Three of them are scheduled to retire this year, while Gogoi is in line to be the next chief justice, based on seniority.

Efforts to alert the chief justice that certain things were not in order and that remedial measures were needed had failed, prompting the news conference, Chelameswar said.

The justices did not want to be accused of not having spoken up for the institution, or of “selling their souls”, he added.

Rescuers recovered the bodies of 11 people in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Saturday, a day after multiple avalanches hit their vehicles in the Himalayan region, AP reported quoting officials.

Thirteen people were swept away by three near-simultaneous avalanches at three places in a stretch of about 10 kilometers (6 miles) on a mountainous road in Kupawara district on Friday.

Police officer Shamsher Hussain said about 200 police, army and civilian rescuers recovered the bodies of 11 people.

Two people were rescued alive and were in stable condition at a hospital, he said.

Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir and have caused heavy death tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the mountainous and forested highly militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals.

At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in three avalanches last year, and in 2012 a massive avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.

A bus plunged over a seaside cliff in Peru on Tuesday, killing at least 48 people after a collision with a truck on a precarious stretch known as the "devil's curve," officials said.

The bus was travelling from Huacho, 130 kilometers (81 miles) north of the capital, to Lima with 55 passengers and two crew on board when it went off the road about midday.It plunged 100 meters (330 feet) and landed upside down on rocks at the edge of the sea.

The incident "left at least 48 victims" dead, the statement posted on the Interior Ministry's website said. Efforts to recover bodies from the overturned vehicle were suspended at nightfall because the tide had risen and reached the bus, the police said.

A police helicopter had winched some rescue workers to the wreck of the blue bus while others made the precarious journey down on foot with the assistance of ropes.The navy sent a patrol boat to assist the rescuers trying to get everyone out before the tide came in.

There were several survivors, although most on board the bus perished."For us it is very painful to suffer an accident of this magnitude. My deep solidarity lies with the pain suffered by the relatives," President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski wrote on Twitter.

Maria Elena Aguilar, director of Alcides Carrion Hospital in El Callao, said her facility received five patients with multiple injuries.

One other survivor was taken to a different hospital.The accident took place on a coastal highway about 45 kilometers north of the capital Lima, said Colonel Dino Escudero, head of the police highway patrol division.

The Pasamayo highway on which the tragedy occurred is only used by trucks and buses, as cars travel a different route.It is a dangerous sea-hugging road where fog is frequent and high humidity can make the roadway slippery.

The bus driver had a lot of experience and was working with an assistant, said Luis Martinez, a representative of Transportes San Martin de Porres, which owned the bus.

Martinez could not confirm whether the driver had been killed or injured, but added that the bus underwent a mechanical check before leaving Huacho. More than 2,500 people died in traffic accidents in Peru in 2016, according to official figures.

Entertainment

Sports

Ratnajit Tamang of Tribhuvan Army Club and Dipesh Dhami of Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club stormed into men’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the National Badminton Championships held under the National Sports Council Championships in Mahendranagar on Wednesday.

Taman ousted Dipesh Shakya of Central Region 21-7, 21-8 to set the last 16 date with Nir Bikram Devkota. Devkota beat Shahroj Ansari of Midwest 21-7, 21-8. Dhami saw off Devraj Rama of Farwest 21-10, 21-10 and will next play Rukesh Maharjan of Army, who dispatched Bilal Waris of Midwest. Pabin Lenthap of Army beat Bhugol Gurung of Western 21-17, 9-21, 23-21 while Sajan Krishna Tamrakar of APF saw off Irfan Ansari of Mid-west 21-9, 21-11.

The other players to join them in men’s singles pre-quarterfinals were Prince Dahal, Dipak Bohara, Praful Maharjan, Nabin Shrestha, Bejeet Thapa, Jeevan Acharya and Gautam Kathayat. Former Nepal no 1 Bikash Shrestha of Eastern Region enjoyed walkover win.

In the women’ singles, Nangsal Devi Tamang of Army defeated Tara Ale of Central Region 21-3, 21-3 to set quarter-final date with Sunania Mukhiya of Eastern Region. Mukhiya overcame Sima Rajbanshi. Anumaya Rai, Shova Gauchan, Nita Lamshal, Shikshya Shrestha, Jessica Gurung and Amita Giri also made it to the last eight in the women’s category.

Army, Police win in football

Departmental teams Tribhuvan Army Club and Nepal Police Club advanced to the semi-finals of the National Men’s Football Tournament in Dang on Wednesday.

Army beat Eastern Region 2-0 in Ghorahi and Police eased past Western Region 4-0 in Tulsipur. Bivek Basnet put Army ahead in the 17th and Deep Lama ensured the win two minutes from time against Eastern. Suman Lama struck twice for Police. Nir Kumar Rai gave 28th minute lead to the Police team and Lama made it 2-0 three minutes later.

Bhola Silwal added the third in the 43rd and Lama completed the rout of Western Region with the fourth goal in the 67th minute.

Police will take on Nepal Armed Police Force Club and Army will meet Farwest in the semi-finals on Thursday.

Dharan Football Club (DFC) is set to organise the Budha  Subba Gold Cup from February 3-10 as one of the oldest knockout football tournaments of the country returns to Dharan Stadium in its 20th edition.

The organisers have been holding the tournament at the Anfa Technical Centre for the last five years but after the completion of Dharan Stadium’s reconstruction the tournament returns to the place from where it all started. DFC on Tuesday informed that it has begun the preparations for the tournament. “We are glad to announce that we are into two decades of this tournament. This tournament has a rich history in Nepali football and has helped a lot in producing national-level players. The club has long been struggling in terms of finances but there have been a lot of helping hands which helped us in giving continuity to this tournament,” said DFC President Kishor Rai.

The 10-team tournament will include two foreign invitees—Kolkata and with Dhanmundi Club of Bangladesh. Other teams include Nepal Police Club, Nepal APF, Manang Marshyangdi, Sankata, Three Star, National U-19 team and hosts DFC. Dhanmundi are the 2001 champions.

NPC are the defending champions having beaten Sankata in the 19th edition. The champions will get Rs 501,000 and the runners-up will take home Rs 251,000. The best striker, goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, coach, highest scorer, emerging player will get Rs 25,000 each. The player-of-the-tournament will ride home a motorcycle and every man-of-the-match will get Rs 10,000. The estimated costs of the tournament is Rs 5.3 million.

The second Pinkathon Kathmandu, a running competition for women to raise awareness about their health related issues, is all set to be held in Kathmandu on February 24.

The event established by Indian model and actor Milind Soman will see races for women in four different categories—3km, 5km, 10km and 21km—, informed the organisers Nepal Leisure Port on Tuesday. The event is organised in Nepal by Leisure Port, the franchise holder for Pinkathon in Nepal.

Soman, who is also film producer and fitness promoter, had initiated the event since 2012 in India along with Reema Sanghavi, the managing director of Maximus Mice and Media Solution. According to Soman, the objective of the Pinkathon was to encourage women to adopt health and fitness in their daily lifestyles by means of running.

Namraj Joshi, the managing director of Leisure Port, said they are expecting participation of over 5,000 runners after witnessing 3,000 turning in the first edition last year. Top three finishers of the 21km race (half marathon) will be rewarded Rs 60,000, Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000. Top three athletes in the 10km race will get Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.

The last edition saw Kanchhi Maya Koju of Nepal Armed Police Force set national half marathon record at 1:18:28.

Health & Style

Fiction Park

In the name of love: The Rani Pokhari Story

Dipesh Risal, Jan 14 2018
Chakrawatendra Malla, giddy, nervous, too young to understand the powers he had just acquired, tried to walk confidently towards the elephant stable. He had mentally prepared himself for this day for years.
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Escalate

Right products at the right prices

Jan 15 2018
Nitesh Kumar Mundra has been working in marketing since 1998. He began his career from a watch store, called Accuracy, but with the market for watches declining and the demand for smartphones rocketing, Mundra chose to switch to marketing international mobile brands in the country.
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Saturday Features

Less than a million!

Guffadi
Our Emperor tells us that he spent less than a million Rupees to win the election from Chitwan and his opponent also managed to keep his expenses at the same range.

No country for the poor

MOHAN GURAGAIN
Almost every year, cold waves in the Tarai, which claim several lives in the region, make their way into newspapers.

Invisible dark cloud

Abha Dhital
Last year, I gave up on a person that I held very close to my heart. It was difficult for me to understand what he meant when he said he saw no light. I always used to see light.

A quiet rebel

Timothy Aryal
In a rare instance for Kathmandu’s theatre scene, a play almost entirely in Maithili, titled Kashidevi, is currently on stage at Sarwanam Theatre in Kalikasthan.

Mothers and daughters

OBIE SHRESTHA
I’ve always been partial to a good mother-daughter story. One of my holy-grail TV shows—and one that I’m in constant effort to get more people to watch—has been the Oughties drama Gilmore Girls (minus the seventh season and the misguided recent revival).

Jung Bahadur’s Love for British guns

Sanyukta Shrestha
Most of what we had known about Jung Bahadur Rana’s Europe trip was from a lost diary narrated by his son Padma Jung, published posthumously, in 1909.

Bidding winter farewell with Chaku

Bidding winter farewell with Chaku

Being a ‘smart’ student

Pratyoush Onta
One of the most often-repeated criticisms of the higher education scene in Nepal is about the absence of choices of courses for students during their BA and MA studies.

National Unity Day

Guffadi
The late King Prithivi Narayan (PN) Shah was until a decade ago considered the person who unified this country. Instead of more than two dozen kingdoms, we became one country and the folks from Gorkha got to enjoy the power and the freebies that comes with it.