Central Zoo looks to a sanctuary model

  • Rising concerns for animal welfare and the sorry state of the zoo provoke a moral dilemma—Do we need institutions whose foundations are built on the deprivation of animals’ liberty?
Marissa Taylor, Nov 17 2018
In December last year, two battered sloth bears from Rautahat were rescued by a team of animal protection activists and Nepal Police officials.
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Government set to redefine ‘remote’ areas

  • Geographical remoteness will now be classified based on the local level

The government is set to categorise the geographical remoteness of areas in terms of local federal units, rather than the districts on which the current classification is based.

The change, according to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, proposes to ensure that government staff reach the remote areas after their deployment and to discourage the current tendency of them staying at the headquarters of the districts classified as “remote”.

The experience of serving in the local units classified as remote will be one of the criterion for promotion of civil servants, according to officials. As part of its plan, the Federal Affairs Ministry on November 12 formed a five-member taskforce headed by Joint-secretary Roop Narayan Bhattarai to set the standards for determining the remoteness of the local units and to categorise them.

The taskforce formed by a minister-level decision has been asked to submit the report within a month. “We are now working on classification of data for setting the standards. We have to collect additional data on each local unit for their scientific categorisation,” said a member of the taskforce.

The existing Civil Service Regulation puts the districts into four categories based on their remoteness.

“We are revising this classification to make it more scientific since even the districts around Kathmandu have some remote areas,” said Dinesth Thapaliya, secretary at the Federal Affairs Ministry.

The new classification is expected to help the provincial and local governments mobilise public officials to remote regions after their adjustment. Employees under the central government will mostly reach only the district headquarters.

The taskforce will categorise the local units based on their geographical features, administrative accessibility, transportation facility and resources. This categorisation will be made just for the administrative purpose—not for resources distribution, according to the officials.

“The National Natural Resource and Fiscal Commission is responsible for defining the resources,” the taskforce member said. Officials serving in remote districts currently get additional allowance. Once the new classification comes into effect, civil servants serving in districts currently considered accessible may also get additional allowance for serving in the remote local units.

“Those who are getting additional allowances for working from the headquarters of the current category of most remote districts may not receive the extra allowance,” a taskforce member said.

As per the current classification, Taplejung, most parts of Sankhuwasbha, Solukhumbu; Lamabagar and Rolwaling areas of Dolakha; Sinhar area of Dhading, Manang, Larke area of Gorkha, and Mustang except the southern Tukucha area, Dhorpatan of Baglung, Rolpa, Rukum, Humla, Mugu, Kalikot, Jumla, Dolpa, Jajarkot, Bajhang, Bajura and Darchula fall under the ‘A’ category.


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Conflict victims, Army officials will join Bangkok junket

Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu, Nov 17 2018
Nepal Army officials and conflict victims will accompany cross-party leaders on the Swiss-funded junket to Bangkok where they will discuss a possible course to conclude the transitional justice process that has been going on for more than a decade.

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Jonty Rhodes urges grassroots development to boost cricket

Nov 17 2018
Jonty Rhodes, the former South African cricketer who is credited to have brought third element to the game—fielding—in world cricket, is currently in Nepal at the invitation of Nepal Cricket School.

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Main News

Authority rebuilds 75pc damaged schools

ANISH TIWARI, Nov 17 2018
The authority has reconstructed more than 75 percent schools destroyed by the earthquake in 2015 in Sindhupalchok district.
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Leaders vow zero cost jobs for migrant workers

Government officials and ministers from 12 labour source countries including Nepal have agreed to work together to relieve migrant workers from recruitment cost that they have to bear while applying for foreign employment.
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PM convenes Inter-state Council meet on Dec 9

TIKA R PRADHAN, Nov 17 2018
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has scheduled the first meeting of Inter-state Council for December 9—three months after its abrupt postponement.
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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament on Friday night and called a general election for Jan. 5 in a move that will likely deepen the country’s political crisis.

The dissolution, which is expected to be challenged in court, was revealed in an official gazette notification signed by Sirisena which also set the next sitting of parliament for Jan. 17.

The move comes after an intense power struggle in the past two weeks which followed Sirisena’s sudden sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the appointment of former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman, in his place.

Following the sacking, the president suspended parliament in a move which Wickremesinghe said was intended to prevent the ousted prime minister from contesting the decision in the legislature.

Later Sirisena agreed to reconvene parliament on Nov. 14, but that will now not happen.

Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate the official prime minister’s residence saying he is the prime minister and had a parliamentary majority.

Before he signed the papers dissolving parliament and calling the election, Sirisena appointed allies of his and of Rajapaksa to cabinet positions.

“This is a gross violation of the constitution,” Harsha De Silva, a lawmaker in Wickremesinghe’s party, told Reuters in reference to the dissolution of parliament.

Independent legal experts had told Reuters that parliament could be dissolved only in early 2020, which would be four-and-half-years from the first sitting of the current parliament. The only other legal ways would be through a referendum, or with the consent of two thirds of lawmakers.

Given those views, it was not immediately clear how Sirisena can legally dissolve parliament, though his legal experts have said there are provisions for him to do so.

Sri Lanka’s Election Commission was quoted in some local media as saying that it will seek a Supreme Court opinion before conducting the election.

Sirisena also put the police and government’s printing office under his defense portfolio, local media reported.

Ajith Perera, a lawmaker of the Wickremesinghe-led United National Party (UNP) said the party will challenge the decision at the Election Commission first and then may head to the Supreme Court.

Perera said the dissolution was carried out so that Sirisena could avoid defeat in parliament next week.

Keheliya Rambukwella, a spokesman for Sirisena’s government, said the president’s coalition had the backing of 105 lawmakers as of Friday, eight short of a parliamentary majority.

Sirisena has said he fired Wickremesinghe because the prime minister was trying to implement “a new, extreme liberal political concept by giving more priority for foreign policies and neglecting the local people’s sentiment.”

India and Western countries have requested that Sirisena act in line with the constitution while they have raised concerns over Rajapaksa’s close ties with China. Beijing loaned Sri Lanka billions of dollars for infrastructure projects when Rajapaksa was president between 2005-2015, putting the country deep into debt.

A gunman opened fire in a crowded Southern California bar popular with college students, killing 12 people, including a sheriff’s deputy, police said on Thursday.

The gunman, identified by authorities as Ian David Long, 28, was also found dead on Wednesday night in the office of the Borderline Bar and Grill, located in Thousand Oaks, a suburb about 40 miles from Los Angeles, apparently having shot himself.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference on Thursday morning that Long was a Marine Corps veteran and had apparently fired at random with a .45-caliber Glock handgun with an extra-capacity magazine. There was no known motive.

“Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this,” Dean said. “Obviously he had some sort of issues.”

He said authorities were obtaining a search warrant for Long’s home.

The Borderline is popular with university students and on Wednesday night was hosting College Country Night. California Lutheran University, located about 5 miles from the bar, canceled Thursday’s classes while Pepperdine University, about 20 miles away, planned a prayer service.

One of the victims was Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department who died at a hospital, Dean said. Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the bar and went inside just before 11:30 p.m. PST (0730 GMT).

A statement from the sheriff’s office said there would be a procession in honor of Helus, who leaves behind a wife and son, on Thursday morning. “Ron’s selfless, heroic actions will never be forgotten,” the statement read.


Asked what the scene inside the bar was like, Dean said, “Like ... hell.” Earlier he had described it as “a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”

Long first shot a security guard outside the bar, stepped inside and resumed shooting, Dean said. Witnesses said Long had used smoke bombs to create confusion but Dean said that had not been confirmed.

Dean, speaking on his last day before retirement, said he had been told 150 to 200 people were in the Borderline at the time and that “it could have been much, much worse.”

Dean estimated 10 to 15 people, including one with a gunshot wound, had gone to hospitals. He said he thought their injuries were minor, and that most of them were likely injured as they escaped, some by breaking windows.

Dean told reporters that officers had gone to Long’s home in April in response to a disturbance call and had found him to be agitated. Mental health specialists talked with Long and determined that no further action was necessary.

Family members of possible victims or survivors of the shooting gathered at a teen center in Thousand Oaks for news of loved ones. A visibly distraught man was seen entering the building.

President Donald Trump, who has resisted a surge in calls for tougher gun controls since 17 students were shot dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings and grounds.

The Borderline massacre was the fourth mass shooting in the United States in less than two weeks. The others included two women killed at a yoga class in Tallahassee, Florida, two people shot at a grocery in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh killed by a man shouting “All Jews must die.”

Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said lawmakers would get to work on legislation including universal background checks when the House of Representatives convenes in January with a Democratic majority.

“We must find a way to stop the senseless, and many times preventable killings that are robbing our country of innocent lives,” he said on Twitter.


Thousand Oaks, a leafy, sprawling suburb, was named the third-safest city in the United States for 2018 by the website Niche.

“I’ve learned it doesn’t matter what community you’re in,” Dean told reporters when asked if he was surprised this happened in Thousand Oaks. “It doesn’t matter how safe your community is. It can happen anywhere.”

Tristan Appleby, who was at the bar, told CNN that the shooter was dressed all in black and had fired off about a dozen shots, including at those already wounded and lying on the floor.

Witness Taylor Von Molt, 21, who said she was a promoter at the bar, said the gunman wore a black mask with a bandana covering the bottom of his face, and a black hooded sweatshirt.

“I heard what I thought was a balloon pop,” she told CNN. “I was confused because we didn’t have any balloons. I saw him, then I saw him fire his weapon one more time. I ran to the nearest exit and tripped and fell on the way and people kept running on top of me.”

Witness John Hedge told ABC News he was near the front door of the bar when the shooting began.

“I just started hearing these big pops. Pop pop pop,” he said. “There was probably three or four. I hit the ground. I look up. The security guard ... was shot, he was down. The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place. I saw him point to the back at the cash register and he just kept firing.”



A three-day International Tripitaka Recitation programme commenced at Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha, on Wednesday.

The programme is taking place for the first time in Nepal and over 500 monks from 18 different countries have arrived here to join the mass recitation of Buddhist holy scripture.

The Buddhist holy book, adorned with special decorations, was carried around the temple of Mayadevi before the programme commenced.

Thai monks led the recitations followed by monks from Myanmar.

The Maya Devi Temple premises in Lumbini has been decorated with banners, garlands and flowers in view of the programme.

The event is being held with the joint initiations of All Nepal Bhikkhu Association, American Buddhist Association, Thai Buddha Vihar and the Lumbini Development Trust.

All photos by: Manoj Poudel


The International Cricket Council (ICC) has sanctioned the upcoming Everest Premier League (EPL)—a city-based franchise Twenty20 cricket tournament scheduled for December 8-22 at the Tribhuvan University Stadium.

Tournament organiser EPL Pvt Ltd on Thursday informed that the world cricket governing body gave a green signal to the tournament after it forwarded the necessary documents and fee of US$20,000. The approval means the tournament will now see the participation of international cricketers. The international cricketers will need a No Objection Letter from their respective associations provided the tournament is sanctioned by the ICC.

“ICC has granted the approval bearing in mind the unique circumstances that currently exist in Nepal and because the league is in the interests of cricket in Nepal and the Nepalese players in particular,” read a statement from ICC representative Clive Hitchcock in a press release from EPL Pvt Ltd.

According to the new ICC regulations, ICC must approve any domestic tournament in the country whose cricket board is under suspension. Nepal is currently without a cricket administration after the ICC suspended the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) citing “government interference and unfair elections”.
The sanctioned amount acquired by the ICC will be used in the development of Nepali cricket once the board is reinstated. “This is great news not just for EPL but also for the millions of fans and we are sure that with the support of ICC, EPL will reach greater heights,” EPL Managing Director Amir Akhtar said.

The EPL will be participated in by six franchises including defending champions Biratnagar Warriors, Bhairahawa Gladiators, Lalitpur Patriots, Pokhara Rhinos, Chitwan Tigers and Kathmandu Kings XI. Zimbabwean allrounder Sikandar Raza, Ireland international Kevin O’Brien, UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa, Scottish batsman Kyle Coetzer are some of the big names confirmed this season.

Health & Style

Fiction Park

Up in the Hills

The bus that took us to Tansen from Butwal was ancient. We were under the impression that it was kept from falling by a generous use of Sellotape. Every nut and bolt crackled and rattled as it moved along the winding Siddhartha Highway.
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You don’t go sell ice on Everest

Nov 12 2018
David Thirumur has been a life coach for the past 12 years, roving across the globe speaking to businesspeople, entrepreneurs and students. A social entrepreneur andleadership speaker, Thirumur was raised in India and was involved in a number of businesses before leaving to become a full-time speaker.
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Saturday Features

A tiny, delightful morsel

Richa Bhattarai
Indian author Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s latest offering, The Rabbit and the Squirrel, is likely to baffle librarians and booksellers, for it defies conventional genres.

Going the extra mile

Amir Raj Thapa
At 4am on a chilly autumn morning, a troupe of 23 students and teachers from the Ambika Secondary School gathered in Panauti. The crowd stirred—ready to get on the bus to Kathmandu where the students were to take part in the Kathmandu Marathon set to kick off later that morning.


We are done with Tihar and yet, evil continues to rule over good in this land of ours. The only folks who have all the fun during the festive season are our hardworking civil servants, honest contractors and humble politicians.

Falling in and out of love with words

Ajit Baral
When at home and not working, my wife and I usually read books, sitting alongside each other. And when she comes across a word she is not familiar with, she invariably asks me its meaning.

Mardi mountain madness

The Mardi Himal trail is an incredible trekking route, where the terrain varies from dense forests to rugged rockscapes and mountain landscapes.

Art imitates life

Ashim Shakya’s artwork is a time machine that merges decades and histories. It takes observers to a surreal Kathmandu, where the cityscape is a platform on which is staged a play where artefacts and deities frolic.

Movie review: Producer Changa; Storytelling Chet

Nepali bureaucrats all seem to be under a malaise that invites much criticism—they do their 9-5 jobs without any conviction or any motivation to perform, since at the end of the month, they will be paid regardless. The team behind Changa Chet seems to be afflicted with the same syndrome.

Wake up and smell the jamun

Mohan Guragain
Kathmandu sets numerous national records in Nepal. It is the biggest city of the country, most populated and most polluted. As the country’s largest metropolis, its population composition is also hugely diverse. Furthermore, as the Valley holds much of the country’s wealth, it is Nepal’s biggest market.

Tea party

If you want to know how a political party would run this country were they to come to power, attend one of their tea parties. Don’t fall for their hawatari speeches because our netas have promised us thousands of MW of electricity in the past decade and we have not even managed to add a hundred.