Progress in two key projects under BRI unlikely during President’s China visit

  • Officials say preparation is not enough for two key projects which Nepal was planning to pitch under the Chinese initiative
ANIL GIRI, Apr 24 2019
President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s state visit to China, starting Wednesday, is being seen as an opportunity to open new vistas of cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
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Leadership failed to follow principle of inclusivity, ruling party leaders say

  • District committees that were finalised on Sunday, paving the way for unification, have only three women, two Dalits and 19 Janajatis as chiefs
TIKA R PRADHAN, Apr 24 2019

Inclusion, equality, social justice have been the constant refrain of Nepal’s political parties, but they hardly practice what they preach.

On Monday, when the ruling Nepal Communist Party announced conclusion of its unification—the party was formed after the merger of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre)—Chairman KP Sharma Oli promised to follow the principle of inclusive democracy.

 

But a look at the list of leadership in district committees, an understanding on which ultimately led to the conclusion of the unification, shows woeful representation of women, Dalit and Janajati members.

Of the 77 chairpersons appointed for district committees, only three are women--Munu Sigdel of Makwanpur, Ruku Lamichhane of Kavre and Madhu Adhikary of Lamjung while Som Maya Rai of Ilam is the only woman secretary selected.

 

Two district committee chiefs--Pravu Hajara of Parsa and Yam Bahadur Pariyar of Chitwan--are from the Dalit community and 19 are from the indigenous community.

Some leaders have expressed concern over negligible representation of women, Dalits and Janajatis in the party committees, saying the top leadership has failed to abide by the party statute. The party’s interim statute states that all the committees will have at least one-third women representation.

“Leaders have failed to show honesty once again,” said Sashi Shrestha, a central committee member, who has been fighting for ensuring inclusivity in the party. “They did not implement the existing provisions in the party statute that guarantee one-third women representation in all committees.”

Though several party leaders refrained from talking, concerns, some said, have grown in the party over underrepresentation of women, Dalit and Janajati members as two co-chairman--Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal--are already facing criticism for taking unilateral decisions.

 

“We will press the leadership to ensure inclusiveness. All sections of society should have a fair representation in new committees,” Pasang Sherpa, a central committee member in the party and former chair of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, told the Post.
The problem, however, is not only in the district committees.

With only 75 women in the Central Committee, many have questioned the legality of the Nepal Communist Party, saying the Election Commission demands 33 percent women representation for any party to get registered with it.

Clause 15 (4) of the Act on Political Parties-2073 states that at least one-third women members must be represented in all the committees of the party.

For the registration of a political party, Article 269(4c) of the constitution has clearly stated that there must be a provision of such inclusive representation in its executive committees at various levels reflecting the diversity of Nepal.

The 441-strong Central Committee has 21 Dalit members. The Dalit community accounts for 13.2 percent of Nepal’s total population.

The 45-member Standing Committee has only one Dalit member--Chhabilal Biswokarma. Only two women have made it to the Standing Committee--Asta Laxmi Shakya and Pampha Bhusal.

There is no women or Dalit representation in the nine-member Secretariat--the party’s highest body. It has only two members from the indigenous communities.

Women have immensely contributed in Nepal’s major political changes. The country has earned accolades for ensuring 33 percent women representation in Parliament. But many say this provision is being followed only because the constitution demands it.

Reluctance to follow the principle of inclusivity, however, is rampant across the board, as none of the parties has ensured proper representation of women, Dalits and Janajatis.

Last year’s election is a glaring example. Only six women were elected to 165-member Parliament under the direct election system. This makes just 3.64 percent. Women were sent to Parliament under the proportional representation system, as the constitution has made it mandatory.

The Nepal Communist Party, which claims to be a progressive party, however, failed to include women, Dalits and Janajatis in its committees, multiple leaders told the Post in phone interviews.

“We call ourselves a progressive communist party, but we have failed to follow inclusiveness. Women and Janajatis are sparsely included and the number of Dalits is negligible. We are supposed to lead by example, but we are not,” said Shakya, one of the two women standing committee members of the party. She said the party must come up with separate criteria to ensure proper representation of women, Dalits and Janajatis in the committees.

Another woman lawmaker, who also represents the Dalit community, said she is not optimistic about the current leadership following the principle of inclusion.

“Going by the trend the party is following, I don’t think this leadership will follow the principle of inclusiveness,” said Anjana Bishankhe, a central member and lawmaker.  “Leaders are busy picking their near and dear ones based on factional politics and they have nothing to do with the ideology, principle and inclusiveness.”

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Loktantra Day: People injured in police brutality decry government’s apathy

MOHAN BUDHAAIR, DHANGADHI , Apr 24 2019
Mukesh Kayastha, who remains in a vegetative state after being shot in his head by police during the 2006 People’s Movement, with his mother Mira at their home in Banepa, Kavre.POST PHOTO: NAGENDRA ADHIKARI
Narayan Dutta Bhatta, in his early forties, had led a massive protest rally that proceeded towards the main market place from Campus Chowk in Dhangadhi during the People’s Movement II in 2006.

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Rs429 billion needed to complete reconstruction, says NRA

TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu, Apr 24 2019
Post file photo.
Two days before the fourth anniversary of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake that devastated the country, the Nepal Reconstruction Authority on Tuesday listed the challenges to the ongoing reconstruction works.

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Two back-to-back tremors rock central Nepal

Post Report, Kathmandu, Apr 24 2019
Photo: Screengrab via Nepal Seismological Centre
Two back-to-back tremors of magnitudes 5.2 and 4.3 rocked central Nepal early Wednesday morning. The tremors were felt in Kathmandu.

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Main News

How tailoring has become a means of economic independence for Dhangadhi women

NIRMALA KHADAYAT, Apr 24 2019
Durga Dahit’s dexterous hands work with different types of fabric every day. Her interest lies in sewing Tharu costumes, but she says she can sew almost anything—from a pair of pants to a kurtha suruwal to lehengas.
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Earthquake memorial park construction delayed

HARIRAM UPRETY, Apr 24 2019
Locals of Barpak have expressed their dissatisfaction over the delay in the construction of an earthquake memorial park in Barpak, the epicentre of the 2015 Earthquake.
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Sarlahi district office overwhelmed with applications for citizenship by descent

OM PRAKASH THAKUR, Apr 24 2019
The flow of service seekers has been constant in the District Administration Office (DAO) in Sarlahi after the Supreme Court paved the way for those individuals whose parents are Nepali citizens by birth to acquire citizenship by descent.
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Money

World

Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua have killed at least 58 people, injured dozens and displaced more than 4,000, authorities said on Sunday.

A search for more possible victims was under way in the town of Sentani, which was hit by flash floods late on Saturday. Fifty-one people were killed and 74 injured there, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster agency, told a news briefing.

Heavy rain caused landslides in the nearby provincial capital of Jayapura, killing seven there, Nugroho said.

Soldiers pulled alive a 5-month old baby from under the rubble of his house and took him to hospital, Papua military spokesman Muhammad Aidi said.

The number of victims “will probably increase because the evacuation process is still taking place and not all affected areas have been reached,” Nugroho said.

About 4,150 people are sheltering in six evacuation centers, he said.

Hundreds of houses, three bridges and a Twin Otter airplane parked at the airport were damaged by the floods. The Sentani airport, the province’s main transport hub, remained open.

TV footage showed mud and large logs on Sentani’s main roads after floodwaters receded.

Disaster authorities have warned local governments of flash flood risks due to deforestation in the mountains surrounding the town, Nugroho said, adding that in 2018 Jakarta sent seedlings intended for tree-planting.

“Forest destruction in the Cyclops mountains have increased for use as firewood and to turn the land into plantations,” Nugroho said.

“Since 2018 we have warned the Jayapura government to be careful of flash flood risks because of this deforestation,” he added.

Arts and Entertainment

Life & Style

Fiction Park

Remembering a rebellious girl

Ujwol Shrestha, Apr 21 2019
 As I said this in a soft spoken voice, tears rolled down her rosy cheeks. With gentle affection I caressed her hair. She stopped crying. For almost twenty minutes, we just sat there in silence staring at  the cat. No words. Sometimes words are unnecessary if the feelings are genuine. And my feelings were genuine. For all her stubbornness and rebellious manners, I had a profound affection for Tibrata. I knew she was a lonely girl and was yearning for love and affection.
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Saturday Features

Internet cafés or ‘wangbas’ in China create a space for internet addicts

Tripty Tamang Pakhrin
Internet cafés in China have created a new space where people lose themselves within the virtual world of online gaming--a chance to explore an experimental world without any impediment.

'Nepalis come across a huge wall that divides one part of the world from another'

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The presence of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the helm has only made things worse. These people are bent on hardening borders, rather than dissolving them.

The beatmaker

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On a cold and rainy winter’s day, 19-year-old Sagun Khadka sits at a cafe in Jhamsikhel, listening to hip-hop on his headphones.

Shreesha Bhandari’s Athot deserves to be read by young people seeking guidance

MOHAN GURAGAIN
Without failing to shed light on the importance of time, Athot stresses that what we failed to do in our lives are not less important than what we actually did. 

Guffadi: Our Oli government is not a communist but a truly wild capitalist party

Guffadi
Once again, let us congratulate our Oli government for passing the Medical Mafia Bill. Now, Dr KC should go home and rest.

Celebrating a century

Prakash Chandra Timilsena
Calmly seated in a chariot pulled by her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, Mayju Maharjan observes her fifth janko—a rare ritual, called Mahadivya Ratharohan, where an elder is celebrated for completing 108 years, eight months, eight days, eight hours, and eight seconds around the sun. 

The paper trail

Prakash Chandra Timilsena
In 1995, 50-year-old Nima Sherpa moved from Dolakha to Kathmandu with a plan—he was going to take traditional Nepali lokta paper to the world. Sherpa had realised that products made of lokta, which were easily available in his village, could make it big in the international market.

Life and art are inextricably blended into each other

Timothy Aryal
Mekh Limbu’s art needs little elaboration. It speaks the truth, laid out for all to see and reflect on. It’s real; it’s quiet, keening and sharp. Take his installation ‘How I Forgot My Mother Tongue’, for instance, which was part of the Opposite Dreams exhibition displayed during the Photo Kathmandu festival last year.

Raamesh Koirala’s book about Charles Sobhraj is confused, leaving the reader unsure of whether this is a memoir or a novel

Pranaya SJB Rana
Raamesh Koirala’s new book about the notorious serial killer Charles Sobhraj is a strange animal. Although ostensibly presented as a non-fiction memoir written by the cardiac surgeon who operated on Sobhraj’s heart, the copyright page of the book asserts that “This is a work of fiction.” Perhaps this was an (glaring) oversight on the part of the publisher, but given the manner in which the book unfolds, it might be an accurate characterisation.