Centenarian Bhandari acquires first digital national ID

    ANANDA GAUTAM, Nov 19 2018

    Centenarian Bhagawati Devi Bhandari, a resident of Phidim Municipality-4, acquired the first digital national identity card in the country from Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa in Panchthar district on Monday.

    Special guest at a function organised on the premises of the District Coordination Committee to launch the national ID card in the country, Bhandari then handed over a national ID card to Minister Thapa. The digital ID card will replace the currently existing paper citizenship.

    The 101-year-old Bhandari was brought to the programme venue on a vehicle of Phidim Municipality from her residence which is about 3km from there. Home Minister Thapa arrived in the district in a Nepal Army helicopter. Province 1 Chief Minister Sherdhan Rai and provincial Minister for Financial Affairs and Planning Indra Ango also attended the function which was chaired by home secretary Prem Kumar Rai.

    Talking to the Post after receiving the first national ID card, Bhandari said she had no knowledge of what one can do with the card. “I don’t know what will happen now. My grandson knows it,” she said. Bhandari said her grandson Dipak brought her to the venue saying that minister would give her identity card.

    Addressing the function, Home Minister Thapa said the government would have detailed information of its citizens on the digital ID card. He said the digital ID card was launched for development and prosperity.

    Only two ID cards were distributed from the programme venue. The government authorities planned to issue 50 other ID cards through the District Administration Office in Panchthar on the first day of card distribution. The national ID cards were also distributed from Singh Durbar, the central administrative headquarters of Nepal government, today.

    Chomendra Neupane, director of the National ID Management Centre, said the ID card holder will receive an SMS alert in his/her cell phone to collect the card once it is opened by the government officials. Test of the SMS alert system was proved successful as card holders received information, he added.

    According to Neupane, 2,429 ID cards have been brought to Panchthar and others are being printed. The data of about 52,000 people were collected in Panchthar for the national ID card pilot project by Sunday evening. The data collection had been started in the district from June 19.

    As part of the pilot project, the centre plans to issue digital ID cards to 117,000 people in Panchthar and the civil servants working in Singha Durbar. The authority plans to distribute 3.5 million ID cards in 15 other districts in second phase. The government is planning to distribute the ID cards in 25 districts in the fiscal year 2019-20 and in 36 districts in the fiscal 2020-21.

    The new electronic card with biometric data of eligible Nepali citizens provides unique ID number. The digital ID card contains personal data of family name, given name, address, father’s name, mother’s name, photo and four fingerprints of both thumbs and two index fingers.

    Ten years since its inception, the National ID Management Center under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs started printing digital identity cards since November with the support of Asian Development Bank.

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    ‘Foreign’ citizens may affect security: Thapa

    • Defending the proposal to amend Citizenship Act-2006, the home minister claims that a large number of non-nationals have got Nepali citizenship
    TIKA R PRADHAN, Nov 19 2018
    Post Photo: Shaligram Tiwari
    Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has warned that naturalised citizenship could jeopardise the country’s national interests and security.
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    Road projects worth Rs 26b in limbo due to handover delays

    PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu, Nov 19 2018
    Provincial road construction works worth Rs26 billion have been halted for months due to the delay in handing over the projects to the respective provincial government even after budget allocations.

    full story »

    Woman, 73, beaten, fed feces on witchcraft charges in Dhading

    Post Report, Dhading, Nov 19 2018
    A 73-year-old single woman was beaten and forcefully fed human and animal feces on charges of witchcraft in Gauthale of Dhading district.

    full story »

    Main News

    Dr KC taken ill, admitted to Manmohan Cardiothoracic Centre

    Post Report, Nov 19 2018
    Senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC was admitted to the coronary care unit (CCU) of Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Centre on Monday following complaints of severe chest pain.
    full story »

    Dharan sees 10 dengue cases in three weeks

    PRADEEP MENYANGBO, Nov 19 2018
    At least 10 people have been infected with dengue, a mosquito-borne disease more prevalent in Tarai districts, in various wards of Dharan Sub Metropolis, Sunsari, within the last three weeks.
    full story »

    Naya Shakti supports Pant couple

    Post Report, Nov 19 2018
    Naya Shakti Party Nepal has expressed its solidarity to the indefinite sit-in launched by Nirmala Pant’s parents in Mahendranagar, Kanchanpur.
    full story »

    Money

    World

    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.

    SCENE LIKE “HELL”

    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.

    “CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE”

    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.”

    Entertainment

    Photo-feature

    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

    Health & Style

    Fiction Park

    Colour me you

    Subani Sapkota, Nov 18 2018
    Fear feels strange. It starts with your mind, goes to your heart and travels all the way through your body, making your entire body shake and tremble. It creates a continuous drumming sound, and your heart does nothing to lessen the tension building up inside you.
    full story »

    Escalate

    Wealth of generations

    Bibhu Luitel, Nov 19 2018
    Champa Devi Tuladhar has been knitting socks for over 60 years. In her 76 years, she has given away more socks than she can count—to her family members, friends and just about anyone who would visit her. So when her granddaughters, Lorina and Irina Sthapit, approached her to market her warm handmade socks and sell them, she was hesitant. She had always expected nothing in return.
    full story »

    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.

    Nepaleaks

    Guffadi
    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

    ABANI MALLA
    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

    ABHIMANYU DIXIT
    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

    Guffadi
    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.