Nepalgunj tense as pro-hindu, pro-monarch supporters put up late King Birendra's statue

    Post Report, Sep 01 2016
    A clash ensued between police and pro-hindu, pro-monarch supporters after the latter put up a statue of late King Birendra at Birendra Chowk in Nepalgunj on Thursday.
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    Nagdhunga-Naubise tunnel: Japan to provide Rs18b loan

      PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Sep 01 2016

      Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi on Wednesday informed Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal about steps that have been taken to finance the Nagdhunga-Naubise Tunnel Road Project, according to PM Dahal’s personal website.

      Kishi said that works have started to issue Rs18 billion loan following PM Dahal’s request for Japanese aid to build the 2.5-km tunnel on a key highway serving Kathmandu.
      The tunnel road planned to be dug under the western rim of Kathmandu Valley will eliminate the need to travel over the tortuous mountain route which is now the main access to the Capital.
      Japanese State Minister Kishi is currently visiting Nepal to participate in celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.  
      The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has conducted a feasibility study of the proposed project and identified it as being feasible, said a Jica official.
      Japan had agreed in principle to fund the construction project if found feasible.
      According to officials at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the Japanese minister is expected to announce soft loan assistance for the project during this visit. “Japan is expected to announce the assistance either on September 1 or 2 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as per our consultations with Japanese officials,” a senior ministry official said.  
      According to the Department of Roads, a feasibility study, environment impact assessment and road alignment have already been completed.
      “We are currently engaged in selecting a consultant to conduct a detailed project report (DPR),” said Sanjaya Shrestha, deputy director general of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the department. “We are waiting for a formal announcement from the Japanese side before we select the consultant.” According to him, the consultant will be selected within two months after Japan formally announces the assistance.
      Japan is expected to provide a loan at 0.01 percent interest for the project, said Shrestha. “It will be the first loan from the Japan government for the road sector,” he added. As per the understanding reached between the two sides, the repayment period will be 30 years including a grace period of 10 years.
      A Japanese embassy official, when asked about the possible announcement of the assistance, said that they would have something to say after the Japanese government makes a declaration.
      A Jica official told the Post that the Nepal government had made a formal request to the Japanese government for aid. “Once the Japan government announces the approval of the assistance for the project, Jica will be told to move ahead with the project,” he said.
      Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has begun preparations to conduct loan negotiations as Japan has agreed in principle to fund the project.
      Baikuntha Aryal, chief of the international economic cooperation coordination division at the Finance Ministry, said that an appraisal had been
      prepared to enter into loan negotiations.

      full story »

      Govt may pick envoys for India, China today

      ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu, Sep 01 2016
      The government is planning to send Deep Kumar Upadhyay again to New Delhi as the ambassador. Upadhyay, who was serving as Nepal’s ambassador to India since April 2015, was suddenly recalled by the erstwhile KP Sharma Oli-led government in May.

      full story »

      UML stance may affect statute amendment

      Post Report, Kathmandu, Sep 01 2016
      The government’s plan to amend the constitution may suffer a setback with the CPN-UML warning against any such move “without justifying the significance”.

      full story »

      Main News

      Formulate laws for polls pronto: House committee

      Post Report, Sep 01 2016
      The Development Committee of Parliament on Wednesday directed the government to formulate all the necessary laws regarding elections and submit them to the Cabinet at the earliest.
      full story »

      One dies in Capital bus crash

      Post Report, Aug 31 2016
      At least one person died while 14 others were injured when a passenger bus met with an accident in Basundhara, Kathmandu on Wednesday afternoon.
      full story »

      Swaraj congratulates Mahat on his appointment as Foreign Minister

      Post Report, Aug 31 2016
      India’s Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has congratulated Prakash Sharan Mahat for his appointment as the new foreign minister of Nepal.
      full story »

      Money

      Entertainment

      Author Jagat Nepal’s latest book, Pahilo Sansad—based on Nepal’s first parliament—explores, among other things, the complex relationship between BP Koirala and king Mahendra. A political journalist for over a decade and a professor at the Tribhuvan University, Nepal has so far penned two other works of non-fiction. In this interview with The Post’s Samikshya Bhattarai, Nepal talks about his latest book, his reading habits and why good research makes good books. Excerpts:

      Tell us about your book Pahilo Sansad?

      Pahilo Sansad, as the title suggests, is based on Nepal’s first parliamentary meeting that was held almost 55 years ago. This book analyses official documents, the diary of the parliament, parliamentary relations, power and the role of the opposition and parliamentary accountability, among many others. I have been a journalist for more than a decade and was assigned to cover the last election.When I was working on it, I found out that the first parliamentary meeting had been recorded and archived. As I was always interested in politics and history, I thought this would be the perfect piece for me to work on. Then, I took the opportunity to talk to people like Tulsi Giri and Arthav Regmi who were the part of the proceedings at the time, which helped take the narrative forward.

      How did you first come to love books?

      I come from the generation that grew up during the 1990 People’s Revolution. So, the environment was very political and it really influenced our lives. I developed interest toward politics from a very young age. I began by reading biographies of political leaders. As for writing, I became interested in the prospect while I was working as a journalist. There were so many news and reports that I couldn’t pursue due to various circumstances, so I started keeping records and making diaries. Now, I have diaries that date back to the late 90s, which I treasure. This habit of keeping records of my reportings nudged me eventually to pen books.

      What books are on your reading lists?

      I plan on reading the biographies on Indian presidents because I am working on the biography of our former president, Ram Baran Yadav.

      What books do you recommend as must-reads?

      I have always loved BP Koirala’s work. I recommend people to read his biography, as well as his other books. They are all well-written and very inspirational. I also recommend the books by Leo E Rose, as they provide very good insight into the politics of the Nepal. Among recently published books, I loved Prayogshala by Sudheer Sharma.

      What is good writing for you? What would you say makes a good writer?

      Good writing, especially in non-fiction, comes through good investigation. But you need to invest a lot of time and money which is not always possible here in Nepal, as there is no funding for proper research. So, a large majority of the non-fiction books that you find in the Nepali market only touch upon the surface of a topic. There is lack of in-depth analysis of the subject matter. As for being a good writer, I think that you first need to get to the depth of the subject that you are working on and look at things through many perspectives to come up with good work.

      Your advice for general readers?

      When I first started reading books, I used to read many things, even those that didn’t have any importance to me. I have heard that Subarna Shamsher Rana used to do the same thing back in the day. He used to read almost all the books that were published, even those about birds and insects that didn’t interest him, as there were so few choices at the time. But now people have many books to choose from so they should read books on the topics that they are interested in. Rather than focusing on what others are reading, they should choose a book according to their own needs and interests.

       

       

      Author Purushottam Dahal’s second anthology of poetry, Andhakar ko Yatri, has been launched in the Capital. The book was launched jointly by Prof Rameshwor Upadhayay, ex-minister Homnath Dahal, author Pitambar Dahal and eminent social worker Chandra Lal Dahal. Speaking during the event, professors Ganesh Prasad Ghimire and Lekhprasad Niraula presented their critique of the book.

      Andhakar ko Yatri has been published by Suchana Chautari Sanchar Sahakari. Bipin Sharma of the publication said he was very honoured to be able to publish the poet’s work. Further, he also revealed that the publication is soon coming up with two more of the author’s works-Shikhar Britta, an anthology of short stories; and Mero Patrakarita, Dahal’s memoir.

      Author Dahal has been a prolific writer in the field of journalism, literature and politics-with works like Shanta, a novel; Prakshepan Raajnitik Bichar Sangraha; and Saadh, a poetry anthology published.

      Nepali theatre of late has been on an upswing, with artists willing to experiment working on both western and eastern ancient texts-evidenced by the Theatre Mall’s rendition of Tagore’s Malini or Shilpee’s recent production of Madhavi, adapted from the Mahabharata.

      But what if a production blends the eastern scripture with western sensibilities? One World Theatre’s upcoming production, Arjuna’s Dilemma, does just that. Slated to open on September 3, at the Patan Museum, the fusion opera, directed by Douglas J Cuomo, is a music drama based on the Bhagavad Gita. Featuring 15th century Indian poet Kabir’s poetry, with a fusion of Indian classical music and jazz, the show will be the first ever opera performance in Nepal.

      Music Director of the production, Jonathan Khuner, expresses his excitement over the project, “I’ve been working 35 years in the operatic medium, but this project expands far beyond the boundaries of my existing métier. To capitalise on the common ground of musical improvisation at the heart of Indian classical music and jazz, the Indian singer, tabla player and jazz saxophonist each use their respective improvisatory traditions to reach for the ecstatic, the sublime and the terror that make up the emotional world of this work.”

      According to organisers: “The goal is to engage in a true trans-cultural project that brings together the combined expertise, traditions and culture of all the participants.” The production will also weave contemporary Nepali contextualisations into the narrative. The show will feature actors Rajkumar Pudasaini, Salil Subedi, French ballerina Alize Biannic, opera singer Roy Stevens and Indian vocalist Gurudev Kamat, among others; the sets will be designed by Deborah Merola.

      The play will open on September 3, at the Bhitri Chowk in Patan Museum, and will be on till September 11. Tickets are priced at Rs 750, Rs 500, and Rs 200 for students.

       

       

       

      Sports

      The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Thursday dismissed the appeals lodged by four Nepali footballers and official Anjan KC against their lifetime bans for match-fixing offences.

      The AFC banned former national team skipper Sagar Thapa, Sandeep Rai, Bikash Singh Chhetri, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa along with KC—also a former footballer—in December for their involvement in fixing the international matches that Nepal played from 2008-2012.
      The AFC Appeal Committee meeting of Thursday confirmed the ruling by the AFC Disciplinary Committee on December 5 which claimed it found the five guilty of violating article 62 and 69 of the AFC Disciplinary Code. Nepal Police had arrested the five footballers on October 14 following a year-long investigation in coordination with AFC and its partner Sportsradar which monitors suspicious international matches across the globe.
      Nepal Police had filed subversion charges against all five before the Special Court granted them bail on November 10. Police had claimed that Thapa and KC, who once coached current National League Champions Three Star, were the main players of the fixing scam. The Office of Attorney General had registered a case with the Special Court seeking for life-imprisonment against the accused players under the Crime against State and Punishment Act, 1989.
      Apart from the five players arrested, a physiotherapist, Dejiv Thapa, was also charged with treason in absentia. Thapa, who is currently in the United States of America, is accused of receiving at least $1,000 from Malaysian footballer and suspected match-fixer Kesavan Pattan.

      Nepali top-tier Three Star Club qualified for the AFC Cup Playoffs as Group ‘B’ winners after Erchim FC of Mongolia defeated Nagaworld FC 1-0 in the AFC Cup Qualifying Playoffs at the Mongolian Football Federation grounds in Ulaan Bataar on Thursday.

      Three Star, who had defeated Erchim 2-0 in their tournament opener, had to wait for their fate after Nagaworld held them to a 1-1 stalemate in the second game of the three-team pool. Erchim were already out from the Qualifying playoffs following the draw in second match but Nagaworld would have seen them through had they returned with a victory by three-goal margin on Thursday.
      Nagaworld’s loss meant Three Star topped the pool with four points ahead of Erchim (three). Nagaworld had just one point. Three Star will now head into the Playoffs with the opponents yet to be decided. The date and venue have also not been ascertained yet.
      “The AFC Cup is coming up with a new format. AFC (Asian Football Confederation) will now conduct a new format workshop in August in Malaysia. The workshop will determine the nature of the playoff and the number of teams that it might feature,” said Sanjeeb Shilpakar, Three Star General Secretary.
      Group ‘A’ winners Dordoi Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan and Group ‘C’ champions Tatung FC of Chinese Taipei are so far the other two teams confirmed for the Playoffs. “We are very happy because we have made it through. The boys did all the hard work,” said Three Star coach Meghraj KC.
      Skipper Bikram Lama credited everyone for the success. “The entire team set, coaching staff, management and well wishers of Three Star have made it possible,” said Lama.

      The National Sports Council (NSC) on Tuesday picked up 38 cricketers for the preliminary round of the selection for the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup Asia Qualifier to be held in Hong Kong from October 9-15.

      NSC, the country’s supreme sports governing body, is currently overseeing the selection of women’s cricketers after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended the membership of the Cricket Association of Nepal. The players were selected following the players’ performance in the District and Regional Selection Tournaments.

      Rubina Chhetri, Santoshi Chaudhary, Sabnam Rai, Mamata Chaudhary, Rashmi Sharma, Kajol Shrestha, Kabita Gautam, Anisha Parajuli, Anuradha Chau-dhary, Roma Thapa, Sangita Rai, Shobha Ale, Rachana Aryal, Sita Shrestha and Shar-ada Wagle made the cut for the first round of selection.

      Also selected were Ashmina Karmacharya, Roji Kadari, Aarati Bidari, Rabina Bhandari, Indu Berma, Barsha Rana, Saraswoti Pun, Laxmi Chaudhary, Nary Thapa, Mamata Thapa, Geeta Gosai, Trishna Singh, Roshani Bohora, Kabita Joshi, Rekha Rawal, Karuna Bhandari, Ritu Kanojiya, Sita Rana Magar, Sarita Magar, Sonu Khadka, Jyoti Pandey, Neera Rajopadhyaya and Binu Budhathoki.

      Only the winners of the week-long Qualifying Playoffs in Hong Kong will qualify for the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier, an 10-team event which will send two teams into the tournament proper. Nepal will play hosts Hong Kong, China and Thailand in the Qualifying Playoffs.

       

      Adit Subedi of St Xaviers and Saloni Tamang of Little Angels (LA) clinched the U-12 singles championship of the LA-JTI Inter-school Junior Tennis Tournament on Tuesday.

      Subedi eased past Aki Juben Raut of Pennwood 6-1, 6-0 in the boys’ final, while Tamang beat Ishashri Shah of St Xaviers 6-1, 6-2 in the girls’ title clash. Nischal Adhikari and Aditya Subedi finished jointed third in U-12 boys’ category, while Rayana Shah and Suvangi Laxmi Shah shared the third place in the U-12 girls’ event.

      Samrakshyan Bhusan Bajracharya of Shuvatara and Mayanka Rana of The British School clinched the U-16 singles titles. Held at the LA premises in Hattiban, Bajracharya saw off Pranab Khanal of St Xaviers 6-2, 6-4 in the boys’ title match. Rana defeated her schoolmate Ani Mathema 7-6, 6-3 in the girls’ U-16 final.

      Avinaya Acharya and Pramod Budhathoki in boys’ finished third in boys’ event, while Mahika Rana and  Ira Raut ended up joint third in girls’ event.

      Suvangi of LA won the U-10 singles title with an 8-2 win over Aja Regmi of Kasthamandap. Eva Adhikari and Ayesha Dolkar shared third place.

      Aarav Samrat Hada of St Xavier and Aki Juben Raut set the Under-10 boys’ singles championship clash. Hada defeated Saroj Lama 8-2 and Aki Juben saw off Aditya Subedi 8-0 in the semi-finals.

       

       

      Health & Style

      Fiction Park

      The many shades of memories

      Dixya Sharma, Aug 21 2016
      As much as fate was cruel, Ashraya had moved on. But memories do what they do: They haunt, in the deep recesses of mind, wreaking havoc in the hollows of the heart
      full story »

      Saturday Features

      Raw and candid

      Timothy Aryal
      Yomari Sessions, a platform for budding artists, is helping bring independent Nepali music to the fore

      Brave new Nepal

      ABHINAWA DEVKOTA
      In the early 17th century Spanish novel Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes narrates the adventures of a knight errant trying to set the clock back to the good ol’ days when warriors ruled the roost.

      Faction distraction!

      Guffadi
      Our great Kangaroos have finally managed to figure out whom to send to represent them in the new government.

      Heavy suits

      SARIN GHIMIRE
      The successful conclusion of the NSU election was a litmus test for NC’s commitment to holding local, provincial and state elections by 2017

      Lord’s is Lord’s

      Adarsha Dhakal
      For a career sports journalist, who has followed the ups and downs of Nepali cricket for a decade, watching Nepal play at Lord’s was itself a big achievement.

      A God for the day

      SANJIT PRADHANANGA
      Once a year, the day after the Capital reverberates with Gai Jatra’s laughter and merriment, Sitaram leads the age-old Payo Jatra—a tradition locals claim to have been initiated during the Lichhavi era.

      Food for thought

      Preena Shrestha
      While ridiculous to the max and full of uber-crass humour and digs at racial and ethnic stereotypes on one hand, the new animated Sausage Party also happens to be unexpectedly thought-provoking

      Why Rani Pokhari matters

      Sanjit Bhakta Pradhananga
      Shyam Tandukar is standing on the foot bridge at Jamal, gazing at Rani Pokhari, his eyes brimming with nostalgia. Tandukar, who grew up a short walk south of the pond, is chancing the ominous clouds overhead to catch his breath and reminisce over younger, brighter days he’d spent here.

      The Otherworld

      Anuj Adhikary
      Arid land, snow-capped mountains, barren hills and nothingness. We found ourselves in the smack, middle of nowhere, with not a soul in sight. Prayer flags fluttered and predatory birds overhead struggled to stay aflight against a battery of cold, dry gusts. Perhaps they were checking on if we were still moving. Drenched in sweat, out of breath and near-roasted from the midday sun, we were—barely. Spent, at the first pass we lay listless.