On the verge of ‘bankruptcy’, Nepal Airlines seeks bailout

    SANGAM PRASAIN, Nov 16 2018
    Less than four months after making the largest jet purchase in the history of Nepali aviation, Nepal Airlines Corporation, which was on a mission to reclaim its long-lost glory, said it is running out of cash and teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.
    full story »

    Swiss bankroll leaders’ Bangkok junket

    • Second-rung leaders from the major parties will spend six days discussing transitional justice
    Binod Ghimire, Nov 16 2018

    A team of second-rung leaders is flying to Bangkok on Swiss government funding in an initiative officials say could bring together major political parties on transitional justice.

    A senior official at the Swiss Embassy in Kathmandu confirmed to the Post
    that about 12 people, including six influential leaders from the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the Nepali Congress, will be in Bangkok for six days starting November 25.

    NCP leaders Subas Nembang, Bhim Rawal, Barsha Man Pun and Shakti Basnet and Nepali Congress leaders Ramesh Lekhak and Minendra Rijal are among those leaving for Thailand.

    Accompanying them will be human rights activist and adviser to the President Sushil Pyakurel. The Swiss official said Nembang, Rawal, Lekhak, Rijal and Pyakurel have confirmed their participation and the embassy is awaiting confirmation from others, including members of the civil society.

    The sponsored junket comes at a time when a section of civil society members is working with top leaders from the major parties to move forward the process of transitional justice.

    The Swiss Embassy is already supporting a section of civil society leaders’ attempt to organise conflict victims and help them come up with a unanimous voice on demands for justice.

    A former senior government official told the Post that the leaders’ participation in the trip begins the process of forging common understanding among the parties and forming a political mechanism to facilitate the transitional justice process.
    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, warned that the Swiss initiative could ignite competition among other governments and the international agencies to influence the process.

    “Unwanted international concern could derail the process further,” the official said. “It should be clear that the lesser the foreign influence, the easier we can conclude the ongoing process.”

    Defending the programme, Swiss officials said their government was clear that the transitional justice process should be driven by Nepal itself and that it was only extending support when required.

    Talking to the Post, Tshewang Ngudup, a political adviser at the Swiss Embassy, said the programme was supported by Dealing with the Past, a division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs which works with countries around the world to address issues of human rights and infringement on international humanitarian laws.

    Supporting Nepal’s transitional justice process is one of the major strategies of the Swiss government, which aided the peace process since its beginning in 2006. The country’s three-year strategy for Nepal, Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2018-21, envisions providing support both to the victims and the government in establishing lasting peace.

    The only other country attending the Bangkok event is the Philippines, whose representatives will interact with Nepali leaders and share their experiences on transitional justice and reconciliation.

    Three international experts from Switzerland, South Africa and the Philippines are scheduled to speak on transitional justice.

    “The programme will basically be a learning and sharing platform,” Ngudup told the Post. He said Bangkok was chosen for the event as it would be a convenient location for the participants. NC leader Rijal said they expect to learn different aspects of transitional justice and practices around the world.

    “We expect the event will increase our understanding of transitional justice,” he told the Post.

    “That could be beneficial for taking forward the ongoing process here.”

    full story »

    Despite lack of resources, the Kartik Nach plays on

    Timothy Aryal, Lalitpur, Nov 16 2018
    Artistes perform Kartik Nach at Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur. The dance festival runs for 12 days this year. POST PHOTO: KESHAV THAPA
    A few minutes before the clock struck seven, a thumping drum, punctuated intermittently by sharper notes, travelled through the alleyways around the Patan Durbar Square on Tuesday evening. A crowd of nearly a hundred people had gathered at the Kartik Dabali, at the centre of which were four torches placed in a perfect square.

    full story »

    Local level to build settlement for 99 needy households

    SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu, Nov 16 2018
    The National Reconstruction Authority has authorised the local level to build an integrated settlement for up to 99 households. The decision is in line with the Integrated Settlement Development Procedure-2018 approved by the NRA executive committee on Thursday.

    full story »

    Main News

    Congress youth leaders push for party revamp

    ANIL GIRI, Nov 16 2018
    A section of Nepali Congress youth leaders has raised the pitch to revamp the party as the Mahasamiti meeting draws closer.
    full story »

    Anjan Shakya named Nepal’s ambassador to Israel

    Post Report, Nov 16 2018
    The government has appointed Anjan Shakya as the new Nepali Ambassador to Israel. He will replace Niranjan Thapa, who has been asked by the government to report back to the country within three weeks.
    full story »

    Fifth Colombo Process meet kicks off in Kathmandu

    In a bid to discuss safer labour migration and protect rights of migrant workers, the 5th Senior Officials Meeting of the Colombo Process has begun in Kathmandu on Thursday.
    full story »



    Despite lack of resources, the Kartik Nach plays on

    Timothy Aryal, Nov 16 2018
    A few minutes before the clock struck seven, a thumping drum, punctuated intermittently by sharper notes, travelled through the alleyways around the Patan Durbar Square on Tuesday evening. A crowd of nearly a hundred people had gathered at the Kartik Dabali, at the centre of which were four torches placed in a perfect square.
    full story »


    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.

    Defending champion Ratnajit Tamang of Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) and Dipesh Dhami of Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club advanced to the men’s singles quarter-finals of the eighth Pushpa Lal Memorial National Open Badminton Championships on Wednesday.
    The record six-time champion Tamang saw off Sunil Joshi of APF 21-6, 21-17 while Dhami defeated Praful Maharjan of Army 21-5, 21-5 in their pre-quarterfinal matches. Bishnu Katuwal of Nepal Police Club (NPC) defeated Bijit Thapa Magar of APF 21-17, 21-14 and NPC shuttler Nir Bikram Devkota overcome the first set deficit to beat Sudip Sedai of APF 12-21, 21-8, 21-10.
    The other shuttlers to make it to the quarter-finals were Rukesh Maharjan and Nabin Shrestha of TAC, Bikash Shrestha of Bhojpur and Prince Dahal of Silk Group. Maharjan saw off Sajan Krishna Tamrakar of APF 21-18, 21-14, Nabin eased to a 21-7, 21-13 win over Jeevan Acharya of NPC, Bikash got the better of Gautam Kathayat of APF 21-17, 21-16 and Dahal defeated Dipak Bohara of NPC 21-19, 21-14.
    In the women’s singles, defending champion Jessica Gurung of APF defeated Sita Rai of Bhojpur 21-17, 21-19 to seal a quarter-final berth. She was joined in the last eight by Army players Nangsal Devi Tamang, Anu Maya Rai, Rasila Maharjan, Ranjana Bhatta and Amita Giri. Tamang dispatched Mahima Shrestha of Zest Badminton Academy 21-5, 21-3, Rai beat Safi Khatri of Zest 21-5, 21-10, Maharjan saw off Manisha Khadka of Zest 21-8, 21-4, Bhatta overcome Sima Rajbanshi of Morang 21-18, 17-21, 21-16 and Giri thumped Loktama Rai of Bhojpur 21-2, 21-8. Samjhana Sharma of Banke beat Sunaina Mukhiya of PAF 21-13, 21-19 and Shova Gurung of APF dispatched Tara Ale of Zest 21-18, 21-13. 
    Prince Dahal, who won his men’s singles match, went on to beat Suraj Gupta of Dang 21-5, 21-6 while Kailali’s Jay Saud beat Alish Thapa of Chitwan 21-15, 21-12 in the boys’ U-17 event. Priyanshu Singh Chhetri of Zest beat Narendra Thakuri of Surkhet 21-7, 21-17 and Himanshu Kunwar of Dang edged past Anish Khatiwada of Bara 17-21, 21-19, 21-15. Amrit Chaudhary of Kailali, Diwesh Shankar of Army, Himal Chand of Kanchanpur and Pemba Sherpa of Tehrathum also recorded wins in the age-group event.
    In the girls’ U-17 singles, Dimona KC and Smriti Rai of Zest, Bina Bista of Kanchanpur and Anjana Rai of Jhapa entered into quarter-finals. While KC enjoyed walkover from Sambhavi Palak, Smriti beat Krishma Bajracharya of Lalitpur 21-14, 21-7. Bista saw off Bidhya Khadka of Zest 21-6, 21-9 and Anjana beat Anusha Neupane, also of Zest, 21-10, 21-8.

    Health & Style

    Fiction Park

    Up in the Hills

    BIBEK ADHIKARI, Nov 11 2018
    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.
    full story »


    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.
    full story »

    Saturday Features

    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.

    Existence small, not shrunken

    For any reader of this country’s English language newspapers, Shradha Ghale is a familiar name. Her non-fiction reporting has appeared in a great many periodicals and newspapers, including this one.

    Patronage of publics

    The end of Rana rule in 1951 was an important rupture in the history of public life in Nepal. In an important essay first published in 1970, the scholar of literature and history Kamal P Malla characterised the 1950s in the following manner:

    Briquette economy

    Small communities in around 25 districts across Nepal are heavily involved in the production of briquette/pellets.

    Celebrating type

    Abha Dhital
    In December 2017, Ratan Karna was descending Muldhai Hill—an off-the-beaten-path destination that’s a day’s trek from Ghandruk—when he stopped at a small village for tea. As he sipped away, he noticed a distinct flat rock right outside the hotel and decided to paint a mantra on it. He took his paint and paintbrush out and wrote “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah”—may all be happy, may all be free from diseases—in calligraphy.

    The birds and the bees

    Going to school in Nepal, there is a certain section of a certain subject that many teachers and even students shy away from. At the secondary level, under health and population studies, is a chapter about sexual and reproductive health.

    Eat, pray, love (yourself)

    Alisha Sijapati
    Hemmed in by dozens of garment stores, this small shop at the corner of a street in Khichapokhari would easily go unnoticed on a busy day. But for 62-year-old Maya, this was exactly the store she was looking for.

    A home of one’s own

    Richa Bhattarai
    Home Going, the debut novel by Ghana-born author Yaa Gyasi, begins like distant lore—a myth, a dream even. It is the late eighteenth century in West Africa, when Effia Otcher is born into “the musky heat.”