Government agencies say probe into Sumargi funds continues

  • Shady money trail
The Department of Money Laundering Investigation says it has sought details through Nepal’s financial intelligence unit on transactions of controversial businessman Ajeya Raj Sumargi in foreign countries.
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Steep challenges await Acharya as he readies for Delhi mission

  • New envoy will have full plate once he lands in Indian capital next month
ANIL GIRI, Jan 22 2019
Nepal’s new Ambassador to India, Nilamber Acharya, faces steep challenges as he takes up his diplomatic assignment next month as the first envoy to New Delhi since the 2015 blockade.
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House braces for opposition-ruling party showdown

  • Nepali Congress obstructs Parliament proceedings over Medical Education Bill, a concern of fasting KC
TIKA R PRADHAN, Jan 22 2019
Parliament braces for a showdown over the Medical Education Bill with the ruling party issuing a whip to its lawmakers to be present at the House of Representatives meeting on Tuesday.
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Nepal, India air route talks keep going round in circles

SANGAM PRASAIN, Kathmandu, Jan 22 2019
Nepal and India made little progress at the highly anticipated air route talks held in Mumbai, India last week. Nepal has been badgering the southern neighbour to grant air entry points through the L626 Mahendranagar route and Nepalgunj to facilitate aircraft movement to the two upcoming international airports in Bhairahawa and Pokhara.

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20 workers get labour permits for Malaysia

CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu, Jan 22 2019
The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security has decided to issue labour permits to the Malaysia-bound workers, provided that the Embassy of Malaysian in Kathmandu directly issues visas to them.

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Main News

Pashupati road being operated against Supreme Court directive

Anup Ojha, Jan 22 2019
The roadway alongside the Sleshmantak jungle—between Tilganga to Tamarganga—which falls under a Unesco world heritage site is currently functioning illegally, despite the Supreme Court’s order to stop access to the road.
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Govt attempting to muzzle press freedom: Deuba

Lamjung, Jan 22 2019
Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba has claimed that the KP Sharma Oli-led government is attempting to muzzle press freedom.
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Biratnagar High Court chief judge faces action

TIKA R PRADHAN, Jan 22 2019
The Judicial Council on Monday decided to recall Chief Judge of Biratnagar High-Court Kul Ratna Bhurtel to its secretariat, as part of action against him for his role in releasing suspects of a gold smuggling case on bail. 
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Indian coach Umesh Patwal is currently looking after the Nepali national team as batting consultant for the upcoming One-Day and Twenty20 International Series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which begins from February 25 in Dubai. Patwal, a former batting consultant with Afghanistan during the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and Asia Cup, is not a new name to Nepali cricket. He was with the Nepali team in the same position for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March last year. He was the tournament director in the Pokhara Premier League and coach of the one-time Everest Premier League chammpions Biratnagar Warriors this season. Patwal talked to Adarsha Dhakal of the Post about Nepal’s current status of batting in an interview. Excerpts:    

Can you explain a little bit on your current role with the Nepali team?
I’m more as a batting consultant, a batting coach who would look into the batting aspect of the game of each and every individual player.
What is your focus right now (ahead of upcoming series against the UAE)? 
Because we are going into the tournament it’s more about strategizing and giving them lot of game sense.
What are the areas Nepal need to improve on?
The boys have a lot of ball sense but the game sense is missing. They pick up the ball well but the execution of shots, like when they should go for big shots and when they should go for singles, thats where they are not very sure. The game plan is poor. They appear to be uncertain when to go after the bowlers and when to stick to the wicket.
You have been touring with Nepali team in last few tournaments and has also been part of domestic franchise leagues. What do you think is the problem with Nepal’s batting?
The problem is we don’t have any competition. They are not playing against any competitive side or quality bowlers except for the three Twenty20 leagues (Everest Premier League, Dhangadhi Premier League and Pokhara Premier League). So when they play the 50-over tournament they would always struggle because they don’t have strategies against good bowlers. They would struggle in any chase around 250 because they haven’t batted for too long. Even the structure of fitness is very much up to T20. So, obviously the stamina or the intensity for 50-over game would definitely be lacking.
Does it mean that our batsmen don’t have longevity for one day internationals?
It’s a game, few guys could cope because of the way they are as a character. I believe that cricket is played by character but not the cricketers. And if you want match winners you need more characters. So hopefully if you find few characters in the team, you could still end up on the winning side. 
We had not had best opening combination for the last few years. Can we solve that problem against the UAE?
It would be too early to predict that. We don’t have good competition and good bowlers to face. It’s about finding the best person to play new ball in different conditions. If it’s about playing in Nepal it’s fine but doing it (playing new ball) in different condition is not going to be an easy job.
You have been closely monitoring national and domestic cricket of late. How do you rate the batting of Nepali cricketers? 
It’s poor. If you see (in last few franchise leagues) there was hardly any cricketer who deserved man-of-the-match accolade for batting except for Dipendra Singh Airee in one of the games when he finished it off (during the PPL). Otherwise when you look at the openers there is not a single player who scored 50 or 100. That shows where we stand.

The ‘A’ Division outfits Saraswoti Youth Club thumped Nawa Janajagriti Youth Club of Simara 4-1 to enter the semi-finals of second National Bagmati Gold Cup football tournament at the Phaparbari of Bagmati Rural Municipality on Monday. Saraswoti will meet Makawanpur XI in the last-four clash on Wednesday. 
Tirtha Basnet struck twice for the Koteshwor-based team after Raj Kumar Ghising put them ahead in the 20th minute. Basnet struck in the 34th and 42nd minute to go into break 3-0 up. Nawa Janajagriti cut the deficit in the 66th before Victor Amobi struck the fourth goal to seal 4-1 victory. Tribhuvan Army Club will take on BFC Bharatpur in the first semi-final match on Tuesday. (PR)  

Amit Kumar Mahato slammed a 62-ball 102 as Rajan Memorial School hammered Universal English School by 80 runs in the School League Cricket on the opening day. 
Electing to bat first, Mahato’s whirlwind knock lifted Rajan Memorial to a mammoth 203 all out in 20 overs. Ajay Dev then picked up five wickets as Universal were 123 all out in 17.1 overs. Ashok Poudel led a solid reply for Universal adding 52 runs for the first wicket with Nischal Amatya (10). He added another 38 with Rojer Rajbanshi (20) before Universal lost nine wickets for just 33 runs.
Poudel made 51 off 33 with five fours and two sixes. Dev returned the figures of 5-27 from four overs. Earlier, Mahato struck 11 fours and seven sixes. Bijaya Tamang chipped in a 16-ball 27. 
In another match, Meridian School hammered Gyankunj School by 135 runs after Rajan GC and Saras Khatri ran riot with the ball. An unbeaten half century (76) from Aadit Subedi guided Meridian to 160-7 before GC and Khatri bundled out Gyankunj for just 25 in 8.4. 
Man-of-the-match GC took 5-22 from four overs and Khatri’s four-over spell read 4-2 with two maiden. Eight Gyankunj players failed to open their account.

Health & Style

Fiction Park

The Love Letter

Ashvin Oli, Jan 20 2019
It was raining cats and dogs outside with occasional thunder strikes. The mango tree near my room’s window swayed violently to the wind, hitting the window pane several times to the point that I was worried it would shatter the glass.
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An uncommon thread

In the 1990s, when the Nepali garment industry was at its peak, Hira Muktan established a factory catering to private labels in various European countries, exporting Nepal-made products to the international market.
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Saturday Features

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.

Break up song

It’s sad to hear that Bibeksheel Sajha (BS) Party folks have decided to split up. Our political parties are good at breaking up and then making up and breaking up again to fulfill the interest of a bunch of so-called leaders and I guess Bibeksheel Sajha has met the same fate. So that means we can actually call the BS wallahs a true political party from now onwards.

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.

In Nepal, a woman’s identity is still tied to their male kinfolk -- first father, then husband

Bibhu Luitel
In 2015, when I appeared for a job interview at a popular Kathmandu school, the very first question the principal asked me was, “Are you a Newar?”

How rice became a staple in the hills and mountains--and why that’s unsustainable

Tsering Ngodup Lama
Nepal’s reliance on rice over traditional nutrient-rich grains is costing the country billions every year, and making people unhealthier

I signed up to become a Tootle rider. This is what I got out of it.

Anup Ojha
I first heard of Tootle about seven months ago during a casual conversation with my friends. They said it was one of the easiest ways to commute around Kathmandu, but as the owner of a motorbike, I didn’t pay it any mind. A few months later, I became a part of Tootle -- not as a customer but as a rider. 

Good, but not quite best

Richa Bhattarai
In ‘March, Me and Sakura’ by Geetanjali Shree, a 70-year-old Indian mother travels to Japan to be with her son. At first wary of the unfamiliar country and afraid of venturing out, she ends up an adventurous soul, freeing the child within in the new land, far from judgment and societal restrictions. It is enthralling to travel with her and shed our inhibitions alongside.

Grandma with swag

At 11 am sharp every morning, a voice resounds through our quiet Kupondole neighbourhood, disturbing all our neighbours from their daily chores.