ICYMI: Here are our top stories from Friday, April 12

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 12, 2019-

Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (April 12, 2019).


At Nepal’s only international airport, it is not just the runway that needs fixing

The airport experience remains fraught with problems, beginning from the moment passengers exit the plane to the moment they leave the airport gates, as painfully slow processes take hours. While the runway is finally receiving it’s long-overdue renovation because of delays and dangers associated with its derelict state—which has created its own issues around lengthy flight delays—the airport is soon to be transformed into a “boutique airport,” on April 14. With the “boutique” overhaul comes a long list of promised improvements.

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Organisers say beauty pageants for the queer community empower participants, but not all are convinced

The Blue Diamond Society has been advocating for the rights of the queer community since 2001. It was also behind a landmark 2007 case where the Supreme Court recognised transgender individuals as “third gender”, issuing a directive to the government to create new, and amend already-existing, laws to eliminate any discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity of an individual. This ruling allowed transwomen like Shrestha to acquire new citizenship under the ‘other’ category.

Organising beauty pageants is part of Blue Diamond’s fight to generate more queer visibility in the mainstream media and create safer and more acceptable spaces for the queer community, according to PinkeyGurung, chairperson of the Blue Diamond Society. Miss Pink started out as Miss Meti in 2003, as an awareness campaign to promote safety measures against HIV/AIDS. In 2007, the pageant was renamed Miss Pink.

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Vivanta’sAkari may style itself as a fine-dining restaurant, but it lacks polish

Vivanta’s pedigree should inform everything—its shimmering bar, contemporary furniture and incredible views do—but there are salient points that have been missed. This “pan-Asian” restaurant offers Korean, Burmese, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine, while shamefully panning past the country it sits in. It offers sushi, curry, tempura, robata-grilled items, and a litany of other buzzword dishes associated with these world famous cuisines. But with its pan-Asian saturation comes symptoms of LMS—large menu syndrome—something the Taj should have vaccinated this restaurant against.

Ordering around the menu, forgiving its omissions, out come tepid spring rolls of shitake and water chestnut. Dropped into shot glasses, with small pools of sauce, the cigar-like fried rolls lack the size to achieve balance. The wrapper, rather, overcomes its luscious notes, leaving the mouth overwhelmed by the stodgy pastry. The sauce is more like Mexican salsa, upstaging the nuanced filling.

The cosmopolitan, Moscow mule and plum-mint spritz refresh the palate between bites. But even the cosmo lacks punch, and the mule is spiked with ginger ale instead of ginger beer. The plum spritz, however, is refreshing and delivers what was promised: plum and mint.

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Hydropower and irrigation dams pose threat to freshwater fish species: Study

Hydropower and irrigation dams built to divert water from various rivers of the country are posing a threat to aquatic resources, mainly fish species, according to a latest study.

An Asian Development Bank rapid study that assessed the potential impacts of various hydropower and irrigation dams built along the rivers has concluded that these infrastructure adversely affect both the indigenous as well as migratory fish species in the rivers.

The study evaluated the operation of a number of hydropower and irrigation projects with dams—the Kali Gandaki, Marshyangdi, Middle Marshyangdi, Kulekhani, Khimti and Trishuli hydropower projects, and the Babai irrigation Project—to find whether these constructions had any impact on fish species and their habitat.

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Long eclipsed by Pokhara and Lumbini, the town of Tansen offers much history and abundant natural beauty

For decades, Tansen has been eclipsed by its two more popular neighbours: Pokhara to the northeast and Lumbini  to the southwest. But in the last few years, things have begun to change in this small hill town steeped in history and abundant natural beauty. Tansen is seeing more tourists than ever, and it is now slowly emerging out of the shadows of its neighbours.

Rani Mahal

Popularly dubbed the TajMahal of Nepal, Rani Mahal is Tansen’s most famous landmark and the reason many travel to the town. The Mahal is located 13 kms from Tansen Bazaar, but if you are expecting to see a mahal with ancient regal artifacts inside it, you will be disappointed to learn that there’s nothing inside. It’s interiors have remained empty for many years. A local I met at the Mahal told me that many of the artifacts had been plundered many years ago.

But the Rani Mahal, which sits on a dramatic hillock by the banks of the Kali Gandakiriver, is still worth a visit. When you walk its empty halls, you cannot help but imagine its grandeur of its heyday, and feel a looming sense of loss.

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Published: 12-04-2019 18:51

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