Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘pushpa kamal dahal’

China to provide 200m yuan to support peace process; Wen leaves for Qatar

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 14, 2012

KATHMANDU, Jan 14: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and his visiting Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao signed an eight-point bilateral agreement during the talks held at the PM´s office in Singha Durbar on Saturday.

During the luncheon held after the talks, Wen announced that China would provide 200 million yuan in assistance to Nepal in the current fiscal year with intent to support Nepal´s peace process, our correspondent Kiran Chapagainreported.

On the occasion, Wen also pledged to provide 750 million yuan in concessional loan to Nepal in the next three years. The talks chiefly dwelt on economic issues of bilateral cooperation and other issues related to cultural exchange and infrastructural development.

Wen has left Kathmandu for Qatar after completing his four-and a-half hours trip to Nepal. PM Bhattarai and other high government officials saw him off at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha is addressing a press meet on Wen´s Nepal visit at the VIP lounge at the TIA.

Earlier in the day, Wen had arrived in Kathmandu, almost an hour behind schedule, in a special aircraft  at 11:50 am. PM Bhattarai, Speaker Subash Nembang and other high government officials received Wen at the VVIP lounge at the airport. Nineteen gunshots were fired in honor of the Chinese premier.

Before wrapping up his visit, Wen called on President Dr Ram Baran Yadav at the latter´s official residence in Maharajgunj. Prior to this, he attended the official luncheon hosted by PM Bhattarai in Singha Durbar. UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and a very few government ministers also attended the function.

Wen’s visit is the first by a Chinese premier since the then premier Zhu Rongji’s Nepal trip in May 2001. Before that, Chinese President Jiang Zemin had paid a visit to Nepal back in 1996. Read the rest of this entry »

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Breaking News:Leaders seal the ‘Peace Deal’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 1, 2011

KATHMANDU, NOV 01 – The peace process that was started five years ago in 2006 is likely to witness its logical conclusion. The meeting of the top brass leaders of the major political parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha—on Tuesday agreed on contentious issues of the peace process and sealed the deal.

UML leader Bhim Rawal publicised the deal amid a press conference organised at the Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s official residence in Baluwatar.

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala and UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal signed on the pact at PM’s residence.

According to highly placed source, the leaders have agreed to integrate 6,500 former Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army in an individual basis. Likewise, the rehabilitation package has been agreed upon Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 800,000 as per the rank of the combatants, the source added.

Meanwhile, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is trying to take his deputy Mohan Baidya—leader of the party’s hardliner faction—into confidence.

As soon as Baidya agrees, the leaders are close to signing a peace deal, sources said.

Likewise, the leaders have reached an understanding to form a technical panel for the rank determination of the combatants. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Chinese foundation plans to raise $ 3b to make Lumbini ‘magnet for Buddhists’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 20, 2011

Months after plans of a Chinese private sector company to invest Rs 8 billion to develop Lumbini as an International

Buddha Center hogged media headlines there comes news that a Chinese-backed foundation is planning to raise $ 3 billion to help Nepal develop Buddha’s birthplace.

According to Reuters, the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation plans to raise the aforesaid amount at home and abroad “to build temples, an airport, a highway, hotels, convention centres and a Buddhist university in the town of Lumbini.”

Interestingly, UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is the vice-chairman of the foundation which aims to transform Lord Buddha’s birthplace in southern Nepal “into a magnet for Buddhists in the same way as Mecca is to Muslims and the Vatican for Catholics”, the report adds.

The foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with Nepal government last month to jointly develop and operate Lumbini.

According to the report, the foundation also pledged to bring communications, water and electricity to Lumbini.

“Lumbini will transcend religion, ideology and race. We hope to rejuvenate the spirit of Lord Buddha,” Xiao Wunan, a devout Buddhist who is executive vice president of the foundation, told the news agency.

The development of Lumbini will also help boost government revenues, create jobs and improve infrastructure in the impoverished corner of Nepal, the report cited the memorandum as stating. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘We want to strengthen the relationship with India’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 29, 2011

As head of Nepal’s most powerful party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Pushpa Kamal

PUSHPA KAMAL DAHAL PRACHANDA: ‘We are not anti-Indian. Relations between India and Nepal are unique on the basis of history, culture, geography, and economy. No one can think of weakening this.' — PHOTO: REUTERS

Dahal Prachanda’s position holds the key to the political developments in the republic. On April 26 (Tuesday night), Mr. Prachanda spoke exclusively to Prashant Jha to discuss the state of transitional politics in Nepal, internal party divisions, and relations with India. Excerpts:

 Will Nepal have a new constitution by May 28?

We should have been able to conclude the peace process and promulgate the statute by May 28. But the absence of an agreement between political parties has limited that possibility. I won’t say it is impossible, because we have often made historic decisions at the last minute. As the largest party in the CA, and as the force that pushed the agenda of the Constituent Assembly, republic, federalism, secularism, social justice, inclusion, proportional representation, we are committed to taking the peace process forward and creating a unified draft of the constitution before May 28 so that the Nepali people believe these tasks will be completed. They themselves would happily give us time after that.

Why did the parties fail to come to an agreement?

The first reason is that we were in a movement against the last government, since they were trying to isolate the biggest party in the CA. Our claim was that Maoists should lead the government, but others did not accept our legitimate claim. Then we went in for elections in parliament, but could not elect a PM for seven months. The disagreement between parties was one reason for this, but we also felt that various other forces tried to create obstacles in government formation. We then sacrificed our claim, but it was too late to take the process forward.

In the earlier stages, it was agreed that parties would move ahead together, in consensus. But after the Maoists emerged as the strongest party in the CA, other parties developed suspicions that Maoists would be in power forever — they had not anticipated the widespread popular support for the Maoists, and got terrorised at this prospect. They broke the agreement to move ahead consensually, creating difficulties.

Internal party dynamics

Can you tell us the exact nature of the debates within the party?

There are three kinds of thought in the party. One school believes that instead of emphasising peace and constitution, we should go in for a people’s revolt to get power. The second school believes that we should focus on peace and constitution at whatever cost. And the third school, which I lead, is that we should focus on peace and constitution, but if there are conspiracies, then there may be a need to get people on the streets to revolt. At the end, the party adopted a line that we should focus on peace and constitution, but also make people aware to make these conspiracies unsuccessful. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jhalanath Khanal elected PM

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 3, 2011

KATHMANDU, Feb 4: Ending seven months of impasse, the parliament on Thursday elected Jhalanath Khanal as the prime minister after UCPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in a surprising move, withdrew his candidacy and his party voted for Khanal.

The 34th prime minister of Nepal, Khanal secured 368 votes against 122 of his nearest rival Ram Chandra Paudel. Another candidate Bijaya Gachchhadar bagged 67 votes. Khanal, 61, is the third leader from the CPN-UML to reach to the top executive post of the country. Late Manmohan Adhikari was the first prime minister from the party while outgoing Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was the second.

Earlier, the parliament had failed to elect a new prime minister despite 16 rounds of votes since the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government stepped down on June 30 last year.

As he saw no possibility of him being elected, Dahal withdrew his candidacy following a decision of the Maoist standing committee held just ahead of the election.

“I sensed I am not going to win this election,” said Dahal while announcing his withdrawal, adding that he took the decision to sacrifice to the nation.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Maoists flay Indian news report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 13, 2010

KATHMANDU, OCT 12 –
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the UCPN (Maoist) has taken exception to the Indian media report alleging that Nepali Maoists were imparting training to Indian Naxalites. The PLA has flayed the report as baseless, premeditated and speculative.

“People’s Liberation Army’s attention has been drawn towards the report that alleges the Maoist army of training Indian Naxalites,” said PLA Chief Nanda Kishor Pun in a statement on Tuesday. According to Monday’s edition of the Indian Express, the Indian Government warned the PLA has been imparting training to Naxalites. “We regret the publication of such baseless report and strongly condemn it,” reads the statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal fails in eighth attempt to elect new premier

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 27, 2010

AFP

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Maoist party called Sunday for the formation of a new power-sharing government after

Nepal has been without a government since June 30

parliament failed for the eighth time to elect a new prime minister.

The former rebels abstained from Sunday’s vote, the latest in a series of attempts to elect a new leader for the troubled country, which has been without a government for almost three months.

Their candidate, party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, earlier withdrew from the running to be prime minister to pave the way for fresh talks on forming a national consensus government.

Nepal has been without a government since June 30, when former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal stood down under intense pressure from the Maoists.

Since then, the parties have been unable to agree on the shape of the new administration and a series of votes in the 601-member parliament have proved inconclusive, with none of the candidates securing an overall majority.

“It is clear that we cannot elect a new prime minister in this way. We should now look to form a national unity government,” said Maoist vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai after the vote.

The Maoists, who fought a decade-long civil war against the state before transforming themselves into a political party and winning elections in 2008, hold the largest number of seats in parliament, but not enough to govern alone.

Dahal, a former warlord who still goes by his nom de guerre, Prachanda (“the fierce one”), was the front-runner in earlier votes, but failed to win the simple majority he needed to form a new government.

His only rival, Ram Chandra Poudel, chairman of the second-largest party in parliament, the centrist Nepali Congress, stood uncontested on Sunday but took only 116 votes.

The next vote is due to be held on September 30.

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