From the Kathmandu Press: Friday, June 29, 2018

Two of the most discussed issues that Nepali and English newspapers published from Kathmandu on Friday is the death of five persons in two landslide incidents in Dhading district in the wee hours of Thursday, and the arrival of national flag carrier Nepal Airline’s first wide body aircraft. As discussions on the annual budget statement and other issues are going on in the House of Representatives, parliamentary activities have also received significant priority in the Kathmandu press. Likewise, they have covered an order issued by the Supreme Court about ongoing road expansion in Kathmandu Valley and compensation that the government should provide to owners of lands and houses on the roadside.

Few other sociocultural and financial issues have been featured on the front page.


Supreme Court opens way for Nagdhunga-Kalanki road expansion, but orders for appropriate compensation

File image: Supreme Court of Nepal

Nepal Samacharpatra lead story reports that the Supreme Court has opened the way for the government to continue expansion of Nagdhunga-Kalanki road. Responding to a writ filed by locals against the move, a division bench of justices Kedar Prasad Chalise, Hari Krishna Karki and Purushottam Bhandari ordered that the government continue expansion works, according to the report.

However, the Court has told the government to ensure that no one is deprived of their right to residence due to the expansion works, according to Nagarik lead story. It means the government has to acquire land and demolish building, and manage alternatives for people living there before expanding the road.

New transitional justice bill tabled in Parliament

Republica reports that the government on Thursday tabled a bill to amend the existing law on functions of two transitional justice bodies—the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang tabled the bill at the National Assembly yesterday. Earlier yesterday, a Cabinet meeting had endorsed the bill and decided to table it in House, according to Gorkhapatra.

Republica informs that the new bill has stressed the need for reconciliation rather than prosecuting the perpetrators. The bill will also extend the term of twin bodies as they are yet to complete their assignments.


Nepal imported rice worth Rs 24 billion in 10 months

As the country is marking National Rice Plantation Day on Friday, some newspapers have published reports about the country’s agricultural sector on their front pages. Though the government celebrates the day with much fanfare every year, it has not been able to end dependence on foreign countries for rice, Nagarik anchor story for the day reports, adding the country imported rice worth Rs 24.5 billion in the first 10 months of current fiscal year. Top rice exporters for Nepal are China, India, Thailand, Japan and Italy.

A snippet in Nepal Samacharpatra also discusses the issue.

Home Secretary, IG questioned over Ganga Maya’s demand

File: Ganga Maya Adhikari, mother of Krishna Prasad Adhikari, who was killed during the armed conflict.

The constitutional human rights watchdog, National Human Rights Commission, on Thursday inquired Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai and Nepal Police Inspector General Sarbendra Khanal about what the government and the police are doing to address demands of Ganga Maya Rai, who has been staging an indefinite hunger strike at Bir Hospital, according to a brief story in The Kathmandu Post.

Adhikari is on the strike for past one month demanding justice for the insurgency era murder of her son Krishna Prasad.

Nepali rupee being exchanged at all-time low rate

A snippet in The Himalayan Times reports that continuous depreciation of Indian rupee vis-à-vis the United States dollar has hit the Nepali rupee too, this time dragging it to an all-time low of 110.37.

Quoting sources at the Nepal Rastra Bank, the report informs that the value of Nepali rupee has been gradually sliding against the US dollar since mid-April.


Nepal’s World Heritage Sites removed from UNESCO danger list

The interior of Gaddi Baithak, a part of Basantapur Durbar Squake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after its restoration, pictured on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

After being included on the danger list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven such sites of Kathmandu Valley have finally been free from the danger of losing the status, a four column story reports in Nepal Samacharpatra.

Following the damages caused by the 2015 earthquake, and owing to the government’s negligence in their conservation, the United Nations cultural agency had kept the sites of Nepal on the danger list and continued it for three years. Now, the list was changed and Kathmandu heritage sites got removed owing to satisfactory reconstruction progress, according to the report.

PM assures to increase elderly allowance next year

KP Sharma Oli addresses the House of Representatives meeting, on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has assured that the government would increase the allowance for senior citizens from the next fiscal year. Addressing a function in Kathmandu yesterday, Oli said the government could not increase the allowance as expected this year because the Nepali Congress ‘bled the state coffers dry’ as it left the government after elections, reports Gorkhapatra in its lead story.

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