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From the Kathmandu Press: Sunday, May 12, 2019

Various political, social and economic issues have been featured on the front pages of major Nepali and English dailies published from Kathmandu on Sunday. Many of them have given priority to an agreement signed between Nepal and Vietnam to promote trade and investment. Likewise, there are concerns over the new media council bill which many believe would be the government bid to limit press freedom.

Here is a summary of important, ignored and interesting stories from the cover pages of national broadsheets:

Important

Nepal, Vietnam sign deal on bilateral trade

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli meets Vietnamese counterpart Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

On the occasion of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to Vietnam, the two countries have signed an agreement to promote trade and investment between two countries.

Newspaper reports inform that the agreement was signed after a meeting between Prime Minister Oli and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

According to the agreement, the two countries will establish a consultation mechanism between the ministries of foreign affairs, which will facilitate the entry of diplomatic officials without visa. For the people-to-people relations, the two countries have agreed to launch a direct flight service.

Meanwhile, Kantipur reports that Oli extended a  Nepal visit invite to his counterpart.

Stakeholders oppose govt bid to control media

File image: Federation of Nepali Journalists central office

As the government is preparing to introduce a new law on regulating Nepali media, stakeholders have feared it would jeopardise press freedom and hence opposed the bill, according to reports in Kantipur, Nagarik and Republica.

The umbrella organisation of Nepali journalists, Federation of Nepali Journalists, has already announced a protest programme demanding that the government withdraw the Media Council Bill. Likewise, the Press Council Nepal, a regulatory body, has also commented that its suggestions were ignored in the bill, according to Kantipur.

TU recruits officials’ kin

File image: Tribhuvan University Central Office, Kirtipur

Kantipur reports in its lead story for the day that many relatives of the Trubhuvan University Service Commission chairman Chaitanya Sharma, chief Parashu Ram Koirala, central campus principal Krishna Acharya, former registrar Chandra Mani Paudel, monitoring division chief Bishnu Prasad Khanal among others have been selected for various positions of the university.

Meanwhile, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority received a complaint against the Service Commission and it is soon launching an investigation, the CIAA spokesperson Pradeep Kumar Koirala has informed Rajdhani.

Supreme Court to review landmark no-amnesty verdict

File image: Supreme Court of Nepal

The apex court has scheduled a hearing on a review petition filed by the government over one of its 2015 verdicts that barred the government from granting amnesty to any person in relation to conflict era issues, according to The Kathmandu Post.

The court had issued the verdict in February 2015 in response to a writ filed by a group of 234 conflict victims, striking down almost a dozen provisions in the transitional justice law. After around two months, the government led by Sushil Koirala had filed a review appeal.

Meanwhile, stakeholders and activists have suspected that scheduling the hearing after four years could be a bid to reverse the order.

“It’s hard to believe that it is just a coincidence,” human rights activist Kapil Shrestha has been quoted in the report, “I won’t be surprised if the verdict gets reversed.”

Ignored

Kathmandu View Tower construction in limbo

The design of Kathmandu View Tower

The ongoing construction of Kathmandu View Tower has been pushed into limbo as its contractor, Jaleshwar Swachhanda Bkoi, was dragged in a controversy regarding the use of Old Bus Park, reports Naya Patrika.

Total 280 retired Singapore Gurkha soldiers had invested Rs 240 million in the construction work. After the controversy surfaced last year, they have put pressure on the contractor to give back the money, the report informs.

Speaker for promoting rights of provincial govts

File: Krishna Bahadur Mahara

The Himalayan Times reports in its lead story that Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has told officials of the Parliament Secretariat not to forward any bill to the House if that prevents provincial governments from exercising rights and powers given to them by the constitution.

Speaker Mahara issued the directive after Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel appealed to him, on behalf of all chief ministers, to hold consultations with them before endorsing such bills.

Internet price likely to go up

Internet service providers are likely to increase their charges once again as the Nepal Electricity Authority is hiking the charge it levies on them for using electricity utility poles, according to Karobar.

Currently, the ISPs are paying Rs 5,050 for using a pole for a year. The NEA has recently decided to increase the charge to Rs 14,500 for one year.

Interesting

Nepali robot emcees stage show

Gorkhapatra, Nepal Samacharpatra, Naya Patrika and Annapurna Post report on their front pages that, for the first time in the country, a robot made in Nepal has emceed a stage function.

The robot, named Phulmaya, on Saturday hosted the event attended by Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel, at the Tribhuvan University, according to the reports. It was clad in the traditional Newari dress.

Nepal Samacharpatra reports that the robot will begin using Nepali language in next three months.

Govt to raise staff salary

Rajdhani reports in a snippet that the government is preparing to increase the salary of its staff by 15 to 24 per cent in the budget announcement for the next fiscal year.

A panel under the leadership of Chief Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi is recommending to hike the pay.

Meanwhile, officials of the Ministry of Finance say they are also under pressure to increase the social security allowance.


Published on May 12th, Sunday, 2019 9:40 AM


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