Nepali Congress and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal planning to prevent the government from passing the Media Council Bill on Sunday has been featured in most newspapers. PM KP Sharma Oli planning to resotre the UN Committee on Lumbini has also been featured in few newspapers along with news of Nepali Congress getting over 1,200 complaints against its leaders.
Here is a summary of important, ignored and interesting stories from the cover pages of national broadsheets:
NC and RJP-N to prevent govt from passing Media Council Bill
The Himalayan Times reports that Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba on Saturday said that his party would prevent the government from passing the Nepal Media Council Bill registered in the National Assembly, at any cost.
Talking to media at Biratnagar Airport, Deuba reiterated that his party would not allow the government to pass the bill from Parliament. Deuba, however, clarified that his party would not resort to violence and vandalism to press the government to withdraw the bill.
The NC and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal are up against provisions in the Nepal Media Council Bill and National Human Rights Act (Amendment) Bill and will stall House proceedings to prevent passage of these bills. RJPN lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna said his party was preparing to stall House proceedings, but would take a call on this on Sunday itself.
PM to restore UN committee
Republica reports that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has vowed to revive an international committee formed under the United Nations some 49 years ago for the development of Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha, and garner international support for that purpose.
The prime minister’s assurances come at a time when the government has been facing criticism for not developing the Buddhist shrines as envisioned in the master plan for Lumbini development.
It has been over five decades since then secretary general of the United Nations, U Thant, visited Lumbini and set in motion the UN’s initiative for the development of the Buddha’s birthplace.
Evidence Act amendment does not incorporate provisions related to polygraph
The Himalayan Times reports that the new Evidence Act (Amendment) Bill being considered by the National Assembly intends to make the Evidence Act compatible with provisions of the newly enacted civil penal code, yet it doesn’t incorporate provisions related to a polygraph test and the admissibility of the declaration of the dying as evidence.
The bill incorporates provisions related to the admissibility of audiovisuals, including video conference as evidence as provisioned by the new civil and penal code.
The bill says a person’s statement just before death could be admissible in the court, but the amendment bill does not add any details on the admissibility of dying declaration as evidence.
Migrant workers facing mental health problems
The Kathmandu Post reports that a team of doctors sent to South Korea to asses Nepali migrant workers found shocking mental health conditions among some Nepali youths there. Dr Mohan Raj Shrestha who led the team of doctors said most of them were overwhelmed by loneliness and homesickness. There were many who were found to have suicidal thoughts. Some complained of excessive fear for no apparent reasons.
The government sent the doctors after it saw a sharp rise in the number of deaths of Nepali migrants workers—821 in 2017 from 755 in 2016. According to Shrestha, some people, who were already suffering from mental health problems, were found to have discontinued their medication, largely due to communication problems. Some migrant workers did not know they were suffering from mental health issues even though they complained of insomnia and anxiety. Most of the workers were found to have refrained from seeking treatment because of costs.
1,200 complaints against NC
Naya Patrika reports that there has been over 1200 complaints against Nepali Congress. Complaints have been filed against NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba his wife Arzu Deuba and TU vice chancellor Tirtha Khaniya. Ram Chandra Paudel and Govindra Raj Joshi have filed complaints against each other. Complaints have come from both Nepal and foreign countries. Coordinator of the party’s discipline committee Bhismaraj Angdembe has said that if found guilty, action will taken against any leader of the party.
Traffic police calling rule violators
The Himalayan Times reports that that traffic police have been calling traffic rule violators after going through CCTV footage. In the past one month, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division took action against 165 traffic rule violators.
MTPD officers have started calling people violating traffic rules on their mobile phones and slapping fines ranging from Rs 500 to 1,500. Traffic police also took action against 994 traffic rule violators on the spot upon being alerted by traffic controllers from Nepal Police CCTV control rooms.
Head of MTPD SSP Basanta Kumar Pant says that the police calls each rule violator three times. If they do not respond, they blacklist their vehicles, and issue circular to the concerned traffic police. The violators’ documents are then seized. They can obtain the documents after paying the fine and attending a class on traffic rules and road safety.
Govt not walking the talk when it comes to spending on education
The Kathmandu Post reports that even though the Nepal Communist Party had pledged to allocate 20 per cent of the national budget for the education sector in the election manifesto, they only allocated 10 per cent on education in the last fiscal year.
Percentage-wise, this allocation for the education sector was the lowest in a decade. Of the Rs 1.31 trillion national budget, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada allocated just Rs 134.5 billion for the pre-primary to the university level education. It also included the share of the science and technology sector, which was under a separate ministry until it was merged with the Ministry of Education.
The government now is preparing to present the budget for the next fiscal year 2019/20, but there are no signs of an increase in budget for the education sector.
Two years after election, local units fail to fix administrative centres
Republica reports that two parallel administrative centres have been in existence for the past two years in Thulibheri Municipality of Dolpa, following a dispute among the local representatives over the centre of the local unit.
The mayor of the municipality, Ganesh Bahadur Shahi, has been working at the office at Jufal, the official administrative centre. However, Deputy Mayor Yogendra Bahadur Shahi has been running a parallel office at the district headquarters Dunai.
Seven of the total nine local units in Surkhet district have failed to fix their administrative centres for two years since the local election in the country. Barahatal and Chaukune rural municipalities have even failed to hold discussions on the agenda, given serious divisions among the elected representatives over the administrative centre of the local units. Simta and Chingad rural municipalities have shifted their centres while Birendranagar Municipality has decided to continue with the previous centre, recommended by the local-level restructuring commission.
Published on May 19th, Sunday, 2019 10:30 AM