From the Kathmandu Press: Thursday, May 23, 2019

President Bidya Devi Bhandari rejecting the Passport Bill forwarded by the upper and lower houses of Parliament has been featured in most national dailies. News of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry not to put on hold his plan to conduct interactions with Nepali citizens has also been featured in a few papers.

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


File: President Bidya Devi Bhandari

President rejects controversial passport bill, sends it back to Parliament

Gorkhapatra, Nagarik and Kantipur report that President Bidya Devi Bhandari has returned the ‘Passport Bill-2075’ without authentication. According to a press statement released by the Office of the President, Sheetal Niwas, President sent the bill to amend the Passports Act to the House of Representatives for reconsideration.

In the statement, it has been mentioned that the President has sent the bill to amend the Passports Act back for the reconsideration as per the article 113 (3) of the Constitution of Nepal. The bill was sent to the President for the authentication after being endorsed by both the upper and lower houses of Parliament.

The controversial bill to amend Passports Act was endorsed by both the upper and lower houses of Parliament after adding a provision for allowing them to use diplomatic passport for ‘special purpose’ in addition to official visits. The original bill tabled by the government in Parliament had proposed barring the use of diplomatic passports in any other purpose except official visits.

MoFA asks US ambassador to step back from social interaction

Gorkhapatra, Kantipur, The Himalayan Times and The Kathmandu Post report that the Foreign Ministry has officially asked the United States Ambassador to Nepal, Randy Berry, to ‘step back’ from a planned interaction programme with Nepali citizens on social media.

The message was communicated to US Ambassador Randy Berry at a meeting between Berry and Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi on Wednesday, said sources at the Foreign Ministry.

On Sunday, Berry had announced on Twitter that he would soon begin interacting with Nepali citizens through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, in a programme called ‘Rajdoot Sanga Guff Gaff’.


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addresses the House of Representatives in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

Experts warn Oli is moving towards authoritarian rule

The Kathmandu Post reports that experts and analysts say many of the PM Minister KP Sharma Oli’s moves are not democratic, as they are aimed at weakening public institutions. Experts in the fields of education, media, bureaucracy and human rights, among others, have already expressed concerns over Oli administration’s actions and the proposed new laws.

Oli, Dahal hold talks

L-R: KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Gorkhapatra reports that Nepal Communist Party chairmen PM KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal met on Wednesday and held decision on how to take the party forward. They talked regarding party unification and things the government should be doing in the future. They also discussed keeping the party unified. NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel said that this was a regular meeting between the two and there was nothing secretive about it.

American dies on Everest

The Himalayan Times reports that an American mountaineer has died near the Hillary Step while descending from the summit of Mt Everest this afternoon, bringing the number of climbers killed on the different mountains above 8,000 m to 12 during the spring climbing season.

According to the base camp officials, Donald Lynn Cash from Utah, US, breathed his last a few metres below the Hillary Step while returning from the summit point. The 55-year-old climber was a part the 15-member expedition led by Chinese climber Yuan Li.

Donald, who fell at the top of the summit early morning, was brought below the Hillary Step by his climbing guides, an official said, adding that the climber then breathed his last later in the afternoon.


File image: Mount Everest

Over 200 summit Everest on a single day

The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times report that more than 200 mountaineers ascended Mount Everest on Wednesday, setting a new record for the highest number of climbers to stand on top of the world in a single day.

A staggering 250 climbers had started from Camp IV, at 7,900 metres, on Tuesday night, hoping to reach the top of Everest by Wednesday morning, with just a week remaining before the Spring ascent window closes.

But conditions were exceedingly favourable on Tuesday night and Wednesday, leading to a 24-hour window—the longest ever single-day weather window in history—and what has been called a ‘marathon climb’.

Locals strike after being told they can’t pluck yarsagumba

Nagarik reports that locals of Talkot Rural Municipality in Bajhang district are on strike after they were told not to pick yarsagumba by the locals of Saipal Rural Municipality. Talkot locals have blocked the roads leading to Saipal after they were told they couldn’t enter the community forest owned by Saipal locals. Talkot locals say that Saipal locals in a secretive way converted the forest into a community forest by bribing forest officials.

SC tells govt not to collect tax from Sumargi

File image: Supreme Court of Nepal

Kantipur reports that the Supreme Court has asked the government not to collect taxes worth over Rs 4 billion from businessman Ajeya Raj Sumargi. After discovering that 75 percent of equity shares in Nepal Satellite Telecom owned by Sumargi, operating under the brand ‘Hello Nepal’, had been transferred to TeliaSonera at capital gains of Rs 5.63 billion, the Large Taxpayers Office initially attempted to recover Rs 1.40 billion in capital gains tax in April. Interest had accrued on the original amount since the date of transaction.


Published on May 23rd, Thursday, 2019 9:40 AM

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Related News US ambassador says Indo-Pacific Policy isn’t against China Govt tabling Passport Bill at House months after President returned it From the Kathmandu Press: Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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