Monday, May 31, 2010

CA plans to complete constitution writing by February

Monday, 31 May 2010 08:37

The Constituent Assembly (CA) secretariat has prepared a revised calendar of events for writing the constitution with a plan to promulgate new constitution on February 26, 2011, three months before the CA term expires, Rajdhani daily reported.

The CA extended its term by one year on May 28.

The new calendar of events will be made public after the parties and the CA approve it.

According to the revised calendar the CA secretariat has allocated two weeks for finalising the reports of eight thematic committees and another one month for the Constitutional Committee (CC) to compile all 11 reports.

Then, about three months have been allocated for collecting public suggestion on the initial draft of the constitution and another two months for compiling the reports of the public.

In December, the draft with suggestions from the people will be tabled at the CA and it will amend the draft based on the suggestion. And in January and February, clause-wise discussion and voting will take place.

The CA calendar of events, made public on December 29, 2008 for the first time, has been revised for ten times since then.


Govt unveils IT Policy 2010

KATHMANDU, May 30: Eight years after the first information technology (IT) policy was issued, High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) on Sunday issued IT Policy 2010 with special provisions for outsourcing and expanding the use of IT.

Informing media persons about the new policy, Manohar Kumar Bhattarai, vice president of HLCIT, said Nepal holds a great potential to grab outsourcing jobs from other countries as the manpower here is 30 to 35 percent cheaper than in India.

“Due to time different with Europe and America, South Asian countries, including Nepal, are in a comfortable position to grab outsourcing jobs from Europe and America,” he added.

The new policy puts emphasis on information security and data protection and privacy in information technology. The IT Policy 2010 with 53 policies and strategies aims to enable IT sector so that it becomes successful in making significant contribution on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the near future.

The actual contribution of IT sector to GDP is still unknown.

Speaking on the occasion, Ramhari Aryal, secretary at the Ministry of Science and Technology hoped the implementation of the new IT Policy would help reduce existing digital divide in the country.

Conversion of rural information centers into multipurpose tele-centers, encouraging private sector to operate internet exchange and introduction of voice over internet protocol technology in rural areas are the major plans of action targeted for rural areas.

The new policy has identified IT sector as the knowledge-based industry and it includes the involvement of youth for employment generation as one of the major objectives. The policy suggests adopting a single window policy to attract domestic and foreign direct investment in the IT sector. The other provisions included in the policy are intellectual property rights and e-certification.

It has also announced policy-related and institutional framework to ease e-trade and e-commerce by promoting e-payment and gateway.

Juddha Bahadur Gurung, member of HLCIT, informed that Asian Development Bank has provided grant assistance of $25 million for the development of IT sector in Nepal.

The other issues that the new policy has emphasized are the promotion of information technology services and IT-enabled services, business process outsourcing, and development of digital content, animation, remote maintenance, backup operation and call centers.


Prominent citizens decline govt awards

KATHMANDU, May 30: The government decision to honor prominent personalities from various sections of society with medals has been widely criticized.

A list of over 200 personalities was announced on the occasion of the Republic Day on Saturday for their distinctive roles in their respective sectors for the betterment of society. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is to confer the awards on them.

Chief Justice (CJ) Ram Prasad Shrestha has seriously objected to the government decision to honor some judges with the awards without his knowledge.

"My attention has been drawn by the cabinet decision to award the incumbent judges with medals without coordinating with the chief justice, who is also the chief of the judiciary and the Judicial Council, and without taking advice from him about the level of performances of the judges, and what type of contributions their works made to society," reads a statement issued by the chief justice.

The government has recommended to the president to award judges Nilkantha Upadhyaya, Nawaraj Upadhyaya, Shyam Prasad Lawati, and Mohammad Juned Ajad with Suprabal Janasewa Shree (third class).

In the statement, Shrestha stated the awardees are those who have not made significant contribution in the field of judiciary, and that has discouraged those who have been making special contributions. The chief justice has stated that the government move has reduced the state honor to a thing of mockery.

Other personalities from various sectors have refused to accept the state medals. Journalists Kanak Mani Dixit and Yubaraj Ghimire, among others, have thanked the government for deciding to award the medals but declined to accept them.

"At a time of deep political polarization, I think it is inappropriate to accept this recognition," Dixit said, adding, "I would like to thank the government for the honor but am unable to accept it."

Similarly, in his statement, Ghimire said, "As it would go against my norms and wishes to accept the medal, I express my unwillingness, while thanking the president once again, to accept the medal."

Comedian duo Hari Bansha Acharya and Madan Krishna Shrestha also declined to accept the medals. Likewise, Dr Mahesh Maskey also refused to accept the award.


Janaandolan victims feel insulted

KATHMANDU, May 31: Jaya Tamrakar was busy in her daily chores at her home in Naubise, Dhading, Sunday morning. All of a sudden, one of her neighbors came with a newspaper and informed her that the government has decided to confer state honor on a police officer who allegedly shot dead her only son Sagun during the Janaandolan II four years ago.

"After that I couldn´t stop myself and I rushed to Kathmandu without even having food," Tamrakar said at the parliamentary party office of the Nepali Congress (NC) in Singha Durbar. She arrived at the NC office in the afternoon and expressed her serious objection to the government decision.

She felt insulted to learn that the government has decided to award Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Durja Kumar Rai, who has been accused of brutally suppressing the protesters during the people´s movement in 2006, with state honor.

Rai is among 269 personalities selected by the government on the Second Republic Day Sunday for the state honors for their ´distinctive contribution to the country´.

Tamrakar said Rai was the one who shot dead her son among three other innocent persons at Kalanki. Sagun was killed on April 20, 2006, when the movement against the autocratic monarchy reached its climax. After four days of his killing, then king Gyanendra had bowed down to the people.

The government formed after the success of the movement declared Sagun a martyr and suspended Rai for suppressing the movement. He was indicted by the Rayamajhi Commission formed by the government to probe into the misuse of power during the king´s to suppress the movement.

When NC parliamentary party (PP) leader Ram Chandra Poudel came there, Tamrakar along with other people who lost their beloved ones during the movement surrounded Poudel and demanded that the government decision to honor Rai be revoked.

"The government has added insult to our injury by promoting and honoring the culprits like Rai, let alone remembering we martyrs´ family members on the Republic Day," she burst into tears inside the NC office.

Saying that he was unaware of the government decision, Poudel assured them to study the matter in detail and do something about it. He telephoned Home Minister Bhim Rawal from his office right in front of the victims. "What can I do as the previous government had already promoted the same officer [Rai]?," Rawal reportedly told Poudel.

"We will launch protests against the government if the authority concerned fails to correct it," said Rudra Joshi, a member of the Coordination Committee of Injured and Martyrs´ Family Members.

According to Drona Prasad Lamichhane, whose father Yam Lal Lamichhane, 51, was killed during the movement in Bardiya, members of the committee had protested Rai´s promotion. The previous Maoist-led government had promoted him from SSP to DIG.

According to him, Loktantrik Yuva Samaj (Democratic Youth Society) in Kalanki, which was formed after the people´s movement, has planned to stage protests at Kalanki against the government decision Monday morning.

Martyrs´ family members and injured said they will meet President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Madhav Nepal and ministers to submit protest letters.

NC parliamentarians said they will raise the matter strongly in the parliament on Monday. "We will strongly object to it in the parliament meeting and press the leaders to correct it," lawmaker Usha Gurung told Tamrakar and others at the NC office.