Main oppn’s protest based on flimsy grounds, says PM

Government against compelling students to study in foreign countries

Kathmandu, July 9

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today told party lawmakers that it would be impractical not to issue permission for opening medical colleges in Kathmandu for 10 years and not to allow universities to grant affiliation to more than five medical colleges.

Dr Govinda KC, who has been staging hunger strike in Jumla district, has demanded that the government bar people from opening medical colleges in Kathmandu for 10 years and   universities from granting affiliations to more than five colleges.

Speaking at the Nepal Communist Party’s Parliamentary Party meeting here today, the PM said the government had registered a new medical education bill as per its policy and party lawmakers needed to defend the government’s actions, according to a press release issued by the PM’s Private Secretariat.

“It is important to study to find out how many colleges we need to have in which stream,” he said, adding that affiliation could be granted to colleges as per the need of the country. The PM said the government was not in favour of creating a situation in which students would be compelled to study in foreign countries and hospitals, which had already invested huge resources, would be closed.

He accused the Nepali Congress of trying to launch protest against the government on flimsy grounds.

“The left alliance, which won majority in the election, has merged into one party. The government will incorporate its election manifesto in the government’s policies and programmes,” the PM said.

He said some people, who had incited somebody to stage hunger strike in Jumla, were hitting the streets in Kathmandu supporting his cause. “Those who raise demands without any reason will abandon their protest after a while,” the PM said, adding that the remaining issues of the peace process will end soon.

The PM told party lawmakers to speak in support of the government on issues of medical education bill, demands raised by Dr Govinda KC and issues related to Vice-chancellor of Nepal Sanskirt University Kul Prasad Koirala. “We have done nothing wrong. We should put forth our views strongly. There is no reason for us to act like a wilted plant when others are flourishing like common nettle of the monsoon season,” the release quoted the PM as telling party lawmakers.

The PM said laws were for the Parliament to enact and such issues could not be dictated by sentiment expressed on the streets.  He said NSU V-C Koirala was prevented from flying to Canada because he had not got his leave approved. “There are a number of complaints lodged against him and the debate will not discourage the government from investigating him,” he added. The PM said his government annulled appointments made by the previous government in an attempt to free those institutions from ‘political pollution.’