• THT 10 years ago: Lack of artistes hits royal academy hard

Kathmandu, January 3, 2006

The Royal Nepal Academy (RNA) would be slogging it out when it marks the centenary of the typical Nepali drama this year — thanks to its artistes who went to the US on a two and-a-half-month-tour and never returned. The centenary celebrations are also a tribute to Pahalman Singh Swar, the first Nepali to produce a fullscale Nepali drama. Earlier, Nepali drama used to be based on various Indian mythologies only. “We need at least 25 artistes to take part in a full play, but each sub units under the drama department has only four of them and two directors,” said Sarubhakta Shrestha, a member of the RNA. Drama, dance, music and instrumental music are four major disciplines of the music and drama department. Last year, six artists of a 14-member team of the famous opera Malati Mangale, including the lead female character ‘Malati’, stayed back in the US illegally after a tour causing a huge embarrassment to the country. The artistes were all asked to retire as a disciplinary action against them. “Artists responsible for teaching morality to the people should not indulge in such immoral acts themselves,” said Shrestha. “The scarcity of artistes is also there due to the former RNA council’s decision to grant voluntary retirements to 35 of its temporary staffers, most of them stage performers, citing lack of funds in the academy,” Shrestha said. Earlier, the RNA used to send its artists to take part in various programmes.

SC likely to issue verdict on RCCC case tomorrow

A five-member bench of justices of the Supreme Court, which was formed to test the constitutionality of the controversial Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC), is likely to issue its verdict on the matter on Thursday, a high-ranking official of the Supreme Court told this daily today. The special bench comprising justices Kedar Prasad Giri, Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Ram Nagina Singh, Anup Raj Sharma and Ram Prasad Shrestha has been making preparations to issue the verdict on the matter. Pointing that some lawyers did not submit their written arguments before the bench in the stipulated time, another source at the Supreme Court, however, said the pronouncement of the verdict may get delayed. Formed under Article 115 (7) of the Constitution following the February 1 royal takeover, the term of the RCCC was extended under Article 127 after the lifting of the emergency. The bench will decide whether the formation of the RCCC was constitutional or not. The then attorney-general, Pawan Kumar Ojha, who has been recently appointed as the ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court, senior government attorneys and government-hired advocates have claimed that the King has the authority to issue any order for the formation of such an institution.