RCNP-army patrol arrests eight rhino poachers

Chitwan, July 20, 2005

A joint patrol of the Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) and the Royal Nepalese Army’s Old Gorakh Barrack has recently arrested eight rhino poachers, including a Naike, one of their leaders. Among the arrested are Pemba Lama alias Yakche, a resident of Sitapaila of Kathmandu, who is said to be the group’s leader and a top rhino poacher in the country. It was informed at a press meet organised jointly by the RCNP and the Barrack yesterday. They were arrested on June 19. Pemba was arrested along with a Toyota motor, one piece of rhino horn, Rs 446,000 cash, Rs 1,900 Bangladeshi Taka, a spring balance and a mobile set. All the eight persons have been kept in custody for further interrogation, the officials said. It is said that Pemba had entered Nepal for the first time with the status of a Tibetan refugee about two decades ago, managed to get Nepali citizenship from Chame VDC. He had been staying in a rented room at Chhetrapati. Pemba has already accepted that he has smuggled 20 rhino horns till date. “But we suspect he must have sold over 50 rhino horns,” said Kamal Jang Kunwar, protection officer at RCNP.According to a source close to the Park, 28 persons were arrested in 2004/05 on charge of smuggling rhino horns. Among them 22 are in police custody for further investigation and five have been released on bail. Likewise, three persons arrested for smuggling tiger skin and bones have been kept in police custody for further investigation, the source close to the park administration said.

KMC chief returns for fourth time

Kathmandu, July 20, 2005

After a period of 102 days, the employees of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City got Surya Silwal as the executive head once again. At a similar programme and at the same hall, the employees remember welcoming Hem Sharma Poudyal as the new executive head.This is Silwal’s fourth stint with the KMC. “Previously, I had to leave the KMC without a farewell. So I had to come back again and again,” he said to employees, who had gathered to welcome the new chief and bid farewell to the outgoing chief executive, Hem Sharma Poudyal. “After this term, I will not return,” Silwal promised.

Talking to this daily, Poudyal said there was an urgent need to restructure the KMC. “The right man should be placed in the right job,” he said, adding he could not make bold decisions to improve the performance of the metropolitan city as his was a temporary assignment. Poudyal said the quick transfer of KMC officers was an example of inconsistency in the Nepali bureaucracy.