THT 10 YEARS AGO: Maoist leader warns of palace ‘conspiracies’

Birgunj, May 5, 2006

A Maoist leader today warned party leaders of conspiracies that may be hatched by the royal palace if elections to a Constituent Assembly are delayed.

Addressing a mass meeting organised by the rebels at Adarshanagar stadium here, chairman of All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) Lekh Nath Neupane said the possibility of “conspiracies against the Nepali people cannot be ruled out as the King still controls the Army.”

“A fair Constituent Assembly cannot be imagined until the Royal Nepalese Army is transformed into a National Army,” he added.

Maoists have accused the political parties of accepting the reinstatement of the parliament in haste. Addressing the meet, vice-chairman of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI), Sushil Mittal, said businessmen are compelled to pay taxes to both the government and the Maoists.

He urged the Maoists to stop collecting double taxes from traders. “Maoists should look for a sustainable solution to the problems faced by the Nepali people,” Mittal said.

He, however, acknowledged the Maoist support in solving labour problems in Bara and Parsa.

Vice-chairman of the Maoist-aligned All Nepal Farmers’ Association, Bhakti Lamichhane and Secretary of the Federation of All Nepal Trade Unions, Rajan Timilsina, said Maoists are returning to peaceful politics to establish a democratic republic through a Constituent Assembly.

Japan asks Nepal for aid proposal

Kathmandu, May 5, 2006

The government of Japan has asked the Nepali government to send a proposal for providing aid to Nepal for the development of the export sector for the current fiscal year 2006.

The Japanese government has shown its interest following the decision at the sixth WTO ministerial meet held in Hong Kong in December 2005 for giving aid to least developed countries (LDCs) under ‘Aid for Trade’ programme, sources at the Ministry of Industry, commerce and supplies (MOICS) disclosed to The Himalayan Times.

A budget of $2 billion has already been decided by Japan for this, which will be distributed among the 32 LDC member countries of the WTO.

This is the first time that Japan is proposing to give aid to Nepal under the Aid for Trade, following Nepal’s accession to WTO, sources revealed.

The forthcoming Japanese aid will be for a period of three years. MOICS is preparing to send a proposal to the Japanese government after discussing it with concerned stakeholders here.

MOICS, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC), Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and other stakeholders held a meeting yesterday.