THT 10 years ago: Accord on arms a done deal, finally

Kathmandu, November 28, 2006

Convenor of the government talks team Krishna Prasad Sitaula and leader of the Maoist talks team Krishna Bahadur Mahara today signed an Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies witnessed by UN officials.

The personal representative of UN secretary general, Ian Martin, who is currently in New York briefing secretary general Kofi Annan, would sign the agreement as a witness once the document is approved by the UN’s legal body.

According to the agreement, neither of the parties shall engage in movement or redeployment of forces resulting in tactical or strategic advantage.

The parties shall promote awareness of this agreement, and adherence to its provisions, among their commanders, members and affiliated groups.

There will be four phases of the agreement (I) Reporting and verification, (II) Redeployment and concentration of forces (III) Maosit army cantonment, NA barracking and arms control and (IV) Full compliance of agreement.

Both sides have agreed that Maoist army combatants and their weapons shall be confined within designated cantonment areas, which shall be based on comprehensive planning and preparation before implementation.

After the Maoist army combatants stay in the temporary cantonments, the government will provide food supplies and other necessary arrangements. UN monitors will have access to all cantonments sites.

Met officials predict a balmier winter

Those scared of winter chill need not worry much this time. Met officials say the winter will not be extremely cold this time.

Monday saw mercury dipping to 3.5 degree celsius for the season. On November 28 last year, it had dipped down to 4.7 degree celsius.

Today saw a big fluctuation in temperature with mercury measuring at 7.6 degree celsius early morning. A rise by four degrees over 24 hours! However, meteorologists term the phenomenon normal.

Rajendra Prasad Shrestha, senior meteorologist, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), said: “There is not much to worry about this season. Winter will not be extremely cold.” Months ahead will be dry with very little possibility of rainfall at least until the next week, he said.

“But don’t be surprised to see chilly and misty mornings,” Shrestha said, promising balmy afternoons. Pleasant sunshine is also in order.

He did not rule out the possibility of rainfall after mid-December, though. “Winter showers, expected by December, could lead to the mercury dropping further,” Shrestha said, drawing attention at how little it rained during November.

Archana Shrestha, another meteorologist at the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, also termed the weather pattern “normal”.

On November 28, 1975, the temperature in Kathmandu was recorded at 1.3 degree celsius, she said.