THT 10 YEARS AGO: Big three agree to review CPA

Kathmandu, December 11, 2007

The Madhesi leaders' decision to form a regional party to advance the causes of the Madhes has given a wake-up call to Nepal’s political leadership.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala called a cabinet meeting today and held ‘serious and lengthy’ meetings separately with UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist chairman Prachanda. Sources said the leaders agreed to review the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and analyse the entire peace process.

Later, the government formed a three member panel to review the status of the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The panel, headed by Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, has been instructed to submit a report with recommendations to the cabinet within three days.

The panel members include State Minister for Labour and Transport Management Ramesh Lekhak and CPN-UML standing committee member Pradeep Gyawali, one of the members negotiating with the Maoists in the run up to the signing of the Peace agreement, signed on 21 November 2006. The cabinet meeting also raised concerns about the resignation submitted by Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Mahantha Thakur and three other lawmakers.

Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel said the cabinet meeting discussed fixing a fresh date for the Constituent Assembly election by reaching a consensus among the major political parties. Sitaula said Koirala told the Maoist leaders that he would call a seven-party (SPA) meeting soon, most probably within this week, to discuss the Madhes issue.

Consume live bacteria, keep healthy

Kathmandu, December 11, 2007

Food scientists at the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) claim that regular consumption of live bacteria or probiotics is healthy and wards off various diseases. Dr Megh Raj Bhandari, food scientist and researcher at DFTQC, explains that the gastrointestinal tract is host to two types of bacteria: beneficial and harmful.

Imbalance in the proportion between these two is the root cause of diseases. However, intake of probiotics, the beneficial microbes, could help prevent various ailments. “The bacterial imbalance exposes the body to excessive toxin levels but a higher amount of probiotics inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. This leads to good digestion, boosts immunity and increases resistance to infection,” Bhandari said.

Benefits include enhanced bowel function, prevention of colon cancer, lowering of cholestoral level and blood pressure, improving immunity, reduction of infections and inflammation and helps in combating candida and eczema. “Though probiotics is used in various food products in the West, the concept has yet to take root in Nepal,” Bhandari said.