THT 10 YEARS AGO: Govt seeks prior info on envoys’ travel plans

Kathmandu, June 8, 2007

The government today promised to provide better security arrangement to diplomatic corps in Kathmandu in a meeting attended by more than 10 ambassadors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

US ambassador James F Moriarty, British ambassador Andrew Hall, German ambassador Franz Ring and ambassadors of Sri Lanka, Thailand, South Korea, Denmark, France, Bangladesh and Australia were present in the meeting. They were requested to provide prior information to the government about their travel plans. Minister for Foreign Affairs Sahana Pradhan told The Himalayan Times that if the diplomatic missions informed the government in written “that would be even better as that can be put on record.” “Safety and security of the diplomats is our responsibility and we assured the ambassadors today that we are committed to provide them security,” added Pradhan.

The meeting with the diplomatic corps was called following the incident in which Young Communist League hurled stones on Moriarty’s vehicle during his recent visit to Jhapa district.

Asked if the security environment would adversely affect relations with other countries, Pradhan said there had been incidents of abduction and extortion and when foreigners are targeted, the country’s image is adversely affected. Raising concern about the law and order situation across the country, ambassadors told the Foreign Minister that the security issue should not be dealt for “specific incidents.”

Carter Center finds faults in poll plan

Kathmandu, June 8, 2007

The Carter Center, which has been invited for observing the electoral process in Nepal, today urged the government to reconsider the issue of ranked candidate lists in the electoral system based on proportional representation.

Discouraging the political leadership from adopting a system in which the voters won’t know who they are likely to elect from a given party and would provide political parties with disproportionate control over their candidates, the Center recommended that the government should go for a process that is transparent for voters.

It urged the government to formulate all outstanding electoral legislations and announce the new election date. “The 110-day threshold the election commission has requested will expire in early August,” it said.

The Carter Center stated that the Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League had been indulging in activities that violate May 2006 Code of Conduct. “Though Maoist and YCL cadres are also involved in good work around the country, their continued aggressive behaviour negatively affects the ongoing transition process,” stated the release.

It adds that increased lawlessness are prevalent and add to the weak security environment.