THT 10 years ago: Japan pledges aid for radio broadcasting

Kathmandu, July 28, 2006

The Japanese senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yasuhisa Shiozaki, who arrived here today pledged an assistance of 8.1 million US dollars for radio broadcast to Nepal. Shiozaki said his country was willing to provide more assistance for peace and democracy in Nepal.

He said this after meeting the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs KP Oli at Shital Niwas. “We have discussed about Nepal in the United Nations and the UN team is here to assess the situation. We will discuss in UN on how to help Nepal after the team prepares its report, but the ownership of the peace process should be given to Nepali people,” said Shiozaki.

He said the Nepali people should decide on the kind of system they want in Nepal. About the possibility for Japan helping Nepal in rehabilitation and reconstruction, Shiozaki urged Nepal to prepare a framework and based on that Japan would decide on what it can do.

Asked if Japan would vote for Nepal in acquiring a non-permanent membership in United Nations Security Council for 2006-2007, he said a decision has not yet been made. He also met the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Subas Chandra Nembang, and assured him that Japan would fully help in Nepal’s democracy.

“Japan has a view that arms should be managed before going to the elections to Constituent Assembly,” said a source, who was present in the meeting between Nembang and Shiozaki. Shiozaki is also learnt to have assured Nembang that Japan would lobby in the UN to help Nepal in her peace process.

Maoists extend truce, with a warning

The Maoists today extended the ceasefire for another three months, a statement signed by Maoist supremo Prachanda said today. Prachanda, however, warned of strong protest programmes even while the ceasefire is in force if the government falls short of taking the peace process forward in the “true spirit of the 8-point deal.”

Prachanda has also raised serious objection at the way the government is “hurting the aspirations of the people by paying heed to arbitrary advice from foreign powers and by writing similar letters.”

“If the government is looking forward to continue dreaming about what they can achieve through parliament by not paying heed to our call to take the peace process forward, what we have to say is they had better wake up,” the statement said.

Prachanda also alleged that the seven-party alliance was drifting towards “striking ties with regressive forces while surprisingly spreading confusion towards our party.”

“The seven-party alliance government and the so-called parliament are not only steeped in illogic but also looking for excuses from the deal,” Prachanda said, adding “what is of added concern is that they (the alliance) is doing all this under the pressure of foreign power centers.”