THT 10 YEARS AGO: Maoists see red over Koirala’s comment

Kathmandu, January 9, 2008

The Maoist leadership today took exception to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s statement that the Maoist combatants could not be integrated in the Nepali Army.

They said Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal’s and the PM’s statements about their objection to integrate the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel in the national force was against the “letter and spirit” of the interim constitution, comprehensive peace accord and agreement on management and the monitoring of arms and armies. “It is a serious matter that the PM and the army chief have made similar statements refusing to integrate the PLA in the national army,” senior Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai said today.

Before his departure to China on an official visit on January 6, CoAS Katwal told the media persons, without referring to the PLA, that the an “ideologically indoctrinated force cannot be inducted in the professional Nepali Army”.

PM Koirala, talking to reporters in his official residence yesterday upheld Katwal’s statement.

Dr. Bhattarai said that they would take up this issue with the PM when they meet him. He referred to Part 20 of the interim constitution, which clearly states about democratising the Nepali Army and integrating the Maoist PLA. “We had anticipated while finalising the interim constitution that the army and the Congress leaders would raise objections to PLA’s integration in the national army.

CJ forms panel to reform judiciary

Kathmandu, January 9, 2008

Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri formed a committee today to look into ways to reform the judiciary. It may be noted that yesterday, a study conducted by the Supreme Court Bar Association had recommended massive reforms in the judiciary.

“I have formed a committee to look into the issue of reformation of the judiciary,” Chief Justice Giri told reporters after an interaction organised by the SC between judges and lawyers to resolve problems facing the judges and the lawyers. “I will do the needful to resolve these problems,” Giri said.

The committee formed under the coordination of district court judge Narayan Prasad Dahal has joint registrar of the SC Til Prasad Shreshta, appellate court registrar Jivan Hari Adhikary and KDC registrar Krishna Ram Koirala as members. The Supreme Court Bar Association had said there is an urgent need to reform the judiciary and review the judges’ appointment process.

At the programme, president of the Nepal Bar Association Bishwokanta Mainali said a new judiciary should be formed in a new Nepal. “We have to develop a new culture,” he added. Mainali added that judges have to correct mistakes even if prosecutors or investigators are involved in irregularities.

Senior advocate Shree Hari Aryal called the Supreme Court and the NBA to devise ways to provide speedy justice.