THT 10 YEARS AGO: Martin urges govt to accept Maoist truce

Kathmandu, December 3, 2005

The chief of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ian Martin, has welcomed the month-long extension of the unilateral ceasefire by the Maoists and urged the government to reciprocate the same. Martin also reiterated the UN’s willingness to mediate in the peace process if asked by the government and the concerned parties. Speaking at a programme organised by the Alliance for Democracy and Human Rights in Nepal, USA, here today, Martin urged the government to end its military operations and asked the rebels to put an end to abductions that were carried out even during the period of the unilateral truce. According to him, military is no solution to the ongoing conflict. “The UN has played a post-conflict role in some countries and it is up to the government and the people to consider what role it should play in Nepal,” he said. He further said the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, has been keeping a close watch on the activities in the country. Speaking at the programme, CPN-ML leader CP Mainali stressed the need to resolve the conflict through dialogue. He also pointed out the need to sketch “a new democratic and progressive Constitution either through a Constituent Assembly or democratic process.” He further said the 12-point agreement between the Maoists and political leaders should be enhanced and that the concerned parties must work towards implementing it. “The possibility of the restoration of democracy without the monarch cannot be ruled out,” he said. “Although I am not completely for a republican state, I would say that the king’s future lies in the people’s hands,” said Dr Minendra Rizal.

Illegal measuring tools in use to fool customers

Pokhara, December 3, 2005

Some Pokhara-based shopkeepers are still using stone pieces instead of weight tools. Mainly footpath shops and miscellaneous goods’ shops are using stone pieces for weighing goods. They are freely cheating customers but the concerned authority has not punished anyone yet, accepted Batuk Raj Karna, chief of Pokhara-based Quality and Measurement Control Office (QMCO). Shopkeepers are also using spring balances, which are regarded as illegal measuring instruments. “Campaign to examine measuring tools and to punish cheaters are on,” said Karna adding, “This campaign has already kicked off in Batulechour area of Pokhara. Re-examination of measuring tools has begun here on Sunday. This campaign will continue until January 13, 2006. Pokhara Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) has requested businessmen to make this campaign a success. Last year, QMCO had also conducted a campaign in March. The office has already begun to punish shopkeepers who are cheating customers, said Karna.