THT 10 YEARS AGO: Ministry admits to agreement with UN

Kathmandu, November 25, 2005

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, last Monday, submitted in the apex court a copy of an agreement it had signed with the UN on sending Royal Nepalese Army personnel on peacekeeping missions abroad. It may be recalled that when a case pertaining to the issue was first taken up, the ministry had told the court that there was no agreement between it and the UN on deployment of RNA personnel.The RNA, which was also a party in the case, however, had told the court it did not have a copy of the agreement but the Foreign Ministry might have it. The court asked the ministry to produce the agreement copy.

The ministry said it did not have a copy and that it would write to the Nepal’s permanent mission in UN to get a copy, on which the Supreme Court gave it 15 days time to produce it or face contempt of court proceedings. On expiry of the 15-day deadline, set by the court on August 23, the ministry‘s lawyer sought an adjournment of the case.

The case is to come up shortly. The agreement between the government and the UN, signed in 2001, which the ministry submitted in court on Monday, states that RNA personnel deployed for peacekeeping mission to the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) are entitled to a salary of $ 988 per month during deployment.

Export, import halted at TIA

Kathmandu, November 25, 2005

Export and import from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Cargo Complex came to a complete halt today after Nepal Freight Forwarders Association (NEFFA) went on an indefinite strike. Namgyal Lama, president of NEFFA informed that “not a single shipment passed through TIA Cargo Complex today.” He urged the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to resolve the problems faced by exporters, freight forwarders and loaders.

NEFFA has protested the hike in freight charge from Rs 3 to Rs 7 per kg, reissue of identify cards for loaders breaching the earlier agreement between CAAN with NEFFA, and the lay off of 50 per cent loaders. They have demanded implement of an international system at the ACC to boost exports. “Disturbances created by ACC parking contractor and his illegal deeds should be promptly stopped,” he said.

Similarly, issuing a press statement, Nepal Carpet Exporters’ Association (NCEA) has supported NEFFA’s protest against the CAAN’s wrong attitudes. “At

a time when carpet export has gone down by over 30 per cent, government attitude towards export sector is not encouraging,” states the press release by NCEA. “If NEFFA’s demands are not taken seriously, NCEA will also be compelled to stop exporting carpets for an indefinite period that will ultimately hit the national coffer.”