Kathmandu, August 3, 2006 The Government and the Maoist talks teams failed to write a joint letter to United Nations today seeking its assistance for management of arms of both sides, as both sides could not agree on “technical aspects” of arms management. A UN assessment team led by Staffan de Mistura had asked both sides to reach a consensus on the issue by today. “It seems necessary we have to hold dialogue again about technical aspects of arms management and monitoring of combatants by the UN,” said Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, coordinator of the Government talks team, after a meeting at the Peace Secretariat. The government team is scheduled to meet Prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala tomorrow. Talks observers Padmaratna Tuladhar and Daman Nath Dhungana and Gunther Bachler, Social Advisor in Peace Building in Nepal of Swiss Development Cooperation, were also present at the meeting. Sources said the government talks team had negotiated with the Maoist team and Maoist supremo Prachanda through e-mail and Prachanda stuck to his earlier stance that they would not decommission their arms and combatants unilaterally. Sitaula said that they mainly discussed the content of the letter to UN. He, however,added that they would be able to sort out their differences in the next meeting. Tuladhar said they would again hold talks at different channels and hoped that an accord would be reached.

OTC drugs sans prescription bad for kidney Increasing instances of selfmedication and over-thecounter selling of drugs by the pharmacists without checking doctors’ prescription are causing a rise in renal failure cases. “People do their own diagnosis and buy pain killers and vitamins from the pharmacists, who sell the same without proper case study,” said Sulochana Shrestha, a senior nurse in the peritoneal dialysis unit of Bir Hospital. Early symptoms of renal failure are itching, decline in haemoglobin, loss of appetite, weakness, insomnia, indigestion, diarrhoea, muscle cramps and headache. Shrestha says people don’t take these symptoms seriously and resort to self-medication. Lasix, Frufemide, vitamins (in case of weakness) and pain killers top the list of drugs being sold over the counter without doctor’s prescription. “Patients seek the hospital treatment only after the kidney has suffered maximum damage due to drug misuse,” adds Shrestha. “Pain killers and antibiotics are bad for kidney and hasten renal failure in case of patients whose kidneys have already suffered some damage.” Prem Balami, 55 of Sitapaila, who is undergoing treatment at Bir Hospital for renal failure is one such case of misuse of drugs.