THT 10 YEARS AGO: Petroleum crisis gets inflammatory

Kathmandu, February 13, 2008

As the petroleum crisis deepens, the State seems to be twiddling its thumb. State-run Nepal Oil Corporation informed this daily today that merely 13 oil tankers (165 kilolitres), including four for the capital, were loaded at Raxual today.

NoC sources said the stock at the Thankot depot would be enough for just two days Tankers carrying around 2200 kilolitres of gasoline entered Nepal through Raxual till the other day. “We used to ship fuel through Tarai and other parts of the country even when the Maoist conflict was at its peak,” Chairman of the Federation of Truck, Tanker and Transport Entrepreneurs Madhav Adhikari said.

“But we have doubts this time as we hardly see the presence of the state anywhere.” They (the oil tanker operators) are worried about their safety,” said NOC supplies manager Mukunda Dhungel. “Money is no longer the problem, security is.” Secretary at the Home Ministry Umesh Kanta Mainali too admits that “the fear factor” is there, but wants the stakeholders to trust the security apparatuses.

“If Madhes agitation was to disrupt the oil flow then it should have stopped a week ago”, argues Mainali, citing the case of the general strike in Parsa district last week. “The government is prepared to give adequate security to each and every tanker entering through the Birgunj customs.” Phooey!, say transport entrepreneurs.

Foreign power against assembly polls: Prachanda

Kathmandu, February 13, 2008

Maoist chairman Prachanda said today that the foreign power that wants to take the whole world in its grip is against the April 10 Constituent Assembly polls, fearing that the Maoists would come to power through “legitimate process along with a radical agenda of change”.

“The foreign force vying to take the whole world in its grip is against the election after it found that the we will come to power through a legitimate process,” Prachanda, whom his party has been projecting as the first president of federal, democratic republic of Nepal, said addressing the 13th anniversary of the People’s War and the party’s first election rally here.

He warned that their election manifesto or commitment paper would covert into a manifesto of another phase of revolt if the elections were put off. He said that the ideology his party adopted during the People’s War would not confine to Nepal alone, but it would also spread in South Asia and the entire world.

“We are on the final war against feudalism that had started in 1950. We will emerge victorious through the CA polls. But the reactionary elements whose days are numbered are hellbent on disrupting the CA polls and are in a mood of confrontation with us,” he said.