THT 10 years ago: PLA verification phase-II kicks off

Damak, June 19, 2007

The second phase of verification of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began in the first divisional headquarters of the Chulachuli (Ilam) camp today.

The team of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) comprising 120 members and led by Mike Tuman interviewed 150 Maoist combatants of the camp today. The team asked the combatants when they were recruited and what age they had attained now.

Questions related to the number of battles they fought, the places where the battles took place and the knowledge of handling weapons were also asked to each combatant, an interviewee said. Chief of the joint monitoring committee Erik Wilhemson arrived in the camp with Maoist deputy commanders Nanda Kishor Pun (Pasang) and Chandra Prasad Khanal (Baldev) in the morning.

PLA personnel of the sub-camps under the first division will be called to the headquarters and interviewed tomorrow, a source said. The UN has said that PLA personnel under the age of 18 will not find a place in the camps after the verification.

SAARC report proposes road networks, railway lines in Nepal

The SAARC Regional Multi Modal Transport Study (SRMTS) has proposed Nepal build four regional level roads and two railway lines that would link other SAARC nations.

In a report, which was prepared after a regional study on transit, the SRMTS also suggested Nepal improve the Tribhuvan International Airport infrastructure and upgrade the airport at Bhairahawa to an international one. In accordance with a plan that was passed at the SAARC summit in Islamabad in 2004, a high-level task force was formed consisting of experts of all member countries with a view to upgrading transit and communication facilities in the region.

The report said that the road network could be instrumental for Nepal to have access to sea ports and other member nations. It has identified 18 main road networks, including 14 which are in operation. In Nepal’s case, the Kathmandu-Birgunj-Kolkata-Haldiya road link was proposed as the first road link. The proposed 1,323 km road can benefit Nepal in developing Birgunj as a dry port, the report said.

The report also suggested India build a high-tech check-post in Raxaul. The second proposed road is the Kathmandu-Kankadbhitta-Fulbari-Mangola-Chatgaon link. The 1,394 km road will link Nepal with Bangladeshi sea ports Mangola and Chatgaon. Also proposed are a customs office in Fulbari.

Another road proposed is the Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-New Delh-Bagha border-Lahore-Karachi link. Kathmandu-Bhairahawa-Sunauli-Lucknow is the fourth road network proposed for Nepal.