Kathmandu,March 14, 2007

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today started one-on-one consultations with the leaders of the seven- party alliance and the Maoist leadership on formation of an interim government and the date for an election to a constituent assembly.

The PM held separate meetings with leaders of the CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress (Democratic), Janamorcha Nepal, Nepal Workers and Peasant Party (NWPP) and Nepal Sadbhavana Party - Anandi Devi (NSP-A) a his residence at Baluwatar and sought their suggestions on formation of an interim government.

After holding the meeting with the PM, UML standing committee member Jhala Nath Khanal said that they suggested the PM that a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) and a code of conduct should be made for effective functioning of the interim government and ministerial portfolios must be allocated among the eight parties on a “just” and “respectable” basis.

He said that the strength of the interim government must not exceed 25 and that, too, should be announced at one go. Khanal said that they also advised the PM to call a high-level meeting of the eight political parties soon to finalise the CMP and code of conduct and allocation of portfolios.

The UML leadership also stressed the need to hold the assembly election by mid-June.

Occasional showers not unlikely

Kathmandu,March 14, 2007

If anyone is under the impression that the latest spell of precipitation was unseasonal he or she is wrong. Here are Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DM&H) data, which suggest that rainfall during this part of the year is not at all a strange happening.

If what Krishna Bhakta Manandhar, Senior Meteorologist, DM&H, said is an indicator of what the whether will be like in the next few weeks, expect isolated showers. “We have had 29.5 mm of rain so far in March. The average for the month going back to 1968 is 30.3 mm.

Everyone knows how much relief the showers brought along with them,” said Manandhar. He also said that the latest spell of rain is the result of the westerly disturbances over Pakistan and nations in its neighbourhood.

“The fact that the areas around Dadeldhura in far west received some 40 mm of rain during the last 24 hours vindicates what westerly wind does,” Manandhar said, holding out hopes of isolated showers yet again. Talking about prospects of additional showers in and around the capital region, Manandhar held out “hopes” but would not guarantee them “given the vagaries of climatic conditions which tend to get affected at short notice.

Suddenly a low or high pressure area which could develop anywhere and anytime can mean something else, he pointed out.