THT 10 YEARS AGO: Poll date in next cabinet meet, assures Koirala

Kathmandu, December 31, 2007

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said today that the next cabinet meeting would declare a new date of constituent assembly polls and the interim parliament would pass bills related to the elections at the earliest.

“We should focus our attention on polls. I request the media not to write anything negative about the election,” PM Koirala told mediapersons after administering oath of office and secrecy to the four Maoist ministers and Minister for Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki in Singha Durbar. The PM promoted Karki to cabinet rank yesterday.

The Maoist party had quit the government on September 18, demanding early declaration of a republic and all-out proportional system of election. The Maoists had joined the interim cabinet on April 1.

PM administered oath of office and secrecy to Minister for Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Local Development Minister Dev Gurung, Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hishila Yami and Minister for Woman, Children and Social Welfare Pampha Bhusal.

Maoist Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Matrika Prasad Yadav and Minister for Labour and Transport Management Ramesh Lekhak were absent during the swearing-in ceremony, as they were out of the capital.

Library laxity: Historic pix ill-preserved

Kathmandu, December 31, 2007

The lobby of the Kaiser Library is adorned with fast fading black-and-white photographs of not-toodistant past.

These pictures, for instance, take us back to the time when Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher SJB announced the abolition of slavery (1922) and to younger days of king Mahendra and king Tribhuvan.

Even as these pieces of history fade fast, the Ministry of Education and Sports, the body responsible for preserving these invaluable photographs and looking after the library, remains a mute spectator due to “fund crunch”. According to chief librarian Bhola Kumar Shrestha, the library has a collection of 700 photographs. While some of them are on display in the lobby of the library, a few have been preserved in four albums.

On an average, 100 people visit the library every day. “I am sure the visitors have no idea about the enormity of the loss caused due to negligence in the preservation of these photographs.” The ph-otographs are collection of the then field marshal Kaiser Shumsher SJB. Many of them were taken in early 1900s, while some were taken even earlier. “We don’t have detailed information on all photographs,” says Shrestha.

Susan Pandit, a ninth grader, was amazed when she came across childhood pictures of king Mahendra and king Tribhuwan. In these pictures, the two kings are accompanied by Rana Prime Ministers.