THT 10 YEARS AGO: PM shielding the corrupt: YCL

Kathmandu, June 5, 2007

A day after Prime Minister Girija Koirala called the Young Communist League Young “Criminal” League, YCL Valley-incharge Sagar labelled Koirala was the “chieftain” of a handful of corrupt people he was shielding.

He announced countrywide protests beginning today until Koirala withdrew his “irresponsible” statement. “Such an irresponsible statement coming from a responsible Prime Minister shows that he is shielding the corrupt,” Sagar said speaking at the Reporters’ Club today.

“PM must apologise for the remark.” “By speaking in favour of Sita Ram Prasain the PM has officially announced himself as the leader of corrupt, not the Prime Minister of the country ,” Sagar said.

The YCL had handed over fraud-accused Prasain to police yesterday. Sagar claimed his party was not running a parallel government, arguing, “Had it been so, we would not have handed Prasain over to the police. We would have taken him to Rolpa.” Nepali Congress (NC) central leader Sujata Koirala, however, labelled the Maoists as corrupt and challenged YCL to prove her NC leadership’s involvement in corruption.

Branding YCL’s activities as irresponsible, Sujata said the Maoists would repent it in future. “Don’t ever think that NC would fear with YCL or Maoists,” Sujata said adding, She claimed that mandalays of the Panchayat regime had joined the YCL.

Everest mission to solve riddle of 1924 bid

Kathmandu, June 5, 2007

A team of British and US mountaineers is set to climb Mount Everest using 1920’s style gear to see if an ill-fated expedition could have reached the summit 30 years before Edmund Hillary.

“Using 1920’s style equipment, this team is trying to find out whether the British climbers (George Mallory and Sandy Irvine) on their 1924 expedition were able to reach the summit,” said Ang Tsering Sherpa, the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). Mallory led an expedition last spotted tantalisingly close to the summit nearly 30 years before sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made history by becoming the first people to scale Everest in 1953.

Colleagues last saw Mallory and Irvine about 800 metres below the summit and it remains a mystery whether they made it to the top. “This team is climbing from the northern route via Tibet and what they plan is very dangerous,” president Sherpa told AFP today.

They will be wearing period clothes made of cotton, silk and wool rather than modern day water and windproof gear. Just a few hundred metres from the summit is the Second Step, a 35-metre sheer rockface that is usually tackled using aluminium ladders. “They plan to remove them (the ladders) and try and climb without them,” Sherpa said.