Kathmandu, June 3, 2009

The rift over who should lead the Nepali Congress (NC) in the Cabinet has widened within the party after NC president Girija Prasad Koirala unilaterally proposed the name of his daughter, Sujata Koirala, to lead the party in the government as the Foreign Minister. The party leaders were up in arms against Koirala’s decision, delaying the finalising of other names to represent the party in the government.

Six office-bearers of the party met today and urged president Koirala to withdraw his decision of sending Sujata to the Cabinet. After the meeting, called by acting president Sushil Koirala at NC party office, in Sanepa, he made a formal request to the president over phone to withdraw his decision. “Sushil Koirala called GP Koirala’s assistant Shekhar Thapa and urged him to ask the veteran leader to do a rethink on his decision to send Sujata as team leader in the Cabinet,” said an NC source. Koirala is yet to react on the request of his party leaders. Vice presidents Ram Chandra Paudel, Gopal Man Shrestha and Prakash Man Singh and general secretary Bimalendra Nidhi were present during the meeting. Senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and general secretary Kul Bahadur Gurung, however,were absent.

“The consent of joint general secretary Arjun Narsingh KC was taken over phone before making the joint request to Koirala.

KC did not attend the meeting due to his illhealth,” said a source. “Senior leaders are of the view that the decision to send Sujata to the Cabinet would damage the party’s image and it was against the party’s welfare,” said an NC leader who attended the meeting.

Nobel laureate holds out hope for Nepali scientists

Kathmandu, June 3, 2009

German Nobel laureate Prof Dr Klaus von Klitzing today said that the Nepal government should help local scientists and provide research facilities, which, in turn, could hasten the pace of development in the country. He also urged the state to initiate a move to bring back all Nepali researchers, who are pursuing their work abroad. Dr Klitzing, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his pathbreaking work on Integer Quantum Hall Effect in 1985, is in the capital to participate in the four-day International Conference on Frontier of Physics. He is not new to the Himalayan nation, having been here on two earlier occasions — in 1980 and 1999. He felt that it was the responsibility of the nation to make funds available for the researchers. He cited the example of the German government, which extended him all financial help to conduct research in the High Magnetic Field Laboratory, which is located at Grenoble in France. “I discovered the theory of new measurement units during my experiments in that laboratory,” he said. In retrospect, he said that he did not expect to win the Nobel Prize in 1985. “I was taken aback when I got the award,” he said.