THT 10 YEARS AGO: Three asthmatics reach North Col

Tatopani, October 19, 2005

Three asthmatics have set a new record by reaching the 7066-metre North Col without carrying oxygen cylinders. Dutch nationals Martyn Pynappels, Ernst Te Velthuis, Jeroen Van Der Menlen and leader of the De-ice expedition, Frank Rempe, reached the North Col on last Thursday after eight days of diligent efforts. The expedition was organised by the Snow Leopard and Explore Nepal Richa Tours and Travels. Twenty-five asthmatics of the 31-member expedition have reached the 6400-metre ABC Camp. But only three of them could make it to the North Col due to harsh climbing conditions. “We had hoped that at least 12 members of the expedition will reach the North Col,” said Rempe, adding: “But only four of them could reach there due to strong wind, extreme cold and a difficult route.” “It was a very difficult journey,” said Martyn Pynappels, adding: “The steep ice and dense snow was breathtaking.” “We had never imagined that the climbing will be so difficult,” he said, adding: “I have reverence for all those who have scaled the Everest.” “It was a team work. Though only four of us reached the North Col, it became possible due to the support and cooperation of our team,” said Velthuis. “The climbing was tiring — physically and mentally,” he said, noting: “We had not undergone training on ice climbing.” “Looking at huge masses of ice, you felt you could not conquer it,” he said.

Media ordinance unconstitutional, say legal experts

Kathmandu, October 19, 2005

Legal experts today said the controversial media ordinance, promulgated just before Dashain, is against the norms of constitution so it cannot function to curtail the people’s right to information. “The ordinance was prepared in haste by those people who know the least about the Constitution and the press,” said advocate Bhimarjun Acharya at a programme held by the Media Forum today to discuss the ordinance. “The ordinance allows any FM station to broadcast news till the NTV keeps airing news as it has treated both as one. The government cannot punish one leaving another safe,” he said. Acharya said that the ordinance is an amendment to four existing laws – Radio Act 2014, Rastriya Samachar Samiti Defamation Act 2019, Printing and Publication Act 2048, Press Council Act 2048, National Broadcasting Act 2049 and Defamation Act 2016. “Ordinances can be valid only if they are brought after proving their necessity for immediate purpose, not under someone’s desire,” he said. According to him, the ordinances should be brought as exception but they are treated as rules, and they should not oppose the constitution from any angle. “Any law or ordinance that is not just or fair cannot oblige the citizens to respect it in democracy,” he said.