Nepal & Bhutan Brief (8/16)
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

(Based on Media Reports)

Political Development:

Nepal Objects to EU – India Joint Statement:

1. Nepal took strong objection to the reference to the country in the Joint statement issued (March 30) after the 13th EU – India summit in Brussels, wherein, “They agreed on the need for a lasting and inclusive constitutional settlement in Nepal that will address the remaining Constitutional issues in a time bound manner, and promote political stability and economic growth.” Referring to the devastating earthquake of last year, the statement said, “The EU and India pledged continued support to Nepal in its reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquake in 2015 including capacity building and long term development.” welcoming it.

2. In the strongly-worded statement, Nepal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has firmly objected the statement saying that resolving the Constitution – related issues was purely an internal matter and no foreign country should interfere in it. “The Constitution making and its promulgation are essentially internal matters of a country. Nepal has now moved ahead along the path of political stability and economic development. Against this backdrop, the EU – India Joint statement not only hurts the sentiment of the people of Nepal but also defies the fundamental principle of non-interference in internal affairs of a country in breach of the UN charter and norms of international law”, the ministry said.

Madhesis Reaction:

3. On the other hand, at least two Madhesi parties have welcomed the EU – India Joint statement on Nepal. Suresh Mandal of Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) said that it was natural for the international community to speak up against injustice done to Madhesis. On April 3, Tarai Madhes Sadbhavana Party (TMSP) followed suit with Remeshwar Ray claiming this as an example of how the international community could not tolerate discrimination against marginalized communities.

4. Meanwhile, Chairman of UCPN, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, while talking to media, remarked, “Immediately after his (PM) return home (from China), India and European Union issued a Joint statement, whether it was a coincidence or international community demand a debate.” He further said, “I can see clearly that the statement might have come as a reaction to Prime Minister Oli’s visit to China and the agreements that were reached between the two sides. It is wide and clear that India is not happy.” he added.

High – Level Committee To Implement Federalism:

5. Government, on April 8, formed a high – level committee to implement federalism. The committee chaired by Prime Minister KP Oli, has Defence Minister Bhim Rawal, Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel, Home Minister Shakti Basnet, General Administration Minister Rekha Sharma and Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission Yubaraj Khatiwada as its members. Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi is the member secretary who will oversee Nepal’s transition to a federal setup from unitary system. RPP-N Chairman and Dy PM Kamal Thapa is not happy at being excluded from the committee. Thapa boycotted the 8th April cabinet meeting to protest his party’s exclusion.

PM Calls For National Consensus:

6. In a televised address to the nation, on April 12, PM Oli called for broader consensus to implement the new Constitution. He urged all parties to contribute towards that. Oli also called on Madhes – based parties to Join the High – Level Political Committee and participate in meaningful dialogue to resolve the unsettled issues of new Constitution. However, the United Democratic Madhes Front have termed Prime Minister’s offer of talks as an eyewash, aimed at giving a false impression to the international community that the government was trying to find negotiated settlement to the Tarai problems.

Nepal Needs National Level Protest, Says Bhattarai:

7. Co-ordinator of Naya Shakti (New Force), Baburam Bhattarai, has urged the Madhesi population for a national – level protest. Addressing the new party’s national council meeting in Janakpur, Bhattarai admitted that there was discrimination against Madhesis, Tharus, Janjatis and other minorities in the new constitution. The solution to these national issues was not possible through Madhesis’s protest. There was need for a national - level movement.

Power – Hungry Leadership Failed To Deliver, Says Ex-King:

8. Former king Gyanendra Shah has expressed dissatisfaction with the current leadership, who he dubbed ‘Agasti’ (Power – hungry). The leadership was unable to address people’s aspirations at a time when the concept of nationhood had weakened and regional and global politics had entered a new phase. He also said that the country had been weakened due to leadership’s tendency to keep personal interests above the national interest. He also reminded about the geopolitical sensitivities

Deuba NC Parliamentary Leader:

9. Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba once again defeated (139-67) Ram Chandra Poudel to become leader of NC’s Parliamentary Party. Last month, he had defeated Poudel to win the party presidency for the first time in his decades –long political career.

Majority of CPN – RM Leaders Favour Reunification:

10. Revolutionary Maoist (CPN – RM) Chairman Mohan Baidya, who has been opposing the reunification with the UCPN (Maoist), has lost support of party members on the issue, who have come out in favor of reuniting the two leftist parties. After the majority of CPN – RM Central Committee members started a signature campaign for reuniting the two parties at the earliest, Baidya decided, on April 4, to defer the party committee meeting by a month to avoid a show down.

UNMIN Worked To Weaken National Army: Ex – COAS Gurung:

11. Retired Chief of Army (NA) Chhatra Man Singh Gurung has disclosed that the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) had been working to weaken the national Army and prolong its dominance in Nepal. Gurung also accused representatives of the UN body of not working impartially while dealing with the issue of integrating former Maoist Combatants into NA, and of reporting inaccurately to the UN Security Council.

Ex-Prez Yadav Claims to have Saved Nepal Army From Politicisation:

12. Former President Ram Baran Yadav claimed that he saved the Nepal Army from politicization and other attempts to tarnish its image. He, however, lamented that he could not save judiciary and other security agencies from political intervention during his tenure. The first President said this while launching former Chief of Army Staff Chhatraman Gurung’s autobiography “Janata Ko Chhoro” in Kathmandu, on April 10.

Foundation Stone Of Pokhara International Airport:

13. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on April 13, laid the foundation stone of Pokhara International Airport at Chhinedanda in Kaski district. China had pledged to provide financial assistance for the development of the airport. PM Oli urged senior leaders of the major political parties to work actively for the development of the country brick by brick.

First Female Chief Justice Of Nepal:

14. Justice Sushila Karki, senior most judge of the apex Court, became the first female Chief Justice of Nepal on April 13. It may be mentioned that two other women have already been holding other top state positions with UCPN (Maoist) leader Onsari Gharti as Speaker of the Parliament and CPN – UML leader Bidyadevi Bhandari as President. Karki will lead the Judiciary for around 14 months, until she retires on June 7, 2017.

CoAs Chhetri To visit America:

15. Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Rajendra Chhetri is visiting US from April 24 on the invitation of US Army. The visit is expected to be a week – long or could be even longer. A cabinet meeting, on April 14, had approved Chhetri’s travel plan. He had earlier visited India in Jan – Feb and China in March. CoAS Chhetri is expected to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon during the visit.

External Relations:

Oli Calls Modi, Condoles Kerala Temple Deaths:

1. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli rang up his Indian counter part Narendra Modi’s on April 12, to express his sadness over the loss of lives and property in a massive fire at Puttingal Devi Temple in Kerala, on April, 10. PM Oli expressed his grief and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. This is the first telephone conversation between the two Prime Ministers after Oli’s visit to India and China.

Bhutan (April 15, 2016)

External Relations:

Visit Of Duke And Duchess of Cambridge To Bhutan:

1. The visit to Bhutan by their Royal Highness the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of United Kingdom, which took place at the invitation of his Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, concluded, on April 16. During the two-day visit, on April 14-15, Duke and Duchess received an audience with his Majesty the king and the Gyaltsen Rinpoche. On the occasion of the visit of Duke and Duchess, an archery match and other traditional sports were organized at Changlimithang, which the Duke and Duchess participated in. The Duke and Duchess also interacted with students from Ability Bhutan Society and the Draktso Vocational Training Centre for special children and youth at Changlimithang. On the second day of visit, the Duke and Duchess trekked to the Taktsang Monastry in Paro and later in the evening met with Bhutanese who had studied in the United Kingdom. Their Royal Highness’ successful visit has reinforced the growing ties of friendship between the Royal Families and peoples of Bhutan and the United Kingdom, a foreign affairs press release stated.

2. Following the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s successful visit to Bhutan, the UK has announced the opening of a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Thimpu to further strengthen ties between the two countries. It is planned to open in Mid – May in Thimpu, and will provide Bhutanese the opportunity to apply for their visit in Bhutan rather than having to travel to India. British high commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith hoped that by offering this service, more Bhutanese would apply for UK visas to visit or study in the UK.

XML feed

Post new comment

3 + 6 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Contact Us