Nepal Goes to Polls to End Political Deadlock

An article by Anjana Pasricha for the Voice of America:-

November 17, 2013

A Nepal election commission officer carrying ballot boxes heads to a polling booth in Katmandu, Nov. 17, 2013.
A Nepal election commission officer carrying ballot boxes heads to a polling booth in Katmandu, Nov. 17, 2013.

Nepal holds elections Tuesday, hoping to put an end to a five-year political deadlock that has brought the Himalayan country to a standstill. A disillusioned people hopes the polls will put the impoverished nation on a path to stability and development, but there are fears the political drift will persist.…

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Nepal ranks high in Asian corruption rankings

Republica Online reported on 5th December 20102 that:

“Nepal has remained one of the world´s most corrupt countries, with Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog, ranking Nepal in the 139th place out of 176 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

According to a TI report released on Wednesday, Nepal has a score of 27 in CPI. The score of zero is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 as least corrupt.

Denmark, Finland and New Zealand are named the least corrupt countries with a score of 90 each in the CPI, while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia with a score of 8 each have been ranked the most corrupt countries in the world.…

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Still no constitution…

The Constituent Assembly (CA) of Nepal was dissolved on May 27, 2012 after it failed to draft a Constitution within the stipulated time, even after four extensions. The main problem is the demand by ethnic groups, such as the Tharus in the south, to have ethically defined regions with autonomous powers. Amid protests and disagreements among the political parties, the former Prime Minister (presently the caretaker Prime Minister) Baburam Bhattarai announced fresh polls to be held on November 22, 2012 to allow the process of finalising the Constitution to continue.…

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Greater autonomy for Darjeeling district

The following report on the new political settlement in the hill areas of West Bengal comes from

By Pradipta Tapadar

Sukna (West Bengal), July 18 (IANS)Sukna (West Bengal), July 18 (IANS) An elated Roshan Gurung, 60, who runs a teashop, was Monday looking forward to peace, development and that crucial stamp of “identity” ahead of a historic tripartite agreement for the Darjeeling hills.

“We are very happy about the agreement. We suffer from identity crisis. I hope this treaty will bring peace and development in the hills,” said Gurung, a Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporter in Darjeeling district.…

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Strike called off

The strike called at the start of the year by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which blocked all traffic between Siliguri and Darjeeling and Kalimpong, was called off in mid-February. This was a relief for us, since our first volunteer of the year was unable to reach their school. We now have a volunteer in place in the Gyan Jyoti school outside Kalimpong, and we are hopeful that our programme can run without further disruption from now on.…

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Strikes close down Darjeeling district

One of our volunteers has had to abandon her teaching assignment in the village of Mungpoo because of a strike called by the Gorkha Jankukti Morcha which is campaigning for a separate Gorkhaland. She and her husband were bussed down from Darjeeling to Siliguri, at the foot of the Himalayas, by the police yesterday just before they were due to travel to Mungpoo.

The ‘India Blooms News Service’ reports the following

Darjeeling/Siliguri/Jalpaiguri, Feb 11 (IBNS) Life remained shut for the third consecutive day in the hills of Darjeeling on Friday while scarcity of essential commodities became acute as the indefinite strike, called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, continued.…

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Civil unrest in Nepal

Thousands of supporters of Nepal’s former Maoist rebels began gathering in Kathmandu  for a May Day protest rally to press for a return to power in what may herald a showdown with  the coalition government.

The Maoists say it will be the biggest demonstration since they quit the government last year. Supporters, many dressed in red, are housed in hundreds of schools and are being provided training on how to use sticks as well as martial arts.

The constituent assembly has until May 28 to agree the new constitution but the government may miss the deadline leaving a political vacuum.…

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Nepal’s PM resigns

Pushpa Kamal Dahal,the Maoist prime minister, who was in charge of the interim government that is responsible for drafting a new constitution for Nepal, has resigned after some members of the coalition pulled out. He had called upon the chief of the army to resign for failing to integrate Maoist irregulars into the regular army, and this move has not only been strongly criticised by the non-Maoist parties, but the President refused to countenance the dismissal. It is too early to say what this means for the fragile peace process, but it is not a positive development.…

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Nepal: The Missing State

My representative in Kathmandu has just sent me the following excerpts from a paper by Saubhagya Shah delivered at a seminar in Kathmandu under the auspices of the National Media Development Center (NMDC) and FE5 Nepal on Sept. 20, 2008; Harvard Ph.D. Saubhagya Shah is the program coordinator Conflict Peace and Development Studies at the Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Saubhagya Shah, PhD

A major irony in Nepal at present is that despite the impressive governing alliance and the strong backing accorded to it by New Delhi and the Western powers, the government has never been so weak.

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Darjeeling hills strike lifted

The indefinite strike (bandh) in the Darjeeling hills, called by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha who are pressing for more autonomy, has been suspended pending the outcome of negotiations with the Government. The GNM have given a new deadline of 5th July.…

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I think HELP is the volunteer organization that I looked for for a long time. It is the most easily accessible and responsive organization I found on the web. I really like the self donation to the school and how independent it requires its volunteers to be, unlike many other organizations.
Michael WintersteinSt. Paul Primary School