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Nepal

On August 4, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), was sworn in for the second time as Prime Minister of Nepal, becoming the ninth Prime Minister in the country’s eight-year-long history as a republic and the only communist leader to have managed to stage a political comeback. While this may be testimony to his pragmatism, others feel that Mr. Prachanda has engaged in too many political flip-flops.

 
The local tourism entrepreneurs in the Annapurna Base Camp route and tourism stakeholders in the Western Regional Association in Pokhara and the Union of Trekking, Travel, Rafting Airlines workers are at odds after the local hotel and restaurant entrepreneurs decided to increase the cost of bed and food along the route famous for trekking.  
 
The number of youths working as migrant workers dropped in the last fiscal year in comparison with the year before. This is something to be very concerned about as the remittance sent by the migrant workers is also on the decline. Remittance is the mainstay these days of the Nepali economy.  
 
The government’s policy is to ensure 100 percent enrollment of Nepali children in schools.  
 
Hours after being sworn in as Nepal’s 39th Prime Minister on Thursday, Pushpa Kamal Dahal made four decisions: to carry out ‘the government for the people’ program, provide the first instalments of the reconstruction grants to 533,000 earthquake-affected families within the next 45 days, mobilise doctors in all Primary Health Care Centres, and encourage registration of births by offering allowances to the Dalits.  
 

The trial of Nepal Army Colonel Kumar Lama in a British court on charge of subjecting two alleged Maoist rebels to torture during the insurgency in itself marks a watershed moment in Nepal’s transitional justice process, rights defenders say, arguing that the case, which attracted universal jurisdiction, has a clear message that rights violators can be tried even on foreign soil if the state of their origin fails to deliver justice to the victims.

 

The ripples of Brexit have been felt worldwide, and even here in Nepal. Because the Pound has fallen to its lowest level in thirty years, and according to the Economist has yet to find a floor, emails from project managers of DfID have started coming in to development partners “requesting all awardees to reduce the budget total by 12.5 percent on the bottom-line and [we] would appreciate any further reduction on your own accord for hedging purposes” by reducing consultant as well as travel time, activities, training and even project duration. There are somber faces from Lalitpur’sKumaripati to Pokhara and Dharan, towns with businesses made lively by British Gurkha pensioners, where household budget devaluation is the dark cloud with no real silver lining.

 

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, will be returning as Nepal’s prime minister after 87 months.

 
Government change is normal in parliamentary democracies. Nepalis have seen two dozen governments in 25 years, so they are used to it. This time, the UML’s KP Oli is out and Pushpa Kamal Dahal of the CPN (Maoist-Centre) is back in. The Indian media and Indian diplomats have been portraying this regime change in Nepal as being in India’s national interest. If true, this is unfortunate for Nepal’s sovereignty and independence.  
 

According to a weekly bulletin released by the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital at Teku (popularly known as Teku Hospital), 10 new cases have tested positive there and at Patan Hospital, Lalitpur.

 


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