Indian Assistance for Rupandehi District
District Development Committee Rupandehi and Shree Rammani Multiple campus Manigram signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Embassy of India for providing Indian grant assistance of NRs. 2.59 crores for construction of three storied building and provision of furniture for the campus under Nepal-India Economic Cooperation Programme.
According to Indian Embassy press release, this is the ninth development project in the Rupandehi District being undertaken with the assistance of Govt. of India under Small Development Projects. Govt. of India has also gifted eight ambulances and two school buses in Rupandehi District.
The project will be implemented by the District Development Committee, Rupandehi as per the norms and regulations of Govt. of Nepal and they will also be responsible for the quality and timely completion the project. An oversight committee comprising representatives from the local development and administrative authorities have been constituted to ensure community participation in overseeing the projects for their effective and timely implementation.
Raids Rescue Caged Birds
Bird smugglers, better beware! Bird Conservation Nepal and Roots and Shoots Nepal have started raids in which hundreds of birds have been rescued. The birds were smuggled across the border from India.
When Buddha’s birthday and enlightenment were widely being celebrated in Nepal, BCN and R & S, seeking consent from the District Forest Officer, raided homes of three traders based in Bouddha. Indian traders Firoj, Raja and Naushad were found keeping 300 birds which were illegally trafficked from India.
Munia, Blossom Headed Parakeet, Baya Weaver and Budgi Gus were among the caged birds, some of which were suffering from serious health problems.
The birds will be rehabilitated at Animal Nepal’s Chobar Animal Sanctuary. The non-indigenous species will be handed over to the Central Zoo.
Roots and Shoots representative Manoj Gautam said that the government´s wildlife breeding policy, introduced in 2003, has provided a legal loophole for traders of CITES-listed species.
“The policy allows licensed traders to breed wild animals,” he said. “They misuse the license to poach, breed and smuggle endangered animals. As the government´s monitoring mechanism is weak, the policy has provided a fertile ground for the illegal trade of the CITES-protected species.”
UK Supports Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
The United Kingdom (UK) has reiterated its commitment to human rights and the eradication of discrimination globally, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The UK has a long history of defending the basic rights and freedoms of the vulnerable and excluded, the Embassy said on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDHAO).
“We are committed to placing human rights at the heart of our foreign policy. Everyone across the globe, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, should be free to enjoy their full rights and freedoms,” the statement said.
An example of this commitment in Nepal was the support for and partnership with the Blue Diamond Society and their efforts to promote rights and tackle discrimination. “The Embassy was delighted to welcome the Blue Diamond Society just over two weeks ago to join our celebrations of the wedding of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”
In his message to support IDAHO, British Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said, “We are very enthusiastic about our position, which is that people should be able to love who they want, and they should be free to have relationships with whomever they choose. It is important for us that the message is heard loudly around the world. This day is an ideal opportunity for that message to be conveyed. We want to send the very clear message that the British Government is strongly against homophobia and transphobia and strongly in favor of people being free to live their lives without fear either from the State or from society more generally discriminating against them.”
EU Reaffirms Commitment
The European Union has reaffirmed its strong commitment to the entitlement of all persons to enjoy the full range of human rights without discrimination.
Issuing a statement on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the EU, called on all states to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and human rights violations against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“On this day, we also pay tribute to David Kato and John Edison Ramirez, prominent LGBTI activists, who were murdered last year, and would like to commend the selection of the Ugandan LGBT-activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera as Laureate for the renowned Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders,” the statement said.
As part of its commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, in June 2010 the EU adopted a “Toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People”.
Also, through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the EU supports several organisations defending the rights of LGBTI persons or protecting LGBTI human rights defenders.
Call To Meet MDGs Deadline
As 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs on health, including maternal mortality and child mortality, fast approaches, calls are growing for urgent action to improve human resource in health.
Nepal is one of 57 countries in the world with a severe shortage of human resource in health. Nepal has just 2 doctors and 2.3 Nurses to serve 10,000 people – a number far less than the WHO recommended number. The rural situation is even worse.
In that context, Save the Children and Nursing Association of Nepal have issued a call for urgent action on human resource management – the weakest link on the health service chain in the country.
WB Aid For Municipal Service Delivery
The World Bank has approved a US$ 63 million assistance package for Nepal to help improve the delivery of basic services and priority infrastructure in select municipalities as well as to construct a transmission line and substations to evacuate power that will be generated in the Kabeli corridor in eastern Nepal.
The Urban Governance and Development Program: Emerging Towns Project will channel municipal grants and provide capital financing for the construction and rehabilitation of socio-economic infrastructure in six participating municipalities – Mechinagar, Dhankuta, Itahari, Lekhnath, Baglung and Tansen.
Additional municipalities may be added at a later stage with the expansion of the project. The project will also support institutional development activities in the six municipalities as well as three key central agencies – the Ministry of Local Development, the Town Development Fund and the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction.
The Kabeli Transmission Project will construct a 132 kV transmission line that will extend from Kabeli Bazaar in the north of Panchthar district to Damak in Jhapa district, both in eastern Nepal. Substations will be built in the vicinity of Kabeli Bazaar and at the towns of Phidim, Ilam and Damak.
The project’s location is significant from the perspective of the strategic development of the Integrated Nepal Power System as it will open up the extreme east of Nepal for power sector development and will shorten the distance required to transmit electricity to the country’s main industrial center around Biratnagar.
BoK’s Special Offer
In order to provide broader service to customers, Bank of Kathmandu (BoK) has launched the BoK Muddati Plus, a new fixed deposit account with 11.5 percent yearly interest rate and has NPR 10,000.00 deposit. The account can be opened for two to five years and is available for individual as well as institutional depositors.
According to a press release, the account now offers opening of fixed deposit 1,3,6,9 months and has yearly interest rate ranging from 7 to 10 percent. BoK Muddati Plus and Laghu Muddati Khata offers, the facility of availing BoK Visa card to all depositors.
Trail Work Launched In Manaslu, Gorkha
The Nubri Culture and Youth Promotion Committee organized a three day “Manaslu Festival” with the objective of promoting Gorkha district as one of the major tourist destinations in Nepal.
During this festival, the diverse heritage of this district were shown through ritualistic celebrations, traditional dances, horse races, archery competition and various other cultural programs. More than 2,000 people (both national and international) attended this festival.
In recent years, Manaslu trekking area has been gaining popularity with over 2,300 visitors per year. Apart from Mt. Manaslu (8,156 m), this district is also known for its rich cultural heritage with monasteries, temples, chortens and mani walls lining the trekking trail, like the Shringi Gompa in Bihi, and Mu and Rachen Gompas in Chhekampar.
The festival was inaugurated by Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Khadga Bahadur Bishwokarma. The Australian Ambassador to Nepal and the Japanese Ambassador to Nepal were present during the opening of the Manaslu festival.
Murari Karki-First Secretary of MoTCA (Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation), Neil Brosce- Deputy Country Director of DFID, Lakhpa Dhondup Sherpa- Chairman of Nubri Culture and Youth Promotion Committee, Hans Heijdra- Country Director of SNV in Nepal and Mr. Paul Stevens- Tourism Team Leader of SNV formally launched GHTDP at a district level during the festival. The Nubri Culture and Youth Promotion Committee facilitated the district launch of the Great Himalaya Trail Development Program (GHTDP) for Gorkha district.
EU Project To Speed Justice Delivery
'Building Partnerships for Inclusive Justice Project' has been launched with the aim to build lasting relationships between key actors in both the state and informal system. A clearer division of responsibility between the two is expected to emerge through the building of mutual understanding and trust.
The project will enhance the efficacy of the justice sector as a whole, with a financial support worth EUR 514,000 by the European Union. The support constitutes 75 percent of the total project cost amounting to EUR 686,000 (approx. NPR 68,600,000). The project will focus particularly on seven districts: Banke, Jumla, Kailali, Kathmandu, Mahottari, Panchthar and Sunsari.
International Alert, an INGO in the field of justice and security, is implementing the project in partnership with the Forum for Women Law and Development (FWLD) and Legal Aid Consultancy Centre (LACC). International Alert and the two other partners were selected through a competitive process from among 100 proposals that came as response to the Call for Proposals for Non-State Actors in Development- a Thematic Budget line that the European Union has launched in 2010.
The project is a reflection of the continued commitment of the European Union to support access to justice to all Nepali citizens and specially vulnerable and marginalized groups. The project is meant to complement the earlier support by the EU to the Supreme Court and district courts, the Nepal Bar Association and the Nepal Judiciary Academy and the National Human Rights Commission.
International Community Opposes Bandh
Seven members of European Union urged all the organizations to fully respect the right of organizations to express their opinions through any form of democratic and non-violent protest, which balances freedom of expression and freedom of association whilst respecting other rights (such as the right to education) and freedom of movement, as well as respecting the rights of others to differ in their opinions.
In a statement, they said, “we, however, wish to underscore that Bandhs – whoever they are organized by - use the threat of violence to restrict freedom of movement and people's rights to a normal life, and as such cannot be approved of or supported. British Embassy, Embassy of the United States of America Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of Australia, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Switzerland and the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal signed the statement.