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Crisis solution / Never-ending crisis (current)
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human rights

Crisis solution (current) / 2019, 2018 / 2017 / 2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 

Since the Delhi Agreement between seven parliamentary parties and the insurgent CPN (Maoist) of 22 November 2005, the people of Nepal have been waiting in vain for the promised realisation of an inclusive democratic system. Although the then putsching monarchy was abolished and a constitution was passed in 2015 after long power struggles between the political parties, even this was the sole work of the exclusively male leaders of the three major parties, predominantly male Bahuns. The appropriate participation of all social groups, as provided for in the interim constitution of January 2007, did not take place. In this respect, the constitution of 2015 even represented in part a step backwards compared to the interim constitution.
Thus, apart from the abolition of the monarchy, not much has changed since the 1990 system. Numerous fundamental human rights continue to be disregarded. There is no inclusion of all social groups. All power and the majority of all state functions are still in the hands of male Tagadharis, especially male Bahuns.  The latter make up only 6 percent of the population, but the identification of the state and its society and culture, in short the nationalist image of the state of Nepal, is still based on the culture and partly narrow-minded, anarchic, patriarchal and socially discriminating view and thinking of this small minority. Under the Oli government this trend has even intensified. As long as this state of affairs continues and the failed generation of political leaders of all parties is replaced by a younger generation that is inclusive, open-minded, receptive and not exclusively oriented towards personal power interests, there will be no end to the crisis situation.


5414 days since Delhi agreement of political parties
5262 days since King Gyanendra was forced to end his putsch
5050 days since Comprehensive Peace Agreement; government, leading party politicians, former Maoists and army leaders still prevent conclusion of the peace process
4995 days since promulgation of the Interim Constitution
4545 days since elections to CA-I
3914 days since CA-I committees presented suggestions for the new constitution (discussion in CA prevented by leading politicians)
3153 days since SRC presented suggestions for the federal structure (majority suggestion rejected by Nepali Congress)
3036 days since dissolution of CA-I
2495 days since elections to CA-II
2066 days since promised Constitution by CA-II failed
1929 days since non-inclusive deal by male Tagadhari leaders of the three big parties
days since promulgation of non-inclusive and so far still not really implemented constitution through illegal procedure (text of constitution)
1699 days since unilateral and non-inclusive first amendment of the new constitution
0971 days since the federal system should have been implemented; still missing: laws, infrastructure, fiscal regulations, staff, naming of states and capitals, etc.
0946 days since KP Oli became PM: most of the necessary working processes not really completed, yet; instead, growing violation of fundamental rights, federal chaos, unabated corruptionand power struggles
0267 days since the Samajbadi Party Nepal left the coalition government after PM Oli refused any discussion to make the constitution more inclusive

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18/09/2020: Ruling party wants to gag its leaders to suppress criticism and dissent : Nepal Communist Party has asked its members to refrain from commenting on the party, leadership, government and policies and warned of action if they fail to comply, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Long route bus service resumes, but not many people left Valley on the first day : Police say only a fraction of normal traffic was observed on the city’s exit points, by Anup Ojha (kp), Resettlement plans still to be readied, landslide survivors live in leaking tents : Not only immediate relief, survivors also need means to start their lives anew, experts say, by Anish Tiwari and Timothy Aryal (kp), Resettle The Disaster-Hit, by Bini Dahal (rn), Five eventful years of Nepal’s new constitution, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae), Help the constitution mature (ae), Govt ready to amend constitution on the basis of justification: PM Oli (rep) [??], Constitution cannot be amended to fulfill individual interest: PM Oli (kh), Special economic cost : The PM could have appointed anyone as his special economic advisor, but only after the appointment of a new finance minister, by Bhoj Raj Poudel (ae), Uma Bhujel in and out of jail : Although the war is long over, this famous guerrilla commander is still breaking out of jail, by Tufan Neupane (nt), COVID-19 has taken heavy toll on women's entrepreneurship in Nepal (rep), Policemen who beat up civilian at Babarmahal on Thursday to be investigated (rep), Fear of infection looms large as 500 tested positive go out of contact in capital (kh)

17/09/2020: Teenage rape victim in Saptari took her own life after being forced into out-of-court settlement : The village elders had tried to hush up the matter and  threatened the victim and her mother of consequences  if they reported the incident with the police; The four men who raped the 17-year-old girl are still at large, police say, by Abdhesh Kumar Jha (kp), Oli’s preferential treatment to Khatiwada may invite rift in ruling party and hit governance : As special economic adviser to the prime minister, the former finance minister is poised to have a bigger mandate, which could confuse bureaucrats, insiders and analysts say, by Anil Giri (kp), Long-haul transport resumes, but people who want to go home are unsure about virus safety : Public health experts say increased mobility during festivals could fuel Covid-19 spread, by Anup Ojha (kp), Plan to evacuate all workers in distress within a month draws scepticism : Procedural complications and lack of coordination among agencies are not going to be resolved overnight, experts say, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), As revenue dries up, government to borrow from public enterprises to fund stimulus : It could also inject funds into pandemic-affected cottage, small and medium and tourism enterprises through the treasury if revenue collection surges, officials say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Youths stage demonstration demanding Ghising’s reappointment as NEA MD (rep), Bamdev Gautam says he will boost National Assembly’s dignity (kh) [How should this work? The voters have rejected him as their representative in Parliament! Where is there room for dignity?]

16/09/2020: Rape victim in Saptari commits suicide after villagers stop her from filing a case with police (rep), The intent of elite imitation : Most movements in Kathmandu since 2015  have been staged by the urban bourgeoisie, by CK Lal (kp), Government appoints Yubaraj Khatiwada as special economic advisor to Prime Minister Oli : Other Cabinet decisions include resumption of travel services from Thursday and allowing foreigners to visit Nepal for trekking and mountaineering starting October 17, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [Never-ending power games of Mr Oli's never-ending power games: he takes over the Ministry of Finance, of which he has no idea, appoints the former Minister of Finance as his economic advisor and nominates Bamdev Gautam, who was rejected by the voters, for the National Assembly in order to influence the party's power struggle in his favour!], Four-year tenure of Kulman Ghising ends (ht), #ThankYouKulman trends on social media as NEA MD Kulman Ghising retires (ht) [Thank you, incompetent Oli government, for dismissing the country's most competent administrator!], Not to reappoint Kuman Ghising a height of corruption: Mishra (kh), Ghising says NEA faces massive managerial challenges (rep), Govt allows hotels and restaurants to resume their operations from Thursday (rep), Insurance companies are cheating the people, and destroying their own credibility during pandemic, by Rudra Khadka (rep)
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

15/09/2020: In-custody death of a Dalit youth in Kailali sparks protests, by Arjun Shah (kp), Domestic flights, long-haul buses to restart next weekCabinet discusses allowing in foreign tourists but no decision was made, according to a minister, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Small businesses begin to collapse as prolonged lockdown paralyses operations : Entrepreneurs have no income, but government taxes and bank interest payments are piling up, they say, by Krishana Prasain (kp), CIAA under public scrutiny as outgoing chief puts NOC land scam case on hold (rep), Barbers organize march against govt’s measures to combat COVID-19 pandemic (rep), 10 major achievements of Kulman Ghising, Nepal’s ‘light man’ (rep) [PM Oli and his party/government do not like such competent persons because they make their own incompetence even more apparent!], Five years after the constitution, where do we stand?, by Jivesh Jha (rep) [The author denies the numerous shortcomings of the Constitution and rejects any criticism of it. What is missing is a statement that many of the provisions of the critically rated Constitution have not really been implemented even after five years.], Saving jobs during Covid crisis, by Nhasala Joshi and Shweta Acharya (rep), NAC’s negligence puts lives at risk (ht)
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

14/09/2020: Thirty months of poor governance and a weak opposition : Despite a huge mandate, the ruling Nepal Communist Party has failed to deliver on many fronts and the main opposition Nepali Congress has been a mute spectator., by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), As revenue dips, provincial and local governments worry about funds from centre : Federal government can reduce the promised funds but this would jeopardise projects, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Net the ‘big fish : ’The CIAA must begin cracking down on large-scale corruption issues with a system-based approach (kp), 'Unfair To Restrict Street Vendors From Business As They Are Among Hit Hardest Due To Pandemic', by Mukunda Gaire (rn), Dr KC starts 19th hunger strike in Jumla (rep), Two deaths in police custody within a month (ht), Towards provincial fiscal autonomy : Nepal remains a framework wherein the key revenue sources rest with the federal government, by Ankshita Chaudhary (ht),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

13/09/2020: Disappearance Commission suggests relief packages for conflict victims : There are fears Covid-19 may present an excuse to further delay investigation into war-era cases of rights violations, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Anti-graft body in the spotlight as questions arise over its independence : The constitutional body is largely failing to function as per its mandate because over-politicisation has meant  officials often serve their political masters, analysts say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), In ruling party, leaders’ focus has been on one-upmanship—not Covid-19 : The party leadership squandered crucial months and multiple meetings bickering over their individual interests, ignoring the most pressing issues of the present time, insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Returnee migrants and their management : When they come home, out-migrants can revive rural economic activities that were abandoned in the conflict era, by Kul Kapri (kp), Farmers Unable To Take Vegetables To Market (rn), Why is the government ignoring SC’s verdicts on pandemic?, by Ananta Raj Luitel (rep), NCP should stop assault on the Constitution, by Abhishek Pratap Shah (rep), Bajura’s new mothers die young. Failure to give birth to a baby boy often results in second marriage, by Nanda Kumari Thapa (rep), Over 60,000 Nepalis from 58 countries repatriated so far (kh), 231 prisoners infected with COVID-19, five die (kh),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

12/09/2020: Many National Human Rights Commission recommendations go unimplemented (ht), Tug-of-war ends, but ruling party leaders wonder how long truce will last : Oli and Dahal’s joint proposal commits a lot. But since   it fails to address some key issues, insiders say irritants are likely to emerge sooner rather than later, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), In cases involving members of Chand-led outfit, police are violating court orders : Members of the group have been rearrested multiple times despite courts  ordering their release citing the lack of evidence, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Despite poor rights record, Nepal eyes another term at Human Rights Council : Nepal government has largely failed to uphold the promises it made in 2017 in the lead  up to the election for membership for the 2018-20 period in the UN body, by Anil Giri (kp) [Nepal has never been qualified for this task!], Undocumented migrant workers to get support to return home : They had so far been excluded from the government’s  repatriation schemes, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Local governments to manage school education : Local authorities  charge the federal government with waiting for months to announce the decision and hindering children’s education, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Kathmandu wants administration to roll back decision to allow footpath vending : Friday’s incident shows absence of coordination between federal and local governments in controlling Covid-19 as cases spiral in the metropolis, by Anup Ojha (kp), Ensuring The Right To Peace, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

11/09/2020: Ruling party calls on cadres to stop criticising its policies on social media : Leaders and analysts see this as a step to  shrink democratic space within the party as well  as the larger society and it will be opposed, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [The extremely bad policies of the so-called party leaders must urgently be criticised by the cadres as well. It is the duty of every concerned democrat!], Nepal’s leaders are in isolation : The political leadership is taking self-isolation a bit too seriously, and are nowhere to be seen (nt), Valley’s traffic and public movement up as restrictions are eased : Many motorists and shop owners found violating rules, raising concern among traffic officers, by Anup Ojha (kp), Reproductive health gains at risk as pregnant women die due to lack of care : Maternal mortality had gone down by 76 percent and stillbirths by 56 percent in Nepal since 2000, but the Covid-19 pandemic is eroding the achievements, by Aditi Aryal (kp), The shadow curve : Disruptions in health services due to the pandemic could result in a secondary health crisis (kp), Tourism minister proposes unshackling travel industry : The Covid-19 Crisis Management Committee will discuss the proposals aimed at  revitalising the economy before sending them to the cabinet for approval, officials said, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Reading between the lines, by Dinkar Nepal (ae), First came candles then came Kool Man, by Jackie Taylor (ae), Indigenous communities: Adversaries to Nepal’s development?, by Kushal Pokharel (ae), Implement corrective measures for prisoners: SC (ht), COVID-19 confirmed after death of four inmates of Central Prison (kh), Access to formal jobs more restricted for women (ht),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

10/09/2020: Curbs extended with some relaxations, but experts question ad-hoc decisions : Doctors say Valley authorities have failed to explain on what basis they are taking their decisions, since the restrictions of past three weeks were largely ineffective, by Tika R. Pradhan and Arjun Poudel (kp), Lockdown eased in Kathmandu valley, prohibitory orders extended till Sept 16 : Shops selling non-essential stuff can open three days a week; Odd-even rule back; Groceries can open for two hours in evening as wel; Public vehicles can ply, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Jumla farmers face difficulties due to transportation halt : Every year during the harvest season, traders and businessmen would reach the orchards to purchase apples but no one has come this year, say farmers, by LP Devkota (kp) [The well-considered decisions of the government really move the economy forward!], Case filed against police for alleged custody  death of Dalit youth : Bijay Mahara’s father filed the complaint with the  Office of District Attorney on Wednesday seeking investigation into his son’s death, by Shiva Puri (kp), Covid-19 surge deprives 60 percent of malnourished kids of treatment : Lack of public transportation and conversion of rehab  centres into quarters for health staffers cited as reasons, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Mental health patients deprived of drugs and counselling during pandemic : Doctors say remote counselling is not accessible to patients living in small towns and villages as regular therapy sessions and supply of medications are obstructed by lockdowns, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Bridges to hell : As defaulting contractors remain scot-free, bridges continue to pose a threat to life and property (kp), Prohibitory orders hit daily wagers hard (ht), ‘Facilitation letter’ from DAOs a must to enter Kathmandu Valley even as prohibitory orders relaxed : PCR test not mandatory to enter Kathmandu Valley (rep), Nepalis in the Middle East fear starvation as government delays repatriation, by Rudra Khadka (rep),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

09/09/2020: Amid little progress, pandemic could become an excuse to delay justice for conflict-era victims : Five years have passed since two commissions were formed, but not a single investigation has been started, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Valley mayors for easing curbs; district officials wait for Home Ministry orders : Authorities’ confused response to the coronavirus pandemic continues, as prohibitory orders that have  been in place for the last three weeks end tonight, by Tika R. Pradhan and Anup Ojha (kp), Health Ministry suggests extending prohibitory order by a week (kh), Lockdown in Kathmandu Valley to be relaxed from Thursday : Vehicles will be allowed to ply the roads on odd-even basis (rep), Prohibitory order in Kathmandu Valley relaxed : Operation of vehicles on odd-even rule allowed (kh), Public transport entrepreneurs announce operating vehicles from Sept 17 (kh), Dalits picket DPO to file FIR (ht), COVID-19 cases surge among security personnel deployed at Kathmandu Valley transit points (rep), A teenage girl held captive and gang-raped for days after being drugged in Kanchanpur (rep), 3 held in connection with 17-yr-old girl’s rape in Baitadi (kh),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

08/09/2020: Businesspersons demand alternative to restrictions as economy takes hit : Continued curbs could spell disaster for the already fragile economy and result in loss of livelihoods of many more people and closure of small and medium enterprises, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Tailor pandemic response : The government must devolve power to respond to the pandemic effectively (kp) [But the Oli government is far too busy with power struggles. How is it supposed to take care of such trivial matters as the pandemic?], Gautam to the Upper House and then Cabinet may invite more trouble for Oli than succour, insiders say : Prime Minister Oli is likely to delay Gautam’s appointment process until he falls into extreme crisis, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), 12 years since their liberation, freed Haliyas in Kanchanpur still await resettlement : Out of 21,069 freed Haliya families in Nepal, only 16,000 are listed in government data, by Bhawani Bhatta (kp), Police officials don’t accept complaints against their own colleagues, activists say : The latest of such examples is police in Garuda Municipality, Rautahat refusing to register a first information report against the death in custody of 19-year-old Bijaya Mahara, by Binod Ghimire (kp), The lockdown is a mistake : In the name of containing the spread of COVID-19, the government should not ignore other health issues and let the citizens suffer bigger collateral damages, by Priyasha Maharjan (rep), 1,200 Nepali migrant workers hit the streets in Saudi Arabia : Shout slogans against Nepali Embassy, by Yogendra Yogi (kh),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

07/09/2020: How a pandemic law would have helped fight the virus and strengthened federalism : Nepal has resorted to the six-decade-old Infectious Disease Act, which does not talk about people’s rights, but empower bureaucrats to punish citizens, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), With a sharp quarterly slump, last fiscal year growth headed for a massive decline : Government data show a downward spiral, and with uncertainties caused by Covid-19, economists say the  country will hugely struggle to escape a negative growth this fiscal year, by Prithvi Man Shrestha and Sangam Prasain (kp), Frontline health workers in Kapilvastu deprived of risk allowance : Some health workers in the district have set up coronavirus insurance in their own initiatives by paying premiums themselves, by Manoj Paudel (kp), Nepali migrants in Lebanon feel forgotten : Many workers have been stranded in the crisis-ridden country as Nepal’s government has not approved a flight to bring them home, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), As migrant workers start returning home, local levels feel the heat to create jobs : Local governments across country prioritise employing returnee migrant workers mainly in agriculture and local development sectors, with some coming up with innovative ideas, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Burden of unemployment : We cannot afford off-and-on lockdowns and prohibitory orders that jeopardise the economy (kp), Ensure Effective Service Delivery, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), Over 2,000 Nepal Police personnel contract Covid (ht), 138 inmates infected by COVID-19, five die (rep), Control border movement, save lives, by Devendra Gautam (rep), UNFPA launches Phase II project to prevent gender-based violence (kh), Expensive fare and limited flights trouble migrant labors in Gulf, by Yogendra Yogi (kh),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

06/09/2020: Can Gautam become a minister? Depends which Article gets invoked : .While Article 78 (4) bars him from going to Cabinet for losing elections, Article 76 (9) may allow him to become minister once he is sworn into  the National Assembly. But opinions among legal experts are divided, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [In any case, there is no qualifying reason to make him a minister!], Job schemes come into question as virus-induced unemployment hits rural youths hard : Several employment schemes have been rolled out to absorb the labour force at home, but they are  failing to stop youths from migrating, and the trend has started with many leaving for India for work, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Relief distribution programme in Birgunj fails to cover vulnerable families : Around 150 women had reached the District Police Office on Thursday to receive relief but had to return empty-handed, by Bhusan Yadav (kp), Around 40 percent government staff haven’t received their salaries yet, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), As virus spreads, city to focus on contact tracing : As many families live in the same house in Kathmandu, the risk of transmission from one household to another is high, officials say, by Anup Ojha (kp), Human trafficking continues unabated amidst COVID pandemic (ht), Nepalis abroad will get to vote: Minister Bhusal (rep), 73 pregnant women die for lack of treatment since lockdown (kh),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

05/09/2020: How politicians’ chopper rides to disaster-hit areas flies in the face of spirit of federalism : Leaders and ministers’ penchant for flying to different parts of the country in the name of rescue and relief is reminiscent of the days when the country was under a unitary system, by Anil Giri (kp) [Nepal is a federal state in name only. Central politicians and parties are doing everything to ensure that this does not change!], Overstay fines become hurdle for Nepali workers waiting to return : Many workers have been charged with hefty fines for overstaying their visas as flights to Nepal were suspended for months due to Covid-19 pandemic, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Repatriation quandary persists even with funds to support migrant workers’ airfare : While Nepali embassies in labour destination countries struggle with the complicated verification  process, labour rights activists question the government’s commitment to bring citizens home, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Put women at centre of COVID response: Supreme Court, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Coronavirus insurance only for those screened at govt labs (ht), Private health institutions slam govt’s decision of not providing insurance amount to COVID-19 patients testing positive at private labs : Eight private labs have been conducting COVID-19 testing following a green signal from the government (rep), Pregnant woman dies after being denied admission by Biratnagar hospitals, by Chuman Basnet (rep), Who is right, who is wrong on Nepal-India battle of maps? Nepal’s claim is based on Article 5 of the Sugauli Treaty and the maps of that time. India would like us to rely on maps published after the Sugauli Treaty, by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha (rep),

see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

04/09/2020: Disappearing justice in Nepal (ae), End impunity, protect rights: HRW : Human Rights Watch pushes Nepal and its donors to punish violators (nt), Nepal must reboot human rights, rule of law : The goal of political stability does not remove the need for active promotion of human rights, by Mohna Ansari (nt), Custodians of injustice : Nepal has a lot to do in terms of fully democratising its institutions (kp), The ruling party is making a mockery of democracy, analysts say : Nepal Communist Party decides to send Bamdev Gautam, who lost parliamentary polls, to the National Assembly, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [There cannot be enough male Bahuns in power positions, may they be incompetent or not. If they are rejected in democratic elections by the people, then they have to be nominated in a way where the people don't have a say!], Finance Minister Khatiwada resigns (kh), PM Oli rules out immediate Cabinet reshuffle (kh) [This competent and extremely healthy PM can easily take over some other ministries!], The arrogance of NCP will be costly : The present generation will curse the Nepal Communist Party, the party they elevated to power with overwhelming vote, if leaders fail to deliver on their promise and deceive the people, by Deepak Joshi Pokhrel and Rajendra Senchurey (rep), Cluster infections cause Covid-19 cases to soar in Valley despite restrictions : Just extending curbs is not helping contain the virus spread as nearly two-thirds of the cases so far were detected during two weeks of prohibitory orders, health experts say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Opening shops till 11am in Valley could backfire, health officials warn : Traffic police booked 600 motorists for violating prohibitory orders while hundreds of people descended on the street of Pulchowk for chariot-pulling festival on Thursday; Nepal on Thursday saw the highest  single-day surge of  coronavirus cases, by Anup Ojha (kp), Authorities caught unawares of protests despite calls for allowing the Machhindranath chariot festivalThe local administration has imposed a curfew inside Ring Road of Lalitpur from 4 am to 10 pm on Friday after a clash between police and locals who attempted to commence the jatra which has been on hold for months, by Shashwat Pant (kp) [Such mass events represent the highest risk of the pandemic spreading. Under no circumstances should they be allowed!], Curfew in inner-Lalitpur on Friday from 4am to 10pm (ht), With standards in place, online home delivery and takeaway services can resume : Delivery people must have a negative coronavirus test result and deliveries will be allowed between 1 and 7 pm (kp), SP Khadka replaced in wake of custodial death in Rautahat (ht) [This can only be a first step!], APF’s strong border presence against Covid-19 (ae), Getting Nepal’s flawed transitional justice process back on track : Conflict victims and human rights defenders lighting candles at Maitighar, Kathmandu, in memory of those ‘disappeared’ during the conflict /Amnesty International Nepal, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae), What could go wrong in Nepal in the next two years?, by Ujwal Thapa (rep),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

03/09/2020: How to spot a genius : Nepotism and favouritism have been the bane of Nepali polity for centuries. It is not going away any time soon, by Deepak Thapa (kp), Let the data sink in : Our approach to dealing with the pandemic needs an overhaul (kp), Economists paint a bleak picture of economy as virus hits harder : With rising virus caseload, authorities are tightening curbs which could result in a massive economic contraction, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), The fertiliser conundrum–governments ponder over it every paddy season and forget after harvest : An agreement with India to procure fertiliser expired in 2017. Since then farmers have been deprived of timely supply, as authorities have failed to explore other options, by Sangam Prasain and Anil Giri (kp), Two former lawmakers  stage hunger strike over custody death of Dalit youth : The struggle committee has warned of stepping up protest if its demands are not addressed, by Shiva Puri (kp), As Covid-19 affects healthcare workers, non-Covid patients are left in limbo : With over 800 health workers, including more than 200 doctors, infected, public health experts have called for protecting them first to avoid any catastrophe, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Over two dozen Kathmandu officials in self-isolation : The absence of senior officials has hindered the city’s effective response to the pandemic, by Anup Ojha (kp), Policy Research For Democratic Governance, by Mukti Rijal (rn), Prohibitory orders extended till September 9; Groceries to open till 11:00am; Kids below 12, elderly above 60 barred from venturing out (ht), 1,954 police personnel test positve for COVID-19 (kh),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

02/09/2020: Authorities’ confused response to Covid-19 continues as infection cases rise by the day : Chief district officers of the Valley are not sure of the next move as curbs imposed since August 19 midnight end today, by Tika R. Pradan and Arjun Poudel (kp), With no clear plan, Nepal may remain closed for tourists until 2020-end : With the festival season approaching and a large number of Nepalis, including migrant workers, expected to return home, officials say it will be difficult to manage tourists., by Sangam Prasain (kp), Food shortage looms large in Mugu, Dolpa districts of Karnali Province : The Food Management and Trading Company Limited could not transport food to Mugu due to the nationwide lockdown and the disruption of Namga-Gamgadhi road by floods and landslides, by Raj Bahadur Shahi and Hari Gautam (kp), Government preparing to accord formal status to remote and virtual classes : Education experts, however, warn that a large number of children still don’t have to access distance learning, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Panting of the pachyderms : Oli’s reliance on modern medicine for his ailments does not stop him from peddling turmeric to the public, by CK Lal (kp), The cash cow is drying up : Don’t be fooled by the better-than-expected results from the external sector, the effects are only temporary, by Chandan Sapkota (kp), Prohibitory Order In Kathmandu Valley Extended By A Week (rn),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

01/09/2020: Demonstrations continue over custody death of Dalit youth : Family of Bijay Kumar has refused to accept probe committee formed by Home Ministry, by Shiva Puri(kp), Work or perish: The state is morally bound to safeguard its citizens working in precarious conditions abroad (kp), Two killers: Cities and centralism; The federal government’s lack of support for the vulnerable is going to add to the death toll, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Covid-19 pandemic delays dozens of projects that were on their final lap : Apart from time and cost overruns for the private and  state projects, the impact will also be on the country’s economy which could incur losses worth billions of rupees., by Sangam Prasain and Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Kathmandu Mayor Shakya tests positive for Covid-19 : As he had met mayors from other municipalities on Thursday, they are worried they might have been infected, by Anup Ojha (kp), Govt increases per day cap on returnees (ht), 12-year-old boy chained and caged since 2016, by Dinesh Subedi (rep), Four inmates die at Central Jail, one tests positive for COVID-19 : Source claims that a few more inmates at the jail are ill (rep), Parliamentary committee directs govt to maintain standards in prison health (kh), Good Samaritans: People taking lunch at Khulamanch, by Eak Raj Bastola (kh) [Wouldn't this be a primary task of government and administration?],
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

31/08/2020: Ensure effective contact tracing and place symptomatic patients in hospitals, doctors say : Given the lack of facilities at home for self-isolation for a majority of Nepalis, encouraging them to stay home after testing positive for Covid-19 could spell a disasters, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Care for the frontliners : The government must immediately provide risk allowances to all Covid-19 frontline workers (kp), Migrant Workers In Gulf Being Charged Exorbitant Fares For Air Tickets, by Modnath Dhakal (rn), Govt Postpones Vaccine Testing (rn), Panel formed to prepare home delivery protocols (ht), Government urged to test sewage water for coronavirus (ht), Operation of long-haul vehicles, domestic flights to remain suspended till September 16 (ht), An Ultimate Guide to Prevent Social Stigma related to Covid-19, by Bikram Thapa (kh)

30/08/2020: “Forgotten and Forsaken”, by Nirajan Thapaliya (ht), Various organizations call for end to continue delays in justice for Nepal's victims (rep), CIEDP asks govt to amend transition justice law to help accomplish its mandated tasks (rep), For the families of the hundreds of disappeared, the long wait for justice still continues : Fourteen years have passed since civil conflict ended and five years since the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons was formed, but not a single family has been told what happened to its loved one, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [Not even those who claim to be responsible for the death of 5.000 people are removed from all offices and taken to court!], Despite growing evidence, ministry says no community transmission yet : With system overwhelmed, infected not getting re-tested for virus but told to continue home isolation and only  serious cases may be accommodated in hospitals, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Dhangadhi reports community transmission cases of Covid-19, by Mohan Budhaair (kp), Frontline health workers in Syangja district deprived of risk allowances : The Ministry of Health and Population had committed to provide health workers  with risk allowances equivalent to their salary, by Pratiksha Kafle (kp), Kathmandu city’s non-hospitalised Covid patients find themselves in limbo, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Migrant workers don’t have shelters to go to when they need them the most : A Supreme Court decision in 2010 and existing provisions allow officials to set up safe homes which could have served workers even during the pandemic, say labour rights activists, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Covid-19 and human relationships : The greatest toll that the pandemic is taking is on the very power of human interactions, by Abhi Subedi (kp), Livelihoods of hundreds of fish farmers in Province 5 at stake : As a result of travel restrictions, farmers in the region say they are unable to transport produce to the market or purchase feed and many of their fish are dying, by Sanju Poudel (kp), How the government is failing education : The students who have been deprived of learning will look back to this time to recall how the government failed education in the name of pandemic, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep)

29/08/2020: Yet another Dalit death puts spotlight on culture of torture police custody : Family members and rights activists demand investigation into the death of Bijay Mahara detained over a murder case, by Binod Ghimire (kp), NHRC investigates death of Dalit boy in police custody (ht), Covid-19 reaches government agency formed to fight it : Three ministers, including defence minister who leads the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre, in home isolation after a soldier they were exposed to tested positive, by Tika R. Pradhan and Jagadishor Panday (kp), Federal government takes charge of small road and bridge projects defying spirit of federalism : New projects are added to government programmes every year largely under pressure from politicians, officials say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Federal government injecting budget into district hospitals without proper study : The hospitals identified by the federal government as corona-specific hospitals are in no condition to be upgraded immediately for the treatment of coronavirus patients, health officials say, by Ghanashyam Gautam (kp), Mayor Shakya under fire for his lack of initiative to contain coronavirus spread, by Anup Ojha (kp), Customers bewildered after police stop online stores from making deliveries : Kathmandu CDO says shops are open in the morning, delivery services could be allowed after health protocols are in place, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Police halt home delivery service, arrest staff : ‘First they held our delivery boy and then they came to arrest me. Other operators also in custody’, by Arpana Ale Magar (ht) [Politicians who do not deliver should be arrested instead!!], COVID-19 Impact: Kathmandu Valley sees closure of over 300 hostels, by Sabina Karki (kh)

28/08/2020: Locals protest the death of youth held on murder charge : The deceased’s family has accused police of torture while authorities claim the detainee died due to prior illness, by Shiva Puri (kp), Police looking for man who sold a 14-year-old Nepali girl in India : She was trafficked last year but had been too traumatised to speak up about the incident, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), ‘I’m shocked it happened to me’. Record-breaking athlete encounters discrimination : Chandra Kala Lamgade, who has represented Nepal in two South Asian Games and an Asian Championship, was allegedly attacked for standing up against caste-based discrimination, by Parbat Portel(kp), Nearly 4,000 Vehicles Held For Defying Prohibition In Kathmandu Today (rn), The Tale Of Storytellers, by Kundan Aryal (rn), The evolution of Kalapani border dispute between Nepal and India, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae), At least two-thirds of Nepal's schoolchildren unable to access remote learning during school closures: UNICEF (rep)

27/08/2020. Justice as subterfuge : Make no mistake, the ruling party is hardly interested in concluding the transitional justice process (kp), Man shot in clash over ox slaughtering dies : A clash had ensued between the locals of Kamatoli and police on Wednesday; police personnel had fired at the crowd, says eyewitness, by Parbat Portel (kp), Youth dies in police custody in Rautahat : The family of the deceased accuses police of ill-treatment while police rule out allegation, by Madan Thakur (rep), By extending restrictions, government is barking up the wrong tree, experts say : Authorities are still not following the basics—doing effective contact tracing, isolating the infected,  listening to experts and ensuring that there are sufficient dedicated Covid-19 health facilities, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Investigation into Chepang youth’s death in Chitwan National Park yet to conclude : The father of the deceased had filed a complaint with the district police against  Nepal Army personnel a month ago, but no one has been booked yet; Nepal Army has been accused of  fatally assaulting Raj Kumar Chepang, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Endogamy, hierarchy and violence : Only a free flow of ideas can help society move its culture and traditions in sync with the times., by Pramod Mishra (kp), Govt urged to save lives of jailbirds amid COVID-19 (ht)

26/08/2020: Party panel’s transitional justice proposal draws flak : The recommendations are political and go against principles of transitional justice, and Nepal’s commitments to human rights, victims and activists say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Gender inequality in education has widened during the pandemic : With families struggling financially, girls cannot focus on their studies. They have to help out in household chores and do not always have access to technology for remote learning, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Health workers say they reuse disposable masks as hospitals don’t provide enough : More health workers not involved in treating Covid-19 patients are getting infected with the coronavirus due to the lack of enough personal protective equipment, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Old age homes on high alert to prevent infections : As Covid-19 continues to spread, facilities dedicated to taking care of the elderly are adopting strict measures, by Tsering Ngodup Lama (kp), Gandaki Province is not using time it bought with prohibitory orders, health officials say : Local units have rushed to impose restrictions while the provincial government has failed to strengthen health facilities, by Deepak Pariyar (kp), Fear of stigmatisation has hindered contact tracing in Kathmandu, by Anup Ojha (kp), Valley’s municipal forum for ramping up coronavirus tests, by Anup Ojha (kp), Moving forward safely : The government must consider ethical guidelines and protocols before allowing Covid-19 vaccine trials (kp), Prohibitory order in Kathmandu valley extended till September 2 (ht)

25/08/2020: Experts stress full compliance with procedures for Covid vaccine trials : China, Russia and UK’s Oxford University Group have shown interest to perform Phase III clinical trials in Nepal, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Ruling party task force suggestion throws future of MCC into confusion : Experts say amendment to the deal unlikely, a supplementary agreement may be possible at best, by Anil Giri (kp), Undocumented migrant workers left to fend for themselves : As officials only provide airfare for those with valid labour permits, a large number of workers, who overstayed or went through informal routes, remain deprived of assistance to return, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Change begins at home : The traits of Nepali society are perfectly reflected in how the government functions, by Sujeev Shakya (kp), Need To Prevent Corona-related Stigma, by Bikram Thapa (rn), All local govts inside valley to remain shut until August 31 (ht), These 52 districts are under lockdown (rep)

24/08/2020: Health workers under attack as lack of Covid awareness is fuelling stigma: While the government fumbles in handling the pandemic, it is also failing to ensure risk communication and make people aware of the disease in a proper way, doctors say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Kathmandu’s delay in enacting umbrella laws holds back implementation of federalism: Without relevant federal legislation in place, provincial governments feel stymied to  introduce their own laws to function independently as the constitution envisions, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Federal transgressions and the pandemic : The federal government is overstepping its constitutional jurisdiction in the name of the Covid-19 response, by Anurag Acharya (kp), Government looks for more loans as debt balloons : Borrowing from World Bank and others is for capital expenditure and distributive programmes but experts warn it cannot go beyond 50 percent of GDP, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Schools once used as quarantine centres are now damaged and littered with garbage : Many schools in Karnali Province have been left to pick up after the mess left behind by quarantined villagers, by Chandan Kathayat (kp), Landslide-displaced people worry about their future : Many families who were driven by the landslide in Lidi are not assured by the government’s plan to resettle them, by Anish Tiwari (kp), The cost of stigma : The government must run a campaign to counter the infodemic surrounding Covid-19 (kp), 48 districts have partial or complete lockdown (rep)

23/08/2020: How government defied science and disregarded experts as Covid-19 spread: Even after 146 deaths and over 31,000 cases, there’s no specialist-led national committee as the Oli administration continues to take decisions on ad-hoc basis, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Lack of clarity in rules, and hindrances drive e-retailers to operate amid confusion : With vendors allowed to operate only for a limited time, retailers say they are having problems managing stock, by Krishana Prasain (kp, As pandemic slows down economic activities, construction sector hits a brick wall : Worker shortage, low factory output and an uncertain future put brakes on the booming construction industry, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Mayor plans to build isolation centres, but no one knows when: Experts say isolation centres are urgently needed to prevent the disease from getting transmitted in the community, as home isolation is not possible in a densely populated city, by Anup Ojha (kp), Despite call for changes in Nepali Congress, old guard clings on to power : With six months to go for the general convention, alliances are being built, but younger leaders are not ready to take over, by Anil Giri (kp) [The two major parties do not differ at all in this respect. The generation of failed, incompetent, authoritarian and largely aging or sick politicians clings to power and posts!], Timber collection ban discourages user groups from continuing conservation : Due to restrictions, community forest users are in trouble and they have lost their valuable source of income, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Internet access is a human right : Affordability, accessibility and availability must be ensured to build a digital Nepal, by Narayan Prasad Ghimire (kp) [Human rights ares an alien concept for the Oli government!], Lockdown extended in Kapilvastu, Dolakha owing to rising COVID-19 risk (rep), Gorkha extends lockdown for another week (rep), Prohibitory order extended until Aug 30 in Sindhupalchowk (kh)

22/08/2020: International flights to resume from Sept 1, but tourists won’t be allowed: Nepalis and diplomats will be allowed to take chartered and regular commercial flights to Nepal, 500 passengers daily at most, while Nepalis can also fly out from that date, by Tika R. Pradhan and Sangam Prasain (kp), Ruling party moves forward only to take a step back again : The latest disagreement comes over Oli’s minor political nominations but opponents say he’s back to his old ways, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [Oli and numerous other politicians need this style of politics to cover up their great incompetence!], Decision after decision, government rubs salt in workers’ wounds : First the penniless and jobless workers had to wait for flights to resume. Now they need to cough up thousands of rupees for hotel  quarantine, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Hotels, room charges for returnees’ quarantine (ht), Grocery shoppers scramble  due to small window of time : It is challenging to finish making deliveries by early morning, traders say, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Intricacy In Breaking Political Deadlock, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Arrange 10,000 ventilators, House panel tells govt (ht), Bajura locals reeling under acute food shortage (ht), Nine security personnel including PSO of NCP leader Madhav Nepal test positive for COVID-19 (rep), With a deluge of new COVID-19 cases, govt directs hospitals to admit only serious COVID-19 patients (rep), 4 districts in Sudurpaschim Province issue prohibitory order (kh)

21/08/2020: Restrictions can’t check virus spread, proper response needed, experts say: Public health experts reiterate that the authorities must  utilise the period to expand testing and contact tracing and devise short- and long-term strategies, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Confusion and chaos as Kathmandu Valley residents wake up to new coronavirus curbsA lack of clarity on opening timings of shops selling essential goods and who are allowed to move around and who are not creates hassles for the public and law enforcers, by Anup Ojha and Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Rupandehi authorities face local resistance to their bid to set up isolation centres: Tilottama and Siddharthanagar municipalities have failed to set up new isolation centres as Covid-19 cases spiral, by Sanju Paudel (kp), Starting over again: There seems to be no end to either the pandemic or the government’s incompetent response, by Amish Raj Mulmi (kp), Over 80,000 Nepal Police, APF personnel deployed for COVID-19 response, by Keshab Raj Poudel (rn) [????], Only 30 per cent students have access to IT in Bagmati Province (ht), India returnees being sent home directly (ht), Seven persons charged with Dalit youth’s murder paraded (ht), Nepali migrant workers slam ‘irresponsible’ govt decision to halt repatriation, by Arpana Ale Magar (ht), Govt decides to resume fifth phase of repatriation flights; makes hotel quarantine mandatory : Those returning home through land route also must stay in quarantine for a week in hotels designated by the government in each of the 10 entry points (rep), Profit-making army and Nepal’s democracy, by Bishal Thapa (ae), The progressive weakening of the Janajati movement in Nepal, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae), Who is in charge in Nepal? The Covid-19 control committee is acting like a government within a government, by Alisha Sijapati (nt), Kulman Ghising’s tenure at NEA in doubt: Man credited with ending power cuts may not get an extension next month, by Ramesh Kumar (nt) [Not competence and and correctness have priority in Nepal's political decisions, but partisanship, nepotism, corruption ability and ethnicity!], Learning from HIV to fight Covid-19 in Nepal : Nepal’s experience in HIV/AIDS prevention holds lessons in tackling the spread of the novel coronavirus, by Sonia Awale (nt), Prohibitory order issued in Tehrathum (kh), Chitwan extends prohibitory order for one more week (kh), Govt forms high-level state committee for COVID-19 control and prevention (kh)

20/08/2020: Empowering chief district officers in Covid-19 fight tramples upon the spirit of federalism, experts say: Amid criticism for its failure to contain coronavirus spread, the Oli administration has ignored provincial and local  governments and granted powers to the district administration offices to issue prohibitory orders, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Test, trace, contain  We cannot afford to let this window of opportunity slip by (kp), Teachers unpaid as schools can’t collect pupils’ fees: With the pandemic worsening, the future remains uncertain and the federal government says local governments should look into the matter, by Tsering Ngodup Lama (kp), Respect the rights of all people: Development and humanitarian efforts can never be traded off for increased natural risks, by Valerie Julliand (kp), Prohibitory Order Enforced In Kathmandu Valley From Today: Even People’s Mobility Is Restricted, by Narayan Dhungana (rn), Govt announcement of lockdown leads to panic buying, taking vegetable prices in Valley skyrocket (rep), People have mixed reactions on new prohibition order in Valley (rn), Province 2 gets one more week to respond to HC on COVID preparation (ht), Govt’s plan to make hotel quarantine could put many migrant returnees into trouble (rep), Dalit lives matter: We do not know how many Nabarajs have to sacrifice their lives in the name of caste if the state fails to come up with the constructive and meaningful strategies to address such issues, by Mandip Lamichhane (rep), 1,170 persons face music for violating prohibitory order in Kathmandu Valley (kh)

19/08/2020: Pandemic exposes the country’s economic divide: Lack of adequate public health facilities means those who can’t afford to pay for tests as well as treatment have nowhere to go, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Experts call for utilising restriction period to step up fight against virus: Stern measures declared for Valley for seven days with  a ban on public mobility and vehicular movements, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Past 1,000 Covid-19 cases, Kathmandu has no plan on how to handle crisis: Deputy mayor blames mayor for failing to take a timely decision that works, by Anup Ojha (kp), Conflict in ruling party hits governance: Ministers busy resolving internal conflicts, officials don’t want to take risks, experts say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [In view of the enormous problems Nepal is facing, the ruthless power struggles of the political elite must be classified as a criminal offense. All those involved have disqualified themselves from any political activity for the rest of their lives! This is reinforced by the fact that persons like PM Oli are not up to their difficult tasks, neither professionally nor in terms of health!], Pathology of an ultranationalist regime: Populism is enough to ensure stability in a country that takes pride in being an insecure nation-state, by CK Lal (kp), Economic woes may lead to a political disaster, by Nischal Nath Pandey (rep), CPN-UML party formally registered at EC (kh), SC issues interim order to not remove PC Acting Chairman (kh)

18/08/2020: People from remote districts stranded in Nepalgunj Airport for want of PCR test report: PCR test reports are mandatory for all air passengers on rescue flights, but it is unclear who should bear the expense of the test, by Rupa Gahatraj (kp), Half of beneficiaries could be deprived of social security money: As per the social security regulation, renewal of identity cards is a must by mid-August even during pandemic, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Undocumented Nepalis in UAE can return home without facing penalties: Around 300,000 Nepalis whose visas expired before March 1 are expected to benefit from the new scheme, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), We reap what we sow: The country must come up with a comprehensive agriculture strategy (kp), The cost of the ruling party feud: This dispute is destructive because of its disconnect from the pressing issues of national interest, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Kathmandu Valley goes for a week-long lockdown, starting Wednesday midnight (rep), Prohibitory order extended for 15 more days in Saptari (rep), Week-long prohibitory order in Kathmandu Valley from Wednesday midnight (kh), Russian Ambassador ready to facilitate for quick availability of coronavirus vaccines to Nepal (kh), CDOs authorized to issue a prohibitory order any time (kh)

17/08/2020: Prohibitory orders reimposed in several districts due to rise in Covid-19 infections: he District Administration Office in Chitwan has imposed prohibitory orders  in six out of seven local federal units in the district, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), In bid to save party, Oli plans Cabinet reshuffle as part of deal with Dahal: arty insiders say change in ministers and some other agreements hopefully prevent the party from splitting and address concerns of leaders including Nepal and Khanal, by Anil Giri (kp), Court clears way for Bhatta to take charge as board chief, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Options before mainstream media: It is in this chaotic ecology that an opportunity arises for some to cement their place as purveyors of credible news, by Ishan Joshi (kp), Prohibitory orders in 39 districts to curb COVID-19 (rn), Over 400,000 people punished, 25,000 fined for not wearing face mask, by Keshab Raj Poudel (rn), Weeklong prohibitory order in Pokhara, to be enforced from today midnight, by Tara Chapagain Dube (rn), Don’t let hospitals deny medical care to anyone: SC to govt (ht), Dalit youth murdered in Rautahat (ht), Oli, Deuba agree to fill vacant positions in constitutional bodies (rep), Fifth phase of repatriation flight that began Monday cancelled until further notice (rep), Transport management offices in Valley close indefinitely (kh)

16/08/2020: Government plan to repatriate only 500 migrant workers a day comes under fire: There are hundreds of thousands wanting to return home and this number is growing with the expiry of more visas, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Nepali Migrant Workers, Students Put Off Plans To Return Home As Virus Cases Spike, by Renuka Dhakal (rn), The topics of discussion in Nepal: It seems that petty politics has once again overtaken urgent matters—such as the handling of the pandemic, by Abhi Subedi (kp), With Restrictions On Vehicular Movement, Prithvi Highway Looks Deserted, by Murari Adhikari (rn), Makwanpur Imposes Prohibitory Order Again (rn), Madhyapur Thimi Municipality Sealed Off For 10 Days (rn), Damak Decides Go Into One-Week Lockdown (rn), Dolakha enforces COVID-19 lockdown from today (kh), PM Oli likely to reshuffle cabinet; Secretariat meeting tomorrow (kh)

15/08/2020: Rights watchdog comes down on government over migrant repatriation: As a result of poor preparations, the number of workers languishing abroad goes up by the day and they get no support from authorities, National Human Rights Commission says, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), 44 feared dead in Sindhupalchowk landslide (ht), Lidi landslide update: Death toll reaches 12,  27 still missing, by Dhruba Dangal (rep), 13 dead bodies retrieved from Lidi landslide: Search continues for 26 gone missing (kh), ‘We had long been asking the authorities to move us to safer locations’: Lidi villagers say they knew a disaster was coming as the area weakened by the 2015 earthquakes was experiencing landslides since the start of the monsoon season, by Anish Tiwari (kp), Restrictions imposed on various activities and services in Valley to curb virus spread: Public,  gatherings, religious activities, roadside vending have been banned and restaurants asked to provide takeaway services only, by Tika R. Pradhan and Sangam Prasain (kp), Various Activities Prohibited In Kathmandu (rn), Time To Shun Paternalistic Politics, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn)

14/08/2020: No Ram to Nepal’s rescue: In this time of crisis, Nepal needed a strong and trustworthy leader, and PM Oli doesn’t fit the bill (ae), Menstrual huts: You demolish one, we’ll build another: In Surkhet district alone, around 2,000 menstruation huts were demolished. But with the end of the campaign, menstruation huts are resurfacing, by Lalit Bahadur Budha and Hiknat Bahaduur Nepali (ae) [Ram, Ram, says the PM!], Another case spotlights apathy towards rights body: Ministry of Home Affairs asks the National Human Rights commission to review its recommendations on alleged extra-judicial killing of Kumar Poudel, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [The authoritarian Oli government continues to move forward on its path of anti-democratic and unlawful action!], Govt urged to rescue Nepalis stranded abroad (ht), Nearly a quarter of Nepal’s workers lose jobs due to coronavirus: Central Bank (ht), Nepal’s casteist youths: Of the Nepali youths I surveyed, most said human beings are equal. Yet they also expressed their reluctance to marry outside their caste, by Mim Bahadur Pariyar (ae), Unemployment in Nepal worsens as government fumbles for a response, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae), COVID-19 sharpens caste discrimination in Nepal: Dalit returnees from India face double discrimination at home even after recovering from coronavirus infection, by Unnati Chaudhary (nt), COVID-19 impact on food and school in Nepali children: 20% of children eating less, 52% not studying at all from home (nt) [see corresponding baseline findings by UNICEF Nepal and Sharecast], Half of Nepal’s girls may drop out of school: Survey shows 53% of female students may not go back to schools when they reopen, by Namrata Sharma (nt)

13/08/2020: Us and them: In Nepal, divisions created by differences in caste, culture, gender, religion and vested interests are aplenty, by Pramod Mishra (kp), Covid-19 leaves devastating impacts on education, jobs and mental well-being of youths: ILO study says that the Covid-19 has disrupted the education of more than 70 per cent of youth, leaving a disproportionate effect on young people, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Covid-19 taking away Nepal’s achievement in maternal health: Report says 13,189 women delivered babies at hospital prior to the lockdown while the number decreased to 7,165 after the outbreak (kp), No entry into or exit from Kathmandu valley until further notice (ht)m Pandemic and State: How is state accountable?, by Abhishek Jha (ht)

12/08/2020: Nepal braces for a return to locked-down life as rise in Covid-19 cases rings alarm bells: Earlier date of August 17 for resumption of flights, long-distance bus travel, and start of school admissions has been pushed back by at least 15 days, by Sangam Prasain and Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Over 20,000 people booked for flouting mask and social distancing rules in Valley: More than 350 police officials across the country are infected with the virus, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), With many traffic officers in quarantine, other police personnel mobilised to enforce odd-even vehicle rule: 8,302 motorists have been booked for violating alternate-day driving rule in the past six days, by Anup Ojha (kp), Govt Instructs Offices To Embrace 'Work From Home' Amid Growing Virus Cases (rn), Informal, salaried workers hit hard by COVID-19 in Kathmandu valley: Study (ht) [see report by Nepal Food Security Monitoring System], Govt decides to provide Rs 1 million each to the family of those killed in Soti incident (rep) [And what about the brutal killers? When will a court finally punish them severely? The compensation payments to the victims and their families must be made by all those who committed the crime, supported it or in any way incited it!], How government scrambles to spend budget, by Nitish Shrestha (kh), Sindhupalchowk’s Bahrabise sealed, over 500 asked to stay in quarantine (kh)

11/08/2020: Cabinet takes a slew of decisions to curb virus spread but stops short of making them public: Decisions include no flights and long-distance transport until August 31, tightening of entry into the Valley, and reducing the number of entry points from India to 10 from the present 20, by Tika R Pradhan & Sangam Prasain (kp), Flights, long-haul transport to remain suspended till August 31 (ht), Govt extends suspension on domestic, international flights until Sept 16 (kh), Nepal Bar Association calls for a mechanism to control corruption in the judiciary: It has concluded that the justice delivery process under the incumbent leadership of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana is not satisfactory (kp), Buddha and the world: What we really need is a debate on the enlightened one’s teachings rather than his citizenship (kp) [Neither Nepal nor India existed as states whens Buddha lived!], Nepal lost Rs 7 billion in exports of high value products as virus strangles foreign trade: Shipments of listed products in fiscal 2019-20 plunged 18.65 percent year-on-year, according to official data, by Krishana Prasain (kp), 849 passengers arrive on last day of fourth phase of repatriation (ht), Digitised interventions for social inclusion: Adapting to the unwelcomed crisis, by Samridhi Rana and Simone Galimberti (ht)

10/08/2020: Losing the fight against a pandemic, one battle after another: The government’s promise to set up more isolation beds in the Valley has failed to materialise while money allocated for provinces has not been properly utilised, officials say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Enough is Enough campaigner ends hunger strike after agreement with health ministry: The youth-led campaign has urged the government to implement the agreement this time, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Indigenous groups feel deprived of their access to land and natural resources: Indigenous rights activists blame the state for its coercive approach, the latest examples being the eviction of Chepangs in Chitwan and plans to displace the Newars from Khokana, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), 395 Thousand People Face Action For Not Wearing Face Mask (rn), Entry From Sanga Tightened Amidst COVID-19 Fear (rn), Gahanapokhari-Hadigaun area sealed amid surge in Covid-19 numbers (ht), Siraha’s Dhangadhi Municipality Goes Into Lockdown For A Week (rn), Curfew to be clamped in Hetauda from Monday midnight, by Ashok Sujan Shrestha (rep)

09/08/2020: Nepal likely to face host of questions in its bid for another UN rights council term: But officials say the country is one of the best performers among the present members of the council; Various rights enshrined in the constitution have not been implemented (kp) [Nepal was already not qualified for this task in 2018. This disqualification has unfortunately worsened considerably under the Oli government!], After two weeks of reopening, hospitals are full. Worst is yet to come, doctors say: Public health experts say piecemeal efforts won’t help curb the virus spread and authorities must step up to increase testing, tracing and isolation beds, by Arjun Poudel (kp, ‘I and my wife go to bed hungry to keep children fed’: Returning migrants in Sudurpaschim and Karnali face a bleak future. Government is still unclear how to provide help, by Arjun Shah, Basanta Pratap Singh and Chandani Kathayat (kp) [You must understand that the politicians power struggle has absolute priority! They are completely incompetent anyway with regard to their assumed duties and tasks!], Prime Minister Employment Programme has so far proved to be a let-down for jobless citizens: The much-talked-about programme has yet again failed to provide a minimum 100 days of employment, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Kathmandu’s ward chiefs find themselves in eye of Covid storm: Kathmandu Valley has reported over 1,000 positive cases of coronavirus, and local residents are turning to their elected representatives for help, by Anup Ojha (kp), PM Oli tells Madi delegation to Build Ram's idol and promote Ayodhyapuri as his place of birth (ht) [This is really the most important task in Nepal at this critical moment, Mr Oli!], Young woman dies for want of treatment (ht), Girl who died after denied admission to hospitals tests COVID-19 positive (kh), Maintain essential health services during COVID-19 response: WHO (ht). Procedure to regulate health facilities issued (kp), Judiciary: Public should maintain restraint on comments about court order/verdicts, by Pankaj Kumar Karn (ht) [As long as the court decisions are based on existing law and serve the purpose of finding justice, this must be agreed to!], COVID-19 renders one-fourth private sector workers jobless, NRB survey finds: Businesses expect to return to normality in nine months (rep)

08/08/2020: Government mulls options, including strict restrictions, as it flounders in virus fight: Authorities are considering sealing areas with more infections and ‘service lockdown’ but experts warn if the response is too little too late, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Hand washing stations were installed across the city to fight virus–but they have no water now: While people complain about authorities’ failure to ensure one simple measure against the virus, officials say no one uses them as everyone uses hand sanitiser, by Anup Ojha (kp), Lax approach by authorities in dealing with new arrivals could spell a disaster for Sudurpaschim: Lack of coordination among government agencies and poor policy to blame for the spike in coronavirus cases, health officials say, by Chitranga Thapa (kp), Birtamod Municipality starts mass screening while under lockdown: The sole isolation centre in Jhapa reaches its capacity within first four days of its operation, by Arjun Rajbanshi (kp), Government casts doubt on August 17 resumption of flights, rules out complete lockdown (ht), District administration offices agree on 16-day restrictions in valley: Only essential services to be allowed beginning tomorrow (ht), Curfew to be clamped in Nuwakot from Saturday midnight for next 10 days to contain spread of COVID-19, by Him Nath Devkota (ht)

07/08/2020: ICJ urges Nepal to bring law and policy reform to achieve human rights accountability and strengthen justice sector institutions (rep) [see statement and report by ICJ], On the horns of a dilemma: Nepal wants to say it is open to the world, but Covid-19 cases are rising: Officials from ministries are mulling over various measures, including how the country should welcome the arriving tourists when flights resume in about 10 days, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Province 5 flounders in Covid-19 prevention and control efforts: Local units ill-prepared to handle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as cases begin to surge in the province, by Dipendra Baduwal (kp), Nearly 5,000 Nepali workers apply to return home on government support: Nepali missions abroad are verifying applicants’ status before recommending their names to the government to provide them airfare from Migrant Workers Welfare Fund., by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), 6,000 migrants apply for free rescue from abroad (ht), Murder accused ex-Maoist commander gets clean chit from Supreme Court; The decision is fallacious, says a former justice, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Isolation centre vandalised over food quality (ht), Nepal lockdown 2.0: Who’ll suffer the most?, by Simone Galimberti (ae), Neglect of fiscal commission puts Nepal’s federal project in jeopardy, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae), Air-brushing history by toppling statues: Keeping them visible may help remind the present generation of historical wrongs, by Ivan G. Somlai (nt) [But not as long as they are celebrated as idols of Nepal's national identity!], Smart lockdown: Nepal braces for COVID-19 surge as neighbouring India reels under pandemic, by Sonia Awale (nt), Only essential services to be provided from DAOs in Valley from Sunday (rep), Fearing axe, top leaders switch over to encrypted phone apps, by Raghab Sharma (kh)

06/08/2020: As Covid-19 cases rise, government scrambles to contain the virus flare-up: As new measures to curb the coronavirus spread, authorities impose odd-even rules for vehicles in the Valley and other districts with over 200 cases and bar social gatherings at hotels and restaurants, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Local units reimpose lockdown measures following rise in Covid-19 cases: Most districts have reported new cases since the nationwide lockdown was lifted in July, prompting local governments to step up safety measures, by Laxmi Sah (kp), Prohibitory order in 15 districts to curb COVID (ht), 10-day curfew clamped in Kapilvastu after witnessing COVID-19 transmission at community level, by Kiran Man Bajracharya (rep), Govt decides to enforce odd-even rule for vehicles as COVID-19 cases see sharp rise (rep), Stuck at home after losing job to pandemic, Nepali migrants from districts where monsoon has wreaked havoc face a difficult road to recovery: Remittance money has always played a crucial role in disaster recovery. But Covid-19, which has left many migrant workers without work, has now made it much more challenging to recover from disasters, by Tsering Ngodup Lama (kp), Time to talk turkey: Address the warnings beforehand to stop an unemployment pandemic (kp), Distractions of their own making: What Prime Minister KP Oli and his challenger, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, seem to have forgotten is the sorry state Nepal is in, caught between a killer pandemic and a disastrous monsoon, by Deepak Thapa (kp) [Both do not have to prove their incompetence any further. They should resign from all offices immediately and so should a number of other so-called top politicians!], Businesses laid off a quarter of employees, trimmed 18 percent pay during the lockdown, survey says: The survey showed that half of the companies’ business is financed by debt and as a result, they were unable to pay their employees as their cash flow dried up, by Sangam Prasain (kp), COVID-19 renders one-fourth private sector workers jobless, NRB survey finds: Businesses expect to return to normality in nine months (rep) [For what reason??]

05/08/2020: Bhatta’s appointment despite criticism puts a spotlight on problem inherent in the system: Oli’s decision to appoint Sushil Bhatta the IBN chief has run into controversy, but analysts say it comes as a continuation of Nepal’s parties’ trend of handpicking people of their choice disregarding merit and process, by Anil Giri (kp) [Long live nepotism and corruption in Nepalese political circles!], When enough is never enough: The success of an ethical appeal requires that the moral principles of the respondent be equally proper, by CK Lal (kp), Nepal may see 28.7 percent contraction in remittance in 2020, highest in the developing Asia, ADB says: But Nepal Rastra Bank says as China’s demand for oil will create jobs in Gulf countries, Nepal may not see a big contraction on remittance earnings despite the pandemic, by Sangam Prasain (kp), 14 Districts Issue Prohibitory Order Against COVID-19 (rn), Heinous Crime Of Acid Attack, by Namrata Sharma (rn)

04/08/2020: Festival season could be a time for virus spread as elsewhere in the world, experts warn: Health Ministry to bring out do’s and don’t during festive season within days as people thronged to religious sites on Monday, by Anup Ojha (kp), Enforce public health guidelines in hotels and restaurants or shut them down, Health Ministry tells Covid committee: Public health officials consider hotels, restaurants and roadside eateries as potential infection hotbeds, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Curfew clamped in seven major cities of Province 2 suspecting community transmission of COVID-19 (rep), Where are Nepal-India relations heading? The foreign policy of the Nepal Communist Party government has been a blanket failure, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Experts suggest government impose curfew in affected areas (rep)

03/08/2020: How the government got lost in its fight against the pandemic: After refusing to recognise the risk and failing to come up with right strategies, authorities now have few options left to contain the virus spread, experts say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Growing arrears show bad governance: The increasing rate of arrears in the use of taxpayer money is an immense disrespect to the people, by Chandra Lal Pandey (kp), Book imports at a trickle as issues remain unresolved: Government not backing down on decision to tax books published in West based on their original value even as importers pay discounted Indian prices (kp) [Politicians cannot read, at least they don't. So, why should they try to promote people's literacy?], Media urged to refrain from brewing controversy over court verdict, order (ht), Govt urges children below 12 and elderly above 60 not to come out of home (rep), 'Enough is Enough’ campaigner Iih admitted to hospital as his health deteriorates due to hunger strike (rep), Worst times may be coming: This is not the time to celebrate the ending of lockdown. Everyone must be alert and understand that small carelessness can lead to a big public health catastrophe, by Samagya Koirala (rep)

02/08/2020: Police arrest dozens of protesters: Enough is enough campaign (ht), As Covid-19 cases rise, Kathmandu Valley could see yet another lockdown: Restrictions can’t be ruled out amid increasing risk of virus spread and difficulty in contact tracing, officials say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Officials trade blame as virus spreads in Capital: Mayor Shakya passes the buck to central authorities, who say local governments need to act more responsibly to contain the spread of coronavirus, by Anup Ojha (kp), Agreement to provide Rs 1 million as a relief to Raj Kumar’s family: Chitwan National Park has agreed to provide Rs 700,000 and the Rapti Municipal Office agreed to provide Rs 300,000 to the bereaved family, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp) [And what about punishment of those guilty?], Political drama in Nepal: The political spectacle concerning the ruling party that is currently overwhelming public discourse has all the components of a theatre play, by Abhi Subedi (kp), Say no to coronavirus stigmatisation: Misinformation and prejudice during a pandemic may be more dangerous than the pandemic itself, by Subidha Parajuli (kp), Prohibitory order issued in Parsa as coronavirus cases spike: NA to be deployed (kh)

01/08/2020: Fifty youths, including passers-by, detained from Baluwatar ahead of ‘Enough is Enough’ protest: Police claim the youths were protesting in a restricted zone, but protesters say the planned rally could not happen following random arrests, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Renewal Of Politics To Address Public Needs, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Lockdown relief for tenants: Supreme Court tells government to ensure they don’t get evicted for not paying rent for the period (ht), Govt sending revised map to UNO, international community, by Bhuwan Sharma (rep)

31/07/2020: Police arrests scores of ‘Enough is Enough’ campaigners (rep), Police arrest peaceful protesters from Baluwatar (rep), Court acquits eight police officers charged in connection with Nirmala Pant rape-murder case: The officers were charged with meting out torture and destroying evidence, by Bhawani Bhatta (kp), I was forced to file a case. I now feel exempted of that guilt: Durga Devi, by Anjali Subedi (rep), With state-run hospitals overwhelmed, government permits private hospitals to admit patients: Public health experts say that the government should not shun its prime responsibility of protecting the people, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Three-day prohibitory order to be imposed in Banke from Sunday after spike in coronavirus cases: Twenty-seven people in the district including nine employees of the Inland Revenue Office in Nepalgunj, tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, by Rupa Gahatraj (kp), The elusive dream of a land-linked Nepal: Nepal is not economically strong and politically stable to be a bridge between India and China, by Neelesh Maheshwari (kp), Fourth Phase Of International Air Rescue Begins (rn), Covid-19 and Hindu politics in Nepal, by Biswas Baral (ae) [Nepal is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual state!!], The revolution yet to come, by Dinkar Nepal (ae), Enough already: NCP power struggle headed for yet another showdown (nt), ‘A decade of work lost in 4 months’: Nepal’s volunteer teachers fight the crisis in rural education caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, by Sheryl Lee (nt), Govt bars from entering Kathmandu Valley during night time (rep), NCP row: Greed overpowers ideology, by Prakash Giri (kh)

30/07/2020: Porous border, poor interception and changing forms continue to enable human trafficking to flourish: Trafficking of Nepali girls and women remains a big challenge for the country as traffickers use the open border–not only to traffick them to India, but also to further smuggle them into the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Nirmala Pant murder case: Eight police personnel including SP Bista accused of destroying evidence acquitted (rep), Eight police personnel get clean chit on Nirmala rape and murder case (kh), Failure to ensure effective contact tracing could spell a disaster as Covid-19 cases rise, experts say: With lockdown lifted, there has been an increase in people’s movement, but government authorities have failed to keep up with contact tracing, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Congress-aligned professors, students padlock Tribhuvan University office: Ruling party appointing key officials without consulting other parties, they allege, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Lawmakers point out flaws in Prison Bill-2020: Say it fails to incorporate provision on counselling, deploying female cops inside prisons (ht), Supreme Court issues a show-cause order on tax rise on electric vehicles (rep), Impact of Covid-19 on Nepalese Economy, by Nitish Shrestha (kh)

29/07/2020: Govt offices neglecting RTI (ht), Police arrest five 'Enough is Enough' campaigners (rep), As pandemic stops Nepali students from going abroad, consultancies and other businesses take a hit: Plans of thousands of students to study abroad have been either postponed or shattered due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions, and suspension of visa services, by Aditi Aryal and Elisha Shrestha (kp) [This would be the time and opportunity for a complete overhaul of the Nepalese education system. Unfortunately, however, the responsible politicians are just as uninterested in this as they are in controlling the pandemic, providing emergency aid for the numerous natural disasters and measures to prevent them in the future, saving the economy in a forward-looking manner, full equality for women and their protection against criminal elements, exposing capital crimes or immediately rescuing the desperate migrant workers who are willing to return and creating jobs in the country on a permanent basis. Instead, the small male group in power, mainly Bahuns, is engaged in senseless struggles for power and personal privileges.], Go local: The government must create a support system for local farmers rather than continue to import agro products (kp), An inside account of Nepal: It is all about power, who did what and ended up getting what in reciprocation, by Atul K. Thakur (kp), No To Gender Based Violence, by Namrata Sharma (rn)

28/07/2020: Rights lawyers move Supreme Court against forceful eviction of landless families: Petitioners have sought government intervention into wanton eviction of vulnerable communities and offer alternative locations for them to live with dignity, by Binod Ghimire (kp), SC urges all to respect judicial sanctity as it courts public criticisms over a case involving former DIG Koirala (rep) [Decency and moral courage demand that the Supreme Court should also be criticised when, for whatever reason, it condescends to such judgments that call into question the rule of law and the dignity of human beings. In any case, the Chief Justice must explain his decision!], SC dissatisfied with its verdicts being questioned (ht), Conflict set to escalate in ruling party, as Dahal once again ups the ante against Oli: After a brief lull, the party has returned to where it was a few weeks ago and the battle lines are drawn, say insiders, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), PM’s fate in hands of NCP Standing Committee? Leaders are planning to force him to quit by putting the issue to vote (ht), India makes Kalapani, Lipulekh off limits to Nepalis (ht), NHRC concerned about youths staging hunger strike (ht)

27/07/2020: Youth activist’s fast-unto-death enters ninth day, government indifferent (ht), Government may reimpose lockdown if coronavirus infections continue to spike: The government’s failure to expand the test range and increase in public mobility post lockdown have raised the infection risk, Health Ministry officials say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Supreme Court orders review of the decision by a bench comprising chief justice on Ranjan Koirala case: A three-justice bench questions the rationale behind Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and Justice Tej Bahadur KC’s verdict to commute Koirala’s sentence from life imprisonment to eight and a half years for murdering his wife, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Commuting of Ranjan Koirala’s sentence likely to be reviewed, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), How continued EU ban on Nepali carriers denied Nepal Airlines opportunity to earn during pandemic: Nepal was close to getting rid of the ban but problems in the ruling party resulted in sudden prorogation of Parliament, putting bills to split up the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal in limbo, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Recruiting agencies decry government directive on repatriation of migrant workers: As per new repatriation directive recruiting agencies should ensure that Nepali workers get air tickets, salary and other benefits before they return on tickets bought from Migrant Workers’ Welfare Fund, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Regulate acid sale: The chemical has become a weapon for jilted lovers to disfigure the beloved who couldn't be theirs (kp), Body of Chepang youth taken to Kathmandu for postmortem: The deceased’s family has accused Nepal Army personnel of fatally assaulting the youth last week inside Chitwan National Park, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Ending Widows’ Woes, by Mahima Devkota (rn), Fake news can destroy Nepal's relations with India, China and the US: By the time Foreign Ministry refuted the report of land encroachment by China, the ‘fake’ report had been circulated for over a year and reached over millions and millions of readers, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep)

26/07/2020: With over three dozen positions to fill, Oli, Deuba want to share spoils: Experts warn such appointees will be loyal to politicians, not constitutional bodies, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [Most leading politicians in Nepal have neither understanding nor interest in democratic processes! They are only interested in personal advantages and power!], Full Division Bench Grants Approval To Review SC's Verdict On Releasing Ex-DIG Koirala (rn), Committee Concerned About Implementation Status Of Safe Motherhood Rights (rn), Two years on, delayed justice disappoints Nirmala Panta’s mother, by Ujjwal Satyal and Tekendra Deuba (ht), SC excludes seven justices from list of justices hearing govt’s review petition against verdict to release ex-DIG Koirala (rep)

25/07/2020: Calls grow louder to impeach Chief Justice Rana: Verdict to commute a wife murderer’s sentence erodes people’s trust in judiciary, legal practitioners say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), SC decision to set free murder accused former DIG kicks up row (ht), Investigating officers recall Koirala case: The former DIG would not have been connected to his wife’s murder but for one error he made, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Nepal Army personnel blamed for death of Chepang youth: Nepal Army has denied allegations of beating seven youths who had entered Chitwan National Park on July 16 without permission, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Concern raised about forced eviction (ht), Time To Promote Deliberative Politics, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Sexagenarian arrested on rape charge (rep), Threat of party split not over yet; CPN-UML registered at the behest of PM Oli: Chairman Dahal (rep)

24/07/2020: Attorney general questions Supreme Court verdict on Koirala case: The former DIG of the Armed Police Force convicted of murdering his wife was released Thursday following top court’s order, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [Doubts about the constitutional action of the judiciary!], Demonstration staged against controversial SC verdict to waive jail term of murder-convict Koirala: Impeachment sought against justices issuing the verdict (rep), A father recounts his pain as his daughter’s killer is allowed to walk out of jail (rep), Implementation of guidelines to repatriate stranded workers fraught with challenges: Long verification processes might further delay repatriation, fear experts, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Why current conservation models are flawed: Top-heavy conservation models have little regard for locals. This has to change if conservation is to succeed, by Amish Raj Mulmi (kp), Chepang organisation demands inquiry into Kusum Khola incident: Nepal Chepang Sangh has submitted a memorandum to the chief district officer of Chitwan, demanding legal action against the guilty, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Dearth of health service, food crunch takes toll (ht), Majority of public vehicles in the Valley are not following health and safety rules: Public health experts have warned of the coronavirus risk if public vehicles do not follow the guidelines set by the government, by Anup Ojha (kp), A 22-year old woman attacked with acid in Kathmandu (rep), Two arrested for throwing acid on 22-year-old woman in capital (rep), Transition in crisis: COVID-19 and federalisation in Nepal, by Ian Payne (rep), Push and pull of Nepali politics: After hectic political horse-trading, it is all quiet in Kathmandu this week, by Saindra Rai (nt), You stab my back, I stab yours: Nepal's wily Oli has outfoxed his rivals yet again (nt), Stop complaining, start contributing: Whether you see the glass as half empty or half full, it is time to take action and move ahead, by Anil Chitrakar (nt), Children are collateral damage in Nepal lockdown: Four months of lockdown has killed many more children than the disease it was supposed to control. by Sonia Awale (nt)

23/07/2020: Distressed Chepangs of Kusum Khola bemoan loss of property and await relocation: Chitwan National Park authorities on Saturday set ablaze two huts and vandalised eight others, asking the indigenous people to vacate Kusum Khola, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Lockdown lifting was required, but Covid-19 threat is still high, public health experts warn: Doctors say the government should have taken the country’s healthcare capacity and experts’ advice into consideration, by Anil Giri and Arjun Poudel (kp), Unlocking into uncertainty: We’re nowhere close to flattening the curve.This is not how we can return to normal (kp), Health experts warn of coronavirus risk as traffic police announce resumption of drink driving test: Officials at the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division say the test will be performed by maintaining a safe distance without breathalyser devices, by Anup Ojha (kp), Government decision to open tourism takes the sector by surprise: Entrepreneurs say much needs to be done including provision to conduct PCR tests of visitors at airport to build confidence in them, by Sangam Prasain (kp)

22/07/2020: Nepal: Authorities must stop ruthless evictions of Indigenous peoples (Amnesty International), Amnesty International calls for halting forced eviction of people from Chepang community in Chitwan (rep), Amnesty condemns enforced eviction of indigenous Chepang families by Chitwan National Park authority: The rights organisation has called on the authorities concerned to hold the people accountable who set fire and razed down the huts of the landless families (kp), Amnesty International calls for halt in eviction of Chepang peoples (kh), Amnesty International Calls For Halt In Eviction Of Indigenous Peoples (Sancharkarmi), Amnesty International calls for halt in eviction of indigenous peoples (Ratopati), ‘Halt forced eviction of Chepang people’ (ht), Government decides to lift the four-month-long coronavirus lockdown, but with conditions: Provisions related to Covid-19 prevention, control and treatment will continue, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Enough is Enough Campaign files complaint against Health Minister Dhakal, officials at CIAA (rep), Three youths go on a second hunger strike over pandemic handling: Youths demand the government fulfil its earlier commitments while government says says all demands have been met, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Tempest in the ruling party almost over after Dahal takes a conciliatory approach: Until a few weeks ago, Oli was cornered, but he has now managed to overpower mounting pressure to resign both as party chair and prime minister, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), It’s time to start learning Mandarin: When the layperson on the street cares more about the MCC Compact than the pandemic response, it is clear that the status quo is changing—again, by CK Lal (kp), Who will save the Oli government? People are the most faithful defense of any government. They can save it from all miscreants. But PM Oli and his ministers are alienating them, mortifyingly, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep), No Option But To Vote For Nepali Congress (NC)?, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km),
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21/07/2020: With more rains predicted, there are fears of loss of more lives and properties across the country: Rising water levels in the rivers with widespread rainfall ring alarm bells as authorities warn this year’s monsoon could be among the deadliest in years, by Chandan Kumar Mandal ((kp), Chitwan park authority accused of burning huts of landless squatters in Madi: Local government criticise the park officials for trying to evict poor families during monsoon, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Coordinated Efforts Needed To Manage Disasters, by Ganesh Paudel and Hari P. Pandey (rn) [Sorry, but people must understand that the responsible politicians do not have time for such unimportant things. They are fully engaged in their power struggles!],
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20/07/2020: More confusion in the ruling party as Dahal vacillates between Oli and Nepal: The Nepal faction, which has backed Dahal so far, is suspicious after reports that the party chair has reached a deal with Oli keeping his allies in the dark, by Anil Giri and Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [In view of these completely irresponsible power struggles, the entire leadership of the NCP should resign immediately!], Covid-19 results in massive decline in labour migration numbers, with no immediate hopes of recovery: The number of labour permits issued to migrant workers has slumped to a new low owing to the pandemic, but available jobs are likely to be even fewer, labour migration experts warn, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp) [This is just one of several serious problems that the government should take care of day and night. Instead, the incompetent PM Oli and his party colleagues have only their personal power ambitions in the visor! Nepal, quo vadis?]

19/07/2020: Nepal failed to implement recommendations from periodic review, says rights group: During the next review, members should remind Nepal it needs to do much better in upholding civil, political, economic, and social rights, says Human Rights Watch (kp) (see HRW report], ‘Enough is Enough’ campaigners begin hunger strike once again (ht), Oli refuses to quit as PM, party co-chair: Leaders say problem will be resolved through consensus, but a plan to achieve it remains elusive (ht) [This sounds more like a denial of consensus!], A tentative deal between Oli and Dahal saves ruling party from imminent split, for now: Senior leader Madhav Nepal says any backdoor dealings will not be accepted and that he will go to the party rank and file if the two chairs attempted to impose totalitarianism, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Ministry seeks opinion on social inclusion policy (ht) [Yes, there still a few positions and functions that are not filled by male Bahuns!], ‘Home minister, officials misusing state fund’ (ht), Is there a China connection? It is interesting that the other disputed area—Susta—has not been included in Nepal's new map, by Nihar R. Nayak (kp), Police in Bardiya crack down on farmers importing fertilisers from India: Farmers, on the other hand, are troubled further, as many of them had taken loans to purchase the fertilisers, by Thakur Singh Tharu (kp) [This sounds like a totalitarian regime!], Public transport to resume from tomorrow, by Kunga Hyolmo (rep)

18/07/2020: ‘Journalists deprived of rights to work, pay’ (ht), Rights situation of women, girls disappointing, says HRW (ht), A purported Nepali man is humiliated in Indian city of Varanasi over Oli’s Ayodhya remarks: If bitterness at the political level has percolated down to the people’s level, it is a matter of grave concern, leaders and foreign policy experts say, by Anil Giri (kp) [And all this only because PM Oli repeatedly moves on the lowest spiritual level, only to assert his personal power ambitions in a selfish way!], Apolitical Youths Concerned About Governance, by Kushal Pokharel (rn), Untouchability Living With Discrimination, by LB Thapa (rn), Man beaten by police at quarantine facility in Surkhet has a fractured hand, by Nagendra Upadhyaya (rep), Over 80 percent Nepali migrant workers want to return home, engage in self-employment (rep)
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17/07/2020: Nepali elites sans devotion or dignity:As Nepal lacks an elite class that can stand for its dignity, and political forces deeply committed to their ideologies, all the political experiments here have backfired, by Dinkar Nepal (ae) Dispute in ruling party now set to reach Central Committee as Oli and Dahal fail to find a common ground: Madhav Nepal was invited to the meeting in hopes of a deal, but stalemate continues as Oli refused to resign either as party chair or prime minister, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), The invisible pandemic: From 2015-18, a total of 27,000 families were affected by floods and landslides and 721 lives were lost, by Madhukar Upadhya (kp), Despite tackling disasters every monsoon, Nepal fails to learn from experience: Local governments should be empowered to prepare in advance and respond effectively when disasters strike, they say, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Meghauli locals want politicians to fulfil promise to rebuild embankments: Some structures constructed last year have already been destroyed by this year’s rains, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Unfortunate Truth, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km), Malnutrition takes toll on vulnerable communities amid lockdown: Government plans to distribute fortified flour in affected areas, but experts say that’s not a long-term solution to the problem, by Arjun Poudel (kp)
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16/07/2020: Pandemic has once again thrown light on plights of Nepali women migrant workers: Blanket ban on women from migrating overseas for employment has only encouraged labour trafficking and exploitation, labour migration experts and rights groups say, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Blood on the hills: Though insufficient, the parliamentary probe committee's recommendations on the Soti killings must be implemented to provide justice to the victims (kp), When it comes to portraying ethnicity, Nepali pop culture still depends on stereotypical tropes: From using blackface makeup to actors speaking in exaggerated indigenous accents, why is Nepali films and television still filled with regressive cultural stereotypes?, by Ankit Khadgi (kp), 2.36 million Nepalis scared of losing home or land (ht), DoA to undertake research on Lord Ram’s birthplace (ht) [???], Role of civil society during the pandemic:: We have to make the role of civil society more relevant. Civil society must act as torchbearers to deal with this global pandemic, by Pramod Bhattarai (rep)
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15/07/2020: Rukum (West) murder of six youths was result of caste-based discrimination, parliamentary probe says: Study finds sheer lapses on the part of the local administration, local government and police in handling the incident, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Amid soured Nepal-India ties, Oli is threatening relations between peoples of two countries, leaders and experts say: Foreign Ministry scrambles for damage control after the prime minister made unsubstantiated arguments about Ram’s birth and accused India of cultural aggression by creating a ‘fake’ Ayodhya, by Anil Giri (kp), Has Oli crossed Laxman Rekha? Ram’s birthplace and nationality can be debated endlessly. But the prime minister’s rodomontade raises serious questions (kp), New public service broadcasting bill draws criticism: Journalists, lawmakers say it envisages broadcaster that continues to remain accountable towards the government and not the legislature, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Education Ministry mulls allowing local governments to resume schools in places with low risk of Covid-19: Public health experts say it's not safe to hold any activity that brings people together, by Binod Ghimire (kp)
see also morning news from Kantipur TV

14/07/2020: Govt does not have authority to illegally ban citizens from traveling abroad: SC (rep) Nepal’s PM KP Sharma Oli ‘claims’ real Ayodhya is in Nepal: Many remark the statement is in bad taste (ht) [Is he out of his mind? The multi-ethnic and multi-religious state of Nepal does not need a fake Ayodhya nor an authoritarian Hindu fundamentalist fantasist like Oli!], Without proof, PM Oli accuses India of creating artificial Ayodhya--the birthplace of Ram (rep), India’s BJP condemns Nepal PM’s comment on ‘real’ Ayodhya (ht), Capital budget spending at two-decade low of 40 per cent (ht), Nepal presents its second voluntary national review report on sustainable development (rep) [see statement], Kamalaris are still not free: Government needs to ensure livelihood, employment, education and social security for Kamalari girls and women, by Sarita Nandmehar (rep)
see also morning news from Kantipur TV

13/07/2020: Amid Covid-19, health experts warn of an outbreak of water-borne diseases: Doctors say water- and vector-borne diseases could kill more people than the coronavirus if authorities fail to pay attention as monsoon wreaks havoc, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Flooded rivers put Tarai settlements at high risk of inundation: The Saptakoshi is gaining strength as it gushes through provinces 1 and 2, eroding embankments, flooding settlements and displacing people, by Abdhesh Kumar Jha and Dilliram Khatiwada (kp), Restoring public transport: The government needs to strike a balance between safety and reopening the economy (kp), Supreme Court asks government why Nepalis working in India are not considered to be in ‘foreign employment’: Petitioners say excluding work in India from the foreign employment category is discriminatory towards Nepali workers, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp) [!!!], Govt urged for effective handling of natural disaster (ht) [Monsoon came completely unexpected this year, just as every year...], NA chairman asks govt to take care of flood victims (ht), Rift between ruling party chairpersons widening? Dahal says no one in the party has monopoly over nationalism (ht) [Both Oli and Dahal are power-hungry anti-nationalists! Nepal's nationalism has to be inclusive, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual and anti-patriarchal!], First phase of repatriation flights ends, second to begin from Wednesday (ht)

12/07/2020: Women rights organisations urge Human Rights Council to take up issue of women’s equality in citizenship rights: National Women Coalition has called for a revision in the constitution to redress discriminatory citizenship law, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Institutionalising discrimination: A society that treats its sons and daughters differently will never achieve prosperity, by Bina Jha (kp), Caste and the subtle psychology behind it, by Shreya Soni (ht), Human rights situation in Tarai-Madhes: There are several examples of rights violations after the coronavirus lockdown was declared, by Ram Dayal Rakesh (kp), When it comes to media content, leave it to viewers’ discretion, experts say: Cable operators' move of banning Indian news channels after insulting video about Oli has raised a question if the state should encourage them to control the content, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Even months into the pandemic, the government has yet to introduce risk communication strategy: Public health experts say failure to communicate with people properly and provide them with accurate information could lead them either to overreact to the risk or undermine it, by Arjun Poudel (kp) [You must understand that Oli and his colleagues have more important things to do like power struggles and suppression of fundamental rights!], Consumer rights activists, commuters criticise public transport fare hike: The decision puts extra burden on members of the public, who are already stressed financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, observers say, by Anup Ojha (kp), Over 300 loan defaulters added to blacklist as fiscal year nears end (rep)

11/07/2020: Major coronavirus crisis looms as Health Ministry reduces sample collection and test range: Health experts warn the government is making a serious mistake by lowering the test numbers, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Supreme Court says government cannot restrict anyone from travel: Barring Lenin Bista from visiting Thailand was unconstitutional and against International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, full text of the verdict says, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Monsoon-induced disasters occur every year but authorities ill-prepared to handle them: Hundreds of people are displaced by the monsoon disasters in Sudurpaschim Province year after year but the authorities rarely make disaster preparedness plan (kp), NHRC chief draws flak for condemning Mohna Ansari (ht), Conflict victims lament govt’s apathy in their joint submission (ht)

10/07/2020: Women politicians go unheard when they speak out but are ostracised if they oppose party narrative: The trials of Sarita Giri illustrate just how difficult it is for outspoken women to have a career in Nepali politics, politicians and activists say, by Aditi Aryal (kp).Marginalised community commissions say they don’t have resources to fulfill their mandate: Parliamentary committee asks government to ensure that the constitutional bodies get the needed budget to implement their plans, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Help returning workers reintegrate socio-economically, labour migration analysts tell government: A large number of Nepali workers returning from Covid-19 affected countries will need employment opportunities at home after they have lost overseas jobs and there is no immediate hope of going back anytime soon, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Nepal doesn’t meet minimum standard for eliminating trafficking, a US government report says: The report suggests the Nepal government to investigate allegations of official complicity in trafficking crimes and hold perpetrators criminally accountable, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [see report by US Department of State], In Nepali politics, you can never trust your friends: The one common factor through Nepal’s history has been that alliances never last, by Amish Raj Mulmi (kp), Cable operators ban Indian news channels in response to ‘insulting’ video about prime minister: A baseless ‘video report’ about Oli and the Chinese ambassador has drawn widespread criticism, leading the government to seek legal and political remedies, by Anil Giri and Suresh Raj Neupane (kp), Fake it like Indian TV: The only lesson one can learn from India’s nationalist television anchors is how not to be rowdy like them (kp), Can’t welcome decision to allow buses to resume in haste, say health experts, public transport operators: Transport entrepreneurs say government made the decision just to pacify the voices of thousands people who are involved in the sector, by Anup Ojha (kp), Achham children deprived of education with no means to attend online classes: Most children in rural areas spend time roaming around villages, playing in groups or herding their livestock unaware of the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus, by Menuka Dhungana (kp), Nepal Airlines announces suspending flights after crew members catch virus: The national flag carrier operates four to five repatriation charter flights daily (kp), The interface of politics and science: Nepal’s politicians study neither biology nor political science, and we are paying the price during this pandemic, by Anil Chitrakar (nt)

09/07/2020: Imagining a motherland: Gender and nationalism; The boundaries set by the nation, state, families and societies often do not allow a woman to become a citizen. This leads to women not becoming the part of the nation but just a national embodiment, by Swasti Gautam (rep), Nepal yet to fully implement a single recommendation on transitional justice, says universal periodic report by non-governmental organisations: The UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic review has been postponed until January, but officials have little progress to show to the international community, by Binod Ghimire (kp), For marginalised, access to media and information a major challenge during pandemic: The Danuwar community in rural Sindhuli is deprived of information regarding Covid-19 and facts are overshadowed by rumours, by Samiksha Baral (kp), House committee directs government to allow taxis to resume service: Taxi drives, who were struggling to survive, have welcomed the “life-saving decision”, by Anup Ojha (kp), Nepal allows operation of public transport with 50 pc capacity (kh), Failing our migrant workers: One would have expected the present government to be more attuned to the challenges faced by workers in destination countries, by Deepak Thapa (kp), The lockdown may be over but the threat of Covid-19 is not: Here are some things to keep in mind to limit the spread of the virus in this post-lockdown world, by Tsering Ngodup Lama (kp), Eroding Political Values, by Mukti Rijal (rn), When floods strike, it’s the poor who suffer, by Dipendra Gautam (ht) [And, of course, the government takes no precautions every year. A lockdown, its only idea to protect against Covid-19, wouldn't do any good anyway!], India sends ‘diplomatic note’ protesting against Nepal’s decision to endorse new political map (rep)

08/07/2020: Development partners’ dilemma: History is unlikely to look kindly upon donors that helped an exclusionary regime survive internal challenges, by CK Lal (kp), Patients seeking treatment in non-Covid hospitals are testing positive for coronavirus: Health Ministry officials, who have so far claimed that the infection does not spread from asymptomatic patients, are now saying there is a high risk of community transmission, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Pandemic could affect school retention and enrolment rates: Government needs to roll out financial packages for marginalised communities so that children can go to school, they say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Satyagraha campaign signs 12-point agreement with Health Ministry, calls off hunger strike: The satyagraha, called by the Enough is Enough campaign, had asked for better quarantine conditions, more PCR testing and financial transparency over Covid-19 spending, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Pokhara’s bus operators hand over the keys to their vehicles to banks: Banks have been asking the bus operators to pay the loan instalments, by Deepal Pariyar (kp), Hit hard by pandemic, Sherpa widows face uphill battle: Contagion has hampered their plan to provide job oriented training for fellow widows (ht), COVID-19 delays annual audit report detailing govt irregularities: OAG officials say the report to be made public after lockdown is lifted (rep), Chinese envoy Hou-NCP affinity: Isn’t it time to say ‘no’ to external panacea?, by Ishwar Dev Khanal (kh)

07/07/2020: How KP Oli failed the nation: The goon-like politics which he promoted throughout his political life is perhaps his greatest weakness, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Power Game Getting Upper Hand, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), Oli and Dahal agree to continue talks as they declare a ‘ceasefire’ for now: While both party chairs agreed not to spoil the environment for dialogue, there has been little progress on resolving the ongoing crisis, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [These ruthless power struggles of failed politicians are simply no longer bearable. Both of them and a whole series of older, high-caste men should make room for an inclusive and non-patriarchal young generation: Women, Janajatis, Madheshis, Dalits and a maximum of 30 percent Tagadharis, of whom about half should also be women! Nepal is not the property of male Bahuns!], Landslide hotspots: The government must prioritise science-guided policies and actions to mitigate risks (kp), A government lab in Dang issues notice to local units demanding charges for Covid testing: Many local unit heads have protested against the Academy’s move, arguing that it is the federal or provincial government’s responsibility to pay for the tests, by Durgalal KC and Ghanashyam Gautam (kp), Apex Court’s Vital Rulings During Lockdown, by Jivesh Jha (rn), Public transportation under low govt priority (ht), Reviving the Ailing Economy hit by Covid-19 Pandemic, by Bijaya Shrestha (kh)

06/07/2020: After Covid-19 and locust invasion, country braces for monsoon mayhem: Water-induced disasters this year are expected to collide with the peak of Covid-19 cases, compounding the impacts of the disasters for the country, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Feud continues in the ruling party as Oli-Dahal talks fail: Both leaders maintain their position but none wants to be seen as the trigger for a party split, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Federal government stops releasing budget for constituency development programme: The move comes after the government decided to transfer the saved amount for fighting Covid-19, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp) [Finally! This is nothing else but political corruption in the interest of a non-inclusive male highcaste elite!], Shops, businesses and people in Valley are flouting safety protocols as Covid-19 cases continue to rise: Government has failed to monitor and enforce the rules due to practical hindrances, Corona Crisis Management Centre secretary says, by Anup Ojha (kp), Listen to Khokana: The government can’t dislocate thousands of people from their indigenous habitat in the name of development (kp), 7 NAC crew members, including three pilots, test positive for COVID-19 (rep), 14 NAC crew members including 3 pilots infected with coronavirus (kh)

05/07/2020: Oli says plots being hatched to oust him and impeach the President: Amid feud with Dahal, the prime minister asks his ministers to pick a side–whether they are with him or with the rival faction, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Sudden move to prorogue Parliament undermines legislature, experts say: The budget session was ended saying it lacked business, but there are some crucial bills, including one related to citizenship, pending for approval, by Binod Ghimire (kp), People without vehicles are having difficulty commuting to work as public transport service remains shut: Transport department says health and safety guidelines are being prepared for passenger carrying vehicles in case the government decides to resume public transport services, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Struggling shop owners have put their businesses for sale to pay off their debts but there are no buyers: In Thamel, 270 travel and tour agencies, restaurants, curio shops and hotels have closed in the past three months, by Anup Ojha (kp), COVID-19 Magnifies Domestic Violence, by Suman Raj Tamrakar (rn), Govt turns deaf ears to demands of youths staging hunger strike (ht), Deuba concedes meeting emissaries of PM Oli and Prachanda (kh) [Neither Oli nor Dahal nor Deuba nor any other so-called top leaders of the CPN and NC should play a role in the election of a new PM and government. They all failed miserably often enough, proving their incompetence and disinterest in policies that are oriented towards the interests and welfare of the state and its people.]

04/07/2020: How the strongest communist force in Nepali history came so close to imploding: Oli’s arrogance and Dahal’s ambition have both derailed the Nepal Communist Party so much that it is now on the verge of a split, party insiders and political analysts say, by Anil Giri (kp), Confusion reigns in the ruling party as factions remain deadlocked: Talks between rival party chairs Oli and Dahal failed after the former refused to step down in any capacity, neither as party chair nor prime minister, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Jobless and without pay, migrant workers are returning home. But they have no recourse for compensation: Labour migrant experts say the concerned Nepali embassies and the government should start recording the details of the returning migrant workers to take the matter to the court, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Oli asks party’s sister organisations to help create a favourable environment for him: Analysts, however, say if Oli had lived up to the people’s expectations, they would have raised their voice in his support, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Numerical strength of parties in parliament and likely coalition govts if NCP splits (rep), Destiny Of Nepalese Prime Ministers, bySiddhi B. Ranjitkar (km)

03/07/2020: Patriarchy and citizenship: Conspiracy theories flowed seamlessly from Panchayat-era scholars to politicians, by Pramod Mishra (kp), A cornered Oli prorogues the House and considers splitting the ruling party: Party insiders say that Oli is planning to reintroduce an ordinance that will make it easier for him to split the party, and is also seeking support from the opposition, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), PM Oli-Prachanda agree to narrow down differences (kh), NCP intra-party spat takes toll on Parliament, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht) [Absolute rulers do not have to ask or inform anyone beforehand when they shut down democratically elected institutions in order to secure their power despite great incompetence!], Questions arise once again over the President’s role in the ruling party: Both Oli and Dahal have met recently with President Bhandari, leading many to ask about the role the non-partisan head of state is currently playing, by Binod Ghimire (kp), A week-long hunger strike put protesters in hospital, as government pledges to address demands: Prime Minister Oli himself visited protesters from the ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign at hospital but campaigners say they won’t give up until all demands are met, by Aditi Aryal (kp), 91 health workers across the country have been infected with coronavirus so far: Public health experts warn health facilities could become coronavirus hotspots if the government fails to set up an infection control system, by Arjun Poudel (kp), International nonprofits cut aid pledge to Nepal amid Covid-19 pandemic: They have committed Rs 21.62 billion for the new fiscal compared to Rs 24.79 billion in the previous, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Government starts issuing labour permits to migrant workers on job break and with renewed contracts: Experts question the government’s decision as the threat of Covid-19 is still not over in labour destination countries, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Police fire warning shots during demonstration by Dalit Struggle Committee: The protest was launched demanding justice for two Dalit youths who died in the past month; one at an isolation centre in Dhanusha and the other in Sabaila police custody, by Santosh Singh (kp), Government urged to make transport service effective (ht), Nepal crises syndrome, by Raju Adhikari (South Asia Time)

02/07/2020: Factions in ruling party harden positions and devise strategies to prevail over the other: The Dahal and Oli factions both held separate meetings on Wednesday to chart out a path forward, with Oli deciding to fight until the last, by Anil Giri (kp), Suicide by youth in police custody raises concern over mental health of inmates: Restrictions on visits by family members could exacerbate problems faced by those behind bars, psychiatrists say, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Government tells UN that it will incorporate conflict victims’ concerns but victims are not convinced: Victims have called the government’s response to the concerns of five special UN human rights rapporteurs insincere and the entire transitional justice process flawed, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Drive home a solution: The government must either let taxi drivers return to work or help them financially (kp), The privilege of returning to Nepal: The scene at the airport was strikingly different from what is published in the papers, by Aasna Sijapati (kp), Post Corona State Dynamics, by Mukti Rijal (rn), Hunger strike by youth activists enters sixth day, by Ujjwal Satyal (ht), PM Oli meets activists staging hunger strike demanding govt's better response to COVID-19 (rep), Photos: Independent youths stage demonstration in capital against government's apathy toward COVID-19 pandemic, by Monika Malla (rep), ‘Citizenship bill not inclusive’ (ht), Govt urged to protect rights, interests of LGBTI people (ht), Rescue for Nepalis stranded abroad due to COVID-19 ‘too little, too late’, by Muna Sunuwar (rep), President prorogues Parliament’s budget session (kh), Is PM Oli bringing an ordinance again? (kh), Prorogation of House session leads to catastrophe: Gagan Thapa (kh), NCP Standing Committee meeting postponed until Saturday (kh), Is NCP heading closer to a split?, by Ishwar Dev Khanal (kh)

01/07/2020: No snooping here: The Oli government’s baby steps towards totalitarianism must grind to a halt right away (kp), Leaders call for Oli’s resignation as both prime minister and party chair: Senior party leaders, including chair Dahal, ask Oli to vacate both positions as his actions have placed the ruling party and government in a difficult position, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Oli calls Cabinet ministers, some Standing Committee members to Baluwatar for consultation: The meeting comes a day after senior leaders demanded Oli's resignation both as party chair and prime minister (kp), Guidelines ready for repatriation of migrant workers who cannot pay for their flights: Those who have already returned at their own expenses can claim for reimbursement, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Taxi drivers protest outside transport department, accuse officials of forcing them to ‘kill themselves’: Ever since the government eased the lockdown rules from the second week of June, taxi drivers have been raising their voice demanding that they too be allowed to work, by Anup Ojha (kp), Protests flare up in Province 2 against citizenship amendment bill: Janata Samajbadi leaders warn of intensifying their protests if the bill is not withdrawn (kp)

30/06/2020: What defines a Nepali citizen? Nepal needs to understand the realities of the 21st century. It needs to move forward, not backward, by Sujeev Shakya (kp), House session to be prorogued without endorsing crucial bills: Parliament secretariat is for immediate end to the session, citing an increasing threat of Covid-19 to continuation of House meetings, by Binod Ghimire (kp), NCP top leaders demand Oli to resign both as PM and Chairman: Oli, Prachanda engage in heated debate (kh), Top NCP leaders ask PM Oli to step down as intra-party dispute peaks (rp), Controversial provisions in corruption-related bills to be revised but private sector to remain under the purview of anti-graft body: Opposition leaders and the private sector continue to object to the bills, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Restrictions on testing and focus on returnees from abroad don’t contain Covid-19, say experts: They say active surveillance and testing of all symptomatic patients are necessary to flatten the curve and stop coronavirus from spreading in the community, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Observers worry Oli’s statements about an Indian conspiracy could further damage bilateral ties: The prime minister hinting at an Indian conspiracy to unseat him is not befitting the high office and could delay any diplomatic talks over the border dispute, they say, by Anil Giri (kp), No gaslighting, please: Intra-party feud, rather than foreign conspiracy, is a more likely nemesis of the Oli government (kp), MCC ratification deadline ends today (ht), New directives for rescue, repatriation endorsed (ht), Nepal families face hunger, skip meals as pandemic hits remittances, by Gopal Sharma (rep), Lockdown: How practical?, by Kiran Khadgi (kh), ‘Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have already lost a golden opportunity to contain the COVID-19 with no or minimal damage’, interview with Dinesh Neupane (South Asia Time)

29/06/2020: Faced with criticism, Oli sees plots being hatched to unseat him in Delhi and Kathmandu: The prime minister has once again fallen back on his nationalistic rhetoric, saying certain actors are trying to remove him for adopting a new political map, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), PM rants against India in bid to cling to power (ht), ‘Anti-national’ Mahakali Treaty comes back to haunt ‘nationalist’ Oli (ht), As the world slowly reopens after lockdowns, remittance inflows begin to improve: After a significant slump in the month of Chaitra, there has been a slight increase in inflows, and officials believe that the downturn will not be as bad as predicted, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), No reports of significant damage caused by locusts in Nepal, but threat of bigger invasion looms: Experts suggest Nepal also focus on other impacts of climate change that do not involve the Himalayas and the melting of its snow, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp)

28/06/2020: Supreme Court issues show-cause notice over delay in election of deputy speaker: Constitutional experts say it is unfortunate that the court had to remind officials to make plans to elect a member of Parliament to the key position, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [After all, what do politicians care about the constitution?], After fall armyworm havoc and Covid-19, locust invasion is new threat to food security: Massive invasions like those in Pakistan and African countries could spell catastrophe for Nepal where food production is already low, experts say, by Chandan Kumar Mandal and Sangam Prasain (kp), Govt caught flat-footed as locusts enter country: Prediction of experts failed because the wind changed direction with onset of monsoon, by Arpana Ale Magar (ht), Motorists in Kathmandu are not following odd-even rules; 26,995 motorists booked in two weeks: Public health experts have warned that increased movement of people has raised the risk of coronavirus infection, by Anup Ojha (kp), Lower the investment threshold: Slashing the minimum foreign investment required will help to create new jobs, which Nepal badly needs now, by Shikhar Bhattarai (kp), MoFAGA drafts Social Inclusion Policy-2020 (ht) [It's a farce! In upper political circles there is no willingness for social inclusion, as you can see from the government, parliament, political parties and laws!]

27/06/2020: Oli skipping meeting in order to avoid criticism is disgraceful, party leaders say: Oli knows that the Standing Committee is preparing to ask him to choose between the prime ministership and the party chair, Tika R. Pradhan (kp), India refuses to sit for talks and there is no boundary dispute with China, foreign minister says: Pradeep Gyawali’s clarifications on Friday come after a number of media reports stating India’s offer for talks and boundary disputes with China, by Anil Giri (kp), Experts say Covid-19 epidemic yet to start, stress community tracing: ‘Testing people placed in quarantine only will not help contain the pandemic’, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Evacuation flights to continue at least until June 30: As the first phase of repatriation of Nepalis stranded abroad ended on June 25, a total of 9,413 citizens have returned home from 22 countries, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp)

26/06/2020: The government has not followed most of the Supreme Court’s 23 rulings related to the pandemic: Interim orders related to proper management of quarantine facilities and the repatriation of migrant workers have all either been ignored or were belatedly followed, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [Nepal's leading politicians are neither interested in the fundamentals of democracy nor do they understand the aspect of the separation of powers. As soon as they are in power, they believe to possess absolute rights!], Who is a Nepali? (ae), Nepal: The danger within, by Bishal Thapa (ae), Oli scrambles to prevent censure but Dahal is adamant: Oli realises his position in party and government is shaky, with a proposal asking him to give up party chair or prime minister likely to be endorsed by the Standing Committee, by Anil Giri (kp), Restaurants and cafes in Kathmandu defy government order: If big stores can welcome huge crowds, why can’t we open for our customers? owners ask (kp), Lockdown leaves private hostel owners, students in a fix: Hostel operators seek help from the government and money from students to stay afloat. But the government hasn’t helped, and students themselves are under financial stress, by Sasmiksha Baral (kp), Monsoon madness: Inundation ravages lives and livelihood each year.: The government can’t remain clueless anymore (kp) [They can! Politicians only live for power struggles and their access to funds. This was the situation under the absolutist royal system and it has not changed after the democratisation in 1990!], Mishandling the virus crisis: Even after spending Rs10 billion to control Covid-19, the situation has not improved, by Jagadish Prasad Bist (kp), Rupandehi District Court remands in custody three people arrested in connection with murder of Dalit teen: Prosecutors filed a charge sheet against the trio on June 21 and presented them before the court on Tuesday, by Sanju Poudel (kp), Survey document shows Chinese encroachment in seven districts (ht), Govt expands scope of essential goods and services (ht)

25/06/2020: 15 lawmakers, activists arrested from Baluwatar (ht), SC seeks PM's reply over order violation charges (rep), Ruling party’s Standing Committee meet begins with opening salvos from the two party chairs: Although Wednesday’s meeting did not discuss anything substantial, Oli and Dahal both made speeches blaming the other for failures within the party and the government, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Ruling party agrees to hold CIAA amendment bill in order to build consensus: The decision came in response to widespread criticism from both the opposition and private sector, which believes that it will ruin the investment climate, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Watch your Act: The proposed amendment to the CIAA Actputs democracy in danger (kp), District court remands 23 accused in killings of six youths in Rukum (West) to judicial custody: Police have so far arrested 29 individuals in connection with the incident, by Bhim Bahadur Singh (kp), Migrant workers suffer as government due to delay in drafting of workers’ repatriation guidelines: Many workers are returning home with their own expenses while those without money continue to languish overseas, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Is Oli lying or clueless? Anyone who has heard the prime minister's speeches knows he always attempts to qualify his words with a veneer of what he thinks is science, by Deepak Thapa (kp), The art of protesting: Nepal has witnessed several imaginative, unorthodox and evocative rebellions, by Deepesh Paudel (kp), Farmers more worried about finding fertiliser and workers than the virus: The paddy transplanting season is underway, and Province 1 has reported better-than-expected progress, by Deo Narayan Sah (kp), Strengthening The State Government, by Mukti Rijal (rn)

24/06/2020: In anticipation of criticism at Wednesday’s Standing Committee, Oli makes overtures to other party factions: Oli has long been avoiding the Standing Committee, where he is in the minority, but he is now scrambling to garner support, especially for the MCC, insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan and Anil Giri (kp), Official plan to resume public transport worries public health experts: Authorities looking at the second week of July to resume services. Guidelines being prepared to adhere to social distancing and safety of passengers and staffers, by Anup Ojha (kp), Feigned innocence of the ‘White Shirts’: There is little need to raise eyebrows at the Nepal Communist Party holding a virtual workshop with the Chinese Communist Party, by CK Lal (kp), Incompatible PCR test kits will raise infection risk, Parsa health officials warn: PCR tests have been halted at the Narayani Hospital in Birgunj since Monday for a lack of compatible PCR test kits, by Bhusan Yadav (kp), Apex court stays COVID quarantine guideline: Makes PCR test mandatory before discharging those showing no symptom from quarantines (ht), National Debt Situation Of Nepal, by Bhanu Kandel (rn), What does the PM have to say about ‘encroachment by China’? (ht), Returnees face hurdles during repatriation (ht)

23/06/2020: Surveillance vehicle worth Rs 50 million being purchased for Prime Minister, by Tapendra Karki (rep), Govt looks for budget transfers to pay salary to civil servants, by Rajesh Khanal (rep), PCR test kits procured by Nepal Army incompatible with most Nepali laboratories: Health Ministry officials say that around 28,000 PCR test kits purchased by the Nepal Army do not work with most PCR testing machines, which could lead testing rates to decline, by Arjun Poudel (kp) [???], Lockdown has pushed a family of rickshaw puller to the brink: At 64, Kaila Tamang is planning to quit his profession of 35 years old and become a porter. If it doesn’t work he says he will beg on the streets to feed his family, by Anup Ojha (kp), Supply chain and food security: Meeting the dietary needs of all Nepalis has been a problem, with or without Covid-19, by Roshee Lamichhane (kp), State plunder during a pandemic: A systemic annihilation of the entire anti-corruption system will have far graver consequences than a single instance of corruption, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Only 12,000 Nepalis stranded abroad to be evacuated in first phase (ht), Home Ministry’s diktat for mandatory 14-day home quarantine for those entering Kathmandu (kh) Govt mulling over resuming public transport: Entrepreneurs say not possible with 50 percent passengers, by Sabina Karki (kh)

22/06/2020: Food insecurity, economic slowdown loom as acute shortage of fertilisers is going to hit paddy production: This year, fertiliser was supplied neither from the government’s mechanism nor from illegal traders, as their clandestine supply lines were severed by the Covid-19 lockdown and border restrictions, by Sangam Prasain (kp), House panel endorses bill to amend Citizenship Act amid objections from three parties: Opposing parties and rights activists call seven-year rule for foreign women married to Nepali men to get naturalised citizenship a regressive move, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp)  [Long live male Bahunbad with its misogynistic patriarchal thinking! Laws must apply equally to all people, regardless of gender!], What on earth do we want on citizenship? There is a lot of whining and crying, lot of ifs and buts, unleashing of hate against political leaders, nation and nationalism but there is no solution, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep) [Well written article, Mr Paudyal, but the male macho patriarchal high caste politicians will never understand. Maybe it's simply because they cannot read and think or simply refuse to do so!!], Labour migration experts criticise government decision to resume foreign employment: The government’s decision contradicts its own move of repatriating migrant workers from the pandemic-hit labour destination countries, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp) [This finally takes the entire completely ill thought out lockdown of the Oli government ad absurdum!], Build safety nets: The government must buttress its support system to help those rendered jobless by the pandemic (kp), The novel coronavirus poses new challenges: Equality and inclusion are critical to minimising the impact on the poor, marginalised and vulnerable, by Karuna Onta (kp), Country faces challenges of COVID-19, monsoon related disasters (ht), Desperate informal sector: Those in the informal sector have already been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic. They are the ones the governments struggle most to reach with targeted policies and relief, by Suresh Pandit (rep)

21/06/2020: ‘Enough is Enough’ movement voices concern: Organisers condemn caste and gender-based violence taking place in quarantine facilities (ht), Youths take to street against poor handling of COVID-19 yet again (ht), All-male party Secretariat decides on citizenship, an issue that largely concerns women: If the ruling Nepal Communist Party does not take steps to make its committees more inclusive, its decisions could lose moral authority, women leaders say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Residence permit with economic, social and cultural rights proposed for foreign women married to Nepali nationals until they get citizenship cards (rep) [And Nepali women who are married to foreigners have to leave the country? But of course, women are not really human beings and citizens, only men, especially male Bahuns! What arrogance! What machismo!!], When Oli speaks before Parliament, there is no telling what he will say: Political commentators say the prime minister tends to address Parliament like he is speaking to his party cadres, veering off topic, cracking jokes and even ridiculing others, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Out-of-job domestic workers are struggling for survival even as lockdown is relaxed: Up to 85 percent of domestic workers lost their jobs during the lockdown—and now there is no safety net for them, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Homeward journey in difficult times: Stories of people longing to go home during the pandemic show the grim realities of these uncertain times, by Abhi Subedi (kp), Seven years since the Mahakali floods, victims await compensation: Residents of Khalanga fear possible floods every monsoon, as the embankments that were damaged seven years ago are yet to be reconstructed, by Manoj Badu (kp), 3,108 stranded Nepalis return home in three weeks (kp) [The number is hardly worth mentioning!], Revenue collection adversely affected by lockdown; govt faces economic crisis: Experts advise govt to economize (kh)

20/06/2020: Youths stage protest against govt’s handling of COVID-19, by Santosh Raj Panday (kh), Ruling party’s virtual meeting with the Chinese Communist Party draws widespread criticism for being ill-timed: Politicians say that such meetings at a time of heightened tensions between India and China will raise questions about Nepal’s commitment to its own non-aligned foreign policy by Anil Giri (kp), Officials seek support from non-profits to manage dispatch and quarantine centres: Social Welfare Council was also conducting a need assessment for managing quarantine centres to generate support from non-government organisations, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Bus operators want officials to announce plans to resume public transport: They say the government should come up with a modality to reopen public transport as over millions depend on transport-related business for their livelihoods, by Anup Ojha (kp), Police arrest in-laws over death of Hetauda woman: Investigators, family of deceased believe she was murdered, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Government bars movement of people and vehicles from 10pm to 5am: Security agencies and local administrations have been directed to strictly monitor that the directives are being followed at workplace and public areas, by Matrika Dahal (kp), Individuals at quarantine facilities in Banke living with fear of snakes: Most refuse to stay in these facilities since snake sightings have increased with the rise in temperature, by Madhu Shahi and Rupa Gahatraj (kp), Government issues COVID safety guidelines (ht), Govt decides to lift ban on foreign employment as lockdown measures are relaxed (rep) [??? International flights are still banned!!], NCP decides to make foreign women married to Nepali nationals wait for 7 years after marriage to acquire citizenship (rep) [Any unequal treatment of women and men is a blatant violation of the principle of equality of the Constitution and internationally recognised human rights. The male Tagdhari, who dominate Nepal, show here their archaic-patriarchal way of thinking, which denies Nepalese women a free choice of partner and life style. Only foreign wives of Nepalese men are entitled to naturalization, whenever, but never the foreign husbands of Nepalese women!], Mainstream Nationalism vs. Regional Nationalism, by Ashis Adhikari (rep)

19/06/2020: With the new map endorsed, Oli braces once again for challenges from within the party: Party leaders had rallied behind Oli to present a united front in the border dispute with India, but they say their patience is fast running out, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Women’s rights groups call for safe, dignified repatriation and reintegration of returnee female migrant workers: They have demanded that the government allow registration of illegally migrated women workers with the Foreign Employment Board and ensure the rights of returnee women migrant workers, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Tax authorities press businesses to clear dues: Govt under pressure to meet even recurrent expenditure (ht), Food insecurity across country increases by 23 per cent: Survey (ht), ADB, UNICEF join hands to supply medical equipment (ht), PM defends MCC agreement (ht), As parties wrestle over naturalized citizenship, thousands don't yet have the document (rep), As 30,000 plus swab samples pile up, patients have to wait for up to three weeks to get results (rep)

18/06/2020: No justice, no peace: Young people are coming out for the very first time to protest against injustices. These newly minted activists may change the world profoundly, by Pramod Mishra (kp), Dalit killings in Rukum village spark outrage over caste discrimination (ht), Unable to collect taxes, the government is going broke: Based on the current revenue stream, the government could soon be unable to pay salaries, pensions, social security allowances, and its bills, finance ministry officials say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Two years on, parties are still undecided on naturalised citizenship: State Affairs and Good Governance Committee has given five days to the parties to arrive at consensus or go for a vote, by Binod Ghimire (kp), National Assembly endorses the constitution amendment bill to update Nepal’s new map: All 57 members present voted in favour of the bill which will now be sent to President Bidya Devi Bhandari for authentication, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Nepal’s President certifies Constitution Amendment Bill: Nepal’s new map gets constitutional recognition (kh), President authenticates Constitution amendment bill (ht), Frustration grows in quarantine centres as corona test results delayed: While some people have resorted to protests, others have clashed with police demanding that their test results be made available at the earliest, by Shiva Puri and Jyotee Katuwal (kp), Discharged Covid-19 infected individuals return to their villages only to be shunned: Returnees to their villages in Narainapur face hunger, poverty and ostracisation in society, by Madhu Shahi & Rupa Gahatraj (kp), Paradox of republic: How many more governments do we need to change in order to realize that the fault line goes far and beyond the convenient scapegoats?, by Sarans Pandey (rep), Covid-19 – A triggering factor for domestic violence, by Niruta Timalsina and Nisha Parajuli  (ht)

17/06/2020: Reports suspect police negligence, political protection for murderers in Rukum killings: They doubt a strong case will be presented to prosecute the perpetrators, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Kin of the youths killed in Soti continues protest demanding justice: Protesters demand to scrap of the alleged ‘falsified’ postmortem report, by Bhim Bahadur Singh (kp), Non-Dalits are not shaken to the core; the response is hollow: Dalit youths, by Anjali Subedi (rep), Home Ministry urged to curb rising violence against women (ht), Supreme Court orders government to use welfare fund to repatriate Nepali workers stranded abroad: Tens of thousands of Nepalis willing to return home are still stranded for a lack of money to buy air tickets and clarity on repatriation modality, Sangam Prasain & Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Use govt fund to rescue migrant workers: Supreme Court (ht), Nepali embassies’ ill-treatment of workers continues even during pandemic: A video gone viral on social media shows an official at the UAE embassy cold- shoulder a Nepali man in distress, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Police arrest labourers protesting against Melamchi project: Workers, vendors and subcontractors of the project are yet to receive over Rs169million in remuneration and provident fund, by Anish Tiwari (kp), Capital spending dismal at fag end of fiscal:  Only 31 per cent development budget spent; Average expenditure in previous years 60pc (ht), Power authority set to lose Rs 25bn annually: Govt fails to address electricity demand with wrong taxation (ht), Public transport entrepreneurs seek government support for survival, by Arpana Ale Magar (ht), Food insecurity increased to 23 percent; Karnali most vulnerable, by Shree Ram Subedi (rep)

16/06/2020: Call for change: Through peaceful and smart protests around the country, the youth have demanded a structural transformation. It should be perceived as a warning bell by all of society, by Sujeev Shakya (kp), Congress vows to take to the streets alongside politically unaffiliated youths: While the youths have largely remained politically unaffiliated so far, the involvement of the Congress is likely to bring the movement under a political flag, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [This movement would be better left in the hands of civil society, as it directly addresses the concerns and needs of the people. For decades, all political parties, especially the Nepali Congress, have put the needs of the multi-ethnic and multicultural population behind personal power aspirations and interests!], Relatives of youths killed in Soti question 'ambiguous' post-mortem reports: Protesters accuse doctors of caving under political pressure and vandalise Jajarkot hospital, by Bhim Bahadur Singh (kp), Provinces announce budgets with strong focus on health and employment: Most provinces have reduced the size of their budgets and earmarked significant amounts to health infrastructure and job creation alongside austerity measures, by Sangam Prasain and Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Odd-even rule for motorcycles irks commuters: The rule will affect hundreds of people rely on two-wheelers to get to work and run their businesses, by Anup Ojha (kp), Study finds a litany of shortcomings and shortages in Covid-19 treatment facilities: From inadequate protective suits to lack of trained medical workers to limited testing capacity, health facilities have a host of issues keeping them from fighting the disease effectively, by Arjun Poudel (kp), A woman shares her family’s harrowing journey from India to Surkhet during pandemic: Maan Kumari and her family were cruelly treated when they reached their hometown and at the quarantine centre they were accused of bringing the coronavirus, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Learning curves: Doubts persist over the efficacy of the government’s ambitious alternative learning model (kp) [As so often, Oli obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. Probably within a week he will provide the whole country with the necessary infrastructure and personally take over costs that cannot be borne by the mass of the poor population.], Sharp rise in number of people entering Kathmandu after govt eased lockdown (rep), Justice Done To Statues, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km)

15/06/2020: In-custody death of a Musahar man sparks protests in Janakpur: Police say 23-year-old Shambhu Sada committed suicide, but family members suspect it was an extra-judicial killing, by Ajit Tiwari (kp) [Nepal is also ripe for an anti-racism movement and a correction of its view of history, including its questionable heroes, identifications and socio-hierarchical discrimination!], Cases filed against 34 people demanding life imprisonment for Dalit youth killings in Soti: Homicide, attempted homicide and caste-based discrimination and untouchability charges have been filed against them, by Krishna Prasad Gautam (kp), Three youth protests in a week. Observers say government needs to take note: Politically unaffiliated youths taking to the streets is not a regular occurrence in Nepali history, say analysts, as most protests are led by political parties, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Over 1,200 people killed themselves during 74 days of lockdown: Doctors say the pandemic and its social and economic impacts have led to increased stressors, resulting in more mental health problems, by Arjun Poudel (kp), 648 women committed suicide during lockdown: Police (kh), Of maps and morals: With an amicable solution to the current dispute, Nepal and India can forge a new global ideal of living together peacefully (kp) [For this, India's politicians must accept historical facts and Nepal's politicians must end their hypocritical outrage and admit their mistakes publicly!], Finance minister shows bleak revenue situation as court halts revenue collection: Government fears it will be unable to meet liabilities such as salary, pension and social security allowance, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Managing our economy: In order to kick-start the economy, citizens should receive cash or other means of relief, by Manoj Kumar Kedia (kp)

14/06/2020: FORUM-ASIA urges government to ensure safety of migrant workers returning from India: The human rights group has raised its concern about heavy congestion and lack of necessary facilities in Nepali quarantine centres (kp) [See joint statement by 7 HR organisation: Nepal: Ensure safety of returning migrant workers (12/06/2020)], Constitution amendment bill to update Nepal map endorsed unanimously at the Lower House: Diplomatic and political dialogue with India necessary to bring Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani back into Nepal’s possession, lawmakers say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), House of Representatives unanimously endorses the national emblem having Nepal's new map (rep), 11 lawmakers skipped crucial Lower House meeting that endorsed new political map (rep), Prime minister’s advisor reveals expenditure report but no one knows where it came from: Government officials have professed ignorance about a report published on social media breaking down the amount the government has spent so far in fighting Covid-19, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Lockdown curtailed tuberculosis patients’ access to health facilities, TB center says: A study shows detection of new tuberculosis cases declined by 50 percent during the lockdown, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Food crisis hits Bajura folks hard (ht), Police fire tear gas, shots to control quarantined people (ht), Airfare for repatriation flights reduced (ht)

13/06/2020: There’s silence in ruling party as protests continue on streets. But it could be the calm before the storm, insiders say: Leaders are biding time before upping the ante against Oli, who according to them, is trying to run the government and party with an iron fist, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Independent youths take to streets against govt's lackluster response to COVID-19 (rep), Massive protest begins at Maitighar (rep), 7 foreigners held for participating in demo (kh), Government move of forming a team to collect evidence on Nepal’s boundary runs into controversy: Experts and analysts say instead of devising a strategy for negotiations with New Delhi, Oli administration is moving a step back and putting the cart before the horse, by Anil Giri (kp), Online classes could lead to fatigue, long term physiological problems, say experts: While different countries have started debating about its negative consequences, Nepal’s government is promoting virtual classes without looking into ways to deal with its downsides, they say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Making migrant workers pay for Covid-19 screening adds to their desperation: While Nepalis working abroad are already asked to pay for chartered flights, burdening them with the cost of testing makes their repatriation more difficult, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Government’s odd and even rule not effective in Kathmandu, virologist suggest if vehicles and number of people on the road not controlled this will create havoc: Citizen criticize the government’s rule of restricting pillions in motorcycle and call it a ‘nonsense move’, by Anup Ojha (kp), The Costs Of Governance, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), High-level COVID control panel disbanded (ht), Restriction on pillion-riding affects mobility (ht), Amid mounting public pressure, govt publicizes details of Rs 8.39 billion spent on COVID-19 response so far (rep), Govt unveils COVID-19 expenditure of Rs 8.39 bln (kh)

12/06/2020: Youth-led protests against the government’s handling of Covid-19 spread to major cities: On Thursday, over a thousand people in Kathmandu and hundreds more around the country demanded financial transparency and better management of the pandemic from the government, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), More anti-government protests in Kathmandu, by Bikram Rai (nt), Lockdown is officially eased, with private vehicles allowed on odd-even basis and shops to open: After widespread criticism regarding the prolongement of the nationwide lockdown, the government has decided to ease prohibitions in certain sectors, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Exit strategy: More challenges lie ahead even as we learn to live with the pandemic (kp), Quarantine centres are turning into Covid breeding ground, National Human Rights Commission warns: Government ignoring repeated calls to improve situation in quarantine facilities, says its monitoring report, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Supreme Court orders government to allow taxpayers a month after lockdown ends: Authorities ordered not to implement tax notice and make justifiable review at places where people continue to face difficulties (kp), All 20 prime accused in the killings of Dalit youths in Rukum (West) arrested: Police arrested three more people on Wednesday in connection to the incident, by Hari Gautam (kp), Over 300 Nepali workers return home from Kuwait: Undocumented women workers who were pardoned by the Kuwaiti government were the first to return home, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Stranded Nepalis start to fly home: Government releases timetable of evacuation flights for Nepalis stranded in 34 countries (nt), Nepal Media Society objects to Press Council survey report: It has concluded that the Press Council’s report disregards accepted research norms and attacks rule of law and independent journalism (kp), Married daughter entitled to inherit parental property: SC, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Nepal at the edge of the COVID-19 precipice: Connect the dots: oil import, electric cars, drop in remittances, air pollution, corinavirus lockdown, by Anil Chitrakar (nt),

11/06/2020: In Saptari, a Musahar woman is accused of practising witchcraft and beaten: Despite being beaten bloody with a metal plate, Manjudevi Sada has been ordered by the village panchayat to settle with the perpetrators and not file a case, by Abdhesh Kumar Jha (kp), These 21 services are open from today. List of phase-wise openings (rep), Cabinet decides to ease lockdown in phases: Shops to open up and private vehicles to ply in the first phase, by Anil Giri (kp), Phase-wise relaxation of lockdown begins today (kh), Govt eases lockdown; businesses and industries to open, private vehicles to operate on odd-even basis (rep), Oli peddles in mistruths and sidesteps criticism before Parliament: Responding to lawmakers on Wednesday, Oli stated that Nepalis have “stronger immune systems” and refused to furnish details of the Rs10 billion spent fighting Covid-19, by Anil Giri (kp), PM Oli stirs nationalist sentiments to hide govt failure (ht), Oli must go, but what’s the alternative?, by Jagannath Lamichhane (rep), Demonstration in Pokhara demanding PM’s resignation, by Sandesh Shrestha (rep), People brave water cannons, teargas during protest at Baluwatar (kh), Kathmandu markets to reopen today, pvt vehicles to ply (ht), Birth pangs: We can't afford to ignore the rights of pregnant women and newborns (kp), Skirting the issue: On paper, Nepal has made some important strides towards gender equality and inclusion. Yet, in reality, the situation is far from perfect, by Deepak Thapa (kp), Govt schedules 67 flights to repatriate Nepalis, by Arpana Ale Magar (ht), 299 Nepali women brought home from Kuwait, by Dipesh Shrestha (ht), For Dalits, love is forbidden: A woman’s family harbors a dislike for an inter-caste marriage only when the groom belongs to a ‘lower caste’. The dislike is greater if he happens to be a Dalit, by Giri Bahadur Sunar (rep)

10/06/2020: Water cannons and batons at protest against government’s handling of the pandemic: Police employed force to disperse around 150 people gathered in peaceful protest outside the prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar, by Anup Ojha (kp), Peaceful protesters beaten up (ht), Even with three committees and marathon meetings, government undecided on lifting lockdown: In response to increasing pressure, the government is looking at three models that aim to completely lift the lockdown by Dashain, by Anil Giri (kp), Supreme Court orders government to take special care of pregnant women: Justices say the right to safe motherhood is a right guaranteed by the constitution (kp) [The fact that a court order is required speaks volumes about the competence of the government. Orders from the courts do not interest the government anyway!], Government task force says Nepal needs 1.5 million jobs to avoid unemployment crisis: The government has set the target of creating only 700,000 jobs over the next fiscal year, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp) [Job creation has been neglected by all governments for many years. Now these politicians are getting the credit!], Police halt operation of businesses in valley (ht), Experts urge government to set safety protocols and slacken lockdown: The delay in reaching a decision over unshackling the economy has spread confusion among the business community, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Government not to accept medical aid worth below Rs500,000: The Health Ministry has issued a set of standards that require donors from providing quality certified goods to following single window policy before making their donations, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp) [Can't the country need all kinds of help?], Digging for justice: Keep an eye on the parliamentar committee’s probe on Soti killings (kp), Khatri released in the presence of NHRC member (ht), 10 per cent local veggies still not getting market (ht), Government all set to ease lockdown enforced to contain spread of COVID-19 (rep) [What does it mean? The people have the right to detailed information!!], Program for the poor: How welfare-to-work programs can protect the poor and vulnerable during the difficult times, by Tara Kanel (rep), Nawaraj: The spark that will light the fire: Nawaraj was brave. He walked up fearlessly and while outnumbered still tried to reason. This is the courage we will all require. Let his death not go in vain, by Binayak Sundas (rep)

09/06/2020: Malnourished children at risk as nutrition centres are requisitioned for Covid-19 care: The country will have more deaths from malnutrition if the issue is ignored, nutrition experts have warned, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Children from low-income working class families can't join online classes: Schools and colleges across the country are rolling out online classes, but those without the means to get a computer or an internet connection are being left out, by Anup Ojha (kp) [We are talking about the overwhelming majority of Nepalese school children!], In sharp contrast to government’s ambitious 7 percent growth, World Bank forecasts a dismal 2.1 percent for next fiscal year: The 7 percent target has been deemed overly ambitious while economists call the World Bank’s forecast more realistic, by Sangam Prasain (kp) [The absurd prognosis of the government without any basis is an irresponsible whitewash!], Over 40 days in a Kuwaiti camp with no sign of returning home: Undocumented workers in Kuwait had taken advantage of a general amnesty to return home, but the Nepal government has yet to let them fly into the country, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), MoFA submits list of citizens needing urgent evacuation (ht), Nationalism has overshadowed governance: A clear disconnect between Nepal’s immediate priorities and the national budget has been exposed, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Resumption of public transport on cards: Social distancing, disinfecting vehicles and wearing of masks to be made mandatory (ht), Police use water canon to disperse protestors in Baluwatar (kh), Nepal: End impunity for caste-based discrimination and killings (Forum-Asia)

08/06/2020: Supreme Court asks why state shouldn’t pay for repatriation of migrant workers: Petitioners say the government’s repatriation plan contradicts the provisions of the Foreign Employment Act, as well as the constitution, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Avoid rough landing: The last thing the country needs at this moment is a repatriation disaster (kp), Most Covid victims have died untested, with infections detected after death: Doctors are questioning why they weren’t tested earlier since most of them had been living in quarantine, and why they didn’t receive proper medical attention, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Rise in Covid-19 cases across the country prompts concern over already crowded prisons: Hundreds of new inmates have entered prisons since the lockdown began on March 24, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), ‘Lawmaker Satgaunwa’s remark to be probed’ (ht), Huge price difference in health equipment purchased by Army and Department of Health Services, by Sunil Sapkota (rep), Time for national awakening: Murder of Nabaraj BK driven by discriminatory and racist behaviors should drive a process of national reckoning, by Simone Galimberti (rep)

07/06/2020: Authorities plan to rescue Nepalis stranded abroad. But no one knows who will pay for it: There’s no clear decision yet on who pays for travel as the government plan hints at bringing them on chartered flights, by Sangam Prasain and Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Health workers deployed at Covid-19 frontline deprived of their allowances: The health workers were supposed to be paid an amount equivalent to their salary for working under challenging conditions, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Govt directed to ensure regular medical services to citizens (ht),  Army for Covid response raises questions if government is getting over-reliant on the defence force: Government’s failure to make it clear why and on what grounds it is mobilising the Army may mean civilian authorities are ineffective and incompetent, analysts say, b y Tika R. Pradhan (kp), NHRC concerned about journos’ rights, condition in quarantine (ht), Odyssey of Nepali media: Nepali media deserve a cheer for their vigilance, boldness and service, by Abhi Subedi (kp), A shadow pandemic: With the lockdown grabbing all attention, domestic violence against women is often overlooked, by Nilima Adhikari (kp), Local units in Gandaki are running out of financial resources to combat coronavirus: As the province sees a surge in Covid-19 cases, local units struggle to fund their response, including rescue efforts (kp), Government unveils list of 47 self-paid quarantine hotels (ht)

06/06/2020: Government is considering plans to ease the lockdown but there’s no decision yet: The government is under immense pressure to find ways to gradually lift the restrictions as people are starving and businesses are on the verge of collapse, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Efforts on to quarantine evacuees in hotels across country: Ministry of Tourism negotiating rates with the hotels association to accommodate foreign returnees who can afford to foot their own bills, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Government underestimates number of workers awaiting repatriation, say experts: While officials say 25,000 will be brought home in the first phase, the plan will leave behind a majority of Nepalis whose conditions are worsening due to the Covid-19 pandemic, by Chandan Kuimar Mandal (kp), As new fiscal year draws near, government’s plan to plant 50million tree saplings in 2019-20 is nowhere near its target: Government officials are confident about meeting the plantation target but they are not willing to bet on the survival of the plants, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp) [As always, empty words from the Oli government!], 15 yrs on, Bandarmudhe blast victims still await justice (ht), Easing the lockdown and its impact on women: For women in Nepal, easing of the lockdown has potential to further compound pre-existing gender inequalities based on caste, class, geographical location and various religious conventions and beliefs, by Swasti Gautam (rep)

05/06/2020: Health Ministry recommends declaring public health emergency but Cabinet undecided: A public health emergency will allow the government to make use of all healthcare infrastructure, both public and private, and redistribute funds to fight Covid-19, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Pandemic and lockdown provide veil for government to withhold information: Nepal’s political parties advocate transparency when in the opposition but ignore it while in government, observers say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Migrant rights groups slam government plan to charge migrant workers for their repatriation: A writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court demanding free repatriation and medical services for Nepali workers stranded in various labour destination countries, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Feed the hungry: The government can’t abandon the poor in the face of a humanitarian crisis (kp), Limpiyadhura-Kalapani-Lipulekh dispute: The only option Nepal has is to try and resolve the issue through quiet diplomacy, by Naresh Koirala (kp) [Diplomacy is the way, but it should not be too quiet! For decades no one has heard of the claim that this is Nepalese territory, neither inside nor outside Nepal. Even the politicians who are so outraged today declared the area to be Indian territory in 2015 when the constitution was created. In this respect, there is a very considerable lack of explanation on the part of all leading politicians! The people have a right to know why the politicians have behaved this way in 2015!], Govt refutes UNHCR statement on freedom of expression (ht), Mental health in Nepal: A ticking pandemic time bomb, by Arjun Poudel (ae), Famine or feast in Nepal?, by Sushma Joshi (ae), Time to grow up: We are now entering our 12th week of the lockdown. But neither are we updated daily (or not updated at all) on what the future plans are, nor are we encouraged to ‘keep up the good work’, by Jackie Taylor (ae) [Incompetent Oli and his incompetent government have no plans, only greed for power! Why inform the people on any plans?], Far-reaching impacts of lockdown on Nepali society: In the Initial days, the lockdown disproportionately affected daily-wage earners. Now, it is starting to weigh heavy even on those in organized sectors who rely on monthly salary, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae)

04/06/2020: The lockdown is killing the poor and the marginalised: In Pathari’s Musahar community, one person has already died of hunger and others are on the verge of starvation, by Binu Subedi and Abdhesh Kumar Jha (kp), Public health experts point at government failure amid projections of spike in cases: Officials estimate that the number of Covid-19 cases is likely to double within a week, ultimately reaching a peak of 20,000 infections and between 400 and 500 deaths, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Challenge To End Caste Discrimination, by Gopal Khanal (rn), Traders defy lockdown as patience runs thin in Nepal (ht), Evacuation of Nepalis likely to begin Friday: Around 40,000 citizens expected: to be repatriated in first phase (ht) [This already means at least 160 flights!!], Govt entrusts high-level committee to prepare modality to ease lockdown (kh)

03/06/2020: Discrimination against Dalits continues to stain Nepal’s social fabric: Two recent incidents resulting in the killings of seven Dalit individuals have once again brought to light the uncomfortable fact that caste-based discrimination is alive and well, by Elisha Shrestha and Aditi Aryal (kp), Parliamentary committee directs formation of Dalit cell in Nepal Police: Panel on law and justice calls for separate unit to deal with cases of caste-based discrimination, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Soti incident: Sixth missing body found after 10 days: The deceased along with his 18 friends was attacked by Soti villagers while the group was accompanying Nabaraj BK to bring home his 17-year-old girlfriend as his bride, by Bhim Bahadur Singh (kp), Caste And Race Based Discrimination, by Namrata Sharma (rn), In a symbolic gesture to Madhes, Congress registers its own constitution amendment bill: The bill is the same one that was registered by then government led by party President Deuba in 2017, by Anil Giri (kp) [In reality, even the NC has no understanding for the concerns of the Janajati and Madheshi. The present non-inclusive constitution was passed in 2015 under the then NC Chairman and PM, late Sushil Koirala!], The budget has failed to take advantage of a critical juncture: The government has, once again, not been able to enact structural change when afforded an opportunity by the extraordinary circumstances, by Chandan Sapkota (kp), As the never-ending lockdown continues, taxmen ask business firms to clear taxes: Taxpayers say they have not been able to collect cash from the market and are unable to pay the tax at the moment, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp) [???], Deadline to pay taxes extended by a fortnight to June 21: The Inland Revenue Department deferred the deadline after meeting with widespread criticism for asking citizens to pay taxes in the middle of a lockdown, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp)

02/06/2020: JSP-Nepal registers private constitution amendment bill (ht), Janata Party and Samajbadi Party register private constitution amendment bill of their own: The regional parties propose amendments to 23 issues that are aimed at addressing the long-standing concerns of the Madhesis, Tharus and Janajatis, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Government pushing constitutional amendment in Parliament hardens positions on both sides of the border: Once the amendment passes, the new political map will be enshrined in the constitution, leading India to also take up a more inflexible position on the boundary, pundits say, by Anil Giri (kp), Oli administration taking decisions keeping respective ministries in the dark: Announcement in the new budget to assign private high schools to look after a public school leads to severe criticism, by Binod Ghimire [This is normal under Oliarchy!] (kp), Thousands of children in Kathmandu deprived of immunisation: Doctors say the capital city is highly vulnerable to outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Ease the lockdown: The government should now improvise to get the economy running before people begin pouring out onto the streets (kp), As Covid-19 cases spike in Karnali, provincial government grapples with resource management: Of the 198 Covid patients in Karnali, 65 are still at quarantine facilities, by Kalendra Sejuwal (kp), Plan to evacuate Nepalis from abroad unveiled: Nepali Army to take care of most of the work to manage returnees, by Umesh Poudel (ht), Social media users blast planned renovation works at President's Office calling it ill-timed (rep) [???]

01/06/2020: Supreme Court orders govt to provide goods to needy for preventing COVID-19 pandemic (rep), Government seeks shortcut to get constitution amendment bill passed: The government has said that a quick passage of the bill will allow it time to prepare ground for talks with India, but analysts believe it fears political disruption, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Massive influx of returnees in Sudurpaschim risks community spread: An overwhelming number of returnees, poor testing rate, and unmanaged quarantine facilities may cause a rampant community spread of the coronavirus, experts warn, by Mohan Budhaair and Bhawani Bhatta (kp), Police personnel face host of challenges due to pandemic: Officials say they have changed their strategy to minismise infection among personnel, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), NHRC deploys separate team to probe Soti incident (ht), Ill-managed quarantine facilities putting lives of many at risk, doctors say, by Ashim Neupane (rep), COVID-19: Challenges and role of government: The COVID-19 has currently sparked a backlash against the global economy, by Swastik Aryal (kh), 18,000 Nepalis enter Nepal via Gaddachauki in past one week (kh), COVID-19 and food insecurity, by Purna B. Nepali and Mahesh Bisukhey (ht)

31/05/2020: Calls grow louder to ease coronavirus curbs and reopen the economy: Government extends Covid-19 lockdown until June 14 amid relaxation demands by economists and business people, by Prithvi Man Shrestha and Sangam Prasain (kp), Rising Covid-19 cases and limited isolation beds once again expose government’s lack of preparedness to fight the virus: Amid plans to send infected persons home and to poorly managed quarantine, experts warn of community spread, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Ruling party Secretariat decides to put projects under MCC on hold until House ratification: Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada will clarify the government’s stance on the issue before Parliament, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Where is the roadmap? International adjudicatory settings have traditionally been hesitant to place legal value on maps, by Semanta Dahal (kp), Farming falls on women's shoulders: But their work and contributions tend to be invisible to policymakers and academics, by Subarna Malla Singh (kp), Nepal’s Economy May Take Years To Recover, by Hari Prasad Shrestha (rn), Preparing For 'New Normal’, by Shyam P. Lohani (rn), Action plan to address problems of women, children and senior citizens (ht)

30/05/2020: UN condemns Dalit killings in Rukum (West) and calls for independent probe: Despite constitutional guarantees, impunity for caste-based discrimination and violence remains high in Nepal, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says (kp), Rights commission expresses concern over death after rape incident in Rupandehi: National Human Rights Commission says its Butwal office has started a probe into the incident (kp), NHRC concerned about death of rape victim (ht)

29/05/2020: Still untouchable: Navaraj BK and his friends died because he loved an upper-caste girl. He won’t be the last, by Amish Raj Mulmi (kp), One more body recovered from Bheri River; death toll of Soti incident reaches five: Search is on for another missing person, police say, by Hari Gautam and Bhim Bahadur Singh (kp), UN, AI demand impartial probe into Rukum incident (ht), Nepal: Bachelet condemns Dalit killings, calls for independent investigation (OHCR), Nepal: Authorities must deliver justice for Dalit killings (AI), Revised regulation in Security Allowance Act hangs single helpless women out to dry: The new regulation issued by the Department of National ID and Civil Registration to exclude single women below 60 years of age from receiving the Helpless Single Woman Allowance, by Ramesh Kumar Paudel (kp), Despite massive blow to economy from Covid-19, government aims for 7 percent growth: The government’s target is overly ambitious and unrealistic, say experts, especially as the full impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have yet to be felt, by Sangam Prasain (kp) , Government eyes massive 700,000 jobs within the country: Experts say the government plan of creating jobs is neither new nor adequate to deal with the Covid-19 fallout, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Health sector gets 32 percent more budget compared to previous year: Experts say that the budget will be insufficient to deal with the pandemic and resume regular services if the number of Covid-19 cases surges past government estimates, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Nepal’s budget: Not quite all there: Though the government seems to have its heart in the right place, the plans and allocations announced are underwhelming (kp), High Level Committee decides to rescue Nepalis stranded abroad: Fixes 20 checkpoints for entering from India (kh)

28/05/2020: Fourth body recovered: from Bheri River: Family members and relatives of the deceased had found the body on Wednesday, by Hari Gautam (kp), Removal of constitution amendment from parliamentary agenda leads to finger pointing between parties: While the Nepal Communist Party says that the agenda was removed to allow the Congress more time, the opposition says it’s the ruling party that is delaying amendment, by Anil Giri (kp), Involving men in eliminating taboos surrounding menstruation: As menstrual stigmas have largely been put in place and supported by men, their participation in uprooting these taboos is critical, gender rights activists say, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Digital divide too wide for online classes to succeed in Nepal: The government has proposed online teaching-learning, but a majority of the schools and students in the country do not have computers, much less the internet, by Binod Ghimire (kp), The digital divide: Supporting private investment in education will not increase access to learning during the current crisis (kp), A story of two halves: Democracy may have already lasted longer than the Panchayat rule did, but accountability remains a fiction, by Deepak Thapa (kp), Border dispute reaches new heights: The geopolitical environment post-Covid-19 must be well analysed and evaluated, considering that Sino-US and Sino-Indo relations are not the same as before, by Binoj Basnyat (kp), No preparedness to handle incoming people: Two people returning from Gujarat, India died in Surkhet and Dhanusha for want of medical attention and hunger, by Kalendra Sejuwal and Ajit Tiwari (kp), Nepal has enough food to feed the population for 5 months: Distribution amid the lockdown is the problem, officials say, by Krishana Prasain (kp) [???], Action plan to rescue Nepali citizens stranded abroad in a day or two (ht), Protect rights of citizens residing in border areas: NHRC (ht), Don’t arrest quarantine escapees: SC (ht), Wage earners hit hard due to prolonged lockdown (ht), Constituency development fund given continuity despite widespread criticism (rep) [Long live political corruption!]

27/05/2020: Cracks in the melting pot: The various rights bodies need serious political support to truly stamp out discrimination (kp) House to discuss constitutional amendment to update map after national consensus: As the issue concerns a matter of national importance, the ruling party had sought all-party consensus on the amendment to update the country’s map on the national emblem, by Anil Giri (kp)  [The equal and egalitarian inclusion of the Janajatis, Madhesis, Dalits and women in general in the constitution would be of much greater importance than the territorial claims which the male politicians at the head of the state in 2015 completely ignored! Today, these same politicians are playing the nationalism card instead of trying to rationally contain the pandemic and save the people's economic base!], A 200 percent increase in maternal mortality since the lockdown began: At least 24 women have died of birth-related complications in the last two months, compared to 80 deaths in all of last year, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Government forms team to investigate the death of three youths in Rukum West: Lawmakers have demanded a parliamentary probe committee to study discriminations against Dalits throughout the country (kp) [This is an extremely severe criminal case, based on Hindu fanatic thinking! Why are representatives from ministries participated? Or are you loking for ways to eliminate outdated Hindu social thinking and behaviour?], Treacherous trail to Lipulekh: Modification of Nepal’s political map is just the beginning of an arduous political, administrative and diplomatic journey, by CK Lal (kp), Thousands of Nepalis without food or shelter await entrance at the Karnali border: Migrants arriving from India are massed at the border without basic amenities as the provincial government has sought to test them all for Covid-19 before letting them in, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Surdurpaschim braces for a food shortage with influx of returnees to the province amid pandemic: A significant majority of Sudurpaschim natives returned to the province in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic. This has led to a sudden increase in demand for food in the province, by Mohan Budhaair (kp), Govt projects 2.3 per cent economic growth for this fiscal: Per capita income to increase to Rs 126,018; Despite joblessness absolute poverty to decline (ht) [Just like a miracle!], Taking Covid-19 induced challenges as an opportunity: Key areas of focus, by Padam Raj Paneru (kh)

26/05/2020: Serious human rights violations against Dalits reported during lockdown: Parliamentary committee orders the government to book culprits, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), One more body recovered from the Bheri River on Monday: The third victim was among the 18 who had accompanied Nabaraj BK to Soti in Rukum (West). The deceased Nabaraj was killed in his pursuit of a girl whose family deemed him ‘untouchable’, by Bhim Bahadur Singh & Hari Gautam (kp), 15 including ward chair arrested in connection with Nawaraj BK’s killing, by Dinesh Kumar Shrestha (ht), Dirty mop: While changing the laws governing the CIAA is a good thing, the current amendment under discussion falls below par (kp), Caste-based discrimination ends a beautiful relationship: Even a locally-elected representative was against their relationship, by Lokendra Khanal and Ganesh Bishu (rep), In address to nation, Oli repeats misinformation and provides no concrete plans: In his third address in two months, the prime minister commended his government’s efforts to combat Covid-19, but provided little of substance even as cases continue to rise, by Anil Giri (kp), Health Ministry insists Nepal has still not entered ‘community transmission’ stage: Such a claim from the ministry comes when people without travel history have been infected with the coronavirus, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Poor border security arrangement fails to control cross-border movement in Morang: The entry of people through proxy border routes still continues risking spread of Covid-19, by Madhav Ghimire (kp), Successive governments have failed to ensure state’s presence in border towns and villages, a report by national rights body says: The four-year long study has also pointed out the lack of basic services like schools and health facilities in border areas and harassment faced by locals at the hands of Indian border security force, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Return to the dialogue table: When governments fail to address contemporary problems, they resort to provocative nationalistic demagogy, by Achyut Wagle (kp), 58,769 have returned home since Mar 24: ‘Nearly 580,000 Nepalis stranded in several parts of India’ (ht), New modalities necessary, say health experts (ht)

25/05/2020: Bodies of two Dalit men recovered from Bheri River: A Dalit man went to marry a girl from ‘upper-caste’ but her family and villagers chased them into the river, by Hari Gautam and Bhim Bahadur Singh (kp) Janata Samajbadi Party reiterates demand for constitutional amendment to incorporate concerns of Madhesi community: As the government prepares to revise the constitution to legitimise new map, Samajbadi leaders tell the Business Advisory Committee of Parliament that it’s also an ‘opportune’ moment to address their concerns, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Speaker for consensus on revising emblem: Madhesis, Janajatis sense opportunity to push their agenda, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), The Border Dispute Saga – End of the argument for the Royalists, by Sachin Timalsena (kh), Corruption in private sector needs probe but so does corruption in political parties, say experts: An amendment to the anti-corruption law seeks to widen the jurisdiction of the CIAA to include the private sector but political parties also need scrutiny, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), With patients testing positive for Covid-19, more hospitals could close down completely: If hospitals close down, more patients will be deprived of medical services and the country’s health infrastructure will come under more stress, doctors warn, by Arjun Poudel (kp), The politics of distraction: While Nepal’s release of a new political map was important, the discourse must move back to Covid-19 management (kp), Putting the environment above profits: The time has come for us to reimagine and restructure our economic priorities, by Avash Pandey (kp), Govt still lacks concrete plan for businesses to resume (ht)

24/05/2020: Madhes-based parties press own demands alongside constitution amendment for new map: While there’s no debate on an issue of national importance, the constitutional amendment bill could be an opportune moment to address long-standing demands of Madhesis, Janajatis and Tharus, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [The clarification of territorial claims is certainly important and decades overdue, but the inclusion of population groups that have been excluded for centuries, even under the constitution of 2015, is even more significant, a fact that the male Bahun at the head of the state and parties do not want to understand. It is problematic, however, that the leadership of the ethnic and regional parties is also exclusively male!], JSP-N seeks NC support for constitution amendment (ht), Kathmandu ward makes it compulsory for relief recipients to work for four hours to check fraud: At least one member needs to perform labour work assigned by local authorities, if the family is to receive essential supplies from the government, by Anup Ojha (kp), Infected people stay in quarantine centres in lack of isolation ward: Twenty-five people in Godaita Municipality, Sarlahi, have tested positive for Covid-19, by Om Prakash Thakur (kp), Rukum town stops providing meals to those in quarantine, gives them cash instead: People in various quarantine facilities across the municipality say Rs 178 given by the municipality every day is not enough to cover the cost of their four meals, by Hari Gautam (kp), Oli avoids NCP secretariat meeting on MCC (ht), Is COVID-19 portending bleak days in Nepal? Job-cut in Gulf countries to impact Nepal’s economy adversely (kh)

23/05/2020: Two months into lockdown, government yet to have a plan to bring back Nepalis from abroad: Officials say they are working on ways to repatriate citizens but there is neither evacuation protocol nor quarantine facilities and testing guarantee, by Anil Giri (kp), Govt still unprepared to bring back Nepalis (ht), CCMC tasked to manage returnee Nepalis (ht), People suffer as groceries become scarce and costly under lockdown: Prices continue to rise even as livelihoods have been taken away by the restrictions enforced to tackle the pandemic, by Krishana Prasain (kp), The lockdown has brought public transport to a grinding halt, leaving drivers and conducts by the roadside: Many believe that public transport will be the last to restart after the lockdown, but that could be too late for those who depend on driving for their livelihood, by Shashwat Pant (kp), Government registers constitution amendment bill to revise Nepal’s map in national emblem: The bill seeks to amend Schedule 3 of the constitution to update the map in the national emblem as per a new political map released on Wednesday (kp), Nepali and Indian ‘hackers’ attack websites over ‘boundary dispute’: Although, they claim to have made peace, recent spate of attacks on government websites expose their security vulnerability, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Deciphering the Kalapani-Lipulekh Conundrum, by Sumitra Karki (kh), When strategies don’t work, they backfire, by Prakash Acharya (ht), 378 Nepalis rescued from Nepal-India border in Baitadi, by Bira Gadal (rep), Is COVID-19 portending bleak days in Nepal? Job-cut in Gulf countries to impact Nepal’s economy adversely (kh)

22/05/2020: The Covid-19 pandemic will lead to fall of HDI across the globe, says UN: An assessment by UNDP shows Nepal will have challenge in attaining SDGs (kp), Lockdown restrictions have hit livelihood of poor families who depend on community forests: Government set to lose billions in revenue as forest cutting halted due to Covid-19, by Shashwat Pant (kp), Government has failed to procure a single ventilator for Covid treatment: Public health experts say except for enforcing and extending the lockdown, authorities have done nothing substantial, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Nepalis in Gulf seek immediate evacuation; 25,000 to be repatriated (kh), With tensions escalating on both sides, officials recommend holding Nepal-India talks at the earliest: As Kathmandu has been seeking diplomatic talks over the border with India since November, it is now up to New Delhi to make overtures, by Anil Giri (kp), Dialogue of the deaf: Both Nepal and India have made unilateral moves to stake their claim at the source of the Mahakali. Now what? (kp), Nepal’s accidental leaders: Now that the Army is in the business of importing medicine, why not deploy the Ministry of Health to defend Lipu Lekh?, by Anil Chitrakar (nt), Finance Committee recommends government launch Rs 188 billion stimulus package to keep economy afloat (kp), Gulmi teacher, third victim of COVID-19, buried against family consent, by Krishna Prasad Dhakal (ht), 3rd month of lockdown: Nepal now has to balance the risk of coronavirus with many more non-COVID deaths due to the lockdown, by Sonia Awale (nt), Cabinet decides to amend constitution to include new map in emblem (kh) [What about an amendment that makes constitution and state more inclusive, just as promised back in 2006? All top male Bahun politicians have rejected this so far. And now same same politicians want to change the constitution for a territorial issue in which they have never been interested for decades!], China’s silence adds to Nepal’s woes on Lipulekh: Kathmandu expects China, which is a party to the dispute over the Lipulekh Pass, to tell India to address Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity concerns. China has been noncommittal, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae), Corruption in the epidemic: Double jeopardy, by Prem Lamichhane (kh)

21/05/2020: Upper House endorses Bill on Special Service allowing phone tapping without court order: Legal experts say the provision could be misused by the government to silence dissidents, by Binod Ghimire (kp), At least 500,000 migrant workers want to return home at the earliest, says report: Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies says 10-30 percent of jobs held by Nepalis in Malaysia and the Gulf is gone, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Government preparing to rescue migrant workers stranded abroad, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [The Oli govt talks of 5 per cent only of those who have to return urgently!], Is Nepali media failing to abide by ethical journalistic standards in its quest for clicks and breaking news? Media outlets, both old and new, must abide by fair and ethical reporting, along with verification of information, while reporting the news especially in the time of a pandemic, observers say, by Aditi Aryal (kp), With release of new map, Nepal and India enter a state of ‘cartographic war’, experts say: While tensions are likely to escalate in the days to come, the move will ultimately pave the way for talks with India and a shift in bilateral relations, they say, by Anil Giri (kp) [The current position is okay, but the question remains why Nepalese governments have sold the Indian version as given for decades and even included in the 2015 constitution: Incompetence and ignorance?], Continued lockdown may trigger unpredictable economic consequences, experts say: The Central Bureau of Statistics has said Nepal's economy would likely grow at a rate of 2.27 percent this fiscal year, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Scrap Lawmakers’ Fund To Fight Corona, by Mukti Rijal (rn), Pandemic threatens to upend labour relations: Workers term employers’ decision to cut staff, wages ‘unilateral’ and ‘unacceptable’, by Sujan Dhungana (ht), Home Ministry directs to seal off all entry points to Kathmandu Valley (kh)

20/05/2020: NHRC urges govt to follow WHO protocol for quarantine facility management: Asks it to ensure all facilities meet WHO standards (ht), As doctors face eviction from landlords, a hotelier offers free lodging (rep), Failed strategy: The government seems to have forgotten why a lockdown was enforced in the first place (kp), In three hours before Parliament, Oli presents problems but offers few solutions: At a time when the nation is looking for empathy, effectiveness and hope from the prime minister, Oli failed to provide any real roadmap for the days ahead, observers say, by Anil Giri (kp), Parliament should decide whether to endorse MCC compact, Oli says: If political parties feel they don’t need the MCC, they can ask their lawmakers to vote against it, the prime minister says (kp), Task force suggests ways to create 2.5 million jobs amid job losses at home and abroad due to Covid-19: Focus is on entrepreneurship, reviving sick industries and utilising land spaces allocated for the industries, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp) [Such initiative is overdue for decades!], Govt to rescue Nepalis stranded abroad ‘on priority basis’ (ht) [Given the major failings of the Oli government in the last two months, there are almost only priority cases!], Reawakening in Nepal for territory: We are standing against encroachment because we know that national sovereignty is inviolable, that nations may be big or small but they are equal in terms of national sovereignty, by Devendra Gautam (rep), Nepal releases revised political map that incorporates Limpiyadhura, Lipu Lekh and Kalapani, the territories encroached by India (rep)

19/05/2020: Rights watchdog urges government to follow WHO quarantine practices: National Human Rights Commission suggests using the money in relief fund in coordination between the three tiers of government (kp), Police hit 67-year-old with baton for stepping out to buy milk: Man sustains a broken bone in his right leg due to the severity of the blow, by Bhusan Yadav (kp) [Both this police officer and the person who ordered such action must be brought to justice!], Nepal Army patrolling the streets raises alarm, leading many to question why the defence force was mobilised: The army says that military police were mobilised to ensure that its uniform is not misused to breach the lockdown, but analysts say it could have sought the help of the Nepal Police, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Cabinet endorses new political map that includes all territories that Nepal claims: The endorsement of the map, which will be made public on Tuesday, follows India’s inauguration of a new road link via Lipulekh in Nepal’s western frontier, by Tika R. Pradhan and Anil Giri (kp), With Oli already in a quagmire over Indian border encroachment, MCC compact rears its head again: A letter by two senior ruling party leaders has asked for wider discussions over the US-led aid programme which has long been controversial for its alleged geopolitical elements, by Anil Giri (kp), Paddy-whacked: The agriculture sector needs immediate attention from the government to make use of the coming monsoon (kp), Economic Recovery Need Of Hour, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), Khanal, Rawal pen probing note to Prime Minister Oli: Seek explanation on reference to MCC in the govt’s policies and programmes (ht), Deal to open trade route through Lipu Lekh does not affect outstanding boundary questions between Nepal and India: China tells Nepal, by Kosh Raj Koirala (rep) [Have they lost their minds? Do they really think Nepalis are stupid?], Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, Lipu Lekh are parts of Nepal: PM Oli (kh) [And why did you exclude it in the constitution and in all the maps for decades?]

18/05/2020: Elusive justice: The government continues to hold out on completing the transitional justice process (kp), Lockdown extended by another 15 days, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), After second Covid-19 death, government extends lockdown to June 2: The Health Ministry has confirmed that the Sunday morning death of a 25-year old man in Banke was due to Covid-19, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Man lost his job, wanted to come home. Lockdown killed him: Bishnu Prasad Neyopane died in his wait for restrictions to be lifted. There’re more than 3,500 Nepalis like him in Kuwait, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp) [The responsibility lies especially with PM Oli and his government, who completely shirk their obligation for the migrant workers! The problem is not the lockdown as such, but the disinterest in its effects!], Without work and salary, Nepali migrants protest in Covid-hit UAE: Nearly 500 workers have been confined to their apartments while the company has not paid them anything for the last two months, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Remittance down by 132.35 percent (kh), Remittance income plunges 51pc (ht), Govt likely to evacuate Nepalis stranded abroad from next week (ht) [Of course, PM Oli is absolutely aware that this will require up to 1.500 flights or even more!], Nepali workers in Kuwait: “We don’t want to die in a foreign land”, by Sabina Karki (kh), Keep the border regulated: Before the Sugauli Treaty we had a closed border to the south. Following the annexation of Naya Muluk in 1860 it became controlled border and gradually changed into an open border, by Nara Bahadur Kandel (rep), Economic cost of Covid-19 and way forward (1)d, by Bijaya Shrestha (kh) [see part 2, 19/05/2020]

17/05/2020: Nepal hasn’t allowed UN rapporteurs on transitional justice to visit country: The government is afraid their visit will expose it’s failure, say victims and human rights activists, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Nepal reports its first Covid-19 death: The Health Ministry confirms a woman’s death at Dhulikhel Hospital on Thursday was due to the coronavirus, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Nepal records second COVID-19 death (kh), Second Covid-19 death reported, 25-y/o succumbs to the disease in Banke (ht), Despite controversy, projects under MCC included in annual list of programmes: Ruling party lawmaker Bhim Rawal, who has been advocating against the compact in its current form, demands the leaders first discuss a report prepared by the task force, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Five years since the Gorkha earthquake, Nepal still falls short: The country being in a highly-vulnerable seismic zone, one would think the government and society would plan better, by Keshab Sharma (kp), Chandragiri Municipality sealed after five confirmed COVID-19 cases (ht), High-level committee recommends to govt to tighten lockdown (rep), Cabinet meeting underway; committee recommends 10-day lockdown extension (kh), Lawmakers demand govt bring home Nepalis abroad at the earliest, by Kamal Subedi (rep), International Committee seeks prompt rescue of Nepalis in crisis (kh)

16/05/2020: UN points out lack of consultation with victims (ht), Survivors of domestic violence are forced to “compromise” with abusive husbands, by Sher Bahadur Jero (rep), Order to shoot at fleeing patients draws flak (ht), A COVID Challenge for Nepal Army: What is the point of having a large NA in this poor country in peace-time if not to fight the human insecurity of our citizens when a global pandemic has made millions of Nepalis vulnerable?, by Kul Chandra Gautam (rep), Two years since the birth of the Nepal Communist Party, not much to show except for infighting and power politics: The party had the possibility of transforming the country, given its massive mandate and overwhelming strength. But it has squandered all opportunity, say analysts, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), In light of the pandemic, government’s policies and programmes target social sector: Unlike previous years’ focus on physical infrastructure, the upcoming year’s focus on the social sector will not translate immediately into high growth, analysts say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Impact of COVID-19 on Nepal’s Remittance Economy & Foreign Employment, by Sunil Kumar Chaudhary (kh), Seed money for migrant workers, entrepreneurs as government targets employment opportunities inside country: Without hassle-free procedures for accessing the initial capital and set criteria as per the vulnerability of migrant workers, the scheme can not yield expected results, experts say, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Health sector gets priority as government unveils its annual plans amid pandemic: The government has announced ambitious plans for social sector, but experts say they need budgetary support, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Policies and programmes for fiscal 2020-21 focus on boosting the agriculture sector: Farming to be made an attractive occupation by increasing agricultural investment, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Kanchanpur sends recent returnees to their local units, by Bhawani Bhatta (kp), Plan to revive COVID-hit economy missing: Financial liabilities that govt’s programmes will create aren’t easily bearable, say experts, by Sujan Dhungana (ht), Order to shoot at fleeing patients draws flak (ht), Lockdown extension recommendation likely (ht), One held for posting PM’s morphed photo (ht), Govt policies and programs indirectly include MCC project (kh) [???]

15/05/2020: Over 400,000 Nepalis stranded abroad appeal for rescue (kh), Prioritise rights issues in upcoming fiscal budget, says NHRC (ht), Plans after the pandemic: Nepalis knew all along that the economy, based largely on remittance, is unsustainable. But we never realised that it would meet such a chaotic fate, by Madhukar Upadhya (kp), More individuals seek Covid-19 tests but ministry to focus on health workers: As new cases continue to be identified, authorities are expanding testing but prioritising those on the front lines, including health care and security personnel, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Warning bells: The concerned must plan now for further shocks—the worst of the crisis is yet to come (kp), Kalapani Question: Searching Peace in Turbulent Waters, by Aditi Paul (kh), Talks with India over Lipulekh unlikely in near future given technical and political factors: While the Covid-19 is currently the prime delaying factor, analysts say that it is in India’s interest to bide its time and hope the issue fizzles out, by Anil Giri (kp), Gandaki Province at high Covid-19 risk due to lax border security: The province is seeing a steady flow of people from outside despite the nationwide lockdown in place (kp), As government announces to make lockdown stricter, experts say, it does not offer long-term solution: Public health experts say since the virus is here to stay, the government should focus on resuming daily life with precautions in place, by Anup Ojha (kp), Kin’s permission sought to bury 144 Nepalis who died abroad: Repatriation of bodies not possible as flights are suspended till May 31 to check COVID spread (ht), Capital spending at 28 per cent in first 10 months (ht), Prez Bhandari unveils govt’s policies and programs for FY 2020/21 (kh), High-Level Committee mulls changing lockdown modality (kh), Saving the Nepali State, by Bishal Thapa (ae), What is CK Raut doing now?, by Kamal Dev Bhattarai (ae)

14/05/2020: As Covid-19 continues to weaken the health system, an estimated 4,000 children could die in Nepal in the next six months, UN agency warns: UNICEF says it fears that without urgent action, the number of children dying before their fifth birthdays is going to increase for the first time in decades (kp), 4000 children may die in Nepal in next six months due to lockdown, UNICEF warns (rep), If Covid-19 cases continue to increase at current rate, Nepal’s health infrastructure could easily be overwhelmed, doctors warn: Most of Nepal’s isolation, ICU beds and ventilators are centralised in the Kathmandu Valley and urban centres, leaving many parts of the country without adequate infrastructure, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Cases are still rising: It’s not that lockdown measures wouldn’t have worked, it’s that the government has failed at implementing a successful regimen (kp), Nationalism, migration and the impending job crisis: Communist parties have always disliked the idea of out-migration yet have done little to help Nepalis stay back, by Deepak Thapa (kp), The Kalapani Conundrum: Indo-Nepal Diplomatic Rifts, by Shonit Nayan (kh), Cross-party leaders urge Oli government to hold talks with both India and China on Lipulekh: At an all-party meeting called to discuss India’s opening of a road via Lipulekh, political leaders criticised the government’s response and asked that immediate steps be taken, by Anil Giri (kp), Authorities seal off two places in Bhaktapur and a hospital premises in Lalitpur after Covid-19 confirmations: All travel passes have been revoked following Covid-19 flare-up as the government plans to drastically limit the movement of people to stop the infection., by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Siraha Placed Under Curfew After Surge In Number Of COVID-19 Cases In State 2 (rn), Out of cash, Nepali travellers seek help from banks: According to the Foreign Employment Board, at least 127,000 Nepali migrant workers are expected to return home from the Gulf and Malaysia after international travel restrictions are lifted, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp)

13/05/2020: After over 80 new Covid-19 cases in a single day, officials warn that number will only go up: The rise in the number of cases has been attributed to increased testing but also to Nepalis sneaking across the border after being barred from entering legally, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Rescue stranded migrant workers, says NHRC (ht), Nepali students in Thailand, like Nepalis stuck elsewhere, just want to come home: Twenty-five Nepalis doing an internship in Phuket are fast running out of money and want to come home but they aren’t hopeful of any help from the government in Kathmandu, by Shashwat Pant (kp) [It is your responsibility to bring them back, Mr Oli!], Despite concerns about job losses, there is little demand for foreign exchange to be sent to Nepali students abroad: The central bank has allowed banks to provide one time foreign exchange facility upto $500 per student, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), More than 200 Nepalis stranded at the border point in Kanchanpur brought home: District Administration Office in Rupandehi is preparing to bring Nepali migrants stuck in quarantine facilities in the bordering Indian town of Nautanwa, by Bhawani Bhatta (kp), Arghakhanchi seals off its borders from Tuesday until further notice: Parsa and Bara issue prohibitory orders restricting public movement in a bid to control further spread of coronavirus (kp), Protests go on in the time of Covid-19: Experts are concerned that protesters have not been maintaining physical distance as it can worsen the situation, by Shuvam Dungana (kp), Maelstrom of collective narcissism: The task of tackling the challenges of governance seldom goes with neo-nationalism; Oli has found another issue to distract from his poor record, by CK Lal (kp), Earthquake reconstruction: no more excuses: Successive governments have used feeble excuses to delay reconstruction. But there is an opportunity now to finish some priority projects (kp), Revoke time card system, urges NDA (ht), Why Nepal cares about its land so much, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep)

12/05/2020: Motion tabled in Parliament to repatriate Nepali migrant workers: The motion of public importance tabled by Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Thapa recommends that the government initiate rescue and repatriation of Nepalis from Covid-19 hit countries based on their status of vulnerability, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Returning migrant workers can be lured into profitable commercial agriculture, experts say: But, opportunities in other sectors should also be explored based on their skill sets as all migrant workers won’t be interested in agriculture, they say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Haphazard planning: The federal government’s organisation for economic revival has been lacking (kp), The lockdown budget: The government needs to reassess budget priorities, but it seems reluctant to listen to sound advice, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Nepal makes its position clear on Lipulekh with a diplomatic note to India: Foreign Ministry hands over the diplomatic note to Indian envoy and seeks talks with Delhi to resolve boundary issues at the earliest possible date, by Anil Giri (kp), Nepal to station APF personnel in Kalapani (ht), Entrepreneurs complain the timecard system is hindering their businesses: The scheme has led to delays and losses due to lack of clarity and coordination, they say, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Rationale Behind Enforcing Lockdown, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), United Arab Emirates seeks permission to repatriate Nepali migrants (ht) [Shame on the Oli govt!], Kapilvastu sealed for one week as COVID-19 cases increase (ht), Unidentified group thrashes Bara journalist (ht), People in Sarlahi defying lockdown despite growing numbers of COVID-19 cases, by Aditya Neupane (rep), Govt annuls all inter-district vehicle passes as COVID-19 cases spike (kh), Migrant labors cross Indo-Nepal Border secretly at Bardiya (kh), Over 450 Nepalis in three British overseas territories want to return home (kh), 600,000 Nepalis abroad to return home once int’l flights resume (kh)

11/05/2020: How Free Is Freedom Of Expression?, by Mukunda Kattel (rn), Government presented repealed ordinances in Parliament, creating legal confusion: While experts say there was no need to take the ordinances that were null and void, Law Ministry argues no provision bars from doing that, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Boundary issues with India require a lasting solution that addresses all disputes, say analysts: As seeking international arbitration or deploying armed forces could only further complicate matters, better solution is a diplomatic approach, they say, by Anil Giri (kp), Internationalise Lipulekh dispute if need be: House panel (ht), MPs press govt to reclaim Kalapani (ht), Janus-faced: Border disputes may happen among friends, but India’s reluctance to hold talks shows insincerity (kp), ‘Time card’ system rolled out, shopkeepers open shutters: Police say traffic congestion in the morning due to stringent checks, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), House committee urges India to stop encroachment of Nepali territory (rep), Valley sees traffic jam, as more vehicle owners get passes to ply (ht), Understanding poverty: It is not only bad governance but a failure to attract foreign capital and to stop cartels from forming that has hampered development, by Niraj KC (kp), Rukum municipality introduces food for work relief programme: Each worker will receive 50kg rice for five days of labour, municipal officials say, by Hari Gautam (kp), Kapilvastu's 10 COVID-19 Patients Came From Mumbai, Sneaked Into Nepal (rn) [This is due to the fact that the Oli government refuses Nepalese citizens entry into Nepal, instead of sending them to controlled quarantine centres, checking their health and then transporting them to their home villages!], Fiscal budget to prioritise revitalising crisis-hit economy, by Sujan Dhungana (ht), Restarting our economy needs thoughtful policy choices, by Lokesh Todi (rep), Nearly 5,000 foreigners stranded in Nepal due to lockdown return home (rep) [And not to forget: The Oli government is not interested to rescue any Nepali citizen stranded abroad!!]

10/05/2020: Govt told to handle crisis effectively (ht), Oli has shown no urgency to call Constitutional Council meetings to fill vacancies in constitutional bodies: Earlier, he had tried to bulldoze two ordinances—one of which he said was to prompt constitutional appointments, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Foreign Ministry statement regarding Lipulekh welcome but needs to be translated into action, say analysts: According to foreign policy experts, the statement is just a press release and needs to be followed up with diplomatic notes that assert Nepal’s claim over the disputed area, by Anil Giri (kp), Govt opposes inauguration of link road connecting Lipu Lekh: Indian Ministry of External Affairs says the road has been built within Indian territory (ht), India began construction of controversial road 12 years ago, Nepal ‘unaware’, by Dil Bahadur Chhatyal (rep), Exchange of notes won’t work; take concrete steps to resolve Lipu Lekh issue with India, China: Prachanda; China, too, is involved (kh), Biplav outfit warns of stern struggle against Indian intervention in Lipulekh (kh), Local governments at a loss on how to implement relief-for-work programme: Federal government last week decided to employ workers from the unorganised sector in public construction projects, but has not issued the guidelines to follow in the process, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Gandaki Province eases restrictions for construction projects but lacks workers and resources: 24 construction projects have resumed operations in the city, according to the Pokhara Metropolitan Office, by Deepak Pariyar (kp), Government move to reopen businesses and industries leaves many scrambling: Factory workers who had gone home, mostly to their villages, are still locked down, by Krishana Prasain (kp)

09/05/2020: Thousands of Nepali migrant workers from Persian Gulf and Malaysia expected to return home soon: A study by the Foreign Employment Board has estimated that at least 127,000 migrants will return home immediately once travel restrictions are lifted, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Hundreds of Nepalis stranded at Nepal-India borders as federal government has yet to respond: Local units in the bordering areas say they can’t let the people enter the country until the centre takes a decision, by Madhav Dhungana (kp), Nepali Migrant Workers Coming From India During Lockdown Stranded At No-Man's Land (rn), Ambushes everywhere: Rolpa folks forced to go through recurring pain even 14 years after end of Maoist insurgency, by Dinesh Subedi (rep) [The then responsible Maoist and army leaders as well as their political protectors must be made responsible and brought to justice!], India opening a road via Lipulekh, a territory that Nepal claims, is a diplomatic failure: Despite the furore in Kathmandu over the inclusion of Kalapani on a new Indian map, the government has done little to reclaim lands that Nepal claims as its own, by Anil Giri (kp), Govt of Nepal responds to India’s unilateral move on opening link road via Lipulekh (ht) [Can you hear the laughter of the Indian government?], Nepal strongly objects to construction of road by India connecting Tibet via Nepali territory of Lipulekh (rep), Nepal condemns road construction by India inside Nepal’s territory: Calls on India to refrain from carrying out any activity inside Nepal’s land (kh), 70 protesters detained in capital as India inaugurates road through Nepali territory (ht), Upcoming budget to put new projects on hold as the economy braces for a hit: The pandemic and the lockdown’s impacts have meant that revenue collection has fallen, forcing the government to revise its budgetary ceilings, by Prithvi Man Shrestha and Sangam Prasain (kp), Fear Of COVID-19: Ambulance Drivers And Health Workers Denied Food, Shelters On Way Along (rn)

08/05/2020: Oli might have avoided the Standing Committee so far but he can’t keep putting it off forever, say party leaders: According to ruling party insiders, Oli is afraid that a Standing Committee meet will lead to assessment of his government and subsequently, call for his resignation, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Empty trails and deserted villages: the pandemic brings the mountain economy to a standstill: During the spring trekking season, mountain trails would have been teeming with tourists, but this year, Covid-19 has turned these trails ghostly and desolate, by Tsering Ngodup Lama (kp), Nepal Army writes to China to expedite delivery of medical equipment: It will take at least one more week for the cargo to arrive if the process is not sped up, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [The Nepal Army should be abolished! In case of a defence against one of the two big neighbouring countries it would be completely useless. It is hardly ever up to other important missions!], Health experts warn of multiple outbreaks if contact tracing efforts are not ramped up: Lack of coordination among government agencies is said to be the major factor behind the delay, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Police officials adopt stringent measures to prevent people from entering Valley without valid reason: Officials seize permits issued to people found misusing them, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Food and livelihood insecurity during a pandemic: As the services sector is bound to face a long and hard journey to a revival, the agro sector will be all the more important, by Apsara Karki (kp), Hundreds of homebound Nepalis stranded in no-man’s-land in Kapilvastu: Scores of people gathered at the border attempted to enter Nepal on Monday, but they were stopped by security personnel of the Armed Police Force, by Manoj Paudel and San ju Poudel (kp) [Thank you Mr Oli for contributing so extensively to spreading the virus among desperate Nepalese migrant workers! The returnees have every right to enter their home country. It is your duty, Mr Oli, to place them in safe quarantine stations in Nepal, check their health and then transport them safely and quickly to their home villages!], Security personnel fire a warning shot to disperse crowd at a border point in Bara, by Laxmi Sah and Kamal Panthi (kp), Nepal Drops In International Rating On Central Government Budget Transparency (rn) [see survey related to Nepal], IBP Survey ranks Nepal 65th in terms of budget transparency, accountability (rep)

07/05/2020: When leaders go rogue: What remains of Oli is a megalomaniac besieged by his own comrades, by Avasna Pandey (kp), The treason of KP Oli and civil society leaders: Is political stability really worth keeping Oli in power, even after his mafia-like manoeuvres?, by Pramod Mishra (kp), The fault lines of civil society: The very idea of civil society is artificially manufactured and promoted by the elites to negotiate with political power of the 'state' and economic power of the 'market' and to undermine the 'cultural strength' of the society, by Chandra D. Bhatta (rep), Opportunity For Stronger Unity In NCP, by Gopal Khanal (rn) [Yes, by replacing all top leaders of the party!!], Lockdown Extended Until May 19 With Selective Relaxation, by Purushottam P. Khatri (rn ), Government extends lockdown until May 18: International flights to be suspended and border to remain sealed until May-end (kp), Nationwide lockdown extended till May 18: International, domestic flights to remain suspended till May 31: Border to remain sealed, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht) [Against the background of how inconsistently the lockdown is being carried out and in view of the fact that the Oli government is leaving tens of thousands of Nepalese citizens completely helpless and in despair, the whole measure can only be described as ineffective nonsense. This is also proven by the rapidly growing number of proven Covid cases, which in reality is probably much higher!], People continue entering valley defying lockdown (ht), These 44 types of industries will be allowed to operate from tomorrow (rep) [And how can the people gop to work under total lockdown and without transport facilities??], Security personnel working in high risk zone of Covid -19 lack proper safety gear: Nepal Police personnel are being mobilised for contact tracing and transporting suspected patients to health facilities, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Poorly implemented: The lockdown in its current form cannot be sustained for a long period. The government must ramp up testing and tracing (kp), Province 5 to expand the capacity of healthcare facilities given the growing number of coronavirus cases: Three districts in the province—Banke, Rupandehi and Kapilvastu—will collectively set up 3,000 bed-strong quarantine facilities for those who have and may return from India, by Ghanashyam Gautam (kp), With the new twist in internal dynamics, ruling party defers Standing Committee: Oli walks out of Secretariat meeting, citing health reasons, after coming under pressure again, by Anil Giri (kp), Ruling NCP’s Standing Committee meeting put off (ht), Review Election System For Stability, by Mukti Rijal (rn), FinMin Khatiwada says govt can’t afford relief package to business sector: If you need relief, pay more tax: FM says to private sector (kh), Avenues of research on Coronavirus pandemic; socio-economic implications, by Padam Raj Paneru (kh)

06/05/2020: No time to lose in bringing Nepalis home: It is shameful that it has taken over a month for the government to begin talking about rescue flights (kp), A deal might have been reached in the ruling party but suspicions remain: Many party leaders do not trust Oli to live up to his promises, given numerous past instances of him not implementing agreements, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Despite calls to ease the lockdown, high-level committee recommends extension: The high-level committee to control Covid-19 has concluded that opening up the country right now is not a wise move, given the rising number of coronavirus cases, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Lockdown likely to be extended, decision today (ht), Nepal extends nationwide lockdown till May 18 (kh), Government extends nationwide lockdown till May 18 (rep), Industries may operate on priority basis (ht), Direction for rent waiver falls on deaf ears (ht), Reeling under virus crisis, IPPAN seeks rescue (ht), Biplav outfit leader Bandhu Chand released after 14 months (kh) [The Bandhu Chand case is a prime example of the criminal contempt of judicial decisions by the Oli government!], Procurement of medical supplies from China uncertain, by Gajendra Basnet (kh)

05/05/2020: Government and organisations at odds over distributing cash as relief: After the government prevented domestic and foreign non-government organisations from distributing relief in cash, they write a joint letter to draw its attention, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), District attorney office takes Yadav abduction complaint but only after a counter-complaint by the accused: Complaint by ruling party leaders accused of kidnapping lawmaker Surendra Yadav is aimed at defusing the case, lawyers say, by Tika R. Pradhan and Binod Ghimire (kp), Yadav finally gets to lodge FIR against ex-IGP, NCP MPs (ht), Government considers bringing back Nepali migrant workers from Covid-19-affected countries: Foreign Minister Gyawali says everyone will not be brought home at once, those in urgent need to return home will be prioritised in the first phase, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Govt plans to evacuate over 35,000 illegal migrants (ht), Without proper contact tracing, the lockdown will have little effect, doctors say: Public health experts warn that failure to expand contact tracing, especially in Covid-19 hotspots, and not testing all suspects could be costly, by Arjun Poudel (kp), ‘Test, trace, test to arrest COVID transmission’ Experts call for seven-fold jump in tests — from an average of 139 a day at present to 1,000, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Karnali Province completely sealed off for a week: Even though the province hasn’t reported any cases so far, the provincial government decided to exercise caution in light of the growing coronavirus cases in two neighbouring provinces, by Kalendra Sejuwal (kp), Finance minister says revenue gap can be filled through foreign aid (ht) [???], Workers’ unions refuse to obey HAN’s decision (ht), Synergic Efforts To Avert Recession, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), Riddles of electoral democracy: Is there any rational to participate in voting? Why are we voting? For whom are we voting? Isn’t it time to look for an improved system of securing representation even when that happens through voting?, by Pranab Kharel and Gaurab KC (rep)

04/05/2020: Oli’s reckless adventurism: Almost without exception, the prime minister has long staked a position that went against social and political liberalism, by Deepak Thapa (kp), Where government efforts have faltered, the people have come to the rescue: In the absence of governmental efforts, many individuals and communities across the country are working to ensure that relief reaches the most vulnerable, by Aditi Aryal (kp) [The top politicians in government and political parties are only interested in their power struggles. They know neither their duties nor the rules of democracy, not to mention human rights and respect for the constitution and laws!], Government aims to support workers from unorganised sector with relief-for-work programme: Urban development and federal affairs ministries have submitted the list of potential jobs to the finance ministry, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Over 70 percent of industrial workers denied pay, survey finds: A majority of employers in the formal sector flouted government order and withheld their staff salaries for the month of Chaitra, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Govt mulling to extend lockdown for two weeks (kh), Budget planning: The government must buck its own trend of non-performance to ensure employment to Nepalis (kp), Change approach to testing and plan for possible outbreak before lifting lockdown, experts suggest: Health Ministry working on plans to create into ‘red’, ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ zones based on risk of spread of the coronavirus, by Arjun Poudel (kp), How the crisis in ruling party was averted and each leader got what they wanted: A deal has been reached to allow KP Sharma Oli to continue as prime minister for the full five-year term while Pushpa Kamal Dahal gets to run the party and Bamdev Gautam to enter Parliament, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp)

03/05/2020: Can human rights be set aside in our fight against Covid-19? The answer is no. We have to do everything possible to make sure human rights are front and centre when we deal with the pandemic, by Mohna Ansari (kp), Media facing hard time during pandemic (ht), Press freedom violation and political intolerance on the rise in Nepal, says report: The Annual World Press Freedom Report paints a grim picture of freedom of expression, press freedom and rights of journalists in the past year (kp), Ensure strict implementation of lockdown: PM; 'Don't allow Nepali citizens stranded in India to enter Nepal' (kh) [All Nepalese citizens have the right to retun to their country! It is the duty of the PM and his goverment to take care of their safe return! Oli tries to cover up his incompetence with authoritarian orders!], By courting Dahal and Gautam, Oli has effectively silenced opponents’ calls for his resignation: Oli has offered to get Gautam elected to the lower house ‘at an appropriate time’, and has broken the Bhaisepati alliance—at least for now, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Oli, Dahal-Nepal camps avert crisis in NCP: Leaders engage in self-criticism, party to field Gautam for HoR polls, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Reports of NCP fielding Bamdev Gautam from Palpa-1 are baseless: NCP MP Rana (rep) [Democracy along the authoritarian Oli way? Hopefully, the voters will know how to punish such misbehaviour!], Covid-19: Impact and response: The current economic growth predictions, although abysmal, can still be optimistic; the government needs to prepare accordingly, by Chandan Sapkota (kp), Gandaki Province eases lockdown restrictions for industries and construction projects: With the decision, all hardware stores, vehicle workshops and other stores with essentials for construction and agriculture work will open in the province, by Deepak Pariyar (kp), Construction works continue despite lockdown in Myagdi and Rasuwa: The local units have continued infrastructure work, such as drinking water projects and dam projects to prevent landslides, while restricting the movement of people across wards, by Ghanshyam Khadga (kp), WHO and Nepal: Filling the void in pandemic preparedness, by Sumnima Karki (kh)

02/05/2020: The Wisdom Of Statesperson, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), International rights bodies, UN welcome Supreme Court decision on transitional justice: Government should now amend the law to comply with the verdict, they say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), SC’s decision reaffirms need to amend transitional justice law: Rights bodies (ht), Oli seizes May Day address to take the media to task for “promoting instability”: While Oli’s aversion to the media is nothing new, commentators say that it is worrying that the prime minister has threatened to use the ruling party to combat dissent, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [No one causes more instability in Nepal than Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli. His threat to the media, adorned with false statements, is an authoritarian attack on basic human rights and democracy!], Create employment opportunities for workers affected due to Covid-19 through new budget, say experts: As workers at home struggle without jobs and tens of thousands of migrant workers are likely to return home, experts suggest the government should be ready to provide jobs through the upcoming budget, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), On International Labour Day, workers remain under lockdown racked with uncertainty caused by Covid-19 pandemic: Labour right activists say the government has failed to assure worker’ safety and employment even if they have been languishing at home and abroad for a long time now, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), All eyes on Oli as Secretariat members await his roadmap to address party feud: While Gautam toys with the idea of taking charge as prime minister, Nepal and Dahal are not keen on the proposal, party insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [The current constitution would not be worth the paper it was printed on if a politician who has been rejected by the people on several occasions and is therefore not even a member of parliament were made prime minister!], Lockdown restrictions loosened as worries about food shortages rise: Agriculture Inputs Company in Dhangadhi starts distributing chemical fertiliser to farmers, by Mohan Budhair (kp), Govt plans to ease lockdown, restart economy: Colour coding of districts toreflect coronavirus intensity, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Government’s stimulus packages inadequate, laments private sector (ht), Hospitals turn away patients with fever, by Laxmi Gautam (ht), What happens to MCC deal is a big question as rival factions prevail in ruling NCP, by Kosh Raj Koirala (rep), Govt’s decision to procure weapons draws flak (kh)

01/05/2020: Human rights monitoring panel formed in all districts: Government urged to protect migrant workers and students during lockout (ht), OHCHR urges govt to amend TJ law in support of SC ruling (rep) [see OHCHR Press briefing note on Nepal], Four int'l HR bodies urge govt to immediately amend TJ law in line with Supreme Court ruling (rep) [see press statement by AI, HRW, ICJ and TRIAL International], Information, please! The government needs to communicate its lockdown policies better to the people, by Amish Raj Mulmi (kp), Cyber Bureau arrests journo for social media post (ht), After police and district attorney’s refusal to take complaint, lawmaker Surendra Yadav approaches human rights commission: Commission asks Nepal Police to explain in writing why it refused to register Yadav’s case and ensure his and his family’s safety (kp), Not many are buying Oli’s proposal to make Bamdev Gautam prime minister: As Gautam’s road to the prime ministership is fraught with complications, party leaders believe that Oli is simply trying to buy some time, by Anil Giri (kp) [It is unconstitutional to even submit to such a proposal, which is evidence of the power-hungry degeneration of Nepal's political leadership, whose predominantly male Bahuns regard control of the country as a closed shop!], Hurdles in Bamdev Gautam becoming prime minister (ht), Oli’s twin offer creates ripples in ruling NCP, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht) [PM Oli shows his Hindu-political attitude by using the main means (upaya) of politics (rajniti), which according to the rules of Arthashastra are at the disposal of a Hindu monarch to maintain his power: negotiation (saman), punishment or attack (danda), bribery (dana) and division or sowing discord (bheda). He also applies the three other upaya: deception (maya), ignoring (upeksa) and misrepresentation of the facts (indrajala)!], Refocus efforts: Ruling party mustn't allow political drama to overshadow more pressing needs (kp), Stigma against health workers, patients and area locals continues in coronavirus hotspots: In districts like Udayapur that have reported a high number of Covid-19 cases, health workers and local residents are being shunned and treated as pariahs, by Arhun Poudel (kp), Government likely to continue local infrastructure development programme fund despite criticism: The way the money is spent, however, will be changed in the new fiscal year, says National Planning Commission, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [The only reason why these funds are channelled through the directly elected deputies, who are not responsible for local development at all, is to ensure their re-election at the next elections, i.e. political corruption! Besides, the incumbent PM naturally wants to keep the MPs in line!], Around 1,300 Nepalis stranded in bordering Indian district brought home: Hundreds of home-bound Nepali workers were quarantined in the border area after Nepal-India border was sealed amid fear of Covid-19 around a month ago, by Manoj Badu (kp) [It would have been the duty of the Oli government to arrange this about five weeks ago!], Govt launches relief package targeting workers, by Sujan Dhungana (ht), Four children killed in a bomb blast in Rolpa: Two of the deceased children are said to be from the same family, by Kashiram Dangi (kp), Poultry farmers in distress with trade stopped dead in its tracks: Without subsidised insurance premiums and bank loans, the poultry business could collapse, chicken raisers said, by Sanju Poudel (kp), FNJ seeks aid for media houses (ht), Media is creating instability in the country: PM Oli (rep) [????], Health Minister Dhakal hints at easing lockdown after May 7 (rep), NCP task force concludes MCC is part of Indo-Pacific Strategy: Suggests amending 11 points of MCC Compat (kh)

30/04/2020: WFP sounds food crisis warning (ht), SC orders govt to fully implement sentence determination Act (rep), Following the World Bank, Central Bureau of Statistics too revises growth rate to 2.27: The revision is a sharp fall from 8.5 percent that the government had set for the economy this year, but even a 2.27 growth is optimistic, economists say, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Janata Samajbadi Party lawmaker Yadav knocks NHRC door, accusing NCP lawmakers and ex-IGP Khanal of kidnapping him (rep), Cornered everywhere, Oli looks to Parliamentary Party for support, but even there, he’s short: As Oli’s opponents control the party Secretariat, Standing Committee, and Central Committee with sizeable majorities, the only chance he stands is in the Parliamentary Party, by Tika R. Pradhan and Anil Giri (kp), In a bid to buy more time, Oli dangles prime minister and party chair bait to Gautam and Nepal: Oli, whose position has become tenuous, made the surprise proposal after Secretariat members asked him to step down, by Anil Giri (kp) [Oli once again proves that he neither knows the Nepalese constitution nor is he interested in democratic principles and procedures: The person to be elected Prime Minister must be a member of parliament. However, Gautam has been repeatedly rejected by the electorate, a fact that also disqualifies him from a moral point of view!], PM Oli offers to make Gautam new PM in a bid to settle intra-party disputes (rep), Abdication of governance: Power in a democracy has been perceived as a tool to empower the many, but in practice, it has benefitted only a few, by Siddhartha Thapa (kp), Blanket ban on international arrivals will not stop new Covid-19 cases, experts say: As people continue to cross the border illegally, experts suggest that it is better to allow them to enter the country, send them to quarantine, maintain their records and send them home (kp) [This should have been understood by the Oli government from the very first moment!], Valley sees rise in number of lockdown violators after lockdown extension: Police say many people have been using alternative routes to enter the Valley in recent days, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Nepal’s response to COVID-19: Initiatives, challenges, future pathways, by Sujan B. Marahatta (ht), Lost in translation: The people deserve more essential health services, and the government must clarify and publicise what’s available (kp), Home Work On To Bring Nepalis Stranded Abroad: Government (rn), Cash-strapped youths set on foot to Kailali from Bajura amid lockdown (ht), COVID-19 recovery must deliver universal health insurance, safety nets and affordable internet access: UN (rep), Journalist Pathak arrested on charge of defaming NCP chairman Dahal (rep), What is the next wave?, by Sambridhi Gyawali (rep), Worst is yet to come: As long as Oli remains in power, there will be conflict inside the NCP and uproar against him. Once he goes, there may be a celebration for some time but another series of power games will follow, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep), 4,532 foreigners return home thru 34 int’l flights during lockdown (kh) [No Nepali could return home in a legal way thanks to the failed politics of the Oli government!]

29/04/2020: After police, district attorney also refuses to register complaint against alleged kidnapping of lawmaker Yadav: District attorney asked the complainants to leave an application, but didn’t file the complaint, Janata Samajbadi leaders said (kp), JSP-N MP’s abduction case a hot potato: Govt attorney accused of turning deaf ear to kidnapping complaint against ex-IG, lawmakers (ht), In Province 5, sexual harassment and domestic abuse cases are getting more severe: A large number of sexual harassment cases in the province still go unreported, said police, by Sanju Poudel (kp), Measles outbreaks reported in five districts including in Kathmandu and Lalitpur in last one month: Doctors warns continuous disruption in routine immunisation could put lives of thousands of children at risk, by Arjun Poudel (kp), House of correction: The federal government needs to work in coordination with other subgovernments (kp), Nepalis stranded in India continue to brave Mahakali River to return home: More than 30 people tried to cross the boundary river this weekend, by Manoj Badu (kp), Faced with an increasingly hostile party, Oli makes last ditch efforts to retain his position: His opponents, however, are firm in their opposition, leading Oli to warn his confidantes to prepare for consequences, including a party split, by Tika Pradhan and Anil Giri (kp), Unity of the two Madhesi parties could be hamstrung by a lack of coherence among their leaders: Analysts are wary of welcoming the unification of the two Madhes-based parties as they see it as a reactive move rather than a unity born out of shared agendas, by Anil Giri (kp), As the essential goods continue to flow inside country, Health Ministry issues safety protocal for officials and drivers dealing with import of goods: Drivers and their assistants need to self-declare they are free of Covid-19, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Everybody wants to be an autocrat: The politicisation of crime is a relatively common affair in clientelism, by CK Lal (kp), Volunteers delivering fresh vegetables to people's homes at farm price: Locals said the social work being done by the youths had provided them much relief, by Durgalal KC (kp), Media industry seeks govt relief as revenue source hit (ht)

28/04/2020: Supreme Court thwarts attempt to retain amnesty provisions in transitional justice law: The government now has no option but to amend the law to adhere to the court’s February 2015 landmark order, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Corrupting democracy: The Oli administration and the ruling party have together bulldozed the very pillars of a legitimate state (kp), Oli's hara-kiri, in kamikaze style: The prime minister’s manoeuvres have taken the spotlights away from the government’s handling of the novel coronavirus, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Factions fail to see eye to eye, leaving Oli in a tenuous position in the ruling party: After failing to reach a deal with the Madhav Nepal faction, Oli will now face the Secretariat and the Standing Committee, both of which are allied against him, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Standing Committee meet call grows shriller (ht), Without immediate support, small and medium enterprises on verge of collapse: Despite employing a majority of the labour force and making significant contributions to the GDP, SMEs rarely feature in policy decisions, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Biratnagar city office calls out Kathmandu local administration and government for impeding Valley residents from going home: Biratnagar city had helped 160 Valley residents to retrun home during lockdown but they were stopped at Nagdhunga, by Anup Ojha (kp), Has Covid-19 exposed the stark inequality between Nepal's haves and have-nots? Social distancing, the primary weapon to prevent the pandemic from spreading, is a privilege, by Sushrey Nepal (kp), Communities come together to respond to the Covid crisis: In an inspirational display of humanity, several groups around Kathmandu are making sure the most vulnerable in our society have food to eat in this time of crisis, by Srizu Bajracharya and Anup Ojha (kp), Economy Takes A Knock, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), General refrain: Ramp up tests, identify red, orange, green zones, ease lockdown, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), NRB to bring relief package for businesses next week: Govt plans stimulus package for businesses through budget (ht), Removal of Bhattarai’s interview from Radio Nepal draws flak (ht), Communications Ministry seeks clarification from Radio Nepal Executive Director (kh), Journos briefly taken into custody (ht), Hundreds of Kathmandu returnees stranded at Thankot check post (ht), Helambu Rural Municipality rescues its people from Kathmandu (rep), NC, RPP and People's Socialist Party demand legal action against those involved in 'kidnapping' lawmaker Yadav (rep), Reopening our economy: Nepal is on sick leave, but what next?, by Sumana Shrestha (rep)

27/04/2020: Fears of a rise in cases of domestic violence due to the lockdown may have come to pass: Although official data says otherwise, anecdotal evidence from helplines and rights organisations report a significant increase in cases of gender-based violence, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Attorney’s office file a court case against former government secretary Upadhyaya for cyber crime: Upadhyaya was arrested for his critical comments against the Oli government on his social media, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Former secy charged with ‘defaming govt, prime minister’ (ht), Former secy Upadhyay’s arrest shows govt hell-bent on silencing critics (rep), Ex-secretary Upadhyaya released on bail (kh), It's a free country: The government must remember it is serving a democratic country where people have a voice (kp), SC rejects govt’s request to review verdict on transitional justice (rep), Tough times ahead for Oli as party likely to ask him to choose between leading the country and leading the party: A majority of Secretariat and Standing Committee members have demanded a Standing Committee meeting where they plan to ask Oli to step down as prime minister, by Anil Giri (kp), Rival NCP faction miffed at Prime Minister Oli (ht), Nepal Police’s refusal to register Surendra Yadav abduction case raises questions about its neutrality: Many believe police are acting on order from on high to not register the case, especially since: it involves powerful political actors and a former chief of police, by Shuvam Dhungana Tika R Pradhan (kp), Police refuse to book former IG, NCP MPs (ht), Nationwide lockdown extended till May 7 (ht), Prime Minister’s Employment Programme may not provide expected relief to migrant workers affected by Covid-19, analysts say: The government had pinned its hopes on the scheme to provide jobs to thousands of people, but the programme’s track record gives little to cheer about, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Rights body urges government to study situation of Nepalis stranded in foreign countries: The National Human Rights Commission has asked the government to make arrangements for food and shelter for Nepali workers in foreign labour destinations and to plan for their rescue, repatriation and reintegration if the situation further worsens, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), An unfolding tragedy: The prime minister may be down but is not out. Further conflict between claimants to power will cost us more, by Ajaya Bhadra Khanal (kp), Vegetable imports banned to promote local products and keep virus at bay: Officials are working to bring fresh produce directly from the farmers' fields to consumers, by Durga Lal KC (kp), Activists running food distribution campaign in Valley amid lockdown (rep), Govt tightens noose on rescue of stranded people (kh), Special permit not required for vehicles transporting essential goods (kh)

26/04/2020: Health Ministry recommends extending the lockdown by a week or allowing the provinces to decide on their own: But no matter what measures the government takes, Covid-19 is not going away any time soon, doctors say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Colleges start online classes but students don’t have reliable internet access: Tribhuvan University has requested telecom service providers to reduce the price of the mobile data plans, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Instead of letting veggies rot, this trader is delivering it to the needy for free, by Anup Ojha (kp), Hundreds of Nepalis quarantined in India come home via Sunauli and Krishnanagar: Authorities have coordinated with the respective local units to transport the returnees home, by Madhav Dhungana and Manoj Paudel (kp), More than 1,000 people entered Sindhupalchok in the last few days but none were quarantined: Quarantine facilities have been set up across three municipalities and nine rural municipalities in the district but most remain unoccupied, by Anish Tiwari (kp) [???], Taplejung runs out of subsidised rice supply as demand soars during lockdown: Food Management and Trading Company Ltd has requested the centre to supply 1,000 quintals of rice to fulfil the demand, by Ananda Gautam (kp), Retailers continue to raise vegetable prices despite wholesale rates hitting rock bottom: Retail prices of cauliflower, cabbage, squash, bitter gourd, pumpkin and tomato have increased by Rs 25-30 per kg, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Jajarkot seeks 26,000 quintal rice to avoid food crisis (ht), Stranded in Kuwait, undocumented Nepali migrant workers await repatriation, by Anuj Tiwari (rep), The ripple effect of COVID-19 on the Nepali economy, by Prashanna Mahat (kh)

25/04/2020: Municipalities seek government funds to provide essentials to families affected by Covid-19 lockdown: Municipal Association of Nepal have also asked provincial and federal governments funds to continue their relief distribution programmes, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Lockdown affected families continue to struggle for relief package as Province 2 retains the relief campaign: As lockdown hit daily wage workers and poor groups await relief, Province 2 government decides to take over relief distribution following reports of irregularities and discriminations during relief distribution, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Lockdown adversely affecting vegetable farmers in Dhangadhi: While the farmers are compelled to throw away their vegetables due to lack of buyers given the lockdown, consumers are compelled to buy vegetables from middlemen at exorbitant prices, by Mohan Budhaair.(kp), A normal monsoon this year could boost agricultural output, if only farmers weren’t under lockdown: A labour shortage due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a potential shortage of chemical fertiliser could offset any potential gains from the monsoon, say economists, by Sangam Prasain and Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Five years after earthquake schools and health centres await reconstruction: The tenure of the national reconstruction authority likely to be extended by at least one year, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Repealing the ordinances might quell dissent but Oli still faces moral questions: Oli needs to answer for a series of political events, including an alleged kidnapping, triggered by the two controversial ordinances, say leaders and analysts, by Anil Giri (kp), Lockdown measures gradually loosen up in Province 5 with no Covid-19 positive case detected so far: Even though the province has zero cases so far, the risk is still high, given many districts in the province share borders with India, by Ghanashyam Gautam (kp), In Baglung, District Crisis Committee orders locals to clear fences set up at entry points to ward off the movement of people: In Parbat, the fences are still intact despite the fact that the police have been deployed at major entry points to scrutinise the movements of people, by Prakash Baral and Agandhar Tiwari (kp), Restaurant workers put under financial strain due to extended lockdown: With restaurants being shuttered for more than a month, many workers have lost their income, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Two Villages In Bardiya Sealed After Indian Laborers Tested Positive For COVID-19, by Siraj Khan (rn), The Noble Culture Of Givingby Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Red Cross Movement to back Nepal in crisis (ht), Quake survivors struggle in crammed homes, housing grant insufficient (ht), Suspension of domestic, int’l flights extended till May 15, Cabinet to decide on lockdown extension (rep), High-level Committee concludes not to ease lockdown outright
Agriculture, healthcare and food supply management sector to go unaffected
(kh) [unaffected???], Two Unacceptable Ordinances, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km)

24/04/2020: Fighting disinformation during COVID-19 pandemic, by Prem Lamichhane (kh), Deterred by criticisms, govt withdraws ordinances (kh), PM Oli’s mission hits a snag, by Ishwar Dev Khanal (kh), How Oli aimed ordinances at splitting parties but instead led to their merger: The ordinances, introduced on Monday, culminated in a political drama that saw allegations of kidnapping and the merger of two Madhesi parties long at odds, by Tika R. Pradhan and Anil Giri (kp), Cabinet decides to recommend repealment of two ordinances that were promulgated on Monday: The Oli government backtracks on ordinance decisions after widespread criticism, including from within the ruling party, by Tika R. Pradhan and Binod Ghimire (kp), Our Democracy is under attack, by Akshya Aryal (ht), Undermining Loktantra: It seems that the large electoral mandate has been misinterpreted by the prime minister (kp), Reviving the world after Covid-19 crisis: Focusing on development work in line with SDGs will be important in the days to come, by Gokarna Awasthi (kp), 'Govt Not In Situation To Lift Lockdown' (rn), 24,859 Overseas Returnees Traced, by Purushottam P Khatri (rn), COVID-19 Takes Heavy Toll On Remittance Inflow (rn), SRJP-N, SP-N unify, register new party at EC:  Poll panel to decide by tomorrow; New ordinance proves to be a catalyst for unification, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), SP-N alleges party lawmaker abducted (ht), Preparing for Nepal’s returnees: Planning repatriation of Nepali workers abroad has to go hand in hand with providing for them where they are, by Upasana Khadka (nt), Human Rights in the time of COVID-19, by Sushil Koirala (ht)

23/04/2020: Nepal loses six spots on global press freedom index to rank 112th out of 180 countries: Environment for journalists working for independent media outlets has been extremely difficult, Reporters Without Borders report says, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), On the eve of 14th Loktantra Diwas, PM Oli reignited “dirty games” in Nepali politics (rep), President’s swift approval of Monday’s ordinances has many wondering about her role: This is not the first time that President Bhandari’s influence on Prime Minister Oli, and vice-versa, has been called into question, by Anil Giri (kp), Four political parties condemn ordinances: A meeting held at Nepali Congress’ central office in Sanepa demanded the federal parliament be convened immediately (kp), Oli in favour of letting leaders split parties (ht), Some relief package: Officials should serve the people, not con them (kp), Dying to get home: Both Modi and Oli did not have the imagination and sensitivity to anticipate the hardships that migrant workers would face by the lockdown, by Pramod Mishra (kp), On ending this lockdown: The end of Covid-19 is not imminent. Meanwhile, life cannot be put on hold without plans for a way out, by Manesh Shrestha (kp), Medical Supplies Arrive From India, China (rn), India provides 23 tonnes of medicines to Nepal (ht), COVID-19'S Impact On Labour Migration: Remittance Inflows To Reduce By 20% (rn), Balanced Policy, Coordinated Approach, by Gopal Khanal (rn), Haemophilia patients lack medicines to plug bleeding: The situation has worsened after movement of international flights was disrupted, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Jajarkot facing shortage of essential drugs (ht), Crowds gathering at pick-up points at risk of infection, by Ujjwal Satyal (ht), NPI drafts policy-level recommendations on migrant workers (ht), Vegetable import from India continues while farmers lament lack of market (ht), Lockdown will continue until COVID-19 cases are brought under control: PM (rep)

22/04/2020: Chepangs face a humanitarian crisis: The impact of the lockdown on vulnerable communities does not appear on the government's radar, by Biwash Chepang (kp), With hundreds of thousands of migrants predicted to return home, Nepal needs to brace for a crisis: Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis who work abroad are likely to lose their jobs in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they will come home looking for employment, by Prithvi Man Shrestha and Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp) [The leading politicians in government and parties are only interested in power struggles! They do not understand their main tasks in the interest of the state and the people! PM Oli's recent actions are the best example!], Oli’s ordinance issuance draws criticism as an attack on democratic values and constitutional spirit: Leaders from his own party and the opposition as well as experts describe issuing ordinances at a time of a pandemic as the government’s misplaced priority, by Anil Giri (kp), Unilateral separation: Oli’s move to ram through controversial ordinances is not a good sign for democracy and cooperation (kp), Like most vulnerable groups, soon-to-be and new mothers face an uncertain near future: With hospitals and public transportation shut, expecting and new mothers can’t go for regular check-ups for themselves and their children, by Elisha Shrestha & Thomas Heaton (kp), Two weeks on, 181 people quarantined in Jamunaha still waiting to get home: Nepalis, including migrant workers from 26 districts arrived at the border crossing from various parts of India, by Rupa Gahatraj (kp), Bardiya’s poor are starving while the local unit has been slow to distribute relief: According to data by the ward office, around 200 daily wage earners in the ward have been severely affected by the lockdown, by Kamal Panthi (kp), Kalaiya mayor arrested on charge of selling substandard lentils: Police on Saturday sealed a grocery store run by Raya and sent the sample of the lentils to the Regional Food Technology and Quality Control Office in Hetauda for a quality test, by Laxmi Sah (kp), Government prepares to seal Udayapur district following confirmation of 11 new Covid-19 cases in a day: According to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, all the patients who tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday were asymptomatic, by Arjun Poudel (kp), More than 400 prisoners released from across the country to prevent outbreak of Covid-19: Over half of those released were serving their time in juvenile correction homes: Court had ordered government to free jailbirds sentenced up to a year for minor crimes, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Of the total 5,000 entering Jumla in a month, the number of people tested for Covid-19 is in the hundreds: The local administration admitted that most of the people sent home from quarantine were not tested for Covid-19, by LP Devkota (kp), Govt plans to let industries operate from next week (ht), Food product factories resume operations at reduced capacity: Pokhara Industrial Estate, which was shuttered after the lockdown was announced, threw open its gates on Monday, by Lal Prasd Sharma (kp), COVID-19: Yet Again Poor Are Hardest Hit, by Achyut Tiwari (rn), Plight Of Labourers And Migrant Workers, by Namrata Sharma (rn), Three Nepalis arrested for entering country during lockdown, sent back to India, by Prabhat Kumar Jha (ht) [????], Thousands of stranded people transported to their hometowns (ht), Nepal slips 6 ranks on RSF index (ht) [Lowest ranking since 2014! See RSF comment and index 2020], 200 people are fed for free everyday at Bauddha, by Dukpa Lama (rep), Bhasmasura Or Not, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km), RJP and Samajbadi merge to form ‘Janata Samajbadi Party’ (kh)

21/04/2020: Oli’s sudden issuance of two ordinances raises concerns of a party split in the making: One particular ordinance to amend provisions regarding new party registration has alarmed the political spectrum, especially as it comes in the middle of a pandemic, by Anil Giri and Tika R. Pradhan (kp), PM plays politics in the time of pandemic: Brings ordinance to facilitate split in parties, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Govt issuing ‘party-split’ ordinance faces criticism from all quarters (ht), Ordinances will invite political instability: Samajwadi Party (kh), Ill-intent and untimely ordinance must be repealed: Rawal (kh), Constitutional Council Act amended: Now CC can take decisions on the basis of majority (ht), Prez Bhandari authenticates two ordinances (ht), SC refuses to register writ against ordinances (kh) [This sounds like royal immunity!], While produce rots in Nepal’s fields, food imports continue from India: Vegetables are piling up on Birgunj farms even as 15 to 20 trucks laden with vegetables arrive from the south every day, by Bhusan Yadav and Sangam Prasain (kp), Supreme Court’s intervention sought to stop police from using excessive force during lockdown: Security personnel have been found beating up people who were out during the lockdown to buy essentials and medical workers (kp), A worrying rise in Islamophobia ever since a number of Muslim men were diagnosed with Covid-19: Speculation that Muslims are knowingly spreading Covid-19 has begun to spread, aided and abetted by social media and some online news portals, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Careless talk: Misinformation may generate anxiety and fear (kp) [This is above all a consequence of the complete failure of the government to provide correct information!], Health Ministry purchasing additional 100,000 rapid diagnostic test kits via fast track process: Public health experts suggest to perform polymerase chain reaction test mandatorily on suspects, by Arjun Poudel (kp), NA to procure medical supplies worth over Rs 2.25 billion from China (kh), The Nepali economy will bounce back quick: More in-depth analyses and multi-dimensional perspectives are required, by Sujeev Shakya (kp) [This statement by the otherwise renowned expert does not seem conclusive in some respects.], An unequal world for migrant workers: What migrants need most is comprehensive social protection which will strengthen their capacity to cope, by Kripa Basnyat (kp), Local governments in Dang arrange vehicles for migrants heading home on foot: Dang, the gateway to hilly districts such as Rolpa, Rukum, Pyuthan and Salyan, has seen a surge in the number of migrants trying to go home, by Durga Lal KC (kp), Government is fully aware of situation of Nepalis stranded abroad: FM Gyawali (rep) [???]

20/04/2020: Oli and Dahal attempt to make amends to avoid looking like each side is taking advantage of a crisis: Although internal divisions remain, both factions of the ruling party seek a compromise, but not many are optimistic, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Lockdown takes a toll on senior citizens already vulnerable to coronavirus: While some are worried about their children abroad, others fear the shutdown will take their life before the virus does, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Reopening after a crisis: If the government is serious about making the economy resilient after a pandemic, it must begin now (kp), 15-point suggestion put forth to manage COVID-19 situation (ht), Women group presents charter of demands (ht), Stranded people taken to their hometowns (ht), Vegetables worth millions rotting in farms amid lockdown in Dhading (ht), SMEs seek immediate relief package from govt (ht), We will restart economic activities once the situation is under control: PM Oli (rep) [interview mit RSS] [???], Taskforce formed to create entrepreneurship environment within country itself (rep), NRNA calls for enabling environment for repatriation of stranded Nepalis abroad (rep)

19/04/2020: A failure of leadership: One cannot help but believe that our country’s leadership is also badly afflicted by the ‘great man’s disease’, by Deepak Thapa (kp), Citizens Need State In Crisis, by Ritu Raj Subedi (rn), Tentative discussions begin on easing the lockdown and reopening the economy: Economists and businesspersons say while they understand Covid-19’s danger to public health, the economy cannot be locked down forever, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), With disruptions to supply chains and public movement, inflation was only to be expected: Despite the government’s assurances to keep prices steady and supplies flowing, markets have reported a steady rise in prices ever since the lockdown was instituted, by Sangam Prasain (kp), A day after Covid-19 cases double, Health Ministry goes after frontline doctor for critical comments: The ministry has summoned Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, a virologist at the Sukraraj Hospital, for a clarification over his public statements on the Covid-19 pandemic, by Arjun Poudel (kp) [Oli and his government obviously don't like it at all when the people's right to information in the Corona crisis is fulfilled by competent doctors, because this exposes their own incompetence!], PM Oli’s viral video is full of misinformation (rep) [What shall we expect from an incompetent, badly educated and severely ill PM?], Drastic times call for drastic measures: The army should get a list of the required equipment and activate all channels to obtain them quickly, by Shambhu Ram Simkhada (kp) [And why has the army not been able to provide much needed equipment even weeks after it had beem asked to do so?], Province 2 writes to federal government not to transfer top security officials without its consent: It says security officials should not be transferred during a pandemic as they have crucial roles to play in the province, by Ajit Tiwari (kp), Nepal Police in federalism: Political interference, bureaucratic meddling, and favoritism inside the police organization have perverted leadership succession and affected organizational integrity, by Shreya Paudel and Samar SB Rana (rep), Tea farmers miss first flush production due to extended lockdown: The local government has not stepped in to help distraught farmers who face financial ruin, by Parbat Portel (kp), 18 Maldivians Flown To Dhaka By Nepal Airlines (rn) [And when will Nepal Airlines start flying stranded Nepalis from foreign counties to Nepal?], Plan For Easing The Lockdown, by Shyam P. Lohani (rn)

18/04/2020: With 14 new cases, Nepal’s Covid-19 tally doubles in a single day: Twelve cases in Udayapur and two in Chitwan mark a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections in the country, bringing the total to 30, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Nepal’s COVID count almost doubles in a single day: Fourteen more test positive, including 12 from India, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Government deal to procure medical equipment via three private companies raises questions over Army’s role: Officials at the Department of Health Services say they were unable to wait any longer for the Nepal Army to procure urgently required equipment, by Anil Giri and Binod Ghimire (kp), The lockdown is turning people into couch potatoes: Stuck inside their homes, many are spending hours on the couch and in front of screens, increasing the risk of various health issues, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Reverse migration: Govt told to arrange transport for those trudging back home, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Undocumented and overstaying Nepalis in Kuwait could be deprived of amnesty as Nepal is under lockdown: Kuwait government has offered a general amnesty to undocumented workers allowing them to leave the country without having to pay any fines and airfares and also the option to return Kuwait later, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Prime Minister Oli directs high-level Covid-19 committee to strictly implement lockdown: Home ministry to stop people walking long distances on foot wherever they are, and send them to the nearest quarantine, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Northern Humla braces for a food shortage: Humla saw a prolonged snowfall this winter and the route to Taklakot was closed before the pandemic, by Chhapal Lama (kp), Families of daily wage earners, impoverished Dalit communities in Province 2 deprived of reliefs even after three weeks of nationwide lockdown: Most of the local bodies are yet to implement the budget released by the provincial executive for relief distribution even after three weeks of the lockdown (kp), Bringing Back The Community Spirit, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Dr Sher Bahadur Pun leaked vital information: Health Ministry (rep) [??? Has it also been a question of ethnicity and Bahun superiority?], When Dr Pun became the face in media, others at Teku Hospital were not happy (rep)

17/04/2020: Govt urged to protect rights of marginalised, needy people (ht), Dhading administration tightens lockdown further (ht), Many in Kathmandu Valley can neither stay here nor go home: Without adequate rations and no savings, many are making a long walk back to their hometowns, by Anup Ojha (kp), Workers making their way across districts on foot to reach their hometowns: Authorities are asking respective local units to make arrangements for the passing workers’ stay in quarantine facilities, by Agandhar Tiwari (kp), Thousands brave long, painful walk home as Singha Durbar goes to sleep (rep), Hundreds trudging home stuck on the road (ht), Man walking from Chitwan to Dhading dies on the way, by Keshav Adhikari (ht), Government takes decisions unrelated to Covid-19, drawing criticism from all quarters: The government's decision to form a commission to distribute land to the landless and appoint a top official at Nepal Airlines shows its misplaced priorities, say critics, by Anil Giri (kp), Police sub-inspector beat up health worker in Dharan: Health workers staged a protest outside the city demanding action the officer following the incident, by Pradeep Menyangbo (kp) [The policemen's mistaken idea that they could beat other people at any time has not changed a bit since the royal panchayat era!], DSP relieved of duty for thrashing doctors (ht), Police Punish 50 Morning Walkers (rn) [The police have to guarantee law and order, but they have no right to order punishment.], Departmental action should be initiated against police personnel who manhandled doctors, committee concludes: It follows reports that personnel from Maharajgunj Police Circle manhandled three doctors returning from work on Wednesday night, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp) [Disciplinary measures are not enough. There must also be criminal proceedings in public courts!], Hundreds Workers Stranded On Border Between Dhading And Chitwan (rn), Court issues interim order to rescue workers stranded abroad: At least 20,000 Nepalis stranded in various Indian states wish to return home (kp), SC asks govt to bring back migrant Nepalis stranded in foreign lands, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht) [The SC decision is an order to the government, not a request. The Oli government must implement this court decision immediately!], Apex court orders govt to repatriate Nepali nationals stranded abroad (rep)], Return Of Migrant Workers, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km), Qatar used coronavirus pandemic as a ruse to expel Nepali migrant workers, Amnesty International says: Over 400 Nepalis were deported to Nepal last month after local authorities accused them of not abiding by government measures while tens of thousands of Nepali workers continue to live in squalid labour camps in Qatar, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Bring them home now: Nepalis are languishing abroad while the government dawdles (kp), Nepal Army contacting people who bought SIM cards recentl: Officials working under the assumption that those who returned to Nepal would have bought new mobile numbers, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [????], Covid-19, climate change and the future: The years ahead will be shaped by the choices we make in the coming weeks and months, by Madhukar Upadhya (kp), SC seeks govt explanation over its delay to release detainees involved in petty crimes (rep), Ke garne attitude kills people: Nepal is unprepared not just for a COVID-19 outbreak, but also for pre-existing diseases and disasters, by Laxmi Basnet (nt), Nepal must hope for the best, prepare for the worst: So far relatively unscathed from the coronavirus pandemic, the country cannot afford to be complacent, by Buddha Basnyat and Sudeep Adhikari (nt)

16/04/2020: The pandemic is reinforcing social inequalities: For minority groups already suffering under various inequalities, the pandemic and the lockdown are already furthering their marginalisation, by Aditi Aryal (kp), “We don’t want to die in this desert”: Nepali workers in the UAE plead to be brought home: Dozens of Nepalis have already been forced to live on the streets with no shelter and nothing to eat after quitting their jobs, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Oli cautioning party members to keep distance from media reflects a lack of trust, leaders say: Unhappy with leaks, Oli asks all aides, ministers and party members to keep the media at bay, by Anil Giri (kp) [This means a fundamental violation of constitution and democratic principles!!] People who returned from abroad before lockdown seek Covid-19 test voluntarily: Local government officials, neighbours pressing returnees to get tested even after spending months at home, by Arjun Poudel (kp) [This also has to do with the deliberate lack of information by the Oli government, whose policies suggest that infections can only be transmitted by people who have come to Nepal from abroad!], We live in a false time: Our government is not only dysfunctional by design but also increasingly deceptive, by Sabin Ninglekhu (kp), Nowhere to sell or buy: Transit support from farm to market would have solved the problem to a great extent, by Roshee Lamichhane (kp)

15/04/2020: Lockdown extended till April 27: Flights suspended, borders sealed till April 30; Foreigners warned against hiding in Nepal (ht), Public urged to support lockdown (ht), Nepal seeks additional funding from donors as revenue shrinks amid Covid-19 crisis: Government is looking at funds between Rs69 billion and Rs104 billion, equivalent to 2 to 3 percent of the GDP, to bridge the resource gap, officials say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Nepal among nations to receive debt relief from International Monetary Fund: Debt relief for six months will help Nepal channelise its financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Domestic and international NGOs start diverting funds towards anti-Covid 19 programmes: Social Welfare Council has allowed the non-governmental sector to procure medical equipment and run relief programmes, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Lawmakers agree to use parliamentary funds to combat coronavirus: Meeting of the Business Advisory Committee agrees that the government failed to take effective measures on time to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (kp) [This fund for the directly elected predominantly male high caste MPs in order to safeguard their future re-election is a case of corruption either and should be abolished immediately!], The ‘Oli-garchy’ gets a booster dose: There was some hope, before the pandemic, that good sense will somehow emerge in the ruling dispensation, by CK Lal (kp), District authorities in Bajhang put a ban on yarshagumba collection this season amid coronavirus pandemic: On Friday, a meeting of Covid-19 Crisis Management decided to prohibit yarshagumba collection until further notice, by Basanta Pratap Singh (kp)  [Hopefully, this will help nature to recover a bit!], SC summons authorities over petition over lockdown stranded (rep), Dairy products worth Rs 5b lying unsold due to lockdown: Sales down by 70%, says NDA (rep) [It would have been an outstanding task of the government to apply safe und intelligent ways to avoid such waste!]

14/04/2020: Lockdown extended by 12 more days until April 27: The sudden rise of Covid-19 cases in the country has prompted the government to extend the lockdown, according to a Cabinet minister (kp), Govt decides to lengthen lockdown till April 27, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), 5 test positive: 2 for virus, 3 for antibodies, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), 3 in Sun City Apartments test COVID positive in RDT, samples being tested at Teku, by Ashim Neupane (rep), With mass testing, more cases of Covid-19 begin to emerge: On Monday alone, mass testing using rapid test kits identified five new cases of Covid-19; three have yet to be confirmed via a PCR test, by Arjun Poudel (kp), With parliament out of session, role of civil society crucial to hold government to account, say observers: Despite the fact that civil society has largely been coopted by the parties, their role is necessary to act as an effective check on the government’s excesses, they say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Parliament secretariat says no possibility to hold formal meeting of the House committees virtuall: Finance Committee meeting called for Wednesday cancelled following the rejection, by Binod Ghimire (kp), The Oli administration needs to change its attitude: The government must try to make its activities as transparent as possible, and invest in emboldening institutions rather than individuals (kp), Covid-19 exposes a governance crisis: On the pretext of the emergency, the government moved to procure medical supplies from a shady private company, by Achyut Wagle (kp), Woman dies trying to protect son from police thrashing (ht), Woman dies in stampede following clash between police and locals in Saptari: The incident occurred as security personnel were taking action against the locals who had gathered in the market place, by Bharat Jarghamagar and Abdhesh Kumar Jha (kp), Local units in Parbat and Baglung continue to see new entrants despite lockdown: Authorities seek locals’ help to keep a check on people coming from outside during the lockdown, by Prakash Baral and Agandhar Tiwari (kp), Lockdown hits working women in valley (ht), Lockdown an additional burden for daily wage-earning women in Banke: Women travel every day to the jungles to collect firewood for a lack of cooking gas at home, by Madhu Shahi (kp), Stimulus Packages Save Economy, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), Rs 1.98 billion collected for coronavirus fund: Contribution from private sector lukewarm (ht)

13/04/2020: Start planning for easing restrictions: Reopening cities requires a careful balance between preventive measures and a gradual opening of essential activities, by Ajaya Bhadra Khanal (kp), The economy and the pandemic: The government should provide incentives and tax cuts to help businesses and individuals, by Mukti Nath Subedi (kp), Lockdown results in losses worth Rs 2 billion for dairy sector: Farmers are left with unsold milk as shops selling dairy products and grocery stores have closed, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Yet another Covid-19 case identified in Kailali: The new patient is a 65-year-old woman from Kailali who operated a tea shop in Birgunj, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Three Indians test positive for COVID-19, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Province 2 government expedites bid to trace contacts of three positive cases, by Ram Kumar Kamat and Ram Sharraf (ht), Infected Indian nationals entered Nepal 'defying' lockdown, by Ritesh Tripathi (rep), Three Indian nationals in Birgunj test positive for Covid-19: Despite the lockdown, the emergence of new cases shows that the government needs to enforce stronger supplementary measures, public health experts say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Billions in losses and hundreds of thousands of jobs on the line as airline industry faces pandemic: Airlines will need immediate and direct financial support from the government if companies are to avoid insolvency and mass layoffs, IATA has advised, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Nepal looks at tough times ahead as World Bank predicts a growth rate between 1.5 and 2.8 percent: The government had targeted a growth rate of 8.5 percent this fiscal year but the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have thrown cold water on those plans, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Nepal's GDP growth to slump to as low as 1.5pc: WB, by Rupak D. Sharma (ht), It's the brick kilns: Cars are off the streets, but the air pollution persists (kp), Govt mulling to divert MPs development fund to Covid-19 response (rep)

12/04/2020: After spending Rs 700 million to identify the poor, Nepal still doesn't have their database: Experts say there is a complete lack of a system to identify the poor and the needy ones, by Shree Ram Subedi (rep), All of Nepal’s Covid-19 patients recovering with at least three to be discharged next week once they test negative: All eight are being treated with symptomatic drugs, except for one, who is also receiving hydroxychloroquine as supplement, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Prime minister hints at extending Covid-19 lockdown: During a video conference with chief ministers, Oli stresses effective implementation of lockdown, by Anil Giri (kp), Lockdown won’t be lifted anytime soon: PM Oli (ht), China and India respond to Nepal Army’s request for supplying medical equipment and drugs: The procurement unit is studying the price lists and modes of payment, which will be forwarded to the Cabinet on Sunday, Army official says, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Around 500 people apply for lockdown travel passes in Kathmandu daily, but only 50 or so get them: Most of the applications are rejected because the applicants cannot prove if their emergencies are genuine, officials say, by Anup Ojha (kp), Involving the army: It is a great idea to call in the Nepal Army, but only complementary to civilian efforts, by Bishal Dhakal (kp), Fall armyworm destroying corn in Banke and Bardiya: Farmers are worried to control the pest because of unavailability of pesticides due to the lockdown, by Kamal Panthi (kp), Movement from one village to another banned in most local units of Myagdi: The local units have imposed fines and restrictions on people’s movement in a bid to mitigate the risk of local transmission of Covid-19 (kp)

11/04/2020: In the wake of lockdowns and supply chain disruptions, a potential food crisis looms: Since Nepal relies almost entirely on imports of chemical fertilisers, any disruption to the supply chain could quickly escalate into a food crisis, say experts, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Farmers are selling their produce for a pittance even as customers are paying exorbitant prices: The lockdown has meant that farmers are unable to travel to Kathmandu to sell their produce, relying instead on middlemen who are maximising profits, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Oli government's ad-hoc decision-making could cost the people and nation dearly, say observers: Uncoordinated decisions have long been the hallmark of the Oli administration but during a crisis, such decisions could have serious consequence, by Anil Giri (kp), People with disabilities who depend on daily income suffer due to nationwide lockdown: They don’t get relief from municipalities because they don’t have local IDs, by Anup Ojha (kp), Nawalparasi locals return spoiled rice distributed as relief: District administration office forms committee to investigate the incident, by Nabin Paudel (kp), There are sufficient stocks of food and shipments arrive regularly, officials say: Factories manufacturing food products have been allowed to resume production (kp)  [Similar to the rice that has been sent to Nawalparasi?], Saptari disaster committee prioritises security forces over health facilities: Hospitals in the district say they don’t have enough money to buy protective gear for staffers, by Abdhesh Kumar Jha (kp), Over 3,000 labourers stranded at various construction sites across Myagdi: Labourers have said the companies behind the projects haven’t provided them with even the basic necessities, by Ghanashyam Khadka (kp), Building Unity For Crisis Solution, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn)

10/04/2020: Relief packages elude the poorest of the poor: Most lack documents needed to cl, by Ujjwal Satyal (ht), Dang bans distribution individuals and organisations from distributing relief on their own.: The office has taken the decision to streamline the relief distribution process and to avoid crowds, according to the District Administration Office, Dang, by Durgalal KC (kp), Penniless and nothing to eat (ht), Stepping into the crisis: The Covid-19 crisis will be a litmus test of Nepal’s fledgeling federal system, by Anurag Acharya (kp), Faced with a lack of cash and employment opportunity, Kalikot locals who returned from India brace for an uncertain future: The local units do not have a concrete plan yet on how to tackle the mass unemployment that the crisis has wrought, by Tularam Pandey (kp), Nepal Police’s decision to deduct salaries for the Covid-19 fund unfair on its personnel, say critics: The decision has been roundly criticised by many who say that it is unjust for police personnel working long hours at meagre salaries to have their salaries deducted, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Govt struggling with recovery strategy amid looming uncertainties, by Sagar Ghimire (rep)

09/04/2020: Government to roll out rapid testing kits without waiting for assessment results: There is political pressure to use these test kits to justify the deal with Omni and also bring the controversial company back for more procurement deals, officials say, by Arjun Poudel (kp), PM under pressure to probe medical procurement deal (rep), Nepali students abroad seek help from their government amid coronavirus crisis: They want authorities to talk to their host governments and raise the ceiling on the amount their parents can send them, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Grow your own: When it comes to staples, Nepal needs to get back to its roots (kp), Food during the coronavirus crisis: Governments are responding to the health emergency as they rightly should, but ensuring food supply is equally vital, by Arun GC (kp), Food crisis hits haliya families hard in Bajura, by Prakash Singh (ht), Bajhang Police takes nine people in custody on charge of organising a crowded religious fair: Officials at the local unit have said that the fair was organised despite the call to stop it, by Basanta Pratap Singh (kp), COVID-19 sledgehammers economic activities, by Rupak D- Sharma (ht), Second phase of ‘heterogeneous’ stimulus package should aim at upscaling the economy, by Sujan Dhungana (ht), Relief for virus-hit farmers soon (ht), Take it seriously: Shortage of essential supplies (ht), Govt rolls back decision to let people leave Kathmandu (kh)

08/04/2020: Oli emerges to address the nation but questions remain regarding measures to fight the pandemic: Oli’s address was long overdue, especially at a time when his government faces allegations of corruption—which the prime minister did not address (kp), Prime minister draws flak for brushing aside crucial issues (ht), What’s the plan? PM Oli’s address to the nation (kp), Health and federalism: The federal government must work in tandem with the provincial and local governments (kp), Protracted lockdown hits squatter families hard: Families of daily wage earners in Biratnagar and Dhading stare at trouble as local governments fail to distribute relief, by Deonarayan Sah and Harihar Singh Rathour (kp), Dependent on a daily cash flow and with few savings, small and medium enterprises risk collapse: The central bank has announced financial measures for the private sector but many believe small and medium enterprises will require a different approach, by Aditi Aryal (kp), Govt to finalize compensation to farmers at huge loss due to virus (rep), Government is completely lost and out of focus in its preparedness against Covid-19, medical experts say: The government is sending medics to work in critical care with three days of training, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Billions of rupees to be spent by lawmakers could be used to combat Covid-19: Law Minister Tumbahangphe to consult with the parties before taking a decision, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Hill districts in Sudurpaschim organise grand fairs despite the nationwide lockdown: In the last two weeks, Bajhang and Baitadi saw fairs attracting more than 300 people, by Tripti Shahi (kp), Tackling Economic Fallout Of COVID-19, by Mina Aryal (rn), ‘Keep rights at centre during emergency measures’ (ht), Journos not allowed to collect coronavirus news (ht)

07/04/2020: Silent at the top: During times of crisis, clear information from the government is reassuring—especially from the very top. (kp) [Oli and his colleagues have no idea of the people's right and the government's duty to information!], Slow, unsteady: Response to the pandemic (ht), Nationwide lockdown extended till April 15, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), As government extends lockdown, non-natives of Kathmandu Valley wish to return to their hometowns: No one is getting out during the lockdown period, spokesperson of Kathmandu Metropolitan City says, by Anup Ojha (kp) [The population may be protected from the virus, but some may soon die of hunger if the government does not ensure the supply of essential goods to the population even during lockdown!], As government extends lockdown, non-natives of Kathmandu Valley wish to return to their hometowns: No one is getting out during the lockdown period, spokesperson of Kathmandu Metropolitan City says, by Anup Ojha (kp), Relief distribution drive in Banke courts controversy: As many as 70 students and daily wage-earning labourers dissatisfied over the quantity of goods distributed, by Madhu Shahi (kp), Provinces following federal government’s one-door policy: Most provinces have not announced their own schemes citing chances of duplication (ht), Even if the House is prorogued, committees need to meet, analysts say: Nepal’s federal parliament can follow the example of many parliaments around the world that are meeting either by ensuring safety norms or going digital, by Binod Ghimire (kp)

06/04/2020: Ensure every person’s right to health: NHRC (ht), Give priority to needy people in relief distribution: MoFAGA (ht), Despite fiascos and rising Covid-19 cases, the prime minister maintains a stony silence: At a time when world leaders are regularly assuaging the fears of their citizens through regular addresses, Oli last appeared in public on March 20, over two weeks ago, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Govt mulls extending lockdown by at least one week (rep), Lockdown likely to be extended by a week: PM KP Oli to address the nation (kh), Winter crops lie unharvested in the fields as the lockdown forces farmers indoors: There are many who say that farmers should be allowed to work in the fields, as there is little danger of contracting Covid-19 while working five or six feet apart, by Sangam Prasain (kp) [Is there a need for other evidence of the government's high level of incompetence? The people may not get the virus, but anytime sooner or later they may die from hunger!, Neither the market for milk, nor the provision of fodder: Grievances of dairy farmers, by Sabina Karki (kh)], Lockdown brings the poultry industry to a standstill: Farmers in Sarlahi buried 9,000 chickens, and many other farmers were compelled to do the same, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Time For Government To Take Care Of Citizens, by Birendra Madai (rn), Govt plans to bring all private hospitals under its control to fight Covid-19 (rep), Four-day walk from KTM to Sindhuli: Laborers have to travel long, by Anil Bhandari (rep), Govt plan to open fair price shops fails to take off (rep), With three new cases of coronavirus, Valley police get stricter with lockdown: Police booked 1,881 people in Kathmandu, 178 in Bhaktapur and 233 in Lalitpur for defying the lockdown rule on Sunday, by Anup Ojha (kp), Returnees in Lamjung refuse to stay in quarantine (ht), Province 5 tightens security along border as people’s movement continues: Nepali authorities say they are concerned about the free movement of people as the Kolhui Bazaar in India, which lies just across the border, reported six Covid-19 patients on Saturday, by Madhav Dhungana (kp), Mustang locals and village heads impose their own rules to control Covid-19: Residents have also restricted the movement of their own relatives who had migrated to warmer climates during the winter, by GHhanashyam Khadka (kp)

05/04/2020: With first case of local transmission, window to prevent a mass outbreak is fast closing, public health experts say: As Nepal enters stage 2 of the pandemic, Saturday’s three new cases have brought the total number of cases reported in the country to nine, by Arjun Poudel (kp) [This has to do with the strange idea that only people who come to Nepal from abroad can be infected; only they are therefore tested!], President Bhandari addresses the nation but many are saying it should’ve been Prime Minister Oli: The President’s Friday evening address to the nation was not just sudden but also defensive of the government, raising suspicions behind its intent, by Anil Giri (kp) [What shall a severely ill and incompetent PM say?], One after another, Oli's key aides court controversy (rep), Fire the corrupt people (rep) [There have to be severe judicial consequencies as well!], Oli government’s fiascos provide opportunity for rival factions to pounce: The Madhav Nepal and Pushpa Kamal Dahal factions of the ruling party have seized the moment to criticise Oli’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, party insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan.(kp) [This must not be the time of power struggles! It's an occasion to replace the failed old leader generation of ll parties by a young, dynamic, competent and charismatic generation!], Ruling NCP leaders demand Secretariat meeting as govt faces widespread criticism (rep), Govt tightens lockdown measures as COVID-19 crisis enters second phase (rep), Quarantine centre set up by Province 2 government in Dhanusa lacks basic facilities: The facility does not have a running water supply or enough soaps, say health workers, by Ajit Tiwari (kp), Foreign currency inflow shrinks on virus crisis: Earnings are down with remittance, exports and tourism all taking a direct hit from the pandemic, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Quake-displaced people reeling under food crisis (ht) [All governments since 2015 share responsibility for this continued situation!]

04/04/2020: Need Of Virtuous Leadership, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Asian Development Bank revises Nepal’s economic growth rate to 5.3 percent in light of Covid-19 pandemic: Economists, however, say this number is much too optimistic and forecast a more somber figure of around 4 percent, by Sangam Prasain (kp) [Why so optimistic? No tourism, hardly any remittances, downgrating agriculture and other economy!], The novel coronavirus puts Nepal’s economy under the microscope: The direct effects of Covid-19 might be bad, but the potential economic shock can be catastrophic, by Paban Raj Pandey (kp), Kathmandu city has no exact details of its poor citizens to distribute food relief: The lockdown has greatly affected the families living in squatter shanties, but the city spokesperson claims not all of them need help, by Anup Ojha (kp), The perilous journey of five Jumla natives from Ambedkarnagar to Surkhet: The government could have facilitated their travel from Rupaidiha but they were left completely neglected, say the returnees, by Kalendra Sejuwal (kp), Migrant workers must not be left behind: Migrant workers have contributed to keeping the economy afloat. Now it's time for the government to do its part, by Babu Ram Pant (kp), Detainees languish in police custody amid closure of court (ht), Panic spikes as PM's IT guru Ali has access to people's private data, by Sunil Sapkota (rep)

03/04/2020: 65-year-old woman tests positive for COVID-19, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Nepal reports 7th coronavirus case (kh), Industries allowed to resume operations with residential workers (ht), Govt Decides To Ease Distribution Of Essential Goods (rn), Editors jointly condemn unauthorised removal of published content (ht), Editors demand probe into news removal by PM's aides (rep), PM's Press Adviser Thapa Refutes FNJ Statement Over Removal Of News Content (rn), Concern raised over Nepalis stranded on border (ht), Lockdown violated in the name of religious event, arrests made (ht), 11 Muslim religious leaders detained (ht), Govt negligence puts Bajura at high risk of COVID-19 infection (ht), NAC flight brings in medical equipment from China; another returns from Australia (ht), Lack of mobile vans affects FMTC’s home delivery service (ht), Government—not contractor—chartered flight to ship medical supplies: As per the deal, Omni Business Corporate International was supposed to ferry the goods from Guangzhou to Kathmandu, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Govt Receives Over Rs 1.59 Bln In Anti-COVID-19 Fund, by Purushottam P. Khatri (rn), Army to bring COVID-19 medical supplies from China under G2G process (rep), Government decision to bring in the Nepal Army to procure medical equipment draws flak from all quarters: While armies are often mobilised across the world in times of crises, analysts say that the Army should not be handed a task that civilian bodies are capable of carrying out, by Anil Giri and Binod Ghimire (kp), Protect migrant workers and marginalised groups affected due to Covid-19 restrictions, Amnesty International appeals: Human rights advocacy group draws the Nepal government’s attention to incidents of excessive use of force by security personnel tasked with enforcing the lockdown, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Temporary quarantine facility built on no man’s land to keep more than a hundred Nepalis caught at Indo-Nepal border in Nepalgunj: Around two dozen Nepalis stuck in Valmiki Nagar in Bihar complain of authorities’ apathy towards them, by Rupa Gahatraj and Narayan Sharma (kp), Migrant workers must not be left behind: Migrant workers have contributed to keeping the economy afloat. Now it's time for the government to do its part, by Babu Ram Pant (kp)

02/04/2020: Govt scraps contract with Omni Group: Didn’t receive medical equipment in time; COVID testing kits don’t meet standards set by the World Health Organisation; Govt flayed for ordering kits that are known for showing false negative results (ht), Health Ministry cancels tender to purchase medical equipment from China over controversy: Controversy had erupted over the government's decision to purchase medical equipment from China despite high costs and concerns over standards, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Making money off misery: The government must be wrong to believe that citizens can't hold it to account while in quarantine (kp), A 52-year-old woman dies after seeking treatment at four different hospitals in a day: Two hospitals in Biratnagar refused to treat the patient who was suffering from high fever on suspicions of being a Covid-19 case, victim’s daughter says, by Deo Narayan Sah (kp), Patients with fever being turned away due to COVID fear, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Private health facilities refusing service to face music (ht), Foreign returnees facing humiliation (ht), Red flag placed on housetops to identify people coming from abroad in Dolakha (ht) [One must not discriminate against anyone just because he/she has been abroad. The virus can be carried by anyone!, Destigmatizing corona patients: There has always been a close relation between disease and discrimination, which leads to stigmatization. We should not allow this to happen in Nepal, by Rakshya Ojha (rep)], Working families need more support as novel coronavirus contagion takes hold: UNICEF, ILO, UN Women (ht), Support working families to reduce impact of COVID-19: UN agencies to govt (rep), Govt devising standards for distribution of relief to needy people (rep), 12 injured in Birgunj in a clash over food relief: In Rautahat’s Chandrapur, political parties and senior government officials are exerting pressure on local representatives to provide food relief to their friends and families, by Bhusan Yadav and Shiva Puri (kp), Kathmandu Press accuses its site developer of removing a news article without consent: The article had alleged the involvement of the sons of the Defence Minister and the prime minister’s chief advisor, along with Oli’s IT consultant, in procuring medical equipment from China (kp), Here is why PM's IT consultant Asgar Ali has been a controversial figure (rep), Over 1,000 laborers stranded at border: Far west at high risk of COVID-19 outbreak; One laborer dies; Over 100,000 returnees from India not in self-quarantine, neither is their health condition tested, by Dil Bahadur Chhatyal and Bira Gadal (rep), SC writ sought to bring Nepalis stranded in Dharchula (rep), More than 8,000 foreign-returnees enter Karnali (kh), All brick kilns in Nawalparasi (East) in operation despite the lockdown: Around 1,400 Indian workers are employed in various kilns in the district; most are happy to stay put and work, by Narayan Sharma (kp), Out to lunch: The world is witnessing a pandemic but governments everywhere have failed to live up to the challenge, by Deepak Thapa (kp)

01/04/2020: Attending corona patients a must for private hospitals: SC (ht), Reverse migration spreads to Nepal: Migrant workers plan to walk hundreds of kilometres from Kathmandu to reach home, by Ujjwal Satyal (ht), Rise in GBV, sexual abuse cases feared (ht), Poultry entrepreneurs facing daily loss of Rs 220 million due to lockdown, by Madhusudhan Guragain (rep), Chicken supply resumes, egg consumption increases (ht), This week's three hospital deaths not related to COVID-19: Govt (rep), Nepal, India to care for each other's nationals headed homeward: Won't allow cross-border movement until lockdown is over, by Kosh Raj Koirala (rep) [??], House owner arrested after he forces nurse to evacuate, by Devendra Banet (rep), VNY 2020 campaign formally canceled (rep), Wage Earners’ Distress During Lockdown, by Arju Dahal (rn), Media’s tendency to link every death to Covid-19 is spreading misinformation and stigma, say doctors: Doctors believe media portals need to exercise caution while publishing stories about the coronavirus as false reports can be very damaging to the social fabric, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Fear and loathing: Stigma and ostracisation for those who’ve returned from abroad: There are increasing reports of returnees, and actual Covid-19 patients, being ostracised and stigmatised by their communities, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Vegetables rotting in Kalimati, public pay double price, by Sabina Karki (kh)

31/03/2020: Supreme Court orders government to ensure vulnerable people’s right to food: The court asks government authorities to apprise it of what they are doing for food security, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Taking care of the poor is the state's responsibility: Ensuring food supply during the time of the lockdown would have done much to palliate the pain. (kp), Hunger looms as the economy stops: The government needs to act to neutralise the threats to food and nutrition security from the lockdown, by Shobha Poudel (kp), Nepalis are swimming across the Mahakali to get home: Around 500 Nepali migrant workers are currently stuck at the border with India in Darchula because of the ongoing lockdown, and they're desperate to get back., by Manoj Badu (kp) [Health precautions must be taken, but Nepalese citizens have the right to enter their own country even in times of Corona! This is tantamount to temporary expatriation in times of greatest need!], Around 400 Nepalis stranded at Sunauli border point stage a sit-in: The Nepalis reached Sunauli border point from various parts of India three days ago and are waiting to be allowed in, by Madhav Dhungana (kp), Migrants’ rights groups call on government to repatriate and protect the workers stranded overseas: They have also urged the government to introduce a relief package to support the families of migrant workers affected by the pandemic, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Relief package may not be enough if Covid-19 crisis worsens, say businessmen and experts: Economists question the government’s decision to ask landlords to provide a month's rent exemption to informal sector workers, who live in small houses that are not usually registered for rental tax, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Private sector rues inadequate relief package (ht), Private hospitals not taking fever patients, forcing people to seek treatment at state-run health facilities: The government is considering seeking clarification from the hospitals turning down patients, Health Ministry spokesperson says, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Three suspected COVID-19 patients die while undergoing treatment in capital hospitals (ht), More than 2,000 lockdown violators punished (ht), [The police have no right to punish anybody! This would be a task of the judiciary! It's time for the police to under stand their limits!], 8,500 lockdown flouters faced action in a week: 11,433 vehicles seized across the country, by Ashok Dahal (rep), We need a commander (rep), Rs 207 million collected in corona control fund: Contributions pouring in from firms, individuals, organizations (rep)

30/03/2020: Two COVID-19 suspects die at Bir Hospital (kh), Govt extends lockdown by a week, borders to remain sealed, by Ashok Dahal (rep), Lockdown extended till April 7 midnight: All flights suspended till April 15; Jail for hiding exposure to COVID-19 or fleeing quarantine, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), Govt announces economic relief measures to support poor, businesses hit by Covid-19, by Sagar Ghimire (rep), Returnee migrant workers from India resist quarantine (ht), These are the relief packages introduced by the government following extension of lockdown for another week: Lockdown has been extended until April 7 midnight to stem the spread of Covid-19 (kp), Relief for hunkered down populace: Tax payment deadline extended; 25pc discount on electricity tariff; Tax rebate for house owners if they waive one-month rent (ht) [And what about food supply?], City’s squatters, homeless stare at spectre of starvation, by Ujjwal Satyal (ht), Over 6,000 brick kiln workers left in a lurch (ht), KMC to distribute relief through one-door system (ht) [??], Kalimati Market To Open Twice A Day To Reduce Crowd, by Laxman Kafle (rn), Youth dies in Butwal corona hospital, test report awaited, by Krishna Prasad Dhakal (ht) [He was a 34-year-old adult, not a youth!], Call to ensure rights, welfare of toiling people (ht), Authorities face a hard time when it comes to contact tracing those who travelled with four Covid-19 patients: Of the 458 passengers who shared flights with four persons from Qatar, Sharjah and Delhi, 302 are still out contact, by Janak Raj Sapkota and Arjun Poudel (kp), As Covid-19 fears grow, some medical personnel face eviction from their homes: Reports of medical personnel being forced to work without adequate protection have only aggravated discriminatory behaviour from landlords, say doctors, by Arjun Poudel & Aditi Aryal (kp)

29/03/2020: For many domestic violence survivors, the lockdown means being locked in with their abusers: As countries across the world go into lockdown over Covid-19, cases of domestic violence are rising, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Government is preparing to extend the lockdown by at least one more week: Given that the incubation time for the virus is 14 days, the lockdown could last for at least one more week, according to Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) Govt slow to protect poor, counter economic impact of Covid-19: As countries rush to announce stabilization measures to insulate economy from the pandemic, Nepal govt keeps mum over relief package, by Sagar Ghimire (rep), Think about food (rep), Dairy farmers left with large stocks of unsold milk as country comes to a halt: Traders said they were compelled to shut down their shops after people disregarded requests not to form crowds, by Sanju Poudel (kp), Govt’s home delivery service off to a bumpy start (ht), Food Producers Seek Govt Support To Keep Supply Chain Intact (rn), Police personnel at high risk of contracting COVID-19 (ht), Call to provide help to Nepali students in Australia (ht), COVID-19 patient accuses doctors of denying him treatment, by Tekendra Deuba (ht), Infected in Dhangadi traveled to many places, contacted many, by Dil Bahadur Chhatyal (rep), Daily wage earners in Tanahun face starvation (ht), Wage Earners, Informal Sector Workers Hit Hard By Lockdown, by Arpana Adhikari (rn), Effective Contact Tracing Needed, by Anup K.C. (rn), Financial irregularities suspected in procurement of medical equipment from China, by Sunil Sapkota (rep), 900 German, French and EU nationals flown back home from Nepal (rep), Repatriation of bodies of Nepali migrant workers who died abroad also affected due to Covid-19: Amid international travel restrictions and lockdowns, officials tell Nepali missions abroad to hold applications until further notice, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Mechinagar Municipality starts to mark the houses of foreign returnees in a bid to streamline the identification process: The drive will not only help timely identification but will also help in the effective mobilisation of health workers, authorities say, by Parbat Portel (kp)

28/03/2020: Nepal Confirms Fifth COVID-19 Case (rn), COVID-19 cases in Nepal reach five (kh), All five COVID-19 cases in Nepal imported; 2nd and 5th patients shared same Qatar Airways flight on March 17 (rep), Man from Kailali tests positive for COVID-19:  Fourth Nepali to contract the disease; First case outside capital means it’s spreading: Govt, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Private sector concerned about delay in stimulus packages (ht), Janakpur Provincial Hospital declines to treat woman suffering from high fever (ht), KMC to provide relief package to homeless, daily wage earners (ht), Senior citizens to get Rs 10,000 per month (ht), Farmers face nationwide lockdown heat (ht), Govt Releases 78 Inmates Amid COVID-19 Fears, by Purushottam P. Khatri (rn), Shifting Paradigm Of Public Order, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Vegetables become scarce and costly as transporters stay away due to virus fears: Prices have increased by up to 200 percent, according to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Online stores flooded with orders, but cannot fulfil them for lack of delivery system: The government’s unclear policy has forced them to shut down when people need them the most, e-retailers said, by Krishana Prasain (kp)

27/03/2020: Contact tracing of all who got close with Covid-19 patients continues but time is fast running out: Authorities have traced just 11 of the more than 30 people the third Covid-19 patient came into contact with, but none has been tested yet, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Lockdown helps control rapid spread of the virus but it also lessens chances of more tests: Fear and halt in transportations services massively reduce the number of people visiting hospitals, by Arjun Poudel (kp), A wake up call: The coronavirus outbreak has laid bare the incapacity of the leaders to make their population feel secure, by Amod Pyakurel (kp), Fourth COVID-19 positive case confirmed by Health Ministry (ht), Nepal reports fourth COVID-19 case, first outside Kathmandu Valley (kh), Daily wagers bear the brunt of lockdown, govt fails to provide reprieve: ‘It appears the government has not consulted well with experts and emulated best practices’ , by Rupak D. Sharma(ht), 137 foreigners stranded on trekking trails rescued in two days: Eight foreigners and 11 Nepalis returning from Kanchanjunga stranded at Sankhuwasabha, by Sujan Dhungana (ht), Govt told to ensure smooth supply of daily essentials (ht), Department stores start home delivery of groceries, by Sujita Pradhan (rep), Customs across the country lie deserted: Hardly 500 trucks and containers entering Nepal in a day (ht), Authorities told to protect health workers, disadvantaged sections of society (ht), Growing anxiety: As Nepal has limited stock of PPEs, the health minister would do well to have them in place before there is an attack of the virus (ht), Gas bottlers asked to sell half-filled cooking gas cylinders (rep)

26/03/2020: Daily wage workers are more worried about starving to death than Covid-19: Most worker households are likely to have enough supplies and savings for a week but if the lockdown is to continue, they will need government’s help, activists say, by Anup Ojha (kp), Hopes of Nepalis stuck abroad dashed (ht) [This is tantamount to justifying a temporary exile!], Despite a significant number of rescues, 300 trekkers remain stranded in various trekking routes: As Nepal remains under lockdown, many trekkers have been unable to return to Kathmandu, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Police seize a container truck carrying 52 people from Kathmandu to Birgunj on Wednesday: The driver has been arrested on charges of hiding the passengers in the truck and ferrying them to Birgunj amidst the nationwide lockdown, by Shankar Acharya (kp), Police begin cracking down on people defying lockdown: Wednesday saw police enforcing the restriction more seriously than on Tuesday, with arrests and vehicle confiscations, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), 1,063 vehicles impounded for defying lockdown (ht), Centralised Bureaucracy In Nepal, by Mukti Rijal (rn), With flights halted, COVID-19 test samples stuck (ht) [!!!], Governing lawfully in crisis: Let us be mindful that politics of the pandemic can potentially undo the peace dividend that Nepal has just begun to realize, by Ian Payne and George Varughese (rep), India lockdown hits supply of daily essentials in Nepal: Foreign Ministry requested to resolve issue (kh), NHRC urges govt to ensure smooth supply of daily essentials (kh)

25/03/2020: Empty streets and palpable fear as Nepal goes into lockdown: Apart from occasional activity in the mornings and evenings, Kathmandu Valley streets remained empty throughout the day as the country went into isolation, by Anup Ojha (kp), Thousands of security personnel enforce lockdown across country, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Kathmandu hunkers down on Day One of lockdown (ht), Districts across the country report mixed results on the first day of national lockdown: While in a majority of districts, the situation remained normal with public complying with the order, in others the police had to make arrests, confiscate vehicles and even resort to imposing a curfew, by Ghanashyam Gautam and Thakur Singh Tharu (kp), With most shops closed in the lockdown, concerns rise about daily essentials: In an attempt to relieve confusion, the Ministry of Supplies has asked all shops selling food, vegetables, milk, water, oil, gas and the like to remain open, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Grocery stores can operate during week-long shutdown, reiterates govt (ht), Nepalis stranded at border allowed to return home only on Tuesday: A meeting of the high-level coordination committee also sought the private sector’s help in acquiring medicines and medical equipment by Saturday, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Govt allows entry of Nepalis stranded on Indian border (rep) [Govt has no right to prevent that Nepali citizens enter their own country!], Decision to ban entry of Nepalis returning from abroad challenged: ‘Move violates rights of Nepalis stranded in foreign countries’ (ht), Despite border closure, people continued to cross Mahakali river to enter India: Nepali authorities, however, expressed ignorance about such movements of people, by D.R. Panta (kp), Gandaki province prepares for coronavirus pandemic; closes all international and domestic border effective Tuesday onwards: All districts take measures to control the spread of coronavirus including banning public transport, by Pratikshya Kafle (kp), Rautes in Birendranagar unaware of pandemic: The nomad community doesn’t know the world is in the midst of a pandemic as authorities have not yet organised awareness programmes, by Jyoti Katuwal (kp), Kantipur Media Group halts fundraising drive after government decision to channel all funds through the state: Following the government's decision, all donations are being returned to their contributors, said the media group management (kp) [???], Govt restricts setting up a separate fund to collect donations for COVID-19 (rep)

24/03/2020: Nepal goes under lockdown for a week starting 6am Tuesday: All public movement outside of the home, except to seek medical attention or purchase essential foodstuff, has been prohibited, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), For Nepali migrant workers abroad, no hearth and no home: As Nepal has closed itself off to all incomers, including its own citizens, even Nepalis migrants who have visas expiring are unable to come back home, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Over 400 Nepalis on their way home stranded in New Delhi: Most of them work at hotels, restaurants and supermarkets in Bangalore, Shimla and Chandigarh, by Suresh Raj Neupane (kp), 540 Nepalis returning from India leave ‘rescue facility’ in Nepalgunj: Local authorities had brought those stranded at the Jamunaha-Rupaidiha border to Nepalgunj on Monday, by Madhu Shahi (kp)

23/03/2020: 19-year-old woman who returned from France via Qatar tests positive for Covid-19: The Health Minister confirmed Nepal’s second case of the coronavirus at a press meet on Monday, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Test, test, test, says WHO but Nepal has neither the means nor the matter: The number of individuals tested for Covid-19 is far lower than the number of tests as of the 572 tests so far, 175 Nepalis evacuated from Hubei were counted twice, by Arjun Pudel (kp), Inadequate testing: The only way to keep the country safe is to screen and test every suspected case as advised by the World Health Organisation (ht), Government requests India and China for protective gear and medical equipment: Minister Bhatta says Nepal will follow Chinese model to deal with Covid-19 cases, by Anil Giri (kp), Government to close down border with India and China for a week: With calls growing to close the border amid rising number of Covid-19 cases in India, a Cabinet meeting decided to shut down all borders with both neighbours, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Borders with India, China closed for a week from today: Movement of cargo vehicles won’t be affected, by Ashok Dahal (rep), Kanchanpur, Nepalgunj under indefinite lockdown: Hordes of Nepalis return home from Indian cities (ht), As the world goes on lockdown, Nepali students find themselves out of a job: With the Covid-19 outbreak shuttering businesses, Nepali students in foreign lands who work part-time to fund their studies are worried about paying their bills, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Covid-19, economic crisis and the Nepali economy: The government’s policies and priorities for economic development require a revision, by Jagadish Prasad Bist (kp), When will the govt launch economic relief package?, by Rupak D. Sharma and Sujan Dhungana (ht)

22/03/2020: Experts suggest effective monitoring, not completely sealing border with India: With the rising number of Covid-19 cases in India and increased cross-border movement, calls are growing for completely shutting the border with the southern neighbour, by Tika R. Pradhan and Binod Ghimire (kp), In Butwal, juvenile delinquents are compelled to stay at a crowded correctional facility without proper means: As a result of the overcrowding, many suffer from skin-related diseases, by Amrita Anmol (kp), Police begin crackdown on rumour-mongers (ht), Police arrest youth producing misleading audio clip on COVID-19, by Ashim Neupane (rep), NA prepares to fight against COVID-19 spread (ht), NA readies 5,000 health workers to fight against COVID-19 (rep), Pardon, suspend or rebate jail sentence: OAG directs Nepal Police (ht), Large number of people leaving valley amid virus scare (ht), Health desks at border check points ill equipped to handle influx of people: Lapses at border transit points may pose high risk of COVID-19 outbreak in Nepal (rep), All services except essential closed, international flights suspended: Kathmandu streets wear a semi-deserted look (kh), Over 500,000 people leave Kathmandu in four days (kh), Lockdown in Mahendranagar announced amid COVID-19 fear (kh)

21/03/2020: The Covid-19 outbreak so far and how Nepal can prepare for the worst: Even though the number of Covid-19 cases in Nepal remains inexplicably stuck at one, doctors and public health experts warn of a potential disaster if measures aren’t taken (kp), Oli announces suspension of all flights, all long-haul transport and all non-essential services: The prime minister, in a televised address, announced these measures to control the spread of Covid-19 into Nepal, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Hospitals with 50 or more beds told to suspend non-urgent checkups, surgeries (rep) [This will affect basic health care, especially in rural areas!], Partial lockdown from Monday: Long-route buses to be halted, non-essential services to be shut; International flights to and from TIA to stop from tomorrow, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), Despite the government’s move to close all border points except four, small border points open for human movement in province 5: Major border points have health desks set up to screen footfall, most health desks are ill-equipped and under-staffed, by Madhav Dhungana (kp), Covid-19 pandemic likely to devastate country’s labour sector as ILO projects 25 million job losses globally: While labour migration has come to a complete halt, more job cuts are expected in the domestic labour market as well, labour experts say, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Standing At A Transformative Moment, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), Supreme Court to halt non-urgent proceedings (ht), Courts to remain closed for two weeks, by Ananta Raj Luitel (rep)

20/03/2020: House panel endorses bill allowing intelligence agency to listen in on conversations: The bill passed with the support of the opposition Nepali Congress, despite legal experts sounding the alarm over its potential for misuse and privacy violations, by Binod Ghimire (kp), A House in disarray: Parliament cannot be allowed to stagnate any longer (kp) [The politicians and the political parties behave criminally, irresponsibly and selfishly!], More people leaving Kathmandu valley: Most of those leaving the capital city are school and college students (kp), Over 350,000 people leave Kathmandu in three days (Khabarhub), Nepal courts to remain shut for two weeks amid COVID-19 fear (Khabarhub), Govt mulls complete closure of border with India (rep), Nepal government announces partial lockdown: Prime Minister KP Oli says Nepal will contribute Rs 100 million to SAARC fund to fight COVID-19 (Khabarhub) [unofficial translation of PM Oli's address, rn 22/03/2020], Economic Impact of Covid-19, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km)

19/03/2020: Government bans entry of all passengers, including Nepalis, from midnight March 20: All passengers, including Nepalis, flying in from Europe, the UK, West Asia, and the Gulf will not be allowed into the country until April 15, by Sangam Prasain and Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Government takes drastic steps to counter novel coronavirus threat. People told not to leave home unless it’s urgent; Cinema halls, stadiums shut till April 30 (ht), Govt takes sweeping measures to contain spread of COVID-19 (rep), ‘More than half the population denied access to hand hygiene’: UNICEF says 54 per cent health care units in Nepal lack access to handwashing facilites (kp), Law-making process: Far from participatory, by Mukti Rijal (ht), House committee all set to endorse a bill allowing intelligence agencies to intercept suspicious conversations: Main opposition has demanded that it should be moved ahead only if there is a guarantee that the provision is not misused, by Binod Ghimire (kp), The cost of a pandemic: The real test for the government will be how it tackles the economic fallout of the pandemic, by Deepak Thapa (kp), Experts call for measures to ease the impact of coronavirus on the economy: Ensuring supply of essentials, controlling prices, slashing customs duty on raw materials and rescheduling loans are some of the recommended actions, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Women invisible: Let's have more women on televised discussions, in newspaper interviews and on debate panels, by Andrea Upadhya (kp), Your ‘rightful’ place: When people talk of Dalit, Janajati or NGO leadership it is the same old faces that reap benefit without being questioned. This leads to new form of othering and exclusion, by Pranab Kharel and Gaurab KC (rep)

18/03/2020: Draft amendment to transitional justice Act ready, Nembang says: Law ministry, conflict victims say they don’t have any information on it, by Binod Ghimire (kp), ‘2,506 persons disappeared during insurgency’ (ht), CIEDP makes public names of 2,506 disappeared (rep), Cycle of discrimination: Caste system in Nepal, among other impositions, is one example of how a rudimentary form of thinking that entails divide and conquer subsequently took form of a discriminatory tradition, by Sarans Pandey (rep), Keep politics out of schools: Politicisation has compromised the quality of education (kp),  Winter session of Parliament likely to end without endorsing crucial bills: With over 40 bills pending, the winter session, also called the bill session, has largely been squandered by squabbling within the ruling party, analysts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [This is where the incompetence and complete failure of the current generation of politicians, who are only interested in power struggles and enrichment, becomes apparent. For the sake of Nepal it is high time for them to leave politics!], Nepal Communist party taskforce gives final touches to MCC report: Chances that the deal is ratified by Parliament during the ongoing session look slim, by Anil Giri (kp), Assembly fails to name Province 2: Four names proposed, but all fail to get mandatory two-thirds majority (kp), Govt orders shutdown of theaters; restricts mass gatherings over coronavirus scare: Nepal govt has banned people coming from the Middle East and the Gulf States, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and the whole of Europe from March 20 (Khabarhub), Prepare for the worst: Economic impact of COVID-19 (rep)

17/03/2020: Govt mulls tax rebate, subsidy for businesses hit by coronavirus (rep), Divisions in ruling party manifest in appointment of National Assembly general secretary: The appointment by House Speaker Agni Sapkota, a former Maoist, has been opposed by National Assembly Chair Ganesh Timilsina, an Oli appointee, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp)

16/03/2020: Parliament functioning more like extension of government, rather than sovereign entity, experts sayThey argue the legislative, responsible for discussing issues of public interest and holding the Cabinet to account, has been overshadowed by the executive, by Anil Giri (kp), Laws for all: Lawmakers must indulge in proper deliberations to make the law-making process transparent (kp), Bills session passes just two bills in three months, by Ashok Dahal (rep) [Govt and lawmakers should be sent into final retirement! They're not doing their job and are absolutely useless!], Confronted with near-collapse, tourism industry looks inwards: Foreign tourist arrivals are expected to halt completely this week, leading hotels and airlines to look to attract domestic tourists with cut-rate prices, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Covid-19 raises questions about the future of the Nepali state: Nepal will have to debate and talk about our ideas about the nation-state, by Ajaya Bhadra Khanal (kp), Prognosis of democratic governance: Nepal has all the characteristics of bad governance despite the successful exercises of holding elections when needed, by Lok Raj Baral (kp), Working With MCC And BRI, by Balmukunda Regmi (rn), Govt urged to declare ‘economic emergency’ (ht), Panel fails to chalk out plan to tackle COVID-19 (ht), Man who slapped NCP leader Dahal held after 7 years (ht) [And what about the man who claims responsibility for the killing of 5.000 people! He is still not held!], Who did this? Missing complaints of conflict victims (rep)

15/03/2020: Transitional justice is backsliding: To ensure better predictability, a national roadmap with parliamentary ownership could be a way out, by Tika P. Dhakal (kp), Complaints of the disappeared have themselves disappeared!, by Dinesh Subedi (rep), Govt curtailing freedom of expression: Report; The government did not make efforts to preserve safety and independence of the media (ht), After aviation and tourism, investment and trade fall victim to global Covid-19 outbreak: While no foreign investors have showed up in recent past, both imports and exports have slowed, officials say, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Nepal’s remittance-dependent economy braces for upheaval amid Covid-19 pandemic: Money sent by workers abroad has not declined yet, but the future looks uncertain as countries that host Nepali labourers impose travel bans, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Nepal’s political parties rarely encourage public participation in lawmaking: Citizens’ engagement in the formulation of laws not only ensures transparency but also enhances the quality of legislation, experts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Oli has returned to Baluwatar and he is making it look like he is back in the office: A day after being discharged, the prime minister and ruling party chair holds brief meetings with leaders, as he braces for challenges on government and party fronts, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp)

14/03/2020: Govt fails to deliver right info at right time (ht), Extrajudicial killings continue in Nepal, reveals report (ht), Suspension of climbing permits and on-arrival visas entails losses of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars: The hardest hit sectors of the economy are tourism and aviation, which were already reeling from reduced number of visitors and passengers due to the Covid-19 outbreak, by Sangam Prasain and Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Surkhet administration starts eviction of flood victims from public land: Five and a half years since the tragedy struck, victims are still looking for help from the government, by Chandan Kathayat (kp)

13/03/2020: Washington takes a dim view of human rights situation in Nepal: A US State Department report has pointed out cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention by the state agencies and government’s restriction in the right to freedom, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Nepal’s Rule of Law Index remains static (ht) [see WJP comment on Nepal], Drastic steps planned to prevent outbreak: It’s time to act, not plan: Critics, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), Nepal government puts all tourist visas on hold and cancels all spring climbing expeditions: The visa suspension will begin March 14 and last until the end of April, depriving Nepal of millions in Everest climbing fees, by Sangam Prasain (kp), As India steps up measures to control coronavirus spread, smaller border points with Nepal likely to be closed: Indian embassy says measures, however, do not currently have any impact on normal travel of Nepali nationals to India, by Suresh Raj Neupane (kp), Central laboratory is equipped to test 500 Covid-19 cases a week, but that is far too low, say public health experts: An outbreak in densely populated Kathmandu could overwhelm the laboratory, which is the only public health facility where the test is conducted, by Samuel Chhetri (kp), In Oli’s absence, two ruling party factions vie for Madhav Nepal’s favour: Nepal has emerged as a key player in the party as both Oli and Dahal factions want him on their side to tilt the nine-member Secretariat, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [They all are part of Nepal' failed generation of party politicians and should be replaced immediately by a younger and socially inclusive generation, best under the leadership of a woman with ethnic background! Intra-party factionalism must be ended!!], Oli and the ruling party must decide on an alternative: While no one doubts KP Oli’s ability to govern, it is time he and the ruling party publicise contingency measures (kp), Power sharing by the Opposition: Violation of parliamentary norms, by Jiba Raj Pokharel (ht)

12/03/2020: Ruling party is undecided and Speaker is reluctant, leaving the House without Deputy Speaker: Nepal Communist Party wants to elect the deputy as part of a larger deal but the Janata Party wants the position to be dealt with separately from its other demands, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [The ruling party takes the right to disregard the constitution whenever it deems necessary in the interest of its power ambitions!], With Oli likely to be out of commission for longer, concerns about governance remain: Despite Oli and his party leaders’ assurances that he will be back to work soon, doctors have said it could take up to six months for him to recover fully, by Anil Giri (kp), Financially free abroad, socially constrained at home: Women migrants acquire expertise and financial independence abroad but on return, they find themselves trapped in a social order that does not value their talent, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Its Ideology, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km)

11/03/2020: PM Oli to be discharged only after doctors become confident and comfortable: Visits to the prime minister will be restricted for a month to minimise infection risk, physician says, by Arjun Poudel (kp) [Nepal cannot afford a government that does not even function on paper for up to a year!], PM’s long road to recovery a hurdle in governance: Docs say it will take from 6 months to one year for Oli to recover fully, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), Beyond one's means: Politicians indulge in corruption to recover steep campaign costs (kp), Give them work: The unemployment problem is an outcome of the government’s inaction for decades to develop the productive sectors (ht), ‘Presidential quota in upper house meant for experts, not politicians’, by Ashok Dahal (rep) [Above all, they must be outstanding personalities in society. All Gautam has to offer is losing elections and splitting parties for his own power interests!], Keep fighting: Anti-Chhaupadi drive (rep)

10/03/2020: The victims and human rights defenders reject transitional justice commission’s request for support: Two months after formation the commissions are yet to commence their job, by Binod Ghimire (kp), The cost of extreme political traumatisation: The state and the political parties are in denial about the sexual violence that occurred during the conflict, by Susan Risal (kp), The case for achieving gender parity: Formal structures like laws and policies play a decisive role in eliminating gender inequality, by Geeta Bhattrai Bastakoti (kp), Parties spend millions on elections, facilitating corruption and criminalisation, experts say: The Election Commission plans to institute software to track party finances but officials themselves are sceptical if it will do any good, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Anti-graft body detains doctor for 25 days over report, suspends him: The doctor posted in Butwal was released after a probe panel endorsed his findings, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Nepal suspends visa-on-arrival services for Spain, France, and Germany (South Asia Time), The Inquiring Citizens, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn)

09/03/2020: The fight goes on: Men and women both benefit from living in a gender-equal society (kp),m Almost all major parties have two or more chairs, and that is not necessarily a good thing: While some say collective leadership was instituted to ensure democratic values, others believe it was more of a bid to manage the egos of senior party leaders, by Anil Giri (kp) [This is a consequence of factionalism in all political parties. None of the parties in Nepal is a self-contained entity, and has not been for a very long time! Power struggles between different party leaders, predominantly male Bahuns, are a typical feature. It is not about ideology or even the welfare of the nation, but primarily about the power of political leaders and their access to the state's coffers!], Chief accused of journalist Birendra Sah’s murder arrested: Sah, a print and broadcast journalist, was killed in October 2007, by Laxmi Sah (kp), Coronavirus onslaught: It makes sense for the government to lower its GDP growth target in light of the impact of the outbreak, by Chandan Sapkota (kp), Women’s status: Figures speak for themselves, by Chanda Chaudhary (ht)

08/03/2020: Nepali women are unequal by law: Nepal is still lagging far behind international human rights standards concerning equal rights to citizenship, by Jesselina Rana (kp), There are more women in politics, but few and far between at decision-making level: Despite inclusion refrain, there is a huge underrepresentation of females in Nepali political parties and state organs, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Women journalists bring diverse perspectives, but their presence in newsrooms remains sparse: It’s time for the Nepali media to reflect on gender inequality in newsrooms and act to reverse the imbalance, women journalists say, by Srizu Bajracharya (kp), Justice and gender equality in the age of #MeToo: It is only a matter of time before the men hiding behind their title and power are unveiled and brought to justice, by Sakun Gajurel (kp). No More Misogyny, by Prativa Subedi (rn), Caste-based domestic violence against women rife in Rolpa, by Dinesh Subedi (rep), Celebrating the heroes: This Women’s Day, let’s celebrate our everyday local women, our mothers, sisters, maids, colleagues or common everyday women who can be our heroes and inspire us, by Ushma Rebel (rep), Empowerment vs Commodification: While Nepal is heading toward institutionalizing the federal democratic republic, re-conceptualizing women empowerment appears a vital task, by Mohan Nepali (rep)

07/03/2020: New Indian ambassador faces rising geopolitical rivalry among India, China and the US, along with border dispute, EPG: At a time when geopolitical interests are rising over Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra will need to engage India’s soft power to showcase Modi’s neighbourhood first policy, by Anil Giri (kp), Communist manifestation: Should we redefine communist principles and politics or is our communist movement doomed to failure?, by Mohan Guragain (kp), SC seeks clarification on funds distributed to lawmakers (rep) [This systemis corruption in its purest form: The almost exclusively male and predominantly high-caste directly elected representatives receive state funds to secure their re-election and satisfy their clientele!]

06/03/2020: Confusion reigns over the Visit Nepal campaign with no clear statement from the government regarding its fate: Despite the prime minister’s directive to postpone the tourism campaign, the Tourism Ministry and Nepal Tourism Board have conflicting takes, by Sangam Prasain (kp), Without a clear statement from the federal government regarding Covid-19, misinformation spreads at local level: In times of crises, Singha Durbar, in coordination with provincial and local governments, should issue an unambiguous statement, say federal and health experts, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), In criminal cases, police often fail to ensure privacy or security for complainants, resulting in threats and bribes: Threats and bribes can lead the complainant to ultimately change their statements in courts, weakening the case and resulting in a lack of conviction, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Piety and poison: the insidious spread of Hindutva: Those flirting with the idea of a Hindu state need to look at how quickly India has changed, by Amish Raj Mulmi (kp), (Don’t) Visit Nepal 2020, by Guffadi (rep), Nepal’s history foretold: Those who do not learn from the past are destined to repeat it, by Anil Chitrakar (nt)

05/03/2020: Caste-based discrimination continues across Nepal: Report: “Dalits are unable to sell dairy products due to superstitious beliefs in society”  (ht), The ruling party has failed in ruling: It seems that constant infighting among ruling party leaders is severely disrupting governance, by Deepak Thapa (kp), Gautam will be nominated to Upper House, party spokesperson says: Oli reappoints Yubaraj Khatiwada as minister, leaving one seat in the National Assembly vacant, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [This would mean the end of Khatiwada as Minister of Finance within the next six months! Besides, Gautam is a politician who has been rejected by the voters! What is the legitimacy and his merit to nominate him for the National Assembly?], Issues Of Cooperative Federalism, by Mukti Rijal (rn)

04/03/2020: Oli heads into surgery with no clear decision on who’s in charge in his absence. After a kidney transplant today, he is expected to be in hospital for at least a week but he has not named the officiating prime minister, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Khatiwada to be reappointed but decision on Gautam deferred till Oli returns from hospital: While Yubaraj Khatiwada’s reappointment as finance minister should not pose a problem, Bamdev Gautam’s path to the National Assembly still remains unclear, by Anil Giri (kp), Hands off Nepal Rastra Bank autonomy: A central bank that cannot say no to election-driven politicians is at risk of losing its credibility, by Paban Raj Pandey (kp), General strike hits life in Udayapur (rep)

03/03/2020: Oli recalling Paudyal from China is part of his attempt to manage party dynamics: On Sunday, Oli recalled Leelamani Paudyal, the ambassador to China, and proposed Mahendra Pandey, believed to be a confidante of Madhav Kumar Nepal’s, in his place, by Anil Giri and Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Take no chances: The government has been too occupied with the party’s internal politics, preventing it from tending to the problems facing the country (ht), Shifting Democratic Form, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn) Finance Minister Khatiwada resigns (rep), Finance Minister Khatiwada Resigns (rn) [The function of Minister of Finance requires the highest professional qualifications. The task cannot be performed by a poorly educated and, what is more, seriously ill party politician, even temporarily!]

02/03/2020: Conflict victims in Dang express their mistrust on Truth and Reconciliation Commission for justice: Conflict-era victims who attended an interaction programme held in Tulsipur last Wednesday say justice delayed is justice denied, by Durga Lal KC (kp), Lawmakers call for stringent action against VAW, acid attack and dowry system (rep), Oli remains undecided on Gautam as he goes under the knife: A Cabinet meeting that was expected to decide on the Bamdev Gautam affair and an officiating prime minister ended with no conclusion on either, by Anil Giri (kp), PM Oli to undergo second kidney transplant on Wednesday: Although Oli has assured that he will be back at work after five days, doctors say it could take up to a month for the prime minister to recover, by Tika R Pradhan and Arjun Poudel (kp), Youth arrested for throwing shoe targeting Nepal Communist Party chair Dahal: The 22-year-old youth from Jumla has been identified as a son of a former Maoist fighter, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp) [Not correct but understandable! This act is absolutely harmless compared to the killing of 5,000 people for which Dahal has claimed responsibility!], Scandals expose conflict over patronage: If Nepal is to develop, we must ensure a transition to the rule of law in the economy as well, by Ajaya Bhadra Khanal (kp), On foreign policy, media should unite: Nepal’s media houses should build a consensus on how to respond to, address, balance or even resist (if necessary) the competing interests of major powers like China, America and India, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep), ‘There’s no coherence between ideology and conduct of leadership’, interview with Astha Laxmi Shakya (ht)

01/03/2020: UN concerned over Nepal’s TJ process (rep), Absence of laws governing Conflict of Interests of MPs a matter of concern (rep), Oli, Dahal headed for a truce, but factional feud is unlikely to end: Even if the two leaders make concessions for now, power exercise will continue in the party, insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), One man’s political ambitions have kicked up a storm in the Nepal Communist Party: Bamdev Gautam’s desire for power has created a furore in the ruling party, but leaders in the past have used him too for their own benefits, say insiders, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Failed constitution amendment bid was made at the behest of Gautam: Chairman Dahal (rep), Supreme Court orders contempt of court case against four police officials, including the Nepal Police chief: The order comes following the arrest of three Chand party members from the Supreme Court premises immediately after their release on February 17, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Access to medical marijuana: The right to obtain medical cannabis pursuant to the law has been denied to the Nepali people, by Ankit Dhakal (kp), MCC In The Soup, by Uttam Maharjan (rn), Former Maoist guerilla compelled to live with shrapnel in his head, by Dinesh Subedi (rep) [A typical example of a victim of the Maoist insurgency, betrayed by his party leaders who are now living in huff and puff!], Delusion of governance: Main reason why Oli-led government has failed on basic things is because it is basically composed of a group of people who are obsessed with personal aggrandizement, by Ajit Rai (rep)

29/02/2020: Accept the criticisms: Government needs to understand that appreciation of different perspectives and criticisms can only help the government become more accountable, by Tulasi Acharya (rep), Oli is cornered in the ruling party and there is no one to blame but himself: Over the last two years, Oli has ignored genuine calls for changes to his unilateral working style, which alienated many leaders who were once on his side, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [This has to do with incompetence and arrogance, which can also be found among most other so-called leaders of this generation of politicians!], Oli-Dahal tug of war continues, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), NCP brass floats no-confidence vote to soften Oli over Gautam: Sources (rep), Video of police officer baton charging a woman carrying a child outrages the public: The video once again calls attention to the police’s use of excessive force against peaceful protestors who pose no threat, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp) [No one has the right to beat other people, especially not with wooden sticks. Even policemen who do this are to be treated as criminals!], Police inspector mercilessly beats up woman, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), New political map of Nepal in final stages: Minister Aryal, by Kamal Subedi (rep)

28/02/2020: Ruling party appears headed for another confrontation between Oli and Dahal: As the Oli and Dahal factions butt head over Bamdev Gautam, there are fears that an escalation could seriously damage the party, by Anil Giri (kp), Ruling party’s decision to name Gautam for Upper House against spirit of constitution, say experts: Constitution envisions three National Assembly members nominated by president, but their recommendation needs to be made by the government, not the party, by Binod Ghimire (kp), PM Oli weighs in to defend bribe-accused Baskota (rep) [The chief of the executive should not interfere in judicial processes! In democratic states the principle of separation of powers applies!]. Here’s to you!, by Guffadi (rep), PM’s lavish birthday: Need to repair damage, by Jiba Raj Pokharel (ht)

27/02/2020: Gyawali claims progress on transitional justice in Geneva but back home, victims are boycotting the process: Rights activists and victims call Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali’s claim that the transitional justice commissions are working independently a ‘blatant lie’, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Civil code deems a man and woman married if a child is born, but opinions are divided: While some rights activists believe that the provision will help ensure citizenship for the child, others see it as a patriarchal imposition, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Advisor to state minister arrested for abduction and rape of a teenager: Amrit Kumar Ghale, economic advisor to State Minister for Urban Development Ram Bir Manandhar abducted a teenager, held her captive for several days and raped multiple times, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Oli and Dahal’s struggle to wrest control of party plays out over Bamdev Gautam: The party Secretariat, at Dahal’s behest, nominated Gautam for the National Assembly but Oli preempts the decision by nominating Yubaraj Khatiwada for a second term, by Anil Giri (kp)

26/02/2020: Attempting to deflect blame, Nepal Trust points to past governments as also complicit: A white paper issued by the Nepal Trust alludes to the alleged culpability of former prime ministers Dahal, Deuba and Bhattarai, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Amending the MCC Nepal compact could violate the Vienna Convention: According to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a treaty once signed cannot be revised later by altering its primary purpose and objective, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Zero Tolerance Of Corruption, by  Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km)

25/02/2020: Ruling party flip-flops after two factions spar over constitution amendment: Divergent narratives in the wake of widespread criticism over the constitution amendment plan are emblematic of Dahal’s increasing hold over the party, by Anil Giri (kp), Ludicrous and frivolous: Don't make a mockery of the process of constitutional amendment (kp), Janata Party refuses to back Nepali Congress on obstructing House of Representatives: Samajbadi Party says it agrees with Congress that opposition forces should join hands for common agendas but by letting the House function, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp)

24/02/2020: Laws aren't enough to end discrimination: Prejudices surrounding race, religion and caste have to be shattered (kp) Civil liberty group calls for more changes in proposed Media Council Bill: In a statement, Freedom Forum has welcomed recent changes but pointed out a number of provisions that could jeopardise freedom of expression in the country (kp), NCP working to amend constitution to allow Gautam to become PM (rep), Ruling party's plan to amend the constitution could invite a host of issues: The party's plan to allow a National Assembly member to become prime minister could upset the public, and parties that have long been demanding amendments to ensure rights, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), In the midst of Covid-19 outbreak, government transfers health officials: Transfer of crucial officials, like directors of Sukraraj Hospital and Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, could weaken an already frail public health system, say doctors, by Arjun Poudel (kp), Anti-graft body gets numerous complaints seeking investigation into Baskota: The complaints have also sought investigations into the roles of Prime Minister and other bureaucrats, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp)

23/02/2020: All-male panels are on their way out, but women’s representation remains tokenistic: Instead of acknowledging that women have valuable contributions to make, they are often limited to women-specific panels or are placed as moderators, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), House panel’s letter to police reflects lawmakers’ low understanding of law and court rulings: Public Accounts Committee breached its jurisdiction by instructing police to book two people for cybercrime, legal experts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Divisions in the ruling party over the MCC put Oli government in a bind: With the taskforce formed to resolve the issue raising more questions than providing answers, the Nepal Communist Party is tied in knots, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), New immigration bill bars suspicious Nepali citizens from visiting abroad (ht)

22/02/2020: Transitional justice could be an issue for Nepal at the upcoming Human Rights Council meet: It is likely that questions will not be too critical, but at the Universal Periodic Review in November, the government is certain to face serious queries, say activists, by Anil Giri (kp), Oli must shoulder responsibility for Baskota, say party members and anti-corruption campaigners: The prime minister finds himself in a tenuous position, given that Gokul Baskota is a close aide and many believe that he cannot have acted without Oli’s approval, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Oli urged to make public his views on tape scandal (ht)

21/02/2020: Baskota resigns following leaked audiotape where he is heard negotiating a ‘commission’: If prosecuted and indicted, Gokul Baskota, the communication minister and Oli’s close confidante, will be liable for up to 10 years in prison, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Rotten to the core: Gokul Baskota must be thoroughly investigated, and so should the facilitator of the alleged bribe (kp), Act tough: The CIAA and PAC must launch thorough investigations into the security printing press scam that has cost the job of a minister (ht), Minister Baskota himself acted as agent in procurement, by Sunil Sapkota (rep), Minister Baskota resigns after audiotape scandal: Was negotiating kickbacks with a Swiss equipment supplier, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), Minister Baskota forced to resign in bribe scandal (rep), Public Accounts Committee puts a halt to the security printing project: The committee was considering forming a subcommittee to advise the government on ways to move forward but a corruption scandal involving a sitting minister has put the brakes on the project, by Anil Giri (kp), Halt process of establishing security press: PAC (ht), Fresh off the Mahara and Poudel affairs, yet another scandal engulfs the ruling party: Gokul Baskota, one of Oli’s close confidantes, negotiating a ‘commission’ on audiotape could change the existing power equation within the party, say party insiders, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Thirteen cases of police torture reported in 2019 (ht)

20/02/2020: Majority of human rights violations in past year involved women, report says: Nearly 80 percent of human rights violations last year were against women, with domestic violence accounting for over a half, according to a yearly human rights review, byBinod Ghimire (kp) [see INSEC Yearbook 2020], Journalists and diplomats seriously concerned over Chinese embassy statement: The Chinese embassy’s statement objecting to an article published by the Post is against press freedom and breaches diplomatic protocol, they say, by Anil Giri and Tika R. Pradhan  (kp), Why China’s statement targeting The Post is a cause for concern: The Chinese embassy’s statement, ultimately, is not just about the Post, or its Editor-in-Chief. It is a rebuke to not bite the hand that feeds (kp), Editors condemn Chinese ambassador’s statement (ht), What’s in a name? Sometimes, everything: An effort to restitute indigenous names would surely reveal countless examples of cultural approximation all over Nepal, by Deepak Thapa (kp) [The effort of the male Tagadhari minorityelite to recognise historical and ethnic names and territories was one of the outstanding reasons for the failure of the first Constituent Assembly. The same thinking is reflected by the naming of the current provinces!], The nitty-gritty of the MCC Compact: The American aid offer has come at a time when Nepal is striving to woo foreign investment, by Jagadish Prasad Bist (kp), Losing Focus On Basic Services, by Mukti Rijal (rn), NCP-RJPN squabble delays dy speaker poll (rep)

19/02/2020: After the executive, legislature restricts media’s access: At least two parliamentary committees have refused to allow journalists to cover their meetings, while both the Prime Minister’s Office and Home Ministry have also imposed restrictions, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [This is a serious violation of Article 27 of the Constitution, which guarantees all citizens the right to information. It is the duty and right of the media to provide this information without restriction (article 19).], Conflict victims warn non-cooperation to the transitional justice commission until Act is amended: Chief of disappearance enquiry commission assures ‘fair and impartial investigations’, by Binod Ghimire (kp), CIEDP making final-round probe into disappearance cases (rep), Shadow of impunity: Election of Agni Sapkota to the post of House Speaker looked like a state-sponsored drama orchestrated by undermining criminal accountability, by Charan Prasai (rep), Heil comrade Supremo! Oli emerged as the direct beneficiary of the wave of xenophobia and jingoism sweeping over Nepal, by CK Lal (kp), Mahara’s suspension as lawmaker lifted: Govt attorney to decide whether or not to appeal against KDC verdict after full text comes out (ht), A travesty of justice: It is surprising to note that the KDC did not deem it necessary to look into other details of attempt to rape submitted by the police (ht), A nation at risk: Invest heavily in education, by Arun R. Joshi (ht)

18/02/2020 Mahara’s acquittal and Tumbahangphe’s elevation to minister will have lasting effects, analysts say: While Krishna Bahadur Mahara was acquitted of attempted rape charges, Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe was appointed minister for law, both on the same day, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Mahara cleared of rape bid slur (ht) [Without clarification and disclosure of the full circumstances of the Mahara case, the decision remains unsatisfactory!], Mahara acquitted of charge of rape attempt (rep), Will Mahara remain influential in left politics? (rep), Oli sees a conspiracy to topple his government but it is unclear what he is referring to: Although those close to Oli insist that a conspiracy is brewing, political analysts are unsure how anyone could assail the strongest government in recent history, by Anil Giri (kp) [This can only happen from within his party and the reason may be Mr Oli himself!], Fear Of Prime Minister Oli, by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar (km), Two years on, the government’s promises of prosperity seem like a joke: Democratic norms are being trampled on, governance is weak and the economy is in a shambles, by Achyut Wagle (kp), How to judge Oli government? The longest serving and a stable government post-2008 has failed where it should have succeeded and succeeded where it should have failed, by Mahabir Paudyal (rep), Nepal Army fails to spend budget for the expressway again: Calling bids for complex bridges and tunnels before the new fiscal year was not possible, Brig-Gen Pandey says, by Binod Ghimire (kp)

17/02/2020: Conflict is brewing between ruling party and provincial and local governments, say leaders: Heads of government do not seem to want to consult with the Nepal Communist Party’s provincial committees, despite a directive from the central committee, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), When the buck stops short: bad planning is killing capital expenditure: Successive governments have failed to implement capital budgets, but this trend must stop (kp), Laxman Tharu’s health deteriorates (ht),‘Govt has asked India to amend its political map’ (rep) [Has this government ever heard of the People's right to information and the government's obligation to provide this?], No tourism without infrastructures: Government needs to invest in development of appropriate infrastructure to enable our tourism industry to compete against other destinations like Bhutan, Kashmir, Tibet and the Maldives, by Keshab Sharma (rep)

16/02/2020: NHRC reports dismal state of Nepali women (ht) [see report by NHRC], Two years after merger, differences remain in Nepal Communist Party over ‘people’s war’: While former Maoists continue to extol the war as a historic event, former UML leaders are yet to endorse it wholeheartedly, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Jumla continues to be neglected, by Dhan Bahadur Budha (rep), Oli presents a rosy picture of his two years in office, but not all agree: A government with a majority could have done much more but it has been a run-of-the-mill performance, analysts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), PM terms 2nd year of govt as beginning of development (ht) [What kind of magnifying glass does he use?], PM laments lack of recognition for achievements in 2 years in office (rep), Fear the threat: If the state fails to control corruption, ensure accountability and provide basic needs such as food, shelter, clothes, education, health and employment, threat of insurgency will always loom, by Suresh Sharma (rep), Provincial governments’ capital expenditures abysmally low: Mid-term Budget Review: Capital expenditures of Karnali and Province 2 stand at just 3.8 percent in the first half of the current fiscal year, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Students are missing classes as schools fail to distribute sanitary pads: In May 2019, President Bidya Devi Bhandari had announced that sanitary pads would be distributed to girls in community schools for free from the beginning of the current fiscal year, by, by Pratap Bista (kp)

15/02/2020: Rural municipality chair accused of coercing a Dalit woman into abortion: Jaya Bahadur Chemjong is among seven people accused of forcing a Dalit woman to abort her fetus at 21 weeks as she was in an intercaste marriage, district police say, by Ananda Gautam (kp), The chairman has an identity crisis: Pushpa Kamal Dahal is torn between his two selves: an insidious, crafty Prachanda who will go on the offensive to get what he wants, and a gentle, pragmatic Pushpa Kamal who can placate opposing factions and win over the media, by Anil Giri (kp), Supreme Court issues show cause for exonerating Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai on Lalita Niwas land scam: Single bench of Chief Justice Rana demanded an explanation from the anti-graft commission within 15 days, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Two years on, PM has little to boast about, by Rupak D. Sharma (ht), Two years of federalism: Two years of federalism, by Mithilesh Yadav (rep)

14/02/2020: Oli administration is ignoring a key component of democracy during lawmaking: The government over the last two years introduced several bills without holding consultations with the concerned parties, thereby inviting criticism and controversy, experts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), In two years, Oli administration’s foreign policy has been largely one-sided, say analysts: Although the visit of the Chinese president was a success, issues with India over Kalapani and the US over the MCC continue to overshadow Oli’s foreign policy, by Anil Giri (kp), NC general secy calls on UP CM Yogi Adityanath (ht) [Renewed Hindu state ambitions within NC???]

13/02/2020:Herstory’ repeats itself: The misogynic politics of all political parties mustered to make women the political underdogs of Nepal, by Chandra Bhadra (kp), What is the land scam that has shaken the government’s seat all about? The story of Lalita Niwas, which involves multiple administrations right from the early days of king Mahendra’s Panchayat., by Mohan Guragain (kp), Failure to indict Poudel and Regmi in land grab could set a dangerous precedent, say legal experts: All of the 175 indicted in the Lalita Niwas scam could argue for equal treatment before the law if they too pledge to return their property like Poudel and Regmi did, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Aam Aadmi’s resounding win in Delhi could be a lesson for Nepal’s alternative political forces: AAP’s win has been attributed to connecting with the people at the grassroots, which Nepal’s alternative forces have failed to do, political analysts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Burtibang along the Mid-Hill Highway among other nine proposed modern towns in disarray: According to the proposed modern town plan, the construction of roads, bus park, schools, colleges, hospitals, electricity, and water supply among other infrastructures should be prioritised, by Prakash Baral (kp), Electricity poles were installed seven years ago in Kalimati Rural Municipality, but the villagers are still living in darkness: Most of the poles are already bent with age and neglect, by Biplab Maharjan (kp), Jesus, Mao or Ambedkar: Who is the best or most suitable to free the Musahars from the bondage of caste domination?, by Pramod Mishra (kp), Maoist insurgency aftermath: Waiting for son,waiting for daughter, by Devendra Basnet and Nagendra Upadhyaya (rep)

12/02/2020: With no signal from the government, Janata Party reconsiders merger with Samajbadi Party: Janata Party has preconditions to joining government but with talks stalled, an alliance with the Samajbadi party could preserve the coalition in Province 2, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [It's the only reasonable option either! The ruling NCP will neveer respect the inclusion demands of Janajati and Madheshi groups!], Parties sharply divided along ideological lines over MCC, by Ashok Dahal (rep), 'Elderly people biggest hurdle to campaign against chhaupadi', by Jagat Khadka (rep)

11/02/2020: Anti-graft body has no concrete plans to pursue investigation into Airbus revelations: Although numerous other countries have initiated their own investigations into Airbus’ admission of paying bribes, Nepali authorities are uncertain about how to proceed, by Sangam Prasain (kp) [Leading personalities must be spared in any case!], In the Lalita Niwas case, it's catch some, spare some: The ruling party is making a mockery of the rule of law, but the opposition's actions deserve rebuke too (kp), A decision that benefits a few individuals cannot be a policy decision, judges and lawyers say: The anti-graft body had let off two former prime ministers on corruption charges citing ‘policy decisions’, which many say the Lalita Niwas decisions are clearly not, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), With just over half their terms remaining, constitutional commissions remain vacant: The Constitutional Council, which recommends members to the commissions, has not met in nearly a year, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [A clear constitutional breach by the leading politicians!], Media As A Driver Of Change, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn), I’ll become a different person if justice prevails: Durga Devi, by Anjali Subedi (rep), Visiting Canada senate speaker not scheduled to meet Agni Sapkota (rep) [This reflects the image of Nepal's rule of law abroad!]

10/02/2020: Recent graft charges and subsequent debate indicate erosion of political culture: Ruling and opposition parties squabble over anti-corruption watchdog’s decision, but none is talking about ways to root out corruption, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Congress objection to anti-graft body’s move may be right, but the means is wrong, analysts say: Instead of raising its voice against systemic problems and corruption in Parliament strongly, the main opposition is resorting to House obstruction, by Anil Giri (kp), Immediately evacuate Nepalis from China: NHRC, by Sabitri Dhakal (ht), National Human Rights Commission directs government to take immediate measures to evacuate Nepalis from China’s Hubei province: The rights body, in a statement, has also decided to call government officials to take stock of the situation of Nepali’s in the disease-hit area and the government’s effort to bring its citizen back, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Nepal Police records criminal complaints against its officers, but only a few are brought to justice: Police spokesperson DIG Shailesh Thapa Kshetri says most complaints turn out to be baseless, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Former DSP Khiuju at large (ht), Occupy Tundikhel activists to now reach out to President Bhandari and central government to free the city’s open area from encroachers: The vast public open space that offered shelter to thousands of earthquake survivors during the 1934 and 2015 earthquakes, once spanned nearly four kilometres, by Anup Ojha (kp), Speaker ‘blocks’ opposition voice in parliament (rep), Corruption weakens democracy. Nepali people need to harness power of social media to pressure the government to fight corruption to improve the level of democracy. Failure to prevent corruption contributes to deepening crisis of democracy, by Subarna Shakya and Bimal Pratap Shah (rep)

09/02/2020: CIAA’s selective approach slammed (ht), The dragon, the elephant and the yam: Sustained economic expansion and upturn is not national but regional in nature, by Chaitanya Mishra (kp), Implicating head of govt over corruption charge remains a far cry (rep)

08/02/2020: Transitional justice commissions have not taken any steps to bring victims and rights activists on board: Disappearance commission is preparing its work plan without consulting with conflict victims, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Two weeks since Agni Sapkota became Speaker, there’s still no sign of his deputy: After exhausting all other options, the ruling party has no choice but to offer the deputy Speaker post to the Rastriya Janata Party, party insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [The only reasonable candidate would be someone from the second largest party in parliament! This would be a normal procedure for a democratic state!], Country’s human rights situation bleak, says NHRC Chair Sharma (ht)

07/02/2020: Conflict victims stage sit-in (ht), Home Minister misled Parliament over extrajudicial killing of Kumar Paudel: Home Ministry has instructed Nepal Police to take action against officers involved in the killing, even though Minister Thapa had said that Paudel died in an encounter, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Anti-graft body’s corruption charges called into question for being politically motivated: Anti-corruption activists and former bureaucrats say that the commission has failed to indict the politically powerful, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), NC obstructs HoR proceedings claiming political vendetta in land grab case action, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), Nepali Congress accuses anti-graft body of witch-hunt in Lalita Niwas land scam: Why were Madhav Nepal and Bishnu Poudel spared, but Gachhadar charged, opposition asks, by Anil Giri (kp), Questions galore: The CIAA has filed a corruption case against 175 persons in the Lalita Niwas scandal, but has given political protection to a few (ht), Experts question CIAA Lalita probe sparing some high-profile parties (rep), DoMLI probing assets of those accused (ht), Supreme Court quashes contempt of court case against Kantipur: The case was filed two years ago over a series of stories published in Kantipur daily on then chief justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli (kp), Rebuilding the golden window: As global giants differ in their outlook of connectivity, countries like Nepal will play a role in bridging competing powers, by Bruno Maçães (kp), CPN's Assurance To The Nation, by Kundan Aryal (rn)

06/02/2020: Three former ministers among 175 individuals indicted over Lalita Niwas land scam: Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, Dambar Shrestha and Chandra Dev Joshi face corruption charges over the illegal transfer of government land into private hands, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Gachhadar among 175 booked for land grab: Politicians, prominent businessmen, including Bhatbhateni owner, among those named by CIAA in Lalita Niwas scam (ht), CIAA books 175 for corruption in Lalita Niwas land-grab case (ht) [list of names], CIAA files case at Special Court against 175 in Lalita Niwas land scam, by Ananta Raj Luitel (rep), Gachchhadar suspended as MP, Congress cries foul (rep), Medical colleges continue to overcharge students while authorities remain passive: Students say the Medical Education Commission has not taken any action despite receiving complaints against some colleges, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Child marriage continues unabated, says NCRC (ht), Province 1 likely to be named ‘Koshi’ or ‘Sagarmatha’ (ht) [For historical reasons, there would be no other name than Kirat, but the male Bahun leaders want to make clear that the whole country belongs to them! So, For this reason, there must be no names with an ethnic reference! Sagarmatha and Koshi are names from Bahun culture!], State Of Civil Society In Nepal, by Mukti Rijal (rn)

05/02/2020: Former vice-chancellors warn government to stop politicisation in universities: Retired vice-chancellors see the draft Higher Education Bill as an attempt to centralise power, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Ruling party debates directly elected executive head once again. This time, it has the numbers: With many central members in favour of a directly elected head, the party could get the motion passed in Parliament as it has a two-thirds majority, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), The quest for a conformist press: Media entrepreneurs are happy to sing along the tune of triumphant political and economic masters, by CK Lal (kp), Oli says govt wants to create civilised society: Says media should not cross limit, by Rupak D, Sharma (ht) [Please start by replacing the politicians who constantly cross limit!], Ganga Maya knocks on UN’s door for justice (ht), Ganga Maya seeks justice with UN Resident Coordinator (rep)

04/02/2020: Law ministry starts drafting transitional justice law amendment without victims onboard: Activist says bill being prepared in the darkrooms cannot be expected to deliver, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [Nepalese understanding of justice: The perpetrators are involved in leading roles, but the representatives of the victims are excluded!], Sushil Pyakurel: The longer the transitional justice process, the more complex it will become: The human rights activist on his resignation as president’s advisor and the transitional justice process (interview) (kp), Unable to trust adults, rescued children end up back on the streets: While on the streets, children are often physically and sexually abused and end up addicted to drugs, which can cause them to relapse once rescued, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Bureaucrats who resign days before their retirement receive salaries and an increase to their pensions: A clause in the Civil Service Act allows bureaucrats who joined civil service before November 6, 1992 to retire voluntarily and receive these perks, by Anil Giri (kp), An elegy to liberal democracy: The rise of anti-liberalism in the West and Nepal is fundamentally different, by Achyut Wagle (kp),Cops involved in killing CPN leader to face action: Police had fired nine shots to kill Kumar Poudel on the banks of the Lakhandehi River in Lalbandi, Sarlahi, by Ujjwal Satyal (ht), Victims of police torture deprived of justice (ht), Political corruption: State funding of parties needed, by Jiba Raj Pokharel (ht), Citizens’ rights first (rep), Perils of communist state: Almost seven decades after the red curtain had descended across the world, Nepal is still a communist haven. So is the communist prologue fading or has it just begun in Nepal?, by Biraj Bahadur Bista (rep)

03/02/2020: How social and political divisions are driving the process of democratic erosion: Cleavages can generate a visceral emotional response; they override people’s concern for democracy and human rights, by Ajaya Bhadra Khanal (kp), Student’s arrest from university library prompts questions over intent: The student, who was released after 24 hours in custody, had in his possession a book by an Indian politician which police said was only read by “terrorists”, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp) [????], Nepal: Stalled Justice, by S. Binodkumar Singh (SAIR), A tale of three countries: Nepal could turn into a geopolitical and geostrategic playground of India, China and the United States, by Geja Sharma Wagle (kp), ‘RJP-N, SP-N must unite to create an alternative force’, interview with Rajendra Mahato (kp), Comply with statue: The proposed CIAA bill must be compatible with the constitution, which has given it powers and defined its jurisdiction (ht), Citizens still deprived of fundamental rights in lack of regulations, by Ashok Dahal (rep)

02/02/2020: National Human Rights Commission appointees should be independent and competent: The commission is in danger of ending its term in disrepute, largely over its role in relation to transitional justice, by Mohna Ansari (kp), Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe: Patriarchy is structural—it is in every individual: The former deputy speaker talks about her fight for the position of House Speaker, women’s representation in politics, and patriarchy’s deep roots, interview with Pranaya SJB Rana (kp), ‘Leaders holding public positions acting as rulers’ (rep), Central Committee meeting exposes divisions in NCP but leaders say it can also be a platform for putting differences to rest: Many in the ruling party believe the merger was a hasty decision which was made without taking a host of issues into account, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), House got Speaker in a month. There is no certainty about deputy Speaker: The ruling Nepal Communist Party is most likely to give the post to the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, which itself is confused over the candidat, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Allocation for Nepal decreases by 33 percent in India’s budget: Nepal to receive Rs 12.8 billion in aid from its southern neighbour in the next fiscal year, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp)

01/02/2020: Central committee members take top leadership to task over corruption and exclusion: Most of the 15 groups formed to facilitate discussions spoke about the failure of the Oli administration to control corruption and ensure representation, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), NCP CC members demand top leaders disclose their property (rep), CIB report on Baluwatar land scam exonerates top politicians: Suggests legal action against bureaucrats, middlemen  (rep), Government drafts action plan to eliminate child labour: Many children have been found to be employed in informal sectorsr (ht), NBA condemns govt for 'disobeying court order' (rep)

31/01/2020: Freedom of expression is under attack and transitional justice stalled in Nepal, rights group says: Amnesty International in its global report has painted a bleak picture of Nepal’s human rights situation and pointed at government’s regressive ways to restrict freedom, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [see AI report on Nepal], Amnesty concerned over shrinking freedoms in Nepal (rep), Shrinking democratic space raises AI’s concern: Nepal government resorted to methods to curtail the freedom of expression in 2019 (ht), FNJ: Licensing exam for journalists against constitutional spirit (rep), Bid to enact restrictive laws opposed; FNJ calls for redrafting controversial Media Council Bill (ht), Statute of limitations for filing corruption cases may promote graft, experts say: The government has registered a new bill with the provision at the National Assembly Secretariat, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), A majority of community schools destroyed in the 2015 earthquake yet to be constructed: For lack of proper infrastructure, a school in Sindhuli, like many others, conducts classes under the open sky, by Raj Kumar Karki (kp) [What are govt and NRA good for?], WB report says capacity building key to implementation of federalism (ht)

30/01/2020: What is the controversy over Agni Sapkota as Speaker all about? Ever since the ruling Nepal Communist Party selected Sapkota as its candidate for Speaker of the House, rights activists and conflict victims have protested the decision, by Mohan Guragain (kp), Decline Of Public Institutions, by Mukti Rijal (rn), SC seeks implementation report on its Fewa order, by Prashant Lamichhane (rep), Media for change: Nepali media has to work more boldly and inquiringly toward nourishing Nepal’s production-centric economy, neutralizing fatalism that resides deeper in the public psyche, by Mohan Nepali (rep)

29/01/2020: Supreme Court refrains from squashing Sapkota’s election as Speaker: Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla refused to issue an interim order but instructed the Home Ministry and police to present a progress report on the case within 30 days, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [Someone accused of such a capital crime is not qualified for public office as long as his innocence has not been proven in court!], SC rejects stay order against speaker, calls for detailed murder probe report (rep), Respect the press: The media played a vital role in Nepal’s transition to a republic (kp), Amend further: Media Council Bill (rep)

28/01/2020: Ruling party attempts to court Janata Party, which has conditions of its own: Nepal Communist Party wants the Janata Party for its two-thirds majority and inroads into Province 2 but the Janata Party is still eyeing constitutional amendments, by Tika R Pradhan (kp), Children of conflict victims deprived of scholarship provided by the state: Conflict victims demand an amendment to the act and removal of the age and number limit for the scholarship, by Amrita Anmol (kp) [Those responsible for the killings are not deprived of anything but are promoted to highest positions!], Activists continue protest against Sapkota’s election as HoR speaker, 12 arrested (ht), Activists protesting speaker appointment arrested (rep), Sapkota’s challenges: The ruling party should have reconsidered Sapkota’s candidacy as Speaker given his murky past and that his case is sub-judice in court (ht) [Sapkota's nomination was made deliberately, despite all the unsolved crime accusations!], Message of impunity (rep), Conflict victims still hopeful, but not sure about getting justice (rep), NA committee endorses Media Council Bill (ht), House panel removes Rs 1m fine for journalists, by Ashok Dahal (rep), Political Institutionalisation Matters, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn)

27/01/2020: Sapkota becomes Speaker amid concerns from conflict victims and rights watchdogs: The House elected the former Maoist leader unopposed, hours after a court hearing on a writ against him was stalled, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [R.I.P. democracy, human rights and rule of law!], Sapkota elected HoR speaker unopposed, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Speaker election hearing put off till today (ht), Conflict victims threaten to ask UN to intervene in TJ process (rep), Local levels told to establish fund for GBV victims (ht), Women’s concerns won’t be addressed unless they are at the decision-making level, interview with Binda Pandey, NCP (kp)

26/01/2020: International rights bodies warn Nepal’s conflict victims could seek justice in foreign courts: Recent appointments to transitional justice commissions and nomination of a person accused of killing as Speaker undermined transitional justice, the rights orgsanisations say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Recent Nepal steps undermine TJ process: Int’l rights bodies (rep) [see statement by ICJ, AI, HRW and TRIAL], Protest against Sapkota’s nomination continues (ht), NCP urged to reconsider Sapkota’s nomination (kp), PM Oli, NCP Co-Chair Dahal, NC Prez Deuba meet to discuss state affairs (ht), Big 2 parties to stand together against TJ criticism (rep), Awareness drive launched to end chhaupadi (ht), Govt disobeys SC order to recognize Sonaha community (rep) [The govt continuouslybelieves to be above the law! How will the separation of powers ever be realised in Nepal?]

25/01/2020: How politicisation is dragging Kathmandu University down: Ever since the appointment of vice-chancellor Ram Kantha Makaju, allegations of financial impropriety and a monopoly over decision-making have continued to haunt the university, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Petition at Supreme Court demands Agni Sapkota’s arrest: The petition, filed by advocate Dinesh Tripathi, also asks that Sapkota’s nomination for Speaker of the House be dismissed, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Writ challenging Sapkota’s candidacy for speaker filed (ht), Sapkota is clean: NCP Co-chair Dahal (ht) [Just as clean as the person that admits to be responsible for the death of 5.000 human beings? It is neither the task nor the right of any politician to decide if Sapkota is clean! This is exclusively the task of a law court!], President’s advisor resigns over Sapkota’s nomination as House Speaker: Sushil Pyakurel, one of the petitioners in the murder case against Sapkota, resigned after being asked to withdraw the case by ruling party members, by Anil Giri (kp), President’s political advisor Sushil Pyakurel quits (ht), Bill of surveillance: Special Service Bill provides unrestricted right to the government to collect information via supervision and interception of communication of any person or organization. This is dangerous, by Roshani Giri and Harihar Khadka (rep)

24/01/2020: Prakash Osti runs into controversy for his nod to transitional justice nominations: Osti represented National Human Rights Commission in the committee that nominated officials on Saturday at political parties’ behest, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [It should not be called controversy but total disqualification! This looks like party political bondage of the NHRC representative!], TRC, CIEDP office bearers take oath of office (ht) [Selected b y the leading politicians, they will only do what the latter want!], Nepal is ready to welcome tourists, but where will they come from? The country needs focused strategies for existing and potential source-markets, by Chandra Prasad Bhattarai (kp), NCP bags 16 out of 18 NA seats up for grabs (ht) [Once again extremely inclusive: 50 % are Bahuns, 5 of them male; not a single Janajati besides one Shrestha; only one Madheshi; no Dalit woman!], NCP sweeps upper house elections: Nepali Congress loses seven seats (rep), Issue Of Women’s Empowerment, by Kundan Aryal (rn), Nepal still among most corrupt countries (rep), Fire in the house, by Guffadi (rep) [satirical], Counting what counts in Nepal: The state of the toilet at Kathmandu airport is a better indicator of progress than the Human Development Index, by Anil Chitrakar (nt)

23/01/2020: Lack of laws affects implementation of fundamental rights (ht), Civil society vows to protest until Sapkota’s nomination for Speaker is dismissed: Agni Sapkota, who is accused of murder, is certain to become Speaker of the House as he is running unopposed, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Decision to nominate Sapkota for speaker’s post protested (ht), Mockery of press freedom: The year 2019 saw more incidents related to press freedom violation than in the past seven years, by Bhanu Bhakta Acharya (kp), Nationalists unite: Oli’s ramblings could very well have come from Trump’s mouth: Self-aggrandisation and cracking down on enemies—Trump and Oli share not the best of traits, by Deepak Thapa (kp), New names for old places reflect the changing times, but not everyone is happy: Old place names were born out of tradition, culture and heritage, which new names ignore, say locals, by Shashwat Pant (kp) [This tradition was introduced under the authoritarian royal panchayat system with its policy of "one nation, one language, one culture, one religion", which is still continued today by the minority of male high-caste party politicians who treat Nepal like their property! The cut of today's provinces and the problems around their naming are exactly related to this.] NC-NCP bonhomie irks opposition youth leaders (ht), Women Leadership At Local Level, by Mukti Rijal (rn), Nepal, China to hand over nationals illegally crossing mutual border, by Kosh Raj Koirala (rep) [As was to be expected, this means that in future Tibetans fleeing from the Chinese occupying forces in their home country will be handed over to the Chinese occupying power.]

22/01/2020: Unwarranted move: The ruling Nepal Communist Party is not only trying to inject its communist ideologies in politics but in the society as well (ht), Failure of govt and opposition: It’s dysfunctional democracy, by Jiba Raj Pokharel (ht), Thirteen years on, Madhes movements, despite some momentum, remain incomplete: While representation, inclusion and federalism have materialised, their effectiveness and institutionalisation continue to be contested, analysts say, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Deadline arrives but sugar mills still owe farmers Rs800 million: Farmers have been duped by sugar mill owners in the past but this time they were betrayed by the government too, they say, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Govt fails to fulfil its promise to sugarcane farmers (ht), Sugar producers deceive farmers yet again: Pay farmers only Rs 160 million despite making promises to clear over Rs 1 billion in dues by Tuesday (rep), Let women rise (rep), ‘How can someone responsible for murdering my husband be elected speaker?’, by Madhusudhan Guragain (rep), Congress allows Sapkota to run unopposed for Speaker, showing there’s a larger game afoot: Party insiders say that Agni Sapkota for Speaker is part of a larger deal among Deuba, Dahal and Oli that includes transitional justice and the Constitutional Council, by Anil Giri (kp), Sapkota to be elected speaker unopposed, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), Palanquin bearers of the Supremo: In every conflict of interest between humane concerns and jingoism couched as nationalism, the latter always wins, by CK Lal (kp), Govt urged to rectify controversial IT Bill (ht)

21/01/2020: Patriarchy stronger than monarchy, says Tumbahangphe after quitting (ht), Proposing a murder accused for Speaker is mocking public opinion: The ruling party’s decision to propose Agni Sapkota is doing Parliament no good. In fact, it is self-destructive (kp), Sapkota for House Speaker is a win for the Maoist faction of ruling party: Dahal, who had long been sidelined by Oli in the party, has bounced back and ensured that the Maoists maintain at least one high-level state position, by Anil Giri (kp) [But it can change into the opposite if it turns out that Sapkota is rightly accused of murder. Furthermore, Dahal makes it clear that he does not want the crimes of the uprising to be solved nor does he want appropriate social inclusion!], Today is the last day for sugar mills to clear overdue payments to farmers: But there is little chance that the sugarcane growers will get their money, officials said, by Krishana Prasain (kp), The federalisation of corruption: Corruption has seeped into every tier of government. But to sustain the federal system, it must be eradicated, by Achyut Wagle (kp)

20/01/2020: Justice as elusive as ever: The government has been leading the conflict victims in circles (kp), Pipe dream: It’s unfortunate that the political leadership just wants to put to rest Nepal’s transitional justice process (ht), CVCP objects to nomination of TJ bodies’ office bearers (ht), Conflict victims and human rights activists cry foul over Agni Sapkota for Speaker: Sapkota, who faces a murder charge for an insurgency-era killing, has been proposed for House Speaker by the ruling party, by Anil Giri and Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [The NCP proves once again that it protects and encourages potential murderers. People who take responsibility for the murder of 5000 people decide on this. The NCP's commitment to peace, justice, the rule of law and social inclusion proves to be a sheer mockery!], NCP nominates Sapkota for speaker’s post, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht), NCP picks Agni Sapkota for speaker (rep), An insult of conflict victims: Rights activists, lawyers (rep), Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe resigns as Deputy Speaker: Elections for new Speaker and Deputy Speaker to be held on January 26, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [Another female victim of arrogant male Bahun politics!], Restoring democracy back to the default: Prime Minister Oli opened too many battlefronts, now he may be succumbing to his own ambitions, by Ajaya Bhadra Khanal (kp)

19/01/2020: Conflict victims condemn parties for bulldozing decision on transitional justice appointments: After an agreement between ruling and opposition forces, recommendation committee picks 10 individuals, all with affiliation to political parties, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [Those who share responsibility for so many crimes will never provide justice! Dahal, Deuba, Ex-King Gyanendra and the top brass of the army had highest responsibility!], Ten office bearers nominated for transitional justice bodies: Bhatta named TRC chair, Subedi
head of CIEDP
, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht), Bhatta recommended as TRC chief, Subedi as CIEDP head (rep), Mockery of justice (rep), Dispute within NCP over Speaker leaves Deputy Speaker’s poll homework in backburner: Despite posturing, Tumbahangphe is sure to step down once Speaker candidate is finalized (rep)

18/01/2020: Implementation status of women’s rights dismal: HRW (ht) Dahal says he will take responsibility for insurgency deaths but his actions don’t match his words: Victims say he is delaying the justice process, by Binod Ghimire (kp), How a photo has come to symbolise long wait for justice: Muktinath Adhikari, a teacher and a member of Amnesty International Nepal, was killed in Lamjung 18 years ago by the Maoists (kp), NCP and NC inch closer to revising TJ law: A meeting between Oli, Dahal and Deuba scheduled for Friday evening has been deferred until Saturday morning (rep) [TJ cannot be provided by those who are responsible and partly even have admitted to be responsible!], Government moves ahead with Nijgadh airport project: Investment Board of Nepal says other processes should not be stopped despite interim orders from the apex court not to cut trees, by Sangam Prasain (kp) [??], US embassy attempts to clear the air on MCC: Issuing a 10-point clarification, the embassy insisted that there is no military component to the MCC, by Anil Giri (kp), House meeting nears but there’s still no candidate for Speaker: Oli has become more flexible on the candidate for Speaker and has agreed to Dahal’s choice, party insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Oli likely to agree to Dahal’s choice for speaker’s post (ht), The Uncalled For Impasse, by Kushal Pokharel (rn), In defense of Shiva Maya: Shiva Maya has the right to hold on to her position and claim the position of House Speaker. NCP should support her nomination for reelection even if she decides to resign, by Dikchya Raut and Manita Raut (rep)

17/01/2020: AI urges Parliament to amend draconian bills (ht), Amnesty Int’l urges parliament to amend disputed bills (rep), Speaker post has become a matter of prestige for co-chairs, say party insiders: With both NCP chairs not giving up on their candidates for Speaker of the House, party leaders are afraid the issue could snowball, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Civil society members express concern over parliamentary impasse: 7 signatories from different fields call for ending the dispute over Speaker post and resuming the House (kp), Civil society leaders urge proactive effort over speaker impasse: Caution against preparations to amend constitution to allow even un-elected lawmaker to become PM (rep), Shivamaya for Speaker, by Guffadi (rep), Oli, Dahal may bury the hatchet soon (ht), Congress slams NCP for holding HoR hostage (rep), Law enforcement bodies should act on Dahal’s public confession, by Ananta Raj Luitel (rep), Oli insistent on passing MCC pact via House’s winter session: The resistance to the MCC’s Nepal compact is not coming from a dissenting faction or the opposition, but from the ruling party’s top leadership itself, by Anil Giri (kp), Police’s intelligence continues to fail them as Chand party claims explosion: Despite the government designating the Chand party a criminal outfit, Wednesday’s explosion shows that security agencies are still unaware of their activities, by Shuvam Dhungana (kp), Tipping point on menstrual banishment in Nepal: It is when local women take the lead to end the practice that it is most effective, by Marty Logan (nt)

16/01/2020: Nepal failed to ensure justice for conflict victims, as the government continued to stifle freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch says: The rights body’s World Report 2020 has also taken note of draconian legislation and controversial decisions that the Oli administration has made in the past year (kp) [see HRW report on Nepal], Nepal turning into land of injustice: Rights watchdog (ht), HRW raps govt over failures in transitional justice, freedom of expression (rep), Justice still eludes conflict victims a decade after peace accord, by Rekha Bhusal (rep), Transitional Justice Deadlock, by Mukti Rijal (rn). Dahal ready to own up 5,000 deaths during insurgency: Says state killed 12,000 people (ht) [It does not matter who is responsible for more killings! They all have to stand trial for this: Maoists, politicians, army leaders, ex-king etc.], Govt bodies defy apex court directives (ht), Despite federalism and local elections, power still resides in the hands of a few: The political parties continue to function in a pyramid model where a handful of leaders at the top make decisions on behalf of a vast majority, analysts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp) [Federalism is still not really implemented: Neither government nor opposition want it!], Dahal says he’s responsible for killing 5,000, not 17,000 (rep) [If you admit that you are resposible for the killing of 5,000 people you should resign from all offices immediately!!], Hope and despair in Nepal: The country is struggling to cope with rampant corruption, but the emerging youth give some hope for the future, by Pramod Mishra (kp)

15/01/2020: Peace minus justice: The promises made under the Comprehensive Peace Accord have been thrown to the winds, by Daman Nath Dhungana (kp), Cycle of corruption: Corruption erodes the trust of the people in the govt, the parties and the service-providers, and, above all, it impedes development (ht), Corruption thriving at the local level, surveys by anti-graft body show: Experts say office bearers are engaging in a conflict of interest, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), CIAA to act tough on corruption (ht), Young girls taking one step at a time to fight menstrual banishment: Although complete eradication of the practice seems like a far cry at the moment, various anti-Chhaupadi campaigns launched by young women have paved a way to fight against the practice, by Tularam Pandey (kp), Widows in Nepal still need to fight for their property right: Despite legal provisions that ensure widows’ rights to the property of their husbands, implementation has been impeded by societal norms and customs, by Elisha Shrestha (kp), Ten days since agreement, sugarcane farmers have little hope of getting paid: Farmers should have received half their dues by now but sugar mills still owe them Rs 800 million of the more than Rs1 billion, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Stalemate in ruling party on speaker nomination continues, by Roshan S. Nepal (kp), Battle for House Speaker ignites serious disputes in ruling NCP (rep), Is the party over? Elected representatives have now replaced hereditary monarchs in offering patronage and largesse. It is difficult to say whether ‘people’ are upset with current political culture or are exhibiting some form of ‘abnormality’ in their responses to it, by Pranab Kharel (rep)

14/01/2020: Conflict victims decry government’s consultations as a sham: The consultations were not aimed at ensuring justice but simply at showing the world that feedback was collected, victims say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Consultations held with stakeholders amid rift among victims (ht), Police intervene rally demanding justice for Nirmala Pant: Security personnel used force on women rights activists who were protesting in front of the Kanchanpur District Court seeking justice for Nirmala Pant, by Bhawani Bhatta (kp), Women’s rights activists laud Tumbahangphe not resigning (rep), In the criticism against the Oli administration, Nepali youth are eerily silent: Many young people fear the might of the current government as it is the strongest in decades while others have their own interests to protect, say youth activists, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Anti-graft body wants anti-money laundering department under it: Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority says corruption and money laundering are interlinked, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), CIAA submits report, eyes more powers: Seeks authority to probe ‘improper acts’ of public office holders, private organisations (ht), ‘Government jeopardising federal republic’ (ht)

13/01/2020: Over four years since government decision to replace tuins, they are still in use over Mahakali River: Tuins are still in operation at seven places in Byas Rural Municipality, by Manoj Badu (kp), Tumbahangphe fights back against patriarchy in party (rep), Reeks of misogyny (rep), Speaking about the Speaker: Party leaders have made a joke out of the democratic process (kp) [Most of the male top politicians of the big parties are not leaders but destroyers of democratic principles and inclusion! They should be excluded from all offices for a long period of time for the sake of Nepal and the Nepalis!], Let the house meet: At this point, why Oli and Dahal want their respective candidates – and not Shiva Maya – to become the Speaker is simply beyond any reasoning (ht), NCP indecision forces another HoR deferral, by Roshan S. Nepal (ht) [This is not indecision but the clear decision that the male Bahun leaders do not want a women from an ethnic group for this job!], Ruling party’s indecision over Speaker puts a halt to the House business: While some have pointed to the deputy Speaker’s refusal to resign as an obstacle, it is the ruling party’s factional infighting that is holding the House hostage, insiders say, by Anil Giri (kp), Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe wants to be the next Speaker and she’s not backing down: The deputy speaker’s fight for the post shows that despite being eminently qualified, women are still relegated to deputy positions, by Bhrikuti Rai (kp), Province 3 assembly endorses Bagmati as the name of the province by majority votes: The meet also endorsed Hetauda as the capital of the province, by Subash Bidari (kp) [All the Tagadhari politicians are so happy that there is still no ethnic name for a province!], PA decides to call Province 3 Bagmati, with Hetauda as its permanent HQ (ht), ‘Parliament must correct some of the bills the govt has brought’, interview with NCP leader Raghuji Panta (kp), Strong government but weak capital expenditure: Capital expenditure lowest in 3 years (rep), Chief Justice says govt must implement SC directives (rep) [This is true for a functioning democracy, but Nepal's politicians do not understand the fundamental principles of democracy separation of powers!] Global Balancing for Kalapani: The Kalapani dispute is a textbook case of an aspiring great power militarily occupying a strategic territory of its smaller neighbor to render diplomatic recognition insignificant, by Robert A Portada III and Uttam Paudel (rep)

12/01/2020: NCP decides Tumbahangphe must quit, by Ram Kumar Kamat (ht) [The male Bahun leaders of the party want a male person as speaker, so the ethnic lady must go! There cannot be enough male politicians in top positions, but according to the constitution it is not the party that has the right to decide on her resignation!], NCP leadership’s highhandedness and indecision on Speaker show democratic disconnect: By imposing decisions on elected officials, who are the representatives of the people, the ruling party is ruining democratic principles, analysts and party insiders say, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Medical commission ‘fails’ to enforce refund of excess fee to students: Protesting students demand a probe against commission’s Chair Dr Shree Krishna Giri over an allegation that he demanded bribes, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Nepal’s partnership for peace with MCC and BRI: Nepal can learn a lot from Sweden’s approach to geopolitics to reassess its ties with India, China and the US, by Katak Malla (kp), On IPS and MCC: Before making further decision on MCC, the government should be clear regarding whether it’s a part of Indo-Pacific Strategy or not, by Biranchi Poudyal and Kamal Khadka (rep), NRA urged to expedite reconstruction: 62pc houses reconstructed, 25pc under-construction, 17pc yet to start (ht), Police crackdown leaves Chand-led party in shambles: Nearly 1,300 leaders and cadres arrested since the party was outlawed  in March last year (rep), Signature campaign against Chhau culture at police stations, by DB Budha (rep), Province 1 fails to pick name, awaits center's nod (rep)

11/01/2020: Organisations gear up for protest against IT bill saying it will curb freedom of expression: Even within the ruling party, some leaders have been raising voices against the bill, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Youth crushed to death by tipper for protesting illegal extraction of riverbed materials in Dhanusa: Twenty-four-year-old Dilip Kumar Mahato was struck and dragged by the tipper driver, say police, by Santosh Singh (kp) [Not only the direct murderers are responsible, but also the idle and disinterested government and administration!]

10/01/2020: Experts stress the need to fill infrastructure investment gap: Government inefficiency and low productivity blamed for the failure to increase capital expenditure, by Prahlad Rijal (kp), Construction of Madan Bhandari Highway via Chure worsens the fragile zone, a report says: The 1200-km under construction highway, which will traverse the Chure range, fails to consider the region’s geology and possible environmental damage, including serious impacts on the ecology and people of Tarai, by Chandan Kumar Mandal (kp), Losing our conscience, one country at a time: In a time of politics without principle, the only defining ideology is nationalism, by Amish Raj Mulmi (kp), Finance minister claims the country is on the course of broad-based economic growth: But the World Bank says the economy will expand by only 6.4 percent in the current fiscal year, well below the government target of 8.5 percent, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp), Six years on, Nepal’s first economic zone struggles to find investors: This fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs820 million budget for the economic zone in Bhairahawa but not a single rupee has been spent, by Krishana Prasain (kp)

09/01/2020: Conflict victims say their hope on Pradeep Gyawali might have been misplaced: Gyawali, who had appeared sympathetic to the cause of conflict victims, is also moving ahead on transitional justice without taking victims into confidence, by Binod Gjhimire (kp), Nepal’s arrest and deportation of 122 Chinese raise legal and ethical questions: The Chinese were deported despite Nepal Police’s failure to establish any criminal charges against them—and to a country that practices capital punishment, by Anil Giri (kp), Local units in Dolpa operate from the district headquarters: Four of total of eight local units have their liaison offices in Dunai, by Hari Gautam (kp) [Obviously, nothing has changed under the federal system!], Needed: More money for schools: The government must ensure adequate funding for education (kp)

08/01/2020: Provincial leaders balk at ruling party’s directive to name Province 3 ‘Bagmati’: The Nepal Communist Party’s diktat concerning the name and capital of the province has been criticised by provincial assembly members for infringing on the spirit of federalism, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), It is time for Nepal to plan to bring migrant workers home: In the absence of parents, the children have been suffering (kp), The decade of lumpen: The person of the decade has to be Prime Minister KP Oli, whereas the person to watch closely in the upcoming one is President Bidya Devi Bhandari, by CK Lal (kp)

07/01/2020: Victims want a say in TJ Act amendment (ht), Consultations to be held in all 7 provinces to expedite TJ process (rep), The elected undemocracy: Parliament has become a mere rubber stamp for all government bills that get sanctioned without any debate, by Achyut Wagle (kp), MPs demand court nod for tapping personal phone calls (rep), Internet service providers open to criminal liability under new IT bill (rep), Faced with factionalism, a beleaguered Congress still can’t get its house in order: At a time when the party should be acting as a check on the Oli administration, it is too busy dealing with factional infighting, by Anil Giri (kp), Gender insensitivity and Nepali Congress: The party elite, and Congress itself, think that women cannot be effective political actors, by Prabha Poudyal (kp), NCP members say leadership deferred Central Committee meet to avoid criticism: The crucial meeting decided for tomorrow by the recently concluded Standing Committee has been postponed to January 23, by Tika R.Pradhan (kp), Debunking the nonsense on MCC: This fact-deprived discourse on MCC is leading us toward a meaningless confrontation. If the project is aborted at this stage, it would be extremely harmful to our fledgling economy, by Prashaant Singh (rep), Morality, Politics And Power, by Dev Raj Dahal (rn)

06/01/2020: Transitional justice: This time around, the government must not go back on its promise (kp), NHRC’s threat to withdraw its member from ex-CJ-led panel (ht), Amend the TRC Act: It makes no sense in appointing members in the TRC and CIEDP without amending the TRC Act in line with the Supreme Court verdict (ht), Plight of sugarcane farmers shows the priority government accords to them: Although the government has now pledged to make sugar mills pay farmers their dues, analysts are sceptical whether the agreement will be followed through, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), The sugarcane episode is part of a much bigger trend—the decline of democracy: Policies, disguised as legitimate efforts to serve the public interest, are designed to serve financial interests, by Ajaya Bhadra Khanal (kp), Truck literature must survive—and thrive: The government wants to scuttle voices that puncture its narrative of 'Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis', by Dinesh Kafle (kp)

05/01/2020: Provincial and local governments barred from signing aid agreements with foreign donors: New standards on foreign aid endorsed by the Cabinet last week make Centre’s role necessary in accessing resources, by Prithvi Man Shrestha (kp) [Long live the central state!], Law Ministry aims to get Transitional Justice Act amended from ongoing session of Parliament: Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, also the law minister now, who has made commitments from various platforms including the United Nations, is taking the lead for amendments, by Binod Ghimire (kp), TRC, CIEDP office bearers to be named soon: Conflict victims, rights activists say justice won’t be served without amending TRC Act (ht), Former Maoist leaders in ruling party fear their apprehensions about merger are coming true: The Maoists are already a minority in Nepal Communist Party as they had merged with 40 percent share in committees; Leaders who quit the party over the merger say they had long foreseen the current situation, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Oli, Dahal tussle over candidate for speaker affects HoR meeting (ht) [Criminal power games for the sake of nepotism!]

04/12/2020: NCP leadership takes unilateral decision as it picks National Assembly candidates: The party leadership failed to live up to its recent commitment to following due process, accuse leaders, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp) [Long live the authoritarion male political leaders and their anti-democratic behaviour!], NCP finalises NA election candidates (ht) [Wow, really inclusive: Far more than half of them are Bahuns!], China says it welcomes any foreign economic support—even the MCC—to Nepal: Chinese ambassador’s statement runs counter to the argument by some ruling party members that the MCC, as part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy, is against China, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Will 2020 let Nepalis see better days? The present administration should realise the government can't retain its power without taking people along, by Mohan Guragain (kp), NC and Samajbadi forge poll alliance (rep)

03/01/2020: The current government is breathing down our necks: The Information Technology Bill will asphyxiate freedom of speech and expression, by Sushrey Nepal (kp), Tourists want public toilets, garbage bins and a hassle-free airport—not a week-long tourism extravaganza: Kathmandu Metropolitan City has announced a week-long campaign to supplement Visit Nepal 2020, but tourists are more concerned about basic amenities, by Anup Ojha (kp), Challenges Of Inclusive Development, by Kopila Rijal (rn)

02/01/2020: As the government pushes ahead with IT Bill, rights watchdog expresses concern: The bill in its current form infringes on the fundamental freedom of expression, says the National Human Rights Commission, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Stop the sugar scam: For years, the sugar cartel has been duping everyone–from the poor farmers to the country’s prime minister (kp), Govt to make mill owners pay farmers’ dues (ht), Respect the house: It is regrettable to see the ruling party using the sovereign Parliament as its rubber stamp by deferring its meeting for weeks (ht), With no speaker, parliament unable to do even routine work (rep), Police, CPN cadres exchange gunfire (ht), SC seeks original map of Nepal (rep), What Yadav’s exit means: Withdrawal of support by SPN from the federal government is not likely to end in fiasco. It has created an environment of polarization of politics between the communist and democratic forces (, by Hari Bansh Jha (rep), Composite Unity In Federalism, by Mukti Rijal (rn)

01/01/2020: Scorecard 2019: How have the government and the ruling party fared? The Oli-led government’s performance has been lacking, and the ruling party’s tilt towards authoritarianism is most worrisome (kp), House held hostage to NCP indecision: Today’s meeting won’t be held; Parliament deferred till Jan 12; Critics say delay in electing speaker ‘betrayal of constitution’, by Roshan S Nepal (ht), Afraid of being sidelined, former Maoists refuse to give up Speaker’s post: If the Maoist faction of the ruling party lets go of House Speaker, all of the highest-ranking state officials will be from the former UML, by Tika R. Pradhan (kp), Issue new map including India-encroached territories: Joint Houses panel (rep), Nepal proposes mid-January for Kalapani talks with India: Given high-level changes at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, this meeting is unlikely to happen, say analysts, by Anil Giri (kp), ‘If I lose my land, I will hang myself’: Owed more than Rs1 billion by sugar mills, sugarcane farmers are afraid their creditors will begin seizing their land, by Krishana Prasain (kp), Arrest absconding mill operator: Govt (ht), NHRC demands justice for farmers: Says state should not deviate from its duty to protect its citizens (ht)

Human Rights and the Rule of Law in a Federal Nepal: Recommendations from an ICJ High-Level Mission, by ICJ: Geneva, July 2020

Nepal’s Universal Periodic Review: Human Rights Review Should Address Broken Commitments, Impunity, by Human Rights Watch, 16/07/2020), see submission report by HRW (15/07/2020)

Lawyers at risk: Law Society submits joint UPR report on Nepal, by The Law Society of England and Wales, 13 July 2020 (see also factsheet and submission)

2019 Trafficking in Persons Report: Nepal, by US Department of State

2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, by US Department of State, 11 March 2020

Rule of Law Index Nepal 2020, by World Justice Project, 11 March 2020

Nepal Human Rights Year Book 2020, by INSEC, Kathmandu 2020

Annual Report: Synopsis 2018/2019, by NHRC. Kathmandu: January 2020

Nepal 2019. In: Human Rights in Asia-Pacific. Review of 2019. Amnesty International, 29 January 2020

Nepal: Recent Steps Undermine Transitional Justice, by ICJ, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International, 25 January 2020

Nepal: Events of 2019, by Human Rights Watch, January 2020, pp. 418-422

Human Development Report 2019: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21stCentury. Briefing note for countries on the 2019 Human Development Report: Nepal. New York: UNDP 2019

Nepal: 13 Years On, No Justice for Conflict Victims. Joint statement by ICJ, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and TRIAL International, 25 November 2019

Nepal: New NGO Law Should Protect Rights
Government’s Recent Moves Have Restricted Activists
, by Human Rughts Watch, 14 November 2019

Nepal: Release Report on 2015 Protest Violence: Suppressing Lal Commission Findings Denies Justice to Terai Victims, by Human Rights Watch, 1 October 2019

On the Occasion of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, by Advocacy Forum - Nepal, 26 June 2019

The Legal Stranglehold, by International Federation of Journalists, 3 May 2019

Regressive Laws, Mounting Violations, report by Freedom Forum, 3 May 2019

Nepal: To End Hunger, Strengthen and Implement Right to Food Law. Amnesty International 04 April 2019

Nepal 2018 Human Rights Report, by US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Human Rights Yearbook 2019, by INSEC, 17 February 2019

Fighting inequality in Nepal: The road to prosperity. OXFAM report, 11 January 2019

Media Freedom Deteriorating. Annual media freedom report 2018 by Freedom Forum

Preliminary Comments: Draft Bill to Amend the Act on Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation, 2014], by Amnesty International, ICJ and TRIAL International, 20 July 2018

Preliminary Comments of Conflict Victims’ Common Platform (CVCP) on proposed TJ draft bill to amend Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, Truth and Reconciliation Act, 2014, 17 July 2018

Nepal: Transitional Justice Reform an Urgent Need;
Current Draft Law Does Not Meet International Standards on Prosecuting Worst Crimes
, by Human Rights Watch, 7 July 2018

Rule of Law Index 2017-2018 - Nepal, by World Justice Project

Nepal 2017 Human Rights Report, by US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Amnesty International Annual Report 2017/2018 on Nepal, 22 February 2018

Nepal: Transitional Justice Proving Elusive Term Extensions do not Cure Act’s Fundamental Problems. Joint press statement by ICJ, HRW and AI, 13 February 2018

Nepal: Events of 2017, by Human Rights Watch, January 2018

Preliminary results of Nepal’s parliamentary elections of 2017 (with some comparisons to the CA elections of November 2013), by K.-H. Krämer, Nepal Observer 44, 17 December 2017

Gender and Nepal’s transition from war, by Jeevan Baniya, Sambriddhi Kharel, Deepak Thapa and Alexander Ramsbotham. Accord, 14 September 2017

Nepal’s Transitional Justice Process: Challenges and Future Strategy. A Discussion Paper, by International Commission of Jurists, August 2017

Elections in Nepal: 2017 Local Elections, Frequently Asked Questions, by International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 10 May 2017

“Building inequality": The failure of the Nepali government to protect the marginalised in post-earthquake reconstruction efforts (Amnesty International 25/04/2017)

"What I want is for the government to help". Nepal: Ensure the right to adequate housing for the marginalised in post-earthquake Nepal (Amnesty International 25/04/2017)

Two steps forward, one step back
The Nepal peace process
, by Deepak Thapa and Alexander Ramsbotham. Accord 26, March 2017

Serious Crimes in Nepal’s Criminal Code Bill, 2014. A Briefing Paper by International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), March 2017

Statement on renewed escalation in Tarai, by Surya Subedi (in Nepali and English, originally: Kantipur, 9 March 2017)

Nepal 2016 Human Rights Report, by US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 3 March 2017

Nepal 206/17, report by Amnesty International, 22 February 2017

Nepal: extending transitional justice commissions without granting real powers betrays trust of victims, by International Commission of Jurists, 10  February 2017

Nepal: Decade After Peace, Scant Progress On Justice; Political Parties Fail to Deliver on Promises, by Human Rights Watch, 18 October 2016

Statement on the CIAA and reports on investigation of Social Science Baha (SSB) and Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD) (BNAC 01/10/2016)

“Our Time to Sing and Play”: Child Marriage in Nepal, by Human Rights Watch, 7 September 2016 [see also video]

Supporting Safety of Journalists in Nepal. Paris, August 2016

Nepal - Torture and Coerced Confessions, by Amnesty International, 19 July 2016

The Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (Control) Bill, 2014. A Briefing Paper by International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), June 2016

Nepal 2015 Human Rights Report, by US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 14 April 2016

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