Nepal

PM greeted with black flag

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 18 min fa
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, black flag

A man waving black flag at the prime minister, in Butwal, on Saturday. Photo: THT

Bhairahawa, April 20

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was greeted with a black flag while he was addressing the Jitgadhi victory ceremony organised at Rupandehi’s Butwal today.

Rudra Ghimire from Arghakhanchi had shown the black flag to Prime Minister Oli. Ghimire had crossed five layers of security, reached the stage and shown the black flag. After showing the flag, Ghimire shouted, “Long live Jitgadhi. Long Live Ujir Magar. Nation is dearer than life.”

PM Oli was provided fivetier security by the Nepali Army, APF, Nepal Police, National Investigation Department and municipal cops and volunteers.

The black flag shown to Oli has shocked on-duty security personnel.

Upon noticing Ghimire’s activities Oli paused his speech, pointed at the security personnel and asked, “He is showing a black flag. What are you doing?”

After the PM’s utterance, on-duty security personnel sprang into action and took the youth under control.

Saying that the youth must have been mobilised by some force, Oli urged everyone to stay calm.

When Ghimire showed the flag to Oli, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishwor Pokhrel, Province 5 Secretary Umakant Jha, Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel, former minister Bishnu Poudel, and high level security officers were on the dais with Oli.

Ghimire has been kept at Butwal Area Police Office.

Rupandehi SP Hridaya Thapa said that his office had directed the DSP at Butwal Area Police Office to investigate and file a case against Ghimire.

The government’s decision banning the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal had irked its leaders and cadres.

Earlier, the party had warned it would boycott the programme attended by Oli and shut down the district.

The party, however, had issued a press statement yesterday and made it clear that there was no programme of district shutdown today in Rupandehi.

Categorie: Nepal

Shrestha Einhaus claims title

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 26 min fa

Kathmandu, April 20

Vijay Shrestha Einhaus won the title of the first edition event of the Surya Nepal Gokarna Monthly Medal here at the Gokarna Golf Club today.

Shrestha Einhaus bagged the trophy on count back after he was tied on two-under 70 with Dawa S Sherpa. Joseph Nathan finished third in nett category with the score of one-under 71.

The one-handicap golfer Shrestha Einhaus also finished at the top in gross section but he was unable to get both the awards under one-player-one-prize rule of the tournament.

Wangchen Dhondup bagged the gross section trophy with the score of even par 72. Ang Phurba Sherpa claimed the junior section trophy with the score of four-under 68.

In all, 32 golfers took part in the first edition of the event sponsored by Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd.

Categorie: Nepal

Construction of Sagarmatha Airport to begin soon

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 28 min fa

Gaighat, April 20

Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment Minister for Province 1 Jagadish Kusait declared that the proposed Sagarmatha Airport in Udayapur’s Jogidaha will be completed in three years.

Following the observation of the proposed site for airport construction today, the minister also informed that work on the airport project would start soon.

“The government at the federal level and the provincial government are going to allocate budget for the project with which the construction will start,” said the minister, adding he had got assurance from the prime minister for budget for the proposed airport.

“Everyone from political party leaders to people’s representatives, PA members and the locals agree that we need an airport, so there is no way the project will hit any snag,” said the minister.

On the occasion, Udayapur Constituency 1 Provincial Assembly member Himal Karki said the project, which was conceptualised long ago, was delayed due to the non-cooperation of the forest office.

“Interference from the forest office earlier had caused the delay in project execution, “ he said.

Another Provincial Assembly member Bimal Karki also expressed his concern about the delay in airport construction and shared the hassles people in the district have been experiencing in getting the project executed.

“Felling some trees for the airport will not bring destruction to the entire world as said by some people, so we can’t afford to delay the project any longer,” he said.

Felling some trees will not bring destruction to the entire world as said by some people, so we can’t afford todelay the project any longer,” he said.

Categorie: Nepal

Days of prosperity not far away, says PM Oli

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 32 min fa

Nawalpur, April 20

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said the country is moving ahead on the path of development and prosperity.

Speaking at a ceremony of an integrated government office building in Nawalpur’s Kawasoti Municipality today, the prime minister stressed on the need for everyone to move in a united manner to ensure prosperity and development in the country.

“As the government is moving ahead at a fast pace on the path of development, we will realise our much-cherished dream of a prosperous Nepal in the near future,” said the prime minister.

On a different note, Prime Minister Oli expressed government’s strong commitment in realising its goal.

“There are a few elements which fear the popularity of the government.

They are fuelling anti-government and anti-development activities. But let me clarify this today that such actions won’t discourage us,” he said.

“The government is doing everything in its capacity for the development of sectors such as road, education and health, among others” said PM Oli.

As per the concept of integrated government office premises, around 179 bigaha of land has been appropriated in Kawasoti Municipality-3.

The premises will have a number of government offices of federal, provincial and local levels.

Categorie: Nepal

UPDATE: Easter Day bomb blasts kill more than 20 in Sri Lankan churches, hotels

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 46 min fa

COLOMBO: Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and three hotels killed more than 20 people and wounded nearly 300, a hospital official and police sources said.

Colombo National Hospital Director Samindi Samrakoon said she knew of at least 20 deaths and 280 people injured.

A police spokesman said that three churches and three hotels were hit.

At least two of the hotels and one of the churches are in the capital, Colombo. Another church is in Negombo, north of Colombo.

A source in the police bomb squad said that one of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

“Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties,” the source said.

St Sebastian’s church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Sources from two leading tourist hotels in Colombo also confirmed the explosions but did not give any details.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Updated

Explosions hit two Sri Lankan churches, two hotels at Easter: Police

COLOMBO: Two Sri Lankan churches and two hotels were hit by explosions on Sunday, wounding several people, police sources said.

The hotels and one of the churches are in the nation’s capital Colombo. The other church is in Negombo, north of Colombo.

A source in the police bomb squad said that one of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo. “Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties,” the source said.

Sources from two leading tourist hotels in Colombo also confirmed the explosions but did not give any details.

Colombo National hospital said several wounded had been brought in for treatment.

St Sebastian’s church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Categorie: Nepal

Govt losing public trust: NC leader Paudel

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 48 min fa

Bhairahawa, April 20

Senior Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel said that the government is losing trust among the public due to its modus operandi that neglect of people’s needs and sentiments.

“As the government only talks big and acts arbitrarily without considering the aspirations of people and their sentiments, they are getting tired of the so-called two thirds majority government,” said the NC leader speaking at a constituency-level party conference in Butwal today.

NC Chief Whip Balkrishna Khand and others also criticised the government. NC Rupandehi Constituency 2 President Hari Lamsal said the conference had held discussions on the upcoming nationwide awareness campaign of the party and its future strategy.

Meanwhile, NC Rupandehi Constituency 3 has also been preparing for the constituency-level conference. After holding village, town and constituency-level conferences, the party in Rupandehi has planned to hold a district conference on May 1 and 2.

Categorie: Nepal

Lama wins title

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 50 min fa

KATHMANDU: Phintso Ongdi Lama won the title of the Lumbini Insurance Invitational Golf Tournament here at the Royal Nepal Golf Club on Saturday.

Played under stableford 3/4 handicap format, Lama accumulated 40 points to finish first. Swadesh Gurung came second with 39 points.

Nischaya Jung Rayamajhi won the gross section trophy with the score of 33 points. Kashmira Shah claimed the women’s section title with 36 points, while Pavitra Rai came second with 35 points. Rajendra Man Sherchan won the senior section award with 35 points finishing ahead of Brig Gen Dilip Jung Rayamajhi (32). Maj Bejoy Moktan bagged the super senior section title with 21 points. Swapnil Bhattarai and Vivaan Poudyal claimed top two spots in junior section with 21 and 20 points respectively.

Rajendra Man Sherchan won the most birdies award with four birdies, while Mithun Rai and Kalu Ghale bagged the longest drive and closest-to-the-pin awards respectively.

Tej Bahadur Rai won the best sportsmanship award. A total of 97 golfers took part in the two-day event. RNGC President Prachanda Bahadur Shrestha, Vice-President NK Rai, Lady Captain Pawitra Yakthumba, Lumbini Insurance Chairman Manohar Das Mool, Director Madhur Lal Sinnya, Director Ganesh Raj Regmi, and CEO Noor Prakash Pradhan handed over the prizes to the winners.

Categorie: Nepal

Chhantyal wins silver for 14-month baby

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 51 min fa
Eighth National Games, weightlifting, Jun Maya Chhantyal

Nepalgunj, April 20

Jun Maya Chhantyal was over the moon after she bagged silver medal in the women’s 59kg weight category of the National Weightlifting Championship under the eighth National Games here at the Municipality Hall in Tanga Chowk today.

The 63kg section gold medal winner in the seventh edition of the national sporting extravaganza, Chhantyal was a distant second behind Tribhuvan Army Club’s Kamal Shrestha. But Chhantyal was more than happy for making it to the podium despite having training for less than two weeks.

Chhantyal remained away from the sport for nearly two years following a birth of a baby boy 14 months ago. She is in Nepalgunj with her son and looking after the infant has been the top priority. But she also had to focus on her training and preparation and she did both with perfection.

“Getting medal in national championship is always a proud moment and I am satisfied with my overall performance,”

Chhantyal told The Himalayan Times who was eagerly waiting for the medal ceremony so that she could share the joy with her baby at the team hotel in Dhambuji, some two kilometres away from the venue.

Chhantyal got introduction to weightlifting in 2013 and was able to win bronze medal in the 12th South Asian Games in the Indian city of Guwahati in 2016. She was just two years old in the sport when she got married to fellow Nepal Police personnel.

And she was out of the sport for two years to take care of her baby.

“I wanted to resume the sport but it was not easy to make a comeback as the baby was too little to leave,” said the 22-year-old Chhantyal.

“But we decided to take a chance in National Games and I trained for around two weeks before coming to Nepalgunj,” added Chhantyal, who hails from Burtibang of Baglung district.

Asked about her performance, Chhantyal said it would take another one year to reach the peak. “I was training hard and slowly coming to the shape. But I was forced to lose weight as I had to perform in 59kg weight category instead of 63kg,” said Chhantyal. “And I found it very hard to perform as I am still feeling weak.”

She has already dreamt of participating in the 13th SA Games and win another medal for the country. “It will take time but I have a dream of playing in SA Games on home soil and make the nation proud again,” she said.

Categorie: Nepal

Rain, hail destroy crops in Ramechhap

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 53 min fa

Ramechhap, April 20

A brief spell of rainfall accompanied by hailstone late this afternoon destroyed crops in Ramechhap’s Umakunda Rural Municipality.

Crops cultivated in wards 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Umakunda Rural Municipality were destroyed by the sudden precipitation that lasted for around 15 minutes. “The crops were meant to feed us round the year, but the rain destroyed them all,” said Hiralal Shrestha of Gupteshwor, Umakunda, adding, ‘Crops such as potatoes, wheat, maize and barley besides fruit plants in blossom bore the brunt of the freak weather.”

Another farmer from the same place Kisanchand Bahadur Sunuwar also rued the damage. “The farmers, who have been frequently tormented by natural disaster became victims this time again,” Sunuwar said.

Categorie: Nepal

Gold price falls, silver shines

The Himalayan Times - 1 ora 58 min fa

Kathmandu, April 20

The price of gold declined by Rs 500 per tola while that of silver increased by five rupees a tola over the trading week between April 15 and 19.

According to the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSi- DA), gold was traded at Rs 59,600 per tola in the domestic market on Monday and remained constant on Tuesday. However, price of the bullion fell by Rs 300 a tola on Wednesday to settle at Rs 59,300 per tola. The price of the yellow metal further declined by Rs 200 per tola to settle at Rs 59,100 a tola the next day. Gold price remained unchanged on Friday to close the week at Rs 59,100 a tola.

Meanwhile, the silver price stood at Rs 720 a tola on Monday and remained constant on Tuesday. However, on Wednesday silver price rose by five rupees a tola to Rs 725 per tola and remained the same throughout the week.

It has to be noted that the market remained closed on Sunday, the first trading day of the week, as it was a public holiday due to Nepali New Year.

According to Reuters, gold held steady near a four-month low on Thursday as a stronger dollar offset concerns over global economic growth after the release of weak manufacturing data out of Europe.

Investors are also keeping an eye on talks between the United States and China to resolve a trade dispute. The two countries are aiming to conclude negotiations by early June, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Gold premiums in top consumer China jumped to their highest in more than two years, as a drop in global prices and strengthening yuan encouraged purchases amid optimism about the state of the economy, Reuters reported.

In India, demand was steady as lower domestic prices prompted buyers to make purchases for weddings and an upcoming festival. Indian gold futures were trading near their lowest level in three months.

Indians will celebrate Akshaya Tritiya on May 7, when buying gold is considered auspicious.

Categorie: Nepal

‘Government not deterred by protest, criticism’

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 3 min fa
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addressing a programme to commemorate Jitgadhi victory, in Butwal, on Saturday. Photo: THT

Bhairahawa, April 20

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said that protest and criticism would not deter his government from pursuing the goal of prosperity and development.

Addressing a victory ceremony organised at Jitgadhi fort of Rupandehi’s Butwal, PM Oli reiterated that the government was not scared of protests and criticisms from opposition parties and groups.

He said that his government was committed to achieving the goals of peace, rule of law, prosperity and development.

“Some parties might be scared of the government’s commitment to development and its works. But the government will not fear protests and criticisms,” he said.

Oli argued that Jitgadhi was the pride and token of sovereignty for Nepal and Nepalis.

“It is our responsibility to preserve history and develop this area,” Oli said.

Lauding Jitgadhi fort where the Nepali forces had defeated English troops during the Anglo-Nepal war, PM Oli stressed the need to protect forts and gadhis across the country.

At the programme, PM Oli hoisted the national flag on the 52 feet tall mast and unveiled a statue of Colonel Ujir Singh Thapa.

At the programme, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwor Pokhrel said that the government was working to preserve history.

Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel said the provincial government had accorded top priority to Jitgadhi fort and urged the central government to also prioritise it.

A Nepali force led by Colonel Ujir Singh had defeated English forces 204 years ago at Jitgadhi fort.

Butwal Sub-metropolitan City had declared public holiday on April 20 to mark the victory of Nepali forces over the British since last year.

Categorie: Nepal

Shutllers Dhami, Maharjan end Tamang era

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 8 min fa

Dang, April 20

Dipesh Dhami of Nepal APF Club and Rashila Maharjan of Tribhuvan Army Club ended the domination of Tamang siblings Ratnajit and Nangshal in the 40th National Badminton Championship under the eighth National Games here in Ghorahi today.

Dhami defeated Ratnajit in straight sets of 21-17, 21-4 in the men’s singles final to end the TAC shuttler’s seven-year winning run.

Tamang won the four National Badminton Championship titles since defeating the then Nepal No 1 Bikash Shrestha in the 36th edition in Kathmandu. And he also dominated the national level events organised by private sector, except for the Annapurna Corporate Badminton last year.

Likewise, Rashila Maharjan stunned three-time national champion Nangsal in the women’s singles final. The 14-year-old Maharjan registered a hard-fought 19-21, 21-14, 24-22 victory over fellow TAC shuttler.

Maharjan, a ninth-grade student, also became the youngest winner in the history of National Championship. Maharjan had recently won the Krishna Mohan Memorial National Badminton Championship.

APF dominated the championship winning five out of seven gold medals. TAC bagged the other two.

Bijit Thapa and Dipesh Dhami of APF defeated TAC duo Ratnajit and Nabin Shrestha 21-18, 21-12 in men’s doubles, while APF pair Puja Shrestha and Jessica Gurung registered a 21-15, 11-21, 21-17 victory over TAC’s Nangsal and Anu Maya Rai.

Also, APF pair Dipesh Dhami and Puja Shrestha won the mixed doubles gold with a 21-10, 21-17 victory over Gautam Kathayet and Jessica Gurung.

Athletics

Ashish Chaudhary of Nepal APF Club and Saraswoti Chaudhary of Tribhuvan Army Club won the 200m gold medals in the 44th National Athletics Championship at the Beljhundi Stadium in Dang.

They had also won the 100m gold medals on the opening day on Thursday.

Ashish completed the race in 21.83 seconds to finish first ahead of fellow TAC athlete Abhishek Chaudhary and Prakash Rana Magar of Province-3. Likewise, Saraswoti won the women’s section gold in 26.66 seconds. Jayarani Chaudhary of Province-5 and TAC athlete Krishna Chaudhary came second and third respectively.

In field events, Chitra Bahadur Oli of TAC bagged discuss throw gold medal. Oli covered 37.02 metres to finish first ahead of Puskal Khadka of NPC and Ranjil Shrestha of Province-1.

TAC’s Amrita Mahato won the women’s section gold with the distance of 36.03 metres, while Sangita Adhikari of Province-5 and APF’s Jit Kumari Mahato came second and third respectively.

TAC athlete Surya Bahadur Khatri won the high jump gold with the jump of 1.85 metres, while NPC duo Gopal Chaudhary and Bikash Khand Thakuri came second and third respectively. APF’s Shila Chaudhary won gold with the jump of 1.50m, finishing ahead of Sangita Sinjali. Bindu Chaudhary and Anita Chaudhary came joint third.

Taekwondo

Kamal Shrestha of Nepal Police Club won three gold medals in the National Taekwondo Tournament in Bhairahawa. Shrestha bagged the individual, doubles and team event gold medals in poomsae. Shrestha teamed up with Parbati Gurung in doubles and was the member of the team along with Jit Bahadur Bot and Prem Bahadur Limbu.

Parbati Gurung won women’s individual section gold and teamed up with Mira Rana and Nirmala BK to finish second in women’s team event behind Province-1. Nepal Police Club dominated poomsae with four gold medals and a silver.

Sepak-takraw

Tribhuvan Army Club won the Regu category gold medals in the fifth National Sepak Takraw Tournament in Gulariya, Bardiya. TAC defeated Gandaki Province 23-25, 21-4, 21-16 in the men’s section final, while Province-3 finished third with a 2-0 victory over Farwest. In women’s final, TAC registered a 21-15, 21- 10 victory over Province-3. Gandaki beat Farwest 2-0 to finish third.

Archery

Ashim Sherchan and Mukesh Tamang of Kaski Archery Club advanced to the men’s individual 70m Recurve event in Nepalgunj. Sherchan defeated Roshan Nagarkoti of Tribhuvan Army Club 7-5, while Tamang beat Tilak Pun of Nepal Police Club 7-1 in the semi-finals.

In women’s section, TAC archers Gyanu Awale and Mitra Rai made it to the final. Awale defeated Annapurna’s Bishnu Maya Limbu 6-2 and Rai hammered Kaski’s Keshari Ale Magar 6-0. In team event, Kaski and NPC advanced to the men’s team event final, while TAC’s Roshan and Gyanu made it to the mixed team event final along with their teammates Dambar Thapa and Aaisha Tamang.

In men’s 50m Individual Compound event, Jagri Gurung of Kaski set the final date with his clubmate Rajesh Rana. Likewise, Tabin Gurung of TAC and Best Group’s Pranjal Rai made it to the men’s 30m Individual Standard event. Archana Thapa Magar set all-APF final date with Anusha Gurung in women’s section. In men’s team event, TAC and Annapurna made it to the final, while Annapurna set final date with TAC in mixed team event.

Categorie: Nepal

809 cabbies booked in a month

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 17 min fa

Kathmandu, April 20

Despite the recent police crackdown, cabbies continue to fleece passengers in Kathmandu valley.

Metropolitan Traffic Police Division said it booked as many as 809 taxi drivers over a period of one month (mid-March to mid-April) for violating traffic rules.

MPTD In-charge Senior Superintendent of Police Basant Kumar Pant said the law enforcement agency had intensified action against unscrupulous cabbies as they showed no sign of adhering to the rules.

Traffic personnel, both in uniform and civil dress have been deployed in busy areas, including hospitals and bus parks to monitor rule violations like operating taxis without the mandatory seal on fare-metre, refusal to provide short distance service to passengers, tampering with and using defunct metres and bargaining over fare without turning on the metre.

Of the cabbies found on the wrong side of the law during the last one month, 781 were penalised for bargaining with passengers and refusing to provide service by turning on the fare-metre, 21 had tampered with the metre and seven were operating taxis by replacing the black registration plate with red one against the permit granted to them.

Traffic police have been keeping a close eye on taxis in the daytime and at night when they try to fleece passengers taking advantage of emergencies and non-availability of public vehicles.

The crackdown was aimed at deterring cabbies from overcharging and cheating commuters.

Police had booked 4,518 taxis in the fiscal 2016-17 and 8,120 in the fiscal 2017-18 for their involvement in various offences. Many of the cabbies were repeat offenders.

Around 10,000 taxis operate in the valley. If the data of unscrupulous taxi drivers are analysed, hardly a few cabbies can be found doing their business honestly.

According to MTPD, on an average, 30 cabbies are booked on a daily basis for fleecing commuters.

MTPD has appealed to passengers to call the traffic control room (103) or send SMS to 9851295100 or file a complaint through MTPD’s Facebook page to initiate action against fraudulent taxi drivers.

Cabbies who refuse to serve passengers by turning on fare-metre are referred to the Transport Management Office for action and are fined Rs 2,000.

Similarly, if a taxi driver is found operating with a tampered metre, the National Bureau of Standards and Metrology may impose a fine of up to Rs 5,000, along with a warning in the first instance.

Categorie: Nepal

NLIC health camp

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 22 min fa

KATHMANDU: Nepal Life Insurance Company (NLIC) has organised a free health camp at Shree Durga Mahalinga School in Netakatiya Brahmasthal, Ward No 4 of Khaptad Chhana Rural Municipality in Bajhang district.

The camp was held in association with Shree Ram Prasad Khatri Memorial Academy and Khaptad Chhana Rural Municipality.

A total of 2,996 locals benefited from the health camp.

As per a press statement, medicines worth Rs 2.2 million were also distributed for free at the health camp.

Categorie: Nepal

Adults more prone to mental health problems

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 27 min fa

Kathmandu, April 20

About 13.2 per cent youths aged 18 and above in the country suffer from mental health problems, according to a report.

National Mental Health Survey conducted by Nepal Health Research Council shows that adults are more prone to mental health problems.

According to the survey report, 3.4 per cent adults suffer from major depressive disorder, while 0.7 per cent teenagers (13 to 17 years of age) have this disorder. The study shows that 0.6 per cent adults have agoraphobia (fear of entering open places), 0.2 per cent have social anxiety disorder and 3.4 per cent have alcohol use disorder.

Likewise, 7.3 per cent have substance use disorder, 1.1 per cent have current psychotic disorder, 6.1 per cent have dissociative conversion disorder and one per cent have epilepsy.

As per the report, 11.2 per cent teenagers have one or the other forms of mental health problems.

Among them, 0.7 per cent have major depressive disorder, 2.2 per cent have agoraphobia, 0.4 per cent have separation anxiety disorder, 0.4 per cent have social phobia and 1.1 per cent have obsessive compulsive disorder.

Similarly, 8.7 per cent teenagers and 10.9 per cent adults have suicidal tendency. Of the total mental health patients, only 21 per cent visited hospitals in the last 12 months.

According to Chairperson of Nepal Health Research Council Anjani Kumar Jha, Nepalis are at increased risk of developing mental illness mainly due to factors such as low economic status, foreign employment, gender-based discrimination and high risk of natural disaster, among others.

“Mental health is still a neglected issue in Nepal,” he said, adding, “People suffering from mental disorders are often seen as threats to society leading to lack of treatment and stigmatisation.”

According to multi-sectoral action plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (2014-2020), an estimated 18 per cent of non-communicable disease burden is due to mental illness.

Categorie: Nepal

Over 46 pc quake-hit schools awaiting reconstruction

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 38 min fa

Kathmandu, April 20

Almost four years have passed since the 2015 earthquakes.

However, of the 7,923 community schools that suffered serious damage in the devastating earthquakes, 3,707 (46.78 per cent) schools are yet be reconstructed.

Government record shows that of all the community schools destroyed in 32 districts, a total of 4,216 schools have been reconstructed so far. Similarly, 2,032 schools are under-construction, while the reconstruction of 398 schools has not even started.

Of the total 7,923 quake-hit schools, the government excluded 370 schools from the list of schools to be reconstructed stating that these schools were either merged with other schools or were shut down due to lack of students.

As per the post-disaster recovery framework issued in May 2016 by the Central Level Project Implementation Unit, all the earthquake damaged schools should have been reconstructed within three years. However, against the provision in the framework, a large number of quake-hit schools are yet to be reconstructed.

CLPIU, which started working from April 2016, is a body entrusted with reconstructing schools. It works under the Ministry of Education as per directives from the National Reconstruction Authority.

Due to lack of proper schools, thousands of students are still forced to study inside temporary learning centres that were constructed after the earthquake. The government has estimated that a total of 1.45 million students are studying in12,000 such TLCs after the earthquake.

The CLPIU-E, however, does not have any record of how many such TLCs are still in operation.

CLPIU Project Director Ima Narayan Shrestha said as most of the damaged school buildings had been reconstructed, only a few TLCs were functioning at present.

Shrestha said almost all the large school buildings with 15 or more classrooms were in the final phase of reconstruction.

CLPIU record shows that they have completed reconstructing 17 model schools as envisioned by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Various donor agencies and foreign embassies in Nepal had committed to building a total of 420 secondary schools under Complete School Approach programme. Asian Development Bank is constructing 137 schools, JICA 240, USAID 17 and JFPR eight schools.

CLPIU is largely taking the responsibility of constructing small schools with two to six classrooms. CLPIU Director Shrestha said the estimated cost of reconstructing quakehit schools was Rs 104 billion.

Categorie: Nepal

Nine injured in separate accidents

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 45 min fa

Damauli, April 20

Nine persons sustained injuries in two separate accidents in Tanahun on Saturday.

Eight people were injured when a jeep headed towards Adhamara from Bhimad skidded off the road and fell some 15 metres below the road in Tekre of Bhimad Municipality.

Assistant Sub-inspector Top Prasad Bhandari of Bhimad Area Police Office aid the injured were sent to Gandaki Hospital in Pokhara for further treatment after primary treatment at Bhimad Primary Health Centre. Similarly, a motorbike rider was injured when he was hit by a truck in Kamalabari of Byas Municipality. Forty-sixyear-old Arjun Kumar Sharma was riding to Pokhara from Kathmandu when a truck coming from the opposite direction hit him.

Police said they were searching for the truck driver, who was at large.

Road accidents in the country are increasing in recent years mainly due to poor quality of roads and reckless driving.

Categorie: Nepal

29-year-old woman’s body found, murder suspected

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 47 min fa

Biratnagar, April 20

The body of a woman was found at Pathari bazaar of Pathari Sanischare Municipality, Morang, this morning.

The body of Rina Basnet, aged 29, was found without clothes in front of her rented flat at Pathrai Sanischare.

Basnet was operating a cosmetic shop at Pathari bazaar. Police said the incident was mysterious as Basnet’s inner garments were recovered from inside her room.

Basnet was living in a rented room on the third floor of local Bir Bahadur Basnet’s house with her son. Basnet had returned to her room with her 14-year-old son from a cultural programme held at Pathari bazaar last evening. After they came back, Rina’s son went to sleep in a separate room.

Morang Superintendent of Police Manoj KC said the cause of death was not clear. A preliminary investigation showed that Rina had consumed liquor and police recovered some beer bottles from her room. Rina’s husband is employed in Dubai.

“Our probe shows that Rina was in her room till midnight. But, we cannot say how the incident unfolded thereafter,” said SP KC.

Police personnel probing in the incident, however, suspected that Rina might have been murdered after she was raped. The body has deep cuts on the head. The body has been sent to Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences for post-mortem.

Categorie: Nepal

41 per cent vehicles fail emission standard

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 48 min fa

Kathmandu, April 20

More than 41 per cent vehicles failed the emission test conducted by Metropolitan Traffic Police Division yesterday.

The emission test was part of the Traffic Management and Pollution Control Improvement Action Plan-2019, recently introduced by Nepal Police.

According to MTPD, emission test was randomly conducted on 51 vehicles in Balkhu area.

Of them, 30 vehicles failed to keep their emission level under permissible limits. The owners or drivers of the vehicles failing the emission standards were fined Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 depending on the toxicity of emission.

This indicates that most of the air pollution in Kathmandu valley is caused by vehicles with high level of toxic emission. As per the vehicle emission standards implemented by the government in 2003, the permissible emission level for four-wheelers registered in Nepal in or before 1980 is maximum 4.5 per cent of carbon monoxide of the total emission and maximum 1,000 parts per million hydrocarbon concentration.

Similarly, the four-wheelers registered in the country after 1981 should not emit CO exceeding three per cent of the total emission and their ppm hydrocarbons in emission is required to be below 1,000. Likewise, two-wheelers are not allowed to emit CO exceeding 4.5 per cent of the total emission while their ppm hydrocarbon should be less than 7,800.

According to the Ministry of Forests and Environment, the particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration in Kathmandu is much higher than the standard set by the World Health Organisation.

The WHO considers air unsafe when average exposure to PM2.5. exceeds 10 µg/m3.

MTPD said an average of 800,000 vehicles, both two-wheelers and four-wheelers, ply the valley roads on a daily basis.

Earlier, MTPD had conducted emission test in Nayabazaar area and 62.5 per cent vehicles had failed the test.

Categorie: Nepal

British cyber expert pleads guilty to creating malware

The Himalayan Times - 2 ore 48 min fa

MILWAUKEE: A British cybersecurity researcher credited with stopping a worldwide computer virus has pleaded guilty to developing malware to steal banking information.

Federal prosecutors in Wisconsin and Marcus Hutchins’ attorneys said in a joint court filing Friday that the 24-year-old agreed to plead guilty to developing malware called Kronos and conspiring to distribute it from 2012 to 2015. In exchange for his plea to those charges, prosecutors dismissed eight more.

“As you may be aware, I’ve pleaded guilty to two charges related to writing malware in the years prior to my career in security,” Hutchins said in a statement on his website . “I regret these actions and accept full responsibility for my mistakes. Having grown up, I’ve since been using the same skills that I misused several years ago for constructive purposes. I will continue to devote my time to keeping people safe from malware attacks.”

Hutchins faces up 10 years in prison but could receive a more lenient sentence for accepting responsibility, the court filing said. Attorneys said Hutchins understands he could be deported.

Sentencing has not been scheduled.

Hutchins’ arrest in Las Vegas in August 2017, as he was about to board a flight to England, came as a shock; just months earlier he was hailed a hero for finding a “kill switch” to the WannaCry virus that crippled computers worldwide. At the time, he told The Associated Press in an interview that he didn’t consider himself a hero but that he was combating malware because “it’s the right thing to do.”

Prosecutors said Hutchins made incriminating statements during a two-hour interrogation, and later during a jailhouse phone call that Hutchins was told was being recorded, he told an unidentified person that he “used to write malware” years before.

“I knew it was always going to come back,” Hutchins said on the call, but that he didn’t “think it would be so soon.”

Prosecutors said in court filings that Hutchins sold the Kronos software to someone in Wisconsin and that he “personally delivered” the software to someone in California. The malware was designed “to intercept communications and collect personal information, including usernames, passwords, email addresses, and financial data” from computers, prosecutors said.

Kronos was “used to infect numerous computers around the world and steal banking information,” prosecutors said, without providing an exact number. It’s unclear how much Hutchins’ profited from creating the malware, but in online chats the FBI intercepted on November 2014, Hutchins’ lamented he had only made $8,000 from five sales. Hutchins said he thought he would be making around $100,000 annually by selling Kronos with one of his conspirators, who is not named in the indictment.

Hutchins initially pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was scheduled to go on trial in July. While his case has been pending, prosecutors barred Hutchins from returning home. He has been living in California, working as a cybersecurity consultant.

Categorie: Nepal