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Nation of strikes

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Nepal Medical Association has called for a nationwide shutdown of all health institutions, except emergency services, demanding that the government provide professional security in all medical facilities. Republica reports:

Nepal Medical Association (NMA), the umbrella organization of doctors across the country, decided to go ahead with the strike after its deadline to the government to meet its demands expired on Sunday. The last ditch efforts from the government to avert failed to soothe the doctors.

The Association is also demanding that entry level pay scale for doctors in government service should be upgraded, and the tax levied on doctors working in private sector be waived.

The strike comes a day after the first swine flu death was reported in the country, and follows in the heels of  Kathmandu’s garbage collectors, who went back to work on Monday after 13 days of strike. The Himalayan Times reports on garbage collectors’ strike:

The agitating local body employees’ union [Sunday] signed a three-point agreement with the government. With this agreement, the agitating employees have postponed their protest programme for three weeks. They have allowed the collection of garbage from [Monday].

That’s not all the banda news though. Rastriya Janamorcha Party called a strike in Gandaki and Dhaulagiri zones on Sunday, opposing the Maoist party’s declaration of federal autonomous states. Kantipur reports:

Twenty-seven undergraduate students in Damauli were unable to attend their examinations due to the banda called by the Rastriya Janmukti Party.

Janamuki party workers vandalised two motorcycles in Damauli saying the owners that disobeyed the strike. In Chitwan, they vandalised a motorcycle belonging to Nandalal Gurung, who had returned from visiting a patient in Bharatpur Cancer Hospital.

The banda will be expanded to other parts of the country in coming days, the party has announced.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will have avoided all the bandas as he is on an official visit to China. Today he is  scheduled to present a five feet tall Buddha statue to a temple in the city of Xi’an.

At home, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had his wish to speak with Delhi fulfilled. Sort of. Kantipur reports:

Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood paid a visit to Dahal, five days after the Maoist chairman had made a statement accusing India of interfering in Nepal’s internal affairs. Sood left for India immediately after the meeting.

According to embassy officials, Sood will brief Delhi on the Maoists’ concerns and the political situation in Nepal. Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishnia is due to visit Nepal on 15 January.

The Maoists are particularly peeved at the Indian Army Chief  Deepak Kapoor for saying Maoist combatants should not be integrated into Nepal Army en masse.

They are also not very pleased with Nepal Army for promoting Toran Jung Bahadur Singh to the position of Lieutenant General.  Three Maoist leaders filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Sunday challenging the decision. From The Kathmandu Post:

In a public interest litigation filed on Sunday, the Maoist leader, including UCPN (Maoist) Central Committee Member Krishna K.C. have demanded, among others, an interim order to annul the government decision promoting Singh arguing that the decision went against the letter and spirit of the Interim Constitution, the Civil Rights Act 1995 and the accepted principles of human rights.

(Posted by Indu Nepal)

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