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Passport trouble

Monday, March 29th, 2010

The Public Affairs Committee has caught whiff of irregularities in the bidding process by which the contract to print Machine Readable Passports has been awarded, and has summoned Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal for clarification. Kathmandu Post reports:

The House panel has summoned the prime minister on April 5 to clarify why the government breached the PAC directive and decided to award the contract to Nasik-based Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India, an Indian government undertaking.

Despite the PAC directive to invite fresh bids, the Cabinet on March 19 decided to award the MRP contract to India.

Former Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai apparently needs no summoning to air his views. Earlier today, Bhattarai called on political parties to revive the 1990 constitution to “save the country from anarchy and uncertainty.” The former NC leader left the party when it agreed to abolish the monarchy. His views on the monarchy evidently haven’t change. The Himalayan Times reports:

Bhattarai said, “The country has almost entered the situation of non-existence of constitution. A situation of constitutional and political vacuum has surfaced at present because sufficient time was not given to the 1990 constitution, ending it hastily.”

Bhattarai dubbed the federalism, secularism and republicanism as the “hastily imported political attires” by the parties and said, “A wide range of differences on the issues clarify that they are against Nepal’s original identity and need.”

The Kathmandu District Administration Office has ordered the release of 18 Tibetan exiles from preventive detention. They were arrested in early March after they participated in anti-China protests to mark the 51st anniversary of Tibetan uprising, in contravention of the Public Security Act-1989. The Himalayan Times reports:

SP Ganesh KC, in-charge at Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka informed that they were released following a decision of Kathmandu District Security Committee to this effect. “They have been freed from the preventive detention,” he said. On being released, they shed tears of joy and hugged well-wishers, but vowed to continue non-violent anti-China protest in Kathmandu following their 20-day detention.

Finally, the Joint Standing Technical Committee (JTSC), the directing committee on issues regarding Nepal-India water relations, will meet on Tuesday in Kathmandu for the first time in two years. The meeting will conclude on Wednesday. Republica reports:

“As directed by the Joint Committee on Water Resources, the JSTC will take up the technical details on water sharing, inundation and other issues,” Madhu Sudan Poudel, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Irrigation, said.

Poudel, who will be leading a 14-member team from the government´s side said, “A review of all existing technical committees´ work will take place in the meeting.”

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